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Sautéed Cauliflower w/ capers and olives

30 min.

Serves 3-4

5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)
1 small head cauliflower, sliced into flat 1/8" florets
Sea salt to taste
¾ cup coarsely chopped day-old bread
(in pea sized pieces)
2 tsp. crushed coriander seeds
Coarsely ground black pepper
2 large anchovy fillets packed in olive oil,
pounded to paste with mortar and pestle
½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup roughly chopped green stuffed olives
(or similar)
1 or 2 tbsp. capers (depending on taste)
1 tbsp. aged sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar


Place a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil. When it shimmers, add half the cauliflower (if there isn’t room for all of it), spreading it out so pieces are tightly packed but lay flat in pan. Season with salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until brown on bottom and beginning to soften at edges. Turn the pieces over and brown other side. When just tender remove to a shallow serving bowl. Return pan to heat and repeat with 2 tbsp. olive oil and remaining cauliflower (if any).

Return empty pan to heat again. Add remaining olive oil. Add bread and coriander and toss to coat in oil. When bread is lightly browned on edges, stir in anchovy paste. Pour this over cauliflower. Add parsley, olives and capers. Sprinkle vinegar on top. Season generously with black pepper and toss well. Taste and add more salt, pepper or vinegar, as desired.

Serve warm or at room temperature. For a main course, cauliflower may be tossed with pasta, a little oil and some pasta cooking water.


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Artichokes a la Barigoule

1 hour

Serves 3-4

5 small artichokes
300g of spinach
4 slices of bacon
4 carrots
100g of sorrel
2 bunches of the green parts of radish
1 big onion
2 garlic cloves
20cl of white wine
20cl of olive oil

Cut the top off the artichokes, removing the hairy parts and half or more of the outer leaves as well as the lower half of the stem. Slice the onion and the carrots thin. Crush the garlic. Slice the spinach and radish greens, the bacon and the sorrel. Put the olive oil in a pan, then add everything else with the artichokes on top with their stems up! Add the wine and some water so the ingredients are covered with liquid. Salt, pepper and cover.

Cook over high heat, making sure that there is always some liquid left. At the end there should not be much liquid left and the artichokes should be tender. It takes about 40 minutes of cooking with small artichokes; longer with bigger ones. To check if they are tender, touch one or taste one leaf.

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Fruit and Balsamico Chutney

Time: 1 hour

Serves 3-4

400g of dried fruits cut in pieces
      (equal parts of apricots, figs, raisons, dates)
200g of small round ‘grelots’ onions
      (approximately 1" in size)
Chicken bouillon cube in 10cl. of water
10cl of Balsamic vinegar
Cooking oil,
50g. cold butter
Salt and pepper

cook with : 4 ostrich or venison pavé (or other steaks)

You can also make the Chutney as a vegetarian dish without the meat, or make the chutney separately and then cook the another way (e.g. on a BBQ)

Peel the onions, put them in the frying pan with 20g of butter, then add 5cl. of water. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

In another pan, over high heat, put the ostrich or venison with the oil and cook 5 minutes on each side so that they are still pinkish inside. Keep them warm by putting them between 2 plates.

Put the little onions and the dried fruits in the pan where the meat was. Add the balsamic vinegar and with a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the frying pan to release the meat flavours. Then add the chicken cube with water. Let it boil until the water is reduced by half. Lower the heat and add 30g of cold butter to the pan and stir until there is a nice sauce.

Add into the sauce the juice that came out of the meat while it was waiting. Serve the meat on plates with the sauce around it. Good with wild rice.


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Penne with Spicy Cauliflower Sauce

30 mins.

Serves 3-4

Sea salt
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 dried red chilli pepper, crushed
      (or more to taste)
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 small to medium head cauliflower,
      trimmed and cut into walnut sized pieces
1 8.oz / 230g can peeled whole tomatoes
      and their juice
1 lb / 454g penne
1 cup heavy cream


Fill a large pot with water and season lightly with salt. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat until it shimmers, then add garlic and chilli pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

Add cauliflower, season generously with salt and toss to coat with oil. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing them in your fist as you add them. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken stock and continue simmering for another 10 minutes.

When water comes to a boil, add penne noodles and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. While pasta is cooking, add cream to cauliflower mixture and bring to simmering. Drain pasta and add to cauliflower in pan. Toss well and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.


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Flank Steak marinated in Ginger

1 h. 20 min.

Serves 3-4

1.5 lb./700g. Flank steak

    2 tbsp. soy sauce
    2 tbsp. minced ginger root
    1 tbsp. lemon zest
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
    2 tsp. brown sugar

In a large non-metallic bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Add steak, coating well with marinade. Cover (or put into tightly sealed zip-lock baggie) and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare BBQ or grill for relatively high heat. Grill steak 4-10 minutes on each side (depending on heat of grill) or to taste. To serve, slice diagonally. (Good with wild rice and BBQ’d mushrooms, peppers, etc.)

…from Maria Caruso / Bill Durkee

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Horseradish Baked Fish Casserole

25-30 min.

Serves 4

600g white fish fillets (cod, flétan, etc)
3-4 tomatoes
2 dl. crème fraîche
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. hot horseradish (or more to taste)
½ tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 225°C. Slice tomatoes and chop parsley fine. Stir in horseradish and chopped parsley with the crème fraîche, season with salt and pepper. Put fish in a lightly buttered casserole dish, spread sliced tomatoes on top of fish and cover with the crème fraîche mixture. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with salad and/or green beans.

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Tomato Mozzarella Jacket Potatoes

60-70 min.

Serves 4-6

6 X 175g / 6oz baking potatoes
8 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. roughly torn basil leaves
225g / 8oz mozzarella, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 220º C/400º F/Gas 6. Pierce the potatoes several times with a skewer and bake for 40-50 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, mix together the tomatoes, garlic and basil.

Place the Potatoes in a shallow ovenproof dish and leave for 10 minutes to cool enough to handle. Make 3 or 4 cuts widthways across the top of each one, then divide the mozzarella and tomato mixture between the cuts. Season.

Return the potatoes to the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling, then serve immediately.

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Shallot Confit with Honey and Ginger

~ 45 min.

Serves 4-6

1/4 cup peeled and finely minced ginger
1 1/2 cups sliced shallots
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
3/4 cup water

1. Place the ginger, shallots, and honey in a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring only occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the shallots have given up their liquid and the mixture is lightly browned and almost dry.

2. Stir in the vinegar and, with the heat still at medium, reduce by about half; this will take 5 to 10 minutes.

3. When the mixture is syrupy, add 3/4 cup water and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is moist and syrupy (not soupy) and very deep golden. Serve hot or at room temperature. This keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week; warm or bring to room temperature before serving.

(I find those cooking times are too short. The important thing is the right consistency -- almost no liquid when finished. I find it is a little milder and "sweeter" when made with balsamic vinegar. It's interesting to try different ones.)

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Pasta with Tomato Confit

~ 2 hours

Serves 2

500g cherry tomatoes
2 branches of fresh thyme
       (or dried if you can't get fresh)
4 cloves of garlic (or more)
extra virgin olive oil
white sugar (small amount)
250g spaghetti (or linguini)
50g parmesan (not grated)
salt and pepper
Niçoise or Ligurian olives, without pits
1 head of garlic per person (optional)

Tomato Confit

Wash and dry the tomatoes. Strip the thyme leaves from their twigs. Peel the 4 or more cloves of garlic and chop them finely.

Cover a baking tray with tin foil. brush olive oil over the foil. Distribute the whole cherry tomatoes over the foil and sprinkle generously with thyme. Add the chopped garlic. Sprinkle olive oil over the tomatoes. Salt them and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Put the tray with tomatoes in a preheated oven at 100°C (220°F) for about 2 hours, turning them about halfway through. Turn off the oven and leave the tomatoes inside to stay warm.

Cook the pasta and cut the parmesan into strips. Drain the pasta thoroughly and put in a serving bowl. Add the tomato confit preparation, the parmesan, the olives and some more thyme leaves. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix delicately. Serve immediately.

An excellent addition is to bake an entire head of garlic for each person in the oven in the last hour of the tomato cooking. Just peel the outer layers of skin from the head, but leave the cloves together. This can be served as a whole in the middle of the spaghetti and adds a nutty richness to the taste...

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