Shared Fall Recipe: Butternut Squash Parmesan Bread Pudding

Butternut Squash Parmesan Bread Pudding
Serves 8

(Recipe from SIMPLY ZOV: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist  by Zov Karamardian
Zov’s Publishing; January 2011; Hardcover/$39.00)

Mention bread pudding, and most people think dessert. But this savory version is just as delicious, and has the same luscious, creamy texture that makes the sweet version so appealing.  . That velvety texture comes from soaking the bread until the custard is absorbed. Butternut squash lends a sweet, nutty flavor, and is a perfect partner with any meat dish.

1 1/3 pounds butternut squash
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
½  cup minced shallots
5 large eggs
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 ½  teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½  teaspoons seasoned salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) loaf of brioche bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or eight 10-ounce ramekins with olive oil.

Peel, seed, and cut the butternut squash into ½ – to ¾ -inch cubes (you should have about 3 ½  cups). Toss the squash in a large bowl with 1 ½  tablespoons olive oil to coat. Arrange the squash in a single layer on a heavy large baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir the shallots and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the squash. Continue roasting until the squash and shallots are just tender, about 7 minutes longer. Set aside. Decrease the oven temperature to 350°F.

Whisk together the eggs, chicken stock, cream, and milk in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, thyme, kosher salt, seasoned salt and black pepper. Stir in the squash and cubed brioche. Let rest for 30 minutes, or until the bread soaks up most of the liquid. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish or ramekins.

Do-Ahead Tip: At this point, the bread pudding can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Place the baking dish or ramekins in a roasting pan that is at least 1 ½  to 2 inches high. Transfer the pan to the oven and add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish or ramekins. Bake until the pudding is golden brown on top and just set in the middle, about 50 minutes if using ramekins and 55 minutes if using a baking dish. Using oven mitts, very carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven. The water in the roasting pan will be very hot, so take caution when removing the pan from the oven so that you do not spill any water on yourself or inside the bread pudding. Serve immediately.

Zov’s Kitchen Note: The hot water bath provides a constant, steady heat source and ensures even, slow cooking.  After the pudding has been baked, some of the water will have evaporated, but some will remain, so be careful not to tip the roasting pan when you take it out of the oven.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Throughout her 24 years in the restaurant business, Zov Karamardian has been lauded by some of the most prestigious culinary organizations in the country, including the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  Zov burst onto the food scene in 1987 when she opened her first restaurant, Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, CA.  It’s phenomenal success launched the culinary career of a woman Julia Child called “a friend and colleague.”  Zov considers herself a teacher, like her friend and mentor, Julia Child, from whom she learned much of her craft.  She often hosts cooking classes at her restaurant and invites renowned chefs to share their knowledge.  Guest chefs have included Emeril Lagasse, Jacques Pépin, Anne Burrell, and Julia Child.  Zov loves to travel the world finding new spices, herbs and recipes to share with her fans.  She has devoted much of her time and resources to causes she believes in. The State of California named her Chef of the Year and the American Diabetes Association named her Woman of Valor.  Zov has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines across the United States and is a frequent guest on radio talk shows and television sharing her love of food.  Her first bistro has blossomed into restaurants in Newport Beach, Irvine, and in 2012, Zov’s Bistro will be opening in two terminals of John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, California.  For more information on Zov, go to http://www.Zovs.com.

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Shared Recipe: Tenderloin of Beef with Stuffed Spinach Leeks and Goat Cheese

Tenderloin of Beef with Stuffed Spinach Leeks and Goat Cheese
Serves 6-8

(Recipe from SIMPLY ZOV: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist  by Zov Karamardian
Zov’s Publishing; January 2011; Hardcover/$39.00)

Here is an elegant way to present beef. Butterflying is quite simple and can be done quickly, but you can also have your butcher do it for you.  This dish is perfect to serve for a holiday party or weeknight dinner.

2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup olive oil
1 leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
9 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning beef
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning beef
8 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 3-pound whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
Red Wine Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, leeks, mushrooms and garlic and cook until the leeks and mushrooms are tender and the liquid has evaporated, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until tender and the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Season the spinach mixture with thyme, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Stir in the goat cheese and pine nuts until the cheese is melted and creamy. Set aside to cool while you prepare the beef.

Do-Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the filling for up to 2 days.

Butterfly the beef tenderloin by cutting the tenderloin lengthwise down the center and about two-thirds of the way through the beef. Lay the tenderloin open on a work surface. Using a mallet, pound the beef to 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness.

Season the beef with salt and pepper, then spread the filling mixture down the center of the tenderloin. Roll the beef around the filling in a tight cylinder, then continue rolling as for a jelly roll to enclose the filling. Using butcher string, tie and secure the beef in 2-inch intervals. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Heat a large roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil to the hot pan, then immediately lay the beef in the pan and quickly brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the beef to a rack set on a heavy large baking sheet. Roast for about 35 minutes for medium-rare doneness. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.

Using a large sharp knife, cut the tenderloin crosswise into slices and transfer to plates. Spoon the sauce over the beef and serve.

Red Wine Sauce
Makes 1-1/3 cups

This richly flavored sauce comes together in minutes.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons minced shallots
½ cup dry red wine (such as Merlot or Syrah)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ¼ cups beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oil and the shallots and sauté until the shallots are tender, about 1 minute.  Add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook until it is incorporated with the wine.  Add 1 cup of the beef broth and bring to a boil, then continue to cook another 3 minutes.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining ¼ cup of the beef broth.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add the thyme and butter to the sauce and stir until the sauce is nice and velvety.  Add the salt and pepper.  Adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Do-ahead tip:  cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Zov’s Kitchen Note: This versatile sauce adds extra dimension to grilled or baked chicken as well.  Keep the red wine, and just substitute chicken broth for the beef broth.

Press Release

Fall Harvest Brings a Bounty of Fresh Flavors and Easy Meals Perfect for the Holidays with
Simply Zov: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”  Famed chef and restaurateur Zov Karamardian cannot imagine life without flavor.  That is why she created SIMPLY ZOV: RUSTIC CLASSICS WITH A MEDITERRANEAN TWIST (Zov’s Publishing; January 2011; $39.00/hardcover; ISBN: 978-0-9759558-2-6), offering a simple and easy approach to Mediterranean cooking for easy meals any night of the week.

With the fall season come holiday parties and family gatherings and celebrations.  Simply Zov has budget-friendly recipes that can be put together quickly and easily. “My recipes are easy and cost-effective. Most can be prepared ahead of time which means more time to enjoy guests and less time in the kitchen,” Zov explains.

While the base ingredients in Zov’s recipes are items most home cooks already have in their pantry, Zov aims to introduce cooks to some new flavors and ingredients. Simply Zov combines the flavors and spices of Zov’s Mediterranean heritage with more traditional American fare.

Zov loves the holidays, cooking up delicious meals to share with family and friends.  Her earliest memories are of her family seated around the dinner table sharing food, stories and love.  All of her heartwarming recipes were created to bring that family togetherness to tables everywhere.  The easy-to-follow recipes have Zov’s “do-ahead” tips and kitchen notes for alternative ideas.  This unique collection runs the gamut from breakfast to desserts; unique chicken, fish and beef entrées, to remarkable appetizers, soups and salads.

Whether an experience chef or novice, Simply Zov will help anyone create fresh and delicious, affordable meals. This holiday season let Zov Karamardian and Simply Zov put dinner on the table with these delicious fall recipes.

Simply Zov is available in local bookstores and Amazon.com and is now offered as an iPad application and download on Kindle. http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/simply-zov/id450055528?mt=11.


Thanks to the Trina Kaye Organization!

How ’bout a summer salad on a pizza (Summer Blue Crabby Pizza)

Dr. Mike Fenster, The Grassroot GourmetTM, shares his delicious pizza alternatives for summer, meaning adding fresh vegetables that are truly heart healthy additions.    It’s a unique way to enjoy a summer salad by putting it on a pizza.

“Summer is the perfect time to eat healthy by enjoying the bounty fresh produce available from local farmers.  Salads are an excellent source of good nutrition, light calories and a cool meal on a hot day. But let’s face it, after a while those salads begin to look and taste the same.  Take your favorite salad elements and combine them on a light crust you can make yourself.  Add in seasonal seafood like blue crab, grouper, shrimp, mahi-mahi, snapper, black sea bass or oysters and you have a total meal that is not only low in calorie but heart healthy.”

Eating fresh and natural foods is part of Dr. Mike’s Grassroots GourmetTM (GG) concept (and his forthcoming book titled Eating Well, Living Better: The Grassroots  Gourmet Guide to Good Healthy and Great Food – January 2012) that is derived from his beliefs and studies as a physician and as a chef that we are what we eat.   Grassroots Gourmet is his easy-to-follow guideline for navigating between deprivation and gastronomic gluttony and follows three basic principles, what Dr. Mike calls the Threefold Path of Be’s:

Be Aware and Avoid the Siren Call of Junk and Fast Food
Be Fresh – eat as much fresh and naturals foods as possible
Be On-Time and In Proportion

“There are so many ways to create tasty and fun summer pizzas.  You can combine your favorite vegetables into a spicy salsa and guacamole and top a pizza crust with fat free refried beans, melted cheese and chicken for a way south of the border Mexican-pizza. Or, if you have fired up the outdoor barbecue, grill up a lean steak, roast garden fresh tomatoes and pears,  and top with a nice blue cheese. You can even top a pizza crust with some vanilla yogurt, slices of fresh fruit a drizzle of honey and a dab of sweet whipped cream for a coolly refreshing dessert pizza.”

With Blue Crabs in season, Dr. Mike has developed this easy summer pizza.

Summer Blue Crabby Pizza
Serving size 1 – 5 oz slice (8 slices per pie); 120 Calories per serving; 3 g Total Fat; 15 g Carbohydrate

1 pizza crust, baked (see recipe below)
Avocado cucumber dressing (see recipe below)
8 oz fresh blue crab, jumbo lump***
1 pound small grape or pear tomatoes, roasted
4-6 oz mixed greens
2 Tbs toasted pine nuts
1 Tbs peppadew or piquant pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbs red onion, finely chopped

Remove the pizza crust from the oven and top with salad greens. Add all the ingredients and then drizzle with the avocado cucumber dressing. You can add any variety of additional fresh veggies and toppings you would like.

***Variation:  You can substitute Blue Crab with 8oz fresh Salmon grilled, baked or poached.  Calories change to 160 per slice and total fat is 6 grams per slice.

Avocado Cucumber Dressing

1 ½ cups Greek style yogurt
1 Tbs fresh thyme
1 Tbs fresh oregano
1 avocado, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 medium cucumber, peeled seeded and chopped
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
1 tsp chile powder

Combine all the items in a food processor and pulse until well combined.

For a variation that makes the salmon pizza amazingly scrumptious, simply add 1 Tbs chopped dill to the dressing!

Pizza Dough Recipe

The crusts can be made ahead of time. You can bake them all at once and refrigerate or freeze them for later use. Likewise, the dough will keep in the refrigerator for several days if you want to bake the crusts up hot and fresh. Just remember to let the dough come up to room temperature and then sit an extra hour or two to rise before rolling out.

¼ cup warm water (between 90 and 110 degrees F)
1 packet yeast
1 Tbs honey
16 ounces bread flour
4 oz whole wheat flour
4oz AP flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cup cold water

Combine the yeast, warm water and honey in a bowl and allow the yeast to bloom. Place the flour, salt and olive oil in a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook. Add the bloomed yeast mixture. Slowly add the water and mix until the dough comes clean away from the bowl. Using the dough hook, mix an additional five minutes, then remove and divide into 2 to 4 dough bowls. Cover with a light coating of olive oil and loosely wrap in cling wrap and set aside in a warm area to proof for about 2 hours or until doubles in size.

Recipes  under  Copyright Michael Fenster and  Photos by Jennifer Fenster

To see cooking demonstrations with Michael Fenster and more recipes, visit http://www.WhatsCookingWithDoc.com.

Also thanks to Trina Kaye Organization for this press release.

World’s Healthiest Brownie Recipe…really!

Thanks Trina Kaye for sharing this press release.

The countries around the Mediterranean produce an abundance of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that has been the basis for healthy eating for centuries.  Chef Joumana Accad specializes in bringing Mediterranean food to American tables. Through her popular food blog, http://www.TasteofBeirut.com, she has shown thousands of home cooks how healthy and delicious the cuisine of her native Lebanon is.

“Lebanon is a beautiful Mediterranean country with very few natural resources.  As a child, learning to cook from my grandmother, I grew to appreciate and take full advantage of what nature provided,” Joumana explains.  “I have modernized some traditional Lebanese recipes that take advantage of summertime ingredients.”

World’s Healthiest Brownie
(Copyright Joumana Accad)
Makes 12 servings

Tahini is the “fat” of choice in the Lebanese kitchen and is used daily; it is mixed with fresh lemon juice and (or) Seville orange juice, spiked with garlic and slathered on falafel, kafta trays and shawarma sandwiches; made into a rich sauce with kibbeh balls, baked with fish or served with boiled vegetables.

In the pastry kitchen, however, tahini is only used sparingly; I wanted to use it in an iconic American cake: The brownie. Here, tahini replaces butter; and a most traditional Eastern mediterranean food, grape molasses, replaces white refined sugar. Grape molasses was the sweetener of choice in Lebanon before the widespread distribution and availability of sugar. It is made in the rural areas today in the communal village press, where it is extracted from the sweetest grapes; the juice from these grapes is filtered and boiled and the resulting thick and sweet molasses is fragrant and filled with all the concentrated nutrients of the grape. Grape molasses or debess al-enab is used in hundreds of rural recipes, from puddings, to dry cookies, to porridges made with bulgur or chick peas.

Even though there is a dramatic difference in taste and quality between one’s family production of grape molasses made in the villages and the commercial kind available in stores or online, it is still worth using in lieu of white refined sugar which has been proven to be toxic for the body.

In this version of brownie, tahini provides Omega 3 and 6, calcium, vitamin Bs, fiber and many other nutrients; fresh orange juice is loaded with antioxidants, potassium and vitamins. The grape molasses is full of minerals, such as calcium, potassium and iron, as well as vitamins and antioxidants. As for the dark chocolate and the whole wheat pastry flour they supply nutrients and protein.

This brownie has a soft and velvety crumb, a deep chocolate flavor with undercurrents of a dark nutty caramel.

INGREDIENTS:

•             60% chocolate chips (125 g.), melted in the microwave for one minute
•             Tahini (light-colored, 150 g.), stir the jar first and pour
•             Whole-wheat pastry flour (150 g.)
•             2 teaspoons of baking powder
•             1/2 teaspoon of salt
•             Grape molasses (or date or carob molasses) (150 g.)
•             Freshly-squeezed orange juice (150 g.)
•             2 Tablespoons of orange rind (20 g.)

One-bowl method, no need for a mixer.

1.            Assemble all the ingredients. In a bowl, transfer the tahini, add the orange juice and orange rind, melted chocolate and the grape molasses and stir.

2.            Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Transfer into the brownie bowl through a sifter. Stir until the flour mixture is no longer visible. Transfer the brownie batter into a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 23 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick into the cake; if dry or almost dry, it is done and the cake will be cakey; if you like it fudgy, check after 20 minutes and see how wet the batter is; it should be thick but moist. Cool a few minutes and serve.

This brownie can be served with a Lebanese caramel topping, which consists of mixing 1/2 cup of tahini with 1/4 cup of grape molasses.

NOTE: The grape molasses can be substituted for carob or date molasses or raw brown cane sugar.

To create other traditional Lebanese dishes using fresh, locally grown foods visit http://www.TasteofBeirut.com.

Tropical Crystal Chicken for Father’s Day

Fire Up the Grill This Father’s Day with Heart-Healthy Recipes for Dad

Dr. Michael Fenster, MD, F.A.C.C., FSCA&I, PEMBA cooks up a low-fat meal perfect for a backyard barbecue.

Dr. Michael Fenster believes that good health is the greatest gift anyone can give and receive. This Father’s Day forget the greasy burgers and the industrial mystery meat in tube form; go healthy with a great chicken barbecue.   As a practicing interventional cardiologist and chef, Dr. Fenster says “chicken does not have to mean boring.  Chicken is a great source of low-fat protein and dressed up right, chicken can be an amazingly delicious treat.”

Dr. Fenster also suggests we make Father’s Day a day of health not only for dad but the entire family by adding some exercise to the day’s activities. “Moderate exercise has been shown to help suppress the appetite.  Walking is one of the best and easiest activities we can do. A short walk after a barbecue will help lower blood pressure and increase digestion.  A relaxing walk is the perfect way to end the day.”

To make your Father’s Day barbecue complete, Dr. Fenster suggests adding fresh vegetables to the grill.  “Take some red and green bell peppers, zucchini, some broccoli, and any other favorite vegetables, toss them in a small amount of olive oil and a few spices, then add them to the grill.  You will be amazed at how delicious these grilled vegetables will taste and be so good for you.”

Eating fresh and natural foods is part of Dr. Fenster’s Grassroots GourmetTM (GG) concept (and soon to be book) that is derived from his beliefs and studies as a physician and as a chef that we are what we eat.  Grassroots Gourmet is his easy-to-follow guideline for navigating between deprivation and gastronomic gluttony and follows three basic principles, what Dr. Fenster calls the Threefold Path of Be’s:

Be Aware and Avoid the Siren Call of Junk and Fast Food
Be Fresh – eat as much fresh and naturals foods as possible
Be On-Time and In Proportion

Following the Grassroots Gourmet principle, Dr. Fenster says “be sure to purchase a vegetarian fed free-range chicken.  These birds are naturally lower in fat, do not contain any hormones, and increase the levels of beneficial and essential polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 and 6 and a great source of minerals like selenium.  Free-range chickens are also rich in niacin, B-6, B-12, vitamin D, iron and zinc. If desired, you can reduce the fat content even further by removing the skin.”

TROPICAL CRYSTAL CHICKEN
(Copyright Michael Fenster, Photos by Jennifer Fenster)

Serving Size 6 oz; 340 Calories per serving; 24 g total fat; 1 g Carbohydrate

This dish combines tropical flavors with a mild heat and a marinade that leaves your grilled bird tender, sweet and juicy. Top it with a little Southern sauce if you need a little extra tang. This is so good off the grill that you will forget how good it is for you.

1 whole chicken, split in two
Marinade
12oz of hot sauce like Crystal or Louisiana Brand
10.5 oz Coconut water
13.5 oz Coconut milk (low fat is preferred)
1 lemon
16 oz fresh pureed pineapple
1 orange
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp allspice, crushed
3 sprigs oregano
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaf
1 star anise
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs paprika

Remove any giblets and parts inside the chicken then split in half, lengthwise and set aside.

In a large container that can hold the marinade contents and the chicken add all the ingredients. Squeeze the lemon and orange to add the juice, and then add the rinds in quarters.

Marinate the chicken at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Remove and pat dry. Top with paprika, dried oregano and thyme.

Grill the chicken until done. The exact time will depend on the size of the bird but the juices should run clear and the internal temperature should be 170-175 0 F (Poultry temperature is 180oF but you need to allow for carryover cooking). Allow the bird to rest in foil for about 10 minutes prior to serving.

The chicken will be flavorful and tender, but if you like some delicious, slightly spicy sauce add the Western North Carolina Style BBQ Sauce (recipe follows).

Western Style North Carolina BBQ Sauce
(Copyright Michael Fenster, Photos by Jennifer Fenster)

Serving Size 1 oz; 25 Calories per serving; 1.5 g total fat; 3 g Total Carbohydrate

This delicious barbecue sauce is low in sugar, fat and sodium, the usual suspects in most commercial sauces.  By taking out all the preservatives and sugar, we cut the calories and carbohydrates way down.  This sauce uses all natural honey for sweetness.

4 tbsp butter or substitute
1 ½ cups onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper
6oz tomato paste
1 ½ cups water
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and soften, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for several minutes until it darkens in color, stirring frequently. Add the dry spices and cook 1 more minute. Add the liquid and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and reduce the liquid by 1/3.
In a food processor or blender in small batches, puree the liquid. You may also use an immersion blender. For a sweeter sauce, use more honey; for a spicier sauce use more hot pepper.

ABOUT MICHAEL FENSTER, MD, F.A.C.C., FSCA&I, PEMBA

Michael Fenster combines his culinary talents and Asian philosophy with medical expertise, creating winning recipes for healthy eating. He is frequently asked to present live cooking demonstrations as well as giving numerous radio interviews on health and food shows both nationally and internationally. Michael is a certified wine professional and chef, receiving his culinary degree from Ashworth University where he graduated with honors.  He has worked professionally in kitchens prior to entering medical school and maintained his passion for food and wine throughout his medical career.  Mike helped manage the award winning Napa Alley in Roanoke, Virginia, and hosted a local cable TV cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ with Doc” in Dublin, GA.  He has written columns for News-Line.net; SheKnows.com, is a regular columnist for the culinary magazineBasil, as well as a member of their Council of Chefs and a monthly health and fitness contributor to The Tampa Tribune.  Mike’s heart healthy recipes have are reprinted in newspapers and magazines across the country, and he regularly cooks up healthy meals on the nationally syndicated television show “Daytime.”

Michael Fenster, MD, is a Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist, currently on staff with the Cardiology Specialists of Florida at Hernando Heart Clinic. He has participated in numerous clinical trials and spoken nationally on a variety of cardiovascular topics to audiences ranging from lay public to peer presentations at the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology meetings. He has also published numerous professional peer reviewed articles and served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at North East Ohio University College of Medicine (NEOUCOM). Michael recently graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University’s Physician’s Executive MBA program.

Michael holds a JuDan (10th degree black belt) ranking in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, which he has studied over the last three decades.  He lives in Spring Hill, Florida, with his wife Jennifer.  His book, Eating Well, Living Better: A Prescription for Wellness and Epicurean Enlightenment will be published in early 2012.

To see cooking demonstrations with Michael Fenster and more recipes, visit http://www.WhatsCookingWithDoc.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Trina Kaye – The Trina Kaye Organization
310-915-0970
TrinaKaye@tkopr.com

Fresh and Easy Grilling Recipes from “Simply Zov: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist)

Every home-cook hopes to create fresh and inspiring dishes for every meal. But what most of us lack is time. With Zov Karamardian’s new book, the tempting world of garden-fresh cooking is easier than ever without spending hours in the kitchen.  As a follow up to her best-selling cookbook, Zov: Recipes and Memories from the Heart, the acclaimed chef and restaurateur has published SIMPLY ZOV: RUSTIC CLASSICS WITH A MEDITERRANEAN TWIST (Zov’s Publishing; January 2011; $39.00/hardcover; ISBN: 978-0-9759558-2-6). Offering a simple and easy approach to cooking, Simply Zov provides clean and satisfying meals for busy people.

“I wanted this cookbook to be perfect for someone who is busy with the family and on a budget, but want to use farm-fresh ingredients in their cooking,” Zov explains.  “My recipes are easy and cost-effective; most of them can be prepared ahead of time, while introducing home cooks to new flavors.”

While the base ingredients in Zov’s recipes are items most home cooks already have in their pantry, Zov aims to introduce cooks to some new flavors and ingredients.  “My pantry is never without some of my favorite herbs and spices, such as harissa, allspice, cayenne pepper, red pepper paste, garlic and ginger.  But I never miss a chance to search through the spice isle at the supermarket because I never know what I may find.  It is my hope that home cooks will feel that same sense of adventure when preparing recipes from the book.”  Simply Zov combines the flavors and spices of Zov’s Mediterranean heritage with more traditional American fare.
Simply Zov will take home-cooks on a journey where new and exciting culinary adventure awaits.

Grilled Eggplant, Olive and Tomato Bruschetta
Serves 8 (makes 16)
(Recipe from SIMPLY ZOV: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist
by Zov Karamardian
Zov’s Publishing; January 2011; Hardcover/$39.00)

This is one of those great stand-by appetizers for a summer barbecue that you can pull together quickly when company drops in. You will likely have most of the ingredients, and the flavors can be tailored to suit your taste. Try it with roasted red or yellow peppers, add sundried tomatoes for extra flavor or grill the bread, instead of baking it, for another layer of smokiness.  The eggplant-tomato topping is also delicious spooned over grilled meats.

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
16 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices baguette
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat. Brush the eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and grill the eggplant slices until tender and charred on both sides with grill marks, about 12 minutes. Set aside until cooled slightly. Coarsely chop the grilled eggplant and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the olive oil onto a baking sheet and dip both sides of the bread slices in the oil to coat lightly. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes.

Do-Ahead Tip: The toasts can be made 2 days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature. The eggplant can be grilled and chopped 1 day ahead; refrigerate in an airtight container. Allow the eggplant to come to room temperature before using.

Toss the eggplant pieces, tomatoes, olives, basil, cilantro, capers, shallots, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium bowl. Season the mixture to taste with salt. You will have about 3 1/2 cups of the eggplant mixture. Divide the mixture evenly among the toasts and sprinkle with Parmesan. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.

Zov’s Kitchen Note:Most of the ingredients can be prepared ahead, just make sure not to mix them together until you’re ready to serve.  The herbs and tomatoes should be freshly chopped as oxidation alters the taste. Use any leftover mixture on grilled fish or chicken.

Spicy Grilled Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Ginger
Serves 6
(Recipe from SIMPLY ZOV: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist
by Zov Karamardian
Zov’s Publishing; January 2011; Hardcover/$39.00)

The dining scene is changing as more people travel around the world seeking out new tastes and culinary adventures. Here is a delicious example of the complex, aromatic flavors found in authentic Asian cooking, as it represents the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent and bitter. It sounds intimidating, but it’s not. This dish can be prepared in less than half an hour. In fact, it’s a great last minute recipe for casual get-togethers with family and friends.

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Thai red chiles, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
6 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat the barbecue (high heat). Stir the cilantro, mint, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, chili sauce, water, garlic, vinegar, Thai chilies, black pepper and salt in a medium bowl to blend.

Place the salmon fillets in a 13x9x2-inch dish. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the sauce over the salmon and let stand 5 minutes. Turn the salmon over and spoon 5 tablespoons of the remaining sauce over the salmon; let stand 5 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce to serve with the salmon.

Brush the grill rack with oil to keep the salmon from sticking. Grill the salmon until char marks form on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn the fillets over and grill until the salmon is still pink in the center, about 4 minutes. The salmon will continue to cook as it sits. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Transfer the salmon fillets to a platter or individual plates. Garnish with lemon wedges, radishes and chives. Serve the reserved sauce alongside.

Zov’s Kitchen Note:This versatile sauce goes with a variety of dishes, and also works well as a dip. I love using it as a basting sauce for flank steak, rib-eye or any type of protein that requires Asian flare. You can also use it on chicken and other type of meaty fish.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Throughout her 24 years in the restaurant business, Zov Karamardian has been lauded by some of the most prestigious culinary organizations in the country, including the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  Zov burst onto the food scene in 1987 when she opened her first restaurant, Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, CA.  Its phenomenal success launched the culinary career of a woman Julia Child called “a friend and colleague.”  Zov considers herself a teacher, like her friend and mentor, Julia Child, from whom she learned much of her craft.  She often hosts cooking classes at her restaurant and invites renowned chefs to share their knowledge.  Guest chefs have included Emeril Lagasse, Jacques Pépin, Anne Burrell, and Julia Child.  Zov loves to travel the world finding new spices, herbs and recipes to share with her fans.  She has devoted much of her time and resources to causes she believes in. The State of California named her Chef of the Year and the American Diabetes Association named her Woman of Valor.  Zov has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines across the United States and is a frequent guest on radio talk shows and television sharing her love of food.  Her first bistro has blossomed into restaurants in Newport Beach, Irvine, and in 2012, Zov’s Bistro will be opening in two terminals of John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, California.  For more information on Zov, go to http://www.ZovsBistro.com.

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For More Information  Contact:
Trina Kaye / The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC / 310-915-0970 / TrinaKaye@tkopr.com
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Chocolate Mousse: A Combination of Chocolate and Love

Two for Tonight: Pure Romance from L’Auberge Chez François
By Chef Jacques Haeringer

Say Jacques. “No matter how cold it gets outside it’s always warm by the stove.”

But, you don’t have to labor over a hot stove, or spend a lot of money to create special romantic treats.  Chef Jacques has some fun suggestions that are sure to create romantic sparks:

Say “I Love You” with breakfast: If you and your significant other are always rushing out in the morning for work, set the breakfast table before you go to sleep with your best linens, flowers in a vase, and best dishes for a surprise breakfast treat. If your breakfast is only a quick cup of coffee, add a few fresh strawberries and whipped cream for a quick “I love you” treat.

There is power in chocolate: This confection’s melting temperature is just below body temperature of 98.6 degrees, which is why it melts in your mouth. There is that brief moment where chocolate transforms itself from a solid to a luscious liquid. To many people this sensation and taste is irresistible. Choose one or two single pieces from a high quality candy vendor and share them with your special someone. If you want to treat the entire family, purchase a high-quality cocoa mix. Mix up a warm and aromatic batch and add some fresh whipped cream. For an adult twist a dash of your favorite liqueur and it won’t matter how early the sun sets outside.

A Bit of the Bubbly: This year treat yourself and a special someone with the surprise of sparkling wine or champagne to celebrate your love. Drop a single fresh raspberry or strawberry into a stem of sparkling wine to heighten the flavor and appearance. The tiny bubbles that melt in your mouth can also melt a few hearts.

Make a Date: The perfect romantic meal may be one that you enjoy at a future date. Slip an IOU into a “I love you” Card for a future meal and spend the night at home.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
For 6 – 8 servings, double the recipe
( Recipe reprinted under Copyright Chef Jacques Haeringer from Two for Tonight,
Bartleby Press; $26.95; ISBN: 0-910155-43-7)

The combination of chocolate and love is a double whammy.  Chocolate contains caffeine-like substances which excite the system as well as the taste buds.  There is nothing like whipped chocolate for dessert!

5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum

Whip the heavy cream in a chilled medium mixing bowl and then refrigerate.

Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl and set over a pot of boiling water.  Heat for 1-2 minutes until the chocolate melts.  Whisk thoroughly.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and rum, blending well.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the heavy whipping cream with the aid of a rubber spatula.

Pipe or spoon the mousse into ½ cup size or larger stemware or dishes.  Top the mousse with a pinch of cocoa powder, if desired.

ABOUT CHEF JACQUES HAERINGER

Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected and innovative culinary personalities. Continuing in his father’s footsteps, Jacques loves to create and serve contemporary French fare at his restaurant, L’Auberge Chez François, in Great Falls, Virginia. His menus feature reinterpreted Alsatian and French cuisine for American palates.  When he isn’t in the kitchen, he can be found teaching his popular gourmet cooking classes.  Jacques is often asked to author magazine articles, cook up recipes at culinary events, and to be a guest on television and radio shows across the country.

Jacques is the author of Two for Tonight,a collection of recipes that inspire romance through food and togetherness, and the Chez François Cookbook, the bible of classic Alsatian cuisine featuring some of the restaurant’s most popular recipes. He lives in Northern Virginia and is currently working on a new cookbook and television show.

For more information on L’Auberge Chez François, Chef Jacques, and his books and cooking classes, visit him online at http://www.ChefJacques.com, on Facebook @JacquesHaeringer, and Twitter @ChefJacquesH.

Trina Kaye – The Trina Kaye Organization