Thursday, April 10, 2008

Where It's At This Weekend - The Versace Mansion

Richy and I will be joining Neill Hernandez, VP of Cigarette Racing Team, and his lovely wife Amy at a party Saturday night at the Versace Mansion. We have to wear something orange, and our friends Phil Lipshultz and Marisa Narsiah will be meeting us there. I don't know why everyone must wear orange,( note from next day : The event is called Celebrities go Orange for Animals and it's for the SPCA of Miami.) but thank god I look okay in that color! I am very excited as I have never been there and with my trusty little olympus stylus camera and voice recorder inside my Louis, I'll be able to bring it all back to you. Now if I only had a button video camera....There are sure to be celebrities there. Stay tuned! Although I am not promising a blog Sunday morning, that's for sure, and no one wants me to write it when I get home. Friends don't let friends blog drunk.

Pan Fried Portobellos with Balsamic and Romaine-lemon pesto and Fresh Mozz

This recipe was inspired by Rachael Ray's Portobello Burgers with green sauce and Smoked Mozzerella. I changed the sauce, the seasoning, the timing, the cheese, and swapped a lot of ingredients. Her version is in 30 Minute Meals #2
Here's Mine:
1.Fresh Mozz, 1 to 2 large balls (lol)
2. Coarse Sea Salt
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4. Fresh Basil, one package
5. One package romaine hearts
6. One large or two small packages pine nuts (pignoli's)
7. Onion Onion Seasoning Blend by tastefully simple ( or minced onion or any onion blend you may have available
8. Crushed red pepper flakes
9. Fresh ground pepper
10. Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino
11. 6 portobello mushroom caps.
12. 1 garlic clove (not one head!)
13. Lemon Juice
Assemble all ingredients. Brush the grit off of the tops of the mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel. Preheat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan over medium - medium high heat, depending on your cooktop. Season both sides of the mushrooms with a tablespoon of onion onion, red and black pepper and salt to taste, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Pan fry for about five minutes on each side. When they have a nice browned appearance, add about a cup of balsamic vinegar and reduce the heat to medium low. Allow the mushrooms to absorb all of the reducing balsamic, flipping them a couple of times in the process. While this is happening, start to make your pesto. Put the entire package of basil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, the green leafy top of a romaine heart ( I just rip it off) 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup pine nuts, and 2/3 cup parmesean or pecorino romano ( I use both), salt, and pepper to taste, and the single garlic clove into your food processor or blender or mortar and pestle or whatever you choose to use.

Pulse to get it going, then process until smooth. Before the balsamic completely evaporates I like to take a spoonful or two out if I am serving as a side dish rather than a sandwich to dress the plate up a bit with the balsamic drizzle. Put thick slices of the milky mozzarella on top of the mushrooms with the burner off and cover with aluminum foil until they melt.

Either slice and toast rolls and slather with the pesto, then place the mushrooms inside, making a burger, or serve the mushrooms as a side, with the reserved balsamic drizzled on the plate and the pesto served in a ramekin with a spoon like at left.

Enjoy!! I'd love to hear about any of your messes or successes!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


You no longer have to be a blogger member to post comments on my page!
And Lucky Says HI!!

Here's a puppy pic of him:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Once I wrote a blog all about Parmesean Reggiano

And how having just one bite made me deliriously happy. I found this on the artisanal cheese
website. :)

Last Time We Asked: I hear that cheese makes you happy. I realize that cheese can offer a lot of pleasure in small bites, but how can it make you happy?

Answer: It begins with tyrosine, an amino acid found in relatively high concentrations in cheese. The Greek root "tyros", which means "cheese" is also the root of the word tyrophile or cheese lover. Amino acids are crucial to the proper functioning of the human body and brain, and our body has to get it from outside sources; it can't manufacture it on its own. Studies have shown that a tyrosine-deficient diet can lead to depression. Tyrosine has also shown to be helpful during periods of stress, fatigue, cold, prolonged work and sleep deprivation; and it appears to improve cognitive and physical performance, and can lead to better functioning in the workplace. Tyrosine is a building block for many of our brain's neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals through which our nerves communicate.

The main protein in cheese - casein - is broken down releasing tyrosine, which is quickly absorbed into our bloodstreams. Casein is also broken down into a casomorphin, which is an opioid - a "feel-good" chemical.

Most of the crystals found in well-aged cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano are crystallized tyrosine embedded within the long chains of amino acids comprising the casein molecules.

Probably one reason cheese makes you happy, even before you actually consume but only smell it, is because the aroma sends a signal to your olfactories letting you know that you're about to have some of those especially beneficial nutrients that are available in cheese.