By Doris Schechter

Preheat oven to 350 F. and grease a 10” spring-form pan.
3 tablespoons olive oil to medium
1 large Spanish onion thinly sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
3 summer squash- sliced 1/4″
3 zucchini- sliced 1/4″
I red, 1 yellow and 1 green pepper- 1/4″ strips
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
6 eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups stale French bread cubed
8 ounces cream cheese, crumbled
2 cups grated Swiss cheese

Sauté vegetables until crisp and tender-20 minutes. Whisk together liquid ingredients, stir in bread and cheese and add vegetables. Stir to well combined. Pour ingredients pan, pack tightly into spring-form pan and place on baking sheet. Bake until firm-1 hour. If too brown cover with tinfoil.

Marie Antoinette Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Cups with White Chocolate Curls and Blackberry Coulis

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons, blackberry liqueor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix the above ingredients in a stainless steel bowl and set the bowl over a bain marie (double boiler) and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally.

3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons coffee
4 tablespoons sugar

Whisk all ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl and set over a bain marie (double boiler), whisking constantly over the heat until the mixture is thick and puffy like marshmallow about 5 minutes, done slowly. Remove from the water bath and whisk in the cool chocolate then cool to room temperature.

3 large egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream, cold
Whipped Cream
White chocolate, shaved into curls
Blackberries, or any berry, gently mashed with 1 teaspoon sugar

Beat the whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks then add 1/4 t cream of tartar, then gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until the peaks are stiff.

Use a large spatula and stir one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
In another bowl, beat 1/2 cup cold heavy cream and gently mix into the mixture.

Then gently pipe the mousse into marie antoinette style champagne glasses and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream, white chocolate curls and macerated blackberries

Napoleon of Arctic Char and Chilean Cea Bass with Roasted Red Peppers and Steamed Spinach

Cut salmon filets and sea bass filets into same size rectangular shapes each about 3oz. portions and marinate with sea salt, little chopped shallot, parsley sprigs, xvoo, and splash of vermouth.
Roast peppers, peel, marinate with salt, pepper, xvoo, dash of white balsamic, chiffonade of basil.
Lightly steam spinach, cool and squeeze out excess water.
Reduce with few chopped shallots, sprig of thyme and parsley, little lemon zest a cup or so of dry vermouth until 90% gone.
Add a cup of fish stock and reduce this by half.
Add a cup of heavy cream and reduce this by half.
Then, swirl in 3 or 4 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper and dash of cayenne pepper.

In a sauce pot bring to a boil 4 cups water, couple of garlic cloves, salt,pepper and couple of sprigs of tarragon.
Add couple of handfuls of frozen peas and bring to a boil.
Quickly puree with hand blender until silky then pass through chinois and cool quickly in an iced bane marie. the blanching and cooling process must be effecient as to ensure a nice bright green pea sauce.
Cut asparagus about half way down to rid the woodsy bottom.
Peel the upper part with vegetable peeler up to the tip. in a sautoir, add little water and little truffle butter or oil with salt, pepper and dash of lemon juice or zest.
Add cleaned asparagus and cover. Poach for about a minute or two until crispy, yet tender, then remove the asparagus and serve.
To cook fish, place on separate trays and poach in oven until about 75% cooked.
Remove and cool.

Then layer all elements by placing bass on bottom, followed by the spinach and peppers and then add the salmon on top, making sure all layers are flat an even.

Reheat in oven until warm, then put on plate with a rosette of the parsnip puree (peeled parsnips cooked in milk and butter then pureed in cuisinart till smooth as silk)
Ladle the vermouth sauce over the fish, then a swirl of the warmed pea sauce around and sprinkle the asparagus around to complete.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons butter, melted

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup soup cream
1¼ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten
Whipped cream and nuts, to garnish ( optional )

1. Preheat oven to 350° F
2. To make the crust, mix the ingredients until crumbly, not pasty. Pat into a 9-inch springform pan, forming the crust along the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.
3. To make the filling, in a mixer, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, granulated and brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the pump-kin puree and the spices and blended. Add the eggs one at a timeand blend again until mixed. Pour into the pan over the crust.
4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the center is almost set.
5. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for several hours, until the cheesecake cool completely and firms.
7. To serve, run a knife or metal spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove the pan. Garnish with whipped cream and nuts, if desired.

Salmon Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons sweet butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cup white onion, diced small
2/3 cup celery, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup new potatoes, small diced (skin on)
4 cups fish or vegetable stock
1 pint heavy cream
2 cup fresh corn kernels
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 pound raw salmon filet, diced medium
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

In a large soup pot, melt the butter with the oil. Add onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook until lightly wilted, but no color is achieved.

Using a whisk stir in the flour, and cook 1 – 2 minutes. Add in the potatoes, stock and heavy cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Stir in the corn, basil and salmon. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer approximately 8 – 10 minutes longer until the salmon is cooked through. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

Soy Ginger Tuna with Wild Mushrooms from Bari Restaurant

By Chef Carlos Montoya, Bari Restaurant

2 pieces of 8 ounces fillet grade A tuna
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
2 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 ounces oyster mushrooms
2 ounces crimini mushroom, sliced
4 ounces baby bok choy (should be heads)
1 tablespoon chopped scallion
sesame seeds

Soy Ginger Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons fresh ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground garlic
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
juice of 1 lime

Clean mushrooms and let them dry properly. Reserved for later.
cut baby bok choy in half, wash will, cold water. Drop bok choy in salted boiling water for 2 minutes and into a bowl with cold water and Ice. Remove bok choy from ice bath and drain properly. Set aside for later.
In a soute pan, sweat the 1 teaspoon of ginger until translucent. Sauté mushrooms with ginger for 3 to 5 minutes or light brown. Add bok choy to mushroom mixture, cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and 2 tablespoon chopped scallions.

Season tuna with salt and pepper. Heat up skillet or sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of canola oil and 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil over high heat, add the tuna. Brown all sides of tuna to golden brown, remove from skillet to pepper towel and pat dry. Let the tuna rest for two minutes. Place onto cutting board.

To serve, slice tuna on a cutting board into quarter inch slices, and arrange over mushroom and bok choy. Drizzle with soy ginger vinaigrette and garnish with sesame seeds.

Soy ginger vinaigrette: whisk all ingrdients. Keep in refrigerator till ready for use.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie from My Most Favorite Food

Restaurant is my most favorite food
Chef Doris Schechter

My most favorite sugar crust for a 2-crust 10-inch (recipe follows)

2 cups hulled strawberries, sliced
2 cups chopped frozen but unthawed rhubarb or fresh rhubarb
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup raspberry preserves, with or without soda
Juice of ½ lemon

Egg wash of 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Sugar, for sprinkling on the lattice strips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature to soften before rolling out. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to catch any juice that may spill over the crust.
2. Working with one disk of dough at a time, roll it out into around about 11 inches in diameter on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough over the rolling pin, center it over a 10-inches pie plate or pie tin, and unroll the dough over the pan. Press the dough over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. With a dough scraper, crim the over hang, leaving just enough dough to cover the full rim of the pan. Gather up the trimmings and reserve for cookies.
3. Make the filling: in a medium bowl, combine the strawberries rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, rapsberry preserves and lemon juice, are toss gently to combine and coat the fruit. Spoon the filling into the pie shell.
4. shape the remaining disk of dough into a cylinder, then roll it into a 10 x 12-inch retangle on a lightly floured surface. Using a fluted pizza or pie dough cutter and a ruler, cut the retangle crosswise into 8 one-inch-wide strips.
5. Brush the edge of the crust all the way around with egg wash. Brush the 8 strips with egg wash, then sprinkle them generously with sugar ( you should be able to see a thin layer of sugar on the strips ).
6. Lay 4 of the strips, I at a time, over the top of the pie, spacing them evenly; press the strips on the bottom crust to adhere to the egg wash on the edge. Turn the pie a quarter turn and arrange the remaining strips on the pie, at an angle to the first strips, making lattice top; firmly press each strip onto the bottom crust. Trim the overhangs with a dough scraper, reserving them for baking into cookies.
7. Place the pie on the lined baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the lattice strips are golden and the juices have bubbled arroung the edges completely before serving.

Sugar Pie Crust
12 tablespoons cold unsalted margarine, or butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 extra-large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour

In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the margarine with the sugar on medium speed until fluffy.

In a small bowl, beat the egg together lightly with the vanilla. With the mixer running, add the egg mixture to the margarine mixture and beat until they are incorporated.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, a cup at a time, beating until a ball of dough forms around the paddle.

With your hands, gather the dough into a ball, and pat it into a large, flat round. Divide the round in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill the disks in the refrigerator for at least hours, preferable 3 to 4 hours, or until firm.

Wild Rice Salad with Sweet Cherries & Sage

2 6 – 8 oz packages wild rice
½ teaspoon salt
8 cups water

2/3 cup sun dried cherries
1 cup celery, diced small (about 2 stalks)
2 stalks scallions, (green & white), diced small
1 cup orange sections (about 2 oranges)
1 cup fresh fennel, diced small
1/3 cup red onion, diced small
1 ½ cups watercress leaves, rough chopped
½ cup walnut pieces, rough chopped

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup cranberry juice
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup fresh cherries, pitted & chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 cup olive oil
½ cup canola oil
½ cup walnut oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Soak rice 5 – 10 minutes in cool water. Drain and rinse.

Add salt to water and bring to a boil. Add in the wild rice and reduce heat. Cover loosely and cook 45 – 60 minutes until firm, yet tender (not mushy). Drain excess water, fluff with a fork and cover. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Transfer the wild rice to a large bowl. Stir in cherries and allow to cool. Add celery, scallions, orange sections, fennel, onion, watercress and walnuts. Gently combine. Cover and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar, juices and honey. Stir well. Add in chopped cherries and sage. While whisking continuously, or using a hand blender, pour in the remaining oils. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and pour over the Wild Rice Salad. Serve at room temperature.

Prepare the additional salad ingredients and dressing while the rice is simmering.
This dish can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time. Remove from fridge one hour before serving. Add dressing just before serving.

Wood Grilled King Salmon with Harisa Spiced Grilled Tomato Coulis and Fried Fennel from Tierra Sur Restaurant

1 lb of King salmon filet cut into 3” squares
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt pinch per piece
Cracked black pepper couple of turns per piece
Cracked fennel seed 1 pinch per piece (optional)

Season the meat side of your filets with the salt, pepper and fennel seed. Brush the skin side with the olive oil and place onto a hot grill. Make sure grill is hot before putting fish on otherwise it will stick. Grill for 2 minutes and lift with a spatula. While keeping it on its skin side reposition filet by turning it 45 degrees and placing it back on its skin side to cook an additional 2 minutes. Once the grill markings are made and the skin is crispy flip filet over and cook until desired temperature.

6 Roma tomatoes cored and scored on bottom
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons harisa ( store bought or from recipe below)
Sea salt to taste

Place the scored tomatoes on to the hot grill and turn while cooking. Grill until charred on all sides and tomatoes become supple. Peal tomatoes and place inside a blender along with the olive oil, vinegar and harisa. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt. Send mixture through a sieve to remove seeds and pulp. You may prepare this a day or two in advance and keep refrigerated.

Fried Fennel
2 small to medium size bulbs of fennel cleaned and quartered
½ cup cake flour
1 cup soda water
Sea salt

Fryer or pot with 2 inches of canola oil or other vegetable fry oil

½ cup mayonnaise
3 cloves of garlic made into paste with a mortar and pestle
Juice from 1 half of a lemon

In a mixing bowl place flour and whisk in soda water. Fryer oil should be at 350 to 360º F. With a tongs dip fennel into batter and place into fryer. Fennel is mostly water and you will only need to cook until the batter is golden brown approximately 3 minutes. Place on paper towels to drain excess fat and sprinkle with sea salt. In a separate bowl combine mayonnaise, the garlic and the lemon juice.

Tierra Sur Harisa

1 lb of Guajillo chilies un-toasted, re-hydrated, deseeded (reserve the water)
3 charred poblano chilies
15 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons toasted coriander ground.
4 tablespoons toasted cumin ground.
1 ½ tablespoons caraway seed ground.
Sea Salt to taste

In Blender add Pure olive oil and some pepper liquid if you need to thin a bit. Paste should be thick.

To serve

Place 3 ounces coulis on bottom of plate put one piece of fennel down and the filet of fish leaned up against it. Place one more piece of fennel to the side leaned against filet and put a couple of teaspoons worth of the mayonnaise over the fennel.

Sautéed Filet of Salmon with French Green Lentils from Le Marais Restaurant

by Chef Jose Meirelles, Le Marais

Serves 6

6 (4oz.) fillets of salmon, skin on
Salt and white pepper to taste
Peanut oil for sautéing
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 small carrot, peeled and small dice
1 stalk of celery, small dice
½ fennel bulb, small dice
1 (17oz.) box of French Green Lentils
Extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon leaves

For Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette:
4 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 shallots, minced
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper

On the skin side of the fish, score the flesh with three marks. You want to just go through the skin without making a deep cut in the flesh. Also you want the score to go all the way to the edge of where the skin ends. This will prevent the fish from curling in the pan.
Have an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Heat a non-stick skillet with just enough peanut oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Season the fish on both sides with salt and white pepper. Add the fish to the pan on the skin side. With the fire on medium heat, cook the fish on the skin side until the skin crisps up, about 4 minutes. Place the pan into the oven, leaving the fish on the skin side for another 4 minutes just until the heat just reaches the center of the fish.
For the green lentils, use a large shallow pan. Sauté the onions, carrots, celery and fennel in the olive oil until softened. Add the lentils and sauté with the veg for about 1 minute more. This will allow the beans to be fully coated with the oil. Season with salt and white pepper. Cover with water and cook on low heat until all of the water is fully absorbed and then lentils are tender.
If serving immediately, finish with the herbs and then plate. If serving later, spread the beans out onto a pan to cool.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey and shallots. Whisk the olive oil in to the vinaigrette in a slow stream while whisking vigorously. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place the warm lentils on the plate and top with the salmon, skin side up. Drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette on to the plate.

Tuna Tartare with Mango and Avocado Purée and Cilantro from Le Marais Restaurant

by Chef Jose Meirelles, Le Marais

Serves 8
1 ½ lbs of super fresh yellowfin tuna loin
2 shallots, fine dice
Zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Sea salt and white pepper
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Tabasco to taste
2 ripe champagne mangos
2 ripe avocados
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Herb oil (optional)
Mango puree (optional)
Micro cilantro or cilantro leaves

First trim the tuna. Cut out the black blood line. It is bitter and inedible. Also, on the bottom of the loin is a piece of the tuna that is striped with white nerves. These won’t do in our tartare, they are tough and chewy and ruin the texture of the tartare.
Dice the clean tuna into small dice and place them into a non-reactive bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside in the refrigerator. This can be done up to about 4 hours in advance without any deterioration in quality.
Just before you are ready to serve, add the shallots, lime zest, olive oil, cilantro, salt and white pepper. Gently toss together.
Peel and small dice the mango. Season with salt and white pepper.
Place the ripe avocado flesh into the cup of a food processor along with the lime juice and the olive oil. Season with salt and white pepper. Puree until very smooth.
For plating, use a tall round mold, a piece of pvc pipe or a tall 2 inch ring mold will do the job nicely. Put about 3 ounces of the tuna on the bottom, followed by a layer of mango and then a layer of the avocado puree. The top of the tower can be finished with some micro cilantro leaves or some whole cilantro leaves.
For optional plate garnish, drizzle an herb oil and some prepared mango purée that can be bought in almost any specialty foods store.

The Ultimate Tiramisu from Bari Restaurant

By Chef Carlos Montoya, Bari Restaurant

5 eggs yolk
3½ ounces sugar
8 ounces chocolate pudding
4 egg whites
12 fl. ounces hot espresso coffee
1 fl ounce frangelico liquor
1 fl ounce coco dejava liquor
1 fl ounce godiva liquor
14 ounces lady finger cookies
7 ounces dark chocolate, shaved
9 ounces cream, softly whipped cocoa powder

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale then split egg mixture in half.

Stir 8 ounces of chocolate pudding into one half of egg mixture, then 8 ounces of vanilla pudding into the other egg mixture. Make sure both are well combined.

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks, split in half and fold etc half into separate egg yolk mixture. You should have 2 separate bowls, one with chocolate pudding and egg and another with vanilla pudding and egg.

Place a 9½ inch x 1¾ inch cake ring on a paper lined flat tray.

Combine coffee, frangelico, coco dejava, godiva in a bowl. Dip half the lady finger into this mixture, ensuring they don’t become totally saturated, and arrange in a radial pattern inside the ring. Cover with the chocolate pudding mixture and sprinkle liberally with half the shaved chocolate. Repeat layers with remaining lady finger, vanilla pudding mixture and shaved chocolate. Cover and refrigerate overnight.