Figs with Goat Cheese & Caramelized Pecans

by 2gourmaniacs on September 27, 2015

Figss, Goat Cheese & Pecans

How to turn early Autumn’s succulent figs into a scrumptious appetizer in just a few minutes?  First, choose the best looking medium-firm ripe figs, wash them, remove the stems and cut them in half from top to bottom.  Arrange them on a platter and top each one with a dollop of creamy goat cheese.

In a non-stick skillet, warm up as many pecans as necessary, and toast them over low-medium flame.  Add several tablespoons of your favorite raw honey and a heavy dusting of cayenne pepper.  Stir to blend well.  As the honey begins to melt, squeeze some balsamic glaze on the pecans and continue to stir (I used a berries-flavored glaze).  The mixture will quickly become gooey and fragrant; that’s when it’s ready to be poured or spooned over the figs.

Squirt some of the balsamic glaze on the platter and over the figs for decoration, and top with a handful of coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves.  Serve warm as an appetizer, although this could easily double as a dessert.



72-Hour, Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs

by 2gourmaniacs on April 7, 2015

short ribs

The texture and taste of these short ribs rival medium rare ribeye. The secret is to sous-vide the short ribs at 139 degrees Fahrenheit for 72 hours. I got the concept from ChefSteps, but I marinated the short ribs for 12 hours prior to putting them in a sous-vide water oven. After the 72 hours and just before serving, either pan sear or quickly grill them over high heat to finish them.


6 or more beef short ribs (have the butcher leave the ribs uncut if possible)

For the marinade:

1 cup of red wine (more if you’re preparing more than 6 ribs)
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
large sprig each of thyme and tarragon
2-3 bay leaves

For the Sous Vide short ribs:

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sprig each of thyme and tarragon
salt and pepper


Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and whisk well. Put all the beef ribs in a gallon resealable plastic bag, then pour in the marinade. Squeeze the air out and seal the bag, and refrigerate for 12 hours. Flip the bag over occasionally to make sure all the ribs marinate evenly.

Warm up the water in the sous-vide oven to 139 degree Fahrenheit. Remove the ribs from the marinade, and wipe off any excess liquid. Salt and pepper to taste. Then put the ribs in a vacuum bag, add the 3 Tbsp olive oil and herbs, and vacuum seal the bag – or bags, depending on quantity of ribs. Place the bag(s) in the sous vide oven for 72 hours. If using a SousVide Supreme, make sure the water is circulating around all the ribs, or you might want to periodically rearrange the bag(s) in the water oven.

After 72 hours remove the bagged ribs from the sous vide oven. Let them cool and refrigerate if you’re not going to serve them within several hours, or proceed to finishing them. Whether to de-bone the ribs or not is a personal choice. I usually de-bone mine. Either way, finish the ribs in a hot cast iron pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil, or quickly sear them on a hot grill. When they’re ready, plate immediately. I served mine over slices of sauteed giant Shitake mushrooms. Trust me, they’re the best beef short ribs you’ve ever tasted.



Kimchi Mussels with Pork Belly

February 7, 2015

BRRRRR…… It’s Siberian cold here; it has been that way for the past couple weeks ever since we got 2+ feet of snow. What better mid winter warm-me-up dinner than mussels steamed in kimchi and topped with braised pork belly? Serves 4 as an entre: Ingredients: 5 lbs mussels 2 cups Kimchi (preferably home made) […]

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Big, Really BIG Sea Urchins

January 31, 2015

  Searching for Giant Sea Urchin that cost a Fortune:   Last Saturday night, the 2GMs enjoyed dinner at Bouley in NYC. We opted for the 3 course prix fixe, but the couple next to us chose the chef’s 6 course taster. Their meal started off with a brace of the largest sea urchins I’ve seen […]

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Incredible Gingerbread Houses

December 24, 2014

My sister’s gingerbread houses are certainly some of the most beautiful ones you will ever find anywhere.  Francesca has been creating these masterpieces for over 15 years, starting when my nieces were little girls.  These lovely holiday productions have been featured in many homes every Christmas, including ours.  They are too beautiful to eat (take some […]

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Lobster A l’Americaine

October 19, 2014

  Back in the day, especially when I lived in coastal Massachusetts, I made Lobster a l’Americaine regularly.  It was probably the first complicated Julia Child recipe that I mastered.  Now, living on the Eastern End of Long Island, I still have excellent access to great, fresh lobster.  For the past decade or so, I’ve […]

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Onion Soup

May 3, 2014

Perhaps my all time favorite comfort food is onion soup gratinee, or Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée . I have what you might call a passion and devotion for the stuff; I’ve been making it for over three decades.  If you’re thinking about making incredibly delicious onion soup, let me first say that unless you’re willing to […]

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Pennoni and Cheese with Kale, Peas, and Mint

April 14, 2014

Some time ago I glanced through a recipe for paccheri, the giant round tubes pasta, with fresh peas and mint. I don’t recall the source, but I remember that it wasn’t fresh pea season. So I waited until I could get some fresh peas and by the time I was ready for the recipe, I had […]

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Plum Tart

October 1, 2013

On the East End of Long Island, September is the season of mild temperatures and low humidity, bountiful harvests at local farms, and the greatly anticipated exodus of summer’s tourists. It’s also the season for prune plums; that wonderful small, purple-black fruit which begs to be eaten by the handful, or to be used in […]

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Grilled Oysters with Chicken Sausage Buttersauce

April 13, 2013

I just returned from a week in Western Canada. To be exact I was skiing in Banff, Alberta. In fact, one mountain I skied several times sat on the border between western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. Have I ever mentioned how much I love all edible things that come from the northwest Pacific ocean? […]

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