Sunday, September 29, 2019

Garlic-and-Gruyère-Stuffed Mushrooms

Gilroy, California is home to 90% of America's garlic production. Each summer, Gilroy hosts their Garlic Festival, which features hundreds of garlic-forward recipes. This Romulo Yanes hors d'oeuvres recipe is absolutely spectacular.

1⁄2 cup olive oil, plus more
20 large cremini mushrooms (separate stems from caps and then roughly chop stems)
1 small shallot, chopped
1⁄4 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped sage
1 egg white
1-1⁄4 cups grated Gruyère
1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs

  1. Heat oven to 375°. Toss 2 tablespoons oil, the mushroom caps, salt and pepper in a ziplock bag and transfer to a baking sheet pan. Arrange stem side down; bake until tender, 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven broiler. Heat remaining oil and the garlic in a 12" skillet over medium; cook until garlic is golden, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a paper towel to drain. Add chopped mushroom stems, shallot, salt, and pepper to skillet; cook until shallot is soft, 3 minutes. Add sherry; cook until evaporated, 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor; add parsley, sage and egg white and pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl; stir in reserved garlic, the Gruyère, and panko. Fill caps with 1 tbsp. filling; return to baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; broil until tops are browned, 2–3 minutes.

Wine pairing: A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Swordfish Poached in Olive Oil

I'm a steak lover through and through. The only fish I will eat is tuna poached in olive oil and grilled swordfish. I can now expand my repertoire by 50%, thanks to a new recipe from the Wall Street Journal (actually, chefs Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer). Anyone who has cooked swordfish knows that it gets really dry when introduced to heat. Poaching ensures that the fish stays moist and delicate from the fat in the oil.

2 thick center-cut swordfish steaks
5 cups olive oil, plus more to finish
Zest of one lemon
12 black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small dried red chile
1 bay leaf


  1. In a medium pot, arrange fish in a single layer. Cover with olive oil. Add the next 5 ingredients to the olive oil. Warm over low heat so only a few bubbles rise to the surface at a time. Gently poach fish until opaque and just cooked through....about 15 minutes. Then serve, drizzled with olive oil.

Wine pairing: A big, oaky Chardonnay

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Buffalo Chicken Farro Salad

Becky came across a neat entree salad recipe from Half Baked Harvest. That recipe called for the grain to be quinoa. So I followed the recipe and we ended up not liking the meal. The quinoa made the salad bland and mushy. But the recipe had some really good bones, so a few days later I switched the recipe up and substituted farro for the quinoa. The nutty taste of the farro and the more substantial texture made the salad so much better. This is a tasty dinner meal and so easy to make!


For the Dressing
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (Lawry's recommended)

For the Salad
3/4 cup farro
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup shredded cabbage
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles


  1. Cook the quinoa in 3 cups of salted water for 30 minutes. Then drain and let cool.
  2. Heat a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and chicken and cook for 5 minutes. When chicken is cooked, add 1/4 cup of the dressing and cook until chicken has absorbed the dressing. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine farro, chicken and vegetables with as much dressing as desired. Toss to mix and then serve on plates. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles.

Wine pairing: Chardonnay

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Baked Italian Mac and Cheese

Regular readers of my blog understand my total disdain for Mac and Cheese. It was a repeat player in my mother's limited menu repertoire. Oh, the horror. To this day, I find it preferable to have a colonoscopy rather than eat Kraft Mac and Cheese.

This weekend marks my favorite Formula 1 race of each season....the Italian Grand Prix. My joy is immense as the Monza racetrack is the fastest circuit in Formula 1. It is also the home race for one of my favorite teams...Ferrari.

So in the interest of honoring my favorite race and giving you a really tasty alternative to the absolute worst dish in the entire world........ladies and gentlemen.........welcome, if you will....Baked Italian Mac and Cheese!

1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
16 ounces cavatappi pasta
16-ounce jar marinara sauce
Kosher salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cavatappi and cook to al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large oven-safe skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat. Keep breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon until seared and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook, stirring until soft, 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, marinara, heavy cream and 1 cup of mozzarella. Mix well. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the skillet. Slide skillet into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Serve.

Wine pairing: Chianti Classico