Archive for category Chef’s Corner

Chef’s Corner: Grotto’s Zuppa Di Piselli

Every Friday, we feature a chef’s recipe.  Special thanks to Chef Ricky Cruz of Grotto for this week’s contribution!

And this recipe comes with a little added bonus!  I made it.  And it was good.  Strike that.  It was f-ing awesome!  And here’s the thing, I absolutely hate peas!  I despise them.  But I decided to challenge myself.  I’d never had pea soup, and when Grotto was kind enough to send this in, I figured…what the hell?

Let me tell you, I learned a lesson.  When it comes to food, I highly recommend being a little open minded.  This soup was spectacular AND very easy to prepare.  I didn’t have any pancetta, so I just substituted some diced ham.  Nor did I have fresh green peas, who the heck does?  Go ahead and use a bag of frozen peas.

The end product is so light and refreshing.  The smooth texture of the soup, along with the wonderful flavors of the basil and chicken base, really made this a top-notch recipe.  I also found it to be quite versatile.  You could serve it room temp in small shot glasses as an appetizer for a party.  Or serve warm in the winter months.  Chill it, and you’ve got a wonderful cold soup alternative to gazpacho.

Or, just go to Grotto and have Chef Cruz make it for you!

Zuppa Di Piselli (Green Peas) Serves 4

Butter 4 oz
Sliced Garlic Cloves 1 oz
Diced Yellow Onions 2 oz
Fresh Green Peas 3 cups
Chicken Stock 3 cups
Heavy Cream 1 cup
Fresh Chopped Basil 1 oz
Chicken Base 1/2 tsp
Kosher Salt 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper 1/2 tsp

Finely chopped pancetta 4oz.
Marscapone cheese 4 oz.

1. Add butter to a sauce pan and melt under low heat.
2. Add garlic and cooked until golden brown. Whisk occasionally to cook evenly.
3. Add onions and cooked for about 20 seconds until translucent.
4. Add peas and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add chicken stock and bring to boil, then reduce for 3 minutes.
6. Reduce heat to simmer (low heat) and add heavy cream.
7. Add basil, chicken base, kosher salt and black pepper and simmer for 4 min.
8. Brown pancetta in skillet. Drain grease. (use as topping)
9. Whip Marscapone until creamy. (use as topping)

*Note: Image of Chef Cruz and recipe courtesy of Grotto


Chef’s Corner: Hugo’s Ceviche de Atún (Ahi Tuna)

The Mighty Rib brings you a recipe from an experience chef every Friday! Special thanks to Hugo’s (one of the best restaurants in Houston) for sending in this recipe.

3 ounces ahi tuna, 1/2 inch cubes
6 fresh mint leaves
6 cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon cubed mango
1 tablespoon cubed, grilled pineapple 1 tablespoon cubed papaya
2 orange slices
2 pink grapefruit slices
¼ teaspoon minced ginger
¼ teaspoon minced habañero,
seedless, deveined
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 fluid ounce lime juice
3 mango slices for garnish
1 lime slice for garnish
½ plantain for “tostones”

Procedure for the ceviche:
In a bowl, combine the ahi tuna, mint leaves, cilantro, mango, pineapple, papaya, orange and grapefruit slices, minced ginger, habañero, lime juice and salt. Toss all the ingredients until well incorporated. Serve in a glass. Put the fresh mango slices and lime slice for garnish. Accompany with 4 “tostones.”

Procedure for “Tostones”:
Cut a half of plantain into 4 slices and put in the deep fryer. Take out the plantain pieces and transfer to a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Using a paper towel, squish the plantain until a uniformed medallion is formed. Return to the deep fryer for a couple of seconds. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels. Repeat the process for the remaining plantain slices.

Makes 1 cocktail ceviche

*Note: Image and recipe courtesy of Hugo’s

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Chef’s Corner: Summer Sips at RA Sushi

We typically bring you a restaurant’s food recipe on Fridays. This week, it’s all about the cocktails. Thanks to RA Sushi for sending these fine recipes in!

from press release:
Three New Refreshing Cocktails Offered for a Limited Time
HOUSTON – The rising temperatures can take a toll on even the most veteran Houstonian. Tame the summer heat with one of RA Sushi’s new Summer Sips: three refreshingly smooth cocktails that are reminiscent of a favorite childhood treat, a tropical beach vacation, and a cool summertime dessert. Get an Orange Dreamsicle, Coconut Mojito, or Key Lime Martini before they melt away. The Summer Sips are $8 each, and they are available July 1-Aug. 15 at both Houston locations:

Highland Village: 3908 Westheimer; 713.621.5800
CityCentre: 12860 Queensbury; 713.331.2792

Orange Dreamsicle
1.5 oz. Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
2 oz. orange juice
1 oz. lemon-lime soda
1 oz. soda
.25 oz. cream of coconut
Squeeze 1 lemon slice
Orange slice and whipped cream for garnish

Preparation: Combine with ice and shake all ingredients except for soda. Pour into iced glass and top with soda, garnish with an orange slice and whipped cream.

Coconut Mojito
Squeeze of half a lime
6 mint leaves
1 oz. Ciroc Coconut Vodka
5 oz. coconut rum
1 oz. pineapple juice
.25 oz. cream of coconut
Splash of soda
Sprig of mint and lime wedge forgarnish

Preparation: Muddle mint leaves.Combine with ice and shake all ingredients, except for soda. Pour into iced glass and top with splash of soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

Key Lime Martini
Squeeze of half a lime
1 oz. Ciroc Coconut Vodka
1 oz. Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
.5 oz. pineapple juice
.25 oz. cream of coconut
Crushed graham cracker, whipped cream, and lime slice for garnish

Preparation: Combine all ingredients with ice, shake and strain into chilled martini glass rimmed with crushed graham cracker. Top with whipped cream and a slice of lime.

*Image, press release, and recipes courtesy of RA Sushi

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Chef’s Corner: Chompie’s Arizona Benedict

The Mighty Rib brings you a recipe from an experience chef every Friday! Special thanks to Chompie’s for sending in this recipe.

First…a little about Chompie’s. It’s a NY-style deli with locations throughout the Phoenix area. In short, it’s one of my all-time favorite spots in all the land! I’ve never had the Arizona Benedict, but if it’s anything like the numerous other dishes I’ve tried, you won’t be disappointed. If you are in Phoenix, Chompie’s is a must-stop! It’s the first place I dine when I get off the plane, and the last place before I get back on. Don’t believe me? Ask my friends. BTW, order the Jewish Slider. I like that sandwich more than many of my relatives.

1 sliced Bialy or English Muffin
2 ea. Eggs – Poached
4 slices Avocado (sliced thin)
4 oz. Honey Maple Turkey
2 slices Tomato
4 oz. Hollandaise Sauce

Slice bialy or English muffin in half and toast. Build each half (in order) with honey maple turkey (2 oz. heated) , 1 slice tomato, and poached egg. Cover each half with hollandaise sauce (2 oz.). Top with 2 slices avocado. Serve immediately with a side of fruit or fried potatoes.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Chompie’s