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French toast with fresh Jersey blueberries and peaches. 6/24/16© Paul Goldfinger photo

French toast with fresh Jersey blueberries and peaches. Recipe by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @ Blogfinger.net.   First posted  6/24/16©    Paul Goldfinger photo. Click to enlarge.

 

The fresh  blueberries and peaches  are wonderful now—very sweet.  (referring to mid to late June)   Eileen got hers at Wegmans.  In May blueberries are nice  but no peaches yet. You can substitute fruits.

The French toast recipe is easy and delicious.  You must use challah  (braided Jewish egg bread) which you can always get at Wegmans on Friday.  If you buy one, it will last for a week in your fridge, or you can freeze it.  We bought ours this morning.

Use a large shallow bowl and break some eggs into it.  (For two people, use four large eggs.)  With a fork or a whisk, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are combined.

Add two teaspoons of real vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, and stir into the eggs.

Cut three  1 1/2 inch  slices from the center of the bread and place them in the egg mixture.

Allow the bread slices to soak up the egg mixture on both sides.

Add a tbsp. of vegetable oil to a  12 inch non-stick fry pan and spread the oil over the bottom of the pan. Heat until the oil begins to sizzle.

Place the bread slices into the heated pan and cook both sides until brown.  (approx. 3 minutes per side)

Serve the French toast with fresh fruits and real maple syrup.

Serves 2.  Make it for Father’s Day, Sunday,  June 19, 2022 and bring Dad to the OG Townwide Yard Sale on June 18, Saturday.

 

STEVE LAWRENCE AND EYDIE GORME´:

 

 

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All photos in Eileen's kitchen by Paul Goldfinger

All photos in Eileen’s kitchen by Paul Goldfinger

Boboli Vegetarian Pizza

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger

 

1 10 inch Boboli thin crust pizza or 2 Indian naan breads

1 8 ounce package fat free mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 cup marinara tomato sauce

¼ jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed

4 artichokes hearts, quartered (canned)

4 asparagus, peeled and cut on the diagonal in ½ inch pieces

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon dry oregano

freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)—optional

 

Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Line the lower rack with tin foil to protect oven from drips.

Place a second rack in the middle of the oven. Use this rack to cook the pizza.

Spread the tomato sauce on the Boboli crust (or naan bread) with the back of a spoon so that it covers the entire crust.  Layer the mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.  Arrange the vegetables on the cheese. You can substitute any low fat toppings that you like such as soy pepperoni, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, tuna or anchovies.  Sprinkle the seasonings including the Parmigiano on top. Drizzle olive oil over the pizza.

Place the pizza in the oven.

Cook for 10 minutes.

Serves 2

 

DEAN MARTIN:

 

 

This recipe is adapted from “Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart”  (2011 4th edition , page 75 )  by Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC and Eileen Goldfinger, BA.  In this book, Eileen has created 34 original heart-healthy recipes which have been designed to be both delicious and easy to prepare. The book provides patient information about all aspects of prevention, with an emphasis on nutrition.

It can be obtained in paperback or hardcover at IUniverse.com or Amazon.com. It is usually priced at $12.95.

 

front cover

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Eileen’s veal stew.  1/13/18. Blogfinger photo ©

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food editor @Blogfinger

 

1 pound veal cubes, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup searing flour

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch strips

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into small cubes

1 stalk celery, cut into small 1/4 inch pieces

5 ounces crimini or white button mushrooms,  cut mushrooms in half

1 cup frozen peas

2 russet potatoes

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

salt to taste

14 ounces canned plum or cherry tomatoes with puree

1 medium onion, cut into small cubes

2/3 cup unsalted chicken broth

1/2 cup red wine

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Combine flour with black pepper and lightly coat veal with flour. Heat oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Brown the veal in small batches. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate.

Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to Dutch oven, lower the heat and cook until the vegetables wilt, approximately 10 minutes.

Stir tomatoes, wine, and broth in Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add veal and peppers to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

At this point in the recipe, peel, dice into one inch cubes, and boil two russet potatoes in a separate pot until they are fork tender. Next pour off the water, take the pot off the heat, and leave the potatoes in the covered pot until ready to serve with the finished stew.

Cover the stew pot and cook for 3/4 hour.  Continue to stir occasionally. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning (more pepper and salt if necessary.)  Add mushrooms and peas, and cook another 15 minutes with the top back on  or until the veal is fork tender.

Add some additional chicken broth during the cooking process if the liquid begins to evaporate.

Serves 2-3 people

 

 

PUCCINI.  “O Mio Babbino Caro.”

 

 

*Editor’s notes:

Red wine is a must.  We had an Acrobat Pinot Noir  (2016)  from Eugene, Oregon—-Wegmans selection.  The bread is a Bastone, a crunchy-crusted Italian loaf from Mario’s in Fort Myers, Florida—by way of Sicily.  But, in the OG area, “A Taste of Italy” on Asbury Avenue has excellent Italian bread.

Substitute meats:  Skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into one inch pieces, or beef.

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Myrna's Jewish Chicken Soup. This batch was just made. By Eileen Goldfinger. Editor @Blogfinger ©

Myrna’s Jewish Chicken Soup. In the middle is a home-made matzo  ball.  This batch was just made. By Eileen Goldfinger. Editor @Blogfinger ©  Re-posted from 2017.

 

Eileen (left) and Myrna Goldfinger. Chester, NJ. c.1995.

Eileen (left) and Myrna Goldfinger. Chester, NJ. c.1995.

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, Regular Editor@Blogfinger.net

 

Most Jewish families have a favorite recipe for what has been called “heaven in a bowl” (Jaimie Oliver, chef.) It is a “classic comfort food” and has been part of Jewish tradition since medieval times.

Jewish chicken soup  is often prepared to make the sick feel more comfortable. The Huffington Post says that it “has healing powers,” and the University of Nebraska documented some health benefits (anti-inflammatory effects) for colds; probably due to breathing in those delightful fumes.

Eileen follows the tradition of my Mom’s family who came over from Eastern Europe (Poland) shortly after the turn of the 20th century. They settled in Bayonne, New Jersey where they lived in a small row house on the Boulevard. There were 9 children. Grandpa Chaim was a tailor. He sewed uniforms for the Czar until he got to New Jersey.

Grandma Helen was a little gray haired lady with a tiny kitchen where she turned out phenomenal traditional foods. I previously posted the photo of my Mom’s 4 brothers in uniform, newly returned from WWII.

As a kid I loved to meet my cousins in Bayonne where we would search the attic and basement for souvenirs from the Pacific and eat all those treats which we craved at that little house.

My mom, Myrna, known also by her Jewish name–Malka, was best known for her soups, and the one I loved so much was her chicken soup with matzo  balls and/or noodles. She always said that she had two “secret ingredients” which Eileen divulges below (with asterisks.)

Never try this recipe without those two items. Sometimes Mom would exaggerate, like when she would tell her students that my Dad was in the FBI and wore a secret code ring. They loved her because she told stories and because she would dance and sing at the drop of a hat.

Mom’s soup is great anytime, but especially for a cold day or if you have a cold..

 

So here is Myrna’s  recipe for Jewish Chicken Soup.  (Shared by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger.net)

1 4 pound whole chicken, quartered, skinned; wrap it in a cheese cloth and tied with cotton string

1 large onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

4 carrots, peeled

2 cubes chicken bouillon*(see below for amount)

1 1/2 bunch fresh dill*

1 bunch fresh flat-leafed parsley

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

water

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste

salt to taste

Heat oil in an 8 quart stock pot; add onions and celery; sauté for 10 minutes, until they wilt.

Cut 2 carrots into rounds and 2 carrots lengthwise and then in half. Add carrots to pot. Add chicken to pot and fill with water two inches above the chicken.

Bring to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Take ½ of the dill* and parsley, tie them together with cotton twine, and place in pot. Break bouillon cubes* into pieces and add to pot. Then add ½ teaspoon black pepper to pot; stir.

Place cover on pot, leaving it ajar; simmer for 1 hour.

Remove dill and parsley from soup and discard. Remove the lengths of carrot from pot, mash them and put them back into pot.

Taste soup; add more pepper and salt according to taste. Add 4 tablespoons of chopped dill to soup.

Serve with cooked thin noodles or matzo balls. (Matzo balls can be purchased in the kosher, refrigerated section of some grocery stores).

Serves 4  (PG note: Some people throw out the chicken after that, but I have always loved boiled chicken with Heinz ketchup.)

Mom adored Broadway show music, and she sang those songs all the time around the house.   The last show she saw on Broadway was her very favorite,  Oklahoma.

Eileen and I took her and bought her an official T shirt which said “I’m just a girl who can’t say no.”  She was thrilled.

This song, “People Will Say We’re in Love” from Oklahoma is performed by Alfred Drake and Joan Roberts; written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and would have brought tears to her eyes. (As did peeling and dicing onions for the soup)

 

 

 

 

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By Eileen and Paul Goldfinger, Editors @Blogfinger

The striped bass has been a major prize for Ocean Grove fishermen for generations.  In the 1980’s, stripers became endangered, but they came back  by 2007.

Hybrid striped bass. Internet photo.

 

In recent years, stores have not been allowed to sell them, although licensed fishermen are allowed to  catch them, however there are strict rules governing size and numbers.

Eileen  caught a striped  bass at Wegmans, but it was a farm-raised hybrid striper. (see photo above) .

Wegmans sometimes carries these fish which are a cross between a striper and a white bass.  A Wegmans seaman filleted the fish which weighed 1.9 pounds.  It yielded a one pound fillet with the skin.

Eileen found the meat to be pinkish, but it was snow white when it was cooked, and it was delicious, coming off the skin easily with a butter knife.

Here is an action video filmed live by our movie crew in Eileen’s kitchen, and below that are her instructions for sautéing a hybrid striped bass.

Turn on the music below during the video.  Repeat the video during the music by clicking on the “again” symbol at the lover left corner.

 

Heat a mixture of 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of margarine in a 12 inch nonstick fry pan until the margarine melts and the mixture is sizzling.

Rub paprika and freshly ground black pepper on the fillets. (Approximately 1 pound). Sauté the fillets skin side up for 10 minutes on medium low heat.

Dice 3 scallions & 1/4 bell pepper, and add them to the pan after the 10 minutes .

Then you are ready to flip the fish over and cook on the skin side. Raise the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

During the last five minutes of cooking use a spoon to baste the fish with the oil/margarine mixture bubbling in the pan.

 

Serves 2

SAVOY CAJUN BAND with Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer:

 

 

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By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor  @Blogfinger

 


Preheat cast iron skillet on medium heat
.  It needs to be very hot.

 

8 large sea scallops

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

 

Salsa:

1/2 mango peeled and diced

1/4 red bell pepper, minced

1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, minced

3 scallions, minced including part of the green section

1/4 teaspoon ground garlic

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

pinch of salt and freshly grated black pepper

2 tablespoons Ponzu (or 1 tbs. orange juice and 1 tbs. soy sauce)

Mix all the salsa ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

 

Scallops:

Sprinkle a small amount of salt, pepper and chili powder on both sides of the scallops.

Put the olive oil in the cast iron skillet and brush the oil to cover the pan surface.

Place the scallops in the pan and don’t move them until they form a brown crust on the bottoms. This should take about 3 minutes.  Turn them over and repeat the process on the other side, cook another 3 minutes.

Cut into one of the scallops, if the inside is still translucent, continue to cook scallops for another 1 or 2 minutes.

Remove scallops from  pan, plate them and dress them with the salsa.

 

Serves 2

 

Photo by Paul Goldfinger

 


MUSIC
:  By Celia Cruz (The Queen of Salsa): “La Vida es un Carnival.” (Life is a Carnival).

 

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August is the right time for the Jerseys. We got these at Matt’s in Belmar. $$3.00 per pound on . Blogfinger photo.  We also got some fine specimens at the Saturday  Sunset Avenue market in A. Park

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, food editor @Blogfinger.net and Paul Goldfinger (right hand man)

 

We had family over for a chicken dinner last night, but the stars of the show were the Jersey tomatoes done up by Eileen who prepared her Caprese (Capri style) salad  with slices of tomato alternating with sliced  fresh mozzarella;  See the actual recipe below.

The chicken thighs and wings were prepared with a dry rub and then finished with Wegmans’ Organic Sweet Chili sauce.

In addition we served fresh white Jersey corn and fresh green beans.

Almost all the tomatoes were gone because they were so delicious.   Go out now and buy some.   Remember to look for the fruits where the red reaches the stem and don’t buy if they are too mushy to the touch.

They should have a slight give when gently squeezed, as my friends (PG) and I discovered in high school.

 

Here is Eileen’s Caprese salad recipe:

 

 

August 10, 2020. Eileen’s photo in her kitchen.

 

CAPRESE SALAD:


Ingredients:

NJ beefsteak tomatoes

Handmade mozzarella*

Fresh basil

Fig flavored balsamic vinegar

Tuscan extra virgin olive oil

Salt


Assembling the salad:

Cut four quarter inch slices of beefsteak tomato

Place the slices on a plate and sprinkle with salt

Place a slice of mozzarella on top of each tomato slice and place one or two large basil leaves on each slice of cheese.

Drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar over each stack and then drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over each stack.

Repeat the above steps creating four stacks of 2-layers each.

Use smaller basil leaves as garnish on the plate.

Serves two.

*The wonderful homemade mozzarella came from Antonio’s Gourmet at 2201 Sunset Avenue, Wanamassa, in the same strip as the liquor store.

 

Fill the night with song…    Music, family and good food—-a fine recipe for a family gathering:

 

PINK MARTINI:  “Hang on Little Tomato.”

 

And here is FRANK SINATRA regarding a tomato he found in Italy:

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Eileen’s cod with cherry tomatoes. Photo by Eileen. 7/21/21 ©

 

 

Recipe by Eileen Goldfinger,  Food Editor, Blogfinger.net

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound cod loin

1 tbsp searing flour

1 tbsp paprika

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 scallions, diced

1/4 cup dry white wine

4 tbsp margarine  (or butter)

3 cloves garlic, grated

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

 

 

PREPARATION:

Butterfly the thick section of the loin so that the piece of fish is the same thickness throughout.

Rub both sides of the cod with searing flour  and then with paprika.

In a 10 or 12 inch non-stick frying pan add 1 tbsp of margarine and 2 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil and heat on medium until margarine melts.

Next add cod to pan and brown on both sides, approximately 10 minutes.

Remove fish from pan and set aside.

Add the remaining margarine to the pan.

Heat on medium low until margarine melts.

Add tomatoes, scallions, garlic, salt and pepper to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes or until the scallions and tomatoes begin to wilt.

Then add white wine and lemon juice.

Stir all ingredients and add cod back into pan.

Using a spoon drizzle the sauce over the fish as it cooks–approximately 10 minutes or when the fish becomes opaque.

 

Serves 2

 

THE DANLEERS  “One Summer Night”

 

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Eileen Goldfinger’s chicken pot pie. Blogfinger.net. Eileen photo©

 

Ingredients:

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

3-5 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons of butter or margerine

2 medium sized onions cubed

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup fat free half and half

4 carrots peeled and diced

1  10 ounce package frozen peas

1 small package of small whole onions

2 packages of frozen puff pastry

32 ounce box unsalted chicken stock

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

Chicken:

Place chicken on baking sheet. Sprinkle them on both sides with saltand black pepper and rub them with olive oil.  Bake them for 35 minutes or until they are baked through.  Half way through turn chicken parts over and finish baking. Remove from oven and set aside. When chicken is cool cut it in bit sized pieces.

 

Filling:

In a large Dutch oven melt butter and saute onions and carrots for 15 minutes.  Add flour and cook over low heat , stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Slowly add the chicken stock to the pot.  Simmer over low heat until stirring until sauce becomes thick.  Add 1.2 teaspoon of salt , 1.2 teaspoon black pepper and fat free half and half.  Add the chicken, peas, whole onions and parsley.   Mix well.

 

Assembling:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

You will need two 9-inch pie plates.

Roll out a sheet of pastry on a floured surface , one for each pie plate. Place in plate and press pastry into plate. Trim off excess pastry.  Prick the pastry thoroughly with a fork. P lace aluminum foil onto the surface of the pastry.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and remove foil.

Divide filling in half and place in each pastry  lined plate. Roll out two more pastry sheets on floured surface. Place one on top of each filled pie plate.  Pinch the edges of the dough to  make it stick and seal all around the plate.  To make a lattice top, cut  top pastry into long strips and weave in and out on top of the filled pie plate .  In either case brush the top pastry with an egg wash (one egg whisked in a small bowl) and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place pies on baking sheets in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour or until the top crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Note:   Don’t bother the cook while she is timing the  pie:

 

PALAST ORCHESTER and MAX RAABE:   “As Time Goes By.”

 

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Eileen's steamed clams in spicy red sauce. Blogfinger photo © 2014.

Eileen’s steamed clams in spicy red sauce. Blogfinger photo © 2014.

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger.net   Re-post.

 

Sauce :

 

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes

1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce

1 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup salt-free chicken broth or clam broth

1 6 1/2 ounce can chopped clams, drained

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped   (a garnish)

1/2 teaspoon dry oregano.

 

In a 5 quart Dutch oven heat oil on medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onion wilts. Add garlic and simmer for 1 minute. Add whole tomatoes and mash them in the pot. Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes.

Leave sauce on low heat while you prepare the pasta and the fresh clams.

See directions below for cooking the clams and assembling the dish.

Sprinkle parsley on sauce when ready to serve.

Cook pasta  (I use linguine) according to package instructions, 1/4 pound per person. (Cook the pasta and the clams at the same time because they both take approx. 10-12 minutes to cook)

 

Clams:

1  50 ct bag little neck clams (We got ours at Wegmans.)

Clean clams: (This step can be done while the sauce is cooking.)

Fill a large bowl with cool water, 1/4 cup of ground corn meal. Stir. Place clams in the water (the water should cover the clams) and let them sit for 1 hour. This step causes the clams to disgorge any sand they may have ingested. Discard any clams that are cracked. If a clam is open, tap it gently on the counter top—- if it doesn’t close, discard it.

Remove clams from bowl by lifting them up out of the water so that any sand in the bowl stays at the bottom.   Place clams in a colander and rinse them with cool water.

Check again to see if any are cracked or open.

 

Steam clams:

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot or small onion, minced

1 cup salt-free chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine or clam broth

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

In a 5 quart pot, heat oil on medium. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Add clams and cover the pot, lowering the heat to medium-low.  After 5 minutes shake the pot so the clams cook more evenly. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the clams open. As they begin to open, remove them from the pot and set them aside in a dish.  The reason for removing the clams from the pot is so they don’t overcook and become tough.

 

Assembling the dish:

Place a 1/2 cup of sauce at the bottom of a wide individual pasta bowl.   Next put 1/4 pound pasta on the sauce. Place half  the cooked clams on the pasta. Then ladle more sauce on top of the clams. Sprinkle parsley on each assembled bowl.

Serve with ciabatta bread.

Repeat for the 2nd serving.

Serves 2.

 

SERGIO FRANCHI

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