Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Stuffing, Herb Style and or for the vegetarians at your table.

Here is a simple rich stuffing we use on Thanksgiving. I love the simplicity of the savory herbs and buttery bread! You can make this ahead. Freeze in resealable bags and break it out the morning you are to stuff your turkey, 1 hour before.  Place the remainder in a casserole dish and bake.

2 loaves Pullman white bread sliced or any favorite sliced white bread, dont remove crusts! cubed

1 and 1/2 sticks of butter

2 yellow onions chopped fine  
4 celery stalks, chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup of parsley chopped fine
1/4 cup of fresh sage sliced thin
1 md 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock to make it vegetarian
2 tsps. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Place the cubed bread in a large bowl or soup pot, sometimes it is easier to mix in a large pot.

In a large skillet sweat the onion and celery until the vegetables are softened but not browned about 20 minutes over low heat. When the vegetables are cooked turn off the heat and stir in the herbs then add to the cubed bread. Stir in the salt and pepper then stir in the stock.
Stuff the bird then add remainder to a buttered casserole dish. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven covered with foil for about 25 minutes until the stuffing is heated through then uncover the stuffing the last 10 minutes to brown the top golden. 

Recipe photos and writing by Karen Pickus 2012

Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012 

Sausage Stuffing

This is the stuffing my friends LOVE!  I love to share and am delighted people like my recipe!
Here it is and Happy Thanksgiving!

2 large loaves Brioche bread loaves sliced and cubed, don't remove
 crusts about 18 cups 
1 and 1/2 sticks butter(6 oz.)
4 stalks celery 1/4 " dice
2 onions,  1/4 "dice
1/4 cup fresh sage sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 and 1/2 Lbs. fresh Italian fennel sausage out of the casing
1and 1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsps. kosher salt
1/2 tsps. ground black pepper

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 Place the cubed bread into a large bowl. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery and onions.
sweat over low heat until the vegetables are tender, but not browned, about 20 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and stir add to the cubed bread. In a cast iron skillet, over medium high heat pat down the sausage and cook to a nice brown color. Turn the sausage over and cook the other side to a nice brown color.
Begin to chop  the sausage with a metal spatula into chunks while continuing to brown the sausage.
When the sausage is cooked through remove from the pan and cool thoroughly. Then break up the lumps with your hands, to make smaller pieces.

Add to the bread and vegetable mixture. Stir in the chicken stock and toss the mixture.
Add the salt and pepper and stir to combine. place the mixture into a 9x13 oven proof baking dish.
Cover the dish with foil. put into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve immediately. 
Alternatively stuff the bird. 

Recipe, writing and photos by Karen  Pickus, 2012
Courtesy Karen  Pickus 2012 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

All in a days work 10/12/12

Michael Symon from the Chew stopped by to demo his Pork and Ricotta Meat balls from his new book.

I set him up as per usual and made his roasted Sicilian cauliflower and his sauteed greens to go with them.
Sarah, our illustrious food producer took this shot.

    The awesome stagehands Richie and Eddie assisted me today.
Writing and photo by Karen Pickus 2012

Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

2 Awesome days @ work

                                          Photo by Danielle Librizzo
 Emeril and Yours Truly in Central Park 8/17

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Salad for Lunch

We have a farm near us that makes the most awesome feta . I had some in the refrigerator and wanted to use it in a hefty salad . Here is the salad that I composed using some of my favorite flavors combined together. I love the freshly ground coriander seeds in this.

 The exquisite quality of the freshly ground seeds adds delicate complexity to the already robust tang.


1/2 cup fresh farm feta or French feta crumbled
1 large ripe tomato chopped
1/2 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, pitted Calamata olives
1 red bell pepper chopped
2 scallion sliced thin
1-14 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. coriander seeds, finely ground in a mortar and pestle
1 pinch of coarse grain sea salt
6 grinds of black pepper from a mill

1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsps. red wine vinegar
1 small head of radicchio sliced thin

You can combine all of the ingredients in an attractive serving bowl, except the vinegar, olive oil and  radicchio to marinate together for several hours. Then right before serving add the vinegar, olive oil and radicchio and toss.
Serves 4

Recipe, writing and photos by Karen Pickus 2012
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kim Chi

Today I happened to have some gorgeous zucchini picked fresh from my garden, some cabbage and some bok choy, I purchased. With my daughters urging I decided to make Kim chi. I have some hot cherry peppers, garlic, fish sauce and ginger. I love the stuff.. I find it most compelling. I love it with plain steamed rice or grilled steak. My friend thawed some venison he is marinating with ginger, garlic, and soy so in a few days we will have some Kim chi with venison.

This is what we did

3 heads bok choy divided into leaves
1/4 wedge of green cabbage
2 medium zucchini cut into rounds

1/2 cup sea salt
8 cups warm water
First we divided the bok choy into leaves and soaked the leaves in 1/4 cup of sea salt dissolved in 4 cups of warm water for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
Then we rinsed the leaves.

Then we pureed in a food processor:

2 cherry peppers deseeded                
2 " piece of peeled ginger                  
5 cloves of garlic
2 Tbs. fish sauce

Add 1 Tbs. to each rinsed vegetable. Refrigerate. You will have some left over Kim chi.
I am going to find some napa cabbage and add the remaining hot pepper mixture to it today.
It keeps about 4 days in the refrigerator.


Kim Chi is great on a hot dog... I sliced up all three Kim chis and loaded it on the grilled dog with some mustard. Amazing!!

Recipe, photos and writing by Karen Pickus 2012
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

KP and Carol Alt 7/12/2012

Photo by Sarah Kunin

Friday, July 13, 2012

Adam Perry Lang and me KP 7/13/12

Today Adam Perry Lang was on GMA in Central Park. We cooked steaks, I made an green apple cole slaw and some radiccio with bacon for his segment.

Photo by Danielle Librizzo

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mexicali Eggs AKA Gringo Huevos Rancheros

I made this brunch for my fine friends and neighbors, Kathy and Charles. We debated what to call these eggs so delicious, and nutritious. I wanted to be sure the name would not connote actual authentic Huevos Rancheros but were my tribute to an enriching "Mexican" influenced breakfast.

First I made a tomatillo salsa

Here is the recipe

12 large tomatillos, papery covering removed then washed
2 garlic cloves
1/4 white onion, chopped
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup chopped cilantro

Place all of the ingredients, except the cilantro in a food processor. Pulse until you have a chunky sauce
Stir in the chopped cilantro, pour into a decorative bowl.

For the corn

1 -10 oz. bag of frozen corn
1/2 Tbs. butter
pinch of salt
splash of water
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Combine in a small sauce pan and heat over a low flame, covered.

For the black beans

Heat 1 -14 oz. can of black beans not drained in a small pot, just until it boils.

For the garnish
1 red pepper, small diced
4 scallions sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream

For the fried eggs

1 Tbs. butter
8 fresh eggs


Make the tomatillo salsa. This can be made the night before and all of your garnishes can be chopped.
Make the corn. Heat the black beans, chop the garnishes. Fry the eggs to desired done ness.

Place 2 warmed corn tortillas on each plate. Lay the fried eggs a top each tortilla.
 At the table, top the eggs with the salsa, then the beans and the corn. Pass the garnishes and begin.

Serves 4

Recipe, writing and photos, by Karen Pickus 2012
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Fishing Shacks by the Sea

These shacks not only evoke history and a time gone by but have an alluring charm and simplicity that I find most compelling. I took these shots as the sun went down in a small town near my home away from home.

Photos and writing by Karen Pickus 2012
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Breakfast Energy Shake

This is the time of year I tend to make shakes for breakfast. They are quick, relatively low in calories,
nutritious and give much needed energy for my very busy life! Just like many of you, I want a quick and invigorating breakfast!
Here's what I have come up with. It is delicious and works like a charm to get me, and my loved ones out and on our way FAST!

#1 You must have a blender. Just a simple one... not too expensive, I even saw a very nice one at my local second hand store for $5.
#2 It helps if you stock your freezer with frozen berries, I use the organic variety.
#3 It also helps to have some over ripe bananas in the freezer.
#4 You must have some ice cubes.
#5 Store the flax seeds in the freezer as well.. it keeps them fresh.

Then here you go.

1 peeled frozen banana or fresh
1 cup frozen raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries or fresh
3 ice cubes
2 Tbs. flax seeds
1/2 cup yogurt
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
up to 2 Tbs. honey (optional, you don't always need it if the banana is sweet, so taste it without first)

Place all the ingredients in the blender. Blend until completely smooth..add more water if necessary to get the blender going.

Serves 2

Recipe, photos and writing by Karen Pickus 2012
Recipe Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Flowers In My June Garden

Well I got a few days off work. Happy for my R&R. A rare treat is to catch the bloomin' garden.
Here are some blossoms to share. XO

My Fragrant Roses

The Foxglove

The Iris

Photos and Writing by Karen Pickus 2012
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flat Bread Pizza

Earlier this week we had Robert Irvine on GMA and he demoed his cauliflower puree sauce for his Father's Day Pizza. Here is my take of using the flat bread for a quick and easy pizza with some of my favorite things. This is a fun and trouble-free lunch.
First I sauteed some cherry tomatoes in olive oil, I love the warm juicy pockets seasoned with salt and pepper. I sliced some roasted bell peppers. Shredded some Parmesan cheese and coarsely chopped fresh oregano.
Another variation of this pizza that would also be great, melted thinly sliced mozzarella, topped with paper thin prosciutto, right before serving, then add some shredded fresh basil leaves scattered on top.

Here is the recipe and method:

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, red, yellow and or orange
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 whole roasted bell peppers, home made or in the jar, sliced into strips
1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 tsps. dried
1 cup shredded Parmigiana Reggiano
2 flat breads


In a medium saute pan heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes begin to wrinkle and soften.
Add the salt and pepper. Press gently on the softened tomatoes with a pancake spatula.
Place one flat bread on a dry large frying pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of Parmigiana  Reggiano over the flat bread. Cover the pan with a lid. Check the bottom of the flat bread, with the metal spatula, after about 1-2 minutes to see if it is starting to get golden to dark brown and crispy, and the cheese is beginning to melt. Top with 1/2 of the tomatoes, 1/2 the pepper strips and 1/2 of the oregano.
Cover the pan and cook until the cheese is melted and the flat bread is brown and crispy.
Carefully transfer the flat bread to a large cutting board. Cut into 4 pieces and serve.
Wait a moment for the cherry tomatoes to cool a bit before taking a bite.

Repeat the same procedure with the remaining flat bread and ingredients.

Serves 2

Recipe, writing and photos, by Karen Pickus 2012
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Richard Blaise and Me KP 5/24

Here is the set up I did for Richard Blaise' segment, with the help of Salvatore, Nina and Marty
 Amazing Stagehands extrordinaire!

                               Photo by the awesome Sarah Food Segment Producer! Many Thanks Sarah!!!

Finished Slaw

Finished Slaw
Ready to eat!