Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Clam and Cod Winter Stew

I got the inspiration for this stew while visiting my friendly fish supplier at my local farmers market. I am very pleased with the quality and freshness of the fish I have been buying. I saw these clams, they were tightly closed, a good size, roughly echoing the shape of a flat lime. The cod had clear white flesh with a pinkish hue. I love tomato sauce with onions, garlic and herbs so I thought how so serendipitous to create an amazing brothy stew with rich, piquant flavor. Here it is:

1 cup white wine
2 Dozen clams
1 Tbs. olive oil
8 oz.cod thyme
5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks of celery diced 1/2 inch

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup red wine
1 -28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1-14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 carrot grated
1 /2 jalapeno
1/2 Fresno pepper
8 small new potatoes, quartered
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil

8 oz cod fish fillet cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Wash the clams thoroughly, place into an enamel pot. Add the cup of white wine and place over high heat and cover the pot and cook until the clams have opened, remove the clams with metal tongs and place in a bowl  In another pot add 1 Tbs. olive oil, saute' the thyme, garlic, onion and celery and cook until lightly golden. Add the sautee'd vegetables to the pot with the clam, wine broth and add all of the remaining ingredients except the cod, cooked clams and zucchini. Simmer gently, uncovered until the potatoes have softened. Place the clams and their juice back into the pot.  Add the cod, zucchini and clams back into the pot and stir gently and cook for 3 minutes until the cod is cooked and the zucchini is crisp tender. Serve with Crusty bread.

Serves 4

Recipe, writing and photos, by Karen Pickus 2015
Recipe Courtesy Karen Pickus 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Asian Style Vegetable Soup with Buckwheat Soba

Its very cold outside and my husband loves Asian style noodle soup. What more inspiration do I need to come up with a tantalizing delight. This soup warms the cockles of any ones heart. It is loaded with vegetables. I built a rich broth and enhanced it with an easy method. Fits all of my criteria for a winning recipe. Here it is.


For the broth

6 cups of water
1/4 cup white miso
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 Tbs. and 1 tsp. honey
1 small pinch red pepper flakes

The soup

2 oz. buckwheat noodles, found in Asian markets
1 stalk of broccoli, trimmed , peeled julienned, tops made into florets
1/2 large carrot, peeled, julienned
1 quarter sized round piece of ginger, peeled, sliced then julienned
3 scallions trimmed and sliced thinly on an angle
1 small head of bok choy cut into quarters lengthwise then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups fresh, baby, spinach
1/2 block firm tofu cut into 1/2"sized cubes


In a 4 Quart pot bring the water to a boil, add the miso and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients for the broth. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Add the noodles and stir. Cook them about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the remaining vegetables. When spinach wilts it is ready.

Serves 4

Recipe and photos by Karen Pickus 2015
Recipe Courtesy Karen Pickus 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I have a colleague at Good Morning America, Danielle

 who asked me for a recipe for this delicious and celebratory chicken dish developed originally in France, Cordon Bleu, meaning Blue Ribbon.
Danielle wanted to surprise her boyfriend for Valentines day, it is his favorite chicken dish. I happily obliged  and here is my version.
I use thinly sliced Black Forrest ham and thicker sliced Ementhaller cheese. I think the wonderful taste of fresh sage is an added enhancement for this dish so I use chopped fresh sage and added them to the panko bread crumbs.

Cheers and Happy Valentines day to all.


4 (6-8) oz. skinless boneless Chicken Breast Halves pounded about 1/4 inch or ask for chicken cutlets at the butcher
8 oz. thinly sliced  Black Forrest Ham
8 oz. sliced Ementhaller, Swiss or Gruyere cheese

1 cup flour
2 eggs beaten with a splash of water and 1 Tbs. hot sauce
1-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs with 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh sage.

8 tooth picks

1/4 cup olive oil


Lay the cutlets skin side down on a clean cutting board. Lay the ham on top of each cutlet and the cheese on top of the ham.

Roll the breast from the smaller end up to the wider end and secure with 2 tooth picks.

 Then set up the rolled cutlets for the standard breading procedure. Flour, egg wash then bread crumbs, each in their own dish.
Coat each roll in the flour and shake off the excess, then dip each cutlet coating evenly and thoroughly with the egg mixture, then coat each roll in the herb panko, patting the breading so that it sticks and adheres evenly to the rolled cutlet.
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees
Heat a cast iron skillet with the olive oil over medium heat until it ripples, before it smokes. Place each cutlet into the hot oil and cook until the cutlet rolls are golden brown on all sides.

Place the skillet into the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cordon bleu is cooked through.
Remove tooth picks and serve whole or sliced.

Recipe and photos by Karen Pickus 2015
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Cookie Monster Cupcake

Here is the Cookie Monster Cupcake recipe as I developed and created for Good Morning America.

Cookie Monster Cupcakes
( makes 24 cupcakes)

1 - 10.5 oz box devils food cake mix
3 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable  oil
1cup water

12 cups white decorators frosting

Blue food coloring ( about 2-3 TBS.)
24 mini chocolate chip cookies
48 white chocolate melting disks
1tube black food coloring ( gel for writing in cakes)

Special equipment
1- 18" cellophane pastry bag
1 special tip with small holes to pipe hair

1 ice cream scoop about 2-3 inches round
24 foil cup cake liners

Make cake mix according to package instructions using the eggs , vegetable oil and water.
Place batter evenly into each of 24 foil lined cupcake tins.
Bake according to package instructions.
Cool cupcakes completely.
Scoop frosting on top of each cupcake and refrigerate.
Color frosting and place in pastry bag with tip.
Pipe "hair" all around frosting dome. Add cookie for mouth add disk for eyes and pipe pupils on disks.
Refrigerate immediately.
I couldn't resist posting this pic of Blake's (illustrious stage hand) adorable son eating one of the cupcakes that I made for the show.

Recipe and photos by Karen Pickus 2015 except the photo of Blake's son by Blake, with his permission, Thanks Blake!!!
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2015

Finished Slaw

Finished Slaw
Ready to eat!