All posts tagged abby reibman

Homemade Strawberry Tart Recipe

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This homemade strawberry tart is one of my all-time favorite desserts – the fresh strawberries, vanilla pastry cream and lemon crust all work so well together, and, remind me of lazy Sundays spent at Nonna’s house near Rome. Serve this tasty treat with a glass of Prosecco for your summer get-togethers. A word to the wise: try to save a slice – it might just be even more delicious for breakfast!


Pasta Frolla…

½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
½ cup plus 1 tbl sugar
1 egg, plus 1 yolk
1 2/3 cup AP flour
 zest from ½ lemon
3/4  tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt


2-3 cups strawberries, sliced
Lemon zest cut into strips
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

Pastry Cream…

2 1/8 cups milk
½ vanilla pod 
zest from ½ lemon
4 egg yolks
¼ cup, plus 2 tbl sugar
2 tbl AP flour
2 tbl corn starch


1-    In a large bowl, mix together the chilled butter into the flour with your hands, working quickly. Add the egg, egg yolk, sugar lemon zest, baking powder and salt and gather together. Quickly knead the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Let chill in the fridge for at least 45 min.

2-    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F and begin the pastry cream.

  1. Pour the milk into a pot and add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest. Bring it to boil; once reached, remove from the heat and let stand for 10 min.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until they become pale yellow (the ribbon stage).  Add the flour and cornstarch to the sugar/egg yolk and whisk to combine.
  3. Add a bit of the milk/vanilla/lemon zest mixture to the eggs/sugar bowl to temper the eggs. Whisk to combine and then add the rest in stages.
  4. Return the entire mixture to a pot and cook over high heat until the cream begins to thicken. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the cream and refrigerate for at least 30 min.

3-    While the pastry cream is chilling, roll out the dough on a floured surface to ½ inch thickness and transfer to a buttered and floured tart pan with a removable bottom.  Trim excess dough and prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake blind by covering the tart with a disc of parchment paper and weighing it down with dried beans – this will prevent it from swelling in the oven.

4-    Bake for 20-25 min until golden brown.  Let chill on a wire rack.

5-    Fill the cooled pastry shell with the cream and decorate the top with the sliced strawberries.

6-    Make a simple syrup for the topping by dissolving the sugar into the water with the lemon zest over medium heat.  Once you have a thick syrup, remove from the heat and remove the lemon zest.  Using a pastry brush, gently brush the syrup over the strawberries to create a glossy look.  Cover and refrigerate the tart for 30 min- 1 hr before serving.


Spring Pea and Radicchio Salad with Mint Vinaigrette

Picture 13

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Super easy to prepare, spring salads are all about the right combination of ingredients; this crunchy combination of peas, radicchio, zucchini, and radish definitely fits the bill.  Impress your friends at a spring soiree with an elegant feast for both the eyes and the taste buds – This spring pea and radicchio salad with mint vinaigrette is the perfect tasty treat for lazy evenings shared with friends (and a glass or two of bubbly!)

 For the Salad…

1 cup of fresh garden peas
2 small red radicchio, thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, cut into small sticks
8-10 radish, cut into thin circles
a handful of dill, roughly chopped
4-6 mint leaves, chiffonade
olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed with the heel of your knife
salt and pepper

for the vinaigrette…

6 mint leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbl olive oil
a few squeezes of lemon juice
salt and pepper

For The Directions…

1-    Boil the peas for 3-5 min or until they rise to the top (cooked), drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

2-    Sauté the zucchini sticks in a bit of olive oil and the crushed garlic for 2-4 minutes, just barely cooked.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3-    Combine the thinly sliced radicchio and radish with the cooked peas and barely cooked zucchini in a large salad bowl.  Add the chopped dill and mint chiffonade and season with salt and pepper.

4-    Prepare the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients into a squeeze bottle and shaking vigorously for 2 min.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate until needed.

5-    Dress the salad with the mint vinaigrette and toss altogether.  Taste and adjust seasonings.


Jacked Up Panzanella Salad

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

In honor of the past Olympics, I thought I’d take a classic Italian summer salad and jack it up on steroids…no really, I’m suuure the Chinese swimmer is legit! Don’t try to kid yourself by eating nachos while claiming that the diet will start tomorrow…(Guilty!) Munch on this jacked up panzanella salad instead; it’s a surefire way to hit gold.


1 baguette sourdough bread, cut into chunks
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbl drained capers
2 tsp lemon zest
4 small radicchio, thinly sliced
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, made into a paste with salt
5-8 assorted ripe heirloom tomatoes, deseeded and cut into chunks, plus 1 red tomato on the vine per serving
1 cucumber, deseeded and chopped into chunks the same size as the tomatoes
½ cup black olives, de-pitted
1 large bunch of basil, chiffonade
shaved parmesan (optional)
olive oil
salt and pepper


1-    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix together the bread chunks with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread the pieces on a baking sheet and bake until slightly crispy (7-10 min).

2-    In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, capers, lemon zest and garlic paste.  Add in olive oil in a steady stream whilst whisking to form  a vinaigrette. Add the radicchio, onion, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber and black olives to the vinaigrette and mix to coat. Adjust seasonings.

3-    Cut the tomatoes on the vine into halves of quarters, season with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until just cooked (about 5 min).

4-    Add in the crunchy bread and basil and plate with the oven-roasted tomatoes.  Jacked-up goodness.


Thanksgiving Cornbread

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This yummy Thanksgiving cornbread is the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table – the caramel flavor from the maple syrup and the fresh chunks of corn add a slight twist to the traditional dish.  Use it as the base for your stuffing, or just serve on its own – any way you slice it, this cornbread will leave your guests filled with gratitude. The Hostess Handbook suggests serving this Thanksgiving cornbread slightly warm to enhance the buttery goodness – and recommends using it to mop up all that delicious turkey gravy and cranberry sauce! Happy Thanksgiving!


1 1/3 cup fine cornmeal
1 cup ap flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plus 3 tbl buttermilk
1 stick plus 2 tbl butter, melted
1 large egg, 1 large yolk, beaten to blend
3 tbl maple syrup
2-3 ears of fresh corn, kernals only


1- Butter a 9×5 metal loaf pan. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder.  Add in the
 buttermilk, beaten egg, melted butter, maple syrup and fresh corn. Mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.
2- Pour mixture into the loaf pan and let rest for 30 min, to allow for all the liquid to be absorbed. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.
3- Bake for 30-35 min or until browned around edges and tester comes out clean. Let rest for a few minutes, then turn upside down on a wire rack and let cool completely.  Can be wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature for up to two days.

Pine Nut Tart

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This yummy pine nut tart is a staple on Italian tables from Piedmonte to Sicily.  Whilst traditional recipes often include ricotta, I make mine with lemon zest, vanilla, honey and almond flour – creating a flavourful cake-like consistency.  This tasty treat is the perfect addition to any party – but be sure to save some - it’s also super delicious with your morning coffee.  If you want to elevate the flavours even more, the Hostess Handbook suggests serving with some rosemary infused cream – the savoury contrast will keep your guests buzzing!


Dough                                                               Filling   
3/4 cup butter, room temperature             8 tbl plus 2 tsp butter, plus extra for toasting pine nuts
3/4 cup sugar                                                  1/2 heaping cup pine nuts
1/2 egg                                                              1 heaping cup almond flour
1/2 vanilla bean                                              2 eggs, 2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup flour                                                 3 tbl  flour
1/4 tsp salt                                                       1/2 tsp baking powder
zest from 1 lemon
1 tbl honey
1/2 vanilla bean



  1. In a medium sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
  2. Add the vanilla beans and 1/2 egg and beat together.
  3. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Form the dough into a disc with your hands, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 min.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Roll out the pastry dough into a tart tin, making sure to press in the sides and bottom.  Trim the edges, cover with plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator for another 30 min.
  5. Toast the pine nuts in a bit of butter in a small skillet until they turn golden brown. Drain and set aside. Grind half of the pine nuts and keep the other half whole to decorate the top of the tart.
  6. In a large bowl, beat together the rest of the butter with the sugar until fluffy and smooth. Beat in the 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, 1/2 vanilla bean, honey and lemon zest.
  7. Add in the flours (almond and regular), baking powder, and ground pine nuts and beat until smooth.
  8. Take the chilled pie crust out of the fridge, unwrap it, and pour in the filling. Evenly spread the rest of the whole pine nuts on top, pressing them in with the back of a spoon.
  9. Bake the tart for 30 min (rotate half-way through), until slightly puffed and golden.  The filling should be set but with a slight give so that it is moist and not dry.
  10. Let it cool on a wire rack and serve room temperature with lightly dusted powdered sugar and rosemary infused cream.  It’s even better the second or third day, so feel free to make ahead of time!

Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli

Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove 

This Venetian pasta dish is absolutely delicious (and colorful) for fall. The earthy beet and sharp goat cheese pair perfectly with the rich, buttery, sage sauce.  Serve small portions as a fantastic appetizer for your next dinner party. The Hostess Handbook thinks the addition of poppy seeds adds a cool twist –and, is best served with a glass of Prosecco.


3 large beets
½ cup poppy seeds
¼ cup goat cheese
fresh egg pasta dough
2 tbl chopped parsley
chopped sage


1-    Make fresh egg pasta dough following this process: fresh egg pasta. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest.

2-    Wash and wrap the aluminium foil and roast in the oven (350 F) for 45 min or until fork tender.  Peel the beets while still warm, chop them into slices and put them in a medium bowl

3-    Add in the goat cheese, poppy seeds and parsley and puree using a hand blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. 

4-    Prepare the ravioli: roll out the pasta dough as thinly as possible and cut two rectangles of equal size. Put small quantities of the filling in rows on one side of the rectangles about 4 cm apart and moisten the dough between the filling with a wet fingertip. Cut down and across the rows using a ravioli cutter, producing small envelopes of the dough enclosing the filling. Dry in a cool place for a few hours and cook in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

5-    Melt butter and sage (or rosemary for a stronger flavor) in a large sauté pan.  Add the cooked ravioli and toss with Parmesan cheese.






Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter cups are my all-time favorite Halloween candy.  While the Reese’s version are the standard, try going a bit more upscale with this homemade variety. Adapted from the homemade peanut butter cups recipe featured in the December 1990 issue of Bon Appetit, these candies are both easy to make and fun to decorate. The Hostess Handbook suggests serving them at your Halloween party – the trick is in the high quality chocolate treat.


¼ plus 2 1/2 tbl cups powdered sugar
¼ cup sour cream
4 tbl heavy cream
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 ¼ lbs bittersweet chocolate
peanuts, chopped for decoration
orange sugar balls, for decoration
small petit four cups, or cupcake cups if you want large peanut butter cups

Directions: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

1-    Mix the powdered sugar, sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla pods in a large bowl.  Stir in the peanut butter, cover and refrigerate until chilled.

2-    Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stir until smooth.  Remove the bowl from the water.  Spoon about 1 tsp into the cupcake cups (more or less depending on the size).  Rotate them and spread the melted chocolate ¾ of the way up the cup using the flat side of the knife (or the outside edge of a measuring spoon). Refrigerate until the chocolate has set (approx. 20-30 min).

3-    Spoon some of the peanut butter into each set chocolate cup.  Smooth with the back edge of a teaspoon. Reheat the melted chocolate and spoon enough chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter.

4-    Decorate the tops of the peanut butter cups with the chopped peanuts and orange sugar balls.  Refrigerate until set (approx. 20-30 min).


Trick or Trick!!!

Pumpkin and Walnut Muffins

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Cozy up to these delicious pumpkin and walnut muffins and a steaming cup of coffee this fall – the walnuts add a bit of texture to the devilishly spiced pumpkin tasty treats!! They will be the envy of your brunch party, or, play a trick on your guests and do as the Hostess Handbook might – serve them warm with a bit of cream or vanilla ice cream for dessert.


½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tbl maple syrup
1 vanilla stick, seeds only
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Pumpkin and Walnut Muffins

  1. 1-    Preheat oven to 400 F.2-    If making your own pumpkin puree:a.     Dice the pumpkin and toss with ½ tsp nutmeg.b.     Sauté in a large pot with olive oil.c.      Add ½ cup water, cover and let cook until fork tender.d.     Using a hand blender, puree the pumpkin and pass through a sieve. Measure out ¾ cup and set aside.

    3-    Melt the butter and let cool slightly.  Grease the muffin tin with some of the melted butter.

    4-    In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, pumpkin puree, buttermilk, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla seeds. In another larger bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  Whisk in the brown sugar.

    5-    Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add in the pumpkin puree mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the walnuts (keeping some aside for the top of the muffins).

    6-    Divide the batter into the muffin tray and sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top.

    7-    Bake for 15-20 min or until puffed up.  Serve warm with a bit of cream for dessert, or room temperature with your morning coffee.

Mushroom and Spinach Soup

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Soups are some of the best comfort food for the fall – hot, filling and flavourful.  Typically made with cream, this hearty mushroom version is a simple and healthy dish with clean earthy flavours.  If you happen to have beef or veal stock, use that to add more depth of flavour, but it’s just as good with vegetable stock. Perfect for a late supper or autumn lunch, you might even want to serve it with a dash of my beet purée! If you want to make it even more hearty, The Hostess Handbook suggests adding a bit of barley to the mushroom and spinach soup. A bowl of this soup, a glass of bordeaux, some crusty baguette and a bit of goat cheese: c’est magnifique!

Ingredients (Serves 6)

2 cups g shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup g oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, julienne
2 cloves garlic, crushed with the heel of your knife
6 sprigs parsley, chopped
3 sprigs dill, choped
1 sprig tarragon, chopped
White wine
2 quarts vegetable stock
3 tbl Butter
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper


  1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat up the butter and a splash of olive oil with the crushed garlic to infuse.
  2. Add the julienne shallots and cook until translucent- approx 2-3 min.  Add the mushrooms in batches, allowing some to cook down before you add in the others. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Once the mushrooms have absorbed all the cooking fat and just begin to sear, deglaze with a splash of white wine.  Add in the chopped herbs and mix altogether.  Remove from the heat.
  4. In a large stockpot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil and skim off the top.  Add in the sauteed mushrooms and simmer for approx 20 min.  A few minutes before serving, add in the spinach so that it just wilts. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Serve with baguette, goats cheese and a good glass of wine.

Mini Noodle Kugel

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

These mini noodle kugels work really well as either a larger canape or as an accompaniment to a meat dish for your next dinner party – and, how cute are they in the individual cupcake shape?! For reals, these are such a tasty treat that the The Hostess Handbook will let you in on a little secret…add a bit of grated parmesan and some chopped chives for an extra bite.  Sshh.

Mini Noodle Kugel Ingredients: (Makes for 12)

1 3/4 cups medium egg noodles
2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 1/4 cups ricotta
1 1/2 tbl paprika
1 tbl poppy seeds
4-5 large shallots, thinly sliced
1-2 tbl butter
white wine
salt and pepper


  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, brush some of it into cupcake tins.  Saute the shallots in the rest of the butter until browned  (approx. 10-15 min). Season with salt and pepper and deglaze with white wine. Set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles in salted, boiling water until al dente.  Drain and immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well again.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked noodles, sour cream, ricotta cheese, paprika, poppy seeds and browned shallots.  Season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper and add to the mixture.  Combine well.
  4. Divide the mixture into the cupcake tins and bake in the oven at 425 F for 20-25 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.
  5. Serve on its own as a larger canape, or as an accompaniment to a meat dish. 

Homemade Pizza

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Whether you’re just having a casual night in with friends or planning a sophisticated soiree, this homemade pizza is sure to impress.  Making your own dough is super easy (just do it the night before your big event), and, if you prepare your toppings ahead of time, you’ll be able to mingle and drink more wine with your guests – bonus.  It’s always more fun to be creative with your toppings, but if you’re having writer’s block, The Hostess Handbook suggets: Classic Margherita; Mushroom; Ricotta, Spinach and Cherry Tomato; and, my new fave – Bolognese and spinach. AMAZING.


Homemade Pizza Dough 

12 g active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tsp sugar
5 ¼ cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
Olive oil


Topping Suggestions:

Tomato Sauce
Bolognese Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella
Basil, chiffonade
Mushrooms, seared in butter
Cherry Tomatoes


1-    Blend together the yeast, sugar, flour and sea salt in a medium bowl.  Add in the warm water in a steady drizzle and mix thoroughly with your hands. 

2-    Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until you have a large ball.

3-    Put the ball of dough in a clean, large bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over the dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside to proof for at least 18 hours in total – or until it has more than doubled. After a few hours, punch down the dough and let proof again.

4-    Unwrap the dough and divide into four equal portions.  For each portion: pull the right side of the dough out and back towards the center (repeat for the three other sides) and shape into a round seam side down. If not using straight away, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a maximum of 3 days. Return to room temperature by covering dough with a damp cloth for a few hours prior to use.

5-    On a floured surface, stretch out each portion of dough into a thin 9 inch round – be careful not to stretch it too thin or it will break. Spread tomato sauce over the dough base, add mozzarella cheese, basil and any other additional toppings (or, try using someBolognese sauce for a unique twist).

6-    Transfer the assembled pizza onto a pizza stone and cook in a 450 F oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and crispy. Enjoy with a Peroni or glass of Chianti.



North African Lamb Shank with Saffron Couscous

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This is one large yummy dish that is perfect for sharing with a close group of friends.  Sit on the floor with lots of cushions Moroccan style and serve in a large tagine pot – your guests will have lots of fun scooping up the falling-off-the-bone tender meat and delicious saffron couscous.  The Hostess Handbook suggests lots of bold-flavored red wine to complement the spiced meat – and, perhaps some after dinner hookah?



2 lamb shanks
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 large red onion, large dice
1 carrot, large dice
4 celery sticks, cut into big chunks
1 tbl paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp chili flakes
1 can tomatoes
1 cup of lamb or beef stock
5 garlic cloves, crushed with the heel of your knife
4 sprigs ea. parsley and cilantro, plus more (chopped) for garnish
2 sprigs of rosemary
zest and juice of ½ a lemon
10 dried apricots, cut into halves
bay leaf
salt and pepper
olive oil


1-    Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and sear them on all sides in olive oil over a hot flame. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2-    In a dutch oven or large roasting pan, sauté the onion, carrot, celery and crushed garlic over medium- high heat and season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables start to take color, add in 1/3 bottle of the red wine and let reduce to about ½ its volume. Add in the herbs, bay leaf and spices, apricot halves, lemon zest and lemon juice.

3-    Pour in the can of tomatoes and lamb or beef stock and return the lamb shanks to the liquid.  Make sure the lamb shanks are completely submerged – add more water if necessary.

4-    Braise the lamb shanks for approx. 3-4 hours, check half way and add more liquid if necessary.

5-    Once the lamb shanks are cooked, strain off ½ braising liquid and pour into a small saucepan. Reserve the apricot halves and cooked carrots to serve with the lamb (sprinkle a bit of cumin on them for an extra punch).

6-   Cook the strained braising liquid over medium heat until it reduces to a thick sauce. Reserve and keep warm.

7-    Pour boiling water over the couscous, add a drizzle of olive oil, a few pinches of salt and a few strands of saffron. Cover and let sit for 5-6 min. Remove the cover and fluff with a fork.

8-    Serve the lamb shanks over the saffron couscous with the reserved carrot and apricot mixture. Pour the sauce on top and garnish with chopped cilantro and parsley.

Spiced Shrimp with Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

Tasty Tips

Spiced Shrimp with Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa 

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Looking for the perfect summer canapé or appetizer for your backyard bash? Look no further than The Hostess Handbook! These spicy marinated shrimp are absolutely delicious with the freshness of the salsa.  Extremely easy to prepare, this delightful little dish packs a serious punch. Perfect for a warm eve after a day at the beach, all you need now is a pitcher of margs. Ahh living the dream.

Try these spiced shrimp with grilled corn and avocado salsa for the 4th of July! Healthy has never looked so good!

Shrimp Ingredients:

16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, or 1/12 pounds small shrimp

1 tbl chipotle paste

1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp ground cilantro

a handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbl olive oil

a few pinches of salt and pepper

Salsa Ingredients:

2 large tomatoes, concasse

1 large avocado

juice from ½ a lime

1 1/2 cobs of corn

2 scallions, finely chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

a handful each of fresh cilantro and fresh mint, finely chopped

Olive oil


salt and pepper


1-    Rinse the shrimp under cold water and dry on a paper towel.

2-    Ground together all the other ingredients in a food processor and add the shrimp.  Toss to coat and cover with plastic wrap.  Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 min.

3-    Meanwhile, prepare the salsa:

  1. Prepare the corn by rubbing it with olive oil and seasoning with paprika, salt and pepper.  Wrap in aluminum foil and grill, turning often, for 10-15 min.
  2. Cut the avocado into small chunks and toss with the lime-juice.  Add the concasse tomatoes, grilled corn and jalapeno peppers. Season with salt and pepper and more lime-juice if necessary. Garnish with the fresh cilantro.

4-    Grill the shrimp for 1-3 min on each side and serve with the salsa.





Sliced Steak with Roquefort and Rocket

Tasty Tip

Sliced Steak with Roquefort Rocket

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This thinly sliced steak with roquefort and rocket is the perfect spring lunch or light supper. The peppery rocket balances out the steak and the strong cheese. By serving on a large wooden platter, it’s easily shared – and, creates a fantastic centerpiece for everyone to gather around.  The Hostess Handbook suggests adding some toasted walnuts (not pictured) to elevate the dish even more. Serve with a Barbaresco for an easy drinking red that will complement this dish to perfection.


3 small filet steaks
2 cups rocket
½ cup Roquefort cheese, cut into small cubes
1 garlic clove, crushed with the heel of your knife
olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper



1-    Arrange the rocket and Roquefort cheese on a large wooden platter.

2-    Pan sear the fillet steaks in butter with the crushed garlic clove for 3-5 min on one side and 1 min on the other side (medium-rare). Baste with cooking butter whilst cooking. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest (2 min).

3-    Slice the steak thinly and arrange over the rocket and cheese.  Season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and a few squeezes of lemon juice.



Roasted Broccoli and Ricotta Spread

  Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This easy and delicious spread is fantastic with toasted baguette.  It’s a creative way to eat one of my least favorite vegetables (seriously, what kid didn’t struggle with this one). Now, I can’t get enough of it – and neither will you and your guests once you try it.  Dip into this tasty treat at once! You won’t regret it.


1 head of broccoli, trimmed and cut into small pieces
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with the heel of your knife
squeeze of lemon juice
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup gruyere cheese, plus more for garnish
chopped parsley for garnish
20 small black-pitted olives
olive oil
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes


1-    Season the broccoli with salt, pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil and put them into a baking dish with the crushed garlic clove. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 min or until very soft and tender.

2-    Blend together the broccoli, garlic and Gruyere cheese in a food processor until smooth.  Add in the ricotta and mix together. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Garnish with chopped parsley and the black-pitted olives.

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