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At The Gourmet Online, we love to cook.  But time is precious, so we look for recipes that are easy to follow and quick to make.  Here are a few of our go to favorites.

Shrimp and Avocado Pasta Salad

Verrigni Gold Die Cut Artisan Fusilloro - 1.1 pound bag
Boil the pasta in ample salted water - average cooking time, 8 minutes
Lightly mix your pasta with a premium extra virgin olive oil

1 pound of 21-25 count fresh Shrimp
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded and mixed fresh oregano, basil and parsley
1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 fresh lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white and pink peppercorns
Heat the oil in a saute pan, then add the shrimp, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs
Squeeze your lemon at the finish and set aside

1/2 cup of diced yellow, red and green pepper melange
2 ripe large Avocados, sliced
1/4 cup of diced red onion
1 pint of cherry tomatoes - look for multicolored varieties to add more color
2 carrots, sliced thin strips

Gently mix your pasta, shrimp and vegetables in a large bowl
Dress with a classic Italian dressing (try the recipe from last month's newsletter!)
Chill for at least 3 hours, allowing the flavors to blend. 

Substitute shrimp with grilled sliced chicken
Substitute avocado with artichoke hearts or zucchini
Add green or black olives
The possibilities are endless!

Sweet Summer Fruit Salad

4 Peaches - 2 white flesh and 2 golden flesh
2 Kiwis
Berries - straw, black, blue, and rasp - 1/2 pint of each
Mandarin orange or Tangerine pieces - 1 cup
Melons - 1/2 cup of each - water and cantaloupe - cubed

Think size when slicing and cubing.  Squeeze some honey over the fruit and add a splash of fruit vinegar.  Mix your fruits gently to avoid bruising.  Chill for at least one hour and serve in small bowls with a dollop of Creme Fraiche and a sprig of mint.

Spice it up!  Don't get me wrong - I love barbeque sauce.  It's a classic.  But, grilling is the perfect opportunity to experiment with new spice blends.  Two of our favorites are both from See Smell Taste, a small company out of California that imports and blends restaurant quality herbs, salts and spices from around the world. You'll find yourself using less salt when you add different spices to your recipes.  Flavors become intensified from the high temperatures and there isn't a protein out there that wouldn't benefit from spicing it up a little.  After all, if you must have it, you can always have sauce on the side.

Grains of Paradise - $20 - free shipping

gopgrains of paradise  Grains of Paradise are seeds, not berries, like pepper.  The flavors are more complex, with hints of heat, cinnamon, and cardamon all coming through.  To maximize their flavor, they should be finely crushed and added at the finish.  Great in rubs and dressings.  It's the perfect ingredient when you're looking for the boldness of pepper and exotic complex flavors.  The tribe in Africa that harvests each seed by hand, believes they have magical powers.  After trying them, you may think so too.

Tagine of lamb with apricots

Sweet and fruity, this classic North African stew can also be made with beef. You can add a bit of chopped preserved lemon rind to balance the sweetness of the fruit, if you wish, but I used grains of paradise to add a peppery, fruity undertone. Recipe adapted from Tagine: Spicy Stews of Morocco, by Ghillie Basan, and other recipes. Serves 4; can be doubled.


2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sliced raw almonds
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp grated or minced fresh ginger
A pinch of saffron threads
2 cinnamon sticks
1-1/2 tsp ground coriander
1-1/2 lb boned lamb, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
24 dried apricots
4 strips of orange peel
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey (to taste)
1/2 tsp grains of paradise + 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, ground together coarsely in a mortar or spice grinder
Kosher salt, to taste


Recipe from


In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the almonds. Stir and cook until the almonds begin to brown. Add the onions, and saute until they begin to color. Add the garlic, ginger, saffron, cinnamon sticks, and coriander. Stir to combine. Add the lamb, stir to coat with the seasonings, and saute for 1-2 minutes, until the lamb is lightly browned.

Add 3-1/2 cups of water, or enough to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour.

When you set the pot to simmer, place the apricots in a bowl or glass measuring cup, and cover with very hot tap water. Leave them to soak for 1 hour while the lamb is cooking. At the end of the hour, drain the fruit and add to the lamb, along with the orange peel. Simmer for 20 minutes more.

Stir in the agave or honey, ground grains of paradise and pepper, and salt to taste. If there is a lot of liquid in the pot, leave uncovered, and simmer 15 minutes more until sauce is reduced and thick. If there's not enough liquid, add water or orange juice to keep the lamb from sticking until it's finished cooking. The lamb should be tender, and the sauce thick and glistening.

Serve hot, with couscous, rice, or chunks of bread to mop up the sauce.

Shichimi Togarashi - 22 gram tin - $19 - Ships for free

togarashitogarashi  Shichimi Togarashi is a staple in Japanese cuisine.  Seven spice powder is built on a foundation of chiles, dried orange peel, Sichuan peppercorns, sesame seeds (white and/or black), dried ginger, and seaweed. It likely originated in 17th century apothecaries, after chiles were introduced to Japan as a form of medicine.  It's the ultimate rub for pork or beef ribs, since the flavors intensify as they cook.  Adding a pinch to rice brings it to life- green vegetables like broccoli or kale take on a whole new flavor.

Glazed Pork Ribs with Shichimi Togarashi

  • 2 racks St. Louis style pork ribs (about 4 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary plus 1 Tbsp. minced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced, plus 1 tsp. finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • half cup thinly sliced scallions
  • Shichimi Togarashi


·        Bake the ribs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange a double layer of foil on a rimmed baking sheet so foil hangs over sides. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on foil. Season ribs all over with 1 1/2 Tbsp. salt and pepper.

·        Place 1 rack of ribs, bone side up, on parchment. Arrange sliced lemon, rosemary sprigs, and sliced garlic over. Lay remaining rack over, bone side down, creating a pocket between the racks. (The seasonings in the center will infuse the meat as it bakes.)

·        Cover ribs with another sheet of parchment; crimp edges to seal. (The parchment seals in flavor and prevents the acid from the lemons from reacting with the foil.) Wrap ribs tightly with foil to form a tight seal (use extra foil, if necessary, to completely enclose ribs, and crimp edges together to tightly seal).

·        Bake ribs for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let rest at room temperature, still sealed in foil, for 1 hour. (Do not open; ribs will continue to cook and become tender.)

·        Carefully open foil. Transfer ribs to a platter or another baking sheet; discard lemon slices and rosemary sprigs. Pour pork juices into a measuring cup. Add water if needed to measure a scant 1 cup. DO AHEAD: Ribs can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap in foil and chill. Cover and chill juices separately.

·        Bring reserved pork juices, minced rosemary, grated garlic, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and lemon zest to a simmer in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Whisk cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl for slurry. Whisk slurry into juices to thicken (the glaze should just coat the back of a spoon). Season glaze with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if desired. DO AHEAD: Glaze can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Gently rewarm before using.

·        Preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut between bones to separate ribs. Transfer ribs to prepared baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until beginning to brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with warm glaze. Sprinkle with scallions and shichimi togarashi.



Easy Caesar Salad Dressing:
With a few key ingredients you can make yourself a Caesar Salad that rivals any restaurant.  The secret ingredients in this recipe are IASA Colatura and a coddled egg!




1 coddled egg - bring an egg to room temperature.  Boil 1 cup of water and pour it over the egg.  Let the egg sit for 1 minute and remove then rinse in cold water.  Dry shell thoroughly.

1 to 2 teaspoons finely-chopped garlic (1 to 2 medium cloves with inner green germ removed - the sprouts add an unpleasant bitterness)

1 to 2 anchovy fillet, mashed – this is where I substitute the anchovies with a ½ tsp. of IASA Colatura

Pinch of coarse salt

2 tablespoons (1/2 lemon) freshly-squeezed lemon juice

3 drops Worcestershire sauce

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano divided

2 to 3 heads Romaine lettuce, hearts and tender leaves only

Coarsely-ground black pepper



In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, Colatura, and salt until blended.

Whisk in the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

Whisk in the coddled egg until the mixture is thick, approximately 1 minute (this enable the lemon juice to "cook" the eggs).

Slowly drizzle in the olive oil with one hand while vigorously whisking the mixture with the other.

When the dressing is well combined, whisk in 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano.

A hunk of crusty bread, a glass of white wine, and you're good to go!


Truffle Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Gingered Sweet Potatoes

1 to 1 ½ lb. Pork Tenderloin

3 Tbs. Savini Truffle Honey

1 Tbs. Giachi Primolio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbs. White Wine Vinegar

2 Tbs. fresh Thyme

1 medium dice shallot

Black Lava Sea Salt and black pepper

½ cup Chicken stock

1Tbs. Candied Ginger, diced

4 small sweet potatoes


Mix the truffle honey with Giachi olive oil, Fini vinegar, thyme, diced shallot and salt/pepper.

Pull your pork tenderloin out of the refrigerator 10 minutes before cooking and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.Glaze the tenderloin with ¾ of the honey mixture.Bake in a foil boat on a baking sheet for 35-45 minutes.

Peel 4 small sweet potatoes and drizzle with olive oil.Place in foil and bake in the oven with the pork tenderloin.

Pull the pork tenderloin and potatoes out of the oven.Spread the rest of the truffle glaze over the tenderloin and tent with foil.

Using a sauté pan add approximately a ½ cup of chicken stock and bring to a boil.Dice 1 tbs. of candied ginger and toss with the potatoes.While the tenderloin rests, add the potatoes to the stock and rapidly boil with a dash of salt and pepper.

If you want to make things intense, pull the potatoes out and reduce the sauce with a bit of white wine.Drizzle over the sweet potatoes.

Slice the Truffle Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin and serve with a reduction of the pan dripping and balsamic vinegar.

Pairs nicely with Pinot Noir.


Ricotta Pancakes with Fabbri Wild Strawberries

Serving size: Silver Dollar
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 to 5 minutes

The biscuit box - 2 cups
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups S. Pellegrino sparkling water

8 strawberries, sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice or a squeeze of fresh lemon
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon of Fragole di Fabbri strawberries
1 teaspoon of Fabbri syrup

Ricotta filling:
1-1/2 cups drained Ricotta cheese
1/8 cup finely granulated sugar
Lemon Zest or 1/4 teaspoon of Lemon Oil
1 tablespoon of chopped Pistachio nuts

Mix the ricotta, sugar, lemon oil/lemon zest, and pistachio nuts in a bowl. Gently blend wiith a fork until all ingredients are mixed. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the strawberries and sugar and saute until the strawberries just start to release some liquid. Add the lemon juice and cook until the liquid in the pan becomes syrupy about 3 to 5 minutes.

Mix together the pancake ingredients and dose out silver dollar sized pancakes onto a greased griddle or non-stick pan. When the bubbles forming on the top of the pancakes stop filling back up with batter it is time to flip them. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side.

Quickly layer your Ricotta filling between the pancakes, then pour your strawberries and syrup over the top.

Pair with
Cosmopolitans or Prosecco with a strawberry at the bottom!