Saturday, October 31st, 2020

Chef Rossi’s Valentine’s Day Menu Depression Buster

Published on February 4, 2017 by   ·   84 Comments Pin It
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You may not feel in the Valentine’s Day spirit, what with a mentally unfit President and all, but even more so we must love those on the right side of history. We can all say – with a fresh set of eyes – that we now know who are true peeps are. Celebrate those beloveds with a beautiful meal.

Today, Chef Rossi, author of The Raging Skillet hooks us up with a delicious seasonal Valentine’s Day Menu that will make your world go from yuck to yum;

Howdy dumplings! I don’t know about you but it’s been hard for me to feel romantic since election night. This girl has been plum depressed. But then I started cooking, donating money to charities that may be in jeopardy in TRUMP land and cooking some more. And guess what? I cheered up. I have decided to purge all of my horror over our newly elected orange president by cranking out some love cooking. If you do the same, invite me over. Well, biscuits just a few yum yums to cheer you up. Hey, it’s only 4 years right? Oy!

Mama Rossi’s Crazy Fried Brussels sprouts

Mama Rossi’s crazy fried Brussels sprouts

Mama Rossi’s crazy fried Brussels sprouts

Start with two pints of Brussels sprouts. Trim the brown bottoms (kinky) and get rid of any funky outer layer. Cut into ¼ inch slices. Make a sweet and spicy sauce out of a few plops of chili paste, or sriracha, a few good drizzles of soy sauce or gluten free tamari, a few good drizzles of fresh lime juice and a little bit of sugar, brown sugar, or agave. Fill a deep pot with a few inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium high heat Until is hot enough for frying (some folks do the spit test but .. gross.) Just drop a bit of  the trimmed off Brussels sprout in and if it sizzles you are good to go! Drop you sprouts into the hot oil and fry away and OY VEY!When they are golden and float to top they are ready! Drain and season with salt then toss with your sweet and spicy sauce. I have served this as a great side dish and also as a really cool hors d’oeuvre by passing in Chinese containers with chopsticks! Swapping the rice wine vinegar instead of lime juice is also fabulous.

Butternut squash soup of love

Butternut squash soup of love

Butternut Squash Soup Of Love

I would start with one average size butternut squash. That should be enough for soup for four to six people. When we make this soup, we use a vegetable peeler to peel away the outer thick skin of the squash and then de-seed and cut into bite-size one inch pieces. Drop the cut up squash into a deep pot and cover with water, or vegetable stock, drop in two cinnamon sticks, a few slices of fresh peeled ginger and bring to a simmer then cook until squash is soft. This can take about a half hour. Remove the squash with a slotted spoon but save the liquid. Throw out the cinnamon sticks. Drop squash into a food processor in batches. Pour in equal amounts of cooking liquid and apple cider then sweeten things up with a heaping dose of brown sugar or agave to your liking. Adjust seasoning with salt and ground white pepper.   Sometimes I like to drizzle in the juice of one or two oranges too. I love to serve this as is or sometimes garnish with a few toasted pumpkin seeds. For parties, I often pass this as a killer hors d’oeuvres in shot glasses or espresso cups. So fun!–

​​Squash Napoleons With Kale Pesto

Chef Rossi’s Valentine’s Day Menu Depression Buster

Chef Rossi’s Valentine’s Day Menu Depression Buster

Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill. Whatever you have. I use a stovetop grill myself. Get your grill nice and hot. Meanwhile back at the ranch…
Slice zucchini and yellow squash into ¼ inch ovals, slice eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds. Slice red onion crosswise into ¼ inch slices. Toss your veges in olive oil, Kosher salt and ground pepper until you are ready to grill. Grill for a few minutes on each side until they are well marked and softened. Optional- grilled bell pepper, tomato, or Portobello mushroom all work fabulously as well. For the Kale Pesto: Clean one bunch of kale and cut out the hard white parts. Toast two handfuls of pumpkin seeds or walnuts or pine nuts. Just toast in a dry pan for a few minutes to bring out their yum factor. Drop your kale and nuts or seeds in the food processor with 2 plops of fresh garlic and a few drizzles of olive oil, a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and salt to your liking. Optional, adding some fresh basil with your kale is fabulous. Build your Napoleons with the eggplant first, then the squash, onion, zucchini and top with another eggplant. You either put a nice plop of kale pesto on top or you can slather between the layers. I love that word; slather.

Oreo Crack I’d make for Hillary

Oreo Dessert Crack Recipe

Oreo Dessert Crack Recipe

Now darlings, the dessert my company – The Raging Skillet – is most famous for is our Oreo Crack. I can’t give you the recipe for that because then I’d have to kill you (and you’re so cute), but I can give you a recipe guaranteed to ALSO live up to the name Oreo Crack. Did you know Oreo’s were vegan by the way? I didn’t until we started making Oreo Crack and I found out with a few adjustments I could serve them to our Vegan guests. I guarantee you will make this forever once you try it and it’s so easy! Buy a box of Oreos or more if you are having a crowd over. Open them up and slather (love that word!) peanut butter inside. Meanwhile melt your favorite dark vegan chocolate and drizzle in the smallest bit of vegetable oil for some extra shine. When it’s melted submerge your Oreos in the melted chocolate and then lay them on a pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Put in the fridge until ready to serve. Take out your crack maybe ten minutes before you want to serve them. FYI; you can also make a boat load of these and keep them in the freezer to pull out anytime you want to entertain. Personally two drags of a joint, and I am ready to inhale three of these with a corn chip chaser.. but that’s just me.

About The Raging Skillet by Chef Rossi:

When their self-proclaimed “mental yentl” high-school-aged, punk, runaway daughter is found hosting a Jersey Shore hotel party, Rossi’s parents feel they have no other choice: they ship her off to live with a Chasidic rabbi in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Within the confines of this restrictive culture, Rossi’s big city dreams take root. Once she makes her way to Manhattan, Rossi’s passion for cooking, which first began as a revolt against the microwave, becomes her life mission. The Raging Skillet is one woman’s story of cooking her way through some of the most unlikely kitchens in New York City—at a “beach” in Tribeca, an East Village supper club, and a makeshift grill at ground zero in the days immediately following 9/11. Forever writing her own rules, Rossi ends up becoming the owner of one of the most sought-after catering companies in the city. This heartfelt, gritty, and hilarious memoir shows us how the creativity of the kitchen allows us to give a nod to where we come from, while simultaneously expressing everything that we are.  The recipes (heads up) are far from vegan, most of them not the healthiest choices, but they are really a side note to the story and more amusing (pizza bagels ala tween) than the real gourmet fare Rossi usually offers up (yes, her catering company does vegan beautifully!) This is the perfect, funny, funny book to get your mind off Steve Bannon.

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