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Sweet Tart Deviled Eggs

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My dear friend Shawn made the most incredible deviled eggs.  Well, to be fair, his deep fried deviled eggs are the most incredible.  One day I will get that recipe!  This recipe is a close second, if I do say so myself.  He used our hot sauce, some butter and turn deviled eggs on their head, again.  Here is what he did:

Sweet Tart Deviled Eggs

 

He hard boiled eggs, mixed equal parts room temperature butter with the egg yolks, added sautéed garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Grilled the egg whites in the pan that he sautéed the garlic in.   Then, put mixture back in egg whites and sprinkled the plate with our Sweet Tart hot sauce to dip the deviled eggs into.  Simple but, incredible.

Spinach And Onion Tart With Cherry Tomatoes

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Every once in a while we have some free time at work and I like to make something out of what’s around.   As most of you know, this is one of my favorite things to do.   We always have a few ingredients lying around, like dough, onions, eggs, among other random items.  So on this rare slow day, I decided to put some of these ingredients to use.  Well, we did plan this the day before, as we needed a few extra ingredients, but you get the picture.  It turned out so good, my colleague’s said I had to write about it.  As usual I didn’t really measure, but don’t let that stop you, it’s quite easy to make.  This is a recipe for two tarts. We make dough in huge quantities so if you only want one tart cut recipe in half, but use one whole onion.  Also, I don’t know how much commercial store bought dough makes, so use your best judgement.  Of course homemade dough is best!

 

 

Spinach And Onion Tart With Cherry Tomatoes
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 round of pastry dough devided into two
  • 2 packages of frozen spinach
  • 1½ large onions
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes
  • 1 8oz package of Gouda cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Milk or egg for wash on crust, or combine and use both.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Thaw spinach and squeeze out the liquid
  3. Roll dough into a rectangle like shape and place on parchment baking sheet, put in fridge
  4. In large skillet melt butter
  5. On medium heat sauté onion with salt and pepper
  6. Cover for about 20 minutes till you get some browning
  7. Chop garlic and separate the cloves
  8. Rinse and chop tomatoes in half, set to the side.
  9. Grate cheese
  10. Add spinach, garlic salt and pepper and sauté till ingredients are incorporated
  11. Grab dough and sprinkle a little bit of cheese on dough
  12. Then place spinach, onion in center of dough
  13. Spread it out leaving about an inch of dough for a crust
  14. Add tomatoe halves and sprinkle rest of cheese on top
  15. Fold edges of dough around the mixture.
  16. Doesn't have to be pretty, just make it so nothing will flow over.
  17. Egg or milk wash the crust.
  18. Back for 25-30 minutes.
  19. Check after 25 minutes
  20. You want a golden crust and bottom of tart to cook but don't burn it.
  21. Let cool before cutting and serving.

 

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup

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What to do with holiday leftovers is as much a tradition as the holidays themselves.   So with that in mind, I decided to go along and add a dish to the leftover tradition.   We had ham, as do a lot of people.  And like lot’s of people, we had lot’s of it left over.  After a few days of eating it I was starting to wonder what else besides sandwiches or frying it up with my morning eggs I could do with it.  I thought about for a little while and decided a soup would be good.  But what kind?  My friend said potato and ham.  I thought genius, but it needed something else.  I then thought bean with bacon!   So I thought use the ham,  instead of bacon.  And our ham, potato and bean soup was born.  This was supposed to be a cream soup, but I couldn’t decide whether to blend just the potato, or the beans, or both.  As I was cooking,  I realized that if I cut some of the potatoes small, and cooked them long enough, the potatoes would start to break down and create a creamy effect.  Thus, solving the problem of what to blend.  In the end, what I got was a brothy soup with bit of a creamy texture that is simply divine.  Enjoy!

 

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup

 

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped ham, fat and grizzle removed
  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Chop ham to bite size pieces, fat and grizzle removed
  2. Peel and chop carrots and celery
  3. Peel and chop onion
  4. Peel and chop two of the potatoes
  5. The the third potato chop into smaller pieces
  6. Chop garlic clove.
  7. Sauté onion in olive oil till translucent
  8. Add salt and pepper
  9. Add celery and carrots and sauté for a few minutes
  10. Add potatoes and garlic, sauté for a few minutes
  11. Add ham, beans and stock
  12. Add Italian herbs and pinch of thyme
  13. Bring to boil then simmer on low till small potatoes start to disappear
  14. Salt and pepper to taste.
  15. If needed add more herbs

Chicken Soup With Rice and Thyme

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It’s deep in the fall and the weather is unusually warm.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a great soup.  And what better one then a classic?   This time I will keep it simple but very flavorful.   I had some leftover chicken broth from a previous meal and froze it.  I decided instead of taking that and making stock out of it I would use it as is to be my base for this soup.  It’s basically chicken water but it lended itself beautifully to this recipe.   But if you don’t have any lying around regular chicken sock will work.  I hope you enjoy it! I did!

 

Chicken soup with Rice and Thyme
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups chicken broth(water)
  • ½ cup of rice uncooked
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. When I say 2 chicken breasts I mean two halves.
  2. Make them good sized ones.
  3. This should still be a hearty soup.
  4. Cut chicken into bite sized chunks
  5. Chop onion
  6. Chop celery
  7. Peel and chop carrots
  8. Chop garlic and separate
  9. In a large stock pot, sauté onion and half of garlic in olive oil
  10. Add celery and carrots
  11. A little thyme
  12. A pinch Salt and pepper
  13. Add chicken and cook till done
  14. While cooking the chicken, cook rice till it's almost done.
  15. When chicken is done, add stock/chicken water
  16. Add bay leaf, garlic and a generous amount of Thyme.
  17. Don't over do the thyme!
  18. It should be prominent but not over powering.
  19. Taste and smell as you add
  20. Salt and pepper to taste.
  21. When rice is almost done add it to the soup.
  22. Cook soup for another 10-15 minutes on medium till rice is fully cooked and soup is fully heated
  23. Chicken should be tender and veggies should still have a little crunch.
  24. If you like softer veggies cook a little longer

Getting Ready For Fall

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Crock and beans

 

With the weather getting chilly and Summer memories fading fast, it’s time to get ready for Fall.  This means pulling out the sweaters and light jackets.  Getting  blankets and comforters out from the top shelf of the linen closet.  Watching leave turn colors.  Dusting off that slow cooker.  Washing the stock pots and digging up those wonderful fall recipes, or discovering new ones.

Here at House of Zeta it may take us a little time to get used to fall, as we tend to be spring and summer people.  But once we do, we go all out.  Slow cooking pork shoulders or roasts.  Baking lasagna’s and sweet pies.  Making lots of soups and stocks.  Roasting root vegetables as they become available.  We start to discover our kitchens again and just like old friends it feels like time never passes.

With the days getting shorter and the nights longer, the farmers markets will have less and less to choose from.  The farmers will start to head back upstate and buckle down.  The weather will start to turn even colder as the days go by.  And we will find ourselves indoors more often, which can only mean one thing.  It’s time to enjoy what warm days are left, to grab that mulled wine and simmer it while you slow cook the night away.

 

Basic Black Beans
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Lb bag of black beans
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 4-6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Sort beans to get out rocks or other debris
  2. Soaking them over night or not is up to you
  3. If you soak them, discard liquid the next day and cook with new water
  4. If you don't, then give them a good rinse before cooking
  5. Place beans in slow cooker
  6. Chop onion
  7. Chop garlic
  8. Combine beans, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper in slow cooker
  9. Add 4 cups of water
  10. If it covers the beans by ½ inch, don't add more
  11. If not, add till you get ½ inch of water above the beans
  12. Cover and cook for about 4-6 hours on low setting, or until done.
  13. If beans don't seem to be cooking quick enough turn cooker on high for a couple hours
  14. Keep an eye on water level.
  15. It's better to add if needed, then to have to much.
  16. Also if you want, half way through you can add a ham hock or bacon for smokey flavor

Summer Traditions

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Famous cole slaw and potato salad

 

It’s summer and that means sun, sand and lots of sweat.  Summer in New York has always had an unpredictable beginning, also known as June.  Then it’s hot, humid and lots of sweat.   This year has been a wet summer.  Not bad,  but definitely not normal.  It means our beach camping days have been limited and bbq’s few.   That doesn’t mean we havent been doing both.   That would be silly .  What it does mean, is a change in what we pack for the beach and keeping our bbq’s a little more simple.  For camping we’ve been making our vegetarian chile and chicken mole for dinners and spam musabi’s for lunches.  These have become our staples.  We’ve also been making our famous cole slaw, corn salad and curried corn for BBQ’S.  I always feel a little guilty bringing these out but a friend said, “don’t,  these have become tradition. We want these side dishes at your bbq’s”.  That was a huge compliment and humbling moment.   I’m always happy when someone likes what we cook, who doesn’t?  But to be starting a tradition is something completely different.   To me that is a true testament to home and comfort.  I’m glad we can bring a little of both to our friends and our home.   Here’s to traditions, summer, friends and comfort food.  Now go out and make a tradition of your own!

Spring

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Spring is here, and in New York City that means a lot.  It means no more heavy coats, gloves, scarves, thermal underwear, layering several articles of clothing, runny  noses, or simply running to the subway to get out of the cold.   We spend on the average, six months bundled up and hustling to where we are headed.  Every year winter seems to be longer and longer, while Spring seems to get shorter.

With the warmer seasons going by in a New York minute, we New Yorkers are slowing down.  The leaves are returning to a bright green, blossoms are blooming with white, pink, yellow and purple flowers.  Tulips and Daffodils are taking over every sidewalk garden.  Pansies can be spotted in window boxes and we are stopping to smell the roses — well, the Dogwoods and all the many other fragrant flowers and trees in bloom.

Some people think New York is harsh, cold, abrasive and down right mean.  I am talking about winter, not the people.  But one thing all New Yorker’s can agree on is that Spring is one of, if not the best, seasons in this city.  It’s when everything is new and the possibilities are endless.  To some New Years Day is the start of a new year, but here, Spring is a celebration, our New Year. We live and breathe for it.  It triggers a sense of accomplishment, a certain knowing that we all made it and will live to see the beauty that is starting to unfold.  It means newness, a freshness and a big sigh of release.  We come together and smile more, say hello more and treat each other like neighbors, not just another person trying to get somewhere.   

Spring also means taking the longer way home from work or walking to do that errand or two.  It means eating in back gardens, front restaurant patios, hitting happy hour before the sun sets or as it sets, especially if you can find a rooftop; finding a small garden by accident and taking it in while tourists buzz by in their must see everything confusion.  We look forward to nighttime strolls by the rivers, accidentally meeting a friend on the street and taking the time to get a quick drink or bite, or just catching up.

We know we live in a great city.  But in order to really appreciate it you must live through a winter and come out the other end.  Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes we New Yorkers rise from winter and with total abandon and glee we go running into the colorful world of Spring.  Hello neighbor.

Winter Camping

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It’s official.  Camping season is here!  Well almost.  But that didn’t stop us from heading into the woods on this semi warm (21 degrees) winter weekend.  Yes some might call us crazy, and this would be one of those times.  But when you feel the need to escape you can’t deny it.  So we hit the trains and trails of Harriman Park and set up camp at our favorite spot, Lake Skenonto.  We only went for in quick trip this time so we only prepped one meal.  Beef stew.  We wanted something hardy and quick to heat up, as time and day light would be short when we arrived at our campsite.   After trudging through two feet of snow we hit camp and started to prep.  Jason worked on getting a space cleared for a fire and I went hunting for wood.  I came back with very little so we swapped chores and Jason hit the mother load!   I found a log under the snow that we could sit on while our fire roared and I also set up the tent.   After all that work and we rewarded ourselves with a shot of whiskey.   With our fire ablaze we started dinner and enjoyed the serine quiet and beauty of the wilderness.   After dinner and whiskey with a little snow to mellow it out we enjoyed the fire for a while and then headed into the tent to watch a movie.

The next day we woke to a couple of eagles singing a song, made some coffee and breakfast.   After a little leisure time in our winter wonderland we decided to pack it in and slowly made our way back to the train.   We didn’t have time for our usual Chinese farewell meal but that was ok.  After walking through all that snow both ways, just getting home was reward enough.   With our packs off our backs and a congratulatory glass of white wine we are melted into our coach and are dreaming of hitting the trails in spring.

 

 

 

Beef Stew
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This is a great make a head of time meal for camping.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 32oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper(your choice)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 celery stocks chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and slice ¼ inch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic gloves crushed and separated
  • ¼ teaspoon of oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon of thyme
  • Splash of wine (red or white)
  • Couple dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • Smidge of horseradish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour to dredge meat
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Salt and pepper as you go along
  2. Dredge meat in flour and cook in stock pot with olive oil till they get a little brown on all sides.
  3. About 5 minutes, a quick sear.
  4. Set aside on a plate.
  5. Add onion and celery to pot and cook till onions start to get translucent.
  6. Add thyme and oregano
  7. Add one crushed garlic clove
  8. Add bay leaf
  9. Add potatoes
  10. Splash of wine
  11. Cook till potatoes are half way done
  12. Squeeze tomatoes with hands and put in pot with juice from can
  13. Add carrots, bell pepper, Worcestershire, horseradish
  14. Add meat including any juices.
  15. Add last crushed garlic clove
  16. Salt and pepper to taste
  17. Simmer for 45 - 60 minutes

What To Do With Your Hot Sauce!

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Chile smashing! image

 

As you all know we are now making hot sauces. What started out as Christmas gifts has blown up to be a part time business. Hopefully this year we can make it a full time job. But in the meantime people keep asking us what we use our hot sauce for? Well we like to put it on anything that will stand still. But not everyone is like us, so here are a few of our favorite things…

Deviled eggs
Who doesn’t love deviled eggs??? What we do is instead of mustard we add a little hot sauce in the mayonnaise and egg yolk mixture to give it a little kick and a drop on top for decoration.

Hot wings
The Super Bowl favorite or an Oscar guilty pleasure. If you’ve made hot wings at home you can just imagine what out hot sauce will do to those little bits of mouth watering chickadees. Yum!

Pasta salad
Just like the deviled eggs, add a little to your potato salad for a nice punch and an unexpected heat that your guests will love and wonder how you did it.

Chicken salad
This is one of my favorites. I mix this with chicken, mayonnaise, a dash of mustard, celery, carrots and red onions, sometimes a little cilantro, and presto you have the beginning of a great salad or wrap or sandwich.

There are so many things you can do with our hot sauces. Treat them like an ingredient in your kitchen arsenal. Let your imagination go wild. That’s what we do! We hope you like the tips and will use them and create your own fun dishes. Till next time, spicy love to all!!

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