Monday, April 30, 2012

The Pizza Trilogy Goes Quad.

I've been out here in Utah for three years come May. It seems that no matter where I go, pizza seems to be the same style - thick and bready; very little sauce, heavy on the cheese, light on the toppings. Being a New Yorker, this is a mystery to me and I constantly ask, "Why?" The answers vary from "it's the water", "it's the altitude" to "we can't get the same flour here as they use out East". That last one really makes my eyes cross. I make my own pizza at home, use the local water, granted the altitude is 7100 feet above sea level, but white flour is white flour.

Then one day it dawned on me so brightly; the pizzerias in Utah are making their crust out of Focaccia bread dough. This dough is kneaded only once, punched down, topped and left to rise again; hence the thicker and breadlike texture. Pizza dough is kneaded twice, once before and once after rising. It is stretched out to a 1/4 inch thickness after the second kneading, then topped and baked.

So the pizza trilogy went: Neapolitan,
Chicago Style and

Now we have a fourth style - Utah's Focaccia Style Pizza. I guess if this is what you've grown up on, have never experienced pizza from different regions, then this is the best that you'll ever find. Personally, bread is bread, pizza is pizza and Utah style pizza leans more towards being a fancy bread than an actual pizza.

Focaccia Bread


3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 (.25 oz) packet active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water (110 F)
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided by 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp

Optional Ingredients: chopped fresh herbs, shredded or grated cheeses, thinly sliced or diced vegetables


Into a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt; make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Sprinkle in the sugar and dry yeast; carefully pour in the water; let stand for 5 minutes while yeast begins to react. Add 2 Tbsp of oil and carefully begin stirring the flour into the wet center gradually incorporating all the flour.

Place dough on floured board and knead until smooth. Brush ½ tsp of remaining olive oil into a clean bowl; place dough in bowl and turn once to coat both sides with oil. Cover with a clean linen towel and let dough rise for one hour.

Brush a teaspoon of oil onto a jelly roll or round pizza pan. Punch the dough down and place onto the pan; press the dough out to a ½ inch thickness. Brush with remaining olive oil; with tip of index finger, or handle tip of a wooden spoon, dimple the dough in 2 inch spaces. Sprinkle or place optional ingredients on top of dough; let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F; bake bread for 25-30 minutes; until browned on top. Remove to wire rack to cool slightly; best served warm.

Makes one bread.

Mary Cokenour

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Moab Grill New to Moab.

Moab Grill

540 South Main (next to Big Horn Lodge)
Moab, Utah, 84535

(435) 259-4848

Website: N/A

The former location of Smithy's Golden Steakhouse is now occupied by the Moab Grill. Open daily from 6am to 10pm, this new restaurant offers an extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; comfort food diner meets grill with fine flavor. Acting as consultants for the Grill are Scott and Alexa Laws, the former owners of the Lamplight Restaurant of Monticello, Utah.

Three of us went there for dinner (specials featured every night), were greeted immediately by the hostess, seated and introduced to our waiter, John. We started off the meal with Roasted Potato Skins appetizer; sadly, it was a disappointing start to our meal. While there was a definite taste of potato and green onion, the flavors of bacon and cheese were completely lost. Not even the addition of salt and sour cream gave any improvement to this appetizer.

Meals come with a choice of cup of soup, side salad or fries. On Fridays, New England Clam Chowder is the soup of the day. While nicely seasoned, loaded with clams and potatoes, the soup itself was very thin. Alexa, however, noticed this quickly and remarked that it was thicker and that the cook must have thinned it out. She was going to make sure it was done properly from now on. My husband's side salad was larger than the usual side salads in most restaurants; leafy greens with slices of red onion and tomato; very fresh tasting.

The Buffalo Ribeye was perfectly cooked and well seasoned; the yam came with a delicious cinnamon butter which was absolutely delicious also with the side of Texas Toast. The macaroni and cheese was gooey with several cheeses, however needed a little more salt and some black pepper for flavoring.

The Roast Turkey platter was thinly sliced REAL roasted turkey, not that cold cut mess many restaurants serve. The gravy was rich with turkey flavor, mashed potatoes creamy and smooth and the Mexicali corn was a vibrant touch.

The Patty Melt is a classic with a medium cooked burger, grilled onions, Swiss cheese on Texas Toast. The side chosen was thick, skin on, fries, just crisped on the outside and deliciously fluffy on the inside.

Although we were comfortable after our meal, we could not resist taking home a slice of Alexa's Chocolate Cake. $8.95 might sound pricey, but the slice of cake is huge, equaling two slices anywhere else. Alexa's cake is the same that she was famous for at the Lamplight; and if you're looking for a cake for a special occasion, or just to splurge on, consider getting one of these.

We would definitely give Moab Grill another go; especially breakfast where we have heard they make a killer French Toast coated with crushed frosted flakes. With the Laws as consultants, and if the owners seriously listen to them, this could become one of the bright spots in Moab.

Mary Cokenour

Moab Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thatzza Pizza

Thatzza Pizza

201 South Main
Monticello, Utah, 84535

(435) 459-9715

Website: N/A

Another pizza shop has opened its doors in Monticello, Utah, Thatzza Pizza, owned by Tom and Linda Wigginton. Tom and Linda are not new to pizza making, having once owned a pizza shop in St. George, Utah. They are a friendly couple, don't mind chatting and show pride in their shop. When I first called in an order, Linda answered the phone in a cheery tone and didn't mind my questions regarding how menu items were prepared. Menu items are available for pickup or delivery; and they also offer their own version of the "Take and Bake" pizza for baking in your own home, whether immediately, or frozen for later use.

Thatzza Pizza is located on a corner; the interior is primarily taken up with food preparation equipment and counter space; there is no space available for indoor seating. I do wonder if, with warmer weather settling in, there is any plan to set up tables and chairs outside.

The Chicken Wings are baked in the oven; however there was no problem in getting them cooked longer, so they would crisp up more. Unfortunately, baked chicken wings do not allow for the skin to render the fat, giving them a gummy, slimy texture. Thatzza Pizza's wings were not too bad with the extra cooking time; still not as crispy as we like them, but not gummy or slimy either. The barbecue sauce was indeed very mild and did not overpower the flavor of the chicken itself.

The Personal Size Cheese Pizza was typical of what I call "Utah Style" pizza; thick and bready, much like a focaccia dough. While there was a nice amount of cheese, I thought the sauce was lost between the large amount of dough and cheese.

The bottom crust was underdone to my personal liking with pizza; I much prefer browned and crispy. Thinner dough cooked at a high temperature (450F to 500F) would achieve this effect; but this is more New York style than Utah style.

My husband had the Personal Size Veggie Pizza; while he agreed that the crust was too thick and bready, he did like the combination of vegetables, cheese and sauce. The amounts and flavors complimented each other well.

Rating Thatzza Pizza, we would give it a C+ which means we're willing to go back and try other items on the menu for a fair taste testing. That is one of the downfalls of being a "pizza snob", I'm rough on my pizza ratings. Try out Thatzza Pizza for yourself though and give them your own fair taste testing.

Mary Cokenour

June 12, 2012 - I was able to finally see how they bake their pizzas; in a tabletop convection oven.  While this may minimize baking time of a 16 inch pizza (8-9 minutes), it by all means does not have the capability to brown and crisp a pizza crust.  My firm recommendation to Thatzza Pizza, if they truly want to make authentic and outstanding pizza, is to invest in a real pizza oven that can provide the proper high temperatures required to crisp and brown pizza dough.

Thatzza Pizza on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Boar's Head Brand

Boar's Head Brand


In 1905, Boar's Head Brand was founded in New York City by Frank Brunckhorst.  He began distributing quality delicatessen items via horse drawn wagons to "mom and pop" shops.  By 1933, the business had grown so large, that he opened up his own plant in Brooklyn, New York, so he could cure his own meats.

Anyone born and raised in New York, or in any surrounding area which featured Boar's Head Brand in their delis or supermarkets,  knows the quality.  It's the standard by which all other brands of deli meats and cheeses are judged.  Luckily, the City Market in Moab, Utah finally brought in this fine brand.  Moab is a huge tourist mecca, so I'll bet dollars to donuts that's the reason why; tourists were requesting Boar's Head when hitting the deli section of the store.

Take, for example, the Beef Frankfurters; all beef (first ingredient on the list), sugar, dairy and gluten free, in an all natural sheep casing.  Whether they're grilled, roasted in the oven or boiled in water you'll get that satisfying snap when biting into one.  Mildly seasoned (salt and paprika), so you'll get the real taste of the beef, not a lot of stage dressing.

To really showcase the franks, Sweet Vidalia Onions in a mild spicy sauce and don't forget that spicy brown deli mustard.  Ketchup is blasphemy!

Looking for a great sandwich, try the various meats like the beef bologna.  Our favorite way is a toasted onion bagel, spicy brown mustard, American cheese and thinly sliced beef bologna.  Just wonderful!  No one in their right mind would even think of making a Reuben without using Boar's Head Brand corned beef, pastrami or roasted turkey and Swiss cheese.

Take it from this ex-New Yorker; you want quality deli meats and cheeses, go Boar's Head Brand or go without.

Mary Cokenour

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Humbled by a Potato

A dish I make infrequently is a potato wrapped fish filet; not that it is difficult to do, but I just don't think about it. That is one of the faults of wanting variety in cuisines and recipes; you don't think about dishes you've done up in the past.

I had defrosted some pollack filets and was going to fry them up dredged in panko crumbs, and have a potato dish as a side. The memory of the potato wrapped fish suddenly loomed up in my brain and I figured, "Why not?"

Now the key to remember for a proper potato wrapping is that the potato slices must be paper thin, almost to a translucent stage. Otherwise they will not be able to wrap around the fish and you'll end up having to layer instead. Still tasty, but very messy in the long run. I decided to try out using a Mandolin; from what I had seen in demonstrations, it was supposed to make my job of slicing potatoes easier.

This model, no matter which slicing insertion plate I used, would only slice 1/4 inches; I needed much, much thinner. I needed a better model which would allow me to dial to the proper thinness, but that wouldn't help me out now. Mothers' Day is coming up, so besides a Pizzelle Press, I'm hoping my son will find a better model of Mandolin for me. Until then, I got out my old standby, my 4 sided grated and used the slicing side as best as I could, without slicing skin off my hand.

Before I go further, let me tell you what you'll need:

1-2 long russet potatoes
4 (4 oz each) fish filets - cod, pollack, haddock or salmon; about 1/2 inch in thickness
fine sea salt
ground black pepper
oil for frying

Lets get back to the prepping. On top of a square of plastic wrap, lay 3 potato slices side by side, slightly overlapping. Place the fish in the center and sprinkle salt and pepper overall. Lift one side of the plastic over so the top long ends of the potatoes wrap over the fish. Repeat with the other long side, but make sure no plastic gets tucked in with the fish or potatoes. Wrap the ends of plastic over the seam and you've created a little packet.

I was only able to get a few slices thin enough for a wrap, so while two filets were wrapped, I ended up doing a layer for the other two. Basically, plastic wrap, slices on plastic, fish filet, salt, pepper, but another layer of potato slices on top; wrap plastic around all. I put the bundles into the refrigerator for a half hour to allow them to firm up.

Normally I would put about a 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet, medium-high heat, and fry the bundles till browned on one side; carefully turn them over and brown on the other side; about 5-6 minutes each side. However, I decided to see what would happen if I put them under the broiler instead. I had already messed up on the potato slices, how much worse could it get, right?

I drizzled a teaspoon of olive oil over each bundle and sprinled a little salt and pepper over them; basically for good luck. Under the broiler the tray went for eight minutes.

The results for the wrapped and layered filets were basically the same. While the top potato layers browned and crisped, the bottom removed raw. The fish, however, was flaky and well seasoned, so not a total disaster.

I learned from this adventure to make sure you have the correct tools and that they work properly. When prepping the food, if you're not satisfied with the results; start from scratch. Also, with this type of dish, frying in oil will give better results than using a broiler.

Mary Cokenour

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Buitoni - Savior of the Pasta Making Challenged.

Buitoni Pasta


Hello, my name is Mary and I am pasta making challenged. Many times I have attempted to make fresh, homemade pasta; I even had an actual pasta making machine; and failed miserably time after time. I eventually sold the machine at a garage sale and I was very happy to see a stranger walk away with my nemesis.

Brands like Ronzoni, Barilla and San Giorgio offered me the dried variety which encompassed every shape and size imaginable; while Celentano and Rosetto provided ravioli and tortellini. Many other brands have surfaced throughout the years; trial and error has taught me which to remain loyal to, and which to avoid at all costs.

Then came the fresh pasta craze and everyone and their mother was putting out some sort or another. I tried many and am happy to say that I have found one brand that seems to remain in the lead; Buitoni. Now I have to admit, I will buy their fresh pastas, but when it comes to sauces I still make my own.  Sorry Buitoni, that's just the way I roll.

So lets talk about Buitoni's Cheese and Roasted Garlic Tortelloni. In case you didn't know, tortelloni is a larger version of tortellini. The 9 ounce package will give almost 3 cups of the cooked pasta; basically a meal for two including a salad; or a meal for one very hungry individual. The filling is a mixture of four cheeses: ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and romano; with basil, roasted garlic and dried red bell pepper. I like serving either a simple homemade pasta sauce or a light tomato vodka cream sauce; Alfredo sauce does not go well with this pasta.

What I like about Buitoni is that I can buy their items on sale and they freeze very well.  With cooking, the pasta does not become gummy like some other frozen pasta brands might do.  They stay intact, so the fillings are not oozing out into the boiling water.

So, if you are pasta making challenged like me, but would like to have a meal of fresh pasta, try Buitoni.

Mary Cokenour

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Original German Chocolate Cake.

Back in 1852, American born Sam German developed a dark baking chocolate for Baker's Chocolate Company, best known for their baking chocolates. Baking chocolate is usually bitter, and while this new chocolate was much sweeter, it was not called for in many baking recipes.

That is until 1957 when a Dallas, Texas homemaker developed the first and original German Chocolate Cake recipe. It was first published in the local newspaper, but picked up by General Foods which owned Baker's at that time, and distributed nationally. Kraft Foods now owns Baker's and this recipe is a worldwide treat, but sorry Germany, you just can't take credit for this one.

I'm not going to mess with perfection, so am posting the recipe as it has been used since 1957. Enjoy!

German Chocolate Cake


1 package (4 oz) BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
½ cup water
4 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round or square pans with waxed paper; spray sides with cooking spray. Microwave chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Beat egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition. Add egg whites; stir gently until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Spread Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake.

Origin: Kraft Foods:



4 egg yolks
1can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine
1 package (7 oz) coconut (2-2/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans


Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 min. or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add coconut and nuts; mix well. Cool to desired spreading consistency.
Makes 4 and ½ cups.

Origin: Kraft Foods:

Mary Cokenour

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kabobing with the Greeks

Souvlaki (plural is Souvlakia), is small pieces of meat or poultry, sometimes vegetables are included, which are grilled on a skewer. The grilled food can be eaten right off the skewer or pulled off onto a warm pita bread to make a sandwich. If you're looking more for a dinner entree, place the souvlaki over rice or orzo. The warm pita bread, broken into pieces, can act as a utensil.
This is a simple and easy meal that can be prepared for sports oriented children. Get them home after their event and while they're cleaning up, you can be getting together this healthy meal for them. Vegetarians can indulge by substituting tofu for the protein and adding a larger variety of vegetables.

The marinade for the Souvlakia is simply lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic. The lemon juice helps to break down the connective tissue in the proteins; tenderness is assured after grilling or oven roasting.  For my recipe, I added capers for a little twang on the tongue.

Beef and Vegetable Souvlaki


1 lb beef cubes, trimmed of fat
1 lb mini sweet peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 large onion, chopped
½ lb small button mushrooms
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
½ tsp each of fine sea salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced parsley
1 tsp capers


In a large plastic container, combine all ingredients thoroughly; seal and refrigerate overnight.

If grilling, alternate beef cubes and vegetables on skewers. (soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes first to avoid burning). Place on medium-high preheated grill; cook for 6 minutes before turning skewers; cook another 6 minutes before serving.

If roasting, preheat oven to 450F. Place beef, vegetables and remaining marinade into a large roasting pan, or onto a large jelly roll pan, in a single layer. Cook for 3 minutes, turn beef; repeat; on 3rd turn of beef, also turn vegetables (this will allow for beef and vegetables to caramelize); turn beef a 4th time, cook for 3 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Mary Cokenour

Friday, April 6, 2012

Garlic Goodness.

Garlic was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, chewed by Greek Olympian athletes, and thought to be essential for keeping vampires at bay. It is also good for zapping bacteria, keeping your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, regulating blood sugar in diabetics, and warding off coughs and colds. For example, if you have a cold, put lots of chopped garlic into chicken soup, or even just the broth (if you cannot down the noodles and veggies in a soup).

I have grown garlic; it is very easy, and takes little space in a garden. Buying garlic braids not only adorns your kitchen, but garlic is just in your reach; or even buy it already minced or sliced, soaking in olive oil which you can
keep in your refrigerator.

When garlic is roasted in the oven, the cloves become very soft and sweet; it can be used as a spread, in dips, salads, etc.

Roasted Garlic Bulb


1 head garlic
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 425F.

Remove the outer papery covering of the garlic. Slice off the top of the head so most of the cloves are exposed. Place on a square of aluminum foil for easy cleanup, or select the smallest baking dish you have. Drizzle the oil over the cloves.

Fold the foil over the head to completely enclose it, or cover the baking dish with foil. Roast for about 45 minutes, until the garlic is completely soft and lightly browned.

To serve, separate the head into individual cloves, or squeeze out the cloves into a small serving dish. If you have leftovers, squeeze out the pulp into a small dish, cover with olive oil, and store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Now here's a recipe for a very easy to make meal which is garlicky and spicy.

Garlic Chicken with Soba Noodles


2 Tbsp sesame oil (if not available, use canola oil)
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp minced garlic
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ¼” slices
½ cup soy sauce, divided in half
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup snow or sugar snap pea pods
1 cup chopped Bok Choy, Chinese cabbage (Napa) or white cabbage
12 oz Soba noodles, cooked and drained


In a Wok or large skillet, medium-high heat, heat the oil and pepper flakes for one minute. Add the garlic and let cook for an additional 30 seconds before adding the chicken and half the soy sauce. Stir fry until the chicken is thoroughly cooked; remove, set aside and keep warm.

Add into the Wok, or skillet, the mushrooms, bell pepper and pea pods; stir fry until bell pepper begins to soften. Mix in cabbage; as soon as it begins to wilt add in the remaining soy sauce, chicken and noodles. Mix thoroughly; stir fry for 2 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Mary Cokenour

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fattboyz Grillin' Gettin' Fatter.

Fattboyz Grillin' of Monticello

296 East Center Street (aka Route 491-across from Maverik)
Monticello, Utah, 84535

(435) 587-2819


Reed Sampson, owner of Fattboyz Grillin' in Blanding, has expanded his girth and brought his recipes for downhome barbecue to Monticello.

As with the original Blanding location, Reed is starting out in a small location; Guy Fieri of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" would most likely classify it as a "dive", and enjoy the food. The location is a boon for tourists, truckers and locals alike. The goal is to eventually build bigger as the word gets out about Fattboyz' good grub. There are five tables which can comfortably fit 4-6 people; take out service is available. There are plans to have a small salad bar brought into the establishment; however, salads are on the menu and made fresh to order.

The menu is a smaller version of what is available at Reed's larger Blanding location. Since take out is available, picking up sandwiches and salads for a picnic in the mountains or the Canyonlands would be perfect. There are kid friendly meals and for us kid like adults...Hot Wings!

For lunch, I enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich platter. The sandwiches are huge, so come hungry or expect to take some home. There is enough meat in this sandwich to actually make two sandwiches; I had to cut mine in half to eat it without wearing it. If you're brave, pick up the whole thing, but be warned, the meat will be squeezing out the sides. The macaroni and cheese is creamy and cheesy while the deep fried onion rings were crispy on the outside with tender onions inside. I managed to finish it all, but was not surprised to have to skip a meal for dinner; I was so full!

Monticello, Utah is at the crossroads of Routes 191 (to and from Monument Valley) and 491 (Cortez, CO) and hungry folks will be flocking to Fattboyz Grillin'.

Mary Cokenour

Update: On Friday, May 4, 2012, Fattboyz of Monticello was forced to close its doors due to lack of business.  To those of us loyal to Reed Sampson and his Fattboyz Grillin restaurants, this is a loss to us; but we still have his site in Blanding which is doing well.

Fattboyz Grillin of Monticello on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stonefish Sushi Revisited.

Stonefish Sushi and More
16 West Main Street
Cortez, CO, 81321

(970) 565-9244


In May 2011, my husband and I first visited Stonefish Sushi and were blown away by the atmosphere, friendly servers and the food. Unfortunately, there were so many things going on in our lives, we didn't have the opportunity to go back until recently.

Let me tell you right off the bat that nothing much has changed (mainly the menu) and that is a big positive for Stonefish Sushi; and why they are so popular. The atmosphere: as soon as you enter, you can feel the stress slowly flow off your body. The hostess and servers are friendly and attentive. The food is still excellent quality. We decided to try some new dishes and an old favorite...lets get the favorite out of the way.

The Vegas Roll contains: salmon, avocado, cream cheese, fried tempura style, spicy mayo, unagi sauce. It is absolutely one of the most delicious specialty rolls I have ever eaten. Smooth, creamy, so decandent; it should be listed as one of the deadly sins.

Ok, now on to the new dishes; as an appetizer we tried the Veggie Tempura Bowl. Bite sized pieces of fresh zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, broccoli and asparagus; tempura battered, fried light and crispy. The sauce that is served with it is on the salty side, so dip lightly; but then again, who would think of saturating tempura and making it soggy?

The Stonefish roll contains eel, avocado, krab, cucumber, eel sauce; it's a very mild tasting roll and the freshness of the ingredients is a dominant factor. A little, and I mean little, dab of wasabi will only make the flavors pop, but doesn't ruin the essence of the roll. Please, don't be soaking this baby in soy sauce.

Now for the finale, the Bananas Foster Bowl - bananas fried tempura style with scoops of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Now I am one who dislikes bananas, however, I found myself not being able to resist the ones in this dessert. We finished the whole thing; yes, it's a large dessert, so be willing to share.

Stonefish Sushi is an absolutely fabulous place to dine; keep up the great work!!!

Mary Cokenour

Stonefish Sushi and More on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 2, 2012

Meat Butter.

So you read the title of this post and said to yourself, "Say what!?!"  and are wondering what the heck "meat butter" could be.  It just happens to be a nickname that my husband gave to a particular type of meat, namely veal.  Veal is what the meat of a young calf (2-35 days old) is called and used in many dishes such as "marsala", "scallopine", "parmagiana" and many other Italian specialties.  Whether is has already been sliced into thin cutlets, or pounded out (1/4 inch is standard), veal is so delicate that, if cooked correctly, will melt in your mouth like butter...hence "meat butter".  If overcooked, however, don't waste your money, and it is expensive, buying it, just pull the tongues out of some old shoes and cook those up instead.

Making veal parmagiana is very similar to chicken parmagiana with a few differences. Since veal is very delicate in texture and taste, you have to be careful to not overcook it, or to overwhelm it with flavorings, such as homemade pasta sauce. In my recipe, I use just a half cup in the baking dish for the veal to rest on and very little as a topping; it simply doesn't need much. Don't overwhelm the flavor of the veal with cheese either. Sargento came out with a perfect cheese combination of mozzarella and provolone cut into thin slices; just the right size for a 4 ounce portion of veal.

Again, don't overcook the veal and you definitely know you have when it shrinks in size and is tough as shoe leather. Whether you splurge on yourself or your loved one(s), you won't regret trying this dish. Enjoy!

Veal Parmagiana


Olive oil
4 veal cutlets (4 oz each)
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
½ cup Italian style dried bread crumbs
4 slices mozzarella/provolone slices (Sargento ) or just use 4 slices of either if you cannot find combo.
½ lb angel hair pasta
4 cups homemade pasta sauce


In a large skillet, pour enough oil to reach 1/2 inch; heat on medium-high heat. While oil is heating, beat egg and milk together in a wide bowl; place bread crumbs into separate bowl. Dip cutlets into egg mixture, and then coat both sides with bread crumbs. Oil is ready when a drop of water sizzles in skillet; carefully place breaded veal in skillet. Fry each side for 1 1/2 minutes; drain on paper towels; breading will just be browning…DO NOT OVERCOOK.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8” x 8” baking dish with nonstick spray and spread 1/2 cup of sauce over bottom. Place fried veal into dish, place 1 slice of cheese over each; spread 2 Tbsp of sauce over each. Bake for 15-20 minutes; sauce will be bubbly and cheese melted. While veal parmagiana is baking, prepare the angel hair pasta by cooking in pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Remove veal from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving with pasta; use remaining sauce for the pasta.

Option: place baked veal on toasted Italian bread to make a sandwich.

Makes 4 servings.

Mary Cokenour