The egg holidays are here! March 27, 2013

Filed Under: rosemary roasting blend - Sue Fuirst @ 8:57 pm
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Passover and Easter are all about the egg:  roasting, boiling, coloring, finding.  How about a nice frittata to highlight the season?  Perfect for Easter brunch or a brisket-weary Passover meal .


basic vegetable frittata

6 large eggs

3 tablespoons cream, half and half or milk

¼  teaspoon Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend

3 Tablespoons butter, oil or non stick spray

½ onion, diced – leek or scallions work too

1 small potato, cooked and then cut into ½” cubes

1 cup diced vegetables – broccoli, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms – your choice

¼ cup grated cheese


Preheat broiler.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, cream and Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over a medium flame.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter.  When butter foams, place onions in pan and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and vegetables and cook for an additional five minutes.  Melt remaining butter in pan.  Pour in egg mixture.  Stir gently to combine eggs and vegetables.  Let cook until eggs begin to set and the edges look cooked.  Top with grated cheese and place under broiler until cheese melts and turns lightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Slice into wedges and serve.  Serves 4.

Ask and ye shall receive an asparagus kugel for Passover March 21, 2013

Filed Under: food chatter - Sue Fuirst @ 3:12 pm
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passover asparagus kugel


1 lb medium asparagus spears, snapped at the ends, stalks peeled, cut into 1” lengths

1 onion, diced

2 Tbsp olive oil

5 pieces of matzo

6 eggs

1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground white pepper

½  cup grated parmesan, optional for those who don’t keep kosher.


Preheat oven to 350°.   Oil a deep dish pie plate or 9×13 glass pan

Bring a small saucepan to boil.  Add asparagus and simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain.  Plunge into cold water and drain again. Set aside.

Crumble matzo into a bowl.  Cover with hot water and set aside for 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Beat eggs in a large bowl.   Drain matzo and add to eggs.   Mix in asparagus, onion, tarragon, salt and pepper.  Mix in parmesan, if using.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Slice into wedges and serve.  Serves 6-8.


Fuirst day of spring! March 20, 2013

Filed Under: rosemary roasting blend - Sue Fuirst @ 8:50 pm
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There’s still snow out of my kitchen window, but the calendar insists that spring is here.  Spring brings lamb, asparagus, artichokes, peas, so many good things.  As we’re a few days away from Passover and a week away from Easter, I decided that a grilled leg of lamb was in order.  I like to make this for my Passover Seder and it would be a very welcome addition to an Easter celebration.  Aside from being simple to make and delicious, this dish also solves a few coordination issues:  First, the meat can be marinated early in the day or even overnight so there is no same day prepping.  Second, since it’s best cooked on an outside barbecue, the oven is then available for my cousin’s sweet potatoes, my asparagus kugel and all of the other side dishes that vie for that precious oven space. Lastly, my husband man’s the grill.  This frees me up to do everything else.

grilled rosemary leg of lamb



1 whole leg of lamb, trimmed and butterflied (a good butcher can do this for you. The Chappaqua Village Market does it very well, securing the meat with small skewers )

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup red wine

2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper


In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the lamb. Season lamb with salt and pepper then place in a shallow baking dish or zip lock bag.  Pour marinade over lamb.  Close bag or cover baking dish with plastic wrap.  Let lamb marinate several hours or overnight, turning once or twice to marinate evenly.


Heat outside barbecue or stovetop grill.  Remove meat from marinate.  Grill meat for about 15 minutes per side for medium rare. When meat is cooked place it on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes.  Slice on the diagonal and serve.  Serves 8-10.

Simple and delicious roasted tomatoes March 17, 2013

Filed Under: Cassoulet seasoning,rosemary roasting blend - Sue Fuirst @ 2:10 pm
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It seems that every time I go to the market I buy grape tomatoes.  My family does loves them and they are so versatile.  But, sometimes I find myself with a glut of them and then they begin to wrinkle or they just sit on the counter ignored.  This is when I fire up the oven and give them a new life.  Roasted tomatoes are great in an arugula salad, tossed with basil and mozzarella, served as a side dish or used as a accompaniment for grilled fish or chicken.  And let’s just say it – these are idiot-proof.

roasted grape tomatoes

1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (roma and plum tomatoes work great too)

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend or Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning


Preheat oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with silpat, parchment or foil.  Place tomatoes in a small bowl and toss with olive oil and Basics Fuirst Spice Blend.  Put tomatoes on baking sheet, cut side up and place in hot oven.  Roast for 25 minutes.


Best served at room temp.  May be made up to 1 week ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.


Dreaming of fish tacos. March 13, 2013

Filed Under: Chili seasoning - Sue Fuirst @ 4:08 pm
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With all the sunshine of the past few days and spring soon upon us, I’ve started dreaming of fish tacos.  Even if the weather still feels a bit chilly, these will jump start the warm spirit of the new season.  Enjoy!

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Two Tacos

Fish Tacos:

1 pound white flaky fish, such as cod, flounder, grouper

¼  cup canola or grape seed oil
1 lime, juiced
2 heaping teaspoons Basics Fuirst Chili Seasoning

2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)




Black Bean Tacos:

1 Tb olive oil

2 Tb finely minced white onion

2 heaping teaspoons Basics Fuirst Chili Seasoning

2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained


Lime Crema Cabbage:

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream or crème fraiche

½ lime, juiced

pinch of Basics Fuirst Chili Seasoning

3-4 cups shredded white cabbage


10 corn tortillas


Garnish: chopped tomatoes, salsa, avocado, onions


Prepare the cabbage:

In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, juice of ½ lime and pinch of Basics Fuirst Chili Seasoning.  Place cabbage in bowl and toss to combine.  Refrigerate for ½ hour or more. Cabbage can be made earlier in the day and kept refrigerated.


Prepare the fish:

In a medium size glass bowl, whisk together oil, lime and Basics Fuirst Chili Sesaoning. Slice the fish crosswise into 1” pieces and place in bowl with marinade.  Refrigerate for ½ hour.


Preheat oven 400°.  Cover a baking pan with silpat or foil.


Place panko in a plate or shallow bowl.  Remove the fish from the marinade and dredge in the panko.  Place breaded fish on prepared baking pan.  Discard remaining marinade. fish can be completed earlier in the day and refrigerated on baking sheet.  When ready to cook, place fish in hot oven and cook for 12 minutes.


Prepare the black beans:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium flame.  Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes to soften.  Add the Basics Fuirst Chili Sesaoning.  Continue cooking for 5 more minutes.  Add drained beans to pan.  Stir and mash beans until paste-like.  Add a few drops of water if they get too dry. Transfer to a serving bowl.  Beans can be made earlier in the day and kept refrigerated. If cold, add some water and microwave for 1 minute or so to warm.


Place tortillas on a plate and warm for 10 seconds in the microwave.



Place a warm tortilla on a plate.  Top with cooked fish or beans and cabbage.  Add additional garnish if desired.  Fold and Enjoy!

Serves 5.