On-Line Grocery Shopping

 I think most people are under the misconception that if you don't personally select your own produce, meat, fish, etc... the quality will be lacking..... not true! I have been using Fresh Direct (available in the New York area) for years and have been thoroughly pleased with their ability to choose the best and freshest fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and baked goods (baked on premises). If that's not enough, it's much less expensive than any grocery store in the 5 boroughs. Delivery charge is under $6 and you choose the time and day.
  Their seasonal produce is gorgeous and have a huge selection of organic items. When ordering meats or fish you can specify how you want it packaged, marinated and butchered. For instance, you can order an aged strip steak ($15.99/lb) in 1", 1 1/2", 2" thickness and have it vacuum sealed, or Berkshire pork chops in desired thickness, with a chipotle rub. They keep a list of everything you've ever ordered for reference, have weekly specials and prepared meals, from recipes by well known chefs. In addition, they carry beer, an impressive wine selection, and hard liquor.
  Why would anybody go to the grocery store, when you can do all your shopping from home in your PJs??  Plus there's a Fresh Direct  IPhone App!! What's not to love?.... unless you enjoy waiting in line at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods for hours on end!!

Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Marmalade

This is the quickest, easiest marmalade ever... oh and it's delicious! You can also make it with any single citrus you have on hand.

3 Meyer lemons, ends trimmed
1 blood orange, ends trimmed
2 1/2 cups Demerara sugar (you can also used refined sugar)

  Wash citrus under warm water. Cut each fruit in half lengthwise and slice as thinly as possible, lengthwise. I use a hand held mandolin which makes the slicing much faster and easier. Be sure to remove seeds as you go.
  This should yield 2 1/2 cups of citrus. Depending on the size of the fruit, you may have less or more than 2 1/2 cups. Either way, add the same amount of water along with fruit to a medium pot. (ie: 2 cups fruit, 2 cups water...) Bring to a boil on high heat, lower heat to medium and cook until peels are soft, about 30-40 minutes.
  Add equal amount of sugar (ie: 2 cups fruit, 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar) to the pot, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring back to a boil and lower heat to simmer until the marmalade has set, about 40 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer it should read 220 degrees. Let cool and put into jelly jars. This will keep in the refrigerator for a month.
  This marmalade is not only great on toast, but absolutely delicious with cheeses.

Lemony Roasted Fish

This is a delicious topping for any type of fish filets. I use it on Tilapia mostly, but have also tried it with cod and salmon.

Makes 2 servings

1/3 cup mayo ( I use a lite version)
4 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450*F
Whisk all the ingredients together. Place filets in an oiled baking sheet and top with the mixture. Put in preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.

"Do Not Disturb"

  One of the most difficult things to do, whether you're a seasoned cook or a beginner, is to ignore the saute pan and let it do it's job.... ie: cook! We tend to stir things up too much and too soon. The most important step is to get the pan good and hot, then add enough fat (oil/butter) to coat the surface. When adding your protein, vegetable or starch, "Do Not Disturb" until a good crust forms. Resist the temptation to stir, shake or flip. This will result in soggy vegetables or beige meat.... not very appetizing! Let the natural carmelization occur. This not only adds depth of flavor to your dish, but allows a "fond" to develop in the bottom of the pan when sauteing meats. This is a fancy French term for the meaty bits left behind from high heat cooking. These bits are usually scraped off the bottom of the pan, using a deglazing liquid, such as an acid, like lemon juice or white wine, or occasionally a stock. This eventually becomes a pan sauce.
  In addition to the "fond," allowing the crust to form on meats, adds intense flavor to stews, braises and roasts. It is the first step to layering flavors and ultimately adding depth to the dish. So when sauteing, pan frying or grilling, walk away and let the heat do the work.
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