Homemade Fresh Mozzarella Stuffed with Grilled Eggplant

harry udell

Fresh Mozzarella Stuffed with Grilled Eggplant

Warm fresh mozzarella, nothing better and so much easier to make then you would think.  There are many recipes and techniques, but all you really need is cheese curd, water and salt.  The first step is to get a pot of boiling salted water in one bowl, a bowl of ice water and a third bowl with room temp salted water and a little bit of milk.  The order is ice water for your hands, boiling water to melt the curd and the final bowl is the room temperature water with the salt and milk to put your mozzarella balls in.  Now this recipe is a little different because i put the curd after it was melted and formed onto a sheet trey wrapped in plastic wrap and flattened it while it was hot.  After that i placed the now flat mozzarella into the fridge to cool to let it set for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Now how to do the eggplant.  First I sliced the eggplant very thin on a mandolin, then seasoned it with salt, pepper, olive oil and a little white balsamic vinegar, then grilled the eggplant on both sides.  Be careful, because they are very thin, so they can burn easily if you do not pay attention.  After grilling them i placed them into a marinade that consists of balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, balsamic reduction, salt, pepper, basil and roasted garlic.  After i emulsified the dressing i added some small diced red onions.  You can make this a day or two ahead of time and let the eggplant absorb all the wonderful flavors.  Now that you have your eggplant mixture and flattened fresh mozzarella, you are ready to roll.  I seasoned the cheese with some salt and pepper first, then spread some roasted garlic and finally placed our delicious marinated eggplant on top and then roll.  Use the plastic wrap to help you roll the log of cheese.  When done rolling you have to rewrap the stuffed cheese and make sure to tie the ends off with some extra plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and let set.  When ready to serve, slice the cheese with a very sharp knife and leave the plastic wrap on so it does not fall apart while slicing.  Then peel off the extra plastic wrap and place on a platter or over a salad, you can use the extra marinade to toss with some greens and vegetables if you would like.  This recipe was outrageous! i highly recommend giving it a try.  Enjoy and have fun cooking.

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Salmon Cake with Avocado Salad

harry udell

Salmon Cake and Avocado Salad






Old Bay


Dijon Mustard




Bread Crumbs


Start with wild salmon and season it with salt, pepper and some oil.  Then roast the salmon till cooked through. Once its done place it on the side to cool.  (this recipe also works really well with leftover cooked salmon)

Sauté some fine diced onions until golden brown then place on the side and cool.

Chop some tarragon and chives, add some old bay, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and some bread crumbs.  Mix together then form patties and sear in a hot pan with a little bit of oil until both sides are golden brown.



Red Onion




Olive Oil


Shred cabbage so its very thin. 

Dice the Avocado.

Julienne the red onion.

Squeeze a half of a lime.

Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Then mix and serve.

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Taco Parties

harry udell
Next time you are having a party or get together, let us come by and make you a tantalizing meal!  Whether it is cinco de mayo or a fun Saturday evening. Let us help you create the best taco collaboration you have ever had.

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BLT with Hummus

harry udell

How To Make the Hummus BLT

 Hummus Bacon lettuce and Tomato sandwich.  Sounds simple, but oh so good.  The key to the BLT is the first letter.  The Bacon!  The proper way to cook back is to place the pieces of bacon on a sheet tray and bake on 225 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Let it cook low and slow and let the bacon fat render out and the meat will get nice and crispy.  The next important part of the BLT is the Tomato!  Without a quality fresh tomato, you can’t have a great BLT sandwich.  Now the trick to the tomato is to not slice it too thin.  You have to cut the tomato with a 1/2 inch thickness and a serrated knife makes it much easier to slice the tomato.  For this sandwich I used fresh organic cabbage and a little bit of mayo so it was a little like a coleslaw minus the vinegar, sugar and mustard.  Now putting the sandwich together.  I used some hummus on the bottom of the sandwich, then placed the thick slices of tomato on top of that, put the perfectly cooked bacon on top of the tomato, then the cabbage with the little spread for mayonnaise.  I used organic 12 grain bread and placed the sandwich in an 8 inch non stick sauté pan with a little bit of butter for both sides.  Cooked the sandwich till both sides looked golden and beautiful.  After that I cut the sandwich in half and served it.  I highly recommend this sandwich for a delicious lunch or brunch idea.  For other great recipes please feel free to reach out if you want new recipe ideas or are looking for cooking classes or to have a party catered.

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Sunday Brunch

harry udell
This is a menu for a Sunday brunch that we did.  If you are looking to have a small intimate gathering with just a few friends and family let us help you have restaurant quality food in the comfort of your own home.  We can work with you to help create a menu that works for your wants and needs.  Reach out to us and lets collaborate the most memorable gathering you can imagine.

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Thanksgiving Menu

harry udell

we are coming up to the holiday season.  And I was letting people know I am available to cater your special gatherings or give cooking lessons for a holiday gift to someone special. 


There is no better gift to give, then kitchen knowledge or a fabulous home cooked meal that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Here is a menu for thanksgiving.  We can cater it for you or teach you how to make these unbelievable dishes.  Let us help you have a wonderful holiday.  Contact us and lets coordinate a meal you and your family will remember forever.



Smoked Beer can Braised Red Cabbage

Orange Cranberry Relish with Grand Marnier

Savory Apple Strudel

Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

Roasted Jalapeno Cornbread

Best Biscuits You Ever Had

Sour Dough and Apple Stuffing

Butternut Squash and White Beans

Creamed Kale and Spinach

String Bean Casserole with Fried Onions

Frosted Flake Crusted Noodle Pudding

Roasted Sweet Potato Puree with Toasted Coconut

Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes

Cauliflower Puree

Roasted Broccoli



Braised Short Rib

Apricot glazed Roast Turkey

Stuffed Pork Loin

Roasted Citrus Herb Chicken



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Delicious Salmon Dinner

harry udell

An easy dinner that looks great and tastes even better.  This meal included crispy skin salmon, crab cakes, roasted farm fresh butternut squash, sautéed escarole, kohlrabi and apple slaw and dipping sauce.  Ill give you a step by step on how to make each dish. Lets start with the farm fresh vegetables.

Butternut Squash - Take the skin off the butternut squash, cut in half and then scoop out the seeds.  Cut the squash into medium dice, toss in oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cumin.  Place on a sheet tray and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes until tender and you have a nice golden color.

Escarole - Cut the bottom core off and clean and soak the escarole leaves very thoroughly.  Once you make sure there is no more sand or dirt on the leaves dry them off.  Once dry, stack the leaves on top of each other to make one inch high piles, then chop the greens.  In a pan, add a little bit of cooking oil and saute one julienned onion.  After the onion is three quarters cooked add your escarole.  Move around in the pan and cook down till all moisture is cooked out.  Once you are at this point add some apricot jelly, (I prefer the brand Saucy Susan) Worcester sauce,(I prefer the brand Lea and Perrins)  apple cider vinegar, and then finish it with some salt and pepper.  Let everything cook down so the flavors can meld together, then you will be ready to serve.

Kohlrabi - Julienne one white Kohlrabi, 2 apples and one deseeded cucumber.  After they are all julienned, toss them together with rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, cold water, sugar, scallions (both the white and green part) chopped cilantro and some julienned red onion.  Let the ingredients sit in the fridge for a little while so the flavors can marinate. And then you are set to serve.

Salmon - Get an oven safe pan and get it hot on the stove top.  Take your salmon out, wipe both sides off with a dry paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper then add cooking oil to the hot pan and place the salmon skin side down into the pan.  Put one piece in at a time and make sure to move the salmon around a little bit when you first put it down so that the skin doesn’t stick, repeat this until all pieces are in the pan.  Cook skin side down for a couple minutes, then place into the oven at 400 degrees for about 8-12 minutes(depending on thickness of the salmon filets).  When you pull the pot out of the oven, make sure you use a hot pot holder and when you place the pan on the oven leave it on top of the handle so that you or someone else doesn’t grab the hot handle by accident.  Now flip the salmon filets over and then deglaze the pan with lemon thyme and butter.  Do not baste the skin with the lemon butter pan sauce, you don’t want it to get soggy.  The skin will be crispy like a potato chip.  Enjoy the crunch!

Crab cake - Lump crab meat and jumbo lump crab meat.  Use one can of each and make sure that you don’t over mix the meat and pulverize it.  You want big chunks when you bite into your cake.  Saute onions, garlic, red, yellow and green peppers with a couple strips of bacon and use the fat to cook the ingredients.  After all the moisture is cooked out of all the vegetables place them on a plate and cool them off in the refrigerator.  Now whisk together, 2 eggs, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, mayo, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, sriracha and old bay.  Last step is to take some saltines and brush them with clarified butter and bake for a couple minutes till they get golden brown at 350 degrees, once cooked cool then put into cuisinart and pulse until they are ground into fine crumbs.  Now that all your mise en place is ready, mix everything together and fold it all together very gently.  Once mixed, make even sized uniformed patties and dip into the extra bread crumbs and then fry in a pan to get both sides golden brown. 

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Farmers market stuffed pretzel nibbler

harry udell

Farmers market stuffed pretzel nibblers is what I will call this scrumptious snack.  I took a walk to my local farmers market and they had a pretzel stand that sold mini pretzel bites, so I picked up an order and then strolled over to the pickle stand and got a pint of sliced cajun sweet and hot pickles. Then started my treck back home. Once home I started the prep.  I halved the pretzels then opened them up so they were flat. Then placed some leftover roasted chicken that I had in my refrigerator on the bread, added some cheese that I had in the fridge as well, cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella, american, cream cheese, any shredded mixed cheeses, really what ever you happen to have in your fridge. Place mini sandwiches into the oven at 350 degrees and let toast till cheese is melted and chicken is warm which will take about 6 - 9 minutes.  When you remove from the oven, place the pickles on top and a little bit of chipotle mayo, which is mayonnaise , roasted garlic, chipotle in adobo, lime juice and zest, salt and pepper to taste and serve!  Great for a party or before dinner appetizers enjoy.

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Empanadas - Chicken or Beef?

harry udell


Empanadas are delicious crispy dough stuffed with succulent and juicy fillings.  You can stuff them with anything!  These particular two types that were made in the photo are chicken and beef. The chicken empanada was roasted chicken that was seasoned with cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro, lime zest and oil.  Then placed in the oven on 400 degrees for about 1 hour, depending on the size of the chicken.

After it is done cooking pull it out of the oven and let it rest until you are able to pull it apart with your fingers, about an hour or two.  While you are waiting you can do your other preparation, (mise en place).  The other ingredients you’ll need for your filling.  This recipe I  added diced potatoes (pre cooked and cooled), pico de gallo, which is 1 part red onions, 3 parts diced deseeded tomatoes, handful of fresh cleaned cilantro, squeezed fresh lime to taste, salt and pepper as needed.  Make enough so that you can have some for dipping.  Then add some shredded cheese of your liking and raisins, red or golden, your choice.  Mix the ingredients all together then use a spoon and scoop enough filling Into the center of the empanada dough. I prefer the Goya brand, you can find the 10 pack in the frozen section in most supermarkets.  Use a fork to crimp the ends together after you fold the empanada into a half mooned shape.  You can whisk water and 1 egg together to brush on the top to get a golden brown crust. Also make sure you oil the sheet trey before you place the nicely folded and stuffed pastry on the trey for baking.  Once all of the filing is used and stuffed into the empanada dough, then you place your egg wash onto your pastries, then place the trey into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees in a preheated oven.

The recipe for the beef empanada was a beef chuck steak that was sliced very thin and into small pieces, then add chopped onions, sliced garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, paprika, Worcester sauce, chipotle in adobo (for a little heat). Let the meat marinate with all the ingredients before you cook it.  You then sauté everything all together until cooked through, then place on a plate too cool. Once the mixture is cool enough that you can touch it, stuff the filling into the empanada doughs and do the same procedure that you did for the chicken.  Place a spoon full or two in the center, then fold into a half moon and crimp with a fork to seal all open edges.  Use the same baking process too.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until they are golden brown on top.  You can also put them in the air fryer to cook if you are in a rush and don’t have enough time to preheat the oven and bake the stuffed pastries.

The salad that was served with the empanadas was a jicama cabbage slaw.  I used fine julienned savoy cabbage, julienne jicama, sliced red onion, chopped scallions, white vinegar and rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and chopped fresh cilantro at the end (if you happen to have mae ploy, add some of that also, to the mix.  Then stir all the ingredients together and let sit for a little while to marinate. 

The green sauce on the side is a roasted tomatillo puree.  You take quartered cleaned and skinned tomatillos, halved shallots, whole garlic cloves, large diced white onion, deseeded jalapeño and toss with oil, salt, pepper and toasted freshly ground cumin.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables get a nice char on them, to add depth to the sauce.  Once the ingredients are done cooking, take them out and let them cool.  Once they have cooled down put all the vegetables into a cuisinart and puree.  As pureeing add fresh cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice and some olive oil to emulsify the sauce and pull it together.  Taste your sauce and add salt and pepper as needed. 

You can make the sauce and the slaw the day before to help you time your meal better.  When you are making the slaw, you can mix all the ingredients together except the cabbage.  Add the cabbage before you are going to serve the slaw.  Another trick is to crush the cabbage with your hand, it will help tenderize the cabbage when you are mixing in the jicama and all the vinegars and seasonings.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me through email, facebook or instagram.  Enjoy your eats!

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Braised Brisket

harry udell

Brisket is a tough meat to cook.  The reason is that there is not a lot of fat, so it is not a forgiving meat.  Braising your brisket makes it a little easier because you are cooking with a moist heat method.  the first part of cooking a brisket is to trim off the excess fat.  Then you have to season both sides with salt and black pepper.  Get a large pan hot and sear both sides for about 5 minutes each till you get a nice golden brown crust on both sides.  Now transfer the meat into a large roasting pan.  The other ingredients that you will need are white 2 large onions, 2 garlic cloves, 1 beer (which ever you happen to have in the fridge), 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 large box of beef stock, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 can canned cranberries, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. 

In the large hot pan that you just seared the meat, first add your julienned onions and chopped garlic.  Sauté till golden brown then deglaze with beer and apple cider vinegar, let reduce till half then add brown sugar and the dried cranberries and the canned cranberries.  Let the liquid reduce by a quarter then add your beef stock (not broth because broth has salt, stock does not).  Now pour your mixture over the brisket, add your fresh herbs, cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 375.  Depending on the size of the meat depends on how long you cook it for.  If you would like to know how long to cook your meat, reach out to me and i will help you perfect your brisket.  After you bake your brisket, you have to let it rest before you slice it.  If you cut it while it is still really hot it will fall apart as you slice it, so let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before you slice and serve.  If you have any questions before you start cooking your brisket, email us and we will be glad to get back to you and help you cook the perfect brisket.

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