Broiled Rainbow Trout with Cannellini Beans and Pancetta

November 27, 2012 Entrees, Menu No Comments

After getting through yet another Thanksgiving weekend filled with way too much food and celebration (what other kind of holiday weekend is there, really?) I decided yesterday to switch gears completely and go with a healthy (ok, healthier) dinner. One of the meals that I enjoyed a few weeks back while on vacation in Disney World was broiled rainbow trout served over a mixture of white beans, arugula and bacon. It was definitely on my ‘to do’ list to recreate this dish, and yesterday was the perfect opportunity.

Instead of using bacon, which is always paired nicely with rainbow trout, I opted for one of my favorite Italian go-to accent ingredients…pancetta! I also wanted to substitute a more hearty green for the arugula, and went with a nice side of broccoli rabe. You can also use a more leafy green, such as sauteed swiss chard or escarole and incorporate it into the bean mixture. Because broccoli rabe is more of a chunky green, it works better as a side dish in this instance.

Assembling this dish was fairly easy: first sauteing the pancetta and beans in a skillet, then seasoning and broiling the trout. Plating this dish rustic style is the best way to serve it – simply place the broiled trout filets over the bean mixture, and drizzle with a balsamic reduction. The rustic presentation will make for a nice dish to serve this holiday season at a dinner party…or better yet, as part of your Feast of the 7 Fishes.

Broiled Rainbow Trout with Cannellini Beans and Pancetta

1 15 oz can cannellini beans
4 oz (or two 1/4″ thick slices) pancetta, sliced into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (your choice)
2 filets rainbow trout
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar

Step 1: Prepare the Beans
In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbspns olive oil. Add the onion, stir and cook until translucent. Add the pancetta and stir together. Cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, or until pancetta becomes slightly crisp. Add a bit of the broth as needed to keep the pancetta from sticking to the pan. Drain the beans, then add to the pancetta. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes until beans are warmed, again adding more broth as needed to keep from sticking to the pan. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm. You can also add sauteed greens to the mixture, such as swiss chard or escarole.

Step 2: Prepare the Rainbow Trout
Turn your broiler to 500˚, placing the cooking rack closest to the top. Lightly oil the filets on both the meat and skin side, season with salt and pepper. Cover a baking dish with aluminum foil and lightly oil. Place the filets on the dish, skin-side down. Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the trout starts to flake. Check it often to make sure it does not burn. Carefully remove from broiler. The skin should peel off easily at this point (you can also remove the skin as you serve the fish).

Step 3: Plating the Meal
Using a large serving dish, spread out the bean mixture evenly. Place the filets on top of the beans. You can break the filets into smaller pieces for easier serving. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction*. Serve with a nice, crisp white wine.

*Balsamic Reduction
To reduce balsamic vinegar simply means to cook it in a skillet or pan until it starts to thicken. Because it reduces, you want to use about 4 times as much as you will need for drizzling. For this recipe, you will use 1 cup balsamic. Pour the balsamic into a skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer until it starts to thicken up (about 3-5 minutes total). It will continue to thicken up after you remove the pan from the heat, so be sure to remove it from the heat while it’s still a just a bit thinner than you prefer. Drizzle over the fish.

And speaking of Disney….

I finally got to personally meet and spend some quality time with my favorite celebrity chef!



Giving Thanks

November 19, 2012 Menu 1 Comment

Once again, we have come to that special time of year when we gather with family and friends to give thanks, as we prepare for the upcoming holiday season. This year, I am very thankful for the health and well-being of all of my family and friends. On a lighter note, I am also thankful for having the unique opportunity of personally meeting one of my favorite celebrity chefs (I’ll be sharing that photo with you in an upcoming post).

Because Thanksgiving is such a traditional family holiday, I always felt that I should share with you the recipes that my family and I tend to enjoy. If I cannot speak for the recipe or how it tastes, then there is no reason for me to share the recipe on my blog. Unfortunately, I have shared with all of you in the past years most of my family’s Thanksgiving recipes! So this year I am simply going to list for you all of the recipes that have been featured on my blog…the recipes that we enjoy at our family table during this festive season. As with all of my recipes featured on this blog, please feel free to modify them to your liking and turn them into your own special dishes!

I would also like to take this time to remind everyone to think of those less fortunate than us, and if at all possible, donate whatever you can to help feed and clothe those who are in need. If you are in or around the Philadelphia area, I highly suggest donating to the Preston and Steve Camp Out for Hunger Food Drive. You can get more information on this incredible event by clicking here.

Wishing you and yours a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!


(this is a quick version of the classic Escarole (aka Scadole) Soup
20-25 mini meatballs, fully cooked (rolled half as big as traditional meatballs)
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1 package frozen crinkle cut carrots
1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Place broths and meatballs in soup pot. Simmer 10 minutes, add spinach and carrots. Bring to boil,
add pasta and simmer 10-15 minutes. Season to taste, ladle into bowls and garnish liberally with cheese.

2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, diced
2 stalks chopped celery
2 carrots, chopped
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. pepper
4 c. clear chicken broth
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. sugar

Saute onion, celery and carrots in butter in soup pot. Add flour, broth, pumpkin, pepper, sugar. Simmer for 1/2 hour.



2 celery stalks, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1/2 stick butter
1lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, removed from casing
Celery Salt
(add all seasonings to taste)
1 bag Pepperidge Farm Herbal Stuffing Mix

In a large pan, melt butter. Add onion and celery and cook until soft. Add sausage, season with salt, pepper, celery salt and oregano. Cook until sausage is brown. In a separate pan, cook 1/2 bag of herbal stuffing (entire bag for larger crowd). Follow instructions on bag for butter and water measurements (for extra flavor, substitute chicken broth for water). When finished cooking, combine herbal stuffing with sausage mixture; stir together. Spoon into a greased 13×9 baking dish (I prefer an aluminum dish for this), cover with aluminum foil and heat in oven at 350º for approximately 30 minutes.

For extra crunch, you can add chopped walnuts, pecans or chestnuts to the mixture before baking.

6 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

In a non reactive, non-stick saucepan, over medium, combine the cranberries, zest, 1/2 cup sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in the orange juice. Add the mixture to the cranberries and stir to blend. Simmer another 15 minutes until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

2 tblspn butter
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn ground nutmeg
1-1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 large Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tblspn balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped pecans,toasted

Heat oven to 375ºF. Place butter in 13×9-inch glass baking dish; heat in oven 5 to 7 minutes or until melted.
Stir cinnamon and nutmeg into melted butter. Add squash; toss to coat. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix apples, syrup and vinegar.
Pour apple mixture over squash. Cover; bake 10 minutes. Stir; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until squash is tender. Stir before serving and sprinkle with pecans.


Courtesy of Pampered Chef

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon blend (mixture of cinnamon, ginger and allspice)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 c granulated sugar
3/4 cups butter or margarine softened
3 eggs
3/4 cups solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a deep baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine flour, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt in small bowl. In large bowl beat sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Add eggs, pumpkin,milk and vanilla. Beat well! Slowly add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Set aside.
Filling- Whisk cream cheese and sugar till well blended. Smooth 2-1/2 cups cake batter on bottom of pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture over cake batter using a large spreader. Pour remaining batter over top and spread evenly.
Bake 45-50 minutes . Cake tester will come out clean.

Before serving- sprinkle with powdered sugar-serve with whipped cream sprinkled with a bit of the cinnamon spice mix if desired.

Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or maple-flavor syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/2 of a 15-ounce can (3/4 cup) pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 of an 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, softened
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 3-ounce package ladyfingers, split
Ground nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg

Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap; set aside. For syrup, in a small bowl, combine maple syrup and bourbon. Set aside.
For filling, in a small bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup whipping cream and granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.
For topping, in another small mixing bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until combined. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup whipping cream just until thickened (do not overbeat).
To assemble, arrange half of the ladyfingers in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Drizzle evenly with half of the syrup. Top with half of the filling, spreading evenly. Arrange remaining ladyfingers in a single layer over filling. Drizzle with remaining syrup and top with remaining filling. Dollop topping over filling. Using the back of a spoon, carefully spread topping evenly over filling. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.
Use the plastic wrap to lift tiramisu out of pan. Place tiramisu on a serving platter. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Carefully cut the dessert crosswise into slices. Makes 6 servings.

(Originally posted at
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 c. of evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (18.5 oz) pkg butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1 c. melted butter

1 c. chopped pecans
Ground nutmeg
Whipped cream
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350F.  Stir together the first five ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture (if you wish to add pecans, sprinkle them evenly over cake mix).  Drizzle melted butter over cake mix. Bake at 350F for 60 – 65 minutes or until golden brown**.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  IF desired, serve with whipped cream, sprinkle of nutmeg or vanilla ice cream.

** If baking ahead of time, I baked for about 55 min then re-heat again for another 10 min before serving.



1 oz. good quality Gin
1/2 oz. canned cranberry sauce
1/2 oz. Ginger ale
Garnish: 3 roasted walnut halves, speared cranberries or a sprig of rosemary
Shake vigorously with ice and strain into martini glass. Add a float of ginger ale after straining. Garnish with 3 roasted walnut halves, speared cranberries, or a sprig of rosemary

1 oz milk
2 tbsp Pumpkin puree
1.5 oz Three-O vanilla vodka
1.5 oz creme de cacao
Using a small amount of honey, rim martini glass with graham cracker crumbs. Shake milk and pumpkin puree over ice to combine. Pour in remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into the martini glass.


1 tbspn olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups shredded turkey (if you have a food processor, 3-4 quick pulses will do the job quickly)
1 cup spaghetti sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tspn Italian seasoning
splash of red wine

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions, let cook for 30 seconds, add garlic; stir. Add chopped peppers, stir. Let cook until peppers are crisp-tender. Add the shredded turkey and the sauce, stir. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, stir. Add splash of red wine, stir. Lower heat, simmer until warmed throughout.

Serve over rice, in a crispy roll, along side of polenta or in fajita shell topped with shredded cheese!


Honey Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

November 5, 2012 Appetizer 1 Comment

Chances are that at some point in your life, probably when you were a child, you were ‘threatened’ with brussels sprouts. To me, this is sad for two reasons: 1) food shouldn’t be a threat, and 2) brussels sprouts aren’t really that bad. In fact, they have become one of my favorite vegetables as of late! Yes, I am no longer a kid anymore and my tastes have changed. But, like all other foods, if you prepare and season them properly, you too can enjoy brussels sprouts. They also pack a very healthy punch, so you get the benefit of a nutritional dish. The first step that I take to making tasty brussels sprouts is  cooking them in a bit of lightly salted water. It is said that a full boil reduces the nutritional value of the sprouts, so just a quarter cup of water in a pan does the trick. The addition of a little salt helps flavor the sprouts while cooking. Next, you mix equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey for a quick glaze. Adding this to the sprouts at the last stage of cooking makes for a delicious and flavorful coating. Toss them with a dash of onion powder, and you are good to go!


1 12oz package brussels sprouts, tips removed, then sliced in half
1/4 cup water, lightly salted
1 tbspn balsamic vinegar
1 tbspn olive oil
1 tbspn honey
dash of onion powder

In a large pan, add the salted water and brussels sprouts. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. Mix the balsamic, olive oil and honey and set aside. Remove lid and let cook for another 4 minutes, or until the water has completely dissolved. When the water has completely dissolved, add the honey balsamic oil mixture, toss to evenly coat the sprouts, lower the heat and simmer uncovered for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, plate and lightly sprinkle with onion powder.


Recent Comments

  • Lynn Buono: Dear Dom, Thank you so much for such a well written thought...
  • Cristin: Making it this weekend.. Thanks Master Chef Dom...
  • Tom Casey: Can't wait for the book to come out Dom! I know it will be ...
  • MrChefToday: Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment ...
  • Dom: I'm very happy to hear that! Thank you for reaching out to m...
powered by