Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27, 2013


A Thought for Today

“Neither art nor wisdom may be attained without learning.”


                               Democritus (c.460-370 BC)



A Piece of My Work


                 A Memory (V)



A Recipe for the Day

Tandoory chicken


1 medium onion

1 tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger root

3 medium cloves garlic

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. cooking oil

½ cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt

1½ tsp ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground turmeric

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash of ground cloves

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. salt

6 chicken thighs or 12 drumsticks

1 lemon cut in wedges




Dice ¼ of onion. Reserve the remaining onion. Process diced onion, ginger root, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add lemon juice and oil and process to blend.


Transfer to a bowl. Stir in yogurt and all the spices and the salt.


Remove skin and trim excess fat from chicken thighs. Cut 2-3 small slits in each piece to help marinade to penetrate. Dip each piece into the marinade to coat the meat on all sides and place in a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.


Slice remaining ¾ onion into thick slices and place as a layer into roasting pan. Place a wire rack over the onion slices. Remove chicken pieces from marinade and set on the rack. Roast at 400 degrees until juices run clear when meat is pierced in the thickest part (about 50 minutes). Serve with lemon wedges and roasted slices. Makes 3-4 servings. 


One may use chicken breast but up to a total of 8 pieces of chicken for this amount of marinade.


Serve with rice.






Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

A Thought for Today


“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.”


                      Victor Hugo

A Piece of My Work

My son and daughter in law, Daniel and Berenice, were expecting a baby. In fact, they had  two little twin girls. I wanted to make something for this occasion. I called the piece "Awaiting our Granddaughters", in anticipation of their birth on October 17, 2013.

I gave this piece to Daniel and Berenice on the day they had a baby shower. It shows two babies in a heart-shaped basket under the protective hands of the mother and father.


A Recipe for Today

                                         Paella, Valencia style

Active work time: 35 min. Total preparation time: 1 hour. Makes 4-6 servings. 
1 cup of fresh or frozen lima beans or dried butter beans, soaked overnight.
2 cups green beans cut in 2” pieces
2 chicken thighs (10 oz. total)
4 pieces of rabbit (10 oz. total)
1 (10 oz.) boneless duck breast, cut into 4 pieces
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tomato grated (1/2 cup pulp)
2 tbsp. annatto oil
¼ tsp. saffron, crushed
½ tsp. pimentón
41/2 cups chicken broth
1 dz. cooked snails, optional
Fresh rosemary sprig
2 cups Spanish short-grain rice
Lemon wedges for garnish 
Soak butter beans overnight, cook in boiling water for 5 min. Drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
Blanch green beans in boiling water for 1 min. Drain, refresh in cold water and set aside.
Cut the chicken thighs in half along the bone, making 4 pieces. Lightly salt the chicken, rabbit, and duck.
Place a 14”-paella pan on the fire and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt into the oil then add the chicken, rabbit, and duck and let them brown slowly, about 10 min. Add the limas or parboiled butter beans and the blanched green beans and cook and stir 1 min. Add the garlic and when it begins turning yellow, add the tomato pulp.
In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of water, the annatto oil, saffron, and pimentón. Stir until the spices are dissolved. Dribble the mixture into the pan.
Add 4 cups of broth and return the heat to high. Add the snails and sprig of rosemary. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook 14 min. more without stirring. Add liquid if necessary. The liquid should be absorbed and the rice al dente. 
Allow the paella to sit 5-10min. before serving, then garnish with lemon edges.


Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013

A Thought for Today

“It is not who is right but what is right that is of importance.” 

                                         Thomas Huxley


A Piece of My Work

I was working on a "Memory" head in the series of heads that I like so much. I was trying to make again the 'elusive' head which broke (shown in the September 6th blog). While working on it, the head got elongated. I suddenly realized that I liked it and I called it "Thinking of Modigliani".



This is the head at the time of finish. The clay is naturally grey. It would become off white after being fired. 

Because I wanted it in the same color, I got a metallic grey glaze and it came out quite well as seen below.

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

A Thought for Today

“Every society has the criminals it deserves.”


                                                                   A. Camus 


A Piece of My Work


Putto (V)


I am experimenting with the putto's and found that the relationship between the size of the figure and the background plate may add considerably to the overall effect. I like this putto more than the last one shown.




A Recipe for Today


Mixed Vegetables and Veal Stew

From Jeff Smith’s “Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors”
This is one of my preferred dishes. It is a great recipe that requires a lot of work but the results are much appreciated by all those lucky to eat it. I first learned about "Ghiveci" at home. When I started my travels in Turkey, I found out that the recipe is a Turkish dish that entered the cuisine of those who like 'soul food'...
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
2 ½ lbs. boneless shoulder veal cut into 1” cubes
2 ½ tbsp. butter
¼ c. olive oil
2 medium yellow onions peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
1 c. carrots, sliced
2 c. turnips  peeled and chopped
2 c. parsnips peeled and chopped
2 c. celery root, peeled and chopped
4 c. eggplant,  cut in ½” cubes
2 c. zucchini, cut in  ½” cubes
1 ½ c. green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ¼” strips
2 c. leeks, only the white part, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 c. cabbage (½ of a small head) thinly sliced
2 c. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 c. baby okra, cut or whole
3 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp. marjoram, dried
1 tbsp. thyme, dried
1 c. beef stock
1 c. dry red wine  
Plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream 
In a bowl combine the flour, ½ tsp. of the salt, and ½ tsp. of the pepper. Add the veal pieces and toss until the cubes are well coated. Remove the meat from the flour, sifting it through your fingers to shake off the excess flour. Sauté the veal in butter and oil in an 8- to 10-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until brown on all sides, about 5 min.
Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 5 min.
Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed. Cook, covered, over high heat, until the liquid boils. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Place in a preheated 350 oven. Bake, stirring several times during cooking, until the vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour. Serve hot. Garnish each serving with yogurt or sour cream.
Serve with polenta. 
Makes about 20 servings.

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22, 2013

A Thought for Today

"Is it moral or ethical to bury an organ which could save a life?"

                  Dr. Christian Barnard (first surgeon to do a successful organ    transplant in man)

A Piece of My Work

I sculpted the putto on top of the flat medallion. I used a better transparent blue glaze that pools into the crevices and troughs of the sculpture.

Putto (IV)


A Recipe for Today


Polenta with Sage 


2 c. water

1 ½ c. chicken broth

1 ½ c. yellow cornmeal

1 tbsp. minced fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp. crumbled dried + sprigs for garnish

2 garlic cloves

4 oz. Mascarpone

¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaved)

Tabasco to taste 



In a 3-qt. microwave-safe casserole with a lid combine the water and the broth, whisk in the cornmeal, a little at a time, whisking to eliminate any lumps, and stir in the minced sage and the garlic. 


Microwave the mixture, covered, at high power (100%), whisking every 3 minutes, for 10-12 minutes, or until it is thickened and the liquid is absorbed. Let it stand, covered, for 2 minutes and discard the garlic.


Whisk in the Mascarpone, the Parmesan, the parsley, the Tabasco, and salt to taste.

Pour the polenta into a serving dish, and garnish it with the sage sprigs.  

Serves 6.


Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013

A Thought for Today

"A good gulp of hot whiskey at bedtime it's not very scientific, but it helps when down with a cold".

                                         Sir Alexander Fleming

A Piece of My Work

                                              Putto (III)

A Recipe for Today

Tomato Salsa

For ½ recipe      For Full Recipe (~4 ½ cups): 

4                   8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
½                  1 yellow chili, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1                   2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, cored and seeded
¼                  ½ white onion, coarsely chopped
           3/4                1½ cup canned dice tomatoes, drained
            ½                  ½ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
3                   6 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
¼                  1/3 cup lime juice
             1                   2 tsp. kosher salt


In a food processor, chop garlic and chili.
Add beefsteak tomatoes and onion; pulse until chopped.
Add fire-roasted tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, and lime juice; pulse until roughly chopped.
Season with salt.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9, 2013

A Thought for Today

"Men don't think about future until they get married; women think about future only before they get married".

                                          Pearl S. Buck

A Piece of My Work

Putto (I)

My first attempt to making a 'putto'. June 2013


A Recipe for Today





5-6 lbs. brisket

3 onions sliced

1-2 envelopes of Lipton’s dry onion soup or Lipton’s mushroom soup packet

2-3 cans golden mushroom soup mixed with ¼ -½ cups water

4 peeled and sliced carrots

4 potatoes peeled and quartered

Turkey bag 



Place sliced onions in the bottom of the bag;

Spread the dry onion soup. Pour over the mushroom soup.

Place the brisket on top and cover with chunks of carrots and potatoes.

Close the bag.

Cook at 325˚ for 2.5 – 3 hours until fork-tender;

Remove meat from the bag. Keep the gravy;

Slice the meat at an angle across the grain;

Place the meat slices into a Pyrex rectangular dish;

Pour gravy on top and add more golden mushroom soup;

Wrap in thin foil and seal edges. Bake one more hour at 325˚. This is the key to a terrific brisket.