John Contratti With Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

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It was opening night at the New Group Theatre where I joined husband and wife Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) for the premiere of their new play “Annapurna”. Go check them out.

Asparagus and White Cheddar Omelette

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Ingredients:

8 eggs (2 eggs per omelette)

1 cup white cheddar cheese (shredded) 1/4 cup for each omelette)

1 lb. asparagus (ends trimmed)

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 tbsp. olive oil plus 1 tbsp.

2 tbsp. butter (for each individual omelette)

Directions:

1. In pot of boiling water, boil asparagus for 5 minutes. Drain well.

2. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Mix well.

3. In a baking pan, put a tbsp of olive. Coat the bottom of the pan.

4. Put asparagus in pan. Put bread crumb mixture on top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Bake asparagus in oven for about 10-12 minutes. (You want the crumbs to be a little crispy.) Remove and put to the side.

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6. To make an individual omelette, beat two eggs in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of white cheddar cheese.

7. In a hot skillet put 2 tbsp. of butter. When it is almost melted, pour in eggs. Put some asparagus on top. (see photo)

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8. After about 4 minutes, fold eggs over. Cook on each side for at least 3 minutes each.

Serve hot.

 

 

Black-Eyed Peas Salad

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Ingredients:

1 lb. black eyed peas

1 red onion (chopped)

2 green peppers (seeds removed and chopped)

1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

sea salt and pepper

Directions:

1. If you are using canned black eyed peas, drain well. Otherwise, boil beans until soft. Drain well .

2. In a large bowl add onion, peppers, tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

3. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

4. Before serving, add olive oil and vinegar. Mix well. Add an additional pinch of sea salt, if needed.

Serve cold.

Maple Dijon Shrimp and White Bean Salad

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Ingredients:

1 lb. medium shrimp (cleaned, shell can stay on or be removed)

1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1/2 lb. fresh arugula (washed and drained well)

1 can (12 oz.) white cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

sea salt and black pepper

olive oil

Directions:

1. In a bowl, mix maple syrup, brown sugar, dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over cleaned shrimp and mx well. Refrigerate for up to two hours.

2. In a skillet, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Brown garlic for a minute and add shrimp. Cook on each side for 2 minutes (total of 4)

3. In a large bowl put arugula, cherry tomatoes, white cannellini beans and shrimp. Drizzle a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix and serve.

Happy Easter

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The oven is finally starting to cool down, so I wanted to stop and wish everyone a “Happy Easter”.

Cooking With Mr. C.’s Mallomars Cake

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Ingredients:

1 (16.5 oz.) vanilla cake mix (Duncan Hines)

1 cup of water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 can of vanilla icing

2 boxes Mallomars

chocolate candies for decorating (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a large bowl, add cake mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat/Mix well.

2. Use 2 round (8 inch) pans and pour (evenly) batter into each pan.

3. Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to test if cakes are dry in the middle.

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4. Let cakes cool. With a knife, go around the edges a few times and take the cakes out of pan.

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5. Ice one of the cakes with vanilla icing and put mallomars on top.

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6. Put next layer of cake on top and ice all around. Then, put another layer of mallomars on top.

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7. Decorate with chocolate candies if you like.

8. Let cake dry a little before slicing. Use a large knife when slicing and cut nice size pieces so it doesn’t crumble.

Flashback Friday: John Contratti and Dr. Ruth Westheimer

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For some reason, family and friends love this flashback picture of me. Here I am at “Studio 54″ with Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who was very popular at that time. It’s the first time I ever had to crouch down to take a photo.

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