Adi’s Jazz Kitchen Christmas with Kris Bowers Pt 1, 2, 3!

We’re in the kitchen at Christmastime with pianist, composer, food lover, overall bmf, Kris Bowers! On this episode we make:

  • Herb Roasted Chicken
  • Israeli Cous Cous with lemon and rosemary
  • Spiced hot chocolate

Let’s not forget a special guest appearance from AdiClaus and a musical performance from Kris and I to you!

You can check out more Kris Bowers at:

http://www.krisbowersmusic.com

instagram: @bowersmusik

https://www.facebook.com/krisbowersmusic

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!!

 

Homemade parmesan peppercorn shrimp salad and Nat King Cole!

The other night was one of those nights where I just had no idea what I was in the mood to make. I settled on a dinner salad which actually turned out to be pretty killin’. This recipe was inspired by a steak and peppercorn salad recipe, but seeing as I wasn’t in the mood for steak, I substituted shrimp.  While doing this, I was listening to Christmas music, of course.. which I’m so looking forward to since I will then have a month off from the road! Anywho, Here’s what I was checking out..

Homemade Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Whisk together, season with a pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.

Shrimp Salad: 

serves 2

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled roughly chopped
  • 3/4 lb raw large peeled and cleaned shrimp
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 stalks romaine lettuce chopped
  • heirloom tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 2 stalks celery chopped

In a medium pan over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. When hot add mushrooms. Leave untouched for 2 minutes. Stir, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until softened. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Over med high heat add another 2 tbsp of olive oil with  garlic. Season raw shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp (if you don’t hear the sizzle then you did it too soon). Cook for about a minute on each side, until opaque. Remember, the shrimp continue to cook even when you take them off the heat. Don’t overcook. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside. Construct salad and toss with homemade dressing.

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You can improvise:

  • Instead of using shrimp, try a different protein like steak or chicken.
  • Add your own favorite toppings, like toasted nuts
  • Try using a different type of lettuce like boston bibb lettuce

 

Did you know? 

Not only was Nat Cole an amazing singer and pianist, he was one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show. His show debuted on NBC. If only he was still alive today! He’d be the most incredible guest to have on Adi’s Jazz Kitchen Cooking Show, don’t you think? 😉

Ginger Spiced Hot Chocolate and “Star Crossed Lovers”

I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic all morning since listening to Pepper Adams play the baritone saxophone.. It’s made me miss my baby.. Unfortunately this whole time since I’ve been home, my horn’s been in the shop.. so, I can’t wait to get it back tomorrow and get back to it. In the meanwhile, I made something super warm and comforting to go along with an incredibly beautiful melody by Duke Ellington, ♫”Star Crossed Lovers”. Here’s my recipe for ginger spiced hot chocolate and a homemade cinnamon whipped cream.

What you need:

  • 4 cups milk (any type your prefer- I used whole)
  • 1 cup chocolate, chopped from the block (combination of dark and semisweet for me- but use whatever kind you like)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or nutmeg powder)

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

In a medium stock pot over medium heat, heat milk, stirring occasionally. Once hot, whisk in chocolate. Then, whisk in ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. In a stand mixer, mix heavy cream and the cinnamon until the whipped cream creates soft to medium peaks. Pour hot chocolate in your favorite mug, top with the whipped cream and enjoy!

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Seared Bay Scallop/Baby Clam Scampi: Improvising in the kitchen

Last night I put my improvisational skills that come along with being a jazz musician to the test in the kitchen. I decided to head over to New Jersey to surprise my parents for dinner. Without having stopped at the grocery store first, I took a look around the kitchen in search of something I could throw together, and it worked!

 I put a twist on your usual shrimp scampi, due to the lack of shrimp, I decided to use bay scallops and baby clams instead. I wanted some texture on the little “flavor bubbles” of bay scallops so I seared them first then tossed them in with the pasta later.
What you need:
  • 1 lb favorite pasta (I used a really fun fusilli lunghi bucati)
  • 3/4 lb bay scallops
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb baby clams
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed, peeled, diced
  • 1 medium spanish onion diced
  • 2 tomatoes de-seeded. diced
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon juice
  • Handful fresh parsley chopped
Method: 
Bring generously salted water in a large stockpot to a boil for the pasta. Add pasta when ready. Meanwhile, place scallops on a paper towel to absorb any moisture. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pan over medium heat, sear scallops for 30 seconds without touching them. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss quickly then set aside. You might have to do this in 2 batches. In order to get a good sear on something, it needs space in the pan to do so.
With a little bit of water in a large pot steam clams until they open up. Discard any clams that don’t open. Set aside.
In a large pan heat 3 tbsp olive oil over med high heat. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add onion cook until translucent. Add tomato. Cook for another minute. Season well with salt and pepper. Add white wine. Cook down for 2-3 minutes. Toss in clams and clam juice. Be careful not to pour in any sand from the clams. Once pasta is al dente (firm to the bite) toss in pan with clams and sauce. Toss in juice of 1 lemon and taste. Season accordingly. Plate. Garnish with parsley and fresh extra virgin olive oil.
Adi’s Tips:
  • Prepare everything ahead. Get all the chopping out of the way, so you won’t be stressed about pulling things together at the right time. In food and in music, timing is everything!

You can improvise:

  • Try using a different type of pasta.
  • Want to make a red sauce instead of white? Try a touch of red wine and adding a can of San Marzano tomato sauce or canned whole tomatoes then crush them with your wooden spoon.
  • Use different seafood.
This just goes to show, that you can make a dish into anything that you want, given the ingredients that you have. Be creative and confident, and it’ll work out in the most delicious way!
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Here’s to one of my favorite improvisers, Sonny Rollins!

Embrace the leftover rice and alternate takes!

Don’t waste your leftover rice! It’s just as valuable as those alternate takes the cats recorded in the 50’s and 60’s! Is it just me, or were there lots of alternate takes on those recordings? Like, all those Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Cannonball albums?

*Jazz Lingo: For those non musicians out there (an alternate take is when musicians decide to put two different versions of the same song on one recording)

The point is, is don’t let the rice or the alternate takes go to waste! Don’t skip over them. The alternate take can be just as good as the other version of the tune, if not better!!

Like this one for instance..

♫ Freddie Hubbard “You’re My Everything- Alt. Take” 

With my extra brown rice from the Thai place, I made a stir fry with all the leftover veggies I had in my refrigerator. I started with 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over med heat. I added 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1 red chili (thin slices- deseeded if you don’t like it too hot) But hey, I like it hot. Sidenote: Be careful what you do with your fingers after touching the chili. Don’t touch your nose.. err.. like I just did. It burrnnnns! Ok back to the cooking:

Cook for 2-3 minutes. Tear a handful of kale in the mix. Add a little water if too dry. Cook for a minute. Add rice. Make a well with the rice. Scramble 1 egg in the middle of the pan. Toss with rest of mix. Add soy sauce. Season to taste. Finish with fresh chopped spring onion. 

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Voila! Super fast meal in five minutes, and you didn’t waste a thing!

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Good morning, baked steel cut oats and Nancy Wilson!

As I’m adjusting to this chilly weather (which I’m loving!) I decide to warm up the kitchen this morning with some oatmeal and Nancy Wilson! This oatmeal isn’t just any oatmeal. It’s baked steel cut oats! It’s a swingin’ twist on regular stovetop oatmeal. I prefer steel cut oats just because they are a bit healthier for you than the instant rolled oats. This breakfast is super healthy, satisfying, and delicious! Just like Nancy Wilson is for the soul:

What you need:

Serves 4-6

  • 1 Cup steel cut oats (the 5 minute cooking kind- see picture below)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 bananas sliced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • cinnamon

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Stir together oats, seeds, and cranberries. Whisk together  milk, egg, apple sauce, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir oats into wet ingredients. Pour into a casserole dish (or in my case I just baked it in a skillet). Place sliced bananas on top, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 30 minutes, do a taste test, and check to see if it’s done. Once tender to the bite and golden,  remove from oven and serve with more honey, cinnamon, or whatever you like. You can serve it just like this or put it in a bowl and add more milk.

You can improvise: 

  • To make this healthy breakfast a little more sweet, top with homemade whipped cream.
  • Try adding different nuts or berries.
  • Use a different type of milk.

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I hope you all have a nice and easy morning!

Episode 2 “Jam Session” Featuring Hailey Niswanger

Sweet Potato French Fries
  • Sweet potatoes cut into wedges (the smaller they are the quicker they cook)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line baking sheets with foil. Toss sweet potato with generous amounts of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and enough olive oil to lightly coat the potatoes. Spread them out evenly amongst the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or more depending on the size of the pieces.
 Salmon Sandwiches with a garlicky herb aioli
Serves: 6
For the aioli: 
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp water
  • 2 cloves garlic made into a paste
  • 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil combined
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • squeeze of lemon
Whisk together yolk, salt, and water in a medium sized bowl. Add garlic. Line a pot slightly bigger than the bowl with a towel so your whisking bowl stays put, or have someone hold the bowl. Slowly whisk in oil mixture. A squeeze bottle is ideal for this, if not a cup with a spout. Continue whisking while mixture emulsifies. If mixture breaks you can start over and pour in the previous mixture. Continue pouring oil and whisking until it reaches desired consistency. Season accordingly. If aioli is too thick, you can add water to thin it out. Add a tbsp full of thyme, a tbsp full of chopped basil, and fresh lemon juice.
For the salmon:
  • 2 lbs salmon cut into fillets
  • Salt
  •  Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 challah buns (or your favorite kind of bun/roll)
  • 3 plum tomatoes sliced
  • 1 head Boston lettuce
  • 3 roasted shallots (roasted with the sweet potato french fries)
 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On baking sheets season fillets with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Bake salmon for 12-15 minutes until they are cooked through. 5 minutes before you take out the salmon toast the buns in the oven. Take everything out of the oven and construct your salmon sandwiches!

 

You can improvise:

  • adding different fresh herbs to the aioli
  • adding different herbs/spices to sweet potato fries like rosemary
  • Dressing the sandwiches with your favorite toppings

Where’s the guac, Mexico!?

The first stop in Mexico was Monterrey. A whole bunch of us went out for Mexican food and we got some serious guacamole, churros, and tacos. Guacamole was the number one on my list. Mmm mmm mmm was it good!

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After an amazing show last night we packed up and got up for another very early lobby call this morning and took the one hour flight to Mexico City!
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While waiting for our rooms to be ready, Crystal and I headed across the street to get some more tacos and guac. You know, I really do learn something new everyday on the road. It's a beautiful thing. While we were sitting there eating lunch a woman came up to us asking us for pesos.. Me being the New Yorker that I am habitually just said "no, lo siento".. Crystal looked at me and asked if I'd be alright with letting her sit with us for a meal.. So I said… "Well.. okay". Turns out, I made a new friend today, thanks to Crystal.
Her name is Juana. She is 58 years old and has 10 children, 7 still living and 2 died from leukemia, and 1 from asthma. She's only been in Mexico City for 20 days staying with her uncle, just walking around the streets asking for change, because she actually makes more money doing that than actually doing her job back in the town that she's from which is in the countryside outside of Mexico City. She said that her family actually doesn't speak spanish, but rather they speak Mystico (spelling). She says she comes from an indigenous people that live in the country side, and more than anything she would like to come to the states and work there, doing laundry, cleaning houses, or something of that nature. Then I realized how difficult it is for a person in her position to get papers to move to the states, without having to actually marry an American. Then it really made me think, how many other people are in her position? A position in which they are between a rock and a hard place, living in a rough neighborhood, not really able to make enough money to even survive off of never the less try to save up enough money to somehow get to the states.
It really makes you think. I’m grateful to have met Juana today and grateful for my very gracious friend, Crystal for that opportunity.

On a not so heavy note.. Since coming to Mexico City, Mr. Bear has made a friend (I found him in the hotel room) and his name is Panchito.

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Belo Horizonte Adventure!

Today was our day off in Belo Horizonte and it was such a blast! Brazil, you are such a beautiful country with amazing people! At first I didn’t think anything was going to happen outside of the hotel today, since we’re all pretty unfamiliar with Belo Horizonte, but it turned out to be a day full of adventure, thanks to our lovely tour guide, Raquel!
Let’s start at the beginning. First was the Central Market:

My mind goes into overdrive whenever I’m in a market, especially a fun one like this! There were so many colors, scents, shapes and sizes.. I wanted to try everything! (I’m not kidding, our tour guide Raquel was like “wow she really does want to eat everything doesn’t she?!”) Starting with empadas.. the perfect balanced bite of crusty dough, salty beef, and melty creamy cheese. Ah, heaven! Rie wanted to get more to bring home, they were so good! Here’s Rie, Bibi, Raquel, and myself:

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Next up was the Brazilian cachaca, explained to me by Raquel:

We chased our empadas with the sweetest pineapple I’ve ever tasted. yum!

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Not only were there lots of yummy things to eat, but there were lots of babies! Here’s Larry’s new friend:

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Our next stop on the Belo Horizonte Adventure was to hear a little bit of a very happening Brazilian pop band, Jota Quest play in the park!

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Continuing on in our music/food/adventure filled day, we stopped to enjoy acai bowls with granola and banana! Apparently the acai fruit is known in the amazon as the “viagra of the amazon”.. Little fun fact for ya.. 😉 lol!

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The best part about eating this antioxidant packed snack is the color it turns your tongue..

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After that we took a drive with Praca Do Papas in mind as our destination and took in the scenery and happened to take a roller coaster ride! (??) I mean, we drove down the steepest hill I’ve ever seen in my life. The one in the video yelling “we’re all gonna die”.. yeah, that’s me.

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Belo Horizonte, thank you for an amazing adventure packed day filled with food, music, breathtaking views, a rich culture, and lots of love. My heart goes out to you and I cannot wait to play for you all tomorrow night!
Eu amo voce!
Adi