Do I need a reservation….or not?

A recent late night re-run of a Seinfeld episode inspired these thoughts…

I would dare to say that most phone calls to TWOCHEFS (with exception to the overwhelming traffic of solicitation calls, one gets on a daily basis) most of the times starts with; Do I need a reservation?

I do not know that most restaurants require reservations these days, but I think it’s important to remember or re-emphasize the importance of a reservation or in other entities “An appointment”

Let it be said (as I have many times on such phone calls or inquiries) that having a reservation merely (In the perfect world) “Should guarantee you a table in your chosen restaurant.

However, if the person on the other end of the phone accepts your request for a reservation, do your part, by showing up on time as agreed. Or simply call and communicate if there has been a change of plans.

Unfortunately, formalities have fallen by the wayside, and the art of making, keeping & or canceling a reservation has become a thing of the past. A practice that should be considered, doing so, can prove mutually beneficial.

With that being said I feel there is no need to deter interested patrons with un-necessary credit card deposits etc.

But hopefully, this pen, can inspire some old fashioned mutual respect toward the “Do I need a reservation?”

Then again if you choose the alternative an evening at home! Let me offer a few ideas…for some dishes

you can prepare yourself!

Baked tangy Salmon with a kick!

Prep; time 5 min/Cook time 15 min. /Ready in 20 min.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (6oz. salmon steaks)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup seasoned Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter melted for drizzling
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun spice(optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Method:
Coat salmon steaks with olive oil, place skin side down in oven safe dish top with breadcrumbs …season with garlic, salt, Cajun spice (optional) scant fresh parsley evenly over top, drizzle with melted butter & lemon Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 15 min. Serve with a side of your favorite vegetables.

Sautéed Button mushrooms

Prep; time 5min. / Cook for approximately 10 min. / Ready in 15 min.
Ingredients:

  • 1 package (approx 8 oz.) button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger minced (Optional)
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon butter

Method:
Melt the butter in skillet over medium heat; add the mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger; continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the soy sauce; cook the mushrooms in the soy sauce until the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes.

Balsamic glazed Strawberries

Prep; time 10 min. / Cook time 2 min. / Ready 12 min.
Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Method:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the strawberry halves, granulated sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Cook until the strawberries are heated through and darkened to a ruby red.

Place scoops of ice cream into dessert bowls or stemmed glasses. Spoon strawberries over the ice cream and serve.

Creamy Asparagus soup

Prep; time 10 min. / Cook time 10 min. /Ready 20 min.
Ingredients:

  • 3 medium leeks (white part only), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Method:
Melt butter in large sauce pan add leeks sauté until tender, add broth, asparagus, potatoes and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Gradually puree soup (use immersion blender if available otherwise you can blend in batches on countertop blender) return to the pan once complete . Add milk; cook over low heat until heated through.

Garnish with parsley for serving

Zesty Orzo salad

Prep: time 10 min / Cook time 10-15 min. /ready 20-25 min.
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more as needed
  • 1/2cup pine nuts (lightly roasted)
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pitted oil cured black olives (dice finely)
  • 3 tablespoons red onion (julienned)
  • 1/4 cup basil (julienned)
  • 1/4 cup cucumber seeded (diced)
  • 1/4 cup tomato (seeded /diced)
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese (drained /crumbled)

Method:
Combine lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, seasoning, and set aside.
In pot, bring salted water (a pinch of salt) to a boil add orzo cook for approximately 8-10 min.
Stirring occasionally. Use boil time to lightly roast pine nuts in small skillet, over low heat.
Drain orzo, in a bowl combine dressing with orzo toss and set aside to cool down. Once cooled, add pine nuts, olives, cucumber, tomato, red onions & basil. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, fold in feta cheese and serve.