Talk Takeaway: Cooking with Cat Cora

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 10:45am

For The Talk's Food Festival, Iron Chef Cat Cora stopped by for a Talk Takeaway: Cooking segment.  She showed the ladies a spectacular seafood dinner. Here are the recipes!

Salmon and Scallop Skewers with Romesco Sauce






Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus ¼ Cup for the Romesco Sauce)



Fresh Lime Juice



Salmon Fillet (Cut into 8 equal chunks)



Sea Scallops



8 inch Wooden Skewers (Soaked in Cool Water for an Hour)



Red Onion (Cut into 1 ¼ inch Chunks)



Red Bell Pepper (Cut into 1 ¼ inch Chunks)



Poblano Chili (Cut into 1 ¼ inch Chunks)



Roasted Red Bell Pepper (Peeled, Seeded and Coarsely Chopped)



Cherry Tomatoes (Roasted)



Almonds (Coarsely Chopped)



Garlic Cloves (Coarsely Chopped)



Sherry Vinegar


Preheat the oven to 400 F or preheat the grill.

In a baking dish, combine the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and lime juice. Add the salmon and scallops to the dish and stir with a wooden spoon to coat all the pieces. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce.

For the Romesco Sauce:

In a blender, combine the roasted pepper, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil, blending until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Remove the salmon and scallops from the marinade and discard the liquid. Pat dry each scalllop and chunk of fish with paper towels.

Thread each skewer with 2 onion chunks, 1 salmon chunk. bell pepper and poblano chunks, and 1 scallop.

To Bake or Broil:
Set the skewers on a baking sheet and place on the top rack of your oven. Bake or broil for 4 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet in the oven and give each skewer a half turn. Bake or broil for another 4 minutes, or until the salmon is firm to the touch and the scallops have begun to brown on the edges.

To Grill:
These cook quickly, so it's best to set them to the side of the grill and not directly over a flame. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn. Turn the skewers gently so that the fish doesn't break and fall into the fire. When the salmon feels firm to the touch and the scallops show light grill marks, remove from the grill.

Arrange two skewers on each plate and spoon the sauce over them, or pile the skewers on a serving platter and serve the sauce in a bowl.

Dolmas with Baby Fennel & Rice


½ cup EVOO

1 cup yellow onion

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 cup long grain rice

½ cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill

¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Kosher salt and pepper

1-8ounce jar grape leaves, rinsed and dried, stems removed

2 lemons, juiced

5 heads baby fennel, braised, julienned and seasoned with salt and pepper


For Filling:

Coat a large pan with ¼ cup oil and place over medium heat.

Add onion, lemon zest and cook until soft 910 minutes)

Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring.

Pour ½ cup of veg stock and lower heat to simmer, until liquid is absorbed.

Scrape the par cooked rice into a mixing bowl; add parsley and dill, season with salt and pepper. Let cool

Grape leaves:

Lay a grape leaf, shiny side down on work surface.

Place 2 tablespoon filling near the stem and add 2 slices of braised julienned baby fennel.

Fold the stem end over the filling, and then fold both sides towards the middle, roll like a loose cigar

Place a layer of grape leaves on the bottom of the skillet. Place dolmades, seam side down in a single layer. Cover the layer with grape leaves and begin another layer. (Should not exceed 4 layers).

Cover top layer with leaves.

Pour remaining veg broth and olive oil and lemon juice over the dolmades.

Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until dolmades are fork tender.

Cat's Egyptian Bread Salad

Serves 4-6


2 pita breads, cut in small squares

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 cucumber, seeded and sliced ½ inch

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 scallion, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped mint

2 tablespoons thyme

1 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

8 pepperoncini


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss the pita squares in a bowl with paprika, sesame seeds, salt and olive oil.  Place the pita squares on a baking pan and bake for 5 minutes until crisp.

In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic and brown for 1 minute.  Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, toss the cucumber, tomatoes, scallion, mint, thyme, lemon, olive oil and sumac.  Toss in the garlic, pita chips, salt and pepper.  Mix well and serve.

Ouzo Pomegranate Martini

Serves 2


4 ounces pomegranate juice

4 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces ouzo
2 ounces vodka
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 lime slices, for garnish


In a martini shaker, combine all ingredients with ½ cup of ice.
Shake well and strain into 2 chilled martini glasses rimmed with sugar.
Garnish each glass with a lime wedge.

Olive Oil Cake, Lathi Torte

Serves 12



2 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter

2 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

3 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil

1 ¼ cups whole milk

¼ cup Grand Marnier

¼ cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

½ cup finely chopped blanched almonds

powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350F, with the rack in the middle of the oven.

Brush a10 inch non-stick cake pan with melted butter. If the pan is not non-stick, line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and butter the parchment.  Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

Place the eggs in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the eggs for several seconds at medium high speed. Add the sugar and whisk for a minute more. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and pour in the oil, then the milk, liquor, orange juice and lemon zest.

When all the wet ingredients are incorporated, add the dry ingredients. Mix until the mixture is smooth, stopping, as necessary, to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Fold in the almonds.  Pour into the buttered cake pan and place into the oven.

Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden skewer poked in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool on a rack for about 5 minutes.

Run a knife around the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto the back of a baking pan. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Turn the cake back over onto a serving platter. When the cake has reached room temperature, garnish the top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

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