Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tandoori Chicken with Mashed Chick Peas and Pepper and Onion Salad

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 1 cup Greek yogurt
* 2 inches grated ginger root
* 4 cloves garlic, grated, divided
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 2 teaspoons coriander
* 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3 tablespoons plus some for drizzling extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
* 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut across in 1/2
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cans chick peas, drained
* 1/2 cup chicken stock
* 1/4 cup tahini paste
* 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced or 1/2-inch dice
* 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced or 1/2-inch dice
* Hot banana pepper rings, drained and chopped plus 2 tablespoons juice
* Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
* 1 lime, juiced, plus 1 lime, for garnish
* 4 pita breads


Preheat oven to 500 to 550 degrees F, as high as it goes. Cover a
baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack on top if you have one -
not necessary but use it if you got it.

Place yogurt in shallow dish and combine with ginger, 3 cloves grated
garlic, chili powder, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cardamom, cumin
and 2 tablespoons oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and
coat in sauce. Arrange on baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes
until juices run clear.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1
clove grated garlic. Pulse chop the chick peas in food processor then
add to garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Mash with chicken
stock and tahini and reduce heat to low.

Combine red onion, bell peppers, chopped hot peppers, to taste, 2
tablespoons hot pepper pickle juice, cilantro leaves, lime juice.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Wedge the remaining lime, reserve.

Warm and crisp pitas in hot oven last few minutes chicken is roasting.

Serve chicken with lime wedges to squeeze over top. Serve mashed chick
peas alongside. Top the chicken with pepper salad. Cut pitas in half
and pass at table.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Five-Spice Seared Scallops and Shrimp

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 pound spaghetti
* Salt
* 5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
* 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 2 inches ginger root, minced or grated
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
* 1/4 to 1/3 cup tamari dark soy sauce, eyeball it
* 1 (15-ounce) can cooked pumpkin
* 2 rounded tablespoonfuls mild or hot curry paste (recommended:
Patak's) found on international foods aisle
* 3 tablespoons five-spice powder
* 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 12 diver scallops, trimmed and patted dry
* 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces, then thinly sliced
lengthwise into matchsticks


Heat a large pot of water for noodles. When water boils, salt it and
add pasta to cook to al dente or with a bite to it.

While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2
tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil. Add garlic, ginger, red bell
pepper, and pepper flakes to the pan and cook together a couple of
minutes, then add peanut butter and melt it. Whisk soy into peanut
butter, then stir in pumpkin and curry paste. The sauce will be very
thick. Turn down the heat to low. Add a ladle or 2 of pasta cooking
water to thin sauce a bit and simmer over low heat. Adjust salt, to

Heat a small to medium skillet over high heat. Pour the five-spice
powder onto a plate with some salt. Press both sides of the shrimp and
scallops into the powder. Add 3 tablespoons of remaining oil to hot
skillet. Place the shrimp in the pan and cook 1 minute, flip and sear
the other side until just opaque. Remove shrimp to a plate and set
aside. Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat back
up to smoking. Add the scallops and sear on both sides until opaque.
Remove scallops and add to the plate of shrimp.

Drain pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the curry-pumpkin sauce
and toss thoroughly. Serve noodles on 4 plated and top with scallions
and seafood.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why-the-Chicken-Crossed-the-Road Santa Fe-Tastic Tortilla Soup

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* Vegetable or corn oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons -- 2
turns of the pot in a slow stream
* 3 ears corn on the cob or 2 ears fresh-frozen cobs, defrosted
* 1 red bell pepper, split and seeded
* 1 pound chicken breast tenders
* 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
* 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 palm full
* Salt and pepper
* 1 small to medium zucchini, small dice
* 1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 to 2 chipotle in adobo peppers (medium to hot heat level),
chopped -- available in small cans in Mexican and Spanish food section
of market
* 1 can stewed tomatoes, 28 ounces
* 1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces
* 3 cups chicken stock, available in re-sealable paper containers
on soup aisle
* 4 cups blue corn tortilla chips, broken up into large pieces
* 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese
* 1/2 cup sour cream

Optional garnishes:

* 1/4 red raw onion, chopped
* 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
* 1 ripe avocado, diced and dressed with the juice of 1/2 lemon


Heat a grill pan to high and a soup pot to medium high. Drizzle oil on
corn and place on grill. Add red pepper to grill with corn. Char
vegetables 10 minutes, total, turning occasionally. Remove to cool, 5
minutes. Remove charred skin from the pepper.

While vegetables cook, dice chicken. Add 2 tablespoons oil to hot soup
pot. Add chicken to pot. Season with poultry seasoning, cumin, salt
and pepper. Lightly brown chicken on each side. Add zucchini, onions
and garlic and chipotle peppers. Cook vegetables with chicken 5 to 7
minutes to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock. Bring soup to
a bubble, reduce heat to medium low.

Scrape corn off cob and add to soup. Chop grilled red pepper and stir
into soup. Add chips to soup in handfuls and fold in. Serve soup
immediately with scatter of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour
cream. Top with any or all of the suggested garnishes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Broccoli Rice

Cook Time: 17 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 cups chicken broth
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 cup white rice
* 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 box chopped frozen broccoli, defrosted and squeezed dry in kitchen towel


Bring broth and butter to a boil. Add rice and stir to combine. Bring
liquid back to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, 15 minutes.

Add bell pepper and chopped, defrosted, drained broccoli. Cook rice
with broccoli and pepper another 2 to 3 minutes. Fluff with fork and

Friday, November 28, 2008

BLT and P (Bacon, Leek, Tomato and Potato) Soup

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
* 6 slices lean, smoky good quality bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
* 3 small ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, finely chopped
* 2 small to medium carrots
* 3 leeks, trimmed of rough tops and roots
* 1 bay leaf
* Salt and pepper
* 3 medium starchy potatoes, such as Idaho, peeled
* 2 quarts chicken stock
* 1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
* Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
* Crusty bread, for dunking and mopping


Heat a medium soup pot or deep sided skillet over medium-high heat. To
the hot pan add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the bacon.
Cook bacon until brown and crisp. Add the chopped celery. Take peeled
carrots and lay flat on cutting board. Hold each carrot at root end
and use the vegetable peeler to make long, thin strips of the carrot.
Chop the thin slices into small carrot bits or carrot chips, 1/2-inch
wide. Add the chips to celery and stir. Cut leeks lengthwise and then
into 1/2-inch half moons. Place the leeks into a colander and run
under rushing cold water, separating the layers to wash away all the
trapped grit. When the leeks are separated and clean, shake off water
and add to celery and carrots. Stir veggies together, add a bay leaf
and season with salt and pepper. While the leeks cook to wilt, 3 to 4
minutes, slice the potatoes.

Cut each potato across into thirds. Stand each piece of potato upright
and thinly slice it. The pieces will look like raw potato chips.

Add stock to vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add
potatoes and tomatoes. Cook 8 to10 minutes until potatoes are tender
and starting to break up a bit. Add bacon and parsley and stir. Adjust
seasonings. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Green Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cook Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 teaspoons strawberry jam
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
* Salt and pepper, to taste
* 1 pint strawberries, sliced
* 4 to 5 cups chopped romaine or mixed greens of any kind


Place jam in a medium bowl and whisk in vinegar then extra-virgin
olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the
strawberries and greens to bowl and toss to coat evenly in dressing.

Cupcake Icing for a Crowd

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: about 8 cups, enough for at least 6 dozen cupcakes


* 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 3 pounds confectioners' sugar (3 boxes)
* 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* Food coloring, such as yellow, blue, and red, or your favorite


In the bowl of a large electric mixer, using the paddle attachment,
whip the butter on high speed until very soft. Meanwhile, place a
large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Using a large
sifter, sift a pound of confectioners' sugar onto the parchment. This
helps prevent clumping, and makes the mixing easier. Lower the speed
of the mixer, and, using the parchment as a funnel, pour the sugar
into the bowl and mix slowly until combined. Add the milk and mix
until combined. Sift the second pound of sugar onto the parchment
sheet. Again at low speed, add the sugar and mix well. Once combined,
sift the remaining sugar and add it with the vanilla and mix. Once it
is combined, turn the mixer speed up and beat the icing until very
light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

If desired, divide the icing into smaller batches and color with food coloring.

Spread the icing on cooled cupcakes while at room temperature.
Refrigerate any leftover icing, but be sure to let it come back to
room temperature before using. Re-whip the icing to make it fluffy

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hungarian-ish Mini-Dumpling and Egg Noodle Soup

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Daphne's Note: Try it with other meat instead of chicken, add carrots
for sweetness :)


* 8 cups chicken stock (recommended: Kitchen Basics, 2 (1-quart) boxes
* 1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey breast (I keep an extra
pack of both in the freezer; they are both so lean and easy to work
* 1 egg
* 1 cup plain bread crumbs
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
* 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
* Handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
* Salt and pepper
* 1 1/2 cups thin egg noodles
* 1/2 cup piquillo Spanish peppers or roasted red peppers,
quartered lengthwise, very thinly sliced
* 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces then shredded into thin sticks
* Handful fresh dill, finely chopped, about 3 tablespoons


Heat stock to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.

Mix the chicken with egg, bread crumbs, nutmeg, smoked sweet paprika,
parsley, salt and pepper. Roll the meat into 1-inch dumplings and add
to simmering stock. Wash up and let the dumplings cook 3 to 4 minutes
alone. Add the egg noodles, peppers and scallions and stir. Cook
another 4 to 5 minutes until noodles are just tender. Stir in dill.
Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Greek Style Shrimp Scampi and Linguini

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 pound linguini
* Salt
* 1 pound medium to large shrimp deveined and peeled, tails removed
* Pepper
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* Couple pinches red pepper flakes
* 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
* 2 sprigs oregano, finely chopped
* Handful pitted kalamata olives, chopped
* 1/2 cup white wine, eyeball it
* 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1 cup feta cheese crumbles


Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Salt water and cook
pasta to al dente.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.

While the pasta water comes to a boil, heat extra-virgin olive oil in
a deep skillet with garlic. When garlic is brown, remove and reserve.
Add shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, lemon zest,
oregano, olives, and wine and cook together a couple of minutes more.
Remove from heat. Add a ladle of starchy pasta cooking water to sauce
and some lemon juice. Remove the sauce from the heat. Drain pasta and
add to the skillet. Let pasta soak in juices for a minute then toss
with parsley and feta. Use tongs to pull pasta from skillet, giving it
a turn to twist in as many ingredients as possible. Then, use the
tongs to remove and arrange the shrimp and ingredients that may remain
in the pan, distributing them evenly among the portions.

That's Shallota Flavor Spaghetti

Cook Time: 22 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Made with 10 shallots per pound of whole wheat spaghetti, you cannot
believe the flavor of this pasta dish. It's like a bowl of French
Onion Soup, hold the broth. It's a knockout.


* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 10 shallots, halved then thinly sliced
* Salt and black pepper
* 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
* A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
* 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil with the butter over medium-low heat
in a skillet with high sides. Add garlic and shallots and season with
salt and pepper then cook gently until caramelized about 20 minutes,
stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta, salt the water
very liberally then add spaghetti and bring to a rolling boil. Cook to
al dente. Add 2 ladles of starchy cooking water, about 1 cup, to the
shallots and stir. Drain pasta and add to shallots. Add the parsley
and cheese and more black pepper, to taste. Toss 1 to 2 minutes for
liquid to absorb and serve. WOW! Talk about yum-o!

Rachael Ray makes Chicken Fajita Soup

Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 packages chicken tenders, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
* 1 tablespoon coriander, a palm full
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, 5 to 6 sprigs
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
* 1 large bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
* 1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
* 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 1 bag white corn tortilla chips
* 1 cup shredded pepper Jack or sharp white Cheddar
* 1 ripe avocado, diced
* 1 lime, juiced
* 4 scallions, chopped
* Handful fresh cilantro leaves or fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan,
over medium-high heat. Add chicken, begin to brown 4 minutes, add
coriander, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste, onions, bell pepper and
jalapeno, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 8 to 10 minutes,
stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and stock, heat through.

While the soup is working, lightly crush some tortilla chips and
divide among 4 bowls. You need a couple of handfuls per bowl. Top the
chips with a little cheese. Toss the avocado with lime juice. Top the
chips with ladles of soup. Garnish soup with avocado, scallions and
cilantro or parsley.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Herb and Egg Scramble with Garlic Toast and Sliced Tomato

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

12 eggs, beaten
4 ounces garlic and herb cheese (such as Boursin or Alouette) or,
cream cheese, cut or crumbled into small pieces
3 tablespoons chives, chopped -- about 12 blades
Salt and black pepper
A few drops hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil
4 plum or Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
Smoked salmon, sliced ham or salami, chopped -- optional additions for the eggs
8 slices white, wheat, soft sliced Italian or whole grain bread
2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
4 tablespoons softened salted butter

Whisk eggs with cheese and chives and season with salt and pepper and
a few drops hot sauce. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium
heat. Add butter or extra-virgin olive oil to the pan. Heat butter or
oil, then add eggs. Add the optional addition, if desired, at this
point. Scramble to desired consistency and serve with a sliced plum
tomato per person, seasoned with salt and pepper, alongside the eggs.
Pass garlic toast at table: rub hot toast with cracked garlic, then
butter as usual.

Quick Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 8 slices

1 frozen pie shell, pricked several times with tines of a fork
1 package instant chocolate pudding, prepared to package directions
2 ripe bananas, sliced thin on an angle
1 can spray whipped cream
1 dark chocolate candy bar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake pie shell 10 to 12 minutes, until
golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

Line the baked and cooled pie shell with a layer of chocolate pudding,
half of the prepared amount. Add a layer of bananas. Top with
remaining prepared instant chocolate pudding and remaining bananas.
Cover the top with a giant swirl of whip cream from the spray can,
starting at the center and working out. Shave a chocolate bar with a
vegetable peeler and top pie with shavings. Serve immediately.

Cheesy Potato and Sharp Cheddar Hash

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
5 cups shredded frozen hash brown potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 cup extra-sharp white Cheddar crumbles

Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil and butter over
medium-high heat. Add onions and let soften 2 to 3 minutes. Add
potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook 20 minutes, turning
occasionally, until brown and crispy. Season with a little freshly
grated nutmeg, to taste, and add cheese. Turn the potatoes and onions
with cheese to melt the crumbles and crisp the cheese a bit, about 1
minute. Transfer to serving dish.

Thai Shrimp Curry with Chopped Lettuce and Basil-Lime Couscous

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable or other light oil, eyeball it
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
6 ounces, about 1/3 pound, shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1-inch ginger root, peeled and grated or finely chopped
4 scallions, chopped into 1-inch pieces, whites and greens
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons mild or hot red curry paste
2 roasted red peppers, sliced
1 cup "light" or unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce, 1/2 small head
1/2 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Add
shrimp and toss 2 minutes then add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger,
scallions, salt and pepper and cook 3 to 4 minutes more tossing
constantly. Stir in curry paste, roasted red pepper and coconut milk
and reduce heat to low. Simmer a few minutes then stir in peas to heat

In a sauce pot bring chicken stock, butter and the lime zest to a
boil. Add couscous and stir. Turn off heat, cover pot and let stand.
Add basil and the lime juice to the pot and fluff with a fork.

Serve couscous topped with a layer of chopped lettuce then a few
ladles of red curry shrimp. Garnish with chopped peanuts.


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 sandwiches

1 pint raspberries
2 tablespoons limoncello, plus more if desired
1 pint lemon sorbet
16 meringue cookies

Add the raspberries and the limoncello to a small bowl and allow to
macerate. Place 1 scoop sorbet between 2 cookies. Top each sandwich
with the raspberries and enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Looking for Mr. Goodbar Sundaes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Yield: 4 servings

These sundaes taste like Mr. Goodbar candy bars. I used to look for
mini Goodbars first in my Trick-o-Treat bag.

2 pints vanilla ice cream
1 jar chocolate fudge sauce
1 cup red skinned salted peanuts, available on snack aisle of market
1/4 cup honey
Whipped cream, canister
8 mini chocolate covered crunchy peanut bar (recommended: Mr.
Goodbar), optional garnish

Get 4 sundae cups or goblets out and place a huge scoop of ice cream
in each. Heat the fudge sauce 30 seconds in microwave, with the lid
off the jar. Sprinkle a handful of nuts into each dish, top with a
layer of fudge, another scoop of ice cream, a spoonful more of fudge.
Heat the honey in microwave 10 to 15 seconds. Top sundaes with whipped
cream, a drizzle of warm honey, then garnish with a few red peanuts
and a couple of mini candy bars at the edge of the cup or goblet.
edge. Serve with long spoons if you got ??em on plates, to catch any

Grilled Green Chili Quesadillas

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

3 fresh chile peppers, such as poblanos -- any variety may be used,
according to your tolerance for heat
4 (12-inch) large flour tortillas
3 cups (3/4 pound brick) smoked cheddar (recommended: Cabot brand, shredded)
1 cup store bought salsa verde, available on chip and snack aisle or
in Mexican food section
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Place whole chiles on grill and char
all over. about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and split chiles. Scrape
away seeds with a spoon and slice.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Char
the tortilla and blister it on 1 side, 20 seconds, then flip tortilla.
Cover half of the tortilla with cheese and chilies, then fold over.
Press down gently with spatula. Cook quesadilla 15 seconds more on
each side, transfer to a cutting board. Repeat. Pile up 2 completed
quesadillas at a time and cut into 3 generous wedges. The yield will
be 12 pieces from 4 quesadillas. Serve slices on a large platter with
small dishes of salsa verde and sour cream for topping. Garnish the
platter and toppings with chopped cilantro.

Mac and Cheese Lorraine

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound gemelli pasta or other short cut pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded Gruyere
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Heat water for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.

While pasta water comes to boil, heat extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn
of the pan, in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot,
add bacon and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and
drain on paper towels. Add onions and cook 10 minutes until soft and
beginning to caramelize. Add wine and cook out, 1 minute.

While onions cook, heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter, melt
and whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk and
bring to a bubble. Thicken a few minutes then season with salt and
pepper. Melt in cheese stirring it in a figure-8 motion with a wooden
spoon. Add nutmeg and mustard and adjust salt and pepper.

Drain pasta, toss with onions and stir in cheese sauce to coat. Top
with crispy bacon and serve.

Sesame and Herbes de Provence Chicken Tenders

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1/2 cup sesame seeds
4 tablespoons dried minced onion
4 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
2 packages, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, chicken tenders
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 cup sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix the salt, seeds, onion and herbs on shallow plate then coat the
chicken tenders in mixture and bake on nonstick baking sheet 18 to 20
minutes until golden and firm. Turn halfway through the cooking.

Combine the shallots with the sherry vinegar.

Dab, spoon or dip the vinegar over the sticks as you dine.

Amaretti Ice Cream Balls

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

24 amaretti cookies
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
2 pints vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sauce
Whipped cream

Crush cookies by hand or in plastic bag. Place onto a sheet pan.
Dampen the cookie crumbs with the liqueur. Scoop ice cream balls onto
the sheet pan and roll around until covered. Place the balls into a
serving dish and top with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Root Vegetable Patties

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

2 parsnips, peeled and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups shredded frozen hash brown potatoes
3 scallions, whites and greens chopped
A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons
canola oil in a large nonstick skillet then drop 4 mounds of
vegetables using about 1/2 of the veggie mix into the pan and flatten
each mound a bit. Cook patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side, drain on
paper towels and repeat with remaining oil and vegetables to make 8
patties, total. Serve at room temperature.

Renaissance of Tuna Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound fettuccine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 (6-ounce) cans Italian tuna in water or oil, drained
1/2 cup tender sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced, available in small
pouches in produce department
1/2 cup dry white wine, a couple of turns of the pan
1/2 cup heavy cream, a couple of turns of the pan
Black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
Couple handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup fresh basil, about 20 leaves, shredded

Place pasta water on to boil. Salt water then add pasta and cook to al dente.

While pasta cooks, heat a deep skillet over medium heat with
extra-virgin olive oil. Saute garlic and onions until tender, 4 to 5
minutes. Add tuna and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to heat through,
another 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine and cook it down a minute then add
cream and season sauce with salt and pepper. Toss hot pasta and peas
with sauce and cheese. Serve on dinner plates and top with shredded

Grilled Shrimp and Chorizo Skewers with Piquillo Gazpacho

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

16 extra large, 6 to 8 count, peeled and deveined shrimp
Coarse salt
1 lemon, zested and 1/2 lemon, juiced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for liberal drizzling
1 package (3/4-pound) chorizo cut into 16 thick slices on an angle
(recommended: Gaspar's)
1 generous handful flat-leaf parsley
1 generous handful cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, cracked from skin
1 jar piquillo, Spanish roasted peppers - available in most markets,
roasted red peppers may be substituted, about 1 cup packed, drained
1 can (28-ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes, diced or crushed
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled, chopped
2 ribs celery from heart, chopped
2 thick slices crusty bread, chopped
1 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco) for medium to spicy
heat level, adjust to your own taste

Preheat grill or grill pan over medium high heat.

Place shrimp in shallow dish and season with salt, lemon juice and a
liberal drizzle on extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat the
shrimp. Skewer 4 shrimp alternating with 4 slices of chorizo on each

Place 2 tablespoons, a palm full, of parsley on the cutting board with
the lemon zest. Add 1/2 palm full of cilantro leaves to the pile as
well as 1 clove of garlic. Finely chop this mixture and reserve for
sprinkling over shrimp and gazpacho.

Place remaining herbs and garlic in the food processor or a large
blender with peppers, tomatoes, chopped vegetables, bread and hot
sauce and process until smooth.

Grill shrimp and chorizo 3 to 4 minutes on each side until shrimp is
firm and opaque. Serve small bowls of gazpacho with shrimp skewers
resting across the top of the bowls for dipping and dunking. Garnish
with reserved parsley, cilantro and garlic mixture.

Drunken Citrus Salad

Level: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

6 cups drained citrus salad mix (buy 2 (1-quart) jars orange and
grapefruit sections, available in refrigerated section of market)
1 nip or 3 shots of gin
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus a couple sprigs to garnish

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately or chill up to several
hours, until ready to serve.


Honey Dijon Potato Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 to 2 1/2-pounds small red skin potatoes, quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 radishes, sliced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
3 to 4 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, chopped
1 cup watercress tops or flat leaf parsley leaves coarsely chopped

Cover potatoes with cold water, bring to a boil and salt the water.
Boil potatoes until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine the honey, Dijon, and vinegar in a bowl then slowly
whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. To the bowl add
radishes, capers, onions, celery, watercress or parsley and hot
potatoes. Using a wooden spoon break up the potatoes into large
chunks. Toss the potato salad, adjust salt and pepper then serve.


Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 turns of the pan
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks or grated
1/2 pound shitake mushroom caps, sliced, a couple of cups
1 medium bok choy, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut sticks
Salt and pepper
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup seafood stock, available on soup aisle or, 1 cup clam juice
1 1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 pound vermicelli (thin spaghetti)
4 scallions, cut into 3 inch pieces, then shredded lengthwise into thin sticks

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil, 3
turns of the pan, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger,
mushrooms, and bok choy, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken
broth and seafood stock or clam juice. Put a lid on the pot and bring
soup to a boil.

Add shrimp and noodles and cook 3 minutes. Add in scallions and cook 2
minutes, then turn off soup and let it sit 2 to 3 minutes more. Adjust
salt and serve.

Tuna Puttanesca

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cans (about 5.5 to 6 ounces each) Italian tuna in oil or water, drained well
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
A generous handful black olives (Gaeta, kalamata or oil-cured), pitted
and chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/3 cup white vermouth or 1/2 cup dry white wine - eyeball it
1 (28-ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
A generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Fresh ground black pepper
Crusty bread

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Salt
the water and cook penne to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with 3 turns of the pan extra-virgin
olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook
a minute or 2, then add tuna and break it up with your spoon. Add
olives and capers, cook a minute or 2 more, then add vermouth or white
wine; stir and cook down a minute. If using whole tomatoes, place a
colander over a bowl, crush up tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then add
tomatoes and their juice to pan. Otherwise, stir in diced tomatoes and
juice. Add parsley, zest and black pepper, then simmer the sauce a
couple of minutes more.

Add a couple of ladles of starchy pasta-cooking water to the sauce.
Drain pasta, add to the skillet and toss to coat. Serve with some nice
crusty bread.

Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Yield: 8 servings

1 pound cake, vanilla, chocolate, or swirl
1 rectangular box vanilla, chocolate, or swirl ice cream, slightly softened
1/4 to 1/2 cup coffee liqueur, or any liqueur you have on hand, divided
3 to 4 tablespoons leftover coffee, divided
1 cup cocoa powder

Line a meat loaf pan with plastic wrap so that it is completely
covered, with lots of extra hanging over the edges.

Cut the pound cake lengthwise in 4 equally thin rectangular slabs. Cut
1 of the rectangles in 1/2 widthwise, then cut another 1 of the
rectangles in 1/2 lengthwise. You should have 2 full slabs, 2 thin
rectangular strips, and 2 squares. Begin layering the meatloaf pan
with 1 of the full slabs on the bottom, then the 2 strips on either
side. Place the 2 squares of pound cake vertically on each end of the
pan. The loaf pan should now be completely encased in pound cake.

Lightly brush, our drizzle, the pound cake with the liqueur and
leftover coffee, reserving some for the top piece. Scoop the ice cream
into the cavity of the pound cake and smooth it out with a small
offset spatula or your fingertips so that it is all even around the
pan. Once the pan is full of ice cream, pour the remaining liqueur and
coffee over the remaining piece of pound cake. Top the ice cream with
the remaining piece of pound cake and press down. Cover the cake with
the plastic wrap and put back in the freezer for at least an hour.
Using the overhanging plastic wrap, remove the ice cream cake from the
loaf pan. Place the loaf on a serving platter and sprinkle with the
cocoa powder and serve.

Grilled Halibut with Fennel, Red Onions and Oregano

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

This dish is fast, healthy and combines a Sicilian favorite combo of
mine: oranges, red onions and oregano. Fennel is a winter favorite,
but in most markets it is available year round and in my family we
used it as a digestive during big meals throughout the year.

4 (6-ounce) halibut filets
Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons plus some for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Crusty bread, cut into thick slices
1 orange
1 bulb fennel, quartered, core removed, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, a couple of splashes
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, 2 sprigs

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over high heat.

Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the fish and season with salt and
pepper. Grill 4 minutes on each side until fish is firm but not tough
and cooked through. Grill bread alongside or char under broiler then
dress with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper as well.

Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.

While fish cooks, peel the orange as you would a melon: cut off ends,
stand it upright and cut off skin and pith in thin strips from top to
bottom. Cut orange across into thin slices.

To preheated skillet add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan,
the fennel and onions, season with salt and pepper and cook 3 to 5
minutes until seared and beginning to soften. Add vinegar to the pan
and give it a shake. Remove from heat and toss in the oranges, the
parsley and oregano. Adjust seasoning and serve salad on dinner plates
topped with fish, and seasoned bread alongside.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Carbonara Deep-Dish Pasta-Crusted Pan Pizza

2 packages fresh linguini, 9 ounces each
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, cut as thick as bacon, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
1/2 cup cream
2 cups ricotta cheese
A handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat water for pasta in large pot, salt it and add pasta for 3 minutes.

While water boils, heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, 3
turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and brown, 3 to
4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes.

Drain pasta, add to pan and toss. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano and
season with salt and pepper. Beat eggs with cream and pour over top of
pasta. Let eggs begin to set up, about 1 minute, and pat pasta into
even layer to make the pizza pie crust. Place in oven and cook 5 to 6

Mix together the ricotta and parsley. Remove pie from oven and smooth
the ricotta over the top. Scatter with the provolone or mozzarella and
return to oven. Bake 8 minutes more until cheese is melted and golden
at edges. Cut into wedges and serve.

Cioppino: A Fine Kettle of Fish

1/4 cup (3 turns around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 3 flat fillets of anchovies, drained
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup good quality dry white wine
1 (14-ounce) container chicken stock
1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed (about 1 tablespoon)
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 pounds cod, cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
8 large shrimp, ask for deveined easy-peel or peel and devein
8 sea scallops
16 to 20 raw mussels, scrubbed
A loaf of fresh, crusty bread, for mopping

In a large pot over moderate heat combine oil, crushed pepper,
anchovies, garlic, and bay. Let anchovies melt into oil. The anchovies
act as a natural salt, the pepper flakes will infuse the oil,
providing heat.

Chop celery and onion near stove and add to the pot as you work. Saute
vegetables for a few minutes to begin to soften and add wine to the
pot. Reduce wine a minute, then add chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme,
and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to medium low.

Season fish chunks with salt and pepper. Add fish and simmer 5
minutes, giving the pot a shake now and then. Do not stir your soup
with a spoon after the addition of fish or you will break it up. Add
shrimp, scallops, and mussels and cover pot. Cook 10 minutes, giving
the pot a good shake now and again.

Remove the lid and discard any mussels that do not open. Carefully
ladle stew into shallow bowls and pass bread at the table.

Puttanesca Pizza

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons anchovy paste or 6 fillets flat anchovies
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped pitted good quality black olives
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 prepared thin crust pizza shell (recommended: Boboli)
3/4 pound very thinly sliced fresh or fresh smoked mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil,
garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper flakes. When anchovies (if whole)
melt or garlic is tender, about 2 minutes, add tomatoes and olives.
Simmer sauce 3 to 4 minutes. Top the pizza with sauce and the sliced
cheese. Bake until pizza until cheese melts and crust is crisp, 10
minutes. Cut and serve.

From: food network

Turkey Bacon Double Cheese Burgers with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling plus 1 tablespoon
8 slices bacon
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
2 green onions, finely chopped
A handful cilantro, leaves finely chopped
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons zest and the juice of 2 limes
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, lightly drained
2 rounded tablespoon grainy mustard
8 slices pepper jack cheese, from the deli counter
4 large sandwich size English muffins, lightly toasted

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to
medium-high heat and add the turkey bacon. Cook until crisp, 3 minutes
on each side, remove to plate.

While the bacon cooks, combine the turkey breast, green onions,
cilantro, chipotle, paprika, salt and pepper, lime zest and juice. Mix
the turkey breast with seasonings and form 4 sections, from each, 2
patties. Place the first 4 patties in the pan; cook 3 to 4 minutes on
each side. Remove from the skillet and place onto a plate and loosely
cover with foil to keep warm

While the first batch of burgers cook heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauce
pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and soften 3 to 4 minutes,
season with salt and pepper and then add Worcestershire, brown sugar,
tomatoes, and mustard. Let the sauce cook on low.

Add the second batch of burgers to the skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes
on each side. Top with a slice of cheese and 2 pieces bacon. Tent
skillet with foil and cook on low to moderate heat to melt cheese,
about 1 minute.

Place burgers on muffin bottoms. Top with bacon double cheese burgers,
fire roasted tomato sauce and English muffin top.

From: food network