Monday, May 23, 2011

Quick Soup Recipes

from St. Petersburg Times

Chicken Noodle Soup
To 4 cups each boiling chicken broth and water, add 1 large diced onion, 2 sliced celery stalks, 1 cup each sliced carrots and sliced parsnips. Simmer for 15 minutes and add 6 ounces egg noodles, cook for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups shredded cooked chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

White Bean and Fennel Soup
Saute 1 diced onion and 1 small sliced fennel bulb in oil until tender. Add 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 1 (14-ounce) can each drained cannellini beans and diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, pepper to taste and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until fennel is tender. Discard bay leaf. Add 3 cups spinach and cook until wilted.

Black Bean and Corn Soup
Saute chopped onion, 1 diced jalapeno and garlic in olive oil. Add 4 cups chicken broth, 2 cans drained black beans and 1 teaspoon cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes. Puree, return to the pan and add 1 cup frozen corn kernels. Heat through. Serve with sour cream.

Creamy Tomato and Tarragon Soup
Saute 1 medium diced onion in olive oil until soft. Add 28-ounce and 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes and then puree in a blender or use an immersion blender in pan. Return to pan over low heat and whisk in 1/3 cup sour cream and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried. Season with salt and pepper.

Lemon Egg Drop Soup
Bring 8 cups of chicken broth to boil. In a bowl, whisk together 4 large eggs, the juice of 2 lemons and a few shakes of lemon pepper. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot broth. Reduce heat and add egg mixture, stirring constantly. Do not boil or eggs will curdle. Heat through and serve with lemon zest and shaved curls of Parmesan.

Italian Wedding Soup
Bring 8 cups of chicken broth to a boil with rind of Parmesan (optional). Add 1 pound mini frozen meatballs, 1 cup orzo and 3 cups torn greens (escarole or spinach). Simmer until orzo is tender and meatballs are heated through.

Butternut Squash Soup
Saute 1/2 sliced onion in 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and 2 tablespoons butter until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add 5 cups chicken broth and 2 pounds peeled and diced butternut squash. Simmer until tender and puree. Whirl in creme fraiche or sour cream and scatter with chives or parsley to serve.

Asian Dumpling Soup
Puree two cloves garlic with 2-inch piece peeled ginger and fry in oil with one bunch sliced scallions. Add 3 cups each chicken or vegetable broth and water, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry, and pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil and add frozen dumplings, julienned carrots and snow peas.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup
Add 1 pound peeled, diced and cubed sweet potatoes to 4 cups boiling water. Simmer until tender. Meanwhile, saute 2 cups chopped yellow onions in 1 tablespoon butter until golden. Puree drained potatoes with onions plus 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, 1 cup skim milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return to pan; add another cup skim milk and 1 tablespoon butter. Heat through. Serve with a dash of cayenne and sour cream.

Potato Leek Soup
Saute 3 cups each sliced leeks and cubed potatoes in butter. Add 1 sliced garlic clove and pinch each of salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg; cook 5 minutes. Add 5 cups chicken broth; boil until potatoes are tender, then puree. Reheat with 1 cup cream or half-and-half; do not boil.

Red Bean and Barley Soup
In a saucepan, saute diced celery, onion and garlic in olive oil. Add 7 cups beef or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Pour in 1 cup quick-cooking barley. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add 2 cans drained and rinsed kidney beans and 3 cups torn spinach leaves. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
Saute 1/2 diced onion in 1/4 cup melted butter until soft. Stir in 8 ounces frozen broccoli and add 2 cans chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat, and stir in 8 ounces processed cheese (like Velveeta). Mix in 1 cup milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder. To thicken, mix 1/3 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water in a small bowl and stir into soup.

Sausage, Spinach and Lentil Soup
Bring six cups of your choice of broth to a boil. Add 10 ounces lentils, 1 cup diced carrots and 2 minced garlic cloves. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add 1 pound sliced cooked kielbasa and fresh or frozen chopped spinach.

Hamburger Rice Soup
Brown 1 pound ground beef. Drain fat, return meat to pan and add 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, 2 cups cubed potatoes, 2 sliced carrots, 1 chopped onion, 1/2 cup rice, 6 cups water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 25 minutes.

Thai Coconut Soup
Saute 3 garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons grated ginger, 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass, 1 teaspoon each cumin and coriander, and a hot chili in oil. Add 1 sliced, raw chicken breast and 1 sliced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add shredded bok choy, 4 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Simmer for 8 minutes.

Spicy Poblano and Corn Soup
Bring 1 cup corn and 1 1/2 cups milk to a boil. Microwave 4 seeded and chopped poblano chilies, 1 cup diced onion and 1 tablespoon water on high for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, place 2 cups corn and 1/2 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. Add pureed mixture to corn mixture in pan. Stir in chili mixture and salt, and heat through over medium heat. Serve with grated cheddar cheese.

Super Vegetable Soup
In a saucepan, sweat chopped onion, green pepper and minced garlic in 2 tablespoons butter. Add 6 cups broth of your choice. Bring to a boil and add 1 cup each diced carrots and potatoes, cook for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup each diced zucchini and trimmed green beans plus 1 or 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of thyme or Italian dried seasoning. Salt and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with floating croutons.

Potato and Bacon Soup
Cook 8 slices of chopped bacon. Drain bacon and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of grease in pan. Saute 1 small, diced onion. Add 6 cups chicken broth or water and 3 cups cubed potatoes, bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Puree and return to pan. Add 1 (14-ounce) can evaporated milk and cooked bacon pieces, stir. Serve with snipped chives.

Turkey Sausage and Gnocchi Soup
Brown 6 ounces bulk turkey sausage. Add 2 cups water, 16 ounces frozen gnocchi, 1 (14-ounce) can beef broth and 1 (14-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, chopped and with juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Shrimp Soup
Make a garlic broth by smashing and peeling 2 heads of garlic and simmering on medium about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 8 cups of chicken broth and a bundle of fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano); simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and strain solids. Return liquid to pan and add 1 pound of small, peeled shrimp. Other additions could include shiitake mushrooms, frozen, shelled edamame, fresh chopped mint or parsley.

Sweet Potato, Leek and Ham Soup
Saute 1 cup diced cooked ham in olive oil. Set meat aside. Add 1 large, sliced leek and cook with 1 tablespoon water until tender. Add 3 cups cubed, peeled sweet potatoes, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 cups water and 1 (5-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove half and puree, then return to pan. Return ham and heat through. Serve with sliced leeks or scallions as garnish.

Tortellini and Pea Soup
Bring 6 to 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth to a boil and add a bag of cheese tortellini; cook for a few minutes until pasta is floating. Add frozen peas.

Cream of Crab Soup
Saute 1 small, diced onion in 2 tablespoons butter. Add 1 can cream of potato soup, 1 can cream of celery soup, 2 soup cans of milk, 1/2 soup can of water, 2 teaspoons Old Bay and 1 pound crab meat. Mix thoroughly and heat through, stirring frequently. (Substitute 1/2 pound of cooked fresh shrimp for crab.)

Mushroom and Brown Rice Soup
Saute 1 medium, finely chopped onion in olive oil until soft. Add 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms, 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms and 1 cup shredded carrots. Cook for 10 minutes. Add garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Add 4 cups vegetable broth, 3/4 cup quick-cooking brown rice and 2 cups water; cover and heat to boiling on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium; cook, partly covered, 5 minutes or until rice is tender.

Asian Chicken Noodle With Snow Peas Soup
Cook and drain 8 ounces rice noodles. Combine 3 inches smashed lemongrass, 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and cut in matchsticks and 3 cups water. Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain broth, return to pan and add 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in strips and 8 ounces trimmed snow peas. Cook for 5 minutes. Finish with fresh lime juice, mint leaves and Asian chili sauce such as Sriracha.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bittman's 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling

June 29, 2010

THERE, in all of their Fourth of July glory, are 101 grilling ideas begging to be tried. A vast majority take less time to prepare and grill than it takes to watch your coals turn white. (If you use gas, they’re still almost as fast as heating up the grill.) Some of them feature ingredients like corn, eggplant and tomatoes, which will be better a month from now, at least in the Northeast. But there are also suggestions for foods in season right now that not everybody thinks of putting on the grill. Please note that salt and pepper are (usually) understood.

Vegetables and Fruits

1. A winter dish, summer style: Brush thick slices of fennel bulbs with olive oil and grill over not-too-high heat. Cut oranges in half and grill, cut-side down. Put fennel on a bed of arugula or watercress, squeeze grilled oranges over top. Garnish with fennel fronds.

2. Best grilled artichokes: Cut artichokes in half, scoop out the choke, parboil until tender. Grill, cut-side down, until lightly browned; grill a couple of halved lemons, too. Combine the juice from the grilled lemons with melted butter and spoon over the artichokes. Finish with parsley.

3. Tahini tofu steaks. Thin tahini with lots of lemon juice and some minced garlic. Cut a brick of firm tofu into four slabs and brush with sesame oil. Grill over a moderate fire, turning a few times, until marked and crisp outside and custardy inside. On the last turn, baste with the tahini sauce. Serve on thick tomato slices with a drizzle of soy sauce and chopped basil, Thai if possible.

4. Spice-rubbed carrots: Roll peeled carrots in cumin, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Char, then move them away from direct heat and cover the grill until carrots are tender.

5. Grill bread; grind in a food processor to make coarse bread crumbs. (You can add garlic and/or parsley and/or Parmesan, or not.) Grill asparagus until tender. Top with bread crumbs and olive oil.

6. Brush slices of beet with olive oil and grill slowly until tender and lightly browned. Top each slice with a little goat cheese and some salad greens.

7. For perfectly ripe tomatoes only: Grill tomatoes, any size, until hot and lightly charred but not bursting. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with fresh mozzarella (or, even better, burrata) and grilled bread.

8. Halve and grill radicchio (or Belgian endives); drizzle cut sides with honey or plain vinaigrette, pesto or parsley pesto. Or just brush with oil and finish with a little grilled prosciutto.

9. Grilled guacamole: Halve and pit avocados; lightly char them, then scoop out the flesh. Grill halved red onion, too. Chop, combine, add tomatoes, lime, garlic and spices if you like.

10. Grill corn. Serve with mayo with minced garlic, pimentón and parsley.

11. Grill more corn. Serve with curry-powder-laced yogurt and minced onion.

12. Grill corn again. Serve with coconut milk, cilantro and mint.

13. Root vegetable of your choice: Slice celeriac — or jicama, big potatoes, daikon or yams — and grill slowly, until very tender and browned. Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with chopped rosemary or sage and olive oil.

14. Choose another root. Slice it, but this time char lightly and leave it crunchy. Chop and toss with chopped cilantro, a pinch of cayenne and juice of grilled lime.

15. Rub thick zucchini slices with a mixture of fresh or dried dill, yogurt, olive oil and lemon. (Or use pesto or parsley pesto.) Grill slowly.

16. More shopping than cooking: Grill an array of radishes on little skewers, four to six each. Serve with butter, salt and bread.

17. Halve Belgian endives. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill over moderate-to-low heat, turning once or twice, until soft and browned. Finish cut-side up and sprinkle with grated Parmesan; close the grill to melt cheese.

18. Lightly char whole or halved heads of baby bok choy; drizzle with soy sauce and top with chopped scallions.

19. Peel and thickly slice a not overly ripe mango. Brush very lightly with neutral oil and grill just until softened; sprinkle with cilantro and/or mint and lime juice (you might as well grill the lime first, too).

20. Grill pineapple (or anything, really, from pork to tofu to eggplant). Make a sauce of half-cup peanut butter, a tablespoon (or more) soy sauce, a dash (or more) sriracha chili sauce, a handful of basil or mint and enough warm water to thin. (I’m tempted to say, “Throw away the pineapple and eat the sauce,” but the combination is sensational.)

21. Waldorf salad revisited, sort of: Grill cut apples until browned but not mushy; grill chunks of Napa or savoy cabbage, also left crisp; grill halved red onion. Chop or shred all together with blue cheese, walnuts and a little yogurt.

22. Cut a slit in as many ripe figs as you like; stuff with herbed goat cheese (or cream cheese mixed with chopped nuts) and grill slowly. Appetizer or dessert? Your call.

23. Grill red, orange and/or yellow peppers; toss with olives, capers, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

24. Quick grilled pickle: Rapidly char thick slices of cucumber; toss with salt, vinegar and sugar; let sit for 15 minutes, then drain.

25. Charred salsa verde. Toss whole husked tomatillos, scallions and jalapeños in olive oil and grill until charred. Remove the blackened skin from the chilies and chop or blend everything with diced avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Eat with chips or top grilled chicken with it.


26. Mideast lamb chops: Shoulder cuts are the best and the cheapest; just don’t burn them. Marinate them briefly in yogurt, lemon, cardamom and mint. Serve with lemon and parsley.

27. Midwest pork chops: Again, shoulder; again, don’t burn. Marinate briefly in spicy mustard, chopped garlic and apple cider.

28. Six-minute steak (or maybe four): Salt skirt steak and grill it, quickly. Top with queso fresco, thinly sliced red onion (you could grill it first, if you like) and the juice of grilled lime.

29. Six-minute steak, plus a little marinating time: Soak skirt steak in a mixture of soy, lime juice, garlic, ginger and sugar (or mirin) before grilling. (The time it takes to heat the grill is long enough.)

30. Smear chicken leg quarters (or thighs) with a paste of garlic, chopped rosemary (thyme, too, if you like), olive oil and the juice of grilled lemon. Grill away from heat, covered; crisp briefly over high heat.

31. Steak au poivre: Sirloin strip is ideal. Press lots of cracked black pepper into both sides, sprinkle with salt and grill over fairly high heat, about three to four minutes on each side. Slice quarter-inch thick before serving.

32. Crisp (and better) duck à l’orange: Score the skin of duck breasts and press rosemary leaves, salt and pepper into both sides. Grill skin-side down over low-ish heat until crackly, then turn and grill briefly. Serve with grilled orange halves.

33. Smear hanger, skirt, flatiron or other steak with mustard. Grill and serve with grilled shallots.

34. Brush chicken thighs — boned or not — with basil, parsley or cilantro pesto. Boneless and skinless thighs can be grilled over direct heat; thighs with skin should be started away from heat.

35. Fast lamb leg: Use steaks cut from the leg, and rub them with a mix of warm spices: cumin, coriander, cinnamon and turmeric. Grill quickly, serve hot.

36. Spread flank steak or butterflied lamb leg with garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Roll and tie, or fold. (Or grill without further fuss, adding more paste occasionally.)

37. Moist grilled chicken breast? Yes: Pound chicken breast thin, top with chopped tomato, basil and Parmesan; roll and skewer and grill over not-high heat until just done.

38. Call it grilled chicken Parm: Pound breast thin, top one side with sliced tomato, mozzarella and Parmesan; fold in half, seal with a toothpick or skewer and grill for a few minutes on each side.

39. Pork (or veal) saltimbocca: Pound pork or veal cutlets thin; top with ham (prosciutto preferably) and cheese (maybe Gruyère). Roll, cook on skewers and serve with pickles.

40. Slice pork shoulder thin. Fry lots of sesame seeds, minced garlic, fresh minced chili in sesame oil; off heat, stir in some soy sauce. Grill the pork fast over high heat, smearing with the sesame paste right after flipping. Serve with lettuce leaves and cilantro, basil and/or mint for wrapping.

41. Bacon-wrapped hot dog. You know you want one.

Fish and Shellfish

42. Grill thick onion slices; purée in a blender with olive oil and lemon juice. Grill scallops for about four minutes; serve with the vinaigrette.

43. Salmon tartare with grilled stuff: Lightly grill radishes, scallions, lime halves and, if you like, plantain disks. Serve the plantains under, and the other things next to, chopped raw salmon (preferably wild) seasoned with salt and pepper.

44. Grill sardines or mackerel; serve with a squeeze of grilled lemon, grapefruit or both.

45. Stuff whole gutted trout with slices of lemon and chopped marjoram or oregano. Wrapping in bacon is optional. One per person is best.

46. Not so easy, but so impressive: Stuff squid bodies with chopped chorizo (optional), garlic-toasted bread crumbs, lemon zest and parsley. Close with toothpicks. Char quickly over a very hot fire.

47. Shrimp, Part 1: Rub with chili powder and salt, and grill quickly. Finish with cilantro and the juice of grilled lime halves.

48. Shrimp, Part 2: Rub with olive oil, salt and cumin. Finish with the juice of grilled lemon halves; garnish with chopped marjoram, if you have it, parsley if you don’t.

49. Shrimp, Part 3: Rub with curry powder. Drizzle with warm coconut milk and chopped mint, basil and/or cilantro.

50. Grilled tuna niçoise: Brush tuna with olive oil and grill; keep it rare. (You might grill some new potatoes while you’re at it.) Serve with more olive oil, lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, olives, grilled red onion and parsley. Green beans and hard-cooked eggs are optional.

51. Grilled clams on the half shell: Get them shucked (or cook in the microwave or on the grill until opened); top with bread crumbs, parsley, lemon, minced cooked bacon (optional). Grill until topping is hot.

52. You think you don’t like bluefish? Grill it, then drizzle with a mixture of chopped fennel fronds (or crushed fennel seeds), melted butter and the juice of grilled grapefruit or orange.

53. White fillets with spice: Mix salt, sugar, chili powder and paprika. Rub on sturdy white fish fillets (make sure the grill grates are clean and well oiled).

54. Buy shucked oysters. Top with juice of grilled lemon. Period. (You could grill shallots, mince and make a grilled mignonette, but this is better.)

55. Grill soft-shell crabs, brushing with melted butter and Tabasco. A little charring of the claw tips isn’t a bad thing.

56. Simmer octopus tentacles until tender (this may take a couple of hours); cool. Grill; cut into attractive little rounds and drizzle with lemon and olive oil.

57. Grill wild salmon (preferably king or sockeye) until not-well-done. Toss diced cucumbers with fresh dill, olive oil and lemon juice. Serve salmon hot, slaw cold.


58. Shrimp and chorizo. Serve with lemon or a little vinaigrette.

59. Lamb and carrots. In last few minutes, brush with miso thinned with a tiny bit of mirin (or sherry, wine or water).

60. Lamb and onions. Brush with a mixture of cumin and olive oil as they sizzle. You can add bell peppers, too, but somehow the stark minimalism of this is pleasing.

61. Odd, but good: Strawberries and cherry tomatoes, finished with basil-laced balsamic vinegar.

62. The New Yawk special: Italian sausage, peppers and onions.

63. The California special: Figs, with chunks of good bacon.

64. Kebab or hero? Your choice: Cut brussels sprouts in half; grill slowly on skewers, with chunks of sausage. Both slowly crisp as they cook.

65. Bread salad on a stick: Cubes of bread, black olives and cherry tomatoes. Don’t grill too long, and drizzle with basil or thyme or parsley vinaigrette.

66. Peaches, plums, strawberries and watermelon. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and perhaps a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

67. Cubes of mango and chunks of white fish; brush with a mixture of soy, fish sauce, sriracha chili sauce and chopped mint or cilantro. Serve with a mai tai.

68. Go Hawaiian or Italian: Wrap pineapple or melon in prosciutto. Grill briefly.


69. Grilled coleslaw: Lightly char wedges of green and red cabbage and carrots. Let cool, then shred and toss with a little mayo, vinegar, salt and sugar.

70. Grill halved new potatoes or fingerlings (microwave or parboil first for a few minutes to get a head start), red onions and scallions. Chop as necessary and toss with chopped celery, parsley, mustard and cider (or other) vinegar. I make this annually.

71. Toss grilled Lacinato kale leaves with a little Caesar salad dressing (or olive oil, lemon and Parmesan) and grilled croutons.

72. Char iceberg wedges and cherry tomatoes (skewer these first). Top with blue cheese dressing.

73. Lightly grill ripe figs; brush with balsamic. Chop and toss with arugula and blue cheese. Sprinkle with olive oil.

74. Steak salad with almost no steak: Halve endives or radicchio; brush with oil and grill. Sprinkle with bits of blue cheese and bits of charred steak.

75. Ratatouille: Grill chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, eggplant, onion and tomatoes (or use cherry tomatoes), all until lightly browned and perfectly tender. Toss with fresh marjoram or oregano, thyme, basil and olive oil.


76. Greek salad burger: Ground lamb with grated feta, chopped calamatas and a little oregano. Top with tomato, red onion and cucumber.

77. The pickled onions make it: Soak sliced red onions in diluted vinegar and salt while you prepare everything else. Combine ground lamb with grated carrots and cumin; grill, then top with onions.

78. Asian burger: Grind pork, combine with grated daikon and a little soy sauce. Brush with hoisin or miso and top with sliced-and-salted cucumbers.

79. Grind beef, combine with crumbled blue cheese and chopped toasted walnuts. Top, if it doesn’t sound too effete, with sliced grilled pear.

80. A chicken or turkey burger worth eating: Cook and chop bacon; mix with ground chicken (or turkey) and grill.

81. Another: Grind turkey, combine with chopped basil, shove a cube of mozzarella into the center, grill until well done (the cheese will melt). Top with tomato and more basil.

82. Grind salmon (actually, it’s better if you grind half and chop half) and combine with chopped scallions and soy sauce. Grill medium-rare, top with mayo spiked with ginger, soy and/or lime.

83. Philly cheesesteak burger: Grind beef and grill with mushrooms and onions; top with aged provolone.

Sandwiches and Breads

84. Actual grilled cheese: Use good bread, good cheese, tomato slices and maybe a little mustard; brush with melted butter or olive oil and grill with a weight on top.

85. Glorified grilled cheese: Use grilled pineapple, grilled ham, cheese, pickles and mayo; grill with a weight on top.

86. Grill bell peppers until blackened and collapsed; cover, cool and peel. Grill eggplant planks, brushed with olive oil (or pesto if you have it), until very tender. Make a sandwich with balsamic vinegar, mozzarella and basil. This is also good with strip or skirt steak: grill meat until medium-rare, then slice and salt.

87. Grilled quesadilla (simple): Fill a flour tortilla with queso fresco, Monterey Jack or Cheddar; add chicken, shrimp and/or tomato. Fold and grill until cheese melts.

88. Grilled quesadilla (not as simple): Grill and strip corn from the cob; grill red-onion slices and chop them. Combine both with chili powder and bind with a tiny bit of mayo or yogurt. Put between two flour tortillas with cheese and grill. Serve with grilled lime wedges.

89. A different kind of Cuban sandwich: Grill pork steaks (best from the shoulder, about half-inch thick). Put on baguette spread with well-seasoned mashed black beans, queso fresco, chopped red onion (grilled or not), cilantro and lime juice.

90. Grill pork steaks as above; grill red onions. Slice the meat, chop the onions, toss with thinly sliced apples and roll in lavash bread or stuff in pita with yogurt-dill dressing. You can use the meat as an accent, or as the dominant ingredient.

91. Grill sweet Italian sausage and some figs. Combine on a toasted hot dog bun; mustard is optional.

92. Grill split kielbasa or chorizo (the Spanish type). Serve in buns, filled with chopped Manchego and mayo spiked with pimentón. Some chopped dried apricots would be good, too.


93. An idea whose time has come: Halve and grill peaches, nectarines or apricots. Brush with barbecue sauce or, if you want to be sophisticated, a mixture of bourbon, sugar and mint, or simple syrup laced with basil.

94. An idea whose time will come in September: Halve and grill pears or apples. When they’re done, drizzle with yogurt, honey and a pinch of cardamom.

95. Grilled fruit salad, and why not? Toss grilled watermelon (really good), peaches, plums, pineapple and kiwi with honey, a little salt, lemon juice and tarragon (not much), chervil, basil or mint (or a combo).

96. Cut grapefruit in half. Sprinkle with brown sugar; grill, cut-side down. You might top this with chopped pistachios or a little honey.

97. Grilled shortbread or poundcake (store-bought is totally fine) topped with grilled fruit sauce, strawberries in sugar, yogurt, ice cream, whatever.

98. Grilled angel food cake or poundcake (again, store-bought is fine) topped with Nutella, chocolate sauce, sorbet, etc.

99. Grilled s’mores: Put graham crackers (or other good quality flat cookie) on foil, top with marshmallows and chocolate and another cracker. Grill until the chocolate and marshmallow begin to melt.

100. Cut bananas into thick rounds (like scallops almost), char quickly and serve with caramel sauce, brown sugar, vanilla ice cream, Nutella ... whatever.

101. Actually, this is a drink: Skewer green olives, then char them a bit. These would be a good garnish for shrimp, chorizo or anything else. But instead, make yourself a fantastic dirty martini.

Bittman's 101 Head Starts on the Day

November 17, 2009

FOR cooks, most Thanksgiving problems are brought about by the sheer number of dishes competing for the stove: It’s not easy to roast a turkey and sweet potatoes for 20 at the same time. The best solution is to make food in advance, like one of the dishes that follow.

Unlike my earlier 101 compendiums, this one has some recipes that take an hour or more. Still, most are pretty quick. Almost all can be served at room temperature, although the soups should be reheated. Salting to taste is always a given. And if I don’t specify a temperature, “roast” or “bake” means a 375-degree oven.


1. Onion-Pumpkinseed Relish: Roast thick slices of red onion with olive oil until softened and nicely browned. Chop, then toss with minced chives, toasted pumpkinseeds and a little more olive oil.

2. Apricot-Tomato Chutney: Combine chunks of dried apricot and fresh tomato, a splash of apple cider, brown sugar, ginger, cloves and a touch of curry powder; bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes.

3. Red Onion Jam with Red Wine and Rosemary: Thinly slice red onions and cook them in olive oil until very soft. Add chopped rosemary and red wine, and cook until the jam thickens.

4. Onion Jam with Bacon and Bourbon: Thinly slice red onions and cook in olive oil with chopped bacon until soft. Add a little bourbon and brown sugar to taste and cook until the jam thickens.

5. Apple Chutney: Cook big chunks of peeled, cored apple with a little apple cider, Dijon or whole-grain mustard and chopped sage until the chutney thickens. Don’t cook it until it becomes apple sauce unless you want to.

6. Cranberry-Corn Sauce: Cook a bag of fresh cranberries with about a cup of corn kernels, some chopped scallions, 1/4 cup brown sugar (or to taste) and a splash of water, just until thick.

7. Cranberry-Orange Sauce: Cook a bag of fresh cranberries with orange and lemon zest, cut up (peeled) orange segments, 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste) and a bit of minced jalapeño or chipotle.

8. Cranberry-Beet Sauce: Put equal amounts shredded beets and fresh cranberries in a saucepan with a small splash of orange juice, orange zest and honey or maple syrup to taste. Cook until thick.

9. Prune Relish: Put pitted prunes, fresh mango, a little cider vinegar and sugar to taste in a saucepan. Cook for 30 minutes, adding chopped fresh ginger to taste about halfway through.

10. Ginger-Apricot Chutney: Put dried apricots in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice, minced fresh chili, grated ginger, a couple of cloves and a pinch of cayenne. Cook until thick.

11. Tomato-Corn Jam: In a saucepan, cook roughly chopped Roma or cherry tomatoes with fresh or frozen corn kernels, a minced chili and some sugar and lime juice to taste, until the jam thickens.

12. Garlic-Rosemary Figs: Soak dried figs, stems removed, in warm water until plump; drain and halve. Heat rosemary and lightly smashed (and peeled) garlic with olive oil on medium-low heat, until softened. Add figs, along with some fresh orange juice. Cook until saucy.


13. Sauté sliced shallots in olive oil, then add chunks of butternut squash, some rosemary and chicken stock or water to cover. As the soup simmers, bake strips of prosciutto until crisp. Purée the soup, swirl in some cream if you like and serve topped with crumbled prosciutto.

14. Steam or poach 2 cups of pumpkin cubes until tender. Meanwhile, sauté 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps in vegetable oil with a few drops of sesame oil. Boil 4 cups water and whisk some of it with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of miso. Stir miso mixture, pumpkin and mushrooms into water and heat everything through, then serve, drizzled with more sesame oil.

15. Thai Squash Soup: Simmer cubed winter squash, minced garlic, chili and ginger in coconut milk, plus stock or water to cover, until soft. Purée if you like. Just before serving, add chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest, and toasted chopped peanuts.

16. Sauté equal amounts chopped, peeled apples and onions in butter until soft. Add stock or water to cover, then simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and purée. Serve sprinkled with Stilton or other blue cheese.

17. Sauté chopped onion in butter, then chunks of sweet potato and stock or water to cover. Simmer until the sweet potatoes can be pierced with a knife, then add chopped kale and cook until wilted.

18. Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup: Sauté chopped onions and garlic in vegetable oil until soft. Add chopped or shredded carrots, cabbage, and daikon or turnip, frozen corn, chopped boxed tomatoes with their juice and stock to cover; bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then finish with about a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar per 2 cups of soup and loads of black pepper.

19. Sauté chopped onions, garlic, celery and carrots in olive oil, then add chopped tomatoes (boxed are fine) with their juice, lentils and stock or water to cover. When everything is soft, add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of red wine vinegar. Garnish with parsley.

20. Sauté ground or chopped lamb in a little oil, until it begins to brown, then add chopped onion, carrot and garlic and cook until the lamb is crisp. Add split peas, a bay leaf and stock or water to cover. Cook until the peas fall apart.

21. Brown a little crumbled or sliced sausage in olive oil; a sprinkle of fennel seeds is good, too. Add chopped escarole, cooked white beans with their juice, and stock or water to cover. Simmer until the greens are tender and the beans are warmed through. Garnish with olive oil or Parmesan.

22. Trim and halve brussels sprouts (if very large, quarter them) and roast with sliced onion, lots of peeled garlic cloves, chopped fresh sage and enough olive oil to coat. When sprouts are tender, transfer to a pot, add stock or water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. You can purée this or not. In any case, serve with grated Parmesan and more chopped sage.

23. Sauté leeks in butter until soft but not browned, then add cubed waxy potatoes, a little sage and stock or water to cover. Simmer until tender, purée and finish with about a cup of cream for each 6 cups of soup. Serve hot or cold, garnished with chives (if cold, call it vichyssoise).


24. Combine a little cooked wild rice with much more cooked quinoa; sauté crumbled sweet Italian sausage with onion and fresh rosemary. Toss together. Bake in an oiled dish or use as stuffing.

25. Dice fennel bulb and onions and sauté in butter or olive oil (or both) until softened. Add dried cranberries, with a hit of not-too-dry white wine or water. Stir in cooked rice, along with more butter or oil if necessary. Bake in an oiled dish or use as stuffing.

26. Chop corn bread into cubes. Sauté cherry tomatoes, scallions and corn kernels in butter or oil. Deglaze the pan with beer, then empty the pan over the corn bread. Bake in an oiled dish or use as stuffing.

27. Cranberry Polenta Cakes: Make polenta with half milk, half water; stir in chopped fresh or dried cranberries. When thick, pour onto a sheet tray and let cool. Cut into squares and sauté or broil until slightly crisp. Drizzle with honey.

28. Toss cooked Israeli couscous with toasted pecans, orange zest and juice, chopped mint, cider vinegar and honey. Bake in an oiled dish or use as stuffing.

29. Toss cooked black rice with grated sweet potatoes (raw or sautéed in butter or oil), chopped dried apricots and a vinaigrette with honey and grated ginger.

30. Cook brown rice until just shy of done. Drain and mix with an equal amount of ground turkey and a little chopped fresh sage and chopped dried cherries. Form into patties and sauté or bake, turning once, until crisp and cooked all the way through.

31. Combine cooked wild rice with caramelized onions (nearly burnt onions are almost as good, and faster), chopped figs and fresh rosemary. Bake in an oiled dish or use as stuffing.

32. Cook couscous in stock or water. With a fork, stir in cinnamon, chopped mint, lightly sautéed pine nuts and melted butter. Bake in an oiled dish or use as stuffing.

33. Cook Israeli couscous in stock or water. With a fork, stir in chopped, pitted Kalamata or other olives, chopped green onions and diced, poached or roasted sweet potatoes. Dress with a vinaigrette.

34. Combine cooked bulgur with chopped or grated apple, minced orange rind, grated ginger and chopped parsley. Bake in an oiled dish, use as stuffing or serve as a salad.

35. Pumpkin-Noodle Kugel: Cook a half-pound of egg noodles in salted water until not quite done; drain and put them into a buttered baking dish. Whisk together 4 cups milk, 4 eggs, 1 cup puréed cooked pumpkin (canned is fine), 1/4 cup melted butter and a pinch each of cinnamon and salt. Pour over the noodles and sprinkle with bread crumbs (or, for added kitsch, corn flake crumbs). Bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

36. Boil peeled sweet potatoes and purée in a food processor, thinning with cooking water or cream until saucy. Add chopped garlic and unsweetened pure peanut butter and purée until smooth. Boil soba noodles until just done and toss with the purée until the noodles are lightly coated; garnish with chopped scallions. Serve at room temperature or cold.

37. Sauté crumbled sweet Italian sausage with cubes of butternut squash in a bit of oil. Toss in cooked farro and dress with more oil and lemon juice. Serve as a salad or toss with grated Parmesan and use as a stuffing.


38. Trim cremini or portobello mushrooms and chop stems. Sauté stems in butter or olive oil with chopped prosciutto, onions, chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, parsley, etc.) and coarse fresh bread crumbs. Stuff spoonfuls of the mixture into mushroom caps; roast until tender.

39. Trim cremini or portobello mushrooms and chop stems. Cook crumbled sausage in olive oil until it begins to brown, then add stems and chopped onion and garlic. Mix with cooked rice, an egg for every 2 cups of mushrooms and enough bread crumbs and grated Parmesan to bind slightly. Spoon the stuffing into the mushroom caps and bake until tender.

40. Peel and trim pearl onions and toss them with a mixture of minced ginger, garlic, chilies and peanut oil. (A little sesame oil is good, too.) Roast until nicely caramelized, then drizzle with soy sauce.

41. Toss chunks of sweet potato and 2-inch lengths of scallion with neutral or peanut oil. (Again, a little sesame oil helps.) Roast, turning as necessary, until nicely caramelized; drizzle with soy.

42. Brussels Sprout Sliders: Trim and halve large brussels sprouts, toss with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees until tender but not mushy. Using the brussels sprout halves as you would hamburger buns, sandwich them around a piece of crispy bacon or ham, maybe a little caramelized onion, and a dab of whole grain mustard. Keep everything in place with toothpicks.

43. Toss chunks of butternut squash with butter and curry powder. Roast until half-tender, then stir in chunks of apple and some maple syrup. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until everything is nicely browned and tender.

44. Autumn Rolls: Shred sweet potatoes or carrots and brussels sprouts or cabbage. Roll them up with fresh sage or mint and some sprouts in rice paper. (Add sliced shrimp if you like.) Make a dipping sauce of soy, garlic, grated or minced ginger and honey.

45. Render some chopped bacon in a bit of oil, then add apple chunks; cook until nearly soft. Meanwhile, bake halved and seeded acorn, butternut or delicata squash until they start to soften. Fill squash with apple mixture and finish baking.

46. Chop and toss together equal amounts of beets and carrots; add chopped shiitakes, sesame oil and hot pepper flakes (preferably Korean). Roast until tender and sprinkle with sesame seeds and soy sauce.

47. Vegetable Torta: Roast sliced eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and onions. Stack in layers with fresh basil in a well-oiled springform or roasting pan and top with bread crumbs or Parmesan (or both); bake for 20 minutes or so.

48. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges; boil until tender. Drain and toss with olive oil. Wrap each with a prosciutto slice and a sage leaf, then roast until browned.

49. Halve and seed acorn, butternut or delicata squash and roast until squash begins to soften. Meanwhile, cook bulgur, drain and toss with coarsely chopped pine nuts and currants. Add a bit of the stuffing to each squash half and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until squash is tender.

50. Cook chopped onions in olive oil until soft. Add chopped spinach and a handful of raisins — maybe a little port, too — and cook until wilted and almost dry. Roasted pine nuts are good on top.

51. Poach broccoli rabe or stemmed greens like collard leaves, then drain and chop. Combine with chopped water chestnuts and diced mushrooms in a skillet with sesame or peanut oil, minced garlic and hot pepper flakes. Cook until vegetables soften and dry a bit.

52. Pickled Collards: Boil 4 cups water and 1/2 cup vinegar with a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of red chili flakes. Stem and chop or shred collard greens, pack them into a glass canning jar and pour hot liquid over the greens. Cover, cool and refrigerate at least three days.

53. Steam cauliflower florets and toss with olive oil. Roast with peeled whole garlic cloves and chopped bacon at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Chopped parsley is a worthwhile addition.

54. Cook onion, curry powder and chopped ginger in oil until onion is soft; meanwhile, steam cauliflower florets until nearly tender. Add cauliflower to onion mixture, along with raisins; cover and cook until the cauliflower softens.

55. Steam and salt edamame. Whisk soy and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat. Add grated ginger and a bit of cornstarch, stir until slightly thickened and pour over edamame.

56. Cook lentils, thyme sprigs and chopped carrots in a pot with water to cover until tender; drain and remove thyme. Cook chopped onions in oil until soft; add chopped kale and allow to wilt. Add lentils, stir to combine and cook until kale is tender. Add chopped parsley.

57. Zucchini and Potato Pancakes: Grate zucchini and potatoes; squeeze to drain. Combine with grated Parmesan, one beaten egg for every 2 cups of the vegetables, a little oregano and flour or fine bread crumbs until the mixture is sturdy. Shape into patties and shallow-fry until browned on both sides.

58. Pour a mixture of cooked white beans (with a little cooking or canning liquid) and grated, sautéed winter squash into an oiled baking dish. Mix together fresh bread crumbs, dots of butter and chopped fresh sage and spread over the top; broil until golden brown.

59. Blanch thinly sliced potato and leeks until tender but not mushy; drain well. Layer the vegetables in an oiled or buttered baking dish, then top with a mixture of bread crumbs and lightly sautéed chopped bacon (some cheese mixed in is pretty good, too). Broil until golden brown.

60. Marshmallow topping for adults: Roast or boil chunks of sweet potato, put them in an oiled baking dish, top with dots of cream cheese, and sprinkle with a mixture of brown sugar, chopped pecans and chopped fresh sage. Broil until lightly browned.

61. Cook a lot of chopped fennel in a skillet with butter until pretty much tender. Transfer to a baking pan and add milk, half-and-half or cream to about halfway up the fennel. Sprinkle with thyme and shaved pecorino, then bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and thickened.

62. Spinach-Cheese Pie: Sauté chopped garlic and 2 pounds of chopped spinach in plenty of olive oil until wilted and tender. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled feta or firm goat cheese, and a tablespoon chopped dill or mint. Layer 5 sheets phyllo dough in a greased baking dish, brushing each one with olive oil before adding the next. Spread the spinach over the phyllo, then top with 5 more phyllo sheets, each brushed with olive oil. Tuck in the edges if they extend over the ends of the pan, slash the top of the pie diagonally in a few places and bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

63. Slice potatoes thin and layer them in a nonstick skillet. Dot with butter and add enough half-and-half or milk to come three-quarters of the way to the top of the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer until liquid reduces a bit, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes until just brown, reduce to 300 degrees and cook until tender, 10 to 20 minutes more.

64. Mushroom Bread Pudding: Put 6 cups of good bread (day-old is best) cut into 1-inch chunks into a buttered baking dish. Beat 4 eggs with 2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and pour over the bread. Sauté 4 cups of sliced mushrooms until tender with a teaspoon or two fresh thyme leaves and mix into the bread. Bake until just set, about 40 minutes.

65. Sauté garlic and pine nuts in olive oil until the garlic softens; add trimmed, blanched, chopped broccoli rabe (or broccoli). Put into a buttered baking dish, top with Parmesan and bread crumbs and bake until the topping browns.


66. In a blender, whip olive oil, lime juice, a little red onion and a stemmed and seeded jalapeño. Toss with lots of shredded raw sweet potato, diced red bell pepper and chopped cilantro.

67. Sprinkle shelled pumpkin or squash seeds with a little chili powder; roast, shaking occasionally, until lightly browned. Combine with grated sweet potatoes (raw or lightly sautéed in butter or oil), raisins and a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, a touch of honey and maybe a little more chili powder.

68. Peel sweet potatoes and boil until tender, drain and cool; dice. Treat carrots the same way. Make sauce of Dijon mustard, olive oil, cider vinegar and chopped scallions. Toss all together.

69. Shred carrots and cabbage (red, savoy or Napa). In a blender, whip olive oil, lemon or lime juice, a stemmed and seeded jalapeño, garlic and cilantro or parsley. Toss with the vegetables.

70. Blanch, shock in cold water, then julienne green beans, daikon and carrots; chill. Whisk soy sauce with honey and lemon to taste; pour over vegetables.

71. Add chopped scallions and chopped kalamata or other good black olives to cooked and drained white beans. Dress with white wine vinegar, olive oil and fresh thyme, marjoram or oregano.

72. Trim and shred raw brussels sprouts (the slicer on a food processor works well). Toss with lemon vinaigrette and shaved or grated Parmesan. Crumbled bacon, as usual, is a welcome visitor here.

73. Roast beets until tender, then peel and cut into chunks. Toss with olive oil, sherry vinegar, toasted chopped hazelnuts and crumbled blue cheese.

74. Trim and chop kale; salt and squeeze and knead until wilted and reduced in volume, about 5 minutes. Rinse, dry and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped dried apples and toasted pine nuts.

75. Wild Rice Greek Salad: Toss cooked wild rice (or mix wild and white) with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives and crumbled feta. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and mint.

76. Grate apples (red are nice; leave skin on), radish and celery. Roast pistachios and chop. Dress all with olive oil, shallots, grainy mustard, red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar.

77. Trim and dice fresh tomatillos; peel and julienne jicama (or daikon or kohlrabi). For dressing, combine lemon and lime juices, olive oil and chopped cilantro. Pour over salad, top with toasted sesame seeds.

78. Slowly render cubed pork rind or turkey skin until crisp (for skin, start with a bit of oil or turkey fat). Thin sour cream with buttermilk and stir in minced parsley and garlic, black pepper and a little white wine vinegar. Arrange frisée on platter; top with dressing and cracklings.

79. Cook chopped pears in a covered saucepan with a tiny bit of water until soft. Purée, but not too fine. In your smallest pan, boil a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with a little brown sugar; lower heat and reduce by half. Spoon the pear sauce over endive leaves and finish with toasted sliced almonds and the balsamic reduction.

80. Trim and coarsely chop chard (rainbow makes for a gorgeous salad) and combine with white beans and chopped scallions. Dressing is minced ginger, a suspicion of garlic, olive oil and cider vinegar.


81. Tomato Pinwheels: Soak 1 cup dried tomatoes in hot water, drain and pulse in a food processor with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (add water or oil if necessary). Combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda with 4 tablespoons cold butter (use food processor or fingers). Stir in 3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk and gather the dough into a ball. Roll into a large rectangle on a floured surface, spread the tomatoes all over the dough and roll it up lengthwise. Cut the log crosswise into 1-inch slices, put them on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until puffed and golden, 7 to 10 minutes.

82. Cornmeal Flatbread with Onion and Sage: Mix 1 cup cornmeal with 1 teaspoon salt; slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let sit for an hour (or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator). Put 1/4 cup olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet along with a thinly sliced red onion; stir. Heat the skillet in a 400-degree oven for a few minutes, then stir and pour in the batter. Bake at 375 degrees until the flatbread is crisp at the edges and releases easily from the pan, about 45 minutes.

83. Onion-Rosemary Skillet Bread: In a 12-inch cast iron pan, sauté half a large, thinly sliced red onion in about 1/4 cup olive oil until soft and beginning to color. Combine a cup of whole wheat flour with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves; add 1 1/2 cups water and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake in a 450-degree oven until the flatbread is crisp on the edges and releases easily from the pan, about 30 to 40 minutes.

84. Sage Crackers: Pulse 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup Parmesan and 4 tablespoons cold butter in a food processor. Add 1/4 cup cream and 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage. When just combined, roll as thinly as possible, score into squares, sprinkle with salt and bake at 400 degrees until golden. Let cool, then break into pieces.

85. Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits: Combine 3 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves. Use your fingers to rub in 1 1/2 sticks of butter until the mixture resembles small peas. Add 1 cup buttermilk and stir until just combined. Drop large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees until golden, about 15 minutes.

86. Spiced Muffins: Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each allspice and ground ginger, and a pinch of cloves. In another bowl, combine 1 egg, 1 cup milk and 3 tablespoons melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, adding milk if the batter seems too dry. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until done.

87. Combine 2 cups whole wheat with 2 cups white flour and 1 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda and salt in a food processor. Pour in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or thin yogurt, and pulse until a ball is formed. Knead for a minute (fold in 1/2 cup raisins or currants at this point if you like), shape into a round loaf, slash the top in a few places and bake on a greased sheet for about 45 minutes, or until the bottom sounds hollow when you thump it.

88. Dill-Cheddar Puffs: Combine 1 cup water with 1/2 stick of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. When the butter melts add 1 1/2 cups flour and cook, stirring, until the dough forms a ball, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well until the mixture is glossy. Stir in 2 cups grated Cheddar and 2 tablespoon freshly chopped dill. Drop teaspoons of the batter on greased baking sheets and bake at 425 degrees until lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

89. Vegetable Crackers: Slice beets, sweet potatoes, plantains or parsnips or all of the above into 1/8-inch disks (a mandoline is helpful) and toss lightly in olive oil. Spread the slices on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt, pepper and, if you like, other seasonings and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. When browned, flip the chips over and bake for another 10 minutes or so.


90. Baked Apples: Combine chopped pecans and chopped dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, cranberries all work) and toss with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg or all three. Fill the cavities of cored apples with the fruits and nuts, dot each with butter, put into a baking dish and roast about 30 minutes, until tender. Better with vanilla ice cream.

91. Pears in Red Wine: Simmer 2 cups red wine with 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cloves, a cinnamon stick and a few slices of ginger in a pot for a few minutes, then gently poach peeled and cored pears (use a spoon to hollow them from bottom), until soft. Cool or chill, and serve with a bit of the poaching liquid.

92. Cranberry Truffles: Heat 1/2 cup simple syrup and 1/2 cup bourbon or water; add 2 cups dried cranberries and steep until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. Pulse the fruit in a food processor, adding just enough liquid so the mixture comes together. Roll spoonfuls of the cranberry filling into balls, then roll them in cocoa, mixed with pulverized nuts if you like.

93. Pumpkin-Raisin-Ginger Turnovers: Mix puréed cooked pumpkin, raisins, chopped crystallized ginger and sugar. Brush a sheet of phyllo with melted butter and cut lengthwise into thirds. Put a spoonful of the filling at the top of each strip. Fold down to make a triangle and repeat, like folding a flag. Repeat with remaining filling. Brush the tops with butter and bake 20 to 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

94. Pumpkin-Tofu Pudding: Purée a package of silken tofu, 2 cups of cooked or canned pumpkin, simple syrup to taste, a splash of brandy and a pinch each of nutmeg and salt. Refrigerate until chilled.

95. Indian Pudding: Combine 3 cups of milk and 1/3 cup of cornmeal in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; stir in 1/3 cup of molasses, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir until melted. Pour pudding into a buttered baking dish and bake at 300 degrees for about 2 hours, uncovered, until golden brown and set in the middle. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

96. Sweet Autumn Gratin: Combine cubed pumpkin or sweet potato with cranberries and hazelnuts in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and toss. Drizzle cream over all, dot with butter and bake until soft, bubbly and browned, 50 to 60 minutes. Re-warm before serving if you like.

97. Prunes With Hazelnuts: Simmer prunes in port with cloves and cinnamon until soft; remove prunes and reduce syrup. Strain over the prunes. Top them with whipped cream, and the cream with chopped toasted hazelnuts.

98. Chipotle Brittle: Cook 2 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a deep saucepan over medium heat, stirring once in a while until golden. Off heat, stir in 2 cups peanuts or pumpkinseeds and 1 or 2 mashed canned chipotle chilies with a bit of their adobo (more if you like things fiery). Quickly spread the mixture out on a buttered rimmed baking sheet and let cool before breaking into pieces.

99. Apple-Cranberry Crumble: Peel and slice 4 large tart apples. Toss with a cup of cranberries, the juice and zest of a lemon and 1/4 cup brandy, apple cider or water and put into a buttered baking dish. Pulse 1/2 cup cold butter, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ginger in a food processor until crumbly — not fine. Top the fruit with this and bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes.

100. Spiced Macaroons: Mix 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in 3 lightly beaten egg whites and a teaspoon almond extract. Drop in small spoonfuls on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

101. Buy some cheese. Unwrap it and put it on a plate with some walnuts and fruit; let come to room temperature. Serve with good bread.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

on hand

steak tips
sweet italian sausage
napa cabbage

asian noodles
black-eyed pea stew (add greens before serving)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cabbage, Pineapple, and Peanut Salad

  • 12 ounces green or savoy cabbage, cored and sliced thin (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 pineapple, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 tablespoons mild olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Combine the cabbage, pineapple, peanuts, and jalapeno in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and salt until blended. Add the dressing to the cabbage and toss to blend. Add the cilantro if using. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

From Fresh & Fast Vegetarian

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nella's Chicken Soup

Organic chicken breast
whole onion
couple cloves of garlic
couple stalks of celery
a couple of green zucchini
a couple of yellow zucchini
2 c. or so of baby carrots
1 fresh tomato
olive oil
1 or 2 chicken bouillon (reduce the salt if you use the bouillon)

Chicken meatballs:
ground chicken breast
1 or 2 c. of parmigiano cheese
4 eggs
1 c. of bread crumbs
finely cut onion (1/4)
finely cut garlic
some fresh parsley finely cut
salt to taste

any type of pastina, ditalini, orzo, acini di pepe, cut spaghettini or

• Wash, peel and cut all vegetables
• Place in a large food processor along with the onion and garlic.
• Make a nice creamy paste of all the vegetable and add to olive oil in a large stock pot
• When the vegetables seem golden add washed chicken breasts and a lot of water to cover the pot, I usually make enough in a very large pot that holds a couple of gallons, of course the ingredients will be in a larger amount
• Let the soup cook until the chicken is fully cooked and a nice oily surface appears

For the meatballs (optional)
• I mix the chicken with all the ingredients, if it is too soft I add more bread
crumbs. Sometimes if I make too much I will freeze some of the mixture
• I make very small/tiny meat balls and I add them to the soup and voilaʼ it is as simple as that, the children love the small sizes and we actually count in Italian how many chicken meatballs they have in their bowl :)
• Add the pasta and cook until done

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced OR 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 dashes hot sauce, optional (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • Lemon wedges
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the kielbasa and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove the kielbasa to a bowl, and set aside. Add the butter, onion, celery and peppers to the same pot and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeno or cayenne, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are blended well. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice, and add the sausage, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp, and stir well. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya to steam for 15 minutes before serving.

Garnish with the scallions, parsley, and a dash of hot sauce, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings
Adapted from the Food Network