Monday, August 27, 2007

Salsa Chicken Salad Wrap

  • 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup spicy red salsa
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 ounces diced cooked chicken or turkey (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, thinly sliced
  • corn from 1 ear
  • salad greens
  • 2 whole-grain tortillas

Stir sour cream, salsa and 3 tablespoons cilantro in medium bowl to blend. Add chicken and toss to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Arrange lettuce, bell pepper, corn, and avocado slices on each tortilla. Mound chicken atop vegetables, dividing equally. Sprinkle salads with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro, roll and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

adapted from Epicurious

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Waldorf Salad

  • 2 firm, ripe green apples, unpeeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 firm ripe red apple, unpeeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. apple cider or juice
  • 1 1/2 t. honey
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce

Place the apples in a serving bowl and toss with lemon juice to coat. Add the celery and walnuts. Combine the mayo, cider, and honey and toss until salad is thoroughly blended. Serve on a bed of Bibb lettuce.

Serves 4

from The Greenmarket Cookbook, p. 41

Baked Falafel Balls

  • 3/4 c water
  • 1/2 c bulgur
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 t.)
  • 1/4 t crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 1/4 t. cumin
  • 1 1/4 t. coriander
  • 1 1/2 c cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c + 2 T. dried bread crumbs
  • 1/8 c. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 c. minced fresh parsley
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil for spraying

Bring the water to a boil and remove from the heat. Mix in the bulgur. Cover; allow to sit until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan. Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the red chili flakes, cumin, and coriander, and saute for 1 minute.

Combine the chickpeas and bulgur in the bowl of a food processor; add the lemon juice, bread crumbs, cilantro, parsley, and salt, and process until just mixed.

Preheat oven to 400F. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes before forming into 2-inch balls. Place the balls onto a lightly oiled sheet pan. Spray the balls with olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden, turning the pan once during baking.

Serve stuffed inside pita bread with tahini sauce.

Per Serving: Calories 160; Protein 10g; Carbohydrate 20g; Total fat 8g

Serves 8

From The Whole Foods Market Cookbook, p. 27

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Roasted Turkey with Herbed Cream Cheese and Strawberries

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs such as dill, tarragon, chervil, chives, basil, parsley, marjoram, thyme
  • 4 slices good quality bread, toasted
  • 1/2 pound roasted turkey breast, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • Fleur de sel*, optional
Combine the cream cheese and herbs. Spread the toasted bread with a layer of the herbed cream cheese. Place turkey on top and then some strawberry slices. Garnish with more herbs and a few grains of fleur de sel, if using. Slice each sandwich in half. Adapted from Tyler Florence, Food 911 via The Food Network

Tomato-Corn Salad

Fresh corn is often so sweet and tender that there is no need to cook it. Prep Time: 15 minutes. Notes: Chef Bart Hosmer uses basil flowers in this dish. Just pull the flowers from the stalks and sprinkle them like confetti into the salad in place of (or in addition to) the chopped basil. They add a light, floral note. Optional: add black beans, rinsed, for additional protein and fiber.

  • 3 ears sweet corn
  • 1 pound tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion, rinsed in cold water and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper

Over a large bowl, cut kernels off corn cobs and stir in tomatoes and onion. Toss with vinegar and basil; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tomatoes with wine: Parcel 104's Master Sommelier, Randall Bertao, likes wines with clean, focused flavors and a medium acidity to balance the tomatoes--such as Charles Melton Rosé 2004 (Barossa Valley, Australia; $12) and Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (Russian River Valley, CA; $27).

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Per serving: CALORIES 58(12% from fat); FAT 0.8g (sat 0.1g); PROTEIN 2.3g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; SODIUM 14mg; FIBER 2.4g; CARBOHYDRATE 13g

Adapted from Sunset Magazine

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thai Green Curry Coconut Sauce

  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste, or more to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Four 1-inch strips of lemon zest (see Alternatives)
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger--peeled, thinly sliced and lightly smashed
  • Four 1-inch strips of lime zest (see Alternatives)
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 T. cornstarch

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk 1/4 cup of the coconut milk with the curry paste. Stir in the remaining coconut milk, the stock, lemon zest, ginger, lime zest, 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and the brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook the sauce over moderately high heat until reduced by one-quarter, about 15 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lemon zest, ginger and lime zest and discard. Stir in the lime juice, cilantro, basil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of fish sauce; transfer to a bowl.

Alternatives:Replace the lemon zest with the bottom 4 inches of 1 stalk of lightly smashed fresh lemongrass, and replace the lime zest with 4 kaffir lime leaves that have been lightly crushed.

Applications: Use as a stir-fry sauce or as a poaching liquid for chicken, shrimp and vegetables. Or, toss with Asian noodles or serve over rice.

Make Ahead: The curry sauce can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 2 days.


from Food & Wine, DECEMBER 2002

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions

Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat. Set aside.

Combine juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and chile paste, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add shrimp mixture; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Serve immediately.

Wine note: Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce needs a wine with a lot of bold fruit to go up against the "punch" of chiles, ginger, and garlic. My favorite choice, rosé, may be conventional, but wait until you taste a good one. Rosés are fruity (like many red wines) but cool and refreshing (like a white). Try Marqués de Cáceras Rosé 2006 from Rioja, Spain. It's a steal at $8.

4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 301(30% from fat); FAT 10g (sat 1.1g,mono 4.6g,poly 3.2g); PROTEIN 35.3g; CHOLESTEROL 259mg; CALCIUM 103mg; SODIUM 621mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 4.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 16.8g

from Cooking Light, AUGUST 2007

Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 1 1/ 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/ 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/ 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1/ 2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/ 8 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1/ 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/ 4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/ 2 tsp. lemon or lime juice
  • 1 1/ 2 tsp.cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. rice wine or sherry

Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry 15-30 second over medium heat to bring out the flavor. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, Tabasco, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Bring just to a boil, stirring. Dissolve the cornstarch in the wine and whisk into the sauce. Heat until sauce thickens and reaches a full boil. Simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Broccoli Salad

  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup (1-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 center-cut bacon slice, cooked and crumbled (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Blanch or steam broccoli for 3 minutes. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine. Pour vinegar mixture over broccoli mixture; toss gently to coat.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 84(32% from fat); FAT 3g (sat 0.4g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 2.6g; CHOLESTEROL 1mg; CALCIUM 35mg; SODIUM 84mg; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 0.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.5g

from Cooking Light, AUGUST 2006

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Black Beans with Exotic Fruit

  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 2 T minced red onion
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice or lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped mango, lychee, or pineapple
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 t salt, or to taste
  • cayenne

Yield: 3 servings

Per serving: 231 cals / 9g protein / 9g fat / 9g fiber

From Eat, Drink & Weigh Less, p 162

Easy Chicken Marsala

  • ¼ cup of flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 chicken breasts (boned and skinless)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ cup of dry Marsala wine
  • ½ cup of chicken stock
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • ½ cup of white sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley

Season the flour with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the chicken breast with seasoned flour.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Place the chicken breast in the pan and brown on both sides then remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the dry Marsala wine to the pan and gently bring to boil removing the alcohol. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and stir in the mushrooms. Lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes reducing the marsala sauce. Return the browned chicken breast to the pan spooning over the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until cooked.

Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta. Garnish with parsley.

Serves 4

French Lentil Salad

  • 1 cup dry French lentils
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1/2 t. minced or crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 T. balsamic or cider vinegar
  • 1 T. minced red onion
  • 1/2 t. each grated orange and lime zest
  • 1 T. dried currants
  • 1/2 small carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup minced bell pepper, red, yellow, or a combination
  • 1-2 T. minced fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, and/or mint

Yield: 4 servings

per serving: 245 cals / 12 g protein / 7 g fat / 9 g fiber

from Eat, Drink & Weigh Less, p. 161

Whole Grain French Toast

  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons low-fat milk
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract
  • 6 slices whole grain bread
  • nonstick spray
  • up to 3 teaspoons butter (optional), for frying

3 servings

per serving: 275 cals / 16 g protein / 5 g fat

from Eat, Drink & Weigh Less, p. 153

Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables and Cheese

  • 2 large eggs
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • nonstick spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • about 2 ounces vegetables
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp butter

Use an 8-inch nonstick pan. Cook the vegetables first in the oil; then cook the eggs in the butter. Combine.


  • spinach with feta
  • broccoli with cheddar
  • mushrooms with scallions and swiss cheese
  • artichoke hearts with red onion and parmesan
  • peas, mints, and goat cheese
  • zucchini, basil, scallions, feta, and garlic
  • salsa with cheddar
  • asparagus, Boursin, and basil
  • mixed herbs, onions, and sharp cheese

Yield: 1 serving

Calories: about 250 with cheese, 200 without / Protein: 14-18 g / Fat: 13-16 g / Fiber: 1-2 g

see Eat, Drink & Weigh Less, p. 147-152

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Caramel Banana Cake

This banana cake is probably the moistest cake we have ever made - short of outright flops. It walks the edge between a cake and an old-fashioned English pudding, absolutely silky with banana and gooey streaks of caramel that create strata of even moister cake layered with that burnt, brown sugary richness.

It's perfectly fine served on its own, with no topping other than a light dusting of confectioner's sugar. Or you can fold leftover caramel sauce into whipped cream for an even richer treat.

Makes 2 9-inch layers

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups caramel sauce

Heat oven to 325ºF. Grease two 9" cake pans.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the eggs and beat until silky and lightened. Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt. Whisk the milk and mashed bananas in a separate measuring cup and add to the eggs and butter, alternating with the flour. Beat just until smooth.

Pour batter into the prepared pans. Pour half the caramel sauce into each pan, and swirl with a knife. The pans will be quite full. Put in the oven carefully and bake for about 60 minutes, or until the centers are set and a knife comes out clean.

Cool completely before serving.

from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen

Glazed Chicken with Maple-Orange Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 4-ounce skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

Place peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to hot oil and cook 1 minute per side, until golden brown.

Whisk together orange juice, maple syrup, brown sugar and cloves. Pour mixture over chicken. Arrange sweet potatoes around chicken in pan.

Cook 10 minutes, uncovered, until chicken breasts are cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender and maple-orange sauce is thick and bubbly.

Nutritional info (per serving: 1 chicken breast half, 1 cup sweet potatoes): 474 calories, 5 g fat, 76 g carbs (69 g net carbs), 7 g fiber, 31 g protein

from Shape Magazine

Yield: 4 servings

Turkey Sausage and Quinoa Pasta Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage, casing removed and shaped into 1-inch meatballs
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 bulb fresh fennel, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans
  • 2 cups quinoa or whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add turkey sausage meatballs and cook 3 minutes, until browned on all siade, stirring frequently. Add onion, fennel, garlic, oregano, and sage and stir to combine. Pour in broth an beans and bring to a boil.

Add pasta, partially cover, and cook 4 minutes, until pasta is tender. Remove from heat and stir in kale. Cover and let steam 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional info (per 2 cup serving): 353 calories, 8 g fat, 47 g carbs (39 g net carbs), 8 g fiber, 24 g protein

from Shape Magazine

Yield: 4 servings

Jicama, Cucumber, and Citrus Salad

  • 1 medium jicama (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks (makes about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine jicama, cucumber, radishes, onion, and cilantro. Toss to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Pour over jicama mixture and toss. Serve immediately or cover with plastic and refrigerate up to 2 days.

per serving: 79 calories, 2 g fat, 13 g carbs (7 g net carbs), 6 g protein, 6 g fiber

from Shape Magazine

Yield: 4 servings

Rosemary Syrup

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon slightly crushed black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons fine balsamic vinegar

Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and strain. The syrup can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serve with Lemon Polenta Cake or fresh strawberries.

from Home Food

Yield: 1 1/4 cups servings

Lemon Polenta Cake with Rosemary Syrup and Fresh Berries

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries or raspberries, washed and picked over
  • Rosemary Syrup
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment or waxed paper and lightly oil.

Sift the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and egg whites in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the butter, oil, yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice until creamy. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined; do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Invert, peel off the paper, and cool completely. (The cake can be made in advance up until this point and stored, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for 1 month.)

To serve, cut the cake into 8 wedges and place on plates. Scatter berries around the cake, drizzle a tablespoon or two of Rosemary Syrup over the berries, and place a dollop of whipped cream on the cake, if desired. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

from Home Food

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cucumber
  • coarse salt
  • 2 1/4 cups plain yogurt (whole-milk best)
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle over

Peel and dice the cucumbers finely. Salt and rest for while to drain. Drain yogurt over cheesecloth.

Mix yogurt and cucumbers. Stir in the dried mint, most of the fresh mint, press in the garlic, stir again, and transfer into a serving dish. Sprinkle over the last leaves of chopped mint and drizzle with the oil.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to develop and marry.

Serve as a mayonnaise substitute in sandwiches, as a dip for tortilla or pita chips, or as a sauce for lamb.

Yield: 8 servings

Lentil Soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 4 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and celery, covered, 4 minutes, until just golden; add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

2. Add broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes until lentils are almost tender. Add Swiss chard and tomato, cover, and cook 15 to 18 minutes more until lentils and chard are tender. Stir in vinegar and salt. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Nutritional info (per serving): 17.5 grams carbohydrate; 11.5 grams net carbs; 6 grams fiber; 9 grams protein; 3.5 grams fat; 130 calories

from Atkins for Life

Yield: 6 (1 scant cup per serving) servings

Golden Onion Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices low carb white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, coarsely shredded

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to color. Add onions, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes until onions are very wilted, golden, and tender.

2. Add broth, rosemary, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

3. During last 5 minutes of soup-cooking time, heat broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Toast bread under broiler, 4 inches from the heat source, 20 to 40 seconds per side. Turn broiler off. Top each toasted slice with cheese. Return baking sheet to hot oven until cheese melts, about 30 to 50 seconds).

4. To serve: Place 1 bread slice in bottom of each soup bowl, ladle in soup, and top with another bread slice.

Nutritional info (per serving): 25 grams carbohydrate; 15 grams net carbs; 10 grams fiber; 35.5 grams protein; 30 grams fat; 498 calories

from Atkins for Life

Yield: 4 servings

Asian Vegetable Bowl

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups sliced bok choy
  • 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 Thai or Serrano chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 of 1 (12.3-ounce) box tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. In a large saucepan, bring broth and soy sauce to a boil. Reduce heat; add bok choy, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and chili; simmer 5 minutes until boy choy is tender-crisp and mushrooms are tender.

2. Add tomatoes, green onions, tofu, and carrot; heat through for 1 minute. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Nutritional info (per serving): 7 grams carbohydrate; 5.5 grams net carbs; 1.5 grams fiber; 6.5 grams protein; 2.5 grams fat; 71 calories

from Atkins for Life

Yield: 6 servings

Zucchini Frittata

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut in 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup packed basil leaves, thinly sliced

1. Heat oven to 350F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook zucchini 10 minutes, turning slices as they brown. Add scallions; sprinked with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and crushed red pepper. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, until zucchini is golden and tender; transfer to a bowl. Wipe down skillet.

2. Heat broiler with rack in upper level (but not the closest to heat source). Whisk eggs, water, goat cheese, basil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat; add egg mixture and cook 1 1/2 minutes to set bottom. Spoon zucchini mixture venely over top; reduce heat to medium-low and cover, and cook 5 to 6 minutes until edge is set and puffed. Uncover, transfer to broiler, and broil 1 to 1 /2 just until top is set and lightly golden. Cut into four wedges. Serve immediately.

Nutrition info (per serving): 5.5 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams net carbs, 1.5 grams fiber, 19 grams protein, 23.5 grams fat, 310 calories

from Atkins for Life

Yield: 4 servings

Morning Muffins

  • 1/2 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1/4 cup currants

1. Heat oven to 375F. Line a 12-compartment muffin pan with cupcake liners. Whisk together pastry flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar substitute, and baking soda. In a large measuring cup, mix cream, oil, and egg.

2. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture, stir just to combine. Stir in carrots and currants.

3. Pour batter into muffin pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let rest 5 minutes, turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Nutrition info (per serving): 13.5 grams carbohydrates, 11.5 grams net carbs, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 12.5 grams fat, 172 calories

from Atkins for Life

Yield: 12 servings

Monday, August 6, 2007

Chipotle-Roasted Winter Squash Tacos

Chipotle-Roasted Winter Squash

  • 2 tablespoons canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound winter squash, such as kabocha (buttercup) or butternut, peeled and cut into 3/8-inch dice (3-4 cups)
  • salt

Spiced Black Beans

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (1 1/2 cans, rinsed and drained)
  • salt

Tacos and Assembly

  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons Japanese tamari
  • 1 cup finely shredded green or red cabbage (about 1/4 small head)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas (6 inches)
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar
  • about 3/4 cup good-quality salsa
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 lime wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.

2. To make the Chipotle-Roasted Winter Squash, puree the chipotles with the oil in a food processor.

3. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the chipotle oil to coat evenly. Spread out in a single layer; try not to have the squash cubes touch each other too much.

4. Roast until nicely browned and crusty, 30 to 40 minutes. Season with the salt to taste. Set aside at room temperature.

5. To make the Spiced Black Beans, heat the oil in a medium-large skillet over medium heat. Add the chipoltles, garlic, and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened and heated through, about 6 minutes. Season with the salt to taste.

6. Toss the pepitas with the tamari and toast in a small skillet over medium heat, watching carefully so they don't burn, until the pepitas are one shade darker, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

7. Toss the cabbage with the lime juice and season with the salt and pepper to taste.

8. When ready to assemble, warm the tortillas in a microwave, separated by paper towels, for about 30 seconds, or heat briefly in a hot skillet. Layer with the squash, black beans, a scattering of the cheese, a spoonful of salsa, some shredded cabbage, and a bit more salsa. Top with the toasted pepitas. Garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 4 servings

Sweet and Salty Nuts 'n' Cranberries

  • 20 ounces whole almonds
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed pepper seasoning, such as a Cajun blend (or: 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon each cayenne and white pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 8 ounces dried sweetened cranberries

1. Preheat the over to 350F.

2. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss together the almonds, butter, sugar, and pepper and spread in an even layer. Roast in the over, stirring several times, until the nuts are one shade darker, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the salt.

3. When the nuts are cool, toss them in a large bowl with the cranberries.

4. Store in airtight containers for about a week at room temperature, or freeze for up to 3 weeks.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 4 cups (about 16 servings)

Lentil Soup with Smoked Sausage

  • 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, cliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

In a large soup pot over high heat, combine all ingredients except sausage, salt and pepper, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and stir in vinegar. Discard bay leaf. For a thicker soup, whisk soup with a large whisk to mash some of the lentils. Serve in bowls.

accompaniments: bread, salad, wine

from The Big Book of Easy Suppers

Yield: 4 servings

Scalloped Tomatoes with Garlic Crumbs

  • 4 cups fresh breadcrumbs (4-5 slices bread)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced about 1/2-inch thick

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Combine the breadcrumbs, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle with the melted butter and toss to combine.

3. Spread half the breadcrumbs evenly in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish (11x9) and press down firmly to make an even laet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

4. Arrange a layer of sliced tomatoes over the crust and sprinkle with some of the remaining breadcrumbs. Repeat layers until all the tomatoes are used, ending with a layer of breadcrumbs.

5. Bake, uncovered, until the tomatoes just begin to soften, the juices begin to run, and the breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 minutes.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 6-8 servings

Simple Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Makes about 1 cup.

Market Salad with Berries and Chevre

  • 4 cups mixed mesclun greens
  • 24 small sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 2/3 cup fresh blueberries, or 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled local goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup smoked salted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • about 1/4 cup Simple Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

1. If peas are large, cut them in half on the diagonal.

2. Wash and dry greens. Spread them out on either a large platter or individual plates, to make a bed. Arrange the snap peas over the greens and scatter with the berries, cheese, and almonds.

3. Whisk together the vinaigrette and maple syrup in a small bowl. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

from Dishing Up Maine

Saute of Fiddleheads, Sugar Snaps, and Baby Carrots

  • 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • 1/2 pound baby carrots
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper

1. If the fiddleheads have papery brown membranes clinging to them, immerse them in a sinkful of cold water and rub it off. Trim the ends.

2. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until they are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the fiddleheads and continue to cook until they are almost tender, about 4 minutes longer. Finally add the snap peas and cook for about a minute, until they turn bright green.

3. Drain the vegetables into a colander, then shock in the cold water. Drain.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the vegetables, sprinkle with the sugar, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

from Dishing Up Maine

Turkey Pot Pie

  • 3 TB unsalted butter
  • 2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, well washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, stemmed and sliced
  • 11/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 3 TB unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups leftover turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 9-inch whole wheat pie crust
  • 1 prepared pie top

Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy skillet. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Add remaining butter to skillet and saute mushrooms over medium high heat until they have given off their moisture and are tender, about 10 minutes. Combine with leek mixture in skillet. Over medium high heat, stir the flour into skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock slowly, while stirring, and bring to simmer. Stir until nicely thickened. Add the turkey, cream and thyme and season with salt and pepper.

With a slotted spoon, fill pie crust with filling. Pour in any remaining liquid until crust is almost filled to the top. Moisten edge of pie crust and place pie top on top, sealing the edges with a fork. Cut slits into the top of the pie. Bake for 30-40 minutes until pie crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Nutritional info: Per Serving (9.25 oz.): 300 calories (180 calories from fat), 19g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 3g dietary fiber, 5g protein, 30g carbohydrate, 45mg cholesterol, 490mg sodium

from Whole Foods

Yield: 6 servings

Navel Orange and Fennel Salad

  • 3 large navel oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds, then placed in a small bowl
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, top stalk removed
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups arugula, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 TB orange juice
  • 1/3 cup tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Drain off any juice from oranges to use for the dressing. Cut fennel bulb in half so it lies flat, and then very thinly slice into half moons. Toss with orange slices and red onion. Divide arugula on 4 salad plates and place mixture on top. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice and olive oil. Season and pour over salads.

Nutritional info: Per serving (269g-wt.): 320 calories (210 from fat), 23g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 7g dietary fiber, 5g protein, 27g carbohydrate, 0mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium

from Whole Foods

Yield: 4 servings

Peppermint Bark

  • nonstick spray
  • candy canes
  • white chocolate chips, 2 bags

Spray a large cookie tray with non-stick spray and then line it with a piece of wax paper. Take several large candy canes or a bag of peppermint candies and crush them into small pieces. (How much peppermint flavor you like should determine how many you chop up.)

On the stove, melt two bags of white chocolate chips at a low temperature. When melted, add most of the crushed peppermint and stir it in. Pour the mixture onto the cookie tray and spread over the tray until flat and even. Sprinkle the remaining peppermint pieces on top, pressing them in with a spatula.

Let it cool. Peel off wax paper and break into pieces. Enjoy!

Steamed Fingerling Potatoes with Mint-Walnut Pesto

  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint sprigs
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (juice of 1/2 medium lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fingerling or other new potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks if necessary

1. To make the pesto, combine the basil, mint, parsley, cheese, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Pulse 3-4 times to make a very rough paste.

2. With the motor running, pour the oil through the feed tube and process just until the sauce is pureed. Do not overprocess, or the pesto will lose some of its bright color and full flavor.

3. Scrub the potatoes and boil in a saucepan of well-salted water until tender when pierced with a small knife, 12 to 20 minutes. Drain into a colander, transfer to a bowl, toss with the pesto, and serve.

make-ahead: The pesto can be stored, covered, for a day or two in the refrigerator, but it will darken. To help prevent this, pour a skim of oil on the surface. Bring to room temperature before combining with the hot potatoes.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 4 servings

Classic Scalloped Potatoes

  • 2 pounds all-purpose potatoes such as russets or yukon golds
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, sage, or a combination

1. Grease a shallow 3-quart baking dish with butter.

2. Peel the potatoes and cut into thin slices. You should have about 5 cups.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F.

4. Combine the potatoes, onion, flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and use your hands to mix thoroughly. Spread the mixture into the prepared dish.

5. Combine the milk and butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Warm over medium heat until butter melts and steam rises, about 2 minutes. Pour over the potatoes and cover with foil.

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the chopped herbs, and continue to bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 6 servings

Nutmeg-Scented Parsnip and Carrot Puree

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

1. Cook the carrots and parsnips in two separate saucepans of salted water until each is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in one colander, return to one pot, and place over very low heat until the vegetables are quite dry, about 1 minute.

2. Transfer to a food processor or leave in the pot to mash. Add the half-and-half, butter, sugar, nutmeg, and process or mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer to make a fairly smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Smoked Fish and Corn Chowder

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, diced
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh (2 large ears) or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 8 ounces smoked peppered mackerel, smoked trout, or other smoked fish, skin and bones removed, broken into rough 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • coarse-ground black pepper (if not using peppered fish)

1. Melt the butter in a medium to large soup pot. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.

2. Add the clam juice, water, and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the half-and-half and corn and continue to simmer gently over medium-low heat until the corn and potatoes are both tender, about 10 minutes. Do not boil vigorously or soup will curdle.

4. Stir in the fish, tarragon, and pepper. Let stand for at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to blend, or refrigerate for up to a day. Reheat gently, being careful not to boil.

Serve with dark green leafy salad and bread.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 4 main-course servings servings

Portland Quahog Chowder

  • 4 ounces salt pork, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups clam liquor, clam broth, bottled clam juice, or a combination
  • 3 cups whole or low-fat milk
  • 4-5 cups diced all-purpose potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped hard-shell clams
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

1. Cook the salt pork in a large soup pot over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the pork bits are crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the pork bits with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels (refrigerate until ready to serve), leaving the drippings in the pan.

2. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

3. Add the clam liquor and milk, whisking until smooth. Add the potatoes and dried thyme, if using. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes.

4. Add the clams and fresh thyme, if using, and stir in the half-and-half. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and let the chowder cool to room temperature for at least an hour or referigerate up to 2 days.

5. Before serving, add the butter and reheat gently. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the reserved pork bits, if desired.

You can buy chopped fresh clams in their juice from a fishmarket or seafood section of the supermarket, and use their juice ("liquor") for part of the chowder liquid. Or use 5 quarts scrubbed hard-shell clams and steam them in a small amount of water just until they open, about 5 minutes. Then scrape out the clam meat and chop or cut it with scissors into cranberry-sized pieces. Pour the cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup, let any sediment settle, and pour off the clean broth.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 6-8 main course servings servings

Curried Roasted Squash Soup

  • 5 pounds winter squash, such as Hubbard, butternut or kabocha
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
  • salt and pepper
  • about 7 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Cut the squash into large chunks and scoop out the seeds. Place cut sides up in a large roasting pan and divide the butter and brown sugar among the cavities.

3. Arrange the onion, carrots, garlic, and apple around the squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and pour 2 cups of the broth in the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and roast, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are all very soft and caramelized, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

4. Scoop the squash pulp out of the skins. Squeeze the garlic out of its skins. Process the squash and other vegetables in a food processor in batches, adding a bit of broth through the feed tube, to make a smooth puree.

5. Toast the curry powder in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until it is one shade darker, about 2 minutes.

6. Combine the squash puree, toasted curry powder, remaining broth, apple cider, ginger, and mace in a large soup pot, whisking together until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Soup can be stores in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen fro up to 1 month.

7. Reheat before serving. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 4 main-course servings servings

Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
  • Pinch fresh nutmeg
  • Sea salt and white pepper
  • 1 cup grated fontina
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
  • 1 pound dry rigatoni
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Bechamel sauce: In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown.

from Food Network

Chicks in Blankets

  • 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
  • 3 tablespoons (about) whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 4 fully cooked chicken and apple sausages or chicken andouille sausages (about 12 ounces), each link cut crosswise into 8 rounds
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Unfold 1 puff pastry sheet on lightly floured work surface; pierce all over with fork. Cut pastry into four strips, each about 2 1/2 inches wide, then cut each strip into 4 squares for total of 16. Spread 1/4 teaspoon mustard in center of 1 square. Place 1 sausage round atop mustard, pressing slightly to anchor. Fold 2 opposite corners of pastry square over sausage, overlapping slightly, and press to seal. Place sealed side down on ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry, mustard, and sausage rounds, placing half on second baking sheet. Do ahead Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk egg and milk in small bowl to blend for glaze. Turn pastries right side up and brush with glaze. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until pastry is puffed and golden, about 12 minutes longer. Transfer to platter and serve warm.

Makes 32.

Florentine Omelets

  • 1 (7 to 10 ounce) microwavable bag spinach
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ounces diced Italian fontina or Asiago Fresco cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. For the filling, cook spinach according to bag directions, drain, then squeeze dry with paper towels. Transfer spinach to a bowl. Heat butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, add onion, and cook 3 minutes until lightly browned. Add garlic, salt, and pepper and cook 30 seconds more. Stir into spinach, the toss in cheese, and stir again.

2. Wipe out skillet. Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Whisk 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons water and 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and cook 1 minute until bottom is set. Push back on one side of egg and allow loose egg to flow into exposed skillet. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until top is set. Add one-half of filling on one side of omelet, run knife around edge and fold over to cover filling; slide out onto plate. Repeat steps for second omelet. Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving); 428 calories, 8 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 24 grams protein, 34.5 grams fat

from Atkins for Life

Yield: 2 servings

Louisiana Jambalaya

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium rib celery, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (orange or yellow OK)
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 8 ounces andouille sausage , halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice (10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (Scorned Woman)
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, mashed
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (31 to 35 shrimp per pound), or large shrimp, shelled (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and cook until golden brown on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add andouille; cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add vegetables, and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon, until vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice, salt, thyme, and cayenne; cook, stirring frequently, until rice is coated with fat, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, chicken broth, bay leaves, and browned sausage to pot; stir to combine. Remove and discard skin from chicken; place chicken, skinned-side down, on rice. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once, keeping chicken on top, skinned-side down. Replace cover and continue to simmer until chicken is no longer pink when cut into with paring knife, about 10 minutes more; transfer chicken to clean plate and set aside. Scatter shrimp over rice, cover, and continue to cook until rice is fully tender and shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

While shrimp are cooking, shred chicken. When shrimp are cooked, discard bay leaves; off heat, stir in parsley and shredded chicken, and serve immediately.

Yield: 10 servings

Quick Chicken and Chorizo Paella

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 14 ounces chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups short- or medium-grain rice
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 pounds roast chicken (meat from 3-pound chicken skinned, deboned, and torn into chunks)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large casserole or paella pan over high heat. Add chorizo and cook until browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.

Add rice (medium or short grain rice), paprika, saffron, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and coat the rice, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add roast chicken, frozen peas, and tomato; stir to combine.

Transfer skillet to oven. Cook uncovered until rice is tender and no liquid remains, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Fettucine Carbonara with Gorgonzola

  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 8 slices cooked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta in heavy large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add artichoke hearts; saute 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, cream, half and half, crushed red pepper, black pepper and salt and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add hot pasta to sauce and toss to coat. Remove from heat. Add eggs to pasta and toss well. Add bacon, 1/2 cup Gorgonzola, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss to incorporate. Add reserved pasta cooking liquid to thin sauce, if desired. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Gorgonzola and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over pasta and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Panini

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 10 ounces thinly sliced whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 12 tomato slices
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 16-ounce ciabatta bread (13x6 1/2x1 1/2 inches), halved horizontally

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, and garlic in small bowl to blend; season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Layer prosciutto, mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil over bottom of bread. Drizzle lightly with dressing, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Press top of bread over. Cut bread equally into 4 sandwiches.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Grill sandwiches until bread is golden brown and cheese melts, pressing occasionally to compact with large spatula, about 5 minutes per side.

Yield: 4 servings

Fettucine with Figs, Rosemary, and Pancetta

  • 3 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 oz sliced pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb firm-ripe fresh figs, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 3/4 lb dried egg fettuccine
  • Accompaniment: freshly grated parmesan

Tear bread into pieces and pulse in a blender or food processor until reduced to coarse crumbs.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook bread crumbs with salt and pepper to taste, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in cleaned skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook pancetta, stirring, until golden brown and crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add onion to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in wine and boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Remove from heat and stir in broth, figs, parsley, half of pancetta, and lemon juice.

Cook fettuccine in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

Add fettuccine to fig mixture with 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and salt and pepper to taste. Heat over low heat, tossing gently and adding more cooking water if mixture becomes dry, until just heated through.

Serve pasta topped with bread crumbs and remaining pancetta.

Yield: 4 servings

Pasta Paella with Clams and Spicy Sausage

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces fideos (Spanish dried coiled vermicelli noodles), or 6 ounces thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound hot Italian sausage links
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 12 small hard-shelled clams such as littlenecks (less than 2 inches in diameter)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Cut zucchini and tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and keep vegetables separate. Chop onion and mince garlic.

In a heavy kettle heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saute uncooked pasta, turning occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer pasta to a bowl. In oil remaining in kettle saute zucchini with salt to taste, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes, and transfer to another bowl. Squeeze sausage from casings into kettle and add onion and garlic. Saute mixture, stirring and breaking up sausage, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, and wine and bring to a boil. Add pasta and clams and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes, or until clams are opened and pasta is al dente. (Discard any unopened clams.) Stir in zucchini and parsley and cook until heated through.

Yield: 2 servings

Smoked Sausage Dirty Rice

  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb smoked hot pork sausage links, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, then add rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, covered tightly, over low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered and undisturbed, 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and keep covered.

While rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute sausage in 2 batches, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, transferring with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add okra to skillet and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to another bowl.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute onions and bell peppers, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute, stirring, 1 minute. Add okra, broth, black pepper, remaining 1/4 cup water, and remaining teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and level of liquid is evaporated to just below surface of solids, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in sausage.

Toss sausage mixture with rice, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 8 servings

Penne with Smoked Trout and Sugar Snap Peas

  • 1 lb penne rigate
  • 3/4 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved diagonally
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (1/2-lb) whole smoked trout, head, skin, bones, and tail discarded and flesh coarsely flaked
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes less than package instructions indicate, then add sugar snaps and cook until sugar snaps are tender, about 2 minutes more. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and sugar snaps in a colander and return to pot.

Boil cream in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, uncovered, 2 minutes, then add to pasta along with trout, zest, reserved cooking water, dill, salt, and pepper and toss until combined.

Yield: 4 servings

Bayou Dirty Rice

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 8 ounces chicken livers
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

from The New Basics Cookbook

Yield: 6 servings

Spicy Turkey Sloppy Joes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/4 cups ale or beer
  • 3/4 cup bottled chili sauce or ketchup
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 6 sourdough rolls, split, toasted
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce or packaged garden salad mix

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey, green pepper and garlic and saute until turkey is no longer pink, breaking up meat with back of fork, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder; stir 1 minute. Add next 4 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Mix in green onions; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange roll bottoms on plates. Spoon sloppy joe mixture over; top with lettuce and roll tops.

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups lime juice (from 12-15 limes)
  • 6-8 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups cold water
  • 18 fresh mint sprigs
  • ice cubes

Put the lime juice in a large pitcher. Stir in 6 tablespoons sugar until it dissolves. Stir in the water. Crush the mint sprigs, then stir into the limeade. Taste and add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar if desired. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

For a picnic: Transfer the limeade, including the mint sprigs to a chilled large Thermos. Serve over ice cubes, tucking 2 or 3 mint sprigs among the cubes.

from Williams-Sonoma Picnics and Tailgates

81 calories per serving

Yield: 6 servings

Mushroom Goat-Cheese Quesadillas

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, stems removed
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces mild goat cheese
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cups Onion Chutney
  • 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Place the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well, and add the portobello mushroom caps. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the portobellos ones or twice.

Preheat the oven to 350F. While the mushrooms are marinating, blend the cream cheese and goat cheese in a medium bowl with a fork or by hand.

Grill the mushrooms until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes per side. You may also broil the mushrooms in the over about 3 inches from the broiler element, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Cut the mushroom caps into slices about 1/4 inch thick.

Place 1 tortilla on the work surface. Top with about 2 tablesppons of the cheese mixture, spead to with 1/2 inch of the edge of the tortilla. Top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the onion chutney, spreading it evenly. Add 3 to 4 slices of the mushrooms and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese. Top with a tortilla. Repeat until all the cheese filling, chutney, mushrooms, mozzarella, and tortillas are used.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with vegetable oil. Place the filled tortillas on the sheet pan; don't allow the sides to touch. Bake in the over for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has just melted. Remove the quesadillas with a wide spatula, cut into wedges, and serve immediately.

Serve with a field green salad and a glass of pinot noir or merlot.

540 calories per serving

from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Yield: 4 servings

California "High Roller" Wrap

  • 1 9-inch flour tortilla
  • 1/2 small ripe avocado, sliced or mashed
  • 2 large leaves leaf lettuce
  • 6 ounces sliced turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup salsa

Spread the avocado thinly over the tortilla. Overlap lettuce leaves and turkey. Spoon on the salsa over the length of the wrap, forming a 1-inch strip across the center.

Wrap the sandwich firmly by rolling the edge closest to you over itself and the filling until a pinwheel is formed. Cut in half diagonally.

Variation: for extra color, fiber, and texture, mash cooked black beans and blend them into the avocado.

from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Yield: 2 servings

Cape Cod Wrap

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 12-inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 6 ounces sliced smoked turkey
  • 2 ounces cranberry relish

Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the onion slices lightly with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread them out on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. You may instead grill the onion for 4 minutes per side, until browned. This will give it a smoky flavor.

In a small bowl, combine the orange zest and cream cheese.

Spread the citrus cream cheese on the tortilla. Place the spinach leaves over the cream cheese. Scatter the onion over the spinach. Arrange the smoked turkey over the onion, covering the entire surface of the tortilla. Place the berry relish over the turkey in a 1-inch-thick line along the bottom edge of the tortilla. Roll up tightly and slice diagonally in half.

variation: substitute apple or pear chutney or preserves for the cranberry relish

370 calories per serving

from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Yield: 2 servings

Minted Cranberry Lime Sparkletinis

  • 1 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, mottled
  • 1/3 cup limeade concentrate
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into wheels
  • 1 1/2 cup carbonated water

In a pitcher combine the mint leaves, limeade concentrate, cranberry juice, and vodka and stir until combined; add the cucumbers and chill well, for at least 2 hours. Before service, strain out the mint leaves and cucumber, add the carbonated water, stir gently and pour into martini glasses.

Yield: 8 servings

Wassail Punch

  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

In a slow-cooker or a large pot over low heat, combine apple cider, orange juice and lemon juice. Season with cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer. If using a slow cooker, allow to simmer all day. Serve hot.

Yield: 12 servings

Prosecco Sangria

In a pitcher, combine 1 peach, 1 nectarine, and 3 apricots, all pitted and cut into wedges. Stir in 5 ounces peach brandy; let sit at least 1 hour. Stir in 1 750-ml bottle chilled Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) and 1 cup peach nectar. Add superfine sugar, if desired. Serve chilled.

Makes about 2 quarts.

from Martha Stewart Living

Champagne Punch

  • 6 tablespoons grenadine
  • 6 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) champagne
  • Raspberries, apples, or other seasonal fruit

Fill a small ice bucket halfway with ice. Pour grenadine, Cointreau, brandy, and champagne over ice. Stir gently, and ladle punch into 4 wide-mouthed stemmed glasses. Garnish punch with raspberries, apples, or any other fruit in season.

from Martha Stewart Living

Yield: 4 servings

Cranberry Sparkler

  • 1/4 cup red sanding sugar
  • 2 cups cranberry juice, chilled
  • 2 cups sparkling apple cider, chilled

1. Spread sanding sugar on a plate. Soak two paper towels with cold water; place on another plate. Press the rim of each serving glass on paper towels and then into sugar.

2. Fill each glass with 1/2 cup cranberry juice and about 1/2 cup sparkling cider. Serve immediately.

from Martha Stewart Living

Yield: 4 8-oz servings servings

Baked Brie with Fruit

  • apples and pears
  • 9" wheel of brie or camenbert
  • olive oil
  • frozen blueberries
  • crackers

Core, and cut some apples and pears into slim wedges (for 20 people, maybe 3 or 4 of each fruit). Sprinkle with brown sugar, dot with butter. Cover and bake until halfway soft and caramelly.

Brush a wheel of brie or camenbert with a bit of olive oil. Put it in the oven with the apples and pears and bake until it's soft and collapsing.

While the brie bakes, throw some frozen unsweetened blueberries and a wee bit of water into a pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until it makes a sauce. (For a 9-inch cheese wheel, maybe 1 cup of berries and a tablespoon of water). (The berries will leak water when they defrost, so don't add too much water off the bat.)

Carefully center the melty brie on a plate.

Arrange the warm apples and pears around it.

Pour hot blueberry sauce on top of the cheese.

Serve with crackers and lots of knives.

from Ask Metafilter

Pineapple Glazed Ham

  • 1 smoked bone-in Virginia ham (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 12 to 16 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup light-brown sugar
  • About 10 pineapple rings
  • About 10 maraschino cherries

1. Combine the pineapple juice, ginger, and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes, reducing the liquid by half (to 2 cups). Strain and reserve.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Carefully trim the thick rind and all but 1/4 inch of fat from the surface of the ham. With a sharp knife, score a diamond pattern and insert the cloves at the crossed points of the diamonds.

4. Set the ham in a shallow baking pan. Brush the mustard all over the top. Pat the sugar atop the mustard.

5. Starting at the butt end, decoratively arrange the pineapple rings, securing with cherries and toothpicks in the centers, working toward the bone. Pour the reserved pineapple juice into the bottom of the pan and place in the oven.

6. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes.

7.When the ham is done, place it on a serving platter and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve into thin slices, beginning at the butt end. Serve warm with pan sauce alongside. Remove the pineapple slices and cherries as you carve and serve them with the ham.

Per serving (based on 10): 651 calories, 43g carbohydrates, 72g protein, 20g fat, 180mg cholesterol.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Original Chex Party Mix

  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 cup bite-size pretzels
  • 1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces

1. Heat oven to 250°F. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated.

  • 2. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

  • Ginger-Apple Punch

    • ginger beer
    • sparkling apple cider
    • lime


    • 1 oz vodka
    • 1/2 oz triple sec
    • 1/2 oz Rose's lime juice
    • 1/2 oz cranberry juice

    Ham and Acorn Squash Skillet Dinner

    • 1 medium acorn squash*
    • 1 pound cooked ham, finely chopped
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
    • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

    Slice the acorn squash across the ribs into 6 rings. Cut each ring in half. Set aside.

    Combine ham, egg, bread crumbs, sweet onion, and mustard. Form into 6 patties.

    Heat a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and brown the ham patties on both sides. Remove and set aside.

    Season the acorn squash with salt and pepper and return to the same skillet, along with 3 tablespoons water. Combine brown sugar and butter and distribute evenly over the acorn squash. Cover and simmer over low heat 15 to 20 minutes until tender.

    Uncover and return the ham patties to the skillet. Cook an additional 5 minutes, basting often with pan juices.

    *If acorn squash is not in season, try substituting sweet potatoes.

    Yield: 6 servings

    Open-Face Ham, Cheddar, and Apple Butter Sandwiches

    • 3 ciabatta rolls, halved horizontally, or 6 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style bread
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 6 tablespoons apple butter
    • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/4 pounds Black Forest ham, thinly sliced
    • 12 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, sliced
    • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

    Brush cut side of ciabatta rolls with oil. Place rolls, cut side up, on baking sheet. Broil until rolls begin to brown around edges, about 2 minutes. Spread apple butter and mustard on each roll half. Top with ham, then cheese. Broil until cheese melts and begins to brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

    Yield: 6 servings

    Baked Grits with Ham, Wild Mushrooms, and Parmesan

    • 4 3/4 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup corn grits*
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
    • 1/2 cup (packed) grated white cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    • 1 large egg
    • 4 cups assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, morel, stemmed shiitake or oyster), sliced
    • 1/2 cup matchstick-size strips country ham
    • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Bring 4 3/4 cups water and salt to boil in heavy medium pot. Add corn grits to boiling water in thin steady stream, stirring constantly. Reduce temperature and simmer grits until thick, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Pour cooked grits into large mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, grated cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons butter. Season grits to taste with pepper. Whisk in egg. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Place dish in large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake until grits are firm to touch, about 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add assorted mushrooms, ham and minced shallot and saute until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Add white wine and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add whipping cream and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in fresh thyme. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

    Spoon baked corn grits onto plates. Top with mushroom and ham mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

    *Corn grits, also known as polenta, are available at Italian markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute 1 cup regular yellow cornmeal, and simmer about 10 minutes.

    Yield: 6 servings

    Fettuccini with Country Ham and Vegetables

    • 1 small carrot, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
    • 24 asparagus spears, trimmed cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 12 ounces fettuccine
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
    • 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips
    • 1 cup half and half
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 2 teaspoons corn starch
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
    • 2/3 cup diced country ham
    • Additional grated Parmesan cheese

    Steam vegetables. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta. Return to same pot.

    Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and bell pepper; saute 2 minutes. Add half and half, chicken broth, and corn starch slurry and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and country ham.

    Add carrot and asparagus pieces to sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Divide pasta among 4 plates. Garnish with asparagus tips. Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Ham and Sweet Potato Hash

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 2 1/2 cups 1/3-inch cubes peeled red-skinned sweet potato (yam)
    • 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes ham
    • 1 large white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
    • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard with horseradish
    • 2 cups coarsely chopped watercress tops plus 4 sprigs for garnish (or spinach)
    • 4 large eggs

    Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add yam cubes; cover and cook 5 minutes. Mix in ham, onion, and mustard. Cover and cook until yam is tender and bottom of hash begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper. Using spatula, turn hash over in portions and press to compact. Cook uncovered until golden, turning and pressing occasionally, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in chopped watercress until wilted, about 1 minute.

    Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in another large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into skillet and cook until whites are firm but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

    Divide hash among 4 plates. Top with eggs. Garnish with watercress sprigs.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Fettuccini with Ham and Napa Cabbage

    • 1/2 pound fettuccine
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1/4 pound cooked ham, chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream

    In a large saucepan of salted boiling water cook the fettuccine until it is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta well. While the pasta is cooking, in a heavy skillet cook the onion and the cabbage in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are golden, stir in the ham and the caraway seeds, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Add the cream and simmer the mixture for 1 minute. In a large bowl toss together the fettuccine, the ham mixture, and salt and pepper to taste and add enough of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce to the desired consistency.

    Yield: 2 servings

    Thursday, August 2, 2007

    Roast Turkey Curry

    Transform cooked turkey into something spicy and special in next to no time, with this recipe for turkey curry from Manju Mahli.

    • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
    • 1/4 tsp garam masala
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 450g roast turkey, chopped into 2 cm pieces
    • 1 tsp grated root ginger
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • small bunch cilantro, chopped
    • steamed cauliflower
    • peas, shelled
    • golden raisins, plumped

    1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Fry for 6-7 minutes till the onion is lightly browned.

    2. In a small bowl, mix the tomato puree with the remaining oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and salt to form a thick paste. Tip the paste into the onion mixture and fry for half a minute.

    3. Stir in the turkey pieces and cook for 1 minute.

    4. Add 400ml of hot water from the kettle and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the ginger, cauliflower, peas, raisins, and the lemon juice.

    5. Garnish with cilantro and serve with plain basmati rice.

    • Servings: 3-4
    • Preparation Time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking Time: 15 minutes

    from UKTV by Manju Malhi from Great Food Bites

    Turkey Curry

    Jones often serves this dish at parties with basmati rice and a selection of chutneys, raisins, diced bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, pineapple, papaya, and roasted almonds. Leftovers are even better the next day.

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 3 cups finely chopped peeled Golden Delicious apple (about 2)
    • 2 cups finely chopped onion (about 1 large)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon curry powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 6 cups chopped cooked turkey breast (about 1 pound)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add apple, onion, and garlic to pan. Cover and cook 12 minutes or until onion is tender. Add curry powder, salt, and red pepper to pan. Combine milk and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; add to pan. Stir in broth. Reduce heat, and cook 4 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add turkey and juice to pan; cook 5 minutes or until turkey is thoroughly heated.

    Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

    Nutritional Information: CALORIES 143 (21% from fat); FAT 3.4g (sat 2g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 18.3g; CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CALCIUM 37mg; SODIUM 316mg; FIBER 1.2g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.7g

    from Cooking Light