Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups canned or packaged vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 palm full
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 palm full
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, eyeball it in the palm of your hand
  • Coarse salt
  • 20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish
  • optional: roasted chicken, corn

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

from Rachael Ray via the Food Network

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Curried Chicken-Coconut Soup

  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass (from about 4 stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 large chicken thighs with bones (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 6-ounce package baby spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Combine first 6 ingredients in 6- to 8-quart pressure cooker. Remove skin from chicken; add chicken to cooker. Lock lid in place. Bring to high pressure over high heat. Cook 8 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain high pressure. Remove from heat. Let pressure come down naturally 8 minutes. Quick-release any remaining pressure.

Slowly release lid, standing back and allowing steam to escape. Transfer chicken to work surface; cool briefly. Remove bones. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch cubes. Return chicken to soup; add spinach. Simmer until spinach wilts, about 1 minute. Add lime juice. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cilantro. Serve, passing lime wedges separately.

COMMENTS: Great dish! Like the cook from Mukiteo, WA, we added extra veges...carrots, galangal, peas (first) corn and mushrooms (after 10 min. or so)...used two cans of delicious coconut milk...a bit of fish sauce adds a great flavor. We just threw the chicken, raw, directly into the pot (cut by our friendly neighborhood butcher into 2 inch cubes) with the vege broth, coconut milk, and lemongrass and it cooked pressure cooker, just a pot with lid...Tak added a few green chiles, too, but be cautious if you're not a spicy-wallah! Also, not too much lime juice...perhaps just wedges to serve at the table. Huge success and better the next day!

This soup is wonderful but I did make some changes.Used 4 cups of the broth(each small can contains 2 cups) Then upped the coconut milk by half a can.Added Fish Sauce, Green Curry Paste,Brown Sugar, Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Crimini Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas and Minced Garlic.I prepared it on the stove top as I do not own a pressure cooker.Put in the first 6 ingredients plus the curry paste and garlic and simmered for 45 min. then added the rest of the ingredients to taste.BIG TIP: Sliced the lemongrass down the center, cut it into thirds, and then added it.It is a pain to pick it out before serving but not nearly as awful as trying to chew it up while your enjoying this fabulous soup.Next time I will wrap it in a piece of cheese cloth.I also used Basil instead of Cilantro as that is what I had on hand.The Green Curry Paste is very hot so start with a half tablespoon then add to desired heat.We really love this soup on a cold winter night.Opps! the lime juice seemed to be heavy handed.Added 2 T. and passed lime wedges at the table. ENJOY !!!

I don't own a pressure cooker, so I made it in the crock pot and let it simmer for several hours. It was absolutely delicious. We had leftovers that I boiled down a bit and served over rice. My husband preferred it that way, although I preferred it as a soup.

This recipe was good. I used one entire breast (about 1 1/2 lbs) cut into eighths and the powdered lemongrass and yellow curry powder that I make from an Indian cookbook recipe. My husband suggested adding fresh onion shreds as garnish along with the cilantro and that was good. Next time I will try it with the red Thai curry paste.

Yield: 4 main-course servings

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Frittata

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 oz cold cream cheese,cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, chopped
  • Accompaniment: thinly sliced red or sweet onion

Whisk together eggs, milk, chives, basil, pepper, and salt in a bowl.

Preheat broiler.

Heat oil in a 12-inch oven-proof nonstick skillet (if handle is plastic, wrap it in a double layer of foil) over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Pour egg mixture into skillet and scatter cream cheese pieces on top, then cook, lifting up cooked egg around edges using a spatula to let raw egg flow underneath, until frittata is set on bottom and egg is almost set but still moist on top, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle salmon all over frittata, then press on salmon lightly and shake skillet to allow salmon to settle into top.

Broil frittata about 6 inches from heat until set, slightly puffed, and golden in patches, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes, then loosen edge with spatula and slide onto a large plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tomatillo Sauce

  • 3/4 lb tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, , leaves and stems, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (can substitute vegetable stock)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat.

2. Grill tomatillos,jalapenos, onion and garlic in skillet, occasionally turning to toast all side, for about 5 minutes. Ingredients will blacken in places (this is a good thing).

3. Remove from skillet and put into a blender, add cilantro and puree until smooth.

4. Heat 1 vegetable oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat.

5. Pour puree into pan and cook, stirring constantly, until it darkens in color, about 5 minutes.

6. Add chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, and lower heat to medium low.

7. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.

from Recipezaar

Tomatillo Sauce

  • 1 1/2 lb. fresh tomatillos or 2 (13 oz.) cans tomatillos
  • 2 green chiles, charred, peeled and seeded
  • 3 jalapeno chiles, partially seeded, veins removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. light oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. cilantro, snipped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar

After removing dry husks from tomatillos, rinse them well under warm water to remove some of the stickiness. Cut into quarters. Cut chiles and jalapenos into pieces. Add garlic and chop to a coarse puree using the pulse button of the food processor. Place mixture in saucepan and simmer everything except cilantro, 12-15 minutes.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Harvest Night to Remember (Menu)

Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Puffs

Pumpkin, Prosciutto, and Parmesan Lasagne

Warm Mushroom and Arugula Salad

Italian Bread

Ruby Poached Pears

from Cold-Weather Cooking

Pumpkin, Prosciutto, and Parmesan Lasagne

Soothing, unusual, and perfect for a dinner party on the first frosty night in October or for a sophisticated Halloween soiree.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 leeks, trimmed, rinsed well, and minced
  • 4 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 1 1/4pounds lasagne noodles, cooked al dente and drained
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, torn into irregular pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups walnut pieces, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 15 x 10-inch casserole or baking pan.

Prepare the pumpkin filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and the white wine and cook, stirring constantly 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To assemble the lasagne, make a layer of the lasagne noodles in the prepared casserole and top with half the sliced prosciutto and one-third of the bechamel. Scatter half the sage leaves evenly over the top. Cover with another layer of noodles, then all the pumpkin filling, 1 cup of the Parmesan, and 1 cup of the walnuts. Make another layer of the lasagne noodles and top with the rest of the prosciutto, another third of the bechamel, and the remaining sage. Make a final layer of noodles and top with the remaining bechamel, walnuts, and Parmesan.

Bake the lasagne in the oven until lightly browned and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Makes 12 servings

from Cold-Weather Cooking, p. 19-20

Bechamel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade, at room temperature
  • 2 cups light cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, then the light cream; cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Stir in the Parmesan and season with the nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Stir 1/2 cup of the hot sauce into the beaten eggs in a small bowl, then stir the egg mixture into the remaining sauce. Cook a couple minutes longer, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat.

Makes ? - a lot

from Cold Weather Cooking p. 19-20

Farewell-to-Friends Fettuccine

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 2 ounce sliced pancetta or bacon, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 3/4 pounds ripe fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound fettuccine, cooked according to package directions just before serving and drained
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the sausage and pancetta in a large skillet and saute over medium-high heat, crumbling the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon, until it loses its pink color, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the onion, garlic, fennel, and saffron; cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red wine, and tomato paste; cook over medium heat another 20 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft but still retain some of their shape. Stir in the cream, basil, salt, and pepper and cook just 1 minute more.

3. Toss the hot cooked fettuccine with the sauce in a large serving bowl. Serve at once accompanied with freshly grated Parmesan.

Makes 5 to 6 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking, p. 18

Scalloped Tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 2 cups cubed French bread (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 16 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Heat the bacon fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat evenly with the fat. Saute until lightly browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and sugar to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the basil and remove from the heat.

3. Transfer the tomato mixture to a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake until bubbling and lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve at once.

Makes 6 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking, p. 17-18

Mixed Greens with Spiced Pecans, Chevre, and Hot Cider Dressing


  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 8 slices bacon, cut into 1 -inch pieces
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  • 12 cups torn mixed salad greens, such as leaf lettuce, radicchio, endive, and watercress
  • 1 cup Spiced Pecans
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 1/2 large McIntosh apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces crumbled chevre, such as Montrachet

Place the cider in a small saucepan and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside. Saute the bacon in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels and discard all but 3 tablespoons of the fat remaining in the skillet. Add the shallots to the skillet and saute over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the cinnamon and mustard and cook 1 minute more. Add the reduced cider and the olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the dressing hot over medium-low heat.

Toss the salad greens, the spiced pecans, the reserved bacon, the fennel, apples, and chevre together in a large salad bowl. Toss with the hot cider dressing and serve at once.

Makes 6 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking

Spiced Pecans

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1. Place the nuts in a small bowl, cover with boiling water, and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain well and pat dry on paper towels.

2. Preheat the oven to 300F.

3. Spread the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and toast stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Remove the nuts and increase the oven temperature to 350F.

4. Whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and mustard in a medium-size bowl. Add the hot nuts and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast 15 minutes. Let cool, then store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

from Cold Weather Cooking

Warm Mushroom and Arugula Salad

This is a wonderfully woodsy, warm salad for chilly autumn evenings.

  • 7 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces domestic white mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1/4 cup pitted Nicoise olives, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bunches arugula, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic, anchovies, olives, capers, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Simmer 5 minutes or so to blend the flavors.

2. Meanwhile, toss the arugula with the remaining olive oil in a large salad bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the warm mushroom mixture to the arugula and toss until thoroughly blended. Mix in the Gorgonzola and divide the salad among 6 plates. Serve at once.

Makes 6 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking

Calabrian Cauliflower Salad

Infusing vegetables with the strong flavors of Southern Italian cooking adds a warmth and complexity to the taste of a dish. Mild cauliflower serves as a good vehicle for a lusty combination of Calabrian ingredients. This dish may be served as an antipasto, a glamorous relish, or vegetable accompaniment to roasted poultry.

  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/2 cup diced pitted imported black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • Dried red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Steam the cauliflower over simmering chicken broth just until crisp-tender. Remove the cauliflower to cool and reserve the broth.

2. Add the raisins to the broth and boil over medium-high heat until the stock is reduced to 1/2 cup and the raisins are quite plump, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl combine the anchovies, garlic, capers, olives, pimiento, and vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil, then add the reduced stock and raisins. Season with the red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat and combine. Add the parsley just before serving. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. The salad improves a bit with time and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking

Potato Caesar Salad

When the nights get a little nippy and I want something more substantial than romaine leaves with my favorite Caesar salad dressing, I make this simple, yet soul-satisfying, warm potato salad. It's great with a nice rosy steak or steamed lobster.

  • 4 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 5 anchovy fillets, drained and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • I cup olive oil
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch parsley, stems discarded, leaves minced
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover. Heat to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered until fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool a few minutes.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the Caesar dressing. Place the anchovies, garlic, mustard, thyme, egg yolk, vinegar, and lemon juice in a food processor and process just to combine. With the machine running, pour the oils through the feed tube in a thin, steady stream to make a thick mayonnaise. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and pulse just to combine. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Cut the warm potatoes into large uneven chunks. Toss with a generous amount of Caesar dressing to bind, then mix in the parsley and Parmesan. Serve at once or at room temperature.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking

Bistro Carrot Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley

1. Cut the carrots by hand or with a mandoline into thin julienne strips 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. Blanch the carrots in a large pot of boiling water until just barely tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

2. Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the warm carrots with the dressing and mix in the scallions and parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl. The salad may be served slightly warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Makes 6 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking

Curried Chicken Salad with Autumn Fruits

  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached just until tender and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, cut into julienne strips
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, cut into julienne strips
  • 1/2 cup dried apricot halves, cut into julienne strips
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
  • 3/4 cup mango chutney
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality curry powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • Salt to taste

1. Cut the poached chicken breasts into 2 x 3/4-inch strips and mix with the figs, dates, and apricots in a large mixing bowl.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-heat in a medium-size skillet. Stir in the garlic and almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until the almonds are lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and toss with the chicken and fruit.

3. Place the chutney, egg, and curry powder in a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, pour the remaining 3/4 cup oil through the feed tube in a thin, steady stream. Then pour in the heavy cream with the machine still running to make a thick cream sauce. Season to taste with salt. Bind the salad together with the dressing.

4. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and refrigerate a couple hours before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking

Orzo and Roasted Vegetable Salad

  • 2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups fruity olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound orzo, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Toss the eggplant, peppers, and garlic together in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables in the oven, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly blistered, about 45 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked orzo with the roasted vegetables. Stir in the scallions, feta, mint, and pine nuts. Dress the salad with the lemon juice and enough of the remaining oil to moisten thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to an attractive bowl and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking

Nantucket Tomato Soup

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 3 ribs celery, minced
  • 12 vine-ripened large beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook uncovered until the vegetables are soft and translucent, 15 minutes more.

2. Add the tomatoes to the pot and toss to combine with the vegetables. Add the white wine and enough chicken broth to make a thick soup consistency. Let simmer uncovered 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Puree half the soup in a blender or food processor and combine with the original mixture. If using cream, add it when pureeing the soup. Reheat the soup and stir in the basil just before serving. Serve the soup hot; although if it is Indian Summer weather, the soup is quite delicious at room temperature.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking


Ribollita, a thick Tuscan porridge of vegetables, is a type of minestrone that is ladled over slices of stale bread and grated Parmesan. When the soup is reheated (ribollita means "reboiled"), the bread disintegrates, making a deliciously hearty soup.

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • I large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 4 ribs celery, minced
  • 1 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 8 ounces beet greens or Swiss chard, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 10 ounces fresh or thawed frozen spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup canned cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 slices (each 1 inch thick) stale French or Italian bread
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and minced

1. The day before serving, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stockpot. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, and thyme. Saute 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add the potatoes, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, beet greens, and spinach; toss to combine with the other vegetables. Stir in the chicken broth and red wine. Simmer the soup uncovered until the vegetables are very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Fifteen minutes before the soup is done, stir in the cannellini beans and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Ladle one-third of the soup into a clean stockpot. Cover with 4 slices of the bread and 3/4 cup Parmesan. Cover the bread layer with another third of the soup. Make a layer of the remaining bread and 3/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with the remaining soup. Refrigerate overnight.

4. About 30 minutes before serving, reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Ladle the soup into large soup bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan and scallions. Serve at once.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

from Cold Weather Cooking


A colorful and intense condiment to have on hand to enrich many end-of-the-summer foods. While this pepper relish is frequently paired with scrambled eggs or grilled fish steaks, I'm most partial to it spooned lavishly into a warm crusty roll with a few thin slices of hard sausage and a glaze of melted mozzarella -- my idea of a heavenly sandwich to eat while tucked into a beach dune on a blustery September afternoon.

  • l/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced into thin crescent slivers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 2 ripe large tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is a light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper strips and saute 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook uncovered until the tomato juices have evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes more. Stir in the basil, salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and serve either warm or at room temperature. Peperonata will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups

from Cold Weather Cooking

Sicilian Eggplant Caponata

The intrigue of this lusty relish comes from the interplay of oven-roasted vegetables with sweet (raisins and chocolate) and pungent (anchovies, olives, capers, balsamic vinegar) ingredients. Caponata makes a great hors d'oeuvre simply spread on crackers or pita toasts, an extraordinary condiment for beef or lamb burgers, and a toothsome accompaniment to the roasted meats that warm up autumn menus.

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, shaved or chopped into bits
  • 3 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 5 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 cup Calamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 jar (5 1/2 ounces) pitted Spanish olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. The day before serving, place the raisins in a small saucepan and cover with the wine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, add the chocolate, and stir until just melted. Set the mixture aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400F.

3. Brush the eggplant and the onion slices with the olive oil and place in separate large roasting pans. It is all right if the vegetables overlap a little bit. Roast the vegetables in the oven, turning once, until they are soft and lightly blistered, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool until easy to handle.

4. Meanwhile, drain the juice from the tomatoes into a large mixing bowl. Stir the raisin mixture into the juice. Chop the tomatoes and add along with the capers, anchovies, olives, and jalapeno chile.

5. Chop the roasted eggplant and onion into coarse chunks and add them to the tomato mixture. Finally add the vinegar and basil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let the mixture mellow overnight in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed. The relish will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 cups

from Cold Weather Cooking

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Banana-Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt

Blend ingredients on high speed until smooth. Pour into two glasses; serve immediately.

You can substitute the blueberries with just about any frozen fruit: try strawberries or sliced peaches.

Nutrition per serving: 169 calories; 2.6 grams fat; 7.4 grams protein; 31.5 grams carbohydrates; 3.6 grams fiber

from Everyday Food

Yield: 2 servings

Chili con Carne

To ensure the best chile flavor, I recommend toasting whole dried chiles and grinding them in a mini-chopper or spice-dedicated coffee grinder, all of which takes only ten (very well-spent) minutes. Select dried chiles that are moist and pliant, like dried fruit. Count on trimming one-half to a full pound of waste from your chuck roast, so start with a four-pound roast to end up with three to three-and-a-half pounds of beef cubes. For hotter chili, boost the heat with a pinch of cayenne, a dash of hot pepper sauce, or crumbled pequin chiles near the end of cooking. Serve the chili with any of the following side dishes: warm pinto or kidney beans, corn bread or chips, corn tortillas or tamales, rice, biscuits, or just plain crackers, and top with any of the following garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro leaves, minced white onion, diced avocado, shredded cheddar or jack cheese, or sour cream.

  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder or 3 medium pods (about 1/2 ounce), toasted and ground
  • 3 tablespoons New Mexico chili powder or 3 medium pods (about 3/4 ounce), toasted and ground
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds toasted in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes, and ground
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano preferably Mexican
  • 7 1/2 cups water
  • 1 beef chuck roast (4-pounds), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons table salt plus extra for seasoning
  • 8 ounces bacon (7 or 8 slices), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion minced (about 1 cup)
  • 5 medium cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 - 5 small jalapeno chiles cored, seeded, and minced
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes or plain tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice from 1 medium lime
  • 5 tablespoons masa harina or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ground black pepper

1. Mix chili powders, cumin, and oregano in small bowl and stir in 1/2 cup water to form thick paste; set aside. Toss beef cubes with salt; set aside.

2. Fry bacon in large, heavy soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate; pour all but 2 teaspoons fat from pot into small bowl; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high; saute meat in four batches until well-browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch, adding additional 2 teaspoons bacon fat to pot as necessary. Reduce heat to medium, add 3 tablespoons bacon fat to now-empty pan. Add onion; saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste; saute until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved bacon and browned beef, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, lime juice, and 7 cups water; bring to simmer. Continue to cook at a steady simmer until meat is tender and juices are dark, rich, and starting to thicken, about 2 hours.

3. Mix masa harina with 2/3 cup water (or cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water) in a small bowl to form smooth paste. Increase heat to medium; stir in paste and simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning generously with salt and ground black pepper. Serve immediately, or preferably, cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days. Reheat before serving.

from Cooks Illustrated

Yield: 6 servings

Mulled Red Wine

  • 3 cinnamon sticks, 3 inches each
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon (about 25) allspice berries
  • 2 bottles medium- or full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel
  • 4 strips zest from 1 orange, removed with vegetable peeler, each strip about 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide, cleaned of any white pith
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons brandy

1. Toast cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice in medium heavy-bottomed nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine, orange zest, and 1/2 cup sugar; cover partially and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour until wine is infused; do not boil.

2. Strain wine through fine-mesh strainer; return wine to saucepan and discard spices and orange zest. Stir 2 tablespoons brandy into wine; taste and add up to 2 tablespoons more sugar and 2 tablespoons more brandy, if desired. Ladle wine into small mugs; serve immediately.

The flavor of the mulled wine deteriorates if it is simmered for longer than one hour. It is best served immediately after mulling but will keep fairly hot off the heat, covered, for about 30 minutes. Leftover mulled wine can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop.

from Cooks Illustrated

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts (8 servings)

Moroccan Chicken and Lentils

  • 8 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 pound dried brown lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • variation: add spinach to lentils
  • accompaniment: brown rice (optional)

Combine 8 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Add lentils; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well; rinse with cold water and drain again. Place in large bowl.

Whisk 1/2 cup olive oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons cumin, 2 tablespoons chili powder, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt in large measuring cup. Pour 1 cup dressing over warm lentils and toss. Cool.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onion; saute until dark brown and soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken; saute 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder, and cinnamon. Saute until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

Arrange lentils on large platter. Place sliced chicken atop lentils. Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parsley. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

from Epicurious

Yield: 6 servings

Smoked Salmon Hash with Red Potatoes and Fennel

  • 10 large red-skinned potatoes (about 3 pounds), cubed
  • 5 tablespoons bacon drippings (from about 12 bacon slices)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 6 to 12 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss potatoes with 3 tablespoons bacon drippings and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread potatoes in single layer on heavy large baking sheet. Roast until tender, tossing occasionally, about 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons bacon drippings in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, chopped fennel and 1 teaspoon fennel seeds. Saute until vegetables are almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add bell pepper and saute until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.

Add potatoes, smoked salmon and herbs to vegetable mixture; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer hash to platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add vinegar to large skillet of simmering water. Crack eggs into water. Simmer until eggs are softly cooked, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs from water, drain briefly and place atop hash.

Top each serving of the hash with one or two poached eggs. Make a watercress salad with a simple vinaigrette to have alongside, and offer a pitcher of mimosas or some juice to drink.

from Epicurious

Yield: 6 servings

Smoked Salmon Pasta Verde

  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 12 ounces dried fettuccine
  • 8 ounces small sugar snap peas (about 2 cups), strings removed
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 5)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips

Boil wine in medium saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 8 minutes. Remove wine from heat and whisk in creme fraiche.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Add sugar snap peas or edamame to same pot and cook until peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain pasta and peas, then return to pot.

Pour creme fraiche mixture over pasta and peas. Add green onions, parsley, and thyme; toss to coat. Add salmon; toss again. Season pasta with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among plates and serve.

from Epicurious

Yield: 4-6 servings

Basic Fruitcake

  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light rum
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips or chopped pecans

In a plastic container or ziplock bag, soak the dried fruit in 1/4 cup of the rum for at least a day, covered tightly and at room temperature.

Then preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and line a 6-inch round pan or 4 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and add the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour in three batches, alternating with the milk and molasses. Stir in the fruit/rum mixture and chocolate and/or nuts.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of rum.

Place a piece of parchment paper, large enough to wrap entire cake, on a flat surface. Moisten a piece of cheesecloth, large enough to wrap the cake, with 1-tablespoon rum. Place the cheesecloth on top of the parchment paper, and unmold the cake on top of it. Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the remaining rum. Wrap the cake, pressing the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake. Place the cake in an airtight tin (or plastic container, and let age for at least 4 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 4 weeks of storage.

Creamy Maple Cranberry Oatmeal

  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free or low-fat milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 T maple syrup
  • 2 T toasted wheat germ

1. In medium saucepan, bring milk and salt to a gentle boil. (Watch carefully.) Stir in oats, cranberries and maple syrup. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute for quick oats, 5 minutes for old fashioned oats or until most of milk is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Let stand until desired consistency. Stir in wheat germ.

2. Spoon oatmeal into four cereal bowls. Drizzle with additional syrup, if desired. Serve with milk or yogurt, if desired.

COOK'S TIPS: Freeze single servings of cooked oatmeal in small resealable freezer bags. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, covered, on DEFROST until hot, stirring once or twice.

1/2 of recipe: calories 380, calories from fat 30, total fat 3.5g, saturated fat 0.5g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 150mg, total carbohydrates 75g, dietary fiber 6g, protein 15g, total sugars 38g.

Yield: 2 servings

Apricot Honey Oatmeal

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • dash ground cinnamon
  • dash salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked

In heavy saucepan, bring water, apricots, honey, cinnamon and salt to a boil.

Stir in oats; return to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium; cook about 5 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Let stand until of desired consistency.

Cook's Tip: If desired substitute raisins, dried peaches or pears, dried cranberries or blueberries, dried apples, dates or diced mixed dried fruit for apricots.

Per 1 cup serving: Calories 190, Total Fat 2g, Carbohydrates 41g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 4g

Yield: 4 servings

Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/6 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 ounces vanilla low-fat or nonfat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted pecans**

*To make your own pumpkin pie spice: Combine 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Store tightly covered.

**To toast pecans: Spread pecans evenly in shallow baking pan. Bake at 400°F 5 to 7 minutes or until deep golden brown.

1. In medium saucepan, bring water, pie spice and salt to a boil; stir in oats. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute for quick oats, 5 minutes for old fashioned oats or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir in pumpkin and brown sugar; cook 1 minute. Let stand until desired consistency.

2. Spoon oatmeal into four cereal bowls. Top with yogurt and pecans.

Nutritional Info per 1 cup serving: calories 180, fat 4g, carbohydrates 31g, fiber 3g, protein 6g

Yield: 3.5 servings

Warm Lentil Salad with Sausage

  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, grated coarse
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 pound smoked kielbasa or other smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

In a saucepan combine the lentils, the water, and the bay leaf, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste and simmer the mixture, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender.

While the lentils are simmering, in a heavy skillet cook the onion, the carrot, the celery, the garlic, and the thyme with salt and pepper to taste in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Drain the lentils in a sieve, discarding the bay leaf. Add the lentils, the vinegar, and the parsley to the skillet, heat the mixture over low heat, stirring, until it is heated through, and keep the lentil mixture warm, covered. In another heavy skillet brown the kielbasa over moderate heat and transfer it to paper towels to drain. Divide the lentil mixture between 2 plates, mounding it, and top it with the kielbasa.

from Epicurious

Yield: 2 servings

Sauerkraut with Polish Sausage

Takes two hours of unassisted stewing time -- plan ahead and try in crockpot.

  • 2 slices bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 2-pound jar sauerkraut, drained well
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 4 juniper berries, crushed, or 1 tablespoon gin
  • 1 1/2 pounds kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths

Preheat oven to 300°F. Render fat from bacon in heavy large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat; remove bits. Saute onion and carrot until onion is tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from sauerkraut. Add sauerkraut to Dutch oven. Add wine, apple cider, stock, caraway seeds and juniper berries. Bring to simmer. Cover tightly, place in oven and bake 1 hour.

Add kielbasa to Dutch oven, pushing into sauerkraut. Cover and bake 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring frequently.)

from Epicurious

Yield: 4 servings

Diane Anderson's Cabbage with Sausage

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slices (3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle beer
  • 1 lb smoked kielbasa, cut into 2-inch-long pieces
  • 1 medium head cabbage (2 1/2 lb), halved lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch-thick wedges
  • 3/4 lb medium red potatoes (about 4), quartered

Melt butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, then add onion, sugar, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden, about 15 minutes.

Stir in beer, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot, then add kielbasa, cabbage, and potatoes and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour. Transfer kielbasa and vegetables to a large platter, discarding remaining liquid if desired.

from Epicurious

Yield: 4-6 servings

Paprika Chicken

Cooks' note: Chicken can be prepared, without the sour cream, 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before chilling, covered.

  • 8 chicken thighs with skin and bones (2 1/4 lb)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 (14-oz) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour stirred together with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, plus additional for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Accompaniment: egg noodles or rice (optional)

Pat chicken dry. Remove skin and reserve. Heat oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot, then cook skin until it renders about 1/4 cup fat. Discard skin with a slotted spoon.

Cook onion with salt in fat in pot over moderately high heat, covered, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if necessary, until onion is very tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and broth, stirring vigorously to break up tomatoes. Add chicken and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Simmer, uncovered, until chicken is just cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes longer (may need to extend cooking time till done).

Stir flour mixture and stir into sauce. Simmer, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, then season with salt and stir in 2 tablespoons sour cream. Serve, sprinkled with parsley, over noodles or rice, with additional sour cream on the side.

from Epicurious

Yield: 6 servings

Boeuf Bourguignon

  • 1/4 lb bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 (4-inch) piece of celery
  • 4 fresh parsley stems (no leaves)
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves (not California)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine (preferably Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone)
  • 1 lb small (1 1/2-inch) boiling onions or pearl onions
  • 1 lb mushrooms, quartered if large
  • Accompaniment: peeled boiled potatoes tossed with butter and parsley
  • Special equipment: kitchen string

Cook bacon in boiling salted water 3 minutes, then drain.

Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Divide flour and beef between 2 (1-quart) sealable plastic bags, seal, then shake to coat meat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef well on all sides in 2 or 3 batches, without crowding, adding remaining tablespoon oil as needed. Transfer to a bowl.

Pour off any excess oil from pot, then add brandy to pot. Deglaze by boiling over high heat 1 minute, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then pour over beef.

Tie celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and cloves together with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni (tuck cloves into celery so they don't fall out).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in cleaned pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute bacon, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chopped onions, garlic, and carrots, then saute, stirring, until onions are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine, meat with juices, and bouquet garni and simmer gently, partially covered, until meat is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

While meat simmers, blanch boiling onions in boiling salted water 1 minute and drain in a colander. Rinse under cold running water, then peel.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute boiling onions, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water (1 1/2 cups if using pearl onions), then simmer, partially covered, until onions are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat remaining tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute mushrooms, stirring, until golden brown and any liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir onions and mushrooms into stew and cook 10 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and skim any fat from surface of stew. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooks' note: Boeuf bourguignon may be made 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered (it tastes even better made ahead because it gives the flavors time to develop). If making ahead, it's easier to remove fat from surface after chilling.

from Epicurious

Yield: 8 servings

Rice with Salmon Dressing

  • 8 oz. salmon
  • 2 T. sake
  • 2 t. mirin
  • 1 t. salt
  • a little light soy sauce
  • 2 c. cooked hot rice

1. Place the salmon on a microwave-safe plate and sprinkle the sake on top. Cover with a lid and microwave on medium for 2 1/2 minutes. Leave to cool.

2. Discard any bones or skin from the salmon and then roughly flake the flesh.

3. Put the cooked salmon in a pan with the mirin and salt and cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Season with the light soy sauce.

4. Serve on top of the rice or mix together and serve as rice balls.

from Harumi's Japanese Cooking

Yield: 4 servings

Fried Rice with Octopus (Tako Chahan)

  • 6 oz. cooked octopus legs
  • 1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper
  • 8 green onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice (preferably sticky rice)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of granulated chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

1. If you can't get the octopus cooked then you'll have to prepare it yourself. Have your fishmonger cut off the body, then take the legs and sprinkle with a little salt (too much will make it chewy). Rub the legs to get rid of any stickiness and then wash thoroughly under cold running water. Boil for 2-3 minutes, drain, leave to cool, and pat dry.

2. Slice the octopus thinly. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in water until rehydrated. Squeeze lightly and then roughly chop the mushrooms, green pepper, and green onions. Finely mince the garlic.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or so till aromatic, then add the sliced octopus to heat it through. Remove to stop it getting too tough but keep it ready to add later.

4. Add the green onions, green pepper and shiitake mushrooms and fry again.

5. Stir in the hot rice, mixing well and season with oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper and granulated stock.

6. Finally mix in the octopus, season with sesame oil, and serve immediately.

from Harumi's Japanese Cooking

Yield: 4 servings

Garlic Fried Rice (Ninniku Chahan)

Recommended as an accompaniment to steak.

  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 10 shiso leaves or a mix of basil and mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cooked rice (Japanese if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated chicken stock
  • soy sauce
  • dried fish flakes (if available)
  • coarsely ground pepper

1. Finely chop the garlic and then cut the shiso leaves into 1/3-inch square pieces.

2. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the garlic till aromatic. Then add the rice and stock powder.

3. Add the soy sauce by pouring it onto the inside surface of the pan and mixing it in. Turn off the heat, add the shiso leaves and mix quickly. Use the dried fish flakes and pepper as garnish.

from Harumi's Japanese Cooking

Yield: 4 servings

Salmon Burgers

  • 12 oz. fresh salmon
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small potato, peeled
  • 4 oz. ground or coarsely chopped pork
  • a little beaten egg
  • salt and pepper
  • sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

Soy Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste or to-ban-jan
  • superfine sugar to taste
  • a small handful of freshly chopped cilantro leaves to garnish

1. Remove any bones or skin from the salmon. Chop finely until it is almost ground.

2. Chop the onion into 1/4- to 1/3-inch pieces and cook lightly in the butter, taking care to retain the onion's crisp texture. Leave to cool.

3. Rinse the potato and cut in half crosswise. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave on medium for 2-3 minutes until cooked (some potatoes may take longer). Mash and leave to cool (do not add any butter or milk).

4. In a large bowl mix the salmon and pork. Add the cooked onion, mashed potato and beaten egg, then season with salt and pepper. Combine all dressing ingredients.

5. Shape the mixture into 12 small patties. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Place the burgers in the pan and cook evenly on both sides.

6. Serve on plates with dressing.

from Harumi's Japanese Cooking

Yield: 4 servings

Sushi Rice Vinegar Dressing

  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon kombu cha powder

Mix vinegar and sugar in a small nonaluminum saucepan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and then add salt and kombu cha powder, mix, and allow to cool. You can refrigerate this for up to 5 days before use. If you can't find the kombu cha powder then use a little more salt to taste.

To dress 3-4 cups rice: Transfer cooked, warm rice to a large shallow bowl and drizzle on about 3/4 cup of the sushi vinegar dressing (to taste) and fold in using a cutting and folding action. When cool, use in your chosen sushi style.

from Harumi's Japanese Cooking

Maki Zushi

  • nori seaweed
  • wasabi paste
  • seasoned sushi rice
  • maki fillings of choice: tuna, salmon, avocado, cucumber, "crab", shredded shiso leaves
  • sesame seeds (for inside-out roll)
  • rolling mat

1. Take 1/2 sheet of nori and place it on the rolling mat. Spread a thin layer of cooked rice evenly over the nori, leaving 1/2-inch of nori on each side free from rice as you will need this to seal the roll. Dab a little wasabi in a line across the rice.

2. Place the ingredients on the wasabi, but not too many or it won't roll well.

3. Roll it carefully and evenly away from you, pressing it firmly. Remove the rolling mat, trim any ingredients that are protruding from the ends of the roll and cut into about 1-inch pieces.

For inside out roll, place nori on nonstick parchment paper and spread a thin layer of rice right to the edge. Carefully turn it over so the nori is facing upwards and add the ingredients. Roll carefully and evenly away from you. Put some toasted sesame seeds on a plate and roll the maki in them, so the roll is well coated. Cut into 1-inch pieces and serve.

from Harumi's Japanese Cooking

Jalapeno Johnnycakes Topped with Smoked Fish

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped, seeded jalapeno chiles
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (about 4 scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid hot sauce such as Tabasco
  • 1 cup corn kernels (thawed frozen is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • approximately 60 small pieces (the size of a quarter) smoked salmon, arctic char, smoked shrimp or scallops

1. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cumin, oregano, and salt in a bowl.

2. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the milk. Whisk in the jalapenos, 2 tablespoons of the scallions, oil, and hot pepper sauce. Gently whisk the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture. Stir in the corn.

3. Heat the butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Spoon out the batter by half-tablespoons to make pancakes about the size of silver dollars. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet and repeat until batter is used.

4. Serve immediately or reheat in a 375 F oven until just warm. Top each pancake with a piece of seafood, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons scallions and serve.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 60 pancakes (about 10 servings)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries

From Whole Foods -- looked yummy at the prep food counter.

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 TB fresh sage
  • 4 TB dried cranberries or cherries

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds from the center and discard. Cut the butternut into large chunks. Coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and place on a lined sheet pan. Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until well caramelized.

Peel the skin off the onions and cut into large chunks. Coat them with the additional 2 tablespoons olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and place on a lined sheet pan. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until well caramelized. Cut the sage into fine julienne strips. When squash and onions are done, toss with the sage and dried cranberries. Serve immediately.

Per Serving (240g-wt.): 190 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 2g protein, 28g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium

Yield: 4-6 servings

Pork Chili Verde

  • 3-5 lbs pork
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • onion
  • garlic
  • cumin
  • green chile enchilada sauce
  • jar green salsa
  • can roasted green chiles
  • flour tortillas
  • cheese

Cut up and brown pork, about 3-5 lbs, depending, add a can of chicken broth, some onion, garlic, a little cumin, and large can of green chile enchilada sauce. Cook till meat is tender, and add up to a large jar of green chile salsa (contains tomatillos) and sauce. Crock pot for 7 hours and shred meat.

Depending on quantity I may also add a whole large can of roasted green chiles. We use flour tortillas, and cheese, main dish or leftovers make great burritos, or even omlettes.

Sausage and Egg Casserole with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella

  • 1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Saute sausage in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of fork into small pieces, about 10 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons parsley; stir 1 minute. Spread sausage mixture in prepared dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, half and half, whipping cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, and salt in large bowl to blend well. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture in dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley over. Bake until top of casserole is golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Commenters’ variations: can use chicken or turkey sausage; can replace sun-dried tomatoes with oven-roasted; or use chorizo and pepper jack with Mexican flavors; can add veg such as sauteed spinach, portobello mushrooms, and roasted red peppers

from Epicurious

Yield: 8 servings

Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce

  • 6 6-ounce tuna steaks, each about 1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (can reduce amount)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°F. Sprinkle 1 side of tuna steaks with pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Place tuna steaks, pepper side down, in hot oil and sear 2 minutes. Turn tuna over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 2 minutes for rare. Transfer tuna to rimmed baking sheet; keep warm in oven.

Add butter, sliced green onions, cilantro, ginger and chopped garlic to same skillet and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in mushrooms and soy sauce and simmer 30 seconds. Add whipping cream and simmer until sauce lightly coats back of spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Spoon sauce onto plates; arrange tuna atop sauce. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

from Epicurious

Yield: 6 servings

Quicker Bread Stuffing with Sage and Thyme

This recipe can be doubled. We recommend Arnold's, Bell's, or Pepperidge Farm's stuffing mixes--in that order.

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing baking dish
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) sage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) thyme
  • 21 ounces dry commercial stuffing mix
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery and onions, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, sage, and thyme. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Toss mixture into dry stuffing mix.

2. Add broth, eggs, and pepper and toss. Turn mixture into well-greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Brush butter evenly over top of stuffing, then cover tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes.

3. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown crust forms, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Let stuffing rest for 10 minutes before serving.

from Cooks Illustrated

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Mixed Greens with 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
  • mixed mesclun greens, 1 to 1 1/2 cups per person

1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the shallots, vinegars, mustard and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil. Use immediately or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake or whisk again before using.

2. Wash and dry the greens, and place in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with just enough dressing to coat the leaves, toss gently, and serve.

from Dishing Up Maine

Hot Italian Sub

  • 2 smoked garlic sausages, about 4 oz each
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 Portuguese or grinder rolls, sliced horizontally, warmed if you like

1. Prepare a charcoal fire with medium coals or preheat a gas grill for medium heat.

2. Split the sausages in half lengthwise. When the grill is hot, cook the sausages on the grill, turning once or twice, until charred and heated through, about 6 minutes. (Alternatively, you can cook the sausages under the stove broiler or saute them in a little oil in a large skillet.)

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown and soften, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the oregano, cook for 1 minute, and stir in the vinegar.

4. Layer the sausages and peppers on the rolls, slice in half diagonally, and serve.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 2 servings

Lamb Sausage Hors d'Oeuvres with Cranberry Chutney

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 seedless orange, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (juice of 1 medium orange)
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
  • 1 pound garlic-flavored lamb sausages or other flavorful fresh sausages
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Pulse the cranberries and orange chunks in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

2. Combine the cranberry mixture with the sugar and orange juice in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, thyme, and pepper flakes. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors, or for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

4. Prick the sausages with a fork in a couple of places and put them, along with the wine and olive oil, in a large skillet. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer over medium-low heat, turning once, for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook briskly over high heat until the liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to medium and cook, turning several times, until the sausages are browned on the outside and cooked within, about 8 minutes. (Alternatively, you can simmer the sausages in the liquid and then finish them on the grill.)

5. Cut the sausages into 1/2-inch slices, impale each slice on a toothpick, and pass with the cranberry chutney. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 8 servings

Citrus-Glazed Mussels

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds mussels, rinsed and debearded if necessary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • thin slices of lemon and lime for garnish

To de-beard mussels, pull out the dark threads that protrude from the shell. Do this just before cooking; mussels die when de-bearded.

1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and anchovies and cook, mashing the anchovies until they dissolve, for 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon and lime zest and juice and the pepper flakes. (This base can be made a day or so ahead and refrigerated.)

2. Combine the mussels and wine in a large pot. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the mussels open, 4 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Remove the mussels from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a serving bowl.

3. Meanwhile, if the citrus sauce has been refrigerated, reheat in a saucepan. Carefully pour the mussel broth into the citrus mixture, leaving behind the last third or so of the liquid, lest it contain any grit.

4. Pour the sauce over the mussels, sprinkle with parsley, garnish with lemon and lime slices, and serve.

from Dishing Up Maine

Yield: 8-10 appetizer servings

Chicken Cashew Chili

Pureed ancho chilies lend a rich, sweet, and only mildly hot flavor to this chili. To make a hotter dish, do not remove the veins or seeds from the chilies. If anchos or similar dried chilies are not readily available, substitute one roasted and peeled red bell pepper and 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes when pureeing.

  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 1/4 cup cashews, raw or roasted
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 whole chicken legs plus 1/2 chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarse
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander sprigs (wash and dry before chopping)
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup cashews, raw or roasted
  • 1/2 ounce fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Make chili puree: Heat a small heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot and toast chilies, 1 at a time, pressing down with tongs, a few seconds on each side to make more pliable. Wearing rubber gloves, seed and de-vein chilies. In a blender puree chilies with cashews and broth until smooth.

Cut legs into drumsticks and thigh portions. Remove excess fat from chicken and pat chicken dry.

In a large heavy saucepan heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cool onion and garlic, stirring, until softened. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chicken and stir to coat with onion mixture. Stir in chili puree, 2 tablespoons coriander, and tomatoes with juice and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, 45 minutes, or until chicken legs are cooked through.

Remove pan from heat and transfer chicken to a bowl. With 2 forks shred meat, discard bones and skin. Return chicken to pan and stir in cashews, remaining tablespoon coriander, chocolate, and beans. Cook chili over moderate heat, stirring, until heated through and chocolate is melted. Chili may be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, before being chilled, covered.

from Epicurious

Yield: 2 generous servings

Pork Rib Chops with Sauteed Apple and Star Anise

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 12-ounce pork rib chops
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 whole star anise*
  • 2 Fuji apples (about 1 pound), cored, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

*Brown, star-shaped seedpods; available in the spice section of some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Asian markets.

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add pork to skillet; cook until brown on both sides and thermometer inserted horizontally into pork registers 140°F, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to plates; tent with foil.

Pour off drippings from skillet. Add 2 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and star anise to same skillet and stir over high heat until melted. Add apples; cook until brown and caramelized, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Spoon apples over pork. Add apple juice and vinegar to skillet; boil sauce until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1 tablespoon butter; season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle sauce over apples and pork.

from Epicurious

Yield: 2 servings

Green-Curry Chicken with Peas and Basil

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups snow peas, stringed
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • Cooked rice
  • optional additions: sweet potato chunks, green beans for the snow peas, a tablespoon or so of brown sugar to balance out the spice, a lot more ginger, water chestnuts, and roasted eggplant; sliced bamboo shoots; 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 1 tsp. ground turmeric, 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, and 1/2 tsp sugar; broccoli, mushrooms, red bell peppers

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon ginger; saute until fragrant, 1 minute. Add chicken; saute until golden, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mixture to bowl.

Add coconut milk, broth and curry paste to skillet. Stir until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons basil, cilantro and 1 teaspoon ginger. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. Return chicken mixture to skillet. Add snow peas and green onions; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon rice onto plates. Spoon curry atop rice. Sprinkle with remaining basil.

from Epicurious

Yield: 4 servings

Caramelized Pineapple with Brown Sugar-Ginger Ice Cream

Broiled pineapple is teamed with an easy-to-make ice cream and topped with toasted coconut for a tropical treat. The pineapple would also be good with purchased mango or coconut sorbet or with vanilla ice cream.

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, each half cut lengthwise into 9 wedges
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • Brown Sugar-Ginger Ice Cream
  • 6 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat broiler. Line large baking sheet with foil. Arrange pineapple wedges side by side in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Pat pineapple wedges with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Using fingertips, press 1 cup brown sugar through coarse sifter over pineapple. Broil pineapple wedges until brown sugar caramelizes, watching closely to avoid burning and rotating baking sheet to broil evenly, about 3 minutes.

Arrange 3 wedges of warm caramelized pineapple in triangle on each of 6 plates. Place scoop of Brown Sugar-Ginger Ice Cream in center of pineapple triangle. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon coconut over each dessert and serve.

from Epicurious

Yield: 6 servings

Zucchini and Sausage Casserole

  • 2 pounds zucchini or yellow squash, coarsely grated
  • 3/4 pound sage sausage
  • 3/4 pound hot sausage
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 to 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Hot sauce


  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a wide, 2-quart baking dish, or spray it with nonstick spray.

Put the zucchini in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes or wrap it in a clean tea towel and gently squeeze it to remove the excess liquid. Put the zucchini in a large mixing bowl.

Heat a large skillet and add the sage sausage and hot sausage. Cook until the sausage starts to brown, stirring to break it up. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons grease. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Combine the sausage and onions with the zucchini.

Stir in the cream, the 1 cup bread crumbs, the eggs, the 2 to 3 cups cheese, and 2 cups pecans. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. The casserole may be refrigerated at this point for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

For the topping, combine the butter, the 3/4 cup bread crumbs, and the 3/4 cup pecans. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Bake, uncovered, until hot through, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the 1/2 cup cheese and return to the oven just until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

from Epicurious

Yield: 6 servings

Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato and Sausage Sauce

A salad, some crusty bread, and wine are all that's needed with this hearty pasta dish. For the wine, consider serving a bottle of Chianti or Sangiovese.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice with Italian seasonings
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 pound fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • optional additions: fresh basil, saffron, fennel

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and saute until no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, sage and crushed red pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

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

Return pasta to same pot; add sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve.

from Epicurious

Yield: 6 servings

Carbonnade a la Flamande (Belgian Beef, Beer, and Onion Stew)

Top blade steaks (also called blade or flatiron steaks) are our first choice, but any boneless roast from the chuck will work. If you end up using a chuck roast, look for the chuck eye roast, an especially flavorful cut that can easily be trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. Buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes make excellent accompaniments to carbonnade. The traditional copper-colored Belgian ale works best in this stew. If you can't find one, choose another dark or amber-colored ale of your liking.

  • 3 1/2 pounds top blade steak 1 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • table salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds yellow onions (about 3 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups beer 12-ounce bottle or can
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme tied with kitchen twine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Dry beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; add about one-third of beef to pot. Cook without moving pieces until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes; using tongs, turn each piece and continue cooking until second side is well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer browned beef to medium bowl. Repeat with additional 2 teaspoons oil and half of remaining beef. (If drippings in bottom of pot are very dark, add about 1/2 cup of above-listed chicken or beef broth and scrape pan bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; pour liquid into bowl with browned beef, then proceed.) Repeat once more with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.

2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and tomato paste; cook, scraping bottom of pot with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until onions have released some moisture, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until onions are evenly coated and flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in broths, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits; stir in beer, thyme, bay, vinegar, browned beef with any accumulated juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to full simmer, stirring occasionally; cover partially, then place pot in oven. Cook until fork inserted into beef meets little resistance, about 2 hours.

3. Discard thyme and bay. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and serve. (Can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days; reheat over medium-low heat.)

from Cooks Illustrated

Yield: 6 servings

Pasta Shells with Chicken, Mushrooms, Escarole, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced stemmed fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped trimmed escarole (about 1 large bunch)
  • 2 cups medium pasta shells (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 cups 3/4-inch pieces skinless roasted chicken
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and stir 1 minute. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in escarole; cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until escarole is tender, stirring often, about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return to pot. Add escarole mixture, chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir over medium heat until chicken is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese.

Per serving: calories, 385; total fat, 13 g; saturated fat, 3 g; cholesterol, 61 mg

from Epicurious

Yield: 4 servings

Five-Spice Pork Stir-Fry with Soba Noodles

  • 1 6-ounce package soba noodles or other thin noodles
  • 1/2 pound 1/3-inch-thick boneless center-cut pork chops, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced small radishes
  • optional: add finely minced garlic and ginger, and broccoli

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender but still firm to bite. Drain well, then return to pot.

Meanwhile, sprinkle pork with salt, pepper, and five-spice powder. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add pork and stir-fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, soy sauce, and vinegar; stir 30 seconds.

Add pork, green onions, and radishes to noodles and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with: Spinach salad topped with toasted almonds, and sesame breadsticks.

from Epicurious

Yield: 2 servings

Asian-Style Pork Stir-Fry

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 12-ounce pork tenderloin, fat trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Mix first 4 ingredients in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add pork tenderloin halves and turn to coat. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender. Drain.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pork, reserving marinade in dish. Cook until pork is deep brown and thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 155°F., turning often, about 9 minutes. Transfer pork to platter; let stand 10 minutes. Cut pork into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Wipe skillet clean.

Whisk orange juice, vinegar, cornstarch and reserved marinade in small bowl. Heat oil in same skillet over high heat. Add green beans and saute until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add orange peel, garlic, pork slices and orange juice mixture. Stir until sauce boils, thickens slightly and coats bean-pork mixture, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Per serving: calories, 203; total fat, 5 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 50 mg.

Yield: 4 servings

Curried Basmati Rice and Apple Pilaf

The mix of flavors in this side dish is great with broiled lamb chops or roast chicken. Or add shredded chicken to make the pilaf a main dish.

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Stir in rice, apple, apricots, cinnamon stick, ginger, curry powder and salt. Add 2 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Season to taste with pepper and additional salt, if desired. Transfer pilaf to bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Per serving: calories, 259; total fat, 5 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 0

from Epicurious

Yield: 4 servings

Pasta with Tomato, Bacon, and Onion (Pasta all' Amatriciana)

This dish is traditionally made with bucatini, also called perciatelli, which appear to be thick, round strands but are actually thin, extra-long tubes. Linguine works fine, too. When buying pancetta, ask the butcher to slice it 1/4 inch thick; if using bacon, buy slab bacon and cut it into 1/4-inch-thick slices yourself. If the pancetta that you're using is very lean, it's unlikely that you will need to drain off any fat before adding the onion. Use 1 1/2 small (14 1/2 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, or dice a single large (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes packed in juice.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces pancetta (1/4-inch-thick sliced) or bacon cut into strips about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 pound bucatini or perciatelli, or linguine
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

1. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in large stockpot or Dutch oven.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer pancetta or bacon with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate; set aside. If necessary, drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add onion to skillet; saute over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and cook to release flavor, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and salt to taste; simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

3. While sauce is simmering, add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pasta to boiling water. Cook until pasta is al dente; drain and return pasta to empty pot.

4. Add pancetta to tomato sauce and adjust seasoning with salt. Add sauce to pot with pasta and toss over low heat to combine, about 30 seconds. Add cheese and toss again; serve with Arugula and Roasted Pear Salad.

from Cooks Illustrated

Yield: 4 servings

Arugula and Roasted Pear Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese

  • 4 firm Anjou or Bartlett pears (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 bunches of arugula (about 7 cups)
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup walnuts

Chop walnuts coarsely and toast in small dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For Roasted Pears: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place baking sheet or broiler pan bottom on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.

Peel and halve each pear lengthwise. With paring knife or melon baller, remove core. Set each half cut-side down and slice lengthwise into fifths.

Toss pears with butter; add sugar and toss again to combine. Spread pears in single layer on preheated baking sheet, making sure each slice lies flat on surface. Roast until browned on bottom, about 10 minutes. Flip each slice and roast until tender and deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Let pears cool while preparing salad.

For Salad: Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste in small bowl.

Remove arugula stems, wash, dry, and tear into bite-sized pieces. 4 ounces Shave Parmesan cheese into thin strips with vegetable peeler. Combine arugula, pears, and Parmesan in large serving bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss gently to combine; sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.

menu: with Pasta all' Amatriciana

from Cooks Illustrated

Yield: 4-6 servings

Chicken Caesar Salad

Garlic Croutons

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced fine or pressed through garlic press
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups 3/4-inch bread cubes from 1 baguette or country loaf

Broiled Chicken Breasts

  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt or 3 tablespoons table salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat
  • ground black pepper

Caesar Dressing

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium clove of garlic , minced fine or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 4 anchovy fillets (flat), minced
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 2 medium heads of romaine lettuce (large outer leaves removed) or 2 large romaine hearts; washed, dried, and torn into 1 1/2-inch pices (about 10 cups lightly packed)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. For the croutons: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix garlic, salt, and oil in small bowl; let stand 20 minutes to infuse flavors, then pour through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Spread bread cubes in even layer on rimmed baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool croutons on baking sheet to room temperature. (Can be covered and stored at room temperature up to 24 hours.)

2. For the chicken: Dissolve salt and sugar in 11/2 quarts cold water in gallon-sized zipper-lock bag or plastic container. Add chicken and seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; refrigerate 30 minutes until fully seasoned. Remove chicken from brine, dry thoroughly with paper towels, and season with pepper.

3. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (should be about 6 inches away from heating element) and heat broiler. Spray broiler pan top lightly with nonstick cooking spray and position over pan bottom. Place chicken on pan; broil until spotty brown and firm to the touch, about 8 minutes, turning chicken halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

4. For the dressing: Bring 2 inches water to boil in small saucepan over high heat. Lower eggs into water and cook 45 seconds; remove with slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, crack eggs open; reserve yolks in small bowl and discard whites. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic, and anchovies to yolks; whisk until smooth. Whisking constantly, add oil in slow, steady stream. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. (Dressing can be refrigerated in airtight container up to 1 day; shake before using.)

5. To finish the salad: In large bowl, toss lettuce, Parmesan, and about two-thirds of dressing to coat; divide evenly among individual plates. Remove tenderloins from chicken breasts; place in bowl used to dress lettuce, along with remaining dressing. Cut chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, add to bowl, and toss to coat. Divide dressed chicken evenly among plates, arranging slices on lettuce. Sprinkle each plate with a portion of croutons and serve immediately.

For efficiency, several components of the salad can be prepared at the same time. Start by preparing the flavored oil for the croutons. While the oil infuses, prepare the brine and brine the chicken. Once the chicken is brining, finish the croutons and prepare the dressing. If you follow these steps, all the components will be ready to come together when the chicken is cooked. Or, if you prefer to work in advance, both the croutons and the dressing can be made one day ahead.

from Cooks Illustrated

Yield: 4 servings