Saturday, December 27, 2008

Easy Alaskan Salmon Cakes

Note: everything in the recipe is approximate. The goal is to make it a consistency that can easily be shaped into patties

  • a couple of handfuls of leftover salmon (flaked)
  • one or two eggs
  • breadcrumbs (from 2 pieces of bread)
  • about 1/4 cup minced onion
  • minced garlic (1 clove)
  • tartar sauce

Mix everything together. If it’s too wet add more breadcrumbs. If it’s too dry add more egg. Shape into patties and fry in a cast iron skillet. Dip in tartar sauce and feel grateful for the salmon that gave itself to you.

from Subarctic Mama

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Roasted Root Vegetables

  • 1 medium head garlic
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds root vegetables , peeled and cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion or 4 to 6 shallots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, or vegetable or olive oil, or a combination
  • Table salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. If roasting garlic cloves in skins, simply break head into individual cloves. If you wish to roast cloves out of skins, put whole, unpeeled head in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring water to boil, then simmer to soften cloves and loosen skins, about 10 minutes. Drain and refresh garlic head under cold water. Separate cloves and peel.

2. Put vegetables (excluding garlic) into a roasting pan large enough to hold them without crowding. Toss vegetables with butter and/or oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast, stirring or shaking vegetables every 15 minutes, until tender and evenly browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Add unpeeled garlic cloves during final 20 minutes; add peeled garlic during final 15 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper; taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot or at room temperature.

from Cooks Illustrated. Serves 4. Published January 1, 1994.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Garlic-Lemon Green Beans with Toasted Bread Crumbs

  • 2 slices high-quality sandwich bread (such as Pepperidge Farm), each slice torn into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans , stem ends trimmed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon

1. Process bread in food processor to even, fine crumbs, about ten 1 second pulses. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; when melted, add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and Parmesan; set aside.

2. Wipe out skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in flour, red pepper flakes, and thyme, and then toss in green beans. Add chicken broth and increase heat to medium-high; cover and cook until beans are partly tender but still crisp at center, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon juice, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs, and serve.

Serves 8. Published November 1, 2003 from Cooks Illustrated

Tipsy Squire Trifle

pound cake custard: 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup sugar 5 large egg yolks 3 tablespoons cornstarch 4 tablespoons butter 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/2 cups cream sherry 1 cup seedless raspberry jam 2 cups heavy cream 40 small almond cookies 1 cup fresh raspberries

Sesame Seared Salmon with Lingonberry Jam

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium yellow onion 1 tablespoon Stonewall Kitchen Spice Rub for Seafood 1/2 cup Lingonberry jam 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Four 8-oz salmon fillets 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 2 tablespoons each black and white sesame seeds 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil from Stonewall Kitchen Cookbook p. 81

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 8-ounce russet potato, peeled, diced
  • 2 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
  • 3/4 cup (about) milk
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira

Combine chicken broth and rice in small saucepan. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Cut off mushroom stems and discard. Thinly slice mushrooms.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pan. Add onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme and sauté until onion is very tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in potato, beef stock and reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Cover and simmer until potato is very tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer soup to blender in batches and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan. Stir in wild rice, mushrooms, 3/4 cup milk and Madeira. Cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Return soup to simmer.) Thin with additional milk if desired.

Herbed Cream Cheese

  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

MIX all ingredients except crackers; cover.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Barley-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Pine Nuts and Currants

This dish works well assembled the night before, so a little planning gives you a great head start on the next day's dinner. Trimming away part of the thick center vein from the cabbage leaves makes them more pliable and easier to roll up. Try stirring in one cup thawed frozen meatless crumbles in place of or in addition to the feta cheese. You can also cook the rolls on LOW for six to eight hours.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 4 cabbage rolls and 2 tablespoons sauce)

  • 1 large head green cabbage, cored
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 3 cups cooked pearl barley
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

Steam cabbage head 8 minutes; cool slightly. Remove 16 leaves from cabbage head; discard remaining cabbage. Cut off raised portion of the center vein of each cabbage leaf (do not cut out vein); set trimmed cabbage leaves aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cover and cook 6 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in barley and next 4 ingredients (through parsley). Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Place cabbage leaves on a flat surface; spoon about 1/3 cup barley mixture into center of each cabbage leaf. Fold in edges of leaves over barley mixture; roll up. Arrange cabbage rolls in bottom of a 5-quart electric slow cooker.

Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, apple juice, vinegar, and tomatoes; pour evenly over cabbage rolls. Cover and cook on high 2 hours or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 402 (25% from fat); Fat: 11.3g (sat 4.2g,mono 4.4g,poly 1.9g) ; Protein: 11.3g; Carbohydrate: 70.1g; Fiber: 11.3g; Cholesterol: 19mg; Iron: 5mg; Sodium: 693mg; Calcium: 234mg

from Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2004

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Broccoli Slaw

Prep: 20 min. This is a terrific dish to take to a potluck after a busy day because you can make it the night before. We love the fresh taste.

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 cup Vidalia onion or poppy seed dressing
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • Toasted chopped pecans (optional)

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Top with chopped pecans, if desired.

from Southern Living

Sweet Butternut Squash and Coconut Jam

Makes about 4 cups

  • 1 large butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened coconut

Peel the butternut squash and cut into small pieces - about 1 inch or less to a side. You can also grate it. The smaller you cut the pieces the faster it will cook. Put in a large (4 quarts or more) heavy pan over medium heat. Add the milk, sugars, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla.

Cook over medium heat until the squash is soft and tender. Keep a close watch on it as the milk simmers; it has a tendency to foam up. After the milk comes to a simmer it will be 10-15 minutes before the squash is soft. As the squash becomes soft and tender, mash it into a pulp with a potato masher or a pair of forks. Stir well.

Keep the heat on medium and continue simmering, stirring frequently. When the mixture is reduced and thick like jam, remove from the heat. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn't burn as the milk reduces. This will take between 20 and 30 minutes.

Stir in the coconut and let cool before serving. Store in the refrigerator. We think this should keep for some time, but why should it? Ours is mostly gone already.

from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn

Apple-Cranberry Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust


  • 3 cups rolled (old fashioned) oats
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp (rounded measure) salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted


  • 7 cups peeled, sliced Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice (or ground cloves)
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (fresh is best!)
  • ½ tsp grated lemon rind
  • 3 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ½ cup sour cream

1. Prepare crust: Combine all crust ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix well. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10-inch pie pan, forming a thick crust. Reserve about a cup of the crust mix for the topping.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F.

3. Place sliced apples and cranberries in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with spices; toss until well coated. Add rind. Sprinkle in flour and mix again. Gradually add brown sugar and sour cream as you mix. Don't worry if the apple slices break a little while being mixed and tossed.

4. Distribute the filling into the unbaked crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust crumbs over the top and pat neatly into place.

5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crust is nicely browned on the edges. Note: If the top appears to be browning too quickly during baking, cover loosely with foil (check after about 30 minutes).

6. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. This is doubly good with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.

from Recipe Girl

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apple Crisp

  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds large Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, each half cut into 6 slices
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream

Mix oats, 1/2 cup sugar, and flour in bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until topping comes together in moist clumps. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Mix apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in bowl. Transfer to dish. Sprinkle topping over.

Bake crumble until apples are tender and topping is brown and crisp, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.

adapted from Bon Appetit: Fast and Easy

Light Wheat Biscuit Mix

  • 5 cups unbleached white flour
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 cups solid vegetable shortening

You need a very large bowl to make this mix, and also a clean container to put it in when it's done. I usually use a large, clean coffee can.

So, measure your flours into your large bowl. Add the salt and baking powder. Mix it all up with your fingers and hands. Be sure you wash them before you dig in. After the salt and baking powder are evenly distributed throughout the flour, add the shortening. Firmly pack solid shortening into a cup-size measure. Make sure there aren't any air pockets, as you pack it full. Level off the top with your finger so you have exactly one cupful. Scrape the shortening out of the cup into a big blob on top of the flour. Use your fingers to get out as much of the shortening as you can without being unduly obsessive about it. Now, measure another cupful of shortening and plop it on next to the first blob in the bowl of flour.

Using your hands, mash the flour and fat together until the entire mixture is light and crumbly. Try not to overmix. You will want small lumps to remain, about the size of peas or dried beans. When the mixture is evenly mashed together, and it actually resembles biscuit mix (only darker because of the whole wheat flour) you can stop. Transfer the biscuit mix to a clean coffee can, or other resealable container. Label and seal the can. You should have about 10-1/2 cups of biscuit mix.

This recipe can be used in any recipe calling for biscuit mix or Bisquick baking mix. This mix is better for you because of the whole grain flour, and reduced amounts of salt. Also, you can use trans-fatty-acid-free shortening in your own mix, to make it as healthy as possible. Spectrum is a brand name available in my neck of the woods.

I have tried a lot of whole wheat biscuit mixes to find the best one. All of the others turned out heavy and dense baked products. This one though, is perfect. Biscuits made with it are light and flaky the way biscuits are supposed to be, and impossible pies taste like they were made with store-bought biscuit mix, only they weren't. They were made with good, hearty, whole grains instead.

from Hillbilly Housewife

Pasta with Kielbasa and Swiss Chard

The classic combination of sausage and greens takes on a pasta companion in this warming dish that peaks with red-pepper flakes and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 30 min

Servings: Makes 4 servings.

  • 3/4 lb Swiss chard (preferably red; from 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 lb kielbasa, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3/4 lb penne
  • 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving

Cut out center ribs and stems from chard, then thoroughly wash, along with leaves, in several changes of cold water. Cut ribs and stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and coarsely chop leaves.

Cook kielbasa in oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cook chard ribs and stems with salt in fat remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard leaves, water, and red-pepper flakes and simmer, partially covered, until chard stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in kielbasa.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to chard mixture with cheese and salt to taste and toss until combined well. Thin with some of reserved pasta water if necessary.

from Gourmet

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tomato, Basil, and Chile "Sweet 'n' Hot" Dipping Sauce

2 pounds tomatoes, quartered 2 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced a wineglass of water juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange 4 cups sugar a large bunch basil 2/3 cup good-quality white wine vinegar (at least 5% acid) 1 to 3 fresh red chiles, very finely chopped from the River Cottage Cookbook

Couscous Salad with Winter Squash and Cranberries

Makes about 5 servings

  • 1 medium butternut squash (or other hard winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-3 teaspoons salt--to taste
  • 1 can garbanzo beans--drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 oz goat cheese (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts-coarsely chopped (if desired)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss squash with a bit of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast squash, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool before combining with other ingredients.

Heat water in sauce pan to boiling. Add couscous and stir. Remove pan from heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for about 15 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Saute onion in a skillet over medium-high heat until translucent. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, zest, spices, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

In a large bowl, combine squash, couscous, onions, garbanzo beans, and cranberries. Pour on the vinegar-oil dressing and stir to combine. Taste to check seasoning and add salt if needed.

If including, crumble the goat cheese into chunks and gently fold into the salad. (Note: Make sure the salad is room temperature at this point or the goat cheese will melt.)

Top each serving with a sprinkle of walnuts and enjoy. This salad can be served room temperature or cold.

from Apartment Therapy

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries

Serves 4 to 6

Roasted squash embodies the essence of winter meals, caramelized onions add a piquant touch, and fresh sage and dried cranberries dress it up for the holidays. A versatile side dish that complements anything from a weekday family dinner to a lavish holiday celebration.


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil*, divided
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries or cherries

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Peel squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds from the center and discard. Cut squash into large chunks. Coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until well caramelized.

Peel onions and cut into large chunks. Coat with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and spread on a second lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until well caramelized. When squash and onions are done, toss with sage and cranberries. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Per serving (about 9oz/247g-wt.): 210 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 2g protein

from Whole Foods

Spanish Rice

Can be prepared in 40 minutes or less. One of my mother's signature dishes is her Spanish rice, a delicious accompaniment to steak, chicken, and Mexican entrees such as tacos or enchiladas. Spanish rice is prepared by browning the rice first with onions and garlic, before cooking it in chicken stock with added tomato. The browning is essential to the nutty, almost toasty flavor of the rice. And although bouillon can be substituted for the chicken stock, nothing beats homemade chicken stock, the rich flavor of which is absorbed by the rice.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups* chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt

*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.

1. In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.

2. In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

from Simply Recipes

Orange Quinoa Salad

With protein-rich quinoa, dried fruit, and almonds, this salad is a good snack before or after exercise and a nice side dish with grilled pork. Or increase the serving size to 3/4 cup and add feta cheese or shredded rotisserie chicken to make it a main dish.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)



  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted


To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended.

To prepare salad, place quinoa in a large nonstick skillet; cook 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

Combine quinoa, 2 3/4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Stir in dressing, onions, and the remaining ingredients. Cover and chill.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 170 (28% from fat); Fat: 5.2g (sat 0.6g,mono 3.1g,poly 1.1g) ; Protein: 3.5g; Carbohydrate: 28.8g; Fiber: 2.7g; Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light, JULY 2006

Egg, Arugula, and Herb Tartine

Serves 1 for breakfast or lunch

  • 2 thick slices of good bread
  • 2 big handfuls fresh baby arugula
  • 1 sprig tender rosemary
  • Several chive stalks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Toast the bread and scrape on a little butter. Roughly chop the herbs and arugula as the rest of the butter heats in a small heavy sauté pan. Sauté the herbs and greens for just about a minute or until slightly wilted. Add the egg and quickly cook over medium heat until barely scrambled around the greens.

Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper, pile on the toasted bread, and eat immediately.

from Apartment Therapy

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • 4 lb pork roast
  • 2 medium onions, sliced to about 1/4 inch
  • 10 whole cloves
  • light beer (room temp)
  • water (warm)
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 16 oz chipotle BBQ sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
  • salt
  • pepper

Late on the night before you're going to eat it (I was up at midnight) slice the onions. Line the bottom of the pot with the slices from one of the onions.

You can trim the roast of excess fat, I didn't go too crazy with this step. It's extra work and you're going to cook off the fat anyway.

Stick the cloves into the meat. You'll be fishing these out later, so put them somewhere they'll be easy to get to. No need to bury them deep.

Place the roast in the cooker on top of the onions.

Dump in the liquid smoke and garlic powder. Since you'll be using BBQ sauce later, this is not all that important if you don't have these ingredients. Feel free to skip this step.

Put the remaining onion slices on top of the roast.

Now, use a combination of the beer and water to fill up the slow cooker 2/3 of the way up the side. If you've got plenty of beer, use all beer. If you don't like beer, use all water. I use a light beer because I think a hoppy beer is too strong for food that's being slow-cooked. Slow cooking tends to make flavors stronger.

Put the cover on and set the thing on low (or just "on" if you only have one setting) and go away. Alternately, I like to set it on "high" for an hour and then switch to "low." This helps get the ingredients up to temperature quicker. (It doesn't help the slow cooker heat up faster, but it will cause the slow cooker to reach a higher temperature, which means it will take less time for the internal temperature of the roast to hit that desirable level.)

Let it sit for 8 to 12 hours. More than 12 is not a problem if the thing is on low with a lid on it. The lid is supposed to keep moisture in, and hopefully the roast will be fairly swimming in its own juices by that time. You have a lot of time flexibility once it's safely cooked. More cooking is better in this recipe, which is why I did it overnight.

If you don't want to start it the night before, you can do this: start it in the morning as early as you can and let it go for a few hours on high. An hour on high is usually worth 2 on low. So starting at 6 on high and switching to low at 8 means it's had the equivalent of 12 hours by the time 4 PM rolls around.

When the roast is cooked, it should be basically falling apart. Very little is holding it together anymore, since you've cooked away all the fat and connective tissue. Remove the roast with a large spoon and fork. It's hot, be careful! It should break apart. Remove the cloves and any bones. And chunks of fat that remain can also be discarded. All that's left is fairly lean and delicious pork.

Shred it with a fork. This should be very easy if the roast has cooked for 12 hours.

Dump all the onions and liquid out of the slow cooker.

Place the meat back in there. Add the BBQ sauce. If dinner is still hours away, add some water to moisten the mixture and keep it moist. Use your judgment here. Salt and pepper to taste.

At dinner time, serve on your favorite rolls with fresh cole slaw.

A nice garnish can be made by slicing another onion and softening the onion rings in a tsp of butter and a tsp of oil. The stringy onions can be added atop the shredded pork on each open-faced sandwich.

It's really, really good. Especially for a recipe where the most work you did was sticking the cloves in there and pulling them back out. And waiting.

Whole-wheat Spaghetti with Chard and Ricotta

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 pound dried whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound green chard (rinsed, ends trimmed, and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 container (15 oz.) low-fat ricotta
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to bite, 7 to 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta-cooking water. Return spaghetti to pan.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic; stir until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chard; stir 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of reserved water; cook until chard stems are tender to bite, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Mix chard mixture into hot spaghetti with ricotta, pistachios, pecorino, lemon peel, lemon juice, remaining 1/2 cup reserved pasta-cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 430 (23% from fat); Protein: 22g; Fat: 11g (sat 3.2); Carbohydrate: 66g; Fiber: 11g; Sodium: 260mg; Cholesterol: 20mg

Sunset, NOVEMBER 2003

Cranberry Apple Raisin Crisp

We like to serve this homey dessert warm with vanilla ice cream. If you prefer it straight, reduce the amount of ground cloves to one-eighth teaspoon, or the flavor may be overwhelming. Be sure your baking dish is at least two inches deep so the sweet juices don't bubble over the edge and burn onto your oven floor. If the crisp comes to the top of the dish, put a baking sheet under it.

Yield: 4


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 12- ounces package cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or more, per user suggestion)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (from about 1 orange)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Heat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, the 1/2 cup flour, and the brown sugar. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until small crumbs form.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cranberries, apples, raisins, granulated sugar, the 2 tablespoons flour, orange zest and juice, and the cloves. Transfer the fruit to an 8-inch square glass baking dish or a 2-quart soufflé dish.

3. Top the fruit with the crumb mixture. Bake until the fruit is tender and the crumb topping has browned, about 45 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Quick From Scratch Herbs & Spices, Food & Wine, 1998

Caramelized Carrot Risotto

Delicate mascarpone cheese is a natural companion to sweet caramelized carrots in this brightly hued risotto. Prep and Cook Time: 1 1/4 hours. Notes: To make this risotto even prettier, you can cut the carrots into 1/4-in. dice (it's time-consuming, but makes the carrots look like little jewels). Mascarpone—a rich Italian-style cream cheese available at specialty, gourmet, and Whole Foods stores—can be replaced with an equal amount of heavy cream.

Yield: Makes 4 to 5 servings as a side dish or first course


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped as finely and evenly as possible (about 3 cups)
  • about 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tbsp. for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper


1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat in a medium heavy-bottomed pot; add carrots and stir with a wooden spoon until well coated. Add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the sugar; cover and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates and carrots are just starting to brown, a few minutes more. Reserve half of the carrots. In a blender, purée other half with 3/4 cup hot water.

2. Bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep at a simmer, covered, over low heat.

3. Heat remaining oil and butter over medium heat in same (unwashed) pot used for carrots. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat rice with oil, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until wine evaporates. Add carrot purée and cook, stirring, until mixture no longer looks soupy.

4. Add 1/2 cup hot broth, stirring often, until rice absorbs most of the liquid. Repeat process, adding 1/2 cup broth at a time and stirring often till each addition is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is al dente (about 20 minutes; at least 1 cup broth will remain).

5. Fold in reserved carrots (save 2 tbsp. for garnish), mascarpone, 1/4 cup parmesan, 1 tbsp. parsley, and the thyme. Add up to 1 cup broth (1/4 cup at a time) to loosen the risotto. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

6. Sprinkle each bowl of risotto with some of remaining 1/2 cup parmesan, remaining 1 tbsp. parsley, and reserved carrots. Serve immediately.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 302 (42% from fat); Protein: 9.1g; Fat: 14g (sat 7.1); Carbohydrate: 33g; Fiber: 4.1g; Sodium: 696mg; Cholesterol: 25mg

Sunset, APRIL 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crispy Baked Chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Slice the chicken into fingers. Combine the panko and seasoned salt in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow bowl, beat egg and milk together. Dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place chicken into a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is done.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rustic Cabbage Soup

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • a big pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups stock (see head notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • more good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes - it's o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning - getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc)...

Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.

Serves 4.

from 101 Cookbooks

Notes: Made 9/08 with boxed chicken broth. A bit bland. Would benefit from better stock and some herbs. Be sure to cut the cabbage into fine ribbons. Makes way more than 4 servings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small to medium-size zucchini or summer squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium-size onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought tomatillo salsa
  • 12 corn tortillas, cut into quarters
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • additions to try: chile peppers, corn, mushrooms, black beans

1. Cook diced vegetables over medium-low heat until caramelized. Add the cumin, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Pour about 1/4 cup of the salsa into the quiche dish and spread with a spoon. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, overlapping them slightly to completely cover the salsa. Top with one-third of the vegetables, then one-quarter of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Top with another layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with a final layer of tortillas, salsa, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the dish is heated through.

4. Let sit for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges.

partially inspired by a recipe from The Roasted Vegetable, by Andrea Chesman (The Harvard Common Press, 2002)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

  • 1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped scallion (from 1 bunch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (note: I used 1/8 tsp. and it was plenty spicy; adjust to taste)
  • 1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
  • 1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Accompaniment: 1 (1/2-lb) piece ricotta salata, cut crosswise into thin slices

Roast eggplant and zucchini: Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

Cook barley: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallion, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Make dressing and assemble salad: Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well. Serve with cheese slices.

Cooks’ note: Salad can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Return to room temperature before serving.

Makes 4 (main course) or 8 (side dish) servings

from Gourmet, September 2006 via smitten kitchen

French Barley Salad

  • 1/2 cup raw barley
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup halved or quartered mushrooms
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 cup cut green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red or yellow bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1.5 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard**
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (1 1/2 tsp dried or 2 tsp freeze dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Using a strainer, rinse the barley and drain. In a small heavy skillet on low heat, roast the barley until fragrant and beginning to brown. Place the barley and water in a small saucepan, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat until most of the water has been absorbed and the barley is soft, about 40 minutes.

While the barley cooks, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. In a separated bowl, pour half of the dressing over the mushrooms and set aside. Blanch the carrots in boiling water for about 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large serving bowl. Blanch the green beans for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Stir the bell peppers and parsley and marinated mushrooms into the bowl of carrots.

In a skillet, heat the butter. When it sizzles, saute the walnuts until they are coated and the butter begins to brown. Remove from the heat.

When the barley is tender, drain it in a colander. Add the drained barley and the remaining dressing to the serving bowl and mix well. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, gently toss the green beans and walnuts into the salad.

Notes: To make the recipe healthier, try using less oil. Also, toast the walnuts in a dry skillet or oven instead of in a skillet with butter. This recipe doubles very well.

from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special via eat me delicious

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fragrant Rice Pilaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced (1/4 inch) onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1. Combine the cumin, saffron and salt. Set aside.

2. Heat the butter and oil in a pot over low heat. Add the onion and wilt, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and carrots; cook 5 minutes more, sprinkling with the spice mixture.

3. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to mix well. Add the broth and cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve hot.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information Per serving: 240 calories, 44g carbohydrate, 5g protein, 4g fat, 5mg cholesterol

From Parade via Epicurious

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Steamed Green Beans with Tomato-Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup seeded chopped tomato
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; slowly add oil, whisking to combine. Stir in tomato and thyme; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Steam beans, covered, 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Cut into 2-inch pieces; add to tomato mixture, tossing gently to coat.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup) Nutritional Information

CALORIES 73(44% from fat); FAT 3.6g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.5g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 48mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.8g; SODIUM 162mg; PROTEIN 2.4g; FIBER 4.2g

from Cooking Light, JULY 2008, via MyRecipes

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Curried Chicken Salad

  • chicken breast meat, shredded
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • thinly sliced scallions or red onion
  • sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 small apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • raisins
  • farmhouse chutney
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce

Stir together yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder. Combine with remaining ingredients. Serve over lettuce.

Improvised from Martha Stewart and Sunset. Variations: green grapes for apples, apricots for raisins

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sesame Green Beans

  • 2 pounds green beans, stemmed
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well blended. Add the green beans and toss to combine well. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 99(1% from fat); FAT 7g (sat 1g); CHOLESTEROL 0mg; CALCIUM 52mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9g; SODIUM 74mg; PROTEIN 3mg; FIBER 4g; IRON 1mg

from Real Simple

Asian-style Flank Steak

  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 (1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound) flank steak

Whisk first 6 ingredients in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add steak; turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat broiler. Transfer steak to broiler pan. Drain marinade from dish into medium saucepan; boil 3 minutes. Broil steak until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Using tongs, transfer steaks to platter; let stand 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into thin slices and serve, passing cooked marinade as sauce.

Servings: Makes 4 to 6 servings

from Bon Appetit

Beef, Orange, and Gorgonzola Sandwiches

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh orange sections (about 2 oranges)
  • 4 (2-ounce) Italian or French rolls
  • 2 cups thinly sliced Basic Grilled Flank Steak (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup bagged prewashed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.

Pat orange sections dry with a paper towel. Slice each roll in half. Layer bottom of each roll with 1/2 cup Basic Grilled Flank Steak, 1/4 cup baby spinach, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1/4 cup orange sections. Drizzle each serving with about 2 teaspoons vinaigrette; top with top halves of rolls. Wrap in aluminum foil or wax paper; chill.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 318(29% from fat); FAT 10.2g (sat 4.6g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.5g); IRON 3.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 36mg; CALCIUM 148mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.7g; SODIUM 533mg; PROTEIN 21.6g; FIBER 2.4g

from Cooking Light

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chocolate Lime Pie

  • 200 g digestive biscuits
  • 1 1/2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 120 g unsalted butter
  • 395 g canned sweetened condensed milk
  • zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 500 ml thickened cream
  • good quality dark chocolate, grated, to serve

Pineapple-Stuffed Jerk Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (20 ounces each) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • Cooked rice, for serving

1. In a small bowl, combine thyme, allspice, cayenne, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set spice mixture aside. In a medium bowl, stir together pineapple, lime juice, scallions, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Season stuffing with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2. Lay chicken flat on a work surface. With a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slit in the thick side of each breast; insert knife, and pivot inside chicken without enlarging opening, carefully forming a deep pocket (make sure not to pierce the opposite side). Dividing evenly, tightly pack each breast with stuffing; rub exterior with oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture.

3. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; arrange chicken on sheet. Broil until chicken is opaque throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into stuffing reads 165, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve stuffed chicken with rice.

Serves 4

from Everyday Food

Tropical Ginger Punch

  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cups vodka (optional)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chilled ginger ale or club soda
  • Orange wedges, for garnish (optional)

In a large pitcher, stir together orange juice, pineapple juice, ginger, and vodka (if using). Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour (and up to 1 week). Just before serving, stir in ginger ale. Serve over ice, garnished with orange wedges, if desired.

Serves 8

from Everyday Food

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Favorite Turkey Burger

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (preferably 92 to 93 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Oil

Heat grill to high. In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine ground turkey with Gruyere, scallions, breadcrumbs, mustard, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties.

Lightly oil grill. Place patties on hottest part of grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move patties to cooler part of grill; continue grilling until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side.

Serves 4

from Martha Stewart

Vanilla Pudding Pops

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in

2. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters. Reduce heat to low; continue to whisk, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and immediately pour through sieve into bowl; stir in vanilla.

3. Divide mixture among ten 3-ounce ice-pop molds. Chill in refrigerator until cool and thickened, about 1 hour. Insert pop sticks, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 2 weeks. Run molds briefly under warm water to release pops.

Makes 10

from Everyday Food

Hummus and Vegetable Wrap

whole wheat lavash bread hummus tomato sprouts shredded carrots avocado bell pepper, julienned cucumber scallions or red onion, thinly sliced

Watermelon and Feta Salad

  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 bunches arugula (about 12 ounces total), thick stems removed
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2-pound piece chilled seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into small chunks (2 to 3 cups)
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl, combine arugula and onion; toss with dressing to taste. Gently toss with watermelon and feta, and serve.

Serves 4

from Everyday Food

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Risotto with Italian Sausage, Caramelized Onions, and Bitter Greens

  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1. Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sugar to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until onion is golden. Place onion mixture in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Removing casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add chopped shallots; sauté 2 minutes. Add Arborio rice; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in white wine; cook 45 seconds or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup hot broth; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Remove from heat; stir in reserved onion, arugula, and remaining ingredients.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 390(24% from fat); FAT 10.3g (sat 3.6g,mono 3.6g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 21.1g; CHOLESTEROL 54mg; CALCIUM 104mg; SODIUM 900mg; FIBER 4.4g; IRON 2.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 53.1g

from Cooking Light

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns with Parsley and Garlic

  • 1-pound Fiddleheads
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced very fine
  • ¼ cup butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim any brown ends off of the fern shoots and wash them in cold water, pulling the paper-like brown skin off as you go. Drain and pat dry. Crush the minced garlic with the back of a spoon or the side of a large knife. Heat half of the butter (or olive oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fern shoots and turn the heat up to medium-high. The ferns should sizzle, but don't allow the butter to burn. Toss and stir for about 5 minutes. Add the butter (or oil), the garlic, and the parsley. Continue cooking for one minute longer, or until you can smell the garlic and the ferns are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately on hot plates.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Prebaked Pie Shell

Once the pan is in the oven, leave the foil lining and weights in place until the dough loses its wet look, turns an off-white from its original pale yellow, and the edges just start to take on a very light brown color. Carefully (the dough is hot) touch the side of the shell to make sure that the crust is set: firm and able to hold itself up. If you remove the weights too soon, the dough sides will slip down, ruining the pie shell. Bake the shell partially (another nine minutes)—until just golden brown—if the pie is to be baked again with an uncooked filling such as pumpkin or pecan pie or quiches. Bake the shell fully (another fifteen minutes from the point the foil is removed)—to a deep, golden brown—when no additional baking is required as with fruit tarts and cream, chiffon, or lemon meringue pies.

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour , plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

See instructions below: Fitting Pastry into Pie Dishes

1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat with flour. Cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, using folding motion to mix. Press down on mixture with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if it will not come together. Shape dough into ball, squeezing two or three times with hands until cohesive, then flatten into 4-inch-wide disk. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.

3. Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly, about 10 minutes if dough has chilled for 30 minutes or 20 minutes if it has chilled overnight. (The dough should be pliable. Use your hands to squeeze the dough; if you can squeeze it without applying too much pressure, it is ready to roll.) Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two sheets plastic wrap to a 12-inch disk about 1/8-inch thick. Fold dough in quarters, then place dough point in center of pie pan. Unfold dough. Alternatively, roll dough in 2-gallon zipper-lock bag to a 12-inch disk about 1/8-inch thick. Cut away top of bag. Grasping bottom, flip dough into pie pan and peel off bag bottom.

4. Working around circumference of pan, press dough carefully into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand . Trim edge to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is about 1/4-inch beyond pan lip; flute dough in your own fashion. For quiche or tart pans, lift the edge of the dough, allowing the extra dough to flop over the sides. Then run the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove excess dough. Next use your forefinger and thumb, press the dough evenly up the sides from the bottom to increase the height of the rim. Refrigerate pie shell for 40 minutes and then freeze for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Press doubled 12-inch square of aluminum foil inside dough shell; evenly distribute 1 cup or 12 ounces ceramic or metal pie weights over foil. Bake, leaving foil and weights in place, until dough dries out, about 17 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering sides of foil and pulling up and out. For partially baked crust, continue baking until lightly golden brown, about 9 minutes more; for fully baked crust, continue baking until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

STEP BY STEP: Fitting Pastry into Pie Dishes

Use kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the lip all the way around. Tuck the overhanging dough back under itself so the folded edge extends 1/4 inch beyond the pan lip. Press it to seal.

Run the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove excess dough.

Using your forefinger and thumb, press the dough evenly up the sides from the bottom to increase the height of the rim.

Flute the edges all around; an exaggerated flute is helpful for obtaining maximum holding capacity.

FOR QUICHE OR TART PANS: Lift the edge of the dough to ease it into the dish, allowing the extra dough to flop over the sides.

FOR STANDARD PIE PAN: Lift the edge of the pie dough with one hand and ease the pastry along the bottom into the corners with the other hand; repeat around the circumference of the pan. Do not stretch the dough.

from Cook's Illustrated

Ham and Asparagus Quiche

The center of the quiche will be surprisingly soft when it comes out of the oven, but the filling will continue to set (and sink somewhat) as it cools. If the pie shell has been previously baked and cooled, place it in the preheating oven for about five minutes to warm it, taking care that it does not burn. Because ingredients in the variations that follow are bulkier, the amount of custard mixture has been reduced to prevent overflowing the crust. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus before cooking them.

  • 8 asparagus spears, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • pinch fresh grated nutmeg
  • 4 ounces deli-style baked ham , cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 9-inch partially baked pie shell (warm), baked until light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Blanch asparagus in 1 quart salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk all remaining ingredients except ham in medium bowl.

2. Spread asparagus and ham evenly over bottom of warm pie shell and set shell on oven rack. Pour in custard mixture to 1/2-inch below crust rim. Bake until lightly golden brown and a knife blade inserted about one inch from the edge comes out clean, and center feels set but soft like gelatin, 32 to 35 minutes. Transfer quiche to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

from Cook's Illustrated

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cooks' Equipment Recommendations

Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Loaf Pan Price: $19 The Baker's Catalog Pizza Baking Stone Price: $39.95 ( Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Multi-Purpose Scraper and Chopper Price: $7.99 Lodge cast-iron size 10 (7-quart) Dutch oven $45 Best Twill Bread Bag: $20.00, Item #BS1010 ( CDN ProAccurate Quick Tip Digital Cooking Thermometer DTQ450 Price: $17.95 ( Black & Decker EK800 Slice Right Electric Knife $25 Coffee Toddy (esp for iced coffee) slow cooker: 6 qts or more, timer feature with "keep warm" setting ALL-CLAD Stainless Steel Slow Cooker with Ceramic Insert Price: $149.95 CUISINART Slow Cooker $99.95 at HAMILTON BEACH Programmable Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe $59.95 at

Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

If you prefer, Monterey Jack cheese can be used instead of cheddar, or, for a mellower flavor and creamier texture, try substituting an equal amount of farmers' cheese.

Makes 10 enchiladas, serving 4 or 5 as a main dish.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
3/4 pound small tomatillos , husks and stems removed, each tomatillo quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 large jalapeño chiles , seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 medium onion , chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , grated (2 cups)
Tortillas and Toppings
10 corn tortillas (six-inch)
Vegetable cooking spray
3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 avocado , diced medium
5 leaves romaine lettuce , washed, dried, and shredded
2 limes , quartered
1. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomatillos, jalapeños, sugar and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup of water and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until tomatillos are softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender and puree until smooth, about 30 seconds; set aside. Rinse out saucepan. 2. FOR THE FILLING: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring ocassionally, until beginning to soften and brown, about 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until browned, about 3 minutes longer. Add cumin and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro and cheese in medium bowl and set aside. 3. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees. 4. TO ASSEMBLE: Follow illustrations to heat tortillas and fill, roll, and sauce enchiladas. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce, and lime wedges separately. STEP BY STEP: Assembling Enchilidas
1. Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 3/4 cup chili sauce. 2. Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes.
3. Place warm tortillas on counter-top. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla. 4. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side by side, seam-side down.
5.Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla. 6. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese down center of enchiladas.
from Cooks Illustrated

Cooks' Recommended Brands

supermarket olive oil: Terra Medi Extra Virgin Olive Oil (highly recommended *and* lowest price for top recs), Lucini Italia Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, DaVinci (best mass market) balsamic vinegar: LUCINI GRAN RISERVA BALSAMICO, MONARI FEDERZONI BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA (Colavita is a "rec with reservations" option) orange juice: Tropicana Pure Premium 100% Pure and Natural Orange Juice with Some Pulp supermarket whole bean coffee: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Our Blend; MILLSTONE Colombian Supremo; STARBUCKS COFFEE House Blend salsa: Santa Barbara Medium Salsa (refrigerated), Rojo's Restaurant Style Salsa Medium (refrigerated), Old El Paso Thick 'n Chunky Medium Salsa canned beans: Goya pasta: Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Blend; Mueller’s, De Cecco for non-whole-grain shapes; Ronzoni, De Cecco for spaghetti Whole Tomatoes: look for packed in juice, not puree, such as Progresso Italian-Style with Basil Diced or Chopped Tomatoes: look for packed in juice, not puree, such as Muir Glen Crushed Tomatoes: Progresso Tomato Puree: Hunt's Tomato Sauce: Hunt's liquid smoke: Wright's Liquid Smoke applesauce: Lucky Leaf Natural Applesauce, Mott's Organics Unsweetened Applesauce, Mott's Classic Natural Applesauce, Musselman's Natural Applesauce cocoa powder: Droste Dutch Processed Cocoa cheddar cheese: Cabot pizza cheese: Calabro brand whole milk (low-moisture) mozzarella

Classic Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 medium onion, minced 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce 1 can whole tomatoes with juice 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1 tablespoon chili powder 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional) 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1/4 cup orange juice

Warm Grecian Spinach and Sausage Salad

  • 4 links Aidells Artichoke and Garlic Sausage, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, through a press
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a nonstick skillet, over medium high heat, saute the sausage until nicely browned. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach and the next 7 ingredients. Add the sausage slices. Return the skillet to medium high heat and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, until heated through. Toss the hot dressing with the sausage and spinach mixture to evenly coat. Serve immediately garnished with feta cheese.

Serves 6

from Aidell's

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Orange Pineapple Sherbet

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments, drained

1. Heat sugar and water to boiling in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved; cool. Process sugar syrup, pineapple, buttermilk, and orange juice in a blender until smooth.

2. Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker, adding oranges just before mixture is frozen.

Makes 8 servings.

From 1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes

Friday, May 9, 2008

Stuffed Peppers (Poivrons Farcis)

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages, casings removed, and browned
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 4 medium-size red bell peppers (each about 4 to 6 ounces), halved lengthwise, seeded
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 9 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Fill pepper halves with sausage mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Bake peppers uncovered until tops are browned and thermometer inserted into filling registers 165°F., about 1 hour. Transfer peppers to platter. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

Yield: 8 servings

from Bon Appetit via Epicurious

Shepherd's Pie

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb (or substitute half with another ground meat)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk (any fat content)
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil, then add the onion, carrot, and meat. Cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Drain the fat and add the broth, tomato paste, and herbs. Simmer until the juices thicken, about 10 minutes, then add the peas.

4. Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish; set aside.

5. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain.

6. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, and salt.

7. Spread them over the meat mixture, then crosshatch the top with a fork.

8. Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Tip Instead of using a baking dish for the Shepherd's Pie, keep the filling in the (ovenproof) sauté pan in which you cook it, top with the crust, and bake it all in the oven for a skillet version that won't dirty another dish.

reviewer suggested alterations:

  • saute some mushrooms first, deglaze pan with wine or sherry, and continue as directed
  • use all or part ground beef, add garlic (or garlic powder) + bell peppers to the meat
  • no need to peel potatoes for crust
  • double beef broth, carrots, tomato paste, herbs
  • add corn along with peas
  • add soy sauce or worchestershire along with beef broth
  • add grated parmesan, sharp cheddar or gruyere cheese to the mashed potatoes
  • add parsnips, sweet potatoes or other root veg to the potatoes

Makes 6 servings.

from Cookie magazine via Epicurious

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rhubarb Compote

This unusual uncooked dessert was inspired by the compote served at Rendezvous in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • 1 lb. rhubarb, leaves trimmed
  • 10 dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 8 small rosemary sprigs (about 2 inches each)
  • 2 tsp. orange liquor, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • ~ Chopped mint for garnish

1. Slice the rhubarb crosswise into ½-inch pieces. (If the stalks are really thick, cut them in half lengthwise first.)

2. In a medium non-reactive bowl (glass or stainless steel), combine the rhubarb with the apricots, cranberries, honey, rosemary, and liquor. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Stir twice during this time frame.

3. Remove the rosemary sprigs before serving and garnish the compote with the mint.

This compote can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. I served my version three ways: atop panna cotta, over yogurt, and snarfed straight from the mixing bowl. Would also make a great topping for pork chops or duck breasts.

Orange/Peach/Habanero Jam

  • 3 lbs. ripe peaches, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 medium sized orange, quartered and seeded
  • 2 habaneros, seeds and all
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup honey

Combine peaches, sugar and honey in a dutch oven, stir well. Cover and let stand 45 minutes. In food processor or blender, chop oranges and habaneros until finally chopped, scraping down sides a couple of times. Place orange, habaneros and an equal amount of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Bring peach mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring often. Add orange mixture. Bring to a boil, cook, uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 221F, stirring often. Remove from heat, stir in almond extract. Skim off foam with metal spoon.

Quickly pour hot mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, wipe jar rims. Cover with lids and Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Yield: 6 half pints

Friday, May 2, 2008

Basic Whole Wheat Buttermilk Waffles

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda, and set aside. In a second bowl, beat together the eggs and buttermilk, and stir in the melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened. Do not over-mix. The batter should be a little lumpy.

Cook following directions for waffle maker.

Pear Ginger Raisin Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger powder
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 medium ripe pear (such as Anjou or Bartlett), roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup plain yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger powder in a large mixing bowl. Toss in raisins and diced pear.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs and ginger root.

4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until just combined.

5. Carefully fold in yogurt.

6. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins, about 3/4 full.

7. Bake until lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

8. Allow muffins to cool a few minutes before serving.

Yield: 10 muffins (1 muffin per serving)

(via Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Broccolini and Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • kosher salt
  • 2 bunches broccolini (3/4 pounds)
  • 2 T good olive oil
  • 2 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Remove and discard the bottom third of the broccolini stems. If some stems are very thick, cut them in half lengthwise.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. When the water comes to a full boil, add the broccolini, return to a boil, and cook over high heat for 2 minutes, until the stalks are just tender. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Pour enough dressing over the broccolini to moisten and toss well. Splash with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm or hot.

adapted from Barefoot Contessa (Food Network)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Almond Cake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote (Gâteau aux Amandes)

For the compote

  • 1 pound strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

For the almond cake

  • Butter and flour for the pan(s)
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto, plus additional for brushing
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche, whipped to soft peaks

Make the compote

1. Select about 4 ounces of the smallest strawberries and cut lengthwise into quarters. These will be added raw to the cooked compote; set aside.

2. Cut the remaining larger berries in halves or quarters so that the pieces are about the same size. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups.) Place them in a medium saucepan.

3. With a paring knife, pull away and discard the strings that run the length of the rhubarb stalks. Cut the stalks into 3/4-inch pieces (you should have about 3 cups) and add to the saucepan.

4. Use a fine grater or a Microplane to zest the lemon. Add 1 teaspoon of the zest to the pan. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice and add it to the pan. Add the sugar and stir to coat the fruit.

5. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. By the time the sugar has dissolved, the fruit will have released a lot of juice. Boil for about 4 minutes to reduce the liquid somewhat, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft. Don’t worry if some of the rhubarb falls apart.

6. Take pan off the stove and stir in reserved strawberries. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in a covered container until cold. (This makes about 4 cups of compote, but the extra will keep for a couple of weeks and is delicious for breakfast, especially with crème fraîche.)

Make the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour four 4-by-1 3/4-inch-high miniature springform pans or butter and flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan. If using the 8-inch pan, line its bottom with a circle of parchment paper; this isn’t necessary with the small pans.

2. Place the almond paste and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in another large bowl if using a handheld mixer. Begin to cream the mixture on low speed to break up the almond paste, then increase the speed to medium for about 2 minutes, or until the paste is broken into fine particles.

3. Add the butter and mix for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light in color and airy; stop the machine and scrape down the sides as necessary. It is important to mix long enough or the cake will have a dense texture.

4. Mix in the honey, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the amaretto, flour, and a pinch of salt and mix just to combine.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top. Bake the small cakes for about 15 minutes, the large one for about 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden and springs back when pressed. Transfer to a rack to cool.

6. Unmold the small cakes or invert the large cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and invert the cake again so that the top is once again facing upward. Brush the top of the cake(s) with amaretto and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. (The large and small cakes can be stored, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 days.) To serve, cut the small cakes in half or the large cake into wedges. Serve with a dollop of whipped creme fraiche and the strawberry-rhubarb compote.

from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon (via Leite’s Culinaria)

Cauliflower, Bean and Feta Salad

  • 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 large heads of Belgian endive, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss cauliflower florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until edges are dark and caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.

While cauliflower is roasting, combine remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and rosemary in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Cool.

Whisk lemon juice, vinegar, lemon peel, salt, and pepper in small bowl.

Combine roasted, still warm cauliflower, beans, endive, chives, parsley, walnuts and rosemary oil in medium bowl; toss. Mix in cheese. Add lemon juice mixture and toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings

from Smitten Kitchen, adapted very loosely from Bon Appetit, January 2007