Baked Herbal Goat Cheese with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olive Bread

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces goat cheese
Cracked black pepper
Chopped herbs for garnish

Directions

Pre heat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl mix together tomatoes, fresh herbs and salt. Place in a small shallow baking dish. Place dollops of goat cheese on the top of the tomatoes and sprinkle with a little black pepper and place the dish in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. In the meantime, slice bread into sliced about ½ inch thick and toast in the oven. When the tomato dish is done take it out of the oven and sprinkle a few fresh herbs over the top. Serve with the olive bread.

Cranberry & Thyme Sparkler

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

½ cup cranberries
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 few fresh thyme sprigs
1 cinnamon stick
Sparkling water or sparkling wine
Cranberries and thyme leaves for garnish

Directions

Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, fresh thyme and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and heat to high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolved and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is at a boil reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the liquid turns thick and syrupy; stirring occasionally throughout the process. Let the mixture cool and discard the thyme sprigs and cinnamon stick. Blend te mixture in a blender until smooth and strain.

Place about 1 ounce of the syrup in a champagne flute and fill with sparkling water or wine. Garnish with a cranberry and a few fresh thyme leaves.

Herbed Polenta

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 cups water
Salt
2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
½ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup milk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Bring water and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan to a boil, add cornmeal, and whisk well. Reduce heat to low, and cook until thick and tender, whisking regularly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese, milk, butter, herbs, and cracked pepper. Stir well until all is melted and incorporated.

Kale and Apple Salad with Walnut-Herb Dressing

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


This is an amazing take on the classic waldorf salad, its modern and sassy and showcases the earthy flavors of kale!


Ingredients


3 cups raw kale (purple or lacinato), jullianned
½ cup celery, sliced thin
2 tart apples, cored and chopped small
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fine
¼ cup raisins
1 shallot, chopped superfine
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


Directions


Toss together the kale, celery, apples, ½ cup walnuts and raisins in a large bowl until well mixed. In a smaller bowl whisk together the shallot, mayonnaise, thyme, vinegar, lemon juice and honey. Make sure to whisk until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and add more honey for a greater sweetness. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together until well mixed.

Shortbread Cookies with Winter Herbs and Dried Fruit

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
3½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
Fine sanding sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and chopped rosemary; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in olive oil. Reduce speed to low. Mix in flour mixture. Add cream; mix until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and dried cherries and mix until just combined.

Shape dough into ¾ inch balls and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with fingers and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, about 13 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on sheet or wire racks. Store in airtight container.

*Alternatively use fresh thyme, orange zest and chopped dried dates; dried cranberries, fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped fine, Winter Savory and 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 teaspoons orange juice.

Sicilian-Style Herbed Meatballs with Herbed Polenta

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Meatballs

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, ground
1 bulb garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grains Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten

Sauce

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, marjoram, and oregano, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 lbs plum tomatoes, diced fine
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

Directions

To make the meatballs, mix ground beef and ground sausage with garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Use fingers to mix well and squish ingredients together. Make sure the mixture is well blended. Add the chopped pine nuts, Kashi cereal and the currants and again mix very well using fingers. Add the beaten eggs and mix until all ingredients are well combined and moistened by the eggs. The eggs should cause the mixture to bind and stick together.

Form mixture into about 1 to 1¼ inch balls and set aside.

In a large, deep heavy bottom pan heat a few tablespoons of olive oil to a high heat. Sauté meatballs in batches by rolling them around on all sides until well browned. Then, transfer them to another plate with paper towels to absorb any grease.

After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil if necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent about 1-2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well so to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine and the salt and pepper, again stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about five minutes. Turn the burner on low and add the meatballs to the sauce stirring gently until the meatballs are covered in the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.

Herbed Polenta

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 cups water
Salt
2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
½ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup milk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Bring water and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan to a boil, add cornmeal, and whisk well. Reduce heat to low, and cook until thick and tender, whisking regularly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese, milk, butter, herbs, and cracked pepper. Stir well until all is melted and incorporated.

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