Nectarine Green Bell Pepper Salsa

September 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2-3 cups

Ingredients

2 nectarines, not fully ripe, firm, deseeded and chopped small
½ red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
½ red onion, chopped small
1 serrano chili, deseeded and chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a medium bowl combine the nectarines, peppers, onions, chili and cilantro and mix together well. Squeeze the lime juice and season with salt and mix well.

Spanish Seville Squid Cocktail

September 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 pounds cleaned squid, sliced in rings
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Olive oil
½ medium Spanish onion, sliced thin
½ cup red bell peppers, sliced thin
½ cup orange bell peppers, sliced thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (gold ones especially nice)
1 cup Spanish black olives, pitted and halved
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon shallot, chopped fine
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a large sauté pan heat oil and add garlic and lemon zest. Lightly sauté the squid until just tender, a sort of par cook (approx 3 minutes). Take off heat and place in large bowl. To the squid add the peppers, tomatoes and olives. In another mixing bowl whisk together the lmon juice, shallots, vinegar, oil and herbs, season with salt and pepper and pour over squid mixture. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.

Summer Squash and Portobello Taco

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 white onion, chopped fine
2 zucchinis, chopped fine
1 portabella mushroom, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 jalapeño, chopped fine
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt
Tortillas, soft or hard, for serving
Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Avocado (optional)

Directions

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add canola oil and avocado oil. Sauté onion until translucent, 5 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers and jalapeño and cook, about 3-4 minutes more. Add the portabellas and cook another few minutes (3-4). Add lime juice, zest, cumin and season with salt. Serve with tortillas. Garnish with cheese and avocado.

Grilled White Eggplant with Peanut Sauce and Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 small white eggplants (about 1 pound each) cut into ½ inch thick slices the long way
Sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 red chilis, deseeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons yuzi rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro Red Pepper Relish (recipe follows)

Directions

Lay the eggplant down on a large baking sheet and season with salt. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, shallot, chilies, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, zest, peanut butter, tamari, vinegar and lice juice. Pour the mixture over the eggplant and flip brushing it all over the eggplant. Grill the eggplant on a hot grill for about 3 minutes per side or until browned and grilled nicely. Serve with Cilantro Pepper Relish.

Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 red bell peppers, deseeded and chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 shallot, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lemongrass bulb, chopped fine
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoon red chili, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thai basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 tablespoon yuzu rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Nectarine Salsa and Peach BBQ Sauce

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
Salt/pepper
Peach BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)
2 nectarines, not fully ripe, firm, deseeded and chopped small
½ red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
½ red onion, chopped small
1 serrano chili, deseeded and chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick and consistently even. Cut into small triangle or similar shapes about 3-4 inches in circumference. Season with salt & pepper. Place them in a large flat baking dish and smother them with the peach BBQ sauce. Let stand for about 20 minutes. Preheat your grill or an oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl combine the nectarines, peppers, onions, chili and cilantro and mix together well. Squeeze the lime juice and season with salt and mix well. Let stand while the chicken cooks. Place chicken, letting all excess BBQ sauce drip off, on greased grill for a few minutes on each side or in the oven for about 5-10 minutes flipping once more. Serve the chicken paillards with the salsa spooned over the top.

Peach BBQ Sauce

Makes 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

3 peaches, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
¼-½ cup bourbon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Sprinkle peaches (open halves) with sugar and grill until soft. Combine all ingredients in a blender (or use a handheld food processor) and blend until relatively smooth but still has some coarseness. Brush the sauce on meats while they are cooking.

Chicken Paillards with Grilled Peach & Pepino Salsa

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts, boneless skinless
Salt/pepper
2 medium peaches, pitted and chopped fine
1 medium Pepino melon, seeds removed, peeled and chopped fine (1 cup chopped honeydew melon can be substituted)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons jalapeño or serrano pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon peach preserves
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce, mashed

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with meat hammer until about ½ inch thick and consistently even. Cut into small triangle or similar shapes about 3-4 inches in circumference. Season with salt & pepper. Preheat you grill or an oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl combine peaches, bell peppers, jalapeños, and cilantro and toss together. Let stand at room temperature while the chicken cooks. Place chicken on greased grill for a few minutes on each side or in the oven for about 5-10 minutes flipping once time. Serve the chicken paillards with the salsa spooned over the top.

Garden Caviar

August 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 small carrot, peeled and chopped superfine
½ medium green zucchini, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon yellow onion, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons red peppers, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped superfine (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped superfine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well, let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Italian Antipasti Plate

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 medium red onions, quartered and roasted
9 cloves garlic, roasted
20 cherry tomatoes yellow and red, roasted lightly
2 cans artichoke hearts, halved
1 cup back brine cured olives
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, halved
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt
Crusty Italian Bread

Directions

Arrange all the vegetables on a platter, top with olives. In a small bowl whisk together herbs, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, and olive oil. Drizzle a top the antipasto and season with salt! Serve over crusty bread.

Thai Coconut Scallop Ceviche

July 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 pounds of Nantucket Bay Scallops
2 teaspoons salt
Juice and zest of 3 limes
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon lemon grass bulb, chopped into a paste
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped into a paste
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped into a paste
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 or 2 red thai chilis, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thai basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
Chopped peanut for garnish (optional)

Directions

Place the scallops in a bowl and season with salt. In another mixing bowl mix the lime juice, coconut milk, hoisin and all the garlic, ginger lemon grass and sugar until well mixed. Add the thai chilis, bell pepper and mix well. Marinate refrigerated about 30-45 minutes. Take out or the refrigerator and add the fresh herbs, let stand for 10 minutes and serve garnished with peanuts!

Spanish Seville Squid Cocktail

July 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 pounds cleaned squid, sliced in rings
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Olive oil
½ medium Spanish onion, sliced thin
½ cup red bell peppers, slices thin
½ cup orange bell peppers sliced thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (gold ones especially nice)
1 cup Spanish black olives, pitted and halved
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon shallot, chopped fine
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a large sauté pan heat oil and add garlic and lemon zest. Lightly sauté the squid until just tender, a sort of par cook (approx 3 minutes). Take off heat and place in large bowl. To the squid add the peppers, tomatoes and olives. In another mixing bowl whisk together the lemon juice, shallots, vinegar, oil and herbs, season with salt and pepper and pour over squid mixture. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.

Ger-Nis Jerk Cole Slaw

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

097

Serves 12

Ingredients

For the dressing

1 clove garlic, chopped fine
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon habanero pepper, deseeded and chopped
½ teaspoon lime zest
½ teaspoon orange zest
1 pinch allspice, ground
1 pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
1 pinch cinnamon, freshly grated
½ teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¾ cup mayonnaise

For the salad

3 cups red cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

In a mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients for the dressing until smooth and set aside. Toss together cabbage, onions, carrots, peppers and cilantro until mixed. Mix in dressing and toss until evenly distributed. Season with salt to taste.

Ger-Nis Garden Potato Salad

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

087

Serves 12

Ingredients

6 cups cooked potatoes, cubed (all colors blue, red, and white)
2 cups radishes, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup red onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup lovage, chopped
1 cup crème fraiche
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh horseradish, grated
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Salt/pepper
Paprika
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Directions

In a large mixing bowl mix all potatoes, radishes, celery, onions, carrots and peppers. In another small mixing bowl mix dill, parsley, lovage, crème fraiche, lemon, horseradish, mustard seeds, celery seeds, vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix bowl of potatoes and vegetables with dressing and sprinkle with paprika for garnish. Garnish with sliced hard boiled eggs and fresh herbs.

Italian Antipasti Plate

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 medium red onions, quartered and roasted
9 cloves garlic, roasted
20 cherry tomatoes yellow and red, roasted lightly
2 cans artichoke hearts, halved
1 cup black brine cured olives
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, halved
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt
Crusty Italian Bread

Directions

Arrange all the vegetables on a platter, top with olives. In a small bowl whisk together herbs, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, and olive oil. Drizzle a top the antipasto and season with salt! Serve over crusty bread.

Spicy Gumbo with Purslane Bishop’s Elder & Sassafras Leaf

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 servings

Wild puslane (Portulaca oleracea) takes the place here of the okra used in traditional gumbo recipes. It has similar thickening properties, but adds a flavor all its own. Closely related to celery, bishop’s elder (Aegopodium podograria) replaces that vegetables here. The filé powder stirred into traditional gumbos is made from dried powdered sassafras (Sassafras albidum) leaves – a tree native to our region’s forests (and parks)!

Ingredients

¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup bishop’s elder stems and leaves, chopped
1-3 fresh or dried hot chilé peppers
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups chopped purslane leaves and stems
2 links andouille, chorizo, or other smoked sausage cut into ½-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoons filé powder
Salt to taste
(Plus cooked rice to serve the gumbo over)

Directions

In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the roux is a rich brown color. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.
Add the onion, bell pepper, bishop’s elder and hot peppers. Return to the heat. Whisk in the stock. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, whisking constantly.
Reduce the heat to a medium. Add the purslane, sausage and garlic. Simmer until the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the filé powder and salt to taste. Serve over cooked rice.

Vegan Variation: leave out the sausage, add 1 cup cooked beans, substitute 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo for the hot chilé peppers.

Sweet Corn and Crab Cappellacci with Soppresatta, Red Peppers, Zucchini & Basil

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

020

4-6 Servings

Ingredients

For the filling

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ medium white or yellow onion, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
3 ears sweet yellow corn, kernels removed from their cobs
1 cup jumbo lump crab meat, pickled over very well for shells
¾ cup mascarpone
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
Pinch of pimento d’espelette pepper
Salt

For the pasta dough

2 large eggs plus 6 yolks
14 ounces all-purpose or Italian OO flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 zucchini, diced (green parts only)
Pinch espelette pepper
¾ cup spicy soppressata, cut into small cubes
2 red bell peppers, charred on a grill or gas burner, skins and seeds/ribs removed, and cut into strips
Reserved cooked corn kernels
1 cup fresh Italian basil leaves, gently torn
Zucchini blossoms, cut in half, stems and pistils removed

Directions

For the filling

In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all but a few tablespoons of the corn and continue cooking until it is tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

In a food processor, purée the corn and onion mixture. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the mascarpone, crab, lemon zest and espelette. Adjust seasoning. Place the mixture in a pining bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pasta dough

Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Add in the flour little by little, mixing together with a fork until the dough is not too sticky to handle. The dough should still be a rough, shaggy mass.

Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead by hand, adding more of the flour, as necessary until the dough is smooth, elastic and not sticky. Wrap in plastic or store in a Ziploc bag to rest for 20 minutes.

Cut the dough from the ball into pieces and flatten into disks. Work with one disk at a time and keep the rest covered with plastic or under a kitchen towel so they do not dry out. Run the disk through the rollers of the pasta machine, starting at the widest setting. Fold the dough in half or in thirds and press down to seal. If the dough feels sticky sprinkle it with flour, but brush off the excess. Feed the open side of the pasta through the rollers and repeat a few times. Continue to dust the dough with flour and brush it off if the dough feels tacky.

Advance the pasta machine to the next thinnest setting. Without folding anymore, put the pasta sheet through the next setting. Continue advancing the rollers to the next thinnest setting, rolling the pasta sheet one time through each setting without folding, until the dough is thin enough so that you can see your hand through it.

Place the sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out circles of dough from the sheet using a fluted biscuit cutter or a juice glass, approximately 3 inches in diameter. Pipe a blob for the filling in the center of each circle and then fold over the dough to form a half-moon shape. Press the dough together to seal. Bring the ends of the half moons together and press to seal them. Place the finished cappelletti on a well-floured sheet tray covered with a clean towel until ready to cook. Repeat the process with all the disks of dough.

For the sauce

In a large wide skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the diced zucchini, season with salt and espelette, and cook over medium heat until just tender. Add the reserved corn kernels, diced soppressata and red peppers and warm through.

Cook the cappellacci in abundant boiling salted water until they float to the surface. Strain from the water and add to the pan with the soppressata and peppers. Add some of the pasta cooking water and toss together to make a creamy sauce. Gently tear the basil leaves and add to the skillet along with the zucchini blossoms. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon the pasta onto warmed bowls or plates.

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Basil Calzone

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4-6 calzones

Ingredients

1 Ger-Nis Calzone Dough Recipe
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 fresh red chili pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine (or water)
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium sauté pan heat olive oil to a medium high heat and sauté garlic, onions and fresh chili for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize and get brownish tips. Add the spices, chili flakes, oregano and salt and sauté for another few seconds. Add the basil and spinach leaves and sauté about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and white wine and stir well keeping on a medium high heat and cook until a liquid is absorbed or cooked off. Take off heat and place in a small mixing bowl and add in the fresh ricotta cheese. Mix well.

Roll out the calzone dough into 4 to 6 circles. Place about ¼-½ cup on one side of the circle close to the center. Fold on half over the ricotta making sure that the sides of the dough are touching, forming a half circle. Start from one end and roll the side of the dough closed using a twist motion. Place the calzones on a baking sheet (greased or lined with parchment paper) in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Curried Cauliflower Yogurt Chicken

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

The yogurt in this curry creates a mild and cool flavor, very herbaceous and not too spicy!

Ingredients

Olive Oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped fine
1 serrano chili peppers, deseeded and chopped (optional)
1 medium red onion, chopped coarsely
1 red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
3 medium chicken breasts, sliced in strips
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup snap peas
2 tablespoon of Ger-Nis Mild Curry (recipe follows)
Juice of 4 limes & zest
¾ cup yogurt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped fine

Directions

Heat oils in a large skillet on medium high, add garlic, ginger and chili pepper. Sauté approximately 2 minutes, then add red onion and red bell pepper. Sauté until just tender, approximately 2 more minutes. Add chicken and sauté until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly still on medium high heat. Add the cauliflower florets. Reduce heat to simmer and add tomatoes and curry seasoning as well as lime juice and zest, mix well and cook on low heat for about 3-4 minutes stirring constantly until tomatoes fall apart. Add the snap peas and mix in. Reduce heat again to simmer and add yogurt and mint and cilantro and mix until all yogurt is blended in. Take off heat & Serve over rice or with Indian Naan bread.

Ger-Nis Mild Curry Seasoning

Makes 1 cup

A delicious yet mild curry seasoning that can be made and stored for up to six months in a glass jar for future use!

Ingredients

4 tablespoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons ground coriander
5 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground mild mustard powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper

Directions

In a mixing bowl mix together all ingredients place in a jar and store for up to six months!

Pork Fried Rice

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

Oil (sesame, canola or peanut)
1 pound pork loin, cut into small ½-inch cubes
Flour for dusting pork
Salt/pepper
2 carrots, chopped small (diced)
1 red bell pepper, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons ginger, chopped fine
4 scallions, sliced
4 cups rice, cooked and cold
Soy sauce
Sriracha or sambal (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

Directions

Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan or a wok to a high heat. Toss pork with seasoned flour (salt and pepper). Cook pork until no longer raw in the center, 1-2 minutes. Remove pork and add carrots. Cook for 1 minute. Then add in pepper, toss together and add in ginger, garlic, and scallions. Sauté for about 1 minute and add rice. Toss everything together and start to season with soy sauce (and Sriracha or Sambal for some heat). With a wooden spoon, form a well in the center of the rice and add the eggs. Let the eggs fry in the center for about 1 minute while mixing it with the spoon. Fold egg into rice and serve immediately.

Lentil Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing

May 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the salad

6 cups water
113 cups French lentils, sorted
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
1 stalk celery, finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
½ medium red bell pepper, finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
½ medium yellow bell pepper, finely diced (to the size of the lentils)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the dressing

1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly milled black pepper, or to taste

Directions

To prepare the salad, in a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook at a boil for 10 minutes. Add the salt and boil for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until the lentils are cooked through but are still firm enough to hold their shape. Drain them in a sieve and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain thoroughly and pour into a serving bowl.

Add the chopped vegetables and herbs and stir to combine.

In a bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Let the salad to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Adapted from The Modern Vegetarian Table by Peter Berley

Nacatamales (Nicaraguan Tamales)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15 tamales (large)

Nacatamales are similar to Mexican tamales but they are quite large and filled with a potato, rice, corn, vegetable and herb mixture and are typically served on holidays and special occasions. This recipe makes ½ size portions of the traditional tamale.

Ingredients

For the tamale dough

2 cups masa harina
2 cups pork stock, reserved from poached pork
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest

For the filling

1 pound pork butt cubed (about 1 inch cubes)
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced thin
2 medium tomatoes, chopped medium
1 cup fresh corn, chopped fine
½ cup long grain rice, cooked al dente
3 potatoes, 1-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
½ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 3 limes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice
Salt
Pepper
Banana leaf squares

Directions

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine the masa harina, lime zest, and 2 cups of the reserved pork liquid. Mix well. In a kitchen aid or with an electric mixer, mix the lard until fluffy or about five minutes. A little at a time mix the lard into the masa harina until fully incorporated. Mix in the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece of the dough floats in a glass of cold water.

For the filling & assembly

In a large mixing bowl combine the filling ingredients and mix well, making sure the rice is well combined. In the center of each banana, place about 4 tablespoons of masa harina mixture. Flatten with a spoon leaving about 1 inch around each border of the banana leaf. Atop that place about 2 tablespoons meat and vegetable mixture. Fold over the banana leaf like you are folding a present. Tie the wrapped package with banana leaf ties or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips from making tamales soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 45-60 minutes or until soft and cooked through.

Paches de Guatemala (Guatemala Potato Tamales)

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 tamales

INGREDIENTS

2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 green onions, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped fine
1 cup water
Salt
6 tablespoons lard or margarine
1 pound potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 cups masa harina
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon achiote powder, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
Corn husks or banana leafs
Lemon wedges

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauce pan on high heat, add tomatoes, green onions, garlic, red bell pepper, jalapeño and water and cook, about 5-8 minutes until soft. Transfer to a blender, season with salt and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve (sauce should be very smooth) and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine lard, cooked and mashed potatoes, masa harina, salt, allspice, black pepper, and dissolved achiote powder, and mix well. Add the tomato pepper sauce and mix until incorporated well. In the center of each banana leaf or corn husk, place about ½ cup of the potato masa mixture. To make tamales, fold over the banana leaf or corn husk like you are folding a present and tie the package with a corn husk tie, a banana leaf tie, or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips and tamales from getting soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 30-45 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Serve with lots of fresh lemon wedges.

Hoisin-Drenched Vegetable Medley

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1½ tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin (reserve ¼ cup to garnish)
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 small chili, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup snow peas
1 cup snap peas
2 tablespoons mirin
3½ tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS

In a large deep skillet or wok over high heat, add oil. Add scallions, ginger, garlic and chili, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bell peppers, cook 2 minutes. Add snow peas, snap peas and mirin rice wine and continue cooking until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
Add tamari, hoisin sauce, honey, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and cook 1 minute. Take off heat and add ¼ cup reserved thinly sliced scallions. Serve warm.

Ger-Nis Fresh Siracha Sauce

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

4-5 red chilies, seeds in tact and chopped
3 thai green chilies, seeds in tact and chopped
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 teaspoons tamari
13 cup rice vinegar, yuzu flavored preferred
¼ cup water (more as needed)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons lime zest
Juice of ½ lime

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauce pan add chilies, bell pepper, garlic, tamari, vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let boil gently on low for about 10 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool, add lime zest and lime juice and blend together in a blender until smooth and all is incorporated. Strain and place in a squeeze bottle and refrigerate. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Beef Pho

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the broth

2 medium onions, chopped large
A 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
3-5 pounds of good beef bones, preferably leg and knuckle
1 pound beef chuck, cubed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 star anise
1 cardamom pod, shell removed
3 cloves
10 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup raw sugar

For the noodle bowls

2 pounds rice noodles, cooked
2 pounds London broil or flank steak sliced thin and cooked in the broth for about 1 minute.
Pho vegetables: thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced chili peppers, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, lime wedges, and sliced bell peppers (optional)
Pho herbs: fresh mint leaves, fresh Thai basil leaves, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh red basil leaves
Hoisin Sauce
Siracha hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to broil. Place the onions, galangal, ginger, beef bones and beef and spices on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until all is heavily charred, no black, but charred on the edges. Place all charred ingredients into a large soup pan and add the salt, fish sauce, tamari and raw sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer at a low gentle boil for about 30-45 minutes. Making sure you spoon away the “scum” that rises to the top of the soup ban from the bones. Strain and place broth back in the soup pan and bring to a rolling gentle low boil again.

To assemble the bowl, place the cooked rice noodles in the bottom of a large noodle bowl. Place the raw beef into the pot of boiling stock and cook for 1 minute. Remove and place atop the noodles, ladle broth over the noodles and beef and garnish with desired pho vegetables and pho herbs and season with hoisin and siracha.

Chicken Pho

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serve 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the broth

2 medium onions, chopped large
A 1-inch section of galangal, peeled and chopped
A 2-inch section of ginger, peeled and chopped
3-5 pounds of chicken pieces, wings and other bones
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 star anise
1 cardamom pod, shell removed
3 cloves
10 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup raw sugar

For the noodle bowls

2 pounds rice noodles, cooked
2 chicken breasts, poached in the broth and shredded with fingers and set aside
Pho vegetables: thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced chili peppers sliced thin, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, lime wedges, and sliced bell peppers (optional)
Pho herbs: fresh mint leaves, fresh Thai basil leaves, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh red basil leaves
Hoisin sauce
Siracha hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to broil. Place the onions, galangal, ginger, chicken bones and spices on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until all is heavily charred, no black, but charred on the edges. Place all charred ingredients into a large soup pan and add the salt, fish sauce, tamari and raw sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer at a low gentle boil for about 30-45 minutes. Making sure you spoon away the “scum” that rises to the top of the soup ban from the chicken. Strain and place broth back in the soup pan and bring to a rolling gentle low boil again.

To assemble the bowl, place the cooked rice noodles in the bottom of a large noodle bowl. Place the shredded chicken into the pot of boiling stock to reheat, for about 10 seconds only. Remove and place atop the noodles, ladle broth over the noodles and chicken and garnish with desired pho vegetables and pho herbs and season with hoisin and siracha.

Tofu Vegetable Pho

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the broth

2 medium onions, chopped large
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped large
A 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
A 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, cut into large pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 star anise
1 cardamom pod, shell removed
3 cloves
10 cups water
¼ cup dried shitakes
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup raw sugar

For the noodle bowls

2 pounds rice noodles, cooked
2 pounds of tofu, cut into bit sized squares, seasoned with tamari and fried
Pho vegetables: thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced chili peppers, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, lime wedges, and sliced bell peppers (optional)
Pho herbs: fresh mint leaves, fresh Thai basil leaves, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh red basil leaves
Hoisin Sauce
Siracha hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to broil. Place the onions, shallots, carrots, galangal, ginger, and spices on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until all is heavily charred, no black, but charred on the edges. Place all charred ingredients into a large soup pan and add the dried shitakes, salt, tamari and raw sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer at a low gentle boil for about 30-45 minutes. Strain and place broth back in the soup pan and bring to a rolling gentle low boil again.

To assemble the bowl, place the cooked rice noodles in the bottom of a large noodle bowl. Place the fried tofu on top of the noodles and ladle broth over the noodles and garnish with desired pho vegetables and pho herbs and season with hoisin and siracha.

Bell Pepper Spicy & Dirty Martini

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A spicy, dirty, yet fresh tasting variation of the dirty martini, alive and filled with a daily dose of vegetables!

Makes one drink

INGREDIENTS

Ice
2½ ounces bell pepper infused vodka, recipe below
1 ounce extra dry vermouth
1 ounce spicy pickled olives and pepper brine, recipe below
3 olives and 1 slice of pepper (from the brined goods), for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Fill a shaker with ice and add the vodka, vermouth and brine. Close and shake vigorously. Place the olive and the bell pepper in the bottom of a martini class and strain mixture from shaker into the glass.

Bell Pepper Infused Vodka

Makes 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
4 cups vodka

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a quart container and let infuse about 2 to 3 days.

Spicy Olive & Pepper Brine

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

1 (8 ounce) jar stuffed garlic olives
20 to 25 pieces of sliced red, yellow and orange peppers
1 jalapeño, chopped and wrapped in cheese cloth
½ cup water
1 tablespoon salt
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a large glass container. Let brine for about 3 days. Remove the cheesecloth wrapped jalapeño.

Sweet & Spicy Herbal Slaw

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4-5 cups of Slaw, serving 12-15 people

INGREDIENTS

1 medium to large head of red cabbage, shredded and center discarded
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 red bell pepper, deseeded, pith removed, and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded, pith removed, and chopped
1 orange bell pepper, deseeded, pith remove, and chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup champagne vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried chipotle chili flakes
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
Salt

DIRECTIONS

In a large salad bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and fresh herbs. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, lime zest, juice, brown sugar, chili flakes, and cumin seeds. Season with salt. Gently mix with cabbage mixture, coating evenly. Let stand at room temperature, about 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool-not cold.

Quinoa and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Peppers

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 pieces turkey sausage (favorite variety)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ bunch (about 10 big leaves) Swiss chard or kale, chopped
1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup goat milk feta, cubed
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 bell peppers
1 (28-ounce can) stewed tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sized saucepan, add water, quinoa, and salt. Once it comes to a boil, lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook, 20 minutes or until water is completely absorbed. Then remove from heat to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Cook turkey sausages until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool. In the same pan, over medium heat, add garlic, Swiss chard or kale, and sauté until wilted. Remove from pan once cooked, and place into a large mixing bowl along with all liquid in the pan to cool.

Next, cut cooked and cooled sausage into bite sized pieces, and add to mixing bowl. Add parsley and feta. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well. This recipe can be left as is, as a
warm quinoa salad, or can be stuffed into peppers as follows.

Preheat oven to 400ËšF. Remove top and seeds of peppers, and slice bottom of pepper (making sure not to cut a whole in the bottom) so that it will sit standing up in the baking dish. Spoon
quinoa sausage mixture into pepper cavities. Add stewed tomatoes and basil directly over the peppers and along the bottom of the dish. Cover entire dish with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.

Tip: To assemble the day before, follow all of the steps above short of putting it in the oven, and store covered with foil in fridge. Once you are ready to bake, allow the stored dish to come to
room temperature first before baking. This will reduce cooking time.

Recipe Property of Robin Simpson

Indian Summer Ratatouille

October 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 – 8

Prep Time : 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour (very little if any attention during this time)
Wine Pair: Red

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
3 bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange), chopped medium
3 medium zucchini, chopped medium
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 medium to small eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium carrot, chopped small
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, cracked finely
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
4-5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped medium
¼ cup of each of the following fresh herbs : marjoram, oregano, basil, chopped fine
â…“ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
¼ – ½ cup of red wine (the wine you choose for the pairing)
Parmesan cheese, shaved for garnish

PREPARATION

In a heavy bottom stew pan heat olive oil to medium heat, sauté garlic and onions for about a minute or two until slightly translucent. Add the bell peppers, and sauté another minute or two. Add the zucchini, fennel, eggplant and carrots and sauté a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir well, add chili flakes if desired and half of all the herbs. Add tomatoes and wine and mix well, turn down heat to low and let simmer stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes. Add the remaining herbs and take off heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve over polenta, pasta or just as vegetable stew!

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