Yemini Zhug with Grilled Halloumii

August 2nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

zhug

Serves 6

Ingredients

½  teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon rainbow pepper corns, toasted
1 cardamom pod, cracked and toasted
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
½  teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted

2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic
2 cups cilantro leaves
4 -6 hot green chilies, chopped (any type is fine- Serrano, jalapeño, cayenne a combination of them all is best)
½ cup olive oil, plus a few tablespoons
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice plus two tablespoons

1 pound halloumi cheese, sliced ¼ inch thick

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  An emersion blender can also be used.   Heat a grill pan to medium high heat. Whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice with two tablespoons olive oil and brush sliced cheese.  Grill the cheese on each side  for about 2-3 minutes per side or until grill markets appear.   Serve with a bit of the Zhug drizzled on top for a light appetizer.   Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.  

Raviolis with Ricotta and Mint and Orange Shallot Poppy Seed Butter and Micro Beet Greens

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, drained
1 cup fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
Beet Pasta (recipe follows)
Orange Shallot Poppy Seed Butter (recipe follows)
Olive Oil
Micro Beet Greens

Directions

Mix the ricotta, goat cheese, orange zest and fresh herbs in a mixing bowl until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Make raviolis using the beet pasta, about 2 inch squares. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place raviolis inside. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Raviolis should float when almost done, make sure to flip to ensure that both sides are cooked evenly. Take out of the boiling pot of water with a slotted spoon and place a dollop of shallot poppy seed butter on top. Garnish with some micro beet greens.

Fresh Beet Pasta

Ingredients

3 medium beets, cooked, peeled and chopped fine
3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

To make dough in a processor blend beets, flour, egg and salt in a food processor until mixture just begins to form a ball (dough should be firm and not sticky). Process dough for another 15 seconds to knead it. Transfer to a floured surface and let stand, covered for about 30 minutes for the dough to relax.

To roll pasta divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and cover rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Follow directions on pasta maker to roll and cut the desired pasta.

Orange Shallot Poppy Seed Butter

Makes 2 cups butter

Ingredients

1½ sticks butter
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 tablespoon orange zest
12 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked

Directions

Heat all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and stir. Refrigerate until the mixture hardens.
In the meantime, in a medium sauté pan, melt butter and sauté shallots until translucent. Add poppy seeds, orange juice, and white wine and allow to cook down for about two minutes. Drizzle over cooked raviolis.

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.

Cheddar Smashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Jalapeños

December 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, boiled and chopped
½ cup caramelized onions
1-2 roasted jalapeños, stems removed (whole), chopped
2 teaspoons salt (more to taste)
3 teaspoons Tabasco
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
Herbs for garnish

Directions

In a well oiled hot cast iron skillet smash the potatoes with a potato masher, cooking and searing to get some brown color. After a few minutes add the caramelized onion and jalapeños and mix and continue to sear. Season with salt and Tabasco and continue to cook and mix. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheddar, mix gently and allow cheddar to melt in. Garnish with herbs of choice!

Mozzarella Pizzas with Selection of Toppings

December 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

Pizza Dough
Pizza Sauce
Toppings
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced thin

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Roll out the pizza dough into 3 round pies. Place the dough on baking sheet lines with parchment paper. Spoon a bit of sauce on each pie and add the desired toppings. Place a few slices of the mozzarella over the pies. Place in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown the mozzarella is a little melted.

Calamata Olive & Marinated Mozzarella Pearl Pizza

December 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 10 mini pizzas

Ingredients

Pizza Dough
Pizza Sauce
2 cups calamata olives, chopped and pitted
Marinated mini mozzarella balls

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Roll out the pizza dough into 10 equal round pies. Place the dough on baking sheet lines with parchment paper. Spoon a bit of sauce on each pie and a few calamata olives. Place a few of the marinated mozzarella balls on top and drizzle a little of the oil on top as well. Place in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown the mozzarella is a little melted.

Roasted Beets Goat Cheese & Farro Salad

December 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 medium roasted beets, chopped large
1 cup farro, cooked
1 cup baby arugula or wild arugula leaves
1 medium roasted red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup goast cheese, crumbled

Directions

In a large bowl or in a bowl plate mix togehter the beets, farro, baby arugula and roasted onions. In another bowl whisk together the mint, orange  juice, olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and toss over farro salad and mix well. Crumble the goat cheese atop and serve!

Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastries

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

For the filling:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup crushed blueberries

For the glaze:

11/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Quick puff pastry
2 boxes quick puff pastry

Directions

Make the filling: In a bowl beat together the cream cheese, the sugar, the yolk, the vanilla, the salt, the zests, and the flour until the mixture is smooth and chill the filling, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Unroll 1 defrosted box of puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut into even squares. Each square will be cut at the corners. Add a tablespoon of filling and 1 teaspoon blueberries to enter. Cross the left side of each slit made onto the top of the filling, overlapping dough. Continue around until pastry resembles a pin-wheel. Brush with egg wash.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Keep an eye on pastry as extra filling may change baking time.
Make the glaze while the Danish pastries are baking: In a bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, sifted, and enough of the lemon juice to make a thick but pourable glaze.
Transfer the Danish pastries to a rack and drizzle some of the glaze over each pastry. The Danish pastriies may be cooled to room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, and frozen for 1 month. Transfer the Danish pastries to a baking sheet and bake them in the middle of a preheated 400°F oven for 5 minutes, or until they are heated through.

Recipe Property of Shawona Jones.

Red Onion, Apple & Brie Tart

October 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 24 small tarts

Ingredients

1 sheet puff pastry, rolled out on a baking sheet and cold
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups red onion, sliced
1 cup apples, sliced
1 cup brie
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt/pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, and butter. Cook red onions and apples until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, and add the brie and the herbs and mix together gently. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture over puff pastry and spread evenly and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Porcini & Parmesan Farro

October 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup farro or barley, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, or other dried mushrooms, such as shitake or morels
1 cup hot water
¼ cup white wine
1 cup mushrooms, vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese such as Asiago, Manchego or Pecorino)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, tarragon, chives, oregano and/or sage

Directions

Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When hot, add olive oil, then add minced shallots. Sauté until translucent. Add drained farro and cook until a toasty fragrance emerges. Add wine and let cook for a minute, stirring often. Add reserved mushrooms and stir. Slowly add reserved mushrooms soaking liquid, being careful not to disturd the sediment. Add stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid, placed slightly ajar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes.

After 30 minutes, check farro for tenderness. (If not tender, continue to simmer, checking at 10-minute intervals until tender, adding more water if grains seem dry). Taste for seasoning. Add freshly ground pepper and grated cheese, stirring until incorporated. Taste again; add salt only if necessary. Add herbs and stir to mix. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Emily Casey

Summer Garden Portobello Quiche

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 mini Quiche

Ingredients

1 large portabella mushroom, stem removed
2 eggs, beaten
3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
Salt/pepper
2 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons gruyere cheese, grated
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Gently scoop out the inside of the portabella mushroom using a spoon so it resembles a bowl. Reserve the scoop mixture for another dish. Mix eggs, tomatoes, green onions, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, cream and cheese. Place the portabella mushroom bowl side up on a baking sheet. Pour the egg mixture inside the scooped portabella, filling to the rim. Place in the oven and bake about 25-30 minutes.

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 Eggplant Rolls with Tomatoes and Zucchini Mint Salsa

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

2 large globe eggplants, sliced thin, long ways
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, roasted and chopped small
3 cloves garlic, roasted and chopped small
1 medium yellow onion, roasted and chopped small
1 small zucchini, roasted and chopped small
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 cup fresh ricotta

Directions

Lay the eggplant down on a large baking sheet and season with salt. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. On another baking sheet place the tomatoes, garlic, onions and zucchini, making sure they are in large pieces and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes or until charred slightly. Set aside and allow to cool. In the meantime grill the eggplant on a hot grill for about 3 minutes per side or until browned and grilled nicely. Chop all the roasted vegetables and toss in a bowl and toss together with lemon zest, juice and fresh herbs. Spoon a dollop or two of the ricotta on the grilled eggplant and spoon some of the roasted salsa on top. Roll up the eggplant and drizzle some of the juice from the roasted salsa over the top.

Grilled Zucchini, Portabella’s and Eggplant with Lemon Ricotta & Grilled Flatbread

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, sliced long and thin using a mandolin
1 portabella mushroom, sliced thin
1 grilled Japanese eggplant, sliced round and thin
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoon
Grilled flatbread (recipe follows)

Directions

Follow instructions for the grilled flatbread and keep warm. Place all the ingredients on a flat baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons lemon zest, making sure to get both sides. Drizzle olive oil over it, not too much and flip and do the same. Let stand while the lemon ricotta is made. In a medium bowl mix together the lemon juice, ricotta, and zest and season to taste with salt. Heat a grill and grill all vegetables until grilled and soft, or about 3-4 minutes. Place a dollop of the herbed ricotta on the flat bread and spread around, place the grilled vegetables of choice over the top and serve!

Grilled Herbed Flatbread

Makes 6 hand sized breads

Ingredients

1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
Olive oil
Coarse salt
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice (rosemary being the classic version), chopped fine

Directions

In a small bowl combine warm water and yeast, whisk a bit to mix and let stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast if frothy and dissolved. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt, add the yeast mixture and about 2 tablespoons of olive. Mix well with hands or a wooden spoon until sticky dough is made, adding more flour or water if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured flat surface and knead until smooth and elastic or about 5-10 minutes. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough (smooth and elastic) in a round ball in the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and let rise until more than doubled in size or approximately 1½ hours. Punch down dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll out each ball into hand size flat bread until golden brown with grill marks, or about 3-4 minutes per side. Take off the grill and immediately brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

Fontina Prosciutto Panini with Caramelized Onions & Fig Compote on Dark Wheat

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 sliced of Dark Whole Wheat bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 slices fontina cheese, sliced semi thick
2 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons red caramelized onions (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon fig compote (recipe follows)

Directions

On the insides of the bread slices place on one side fontina cheese and on the other the fig compote, lay the prosciutto in-between and cook in a Panini press, making sure to butter the outsides of the bread for crispness. The bread should be brown and thin and crisp!

Caramelized Onions
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons onions, red or yellow, sliced in rounds and separated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Madeira, port or sherry (optional)
Pinch of salt

Directions

In a large sauté pan heat the butter and the oil to a medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and continue to sauté slowly stirring for another 10 minutes. Add the thyme and the parsley leaves and continue to sauté, they should be turning brown now and caramelizing. Make sure you scrape the bottom the pan and stir often. Add the Madeira, port or sherry and a little more butter. Sauté a few more minutes until well caramelized and brown.

Fig Compote

Ingredients

1 pound fresh black figs, ripe & sweet, de-stemmed & chopped
1 cup simple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Grilled & Stuffed Cuttlefish

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 medium cuttlefish, cleaned and kept whole
½ cup fresh shelling beans, cooked
½ cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup pecorino cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon fresh pesto
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges

Directions

Chop the tentacles up and toss together in a mixing bowl with the beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, breadcrumbs and pecorino. Mix in lemon zest and juice and pesto and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully stuff the bodies of the cuttlefish and brush with the reaming pesto on both sides. Grill on a hot grill for about 10-12 minutes flipping 2-3 times as needed.

Pan Fried Zucchini Cakes with Feta and Dill topped with Cherry Tomato Salad and Greek Yogurt Dip

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 25 small cakes

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

Ingredients

4 zucchini (about 1 ½ pounds)
5 or 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped fine
9 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped fine
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil

For tomato salad

1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped medium
Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of fresh basil, chopped fine

For Greek yogurt dip

1 cup Greek yogurt
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped fine

Directions

Coarsely grate the zucchini using a box grater, food processor or mandolin slicer. Transfer to a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain in the sink for about 30 minutes to get rid of the excess water.

Put the chopped scallions in a bowl and crumble in the feta. Add the dill and flour and season well with salt and pepper. Gradually add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly before adding in the drained zucchini.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and drop heaped spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan (an ice cream scoop works well here), flattening them with the back of a spoon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden, then transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve with dollop of Greek or natural yogurt, either hot from the pan or at room temperature.

For tomato salad

Place chopped cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss in the chopped basil and toss to coat evenly. Let sit for at least 1 hour.

For yogurt dip

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed completely. Chill until ready to serve.

Baked Camembert with Thyme and Garlic Toasts and Maple Glazed Grapes

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 9-12

Wine Pairing: Rose D’Anjou

Ingredients

1 whole small Camembert cheese
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper, freshly ground

For garlic toasts

1 baguette
1 garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil

For grapes

1 large bunch of red seedless grapes, washed and stemmed
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves pulled from stems
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the Camembert from its packaging, pierce the top of the cheese with a sharp knife, then stuff the incisions with the garlic and thyme sprigs. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the cheese in parchment paper like a present and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about ten minutes, to melt the cheese.

To make garlic toasts:

Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch slices, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes, while the cheese is baking. Remove the toasts and lightly scrape each one on one side with a clove of raw garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

To make the grapes:

Turn the oven to broil 500 degrees F (when you are finished baking the cheese or before). Place cleaned grapes on a greased baking sheet, and sprinkle the thyme leaves over the grapes. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, turning the grapes with a spatula to coat evenly. Broil in oven until grapes start to “pop” and get slightly charred. Cool slightly before serving with cheese and toast.

Heirloom Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

July 19th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

with Basil Oil Drizzle & Anchovies
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
½ cup plus extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Squeeze of lemon (optional)
6-8 tomatoes, sliced or wedged
6-8 pieces fresh mozzarella cheese (equivalent to the tomato size)
10-12 anchovies, whole of halved
Maldon sea salt

Directions

In a blender, combine basil leaves, garlic, oil and salt and blend until a very smooth oil exists. Squeeze some lemon in it if desired and either strain through a fine mesh sieve or leave with bits of basil; this is a preference issue only. Set aside. On a large plat arrange tomatoes and mozzarella in an artistic design. Place a few anchovies around the plate as well and season with some Maldon salt. Drizzle the basil oil over the plated tomatoes and mozzarella.

Tomato Basil Frittata Cups

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 eggs
¼ cup of your preference of milk (dairy, soy, rice, or almond… unsweetened and plain)
½ pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 handful of basil, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ cup parmesan
Salt & pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small skillet brown garlic and tomatoes for about 4 minutes. Set aside and let cool, then mix in chopped herbs. In a large mixing bowl, whip eggs, milk and salt & pepper till frothy. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill each muffin hole ¾ the way up with egg mixture, then dollop in a spoonful of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 25 minutes or util a toothpick comes out clean. To store, plane cooled frittatas in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat each one in the microwave for 35 seconds.

Wholegrain Savory Garden Scones

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 10 scones

These amazingly delicious scones are perfect for those who want a quick and savory breakfast option.
Easy on the go and healthy! Eat with a dollop of herbal butter or tomato preserves.

Ingredients

1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ cup fresh corn kernels
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tablespoons carrots, grated
2 tablespoons green onions, sliced fine
3 tablespoons zucchini, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup cheddar cheese (optional)
13 cup butter, unsalted, cubed and chilled
½ cup low fat milk or buttermilk
2 eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper, stir well. Add the vegetables and mix until all the vegetables are mixed and covered in flour. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles a course meal with chunks of vegetables in it. In a spate mixing bowl whisk together milk and eggs until beaten. Add the milk mixture to the flour and vegetable mixture and stir until combined fully. Pick the dough up and give it a few kneads but just enough to hold it together. Roll the dough out onto a cutting board forming an 5-8 inch circle about an inch thick. Cut the dough into 8-10 wedges and place on a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned and a stick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool before serving. For storage wrap in a plastic zip lock or tupperware and store refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Alternatively scones can be stored outside of the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cavatelli with Seared Squid, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Baby Arugula and Black Olives

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

025

4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Cavatelli

1 pound all-purpose flour, or Italian OO flour
1 pound whole-milk ricotta, drained/hung in cheesecloth overnight
4 ounces semolina
3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Water, just enough to make a firm dough

For the Sauce

10½ ounces baby arugula, long stem ends removed
8 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, peeled into strips (no pith)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 spring fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3½ ounces black olives, pitted and sliced

For the Calamari

1 pound calamari, fresh or frozen, tubes and tentacles cleaned and separated
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Pinch pepperoncino
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped

Directions

For the cavatelli

Combine the flours in a large bowl. Add ricotta and the parmesan and mix by hand to combine.
Add the water a little at a time, just enough to form a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work table and knead by hand until smooth and elastic. Be careful not to add too much water, but the dough should not be tacky or sticky.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap for up to a few hours.

To shape the cavatelli: cut the dough into pieces, and then roll one piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Keep the remaining pieces covered in plastic wrap until needed. Using a small knife or a bowl/bench scraper, cut the dough rope into pieces about ½ inch long.

Press the pieces with your index finger against the blade of a butter knife with a rounded tip, flattering each piece of dough until fairly thin. Pull the knife toward you, dragging the dough across the work surface so that it curls itself around the tip of the knife to form a shell shape. Place on a floured sheet tray until ready to use.

For the calamari

Cut the calamari into tubes about ½ inch thick.

In a medium sauté pan over a low flame, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with the sliced garlic. Add a pinch of pepperoncino. When the garlic has softened and given off all of its aroma, turn off the heat and set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Sear the calamari tubes and tentacles in just a little oil nicely colored on both sides. Remove to the smaller pan with the garlic. Toss with the freshly grated lemon zest and parsley. Adjust seasoning.

For the Sauce

Cut the peeled and seeded tomatoes into petals. Toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper, crushed garlic, strips of lemon and orange zest and fresh thyme sprigs. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them in a 325°F oven until they are soft, shrunken and slightly golden.
Clean the arugula well.

Boil the cavatelli in abundant salted water until just al dente.

In a large sauté pan over medium low flame, heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil with the roasted tomatoes and olives. Strain the pasta and toss into the sauce, adding the arugula and toss together until it is just wilted. Add a few drops of pasta water and olive oil to the pan to achieve a creamy consistency. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon into warm bowls and top with the seared calamari dividing the rings and tentacles evenly among the bowls.

Summer Sausage and Herb Cassoulet

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ tablespoon lemon zest
2 pounds cranberry beans, shelled
1 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 links of herbal chicken sausage, sliced 1 inch thick
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a ceramic casserole pan heat the olive oil on a medium high heat, cook the onions, garlic and lemon zest for about 3-4 minutes or until semi translucent. Add the cranberry beans, white wine and stock and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes add the herbs, seasonings and sausage, stir well. Cook about 5-8 more minutes and take off heat. Mix together, bread crumbs and cheese and season with a little salt. Sprinkle atop the mean mixture and place in a preheated oven, uncovered for about 10 minutes or until browned on the top. Take off heat and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Whole Grain Onion Tarts

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups red onion, sliced
½ cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon parsley
Salt/pepper
Whole wheat puff pastry

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. Cook red onions until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and add goat cheese and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Place puff pastry on a lined baking sheet, either on a large square or small squares. Spoon mixture into tart and bake in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 pinch chili flakes
½-1 cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 jar piquillo peppers
Olive oil & garlic
Sherry vinegar garnish
Salt

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together, shallot, vinegar, chili flakes, goat cheese and herbs until fully combined. Split the piquillo pepper and spoon cheese into the inside. Place about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and a few cloves of garlic in a large frying pan and heat to medium high heat. Cook the stuffed peppers about a minute on each side and serve immediately with a drizzle of sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Manchengo Cheese & Ham Croquettes

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small medium yellow onion
½ cup flour
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup Serrano ham, chopped
1 cup manchengo cheese, grated
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil to a medium high heat, add onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add flour and stir well until completely mixed in, sauté about a minute, stirring constantly. Pour in the milk whisking continuously for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add parsley, Serrano ham and cheese, again whisking continuously as the mixture cooks and the cheese melts. Spread misture onto a large baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to cool. When cool, beat eggs and set aside in a bowl and place bread crumbs in a bowl as well. Remove cheese mixture from the refrigerator and scoop up and form into balls, dip in the egg mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Place rolled croquettes in a pan filled with oil and deep fry for about 3-4 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Serve warm, serve with garlic aioli if desired.

Herbed Portabella Quiche

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 mini quiche

Ingredients

1 large potabella mushroom stem removed
2 eggs, beaten
3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
Salt/pepper
2 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons gruyere cheese, grated
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Gently scoop out the inside of the portabella mushroom using a spoon so it resembles a bowl. Reserve the scoop mixture for another dish. Mix eggs, tomatoes, green onions, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, cream and cheese. Place the portabella mushroom bowl side up on a baking sheet. Pour the egg mixture inside the scooped portabella, filling to the rim. Place in the oven and bake about 25-30 minutes.

Zucchini and Marjoram Quiche

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1¼ unbleached all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
6 eggs
2 small zucchinis, sliced thin
½ cup red onions, sliced thin
½ cup fresh marjoram leaves
Salt/pepper
1 cup half and half
¼ cup gruyere cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

For the crust

In a bowl combine flour and salt. Add butter. Using a wooden spoon and your hands, mix until coarse meal forms. Add 4 tablespoons ice water. Mix until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more ice water if dough becomes too dry and won’t form into a ball. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill at least one hour. Roll out and form crust and bake in a 350° preheated oven for about 25 minutes.

For the quiche

Mix eggs, cream, salt and pepper and fresh herbs. Blend well. Add cheese. Add the majority of the zucchini and onions saving a few pieces of each for the top. Pour batter into pie crust and place a few leftover zucchini and onions on top for aesthetics. Bake for 45 minutes at 350° or until golden brown on top and/or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Pesto Pasta Carbonara

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

A classic recipe herbalized, just the way summer basil likes it!

Ingredients

10 ounces orecchiette or small shell pasta or pasta of choice, cooked
¼ cup fresh pesto (using herbs and pesto of your choice)
2 eggs (room temperature)
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
6 slices thick cut bacon
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine

Directions

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the pasta to al dente, drain and reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water. Whisk together the eggs and parmesan cheese and pesto, slowly whisk in the pasta liquid. In a large sauté pan on medium heat cook the bacon until crispy, drain the bacon on a paper towel and let it stand for a few minutes, break it into lots of pieces, set aside. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cooked pasta and stir until the pasta is well heated. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and stir until the sauce is creamy and the eggs have cooked into a velvety sauce. Take off heat, be careful not to overcook the egg sauce! Stir in the bacon and garnish with additional grated cheese and a basil leaf!

Eggs in Herbal Purgatory

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

This quick and easy dish has its origins in Naples and originated as a means to use up leftover sauce at breakfast time. The eggs are essentially cooked in the tomato sauce, hence the purgatory! Many cultures all over the world utilize this Italian idea, this recipe has more of the Middle Eastern influences that we see in shakshuka, which is originally and Israeli version of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce!

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 green or red chilies (as spicy as you want your dish to be, use mild chilies for no heat)
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
¼ cup green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoky paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Warm pita or bread for serving

Directions

In a large sauté pan with raised edges at least 3 inches, heat olive oil about 4 tablespoons on a moderate high heat. Add chilies, onions, garlic, and sauté until onions are beginning to caramelize and char or about 5-7 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir well. Pour in the canned tomatoes and break apart with your hands as you add them in. Stir well and cook down about 10 minutes or until all mixture is juicy and tomato saucy. Turn burner to a moderately low heat and make sure the tomato sauce is even throughout the pan. Crack the eggs one by one, making sure not to disturb the yoke, and making sure the eggs are all over the pan. Poach the eggs, basting them with tomato sauce from the pan using a spoon. The eggs should be done in about 4 minutes, if you would like the yolks more done, place more tomato mixture atop the yolks (carefully) and cook for about 6 minutes.) Remove from heat and sprinkle with the feta and the herbs! Serve with warm pita or bread.

Whole Wheat Broccoli Calzones

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4-6 calzones

Ingredients

1 recipe Ger-Nis Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
2 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup ham, cooked and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
¼ cup milk
1 cup milk cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven 425°F.

Roll the pizza dough out into 4-6 five inch circles. Place on a large baking sheet or two of them. In a pot of boiling water blanch the broccoli florets for a few minutes until just al dente and beginning to soften. Remove and set aside. In a medium sauté pan add butter and oil and bring to a medium high heat. Sauté ham and onions for a few minutes until onions and ham begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add broccoli florets and mix well. Add the flour and sauté a few minute longer until all flour is absorbed around the ham and broccoli. Add the cheese and the milk and reduce heat to low, stirring constantly until all the cheese has melted and the cheese is smooth. Remove from heat season with salt and pepper.

Place a dollop of the broccoli close to the center of each of the whole wheat dough circles, off to one side but still centered. Fold over the dough so that the sides are even and touching and a half circle is formed. Starting with one side top or bottom roll up or down the pizza dough sides curling up and twisting until top or bottom is reached. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Spring Greens Pizza Bianca with Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1-12 inch pizza

Ingredients

1 Ger-Nis Pizza Dough Recipe
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt
¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup fresh Swiss chard, chopped
1 cup fresh dandelion greens, chopped
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
Maldon salt

Directions

Roll out pizza dough in one 12 inch circle and place on a pizza sheet. Mix the olive oil, salt and garlic in a small bowl and brush over dough. Make sure that all salt and garlic remnants are on the pizza. In boiling water dip or blanch the greens, spinach, chard and dandelions for about 2 minutes no more.

Remove from water and strain using a cheese cloth to get out all excess water. Arrange the dry greens all over the pizza and sprinkle the goat cheese and the tomatoes over the top evenly distributed. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and when all the goat cheese is melted. Take out of oven and sprinkle immediately with a little of the Maldon salt.

Wild Mushroom & Tallegio Pizza

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1-12 inch pizza

Ingredients

1 Ger-Nis Pizza Dough Recipe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon truffle oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cups wild mushrooms, chopped
½ pound Tallegio cheese, sliced
2 cups rocolla leaves (wild arugula)
Maldon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Roll our pizza dough into 12 inch circle and place on a pizza pan or large baking sheet. Mix the olive oil, truffle oil and garlic in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pizza dough, sprinkle any remaining garlic over the top. Place the wild mushrooms throughout the pizza and cover with the Tallegio cheese. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Take out of oven and immediately place the rocolla on top and sprinkle with maldon salt.

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.

Whole-Wheat Pesto Mozzarella Panini

June 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

038

Serves 6

Ingredients

Whole-wheat bread
Fresh mozzarella slices
Tomato slices
Salt
Basil sauce (recipe follows)
Olive oil

Directions

Place basil sauce on each side of the bread slices and on the basil sauce place sliced mozzarella and tomato, season with a little salt.

Combine the slices to form a sandwich and brunch the top side with olive oil. In a panini pan or cast iron pan on high heat, place the olive oil side of the sandwich down on the pan. Using the heavy panini press top press down to flatten. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until browned and toasty.

Basil Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil

Directions

Mix the ingredients up in a blender until smooth.

Bacon and Eggs Pasta Carbonara

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 pound Spaghetti
Olive oil
¼ pound bacon or pancetta bacon
2 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 large eggs
1 cup parmesan, shredded
Ground black pepper
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. While pasta is boiling, set up a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon/pancetta and sauté (render) until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and shallot and sauté until soft, under 1 minute. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs and parmesan until incorporated well. Once the pasta is done, drain it while reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. While the pasta is hot, toss it in the sauté pan and coat it with the fat for about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg and cheese mixture quickly, so as not to scramble the eggs. This must be done while the pasta is hot for it to cook the egg mixture, but off the flame. If the sauce is too thick, add in some of the reserved pasta water to reach the desired consistency. Season with ground black pepper and parsley.

Italian Wedding Soup with Spring Greens

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For chicken pesto meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
1 cups fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fien
½ cup pine nuts, chopped
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 egg

For the soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped fien
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
1 fennel head, chopped small
Parmesan rind
1 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small-shaped pasta
3 cups baby spinach
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions

For chicken pesto meatballs

In a large bowl, using your hands to combine ground chicken, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Roll about a tablespoon of mixture at a time into 1-inch balls and set aside.

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and red chili flakes, cook 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, carrots, celery, fennel, and parmesan rind. Increase heat and bring to a boil, drop in chicken meatballs, lower heat to a simmer and cook, 15 minutes. Add pasta and continue to cook until vegetables are tender, meatballs are cooked through, and pasta is cooked, about 7 minutes. Add spinach and cook, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Santorini Shrimp

May 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup Santorini Dried Tomatoes, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup white wine
1 pound tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
3 tablespoons bread crumbs, dried
½ cup crumbled feta

Directions

Pre-heat broiler to 400°F. In a preheated large skillet, sauté olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes for a few minutes. Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp begins to turn pink, about 4-5 minutes. Add the sundried tomatoes and sauté a few more minutes. Add lemon juice and zest. Add the wine, tomatoes, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and sauté for a few more minutes. Take off heat and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese. Place under the broiler for about 4 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Salt Baked Baby Potatoes with Spring Herb Pesto

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 pound baby bliss potatoes
3 tablespoons spring garlic stem, chopped
2 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ cup cashews
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup parmesan, grated
4 cups kosher salt, extra for seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour 4 cups of salt into a baking dish. Evenly spread the potatoes pressing them into the salt. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.

In a food processor, put your garlic and cashews, pulse two or three times. Add in basil and while blending slowly pour in your olive oil. Then add in parmesan and season to taste.

When potatoes are done, let them rest for 5 minutes. Brush off any excess salt, slice into quarters and toss with pesto.

Note: The salt can be reused up to 3 times.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Raw Asparagus & Arugula Salad

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

raw apsaagus salad

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch asparagus, sliced at an angle
1 bunch arugula or rocolla (about 2-3 cups) chopped
½ cup parmesan, grated finely
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, combine the asparagus, arugula and parmesan, and mix well. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and combine well. Season with salt and pepper, and mix again.

Fried Artichokes Jewish Style

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

24 baby artichokes, trimmed
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
Salt and Red Pepper flakes
Chopped Parsley
Grated parmesan (optional)
Lemon wedges

DIRECTIONS

Pour the oil in to a heavy pot and place over high heat. When the oil reaches 250 degrees, lower the heat.
Fry the artichokes in batches for 3-4 minutes until they soften, remove one and cool briefly, then see if the leaves will separate easily.
Drain the artichokes and cool. Gently spread the leaves from each artichoke to form a flower.
Raise the heat and bring the oil to 350°.
Fry the artichoke flowers in batches 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain and sprinkle with salt, chili flakes and parmesan if desired.
Serve the artichokes accompanied by lemon wedges.

Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Artichoke Risotto with Peas and Pancetta

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 quart chicken stock
3 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼ inch dice
1 teaspoon olive oil
â…“ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ tablespoons white wine
1 cup peas (thawed if frozen)
1 recipe baby artichokes in lemon vinaigrette, drained and thinly sliced
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped mint

DIRECTIONS

Bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a sauce pan.

In another sauce pan, combine pancetta and olive oil and sauté over medium until crisp. With a slotted spoon transfer the pancetta to a paper towel line plate. Add the onion and sauté 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.

Add the rice and cook stirring for 3 minutes until opaque. Add the wine and cook until the rice has absorbed it, 1-2 minutes.

Add ½ cup stock to the rice and stir until it is absorbed, continue adding stock a ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until ¾ quarters of it has been absorbed by the rice.

Add the peas and pancetta, and artichokes. Continue cooking until all of the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese, season with fresh ground black pepper. Stir in the parsley and mint and serve at once.

Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Baked Egg & Goat Cheese in Brioche Cups with Tomato Herb Salsa

April 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 mini brioche rolls
½ cup melted butter
6 eggs
Salt/pepper
3 ounces goat cheese
3 tablespoons fresh chives
Tomato herb salsa (recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Cut off the tops of the brioche rolls and scoop out a small portion of the inside, enough for a cracked egg to sit and fill the hole. Brush the inside of the brioche rolls with the melted butter. Place each brioche roll in a muffin tin to hold it and keep stable. Crack an egg in each brioche cup and season with salt and pepper. Place ½ of an ounce of goat cheese in the center of each brioche cup and sprinkle about 1/3 of a tablespoon of fresh chives. Place the muffin tins filled with the brioches in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. In the last five minutes place the cut brioche tops in the oven as well to toast. The brioche cups should be done when the egg is set, the goat cheese melted and they are starting to turn golden brown. Serve with warm tomato herb salsa and cover with brioche top.

Warm Tomato Herb Salsa

Makes 1 cup of salsa

Ingredients

Olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped fine
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked

Directions

In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil to a medium high heat, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent or about 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until semi soft but not mushy. Turn the heat to low and add the fresh herbs and cook for about one minute. Take off heat and season with salt & pepper.

Spring Pea & Mint Ravioli with Sweet Pea Flowers

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 shallot, minced
1 cup fresh English peas, steamed soft and mashed
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
¼ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup goat cheese
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Herbed pasta dough

For the sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot
½ cup vegetable broth
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
2 tablespoons butter

Sweet Pea Flowers, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Mix and mash all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. Using fresh herb pasta sheets cut into about 2 square inches, add 1 dollop of filling. Cover with another 2 inch pasta square. Using wet fingers, seal all sides of ravioli by pinching down, making sure the raviolis are sealed well.

Place raviolis in a large pot of salted boiling water. Boil for about 3 minutes, or until the raviolis float to the top of the pan. Strain, place a few raviolis in each serving dish.

For the sauce

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook shallot until soft, about 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth and lemon and reduce. Add lemon zest and mint. Finish with butter and serve over cooked raviolis and garnish with sweet pea flowers.

Sundried Tomato & Herb Chicken Sausage Pizzas

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 10-inch pizzas

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cubed
½ pound pork fat, cubed (optional)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tablespoons salt
Casings, of your choice
Canola or olive oil
Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
Fresh Tomato or Pizza Sauce (recipe follows)
Cheese, of choice
Fresh baby spinach or arugula

DIRECTIONS

Mix all the sausage ingredients in a large bowl, and refrigerate, about 2 hours. Using the finest blade on your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients, following the instructions. Once the mixture is ground, place in the freezer. Meanwhile, soak the casings in warm water, and rinse a few times. Using your sausage stuffer, slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube – this is where you will need to tie the sausage off later. Remove the meat from the freezer, and place it in the body of the sausage stuffing machine. If all the meat does not fit (you must acquit, just kidding), place the rest back in the refrigerator until you are ready for more. Turn the machine on, and begin the process – air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out, use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil – the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine, and tie up the ends – you can kitchen twine. To make individual links, pinch a section together, then spin the links, and turn them opposite from each other several times, repeat this moving down the entire main link. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles. Using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin, and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be released. Hang the links for about an hour, and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight. Use them or freeze them within about a week (in other words, use it, or lose it).

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the sausages on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 4-5 minutes turning once or until browned. Remove from oven and slice into 1 inch slices for pizza topping.

Place already rolled out pizza dough on a baking sheet and top with pizza sauce, cheese of choice, spinach or arugula and sliced sausage. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Pizza Dough

Makes 3 (10 inch) pizzas

INGREDIENTS

1 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Dried herbs (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl gently mix the warm water, yeast and honey until frothy and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute for activation of the yeast. In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt and any optional dried herbs: oregano, basil, etc. Mix well. Slowly combine the yeast mixture to the flour mixture mixing well until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic adding more flour if needed. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. In a lightly oiled bowl, preferably ceramic or stainless steel, place dough covered with greased plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm, draft free location for about 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Flatten the dough to desired size shape and thickness – thin, thick, or regular.

Fresh Tomato or Pizza Sauce

Makes approximately 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

6 medium tomatoes, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1½ cup fresh oregano, chopped (reserve ½ cup)
1 cup fresh basil, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, add tomatoes, garlic, onions, red wine, red chili flakes, dried oregano, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and bring to a boil. Place on low simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly until all tomatoes are broken down. With a hand held food processor blend all ingredients in the pot until smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Skins are included in the sauce as they give a very rustic look and texture. Cook blended sauce on low for another 20 minutes, until thick and reduced. Season with more salt (if needed) and finish with remaining fresh oregano.

Spinach & Three Cheese Ravioli (kid friendly)

April 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup fresh spinach juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup parmesan, grated fine
½ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
¼ cup ricotta cheese
Butter

Directions

Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add egg, spinach juice and salt. With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well. Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form dough, adding more water drop by drop if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Roll pasta:

Divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and over rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Follow directions on pasta maker to roll out into flat sheets.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the three cheeses and mix well. To assemble ravioli cut the fresh pasta sheets cut into about 2 square inches, add 1 dollop of filling. Cover with another 2 inch pasta square. Using wet fingers seal all sides of ravioli by pinching down. Place raviolis in a large pot of salted boiling water. Boil for about 3 minutes, or until floating.

Strain and dollup with butter.

Nissa’s Lasagna

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one large lasagna

Ingredients

Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 medium yellow, onions, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
2 medium green zucchini, chopped small
1 cup broccoli florets, cut super small
4 medium tomatoes, chopped small
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup red wine
Salt/pepper
Lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh)
4 cups fresh spinach
1 ½ cups feta cheese, crumbled
1 ½ cups Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
2 cups fresh mozzarella

Directions

In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, add oil. Cook onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Add the zucchini, broccoli and tomatoes and reduce heat to a medium simmer. Add the fresh herbs (making sure to reserve some for the end). Add the tomato sauce and red wine, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool a bit before assembling lasagna.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large casserole dish, place a layer of lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh) down first, then spread a little sauce over the noodle. Add a layer of fresh spinach and then a layer of sauce, followed by a little bit of each cheese. Repeat the layers until the dish is filled. The top layer should end in a noodle covered with sauce and cheese, mostly the pecorino in order to make it nice and crusty.

Place lasagna in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes or until the top is crusty brown. Allow the lasagna to sit and rest about 20 minutes before serving.

Fresh Mozzarella

March 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pound of fresh mozzarella

Ingredients

1 pound cheese curds
4 quarts (16 cups) water
¼ cup salt

Directions

In a large saucepot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut cheese curds in small pieces and add into hot water. Melt slowly until it softens and then pull large mass of curds into small evenly sized balls by pulling and stretching the cheese. Next, drop in water and salt brine. Take out after 10 minutes and keep in water.

Spicy Black Bean Squash Cheese Tamales with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

March 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 tamales

Ingredients

For the black bean squash

2 cups cooked squash (winter squash or zucchini), cubed
1 cup black beans, dried and cooked or canned
1 red pepper, roasted, destemmed, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
1 jalapeno, roasted, destemmed, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup goat cheese, crumbled

For the tamale dough

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

For spicy red pepper sauce

2 red bell peppers, roasted, destemmed, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, roasted, destemmed, peeled, deseeded, and chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
¼ cup champagne or citrus champagne vinegar
¼ cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin

Directions

For the black bean squash

Place all ingredients (except herbs) in a medium mixing bowl and combine. Set aside.

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine the masa harina, lime zest with 2 cups of the reserved chicken 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 full 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 wrappers

For corn husk wrappers, place the corn husks in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, take out and cool slightly before handling. For the banana leaf wrappers, pass the banana leaf over the gas stove until soft and pliable, about 1-2 minutes.

For assembling the tamales

In the center of each banana leaf or corn husk, place about 3-4 tablespoons of masa harina mixture. Flatten with a spoon leaving about 1 inch around each border of either the banana leaf or corn husk. Atop that place about 2 tablespoons bean mixture. Fold over the banana leaf or corn husk like you are folding a present. Tying the wrapped package with either corn husk ties or 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 form making tamales soggy). Steam tamales on a medium heat for about 45-60 minutes or until soft and cooked through.

For the spicy red pepper sauce

In a blender place all ingredients, blend until smooth.

Caramelized Onion Tart Bites

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 24 small tarts

INGREDIENTS

1 savory pie dough recipe
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups red onion, sliced
½ cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon parsley
Salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roll out pie to 18” thickness and with a four-inch (diameter) cup, glass, or cookie cutter, cut out 9 circles per piece of dough. Place one dough circle in each of the muffin spaces, and press to mold it to the inside. Prebake pie dough, 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. Cook red onions until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and add goat cheese and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture into tart bites, and bake in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Mushroom Herb Leek Puff Pastry Tartlets

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8

INGREDIENTS

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
3 tablespoons butter
1 small leek (white and light green only), cut into 2″ strips
2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped or sliced (depending on mushroom)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup crème fraiche
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Remove one sheet of puff pastry, and cut into 8 equal squares. Using a pairing knife, draw a small frame around each box to create a border (this area will puff and rise as a result of the division). Place on a baking sheet, and chill until ready to use.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. Cook leeks and mushrooms, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 minutes. Add salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and continue to cook, 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer mixture to a lined baking sheet, and let cool.

In a separate bowl, combine crème fraiche, lemon zest, and gruyere cheese, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove puff pastry from refrigerator, and spoon crème fraiche cheese mixture on inside square. Evenly arrange cooled mushrooms and leeks on top of that. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Asian Pear with Blue Cheese with Rosemary Honey Drizzle

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

½ cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 Asian pears, medium size, sliced ¼ inch thick and cut in half (half moon shapes)
4 ounces sweet blue cheese or gorgonzola, crumbled
Maldon sea salt

DIRECTIONS

In a small sauce pan, heat honey and rosemary leaves on simmer for about 5 minutes until warm and honey has been infused with rosemary. Arrange the pear slices on a serving tray and top each with a small amount of blue cheese and drizzle with warm honey-rosemary syrup. Serve.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Porcini Cream Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For ravioli

¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Fresh pasta sheets

For sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot
½ cup white wine
¾ cups reserved porcini liquid
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

For ravioli

In a small bowl, place dried porcini mushrooms and pour hot water just to cover, about ¾ cups. Let sit for 20 minutes and then strain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms into small pieces and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Next, add mushrooms (including chopped and reserved porcinis) and sauté until beginning to turn brown and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper and then add lemon zest and juice. Take off heat and add herbs, ricotta and pecorino cheeses and heavy cream (if using). Cool and then use to fill raviolis.

Place large pasta sheet on cutting board with the long side parallel to the edge of work surface. Place 8 heaping teaspoons of mushroom filling along the top third of the sheet about 2 inches apart. Moisten pasta around each mound of filling, using a pastry brush or your fingers dipped in water. Fold the dough up and over the filling to enclose; press around filling to seal. Cut between mounds with a plain pastry wheel, cookie cutter or knife. Transfer to floured baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Chill until ready to cook.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add about 6 ravioli per serving, and cook until tender but al dente, about 2 minutes. When ravioli are done, use a slotted spoon to remove from boiling water. Drain well, and keep warm while making sauce.

For sauce

In same sauté pan that you cooked the mushrooms in, over medium heat, add oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scrapping up any mushroom bits. Reduce until almost all is evaporated. Next, add porcini liquid and again, reduce by ¼. Add heavy cream and cook, 3 to 4 minutes until thick and creamy. Add fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Pour over wild mushroom raviolis and garnish with Pecorino cheese and serve.

Indian Cheese in an Herbed Green Sauce

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the paneer

1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
½ to 1 tablespoon canola oil

For the green sauce

1 pound bag fresh spinach, stemmed and washed, or 1 pound frozen spinach, unthawed
1 tablespoon ghee, butter, or canola
3 whole dried red chiles
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
7 green cardamom pods
7 whole cloves
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

For the tempering oil (optional)

1 tablespoon ghee or canola oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 whole dried red chile
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the paneer, preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the ricotta evenly in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake until the cheese is lightly browned on top and firm but not dry, about 40 minutes. Let cool (the cheese will firm as it cools), then cut into 1 to 1½-inch squares. Reserve half, and refrigerate or freeze the rest for another use.

Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add as many squares of paneer as will comfortably fit, and brown the squares on all sides. Drain the cheese on paper towels. Continue this way to brown all of the paneer, adding ½ tablespoon more oil as needed. Set the paneer aside.

Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the spinach, cover, and cook, stirring every now and then until fresh spinach is wilted or frozen spinach is thawed, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and puree in a blender or food processor, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking water if necessary for pureeing.

Heat the ghee, butter, or oil with the red chiles, cumin, cardamom, cloves, and fennel seeds in a large wok, kadai, or frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin turns a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the asafetida, if using. Then add the ginger, and cook, stirring, 45 seconds. Add the spinach puree and the salt. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, 5 minutes. Gently place the paneer squares on top of the greens. Cover, and cook gently 5 more minutes. Halfway through the cooking, use a large spatula to gently turn the paneer in the spinach. (Careful, the paneer will break easily). Taste the green for salt.

For the tempering oil (if using), heat the ghee or oil with the cumin, fennel seeds, and red chile in a small frying pan or kadai over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the seeds, until the seeds turn a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asafetida, if using, and cayenne and pour immediately into the spinach mixture. Give it a stir, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Winter Minestrone

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 red onion, chopped medium
3 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
1 medium red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 medium yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups hot water
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup small fresh macaroni (¾ cup dried)
½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
Parmesan rind (optional)
Salt/ pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers in oil in a wide 7-to 9-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot, about 45 minutes total.

Push vegetables to one side of the pot. Add stewed tomatoes to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir into vegetables and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (Tomatoes may stick to pot, but don’t let them burn.) Bring to a simmer. Stir in kale and parmesan rind. Simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

Coarsely chop herbs, and stir into soup along with beans. Simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes.
Discard rind. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Water Cress Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches watercress, trimmed, washed, stems torn into 2 inch pieces

For vinaigrette

1 tablespoon Dijon Style mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Place the prepared watercress in a large bowl and refrigerate until cold.

Combine the mustard and lemon juice in a small dish and beat with a fork until smooth. Beat in the cheese. Slowly beat in the oil until the dressing is emulsified, season with salt and pepper. Toss the watercress with dressing and serve.

© Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Classic Italian Lentil Soup (Brown Lentils)

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped small
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped small
2 celery, chopped small
2 tablespoons thyme
1 (15 ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
4 cups vegetable (onion based) broth
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup brown Italian lentils
2 fresh bay leaves
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven, over medium heat, add olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent, 7 minutes. Add carrots, celery and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes, cook until flavor becomes concentrated, stirring to makes sure tomatoes and vegetable don’t burn, 15 minutes. Next, add vegetable broth, salt, lentils, bay leaves and Parmigiano Reggiano rind. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender. Remove cheese rind and serve garnished with more cheese.

Grilled Herbal Pomegranate Lamb Sausage with Figs and Green Salad

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9 (makes 6-9 sausages)

INGREDIENTS

For the Sausage

2 pounds lamb, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat or lamb fat
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup red wine
13 cup fresh mint leaves
13 cup feta cheese, crumbled and par frozen
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
13 cup pomegranate seeds, frozen
Casings of your choice

For the Salad

6-7 cups, mesclun mix or baby greens
9 figs, quartered
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

PREPARATION

For the Sausage

Mix all ingredients for sausage in a large bowl (except frozen pomegranate seeds) very well, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade for the meat grinder, grind the mixture following grinder instructions. Mix in pomegranate seeds, and combine well. If you are making or using the meat without the casings, go right to that step. If you are making links, put the mixture back in the mixing bowl, and place in the freezer for a little while. Meanwhile, soak the casings in warm water, and rinse a few times. Using your sausage stuffer, slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube- this is where you will need to tie the sausages off later. Remove the meat from the freezer, and place it in the body of the sausage stuffing machine. If all the meat does not fit (you must acquit, just kidding), place the rest back in the refrigerator until you are ready. Turn the machine on, and begin the process- air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out, use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil- the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine, and tie up the ends- you can use meat or butchers twine. To make individual links, pinch a section together, then spin the links, and turn them opposite from each other several times; repeat this moving down the entire main link. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles. Using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin, and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be released. Hang the links for about an hour, and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight. Use them or freeze them within about a week.

For the Salad

In a grill pan, over medium-high heat, add lamb sausage, and cook until desired doneness.
Once cooked, remove, and allow to rest.

On a large platter, place salad greens, figs, pomegranate seeds, and cooked sausage. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, and lemon juice. Drizzle over salad platter. Sprinkle with chopped mint leaves, and serve.

Vegetable, Bean, and Cheese Burritos

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium white onion, chopped medium
1 red bell pepper, chopped medium
1 poblano pepper, chopped medium
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 medium tomato, chopped medium
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup white rice
1 cup water
1½ cups pinto beans, black beans, red beans, or your choice of beans (pre-cooked or canned)
1 cup cilantro leaves
8 large whole wheat flour tortillas
1 to 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté onions and peppers, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, spices, and rice, cook 3 minutes. Next, add water and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add beans, cook, allowing the mixture to remain moist. Remove from heat, and add cilantro leaves. To assemble burritos, place tortilla flat on cutting board or flat surface and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable bean mixture. Top with cheese. Wrap in a burrito style and place on a baking sheet. Continue until finished with tortillas. Bake burritos for about 10-15 minutes or until warm and cheese has melted.

Shrimp and Crab Fresh Corn Enchiladas with Salsa Verde & Red Sauce

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Salsa Verde

INGREDIENTS

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, cut in quarters
3 poblano chili peppers, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup half-and half
Juice of 1 lime

PREPARATION

Place the tomatillos, poblano peppers, cumin, salt, and water in a medium sauce pan, and boil for about 15-20 minutes or until tomatillos are soft. Take off burner, and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Transfer tomatillo mixture to a blender, and add cilantro, half-and-half, and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate.

Salsa Rojo (Red Sauce)

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 medium dried red chilies, seeded, and chopped (stems included)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon smoky chili powder
3 teaspoons salt
2 cups water (or chicken broth)

PREPARATION

In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté chilies, onions, and poblanos until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, cilantro, garlic, spices, salt and water, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool and process in blender.

Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped fine
Zest of 1 lime
1 pound medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup fresh crab meat
3 ears of fresh corn, taken off the cobs
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
6 medium flour tortillas
1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté onions, bell peppers, and lime zest until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and crab, sauté for another 3 minutes. Add corn, and sauté another 4 minutes or until all shrimp and crab is cooked through. Add herbs, lime juice, and cumin. Stir well. Take off burner. To assemble enchiladas, place a spoon full of mixture in a tortilla and a small sprinkle of cheese in each one. Wrap and lay folded side down in a greased, rectangular glass baking dish. After all enchiladas are assembled, pour salsa vede over all enchiladas evenly. Sprinkle the top with remaining cotija cheese. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until slightly golden brown on top.

Artichoke Pesto with Parmesan Tortilla Chips

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For Dip

2 (15-ounce) cans of artichoke hearts, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt

For Tortilla Chips

4 whole wheat tortillas, each cut into 8 triangles
Extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt
¼ cup parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place the artichokes, garlic, basil, walnuts, cheese, lemon juice, and zest in food processor. Puree, and slowly pour in oil until blended. Season with salt, and set aside.

Place tortilla triangles on a baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil and season with salt and a sprinkling of cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until toasted. Serve immediately with dip.

Herbed Goat Cheese

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
2 tablespoons of each of the following fresh herbs: parsley, chives, dill, mint, tarragon, thyme, chopped fine
1 long goat cheese log, chilled
Baguette, sliced and toasted

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except goat cheese. Place chilled goat cheese log on plate, and drizzle olive oil and herb mixture on top. Serve with bread.

Mexican Herbed Chicken Albondigas Soup

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
Zest and juice of 2 limes
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 tablespoon dried cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

For the Soup

Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced round
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups chicken broth
4 small fresh corn totillas, sliced in thin strips
Avocado, for garnish
Cotija cheese, for garnish

PREPARATION

To assemble meatballs, use hands to mix together all ingredients until well blended. Form into balls from 1 to 2-inches in diameter. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pan over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, onions, red pepper, and carrots for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add zucchini, jalapeños, and spices. Mix well, sautéing for another few minutes. Pour in the chicken brtoh, and stir until well combined. Gently lower the meatballs into the pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes over low heat, until meatballs are cooked through. Take off heat, and add tortilla strips. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with avocado and cotija cheese.

Three Bean Pork & Green Chili

November 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the Rub

2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons green chili powder
2 tablespoons salt
3 pounds pork butt, cubed in 1-inch pieces

For the Chili

Vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded, pith removed, and chopped
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
3 poblano chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 cup pinto beans, cooked
1 cup white kidney beans, cooked
1 cup black beans, cooked
1 cup water
Salt
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Cheddar or Cotija cheese, to garnish

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, mix spices for the rub, and rub all over the meat. Let sit for about 10 minutes while meat soaks up flavor. In a heavy bottom soup pan, add oil, and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions and jalapeño, and sauté for a few minutes. Add the seasoned meat, and sauté until meat is browned on all sides. Next, add the tomatillos, poblanos, cumin, cumin seeds, lime zest and juice, beans, and water. Mix well, and bring to a boil. Once boil is reached, turn to low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes and season with salt. Take off heat, add cilantro leaves and let stand for about 20 minutes before serving. Serve with cheese!

Leek and Mushroom Frittata

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, green part removed, chopped and cleaned
1 lb crimini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
10 eggs
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350ËšF.

In a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, leeks and mushrooms and sauté until tender and golden, 10 minutes. In a small bowl, beat eggs and add herbs, parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Turn cast iron pan down to medium and pour in eggs and start to move eggs around to start cooking them, once eggs start to set, place pan in the oven until eggs set, about 15 minutes. If eggs are still runny on top, turn on broil and cook for 3 more minutes.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 (1¼ lbs) russet potatoes
1 (¾-lb) sweet potato
1 large egg
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
â…“ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
1½ to 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
½ stick unsalted butter
1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450°F. Pierce russet and sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, and then bake until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool potatoes slightly, then peel and force through ricer into sheet pan, spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely. Lightly flour 2 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Gather potatoes into a mound in sheet pan, and form a well in center. Pour egg mixture into well, then knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 1½ cups flour, then knead, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Dust top lightly with some of flour. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece of dough into a ½-inch-thick rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into ½-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball and lightly dust with fl our. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough. Transfer gnocchi as formed to baking sheets.

Bring large pot of water to boil; add salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add chopped. Turn off heat. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper.

Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.
Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves.

Swiss Chard & Caramelized Onion Lasagna

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons Swiss chard, rinsed with stems removed, chopped
6 yellow onions, sliced thin
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine (Save 1 tablespoon)
5 sprigs thyme, chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, warmed
½ cup grated Asiago cheese
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons regular olive oil
1 handful toasted pine nuts
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound pasta sheets

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.

For sauce

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add shallots and sweat them until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme sprigs; cook, 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly until the flour cooks and bubbles a bit (don’t let it brown) — about 2 minutes. Add the warm milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add fresh nutmeg and remove from the heat. Strain sauce through fine mesh strainer and then let cool while you prepare lasagna. This constitutes the Béchamel sauce.

For lasagna

In large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add reserved 1 tablespoon garlic and cook, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add Swiss chard and cook until tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Transfer chard to medium bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Wipe out skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions begin to brown all over, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and stir. Cook, stirring, until deep amber in color, about 20 minutes more. Set aside. This constitutes the layer of caramelized onions.

Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick cooking spray. Coat bottom of prepared dish with ½ cup of sauce. Layer bottom with a single layer of noodles. Spread half the chard over the noodles. Add another layer of noodles, arrange caramelized onions on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread another ½ cup sauce over all. Add another layer of noodles, followed by the remaining chard mixture. Finish with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with Asiago cheese.

Loosely cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna for 30 minutes. Uncover, bake 10 to 15 minutes more, or until lightly browned and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Beet Ravioli with Orange Poppy Seed Butter

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 large red beets, roasted and peeled, chopped fine
½ cup Ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest
Pasta sheets (Recipe on Ger-Nis site)
1 stick butter
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, combine beets, cheese, and orange zest. Season with salt, and set aside.

Using fresh pasta sheets cut into about 2 square inches, add 1 dollop of filling. Cover with another 2 inch pasta square. Using wet fingers, seal all sides of ravioli by pinching down.

Place raviolis in a large pot of salted boiling water. Boil for about 3 minutes, or until floating.
Strain and set aside.

In the meantime, in a medium sauté pan, melt butter and sauté shallots until translucent. Add poppy seeds, orange juice, and white wine and allow to cook down for about two minutes. Drizzle over cooked raviolis.

Herbed Beet Greens and Gorgonzola Risotto

November 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 cups water
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Tops of 2 bunches of beets, chopped, stems included
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 cup red wine
¼ cup gorgonzola cheese, buttermilk blue, crumbled
Walnuts, toasted, for garnic

PREPARATION

In a medium sized saucepot heat water until warm and keep simmering while making risotto. In a separate saucepot, sauté garlic in butter and olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Add beets stems and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and thyme leaves, cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly until wine is absorbed, add 1 cup of water, continue cooking and adding water, add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is cooked through and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and add gorgonzola cheese and mix. Garnish with walnuts and serve immediately.

Spinach and Fresh Herb Risotto

November 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 cups water
1 cup vegetable broth
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ cups baby spinach
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh marjoran, chopped
1½ cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup Asiago cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

In a medium sized saucepot heat water and vegetable broth until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate large saucepot, sauté onions and garlic in oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add spinach and herbs and sauté, 1 to 2 minutes. Then add rice, cook stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Next add white wine and reduce until rice absorbs all the liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add ½ cup liquid, reduce liquid and then add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is cooked through and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, finish with butter and cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Sage Risotto

November 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups chicken broth
1¾ cups water
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and seeded, cut into ¼-inch cubes
¾ cup Arborio rice
½ cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

In a medium sized saucepot heat chicken broth and water until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate large saucepot, sauté onion in oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sage, sugar and pumpkin. Then add rice, cook stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Next, add 1 cup liquid, reduce liquid and then add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is cooked through and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and finish with cheese, butter, grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Barley Risotto with Kale and Sausage

November 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

4 cups chicken broth
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 sweet sausages
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
1 bunch dinosaur kale, chopped coarse
1½ cups barley
¼ cup Asiago cheese, grated
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

In a medium sized saucepot heat chicken broth until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate medium-sized saucepot add olive oil and sauté garlic and onion, 5 minutes. Then crumble in sausages and add fennel seeds, sauté until sausage is cooked, 5 to 7 minutes, remove sausage and fennel seeds from pot and set aside. Next, add kale and sauté until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add barley and ½ cup broth, reduce liquid and then add another ½ cup broth every 7 minutes or until barley is cooked through and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add sausage and fennel seeds back to pot and combine. Remove the pot from heat and finish with cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Butternut Squash Cannelloni

November 4th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped fine
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups butternut squash, prebaked to soften
½ cup parmesan cheese (more for topping)
12 premade pasta sheets

INGREDIENTS FOR SAGE BROWN BUTTER SAUCE WITH CHOPPED HAZELNUTS

½ cup butter
¼ cup sage leaves, chopped
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease the casserole dish and set aside. In a medium size sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil and cook onion until tanslucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
In a medium-size bowl, add onions and garlic and rest of ingredients up until pasta sheets. On a cutting board, place a pasta sheet and spoon a line of filling down the middle, roll and place seam side down in casserole. Continue until finished with all sheets.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter and cook until brown and butter solids have sank to the bottom. Add sage leaves and hazelnuts and remove from heat. Pour sauce over cannelloni and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until warm. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Cannelloni

Spaghetti Squash with Parsley Pesto

November 4th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 medium spaghetti squash
½ cup walnuts or peacans, toasted
2 garlic cloves
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon
½ cups Asiago cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F.
With a knife, slice three to four little slits into each squash so it won’t explode while cooking. Place the squash in a roasting pan and bake in the oven for about an hour. Once the squash has cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
In a blender, place nuts, garlic, parsley, lemon zest and juice, Asiago cheese, extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper and blend until incorporated. Set aside.
Then, run the tines of a fork through the melt of the squash from top to bottom, creating ribbons much like spaghetti. Put the “noodles” into your serving dish and continue with the remaining squash and season with salt and pepper. Discard the outside “shell”. Top noodles with pesto and serve.

Acorn Squash Quesadilla

November 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 medium acorn squash
4 tablespoons canola oil (more for frying)
3 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño
1 clove garlic, minced
2 peppers, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
10-inch flour totillas
1 cup shredded Montery Jack cheese
Tomatillo salsa, recipe follows

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly oil a baking sheet. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds and cut each half into half-inch slices. Lay them on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until soft.
When cool enough to work with use a paring knife or your hands to peel the skin off each slice and chop the squash and put it in a bowl.
In a medium sauté pan, cook the onions, garlic and jalapeño in the oil until tanslucent. Add the pepper strips and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the squash and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes, until the squash is tender and the flavors have melded. Season with salt and pepper, add cilantro and take off heat.
Spread a few tablespoons of the cooked squash mixture onto one 10-inch flour tortilla. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of the cheese. Place another tortilla on top and sprinkle with more cheese and place in a hot pan with oil, and fry until crispy. Cut the finished quesadilla into 6 triangles. East while warm.

Tortilla Salsa

INGREDIENTS

10 tomatillos, husked and well washed, quartered
½ bunch of scallions, roots and green ends trimmed, cut into big segments
5 garlic cloves
2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
Pinch of cumin
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt

PREPARATION

Puree all ingredients together until very smooth in a blender. Season with salt.

Acorn Squash Quesadilla

Herbed Goat Cheese

October 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

INGREDIENTS

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
2 tablespoons of each of the following fresh herbs: parsley, chives, dill, mint, tarragon, thyme, chopped fine
1 long goat cheese log, chilled

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except goat cheese. Place chilled goat cheese log on plate, and drizzle olive oil and herb mixture on top. Serve with bread.

Herbed Goat Cheese

Cheddar Cheese and Potato Pierogi

October 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

(United States)
Serves 4 to 8 (makes about 40 dumplings)

INGREDIENTS

For the Dough

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus some extra for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup warm water
3 tablespoons sour cream
½ teaspoon salt

For the Filling

2 medium baking potatoes, such as russet
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or bacon fat
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using bacon fat)
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 heaping cup)

For Serving

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted just before serving
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives

PREPARATION

1. Make the Dough: Place 1¾ cups of the flour in a large bowl and keep the remaining ¼ cup handy. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, melted butter, warm water, and salt. Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix until all the liquid has been absorbed. Work the dough with your hands into one manageable ball. If the dough is wet and sticky, work in some of the remaining flour, a little at a time, until it no longer sticks to your fingers.

2. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 2 or 3 minutes. The dough will be somewhat firm and smooth. Return the dough ball to the bowl, cover, and let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. Make the Filling: Place the potatoes in a small pot, pour in enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place them on a folded kitchen towel. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off their skins, place the flesh in a large bowl, and mash until mostly smooth.

4. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and stir frequently until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Mix the onion into the mashed potatoes and set aside to cool.

5. Add the Cheddar cheese, egg yolk, salt, and pepper to the cooled potato mixture and mix well.

6. Assemble the Dumplings: Line a tray with a smooth kitchen towel and sprinkle with a little flour. Have ready the dough and the filling.

7. Knead the dough once or twice on a floured surface, divide it into 4 equal pieces, and set 3 of them aside under a kitchen towel. Shape the remaining piece into a ball and roll it out until it’s about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle with flour if it gets sticky.

8. Using the cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can, usually 8 to 10. Collect all scraps from around the rounds and put them aside under a damp kitchen towel for later use.

9. Lay flat 1 to 5 dough rounds. Brush each round with a very thin coating of water to make it sticky enough to seal. Center a rounded teaspoon of filling on top of each round, fold each neatly in half, pushing out any air, and pinch to seal. Dab a little water along the edges, if needed, for a better seal. Place the assembled dumplings
in a single layer on the prepared tray and keep them covered with a kitchen towel while you work. Once you have assembled the first batch of dumplings, continue with the remaining dough and filling. Combine all the dough scraps, knead them into a ball, roll it out, cut out as many rounds as you can, and fill and fold those too.

10. Cover the tray of assembled dumplings and place in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Chilling them helps to set the dough, making the dumplings firm and toothsome when cooked instead of puffy and soft. Set aside the number of dumplings that you would like to cook and keep the rest frozen for up to 6 months.

11. Cook the Dumplings: Fill a large pot halfway with salted water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium for a steady simmer.

12. Gently drop up to 20 dumplings, a few at a time, into the simmering water. Stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook until all of them are floating, about 3 minutes, then cook for 2 minutes longer. (If cooking frozen pierogi, add them directly to the simmering water and increase the cooking time by 1 minute. Do not allow the pierogi to
thaw before cooking.)

13. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon, place them in the large bowl, and drizzle with a ladle of the cooking liquid to prevent sticking. Cook the remaining dumplings and place them in the bowl with another ladle of the cooking liquid.

14. Drain the pierogi and place them in a large, shallow serving bowl. Drizzle the dumplings with melted butter, spoon sour cream over the top, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

© Recipe courtesy of Wai Hon Chu

Fontina Chicken and Herb Mac & Cheese

December 19th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound fusilli pasta
½ cup butter
¼ cup unbleached white flour
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sharp fontina cheese, grated
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup fresh green onions, sliced thin
1½ cups chicken, shredded (buy a pre-roasted chicken from your grocer)

PREPARATION

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Cook until al dente.   In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter, add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and turn the burner to simmer, continuing to whisk. The mixture will begin to thicken. Add all the cheese and continue to whisk, melting all the cheese, about 6-8 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir well and take off heat. Add the herbs, chicken and green onions, stir well. Add the pasta to the melted cheese and herb mixture.

Cilantro Chipotle Mac & Cheese

December 19th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 pound medium conchiglie macaroni (conch shaped)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup unbleached white flour
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups pepper jack cheese, grated
¾ cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 jalapeño chili, deseeded and chopped fine

PREPARATION

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Cook until al dente. In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter, add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and turn the burner to simmer, continuing to whisk. The mixture will begin to thicken. Add all the cheese and continue to whisk, melting all the cheese, about 6-8 minutes. Add the salt, stir well and take off heat. Add the tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeño and stir well. Add the pasta to the melted cheese and fresh herbs and mix well. Serve slices of chipotle flank steak over the macaroni.

Blue Cheese and Chive Mac & Cheese

December 19th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound capunti or cavatelli pasta
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup unbleached white flour
2 cups low fat milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

PREPARATION

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Cook until al dente. In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter, add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and the heavy cream and turn the burner to simmer, continuing to whisk. The mixture will begin to thicken. Add the cheese and continue to whisk, melting the cheese, about 3-4 minutes. Add the salt and pepper stir well and take off heat. Add the pasta to the melted cheese and fresh herbs and mix well. Pour the mac & cheese into a greased glass baking dish, place in preheated 375° oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden brown on top.

Marjoram Tomato Mac & Cheese

December 19th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 pound medium shell macaroni
¼ cup butter
¼ cup unbleached white flour
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups mild cheddar cheese, grated
¾ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Cook until al dente. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter and then add flour, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, then decrease heat to medium to bring to a simmer, continuing to whisk. The mixture will begin to thicken. Then, add cheese and continue to whisk until melted, about 6-8 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir well and take off heat. Add the tomatoes and marjoram, stir well. Add the pasta to the melted cheese and the fresh herbs and mix well. Serve.

Winter Herb Gourmet Mac & Cheese

December 19th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound elbow macaroni or penne pasta
½ cup butter
¼ cup unbleached white flour
2½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup brie cheese, cubed
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

PREPARATION

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Cook until al dente. In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter, add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and turn the burner to simmer, continuing to whisk. The mixture will begin to thicken. Add all the cheese and continue to whisk, melting all the cheese, about 4-5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Stir well and take off heat. Add the pasta to the melted cheese and the fresh herbs and mix well. Pour the mac & cheese into a greased glass baking dish and place in preheated 375° oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden brown on top.

Cotija Cheese Crumbles

November 12th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Use fingers to crumble cotija cheese. Use as a garnish for the following recipes:

Red, Yellow and Orange Fresh Bell Pepper Strips

Herbed Grilled Halumi Cheese

November 12th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Halumi cheese is a traditional Cypriot cheese that is made from a mixture of sheep and goat milk. It has an extremely high melting point so it is often served fried or grilled throughout the Middle East.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

½ pound halumi cheese, sliced thick and about 2 inches in length
½ cup fresh oregano leaves
½ cup fresh parsley leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt

PREPARATION

Brush the halumi cheese with some of the olive oil and grill each side on medium high heat for a few minutes or until well browned. Toss grilled halumi in a large mixing bowl with herbs, remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt.

Santorini Shrimp

October 25th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. shrimp peeled
1 lb. chopped Santorini tomatoes or plum tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh oregano
½ c crumbled feta
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 T bread crumbs, dried
½ c white wine
olive oil
salt and pepper

PREPARATION

In a preheated large skillet sauté olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes for a few minutes. Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp begins to turn pink, about 4-5 minutes. Add lemon juice and zest. Add the wine, tomatoes, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and sauté for a few more minutes. Take off heat and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese. Place under the broiler for about 4 minutes until brown and bubbly. Serves 6.

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