Summer Squash Soup with Mint Pesto

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 patty pan squash, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups onion broth or light vegetable stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on a medium high heat, add the shallots and the onions and cook until translucent. Add the squash and chives and cook for about 5 minutes or until semi soft. Season with salt and add vegetable stock and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and blend until smooth using a blender or a hand held mixer. In the meantime in a blender combine the fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth, season with chili flakes and salt and drizzle on top of the soup.

Italian Antipasti Plate

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Italian Antipasti Plate

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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.

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.

Herbed Gremolata

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Spring Garlic Bread Sticks

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 24 bread sticks

Ingredients

Basic Pizza Dough (Ger-Nis)
1 cup spring garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
Maldon salt (flake sea salt)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Prepare 1 batch of Ger-Nis Pizza Dough. In a blender add the spring garlic, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, parmesan and red chili flakes. Blend until smooth. Shape the pizza dough in 24 long thin sticks (5 inches long and about ½ inch thick). Twist the breadsticks holding each side and twisting in opposite directions. Lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the garlic mixture well and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of oven and sprinkle immediately with the Maldon salt.

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.

Spring Herbal Osso Bucco & Herbed Gremolata

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

This lovely & lively dish is perfect for a chilly spring day, perfectly fresh yet warming with loads of fresh herbs and spring vegetables.

Ingredients

4-6 cross-cut veal shanks (osso bucco tied with kitchen string)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 sprigs onions, whites and green parts, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, chopped fine
1 small fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or onion broth
3 plum tomatoes, chopped medium
1 cup fresh peas
Herbed Germolata (recipe follows)

Directions

Tie the veal shanks up with the kitchen twine so that the shanks stay together. In a small mixing bowl mix the flour and mint and season with salt. Dredge the osso buco in the flour until they are all coated. In a large dutch oven or le creuset bring the oil to a medium high heat. Brown the osso buco on all side or about 2 minutes on each. Take out of the pan and set aside. Sauté the garlic, onions and lemon zest for a few minutes or until translucent. Add the carrots and the fennel and sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté. Add the wine and stir well removing any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes and stir well. Add the veal shanks to the pot and cover with the vegetables and juice. Turn the burner to low and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the peas and cook another 5 minutes. Take off heat and serve on its own, with pasta, polenta or rice and topped with the herbed gremolata.

Herbed Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Italian Wedding Soup with Spring Greens and Italian Herb Gremolata

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For chicken pesto meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
1 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
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 fine
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
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small-shaped pasta
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Italian Herb Gremolata, recipe follows

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. Form into 1-inch balls. Roll about a tablespoon of the mixture into 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 till 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 drizzled with mixed herb gremolata.

Italian Herb Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest

Spicy Italian Sausage and Olive Linguini

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3-4 links of spicy Italian sausage (taken out of casings) (recipe follows)
1½ cups parsley, chopped fine
1 cup black olives, sliced
1 (12 ounce) can plain tomato sauce
1¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound linguini noodles, cooked

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add oil. Cook garlic, 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the fennel seeds and red chili flakes and cook a minute or two. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the parsley and olives and cook another minute or two. Increase the heat to medium high and add the tomato sauce and cook until all excess liquid is dissolved. Turn off the turn burner and add heavy cream and combine well. Toss together with cooked linguini and serve.

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.

Squid Stewed with Chickpeas and Peppers

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 cup diced white onions
8 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 pound dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
2 cups canned tomatoes, strained and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon pimento or smoked paprika
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
2 cups white wine
Water
1 pound squid, cleaned and cut into rings
½ cup diced piquillo peppers
Sherry vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Baguette, for serving

Directions

In a flat-bottom, high-sided saucepan, heat ¼ inch olive oil until shimmering. Add onions and garlic and cook until they are just beginning to brown. Add chickpeas and cook until toasted. Add tomatoes and parsley and cook for another two minutes. Add pimenton and chili flakes. Add wine and reduce by ¾. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook until chickpeas are ¾ of the way cooked, then add squid and piquillo peppers. Cook until squid is tender and creamy. Finish with a few drops of sherry vinegar and olive oil. Serve with bread.

Rigatoni Amatriciana

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

4 ounces Pancetta, cubed
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt and pepper
1 (28 ounce) can of Italian peeled tomatoes, crushed with hands
1 pound rigatoni, cooked
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauté pan, add cubed pancetta slices in a single layer and cook over medium-low heat until most of the fat has been rendered from the meat, turning occasionally. Remove the meat to a plate lined with paper towels and discard half the fat, leaving a little fat. Increase the heat to medium and add sliced onions, cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, 5 minutes. Next, add garlic and red chili flakes and cook 2 minutes more. Return the pancetta to the pan, and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions, garlic and pancetta are light golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, add then add the tomatoes, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce has begun to thicken. Add cooked rigatoni to pan and coat pasta in sauce. Add parsley and serve with Pecorino cheese.

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.

Chicken Pesto Meatballs

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
2 cups fresh basil, chopped fine
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 Sauce

Olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (reserved from meatballs)
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper

PREPARATION

To assemble meatballs, use hands to squeeze together ground chicken, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Form into 1-inch balls.

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Sauté garlic for a few minutes, and add meatballs, and cook until browned on all sides. Add the tomatoes, and let simmer, stirring gently every few minutes for approximately 30 minutes. Serve over cooked linguini.

Sausage Parsley Fennel Meatballs with Tomato Cream Sauce

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons milk
Olive oil

For the Tomato Cream Sauce

1 (12-ounce) can plain tomato sauce
1 (12-ounce) container heavy whipping cream

PREPARATION

To assemble meatballs, use hands to mix sausage, garlic, fennel seeds, chili flakes, and parsley until well combined. Add the milk to meatball mixture, and combine. Form into 1-inch balls, and set aside. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Sauté meatballs, until all sides are well browned. Add the can of tomato sauce, mix gently, and cook on medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. To make sure meatballs are cooked through, slice one open. If they are not cooked through, continue the cooking process. Turn off the heat, and add heavy whipping cream, stirring gently until tomato sauce and meatball mixture are all mixed together. Serve over pasta.

Sicilian Style Herbed Meatballs

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, ground
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
Olive oil

For the Sauce

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

PREPARATION

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

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

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

After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan, and add another tablespoons of olive oil if necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine, salt, and pepper, again stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about 5 minutes. Turn to low heat, and add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring gently until the meatballs are covered by the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.

Serve over polenta or pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese!

The alternative to sautéing meatballs is to bake them in a 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Follow the same directions as above for the sauce.

Adzuki Bean Salad

November 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 cups adzuki beans, cooked
½ cup arame sea vegetables
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 green onion, sliced super thin
¼ cup yuzu rice vinegar or plain rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
¼ cup tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 pinch red chili flakes

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, combine beans, seaweed, carrots, bell pepper, and green onion.
In a separate smaller mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients, and whisk until well combined. Drizzle over bean mixture, and mix well. Let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Hongos y Ajo (Mushrooms & Garlic)

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Garlicky mushrooms make a simple yet elegant appetizer.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound crimini mushrooms, dirt brushed off
5 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
5 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Crusty bread for serving

PREPARATION

Brush the mushrooms clean, trim off long stems, and cut mushrooms in half if any of them are too big. In a large, heavy bottom sauté pan, heat the oil and chili flakes on medium high heat, add the garlic, and cook for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Next, add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat for about 5 minutes, making sure to stir the entire time. Add the parsley, wine, and lemon juice, and stir. Lower heat to simmer, and cook uncovered stirring occasionally for another 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve over crusty warm bread.

Eugene Sausage Pasta

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon dried fennel seeds
1-2 teaspoons dried red chili flakes
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped fine (flat leaf)
2 teaspoons salt
1 small can tomato sauce, 6 ounces
1 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 package (box) linguini, cooked, 16 ounces
Freshly grated parmesan
Black pepper


PREPARATION

In sauté pan, place olive oil, garlic,  place on medium heat. Add fennel seeds and chili flakes and cook about 30 -45 seconds. (This process enhances the flavor of the oil and adds to the flavor of the cooked sausage and sauce.) Add the sausage, making sure to take it out of the casing and break it up in small pieces. Continue to cook until brown, making sure to break apart and larger piece of meat. Once the sausage is browned and crumbly, add the parsley and the salt, stirring and cooking a few more minutes. Add the black olives, mix well.  Toss in tomato sauce, mix together well and continue to cook until all liquid is absorbed. The tomato  sauce will become tomato paste like and should be  sticking tightly to the meat.  Once the sauce is totally absorbed into the meat about 5 minutes approximately of stirring while keeping the burner on medium heat, reduce the temp to low and pour in the heavy cream. Mix together until all the cream is mixed in, turn the burner off.   Toss  the sauce together with cooked linguini. Season with salt to taste.

Freshly grated parmesan cheese and black pepper are a MUST on top!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Orange Mint Pomegranate Salsa

October 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

8 small lamb chops
Salt/pepper
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tiny pinch of red chili flakes
2 medium oranges, segmented and chopped coarsely
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
Couple of pinches of salt & pepper

PREPARATION

Prepare grill and place salt and pepper on lamb chops, let set while grill heats up. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, chili flakes and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in oranges, pomegranates and mint and mix well, let stand for 20 minutes room temparature before serving. Grill lamb chops on each side for a few minutes until desired texture, medium rare is more preferred. Serve with the salsa spooned on top of the grilled lamb chops.

Excellent accompanied by herbed bulgar pilaf.

Indian Summer Ratatouille

October 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 – 8

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

INGREDIENTS

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

PREPARATION

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

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