Grilled White Eggplant with Peanut Sauce and Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups dressing

Ingredients

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup blended oil (canola based)
½ shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon of each)

Directions

In a medium bowl whisk together ingredients until well incorporated and emulsified, season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Recipe property of Polo Dobkins

Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

8-12 heirloom tomatoes, various varieties
8-12 pieces seedless watermelon sliced ½ inch thick and in wedges
2 cups feta cheese, sliced in sticks or wedges
12 fresh basil leaves, chifonade
White balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Baby arugula (garnish)

Directions

On individual serving plates create a stacked salad using the heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and feta. Sprinkle basil chifonade all over and drizzle the white balsamic vinaigrette over the top Garnish with baby arugula.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 2 cups dressing

Ingredients

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup blended oil (canola based)
½ shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon of each)

Directions

In a medium bowl whisk together ingredients until well incorporated and emulsified, season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Recipes property of Polo Dobkins

Garden Flounder Ceviche

July 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 pounds Flounder fillets, sliced in thin strips or cut into small cubes
1 medium zucchini, chopped super fine
1 medium carrot, chopped super fine
½ medium red onion, chopped fine
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon red chili, chopped fine
1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup micro herbs or sprouts
Juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup champagne vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Black pepper

Directions

Place the fish and the vegetables in a large mixing bowl and season with salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the paprika, herbs, lemon juice, zest, vinegar and oil. Mix together with fish and vegetables and season with pepper. Let stand refrigerated for about 45 minutes. Serve cold!

Spanish Seville Squid Cocktail

July 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Kelp Noodles Pad Thai and Almond Sauce

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Pad Thai mixture

1 carrot, julienne
1 red pepper, filled, julienne
½ red cabbage, thinly sliced or mandolin
¼ cup snow peas, cut thinly on diagonal
1 spring onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 small red chili, minced
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 cup mung bean sprouts
½ cup kelp noodles, soak in hot water 10 minutes
10 leaves of basil, chiffonade
1 small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
10 mint leaves, chiffonade

Sauce for kelp noodles

½ tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon of sesame oil

The almond ginger sauce

3 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut nectar
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon tamari
½ cm ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
A pinch of cayenne

Directions

Take Phad Thai ingredients except the kelp noodles, put in a medium size bowl and mix, set aside.
Mix all together in a bowl almond butter, tamari and sesame oil. Once mixed together put the drained kelp noodles in the bowl of sauce and massage thoroughly with hands. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Take part the almond sauce blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
Take the pad thai mixture and the kelp noodles with it’s sauce and mix together, put a good amount on a plate drizzle almond sauce around and over pad thai.

Garnish with mint, chiffonade, cilantro leaves and finely chopped almonds.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Asparagus Spear & Wild Mushroom Pilaf

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
1 medium shallot, chopped small
1 cup mixed fresh wild mushrooms (morels, chanterelles, etc)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup white wine
¼ cup vegetable stock
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Directions

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add butter and olive oil. Cook the onions and shallots for a few minutes or until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, nutmeg, and asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half then stir in the cooked brown rice. Fluff mixture with a fork and sprinkle herbs into pilaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 cups asparagus stems
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
4 cups vegetable broth (preferably onion-herb or neutral based)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream
Salt
Black pepper

Directions

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add butter. Cook the onions and shallots for a few minutes or until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and sauté a few minutes. Add the lemon thyme and sauté until the asparagus is soft. Add the vegetable stock, lemon zest, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree into a smooth soup. Slowly blend in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Mint Butter

May 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes ½ cup butter

Ingredients

13 cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 shallot, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well until a smooth butter paste is formed, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place the mixed butter on a small sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a tight log. Place in refrigerator to solidify.

Spring Pea Risotto with Prosciutto and Basil & Mint Butter

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the pea risotto

5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped fine
1½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
5 slices of prosciutto cut in small pieces
1 cup fresh peas, blanched
1 cup parmesan cheese
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

For the basil & mint butter

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped superfine
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cup basil leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt

DIRECTIONS

For the pea risotto

In a medium sized saucepot heat chicken broth until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate medium saucepot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook shallot until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add prosciutto and cook until crispy. Add rice and cook and stir 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 almost cooked through, about 20. Add peas and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, and finish with cheese, and basil & mint butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

For the basil & mint butter

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and use to finish risotto.

Pea & Mint Tortellini in Herbed Brodo

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the spring pea and mint tortellini

Olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 cup fresh peas, steamed soft and mashed
2 teaspoons lemon zest ¼ cup grated pecorino
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Fresh pasta sheets

For the herbed brodo

1 (¼ pound) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 cups chicken stock
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh mint
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt

DIRECTIONS

For the spring pea and mint tortellini

Mix and mash all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. 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, making sure the raviolis are sealed well.

For the herbed brodo

Combine rind, stock, garlic, parsley and mint (tied together with twine), and oil in a 3-quart pot, then simmer gently, partially covered, 30 minutes. Discard parsley and rind and season broth with salt.

Add tortellini and simmer, partially covered, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Divide among 6 soup plates, and then shave cheese over soup to taste.

Goat Cheese, Watercress and Mixed Spring Pea Risotto with Pea Shoots

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

5 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped fine
1½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup fresh peas, blanched
1 cup watercress, chopped
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Pea shoots, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sized saucepot heat chicken broth until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate medium saucepot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook shallot until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add rice and cook and stir for 1 minute. Next, add wine and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup vegetable broth, reduce and then add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is almost cooked through, about 20. Add peas and watercress and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, and finish with goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with pea shoots.

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.

Tofu Vegetable Pho

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the broth

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

For the noodle bowls

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

DIRECTIONS

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

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

Velvety Chesnut Soup with Grape Honey

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For the soup

1 cup whole chestnuts, roasted and peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin oil
1 small shallot, chopped fine
½ of a sweet yellow onion, chopped fine
¼ cup celery, chopped fine
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped fine
Salt
1 bouquet garni of fresh herbs in a cheesecloth sack: parsley, thyme, rosemary (a few springs of each)
2 fresh bay leaves
½ cup sweet Madeira
4 cups of sweet onion broth (see recipe)
½ cup heavy cream
Black pepper

For the grape honey

1 cup frozen concord grapes or fresh black grapes, chopped
¼ cup water
½ cup honey
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cardamom
½ tablespoons black pepper, freshly cracked

DIRECTIONS

For the sweet onion broth

In a large soup pan, add a bunch of red onions skins, shallot skins, carrot pieces, parsnip pieces, and 4½ cups of water. Add 2 tablespoons salt, ½ cup honey, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain, and set aside.

For the soup

In a large heavy bottom soup pan, over medium high heat, add butter and pumpkin oil. Cook shallots and onions, until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the celery and parsnips, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add bouquet garni, bay leaves, and Madeira. Add the 4 cups of sweet onion broth, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and bay leaves and blend with hand held immersion blender until smooth.

For the grape honey

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer about 4 to 5 minutes. Take off heat. Cool. Place in blender, and blend until smooth. Strain using a fine mesh strainer.

To serve soup, place in bowl, and swirl in grape honey.

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.

Quinoa Apple Salad with Curry Dressing

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4
Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup raw whole almonds
1 cup white quinoa
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 small McIntosh apple, cut into 18-inch-thick wedges
¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Let cool.

Coarsely chop nuts. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve; drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir quinoa, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is tender but still chewy, about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork; let cool.

Whisk together honey, shallot, curry powder, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until dressing is emulsified. Add quinoa, currants, apple, mint, and nuts; toss well. Garnish with mint.

Fall Stuffed Mushrooms

December 16th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 40 stuffed mushrooms

INGREDIENTS

40 medium sized crimini mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon of each of the following fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage, marjoram; chopped fine
½ medium tart apple, cored and chopped fine
½ cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup kashi whole grain nuggets cereal or whole wheat bread crumbs
¼ cup asiago cheese, shredded finely
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Gently separate mushrooms caps from stems and place cap-side down on a baking sheet. Next, chop stems super fine and set aside. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil. Sauté shallots and garlic and cook, 5 minutes. Add the herbs, apple, mushroom stems, and walnuts and cook, 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and place all ingredients in a bowl. Add kashi cereal or bread crumbs and asiago cheese. Mix well. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Using a teaspoon, stuff mushroom caps until full. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Mixed Greens with Herbed Vinaigrette

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil (neutral flavor oil)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 cups (about ½ pound) mesclun (mixed baby greens)
Freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together shallot, white wine, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly stream in oils until vinaigrette is emulsified. Add herbs and greens and mix well until vinaigrette coats all the leaves. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

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.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Apples, Chicken & Sage in a Maple Cream Sauce

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Gnocchi

2 cups (16 ounces) pumpkin, cut in quarters, seeded and roasted
2¾ cups all purpose flour
1 egg
Salt
White pepper
1 tablespoon nutmeg, freshly grated

Sauce

½ cup butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin oil
1 medium shallot
1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 medium tart apple, cored and cut into cubes
1 cup fresh sage leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
White pepper

PREPARATION

In large pot, bring 6 cups salted water to boil.

While still warm, puree pumpkin through a ricer into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool completely before proceeding. Once cooled, add flour, egg, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Knead into soft dough (if necessary, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time); divide into 5 sections. On floured surface, roll dough to ½-inch thickness; cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside on sheet pans lightly dusted with flour until ready to boil.

Cook gnocchi in 2 batches in salted boiling water; dropping into water and cooking 2 minutes or until pieces float. Remove with slotted spoon to warmed bowl.

Meanwhile, in sauté pan, melt butter and pumpkin oil over medium heat, add shallots and chicken and cook for about five minutes until chicken is cooked through, add the apples and cook a few more minutes until apples are tender. Next add the sage leaves and sauté about 1 minute add the maple syrup and stir well. Mix in the heavy cream and season with salt & Nutmeg and white pepper. Gently toss warm gnocchi with sauce and serve immediately.

Apple, Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad

October 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 head of butter leaf lettuce (or mesclun mix), leaves roughly torn
1 to 2 tart apples, seeds removed, chopped medium
2 oz, Oregon sweet blue cheese, crumbled by hand
3 pieces thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced in rounds
Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients up through vinaigrette. Next, add just enough vinaigrette to coat lettuce leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well. Serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Makes ¾ cup

INGREDIENTS

1 shallot, chopped fine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup Pinot Noir red wine vinegar
¼ cup walnut oil
¼ cup olive oil

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, combine shallots, Dijon and red wine vinegar. Next, drizzle in oils until emulsified.

Sweet Corn Chowder With Roasted Poblano Peppers

October 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Prep Time : 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Wine Pair: White

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
1 shallot, chopped medium
1 small jalapeno, deseeded and chopped finely
1 large red bell peppers, chopped small
4 medium to large ears of fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs
2 medium yellow potatoes, cubed small
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
½ cup white wine (use wine that you choose for wine pairing)
1 cup water
2 medium poblano peppers, pre-roasted, skins removed and chopped small*
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup cilantro leaves

PREPARATION

In a large soup pot, heat butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and shallots and sauté until translucent, or about 1 to 2 minutes. Add jalapenos and red bell peppers, for spicier version use the entire jalapeno for milder just use ¼ to ½, sauté another few minutes and add corn kernels and potatoes and salt and pepper. Sauté mixture for a few more minutes, add white wine and then add water. Turn burner to low and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer and add roasted poblanos, heavy cream, sugar and cilantro, stir well and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Take off heat and let cool a bit, serve warm not hot.

*For roasted poblano peppers: On a baking sheet, place poblanos in the oven on broil and rotate a few times until the skins burn. Let cool and remove skins and seeds inside, chop.

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