Roasted Tomato & Red Lentil Soup with FIRE HOT Yemini Zhug

February 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

zhug 1

Serves 6

Ingredients

½  teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon rainbow pepper corns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 cups red cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, chopped course
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
2 teaspoons smoked paprika ( Turkish variety if you can get your hands on it!)2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups red lentils
2 cups water
3 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste
Yogurt
Fire Hot Yemini Zhug (recipe follows)

Directions

Heat oven to 400 ° F.  In a small thin bottomed pan on medium heat, toast the spices until they start to pop and char slightly, making sure to shake the pan and flip the seeds/spices so they don’t burn and stick.  The process should take about 1 minute in total.  Using a mortar and pestle grind the spices into a course mixture, like course pepper.  If you do not have a mortar and pestle you can use a flat bowl  on a wooden cutting board to push down and crack, sliding the bowl over the seeds until they care crushed.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots and sprinkle the spice mixture over the top.  Add in the smoked paprika and the salt and stir.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss until all the tomatoes are well coated in the spices and oil.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked and slightly charred on the edges.

In a heavy bottom pan combine the lentils and the water and cook on medium high heat until most the water is absorbed and the lentils begin to soften.  Add a little salt, the roasted tomatoes, making sure to get all the scraping from the roasting pan,  and the vegetable broth and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, making sure to add more water if the soup begins to get too thick.  Take off heat and let sit for about 30 minutes before re-heating to serve, again adding more water before re-heating if the soup is to thick.  Serve garnished with a yogurt dollop and zhug sauce drizzled over the top.

zhug

FIRE HOT Yemini Zhug

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½  teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon rainbow pepper corns
1 cardamom pod, cracked
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½  teaspoon caraway seeds
3 cloves garlic2 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
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  An emersion blender can also be used.  Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.  Use on eggs, meats, fish and vegetables.

Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo

April 29th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heiloom cherry tomatoes, chopped fine
½ cup white onion, chopped very fine
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped very fine
½ cup cilnatro leaves
1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped fine and deseeded
1 teaspoon cumin
Juice of 3-4 limes
Salt

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well combined. Add salt to taste.

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.

Fresh Tomato or Pizza Sauce

December 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3-4 cups tomato sauce and 2 cups pizza sauce.

Ingredients

6 medium tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup red wine
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano  (extra for end)

Directions

Place all ingredients except 1/2 cup oregano in a large pot 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 totally smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Skins are included in the sauce as they give a very rustic look and texture and provide a quick easy sauce. Cook blended sauce on low for another 10 minutes adding more salt to taste, when finished add remaining fresh oregano. For pizza sauce boil sauce on a low boil uncovered for another 10-20 minutes or until desired thick texture, add remaining chopped oregano at end.

Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo

September 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, chopped fiine
½ cup white onion, chopped very fine
½ cup red bell peppers, chopped very fine
½ cup cilanro leaves
1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped fine and deseeded
1 teaspoon cumin
Juice of 3-4 limes
Salt

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well combined. Add salt to taste.

Salsa Acapulceno

September 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2-3 cups

Ingredients

4 roma or plum tomatoes, chopped small
¼ cup capers
½ cup green olives, pitted and chopped
1 small white onion, chopped small
2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Gently mix together all ingredients and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

Spanish Seville Squid Cocktail

September 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Garden Tomato Clam Fritters with Lemon Aioli

September 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 fritters

Ingredients

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 cups clams, chopped (canned)
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
¼ cup red onion, chopped fine
Oil for frying
Lemon Aioli (recipe follows)
Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, lemon zest and parsley. Drain the clams and set aside. In a nother medium bowl whisk together the egg, milk, tomatoes, tomato puree and red onions. Add the clams and mix well. Little by little add the dry ingredients into the wet until a thick batter is produced. In a medium fry pan with oil of about 3 inches, heat to about 360°F. When oil is hot drop by spoonfuls into the hot oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flipping a few times. Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon wedges and lemon aioli.

Lemon Aioli

Makes approximately ¾ cup

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Coarse sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place garlic, lemon juice and zest, egg yolk and Dijon in a blender and puree. Season with salt. Slowly stream in oils until creamy and everything is emulsified.

Cod en Papillote

September 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 ear sweet corn kernels
1 medium tomato, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
Zest of 2 lemons
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup white wine
6 pieces cod, 3-4 ounces each
6 sqaure pieces of parchment paper ( 8 X 8 )
2 cups baby arugula or watercress
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl combine the corn, tomato, carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme and lemon zest together, and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Season each piece of fish with salt and pepper and place in the center of each parchment paper square. Divide the vegetable mixture between all of the 6 parchment squares setting a scoop onto each fish piece. Place a pat of butter on top of each fish piece and a little white wine. Fold the parhcment paper like a present making sure it is completely sealed and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime place the watercress or baby arugula in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. When the fish is done, cut the package open and serve with the salad on the side.

*Recipe Property of Laura Kimberly Merrick

Eggplant Caviar with Mint Yogurt Sauce

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
2 medium tomatoes, chopped medium
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Greek Yogurt
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice eggplant in half and place skin side down on a lined baking sheet. Roast about 40-45 minutes or until brown, bubbly and tender. Set aside to cool. In the same oven at the end of the eggplant’s time place the tomatoes in a glass baking dish and sprinkle with cumin seeds, cilantro, salt, lemon zest and garlic. Roast for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the eggplant from its skin and chop super fine. In a large mixing bowl combine eggplant and tomatoes and mix well. Divide up into ramekins and drizzle a little olive oil on top. Place in the broiler for about 3 minutes or until slightly charred on top. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the yogurt, mint and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and drizzle the over the eggplant and garnish with a mint or cilantro leaf.

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.

Roasted Tomato-Basil, Zucchini, Goat Cheese Tart

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one tart

Ingredients

1 sheet puff pastry
3 large tomatoes, chopped large and roasted
2 medium zucchini, sliced and roasted
10-12 basil leaves
8 ounces goat cheese
Salt
Savory Black Pepper & Basil Glaze (recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 ° F. Roll out the puff pastry and lay on a flat baking sheet. Place in refrigerator to get very cold. Place some basil leaves down on the dough all over evenly. Place a few flat dollops of the goat cheese throughout the tart. Add the tomatoes and zucchini again evenly. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Take out and brush with the Savory Black Pepper Basil Glaze.

Savory Black Pepper & Basil Glaze
Makes ½ cup

Ingredients

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 -2 teaspoons black peppercorns, cracked medium
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pesto
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a low simmer for about 2-3 minutes or until mixture is loose and mixed.

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.

Garden Tomato Clam Fritters with Lemon Aioli

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 fritters

Ingredients

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 cups clams, chopped (canned)
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
¼ cup red onion, chopped fine
Oil for frying
Lemon Aioli (recipe follows)
Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, lemon zest and parsley. Drain the clams and set aside. In another medium bowl whisk together the egg, milk, tomatoes, tomato puree and red onions. Add the clams and mix well. Little by little add the dry ingredients into to the wet until a thick batter is produced. In a medium fry pan with oil of about 3 inches, heat to about 360 ° F. When oil it hot drop by spoonfuls into the hot oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flipping a few times. Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon wedges and lemon aioli.

Lemon Aioli
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a blender or food processor, place egg, zest and juice and chopped garlic. Whirl until garlic is smooth. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow stream, until the sauce is thick and emulsified. Add the vinegar and salt. The sauce should be creamy and will have a nice garlic bite. If the aioli is runny, this may mean the egg was old. To fix this problem, either try again with a fresher egg or add store-bought mayonnaise to the sauce.

Parmesan Tomato Herb Straws

August 10th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes about 24 straws

Ingredients

1 package puff pastry (one large sheet)
Flour
1 egg beaten
½ cup sundried tomato, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon basil, chopped superfine
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Maldon salt

Directions

On a floured surface roll out the puff pastry and brush with the beaten egg until the dough is moist. Sprinkle over the dough the tomato, basil and parmesan, evenly. Fold the dough over in half and roll out again, pressing all the ingredients into the dough. Cut dough into long strips about ¼ inch thick, and twist into spirals, place eon a lines baking sheet and refrigerate before baking about 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400° F and bake until golden brown of about 10-15 minutes, turning once. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with maldon salt.

Arugula, Tomato & Lemon Preserves on Ciabatta

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

Ciabatta bread
Arugula leaves
Tomato slices
Goat cheese
Salt & pepper
Lemon preserves (recipe follows)
Olive oil

Directions

Place arugula leaves on both side of the bread and place a tomato on one side and a tablespoon of lemon preserves on the other. Place a dollop of goat cheese on and season with salt and pepper, place the bread slices together and cook in a panini press, making sure to grease the outside of the bread with oil for crispiness.

Lemon Preserves
Makes 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

3 lemons, de-seeded, and chopped whole, peels included
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients (except basil) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until totally soft and thick. Take off heat and add basil. Cool.

Chilled Tomato Soup

August 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

8-10 medium heirloom tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons heavy cream
6 large basil leaves
Garden caviar (recipe follows)

Directions

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Push mixture through sieve to remove seeds and stems. Chill for at least 3 hours. Before serving, take 1 tablespoon of cream and gently pour it on top of the soup and add one large basil leaf to the top of each soup, gently spoon some of the garden caviar on top of the basil leaf for garnish.

Garden Caviar
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Italian Antipasti Plate

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Fettuccini Nero Al Mar

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

This recipe is inspired by two experiences actually, my trip to the Lingurian coast and my many trips to Al di La in Brooklyn and my many Sepia Al Nero meals I have had right here in my own backyard. I often try to recreate Anna’s dishes and with an okay amount of success and this dish is no exception. I would like to think I learned a few tricks in Italy that can perhaps, maybe, almost compete with Anna’s version, which I have to admit is just about exactly the same as I found all along the coast of Italy!

Ingredients

Cuttlefish Ink Fettuccini, cooked (regular pasta dough) made with 1 tablespoon cuttlefish ink
*for whatever reason the sepia ink is said to drown out the taste of the salt in the past so add 1 teaspoon salt extra to the recipe using the ink
Olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh red chili’s (dried chili flakes can be substituted)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cloves garlic
1 cup rock shrimp
1 cup cuttlefish pieces, chopped large
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pesto
¼ cup fresh mint

Directions

In a large sauté pan heat the oil, chilies and lemon zest and sauté the garlic for a few minutes. Add the rock shrimp and cuttlefish pieces and sauté a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and the pesto and stir. Cook for about 5-8 minutes and toss together with pasta and fresh mint.

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.

Fresh Herb Pappardelle with Summer Beans, Tomatoes & Fresh Herbs

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

¼ cup each basil, parsley, mint, tarragon, marjoram, chopped
Plus an additional 1 tablespoon of each for the sprinkle
Olive oil
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups fresh summer shelling beans, shelled and cooked until tender
1 small fennel bulb sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (plus 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (plus 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Fresh Herb Pasta sheets cut into pappardelle
Salt/pepper
Pecorino cheese for garnish

Directions

Mix pecorino, lemon zest and ¼ fresh herbs together and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes, sauté for a few minutes. Add the shelled beans and cook for a few minutes. Add fresh herbs and fennel and sauté a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another few minutes. Add wine; simmer 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits. Continue to cook until tomatoes soften, about 3-5 minutes, add lemon juice at the end and mix well. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Cook Fresh pappardelle in boiling water until desired consistency (about 3 minutes) and mix together with sauce and serve garnished with pecorino and fresh herbs.

Stewed Squid with Salsa Verde

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh red chili, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds fresh squid, cleaned and sliced thick
6-8 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chickpeas, cooked
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup white wine
Salsa Verde for serving (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil, chili and lemon zest. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until semi translucent or about 3-4 minutes. Add the fresh squid and sauté a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and herbs to the mixture and season with salt. Add the wine and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes or until tender. Serve with the salsa verde drizzled over the warm squid with crusty bread.

Salsa Verde
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped fine
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients and let stand for ten minutes before serving.

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 Baked Beans

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

058

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 pounds dry beans or 3 pounds fresh (cranberry, navy, yellow, eye, heirlooms in general are best)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup molasses
1 cup dark amber beer
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup spicy yellow mustard
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

If using dry beans, clean and soak the beans overnight submerged in water. For fresh beans or after dry beans have soaked, place the beans in fresh water with the sprig of thyme in a large pan and cook until tender for about 30 minutes. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven pot or heavy bottom pot, with a little olive oil sauté the garlic and yellow, red, and green onions until a little translucent, season with some salt. Strain the beans in a large mixing bowl, reserving the liquid, and mix together with the molasses, amber beer, maple syrup, mustard and tomatoes until well combined. Pour the bean mixture over the onions and mix together well. Pour about 2 cups of the water into the pan; the water should cover the beans by a few inches.

Preheat the oven to about 375 degrees F. Place the pot covered in the oven and bake for about 4-5 hours, making sure to place more water in the pot as it evaporates, mixing as you do this as well. The mixture will start to get thicker and darker. When the beans are very tender for the last hour uncover the beans and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F, stirring every 15 minutes. Taste the mixture at this stage making sure it’s sweet and spicy enough to your taste, then add the fresh herbs and mix well. The final product should be dark, the beans super tender and the juice thick!

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.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta, Olives, and Herbs

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 5-7 people

Ingredients

1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup pitted green olive (ideally calabrese or something equally briny)
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil (ideally Frantoia or Montevertine)
Black pepper

Directions

Place ricotta cheese in mixing bowl and whisk with about a ¼ cup of olive oil until cheese is smooth. Season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Place Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes on plate and season with generous amount of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a dash of red wine vinegar (important to get a little vinegar on each tomato). In a separate mixing bowl, toss together onions, herbs, and olives, and season with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly over tomatoes. Place healthy dollops of ricotta on top of entire salad and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with final pinch of sea salt.

Recipe courtesy of John Adler, franny’s

Herbed Tomato Salsa

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup of salsa

Ingredients

Olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped fine
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon 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.

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.

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.

Cauliflower Tabouli with Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower, cut up in pieces
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 cup cucumbers, seeded and diced
¼ cup hemp seeds
2 bunches of flat parsley, finely chopped
1 handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

Directions

Put the cut cauliflower in the food processor and process until it resembles couscous.
Put the cauliflower that now resembles couscous in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix. Taste and make adjustments.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

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.

Solo Fish Dinner of Mackeral, Fennel Olive & Herbs with Lemony Spring Potatoes

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 small whole mackerel, cleaned and deboned if possible
Salt/pepper
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin
¼ cup calamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 lemon (half sliced and the other juiced)
Baby spring potatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
Tin foil

Directions

Preheat over to 400°F. Season the mackerel with salt and pepper and place in the center of a 12×12 piece of tin foil. Place the fennel on top of the fish and a few sliced underneath, the same with the lemons. Place the potatoes on top and drizzle the lemon juice over the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle with the oregano, thyme and tomatoes and season again with salt and pepper. Fold the foil packet up like a package so that all sides are secure tightly and the cooking liquid cannot leak out. Place the packet on a baking sheet and place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven unwrap package and let steam out before serving.

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.

Mussels with IPA & Thai Red Curry & Lime

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped fine
Zest of 1 lime
1 small red onion, chopped fine
3 tomatoes, chopped medium
Juice of 2 limes
2-3 tablespoons red curry paste
½ cup IPA beer
½ stick butter
1 teaspoon maldon sea salt
3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and cleaned
Cilantro for garnish

Directions

In a large pot heat the oils to a medium high heat. Add the garlic, zest and ginger and red onion and cook a few minutes until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and lime juice and mix well. Next add the red curry paste and beer, mix well. Add the butter and melt fully. Slowly drop the mussel in the pan and stir. Cover and reduce heat to a low boil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until all mussels are opened (discard any opened mussels). Season with salt and garnish with cilantro. Serve with crusty bread over rice.

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.

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.

Basic Marinara

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
9 medium tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup garlic, chopped fine
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

Sauté garlic, onions, carrots, and chili flakes in olive oil on medium heat until soft. Place all remaining ingredients except ½ cup oregano in a large pot and bring to a boil. Place on low and simmer for about 45 minutes stirring regularly until all tomatoes are broken down. With a handheld food processor blend all ingredients in the pot until totally smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Skins are included in the sauce because they give a very rustic look and texture and provide a quick, easy sauce. Cook blended sauce on low for another 10 minutes adding more salt to taste. When finished , add remaining fresh oregano. Boil sauce on a low boil uncovered for another 10-20 minutes or until you reach desired thickness. Add remaining chopped oregano at end.

Shrimp Remoulade

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the Old Bay Steamed Shrimp

4 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 pounds shrimp, in shells

For the Remoulade Sauce

1½ cups mayonnaise
¼ cup diced celery
½ cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup Creole mustard (such as Zatarain’s)
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup ketchup
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

For the Old Bay Steamed Shrimp

In a large pot, combine first 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp, stir gently. Cover and steam until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Drain; remove shells.

For the Remoulade Sauce

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk well. Once blended, cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight. A minimum of 4 hours is required for flavors to develop. When ready, remove from refrigerator and adjust seasonings.

Starting with half the Remoulade sauce, gently mix in the whole, peeled shrimp. Add more sauce if necessary – salad should not be saucy. Chill thoroughly. Serve cold, stop crisp butter lettuce or fried green tomatoes.

Recipe adapted from the Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, by Chef John Folse

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.

Panamanian Sancocho

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, 1 chicken wing, 1 chicken thigh and 1 chicken drumstick
Salt
Pepper
Vegetable oil (avocado oil preferred)
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine
1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped fine
1 cup yucca, chopped in ½ inch squares
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, chopped fine
1 cup chopped tomatoes
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup zucchini or pumpkin, chopped, medium
1 large plantains, sliced in 1 inch sliced
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 tablespoon hot sauce
4 cups chicken stock, or water
1 -2 ears of fresh corn on the cob, sliced in 2-inch sections
Cotija cheese

Directions

Season all the chicken parts with salt and pepper. In a large soup pan heat oil to a high heat. Brown chicken and remove from pan. Sauté garlic, onions and jalapeno until semi translucent or about 3 minutes. Add the yucca, red pepper and carrot and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Next add the tomatoes, the fresh herbs and the cumin and mix well. Add the squash, the plaintains, the lime juice and zest, the hot sauce and the chicken stock or water and add chicken. Mix well and bring to a boil. Once at a boil turn to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Add the corn pieces and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve garnishes with cotija cheese. Serve over Arroz con Coco.

Carimanolas with Panamanian Salsa Chombo

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 24

Ingredients

5 cups yucca, boiled and mashed
Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt, plus more
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped fine
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine
2 tablespoons tomato paste (or 1 plum tomato chopped fine)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1-3 tablespoons hot sauce of choice

Directions

Mix the salt with the yucca and set aside. In a large sauté pan heat a small amount of vegetable oil (about 3-4 tablespoons) on high heat. Add the garlic onions , jalapeño pepper and green pepper and sauté for a few minutes, or until onions are semi translucent. Add the ground beef and continue to sauté until ground beef is fully browned or about 3-4 more minutes. Add fresh herbs. Add the tomatoes or tomato paste and all the spices and hot sauce and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until all liquid is cooked out of the beef mixture. Cool beef mixture. Form yucca mash into about 3 inch long circular shapes in the palm of your hand. Place a tablespoon of the beef minute in the middle and form the yucca mash around the beef mixture in the shape of an oval. Make sure there is a tight seal and all beef is in the inside of the yucca mash. Set aside. After all yucca mash patties are made, heat about 2 cups of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan until hot, Place yucca patties in the hot frying pan and fry on each side about 3 minutes each or until golden brown. When browned place on paper towels to drain off excess oil. Serve with Panamanian Salsa Chombo.

Panamanian Salsa Chombo

Makes approximately 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

4-5 Aji Chombo peppers (scotch bonnet peppers), stems removed
½ inch piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½ cup water
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in blender and puree until smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Jacques Gautier, Palo Santo

Curried Cauliflower Yogurt Chicken

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Ger-Nis Mild Curry Seasoning

Makes 1 cup

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

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 cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, thyme, carrots, celery, asparagus, and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

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.

Santorini Roasted Eggplant

May 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
4 medium baby eggplants, cut in half
2 medium red onions, cut in half
3 medium tomatoes, cut in half
1 red pepper, cut into thick long strips
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions

Place eggplants, red onions, tomatoes, and red pepper flesh side up on a large cutting board, sprinkle with a decent amount of salt. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and mix in a large mixing bowl. Grill all items on grill placing eggplant flesh side down until all items are grilled to medium consistency and eggplant is cooked through. Cool. Remove eggplant from skin and mash in a large mixing bowl. Chop onion and peppers and add to eggplant mixture. Add fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and mix again.

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.

Santorini Dried Tomatoes

May 24th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pound of dried tomatoes

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 pound Santorini tomatoes (or very good quality cherry tomatoes), sliced in half
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 170°F. On a greased or lined baking sheet, place the cherry tomatoes flesh side up very close to each other. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and place in oven for about 8 hours. Overnight works well. Make sure that the tomatoes do not dry completely but are able to stay moist and have plenty of oil. After cooling, the tomatoes can be placed in a jar with more olive oil and will keep for a few weeks.

Tomato White Wine Fish Sauce

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 pint cherry or plum tomatoes
1 cup white wine
1½ cup fish stock
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 lemon juice and zest

Directions

Heat a large sauté pan on a medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Let tomatoes roast in the pan until the skins begin to burst, 5-7 minutes. A little browning is fine. Remove pan from flame and add white wine. Return to flame and reduce wine for 2 minutes. Add fish stock and lower the flame to a low-medium heat. Reduce for another 5 minutes. Add parsley and lemon zest. Season to taste and serve over fish.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Nacatamales (Nicaraguan Tamales)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15 tamales (large)

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

Ingredients

For the tamale dough

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

For the filling

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

Directions

For the tamale dough

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

For the filling & assembly

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

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

Nicaraguan Baho (Beef Steak Cooked in Banana Leaves)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound beef brisket, cut into strips
3 cloves garlic
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced thin
1 medium white onion, sliced thin
Juice of 5 limes
1 tablespoon salt
1 ripe plantain, sliced
½ pound yucca, cubed
Banana leaves

Directions

In a large bowl, mix together beef, garlic, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, lime juice and salt. Place in the refrigerator covered and marinate overnight. In a large steamer with about 3 inches of water, cover the bottom of the steamer with banana leaves about two layers, making sure there are no holes exposed from the steamer (all steamer holes should be covered with banana leaves). Place the plantain and the yucca on the bottom over the banana leaves and then add the marinated vegetables and beef, including any juices. Cook on high for about 1 hour or until tender. The Baho is typically served on banana leaves with Ensalada de Repollo (Cabbage Salad).

Spicy Tomato Salad

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup baby lettuce
¼ cup avocado oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon jalapeño, chopped superfine
2 teaspoons Ger-Nis Tabasco
Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl, toss together onions, tomatoes, cilantro and baby lettuce. In a small bowl, whisk together avocado oil, lime juice, jalapeño, Tabasco and salt. Toss together with salad and serve.

Pickled Green Beans

May 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

½ pound green beans, trimmed
½ cup water
¾ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 medium tomato, crushed
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook green beans until tender or about 3-4 minutes. Place in an ice bath until completely chilled. Drain and set aside. In a bowl whisk together water, vinegar, horseradish, tomato, salt and lemon zest. Add the green beans and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for about 3 days before serving. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rined
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

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 cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, carrots, celery, asparagus and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans, and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

Guatamalan Red Chili Pork Chuchitos (Tamales)

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 tamales

INGREDIENTS

For the red chili pork

2 cups water
1 medium tomato, chopped medium
1 red chile, torn into pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 pound pork butt
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the tamale dough

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

Corn husk wrappers
Hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

For the red chili pork

Place water, tomatoes, chile, onions, garlic, spices, pork butt, salt and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until pork is falling apart and soft. Take off heat and cool. Discard the bay leaf. Shred the pork by pulling apart the fibers using a fork or your fingers. Place shredded meat into a medium sized bowl and add fresh herbs and combine. Set aside.

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine masa harina and lime zest with 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid from pork and mix well. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer or with an electric hand held mixer, mix the lard until fluffy, about five minutes. Add the lard to the masa harina mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece 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. In the corn husk, place about ½ cup of the masa mixture topped with shredded pork and herb mixture. Fold over the corn husk like you are folding a present and tie the package with a corn husk tie or kitchen twine.

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

Paches de Guatemala (Guatemala Potato Tamales)

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 tamales

INGREDIENTS

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

DIRECTIONS

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

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

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.

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.

Spring Spelt Ratatouille With Roasted Tomato Sauce

March 31st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

Olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
2 medium spring onions, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 medium carrot, chopped medium
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 cup snap peas
1 cup asparagus spears
½ cup fresh fava beans (shelled, cooked and subskins removed)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, cracked finely
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
¼ cup of each of the following fresh herbs : parsley, cilantro, mint and tarragon, chopped fine
â…“ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
¼ – ½ cup of white wine (the wine you choose for the pairing)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups spelt pasta, spirals, twists or shells, cooked
Roasted Tomato Herb Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

In a heavy bottom stew pan over medium heat add olive oil. Cook garlic, onions and lemon zest for about a minute or two until slightly translucent. Add the carrots and sauté another minute or two. Add the fennel, snap peas, favas and asparagus spears 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 the wine and mix well, turn down heat to low, lemon juice and let simmer stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Add the remaining herbs and take off heat and toss together with spelt pasta and roasted tomato sauce, sprinkle in the remaining herbs just before serving.

Roasted Tomato Herb Sauce

Makes about 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

8-10 small vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
6 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup fresh herbs of your choice, torn into pieces
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Cracked black pepper
½ cup Kalamata olives or green olives, pits removed and halved
¼ cup olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 275°F. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Place in a pre-oiled shallow baking dish and drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 1 hour or until bubbly hot.

Spinach Ricotta Tortellini with Lemon Olive Oil, Black Pepper Tomatoes

March 30th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the tortellini

2 cups fresh spinach, steamed and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 Ger-Nis fresh pasta recipe

For the lemon olive oil, black pepper tomatoes

¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest
½ cup fresh tomatoes (cherry tomatoes halved or other tomatoes cut into small chunks)
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

For the tortellini

In a small bowl, combine spinach, parsley, mint, cayenne pepper, ricotta, and salt. Mix and set aside. Using fresh pasta sheets cut with cookie cutters cut pasta into 3 inch discs, place a teaspoon of filling on the center of one pasta sheet, making sure not to over stuff. Fold the pasta disc in half making a half disc. Using wet fingers, seal all sides of tortellini by pinching down, making sure they are sealed well. Then fold the two sides of the half sphere towards each other and using your finger to make a small center hole, you will basically be forming a donut shape.

tortellini

Place tortellini’s 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, and serve with the lemon olive oil black pepper tortellini.

For the lemon olive oil black pepper tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Mix all ingredients, except salt in a baking dish and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with the maldon salt. Serve over tortellini’s.

Pa Amb Tomaquet

March 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

1 loaf country bread, cut into ½ to ¾ inch slices (preferably from a round loaf)
2 cloves garlic
2 ripe tomatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cut bread on a baking sheet and lightly toast the, just until the crumb is somewhat abrasive. Cut the garlic crosswise and rub the bread with the cut side of the clove. Cut the tomato crosswise and squeeze lightly to remove the seeds and juices. Rub the bread with the tomato. Repeat with the other side if desired. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.

Optional: Serve with anchovies, thinly sliced Jamón Iberico, or chunks of young Manchego cheese.

Patatas Bravas

March 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

For the potatoes

4 large Russet potatoes
Salt, to taste

For the salsa brava

â…“ cup tomate frito, recipe follows
½ tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce to taste
2 cups olive oil or canola oil

Directions

Parboil the potatoes with their skins still intact on the stove. The potatoes are finished boiling when you put a knife in them, and they are still slightly firm. Set the potatoes aside, so they can cool.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the salsa brava, adding white vinegar and cayenne pepper until the sauce tastes tangy and spicy. Set the sauce aside.

Drain, peel and cut the potatoes into 3 cm (1 inch) cubes. In a deep sauté pan over medium heat add oil. Deep-fry potatoes in batches. Remove the potatoes from the oil and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Put the potatoes on a serving plate, sprinkle them with salt and drizzle them with the bravas sauce. Some prefer to serve the sauce on the side, but traditionally the sauce is drizzled over top.

Tomate Frito

Makes approximately 2 cups

Ingredients

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped small 1 clove garlic
1 pound very ripe tomatoes (plum or other variety), chopped
Salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon sherry vinegar

Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and increase heat to medium high and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes start to break down and release their juices. Season with salt and sugar and cook 5 minutes more. Finish with sherry vinegar.

Beef and Guinness Pie

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 pounds beef chuck, cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
3 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup brown mushrooms, sliced
2 cups beef stock
1 cup Guinness
Salt and pepper
1 package puff pastry

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, thyme, and flour. Rub the spice mixture onto the beef. Heat the oil in a pan over med-high heat. Sauté the beef for 5 minutes, then add garlic and yellow onion. When onions are translucent, add carrots and sauté for 3 minutes. Next, add parsley, tomato, and mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Add stock, Guinness, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. In 8 (6 oz) ramekins or one large baking dish, fill with beef stew and cover with puff pastry. Bake 10 minutes or until browned.

Salsa Rojo (Red Sauce)

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1½ cups

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium dried red chilies, seeded and chopped (stems included)
½ a medium yellow onion, chopped
½ a poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
½ tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon smoky chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup water (or chicken broth)

DIRECTIONS

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.

Fresh Guacamole

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1½ cups

INGREDIENTS

4 avocados, ripe and soft, but not mushy
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup tomatoes, chopped fine
¼ cup white onions, chopped fine
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt
Juice of 3 limes

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl mash avocados one by one with a large fork until chunky, but relatively smooth.
Add cilantro, tomatoes, white onions, jalapeño, and cumin. Continue to mash and mix all ingredients and then add a few pinches of salt and mix well. Begin to juice the limes into the guacamole one by one mixing and mashing after each one. Taste the guacamole and adjust seasoning if needed, and more salt, pinch by pinch until desired flavor, which will be approximately 3 teaspoons of salt in total.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1½ cups

INGREDIENTS

3 tomatoes, chopped fine
¼ cup white onion, chopped very fine
¼ cup red bell peppers, chopped very fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine
½ teaspoon cumin
Juice of 2 limes
Salt

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl until well combined. Add salt to taste.

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.

Smoked Spiced Eggplant

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons canola oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
½ fresh hot green chile, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon

DIRECTIONS

Roast the eggplant directly on the burner of a gas stove over medium heat, turning often, until the skin is completely blackened and the flesh is soft, about 10 minutes. Or, roast the eggplant on a cookie sheet in a 500°F oven until the skin is blackened, about 20 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then pull off the skin with your fingers, rinsing your hands under running water as you work. (Don’t worry if you can’t get all the charred skin off.) Cut off and discard the stem. Then put the eggplant in a bowl and mash it to a puree with a potato masher.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, wok, or kadai over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until the raw smell disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut, if using, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, garam masala, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Now add about 1 tablespoon of water, and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to stick, about 1 more minute.

Add the tomatoes, and give the mixture a stir. Add the mashed eggplant, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh chile and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Stir in the lemon juice, and taste for salt. Spoon into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of cilantro, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Curried Black-Eyed Peas

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup canola oil
4 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
6 green cardamom pods
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole dried red chiles
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar and pestle with 18 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 medium tomatoes, quartered and pureed in a food processor or blender
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon garam masala
3 (15½-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil with the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, chiles, cumin seeds, and bay leaves in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ginger, and cook 1 minute. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion turns a uniform golden brown color, about 15 minutes. Keep a measuring cup of water by the stove. As the onion begins to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to pull up the browned bits, keeping the onion and spices from burning. Do this as often as necessary (5 or 6 times) until the onion is well browned.

When the onion is cooked, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the coriander, ground cumin, and turmeric, and cook until the raw smell of the spices disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the cayenne, and then immediately the pureed tomato. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until a film of oil pools on the surface of the sauce, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a measuring cup or bowl, whisk or stir the yogurt until smooth. Stir about 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce in the yogurt to temper it. When the tomato sauce has cooked 5 minutes, stir in the tempered yogurt, the garam masala, black-eyed peas, and water. Turn the heat to medium, and heat until a bubble or two just breaks the surface, 5 to 7 minutes. (Do not allow yogurt in sauce to boil, or it will curdle.) Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Warm Lentil Salad with Coconut and Tomato

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2½ tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon yellow split peas
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole dried red chiles
8 fresh or 12 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 fresh hot green chile, cut corsswise into thin slices
1 red onion, sliced
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup split peas or lentils simmered in water to cover until tender, and drained
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil, the mustard seeds (if using), and yellow split peas in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the mustard seeds crackle and/or the dal begins to color, 1 to 2 minutes. (Cover the pan if using mustard seeds; they pop and splatter.)

Add the cumin and cook, stirring, until the cumin turns golden brown, about 1 minute.

Add the dried chiles, curry leaves, and asafetida (if using), and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. (Stand back when using the curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.)

Add the fresh chile, onion, and salt, and cook until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut, if using, and cook, stirring, until it turns golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the cooked lentils, lemon juice, and cilantro, and stir until the lentils are warmed through. Taste for salt. Spoon the salad into a serving bowl, and serve warm or at room temperature.

© 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.

Crispy Okra Salad (Kararee Bhindi)

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Canola oil
1-pound okra, stemmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium or 2 small tomatoes, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons chaat masala

DIRECTIONS

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F. Add a third of the okra, and fry until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining okra, making sure the oil temperature comes back to 350°F before frying additional batches.

In a large bowl, toss the okra with the onion, tomato, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and chaat masala. Taste for seasoning, and serve immediately.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Savory Indian Crepes with Tomato-Shallot Chutney (Cheelas)

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

For the crepes

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon carom (ajowan)
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup water
1 jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1½ teaspoons canola oil

For the chutney

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

To prepare the crepes, whisk the chickpea flour, salt, carom, and cayenne pepper together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the water (the batter should look like a thin pancake batter), and set the batter aside for 30 minutes. While the batter rests, make the chutney: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the shallots and salt, and cook until the shallots are transparent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, jalapeño, and cilantro; cover the saucepan; and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the tomatoes are very saucy, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover the saucepan, and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the chutney is thick and jammy, another 6 to 8 minutes. Set it aside while you make the crepes.

Gently stir the jalapeño and ¼ cup cilantro into the crepe batter, trying not to create any bubbles. Heat a medium nonstick skillet or griddle over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. You’ll know it’s hot enough when a few droplets of water sizzle on the skillet. Working quickly, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the center of the skillet, and spread it into a large and thin circle with the back of the measuring cup or back of a spoon (do it quickly – the batter cooks fast). Drizzle ¼ teaspoon of canola oil over the top of the crepe. Cook the underside of the crepe until browned, 1 to 1½ minutes. Flip, and cook the other side until it’s dry, about 30 seconds. Serve with a general scoop of chutney, and eat hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Lahori Chicken Curry with Whole Spices & Potatoes

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

A 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and skinned
3 medium red boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
¾ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt
1½ medium onions, roughly diced
5 garlic cloves
A 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half crosswise
3 tablespoons canola oil
A 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
12 green cardamom pods
9 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
3 whole dried red chiles
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 fresh hot green chile, cut in half
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
1 cup water
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

Combine the chicken, potatoes, ½ teaspoon of the turmeric, ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl and stir to coat the chicken and potato with the spices. Let stand while you make the sauce.

Finely mince the onions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and set aside.

Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, red chiles, coriander, and cumin in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the minced onion mixture, the green chile, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables brown around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon and green chile, and stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth; set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and potatoes and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time and stir well after each addition. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes, to evaporate some of the moisture.

Add the pureed tomato, mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the water. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Stir every 5 to 8 minutes and scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from sticking. Then uncover and cook 5 more minutes to reduce and thicken. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste for salt and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Seco de Carne

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes a hearty stew that will feed 6 hungry people

Traditionally this dish was made with llama, vension, or other game, but it is now most commonly made with lamb, goat, or beef.

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup rendered animal fat
3 pounds stew meat, cut into pieces with the bone
½ pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
¼ pound dried aji panca, toasted and ground
2 cups chicha amarilla
2 cups meat stock
3 culantro leaves
Salt
1 pound green beans, cut into pieces

PREPARATION

In a large braising pan over high heat, add animal fat. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and add the stew meat. Cook, browning the meat on all sides. Once the meat is browned, deglaze the pan with the chopped tomatoes, making sure to scrap up any meat from the bottom of the pan. Add the ground aji, and continue to cook until the tomatoes have lost most of their liquid. Deglaze the pan again with the chicha, and lower the flame. Let everything simmer down until the stew is almost dry again. Add the stock, the culantro leaves, and a little salt, and continue to simmer.

Once the sauce has reduced and thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, add the green beans, and adjust the seasoning with a little bit more salt. Cook until the green beans are tender, and serve with boiled chuños and quinoa.

©Recipe Property of Jacques Gautier, Palo Santo

Spicy Italian Sausage Baked with Tomatoes & Potatoes

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 (makes 6-9 sausages)

INGREDIENTS

For the Sausage

2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, slab bacon, or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Casings of your choice

For the Baked Sausage Dish

6-9 spicy Italian sausage
2 medium sized green peppers, seeds and pit removed, cut into long strips
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt

PREPARATION

For the Sausages

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade on your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients, following the instructions. 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 ened 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 your are ready. Turn the mahcine 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 (or lose it).

For Baked Sausage Dish

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Place in an oven proff baking dish with a lid, and bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

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.

Pico de Gallo

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 medium red onion, chopped fine
½ jalapeño, seeded and chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
2 medium tomatoes, flesh removed, chopped fine
Juice of 2 lemons
Dash of cumin
2 teaspoons maldon salt

PREPARATION

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and let stand for 3 minutes. Strain and serve.

Fresh Guacamole

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

6-8 avocados, ripe and soft, but not mushy
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
½ cup tomatoes, chopped fine
½ cup white onions, chopped fine
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt
5-6 limes

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl mash avocados one by one with a large fork until chunky, but relatively smooth. Add cilantro, tomatoes, white onions, jalapeño, and cumin. Continue to mash and mix all ingredients and then add a few pinches of salt and mix well. Begin to juice the limes into the guacamole one by one mixing and mashing after each one. Taste the guacamole and adjust seasoning if needed, and more salt, pinch by pinch until desired flavor, which will be approximately 3 teaspoons of salt in total.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

3 cups red cherry tomatoes, chopped fine
2 medium yellow tomatoes, chopped fine
½ cup white onion, chopped very fine
½ cup red bell peppers, chopped very fine
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon cumin
Juice of 3-4 limes
Salt

PREPARATION

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl until well combined. Add salt to taste.

Peruvian Blue Potato Latkes

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 medium latkes

These latkes are colorful, vibrant and have a spicy tang that gives them a special kick.

INGREDIENTS

For Latkes

5-6 medium blue potatoes, washed, peeled, and grated
1 medium white onion, grated
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Vegetable oil

For Cumin Tomato Sour Cream

1 cup sour cream
¼ cup tomatoes, chopped fine
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 teaspoon jalapeño, chopped fine
Juice of half of a lime
2 teaspoons salt

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, onion, thyme, eggs, flour, cumin, cumin seeds, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over high heat making sure there is enough oil to cover the bottom generously. Form 2 to 3-inch pancakes, drop into pan and brown on both sides until deep golden brown, usually about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Take off heat, and place on paper towels so excess oil can be drained.

Combine all ingredients for cumin tomato sour cream in a small mixing bowl, and mix well until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Serve cold on top of hot latkes.

Empanadas de Pulpo (Octopus Pie Pocket)

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 10-12 Empanadas

In Spain, canned and jarred octopus is a luxury. To use it in empanadas is a delicious way to enjoy the delicacies of the Valencian waters, even from afar. Empanada dough is slightly sweet and thick in texture and does a brilliant job of absorbing the sauces form the inside without becoming soaked.

INGREDIENTS

For the empanada dough

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
¾ cup water (ice cold)

For the empanada filling

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans of pulpo (in oil), chopped
3 medium plum or Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper
Butter or oil
Flake sea salt

PREPARATION

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly with crumbles about the size of peas. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and water. Add the liquid a little bit at a time to the flour-butter mixture, mix it up with your hands or a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, a few more tablespoons of ice cold water may be needed. Form the dough into a flat disc shape about the size of a small salad plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Divide the dough in half, and roll out on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Roll into a large rectangular shape. Cut the dough into 4 5-inch squares. Place a dollop of the filling in the center of each square. Fold over the dough around the filling, and moisten borders with wet inger tips. Roll the edges of the border from one side of the empanada to the other in a crescent, making sure just to roll the very outer edge of the border. Place each empanada on a greased baking sheet. Poke one or two holes, using the tip of a knife, in each empanada to aerate them. Sprinkle with flake sea salt.

Bake empanadas for about 15 minutes, take out of the oven, and brush with a little olive oil or butter. Bake again for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Berenjena Rellena (Stuffed Eggplant)

November 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 medium eggplants
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Serve with chunk of bread

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut the eggplants in half and brush with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt, place skin side down on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until soft.
Remove from oven and cool and scoop out center, leaving a little on the bottom as the shell becomes a boat or vessel for your mixture. Chop the eggplant super fine and place in a large bowl and add all other ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and place in shells and bake for about 30 minutes or until super soft. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

Albondigas Tradicional (Traditional Moorish Meatballs)

November 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Recipe adapted from the Food of Spain cookbook by Vikki Harris

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For Meatballs:

8 oz ground pork
8 oz ground beef
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 teaspoon coriander seeds (freshly ground)
2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (freshly toasted and ground)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 egg
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

For Spicy Tomato Sauce:

1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups (15 oz can) crushed tomatoes
½ cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl combine pork, beef, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, spices, egg and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly by hand until the mixture is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Turn mixture into small 1-inch balls. Heat a large sauté pan with olive oil on medium high heat and cook the meatballs, rolling until all sides are golden brown, drain on paper towel. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent about 5 minutes. Add parsley and white wine and reduce liquid a little. Add tomato paste and mix well, add the crushed tomatoes, stock and cayenne and mix well. Add meatballs back into the pan and cook for another 10 minutes on medium low heat. The sauce should get thick. Serve warm.

Albondigas Tradicional (Traditional Moorish Meatballs)

Ensalada de Atun & Anchoas (Tuna and Anchovy Salad)

November 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Recipe adapted from the Food of Spain cookbook by Vikki Harris

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

½ cup almonds
½ cup hazlenuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (Spanish)
6 cloves garlic
3 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into quarters
2 roasted red peppers, deseeded and destemmed
4 tablespoo ns sherry vinegar (Spanish)
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
Salt
4 cups baby lettuce
8 ounces canned or jarred Spanish tuna in oil or water, drained
8 anchovies
1 medium red onion, sliced thin in rounds
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
½-1 cup black olives (about 15-20 olives)
Freshly cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F. On a baking sheet, place nuts and roast in oven for about 5-7 minutes or until golden color and fragrant. Cool and then remove skins from hazlenuts by rubbing together in a clean towel.
In a medium sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 cloves garlic and bread and fry the bread flipping over until crispy brown (1 minute on each side). Drain and set oil aside and place bread on paper towel to drain excess oil.
Place roasted red pepper, nuts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, sherry vinegar, lemon juice nd parsley into food processor until smooth, season with salt.
Arrange lettuce in a wide shallow dish, place tuna, red onions, bread slices, anchovies, tomatoes and olives across the top. Drizzle dressing over the top. Serve with cracked black pepper.

Persian Herb Stew

October 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium leek, sliced thin, tops included
1 pound, beef, cubed into ½ inch cubes
Salt/pepper
½ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 medium tomatoes chopped, seeds included
3 dried Persian lemons, cracked in half
2 cups water
½ cup yellow split peas or pre soaked chick peas
2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup fresh chives, chopped
¼ fresh fenugreek

PREPARATION

Cook onions, scallinos and leeks in oil heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and semi translucent, 15 to 20 minutes.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat. Increase heat to high, and then add meat, saffrom, cinnamon and turmeric to onions and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomatoes and toss in lemons and stir well, then simmer for a few minutes. Add water and simmer covered for about 35 minutes. Add water and beans and all fresh herbs and simmer again covered for about 45-60 minutes or until meat is very tender.

Purple Majesty Potato Latkes with Tomato Cumin Sour Cream

October 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 medium latkes.

INGREDIENTS

5-6 medium blue potatoes, washed, peeled and grated
1 medium white onion, grated
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
2 eggs beaten
½ cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
vegetable oil

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except oil and mix well. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet to high heat making sure there is enough oil to cover the bottom generously. Form 2-3 inch pancakes, drop into pan and brown on both sides until deep golden brown, usually about 2-3 minutes on each side. Take off heat and place on paper towels so excess oil can be drained.

CUMIN TOMATO SOUR CREAM

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sour cream
¼ cup tomatoes chopped fine
1 tablespoon cumin

Lomo Saltado

October 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 (or 1 for Gustav!)

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds potatoes, cut into wedges, pre toasted (fries)
Vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium red onions, halved and sliced
1 pound beef, sliced into strips (sirloin or flank work best)
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into strips
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Salt & pepper
Rice (pre cooked)

PREPARATION

Stir fry the vegetables and meat and add sauce. Add fries and serve with rice!

Lomo Saltado

Romano Beans with Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic and Olive Tapenade

October 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound Romano beans, cleaned and cut into 3 inch sections (steamed to aldente)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (all different varieties) lightly grilled and sliced in half
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup olive oil
Sea Salt course
Cracked Black Pepper
Olive Tapenade (recipe follows)

PREPARATION

Mix beans, tomatoes and garlic in a large salad bowl. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice and toss well, season with salt and pepper and serve drizzling a little olive tapenade atop each serving.

Black Olive Tapenade

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup nicoise olives, pitted
1 anchovy fillet
2 tablespoons capers
1 clove garlic
¼ up chopped herb (basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, marjoram)
¼ cup olive oil
Salt/pepper

PREPARATION

Mix all ingredients in a blender or with a hand held processor until coarsely ground.

Romano Beans with Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic and Olive Tapenade

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!

Heirloom Tomato and Pesto Pasta Salad

October 13th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1lb Pasta, cooked
2 gloves Garlic, minced
4 medium Zucchini, chopped
1½ lbs. Heirloom tomatoes, chopped
2 cups fresh Basil leaves
Juice of one large Lemon
½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, sauté garlic, add zucchini and season with salt, cook, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, warm through and combine with cooked pasta. Meanwhile, in a blender, add basil, lemon juice and olive oil and puree, taste for salt. Drizzle pasta salad with basil sauce.

Heirloom Tomato and Pesto Pasta Salad

Traditional Andalusian Gazpacho

October 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

15 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into small pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
¼ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup olive oil (Spanish)
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 cup dry bread crumbs, rinsed in water
Flat leaf parsley, garnish

PREPARATION

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Take 1 cup of mixture and blend in the food processor or blender pulsing until semi smooth. Pour liquid back into mixing bowl and stir well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Alternatively grind up with a mortar and pestle until desired consistency. Chill before serving.

Traditional Andalusian Gazpacho

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta, Olives, and Herbs

October 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 pint cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup pitted green olives (ideally calabrese or something equally briny)
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil (ideally Frantoia or Montevertine)
Black pepper
Maldon sea salt, to taste

PREPARATION

Place ricotta cheese in mixing bowl and whisk with about a ¼ cup of olive oil until cheese is smooth. Season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Place Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes on plate and season with generous amount of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a dash of red wine vinegar (important to get a little vinegar on each tomato). In a separate mixing bowl, toss together onions, herbs, and olives, and season with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly over tomatoes. Place healthy dollops of ricotta on top of entire salad and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with final pinch of sea salt.

© Recipe courtesy of John Adler, franny’s

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta, Olives, and Herbs

Chicken Cacciatore

October 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
2 chicken wings, skin on, bone in
Sea salt
Black pepper
½ cup flour (for dredging)
Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped medium
2 medium carrots, chopped medium
2 ribs of celery, chopped fine
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup of each reserved for the end
½ cup dry white wine
1 large (28-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock

PREPARATION

Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. In a heavy bottom 5-Qt pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté chicken until brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. You can do the chicken in two batches if need be, take chicken out and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, and add garlic and onion, sauté until the garlic and onions are tender and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add bell peppers, carrots, and celery, and continue to sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of all herbs and sauté just until coated. Add the wine and remove any little bits and pieces stuck to bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, squishing them with your fingers to break apart whole tomatoes. Add chicken stock, stir well. Add the chicken and mix well. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add remaining herbs and take off heat. Remove any excess oil or fat floating on the top of the sauce with a spoon. Serve over Herbed polenta.

Fresh Herb Fennel Crusted Tuna, Scallops & Shrimp Seafood Stew

October 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Olive Oil
1 pound tuna roast (ask your butcher for uncut tuna steaks-you need 1 large piece)
1 pound medium or small scallops
1 pound peeled shrimp
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
¼ cup fennel seeds
¼ cup peppercorns
¼ cup coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
3 cups roma tomatoes, chopped
1½ cups white wine
Salt and pepper

Directions

Marinate tuna, scallops and shrimp with lemon juice for about 1 hour. Grind in a grinder or smash lemon zest, fennel seeds, cracked peppercorns, chili and course sea salt until a gritty spice mixture is created. Heat a thick-bottomed stew pan to high heat with a generous portion of olive oil. Rub tuna with spice mixture and brown tuna on all sides. Remove tuna and add garlic, onions and peppers to pan. Sauté until tender or about 3 minutes Add half of fresh herbs, shrimp and scallops. Sauté for just a few minutes. Add wine and stir while removing the bits that stuck to the pan. Reduce heat to low. Add tomatoes. Stir well and add tuna and kalamata olives. Simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tuna as it cooks. Add remainder of the fresh herbs and take of heat and let stand for five minutes before serving. If needed, a bit of water can be added but only if the tomatoes have not given off enough liquid in the middle of the cooking process.

Best served over Israeli couscous.

Sicilian Stuffed Tomatoes

August 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

6 large vine ripened tomatoes, tops cut off and deseeded
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°.  Meanwhile, take your tomato shells and drain upside down on a paper towel to get rid of any extra moisture, 20 minutes.

In a medium sized sauté pan over low heat, add olive oil, and then add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft, but have no color. Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs, herbs and two tablespoons pecorino cheese.

Using a spoon, fill the tomato shells with the bread crumb mixture, then place in an ovenproof in a single layer. Sprinkle the tops with the rest of pecorino cheese and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and the tops are golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Traditional Andalusian Gazpacho

August 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

15 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into small pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
¼ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup olive oil (Spanish)
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 cup dry bread crumbs, rinsed in water
Flat leaf parsley, garnish

PREPARATION

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Take 1 cup of mixture and blend in the food processor or blender pulsing until semi smooth. Pour liquid back into mixing bowl and stir well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Alternatively grind up with a mortal and pestle until desired consistency. Chill before serving.

Green Beans With Fresh Herbs, Chopped Tomatoes & Red Onions

June 2nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1 – 2

INGREDIENTS

8 oz. green beans, washed and ends removed
1 tomato, chopped
½ red onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
Salt & pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350ËšF degrees

Place green beans, tomato and red onion in medium bowl.  Toss with olive oil, garlic, basil, marjoram, and salt & pepper to taste.  Transfer to prepared foil.

Wrap and bake for 15 minutes.

Herbed Tomato Soup with a Poached Egg

October 25th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 T olive oil
½ c finely chopped shallots or leeks
Salt/pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup each chopped parsley, chives and tarragon

Directions

Sauté shallots in olive oil until they are translucent. Add fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Next, add tomatoes and simmer for about five minutes. Blend mixture with a hand held food processor for just a few seconds until the tomatoes are smooth. Bring soup to high simmer, add eggs, and cook about three to four minutes on a high simmer until eggs are done.

Santorini Roasted Eggplant

October 25th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
4 medium baby eggplants, cut in half
2 medium red onions, cut in half
3 medium tomatoes, cut in half
1 red pepper, cut into thick long strips
¼ c chopped fresh oregano
¼ c chopped fresh parsley
¼ c fresh chopped mint
olive oil
salt and pepper

PREPARATION

Place eggplants, red onions, tomatoes, and red pepper flesh side up on a large cutting board, sprinkle with a decent amount of salt. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and mix in a large mixing bowl. Grill all items on grill placing eggplant flesh side down until all items are grilled to medium consistency and eggplant is cooked through. Cool. Remove eggplant from skin and mash in a large mixing bowl. Chop onion and peppers and add to eggplant mixture. Add fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and mix again. Serves 4.

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