Thursday, October 31, 2013

Four-Cheese Polenta With Chanterelle Ragout

Four-Cheese Polenta
With Chanterelle Ragout

Daughter Anne served this dish last evening at dinner.  The dish received raves and compliments.
*
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups water 
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional
   to season
2/3 cup instant polenta
3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, chopped into
    large pieces
3 ounces Taleggio cheese, rind removed
   and chopped into large pieces
3 ounces Fontina Val d'Aosta cheese, coarsely 
   grated
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano chesse
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, cut into
   1/2 inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 sage leaves
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
***
Directions:
Make Polenta:  In a deep pot over medium heat, bring milk, water and salt to just under a boil.  Slowly pour the polenta while constantly whisking  Once polenta is fully incorporated, reduce heat and gently simmer, whisking often, until grains are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add water as necessary, to keep polenta loose.  Add cheeses and stir until melted, about 3 minutes.
*
Make mushroom ragout:  Heat olive oi in a large frying pan over high heat.  Once oil is very hot, add mushrooms and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Saute mushrooms until liquid is released about 2 minutes.  Continue cooking until liquid evaporates and mushrooms brown, about 8 minutes more.  Add garlic and sage and saute until aromatic, 1-2 minutes.  Add butter and cook until melted, about 30 seconds.  Remove pan from heat and serve mushrooms over polenta.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Turtle Cookie Barrs

If you love chocolate, caramel, and pecans this a good one. This recipe comes from Southern Living Best Desserts. 
Turtle Cookie Bars 

Crust: 
 2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup butter, softened 
2nd Layer
1 cup pecan halves or chopped pecans 
2/3 cup butter 
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1 cup milk chocolate morsels 
*
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine first 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. 

Pat mixture firmly into an ungreased 13x9 inch pan. 

Arrange pecans over crust. Combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over pecans. 

Arrange pecans over crust.  

Combine in saucepan: 
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Bring to a boil over medium het, stirring constantly.  Cook 3 minutes 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Remove from oven; sprinkle with chocolate morsels.  Let stand 2-3 minutes or until slightly melted.  Gently swirl chocolate with a knife, leaving some morsels whole (do not spread.)


Let cool on a wire rack at room temperature until chocolate is set.  Cut into squares.  Yummy in moderation.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lentil and Kale Soup


This soup is such a hearty but delicious dish and just great for the cooler weather!
***
 Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, bulk or casing 
   removed
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, leafy tops reserved
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large Idaho potato, peeled and chopped
1 Fresno or Holland chili pepper, thinly sliced 
   or finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bundle Tuscan black, or dinosaur kale, stemmed   
  and finely chopped 
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 3/4 cup lentils
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
*
Directions:

In a soup pot or large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.  Add the sausage breaking it into pieces and cook until lightly brown.  Add the onions, celery, carrots, potato, chile pepper, rosemary, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.Wilt the kale and season the kale leaves with a little freshly grated nutmeg.  Stir in tomato paste for thirty seconds, then add white wine.  Cook to reduce by 1/2 and stir in the lentils, stock and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer the soup until the lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.  Serve immediately or cool, store, and reheat.  Serve with chopped celery leaves to garnish.
*
Serves 4


Monday, October 28, 2013

Liddabit Sweets Tropical Toffee



This recipe was shared in the Seattle Times magazine "Pacific NW".  Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook is the name of the newest cookbook of Liz Gutman and Jen King and the source of this recipe.

Liddabit Sweets Tropical Toffee

Makes about 3 pounds
1 pound unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the baking sheet
4 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup light rum
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups roasted, salted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped or crushed
1. Generously butter a large (13 x18-inch) rimmed baking sheet and set it aside on a heatproof surface.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup, rum, vanilla and sea salt in a medium-size (4-quart) saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Insert a candy thermometer.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly with a spatula until the mixture reaches 300 degrees (hard-crack stage) and turns a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes).
4. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the baking soda and macadamia nuts, stirring vigorously (but carefully) to incorporate.
5. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet; spread evenly with a heatproof spatula. Allow to cool completely, about 2 hours, then break into bite-size pieces.
Store the toffee, layered with parchment or wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks (bring to room temperature before serving).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Whole-Grain Pancakes

  Whole-Grain Pancakes

Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Ingredients:
Butter as needed
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups milk.
***
Directions:
1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter. In a large bowl combine flours, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.
2. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer or a whisk until stiff peaks form, but do not overbeat. In separate bowl beat milk, yolks and melted butter until foamy, a couple of minutes. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and give a couple of good stirs, but do not overmix. Fold in egg whites and stir until batter is just evenly colored and relatively smooth; it’s O.K. if there are some lumps.
3. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) or griddle over medium heat until a few drops of water dance on its surface. Add butter as needed (or use a thin film of neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn). When skillet is hot, spoon batter into pan. Cook until bubbles form and pop, about 2 minutes; you may have to rotate cakes to cook them evenly, depending on your heat source and pan. Then carefully flip pancakes. Cook until well colored on other side, another minute or two more. Serve or keep in warm oven for a few minutes.
Yield: At least 6 servings.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Portobello Frittes

Portobello Frittes
Like most Francophiles, when we are not traveling to French-speaking (and -eating) destinations, we are at home, dreaming of them and inspired by them as we cook the foods we love. Steak frites is the definitive French bistro dish; our portobello version features a juicy red wine reduction that sings with tarragon and a touch of Dijon. You can easily make restaurant-crisp fries at home with the V-edge method: start with baked potatoes, then crisp them up in a little oil.

Ingredients

2 russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced shallots
4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps wiped clean
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup canola oil for frying
*
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Puncture each potato with a fork three times, sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of the coarse sea salt, and wrap individually in foil. Bake until tender to the touch, about 40 minutes. Unwrap the potatoes and let cool; when cool enough to handle, cut each into eight wedges. Set aside.
2. While the potatoes are cooling, whisk together the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the garlic, pepper, and shallots in a small bowl.
3. Place the portobello caps on a sheet pan with rimmed edges and coat them evenly on both sides with the olive oil mixture, leaving them rounded sides up. Roast until soft in the middle, 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Transfer the portobello caps to a plate, still rounded sides up, and set aside to cool. Pour the wine, vegetable stock, and mustard onto the warm sheet pan to mix with the mushroom cooking juices. Scrape any solids off the tray, then carefully pour this mixture into a large saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Stir the tarragon into the red wine sauce. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover to keep warm.
6. In a large sauté pan, heat the canola oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully fry a few potato wedges at a time until they turn brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the frites as they are done to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle them lightly with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
7. Reheat the portobello caps in the oven if necessary. Serve smothered with red wine sauce and frites on the side.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Taco Pie


Taco Pie
Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry
1 package Taco Bell seasoning mix
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream, optional

Directions:

place puff pastry on the bottom of a greased pie tin.

In a medium skillet, cook beef and onions until beef is browned and cooked through. Drain. Add Salsa and taco seasoning. Cook until bubbly. Pour into crust. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Top with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Cut and serve with sour cream.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Two Pumpkin Favorites, Pie and Cake

PUMPKIN SHEETCAKE
Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups fresh pumpkin or one can
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
*

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together and pour into a sheet cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cake cool and then add frosting.
*
Frosting Recipe:
One 8-ounce package cream cheese
2 sticks of softened butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts
box of powder sugar
*
Mix well and spread on cake after it is cool.
***
PUMPKIN PIE
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup milk
*
Directions:
Combine dry ingredients. Add egg yolks, milk and pumpkin. Fold in beaten egg whites. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes one 9-inch pie.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brined Pork Chops With Ginger Apple Sauce



Brined Pork Chops
With Ginger Apple Sauce 
I cannot describe the tender, juicy and succulent flavor of this recipe for pork chops.  Do try it and I am sure you will agree.
Ingredients:
3 cups water
1 cup apple cider
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup maple syrup
3 star anise
Six 1½ -inch-thick pork rib chops
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. finely chopped ginger
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup apple juice
1 cup stock
¼ cup cold butter

*
Directions:
1. Place water, cider, salt, maple syrup and anise in a pot and bring to boil. Stir to dissolve the salt then remove from heat and cool completely to make brine.

2. Place pork chops in 1 or 2 sealable plastic bags. Pour brine over to completely cover the chops. Seal bags and refrigerate for 12 hours.

3. Remove chops, drain well and pat dry. Season with pepper.

4. Preheat oven to 450ºF.

5. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops in batches and sear on each side about 2 minutes per side. Remove chops to baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until just slightly pink, turning once. Remove from oven and place on plates.

6. Add ginger, lemon juice, apple juice and stock to skillet when chops are baking. Bring to boil and boil until reduced by half. Stir in butter and spoon over chops.


Serves 6

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rocky Mountain High Coconut Cream Pie

Rocky Mountain High Coconut Cream Pie
Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch  
2 cups light cream, at room temp
1 cup milk, at room temp
4 extra large egg yolks, lightly beaten, at room temp
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract 
1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut  
1 fully baked 9 inch pie shell

*
Directions: 
Mix sugar and cornstarch in large bowl until it resembles powder.  
Add the light cream slowly in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Beat well. 
Add milk in the same way. Beat in egg yolks. 
Pour into heavy 2-quart saucepan, set over medium high heat, and bring to boil, stirring constantly.  
When the mixture reaches a hard boil (when bubbles continue thru stirring) reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 minutes while continuing to stir.  
Pour the filling into medium size bowl. Beat in the butter one Tablespoon at a time, stirring each until melted.  
Beat in vanilla and coconut. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and let cool for 1/2 hour.  
Spoon filling into pie crust, chill until firm, at least 4 hours. Can decorate with whipped cream and browned coconut if so desired.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Olive Garden Chicken Marsala

 Olive Garden Chicken Marsala


Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 cup flour
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Dried oregano to taste
4 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine

Directions:
Pound chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap until about 1/4" thickness.

                                                      *
Combine flour, salt, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.
                                                     *
HEAT oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts on medium heat for about 2 minutes on the first side, until lightly browned. Turn breasts over to cook other side, then add mushrooms to skillet. Cook breasts about 2 more minutes, until both sides are lightly browned. Continue to stir mushrooms. Add Marsala wine around chicken pieces.
Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Transfer to serving plate.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuscan Soup


Zuppa Toscana (better than Olive Garden!)

Directions:
1 lb. Italian sausages (use spicy to get that signature Olive Garden flavor)
4-6 russet potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. REAL bacon pieces (optional)
2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. kale or Swiss chard, chopped
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp flour

1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan.
2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices.
3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.
4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Delorose's Broken Hearted Chicken

 Delorose's Broken Hearted Chicken

INGREDIENTS

½ cup flour
1 (3-lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup dry sherry
2 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into ¼" cubes
Country bread, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350°. Place flour in a bowl; set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour; set aside. Heat bacon in a 12" ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until its fat renders, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl; set aside. Add oil to skillet, and working in 2 batches, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Add garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add stock and sherry, and return chicken to the skillet, skin-side up; sprinkle with reserved bacon along with parsley, and then dot with butter. Transfer skillet to oven, and cook, basting twice during cooking, until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes; serve with country bread. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic



INGREDIENTS

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 (3 to 4-lb.) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
40 cloves garlic, peeled (you can use up to 100 cloves)
½ cup dry vermouth
¾ cup chicken stock
1 tbsp. chopped tarragon

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; add to pot and cook, turning once, until browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to an 8″ x 8″ baking dish; set aside. Add garlic to pot; cook until browned in spots, about 6 minutes. Add vermouth; cook, scraping bottom of pot, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add stock; boil. Transfer ¼ of the garlic to baking dish; mash remaining into stock. Pour over chicken; bake until chicken is glazed and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with tarragon.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crockpot Apple Butter

Crockpot Apple Butter

 Ingredients:
Approximately 3 lb. apples ( make sure 1/2 are Granny Smith )
Gala , Fugi, Or Granny Smith
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
Dash of salt
3/4 cup water or fresh apple cider
                                        *
Directions:
Fill Crock-pot 3/4 full with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.
If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching.
Mash Apple Butter until chunky or smooth with hand held masher or blender
Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.
Put in jars with water bath processing also.

Variation: For a less sweet apple butter, substitute 1 cup honey for the sugar.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sauce for Salmon

Sauce For Salmon
Place in blender:
1/4 cup chives, cut fine
2 Tablespoons tarragon, chopped
3/4 cup chopped basil
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly grated pepper
Blend well.
*
Grate half of a hot house cucumber.  You want long strings of cucumber.  Place on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  Stir into mixture just to blend.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cubed
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Approximately 3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
4 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream (optionl)
1 Tablespoon fresh chives or parsley
*
Combine the squash cubes, onion and ginger in a steamer and steam for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is very tender.  

Divide the syrup and set aside.

Working in batches, place the squash mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Using half of the syrup, place some of the syrup along with a portion of the nutmeg, cinnamon, caardomom and the stock into each batch.  Process to a smooth puree.  You should use up all of the stock and spices.  As the squash is pureed , transfer the mix to a soup pot and season with salt and pepper.

Place over medium heat and bring just to a simmer.  Taste and if necessary, add all or part of the remaining syrup to achieve the desired degree of sweetness.

This soup can be made up to this point and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.  Serve hot, garnished with a swirl of heavy cream and a sprinkle of chives, if desired.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

Ingredients:
14 ounces, (weight) sweetened coconut
14 ounces, fluid sweetened, Condensed Milk
2 large egg whites
½ teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoons salt
½ cup melted semi-sweet chocolate chips for dipping
   
*
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
 *
In a large bowl, mix the coconut, condensed milk, salt and vanilla. In another bowl whip the egg whites on high until they form peaks. Carefully fold egg whites into the coconut mixture. Spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.
 
To add chocolate: melt some chocolate chips in the microwave, dip the cooled cookies and let them dry on parchment.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chipolte Lentil Sloppy Joes



Sloppy Joes are an American favorite and can easily be turned into a meatless dish and be just as good with the use of lentils instead of ground beef.
The benefits of lentils are great. They do not contain any cholesterol and actually with the soluble fiber, they are packed helps with lowering cholesterol.
Other benefits include low-fat content, high levels of fiber help which stabilize blood sugar and 17.9 grams of protein per a one cup.
But most important is that lentils taste great in this recipe and any other that you use them in.
*
Chipotle Lentil Sloppy Joes
3 cups cooked lentils
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon brown sugar
14 ounces tomato sauce, no salt added
Water as needed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce (or soy-free alternative)
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced bell pepper
2 diced chipotle peppers
*
Directions:
Sauté the onions, peppers and garlic in the oil until onion is translucent. Add lentils and spices, stir, then add all other ingredients and cook uncovered (stirring occasionally) until thick like sloppy joes.
Yield: Serves 6
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 80

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lentil Tabbouleh

Traditionally, tabbouleh is made with lots of parsley and some mint. It's pretty easy to switch those up for just about any fresh, green, leafy herb. Try cilantro or even basil. This recipe kept the parsley, but added a bit of oregano and thyme. To round it all out,  red wine vinegar and lemon juice, minced fresh garlic, chopped celery, toasted almonds, chopped olives, and red bell pepper was added.
To finish it off, you'll want to add a drizzle of really good extra-virgin olive oil. Because it's a simple salad, the quality of the olive oil is important.
*
LENTIL TABBOULEH
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
*
Ingredients:
2 cups dry green or French lentils
Salt
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
*
Directions:
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until al dente, about 15 minutes.
Use a mesh strainer to drain the lentils, then spread them in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the parsley, thyme, oregano, garlic, celery, olives and red pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Drizzle the dressing over the herbs and vegetables, then mix thoroughly. Once the lentils have cooled (they don't need to be chilled, just no longer hot), add to the bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the almonds over the top.
Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories; 45 calories from fat (25 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 11 g protein; 160 mg sodium.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Corn and Chipolte Soup with Radish and Avacado Salsa


Corn and Chipotle Soup 
With Radish and Avocado Salsa
30 minutes or fewer

Canned chipotle chiles add heat and a wonderful smokiness to this sweet soup. 
*

Ingredients:
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ tsp. ground coriander
3 cups fresh corn kernels or 1 1-lb. pkg. frozen corn, thawed
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
¾ cup almond milk
3 large radishes, diced (⅓ cup)
½ avocado, peeled and diced (½ cup)
2 tsp. lime juice
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
*
Directions:
1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and coriander, and cook 1 minute. Set aside ½ cup corn for garnish; add remaining corn, broth, and chiles to pot; bring to a simmer. Cover, and simmer 7 minutes. Stir in almond milk. Purée mixture with immersion blender, and season with salt, if desired.
*
2. Combine radishes and avocado in bowl. Stir in lime juice. Serve soup garnished with 2 Tbs. avocado mixture, a sprinkling of corn kernels, and cilantro (if using).  Serves 4

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Croque Monsieur



Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

One-skillet Chicken Pot Pie in 30 minutes

One-Skillet Chicken Pot Pie in 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups frozen vegetables , (corn, peas and carrots)
3 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp dried parsley


*
Cheesy Drop Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup whole milk


Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Melt butter in a (10-inch) oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until chicken is browned, about 2 minutes each side.

Add flour and whisk to combine. Slowly add chicken stock while whisking skillet. Whisk until well combined. Add in vegetables and cheese. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium. Allow mixture to come to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile: In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cheese, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine well. Add butter and milk. Stir to combine.

Drop biscuits by the rounded tablespoon full on top of pot pie. Place skillet on cookie sheet and then slide into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Gnudi Italian Pasta

Gnudi
Ingredients:
1 pound cow's milk ricotta, drained in a strainer for at least 2 hours
1/4 cup spinach, sauteed and finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch grated nutmeg
2 egg yolks
Olive oil, for coating
4 tablespoons melted butter, for re-heating

Porcini Puree:

Olive oil
3 shallots, julienned
3 ounces fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, hydrated, then squeezed dry, liquid reserved
1 ounce brown beech mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch chili flakes

Directions:

For the gnudi: Mix the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, flour, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and eggs together. Make 2 small balls and test cook by placing them in boiling water until they float, then shock in iced water. Taste. If they are too soft and don't hold together, add more flour or breadcrumbs and test again.

Portion all of the gnudi and roll into balls. Cook in boiling water until they float, about 2 minutes, and shock in iced water. Coat in olive oil and reserve until ready to serve.

For the porcini puree:
To caramelize the shallots, heat a large saute pan over high heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, then add the shallots. Allow to color on one side, then lower the heat and stir. Slowly cook until soft and sweet, about 5 minutes. Saute the mushrooms together with the shallots until lightly colored and tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and chili, and sweat for an additional 3 minutes. Pour the liquid from the hydrated porcini mushrooms into the pan. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes.

Transfer the contents into a blender and puree until the consistency is smooth. Add water if the mixture gets too thick in the blender and it stops moving. Add olive oil while blending to finish and taste for seasoning. Strain the sauce. Reserve until ready to serve.

To serve: Warm the porcini puree and reserve. Reheat the gnudi in a pan with salted simmering water and the melted butter. Plate the porcini puree, place gnudi on top and top with Parmesan cheese.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars
Ingredients: 
1 can of refrigerated crescent rolls 
1/2 cup chopped pecans 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup corn syrup (dark or light, doesn't matter) 
1 Tbsp butter, melted 
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1 egg, beaten 
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Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
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Unroll dough and separate into 2 long rectangles; place in an ungreased 13x9" pan and press along the bottom and 1/2" up the sides, pressing the perforations firmly to seal. 
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Bake for 8 minutes in a 350-degree oven. 
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Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pecans, sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla and egg. Pour over crust and bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. 
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 Cool completely before cutting, and store at room temperature.