Monday, June 30, 2014

Lemon And Dill Salmon With Warm Orzo, Spinach, Tomato And Feta Salad


LEMON AND DILL SALMON WITH WARM ORZO, SPINACH,TOMATO AND FETA SALAD
This recipe was shared by my favorite instructor at Great News Cooking School, Phillis Carey.  Each week she chooses a recipe from one of the many classes she has taught.  She is our favorite instructor who teaches with such ease and wit.
*
Salmon:
4 large squares parchment paper 4 (6 oz.) 
   salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. fresh lemon juice

2 T. dry white wine or vermouth
2 T. chopped fresh dill
3 T. unsalted butter, cut into 4 slices 

8 thin slices lemon
*
Salad:
1 1/2 cups orzo
2 T. red wine vinegar
Serves 4.
*
1 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. finely chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 oz. fresh baby spinach
*
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half 
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 T. chopped fresh dill
1 cup crumbled sheep’s milk feta cheese (4 oz.)

2 T. chopped fresh green onions for garnish
*
1. For the salmon, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut 4 (15 x 24-inch) pieces of parchment paper. Fold in half to form triangles; open packets. Place a salmon fillet in the center at the fold. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with lemon juice and wine. Sprinkle with dill and top with butter; lay 2 slices of lemon on top of each piece of salmon.
*
2. Fold parchment over fish and starting at one end, fold and roll edges of parchment to enclose filling, sealing edges with narrow folds. Twist the end tip to secure tightly. Place packets on two baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes. Cut open packets and transfer contents with a spatula to serving plates. (Salmon etc. can also be wrapped in foil and grilled.)
*
3. Meanwhile, make the orzo salad by bringing a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the orzo in a sieve and set aside.
*
4. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, and garlic together. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in the spinach, tomatoes, pine nuts, and dill. Add the warm orzo and toss to wilt the spinach a bit. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or set aside at room temperature. Set salmon to the side of the orzo and sprinkle all with chopped green onions. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Good Spinach Recipe

A Good Spinach Recipe
This is a recipe from Heidi Swanson who lives in San Francisco.  Frequently I receive an email from her with a recipe she has created.
Be sure to wash the leeks well of dirt and grit after slicing them. You can make quick work of it by using a colander.
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons sunflower oil, ghee or 
   clarified butter
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon chile flakes, or more to taste
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
40 fresh mint leaves
4-5 massive handfuls of spinach, very roughly
   chopped
1 lemon, cut in wedges
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled feta, fresh ricotta or fresh paneer
*
Directions:
In a large skillet or pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and leeks, and cook until tender - just barely starting to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the chile flakes, cumin seeds, turmeric, and oregano, and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add the mint leaves and the spinach, in batches if needed, stirring constantly. Cook until the spinach begins to wilt, and brightens - just a minute or so. Squeeze the juice of one of the lemon wedges into the spinach, stir well, taste, and adjust with more salt if necessary. Serve topped with the walnuts and crumbled cheese.
Serves 6. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw


BLUE CHEESE COLE SLAW
Summertime and salads are synonymous.  One can never have enough inspiration. 
Ingredients:
Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/2 cup sour cream 
3 T. white wine
3 T. sugar

1/2 tsp. celery seed 
1 tsp. salt
Serves 6 to 8.
Salad:
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper 
1 medium head green cabbage,finely shredded
1 large carrot, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
3/4 cup crumbled Danish blue cheese

*
Directions:
Stir mayonnaise and sour cream together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Toss with cabbage, carrot, bell pepper and blue cheese. Chill until ready to serve but no longer than 8 hours. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Potato Salad
Ingredients
Basil Pesto:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 

1 tsp. salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Serves 8.
*
Salad:
1 pound fusilli pasta
1 red bell pepper, roasted and cut

    into thin strips
1 (2.2 ounce) can sliced black olives,

   drained
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

*
Directions:
1. Turn on the food processor and drop in garlic cloves processing until minced. Stop machine and add the basil, parsley, pine nuts, Parmesan, and salt. Pulse to finely chop. With machine running add enough olive oil and process to make a thick paste.
*
2 .Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until it is just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss pasta with red pepper strips, olives and pine nuts.
*
3. Stir pesto into 1 cup mayonnaise and gently stir that into the pasta salad. Toss to combine well, adding more mayonnaise as needed to make a moist mixture. Chill until ready to serve. Add more mayonnaise just before serving, if necessary. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chipolte Potato Salad With Cilantro, Fresh Corn And Red Onion


CHIPOTLE POTATO SALAD WITH CILANTRO, FRESH CORN AND RED ONION
Ingredients:
3 lbs. red potatoes, in 1 inch diced 
1 cup diced red onion
2 T. chopped pickled jalapenos
2 T. pickled jalapeƱo juice

1 cup diced celery
1 cup fresh corn kernels
Serves 4 to 6.
*
3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 3 tsp. minced Chipotle chilies

in adobo
2 T. chopped cilantro

 1 T. fresh lime juice
*
Directions:
1. Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and add 1 tsp. salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and toss with red onion, pickled jalapenos and juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
*
2. Stir the celery, corn and eggs into potato salad. Stir together the mayonnaise with the chipotle chilies, cilantro and lime juice. Toss with the salad and chill until ready to serve and up to 4 hours. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pinto Bean Salad With Corn, Yellow Peppers, Tomatoes and Avocado


PINTO BEAN SALAD WITH CORN, YELLOW PEPPERS, TOMATOES AND AVOCADO
Ingredients:
Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. honey or agave syrup 

1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Serves 4 to 6.
*
Salad:
1-15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cups fresh yellow or white corn kernels (or frozen and thawed)
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced 
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced and rinsed in water 

1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
*
1. For dressing combine garlic, lime juice, honey or agave, salt and chili powder in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until dressing comes together. Chill until ready to toss with salad.
*
2. Toss together the beans, corn, bell pepper and onions. Add dressing and toss to coat evenly; chill up to 4 hours. Just before serving gently fold in tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

When To Go Organic

When To Buy Organic
We are faced with many decisions and choices when buying the food we consume.  Is the hollabalooh with "organic" really worth the price and is it really organic. Another angle of analyzing price versus organic is your health.  What is your quality of health really worth?  There are times you should choose only organic and if organic is not available, you don't need it.  Only buy these foods as organic.
Apples
Cherry Tomatoes
Grapes
Nectarines
Peaches
Strawberries.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Simple Greek Salad Recipe

Simple Greek Salad Recipe
Ingredients:
1/2 head of lettuce, (green leaf, red leaf or 
    romaine) cut in thin strips
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 
   no salt added, drained and rinsed1/2 red onion,  
   finely sliced
1/2 cup crumbled fat-free or low fat feta or 
   shredded Parmesan
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*
Directions:
In a large bowl toss lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, cheese and onion.
*
In a small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder and pepper.
*
Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss.  If desired, garnish with hard boiled egg and Kalmata olives. 

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake
Yesterday I posted a recipe for The Charleston Pie which is a crustless coconut pie.  Today I offer a cake recipe if cake is you preference.  This recipe is from Ponte Winery in Temecula.
*
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup almond flour
2 tsp.coconut flour
10 large eggs, at room temp., separated 
1 tsp. dark rum
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
*
Directions:
Beat egg yolks on high until light yellow and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Reduce to medium-low and add rum and all but 1 teaspoon of confectioners sugar.  Scrape sides of bowl, increase speed to high until pale and thick, about one minute.  Reduce to low and gradually add almond and coconut flour.  Set aside.  Whisk egg whites on medium-high until foamy, add cream of tartar, salt and one teaspoon reserved  confectionary sugar.  Now increase to high again and mix  and mix until until stiff peaks form, about two minutes.  Now fold one cup of whites into egg yolk mixture and then fold in remaining egg whites and coconut extract.  Line a pan with parchment paper and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Invert to cool.
*
Assemble by cutting cake in three even layers.  Soak each layer in passion fruit soaker and set aside to absorb.  When absorbed, place 1st layer on cake board and layer it with with a layer of Italian meringue.  Place second layer of cake on top of first layer and frost second layer with Italian meringue.  Repeat same steps with final layer.  Make the last layer of Italian meringue a little thicker on top.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Charleston Coconut Pie

Charleston Coconut Pie
This is a crustless pie which makes it an easy and quick pie to make.
Ingredients:
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8 ounces can flaked coconut
*
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.
*
Beat all ingredients together and pour into a 10-inch pie plate.  Bake 45 minutes.  Although the filling seems loose, do not bake the pie any longer.  It will set and make its own crust as it cools in the refrigerator.      Serves 12

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chimichurri Sauce and Skirt Steak

Chimichurri Sauce and Skirt Steak

Chimichurri:
Ingredients:
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
*
Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Blend until well mixed, but not compliantly smooth.  Serve at room temperature.  Extra sauce can be kept, refrigerated for up to three days.
***
Skirt Steak:
Ingredients:
2 pounds skirt steak
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
*
Directions:
Combine the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Score the grain of the meat with the tip of a knife.  Add the marinade mix to the steak in a shallow dish.  Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
*
Lightly oil the grill, then preheat to huh heat.  Place the steaks on the grill, and allow to grill 4 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Cut the steak in thin slices against the grain.  Arrange on a serving platter and top with a small amount of chimichurri sauce, more on the sides to use as desired.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Herbed Prawns

Herbed Prawns
Ingredients:
1 pound large prawns, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (one large lemon)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
*
Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and chopped herbs.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the prawns.  Toss well and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for  at least one hour.  Serve with Mango Salsa, posted yesterday. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

Ingredients:
1 small red onion
1/4 cup lime juice
1 mango, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 avocado, diced
 *
Directions:
Combine the red onion and the lime juice in a small bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add the red onion mixture.  This salsa is perfect served with seafood, fish, over rice, greens or in a tortilla. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes
1 pound fish filletts
4 tablespoon creme fraiche
1 egg
1 egg yolk
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 teaspoons minced flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoon bread crumbs
*
Dice fillets into 1/4 inch pieces.  Add remaining ingredients plus salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well, and form into 2 or 4 patties.
*
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Dredge patties in flour, then in beaten eggs.  Coat in bread  crumbs.  Pour oil in hot saute pan.  Sear fish cakes until golden brown.  Flip and repeat.  Place on a baking sheet and bake 8 to 12 minutes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Apple Cider Grilled Ribs

  • Apple Cider Grilled Ribs

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup Barbecue Sauce
    • 2 slabs loin back ribs (baby back)

    Liquid Seasoning

    • 1 tablespoon dry rub mix
    • ¼ cup apple jelly
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup honey
    • ½ cup apple cider

    Dry Rub

    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 teaspoons chili powder
    • 4 teaspoons garlic salt
    • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
    • ½ teaspoon celery salt
    • *

    Instructions:

  • Remove the membrane from the back of the rib slabs. In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients and mix well. Reserve a tablespoon of the rub for the liquid seasoning mixture. Generously apply the dry rub onto the front and back sides of ribs. Gently pat to ensure that the rub will adhere.
  • *
  • Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. Add a small aluminum pan to the void side of the grill and fill it halfway with water. When the charcoal grill reaches 250˚F, place ribs meat-side up on grill grate and cook over indirect heat for two hours and 15 minutes.
  • *
  • Remove the ribs from the grill. Place each slab meat-side down on its own doubled aluminum foil square. The foil should be large enough to completely wrap each slab. Mix the liquid seasoning in a small bowl. Pour ½-cup of the liquid over each slab. Then, tightly wrap and seal each slab with aluminum foil. Place the wrapped ribs back in cooker for one hour at 250˚F.
  • *
  • Remove the ribs from the charcoal grill, unwrap and discard foil. Brush finishing glaze on both sides of the ribs. Place the ribs back on the grill for 15 minutes, or until sauce caramelizes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014



Teriyaki Chicken Meatball Kebabs

Ingredients:
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup panko or Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 red onion, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
*
 Directions:
To make the meatballs, mix together the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, teriyaki sauce, carrot, red onion, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper. Then, take 1-tablespoon scoops and form them into small meatballs. (If the mixture seems too wet, add a bit more breadcrumbs until the meatballs keep their shape.)
*
Refrigerate the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or while you’re cutting the veggies and preheating the grill (medium heat) or oven (375 degrees F).
*
Thread each skewer with a meatball, pepper, meatball, and alternate leaving enough room on each end of the skewer for picking up with your hands.
*
If you want to grill the skewers, spray the grill with nonstick spray or brush with olive oil. Then, gently place the skewers on the grill and grill for about five minutes on each side – make sure to test the meatballs to be sure the center is cooked.
*
If you want to bake the skewers, then lightly grease a baking sheet and gently place the skewers on it. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the meatballs are golden brown and cooked all the way through. Turn the skewers halfway through the baking process.
*
Serve with rice and extra teriyaki sauce for dipping, if you’d like.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fried Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Fried Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms
This is a recipe from a cooking class at Great News with Katherine Emmenegger.  My friend Ann and I take these classes for learning, entertainment, and also the great food we sample.  This recipe serves 4
*
 Ingredients:

Filling:
1 cup goat cheese
1 teaspoon finely sliced chives
salt and pepper to taste
*
In a bowl combine all ingredients.  Divide and shape into 12 teaspoon-size balls.  Place in the freezer for 20 minutes until firm.
*
Batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup soda water
1 tablespoon vodka, your favorite
1 teaspoon salt
*
In a bowl, conbine all ingredients until well bladed.
*
Assembly:
Vegetable oil for frying.
12 squash blossoms, cleaned of stamens
*
In a Dutch oven, preheat the oil to 365^F.
*
Dip the blossoms in the tempura batter and fry in batched until crispy on all sides, without browning.
*
Transfer the blossoms to a paper towel lined sheet tray.  Serve



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Soften Stuck On Grease And Foods With A Dryer Sheet

Summer is picnic time and most picnics require some bake ahead foods to bring along.  This tip may help you with clean-up!
*

Soften Stuck-On Grease and Foods with a Dryer Sheet Soften up Grease and Get baked-on foods off pots and pans with a dryer sheet. Just place one in a pot, fill with water and let sit overnight, then sponge off the next morning. The antistatic agent weakens the bond between the stuck-on food and the surface of the pan, while the fabric softener works its loosening magic.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Homemade Limoncello Recipe


Homemade Limoncello Recipe
I took a cooking class recently with Limoncello used as a flavoring in a trifle.  I found the flavor very pleasant.  I posted the Trifle recipe Lemon Curd Limoncello Trifle With Blackberrys.  Since Limoncello is a liqueur it also can be served over ice as a refreshing drink.  This recipe is quite easy but does take time to mellow.  I plan to try my hand at making a recipe for the fun of it!
*
Use Meyer Lemons for this recipe.  They’re smaller and more sour than a regular lemon and will impart a lighter, more floral flavor to your Limoncello.  Don’t worry, though, if they’re not available a regular lemon will also make a delicious Limoncello.
To prepare simple syrup, mix together equal amounts of sugar and water and bring to a boil just until the liquid bubbles and the sugar has dissolved.  Cool the mixture and store, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.
Ingredients:
5 to 6 medium lemons
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 cups vodka, whichever brand you prefer
1 to 1-1/2 cups simple syrup
Directions:
Place the lemons in a large mixing bowl or two-handled pot and cover with water (about 2 quarts).  Stir in the white vinegar and soak at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Remove the lemons from the water solution and wipe dry.  Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zest off from the outside of each piece of fruit and transfer to a 1 quart resealable container (you should have about 2 cups of lemon peels).  Note: when taking the zest off the fruit, be careful to only get the colorful yellow skin.  The white layer beneath that – known as the pith – is bitter and will impart an off flavor into your limoncello.
Pour the vodka over the lemon peels, seal the container tightly, and give it a shake.  Place the container in the refrigerator and let it marinate, shaking once a week, for 1 month.  After 1 month, check the color of the vodka; it should be a pale yellow color.  If it’s not, or to get a more potent lemon flavor, continue marinating the mixture in the refrigerator, checking on it once a week, for up to 1 month more.
Carefully strain the infused vodka into a resealable container, discarding the lemon peels.  Stir in the simple syrup, starting with 1 cup and adding more a splash at a time, until the limoncello is as sweet as you’d like.  The limoncello can now be served or sealed and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Makes 3 cups

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Perfect Carnitas With Cumin Seed Slaw

Perfect Carnitas With 
Cumin Seed Slaw
***
Carnitas  Serves 6
Ingredients:
2 T. coarse salt
1 T. freshly ground pepper
2 T. ground cumin
2 T. dried oregano
4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 or 5 pieces 1 head garlic, sliced in   

      half crosswise.
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced in half

*
Directions:
For the Carnitas, combine salt, pepper, cumin and oregano and sprinkle all over the pork. Cover and marinate pork in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay pork pieces in a flat, ovenproof glass baking dish and top with garlic and onion. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil, reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. Turn pork over and bake for 30 minutes until pork shreds easily. Cool pork enough to be able to handle. Shred pork, discarding fat bits, onions and garlic. You will need 3 cups shredded pork for this recipe. Any leftover can be frozen for another time.
*
Cumin Seed Slaw
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. cabbage, shredded 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. toasted cumin seeds

*
Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and carrot; set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, salt and cumin seeds; bring to a boil. Pour over cabbage mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon. 

Fresh Fig and Ricotta Flatbread With Balsamic Onions and Walnuts

Fresh Fig and Ricotta Flatbread
With Balsamic Onions and Walnuts

Last week I planted a Mission Fig Tree to feed my appetite of fresh figs.  Maybe I should warn you that you may feel an overload with fig recipes.  Yesterday the recipe I posted (Hummus with Whole Wheat Flatbread) will give you the alternative to using Trader Joe's pizza dough an ingredient of this recipe.
*
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 red onions, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 packages fresh pizza dough (Trader Joe's)
1 (15 oz.) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lb. firm-ripe figs, rinsed, stem ends trimmed
    and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup Danish blue cheese, crumbled, (optional)
8 ounces arugula leaves
*
Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes.  Lower heat and cook another 20 minutes, or until onions area very tender and lightly colored.  Stir in balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and cook until liquid is cooked out.  Set aside to cool.
*
(If using pizza dough) Divide each package in half and form each into a ball.  Let dough rest for 110 minutes.  Shape each ball into an oval on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet-you will need two sheets with two pizza balls on each.  Cover and let rest if necessary before stretching again.
If making your dough from the posting of yesterday, "Humus With Whole Wheat Flatbread" recipe, follow those directions.
*
Preheat oven to 450^F.  Divide cooled onions evenly over dough ovals.  Drop 1/2 tablespoon portions of ricotta over onions.  Arrange figs, cut side up, around cheese.  Sprinkle with walnuts and optional blue cheese.  Bake 15 minutes or until crust is crispy and brown.  Top with arugula and cut lengthwise and then cut across.  Serves 4  Makes 16 pieces total.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hummus With Whole Wheat Flatbreads

Hummus With Whole Wheat Flatbreads
The recipe I share today is from Alice Waters.  Alice is the lady who coined the term Nouvelle Cuisine.  She operates a small and very intimate restaurant in Berkley CA.  Reservations are a must and also if you are lucky.  Her menu changes daily due to what is fresh from the garden or at the market.
*
Ingredients:
Hummus
3/4 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and 
    drained overnight
1/4 preserved lemon, rind only, chopped
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice  
2 garlic cloves smashed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt
*
Flatbreads:
Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*
Directions:
Make the hummus: 
In a saucepan cover the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with 2" of water and bring to a boil.  Simmer over low heat until the chick- peas are tender, about 1 hour; add more water as needed to keep them covered.
*
Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the chickpeas.  Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor.  Add the reserved cooking liquid and the remaining hummus ingredients and process until smooth.  Season with salt.  
*
Make the flatbreads:
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder.  Stir in the water and olive oil and knead to form a moist dough.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest 30 minutes.
*
Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Divide the dough into 16 blls.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each ball to a 6X3 inch oval.  Cook 2 flatbreads at a time in the skillet until they start to brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.  Flip until they start to cook in spots on the other side.  Just before serving, turn each flatbread over an open flame until lightly charred, 1 minute.  Serve with Hummus!  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo
This is a recipe from Great News Cooking School which I attend often.  This is such a healthy alternative to sour cream based dips.

Ingredients:
5 large ripe Roma tomatoes
6 cilantro sprigs, stemmed
1 small white onion
2 serrano chiles, (optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1 lime juiced
*
Directions:
 On a large cutting board, core the tomatoes and slice thinly.  Push to one side.  Roughly chop the cilantro and push it into the tomatoes.  Cut the onion into the smallest dice you can manage and push aside.  Chop the seranno chiles.
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Use the side of your knife to push the onion and chiles into the middle of the board.  Chop by holding the tip of your knife down with one hand and pivoting the blade back and forth, occasionally sweeping the back pile into the center with the edge of your knife.  Chop until the onions are a little more than finely iced.
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Scoop up the tomatoes and cilantro, put them on top of the onions, keep chopping bak and forth-sweeping up a pile- until all of the ingredients are finely chopped and blended together.  When the salsa is a rosy, juicy heap, scoop everything into a serving bowl.  Season with salt and lime juice.  Let the flavors blend for at least 30 minutes before serving.