25 May Garbage Pail Pasta

Serves 2-3

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 rounded tablespoon whole pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons raisins (preferably golden)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped if very large
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 6 small black olives (preferably Gaeta), pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces thick spaghetti (spaghettoni) or regular spaghetti

 

Directions:

 

  1. In a 9-10 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add nuts and sauce until pine nuts become lightly colored.
  2. Add raisins, capers, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, parsley, and olives. Starr well. Cook 1 minute longer. Salt to taste. Set aside.
  4. Boil spaghetti in at least 3 quarts of water with a heaping tablespoon of salt. When cooked, drain well.
  5. Toss pasta with seasonings over medium heat until well amalgamated.
  6. If desired, serve with grated pecorino or parmesan cheese.
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18 May Delicious Fresh Pasta

Ingredients:

 

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • Lots of fresh tomatoes (amount is to taste, but we like lots of tomatoes), chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves

 

Directions:

 

  1. Saute garlic in olive oil. Stir constantly until soft.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes to garlic. Add salt to taste. Stir until gently cooked but not mushy.
  3. Add basil, torn into pieces.
  4. Pasta: Add pasta to boiling water to which you have added lots of salt and a small amount of olive oil. Cook as per package instructions or until al dente.
  5. To Serve: (optional) cook a couple of good sausages (chicken/apple or mild Italian) from Whole Foods or Central Market. Place sausages in a small sauce pan with about 1/2″ of water and gently cook until water is absorbed. When cooked, slice sausages on the diagonal and arrange on the side on top of pasta.
  6. Place pasta on plate and top with fresh tomato mixture with sausage slices on one side.

 

*This sauce will not be runny like a cooked tomato sauce, but more like a tomato concasse – chunky.

**You can also grill red, yellow, and green bell pepper quarters in a grill pan and serve on the other side of the plate. Really pretty! And, very healthy.

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11 May Cold Curried Chicken Salad

From the Dallas Junior League Cookbook. Serves 12-14.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 cup raw cauliflower buds, chopped in 1/4″ pieces
  • 8 ounces bottled creamy French dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, or more
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6-7 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Toss chilled rice, cauliflower, and French Dressing. Chill in refrigerator.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Slowly mix in milk, then chicken. Refrigerate.
  3. Next day, combine rice and chicken mixtures with green pepper, celery, and onion.
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27 Apr Whole Chicken Cooked in a Romertopf Cooker

A Romertopf Cooker is a clay cooker (2 pieces) and is often oval-shaped. This cooking process enables the flavors to be retained and the food cooked to be extra moist and flavorful.

The cooker must be soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to use. Then, after the food is added, it is put in a cold oven (not pre-heated). Once in the oven, turn the temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 1 hour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, washed and dried
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Bouquet Garni (or any number of dried herbs you like)
  • Any leftover wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Put the chicken in the cooker, breast up.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken.
  3. Cut up the vegetables in large chunks and place inside and around the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle with dried herbs and pour in any leftover wine you have.
  5. Place lid on cooker, and place in a cold oven.
  6. Cook for 1 hour at 400 degrees F.
  7. Remove from oven and place cooker on a tea towel on counter so it won’t break from cold contact with anything. Remove lid. Remove chicken and cut up.
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20 Apr Avocado Shooters

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized, ripe but firm avocado
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup packed parsley or cilantro leaves (no stems)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup prepared gazpacho or 1/2 cup each diced tomato (peeled) and diced cucumber (or, you can use prepared salsa)

Directions:

  1. Halve and peel the avocado. If it has dark spots, you may need to use 1 1/2 avocados.
  2. Put the avocado pieces and sour cream in a blender (or Cuisinart). Blend until smooth. Add chicken broth, parsley or cilantro, lime juice, and salt and blend again. The parsley will give the soup a nice bright color. Adjust salt to taste. The soup can be made 3-4 hours in advance and refrigerated. It tends to lose its bright green color in 12 hours. It will also tend to thicken after 3 or 4 hours; just thin it with a little half & half.
  3. Fill small, clear glasses a little more than halfway. Top with a few spoonfuls of gazpacho or tomato-cucumber garnish. Chill up to 1 hour.

Make 2 1/4 cups – about 12 small shooters or 6 small servings. Serve with demitasse spoons.

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15 Apr Arugula Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 Bosc or Anjou pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Roquefort
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a sheet tray lined with foil, lay prosciutto slices flat. Transfer baking sheet to oven and roast for 10 minutes or until dried and crispy. Allow to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic, honey, and mustard. Mix until combined and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine arugula, pears, cranberries, and Roquefort. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the salad is evenly coated. Top with stumbled crispy prosciutto. Serve immediately.
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19 Aug Spicy Beef Brisket

Make sandwiches by adding your favorite BBQ sauce, thinly sliced onions or pickles, and a freshly baked bun.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T salt
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T ground black pepper
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 4 lbs beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.

2.  Make a dry rub by combining salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard, and bay leaf.

3.  Season the raw brisket on both sides with the rub. Place in a roasting pan and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.

4.  Add beef stock and enough water to yield about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. Lower oven to 300, cover pan tightly and continue cooking for 3 hours, or until fork-tender.

5.  Trim the fat and chop. Top with juice from the pan or make sandwiches with your favorite sauce and toppings.

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12 Aug Quick Tomato Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet prepared puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 T dijon mustard
  • 12 oz sliced fresh tomatoes
  • 3 T fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 10 oz mozzarella or goat cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Cut pastry to fit buttered pie or tart pan, or line rectangular pan with it.

2.  Spread a layer of dijon mustard on the pastry, leaving 1-inch edge.

3.  Arrange tomato slices on mustard layer, then scatter basil leaves atop tomato slices.

4.  Slice or crumble cheese onto basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until cheese softens and crust browns.

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05 Aug Grilled Shrimp and Bread Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 thick slices day-old country-style or sourdough bread
  • 1 lb tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2.  Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.

3.  Toss shrimp with 2 T of the vinaigrette. Grill shrimp, two minutes on each side or until pink. Grill bread slices 1 minute on each side or until toasted. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes.

4.  Combine bread, shrimp, tomatoes, olives, and basil in a large bowl; add remaining vinaigrette, and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.

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29 Jul Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 4 med zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 T dry white wine
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 T chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°F. Scoop out the insides of the zucchini halves, reserving cored halves and insides.

2.  Saute onions over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes; add mushrooms, then celery and reserved zucchini insides and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine and cook 1 minute. Add beef and cook until brown, approximately 8 minutes. Stir in basil and rosemary. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

3.  Once cooled, blend in the cheese, egg, butter, salt, and pepper. Fill the cored zucchini with the mixture.

4.  Fill a baking pan with 1/4 inch of water. Place the filled zucchini halves in the pan and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown.

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