Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fresh Strawberry Marg-alrightas

Prep Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 drinks


Ingredients

* 2 pints ripe strawberries
* 4 ripe limes, juiced, plus 1 lime wedged for rimming and garnish
* 8 rounded tablespoons sugar
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 2 trays ice cubes
* 8 shots good quality tequila
* Coarse salt, to rim glasses

Directions

Reserve 4 strawberries with tops for garnish and split them. Clean,
dry, and trim remaining strawberries.


Add all but the reserved strawberries to a blender. To that, add the
juice of 1 ripe lime, 2 rounded tablespoons sugar, a splash of orange
juice, 1/2 a tray of ice cubes and 2 shots of tequila. Blend on high
speed until the drink is icy but smooth.


Rim a cocktail glass with lime juice and dip rim in salt and pour in
the frozen strawberry lime drink. Garnish glass with a wedge of lime
and a split strawberry. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Spaghetti all' Elsa

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* Salt
* 1 pound Italian imported dried spaghetti
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
* 3 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1/3 cup chicken stock or white wine, eyeball it
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano),
plus 1 (14-ounce) can
* Several leaves basil, torn or chopped, a handful
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
* 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Directions


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add pasta.
Cook to al dente, with a bite to it.


Heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add extra-virgin olive
oil, garlic, and red pepper and let them cook 5 minutes, garlic will
be soft and light golden. Remove garlic. Add stock or wine and stir 30
seconds, add tomatoes and combine. Season the sauce with salt, to
taste, then stir basil in and reduce heat to low.


When pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, drain the pasta then add it
back to the still-hot, deep pot. Add butter to spaghetti and toss to
melt and coat. Add half the red sauce and all of the cheese, work in a
handful at a time as you toss to combine. To serve, use tongs or a
meat fork to swirl the pasta into buttery, cheesy mounds to pile onto
each plate. Top each portion with spoonfuls of remaining sauce. Whoa,
Mama!


Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray and Elsa Scuderi

French Onion Tartlets


Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings, 3 tarts per person


Ingredients

* Olive oil cooking spray
* 12 very thin slices white bread, crusts trimmed (recommended:
Pepperidge Farm)
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 large onions, very thinly sliced
* 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
* 2 teaspoons ground thyme or poultry seasoning
* Salt and black pepper
* 1 pound Swiss cheese, shredded


Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.


Spray both sides of bread and press bread into small 12 cup muffin
tin. If you do not own a muffin tin, disposable tins are available on
the baking aisle of market. Place bread in oven and toast until
golden, 7 or 8 minutes. Remove and reserve.


In a skillet, melt butter into oil. Add onions and bay leaf, season
with thyme, salt and pepper. Cook onions until caramel colored, 15 to
18 minutes.


Turn broiler on.


Place spoonfuls of cooked onions in toasted bread cups. Discard bay
leaf. Cover onions with cheese and set tarts under hot broiler to
bubble and brown cheese. Serve hot.


From: foodnetwork.com

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Green Beans and Portobello Mushroom Saute

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut in half
* Coarse salt
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 portobello mushroom caps, halved and thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup dry sherry


Directions

Simmer green beans in salted boiling water 5 minutes. Drain green
beans and return skillet to moderate heat. Add oil and butter to the
pan. Add onions and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and season
with salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes with onions, add
green beans back to the pan. Heat green beans through and add sherry.
Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer green beans and mushrooms to a
serving plate.


From: foodnetwork.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rosemary Grilled Chicken Thighs and Wild Mushroom Sauce

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients


* 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
* Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
* Coarse salt and black pepper
* 3 stems fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
* 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
* 1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/8 pound, 4 slices, pancetta, chopped, available at your deli
counter or 3 slices bacon, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 large shallot, chopped
* 2 portobello mushroom caps, halved and thinly sliced
* Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 cup dry red wine


Directions


Heat a grill pan over high heat. Drizzle chicken thighs with oil,
season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Grill chicken 5 minutes on each
side and remove from heat to rest for 5 minutes.


Place stock in a small bowl and cover. Heat in microwave on high for 2
minutes. Remove stock from microwave with oven mitt. Add dried porcini
to the dish and replace the cover. Steep porcinis in stock 5 to 10
minutes to reconstitute mushrooms. This may also be done on the
stovetop. Simmer broth, and mushrooms for 10 minutes over low heat.


In a medium skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, saute pancetta,
crushed garlic and chopped shallot over medium heat for 3 minutes, to
crisp pancetta at edges. Add sliced portobello mushrooms to the pan
and season with salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms 10 minutes, or until
dark and tender. Add flour and cook 1 minute. Add red wine to the pan
and reduce by 1/2, about 1 minute. Add reserved stock and porcini
mushrooms to the pan and simmer together 1 to 2 minutes longer to
combine.


Slice chicken thighs and fan out on a plate. Ladle thick mushroom
sauce down over sliced chicken and serve.

From: foodnetwork.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Roasted Garlic, Feta and Walnut Dip, Toasted Flat Bread

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 medium bulb garlic, end cut off, 1 clove reserved
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
* 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
* 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbles
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, a handful of leaves
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 large clove garlic, reserved from above, cracked away from skin
* 4 flat breads or pitas, cut into wedges and toasted


Directions

Preheat oven or toaster oven to highest setting. Pour oil over cut
side of garlic bulb and rub into skin. Double wrap garlic in foil and
roast 20 to 25 minutes in toaster oven or hot conventional oven.

Combine walnuts, feta, milk, oregano, parsley, black pepper, red
pepper and garlic clove in food processor and pulse process until
spread is smooth. Scrape spread into serving dish with spatula.
Drizzle dip with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

When you remove garlic from the oven, turn heat off. Arrange triangles
of cut pita or flat brad on a small tray or cookie sheet. Place bread
into the hot toaster oven or conventional oven. The bread will be
warmed through and lightly toasted in 5 minutes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) beef tenderloin steaks
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 pound Gorgonzola
* 4 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced


Directions

Let meat rest 10 minutes before beginning dinner preparation.

Place a large, flat griddle or skillet over high heat. When hot, using
a pair of tongs and a folded paper towel, wipe cooking surface with
oil and place steaks on hot pan. Caramelize the steaks, 2 minutes on
each side. Reduce heat to moderate. Season meat with salt and pepper
and cook 4 to 5 minutes longer on each side.

Preheat broiler to high.

Arrange steaks on baking sheet. Top each steak with 3 ounces
Gorgonzola. Place baking sheet 6 inches from broiler heat just long
enough to melt the cheese. Remove meat from the oven and top with
slivers of fresh sage. Let meat rest 2 or 3 minutes, then serve
immediately.

From: foodnetwork.com

Sunday, November 23, 2008

30 Minute Shepherd's Pie

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
* 2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese
* 1 large egg yolk
* 1/2 cup cream, for a lighter version substitute vegetable or chicken broth
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
* 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
* 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup beef stock or broth
* 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
* 1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
* 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Directions

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain
potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and
cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are
almost smooth.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and
pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using
lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add
chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5
minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium
heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and
Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and
vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat
and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes
with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are
evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Beef Stroganoff

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin fillet
* Salt and pepper
* 3 tablespoons butter, divided
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups beef consomme, available on soup aisle
* 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon style mustard
* 1/4 cup sour cream, eyeball it
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, 1 turn of
the pan in a slow stream
* 1/2 small onion, sliced
* 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cornichons
* 1 pound extra wide egg noodles, cooked to package directions
* Chopped parsley leaves, garnish
* Thickly sliced pumpernickel bread, optional


Directions

Slice meat into 1/2-thick by 2 -inch long very thin strips and season
with salt and pepper. Set in freezer.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and cook
with flour 1 minute. Whisk in consomme. Thicken 1 minute. Stir in
mustard and sour cream, thicken 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and
season sauce with salt and pepper.

Heat a second skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1
tablespoon butter, then add the meat and onion and cook over high heat
until brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Then add the chopped
cornichons and stir to combine.

Arrange meat on a bed of egg noodles and top with Stroganoff sauce and
parsley. Serve with thickly sliced pumpernickel bread.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Asian-Style Pork and Vegetable Noodles

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 rounded tablespoon sweet-hot mustard
* 1/4 cup tamari, dark, sweet soy sauce, eyeball the amount
* 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock, or about half of one 14
ounce container
* 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, from Asian foods aisle, a serious drizzle
* 2 boneless center-cut pork loin chop, 8 ounces each
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* Salt and black pepper
* 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
* 1 package (16 ounces) fresh linguini
* 12 to 16 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
* 3 inches fresh ginger root, finely chopped or grated
* 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
* 5 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
* 2 cups fresh bean spouts, 4 handfuls
* 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds, for garnish


Directions

Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.

Place sweet hot mustard in a bowl. Whisk in Tamari sauce. Add stock
and sesame oil to the broth and soy. Set aside.

Slice the pork chop very thinly against the grain.

When water for pasta boils, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium
high to high heat. To the skillet, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2
turns of the pan in a slow stream. Add crushed pepper flakes to the
oil, then the thinly sliced pork. Season pork with salt and pepper.
Cook pork 2 minutes to caramelize the meat, then turn and stir-fry.
Add salt to pasta water, then carrots. Blanch carrots for a minute,
then remove with a slotted spoon. Add fresh linguini to boiling water.
Transfer carrots to pork stir-fry. Add mushrooms, ginger, red bell
pepper, scallions and bean sprouts. Toss and stir-fry veggies with
pork for 2 minutes. Cook pasta to al dente. Drain and add to the pork
and veggies. Pour Tamari and broth mixture over the noodles and pork.
Toss and allow the noodles to completely soak up the liquids, a minute
or so. Remove from heat. Serve large bowls of noodles, pork and
veggies with a garnish of toasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds.
Break out the chopsticks!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jumbo Shrimp Wrapped with Arugula and Prosciutto

Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 18 jumbo shrimp, feeding 6 to 8 guests


Ingredients

* 18 cooked, frozen jumbo shrimp, defrosted
* 1 lemon, zested and juiced
* 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
* Coarse salt and black pepper
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, eyeball it
* 2 cups trimmed arugula leaves
* 9 slices imported prosciutto, 1/3 pound
* 18 grape tomatoes
* 18 party picks, 3 or 4 inches long


Directions

Place shrimp in shallow dish and add lemon zest and juice, garlic,
salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. Toss shrimp to coat evenly
with dressing. Arrange the arugula in piles of 2 or 3 leaves, working
with 6 piles at a time. Pile up 3 slices of prosciutto and cut in half
across.

To assemble the shrimp, place 1 shrimp on each pile of 2 or 3 arugula
leaves then wrap the leaves up with the shrimp using the prosciutto.
Assemble 6 pieces at a time, like an assembly line. Nest a grape
tomato into the curve of the prosciutto wrapped shrimp and secure into
place with a party pick.

Arrange the shrimp appetizers on a platter and don't forget to put out
a small empty bowl near the shrimp platter to collect the tails of
shrimp and party picks, once guests finish the appetizers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Passport to Japan: Edamame, Gyoza, Rice and Teriyaki Beef

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients
Gyoza, Rice and Edamame:

* 3/4 cup short grain rice
* 2 cups edamame, soybeans, from the frozen vegetables section of
large markets
* 1 1/2 cups shredded Napa cabbage plus 1 large whole leaf
* Coarse salt
* 1/4 pound ground pork
* 1/4 cup 300 count baby shrimp, a handful, chopped
* 1 tablespoons sake, or a splash mirin may be substituted
* 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
* 1 scallion, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon tamari dark aged soy, available on Asian food aisle of market
* 1 teaspoon sesame oil
* A few grinds black pepper
* 12 gyoza or won ton wrappers

Teriyaki Steak:

* 2 fillet of beef steaks, 1 inch thick, 6 ounces each
* 1 teaspoons steak seasoning or salt and pepper
* 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce or 1/4 cup tamari dark soy mixed with 2
tablespoons dry sherry
* 1 tablespoon light oil: wok oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil
* 4 scallions chopped on an angle into 1 inch pieces

Dipping Sauce for Gyoza:

* 3 tablespoons tamari dark soy, eyeball it
* 1 teaspoon hot sweet mustard, from Asian foods aisle or other
prepared mustard
* 2 teaspoons rice wine or white vinegar


Directions

Place 2 pots of water on to boil: 1 pasta pot with a few inches of
water in it, 1 medium sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups of water in it. Cover
both pots and bring all the water to a boil.

When the smaller pot of water comes to a boil, stir in rice and return
water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Place a colander over the pot
and add the edamame to it. Place the pot cover over the edamame
nesting it in the colander. Steam the edamame 5 minutes, then remove
them to 2 small bowls, salt them and cover bowls with plastic or foil
to keep warm. Set colander aside and return pot lid to rice, stirring
rice before replacing the lid.

While the edamame are steaming, before removing them to the bowls, you
have a pocket of time to work with. Add 1/2 cup, a couple of handfuls
of Napa cabbage to the second pot of water. Blanch the shredded
cabbage 1 minute and remove with a spider or tongs to paper towels to
drain and cool. Chop shredded blanched cabbage. Combine meat, chopped
salad shrimp, sake, ginger, 1 scallion, 1 tablespoon tamari, sesame
oil, black pepper and cooled, chopped cabbage in a bowl. Place 2
teaspoons of filling on each won ton wrapper. Wet your fingertips to
help seal won ton wrappers. The gyoza should look like small half
moons.

Place 1 or 2 Napa cabbage leaves into the bottom of the colander. The
leaves will prevent your dumplings from sticking to the surface of
colander. Arrange dumplings on Napa leaf in colander and steam over
second larger pot of simmering water. Place large pot lid over the
colander to trap the steam. Dumplings need to steam 10 to 12 minutes.
While you are working on this, go back and forth with the edamame as
necessary per above directions.

While dumplings work, slice the fillet steaks thinly across the grain.
Toss with seasoning and teriyaki or tamari and sherry. Heat a nonstick
skillet over high heat. Add oil and the meat and stir-fry. When meat
browns at edges, add scallions and cook 2 minutes more, stirring
frequently.

Use remaining raw shredded Napa cabbage as a bed to serve your
dumplings on. Plate all of your items on little dishes and in small
bowls.

Mix dipping sauce of tamari, mustard and vinegar for the gyoza and set
out alongside dumplings.

Warm or cold sake, leftover from cooking, is the perfect beverage and
chilled navel oranges or tangerines make a refreshing end to this
meal.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Honey Teriyaki Chicken with Ripe Pineapple Spears and Black and White Rice Balls

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 2 cups water
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 teaspoon salt, eyeball it
* 1 rounded cup white rice
* 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted white sesame seeds may
be substituted
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
* Vegetable oil, for drizzling
* Salt and pepper
* 1 cup chicken broth or water
* 1-inch ginger root, peeled and chopped
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
* 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
* 4 scallions, thinly sliced
* 1 ripe pineapple


Directions


Preheat a grill pan or large griddle over medium high heat.


Bring water to a boil in a small covered pot. Add butter, salt and
rice to the pot. Return the water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and
replace cover. Simmer 18 minutes and remove rice from heat. Take the
lid off the pot to cool rice a bit. Scoop rice into balls with an ice
cream scoop and your hands. Dampen hands with water to work with rice
if it is very sticky. Set rice balls on a plate and sprinkle with
black sesame seeds.


While your rice is cooking, lightly coat chicken with oil, salt and
pepper. Place chicken on hot grill and cook 6 minutes on the first
side.


While chicken is cooking, bring chicken broth and ginger to a boil.
Stir in honey. When honey has dissolved into broth, add teriyaki sauce
and sesame oil and reduce heat to simmer.


Turn chicken and coat liberally with honey teriyaki sauce using a
basting brush. Cook chicken 4 minutes, turn again and baste liberally
again with sauce, then cook 2 minutes longer. Remove chicken to a
plate. Garnish chicken with sliced scallions.


While chicken cooks on the second side, peel and cut a ripe pineapple
into 8 spears. Cut off top and bottom of pineapple. Set pineapple
upright and trim away skin in strips from top to bottom. Halve
pineapple lengthwise and quarter each 1/2, lengthwise. The core is
edible, but may be trimmed if you wish. Pineapple can be very acidic.
Spears set in cold water for just 1 minute will keep the fruit from
stinging your lips when it is eaten. Serve with chicken and rice balls

From: foodnetwork.com

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


Ingredients


* 3 3/4 cups water
* 2 oranges, zested
* 2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed
* 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds chicken breast tenders, 2 packages, sliced
on an angle into bite-size pieces
* 3 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 medium yellow skinned onion, sliced
* 1 red bell pepper, seeded, quartered and sliced
* 1 cup shredded carrots, store bought, or 2 medium carrots cut
into matchsticks
* 6 scallions, cut on an angle into 2 inch pieces
* 1 cup snow peas, a couple of handfuls

Satay sauce:

* 4 rounded tablespoonfuls chunky peanut butter
* 3 tablespoons dark soy, Tamari
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 1-inch ginger root, peeled and minced
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/2 orange, juiced

Garnish:

* 2 ounces (1/4 cup) chopped peanuts or nut topping, available on
the baking aisle
* 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley,
for garnish
* 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves


Directions


Heat water with orange zest to boiling. Add rice, return to boil,
stir. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook rice until tender, 18
minutes. Fluff with fork.


For stir-fry, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add
chicken, garlic and onion, stir-fry 3 minutes. Add remaining veggies
and stir-fry 5 minutes more. Heat all ingredients for sauce together
in a small pot over low heat, stirring the sauce until all ingredients
are combined. Transfer stir-fry to a large platter and pour sauce
evenly over the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle the platter with
chopped nuts, cilantro, and basil. Serve jasmine rice in a separate
dish with an ice cream scoop to serve the rice with -- it makes
perfect, pretty, round portions of rice on the dinner plates.

From: foodnetwork.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

Coconut Shrimp

Cook Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


Ingredients

* Canola or safflower oil, for frying
* 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
* 1/2 teaspoon salt, eyeball it in palm of hand
* 2 pinches ground cayenne pepper
* 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder, available on spice aisle
* 1 lime
* 1 cup shredded coconut
* 2 egg whites
* 1 pound large fantail shrimp, deveined and peeled -- ask for
easy peels at fish counter


Directions

Heat 2 inches oil over medium high heat. A cube of bread should brown
in a 10 count when oil is ready.

Season bread crumbs with salt, cayenne pepper and five-spice powder.
Cut the lime into wedges and reserve.

Toss coconut with seasoned bread crumbs to combine. Lightly beat the
egg whites. Dip shrimp in the egg whites, then coat with the coconut
breading. Fry shrimp 5 minutes in hot oil until evenly golden and
crispy. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

TIMING: To serve all of the courses together, a mix-n-match,
family-style presentation, you can bread the shrimp and wait to heat
oil and fry when you are ready to put the chicken stir-fry in the pan.
Or, for separate courses, serve the shrimp with the salad, have your
rice cooking and your ingredients prepped for the stir-fry, then
stir-fry the chicken only when guests are ready for it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Chipotle and Fire Roasted Tomato

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients


* 3 cups chicken stock
* 1 pound chicken tenders
* 1 bay leaf, fresh if available
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
* 4 slices thick, smoky center cut bacon, chopped
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, chopped
* 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons sauce
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
* Salt
* 4 cups lightly crushed corn tortilla chips
* 2 cups shredded fresh smoked mozzarella or smoked sharp white
Cheddar, 3/4 pound
* 1 lime, cut into wedges
* 1/2 red onion, chopped
* Freshly chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish


Directions


Bring broth to a simmer and add chicken tenders, poach 6 to 7 minutes
with a bay leaf.


While chicken poaches, heat extra-virgin olive oil in a medium soup
pot or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until
crisp then remove with slotted spoon. Drain off excess fat, leaving 2
to 3 tablespoons in the pan. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and
cook 5 minutes then stir in chipotles and tomatoes.


Remove chicken from stock, dice and then add to soup. Pass stock
through a strainer then add to the soup.


Place a pile of crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of each soup
bowl. Cover liberally with smoked cheese then ladle the hot soup down
over the top. Serve with lime, raw onions and cilantro at table to
finish the soup.

From: foodnetwork.com

Warm Chopped Chicken Picatta Spinach Salad

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients


* 1 pound chicken breast cutlets, 6 pieces
* Salt and pepper
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 shallots, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 3 tablespoons capers, chopped
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 lemon, juiced
* 2 pounds triple washed spinach, stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped


Directions


Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large
nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of
the pan, over medium-high heat. When oil ripples, add chicken and cook
3 minutes on each side then remove and let meat rest and cool.


To the same skillet, add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1
turn of the pan, and the butter. Melt butter into extra-virgin olive
oil and add the shallots, garlic and capers. Saute 5 minutes then add
white wine and reduce 30 seconds. Next, add the juice of 1 lemon and
immediately add the spinach - mound up the pan. You will not be able
to fit it all in there. Keep turning the spinach and wilting it down
until you get it all in there then turn the heat off. Keep some leaves
still a bit crisp to vary textures in your salad. Season the spinach
with salt and pepper. Chop chicken into little bits and add to the
warm salad. Toss to distribute and serve.

From: foodnetwork.com

Killer Crab Cakes and Bitter Salad with Sweet Red Pepper Dressing

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 starchy potato, peeled and thinly sliced
* 2 cloves garlic
* Coarse salt
* Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
* Couple sprigs fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
* 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 (6-ounce) tubs fresh lump crabmeat, available at fresh seafood counter
* 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 2 roasted red peppers
* 1 small shallot, chopped
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* Black pepper
* 1 small head escarole, chopped
* 1 small head radicchio, chopped
* 1 endive, chopped


Directions

Cook potatoes in boiling water 6 to 7 minutes until tender, drain,
scatter across a large flat surface to cool and dry, 5 minutes. Smash
the garlic with salt to make a paste and add to potatoes along with
thyme, parsley, lemon zest and crushed red pepper flakes. Feel through
the crab as you add it to the potatoes to check for shells. Mix
together to combine and form into 4 (4 to 5-inch) super sized, killer
crab cakes.

Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a nonstick skillet over
medium to medium- high heat. Add the cakes and cook 5 minutes on each
side or until deep golden brown.

Combine the roasted red peppers, shallot, sugar, the juice of 1/2
lemon and the red wine vinegar in a food processor. Stream in the
remaining 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and form a dressing. Stop the
processor and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Combine the
greens in a salad bowl and dress them. Adjust salt and pepper, to your
taste. Serve crab cakes on a bed of salad.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spicy Sausage Meatloaf Patties with Italian Barbecue Sauce

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
* 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
* 1 large onion, chopped and divided
* 2 ribs celery, chopped
* 1 cup shredded carrots
* Salt and pepper, for seasoning, plus coarse black pepper for
finishing sauce
* 1/2 pound ground beef
* 3/4 pound bulk hot sausage
* 3/4 pound ground sweet sausage
* 1 egg
* 3/4 cup bread crumbs, 3 generous handfuls, Italian or plain
* 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
* 1/8 pound pancetta, 4 slices, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* Splash red wine
* 1/2 cup beef stock
* 1 can petite diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 2 teaspoons hot sauce
* Serving suggestion: green salad


Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil. When the oil is hot, saute the red pepper, half the onions,
celery and carrots together, 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper
then remove to a plate to cool.

Mix ground beef and sausages with egg, bread crumbs, cheese, and
cooled vegetables. Form 4 large oval shaped patties no more than 1 1/4
inches thick then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Place in the
oven on a cookie sheet and bake 17 to 18 minutes, until cooked
through.

Heat a medium sauce pot over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO
to the pan and the pancetta. Let the pancetta crisp up a bit and
render fat, then add onions and garlic and cook until tender, 8 to 10
minutes. Add a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan. Stir in the beef
stock and tomatoes and season sauce heavily with coarse black pepper.
Add Worcestershire and hot sauce and reduce heat to warm.

Serve meatloaves with Italian barbecue sauce on top and green salad alongside.

Mochaccino Shakes

Prep Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 cup cold milk
* 1 cup strong black coffee, regular or decaf
* 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 2 pints coffee flavor ice cream
* Whipped cream in spray canister, garnish
* Chocolate shavings, garnish


Directions

To a blender, add 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of coffee, 1/4 cup of
syrup, and the cinnamon. Puree to combine ingredients. Add 1 pint ice
cream and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 frosted fountain glasses or
tall glasses and garnish with swirls of whipped cream, an extra pinch
of cinnamon, and some chocolate savings and serve. Repeat to make 2
more shakes.

Grilled Green Quesadillas with Brie and Herbs

Cook Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* Vegetable cooking spray
* 4 large spinach flavor flour wraps, available on dairy aisle of
larger markets, 12 inch diameter
* 3/4 pound brie with herbs, sliced
* 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
* Sour cream, optional garnish
* Salsa, optional garnish


Directions

Get grill or grill pan hot. Spray 1 side of wraps with cooking spray.
Place that side down, char the wraps, as many as will fit on your
grill or grill pan at the same time, 30 seconds on the first side.
Spray opposite side lightly with vegetable cooking spray and turn.
Arrange a layer of sliced brie with herbs across half of each flour
wrap. Sprinkle cheese with chives and tarragon fold quesadillas in
half, covering cheese. Lightly press down on quesadillas, turn and
cook 30 seconds longer. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and
salsa, if desired.

Individual No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecakes

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


Ingredients

* 12 strawberries
* 12 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 1/2 (8-ounce) bricks
* 2/3 cup sour cream
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 6 individual gram cracker crusts, available on baking aisle


Directions

Coarsely chop 6 berries and place in food processor. Add cream cheese,
sour cream, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and process until
smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fill pie tins. Garnish cheesecakes
with slices of remaining berries.

Margarita Slushes

Prep Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 slushes


Ingredients

* 1 lime, juiced, plus 2 lime slices, for garnish
* 2 scoops lemon sorbet
* 4 scoops lime sherbet
* 4 shots tequila
* 1/2 shot Triple Sec or other orange liqueur


Directions

Place all ingredients in blender and process on high. Pour into
glasses and garnish with a round slice of lime.

Wide-Eye Coffee Shakes

Cook Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 servings


Ingredients

* 1 cup strong coffee, cooled to room temp
* 6 big scoops coffee ice cream
* 2-3 tablespoons chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)
* 1/2 cup half and half or milk


Directions

Place coffee in blender with ice cream and half and half or milk. Add
in a palmful of chocolate covered espresso beans, if you like. Blend
until smooth and serve immediately.

Sparkling Sangria

Prep Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur (recommended: Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
* 1/4 cup almond liqueur (recommended: Amaretto)
* 12 strawberries, sliced
* 1 pint raspberries
* 1 bottle Spanish sparkling wine (recommended: Frexinet Cordon Negro)
* 4 seedless grapes


Directions

Combine liqueurs and fruit in the bottom of a medium pitcher and
lightly muddle. Fill pitcher with sparkling wine. Place a single grape
in the bottom of each glass. The yeast on the grape skin will help
retain some fizz in your drink. Spoon a bit of muddled berry from the
pitcher into each Champagne glass then pour in the liquid. Serve
immediately. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rosemary Chicken Breasts, Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli, Warm Spinach Salad with Pancetta and Sweet Vinaigrette

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings of each dish


Ingredients


Chicken:

* 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ounces each
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, eyeball it, just enough to coat
chicken lightly
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 stems rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped, about 2 tablespoons
* Salt and coarse black pepper
* 4 cloves garlic, cracked away from skin with a whack against the
flat of your knife

Ravioli:

* 1 package, 12 to 16 ounces, fresh ravioli, any flavor filling
* 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 2 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
* Salt and pepper
* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls

Spinach Salad:

* 6 slices pancetta, chopped
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 1 small shallot, finely chopped
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
* 1 bunch, about 10 ounces flat-leaf spinach
* Salt and pepper


Directions


Coat chicken in balsamic vinegar, then olive oil. Season chicken with
rosemary, salt and pepper and let stand 10 minutes.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for ravioli. Salt water and drop
ravioli in water. Cook 8 minutes or until raviolis expand, float to
top of water, and are al dente.


Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken
breasts and cracked garlic to the pan. Cook chicken 12 minutes, or
until juices run clear, turning occasionally. The balsamic vinegar
will produce a deep brown, sweet finish on the chicken as it cooks.


When the chicken is 2 or 3 minutes away from done, heat a second
skillet over medium low to medium heat. To the second skillet, add
butter to the pan and let it begin to brown.


Remove chicken from the first skillet and transfer to a warm platter.
In a skillet over medium high heat and add the pancetta. Brown the
pancetta bits, about 2 or 3 minutes, then transfer to paper towels to
drain and return pan to heat, reducing heat to medium. Add oil and
shallots to the pan and let the shallots saute 2 minutes.


When the butter for the ravioli has browned, add cooked ravioli to the
pan and turn in butter to heat through. Add balsamic vinegar to the
ravioli and cook a minute or 2 longer to reduce the vinegar and glaze
the ravioli. The vinegar will become thick and syrup like. Add cheese,
parsley, salt and pepper to the pasta and remove the pan from the
heat.


To the sauteed shallots for the spinach salad, add sugar and cook
sugar with shallots 1 minute. Add vinegar to the pan, scraping up pan
drippings. Add spinach to the dressing and turn to wilt and coat it
evenly in sweet vinaigrette. Add crisp pancetta to the salad.


Serve chicken along side ravioli and spinach salad, all on the same
dinner plate.

From: foodnetwork.com

Quick Chicken Cacciatore

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients


* 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 pieces) or, 1
package boneless, skinless chicken thighs, if you prefer dark meat
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 portobello mushroom caps, halved crosswise and thinly sliced
* 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
* 1/2 cup beef broth or stock
* 1 (28-ounces) can crushed tomatoes
* A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
* 1 pound egg ribbons or egg fettuccini, cooked to al dente
* Crusty bread and grated Parmigiano or Romano, for passing


Directions


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add half of the
extra-virgin olive oil and brown chicken breasts or thighs for 3 or 4
minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and season with salt and
pepper.


Return pan to stove, reduce heat to medium and add the remaining. Add
crushed pepper, sliced mushrooms, and garlic. Season with salt (salt
is a magnet for drawing out liquid). Cover and cook mushrooms 5
minutes or until mushrooms are dark, tender and have given off their
juices. Add about 1/2 cup of beef broth to intensify the wild mushroom
flavor, then stir in the tomatoes and parsley. Cut the chicken into
bite-size chunks or slices and add to sauce. Simmer sauce 5 minutes to
finish cooking chicken pieces and to allow the flavors to combine.
Toss pasta with cacciatore and serve with crusty bread and grated
cheese.


Tidbits: Beef broth and stock is now available in resealable paper
containers, which can be found on the soup aisle of your market. These
paper containers make storage of remaining broth easier; keep some on
hand in your refrigerator. Beef broth is used instead of chicken broth
in this recipe because it pairs better with the beefy taste of
portobello mushrooms. The broth will make your cacciatore taste as if
it simmered all day because it accents the mushroom taste well.


Depending on your brand, 1 large can of tomatoes can vary in weight
from 28 to 32 ounces. Use your favorite, but check to make sure the
product is sugar free.

From: foodnetwork.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

Honey Mustard and Red Onion Barbecued Chicken

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients


* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1/2 red onion, chopped
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* 1/4 cup brown sugar, a couple of handfuls
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1/2 cup prepared honey mustard (recommended: Honey Cup brand)
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice, eyeball it
* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, eyeball it
* 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
* Vegetable oil, for drizzling
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Directions


Preheat grill pan or griddle over medium high heat.


Pour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil into a small saucepan over moderate
heat. Add red onions and saute 3 to 5 minutes. Add vinegar and reduce
by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook 1 minute to
incorporate. Whisk in broth and honey mustard, allspice and curry.
Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to lowest setting.


Coat chicken with a drizzle of oil and salt and pepper, to your taste.
Place chicken on hot grill and cook 4 or 5 minutes, then turn. Baste
chicken liberally with sauce and cook another 5 minutes. Turn once
again and baste. Cook 2 or 3 minutes more to cook through and transfer
chicken to a platter and serve.

From: foodnetwork.com

Chicken and Ham Rolls with Spinach

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 to 8 ounces, butterflied
into large cutlets*
* Salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves
* 8 slices prosciutto, other deli sliced meat that is not smoked
may be substituted
* 1/2 pound fontina cheese, thinly sliced, Italian or Danish,
available in specialty cheese case usually located near deli section
of larger markets
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 8 baby portobello (crimini) mushrooms, sliced
* 1 cup chicken stock, available in boxes on soup aisle, chicken
broth may be substituted
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 pound triple washed spinach


Directions


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


Place cutlets on a plastic cutting board and season with salt and
pepper. Top with chopped sage, 2 slices prosciutto each and a few thin
slices of fontina. Roll tightly and secure with toothpicks. Season
outside of rolls with more salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.


Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan and 1
tablespoon butter to the pan. Add chicken and raise heat to medium
high. Brown the rolls evenly, 5 minutes, then place on a nonstick
cookie sheet and transfer to oven to roast for 15 minutes longer. Add
another tablespoon butter to the pan and melt it. Add mushrooms to the
pan and cook, stirring frequently, until just tender 3 or 4 minutes.
Add flour and cook another minute. Whisk in stock. Season pan gravy
with mushrooms with salt and pepper and turn off heat. Reheat with
moderate flame when you remove chicken rolls from the oven and you are
ready to serve.


Preheat a second skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil
2 turns of the pan, and the garlic. Add the spinach to the pan in
bunches and turn to wilt. Add more spinach as it wilts down until all
the spinach is in the pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and
serve warm.


To plate, leave rolls whole and spill sauce over top, spinach
alongside, or, slice rolls and fan them out over a bed of spinach and
top with mushroom sauce.


*Ask butcher to butterfly the breasts into large cutlets for you. This
is a real time-saver! If a butcher is not available to you, cut into
each breast from the fatter side and work across the breast, leaving
them attached at the opposite side. Open the breast up and pound
lightly with a mallet to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Also, in many
supermarkets chicken cutlets are available in packages. They are small
pieces of thinly sliced breast meat. Simply adapt the method and make
2 small roll-ups rather than 1 large roll up per portion.

From: foodnetwork.com

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp

Cook Time: 6 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 12 jumbo shrimp, deveined
* 1/4 fresh pineapple cut into bite sized chunks or 1 (14-ounce)
can pineapple chunks in natural juice, drained
* 6 slices center-cut bacon, cut in 1/2 crosswise
* 12 wooden toothpicks


Directions

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Holding a shrimp, nest
a chunk of pineapple in the natural curve of the shrimp then wrap
bacon around the shrimp and pineapple and secure with a wooden
toothpick. Wrap and secure all 12 shrimp then add to the hot pan and
cook 3 minutes on each side or until bacon is crisp and shrimp are
opaque and firm.

Hungarian-ish Mini-Dumpling and Egg Noodle Soup

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Daphne's Note: Try it with other meat instead of chicken, add carrots
for sweetness :)


Ingredients


* 8 cups chicken stock (recommended: Kitchen Basics, 2 (1-quart) boxes
* 1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey breast (I keep an extra
pack of both in the freezer; they are both so lean and easy to work
with!)
* 1 egg
* 1 cup plain bread crumbs
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
* 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
* Handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
* Salt and pepper
* 1 1/2 cups thin egg noodles
* 1/2 cup pequillo Spanish peppers or roasted red peppers,
quartered lengthwise, very thinly sliced
* 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces then shredded into thin sticks
* Handful fresh dill, finely chopped, about 3 tablespoons


Directions


Heat stock to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.


Mix the chicken with egg, bread crumbs, nutmeg, smoked sweet paprika,
parsley, salt and pepper. Roll the meat into 1-inch dumplings and add
to simmering stock. Wash up and let the dumplings cook 3 to 4 minutes
alone. Add the egg noodles, peppers and scallions and stir. Cook
another 4 to 5 minutes until noodles are just tender. Stir in dill.
Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

From: foodnetwork.com

Greek Style Shrimp Scampi and Linguini

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

* 1 pound linguini
* Salt
* 1 pound medium to large shrimp deveined and peeled, tails removed
* Pepper
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* Couple pinches red pepper flakes
* 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
* 2 sprigs oregano, finely chopped
* Handful pitted kalamata olives, chopped
* 1/2 cup white wine, eyeball it
* 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1 cup feta cheese crumbles


Directions

Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Salt water and cook
pasta to al dente.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.

While the pasta water comes to a boil, heat extra-virgin olive oil in
a deep skillet with garlic. When garlic is brown, remove and reserve.
Add shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, lemon zest,
oregano, olives, and wine and cook together a couple of minutes more.
Remove from heat. Add a ladle of starchy pasta cooking water to sauce
and some lemon juice. Remove the sauce from the heat. Drain pasta and
add to the skillet. Let pasta soak in juices for a minute then toss
with parsley and feta. Use tongs to pull pasta from skillet, giving it
a turn to twist in as many ingredients as possible. Then, use the
tongs to remove and arrange the shrimp and ingredients that may remain
in the pan, distributing them evenly among the portions.

Friday, November 7, 2008

White Pizza

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 store bought pizza dough - or pick one up from your favorite pizzeria
* Extra- virgin olive oil, for drizzling
* 2 cups whole or part skim ricotta
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone, 1 pouch
* 10 fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup, shredded

Directions

Preheat a pizza stone if you use one along with the oven to 425 degrees F.

Stretch dough to form a pie and transfer to stone or pizza baking
tray. Pierce the dough with the tines of a fork in several places.
Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil around the crust. Mix the ricotta
cheese with garlic and parsley and season it with salt and black
pepper. Spread the ricotta across the dough. Top the pizza with
mozzarella or provolone. Bake until crispy, 20 minutes. Top the white
pizza pie with the shredded basil leaves, cut and serve.

Almond Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Scallion Beurre Blanc

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients


* 2 scallions, whites and greens, very finely chopped
* 1/2 cup dry white wine - eyeball it
* 4 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 large egg
* 8 pieces chicken breast cutlets, 1 1/4 pounds
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds
* 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
* 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, eyeball it
* Salt and pepper
* 1/4 cup light extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, 4 turns of the pan
* 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces


Directions


Combine the scallions, white wine and 2 tablespoons cream in a
saucepan over medium heat and reduce to 1/4 cup liquid, 5 to 6
minutes.


While the sauce is working, beat egg and set chicken into it. Combine
almonds, bread crumbs, nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste, in a food
processor and grind to combine. Cover a plate with plastic wrap to
make for easy clean up after breading and pour almond and bread crumb
mixture onto it. Remove chicken from the egg and coat in the bread
crumb mixture.


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.


Heat 3 tablespoons, 3 turns of the pan, oil in a large nonstick
skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add cutlets and cook 3
minutes on each side, transfer to a plate and cover with foil and keep
warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining chicken.


Whisk 2 tablespoons cream into the sauce, a splash. Lower the heat on
the sauce and whisk the butter into pot until it has incorporated.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.


Place 2 cutlets on each dinner plate and spoon a little beurre blanc
sauce down over top of the cutlets.

From: foodnetwork.com

Cowboy Spaghetti

Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 1 pound spaghetti
* Salt
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
* 3 slices smoky bacon, chopped
* 1 pound ground sirloin
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
* Ground black pepper
* 2 teaspoons hot sauce, eyeball it
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
* 1/2 cup beer
* 1 (14-ounce) can, chopped or crushed fire roasted tomatoes
* 1 (8-ounces) can, tomato sauce
* 8 ounces sharp Cheddar
* 4 scallions, chopped


Directions

Heat a pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and salt the water. Cook
to al dente or with a bite to it.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil
and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon, 5 minutes, remove with a slotted
spoon. Drain off a little excess fat if necessary. Leave just enough
to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add beef and crumble it as it
browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, garlic and stir into meat. Season
the meat with salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Add 1/2
cup beer and deglaze the pan. Cook 5 to 6 minutes more then stir in
tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Add hot spaghetti to meat and sauce and combine. Adjust seasonings and
serve up pasta in shallow bowls. Grate some cheese over the pasta and
sprinkle with scallions. Garnish with crisp bacon

Pizzagna

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


Ingredients

* 1 pound pasta curls (recommended: campagnelle by Barilla; short
fusilli or cavatappi twists may be substituted)
* Salt
* 1 cup ricotta cheese
* 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls
* Handful parsley, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni, cut into thin strips
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, quartered and thinly sliced
* 1 onion, quartered then thinly sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, sliced
* 12 crimini mushrooms (baby portabellos), thinly sliced
* Black pepper
* 1 (28-ounces) can crushed tomatoes
* 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* Loaf of crusty bread


Directions

Preheat broiler.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add pasta and salt the water.

While the water boils combine ricotta, Parmigiano, parsley and
pepperoni in a large bowl and reserve.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil, 2
turns of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the peppers, onions, garlic
and mushrooms. Saute 6 to 8 minutes until tender and mushrooms are
dark. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and
reduce heat to low.

Add a ladle of starchy cooking water to the ricotta just before you
drain the pasta. Drain pasta then toss with ricotta and pepperoni
mixture. Pour pasta into a baking dish and top evenly with peppers,
onion and mushroom sauce. Top with a layer of mozzarella, oregano and
red pepper flakes. Place under hot broiler and melt cheese until
golden and bubbly. Remove and serve with crusty bread.

That's Shallota Flavor Spaghetti

Cook Time: 22 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Directions

Made with 10 shallots per pound of whole wheat spaghetti, you cannot
believe the flavor of this pasta dish. It's like a bowl of French
Onion Soup, hold the broth. It's a knockout.


Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 10 shallots, halved then thinly sliced
* Salt and black pepper
* 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
* A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
* 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil with the butter over medium-low heat
in a skillet with high sides. Add garlic and shallots and season with
salt and pepper then cook gently until caramelized about 20 minutes,
stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta, salt the water
very liberally then add spaghetti and bring to a rolling boil. Cook to
al dente. Add 2 ladles of starchy cooking water, about 1 cup, to the
shallots and stir. Drain pasta and add to shallots. Add the parsley
and cheese and more black pepper, to taste. Toss 1 to 2 minutes for
liquid to absorb and serve. WOW! Talk about yum-o!

Chicken Fajita Tortilla Soup

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients


* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 packages chicken tenders, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
* 1 tablespoon coriander, a palm full
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, 5 to 6 sprigs
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
* 1 large bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
* 1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
* 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 1 bag white corn tortilla chips
* 1 cup shredded pepper Jack or sharp white Cheddar
* 1 ripe avocado, diced
* 1 lime, juiced
* 4 scallions, chopped
* Handful fresh cilantro leaves or fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Directions


Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan,
over medium-high heat. Add chicken, begin to brown 4 minutes, add
coriander, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste, onions, bell pepper and
jalapeno, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 8 to 10 minutes,
stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and stock, heat through.


While the soup is working, lightly crush some tortilla chips and
divide among 4 bowls. You need a couple of handfuls per bowl. Top the
chips with a little cheese. Toss the avocado with lime juice. Top the
chips with ladles of soup. Garnish soup with avocado, scallions and
cilantro or parsley.

From: foodnetwork.com

Jambasta

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* Salt
* 1 pound penne rigate, pasta with lines
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 pound andouille sausage, any brand, casing removed and diced
* 4 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced (1 large
jalapeno my be substituted)
* 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
* 2 ribs celery from the heart with greens, chopped
* 1 onion, chopped
* Salt and ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup beer, 1/2 bottle
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1 (14-ounce) can, crushed tomatoes
* 2 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Franks Red Hot or Tabasco)
eyeball it
* 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
* 1/2 pound chicken breast, diced into small pieces
* 1/2 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
* 1/4 cup heavy cream, eyeball it
* 2 scallions, sliced


Directions

Heat a pot of water to a boil for pasta and add salt to it then pasta.
Cook to al dente and drain.

While pasta works, heat a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add
extra-virgin olive oil, butter and andouille. Brown the sausage 2 to 3
minutes to render the fat. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add garlic,
peppers, celery and onions. Saute the veggies for 5 to 6minutes.
Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add flour to the pan. Cook
flour with veggies 2 minutes more then whisk in beer. Cook beer out, 2
minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, hot sauce and thyme. Bring
liquid to a bubble and add chicken and shrimp. Cook 6 to 7 minutes
until chicken is firm and shrimp are opaque and firm. Stir to mix in
cooking juices then add in cream. Drain the pasta and add it to the
sauce. Ladle up the jambasta and top with chopped scallions and
reserved crispy andouille.

Smoky Beer Burgers with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 2 pounds lean ground sirloin
* 1/3 pound smoked Gouda cheese, diced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes
* 1 medium onion or 1/2 large onion
* 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika, 2/3 palm full
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palm full
* Grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning)
* Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
* Generous handful finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/2 (12-ounce) bottle beer
* Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
* 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
* 1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream
* 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
* 4 crusty Kaiser rolls, split and lightly toasted
* Green or red leaf lettuce, for topping
* Sliced sweet bread and butter pickles, for topping


Directions


Preheat grill over medium-high heat.


Place the meat in a bowl and add the cheese. Peel the onion and halve
it, if using the medium onion. Grate about 3 to 4 tablespoons of onion
directly over the meat into the bowl. Finely chop the remaining onion
and reserve for topping. Add spices to meat: paprika, cumin and about
1 tablespoon of grill seasoning and/or some salt and pepper. Add
garlic, parsley and Worcestershire and beer then form 4 large patties
making them a little thinner at the center than at edges. Burgers
plump when you cook them so this will prevent burger bulge. Drizzle a
little olive oil over the burgers then grill about 4 minutes on each
side for medium rare, 5 minutes on each side for medium and 6 to 7
minutes on each side for well done.


Mix mustard and sour cream with dill.


Serve patties on bun bottoms and top with lettuce, pickles, chopped
raw onion. Slather bun tops with sauce and serve.


From: foodnetwork.com

Sausage, Peppers and Onions Stoup

Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


Ingredients

* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 1/2 pounds hot or sweet bulk Italian sausage
* 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 3 to 4 cubanelle peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
* 2 medium-large onions, thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 2 cups chicken stock
* 2 (15-ounce) cans or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed or diced fire
roasted tomatoes
* 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
* 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
* 1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano


Directions

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in deep skillet, add sausage and brown a
few minutes then add garlic, peppers, onions and cook until soft, 6 to
7 minutes more.

Deglaze pan with a little vinegar, stir in stock and tomatoes and
reduce heat to simmer, cook 5 minutes more then stir in parsley and
basil and serve with cheese on top.

Steakhouse Shepherd's Pie

Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients

* 2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
* Salt
* 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 slices good quality bacon or peppered bacon, chopped
* 2 pounds ground sirloin
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
* Black pepper
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups beef stock
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1 egg yolk
* 3 tablespoons sour cream
* 1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled (recommended: Maytag)
* 3 to 4 tablespoons chives
* 1 teaspoon paprika


Directions

Place potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water and bring up to a boil.
Season water with salt and boil potatoes until tender, 12 to15
minutes. Heads up: save a ladle of starchy cooking water just before
draining.

Heat a skillet with high sides over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin
olive oil, half a turn of the pan and the bacon. Crisp bacon and
remove to paper towel lined plate. Add sirloin to the pan and
caramelize the meat, 4 to 5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and onions
and cook until tender, 6 to 7 minutes more then season with salt and
pepper.

While meat cooks heat a small sauce pot over medium heat and melt
butter, whisk the flour into butter, cook 2 minutes then whisk beef
stock into flour, add Worcestershire and season sauce with salt and
pepper, to taste. Thicken 6 to 7 minutes.

Pour gravy over meat and turn on broiler.

Temper egg yolk by beating it with the starchy potato cooking water.
Place drained potatoes back into the pot you cooked them in to dry
them out a little. Mash potatoes with egg yolk and sour cream then
fold in crumbled blue cheese and chives. Season the potatoes with salt
and pepper and spread across the top of the meat in an even layer.
Garnish the potatoes with paprika and place under broiler to crisp and
brown the potatoes, 2 to 3 minutes. Crumble reserved bacon over top.
Serve immediately right from the hot skillet.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tilapia with Balsamic Browned Butter and Creamy Farfalle with Bacon, Tomato and Peas

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


Salt
1 pound farfalle, bow ties
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 to 3 grated garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
12 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
4 (6 to 8-ounce) tilapia fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded or torn

Heat a pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.

Heat a deep large skillet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
over medium-high heat. Add bacon and crisp 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions,
garlic, bay leaf and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook
until tender but not browned, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crush them up
with a wooden spoon and simmer 15 minutes on low heat.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Dust fish with flour and shake off excess.

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over
medium high heat. Cook fish 4 minutes on each side.

While fish cooks, stir peas into sauce, return to bubble and stir in
mascarpone cheese. Adjust seasoning.

Remove fish from skillet to a platter and cover loosely with foil to
keep warm. Reduce heat to medium and add butter to pan. Brown butter,
2 to 3 minutes, stir in balsamic and simmer 1 to 2 minutes to reduce
by half. Pour the brown butter and vinegar over fish.

Drain pasta, toss with sauce and wilt basil into pasta.

Serve fish with pasta alongside.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Cook Time: --
Level: --
Yield: 4-6 servings


Ingredients

* 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
* 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, finely chopped
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
* 2 carrots, finely chopped
* 5 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 1 1/2 pound ground pork
* 1 1/2 pound ground beef
* 2 cups milk
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 2 cups dry red wine
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound dry tagiatelle pasta
* Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
* 1 handful fresh basil leaves
* Fresh ricotta cheese


Directions

Reconstitute the mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes until
tender, drain and coarsely chop.

Puree the mushrooms, pancetta, onion, celery stalks, carrots, garlic,
together in a blender.

In a heavy-bottomed pot add olive oil, bay leaves, herbs and cook
gently until fragrant, then add vegetable puree and continue to cook
for a further 5 to 10 minutes.

Raise the heat a bit and add the ground pork and beef; brown until the
meat is no longer pink, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the milk and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, about 10
minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes, and wine and season with salt
and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and cover.
Slowly simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring now and then, until the
sauce is very thick. Taste again for salt and pepper.

When you are ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a
boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet
firm (as they say in Italian "al dente"). Drain the pasta well and
toss with the Bolognese sauce.

Serve with a good scoop of fresh ricotta cheese and garnish with some
shredded basil, grated Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil.

Saturday, November 1, 2008