Avocado Tomato Salad
This recipe appeared in the Dallas Morning News and it is by Chef Tracy Miler. It is a chunky-style guacamole spooned over a salad dressed with cilantro vinaigrette.
2 AVOCADOS, cut in small dice
Juice of 2 fresh LIMES
3 ROMA TOMATOES, cut in small dice
1/2 c. WHITE ONION, cut in small dice
4 SERRANO CHILES (or substitute jalapeno peppers), cut in very small dice
1/4 c. rough-chopped CILANTRO
2 tsp. KOSHER SALT
1 head BIBB LETTUCE
1 head ROMAINE, hearts only
1 head ENDIVE (I did not use this)
1/2 head ICEBERG LETTUCE
CILANTRO VINAIGRETTE (recipe follows)
COTIJA CHEESE (I used queso fresca)
After you cut the avocado, pour the lime juice over it in a mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, onion, chiles, cilantro and 2 tsp. salt. Use a fork to genly combine. Adjust seasoning and set aside.
Wash and chop or tear lettuces to desired size and combine in a large mixing bowl. Toss with Cilantro Vinaigrette.
Divide the dressed lettuce among 4 plates. Spoon avocado-tomato salad on top. Sprinkle cheese over all.
Makes 4 servings
2 Tbsp. CILANTRO, chopped
1/2 c. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1/4 tsp. GARLIC, minced
2-4 tsp. CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR
2-4 tsp. fresh LIME JUICE
1/2 tsp. LIME ZEST
1-2 tsp SUGAR
Combine ingredients and taste to adjust the acid (vinegar and lime juice) and the sugar.
Mixed Grilled Vegetables with Fontina Fonduta
This recipe is from Chef Scott Conant and was published in Food and Wine magazine. This can be used as a side dish with grilled meat or fish or serve as a vegetarian main dish.
2 ZUCCHINI, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 YELLOW SQUASH, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
3 large PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS, stemmed, brown gills scraped out and cut in thick slices
3 PLUM TOMATOES, halved lengthwise
1 medium RED ONION, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 c. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
SALT and freshly ground PEPPER
1 Tbsp. THYME LEAVES (or 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves)
1/2 c. MILK
1/4 c. HEAVY CREAM
3/4 lb. ITALIAN FONTINA CHEESE, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 cups)
2 Tbsp. PARMESAN CHEESE, freshly grated
2 Tbsp. snipped CHIVES (I used scallions sliced)
Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Vegetables may be grilled on either a grill or in a grill pan. (I used a grill pan) Turn occasionally until the vegetables are lightly charred. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
In a saucepan, bring milk and cream to a boil. Add the fontina and cook over low heat, stirring, until creamy. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Strain the fonduta through a fine sieve and pour into a pitcher. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the vegetables with the chives (or scallions) and serve the fonduta on the side.
Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings
This recipe is from More Best Recipes from the editors of Cook's Illustrated. I was craving comfort food on a long awaited rainy day in Texas and this seemed to satisfy.
4 lb. bone-in, skin-on CHICKEN pieces (I used drumsticks and thighs)
2 Tbsp. VEGETABLE OIL
4 Tbsp. BUTTER
SALT and PEPPER
4 CARROTS, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 CELERY RIBS, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium ONION, minced
6 Tbsp. FLOUR
4 c. CHICKEN BROTH
1/4 c. whole MILK
1/4 c. DRY SHERRY (I used white wine)
1/2 tsp. dried THYME LEAVES
2 BAY LEAVES
1 c. frozen PEAS
3 Tbsp. PARSLEY, minced
2 c. FLOUR
1 Tbsp. BAKING POWDER
1 tsp. SALT
1 c. WHOLE MILK
3 Tbsp. reserved CHICKEN FAT or butter
Pat the chicken dry, season with salt and pepper and saute in vegetable oil for 5-8 minutes per side.
Transfer chicken to a plate.
Pour off any chicken fat and reserve for use in making the dumplings.
To the same pan, add the butter, carrots, celery, onion, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until softened.
Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
Whisk in the broth, milk, sherry, thyme and bay leaves scraping up any browned bits.
Add chicken and any accumulated juice to the pot and simmer until chicken is fully cooked (about 20 minutes if using breasts or 1 hour for thighs and drumsticks).
Remove chicken and allow to cool enough to handle. Then, remove meat from bones and discard skin. Add the bite size chicken back in the pot.
(This part of the recipe may be prepared one day ahead and then just reheated to proceed.)
For the dumplings:
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Microwave the milk and reserved chicken fat in a microwave-safe bowl until just warm, about 1 minute.
Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated and smooth.
Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drop golf-ball-sized dumplings into the stew. leaving about 1/4-inch of space around each dumpling. You should have about 18 dumplings.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until dumplings have doubled in size, 15-18 minutes.
Spaghetti Alla Primavera
This recipe was recently published in Saveur magazine and it is from Le Cirque restaurant in New York City. A great vegetarian main dish that is filling, satisfying and beautiful.
6 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL
3 cloves GARLIC
6 oz. BUTTON MUSHROOMS, sliced or quartered
1 c. ASPARAGUS TIPS, blanched
1 c. BROCCOLI FLORETS, blanched
1/2 c. FROZEN PEAS, blanched
1 small ZUCCHINI, quartered, lengthwise, cut to 1-inch lengths, blanched
1 lb. SPAGHETTI, cooked al dente
1 c. HEAVY CREAM
2/3 c. PARMESAN CHEESE
2 Tbsp. unsalted BUTTER
Kosher SALT to taste
1 c. GRAPE TOMATOES, halved
2 Tbsp. thinly shredded BASIL
1/2 c. toasted PINE NUTS (I omitted these)
Heat 5 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 2/3 of the garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
Add asparagus, broccoli, peas, and zucchini and cook 3 minutes.
Add pasta, cream, Parmesan, and butter, season with salt and toss to combine.
Transfer to a platter.
Bring remaining oil and garlic, tomatoes, and basil to a simmer over medium heat.
Pour over pasta and garnish with nuts.
Soupe au Pistou
Today was a rainy day and since I had this recipe on my kitchen workbench, I decided to try it. It is easy to prepare and a delicious combination of veggies.
4 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL
1 ONION, finely chopped
2 CARROTS, chopped
1 CELERY STALK, thinly sliced
1 LEEK, halved lengthwise and sliced
8 oz.BUTTERNUT SQUASH, peeled and cubed
1 small FENNEL BULB, sliced
1 POTATO (about 6 oz.) peeled and cubed
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
6-8 c. VEGETABLE or CHICKEN BROTH
14 oz. can CANNELLINI BEANS
1 small jar BASIL PESTO
PARMESAN CHEESE, grated (optional)
Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the other vegetables, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes.
Pour in the broth and simmer for 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans. Add and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve individual bowls of soup with a dollop of the jarred pesto to be stirred into the soup by each diner and serve additional pesto alongside.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Pbase has made the world a smaller place and a more personal place and that's what I love about it.
We get to share not only our photography but a bit of our lives with people all over the world and sometimes have the opportunity to travel and meet those people.
So I get a message from Buba Jafarli from the country of Georgia with a recipe for this eggplant appetizer.
He did not give it a name, so I simply called it "Eggplant Appetizer".
I followed his directions and I do not know if I should have gotten more color on the eggplant or not and that will be for him to decide and I'm not sure if the pieces are too big or too small but regardless... it is an interesting and addictive flavor combination and I will definitely make it again.
Do give it a try and send a big thank you to Buba.
Ingredients: 4-5 medium eggplants, oil, garlic, lemons, salt, thick plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt), dried mint powder
To be served with fresh pita bread.
The proportions are not exact so I have given the ingredients as listed above.
1- Take a glass of yogurt and mix it with 2 Tbsp. of dried mint powder. Stir well and set aside. It will take a couple of hours to let the yogurt absorb the flavor of the mint.
2- Remove the skin from 4-5 mediuim-sized eggplants. Cut them approximately 1 cm. large.
Fry them with olive oil (sunflower, maize, canola - whatever you usually use). Do not use too much oil and the fire should be relatively strong.
Your task is to get even bronze color of the eggplant and preserve the shape more or less. Add salt to taste.
Just a half-minute before removing the pan from the fire, add one and a half or two tsp. of garlic paste of just squeezed garlic. Stir well.
The garlic should lose it's strength a bit, but not completely.
Once the cubes are ready, put them on a multi-layer napkin to get rid of any extra oil. 3-4 minutes should be enough.
Then put the cubes into the bowl and add the juice of 1-2 lemons.
Stir well again and put the bowl with eggplants aside for an hour or two.
Put a dollop of yogurt on the top of the eggplant (do not mix it in).
Serve with fresh pita bread.
Note: You can also add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the eggplants when you start frying them if desired. (I did not use this).
Buba goes on to say that he learned this recipe in Azerbaijan about 15 years ago and since then he has been "addicted" to eggplants Azeri-style.
Thank you Buba for sharing this recipe and now I too am addicted to eggplant Azeri-style!
Fettucine with Corn and Tomatoes
This recipe comes from the Food Network Magazine and as usual...
I am a sucker for pasta, and probably my least favorite pasta is with a red sauce simply because there are so many better choices in my opinion.
The original recipe called for pappardelle but since I didn't have that, I used fettucine instead.
For ease of preparation, you can use frozen corn in place of the fresh corn.
2 EARS CORN, shucked
5 Tbsp. BUTTER
3 c. GRAPE TOMATOES
2 CLOVES GARLIC, minced
Freshly ground PEPPER
1/2 c. WHITE WINE
12 ounces PAPPARDELLE PASTA
1/2 c. low-sodium CHICKEN BROTH
1 small bunch SCALLIONS, thinly sliced
1/2 c. freshly grated PARMESAN CHEESE, plus more for topping
Torn basil for topping if desired
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes.
Remove with tongs, reserving the boiling water. Let the corn cool slightly, then cut off the kernels.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the tomatoes, l tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle in the corn water as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Add the chicken broth and corn kernels to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet. Add the scallions, parmesan, the remaining 3 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 tsp. salt.
Toss to combine, adding the reserved cooking water as needed. (I did not need it).
Top with more parmesan and basil.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Bacon, Cheese, Arugula & Hot Pepper Jelly
I was in the doctor's office the other day and was flipping through a magazine looking at the recipes when this one caught my eye,
so I made a mental note of the ingredients and then headed to the store on the way home.
This makes a good meal paired with a cup of soup.
The amounts are non-specific so make however much you think you will need.
To make this recipe even easier, use a roasted chicken from the store or substitute leftover chicken or turkey.
CHICKEN BREAST, boneless, skinless
(I used Provolone but muenster would also be a good choice)
HOT PEPPER JELLY
SALT & PEPPER, to taste
RUSTIC WHOLE GRAIN BREAD, sliced
Cook the bacon and remove from pan and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess grease.
Pound the chicken breasts until thin, season with salt and pepper and sauté in the remaining bacon fat in the pan until cooked through and remove to a plate.
Slice chicken into thin strips.
Wipe frying pan out and place a knob of butter in the pan to melt.
On bottom half of bread place cheese, chicken, bacon, arugula, drizzle with the hot pepper jelly, and add another layer of cheese and then top with other piece of bread.
Place sandwich in pan and grill until evenly browned.
Add a little more butter to the pan and flip and cook on the other side until browned.
This makes a substantial sandwich and is delicious with the salty, chewy bacon, the peppery bite of arugula and the spicy heat of the jelly and the gooey cheese.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
I went to a photography show called Slideluck Dallas.
Evidently these slideluck shows are becoming popular world wide and were started by a fella in Seattle
who thought it would be fun to get together with other photographers, have a potluck dinner, listen to some music and then watch a slide show by local photographers.
2012 was Dallas's first year to have it and it was a great success.
One of the food offerings were these chocolate peanut butter pretzel bites and everyone was remarking about how good they were.
They looked easy enough to make so I googled what I thought the ingredients were and up popped this recipe.
This is a great recipe for kids to make... and quite addictive!
1 c. CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER
2 Tbsp. BUTTER, softened
1/2 c. BROWN SUGAR
1 1/2 c. POWDERED SUGAR
48 SMALL PRETZELS
10 oz. SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS
KOSHER SALT or FLEUR DE SEL, to taste
In a mixer, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar until well combined.
Roll peanut butter mixture in 1-inch balls and smash in-between two pretzels.
In a medium bowl, microwave semi-sweet chocolate in 15 second increments until melted.
Dip half of each pretzel sandwich in melted chocolate and set on wax paper.
Sprinkle with the salt and let the chocolate harden.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
(And trust me... they will be gone in no time!)
Oven-Roasted Sausages with Riesling, Apples, and Pears
This is an adaptation of a recipe by Joanne Weir from the cookbook... "Cooking Confidence".
The recipe sounded delicious but I felt that there were some discrepencies in the recipe.
The photo that was presented showed the fruit with the peel left on but the recipe said to peel the fruit.
In the original recipe the sausages were to be added with the fruit, covered and put in the oven which would have poached the sausages, yet in the photo it appeared that they were browned.
And the sauce was a bit too thin to my liking.
So... here is my adaptation of the recipe. I can tell you it smelled delicious cooking and I would definitely make it again.
2 Tbsp. BUTTER
1 Tbsp. DARK BROWN SUGAR
3 BOSC PEARS, halved and cored
3 GRANNY SMITH APPLES, halved and cored
KOSHER SALT, to taste
1 c. LATE-HARVEST WINE, such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer
1 tsp. ORANGE ZEST, grated
2 slices FRESH GINGER
2 WHOLE CLOVES
1 CINNAMON STICK
1/8 tsp. ANISE SEED, crushed (I omitted this)
1 Tbsp. CORNSTARCH mixed with a little cold water to make a slurry
6-9 SWEET ITALIAN PORK SAUSAGES, pricked with a fork
Heat the oven to 375°F.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Add the brown sugar and cook until it is melted.
Add the pears and apples, cut side down in a single layer, and cook until they are golden brown, 5-7 minutes.
Remove from the heat and place the pears and apples in a large baking dish in a single layer, cut side up.
Season with salt.
Add the orange juice, wine, orange zest, ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, and anise seed to the frying pan over high heat.
Bring to a boil.
Gradually add the cornstarch slurry using just enough to obtain the desired thickness to the sauce.
Discard the ginger, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
Pour the mixture over the fruit in the baking dish.
Add the sausages to the frying pan with a Tbsp. of butter and saute until browned but not cooked through.
Put these in with the fruit and sauce mixture.
Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes.
For each serving include a sausage, a pear half, an apple half and drizzle the sauce over top.
(I served this with oven-roasted potatoes.)
Lemon Drizzle Cake
This recipe is from the BBC Good Food and is quite easy to make.
It is lemony and moist and would be delicious served with whipped cream and some fresh berries.
The measurements were in Grams and I have changed them to ounces.
You will need a scale to weigh the ingredients.
8 oz. BUTTER, softened
8 oz. SUGAR
LEMONS, 3 zested and 2 juiced
4 MEDIUM EGGS, lightly whisked (I used large eggs as that is what I had)
7 oz. SELF-RISING FLOUR
1 tsp. BAKING POWDER
1.7 oz. GROUND ALMONDS
Heat the oven to 350°
Butter and line the base of an 8-inch springform pan with waxed paper or parchment paper cut to size.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl using a mixer until pale and creamy.
Add the lemon zest (reserving some for decoration) and mix well.
Whisk the eggs gradually into the butter mixture, beating well between each addition.
Don't worry if it looks curdled.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and fold into the cake mixture using a spatula.
Add the ground almonds and 3/4 of the lemon juice and fold until thoroughly combined.
Spoon into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out without any raw mix on it.
(Mine baked for about an hour)
Put the cake tin on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile mix together the remaining lemon juice and zest and enough confectioner's sugar to make a runny icing and then drizzle over the top of the cake..
Cool in the tin for a further 30 minutes and then remove from the tin.
At this point I used some additional icing to drizzle down the sides of the cake.
Cool completely before serving.
Bean Salad with Rosemary and Garlic
This is a simple but flavorful recipe with many variations depending on the salad ingredients served with the beans,
so let your imagination go wild and use the ingredients you have on hand.
The beans have a crunchy topping of browned bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese and pepper.
1 SLICE RUSTIC ITALIAN BREAD, coarsely ground in a food processor
3 Tbsp. PARMESAN CHEESE
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER, to taste
5 GARLIC CLOVES
1/4 c. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
2 tsp. ROSEMARY LEAVES, chopped
2 15-ounce cans GREAT NORTHERN BEANS, drained and rinsed
Use your imagination. I like arugula and tomatoes lightly dressed with a splash of white balsamic vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper.
Add olives, pepperocini, feta, cucumbers or whatever you desire or have on hand.
In a large frying pan, toast the breadcrumbs until lightly browned, stirring often.
Transfer to a plate to cool.
When cool, add the Parmesan cheese and pepper.
In the same pan, warm the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat just until fragrant.
Add the rosemary and cook over low heat for about a minute.
Add the beans and gently stir together until the beans are heated.
Allow beans to partially cool.
Place each serving of beans in a custard cup, pressing lightly to compact them to the shape of the cup.
Take each serving plate and place on top of the cup with the beans and then flip over and remove the cup.
Surround the beans with the salad that has been tossed with vinegar and olive oil.
I like to serve this with toasted olive bread drizzled with some olive oil or with cheese straws.