Saturday, August 31, 2013

Garlic-and-Rosemary Roast Pork Loin

Prep : 20 minutes         Bake time: 1 hour  30 minutes  + overnight marinating       Serves  4

A big, bold, garlicky marinade, made with a whole bunch of fresh rosemary, flavors this juicy roast .

1/4              cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8                 large garlic cloves, chopped
1                 bunch of rosemary, leaves only, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
2                 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2              teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2                 pounds center-cut pork loin

1 .          In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Transfer the pork and marinade to a large, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
2 .         Preheat the oven to 400°. Let the pork stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush off as much of the marinade as possible. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a work surface or carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing and serving.

Suggested Pairing :
Herb-scented Washington state red blend.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Italian Sausage-and-Three-Cheese Lasagna

Prep / Tottal time : 2 hours           Makes 6 servings

This rustic and gooey lasagna is packed with cheese and sausage. The style is called free-form because the pasta can be arranged in different ways—for instance, folded over the filling—instead of traditionally layered.

1/2            pound lasagna noodles
3               tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing
1/2            pound sweet Italian sausage
1               cup water
4               large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1               28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
                       **Salt and freshly ground pepper**
                       **Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese**
1/2           pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 pieces
6              ounces Italian Fontina, cut into 8 pieces
2              tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4           cup thinly sliced basil leaves

1 .      Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the noodles to a bowl of cold water and let stand for 2 minutes, then drain. Pat the noodles dry. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
2 .     In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the Italian sausage, cover and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned all over. Add the water, cover and simmer until the sausage is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
3 .     In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage and its poaching liquid and simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Coarsely break up the sausage and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
4 .        In a well-buttered, 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, arrange 3 lasagna noodles in different directions in the dish, leaving about 2 inches of overhang. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over each lasagna noodle and sprinkle with a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Set a piece of mozzarella and Fontina on each lasagna noodle and add a few chunks of sausage. Fold the overhanging lasagna noodles on top of the cheese and sausage. Repeat the process with the remaining lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, mozzarella, Fontina and sausage, sprinkling with a little more Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Brush the softened butter on any bare pasta and curly edges and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
5 .       Bake the lasagna on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble. Raise the oven temperature to 450° and bake for about 7 minutes longer, until the top is richly browned. Let the lasagna rest for about 10 minutes, then scatter the sliced basil on top, cut into squares and serve.
Make ahead The unbaked lasagna can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing :
Rich, peppery Primitivo.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Leeks and Peas

Prep: 25 minutes          Cook:  30 minutes       Serves  8

This chicken dish is elegant enough for entertaining and easy enough for a simple weeknight dinner.

8               whole chicken legs
                              **Salt **
                              **Freshly ground pepper**
3               tablespoons unsalted butter
3               tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3               large leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1               cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4            cup white balsamic vinegar
1               10-ounce package frozen baby peas, thawed
2               tablespoons chopped tarragon
2               tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2            cup crème fraîche

1 .       Preheat the oven to 425° and position a rack in the upper third. Turn the chicken legs skin side down on a work surface and cut halfway through the joint. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
2 .       In each of 2 large nonstick skillets, heat half of the butter and oil. Add the chicken, skin side up, and cook over high heat until browned, 5 minutes. Turn and cook the chicken for 1 minute. Pile all of the chicken into one skillet.
3 .       In the other skillet, cook the leeks over high heat until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and vinegar and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a medium roasting pan.
4 .       Set the chicken on the leeks, skin side up; roast for about 25 minutes, until it is cooked through. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, until the skin is golden and crisp. Transfer the chicken to a platter.
5.        Place the roasting pan over a burner and boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, herbs and crème fraîche and simmer until the sauce is hot and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Suggested Pairing :
Full-bodied white Côtes-du-Rhône.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Muffuletta Quiche Cups

Prep : 20 minutes            Cook : 25 minutes        Serves 8

Individual Italian-inspired quiche cups are surrounded by a flaky crust made easily with Pillsbury crescent rounds.

1              8-ounce can(s) Pillsbury Place ’N Bake refrigerated crescent rounds (8 rounds) or Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
3              tablespoon(s) finely diced ham
3              tablespoon(s) finely diced salami
2              tablespoon(s) finely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
1/2           teaspoon(s) oregano leaves
2              eggs
2              tablespoon(s) half-and-half
1/8           teaspoon(s) red pepper sauce
1              cup(s) shredded provolone cheese (4 oz)
2              teaspoon(s) chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

1.        Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffin cups (2 3/4x1 1/4 inches) with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2.        If using crescent rounds, remove from package, separate into 8 rounds. If using crescent rolls, remove from package, but do not unroll. Using serrated knife, cut roll into 8 rounds; carefully separate rounds. Press 1 round on bottom and completely up side of each muffin cup.
3.       In small bowl, mix ham, salami, olives and oregano. In another small bowl, beat eggs, half-and-half and pepper sauce with fork until well blended.
4.           Spoon about 1 tablespoon cheese into each muffin cup. Top each with about 1 rounded tablespoon ham mixture. Divide egg mixture evenly among muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon each). Top with remaining cheese.
5.           Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until filling is set and edges of rolls are golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of each quiche to loosen; remove to cooling rack. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Diner Meat Loaf "Muffins"

6 servings   ( Serving size : 2 "muffins")

Serve these delicious meatloaf muffins with steamed green beans and roasted potato wedges for an at-home version of a blue-plate special.

1                          teaspoon olive oil 
1                          cup finely chopped onion 
1/2                       cup finely chopped carrot
1                          teaspoon dried oregano
2                          garlic cloves, minced
1                          cup ketchup, divided 
1-1/2                    pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw) 
1                          cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
2                          tablespoons prepared mustard
1                          teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4                       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2                          large eggs
                                  **Cooking spray**

1 .         Preheat oven to 350°.
2 .         Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.
3.          Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.
4 .         Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Use a muffin tin to bake mini meatloaves. It decreases bake time and is ideal for making extra, freezer-friendly loaves for later. Thanks to the shorter cook time, you can get this recipe on the table in less than 30 minutes. Order's up!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tomato, Cheddar, and Bacon Pie

Prep / Total : 3 hours                   Serves 8

Crust :
2-1/4             cups self-rising soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily)
1                   cup cold butter, cut up
8                   cooked bacon slices, chopped 
3/4                cup sour cream 
2-3/4             pounds assorted large tomatoes, divided 
2                   teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1-1/2             cups (6 oz.) freshly shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese 
1/2                cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2                cup mayonnaise 
1                   large egg, lightly beaten
2                    tablespoons fresh dill sprigs
1                   tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1                   tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1                   tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1                   green onion, thinly sliced 
2                   teaspoons sugar
1/4                teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1-1/2             tablespoons plain yellow cornmeal

1.            Prepare Crust: Place flour in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Chill 10 minutes.
2.           Add bacon to flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Gradually add sour cream, 1/4 cup at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
3.           Spoon mixture onto a heavily floured surface; sprinkle lightly with flour, and knead 3 or 4 times, adding more flour as needed. Roll to a 13-inch round. Gently place dough in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with 2-inch sides and a removable bottom. Press dough into pan; trim off excess dough along edges. Chill 30 minutes.
4.           Meanwhile, prepare Filling: Cut 2 lb. tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and remove seeds. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Let stand 30 minutes.
5.           Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together Cheddar cheese, next 10 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl until combined.
6.           Pat tomato slices dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle cornmeal over bottom of crust. Lightly spread 1/2 cup cheese mixture onto crust; layer with half of tomato slices in slightly overlapping rows. Spread with 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers, using remaining tomato slices and cheese mixture. Cut remaining 3/4 lb. tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange on top of pie.
7.           Bake at 425° for 40 to 45 minutes, shielding edges with foil during last 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 1 to 2 hours before serving.
I raised the ante on classic tomato pie with a sour cream crust studded with bacon, layers of colorful tomatoes, and plenty of cheese and herbs to tie it all together. For best results, seed the tomatoes and drain the slices before baking.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes

Prep : 15 minutes     Cook: 15 to 20 mnutes       Serves 8

8              medium, firm-ripe red tomatoes on the vine, with small stems (2 1/3 lbs. total)
4              tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
1/2           cup chopped onion 
1              garlic clove, minced
2/3           cup medium-grain white rice
3/4           teaspoon kosher salt
1/2           teaspoon pepper 
1/4           teaspoon red chile flakes
2              tablespoons chopped parsley
2              tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1/3           cup grated parmesan cheese
                            **Flaked sea salt (optional) **

1.         Cut tops from tomatoes about 3/4 in. from stems (keep leaves and small stems attached) and set aside. Working over a food processor and using a teaspoon, carefully scoop out tomato pulp and juices, leaving only the outer walls. Purée pulp and juices, then measure; you should have 2 cups. Trim a very thin slice from base of tomatoes so they sit flat (if you get a hole, patch from the inside with a tomato slice).
2.          Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add rice, kosher salt, pepper, and chile flakes, stirring to coat. Stir in tomato purée and 1/4 cup water.
3.          Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to the surface of rice, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, until rice is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
4.          Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450° with a rack in the top third of oven. Grease a shallow baking dish with some of remaining oil. Stir parsley, basil, and cheese into risotto. Divide risotto evenly among tomato shells, mounding it a bit, and set in oiled dish, rice side up. Brush reserved tomato tops with oil and loosely set on tomatoes. Sprinkle tops with sea salt if you like.
5.          Bake until tomatoes soften a bit, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The secret to this dish’s success is to use firm tomatoes, such as those sold on the vine. Roast them on a rack near the top of the oven.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Peach Oatmeal Yogurt Parfait

Prep: 5 minutes           Bake: 5 minutes         Serves: 1

1                 medium peach, peeled, pitted and chopped
2                 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1/2              teaspoon cinnamon
1/4              cup almond milk
1/4              cup old-fashioned rolled oats
                               **Pinch of salt**
3/4              cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (6 oz.)

1.          In a small bowl, stir peach, brown sugar and cinnamon.
2.          Combine almond milk and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in oats and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occassionally, until mixture has thickened and oats are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3.          Spoon oatmeal into a bowl, top with peach mixture and spoon yogurt on top. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon, if desired.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Italian Eggplant

Prep: 15 minutes     Bake : 20 monutes      Serves: 4
¼ cup olive oil

6                        large eggs
1                        teaspoon salt
½                       teaspoon pepper
2                        teaspoon garlic powder
2                        teaspoon dried parsley
1                        large eggplant (about 2 lb.), trimmed, sliced into roughly 20 ¼-inch-thick rounds
1                       24-oz. jar marinara sauce
½                      cup grated Parmesan

1.           Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
2.           Warm 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley in a medium bowl. Working in batches, dip eggplant slices into egg mixture. Shake off excess and place slices in a single layer in skillet. Cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer slices to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining eggplant. If burned bits accumulate, wipe out skillet with a paper towel between batches and add remaining olive oil.
3.            Warm marinara sauce in a small pan over low heat. Spoon 1 Tbsp. sauce onto each of 4 plates; top each with an eggplant slice. Spoon more sauce over, sprinkle with Parmesan and add another eggplant slice. Repeat layers until no eggplant remains. Top each stack with 2 Tbsp. sauce, sprinkle with more Parmesan and serve.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sausage, Egg and Vegetable Casserole

Prep :30 minutes       Bake : 1 hour      Serves :8

1½                lb. pork breakfast sausage, casings removed
1                   small onion, chopped
½                  large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½                  large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4                   oz. mushrooms, chopped
9                   large eggs
3                   cups milk
1                   teaspoon salt
1                   tablespoon Dijon mustard
3                   slices white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1½                cups shredded Cheddar
 1.           Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 350ºF.
2.           In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, stirring and breaking up chunks, until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Drain skillet of all but 1 Tbsp. fat.
3.           Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add bell peppers and mushrooms; sauté for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool.
4.           Whisk eggs, milk, salt and mustard. Stir in bread, Cheddar, sausage and vegetables. Pour into dish. Bake until middle is set and edges have browned, 50 to 60 minutes, or cover with plastic and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, then bake.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Prep:20 minutes         Makes 4 servings  (1-1/2 cup per servings)

2                   cups uncooked instant rice
2                   tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 
1                   (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cut into (1/2-inch) cubes
2                   large eggs, lightly beaten 
1                   cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices green onions
1                   cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
4                   garlic cloves, minced
1                   teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2                   tablespoons sake (rice wine)
3                   tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 
1                   tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2                teaspoon dark sesame oil
                         **Thinly sliced green onions (optional) **

1.          Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
2.          While rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan. Add eggs to pan; cook 1 minute or until done, breaking egg into small pieces. Remove from pan. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to pan. Add 1 cup onions, peas and carrots, garlic, and ginger; sauté 2 minutes.
3.          While vegetable mixture cooks, combine sake, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. Add cooked rice to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tofu, egg, and soy sauce mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.
Using frozen peas and carrots plus bottled minced garlic and ginger speeds up preparation of this simple Chinese standby. Keep any leftover sake tightly capped in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, or you can substitute a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar for the sake.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Zucchini Chocolate Cake with Orange Glaze

Prep : 20 minutes      Bake : 50 minutes     Makes  16 servings

This moist and mouthwatering cake has a rich chocolate flavor, a hint of orange and is chock-full of zucchini and nuts.

1/2                       cup butter, softened
1-1/2                    cups sugar
2                          eggs
1/4                       cup unsweetened applesauce
1                          teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2                    cups all-purpose flour
1/2                        cup baking cocoa
1-1/4                     teaspoons baking powder
1                           teaspoon salt
1                           teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2                        teaspoon baking soda
1/2                        cup fat-free milk

3                           cups shredded zucchini
1/2                        cup chopped walnuts
1                           tablespoon grated orange peel
1-1/4                     cups confectioners' sugar
2                           tablespoons orange juice
1                           teaspoon vanilla extract

1.              Coat a 10-in. fluted tube pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour.
2 .             In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla.
3.              Combine the flour, baking cocoa, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and orange peel.
4.           Transfer to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
5.           Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cake.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Zucchini Cupcakes

  Prep :  20 minutes    Bake :20 minutes + cooling  Makes 18 to 24 cupcakes

I asked my friend for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too!
3                    eggs
1-1/3             cups sugar
1/2                cup canola oil
1/2                cup orange juice
1                   teaspoon almond extract
2-1/2             cups all-purpose flour
2                    teaspoons ground cinnamon
2                    teaspoons baking powder
1                    teaspoon baking soda
1                    teaspoon salt
1/2                 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2              cups shredded zucchini

1                    cup packed brown sugar
1/2                 cup butter, cubed
1/4                 cup 2% milk
1                    teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 to 2       cups confectioners' sugar
1 .         
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and extract. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini.
2 .         Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
3.          For frosting, combine the brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm.
4.          Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes.

Cabbage Patch Stew

Prep :  20 minutes    Cook :   6 hours    Makes 8 servings

1           pound ground beef
1           cup chopped onion
2           celery ribs , chopped
11         cups coarsely chopped cabbage (about 2 pounds)
2           cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes
1           can (15 onuces) pinto beans , rinsed and drained
1           can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes  with green chilies
1/2        cup ketchup
1-1/2     teaspoons chili powder
1/2        teaspoon  dried oregano
1/2         teaspoon pepper
1/4        teaspoon salt
** Shredded cheddar cheese  and sour cream , optional

1.          In a large skillet , cook the beef  , onion and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink  and vegetables are tender ; drain.
2.         Transfer  to a 5-quart  slow cooker  . Stir in cabbage  , stewed tomatoes , beans , diced tomatoes , ketchup , chili powder , oregano , pepper and salt . Cover and cook on low  for 6 to 8 hours  or until cabbage is tender  . Serve with cheese  and sour cream if desired .

You can serve steaming  helping of this hearty stew  in old fashioned soup plates  with thick , slices of homemade bread . My family likes  homemade cornbread with their stew , it's good any way you like your bread .

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Zuppa Verde

             Total time : 1 hour               Makes 6 servings

2           tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1           small shallot, minced (1/4 cup)
1/4        cup minced parsley
6           garlic cloves, thinly sliced
      **Few pinches of crushed red pepper**
1           head of escarole (1 pound), trimmed and chopped
1           bunch kale (1 pound)—stems and ribs discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1          bunch Swiss chard (1 pound)—stems and ribs discarded, leaves thinly sliced
8          cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2          tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6          1-inch-thick, diagonal slices of baguette
2           tablespoons sherry vinegar
                ** Sea salt**
                **Freshly ground white pepper**
1/2       cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 .       In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the shallot, parsley, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the escarole, kale and chard and cook, stirring, until the greens start to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the greens are tender, about 20 minutes.
2 .      Meanwhile, spread the butter on both sides of the bread slices. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add the baguette slices and toast over moderate heat until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
3 .      Stir the vinegar into the soup and season with sea salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the toasts and garnish with the grated cheese.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Asparagus Frittata

Prep/ Total : 40 minutes                   Makes 6 servings

1                   pound fresh thin asparagus
2                   tablespoons butter
1                   small onion, coarsely chopped
1                   garlic clove, minced
12                 large eggs
1/2                cup sour cream
3/4                teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2                teaspoon kosher salt
1                   cup (4 oz.) shredded Gouda cheese
1/4                cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.          Preheat oven to 350° with oven rack 6 inches from top of heat source. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Melt butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add asparagus; sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
2.         Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients until well blended. Stir in 3/4 cup Gouda cheese. Fold egg mixture into vegetable mixture in skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until almost set. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Gouda cheese.
3.          Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until set. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.

Made with fresh thin asparagus and Gouda and Parmesan cheeses, Asparagus Frittata is the perfect spring meal for brunch of dinner. Serve with fruit for brunch or with a simple salad for dinner. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Crispy Fish with Lemon-Dill Sauce

                                    Makes 4 servings

2                   large egg whites, lightly beaten 
1                   cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2                teaspoon paprika
3/4                teaspoon onion powder
3/4                teaspoon garlic powder
4                   (6-ounce) skinless cod fillets 
1                   teaspoon black pepper
1/2                teaspoon salt
                         **Cooking spray**
1/4                cup canola mayonnaise 
2                   tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
1                   teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1                   teaspoon chopped fresh dill
                         **Lemon wedges**
 1.            Preheat broiler.
2.            Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Combine panko, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Sprinkle fish evenly with pepper and salt. Dip each fillet in egg white, then dredge in panko mixture; place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
3.          Combine mayonnaise, pickle, lemon juice, and dill. Serve with fish and lemon wedges.

Wine TIP: This dish requires a wine with acidity to cut through the breading and also to act like a final spritz of lemon. Waterbrook 2008 Pinot Gris from Washington state's Columbia Valley does all that with a touch of fruit.

Spicy Potato Salad

                             Makes  8 to 10 servings

Chili powder and hot sauce add heat to this mayo-free potato salad recipe. If you can't take the heat leave the hot sauce off for a non-spicy version.

4                  large round red potatoes(about 2 pounds)
1/3               cup vegetable oil
1/4               cup white vinegar
1                  tablespoon sugar
1-1/2           teaspoons chili powder
1                  teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8               teaspoon hot sauce 
1                  (8-3/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1                  small carrot, shredded
1                  (2.5-ounce) can sliced ripe olives
4                  green onions, sliced 

Cook red potatoes in boiling water to cover 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool to touch. Cut potatoes into cubes; place in a large bowl.
Whisk together oil and next 5 ingredients; pour over potato, tossing gently. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Stir in corn and next 3 ingredients.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps

Prep/Total : 30 minutes         Serves 4  (serving size : 1 wrap)

Make the most of summer's fresh vegetables and grilling by preparing Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps to take along on a picnic. Serve up these wraps with a side of potato or pasta salad.

4                  (1/2-inch-thick) slices red onion 
1                  red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1                  (12-ounce) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 
2                  tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4               cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/8               teaspoon kosher salt
1                  (8-ounce) container plain hummus
4                  (1.9-ounce) whole-grain flatbreads (such as Flatout Light)
1/2               cup crumbled feta cheese
Avocado-Butter Lettuce Salad (recipe below) 
 1.          Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush onion, bell pepper, and eggplant with 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Remove from pan. Add eggplant to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Remove from pan; coarsely chop vegetables. Combine vegetables, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, and salt; toss to combine.
2.          Spread 1/4 cup hummus over each flatbread, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Divide vegetables over each flatbread; top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll up wraps, and cut diagonally in half.
Avocado-Butter Lettuce Salad
Prep /Total time : 30 minutes           Serves 4 (serving size : 1 cupTo make the bruschetta shown on our cover, top baguette slices with ricotta cheese mixed with assorted fresh herbs.

This recipe goes with Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps, Blackened Chicken with Dirty Rice

1           cup thinly sliced red onion 
2           tablespoons olive oil 
1           tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4        teaspoon salt
1/4        teaspoon black pepper 
3           cups torn butter lettuce
1           cup sliced avocado

1.      Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Add lettuce and avocado; toss gently.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blackened Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia

Prep / Total : 20 minutes      Makes 4 servings (serving size :1 fillet)

Use your broiler to make already quick-cooking fish fillets an even speedier dinner option.

1          tablespoon olive oil
4          (6-ounce) tilapia fillets 
2          teaspoons ground cumin
1/2       teaspoon salt
1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
1/2       teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
                        **Cooking spray**

1.        Preheat broiler.
2.        Rub oil evenly over fish. Combine cumin, salt, garlic powder, and peppers; sprinkle over fish. Arrange fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or desired degree of doneness.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Orzo-Stuffed Peppers

Prep : 30 minutes              Makes 4 servings

Packed with orzo, Italian sausage and summer flavors, these stuffed peppers make a fun, fast-fixing meal. Get colorful with green, orange, red or yellow peppers. Use more or less pepper flakes to adjust the level of heat to your liking!

4                    large green peppers
1                    cup uncooked orzo pasta
1                    pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2                 cup chopped red onion
2                    teaspoons minced garlic
2                    cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
1                    medium tomato, chopped
1/4                 cup minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
2                    teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1                    teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4                 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2                    tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 .        
Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. In a large Dutch oven, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.
Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion \over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
Drain. Drain orzo; stir into meat mixture. Add the marinara sauce, tomato, basil, rosemary and pepper flakes. Spoon into peppers.
2 .           Place in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Serve immediately or before baking, cover and freeze casserole for up to 3 months.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake according to directions. Yield: 4 servings.

Shred and Freeze Cheese:
It’s usually cheaper to buy cheese in blocks than in shredded form. So I purchase large quantities of cheddar, Monterey Jack and mozzarella, then shred them myself in my food processor. I store the shredded cheese in the freezer in heavy-duty resealable plastic bags, so I have it at my fingertips whenever it’s needed.

Pairing :

Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Chicken with Italian Sweet-Sour Fennel

Prep / Total :30 minutes        Makes 4 serving (serving size : 1 cutlet & 1/3 cup fennel mixture)

Experiment with fennel—a great source of vitamins and minerals—for a fun new flavor that pairs well with chicken.

1            small fennel bulb with stalks
2            teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4            (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/2         teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2         teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/4         cup dry white wine 
3/4         cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 
1/4         cup raisins
2            teaspoons red wine vinegar
1            tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

1.      Mince 1 tablespoon fennel fronds. Thinly slice bulb to measure 2 cups (discard core).
2.      Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Add fennel bulb to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, broth, raisins, and vinegar; cover and cook 4 minutes or until fennel is tender. Return chicken to pan. Sprinkle with nuts and fennel fronds.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Turkey Piccata

         Total: 30 Minutes                 Makes 4 to 6 servings

1               pound boneless turkey breast cutlets**
1/2            cup all-purpose flour
1               teaspoon salt
1               teaspoon white pepper
3               tablespoons butter, divided
2               tablespoons olive oil 
1/2            cup dry white wine
1/3            cup fresh lemon juice
1               tablespoon drained capers
6               lemon slices, halved
1               tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1.       Place turkey between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet.
2.       Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge turkey cutlets in flour mixture.
3.       Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of turkey, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove turkey from skillet, and place on a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan in a 200° oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining turkey, 1 Tbsp. butter, and 1 Tbsp. oil as needed.
4.        Stir wine and next 3 ingredients into skillet, and cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 Tbsp. butter. Place turkey on a serving platter; pour sauce over turkey, and sprinkle evenly with parsley.
     **1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or thin-cut boneless pork chops may be substituted

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Turkey Scaloppine

                                     Makes 4 servings

1/2             cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4          teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
1-1/2          pounds turkey cutlets
2                tablespoons olive oil 
1                cup dry white wine

1.        Combine flour and 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning in a shallow dish; dredge turkey cutlets in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
2.        Cook turkey in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer turkey to a serving platter, and keep warm.
3.        Add wine and remaining 1/4 tsp. Cajun seasoning to skillet; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Drizzle sauce over turkey. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Grilled Vegetables with Potato Cakes

Makes 4 servings         (serving size: 1 portobello cap, 1 potato cake, 3/4 cup squash, 1/2 cup pasta sauce, and 2 tablespoons cheese)

Serve a stacker of a main dish by loading homemade potato cakes with smoky grilled vegetables. Use a jarred fire-roasted tomato and garlic pasta sauce to save time and add rich flavor.

4             potato cakes (recipe below)
2             small zucchini
1             small yellow squash
4             small portobello mushroom caps
1/2          teaspoon pepper 
                        **Cooking spray **
2             cups fire-roasted tomato and garlic pasta sauce (such as Classico)
1/2          cup preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese

1 .      Preheat oven to 350°. Reheat Potato Cakes according to recipe instructions on page 105.
2 .      Prepare grill.
3 .      Cut squash lengthwise into 4 slices each. Sprinkle squash and mushrooms with pepper, and coat with cooking spray. Place on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from heat. Chop squash; set aside.
4 .       Pour pasta sauce into a 2-cup glass measure. Cover and microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring after 1 minute.
5 .      Place mushroom caps on plates; top each with a potato cake. Spoon squash over potato cakes. Top each with pasta sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.
                            Potato Cakes

Prep : 10 minutes       Cook : 10 minutes      Makes 16 potato cakes     (serving : 1 potato cake)

These versatile mashed potato patties complement an array of toppings from veggies to veal. And they're a unique alternative to noodles, rice, and bread.

2              (1-pound, 4-ounce) packages refrigerated mashed potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes)
1              tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2           teaspoon pepper
1              cup matzo meal
                        **Cooking spray**

1 .       Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 16 portions, using about 1/3 cup in each portion. Pat each portion into a 4-inch diameter cake; place on wax paper.
2 .       Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat both sides of each cake with cooking spray; place in batches in pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan, and place on wax paper. Cool completely