Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Miniature Pumpkin Breads

Bon Appétit | November 2001

You'll need six baby loaf pans for this recipe. Look for disposable ones at the market.

Yield: Makes 6
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 cups raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas; about 15 ounces)

3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups canned pure pumpkin (about 24 ounces)
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray six 5 3/4x3 1/4x2-inch baby loaf pans with nonstick spray. Spread seeds out on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until beginning to color, stirring twice, about 20 minutes. Cool seeds. Set aside 1/2 cup whole seeds for topping. Using on/off turns, coarsely grind remaining seeds in processor.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in ground pumpkin seeds. Using electric mixer, beat pure pumpkin and both sugars in large bowl until blended. Gradually beat in oil, then eggs 1 at a time, then minced ginger. Stir in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions. Divide batter among prepared pans. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup whole pumpkin seeds.

Bake breads until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pans. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

summer bean salad

Summer Green Bean Salad

I call for all green beans here, but if memory serves me correctly the Contigo version had a wonderful mix of Romano, haricot vert, and standard green beans. I think you'd want to cook each type of bean separately to make sure the thinner ones don't over cook. I'd also encourage you to dress the salad a bit more heavily than what you see in the photo - I always worry about over-dressing things before taking a photo, and now that I'm looking at the shot, the beans up there are looking a tab bit naked.

3/4 pound green beans, stems pinched off

1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
tiny pinch of freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

a handful of frisee or little gem hearts

a handful of small cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1/2 cup hazelnuts, smashed and toasted

Summer Green Bean Salad

  Start by making the dressing. Whisk together the chives, thyme, shallots, lemon juice, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil with a fork, stirring until everything comes together. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Sometimes my lemon dressings have a puckery edge to them, and when that happens I just whisk in just a touch of honey to counterbalance the sour. Set aside.

In the meantime, bring two quarts of water to a boil. Salt generously and stir in the green beans. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Just until the beans brighten up and soften a touch, I go a bit beyond "al dente" here for this salad. Quickly drain them and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

In a large bowl toss the green beans with the frisee, about 1/2 of the hazelnuts, with a big splash of the dressing. Toss well. Taste, and add more dressing, salt or pepper at this point. Toss again if needed. Add the tomatoes and toss very gently.

You can turn this out onto a platter or plate individually topped with the remaining hazelnuts.

Serves about 4.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

pesto seafood salad

1) cook trader joe's shrimp/scallops/calamari blend in garlic, olive oil, and pesto

2) put on top of greek salad of lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, and cucumbers

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Shrimp, Pineapple and Avocado Cocktail (Cocktail de Camarones con Piña y Aguacate)


(Serves 4)

24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 3 limes, divided
½ tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small ripe avocados, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
Salt and Pepper
¼ cup sliced red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into ½ inch cubes
Cocktail 027

1. To prepare the shrimp, Place the juice of 2 limes, salt, pepper and cumin powder in a zip lock bag, add the shrimp and marinade in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes each side.

3. Remove from the heat and let them cool. Reserve 8 shrimp for garnish and cut the rest into pieces at 3 pieces per shrimp.

4. In a large bowl mix the pineapple chunks, red onion, cilantro, shrimp, juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients well, add the avocado and fold into the mixture.

5. Serve in martini glasses and top with 2 whole shrimp each glass.




1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
3 ½ cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, carrots and lima beans)
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sazon Goya with azafran (for Color)


1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add the onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the stock, bay leaf, mixed vegetables, potatoes, cumin, sazon Goya, salt and pepper.

3. Cook about 25 to 30 minutes into the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf, season to taste and add chopped cilantro.

Sancocho (Pork Stew)

3 medium yams or sweet potatoes peeled, cut into 2" pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 medium onion, sliced, separated into rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut 3/4" cubes
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 can (10 oz. size) chopped tomatoes with green chiles
1 package (9 oz. size) frozen cut green beans


In a crockpot, place yams, bell pepper, corn, onion and garlic. Add pork, chili powder, coriander and salt. Pour water and undrained tomatoes over all.

Cover; cook on LOW-heat setting 7 to 8 hours or HIGH-heat setting 3 1/2 to 4 hours, adding frozen green beans last 15 minutes of cooking time.

This recipe from CDKitchen for Sancocho (Pork Stew) serves/makes 8

Saturday, July 18, 2009

watermelon gazpacho

- adapted from Kitchen Sense

1 6-pound 'icebox' watermelon, red-fleshed
2 Kirby cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled (seeded, if necessary) and chopped
1 fresno chile or other medium-hot red chile, chopped
1/4 large red pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2/3 cup tomato juice
1/4 extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
3 T finely chopped Kalamata olives
your best olive oil, for drizzling

Remove the rind from the watermelon. Cut the flesh into chunks and remove the seeds, if necessary; you should have about 6 cups of melon. Using a stick blender, traditional blender, or food processor, blend all soup ingredients (except the garnishes) until well liquified — about 1 to 2 minutes. Strain the puree through a large-mesh strainer to remove any lingering seeds or other bits, pushing the pulp through with a spatula. Adjust seasonings as needed, and chill for at least an hour. Serve garnished with the feta and olives, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 6 as an appetizer

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

bistro shrimp pasta


'Parts' List

Battered and fried rock shrimp (optional, see note below)
Sauteed mushrooms quarters
Chopped tomatoes, seeded
Cooked Spaghettini
Lemon Basil Cream Sauce

Step 1:
Quarter the mushrooms
Chop tomatoes into small cubes
Saute mushrooms in a bit of olive oil. When almost cooked, add tomatoes to heat through.
Set aside and keep warm.

Step 2:
Cook the shrimp

The Shrimp:

Rock Shrimp (as much or as little as you'd like - calculate per person)
Eggs, scrambled
Corn Starch or flour (mix with the bread crumbs)
Bread crumbs, seasoned
Butter for frying
Oil for frying

Take the shrimp and coat with egg mixture, then dip into the bread crumb and corn starch mixture. Fry in a butter/oil mix for just a few minutes until done. Set aside and keep warm with paper towels on a dish (try not to cover completely or they will turn into a soggy mess).

If you will notice, there are no quantities here. That's because I simply can't get the shrimp exactly like the Cheesecake Factory. I am still trying to figure this out.

I have used regular shrimp before and it turns out similar, but not the same. Play around with the shrimp. This part of the recipe is a 'wild card'.

Step 3:
Cook the pasta and make the sauce at the same time. (note: DO NOT add sauce to the pasta until ready to serve. The pasta will soak up all the sauce if it sits and the pasta will be fairly dry).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add salt - this is your only opportunity to season your pasta.
Add 1lb. of spaghettini
Cook until done.

Lemon Basil Cream Sauce (double the sauce recipe if you'd like):
2 TB. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half and half
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TB. corn starch
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 TB. chopped fresh basil

*Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic, and saute 1-2 minutes.
*Add half and half and chicken broth.
*Bring to a boil, and cook about 8 minutes or until reduced by half.
*Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth in a bowl.
*Whisk lemon juice and 1/2 tsp. pepper into butter mixture and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened.
*Remove from heat.
*DO NOT add basil until ready to serve.

Step 4: Put it together
In each bowl/dish add pasta, sauce, some of the mushroom/tomato mixture, some fresh arugula (let the heat of the pasta and sauce wilt the arugula) and toss until combined. Add shrimp and toss lightly. Top will a sprinkling of basil and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top of the dish and serve.

The quantities of the final product are a bit ambiguous for a reason. You can add as much or as little as you'd like. Copy the Cheesecake Factory if you have ordered this dish before. If not, you have nothing to compare it with, so get creative and make it to your specific taste.

Note: You do not have to batter and fry the shrimp - sometimes I don't so I can save some time. Frying the shrimp is the longest step in the process, and a hassle. I simply add some cooked shrimp to the final product. You can also substitute chicken cubes if you'd like.

Friday, July 03, 2009

chicken enchiladas

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 oz each), cut into strips
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 jar (12 oz) salsa
  • 1 cup shredded lowfat cheddar
  • 1/2 cup shredded lowfat Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 can (16 oz) traditional enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (16 oz) green chile enchilada sauce
  • Mexican hot sauce
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 8 corn tortillas (6 inches across)

Heat oven to 425°. In a medium pot, boil stock, chicken, jalapeño and garlic 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Strain chicken, run cold water over it and shred into a bowl. Mix in salsa and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cheddar, 1/4 cup Monterey Jack, cilantro and olives; set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, combine enchilada sauces and add Mexican hot sauce and cayenne to taste. Stir until simmering. Set aside. Coat an 11" x 13" casserole pan with nonstick spray. Microwave tortillas 20 seconds. Place small handfuls of cheese mixture and chicken in center of each tortilla, roll up and place in pan, seam side down. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Ladle on sauce, then add remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack. Bake 20 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

garden vegetable enchiladas

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped zucchini and/or yellow crookneck squash
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
  • 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups (packed) grated Monterey Jack and/or sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 8 8-inch warm flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onion and sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes. Mix in 1 cup corn, canned chilies and 1/4 cup cilantro; season filling with salt and pepper.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in chili powder, flour and cumin; stir 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook until sauce is thick and bubbling, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese; whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1/4 cup sauce in bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Mix 3/4 cup sauce into filling. Place generous 1/3 cup filling in center of 1 tortilla; roll up to enclose filling. Place enchilada in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup corn and 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake vegetable enchiladas until heated through, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and serve.

turkey chili with white beans

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed, drained

  • Chopped red onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Ladle chili into bowls. Pass red onion, cilantro and yogurt separately.

corn and tomato scramble


active time: 25 min

total time: 30 min

Summer corn and vine-ripened tomatoes are already close to perfection, and they taste best when prepared simply. Here, the corn is sautéed with... more


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped, keeping white parts and greens separate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups corn kernels (from about 8 ears)


Whisk together oil, vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss tomatoes with dressing.

While tomatoes marinate, cook white parts of scallions in butter with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add corn and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool.

Stir together corn, tomatoes, and scallion greens.

tomatoes provencal

from beyond recipes: http://beyondrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/05/easy-accompaniment-tomatoes-provencal.html

The prep for this dish is very quick; once it's assembled, just bake them for thirty minutes and they are ready! Personally, I'd serve this as a side item for steak or rack of lamb, or something equally robust.

Tomatoes Provencal
Makes twelve servings

6 on the vine tomatoes
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 clove of garlic
good extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a deep, oven safe baking dish with foil (helps with the cleanup at the end!).

Take out the top core of the tomatoes, cut them in half and place them in the baking dish.

Remove the stalks from the parsley. Finely chop the parsley and clove of garlic. Combine the parsley and garlic with the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture generously over the tomatoes.

Then, drizzle olive oil over the top.

Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown on the top. The tomatoes can be served warm or cold.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

braised ground pork

Ro zao, or braised ground pork, is great because it's cheap, easy to make, freezes well, and makes a fantastic addition to almost any meal. You can eat it over rice, pour it over dry noodles, add it to noodle soup, or use it as a filling for any number of things. Here's a basic recipe to get you started:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I like Kimlan Super Special)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sugar (any kind)
  • 2-3 whole star anise, depending how fresh yours are
  • 1 tablespoon lard (optional, but this is one of those small things that makes a huge difference in flavor and mouthfeel)
  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 3-5 chopped shitake mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted dry

Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a small pot over medium high flame. Cook the ground pork, breaking up the meat into small pieces. When it's cooked through, add all the other ingredients and stir well to combine. You might need to add more water to cover the pork. However, rememberyou are aiming for a gravy-like consistency, not a soup. Simmer over low heat for at least half an hour up to an hour, until the ro zao thickens and your mouth starts watering in the other room.

Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar

Panna cotta
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cups plain goat's-milk or whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 1-pint baskets strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For panna cotta:
Pour 2 tablespoons water into small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Whisk 1 cup cream, yogurt, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Heat remaining 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup sugar in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and cream comes to simmer. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve gelatin. Mix hot cream-gelatin mixture into yogurt mixture in bowl. Divide mixture among six 3/4-cup ramekins, using about 1/2 cup for each. Refrigerate desserts uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

For strawberries:
Toss strawberries, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in large bowl to combine. Let stand 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Spoon strawberries over panna cotta and serve.

Pumpkin, Sage, Chestnut and Bacon Risotto

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

1 small sweet cooking pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, about 2 1/2 pounds
Olive oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Sea salt and ground black pepper
12 slices bacon or pancetta
2 ounces shelled chestnuts (vacuum packed are fine)
15 fresh sage leaves
4 cups chicken stock or canned broth
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
5 small stalks celery, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
4 tablespoons butter
3/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
About 1 cup mascarpone, optional.

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Halve pumpkin lengthwise, and remove seeds; rinse seeds, drain, and reserve. Cut pumpkin lengthwise into thick slices, and spread in a layer across a large baking sheet. (If using squash, cut into quarters.) Sprinkle pumpkin with olive oil, and set aside. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the coriander seeds until crushed. Sprinkle over pumpkin along with salt and pepper, and bake until soft, about 40 minutes.

2. Remove pumpkin from oven (leave oven on), and spread bacon over it. In a small bowl, combine reserved seeds, chestnuts, sage and salt and pepper to taste. Add tablespoon olive oil, and mix well. Sprinkle over pumpkin and bacon. Place back in oven until bacon is crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Remove pumpkin from oven. Scrape bacon, chestnuts, sage and pumpkin seeds onto a small plate; reserve. Finely chop about half the pumpkin. Chop other half so that it is slightly chunky; reserve.

4. Place chicken stock in a small pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to very low to keep warm. Place a large saucepan over medium heat, and add tablespoon olive oil, shallots, celery and a pinch of salt. Stir, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, and add rice. Stir constantly until rice is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine until it is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Begin adding broth to rice, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. Allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding next; process will take about 20 minutes. When ready, rice will be soft with a slight bite. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Remove rice from heat. Add chopped pumpkin, and stir vigorously until mixed; fold in pumpkin chunks. Mix in butter and Parmesan. Place a lid over the saucepan, and let sit for 2 minutes. To serve, place a portion on each of 6 serving plates. Top each portion with crumbled bacon, and sprinkle with mixture of chestnuts, sage and pumpkin seeds. Add a dash more cheese. Garnish each plate with a dollop of mascarpone if desired, and serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings.

Pappardelle With Beef Ragù

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes with pressure cooker, 3 1/2 to 4 hours without

1 3/8 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, in 2-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped leaves for garnish
2 sprigs sage
1 small red onion, peeled and cut in chunks
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
1 celery stalk, thickly sliced
2 cups Chianti
1 28-ounce can peeled whole cherry or plum tomatoes
1 pound pappardelle
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

1. Season beef with salt and pepper to taste. Place an uncovered pressure cooker or oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add olive oil. When oil is hot, add beef. Stir until beef is well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add rosemary and sage sprigs, onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Add Chianti and continue to simmer until liquid has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, and if using pressure cooker, 1/2 cup water. Secure lid and pressure gauge of pressure cooker, and follow manufacturer's instructions to bring contents of pot to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. If using Dutch oven, simmer, covered, in a 275-degree oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

3. Place a large pot of lightly salted water over high heat to bring to a boil. Remove pressure cooker from heat, or Dutch oven from oven. After pressure has dropped in pressure cooker, follow manufacturer's instructions to remove lid. Using two forks, finely shred meat and vegetables. Discard herb stems. Loosely cover pan and return it to low heat to keep warm.

4. Add pappardelle to boiling water. As it cooks, scoop out 1/2 cup water and reserve. Cook pasta to taste, then drain well. Return pasta to pot, and add butter and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano; mix gently until butter has melted. Add a little reserved cooking water to loosen.

5. To serve, lift pasta into each of six shallow bowls. Spoon beef ragù over top. Sprinkle each bowl with a pinch of orange zest and rosemary, and a spoonful of cheese.

Yield: 6 servings.

Braised Ligurian Chicken

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Time: 40 minutes

2 heaping tablespoons flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups white wine
4 anchovy fillets (optional)
1/2 cup calamata olives (with pits)
3 ripe plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped.

1. In a large bowl, combine flour with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken pieces and toss until evenly coated.

2. Place a large flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat, and heat olive oil. Add chicken pieces, and fry until golden underneath, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken, and add rosemary and garlic. Continue to fry until garlic is softened but not colored, about 3 minutes. Add wine. When it comes to a boil, add anchovies, olives and tomatoes.

3. Partly cover pan, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until chicken is cooked and tender, and broth is reduced to a rich sauce, 15 to 20 minutes. To serve, discard rosemary sprigs, and season well with salt and pepper to taste. Place a piece or two of chicken on each plate, and top with a spoonful of sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

Pasta Shells with Halibut and Oven-Roasted Ratatouille


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1-pound eggplant, unpeeled, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, flattened
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence*
  • 1 12-ounce halibut fillet
  • 2 cups medium-size pasta shells

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread next 5 ingredients on sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of sheet. Place fish in center of sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until just opaque in center, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add roasted vegetables and enough reserved pasta cooking water to pasta to moisten; toss. Cut fish into 1/2-inch pieces; add to pasta and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gramma's Chli-Mac



  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a small saucepan, simmer celery and green pepper with water to cover until tender; Drain.
  3. Place ground beef in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook until evenly brown. Add onion, and cook until tender and translucent. Drain excess fat. Add celery and green pepper. Stir in kidney beans, condensed tomato soup, diced tomatoes and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in macaroni.