Sunday, February 17, 2008


We are on our way to our honeymoon with my magnificent and exceptional husband:)

So, you'll have to excuse me but there will be no recipes until about the end of the month. I'll just add the index up until now.

See you soon....

Here is the updated index from beginning to today.

Bbq Onion Steaks with Honey-Mustard Sauce
Cheese Souffle
Crunchy Chili Onion Rings
Fried Mozzarella with Puttanesca Dipping Sauce
Garlic Knots
Goat Cheese in Grape Leaves with Tomato and Olive Salad
Gouda and Feta Pizzettes
Pinto Beans cooked in Olive Oil - Pilaki
Stuffed Vine Leaves - Yaprak Dolma
Tomato Eggplant Spread
Zucchini Fritters With Herbs And Cheese
Tarragon Pizza Bianca
Wine and Ham Croquettes
White Bean Puree with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Brandied Onion Soup with Croque-Monsieur Croutons
French Onion Soup
Lentil Soup with a Curry Crema and Lentil Crackers
Spicy Tomato Soup

Avocado and Tomato Salad
Beet And Goat Cheese Salad With Pistachios
Black-eyed Pea Salad
Cucumber Dill Salad
Cucumber, Mustard and Dill Salad

Frisee with Flaked Salmon and Cucumbers
Garlicky Eggplant Salad with Tomato Sauce
Lentil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Lentil Salad With Tomato And Dill
Mesclun Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
Mixed Lettuce Chiffonade with Gorgonzola-Herb Dressing
New Potato Salad with Sauteed Onion Vinaigrette
Orzo with Tomaotes, Feta, and Green Onions
Potato and Parmesan Salad
Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Bacon Dressing and Pine Nuts
Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Feta Cheese
Tomatoes Stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil
Veal Cutlets with Arugula and Tomato Salad
Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Olive Bread

Baked Garden Tomatoes with Cheese
Brussel Sprouts with White Beans and Pecorino
Couscous with Spiced Zucchini
Eggplant, Zucchini, Onion, Tomato, And Feta Cheese Napoleons
Grilled Zucchini with Greek Spices and Feta Salad
Hand-Mashed Pinto Beans with Cheese
Pinto Beans cooked in Olive Oil - Pilaki
Roasted Eggplant Puree - Hunkar Begendi - Sultan's Delight
Rustic Porcini Onion Stuffing
"Soda Jerk" Beans
Spinach with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Toasted Parmesan Crumbs
Stuffed Vine Leaves - Yaprak Dolma

Croissant Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Horseradish Mayonnaise
Croque Monsieur
Eggplant and Smoked GoudaOpen-Faced Grilled Sandwiches
Grilled Ham and Gouda Sandwiches with Frisee and Caramelized Onions
Homemade Sandwich Bread
Made Up Toast Souffle
Roast Beef Sandwiches with Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise and Roasted Red Onions
Taverna Veggie Sandwiches

Cafe de Paris Sauce and Butter Recipes
Creamy Mustard Sauce
Cucumber Dill Sauce
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Gorgonzola Sauce
Guacamole with Fresh Corn and Chipotle
Herbed Mustard Sauce
Lemon Caramel Sauce and Candied Lemon Slices
Methods for Making Sour Cream
Puttanesca Dipping Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
White Bean, Garlic, and Tomato Salsa

Andouille Burgers with Grilled Sweet Onions and Creole Remoulade Sauce
Baked Meatballs and Potatoes - Firinda Kofte Ve Patates
Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
Cafe de Paris Sauce and Butter Recipes
Cumin-rubbed Rib-Eye Steaks with Two Salsas
Gyro Meat with Tzatziki Sauce
Herbed Lamb Chops with Pinot Noir Sauce
Kicked Up Breaded Pork Chops
Lady's Thigh Meatballs - Kadinbudu Kofte
Lamb Burgers with Feta Sauce
Meatloaf with Barbecue Sauce and Red Onions
Sliced Steak With Arugula
Sloppy Joes
Steak Diane
Stewed Kebabs in a Bowl - Tas Kebab
Veal Cutlets With Thyme Butter Sauce

Baked Halibut with Tomato, Capers, and Olive Vinaigrette
Frisee with Flaked Salmon and Cucumbers
Salmon Cooked in Parchment Paper

Chicken Provencale
Grilled Chicken with Mustard Dill Sauce
Roasted Chicken Dinner
Wild Mushroom Chicken Basted in White Wine

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs
Basic Mashed Potatoes
Caramelized Onion-Potato Pancakes
Creamy Herbed Potatoes
Grilled New Potatoes with Parmesan and Herbs
Perfect French Fries
Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce
Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Garlic
Potato Gratin With Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, And Olives
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Roasted New Potatoes with Spring Herb Pesto
Roasted Potato Wedges With Rosemary Butter
Spotted Pig's Ricotta Gnudi
Warm New Potato Salad with Grainy Mustard

Baked Pasta - Pasta Gratin
Castellane with Mascarpone and Roasted Grape Tomatoes
Farfalle with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cream
Fettuccine With Roasted Tomato Sauce And Parmesan
Greek Style Penne with Fresh Tomaotes, Feta, and Dill
Pasta with Kalamata Olives and Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
Pasta with Roasted Provencal Vegetable Sauce
Roasted Vegetable And Prosciutto Lasagna With Alfredo Sauce
Sausage, Cheese And Basil Lasagna
Spaghetti Carbonara
Tricolor Tomato Fettucine

Basil Risotto
Bulgur and Green Lentil Pilaf
Creole Vegetable Jambalaya
Rice Pilaf
Risotto Con Parmigiano-Reggiano

Chorizo and Scrambled Egg Breakfast Tacos

Basic Pizza Dough
Couscous with Spiced Zucchini
Flat Zucchini Omelet
Fried Carrots
Garlic Croutons
Lentil Crackers
Parsley Oil
Parmesan Crisps
Parmesan Popovers
Parmesan Toasts
Salami Crisps with Sour Cream and Basil

9 1/2 Weeks
Caffe Medici and Cappuccino Cream
Frozen Margarita
Hemingway Daiquiri
Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
Turkish Coffee

Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Almond-Plum Buckle
Chocolate Amaretti Peaches
Chocolate-Amaretti Tortes
Chocolate Fondue a La Chalet Suisse
Chocolate-Orange Pots de Creme with Candied Orange Peel
Coconut Flan
Coffee Ice Cream and Mexican Chocolate Sundaes with Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Crisps
Dark Chocolate Souffles With Cardamom Creme Anglaise
Dark Chocolate Torte With Spiked Blackberry Coulis
Dark Molten Chocolate Cakes
Dipped Strawberries
Double Chocolate Orange Pudding
Fruit-And-Almond Gratins
Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Chocolate Souffle with Grand Marnier Chocolate Sauce
Honey-Ginger Pineapple Crepes
Jumbo Black Bottom Coconut Macaroons
Lemon Creme Brulee With Fresh Berries
Limoncello Cheesecake Squares
Old-Fashioned New York-Style Cheesecake with Berry Coulis
Salep Ice Cream
Super Lemony Lemon Squares
Vanilla Lime Pineapple Skewers

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Almond Thumbprint Cookies

These are easy to make and not so much time consuming cookies from Gourmet., which are supposed to be Passover cookies, but who cares. I like them anytime:)

There isn't really anything you change with this recipe. You might want to use whole almonds instead of jam if you want a different taste. They come out pretty good.

You can toast nuts in a shallow baking pan in a 350° F oven until golden, 5 to 15 minutes. Enjoy:)


3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup matzo cake meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
About 2 tablespoons fruit jam, such as raspberry, strawberry, or apricot

Pulse almonds, sugar, matzo cake meal, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. (Be careful not to grind to a paste.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter, egg, and extracts until combined well. Chill dough, covered, until firm, about 30 minutes.

While dough chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Drop level tablespoons of dough 1 inch apart onto 2 ungreased baking sheets. Roll dough into balls, then chill until slightly firm, about 10 minutes.

Make a 1/2-inch-wide (1/3-inch-deep) indentation in center of each ball using your thumb, index finger, or the rounded end of a wooden spoon. Fill each indentation with 1/4 teaspoon jam and bake, 1 sheet at a time, until tops are pale golden and undersides are golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 3 days.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Friday, February 15, 2008

White Bean Puree with Sun-dried Tomatoes

You could use canned beans to make this recipe faster, but if you have the time' try cooking the dry kind with the herbs. It really makes this dip, which can also be used as a spread on sandwiches. I've taken this recipe from Bon Appetit and do tweak it a little bit.

I use more lemon, and not so much dried tomatoes, which makes the color lighter, not so red.

If you do use canned beans, saute them with the rosemary, and if you like garlic, you can also add some garlic; but don't saute the onions.

This recipe makes quite a lot, so adjust it if you don't want to have too much.


1 cup dried Great Northern beans
4 cups water
1/2 small onion, quartered
2 4-inch-long fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup (or more) boiling water

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges
Toasted pita triangles

Place beans in medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 3 inches. Let stand overnight.

Drain beans well. Return to saucepan. Add 4 cups water, onion, and rosemary sprigs. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are soft, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Discard rosemary sprigs. Drain beans and onion; cool to room temperature.

Using on/off turns, puree drained beans and onion, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, and chopped rosemary in processor until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Puree until blended. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup boiling water. Thin with more water by tablespoonfuls if necessary. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Transfer white bean puree to wide shallow bowl; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with toasted pita triangles.

Makes 4 cups.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Grilled New Potatoes with Parmesan and Herbs

Wonderful potatoes if you are barbecuing:) This is a very old recipe from Bon Appetit, and I love the mixture of grilled potatoes with fresh herbs.

Don't put the potatoes in foil, they are great if they grill directly on the heat. If they happen to be too small and keep falling off, then make a tray from foil and add the potatoes. And if you want to cook faster, you can also microwave the potatoes before grilling.

If you want to prepare them without a barbecue, you can just roast them in a 350-400 degree oven. Boil or microwave before putting in the oven to bring cooking time down. It works just as well.

Make sure to put the potatoes in the onion/herb mix when they are still hot so the cheese will melt.

The garlic amount is too much for me, I use only one clove. Adjust to how you would like it.


3 pounds small red-skinned potatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes; cool.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Cut potatoes in half; transfer to large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat.

Grill potatoes until golden, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chocolate-Amaretti Tortes

Although this recipe looks complicated it's really very easy to make. And it makes a great presentation. I had copied this recipe from Bon Appetit and I haven't changed anything. It's never a good idea to change much with baked desserts, not for me anyway:)

It goes great with some coffee ice cream next to it. Yum:)



4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
12 1 1/2-inch-diameter amaretti cookies (Italian macaroons), about 2.6 ounces total
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs

3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 amaretti cookies, crumbled

For tortes:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter four 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Line bottom of cups with parchment paper rounds. Place on rimmed baking sheet.

Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth.

Using on/off turns, blend almonds, amaretti, cinnamon, and salt in processor until finely ground. Transfer to medium bowl.

Add butter, sugar, and eggs to processor; mix until blended and smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 3 minutes. Add cookie mixture and melted chocolate. Using on/off turns, process just until blended.

Divide batter among custard cups. Bake until tops of tortes are dry and puffed and tester inserted into centers comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes.

Transfer cups to rack; cool 15 minutes. Run small knife around edges of cups to release tortes. Turn tortes out onto rack and turn right side up; cool. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.)

For topping:
Beat together cream, sugar, and almond extract in medium bowl until cream holds peaks. (Can be made 4 hours ahead; refrigerate.)

Place 1 torte on each of 4 plates. Top with dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle with crumbled amaretti, and serve.

Market tip: Amaretti cookies are available in two sizes. The larger ones (used in this recipe) are bundled in pairs in colorful wrappers, while slightly smaller ones are packaged and unwrapped in sealed plastic bags. If using the smaller cookies, measure by weight (2.6 ounces total), not count.

Makes 4.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dipped Strawberries

Since Valentine's is just around the corner, I thought I should add a classic:) I don't remember where I got this recipe from, but I use it whenever I can smell fresh strawberries while shopping. Because unless the strawberries are really tasty I feel I'm wasting chocolate.

Pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, pound cake, cookies and/or other bite-sized fresh fruit (rinsed and patted dry), can also be used.

The trick with making these is to make sure that the fruits are completely dry. There shouldn't be a spec of water left on them.

Although the recipe uses a microwave, I use a double boiler because I have actually managed to burn chocolate in the microwave. Regardless of the method used to melt chocolate, stir it as it starts to soften. Chocolate should not be hot - if it gets too hot, it will be too thin and it will drip off of the strawberries rather than adhere to them.

To make them even more decadent and appealing to the eye, using a contrast chocolate (white on dark etc.) dip a fork in the contrast chocolate and drizzle it over the dipped strawberries. The white chocolate can be difficult to drizzle with a fork, so if you are having difficulty you can put some in a Ziploc bag, open a small hole at the bottom and squeeze it over the strawberries.

These taste best if eaten within the first 24 hours. You can't really have them around for too long anyway:)



24 strawberries, rinsed and patted dry
6 oz (.375 lb) sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet, or white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Line baking sheet with wax paper.

Microwave chocolate and shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on high (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. The pieces may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring until smooth.

If using a double boiler place about two thirds of the chocolate into the bowl of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally, very gently, until the chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and add the rest of the chocolate, stirring gently until it has melted.

Hold strawberry by the stem or with a wooden pick and dip into melted chocolate; shake off excess. Place on prepared baking sheet; refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bulgur and Green Lentil Pilaf

A very nutritious and delicious recipe from Bon Appetit which makes the perfect comfort food:)

I do add chopped tomatoes after everything is cooked. I like the juiciness it brings to the dish.

This one makes a great leftover dish, so you can do the whole recipe. But if you want to you can cut the ingredient amounts to half.

I do skip the almonds and cinnamon, but that's my personal taste:)


5 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup green lentils (about 6 ounces)
2 Turkish bay leaves
2 1/4 cups medium bulgur (cracked wheat)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup caramelized onions

Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Partially cover pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer until lentils are almost tender, about 15 minutes.

Mix in bulgur, salt, and spices. Cover; simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes longer. Season with pepper.

Discard bay leaves. Serve topped with almonds and onions.

Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Salep Ice Cream

My girlfriend sent me this recipe saying I must must must try this ice cream. I have never tried preparing ice cream at home. But this is a Turkish ice cream that I miss dearly, and I never even knew that I could prepare it at home, so I had to give it a try.

According to Wikipedia 2 features distinguish Turkish ice cream: texture and resistance to melting. It is much tougher and chewier than that of the ice cream used in sundaes, gelato or commercially produced ice cream; the unusual texture is produced by the use of salep and mastic resin as thickening agents, together with other flavorings.

Salep is finely ground dried tubers of locally-found wild orchids which makes the ice cream chewy. It’s possible to find it on-line from Turkish markets. And the ingredient called mastic can be found at Greek or Turkish markets on-line. You can prepare this ice cream without using mastic but it makes a great difference in taste, so try to find it.

The original recipe had 1,5 cups of sugar, and I decided to use 1 cup because I don't really like dessert that is too sweet. I prefer salty over sweet anytime. But even then, this ice cream was very sweet for me. So, next time I'm planning on using maybe 2/3 cups of sugar instead of 1 cup.

If you don't have an ice cream maker you can prepare it manually, it does take some time to prepare it, but the taste is so worth it. Yummmmm:)


4 cups whole milk
1 cups sugar
2 tablespoons salep
1 teaspoon of ground mastic

Grind the mastic: Mastic is usually sold in drops of resin which can stick to the mortar and pestle during grinding. To avoid, freeze mastic for 15 minutes before using and place it along with 1-2 tablespoons of the sugar in the mortar. Grind it with a pestle.

Mix the dry ingredients.

In a pan start warming up the milk. When it starts boiling add the dry ingredients.

Keep stirring until the milk gets close to cream consistency, about 5-8 minutes.

Let cool. Keep stirring while cooling to speed it up.

If using an ice cream maker: When cooled, transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Without ice cream maker: Transfer to a metal container, cover with tightly fitting lid or foil and place in freezer. Every half hour, remove from freezer, transfer to a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until frothy. Quickly place back in the metal container and put in the freezer. Repeat three more times.

If you don't have a hand mixer use a wooden spoon to mix.

Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chocolate-Orange Pots de Creme with Candied Orange Peel

Another chocolate recipe. I can't help it, I love chocolate, especially if it is with orange. And this one is a really creamy, full of flavor recipe from Bon Appetit. But it is rich, so you don't want to make big cups.

You don't have to do the candied orange peels, but it sure adds to the taste.

Instead of dipping the orange slices into the sugar, sprinkle the sugar on the slices and it won't clump.

Start watching it after 30 minutes. You might even want to take the foil off right around that time. It should stop the pots de creme from curdling.


Candied orange peel:
1 orange
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup water

Pots de crème:
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar

Lightly sweetened whipped cream

For candied orange peel:
Using vegetable peeler, remove orange part of peel from orange in long strips. Cut peel lengthwise into 1/8-inch-wide strips.

Stir 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Add orange peel; simmer 15 minutes.

Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar in small bowl. Using slotted spoon, remove peel from syrup and transfer to sugar. Toss to coat. Cool, tossing occasionally. Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep covered.)

For pots de crème:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring milk, cream, Grand Marnier, vanilla, and grated orange peel to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
Whisk yolks and sugar in medium bowl until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Strain into 2-cup measuring cup.

Divide mixture between four 6-ounce custard cups. Place cups in small baking dish. Add enough water to baking dish to come halfway up sides of cups. Cover dish tightly with foil.

Bake until custard is set, about 40 minutes. Remove cups from water in dish. Place in refrigerator uncovered until cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 6 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Top with whipped cream, garnish with candied orange peel, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Wine and Ham Croquettes

I love croquettes, and have never tried them with ham, so I had to try this recipe which is from Bon Appetit. They came out great!

If you wanted to you can omit the wine completely. But if you are using it, I suggest a pinot grigio.

You can also substitute ham with any other meat that you like.

If you can't find panko, you can just make them. Just use a day old bread, leave it in the oven for a while and when it is dry enough use a blender to finely grind it. Panko is a very finely grinded breadcrumb. Don't use regular bread crumbs, it won't come out just as good.

And make sure that the oil is hot enough. So don't throw everything all at once, try a couple before frying the rest of the croquettes. Enjoy:)



1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
5 tablespoons olive oil
9 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
6 tablespoons low-salt chicken broth
6 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground nutmeg
1/2 cup finely chopped Serrano ham or prosciutto or ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
Additional olive oil (for frying)

Melt butter with 5 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; stir 3 minutes.

Gradually stir in wine, broth, milk, and nutmeg. Stir until mixture thickens, about 45 seconds. Add ham and parsley; cook until mixture is thick, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Spread ham mixture on plate. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

Place beaten eggs and panko in separate medium bowls. Shape ham mixture into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in egg, then coat with panko.

Heat enough oil to come 1/2 inch up sides of pan in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of croquettes and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining croquettes. Transfer to platter.

* Available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.

Makes about 30.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Potato Salad with Sauteed Onion Vinaigrette

This one is an old Bon Appetit recipe which I love. It's a great side dish that complements anything you serve it with.

The only change I make is to use lemon instead of balsamic vinegar. I don't like the color of it mixed with the potatoes, and lemon is tangier and tastier for me.

You can also add cumin seeds to the dressing. Use 1 tablespoon cumin seeds. Toast cumin seeds in heavy small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cool. Using spice grinder, coarsely grind cumin seeds. And then add to the dressing.

I also add the cucumbers into the salad rather than serving it on the side of it. Enjoy:)



2 1/4 pounds small red-skinned potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
8 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, thinly sliced

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender when pierced with fork, about 15 minutes. Drain. Cool potatoes until lukewarm. Cut potatoes in half. Place in large bowl. Sprinkle wine over potatoes.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, mustard and sugar to skillet and stir to blend. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Add radishes, green onions, parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Mound salad on platter. Surround with cucumber slices and serve.

Makes 6 Servings.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tomato Eggplant Spread and Parmesan Toasts

Great appetizer recipe from Bon Appetit. Especially if you have company coming. You don't necessarily have to prepare the Parmesan toasts, and use melba toast or crackers, but if you have the time go for it. They are very tasty:)

The only change I have made to this recipe was to put the spread into the blender so that it was more like a spread than a salsa.

If you like, you can also add some cumin to the spread which enriches the flavor.


For Parmesan toasts:
1 baguette (about 15 inches long), cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 ounce)

1/4 cup pine nuts
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 firm eggplant (about 11/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, 1 chopped and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 minced
3 vine-ripened tomatoes (about 3/4 pound total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, washed well, spun dry, and chopped
1/3 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves, washed well, spun dry, and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Make Parmesan toasts:
Preheat oven to 325° F.
On a large baking sheet arrange bread slices in one layer and lightly brush both sides of each slice with oil. Toast slices in middle of oven 15 minutes and turn over. Sprinkle slices with Parmesan and toast 15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer toasts to a rack and cool. Toasts may be made 2 days ahead and kept in a sealable plastic bag at room temperature.

In a large heavy skillet toast pine nuts in 3 tablespoons oil over moderate heat until golden and with a slotted spoon transfer to a small bowl. In oil remaining in skillet sauté eggplant, onion, minced garlic, and salt to taste over moderately high heat, stirring, until eggplant begins to brown. Cook mixture, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Cool mixture.

Into eggplant mixture stir garlic paste, tomatoes, basil, parsley, lemon juice, sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Keep toasted pine nuts in a sealable plastic bag at room temperature. Bring spread to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving, stir pine nuts into spread. Serve spread with toasts.

Makes about 3 cups spread and about 45 toasts.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Greek Style Penne with Fresh Tomaotes, Feta, and Dill

This is a tasty pasta recipe from Bon Appetit which doesn't use too many ingredients. And it can't get easier than this. It also makes a great leftover pasta salad:)

You can make changes to this base recipe as you would like, depending on what you have handy. You can change the herbs, you can change the cheese. You can also add garlic, some fresh lemon juice, pitted kalamata olives, red pepper flakes -- and use red onions instead of green.

To bring it up a notch try adding sauteed chicken breast (dredged in flour first and sauteed with garlic in olive oil ) and a sauce consisting of chicken broth, white wine and a bit of butter (thickened with a bit of flour).

Have some white wine and have fun with it:)


2 pounds tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions (white and pale green parts only)
7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces penne pasta

Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Set tomato mixture aside.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Add hot pasta to tomato mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pasta with Kalamata Olives and Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

A great comfort food recipe from Bon Appetit which is really easy and doesn't require a lot of changes.

Be careful of how much pine nuts you are adding, it can overpower the taste of everything else. I myself use less than the recipe suggests, but don't omit it completely as the crunchiness is really fun.

Feta can completely disappear if you add it too soon, wait to add it at the end, just before serving. If you don't want to use feta, you can use Parmesan but the taste changes into something else, which is also nice:)

Be careful with the salt also as olives, capers and feta are all salty.

To make it a more complete meal you can add shredded roasted or grilled chicken to the pasta before serving.



2 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 pound farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1/2 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
1/4 cup drained capers
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.

Combine tomatoes, oil, garlic, vinegar, and crushed red pepper in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are tender and juicy, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Stir in oregano. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return to pot.

Add tomato mixture, olives, and capers. Stir over medium heat until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Add feta and stir until melted and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Divide pasta among 6 plates; sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

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