Sunday, March 30, 2008

INDEX FOR ALL RECIPES

Here is the updated index from beginning to today.

There are too many recipes without an index on this site because blogger isn't really set up for it. So I've decided to add an index of recipes at the end of each month. So far, there are almost 200 recipes, and I'm hoping this will make it easier to find the recipes.


APPETIZER RECIPES:
Bbq Onion Steaks with Honey-Mustard Sauce
Cheese Souffle
Chickpea Fritters - Panelle
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

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

SALAD RECIPES:
Avocado and Tomato Salad
Beet And Goat Cheese Salad With Pistachios
Big Island Tomato and Maui Onion Salad with Maui Onion Dressing
Black-eyed Pea Salad
Bulgur Wheat Stuffed Tomato
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
Tabbouleh
Tomatoes Stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil
Veal Cutlets with Arugula and Tomato Salad
Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Olive Bread

VEGETABLE DISHES:
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

SANDWICH RECIPES:
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
Muffuletta Sandwich on Sourdough Bread
Pocket Sandwiches
Roast Beef Sandwiches with Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise and Roasted Red Onions
Taverna Veggie Sandwiches

SAUCES/DIPS:
Cafe de Paris Sauce and Butter Recipes
Creamy Mustard Sauce
Creole Olive Salad
Cucumber Dill Sauce
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Gorgonzola Sauce
Guacamole
Guacamole with Fresh Corn and Chipotle
Herbed Mustard Sauce
Lemon Caramel Sauce and Candied Lemon Slices
Methods for Making Sour Cream
Pesto Oil
Puttanesca Dipping Sauce
Puttanesca Sauce
Roasted Red Pepper with Feta Dip
Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
White Bean, Garlic, and Tomato Salsa

BEEF RECIPES:
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
Cider Glazed Lamb Chops
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

SEAFOOD RECIPES:
Baked Halibut with Tomato, Capers, and Olive Vinaigrette
Frisee with Flaked Salmon and Cucumbers
Salmon Cooked in Parchment Paper
Tequila Shrimp

CHICKEN RECIPES:
Chicken Provencale
Grilled Chicken with Mustard Dill Sauce
Roasted Chicken Dinner
Roasted Chicken with Dijon Sauce
Wild Mushroom Chicken Basted in White Wine

POTATO RECIPES:
Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs
Basic Mashed Potatoes
Caramelized Onion-Potato Pancakes
Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes
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

PASTA RECIPES:
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
Grilled Vegetable Lasagna with Puttanesca Sauce and Pesto Oil
Pappardelle Pasta with Olives, Thyme and Lemon
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

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

BREAKFAST RECIPES:
Chorizo and Scrambled Egg Breakfast Tacos
Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash-Brown Crust

MISC RECIPES:
Black-Bean Tostados with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce and Tostadas
Basic Pizza Dough
Charred Red Onion and Balsamic Vinegar White Beans
Couscous with Spiced Zucchini
Crepes
Flat Zucchini Omelet
Fried Carrots
Garlic Croutons
Lentil Crackers
Parsley Oil
Parmesan Crisps
Parmesan Popovers
Parmesan Toasts
Tostadas
Salami Crisps with Sour Cream and Basil

DRINK RECIPES:
9 1/2 Weeks
Caffe Medici and Cappuccino Cream
Cosmopolitan
Frozen Margarita
Hemingway Daiquiri
Hummingbird
Hurricane
Limoncello
Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
Turkish Coffee

DESSERT RECIPES:
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
Individual Peach Upside-Down Cake
Jumbo Black Bottom Coconut Macaroons
Lemon Creme Brulee With Fresh Berries
Limoncello Cheesecake Squares
Mosaic
Old-Fashioned New York-Style Cheesecake with Berry Coulis
Puff Pastry Tart Filled with Almond Cream
Salep Ice Cream
Super Lemony Lemon Squares
Vanilla Lime Pineapple Skewers

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chickpea Fritters - Panelle

Panelle or chickpea fritters is supposed to be the street food in Sicily and is served between two pieces of country bread. Gourmet has given the recipe, and although it is a little bit different than the original, it still tastes great.

The recipe has Sicilian sea salt which you can find at Italian markets. It tastes a little bit different than regular table salt. It's harvested from the Mediterranean and dried under the sun. So it isn't refined, and usually is used as cooking salt rather than a table salt. If your sea salt is very granular and pebble like, crush it using the flat side of a large heavy knife or the bottom of a heavy skillet.

And you can also find chickpea flour at Italian or specialty markets.

Although the recipe has Parmesan which I love, provolone worked better for me. See which one you like better.


CHICKPEA FRITTERS - Panelle

Ingredients:

3 cups water
2 cups chickpea flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (preferably Sicilian)
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Special equipment: parchment paper; a deep-fat thermometer

Directions:
Lightly oil an 8- by 4-inch loaf pan (6-cup capacity) and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang at each end.

Whisk together water, chickpea flour, sea salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan until smooth, then cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (to prevent lumps from forming), until very thick and mixture pulls away from side of pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer mixture to loaf pan, smoothing top. Cool, uncovered, then chill, surface of mixture covered with plastic wrap, until firm, at least 3 hours.

Lift chickpea block out of pan using parchment and transfer to a work surface.

Gently flip over block and discard parchment, then pat dry. Cut block crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices for panelle.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Heat 1/2 inch oil (about 2 cups) in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet until it registers 375°F on thermometer, then fry panelle in 5 batches, carefully turning occasionally with tongs, until golden and puffed, 3 to 5 minutes per batch, and transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm on a baking sheet in oven while frying remaining batches.

Arrange panelle on a platter and sprinkle with parsley and cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes:
• To take the temperature of a shallow amount of oil, put bulb in skillet and turn thermometer facedown, resting other end against rim of skillet. Check temperature frequently.
• Chickpea mixture can be chilled in loaf pan up to 1 day.
• Panelle can be fried 4 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature. Reheat on a baking sheet in a preheated 350°F oven 10 to 15 minutes.

Makes 10 servings (as part of antipasti).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Puff Pastry Tart Filled with Almond Cream

According to Gourmet it is traditional to serve this galette (Galette des Rois) on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, 12 days after Christmas In France. Be careful not to bite too hard — you might get the dried bean hidden inside (to symbolize the baby Jesus). Whoever finds the bean in their slice is crowned king or queen for the day.

I think you need to use a little bit more of the almond pasta and the extract, otherwise the taste is too subtle.

You can also add some fruit on top of the paste before cooking, such as pears or strawberries. I like it better with the fruit, but you don't have to have it.

And it makes a great breakfast the next morning:)


PUFF PASTRY TART FILLED WITH ALMOND CREAM

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pure almond paste (2 oz)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (17 1/4-oz) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 dried bean such as a lima bean (optional)
1/2 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Purée almond paste, granulated sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth. Add 1 egg, vanilla, and almond extract and purée until incorporated. Add flour and pulse until incorporated.

Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into an 11 1/2-inch square on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, then brush off excess flour from both sides. Cut out an 11-inch round by tracing around an inverted plate with tip of a paring knife.

Transfer round to a buttered large baking sheet (not dark metal, or pastry may brown too much), discarding trimmings, and chill. Repeat procedure with second pastry sheet, leaving round on floured surface.

Beat remaining egg with a fork and brush some over top of second round. Score round decoratively all over using tip of knife, then make several small slits all the way through pastry, at about 2-inch intervals, to create steam vents.

Brush some of egg in a 1-inch-wide border around edge of chilled pastry round (on baking sheet). Mound almond cream in center of chilled round, spreading slightly, and bury bean in cream. Immediately cover with decorated round and press edges together lightly. Holding a small spoon with side at an angle, press around edge to seal galette decoratively.

Bake galette in lower third of oven until puffed and pale golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Dust galette with confectioners sugar and bake in upper third of oven until edge is deep golden brown and shiny, 12 to 15 minutes more. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

These overstuffed potatoes are not just tasty, but they are very easy to prepare. I've copied the recipe from Food and Wine, and being a potato lover tried it right away.

I like bacon with this type of potatoes, so I skipped the mushroom, and used bacon instead. They are just wonderful.

And if you have it white pepper works better than black pepper.

I added some fresh green onions to the mixture just because I have seen them served before, and it adds to the taste.

I also sprinkle with some red pepper, which gives it a happier appearance. Enjoy:)


CHEDDAR STUFFED POTATOES

Ingredients:
6 medium baking potatoes (3 3/4 pounds), scrubbed
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup snipped chives

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°.

Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until tender when pierced with a knife. Let stand until cool enough to handle.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the olive oil. Add the sliced cremini mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown around the edges and tender, about 4 minutes. Season generously with salt and black pepper and transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl.

Cut off the top fourth of each potato. Scoop the flesh from the tops of the potatoes into the bowl with the sautéed mushrooms; discard the skins. Scoop the flesh from the potatoes into the bowl, leaving a 1/4 inch of shell. Place the potato shells on the baking sheet.

While the potato flesh is still warm, add the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the sour cream and 3 tablespoons of the snipped chives to the bowl. Using a potato masher, whisk or pastry blender, mash the filling until the potatoes are almost smooth, the cheese is incorporated and the butter has melted. Season the potato filling with salt and black pepper.

Mound the mushroom-and-cheese filling into the empty potato skins and top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake the stuffed potatoes for 30 minutes, until the filling is heated through and the cheese on top is lightly golden. Sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of snipped chives and serve immediately.

The stuffed potatoes can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Makes 6 servings

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cider Glazed Lamb Chops

I love lamb chops and use this Very easy and fast recipe from Gourmet whenever I can.

Although reducing the sauce does take longer than 15 minutes, so pace yourself accordingly.

You don't have to use only lamb chops, this sauce also works great with pork chops and ribs.

The recipe calls for a broiler, but this is the dish to prepare when you are barbecuing. The taste is so much better:)

Some french fries and red wine and you are ready to go:) Enjoy:)


CIDER GLAZED LAMB CHOPS

Ingredients:
1 cup unfiltered apple cider
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon mild honey
8 rib lamb chops (3/4 inch thick), cut from 1 rack
1 scallion, finely chopped

Directions:
Boil cider, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small saucepan until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely. Reserve 2 tablespoons glaze for drizzling.

Preheat broiler.

Pat lamb chops dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt (total). Arrange on rack of a broiler pan and brush top of chops with half of glaze. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat 3 minutes. Turn over and brush with remaining glaze, then broil 3 to 4 minutes more for medium-rare.

Transfer chops to a plate and drizzle with reserved glaze. Let stand 5 minutes, then sprinkle with scallion.

Makes 4 servings

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pappardelle Pasta with Olives, Thyme and Lemon

I have found this recipe from Martha Stewart and use it whenever I can. It's a very tasty and easy to prepare dish.

According to the magazine the sauce for this pasta dish, is designed by chef George Germon of Al Forno restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, which made me try the recipe. If they can serve it in a restaurant it must be good, right?:))

The ingredients actually give a very fresh taste to pasta, maybe because of the lemon. In any case, it is delicious and worth the try. Bon Appetite:)


PAPPARDELLE PASTA WITH OLIVES, THYME AND LEMON

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for water
8 ounces dried pappardelle or other long, flat pasta
16 kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Zest of 1 lemon, coarsely chopped
1 three-inch piece orange zest, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pappardelle, and cook until pasta is al dente, following label directions. Drain in a colander, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, combine olives, parsley, olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, orange zest, and red-pepper flakes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until a chunky purée forms. Transfer to a warm serving bowl large enough to accommodate cooked pasta.

Add pasta, and toss to combine. Add 1/4 cup cooking water, and toss to combine. Add more water if necessary; pappardelle has a tendency to absorb liquid quickly, so more water may be needed. The sauce should cling to ribbons of pasta but should not be dry. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big Island Tomato and Maui Onion Salad with Maui Onion Dressing

This is a simple salad from Emeril, but the sauce is divine:)

It does take time to roast the onion, so you have to wait for it to get ready, but the rest is very easy to prepare.

I do like adding fresh mozzarella with basil to this salad. Or the other way around, I add the Maui Onion Sauce to the caprese:) Either way, it's just very very delicious.

Enjoy:)

BIG ISLAND TOMATO AND MAUI ONION SALAD

Ingredients:

1 pint yellow tear-drop tomatoes, halved
1 pint red tear-drop tomatoes, halved
3 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Maui onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Maui Onion Dressing (recipe follows)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups mesclun greens

Directions:
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes and Maui onion. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Add the Maui Onion Dressing and toss to combine.

Place the greens on a large platter and season with salt. Top with the tomato salad and serve.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

MAUI ONION DRESSING

Ingredients:

1 large Maui onion
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the onion on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle the onion with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the onion tightly in the foil and roast until tender and lightly golden brown, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and cool. When cool, roughly chop the onion and place in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.

With the machine running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil through the feed tube, until the dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pocket Sandwiches

This kid friendly recipe is from Emeril. I love the flakiness of puff pastry and you can put anything you want in them. And I think you don't have to be a kid to appreciate puff pastry:)

For me below are just some ideas to stuff them with. Other than the ingredients listed I use feta cheese mixed with dill with some eggs, or hot dogs, and even some black olive pate. I love them all:)

I also like sprinkling some nigella seeds on top of the sandwiches, they have this nutty wonderful taste for me.

Have fun:)

POCKET SANDWICHES

Ingredients:

2 to 3 sheets of puff pastry
1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese
1/2 pound Cheddar cheese
1 pound broccoli spears
1 pound thinly sliced boiled ham
1 pound thinly sliced roast beef
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 pound pepperoni
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the puff pastry into desired shapes. (making sure you have two pieces that are alike to build the sandwich).

Using a box grater, grate each cheese. Slice the broccoli into thin slices.

Place whatever type of filling you wish in the center of one piece of puff pastry, like ham and cheese, or tomato sauce, pepperoni and cheese or broccoli and cheese (fill each pocket with a good amount of the filling).

Place the other piece of puff pastry on top of the filling. Using your hands, lightly press the pastry around the filling.

Using a fork, press the edges of the pastry together. This will seal the pockets tightly.

Place the pockets on parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and water together. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each pocket with the egg mixture.

Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Roasted Chicken With Dijon Sauce

Here is a very easy chicken recipe from Gourmet. It really doesn't get any easier than this and the end result is juicy and a great combination.

The sauce was not thick enough for my taste so I needed to thicken the sauce with some flour. It was also not enough so I had to make more sauce.
I also like adding the chicken back into the pan with the sauce and let the tastes blend for about half an hour.

Enjoy:)


ROASTED CHICKEN WITH DIJON SAUCE

Ingredients:
3 pound chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks, and/or breasts), with skin and bones
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in 2 batches, brown chicken, skin side down first and turning once, about 5 minutes per batch.

Return all chicken, skin side up, to skillet and roast in oven until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a platter, then add shallots, wine, and broth to pan juices in skillet and boil, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add cream and boil until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Makes 4 servings

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bulgur Wheat Stuffed Tomato

This is an easy recipe that has great presentation from Emeril. It doesn't take too much time to prepare and you can make small changes to it, such as adding mushrooms to the saute instead of the apples.

I skip the mint and the walnuts, but that's my personal preference. I like using pine nuts instead of the walnuts.

To hollow out the tomatoes, use a serrated grapefruit knife and a teaspoon, scoop out the inside of the tomatoes and leave the shells intact. Place the tomatoes cut side down, on a double thickness of kitchen paper to drain. Or you can always use your hands, but be careful not to squeeze them tightly.

Keeping them in the fridge overnight helps it blend together and not come apart when served, but you don't have to wait if you want to eat them as soon as you prepare them.

BULGUR WHEAT STUFFED TOMATO

Ingredients:
1 cup fine-grain bulgur wheat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red delicious apple (tossed in a little lemon juice to prevent browning)
4 beautiful ripe tomatoes, hollowed and 2 tablespoons finely-chopped tomato pulp reserved
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
Salt and pepper
Greens

Directions:
Rinse the bulgur wheat in a sieve and place in a bowl, covered with cool water. Let stand for 30 minutes, drain excess liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan, add the onions and apple and cook for 2 minutes.

Hollow out the tomatoes to make room for the salad: reserving 2 tablespoons of the pulp.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the bulgur wheat, onions, apples, chopped tomato innards, and all the remaining ingredients (except greens); blend well. Adjust the seasonings.

Refrigerate overnight and check seasonings before you fill the tomatoes. Serve on greens.

Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Muffuletta Sandwich on Sourdough Bread and Creole Olive Salad

This is one tasty sandwich, and it looks very yummy too:)

It's great if you especially prepare it for a lunch box. It will have a lot of time to marry the tastes as Emeril puts it:)

The original recipe also had a sourdough bread recipe, but I don't bake bread, so I skipped it. I just buy bread from the bakery or the market and that's good enough for me:)

I change the olive salad a little bit; I don't use the celery and skip the parsley completely. Instead I use cucumbers so that there is still the crunch that the celery would give. It also makes the salad taste fresh.

I also change the meats and the cheeses around depending on what I have handy at home.

MUFFULETTA SANDWICH ON SOURDOUGH BREAD

Ingredients:

1 large round sourdough bread loaf
3/4 to 1 cup Creole Olive Salad, recipe follows
4 ounces mortadella, thinly sliced
4 ounces cappocolo, culatello, or other cured Italian ham, thinly sliced
4 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced
4 ounces provolone, or Fontina, thinly sliced
Pickled pepperoncini, garnish

Directions:
Slice the bread in half horizontally, and remove enough of the doughy insides to make room for the fillings. Spread about 1/4 cup of the olive salad and its oil on the bottom and top pieces of bread, spreading to saturate the bread with oil.

Alternately layer the bottom bread with the meat, cheese, and remaining olive salad to taste.

Cut into quarters and wrap tightly in butcher's paper or plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes for the flavors to marry and the oil to soak into the bread. Unwrap and place on a large serving plate with the pepperoncini. Serve.

CREOLE OLIVE SALAD

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pitted brine-cured black olives, such as Nicoise, sliced
1/2 cup large (queen) pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Charred Red Onion and Balsamic Vinegar White Beans

I watched Emeril prepare this on TV; it looked very easy to prepare and had ingredients that I like, so I had to try it.

It's really tasty warm, but I think it really gets better if you let it marinade and let it get cold. Give it a try both ways.

I used canned beans, skipped the parsley because I'm not crazy about it and added cold tomatoes after the dish cooled down. It became a great side dish salad with the meatballs I had prepared. Yummy:)


CHARRED RED ONION AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR WHITE BEANS

Ingredients:
1 large red onion, sliced
1/2-inch thick and grilled
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cups white beans, cooked
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1 tablespoon parsley

Directions:
To a hot, dry saute pan, add onions and char for 2 minutes. Add olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute for 3 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with red wine and balsamic vinegar. Add the white beans and saute for 5 minutes. Check for seasoning.

Finish with green onions and parsley and mix well.

Makes 4 servings

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tequila Shrimp

This is an easy and impressive looking recipe while preparing which takes 15 minutes or so. I have copied the recipe from Gourmet.

When the flames consume the alcohol from the tequila you end up with a pleasant bite. But be careful with the flame, it will shoot up high and will go on a little while.

Scallions work better but you can also try using garlic and use "Raki" which is the Turkish national drink strong on the anisette taste, and the dish changes dramatically, but it is equally good. You can find "Raki" on-line or at some Middle Eastern markets.

Adding some red pepper flakes also heats the dish up a bit.

Crema comes out better than sour cream, so if you can use crema. The difference is in the thickness. And you can usually find next to the Mexican cheeses.

And be careful of the amount of salt you are using, 1 teaspoon was too much. You can always add more later. Enjoy:)


TEQUILA SHRIMP

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white or reposado tequila
3/4 cup crema or sour cream
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Directions:
Toss shrimp with kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper.

Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté shrimp, turning, until pink and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Reduce heat and add tequila, then increase heat to medium-high. Tilt skillet over gas burner to ignite tequila (or ignite with a long match; use caution, as flames may shoot up high).

Cook, shaking skillet gently once or twice, until flames subside. Remove from heat and stir in crema. Serve sprinkled with scallion.

Makes 4 servings

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash-Brown Crust

I think this one is a genius recipe:) and it's great for company for brunch. I've taken this easy recipe from Martha Stewart.

The preparation doesn't take that long, but by the time you have this ready, it will be over an hour, so pace yourself accordingly.

There are ingredients that you can add, if you wanted to. Such as crumbled bacon, or small cut hot dogs, or roasted tomatoes. Or you can substitute cream cheese with goat cheese. You can also add fresh herbs that you like, basically you can't go wrong with any of them.

To test if the quiche is done, gently tap or shake the pan; if the filling jiggles slightly in the middle but not on the sides, the quiche is set.


GOAT CHEESE QUICHE WITH HASH-BROWN CRUST

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for pan
1 package (1 pound) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
12 large eggs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1 package (4 to 5 ounces) soft goat cheese, room temperature
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°. Brush a 9-by-2 1/2-inch springform pan with butter. Line the sides of the pan with strips of waxed paper (the same height as pan); brush paper with butter.

Squeeze excess moisture from hash browns. Mix in a bowl with butter, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt (coarse), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pat into bottom and up sides of prepared pan, using a moistened dry measuring cup. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, goat cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (coarse), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until well combined; whisk in 11 remaining eggs. Pour into crust, and sprinkle with scallions. Bake until set (see note, below), 45 to 50 minutes. Unmold quiche, and peel off waxed paper before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ratatouille and Goat Cheese Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

This is an old Gourmet recipe and it's a great one if you like ratatouille. And it's made into a salad type of recipe and the textures work wonderfully.

If you don't have pastry rings just use a can to mold and push out the ingredients. It's a bit messy, but it still works. Or you can use individual ramekins and then just turn them over really fast:)

If you prefer you can just roast all the vegetables in the oven at around 375 degrees, for about half an hour. Then just follow the recipe as is.

If you want, you can add or omit vegetables according to what you have on hand, the dish comes out different but it's still great. And healthy too:)


RATATOUILLE AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD WITH PESTO VINAIGRETTE
In this recipe a 3- by 1 1/2-inch stainless-steel pastry ring is called for. It is available at some specialty cookware shops.

Ingredients:
For pesto vinaigrette:
3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted golden
1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

For ratatouille:
1 long narrow Japanese eggplant
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 small red bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1 medium vine-ripened tomato, seeded and puréed (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

12 ounces soft mild goat cheese at room temperature
8 ounces mesclun (mixed baby greens)

Garnish:
red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:
Make vinaigrette:
In a blender or small food processor blend all vinaigrette ingredients with salt and pepper to taste until smooth. Vinaigrette may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Bring vinaigrette to room temperature before using on salads.

Make ratatouille:
Cut eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers into 1/4-inch dice.

In a large heavy skillet cook eggplant in 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat, stirring, until tender and transfer to a bowl. In skillet cook zucchini, yellow squash, and onion with salt and pepper to taste in 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes, and transfer to bowl. Cook bell peppers in remaining teaspoon oil in same manner and transfer to bowl. Stir in tomato purée, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste and cool ratatouille completely.

Preheat oven to 375°F. and cut a large sheet of parchment paper into eight 5- to 6- inch squares.

On a work surface put a 3-inch metal pastry ring (at least 1 1/2 high) in middle of 1 parchment square and fill it with 1/3 cup ratatouille, pressing evenly and tightly into bottom.

Cut goat cheese into 8 equal pieces and flatten each piece to form a 3-inch disk.

Top ratatouille in ring with goat cheese disk, pressing lightly at edges to cover ratatouille completely. Transfer round on parchment square to a large baking sheet and remove ring. Make 7 more rounds in same manner with remaining parchment squares, ratatouille, and goat cheese. Bake rounds in middle of oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until heated through.

While rounds are baking, in a large bowl toss mesclun with 1/4 cup vinaigrette and divide among 8 plates.

With a spatula transfer a round to center of each salad.

Drizzle each salad with about 1 teaspoon vinaigrette and garnish with tomatoes.

Bring vinaigrette to room temperature before using on salads.

Makes 8 Servings.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Persian Rice with Tadiq

Persian rice is a very distinctive rice and has a wonderful taste. I don't remember where I got the recipe from, but I use it as often as I can.

Any long grain white rice will work, such as Basmati or Jasmine. I use Jasmine. Don't use converted rice, such as uncle Ben's etc, it just will kill the dish:) And make sure you wash and soak it in water. You shouldn't skip this step.

What's special about the Persian rice is the "tadiq", which is the crust that develops at the bottom of the pan. Tadiq should be a golden color, never scorched or dark brown. The reputation of Iranian cooks rests on the quality of their tadiq, or golden crust.

The rice will need to steam for some time, try not to check it too often. Every time you take the top off you are letting go of the steam, which can dry the rice and you might end up burning the tadiq.

Don't substitute butter with margarine, you definitely need butter with this recipe.

Another variation to this recipe is by using thinly sliced potatoes. Heat the butter and some olive oil in the pan, place the thinly sliced potatoes (peeled) to cover the bottom of the pan, then place the boiled drained rice on top. Press down firmly, then follow the recipe.

This recipe might take a couple of times until you get comfortable with it, but hang in there. It will definitely be worth it:)


PERSIAN RICE

Ingredients:
2 cups long grain white rice
2 tablespoons cup melted butter
4 cups lightly salted water
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Directions:
Place rice in a large bowl and fill with lukewarm water. Stir rice and pour off cloudy water; repeat four times. Cover rice with clean, cold water and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

Start the 4 cups water and salt boiling in large stock pot or dutch oven. Add rice to boiling water, boil about 10 minutes or until rice is about half cooked. Drain rice in colander, reserve.

In stock pot or dutch oven, pour about 1/4 cup melted butter on bottom, tilt to cover 2 inches up sides.

Pour the half-cooked rice into the pot, try to make a nice mound in the middle, and avoid the sides as much as possible. This allows the rice to expand in the dish.

With the end of a wooden spoon, make holes in the mound of rice (5 or 6 places) evenly around.

Pour the remaining melted butter onto the rice, and drizzle 1/4 Cup of the extra water into the holes you made.

Wrap a kitchen towel around underside of pan lid, making sure it is secured on top and away from heat. Steam rice about 40-45 minutes over a very low heat or until the bottom is "golden" crusty.

Remove pan from heat and place bottom inch in cold water for 5 minutes to loosen crust. Uncover pan, place a flat plate on top and invert pan. Ideally, golden crust should come out in one piece. If it does not, use a spatula to lift crust from bottom of pan; place on rice.

Makes about 4 servings.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Turkish Milk Pudding with Rosewater - Su Muhallebisi

Here is another wonderful dessert recipe using milk. This one is sold at specialty shops and it's impossible to describe it, but it's very easy to make, so give it a try:)

You can skip the rosewater and serve it with ice cream, because it's a different pudding. It's actually thick enough where you need to cut it into squares rather than serve it in a cup. Or you can pour into a cup and add the additional ingredients, but make sure that you don't fill the cup too much. About an inch thickness is really enough for this pudding because of it's consistency.

Salep Ice cream is served along with the rose water in Turkey, but id you skip the rosewater you can try it with any ice cream, including sorbets, it's really really good.

You can use mastic in this recipe which gives it a really distinctive taste. Just use a pestle and use about 4 small pieces of mastic. You should end up with about a teaspoon of powder consistency which you can add to the milk mixture you are cooking. This would be called 'sakizli muhallebi' and it's another wonderful taste.

You can also use a little bit of cinnamon on top while serving. Or some pistachio.

This is a very versatile recipe that you can add ingredients to make it a richer taste. Enjoy:)

TURKISH MILK PUDDING WITH ROSEWATER - SU MUHALLEBI

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons cornflour
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons rosewater
Powdered sugar (Confectioners Sugar)

Directions:
Mix the cornflour and sugar into the cold milk and cook, stirring, over a moderate heat until it thickens.

Cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Rinse out a shallow dish or individual bowls and, while they are still wet, pour the mixture in to a depth of less than an inch (1.5cm).

Leave to cool, then chill.

Serve cut into squares or turn the bowls out onto individual dessert plates.

Sprinkle each serving generously with rosewater and spoon on the powdered sugar.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Baked Turkish Rice Pudding - Firin Sutlac

This is one recipe that you can use the milk left over after making kaymak. It's a favorite and one of my mother's recipes. It's origins are from the Ottoman times and today you can find it at every Turkish pastry shop.

It does take some time to prepare, but it's really easy. And I don't know anybody that has tried it and not liked it.

You don't have to bake or broil it. You can just simply serve it as is. To me it's better when it's broiled. To get a crunchier top you'll be adding an egg yolk as you can see below. You can skip the egg if you don't have it handy, but I strongly suggest you use it.

You can serve it hot or chilled. My preference is chilled. Add some pistachios to the top and Enjoy...:)


BAKED TURKISH RICE PUDDING - FIRIN SUTLAC

Ingredients:

1 lt (32 oz.) milk
1/2 cup white rice, short grain or 'pudding' rice
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup corn flour or corn starch
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg yolk.

Directions:
Soak rice for about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse it. Transfer to a pan and cover with water. Simmer until all water is absorbed.

When water is absorbed add milk, sugar and vanilla. Cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dissolve corn starch in some water and add slowly to the mixture. Keep cooking until bubbles form on the surface. The consistency should be thicker than pouring consistency, but not solid. Which should take about 1 more minute.

Pour into ovenproof ramekins.

Beat one egg yolk and add 1-2 tablespoons of the milk mixture. Mix well and spread it to the tops of the puddings and broil, or bake until tops are browned.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Turkish Thick Cream Filled Apricots

Here is an easy recipe that you can use "Kaymak" with. Although the recipe is for apricots, you can use dried figs also. I can't think of any other dried fruit that this recipe would work with.

This is an appetizer dessert recipe for me. If you have it around, you can keep going back and grabbing one:)

This is really a fun and delicious recipe, so if you don't have the patience to make the "Kaymak", you can use mascarpone or creme fraiche.


TURKISH THICK CREAM FILLED APRICOTS

Ingredients:
1/2 lb Whole dried Turkish apricots OR dried apricot halves
1 1/2 cup Sugar
2 cups Water
2 teaspoons Fresh lemon juice
1 cup Kaymak - mascarpone, or crème fraiche
1/2 cup Chopped unsalted pistachio nuts

Directions:
Place the apricots in a bowl, add water to cover, and let stand overnight. Drain.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the apricots and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and continue to simmer for 1 minute longer.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to a baking sheet or large plate, reserving the syrup in the pan. Let cool to thicken slightly. If the syrup isn't thick, reduce it a bit over medium heat.

If using whole apricots, carefully cut each apricot along the seam with a small sharp knife to create a pocket. Using a small spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, spoon or pipe the kaymak or other filling into each pocket. If using apricot halves, spoon the kaymak or other filling onto the centers of half of them. Top with the remaining apricot halves.

Arrange the apricots side by side on a serving platter. Spoon the thickened syrup over the stuffed apricots and refrigerate until the syrup is set, about 30 minutes.

To serve, bring the apricots to room temperature and sprinkle with the pistachios.

Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper with Feta Dip

This is a very tasty dip from Bon Appetit. But you can add or make some small changes to it to make it even more tastier:)

Try roasting the garlic before adding it, it makes the taste smoother and the garlic doesn't overpower the dip.

If you like heat, add some cayenne, if you want some tanginess add some lemon, and if you want it to have some herbs, add dill or oregano.

I have tried all of these and I like them all:)

Crudités and toasted pita triangles are good dippers for this. You can also try veggies such as cucumbers or carrots.

ROASTED RED PEPPER WITH FETA DIP

Ingredients:
4 red bell peppers
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
Char peppers directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.

Enclose in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and quarter peppers.

Puree peppers, oil, garlic, and cheese in processor. Season with salt and pepper.

Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Black-Bean Tostados with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce and Tostadas

I like every kind of beans, so I've copied this Mexican recipe which tastes great from Gourmet. And you can choose to use only a portion of the recipe too.:)

Use the tomatillo sauce as a separate recipe for steaks or chicken. It really perks up the dish.

I've also added a recipe for making tostadas, which is really easy to make and much tastier than having it store bought. Enjoy:)


BLACK-BEAN TOSTADOS WITH ROASTED TOMATILLO SAUCE
It's the spicy, garlicky tomatillo salsa that really sells these addictive tostadas. Frying store-bought corn tortillas heightens the vibrancy of their corn flavor and creates a crisp foundation for the refried black beans, shredded romaine, lush avocado, and creamy queso fresco.

Ingredients:
6 large garlic cloves, 4 cloves peeled and left whole and 2 cloves coarsely chopped
1 lb tomatillos (8 medium), husked, rinsed, and halved
4 fresh serrano chiles or 2 fresh jalapeños (including seeds), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro sprigs
2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion, rinsed in a sieve and patted dry
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 dried avocado leaves (optional), coarse stems discarded

2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (6- to 7-oz) firm-ripe avocados
12 tostadas, recipe below
3 cups thinly sliced romaine (from 1 head)
1 cup crumbled queso fresco (Mexican fresh cheese) or mild feta (1/4 lb)

Directions:
Make tomatillo sauce:
Line a 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron; not nonstick) with foil, then heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 2 whole garlic cloves and half of tomatillos, cut sides down, and roast on top of stove until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes (skillet will begin to smoke at this point).

Turn over garlic and tomatillos (tomatillos may stick to foil) and roast until well browned and tomatillos are completely soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer roasted garlic and tomatillos to a food processor. Discard foil, then line skillet with a fresh sheet of foil and roast remaining 2 whole garlic cloves and remaining tomatillos in same manner, transferring as done to food processor.

Cool garlic and tomatillos to room temperature in bowl of processor, about 30 minutes.

Add chiles, half of cilantro, and 2 tablespoons water to mixture in processor, then pulse until it forms a chunky sauce, adding 1 tablespoon more water if too thick.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in onion and 1 teaspoon salt.

If using avocado leaves, toast, 1 at a time, in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet (without foil lining) over moderate heat, turning every few seconds, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 1 minute, transferring to a plate as toasted.

Bring beans and remaining 2 cups water to a simmer in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, then add avocado leaves and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Drain beans in a sieve set over a bowl, reserving liquid. Purée beans, 1/4 cup cooking liquid (reserve remainder), avocado leaves (if using), and chopped garlic in a food processor until smooth.

Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then add bean purée and cook, stirring, until very thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, then remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Halve and pit avocados, then scoop out flesh in large pieces and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

If necessary, stir some of reserved bean-cooking liquid in to make bean purée soft and easily spreadable. Divide warm beans among tostadas and spread evenly. Spoon about 1 tablespoon tomatillo sauce over each tostada, then divide avocado among tostadas and top with romaine, cheese, and remaining cilantro. Serve remaining tomatillo sauce on the side.

Tomatillo sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.

Makes 6 to 8 (main course) servings.

TOSTADAS

Ingredients:

12 corn tortillas (5 1/2 to 6 1/2 inches in diameter)
About 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Directions:
Spread out tortillas on a work surface (in 1 layer) and let dry until leathery, about 20 minutes.

Heat 1/2 inch oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot enough to make edge of a tortilla sizzle. Add 1 tortilla to oil, pushing down with a long-handled metal spatula to submerge, and fry 15 seconds.

Using tongs, turn tortilla over and continue frying, pushing down into oil with spatula to keep as flat as possible and turning over occasionally, until tortilla is deep golden and bubbling begins to subside, about 1 minute more.

Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. (Tostada will crisp as it cools.)

Fry with remaining tortillas, 1 at a time, in same manner.

Tostadas can be made 4 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature.

Makes 12 tostadas.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grilled Vegetable Lasagna with Puttanesca Sauce and Pesto Oil

I'm back from my wonderful vacation/honeymoon and here we go again:)

This is a huge, time consuming, easy and very very tasty recipe from Emeril. But you can just use the idea and take shortcuts:)

You can buy the vegetables roasted at most Whole Foods, and you can definitely buy puttanesca sauce ready. But the oil makes this lasagna, so do prepare this yourself.

These cut the cooking time shorter, but of course doesn't taste as good as you have made it from scratch. But I usually don't like spending 3 hours in the kitchen unless it's a very special day. That's just me:)

If I'm making this from scratch, I do skip the anchovies because I don't like them, and it still comes out good.

You can prepare the recipe with the same amounts and cook in two batches. You can always freeze the second batch and throw it in the oven in the future.

GRILLED VEGETABLES LASAGNA WITH PUTTANESCA SAUCE AND PESTO OIL

Ingredients:
2 pounds ricotta
1 teaspoon salt
Pesto Oil, recipe follows
Puttanesca Sauce, recipe follows

1 1/4 pounds lasagna noodles
Grilled Vegetables, recipe follows

8 ounces mozzarella, coarsely grated

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl mix the ricotta cheese with salt and half a cup of Pesto Oil.

Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish, then spoon 1/2 cup of Puttanesca Sauce onto the bottom of the dish. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top the lasagna with a layer of ricotta, then a layer of eggplant, zucchini, onion and red pepper, a layer of grated mozzarella, and a layer of puttanesca sauce.

Repeat layering the lasagna, ricotta, vegetables, mozzarella and sauce in this manner until all ingredients have been used, ending with mozzarella on top.

Bake until the lasagna is bubbling and golden brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving, drizzled with some of the remaining pesto oil.

PUTTANESCA SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
6 cloves minced garlic
2 (28-ounce) cans Roma plum tomatoes, broken into pieces, with juice
1 cup tightly packed, pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons (about 8) minced anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

Directions:
In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 40 minutes.

Adjust seasoning to taste, cover and set aside.

PESTO OIL

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor or blender place the garlic and basil and process on high while adding the olive oil in a steady stream. Continue to process until well blended, season with salt to taste and set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.

GRILLED VEGETABLES

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
4 red or yellow bell peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled
2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 large yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Light the grill or pre-heat the broiler.

In a large shallow bowl, toss the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and onion with the oil and salt.
If using the broiler, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on 2 lightly greased or non-stick baking sheets. Grill or broil in batches, turning the vegetables once, until they are tender, lightly browned, and have released most of their moisture, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

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