Thursday, July 31, 2008

INDEX OF 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 over 250 recipes, and I'm hoping this will make it easier to find the recipes.


APPETIZER RECIPES:
Bbq Onion Steaks with Honey-Mustard Sauce
Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Squares
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 Aubergines with Rice
Stuffed Vine Leaves - Yaprak Dolma
Tomato Eggplant Spread
Tomato Ricotta Tart
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
Red Lentil and Mint Soup
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
Chervil Shallot Potato Salad
Crisp Goat-Cheese Salad with Potatoes
Cucumber Dill Salad
Cucumber, Mustard and Dill Salad

Frisee with Flaked Salmon and Cucumbers
Garlicky Eggplant Salad with Tomato Sauce
Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Lentil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Lentil Salad With Tomato And Dill
Marinated Zucchini and Radicchio Salad
Mesclun Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
Mixed Green Salad with Citrus Dressing
Mixed Lettuce Chiffonade with Gorgonzola-Herb Dressing
New Potato Salad with Sauteed Onion Vinaigrette
Orzo with Tomaotes, Feta, and Green Onions
Orzo, Feta and Tomato Salad with Marjoram Vinaigrette
Potato and Parmesan Salad
Potato and Pea Salad with Chive Aioli
Ratatouille 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:
Baby Brussels Sprouts with Buttered Pecans
Baked Garden Tomatoes with Cheese
Brussel Sprouts with White Beans and Pecorino
Butternut Squash and Creamed-Spinach Gratin
Couscous with Spiced Zucchini
Eggplant, Zucchini, Onion, Tomato, And Feta Cheese Napoleons
Greek Style Stuffed Eggplant
Grilled Zucchini with Greek Spices and Feta Salad
Hand-Mashed Pinto Beans with Cheese
Imam Bayildi - The Imam Fainted
Naples Style Marinated Zucchini
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
Stuffed Zucchini

SANDWICH RECIPES:
Croissant Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Horseradish Mayonnaise
Croque Monsieur
Eggplant and Smoked GoudaOpen-Faced Grilled Sandwiches
Falafel with Tahini Sauce
Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Sandwiches
Grilled Ham and Gouda Sandwiches with Frisee and Caramelized Onions
Grilled Prosciutto, Soppressata and Mozzarella Panini
Homemade Sandwich Bread
Made Up Toast Souffle
Monte Cristo
Muffuletta Sandwich on Sourdough Bread
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Pocket Sandwiches
Roast Beef Sandwiches with Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise and Roasted Red Onions
Taverna Veggie Sandwiches
Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

SAUCES/DRESSINGS/DIPS:
Aioli Sauce for French Fries/Frites
Basic Marinara Sauce
Basic Tomato Sauce
Cafe de Paris Sauce and Butter Recipes
Caramelized Onion Dip
Chimichurri Sauce
Citrus Dressing
Creamy Mustard Sauce
Creamy Oven-cooked Bacon Dip
Creamy Tomato Sauce
Creole Olive Salad
Cucumber Dill Sauce
Eggplant Dip
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Gorgonzola Sauce
Grilled Eggplant Spread
Guacamole
Guacamole with Fresh Corn and Chipotle
Haydari with Feta Cheese
Herbed Mustard Sauce
Homemade Steak Sauce
Lemon Caramel Sauce and Candied Lemon Slices
Methods for Making Sour Cream
Pesto Oil
Mustard-Cognac Sauce
Pasta Sauce with Chicken and Peppers
Puttanesca Dipping Sauce
Puttanesca Sauce
Raspberry-Lime Vodka Sauce
Roasted Red Pepper with Feta Dip
Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Tahini Sauce and Tahini Paste
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 Braised in Red Wine (Beouf Vigneronne)
Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Mustard-Cognac Sauce
Beef Tenderloin with Chanterelle Sauce
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
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Sliced Steak With Arugula
Sloppy Joes
Steak Au Poivre
Steak Diane
Steak Pizzaiola
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
Pasta Sauce with Chicken and Peppers
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
Caramelized Shallot and Sage Mashed Potatoes
Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes
Creamy Herbed Potatoes
Frites
Grilled New Potatoes with Parmesan and Herbs
Oven Fried Potato and Sweet Potato Chips
Perfect French Fries
Potato and Red Pepper Frittata
Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce
Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Garlic
Potato Gratin With Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, And Olives
Potato Roesti
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
Baked Ravioli
Castellane with Mascarpone and Roasted Grape Tomatoes
Cheese Tortellini and Creamy Tomato Sauce
Farfalle with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cream
Fettuccine With Roasted Tomato Sauce And Parmesan
Fried Ravioli
Greek Style Penne with Fresh Tomaotes, Feta, and Dill
Grilled Vegetable Lasagna with Puttanesca Sauce and Pesto Oil
Handmade Pasta with Pancetta, Cherry Tomatoes and Herbs
Herbed Spaghetti with Butter
Pappardelle Pasta with Olives, Thyme and Lemon
Pasta with Chicken and Pepper Sauce
Pasta with Kalamata Olives and Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
Pasta with Pancetta and Tomato Sauce
Pasta with Roasted Provencal Vegetable Sauce
Penne with Roasted Tomato 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
Roasted Tomato Risotto
Saffron Rice with Tomatoes and Fresh Oregano
Yellow Rice with Sofrito

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

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

COFFEE, DRINK AND COCTAIL RECIPES:
9 1/2 Weeks
Caffe Medici and Cappuccino Cream
Cosmopolitan
Cucumber Gimlet
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Frozen Margarita
Italian Lemonade
Hemingway Daiquiri
Hummingbird
Hurricane
Lemon Peel Vodka
Limoncello
Magnificent Melon
Orange Peel Vodka
Peach Margarita
Peach Passion
Pomegranate Martini
Simple Syrup
Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
Strawberry Caipirinha
Turkish Coffee
Vanilla Simple Syrup
Vanilla Vodka
Wild Berry Caipiroska
Wild Berries Splash

DESSERT RECIPES:
Almond Plum Buckle
Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Angel Food Cake
Bourbon Balls
Chocolate Amaretti Peaches
Chocolate-Amaretti Tortes
Chocolate Fondue a La Chalet Suisse
Chocolate-Orange Pots de Creme with Candied Orange Peel
Coconut Flan
Coconut Pecan Bars
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
Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Dipped Strawberries
Double Chocolate Orange Pudding
Espresso Sambuca Tapioca Pudding
Fruit-And-Almond Gratins
Grilled Pineapple with Nutella
Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Chocolate Souffle with Grand Marnier Chocolate Sauce
Honey-Ginger Pineapple Crepes
Individual Peach Upside-Down Cake
Jumbo Black Bottom Coconut Macaroons
Le Bete Noire
Lemon Creme Brulee With Fresh Berries
Lemon Spice Bread Pudding with Sauteed Peaches
Limoncello Cheesecake Squares
Meyer Lemon Budino
Mosaic
Old-Fashioned New York-Style Cheesecake with Berry Coulis
Puff Pastry Tart Filled with Almond Cream
Russian Toast with Bananas Flambe & Raspberry-Lime Vodka Sauce
Salep Ice Cream
Super Lemony Lemon Squares
Vanilla Lime Pineapple Skewers
Vodka Berries Romanoff
Wine Soaked Berries

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dominican Beans

This Latin American bean recipe from Gourmet is one of the tastiest bean dishes that I know of. It's easy, but you need to simmer it for a while.

It's great with rice, or you can just have it by itself with some salad on the side. Add some shredded cheese on the side too, although I'm not sure that's how Dominicans would have it:)

Because it takes some time to prepare, you might want to double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for later use.
Enjoy:)

DOMINICAN BEANS

Ingredients:
2 (14- to 15-oz) cans pink or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups water
1 (2-oz) bunch cilantro (without roots)
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 Cubanelle or Italian frying pepper (not spicy; 4 oz), halved lengthwise, stem and seeds discarded
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Special equipment: cotton kitchen string

Directions:
Purée half of beans in food processor with 1 cup water until smooth.

Tie cilantro into a tight bundle with string.

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add tomato paste, vinegar, and 1 cup water, then bring to a boil and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add puréed and whole beans, Cubanelle pepper halves, cilantro, bay leaves, salt, oregano, pepper, and remaining 2 cups water, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 hours (mixture will reduce and thicken). Remove and discard Cubanelle pepper halves, cilantro, and bay leaves, then serve.

Makes 4 (main course) or 8 (side dish) servings.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

This recipe is not the regular Philly recipe, it is upgraded by Emeril and it is gooood:)

If you want to make it a little bit more sophisticated add some mushrooms to the vegetables. Next time I'm going to add some red wine to the veggies too, I think it will compliment it.

Emeril has even given the method to cut the steak thinly, and it works wonderfully. I don't have an electric knife but a regular knife worked just as well.

PHILLY CHEESE STEAK

Ingredients:

1 pound shell, sirloin, or rib steak, well trimmed and boneless
About 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 to 6 Italian frying peppers, halved and stemmed, seeds discarded
4 soft hero breads or hoagie rolls, halved lengthwise
Balsamic vinegar
1/4 pound imported fontina or sharp, aged provolone, thinly sliced

Directions:
Slice the beef on an electric meat slicer, or use the following method: with plastic wrap, tightly roll the steak into a torpedo or log shape. Put the beef in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes to firm it until tight but not frozen. Remove the plastic wrap and, working quickly; use an electric knife to slice the beef into paper-thin slices, almost shaving the beef. If this does not produce very thin results, cut the beef into the thinnest slices possible and flatten, using a meat pounder. Once all the beef has been cut, refrigerate until the remaining ingredients are ready.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan set over low heat. Put in the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until nicely softened and lightly caramelized but not browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside. Add the pepper halves to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and fry until soft and tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions. Keep the onions and peppers covered and warm.

In a clean, heavy-bottomed saute pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the beef in batches and lightly brown, seasoning with salt and pepper as you cook, adding more oil if necessary.

Pull out a little of the doughy insides of each loaf, then drizzle lightly with the oil, a splash of vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Put 1/4 of the beef inside each roll, top with onions and peppers, and finish with several slices of cheese. Cover with the top half of the bread. Wrap snugly in sandwich wrapping paper, slice diagonally in half, and serve.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Caramelized Shallots AND Caramelized Shallot and Sage Mashed Potatoes

I'm going to add two recipes today. I watched Barefoot Contessa prepare caramelized shallots and I had to try them out. I'm glad I did.

Perfect side dish to meats, potatoes, chicken, fish or anything else you can think of. The recipe actually works great with onions too. I've found this wonderful and easy side dish where you can use these wonderful shallots, so I'm going to add that recipe below.

I do slice the shallots which speeds up the cooking time, and makes them easier to eat. But it does depend on the size of the shallots.


CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 pounds fresh shallots, peeled, with roots intact
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof saute pan, add the shallots and sugar, and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the shallots start to brown. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well.

Place the saute pan in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots, until they are tender. Season, to taste, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.

Here is a recipe from Bon Appetit that updates mashed potatoes. The shallots and sage add a nice sweetness to the potatoes and make a wonderful side dish.

This recipe also has a section where you caramelize the shallots which takes a shorter time to prepare, but I would use the recipe above.

If you like rosemary, substitute with the sage, but I would try the sage first:)

Just a great side dish that doesn't require many changes. Enjoy....

CARAMELIZED SHALLOT AND SAGE MASHED POTATOES

Ingredients:
2 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes (unpeeled)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced shallots
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt

Directions:
Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 20 to 40 minutes. Drain well; cool slightly. Peel and mash potatoes; place in large saucepan. Over medium heat, dry out potatoes for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat milk in small saucepan until warm. Stir butter into potatoes. Add warm milk and stir until completely absorbed. Season with salt.

Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over high heat. Add shallots; sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir until shallots are golden, about 5 minutes longer. Add fresh sage, white balsamic vinegar, and sugar; stir until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Stir shallot-sage mixture into potatoes. Season with salt.

Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Imam Bayildi - The Imam Fainted

This is probably the most delicious eggplant recipe that I know of. It's an authentic Turkish recipe, and according to the story it was prepared for the head Imam who fainted after he saw how much olive oil was used to prepare this dish. I don't know how true the story is but I think it is the best and worth fainting for:)

It's very very easy to make although the cooking time is long. To me it's definitely worth it. Because the preparation time is not long at all. It takes me about 5-10 minutes of preparation time and then I simmer it for about an hour. All I have to do is to remember to set my timer and check the water level around 30 -35 minutes after it starts simmering.

Although the recipe has instructions for the eggplant to be fried, I don't; just to make it a little bit more healthy and it really doesn't lose that much from the taste. Actually I think it really is better. Use the Japanese type long eggplant, not the round ones. And choose meatier ones, not very tiny ones.

And I don't salt the eggplant because they are not really that bitter as they used to be. So using them right away hasn't been a problem for me. Maybe I'm being lazy, so go ahead and prepare as you wish.

And this is a dish that gets better over time. So if you can have it stay around for a day it will taste much better. Enjoy...


IMAM BAYILDI - THE IMAM FAINTED:)

Ingredients:
4 small eggplant (about 1 1/ 2 pounds)
Salt
10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium-size onions, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 medium sized green peppers, not hot, you can use green bell peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Peel off strips of the eggplant skin at 1-inch intervals to make a stripped effect. Cut off the stem portion, then cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Make a deep lengthwise slit along the flesh side of the eggplant, making sure you don't puncture the skin. Salt the flesh and set aside, flesh side down, on some paper towels for 30 minutes to leach the eggplant of its bitter juices. Dry with paper towels.

In a large skillet, heat 1/ 4 cup of the olive oil over high heat and once it's smoking, fry the eggplant, flesh side down, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet to drain on some paper towels.

In the same skillet you cooked the eggplant, add the remaining oil and heat over medium-high heat, then cook the onion and garlic until soft and yellow, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn. Transfer the onions to a medium-size bowl and mix well with the tomatoes, green peppers, parsley, dill, sugar, salt to taste, and a few tablespoons of the cooking oil.

Arrange the eggplant halves in a large skillet or casserole with the slit side up. Gently open the slit so that they can accommodate as much of the stuffing as possible. Season the eggplant with salt, then stuff each one so that the stuffing fills the slits and is spread to cover all the flesh. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the eggplant. Pour any remaining sauce or juices, along with the water, into the skillet, cover, and cook over low heat until the eggplant is soft, about 50 minutes, adding water to the skillet if it is getting too dry. Let the eggplants cool in the skillet and serve whole at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stuffed Zucchini and Basic Tomato Sauce

I think nobody cooks Italian like Mario Batali does. This was such a great tasting recipe, but I did make changes to it. Below you'll find the original recipe just in case you want to try the original.

I used basil instead of mint. Mint just didn't sound right to me, and I don't like mint all that much anyway.

I used sausages that I had at home instead of lamb which turned out to be really really good.

You could probably prepare this recipe without any meat at all, and it should make a nice vegetarian side dish.

STUFFED ZUCCHINI

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound ground lamb, crumbled
2 eggs
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, picked but left whole
1 cup basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Trim the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon baller, remove the flesh making a canal down the center of each zucchini half, leaving 1/4-inch all around and the ends closed. Roughly chop the excess zucchini flesh and set aside.

In a 10 to 12-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the zucchini pieces and crumbled lamb and cook until the lamb is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain the fat from the lamb mixture and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add the eggs, half of the mint leaves and the tomato sauce and mix well. Season both the mixture and the zucchini boats with salt and pepper. Stuff the lamb mixture into the zucchini boats and pile it high.

Place in an oven-proof baking dish just large enough to hold all the zucchini and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp on top, and remove. Serve warm or at room temperature and sprinkle with remaining mint leaves.

BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4 inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
Salt, to taste

Directions:
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve.

This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Yield: 4 cups

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Steak Pizzaiola AND Herbed Spaghetti with Butter

This easy recipe is from Martha Stewart. And it's a quick version of pizzaiola. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to have it ready.

Serve it with a side of your favorite pasta. It actually had a herbed quick pasta recipe to go with it, so I will add that recipe below.

The steak dish cooks all in one skillet. As the name implies, the steak is topped with sauce and cheese, like a pizza. For a spicier topping, add crushed red pepper with the garlic.

Inexpensive eye of round is used for this recipe, but you could use any other small steak, such as minute steak. Chopped fresh tomatoes (about two pounds) also work well in place of the canned ones.

Enjoy:)

STEAK PIZZAIOLA

Ingredients:
4 small eye of round steaks (each 6 ounces and 3/4 inch thick)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried), plus more for garnish
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1/3 cup)

Directions:
Generously season steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.

Working in batches if needed to avoid crowding pan, add the steaks, and sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium; add garlic. Cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and oregano. Cook over high heat until sauce is thickened, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.

Return steaks and any accumulated juices from plate to skillet; cover, and cook until steaks are just heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. To serve, transfer steaks to plates, and top with sauce and mozzarella; garnish with more oregano.

HERBED SPAGHETTI WITH BUTTER

Ingredients:
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 pound thin whole-wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, and chives

Directions:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Return pasta to pot.

Stir in butter, lemon zest, juice, and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Add some of the reserved pasta water to adjust consistency, if needed. Serve.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Potato and Red Pepper Frittata

According to Martha Stewart this dish is based on tortilla Española. In Spain, it is traditionally accompanied by garlic mayonnaise—but it is also delicious served on its own. You can use leftover boiled or baked potatoes in place of the raw ones. Simply slice them, and add to the onion mixture at the end of step 2.

It's okay if the potatoes do not cook evenly. Some will be browned; some will only be translucent.

I have tried substituting the red pepper with other vegetables, and they turn out to be great also.

Enjoy:)

POTATO AND RED-PEPPER FRITTATA

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, stem, ribs, and seeds removed, then thinly sliced in strips
2 russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into thin slices
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°. In an 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet. Add potatoes; season generously with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, tossing often, until potatoes are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to bowl with onion mixture; toss to combine. Return mixture to skillet; flatten with a metal spatula.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Pour over potato mixture; tilt pan to distribute evenly. Bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This IS the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich from Bon Appetit. The Asiago and prosciutto work great together. Just give it a try, and you would never go to regular grilled cheese again:)

If you have a panini maker, just go with that one, but keep in mind that putting the tomatoes in afterwards might be a problem.

Serve with some tomato soup and enjoy:)

ULTIMATE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

Ingredients:
Butter
4 slices country white sourdough bread, cut on deep diagonal into 1/3-inch-thick slices (each about 7x3 1/2 inches)
4 thin slices prosciutto
8 large fresh basil leaves
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices young Asiago cheese or drained fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 (1/3-inch-thick) slices heirloom tomato (from about 1 large)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Lightly butter 1 side of each bread slice. Place 2 bread slices, buttered side down, on work surface.

Top each with 2 prosciutto slices, then 4 basil leaves, then 4 cheese slices. Sprinkle with salt and crushed red pepper. Top with remaining 2 bread slices, buttered side up.

Heat olive oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add sandwiches to skillet and cook until golden on bottom, about 4 minutes.

Turn sandwiches over; transfer skillet to oven and bake until golden and cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven. Carefully lift off top bread slices from sandwiches and insert 3 tomato slices into each, then cover with bread tops and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Penne with Roasted Tomato Sauce

According to Michael Smith you haven't lived until you've roasted a tomato! Sounds a little bit too strong, but roasting a tomato does work wonders. The simplicity of this method reveals a deep satisfying tomato flavor that will make this one of your favorite ways to dress pasta.

Unfortunately the tomatoes that you buy at the market today aren't really that flavorful, so roasting them like this helps by concentrating the taste. And one thing to keep in mind is not to put the tomatoes in the fridge. If you expose them to cold they lose all the flavor they have. Just leave them outside, preferably where they can have the sun hit them, and they will ripen more, giving them a little bit more flavor.

You can also roast tomatoes then refrigerate them for a wonderful addition to any salad. To be able to add them to a salad, you should roast the tomatoes at 250 degrees, for about 5-6 hours, to dry them. And skip the additions of pancetta, onions and garlic. Just add the olive oil, salt and pepper. You would end up with wonderful dried tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and arrange skin side down in tight rows on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Drizzle a touch of oil on each and lightly season with salt and pepper. Because ovens – and tomatoes – vary it may take six to eight hours in total or even overnight. You’ll know they’re done when they shrink noticeably, lose their fleshiness and taste amazing.

I haven't tried it, but I think adding some black olives to the pasta sauce will give this sauce a kick. And if you can help it, don't skip the pancetta. Enjoy:)


PENNE WITH ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients:

12 plum tomatoes, halved
8 slices of pancetta or 4 slices of bacon, optional
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
penne pasta or other type

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C).

Thinly slice the pancetta or bacon then toss with the tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss into a casserole dish and roast until the tomatoes shrivel and begin to brown a bit, about one hour. The pancetta or bacon will infuse the tomatoes with lots of flavor and the tomatoes will caramelize and become very tasty. You'll know when it's done because it will look awesome and smell wonderful!

When you cook the pasta be sure to use lots of well-seasoned water. Taste it. It should be pleasingly briny and remind you of a day at the beach. Remember: as the pasta cooks it will absorb the seasoned water and in turn be properly seasoned. A pinch or two of salt is not enough! When the pasta is done don't rinse it. The starches that would rinse away will help the tomatoes stick to the pasta.

Toss the hot pasta with the hot sauce.

Yields 4 Servings

Friday, July 11, 2008

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad

This one is a great summer salad. Especially if you have a lot of zucchini lying around like I do:)

I skip the garlic, the taste just didn't work out for me. If you want, prepare it without the garlic and see how you like it before adding it.

I also added some cherry tomatoes. If you don't cut them into halves or so it doesn't get the zucchini moist, which is what I preferred.

Enjoy:)


GRILLED ZUCCHINI RIBBON SALAD

Ingredients:

6 to 8 large zucchini, roughly 4 pounds
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Sea salt, preferable gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 lemons juiced
2 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoon freshly chopped basil leaves
6 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, optional
Shaved Parmesan, to taste

Directions:
Prepare a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high.

Wash the zucchini and trim the ends. Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise. Toss the zucchini with 1/3 of the olive oil, gray salt and pepper, to taste.

Quickly grill the zucchini ribbons on 1 side, until lightly marked and wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a plate or a baking dish and let cool slightly.

When slightly cooled toss zucchini in a bowl with the remaining ingredients except nuts, if using and Parmesan. Spread onto a serving platter, top with pine nuts, if desired and shave Parmesan over the top.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chervil Shallot Potato Salad

This easy and tasty potato salad recipe is from Emeril. And it's a nice alternative to the classic potato salad, which I loveeee:) Plus, I love Emeril recipes, they are full of fat, but usually great taste combinations.

Chervil is often referred to as the “gourmet or French parsley,” and tastes mildly of licorice combined with pepper imparting certain freshness to a dish. Fresh or dried, it is a bright green and quite delicate and should be added to a dish at the end of cooking. Chervil has a tendency to enhance the flavors of other herbs when used in combinations.

You can think of this recipe as a base recipe and add ingredients as you like. I add cooked and diced hot dogs and it becomes a complete meal:)


CHERVIL SHALLOT POTATO SALAD

Ingredients:

10 small red skin potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons diced red pepper
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup packed chervil leaves

Directions:
In a small saucepan of boiling, salted water boil the potatoes until just tender.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saute pan. Add shallots and red pepper, and cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a mixing bowl. When potatoes are just tender, drain and add them to bowl along with shallots.

Add vinegar, and toss to coat. Cool salad to room temperature and add chervil. Adjust seasonings.

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