Archive for March, 2010

A tangy salad with Mediterranean spices.

Moroccan chicken and potato salad with olives (modified slightly from Food&Wine)

1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes (about 5)

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

fresh ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

7 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup Kalamata olives, halved and pitted

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Put potatoes in a medium saucepan with salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a gentle boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then, when cooled, peel and cut into 1/4″ slices.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, cumin, paprika, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the ginger, and the oregano. Whisk in 6 tablespoons oil.

Heat a grill pan or frying pan over moderate heat. Coat the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until browned and just done, about 4 minutes longer. Remove, and when cool, cut the chicken into 1/4″ slices.

In a large bowl, combine the warm potatoes with half of the dressing. Add the chicken, olives, parsley, and the remaining dressing, and toss. Makes 4 servings.

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She’s always been my food heroine. I first tasted this at a meal she catered at a local restaurant during Cook and Book week. It was love at the first bite. It is now one of my favorite asparagus go-to recipes.

Cold gingered asparagus (from Still Life with Menu)

3/4 cup rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)

1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons sugar

1 pound fresh asparagus (slim preferable)

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sesame oil

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Combine the vinegar and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes or until the vinegar is about 50% reduced. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Set aside.

Break off and discard the tough lower stalks of the asparagus. Bring saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until the asparagus is just tender (anywhere from 3 – 8 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the stalks). Remove from the hot water immediately and refresh thoroughly under very cold running water. Set in a colander and drain. Dry thoroughly but gently with paper towels.

Combine garlic, oils, salt, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Arrange the asparagus on a platter, and drizzle this mixture all over it. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

About 1 – 2 hours before serving, spoon the vinegar mixture over the asparagus, distributing it evenly as possible. Serve chilled or cool. Makes 4 – 5 servings.

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I made this dish, originally from Gourmet magazine, for Passover this year. Hello, gorgeous! And where have you been all my life? Scrumptious!

Lebanese matzo-stuffed chicken breasts (modified slightly by me)

1 large onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 cups packaged matzo farfel

1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cups chicken broth, divided

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon hot paprika

3/4 teaspoons groun cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

6 boneless chicken breast halves

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon potato starch

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Cook onion and bell pepper in 3 tablespoons oil in 12″ heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, til softened and golden, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.

While onion mixture cooks, rinse matzo farfel in a colander under warm running water until softened, 30 seconds to a minutes. Drain, pressing gently to extract excess water.

Remove onion mixture from heat and stir in farfel, pistachios, raisins, parsley, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whick together eggs and 3/4 cup broth, then stir into farfel mixture.

Set aside 1 1/2 cups stuffing and transfer remainder to a generously oiled 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish.

Bake stuffing in dish in lower third of oven until set and golden, about 30 minutes.

While stuffing bakes, stir together spices with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Insert a paring knife horizontally into middle of thicker end of each chicken breast half, stopping about 1″ from opposite end, then open incision with your finger to create a 1″ wide pocket. Pack 3 tablespoons stuffing into each pocket. Pat chicken dry and add to spices, tossing to coat.

In large pan, add remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on each side for about 5 minutes (you may have to do this in batches). Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and roast in upper third of oven until just cooked through, 16 – 20 minutes.

In your searing pan, add the wine and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 cup broth. Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup broth and potato starch and whisk into sauce, then cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain sauce, season with salt. Transfer chicken to platter and ladle on sauce. Makes 6 servings.

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That’s a mouthful! And a very good one, at that. LOVED this soup. I used ground turkey instead of beef.

Roasted tomato soup with ground turkey, sausage, garbanzos, pasta, and basil (another winner from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

1 large onion, chopped in 1/2″ pieces

1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup tomato sauce

1 cup roasted tomatoes, diced (fresh or canned)

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground fennel

2 links spicy Italian chicken sausage

1/2 pound ground turkey

1 cup water, to deglaze pan

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1/2 cup macaroni (I used wagon wheels – just happened to have some handy)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in large frying pan, add onions and saute about 5 minutes, then add garlic and saute 2 – 3 minutes more.

While onions are cooking, combine stock, tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, and fennel in a large soup pot and start to simmer. Add onions and garlic to soup pot.

In same frying pan you cooked onions and garlic, brown ground turkey and turkey sausage (removed from casings) until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Break up into small pieces while cooking. When done, add the turkey and sausage to soup pot. cover pot and simmer on very low heat for one hour.

After an hour, add beans and simmer uncovered for 20 – 30 minutes. Add pasta and simmer 30 minutes longer (you may have to add a bit of extra water, depending on how tightly the lid fits on your pot). When the pasta is done, add chopped fresh basil and cook 5 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6 – 8 servings.

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We are not big meat eaters. In fact, if we eat meat 5 times a year, that’s a lot. This recipe looked too good to take a pass on, so it became my one out of five meat dishes for the year! I used non-cured, no-nitrite/nitrate already-cooked corned beef from Trader Joe’s, so all I really had to do was make the sauce and heat it up in the oven. The sauce was excellent, and the sauteed cabbage was the perfect complement; I used turkey bacon in the cabbage, although next time, I think I would leave the bacon out altogether.

Apricot-glazed corned beef with sauteed cabbage (modified from original)

1 two-pound package of pre-cooked corned beef

1/2 cup apricot preserves

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons grainy mustard

Mix the apricot preserves, brown sugar, and mustards in a bowl. Place the beef in a baking pan and cover with 1/2 of the apricot glaze. Bake inĀ  preheated 350 degree F oven until the glaze is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with the remaining apricot glaze. Makes 4 servings.

Sauteed cabbage (modified from the original)

4 slices turkey bacon, cut into 1″ slices

1 onion, sliced

1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and a little oil, if necessary, and saute until very tender, about 7 – 10 minutes.

Add the cabbage, bacon, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, and saute until the liquid disappears. Makes 4 servings.

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This is my kind of salad. Just looking at it again makes my mouth water. I added grilled chicken, for a complete meal.

Salad with artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, grilled chicken, and basil dressing (from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

16 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 ounce jar roasted red pepper

3 tablespoons capers, drained

1 – 2 grilled boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

freshly chopped parsley or basil for garnish (optional)


2 minced shallots

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Put artichokes in large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

In food processor, process minced shallot and chopped basil. Then add lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and mustard, and process 30 seconds. Then add 1/2 cup olive oil and slowly add it through feed tube while processor is running. Process 1 – 2 minutes until dressing mixture is well-blended.

Toss artichoke hearts with 1/2 cup of the basil dressing and let it marinate for a few minutes. Cut up the roasted red pepper into 1″ strips and add to bowl with artichoke hearts. Add drained capers and chicken, and enough dressing so that all the ingredients are moistened. Season the salad with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with chopped parsley or bsil. Makes 4 – 6 servings, which may be served at room temp or chilled.

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It appears that I’m on a cabbage salad kick. I liked this one even more than the last one I made. It has a sweet edge to it, and was super simple to make. I took a lot of liberties making it, using bagged coleslaw cabbage, and packaged grilled chicken strips. This is a modification from the original, but I hardly think it detracts. So easy and quick to make after work, and totally addictive.

Asian salad with chicken and cabbage

4 cups purchased coleslaw mix (I doubled this)

1/4 cup sliced green onion

1 package grilled chicken strips (I used Trader Joe’s), cut into bite-sized pieces

3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted golden in your toaster oven

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted in your toaster oven

1 package dry ramen noodles


2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

chicken ramen noodle seasoning packet

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons canola oil

Mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, chicken ramen packet, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil, and taste dressing to see if you want a little more vinegar or sugar. Set aside to let flavors blend.

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan, then add the ramen noodles and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Add cabbage to a large bowl. Then add the onions and chicken. Add the dressing until the salad is as wet as you prefer. Then add the almonds and sesame seeds, toss and serve. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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