Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

A fabulous chicken casserole; I think I love any food that is called Spanish. Sweet, salty, and tangy work well together. I roasted some baby Yukon potatoes to go along with this, and served it on brown rice.

Spanish chicken casserole, a la Alvaro

3 ounces chopped pancetta

4 pieces of chicken (I used 4 boneless breasts, cut into big chunks)

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup raisins

1 cup stuffed olives, sliced

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes

a bit of garlic

Fry the pancetta, then add the chicken and onions into the pan; cook until golden.

Add the tomato sauce with a teaspoon of salt, and a bit of sugar. Then add the peeled tomatoes, raisins, olives, and garlic.

Stir a few times and then let it cook on a slow fire for about 30 minutes. About 5 minutes before done, add a cup of frozen peas to the sauce. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.

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I’m a sucker for anything sweet and spicy, so this recipe caught my attention. It was addictive – great flavors and textures, served over brown rice here. A definite keeper.

Sweet and spicy tomato and pepper chicken stew (from Joy of Kosher), ever so slightly modified by me

1 1/2 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1″ cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 green pepper, diced

2 Spanish onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons Garam masala

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (14.5 ounce can)

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. When hot, add chicken and stir. Saute, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until chicken is browned on all sides.

Add green pepper, onions, and garlic. Stir and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 – 7 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add chili powder, garam masala, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and brown sugar. Saute, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, broth, raisins, and vinegar. Stir, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 25 – 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through.

Add beans, stir and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes or until beans are heated through. Serve (over rice, if desired), garnished with chopped parsley. Makes 6 – 8 servings.

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Inspired by this recipe, I realized that I was out of pearl barley, which was the grain called for. I subbed faro for it instead, and the results were excellent.

Roasted vegetable and faro salad (made nondairy by me – I used grated soy mozzarella instead of goat feta cheese)

1 1/2 pounds eggplant, diced

4 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1 1/4 cups faro

3 1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup grated soy mozzarella, or soy feta

arugula or baby spinach leaves, a few handfuls

Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

Toss eggplant, tomatoes, and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast veggies until eggplant is golden brown and tender and tomatoes are shriveled, stirring halfway through, about 25 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3 – 4 quart heavy pot over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook til softened. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add faro and cook, stirring until well coated with oil for 1 minute more. Add water and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of the liquid is absorbed and faro is tender, 30 – 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Transfer barley to baking pan with roasted vegetables and spread to cool, about 20 minutes.

Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, honey, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Pour over the faro and veggies, along with the basil and cheese. Mix together, and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. (Arrange some arugula or spinach leaves on the platter before piling on the faro mixture). Makes 6 servings.

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The original recipe calls for ground heirloom turkey breast – I picked up 1 1/2 pounds of good old regular turkey breast. Now this may have turned out better with an heirloom turkey, but you can’t convince me of that.

Turkey-stuffed peppers (with my modifications)

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast

2 cups soft whole wheat bread crumbs

3 shallots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced fennel bulb

kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

3 eggs

1/2 cup almond milk

2 teaspoons dried basil

4 large peppers, your color choice, halved and seeded

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, pureed

1/4 cup grated soy parmesan cheese

fresh parsley

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, shallots, garlic, fennel, salt, pepper, eggs, almond milk, and basil; mix well. Spoon mixture into pepper halves.

Pour tomato puree into baking dish. Arrange peppers on top of tomatoes. Cover with foil. Cook 50 – 60 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until turkey is no longer pink in center and peppers are tender. Remove foil. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook 5 – 10 minutes more until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Makes 8 servings.

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I love cabbage-anything, and on a cold night, nothing is better than soup with cabbage in it. This is a vegetarian version, and a little sweet and sour, which is just the way I like it. Not quite like my grandmother used to make, but close enough to be comforting, and delicious.

Cabbage soup (from the NY Times)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cupĀ  minced or grated onion

1 cup peeled thinly sliced carrots

1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in puree

1 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup lemon juice

3 pounds cabbage (tough outer leaves, core, and ribs removed), sliced into 1/4″ wide ribbons

1/2 cup golden raisins

fresh ground black pepper

soy sour cream, optional

In a 6-quart pot over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and add garlic. Cover and cook until garlic is tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add onion, and saute until translucent. Add 3 cups water, carrots, tomatoes and puree, tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar, and bay leaf. Simmer at a lively bubble for 10 minutes, then crush whole tomatoes with potato masher or fork. Continue to simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Using an immersion blender, process mixture until it is coarse, not pureed. Add lemon juice, cabbage ribbons, and 3 cups water to pot. Place over medium-high heat and cook at a lively simmer until cabbage is cooked to taste, from al dente to meltingly soft, 1 – 2 hours. Add 3 – 6 cups water, to thin to desired consistency. Ten minutes before serving, stir in raisins and a few twists of black pepper. If desiered, garnish each serving with a dollop of soy sour cream. Makes 8 – 12 servings.

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This is stick-to-your-ribs-and-keep-you-warm soup, perfect for today’s temperature – we did not get above the 20s. It’s going to be a long winter – better make some more of this comforting Italian soup standard.

Ribolitta (Italian for “reboiled”)(from Williams-Sonoma)

  • 1 1/2 cups dried white beans, preferably
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 lb. savoy cabbage or 1/3 lb. each kale, Swiss
    chard and savoy cabbage, tough stems
    removed and leaves coarsely chopped or
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 to 8 slices coarse country bread

To make the beans, rinse them, drain, and place in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, boil for 2 minutes, then cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 1 hour. Drain and return to the saucepan with fresh water to cover by about 2″. Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender but not falling apart, about 1 hour. Add the salt during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove and discard the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Set the beans aside in their liquid.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the 1/4 cup oil. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, the cooked white beans and their liquid, thyme, salt and pepper, and enough water just to cover the vegetables. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until all the vegetables are very tender, about 2 hours. Remove from the heat, let cool. (You can cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or for up to 3 days).

Remove the soup from the refrigerator. Layer 2 or 3 bread slices in the bottom of a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Ladle in enough soup just to cover. Repeat the layers until all the bread and soup are in the pan, ending with the soup. Slowly bring the soup to a boil over low heat, stirring often to make sure that the bottom doesn’t scorch and to break up the bread, 20 – 30 minutes. It should eventually dissolve and absorb the liquids completely, forming a very thick soup.

Scoop into bowls and drizzle with a little olive oil, and serve. Makes 6 servings.

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One of my favorite cookbook authors is Claudia Roden, known for her extraordinary Middle Eastern cooking. Here is a dish that is light but filling, and rich in flavors. The recipe calls for preserved lemons, of which I had none, sadly. But it still was a delicious dish; next time, I shall make my own lemons to go with this. A fabulous Moroccan recipe.

Tomatoes stuffed with roast peppers, tuna, capers, and olives (from Arabesque)

4 red bell peppers


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

one 7-ounce can of tuna, flaked

2 tablespoons capers

4 tablespoons chopped black olives

peel of 1/2 preserved lemon, chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

6 large tomatoes

Place the peppers on a sheet of foil on an oven tray underĀ  preheated broiler, 2 1/2 – 3 1/2″ from the broiler. Turn them until their skins are black and blistered all over. To loosen skins further, put them in a pan with a tight-fitting lid for 10 – 15 minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them and remove and discard the stems and seeds. Now cut the peppers into strips about 3/4″ wide. Mix with the rest of the ingredients except the tomatoes.

Cut a small circle around the stalk of each tomato and cut out a cap. Remove the center and seeds with a pointed teaspoon. Fill the cavities with the roast pepper mixture and replace the caps. Arrange in a shallow baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are a little soft. Makes 6 servings.

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