Monday, April 18, 2011

simple hush puppies

3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cork kernels
1 jalapeno (finely diced)
3 scallions (finely diced)
dash of pepper
vegetable oil (for frying)

whisk all of the above ingredients together, except for the vegetable oil. spoon 1 tbsp. balls of the mixture into the heated oil. fry until golden brown. about 3-4 mins. serve warm.

enjoy :)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

italian wedding soup

1 onion (finely chopped)
1/3 cup fresh italian parsley (finely chopped)
1 egg
2 tsp. garlic (minced)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 slice multigrain bread (crust removed, and cut into tiny pieces)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

mix all the above ingredients together in a large bowl. start forming the meatballs by taking 1 tbsp. of the mixture and forming small balls with them. continue this until all of the mixture is made into meatballs. set aside.

soup broth:
8 cups chicken broth (recipe below)
1 pound escarole (washed and coarsely chopped)
3 eggs
3 tbsp. parmesan cheese (grated)
salt and pepper to taste

chicken broth:
4 1/2 pound whole chicken

place the chicken into a large pot. fill the pot with cold water (about 15 cups), and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to a simmer. cover and simmer for 2 hours.

remove the chicken from the pot and reserve the broth. the meat can be used for a number of other things.

making the soup:
bring the 8 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a large pot over medium high heat. add in the meatballs and half of the escarole to the broth and simmer for 8 mins. or until the meatballs are cooked. half way through cooking the meatballs, add in the remaining escarole and continue to simmer.

in a separate bowl. whisk the eggs with the parmesan cheese. gently stir the soup while slowly drizzling in the egg mixture, and cook for an additional 1 min. season with salt and pepper to taste.

ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm, garnish with grated parmesan cheese.

serves about 6.

enjoy :)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

chicken enchiladas with roasted salsa verde

shredded chicken (recipe below)
chicken broth (recipe below)
roasted salsa verde (recipe below)
7" flour tortillas
refried beans
shredded mexican cheese
cilantro for garnish

shredded chicken and chicken broth:
4 1/2 pound whole chicken

place the chicken into a large pot. fill the pot with cold water, and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to a simmer. cover and simmer for 2 hours.

remove the chicken from the liquid and reserve the chicken broth for later. when the chicken cools, or is easy to handle then shred the chicken. removing the meat from the bones.

roasted salsa verde:
1 pound roasted tomatillos (cleaned)
2 roasted jalapenos
3 cloves roasted garlic
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth (recipe above)
1 onion (chopped)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup cilantro (packed)

to roast the tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic preheat the oven the 350 degrees. cut the tomatillos and jalapenos in half, and lay them in a non stick 5"x9" loaf pan with the garlic. drizzle the vegetable oil and mix the veggies well. season with salt and pepper. cook for 1 hour.

after 1 hour pour the veggies and garlic, with all the juices, into a blender or food processor. also add the chicken broth, chopped onion, lime juice, sugar, and cilantro. pure just to mix everything, but still leaving the verde a bit chunky.

pour the verde salsa into a medium size dutch oven, and also add in the shredded chicken. simmer on the stove for about 30 mins.

assembling the enchiladas:
preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

place a couple spoons full of the chicken verde into a baking dish. lay the tortilla on a separate plate. place a large spoonful of refried beans in a row up the center... (i use canned refried beans, but i add them into a pot on medium heat, and add in 1/3 cup of the chicken broth to thin it out a bit)... then add your chicken verde, and then top with shredded mexican cheese. roll the tortilla and place it in the baking dish. repeat the process until the baking dish is filled. top the enchiladas with more of the chicken verde, and then more cheese. place in the oven for 30 mins. remove form the oven, top with chopped cilantro, and serve hot.

enjoy :)


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

blueberry and toasted almond bread

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs (beaten)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup almonds (toasted and finely chopped
2 tbsp. unsalted butter

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. then grease 2 9"x5" loaf pans each with 1 tbsp. of butter.

in a medium sauce pan add in the blueberries and a couple pinches of sugar, and heat on medium heat for 5 mins. remove from heat and set aside. also in a medium size pan add in the walnuts and toast over medium heat for 5 mins. until the oils start to extract. remove from heat and let cool. chop the walnuts and set aside.

in a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. then add in the eggs, vegetable oil, skim milk, vanilla extract, blueberries, and toasted chopped walnuts. after the batter is mix, evenly distribute among the 2 loaf pans.

bake at 350 for 53 mins. or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of the bread and it comes out clean. remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

enjoy :)


Monday, April 4, 2011

grilled gruyere cheese sandwich on garlic and herb focaccia bread

garlic and herb focaccia bread (recipe below)
gruyere cheese (shredded)

garlic and herb focaccia bread:
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. garlic chips (see below)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh basil (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. fleur de sel

in a bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water and set aside to proof, about 10 mins.

start cooking your garlic chips. using about 4 cloves of garlic, finely slice them. in a medium sauce pan heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. when the oil is hot, add in the garlic. fry for about 5 mins. or until golden brown. remove from the heat and drain on paper towel.

in another bowl mix the flour, salt, garlic chips, oregano, thyme, basil, and black pepper together. pour the flour mixture onto a floured working surface. make a well in the middle of your flour pile and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. start working all ingredients to together until you start working it into a large ball. pour about 2 tsp. of olive oil into a bowl and rest your dough in that bowl. cover with a damp cloth and let rest to rise. about 1 hour.

preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

in a 9"x13" non stick oven pan. coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. after the dough has risen spread it into the 9'X13" pan. sprinkle the parmesan cheese, and the fleur de sel over the top of the dough.

bake in the oven for about 20 mins. then remove from oven and let rest for a couple mins.

grilled cheese:
cut the focaccia bread into 4"x4" squares. take 2 slices and turn them over, and top (on the bottom of the bread) with shredded gruyere cheese. place into the broiler on high for about 5 mins. or until cheese starts to melt. remove from the broiler, and place the two slices together to create a sandwich.

recipe makes 6 4"x4" squares (after crust is cut off)

enjoy :)

*it's also nice to eat with, or dip in, oven roasted tomato bisque soup.


oven roasted tomato bisque soup

4 cloves roasted garlic (recipe below)
1 roasted jalapeno finely diced (recipe below)
5 roasted plum tomatoes (recipe below)
10 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 onion (diced)
2 celery stalks (finely chopped)
1 carrot (finely chopped)
3 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
1 28oz. can of san marzano diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth (recipe below)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
kosher salt and pepper to taste

roasting the garlic, jalapeno, and tomatoes:
preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

place the garlic cloves, jalapeno (halved lengthwise), tomatoes (halved lengthwise), and thyme in a non stick baking pan. drizzle the olive oil over the veggies, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. cook in the oven for about 1 hour or until the veggies start to roast, and the garlic starts to brown. remove the veggies from the baking sheet, remove the seeds from the jalapeno, throw the thyme sprigs out, and set aside reserving the olive oil to use in the bisque for later.

chicken broth:
4 1/2 pound whole chicken

place the chicken into a large pot. fill the pot with cold water, and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to a simmer. cover and simmer for 2 hours.

the chicken can be used for a number of other things, and use the broth for the bisque.

making the tomato bisque:
add the butter into a medium size dutch oven and melt over medium high heat. add in the roasted garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. cook the veggies down, about 10 mins. stir in the flour and cook for another 1 min.

stir in the tomato paste, caned tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, and nutmeg. cover and simmer for 1 hour.

transfer 3/4 of the bisque to a blender and blend until smooth. pour the mixture back into the dutch oven, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer on low for 30 mins.

remove from heat and serve.

enjoy :)



Friday, April 1, 2011

iceberg lettuce wedges with an orange citrus vinaigrette

iceberg lettuce wedges
orange citrus vinaigrette (recipe below)
fresh bacon bits
pink grapefruit slices
feta cheese crumbles

orange citrus vinaigrette:
juice of 2 oranges
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. dijon mustard
pinch kosher salt
pinch freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

whisk the orange juice, lime juice, white balsamic, mustard, salt and pepper together. while still whisking slowly pour in the olive oil until everything is mixed together.

makes about 1 cup dressing.

place the iceberg lettuce wedges on the plate. place pink grapefruit slices around the plate. sprinkle bacon bits and feta cheese crumbles. then dress with the orange citrus vinaigrette.

enjoy :)