Sunday, December 31, 2006

Honey-Chipotle Pecans

(Courtesy of one of the great cooks on the CLBB)

2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons dried chipotle powder (or to taste)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1 used 1 teaspoon)
2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small skillet or small saucepan, heat honey with chipotle powder and cinnamon over low heat, then add the nuts and stir to coat evenly.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread nuts evenly in a single layer on the sheet. Bake in preheated oven until nuts are fragrant (about 10 minutes or so, no more than 15). Allow to cool slightly for about 60 seconds.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and salt. Add the warm pecans, and toss to coat. Spread out on waxed paper and let dry completely. Can be stored in an airtight container.

I talked about this recipe here.

Fisherman's Friend Party Mix

Copyright: Cook's Country, December/January 2008

5 cups Corn Chex Cereal

2 cups oyster crackers

1 cup Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish

1 cup Pepperidge Farm Pretzel Goldfish

1 cup Melba toast rounds

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereal, oyster crackers, Goldfish, and Melba toast in large bowl. Whisk butter, hot sauce, and lemon juice in small bowl, then drizzle over cereal mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Old Bay and toss until well combined.

2. Spread mixture over rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Serve.

I talked about this recipe here.

Cheddar Cheese Rounds

Copyright: Cook's Country, December/January 2008
1/4 cup pecans
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can be omitted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Process pecans, flour, and cornstarch in food processor until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll into two 8-inch logs. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. (At this point, the logs can be wrapped in plastic, then foil, and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in refrigerator before proceeding.)
2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice logs into 1/4-inch rounds and place 3/4 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway thorugh baking. Let cool 3 minutes on sheets, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Serve. (Rounds can be kept in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
2 9-ounce boxes frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, squeezed dry, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven rack to 450 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onoin until softened, about 5 minutes. Add artichokes and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer artichoke mixture to plate and reserve.
2. Melt remaining ubtte rin empty pan. Stir in flour and cook until just golden, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in half-and-half, 1 1/4 cups Parmesan, lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in spinach and reserved artichoke mixture.
3. Transfer to 1-quart souffle or baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minute.s Cook 5 minutes. Serve.
To make ahead: Prepare through step 3 and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. To heat, let dip sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then sprinkle with cheese and bake, covered with foil, in a 450-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden brown and heated through, about 15 minutes longer.
I talked about this recipe here.

Yogurt Green Onion Dip

Copyright 2006: The Big Book of Appetizers

2 cups whole plain yogurt (I used 2% Greek style yogurt)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 green onions white and green parts, trimmed and sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add all ingredients to the work bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper.

The dip keeps, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Yogurt or Buttermilk Biscuits

Copyright: Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
2 cups all-purpose or cake flour, plus more as needed (cake flour makes softer crumb)
1 scant teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 to 5 tablespoons cold butter (more is better)
7/8 cup yogurt or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)
1. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl or food processor. Cut the butter into bits and either pulse it in the food processor (easier) or pick up a bit of the dry ingredients, rub them with the butter between your fingers, and drop them again. Make sure all the butter is thoroughly blended into the flour mixture before proceeding.
3. Use a large spoon to stir in the yogurt just until he mixture forms a ball. (I used the food processor for this step, too.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 10 times; no more. If it is very sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick to your hands a little.
4. Press the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle and cut into 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass. Put the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. (I was lazy and cut them into squares, but it did affect the way they rose.)
5. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the biscuits are a beautiful golden brown. Serve within 15 minutes for them to be at their best.

Blue Cheese and Toasted Walnut Spread

Copyright 2006: The Big Book of Appetizers

1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or Saga blue cheese, a room temperature (about 5 ounces)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperture
1cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup chopped green onion, white and green parts
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Milk to thin the dip, if desired

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until blended. If desired, thin the dip with a tablespoon or so of milk. Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour. (This dip can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Spaghetti wth Lemon, Capers, and Rocket

Copyright 2002: Donna Hay, Modern Classics 1

14 oz. spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup salted capers, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large red chillies, seeded and sliced
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups roughly chopped rocket (arugula) leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and keep warm.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the capers and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chillies, lemon rind an juice and cook for 1 minute.

Toss the garlic mixture with the rocket, Parmesan, salt, pepper and pasta and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

This recipe appears in the Allrecipes "Tried & True Favorites" cookbook. Buy it online at RIGHTS RESERVED © 2007

My note: I glazed these with the cream cheese glaze from the Glazed Butter Cookies. It added a nice, tangy note to these cookies.

White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Cookies

Copyright 2003, Carole Walter
Great Cookies
3/4 cup lightly packed very fresh dark brown sugar
1/2 cup quick (1-minute) oatmeal
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces fine-quality white chocolate, such a Lindt Swiss Classic White, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the brown sugar, oatmeal, and granulated sugar in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to pulse.The oatmeal must be very finely ground.
3. In a medium bowl, strain together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and corn syrup together on medium-low speed, mixing until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the oatmeal-sugar mixture in three additions and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute longer. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the dry ingredients one-half at a time, and mix just until blended. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate pieces and the macadamia nuts.
5. Drop 1 1/2-inch mounds of dough, about the size of a large walnut, from the tip of a tablespoon onto cookie sheets, about 3 inches apart. Scrape down the side of the bowl occasionally to ensure even distribution of the chocolate chips and nuts. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn a golden brown. To ensure even baking, toward the end of baking time rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back. Do not overbake.
6. Remove the cookies form the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, carefully loosen. When firm enough to handle, transfer to cooling racks.
Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 5 days. These cookies may be frozen.


Copyright: Carole Walter, 2003
Great Cookies

1 1/4 cups pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, spooned in and leveled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons strained confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups strained confectioner's sugar, spooned in and leveled, for coating

Make the Dough:

1. Place the pecans and 1/4 cup of the flour in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse 5 or 6 times, then process 8 to 10 seconds or until the pecans are chopped medium-fine. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and the salt and pulse 2 or 3 times, just to combine.

2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and lightened in color. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the 2 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon cold water, and the vanilla and continue to mix on low speed. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.

3. Add the flour-nut mixture in three additions, mixing just until combined. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Bake the Cookies:

4. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the pans with baking parchment.

5. Form the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls and set about 2 inches apart on the pans. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or just until cookies begin to brown lightly on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then carefully loosen with a thin metal spatula.

Sugar the Cookies:

6. Place the 1 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar in a large, shallow dish. While the cookies are still warm, roll in the sugar, coating each heavily. Handle gently; they are very fragile. When the first coating of sugar is complete, roll the cookies a second time. Place on wire cooling racks and let air-dry for several hours.


Store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks. These cookies may be frozen.

Glazed Butter Cookies

Copyright: Cook's Illustrated

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup sugar, superfine -- (5 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter -- softened but still cool, cut into sixteen pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese -- at room temperature

1 tablespoon cream cheese -- at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk -- up to 3 tablespoons if needed
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar -- 6 ounces

FOR THE COOKIES: In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the flour, sugar, and salt at low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With the mixer running on low, add the butter, one piece at a time; continue to mix until the mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add the vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until the dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

Knead the dough by hand in the bowl for 2 or 3 turns to form a large, cohesive mass. Turn the dough out onto the countertop; divide it in half, pat each half into a 4-inch disk, wrap the disks in plastic, and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20 to 30 minutes. (The disks can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks; defrost in the refrigerator before using.)

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out 1 dough disk to an even 1/3-inch thickness between 2 large sheets of parchment paper; slide the rolled dough, still on the parchment, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with the second disk.

Working with the first portion of rolled dough, cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters and place the shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. Repeat with the second portion of rolled dough. (The dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and rerolled once.) Cool the cookies to room temperature on a wire rack.

FOR THE GLAZE: Whisk the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of the milk in a medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding the remaining milk as needed until the glaze is thin enough to spread easily. Drizzle a scant teaspoon of the glaze onto each cooled cookie, or spread it on with the back of a spoon

Rich Roll Cookies

Copyright 2006: The Joy of Cooking
Yield: About thirty-six 2- to 3-inch cookies

Beat in a large bowl until creamy:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar

Add and beat until combined:

1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond extract

Stir in until blended:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Divide the dough into thirds or quarters, shape into disks, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Working with 1 portion of dough at a time, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies using 2- or 3-inch cutters and arrange about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
Reroll and cut the scraps. If desired, sprinkle the cookies very lightly with:
(Colored sprinkles, decorating sugar, or nonpareils)

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are lightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

Let stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool. If desired, decorate the cooled cookies with:
(Royal Icing, below)

About 2 cups
This icing will become very hard. To avoid the naturally grayish tone that develops during preparation, add to portions that you want to keep white a slight amount of blue vegetable coloring. Do not use blue in any icing that you plan to color yellow, orange or any other pale, warm tint.
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Beat until stiff, but not dry:
2 large egg whites at room temperature
Gradually add the sifted sugar and:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
until it is of a good consistency to spread. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Should you want the icing stiffer, add a little more sifted sugar. To make it softer, thin it very, very gradually with lemon juice, more egg white or water.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Soy Ginger Ahi Fillets

Combine the following in a resealable plastic bag:

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
4 Ahi tuna fillets

Combine marinade ingredients in bag and mix well. Add Ahi fillets and marinate for several hours or overnight. Grill to desired degree of doneness.

Hot and Sour Soup

Copyright: Cook's Illustrated, January, 2006

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
7 ounces extra-firm tofu , drained
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons cornstarch , plus an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons
1 boneless, center-cut, pork loin chop (1/2 inch thick, about 6 ounces), trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch by 1/8-inch matchsticks
3 tablespoons cold water , plus 1 additional teaspoon
1 large egg
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup bamboo shoots (from one 5-ounce can), sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick strips
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms , stems removed, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 cup)
5 tablespoons black Chinese vinegar or 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (see note above)
2 teaspoons chili oil (see note above)
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 medium scallions , sliced thin

1. Place tofu in pie plate and set heavy plate on top. Weight with 2 heavy cans; let stand at least 15 minutes (tofu should release about 1/2 cup liquid). Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in medium bowl; toss pork with marinade and set aside for at least 10 minutes (but no more than 30 minutes).

2. Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water in small bowl and mix thoroughly; set aside, leaving spoon in bowl. Mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch with remaining 1 teaspoon water in small bowl; add egg and beat with fork until combined. Set aside.

3. Bring broth to boil in large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; add bamboo shoots and mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms are just tender, about 5 minutes. While broth simmers, dice tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Add tofu and pork, including marinade, to soup, stirring to separate any pieces of pork that stick together. Continue to simmer until pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.

4. Stir cornstarch mixture to recombine. Add to soup and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens and turns translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, chili oil, pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce; turn off heat.

5. Without stirring soup, use soupspoon to slowly drizzle very thin streams of egg mixture into pot in circular motion. Let soup sit 1 minute, then return saucepan to medium-high heat. Bring soup to gentle boil, then immediately remove from heat. Gently stir soup once to evenly distribute egg; ladle into bowls and top with scallions.

STEP BY STEP: Getting the Wisped Egg Just Right

1. Turn off heat so surface of soup is calm, then use spoon to drizzle egg onto surface in thin streams.

2. Let sit for 1 minute. Turn heat back on and stir gently to finish cooking egg and break into ribbons.

Lemon Cake with Lemon-Vanilla Glaze

Copyright, Stonewall Kitchen Favorites (2006)

For the Cake:

Butter for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for greasing the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest from 1 large lemon (about 1 tablespoon), or 1 Meyer lemon
1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower oil

For the Glaze:

Grated zest from 2 large lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
Juice from 2 large lemons (about 6 tablespoons), or 4 Meyer lemons
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.

To make the cake: Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl, and set aside.

In a large owl, mix the sugar and buttermilk using an electric mixer or whisk. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix well. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until smooth. Add the oil and mix briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make the glaze: Mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan, and bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring gently. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer about 4 minutes until smooth and slightly thickened. Set aside.

Remove the cake from the oven and, using a kitchen knife, loosen the sides all around the pan. Top the pan with a large plate and flip the whole thing over to remove the cake from the pan. Invert onto another plate so that the cake is right side up. Brush the top of the hot cake lightly with the glaze. Let cool for 5 minutes. Brush with the glaze again. Let cool for 5 more minutes and then pour the remaining glaze on top of the cake. Cut into thin slices and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Hearty Garlic-Potato Soup

Copyright Cook's Illustrated, March/April 2007

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek , white and light green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped small (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 heads garlic , rinsed, papery skins removed and top third of heads cut off and discarded
6 - 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth (start with 6 cups and use extra cup to thin soup, if needed)
2 bay leaves
Table salt
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 pound Red Bliss potatoes (unpeeled), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh chives

Garlic Chips
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 medium cloves garlic , sliced thin lengthwise
Table salt

1. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add leeks and cook until soft (do not brown), 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic heads, broth, bay leaves, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; partially cover pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is very tender when pierced with tip of knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Discard bay leaves. Remove garlic heads; using tongs or paper towels, squeeze garlic heads at root end until cloves slip out of their skins. Using fork, mash garlic to smooth paste in bowl.

3. Stir cream, thyme, and half of mashed garlic into soup; heat soup until hot, about 2 minutes. Taste soup; add remaining garlic paste if desired. Using immersion blender, process soup until creamy, with some potato chunks remaining. Alternatively, transfer 1 1/2 cups potatoes and 1 cup broth to blender or food processor and process until smooth. (Process more potatoes for thicker consistency.) Return puree to pot and stir to combine, adjusting consistency with more broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and serve, sprinkling each portion with chives and garlic chips.

For Garlic Chips

Heat oil and garlic in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning frequently, until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to plate lined with paper towels; discard oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Pork Loin Chops with Sweet and Hot Peppers

Copyright Rachael Ray, 2005 30-Minute Get Real Meals

4 center cut pork loin chops, 1 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced
4 jarred red hot Italian cherry peppers, sliced
½ cup white wine or chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (a handful)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of the EVOO to the pan (once around the pan). Add the chops and cook for 5 minutes on each side.

After the chops have cooked through, transfer to a platter and cover with foil. Return the pan to heat and add the remaining tablespoon of EVOO and the bell peppers. Saute the peppers, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the hot cherry peppers and a splash of their brine to the pan, and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine or stock and scrape up the pan drippings. Arrange the peppers over the chops and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4

Coconut Rice

Copyright 2007, Robin Miller: Quick Fix Meals

14-ounce can light or regular coconut milk
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
2 1/4 cups quick-cooking white rice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the coconut milk and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in the cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Storage Savvy:

Double the batch and freeze leftovers (in freezer bags) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 2 to 3 minute son LOW, then reheat for 3 minutes on HIGH before serving

Friday, December 1, 2006

Nielsen-Massey Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ½ c. butter, softened
1 ¼ c. white sugar
1 ¼ c. brown sugar
1 T. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla
2 eggs
4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1-12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips. (2 c.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, soda, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop with a #40 scoop (looks like a metal mini ice cream scoop) or a rounded measuring tablespoonful about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased insulated baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly: remove from baking sheet. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen crackly, chewy-crispy bakery-style cookies. They are wonderful!

(Recipe from a vanilla vine reader, Renee Hartzler)

Perfect Lemon Bars

Copyright: Cook's Illustrated

1 3/4 c flour
2/3 c confectioner's sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
12 T unsalted butter, at very cool room temp., cut into 1" pieces with extra for greasing the pan.

Lemon Filling
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/3 c sugar
3 T flour
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup lemon juice from 3-4 large lemons, strained
1/3 c whole milk
1/8 tsp. salt


Heat middle rack of oven to 350. Lightly butter a 9X13 pan and line with parchment. Dot paper with butter and place another sheet of parchment crosswise over the first. Pulse flour, sugar,cornstarch and salt in the processor. Add butter and process to blend, 8-10 seconds, then pulseuntil resembles coarse cornmeal. Place in pan and firmly press it into place. Refrigerate 30 minutes, then bake until golden, about 20 minutes.


Whisk eggs, sugar and flour together, then add the remaining ingredients and blend.

As the crust comes out of the oven, pour the filling onto the hot crust. Reduce the oven temp. to 325, and bake until the filling feels firm, about 20 minutes. Place on wire rack and cool 30 minutes. Lift the bars out of the pan but the crosswise parchment paper. Cut into pieces with a pizza cutter.

(Note: Freshly squeezed lime juice can be substituted for the lemon juice, and lime zest for the lemon zest.)

Provencal Tomatoes

Copyright 2002 by Ina Garten

6 ripe tomatoes (2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter)
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Good olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the cores from the tomatoes, removing as little as possible. Cut them in half crosswise and, with your fingers, remove the seeds and juice. Place the tomato halves in a baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, scallions, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle the tomato halves generously with salt and pepper. With your hands, fill the cavities and cover the tops of the tomatoes with the bread crumb mixture. Bake the tomatoes for 15 minutes, or until they're tender. Sprinkle with the cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30 seconds more. Serve hot or at room temperature.

You can prepare the tomatoes and filling and refrigerate them. Bake just before serving.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Copyright 2002 by Ina Garten
Barefoot Contessa: Family Style

1 pound carrots, peeled
1 pound parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1- to 1 ¼-inch cubes. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don’t cut them too small.

Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on two sheet pans. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.

Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

Hummus with Grilled Flat Bread

Copyright, Mark Bittman, 1998: How to Cook Everything

2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup sesame oil or olive oil
1 small clove garlic, peeled, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
About 1/3 cup water, or as needed
1 teaspoon olive oil, approximately

1. Place everything except water and 1 teaspoon olive oil in the container of a food processor and begin to process; add water as needed to make a smooth puree.

2. Taste and add more garlic, salt, lemon juice, or cumin as needed. Serve, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of cumin. Serve with vegetables, crackers, or pita

(My notes: Not big fans of cumin. Used about 1/2 tablespoon in recipe and sprinkled with paprika and freshly minced parsley.

To make grilled flatbread: Brush both sides of naan, thick pitas, or other flatbread with olive oil. Grill in a grill pan or outdoor grill for just a minute or two on each side, until bread has grill marks and is hot. Remove from heat, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.

Pork Chops in Spiced-Apple Pan Sauce with Roasted Broccoli Spears

Copyright 2005 by Rachael Ray
30-Minute Get Real Meals

1 large head or 2 small heads broccoli
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
4 boneless pork loin or rib chops, 1 ½ inches thick
2 tablespoons butter
1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, stripped from 4 or 5 sprigs, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 pinches ground nutmeg or fresh grated nutmeg (about ¼ teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chicken stock or broth
A handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Trim the very end off the broccoli stems. With a peeler or a paring knife, remove the thick fibrous outer layer of the Broccoli stems all the way up to within an inch of where the broccoli shoots off into its florets. Cut the broccoli lengthwise into large spears. On a baking sheet, toss the broccoli spears with the garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous drizzle of EVOO. Place the broccoli in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. The florets become brown and crispy and a little nutty tasting.

While the broccoli is roasting, preheat a large skillet over high heat with 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Liberally season the pork chops with salt and pepper and sear on both sides for 2 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove the chops from the skillet and reserve. Add the butter to the pork skillet, add the onion, thyme, sliced apple, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion and apples are tender. Add the chicken stock and bring up to a simmer. Add the pork chops back to the pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer, or until the chops are cooked through. Add the parsley and lemon juice to the chops and stir to distribute.

Serve the chops topped with the spiced-apple pan sauce alongside the roasted broccoli spears.

Lemon Vinaigrette

Copyright 2002 by Ina Garten

1/4 cup fresly squeezed lemon juice 2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher alt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

(In Barefoot Contessa: Family Style, this recipe is part of Arugula with Parmesan. Essentially, you pour the vinaigrette over 1/2 pound fresh arugula [3 large bunches], and shave 1/4 pound of Parmesan cheese over the top.)

Mom's Meat Sauce

2 pounds ground sirloin (or a combination of meats of your choice)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
28-ounce crushed tomatoes with added puree (preferably Muir Glen or San Marzano)
2 large cans tomato sauce
1 can (16 ounce) diced tomatoes
½ cup red wine
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Dried or fresh basil, oregano, and thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

Heat a large, deep skillet over low heat. Add the ground meat, season with salt and pepper, and about half a cup of water. Cook slowly, without allowing meat to brown, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

When the meat is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Add some olive oil to the pan, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the onion and red pepper; cook until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste, cooking for a minute or two to allow the tomato paste to caramelize and the flavor to develop. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato puree, along with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add dried herbs, beginning with about 2 teaspoons dried basil, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Add the sugar. Return the meat to the pot.

Once the tomato sauce has come to a simmer, add the red wine. Cook over a very low heat for as much time as you have, but at least an hour. Add a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar, and taste to adjust seasonings. Depending on your taste, it could take quite a bit of dried herbs, salt, and pepper to bring the sauce to your liking. If it tastes like it needs “something,” try a little more balsamic vinegar or red wine. Feel free to adjust all seasonings—including sugar—adding a little bit, allowing the heat from the sauce to blend the flavor, then tasting again.

Don’t forget to use a clean spoon for every taste! When the sauce is the way you like it, it’s done.

Parmesan Chicken

Copyright 2002 by Ina Garten

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry
Lemon Vinaigrette

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4" thick. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. Beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water on a second plate. Combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan on a third plate.

Coat the chicken breasts on both sides in the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2-3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until just cooked through. Don't crowd the pan. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese. You can keep the chicken breasts warm for about 15 minutes on a sheet pan in a preheated 200 degree F oven.

Garlic Prawns

Copyright 2002: Donna Hay, Modern Classics 1

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
24 medium green (raw) prawns (shrimp), peeled, tails left intact
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat four small pans on the stovetop over medium heat. Divide the oil, butter, garlic and chilli flakes between the pans and cook for 1 minute or until the butter melts. Reduce the heat to low. Divide the prawns, parsley, and a little salt between the pans and cook or 1-2 minutes each side or until the prawns are cooked through. Serve in pans with slices of crusty fresh bread or baguette.

Serves 4

(My note: I don't have 4 small pans, or 4 small burners. I just used one big pan, and cooked all the shrimp together. It was fine.)

Grilled Peaches with Fresh Raspberry Sauce

Copyright August, 2007: Bon Appetit

2 1/4 cups (lightly packed) fresh raspberries (about 13 ounces)
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
6 medium-size ripe but firm peaches, halved, pitted

Puree 2 1/4 cups fresh raspberries along with 3 tablespoons of water in food processor until puree is smooth. Strain raspberry puree through fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to release as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Stir in 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice until blended. Do Ahead: Fresh raspberry sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Melt butter with brown sugar in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Remove skillet form heat. Brush peach halves all over with melted butter mixture. Grill until tender, about 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve with sauce.

Coconut Curry Pork Satay

Copyright 2002: Weight Watchers' Take Out Tonight

1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon reduced-fat peanut butter
1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 pound boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon Asian (dark) sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 green leaf lettuce leaves

1. Spray the grill or broiler rack with nonstick spray; prepare the grill or preheat the broiler.

2. To make the dipping sauce, bring the coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, peanut butter, fish sauce, and crushed red pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until the flavors are blended and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the cilantro. Cover and keep warm.

3. Combine the pork, sesame oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; toss to coat.

4. Thread the pork onto each of 12 (6-inch) metal or bamboo skewers. Grill or broil the pork 5 inches from the heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the skewers to a lettuce-lined platter; brush with some of the sauce. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

(Notes: Chicken or beef can be substituted for the pork. Also, I know this is coconut curry satay, but there is no curry powder listed in the recipe. Honest.)

Tuna Kebabs with Ginger-Chile Marinade

Copyright Bon Appetit: August, 2007

3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 serrano chile, seeded, minced
Freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 pounds 1 1/4-inch-thick ahi tuna, cut into 1 to 1 1/4-inch cubes

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 large sweet onion, such as Maui or Vidalia, cut into 1-inch squares
6 12-inch-long metal skewers
Additional chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend; season to taste with ground white pepper. Transfer 3 tablespoons marinade to small bowl and reserve. Add tuna to remaining marinade in medium bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 45 minutes.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Alternate tuna cubes, bell pepper squares, and onion squares on each of 6 metal skewers. Grill to desired doneness, turning frequently, about 4 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to platter. Drizzle reserved marinade over; sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

Copyright 2002 by Ina Garten
The Barefoot Contessa: Family Style


1/2 pound ground veal
½ pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
¼ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup good red wine, such as Chianti
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
(My notes: I doubled the sauce and added a couple of tablespoons chopped fresh basil)

1 ½ pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and ¾ cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of ¼ inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan cheese.

When you cook spaghetti, don’t use oil in the water; the sauce will stick better.

When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it in a colander. If you don’t use it right away, run hot water over it and it will separate.

Pineapple Vinaigrette

Combine in the bowl of a food processor:

1/2 cup chunks fresh pineapple
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons mild oil (i.e., canola oil)
1/4 serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Salt and White Pepper to taste

Pulse until smooth

(Thin with pineapple juice if desired for consistency)

Cold Sesame Noodles

Copyright: Tyler Florence

12 ounces angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Fresh chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cold. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a wide bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don't stick together. Chill.

In a blender combine the peanut oil, ginger, garlic, chili paste, lime juice, brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Blend. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled; garnish with the sesame seeds, green onions, and cilantro.

Thai Pork with Noodles

Copyright 2002, Donna Hay: Modern Classics, Book 1

(Note: British spelling copied with integrity)

1 1/2 pounds pork mince

1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced

2 red chillies, seeded and hopped

1 red onion, thinly sliced

5 oz. mung bean vermicelli noodles

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons Brown sugar

1/3 cup mint eaves

baby cos (romaine) lettuce leaves to serve

Heat a wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Place in a bowl and mix with the lemongrass, chilli and onion.

Break the noodles into short lengths and place in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain.

Mix the fish sauce with the lime juice and sugar until well combined. Pour over the pork. Toss the pork mixture with the noodles and mint leaves. Serve with the lettuce leaves.

Serves 4

Sausage, Sourough, and Bell Pepper Spiedini

, Copyright Bon Appetit, June, 2007

6 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, pressed
4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 cup olive oil

24 2 x 1 1/2-inch pieces assorted bell peppers (about 4 bell peppers)
16 1 1/4-inch-long diagonal pieces kielbasa sausage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 large red onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide wedges, trimmed, layers separated (32 pieces total)
16 1 1/4-inch cubes crusty sourdough bread
8 cups mixed baby greens.

Prepare barbeque (medium-high heat). Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl, then whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper; set aside.

On each of 8 metal skewers, alternately thread 3 bell pepper pieces, 2 sausage pieces, 4 onion pieces, and 2 bread cubes. Brush skewers all over with 1 tablespoon dressing each. Grill until lightly charred, turning often, about 12 minutes. Toss greens in large bowl with enough remaining dressing to coat; divide among 4 plates. Top with skewers. Brush skewers with more dressing.

Sauteed Mixed Baby Zucchini and Summer Squash

Copyright 1998: James Peterson Vegetables

1 pound assorted baby squash and/or zucchini (about 25)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the squash and zucchini and cut of and discard the ends. If the zucchini are more than 1/2 inch thick, cut them in half lengthwise.

Crush the garlic with the side of a chef's knife on a cutting board until it turns into a smooth paste. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and parsley and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and reserve.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and toss in the squash and zucchini. Saute over medium heat, stirring or tossing, until the squash and zucchini wither slightly and turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Spoon over the parsley mixture and toss or stir to break up the mixture so it coats the squash. Saute for about 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with a slotted spoon, leaving the cooking oil behind.

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

Copyright 2002 by Ina Garten

2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom half of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for an another minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tequila Lime Chicken

Copyright 2002 by Ina Garten

1/2 cup gold tequila

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 to 6 limes)

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (1 pepper seeded)

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 whole (6 split) boneless chicken breasts, skin on

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight.

Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. Cover tightly and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

If you like cilantro, add 1 tablespoon, minced, to the marinade.

I use Cuervo Gold tequila

There is no substitute for freshly squeezed lime juice.

My notes: I think this would be good with the addition of about half a cup of pineapple juice to the marinade.

Unbelievable Chicken

Copyright: Lee Bailey

1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons prepared coarse-ground mustard
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large glass bowl, mix the cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, lime juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Place chicken in the mixture. Cover, and marinate 8 hours, or overnight.2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the prepared grill, and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Discard marinade.

Eggplant Parmesan Hero

Copyright, 2002: Weight Watchers Take Out Tonight

1 (1-lb.) eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup prepared marinara sauce, heated
4 Italian hard rolls, split

Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray; set aside.

Lightly beat the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan on a sheet of wax paper. Dip the eggplant in the egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs, and arrange in one layer on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the eggplant with nonstick spray., Bake until the eggplant is softened and lightly browned, about 25 minutes.

Divide eggplant slices into 4 equal portions on the baking sheet. Overlap each group of slices so they are no larger than the dimensions of each roll,. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon of the mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Transfer each eggplant portion to the bottom of each roll; top each with 1/4 cup of the sauce. Replace top of rolls and serve at once.