Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

2 sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise to 1/4 inch or 12 oz bag of sweet potato spears from Trader Joes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
sprinkle of Alfie's Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

Preheat oven to 400F.
Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, Alfies Seasoning, and smoked paprika. Layout on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn with spatula and bake for another 5 minutes.
This is a great side dish or as a snack served with a dip.

Dip Recipe:
2 Tablespoons mayo or Veganaisse
2 Tablespoons ketchup
sprinkle of Alfies
dash of worcestershire sauce
dash of Cholula Hot Sauce with Chili Garlic

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick Red Curry with Jasmine Rice

1 3/4 cup water
1 cup jasmine rice
Add rice to boiling water and cook until water is evaporated (about 20 minutes)
-tonight I realized I had no rice but had some frozen Jasmine rice from Trader Joes, great to have on hand, only 3 minutes to cook

1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste ( I like World Market)
1-14 oz can coconut milk
1 red pepper, cored and seeds removed, sliced lengthwise and then in half
any combination of vegetables (bok choy, zucchini, mushrooms, snow peas, baby corn, etc)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if more heat is desired
2 cups cooked chicken, or 2 cups of cooked baby shrimp, or firm tofu
sliced fresh basil or cilantro, to taste
1 lime, quartered

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add onion, and 2 tablespoons of Red Curry Paste. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add can of coconut milk and heat another 2 minutes, Add all vegetables and cook until they are almost done. Add chicken (or shrimp, or tofu) and cook until heated through.
Place 1 cup of rice in each bowl and spoon red curry sauce over top.
Garnish with basil or cilantro and lime.
Serves 4

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Asparagus Leek Soup

After a trip this morning to the Farmers Market, the inspiration for this soup were fresh asparagus and leeks available at this time of year.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 leeks cleaned, and chopped, using white part only
1 large chopped carrot (or mirepoix)
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 bunch of cleaned, chopped, asparagus
1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons of cream (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a pot over medium heat. Add leeks and carrots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add asparagus and stir for another minute. Add a quart of stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5-8 minutes. Puree until smooth. Add cream if you want a richer finish.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fresh Strawberries with Brown Sugar and Creme Fraiche

Last week on an early, warm, summer day my dear husband made a picnic lunch for us. Down at the waterfront, with lapping waves, we enjoyed a lunch of smoked lox with lemon and capers, chocolate chip cookies, and to my delight fresh strawberries with brown sugar and creme fraiche.
It got me thinking what a treat it is at this time of year. Also, so easy, elegant, beautiful and tasty!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chicken Piccata

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper or Alfie's seasoning
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
2 tablespoons capers
juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon of butter
chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place each breast between 2 layers of wax paper and pound flat until 1/4 inch thickness.
Season with Alfie's seasoning.
To a skillet on high heat, add olive oil and as many of the chicken breasts as will fit in the pan without overlapping. Brown for about 2 minutes on each side, then set aside in a warm oven.
To make sauce:
Reheat the skillet over medium heat, add the wine and reduce for 2 minutes, constantly stirring to scrape the brown bits off the bottom. Stir in capers and lemon juice. Remove from heat, add the butter, stirring until melted. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Serves 2
Great with steamed broccoli or asparagus.

Curried Shrimp and Rice Salad

For Salad:
4 cups cooked white rice
3/4 cup sliced green stuffed olives
1 diced red pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/3 cup capers
2 pounds cooked small shrimp

For dressing:
2 cups mayonnaise or veganaise
2 tablespoons curry powder
juice of a lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix all salad ingredients together.
Combine the dressing ingredients and add to the salad.
Toss well to combine evenly.
Refrigerate for several hours to meld flavors.

this recipe serves 16

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cristina Ferrare's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
( I added another 1/2 cup chopped bitter chocolate)

Preheat oven to 275F.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla together with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips, nuts, and raisins. With a medium size ice cream scooper or a large spoon, scoop the dough onto ungreased baking sheets, place the mounds about 3 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are set and light golden brown, about 35 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure cookies don't burn. Cool the cookies on racks.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies

Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2-15 ounce cans, fire roasted and diced organic tomatoes with green chilies, drained and liquid reserved
1-15ounce can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup Quinoa, rinsed
3 large carrots, grated
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated-divided
salt and pepper, to taste
4 large red peppers, halved and seeded

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add cumin and garlic and saute for a minute. Stir in spinach and tomatoes, cook 5 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, corn, and water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes until Quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup of cheese and salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350F
Pour liquid from tomatoes into bottom of baking dish. Fill peppers with mixture and place in baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Uncover and sprinkle each pepper with remaining cheese.
Let stand 5 minutes. Put peppers on plate and drizzle with pan juices.
Note: you can leave out cheese for a vegan entree

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grilled Salmon on the Barbeque

2 pounds salmon filet
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons organic tamari or soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Mix brown sugar, mustard, tamari, and lemon juice in a glass pan. Pour over salmon and marinate for several hours.
Preheat grill to 350F.
Sprinkle with Alfie's seasoning.
Cook salmon 10 minutes per inch.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ginger Snap and Mascarpone Dessert

4 ounces of Mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon quality maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
20 Trader Joe's Ginger Snaps

In a bowl, cream the first 6 ingredients together.
With a knife, spread some of the cream mixture on the bottom of ginger snap and top with another ginger snap.
Refrigerate if not using right away.

Makes 10 cookies