BAKED DIJON SALMON
12.26.11

1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
salt and pepper to taste
lemon, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.

Brush each salmon fillet lightly with honey mustard mixture, and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake salmon 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

CHICKEN PICCATA
12.26.11

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

MAPLE SALMON
12.19.11

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.

Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

TWO-POTATO LATKES
12.19.11

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated fresh onion
1 pound shredded peeled baking potato
1/2 pound shredded peeled sweet potato
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
Green onion strips (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Drizzle a jelly-roll pan evenly with oil, tilting pan to coat.

Combine grated onion and potatoes in a sieve; squeeze out excess moisture. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine potato mixture, flour, and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, squeezing out excess liquid. Shape each portion into a 1/4-inch-thick patty; place on prepared pan. Lightly coat tops of patties with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Carefully turn patties over; cook 30 minutes or until lightly browned, turning every 10 minutes. Garnish with green onion strips, if desired.

ALMOND-STUFFED CHICKEN
12.12.11

1/3 cup light garlic-and-herbs spreadable cheese (such as Boursin light)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped, and divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons butter

Combine spreadable cheese, 3 tablespoons almonds, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 1 1/2 tablespoons almond mixture into each pocket; secure each pocket with a wooden pick. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; cover and let stand 2 minutes. Top chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon almonds and remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

ANTIPASTO-STYLE PENNE
12.12.11

1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preheat broiler. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel and chop bell pepper; place in a large bowl. Stir in olives, pesto, prosciutto, tomatoes, and artichokes.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Add cooked pasta and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to bell pepper mixture, and toss gently to combine. Spoon about 1 cup pasta mixture into each of 6 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons remaining cheese and 2 teaspoons pine nuts.

Note:
If you prefer crispy prosciutto, spread it out on a baking sheet and broil 4 minutes.

CREAMY CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA
12.05.11

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 thinly sliced green onion
1 -2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese.

FRESH HERB-COATED TENDERLOIN STEAKS WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY
12.05.11

Beef:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks
Cooking spray

Gravy:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 450°. Combine first 5 ingredients. Coat both sides of steaks with cooking spray; rub steaks evenly with thyme mixture. Place steaks on rack of a broiler or roasting pan coated with cooking spray; bake at 450° for 8 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven; keep warm.

To prepare gravy, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon thyme, mushrooms, and 4 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add broth and wine; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 4 minutes).

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Serve with steaks.

PORK CHOPS & APPLES
11.28.11

6 center-cut pork chops
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 peeled, sliced apples
¼ cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

In a skillet, brown 6 center-cut pork chops in 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add 1 teaspoon salt. In a baking dish, arrange apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Dot apples with butter and then top with chops. Bake at 350 degrees for about a half hour.

COD POACHED IN SPICY TOMATO BROTH
11.21.11

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 cup water
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons capers
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
4 (6-ounce) cod fillets
10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add water and next 4 ingredients (water through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Add fish; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Top with olives.

WILD MUSHROOM SOUP
11.21.11

3 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, diced
1 ½ pounds mixed wild mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake and oyster), sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup dry sherry
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoons black pepper
¼ cup parsley, chopped

Melt butter in a large, lidded pot over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook 8 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes.

Stir in heavy cream, sherry, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Mix in parsley and serve.

TURKEY AND SWEET POTATO QUESADILLAS WITH CHIPOTLE MAYO

11.21.11

2 cups shredded leftover turkey
1/4 cup salsa
4 large flour tortillas
1/2 cup sweet potatoes, mashed
1 cup shredded Cheddar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 lime, juiced
1 canned chipotle pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 green onion for garnish, sliced

In a large bowl combine leftover turkey and salsa. To construct quesadilla, place one tortilla on work surface and spread with half the mashed sweet potato. Then add half the turkey mixture and half the cheese. Top with tortilla and brush with a bit of canola oil.

In a large skillet over medium high heat add quesadilla oil side down then brush the top with oil. Cook for about 3 minutes until bottom begins to brown and cheese starts to melt. Flip and repeat.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chipotle, cumin, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove quesadilla from pan, cut into wedges and serve with chipotle dipping sauce. Garnish with green onions.

SKILLET FILLETS WITH CILANTRO BUTTER
11.14.11

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
Cooking spray
1 lemon, quartered
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine first 3 ingredients; sprinkle over both sides of fish. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Coat both sides of fish with cooking spray; place in pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish on a serving platter; squeeze lemon quarters over fish.

Place butter and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well blended. Serve with fish.

FUSILLI WITH SPINACH AND ASIAGO CHEESE
11.14.11

1 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces (1/2 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (about 3 1/2-ounces) grated Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes.

Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.

Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve.

BROILED FLANK STEAK WITH WARM TOMATO TOPPING
11.07.11

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler.

Combine 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper; sprinkle evenly over steak. Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning once. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices and let stand while sauce cooks.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeño to pan; cook 1 minute. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve tomato topping with steak.

BARBECUE CHICKEN AND BLUE CHEESE PIZZA
11.07.11

1 (8-ounce) prebaked thin pizza crust (such as Mama Mary's)
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/4 pound)

Preheat oven to 500°.

Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread sauce over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with chicken and remaining ingredients. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is crisp. Cut into 12 wedges.

APRICOT-GLAZED PORK CHOPS
10.31.11

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 bone-in pork chops (1 inch thick; about 2 1/2 pounds total)
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

Add the apricot preserves and vinegar to the skillet and cook, turning the pork once, until the apricot mixture coats the pork, 1 to 2 minutes more.

OLD-FASHIONED MEATLOAF
10.31.11

1 pound ground beef
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

Topping:
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix all meatloaf ingredients well and place in a baking dish. Shape into a loaf.

Mix ingredients for topping and spread on loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

BEEF TENDERLOIN WITH CHERRY-BLACK PEPPER SAUCE
10.24.11

2 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle beef with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer beef to a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 135° or desired degree of doneness. Remove beef from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

Return skillet to medium heat. Add shallots; cook 3 minutes or until shallots are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and preserves. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 6 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Serve sauce with beef.

HONEY SOY TILAPIA
10.24.11

3 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons soy sauce 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 (3 ounce) fillets tilapia cooking spray 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper Mix the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and garlic together in a bowl. Place the tilapia fillets in the mixture; allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Remove tilapia from marinade, and discard the marinade. Place fillets into the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle the black pepper over the fish. Bake in the preheated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. BAKED DIJON SALMON
10.17.11

1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
salt and pepper to taste
lemon, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.

Brush each salmon fillet lightly with honey mustard mixture, and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake salmon 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

CHICKEN PICCATA
10.17.11

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

PASTA WITH BABY BROCCOLI AND BEANS
10.10.11

1 (1 pound) package whole-wheat penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 whole head garlic, slivered
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 bunches baby broccoli (such as Broccolini®)
1 (14.5 ounce) can fava beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in boiling water until cooked through yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic and red pepper flakes in the hot oil briefly, about 1 minutes. Stir the broccolini into the garlic; cook and stir together for 5 minutes. Add the fava beans and sun-dried tomatoes and cook until the beans are completely warmed, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with the drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese to serve.

DAN'S GREEN ENCHILADAS (COURTESY OF DAN KURAMOTO OF HIROSHIMA)
10.10.11

1 cooked chicken (supermarket)
28 oz can green enchilada sauce (Las Palmas or Juanita's)
2.25 oz can chopped olives (or more)
1 large onion diced
1 large bunch cilantro
8 oz lite mexican 4 cheese (or more)
3 dozen corn tortillas
4 stalks green onions (chopped)
3/4 C canola oil
1/2 t garlic salt

Remove skin and debone chicken. Shred meat. Combine in large bowl with chopped olives, onions, cilantro, and cheese, reserving some of the veggies and cheese for later. Add garlic salt. You can add a couple of chopped serrano or jalapeno if you like it HOT.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add oil to small fry pan at medium heat. Heat enchilada sauce at medium low in 3 or 4 qt. pot. Have an enchilada prep surface (cutting board or large plate) near stove. Have 2-3 large baking pans ready. You're making 3 dozen. Cook tortilla in oil for about 5-10 secs then remove from oil and dip fully in enchilada sauce. Place tortilla on prep surface and spoon in about 2-3 tablespoons of stuffing. Roll enchilada and place in baking pan-fold side down. Repeat and make neat rolls of enchiladas. When pans are full, pour remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas, then sprinkle remaining cheese, olives, onions and chopped green onions on top. Cook in oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on size of pan.

SPICY LEMON GARLIC SHRIMP
10.03.11

1 lb pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
fresh ground black pepper
olive oil, as needed

Cut tenderloin crosswise into 8 slices, about 1 inch thick. Flatten each slice to 1/2 inch thickness.

Combine crumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Dredge pork slices to coat.

Add oil to a large heavy skillet and pan fry meat slowly with onion and garlic about 8 minutes.

If meat is done first, remove it to a plate and keep warm and continue to cook the onion and garlic until softened.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH BEEF STROGANOFF
10.03.11

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, minced
3 large portabello mushroom caps, chopped (optional)
2 lbs. lean (93%) organic ground beef
12 oz. cubed butternut squash (or you favorite winter squash)
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. smoked hot paprika
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. caraway seeds (These taste like rye and are optional but recommended)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
16 oz. sour cream (I used light)
12 oz. egg noodles

Set a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, salt it and add the noodles. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until they're almost al dente. Drain and set aside.

While the noodles cook, make your Stroganoff. Set a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and shallots. Saute for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the shallots become soft. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes, then add the beef. Continue cooking over medium heat until the beef has browned.

Add the butternut squash, salt, paprika, nutmeg and caraway seeds. Stir and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover pot and let cook for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the squash is soft, remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. You want to make sure your beef isn't too hot, or the sour cream will curdle.

Add the noodles to the pot with the Stroganoff and give everything a big mix. Serve immediately.

SPICY LEMON GARLIC SHRIMP
09.26.11

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes or 1/2 a red chili pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 plum tomato, seeded, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dry white wine
20 medium-large shrimp
Salt & pepper
A splash of lemon juice
3 basil leaves, chiffonade (sliced thinly)
Lemon slices to garnish

In a sauté pan over medium/high heat, combine the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the hot pepper flakes (or chili pepper) and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes or until the onions are softened.

Add the lemon zest, tomatoes, garlic and white wine. Sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute more.

Transfer to warm plate and serve the shrimp topped with the basil chiffonade and lemon slices.

BALSAMIC PEPPERED SIRLOIN
09.26.11

1 1/4 lb. beef top sirloin steak (1 inch thick), cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper*
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pat steaks dry; coat both sides with pepper, pressing to adhere.
Sprinkle with salt.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil; heat until hot. Cook steaks 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Remove steaks; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add broth and vinegar to skillet; boil 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Remove from heat; whisk in butter until melted. Serve over steaks.

TIP *Cracked black pepper can be found in the spice aisle of the grocery store. To crack your own, place whole peppercorns in heavy resealable plastic bag. Pound with flat side of meat mallet or side of knife until coarsely ground.

BROILED FLANK STEAK WITH WARM TOMATO TOPPING
09.19.11

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler.

Combine 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper; sprinkle evenly over steak. Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning once. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices and let stand while sauce cooks.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeño to pan; cook 1 minute. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve tomato topping with steak.

BARBECUE CHICKEN AND BLUE CHEESE PIZZA
09.19.11

1 (8-ounce) prebaked thin pizza crust (such as Mama Mary's)
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/4 pound)

Preheat oven to 500°.

Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread sauce over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with chicken and remaining ingredients. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is crisp. Cut into 12 wedges.

GRILLED SALMON WITH ROASTED CORN RELISH
09.12.11

4 Anaheim chiles
Cooking spray
2 shucked ears corn
1 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets

Prepare grill.

Place chiles on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until blackened. Place chiles in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel chiles; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Cut chiles into 1/4-inch strips.

Place corn on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Cool slightly. Cut kernels from cobs.

Combine chiles, corn, tomato, cilantro, and juice; toss gently. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cumin, stirring well. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of salmon. Place salmon on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with relish.

GARLIC ASPARAGUS PASTA WITH LEMON CREAM SAUCE
09.12.11

8 ounces dried mafalda or rotini
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
2 cups fresh asparagus cut into 2-inch pieces
8 baby sunburst squash and/or pattypan squash, halved (4 ounces)*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt margarine in a large skillet; add asparagus, squash, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to pasta.

Combine whipping cream and lemon peel in skillet; bring to boiling. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup. To serve, pour cream mixture over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Makes 4 servings.

COUSCOUS SALAD WITH CHICKEN AND CHOPPED VEGETABLES
09.05.11

Salad:
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup (1/8-inch-thick) diagonally cut carrot
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons dried currants
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

To prepare salad, bring water, 1 teaspoon oil, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Place in a large bowl; cool to room temperature.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining oil to pan. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Add bell pepper mixture, chicken, carrot, onions, currants, mint, and black pepper to couscous; toss gently to combine.

To prepare dressing, combine yogurt and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over couscous mixture, tossing gently to combine.

BAKED LEMON PORK CHOPS
09.05.11

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 pork chops

In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon juice, pepper and oil. Add pork chops, and turn to coat evenly. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place marinated pork chops in a roasting pan, and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, basting meat often with marinade.

FETTUCINE WITH SWEET PEPPER-CAYENNE SAUCE
08.29.11

12 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
2 red bell peppers, julienned
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, spray cooking oil in a large skillet and saute red bell peppers, garlic and cayenne pepper over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in sour cream and broth; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Toss hot pasta with sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste; serve.

HONEY-GINGER-CHILE GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD
08.29.11

2 tablespoons honey
1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ears shucked corn, broken into small pieces
3 ripe peaches, quartered and pitted (about 1 1/4 pounds)
8 ounces watercress

Combine honey and next 3 ingredients (through oil) in a medium bowl.

With a mallet, pound chicken breast pieces between 2 sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap until very thin; transfer to a medium dish. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of chile dressing over the chicken; coat well.

Heat a grill pan, grill, or broiler. Lightly coat grill pan, if using, with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt; grill until cooked through (2-3 minutes per side). Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Continue until all of the chicken is cooked, coating grill with cooking spray as needed.

Grill corn until tender (about 5 minutes), brushing lightly with chile dressing while grilling; transfer to a large platter. Grill the peach quarters, just until grill marks appear (about 1 minute per side), brushing lightly with chile dressing while grilling and coating grill as needed; transfer to the platter.

Scatter the watercress over the platter. Slice the chicken into smaller pieces; transfer to the platter. Combine cooked juices and remaining chile dressing; stir well. Drizzle over salad as desired; serve.

PASTA WITH FRESH TOMATOES AND CORN
08.22.11

8 ounces pasta
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (optional)

In a large pot with boiling salted water cook pasta until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dried basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes, corn kernels, and scallions. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Toss pasta with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.

CHICKEN TAMALE CASSEROLE
08.22.11

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

SALMON WITH DILL MUSTARD CREAM
08.15.11

4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Cooking spray
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat broiler.

Place fish on a broiler pan; coat fish with cooking spray, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Combine sour cream and next 6 ingredients. Place fillets on plates. Spoon sauce over fish.

PEACH AND BRIE QUESADILLAS
08.15.11

Sauce:
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
Quesadillas:
1 cup thinly sliced peeled firm ripe peaches (about 2 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
Cooking spray
Chive strips (optional)

To prepare sauce, combine first 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

To prepare quesadillas, combine peaches, 1 tablespoon chives, and sugar, tossing gently to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange one-fourth of cheese and one-fourth of peach mixture over half of each tortilla; fold tortillas in half. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until tortillas are lightly browned and crisp. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 3 wedges; serve with sauce. Garnish with chive strips, if desired.

PROSCIUTTO AND PICHOLINE PASTA SALAD
08.08.11

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups uncooked cavatelli
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped prosciutto (about 1 ounce)
2 tablespoons chopped pitted picholine olives

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain. Add pasta, parsley, and remaining ingredients to vinegar mixture; toss well to coat. Cover and chill.

BASIL BURGERS
08.08.11

1 1/4 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns, split

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

In a bowl, mix the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, basil, garlic salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 burger patties.

Lightly oil the grill grate, and cook burgers about 6 minutes, turning once, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C), or to desired doneness. Serve on hamburger buns.

PASTA SKILLET WITH TOMATO AND BASIL
07.25.11

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped tomato
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups hot cooked angel hair (about 6 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Basil sprigs (optional)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomato and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes. Add pasta, basil, salt, pepper, and chickpeas; cook 2 minutes. Place mixture in a bowl; stir in cheese and vinegar, and garnish with basil, if desired.

DIJON POTATO SALAD
07.25.11

1 20- to 24-ounce bag partially cooked diced red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped watercress
1/4 cup coleslaw dressing
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dill-pickle relish

Combine all the ingredients and toss. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

APRICOT-GLAZED GRILLED CHICKEN
07.18.11

3 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned
2 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
2 chicken drumsticks, skinned
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well.

Prepare grill for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, heat one side to medium high and leave one side with no heat. If using a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on one side of charcoal grate, leaving the other side empty.

Let chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place chicken, meaty sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray over direct heat; grill 5 minutes or until browned.

Turn chicken over; baste with apricot mixture. Grill 5 minutes over direct heat or until browned. Turn chicken over, moving it over indirect heat; baste with apricot mixture. Cover and cook 15 minutes.

Turn chicken over; baste with apricot mixture. Cook 20 minutes or until done.

AVOCADO-MANGO-TOMATO SALSA
07.1811

1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. Stir in the salt, lime juice, red onion, and olive oil. To blend the flavors, refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

SIRLOIN STEAK AND PASTA SALAD
07.11.11

2 cups uncooked penne or mostaccioli (tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1 (3/4-pound) boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
1 tablespoon salt-free garlic-pepper blend (such as Spice Hunter)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat broiler.

While the broiler preheats, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 5 1/2 minutes. Add beans, and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.

Sprinkle steak with the garlic-pepper blend. Place on a broiler pan; broil 3 inches from heat 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning after 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

Combine onion and next 8 ingredients (onion through black pepper) in a large bowl. Add pasta mixture and beef slices; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

CHICKEN AND SUMMER VEGETABLE TOSTADAS
07.11.11

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
12 ounces chicken breast tenders
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup green salsa
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

GARLIC LIME BACON-WRAPPED SHRIMP
06.27.11

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
10 cooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
5 slices peppered bacon, cut in half
1 (4 ounce) can whole green chili peppers, drained, and sliced lengthwise
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)

Whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Toss the shrimp in the marinade, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat an indoor electric grill for medium-high heat.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade, and shake off excess. Wrap each shrimp with a strip of chili pepper, then half a bacon slice. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

Cook on preheated grill until the bacon is crisp, and the shrimp is hot, 6 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle the shrimp with diced avocado, and garnish with lime wedges to serve.

KALAMATA PORK TENDERLOIN WITH ROSEMARY
06.27.11

1 pound pork tenderloin medallions
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/8 cup sliced kalamata olives
1 tablespoon minced lemon zest

Pound the meat to 1/4 inch thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge pork in flour to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork in olive oil until browned, turning once. Transfer meat to a warmed plate.

Reduce the heat to low, and add rosemary and garlic to the pan. Pour in wine, and bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid is thick. Pour in chicken stock, and boil until volume is reduced by half. Stir in olives and lemon zest. Pour sauce over the meat, and serve.

GARDEN PASTA SALAD
06.20.11

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked tri-color spiral pasta
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 (16 ounce) bottles
Italian-style salad dressing
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse under cold water, and drain.

Mix chopped carrots, celery, cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes, and onion together in large bowl.

Combine cooled pasta and vegetables together in large bowl. Pour Italian dressing over mixture, add Parmesan cheese and mix well.

Chill for one hour before serving.

ASIAN GRILLED CHICKEN
06.20.11

1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
3 slices fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, honey, ginger root, and garlic. Heat in microwave on medium for 1 minute, then stir. Heat again for 30 seconds, watching closely to prevent boiling.

Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish. Pour soy sauce mixture over, and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

Preheat a grill for medium-high heat. Drain marinade from chicken into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Set aside for basting.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Cook chicken on the prepared grill 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. Baste frequently with remaining marinade. Chicken will turn a beautiful golden brown.

GARLIC CHICKEN
06.13.11

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
6 cloves crushed garlic
2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a small saucepan melt butter/margarine with garlic. Dip chicken pieces in butter/garlic sauce, letting extra drip off, then coat completely with bread crumbs.

Place coated chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Combine any leftover butter/garlic sauce with bread crumbs and spoon mixture over chicken pieces. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

CRISPY SALMON AND HERB SALAD
06.13.11

1/2 cups arugula leaves
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup small fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
6 lemon wedges

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Combine juice, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and garlic, stirring with a whisk.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once. Combine arugula mixture and juice mixture; toss well to coat. Place 1/2 cup herb salad on each of 6 plates; top each serving with 1 fillet. Serve with lemon wedges.

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
06.06.11

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika. Roll in flour.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 inch oil to a large, heavy skillet. Heat to approximately 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Place chicken pieces in hot oil. Cover, and fry until golden, turning once, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

SHRIMP DURANGO
06.06.11

1 pound dry fettuccine pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add fettuccine noodles and return water to boil. Cook until noodles are al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, add shrimp and cook about 3 minutes, until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from heat and set aside.

Pour wine and lime juice into the skillet used to cook the shrimp. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil until the mixture is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return shrimp to skillet. Add cilantro, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. Stir to heat the mixture through, about 2 minutes. Toss with pasta and serve.

PASTA SALAD WITH TOMATOAND FETA
05.23.11

6 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons capers
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, grapes, and basil in a large bowl.

While pasta cooks, combine vinegar and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil to vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle vinaigrette over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Add cheese; toss to combine.

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH LIME SAUCE
05.23.11

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

Coat chicken breasts with egg, and dip in bread crumbs. Place on a wire rack, and allow to dry for about 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter, and keep warm.

Drain grease from the skillet, and squeeze in lime juice. Cook over low heat until it boils. Add butter, and stir until melted. Season with chives and dill. Spoon sauce over chicken, and serve immediately.

LIME-CILANTRO PORK TACOS
05.16.11

1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper. Add oil to pan. Add pork, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove pork from pan; place in a bowl. Add onion and jalapeño to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomato; simmer 2 minutes.

Return pork and accumulated juices to pan. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup pork mixture into each tortilla; roll up.

CRANBERRY-GREEN TEA SMOOTHIE
05.16.11

1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen blackberries
5 frozen whole strawberries
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup brewed green tea, cooled to room temperature
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 tablespoons honey or packed light brown sugar

Blend all ingredients til smooth

CASHEW-CRUSTED CHICKEN
05.09.11

1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves
1/4 cup prepared Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Combine the preserves, mustard and curry powder in a large skillet and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until preserves are completely melted and smooth.

Place cashews in a shallow dish or bowl. Dip chicken breasts in skillet sauce, then roll in nuts to coat and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes. Boil any remaining sauce and serve on the side with the baked chicken.

BACON, POTATO AND CHEESE TART
05.09.11

1 tablespoon butter
18 slices bacon
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 1/4 cups shredded fontina cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Coat an 8 inch round baking dish with the butter. Arrange bacon in a spiral fashion in the baking dish, draping ends of the slices over the pan edge to fold over filling.

Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes over bacon, and sprinkle with 1/3 Fontina cheese. Repeat layers with remaining potatoes and cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Fold bacon over filling to form the upper layer.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender. Drain any drippings, and cut into wedges to serve.

MUSHROOM RISOTTO
05.02.11

6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute.

Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side with chicken or meat.

CREAMY CHICKEN BACON AND TOMATO PASTA
05.02.11

3 cups whole wheat farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, uncooked
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
3 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
1 (19 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 (250 g) package Cream Cheese, cubed
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons Parmesan Grated Cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, cook chicken in large skillet on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Add next 5 ingredients; mix well. Cook 3 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.

Drain pasta; place in large bowl. Add sauce; mix lightly. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

CHICKEN SCARPIELLO
04.25.11

1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Cut chicken breasts into 1 x 3 inch strips, and dredge in flour. In 10 inch skillet, heat oil and butter. Add chicken. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides (3 to 4 minutes). Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet. Set aside and keep warm.

To same skillet, add shallots and garlic. Saute until softened (1 minute). Add water, wine, broth mix, and seasonings. Mix well. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced by 1/2 (3 to 4 minutes). Return chicken to skillet, and cook until sauce is thick and chicken is heated through (2 to 3 minutes). Serve over angel hair pasta or rice.

PEPPERED SHRIMP ALFREDO
04.25.11

12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, melt butter together with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper, and mushroom; cook over medium- high heat until soft, about 2 minutes more.

Stir in the shrimp, and cook until firm and pink, then pour in Alfredo sauce, Romano cheese, and cream; bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir drained pasta into the sauce, and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

ORANGE-GLAZED SALMON WITH ROSEMARY
04.18.11

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (1 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Sprinkle fillets evenly with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fillets; cook 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan.

Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in wine and rosemary; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates. Add juice and syrup; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute. Return fillets to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until thoroughly heated.

RHUBARB-STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE
04.18.11

1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter, and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.

Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and lightly browned.

ROBUST GARLIC BAKED CHICKEN
04.11.11

1 (3 pound) whole chicken
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 lemon
3 tablespoons minced garlic
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Zest the lemon. Slice remaining lemon into quarters and place to the side. With hand mixer combine butter, lemon zest, minced garlic and 1/4 cup chopped rosemary.

Take your hand and slide it between the skin and the meat on the breast, as well as loosening the 'pockets' between the leg and wing joints. Scoop some of the rosemary butter mixture onto your fingers and begin to stuff into the 'pockets' on the breast, leg, wings, etc. (Save approximately 1/4 of the rosemary butter mixture and rub on the inside of the chicken.)

Season the cavity of the chicken with the salt, pepper and paprika. Add the quartered lemon, rosemary sprigs and sliced garlic to the chicken cavity. Bind the legs with culinary twine and tuck the wings into the leg joints to secure.

Place the chicken breast up onto the roasting rack and into the oven. Roast for approximately 50 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Remove the 'stuffing', carve and serve.

GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD WITH SEASONAL FRUIT
04.11.11

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 heads Bibb lettuce - rinsed, dried and torn
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Preheat the grill for high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool, and slice.

Meanwhile, place pecans in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pecans until fragrant, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

In a blender, combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, onion, mustard, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.

Arrange lettuce on serving plates. Top with grilled chicken slices, strawberries, and pecans. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.

PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS, PANCETTA AND PINE NUTS
04.04.11

8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 ounces diced pancetta
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; add asparagus to pan during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Sprinkle pasta mixture with garlic; return to pan, and toss well.

Arrange pine nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Place in a small bowl.

Increase oven temperature to 475°.

Arrange pancetta on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes or until crisp.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pancetta, and cheese.

PORK TENDERLOIN ALA NAPOLI
04.04.11

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides in the skillet.

Mix the tomatoes, olives, wine, rosemary and garlic in a bowl. Pour over the pork. Season with salt and pepper.

Place skillet with pork in the preheated oven, and bake 30 minutes, to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F (72 degrees C).

Remove pork from skillet, leaving remaining tomato mixture and juices. Place skillet over medium heat, and gradually mix in the cream. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until thickened. Slice pork, and drizzle with the cream sauce to serve.

BRINED PORK CHOPS
03.28.11

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tray ice cubes
2 pounds boneless pork chops

Measure the vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a sealable plastic container, combine the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and mustard powder.

Pour the hot vinegar into the container, and stir to dissolve. Let stand for about 10 minutes to develop the flavors, then add the ice cubes. Cover and shake, or stir until melted. Remove the lid and add pork chops to the brine. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cook pork chops as desired. Pan fry or grill for about 15 minutes over medium-high heat, turning once. They will be juicy and moist.

BLUEBERRY-PEACH GALETTE
03.28.11

1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
6 cups fresh or frozen peeled and sliced peaches, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apricot preserves, melted and divided
1 tablespoon turbinado or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 425°.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Roll 1 dough portion into a 12-inch circle; place on foil. Combine peaches, blueberries, and 1/4 cup sugar. Arrange half of peach mixture in center of dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover peach mixture). Brush half of melted preserves over peach mixture and edges of dough.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove galette from oven); bake an additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining dough, peach mixture, and preserves. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cut each galette into 8 wedges.

PESTO GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
03.21.11

2 slices Italian bread
1 tablespoon softened butter, divided
1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce, divided
1 slice provolone cheese
2 slices tomato
1 slice American cheese

Spread one side of a slice of bread with butter, and place it, buttered side down, into a nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Spread the top of the bread slice in the skillet with half the pesto sauce, and place a slice of provolone cheese, the tomato slices, and the slice of American cheese onto the pesto.

Spread remaining pesto sauce on one side of the second slice of bread, and place the bread slice, pesto side down, onto the sandwich. Butter the top side of the sandwich.

Gently fry the sandwich, flipping once, until both sides of the bread are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes per side.

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH CAPER CREAM SAUCE
03.21.11

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

Season chicken breasts with lemon pepper, salt, dill weed, and garlic powder.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place breasts in skillet, and increase heat to medium-high. Turn chicken frequently, until brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until breasts are cooked through. Remove chicken to a warm serving platter, and cover with foil.

Return skillet to stove, and increase heat to high. Whisk in whipping cream, whisking continuously until reduced to sauce consistency, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in capers. Pour sauce over chicken, and serve.

ASIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
03.14.11

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon bottled grated ginger
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled
2 cups water
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, finely chopped

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass; sauté 3 minutes. Add water and broth; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard lemongrass.

IRISH MASHED POTATOES
03.14.11

3 pounds peeled Yukon gold or red potatoes, halved
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large stockpot; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Drain.

Return potato mixture to pan. Add cream cheese and the next 4 ingredients (cream cheese through pepper); mash with a potato masher. Spoon potato mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Note: This can be made a day ahead; just cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat in oven or microwave.

COLD PEANUT NOODLES WITH SHRIMP
03.07.11

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
8 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 1/2 cups julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.

Cook noodles in boiling water 1 minute. Add carrots and shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Rinse noodle mixture under cold water; drain. Add noodle mixture, bell pepper, and 1/4 cup onions to peanut butter mixture, tossing to combine. Add enough of reserved cooking liquid to keep sauce creamy. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup onions and peanuts.

MINI CAPRESE BITES APPETIZER
03.07.11

1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
10 to 14 fresh small mozzarella cheese balls, cut into thirds*
32 (4-inch) wooden skewers**
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Thread 1 tomato half, 1 piece of cheese, and another tomato half onto each skewer. Place skewers in a shallow serving dish.

Whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients. Drizzle oil mixture over skewers; sprinkle with basil and salt and pepper to taste.

CHICKEN AND SHITAKE MARSALA
02.28.11

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (3 1/2-ounce) packages shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 green onions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup) and divided
2 tablespoons butter

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan. Cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken and drippings from pan; set aside, and keep warm.

Heat pan over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms. Coat mushrooms with cooking spray; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add wine and 3 tablespoons onions. Cook 30 seconds over high heat. Reduce heat; add butter, stirring until butter melts.

Add chicken and drippings to pan, stirring gently. Place chicken on platter. Spoon mushroom sauce over chicken; sprinkle with remaining onions.

SAUSAGE, PEPPER AND ONION PIZZA
02.28.11

1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 cup green bell pepper strips
2 (4-ounce) links turkey Italian sausage
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8-ounce) loaf French bread, cut in half horizontally
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and green bell pepper strips, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender.

Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Add crushed red pepper and diced tomatoes, and cook 5 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Spread sausage mixture evenly over cut sides of bread, and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Place bread halves on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut each pizza in half.

PASTA WITH BASIL, TOMATOES AND FETA
02.21.11

12 ounces dried penne pasta
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 cup chopped or slivered fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, rinse, core, seed, and chop tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, basil, 1/2 cup feta, garlic, and olive oil. Add hot cooked pasta and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup feta.

QUICK CHICKEN AND CHEESE ENCHILADAS
02.21.11

Cooking spray
1 cup prechopped white onion
1 cup prechopped bell pepper
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded, reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add enchilada sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Combine chicken, 3/4 cup of cheese, and cumin, tossing well.

Wrap tortillas in paper towels; microwave at high 30 seconds or until warm. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. Place tortillas, seam sides down, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour sauce mixture over enchiladas; broil 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese evenly over enchiladas, and broil for 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

GRILLED LIME SCAMPI
02.14.11

1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup butter
2 green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine shrimp, 1/4 cup lime juice, and olive oil in a bowl, tossing to coat. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add green onions and garlic, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine, cayenne pepper, salt, and remaining lime juice. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes.

Grill shrimp over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until opaque. Toss shrimp in lime-butter sauce, and serve immediately.

Note: If you don't want to grill, drain shrimp from the marinade and cook them in the lime-butter sauce in a large covered skillet for about 5 minutes.

PORK WITH LEMON-CAPER SAUCE
02.14.11

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained

Combine flour and salt in a shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs, cheese, and pepper in a shallow dish; place egg white in another shallow dish. Dredge pork in flour mixture, dip in egg white, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Coat pork with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm. Add broth and remaining ingredients to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 2 minutes). Serve with pork.

POTATO-KALE SOUP WITH GRUYERE CHEESE
02.07.11

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
7 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
4 cups coarsely chopped peeled Yukon gold potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
6 cups chopped fresh kale (about 3/4 pound)
1 teaspoon dried basil
9 tablespoons (about 2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, potato, salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender.

Stir in kale and basil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Discard bay leaf. Partially mash potatoes with a potato masher until thick and chunky. Top with cheese.

ANTIPASTO PENNE
02.07.11

1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preheat broiler.

Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel and chop bell pepper; place in a large bowl. Stir in olives, pesto, prosciutto, tomatoes, and artichokes.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Add cooked pasta and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to bell pepper mixture, and toss gently to combine. Spoon about 1 cup pasta mixture into each of 6 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons remaining cheese and 2 teaspoons pine nuts.

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH ROSEMARY AND GARLIC
01.31.11

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 475°.

Combine the rosemary and garlic. Make several 1/2-inch-deep slits in pork; place about half of rosemary mixture in slits. Rub pork with remaining rosemary mixture; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Insert a meat thermometer into thickest portion of pork.

Bake at 475° for 20 minutes or until the thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink) or desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

CURRIED CRAB SPREAD
01.31.11

1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
1/2 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
36 (1/4-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette (about 18 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well combined. Gently fold in crabmeat.

Prepare broiler.

Place bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush 1 side of the bread slices evenly with the olive oil. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned. Serve with spread.

PORTOBELLO ALFREDO TORTELLINI
01.24.11

1 pound cheese tortellini
2 large portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces Alfredo-style pasta sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, prepare mushrooms by rinsing and thinly slicing the mushroom caps; discard the stems.

In a medium skillet over low heat, combine wine, parsley, garlic and mushrooms; stirring frequently, saute for approximately 5 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked through.

Remove skillet from heat and slowly add Alfredo sauce, stirring to blend; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Separate hot pasta into four portions and spoon sauce over pasta. Garnish with cheese and serve immediately.

PIZZA MARGHERITA
01.24.11

1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, halved
5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Unroll crust dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 13 x 11-inch rectangle. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven, and brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Rub crust with cut sides of garlic.

Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil and vinegar, stirring with a whisk.

Sprinkle pizza evenly with sliced basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the pizza. Cut pizza into 8 pieces.

PAN-GRILLED HALIBUT WITH CHIMICHURRI
01.17.11

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper over fish. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with sauce.

BAKED CHICKEN WITH YELLOW RICE AND BLACK BEANS
01.17.11

1 (10-oz.) package yellow rice mix
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
2 cups (8 oz.) grated Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, sauté onion, bell pepper, and carrot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender.

Combine hot cooked rice, onion mixture, chicken, beans, diced tomatoes and chiles, and 1 1/2 cups cheese in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased 3-qt. or 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

SPINACH CALZONES WITH BLUE CHEESE
01.11.11

1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
Cooking spray
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups spinach leaves
8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 1/3 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut into 4 quarters. Pat each quarter into a 6 x 5-inch rectangle. Sprinkle garlic evenly over rectangles. Top each rectangle with 1 cup spinach, 2 onion slices, 1/3 cup mushrooms, and 3 tablespoons cheese. Bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching all points together to seal. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden.

TENDERLOIN STEAKS WITH RED ONION MARMALADE
01.11.11

Cooking spray
1 large red onion, sliced and separated into rings (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed (1 inch thick)

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Add vinegar, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, thyme, and pepper evenly over beef. Place beef on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with onion mixture.

CURRIED CRAB SPREAD
12.13.10

1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
1/2 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
36 (1/4-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette (about 18 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well combined. Gently fold in crabmeat.

POMEGRANATE COCKTAIL
12.13.10

2 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup grenadine
1 cup fresh blood orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Serve over ice.

Chicken With Sherry Vinegar Sauce
12.06.10

4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; keep warm. Add shallots to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and vinegar, and cook 2 minutes. Add whipping cream; cook 1 minute. Serve sauce with the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Hash Brown Casserole with Bacon, Onion and Cheese
12.06.10

6 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded Classic Melts Four Cheese blend, divided
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium, 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Discard drippings in pan. Add 1 cup onion and garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the potatoes; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine crumbled bacon, 1/4 cup cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and soup in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Bake casserole, covered, at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese begins to brown.

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH SAUTEED APPLES
11.29.10

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apple
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, 1/3 cup shallots, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown. Add apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with the pork.

White Wine Marinated Steak
11.29.10

3 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound chuck eye steaks, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
1 large shallot, sliced
1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish. Add steaks, and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Remove steaks from marinade; reserve marinade. Sprinkle steaks evenly with salt and pepper.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm. Add shallot to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add reserved marinade and broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Spoon sauce over steaks.

ANGEL HAIR PASTA WITH SPICY SHRIMP
11.22.10

3/4 pound angel hair pasta or spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp, thawed
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute (do not let it brown). Add the shrimp, wine, red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until the shrimp are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted.

Toss the pasta with the shrimp mixture.

WHITE WINE MARINATED STEAK
11.15.10

3 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound chuck eye steaks, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
1 large shallot, sliced
1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish. Add steaks, and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Remove steaks from marinade; reserve marinade. Sprinkle steaks evenly with salt and pepper.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm. Add shallot to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add reserved marinade and broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Spoon sauce over steaks.

Turkey Noodle Soup
11.15.10

Cooking spray
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
3/4 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups (3 ounces) uncooked egg noodles
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 bay leaf
2 cups shredded turkey (about 8 ounces)
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrot, onion, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Add celery, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add shredded turkey; cook 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper, if desired.

ORZO WITH CHICKEN AND ASIAGO
11.08.10

Ingredients
1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil, or oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation
Combine water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in peas, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, herbs, and pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

SLOW COOKER RED BEANS AND RICE
11.08.10

3 cups water
1 cup dried red kidney beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 (14-ounce) package turkey, pork, and beef smoked sausage, thinly sliced (such as Healthy Choice)
1 bay leaf
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Combine first 12 ingredients in an electric slow cooker. Cover with lid; cook on high heat for 5 hours. Discard bay leaf; stir in salt. Serve over rice; sprinkle servings evenly with green onions.

GLAZED CHICKEN WITH PECAN RICE
11.01.10

1 (3.5-ounce) bag boil-in-bag brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound chicken breast cutlets (about 4 cutlets)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup refrigerated apple cider
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook rice according to package directions in a small saucepan, omitting salt and fat; drain.

While rice cooks, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Add cider and mustard to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until syrupy. Add chicken to pan, turning to coat. Remove from heat; set aside.

Melt remaining 5 teaspoons butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for 2 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Lower heat to medium; add pecans, and cook for 1 minute or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add rice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss well to coat. Serve rice with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

BOURBON-GLAZED SALMON
11.01.10

3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Cooking spray
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 1/2 hours, turning occasionally.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish and marinade to pan; cook fish 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates; drizzle each serving with about 2 teaspoons sauce. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and 3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds.

MEXICAN TORTILLA SKILLET
10.26.10

1 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 packet store-bought or homemade taco seasoning mix
6 burrito-size flour tortillas
2 cups pureed canned or fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1 green bell pepper (optional), seeded and chopped

1. Heat a large skillet over high heat until hot. Add ground beef, garlic, and taco seasoning. Cook until beef is browned, breaking it into small pieces with the side of a spoon and mixing everything together.

2. While beef is browning, slice tortillas into 1-inch squares. A pizza cutter or scissors works well for this.

3. Add tomatoes, salsa, and cut-up tortillas to skillet and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. If it seems dry, you can add a little water. Once this is heated through, sprinkle cheese over top and cover for a few minutes. Once cheese is melted, it is ready to serve. Sprinkle with chopped green pepper.

LEMON CHICKEN BREASTS WITH RICE
10.26.10

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Scrape into slow cooker.

Sprinkle chicken with salt. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium high heat until foaming. Add chicken breast halves and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add 1 cup broth and lemon juice to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Add to the slow cooker, along with remaining broth, rice and 1 tsp. salt. Stir, cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, 2 to 3 hours. Remove chicken, stir parsley into rice and season with salt and pepper. Divide rice onto 4 plates and top each with a piece of chicken; serve immediately.

TORTILLA SOUP
Posted: 10.18.10

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 large onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
12 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
Juice of 2 limes
1 package (8 oz.) small corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-in.-thick strips [OR PACKAGED TORTILLA CHIPS
] 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-in.-thick strips
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, additional chopped cilantro, and/or sliced green onions for topping

1. Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a large pot (at least 5 qts.) over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in two-thirds of the garlic, 1 tbsp. salt, cumin, and chile flakes and cook 2 minutes.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, and half the lime juice and increase heat to a gentle simmer; cook 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, pour about 1 in. of vegetable oil into a small frying pan set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add one-third of the tortilla strips and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a paper towel-lined baking pan. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips in two batches. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Set aside. [TIMESAVING TIP: USE PACKAGED TORTILLA CHIPS BROKEN INTO PIECES INSTEAD]

4. Purée soup in batches in a blender. Return soup to pot and resume simmering. In a small bowl, toss chicken with remaining lime juice, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, then add to soup and simmer 5 minutes, until chicken is just cooked through. Stir in cilantro. Serve hot with tortilla strips and your choice of toppings.

CHICKEN SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE
Posted: 10.18.10

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 cups uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces (about 7 ounces)
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed 30% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine broth, salt, pepper, and soup in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add soup mixture to chicken mixture; toss. Divide mixture evenly between 2 (8-inch) square or (2-quart) baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over each casserole. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

CRISPY BREADED SHRIMP WITH GARLICKY BEANS
Posted: 10.11.10

1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 bunches arugula, trimmed

Heat oven to 400° F.

Mix the bread crumbs, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer shrimp and any excess crumbs to a baking sheet. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the arugula, and toss to combine.

Divide the beans among individual plates and serve with the shrimp. Sprinkle any extra bread crumbs from the pan over the top.

GARLICKY BROILED SALMON AND TOMATOES
Posted: 10.11.10

4 6-ounce pieces skinless salmon fillet
4 medium tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon paprika, preferably hot
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, sliced

Heat broiler. Place the salmon and tomatoes, cut-side up, in a broiler-proof roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the salmon with the paprika.

Drizzle the salmon and tomatoes with the oil and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Scatter the thyme and garlic over the top.

Broil until the salmon is opaque throughout and the tomatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

HERBED CHICKEN PARMESAN
Posted: 10.04.10

1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4  cup  dry breadcrumbs
1  tablespoon  minced fresh parsley
1/2  teaspoon  dried basil
1/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1  large egg white, lightly beaten
1  pound  chicken breast tenders
1  tablespoon  butter
1 1/2  cups  bottled fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen Organic)
2  teaspoons  balsamic vinegar
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

Preheat broiler.

Combine 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Dip each chicken tender in egg white; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Set aside.

Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave sauce mixture at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Pour the sauce over chicken in pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Parmesan and provolone cheese. Wrap handle of pan with foil, and broil 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.

ROTINI WITH CHEESE, BROCCOLI AND HAM
Posted: 10.04.10

4  quarts water
2  cups  uncooked rotini (about 8 ounces corkscrew pasta)
1  (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
2  cups  fat-free milk
1 1/2  cups  (6 ounces) cubed light processed cheese (such as Velveeta Light)
2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1  cup  chopped reduced-fat ham

Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add pasta; cook 5 minutes. Add broccoli; cook an additional 5 minutes or until pasta is done; drain.

While pasta cooks, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a medium saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; stir in cheese and next 4 ingredients (cheese through pepper). Combine pasta mixture, cheese sauce, and ham.

QUICK CHICKEN-CORN CHOWDER
Posted: 09.27.10

2  tablespoons  butter
1/4  cup  chopped onion
1/4  cup  chopped celery
1  jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
3  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
2  cups  chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
1 1/2  cups  fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1  (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and jalapeño; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 5 minutes).

ZUCCHINI FUSILLI
Posted: 09.27.10

2  pounds  zucchini
2  garlic cloves
12  large basil leaves
1/3  cup  pine nuts
2  tablespoons  butter, divided
1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
1/2  teaspoon  plus 1 tbsp. salt, divided
3/4  pound  fusilli
1  cup  fresh finely shredded parmesan cheese (about 2 oz.), divided

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, trim and discard ends of zucchini. Cut each zucchini into 3- to 4-in. lengths; cut each length into 1/4- to 1/2-in.-thick matchsticks and set aside. Chop garlic and set aside. Cut basil leaves into thin ribbons and set aside.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, toast pine nuts, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. In the same pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter with 2 tsp. olive oil. Increase heat to high and add half of the zucchini and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook zucchini, stirring frequently, until soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer zucchini to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the butter and oil in the pan as possible. Repeat with remaining zucchini and 1/4 tsp. salt. Remove frying pan from heat and reserve.

Add remaining 1 tbsp. salt and fusilli to boiling water and cook until pasta is tender to the bite, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat reserved frying pan over medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and the chopped garlic, and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add reserved zucchini and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until well combined. Add zucchini mixture and reserved basil to cooked fusilli and toss to combine. Add 1/2 cup parmesan and remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Toss until butter melts and everything is well combined. Divide among 6 plates or pasta bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan and serve immediately.

FLANK STEAK SALAD WITH PLUMS AND BLUE CHEESE
Posted: 09.20.10

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1 1/2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
4  teaspoons  fresh lemon juice, divided
1  (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1  teaspoon  honey
1/8  teaspoon  salt
8  cups  loosely packed baby arugula
3  plums, thinly sliced
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese

1. Combine pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a small bowl; rub over both sides of steak.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; let rest 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, honey, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add arugula; toss gently to coat. Arrange about 1 1/2 cups arugula mixture onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with 3 ounces steak, about 1/2 cup plums, and 1 tablespoon cheese.

CHICKEN TETRAZINNI WITH PROSCIUTTO AND PEAS
Posted: 09.20.10

3  ounces  finely chopped prosciutto
2  teaspoons  vegetable oil
1  (7-oz.) package vermicelli
3  cups  chopped cooked chicken
1  cup  (4 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
1  (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1  (10-oz.) container refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1  (4-oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2  cup  chicken broth
1/4  cup  dry dry white wine
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
1  cup  frozen baby English peas, thawed
1/2  cup  slivered almonds

1. Sauté prosciutto in hot vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

3. Meanwhile, stir together chicken, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and next 6 ingredients; stir in prosciutto, pasta, and peas. Spoon mixture into 6 lightly greased 8-oz. ramekins or a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with almonds and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

PESTO PASTA SALAD
Posted: 09.13.10

PESTO:
3  cups  packed fresh basil
1  cup  packed fresh parsley
3  garlic cloves, chopped
1  tablespoon  lemon juice
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  pepper
1/3  cup  pine nuts, toasted
1/2  cup  olive oil
1/2  cup  grated Parmesan

SALAD:
1  pound  gemelli or other short pasta
1  cup  plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
2  pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Make pesto: In a food processor puree basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and pine nuts until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil and process until a thick paste forms. Add Parmesan and pulse twice. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Make salad: Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

In a large bowl, combine pesto and Greek yogurt and stir until well blended. Add cold pasta and toss to coat with dressing. Top with tomatoes. Serve salad at room temperature or cover and refrigerate to serve chilled.

TARRAGON CHICKEN
Posted: 09.13.10

4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4  teaspoon  salt
2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  garlic clove, minced
2  teaspoons  minced fresh tarragon
1/8  teaspoon  salt

1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Combine olive oil and remaining 5 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil mixture to pan, spreading evenly over bottom of pan with a wide spatula. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes. Drizzle chicken with 2 teaspoons oil mixture. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Drizzle remaining oil mixture over chicken; reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until done. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Pour pan drippings over chicken; serve immediately.

SIRLOIN STEAK WITH DIJON-PORT SAUCE
Posted: 09.06.10

3  cups  uncooked medium egg noodles
1  pound  trimmed sirloin (about 1 inch thick)
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
Cooking spray
1/2  cup  port or other sweet red wine
1/4  cup  minced shallots
1  teaspoon  bottled minced garlic
1/2  cup  less-sodium beef broth
1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
1/2  teaspoon  fresh thyme leaves

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

While noodles cook, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and pepper. Lightly coat steak with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Transfer meat to a platter; keep warm.

Add port to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Stir in shallots and garlic; cook 45 seconds, stirring frequently. Add beef broth; bring to a boil. Cook 20 seconds; remove from heat. Add mustard and thyme, stirring with a whisk.

Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve steak and sauce with
the noodles.

Grilled Pizza with Asparagus and Carmelized Onions
Posted: 09.06.10

1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2  cups  thinly vertically sliced onion
2  cups  (2-inch) slices asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
1  tablespoon  thinly sliced ready-to-use sun-dried tomatoes
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1  (8-ounce) portion fresh pizza dough
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1-1/2  teaspoons  fresh oregano leaves
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Add asparagus to pan; cook 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes and salt.

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; brush each side of dough with 1/2 teaspoon remaining oil.

Place dough on a grill rack; grill 1-1/2 minutes or until crust bubbles and is well marked. Reduce grill heat to low; turn dough over. Arrange onion mixture over crust; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Cover and grill over low heat 3-1/2 minutes or until cheese melts; remove pizza from grill. Sprinkle with oregano and black pepper.

ANGEL HAIR AGLIO OLIO
Posted: 08.23.10

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound angel hair pasta, cooked, pasta water reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To a heated skillet, add the oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the cooked pasta, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

EMERIL'S CON QUESO DIP
Posted: 08.23.10

Tortilla chips, for serving
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup canned, chopped mild green chiles
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 pound), shredded (about 2 cups)
8 ounces white Cheddar cheese (1/2 pound), shredded (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped seeded tomato, (optional)
1 teaspoon Baby Bam
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 1 minute.

Add the onion and Baby Bam and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato, if using, and garlic and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cheeses and chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the sour cream, white pepper, and salt and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

ROASTED RED PEPPER MAC AND CHEESE
Posted: 08.16.10

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni or farfalle, cooked al dente
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the peppers and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the flour, cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and 1 cup of the stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a hand-held blender or food processor, puree until smooth. Add a bit more stock as necessary to correct sauce thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, Monterey Jack, Cheddar and red pepper sauce, stirring to combine. Spray a 9-by-12-inch glass baking dish with vegetable spray. Pour in the mac and cheese.

Combine the Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Top mac and cheese with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan topping. Place into the oven and cook until the mixture is heated through and the cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

PAPAYA AVOCADO SALAD
Posted: 08.16.10

1 papaya, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large avocado, peeled, pit removed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced red onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

SPICY CHICKEN WITH CASHEWS
Posted: 08.02.10

2 cups diced skinless boneless chicken breasts
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cornstarch
Oil for frying
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 cup unsalted cashews
2 dried red peppers
1/2 pound Chinese Long Beans, blanched

Season the chicken and cornstarch with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the cornstarch, coating completely. Fry the chicken until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cashews and season with salt and pepper. Pan-fry until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the peppers and beans. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Toss the chicken and cashew mixture together. Mound in the center of a large platter and serve.

CRABMEAT DEVILED EGGS
Posted: 08.02.10

12 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and cut lengthwise in half
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 ounce caviar, such as beluga, osetra, or sevruga

Remove the yolks from the whites and put in a medium-size mixing bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash the yolks, then add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and hot sauce. Stir with the fork to mix. Add the crabmeat and stir gently to mix. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the egg white halves. Chill the eggs for 2 hours before serving.

PENNE WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE
Posted: 07.19.10

1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 pound sweet or mild Italian sausage, removed from the casings and
coarsely crumbled or chopped
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and tablespoon of the salt and return to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 15 minutes. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pot of pasta from the heat and drain the pasta away from you into a colander set in the sink. Return pasta to the pot but keep off the heat. While the pasta is cooking, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium- high heat, stirring until evenly browned and cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden brown around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the pepper and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the sausage mixture to the pasta. Add the olive oil and the basil, and toss to coat evenly. To serve, divide equal portions of the pasta mixture among plates or soup bowls. Garnish each serving with equal portions of the Parmesan cheese.

ENDIVE, PEAR AND GORGONZOLA SALAD
Posted: 07.19.10

4 large Belgian endive bulbs, 14 to 16 ounces total, thinly sliced
6 ounces watercress or baby spinach
1 bunch (6 ounces) radishes, thinly sliced
4 cups diced pears (about 3)
6 ounces Gorgonzola (Italian blue cheese), crumbled
2 cups toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the endive, watercress, radishes, pears, and Gorgonzola in a large bowl. Sprinkle the walnuts on top, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Combine the honey, shallots, garlic, and mustard in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Add the white wine and cider vinegars and whisk to incorporate. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil, followed by the olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper. When ready to serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

SEARED SHRIMP SALAD WITH AVOCADO
Posted: 07.19.10

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
One 5-ounce bag prewashed mixed greens (about 8 cups)
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 ripe avocado, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced

Combine the orange juice, lime juice, honey, 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper, the soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small nonreactive bowl. Whisk to blend. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil in a 12- inch saute pan over medium-high heat. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan, in two batches if necessary, and cook until they have curled and are just cooked through, 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the greens, oranges, red onion, and pinch of salt. Whisk the vinaigrette, and add 3 tablespoons to the salad. Toss lightly to combine, and then divide the salad among four serving plates. Take 3 to 4 slices of the avocado and fan them out on top of each salad. Divide the shrimp evenly among the salads. Drizzle a little more vinaigrette over the shrimp and avocado, and serve immediately.

GRILLED SARDINES WITH HERB SAUCE
Posted: 07.19.10

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (lemon thyme if available), oregano, or marjoram leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
12 to 16 fresh whole sardines, cleaned, scaled, rinsed and dried
Salt
Crusty bread for serving, optional

Preheat a grill or broiler to high.

In a mortar and pestle, combine the thyme and parsley with the sea salt and pound until well crushed.

Add the lemon juice and drizzle in the olive oil until well combined. Add a pinch of pepper if desired. Set aside at room temperature until you are ready to serve the sardines.

Season the sardines well on both sides with salt and pepper.

Place directly on the grill and cook, turning once, until the skin is crispy and lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the fish.

Transfer the fish to a serving platter and drizzle with the herb sauce. Serve immediately, with crusty bread, if desired.

CHILI-MAC
Posted: 07.12.10

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced small, about 3 cups
2 jalapenos, stemmed and minced, optional
1 tablespoon salt, plus more for pasta-cooking water
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
5 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, broken with your hands, with juices
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 pound medium cheddar cheese
Sour cream for serving, if desired

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a 6-quart soup pot. Add onions, jalapenos (if desired), and 2 teaspoons salt and cook until soft, 2 minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, oregano, and garlic and cook, breaking up any clumps of meat with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and 1/2 cup water; stir and bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened to chili consistency, about 20 minutes. Taste, and add 1 teaspoon salt, if needed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

While the chili is simmering, cook macaroni according to package directions in boiling salted water, drain in a colander, rinse under cool running water, and set aside. Grate cheddar cheese and set aside.

Place a 9-by-13.5-inch or other 3-quart casserole dish on a baking sheet. Once chili has finished cooking, fold in the cooked macaroni and 1/3 of the cheddar cheese. Transfer chili mac to the baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve each portion garnished with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

CLASSIC SPAGHETTI CARNONARA
Posted: 07.12.10

1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh spaghetti, cooked al dente
4 large eggs, beaten
Salt
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the oil except for 3 tablespoons. Add the garlic. Season with black pepper. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the crispy bacon and the pasta. Saute for 1 minute. Season the eggs with salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble. Add the cheese and reseason with salt and pepper. Mound into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

CLASSIC BLUE CHEESE DIP
Posted: 07.05.10

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Fresh vegetables, such as celery and carrots cut into sticks, and cherry tomatoes

Combine all the ingredients except the blue cheese and the fresh vegetables in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the crumbled blue cheese. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days before serving. Serve with a platter of fresh vegetables.

BABY GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES
Posted: 07.05.10

3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon minced chives
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 thin slices brioche, or homemade style bread, crusts removed

In a small bowl, blend together the cream cheese, mascarpone, chives, and salt. Spread the mixture on 4 slices of the bread and top with the remaining bread. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of the butter on each side of each sandwich.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 sandwiches and cook until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove and repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into 2 triangles. Serve immediately.

SPINACH, CHERRY AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD WITH WARM BACON DRESSING
Posted: 06.28.10

8 ounces sliced bacon, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
Pinch of salt, plus more if needed
1 1/2 tablespoons Creole or other coarse-grain mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 cups fresh spinach, tough stems removed, leaves washed and spun dry (about 12 ounces)
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pour off all but ¼ cup of the rendered bacon drippings from the skillet.

Add the onion to the drippings remaining in the skillet, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the mustard and vinegar and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve it. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the oil. Return the bacon to the skillet and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Divide the spinach evenly among six salad plates. Arrange the cherries around the edges, scatter the goat cheese over the top, and drizzle the warm bacon dressing over the salad. Serve immediately.

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN
Posted: 06.28.10

1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup Essence, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 quart buttermilk
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups flour
Peanut oil, for frying

Combine the salt, 1/4 cup of the Essence and sugar in a large plastic container or non-reactive stockpot. Add the buttermilk and stir to completely dissolve the salt and sugar. Immerse the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
 
Combine the flour and remaining 2 tablespoons Essence in a medium brown paper bag; shake to combine.

Heat 4 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and shake to remove excess. Add the chicken in batches to the flour and shake to completely coat. Remove and shake to remove excess flour. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to rest until ready to fry.

Fry the chicken in batches, skin-side down, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Turn and fry until golden brown on the second side, about 8 minutes longer. Remove and drain on paper towels.

(Note: An even oil temperature is key to the success of this recipe; a clip-on candy/deep-fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times. And the temperature should register at least 325 degrees F during the cooking process.)

CAPRESE SALAD
Posted: 06.21.10

2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, (about 1 pound), cored
1 pound fresh buffalo or cow's milk mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 48 large fresh basil leaves
One-fourth cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cut each tomato crosswise into twelve one-half-inch-thick slices. Cut the mozzarella crosswise into twelve one-half-inch-thick slices. Season both sides of each slice of tomato and mozzarella with the salt and pepper. 

Arrange half of the tomato slices in the bottom of a shallow plastic or glass bowl. Top each with 2 basil leaves. Place a slice of mozzarella on top of the basil leaves, then top with the remaining tomato slices and repeat the process using up the remaining mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with the olive oil, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

PENNE WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE
Posted: 06.14.10

1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 pound sweet or mild Italian sausage, removed from the casings and coarsely crumbled or chopped
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon of the salt and return to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 15 minutes.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pot of pasta from the heat and drain the pasta away from you into a colander set in the sink. Return pasta to the pot but keep off the heat.

While the pasta is cooking, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until evenly browned and cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden brown around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the pepper and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the sausage mixture to the pasta. Add the olive oil and the basil, and toss to coat evenly.

To serve, divide equal portions of the pasta mixture among plates or soup bowls. Garnish each serving with equal portions of the Parmesan cheese.

ANGEL HAIR AGLIO OLIO
Posted: 06.14.10

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound angel hair pasta, cooked, pasta water reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To a heated skillet, add the oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the cooked pasta, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

EMERIL'S CON QUESO DIP
Posted: 06.14.10

Tortilla chips, for serving
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup canned, chopped mild green chiles
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 pound), shredded (about 2 cups)
8 ounces white Cheddar cheese (1/2 pound), shredded (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped seeded tomato, (optional)
1 teaspoon Baby Bam
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 1 minute.

Add the onion and Baby Bam and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato, if using, and garlic and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cheeses and chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the sour cream, white pepper, and salt and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

ROASTED RED PEPPER MAC AND CHEESE
Posted: 06.07.10

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni or farfalle, cooked al dente
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the peppers and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the flour, cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and 1 cup of the stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a hand-held blender or food processor, puree until smooth. Add a bit more stock as necessary to correct sauce thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, Monterey Jack, Cheddar and red pepper sauce, stirring to combine. Spray a 9-by-12-inch glass baking dish with vegetable spray. Pour in the mac and cheese.

Combine the Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Top mac and cheese with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan topping. Place into the oven and cook until the mixture is heated through and the cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

PAPAYA AVOCADO SALAD
Posted: 06.07.10

1 papaya, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large avocado, peeled, pit removed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced red onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

BANANAS AND BROWN SUGAR EN PAPILLOTE
Posted: 06.01.10

4 pieces parchment paper
4 bananas, each cut in half the long way and then in half the short way
1 lemon, juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons butter
4 teaspoons chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated

Fold the sheets of parchment in half and cut out a half heart shape along the crease, creating a heart shape when unfolded. Unfold the hearts and stuff them each with 4 pieces of banana. Sprinkle with lemon and orange juice and zest. Top each with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of grated ginger. Fold the edges back together, creating a half-heart-shaped pouch, and seal the edge by crimping and rolling it over itself. Place papillote on sheet pan and bake for 3 to 4 minutes until well heated through. To serve, open packet by slicing or cutting open with scissors at the table for a beautiful presentation.

BEANS GALORE SALAD
Posted: 06.01.10

1/2 medium red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and blanched until crisp-tender
1/2 pound fresh wax beans, ends trimmed and blanched until crisp-tender
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
3 peeled whole garlic cloves, plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups canned, drained, and rinsed white beans
1 1/2 cups canned, drained, and rinsed black beans
1 1/2 cups canned, drained, and rinsed red bean

In a saucepan over high heat, combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, oil, salt, and the minced garlic. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium, nonreactive bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.

Add the blanched wax beans, green beans, vinegar mixture, and onion to the beans in the large bowl and toss to mix thoroughly. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.

SPICY CHICKEN WITH CASHEWS
Posted: 05.24.10

2 cups diced skinless boneless chicken breasts
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cornstarch
Oil for frying
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 cup unsalted cashews
2 dried red peppers
1/2 pound Chinese Long Beans, blanched

Season the chicken and cornstarch with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the cornstarch, coating completely. Fry the chicken until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cashews and season with salt and pepper. Pan-fry until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the peppers and beans. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Toss the chicken and cashew mixture together. Mound in the center of a large platter and serve.

CRABMEAT DEVILED EGGS
Posted: 05.24.10

12 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and cut lengthwise in half
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 ounce caviar, such as beluga, osetra, or sevruga

Remove the yolks from the whites and put in a medium-size mixing bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash the yolks, then add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and hot sauce. Stir with the fork to mix. Add the crabmeat and stir gently to mix. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the egg white halves. Chill the eggs for 2 hours before serving.

PENNE WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE
Posted: 05.17.10

1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 pound sweet or mild Italian sausage, removed from the casings and coarsely crumbled or chopped
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon of the salt and return to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 15 minutes.  Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pot of pasta from the heat and drain the pasta away from you into a colander set in the sink. Return pasta to the pot but keep off the heat. While the pasta is cooking, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until evenly browned and cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden brown around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the pepper and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the sausage mixture to the pasta. Add the olive oil and the basil, and toss to coat evenly. To serve, divide equal portions of the pasta mixture among plates or soup bowls. Garnish each serving with equal portions of the Parmesan cheese.


ENDIVE, PEAR AND GORGONZOLA SALAD
Posted: 05.17.10

4 large Belgian endive bulbs, 14 to 16 ounces total, thinly sliced crosswise
6 ounces watercress or baby spinach
1 bunch (6 ounces) radishes, thinly sliced
4 cups diced pears (about 3)
6 ounces Gorgonzola (Italian blue cheese), crumbled
2 cups toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the endive, watercress, radishes, pears, and Gorgonzola in a large bowl. Sprinkle the walnuts on top, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Combine the honey, shallots, garlic, and mustard in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Add the white wine and cider vinegars and whisk to incorporate. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil, followed by the olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper. When ready to serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

SEARED SHRIMP SALAD WITH AVOCADO
Posted: 05.10.10

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
One 5-ounce bag prewashed mixed greens (about 8 cups)
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 ripe avocado, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced

Combine the orange juice, lime juice, honey, 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper, the soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small nonreactive bowl. Whisk to blend. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil in a 12- inch saute pan over medium-high heat. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan, in two batches if necessary, and cook until they have curled and are just cooked through, 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the greens, oranges, red onion, and pinch of salt. Whisk the vinaigrette, and add 3 tablespoons to the salad. Toss lightly to combine, and then divide the salad among four serving plates. Take 3 to 4 slices of the avocado and fan them out on top of each salad. Divide the shrimp evenly among the salads. Drizzle a little more vinaigrette over the shrimp and avocado, and serve immediately.

GRILLED SARDINES WITH HERB SAUCE
Posted: 05.10.10

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (lemon thyme if available), oregano, or marjoram leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
12 to 16 fresh whole sardines, cleaned, scaled, rinsed and dried
Salt
Crusty bread for serving, optional

Preheat a grill or broiler to high.

In a mortar and pestle, combine the thyme and parsley with the sea salt and pound until well crushed.  Add the lemon juice and drizzle in the olive oil until well combined. Add a pinch of pepper if desired. Set aside at room temperature until you are ready to serve the sardines.  Season the sardines well on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place directly on the grill and cook, turning once, until the skin is crispy and lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the fish.  Transfer the fish to a serving platter and drizzle with the herb sauce. Serve immediately, with crusty bread, if desired.

CHILI-MAC
Posted: 05.03.10

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced small, about 3 cups
2 jalapenos, stemmed and minced, optional
1 tablespoon salt, plus more for pasta-cooking water
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
5 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, broken with your hands, with juices
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 pound medium cheddar cheese
Sour cream for serving, if desired

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a 6-quart soup pot. Add onions, jalapenos (if desired), and 2 teaspoons salt and cook until soft, 2 minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, oregano, and garlic and cook, breaking up any clumps of meat with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and 1/2 cup water; stir and bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened to chili consistency, about 20 minutes. Taste, and add 1 teaspoon salt, if needed.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  While the chili is simmering, cook macaroni according to package directions in boiling salted water, drain in a colander, rinse under cool running water, and set aside. Grate cheddar cheese and set aside.  Place a 9-by-13.5-inch or other 3-quart casserole dish on a baking sheet. Once chili has finished cooking, fold in the cooked macaroni and 1/3 of the cheddar cheese. Transfer chili mac to the baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve each portion garnished with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

CLASSIC SPAGHETTI CARNONARA
Posted: 05.03.10

1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh spaghetti, cooked al dente
4 large eggs, beaten
Salt
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the oil except for 3 tablespoons. Add the garlic. Season with black pepper. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the crispy bacon and the pasta. Saute for 1 minute. Season the eggs with salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble. Add the cheese and reseason with salt and pepper. Mound into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
Posted: 04.26.10

SALAD:
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
3 cups cooked white rice
2 avocados, peeled, diced, and tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

AVOCADO DRESSING:
1 large avocado, peeled and mashed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper

Thick, crusty bread, multi-grain or sourdough, for serving
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Salad: Mix all ingredients and chill. Pass with avocado dressing.
Dressing: Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill and serve alongside chicken salad.

SALMON EN PAPILLOTE WITH BASIL BUTTER
Posted: 04.26.10

4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
One-half cup Basil Butter (recipe follows)
8 tomato slices
4 lemon slices
4 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
BASIL BUTTER:
One-fourth cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 to 4 drops hot sauce

Combine all of the ingredients together and stir until well blended.  Take four 15-inch squares of parchment paper and fold each one in half. Place a salmon fillet on the left side of each piece of paper (right side if you're left-handed). Place a spoon of basil butter on each fillet and top with 2 slices of tomato. Add lemon slice, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Fold right side of parchment paper over the salmon making one-inch folds all along the edge of the packet until it's completely sealed. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put the four packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Place each packet on a dinner plate and slice open the top with knife or scissors.

FRESH CRAB SALAD WITH CELERY ROOT MAYONNAISE
Posted: 04.19.10

2 ounces celery root, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
*1 large egg
Salt
Cayenne
1 cup vegetable oil
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded radicchio
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Put the celery root, onion, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon and egg in a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Season with salt and cayenne. Blend for 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil. The mixture will thicken slightly. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Put the crabmeat in a medium-size mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of the dressing and toss lightly to mix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Toss the radicchio with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over the bottom of each serving plate. Spoon the salad in the center of the greens. Garnish with parsley.

GREENS WITH FRIED TORTELLINI AND PROSCIUTTO
Posted: 04.19.10

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced
1/4 cup julienned prosciutto, 1/8-inch-wide strips (2 ounces)
1/4 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped Italian plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 turns freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 pound cooked cheese tortellini (preferable fresh)
2 cups assorted greens (frisÈe, arugula, mache, oak leaf, or stemmed whole spinach)
3 tablespoons coarsely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion, prosciutto, tomatoes, basil, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 4 turns of the pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, remove from the heat, and turn into a large bowl.  Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tortellini and the remaining salt and pepper, and fry until golden brown, shaking the skillet and tossing the pasta, for about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with the prosciutto in the bowl.  Add the greens and the Parmesan to the bowl and toss well.  To serve, divide the salad among 4 large dinner plates or shallow pasta bowls.

EMERIL'S BLUE CHEESE WALDORF SALAD
Posted: 04.12.10

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup grated yellow onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Pinch cayenne
2 cups diced sweet red apples, such as Gala or Jonathan (2 to 3 medium apples)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup walnut pieces, broken
1 head Bibb lettuce, cored and leaves separated

In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and vinegar. Slowly add 1/3 cup buttermilk, whisking to thicken. Add the blue cheese, onion, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and whisk well to combine, adding more buttermilk, as desired. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the apples, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Add the dressing, to taste, and toss well.  Arrange the lettuce leaves on 6 salad plates. Top with the tossed salad and serve.

THREE CHEESE RAVIOLI WITH RED PEPPER SAUCE AND CRISPY SAGE LEAVES
Posted: 04.12.10

1 to 1 1/2 pounds good quality cheese ravioli
1/2 cup Ricotta Salata, crumbled
16 sage leaves, fried in olive oil until crispy
1 jar Emeril's Red Pepper Sauce

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Heat the pasta sauce to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Cook the raviolis according to manufactures instructions. Place an equal amount of ravioli in four separate bowls and top with a generous portion of the sauce. garnish with cheese and fried sage.

ANDOUILLE AND CHICKEN JAMBALAYA
Posted: 04.05.10

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne
1 pound andouille, chorizo, or other smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2 pounds boneless white and dark chicken meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 bay leaves
3 cups medium-grain white rice
6 cups water
1 cup chopped green onions

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the cayenne. Stirring often, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes, or until they are caramelized and dark brown in color.

Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles. Season the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot.

Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned particles. Add the rice and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to coat evenly. Add the water, stir to combine, and cover. Cook over medium heat for 30 to 35 minutes, without stirring, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.   Stir in the green onions and serve.

DILLED CREAMY PASTA
Posted: 04.05.10

1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups fully-cooked egg noodles
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

In a saucepan heat cream and butter over low heat, add noodles, and season with salt and pepper. Toss until well-mixed and heated through. Remove from heat and toss in dill. Serve immediately.

CHICKEN MARSALA WITH SHITAKE MUSHROOMS
Posted: 03.29.10

4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
2  (3 1/2-ounce) packages shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2  cup  Marsala wine
2  green onions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup) and divided
2  tablespoons  butter

1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan. Cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken and drippings from pan; set aside, and keep warm.
3. Heat pan over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms. Coat mushrooms with cooking spray; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add wine and 3 tablespoons onions. Cook 30 seconds over high heat. Reduce heat; add butter, stirring until butter melts.
4. Add chicken and drippings to pan, stirring gently. Place chicken on platter. Spoon mushroom sauce over chicken; sprinkle with remaining onions.

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Pesto
Posted: 03.29.10

4  (6-ounce) halibut or other firm white fish fillets
Cooking spray
1/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
2/3  cup  firmly packed basil leaves
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
2  garlic cloves, peeled
1  tablespoon  grated lemon rind
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice

1. Prepare grill.
2. Place fillets on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover and grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.
3. While fish grills, combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, basil, and remaining 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until finely minced. Serve grilled fish over pesto.

CHICKEN MARSALA WITH SHITAKE MUSHROOMS
Posted: 03.22.10

4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
2  (3 1/2-ounce) packages shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2  cup  Marsala wine
2  green onions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup) and divided
2  tablespoons  butter

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan. Cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken and drippings from pan; set aside, and keep warm.

Heat pan over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms. Coat mushrooms with cooking spray; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add wine and 3 tablespoons onions. Cook 30 seconds over high heat. Reduce heat; add butter, stirring until butter melts.

Add chicken and drippings to pan, stirring gently. Place chicken on platter. Spoon mushroom sauce over chicken; sprinkle with remaining onions.

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Pesto
Posted: 03.22.10

4  (6-ounce) halibut or other firm white fish fillets
Cooking spray
1/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
2/3  cup  firmly packed basil leaves
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
2  garlic cloves, peeled
1  tablespoon  grated lemon rind
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice

Prepare grill.

Place fillets on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover and grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

While fish grills, combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, basil, and remaining 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until finely minced. Serve grilled fish over pesto.

CHEESY CHICKEN SPAGHETTI
Posted: 03.15.10

9  ounces  uncooked spaghetti
Cooking spray
1  cup  frozen chopped onion
1  tablespoon  bottled minced garlic
2  (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1  tablespoon  low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
2  teaspoons  dried Italian seasoning
1/4  teaspoon  salt
2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
3  cups  frozen chopped cooked chicken, thawed

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cheese, cooked spaghetti, and chicken. Spoon into a 3-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

GREEK DINNER SALAD
Posted: 03.15.10

1/4  cup  coarsely chopped fresh parsley
3  tablespoons  coarsely chopped fresh dill
1  tablespoon  extravirgin olive oil
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1  teaspoon  dried oregano
6  cups  shredded Romaine lettuce
3  cups  diced tomato
1  cup  thinly sliced red onion
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1  tablespoon  capers
1  cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1  (19-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6  (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut into 8 wedges

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add lettuce and the next 6 ingredients (lettuce through chickpeas); toss well. Serve with pita wedges.

BOWTIE PASTA WITH CREAMY WILD MUSHROOM SAUCE
Posted: 03.08.10

1  pound  uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1  tablespoon  butter
12  ounces  presliced exotic mushroom blend
1/2  cup  chopped onion
1/3  cup  finely chopped shallots
1  tablespoon  minced garlic
1 1/2  teaspoons  salt, divided
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  cup  dry white wine
2/3  cup  whipping cream
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
Minced fresh parsley (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 12 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Add the cooked pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley, tossing gently to coat. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

TARRAGON CHICKEN
Posted: 03.08.10

4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4  teaspoon  salt
2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  garlic clove, minced
2  teaspoons  minced fresh tarragon
1/8  teaspoon  salt

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap;

pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Combine olive oil and remaining 5 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil mixture to pan, spreading evenly over bottom of pan with a wide spatula. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes. Drizzle chicken with 2 teaspoons oil mixture. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Drizzle remaining oil mixture over chicken; reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until done. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Pour pan drippings over chicken; serve immediately.

PESTO FETTUCINE WITH CHICKEN
Posted: 03.01.10

1   pound  fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti
1   tablespoon  unsalted butter
1   tablespoon  vegetable oil
3   (6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
18   cherry tomatoes
1/2   cup  prepared pesto

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt butter in vegetable oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned and firm to touch, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Discard all but 1 Tbsp. fat from skillet. Add tomatoes and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Cut chicken into chunks.

Ladle off 1 cup pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add chicken, tomatoes and reserved pasta water. Stir in pesto and mix well until ingredients are coated.

BAKED SALMON WITH DILL
Posted: 03.01.10

4   (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1 1/2   tablespoons  finely chopped fresh dill
1/2   teaspoon  kosher salt
1/8   teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
4  lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place fish on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray; lightly coat fish with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish with dill, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with lemon wedges.

COLA-MARINATED FLANK STEAK
Posted: 02.22.10

2   pounds  beef flank steak
1   cup  bottled teriyaki sauce
1   cup  cola
1   onion, diced
1   clove garlic, chopped
2   tablespoons  red wine vinegar
1   teaspoon  vegetable oil
2   tablespoons  hot sauce
Salt and pepper

With a sharp knife, lightly score both sides of steak in a crisscross pattern. Place steak in a large ziplock bag.
In a medium bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, cola, onion, garlic, vinegar, oil and hot sauce, whisking well to combine. Reserve 1/2 cup of marinade. Pour remaining marinade over steak in ziplock bag, seal bag and turn over a few times to thoroughly coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat broiler and place a rack 3 inches from heat source. Let steak and marinade sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove steak from bag; discard excess marinade. Season steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Place steak on a broiler pan and broil for 6 minutes. Turn steak, brush with reserved marinade and broil for 6 minutes longer (for medium rare).
Remove steak to a cutting board, tent with foil to keep warm and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve steak into thin slices and serve.

FAST BARBECUE CHICKEN SANDWICHES
Posted: 02.22.10

1   3 1/2- to 4-pound rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (about 5 cups)
1   to 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
1/4   cup  pickled jalapeños, roughly chopped (optional)
4   hamburger buns
Potato chips (optional)

In a bowl, combine the chicken, barbecue sauce, and jalapeños (if using). Divide the mixture evenly among the bottoms of the buns and sandwich with the tops. Serve with potato chips (if using).

CREAMY CAJUN SHRIMP AND PASTA
Posted: 02.15.10

1   cup  water
1   (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
6   ounces  uncooked linguine
1   pound  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1  1/2  tablespoons  butter
1   (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1   large red bell pepper, cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
2   teaspoons  all-purpose flour
1   teaspoon  Cajun seasoning
1/4   teaspoon  salt
2/3   cup  half-and-half
1/4   cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine 1 cup water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Break pasta in half; add to pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add shrimp to pan. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes or until shrimp are done; drain.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until moisture evaporates. Add flour, seasoning, and salt to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in half-and-half; cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add pasta mixture and parsley to pan; toss.

SPICED PORK WITH BOURBON REDUCTION SAUCE
Posted: 02.15.10

SAUCE:
1/2   cup  bourbon
1/4   cup  packed dark brown sugar
1/4   cup  low-sodium soy sauce
3   tablespoons  cider vinegar
1 1/2   teaspoons  bottled minced garlic
1/2   teaspoon  black pepper

PORK:
1/2  teaspoon  chili powder
1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Cooking spray

To prepare sauce, combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 11 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
To prepare pork, combine chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, stirring well; rub evenly over pork. Cut pork crosswise into 12 slices.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with sauce.

BAKED CHICKEN AND RICE WITH BLACK BEANS
Posted: 02.08.10

1  (10-oz.) package yellow rice mix
1  cup  chopped onion
1/2  cup  chopped green bell pepper
1/2  cup  chopped carrot
1  tablespoon  olive oil
2  cups  cubed cooked chicken
1  (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
1  (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
2  cups  (8 oz.) grated Monterey Jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare rice according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion, bell pepper, and carrot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender.
3. Combine hot cooked rice, onion mixture, chicken, beans, diced tomatoes and chiles, and 1 1/2 cups cheese in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased 3-qt. or 13- x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

BEEF AND BEER CHILI
Posted: 02.08.10

1 1/2  cups  chopped red onion (about 1 medium)
1  cup  chopped red bell pepper (about 1 small)
8  ounces  extralean ground beef
2  garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2  tablespoons  chili powder
2  teaspoons  ground cumin
1  teaspoon  sugar
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
1  (19-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1  (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1  (14-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
1  (12-ounce) bottle beer (such as Budweiser)
1  tablespoon  yellow cornmeal
1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in chili powder, cumin, sugar, and salt; cook 1 minute. Add oregano and next 4 ingredients (through beer) to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cornmeal; cook 5 minutes. Stir in juice.

CHICKEN AND CHEESE ENCHILADAS
Posted: 02.01.10

Cooking spray
1  cup  prechopped white onion
1  cup  prechopped bell pepper
1  (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
2  cups  chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
1  cup  (4 ounces) preshredded, reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
8  (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4  cup  fat-free sour cream
1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add enchilada sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Combine chicken, 3/4 cup of cheese, and cumin, tossing well.

Wrap tortillas in paper towels; microwave at high 30 seconds or until warm. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. Place tortillas, seam sides down, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour sauce mixture over enchiladas; broil 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese evenly over enchiladas, and broil for 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

FAST SHRIMP PAD THAI
Posted: 02.01.10

8  ounces  wide rice stick noodles (Banh Pho)
1/4  cup  ketchup
2  tablespoons  sugar
3  tablespoons  fish sauce
1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
2  tablespoons  vegetable oil, divided
1  pound  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2  large eggs, lightly beaten
1  cup  fresh bean sprouts
3/4  cup  (1-inch) sliced green onions
1  teaspoon  bottled minced garlic
2  tablespoons  chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Place noodles in a large bowl. Add hot water to cover; let stand 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Combine ketchup, sugar, fish sauce, and pepper in a small bowl.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp from pan; keep warm.
Heat 4 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; cook 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly. Add sprouts, green onions, and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add noodles, ketchup mixture, and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until heated. Sprinkle with peanuts.

PASTA WITH ANCHOVY SAUCE
Posted: 01.25.10

12 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup butter, soft
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle chili pepper, ground
1 lb spaghetti

In a mortar, pound drained anchovies and garlic together. 

Work in butter, olive oil, and chili pepper.

Pour sauce over hot cooked pasta, toss and serve with grated Parmesan or Romano on the side.

SLOW COOKER SEAFOOD GUMBO
Posted: 01.25.10

1/2  pound  sliced bacon, diced
2  stalks celery, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1  medium onion, sliced (1 cup)
1  green pepper, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2  garlic cloves, minced
2  cups  chicken broth
1  14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2  tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
2  teaspoons  kosher salt
1  teaspoon  dried thyme leaves
1  pound  large raw shrimp, cleaned
1  pound  fresh or frozen crabmeat
1  10-ounce box frozen okra, thawed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Discard all but a thin coating of fat from the skillet. Add the celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Spoon the vegetables into the cooker and add the broth, tomatoes (with their liquid), Worcestershire, salt, and thyme. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours, or on high for 2 hours. Add the shrimp, crabmeat, and okra, and cook 1 hour longer on low heat or 1/2 hour longer on high.

ONE-POT PASTA
Posted: 01.18.10

1  pound  lean ground beef
1  small onion, diced
1  (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1  teaspoon  vegetable oil
2  garlic cloves, minced
2  (26-ounce) jars tomato-basil pasta sauce
1  cup  water
1  tablespoon  dried Italian seasoning
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  pepper
1  (20-ounce) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Wipe Dutch oven clean.

Sauté onion and mushrooms in hot oil over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in beef, pasta sauce, 1 cup water, and next 3 ingredients.

Bring sauce to a boil; add ravioli. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Stir in cheese. Serve immediately.

CRISPY SHRIMP AND GARLIC BEANS
Posted: 01.18.10

1/2  cup  bread crumbs
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and pepper
5  tablespoons  olive oil
1  pound  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1  clove garlic, chopped
1  19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2  bunches arugula, trimmed

Heat oven to 400° F.

Mix the bread crumbs, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer shrimp and any excess crumbs to a baking sheet. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the arugula, and toss to combine.

Divide the beans among individual plates and serve with the shrimp. Sprinkle any extra bread crumbs from the pan over the top.

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
Posted: 01.11.10

3-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 whole small chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds total)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 14-1/2-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 4-ounce can whole green chili peppers, rinsed, seeded, and cut into thin bite-size strips
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
6 5-1/2 inch corn tortillas
Cooking oil
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

Place broth in large saucepan or Dutch oven; add chicken. Bring to boiling.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until chicken is tender
and no longer pink. Remove chicken from broth. Let stand until cool enough to
handle.Skin, bone, and finely shred chicken; set aside. Discard skin and bones.
Strain broth through large sieve or colander lined with two layers of 100-
percent-cotton cheesecloth. Skim fat from broth; set broth aside.

In same saucepan cook onion, cumin, and garlic in 1 tablespoon hot oil until
onion is tender but not brown. Stir in strained broth, undrained tomatoes,
tomato sauce, chili peppers, cilantro, and oregano. Bring to boiling. Reduce
heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in chicken; heat through.

Cut tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. In a
heavy medium skillet heat 1/4 inch of oil. Fry strips in hot oil, half at a time,
about 1 minute or until crisp and light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon;
drain on paper towels.Divide tortilla strips among 4 bowls. Ladle soup over
tortilla strips. Sprinkle each serving with cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 4
servings.

SPAGHETTI WITH PARMESAN AND BACON
Posted: 01.11.10

1  pound  uncooked spaghetti
12  bacon slices, chopped
3  garlic cloves, minced
1  cup  2% reduced-fat milk
1  teaspoon  salt
1  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3  large eggs
1  cup  frozen petite green peas, thawed
1 1/2  cups  (6 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup hot cooking liquid.
While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Discard remaining drippings; set bacon aside. Add garlic to drippings in pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Combine milk, salt, pepper, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add reserved hot cooking liquid to milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pasta, milk mixture, and peas to skillet; cook over low heat 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add bacon and cheese; stir to combine.

SMOKED MAC N CHEESE
Posted: 12.14.09

  1. 1  pound  uncooked cellentani pasta
  2. 2  tablespoons  butter
  3. 3  tablespoons  flour
  4. 1  cup  milk
  5. 1  (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  6. 2  cups  (8 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  7. 1  (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  8. 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  9. 1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper, divided
  10. 1  (8-oz.) package chopped cooked, smoked ham
  11. 2  cups  cornflakes cereal, crushed
  12. 2  tablespoons  butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cellentani pasta according to package directions. Transfer hot pasta to a large bowl.

2. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk; cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in Gouda, cream cheese, salt, and 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in chopped ham.

3. Combine pasta and Gouda cheese mixture, and pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Stir together 2 cups crushed cereal, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper; sprinkle over pasta mixture.

4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

STEAK AND PASTA SALAD
Posted: 12.14.09

  1. 2  cups  uncooked penne or mostaccioli (tube-shaped pasta)
  2. 1/4  pound  green beans, trimmed
  3. 1  (3/4-pound) boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
  4. 1  tablespoon  salt-free garlic-pepper blend (such as Spice Hunter)
  5. 1 1/2  cups  thinly sliced red onion
  6. 1 1/2  cups  thinly sliced red bell pepper
  7. 1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil
  8. 3  tablespoons  Dijon mustard
  9. 2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  10. 1  teaspoon  extravirgin olive oil
  11. 1  teaspoon  bottled minced garlic
  12. 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  13. 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  14. 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat broiler.

While the broiler preheats, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 5 1/2 minutes. Add beans, and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.

Sprinkle steak with the garlic-pepper blend. Place on a broiler pan; broil 3 inches from heat 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning after 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

Combine onion and next 8 ingredients (onion through black pepper) in a large bowl. Add pasta mixture and beef slices; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

POTATO-CRAB CHOWDER
Posted: 12.07.09

2  tablespoons  butter
1  cup  chopped onion
3/4  cup  chopped celery
1  garlic clove, minced
3 1/2  cups  (1-inch) cubed red potato (about 1 pound)
3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
2 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  grated whole nutmeg
1  (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
8  ounces  lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
3  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
1  teaspoon  salt

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add potato; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, thyme, pepper, nutmeg, corn, and broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally

CHICKEN SCALLOPINE OVER BROCCOLI RABE
Posted: 12.07.09

1  tablespoon  olive oil
1/3  cup  Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
1/2  cup  dry white wine
1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  teaspoon  butter
1  pound  broccoli rabe (rapini), cut into 3-inch pieces
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
2  tablespoons  capers, rinsed and drained
4  lemon slices (optional)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine breadcrumbs and pepper in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in breadcrumb mixture. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
Add wine, broth, juice, and butter to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in broccoli rabe; cover and cook 3 minutes or until broccoli rabe is tender. Stir in parsley and capers. Serve chicken over broccoli rabe mixture. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

SLOW-COOKER ORANGE CHICKEN WITH POTATOES
Posted: 11.30.09

8  skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and pepper
2  onions, quartered
1  pound  small red potatoes
1  small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
12  cloves garlic, peeled
1  orange, cut into 1/4-inch rings
2  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
1  tablespoon  honey
8  sprigs thyme

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the chicken, onions, potatoes, squash, garlic, orange, broth, honey, and thyme. Set the slow cooker to high and cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Divide the chicken mixture into individual bowls.

CHEESE RAVIOLI WITH TOASTED WALNUTS
Posted: 11.30.09

14- to 16-ounce package cheese ravioli (frozen or fresh)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 cup (2 ounces) walnuts, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.   Add the garlic and walnuts.  Cook, stirring, until the nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the parsley, and the reserved cooking water.  Add the ravioli and toss to coat. Divide among individual plates and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Substitution: Try pumpkin or butternut-squash ravioli instead of cheese-filled. You can also replace the walnuts with pecans or almonds.

CAPRESE MELTS
Posted: 11.23.09

6  slices buttermilk or sourdough sandwich bread
About 1 tablespoon olive oil
15  fresh basil leaves, rinsed
2  firm-ripe tomatoes (about 8 oz. total), sliced 1/4 inch thick
4  ounces  fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and pepper

Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Place 3 slices, oil side down, on a 10- by 15-inch baking sheet and layer evenly with basil leaves, tomato slices, and mozzarella slices. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and top with remaining bread slices, oil side up.

Broil sandwiches 6 inches from heat, turning once, until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes total. Serve immediately.

GREEK SANDWICH WITH VINAIGRETTE
Posted: 11.16.09

Vinaigrette:
2  tablespoons  crumbled feta cheese
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1/2  teaspoon  sugar
1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
1/8  teaspoon  salt
1  garlic clove, minced

Sandwich:
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
8  (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
8  (1-ounce) slices sourdough bread
1  peeled cucumber, diagonally cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3  cups  chopped arugula
1/2  cup  vertically sliced red onion
2  tablespoons  chopped pitted kalamata olives

To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare the sandwich, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place 2 tomato slices on each of 4 bread slices, and sprinkle evenly with half of the salt mixture. Arrange the cucumber slices over the tomato slices; sprinkle evenly with remaining salt mixture. Add arugula, onion, and chopped olives to the vinaigrette; toss to coat. Arrange the arugula mixture evenly over the cucumber slices. Top with the remaining bread slices.

SKILLET LASAGNA
Posted: 11.16.09

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
6 sheets no-bake lasagna noodles
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
3 1/2 cups baby spinach
1/3 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic; cook until golden, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until saucy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree. Return 1 cup of the sauce to the skillet and reduce the heat to low; reserve the remaining sauce.

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, parmesan, the remaining 3 tablespoons herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl.

Place 2 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the skillet. Layer half of the carrot and zucchini on top; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with half of the spinach, half of the ricotta mixture, a few pieces of mozzarella and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with noodles. Top with the remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover and simmer until the lasagna is cooked and the cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes.

FAST TURKEY CHILI
Posted: 11.09.09

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
1 pound ground turkey
1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced scallions, cilantro sprigs, avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, optional

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes--crushing them through your fingers into the skillet--along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

EASY CHICKEN SOUP
Posted: 11.09.09

1  tablespoon  olive oil
1  parsnip, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2  carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2  celery ribs and leaves, chopped
1  large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1  garlic clove, minced
1  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
8  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
3  skinned bone-in chicken breast halves (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large pot. Add parsnip and next 6 ingredients, and sauté about 5 minutes. Add broth and chicken, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Remove chicken from bone, and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to pot, add lemon juice, and heat through.

MUSHROOM PROSCIUTTO PIZZA
Posted: 11.02.09

Cooking spray
8  ounces  sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4  cup  finely chopped shallots
1  garlic clove, minced
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
2  teaspoons  sherry vinegar
1  (10-ounce) Italian cheese-flavored thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
2  ounces  prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1/3  cup  (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and shallots to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add garlic and thyme; sauté 1 minute. Stir in vinegar; remove from heat.
Place crust on the bottom rack of oven. Bake at 450° for 4 minutes.
Place the crust on a baking sheet. Spread mushroom mixture evenly over crust; sprinkle evenly with prosciutto and fontina cheese. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes or until cheese melts.

 

BLACKENED SALMON WITH BLUE CHEESE SAUCE
Posted: 11.02.09

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, for frying
4 (6-ounce) portions skinless and boneless salmon fillets

Blue Cheese Sauce:

1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, black pepper, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Season each piece of fish with the rub.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, add the fish and cook about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.

For the sauce:

Place the white wine into a medium saucepan and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream and allow to reduce. Add the blue cheese and whisk until smooth. Serve on top of the salmon.

SAGE RUBBED PORK CHOPS WITH APPLE SLAW
Posted: 10.26.09

4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (3/4-inch) bone-in pork loin chops (about 8 ounces each)
1 large onion
1 large Granny Smith apple, cut in 1/2, cored
1/2 head green cabbage, cored
3 large carrots
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Combine the 3 teaspoons of the fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Rub this mixture all over the pork chops and let the chops sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion, apple and cabbage and julienne the carrots (very thin sticks).

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan until hot but not smoking. Add the chops and brown on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove.

Carefully wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining teaspoon oil over moderate heat and add the onion, apples and remaining teaspoon fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is soft and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, carrots, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt and continue cooking until the cabbage and carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and return the pork chops to the pan burying them in the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook just until the pork chops are just slightly blush in the center, 5 to 7 minutes longer.

To serve, arrange the warm slaw on individual plates and top with a pork chop and pan juices.

BAKED RIGATONI WITH SPINACH AND FONTINA
Posted: 10.26.09

1  pound  rigatoni
3  tablespoons  olive oil
1 10-  ounces  package frozen spinach, thawed
2  cups  (about 1 pound) ricotta
5  tablespoons  grated Parmesan
1/2  teaspoon  grated nutmeg
3/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  fresh-ground black pepper
6  ounces  fontina, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Heat the oven to 450°. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni until almost done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Put the pasta in the prepared baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil.

Meanwhile, squeeze as much of the water as possible from the spinach. Put the spinach in a food processor and puree with the ricotta, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in half the fontina.

Stir the spinach mixture into the pasta. Top with the remaining fontina and Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the top. Bake the pasta until the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

HERBED CHICKEN PARMESAN
Posted: 10.19.09

1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese,    divided
1/4  cup  dry breadcrumbs
1  tablespoon  minced fresh parsley
1/2  teaspoon  dried basil
1/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1  large egg white, lightly beaten
1  pound  chicken breast tenders
1  tablespoon  butter
1 1/2  cups  bottled fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce (
2  teaspoons  balsamic vinegar
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

Preheat broiler.

Combine 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Dip each chicken tender in egg white; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Set aside.

Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave sauce mixture at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Pour the sauce over chicken in pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Parmesan and provolone cheese. Wrap handle of pan with foil, and broil 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.

BEEF WITH BROCCOLI
Posted: 10.19.09

3/4 pound flank or sirloin, sliced thinly across the grain
3/4 pound broccoli florets
2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced or smushed through garlic smusher
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the beef marinade
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth

Marinate the beef: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beef slices and stir until coated. Let stand for 10 minutes

Prepare the sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Blanch the broccoli: Cook the broccoli in a small pot of boiling, salted water until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and instantly evaporates upon contact. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer (preferably not touching). Let the beef fry undisturbed for 1 minute. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until no longer pink, Pour in the sauce, add the blanched broccoli and bring to a boil. Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds.

Pasta with Anchovy Sauce
Posted: 10.12.09

12 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup butter, soft
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle chili pepper, ground
1 lb spaghetti

 In a mortar, pound drained anchovies and garlic together.
Work in butter, olive oil, and chili pepper.

Pour sauce over hot cooked pasta, toss and serve with grated Parmesan or Romano on the side.

PAN-SEARED SAUSAGE WITH APPLES
Posted: 10.12.09

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 pound), pricked with a fork
1/2 cup water
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sausages and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until browned but not cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the water to the skillet. Cover and cook until the water is nearly evaporated and the sausages are firm, about 7 minutes. Add the apples and fennel seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

GREEK SANDWICH WITH VIAINGRETTE
Posted: 10.04.09

Vinaigrette:
2  tablespoons  crumbled feta cheese
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1/2  teaspoon  sugar
1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
1/8  teaspoon  salt    
1  garlic clove, minced

Sandwich:
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
8  (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
8  (1-ounce) slices sourdough bread
1  peeled cucumber, diagonally cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3  cups  chopped arugula
1/2  cup  vertically sliced red onion
2  tablespoons  chopped pitted kalamata olives

To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare the sandwich, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place 2 tomato slices on each of 4 bread slices, and sprinkle evenly with half of the salt mixture. Arrange the cucumber slices over the tomato slices; sprinkle evenly with remaining salt mixture. Add arugula, onion, and chopped olives to the vinaigrette; toss to coat. Arrange the arugula mixture evenly over the cucumber slices. Top with the remaining bread slices.

SKILLET LASAGNA
Posted: 10.04.09

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
6 sheets no-bake lasagna noodles
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
3 1/2 cups baby spinach
1/3 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic; cook until golden, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until saucy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree. Return 1 cup of the sauce to the skillet and reduce the heat to low; reserve the remaining sauce.

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, parmesan, the remaining 3 tablespoons herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl.

Place 2 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the skillet. Layer half of the carrot and zucchini on top; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with half of the spinach, half of the ricotta mixture, a few pieces of mozzarella and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with noodles. Top with the remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover and simmer until the lasagna is cooked and the cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes.

SOFT CHICKEN TACOS
Posted: 09.28.09

2  cups  shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
1/2  cup  bottled chipotle salsa
8  (6-inch) flour tortillas
1  cup  chopped tomato
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/2  cup  diced peeled avocado
1/4  cup  fat-free sour cream

Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, tossing well to combine. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla; microwave each taco at high 30 seconds or until warm.

Top each taco with 2 tablespoons tomato, 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon avocado, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream; fold in half.

PASTA WITH BEET GREENS AND RAISINS
Posted: 09.28.09

8  ounces  uncooked pennette (mini penne)
1/4  cup  raisins
1 1/2  tablespoons  olive oil
2  cups  coarsely chopped trimmed beet greens
2  teaspoons  bottled minced garlic
1/3  cup  slivered almonds, toasted
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

While pasta cooks, place raisins in a small bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain.

While pasta cooks and raisins soak, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add greens and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until greens are tender. Stir in pasta, raisins, almonds, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; toss to combine. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper, if desired.

PORK CHOPS WITH CRANBERRY MUSTARD SAUCE
Posted: 09.21.09

4 (6-ounce) bone-in pork loin chops
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Cranberry Mustard Sauce, recipe follows
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the pork chops in a single layer in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, add the mustard and cranberry sauce and stir to combine. Brush the mustard mixture evenly over both sides of the chops. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 12 hours, turning occasionally.

Coat a large frying pan over medium heat with nonstick cooking spray. When the pan is hot add the chops. Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, turn the chops over and cook uncovered on the second side until the meat is cooked through but still juicy, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and transfer to a serving platter.

Cranberry Mustard Sauce:

1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries, about 4 cups
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Wash and pick over the cranberries. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the water and the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the cranberries burst, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pecans and the mustard and transfer to a small bowl. Let cool completely at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

STIR FRIED SHRIMP WITH CORN RELISH
Posted: 09.21.09

1 1/2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
1  tablespoon  fish sauce
1/2  teaspoon  sugar
2  tablespoons  canola oil
1/2  cup  chopped shallots
1  tablespoon  minced garlic
1  tablespoon  minced jalapeño pepper (about 1 small)
1 1/2  pounds  peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 1/2  cups  fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Combine first 3 ingredients; set aside.

Heat a 14-inch wok over high heat. Add oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add shallots, garlic, and jalapeño to wok; stir-fry 30 seconds or just until shallots begin to brown. Add shrimp to wok; stir-fry 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Add corn; stir-fry 1 minute or just until corn is heated. Stir in juice mixture; sprinkle with cilantro.

CHICKEN WITH PROSCIUTTO AND TOMATO
Posted: 09.14.09

4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve.

LOBSTER MAC N CHEESE
Posted: 09.14.09

Vegetable oil
1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
1 quart milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well. Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

ORANGE MANDARIN CHICKEN
Posted: 09.07.09

2  teaspoons  dark sesame oil
4  (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, undrained
1/2  cup  chopped green onions
1  tablespoon  finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1  teaspoon  bottled minced garlic
1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
2  teaspoons  cornstarch

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

While chicken cooks, drain oranges in a colander over a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Add oranges, 2 tablespoons liquid, onions, jalapeño, and garlic to pan. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes. Combine broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

PESTO PASTA SALAD
Posted: 09.07.09

Pesto:
3  cups  packed fresh basil
1  cup  packed fresh parsley
3  garlic cloves, chopped
1  tablespoon  lemon juice
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  pepper
1/3  cup  pine nuts, toasted
1/2  cup  olive oil
1/2  cup  grated Parmesan

Salad:
1  pound  gemelli or other short pasta
1  cup  plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
2  pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Make pesto: In a food processor puree basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and pine nuts until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil and process until a thick paste forms. Add Parmesan and pulse twice. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Make salad: Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

In a large bowl, combine pesto and Greek yogurt and stir until well blended. Add cold pasta and toss to coat with dressing. Top with tomatoes. Serve salad at room temperature or cover and refrigerate to serve chilled.

FETA CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES
Posted: 08.31.09

1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon  dried marjoram or thyme
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1/8  teaspoon  salt
2  (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1  teaspoon  olive oil
Cooking spray
2/3  cup  red bell pepper strips
1/2  cup  vertically sliced red onion
1/3  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  teaspoon  white wine vinegar
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese, divided
Oregano sprigs (optional)                      

Combine first 4 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add bell pepper, onion, broth, and vinegar to pan; cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently. Spoon bell pepper mixture into a bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons cheese. Return chicken to pan, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Cover; cook over low heat 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Divide the vegetable mixture evenly between 2 plates, and top each serving with a chicken breast half. Garnish with oregano sprigs, if desired.

SPINACH RISOTTO WITH SHRIMP AND GOAT CHEESE
Posted: 08.31.09

Cooking spray
1  pound  large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1 1/2  cups  chopped onion (about 1 medium)
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  cup  uncooked Arborio or other medium-grain rice
3/4  cup  dry white wine
4  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
Dash of saffron threads
1  (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan; set aside and keep warm.

2. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

3. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in cilantro, saffron, and spinach with the last 1/2 cup broth. Add shrimp and cheese, stirring to combine. Serve immediately.

ASIAN BEEF SALAD WITH CILANTRO, SCALLIONS AND SESAME SEEDS
Posted: 08.24.09

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
2 cups cooked shredded beef
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Salt and pepper

Place sesame seeds in a small skillet and set pan over medium-low heat. Cook 1 to 3 minutes, until just golden brown, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place lettuce in a large bowl (or divide onto individual dishes). Top lettuce with beef, carrots, scallions and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together broth, vinegar and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour mixture over salad, and top with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

STIR-FRIED CHICKEN SALAD
Posted: 08.24.09

1/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2  tablespoons  rice wine vinegar
1  tablespoon  Thai fish sauce
1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
1  tablespoon  bottled chopped garlic
2  teaspoons  sugar
1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
1  tablespoon  peanut oil
4  cups  mixed salad greens
1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil
1/2  cup  thinly sliced red onion
2  tablespoons  finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
Lime wedges (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken to broth mixture, stirring to coat. Let stand 3 minutes.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Add chicken to the pan; cook 4 minutes or until done, stirring frequently. Stir in the reserved marinade. Reduce heat; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat.

Combine greens and basil in a large bowl. Add chicken mixture, tossing to coat. Place 1 1/4 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons onion and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts. Serve immediately. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

SPICY JERK CHICKEN WITH CORN BREAD
Posted: 08.17.09

2  bunches scallions, trimmed
2  tablespoons  paprika
1 1/2  tablespoons  garlic powder
1 1/2  teaspoons  ground allspice
1  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
3/4  teaspoon  cayenne pepper
1  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2  tablespoons  olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
2  tablespoons  molasses
1  4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
1  8.5-ounce box corn muffin mix
1  jalapeno, seeded and minced
Lime wedges (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F.

Thinly slice the dark green tips of 4 scallions; set aside. Place the remaining scallions in a roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, allspice, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, black pepper, oil, lime juice, and molasses. Spread the spice mixture over and under the chicken skin. Place the chicken on top of the scallions. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the corn muffin mix according to the package directions. Stir in the jalapeno and reserved sliced scallions and scrape the batter into a greased 8-inch-square pan. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve the chicken with the roasted scallions, corn bread, and lime wedges, if desired.

4-CHEESE MAC AND CHEESE WITH CHILI CRUST
Posted: 08.17.09

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup diced or grated cheeses (equal parts parmesan reggiano, mezze secco, hard provolone and manchego)
1 pinch black pepper
1 splash truffle oil, to taste
1 pound elbow macaroni, partially cooked
1/4 cup toasted panko bread crumbs mixed with a pinch of red pepper

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the cream to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the mixed cheeses until smooth. Add the pepper and truffle oil. Add the partially cooked pasta letting it finish cooking in the cheese mix, about 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon into ramekins or other serving dish and top with the bread crumbs.

PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI AND TOASTED ALMONDS
Posted: 08.10.09

2  cups  cherry tomatoes, halved
2  tablespoons  minced shallots
1  teaspoon  minced fresh thyme
2  teaspoons  fresh lemon juice
3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  sugar
5  teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1  (9-ounce) package refrigerated linguine
1 1/2  teaspoons  bottled minced garlic
3  cups  chopped zucchini (about 1 pound)
3/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3  tablespoons  chopped fresh mint, divided
1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
3  tablespoons  sliced almonds, toasted

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add 2 teaspoons oil, tossing to coat.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add zucchini; sauté 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Stir in pasta and 1 1/2 tablespoons mint; toss well. Remove from heat; stir in tomato mixture. Place 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture in each of 4 bowls; top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons mint. Sprinkle each serving with 4 teaspoons cheese and 2 teaspoons almonds.

CRAB CAKES WITH REMOULADE
Posted: 08.10.09

Crab cakes:
2  teaspoons  olive oil
1  cup  dry breadcrumbs
1/2  cup  thinly sliced green onions
1/2  pound  lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
1  (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  large egg     

Rémoulade:
1/3  cup  low-fat mayonnaise
2  teaspoons  2% reduced-fat milk
1  teaspoon  capers, chopped
1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1  small garlic clove, minced

To prepare crab cakes, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine breadcrumbs, onions, crabmeat, and pimiento in a medium bowl. Combine mustard, juice, salt, and egg, stirring with a whisk. Add egg mixture to crab mixture, tossing gently to combine. Divide crab mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1-inch-thick patty.

Add crab cakes to skillet; cook 2 minutes. Turn cakes; reduce heat to medium. Cook 3 minutes or until golden brown.

To prepare rémoulade, combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Serve with crab cakes.

HAM AND SPINACH POTATOES
Posted: 08.03.09

4 large russet potatoes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
4 thin slices ham (about 3 ounces), cut into strips
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
4 ounces gruyere or gouda cheese, finely shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the potatoes with a fork; microwave for 15 minutes. Remove and brush with olive oil; transfer to the oven rack and bake until fully tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. Stir in the spinach and ham and cook until the greens wilt and the mixture is about as thick as sour cream, 3 to 4 more minutes. Season with the cayenne and nutmeg and add salt to taste.

Slice the cooked potatoes lengthwise down the middle (but not all the way through); press in on the ends to open the slit. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon oil into each potato; fluff the flesh with a fork and season with salt. Divide the spinach mixture among the potatoes and top with the shredded cheese while still hot.

ORECCHIETTE WITH MIXED GREENS AND GOAT CHEESE
Posted: 08.03.09

1 cup dried orecchiette pasta
2 cups Mediterranean-style mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), chopped
1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper             

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.

In medium bowl, mix the salad greens with the sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and Parmesan. Top with warm pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine and wilt the greens. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, or to taste. Garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired, and serve.

SHRIMP SCAMPI WITH LINGUINE
Posted: 07.27.09

Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, zest grated
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

CHILE-LIME CRAB SALAD WITH TOMATO AND AVOCADO
Posted: 07.27.09

5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon very finely chopped jalapeño
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
1 1/2 Hass avocados, diced ( 1/2 inch)
1/3 cup minced red onion
1 large heirloom tomato, cut into four 1/2-inch-thick slices
Tortilla chips, for serving

   1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the olive oil, vegetable oil, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, honey and garlic. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
2. In a small bowl, toss the crab with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, gently toss the avocado with the red onion and 2 tablespoons of the dressing; season with salt and pepper.
3. Place a tomato slice on each plate and season with salt. Top with the avocado and the crab and garnish with the cilantro. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve with tortilla chips.

Asparagus Pesto with Pasta
Posted: 07.20.09

1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 lb), trimmed of tough ends and halved crosswise
 3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
 2 cloves garlic, peeled
 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
 1 cup pine nuts
 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
  Juice of 1/2 lemon
  1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  8 ounces of dried pasta or 12 ounces fresh -linguini, fettuccini, spaghetti Mix spinach pasta with regular wheat pasta for a medley of colors.

Bring 2 pots of water to a rolling boil, one large for the pasta and one medium sized for the asparagus.

While the water is heating, put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside. You will use 3/4 cup of the pine nuts for the pesto paste and 1/4 cup to mix in whole.

Salt the asparagus water and drop the spears into the pan. Cook for only 2 or 3 minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender. Drain under cool water to stop the cooking. Cut the tips off, and set aside, several of the asparagus (diagonal cut about an inch from the end) to use for garnish.

Add the asparagus, spinach, garlic, Parmesan, and 3/4 cup of the pine nuts to a food processor. Purée and, with the motor running, drizzle in the 1/4 cup of olive oil until a paste forms. If too thick, thin it with a bit of the pasta water. Add the lemon juice and salt, taste and adjust seasoning.

Salt the pasta water well and cook the pasta until just tender. Check the directions on the pasta package. You'll need more time for dried pasta and less for fresh. Drain and toss immediately with 1 cup of the asparagus pesto.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, a dusting of Parmesan, and a light drizzle of olive oil.
Serves 4 to 6.

Chicken, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes with Port Wine
Posted: 07.20.09

4 chicken boneless breast halves (with skin or without)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 pound of small cremini mushrooms
3 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup Port wine
3/4 pound plum tomatoes, cored and quartered, or 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 2 cups)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Drop garlic into a small saucepan of boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, set aside.

Heat butter in a heavy skillet and add chicken pieces. Cook over medium high heat until lightly browned on one side, about 1 minute. Turn and cook about 1 minute on the second side. Add mushrooms and cook, turning chicken occasionally, about 2 minutes.

Add shallots and the garlic cloves. Add Port wine, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken and tomatoes to a warm platter. Cook sauce down a minute or two. Pour onto chicken.

CRAB, CORN AND TOMATO SALAD WITH LEMON-BASIL DRESSING
Posted: 07.13.09

1  tablespoon  grated lemon rind
5  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice, divided
1  tablespoon  extravirgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  honey
1/2  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1  cup  fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1/4  cup  thinly sliced basil leaves
1/4  cup  chopped red bell pepper
2  tablespoons  finely chopped red onion
1  pound  lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
8  (1/4-inch-thick) slices ripe beefsteak tomato
2  cups  cherry tomatoes, halved

Preparation

1. Combine rind, 3 tablespoons juice, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons juice mixture. Add remaining 2 tablespoons juice, corn, and next 4 ingredients (through crab) to remaining juice mixture; toss gently to coat.

2. Arrange 2 tomato slices and 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes on each of 4 plates. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon reserved juice mixture over each serving. Top each serving with 1 cup corn and crab mixture.

GRILLED TUNA WITH BASIL BUTTER AND TOMATO SAUCE
Posted: 07.13.09

Basil Butter:
3/4  cup  fresh basil leaves
2  tablespoons  butter, softened
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1/4  teaspoon  salt
2  garlic cloves, minced

Sauce:
2  teaspoons  olive oil
1/2  cup  finely chopped red onion
2  garlic cloves, minced
3  cups  grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2  cup  dry white wine
3  tablespoons  capers
2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
1/4  teaspoon  sugar
1/4  cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Tuna:
4  (6-ounce) tuna steaks (about 1 inch thick)
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
Cooking spray
4  basil leaves (optional)

Prepare grill or broiler.

To prepare basil butter, combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Set aside.

To prepare sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and 2 garlic cloves; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in wine, capers, vinegar, and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley. Set aside.

To prepare tuna, sprinkle tuna with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place tuna on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with sauce and basil butter. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.

MELON CHICKEN SALAD
Posted: 07.06.09

1/4  cup  rice vinegar
2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
2  tablespoons  chunky peanut butter
1  tablespoon  honey
3/4  teaspoon  dark sesame oil
3  cups  (2 x 1/4-inch) strips honeydew melon
3  cups  (2 x 1/4-inch) strips cantaloupe
2  cups  (2 x 1/4-inch) strips daikon radish
1  cup  (2 x 1/4-inch) strips peeled English cucumber
3  tablespoons  thinly sliced green onions
2  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
2  tablespoons  chopped walnuts, toasted

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add honeydew and next 4 ingredients (through green onions); toss well to coat.

Place 2 cups melon mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1/2 cup chicken. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cilantro over each serving; top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons walnuts. Serve immediately.

CHICKEN PICCATA
Posted: 07.06.09

6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 chicken cutlets (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.

ITALIAN BAKED PASTA AND CHICKEN
Posted: 06.29.09

1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

LEMON-GARLIC SHRIMP KEBABS
Posted: 06.29.09

48  large unpeeled shrimp (about 2 pounds)
1/2  cup  fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1/2  cup  dry white wine
2  tablespoons  bottled minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
2  tablespoons  steak sauce (such as Heinz 57)
2  teaspoons  coarsely ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Preparation

Peel shrimp, leaving tails intact. Combine lemon juice, wine, garlic, steak sauce, and pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal, and shake to blend. Add shrimp; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes, turning bag once.

Prepare grill.

Remove shrimp from bag, discarding marinade. Thread 8 shrimp onto each of 6 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done.

SALMON WITH SOY-MAPLE GLAZE
Posted: 06.22.09

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
Four 8-ounce wild salmon steaks, cut 1 inch thick
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger—peeled, thinly sliced and smashed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 scallions, thinly sliced

 In a large, shallow dish, whisk the soy sauce with the maple syrup and sesame oil. Add the salmon steaks and turn to coat. Press the ginger and garlic onto both sides of the steaks. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the salmon a few times.

Light a charcoal grill. Remove the salmon from the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and boil over high heat until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Strain the glaze into a small bowl.

Oil the grate and grill the salmon over moderately high heat for 6 minutes, rotating the steaks slightly after 2 minutes to make crosshatches, if desired. Turn the steaks and grill for 6 minutes longer. Transfer to plates and spoon the glaze on top. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve.

GRILLED CHICKEN QUESADILLAS
Posted: 06.22.09

1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 1/2  cups  shredded, cooked rotisserie chicken, skin removed
6  ounces  grated Monterey Jack
1/4  cup  sliced pickled jalapeño chilies, chopped
Salt
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 200°F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment. Place beans in a large bowl and use a potato masher or fork to mash them slightly. Add chicken, cheese and jalapeños and stir to combine. Season with salt.

Place 1 tortilla on a work surface and spread a quarter of chicken mixture over half of tortilla. Fold other half of tortilla over to form a half-moon, pressing firmly. Repeat with remaining chicken mixture and tortillas.

Warm a ridged grill pan or a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook 1 quesadilla at a time, turning carefully once, until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer grilled quesadilla to prepared baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. When all quesadillas are grilled, cut each into 4 wedges and serve immediately.

FRESH TOMATO, BASIL AND GARLIC OVER ANGEL HAIR PASTA
Posted: 06-15-09

2 pounds ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 oregano sprig
Pinch chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chiffonade basil, plus whole sprigs for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Cut a small "x" on the bottom of each tomato. In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the skins are easy to peel away. Remove and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Peel the tomatoes and halve horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds, using your fingers to get them all. Roughly chop the peeled and seeded tomatoes. Set aside. (You can also use whole peeled canned tomatoes. Simply drain them, seed, and roughly chop).

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the thyme leaves, oregano sprig, and chili flakes and saute until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes and the sugar and stir well. Lower the heat and cook slowly until the mixture is fairly dry, about 15 minutes.

Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Add the Parmesan and basil and toss well. Place in a large pasta bowl and garnish with Parmesan and basil sprigs.

SPICY CHEDDAR-STUFFED BURGERS
Posted: 06-15-09

1  (7-ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, undrained
2  pounds  lean ground beef
2  teaspoons  steak seasoning
1/2  (10-ounce) package Cheddar cheese, cut into 4 thick (1.25-ounce) slices
4  sesame seed hamburger buns
Toppings: tomato slices, red onion slices, romaine lettuce leaves, yellow mustard, mayonnaise

Process chipotle peppers in a blender until smooth. Measure 4 teaspoons puree, reserving remainder for another use, if desired.

Combine 4 teaspoons puree, ground beef, and steak seasoning in a large bowl until blended. (Do not overwork meat mixture.) Shape mixture into 8 (4-inch) patties; place 1 cheese slice on each of 4 patties. Top with remaining 4 patties, pressing edges to seal. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 7 to 8 minutes on each side or until beef is no longer pink. Serve burgers on buns with desired toppings.

GUACAMOLE SALAD
Posted: 06-08-09

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2-inch diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup small diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you're ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

PORK CHOPS WITH FENNEL AND CAPER SAUCE
Posted: 06-08-09

1/4 cup olive oil
4 boneless (2-inch-thick) pork chops (about 2 pounds total)
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning meat
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning meat
2 fennel bulbs with fronds, thinly sliced (about 8 ounces or 2 cups)
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/3 cup
1/2 cup white wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons capers

In a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork to the pan and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes each side. Remove the pork from the pan, cover loosely with foil, and set aside.

Add the fennel, shallots, and 1/3 cup parsley to the pan and cook over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the pork back into the pan, nestling the chops between the fennel and tomatoes so they are mostly submerged in the pan juices. Cook until the fennel is tender and the pork is done, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Place the pork on a serving dish. To finish the sauce, add the lemon zest, remaining 1/3 cup parsley, capers, and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon over the pork chops and serve immediately.

Wild Mushroom-and-Red Wine Risotto
Posted: 06-02-09

5 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Keep warm.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 20 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meawhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and shallot, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms into the risotto and stir in the cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

LEMON PASTA WITH CHICKEN
Posted: 06-02-09

1 pound dried penne
2 chicken cutlets, cut into fingers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain well.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large grill pan over medium high and add chicken. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and slice.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta and turn heat off. Mix all together.

Remove pasta to a large bowl. Add chicken to the warm pasta and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in chopped parsley. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix. Before serving top with Parmesan.

BACON AND TOMATO PASTA
Posted: 05-25-09

2 tablespoons kosher salt
16 ounces spaghetti pasta
1 pound thick-cut bacon or pancetta, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 cups Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red wine
4 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large stock pot, boil 3 quarts of water, when boiling add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add bacon and saute until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate and remove 3/4 of the bacon fat from the pan. Add extra-virgin olive oil, onions, and red chili flakes. Cook until onions are translucent, add garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes, then deglaze with wine.

Drain pasta and add to the tomato mixture pan. Add basil and bacon. Toss with Parmesan, and add salt and pepper, to taste.

PAN-GRILLED TOMATO AND FETA SALAD WITH LEMON-CAPER DRESSING
Posted: 05-25-09

LEMON-CAPER DRESSING:
5  tablespoons  olive oil
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  heaping tablespoon capers, rinsed
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley

SALAD:
3/4  pound  green beans, trimmed
1  4-ounce piece of Feta cheese (not crumbled)
3  large slicing tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1  tablespoon  fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1  teaspoon  kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1  bunch arugula, or 1 bag mixed salad greens
1/4  cup  dry bread crumbs
2  teaspoons  olive oil

To make the dressing, combine the oil and lemon juice in a small jar and shake vigorously. Mix in the capers and parsley; set aside.

Heat a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Drop in the green beans and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain, then rinse immediately with cold water. Cut the Feta into 4 slices and set aside to drain on paper towels. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the tomato slices with the thyme, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Place the tomato slices in the skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Flip and brown the other side. Arrange the arugula on 4 salad plates. Place a few tomato slices on each plate along with some of the green beans. Coat the Feta in the bread crumbs. Add the oil to the skillet and brown the cheese on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add to the salad plates. Drizzle the dressing over the salads.

PASTA WITH SUNDRIED TOMATOES
Posted: 05-18-09

1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
Kosher salt
Olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH MUSTARD SAUCE
Posted: 05-18-09

2  cups  uncooked medium egg noodles
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices
1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  cup  dry white wine
3  tablespoons  whole-grain Dijon mustard
2  tablespoons  water
2  teaspoons  cornstarch

Preparation

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

While the noodles cook, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pork with pepper and salt. Place pork in pan; cook 5 minutes, turning once.

Combine the wine and mustard; pour into pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into pan; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute or until thick. Serve pork with sauce and noodles.

CHILI-CHEESE-RICE BURRITOS
Posted: 05-11-09

Cooking spray
1/2  cup  shredded zucchini
1/2  cup  thinly sliced green onions
1  cup  hot cooked rice
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
1  tablespoon  canned chopped green chiles
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
1/4  cup  fat-free sour cream
2  (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/2  cup  shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2  cup  diced tomato
2  tablespoons  bottled salsa

Preparation

Place a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add zucchini and onions; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice and the next 4 ingredients (rice through black pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon half of rice mixture down center of each tortilla. Top each with half of lettuce and tomato; roll up. Serve with salsa.

AVOCADO, MELON AND STRAWBERRY SALAD
Posted: 05-11-09

1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt
4 cups baby spinach
1 small avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 16 slices
16 thin slices cantaloupe, rind removed
1 1/2 cups hulled strawberries, sliced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Whisk honey, vinegar, mint, pepper and salt in a small bowl.

Divide spinach among 4 salad plates. Arrange alternating slices of avocado and cantaloupe in a fan on top of the spinach. Top each salad with strawberries, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

FUSILLI WITH SPICY PESTO
Posted: 05-04-09

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 (2-inch long) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped* see Cook's Note
2 cups grated (4 ounces) Asiago cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces baby spinach
3 ounces arugula
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound fusilli pasta
4 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved

For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the cooked pasta and pesto in a large serving bowl. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Asiago cheese shavings and serve.

BLACK AND BLUE BURGERS
Posted: 05-04-09

4 ounces blue cheese
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef or ground chuck

In a medium bowl, mash together blue cheese and butter. Salt and pepper mixture, to taste. Place mixture on plastic wrap and roll up to form a cylinder. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. After cheese mixture has firmed up, divide ground beef into 4 equal portions and make an indention in the center of each patty. Slice blue cheese mixture into 4 equal parts and place in indentation in patties. Mold ground beef around the cheese mixture to cover. Cook on hot grill or in skillet to desired doneness.

ROMAN CHICKEN
Posted: 04-27-09

4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the capers andparsley, stir to combine and serve.

COUSCOUS WITH PARMESAN AND PEAS
Posted: 04-20-09

1 (14 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup whole-wheat couscous
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, water and oil in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover and let plump for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook peas on the stovetop or in the microwave according to package directions.

Add the peas, dill, lemon zest, salt and pepper to the couscous; mix gently and fluff with a fork. Serve hot, sprinkled with cheese.

SPICE RUBBED ROAST SALMON WITH LEMON-GARLIC SPINACH
Posted: 04-20-09

SPICE RUBBED ROAST SALMON WITH LEMON-GARLIC SPINACH

Salmon:
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander
1/4  teaspoon  paprika
1/8  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1  (2 1/4-pound) skinless salmon fillet
2  cups  thinly sliced onion
Cooking spray

Spinach:
1  teaspoon  olive oil
2  garlic cloves, minced
2  (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
1  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice

Remaining ingredients:
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro
Lemon wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare salmon, combine first 6 ingredients; rub spice mixture evenly over fish. Place onion in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place fish on top of onion; bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

To prepare spinach, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Add half of spinach; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add remaining spinach; cook 4 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently. Sprinkle spinach mixture with rind and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in juice; remove from heat.

Place salmon on a platter. Arrange onions and spinach evenly around salmon. Sprinkle salmon with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA
Posted: 04-13-09

1  (10-ounce) Italian cheese-flavored thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
3/4  cup  tomato chutney
2  cups  chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
2/3  cup  diced plum tomato
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
1/3  cup  chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place crust on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 3 minutes. Remove from oven; spread chutney over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Top chutney with chicken. Sprinkle diced tomato, cheese, and green onions evenly over chicken. Bake at 450° for 9 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut pizza into 6 wedges.

Note: If you can't find tomato chutney, make your own. Combine 2 cups diced plum tomato, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon Jamaicañ jerk seasoning, and 1 minced garlic clove in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes or untril thickened.

CHICKEN PICATTA WITH PASTA AND MUSHROOMS
Posted: 04-13-09

6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 chicken cutlets (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.

SPICY BEEF STIR FRY
Posted: 04-06-09

1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons rice wine, dry sherry or white vermouth
1 pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced against the grain into strips
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 to 4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
5 to 7 dried red chiles, halved
1 small onion, thinly sliced
8 heads baby bok choy, halved
Pinch of sugar
Cooked rice, for serving

Whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons rice wine in a medium bowl; add the beef, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine, the oyster sauce and sesame oil in a large bowl; set the bowl near the stove.

Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot, about 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons peanut oil, then the ginger, garlic and chiles; stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef and cook, stirring or shaking the skillet occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beef with a slotted spoon to the sauce mixture and toss.

If the pan is dry, add 1 tablespoon peanut oil, then add the onion and stir-fry until just soft, about 2 minutes. Add the bok choy and sugar; stir-fry until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the beef and any juices to the pan and stir to combine. Serve over the rice.

CHICKEN ROLLATINI WITH PASTA
Posted: 04-06-09

Cooking spray
2 pounds ditalini pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
8 ounces thinly sliced ham
1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cook ditalini according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.

Arrange chicken breasts on a flat surface. Top each piece of chicken with ham. Mix together spinach and goat cheese and spread over ham. Starting from the shorter end, roll up chicken and secure with wooden picks. Brush mustard all over chicken rolls and then roll in bread crumbs.

Heat remaining oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken rolls and cook until golden brown on all sides.

Transfer chicken to oven and bake 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken with half of the ditalini. Reserve extra ditalini for another dish.

Sliced Lemon-Pistachio Chicken Over Greens
Posted: 03-30-09

3/4  cup  cornflakes
2  tablespoons  pistachios, toasted
1  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon  black pepper, divided
4  (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1  tablespoon  honey
Cooking spray
6  cups  gourmet salad greens
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1  teaspoon  olive oil
Lemon wedges (optional)

Combine cornflakes, pistachios, rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. Place crumb mixture in a shallow dish.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Brush the chicken with honey. Dredge the chicken in crumb mixture.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken, and sauté 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch strips; set aside.

Place salad greens in a large bowl. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, juice, and oil, and drizzle over salad greens, tossing gently to coat.

Divide the salad greens and chicken evenly among 4 plates. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Pasta Puttanesca
Posted: 03-30-09

1 pound uncooked rotelle pasta (or any spiral shape)
Puttanesca Sauce:*
2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup pitted Greek (kalamata) olives, halved
3 tablespoons drained capers
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine, optiona)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Directions

[This amount of sauce makes enough for 3 pasta meals; the extra sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.]

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovy paste, salt, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Add the wine and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Pour 2 cups of mixture over pasta and toss to combine. Top with Parmesan. Refrigerate or freeze remaining sauce until ready to use.

ORECCHIETTE WITH MIXED GREENS
Posted: 03-23-09

1 cup dried orecchiette pasta
2 cups Mediterranean-style mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), chopped
1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.

In medium bowl, mix the salad greens with the sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and Parmesan. Top with warm pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine and wilt the greens. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, or to taste. Garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired, and serve.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce Roasted Zucchini with Oregano and Lemon
Posted: 03-23-09

Cooking spray
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 Roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place on prepared baking sheet. Arrange tomatoes on second baking sheet. Arrange zucchini next to tomatoes, flesh side up. Season tomatoes and zucchini with salt and pepper. Season zucchini with lemon juice, lemon zest and oregano. Place everything in the oven and roast 30 minutes.

In a blender, combine 6 roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, and chili powder. Process until smooth. Serve 4 chicken breast halves with this meal, smothered in roasted tomato sauce. Serve half of the zucchini and reserve the extra chicken, tomatoes and zucchini for other meals.

GARLIC MASHED POTATOES
Posted: 03-16-09

1 1/4 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup Milk
6 large Cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup Whipping cream
1/4 cup Butter (1/2 stick) – room temperature

Place potatoes in medium saucepan.  Add enough water to cover potatoes. Add milk and garlic.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.

Drain potatoes and garlic, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.  Return potatoes and garlic to same saucepan.  Add cream and butter and mash until smooth.  Thin with reserved liquid, if desired.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

PASTA PRIMAVERA
Posted: 03-16-09

8 ounces penne or rotelle, reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup fresh or frozen petits pois
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups seeded and diced plum tomatoes, including juices
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons each minced fresh parsley and basil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheeseSalt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook until a little less than al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. In the same pot, combine the chicken stock and cooking liquid and simmer to reduce. In another large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the broccoli, carrots, yellow squash, peas and then plunge them in ice water to refresh. In a skillet, heat oil and add the tomatoes including their liquid and garlic and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and basil. Add the cream to the simmering chicken stock. Then add the pasta to the simmering chicken stock mixture and toss to combine. Add the blanched vegetables and toss gently until just heated through. Transfer to a serving dish and top with tomato sauce, freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

LEMON-ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
Posted: 03-09-09

4  boned, skinned chicken breast halves (about 8 oz. each), rinsed, dried, and pounded to an even thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch
1/2  teaspoon  each salt and pepper
2  tablespoons  butter
1  can (14 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2  tablespoons  dry sherry
2  tablespoons  grated lemon peel
2  teaspoons  lemon juice
1/2  cup  whipping cream
1/2  cup  grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add chicken in batches and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and add artichoke hearts.

Add sherry, lemon peel, and lemon juice to remaining butter in frying pan; stir over medium heat until well blended and hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and stir. Remove from heat and pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake until sauce is bubbling and golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

FILET MIGNON OVER ARUGULA SALAD
Posted: 03-09-09

Cooking spray
4  (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed
1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper, divided
2  teaspoons  butter
1/2  cup  prechopped red onion
1  (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1  (5-ounce) bag baby arugula

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle beef with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove beef from pan; keep warm.

Melt butter in pan; coat pan with cooking spray. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, red onion, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid. Combine juice and arugula in a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture to arugula mixture; toss gently to combine. Arrange 1 1/2 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 steak.

SKILLET CHICKEN CORDON BLEU
Posted: 03-03-09

1/2  cup  Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1  teaspoon  pepper
1/2  teaspoon  salt
8  chicken tenders (about 1 lb.)
1  tablespoon  butter
1  tablespoon  olive oil
8  Canadian bacon slices, cut into thin strips
4  Swiss cheese slices, halved

1. Combine breadcrumbs, pepper, and salt in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Rinse chicken tenders, and add to freezer bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat.

2. Melt butter with oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 3 1/2 to 4 minutes on each side or until done. Arrange Canadian bacon strips over chicken in skillet, and top each with 1 cheese slice. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

PRALINE-GLAZED SALMON
Posted: 03-03-09

12  ounces  boned, skinned salmon fillet, cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper
1/4  cup  chopped pecans
3  tablespoons  packed dark brown sugar
2  tablespoons  butter, melted
1  teaspoon  lemon juice

Preparation

1. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix pecans, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Place salmon on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from heat for 6 minutes. With a wide spatula, turn fish over. Spoon pecan mixture evenly over fish and broil again, checking frequently to be sure nuts do not scorch, until fish is opaque but still moist- looking in the center of the thickest part (cut to test), 1 to 2 minutes longer. With a wide spatula, transfer fish to serving plate.

Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish
Posted: 02-23-09

2  teaspoons  canola oil
1  teaspoon  Cajun seasoning
1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper
4  (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1 1/2  cups  chopped fresh pineapple chunks
1/3  cup  chopped onion
1/3  cup  chopped plum tomato
2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh cilantro
1  small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
4  lime wedges

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle fish evenly with spice mixture. Add fish to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Combine pineapple and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a large bowl, stirring gently. Serve pineapple mixture with fish. Garnish with lime wedges.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Posted: 02-23-09

Cooking spray
1  cup  chopped onion
2  garlic cloves, minced
3  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
8  ounces  light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

BALSAMIC-GLAZED FILET MIGNON
Posted: 02-16-09

4  (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
2  teaspoons  bottled minced garlic
1/8  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
3  tablespoons  dry sherry
2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
teaspoons  honey

Sprinkle both sides of steaks evenly with salt and black pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.

Add garlic and red pepper to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add sherry to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and cook 1 minute. Serve with steaks.

PENNE WITH TOMATOES, BASIL AND FETA CHEESE
Posted: 02-16-09

12  ounces  dried penne pasta
1 1/2  pounds  ripe tomatoes
1  cup  chopped or slivered fresh basil leaves
3/4  cup  crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.)
2  cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3  tablespoons  olive oil
Salt and pepper      

1. In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, rinse, core, seed, and chop tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, basil, 1/2 cup feta, garlic, and olive oil. Add hot cooked pasta and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup feta.

SHRIMP FRIED RICE
Posted: 02-10-09

3  (3 1/2-ounce) bags boil-in-bag long-grain rice
1  (10-ounce) package frozen green peas
Cooking spray
2  large eggs, lightly beaten
1  tablespoon  canola oil
1  cup  chopped green onions
1  tablespoon  bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
12  ounces  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
1  teaspoon  dark sesame oil
1/4  teaspoon  salt
Dash of crushed red pepper

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Remove rice from bags, and return to pan. Add peas to the pan, stirring well. Cover and keep warm.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add eggs to pan; cook 1 minute or until set. Remove eggs from pan; coarsely chop. Return pan to heat; add canola oil to pan. Add onions and ginger to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Add shrimp mixture and eggs to rice mixture; stir well. Combine vinegar and the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Drizzle vinegar mixture over rice mixture; stir well.

BROWN BUTTER GNOCCHI WITH SPINACH AND PINE NUTS
Posted: 02-10-09

1  (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
2  tablespoons  butter
2  tablespoons  pine nuts
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, torn
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts to pan; cook 3 minutes or until butter and nuts are lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Add gnocchi and spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

CHEESE TORTELLINI WITH WALNUT PESTO
Posted: 02-02-09

1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley with thick stems removed
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1 tablespoon butter

In a food processor or blender, pulse the walnuts, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, oil, salt, and pepper to a coarse puree.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the tortellini until just done, about 4 minutes for fresh and 12 minutes for frozen. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the tortellini. Toss with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the walnut pesto, and the butter. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and pass more at the table.

GRILLED CHICKEN AND WATERCRESS SALAD WITH BACON
Posted: 02-02-09

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup diced whole wheat bread (1/2-inch)
1 1/2 ounces Canadian bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt
Two 6-ounce bunches of watercress, thick stems discarded
1/4 cup walnut pieces
        
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large dish, combine the garlic with the rosemary, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Spread the diced bread on a pie plate and bake for 5 minutes. In a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add the Canadian bacon and raisins and cook over moderately high heat until the bacon is browned, 1 minute. Transfer to a small plate. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar to the skillet, then scrape it onto the plate.

In a small bowl, mix the mustard with the lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
Season the chicken with salt and grill over a hot fire until lightly charred and just cooked, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board.

In a large bowl, combine the watercress, walnuts, croutons, Canadian bacon and raisins. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Cut each breast into 3 crosswise pieces on the bias. Mound the salad on plates, top with the chicken and serve.

Dave's Chicken Soup
Posted: 01-26-09

tablespoon  olive oil
parsnip, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
celery ribs and leaves, chopped
large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
garlic clove, minced
teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
8  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
skinned bone-in chicken breast halves (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
tablespoons  fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large pot. Add parsnip and next 6 ingredients, and sauté about 5 minutes. Add broth and chicken, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Remove chicken from bone, and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to pot, add lemon juice, and heat through.

Peppercorn Pork Medallions with Cranberry Sauce
Posted: 01-26-09

1  pound  pork tenderloin
1  to 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1  teaspoon  lemon pepper
1  teaspoon  vegetable oil          
3  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
2  tablespoons  water
1  cup  Spirited Cranberry-Apricot Sauce
2  teaspoons  butter or stick margarine
        
Trim fat from pork; cut crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten each piece to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of pork with peppers.

Heat oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Add vinegar and water to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in the Spirited Cranberry-Apricot Sauce and butter, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve sauce with pork.

Spirited Cranberry-Apricot Sauce

1/2  cup  thinly sliced dried apricots (about 3 ounces)
1/4  cup  sherry or orange juice
3/4  cup  water
2/3  cup  sugar
1/4  cup  honey
1  (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries

Preparation

Combine apricots and sherry in a small bowl; cover and let stand 8 hours.

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Add apricot mixture, honey, and cranberries. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until slightly thick. Spoon mixture into a bowl; cover and chill.

Golden Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives
Posted: 01-20-09

1 cup long-grain rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large yellow or other kind of onion, thinly sliced
1 cup large pimiento-stuffed olives, quartered
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, 5 minutes. Add the olives, garlic, and tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Return the chicken to the skillet, add the wine, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Divide the chicken among individual plates and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve with the rice.

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Hazelnuts and Asparagus
Posted: 01-20-09

12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and roughly chopped (or substitute pine nuts)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small wedge (about 2 ounces) Parmesan

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, with a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus lengthwise into long ribbons. Add the asparagus to the pasta water during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain the spaghetti and asparagus and return them to the pot. Add the oil and hazelnuts; toss. Season with the salt and pepper; toss again. Divide the spaghetti among individual plates. With the peeler, shave the Parmesan over the top.

Tip: To toast hazelnuts, place them on a baking sheet in a 350° oven until they're barely browned and fragrant, 7 to 12 minutes. To remove the skins, transfer the hot nuts to a large kitchen towel, fold one end over the nuts, and rub briskly.

White Turkey Chili
Posted: 01-12-09
1 tablespoon stick margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 15 ounces)
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, drained and divided
2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1  cup  1% low-fat milk
1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro

Melt the margarine in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (onion through garlic), and sauté 5 minutes. Add turkey, 1 1/2 cups beans, broth, and next 6 ingredients (broth through black pepper), and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Mash remaining beans. Add mashed beans and milk to the turkey mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently. Stir in chopped cilantro.

Salmon with Sweet Chile Sauce
Posted: 01-12-09
4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
1  teaspoon  ground coriander
1/2  teaspoon  salt
Cooking spray
2  tablespoons  honey
1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
2  teaspoons  low-sodium soy sauce
1/2  to 1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
4  teaspoons  thinly sliced green onions

1. Sprinkle fish evenly with coriander and salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

2. Combine honey, juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha; drizzle over fish. Sprinkle with green onions.

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