Monday, January 25, 2010

Capellini - Tomatoes, olives, garlic and spinach

A good pasta dish is fairly easy to make.  If you start with fresh ingredients, good olive oil and a little garlic you really can't go wrong.  Also go with the 'less is more' theory when it comes to the number, and quantity, of ingredients that you use. That way you be able to appreciate the taste of each ingredient while enjoying the wonderful flavor of the pasta, too.

Capellini with tomatoes, olives, garlic and spinach

Bring water to boil in a heavy pan that is large enough to cook 1/2 lb of capellini. Here's my favorite:

Chop 6-8 pitted kalamata olives, 8-10 cherry tomatoes (sliced lengthwise), 2 cloves of garlic.  Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic, cooking until it starts to turn golden brown:

Add the olives and cherry tomatoes and cook over high heat until tomatoes start to get soft.  Remove from the stove, add a tsp of balsamic vinegar and let it sit until the pasta water comes to a boil.

Return the tomatoes to the heat and add a handful of baby spinach, salt and pepper.

Cook just until the spinach wilts.  Add the pasta directly from the water it's cooking in to the saute pan.  Add a few spoonfuls of the pasta water, too.

Turn until combined:

Serve with Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  Enjoy!

If you have any questions about any of our recipes, please post your question in the comments box, or using the comments link, below.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Brown Rice One Bowl Wonder

Tonight was one of those nights when I didn't have a lot of time to prepare dinner.  I threw a batch of brown rice and chick peas into the pressure cooker, then opened the refrigerator and looked at what I had to work with for this evening's meal.  The half a bag of broccoli slaw was a start.  Here's what I prepared. 

Brown rice and chick peas:
2 cups brown rice (organic short grain)
1 cup raw chick peas (organic)
5 cups of water
1 tsp of salt

Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker.  (I like the Aeternum) On medium heat bring the pressure cooker up just until the steam starts coming out of the valve, then the turn heat down as low as possible.  Cook for 50 minutes.  This is the most nutritious way to prepare brown rice, and the addition of the chick peas is a great base for some very quick, easy and healthful meals.

Broccoli Slaw
1 bag broccoli slaw (salad section of the supermarket)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp of mirin
1 tsp Victoria Taylor's Toasted Sesame Ginger Seasoning
Salt & pepper
Toasted sunflower seeds

Place broccoli slaw in a bowl and add vinegar, tamari, mirin, sesame ginger seasoning and olive oil.  Place peas in a bowl of water and microwave for 3 minutes.  Drain peas and add to the broccoli slaw.  Toss well and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add a little more vinegar, if needed.
Place sunflowers in a saute pan and toast them over medium heat.  Stirring to make sure they toast evenly.

Open pressure cooker (after it's cooled for about 15 minutes) and mix the rice and chick peas.
 Place a serving of the brown rice and chick peas into a bowl and top with the broccoli slaw.  Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds.

Simple, easy and delicious. Enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sauteed Broccolini

We love green veggies and broccolini has replaced regular broccoli in our house.  My favorite preparation is a simple saute with olive oil and fresh garlic.  I cook it slowly so the broccolini is infused with the flavor of the olive oil and garlic. 

Fresh broccolini - one bunch
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Wash and trim the ends of the broccolini.  Cut stalks into thirds. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet.  Add the garlic and cook until the garlic just begins to brown.

Add the broccolini and saute over medium heat until tender.  Turning frequently so it cooks evenly.

Add salt and pepper to taste. It's perfect with chicken cutlets and roasted cauliflower.

If you have any questions about any of our recipes, please post your question in the comments box, or using the comments link, below.

Homemade Chicken Cutlets

Cutlets are a favorite in my house.  They are easy to make and accompanied with roasted cauliflower and sauteed broccolini you'll have a wonderful meal.  So what makes for a delicious cutlet?  Good quality free-range chicken breasts and the correct cooking time...and a few other ingredients which I've listed below.

Chicken Cutlets
3 Boneless breasts of chicken, trimmed and cut in half (for my local followers, Stop and Shop carries Nature's Promise split breasts in a bag which are all trimmed)
1 egg
1 cup of plain bread crumbs
Fresh parsley
2 tbsp Pecorino Romano Cheese
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Trim and cut chicken breast in half. Pound breasts with a mallet until they are about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick.

Place egg in shallow bowl and beat with a little water. Add chopped parsley.  Place breadcrumbs in another bowl, add the cheese and a little salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat about a tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Begin by dipping the cutlet (both sides) into the egg and then the breadcrumbs.

When the oil is hot, place the cutlet in the pan and cook over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes on each side.


Place cutlets on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.


Serve with roasted cauliflower and sauteed broccolini.  Enjoy!


If you have any questions about any of our recipes, please submit them in the comments box, or using the comments link below.

Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe was given to me by a very dear friend who enjoys cooking as much as I do.  We actually became friends over a Bon Appetit magazine.  She was reading it, and I mentioned that I had made the cake on the cover.  That was 29 years ago and our friendship is still going strong.  This simple, yet delicious, recipe for cauliflower is so easy and always a big hit!

Head of cauliflower (organic, if possible)
Olive oil
One fresh lemon
Salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp of  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a ceramic baking dish.  Coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cut lemon in half and squeeze on the cauliflower.  Then place the lemons in the baking pan.

Baked in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally.  Bake until golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste.  Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.  It's great with chicken cutlets. Enjoy!

If you have any questions about any of our recipes, please post your question in the comments box, or using the comments link, below.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vegetarian Black Bean Dip

This quick and easy dip is just one of the many things you can do with the Vegetarian Black Bean Chili I posted last week.  I had a little left over, so I put this together with ingredients I had on hand.

Vegetarian Black Bean Dip:
1 pint of hummus (there are many very good brands and flavors in the supermarket)
1/2 jar Green Mountain Gringo Salsa (available in most grocery stores in a mild or hot version)
1 cup vegetarian black bean chili

In a shallow serving dish or bowl, layer the hummus, then the black bean chili, and top with salsa.  Thinly slice scallions and sprinkle on top.  You can add some hot sauce, if you're so inclined.  Serve with corn chips. I like to use both regular and black bean corn chips. Enjoy!

If you have any questions about any of the recipes, please post your question in the comments box, or link, below.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cape Cod Cranberry Sauce

I started this tradition several years ago with my family and a few close friends. Every Thanksgiving I make the sauce and distribute it to a few adoring fans. One friend carried it with her on a trip to Paris for the Thanksgiving dinner she prepared while on vacation. A dear friend in Connecticut tells me that it's just not Thanksgiving without the sauce. My hairdresser in NYC has made it a special part of her holiday meal. I love doing it because it brings me a little bit closer to people that I don't see nearly as often as I would like to.

While you can make just enough for the holiday by cutting the recipe in half, I like to make a larger batch and process it in Mason jars so we can enjoy it throughout the winter. It's a great accompaniment to chicken and pork. Recently, I tried it on a piece of toast with peanut butter and it was pretty good, so I'm sure not a drop will go to waste. 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
48oz cranberries (4 - 12oz bags)
2 cups sugar (use 1 cup if you like a more tart sauce)
3 cups orange juice
3 oranges peeled and cut into small pieces
Rind of one orange (diced)
3 - 1 Qt ball jars or 6 pint jars with lids and bands

Wash the cranberries and remove any stems or small leaves.

Place in a heavy stockpot.  Add sugar, orange juice, oranges and chopped orange rind.

Bring to a boil and let simmer at a slow boil until the cranberries are very soft.  Some will pop.

Pour into prepared ball jars following directions included with the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top of the jar. (Photo below was taken by Ally Iseman)

Place prepared jars into the water bath and fill until the jar lids are covered with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool.  Tighten the bands on the jars.  Cranberry sauce may be stored in a cool place for 10-12 months.  They make a wonderful gift.  Just wrap them in cello and tie with a ribbon.

Waiting for pick-up.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Roast Chicken Breast in the Greek Style

My friend, Maria, who came from Greece over 30 years ago, shared this marinade with me.  She was using it with lamb, however, I've found it works very well with chicken, too.  Maria also introduced me to the wonders of Greek olive oil.  Her family lives near Kalamata and produces olive oil from their family trees.  While this olive oil is the best I have ever tasted, it doesn't come my way very often, so I've found a good substitute. Ariston Olive Oil can be purchased at Pain D'Avignon bakery in Hyannis.  They offer a refill program, and while you're there you can purchase some of the best bread on Cape Cod.

Roast Chicken Breast in the Greek Style
4 Chicken breasts, split with the bone in (free range, is preferred)
Fresh rosemary - remove leaves from one long stalk
Fresh oregano - about 2 tbsp chopped
4 cloves of garlic
2 lemons
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place chicken breasts in a baking dish.  Add about 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, sliced garlic, rosemary, oregano, and juice of 2 lemons.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.  Allow to marinate for 6 hours.  Turning once an hour.

Bake chicken, covered with foil, for 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Then place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown.   I served my chicken with mashed sweet potato (I just baked them in foil, peeled them, and mashed them) and sauteed peas.

Sauteed peas:
1/2 white onion - diced
1 bag organic frozen peas
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp celery salt
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place a tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan and cook the onions until soft. Add the peas and a little more olive oil, if needed.  Saute on medium heat until the peas start to turn golden brown.  Use a rubber spatula to turn them. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oatmeal - Cape Cod Style

I love eating oatmeal for breakfast on a cold winter morning. I prefer rolled oats, over the quick cooking varieties, and I purchase an organic brand at the local Stop and Shop.  You'll find it in the healthy food section right next to the produce.  Here's my punched up Cape Cod version.

2 cups of water
1.5 cups rolled oats (organic, if possible)
Pinch of salt

Slivered almonds
Dried cranberries (soak in hot water for 5 minutes to plump)
Slice banana
Maple syrup

Bring water to a boil and add salt.  Stir in oatmeal and let it cook, uncovered at a slow boil, for about 6-8 minutes or until most of the water is cooked off.  Cover and simmer 2-3 more minutes then turn off the heat.  Keep covered until you're ready to serve. Place almonds on a baking sheet, or cast iron griddle, and bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes.

Place oatmeal in a bowl and garnish with dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and sliced banana.  Serve with milk, soy milk or coconut milk, and maple syrup.  A nice healthful breakfast that warms the soul! Serves 3 -4.

What's your favorite breakfast?

Yesterday's egg salad becomes today's lunch

Yes, yesterday's recipe for egg salad is being served up for lunch today!

Tossed  Salad:
Organic mixed mesclun greens (or what ever greens you like)
Sliced beets (cut into strips)
Organic cherry tomatoes (sliced in half lengthwise)
Peas (frozen organic that I nuke in water for about 2 minutes, then drain)
Baby Carrots (sliced)
Kalamata olives (pitted and sliced)
Pecorino Romano cheese (a healthy sprinkle)
Chopped fresh basil (optional)

Prepare your salad ingredients and then toss with extra virgin olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and a dash of red wine vinegar.  Salt and pepper, to taste. Always go light on the vinegar, as you can easily add more.  A good salad should not be overdressed.  If you have a lot of excess oil and vinegar in the bottom of your salad bowl, then you've overdone it.  So start out light and taste as you go along.  Transfer the tossed salad to a serving bowl and top with a scoop of egg salad. Enjoy!

If you have any questions about any of the recipes please use the comments box, or link, below to submit your question.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Perfect Egg Salad

Years ago my sister shared the British method for cooking the 'perfect' hard boiled egg.  The result is a tender white with a bright yellow yolk. You'll never see that green edge on the yolk that commonly occurs from overcooking the eggs.  It hasn't failed me yet, so I've put together an egg salad recipe using this foolproof cooking method.

Egg Salad
12 eggs (organic are best)
2 stalks of celery
1/4 white onion
1/3 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp celery salt
2 tsp curry powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place 12 eggs in a pan and fill with water covering the eggs by a few inches  (Brits keep their eggs at room temperature, but cold eggs work just fine)
Bring the pan to a boil and then turn off the heat and place a cover on the pan.  Let stand for 18 minutes.  Bring pan to sink and drain most of the water then add ice to cool.
Chop celery, that has been peeled and trimmed, to a dice.  Chop white onion to a fine dice.  Set aside.  Peel your eggs and chop them in a bowl using a pastry chopping tool, or you can use one of those hand choppers.   Add the diced celery and onion.
Mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, celery salt, and curry powder (if desired). Salt and pepper, to taste. Serve on a toasted baguette or use for finger sandwiches.  Add a scoop to a tossed salad.
A perfectly cooked egg makes all the difference when making egg salad. Enjoy!
If you have any questions about this recipe, or any others on this blog, please use the comment box, or link, below to submit your question.