Sauté sofrito – onions, garlic and seasonings – in 2 T olive oil
over medium high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to
prevent the garlic from burning. Add sugar and salt and sauté briefly.
Deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar scraping up browned bits from
bottom of pot. Add chopped tomatoes and their accumulated juices. Simmer to
soften tomatoes and reduce mixture slightly.
Lightly mash tomatoes before adding rinsed and drained beans and chicken
stock. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
While soup simmers, prepare banana-pineapple garnish. In a bowl,
gently combine all ingredients. Set
aside to allow flavors to blend before using.
Using an immersion blender, lightly puree the soup. You are after
a slightly thickened broth with some whole beans. (Alternatively, you can puree
the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.) Season soup with a little
more vinegar and salt if needed.
To serve, fill shallow soup bowl with soup and top with a generous
spoonful of banana-pineapple relish.
honeydew melon, cut into ¼” cubes (you may also substitute cantaloupe or
1 T fresh
mint or basil, chopped
2 t sherry
2 t honey
2 oz. thin
sliced prosciutto, torn into bite size pieces
2 oz. fresh
mozzarella, cut into ¼” cubes
½ ea. high
quality baguette, sliced into ¼” thick slices.
crostini: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange sliced baguette on rimmed baking sheets and brush with olive oil or spray
lightly with olive oil pan spray.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake 12-15 minute or until crostini are browned and crispy. Remove from oven and cool slightly before
proceeding with recipe. Alternately,
grill baguette slices on the grill until lightly charred.
topping: Combine honeydew, mint (or
basil) honey, sherry vinegar and cubed mozzarella in a medium bowl. Let flavors combine for 5 minutes. Add torn prosciutto and place on top of
2 C Blackberries
2 T warm
Juice of 2 limes
2 ¼ C
Bourbon (you may substitute Vodka or Rum if you prefer)
2 C club
In a 1-quart covered container, combine blackberries, granulated sugar, water, lime juice, and mint leaves. Using a spoon, crush berries lightly to release juice. Place lid on container and shake vigorously to combine ingredients. Add bourbon if using and shake again. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, Strain
mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a glass pitcher, being sure to press out
all the liquid with the back of a spoon. Add club soda. Stir in ice
to fill pitcher. Garnish each drink with additional mint sprigs.
*Note: if you prefer a mocktail, omit the bourbon and add 4 ¼ C club
QUICK PARTY BITES:
Spread thin slices of baguette with extra virgin olive oil and pesto.
Top with slivers of sundried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Broil briefly until cheese melts.
Top whole grain bread with a mild creamy cheese (such as goat cheese)
and garnish with sliced kiwi and berries.
1 ea. anchovy filets or 1 t anchovy paste (or to taste)
3 T parmesan cheese, grated
1 ea. juice of 1 lemon
1 t red wine vinegar
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Water to thin if needed
½ slice whole wheat bread
2 t olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T parsley, minced
½ # Brussels sprouts
2 T parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
2 ea. grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast
Prepare croutons. Process bread in food processor fitted with
metal blade until fine crumbs form. In small skillet, over medium heat, warm the
olive oil. Add garlic and bread
crumbs. Toast until crumbs are crispy
and fragrant. Remove from skillet and
salt and pepper liberally. Toss in
chopped parsley. Set aside
Prepare Caesar Dressing:
Combine garlic, Worcestershire, anchovy, parmesan, lemon juice, vinegar,
and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor.
Process until well combined. Add
mayonnaise and yogurt and pulse gently.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Add a little water if dressing seems too thick. Dressing may be prepared in advance and
stored in the refrigerator.
Prepare the sprouts. Trim
the rough ends off the sprouts and carefully remove outer leaves. Shave remaining inner bulb into thin
ribbons. Alternately you can use a food
processor to shred sprouts. Combine Brussels sprouts and remaining parmesan
cheese in a mixing bowl. Lightly toss
with ¼ of the prepared Caesar vinaigrette.
Add additional dressing as needed. *Take care not to overdress the
salad. Serve the salad on top of grilled
chicken breast topped with seasoned breadcrumb croutons.
1 T mayonnaise (homemade or high
quality store bought)
1 T honey
1 T cider vinegar
1 T cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
SLOPPY JOE INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 C water
¾ C brown lentils, rinsed
½ # chicken breast, ground
1 clove garlic, minced
½ large yellow onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 C ketchup
1 T prepared yellow
½ T brown sugar
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1 T molasses
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 whole wheat hamburger buns split
with bottom half hollowed out and toasted
COOK LENTILS: Combine water and lentils in a
saucepan. Bring to a boil over high
heat, reduce heat to medium. Cover and
simmer until lentils are tender – about 20 minutes. Take care not to overcook. Drain and set aside.
PREPARE COLSLAW: Whisk
Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper together. Toss with shredded cabbage and cilantro. Set aside.
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in large skillet over medium high
heat. Cook until the onions have
softened and are translucent. Stir in
ketchup, mustard, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and cayenne. Simmer 5-7 minutes until thickened. Set aside.
In a separate skillet, heat olive oil
and sauté ground chicken over medium heat until cooked through. Add cooked lentils and reserved bbq sauce. Simmer 5 minutes. *You may need to adjust consistency with a
JOES: Spoon chicken-lentil mixture into slightly
hollowed out bottom bun. Top with slaw,
pickled vegetables and bun lids.
1 T vinegar – good quality red or white wine, champagne, balsamic,
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 t shallot, minced
Pinch of sugar (optional)
½ t salt
½ t Dijon mustard
2 ½ T – 3 T extra virgin olive oil
Whisk by hand: Combine minced shallot, sugar, Dijon and salt in a small mixing bowl. If you are adding other aromatics or seasonings, add them now. Squeeze lemon over the bowl. Add the vinegar and beat with a wire whisk. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Whisk until the mixture turns opaque and the seasonings are suspended. Tip: To prevent your bowl from spinning while you whisk, you may want to shape a slightly damp tea towel or piece of paper toweling into a small ring and nestle your bowl inside.
Immersion blender or Mason jar: You can use an immersion blender (for
larger quantities) or a Mason jar with a tight fitting lid to make vinaigrettes
too. Blend or shake up the acids and other ingredients first. Then add the oil.
Shake or blend again until an emulsion forms. *Note: If you are adding fresh
herbs, I prefer to add them at the end when using an immersion blender. That
way you keep the fresh herbs recognizable rather than crushing them into a
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small
1 1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 ½ t sugar
¼ C ice cold
water + more if needed
Cut chilled butter
and shortening into ½-inch cubes and place in freezer.
In the work bowl of
the food processor, combine flour, salt, sugar and frozen butter and shortening.
Pulse in 1-second bursts, about 5-7 times until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
with some pea-sized pieces remaining.
Remove the lid and
sprinkle the ice water (minus the ice) over the flour mixture. Replace lid and
pulse again until mixture comes together slightly and is evenly moistened. You should be able to pinch a portion of the pastry
together and have it hold its shape. If it won’t hold shape, carefully add more
water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until proper consistency is achieved.
Turn out dough onto a
sheet of plastic film, cover and form into a flat disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before
VEGETABLE FILLING INGREDIENTS:
2 T olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small eggplant, unpeeled, cut into ¼” dice
1 small zucchini, cut into ¼ “dice
1 ea. red and green bell pepper, seeded and cut
into ¼” dice
1 t kosher salt
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 T sherry vinegar
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste
¼ C fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over
medium high heat. Sweat the onion and
garlic until softened and just beginning to color.
Add the eggplant, squash and bell peppers. Stir in salt and sauté until vegetables have
softened but still have a bit of bite.
Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, thyme sprig, and hot
sauce to taste. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat and cook, about 45 minutes or
until vegetables are tender and stew has thickened. Remove from heat and discard thyme sprig.
Stir in basil and parsley. Set aside to cool or
refrigerate for up to one week. The filling may also be frozen for up to one
2 cloves garlic, minced very fine (if you have
roasted garlic –see VDP #22 for recipe – on hand, this would be a good place to
¼ t saffron threads
Juice of ½ lemon
½ C homemade or high quality mayonnaise
2 T bread crumbs
½ t cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
3 T high quality flavorful olive oil
Warm lemon juice in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Add garlic and saffron swirling to combine.
Allow saffron to bloom for 2 minutes.
*The longer you steep saffron the more pronounced flavor and color your
rouille will have.
In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise,
breadcrumbs and cayenne. Add lemon-garlic mixture. Using an immersion blender pulse
until mixture is smooth and creamy. Then, while blending, slowly add olive oil
in a thin stream blending until well emulsified. Season with salt and
ready to assemble pie remove pastry from refrigerator and cut off 1/3 or disk
and set aside to use for lattice top. Quickly reshape remaining dough into a
countertop with 1T flour and place remaining pastry on it. Sprinkle top lightly
with flour. Use a rolling pin, roll from the center off the edge of the
dough. Try to avoid back and forth
rolling – by rolling from the center off the dough, you’ll prevent the
rolling pin from bringing the dough back onto itself.
Continue rolling until
you get a circle large enough to cover your pie plate with a 1 ½” overhang. Use
rolling pin to transfer dough to pie pan.
Gently nudge pastry into shape. Refrigerate while rolling out smaller
disk for top crust.
Roll out remaining
dough and cut into 1” wide strips. Fill pie with vegetable filling spreading
evenly. Arrange strips in a lattice pattern on top of filling. Tuck edges of pastry
strips and overhang under and crimp edges. Brush lattice top with egg wash if
Place pie on
baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake
pie on bottom oven rack for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for
45 minute or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool 1 hour before serving.
de Gallo for serving (store bought or homemade)
oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, jalapeno,
garlic and spices. Sauté until onions are tender and spices are fragrant,
about 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until the turkey is no longer
pink and cooked through. Add canned tomatoes and simmer until the mixture
thickens slightly. Stir in cilantro and corn. Season with salt and
pepper. Set aside while you prepare the avocados.
grill to medium high heat. Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Brush cut
avocado halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill
avocados, flesh side down until bright green and grill marks appear.
Remove from heat and squeeze cut lime over the top.
cavity with seasoned turkey mixture. Top with Pico de Gallo and spicy
lime aioli (recipe follows)
LIME AIOLI INGREDIENTS:
cream or non-fat Greek yogurt
or high quality mayonnaise
chili in adobo, minced (or to taste)
Mix the yogurt, lime juice, light
mayonnaise, honey, ketchup, minced chili, garlic, and cumin in small bowl or
with an immersion blender until smooth.
Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in chopped
cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
¼ roasted red
pepper, diced * see previous VDP link
¼ C goat cheese,
2 T chopped fresh
Whisk eggs, milk, water,cayenne and a pinch of
salt in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Heat a 6” non-stick or well-seasoned sauté pan
over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add
asparagus, ham and scallion. Cook until asparagus is tender and scallion is
fragrant. Add custard to pan and cook while gently stirring eggs. Nudge the custard toward the center of the pan with a
spatula, while loosening the eggs from the bottom of the pan. Tilt the pan to
allow the uncooked eggs to flow to the bottom.
You do not want to cook the custard entirely at this point – the custard
should still be slightly wet. Add crumbled goat cheese and a sprinkling
of fresh herbs. Shake pan to distribute custard and filling evenly. Allow
frittata to cook undisturbed for 30-45 seconds or until bottom is set and
MASTER THE FLIP: When golden, loosen the
frittata from the bottom of the pan using a rubber spatula. Then, remove the
pan from the heat and tilt the pan forward to allow the frittata to slide to
the rim of the pan. Then toss the frittata up (to get the eggs airborne) while
at the same time pulling the pan back slightly. This ‘jerk’ will allow you to
catch the frittata more easily after the flip. Place pan back on heat and cook
until bottom is browned and custard is cooked through.
MASTER THE COOK-INVERT-TRANSFER: When golden,
loosen the frittata from the bottom of the pan using a rubber spatula. Then,
remove the pan from the heat. Invert a dinner plate over the pan. Then, invert the
pan and plate together; lifting off the pan once the frittata is on the plate
cooked side up. Slide the frittata back into the pan. Place pan back on heat
and cook until bottom is browned and custard is cooked through.
MASTER THE BAKE: Using an oven proof pan, cook the filling
ingredients as directed. Add custard and then slide pan into a preheated 350
oven for 14-16 minutes or until frittata is cooked through.
Loosen the cooked frittata from the skillet
and slide onto a cutting board. Sprinkle
lightly with S & P. Cut into wedges to serve with green salad if desired.
2 C (1/2 C dried) cooked
white beans – you may substitute canned beans, drained and rinsed)
cherry or grape
fillet or anchovy paste (or to taste)
1 T roasted garlic (about
2 t extra virgin olive
red wine vinegar
¼ C red onion, thinly sliced
pitted and halved
2 T fresh mint, chopped
Roast Garlic: Cut off the top ¼”
of a head of garlic to expose the cloves. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil
and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on
double thickness of aluminum foil and wrap well. Place in a preheated 350
degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until garlic is very soft when pierced with
the tip of a knife. Set aside. You
may roast garlic ahead of time and store in refrigerator in a sealed container
for up to 2 weeks.
Prepare Salad: Preheat oven to 400
degrees. Toss grape or cherry tomatoes in a bowl with 2 t of olive oil
and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place on a foil lined,
rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are wrinkled and
browned, but still firm. Set aside.
Mash capers, roasted
garlic, and anchovies with a mortar and pestle until you have a somewhat smooth
paste. Add vinegar and a few of the roasted grape tomatoes to paste and
mash well. Slowly add remaining olive oil and whisk until incorporated.
In a large mixing bowl, toss cooked white beans, red onion slivers, kalamata
olives and chopped mint with the prepared vinaigrette. Season well with salt
and pepper. Serve the bean salad on chopped romaine lightly dressed with a bit
of oil and vinegar.
Taste and adjust salt
and pepper if needed.
Serves 2 generously
*Roasting the garlic for the vinaigrette may seem like an unnecessary step, but the big-time flavor payoff is totally worth it. Once roasted, garlic loses its raw, sharp flavor and mellows to something that is subtle, sweet and positively addictive. *Video prep https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1xJW5PFF_o. It is such a versatile ingredient that I consider it to be a kitchen essential. Roasted garlic is often my go-to ingredient when I need to amp up the flavor of a soup, sauce, marinade or dressing. You can even spread it on a toasted baguette or crostini for a delicious hors d’oeuvre. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and can be frozen for much longer. So, while you are at it, I suggest roasting a couple of heads so you will always have this miracle ingredient on hand. Then when a recipe needs a little zing, stir some in, have a taste, and give yourself a hearty back-pat for being so smart!
2 T very
fruity olive oil, plus more for finishing the soup
¼ C feta
2 ea. shishito
Salt and ground
white pepper to taste
Rough chop all vegetables.
Place each vegetable separately in the food processor fitted with
steel blade and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Take care not to over-process vegetables. You want a chunky texture rather than a
puree. As each vegetable is chopped, add
it to a large mixing bowl. Pulse bread
in the food processor until it is ground fine.
Add to the vegetable mixture.
Add watermelon to food processor and puree. Add puree to vegetable-bread mixture. Add minced
garlic, jalapeno, herbs, lime, sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and white pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Longer refrigeration will intensify flavors.
While soup chills, roast peppers. Heat a heavy flat-bottom skillet
over medium high heat. Add 1T of vegetable oil and whole shishito peppers (or
sliced bell peppers) and toss well. Cook until peppers are blistered and nicely
browned but still crisp. Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set
Ladle chilled gazpacho into bowls, top with crumbled feta, roasted
shishito or bell pepper. Drizzle with additional