All American Chili

It's been cold and rainy here and I've been thinking chili would hit the spot. Chili is another food I used to hate as a kid. What was I thinking? It's hearty, filling and there are so many variatons.

People are fanatical about their recipes with secret ingredients and other tricks. I just found this recipe in Cooking Light back in 2003 and quit looking. I just wish I had the forsight to cook up some of my dried Rancho Gordo beans in place of the canned beans. Next time. A big glob of Daisy sour cream and some shredded cheddar and the bowl is finished.

This recipe makes a LOT of chili but the good news is it freezes very well.


Recipe HERE

Lean Cuisine Susan G. Komen for the Cure Lunch Tote

I bought one of these last year and love it! It's roomy and the quality is very good. People compliment my cute "purse" too.

I just can't decide which design I like best.

Anyway the money goes to a good cause and you won't be disapointed.

Check them out HERE

Light and Easy Potato and Leek Soup

Ughh you wouldn't know it from my picture but this soup is delicious!!! I've been eying leeks at the grocery store and thinking about making a potato leek soup but I've only had it with a cream base and I wasn't up for that.

Then I read Christine's Blue Rose Cafe Blog and found exactly what I was looking for. She posted a review of this soup and mentioned it's chicken broth based yet creamy. Creamy and delicious!

I confess I did use 2 cups of broth and 1/2 cup of water to up the flavor. Some reviewers even used wine in place of some of the broth. I also sauteed a few chopped garlic cloves with the leeks. I used my immersion blender to puree.

The prep and cook time are also very short so this is perfect for a weekday meal. I don't think I'll need the recipe again either.

Recipe HERE courtesy of Gourmet Magazine, March 1992.

Drunken Cheesy Bread

OK how could this NOT be good? And there's so many ways to build on it by switching up the wines and cheeses. Use prosciutto instead of ham. Add vegetables.

The recipe is from Real Simple.

Butter for the pan
1/2 baguette, cut into 2-inch slices
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/8 pound thinly sliced cooked ham
3/4 cup white wine(I used Pinot Grigio)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyère(I used an Italian blend)

Heat oven to 400° F.

Place the bread in a buttered ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch square baking dish, or a casserole. Scatter the onion and ham over the bread. Pour the wine over the onion and ham and sprinkle with the pepper and Gruyère. Bake until the cheese has melted and begun to brown at the edges, about 20 minutes. Spoon onto individual plates.

Tip: If you don't have Gruyère, you can substitute Swiss, Monterey Jack, fontina, or white Cheddar.

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

CALORIES 306 (29% from fat); FAT 10g (sat 6g); CHOLESTEROL 38mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31g; SODIUM 373mg; PROTEIN 15g; FIBER 1g; SUGAR 1g

Bread Soup

This isn't really bread soup but rather a bean and vegetable soup with croutons. This version is from Tuscany.

The croutons are easy to make and delicious. Just cube some bread(I bought one of those mini-baguettes). Heat some olive oil and a crushed garlic clove in a skillet. Add some salt and bread cubes. Toss until brown on all sides. Oh and do not leave the croutons on the counter. You will eat them every time you go stir the soup!

I used kale because it's one of those things that's really good for me but I don't eat enough of it. I've never had collards so I might try that next time.

The soup is hearty and excellent. Definitely use dried or fresh pod beans as they give the broth incredible flavor.

Bread Soup
Zuppa de Pane

Adapted from How to cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

1 1/2 cup cranberry, pinto or other pink spotted bean. I used cranberry beans.
6 cups vegetable stock
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups shredded savoy cabbage, spinach, kale, or collards
salt and fresh ground pepper
Croutons (see above)
chopped Italian parsley
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for garnish

Soak beans

Drain beans and combine with stock and one chopped onion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft(this took about an hour an 40 minutes). Stir occasionally. Add salt, pepper and greens and simmer until tender. Five minutes for spinach, 15 minuted for kale.

Stir in croutons and garnish with parsley, onions and a drizzle of olive oil.

Brussels Sprouts Mania-Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping

Brussels Sprouts are now one of my favorite vegetables. It didn't used to be that way. When I was a kid they were angry little cabbages to be avoided at all costs. Blechh.

But a couple of years ago I discovered roasted brussels sprouts. It was love at first bite! Yum!!

And apparently some other people feel the same was as when I went to buy the sprouts two stores were sold out! Luckily the third store had plenty and were selling them on the stalk, which is a cool way to buy sprouts.

Up until now I would have told you roasted brussels sprouts were the only way to go. That is until I tried Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts from the 101 cookbooks blog. Oh my these are faster and easier than roasting with pretty much the same effect. I could eat these every day!

Try them. If this doesn't turn a hater into a lover then nothing will.

Recipe HERE

My second recipe is for special occasions.

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping. We were digging into this long after dinner. I even had leftovers for breakfast. It's a no brainer that it would be a hit. Only a freak wouldn't love vegetables drenched in cheese and heavy cream?

I'm glad I read reviews before making this. Do NOT blanch the veggies before cooking as they will turn out mushy. Mine were still crisp. Perfectly cooked. Also those who attempted to bypass the heavy cream ended up with soup and admitted they should have used the cream. So don't lighten it up.

Recipe HERE

Also if you're seeing weird font sizes I'm sorry. I have no idea why my blog is acting up.

Pomegranate Soup

I recently read a novel called Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran about three Persian sisters who relocated to Ireland after the Revolution, opened a cafe and entranced the locals with their exotic cuisine. Think Chocolat or Like Water for Chocolate. The novel contains the recipes mentioned in the book.

Anyway I never thought of using pomegranate in a savory dish and this recipe caught my eye. and a Google search turned up many other variations.

I settled on the recipe from the book because I had most of the ingredients on hand. I liked the soup but didn't swoon over it like the characters in the book. It had a nice sour savory-ness and was quite "herby" but the lamb really needed to be seasoned.

I also considered THIS recipe and I think it's the one I should have made. And probaly will make in the near future.

Pomegranate Soup
Marsha Mehran

2 onions chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup yellow split peas rinsed
3/4 cup rice
6 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp tumeric
2 cups parsley, chopped
2 cups cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 lb ground lamb
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs angelica powder(I din't have any wand wasn't in the mood to track it down and the recipe said "optional")

In a large stockpot saute the onion in the olive oil until golden. Add peas, rice, water, salt, pepper, tumeric and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered 30 minutes. Add parsley, cilantro, mint and scallions and simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile roll lamb into medium meatballs. Add meatballs and remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer, covered for 45 minutes.

Greek Spiced Baked Shrimp

Another winner courtesy of the November 2008 Gourmet!

This made the house smell sooo good! And it was so effortless, next time I can make it in my sleep. I made it as is except I used canned diced tomatoes instead of whole.

I think I'll put the leftovers over some whole wheat pasta.

Recipe HERE

Gorgonzola Chicken Breasts

My apologies for my long absence. I've been revisting my favorite recipes on this blog to see if they're still as good. Yep they are! Eventually I'll have them all on a "greatest hits" tag.

And I'm going to start that tag with this recipe from the November 2008 issue of Gourmet. This only takes about 30 minutes and the payoff is huge!! Although it is easy to burn yourself so watch out. I got some hot balsamic splatter on my face when the sauce went "pop". And remember your potholders!! They weren't kidding when they said the chicken would be moist. I'm not a big fan of chicken breasts because they're often dry.

I served it with a crash hot potato and roasted brussels sprouts. I did drizzle the sauce on the sprouts as well as the chicken. And no I did not eat that monster by myself. Once the picture was done I cut it in half.

The recipe for the chicken is HERE and the much adored crash hot potatoes recipe is HERE.

Chicken & Egg Donburi

I get a lot of fantastic and healthy recipes from a magazine called Women's Health and Fitness. This particular recipe came from the October 2008 issue. There was an article on healthy Japanese food and since most of my experience with Japanese food is limited to Sushi I decided to have a look.

Donburi is the fast food of Japan and this version is pretty filling. It's also very easy but be sure and have your mis-en-place ready as it comes together quickly.

I think this could have used a bit more flavor-maybe salt or more soy. It was good but maybe I'm used to more bold flavors.

Anyway I'll make it again and experiment a bit.

Recipe HERE

Scampi Fra Diavolo

My photo isn't half as pretty as the photo in Bon Appetit. But mine was very tasty. I cut back on the butter and skipped the olive oil.

Easy meal. This would be good over pasta.

My picture


Bon Appetit's photo and recipe

Farro, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad

I'm continuing my farro love and I want to thank Ashley for bringing this salad to my attention. It's perfect for a busy weeknight And Ashley you were right-the vinaigrette rocks!

This will definitely be on my regular rotation!!

STC_0379 by you.

Farro, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad
Cooking Light July 2008

Farro is a whole grain with a pleasantly chewy texture. Look for it at specialty markets and gourmet grocers or health food stores. With crunchy cucumber, sweet cherry tomatoes, and buttery avocado, this dish makes a refreshing lunch. Pair it with a simple starter soup and whole-grain crackers for dinner.

1 cup uncooked farro or spelt
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon fresh grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups red, orange, and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ¾ cups chopped seeded English cucumber (about 1 small)
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
¾ cup sliced peeled avocado (about 1 small)

1. Place farro in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above farro. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.

2. Combine oil, rind, juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add farro, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro; toss gently to coat. Place about 1 cup farro mixture on each of 5 plates; garnish evenly with avocado. Serve immediately.

5 servings

Farro-Mushroom Soup and Runner Cannellini Salad

I've decided to start working my way through all the Rancho Gordo beans and various grains I have squirreled away.

I decided to start with RG's runner cannellini beans. I pre-soaked a cup of these bad boys for 2 hours, bringing the water to a boil first and keeping them covered.

Those I used in a salad inspired by THIS recipe on the RG website. I used fresh basil instead of oregano, canned tomatoes and olive oil and white wine vinegar. I spooned it on a bed of greens for lunch. It would also be a good filling in a whole wheat pita.


I soaked another half cup for the Farro-Mushroom soup.

Farro is my favorite grain and I need to eat more of it so choosing this recipe was a no brainer.

The farro-mushroom soup comes from Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. He says it's from Lucca, Italy. I've been to Lucca and loved it. Anything that reminds me of Tuscany is a good thing.

The recipe actually starts as a farro soup with a mushroom adaptation. Lo and behold I had some dried porcini's so there was another item liberated from my pantry.


The soup is excellent but next time I'll use canned beans to reduce the cook time. I did use canned tomatoes.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup farro, spelt or barley
1 cup dried white beans, soaked for several hours or overnight
2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; do not drain)
6 cups stock or water, more as necessary
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil,
optional Freshly grated Parmesan

Put oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat; a minute later add onion, celery, carrots, a large pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until vegetables are glossy and onion is softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, and stir; add farro, beans, tomatoes and stock, and stir.

Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until farro and beans are tender, at least an hour, adding stock or water as necessary if mixture becomes too thick. Stir in parsley and basil (if using), then cook another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve with lots of Parmesan

Nepali Grilled Chicken and Nepali Green Bean Sesame Salad

I confess that when I think if Nepal I think of Mount Everest and the Himalaya. And the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Nepali food is yak.

Reading Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duquid I realized I couldn't have been more wrong. Turns out Nepali chefs are highly regarded. There are no yak recipes in this book.

Neither of these recipes require a trip to the ethnic grocery store. They're both very easy too.

I loved the marinade on the chicken. Unfortunately I burned the skin but I plan on making this again this week and being more attentive to the grill.

The green beans were awesome! I think it would be a really pretty presentation using red Thai or a red jalepeno pepper.



Nepali Green-Bean-Sesame Salad

1 pound green beans or yardlong beans

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil (I used sesame oil)

2 green cayenne chilies, seeded and sliced into rings (I used serrano chilies)

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Several leaves cilantro or mint, finely chopped (optional-but I used cilantro).

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water and drain again. Trim the ends of the beans and slice on the diagonal into ½-inch lengths. Place in a large bowl.

2. Place a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and dry-roast, shaking the pan continuously, until aromatic and lightly golden. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder.

3. Heat the oil in a small, heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Toss in the chilies and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or until they just start to brown. Pour the chilies and hot oil over the beans and toss. Sprinkle with the ground sesame seeds and ½ teaspoon salt and toss. Add the lemon juice a little at a time, to taste, and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you choose, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro or mint just before serving. Serves 4.

Nepali Grilled Chicken

One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 12 to 16 pieces, or 3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken legs and breasts, cut into smaller serving pieces*

1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes or canned tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoons minced ginger
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Wash the chicken well in cold water and set aside.
Place all the marinade ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor and process to a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the oil. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and rub to coat them with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill or preheat the broiler.
To grill the chicken, place it on a rack about 5 inches from the coals or flame and grill, turning several times (tongs work well), until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
To broil the chicken, place it on a lightly oiled rack in a broiler pan and put the pan in the oven so the meat is about 5 inches below the broiler element. Prop the door open slightly and broil for about 20 minutes, turning the chicken once after about 7 minutes, and again after about 15 minutes. Test for doneness with a skewer: The juices should run clear.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve hot.

Adapted from “Mangoes and Curry Leaves,” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.

Do I like beets?

That's one question I set out to answer. As a kid the answer would have been a firm NO WAY! But I hated brussels sprouts too and have since decided I quite like them drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and roasted.

So I researched beets and how to prepare them. I decided my first beet experience should be simple and in the form of roasted golden beets. A quick search in Epicurious turned up this recipe for Beet Salad which was originally published in Self magazine.

Roasting beets does smell good and I was thinking I was really going to like them. Before assembling the salad I bit into a wedge of unadulterated beet. Not bad. But not great. I didn't hate it. So I proceeded to assemble the salad (subbing olive oil for sesame oil)and dug in. Turns out beets are great when tossed with balsamic vinegar and topped with goat cheese and walnuts.

I'd definitely make this again and make it pretty for company like the Self picture.

So while I don't love beets I'm no longer opposed to them.

Tomorrow dinner is coming from an unexpected country. I can't wait!

Recipe Here

My sad photo here


Roasted Garlic Souffle-France

It's STILL 100+ degrees so I'm just unable to get into the fall cooking spirit. And I'm definitely out of the summer cooking mood. So most nights I just don't cook at all.

So what I've been doing is thinking about fall/winter dishes. And in doing that I realized there are a lot of countries that aren't represented on this blog. So I'm coming up with a game plan to remedy that. My first foray will be into Indian food. I know people are wondering why it hasn't made an appearance here and the fact is I'm not a fan based on the Indian food I've had. Indian cuisine is so diverse I can't imagine I wouldn't like something.

I'd also like to try my hand at Japanese and Korean food. So when it finally cools down things will get interesting in my kitchen. I hope.

Now on to the souffle. I've never made one and it seems like it should be something in every good cook's repertoire. I love garlic. I love cheese. So this looked like the perfect souffle for me. It's a bit labor intensive but I got my garlic roasted the night before and set up my mis-en-place in the morning.

My big fear was the dreaded fallen souffle. Mine puffed up quite nicely then deflated a bit as I was setting up for my picture. No worries though as the end result was delicious. And very garlicky. No vampires will visit me tonight.


Roasted-Garlic Souffle
Gourmet | March 2008
Paul Grimes

3 large heads garlic, left whole, plus 3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 medium onion, sliced
3 large thyme sprigs plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 California bay leaf or 2 Turkish
1 whole clove
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, separated, plus 4 additional egg whites
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Gruyère (2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Trim 1/4 inch from tops of whole heads of garlic, then put heads on a large sheet
of foil and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap heads together in foil and roast until very tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool to warm, then squeeze garlic from skins.

Meanwhile, bring milk, smashed garlic cloves, onion, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, clove, and peppercorns just to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from heat and cover.
Let steep 30 minutes.

Butter a 12-inch oval (2-quart) gratin dish with 1 tablespoon butter, then sprinkle bottom and side with bread crumbs and chill until ready to use.

Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a heavy medium saucepan and whisk in flour.
Cook roux over low heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes.

Strain milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, then add to roux, whisking until smooth.

Bring to a boil, whisking, then simmer béchamel, whisking, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and vigorously whisk in yolks 1 at a time. Whisk in roasted garlic, parmesan, nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and transfer to a bowl.

Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer until they just hold stiff peaks, then stir one third of egg whites into yolk mixture.
Fold in Gruyère, then remaining whites. Transfer mixture to gratin dish, smoothing top, and sprinkle with thyme leaves.

Bake soufflé until set and browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cooks' notes:
•Garlic heads can be roasted 2 days ahead, then chilled in foil. Squeeze from skins just before using.
•Béchamel can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, its surface covered with buttered wax paper. Reheat (uncovered) before proceeding with recipe.

Roast Chicken with Pears shallots and Walnuts and Crash Hot Potatoes

It's still hot here but I was craving roast chicken. Especially after seeing this recipe in September 2008's Cooking Light Magazine. Pears are one of my favorite fall fruits. I especially love them in savory dishes.

To save money I did make a couple of modifications. I didn't add the walnut oil to the sauce. It's $10 and the last bottle I had went rancid before I could use it all. I didn't use any oil in the sauce and it was fine. Cut fat and calories too. I'll also save you another $10 and tell you champagne vinegar tastes a lot like white wine vinegar which is half the price and something every cook already has in the pantry.

On the side I served Crash Hot Potatoes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks Blog. She got it from a reader in Australia and it is now my favorite red potato recipe. I love how they get so crispy. The green beans are steamed with a little lemon juice, salt and pepper.



Recipe for Roast Chicken with Pears and Shallots HERE

Tempeh Lettuce Tomato Sandwich

Once again I was sucked in by an amazing blog photo. This time it was 101 Cookbooks. Seriously go look at her photo and see.

I've been traveling so I wanted something easy and filling until I do my big grocery run tomorrow. For this I only had to buy the romaine, tomatoes and avocado.

Heidi says this is her most requested sandwich and I can see why. The smokiness of the adobo, the nuttiness of the tempeh, sweet roasted tomatoes and cool avocado are a fantabulous combination. And it's filling!


Recipe HERE

Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce

Sorry no picture. I realized too late the batteries in my camera were dead. Normally I wouldn't post without a picture but this was too good not to share.

But I assure you that mine looked every bit as scrumptious as the photo on Serious Eats.

It was THIS PHOTO that enticed me to make the recipe.

It was also so incredibly easy! I did have one roll break apart on the grill but the upside of that was I could see how done they were. I'm paranoid about ground beef with all the recalls.

The rolls were very very tasty. I loved the grilled basil/mint/chili combo. I only used 4 chilis and chopped them very fine in my mini-chopper.

The word sweet really shouldn't be in the description of the sauce. There's a little bit of sweet and a whole lotta spicy!!

These are definitely going on my rotation and I'd like to try it with ground pork or chicken.

Do 36 hrs & sea salt = the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie?

There's a lot of buzz about these chocolate chip cookies that appeared in the NY Times Dining In section about creating the perfect chocolate chip cookie (as the article notes, perfecting the chocolate chip cookie is to a baker what the perfecting the omelet is to a chef)

I'm not a dessert person but I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, whether they're Toll House or that $250 Neiman Marcus recipe.

These are as easy as the Toll House. The hard part was letting cookie dough sit unmolested in my refrigerator for 36 hours.

The end result was definitely worth the wait. The cookies do stay nice and soft and I liked the taste of salt on the outside and the sweetness on the inside.

I followed some other bloggers suggestion to measure the ingredients by weight instead of using measuring cups. It seems that everyone got better results that way. I let the dough sit for a while before scooping as it was hard as a rock when I took it out of the refrigerator. I also used an ice cream scoop to make the very large cookies. I couldn't find the Valrhona fèves so I used Guittard Super Cookie Chips which are my new favorite chips! I don't have a stand mixer so I used my hand mixer for the dough and stirred in the chips by hand.




New York Times July 9, 2008
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

Rosemary Garlic Steaks with Arugula Tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano and Potato Salad Fra Diavolo

Yeah hell froze over. I sat through an entire episode of Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals. Is it me or is she less irritating these days? Anyway, my boyfriend saw the same episode and requested I make this for Labor Day. You can use any cut of meat. I bought grass fed ribeyes.

The steak was amazing. I loved the rosemary crust and the salad on top of the steak. The potato salad concerned because I am not a fennel fan. But with all the other spices and the mild pepper rings it was quite good. I may scale the chili powder back if I serve it for a crowd as it was pretty spicy.

And if you're wondering the meal really would have taken 30 minutes to make if I din't clean as I cook.


Rosemary Garlic Steaks with Arugula Tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano
Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals Summer Simplicity

4 sirloin steaks, 1-inch thick, about 10 to 12-ounces each
2 cloves garlic, cracked from skin and halved
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
4 sprigs rosemary very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper or grill seasoning, if desired
4 cups arugula leaves
1 pint multi-color, yellow or red cherry heirloom tomatoes or 2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lemon
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating

Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high to high.

Rub room temperature meat with cut garlic. Drizzle the meat with olive oil, rub with rosemary and season liberally with salt and pepper or grill seasoning. Cook steaks 4 minutes on each side for medium, let rest 5 minutes then slice.

Dress greens and halved or chopped tomatoes with the juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Pile salad on top of sliced steak and garnish with long grates of cheese made with vegetable peeler.

Potato Salad Fra Diavolo
Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals Summer Simplicity

This salad is as red as the Devil, very spicy but flavorful.

2 1/2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon grill seasoning or coarse salt and pepper
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 to 4 ribs celery with leafy greens, finely chopped
A generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped yellow hot pepper rings

Place potatoes in pot, cover with water, bring to a boil then salt the water. Cook potatoes 12 to 15 minutes until tender.

While potatoes cook, combine spices and mustard with vinegar, whisk in EVOO and add the onions, celery and parsley to the bowl. Drain potatoes and toss them in dressing while they're still hot, they'll absorb more dressing and flavor. Garnish salad with chopped hot peppers.

Tuscan Farro and Bean Soup Italy

It's not really soup season here but I'm so freakin' tired of summer I had to do it! I'm hoping for cooler weather soon.

Also I sort of had all the ingredients on hand and by sort of I mean I used canned tomatoes. I also wanted to start digging into my stash of RG beans. I used borlotti beans.

I love the soup! It's pretty hearty so a green salad and some bread are all that's needed to round out the meal. If you use vegetable broth instead of water you could serve it whole instead of pureed and it would be excellent. I used an immersion blender for that step.

It's an all day soup. 8 hours to soak the beans and up to 3 1/2 hours cooking time. I'm not sure why the recipe on Epicurious said 50 minutes. It also makes the house smell really really good.


Tuscan Farro and Bean Soup

Gourmet August 2006
Adapted from Beth Elon, author of A Culinary Traveler in Tuscany

Servings: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

1 cup dried borlotti or cranberry beans
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
10 cups water
1 large tomato (1/2 lb), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
10 fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup whole-grain farro
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pick over and rinse beans. Soak in cold water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Alternatively, quick-soak beans. Drain well.

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in water, drained beans, tomato, parsley, sage, and thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep beans covered, until beans are tender, 2 to 3 hours.

Discard thyme sprigs, then blend mixture in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Add farro and salt, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until farro is tender (it will be chewy like barley), about 30 minutes. Stir in pepper and serve drizzled with additional oil.

Cooks' Notes:
• To quick-soak, put beans in a 4- to 5-quart pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour before draining.
• Soup can be made 5 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Thin with water when reheating.

Numbing and Hot Chicken-China Hunan

Yep another Hunanese dish from the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook!

Don't let the name fool you. This is a hot and numbing dish for wimps. Even Dunlop admits the amount of spice is not alarming.

I really liked the flavors but I was expecting more of a party in my mouth. If I make it again I will increase the amount of pepper.

The changes I made to the recipe are minor. I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. I did not deep fry the chicken, I stir fried.

If you can't find potato flour you can use 1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch for every teaspoon of potato flour.


Numbing-and-Hot Chicken

12 oz boneless chicken thighs

1 small red bell pepper

1 fresh red chili or 1 tsp dried chili flakes

3 scallions

1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/4 cups peanut oil(I only used about 3 tbs total)

For the marinade

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

1 tablespoon regular soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon potato flour mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

For the sauce

1 tablespoon regular soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon potato flour

3 tablespoons water

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and combine with the marinade ingredients. Let sit while you combine the other ingredients. Cut bell pepper and scallions into bite sized pieces.
Crush peppercorns in a mortar and pestle(or you can use the back of a spoon in a bowl. Add to chopped or dried chile flakes, bell pepper and scallions.
Combine sauce ingredients.

Heat oil in a wok over med-high heat.

Deep fry chicken until golden brown. Remove from wok and drain all but 2 tbs oil(I stir fried and used less).

Add pepper mixture and stir fry briefly until fragrant. Add chicken and stir to combine. Add sauce and increase heat to reduce a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil.

Chairman Mao's Red Braised Pork-China Hunan

I watch a lot of cooking shows and read all the cooking magazines and have noticed chefs and foodies drooling over pork belly.

I've had bacon, which comes from pork belly, but never the cut of meat itself. So I bought a pound ($2.00!) and found this recipe in The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook.

This was Mao Zedongs favorite pork dish and in Hunan it is believed to increase the intellect and make ladies more beautiful. Ummm OK.

I had most of the ingredients on hand. I didn't have star anise so I skipped it since I'm not an anise fan. I also used jarred chopped ginger. I had bought Shaoxing wine on my last trip to the Asian grocery store. I found it in the wine section and it was only $4.00. The book describes it as a cooking and drinking wine but I took a sip and blechhh. I'll stick to cooking with shaoxing wine that's for sure!

The bottle I got looks like this:


The result: As much as I dislike anise I think the recipe really needs it. It was not spicy at all with the dried chiles. I also like pork belly. As fatty as it is it's something I wouldn't eat often though. There are some interesting variations on this recipe in the book that I'll definitely try.


Chairman Mao's Red Braised Pork
Mao shi hong shao rou

1 lb pork belly
2 tbs peanut oil
2 tbs white sugar
1 tbs Shaoxing wine
3/4 inch piece ginger smashed with skin on
1 star anise
2 dried red chiles
small piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick
Light soy sauce, salt and sugar
scallion greens

Plunge pork belly in boiling water for 3-4 minutes to partially cook.

When pork belly is cool enough to touch cut it into bite sized pieces

Heat the oil and sugar over med heat until sugar melts. Raise heat and stir until sugar turns a caramel brown color.

Add pork and wine and stir.

Add ginger, anise, cinnamon, chiles and enough water to cover pork and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Towards the end of the cooking time, increase the heat to reduce the sauce. Add the soy sauce, sugar and salt to taste. Serve sprinkled with scallion greens over rice.

General Tso's Chicken-Zuo Zong Tang Ji-Taiwanese Version

I just picked up the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuschia Dunlop. I've been reading a lot of books about China, bith fiction and non fiction and I'm watching the Beijing Olympics where I can. So it seemed fitting I learn to make some authentic Chinese food, although, Beijing is not in Hunan.

Dunlop says, "as Tuscany is to Italy, so Hunan is to China, with it's tradition of hearty peasant cooking, it's warmth and hospitality,and the vibrancy of it's people and landscapes. With an endorsement like that who can resist?

The book itself is very interesting. One of the first things I did was cruise the recipes to see if I really need to make a trip to the Asian market. Seems I will. I also needed to make salted chiles, which is basically salted chopped chiles that sit on a sealed jar for a couple of weeks. So I got those started.

Meanwhile, I wanted to make something that I already had all the ingredients for.
I've ordered General Tso's Chicken in Chinese restaurants but this version doesn't have the sweetness of the American version. I actually like it better. Dunlop actually listed this as a Taiwanese version. Yeah Taiwan isn't in Hunan but according to the book it's considered a Hunanese dish but was created by a Hunan chef who had fled to Taiwan after the Chinese civil war.

Anyway the dish is very simple and very easy. I bought bone in skin on chicken thighs but ended up discarding the skin because it was just easier to cut up the chicken pieces without it. Boning chicken thighs is kind of a pain in the butt too. I also didn't really deep fry. I put a half inch of oil in he bottom of my wok and stir fried in batches. It worked out well.

I did find potato flour at the regular grocery store in the health food section. Bobs Red Mill makes it. But it is much much cheaper at the Asian market. I found dark soy sauce at Safeway. Pearl River Bridge brand.


General Tso's Chicken

4 boned chicken thighs with skin
6-10 dried red chiles
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp sesame oil
Peanut oil for deep frying

For the marinade
2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 egg yolk
2 tbs potato flour
2 tsp peanut oil

For the sauce

1 tbs double concentrate tomato paste mixed with 1 tbs water
1/2 tsp potato flour
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs chicken stock or water(I used water)
scallions for garnish

Slice chicken thighs in half skin side down. Make a few shallow slices in meat to help flavors penetrate, then cut each thigh into bite sized pieces.

Mix soy sauces with the egg yolk and combine with the chicken, mixing well. add the potato flour and the oil and mix. Set aside.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

With scissors, snip the peppers to 1/4 inch pieces, discarding seeds.

Heat enough oil for deep frying to 350 to 400 degrees. Fry chicken till crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Heat about 3 tbs oil in wok and add chiles, frying briefly until they change color and are fragrant. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry a moment more. Add sauce and stir as it thickens. add the chicken and stir to coat pieces in sauce. Remove from heat, stir in some sesame oil I(I didn't do this) and sprinkle with scallion greens

Asian Pork and Mushroom Burgers

I'm starting to get my cooking mojo back now that summer has almost come to an end.

It's still pretty hot out so I'd rather grill than heat up my oven. And my house. but I'll be getting back to the international recipes soon.

I loved these burgers but instead of serving them wrap style I served them on a bed of romaine lettuce and veggies and ate it with a fork. It made convenient leftovers too.


Asian Pork and Mushroom Burger Wraps

Bon Appetit July 2008

2 tablespoons canola oil or peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass (from bottom 3 inches of about 4 stalks)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps chopped
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
1 3/4 pounds ground pork shoulder (Boston butt)
2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup hoisin sauce*
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)*
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 heads of Bibb lettuce, cored, leaves separated
1 cup matchstick-size strips red bell pepper
1 cup matchstick-size strips peeled carrot
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemongrass and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cool in skillet.

Place pork in large bowl. Mix in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, cracked pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, then fold in mushroom mixture. Using 2 generous tablespoonfuls for each, shape into 18 patties, each about 2 1/4 inches in diameter; arrange on plastic-lined baking sheet.

Whisk hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, chili sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 2 teaspoons sesame oil in small bowl for sauce. DO AHEAD: Burgers and sauce can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover separately; chill.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat ). Grill burgers until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Arrange burgers on platter; set out sauce. Place lettuce, bell pepper, carrot, and cilantro in separate bowls. Serve, allowing guests to wrap burgers in lettuce and add sauce and vegetables as desired

Chicken Adobo #2

This is my second recipe for Chicken Adobo. It comes from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper.

The ingredients are a little different but the technique is basically the same. This version has you brown the chicken at the end which I really like. It photographs better too.

Between the two I like the flavors of Adobo 1 the best. I'll definitely add the browning step to it. Adobo 2 was too vinegar-y for me. Maybe it wouldn't have been if I'd used palm vinegar.

I served it with leftover rice from the first adobo. It does freeze and reheat well.


Filipino-Style Chicken Adobo

1/4 cup soy sauce
10 large garlic cloves peeled and rough chopped
1 tbs fresh ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups Filipino palm vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
1 cup whole canned tomatoes with their liquid
2 bay leaves, broken
3 lbs bone in skin on organic chicken thighs(about 8)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 med onions thinly sliced (I chopped mine)
2 scallions thinly sliced(optional)

Combine soy sauce through bay leaves in a zip-loc breaking tomatoes with your hands as you add them. Add chicken and marinate 18-24 hours.

Put mixture in a large sauce pan and bring to a gentle bubble. Cover and cook for 25 minutes or until chicken is done.

Remove the chicken and skim as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid. Increase the heat to a brisk boil. Reduce to half.

Meanwhile film a saute pan with olive oil and heat over medium high. Arrange chicken in pan skin side down and brown. When they are a deep rich brown on one side turn them and scatter the onions around them. Continue to brown moving the onions around so they don't burn. When chicken is browned on the other side transfer chicken and onions to a bowl and pour reduced cooking juices over them. Garnish with scallions.

Chicken Adobo #1-Philippines


I love chicken adobo and have had several incarnations. The reason I called this post #1 is that I've found two recipes for adobo I want to try.

This one comes from Memories of a Philippine Kitchen by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan. This is the version they serve in their acclaimed restaurant Cendrillon.

It couldn't be easier. Mix ingredients in a bag, marinate and boil. A simple recipe with a huge payoff. I loved the way the vinegar flavored the chicken and the leftovers were even better.

I served it with Mushroom and Bamboo Shoot Rice which was also delicious. It reminded me of some of the rice recipes in Cradle of Flavor.

Chicken Adobo

1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
12 peeled garlic cloves (I smashed them too)
3 bay leaves
3 whole birdseye chiles (I cut them in four pieces)
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3lb of chicken pieces(I had thighs in the freezer so I used them)

Combine the vinegar through the black pepper in a large ziplock and marinate overnight.

Place marinade and chicken in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes or until chicken is done turning every now and then to coat. Remove chicken from pan and increase heat to med-high. Cook until reduced to the consistency of a heavy cream. Remove chiles and bay leaves. Add chicken and rewarm.

Mushroom and Bamboo Shoot Rice

3 cups jasmine rice rinsed
3 tbs vegetable oil
1 small onion finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed,cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots drained and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
4 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan.

Cook onion and carrot until tender. Add garlic and cook a minute more.
Add mushrooms, bamboo and turmeric and cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms give off liquid, stirring often.

Stir in rice, stock or water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove pan from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

The Perfect Pantry

My pantry is featured on The Perfect Pantry Blog today. Check it out HERE!

Would you believe that with all that I still have days where I'm befuddled on what to make?

As for cooking this week I revisted some my greatest hits. I've made the cantaloupe soup again. Still awesome.

I also made a Grilled Margherita Pizza from Mario Batali's Italian Grill. I've been grilling pizzas for years and have had success off and on. I really wanted to try his dough and his method. Well I kinda over-charred the pizzas. They weren't terrible but I wasn't a fan of the crust. I think that was my fault as I didn't roll it out thin enough. I am going to try it again. Hopefully I won't jack up the crust an I'll be able to post a picture.

Iced Cantaloupe Soup with Jalapeno and Basil

It's 113 degrees outside. I didn't want to cook. I also didn't want to grill so I stopped at the store and bought the ingredients for this soup and a roast chicken. Iced cantaloupe. What could sound cooler than that?

I was first introduced to cantaloupe soup in Provence several years ago. We were walking through a village and noticed a small packed-with-locals restaurant, with a patio where everyone was devouring this bright orange soup. By that time we had already become familiar with the Cavaillon melon which is the best cantaloupe on the planet end of story. There is even a giant statue of a melon in the town of Cavaillon France.

We were there during the height of the season and ate them for breakfast lunch and dinner and would have smuggled them home if we could.

I've seen them in a grocery store here once and I urge you if you ever see them you must buy one and devour it as soon as possible!!! They look a bit like striped honeydews on the outside. Or even better book a trip to Provence in June.


The french soup was amazing and had a hint of red pepper. I tried to replicate it once but failed. I really needed the French melon.

I was excited when I saw this recipe and it lived up to my expectations. There's even a drink alternative which is to puree the soup as directed, strain, add the lime zest and jalapeno and pour in glasses with a splash of vodka.

My picture is a little dark. The actual soup is a vibrant cantaloupe color.


Iced Cantaloupe Soup with Jalapeno and Basil

makes 2 to 4 servings as a first course -
Adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift.

One 2 1/2 pound intensely sweet-smelling ripe cantaloupe
2 cups ice cubes
Generous pinch of salt
4 or 5 grinds of black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 2 large limes (about 1/2 cup)
Grated zest of 1/2 large lime

1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and cut into fine dice
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, coarse chopped
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/8-inch dice (optional)

1. Cut the melon into quarters. Scoop out its seeds and trim away the rind. Slice it into chunks and put them into a food processor. Add the ice, salt, pepper, sugar, and lime juice, and puree. Stir in the grated zest.

2. Place the jalapeños, basil, and onion in separate small serving bowls. Pour the puree into individual soup bowls or into a pitcher for further chilling.

3. To serve, pour the soup into bowls and pass the condiments. The basil and jalapeño are the essential finishes for the soup, while the onion is an attractive option.

Tomatillo-Pepita Gazpacho Mexico

I LOVE Gazpacho! And every time I stumble upon a new recipe I have to try it. It's the perfect summer recipe. Easy, cool and nutritious. It's 109 degrees outside so I'm up for anything that doesn't require me to turn on the stove. Heck the grill is pre-heated before I even light it!

This gazpacho is a bit different as a lot of the veggies are added later instead of being pureed together. I like a chunky gazpacho. The pumpkin seeds give it a nice little crunch too.

The recipe comes from the July 08 issue of Bon Appetit.

Taking pictures of chunky green soup is a challenge. Trust me when I say this is good. I think it makes a better side dish or starter course than a main course though.


Tomatillo-Pepita Gazpacho

Makes 8 servings
* Prep: 35 minutes
* Total: 3 hours 35 minutes (includes chilling time)


* 1/2 cup (generous) unsalted shelled pepitas (about 21/2 ounces)
* 2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed
* 1 large fresh poblano chile
* 1 garlic clove, pressed
* 1 cup vegetable broth
* 1/3 cup chopped green onion
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 small unpeeled English hothouse cucumber, diced
* 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
* 1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Finely grind pepitas in processor; leave in processor. Grill tomatillos and poblano chile until tomatillos are slightly charred and soft and chile is charred all over, turning occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes. Add tomatillos to processor. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop chile; add to processor. Add garlic; process soup to coarse puree. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in vegetable broth. Season soup with salt and pepper. Cover; chill until cold, about 3 hours.

Mix in green onion and all remaining ingredients. Divide soup among bowls.

Ingredient Tip: Pepitas are available at many supermarkets and at natural foods stores and Latin markets. Look for tomatillos and poblano chiles (also called pasillas) in the produce section of supermarkets, specialty foods stores, and Latin markets.

Nutritional Information
8 servings
One serving contains the following:
Calories (kcal) 172.11
% Calories from Fat 66.9
Fat (g) 12.79
Saturated Fat (g) 1.84
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Carbohydrates (g) 14.09
Dietary Fiber (g) 4.79
Total Sugars (g) 6.46
Net Carbs (g) 9.30
Protein (g) 2.83

Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts

This recipe was well reviewed on the Cooking Light Boards and I have to agree it's quite good! Easy and healthy too!

I chose it because I had everything on hand. I didn't use the canola oil because I didn't want to. I just wisked a little sesame oil and lime juice together with the garlic.


Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts
Cooking Light June 2007

1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Transfer rice to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Cool. Add chicken, carrot, onions, 2 tablespoons peanuts, 2 teaspoons cilantro, and salt to rice; toss to combine.

Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle oil mixture over rice mixture; toss to combine. Place 1 1/2 cups salad on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons remaining peanuts and 1/4 teaspoon remaining cilantro.

4 servings
Nutritional Information

CALORIES 393(30% from fat); FAT 13.3g (sat 2g,mono 6.3g,poly 4g); PROTEIN 27.8g; CHOLESTEROL 60mg; CALCIUM 44mg; SODIUM 424mg; FIBER 4g; IRON 1.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40.2g

Chili Beef Skewers and Grilled Watermelon

I love watermelon! And knowing that the skewers would be a little spicy I though it would be a perfect side with a twist.

Bittman has a grilled watermelon recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian only he uses rosemary and lemon juice. I thought mint would compliment the Asian dishes and I had some in the fridge that was looking a little wilty.

Simply cut a slice of watermelon rind intact, seed as well as possible without smashing the flesh, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with a mixture of olive oil and fresh mint. Grill over high heat, about 5 minutes on each side and sprinkle with fresh lime juice before serving. The juice carmelizes, almost becoming a syrup and the flavor intensifies. I think you could try a variety of herbs and spices. You could even do mint or basil and feta cheese.

Since watermelons were two for one at Fry's I plan on experimenting.

The skewer recipe is courtesy of uber-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and appeared in the May 2008 issue of Self magazine. It's very food and not too spicy. You can adjust the Siracha if you want more of a kick.


8 wooden skewers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 lb lean beef sirloin, cut into 1/8-inch strips
1 each red, green and yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Dipping sauce
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise(I used regular because low fat has HFCS)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce

Soak skewers for 30 minutes. Puree cilantro, garlic, soy sauce, orange zest, sriracha, fish sauce and sugar in a food processor. Transfer marinade to a resealable plastic bag; add beef. Seal bag, toss and set aside up to 30 minutes. Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl. Thread 4 pieces of pepper and 2 beef strips on each skewer, alternating beef and peppers. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; heat grill to high; cook until meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 122 calories (with bell peppers), 3.7 g fat (0.6 g saturated), 14 g carbs, 1.9 g fiber, 9.7 g protein

Hot-and-Sour Soup with Shrimp, Napa Cabbage, and Shiitake Mushrooms-Thailand

This is fantaastic if you're looking for something really light or a soup course as part of a Thai meal.

I'm seeking out lighter fare as I'm filming an infomercial next month and I need to look hot in case Spielberg sees me and decides to make me a star. Or maybe George Clooney will see me and beg to be my sugar daddy.

Anyway this goes together lickity split but tastes like you put a lot more effort into it.


Hot-and-Sour Soup with Shrimp, Napa Cabbage, and Shiitake Mushrooms

Bon Appetit, June 2006

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
3 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
2 kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 pound uncooked deveined peeled medium shrimp, halved lengthwise
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced 1/8 inch thick
8 ounces Napa cabbage, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped fresh green onions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add curry paste and stir until beginning to stick to pan, about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, kaffir lime leaves, and minced ginger. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp and mushrooms. Cook until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 3 minutes. Add cabbage; cook until beginning to wilt, about 30 seconds. Stir in lime juice. Divide soup among bowls; sprinkle with chopped cilantro and green onions and serve.

Market tip: Using Thai red curry paste is an easy way to add tons of flavor and some heat to your cooking. It is available in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets; at Asian markets, it is known as gaeng pet. Kaffir lime leaves, which come from kaffir lime trees in Southeast Asia and Hawaii, have a floral-citrus aroma. The leaves are sold frozen and are sometimes available fresh at Southeast Asian markets.

Grilled Artichokes with Mint and Chiles

Another winner from Mario Batali Italian Grill!!

I've been finding recipes online but I think I'm going to have to check this book out at the library and try a few more recipes. If there's more success I'll add it to my collection.

My cookbook collection isn't large. It used to be. Or I thought it was until I learned there are people on the CL boards that have thousands of cookbooks. I thinned mine a few years ago when I realized I hadn't used a lot of them.

I decided before I buy a new cookbook I would check it out at the library first and try as many recipes as possible. If most of the recipes are great or if I check the book out more than once I either buy it or put it on my wish list. I get Amazon gift certificates at work on a regular basis and that is my cookbook budget.

Back to the artichokes.

I had all the ingredients on hand because I intended to make this earlier in the week. In my opinion artichokes are a PITA to prepare but the payoff is worth it. The heart is my favorite part and I always save it for last.

The chicken on the plate isn't interesting. It's just a boneless skinless breast I marinated in my home made vinaigrette and grilled.

The artichoke would be the perfect compliment to a steak!


Grilled Artichokes with Mint and Chiles

- serves 6 -
Adapted from Mario Batali Italian Grill by Mario Batali

6 large artichokes, preferably with stems
2 lemons, halved
1 bunch mint, chopped, stems and all, plus about 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves cut into chiffonade (thin slivers)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 to 4 red jalapeños, diced or thinly sliced
Coarse sea salt

1. Fill a large bowl with about 6 cups of water and add the juice of 1 1/2 of the lemons; add the 3 lemon halves too. Snap off the tough outer leaves from one artichoke until you come to the leaves that are pale yellow toward the bottom. Cut off the top 1 inch of the leaves. As you work, rub the cut surfaces with the remaining lemon half. Trim off the bottom of the stem and, using a paring knife, trim away the tough outer layer from the stem. Trim any dark green parts from the bottom of the artichoke. Halve the artichoke lengthwise and, using a grapefruit spoon or small sharp spoon, remove the fuzzy choke. Pull out the small purple inner leaves. Put the trimmed artichoke in the bowl of lemon water, and repeat with the remaining artichokes.

2. Combine the chopped mint, garlic, olive oil, and wine in a large pot. Add the artichokes and the lemon water, along with the lemon shells, then add more water if necessary to cover the artichokes. Put a pan lid on top of the artichokes to keep them submerged and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. Drain and allow to cool.

3. Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

4. Place the artichokes cut side down over the hottest part of the grill and cook, unmoved, for 3 to 5 minutes, until nicely charred. Turn and cook for 5 minutes more, or until golden brown on the second side.

5. Place the artichokes on a platter and strew with the remaining mint and the jalepenos. Serve with a bowl of coarse salt.

Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata-Italy

I really wanted to do grilled artichokes with this but when I went to fire up my grill the flint was broken. Wah! Grill repairman comes Friday.

So I did this on my cast iron grill pan which filled the house with smoke but the end result was great! Be sure and scrape up any little charred bits. They're tasty!!

I made 2 mistakes-neither one ruined the dish:

-I forgot to put the parsley in the bread crumb mixture so I sprinkled it on the final dish.

-I missed the part of the recipe where the oil was supposed to sit overnight. Mine sat for a hour and I just skimmed some off with a spoon. I imagine my leftovers will be better.


Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata

- makes 6 servings -
Adapted from Mario Batali Italian Grill by Mario Batali.

12 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 salt-packed anchovies, filleted, rinsed, and patted dry, or 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 shallots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 pound snap peas, blanched in boiling water just until bright green, chilled in an ice bath, and drained
Olio Piccante for drizzling

1. Combine the garlic, 1/2 cup of the oil, the anchovies, parsley, and bread crumbs in a food processor and zap until smoothish.

2. Put the chicken thighs in a large bowl and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat well. Arrange in a single layer on a platter and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

3. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling.

4. Place the chicken thighs skinned side up on the cooler part of the grill, cover the grill, and grill, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes per side.

5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and anchovy paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the snap peas and cook, stirring, just until heated through. Transfer the snap peas to a platter and set aside.

6. Arrange the thighs on top of the snap peas and serve with a drizzle of olio piccante.

Olio Piccante

- makes about 1 1/2 cups -

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
5 jalapeño peppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, jalapeños, pepper flakes, and paprika and bring to just a simmer over medium heat.

2. Pour the oil (and all the flavorings) into a heatproof bowl and let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

3. Strain the oil and keep refrigerated until ready to use. It can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar for up to 10 days—no longer.

Sesame Soba Noodles with Cucumber, Bok Choy, and Mixed Greens

I have a lot of odds and ends in the fridge so I was searching for recipes where I would only have to buy one to two ingredients. I came across this and I only had to buy baby bok choy. Score!

And this was a jackpot in more ways than one as I think it's pretty healthy(or at least wholesome), quick, easy and tastes fantabulous. I love soba noodles with a good peanut sauce and this one has just the right amount of tang and heat.

Try this. You won't be sorry!

I made the recipe as is.


Sesame Soba Noodles with Cucumber, Bok Choy, and Mixed Greens

Bon Appetit June 2008

Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper, divided
1/3 cup canola oil
8 ounces soba noodles
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
3 cups (loosely packed) mixed baby greens
2 heads of baby bok choy, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
1 English hothouse cucumber, cut into matchstick-size strips
3 green onions, cut into matchstick-size strips
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Salted roasted peanuts

Puree first 9 ingredients and 1 teaspoon red pepper in blender until smooth. With machine running, gradually add canola oil through opening in lid. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Cook soba noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Using kitchen shears, cut noodles crosswise in 2 to 3 places. Drizzle noodles in strainer with sesame oil and toss to coat.

Place greens, bok choy, cucumber, green onions, chopped cilantro, and mint in large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon red pepper, dressing, and noodles; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and peanuts and serve.

Salad Days; Grilled Asian Flank Steak With Sweet Slaw, Grilled Chicken and Romaine with Caper Dressing, and Nicoise Salad

Summer to me means lots and lots of salads. It gets so darn hot I absolutely hate turning on the oven.

We painted walls over the weekend so the air wasn't on. I discovered my breaking point is 105 degrees. Today it was 110. It seems to early in the year for this and Mother Nature must agree as it's going to be back down in the 70's on Thursday. Go figure.

Today I have three salads, two I've never made before and one old favorite. What's great about these is that I usually have most if not all the ingredients on hand.

Salad #1 is Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Sweet Slaw from the June 2008 issue of Bon Appetit.

This was excellent although I must have had a turbo charged jalepeno. It was green since Fry's didn't have red. When I cut it open I could tell it would be strong so I used one half of one jalepeno seeded. The dressing was still a little too spicy and I am not a wimp to spice.

I also like that this is incredibly easy and you can chop the veggies and prep the dressing while the steak is marinating.


Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Sweet Slaw

1/4 cup soy sauce
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 1 1/2-pound flank steak
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 red jalapeños, thinly sliced into rounds
5 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 9 ounces)
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Mix soy sauce, oil, 3 teaspoons ginger, and garlic in resealable plastic bag. Add flank steak and seal bag; turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Stir sugar and vinegar in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add jalapeños and remaining 2 teaspoons ginger. Place cabbage and 1/2 cup green onions in medium bowl.

Pour vinegar mixture over and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand while grilling steak, tossing occasionally.

Grill steak until cooked to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to work surface. Let rest 10 minutes. Slice steak thinly against grain. Sprinkle 1/4 cup green onions over slaw.


The following night I made Grilled Chicken and Romaine with Caper Dressing. I love grilled radicchio and was intrigued by the grilled romaine. I would say this is a salad that is good but needs some tweaking. I liked the grilled lettuce and the dressing is very similar to my standard home made vinaigrette but it needed more veggies. Grilled veggies!


Grilled Chicken and Romaine with Caper Dressing Bon Appetit, March 2008

3 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 pounds)
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise, core left intact
Shaved Manchego or Parmesan cheese

Preheat barbecue (medium-high heat). Puree vinegar and next 4 ingredients in small processor until almost smooth. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Combine chicken and 1/4 cup dressing in medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Place romaine, cut side up, on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup dressing; turn to coat. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Grill romaine until charred and slightly wilted on all sides, about 2 minutes.

Transfer 1 chicken breast and 1 romaine spear to each of 4 plates. Drizzle chicken with remaining dressing, sprinkle generously with cheese, and serve.

And finally we come to the classic Nicoise Salad which I've been making from memory for quite some time. The best Nicoise salad I ever had was in Nice of course. Mine will never be as good but that's ok.

And yes I know I have to turn on the oven for this one but it's worth it!


Unfortunately I don't measure when I make this. I just eyeball it until it looks right. Generally I use one egg, one small red potato and one 3 oz can of water packed tuna and a tablespoon of dressing per salad.

I use my basic vinaigrette dressing which is 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 tbs white wine vinegar whirled in a blender to emulsify. I then add some rough chopped shallot and dijon mustard, salt and pepper and whirl again, adjusting ingredients to taste. I keep this in a jar in my pantry.

For the salad make sure you have a hard boiled egg. You can also roast the green beans and red potato ahead of time. Just toss with olive oil salt and pepper and roast at 450. I start the potato first then turn at about 8 minutes, add the beans to the pan and roast another 8 minutes or so.

The salad consists of greens (I use romaine or whatever other greens are in the fridge), chopped hard cooked egg, canned tuna, capers, kalamata olives, and the roasted green beans and potato.

Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding

A friend of mine commented on the lack of desserts on this blog. The reason is that I'm one of those weird people without a sweet tooth. I have a salt tooth, a spice tooth and even a garlic tooth but dessert just doesn't entice me.

I made this pudding for the first time a couple of years ago for a work poutluck and my coworkers have requested it for every potluck ever since. I don't mind. It's easy and I never take home leftovers. It's always a hit.

This is also the only Paula Deen recipe I have ever made. Which is probably why, after having blood work done last week, the doctor told me my blood pressure, cholesterol and gluclose levels are all perfect. Paula's recipes tend to scare me. I once saw her fry butter. Yes fried butter. My arteries clogged at the mere thought.


Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream (Cool Whip and their store brand equivalents only come in 8 and 16 oz containers. I bought a 16 and eyeballed it.)

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.

Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.

Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.

Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Cheese-Gilded Linguine with Smoky Tomatoes-Naples

The words "cheese gilded" sounded like heaven to me when I was reading The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. This is not as decadent as it sounds and makes a great Sunday afternoon dinner. I'd serve it as an informal meal to company.


Cheese-Gilded Linguine with Smoky Tomatoes

Serves 4 as a main dish

15 minutes pre time; 20 minutes stove time.
The sauce can be made 1 hour before serving.

You can buck up the personality of a bowl of pasta by merely switching the order of how grated cheese and tomato sauce are blended with the noodles. Bring in smoky flavors and a snap of chile, and you have a modern improvisation.

This cheese trick comes from Naples, where cooks make simple tomato-sauced pastas more substantial by tossing the pasta first with the grated cheese, then with the sauce.

* 5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 6 thick slices bacon, sliced into 1/4-inch-wide sticks
* 1 medium to large onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
* Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
* 5 large garlic cloves, minced
* 2-1/2 to 3 pounds delicious ripe tomatoes, cored and fine chopped (do not peel or seed); or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with their liquid, plus one 14-ounce can, drained(I used one can whole and one can chopped)
* 1 pound imported linguine
* 1 generous cup fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for the table

1. Bring the salted water to a boil.

2. Lightly film a straight-sided 12-inch saute pan with oil, add the bacon, and set over medium-high heat. Saute until the bacon is golden. Remove it with a slotted spoon, setting it on paper towels to drain. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.

3. Return the pan to the heat, and stir in the onions, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium. Sauté until the onions soften and start to color, 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Blend in the garlic, cooking for 1 minute, and then add the tomatoes. If using canned ones, crush them as they go into the pan. Stir in the cooked bacon. Bring the sauce to a lively bubble and cook until it is thick, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking. Remove from the heat, taste for seasoning, and cover the pan. The sauce can wait on the stovetop for up to an hour. Bring it to a bubble before adding it to the pasta.

5. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, and cook until it is tender but still a little firm to the bite. Drain, and turn it into a serving bowl. Toss with the 1 cup cheese until it clings to the noodles, then toss with the sauce. Serve hot, with additional cheese at the table if desired.

Warm White Bean Salad with Fragrant Garlic and Rosemary. And my new free kitchen gadget!

I just got a new fantabulous cookbook, The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. I'm a faithful Splendid Table pocast listener and a fan of Lynne's other cookbooks.

This one is chock full of anecdotes, quotes, and tip including the one I adopted tonight-the garlic rock.

Sally prefers to smash garlic with a rock rather than the edge of a knife and I'll admit a rock does a pretty good job. I found mine in my front yard. It has a really nice flat edge. I plan on using it a lot!

My garlic rock.


On to the recipe...

This was quick and very good. With the bread it made a great light meal.

I used Great Northern beans but if I do it again I'll use cannellini as I prefer them. She says NOT to use any thicker skinned beans as they won't absorb the flavor as well. Also do not stir the beans as they will break apart. Instead fold them gently with a spatula.


Warm White Bean Salad with Fragrant Garlic and Rosemary


1/2 slice of coarse whole grain bead course ground in a food processor(about 2 heaping tablespoons)

3 tbs fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper


5 large garlic cloves crushed with 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tight packed tbs fresh rosemary coarse chopped
2 15 oz cans organic cannellini or Great Northern beans drained and rinsed
Large handful of salad greens (I used baby greens)

In a dry skillet toast the crumbs till brown. Transfer to a small bowl and add the Parmigiano cheese and pepper when cool.

In the same pan slowly warm the garlic in the olive oil over low heat for 30 seconds. Add the rosemary, blending for another minute or so.

Raise the heat to medium, add the beans and fold them gently so they don't break apart until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the greens and fold until slightly wilted, 30 seconds to one minute.

Turn into a serving bowl and top with the crumb mixture and salt and pepper.