Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mock Mashed Potatoes


1large head of cauliflower, stem removed
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/4 parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Fill large pot with salted water. Boil. Cut cauliflower into large chunks and throw in water. Cook well. Transfer cauliflower to collander. Drain and pat dry well with paper towels. Put pat dried cauliflower and remaining ingredients in food processora and blend until smooth. 1 large head of cauliflower makes about four servings.

If not serving immediately, put in oven-proof serving dish and place in oven at 200 degrees.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Perfect Roast Chicken


1 3- to 3 1/2-pound chicken
1 head garlic
1 lemon
small bunch fresh rosemary or thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.Heat oven to 400° F. Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity; freeze or refrigerate for use another time.

2.Cut the garlic crosswise in half and separate into cloves. Cut the lemon into 1-inch chunks. Stuff the chicken with the garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs. Tie the legs together. Twist the wings under the back so the neck skin is pinned in place. Rub the skin with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan.

3.Roast for 1 hour, 15 minutes, checking the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. The chicken is ready when the breast meat registers 160° F and the juice runs clear when the meat is pricked with a fork.

4.Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes. Remove from the roasting pan and pour the pan drippings into a cup. Skim off and discard the fat that comes to the top. Carve the chicken and serve with the pan juices.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Couscous Cakes


2 cups cooked couscous, prepared according to package instructions and cooled (I cook entire box and save extra for another meal)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 lemon, zested
Juice of 1/2 of the lemon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil (more if pan gets dry)
1/3 cup mild mango chutney (I like Trader Joe's Mango Chutney)


In a medium bowl, mix together the couscous, cilantro, egg, egg yolk, coriander, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Mix until combined.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Form 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture into 8 patties. Add 4 of the patties to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side until golden. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture.

Serve the couscous cakes with mango chutney.

Roasted Root Vegetables


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick circles
1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1/2 pound), halved
4 cups red potatoes (about 1 pound), quartered
3 medium parsnips (about1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
4-5 springs of fresh chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Place vegetables on baking sheet and add the dried herbs, rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss well, evenly coating all the vegetables with the seasonings and oil. Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Toss once during cook time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa


2 large oranges
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable or canola oil, for oiling the grill
4 (4 to 5-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skinned, each about 3-inches square
2 tablespoons amber agave nectar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salsa: Peel and trim the ends from each orange. Using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and add them to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallions, mint, capers, orange zest, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Toss lightly and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the salmon: Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the grilling rack with vegetable oil to keep the salmon from sticking. Brush the salmon on both sides with the agave nectar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the salmon to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Spoon the salsa verde on top of the salmon or serve on the side as an accompaniment.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mini Italian Meatloafs with Three Cheese Pasta


1 1/3 pounds ground sirloin (I use turkey)
1 large egg, beaten
2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano, plus 1/2 cup
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound corkscrew shaped pasta with lines (cavatappi) or small shell pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard


Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place meat in a bowl. Make a well in meat. Fill well with egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup cheese, peppers, onions, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Mix meat and breading and form 4 individual oval meat loaves, 1-inch thick. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Coat loaves with ketchup mixture and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast 18 to 20 minutes (I find that take longer so check doneness by cutting into one of them especially if you use turkey).

When the pasta water boils, salt water and add pasta. Cook until slightly undercooked – pasta will continue to cook when combined with cheese sauce.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add flour. Whisk in milk. Bring to a bubble. Thicken milk, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cheeses: Cheddar, asiago, 1/2 cup Parmesan and black pepper. Stir to melt cheeses. Drain pasta and combine with melted cheese sauce and transfer to a baking dish or casserole. Place bread crumbs in a bowl and add extra-virgin olive oil. Top pasta with bread crumbs. Place under a broiler and brown bread crumbs. Serve cheese and pasta alongside meat loaf.

Makes 4 loaves ... I usually double meatloaf recipe.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mice Truffles


2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 cup crushed chocolate wafers, divided (I used chocolate graham goldfish - crushed the entire bag and reserved remainder for future use)
1/3 cup sour cream (used light)
Red nonpariels
White sprinkles
Sliced almonds
Black shoestring licorice


In microwave melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Stir in one cup crumbs and sour cream. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

For each mouse, roll about a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture into a ball, tapering one end to resemble a mouse. Roll in remaining crumns to coat. Position nonpareils for eyes and white sprinkles of whiskers. Sliced almonds are ears and licorice piece are tails.

Makes 1 dozen.

Note: Save crumbs and extra chips for quick truffle balls. Follow above directions and role in cocoa, toasted coconut, powdered sugar or other topping of choice.