Recipes

CURRIED SHRIMP SALAD

After all the delicious seafood in Venice, I wanted a seafood entree for my recent dinner party. This low-fat recipe from Jane Brody’s “Good Seafood Book” was perfect. I doubled it and served it on top of avacado halves. A winner.

Dressing

1 teaspoon canola or olive oil

1 teaspoon curry powder (can include some hot curry powder — I used a mixture)

1/3 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon peeled, finely minced gingerroot

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Salad

1 cup coarsely chopped cooked shrimp

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup chopped, dry roasted peanuts

4 tablespoons (1/4cup) chopped scallions, including green tops, divided

To prepare dressing, in a small skillet (or in a small bowl for the microwave) heat the oil, add curry powder and cook for about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, add yogurt, gingerroot, salt, pepper, and whisk ingredients to combine well.

To prepare salad, in medium-sized bowl, combine shrimp, raisins, celery, peanuts, and 3 tablespoons of the scallions. Add dressing, toss salad to combine well. Before serving, sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of scallions.

Apr 24, 2011

My husband has childhood memories of this treat — his favorite dessert. Dubi made a batch (fantastic) for our arrival in Croatia, and she gave me a beautiful cookbook, “Croatia At Table,” which has the recipe. I also found a recipe on the web. What follows is a bit of both. It calls for cottage cheese, which unfortunately does not exist in France. I must find a substitute. This recipe serves four to six.

250 g. or 9 oz. flour

3 eggs

250 ml. or 8 oz. milk

250 ml. or 8 oz. mineral water (fizzy),

Pinch of salt.

FILLING

400 g or 14 oz. cottage cheese

3 eggs

4 oz. sugar

300 ml. or 1/2 pint of sour cream

Lemon Zest to taste

Mix eggs with a pinch of salt in a deep bowl. Add milk and mineral water gradually. Add and mix in flour. Spread 1/4 cup battter in a hot well-greased pan. Tip pan to get a very thin pancake. Brown lightly.

For the filling, mix egg yolks and sugar until fluffy, then add grated lemon zest and strained cottage cheese. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold into above mixture.

Cover crepes with filling on one side, then roll up jelly roll style. Arrange in a buttered heat-resistant pan and bake in oven (about 350 degrees F) until hot. Can serve hot or cold.

Mar 21, 2011

This easy and delicious soup was a hit at my recent African dinner party which featured Chicken Yassa (see that recipe below). My friend Lynne requested the soup recipe. The peanut taste gives it the flavor of Africa. Recipe serves four. I doubled it.

1 medium onion chopped (1 cup)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons curry powder (preferably Madras)

1 14-oz can diced tomatoes in juice, chopped if large, reserving juice

1 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (14 fl. oz.)

1 cup hot water

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Cook onion, salt and pepper in oil in a 2 to 3 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juice and broth and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir hot water into peanut butter until smooth, then add to soup. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro before serving.

Feb 25, 2011

We were served this national dish twice in Senegal. It’s different and delicious. I found several recipes on the Internet, but like this one from the NYAM web site best. I plan to make it soon for an African dinner party. Serve with rice. Serves six.

Marinade

2 bay leaves

fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried

1 -2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup cider vinegar

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 habanero/scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and ribbed, chopped

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

<p>1 3lb chicken or the equivalent in bone-in pieces

(coarse salt and lemon for cleaning)

5 large white or yellow onions, sliced

1/2 cup chicken stock

Zest of one lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped parsley for garnish

Combine all marinade ingredients and set aside. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Cut off any extra skin and fat. Rub the chicken with half of a lemon and it’s juice, then rub down with coarse salt.

Combine chicken pieces (either in a large ziploc or non-reactive bowl) with marinade, then add onions. Make sure all is well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. Turn occasionally.

Remove meat and onion from marinade separately. Reserve marinade.

Add a bit of oil to a large skillet and brown chicken pieces in batches over medium-high heat, then set aside. The natural sugars in the marinade will cause alot of browing in the pan, but that’s good.

Add drained onions to the pan and cook until wilted and carmelized. Then, pour in reserved marinade plus 1/2 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Nestle browned chicken pieces into the liquid, covering them with the onions. Cover pot. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for an hour, or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking, remove lid and turn heat up so the sauce can reduce a bit. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems.

Lastly take the chicken off the heat and stir in lemon zest. Serve with rice.

Feb 4, 2011

Here’s a tasty take on Quiche which makes a great appetizer or a yummy lunch. The pecan topping adds crunch. Makes about eight appetizer servings.

1 pound frozen or fresh shrimp

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1 10-inch baked pastry shell

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups light cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Cook, shell, devein and dice shrimp. Sprinkle shrimp, cheese and onions over bottom of baked pastry shell.

Beat eggs slightly in a medium-size bowl; beat in cream, salt, cayenne and paprika. Pour over shrimp. Sprinkle with pecans.

Bake in a slow oven (325 degrees F) for 50 minutes or until center is almost set but still soft. Do not overbake. Custard will set as it cools. Let stand 15 minutes.

Jan 2, 2011

I clipped this recipe from somewhere years ago. Here’s what the preface said: “Of all the cakes we tested, this was the general favorite. Even fruitcake haters could be seen secretly sneaking a piece of this moist cake.”It makes four large loaf sized cakes which you can cut into smaller portions and give as gifts. It needs to age, so make it soon.

1 pound dried apricots, chopped

1 pound dates, chopped

1 pound golden raisins

1 pound red and green candied cherries

1 pound red and green candied pineapple

1 pound almonds, blanced, toasted and chopped

1 pound pecans, broken into pieces

4 cups flour

1 pound unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

12 eggs

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground mace

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup rum

Grand Marnier

Juice and zest of two oranges

Juice and zest of two lemons

Thoroughly grease 4 ( 8 by 5 inch) loaf pans. Combine apricots, dates, raisins, candied cherries and pineapple, almonds and pecans in very large bowl. Mix in 1 cup flour to dredge mixture. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

Sift remaining flour with cloves, cinnamon, mace, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture, alternately with rum, brandy, 1/4 cup Grand Marnier and fruit juices and zests

Fold into fruit/nut mixture. Pour into loaf pans. Bake at 300 F 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until a wood pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. (In my oven two hours was enough.)

Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire racks and let cool to room temperature. Moisten 4 pieces of cheesecloth, large enough to cover each loaf, with Grand Marnier and wrap around each loaf.

Wrap Grand Marnier soaked loaves in foil and refrigerate or store in cool place. The longer it sets, the better it gets. For added decadence, unwrap foil every now and then and sprinkle cakes with more Grand Marnier. By Christmas, you’ll have a delicious treat.

Dec 11, 2010

Just in time for Thanksgiving, my mother’s legendary and yummy sweet potoates. They always found a place on our Thanksgiving table. I’ve never been a fan of sweet potatoes, but I love these. Must be the brandy.

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

1/4 pound butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brandy

Boil potatoes in skins until soft. Remove from water and cool. Peel and slice crosswise into 1 1/2-inch thick slices. Place in well greased shallow pan, and dot with the butter.

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle over potatoes. Pour brandy on top. Bake in 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes.

Nov 19, 2010

Friend Gilla requested this recipe. My mother, bless her heart, knowing my passion for cooking, would often clip and send me recipes. This one is a favorite. No one can ever guess the secret ingredient: bananas. Recipe serves six. 

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 cup raw rice

5 cups rich chicken broth

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 bananas, peeled and cut into chunks

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons lemon juice

For garnish, use either thinly sliced fried bananas or toasted shredded coconut.

Heat butter in a large heavy pan. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is limp. Add curry powder and stir it with vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes over low heat. Add the rice, and stir to coat with butter. Pour in chicken broth, bring mixture to boil, reduce heat and cover pan. Cook the rice until it is very tender, about 25 minutes.

Put the mixture into a blender. Add half and half, heavy cream and bananas and whirl until soup is smooth. Season with salt pepper and lemon juice. Serve chilled or hot, garnished with banana chips or coconut.

Sep 16, 2010

I recently had friends for dinner. I tried this recipe which I printed out from the Food & Wine on line newsletter. It was a hit. All wanted the recipe, so here it is — with a few modifications. This calls for jalapeno peppers which don’t exisit in France. I used two Moroccan hot peppers. Recipe serves four

2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed

4 cloves garlic, 2 smashed, 2 minced

1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon Asian seasame oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 lbs)

6 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

1 1/2 tablespoons water

In a blender or food processor, puree the jalapenos, smashed garlic cloves, the 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, the fish sauce, cooking oil, seasame oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Put the chicken in a shallow dish and coat with cilantro puree. Let marinate several hours.

Grill the chicken over moderately high heat or broil it for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in a small stainless steel saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer, stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour liquid into a small glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool. Add the minced garlic, chopped cilantro, red pepper flakes and water. Serve each chicken breast with a small bowl of the dipping sauce alongside.

Aug 10, 2010

I was going to add this recipe with my blog entries on Morocco, but as it was winter, it did not seem appropriate. Now is the perfect time for this easy and refreshing summer soup that combines the spices of North Africa with a touch of honey and lemon. Serves four.

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (14 to 16 oz.) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and juices reserved

1 3/4 cups chicken broth (14 oz.)

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Garnish: lemon slices

Cook onion in oil with spices in 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

Coarsley chop tomatoes and add to onion mixture with reserved juices, broth, honey, 1 tablespoon parsley and 1 tablespoon cilantro, then bring to boil.

Transfer soup to metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. (I usually skip this and just put the soup in the frig to cool). Cool soup, stirring occasionally until cold. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, then stir in remaining parsley and cilantro.

Jul 12, 2010

If you’ve never tried fennel, now is the time. Since discovering it years ago, it’s become my favorite vegetable next to artichokes. I posted this recipe on my original web site. It was a hit. If you like garlic, add more. I usually do. This recipe serves four, but can be easily doubled.

2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and halved lengthwise

2 Tablespoons butter, cubed

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper<br/>

1 1/2 cups hot chicken broth

2 Tablespoons heavy cream (I used lots more — you may even go for broke and substitute creme fraiche or sour cream)

Freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 cup (or more) freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 ° F and arrange fennel in baking dish, scattering butter and garlic around fennel.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add hot stock and bake until tender and browned, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat broiler. Spoon cream over fennel, sprinkle with nutmeg, then with Parmesan. Broil until golden, about 1 minute.

May 17, 2010
I was going to give the recipe for the Farfalle we made in Paris. However, I prepared it last night. It wasn’t as good as it was in Paris… Instead, as it’s strawberry season, I’ll share the recipe for this sinfully delicious dessert which serves 8 – 10. It may fall apart when you cut it into serving pieces, but it’s the taste (decadent) which counts.
Crust

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Topping

2 pounds strawberries, divided

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Filling

1 1/4 cups whipping cream

1/4 pound cream cheese, softened

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For crust, mix melted butter with flour, confectioners’ sugar and pecans. Press into a buttered 10-inch pie plate. Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool completely.

Start topping by mashing enough strawberries to make 1 cup. Cut tops off rest of strawberries and set aside. Place mashed berries in a saucepan and add water. Mix sugar and cornstarch into crushed berry mixture and bring to boil on top of stove, stirring. Boil about one minute or until clear and thickened. Set aside to cool.

For filling, whip cream until stiff. In another bowl, beat cream cheese with vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Carefully fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spread in cool crust and refrigerate.

When crushed berry mixture is cool, pie can be assembled. Stand whole berries on top of creamed filling, cut side down. When entire filling is covered with whole berries, carefully spoon cooled crushed berry mixture over all. Cream filling should not be seen between whole berries. Once crevices have been filled, do not overload pie with crushed berry mixture as it will just drip over sides. Any leftover crushed berry mixture is delicious on toast or English muffins. Refrigerate pie until ready to serve.

Apr 27, 2010

We were served this tasty and simple concoction as an entree at a delightful Italian restaurant, Il Suppli, 2, Rue de Conde, in St. Germain. We have German friends arriving for lunch tomorrow. As I just returned from the hospital following some minor surgery, I need something that doesn’t require elaborate preparation. This is perfect.

Serves four.

4 endives

2 tablespoons butter

juice of half a lemon

1/2 cup cold water

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Gorgonzola (to taste)

Wash the endives in cold water and drain. Butter a heavy oven-proof skillet to fit the endives in one layer. Sprinkle with a little salt, then add endives and sprinkle with a bit more salt.

Sprinkle with lemon juice and add the 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Watch carefully so the water does not boil away. Add more if needed.

When the endives are tender, sprinkle with pepper, cut in half and top with Gorgonzola, to taste, then put under the broiler until melted. Delicious.

Apr 5, 2010

In keeping with the Moroccan theme, I was going to add a recipe for a delicious cold Moroccan soup. But as it’s a cold wintry day in Provence, these pancakes seem more appropriate. I just made them for Sunday brunch. Yummy. They are light and moist, a cross between a pancake and a crepe. Do not overmix the batter to insure that the panckaes will be airy. Recipe serves four.

Maple Syrup Apples

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 large Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled,cored, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1 large egg

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Additional butter and maple syrup

For Maple Syrup Apples

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Saute until apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup and cinnamon.

For Pancakes

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, whisk to blend. Whisk buttermilk, yogurt and egg in medium bowl to blend; add to dry ingredients and stir until just blended but still lumpy. Gently mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter.

Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread thin coating of butter over griddle and let melt. Working in batches, drop batter by 1/3 cupfulls onto griddle, spacing apart. Cook pancakes until brown on bottom and bubbles form on top, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until bottoms are brown and pancakes are barely firm to touch. Transfer to plates. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter to griddle as needed.

Spoon apples over pancakes. Serve passing additional maple syrup.

Mar 7, 2010

Tagines (stews), usually made in a ceramic pot with a conical shaped dome, are a staple of Moroccan cuisine. I’ve made this recipe several times for guests who have always enjoyed the flavors of North Africa. This recipe calls for fresh lemons, but in Morocco preserved lemons would be used. If you can find them, they’ll add a more authentic taste. This recipe serves eight.

2 4 to 4 1/2 pound chickens, each cut into 8 pieces

8 medium onions, finely chopped

2 bunches parsley, stemmed, chopped

2 bunches cilantro, stemmed, chopped

24 garlic cloves, chopped

4 lemons, each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges

6 tablespoons olive oil

8 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1 1/2 cups brine-cured olives, such as Kalamata

Fresh cilantro sprigs

Divide chicken, onions, parsley, chopped cilantro, garlic, lemons, oil, cumin, ginger, pepper and saffron between two large heavy Dutch ovens. Cover, simmer over medium-low heat until chicken is almost cooked through, stirring occasionally and adding up to a cup of water to each Dutch oven if needed to prevent sticking, about 40 minutes.

Add half of olives to each Dutch oven, cover and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to large shallow bowl. Garnish with cilantro springs and serve. Couscous is an ideal accompaniment — and very Moroccan.

Feb 11, 2010

My mother was the epitome of a chocoholic. This is the recipe for her famous cake which she claimed won my father’s heart. She frosted it with “gooey icing,” a type of 7-minute frosting, but I don’t have that recipe. Any vanilla frosting shoud do.

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 egg whites, beaten and folded in last

4 egg yellows

1/2 cup sour milk (make by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the milk and let stand)

4 squares (ounces) of Baker’s chocolate

1 cup boiling water

2 teaspoons baking soda (make sure they are level)

pinch of salt

good teaspoon of cinnamon

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream sugar and shortening well. Add 4 egg yellows to mixture. Melt the chocolate in the boiling water, then add to above mixture. In separate bowl, mix flour with salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add alternately with sour milk to basic mixture and mix well after each addition. Add vanilla. Fold in egg whites. Bake in two greased and floured cake pans at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Frost as desired.

Jan 14, 2010

I clipped this recipe from a newspaper which credited it to the Pasta Maria restaurant in Los Angeles. I served it as an appetizer at a dinner party on St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6. It was the hit of the meal. Several guests requested the recipe. It’s easy, delicious and colorful for the holidays.

4 sweet red, yellow or green peppers — a mix is best for appearance

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (or any blue cheese)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese — or more to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Roast peppers by placing over a direct flame or under the brolier until skin is blistered and scorched. Using tongs, place peppers in a paper bag or a container with a top. Close and let the peppers sweat.

When cool enough to handle, remove outer skin from peppers. Cut skinned peppers into 2-inch wide strips. Place in casserole. Sprinkle with cheeses. Drizzle with lemon juice.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and is brown and bubbly. Makes 6 appetizer servings.

Dec 19, 2009

This treasured recipe comes from The Arlington Inn in Vermont. A Gourmet reader requested it. It’s been a holiday favorite with us and always a hit with guests.The savory soup has sweet undertones from brown sugar and maple syrup, and is garnished with vanilla ice cream

1 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/4 sticks (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter

2 butternut squash ( 3 to 3 1/2 pounds total), peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4inch pieces (about 8 cups)

6 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Vanilla ice cream for garnish

In a large kettle cook the onion and garlic in 4 tablespoons of the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the squash and cook the mixture until the squash is coated well with butter. Add the broth and lemon juice, bring mixture to a boil, and simmer it, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the squash is very tender. </p>

In a food processor or blender puree the mixture in batches, force through a fine sieve into a bowl (I usually forget the sieve step), and return to kettle. Stir in the remaining 6 tablespoons butter, the cream, the brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, and bring mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and garnish each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Makes about 12 cups, serving 8 to 10.

Nov 29, 2009

I made this for our German friends who housesat for us while we were in the US. They loved it. So do we. Recipe serves four

5 ripe plum tomatoes, about 1 pound

3/4 pound tubular pasta

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup pepper vodka (I use regular vodka as I’ve never found pepper vodka)

1/2 pound sliced smoked salmon,cut into 1 1/2 inch strips

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro or basil

Freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese

Core tomatoes and drop into boiling water for 10 to 12 seconds. Drain and peel. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 2 1/4 cups/

Cook pasta in salted water according to directions. It should be al dente. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

Meanwhile heat oil in a large skillet and add garlic and shallots. Cook briefly, stirring without browning. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for one minute. Add cream and vodka and cook one minute.

Add pasta and reserved cooking liquid (if needed to thin) to the tomato sauce. Blend well and simmer one minute.

Add salmon, butter and cilantro or basil. Toss well and cook one minute. Serve immediately with cheese.

Nov 11, 2009

This is an easy and delicious salad. It’s always a hit with my guests. Recipe serves eight.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar<br/>

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/2 cup olive oil

1 large head romaine lettuce

6 large green onions

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 large yellow pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

1 1/3 cups pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

Whisk first four ingredients in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine lettuce, green onions, bell peppers, feta cheese, pine nuts and dill in a large bowl.. Add dressing and toss to coat.

Oct 6, 2009

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