Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Greek Beef Stew with Quinces

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, chef and author and teacher Gail Monaghan states:

"Quince call for low, slow cooking. But the scrumptious, succulent results are worth the wait.

"The elusive quince is quirky as well as delectable."

I made her basic poached quince which I then roasted with some maple syrup.

But a few days later and with a bowl-full of quinces on the kitchen table it was time to find a recipe that would satisfy our yearnings for something rich and deep in flavor for a cold Sunday night.

I found it in The New York Times International Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne. You MUST make this!

Ingredients (serves 6--8)

5 pounds center-cut chuck or plate of beef, cut into 2-inch cubes (I used 2+ pounds for 2 so there would be enough for leftovers)
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
8 shallots, finely chopped
5 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 sprigs parsley
1 cup Tomato sauce
1 cup Beef Stock
3 cups dry red wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered (I used a gourmet blend of bella, shiitake, portabella)
3 quinces, peeled (Gail says you do not need to peel.), cored, and cut into 8 equal slices


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Dredge the meat in the flour and set aside.
3. In a large, heavy skillet (I used a large Le Creuset pot) cook the shallots in three tablespoons of the butter, stirring, about two minutes. Add the floured meat and cook, stirring, about two minutes longer. Add the carrots, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, tomato sauce, stock, wine, salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, on the top of the stove fifteen minutes.

4. Cover and place the stew in the oven. Bake one and one-half hours.
5. Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms in the remaining butter until they have a nut-like odor and are golden brown.
6. Add the mushrooms and the quince slices to the meat, cover and bake forty minutes longer, or until the meat and quinces are fork tender.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Easy Skillet (Cast Iron) Apple Pie

This was the first time I ever made an apple pie---and the pie pastry---and OH MY GOSH was it DELICIOUS!!!


  • 2 pounds Granny Smith apples*
  • 2 pounds Braeburn apples*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts**
  • 1 egg white 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Butter-pecan ice cream 


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350º. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss apples with cinnamon and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.
  2. 2. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and place 1 piecrust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over piecrust, and top with remaining piecrust. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush top of piecrust with egg white; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 4 or 5 slits in top for steam to escape.
  3. 3. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly, shielding with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes before serving. Serve with butter-pecan ice cream.
*NOTE: I used the apples I bought at a local orchard: Northern Spy and Baldwin.

**NOTE: I made my pie pastry. Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

MURGHI DOOPIAZA (Chicken with Onions) from The Art of Indian Cuisine

Easy and delicious!


5 tablespoons ghee (I used butter)
2 pounds yellow onions, cut into think slices (I used one large sweet onion cut into thin slices)
3 whole chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise (I used 2 and cut each into 8 pieces---after frying)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon finely minced gingerroot
1 1/4 teaspoon salt (I did not use salt)
2-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I used 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes)


1. Heat ghee in a large skillet and fry the sliced onions until light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken breasts and fry over moderate heat, about 5 minutes a side, or until pieces are well browned. As chicken breasts brown, transfer them to a large shallow baking dish (It was at this point I cut them into 8 pieces).

2. Preheat oven to 350. Add turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, paprika, gingerroot, salt, garlic, tomatoes and onion to pan in which chicken was browned, adding more ghee/butter is necessary. Cover over moderate heat, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom, for two minutes. Pour sauce over chicken in baking dish. Cover baking dish and bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened.

I serve this with Basmati rice with turmeric.

The Art of Indian Cooking by Pranati Sen Gupta

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cashew and Wonton Chicken Salad with Honey Sage Vinaigrette

Best. Salad. Ever!

A favorite for lunch at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa.


2 (5-ounce) chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil (if not using grill method)
2/3 cup wonton strips
2 cups mesclun
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup mandarin oranges (I used canned.)
Honey sage vinaigrette (see below)
Salt and pepper


Preheat grill or oven to 350.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. If grilling (I did), place on hot grill and cook on both sides for 5-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If baking, heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully add the chicken and sear on both side for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Place in oven and bake until internal temperature is 165. Remove from heat and chill.

Place wonton strips on a baking sheet and place in oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove from oven and reserve at room temperature.

Place all other ingredients, except vinaigrette and wontons, in a small bowl. Add 4 to 6 tablespoons of dressing and coat thoroughly.

Place on a plate or in a bowl. Slice chicken breasts and fan over the salad. Garnish with baked wontons.

Honey Sage Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/6 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Serves 2.

From "Pathways To Plate, Destinations And Dishes From Delaware North." This cookbook is filled with so many great recipes---and photographs!

More about Delaware North.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spicy Eggplant and Olive Sauce with Linquine and Toasted Slivered Almonds

Last summer I had so much eggplant growing in my garden that we seemed to have it grilled with every dinner every night of the week!

This summer, alas, my plants produced only ONE eggplant!

So I thought I had better make something special and indeed I did. Read on!


6-8 tablespoons olive oil
1 small (about 1 lb.) eggplant, trimmed, pared, and cut into ½ inch chunks
1 cup chopped onion
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons rinsed and drained small capers
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil
2 tablespoon chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted


Heat 4-6 tablespoons (I started with 4 and then added 2 more tablespoons) of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat; add the eggplant. Saute, stirring constantly, until eggplant is tender and browned, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet. Add onion, pepper and celery; sauté, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, basil, parsley, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently.Toss with linguine, saving 1 cup of sauce.
Serve on plates or bowls, adding 1/2 cup of sauce of top of each serving. Top with slivered almonds.

Based on recipes from 365 Ways to Cook Pasta and Recipes from a Kitchen Garden.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spicy Lemongrass Mayo


Thank You Kelsey Nixon! Kelsey served it with a chicken burger and pickled Asian slaw. We have been buying grass-fed beef and it makes for a great grilled burger. Served with homemade dill pickles and roasted red potatoes.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon bruised and finely minced lemongrass (I used Gourmet Garden Lemongrass Paste)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grilled Salmon with Lime, Chili, Garlic, Jalapeno Sauce

Fast and easy!

And YUM-elicious!

1 pound Shetland or Sockeye Salmon
3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili power
1 tablespoon cumin
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
salt and pepper

I grilled this outside. I took the salmon out of the fridge 30 minutes before grilling and covered it with the sauce. I always put the salmon skin side on aluminum foil--no need to turn over. I grilled it for about 15--20 minutes on high heat. Check at 15.

Can be broiled or baked in oven; 425 for about 15--20 minutes.

I served it with fresh corn-on-the-cob from a farm down the street. And a parsley mashed  potato and sweet potato mix.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Shrimp Salad With Horseradish Rémoulade

I made a few changes (noted below) to this recipe from David Tanis which appeared in The New York Times.


  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 large shrimp, about 1 pound, preferably wild (I used cooked shrimp.)
  • 6 small yellow or red beets (I left these out; I love them but could not find at store.)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) crème fraîche (I used Greek Yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish (I used prepared)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 handfuls watercress, tops only, about 6 ounces (I used green from my garden--Arugula, Mesculin and Beet greens....plus, I added a cucumber and sugar snap peas from my garden.)
  • 1 cup sliced celery, from tender inner stalks
  • 4 eggs, hard cooked for 9 minutes then cooled in ice water, peeled and halved (I left out)


Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add bay leaf, thyme sprig, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and add shrimp. Cook shrimp until shells turn red, only a minute or two. Transfer to a large bowl of cold water, let cool, then peel and set aside.
Meanwhile, put beets in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a brisk simmer until tender when tested with a skewer, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool on a plate until just cool enough to touch. Slip off beet skins and discard. Cut beets into small wedges. Put in a bowl, season generously with salt and pepper, and add vinegar and oil. Toss and let marinate for 15 minutes. (You may prepare beets up to a day ahead.)
Make the rémoulade: Stir together crème fraîche, mustard, cayenne, horseradish and capers. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir in tarragon, parsley and dill. Refrigerate for an hour (or as long as overnight). Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and check seasoning.
Assemble the salad just before serving: Make a bed of watercress on a large platter. Spoon beets and any juices evenly over watercress, then sprinkle celery slices over top. Arrange shrimp here and there and surround with hard-cooked egg halves. Give a last, very light sprinkle of salt and serve. Pass rémoulade at the table.
4 to 6 servings

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cheese Tortellini With Spinach, Peas, and Brown Butter

Fast and easy and so ever tasty!


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup frozen peas (I used a bit more)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf spinach
  • 1 medium tomato chopped (I used about 15 cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • Directions

    1. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, adding the peas during the last minute of cooking.
    2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and tomato and cook, tossing occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and the tomato begins to soften, 4 to 5 minutes more.
    3. Add the tortellini, peas, lemon zest and juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the skillet and toss to combine.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kale and Garbanzo Beans

I am growing Kale this summer in my garden.

"There's a reason why sweet, earthy kale is the most popular of the greens these days: it's delicious, versatile, and incredibly nutritious. Kale contains beta-carotene and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin—which are associated with eye health—as well as potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, iron, and calcium. Plus, you get 2 grams of protein in a serving. Consider using kale as a stand-in for spinach in dishes..." (Cooking Light)


  • 2 center-cut bacon slices
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 lemon wedges (optional)


  1. 1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon, and crumble. Add 1 cup carrot and chopped onion to drippings in pan, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, and red pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, 1 cup water, and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. 2. Add 4 cups kale to bean mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally. Ladle about 1 1/4 cups bean mixture into each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt. Sprinkle with bacon, and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
  3. Wine Match: An inexpensive selection, the 2008 Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon (California, $8) has black cherries, oak, and a nice, smooth taste to counterbalance the meaty bacon and beans and earthy greens in this hearty dish. --Gretchen Roberts

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roasted Green Bean, Roasted Red Potato, Red Onion, Kalamata Olive with Rosemary Vinaigrette

I made this for Memorial Day. It was delicious!


  • 3 pounds red boiling potatoes
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried, plus rosemary sprigs for garnish
  • 1 red onion, halved lengthwise and sliced thin lengthwise
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 24 Kalamata or Niçoise olives, pitted and halved

Halve the potatoes, unpeeled, and cut them into 1-inch wedges. In a large roasting pan heat 1/3 cup of the oil in the middle of a preheated 425°F. oven for 5 minutes, add the potatoes, tossing them to coat them with the oil, and roast them, stirring them every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes, or until they are tender. Let the potatoes cool in the pan. In a blender purée the garlic, the vinegar, the rosemary leaves, and salt to taste, with the motor running add the remaining 1/3 cup oil in a stream, and blend the dressing until it is emulsified. In a small bowl of ice and cold water let the onion soak for 5 minutes, drain it well, and pat it dry. In a kettle of boiling salted water boil the green beans for 5 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender, and drain them in a colander. Refresh the beans under cold water and pat them dry (NOTE: I roasted the green beans with potatoes for about 10--15 minutes!). In a very large bowl combine the potatoes, the onion, the green beans, and the olives, add the dressing, and toss the salad gently. Serve the salad, garnished with the rosemary sprigs, at room temperature. 
~Gourmet Weekends. A great cookbook!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Roasted-Beet Salad With Goat Cheese and Walnuts from Mark Bittman



  • 3 large or 6 medium beets
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 6 cups torn greens, one type or an assortment
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese 


Heat the oven to 400. Wash the beets, and while they are still wet, wrap them individually in foil. Put them on a rimmed baking sheet and cook, undisturbed, until you can pierce them easily with a thin-bladed knife, 60 to 90 minutes. Once the beets have cooled, peel them (I like to rub the skin off under running water), and cut them into chunks.
Put the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant and beginning to darken, 3 to 5 minutes.
Rinse and dry the greens and put them in a large bowl; add the walnuts. Combine the oil, vinegar, shallot and Dijon in a jar with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously until the dressing becomes thick and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Pour some of the dressing onto the greens and toss to coat; pile the greens on 4 plates. Put the beets in the bowl, toss with some of the dressing and arrange them on top of or around the greens. Crumble the goat cheese on top, and serve.
4 servings

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Linguine With Caramelized Onions And Goat Cheese

You'll love this pasta dish.


1/2 pound Fresh Linguine
1 tbsp Butter & Olive Oil
2--3 Vidalia Onions, finely sliced
1/2 c. Red Wine
1 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp of Honey
1/2 Goat Cheese (more or less depending upon your fancy)
Chopped Parsley, for garnish


1.In a heavy pan, melt the butter at medium-medium high heat. Add in the sliced onions, cover and cook on a gentle heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are caramelized, about 30 minutes.

2. Add in the wine, stirring occasionally to reduce the liquid, about 10-15 minutes.

3. At this point add the balsamic vinegar and honey. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or so while you cook the linguine.

4. When the linguine is ready, toss it with the onions. Plate with the goat cheese and parsley. YUM!!! And pour a glass of wine!

Adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks,  One World Vegetarian Cookbook.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Drunken Stir-Fried Beef with Green Beans

From Cooking Light.


"Most Thai dishes are named after the main ingredients or cooking techniques. But occasionally, a dish has a playful or poetic name, such as this one. Serve over jasmine rice."



  • Drunken Paste:
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced bird chile or 2 1/2 teaspoons minced serrano chile
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped galangal or peeled fresh ginger (I used giner.)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • Stir-fry:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 cups (1-inch) diagonally cut green beans
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves


  1. To prepare the paste, combine the salt and minced garlic in a mortar and pestle, and pound to form a paste. Add chile, galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves, one at a time, until each ingredient is incorporated into paste.
  2. To prepare stir-fry, heat a wok or large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add paste, and stir-fry for 30 seconds (fumes may cause eyes and throat to burn slightly). Add beef; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add beans; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, sugar, fish sauce, and vinegar; stir-fry for 1 minute or until beef reaches desired degree of doneness. Stir in basil.
  3. Wine Note: Here's a great example of a beef dish laced with lots of green flavors - in this case, lemongrass, lime and basil. A Sauvignon Blanc, itself sporting green notes, would pair wonderfully with this dish. Try Jepson Sauvignon Blanc 1999 (Mendocino County, California; $11).