Friday, January 31, 2014

Boneless Chicken Breasts With Honey-Beer Sauce

Simple to make.

Superb taste.* Serves two.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 cup beer (I used Sierra Nevada "Ruthless Rye.")
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce  
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. 1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and butter to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with pepper and salt. Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add shallots to pan; cook 1 minute or until translucent. Combine beer and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add beer mixture to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Return chicken to pan; turn to coat with sauce. If desired, sprinkle evenly with parsley.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Farro With Gourmet Mushrooms, Spinach, Red Pepper Flakes and Pecorino Romano Cheese

I served this with a Roast Turkey Breast and Mushroom Gravy and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Raisins and Walnuts.


  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 1/2  cups homemadestock
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup assorted gourmet mushrooms
  • 2-3 big handfuls of spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4+ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  1. In a medium sized pot combine the farro with the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes for semi-pearled farro and 50 minutes for whole farro. The farro is done when the grains are tender and all the water has been absorbed. Set aside.
  2. While the farro is cooking, gently saute the mushrooms in the oil.
  3. Stir the mushrooms, baby spinach, red pepper flakes, and cheese into the farro, mixing with a large spoon to combine well.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Roasted Cod With Olives and Lemon

So simple.

So superb!


  • 2 pounds Cod
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 cup mixed olives
  • zest from one lemon cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped


  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place the fish in a small roasting pan (I used a cast iron skillet; see below). Add enough wine (about 3/4 cup) to reach halfway up the sides of the fish. Scatter the olives and lemon zest around the fish. Drizzle with the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the red pepper.
  3. Roast until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the parsley. Divide the fish among individual plates and spoon the olives and wine sauce over the top. 

And look what I made with the leftovers: Cod Cakes with Horseradish Tartar Sauce and roasted Fennel with Lemon, Garlic, Olive Oil, and Fresh Pear and Pecorino Romano Cheese (Thank You Gail Monaghan!)---YUM!

The cod Cakes were made with about 1 1/2 cups leftover cod, 3/4 cups leftover brown rice, a few leftover olives diced, 1 celery stalk minced, some bread crumbs and an egg. All mixed together and fried in some oil and butter. The horseradish tartar sauce is from a Martha Stewart recipe.

The Roasted Cod with Olives and Lemons is based on a recipe from Real Simple.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Turkey Breast Diane with Jicama Salsa


1 package Shady Brook Farms® Turkey Breast for Scallopini & Milanesa
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, halved
How to prepare this recipe:
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle turkey with lemon pepper seasoning.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until no longer pink and internal temperature reaches 170°F.
  4. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard; mix well. Add to skillet; heat through.
  5. Sprinkle parsley and squeeze lemon evenly over turkey. 
Jicama Salsa

In a small bowl, stir together the following:

2 cups diced peeled Jicama
2/3 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
4+ tablespoons chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1 large pickled jalapeno chilli, seeded and minced
2 shallots minced
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cod with Orange and Fennel

So simple.

And simply delicious.


1 cup thinly sliced shallot
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (I used a bit more!)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, bruised with side of knife
2 pounds cod or halibut fillet, cut into equal portions
Parsley for garnish


In heavy skillet cook shallot in 1 tablespoon butter over moderately low heat until softened. Add zest, orange juice, wine and fennel seeds and boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Season fish with salt and pepper. Arrange fish in one layer over sauce and cook, covered, at a bar simmer 10 minutes, or until cooked through. With spatula divide fish among 6 heated plates. Bring sauce to boil and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce over fish and garnish with parsley. Serves 6. (I used the leftover in a vegetable soup.)

~From Gourmet Weekends, a wonderful cookbook.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pan Roast of Cod*, Pears and Caramelized Fennel

I share with you one of the BEST fish meals I have ever eaten. Another great recipe from Gail Monaghan.

Chef and Writer Gail Monaghan wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal about Fennel.

*The store did not have Cod so I used Haddock. I also cut the recipe ingredients in about 1/3.

Marinate fish: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Rub marinade into 4 pounds cod fillets, skins removed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
 Prepare vegetables: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove stalks and outer layers from 3 large bulbs fennel, and cut bulbs lengthwise into 8 parts each (reserve fronds for garnish). In a large ovenproof skillet or flameproof roasting pan, toss cut fennel with 4 large red onions, cut into 8 wedges each, 1 head garlic, broken into cloves and peeled, 2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds and seeds removed, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil. (Two skillets or pans can be used if necessary.) Place in oven and cook 25 minutes. Add 3 fairly hard pears, peeled, cored and cut into 4 wedges each, salt and freshly ground black pepperto taste and 1/4 cup fish stock (vegetable stock or water can be substituted) to skillet and continue to roast until vegetables are tender and deeply caramelized, 20-30 minutes more. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil.

Increase oven temperature to highest setting. Place a baking sheet in oven for 5 minutes. Place cod fillets on hot baking sheet and cook until juices from fish turn from clear to opaque, 10-20 minutes depending on thickness of fillets. Remove from oven and transfer fillets to a large platter and keep warm.

Remove foil and reheat vegetables in oven until very hot, about 5 minutes. To serve, place vegetables around fish and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen (optional). Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped mixture of fennel fronds, parsley and chives.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Potato, Escarole, and Country Ham Soup

So simple.

So delicious.

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 leek, white and light green portion, washed and minced
1 celery stalk, trimmed and diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 yellow or white potatoes, peeled and thinly diced (I used red potatoes)
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 cups cleaned and chopped escarole (about 8 ounces)
1 cup diced country ham
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1. Heat the butter in a soup pot over low heat; add the onion,leek, celery and garlic, and stir until they are evenly coated with butter. Cover the pot and cook until tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add the broth, potatoes and thyme. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are beginning to disintegrate, 15 to 20 minutes.

 3. Remove and discard the thyme sprig. Puree the soup. Return the soup to the soup pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
4. Add the escarole and diced ham, and simmer the soup for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until all ingredients are tender.

5. Add salt and generous amounts of pepper to taste, and serve the soup in a heated soup tureen or individual bowls. 

~From The Culinary Institute of America, The New Book of Soups

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pasta With Fennel, Sausage, And Tomato

Chef and Writer Gail Monaghan wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal about Fennel.

Inspired by one of her recipes, I combined Cheese Tortellini with Fennel, Apple/Chicken Sausage and Tomato and the result was delicious. Gail's recipe called for Penne, which I did not have, and Sweet Sausage; my partner in the kitchen, Sous Chef Susan, prefers the Apple/Chicken Sausage.

Gail writes:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove outer layers of 2 large bulbs fennel. Finely chop fronds and set aside. Roughly chop bulbs and stalks and toss with 2 yellow onions, cut into thin half moons, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Roast in a baking pan, stirring frequently, until tender and golden, about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, cook 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled, until cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Strain sausage and discard grease. Return sausage to skillet. Add one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes and ½ cup coarsely chopped mixed fresh basil and parsley and simmer until most liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add ¼ cup heavy cream and roasted vegetables and simmer, stirring, 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 pound penne and cook until al dente. Drain penne, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return penne to pot, add vegetable sauce and cook to heat, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, add¼ cup grated Parmesan, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and½ cup coarsely chopped mixed fresh basil and parsley, chopped fennel fronds and 1 teaspoon fennel pollen (optional). Serve with more grated Parmesan on the side.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Rack Of Lamb In The Crockpot With Lingonberry Sauce

It was New Year's Day.

I had a rack of lamb.

I wanted to keep it simple.

Why not see, I thought, if there was a way to cook it in my crockpot.

This is what I found, from Fresh: (Changes to recipe noted in bold.)

"There will be people out there that say you can’t cook rack of lamb in the crockpot. Well, they need to try this recipe! This has to be one of my favourite crockpot lamb recipes. This NZ rack of lamb recipe is worthy of a dinner party."

"The roasting piece I’ve chosen for this particular slow cooker recipe is a lamb rack, which worked brilliantly because it was partially sliced between each rib and this allowed the flavours to penetrate the lamb rack. So if you’re using another cut of lamb, I suggest you score it well with a sharp knife to allow the flavours in."

Serves 4-6 (Serves 2)
Crockpot Rack of Lamb:

2 lamb racks (1 Rack)
1 cup plum jam (or any flavour you like or need to use up) (I used Lingonberry Sauce.)
1 tablespoon of tomato sauce or relish (again, anything tomatoey you need to use up in the fridge) (I used 1/4 cup tomato sauce.)
1 lemon (cut the cheeks of each side to add to the crockpot)
Lemon zest from the left over middle part of your lemon
1 tbls lemon juice (from your leftover lemon after the cheeks have been cut off)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tsp grated ginger or half teaspoon ground ginger
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1 sprig rosemary from your garden (I used 1 tsp dried.)

How to:

"Turn your slowcooker onto Low.
Put the lamb racks x 2 in the crock pot.
Combine all the other ingredients and pour over the meat.
Cook on low for about 8 hours (or about 4 hours on high if you’re our of time).
Then as you carve up each rack, drain out some of the liquid from the crock pot and put it in a saucepan, and boil. In a cup, add about 2 teaspoons of cornflour to enough water to make a paste and added it to the saucepan whilst stirring. This will make the sauce thicken and in doing so will separate off the oil. Pour any oil off and use the sauce with the rack of lamb - delicious!
Serve with mashed potato, greens and your lamb jus gravy."

I served this with smashed red potatoes to which I added cooked leeks, bacon, portobella and shiitake mushrooms. And asparagus.