Coming in from the slopes rosy-cheeked and hungry, wouldn’t it be nice if you thought ahead and had this hearty dinner ready for warm-up in the oven? Fennel seed adds a bright sassy note to this age-old favorite.
I never measure. That’s why I like Jamie Oliver – a dash of this and a shake of that. Also his accent is adorable. This combination of ingredients always works, no matter the proportions.
In your food processor, whip up:
- Lemon zest (at least a whole lemon)
- Lemon juice
- Fresh basil leaves
- Fine sea Salt
- Organic ground cayenne - a dash is good
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic (not more than two cloves, unless you like it really garlicky)
- Pine nuts
- Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Drizzle in olive oil last
Looks pretty over little curly fusilli noodles, or keep on hand to brighten up sandwiches.
Sometimes you just need a little comfort food. This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Kathy.
- 3 eggs separated
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 lb cottage cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2/3 lb egg noodles (already boiled)
- (1/2 cup – cornflakes, bread crumbs, dried fried onions etc – optional)
The beauty of this dish is that once you prepare it, your entire dinner is done. Vegetables (broccoli and mushrooms), protein (chicken), calcium (cottage cheese, milk and swiss cheese) and carbs (noodles). Throw it in the oven, pour yourself a glass of chilled Chardonnay, and relax!
Straight from the American Heart Association’s web site, here’s a yummy recipe for the cholesterol-conscious!
- 4 ounces dried multigrain rotini
- 1½ cups cubed cooked skinless chicken breasts, cooked without salt
- (about 7½ ounces cooked)
- 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (about 5 ounces)
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach (about 1 ounce)
- ⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 2.25-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (extra-virgin preferred)
- ½ teaspoon organic dried rosemary, crushed
- ¼ cup crumbled low-fat blue cheese
- In a stockpot or large saucepan, prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain in a colander. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the pasta quickly.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the blue cheese.
- Stir in the pasta. Gently fold in the blue cheese.
This orzo salad is a refreshing Mediterranean side dish to your grilled chicken, beef or fish. (I highly recommend this with our chicken kebab recipe.)
- 12 ounces orzo
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives (optional)
- 3 Table spoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic cloves (or ¼ teaspoon organic minced garlic)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons organic oregano
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- Boil salted water and cook orzo until al dente. Drain; rinse with cold water; be sure to drain well.
- Toss with 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in large bowl.
- Add feta, chopped peppers, green onions, and olives.
- Mix lemon juice, white wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin and mustard in small bowl.
- Whisk in ½ cup olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add dressing to orzo salad and toss.
- Can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead—covered and refrigerated.
(adapted from Frank Crispo’s Spaghetti Carbonara as printed in Esquire)
Frank Crispo shows three strokes of creative genius in his take on the traditional dish. First, instead of using only bacon, he ups the complexity with a trio of pork meats. Second, the addition of frisée lightens the heaviness and adds a subtle green freshness. Third, rather than scrambling the egg in the process, he poaches an egg on the side and tops the pasta with white clouds of poached egg and a twist of the pepper mill at the last minute, resulting in a gorgeously aesthetic presentation and avoiding that gloppy texture of traditionally prepared carbonara. I’ve tinkered with it over the past year to suit my family’s tastes, adding red pepper flakes for spice (although some of my kids still add Tabasco to it) and pasta water for extra smoothness. This is the best version I’ve come up with. So far…. (more…)
Note: The original recipe includes broccoli, snow peas and plum tomatoes. I leave out the broccoli and snow peas, and use cherry tomatoes. I also increase the vodka and use a couple teaspoons of red pepper flakes, as most of my family likes things really spicy. Do not be alarmed if it seems too saucy when you combine the pasta and tomato mixture. The pasta will absorb the sauce as it sits. Often this even better the next day as the sauce continues to infuse the pasta in the refrigerator. I love it with coffee for breakfast! This is my version:
This is adapted from Pierre Franey’s recipe in Cooking with the 60-Minute Gourmet. As usual, I up the red pepper flakes, and make mandatory the optional jalepeno. As Madonna says, “if you can’t stand the heat, get off of my street”. (From her song I Love New York). To echo the festive Santa Fe feeling that the cumin, cilantro and chili inspire and to cool yourselves down, serve with frosty margaritas.
This recipe is from The Soup Bible, by Debra Mayhew, which is one of the best soup cookbooks I’ve found. There are three recipes in this cookbook which are outstanding. The other two are Chicken Soup with Vermicelli and Seafood and Sausage Gumbo.
This soup is a staple in our house. It gets us through the winter, which is my favorite season in Colorado. I usually make a double batch and freeze it. The spice of the turmeric and cayenne helps clear your sinus after a hard day skiing. It goes equally well with white and red wine. (more…)
At the farmers’ markets last summer, we tested over 14 different flavored sea salts. We had sample tastings of everything from Habanero Sea Salt (a Texan favorite) to Ginger Beet Sea Salt (amazing color, but lacking in flavor at the time… this one is back in our test kitchen and we hope to re-introduce it next year). Based upon customer feedback, we narrowed our product offering to the following:
Sel Gris (French grey sea salt)
Throughout the summer, loyal customers returned time and again to share how they had used the flavored sea salts. Below are a few of their tips. If you have any other recipe favorite, please let me know. We’d love to add them to our list.
Black Truffle Sea Salt was the hit of the Vail Farmers’ Market. We wish we had a video of the reactions… definitely YouTube material. Maybe next year we’ll become technically savvy enough to to take one. Sprinkle this Italian taste of heaven on:
- french fries (a la Lark Burger)
- hamburgers or steak
- pasta (especially good with Parmesan cheese)
- potatoes, eggs, mushrooms
- veggies (especially snow peas)
- soups, salads and stews…
We really haven’t found anything that doesn’t improve with just a little truffle salt. Be warned, a little goes a long way. The truffle is powerful, and too much is not a good thing. Get creative and enjoy.
Smoked Applewood Sea Salt has become the appetizer accompaniment in our house. Sprinkle a little on:
- blue cheese on a cracker, and serve with red wine (my favorite)
- a kobe beef hamburger
- eggs (almost as good as bacon)
- chicken, fish, lentils, pork, roast beef, potatoes, beans, tomatoes…
- rim your bloody mary glass!
Lime Sea Salt was very popular with the margarita crowd. Also good with fish, chicken, guacamole, and on fresh fruit.
Sel Gris is a favorite among our restaurant customers. Our chefs use it to finish dishes in their restaurants such as fish, scallops, chicken. This salt is high in minerals and moisture has a very clean taste. This is the salt of salts!
Garlic Sea Salt This is the best you will ever taste. Freshly ground for bold flavor, this is an excellent complement to Italian food – pizza especially. Also broccoli, popcorn, chicken, steak, potatoes, tomatoes, soups, stews, and of course bread!
Rosemary Lavender Sea Salt has fresh ground rosemary, lavender and French grey sea salt. It makes an excellent rub for chicken, pork, and steak. This was very popular with our vegetarian customers… think green beans, snow peas, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes…
These are just a few of our customers tips. There are no rules, get creative and sprinkle away!