Arancini (fried risotto balls)

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Arancini (fried risotto balls)

Arancini (fried risotto balls)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of short grain rice
  • 8 ounces of Italian cheese for filling (I use goat cheese, Parmesan, Fontina,
  • and a bit of Gorgonzola)
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

STEPS

Boil the rice in abundant salted water; strain and put in a bowl. Let cool. Mix cheeses and chopped oregano in a bowl. To form the balls, take approximately 2 tsp. of rice and flatten it into your hand (wet hands). Place a teaspoon of cheese filling on the flattened rice. Top with another 2 tsp. of rice and form into a ball, enclosing the cheese well. Continue with remaining ingredients, forming balls. In a small bowl, beat the three eggs.

In another bowl, combine bread crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Roll each rice ball in egg and then bread crumb mixture. Place balls on a baking sheet to be ready to fry. Heat oil in a deep pan to 375 degrees F.

Carefully place a few balls into hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Turn balls to brown on all sides and remove to a plate lined with paper towel. Let cool slightly and serve. Balls can be kept warm in a 250 degree oven until serving time.

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Capanata

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Capanata

Capanata

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil .
  • 2 large eggplants (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium zucchini (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 yellow squash (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 large celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • One 16-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • One 3-ounce piece aged Asiago cheese, shaved into strips with a
  • vegetable peeled(about 3/4 cup)
  • Baguette slices, for serving

STEPS

In a small saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, and vinegar is reduced to 1/4 cup.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat; add eggplant, zucchini, squash, celery, onion, and bell pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables until tender, then add garlic and cook one more minute. Add tomatoes, olives, parsley, and oregano. Stir until combined and heated through. Remove from heat and place in a dish for serving. 

Top with shaved Asiago and serve with baguette slices.

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Pot Stickers

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Pot Stickers

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Pot Stickers

INGREDIENTS

  • Won Ton Wrappers

Filling:

  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or turkey
  • 2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 egg

STEPS

Mix all ingredients in large bowl until combined. Using won ton wrappers, put a small mound of filling in the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with your finger. Fold the wrapper in half to form a half moon shape. Starting one end fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Proceed with this “pleating” until the wrapper is completely sealed. Put filled wrappers on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn starch.

Coat a sauté pan with oil and put over medium-high heat. Place pot stickers flat side down and cook until the bottom is browned. Have pan cover ready and add 1 cup of water and cover immediately. The water will steam the pot stickers. Check them in 5 minutes as more water may be needed. The trick here is that once the pot stickers are firm and fully cooked the water will evaporate and the bottoms will crisp-up again.

DIPPING SAUCE

  • juice of one orange

  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. garlic chili sauce

STEPS FOR SAUCE

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and garnish with chopped scallions.

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Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes  Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. capers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chipotles in adobo, chopped
  • ½ tsp. southwest seasoning (or chile powder)
  • ½ tsp. southwest seasoning (or chile powder)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. To cook eggs, Place them in a large pan and cover with water by 1 inch. Put pan over a burner and bring water to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn off heat and put lid on pan. Set timer for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove eggs and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Peel eggs and carefully slice in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, remove yolks from each half. Place yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, capers, chipotles, seasoning and a little salt. Mix well, and spoon mixture into egg whites. You can also use a piping bag and pipe the mixture to make it more decorative. After arranging eggs on platter, sprinkle lightly with paprika.

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Leek Fritters

Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes  Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 leeks 5 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup self rising flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg 
  • 2/3 cup milk 
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut the leeks into 1/2” slices.

2. Put into a bowl of cold water to soak for five minutes to allow sand to sink to bottom of bowl. Strain out leeks and pat dry with a towel.

3. In a skillet, heat half of the oil and add leeks and shallots. Saute for 15 minutes, until soft.

4. Transfer to a large bowl and add chile, parsley, spices, sugar and salt. Allow to cool.

5. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold it into the vegetables.

6. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, whole egg, milk and butter to form a batter. Gently mix it into the vegetable mixture.

7. Put 2 tbsp. of the remaining oil in a large frying pan and place over a medium heat.

8. When oil is hot, spoon mixture into pan to make small fritters. Fry them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp.

9. Remove to paper towels and keep warm. Continue making fritters, adding oil as needed, but make sure additional oil is heated well before adding the mixture.

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Cornmeal Cheddar Scones

Prep Time:  15 minutes  Cook Time: 20 minutes  Serves: 10-15

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • Kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place first 7 ingredients in a food processor. Add 3/4 cup butter; pulse 8-10 times or until mixture resembles corn meal.

3. Place mixture in a large bowl; stir in cheese. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Do not over mix. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times.

4. Form dough into a rectangle 10”X7”. Cut into 15 squares. Place squares on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

5. Note: You can freeze the squares of dough by placing them on parchment paper and into a freezer bag. When ready to bake, remove from freezer. Butter and salt the tops and bake 25-30 minutes.

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Brandied Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Pear Crostini

Prep Time:  30 minutes  Cook Time: 1 minute  Serves: 15

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. brandy
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 16 1/4”-thick French bread slices, toasted
  • 1 ripe medium pear, cored and thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a small bowl, let the blue cheese and butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Mash with a fork until well mixed. Stir in brandy and walnuts.

2. Preheat broiler. Top bread slices with pear slices. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese mixture atop the pear on each bread slice.

3. Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat about 1 minute or until cheese is bubbly, but not melted. Serve warm. Makes 8-10 servings.

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Ricotta and Vegetable Zucchini Wrap

Prep Time: 35 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes  Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup zucchini, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. mixed herbs
  • 6 each (1 ounce) oven roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup green beans, blanched and cut into thirds (about 10)
  • 1 tbsp. basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp. Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 or 2 zucchini, cut on a mandolin lengthwise very thinly
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large saute pan heat the 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the onions and toss for 1 minute. Add the zucchini cubes and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs, tomatoes, and green beans. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine; taste for seasoning. Spread the vegetable mixture onto a sheet pan to cool.

2. In a large saute pan heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of oil over medium heat and when hot but not smoking, add 3 of the zucchini strips. After 1 minute, turn and cook remaining sides. Repeat until all the zucchini strips have been cooked. Cool them on a sheet pan.

3. On a cutting board lay out the zucchini slices. Begin with one strip lying horizontally. Lay another strip horizontally as well and slightly over lapping. When you have the first 4 strips laid out, place the remaining four on the other side repeating the pattern but over lapping the second set about half way on top of the first set. Spread the pesto in the center and the ricotta cheese on top. Place the vegetables in the middle in a vertical line. Fold one side of the zucchini over the vegetable filling followed by the other side.

4. Flip the entire zucchini wrap over and place on a sheet of parchment paper and onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until it is hot inside.

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Braised Beef

Prep Time:  Cook Time: 180 minutes  Serves:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. Chile powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds lean stew meat or chuck
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into large pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of root beer
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Mix together the chile powder, 2 tsp. salt, black pepper, and cinnamon. Coat the meat with mixture.

3. Heat a large ovenproof Dutch oven of high heat. Add canola oil. Working in batches, place the meat in one layer into the pan and sear all sides.

4. Remove meat and continue searing remaining meat. Remove all meat to a separate dish. Add more oil, if necessary, and add the garlic, onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and let cook for up to 20 minutes, or until browned and caramelized.

5. Add wine and let reduce until almost evaporated. Add broth and root beer. Stir, and add meat. Tie the thyme with butcher’s string and place in pan. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover, and place in oven for 3-4 hours. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.

6. Using tongs, remove the large chunks of vegetables (garlic, onion, carrots, and celery). This could take a while, but you only want the meat and juice. Discard the vegetables and remove the meat from the juice and place in a separate bowl while you reduce the juice. Place pan on the stove, uncovered, over high heat. Let juice simmer and reduce by half. Add meat to reduced juice, and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If it is too spicy, you can add a little root beer or honey. Serve over cheesy polenta.

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Shrimp Ceviche

Prep Time:  30 minutes  Cook Time:  3 minutes  Serves: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chile sauce or tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup capers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • Juice of 2 fresh oranges
  • Juice of 2 fresh limes
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 1. Split the shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside.
  • 2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Saute the shrimp in batches until just cooked. Set aside to cool.
  • 3. Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Salt to taste, and then stir in the shrimp.
  • 4. Flavors and textures are at their peak within 3 hours of making this dish, so plan accordingly.

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