- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ large white onion, diced (~¾ cup)
- 1 generouscup diced carrots
- 5-6 medium stalks celery, diced (~1 cup)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- ½ tsp. each dried basil & dried oregano
- 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise then sliced¼–½” thick
- 8 oz. mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 15.5-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs – a mix of flat-leaf parsley, basil & oregano, depending on what you have
- Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
- Pesto, for serving
- 4 chicken breasts (use bone-in skin-on if you are using a purchased broth)
- 2½ quarts chicken broth
- 4 garlic cloves – unpeeled & smashed with the side of a knife
- ½ large yellow or white onion, cut into large chunks
- 6 sprigs cilantro
- ½ tsp cumin
- Flour tortillas
- Spray oil
- Coarse Kosher or sea salt
- Diced tomatoes (in the winter I like to use the ones labeled “ugly ripe” that I can find at my local Publix)
- Yellow or white onion, diced
- Coarsely chopped cilantro
- Assorted hot sauces – we use the green Jalapeño Tabasco and the Chipotle Tabasco
- Avocado, cubed
- Cheese – Mexican melting or crumbling cheese (link) or Monterey Jack or Cheddar
- Lime, cut into wedges
- 3 cups cooked long grain rice (1 1/2 cups before cooking)
- Crumbled dried ancho chile peppers
Pictures of a few specialty ingredients:
How I assemble my personal soup bowl:
Start with large spoonful of rice then ladle in broth & chicken. Squeeze a lime wedge over your bowl and then drop said lime wedge into your soup. Add tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cumbled ancho peppers, avocado & tortilla strips. If you are sick, have with a large glass of orange juice, otherwise a Mexican beer would be perfect. Cheers!!
¾ cup whole milk
Back in early November 2012, I was starting to test recipes for Thanksgiving and never got around to posting them. This dinner was a such a definite winner and perfect for the cold weather we’ve been having that I’ve decided to share it with you. The menu consisted of roasted Brussels sprouts, a raw cranberry relish and instead of turkey, sautéed chicken with a mustard cream sauce. I rounded out the meal with mashed potatoes from Costco.
Simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
The family (except Andy of course) LOVED the roasted Brussels sprouts. I had never served Brussels sprouts to my family but had seen several recipes for roasted sprouts and decided to try them. They came out deliciously crispy & caramelized and Nate was eating them like candy! Since then we’ve cooked them several more times with variations. I used the method described in my FineCooking Roasting magazine:
Trim sprouts and cut in half lengthwise, through the stem end. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt & pepper. Preheat oven to 475º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sprouts cut side down on the parchment. Roast for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your Brussels sprouts).
Raw Cranberry-Orange Relish
I was looking for a low-sugar recipe for cranberries and came across this one from Epicurious.com. The fresh orange taste really complements the cranberries.
- 1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries
- 1 navel orange
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon (which I omitted)
Zest entire orange into food processor with a metal blade. Cut pith off orange & separate into sections. Place cranberries, orange sections, sugar & cinnamon in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrap into a bowl, cover & refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Sautéed Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce
This was a really good stand-in for turkey with gravy and the mustard-cream sauce was delicious drizzled over the Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes in addition to the chicken. The recipe came from another favorite cookbook, EverydayFood Great Food Fast. I especially like this book because the recipes are divided into sections according to seasons, with soups, salad, main courses, sides & desserts for a particular season all grouped together.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried tarragon (I used thyme for a more Thanksgiving-y feel).
Season each chicken breast with salt & pepper to taste. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked through 10-15 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a warm serving plate & cover with foil.
Pour the wine into the hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, mustard & herbs. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve chicken with sauce on the side (for my picky child) or drizzled over the chicken.
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. fresh sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves
- 1 cup soffritto (recipe below)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, juice included, chopped
- 1 lb. rigatoni
- 1 cup (8 oz.) whole milk ricotta
- 8 oz. fontina, cubed
- 8 oz. mozzarella, cubed
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted in dry sauté pan
Happy Hanukkah everyone! Here is a fabulous recipe to serve with your latkes as an alternative to brisket. And, if you aren’t making latkes, the meatballs are great with wide egg noodles. The original recipe came from one of my favorite Jewish holiday cookbooks, In the Jewish Tradition.
- 2 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 lg. white onion, minced (4 Tbsp. reserved)
- 1 small green pepper, diced, optional
- ½ cup golden raisins, optional
- 2 lb ground beef
- ½ cup matzah meal
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 Tbsp. minced onion (reserved from above)
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp. allspice
Combine all sauce ingredients, from tomato sauce through raisins, in a large, heavy-bottom pot. I use my cast iron Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.
While sauce is cooking, make the meatballs. Thoroughly combine the beef, matzah meal, water, egg, onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper and allspice. Form into small meatballs (about the size of golf balls).
Once the sauce is at a boil add the meatballs. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 45 min to 1 hour depending on the size of your meatballs.
Notes: the matzah meal is very important but if you can’t find it you can substitute dried bread crumbs.
I served the meatballs with latkes (from a mix) and an Israeli salad.
- Buffalo Left Wings (the drummettes) & Parmesan Right Wings (the flats)
- Wedge Issue Salad with Blue State Cheese, Red State Tomatoes, Purple Swing State Onions and Pork Barrel Crispy Bacon Bits
- Stuff Your Own Ballot Calzones
I followed the instructions in this recipe on Epicurious.com for cooking these wings. The wings are baked on a cooling rack (such as for cookies) placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet. That way the grease & fat dripped down and away from the wings. It worked quite well although next time I will probably spritz the cooking rack with a little spray oil to keep the wings from sticking. If you line the rimmed baking sheet with foil you will really reduce the pans needed to be cleaned at the end of the night. I did not toss the wings with oil as per the recipe, because I felt I was trying to reduce the grease-factor, not add to it; plus the wing sauce already has butter in it.
Per the recipe referenced above, bake the wings at 400º for 45 minutes.
While the wings were cooking, I melted 2 Tbsp butter in a bowl & mixed in ¼ cup Texas Pete Hot Sauce. After the hot wings came out of the oven, I tossed them in the bowl with the hot sauce mixture. It was the right amount of sauce for my 1¼ lb of wings. They came out on the medium side of mild.
I served them with celery sticks, bottled ranch and bottled blue cheese dressing (Cindy’s brand which I buy at Whole Foods in the produce section).
Parmesan Right Wings
For these wings I used this recipe from TasteOfHome.com
The wings are dipped in melted butter with a pinch of garlic powder and then into a mixture of dried bread crumbs & Parmesan cheese (this is definitely the time to use the stuff from the green can).
They were cooked on a foil-lined cookie sheet but would probably be even better if they had been elevated as the Buffalo wings were. I baked them as directed at 350º for 50-60 minutes.
Wedge Issue Salad
This was just a standard wedge salad with catchy names for all the components.
Wedge cut pieces of iceberg lettuce
Red State Tomatoes – diced tomatoes
Purple Swing State Onions – thinly sliced red (purple) onion rings
Pork Barrel Crispy Bits – cooked & crumbled bacon
Blue State Cheese – blue cheese dressing (the same the I used above for the Buffalo wings)
Stuff your Own Ballot Calzones
I can buy 1-lb bags of pizza dough at my local Publix which is exactly what I did yesterday. Each of two bags was split into two balls and then rolled out so I had the base of 4 calzones ready. I prepared a bunch of toppings and let each person assemble their own calzone.
Toppings I used: diced cooked onions, diced cooked green pepper, sautéed sliced mushrooms, sliced black olives, shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and precooked chicken Italian sausage which I sliced & sautéed. For calzones, the vegetables all need to be precooked or they will release too much liquid into the middle of your calzone.
I followed an article in an old issue of Fine Cooking (May 2008) about pizzas, calzones & strombolis. Since it’s not available on their website unless you are a member, I’ve summarized the instructions that I used below.
You could certainly use a purchased pizza sauce or even marinara sauce but I used the quick no-cook sauce from FineCooking.com that was part of the article about calzones.
Before shaping the dough, preheat the oven to 500º.
Brush the edge of the dough with cool water and fold the empty half of dough over the filling. Crimp edges with a fork.Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (not wax paper). Brush top with olive oil and cut three steam vents (we tried to carve initials in ours).Put baking sheet in oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 450º. Bake until crust turns a rich golden brown. Serve with additional tomato sauce for dipping.
I really had fun coming up with catchy ideas for Election Night and it definitely a great way to talk about concepts such as wedge issues and stuffed ballots without sounding too too much like a teacher.