Creamy Tomato Soup with Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
After the elegance and extravagance of the holidays,
January is a good time for getting back to basics, especially in
the foods we eat. Here are some comfort food recipes your family
is sure to enjoy in the coming weeks. In the first recipe, mini
grilled cheese squares float atop a creamy tomato soup like dumplings
for a new take on this classic comfort food combo.
10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 slices of American cheese
12 slices of white bread
2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Chopped chives or basil for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the plum tomatoes in a large baking dish.
Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast until the tomatoes
are soft, 25 to 30 minutes.
In a large stockpot set over medium heat, heat the
remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and
cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the roasted tomatoes and their juices, the canned
tomatoes and their juices, and the stock to the stockpot, and bring
to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in the cream, and season
with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes; do not bring
Remove the pot from the heat and use a handheld
blender to puree the soup until its as smooth or as chunky
as you prefer (If you dont have a handheld blender, you can
use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes, or you can crush them
against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.)
Make six sandwiches with 1 slice of cheese between
slices of the white bread. Cut off the crusts and cut each sandwich
into quarters. Crimp the edges of the bread together with a fork
to make little packets that enclose the cheese. You should have
24 cheese dumplings.
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt
a tablespoon of the butter. Working in batches and adding more butter
as needed, grill the cheese dumplings until they are lightly browned
and toasted like little grilled-cheese sandwiches.
Ladle the soup into six bowls and top with four
dumplings each. Serve immediately. Garnish with chopped chives or
basil, if desired.
Lettuce Wedges with Blue Cheese Dressing
This wedge salad is a steakhouse classic, but you
can serve it up in your home at any time. The recipe below is for
2 heads of iceberg lettuce and 8 servings, but you can use only
half the dressing for one head of lettuce and store the remaining
dressing for up to a week in your refrigerator.
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 heads iceberg lettuce
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tomatoes, finely diced
Freshly ground pepper
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice,
mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, garlic powder and onion powder.
Whisk the mixture together until smooth.
Add the cheese and mix just until blended. Chill in an airtight
container in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
Core and quarter each head of lettuce. Serve a generous
dollop of dressing over each lettuce wedge and top with the bacon
and tomato. Season with pepper.
Classic Pot Roast
Pot roast usually calls for a lower-cost cut of
meat like chuck, which makes this a good value as well a tasty choice
for a family dinner. Cooking the meat long and slow in red wine
and beef stock, along with lots of vegetables, makes the roast very
tender and flavorful. Serve with the horseradish-chive mashed potatoes
3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 medium red onions, cut into quarters
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 12 to 16 pieces, about a pound
8 cremini mushrooms, halved
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 head garlic, top cut off to expose cloves
3/4 cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs rosemary
2 cups red wine, preferably cabernet
4 cups beef broth
Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Season meat generously with salt and
pepper. On the stove top, heat oil in a large Dutch oven, or other
heavy roasting pan with a lid, over medium-high heat. Sear the meat
until a dark crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove meat to
Reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan.
Melt the butter and add the whole head of garlic and vegetables,
stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the
vegetables start to color, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently,
until it darkens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add bay leaves, rosemary, and wine and cook, stirring
occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a thick gravy consistency,
5 to 7 minutes.
Return meat to the pot. Add broth, then cover the
pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Let roast sit at room temperature for at least 10
minutes. Remove meat to a cutting board to slice. Discard bay leaves
and rosemary stems. Squeeze any garlic cloves remaining in their
skins into the stew and discard the skins. Serve slices of meat
in shallow bowls along with the vegetables and a generous amount
of cooking liquid ladled over top.
Horseradish-Chive Mashed Potatoes
Nothing is more comforting than creamy mashed potatoes,
especially if served with a meat dish that has lots of gravy or
sauce, like the pot roast recipe above. This recipe adds horseradish
and chives to the potatoes for extra layers of flavor.
2 pounds whole russet or Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 to 1 stick butter
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup horseradish
1/3 cup chopped chives
Cover the potatoes with cold salted water; simmer
45 minutes. Drain, peel, and mash with 1/2 to 1 stick butter. Add
sour cream, horseradish, chives, and salt and pepper; mash until
smooth and fluffy.
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Everyone loves muffins! They are ideal for breakfast,
lunch, or served with your afternoon tea or coffee. Lemon and poppyseed
muffins are a classic combo and we offer the recipe below as the
final entry in our list of January comfort foods. Enjoy!
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus up to 1 tablespoon for topping the
muffins, if desired
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly brush
a 12-cup muffin tin with butter and set aside. Sift the flour, baking
powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,
or with an electric hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter,
zest, lemon juice, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about
2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove
the bowl from the mixer. Stir in the poppy seeds.
Fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture,
alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Take
care not to overmix the batter. Divide the batter evenly into the
muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown,
about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.
Cheeseball with Pecans
In February we present three recipes that are perfect
for a special Valentines meal, and also a paczki recipe for
Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Enjoy the last few
weeks before Lent with these rich and satisfying dishes! We start
with a cheese ball appetizer, which is both classic and decadent
a perfect start to a romantic meal or any party. Enjoy!
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup shredded sharp, flavorful cheese, in any combination that
might include Gruyère, Cheddar or blue cheese
3 ounces fresh goat cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped, salted roasted pecans
2 heaping tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
Allow the butter and cheeses to come to room temperature. They should
sit out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Put everything except the pecans and parsley in
the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat
until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
It should take about 4 minutes.
Plop the mixture onto a piece of waxed paper and
gently form into a ball. Place in the refrigerator for at least
15 minutes or until firm enough to work with.
Mix the pecans and parsley together on a large plate
or a cutting board, then roll the cheese ball in the mixture. Cover
any surfaces with a sprinkling of the pecan and parsley mixture
and pat into the sides until you have an evenly coated ball.
Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate. When ready
to serve, let the ball sit out for at least a half hour to soften.
Serve with good plain crackers or small toasts.
Steak Diane for Two
Filet mignon is the perfect dish for Valentines
Day for you and your sweetheart. This recipe calls for quick
pan-fried steaks topped with a Worcestshire and mustard sauce which
makes these steaks so flavorful. They only take a few minutes to
make! Serve with the roasted asparagus dish below.
2 6-ounce beef fillets, cut from the tenderloin
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, more to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Lemon juice to taste, optional
Chopped fresh chives or parsley leaves for garnish
Flatten fillets a bit with the palm of your hand,
the back of a skillet or a small mallet; they should be about 1
inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and a lot of pepper. In small skillet,
preferably one just large enough to hold fillets, combine oil and
tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. When butter foam melts,
sear steaks on both sides, just until browned, no more than 2 minutes
a side. Remove to platter.
Wipe pan clean with moist towel; add remaining butter
over medium heat, with shallot or onion. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire,
and cream. Add some salt and a fair amount of pepper. Stir once
or twice, then taste and adjust seasoning.
Keeping mixture at a steady simmer, return meat
and accumulated juices to pan. Cook, turning two or three times,
for 1-2 minutes more, until meat is done to your liking (125 degrees
internal temperature for medium-rare).
Remove to a plate, and add lemon juice, if using,
salt and pepper to the sauce as needed. Spoon sauce over meat, garnish
with chives or parsley, and serve along with roasted asparagus (recipe
below) and crusty white bread. A zesty red wine (like Pinot Noir)
would be perfect with this meal.
Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan
Roasted asparagus is the perfect accompaniment to
steak. This recipe is quick and easy to make and topping
the asparagus with Parmesan cheese gives it an added layer of flavor.
Serve with lemon wedges.
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 lemon cut in wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. If the stalks of the asparagus
are thick, peel the bottom 1/2 of each. Lay them in a single layer
on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and
pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with
the Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for another minute. Serve
with lemon wedges.
Paczki - Polish Jelly Rolls
In Poland, paczki (jelly rolls) are traditionally deep-fried and
served during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday. Millions and
millions of these light and fluffydelicacies are consumed in Poland
in that one week! In the US, you can buy paczki at many bakeries,
both Polish and American usually on Shrove Tuesday or Ash
Wednesday but you can also try making them yourself at home.
It takes a while to prepare them, but the effort is certainly worth
2 cups whole milk, warmed to a simmer, but not boiling
4 1/2teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
3/4 cup + 1 pinch granulated sugar, divided
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Peanut oil, canola oil or lard, for frying
Fruit preserves, for filling (raspberry, strawberry, apricot, or
Powdered and granulated sugars, for coating
Pour warm milk into bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the yeast and
a pinch of granulated sugar. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until
it has become bubbly.
Add 2 cups of flour to the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon
until a smooth batter forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set in
a warm spot for 30 minutes. The mixture should have risen and be
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolks until pale yellow
and frothy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and
salt, and whisk until combined and smooth.
Attach the dough hook to the mixer, add the egg mixture to the dough
and mix on medium-low speed until mostly combined. Add the melted
butter and mix to combine.
Gradually add 3 more cups of flour to the mixture
and continue to knead until a very soft dough comes together. (It
will not clean the sides of the bowl or form a ball; it will be
rather slack and a bit sticky.) If necessary, add up to another
1 cup of flour, a spoonful at a time, until the dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic
wrap, and set in a warm spot until it has doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and turn out onto a floured work
surface. With your fingers, push down the dough into an even layer.
Sprinkle flour on the dough and roll it out to 1/2-inch thickness.
If the dough doesnt hold its shape and springs back, cover
with a damp towel and let rest for a few minutes and try again.
Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut out rounds of dough. Transfer
the dough rounds to parchment-lined baking sheets. Gather scraps
of dough and again roll out and cut until you have used up all of
the dough. Cover the baking sheets loosely with plastic wrap and
place in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, about
Meanwhile, heat at least 1½ inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed
pot, Dutch oven, or deep skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees
F. Carefully lower about six paczki into the oil at a time (be sure
not to over-crowd the pan) and fry until the bottom is golden brown.
Carefully turn them over and continue to fry until the other side
is golden brown. Use a spider strainer or slotted spoon to remove
them to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Allow the oil
to come back to temperature, then repeat until all of the paczki
have been fried.
Allow the paczki to cool until you are able to handle them easily.
Using a filling tip, pipe fruit preserves into the sides of the
paczki, then roll in powdered or granulated sugar. The paczki are
best the same day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight
container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
you may consider preparing more meatless dishes for your family.
We start off our March recipes with a vegetarian three-bean soup
that tastes a lot like chili and is both nutritious and easy to
prepare. This is followed by a fish-in-foil recipe, a stuffed pasta
shell recipe, and a Polish noodle and apple casserole recipe. Who
said that eating meatless cant taste good?
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 - 3 teaspoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 ounces) fat-free refried beans
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, cut up
3/4 cup tomato salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
In a large saucepan, saute onion, green pepper, and celery in oil
until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the remaining
ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for
10 to 15 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.
Serve with these
toppings on the side, if desired: shredded cheddar cheese, chopped
scallions, sour cream, tortilla chips, and cilantro.
Shells Stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach
shells are stuffed with a tasty and creamy filling of cheese and
spinach and then baked in a sweet tomato marinara sauce for 30-40
minutes. Leftovers are easy to reheat and perfect for lunch the
24 jumbo pasta shells
1 15-oz. container ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
to 375 F. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook
pasta shells according to package label directions until just tender;
drain and set aside to cool. While pasta cooks, in a large bowl
stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, spinach,
egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and nutmeg.
Spread 3/4 cup
of the spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells
with cheese-and-spinach mixture and place in dish. Spoon remaining
sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and
1/2 cup Parmesan.
dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake about
10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.
Lemony Fish Fillets in Foil
These mild and flaky fish fillets only take 30 minutes in the oven.
You bake them with onion, spices, parsley, lemon juice, and olive
oil in foil packets for a quick, no-mess dinner. Halibut is best,
but you can also use cod, salmon, trout, or tilapia fillets. Serve
with rice and a green salad.
6 (6 ounce) halibut fillets
2 medium onions, sliced into rounds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons fresh parsley or dill, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 -3 tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Cut 6 foil squares
large enough for each fillet.
Prepare mixture of salt, pepper, and paprika in small container
Place two onion slices in the centers of the foil squares and then
place the fish fillets on top. Sprinkle each fillet lightly with
one-sixth of the salt, pepper, and paprika mixture; also with one
sixth of the chopped parsley or dill and minced garlic. Sprinkle
lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil over each fillet then fold
foil over fillets to make a pocket and fold the edges to seal. Place
sealed packets on a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork,
about 30 minutes. Be careful opening packets as the steam inside
will be hot.
Polish Apple and Noodle Casserole
This is bound
to become a family favorite at any time of the year! Serve it for
breakfast, brunch, or lunch or as a dessert after dinner.
This is one of Eastern Europes favorite comfort foods and
it is very easy to make and easy to love.
4 cups thinly
sliced McIntosh apples, peeled
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (optional)
3 cups cooked noodles
3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place 1 1/2 cups of the noodles in a greased 1 3/4 quart casserole,
then add a layer of apples (2 cups), 1/4 cup of raisins if using,
and 1/4 cup sugar on top of the apples and one half of the butter.
Then add another layer of noodles and the remainder of the apples
and raisins. On top, sprinkle the rest of the sugar and cinnamon
to taste. Top with remaining butter. Bake at 350 degrees until apples
are done, usually about 45 to 60 minutes.
Polish Easter Brunch, Swieconka, usually starts with a sour soup,
followed by many types of salads and relishes that accompany a variety
of meat dishes like ham, sausage, pates, and cold roasts. Below
youll find recipes for an arugula soup served with hardboiled
eggs and two spring salads. Also an easy no-bake version of a cheesecake,
which is a modern-day take on the classic Polish cheesecake (sernik),
traditionally served at Easter.
2 medium onions, sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, washed well and sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled, quartered
lengthwise and sliced
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/8teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup heavy cream or milk
2 bunches coarsely chopped arugula leaves (about 2 1/2 cups) plus
more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered (optional)
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium
low heat. Add the onions, leeks, garlic and salt, tossing to coat.
Cover and cook slowly, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables
have softened, about 20 minutes.
Add the sliced
potatoes, broth, ginger, and nutmeg, stirring to combine. Raise
the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, skimming off all the froth
from the surface. Simmer, partly covered, until the potatoes are
tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
the solids with a slotted spoon and puree until smooth in a food
processor or a blender. Return the puree to the soup and add the
cream or milk. Bring to a boil, then thin the soup if desired with
additional broth. (The soup can be prepared in advance to this point,
then returned to a boil at serving time.)
scatter the chopped arugula over the surface of the soup and cover
the pan. Cook until the arugula has wilted, about two minutes. Stir,
add salt and pepper to taste, making sure to season the soup carefully.
Swirl in the remaining tablespoon of butter and serve immediately
over hardboiled egg quarters, if desired. Garnish with more chopped
This light salad will go perfectly with your Easter ham and other
cold meats. Cooking the couscous according to package instructions
only takes a few minutes, and then you add in fresh chopped tomatoes,
cucumber, mint leaves, and green onions, dress the salad with olive
oil and lemon, for a side dish that is tasty, nutritious, and easy
to make, at Easter or any time.
peeled and diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 lemon, juiced
2 wide strips lemon rind
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups instant couscous (a 10-ounce box)
2 cups water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup torn mint leaves, stems saved
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley, stems saved
3 scallions (white and green), chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
Toss the tomatoes,
cucumbers, and lemon juice in a medium bowl with 2 teaspoons of
the salt. Set aside.
Put the couscous
into a large bowl. In a pot, bring the water, lemon rind, 3 tablespoons
of the oil, the remaining salt, cayenne, and herb stems to a boil
over high heat. Pour the liquid over the couscous, stir with fork
to separate any clumps. Cover with a lid, plate, or plastic wrap
and set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the lemon rind and herb stems
and fluff with a fork again.
Add the tomato/cucumber
mixture, scallions, mint, parsley, and pine nuts to the couscous.
Drizzle the remaining oil over the salad, toss, and serve. (Optional
garnishes: crumbled feta cheese and sliced black olives)
Sweet Potato Salad
This sweet potato
salad is tossed with scallions, red pepper, and sweet onion in a
light mayonnaise dressing. Let the salad sit in the refrigerator
for an hour before serving for the flavors to meld.
2 pounds sweet
potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the sweet
potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and let cool in a colander.
Once the potatoes
are cool, transfer to a large serving bowl and add the chopped onion,
red pepper, and green onions.
In a separate
bowl make the dressing with the mayonnaise, orange juice, smoked
paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine,
pour over the potatoes and gently mix. Refrigerate for one hour
before serving for the flavors to meld.
This easy, no-bake
cheesecake is sure to be a hit on your Easter holiday table, or
anytime. Serve with fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries
or simply with orange or lemon zest grated over the top.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
9-inch graham cracker crust, pre-baked
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on
medium-high speed, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar just
until stiff peaks form. Scrape the whipped cream into a clean bowl
Using the same
stand mixer bowl, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream
cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes on high speed. With the mixer
on low, gradually add the granulated sugar and then mix on medium-high
speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl
then add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.
Remove the bowl
from the mixer and take the whipped cream out of the refrigerator.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until
fully incorporated and homogenous. Spoon the filling into the prepared
graham cracker crust and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set before
Egg Salad Sandwich
In May we present five recipes for classic American sandwiches,
some with a new twist. Everyone loves a delicious sandwich for lunch
-- or even for dinner -- if served with a soup and/or salad. This
egg salad recipe calls for more yolks than whites so it is extra
creamy and extra yellow too! The dill and scallions add a touch
of crunch and a touch of green to this popular sandwich.
8 large eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices white or whole wheat bread, toasted
Put the eggs in a medium pan and cover them with cold water. Bring
to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Place pan in the sink under cold running water until the eggs are
Peel the eggs. Remove the yolks from 4 of them (save the whites
for another use). Chop the 4 yolks with the 4 remaining whole eggs.
In a medium bowl, gently and quickly mix the chopped eggs and mayonnaise.
Add the celery, green onions, and dill and mix the egg salad once
more, adding salt and pepper if needed, and make into sandwiches
by piling salad liberally onto bread slices.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Rotisserie chicken purchased at the grocery store is perfect for
the preparation of this salad and will take less time than roasting
your own chicken. This is definitely a sandwich that you can serve
to your family for dinner, along with a soup and/or a cucumber and
1 rotisserie chicken (about 3 lbs)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup drained capers
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt to taste, if desired
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
8 to 12 slices rye bread, either freshly toasted or left untoasted
Salad leaves, pickle strips or sliced radishes for garnish
Strip the chicken meat from the bones and cut it into bite-size
pieces. Remove skin, if desired. There should be about 3 or 3 1/2
cups. Put the meat into a mixing bowl. Add the celery, scallions,
Blend together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and vinegar in a small bowl
and add to the chicken mixture. Add salt, pepper, parsley and scallions,
and toss to blend.
Use the rye bread to make sandwiches, garnished, if desired, with
lettuce, pickle strips, or radish slices.
Classic Tuna Salad Sandwich
and red bell peppers to this salad gives it extra crunch, and the
capers add another level of salty and briny flavor. Serve on toasted
crusty white or whole wheat bread slices, garnished with arugula
leaves and tomato slices, if desired.
2 (6-ounce) cans solid, waterpacked tuna
1/2 cup finely diced celery
3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Arugula leaves and tomato slices (optional)
Sliced sandwich bread of choice, toasted
In a medium
bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, bell pepper,
capers, and lemon juice. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on the sandwich bread
of your choice. Garnish sandwich with lettuce leaves and tomato
slices, if desired.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
There is nothing more simple or more satisfying that a grilled cheese
sandwich whether for lunch or dinner or as a midnight snack!
The recipe below is for one sandwich, but you can multiply the ingredients
to make more. If serving for dinner, than tomato soup is the classic
accompaniment for this all-time American favorite.
2 slices bread, either soft sandwich toast slices or larger peasant-style
bread slices, not more than 1/2 inch thick
2 ounces grated cheddar (or other cheese),
Heat a heavy pan or skiller over medium-low heat. Thinly spread
one side of each bread slice with butter. Spread the other side
of each slice with mayonnaise and place the bread, mayonnaise-side-down,
in the pan. Divide the cheese evenly on top of the buttered slices.
Adjust the heat so the bread sizzles gently.
When the cheese is about halfway melted, use a spatula to flip one
slice over on top of the other, and press lightly to melt. Keep
turning the sandwich, pressing gently, until the sandwich is compact,
both sides are crusty, and the cheese is melted this will
take a few minutes more.
Hummus, Avocado, and Tomato Sandwich
This sandwich is sure to please and not only the vegetarians
in your family! Its quick and easy to make and very tasty,
as well as healthy, when served on toasted whole wheat slices.
1 cup of hummus
2 large tomatoes
2 ripe avocadoes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 red onion sliced
1/2 cup arugula leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices of toasted whole wheat bread
Slice tomatoes into 16 slices. Halve avocadoes and slice each half
into four slices. Sprinkle lime juice over the avocado slices.
Lightly toast the bread and spread four slices generously with the
hummus. Top each slice of bread with four tomato slices and four
avocado slices, and then garnish with the red onion and a few arugula
leaves. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cover with the
four remaining slices of bread. Enjoy!
Nothing says spring better than asparagus fresh
from the farmers market! This woodsy, earthy, and creamy vegetable
is perfect in many dishes, from soups to dips to pastas to frittatas
or as a side with any meat, fish, or egg entree. Enjoy asparagus
season this spring with some of these delicious recipes, starting
with a creamy asparagus guacamole.
1 pound medium thick fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons very finely minced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 small canned green chili, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon),
or minced fresh green chili to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Cayenne pepper to taste
Wash asparagus, snap off the tough ends and simmer
in water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
Cut off the tips (about 1 inch off the top) and reserve them.
Cut the spears into half-inch pieces and process
to a smooth puree in a blender or food processor.
Fold in remaining ingredients. Then either fold
in the tips or use them to garnish the dip. Serve with corn chips
or cut raw vegetables.
Chilled Asparagus and Avocado Soup
A combination of asparagus and avocado makes this
soup extra creamy and luscious. Serve it cold on a hot spring or
summer day as the perfect starter to an elegant dinner.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1 lb asparagus, tough ends removed and sliced into 1 inch lengths
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
6 cups vegetable stock
2 medium avocados
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sweet cream
To garnish (optional):
Olive oil or sweet cream
Chopped parsley or chive stalks
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and celery
and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are translucent,
about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus, salt, pepper, and bay leaves.
Sautee for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring
the soup to a soft boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from the stovetop and allow to come to room temperature.
Add the soup, avocado, and lemon juice to a high
powered blender. (You might need to blend in batches depending on
the size of your blender.) Blend until creamy. Add sweet cream at
the end to get to the desired consistency. Chill soup in the refrigerator
for at least one hour before serving. Drizzle with olive oil or
sweet cream and garnish with chopped parsley and additional asparagus
spears, if desired.
Roasted Asparagus Frittata
Asparagus tastes best when roasted follow
the recipe below to serve the spears as a side dish or prep
them this way to use in a delicious frittata. A skillet-cooked frittata
is a great breakfast or brunch dish youre sure to love!
8 to 12 medium to fat asparagus spears, trimmed
Salt and black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet and
toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally,
until the asparagus is lightly charred and tender, about 12 minutes.
You can serve the asparagus immediately if serving as a side dish;
for the frittata, let the asparagus sit at room temperature for
an hour or two, or refrigerate overnight.
Beat the eggs with salt, pepper, half the parsley,
and half the cheese in a medium bowl. Cut the roasted asparagus
into 2-inch lengths and arrange in a single layer in a 10-inch nonstick
skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and set over medium heat.
Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus and oil.
Use a spatula if necessary to make a round frittata. Cook over medium
heat until nearly set, tilting the pan and lifting the edge of the
set egg to let the liquid egg flow underneath, 4-5 minutes.
When the top is almost dry, flip the frittata onto
a plate, then slide it back into the pan on the other side. Let
cook for just a few seconds, then flip out onto a plate.
Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and cheese,
and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with warm white bread
and a simple green salad.
Zesty Asparagus Pasta
Garlic, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce, and
parmesan cheese add zest and flavor to this simple yet yummy asparagus
and pasta dish. Enjoy!
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 to 2 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into one-and-a-half inch pieces
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (more for garnish)
1/2 pound mostaccioli or penne, cooked and drained
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium
heat. Add butter, garlic, red pepper flakes and hot pepper sauce
and cook for 1-2 minutes minutes. Do not let the garlic brown too
much. Add the asparagus pieces, salt, and pepper and saute until
asparagus is crisp-tender, about 8-9 minutes. Stir in cheese. Pour
over hot pasta in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Grate more cheese
over pasta before serving, if desired.
Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Just in time for July 4th -- you can make your own
ice-cream sandwiches, using a brownie dough for the crust and store-bought
vanilla ice cream for the filling. Easy to make and store, these
little squares of perfection are sure to get raves from your family
and guests. They should be made at least one day ahead of serving
and can be stored for several days in your freezer. Be sure to make
plenty of these delicious summertime treats and keep plenty stocked
in your freezer!
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
slightly, plus more at room temperature for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 pints (1 quart) good-quality vanilla ice cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13- by 18-inch
rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. (The buttered
surface allows the parchment paper to stick while you spread the
batter on it.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder,
In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until creamy. Add
eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add
the flour mixture and beat until combined. (The batter will be thick.)
Scrape batter into the baking pan and, using a spatula, smooth it
to a thin, even layer, leaving a small border of parchment paper
around the edges. Bake until cake is set, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer
pan to a rack to cool completely.
When you are ready to assemble the sandwiches, remove ice cream
from freezer and let it stand for a few minutes to soften slightly.
(You can use store bought ice-cream or, of course, you can make
your own if you have an ice-cream maker and are feeling ambitious.)
Lifting the parchment paper, transfer the cake to a large cutting
board. Cut cake in half crosswise so that you have two pieces that
are about 9 by 13 inches each. Using a large ice cream scoop, dollop
ice cream evenly over the top of one half of the cake. Using a spatula,
spread the ice cream into an even layer. Place the remaining piece
of cake on top of the ice cream, with the top facing down, to make
a large sandwich cake. Immediately wrap it well in plastic wrap
and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.
Remove the large sandwich cake from the freezer and take off the
plastic wrap. Trim about 1/4 inch off of each edge and then cut
into 12 smaller sandwiches. Wrap each sandwich individually in plastic
wrap and freeze again until firm and ready to serve.
Grilled Caesar Salad
Another summertime favorite is this grilled Caesar
salad. It only takes a few minutes on the grill so you can make
it while the meat or fish you prepared earlier for your main course
is resting. Make the dressing ahead of time so all you have to do
is grill the romaine hearts quickly, top them with the dressing
and croutons, and serve along with your main course. Enjoy!
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup, plus 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus shaved parmesan cheese
3 heads romaine hearts, sliced lengthwise in 1/2
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups croutons (optional)
Preheat (or turn down) grill to medium heat.
In a blender, combine the garlic, lemon juice, and
Dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup olive oil to emulsify.
Add the grated parmesan and pulse a few times to incorporate all
Cut the romaine hearts in half lengthwise, leaving
the stems on. Drizzle romaine with the remaining olive oil and season
with salt and pepper on both sides; place on grill for 1 minute
per side until charred and slightly wilted. Remove gently with tongs
and place on a large platter. Drizzle with dressing, top with freshly
ground black pepper and shaved parmesan cheese, and add croutons,
Red Potato Salad with Vinaigrette
There's nothing complicated about this potato
salad -- it's just boiled red potatoes tossed with a simple Dijon
mustard vinaigrette and a generous smattering of scallions and fresh
herbs -- and that's the beauty of it -- it's simple to make and
delicious served cold or at room temperature. The flavor gets better
as it sits, making it an ideal dish to bring to a summer potluck
3 pounds red new potatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
6 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped dill
Salt and pepper
Place the unpeeled red potatoes in a large stockpot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. When cool, cut the potatoes in half.
Combine the vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Add the potatoes to the vinaigrette, and mix gently but thoroughly. Toss in the scallions, parsley, and dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Easy Grilled Chicken Skewers
Chicken skewers are quick and easy to make on your grill. Marinate the chicken pieces for 20 minutes in lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs, and then cook for 15-20 minutes over a medium-hot grill. Summer dinners do not get much simpler than this!
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp fresh minced cilantro or parsley
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 wooden skewers, pre-soaked in water for 10-15 minutes
Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 inch strips for
skewering. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon
juice, cilantro or parsley, crushed garlic, paprika, salt, cumin,
turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken pieces in a glass
dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken and stir to coat. Cover
with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and let the chicken
marinate for 20-30 minutes. If using wooden skewers, soak them in
water while the chicken is marinating.
Generously grease the grill and heat to medium-high. Skewer the
chicken, evenly divided between 6-8 skewers.
Place the skewers on a medium-hot grill and cook for 10-15 minutes,
turning once during cooking, until cooked through. Let rest for
a few minutes before serving. The grilled Caesar salad and red potato
salad (see recipes above) will be delicious accompaniments to go
with the chicken skewers. And the key lime pie (see recipe below)
will be the perfect ending to a very memorable summer supper.
Key Lime Pie
This pie is fun and easy to make, and the large amount of key lime juice in the filling guarantees a tart and impressive flavor. Use a ready-to-eat graham cracker pie crust for convenience. You can pull off this delicious summer dessert in no time at all!
6 large egg yolks
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup freshly squeezed or bottled key lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest plus more for garnish
One prepared 9-inch graham cracker crust, refrigerated
2 to 3 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream, for topping
In a mixing bowl, beat yolks until thick,
about 3 minutes. Add condensed milk, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon
lime zest. Beat again until well blended, about 1 minute.
Pour into pie shell, filling it to the brim and mounding slightly
on top. Cover with plastic wrap, stretching wrap tightly across
surface. Freeze until firm, at least three hours.
Just before serving, remove from freezer and discard plastic wrap.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then spread with whipped cream. Top
with extra lime slices and lime zest before serving.
Chilled Golden Beet Soup
A staple of
chilled summer soups in Poland is the chlodnik made
from red beets. For a variation on this theme, prepare the soup
with golden beets instead for a sweeter, smoother taste. Garnish
with marinated shallots and diced beets along with fresh herbs and
sour cream. Serve with crusty white bread.
finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
Ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds golden beets (about 8 to 10 medium-size beets)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
Small handful of basil leaves, for serving
Small handful of dill fronds, for serving
1/3 to 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving
In a small bowl,
combine chopped shallots and vinegar and let macerate for 20 minutes.
Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with a few grinds of
black pepper. Set aside.
Put beets in
a large pot over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon salt and enough
water to cover. Boil for 25 to 40 minutes, depending on size, until
tender when poked with the tip of a knife. Drain beets and let cool,
then peel off the skins with your fingers.
Cut 1 beet into
a small, even dice, then add to the shallot mixture, season with
a pinch of salt (or to taste) and set aside. Cut the remaining beets
into large chunks and purée in a blender with buttermilk
and lemon juice until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until completely cool.
Ladle the soup
into bowls and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Serve with
marinated beets and shallots, chopped herbs, and sour cream on the
side, so people can garnish their own bowls as they like.
Classic Caprese Salad
This classic summer salad is both delicious and easy to prepare.
And this is the season for sweet and juicy tomatoes! Use different
colored heirloom tomatoes for a pretty presentation and use the
best mozzarella cheese you can get for a smooth and creamy taste.
1 pound fresh, best-quality mozzarella (preferably buffalo milk)
4 medium heirloom tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only, some reserved for garnish
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Coarsely ground black pepper
High-quality extra-virgin olive oil
While mozzarella is cold, slice it into 1/4-inch slices. Let it
sit, loosely covered, to come to room temperature while you prepare
Slice the tomatoes
into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick wedges, leaving them in a single
layer on the cutting board as you go. Sprinkle generously with salt.
On a serving
platter, arrange the mozzarella, tomato slices, and whole basil
leaves so they overlap slightly. Pour any tomato juices from the
cutting board over the dish. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper,
and drizzle with plenty of oil. Top with reserved basil, and serve.
Grilled Swordfish Steaks
For a simple
summer supper, prepare these swordfish steaks for your family. You
only have to grill them 1 - 2 minutes per side and then serve, topped
with a lemony vinaigrette and arugula leaves. This recipe is truly
quick and easy and delicious too!
freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 (1/2-inch-thick) swordfish steaks (5 to 6 ounces each)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
4 ounces baby arugula
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Light a charcoal
grill or preheat a gas or stovetop grill until very hot.
For the sauce,
whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes,
1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.
When the grill
is ready, sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high
heat for 2 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes
on the other side until almost cooked through. Remove to a flat
dish, prick holes in the fish with the tines of a fork, and pour
the lemon sauce over the fish while its still hot. Sprinkle
liberally with salt and pepper, cover with aluminum foil, and allow
to rest for 5 minutes.
When ready to
serve, place the swordfish on dinner plates or a serving platter,
pile the arugula and tomatoes on top, drizzle with the sauce from
the fish, and sprinkle with the grated lemon zest. Serve warm.
ending to any summer meal are these simple grilled peaches. They
take only 4 - 5 minutes per side and taste great served with vanilla
ice-cream or yoghurt and honey.
4 to 6 peaches
Heat a gas grill
to medium. If you are cooking on a charcoal grill, wait until the
fire has died down to medium to low heat.
Cut the peaches
along their seams, all the way around, and twist their halves off
their pits. Brush the cut sides of the peaches with olive oil and
grill, cut side down, until the fruit has developed grill marks
and started to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Brush the tops
with oil, turn over and move to the side of the grill to continue
cooking over indirect heat, another 4 to 5 minutes. (You can add
flavor by brushing them with maple syrup and bourbon, or molasses
and butter.) Serve with vanilla ice cream or yoghurt and honey.
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