YEAR OF 2017
   
JANUARY 2018
 
FEBRUARY 2018
 
MARCH 2018
 
APRIL 2018
 
MAY 2018
 
JUNE 2018
 
JULY 2018
 
AUGUST 2018
 
SEPTEMBER 2018
 
OCTOBER 2018
 
NOVEMBER 2018
 
DECEMBER 2018
 

 

 


January 1
Black-eyed Peas



This dish is served in many areas of the South on New Year’s Day and is said to bring good luck and prosperity. It is typically served with greens and cornbread. The black-eyed peas signify coins, the greens represent dollar bills, and the corn bread represents gold. So cook up plenty if you want to have a prosperous New Year!

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound kielbasa in one piece
2 quarts chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the peas in a pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let them soak for 1 hour. (Or cover the peas with cold water and let them soak overnight.) Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Hand crush the tomatoes into a saucepan and add the sugar and 1/2 cup of the stock or water. Cook over medium low heat, being careful not to let it burn, until the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are thick, about 30 minutes.

In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the soaked peas, the kielbasa, and the remaining stock and cook, covered, until the peas are tender, about 20 minutes. Add some water if you need more liquid. Take out kielbasa and chop roughly into cubes and then add back to pot. Fold in the tomato sauce and mix well. Taste, season with salt and pepper, reheat if needed, and serve with cornbread or cornbread muffins and with sautéed greens like spinach or kale.

Or you can serve this hearty dish with a green salad on the side for some freshness.
Best wishes for a very prosperous New Year to all our readers!






January 8
Bigos - Hunters Stew




Bigos is a traditional Polish dish made with a variety of meats that have been cut into bite-sized pieces and stewed with sauerkraut, cabbage, and mushrooms. Also called “Hunter’s Stew,” this delicious and hearty one-pot meal can be made with just about any sort of meat you have handy, including pork, poultry, beef, or game. There are many recipes for bigos – and you really can use any ingredients you have on hand. Bigos is served all year-long, but especially in the winter time and in the weeks following Christmas. And it only gets better the longer it sits. Make a huge pot for your family and serve it over a few days. It freezes well, so any leftovers can be saved for another time. Serve with rye bread, dill pickles, and roasted potatoes on the side, if desired.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound pork stew meat or pork butt, diced
1 pound kielbasa, quartered (it gets sliced at the end of the cooking process)
1/4 pound thick cut bacon, cut into half inch strips
3 cups yellow onion, diced
2 cups carrots, cut into half circle slices
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
6 cups shredded cabbage (about one small head)
1 1/2 cups red wine, such as burgundy or merlot
3 cans sauerkraut, drained (14 oz cans)
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 quart beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon dry marjoram
1 teaspoon allspice
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pitted prunes, quartered


In a large 5 - 6 quart dutch oven, heat oil over high. Pat the pork stew meat dry and sauté half to sear both sides, about 4-5 minutes, remove to bowl, then repeat with second half. Remove second batch to a bowl and reduce temperature of pot to medium high.

Add the four kielbasa quarters to dutch oven and brown all sides, for about five minutes total. Remove to the bowl with stew meat.

Add bacon and onions to the dutch oven and sauté for three minutes. Add carrots and sauté for two minutes.

Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for two to three minutes. Add the cabbage and cook two minutes more.

Add the wine and scrape up brown bits from the bottom, if any; let cook for a few minutes for the wine to reduce. Then add the drained sauerkraut, canned tomatoes, beef broth, thyme, marjoram, allspice, bay leaf, paprika and cayenne pepper to the Dutch oven.

.In a mortar and pestle, place caraway seeds with the salt and pepper and crush until the seeds are fine, then add to the dutch oven. Also add the seared pork and kielbasa.

Raise the heat to high and once the pot is bubbling, reduce to low and cook partially covered for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally; add more water or beef broth as needed.

Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove four whole pieces of Kielbasa to your cutting board. Add the prunes and simmer ten minutes. Slice the kielbasa into bite sized slices and add back to pot and serve in bowls with rye bread and pickles.

 

 

January 15
Mustard-Roasted Potatoes




This potato dish is easy to make -- and it is delicious! You can serve it as an accompaniment to the bigos recipe above, the chicken stew recipe below, or with any fish or meat dish you prepare for your family. Everyone is sure to love it!

2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes or small Yukon Gold potatoes
2 yellow onions
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters, depending on their size, and place them on a sheet pan. Remove the ends of the onions, peel them, and cut them in half. Slice them crosswise in 1/4-inch-thick slices to make half-rounds. Toss the onions and potatoes together on the sheet pan. Add the olive oil, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper and toss them together. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are lightly browned on the outside and tender on the inside. Toss the potatoes from time to time with a metal spatula so they brown evenly.

Serve hot, sprinkled with red pepper flakes, chopped parsley, and a little extra salt.





 

January 22
Chicken Stew




This hearty one-pot chicken stew practically cooks itself! It’s made all in one pot, with tender chunks of chicken and lots of savory veggies. Enjoy it with crusty bread for an ultimate quick-and-easy cold weather meal!

1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3 medium carrots, sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 12 wedges
6 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cups chicken stock, divided
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 dried bay leaf
12 oz. baby white potatoes, quartered
1 cup frozen peas (or edamame)
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add carrots and onion to the dutch oven and cook, stirring often, until onions begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring nonstop. Add ½ cup chicken stock and ½ cup white wine while stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from the bottom of the dutch oven; let reduce by half.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and ½ cup broth; add to the dutch oven. Stir in chicken and remaining broth. Add bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes, partially covered.

Add potatoes and cook uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 15-18 minutes. The liquid will slightly reduce even further. Stir in peas 5 minutes before serving; add parsley and discard bay leaf just before plating. Serve with crusty white bread to sop the juices, and with a green salad on the side to add some balance and freshness to the meal. Smacznego!

 


January 29
Game Day Nachos



Super Bowl is next Sunday, February 4th. Here is a tasty nacho recipe you can make for your family and friends to enjoy while watching TV during the biggest sports Sunday of the year! Even if you are not a football fan, you will enjoy snacking on this Game Day treat!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large bag tortilla chips
2 plum tomatoes (diced)
6 green onions (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and thinly sliced
Jalapeno pepper rings (or diced jalapeno peppers)
4 cups shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese blend
Sour cream, cilantro, avocado for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and onions are softened, about 7-8 minutes. Drain off any extra fat. Add green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, refried beans, and tomato sauce to skillet. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Spread some of the beef and bean mixture on each tortilla chip and arrange the chips in a single layer on large baking sheets or in glass baking pans. Sprinkle the tortillas with a little of the diced tomato, sliced green onions, olives, and jalapeno peppers, and then cover each chip with the cheese mixture.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately, with sour cream, avocado slices, and chopped cilantro on the side, if desired.



February 5
Cabbage and Potato Gratin


Like slow-cooked onions, slow-cooked cabbage takes on color and flavor as it bakes and caramelizes -- and becomes ever more tender and meltingly sweet. A family favorite for sure! Because of the bulk of the potatoes, this gratin makes a satisfying vegetarian main dish on its own, although it also works perfectly as a side dish, served alongside roast beef -- or roast pork (see recipe below).

1 large savoy or green cabbage (about 2 pounds), quartered
1 pound baking potatoes, such as russets, peeled and sliced
Salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups milk
1/2 cup creme fraiche
Ground black pepper
4 ounces Gruyere, grated (1 cup, tightly packed)
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons finely chopped or slivered fresh sage

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and add quartered cabbage and potato slices. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil gently for 5 minutes.

Drain and use tongs to transfer cabbage quarters to a colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Allow cabbage to cool in colander until you can handle the wedges. Core the wedges, then cut them in half lengthwise. Finally, slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Return to colander and drain for another 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl with the potatoes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or gratin. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half and rub the dish with the cut surface. Then slice up all the garlic and toss with cabbage and potatoes.

In a bowl, whisk together milk, crème fraîche, about 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Pour into bowl with cabbage and potatoes, add cheeses and sage, and gently toss together. Scrape into baking dish.

Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. During the first 45 minutes, press the vegetables down into the liquid in the baking dish every 10 to 15 minutes, using the back of a large spoon. The gratin will still be bubbling when you remove it from the oven, and you will see liquid in the baking dish. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before serving, until liquid is reabsorbed. If liquid remains in dish, serve with a slotted spoon.

 

February 12
Garlic and Rosemary Roast Pork Tenderloin


This pork roast is quick and easy to make — it will be perfectly cooked in about 40 minutes with no fuss and no mess! Simply rub with garlic and rosemary and place in roasting pan and watch it cook slowly to perfection, all on its own!

2 and a 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch roasting pan with foil. Mix garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper in bowl, then rub the garlic mixture all over pork. Place pork, fat side down, in prepared roasting pan. Roast pork for 20 minutes. Then turn roast fat side up. Roast for another 20 minutes or longer, until thermometer inserted into the center of pork registers 155°F. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Pour any juices from roasting pan into small saucepan; set over low heat to keep warm. Cut pork crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange pork slices on platter. Pour pan juices over. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.


February 19
Creamy Cucumber Salad



This refreshing cucumber salad is a great accompaniment to the pork roast and cabbage dish recipes listed above. The salad adds freshness and crunchiness to an otherwise traditional and heavy dish for a perfect balance. Enjoy!

1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
1 English cucumber, washed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups sliced)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced

In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream (or yogurt), mustard, vinegar, milk, salt, pepper, and dill until combined. Add sliced cucumbers, onions, and garlic, and gently stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

 

February 26
Flourless Chocolate Cake


A perfect ending to any meal, this easy-to-make flourless chocolate cake will delight you and your family and guests! Enjoy it tonight as a dessert — or save it for tomorrow and invite some special friends over to share it with you!

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus more for dusting

Heat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder. Whisk in the chocolate mixture.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for
1 hour. Run a knife around the edge of the cake before unmolding. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.




March 5
Quick Kale, Tomato and Bean Soup


This vegetarian soup is perfect for Lent: tasty, nutritious -- and meatless. And easy to make too since it uses canned tomatoes and canned beans. You will only need to buy fresh kale and some fresh herbs for the bouquet garni. Served with warm crusty bread, this soup can be a meal until itself.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped (optional)
Salt to taste
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
6 cups water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 medium Yukon gold potato (about 6 ounces), diced
A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a couple of sprigs each parsley and thyme, and a Parmesan rind (optional - but it does add flavor; use what you have for this)
1/2 pound kale, stemmed, washed thoroughly, and chopped or cut in slivers (4 cups chopped)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
Freshly ground pepper
Grated parmesan for serving

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion, carrot, and celery and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and juice from the can, add another pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly.

Add the water, tomato paste, oregano, potato, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, add the bouquet garni, cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are just about tender.

Add the kale and simmer another 10 minutes, until the kale and potatoes are tender and the soup is fragrant. Taste, adjust salt, and add pepper. Stir in the beans and heat through for 5 minutes. Serve, sprinkling some Parmesan over each bowl.

 



March 12
Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Another vegetarian dish your family is sure to enjoy -- during Lent or anytime! This is one of the easiest recipes for eggplant parmesan that we have found. Have your children help you make it, slicing the eggplant and cooking it, grating the cheese, and chopping the parsley or basil. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.

olive oil as needed
2 1/2 lbs eggplant, preferably small ones, unpeeled but trimmed
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes or one 28-ounce can, chopped
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese, more for serving
2 Tbs chopped parsley or fresh basil for garnish

Put 1/8 inch of oil in your largest skillet (the bigger the skillet, the faster you can get through sauteeing the eggplant) and turn the heat to medium. Start trimming and slicing eggplant into 3/8 to 1/2-inch slices, When the oil shimmers, add the eggplant; you can crowd them as long as they don't overlap. Season with salt and pepper and cook, turning as necessary, until nicely tender and browned on both sides; drain on paper towels. Add more oil when necessary. Repeat until all slices are done.

Cook the onion in the remaining oil; when it's tender, add the tomatoes and some salt and pepper; cook at a lively simmer for 10 or 15 minutes until thickened. Heat the oven to 400.

Use a large oval gratin dish or a 9 x 13 baking dish. Start with a layer of eggplant, then add tomato sauce and cheese; then repeat with a second layer of eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese. If you have enough, you can
go ahead and make a third layer, but be sure to end with a layer of cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted and the whole thing is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot or at room temperature. Serve extra parmesan cheese on the side.


 

March 19
Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs


Everybody loves deviled eggs! This is a traditional recipe our mothers and grandmothers used to make that is now being revived and gaining in popularity once again -- because deviled eggs simply taste so good! This version of the recipe adds smoked salmon for an innovative twist. Add these deviled eggs to your Easter Brunch menu -- your family and friends are sure to love them!

12 eggs
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 oz smoked salmon, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon capers for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives for garnish


In 3-quart saucepan, place eggs in single layer; add enough cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Cover; heat to boiling. Remove from heat; let stand covered 15 minutes. Immediately cool eggs about 10 minutes in cold water to prevent further cooking.

Tap egg to crack shell; roll egg between hands to loosen shell, then peel. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Slip out yolk into medium bowl; reserve egg white halves. Mash yolks with fork. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, dill, and pepper until well blended. Stir in salmon.

Spoon yolk mixture in 1-quart resealable freezer plastic bag or pastry bag fitted with tip; seal bag. Cut small hole in bottom corner of plastic bag. Squeeze bag to pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving. Just before serving, top with capers and chopped chives.



March 26
Roasted Leek and White Bean Gratin



This leek and bean casserole makes a great side dish to accompany your Easter ham or lamb roast -- but it is also a hearty meal in itself for any vegetarians who may be joining you for the holiday. It is delicious, nutritious and, above all, easy to make!


4 medium leeks, dark green tops discarded, white and light green parts halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese



Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the leeks with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place cut side down in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes until tender. Uncover and continue roasting the leeks for 10 minutes until caramelized. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop the leeks, and set aside. Clean out the baking dish and spray with vegetable oil spray.

In a large bowl, toss the chopped roasted leeks with the cannellini beans, garlic, lemon zest, chicken broth, and 1/4 cup parsley and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the leek-and-bean mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with the Gruyère cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until bubbly around the edges and browned on top. Garnish with extra parsley and serve.

 



April 2
Radish and Orange Salad



In April we present recipes that showcase some of the early vegetables of spring - radishes, spinach, arugula, asparagus, and peas - and for dessert rhubarb cup cakes. Enjoy the tastes of spring - and the health benefits of all kinds of veggies. Thinly sliced radishes, combined with oranges, red onion and pistachios, are refreshing and crunchy in this colorful salad, our first recipe for April.

4 navel oranges
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
8-10 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup shelled pistachios for garnish (optional)

Cut the top and bottom off of each orange. Stand the orange on one end on a cutting board and, following the curve of the fruit, cut away the skin and pith of the orange. Cut each orange section out of its pith.

In a medium bowl toss together the orange sections, onion, radishes, and mint leaves. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pistachios for added crunch, if desired.





April 9
Chickpeas with Baby Spinach



This chickpea and spinach combo can be served as an appetizer, a side dish, or as a topping on a piece of rustic bread for a delicious open-faced sandwich or crostini. A great way to combine two of the most healthy ingredients of all - beans and leafy greens!

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 thick slice of crusty white bread, torn into small pieces
20 oz. baby spinach leaves
One 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add the torn bread and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain; set pan off heat.

Rinse the spinach and shake off any excess water. Reheat the pan and place the spinach in it, cooking over low heat, stirring often until it has wilted, 4-5 minutes, adding a little more oil if needed.

Add the chickpeas, garlic, paprika, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Crumble in the fried bread. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water, and cook, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes, until the chickpeas are hot. Serve immediately.



April 16
Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Arugula



This is a super easy one-pan dish to make! You just roast the chicken with the potatoes on a baking sheet, add some leeks halfway through cooking, then top it all off with arugula and a yogurt sauce when done. A delicious meal that is ready in a little over an hour - with only one pan and one bowl to wash afterwards!

1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
1 1/2 pounds small Yukon Gold or red potatoes, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
2-3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (do not use Greek yogurt)
1 or 2 small garlic cloves
2-3 ounces baby arugula, or more if desired
Chopped fresh dill
Lemon juice

Combine chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce and 3 tablespoons oil. Pour over chicken and potatoes and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator).

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine leeks, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chicken and potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast 15 minutes.

Toss potatoes lightly. Scatter leeks over pan. Roast until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 25 to 30 minutes longer.

While chicken cooks, place yogurt in a small bowl. Grate garlic over yogurt and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon yogurt over chicken and vegetables in the pan. Scatter arugula and dill over mixture. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice and serve.



April 23
Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas



"Primavera" is the Italian word for spring and this recipe uses the earliest spring vegetables -- asparagus, peas, and spring onions. If you can find fresh peas, frozen will do, but do not add until the last minute of cooking.


1/2 pound asparagus, ends snapped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup fresh English peas
1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onion, white part only (or use shallot)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
Black pepper, more as needed
12 ounces fettuccine or tagliatelle
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt or crème fraîche at room temperature
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. While the water is coming to a boil, slice snap peas and asparagus stems into 1/4-inch-thick pieces; leave asparagus tips whole.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add snap peas, asparagus, English peas and onion. Cook until vegetables are barely tender (but not too soft or mushy), 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain well and transfer pasta to a large bowl. Immediately toss with vegetables, parmesan cheese, yogurt, and parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper, if needed.



April 30
Rhubarb Cupcakes



Rhubarb is one of the tastiest of early spring offerings! It is naturally tart so most recipes call for a lot of sugar. Here is a recipe for sweet-tart cupcakes topped with rhubarb compote and whipped cream that your family is sure to love.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 pound rhubarb, stalks trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3 cups)
1 vanilla bean, halved length-wise
1 cup water
whipped cream

Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until combined after each. Stir in 2 cups diced rhubarb.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers; remove liners before topping.

Rhubarb Topping:

To make rhubarb topping, use the tip of a paring knife to scrape vanilla-bean seeds into a saucepan, reserving pod for another use. Add the water and remaining 1 cup sugar, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1 cup rhubarb. Let cool completely. Remove rhubarb with a slotted spoon, and reserve. Return liquid to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then return rhubarb to syrup. Once cool, rhubarb can be refrigerated in syrup up to 1 week in an airtight container; bring to room temperature before using.
To finish, dollop a generous amount of whipped cream onto each cupcake, and top with rhubarb and some syrup. Serve immediately.


 



May 7
Asparagus Frittata

Want to surprise mom on Mother's Day with a beautiful breakfast? Here is an easy egg dish you can make in about 30 minutes. Serve with croissants or toast and the triple berry salad below for a colorful and delicious breakfast.


8 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced asparagus (from about 1 bunch)





May 14
Triple Berry Salad



This salad will go perfectly with the frittata recipe above. You can serve the three types of berries alone topped with the creamy dressing, or on a bed of baby spinach leaves for more nutrition and flavor.


Salad

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, cut in half
2 cups baby spinach (optional)


Dressing

1 cup sour cream
2-3 teaspoons honey
3-4 teaspoons orange juice


Wash berries and spinach. Drain and let dry for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, gently toss blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

In a small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients until smooth, adding more honey or orange juice to taste. Arrange over baby spinach leaves, if using. Drizzle with some of the dressing and serve the rest on the side in a small bowl.

 

 

May 21
Grilled Shrimp with Mango Salsa

 

Memorial Day is not far off and the summer season will officially begin! And that means that the grilling season will also officially begin! If you are looking for something different to serve at your holiday barbecue, in addition to or instead of hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, or steaks, try these easy-to-make and delicious shrimp skewers. Serve with mango salsa on the side or or on top.

2 pounds large shrimp, shelled
6 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 15 minutes
lime quarters for garnis

Marinade:
6 Tbsp. olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt


Salsa:
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chunked
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced (or less depending on heat preferences)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 of a bunch of cilantro, leaves only, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste


To prepare the marinade, heat olive oil in medium saucepan over low heat. Add sliced garlic and cook until soft but not browned (31 to 2 minutes, stirring often). Add 2 Tbsp. lime juice, pepper, and salt, and stir gently for a few seconds until blended. Remove from heat and let cool.

Thread shrimp onto soaked skewers and place in a 9 x13 glass baking pan. Pour the cooled garlic oil marinade over shrimp. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 2-6 hours, turning every hour or so.

Meanwhile, prepare mango salsa: mix green onions, mangos, jalapenos, red pepper, cilantro, and remaining 2 Tbsp. lime juice. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill marinated shrimp for about 3 minutes on each side. Shrimp will be pink and firm. Take off grill and serve with salsa.


 

 

May 28
Key Lime Pie



Pie in all its forms and flavors is a classic American dish -- and Key Lime Pie is an iconic American pie. It belongs alongside apple pie, pecans pie, and pumpkin pie as a pastry that you will not get in any other country. Thankfully, this pie is very easy to make -- and the large amount of key lime juice guarantees a tart, impressive flavor which is perfectly balanced by the sweet whipped cream on top. A perfect dessert for your Memorial Day barbecue.

6 large egg yolks
2 14 - ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup freshly squeezed or bottled Key lime juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, divided
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 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, garnish with remaining lime zest, and serve.

 

 

June 4
Tuna and White Bean Salad


Summer is salad season! In June we present four classic salad recipes you are sure to love. The first one is a quick and easy no-cook dinner recipe packed with protein-rich tuna, colorful vegetables, and beans — and it gets an extra flavor kick from the zesty vinaigrette — perfect for those nights when you do not want to heat up the stove or grill — but want to present both flavor and nutrition to your family. This dish pairs well with a crisp white wine like a Pinot Grigio from Italy or a Sauvignon Blanc from Australia. Serve with a crusty white bread or a French baguette.

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 
1 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion 
2 (6-ounce) cans Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained and broken into chunks 
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 
1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby arugula 
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and next 4 ingredients (through arugula); toss gently. Top with cheese shavings. Serve with crusty white bread and a crisp white wine.

 

 

June 11
Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled lettuce is an amazing side dish to serve with any steak or fish dinner. You only need to grill the lettuce for a few minutes on each side and then top it with a creamy yoghurt dressing and parmesan cheese for an unforgettable dish everyone is sure to love.

2 large heads of romaine lettuce
6 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup plain yogurt or kefir
salt and pepper
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

 

Cut each head of lettuce in half; brush with half of the olive oil  and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the lettuce halves on a medium-hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until the lettuce is slightly wilted and charred. Place on platter and dress with remaining olive oil. Add the garlic to the yogurt or kefir, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Pour creamy dressing over lettuce and then sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese before serving



 

June 18
Avocado-Tomato Salad

 

Avocados and tomatoes are a perfect summer-salad pairing. In this recipe, cucumbers and arugula add extra layers of crunchiness and zest. This salad is a perfect accompaniment to any grilled meats or fish — all summer long.

2 avocados, diced
1 english cucumber, sliced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1 cup arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup feta cheese


In a large bowl combine avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and arugula. Gently toss. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add dressing to the veggies and toss. Serve with crumbled feta cheese.

 

 

June 25
Greek-Style Watermelon Salad



Tomatoes and watermelon are a perfect combination for a cool and delicious summer salad. Add to this combo the Greek flavors of kalamata olives and feta cheese and you have a winner — a salad that pairs well with any meats or fish that you choose to grill this summer.

4 cups cubed watermelon
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
1 medium red onion
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup chopped parsley and/or mint
Olive oil and red-wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine 4 cups cubed watermelon; 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped; 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced; 1 medium red onion, sliced; 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives; 1/2 cup crumbled feta; and some chopped parsley and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and red-wine vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and serve.

 

 

July 2
Grilled Italian Sausages with Peppers



July is grilling season! Try serving Italian sausages with grilled mini peppers or a luscious salmon burger accompanied by a simple cucumber-avocado salad and followed by grilled watermelon wedges with sriracha and lime for a refreshing bite at the end of your meal. Perfection on a hot summer’s day! There is also a recipe for a lemonade and thyme vodka cocktail that everyone is sure to enjoy at your grill party.

8 hot or mild Italian sausages 
20 mini sweet peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your grill on high heat and clean. Then reduce the heat to medium. While the grill is preheating toss sweet peppers with one tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Place sausage on one side of the grill and peppers on the other side of the grill. Grill for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 165 degrees. Turn the sausages and peppers two-to-three times during the cooking process to prevent burning. If peppers begin to char, remove from heat.

 

 

July 9
Salmon Burgers



You may want to vary your summer grilling repertoire by adding some healthy vegetarian or fish options — veggie skewers, shrimp skewers, veggies burgers, or tuna burgers make a welcome change from all the beef, chicken, and sausage that we see most often on our summer grills. Here is a recipe for delicate and tasty salmon burgers. Be sure to treat them gently as the burgers do easily fall apart.

1 pound skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions or shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Arugula leaves
Tomato slices
Tartar sauce or 1000-Island dressing

In a food processor pulse the salmon pieces five to ten times until coarsely chopped (but not finely chopped). Transfer the salmon to a large bowl. Add the remaining patty ingredients, including ½ teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and stir gently to combine. With wet hands, form four patties of equal size, each about 3/4 inch thick. Arrange the patties on a platter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

Brush the cooking grates clean. Lightly brush the patties on both sides with oil. Grill the patties over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until nicely browned, 6 to 8 minutes, carefully turning once. During the last minute of grilling time, toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat.

Build each burger on a toasted bun with arugula, a patty, tomato slices, and sauce. Serve warm with extra sauce or dressing on the side.

 

 

July 16
Cucumber-Avocado Salad



This lovely summer side dish only takes a few minutes to prepare! It’s a perfect combination of crunchy cucumber and soft avocado, with red onion and fresh dill, tossed gently together in a simple lemon dressing.

For the salad:
2 avocados, cubed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
1 English cucumber, washed and diced, peel left on
3 or 4 tablespoons diced red onion
1/4 cup fresh dill

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Gently mix together avocado and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

July 23
Grilled Watermelon Wedges



Grilling fruit is gaining in popularity. Peaches, pineapple, mangos, and even watermelon get a huge flavor boost from being briefly charred on the grill. This recipe calls for sriracha, which is a spice chili and garlic sauce from Thailand. If you do not have it on hand, you can use hot sauce instead. Serves four.

8 1-inch-thick seedless watermelon wedges 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill 
1 1/4 teaspoons sriracha (or hot sauce)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon sugar 
1/4 teaspoon lime zest 
4 lime wedges
fresh mint (optional)

Rub watermelon wedges with oil and sriracha (or hot sauce). Heat a grill pan lightly coated with oil over high heat, or preheat a grill for direct heat. Grill watermelon until grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with salt, sugar, and lime zest. Serve with lime wedges and julienned mint leaves.

 

 

July 30
Lemonade Vodka Cocktail



This recipe calls for the juice of 24 fresh lemons! This is what makes the cocktail so special — so do not use prepared lemon juice. The simple sugar syrup will add sweetness, the thyme a sophisticated touch and an unforgettable flavor, and of course the vodka will add some punch. Cheers!


2 cups sugar 
2 cups water
12 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish 
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 24 lemons 
2 cups vodka

In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the sugar and 12 sprigs of thyme; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature. 

Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup; discard thyme. You should have 2 cups syrup. Cover with plastic; chill. 

In a large serving pitcher, stir together lemon juice, vodka, and chilled syrup; garnish with additional thyme sprigs. Divide evenly among eight tumblers filled with ice; serve immediately.


August 6
Corn, Mango, and Black Bean Salsa





Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh corn -- in salads and salsas, in casseroles or bakes, in soups and puddings -- or simply straight off the grill! Our first recipe is for a refreshing salsa made with corn, mango, and black beans. It’s a perfect accompaniment to tacos, fish, or burgers -- or it can be served with chips as a hearty appetizer. Use freshly grilled corn for a sweet and smokey taste.

3 ears corn, shucked and rinsed
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 ripe mangos, peeled and diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeno, diced, ribs and seeds removed (optional)
Juice of 1 or 2 limes, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt, to taste

In a large bowl of water, soak corn for 30 minutes; drain well.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush corn with corn oil and add to grill. Cook until grill marks appear, about 3-4 minutes on each side; let cool before cutting the corn kernels off the cobs.

In a large bowl, combine corn, mango, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper if using, and beans. Add lime juice to taste, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Toss gently, transfer to smaller bowl, garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.




August 13
Summer Corn Chowder

 

Bacon, onions, potatoes, and cream are added to fresh corn kernels to make this delicious, creamy, sweet,
and nutritious soup. You can save a few kernels of corn to add to the top of each bowl before serving for added crunch. You’ll love cooking this soup all summer long!

8 ears fresh sweet yellow corn, husked and silks removed, and kernels cut from the cob
3 Tbsp butter
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups water or chicken stock
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1 Tbsp honey
2 - 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and is just starting to brown around the edges, about 8 - 10 minutes. Add in the flour and garlic and cook 1 1/2 minutes.

While whisking, slowly pour in 5 cups water or stock. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then add corn kernels and potatoes. Add thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove bay leaf, then transfer 2 1/2 cups of the chowder to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot then add half and half and honey. Stir gently and cook for a few more minutes. Sprinkle each serving with chives, optional cheddar cheese, and raw corn kernels.



 

August 20
Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad


This salad makes a great summer meal -- either for lunch or dinner -- and no hot oven needed! Quickly grill the corn and chicken and then combine with greens and a tasty lime dressing for a tasty and healthy summer salad! The dressing is also used to marinate the chicken before grilling.

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the grill
1/4c up fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 ears corn, shucked and soaked in water for 30 minutes
5 ounces baby spinach or arugula leaves (about 6 cups)
1 avocado, cut into bite-size pieces
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved

Heat grill to medium-high. Once it is hot, clean the grill grate with a wire brush. Just before grilling, oil the grill grate.

Whisk together the lime juice, rosemary, garlic, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer half of the dressing to a small bowl; set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining dressing and turn to coat; let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rub the corn with the remaining tablespoon of oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Grill the corn and chicken, covered, turning occasionally, until the corn is tender and lightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in each piece of chicken registers 165 F, 8 to 10 minutes.
Cut the kernels off the cobs and slice the chicken after letting it rest for a few minutes.

Toss the spinach or arugula, chicken slices, corn kernels, and avocado with the reserved dressing and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Serves 4.









August 27
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Garlic Cream, Dill, and Feta



This recipe calls for a creamy garlic whip that is used instead of butter to baste the grilled corn. Top it with dill and crumbled feta cheese (or grated parmesan cheese, if you prefer). This recalls elote, the traditional Mexican grilled corn, a popular street food south of the border. Here, the garlic cream replaces mayonnaise, feta cheese replaces cotija cheese, and dill replaces cilantro, for a new take on the Mexican classic.

8 ears corn on the cob, silks removed, husks intact, soaked in water for 10 minutes
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup pure olive oil (not extra-virgin)
12 ounces Greek feta, drained, patted dry, and finely crumbled
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
2 limes, quartered

Heat a grill to medium. Remove the corn from the soaking water, shake it dry a few times and place on the grill. Grill, covered, until the kernels are tender, turning a few times, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the garlic, lemon juice and salt in a blender and blend until smooth (add a splash of water if necessary). With the motor running, slowly add the canola oil and the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is emulsified and thickened; then continue blending until a thick, buttery consistency is reached.

Remove corn from the grill; pull back the husks; brush with the garlic whip; and sprinkle with feta and dill. Garnish with lime quarters. Serve immediately.




September 3
Creamy Rotini with Tomato, Zucchini, and Red Pepper 


The end of summer brings with it an abundant harvest of vegetables and fruits that you can find at your local farmers market or grocery store ... tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and peppers galore; apples, peaches, pears, and plums … and more! We offer four recipes for September that take advantage of this fall bounty, starting with a creamy pasta dish with tomatoes, zucchini, and red peppers. The dish is quick and easy to prepare, which makes it a perfect choice for a weeknight dinner.


Kosher salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small white onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 ripe Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
1 lb. rotini, or other short corkscrew pasta


Bring an 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are barely tender, about 7 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese, basil, and lemon zest.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
 
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and return it to the pot. Pour in the sauce and toss until the pasta is evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add some cooking water if sauce is too thick, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and serve.





September 10
Zucchini-Cucumber Salad


Here is a refreshing way to serve late-summer zucchini. This spicy salad combines the sweetness of the zucchini with the freshness of the cucumber, and balances them out with a spicy dressing. A perfect salad to serve with chicken or fish.


1 English cucumber (about 12 ounces)
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces)
1/2 small red onion (about 2 ounces), very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or chives for garnish


Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut the cucumber and zucchini into very thinly sliced rounds (or you can slice the zucchini lengthwise if you prefer). When you are finished slicing, you should have about 2 cups of cucumber and 1 1/2 cups of zucchini.

In a medium size bowl, toss the cucumber and zucchini slices with the onion and salt, allow this mixture to sit for 30 minutes, then transfer it to a colander to drain off the excess liquid. Return the veggie mixture to the bowl and set aside.

Next, in a small bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes, whisking or stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Then pour this mixture over the veggie mixture, tossing the veggies to coat them evenly.

Chill the salad for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Be sure to drain off any excess liquid once again, before serving. Garnish with chopped dill or chives.



 

September 17
Chicken Breasts with Fresh Corn
Shallots, and Cream


Once you've eaten your fill of corn on the cob this summer, here's another delightful way to enjoy one of the season’s best and sweetest vegetables: build it into a quick sauce with shallots, white wine, Dijon mustard,
and cream, to spoon over butter-sautéed chicken. It's a fresh yet luxurious weeknight meal your family will
rave about. Serve with rice, couscous, or pasta. 

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large ears of corn
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or sweet onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley


Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.

Cut the kernels from the ears of corn. There should be about 1 cup. Set aside.

Heat butter in a skillet large enough to hold the breasts in one layer. Add the chicken, cook 3 minutes on medium heat, and turn. Cover and cook 5 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken pieces to a hot serving dish. To the skillet add shallots or onion and cook briefly. Add wine and bring to the boil. Add the corn and stir in mustard.

Add cream and stir to blend. Bring to the boil and add the parsley. Check for seasoning and add more salt and/or butter as needed. Pour and scrape the sauce over the chicken pieces and serve.




September 24
Late Summer Plum Cake


The warm spices added to this plum cake celebrate the summer-into-fall season. As it bakes, the aromas wafting from the kitchen will make you think of the fall season ahead, with its many tastes and familiar smells like cinnamon and nutmeg and pumpkin spice. As sad as it is to say good-bye to summer, autumn also has its charms! Serve the cake for brunch, or for dessert topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk 
1 pound plums, pitted and quartered (or halved if small)


Preheat oven to 350F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan.
(Or you can a use 9-inch cake pan or a pie pan and serve the cake directly from the pan.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth. (Note: the batter will be quite thick.)

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula or knife. Arrange the plums on top, skin side up, in a circular pattern so that they mostly cover the batter. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the plums.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until golden on top and set in the center.

When the cake is hot out of the oven, run a knife around the edges of the pan and then remove the springform edge, leaving the base in place (if using a springform pan). Let the cake cool on a rack completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if serving for brunch. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired, for dessert.

 

 

October 1
Sauerkraut Salad with Apples and Carrots
Sorowka z kiszonej kapusty

 

October is Polish American Heritage Month, the perfect time to prepare some traditional Polish dishes for your family. And nothing is more traditional and typically Polish than sauerkraut! Whether in soups and salads, in pierogi or in stews or casseroles, or served alongside grilled Polish sausage, this fermented cabbage dish is hugely popular in Poland. Sauerkraut was actually invented by the Chinese who long ago discovered both the health benefits and the wonderful taste of sour cabbage. Enjoy the four recipes below! They are delicious as well as being good for you (at least the cabbage part)!

4 cups sauerkraut, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup canola oil
2 or 3 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley for garnish

Place sauerkraut in a colander and squeeze out all excess liquid using your hands; chop well. Combine sauerkraut, onion, apple, and carrots in a large bowl and mix. Add oil and sugar and toss to combine. Season with caraway seeds, salt, and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and garnish with parsley before serving.

 

 

October 8
Sauerkraut Soup
Kapusniak

 

Fermented foods like sauerkraut help your body to build immunity and they help your digestive system to function properly. The fermentation process promotes healthy bacteria growth, probiotics, which in turn deter the growth of bad bacteria. Sauerkraut, along with plain yogurt, kefir, miso, pickles, and kombucha, helps aid digestion. And this classic Polish soup is a delicious way to do just that! If you want to make a vegetarian version of this soup, you can skip the bacon and sausage and use 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the sautéeing step, rather than bacon drippings.

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups of brown mushrooms, sliced
2 ozs of dried mushrooms, if available
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lbs (32 oz) sauerkraut, drained
2 cups of pre-boiled and roughly diced potatoes (since they will simmer in the soup they don't need to be completely cooked, just barely tender when pricked with a fork)
6 slices of bacon
1/2 lb of smoked Polish sausage, cubed
48 oz of canned or boxed beef or chicken broth
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
Black pepper and salt to taste
1 tsp of ground allspice
2 tbs of fresh dill or parsley, chopped, for garnish

Fry the bacon strips in a skillet until the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon and set on paper towels. Leave the drippings in the skillet. When the bacon is cool, chop it roughly into bite-size pieces.
Sauté the onions and the mushrooms in the bacon drippings for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.

If using dried mushrooms, soak them in hot water for 30 minutes, then chop and sauté them along with the fresh mushrooms and onions in the step above. Reserve the soaking liquid after straining it through a cheesecloth or paper coffee filter.

Take the onions, mushrooms, optional dried mushrooms, and garlic off the heat and set the mixture aside.

Place the sauerkraut in a heavy soup pot over low heat. Add the sauteed mushrooms, onions and garlic. Add the broth, the reserved dried mushroom liquid if using, caraway, pepper, and allspice and bring to a light boil.

Add the Polish sausage pieces and bacon bits, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes; add potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Check the seasoning and add more pepper, and salt, if needed. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley and serve with a hearty dark rye bread.

 

 

October 15
Sauerkraut and Noodles
Kapusta kiszona z kluskami

 

While sauerkraut came to Europe originally from China, it has been very popular in Central and Eastern Europe for centuries and it continues to be a culinary staple in Poland, Germany, France, the Czech Republic to this day. Most of these nations have their own version of this dish — sometimes with sausage, bacon, or mushrooms added to the kraut and noodles. Below is a meatless recipe which is a popular comfort food in all of the countries mentioned above … and many others too. It can be the main course for a simple dinner, especially during Lent, or it can be served as a side or a midnight snack. The dish is sometimes called “haluski” from its Czech name. Here is the Polish American version.

2 medium onions, thinly sliced into rounds
8 ounces unsalted butter (two sticks)
12 oz. bowtie pasta (farfalle) or flat noodles (kluski)
16 oz. sauerkraut
Sea salt
Black pepper
Fresh dill or chives, chopped, for garnish

 

Melt butter in a large skillet or dutch oven set over low heat. Note: It may seem like a lot of butter, but that is what makes this dish so delicious and creamy. You may, of course, decrease the amount of butter, if you wish, and use a stick and a half (6 oz).

Add sliced onions to the melted butter; saute for 20-25 minutes over low to medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning while the onions caramelize.

Add sauerkraut to the pan with some of the juice. The butter and noodles will absorb a lot of the juice so it is not as crucial to drain and rinse the sauerkraut for this dish as it is for many others. Let the sauerkraut cook together with the onions for 10-15 minutes over low to medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep stirring for the flavors to blend as the sauerkraut cooks.

While onions and sauerkraut are cooking, follow box directions to cook the farfalle or kluski. Drain well and add to the pot with the sauerkraut and onions. Stir gently and cook for a few minutes more.

Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle additional black pepper on top and garnish with chopped dill or chives.

 

 

 

October 22
Braised Chicken with Sauerkraut
Kurczak pieczony z kiszona kapusta

 

In Poland, sauerkraut is most often paired with pork -- pork chops, ribs, sausage, and bacon are most popular. But for a lighter meal, chicken can be substituted and it marries very well with the sauerkraut when both are baked together. This is a meal that will give you the health benefits of fermented cabbage in an easy-to-make and satisfying dish. Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes. Smacznego!

3 1/2 lbs chicken legs
Sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
4 cups sauerkraut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken on all sides with salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; swirl in oil. Add chicken to oil and cook in batches until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add onion to the skillet. Cook, scraping up browned bits, for about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in carrots and sauerkraut until well combined.

Transfer sauerkraut mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Nestle chicken legs in mixture, cover with parchment-lined foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to 425 degrees, and bake until top is lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes more. Serve immediately. Mashed potatoes are a great accompaniment to this dish.

NOTE: Please go to our Recipe of the Week for January 8, 2018, to see a recipe for Polish Hunter’s Stew or Bigos -- another Polish classic dish that uses both sauerkraut and fresh green cabbage. Smacznego!

 

 

October 29
Halloween Cookies with Reeses Pieces




Halloween is just around the corner! These dark chocolate and peanut butter cookies are delicious and fun to make. Some of the peanut butter candies are added to the dough, and the rest are used to decorate the cookies. Make them to enjoy with your family, or use them to give away to trick "n" treaters. Place one or two cookies in a large square of plastic wrap after they have fully cooled; bring up the four corners of the plastic wrap and tie together with an orange ribbon to make a little cookie gift bag. Enjoy and Happy Halloween to all!

 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups Reeses Pieces peanut butter candies, divided


Add the butter to a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for a full minute until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl, until combined. Set aside.

Add both sugars to the mixer, and mix on medium speed until completely combined. Add the egg, followed by the peanut butter, and vanilla, mixing well after each addition.

Turn the mixer down to low speed, and add the flour mixture in two or three batches, mixing until just combined. Stir in one cup of Reeses Pieces.

Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.

Bake the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge and let come up to temperature for a few minutes. Use a cookie scoop to evenly scoop out 2 Tbsp portions of dough. Gently roll/shape the dough into balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets, about two inches apart.

Place first sheet in oven and bake for 7 minutes; then pull sheet out and quickly decorate with additional Reeses Pieces, embedding them into the soft dough; return sheet to oven and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the cookies are puffy and cooked through. The cookies may appear slightly uncooked in the middle, but will settle as they cool. (Repeat with second sheet).

When cookies are done, remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a baking sheet to cool completely. Will keep for up to a week in an air-tight container.


 

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