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Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

January 6, 2019

Vegetable Tagine

Great healthy way to start off the new year!

Spice Mix

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet on a medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or till the seeds become aromatic. Take off the heat and grind smooth in a coffee grinder. Take out in a small bowl and add the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 3 to 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium turnips, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • 1 cup green olives, sliced
  • ½ cup dried apricots, sliced
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint, crushed

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, harissa and the spice mix. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, turnips, carrots, chickpeas, chicken stock and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and check to see if the root vegetables are tender. Mash some potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to slightly thicken the liquid. Add the olives and apricots. Turn the heat up to cook off some of the excess liquid to get the desired consistency- it should be like a thick soup. Add the almonds, cilantro, parsley and dried mint. Check for seasonings and serve with couscous.

Pork Ragu Lasagna with Pesto Bechamel

October 16, 2018

Pork Ragu and Pesto Bechamel Lasagna

Pork Ragu

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • Salt

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the pork and cook on high heat and separate the meat with a wooden spoon. Saute for a 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add salt if necessary and turn heat off and keep aside.

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup fresh or store bought pesto

Heat a medium saucepan and add the flour and butter. Melt the butter on medium high heat. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk and whisk to make sure all the lumps are taken out. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the nutmeg and salt. Turn the heat off and keep aside. Add the pesto and mix well.

Lasagna

  • 1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano
  • 12 lasagna sheets (I used no boil pasta)

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Line a 9 X 11 glass pan with a quarter cup of béchamel sauce. Cover the bottom and add four pasta sheets. Spread one cup of meat sauce on top. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top. Pour about ¾ cup of béchamel sauce- spreading it all over the pasta. Add another cup of meat sauce. Add ¼ cup of shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top and cover with the remaining béchamel sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the cover off, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for another 15. Serve hot with salad and garlic bread.

Healthy Shrimp Bisque

October 9, 2018

Shrimp Bisque

  • 12 ounces jumbo shrimp, deveined and shelled
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil. Saute the shrimp on high heat for 30 seconds on each side. Sprinkle salt and take out onto a lined platter. Cut each shrimp into three and keep aside.

  • ¼ cup pancetta, chopped
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1½ cups seafood or shrimp broth
  • 1½ cups low-fat milk
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • Juice of half a lemon

Add the pancetta into the same saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic and carrots. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add the thyme and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the white wine and scrape off the brown bits from the bottom. Add the broth and milk. Whisk the liquid on high heat and bring to a boil making sure all the lumps are smoothed away. Lower the heat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the shrimp pieces and cook for 2 to 3 minutes making sure the shrimp is cooked. Add the half and half and turn the heat off. Check for seasonings and add salt if necessary. Add the lemon juice and serve hot with crusty bread.

Bolognese Sauce with Spaghetti

July 17, 2018

I would highly recommend this recipe for bolognese sauce- it is easy to make and really delicious! The pancetta and sausage flavor it amazing.. definitely worth a try…

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup pancetta, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large Italian sausage links, meat taken out of the casings
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ pound spaghetti, cooked al dente

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary and thyme. Stir and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add one teaspoon of salt. Add the pancetta and sauté on medium heat till the vegetables are soft and pancetta is crispy. Add the beef and sausage and separate vigorously with the back of a wooden spoon while stirring. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the white wine and scrape off all the golden brown bits from the bottom. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low heat with lid on for 2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes or so to check the consistency. Once the consistency is according to taste, check for seasonings and serve with spaghetti.

Braised Short Ribs with Citrus Gremolata

December 12, 2017

 

I would highly recommend this dish for the holidays. I served it with polenta and it was an amazing dinner. Oh, and don’t forget a copious amount of red wine…

  • 4 pounds short ribs, excess fat removed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

Place the short ribs in a large glass dish and sprinkle the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Refrigerate overnight. Take out an hour before cooking.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups red wine
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil until smoking. Brown the ribs on both sides for 4 to 5 minutes each in two to three batches. Keep aside. Add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for minute. Add the flour and sauté for another minute. Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Add the chicken broth and red wine and bring to a boil. Add the ribs back into the liquid and transfer to the oven. Bake for 2 to 3 hours or till the meat is falling off the bone.
Take out of oven and take the ribs out onto a platter. Strain the braising liquid and squeeze all the moisture out of the solids. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the saucepan. Reduce to desired consistency- there should be about a cup and a half to two cups of liquid remaining. Check for seasonings and return the ribs back into the liquid. Top with gremolata and serve.

Citrus Gremolata

  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of two clementines or half a navel orange

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and keep aside.

Bolognese Garlic Bread Sandwiches

October 10, 2017

I watched Rachel Ray make these on her show and loved the idea. I changed up the recipe a bit and added mushrooms to make the dish healthier. I also jazzed up the ricotta cheese. These sandwiches were absolutely delicious. My daughter gave them two thumbs up!

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped pancetta
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 5 ounces Cremini mushrooms, grated
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small bunch, thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, preferably home made
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the pancetta and sauté for a minute or two. Add the ground turkey and separate the meat with the back of a wooden spoon. Saute on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme. Saute on high heat for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce, milk and salt. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer with the lid on. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or till the meat is cooked through. Take the lid off and check for seasonings. Keep aside.

Ricotta Topping

  • 1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Place the olive oil, garlic and parsley in a small frying pan. Heat over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes- just enough time to cook the garlic without browning. Add salt and let cool. Add to the ricotta, mix well and keep aside.

  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Add the garlic, oil and salt to a small frying pan. Cook on a very low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t get brown. Take off the heat and drizzle the garlic mixture all over the four rolls. Toast in the oven until fragrant and golden brown. Take out and assemble the sandwiches. Place about half a cup of the ground meat. Top with ricotta mixture and serve.

 

Turkey Chili with Beans

January 3, 2017

Yummy and healthy and perfect for a cold day….

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound dark meat ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 14 oz can of beans (use your favorite, I used pinto), rinsed and drained
  • Salt

Heat a saucepan with olive oil and add the ground meat. Saute and brown on high heat while separating the meat and stirring at the same time for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin and ancho chili. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro and tomato paste. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth and beans. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook, covered for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and check for seasonings, add salt and serve warm with shredded cheese and other desired toppings.