Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jacques Pepin Seafood Chowder

This recipe is from Jacques Pepin's More Fast Food My Way, one of his cookbooks and I recently saw him prepare this on his PBS cooking show. I followed the recipe but did add a few baby red potatoes which I had boiled, peeled and cut into cubes. I used fresh cod as the fish fillet. And of course we had to have our chowder with some Oyster Crackers.


2 T good olive oil
1 ½ cup trimmed, split and sliced leeks
1 T coarsely chopped garlic
2 ½ cups bottled clam juice
1 ½ cups water
1 cup coarsely chopped white mushrooms
¾ t salt
1 ½ cups diced (1/2 inch) zucchini
1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
¾ cup 1-inch pieces peeled uncooked shrimp
1 cup 1- inch pieces boneless fish fillet
2/3 cup half and half
About ½ cup crabmeat, for garnish (optional)


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
When hot, add the leek and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the clam juice, water, mushrooms, and salt, bring to a boil, and boil for about 2 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and sprinkle the potato flakes on top, mixing them in with a whisk to prevent lumping. Bring to a boil and boil for about 1 minute. ( The soup can be prepared several hours ahead to this point.)
leeks and garlic sauteing:

Whisking in potato flakes:

At serving time, bring the soup back to a boil, add the shrimp, fish, and half- and- half and bring back just to a boil. The fish and shrimp will be cooked through. Divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle about 2 T crabmeat, if using, onto the middle of each serving. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Roasted Chicken with Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles

This recipe is adapted from Gail Simmons, contributor to Kitchen Daily I basically followed the recipe, with the exception of blending the spicy peanut sauce ingredients in my mini-Cuisinart vs. using a blender. Beware that this is SPICY so if you'd like to kick it down a notch or two, use less of the Sriracha sauce. Serves 4.


Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hot water

Chicken and Noodles:
4 cups shredded chicken from a whole roasted deli-chicken
1/2 pound dried buckwheat soba noodles

Green Salad:
1/2 hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced on the bias
1 cup cilantro leaves
2-3 scallions, finely sliced on the bias


Spicy Peanut Sauce:
In a small saut̩ pan heat sesame oil and add garlic and ginger to gently fry until fragrant Рabout 1 minute. Pour into a blender and add all remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth adding more hot water if necessary to achieve a rich saucy consistency.

Chicken and Soba Noodles:
Cook soba noodles according to package directions then drain and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of shredded chicken meat and dress with spicy peanut sauce. Use tongs to work sauce into chicken and noodles gently.

Green Salad:
In a small mixing bowl combine cucumber, cilantro and scallions. Toss gently to combine.

Divide noodle mix evenly amongst bowls and top with a handful of green salad.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nutella Swirl Poundcake

This recipe is adapted from Laurie Chattman (Food and Wine).

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
One 13-ounce jar Nutella

Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.
Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.
Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

After spreading Nutella on batter

Batter on top and ready to bake

Out of oven
Served with Balsamic Strawberries

Balsamic Strawberries

Nothing like fresh strawberries and nothing like balsamic vinegar. The two together dance so well. I first tried this recipe at a friend's home several years ago. These are approximate ingredients as I sort of wing it on amounts.

2 lbs. strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper (optional)

Hull and halve strawberries. Place in bowl, drizzle sugar over and mix, then drizzle balsamic vinegar over and mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least an hour and spinkle freshly ground pepper prior to serving.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Canyon Ranch Bean Salad

This is a great summer recipe adapted from The Canyon Ranch Cookbook and quite versatile. You can omit or add ingredients as you wish and it keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. My suggestion is to add the chopped Romaine lettuce just prior to serving as it can get soggy. Tonight I made this and did not add garbanzo beans but rather a 15 oz. can of small Mexican white beans. We have romaine, oregano and basil growing in our garden and ready to, so good! In a month or so the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will be ready.

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced black olives
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup diced tomato
3/4 cup cooked white beans
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 cup chopped hearts of palm

1. In a small bowl, combine red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Add olive oil and beat well.
2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add salad dressing and toss lightly. Divide equally into salad bowls.