Friday, March 19, 2010

February 1-14, 2010

Tuesday 2/2 - Saffron risotto - wasn't my favorite. Maybe a little overdone, but I wasn't fond of the flavor. Will have to try different kind of risotto next time. Asparagus wrapped in Chicken Breast with Mushrooms was a great recipe. Easy and yummy with great veggies wrapped inside. (Sorry, I can’t find the chicken and asparagus recipe. I will keep looking)

Wednesday 2/3 - Oscar Mayer Natural hot dogs are the best. Heated in pan with box of our favorite pre-packaged mac ‘n cheese from Hodgson Mills. And sweet potato pancakes. Surprisingly not a hit with Greysen, but we thought they were yummy.

Thursday 2/4 - Walnut pesto pasta was scrumptious. Definitely one to make again. Even Greysen loved it! And dessert of Molten Lava Cake was killer!

Friday 2/5 - Veggie shepherd's pie - another that I would do again, although we agreed that it is not good leftover. The parsnips on top are wonderful when crispy and fresh and go well with the bottom bean portion. Again, Greysen loved this!

Sunday 2/6 - Black Bean Chili was another hit with everyone! Yummy veggie version that rivaled our favorite canned Amy's Organic Black Bean Chili.

Tuesday 2/9 - Chicken & potatoes - Great chicken and flavors, but we should have cut the potatoes smaller. Minty eggplant was tasty, but we decided to alter the recipe and bake it so that it got crispy.

Thursday 2/11 - Salmon & beurre blanc was OK. Not outstanding, but certainly not bad. But the mashed potatoes with dill & carrots was TO DIE FOR - we all LOVE THIS DISH and it will be made again.

Risotto alla Milanese (Saffron Risotto)
Serves 4
1 pint chicken stock or broth
1 shallot or ½ small onion, finely chopped
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz Italian rice (Arborio)
6 Tbsp red wine
1 sachet (envelope) saffron powder or ½ tsp saffron threads, pounded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Bring stock to a low simmer. Put the shallot and 4 Tbsp of butter in saucepan, sauté until soft and translucent, then add the rice and stir until well coated with fat. Pour in the wine, boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, and then pour in scant 1 cup of hot stock. Cook until nearly all the stock has been absorbed and then add another 2/3 cup of the stock. The risotto should cook at a steady, lively simmer. About halfway through cooking (risotto takes about 15-18 minutes to cook), add the saffron dissolved in a little stock. When the rice is ready – it should be soft and creamy, not mushy or runny – taste and adjust the seasoning. Take off the heat and mix in the rest of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan. Serve immediately, with the rest of the parmesan.
*Recipe from The Concise Gastronomy of Italy.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
2 cups milk
4 teaspoons melted butter, plus more for greasing skillet
2 whole eggs
1 sweet potato, cooked until tender, peeled and pureed
Pecan butter, recipe follows
Maple syrup, for serving
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together and whisk until smooth. Cook batches in buttered skillet on medium high temperature until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook until dark golden brown. Serve with pecan butter and maple syrup.
*Recipe from Joseph's on

Pasta with Walnut Pesto, Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe
Serves 4
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
1 small clove garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1 pound rigatoni
4 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 pound), casings removed
1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough stem ends trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 300°. Spread walnuts on a baking tray, and toast until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely. Combine 1/4 cup nuts, basil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process and, while motor is running, drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil to form pesto; set aside. Chop rest of nuts, and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook rigatoni until tender. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. When oil is hot, add sausage and cook, breaking up meat, until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a small bowl, and leave 1 tablespoon fat in pan. Return skillet to heat, and add rest of olive oil. Add broccoli rabe; cook until just crisp, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, cover skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspooon pepper; return sausage to pan to heat through. Toss cooked pasta with pesto; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among 4 plates, and top each with sausage and broccoli rabe, a dollop of ricotta cheese, and chopped walnuts.
*Recipe created by Frances Boswell from O, The Oprah Magazine

Molten Lava Cake
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (or use your favorite 70% dark chocolate bar)
6 oz. Butter (diced, room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt chocolate on low flame in a bain-marie (double boiler). When melted, take of flame, and stir in diced butter, until it melts. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten. Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour. Butter 4 individual ramekins, and pour in chocolate batter. Cook for about 10 minutes. Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates and serve. Voilà!
* Recipe was passed on from my mom

Shepherd’s Pie
1 cup millet
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups cooked red beans
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Rinse and drain millet. Put into a pot with the diced parsnip and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, add salt and cover pot. Simmer on a low heat for 35 minutes. Mash millet, adding the minced parsley. While the millet is cooking, you can prepare your bean and vegetable mixture. Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the thyme, carrot, celery, sweet potato and sea salt and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle in about 1/3 cup of water and cover pan. Let the veggies cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the beans and tamari and continue to simmer for several minutes. Place the vegetable and bean mixture into a casserole dish and top with the creamed millet. Drizzle olive oil on top and place under a hot broiler for about 5 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on top. Keep at least 6 inches away from the heat source to avoid burning. Alternatively, you can put into a hot oven for about 15 minutes.
*Recipe created by Aine McAteer found on

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
3 cans black beans
2 yellow or green bell peppers
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
5 to 6 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
two 4 oz. canned diced green chiles (or 1-2 medium-sized minced Anaheim or poblano chiles)
2 teaspoons dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh basil)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 cup tomato puree
Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and all other seasonings, lime juice, bell peppers, and chiles. Sauté over medium heat until peppers and chiles are tender (about 15 minutes). Add sauté to beans and tomato puree. Simmer covered over low heat for about 20 min., stirring occasionally. Serve with dollop of light sour cream, sprinkle of cheese, or without any toppings. We served with taco chips.
*Recipe from

Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
Serves 6–8
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
4 large cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 whole head garlic
2 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary plus 3 sprigs rosemary
1 (5- to 6-pound) whole chicken (large roaster)
Freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 pounds baby new potatoes, scrubbed clean
Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare a large roasting pan with a rack. Position oven rack to lower third shelf. Combine butter, minced garlic, and chopped rosemary. Set aside. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle cavity of bird liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff with garlic head and rosemary sprigs. Rub chicken on all sides with half the butter mixture. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Place chicken on prepared rack and roast 30 minutes. Toss potatoes with remaining butter. Arrange potatoes around chicken and baste bird with drippings. Continue to roast another 50 to 60 minutes, basting occasionally. Temperature of chicken should read 180° when meat thermometer is placed between leg and thigh. Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
*Recipe from O, The Oprah Magazine

Marinated Eggplant with Mint
4 to 6 side-dish servings
1.5lb sm purple or white eggplants (about 3), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in a colander set over a bowl, then let drain 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant, then drain, pressing gently on eggplant to extract any excess liquid. Pat dry. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Stir in garlic and mint. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry eggplant, about 8 slices at a time, until cooked through and pale golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer eggplant as fried to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a large shallow dish, overlapping slices slightly. Spoon some of vinegar mint mixture over each batch. Marinate eggplant, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours. Cooks' note: Eggplant can be marinated up to 24 hours.
*Recipe from Gourmet on

Pan Seared Salmon & Beurre Blanc (White Wine Butter Sauce)
4 four-ounce salmon filets
1 tablespoon olive oil
to taste salt and pepper
2 tablespoons onion, minced
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ pound whole butter, cut into pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch white pepper
Season salmon filets with salt and pepper and set aside. To a heavy bottomed skill over moderately high heat add olive oil, place salmon filets boned side down, or skinned side up. This makes it easy to serve the more attractive side of the fish to the diner. Cook for 2 minutes, turn and cook for 2 more minutes. Using your finger touch the fish, if fish is firm it should be cooked through and still moist. Place fish on plate or platter and top with Beurre Blanc and chopped fresh parsley or dill and additional lemon wedge.

In a small saucepan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon butter then the onion and cook for 1 minute stirring, do not brown. Add wine and lemon juice and reduce mixture until almost dry. Reduce heat to very low and begin adding chilled butter a few pieces at a time whisking constantly and adding more butter as previous butter melts, season with salt and pepper. Strain sauce through mesh strainer and serve immediately.
*Recipe from WSBT-2 website.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Carrot Flecks and Dill
2 heads of garlic (rubbed with olive oil and roasted at 350ºF until soft, about 40 minutes) (we used store bought jar of roasted minced garlic)
1 C. chopped carrot (about 2 med. carrots)
6 C. chopped potatoes (about 2-3 pounds)
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 stick of butter (4 Tbs.)
2 Tbs. fresh chopped dill
Tons of salt and pepper (to taste)
Take the roasted garlic cloves out of their garlic paper and mash them altogether in a bowl, with a fork. Steam the carrot and potato together, about 15-25 minutes depending on how small you cut them. You can warm the buttermilk, and butter so that it isn’t cold going into the potatoes, but if you plan to serve them immediately, they’ll still be hot enough if you just add room temp. butter and buttermilk. So, however you do it, mash the buttermilk, butter, dill, mashed roasted garlic, salt and pepper into the potatoes and carrots. Taste for seasoning, adjust if you need to.
*Recipe from Figs With Bri (

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