Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Make Ahead Sunday: Penne with Sausage, Artichokes and Sundried Tomatoes


3/4 cup drained EVOO packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
 1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

Based on recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi


2 zucchini, trimmed
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce shaved Pecorino Romano, for garnish

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini into long thin strips. Thinly slice the asparagus on a diagonal. Toss the slices together and place the salad in a serving bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and drizzle over the vegetables. Toss to coat. Garnish with the pecorino shavings. Serve.

Source: Giada DeLaurentiis

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash & Shrimp


3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves or parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the prawns with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes.

In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened. Add the cooked prawns, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.

Source: Giada DeLaurentiis

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Make Ahead Sunday: Chicken Risotto with Spring Veggies


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus spears 
  • 3/4 pound skinned and boned chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips 
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice (short-grain)
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Garnish: Parmesan cheese
1. Bring chicken broth and 4 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan over low heat. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
2. Sprinkle chicken with herbes de Provence and 3/4 tsp. salt.
3. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter with 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add chicken, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken; cover and keep warm.
4. Melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in Dutch oven; add zucchini, onion, and asparagus, and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Remove vegetables; cover and keep warm.
5. Sauté rice in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Add wine and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup hot broth mixture; cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat procedure with remaining broth mixture, 1 cup at a time. (Total cooking time is about 30 minutes.)
6. Stir in grated cheeses, chicken, and vegetables until creamy. Stir in parsley and pepper. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Veal & Avocado


1 ripe Hass avocado
1 wedge fresh lemon
2/3 pound veal scallops
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
3 to 4 tablespoons cream, 3 turns of the pan
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, to garnish
2 tablespoons chopped or snipped chives, to garnish

Cut avocado in half all around and down to the pit. Twist the avocado to separate the halves. Hit the pit with your knife to pop it out. Scoop the avocado out of each half of skin with a large spoon. Slice the avocado and squeeze a little lemon juice on it to retard the browning. Reserve the avocado.

Season the scallops of veal with salt and pepper. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add the veal and cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove the veal to a platter or individual plates. Add vermouth or wine to the pan and deglaze it, lifting up any color or veal bits. Add cream and stir it in. Turn off the heat and let cream bubble 1 minute. Arrange the avocado on the scallops of veal. Strap the meat and avocado with sauce and garnish with a generous sprinkle of chopped thyme or chives.

Source: Rachel Ray

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cornflake Cordon Bleu with Creamed Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Cornflake Cordon Bleu
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
8 slices deli ham
8 slices swiss cheese
6 cups cornflakes, coasely crushed
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
 Tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to tase

Preheat oven to 425.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Arrange breading station - bowl with eggs then another with the cornflakes.  Dip chicken in eggs then cornflakes.  Place on greased baking dish.  Bake 20 minutes.  Mix together sour cream and mustard. Remove chicken from oven.  Top with a dollop of sauce, cheese then ham.  Return to oven and bake until cheese is bubbly.

Creamed Spinach Mashed Potatoes
4 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
2 boxes chopped spinach, defrosted
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
 Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Salt water and boil potatoes until tender 12 to 15 minutes.

Squeeze the water from spinach in a clean dish towel.

Drain potatoes and melt butter in the hot pot, then add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cream, add the spinach, separating the greens as you do. Season greens with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add potatoes to the pot and mash to desired consistency.

Source: Rachael Ray

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Risotto with Spicy Sausage & Peas


1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup marsala or madeira wine
4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed 
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Sauté sausage in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until browned.  Add onion and garlic until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until absorbed.  Meanwhile, heat 4 cups broth in separate saucepan.  Add broth half a cup, simmer until almost absorbed, stirring frequently.  Continue to cook and add broth until rice is tender and mixture is creamy.  The entire process should take about 25 minutes.  Stir in peas.  Season with salt and pepper.  Finish with butter, half the cheese and parsley (reserve remainder for serving). 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Make Ahead Sunday: Posole Mexican Lasagna

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground pork or beef
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can hominy
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, chopped
12 large tomatillos (14 to 16 if small), peeled and coarsely chopped
A handful cilantro or parsley leaves
3 avocados
2 limes
2 tablespoons honey
1 package large flour tortillas
1 pound pepper Jack cheese, shredded
Sour cream, to pass at table

Place rack in oven in middle of oven and heat broiler or place oven on 400 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and crumble up as it browns. While pork browns, season the meat with cumin, coriander and salt and pepper. Once browned evenly, stir in hominy and reduce heat to simmer.

While meat cooks heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauce pot, add onions, garlic and peppers, season with salt and pepper and saute until softened 5 to 6 minutes. Place tomatillos and cilantro or parsley in food processor and process until almost smooth. Pour into onion and garlic mixture and simmer to mellow, 5 to 6 minutes more. Replace the processor bowl. Pit and scoop the avocado flesh into the processor, add the lime zest and juice. Add the honey, puree until smooth and season with a little salt. Stir the avocado mixture into the green sauce and remove from heat.

Char all of the tortillas over an open flame or in dry hot skillet.

In a baking dish layer sauce, tortilla, meat, cheese, tortilla, sauce, meat, cheese, etc. End with a layer of tortilla, sauce and finally cheese. Place baking dish in the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes until bubbly and cheese is brown. Pass sour cream at the table.

Source: Rachael Ray