Sunday, January 29, 2012

Broccoli-Rabe and Ricotta Frittata

Active Time:  10 Minutes
Total Time:  35 Minutes Serves 4

Though frittatas are often served cooled as a first course, they make an equally good main dish, either warm or at room temperature. Here ricotta mellows the bite of broccoli rabe.

For the Rabe:
3/4 pound broccoli rabe, tough stems removed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
For the Frittata:
9 eggs
3/4 cup ricotta (about 1/3 pound)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse the broccoli rabe with cold water and drain thoroughly. Cut the broccoli rabe into 2-inch lengths and set aside. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the blanched broccoli rabe and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the ricotta and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and the pepper.

Evenly distribute the broccoli rabe in the pan and then add the egg mixture. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until the edges start to set, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and bake until firm, about 25 minutes.

Broccoli rabe is, frankly, bitter; usually appealingly so, but sometimes the bitterness can be overwhelming. Blanching the vegetable in boiling salted water for a few minutes before proceeding with the recipe tempers its strength. The trick, used here, can be applied to almost any dish.

WINE RECOMMENDATION: Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy's Lombardy region, makes an unexpected accompaniment to this frittata. The wine has a crisp and almost neutral taste, making it very versatile with food. Drink it from a tumbler, as the Italians do. * Recipe via:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Green Chicken Chili

Tomatillo Salsa:
13-15 Tomatillos – Cut in ½
1 Large Red Onion – Cut into ¼
4 Large Garlic – Peeled
2 Jalapeno Peppers – Cut in ½, seeds removed
4 Anaheim Chili Peppers – Seeds removed, large dice
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
Water – Just enough to coat bottom of dish

Mix all ingredients (minus water) together in large bowl and then transfer to baking dish.  Add enough water to coat the bottom of dish.  Cook in 450 degree oven for approx. 45 minutes or until charred.  Set aside to cool and then puree in a blender or food processor.

3 Chicken Breasts – Bone in, Skin on
1 Lemon – Sliced
½ tsp Pepper
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp Steak Seasoning

Place the sliced lemons under the skin of the chicken breast.  Sprinkle chicken w/ EVOO, pepper and steak seasoning.  Cook in a baking dish in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Once cooled, remove the skin and bones and shred the chicken.  * May want to make more chicken to use in sandwiches, etc.

4 Cups Chicken Stock (low sodium)
1 Cup Water
3 Cans White Kidney Beans – Drained and Rinsed
5 oz Kale – Finely chopped (no stems)

In a large pot over medium/high heat combine chicken stock, tomatillo salsa, water.  Bring to a boil then add in chicken, beans and kale.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered with lid slightly cracked for 30 minutes.  Salt and Pepper to taste and serve.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chinese Chicken Salad Soup

2 Medium Carrots – Peeled, roughly chopped
1 Celery Stalk – Roughly chopped
½ Medium Red Onion – Roughly Chopped
2 Large Garlic Cloves

Pulse in a food processor until basically a rough puree.  Set aside.

2 Large Garlic Cloves – Finely diced
3 Scallions – Chopped
1 Jalapeno – Seeded, finely diced
½ Medium Red Onion – Thinly sliced
¼ Head of Red Cabbage – Thinly sliced
2 Handfulls Snow Peas – Top vein sliced off
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
1 Small Savoy Cabbage – Shredded
2 Roasted Chicken Breasts – Shredded
½ lb Angel Hair Pasta – Broken into 3rds.
1 Can Sliced Water Chestnuts
1 tbsp Grated Ginger
1 Handful Bean Sprouts
8 Cups Chicken Stock
8 Cups Water
¼ Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
½ Cup Water
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
Chow Mein Noodles
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

In a medium / high heat pot add enough EVOO to coat the bottom and add the pureed veggies.  Sautee about 5-7 minutes until softened.  Add ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.  Cook 2 minutes.

Add red cabbage and stir to coat with the puree.  Cover w/ lid cracked and cook 10 minutes.  Add garlic, scallions, jalapeno, onion and cook 5 minutes covered with lid cracked.

Add ginger, ½ cup chicken stock.  Cook 5 minutes covered with lid cracked.

Add 8 cups chicken stock, 8 cups water, carrots, snow peas.  Simmer 1 hour covered with lid cracked.

Add chicken, Savoy cabbage, bean sprouts and water chestnuts.  Cook 5 minutes.

In a bowl combine soy sauce ½ cup water, honey, mustard and balsamic vinegar.  Mix well and then add to soup.

Add angel hair pasta and cook 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve w/ chow mein noodles on top.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tortellini and Spinach in Garlic Broth Soup

Active Time:  10 Minutes
Total Time:  20 Minutes Serves 4

Don't be tempted to cook the tortellini in the soup; they will soak up too much of that irresistibly garlicky broth. Cook them separately, as the soup simmers, and stir them in at the last moment.

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (see Variation)
1 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed well (about 2 1/4 quarts)
Grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the tortellini until just done, about 4 minutes for fresh or 12 minutes for frozen. Drain.
Add the spinach to the soup and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the tortellini. Serve the soup sprinkled with grated Parmesan and pass more of the grated cheese at the table.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bacon Braised Green Beans



Coat a large straight sided skillet lightly with olive oil. Add the bacon, garlic and red pepper flakes and bring to a medium heat. Cook until the bacon has gotten brown and crispy and has let off most of the fat. When the garlic becomes golden brown and very aromatic, remove and discard. They have fulfilled their garlic destiny. 

Add the mushrooms to the bacon pan, season with salt, to taste, and cook until they become soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beans and the chicken stock, season with salt, to taste, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 40 to 45 minutes. If the liquid reduces too much during the cooking time, add water to make up the difference. Remove the lid and cook until almost all of the liquid is reduced. When done the beans should be very tender, almost falling apart and VERY flavorful. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Recipe Source:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Minestrone Soup With Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage, finely sliced, blanched and drained
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, finely sliced
  • 1 large waxy potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig rosemary, 4 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf and 1 bunch parsley, tied together with kitchen twine)
  • 3 cups cannellini beans (canned or cooked dried beans)
  • 1 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for topping


Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, carrots and pancetta and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups water, the cabbage, chard, potato, chicken stock, tomatoes and bouquet garni. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes.

Place half of the beans (1 1/2 cups) in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the bean puree and the whole beans to the soup and simmer 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook 2 more minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cheese.

Per serving: Calories 275; Fat 13 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 21 mg; Sodium 263 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; Fiber 7 g; Protein 12 g

*This recipe by:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grilled Steak & Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale Soup

Roasted Veggies
1 Large Sweet Potato – Peeled and ½ inch dice
½ Medium Red Onion – Thinly Sliced
4 Large Cloves of Garlic – Smashed
2 Medium Anaheim Chili Peppers – Seeded and ½ inch dice
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Crushed Rosemary
Beef Broth

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to coat everything.  Then put in a baking dish with just enough beef broth to cover the bottom to prevent burning.  Cook in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.

½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp EVOO
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Steak (I prefer London Broil)

Marinate the steak at least ½ hour but could be marinated over night.  Grill steak about 4 minutes each side and then set aside to allow the juices to redistribute.

½ Medium Red Onion – Finely Diced
2 Carrots – Peeled, Finely Diced
2 Celery – Finely Diced
1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms – Finely Minced
8 Cups Beef Broth
8 Cups Water
5 oz Kale – Stems removed and rough chop
2 Cups Brown Rice – Cooked)

In a large pot, coat the bottom with EVOO and add in mushrooms.  Sautee about 5 minutes then add ¼ cup beef broth and cook about 2 minutes or until the broth is almost evaporated.  Then add in onion, carrots, celery and sautee about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften. 

Add beef stock, water and kale and simmer about an hour w/ the lid slightly cracked.  Then add in rice, roasted vegetables and steak that has been sliced into ½ inch cubes.  Simmer another 15 minutes.  Adjust seasonings with salt / pepper if necessary.  Enjoy.
* This is a slightly spicy soup.  To reduce the spice level, only add 1 Anaheim Pepper.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Modern Italian Wedding Soup

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ Medium Onion – Finely Chopped
1 Cup Mushrooms – Finely Chopped
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1.25 lbs Ground Turkey
2 Scallions – Finely Chopped
½ Cup Parsley – Finely Chopped
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 Large Cloves Garlic – Minced
½ tbsp Salt
½ tbsp Pepper
¼ Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 Egg – Beaten
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese

In a pan over Med/High heat add about 2 tbsp EVOO and onion.  Sautee about 2 minutes.  Then add mushrooms and sautee 5 minutes.  Add in balsamic and sautee about 1 minute until almost all cooked out.  Turn off heat and set aside.

In a large bowl add turkey, scallions, parsley, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper.  In a separate bowl add egg, bread crumbs and cheese.  Beat until mixed then add into turkey mixture.

Combine everything with a fork until mixed but don’t overwork. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a baking sheet (with sides) roll meatballs into about a 1 inch ball.  I got 36 meatballs out of my mixture.  Put in oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  When finished set aside.

1 tbsp Bacon Fat
1 tbsp EVOO
2 Carrots – Peeled and finely diced
2 Celery – Finely diced
½ Med. Onion – Finely diced
4 Garlic Cloves – Minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ Cup White Wine
6 Cups Chicken Stock
6 Cups Water
5 oz. Kale – Shredded
½ lb Thin Pasta – Broken into about 1 inch bits
2 eggs – Beaten
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese

In a large pot over med/high heat add bacon fat and EVOO.  Add carrots, celery, onion.  Sautee 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, garlic and sautee 5 minutes.  Add wine, sautee 1 minute and then add chicken stock, water and kale.  Simmer about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl add eggs and cheese and beat then add into soup and combine.  Break pasta into soup and simmer about 5 minutes.  Add in meatballs and simmer for 10 minutes.

Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.