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Archive for June, 2007

Makes 12 servings

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil

Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts
  • 2 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (4 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1 head radicchio (6 oz), coarsely shredded
  1. Dressing: In small bowl, whisk all ingredients except oil until mixed.  Gradually add oil, whisking until dressing is emulsified. 
  2. Salad: Heat oven to 350°F.  toast walnuts on baking sheet 10 minutes or until fragrant; cool.  In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook green beans and cauliflower together, 5-7 minutes, stirring once or twice, until crisp-tender.  Drain in colander; rinse under cold running water until cool; drain again.  Pat dry with paper towel; transfer to a bowl. 
  3. Add remaining salad ingredients and toasted walnuts.  Re-whisk dressing a pour over salad; toss gently to coat.  Transfer to a salad bowl.  Serve at room temperature. 

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Makes 16 servings

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 lb mild cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 8 oz Fontina cheese, rind removed, shredded
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 lb penne rigati pasta
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.  Meanwhile, melt 6 tbsp of the butter in a 2 qt saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour until blended; cook 1 minute, whisking.  Slowly whisk in milk; bring to a boil, whisking.  Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat; add cheddar, Fontina, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, whisking until sauce is smooth.  Whisk in mustard, salt and pepper. 
  2. Heat oven to 350°F.  Butter a large 3 qt baking dish with 2 tbsp of the butter.  Cook pasta 2 minutes less than the recommended time on package, until slightly undercooked.  Drain. 
  3. Combine pasta and cheese sauce; transfer to prepared baking dish. 
  4. Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter; mix with breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over pasta.  (If making ahead, place crumb mixture in a food storage bag; refrigerate; sprinkle over pasta before baking.)  Bake until top is golden and sauce is bubbling, about 40 minutes.  Garnish with parsley. 

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Rich Chocolate Fondue

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  1. In a small saucepan, warm cream over low heat.  Add in chocolate chips, and stir constantly until completely melted and smooth. 
  2. Pour into a fondue pot or heavy serving dish and serve immediately. 

What to dip: Crispy cookies or biscotti, fresh fruits such as bananas, berries or pineapples, marshmallows

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  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small pot, sauté bacon over medium heat until it turns brown and the fat turns to liquid.  Spoon out a few tsp of bacon fat, leaving about 2 tbsp in the pot. 
  2. Add chopped onions and cook it, stirring often, until it’s soft and see-through, about five minutes.  Turn heat down to low, add flour, and slowly stir in milk.  Stir until mixture thickens slighly, about one minute.  Add cheese, and mix well until it melts completely and there are no lumps. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into a fondue pot or heavy serving dish and serve immediately.

What to dip: Baked french frieds or potato wedges, vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower or celery, tortilla or pita chips

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  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lb Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 5 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 1 pinch of salt
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add garlic and cook until it gets fragrant and slightly soft, about one minute.  Add tomato paste and stir well.  Cook mixture for two minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add flour and stir mixture until it forms a paste.  Add in chopped tomatoes and stir in milk.  Turn up the heat to medium and cook mixture until it gets thick, about three minutes, stirring constantly. 
  3. Add cheese and stir until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into a fondue pot or heavy serving dish and serve immediately. 

What to dip: Crusty Italian bread, vegetables like raw carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, or celery, breadsticks or crackers

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Serves 6

Asian chili sauce can pack a lot of heat.  If you prefer a milder dish, reduce to 1 tbsp in the salad.

For salad:

  • 4 oz rice-flour noodles
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, cut into 2 inch long julienne sticks
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 scallions, green part only, cut into 2 inch long julienne strips
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Asian chili sauce (preferably pineapple flavored)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil

For kebabs:

  • olive oil, for grill
  • 1 3/4 lbs sea scallops
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
  • 1 tbsp Asian chili sauce (preferably pineapple flavored)
  • 1/2 pineapple, rind cut away and core discarded, cut into 1×1/2″ chunks
  • 4 oz fresh snow peas, blanched
  • 2 orange bell peppers, sides sliced off core, stems and seeds discard, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 12 (10 inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
  1. Make salad: Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain.  Rinse in cold water until cool; drain and toss with remaining ingredients in a bowl; salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  2. Make kebabs: Preheat grill and lightly oil rack.  Rinse scallops and pat dry; remove small, tough muscle from side of each.  Combine juice and chili sauce in a large shallow bowl.  Add scallops and marinate at room temperature, turning once, about 15 minutes. 
  3. Alternately thread scallops, pineapple and vegetables onto drained skewers; season with salt and pepper.  Grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and scallops are just cooked through, about 7 minutes.  Transfer to serving plates with noodle salad in bowls on side.  Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

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Serves 4

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5 oz each)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • lemon slices for garnish
  1. Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper; pound to 1/4 inch thickness with a rolling pin or meat mallet. 
  2. On a sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, salt and pepper.  In a large shallow bowl, beat together eggs and water. 
  3. Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, one at a time, to coat lightly on both sides.  Dip chicken in egg mixture to coat on both sides; let excess drip back into bowl. 
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to skillet, in batches if necessary, using remaining oil if needed.  Cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a plate; keep warm. 
  5. Just before chicken is done, melt remaining butter in a small skillet.  When butter begins to foam, add lemon juice; swirl to mix.  Pour lemon butter over chicken.  Garnish with lemon slices.

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Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 4 top loin shell or rib-eye steaks (about 8 oz each)
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onions (about 2 medium)
  • 1/3 cup beef broth or water
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking.  Add steaks, and cook until they are browned and almost done to taste,, about 3-5 minutes per side.  Place on a heated platter and keep warm. 
  2. Add remaining oil to the pan, and stir in onions.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until onions are tender, about 6-7 minutes. 
  3. Add broth and marjoram to the pan, and increase heat to medium-high.  Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Return steaks to pan and cook until they are just heated through, about 2 minutes.  Place the steaks on a serving platter, and top with the onions.  Serve immediately. 

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Serves 4

  • 4 flour tortillas or Mandarin pancakes
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (4 oz each), cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp Chinese or regular mustard
  • 1 tsp hot sesame oil
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.  Wrap tortillas together in foil.  Place tortillas in oven to warm. 
  2. While tortillas are warming, in a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken, pepper, and garlic.  Stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  Add hoisin sauce, mustard, and sesame oil.  Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of tortillas.  Sprinkle green onions and cilantro over chicken.  Roll up tightly.  Place on plates.  Serve immediately. 

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Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 shell steaks (8 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper.  Set aside. 
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add steaks; cook for about 4 minutes on each side for medium.  Remove steaks from skillet; cover and keep warm.  Pour off fat from skillet.
  3. Add butter to skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.  Cover; reduce heat to medium low.  Cook until onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes longer. 
  4. Stir broth mixture into skillet; cook until heated through and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Return steaks to skillet and briefly reheat.  Serve immediately.

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