orecchiette with mini chicken meatballs ::

August 30, 2009 - Leave a Response


  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, hot
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 8 ounces bocconcini mozzarella, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

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.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken and gently stir to combine.

Using a melon baller, form the chicken mixture into 3/4-inch pieces. With damp hands, roll the chicken pieces into mini meatballs.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes longer. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl and add the Parmesan. Toss to lightly coat orecchiette, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Add the meatball mixture, mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of the basil. Gently toss to combine. Garnish with the chopped basil.

homemade cranberry nut granola

July 13, 2009 - Leave a Response
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, cranberry juice, and cinnamon over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and salt.

Pour the maple mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Stir in the cranberries and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture begins to brown.

tabbouleh with roasted shrimp salad ::

June 1, 2009 - One Response


  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound feta cheese
  • 4 pita breads, cut in half

Place the bulgur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about an hour.

Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season to taste and serve, or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

Stuff the tabbouleh and feta slices into the pita breads.


Roasted Shrimp Salad

  • 2 1/2 pounds (12 to 15 count) shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons small-diced red onion

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel and devein the shrimp. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss together. Spread the shrimp on one layer and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until pink, firm and cooked through. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. When the shrimp are cool, add them to the sauce and toss. Add the dill, capers, and red onion and toss well. The flavors will improve if you allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Otherwise, chill and serve at room temperature.

homemade sushi ::

May 5, 2009 - Leave a Response

Crab, Avocado, and Mango Roll.

This is also good if you substitute the red bell pepper with jalapenos.  Or my favorite – both.  

  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 5 cups cooked Sushi Rice
  • 4 toasted nori sheets
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, mix together the crabmeat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and sugar.

Place a piece of plastic wrap on the sushi mat. Using wet fingers, spread 1 1/4 cups of the rice evenly over the plastic wrap to form a rectangle slightly smaller than the sushi mat. Lay a sheet of nori over the rice. Arrange 1/4 of the crab mixture along the center of the nori leaving a 2-inch border at the top. Top the crab mixture with 1/4 of the avocado slices, 1/4 of the mango slices, and 1/4 of the red bell pepper slices. Using the sushi mat as a guide, fold the rice over the filling and roll into a cylinder. Remove the plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle each roll with the black sesame seeds.

To serve, using a sharp, damp knife, slice each cylinder into 6 pieces (re-wet the knife after each slice). Arrange the crab rolls on a serving platter and serve with wasabi, sweet pickled ginger and soy sauce.

Sushi rice:

  • 2 cups short-grain sushi rice (recommended: Kokuho Rose)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

Place the rice and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the vinegar over the rice and mix with a fork. Transfer the cooked rice to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Allow the rice to cool completely before using.

absolute decadence

May 1, 2009 - Leave a Response

Espresso caramel bars.

 The special feature here is the smoked sea salt – a tip I learned in a chocolate class.  Using salt intensifies the chocolate and is definitely worth using if you’re considering opting out. 

 For the crust:

  • 12 whole cinnamon graham crackers, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted


  •  1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Chocolate Layer:

  •  2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt, optional

For the crust:

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment or waxed paper. Spray the paper and the sides of the pan with cooking spray. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers and sugar. Process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until the mixture forms into clumps. Spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing gently to form an even layer. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the crust is golden. Cool for 15 minutes.

For the caramel:

While the crust is cooling, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully pour the caramel over the warm crust. Cool for 20 minutes. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

For the chocolate layer: Combine the chocolate chips and cream in a small bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the espresso powder. Remove the springform pan from the freezer. Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel layer and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with smoked sea salt, if using. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour until firm.

Allow the layers to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Using a warm, slightly wet knife, carefully cut around the edges of the chocolate layer. Release the side of the pan and remove the paper from the bottom. Cut into 1 1/2 by 1/2-inch bars.

fusilli with spicy pesto

May 1, 2009 - Leave a Response

I love this recipe because its a spicy update from the usual pasta-pesto fare.  The heat from the jalepeno is unexpected and definitely kicks it up a notch.  And the result of its debut at a dinner party was, well let’s just say cleaning up later wasn’t an issue…

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2-inch long) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated (4 ounces) Asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 4 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved

For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil.

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 and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the cooked pasta and pesto in a large serving bowl. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Asiago cheese shavings and serve.