mangosalsa_sm.jpgMangoes are delicious and sweet when ripe, but have a much different flavor if even slightly under-ripe. Pick mangoes that smell sweet and give a little when you press the skin with your thumb. Goes well with fish, chicken, or even tofu tacos.
 
2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (I removed the seeds and veins)
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 large lime
Peel and chop the mango. Rinse and drain the black beans. Chop the green onions, jalapeno and cilantro. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice and cumin until well mixed. Place the mango, black beans, green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno in a large bowl. Pour the lime/cumin mixture over and mix gently. Taste - add more lime juice if needed.

picodegallo_sm.jpg

Simple fresh salsa, great on chicken tacos or enchiladas.

4 tomatoes chopped
½ of a large white onion chopped
1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper minced (discard seeds)
¼ cup of cilantro chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
I lime, juiced
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Original recipe

cornbreadsalad_sm.jpgA great filling salad with three types of greens and a creamy buttermilk lime dressing with a hint of honey. Cornbread croutons add crunch and a southern flair.

Cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Lettuce
Arugula
Spinach
Tomatoes, chopped
Buttermilk-Lime Dressing (below)

Preheat oven to 250°. Scatter the corn bread in a single layer on a half-sheet pan and bake until the pieces are lightly toasted, about 7 minutes.

Place lettuce, greens, 3 cups of toasted corn bread and tomatoes to a large bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with buttermilk dressing, season with salt and pepper, and toss again. Serve immediately.

Buttermilk-Lime Dressing

3/4 cups buttermilk
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 1/2 limes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2-1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup finely minced fresh basil or cilantro
1/4 cup finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely minced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. Can covered tightly and stored in the fridge up to two days.

Original recipe


thincornbread_sm.jpgA light and crumbly cornbread with a full corn flavor. Very little sugar and no white flour, so my traditionalist southern dad would probably approve. A preheated cast-iron skillet is a must for a crispy crust.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal (or 1/2 coarse ground, 1/2 fine ground)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a 12-inch skillet with one tablespoon of the oil, place it in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until frothy and then whisk in the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix thoroughly. Melt the remaining butter in a small skill (or your microwave) and whisk the butter into your batter.

While the fat in the large skillet is smoking, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the fat around to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet; it should sizzle. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden brown and the edge has pulled away from the side of the skillet. Remove from the oven and either serve hot, in six wedges, or let cool and reserve for Corn Bread Salad (above).

Original recipe


This recipe was a surprise hit with a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. A great easy use for an abundance of summer squash.

4 medium yellow squash
2 small sweet onions (or one medium)
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Slice the squash into 1/2-inch rounds, cutting large ones in half. You should end up with roughly 2 cups of cut squash. Cut the onions into similar-sized slices.

Add the butter to a wide sauce pan that has a lid and heat over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add squash, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir, then cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until squash is very soft.

Remove the cover and continue to cook for about 8 minutes, just to give the juices a chance to evaporate slightly. There will be some liquid in the pan, but it should be thicker than water, almost like a glaze. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.

Original recipe


walnutrosemarychicken_sm.jpgDelicious oven-fried chicken with a crunchy nut-rosemary crust.

1/4  cup  low-fat buttermilk
2  tablespoons  Dijon mustard
4  (6-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/3  cup  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/3  cup  finely chopped walnuts
2  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4  teaspoon  minced fresh or dried rosemary
1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.

Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Calories: 287
Fat: 9.4g (sat 1.6g,mono 1.6g,poly 5.1g)
Original recipe

olivepasta_sm.jpgPenne pasta with rich Italian flavors of kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. Fresh herbs and lemon juice brighten the flavors, and crispy garlic breadcrumbs add crunch and flavor. Easy roasted chickpeas add protein for a full one dish meal.

2 T olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (~2T)
1 T minced anchovy fillets (4-6 fillets)
1 T tomato paste
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinse, patted dry, and cut into thin strips
1 c. pitted kalamata olives, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 lg. slices sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. pasta (we used penne)
1/2-1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Optional: Oven Roasted Chickpeas
1 15 ounce can organic chickpeas

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon chunky sea salt

Heat the oven 400°F. Pour the chickpeas into a colander and drain and rinse very well under running water. Pat dry.

Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and spread out on a large cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crispy. Turn and stir every ten minutes so they don't burn. Take out and toss to taste with salt and spices.


Combine 1 T olive oil, 1 T garlic, anchovies, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives in medium bowl. Set aside.

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about 16 1-second pulses. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook and stir until garlic is fragrant and bread crumbs are dark golden brown, 1-2 minutes longer. Transfer to plate to cool. Wipe out skillet with paper towels.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to boil over high heat. Add rigatoni and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt. While pasta is cooking, return now-empty skillet to medium heat and add olive mixture. Cook until olive mixture is aromatic and oil has turned rusty red, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove 3/4 c. pasta cooking water from pot and add to skillet. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat while pasta finishes cooking. When pasta is just shy of al dente, drain pasta, reserving 1/2 c. cooking water. Transfer back to pot, add olive mixture and toss over medium heat until pasta absorbs most of liquid, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 c. Parmesan. Remove pot from heat and stir in parsley and basil, adjust seasoning with pepper. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, serve with lemon wedges and extra cheese.

From Cooks Illustrated, July & August 2008 
figbiscotti_sm.jpgA lovely citrus and cinnamon spiced biscotti with a light and tender texture, more like a cookie than your traditional break-your-teeth biscotti. Beating the eggs is an extra step, but don't skip it: it keeps the cookies from becoming tough.

1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
1 cup coarsely chopped dried Calimyrna figs (6 ounces)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and anise. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until they're pale yellow and hold a ribbon for 1 second when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in zest.
Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until combined. Fold in figs and walnuts. Lightly spray a parchment-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Divide dough in half on parchment. Spray hands with cooking spray; form each piece of dough into a 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place slices, cut side up, on sheet. Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)
Original recipe

summer_veg_sm.jpgThis is not so much a recipe as an outline, since it consisted mostly of whatever vegetables I had in the fridge at the time. But it came out very well, so by here it is by popular request (from Daniel):

3-4 zucchini, sliced into  ~1/4" thick half-rounds
the kernels from 2 ears fresh corn
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
olive oil
salt
Heat a little olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, add zucchini, sprinkle with salt and/or seasoning. Cook ~5 minutes or until just starting to turn soft, add corn and bell pepper. Saute until desired degree of tenderness. Season to taste

creamy_pasta_sm.jpgA simple, hearty, all-in-one pasta dish with main flavors of sausage, garlic, and fresh pepper. Mushrooms, onion, and wilted greens round out the vegetables. Feel free to use whichever dark leafy green you like. Could easily be a good vegetarian meal or side dish if you omit the meat.

1 pound whole wheat pasta, like penne or farfalle
1 large onion, diced
8 ounces button (or portabella) mushrooms, sliced
greens: 1 bunch chard (about 1 pound), stems removed and diced, leaves cut into ribbons
            OR 1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped
            OR 1 bunch rapini, stalks removed and discarded, leaves and florets chopped
2 sausage links (8 ounces), sliced, or chopped ham (optional)
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces cream cheese, marscapone, or other soft creamy cheese
1/2 cup pasta water, saved from cooking pasta
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
optional: red pepper flakes

Cook the pasta in a large amount of boiling water with a good palm-ful of salt. Just before draining, use a measuring cup to dip out about a half cup of the starchy pasta water, and set this aside.

If using meat, saute it over medium-high heat until brown and crispy, set aside.

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat . Add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, the liquid has boiled away, and the mushrooms are turning golden. Stir in the diced chard stems and the sausage. Cook until the stems are softened and the sausage is warmed through.

Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the garlic. Cook just until the garlic is fragrant, then stir it into the rest of the vegetables. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the chard leaves. Continue stirring frequently until the leaves are bright green and wilted.

Stir in the cooked pasta and the cream cheese. When the cheese has melted, pour in half of the reserved cooking water to make a creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, pour in the remaining pasta water a little at a time.

Grind the fresh pepper right over the pasta. Don't be shy! Taste as you go to gauge how peppery the pasta has become and how you like it. Season with additional salt, if desired.

Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Original recipe


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