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Mon January 2, 2012

Recipes from Creative Living

FIG RECIPES FROM JOHN CSUKOR

Fig Cauliflower Curry

2          cups Jasmine rice

4          cups water

2          Tbsp. coconut oil

1          head cauliflower, cut into 1/2” slices       

1/2       cup Serra figs, sliced

1/4       cup pine nuts

1 1/2   Tbsp. Madras curry powder

1 1/2   cups coconut milk, full fat

1          tsp. salt

10        cilantro sprigs

In a sauce pot combine rice and water.  Cover and turn heat on to medium.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until rice has absorbed all liquid.  In a sauté pan add the coconut oil and turn heat on to medium-high.  Place cauliflower slices into sauté pan and sear until golden brown on each side.  Move cauliflower to outside of pan and add figs.  Let cook until they begin to caramelize, turning down heat if necessary so they do not burn.  Move figs to side and add pine nuts. Let them toast lightly.  Add curry powder and salt and stir.  Let cook 1-2 minutes.  Add coconut milk and stir.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer until coconut begins to thicken.  When sauce has thickened remove from heat.  Spoon curry over rice when ready to serve and garnish with cilantro sprigs.

California Fig and Walnut Smoothie

1          cup ice

7          Mission figs

1/3       cup walnuts

1          cup almond milk, unsweetened

Place all ingredients in listed order in a high speed blender.  Blend on high until very smooth in consistency.  Serve immediately.

California Fig Sesame Ball

3          cups almonds, whole, natural, roasted

1          cup almonds, sliced, toasted

1          cup oats, thick rolled, toasted

1/4       cup almond flour

2          Tbsp. flax seed, ground

1/2       cups pumpkin seeds, toasted

6          oz. honey

9          oz. agave nectar

   Water, as needed

3/4       cup fig paste

1          cup dried figs, diced

1/2       cup sesame seeds, toasted

In a stand-up mixer combine whole almonds, sliced almonds, oats, almond flour, flax seeds, sea salt (2 tsp.) and pumpkin seeds.  In a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan add the honey and agave nectar; bring to a boil over high heat.  Brush sides with water to prevent crystallization of syrup.  Cook syrup to 240º F. then reduce heat to low.  Add the almond butter and fig paste to the syrup mixture and incorporate thoroughly.  Pour the almond butter and syrup mixture into the stand-up mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, coat the dry ingredients thoroughly.  On a half sheet tray lined with parchment evenly lay out the mixture.  Once cool, portion into small, equal balls.  Roll each ball in sesame seeds. 

California Fig Savory Spiced Bar

3          cups almonds, whole, natural, roasted

1          cup almonds, sliced, toasted

1          cup oats, thick rolled, toasted

1/4       cup almond flour

2          Tbsp. flax seed, ground

1          tsp. sea salt

1 1/2   cups dried figs, diced

1 1/2   cups pumpkin seeds, toasted

2          Tbsp. sesame seeds, white, toasted

1/2       tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2       Tbsp. red pepper flakes

1/2       Tbsp. black pepper, cracked

1/2       tsp. cumin, ground

1/2       Tbsp. coriander seeds

6          oz. honey

8          oz. agave nectar

1/3       cup fig paste

   Water as needed

1          cup almond butter

2          Tbsp. cocoa nibs, toasted

1          tsp. red pepper flakes

In a stand-up mixer combine whole almonds, sliced almonds, oats, almond flour, flax seeds, sea salt, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, black pepper, cumin and coriander.  In a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan add the honey and agave nectar; bring to a boil over high heat.  Brush sides with water to prevent crystallization of syrup.  Cook syrup to 240º F. then remove from heat.  Add the almond butter to the syrup mixture. Pour the almond butter and syrup mixture into the stand-up mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, coat the almond, oat and spice mixture thoroughly.  On a half sheet tray lined with parchment evenly lay out the mixture.  Sprinkle the cocoa nibs and red pepper flakes over the top of the mixture and press.  Cool at room temperature.  Once cool, cut into bars. 

California Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)

8          oz. California figs, soaked in water

1          oz. Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

3/4       Tbsp. Chinese 5 spice

4          oz. Rice vinegar

2          oz. Mirin, sweetened rice wine

1          Tbsp. garlic powder, roasted

1/2       oz. salt, kosher

   Water retained from soaking

1          tsp. sesame oil

2          Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted

8          oz. steak, thin sliced across grain, such as:  flank steak, sirloin strip, top round

In a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients (EXCEPT sesame seeds and oil) on low for 1-2 minutes.  Then blend on high until completely smooth.  Pulse on low until the sesame oil is combined.  Remove the sauce from the blender and fold in sesame seeds until evenly mixed.  Marinade sliced beef in 1/2 of the marinade for a minimum of 4 hours, refrigerated.  Grill meat medium or as desired on charcoal grill or contact grill.  Serve immediately with steamed rice.  Garnish with fresh sliced scallions.

California Fig and Cinnamon Bread

DOUGH:

1 1/2   tsp. instant dry yeast

1 1/4   cup warm water

2          cups bread flour

2          cups whole wheat flour

1/4       cup nonfat dry milk

1          egg

2          Tbsp. butter, melted

3          Tbsp. honey

2          tsp. salt

FILLING:

1          egg, beaten

1/4       cup sugar, granulated

1 1/2   tsp. cinnamon, ground

1          tsp. bread flour

1/2       cups dried figs, diced

Measure out 1 1/4 cups very warm water and check the temperature; it should be 120º F. to 130º F.  Combine both flours, dry milk, egg, canola oil, honey salt, yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix 3 minutes on the lowest setting, increase to the next highest setting and mix 5 more minutes.  The dough should be soft and sticky.  Transfer the dough to a large bowl coated with cooking spray.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough has nearly doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  In a small bowl mix sugar, cinnamon, bread flour and fig pieces together.  Transfer the dough to a floured work surface.  Fold the dough in half 3 times, pressing out the air each time.  Roll the dough into a square.  Brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar and fig mixture evenly.  Roll the dough into a log.  Pinch the ends to seal and pinch the seam closed.  Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly greased 9x5” loaf pan.  Cover the pan and allow the bread to rise 1 hour.  While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350º F.  Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190º F.  Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes and remove.  Place on a baking rack to cool completely. 

California Fig Naanzza

2          Naan bread

4          oz. goat cheese

1          cup fresh figs, quartered

1          cup fresh arugula

2          Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2          Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

   Sea salt, as needed

   Black pepper, cracked, as needed

Preheat oven to 425º F.  Place naan on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle 2 ounces of goat cheese on each piece of naan.  Bake naan with goat cheese for 8-10 minutes or until cheese starts to brown lightly.  Remove from oven and immediately top with figs and arugula.  Drizzle each naan with one tablespoon each of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cut naan into quarters.  Serve immediately.

Fig Paste

2          cups dried mission figs, stems removed

3/4       cup water

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Mission Fig Shrub

3          cups red wine vinegar

2          cups mission figs, chopped

Add vinegar and figs to a small sauce pot.  Over medium heat bring to a simmer.  Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.  As it is simmering use a spoon to break up fig pieces.  Remove from heat and strain into a bowl.  Let cool and store in an air tight bottle away from light. 

Fig Syrup

4          cups mission figs, chopped

8          cups water

Add figs and water to a small sauce pot.  Over medium heat bring to a simmer.  Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Liquid should be thick like syrup in consistency when finished.  As it is simmering, use a spoon to break up fig pieces.  Remove from heat and strain into a bowl.  Let cool and store in an air tight bottle away from light.

Serving suggestion:  Top 2 ounces of fig syrup with yur favorite sparkling water.

Golden Fig Shrub

3          cups champagne vinegar

2          cups golden figs, chopped

Add vinegar and figs to a small sauce pot.  Over medium heat bring to a simmer.  Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.  As it is simmering use a spoon to break up fig pieces.  Remove from heat and strain into a bowl.  Let cool and store in an air tight bottle away from light. 

Red Quinoa Salad with Beets, Pomegranate Seeds, and Oranges 

By Carol Fenster, author of Gluten-Free 101: The Essential Beginner’s Guide to Easy Gluten-Free Cooking

This extremely nutritious salad contains quinoa with its essential amino acids, plus you get the nutritional benefits of extremely-healthy beets, pomegranates, cranberries, and spinach. I prefer to use Clememtines, but regular oranges also work well. Serve chilled, or let the salad stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving for the best flavor.            

SALAD

1 ¾ cup vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup red quinoa

¼ teaspoon salt

2 small Clementines or 1 medium orange, some segments reserved for garnish

1/2 can (14-ounce) shoestring beets, thoroughly drained

Seeds from 1 pomegranate (about ½ to ¾ cup), reserve some for garnish

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1 cup baby spinach, washed and patted dry

1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish

DRESSING

1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In large saucepan, bring broth to boil high heat. Add quinoa and salt and cook, covered, until broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer quinoa to large bowl; drain any excess broth.  Grate the Clementine (or orange) to yield two teaspoons zest and add to quinoa, then cut Clementine into segments and add to quinoa.  Add the beets, pomegranate seeds, raisins, spinach, almonds, and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Toss to combine thoroughly. 

Make dressing: In small bowl or glass jar, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper until blended. Slowly whisk in oil in thin stream until well combined. Add enough dressing to quinoa to coat thoroughly and serve, either in large bowl or large platter, garnished with remaining Clementine segments, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.  Serves 4 as a main dish; 6 as a side dish.

Baked Kale Chips

Reprinted with permission from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Fenster

Even when baked, kale won’t win any beauty contests! Still, once you pop these little crisps into your mouth you won’t care about their looks. The strong flavor of kale lessens when baked, so these chips are delightfully crispy, yet not overly green-tasting. I prefer flat kale for this recipe because it’s easier to clean and chop, but use whatever variety you have. Add your own touches such as a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. You will love these chips and make this recipe again and again!

4 cups kale (1 bunch), stems removed, torn into chip-size pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 10x15-inch or 13x18-inch baking sheet (not nonstick) with parchment paper.  Wash the kale and trim the stems from each piece. Spin it dry in a salad spinner and blot any remaining moisture with paper towels.  In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil until thoroughly coated. For curly kale, you may need to massage the pieces with your hands to work the oil into the crevices. Toss with the salt. Spread it in a single layer in on the baking sheet.  Bake until the chips are crispy, about 15 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Cool the pan on a wire rack until the chips are cool. Serve immediately.

Mashed (Cauliflower) Potatoes

by Carol Fenster, author of the new Gluten-Free 101: The Essential Beginner’s Guide to Easy Gluten-Free Cooking

Mashed, cooked cauliflower magically transforms into an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes for those who can’t tolerate real potatoes. On the plus side, this substitute has fewer calories, a lower glycemic index, and it’s a great way to eat more cruciferous vegetables.

4          cups chopped (1 ½ pounds) white cauliflower

1          whole garlic clove

¼         cup half-and-half or milk of choice

2          tablespoons butter or buttery spread, such as Earth Balance

2          tablespoons fat-free sour cream or sour cream alternative, such as Vegan Gourmet

2          tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or soy Parmesan, such as Galaxy

¼         teaspoon onion powder

Salt and freshly ground white (or black) pepper, to taste           

In medium saucepan, steam cauliflower and garlic over boiling water until very tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain cauliflower and garlic very thoroughly and pat cauliflower dry with paper towels.   In food processor, immediately puree hot cauliflower and garlic with half-and-half, butter, sour cream, Parmesan, and onion powder until very, very smooth.  Add salt, pepper, and more Parmesan, if desired, and serve hot.

These gluten-free recipes are provided by K. C. Pomering, founder of G-Free Foodie

Gluten Free Fudge Brownies

3/4          cup Gluten Free flour blend
3/4          tsp. xanthan gum
1/4          tsp. salt
1/2          tsp. baking powder
1/3          cup cocoa
1/2          cup oil
2              eggs
2              tsp. vanilla
1 1/4       cup sugar
1/4          cup water (or cold coffee)

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray 8 x 8 inch square pan with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, and cocoa. Mix and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk oil and eggs together until combined. Add vanilla and sugar. Slowly mix in flour mixture and water. Once all flour is combined, spread evenly into pan.  Bake on center rack for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool completely and serve.  GFM TIP : For more chocolaty flavor add ½ cup chocolate chips.

Gluten Free Fig Layer Bars

Filling

1              package (8 ounces) dried California figs; stemmed and chopped fine

1              cup sugar

1/2         cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2         cup hot water

Crust and Topping

1              cup butter

1              cup brown sugar

1/2         teaspoon salt

1/2         teaspoon gluten free vanilla

1 3/4      cups gluten free rolled oats

1 3/4      cups gluten free flour blend + 1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

Ice water, as needed

For Filling, combine figs, sugar, nuts and water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.  For Crust and Topping, in mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt and vanilla; beat together. Add oats and flour blend, mix until blended. Press about half flour mixture evenly in bottom of lightly greased shallow 9x13-inch pan. Spread filling evenly over all. Add water to remaining flour mixture and toss lightly until ball forms and cleans sides of bowl. Turn onto lightly floured surface and roll into rectangle to fit on top of pan and arrange on top of filling, trimming edges to fit.  Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan. Cut 4 X 12 to make 48 bars to serve as snacks. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

Gluten Free Caramelized Onion & Prosciutto Pizza

For the Pizza:

One       Gluten Free pizza crust (store bought or homemade), par-baked
1/3 - 1/2  cup caramelized onions (depending on the size of the crust)
5-6          thin slices of prosciutto
4              oz fontina cheese, sliced (or fresh mozzarella if preferred)
3-5          leaves fresh basil, chiffonade
                Kosher salt
                Freshly ground black pepper
                Extra Virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the Caramelized Onions:

3              tablespoons butter
2              tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2     pounds onions, thinly sliced
                Salt and pepper
3              teaspoons brown sugar

For the Pizza:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cover the par-baked Gluten Free crust with the sliced cheese, and  top the cheese with the onions. Layer the prosciutto over the onions (artfully, if possible!) Sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese looks brown on the edges.  Remove the pizza from the oven, top with the basil and drizzle lightly with olive oil. 

For the Caramelized Onions:  Melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir thoroughly. Continue to cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan frequently, until the onions are soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Bacon & Sage Roast Chicken

1              (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

paprika

1              large bunch fresh sage

3              shallots, cut into wide slices

2 - 3        tablespoons olive oil

4-5          slices Gluten Free bacon

*1           cup Gluten Free chicken stock if desired

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Use about 3/4ths of the shallots and half of the sage to create a bed for the chicken in a large roasting pan, place the chicken on top. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the remaining sage and shallots, reserving one nice looking spring of sage to garnish the chicken. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken to coat, and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string or a roasting band and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Lay the bacon slices over the chicken to cover.  Roast the chicken for 1 hour. If the bacon looks crispy, remove the bacon slices from the top of the chicken and set aside. (If the bacon isn't crispy, check it again in 5-7 minutes & remove.) Continue roasting the chicken for an additional 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 5-10 minutes.  *If you'd like to make a pan gravy, see directions below.  Place the chicken on a platter for serving, replacing the bacon and adding the fresh sage for garnish.

*For Pan Gravy:
Remove the shallots & sage from the bottom of the roasting pan, leaving at least 2 tablespoons of the fat from the bottom of the pan. Place the roasting pan over two burners on medium-high and add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.  Serve with the chicken.

Here are the recipes that Connie Moyers prepared on the show.

California King Salmon Salad

Salmon

1          lb. California King Salmon filets

Olive Oil Spray

2          tsp. olive oil

2          tsp. fresh lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

1          clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 1/2   tsp. fresh rosemary leaves minced

Spray broiler pan or grill with the cooking spray.  Preheat oven broiler or grill.  Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary.  Brush mixture on both sides of the fish.  Place fish under the broiler or on the grill.  Broil about 4 inches from the heat for 5 minutes per half-inch of thickness or until fish is flaky in the middle.  Cut salmon into 3-4 inch chunks.

Salad

6          oz. bag spring salad mix or your favorite mix

1/2       red bell pepper, thinly sliced, then cut in half

1/4       cup mushrooms, sliced

1/2       cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1          cup croutons

Vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing to taste

In a big bowl, add salad mix, red bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes.  Top with salmon chunks and croutons.  Toss with your favorite dressing, or serve dressing on the side.  This salad is just as good with cold salmon as it is with hot. 

Lemon Slices

12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold

½ cup sugar

Grates zest from 3 lemons

1/3 cup butter, melted

Lemon Glaze:

2 ozs. cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup powdered sugar

Cut each roll in half and press each half into a 3 x 3-inch oval.  Combine lemon zest and sugar.  Dip each oval into the melted butter and then press into the sugar zest mixture.  Line them up in a sprayed 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, each piece on its edge to make a loaf shape.  Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size.  Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes.  Cover with foil last 5-10 minutes, if necessary, to prevent over browning.  Remove from pan to cool.  Combine glaze ingredients and spread over warm lemon slices. 

Baked Salmon with Avocado Mango Salsa

Salsa

1 large mango, chopped

2 ripe avocados, chopped

¼ cup minced red onion

1 Serrano chile, minced

Juice of 2 limes

Glaze

1 tablespoon brown sufar

1 teaspoon honey

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 (6 ozs. ea.) salmon filets

Olive oil

Salt, to taste

Prepare salsa, set aside.  Mix together Glaze ingredients in a small bowl.  Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, brush with olive oil.  Place salmon on pan, skin side down and brush with olive oil.  Brush with glaze.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes in the center.  Serve with Avocado Mango Salsa.  Makes 4 servings. 

Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes

1 pkg. (8 ozs.) uncooked pasta

3 tablespoons Bertolli White Wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons Bertolli Extra Virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 cups chopped seeded tomato (about 6 tomatoes)

¼ cup toasted bread crumbs

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain and rinse with cold water, drain.  Cover and chill.  Combine vinegar, 1 tablespoon basil, salt, suffer and crushed red pepper in a large bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons oil and minced garlic, stirring with a whisk.  Add cooked pasta and tomato; toss well to coat.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and remaining sliced basil.

Cilantro Pesto Pizza

10 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon taco seasoning

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups grated Colby-Jack cheese

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

Cilantro Pesto:

2 cups cilantro leaves

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Combine rolls together and roll into a 13-inch circle. Place on a sprayed 12-inch pizza pan. Poke several times with a fork to prevent bubbles from forming. Bake at 350°F 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.  Combine cilantro pesto ingredients in a small food processor bowl and process until almost smooth. Spread evenly over cooled crust. In a bowl, combine chicken and taco seasoning and mix well. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Place chicken evenly over pesto. Top with cheese, tomatoes and green onion. Bake at 350°F 10-15 minutes

Note:  I used precooked chicken breasts to save time.

New Recipes from Chef Johnny Vee

­SALMON DUMPLINGS

Makes about 30

For the filling:

1            pound salmon, course chopped

1            egg

1 1/2    teaspoons sugar

1/2       teaspoon white pepper

2           tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)

2           scallions, minced

1/2      cup shrimp, any size, peeled and de-veined

1          package won ton wrappers

4         large cabbage leaves

Place salmon, egg, sugar, pepper, fish sauce, scallion and shrimp in a food processor fitted with the steel
blade attachment. Pulse the mixture a few times to combine the ingredients but do not over process. You should have a spreadable mixture with a few very small visible chunks. Using a biscuit or round cookie cutter, cut the won ton wrappers into 3 inch rounds. Take a teaspoon of filling and spread onto wrapper. Draw wrapper toward the center of itself to create a dumpling and tap gently on counter to create a flat bottom.  Place cabbage leaves in a bamboo steamer and place dumplings on cabbage. Cover and steam over boiling water until dumplings are opaque, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately with soy sauce that has been drizzled with a little sesame oil.

WON TON NAPOLEONS WITH LEMON CURD

Serves 6-8

FOR THE CURD:

Juice and zest of 3 large lemons

1            cup sugar

3           large eggs

1/4       teaspoon salt

1           cup whipped cream

Combine lemon juice, zest, and sugar in a medium metal bowl. Place bowl over simmering water on stove and stir until sugar dissolves. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then whisk into lemon mixture, making sure water is only simmering. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and chill over ice.  Once the mixture is completely cooled, fold in salt and the whipped cream. 

FOR THE WON TONS:

18        won ton wrappers

Spray vegetable oil (like Pam)

Powdered sugar

Separate won ton wrappers and place on cookie sheet. Spray lightly with vegetable oil and place another cookie sheet of the same size over won tons. Bake in preheated 400° oven until golden brown. Remove top cookie sheet and place won tons on cooling rack. When cool, dust lightly with powdered sugar.

TO ASSEMBLE:

2          cups berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or combination)

Put one won ton wrapper on each plate.  Place a tablespoon of curd onto each won ton and scatter a few berries over curd. Repeat this with two more layers. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

CANNELLINI BEAN DIP

Serves 6 as an appetizer

15        oz. can of white Cannellini beans, drained

4          cloves garlic

Juice of a lemon

4          tablespoons olive oil

1/2       teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3       cup tahini (sesame paste)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Olive oil to drizzle

Combine all of the above in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle additional olive oil over dip and serve with pita chips or vegetable crudité.

TEX-MEX VEGGIE CHILI

Serves 4

3          tablespoons olive oil

1          medium white onion, finely chopped

3          garlic cloves, minced

1/4       cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1          jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 1/2    teaspoons toasted ground cumin

2          tablespoons pure ground hot red chile

1          teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/2       teaspoon ground sage

1          cup lentils, washed and picked over

1          cup canned kidney beans, drained

3          plum tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2    teaspoons kosher or sea salt

Chili Fixin’s:

1/4       cup sour cream

1/4       cup chopped cilantro leaves

1/4       cup sliced scallions

1          tablespoon minced jalapeno

Place the olive oil in a deep, heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Stir and fry for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions become translucent.  Add cumin, ground chile. oregano and sage. Stir briskly and add the lentils, 4 cups of water, kidney beans, tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low, and cook gently for 60 minutes. Serve in warm bowls each topped with 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 tablespoon sliced scallions, pinch of jalapenos and cilantro.

Garlic & Shrimp Tapas

Serves 4 - appetizer

1/2       cup Spanish olive oil

8          garlic cloves, sliced thin*

1          pound small shrimp (size 36-45), peeled

1          teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

pinch of kosher salt

2          tablespoons chopped parsley

1          lime, cut into wedges

1          pound loaf crusty bread, toasted in oven

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until very hot but not smoking. Add garlic slices and allow to sizzle for one minute.  Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, salt and parsley. Stir once, allow shrimp to turn pink and pour into a heated oven-proof dish. Serve immediately, garnished with lime wedges and with crusty bread.

OVERNIGHT BUTTERMILK WAFFLES

Serves 4 - 6

2          cups flour

1          teaspoon sugar

1/2       teaspoon salt

1/2       teaspoon dry yeast

2 1/4    cups buttermilk

1          stick butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

2          eggs

Vegetable oil for the waffle iron

The night before making the waffles, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the buttermilk and melted butter, mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight or up to 12 hours.  To cook waffles, heat waffle iron and brush with vegetable oil. Separate eggs and stir the yolks into the batter. Whip the whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.  Pour a ladle of the batter onto the waffle iron and close lid, cooking for 3-5 minutes depending on waffle iron instructions. Serve waffles hot.

CREAMY SMOKED SHRIMP SAUCE

SERVES 4 - 6

2          cups medium shrimp, unpeeled, about 1/2  pound

8          ounces thick cut bacon

2          tablespoons butter

2          shallots finely chopped

4          scallions, chopped

1          teaspoon fresh thyme

2          Roma tomatoes diced, seeds discarded

Juice of half a lemon

1/4       cup fish stock or clam juice

1/1/2    cups heavy cream

Pinch of smoked Spanish paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Smoke the shrimp for 6 minutes using the mildest wood available, such as alder, cherry or apple.* Allow to cool, peel and slice along the back of each shrimp.  Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch slices and sauté in a medium saucepan until crispy. Drain on paper towels and drain the fat from the pan. Add the butter to the pan and sauté the shallots and the scallions for 4 minutes over medium heat.  Add the thyme, tomatoes, lemon juice, and fish stock and sauté briefly. Add cream and reduce to a simmer.  Add the shrimp and cook until the sauce thickens slightly.  Stir in the bacon and paprika, season with salt and pepper. Serve hot over Overnight Buttermilk Waffles (see above) toast, biscuits, or grits.

Gadget gab: Try the Camerons Stovetop Smoker. The smoker can be used indoors on gas, electric and glass-top stoves with minimal ventilation necessary.

Bean Recipes from Jeane Wharton, U S Dry Bean Council

Banana Bean Muffins

Make these moist muffins once and you'll always keep pureed beans in the freezer for quick baking.  Yields 20 muffins.

3          egg whites

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Splenda brown sugar blend

1/2       tsp. vanilla extract

2          large ripe bananas mashed (about 1 cup)

1/4       cup vegetable shortening

1          cup water

1          cup of pureed cooked white beans, no salt added

1          cup each whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour (or 2 cups all-purpose)

2          tsp. baking soda

1/2       tsp. ground cloves

1/2       tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Mix pureed beans and mashed bananas in a bowl.  Once mixture is smooth, add vegetable shortening and mix until smooth.  Add sugar and water.  Meanwhile, sift together flours, baking soda, cloves and nutmeg.  Add to bean and banana mixture.  Stir to moisten but do not over mix.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold eggs into batter.  Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.  Fill each muffin tin two-thirds full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.

Bean and Olive Tapenade

Serve a dollop on grilled fish or spread as flavorful alternative to mayo on a sandwich or wrap.  Yields 3 cups.

1 1/2   cups cooked (1 can 15-ounces) kidney beans, drained

1          can (4-ounce) chopped black olives

1/4       cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4       cup of fresh basil, sliced into thin strips

1/4       tsp. ground oregano

2          tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

2          Tbsp. red wine vinegar, or to taste

1 1/2   tsp. minced garlic

4          large green olives, rough chopped

Put all ingredients except green olives into a food processor and pulse until mixed together but still slightly chunky.  Fold in green olives.  To serve, place a teaspoon of tapenade on a thin slice of toasted baguette or cracker.  Other suggested pairings are rye bread or crackers with fresh cheeses.  Makes 48 appetizers.

Simply Supper Recipes from Connie Moyers

White Texas Sheet Cake

1          cup butter

1          cup water

2          cups flour

2          eggs

1          teaspoon almond extract

1          teaspoon salt

2          cups sugar

1          teaspoon baking soda

1/2       cup sour cream

Boil water and butter, stir in flour, eggs, almond extract, salt, sugar, baking soda and sour cream. Pour in greased 10 x 15 pan. Bake at 375° F. for 20-22 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.

Frosting

1/2       cup butter

1/4       cup milk

4 1/2   cup powdered sugar

1/2       teaspoon almond extract

1          cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine butter and milk, bring to a boil. Stir in powdered sugar, almond extract and nuts. Spread on warm cake.

Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes

2          cups of cooked chicken breasts, diced

1          can cream of chicken soup

1          cup frozen mixed veggies

1          cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2       cup dried thyme

1/2       tablespoon of dried basil

1          teaspoon onion powder

1          teaspoon garlic salt

2          cans (10 ozs. ea.) biscuits

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, cream of chicken soup, frozen veggies, cheese herbs and spices. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin and place the biscuits into each cup, pressing into the bottom and sides. Evenly spoon the pot pie mixture into each biscuit cup. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let rest for about 3 minutes.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

2          lbs. flank steak

1          onion, chopped

1          green bell pepper, chopped

1          red bell pepper, chopped

1          jalapeno, seeded and chopped

Spice Rub

2          teaspoons chili powder

1          teaspoon cumin

1/4       teaspoon onion powder

1/4       teaspoon garlic powder

1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper

1          teaspoon salt

1/2       teaspoon black pepper

Mix together all spices in a small bowl or use your favorite rub. Rub the spices all over flank steak—be generous here. Then, place your steak at the bottom of slow cooker. Cover the steak with chopped onions, bell peppers and jalapeno pepper. Cook on LOW 8 hours. After 8 hours, remove meat from slow cooker and shred with a fork. You can either stick the shredded meat back in the pot for another hour or serve as is. To serve, heat your corn tortillas in a skillet on the stove. Spoon some carnitas on a tortilla then top with salsa, avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Freekeh Recipes from Bonnie Matthews

Freekeh Jambalaya

1          package-6 links, chipotle or andouille sausage, diced and browned

2-3      large sweet peppers, diced

1          large onion, diced

10        garlic cloves, diced (I know, I know, just go for it!)

1          14.5-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes (including liquid)

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup) (use any variety of freekeh, Original,  Rosemary Sage or     Tamari work well in this recipe)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

4          tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil

1/4      teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if you’re afraid!)

1          tablespoon Cholula Hot Sauce® or any kind of hot sauce you enjoy

1/4      teaspoon paprika

1/4      teaspoon cumin

1          tablespoon chili powder

1/4      teaspoon celery seeds

10-12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined and rinsed

salt and pepper to taste

garnish with diced cilantro or parsley

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add diced sausage and brown, making sure it's cooked through. Remove sausage from heat and set aside. In same skillet, add a little more oil, toss in peppers, onion, garlic and spices and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add uncooked freekeh, canned tomatoes and broth to the skillet and stir. Reduce heat to low and add sausage back into skillet. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. After about 20 minutes, stir, add raw shrimp to the skillet and cover. Cook another 5-7 minutes. Add a little more water, if necessary. Once the shrimp is pink and firm and all the liquid in the skillet has been absorbed, the dish is complete. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice and diced cilantro.  Servings:  6.

Lemon Chicken with dill, carrots and freekeh

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup) (Original or Tamari Freekeh work well)

2-3      tablespoons olive oil

1          medium onion, diced

2-3      cups carrots diced

4-6      garlic cloves, diced

4          tablespoons Earth Balance® or butter

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3-4      chicken breasts, whole, skinless, boneless

1          bunch fresh dill (about 1 cup), chopped

juice of 2 lemons or about 4 tablespoons

fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste

In a large skillet, heat up olive oil over medium heat. Toss in carrots, onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add Earth Balance® or butter to skillet and add in uncooked freekeh. Stir to coat freekeh. Add chicken broth. Place chicken in the liquid with the freekeh and vegetables. Top with the dill and the juice of one lemon. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Add a little dill and cracked pepper, plus the rest of the lemon juice and serve.   Serves:  4

Option: For extra bite, add whole green peppercorns during cooking.

Freekeh Vegetarian Tacos

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup) (Original or Tamari variety)

2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth

1          15-ounce can black beans or small red beans, rinsed and drained

1          14.5-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes

1          medium purple onion, diced

6          garlic cloves, diced

1          sweet red, or yellow pepper, diced

2-4      tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1          teaspoon cumin

2          tablespoons chili powder

2          tablespoons fajita seasonings or taco seasoning

a few shakes of hot sauce to taste

serve with blue or white hard corn taco shells or soft corn tortillas

Pour 2 1/2 cups of water and the freekeh in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Stir in a few spoonfuls of the crushed tomatoes, onion and the fajita seasoning. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until the freekeh is tender. While freekeh is cooking, in a separate skillet, heat up olive oil over medium heat. Toss in onion, peppers and garlic. Toss in cumin, chili powder and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the onions are slightly translucent. Add in the beans and tomatoes (including the liquid from the can). Simmer for 4-6 minutes. Once the freekeh is done, add it to the other ingredients and cook for another minute or two. Fill taco shell or burrito wrapper and serve with your favorite toppings. Serves:  6.

Options: Serve with hot sauce, shredded lettuce, salsa, diced black olives and jalapenos.  For additional toppings, try diced avocado, diced tomato or fresh squeezed lime.

 Freekeh Meatballs with Ground Chicken

for meatballs

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup)

2-3      tablespoons olive oil

1          small onion, diced fine

1          egg, whisked

1/4      cup of water or broth

1          pound ground chicken, or ground turkey

1          teaspoon chia seeds (optional)

4          teaspoons of almond flour or whole wheat flour

1          tablespoon oregano

1/4 - 3/4 cup parmesan cheese

1          tablespoon onion powder

1          tablespoon garlic powder

3          tablespoons tomato paste

for sauce

1          24-ounce jar of marinara sauce

8          garlic cloves, diced fine

a dash or two of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

2          tablespoons capers

1/2      cup of water or broth

6          anchovy filets

10        fresh basil leaves, chopped

Step 1 - the sauce - In a food processor, mix all ingredients and set aside until meatballs are cooked.

Step 2 – meatballs - In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients together kneading them with your hands until everything is evenly blended. If it seems too dry, add a little more water. Take a plum size amount of the mixture and roll into a ball with both hands. Continue to make the balls and set on a plate. Wash hands thoroughly. Pour about 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add a few of the meatballs into the skillet using two spoons. Careful not to break the meatballs! Only add a few at a time, so you have enough room to turn them over. Brown them on all sides turning them every 2 minutes or so. Once the meatballs are browned, remove them from skillet and set aside. Repeat until they’re all cooked. Place the meatballs in a 9 x 12 nonstick casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cover with tinfoil creating a tight seal. Place in 375° oven and bake for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the tinfoil. By now, the meatballs should be plump from absorbing some of the liquid. If necessary, add a little more water, place tinfoil back on and cook another 10 minutes.  Serves:  makes 14-16 meatballs.

Warm Breakfast Freekeh

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup) (Original variety)

2 1/2 cups water (for richer flavor, try cooking in almond milk, or coconut milk)

2          teaspoons vanilla extract

1          teaspoon cinnamon

2          tablespoons Earth Balance® or butter

Pour freekeh and liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil for about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract, cinnamon and Earth Balance® or butter. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Serve with fresh sliced fruit and top with nuts.  Serves:  4.

Options: You can also add a dollop of yogurt for extra protein and creaminess.

Freekeh Paella

1          pack (6 links) spicy Andouille chicken sausage, diced and browned extra virgin olive oil

1          sweet red or yellow pepper, diced

1          green pepper, diced

10        garlic cloves, diced

1          large onion, diced fine

1          large fresh tomato, diced fine

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh  (Original Variety) (1 cup)

2 1/2  cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

1          10.5-ounce can of clam sauce

1          cup frozen peas, thawed

14-18  medium to large shrimp, shelled, deveined and rinsed

3/4      teaspoon saffron

a few shakes of cayenne pepper

salt and plenty of fresh cracked pepper to taste

lemon wedges

Drizzle a little olive oil in a large skillet and heat up on medium. Toss in diced sausage and brown on all sides for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, remove sausage and set aside. Keeping the bits in the same skillet, add diced onions, peppers and garlic. Cook on medium heat until tender. Add a little more olive oil if it seems too dry. Toss in diced tomato and the spices and cook for about 1 more minute. Add freekeh to skillet and stir, mixing all ingredients thoroughly. Add the sausage, clam sauce, broth and peas. Cover, reduce heat to simmer. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the freekeh is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Add the shrimp, and cook a few more minutes until pink, about 6 more minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and lemon and serve.  Serves:  4-6.

Vegetarian stuffed peppers

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup) (use Original, Tamari, or
      Rosemary Sage variety of Freekeh)

2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth

4-6      sweet peppers, sliced in half and seeds removed

1          15-ounce can Aduki beans, or pinto beans

1          12-ounce jar of your favorite salsa

2          tablespoons tomato paste

6-8      cloves of garlic, chopped

1          small onion, diced

2          limes, juiced

1/2      bunch of fresh cilantro

1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen, thawed            

2          cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Step  1 - preparing the peppers - Add about 2 inches of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add in the sweet peppers. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes until they’re slightly soft. Remove peppers from pot and set aside to cool.

Step 2 - preparing the stuffing - Pour 2 1/2 cups water and the freekeh in a saucepan and bring to a boil for about a minute. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in tomato paste, onion and garlic. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until the freekeh is tender. In a large bowl, add freekeh and all ingredients except the steamed peppers, stir and set aside.

Step 3 - stuffing the peppers - Place the peppers in a 9 x 12 casserole dish. With a large spoon, carefully fill the peppers. The contents can come up above the edge of the pepper. Pour about 1/4 inch of water in the dish and place in preheated oven. Cook for about 30 minutes.

Option:  Sprinkle grated low-fat pepper jack cheese on top of the peppers after 20 minutes and continue to cook 10 minutes more.  Serves:  6.

Mexican Freekeh Chili

1          8-ounce package cracked freekeh (1 cup)

1          large onion, diced

8-10    garlic cloves, smashed

2          sweet peppers, sliced in 2-inch strips

1          jalapeno, diced with seeds removed or 1/4-sliced poblano pepper

4-6      tablespoons mild chili powder

1          teaspoon cumin

1          14.5-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes

1          14.5-ounce can tomato sauce

1-2      cups water

1          15-ounce can Aduki beans, pinto beans or black beans, rinsed, drained

fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste

a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce or chili sauce

In a pot, toss in olive oil, onion, sweet peppers and garlic and sauté on medium until onions are translucent. Add in all spices as well as the remaining ingredients and stir. Keep heat on low and continue to cook with lid partially on for about 25 more minutes or longer, if desired. For more flavor, simmer on low for an hour or longer. 

Option 1: For a smokier spicy flavor, add in a diced chipotle pepper they’re found in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores. Freeze the remaining peppers in a small plastic bag for next time you make chili. How hot can you go?

Option 2: Add in Field Roast Chipotle Vegetarian Sausage® or Tofurkey Kielbasa Vegetarian Sausage®, to this recipe! It's the bomb! You can find it at Whole Foods and other health food stores. You can also add browned, lean ground turkey to this dish. If you do, you may want to add another 2 cups of tomato sauce or water to keep it moist.

Healthy topping options: Try sprinkling nutritional Yeast instead of cheese. It's vegan, tastes like cheese and has lots of protein! Instead of sour cream, try topping with non-fat plain Greek-style yogurt.  Serves:  6.

Recipes from Chef Johnny Vee

Let's Have a Fajita Party

Lime Chicken Fajitas

The use of a meat tenderizer insures that the flavors of the garlic and lime permeate the chicken and tenderize it. Always grill your fajita meat in whole pieces and then slice it to prevent drying out on the grill.

3          pounds, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6          garlic cloves, chopped

Juice of 3 limes

1          teaspoon kosher salt

1          teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Rinse the chicken under cold water and dry with paper towels. Trim the breasts of all fat and connective tissue. Use a meat tenderizer* to puncture small holes into the chicken flesh.  In a small bowl combine garlic and limejuice. Season breasts with salt and pepper and place in a large shallow glass or porcelain dish. Pour garlic/lime mixture over chicken; turn breasts once to cover both sides of meat with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour prior to grilling.  Prepare the grill. Drain the breasts and place over hot heat source. Grill chicken 4 minutes on each side or until meat is cooked completely through. Remove from heat and slice in 1/2 inch slices across the grain of the meat. Chicken may be held in a 150° F oven, covered with aluminum foil for up to one hour. Serve hot with fajita fixins.  Serves 8.

                                                                                  Pico de Gallo

This smoky, fiery salsa is the traditional accompaniment for fajitas. From the Spanish “beak of the rooster” this zippy salsa will have you crowing like a rooster from the first bite.

3     large chipotle chilies, softened in 1/4 cup hot water and chopped, water reserved

1     medium onion, finely chopped

1     large Roma tomato, chopped

2     garlic cloves, minced

3     tablespoons fresh cilantro, rough chopped

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

2     tablespoons fresh squeezed limejuice

2     tablespoons red wine vinegar

Place all of the ingredients in a medium glass bowl. Mix well to combine. Add a small splash of the reserved chipotle water and let salsa marinate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Refrigerate and serve chilled.  Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.

Chef Chat:  Chipotles are ripened, smoked and dried jalapeños. You may also find Chipotles en Adobo in the Mexican ingredient aisle of your supermarket. The dried chilies are placed in tomato paste and canned. The chilies soften and flavor the tomato paste as well. To use canned variety, take three chipotles and scrape off as much of the paste as possible and chop chilies. Add to salsa.  Be careful as canned chipotles tend to be hotter than the dried.

                                                                                        Fajita Fixins

I think it’s much more interesting to offer a variety of grilled meats on your fajita platter. You should plan on 3 ounces of each meat, per person, if you are offering a choice of three choices (i.e. chicken, beef and pork) or 4 ounces of each meat, per person, if you are offering two choices. If vegetarians are in the group, I include grilled zucchini and yellow squash on the pepper and onion plate to fill out their fajitas. Pick up a variety of ethnic hot sauces and surround your fajita platter with the colorful bottles. 

·         Homemade flour or corn tortillas, warmed briefly on the grill- plan on 2-3 per person

·         Great Guacamole - 2 cups

·         Pico de Gallo - 1 cup

·         Grilled corn and Pinto Bean Salsa - 1 cup

·         Sour cream - 1 cup

·         Fresh cilantro leaves- 1/2 cup

·        limes, cut into wedges

·         assorted hot sauces

·         Grated sharp Cheddar cheese - 2 cups

·         16 grilled scallions, root end and one inch of top removed

·         Seared red bell pepper strips*- 2 cups

·         Seared yellow bell pepper strips* - 2 cups

·         Seared red onion slices* - 2 cups

Cut up peppers and onions and have then ready to sizzle in the skillet. Send the scallions and tortillas out to the grill meister with directions to pop them on the grill just before your guests are ready to assemble around the buffet. Heat up a large frying pan until very hot and toss sliced peppers and onions into the pan. Stirring constantly, allow the veggies to brown by keeping them moving in the hot pan. Remove from pan and sprinkle with a few pinches of kosher salt.  Sear the peppers and onions as you are slicing the meat. Top the grilled meat platter with the grilled scallions and some fresh cilantro.  To serve 8.

NOTE:* Restaurant fajitas are always served with peppers and onions swimming in oil and sizzling on the platter. The extra oil coats your tongue and prevents you from enjoying the natural sweet flavor of the peppers and onions. Serve on the platter with the grilled meats.

                                                                             Great Guacamole

The buttery rich flavor of avocados and the natural health benefits from eating them make this recipe a must to have on hand. Full of vitamin E, Potassium, magnesium, fiber and those heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, everything about avocados is great. Hence the name great guacamole. 

2          ripe Haas avocados

2          teaspoons fresh limejuice

1/2       teaspoon kosher salt

2          garlic cloves, minced

1          Roma tomato, finely diced

1/4       cup onion, finely chopped

1          large jalapeno, minced

2          scallions, finely chopped white and green parts

3          tablespoons fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped

Halve and pit avocados. Scoop out flesh into medium bowl. Using two dinner knives cross cut avocados into small 1/2 inch pieces.  Add limejuice. salt, and garlic and mix slightly. Fold in tomato, onion, scallions, jalapeno and cilantro. Cover guacamole with plastic wrap that has been pressed right onto the surface of the avocado and refrigerate. This will keep it from browning for up to three days.  Makes 2 cups.

                                                                      Homemade Flour Tortillas

3        cups flour

1        cup whole wheat flour

2        teaspoons baking powder

1        teaspoon salt

1        teaspoon sugar

1/4     cup lard, chilled or non-saturated fat vegetable shortening

1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Break up lard or shortening into small pieces with your fingers and rub it into the flour mixture, combining until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the water, a little at a time, until a soft and manageable dough forms. Knead for 3 minutes and allow dough to rest, covered for 20 minutes.  Divide dough into 12-golfball size balls. Roll out each ball on a well floured board to create a 8” by 1/8” thick circle.  Cook each tortilla on a lightly oiled griddle, adding a small about of oil each time, for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until small browned spots appear.  Cover and keep tortillas warm until serving. To freeze; separate each cooled tortilla with waxed paper and place in a large zip lock bag.  Makes 12- 8 inch tortillas.

Crêpes Suzette

1        cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

1/4     cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 1/4  cups milk

3        egg yolks

2        Tbsp. unsalted butter melted and cooled plus 1/2 More for sautéing crepes

1        tsp. grated lemon zest

1        Tbsp. grated orange zest

1/2     cup fresh orange juice

2        Tbsp. orange liqueur

powdered sugar

whipped cream, optional

Combine flour, salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and milk in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Beat in the yolks, melted butter, and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.  Heat a 6-inch crêpe pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to pan and swirl it around to cover surface. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter over pan and swirl to cover bottom of pan. Cook for about 1 minute or until surface of batter looks dry. Gently flip crêpe and cook 15 to 20 seconds longer. Do not allow crêpe to get browned or crispy. Slide crêpe out of pan and repeat process until you have used all the batter.  Fold the finished crêpes into quarters. Combine remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet and stir in 1/4 sugar. Add the orange juice and zest and sauté until sauce starts to thicken. Quickly turn the folded crêpes into the sauce and slide them around to cover with sauce. Finish the sauce by adding the liqueur, letting it warm and igniting it. Pour the sauce over the crêpes on warm plates. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

                                              Spinach Crepes Mornay

8        crepes (1 cup flour + 1 cup milk + 1 egg)

6        Tbsp. flour

6        Tbsp. butter

3        cups milk

3/4     tsp. salt

1/4     tsp. pepper

1/4     tsp. ground nutmeg

1        cup grated Swiss cheese

2        Tbsp. butter

6        green onions, chopped

2        Tbsp. parsley, chopped

2        cups shredded spinach

3/4     tsp. salt

3        oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet.  Add chopped green onions and parsley, sauté till tender. Mix in shredded spinach and salt.  Set aside.  Make béchamel sauce using first 6 ingredients; add cheese to melt.  Mix one cup of sauce in spinach to bind.  Fill crepes with spinach mixture pour the remaining sauce over them, top with Parmesan and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes, till bubbly.  Serves 4.

Recipes from Connie Moyers

Honey Mustard Chicken

6 chicken breast halves

1/2 cup prepared Mustard

1/2 cup Honey

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. parsley

Place the chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13" casserole.  Combine honey, mustard, basil, paprika and parsley.  Mix well and pour half of the mixture over the chicken, brushing to cover.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.  Turn the chicken pieces over and brush with the remaining honey-mustard mixture and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. 

Mrs. Cubbison's Fruit Stuffing

2 bags of Mrs. Cubbison's Stuffing

1 cup onions, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup Amazins

1 cup dried Red Cherries

1 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients together.  Put into a greased casserole, cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  If you want to make it more crispy, take off the lid and cook for an extra 10 minutes.  You can also try putting this mixture in a muffin tin, in small loaf pans or even in cleaned bell peppers.  (They may cook less time, so check on them.)  This recipe freezes well so it can be made ahead of time, and you can then heat up the portion you need. 

Recipe from Connie Moyers, NM Cooperative Extension Service

Tomato Green Chile Pineapple Preserves

Yield: 6 half-pints

1     lb. ripe slicing-type tomatoes
2     cups frozen chopped green chile (mild, medium or hot),  thawed and drained
1     can (20 ozs.) crushed pineapple in juice, not drained
1     pkg. (1.75 ozs.) powdered pectin
6     cups granulated sugar

Wash tomatoes. Immerse tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and plunge into cold water.  Slip off skins. Process peeled tomatoes in a food processor for 1 minute. Combine pureed tomatoes, green chile, pineapple and pectin in an 8-quart non-stick pan. Bring mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Add sugar all at once. Return mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Attach two-piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting processing time for elevation as necessary.

RECIPES FROM CHEF JOHNNY VEE

CHICKEN STOCK

1/2       stick unsalted butter

4          pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs

1          large onion, chopped

4          carrots, peeled and chopped

4          ribs celery, chopped

1          leek, white part only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and rinsed

1          head garlic, sliced in half around the middle

10        sprigs fresh thyme

10        sprigs fresh parsley with stems

2          bay leaves

10        peppercorns

Cold water

Melt butter in a heavy roasting pan over medium heat. Place chicken and vegetables in the pan, stir to coat with butter and roast at 400° for 45 minutes or until the bones and vegetables are nicely browned.  Meanwhile make a bouquet garni by wrapping thyme, parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns in a large square of cheese cloth and tie with kitchen twine forming a sachet of spices.  Scrape roasted bones and vegetables into a large (8 Qt. or larger) stockpot and fill pot 2/3 full with cold water. Deglaze pan with 1 cup cold water or dry white wine and add to the pot. Bring stock to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for two hours or so, adding water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Allow stock to reduce for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. Cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40 degrees. Place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months.  Makes 4-6 quarts.

TUSCAN CHICKEN SOUP WITH CANNELLINI BEANS & ESCAROLE

2          tablespoons olive oil

1          small onion, diced

1          medium carrot, diced

3          cloves garlic, minced

6          cups chicken stock

1/2       teaspoon fresh oregano

1/2       teaspoon red pepper flakes

1          can cannellini beans, rinsed

1          cup canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1/2       cup orzo or other small pasta

6          leaves escarole, chopped

Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese

Extra-virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Add chicken stock, oregano and red pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in cannellini beans, tomatoes and pasta and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally. Add escarole and allow it to wilt slightly. Season with salt & pepper and serve garnished with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  Serves 6.

GRILLED EGGPLANT ADOVADO

2          medium eggplants

1/3      cup olive oil

1/4       cup crushed caribe chile

2          tablespoons ground mild chile

2          tablespoons ground hot chile

4          garlic cloves, crushed

1          tablespoon toasted and ground cumin

1          teaspoon Mexican oregano

1 1/2   teaspoon salt + additional

Fresh ground pepper

2          cups water

Juice of one lime

Slice eggplant into 2-inch slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Prepare the grill. Grill eggplant slices until nice and browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Cut slices into 1-inch by 1-inch pieces.  Place chilies, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, lime juice, water and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Scatter eggplant in large baking dish and pour chile mixture over it. Stir and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Cover dish and bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened and coated eggplant. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped scallions, and sprigs of fresh cilantro.

Chef Chat:Use this as the filling for vegetarian tacos, taquitos, or tamales. The cooked- down eggplant will taste like a delicious sweet meat filling.

RECIPES FROM CALIFORNIA RAISIN MARKETING BOARD

Nutty Raisin Nibbles

1     cup California raisins

1     cup California golden raisins

1/2 cup slivered almonds

2     teaspoons melted butter or vegetable oil; used sparingly

Seasoned salt; used sparingly                  

Combine raisins, almonds and melted butter in shallow baking pan. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lightly sprinkle with seasoned salt.  Yields 2 1/2 cups or 20 servings.

Jane’s Favorite Tri-colored Salad

8         ounces orzo

3         tablespoons olive oil

3         cups fresh spinach

3/4     cup feta cheese

1         cup California raisins

12       fresh basil leaves, torn

1/2      cup pine nuts, toasted

3         tablespoons lemon juice

1/2     teaspoon salt

1/2     teaspoon ground pepper

Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain and turn into large serving bowl; drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat well. Set aside to cool. Add remaining ingredients to bowl; toss to combine well. Serve at room temperature.  Makes 8 servings.

Crunchy Vegetable and Curried Chicken Salad

Dressing

1/2  cup bottled low-calorie Russian salad dressing

2     tablespoons low-calorie plain yogurt

1     teaspoon curry powder

Salad

1/2  pound cooked chicken, diced

3/4  cup California raisins

1/2  cup sliced celery

1/2  cup chopped green pepper

1     package prewashed baby spinach leaves

In large bowl, blend dressing, yogurt and curry powder. Add chicken, raisins, celery and green pepper; toss to coat well. Chill. Serve on spinach-lined plates. For heartier meal, spoon mixture into avocado or tomato halves.  Makes 4 servings.

PORK CHOPS IN CHAMPAGNE GINGER SAUCE

8 pork chops

Salt & pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 shallots, minced

1/2 cup brut champagne

1/2 cup half and half

2 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger

1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard

1 to 2 tsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. butter, cut into bits

Chopped green onions, to garnish

Season pork chops with salt and pepper.  In large skillet, brown pork chops on both sides.  Remove to platter and keep warm.  Saute shallots in skillet 1 minute.  Pour in champagne and half and half; heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium; cook until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.  Whisk in ginger, mustard, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Whisk in butter, bit by bit, until sauce is smooth.  Return pork chops to skillet; cook until just heated through.  Serve immediately, passing additional sauce.  Garnish with green onions.

CHERRIES AND CHOCOLATE CREAM

1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel wine

2 cans (16 oz. each) pitted whole cherries, drained

1 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup grated semisweet chocolate

Toasted slivered almonds

Pour wine over cherries; let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour to marry flavors.  Just before serving, whip cream until stiff; fold in chocolate.  Spoon cherries into individual serving bowls; spoon chocolate cream over cherries.

SHERRY PECAN CAKE

1 pkg. (18.5 oz.) yellow cake mix

1 pkg. (3 oz.) instant vanilla pudding

4 eggs

3/4 cup cream sherry

3/4 cup melted butter

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

3/4 tsp. ground nutmet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Beat at medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes.  Pour into lightly greased loaf pans.  Bake until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Drizzle with Sherry Icing (below.)

  • Bake in 9x5x3-inch loaf pans 35 to 40 minutes
  • Bake in 8x4x3-inch loaf pans 30 to 35 minutes
  • Bake in 10-inch tube pan 45 to 50 minutes

SHERRY ICING

1 cup confectioner's sugar

1 Tbsp. cream sherry

Mix sugar and sherry until smooth; use immediately. 

All recipes are Copy Right 1987 Rose Hansen & Associates

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