Cheddar Polenta with Braising Greens, Mushrooms and Bacon

Serves 4

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 lb. bacon or pancetta, sliced
4 cups water
1-7/8 tbsp. salt
1 cup coarse cornmeal
3/4 cups grated white Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
approx 1/2 bag frozen braising greens (qty to your liking)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese

Bring water and salt to boil. Slowly whisk in polenta and reduce heat. Cook , stirring often, until polenta thickens about 25 minutes. Stir in the grated Cheddar and the butter . Cover and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and bacon until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the thawed braising greens. Stir together, turn heat to down to low, cover, and heat through.

Serve the greens over the polenta, garnished with ground pepper and olive oil.

Published in Lunch
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Corn & Hot Pepper Relish

Corn & Hot Pepper Relish

1 bag corn defrosted and pressed to remove excess water
1 bag peppers, defrosted, rough chop
2 cups vinegar, anything but balsamic
1-cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp. mustard seeds
1 bay leaf

Place sugar and vinegar in non-reactive saucepan and when sugar is dissolved, add remaining ingredients and lower heat to a slow simmer. Give it an occasional stir, making sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Reduce until almost dry, about 20% liquid remaining, remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to container, preferably glass, cover and refrigerate. This is great on all proteins, especially fish and chicken.

Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

South American Butternut Bisque

South American Butternut Bisque

3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili, seeded, chopped
2 pounds winter squash peeled, cut into 1/2 cubes such as butternut or acorn
4 cups vegetable stock
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 bunch parsley or cilantro, washed and finely chopped

Saute onions, tomato, garlic, and hot peppers in the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the onion is softened and the mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in the squash and the stock and simmer. Reduce heat, stir in salt and sugar, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Turn of heat and stir in cilantro or parsley. Garnish with dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Published in Soups and Stews
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Greek Flatbread

Greek Flatbread

Pizza dough
8 oz. Feta cheese
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped roughly
Pete’s Greens
1/2 cucumber, rough chop
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 450 and place a cookie sheet in the oven.

Pull dough from fridge and let it rest, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Place chopped tomatoes and olives in a small bowl, toss with some olive oil and pepper. Once the dough has rested, sprinkle some flour on the counter and roll it out until a quarter inch think. If you don’t have a peel, slide it onto another cookie sheet, with some flour or cornmeal on it. Top the dough with the tomatoes, olives and feta. Slide the flatbread onto the cookie sheet in the oven. While the flatbread is cooking, mix the greens, cucumber and balsamic in a bowl and toss, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the flatbread is nicely browned on the edges, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. Cut into desired slices, slide onto large round plate and top with Pete's salad.

Published in Pizzas
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Mixed Grains Pilaf

Mixed Grains Pilaf

This one from the archives was supplied to us by Good Eats members a while back. You can cook the mixed cracked grains as you would rice or barley (as done here) for some very interesting and healthy dishes. This one would be great with some chopped mustard greens and scallions baked in, with rounds of the Baked Goat Cheese on the side.

1 1/2 cups cracked mixed grains
3 1/4 cups chicken stock
8 TB (1 stick) butter or half butter & Olive or other oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
5-6 oz. sliced mushrooms
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 (1 1/4 hour in oven, 1/4 hour prep)

Saute grains in 4 TB butter, using a heavy frying pan on medium low, until golden (about 5 mins.) Meanwhile chop onions. Pour grain into covered casserole, such as corning glassware. Sautee chopped onions in 2 TB butter on low heat until soft, about 5 mins. Meanwhile slice mushrooms. Pour onion into casserole. Sautee sliced mushrooms in remaining oil on low heat until water evaporates, adding salt & pepper to taste, about 5 mins. Add to casserole. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock warmed in microwave 2 mins. or in saucepan to casserole. Cover and bake 30 mins.

Add another 1 1/2 cups chicken stock warmed in microwave 2 mins. or in saucepan to casserole. Cover and bake 30 mins. Add the remaining 1/4 cup warmed stock and bake the last 15 minutes covered. Stir well and serve

Published in Hearty Sides
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

In honor of the return of romaine lettuce, I made Caesar salad last night. I thought I'd share the dressing recipe I have used for years which I modified from the 1975 edition of the Joy of Cooking.

Caesar Salad Dressing
Makes 1 cup dressing or enough to dress a couple large heads of romaine.

Put the following into a blender:
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire
2-4 anchovy filets (I never have these and instead add 1 scant tsp anchovy sauce or 7-10 kalamata olives)
2 eggs (you can add these raw, but I cook boil my whole eggs for 2 mins and then spoon the lightly cooked egg into the blender)

Blend the above as well as possible, then with blender on low, add in a slow, steady stream:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Add to your liking:
black pepper
more lemon juice

The Salad:
Head of Romaine Lettuce
Grated Parmesan
Caesar salad dressing

Chop a head of romaine lettuce, rinse, and salad spin, or put in a colander to dry. (If you don't have a salad spinner and want dry lettuce quickly, you can use the towel spin method which is a good show if you have kids. Just put the washed salad greens onto a clean towel, pull together the corners and then spin in a circle and the water will fly out of the greens into a towel and often do a good job spraying the kitchen too.) Transfer greens to a bowl, add dressing, and toss to coat lettuce well. Add parm and toss again. Plate the salads and top dress with croutons and grated parm to your liking.

Published in Salads
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

8 oz. Pete's hot sauce
1 quart buttermilk
1 chicken, quartered
3 cups flour
2 cups corn flakes, crushed
salt & pepper

Oil, for frying

Preheat oven to 325.

In a large bowl, whisk together hot sauce and buttermilk. Place chicken in bowl and coat thoroughly. Marinate for at least 6 hours and up to 24.

In a paper bag, mix flour, corn flakes, salt and pepper. Shake excess marinade off of chicken pieces and place into bag. Close top and give a good shake. Until all chicken is well coated.

In a large, heavy bottom pan, cast iron being the best, put enough oil just to come halfway up the pan and heat. Test the heat by pinching some of the flour mixture in. If it starts to fry and float immediately, you're there. CAREFULLY add chicken to the pan, legs and thighs first. After a few minutes, add breasts and wings, lowering heat to medium. After 6 Minutes or so, turn chicken pieces over and brown on other side.

Place browned chicken on cookie sheet and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thigh is 150 degrees.

***Be very careful when handling hot oil. Let the oil cool completely in the pan before discarding it.

Published in Dinner
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

I love mushrooms and polenta so couldn't help but pull this one in this week. Feb 2006 Bon Appetit. Serves 6.

1 1/4 pounds kale, stemmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups whole milk
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon) or bacon, coarsely chopped
4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain.
Bring milk, water, polenta, salt, and pepper to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add mushrooms and 2 tablespoons oil to drippings in skillet. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in kale and pancetta. Add garlic and broth; simmer until broth is slightly reduced, about 6 minutes. Stir in thyme, lemon peel, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whisk butter and Parmesan into polenta and divide among plates. Top with kale mixture.

Published in Dinner
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Oven Ratatouille

Oven Ratatouille

This recipe looks long. But really, it's just a lot of instruction about properly roasting the various vegetables in this dish. The roasting sweetens and concentrates the flavors of them all. This is a very healthy, very tasty dish. Another from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without.

3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large globe eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4-inch cubes (peeling unnecessary if the skin is tight and smooth)
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (or 1 smallish heirloom or beefsteak)
6 medium-sized garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 medium zucchini (7 to 8 inches long), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
1/2 teaspoon each crumbled dried thyme and rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Small amounts of fresh herbs (basil, marjoram or oregano, rosemary, thyme, and/or parsley)
Pitted chopped olives

Arrange an oven rack in the topmost position, and another in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 1 small and 2 large baking trays with foil, and coast the foil generously with the olive oil.

Place the eggplant on one of the large trays, and toss to coat with oil. Then push it to one side, keeping it in a single layer. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the tray, rolling them around so they get coated with oil. Wrap the garlic cloves (still in their skins) and a half teaspoon of water tightly in a piece of foil, and place this on the corner of the same tray.

Place the whole bell peppers on the small tray.

Spread the onions and the zucchini pieces on opposite ends of the remaining large tray, and toss to coat with the oil.

Place the eggplant tray on the middle shelf of the oven, and put the small sheet with the peppers on the upper rack. After 10 minutes, use tongs to turn everything over. Repeat this turning process after another 10 minutes or so. Gently squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If it is, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting.

Place the onion-zucchini tray on the middle shelf next to the one with the eggplant, and continue roasting all for another 10 minutes. Turn the peppers and tomatoes one more time, and toss the eggplant, onions, and zucchini to help them brown evenly. Sprinkle the eggplant, onions, and zucchini evenly with the dried herbs. Once again, squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If so, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting. Roast a final 10 minutes, or until the vegetables become deep golden brown and very tender.

Transfer the eggplant, onion, and zucchini to a large bowl. Let the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic sit for a few minutes, or until comfortable to handle. Peel the peppers, then chop the tomatoes and peeled peppers roughly into 1-inch pieces and add to the eggplant mixture. Slip the roasted garlic cloves from their skins, mash with a fork, and add to the eggplant mixture.

Toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled to plain or topped with a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs and/or olives.

Published in Dinner
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Vegetable Tacos with Roasted Tom Tom Sauce

Vegetable Tacos with Roasted Tom Tom Sauce

Once the prep work is done, this can be a quick, casual supper for a late summer night. The portions are approximate, so adjust according to your family's needs. This recipe is geared towards what you have in your share this week, but it's open to suggestion. Add lemon or lime to the tom tom sauce to cut some of the sweetness that the roasting brings out of the tomatoes and tomatillos. You can add some heat with roasted poblano chiles or add chopped cucumber to cool it down and create a bit more crunch. -elena
Serves 3 or 4

Roasted Tom Tom Sauce
1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 lb tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Walla Walla onion, minced
Handful of fresh arugula, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

Vegetable Tacos
12 corn tortillas
4 T sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Walla Walla Onion, sliced into thin rings
1 medium bell pepper, sliced into 1/2 thick strips
1 cup broccoli florets and stem, chopped
1/2 cup zucchini, sliced into 1/2 rounds
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Sauce:
1.Set your broiler to high. Wash and rinse tomatoes and tomatillos. Line a cookie sheet with foil, lightly brushing it with oil. Broil the tomatoes and tomatillos for several minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin turns black. Pull out and let cool until easy to handle.
2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and tomatillos, mixing with the garlic, onion and fresh arugula. Salt and pepper to taste.
For the Tacos:
1. Heat the sunflower oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Saute the minced garlic and onion for 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and saute another 2 minutes. add the broccoli and zucchini, cooking until
bright green but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Heat the tortillas over a low flame on the stove or in the oven at 325F for until soft and hot. Serve immediately, spooning the Roasted Tom Tom Sauce over the vegetables.

Published in Mexican
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