Wednesday, December 28, 2011

winter fruit salad with lemon poppyseed dressing

Well, here is a new recipe (finally!). I had hoped to post some Christmas dinner ideas, but business and several days without internet made that difficult. Oh well...

Here is a salad we brought for Christmas dinner. Yum!

1/3 cup white sugar (or honey)
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. diced onion or shallot
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola (or other) oil
2 tsp. poppy seeds

1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces (alternately use spinach or half lettuce and half spinach)
2-3 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
2/3 cup cashews
3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
1/2 apple (or more to taste), diced
1/2 pear (or more to taste), sliced

1. In a blender or food processor, combine sugar (or honey), lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds and process just to mix.

2. In a large serving bowl, toss together the lettuce/spinach, shredded swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. Pour dressing over salad just before serving and toss to coat.

makes approx. 8 servings

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Simple chicken and leek stew

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch (or smaller) pices
all-purpose flour, for dusting (about 2 Tbsp.)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp. thyme
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
steamed rice for serving

1. in a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Pour into bowl and set aside.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour, shaking off any excess (or place chicken and flour in ziplock bag and shake until coated. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in the skillet. Add the chicken and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add chicken stock and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate with the vegetables.
3. Simmer stock over med-high heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return chicken, leeks and mushrooms to the skillet and simmer over low until warmed through, about 1 minute.
4. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream with the mustard and stir into the stew. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and serve. The stew tastes great over rice.

makes 4 servings

Thursday, December 1, 2011

broccoli and cheddar cheese soup

The fresh croutons add a delicious crispy complement to the soup

2 1/2-in. thick slices of bread, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 med. russet potato, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/4 pound), heads cut into small florets, stalks thinly sliced
salt and pepper
3 cups water or chicken broth
1 cup lowfat milk
1/4 tsp. freshly grated or ground nutmeg
6 oz sharp cheddar, coarsely grated

1. Heat oven to 400F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread with 1 Tbsp oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 5-7 minutes; set aside.
2. Heat the remaining Tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, garlic, onion, potato, broccoli stalks, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until just tender, 5-6 minutes.
3. Add the florets and 3 cups water to the vegetables, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until broccoli is just tender.
4. Remove from heat and puree in batches in a blender. Add milk and nutmeg and heat through, about 2 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve with croutons.

Serves 4