Thursday, February 28, 2013

kale caesar salad

Kale may seem an odd choice for a salad, but in this recipe it is tenderized then tossed with a delicious dressing, simple homemade croutons, and fresh parmesan. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K and C, and calcium. The croutons are a yummy little snack just on their own
serves 4
16 oz. kale, washed, stems discarded, leaves torn or chopped into bite size pieces
3 slices rye bread (I used marbled), cut into 1-inch cubes
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pearled barley (optional)

6 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. vinegar (I used balsamic)
2 Tbsp. mayonaise
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
lemon juice
dash worcestershire sauce
anchovy paste (optional; it adds a deeper saltier taste. I know it is not the usual household staple. For some reason we've had a tube sitting in our fridge and now I was able to use it)

1. If using pearled barley, bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add barley and cook until tender, 20-25 mintes. Drain, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain again.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add bread cubes and cook over moderate heat until crisp and golden, about 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times. Season with salt and transfer to a plate to cool.
3. In a large bowl, toss all the kale. Scrunch to tenderize.
4. In a food processor or blender or cool tupperware gadget :), puree garlic with dijon and vinegar. Add mayo and mix. Add olive oil in a slow stream. Add 2 Tbsp. parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice, w. sauce and anchovy paste.
5. Add dressing to kale and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Top with barley, rye croutons and remaining cheese.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

cherry chicken spirals

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 11/2 lbs)
6 slices bacon, halved
2/3 cup snipped dried cherries
1/2 cup honey mustard, 4 Tbsp. for prep and remaining for dipping (you can make your own with dijon, honey, and plain yogurt or mayo)
1 cup whole wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 Tbsp snipped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken  to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Place bacon on chicken.
2. In a small bowl combine cherries and 2 Tbsp honey mustard. Divide mixture evenly among the chicken. Roll up chicken. You may need help from kitchen string or toothpicks if the chicken wont stay rolled up. Brush with 2 Tbsp honey mustard. Lightly sprinkle with salt if desired.
3. In a shallow dish, combine panko, thyme, and pepper. Roll chicken in mixture to coat. Place, seam sides down, in prepared pan.
4. Bake, uncovered for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

grilled tuna steak

a quick flavorful marinade adds delicious flavor to this meaty fish
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper

2-4 tuna steaks

Mix marinade ingredients together. Add tuna steaks and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes; turn and baste and grill an additional 1-2 minutes until done (should still be pink in the center).

sour cream biscuits

these crisp buttery biscuits are perfect with soup or stew
adapted from Food and Wine
makes about 18 
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sour cream or creme fraîche
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup heavy cream
coarse salt for sprinkling

1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the egg yolk, sour cream and milk. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the egg mixture and stir until the dough is evenly moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and knead 2-3 times, just until it comes together.
2. Press dough into and 8x10-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll out into an 11-inch square. Fold in half and roll out again to same size. Repeat once more. Using a 2-inch round cutter (or a glass of the same size), cut out as many biscuits as possible. Gather scraps, re-roll and cut out more.
4. Preheat oven to 375º. Evenly space the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden.

Monday, February 11, 2013

watercress soup

a delicious and nutritious soup, which is great served with crusty bread or biscuits like these:
serves 4

1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 potato, peeled and diced
6 ounces watercress
14 oz. (1 2/3 cup) vegetable stock
14 oz. (1 2/3 cup) milk
lemon juice, to taste
salt and pepper
sour cream to serve

1. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy pan and cook the onion over gentle heat for about 5 minutes, until soft but not browned. Add potato, cook gently 2-3 minutes and then cover and cook over gentle heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, strip the watercress leaves from the stalks and coarsely chop the stalks.
3. Add the stock and milk to the pan, stir in the chopped watercress stalks and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and summer gently, partially covered, for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add all but a few of the watercress leaves and simmer for 2 minutes more.
4. Process the soup in a blender, then pour into a clean pan and heat gently with the reserved leaves. Add a little lemon juice and adjust seasoning.
5. Garnish with sour cream and enjoy!