25 November 2019

NYT's Blonde Puttanesca

Thanksgiving week calls for easy meals that allow time for the baking and shopping and food storage that is required to put on a huge feast. That being said, we are traveling for the Thanksgiving weekend and are loath to have much in the fridge when we take off for a few days. Soooo ...

21 October 2019

Make This Dish ! - Chicken Thighs with Carrots, Fennel, and Orange Sauce

There is so much going on in this dish. I absolutely loved it. Beautiful pearl couscous is a backdrop to a sauce that is bursting with broth and orange juice enhanced by cumin and paprika. Nicely crisped chicken thighs are gently braised in this sauce with sliced carrots and fennel, black olives, and golden sultana raisins. There's sweetness, saltiness, the nasal herb fragrance and flavour of the fennel, and those spices ... oh, yeah and chicken and carrots! The final touch is slivered scallion greens and fennel fronds. The colors are gorgeous, the textures are a beautiful blend. This is a stellar dish.

17 October 2019

Crack Sauce - The Ultimate Dipping Sauce for Grill Season

This sauce has become a favorite in our family. It's spicy hot while being cool in temperature. When the beer can chickens come off the grill, or a smoked turkey comes out of the smoker, or a spicy walnut encrusted pork tenderloin comes out of the oven, a bowl of this dipping sauce sits ready. It's so delicious that it's addictive, hence the name. It's perfect for dragging bites through before gobbling!

I'm sure it has another name, but what can I say? To our family, it's crack sauce. It keeps in the fridge for about a week. Then, it tends to separate. I've shaken it back up and marveled that the pepper spiciness gets stronger. Wahoo!


Crack Sauce

Makes about two cups of dipping sauce. 


3 jalapēnos, stemmed, small chop
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 generous cup cilantro leaves and stems
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. fresh lime juice 
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Place the ingredients in a blender and whiz to a smooth green flecked sauce.

NOTES: Perfect dipping sauce for roasted turkey, chicken, grilled fish, or roasted pork tenderloin. Excellent on sandwiches instead of plain mayo. If you want less spicy heat, remove some of the veins and seeds from the jalapēno peppers. 

09 September 2019

Bribery Pasta by Michael Anthony

Dinner the other evening was green from start to finish, and to boot, gluten free. Now, you don't have to go that route if you love your traditional semolina pastas. I have been trying to limit my glutens a bit, as I have a skin condition that seems irritated by too many glutens (as well as other baddies) in my diet. SO! I tried out Barilla Pasta's chick pea pasta. I have to say that we loved its nutty flavour. I cooked it al dente so it never got mushy, which can happen real fast with other GF pasta products.

Anyway, the real star of this dish is all the fresh green veg in the slice and dice. Just look! Broccoli, Swiss chard, green onions and their slivered green tops, plus onions and garlic. There is far more veg in this dish than there is pasta.

30 August 2019

Summertime Shakshuka - Conquering the Tomato Patch !

Sooo. Last evening, I kiddingly posted to my FB account the alarm, "Tomatoes ! They're coming out of the woodwork ! Help !!!"  After a day of canning three quarts of salsa, there were still some ripe tomatoes to be used.

23 August 2019

Yotam's Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

This salad made for an interesting lunch today ! Soft, salty, roasted cauliflower meets cool, crunchy celery, browned and roasted hazelnuts, and chopped cranberries (as I didn't have pomegranate seeds). All this tossed with just the hint of a sweet, sour, and slightly spiced vinaigrette. There are so many interesting flavors in this salad. Roasted cauliflower and nut salads are out there a lot these days, but this one is distinctly different. Look at the list of ingredients and you'll see why. It's all in the dressing.

08 August 2019

Hokumpoke Haluski

Whoa ! Summertime ! Our heat broke after some thunderstorms passed through ! Hurray! The crickets and katydids are starting to chirp throughout the days and the scree of the locust has been competing in the afternoons. Fall is on the way. That said, the gardens are really beginning to give up their harvest at a quickening pace! Summer's not over yet, but this Hokumpoke Haluski heralds the cooler days of autumn.

Hokumpoke Farm had small heads of cabbage in the CSA bag last week, so it got used in this nod to Polish food culture ... ever had Haluski with Ham ? It's such a simple, yet rich and peppery comfort food ! You MUST try it! 

01 August 2019

Gazpacho - Cool Relief From the Heat

Another healthy way to use the garden's bounty! This is Ina Garten's recipe with a bit of a more traditional adapting. The gazpacho is very smooth, has the addition of a piece of artisan loaf that has had the crust removed and a wee bit of cumin as well as that Kosher salt and black pepper. The garnishes resemble a pico de gallo atop the bowl of soup ... cold crisp and the perfect start to a meal with a glass of cold Pinot Grigio on the side and tortilla crisps with guacamole.