Monday, July 29, 2013

I loved this so much, I wanted to share the recipe. I would say that this recipe was a Cooking Light recipe, but it is completely different as it morphed into my own as I was rummaging in my fridge trying to use up the veggies we had. This is geared for a hearty, summer vegetarian entree, but it can easily be adapted with grilled chicken (which we've done) or shrimp (which we want to do). If you like veggies, cheese, and balsamic dressing, you will fall madly in love with this easy recipe! I find myself craving this during the week!


1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar
1/2-3/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1T Dijon Mustard
1 Shallot-Diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine the above and set aside

Mixed Salad Greens of your choice
Corn freshly sliced from 3 ears corn
Grape/Cherry Tomatoes cut in half (I used two containers of yellow and red)
Red/Orange Bell Pepper, sliced thinly
Green Onions, chopped
Zucchini Ribbons (use a potato peeler or mandolin for thin ribbons)
Fresh Mozzarella in water, cubed
Fresh Basil leaves, torn

Assemble greens on a large platter, top with cut corn (no need to cook), grape tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions, and zucchini. Place mozzarella around salad, and top with fresh basil leaves. Add dressing evenly over salad, top with salt and pepper. ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches (Courtesy of Ina Garten)


4 large red or yellow bell peppers, preferably Holland
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
For assembling:
1 large ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
1 (11-ounce) garlic-and-herb or plain goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet) at room temperature
8 to 10 large basil leaves
3 thin slices red onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the peppers. Stir in the capers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom half of the loaf with the goat cheese. Add a layer of peppers and then a layer of basil leaves. Separate the onions into rings and spread out on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with the top half of the ciabatta and cut into individual servings.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Endive stuffed with goat cheese

This elegant first course showcases a marvelous partnership between slightly bitter endive, creamy goat cheese, and sweet orange juice. From pretty presentation to fantastic flavor, you can't go wrong with this simple appetizer.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed leaves)


1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons honey, divided
Cooking spray
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons orange juice
16 Belgian endive leaves (about 2 heads)
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese
16 small orange sections (about 2 navel oranges)
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine walnuts and 1 tablespoon honey; spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

Combine 1 tablespoon honey, vinegar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 5 minutes).

Fill each endive leaf with 1 orange section. Top each section with 1 teaspoon cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts; arrange on a plate. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over leaves, and sprinkle evenly with chives and pepper.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup-creamy with NO cream!

One more Michael Chiarello Recipe....yes, he's that GOOD!
I made this last week and could not get enough of it! I paired it with fresh mozarella and tomato paninis and we had a super easy, yummy, and satisfying meal.

12 large (about 4 pounds) tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
12 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus few leaves torn for garnish
2 cups cold water
For the bruschetta:
1 loaf country-style bread
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Prepare the tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the oil, the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper, to taste. Spread the tomatoes out on a non-reactive baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until very dark in spots, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a bit.
Prepare the bruschetta. Cut the bread crosswise into slices about 1-inch thick (you will need 8 slices). Lightly brush the slices on both sides with oil and season with salt. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until the bruschetta are golden brown and just beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 2 cups basil leaves and saute with the onions for about 1 minute.

Add the roasted tomatoes and water to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Puree the tomato mixture in a blender. Start the motor at a slow speed and increase gradually. Alternatively you can use an immersion blender right in the pot. The mixture should be very smooth. You should have about 8 cups. You can prepare the soup to this point and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, pour the soup into a medium saucepan and bring it to a slow simmer over medium heat.
Serve the soup. Place 1 bruschetta in the center of each shallow soup bowl. Pour the soup around each bruschetta. Garnish with torn basil leaves.

Skirt steak wtih bleu cheese fondue

One more Michael Chiarello recipe....this one is MOUTH WATERING.

1 1/2 pound skirt steak, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices, room temperature
2 cups jarred pesto
Gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blue Cheese Fondue, recipe follows
Soak 15 wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. Heat the grill.

Thread the meat onto skewers, season with salt and pepper, and coat with the pesto. Grill to desired doneness. You can also cook the meat to medium rare then finish it off in the oven just before the party.

Cook's note: Have the butcher slice the skirt steak for you. Serve cooked meat skewered into a loaf of bread for a fun presentation next to the Blue Cheese Fondue. Other garnishes (like apples, etc.) can be arranged stabbed into the loaf as well.

Blue Cheese Fondue:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 pound Cambozola blue cheese, crumbled, or other blue cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small pan over medium-low heat, cook the butter, thyme, and garlic until the garlic is soft, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic brown. Add the cream, raise the heat to medium, and bring the cream to a simmer. Cook until the cream is reduced by 1/3. Lower the heat to maintain a slow simmer. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the pepper and pour into a fondue pot set over low heat.

Michael Chiarello's Stuffed Portobellos

Michael Chiarello. My favorite chef of all time....anything that has his name attached is nothing short of delicious. These are easy and delicious. Enjoy.

12 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills removed
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
sea salt, preferably gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
4 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
12 (1/2-inch) slices fresh mozzarella, roughly 1 to 1 1/2-ounces per slice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the portabellas in the balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, gray salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

While the mushrooms are cooling mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan, herbs and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.

Place 1 slice (2 if the mushrooms are large) of mozzarella in the cupped side of each mushroom. Distribute the bread and herb mixture evenly over the mushrooms and return to the oven to roast for 5 to 6 minutes or until the mozarella is molten and the bread and herb topping a nice golden brown. Serve either hot or at room temperature and enjoy.

Michelle Anslinger's Italian Wedding Soup-Better than Giada's!

Italian Wedding Soup-Courtesy of Michelle Anslinger

If you know Michelle, the title alone should be enough said, and if you don't know her, then well, you know me, and that should be enough said. This is amazing.....ENOUGH SAID!

· 1 pound dark green (I used swiss chard, but Ive also used kale or spinach...they all end up tasting about the same) cut into large bite-sized pieces
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Extra-virgin olive oil
· 4 cloves garlic minced
· 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 1 can cannellini beans
· 1 quart veal or chicken stock
· 2 cups beef stock
· 1/3 pound orecchiette or similar pasta
· 1 pound ground turkey
· 1 egg
· 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
· 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
· 2 to 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

Saute the onions, carrots and 3 cloves of garlic in the olive oil until soft (about 5 min).
Add the beans, stocks and season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil and then add the pasta. Once you've added the pasta reduce heat to simmer.
Make the meatballs by adding the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, cheese and sage together and then form them into bite size meatballs. Then drop the meatballs into the simmering soup and cook for 5-10 minutes or until pasta is cooked through.