All posts by LynnHoll

About LynnHoll

I have been an artist and designer all my life incorporating graphic design for websites, gardens, publications, fabrics, interior design and cooking. I am now retired from my professional job, but still create artistic visions in all forms on a daily basis.

Pasta with Sausage, Radicchio and Green Olives

There are as many pasta combinations as your imagination allows. This one from Fine Cooking’s “Make It Tonight” series throws together an unusual mix of ingredients for a flavorful creation. While cocktail olives give this pasta welcome bursts of sweet and briny, they also perfectly balance the subtle bitterness of the radicchio.

For our pasta, even though I would have selected cavatappi, we had an open box with half a pound (8 ounces) of penne. Which was fine because we prefer a ratio of less pasta with more of the other ingredients.

I suppose you could use regular balsamic vinegar, but make an effort to get the white, you’ll thank yourself. And don’t cheap out on the cheese, a block of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano solidifies the grandness of this meal.

Wowser, this was good! There was enough leftover for the Hubby to take to work for lunch the next day. When he got home, the first thing he said was “OMG, that pasta was so good, we’ definitely have to make this again—soon!”

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Pasta with Sausage, Radicchio and Green Olives

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 12 oz. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium head radicchio, quartered, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 3 cups)
  • 3 oz. pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1 Tbs.)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. short pasta, such as cavatappi, farfalle, or penne
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, shaved and then crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the radicchio, olives, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the radicchio is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
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  5. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return to the pot.
  6. Toss the sausage mixture with the pasta, 1/3 cup of the basil, and most of the cheese. add enough cooking water to moisten, and serve topped with the remaining cheese and basil.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by Ronne Day from Fine Cooking

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Cauliflower Tikka Masala

At only 230 calories per serving, this flavor-packed vegetarian meal is truly impressive! Canned fire-roasted tomatoes add slow-cooked depth to this quick weeknight dish (in a pinch, you could substitute regular tomatoes). And roasting the cauliflower florets in a hot oven ensures even more depth of flavor.

Not familiar with garam masala? It’s a blend of ground spices used extensively in Indian cuisine, and available at most supermarkets. There is no single garam masala recipe; the ingredients differ according to the region as well as each chef’s individual preferences. But for the most part, it will include coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In other variations, ingredients may include turmeric, saffron, fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, mace, star anise, tamarind, fenugreek, bay leaves or Malabar leaves. I also added a pinch of Aleppo pepper to the dish for a slightly spicier kick. As garam masala simply means “spices with varying levels of heat,” you have a lot of leeway when it comes to mixing up your own garam masala, or if you need a substitute.

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Here’s a simple recipe for garam masala by Danilo Alfaro. If you make yours this way, starting with whole seeds which you toast and grind yourself, your garam masala will be much more fragrant and flavorful than anything you buy in a jar at the store.

  • 3 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. cardamom seeds
  • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick

Place everything but the nutmeg in a dry skillet and toast for about ten minutes over medium-high heat, stirring from time to time to keep everything cooking evenly. When the ingredients have darkened slightly and give off a rich, toasty aroma, remove them from the pan and let them cool.

Grind in a spice grinder or coffee grinder, and mix in the freshly grated nutmeg. Store in an airtight container away from heat.

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”Cauliflower

  • Servings: ”4”
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 lb.), florets cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, whole milk or low fat (not fat-free)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, olive oil, or ghee
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. finely minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. garam masala
  • 1 28-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream; more as needed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pinch sumac (optional)
  • Basmati rice or naan, for serving

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425°F.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with the yogurt, olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
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  3. Spread the cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, flipping once, until tender and browned in spots, 22 to 25 minutes.
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  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
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    I advise you cut the onion in half along the equator first, then slice. It’ll be both easier to cut, and to eat—which I will do next time…
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  5. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, ginger, garam masala, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until the garlic and spices are very fragrant, about 1 minute.
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  6. Add the tomatoes with their juice, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer while the cauliflower roasts.
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  7. Add the cauliflower, cream, and half of the cilantro to the sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
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  8. If you’d like a milder sauce, add more cream; spicier, add some Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes. Serve sprinkled with the remaining cilantro and some sumac, if using.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by Emma Christensen from Fine Cooking

Honey-Shellacked Pork Chop

Otherwise known as the Date Night Pork Chop, rubbing a little honey across the surface of the meat before searing guarantees a shiny, caramelized crust—and a kiss of sweetness 😉 Then pair that with a lemony endive and apple salad, and you’ve got the ultimate dinner for two.

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You want to season your 1-pound, 1½” thick pork loin chop in advance and let it sit out at room temperature (it cooks much more evenly that way). Pat chop dry with paper towels and place on a plate. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper, turning with tongs; set aside while you do your prep (it can sit at room temperature up to 1 hour, but prep won’t take you that long).

Our chop was a hefty boy, nearly 2 1/2″ thick, so we had to alter the preparations a tad. I did follow the searing steps, including the fat cap. After that, I placed the cast iron skillet with chop directly into a 400° oven for an additional 12 minutes. And truth be told, even though I checked the temp with an instant read thermometer, and we let it rest for 10 minutes, the very center was still a bit too rare. We just nuked those few slices in the microwave.

The hazelnut mixture added wonderful flavor and texture to both the meat and the salad. You may think a starch was missing, but the meal completely satisfied and we didn’t feel deprived whatsoever.

Yes dear, we’ll go on this date again…

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Honey-Shellacked Pork Chop

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bone-in pork loin chop, 1–1½” thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. Parmesan
  • 3 Tbsp. raw unblanched hazelnuts
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 large or 2 small Belgian endive
  • 2½ tsp. honey, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Pat chop dry with paper towels and place on a plate. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper, turning with tongs; set aside.
  2. Shave 1 oz. Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler, then use your fingers to break into small shards. Cover with a damp paper towel (to prevent it from drying out).
  3. Using the bottom of a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, smash 3 Tbsp. hazelnuts, a few at a time, on a cutting board, breaking into bits.
  4. Peel 1 shallot, then finely chop.
  5. Separate leaves from 1 large or 2 small endive, trimming from the bottom as you work your way to the core. Place in a medium bowl, cover with damp paper towel, and chill until ready to use.
  6. Preheat skillet you used to smash hazelnuts over medium heat. Drizzle ½ tsp. honey over one side of pork chop, then drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil. Rub with clean hands all over surface of chop, then turn and rub second side with same honey-oil mixture to evenly coat (this will help the pork caramelize as you cook it).
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  7. Lay pork in skillet and cook, leaving it be, until first side is dark brown and caramelized all over, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook second side until browned, about 3 minutes longer. Turn pork chop upright and hold on its side with tongs to sear fat cap; cook about 2 minutes.
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  8. Turn heat to low and cook chop another minute on both sides. Transfer to cutting board and insert an instant-read thermometer into middle of chop, about ½” from bone. It should register about 130°. If it’s under, cook another minute or two, then let rest on cutting board 5–10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
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  9. Add hazelnuts and 2 Tbsp. oil to skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring with tongs, until hazelnuts turn golden, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add shallots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until shallots are softened and browned and hazelnuts smell toasty, about 2 minutes.
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  11. Stir in remaining 2 tsp. honey. Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze juice from one half into skillet. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
  12. Cut around core of 1 apple, removing flesh in 3 lobes. Thinly slice 2 of the 3 pieces, then snack on the remaining piece if you like.
  13. Remove bowl of endive from refrigerator and add apple and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, squeeze second lemon half over, and toss to coat.
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  14. Cut bone away from chop and cut meat into ½”-thick slices. Place pork and bone on one side of a large plate and pour juices over; season with salt.
  15. Gently arrange salad next to chop. Spoon shallot-hazelnut mixture over salad and pork and serve.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by Claire Saffitz from Bon Appétit

A Molly-fied Trifecta

Molly Stevens is one of our go-to chef/authors when it comes to braising and roasting—a great way to spend a gloomy, early-March Sunday.  As I was thumbing through her All About Roasting cookbook, I was immediately drawn to the Basic Roasted Thick-Cut Lamb Loin Chops recipe because we had a packet in the freezer. Yes, we only had five chops and the recipe called for eight, but there was just the two of us—so no leftovers, I could live with that.

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Now, even though it takes less than 15 minutes to cook, keep in mind you need to marinate the lamb anywhere from 4 to 24 hours (the amount of time we did), and then let the meat come to room temperature for about an hour before tossing in the oven. If you’re unfamiliar, the charmoula marinade is a zesty herb and garlic sauce from the Middle East.

This recipe is so easy but produces incredible results and is a perfect entrée for entertaining because all of the prep is done in advance. When it’s time to roast the lamb, the recipe instructs you to arrange a 1/4″-thick-area of salt on a rimmed baking sheet, and set a rack above that on which you place the meat—never did that before. Our guess for the reason is because you don’t flip the chops, the salt intensifies the heat and actually helps brown the underside.

Now about those accompaniments. Another Molly winner from her roasting cookbook was the Mustard-Crusted Roast Potatoes. OMG, what delightful little devils! With lots of mustard and a splash of lemon juice you wonder how they result in a crunchy exterior. But despite all that liquidy goo, in addition to garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper, the taters finish with a golden-brown crustiness and intriguing depth of flavor. A blue-ribbon winner in our minds!

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Rounding out the gastronomic trifecta was the Creamy Brussels Sprouts. Even if you’re a sworn Brussels sprouts hater, you should give these babies a try. The key to cooking them is to chop them into small pieces so they release their pungency; while using heavy cream as the braising liquid brings out their inherent sweetness even more. The cream will reduce itself into a thick, ivory-colored glaze that coats the sprouts. If you want to dress them up a bit, or add some texture, top with crumbled bacon or toasted hazelnuts.

Thanks Molly for a fabulous meal!

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Basic Roasted Thick-Cut Lamb Loin Chops

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 8 (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch-thick) lamb loin chops
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika (pimentón dulce) or sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

For charmoula:

  1. Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and toast until aromatic and slightly darker, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Transfer to processor.
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  2. Add parsley leaves and next 6 ingredients to processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarse paste forms.
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  3. With machine running, gradually add 4 tablespoons oil. Transfer 2 tablespoons charmoula to small bowl; whisk in lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
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  4. Cover and chill to serve with lamb.
    For lamb:
  1. Transfer remaining charmoula to large resealable plastic bag. Add lamb chops; seal bag and turn to coat well. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
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  2. Let lamb and charmoula sauce in bowl stand at room temperature 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  4. Cover a 10″ x 6″ area of a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet (salt does not have to cover entire sheet) with about 1/4″ layer of salt. Set rack over prepared baking sheet, place lamb on rack over salted area.
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  5. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 135°F for medium-rare, about 13 minutes.
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  6. Transfer lamb to platter. Tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Mustard-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

IMG_1663We cut the recipe in half for just the two of us, and there was still plenty leftover.

Mustard-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions

  1. Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°F.
  2. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In large mixing bowl, whisk together mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, Aleppo pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
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  4. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Spread potatoes on prepared baking sheet into a single layer. With spatula, scrape the bowl for any leftover mixture and drizzle onto potatoes.
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  5. Roast, tossing with a spatula a few times and shaking to restore a single layer until potatoes are crusty outside and tender throughout, about 50-55 minutes.
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  6. Transfer potatoes to serving bowl.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Creamy Brussels Sprouts

Creamy Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb. small Brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Trim the sprouts, cut through the core into halves. If necessary cut again to make little wedges no more than 1/2″ across.
  2. Melt the butter in a large 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. When the foaming stops, add the sprouts and season with salt and white pepper.
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  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts begin to brown in spots, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the cream, stir, cover, and reduce to a slow simmer. Braise over low heat until the sprouts are tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a sharp knife, 30-35 minutes.
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  5. Remove the cover, stir in a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and taste for seasoning. Let simmer uncovered for a few minutes to thicken the cream to a glaze that coats the Brussels sprouts. Serve hot.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

 

Sheet-Pan Chicken Meatballs and Charred Broccoli

This approachable weeknight dinner takes its cue from Japanese grilled chicken meatballs (tsukune), and the glossy, sweet-and-sour sauce that comes with it. And you have to love the fact that everything goes onto one sheet-pan and into the oven at the same temperature.

There are several differences in how we prepared this versus the Bon Appétit directions. For starters, we only used one head of broccoli instead of two, and I steamed the pieces for a few minutes in the microwave first before tossing them on the sheet pan with oil. Previously, I had the unpleasant experience of undercooked, hard broccoli when only roasting the florets for such a short time period—not a memory I cared to revive.

We also decided that instead of setting 1/4 cup of marinade aside for glazing, we thickened the entire batch and used that for the two basting steps. The remainder was used to spoon over the rice before topping with the finished meatballs and broccoli.

Have a wheat issue? Use gluten-free panko, you’ll never notice the difference. Some reviewers complained about too much ginger. I may have included slightly less than called for, but we loved the depth of flavor it provided.

I can see where you would need two heads of broccoli for four dinner guests, because between the two of us, we totally consumed it. Once divided, the meatball mixture makes a dozen 1 1/2″-sized balls. And whereas three meatballs was plenty for me, The Hubs easily ate five. So depending on how hungry your family members are, plan on an average of three per person, with some wanting more…

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Sheet-Pan Chicken Meatballs and Charred Broccoli

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Sauce

  • ⅔ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice cooking wine or water
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 4 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 ½” piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Meatballs and Assembly

  • 2 heads of broccoli (about 1½ lb.)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 2½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • ⅓ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooked rice and sesame seeds (for serving)

Directions

Sauce

  1. Mix ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, wine (if using), honey, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper in a small saucepan.
  2. Measure out ¼ cup mixture into a small bowl; set aside for glazing meatballs later.
  3. Bring remaining mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a small bowl.

Meatballs and Assembly

  1. Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. Trim broccoli stems and remove from crown. Peel off tough outer skin; slice crosswise into ½” pieces. Cut florets into 2″ pieces. Toss on prepared baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 tsp. salt, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes (if using).
  4. Push to the edges of baking sheet to create a space for meatballs. Brush space with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.
  5. Mix chicken, egg, scallions, garlic, ginger, panko, sesame oil, pepper, remaining 1½ tsp. salt, and ¼ cup water in a medium bowl. Using wet hands, form into twelve 1½”-diameter meatballs.
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  6. Arrange on baking sheet; brush with some of the reserved glazing mixture. Bake until meatballs are cooked through, 14–18 minutes.
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  7. Remove from oven; heat broiler. Brush meatballs with remaining glazing mixture; broil until broccoli is charred and meatballs are browned in spots, about 5 minutes.
  8. Spoon meatballs and broccoli over rice in bowl. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by Deb Perelman from Bon Appétit

Lighten Your Load, of Pasta That Is

Pasta can be heavy, but this Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, and Chard recipe lightens the load, AND, satisfies the craving. Here, silken Swiss chard replaces spinach in a delicious riff on shrimp Florentine. A good amount of lemon, in zest and juice forms, keeps things bright, while a bit of cream ties everything together.

But of course we had to put our own stamp on this dish from Fine Cooking. First off, we reduced the amount of spaghetti from 12 ounces down to 8 for a better balance of ingredients. Then, instead of discarding the tasty and colorful chard stems, we diced them and added a sliced shallot which were both sautéed together before cooking the chard leaves. Our changes are reflected below.

Served with a side salad, you walk away from the table satiated, yet not stuffed and bloated.

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Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon and Chard

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. Swiss chard, tough stems removed and diced, remaining stems and leaves cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. large shrimp (31 to 35 per lb.), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest plus
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the chard, but don’t spin dry.img_0949
  2. Dice chard stems and thinly slice shallot.
  3. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced stems and sliced shallot and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
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  5. Add the chard leaves, 3 Tbs. water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes.
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  6. Add the shrimp and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.
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  7. Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the reserved cooking water to the pot.
  8. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil, lemon zest, and cream. Bring to a boil, and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
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  9. Add the pasta, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss together and remove from the heat.
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  10. Add the chard mixture and toss for about 1 minute to allow the pasta to absorb some of the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.
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    If desired, grate fresh parmesan over the individual serving dishes.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by Mindy Fox from Fine Cooking

North African Spiced Salmon Over French Lentils

A dish of lentils and salmon is a classic in any French bistro. Lean, mellow lentils complement the richness of the fish. This version, found on FineCooking.com includes a Moroccan-inspired spice rub on the salmon. You can better distribute those aromatic spices throughout the dish by flaking the salmon into the lentils as you eat.

Did you know that French lentils are a variety of green lentils, and what sets them apart from standard green lentils is their slightly darker hue and smaller size? They’re about one third the size of standard green lentils. They hold their shape extremely well and are therefore an ideal contender in dishes when you’d rather they not turn to mush. Their flavor is also slightly different than other types—a bit nutty and peppery, with a slight mineral-like, earthy flavor.

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Not only are lentils a great source of protein, they are chockfull of health benefits too. These include include improved digestion, a healthy heart, diabetes control, cancer management, weight loss, prevention of anemia, and better electrolytic activity due to potassium.

But there’s also a downside. Although lentils are good for your health and are the best alternative for meat, poultry, and fish, they also have few disadvantages, which include risk of kidney stones. Therefore, individuals who have kidney stones should stay away from legumes and lentils.

NOTE: Puy lentils, or lentilles du Puy, are French lentils that have been grown in the Puy region of central France.

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North African Spiced Salmon over French Lentils

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup French lentils (lentils du Puy), rinsed
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, finely diced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley; more for serving, if you like
  • 1 Tbs. drained capers
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 4 6-oz. salmon fillets, skinless or skin on
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring the lentils and 3 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, add the apricots, and gently simmer until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 35 to 45 minutes. Drain.
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  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
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  3. Add the lentils, parsley, capers, lemon zest and juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt, and stir to combine. Keep warm over low heat.
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  4. Combine the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, allspice, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Pat the spice mix onto the salmon.
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  5. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in another 12-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, flesh side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
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  6. Turn and cook to your liking, another 2 to 3 minutes for salmon that’s barely opaque in the center.
  7. Serve the salmon over the lentils, garnished with more parsley, if you like, and with the lemon wedges.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by Marge Perry from Fine Cooking

“Lynnie-ized” Pasta e Ceci

When you have 5 boxes of gluten-free ditalini (don’t ask, it was a hubby purchase from Amazon), Pasta e Ceci soup is a good way to start making a dent in that stockpile of pasta. This particular recipe has been “Lynnie-ized” meaning I took bits and pieces from similar recipes by Giada De Laurentiis, Jamie Oliver and another unknown to make my version.

It includes lots of herbs and other flavor boosters, especially if you use homemade stock as opposed to the bland boxed or canned varieties. The finish is nice and thick rendering it hefty enough to be a meal in itself, or include a small side salad if desired. If you prefer a more brothy texture, add in another 2 cups of chicken stock.

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Pasta e Ceci

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 large fresh rosemary spring
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Inner celery ribs with leaves, chopped
  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 2 19-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup ditalini or other small, tubular pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

  1. Wrap the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen twine to make a sachet.
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  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, pancetta and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.
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  3. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes and herb sachet. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet.
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  4. Transfer 1 cup of the bean mixture to a blender and reserve.
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  5. Add the ditalini to the soup pot, cover, and bring the liquid back to a boil. Boil gently until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.
  6. Puree the reserved bean mixture until smooth, then stir the puree into the boiling soup. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
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  7. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with some Parmesan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Love at First Bite, and Second, and…

This Sautéed Chicken Cutlets with Brandy, Cream and Chive Pan Sauce is a low-fat version of a classic French chicken with pan sauce which is accomplished by adding a teaspoon of flour to the aromatics as a thickener, allowing no butter. For a final blast of flavor, you add in an acidic ingredient of lemon juice to the chicken cutlet pan sauce.

The chicken breasts will be easier to slice in half if you freeze them for 15 minutes. To slice in half, place one hand on top of the breast to secure it, hold a chef’s knife parallel to the cutting board, and slice through the middle of the breast horizontally.

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Now I totally omitted the next step of pounding the slices down (which I labeled optional below). Not one of my favorite tasks to begin with, I felt I could just sauté the second side for a longer period of time, 2 minutes instead of 20 seconds. It worked perfectly! If I had pounded them down, it’s very doubtful 4 slices would have fit into my extra-large nonstick skillet all at once, increasing prep time.

Speaking of nonstick, parts of the chicken did stick to the pan before I flipped them over, but that was OK because all of those browned bits got incorporated into the pan sauce—oh and what a delicious pan sauce it was! I didn’t even use heavy cream (I wasn’t about to run out and buy some for just 2 tablespoons) so I inserted half-and-half instead. Of course using homemade chicken stock was an immediate flavor-booster too.

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Served with a side of egg noodles, over which we drizzled some of that velvety sauce, steamed baby peas and a garnish of grape tomatoes and more chives, Hubby and I were very satisfied diners to say the least. And plenty of leftovers for lunches the next day…

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Sautéed Chicken Cutlets with Brandy, Cream and Chive Pan Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each), tenderloins removed, trimmed of excess fat, halved horizontally, and pounded 1/4-inch thick (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brandy, plus 1 additional tablespoon
  • ¾ cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Directions

For Chicken:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper.
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  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place 4 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving them until browned, about 2 minutes.
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  3. Flip cutlets and continue to cook until second sides are opaque, 15 to 20 seconds. (If you didn’t pound them down, cook the second side for another 2 minutes.) Transfer to large oven-safe plate.
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  4. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to now-empty skillet and repeat to cook remaining cutlets. Cover plate loosely with foil and transfer to oven to keep warm while making pan sauce.

For Sauce:

  1. Add oil to empty skillet used to cook chicken and return pan to low heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  2. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.
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  3. Add broth and 1/4 cup brandy (add broth before adding brandy); increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Simmer rapidly until reduced to 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes.
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  4. Stir in cream and any accumulated chicken juices; return to simmer and cook until thickened, 30 to 60 seconds.
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  5. Off heat, whisk in mustard, chives, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon brandy; season with salt and pepper. Spoon over cutlets and serve immediately.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Spicy Jerk Pork Chops

This Spicy Jerk Pork Chop recipe is easy, fast and a great way to add a note from the tropics to the dead of winter. I know I would rather have been lying on a beach in the Caribbean, but since that wasn’t an option at the time, a dinner reminiscent of the islands was the next best thing. Plus, the rub is easy and quick to put together and tastes absolutely amazing.

With only two of us—and no need for leftovers—I only cooked two pork chops but kept the remaining ingredients the same. Yes, it was a bit more than necessary, but we like to have “extra” sauce if needed. While we both thought the flavor profile was perfect, if you’re not as tolerant of spicy food, you could cut back on the hot peppers (I used habaneros).

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For sides I made roasted Brussels sprouts and acorn squash slices rubbed with a mix of olive oil, honey, sriracha and salt. Oooh, that succulent bite right next to the chop bone, it wasn’t the tropics, but it spread a little warmth into our evening…

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Spicy Jerk Pork Chops

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the pan
  • 4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (3/4 inch thick, about 2-1/2 lb. total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium scallions (white and green parts), coarsely chopped
  • 2 small Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped (wear gloves)
  • 2 small limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high.
  2. Lightly oil a broiler pan or a rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet. Season the pork all over with 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper.
  3. In a food processor, purée the oil, scallions, chiles, lime juice, garlic, ginger, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt.
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  4. Coat the chops on all sides with the mixture and set on the broiler pan or rack. Broil until the pork begins to brown, about 7 minutes.
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  5. Flip and cook until browned, the meat is firm to the touch, and an instant-read thermometer inserted close to (but not touching) the bone registers 145°F, about 7 minutes more.
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  6. Serve with the lime wedges.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe adapted from Tony Rosenfeld of Fine Cooking

Lamb and Pepper Ragu

It promised to be a long lazy winter Sunday afternoon, just perfect for a braised lamb dish. Earlier that weekend, after scrolling through numerous cookbooks, we settled on this Lamb and Pepper Ragu from Lidia Bastianich’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine cookbook.

This dish starts with browning pieces of lamb shoulder (which a month prior we had cubed and frozen for future use), next creating a reduction of wine and meat juices as a base for a lovely slow-cooked tomato sauce. Halfway through, quartered potatoes and a variety of sweet bell peppers are added providing pops of lively color.

IMG_1378Directions called for the peppers to be quartered which were too large IMHO, so I cut each quarter in half producing eight chunks from each pepper.

After all of the allotted cooking time however, we felt that the sauce was too thin. To thicken we uncovered and kept up a vigorous simmer for almost another 30 minutes. Part way trough, Hubby broke apart the large potato chunks to release their starch and help thicken the sauce. Bingo, there was now enough body to ladle and cling to the wide egg noodles as the base.

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Lamb and Pepper Ragu

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 lb boneless lamb shoulder or lamb stew meat, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 28-oz. can Italian tomatoes (preferably plum tomatoes, crushed by hand)
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. paprika, sweet
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange preferred), seeded and quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups water

Directions

  1. First, make the pestata. Place the pancetta and garlic cloves into the food processor and grind until smooth.
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  2. Heat a large Dutch oven or cast-iron pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. When oil shimmers, add the pestata and cook until the fat is rendered, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Season the lamb with 1 tsp of salt. Add to the hot pan with pestata. Cook over medium heat until the lamb releases its juices, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
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  4. Increase the heat to brown the meat all over, about 4 more minutes.
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  5. Season with remaining salt and red pepper flakes. Add the wine, and cook until it is almost reduced away, approximately 4 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes, their juices, and slosh out the can with 1 1/2 cups water, adding that too.
  7. Sprinkle in the oregano and paprika. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
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  8. Add potatoes, peppers, and 1 cup water (although we don’t think this extra cup of water is necessary based on how thin the sauce ended up before we reduced it). Set lid ajar, and cook 45-60 minutes more, until lamb and vegetables are fork-tender.
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  9. If the sauce is too watery, uncover, turn the heat to high and reduce to thicken and concentrate the flavors, and stir until desired thickness (which was an additional 30 minutes for us).
  10. Serve over pasta, risotto, rice, or egg noodles.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by Lidia Bastianich

Barley Minestrone

Try this cool riff on the classic Italian vegetable and bean soup using barley instead of pasta. Simmering a piece of the rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano in the soup is a traditional way of adding flavor—we always keep a stash of rinds in the freezer for moments such as this.

The list of ingredients may seem long, but the number of steps to make this wonderful soup are few. That said, I made numerous changes all of which are indicated below. Because we had just enough Napa cabbage on hand, I used that instead of Savoy. Then I doubled the pancetta, the garlic and the pearl barley; used fire-roasted diced tomatoes; omitted the last can of water; and finished with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar.

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Although barley may not be as popular as other whole grains like oats, wheat, or even the grain-of-the-moment quinoa, barley has some impressive health benefits. A very high fiber content, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, heart health and diabetes protection are just some of the nutrition benefits that make barley one of the best whole grain choices.

BTW, pearl barley is the most common form of barley. It’s chewy and nutritious, but less so than hulled barley because the outer husk and bran layers have been removed. The polished grains are also softer and take less time to cook. A one-cup serving of cooked barley has less calories, but more fiber, than an equal serving of quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, sorghum, millet or wild rice.

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Barley Minestrone

  • Servings: Yields 3 quarts
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced pancetta (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 cups large diced Savoy (or Napa) cabbage
  • 1 cup medium diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrot (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup medium diced celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts homemade or low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 14-1/2-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2-inch square Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup rinsed and drained canned kidney beans
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy 6-quart or larger pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until it becomes ever so slightly golden, 2 to 3 min.
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  3. Add the cabbage, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 min.
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  4. Add the broth, the tomatoes with their juices, the barley, rosemary, Parmigiano rind (if using), 1/2  tsp. salt, and 1 cup water (which I omitted). Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the barley and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
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  5. Discard the rosemary sprigs and Parmigiano rind. Stir in the vinegar and beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the grated Parmigiano.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by Jennifer Armentrout from Fine Cooking

 

Very Easy. Very Impressive. VERY Tasty!

Stop the presses!! This Cook’s Country Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Braised Fennel, Olives, and Orange recipe is soooo tasty, you’d think someone spent hours making it. Quite the contrary—it takes only about 45 minutes total, including prep. So yes, it’s a great weeknight alternative to the same old boring chicken breast dinner.

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Now I know some folks who just can’t abide the taste of fennel. Me? I can eat it raw. But in this dish the flavor profile mellows from a sharp bite to a softly rendered juicy mouthful with only a delicate hint of its former self. All of the flavor components work so well together and provide a cohesive ensemble that’s worth raving about.

There were a few differences in the meal I prepared. First, because I had 3 ginormous chicken breasts on hand, I just used those instead of buying 4 smaller ones. And because of that, I slightly increased the orange peel, garlic, shallot and olive quantities. Finally, we shredded up the softened orange peel distributing into our plate of food which was served over a bed of couscous cooked with homemade chicken stock.

Definitely going onto our recommended weeknight rotation…

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Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Braised Fennel, Olives and Orange

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 3 fennel bulbs, stalks discarded, bulbs halved, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
  • 4 shallots, sliced into ½-inch-thick rings
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 (2-inch) strips orange zest plus ¼ cup juice
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
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Directions

  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, ¼teaspoon pepper, and cayenne. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
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  2. Add chicken to skillet, skinned side down, and cook until browned on first side, about 6minutes. Transfer chicken, browned side up, to large plate; set aside.
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  3. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add fennel, shallots, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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  4. Add garlic and orange zest and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add water and reduce heat to medium-low.
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  5. Add chicken, browned side up; cover; and cook until registering 160 degrees, 10 to 14 minutes (or a few minutes longer if the breasts are bigger).
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  6. Transfer chicken to cutting board and tent with foil. Stir olives and orange juice into fennel mixture in skillet. Slice chicken ½ inch thick.
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  7. Serve chicken with fennel mixture and pan sauce, sprinkled with parsley and drizzled with extra oil.
  8. Serve with crusty bread, mashed potatoes, or as we did, with couscous.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

IMG_1264It was sooo good we finished half the platter in no time!

Angry Pasta, Happy Me

Sometimes simple is best. I’m a happy camper with an uncomplicated spicy sauce over pasta and a side salad. Dinner done. Here, the Penne Arrabbiata from Cook’s Illustrated delivers just the right amount of kick. The word arrabbiata literally means angry in Italian, a reference to the hot chili peppers used in this dish.

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To deliver an arrabbiata with complex flavor and not just searing heat, CI looked beyond the tradition of using only red pepper flakes and crafted a recipe that included three different types of pepper. By supplementing pepper flakes with paprika and pickled pepperoncini, they built deep flavor while keeping the spiciness in check.

Pecorino Romano, tomato paste, and anchovies, while difficult to detect in the sauce, add umami notes and richness to this traditionally simple sauce. Finally, using processed canned tomatoes helps bring the sauce to the table quickly and allows you to enjoy it year-round. Woohoo, I’m a fan!

Because we are “saucy” people, we doubled the sauce ingredients, while maintaining the original amount of pasta. To finish, I added a sprinkle of coarsely chopped fresh basil for color and a hint of sweet.

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Penne Arrabbiata

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons stemmed, patted dry, and minced pepperoncini
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced to paste
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra for serving
  • 6 ounces penne

Directions

  1. Pulse tomatoes and their juice in food processor (or blender) until finely chopped, about 10 pulses.
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  2. Heat oil, pepperoncini, tomato paste, garlic, pepper flakes, anchovies, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until deep red in color, 7 to 8 minutes.
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  3. Add tomatoes and Pecorino and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
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  4. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Add sauce and toss to combine, adjusting consistency with reserved cooking water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing extra Pecorino separately.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

 

Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Do you ever end up with several overripe bananas? I prefer mine on the slightly greener side (I find the texture and taste off-putting as they ripen), but don’t throw them into the compost pile just yet. Give yourself some love, and make this Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread instead—then toss the skins into the compost pile 😉

You could use semi-sweet chips, but the dark provide more antioxidants making the treat a bit more heart-healthy. When preparing, don’t over mix because it could cause the finished bread to be dry instead of resulting in a soft interior with a slightly crisp crust.

It’s like a bite of Heaven when you cut off a slice while it’s still slightly warm. Once it has cooled down however, you can always heat a slice in the microwave for about 1 minute then add a schmear of butter or honey. It’s a perfect treat for your family, a brunch, or even gifting.

Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick, (8 Tbsp)) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a small bowl, mash the bananas, milk and cinnamon with a fork.
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  6. Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined.
  7. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing until flour disappears—don’t overmix.
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  8. Fold in dark chocolate chips, reserving some to sprinkle on top of batter.
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  9. Pour batter into prepared pan, add chips for topping, and bake 60-70 minutes, (check after one hour) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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  10. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.
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  11. Spread slices with schmear of butter or honey.
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  12. Once cooled completely, wrap tightly in foil. The covered loaf can sit out at room temperature for a few days, after that, refrigerate it.

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