Hearty Barley Salad

Hearty Barley Salad

1 1/2 cups pearl barley

2 tsp. salt

2 cups sliced in two, grape tomatoes

1/4 red onion, small dice

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Half of a red, yellow and orange bell pepper, diced

Combine 4 cups of water and the barley. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer on medium low heat until barley is almost tender. Stir in 2 tsp salt and continue to cook until tender. Drain well; set aside to cool.

Toss in the remaining ingredients.

Dressing:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 shallots , chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients and whisk until emulsified. Toss with the barley mixture.

Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad

Salad Ingredients:

2 cups cooked cubed or shredded chicken

1/4 lb. linguine, cooked al dente in salted boiling water, drained

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup julienned multicolored bell peppers

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup small broccoli florets

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup thinly sliced peeled carrots

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Dressing:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

3/4 tsp. dried tarragon

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

juice of 1/4 of a lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

Toss chicken and pasta with olive oil and cool. Add the Parmesan cheese and garlic powder; toss and refrigerate 1 hour.

To serve , add remaining salad ingredients and toss.

Dressing:

Combine the ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Pour over salad and toss thoroughly.

Penne with Artichoke Cream Sauce

Penne with Artichoke Cream Sauce

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  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2(8.5 oz.) can water packed artichoke quarters, drained
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • salt and pepper; to taste
  • 1 lb. penne, cooked in salted water to al dente
  • chopped fresh basil to taste

directions

In a heavy bottomed pot saute the shallots and garlic in the butter and olive oil until fragrant. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Continue to boil and stir often , be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Cook until sauce is reduced by half. Stir in the Parmesan and the drained artichokes. Toss with cooked al dente penne. Add basil to taste.

Lentil Lasagna

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Lentil Sauce:

1 quart vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 strips of lemon zest cut with a vegetable peeler

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. Du Puy lentils

salt and pepper; to taste

6 cups tomato sauce

Bechamel Sauce:

4 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, small dice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

6 tablespoons flour

1 quart whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 lb. grated Fontina cheese

1/8 lb. Pecorino Romano

1/8 lb. Parmesan

salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg to taste

1 1/2 lbs. fresh pasta sheets, uncooked

If making your own fresh pasta roll out to #5 on you pasta sheeter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 8×12 inch deep baking dish(6 quart).

In a medium size heavy bottomed pan add stock, lemon zest, thyme and bay leaves; bring to boil. Add the lentils; bring to boil, simmer and cover for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove the zest,onion,bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Cover add cook lentil on a simmer for another 20 minutes.  Remove cover and add the tomato sauce; bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender and sauce is thick. Stir occasionally, carefully as to not break up lentils. Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing bechamel sauce.

In a heavy bottomed medium size pot add the butter, onions, cloves and thyme; cook together until the onions are transparent but not brown. Stir in the flour and cook until very lightly browned. Pour in the milk and cream while whisking . Bring to boil; reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes , continue stirring. Remove from heat and stir in all but a couple of handfuls for the top. Season to taste with the cayenne ,nutmeg and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place some bechamel sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Coat the sides with the sauce. Overlapping slightly with pasta sheets overhanging, cover the bottom. Add about 1/3 of the lentil sauce on top of pasta layer. Top lentil sauce with a sheet of pasta that fits the inside of the baking dish. Pour some of the bechamel sauce over that pasta layer. Repeat until baking dish is full. Last layer should be pasta sheet that fits the inside of the baking dish with pasta that is over hanging the edge , bring over the top of the last pasta sheet and tuck in. Pour remaining bechamel sauce over the top and sprinkle evenly the reserved cheese over the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden and allow to set 20 minutes before serving.

Black-Bean and Tomato Quinoa

Black-Bean and Tomato Quinoa

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2 tsp. grated lime zest

2 Tbsp. Lime juice

1 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup quinoa

1- 14-15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 medium tomatoes, diced

4 scallions, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Whisk together lime zest , juice , butter , oil, sugar 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large bowl.

Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in sieve each time.

Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling water (1 Tbsp. salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve in same pot with 1 inch simmering water, water should not touch the bottom of the sieve. Cover quinoa with a folded towel, then cover sieve with lid. and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove lid, leave towel. Set aside for 5 minutes. Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Steak with Artichoke-Parmesan Sauce

Grilled Steak with Artichoke-Parmesan Sauce

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2(8.5 oz.) can water packed artichoke quarters, drained
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • salt and pepper; to taste
  • In a heavy bottomed pot saute the shallots and garlic in the butter and olive oil until fragrant. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Continue to boil and stir often , be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Cook until sauce is reduced by half. Stir in the Parmesan and the drained artichokes. Serve over grilled steaks. Great as a pasta sauce too.

Asian- Style Ravioli in Coconut Curry Sauce

Asian- Style Ravioli in Coconut Curry Sauce

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Filling

1 Tablespoon peeled, chopped fresh ginger

2 clove garlic

3 green onions , cut into thirds

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

6 snow peas

1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks

1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon chile sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce

48 wonton wrappers

Coconut Curry Sauce

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons , peeled chopped fresh ginger

3/4 cup vegetable stock

1 1/4 cups coconut milk

2 teaspoons honey

1 Tablespoon curry powder, toasted

1 teaspoon chile paste

1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon soy sauce

4 sprigs parsley, snipped

To prepare filling, place the ginger, garlic, and all of the vegetables in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until coarsely chopped. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan until very hot. Add vegeatble mixture to pan and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add remaining filling ingredients and stir well. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

To prepare the ravioli, place 1 rounded teaspoon to the center of a wonton wrapper . Wet the wonton edges with water and place another wrapper over the filling. Make sure to press out any air and that it is well sealed. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Set aside on a sheet pan . Handle carefully ,they are fragile.

To prepare sauce, heat oil in saute pan over high heat until very hot. Add garlic and ginger and quickly saute about 1 minute.Add stock, coconut milk, and honey and bring to boil. Add the curry powder, chile paste and cilantro. Decrease heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and return to boil. Gently drain into colander and add to sauce.

Serve with extra sauce ladled over ravioli and garnished with parsley.

Pan-Fried Cheese Grits

Pan-Fried Cheese Grits

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6 cups water

2 1/2 tsp. salt, divided

1 1/2 cups stone ground grits

6 tablespoons butter

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 clove garlic , minced

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. black pepper

4-6 tablespoons canola oil

Spray an 8 1/2 x 41/2 inch loaf pan with non stick spray.

In a large saucepan, combine the water, minced garlic and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to boil over medium – high heat. Gradually add grits, stirring to combine. Reduce to low. Cook stirring frequently, until grits are thick and creamy. Remove from heat, cool slightly. Add cheese and butter and stir until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan and place in fridge until solid. Once solid, invert onto plate and gently slice loaf into 1/2 slices. Heat frying pan with oil over medium high heat and place slices in pan a few at a time. Fry until crispy and golden brown on both sides.

Quinoa with Scallions,Dried Cherries, Peas and Arugula

Quinoa with Scallions,Dried Cherries, Peas and Arugula

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1 cup quinoa,rinsed

2 cups water

1/3 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

12 scallions,sliced

1 cup arugula

salt and pepper; to taste

In a pot , add quinoa ,dried cherries and water. Bring to boil; reduce to simmer; cover. Cook until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork. In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Add the quinoa and the remaining ingredients and toss until combined.