January 12, 2010

Salads with Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette


  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Mixed salad greens, about 4 cups
  1. Add sweet, toasted almonds and mandarin orange slices.
  2. Add Cucumber, grape tomatoes, slivered red onion, and shaved asiago or Parmesan cheese.
  3. Add sliced avocado, slivered red onion, grape tomatoes (sliced in half) and feta cheese.


In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately. 

Spicy Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

 1 half of a jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/3 cup canola oil 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
pinch of cayenne 
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. agave nectar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine jalapeno, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, water, agave and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. 
3. Add the cilantro, blend 5 seconds longer 4. Run through a sieve for added smoothness. 5. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Passion fruit Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh passion fruit pulp or passion fruit puree
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 Thai red chile, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  1. In a small saucepan, boil the orange juice over high heat until it reduces to 2 tablespoons, about 12 minutes.
  2. Pour the reduced orange juice into a small bowl and let cool. Stir in the lime juice, passion fruit pulp, shallot, chile, ginger and honey.
  3. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the chives and basil.

True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. The resulting thick syrup, called mosto cotto in Italian, is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods like chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash, and, in the past, juniper. True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavor that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks.

  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Agave nectar  
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Whisk ingredients until combined. 

Vinaigrette II
  • 1 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad greens
  • Assortment of salad ingredients (see below)

  1. Sliced seedless cucumbers, red onion with asiago cheese and grape tomatoes
  2. Walnuts with blue cheese
  3. Frisee and bacon with poached egg on top

Salmon Sticks




  • 1 (18-ounce) center-cut salmon fillet, about 9 by 4 inches, skinned
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup lowfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or chives

For the Fish Sticks:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Rinse the salmon fillet and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fish in half to make 2 fillets each about 4 by 4 1/2-inches in size. 
  3. Starting on the longest edge, slice the fillets into 1/2-inch pieces.
  4.  Lay the widest pieces, from the center, cut side down, and slice in half lengthways so all the pieces are equally about 1/2 by 1/2 by 4 1/2-inches in size.
  5. Place the flour in a medium bowl and season with the salt and pepper. 
  6. Place the egg whites in another bowl and beat until frothy, about 30 seconds. 
  7. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a third bowl.
  8. Coat the salmon pieces in the seasoned flour and pat to remove any excess flour.
  9.  Dip the floured salmon in the egg whites and then into the Parmesan mixture, gently pressing the mixture into the fish. 
  10. Place the breaded salmon pieces on a liberally oiled baking sheet. 
  11. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

For the Dipping Sauce:

Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon mustard, and parsley (or chives, if using) in a small dipping bowl.
Arrange the fish sticks on a serving platter and serve with the dipping sauce.

January 10, 2010

Herb-Baked Eggs


  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted French bread


  1. Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.
  2. Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside.
  3. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)
  4. Place 2 individual *gratin dishes on a baking sheet.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
  6. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each *gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  7. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.)
  8. The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
  9. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.
* pie plates can be used in place of gratin dishes

Chef's notes:
  • Thinly sliced ham can be added on top of the whites before cooking.
  • Bread crumbs can be added to the herb mixture.
  • Herb mixture can be altered to echo what is already in your garden or on your spice shelf. I have used dried rosemary, garlic and parsley flakes with bread crumbs and shredded Asiago cheese and it was delicious.
  • NUTMEG adds great flavor to egg and cheese dishes.

January 8, 2010

Slowcooked Beef With Root Vegetables


1 onion, chopped

4 small red potatoes, quartered

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 (3-pound) chuck roast

Salt and ground black pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Arrange onion, potatoes, carrots, in bottom of slow cooker. Season beef all over with salt and black pepper. Rub flour all over beef. Place roast on top of vegetables in slow cooker.

Whisk together tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, mustard powder, and garlic powder. Pour mixture over beef. Cover and cook on LOW for 12 hours or on HIGH for 8 hours.

Serve 1/3 of beef and all of the vegetables with this meal. Shred and refrigerate remaining beef until ready to use.

Pizza Dogh

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeas tand sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  3. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into 1 or 2 balls and roll out into a pizza crust shape. Cover with your favorite sauce and toppings and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Barbeque Pizza

  • Previously roasted or braised  BBQ pork (you can also use BBQ chicken)
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce (homemade recipe to follow )
  • Small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups Monteray Jack or cheddar cheese
  • Slivered green onion for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. On prepared dough (recipe to follow or use frozen store bought like Boboli) spread 1/4 cup  bbq sauce.
  3. Shred pork and place on top of sauce.
  4. Add onion and top with cheese.
  5. Cook  until dough is golden and cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes. 
  6. Bring out of the oven and let sit about 3 minutes before slicing.  this keeps the cheese from sliding off.  
  7. Sprinkle with green onion
Use cornmeal under the crust for an interesting texture
Put your oven rack on the bottom of the oven to get a crispy bottom crust.

January 2, 2010


We use homemade BBQ sauce
Honey Cup brand mustard (strong, honey mustard with a horseradish edge)
Aioli (1 cup Miracle Whip mixed with 2 inced fresh garlic cloves)
A-1 or other favorite steak sauce
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