Month: March 2015

Turkey Meatballs with Curried Lentils

For turkey meatballs:

(makes 15 meatballs)

One pound ground turkey, 93/7 mix

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1/3 C grated yellow onion
1/2 C grated zucchini, peel left on, squeezed dry
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 egg
1/4 Panko crumbs

2 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
2 t turmeric
1 1/2 t salt
2 t black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using impeccably clean hands, mix well. Using a 1/4 C ice cream scoop, scoop out turkey and gently form into balls. Place balls onto a baking rack. Place the baking rack on top of a foil lined baking sheet. Spray each ball with vegetable or canola baking spray. Place into a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Rotate pan and cook for an additional 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned. The meatballs can be used right away or refrigerated for later use. Simply rewarm, covered, in a 300 degree oven. They freeze well too.

For curried lentils:

One pound lentils, rinsed

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1/4 C olive oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped small
4 celery stalks, diced small
4 carrots, peeled and diced small
8 cloves garlic, finely minced

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2 T tomato paste

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1/3 C apple cider vinegar

6 C chicken stock

1 t red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t ground coriander
1 1/2 t turmeric
1 T curry

2 t salt

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Serve turkey meatballs over curried lentils. Garnish with baby kale and curry yogurt sauce. Grilled Naan makes this dish complete. (Sauce recipe is under “sides” section of recipe index.)

In a preheated soup pot, add olive oil, onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Stir to combine and add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook until vegetables soften and begin to stick to the bottom of the pan. Salting the veggies will extract water from the vegetables. You want to cook the vegetables until the water has evaporated. A slight caramelization of the vegetables should occur. Add tomato paste and mix well. Cook over medium heat until a darkening of the paste occurs. Look for sticking bits…always a good sign! You should be able to smell the sweetness of the caramelization. Add the vinegar and reduce until it has evaporated. Add the stock and remaining seasonings, except the salt.
Bring lentils to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender. Add salt, as needed. Great as a soup or as a back drop for meatballs, chicken thighs, pork…

Freezes well too.

Served meatballs with a tomato, Feta, cucumber, parsley and mint salad.

A spritz of salt and cracked pepper and a drizzle of EVOO and white wine vinegar.

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Chunky Guacamole

(serves 4-6 as an appetizer)

3 large avocados

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Zest and juice from half of a large orange
Zest and juice from one lime

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1/2 C white onion diced small, rinsed and dried
1 large jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed, diced small
1/4 C cilantro, finely chopped
1 t salt
1 T EVOO

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Crumbled Queso Fresco and finely diced radishes for garnish

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Using a knife, remove pits and scoop avocado out of skin. Place into bowl and add juices and zest from the orange and lime. Using a masher, gently mash avocado into chunky pieces. Add onion, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and EVOO. Fold into the mashed avocado. Garnish with Queso Fresco and diced radishes. Serve with corn chips.

Salmon Croquettes

(recipe makes 10-12 croquettes, depending on size)

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4 – 6 ounce cans Wild Alaskan Salmon, drained
2 stalks celery, diced small
2 eggs
Zest of one lemon
2 T fresh dill, chopped
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 C mayo
2 T Dijon mustard
1/2 C Panko
2 t salt
2 t black pepper

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Drain cans of salmon in a colander. Break up large pieces and press out any excess liquid using a paper towel. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
Using an ice cream scoop, form croquettes and place them on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Use a double thickness of paper towels. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Additional liquid will drain out and be absorbed by the paper towels.

In a preheated sauté pan, add about 1/2 a cup of grapeseed oil. Once oil shimmers and ripples, place croquettes in the pan. Cook in batches, 4-5 at a time. Sauté until brown edges start to form. Carefully turn croquettes over to brown other side. Remove croquettes to a paper towel lined plate for absorption of excess cooking oil. Serve with tartar or cocktail sauce. Another option is to remove the croquettes to a baking rack for cooling. For service later, simply warm the croquettes (on the rack) in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

I prefer to sauté the croquettes earlier in the day. Rewarming for service later is much easier and the mess is already cleaned up when the guests arrive.

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Serve salmon croquettes with roasted cream corn, sautéed French beans, lemon and cocktail sauce. Talk about your Luann plate.

For sautéed French beans:

Blanch beans in boiling salted water. Once the color is set, remove beans to an ice bath. Chill completely. Drain water and spread beans out on a towel-lined cookie sheet for thorough drying. Sauté beans in olive oil and  butter with a pinch of salt and cracked pepper.

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Roasted Cream Corn

(serves 6)

8 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
Olive oil for rubbing the corn, salt & cracked pepper for seasoning

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4 T butter

1 large sweet red pepper, diced small
1 small yellow onion, diced small
2 large jalapeños, seeded and diced small

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1 T dried thyme
2 C heavy cream

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Zest from one small lemon
1/3 C chopped scallions

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Rub corn with some olive oil. Sprinkle salt and cracked pepper all over each ear. Place ears on a foiled lined baking sheet. Place corn into a 425 degree preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Using tongs, rotate each ear for even roasting. Place back into the oven for an additional 20 minutes of roasting. There should be some brownish colored kernels…not all, but some. Allow corn to cool. Once you can handle the corn, use a knife and cut the kernels from the cob.

In a preheated sauté pan, place butter. Once butter has melted, add onions, jalapeños and red pepper. Add a spritz of salt and cracked pepper. Sauté until onions become translucent and vegetables soften. Add thyme and stir well. Add corn and cream. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower to a medium heat and reduce the cream by half. You are looking for big bubbles and a thickening of the corn mix.

Remove from heat and adjust seasoning with salt and cracked pepper, if needed. Add lemon zest and scallions. Serve.

Salsa Roja

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4-6 cloves of garlic, your call

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1 – 28 ounce can of diced San Marzano tomatoes (yes, Italian tomatoes!)
Half a bunch of cilantro, large stems trimmed away
2 t salt

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1 large jalapeño, stem removed and sliced in half lengthwise, cut into chunks
1 small white onion, cut into chunks

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2 T EVOO

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Using a food processor fitted with the steel blade, drop the cloves of garlic through the feed tube while machine is running. Stop machine and scrape down sides. Run again for even chopping.

Add tomatoes, salt and cilantro. Process until a smooth consistency is achieved. Pour tomato mix into a mixing bowl.

Place jalapeño and onion chunks into the processor. CAREFULLY, pulse mixture until pepper and onion are similar in size. If you over process, you will get a wet onion juice. No bueno. Add onion mix into the tomato mix. Add EVOO and stir to combine. YUM. Place in the refrigerator. Delicious for several days. After that, onion and garlic can overwhelm.

Note: For a spicy version, leave all seeds and membranes of the jalapeño intact. For a milder version, remove all seeds and membranes. Or, meet in the middle.

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Huevos Rancheros

now serving at High’s……

Delicious. Eggs cooked the way you like them, lightly griddled corn tortillas, black beans, smashed avocado, warmed salsa roja and a crumble of queso fresco. Great for dinner, brunch, breakfast. Muy delicioso!

For black beans:

2 – 15 ounce cans of black beans

1/4 C salsa roja

1 T chipotle puree

2 t salt

(combine and heat)

For smashed avocado:

1 large avocado

juice from 1 lime

spritz of salt

(mash with the back of a fork, little chunks are good)

For griddled corn tortillas:

(spray each tortilla with cooking spray and place into a preheated skillet, flip from side to side until slightly crisp and charred)

For warm salsa roja:

(simply warm enough salsa roja to top eggs)

For eggs:

(scrambled, sunny, over easy…your call, I like runny yolks  mingling with all the beans and salsa…decadent)

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Yellow Split Pea with Garbanzo Beans

(serves 8-10, freezes well too)

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1 pound yellow split peas, soaked in water overnight

1/4 C olive oil
2 small yellow onions, diced small
2 red bell peppers, diced small
8 cloves of garlic, minced

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1 T curry
1 T ground coriander
1 1/2 t cumin
1 T turmeric
1 t red pepper flakes

8 C vegetable or chicken stock
Juice of one lemon
1 t baking soda

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1 – 5 ounce container of baby spinach
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
2 – 15 ounce cans of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 t salt

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In a large preheated soup pot, add olive oil. Once oil shimmers, add onions, bell peppers and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. While that is sautéing, drain your split peas in a colander and rinse. Once onions are translucent, add split peas to the pot along with about 2 cups of stock. Add curry, coriander, cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Add remaining stock, lemon juice and baking soda. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and add spinach, cilantro, garbanzo beans and salt. Cover and cook over medium low heat until yellow split peas begin to soften and break apart.

The soup really shines after an overnighter in your fridge. Reheat and serve with a dollop of yogurt, chopped scallions and toasted almond slices. Some grilled naan makes a great accompaniment. Additional stock or water can be added if consistency is too thick.

Iceberg Wedge Salads

Iceberg Wedge Salads ~ Two Versions

Version One:

Iceberg Head, core removed and trimmed (one large head will make 5-6 wedges)

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Crispy Bacon Chunks (Applewood Smoked Thick Cut)

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Pink Lady Apple, cut into sticks

Diced Celery

Thinly Sliced Red Onion, rinsed and dried

Chili Spiced Pecans

Chunky Clue Cheese Dressing

Cracked Black Pepper

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Version Two:

Iceberg Head, core removed and trimmed (one large head will make 5-6 wedges)

Cherub Tomatoes, halved

Crispy Bacon Chunks (Applewood Smoked Thick Cut )

Chunks of Avocado

Roasted Corn Kernels

Rub each ear of corn with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Rotate ears for even roasting.

Rub each ear of corn with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Rotate ears for even roasting.

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Thinly Sliced Red Onion, rinsed and drained

Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing

Cracked Black Pepper

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Pears Poached in Red Wine

(serves 4)

4 Bosc pears, firm but ripe

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2 C dry red wine
1/3 C sugar
2-3  one inch wide strips of orange peel
Juice from one orange
1 cinnamon stick
6 black peppercorns
3 star anise
4 whole cloves
1 – 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into several slivers

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Slice off about 1/4 inch of the base of each pear. Leave stem attached. Using a peeler, remove the skin from the pear.

In a stainless steel sauce pan, add remaining ingredients. Place pears into pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. While simmering, carefully roll the pears around in the poaching liquid for even flavoring. A paring knife easily inserted into the thickest part of the pear indicates readiness. Remove pears to a plate for cooling. Several hours in the fridge or overnight is fine. Strain poaching liquid and store in the fridge too.

For service, place poaching liquid in a sauce pan and reduce over medium high heat until a “syrupy” consistency is achieved. Gently warm the pears in 200 degree oven for 15 minutes or so. Spoon reduced sauce over pears. Serve with a side of Greek yogurt flavored with orange zest and honey.

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Serve these pears with “Ultimate Ginger Cookie.” Recipe available on Ina Garten’s website. They are delicious. Careful not to overcook. Here’s a pic to whet your appetite!

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