Archive for May, 2010

New cookbook promotes the Spanish tapa

Tapas – little dishes of bite-size food – are usually eaten before dinner. They’re served in bars all over Spain, and Americans have embraced tapas as an easy way to learn to cook Spanish food.

Fisherman’s rice

¾ cup sunflower oil
6 cloves garlic, 4 left whole and 2 finely chopped
2 dry chiles, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 pinch saffron strands
2¼ pounds varied fish, such as monkfish, red bream and squid, cleaned, prepared as necessary and cut into bite size pieces
Generous 2¼ cups short-grain rice

Heat half the oil in a shallow heavy-base flameproof pan over medium heat. Add the 4 whole garlic cloves and the chiles and pan-fry, stirring, until they are browned. Take care with the oil, as chiles burn very easily. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan and set aside.

Stir the onion into the hot oil and pan-fry. Add three-quarters of the tomatoes and leave both ingredients to pan-fry. Crush the remaining garlic in a mortar with the saffron and salt, which prevents the garlic slipping, then add a little water. Pour this into the tomato mixture.

Add the fish to the pot with 2 2/3 quarts cold water and season with salt. Slowly bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes, just until all the fish is cooked through. Remove the pot from the heat and gently strain. Keep the fish warm and reserve the cooking liquid.

Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the remaining tomatoes and pan-fry. Add the chopped garlic and the rice and stir around, pan-frying everything together for a couple of minutes. Stir in 5 cups of the reserved fish stock and taste to see if the dish needs seasoning, but the stock should be quite salty. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 25 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Let stand for 3 or 4 minutes and serve the rice in one dish and the fish in another. Makes 6 servings.

From The Book of Tapas by Simone and Inés Ortega, published by Phaidon Press, 2010, $39.95,

Quick take: Serve a southwestern breakfast for dinner

The elements of a traditional southwestern breakfast, such as over-easy eggs, salsa, black beans and ripe avocado, make an excellent mid-week meal. It’s ready in about 35 to 40 minutes.

Nuevos huevos rancheros

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup chunky salsa or pico de gallo, divided
1 (16-ounce) box Mrs. T’s® potato and cheddar pierogies
1 tablespoon butter
4 large eggs
1 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced
Lime wedges, cilantro sprigs

Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until just tender; about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in black beans, lime juice and ½ cup salsa.

Sauté pierogies as box directs; keep warm. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Break eggs into the skillet; cook until the whites have set, but the yolks are still loose and runny.
To assemble the dish, spoon ¼ cup black bean mixture on serving plate; top with 3 sautéed pierogies. Top eggs with remaining salsa. Garnish with avocado slices, lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.  Makes 4 servings.

Garden party menu features Southern Living recipes

A garden party is a great way to celebrate spring in Kentucky’s capital city. The Hidden Treasures of Frankfort garden party, from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 14, will be at the Orlando Brown House, 202 Wilkinson Street in Frankfort.
The party will benefit Liberty Hall Historic Site and the Garden Club of Frankfort. Tickets for the garden party are $25. Call (888) 516-5101.  The menu includes: Baby hot Browns, fresh asparagus spears with garlic cream, spicy Jack cheese crisps, basil-tomato bruschetta, creamy citrus tartlets, fresh fruit kebabs, cream cheese pound cake, and chocolate brownie bites.

The home and garden tour will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Go to Tickets are $15. Call (502) 227-2560.

Baby hot Browns

24 pumpernickel party rye bread slices
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
11/2 cups diced cooked turkey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Arrange bread slices on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 500 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth.  Add Cheddar cheese, whisking until cheese melts. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly.
Stir in turkey, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill, if desired. Top bread slices evenly with warm cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese and bacon. Bake at 500 for 2 minutes or until Parmesan is melted.  Makes  2 dozen.
Source: Southern Living 2000 Annual Recipes

Creamy citrus tartlets

2 (2.1-ounce) packages frozen mini phyllo pastry shells
1 cup whipping cream, divided
1/3 cup orange curd
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, divided
1/3 cup lemon curd
Garnish: fresh mint leaves

Bake pastry shells according to package directions; cool completely. *Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream, orange curd, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until thickened and soft peaks form. Spoon mixture evenly into half of pastry shells.
Beat lemon curd, remaining 1/2 cup cream, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until thickened and soft peaks form. Spoon into remaining shells. Chill tartlets 1 hour. Makes 30 tartlets
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Dickinson’s Orange and Lemon Curd.
Source: Southern Living 2002 Annual Recipes

Quick take: Spicy pasta salad with olives and feta

This salad can be served hot, but it’s better if cooled to room temperature. It stores well in the fridge for a week, but let it warm to room temperature before serving.

Flat leaf parsley has a more intense parsley flavor than the curly sort. If you think an entire serrano may make the salad too hot, use a quarter of the pepper and taste the result. Add more minced serrano if needed.

Spicy pasta salad with olives and feta

1 serrano pepper, minced
1/2 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
12 black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup diced ripe red bell pepper
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of salt
2 bay leaves
10 ounces pasta (penne rigate, fusilli, or conchiglie)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings

In a serving bowl, place the serrano pepepr, parsley, garlic, oregano, capers, oil, feta, olives, bell pepper, and black pepper.

Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add a pinch of salt. Add the bay leaves. Add the pasta and cook utnil al dente. Add the onion rings during the last minute of cooking. Drain the pasta and onion in a colander, removing the bay leaves. Pour the pasta-onion mix into the serving bowl and toss to mix. Makes 4 servings.


The Big Summer Cookbook by Jeff Cox

Quick take: Salmon in seven minutes

The topping for this Asian-flavored salmon is a cross between a peanut sauce and teriyaki. Serve with simple sauteed spinach with garlic and chile flakes.

Seven-minute salmon

2 small limes, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons reduced-fat peanut butter
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Nonstick cooking spray
4 6-ounce boneless wild salmon fillets, skin on

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the lime zest, lime juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Coat the skillet with cooking spray and place the salmon fillets in the pan, flesh side down. Cook 1 to 2 minutes,  until salmon starts to brown. Turn the fillets over and turn off the heat. Spoon the lime mixture over the salmon and slide the skillet into the oven. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, until the salmon flakes when pressed with a fork. Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 334 calories, 38 g. protein, 11 g. carbohydrates, 15.3 g. fat, 94 mg. cholesterol, 2 g. fiber, 600 mg. sodium.

Simple sauteed spinach with garlic and chile flakes

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1/4 teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
2 10-ounce bags baby or prewashed spinach

Heat half the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, until the garlic lightly browns. Add the pepper flakes and half the spinach, then sprinkle with half the salt. Press the spinach down with a pot lid. Add 2 tablespoons of water and turn the spinach with tongs. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, turning the spinach often, until it is wilted. Transfer the wilted spinach to a large bowl or plate. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining oil, spinach, and salt. Stir the two batches togther and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 100 calories, 3 g. protein, 15 g. carbohydrates, 4.5 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 7 g. fiber, 516 mg. sodium.

“Part of integrating eating healthier habits into a busy lifestyle is choosing ingredients that you can prepare in minutes. Fish fits the bill perfectly.” — Jennifer Iserloh, author of Secrets of a Skinny Chef