Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Italian herb roasted squash

I was wanting to make a simple roasted squash and this fit the bill. 

Italian Herb Roasted Squash 
1 acorn squash, seeded and cut into 8 
Oil Italian herbs 
Salt and pepper 

3 TBS Extra Virgin olive oil 
1 TBS Red wine vinegar 
Salt and paper 
1 tsp Italian herbs 
Combine ingredients and set aside 

 Toss the cut squash with the oil, then add the herbs and season with salt and pepper.


Bake at 400 about 40 minutes until nicely browned and soft. To serve to with cheese and dressing for dipping.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Homemade Pita Chips

I made more pita the other night to go with some hummus and realized that I was not going to eat them all before then went bad. Turning them into chips was a great way to extend their life, especially after they are a day or so old. You can also flavor them in any number of ways; fresh or dried herbs, any spices from za'tar to garlic to italian to hot peppers, or top with cheese... The possibilities are endless

Pita Chips
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut the pita in half to create two circles then cut into wedges. 


Brush the pita with oil and season with salt and pepper and any other flavoring.


Bake for about 30 minutes until crispy. Enjoy!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Red Lentil Soup

Here is a great simple lentil soup. I was luck enough to have some paprika my in-laws brought back from Isreal, which added a nice touch, you can use Turkish paprika instead.

Red Lentil Soup 
olive oil
1 medium onion, diced 
1 - 2 celery stalks, diced 
1 carrot, diced 3 - 4 cloves garlic, diced 
1 - 2 tsp cumin 
1 - 2 tsp peprika 
2 bay leaves 
1 cup red lentils 
4 cups stock or water 
Salt and pepper to taste 

 Prepare the veggies. Then sauté in a large pot with a touch of oil and salt.


 After about 7 minutes, as the begin to soften add the garlic and cook another minute.


 Then add the spices, cook another minute and add the lentils and water.


 Cook over medium heat about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft. Then purée in a blender or use an 
immersion blender.


Season with salt and pepper. To serve top with a splash of hot sauce.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Paprika-Spiced Cauliflower Soup

I was looking for something to do with some cauliflower and stumbled across this simple soup recipe from Saveur.com. 

Paprika-Spiced Cauliflower Soup

1/3 cup flour 
½ tsp. kosher salt 
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled 
1 egg 
1 ½ tbsp. Hungarian hot paprika 
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped 
6 cups vegetable stock 
1 small head cauliflower, large stem removed, cut into florets 
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and finely chopped

In a bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add in 2 tbsp. butter and using your fingers, rub into flour until pea-size crumbles. Add egg, and stir until dough forms. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Heat remaining butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the paprika and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.


Add vegetable stock, cauliflower, and carrot. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked but still hold their form, about 15 minutes. 


Using a small spoon, portion out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup. Boil for a couple more minutes until the dumplings are cooked.

Top with parsley.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brussel Sprouts in brown butter

Here is another easy preparation for brussel sprouts.

Brussel Spouts in Brown Butter
Brussel Sprouts, halved
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy skillet, cast iron works best, heat oil and toss with the brussel sprouts. Cook for about 5 minutes until they are nicely browned.


Remove the brussel sprouts and add the butter to the pan. Heat over medium low heat until the butter begins to turn brown and takes on a nutty smell.


Add the brussel sprouts back to the pan and toss with the butter and season with salt and pepper.


Spinach Souffle

I recently found myself with a bunch of extra egg whites. A savory souffle is a perfect way to use them. Serve with a salad and some bread and you have a great meal. Here I used this recipe, but replaced the sweet potato with spinach.

Start by sauteing the spinach.


Then drain, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.


Mix the spinach into the base.




Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pita Bread

Making pita at home is surprisingly easy. It only takes a handful of ingredients and a bit time. Its a great thing to do with the kids too. I found this recipe on one of my favorite bread baking sites the Fresh Loaf.

3 cups flour (I used half whole wheat half white)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbs oil

Measure out all the ingredients and add to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.


Mix for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Place in an oiled bowl, and let rest about 90 minutes until doubled.


Divide the into 4 larger or 8 small balls. Let rest about 20 minutes. Meanwhile heat oven to 400 degrees.


Roll the dough out into a large circle about 1/4 inch think. Bake for about 5 minutes until puffy.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cauliflower cassarole

I wasn't always a fan of cauliflower. Maybe it was the mushy texture or the generally bland flavor, but as time has gone on I've warmed to it. What better way to enjoy it than covered in cheese and topped with a crispy bread crumb topping. This recipe is basically the same as for Mac & Cheese, but with the cauliflower instead of pasta.

Cauliflower Casserole 
1 large head cauliflower, cut into large pieces
1 -2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups milk 
2 Tbs cornstearch
salt and pepper to taste
3 - 6 oz cheese (I used cheddar and gruyere)
about 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat over to 400.
Warm the 1 3/4 cups milk with the garlic.


Meanwhile boil the cauliflower in a large pot of boil water for about 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside.


Mix the cornstarch with the reserved milk.


Slowly drizzle into the warm milk and cook until the sauce thickens. Turn off heat and add about half the cheese. Stirring until the cheese melts.


Add the cauliflower and season generously with salt and pepper.


Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and cover with the bread crumbs.


Bake in 400 deg oven for about 30 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Let sit for a couple minutes before serving.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

I had a bunch of Japanese Eggplant at home, and was looking for something easy to make. This simple dish fit the bill. I went a little heavy on the sauce so that we could pour extra over rice.

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
4 - 5 Japanese Eggplant
2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce (or more to taste)
1 Tbs corn starch

Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, then score down the middle, making sure not to go through the skin.


Mix garlic, soy, sugar, starch and vinegar and set aside.


In a large skillet, heat oil and place eggplant skin side down. Brown for 2 or 3 minutes.


Pour in about a 1/2 cup of water cover and steam eggplant for about 10 minutes until soft.


Add the sauce and cook over medium high until the sauce thickens.


Serve with white or brown rice.


Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Back...with more brussel sprouts

I never really ate brussel sprouts. There wasn't a bad experience to point to, they just weren't something we ate. Well, until recently. 

Here is another simple take, first roasting them then finishing in the pan and topping with some Parmigiano.

Brussel Sprouts with Parmigiano
Brussel sprouts 
salt an pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano

Trim the brussel sprouts of any brown leaves. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in 450 oven for about 20 minutes until they begin to soften.


Heat a cast iron pan, and coat with oil. Add the par-cooked sprouts and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes.


Turn once and sprinkle generously with cheese. Turn again and remove from heat after cheese melts, but before it burns. Season with salt and pepper.IMG_9487

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

I have never been a huge brussel sprouts fan. I have nothing against them, they just don't seem to end up making into my rotation often. The other day while at the store my son, asked what they were, what better way to tell then to get them and give a taste.

This is a super simple recipe, that even the kids loved.

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts
Olive oil
salt and pepper

Remove any of the outer leaves of the brussel sprouts that are wilted, then cut in half. Toss with vinegar, oil and season with salt and pepper.


Roast in a 400 deg oven about 15 minutes, then turn over.


Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until then are nicely roasted and cooked through.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


What may be my favorite tapa, just happens to be made with but three ingredients.

Potatoes * Eggs * Onion
Look here for directions


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Two easy Med dips

Here are two great Mediterranean dips, baba ganoush and tzatziki. Serve both with pita.

Yogurt * Cucumber * Garlic
Cut the cucumber in half, and scoop out the seeds. Puree with garlic and yogurt and a little oil. Season with salt and pepper.

You can add lemon and / or dill as well.


Eggplant * Tahini * Garlic
Roast the eggplant in a 400 deg oven for about 45 min to an hour, until soft.
Let cool and scoop out insides. Puree with tahini, garlic, lemon, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.


Friday, August 5, 2011


My sister-in-law and her girlfriend came over for dinner last night, and has been the case they give me a "food challenge" they give me an ingredient and I create a dinner around it.

Last night was nectarines. Sticking with my 3 ingredient recipes I came up with this refreshing summer soup

Cucumber * Nectarines * Feta
Puree the cucumber with nectarines. Then strain. Season with salt and pepper. Chill the liquid and use the solids to make granita. Freeze in a shallow pan, mixing every half hour to create a slushy mix.

Top the chilled soup with the granita and crumbled feta.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

The best summer salad

Need I say more:

Tomatoes * Mozzarella * Basil
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper.