Healthy Caesar Salad
Makes about 1/2 cup. Can easily be doubled.
1/2 small clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Half a head of Romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces and1/2 cup croutons
Place garlic and salt in a medium bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Add lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, anchovy paste, and pepper; whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Add cheese and whisk to combine.
Four 6 oz boneless, skinless cutlets (turkey, chicken, veal, pork, or fish), pounded until thin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, preferably Wondra
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white wine, or dry vermouth
1 lemon, juiced (4 tablespoons),
1 tablespoon capers
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat in flour. Shake off excess.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, swirl them around the pan, and add the cutlets. Turn the heat to medium and saute for 2 minutes per side. Add the wine, lemon juice, and capers, swirl them around in the pan and turn off the heat. Serve immediately.
Hakf Pound Dried Orecchiette Pasta
2 large zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
Half a red onion sliced thin
Salt & Pepper To Taste
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced into thin strips
Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook as per package instructions until the last 4-5 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and reserve one cup of pasta water.
In the drained pasta pot, pour 3 tablespoons of the sundried tomato oil into the pot and heat until warm. Add the zucchini and remaining ingredients. Stir and cook for three minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Return the pasta to the pot and adding water as needed to keep it moist.
Insalata Caprese (literally, the salad from Capri) is the perfect summertime dish for cooks in a hurry; slicing is the hardest part. The salad was created in the 1950s at the Trattoria da Vincenzo for regulars out for a light lunch. They’d order a just-picked tomato and freshly made buffalo mozzarella on Capri). The salad has evolved on the island to include a few leaves of fughetta (wild arugula) and a pinch of dried wild oregano, both local products; everywhere else in Italy it takes the form of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. The dressing is always a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil — only. Vinegar would destroy the delicate flavor of the cheese and is never used. Sometimes I add Italian black olives to the salad for a change but it is not traditional.
2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (about 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup packed fresh basil or arugula leaves, washed well, and spun dry
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled if using arugula instead of basil
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
On a large platter arrange tomato and mozzarella slices and basil leaves, alternating and overlapping them. Sprinkle salad with oregano and arugula and drizzle with oil. Season salad with salt and pepper.
Chicken Salad with Fresh Herbs and Pecans
For the chicken
1 garlic clove, peeled
3-4 celery tops
Half an onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried Italian seasoning
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ½ lb
For the salad
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley and tarragon)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
To cook the chicken
Fill a 12-inch covered saute or large saucepan pan 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a simmer.
Add the garlic, celery tops, onion half, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Return the liquid to a simmer.
Add the chicken breasts to the poaching liquid, cover, and simmer until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and set them aside to cool. Save the broth for soup or gravy.
To make the salad
Combine the diced celery, diced onion, mayonnaise, mustard, and herbs in a large serving bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until the chicken is cool
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2-inch dice.
Add the chicken and the pecans to the mayonnaise mixture, and mix well. Cover and transfer the salad to the refrigerator to chill until serving time.
Seafood Salad Stuffed Shells
Yield: 28 Shells
1 box jumbo pasta shells
1/2 lb. cooked shrimp
1/2 lb. lump crabmeat
10 oz cooked lobster
1/2 cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
½ cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh minced dill
Chopped parsley for garnish
Cook pasta shells per manufacturer’s instructions in liberally salted water.
Drain the shells and spread them out on kitchen towels to cool.
Combine the remaining ingredients to make a seafood salad. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of seafood salad into each jumbo pasta shell. Place the filled shells on a platter. Sprinkle the shells with chopped parsley.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makeup to 24 hours in advance.
1 lb pizza dough-my recipe
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
Coarse sea salt
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves or rosemary
Coarse black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Oil a 4-quart baking dish or pam.
Spread the pizza dough out in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise until the dough rises almost to the top of the pan.
Top the dough with cherry tomatoes evenly spaced over the dough. Sprinkle with the remaining ingredients and drizzle lightly with olive oil
Bake 400 degrees F for 15 -20 minutes until golden brown.
Cool and cut into squares to serve.
Sesame Ginger Tuna Fillets And Green Beans
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cloves garlic pressed
1 tablespoon ginger freshly grated
1 teaspoon store-bought Asian Spice rub mixture, see below
2 Yellowfin Tuna fillets, wild-caught, (about 6 oz each)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup cooked green beans
In a bowl mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, and ginger. Set to the side.
Rinse and pat dry the tuna steaks. Season with the rub mixture and let rest for 15 minutes.
Heat a skillet to high heat with the oil.
Place tuna in the skillet and cook, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes per ½-inch thickness (6 to 9 minutes for the ¾-inch-thick steaks) or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork but is still pink in the center, turning once during cooking. Adjust the heat as needed if the skillet gets too hot.
Arrange the cooked green beans on two plates and top each with a tuna fillet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the sauce over each serving of fish..
Serve the remaining sauce as a dipping sauce
Note: The Asian spice rub I use contains equal amounts of
salt, brown sugar, red chili flakes, sesame seeds, ginger, and garlic.
Cucumber And Radish Salad
Half a white onion, sliced
6 large radishes
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dried dill
Peel the cucumbers and slice into rounds. Place them in a colander. Add the sliced onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let it drain for 30 minutes.
In a serving dish combine the ingredients for the dressing. Slice the radishes thin and add to the dressing along with the cucumber slices and onion. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Flank Steak Roulade
1½-2pound flank steak
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 jarred roasted red peppers, diced
1 medium green zucchini, shredded
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Squeeze zucchini in a kitchen towel to rid it of excess liquid.
Combine the zucchini, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella in a mixing bowl. Add the Italian seasoning and garlic.
Butterfly the flank steak.Season with half the salt and pepper.
Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the seasoned flank steak.
Roll the flank steak and tie with butcher twine. Season the outside of the roulade with the remaining salt and pepper.
Heat a large ovenproof saute pan over high heat until very hot. Add oil and sear all of the sides of the roulade until golden brown.
Place the pan in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F for medium-rare (approximately 18-20 minutes). Let the roulade rest for 20 minutes after removing it from the oven and the residual heat will raise the temperature of the meat to 125-130°F.
Slice and remove twine before serving.
Roasted Beet Ane Pear Salad
2 large beets, scrubbed clean with a vegetable brush
A small drizzle of olive oil, for roasting the beets
1 ripe red pear, chopped into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup walnuts, toasted
¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled (or more)
A few handfuls of salad greens of your choice
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast the beets by drizzling them with a bit of olive oil, some salt, and pepper, and wrapping them in foil. Depending on the size and freshness of your beets, they should take from 40 minutes to 1 hour to roast in the oven. Check occasionally, when they are fork-tender they are done. Set them aside to cool. As soon as they’re cool enough to touch, run them under the faucet and slide off the skins with your hands. Chop into roughly ½ inch cubes and set them aside to cool completely. (To save time, I suggest doing this up to one day ahead of time and popping them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad).
Assemble all salad ingredients on a plate and mix with the dressing.
Green Beans with Dill Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 pound green beans
Stir together the vinegar, mustard, and salt in a small bowl until the ingredients are combined and the salt has dissolved. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the oil and continue to whisk until emulsified. Gently stir in chopped dill and set aside.
Steam green beans until tender. Drain. Arrange green beans in a serving dish and season with a little bit of salt. Pour the dill dressing over the green beans. Mix well and leave at room temperature until serving time.
PanSeared Filet Mignon and Crabmeat Stuffed Lobster Tails
For the steak
2 Filet Mignons, 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
For the lobster
2 frozen lobster tails, 5 ounces each
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter, salted
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons olive oil
Thaw lobster 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator or place in a clean bowl under cool running water until completely thawed.
To make stuffing:
Melt butter in a small saucepan or saute pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Do not brown. Fold in panko, crabmeat, salt, white pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Split top side of lobster shell down the center with scissors, keeping tail fan intact. Pull shell open; lift tail meat, leaving it attached at the end, and lay over top of the shell, “piggyback” style. Make a cut down the center of the meat 1/4-inch deep. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour wine into a small baking dish. Place lobster tails in the dish. Spoon stuffing over top of the meat. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the center of the oven, until the meat, turns from translucent to opaque (white).
Remove from the oven and drizzle pan juices lightly over the lobster. Serve with lemon wedges
To cook the steaks
Season the steaks with steak seasoning, rubbing the spices into the steaks. Let rest until room temperature.
Heat a small ovenproof skillet and add the butter.
Sear filets for 2 minutes on each side, until you see a golden-brown crust form.
Place the full skillet with filets onto the center oven rack to finish cooking. Place the skillet in the oven at the same time you put the lobster in the oven.
The best temperature for a filet mignon is, generally, medium-rare, which will give them a slight pinkness in the center. To cook to this temperature, your steaks should read 130-degrees with a meat thermometer before removing them from the oven. Shoot for 120-degrees for rare and 140-degrees for medium. After they’ve finished cooking, place the steaks on a plate and cover loosely with foil for about 10 minutes to rest.
1 large russet potato (about 10 to 12 ounces each)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 scallion, minced
Paprika, for sprinkling
Bake the potato early in the day. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Brush lightly with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet tray until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool enough to handle.
Slice the potatoes lengthwise and scoop the potato flesh into a medium bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell all around. Season the insides of the potato shells lightly with salt and pepper. To the bowl with the potato, add the sour cream, half-and-half, and butter and mix until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the scallion. Mound into the potato shells. Place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate if not baking right away,
Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Place in the oven at the same temperature set for the steak and lobster ten minutes before the steak and lobster.
Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
Spinach Salad with Cherries, Walnuts And Blue Cheese
¼ small red onion, sliced thinly and soaked in water for 10 minutes, and drained.
8 cups clean spinach leaves
½ cup dried cherries
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
¾ cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350F
Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 6 minutes. Stir around and roast for another 3-4 minutes ensuring they don’t overcook. Let cool. This step can be done earlier in the day.
Combine the spinach, onion, and cherries n a large bowl and toss to combine.
Combine all ingredients and whisk to combine.
Taste and add salt and pepper until it’s to your liking.
Add dressing to salad and toss to coat, gently add the cheese and walnuts and serve.
Sausage Tomato Sauce
1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
`/2 cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 containers (2- 26 and 1-14 oz) chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tomato container filled with water
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and site until tender about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, seasoning, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and add the sausage to the sauce. Partially clever the pot and simmer the sauce until thickened for about 2 hours.
Depending on how many ravioli you want to make, you can place the second layer of ravioli over the first layer. This is such an easy way to cook ravioli and makes clean up
easy plus the ravioli don’t come apart in boiling water.
1 lb frozen ravioli
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Sausage Tomato Sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place 1 cup of sauce in an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish.
Make one layer of ravioli, cover completely with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Continue with the second layer making sure ravioli are completely covered with sauce.
Cover and bake for 30to 40 minutes depending on how many layers are in the dish.
Uncover and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.
Bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve the sausage on the side.
Serve with a leaf lettuce salad with added sliced red onion and Kalamata olives.
2 servings-double for 4 servings
5 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
8 oz salmon fillet
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plain panko breadcrumbs, toasted
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large deep skillet. Add the salmon fillet and saute on both sides until cooked about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, break into large pieces, and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.
Add the remaining oil, garlic, anchovy paste, crushed red pepper, and lemon juice to the skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water, drained pasta, salmon, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce coats the pasta, about 2 minutes. Divide between two pasta plates, top each with breadcrumbs and parsley. Serve immediately.
Leaf Lettuce Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 minced scallions
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups leaf lettuce
1 cup of green olives
In a medium salad bowl whisk together the olive oil, the orange segments and juice from the orange, scallions, salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the olives and lettuce. Mix well and serve in individual salad bowls.
For 2 servings-double for 4 servings
2 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
2 medium baking potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and refrigerate for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Drain the chicken and reserve the marinade. Place the chicken at one end of the pan.
Cut the potatoes into wedges. Toss the potato wedges in the reserved marinade, then spread them out in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are turning golden brown on the edges.
Turn the potatoes over, then bake for another 20 minutes, until golden brown all over.
Season with extra salt if desired. The chicken should register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Divide the chicken and potatoes between two individual plates.
Spinach and Pear Salad
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 medium red pears, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 celery stalk, diced
1 (6-8ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach
1/4 of red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine.
Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.