Monday, October 31, 2011



Please dear friends.....turn up the volume, press play on the video (be sure to hold cursor on video), kick back and enjoy my spiced pumpkin martini.

Thanks Sharon for the inspiration :)

Happy Halloween.

                                                                    SPICED PUMPKIN MARTINI

1 1/2 ounce Vanilla Vodka
1 ounce Amaretto Liqueur
1 ounce Half and Half
2 TBSP. Pumpkin Butter (Trader Joe's has it during the holidays )
1 dash Pumpkin Spice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously (10-15 seconds). Pour into chilled martini glass and garnish with an additional dash of pumpkin pie spice.

Makes 1 drink.

Recipe from


Sunday, October 30, 2011


This dip was healthy, easy, and fast. What more could one ask for?

Canned cannellini beans are pureed with garlic, rosemary, and shallots. Add some yogurt, olive oil, salt, and pepper and blend again. Put in a baking dish and top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake until hot and serve with pita chips.

How easy is that?

                                      BAKED WHITE BEAN DIP WITH ROSEMARY AND PARMESAN

1 can (15 oz.) cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary (leaves only)
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
3 tbsp. olive oil plus more for final drizzle
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pita chips, small rye toasts, or fresh cucumber slices for serving.

Preheat oven to 350~. Lightly grease a 1-quart gratin dish with oil.

Put the beans in a food processor or blender, with the garlic, rosemary leaves and shallots. Pulse or blend until well pureed.

Add the yogurt, 1 TBSP. olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until creamy. Pour into prepared baking dish.

Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and remaining 2 TBSP. olive oil. Sprinkle evenly over white bean puree. (The casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate).

Bake, uncovered, 18 to 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the dip is hot. Drizzle some olive oil on top and serve immediately with pita chips, rye bread or cucumber slices.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


 I was curious if lasagna would work in the crock pot. It did and it was great! You can do this in the oven if you want but I like the crock pot. I cleaned out the pantry with this lasagna, using some jarred pasta sauce and some no-boil pasta noodles that have been hanging around. You can make your own pasta sauce and it might be even better. This is one of those make it your own recipes. Throw it all together, turn on the crock pot and go have some fun.

This was gooey, cheesy goodness.

                                                            SLOW COOKER LASAGNA

1 pound Italian Sausage
15 pieces No-Boil Lasagna noodles
12 ounces ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 (26oz.) jars pasta sauce (or home made)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 TBSP. fresh parsley

In a medium skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage and onion until sausage is brown. Mix in pasta sauce.

Mix ricotta and 2 cups mozzarella cheese together.

Spoon 1/4 of the sausage and pasta sauce mixture into crock pot. Top with 5 pasta noodles. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top. Add 1/4 more of the sausage/sauce mixture. Top with 5 noodles and the rest of the cheese mixture. Spoon 1/4 of the sausage/sauce mixture on top, 5 noodles and remaining sausage/sauce mixture.

Cook on high for 2 hours and low for 1-2 hours, until pasta noodles are cooked but not too long or they turn mushy. You can also cook o low for 4 hours.

Fifteen minutes before serving top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese, cover to melt cheese.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This last week Sharon and I cooked from the vegetable chapter of The Essential New York Times Cook Book. She chose Ratatouille with Butternut squash and I chose Asparagus alla Fontina. This dish is basically a quiche without a crust.  It was delicious and really fast and easy to make. There was enough prosciutto in the quiche that it made a nice light main course. I have some really good arugula growing in the garden so we had a lightly dressed salad on the side.

There aren't very many ingredients so this comes together rather quickly.

The asparagus is boiled in salted water until crisp-tender and then cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths.

The asparagus is put into a pie plate and topped with Fontina or Gruyere cheese, prosciutto, and parsley.

Beaten egg is poured on top and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. It only needs 35 minutes in the oven and you are good to go. You can serve this hot or at room temperature.


Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed
4 TBSP. unsalted butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Gruyere or fontina cheese
3/4 cup finely minced or slivered prosciutto (about 4 ounces)
2 TBSP. minced flat-leaf parsley
3 large eggs, beaten
3 to 4 TBSP. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350~. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain.

Cut the asparagus into 1 to 1 1/2 inch lengths. Return the asparagus to the pot, add the butter, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set over low heat and stir to melt the butter.

Turn the asparagus and butter into a 9 or 10 inch pie plate, and arrange in an even layer. Sprinkle with the Gruyere or fontina, prosciutto, and parsley. Pour the beaten eggs on top, gently shaking the pan to distribute. Top with the Parmesan.

Bake until the eggs are set into a custard and a golden brown crust forms on top, about 35 minutes.

Serve hot or warm.

Recipe from The Essential New York Times Cook Book

Monday, October 24, 2011


This was my pick from the poultry and game chapter of The Essential New York Times Cook Book and
it did not disappoint. It was spicy, vibrant, and packed with flavor. I served it with tamarind paste, cilantro sauce and raita. I didn't think the tamarind paste was all that good but the cilantro sauce and the raita was the perfect accompaniment to the chicken and the garlic naan.

The chicken is is coated with a spicy puree, chopped cilantro, and marinated for 6 hours. Then grilled giving it a nice smoky char.
I served it with garlic naan from Trader Joe's and a broccoli slaw mixed with lentil pilaf. This dish was a winner.
                                                     BOMBAY CHILE-AND-CILANTRO CHICKEN
1 1/2 TBSP. coriander seeds
2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. cumin seeds
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
One 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 TBSP. vegetable oil
1/4 cup water, or as needed
1 TBSP. cayenne pepper or hot paprika
2 TBSP. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
4 whole chicken legs (2 1/4 pounds), skinned, or one 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces and skinned
Cilantro sauce (recipe follows)
Toast the coriander seeds, peppercorns, and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a coffee or spice mill or mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder.
Combine the ground spices, garlic, ginger, oil, water, cayenne, lemon juice, and salt in a blender and puree to a paste. Transfer to  a bowl and stir in the cilantro. Add the chicken and thoroughly coat with the spice paste. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
When ready to cook, prepare a charcoal fire (or use a gas grill set to medium). Grill the chicken, turning once, until done, 10 to 15 minutes per side. Serve with cilantro sauce and nann bread.
1 cup chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper/halved and seeded
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons), or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
Combine the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, walnuts, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend to a puree. Add the water, and pour into a serving container. Add salt or lemon juice to taste.
I served this with Trader Joe's raita. It is really good.
Recipe slightly adapted for The Essential New York Times Cook Book.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


This week as Sharon and I continue our adventures in cooking with recipes from The Essential New York Times Cook Book, we chose the soup chapter.  I chose the Winter Borscht and Sharon chose this pistou soup. My soup wasn't bad however I don't consider it blog worthy. This soup that Sharon made was really, really good. It is a sort of French minestrone but better than any minestrone I have ever had.

Try it, you will love it!

The vegetables are simmered together until tender and the beans and spaghetti are added at the end. Sharon used angel hair pasta and I thought that was a great choice.

                                                                      Pistou Soup                       
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, cut into small dice
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 turnip, peeled and cut into small dice
4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon salt, or more to taste
2 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, cut into small dice and washed well
1 small zucchini, cut into small dice
2 small handfuls green beans cut into 1-inch pieces (about ¾ cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, peeled cored, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup drained canned flageolets or other white beans
1 handful thin spaghetti (about 3 ounces) broken into thirds
Freshly ground white pepper
1.)   Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the carrot and turnip and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the water and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

2.)    Add the salt, potatoes, leek, zucchini, and green beans.  Simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the foam from the surface as necessary.

3.)    While the soup simmers, combine the parsley and basil in a medium bowl.  Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, and olive oil.  Set aside.

4.)    Stir the beans and spaghetti into the soup.  Simmer for 8 minutes.

5.)    Stir the tomato mixture into the soup, season with salt, if needed, and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes longer.  Serve hot or at room temperature, not chilled.
Cook’s note:  I substituted cilantro for parsley
Serves 6 as a main course, 8 as a first course

Recipe from The Essential New York Times Cook Book 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This turkey breast was fantastic. It was juicy, moist, tender, and flavorful. I split a boneless rolled turkey breast with Sharon. I think mine weighed about 2.5 pounds. First I brined it for 4 hours and then I rubbed it with mustard and fresh herbs. I'm always going to brine my birds, it adds so much flavor.

Before roasting I put the breast in a brine of 1 quart water, 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar. You mix the ingredients together until the salt and sugar has dissolved and then you cover the bird with the brine. You can brine a turkey breast with the bone in for longer but you only want to brine the boneless for 2-4 hours.

After brining I unrolled the breast and spread an herb-mustard paste on it. Rolled it back up and then rubbed the paste under the skin and all over the breast.  Poured some wine in the bottom of a roasting pan and roasted for about 1 hour.

Note to self....don't split the breast with anyone. Roast the whole breast because this is so good you will want lots of leftovers.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

I adapted this recipe for a boneless breast. Brined it first and then followed the recipe but only cooked it for about 1 hour.

Recipe from Ina Garten

Friday, October 14, 2011


Sharon made this chicken dish from The Essential New York Times Cook Book. This was delicious and the salsa verde was wonderful.

                                            The lemon juice and spices are combined to make a paste.

The chicken is coated with the paste and marinated for at least 1 hour but you can do it overnight as well.

Jalapenos, tomatillos, cilantro, and chicken broth is cooked together until soft.

When the tomatillos and the jalapenos are soft then they are pureed until slightly chunky and topped with cilantro.

The roasted chicken is removed from the oven and topped with the salsa verde.

                                                       Staff Meal Chicken with Salsa Verde
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon granulated garlic (not garlic powder)
1 heaping tablespoon granulated onion (not onion powder)
1 tablespoon plus ¾ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon to ¼ cup crushed red pepper flakes, depending on desired heat
½ cup olive oil
One 3-3 ½ pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salsa Verde (recipe follows)

1.)  Combine the lemon juice, garlic, onion, pepper, paprika, salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a large bowl and whisk to blend into a paste.  Add the chicken pieces and turn until well coated on all sides.  Marinate for at least 1 hour, or as long as overnight; if marinating more than 1 hour, cover the bowl and refrigerate.  Turn pieces occasionally.
2.)  Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a large foil-lined baking sheet, leaving ample space between the pieces.  Roast for 30 minutes.
3.)  Reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the meat is tender.  Serve hot or at room temperature, with the salsa, and, ideally, with the rice.
Serves 4

Salsa Verde

¼ pound jalapeno peppers (3-4 large). Stems removed (not seeded)
2 to 3 cups chicken broth
1 ¼ pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and stems chopped (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon salt

1.) Place the jalapenos in a medium saucepan and add enough broth to cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the jalapenos are slightly tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
2.) Add the tomatillos and cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomatillos have lost their brightness and the vegetables are soft but not mushy.
3.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender or food processor, and process until chunky, adding cooking liquid as needed to make a thick but loose puree.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro and salt.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from The Essential New York Times Cook Book

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Tired of the same old mixed green salad? Give this grilled romaine salad a try. Lightly seared romaine turns nice and sweet when warmed up, add some balsamic, bacon, and blue cheese and dig in. I could make this a meal.


4 TBSP. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 pound bacon, 1/4 inch diced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 heads romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat a grill or indoor grill pan to high.

Heat 1 TBSP. olive oil in a large skilllet over high heat.  Add the onion and bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy. Remove the onion and bacon from the pan. Add the balsamic vinegar and 1 TBSP. olive oil to the skillet and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Brush the romaine with the remaining 2 TBSP. olive oil. Place on the grill cut-side down and quickly sear until grill marks are visible. Set aside.

For each serving, place a half head of romaine cut-side up on a plate and drizzle the balsamic dressing on top. Sprinkle with blue cheese and the bacon and onion, and garnish with cracked black pepper.

Serves 6

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Monday, October 10, 2011


Sharon made this delicious tomato and feta relish. It was REALLY good. So good that I'm making more today.

We used it as a topping for bruschetta, paired it with some melon from our garden and sliced prosciutto for a nice, quick, light meal.

                                                                   TOMATO AND FETA RELISH

Note:  The recipe can be made using fresh tomatoes.  Substitute a generous pound (about 7) of plum tomatoes peeled, seeded and crushed with juice

1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand with juice

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon julienned fresh basil
2 tablespoons pitted and coarsely chopped Kalamata olives (several olives)
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sliced ciabatta for serving

In a large bowl, stir together the crushed tomatoes, olive oil garlic, salt, basil, chopped olives, onion, feta and red wine vinegar.  Cover and refrigerate overnight to give the flavors time to marry.  Stir again and taste, adjusting the seasonings and flavorings, if desired, before serving. 
Serve with slice ciabatta bread.                       
Yield:  about 3 cups relish

Printed in Santa Barbara News Press

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Sharon chose to make Wild Mushroom Quesadillas as this weeks recipe from The Essential New York Times Cook Book. She brought me a sample and it was great!

Start off with some great tortillas. The recipes calls for flour or corn, Sharon chose corn. If you use corn forget about the regular store bought tortillas we have been using for years. Make your own!!! Or, buy these Hand Made Style Corn Tortillas. She bought La Tortilla Factory brand at Ralph's but I have found Trader Joe's hand made brand  is excellent as well. They have so much flavor. They don't keep as long as those regular tortillas so plan on using them rather quickly.

The mushrooms are sauteed until the liquid evaporates.

Then the onions are added and cooked until golden brown.

The mixture is finely chopped and combined with the cheese, cilantro, oregano, and coriander.

The mixture is place on a tortilla, folded over and ready to cook.

The filled tortillas are cooked in oil until browned on both sides and the cheese has melted.

This mushroom mixture is so good. Sharon mentioned it would be good in meatloaf. I'm thinking of mini quesadillas for an appetizer party. Give it a try and get creative.

                                                                WILD MUSHROOM QUESADILLAS

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound chanterelles, black trumpets, or other wild mushrooms (or substitute oyster, cremini, or clamshell mushrooms; do not use shitake), trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 pound Oaxaca or domestic Muenster cheese, grated
1/4 pound panela or fresh or smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 pound cotija or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Pinch of ground coriander
Freshly ground black pepper
Eight 8-inch flour or corn tortillas

Place a medium saute pan over medium heat and add 2 TBSP. vegetable oil. When the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt and saute until the mushrooms release their liquid, the liquid evaporates, and the mushrooms begin to brown, 7-10 minutes.

Add the onion and saute, adjusting the heat as necessary, until the onion is soft and the entire mixture is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Using a food processor or a knife, finely chop the mushroom-onion mixture, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the grated cheeses, cilantro, oregano, and coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place a nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 TBSP. vegetable oil. While the pan heats, place a large spoonful of the mushroom-cheese mixture into the center of a tortilla and fold the tortilla in half to make a half-moon. Place the filled tortilla in the hot skillet and cook, turning once, until the tortilla is nicely browned on both sides and the cheese is melted.

Transfer to a platter. Repeat to make a total of 8 filled tortillas.

Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Recipe form The Essential New York Times Cook Book

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I found some BIG, beautiful red bell peppers at the Farmer's Market. All the peppers are at their peak right now, sweet and delicious. It has been a while since I made stuffed bell peppers so I decided to make them for dinner.

I picked up a pound of spicy Italian turkey sausage at Lazy Acres, mixed it with one egg, added some cheese, chopped chard, and stuffed them. Into the oven for a short time and they are ready to serve. Super simple, super fast, and super good.


1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausage
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cheese blend (white cheese, like mozzarella or a blend is best)
3 red bell peppers, top cut off and inside cleaned
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix the sausage with egg, and most of the cheese (save some for topping). I added some chopped chard because I had it but it is great without it.

With a pastry brush brush the inside and out of the bell pepper with olive oil. Fill with the stuffing mixture and bake for 30-45 minutes until stuffing is firm and bell peppers have started to soften.

Sprinkle a little of cheese on top after 30 minutes of cooking time.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Shrimp Pil-Pil is a classic tapa found all around Spain. It was our favorite tapa we had on our trip. I knew this would be easy to make at home. It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish and is it ever tasty.

Shrimp is quickly cooked in a spicy, garlic flavored olive oil. Serve with crusty French bread so you can sop up the garlic-chili oil. Ohhh my... I love this.
                                                                          SHRIMP PIL-PIL

1 pound large shrimp. peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2-3 hot chili peppers roughly chopped (I used 2 Thai chilies)
1 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
2 TBSP. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 loaf crusty bread, sliced

In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chopped chili, and paprika and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Season the shrimp with salt, add to the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and transfer to a heat proof serving bowl. Top with chopped parsley and serve with sliced bread for dipping.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I brought a jar of Miel de Cana home from Spain this year. It is a molasses-honey-maple syrup, all in one jar. I read that it was fantastic and was only available in Spain. It is actually made in Malaga which was where we were staying. Yes, it is really good. Ron said it reminded him of zuckerruben sirup, a sugar beet syrup that he had growing up in Germany. It was served with toast.

I used it on baby eggplant that had been dusted with flour and fried in olive oil. It was a wonderful addition to our tapas meal.

                                                                  EGGPLANT WITH MIEL DE CANA

1 large eggplant (or 2-3 baby eggplants)
1-2 tsp. salt
black pepper
3/4 cup plain flour
1 cup virgin olive oil
miel de cana

Cut the stalk off the eggplant and slice into 3mm thin circles

Put the slices on a baking tray and lightly salt each one on both sides. Leave for at least 20 minutes up to an hour to draw out the moisture, then pat dry on both sides.

Heat the oil in a med-large frying pan over a medium high heat. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Lightly flour each eggplant slice and cook in the hot oil until golden brown. Turning once.

Arrange the slices overlapping in one layer on a serving platter and drizzle generously with miel de cana. Serve immediately with extra miel de cana on the table.

Serves 2-3 as part of a tapas meal.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I was so excited to find these peppers at the Farmers Market this week. These peppers are originally from Padron, Spain where they have a cult like status. They are served as tapas in most bars along with a cold beer. 

They have a sweet flesh, thin skin, and hardly any seeds. They make the perfect, quick tapa. Cuidado (beware) these peppers are mostly mild but about 1 in every 5 you eat will have some heat. Keep a cold beer handy as you eat them and enjoy what the New York Times said is "Spanish Roulette".

You simply blister them in a hot pan with a little bit of good Spanish olive oil and then sprinkle them with some crunchy sea salt and serve. These are really good and very addictive.

                                                                      PADRON PEPPERS

2 cups Padron Peppers
1-2 TBSP. Spanish Olive Oil
Crunchy sea salt such as Fleur de Sel

Heat a frying pan (cast iron is best) until hot. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and when the oil is shimmering and hot add the peppers. Cook and stir the peppers until the skin is browned and blistered.

Remove peppers from pan and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

Monday, October 3, 2011


This delightful recipe comes from The Essential New York Times Cook Book.  It's like a lemon carbonara. It is creamy, buttery, and lemony. A great combination of flavors. I used more asparagus than the recipe called for and I liked it better that way. We had this as our main course but it would be delicious as a side or starter course.
                                    SPAGHETTI WITH LEMON AND ASPARAGUS SAUCE
6 TBSP. unsalted butter
8 thick asparagus spears, stalks peeled and cut into 1 inch lengths
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 gratings of nutmeg
3 TBSP. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 pound spaghetti
Freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, the eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and parsley in a bowl and blend well. Taste the sauce. The lemon flavor should be subtle, but not overpowering. Add more lemon juice if needed.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Stir in enough salt that the water tastes salty. Add the spaghetti, stir, and cook, stirring often, until al dente, 5-7 minutes.
Drain the spaghetti well. Immediately return it to the pot, and add the asparagus, with the butter, and lemon sauce. Toss well.
Turn the heat to low and gently toss the pasta over the heat for about 30 seconds, until the sauce thickens slightly and adheres to the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 2 as a main course and 4 as a first course.
Recipe from The Essential New York Times Cook Book