Thursday, April 19, 2018

Zucchini Enchiladas

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spanakopita tarts

  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1- 10 oz. package spinach, thawed, chopped and squeezed of moisture
  • 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Large pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 lb. phyllo, you may not use it all
  • 8 Tbsp. of butter, melted
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated

48 Frozen Phyllo tartlets

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 24 mini muffin pan and set aside.
  2. Heat the 1 Tbsp. of canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add both the onions and cook until soft.
  3. While the onions are cooking, mix together the spinach, feta, ricotta and egg. Add in the cooked onion. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Combine well and set aside.
  4. Take the phyllo tarts  out of the package.
  5. Place a tsp. of the spinach mixture in each cup and then top with a pinch of Parmesan.
  6. Bake for 15-20 min. until golden brown. Serve immediately or let cool and freeze.
  7. Note: If frozen, reheat in a 350F oven for 15-20 min. or until heated through. Will freeze well for 1-2 months if properly se

Curried Shrimp from Hank’s in Charleston

Hank’s is one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston, and this is my friend’s favorite dish. Unfortunately, Hank’s has removed this from the menu.

Serves 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced leeks
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons curry paste
2 tablespoons hot Madras curry powder
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup store-bought mango chutney
1 banana, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 pounds large (21-25 count) white shrimp, peeled and deveined
Rice pilaf for serving (recipe follows)

In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, leeks, carrots, celery and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and curry powder and cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Add the chutney, mashed banana, apple and coconut milk. Simmer this over low heat for about 15 minutes, reducing slightly. Add the shrimp and simmer until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Serve over rice pilaf.

Rice Pilaf

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 sprig thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 bay leaf


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a 4-quart oven-safe saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, stirring to coat with the butter, and cook 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, cover and place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff the rice with a fork, remove the thyme and bay leaf, and keep covered until ready to serve.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Pasta fagioli

I really don’t have a recipe for this, but I don’t think you really need one. The key is a delicious stock. So, here’s what I did.

For the stock

3 tbl of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 inch slice pancetta, diced
1 onion diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 of a small cabbage, chopped roughly (optional)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced fine
Big handful of parsley
1 big carrot, cut in 2 pieces
2 pieces of the rind from the parmigiano reggiano
1 Tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried basil 
1 big bay leaf
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes 
2 packets Goya cubitos en polvo caldo de pollo
6 cups water 

Heat the oil in a heavy dutch oven and saute the pancetta til brown. Add the red pepper flakes, onion, celery, and cabbage, and sauté til the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, parsley, marjoram, and basil, and sauté another minute or so. (You could put it in a slow cooker at this point.) Add the water, tomatoes, bay leaf, and parmigiano rinds. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer 2 hours or more. 

For the soup
1-2 carrots chopped 
2 cans canellinni beans 
1 tsp dried rosemary 
1/2 lb small pasta like ditilini or mini farfalle
1 cup grated parmigiano (don’t buy pre-grated. It has no flavor!)
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach (Optional. I just happened to have some)

Add the chopped carrots, beans with their liquid, and the rosemary. Bring up to boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered 20-30 minutes.  Bring back to the boil and add more water if it’s too thick.  Add the pasta and cook til almost done. Add the spinach and cook another minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. Keep stirring until it’s well incorporated. You don’t want it to fall and stick to the bottom. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas open house

Last night we had a Christmas open house for some friends and neighbors. We had about 16 people, although we had invited about 10 more who were either out of town or busy. I am blessed to have good friends who pitch in. Connie brought meatballs in cream sauce and ham and cheese party rolls Kathleen brought her almond torte. Here’s the rest of the menu: Mini Tomato Pies , artichoke-asiago bites , Italian meatballs in a piquant tomato sauce , mini corn cakes with smoked salmon , homemade onion dip with chips, cream cheese with hot pepper jelly, cheese board, prosciutto and sopresotta tray. For sweets we had creme de menth brownies, pecan tassies, and an almond torte. We didn’t have many leftovers, so I think it was a success.

Italian Meatballs in Piquant Tomato Sauce

Italian Meatballs-baked

I love to do a double recipe of these meatballs. I use a 1 tbl scoop to portion them. Then I bake them on cookie sheets,lined with release aluminum foil, about 15 minutes in a 350 oven. Remove, cool and freeze in freezer bags or add to sauce. Whenever you want meatballs, just pull out a bag and throw them in the sauce. Simmer until defrosted and heated through.
Serves 4-5

1 lb ground beef
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup ground parmesean or asiago cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup ham, pancetta, or prosciutto, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
milk to moisten, about 1/4-1/2 cup
grated rind of 1 lemon

I do all the chopping in the food processor: First grate the cheese, measure & add to bowl. Chop garlic cloves, put in bowl. Chop onion and add to bowl. Chop parsley & add to bowl, then pancetta. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl & mix all together. Make 1 small meat ball & cook for 30 seconds in the microwave. Taste & correct seasonings. Form into meat balls (1tbl each) & bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Piquant Sauce
2 tbl extra virgen olive oil
1 large can tomato sauce (I like Cosco’s organic)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced fine
2 tbl brown sugar
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute garlic in oil and then add remaining ingredients. Let simmer to reduce til fairly thick. Add meatballs and stir to coat in sauce. Place in a chafing dish or slow cooker and serve hot.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Pecan Tassies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon butter, melted
One 3-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large egg
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of fine salt
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

With an electric mixer, beat the 1/2 cup butter and the cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour and beat until fully combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Set aside.
Shape the chilled dough into 24 balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Press each ball into a cup of the muffin pan, spreading evenly and up the sides, then spoon 1 teaspoon of the pecans into each muffin cup. Fill each cup with the egg mixture until evenly distributed, about 1 teaspoon in each. Bake until the filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then remove from the muffin pan.