Monday, November 29, 2010

Italian Turkey and Sausage Soup

A nice, warming soup to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. This is also tasty with chicken. Don't forget to top with Parmesan cheese - the salty punch it delivers is perfect.

Italian Turkey and Sausage Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 cups turkey or chicken broth
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 medium zucchini, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 cups diced cooked turkey
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, basil and fennel seeds and sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover pot and simmer 10 minutes. Add zucchini, carrots and celery; simmer 15 minutes. Add spinach, sausage and turkey and cook until heated through, 3-5 minutes. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6.

Garnished with Parmesan cheese and celery leaves

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes

Perfect for Thanksgiving, these easy sweet potatoes are a savory side. I like this recipe from my cookbook because it goes together in minutes and can be made in advance - decreasing last minute stress in the kitchen. Maharajah Curry Powder from The Cooking School Spice Collection makes these special.

Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes
4 small sweet potatoes, about 1-1/2 pounds
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon curry powder

Preheat oven to 425˚.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Melt butter in an 8x11-inch baking dish; stir in curry powder. Add potatoes and toss to coat evenly with butter mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes, stirring twice, until browned and soft. Serves 4-6.

Leigh's tips: Prepare early in the day, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Substitute chili powder for the curry for a southwestern twist.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fresh Peach Cake

The peaches have been nice this year and smell so enticing when I walk by them in the store that I couldn't help but run downstairs to get one and make this cake when I saw the recipe. Quick and easy, this cake uses pantry ingredients, one bowl and mixes together in minutes - what more could you ask?

Fresh Peach Cake

1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided use
1 large ripe peach
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup milk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425º with rack in the center of the oven. Butter an 8-inch round glass or ceramic baking dish with ½ tablespoon butter. Cut peach in half and discard pit. Thinly slice peach and arrange half over bottom of dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and 1/3 cup sugar. Whisk in milk. Whisk in flour, baking powder and salt until smooth. Pour batter over peach slices. Arrange remaining slices on top like spokes of a wheel. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over top and dot with remaining butter.

Bake until top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean, 23-25 minutes. Serve warm, cut into wedges. Serves 6.





Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Marinated Mozzarella

Back to blogging after a few weeks of finishing the new cooking school cookbook and launching our new line of spices! The cookbook is now in the hands of the publisher and our spices are available in the school.

Marinated Mozzarella is our Recipe of the Week in the store advertisement. The recipe goes together in minutes and can be made a day or two in advance. This is a delicious way to showcase fresh basil that is perfect right now. Use as a snack or as part of an antipasto platter.

Marinated Mozzarella

1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped kalamata olives
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch pieces

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 2-3 days.

Makes 1 pound.



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon

From my Simple Seafood Class tonight. A delicious all-in-one side with fish, seafood or chicken. Be sure to serve this while it is warm and the sauce is creamy.

Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon

8 ounces penne pasta
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
4 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add asparagus, return to a boil and continue cooking until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.

Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in lemon zest and juice.

Stir the sauce into the drained pasta-asparagus mixture. Return pan to medium-low heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Divide the pasta among 4 plates and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Serves 4.

Using Dreamfield’s penne: Boil penne for 8 minutes, add asparagus, return to boil and boil 3 minutes.



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fresh Blackberry Cobbler Cake

Jungle Jim handed me a quart of beautiful blackberries as I was leaving work the other day. I made a delicious blackberry ginger sauce for grilled pork chops with half of the berries and this cake with the other half. I called it a cobbler cake because it is similar to both. The cake mixes quickly and would be delicious with any type of berry or nuts.

Fresh Blackberry Cobbler Cake

1 pint fresh blackberries
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
1 tablespoon + 1 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs
12 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
Whipped cream, optional for serving

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Arrange berries in a single layer in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup sugar and eggs in a medium bowl and mix well. Add butter, vanilla and almond extract and stir until well combined. Add flour and stir until batter is smooth.

Spoon batter evenly over the berry mixture and bake 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in cake only comes out clean. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4-6.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Microwave Roast Chicken

This is one of those recipes I have had sitting around for a long time and never got around to trying. I was not convinced that a chicken would actually roast in a microwave and thought it might turn out to be a waste of time.

I was pleasantly surprised. So were a few people at the cooking school. The chicken was quick to assemble with just a few ingredients, cooked much faster than in a conventional oven and turned out moist with slightly crispy skin. Definitely a recipe to keep in mind for a weeknight meal.

My chicken weighed 3.75 pounds and cooked for 34 minutes at full power in a 1100 watt microwave oven.

Microwave Roast Chicken

One 3-4 pound roasting chicken, gizzards removed, rinsed
1 tablespoon butter, sliced
1 lemon
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small bunch parsley, washed & trimmed
Paul Prudhomme Poultry Magic Spice Mix

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place butter under skin of chicken breast. Squeeze lemon juice over bird and rub with cut side of garlic cloves. Stuff lemon, garlic, and parsley inside cavity of bird. Sprinkle Prudhomme Poultry Magic evenly over chicken. Place in a microwave safe casserole or glass bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Do not vent plastic wrap.

Microwave at full power for 9 minutes per pound. Remove from microwave and carefully peel off plastic wrap. Allow chicken to rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 3-4.

Very simple ingredients

Butter under skin, stuffed, sprinkled with spice

Tightly wrapped with plastic wrap

After cooking 34 minutes, plastic wrap is still expanded

Roasted, browned and resting

Ready to slice and serve