Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Lazaro Cooks
Photo was used as a guest post for Free Eater Spirit

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dirt to Table Experience: Cauliflower Salad

Food is for celebrating.......

The Orthodox Jewish Community celebrates Sukkot, a Judaism version of Thanksgiving, celebrating life, community and the season's bounty, with a seven-day festival.

During this celebration it is considered a good deed (Mitzvah) to open your home to guests.  One of the typical salads served, is this simple cauliflower salad.  A delicious briny mix of cauliflower, roasted red bell peppers, kalamata olives, scallions and lemon juice.  With a few fresh minced herbs such as oregano and marjoram and you have a salad that can serve a crowd.

Cauliflower Salad
Serves 12
Recipe from Saveur Magazine

2 cups thinly sliced cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped scallions
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon marjoram, minced
1 teaspoon oregano, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl let sit for 20 minutes to blend flavors.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Maureen Brady

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Rainbow of Love Cocktail

I could not get my act together to share this cocktail with you before Valentine's Day.   Since the holiday falls on a Thursday, I suspect there will be people who will be celebrating this weekend.

This is an Italian inspired, very romantic cocktail that was created after the amazing rainbows that are often seen through the windows of Ristorante Covo die Saraceni in Positano Italy.  

Happy Valentine's Day.

A Rainbow of Love Cocktail
Recipe from HGTV

1 bottle of chilled Prosecco
1/2 ounce dry gin
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce chilled pineapple juice
1/2 ounce chilled orange juice
1/2 ounce chilled grapefruit juice
1 whole strawberry

Chill a long fluted champagne glass a few hours in the refrigerator before preparing.  When ready to serve, remove the glass and pour in juices, gin and a touch of Cointreau.  Fill the rest of the glass with Prosecco.  Gently stir, and drop a strawberry in the bottom of the glass.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Berl Childers

Friday, February 8, 2013

Clean Eating: Chicken Paillard with Lemon Parsley Butter and Seared Chard

Clean eating was welcomed after the gluttony of the holidays.  I felt rough, bloated like a wart hog and  looked forward to simple whole food meals, at least until I could get my food groove going again.  No doubt many of you felt the same way.

Eating whole unprocessed foods as close to its source and its natural state is my long term goal.  I will be the first to admit that it is far easier said than done.  Since I love to garden and the outcome of gardening is a bounty of vegetables, herbs and fruits it helps to move me in that direction.

This meal was low in fat and calories, and high on flavor. I am thinking this was a pretty good combination.

Chicken Paillard
Serves 4
Recipe from Clean Eating/ Suzanne Sommers

2-6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced horizontally and pounded 1/4-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional to taste, optional
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus additional to taste, optional
2 Tablespoons Olive oil, divided
4 tablespoon organic unsalted butter, divided
10 shallots finely diced
juice of 3 lemons
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 bunches red swiss chard, coarsely chopped

1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium-high.  Working in batches if necessary, add chicken to skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned.  Transfer to a shallow baking pan and place in 200 degrees F. oven to keep warm.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

2.  In skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium-high.  Add shallots and sauté , stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add lemon juice and broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan.  Boil until liquid reduces by half.

3.  Cut remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small pieces.  Add to broth mixture, whisking until smooth.  Stir in parsley and salt and pepper, to taste.  Cover skillet and keep warm.

4.  In a separate large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high.  Add chard and cook until wilted, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  To serve, divide chard among serving plates and top with chicken and butter mixture.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Photo submitted by Loek VanVliet

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sunday Supper: Chicken Cacciatore

During the week our meals are thrown together, microwaved, baked from a box, eaten while standing-up, gulped at the counter or eaten in the car on the way to soccer practice, or on the way back. On the way to geometry tutoring or on the way back-it is organized chaos during the week.

On Sundays, we take a different approach.  Sunday Supper is a tradition in our family.  It is an opportunity to gather our family and friends, enjoy quality time together, and eat a real meal.

Sunday Suppers are typically hearty family style meals served on platters that can be passed around in a communal style. Weather permitting is almost always enjoyed outdoors. This my friends makes for some our best memories as a family.

I have been making this Emeril Lagasse Chicken Cacciatore recipe for many years-It is foolproof, easy to prepare and can serve a crowd.

If you have not had a Sunday Supper in awhile, make plans, invite the family and a few good friends, sit down and enjoy a meal together.

Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4
Recipe from Emeril Lagassee

4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken wings
Emeril's Essence Seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
pinch of red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
1 Tablespoon basil
1/2 pound cooked fettuccine or spaghetti
4-ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Season the chicken with Essence.  Season the flour with Essence.  Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, coating completely.  In a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add oil.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown for 2-3 minutes each side.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  

Add the onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Continue to sauté for 2 minutes.  Stir in the wine, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Stir in red pepper, bay leaf, thyme and basil.  Add the chicken back to the mixture.  Reduce heat to medium and cover.  Simmer for 1-hour or until tender.  Garnish with cheese and parsley.