Nicoise Salad 

This is a great summer meal.. uses fresh veggies and needs just a little stove top cooking for a few of the ingredients.

serves 4-6 

INGREDIENTS 
FOR THE DRESSING: 
1 clove garlic 
Kosher salt, to taste 
⅓ cup olive oil 
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 
1 shallot, minced 
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

FOR THE SALAD: 
1 lb. small new potatoes, boiled until tender 
8 oz. green beans or asparagus, blanched or lightly steamed 
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved 
½ cup black Niçoise olives 
8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced 
8 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed and drained (optional) 
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise 
3 (4-oz.) cans high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained 
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced 
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, to garnish 
romaine lettuce, washed, and spun dry 

INSTRUCTIONS 
1. Make the dressing: Mince garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle heavily with salt; using a knife, scrape garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. Transfer paste to a bowl and whisk in oil, juice, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper; set aside. 

2. Make the salad: Prepare a bowl for each person.Put a bed of romaine lettuce in each bowl, arrange other ingredients over lettuce; drizzle dressing over all ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with scallions just before serving.

Artichoke Shaksuka 

Shaksuka is a poached eg dish popular in northern Africa. It is often eaten for breakfast in Israel. This version uses canned artichoke hearts and is quick, easy and delicious.

Artichoke Shaksuka 
Serves 4 

Ingredients 

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced 
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
24-ounce jar of marinara sauce 
12-ounce jar of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered 
6 to 8 large eggs 
Kosher salt 
Ground black pepper 
1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese 
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley 

Directions 

Active time: 15 minutes 
Total time: 30 minutes 

Preheat oven to 375°, with rack in center. Heat olive oil in a 10" cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and bell pepper and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add marinara sauce and artichoke hearts. Crack eggs into sauce and sprinkle with generous pinches of salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumbled feta or goat cheese over pan. Transfer pan to oven and bake until egg whites are set but yolks are still slightly runny, 15 to 20 minutes. Scatter parsley over top before serving warm from skillet, family-style. 

Unbelievably good! -- Original recipe from Molly Gilbert's One Pan and Done. (which I may have to get if the rest of the recipes are as great as this one) 
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/food/artichoke-shakshuka-recipe#ixzz4xQZzW4DS

 

Bayou Shrimp 

This is so delicious and easy and quick to make. Enjoy!

Bayou Shrimp 

5 cups hot, cooked rice 

¼ cup butter or margarine 

1 lb. uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined 

1 garlic clove, minced (or ¼ tsp minced garlic powder) 

½ tsp. salt 

¼-1 tsp. black pepper 

1 T. Cajun Seasoning 

1 cup garden pepper or chunky style salsa 

1 cup shrimp or vegetable stock, clam juice or 1 cup water mixed with ½ tsp Penzey’s Seafood or Vegetable Soup Base 

1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles 

¼ cup water 

2 T. cornstarch or flour 

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, garlic, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning, cook until shrimp turns pink – 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salsa, stock or clam juice and chiles and mix well. Reduce heat to low, cook for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch or flour (cornstarch will give a clearer sauce that flour), blend till smooth. Add to the mixture in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Serve in bowls over the hot rice. 

Unbelievably good! 

Recipe is from Penzey’s Spices.

And here's a track from our upcoming CD to listen to while you cook:

Holy Guacamole! 

We had a blast in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico. When we weren't eating out, we made quesadillas and guacamole at our friend Emily's casa. Yes you can probably buy guacamole at the supermarket, but the fresh homemade stuff is soooo good! and healthy too. Really.

Holy Guacamole
 

Ingredients 

2 ripe avocados 
1/2 small-med onion, minced 
1-2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped 
1 tomato, chopped 
juice from one or two limes - at least 2 T 
1/2 t ground cumin 
salt to taste 
chopped cilantro 

Slice avocados open, remove the seeds and scoop out the avocado. Place in bowl and mash with fork. Add the minced onion, garlic, chopped tomato and jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro and seasonings. Mix and taste. Adjust seasonings. Enjoy!

Broccoli Feta Soup 

I served this soup to our bass player Jeff Stocki at a rehearsal and he begged me for the recipe afterwards. I sent it out in my newsletter and it got rave reviews. So tasty and good for you too!

Broccoli Feta Soup 
Serves 4 to 6 

Ingredients 

2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
1 cup diced onion 
½ cup diced celery 
2 garlic cloves, smashed 
¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided 
½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided 
1 large Yukon Gold potato, skin on, cut into ½" pieces (about 1½ cups) 
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus more as needed 
6 cups broccoli florets (from 1½ pounds broccoli crowns) 
⅓ cup parsley leaves, plus 2 Tbsp. for garnish 
⅓ cup crumbled feta (1½ ounces), plus ¼ cup for garnish 
½ Tbsp. or so chopped dill, for garnish 

Directions: 

In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery and garlic until soft, about 8 minutes. Season with ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper. 

Add potato and stir to combine. Pour in stock, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli and cook until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add ⅓ cup parsley and ⅓ cup feta. 

Using a blender, puree soup in batches. Add stock or water to reach desired consistency. Season with remaining ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with remaining parsley, feta and dill. Drizzle with olive oil and serve. 

Original recipe is from oprah.com

The Best Cole Slaw 

Rusty and I traveled through Louisiana and Mississippi last month. We had some excellent meals, but every time we were served cole slaw, Rusty said "It's not as good as yours." Here is my favorite cole slaw recipe - Southern Style Power Slaw!

Southern-Style Power Slaw 

Cajun Dressing: 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1/8 cup Dijon mustard 
3 tablespoons sugar - I use a generous Tablespoon of agave instead 
3 tablespoons cider vinegar 
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spices 
1 teaspoon salt 

Salad: 
6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage 
4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage 
4 large collard green leaves, thinly sliced 
6 scallions, thinly sliced 

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the entire salad.  Mix well with a wire whisk until combined. 

Mix all of the salad ingredients together in the bowl with the dressing and mix until well combined. 

Put the salad in the refrigerator for about 1 hour prior to serving.  The slaw can be made one day ahead. 

Makes 8 servings. 
Variations - I often make half this recipe if it is just for me and Rusty. I add a grated carrot, and have made it with green cabbage only if I don't have purple on hand.You can use kale if you don't have collards. And I have substituted yogurt for up to half of the mayo. Any way - it's delish! 

Source: Adapted from “The Whole Foods Market Cookbook”

Peace, Love and Posole! 

Happy New Year! I like to start the year off with the New Mexican tradition of Posole for luck in the coming year. Plus, it's delicious, especially on a cold day. And it's not that hard to make. Here is my recipe, adapted from the Feast Of Santa Fe cookbook - a great source for more New Mexican recipes.
 

New Mexican Posole 

1 onion, chopped 

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 

2 T vegetable oil 

1/2 t each of black pepper, ground cumin, cloves and cayenne 

1 and 1/2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded or chopped 

2 or 3 cups canned white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed 

3-5 cups chicken broth 

1 cup canned chopped green chiles 

2 whole jalapeños - if you like it hot! 

Salt to taste 

optional garnishes - see below 

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and saute the onion and garlic until they are wilted and begin to brown a little. Add the spices, stir for a minute, then stir in the hominy, broth, the green chiles and the jalapeños if you are using them. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered till the onions and chiles start to disintegrate and the hominy kernels have puffed up and are tender, about 45-60 minutes. You can add the cooked chicken towards the end of the process. Add salt to taste before serving. 

The traditional recipe is made with pork and calls for the meat to be cubed and browned before sauteeing the vegetables, then added to the pot with the broth and spices and cooked in the broth. If you do it this way you will want to skim off some of the grease from the broth before serving. I like to boil a whole chicken the day before to make the broth, then strain and refrigerate till the next day. Then I make a double or triple batch of posole for my New Year gathering. One chicken is plenty of meat.

Optional garnishes: Set small bowls of finely shredded lettuce or cabbage, finely sliced radishes, chopped avocado, chopped fresh tomato (if in season), chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges. 

Vegetarian version: Use vegetable broth or chicken flavored vegetable broth and omit the chicken. It’s still yummy! 

Gringo version - Use 1/2 the amount of cayenne, and go easy on the green chiles and jalapeños - or omit them. 

This is a traditional New Year’s dish in New Mexico and is believed to bring good luck for the coming year. I serve it every year on New Year’s Day.