Scallops in Jade Sauce

Scallops in Jade Sauce

I used to love to go to this little shop called “Lexington Gardens” in Connecticut. I spent afternoons there with my mom and dad on visits home. They had a wonderful little cooking and cookbook section.  I found one of my favorite cookbooks there one afternoon back in the early ’90s – Pacific Flavors by Hugh Carpenter. This lovely dish is from that book. I modified slightly over the years. This is also wonderful tossed with fresh pasta and seafood.

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Ingredients

11/2 pounds large sea scallops
4 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces
salt to taste
pepper

Sauce

1 12-oz bunch of spinach
1 Bunch chives
2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
6 Basil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup Chicken stock
1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
1 Tsp cornstarch

Preparation

Rinse scallops and pat dry. Rub with ginger and chill until ready to use.

Make sauce. Chop spinach, chives, basil and ginger. Mince greens to a fine consistency and add stock. Process 30 seconds more and add the cream, salt and chili sauce. Process for about 15 seconds until pureed. Chill until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to the broil setting. Season with a little salt, pepper and dot each scallop with butter. Place the scallops on a baking rack. Broil, without turning until they turn white and are just firm to the touch. Cut one in half if you are unsure.

While the scallops are broiling combine the cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. bring sauce to a low boil and stir in a little at a time to help thicken the sauce.

Glaze the dinner plates with the sauce and position the scallops in the center. serve at once.

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Ravioli Di Ricotta

Ravioli Di Ricotta

These are just plump pillows of wonderful cheesy goodness. Serve with a simple tomato basil sauce or butter with some sage leaves. I used a 3 1/4 inch cookie cutter and got about 30 ravioli. You can also used refrigerated pasta sheets if you don’t want to make your own pasta dough.

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Ravioli Dough

  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Filling

  • 1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the ravioli filling:

1. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, and 1 egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well,
and set aside.

To make the ravioli dough:

1. Mound the flour on a clean work surface and create a well in the center. Place the eggs, egg yolks, and oil (if using) in the center. Using a fork, whisk the eggs and oil together and slowly start dragging the flour into the egg mixture. Knead by hand until all the ingredients are well combined and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on medium speed, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a covered bowl and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

2. Set up a pasta machine and turn it to the largest opening. Cut off pieces of dough about the size of an egg. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into sheets about 1/8-inch thick.

3. Lay a pasta sheet flat on a lightly floured work surface. Using a 3 or 3 1/4 inch cookie cutter, cut out circles in the pasta dough and set on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Spoon mounds of the filling, about 2 teaspoons each, onto the middle of the pasta circle. Fold in half to cover the filling. Press the pasta together to seal the edges around the filling, and press out any excess air. Use a fork to crimp the edges. As you cut out the ravioli, place them on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal to keep them from sticking. Repeat with the remaining pasta and filling. You can refrigerate them until you are ready to cook.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli all at once and stir a few times to submerge and separate them. Cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil until the pasta is just tender to the bite, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain the ravioli thoroughly and serve with a desired sauce or cheese.

Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice

This is adapted from a New York Times recipe. I have been tweaking and finally got it to where my husband loves it. He likes to add a little extra hot sauce and some cider vinegar. I used brown rice this time and chicken andouille sausage to cut down on some of the fat. I assembled everything and then put in the crock pot for 6 hours.

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IMG_2038.jpgINGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound dried red beans 
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick and cut into quarters (or Andouille chicken sausage)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 2 large rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  •  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Emeril seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh green onions, chopped
  •  Cooked white long-grain rice, for serving

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, cover beans in water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Water should cover beans by at least an inch.)
  2. In a large, heavy pot, brown sausage in 1 tablespoon of oil until slightly crisp. Add remaining oil, then the garlic and onions. Sauté over medium heat until onions become transparent and limp. Add celery and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour soaked beans and water into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add black pepper, cayenne, salt and all herbs except parsley.
  4. Cook until beans are softened, about 11/2 to 2 hours. (Or in crockpot for 6 hours). Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Fifteen minutes before serving, remove 1 cup of beans to a bowl and, using a fork, mash them and stir back into the pot to enhance the creamy texture of the dish. Add parsley and green onions. Simmer about 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning, and add up to 1 cup more water if beans seem too thick. Remove bay leaves. Serve over white long-grain rice.
Pistachio and Golden Raisin Biscotti

Pistachio and Golden Raisin Biscotti

These are wonderful with a cup of tea!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3cups all-purpose flour
  • 1teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • large eggs
  • cup sugar
  • 1cup butter 
  • 1cup coconut oil
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12teaspoon almond extract
  • 1teaspoon grated orange rind
  • cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup golden raisins, dried apricots or dried cherries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Position rack in center of oven.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Whisk eggs, sugar, butter, oil, vanilla and almond extracts and lemon peel in a large bowl.
  5. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until smooth.
  6. Stir in nuts and raisins.
  7. Form dough into a 15×4 ½-inch log or prepared sheet.
  8. Bake 30 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  9. Cool for 15 minutes.
  10. Keep oven on.
  11. With serrated knife, cut log on angle into 18 ½” thick slices.
  12. Lay slices flat on cookie sheet and bake until bottom of cookie turn golden about 10-12 minutes.
  13. Turn cookies over and bake 10-12 minutes more.
  14. Cool cookies on wire racks.
Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

These are so good. I had some canned pumpkin leftover and I will have to make more of these. I did not ice them but you can do a glaze. Adapted from a Genius Kitchen recipe. These would be good with walnuts and or chocolate chips. I did not take a lot of photos but trust me, they are good.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 
  • 1 egg
  • 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2cups unbleached flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground roasted ginger
  • 1teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Have ready some ungreased baking sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy.

Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract.

In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Mix flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture.

Drop tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 11-15 minutes until golden around the edges.

Remove warm cookies and transfer to racks.

Let cool completely for a least one half hour, then frost with glaze.

GLAZE

tablespoons butter
1cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1cup milk
1– 2cups confectioner’s sugar

Crockpot Cranberry Butter

Crockpot Cranberry Butter

 

thanksgiving177.jpgLet the crockpot do all the work for this great side dish! Just in time for Thanksgiving.
I plan to serve this with buttermilk biscuits tomorrow. Just a little twist on an old favorite. It will be good on sandwiches, too! This is tart and sweet, you can also make with apples.
I found this recipe on the blog “the View from the Great Island”.

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Ingredients

  • 2 12-oz bags of cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup apple cider

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a crockpot and stir to combine well. Turn on high. Let it cook for about 2 hours or until the cranberries are soft.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and puree the mixture in a food processor. Do this in two batches. Be careful as the mixture is hot, I cover the top opening of the machine with a dish cloth. Let the machine run for a full minute to puree the cranberries very finely.
  3. Force the cranberry puree through a mesh sieve or strainer. Push forcefully with the back of a spoon to get as much cranberry puree as you can. Discard the solids.
  4. Pour the puree back into the crockpot. Turn the crockpot to high, and leave the lid ajar. Cook until thickened, approximately another 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Put the cranberry butter into clean jars with tight fitting lids and let cool. Store in the refrigerator and consume within a month.
Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

I made this with Turkey Kielbasa but you could use Turkey sausage or pork Italian sausage. This is great for a rainy, fall night. I sautéed the veggies and put in the crockpot for an easy weeknight meal. This warms up well and freezes for leftovers.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cupchopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 quarts beef, chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
  • 1 package of Turkey Kielbasa, sliced (or Italian sausage)

Directions

Place the olive oil into a large pot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking add the broth, tomatoes and spices to the crockpot.

Add vegetables to the crockpot.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown the kielbasa or sausage slices.

Add the browned kielbasa, lentils, and stir to combine. Set the crockpot to the desired time. Serve with cornbread or salad.