Herbs and Spices

Pork Chops Stuffed With Pine Nuts And Herbs

By Susie Middleton   |   Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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butternut squash stew
 

Pork chops make for great weeknight eating, but they’re even better when you stuff them with a quick, sweet-and-savory riff on pesto. It comes together in seconds in the food processor, and the finished dish is on your table in less than 30 minutes.

Serves: 6

Ingredients

6 center-cut, bone-in pork loin chops (1-1/4 inches to 1-1/2 inches thick)
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh tarragon
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/4 oz.)
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

Ingredients

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

With a sharp knife, make a horizontal slit in each pork chop to create a 3-1/2-inch-long pocket.

In a food processor, combine the mint, parsley, tarragon, pecorino, 3 Tbs. of the oil, the garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pulse until finely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the pine nuts and pulse until the nuts are roughly chopped. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts and the raisins. Season the insides of the pockets with salt and pepper and stuff with the filling. Secure the pockets with toothpicks. Season the outside of the meat generously with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Sear 3 of the pork chops on both sides until well browned, about 6 minutes total; transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the remaining pork chops. Top each chop with a piece of butter and roast in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chops registers 145°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the toothpicks and serve drizzled with the pan juice.

Nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 440; Fat (g): 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 300; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 25; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 8; Sodium (mg): 230; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 1;
 

susie middleton

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.


Texas Beef Chili With Poblanos And Beer

By Susie Middleton   |   Thursday, December 1, 2011
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butternut squash stew

Just say the name of this incredible recipe -- Texas Beef Chili with Poblanos and Beer – and you know that it’s going to be good. This is a classic Texas-style chili because contains meat and chiles, but no beans (although they do make a tasty garnish, if you like). It’s got a great spicy kick, and its flavor gets even better if you make it a day or two before, so plan ahead. We promise it'll be worth it!

Tip: Try it with chipotle and New Mexico chile powders, available from McCormick in your grocery store.

Serves: 8

Ingredients
3 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
2 large sweet onions, diced (about 4 cups)
2 large fresh poblano peppers (or green bell peppers), stemmed, seeded, and diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
4-1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks, 3 to 4 inches long
3 Tbs. New Mexico chile powder (or 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder)
1 Tbs. chipotle chile powder
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
12-oz. bottle amber ale, such as Shiner Bock (made in Shiner, Texas), Dos Equis Amber, or Anchor Steam Liberty Ale
1-1/2 qt. homemade or low-salt beef broth

For the Garnish
2 14-oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
12 oz. sour cream or whole-milk plain yogurt

Directions

In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, translucent, and starting to brown, 8 to 10 min. Add the poblanos, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the poblanos soften, another 8 to 10 min. If the pan seems dry, add a little more olive oil. Add the garlic and 1 tsp. salt and sauté for another 5 min. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in an 8-quart or larger Dutch oven (preferably enameled cast iron) over medium-high heat. Sear the beef cubes until browned and crusty on two sides, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the browned beef to a bowl. During searing, it’s fine if the pan bottom gets quite dark, but if it smells like it’s burning, reduce the heat a bit. If the pan ever gets dry, add a little more oil.

Once all the beef is seared and set aside, add the onions and peppers to the pan, along with the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, chile powders, cumin, and cloves and cook, stirring, until the spices coat the vegetables and are fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Slowly add the beer while scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to dissolve the coating of spices. Simmer until the beer is reduced by about half and the mixture has thickened slightly, 5 to 7 min. Add the beef, along with any accumulated juices, and the beef broth. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Test a cube of meat—you should be able to cut it with a spoon. Discard the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.

If not serving immediately, chill overnight. The next day, skim any fat from the top, if necessary, before reheating.

To serve, heat the chili gently. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 2 cups of the beef cubes to a plate. Shred the meat with a fork and return it to pot. (The shredded meat will help create a thicker texture.) Taste and add more salt if needed. Heat the beans in a medium bowl covered with plastic in the microwave (or heat them gently in a saucepan). Arrange the beans, chopped red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and sour cream in small bowls to serve as garnishes with the chili.

Nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): 29; Fat Calories (kcal): 260; Saturated Fat (g): 11; Protein (g): 58; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 20; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 900; Cholesterol (mg): 175; Fiber (g): 6.
 

susie middleton

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.


Maitake Hot and Sour Soup
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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hot and sour soup

In ancient times, maitake mushrooms were considered both precious and rare. (In fact, shoguns once traded them pound for pound with silver.) These days, they're considered a precious source of vitamins B1, B2, and D, as well as vegetable fiber and polysaccharides. Health benefits aside, maitakes have an amazing taste. The rich, woodsy flavor and the firm, meaty texture of the flesh make them the stand-out ingredient of any dish — including today’s dish! This is no ordinary hot and sour soup, as it uses the tart citrus of blood oranges. Let's get cooking!

Serves 4

Ingredients
5 slices ginger
2 onions, sliced
1 bunch scallions sliced thinly, separate white and green
4 ribs of celery sliced on bias
1 large head maitake, florets broken off and stem julienned
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 blood oranges, juiced
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
3 quarts chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Canola oil

Directions
In a stockpot over medium-high heat coated lightly with oil, sauté the ginger, onions, scallion whites, and celery, then season. Add the maitake stems and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with white pepper, add orange juice, lemon juice, naturally brewed soy sauce, and chicken stock, and check for flavor. Add maitake florets, simmer, and reduce by 20%. Serve in large bowls garnished with scallion greens.

Drink pairing suggestion
Mas de la Dame Rose du Mas 2007
Provence, France

Taste: Subtle flavors of fresh berries and fennel with a flowery finish

Aroma: Fresh strawberries, peaches and roses

—Pairs nicely with barbecue, pesto pasta, salads, fish and grilled meat
—50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cinsault
—Certified organic (Agriculture Biologique) by Qualite France


__________________________________________________________________________________
Chef Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the US.

Spaghetti with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese
By Annie Copps

Thursday, September 30, 2010
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Beets have got to be one of the sexiest of vegetables—whether they are a deep glistening ruby red, vivid sunset yellow or clown-ish, with red & white stripes. Their earthy and rich flavor are all about strength and vitality. But food writer Sara Moulton doesn't agree.

Sara doesn't care for beets, why, we don't know, but her husband is crazy for them, so she developed a quick and easy recipe that even a registered beet hater could love.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook a pound of your favorite pasta—be sure to save some of that starchy cooking liquid, that is going to help make your sauce. In a separate pan saute onions, garlic and grated uncooked beets—there's your big time saver right there. Add some of that cooking liquid and goat cheese. Toss in the pasta and top with walnuts and you are good to go with a healthy and delicious meal in 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings
Total time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 pound spaghetti (or your favorite pasta shape)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 pounds beets, peeled and grated
10 ounces soft goat cheese (about 1-1/3 cups), crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Transfer spaghetti to a large bowl.

In a medium-size saute pan over medium heat, add oil and cook onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beets and cook another 8 minutes, until softened.

Add reserved cooking liquid and goat cheese; cook, stirring, until cheese softens into a sauce.

Add lemon juice; then add salt and pepper to taste.

Add sauce to spaghetti and toss well. Divide among 6 bowls and top each serving with toasted walnuts.

Adapted from Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals (Broadway Books, 2005), by Sara Moulton
 

Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Do you know Oleana  restaurant in Cambridge? Or Sofra in Watertown? My good friend Ana Sortun is the genius behind those excellent restaurants, and in her book Spice, she shares some of her secrets. One of my addictions are her Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives. I encourage you to serve these at your next party, be it a luncheon, a barbecue, or a fancy dinner. That is assuming you don’t eat them before your guests arrive.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Ready in: 30 mins

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced fresh tuna (about 6 ounces)
1 scallion, minced
1/2 cup minced celery
Tiny pinch curry
Salt and pepper
8 hard-boiled eggs, split in half lengthwise, with yolks and whites separated
1 cup thick mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
8 black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 plum tomato, finely chopped

Directions
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat.

Add the tuna, scallion, celery, curry and salt and pepper.

Cook until the tuna is just opaque, about 3 minutes. Cool and drain well.

In a small mixing bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, tuna, and
parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the egg whites with salt and pepper and fill their centers with heaping spoonfuls of the tuna egg filling. Top each with a black olive and tomato.

(From Ana Sortum, Spice)


___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Lasagna Roll-ups By Annie Copps

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
2 Comments   2 comments.

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lasagna rollups

Here's a fun and delicious twist on lasagna that you'll be happy to serve for dinner any time or whip up for a large buffet.

Lasagna rollups are made of the same ingredients as traditional layered lasagnas (and can handle all the variations of fillings and sauces). But this way, everyone gets their own, individual serving and it feels just a little more special, with no extra effort.

Let's start with the pasta. Cook off lasagna noodles until they are soft and flexible, but still al dente. Combine the usual lasagna suspects of ricotta cheese, egg, a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg, mozzarella cheese, parmesan and for texture, some chopped walnuts. Spoon a few tablespoons of the mixture onto one end of a cooked noodle, then gently roll to the end.

Place the rolled bundle into a baking dish and repeat with remaining pasta and filling. Top the whole party with your favorite sauce.

Cover and bake about 20minutes.

Ta Da—lasgana roll ups!

Filling:
3/4 pound lasagna noodles
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt to taste
2 drops Tabasco sauce, or cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 cup whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup ground walnuts

Directions
In a large pot of salted water, cook noodles until barely done.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

Pesto Sauce:
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/3 cup ground walnuts
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced green onion
2 garlic cloves
Kosher or sea salt
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
In a blender or food processor, combine ingredients and blend until smooth.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling over each lasagna noodle. Roll up the lasagna end to end (jelly-roll style) and cut each roll-up in half, keeping jelly-roll style. Place cut-side down in a greased baking dish. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of pesto sauce over each roll-up. Cover tightly with buttered foil and bake 20 minutes.

___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue

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