Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sweet Roasted Parsnips with Onion and Rosemary

The NEW YEAR is all about looking ahead and trying new things. And that includes trying new foods.

If you're like me, you likely have never eaten parsnips. All I knew was that they looked like white carrots and they weren't that interesting that I wanted to taste them.

But we were invited to a friend's home for dinner and this was a vegetable she prepared.  I tasted; I liked; and have since prepared them for our family.

There are different ways to prepare parsnips, but I find they are at their best when roasted...and this is an easy and quick way to prepare them.  You know me....Quick and Easy always attracts me to a recipe.  This is a variation of a recipe I found on several cooking sites and I think you'll like it.

Sweet Roasted Parsnips with Onions and Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son's Extra Virgin Olive Oil (medium intensity)
2 Tablespoons Joe and Son's Vermont Maple Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 pound parsnips, scraped and sliced into strips
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
fresh rosemary for garnish, if desired
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss so the parsnips are thoroughly coated with the Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
Spread them on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast for about 20 minutes and toss.  Roast for another 20-25 minutes until the parsnips are tender and lightly golden in color.
Serves 4.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chipotle Collard Greens with Black-Eyed Peas

The end of the year is fast approaching and chances are that many of us are reviewing the ending year.  We're thinking about the good things and the sad things that took place.... the missed opportunities, the new friendships, the memorable experiences AND the resolutions we made that somehow never came to be.

But, all is not lost.  We can learn from past experiences and benefit from them.  The secret is to have a definite goal, one that is reachable by taking baby steps.

Let's resolve to cook at least one healthy, tasty meal each week. You might find it so easy that you'll expand to 2 meals a week and then, who knows?

But, here we are, faced with the New Year's Tradition of eating Greens and Black-Eyed Peas for good luck and good health.  These are foods normally prepared with fatty ham hocks.

Why not start the year off right by cooking these in a healthier, but equally tasty way?
This recipe combines both the peas and greens in a soupy mixture that I think you'll enjoy.

May all of you have a wonderful, prosperous and healthy 2016 in your future. 

I wish you all the best!!!!!

Chipotle Collard Greens with Black-Eyed Peas

2 teaspoons Joe and Son’s Chipotle Olive Oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
¾ cup crushed canned tomatoes with juice
2 -3 pounds collard greens…I use the large pre-washed and trimmed bags of collards found in the produce section of my supermarket
One 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, amount determined by taste
Add the Chipotle Olive Oil to a large saucepan or stockpot. Warm the oil to a medium temperature and add the onions and garlic. Continue stirring until the onions are golden and transparent. Add 1½ cups of the beef stock, the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.
Now add the collards in large bunches, letting each batch wilt slightly before adding more.
Cover and cook over low/medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the collards are just tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the drained black-eyed peas with the remaining 1 cup of beef stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes; taste and season with salt and pepper.
Using a slotted spoon, add the black-eyed peas to the collards; reserve the bean broth for another use, if you choose. Add the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar to the collard greens mixture; stir, and if needed, add salt and pepper before serving.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Garbanzo (Spanish Bean) Soup

If you're not familiar with Garbanzo beans, you may know them as Chick Peas.

This is a recipe I've changed from the way my Mother used to make it to a much quicker (and just as good) version that can be made from start to finish in under an hour.
I know....the purists are going to say that using dried beans and soaking them overnight is the right way to make this recipe. But, let me tell you that the canned beans are just as good, if not better, than the dried beans.  I promise you that no one will know.  If you don't tell; I won't.

Now, I like this soup to be thick, and not brothy. So, after the beans have been cooking for about 15-20 minutes, I take out about a cup of the beans and mash them so they become pureed. Then I add them to the pot and continue cooking.  If you prefer a thinner broth, then don't do this.

This recipe serves about 8 people and tastes even better the next day if you have leftovers.

Garbanzo ( Spanish Bean)Soup

2-3 medium onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced into thin rounds
Ham slice ( about ¾ lb.) cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup Joe and Son’s Medium Intensity EVOO ( I used Coratina, but any of our EVOO's would be delicious.)
1 can crushed tomatoes (about 28 ounce size)
6 cans Garbanzo beans ( 19 ounce size) with liquid
4 cups prepared beef broth
I package Vigo flavoring and coloring (Saffron type coloring)
5 mediums sized potatoes, cut into 1-2” pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat the EVOO and saute the first 3 ingredients over medium heat until the onions are transparent. Add the chorizos and ham pieces and continue to stir for about another 10 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes, Garbanzo beans and their liquid, the beef broth and the Vigo flavoring. Cook over low/medium heat for about 30 minutes and then add the potato pieces.

Continue to cook until the potatoes are fork tender, but are still holding their shape.
Salt and pepper to taste

Serve hot with good crusty bread to sop up the broth.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Seafood alla Positano

Normally, when we speak of a one-pan meal we think of a casserole.  Today's recipe is a one pan meal, but rather than baking we prepared the fish by poaching it.

If you've never poached fish, then this is the recipe to start with. It's so easy, even a beginner can do it.

Basically, you prepare the poaching liquid.  In this case it is a flavorful light tomato sauce and then you cook the fish in the sauce on the stove. No fuss; no muss.

Ready?  Let's get started.


Seafood alla Positano

4 filets of firm, white fish ( I prefer Orange Roughy) about 5-6 ounces each..seasoned with salt and pepper
16 shrimp, peeled, deveined with tails removed
3 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Milanese Gremolata Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half and crushed
¼ cup Joe and Son’s Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
1 14-16 ounce can crushed tomatoes with juice
1 Tablespoon canned tomato sauce
12-14 good quality black olives, pitted and cut in half
1-2 Tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained..
 Add, according to your taste, ½ cup dry, white wine OR ½ cup canned chicken broth
1 Bay Leaf
Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
Pinch of dried basil
Pinch of dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized saute pan with a lid, heat the Olive Oil and saute the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are transparent. Add the next 10 ingredients; stir and continue to cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.

Add the fish and shrimp, making sure to ladle some of the sauce over the seafood. Cover and continue to cook over low heat for about 6-7 minutes until the seafood is done. Be sure sauce does not boil and bubble and that the seafood is covered with the sauce.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with parsley and basil leaves