Monday, February 27, 2012

Smoked Salmon Dip

This recipe is all David all the way.  He definitely knows how to make a delicious smoked salmon dip! This is something my grandmother used to make all the time, and he got the proportions perfectly!

5 oz smoked salmon
8 oz cream cheese
1 celery stalk finely chopped (and I mean it)
1 shallot finely chopped (ditto)
1 teaspoon garlic salt powder
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dill
2 tablespoons mayo

1. Remove cream cheese from wrapper and place in a bowl so it can soften.
2. Finely chop celery, shallot and salmon.
3. Combine everything in the bowl with cream cheese and use a fork to stir and stir and stir until it is all mixed together.
4. Serve on baguette slices, crackers, toast points, bagels, etc.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chickpea and Leek Pasta

Everyone has a pasta they can count on to satisfy at any occasion.  A few weeks ago I experimented with my favorite flavors of chickpeas, leeks and mushrooms and came up with this really simple pasta that was as satisfying as it was protein packed.  Pasta and beans is a surprisingly good combo and I think whole wheat pasta would also be great here.


1 lb fettucini pasta
1 can chickpeas drained
1 tablespoon cumin
1 leek thinly cleaned and thinly sliced
5-6 white or button mushrooms roughly chopped
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 cup reserved pasta water
Feta cheese

1. Start a pot of water to boil on the stove, prepare pasta per package directions.
2. Meanwhile heat medium saute pan on medium high heat and add a swirl of olive oil.  When hot, add chickpeas and let sizzle in the oil.  Stir in cumin and let cook another 3 or 4 minutes.
3. Add chopped leeks and mushrooms to the chickpeas, stir to coat and let cook another 5 minutes then set aside.
4. When pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of pasta water for later use
5. Drain pasta and return to pan, add chickpea mixture, red pepper flakes and pasta water, stir to coat evenly.
6. Serve on plates and top with feta cheese, salt and pepper.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Matzo Ball Soup with Curry and Cilantro

Matzo ball soup is one of the best soups to have around the house.  The matzo meal stays in the cupboard and if you have some chicken broth you basically have a soup.  In this version I add curry powder and cilantro to give it a unique flavor.


Matzo balls
2 eggs
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup seltzer water
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 carrot peeled and chopped
1/2 onion peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons curry
4 cups chicken broth
10 sprigs cilantro

1. Start with the matzo first.  Mix eggs, water and oil together in a medium bowl.
2. Add salt and pepper and stir again.
3. Add matzo meal and stir to combine well.  Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to let set.
4. About 10 minutes before matzo is ready, heat a soup pot over medium high heat.  Add a swirl of olive oil and cook onion and carrot for three minutes.
5. Add curry and stir to coat evenly.  Let cook another 2 minutes.
6. Then add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
7. Wet your hands and roll the matzo into 1 1/2 inch size balls.
8. When soup is boiling, add the matzo balls into the pot being careful not to disturb the others.
9. Reduce heat to low and cook 25-30 minutes.
10. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and a pinch or two of salt and serve!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Super Stuffed Pizza Bread

Holy Cow WOW this is the best appetizer I have made in years (okay besides gougeres and pretzels).  Anyway this is essentially a pizza stuffed and wrapped like a baguette and it is downright tasty and impressive to look at.  Fill with whatever you would normally put on a pizza, here we have made some adjustments to make it vegetarian.


1 cup tomato sauce
3-4 sundried tomatoes finely chopped
1 cup pesto sauce
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 egg white

Pizza Dough (prepare at least two hours before you are ready to make pizza)

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
about 2 cups luke warm water

Mix yeast and sugar in 1 cup measuring cup.  Add room temp water and let sit for five minutes.  Meanwhile add flour and salt to the food processor and process for 10 seconds to mix together.  When yeast mixture is ready, add to the flour while the processor is running.  If dough is still not combined add another 1/4 of water at a time until dough forms a ball.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with kitchen towel.  Allow to rest for at least two hours (you can even let this sit for 24 hours!).

Making the stuffed pizza

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place a cookie sheet length of parchment on a standard size cookie sheet.
3. Carefully roll out dough to cover most of the parchment
4. Use a pastry brush or back of a spoon to evenly distribute tomato sauce on the dough, repeat with pesto sauce.
5. Evenly sprinkle feta cheese, capers, sundried tomatoes and parmesan on top. 
6. If you have someone who can help you roll up the dough it will be easier.  Fold one side of the dough hot dog style until it covers slightly more than half the distance to the other side.  Then fold over the other sides and pinch the seams together, being sure to tuck in the ends of the loaf so the sauce doesn't fall out.
7. Brush egg white mixture over the dough.
8. Place the bread into the oven and cook about 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crust is cooked through (you can tell by seeing the bottom of the loaf that it is not white and soft).
9. Allow to cool for an hour before cutting into slices and serving to friends and family.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lamb Chili

Don't let the word "lamb" get in your way of trying this hearty chili recipe.  If you can't get a good source for lamb, of course you could do pork or beef, but please try and get some lamb if you can!  Serve this with some of our fresh homemade bread and you will not be sorry!


olive oil
1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
2 jalopenos seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cans pinto beans, drained
salt (to taste)

1. Set a deep heavy pot on medium high heat.  When hot, add swirl or two of olive oil.  Then add onion, jalopeno and garlic.  Stir to coat and let cook about 3 minutes.
2. Add lamb and stir with spoon to break up the meat
3. After five minutes, add cumin and stir for another minute.
4. Add tomatoes, paste and beans
5. Let sit over medium heat for 20 minutes until heated through
6. Serve with bread, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Arizona Tradewinds Cocktail (inspired by the Dutch Tradewinds)

This recipe is really a cocktail called the Dutch Tradewinds, but the box of lemons came to us in the middle of a snowstorm from my aunt in Arizona so we decided to name it the Arizona Tradewinds.  It's amazing what a box of citrus in the middle of a storm can do to sooth the cold weather blues.

Ingredients for 2 drinks

2 shots jenever (Dutch gin)
1 shot triple sec or orange liqueur
1 shot fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar

1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice
2. Mix sugar in with lemon juice
3. Combine all ingredients in the cocktail shaker and shake about 30 seconds
4. Pour into chilled martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon