La Cucina

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La Cucina

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Dez. 29, 2017, 8:14am

This thread is for members of Club Read to share their favorite recipes, new and old. I would also encourage everyone to tell us about their favorite restaurants, markets, halls and food festivals, in your home city and elsewhere.

Dez. 29, 2017, 8:15am

I made a very tasty and easy vegetarian soup when I visited my parents earlier this month, Mediterranean Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup:


Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp sumac
1 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
2 tsp dried mint flakes
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp flour
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups water, more if needed
12 oz frozen cut leaf spinach (no need to thaw)
1 1/2 cups small brown lentils, rinsed
1 lime, juice of
2 cups chopped flat leaf parsley


In a large ceramic or cast iron pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the chopped onions and sautee until golden brown. Add the garlic, all the spices, dried mint, sugar and flour. Cook for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat stirring regularly.

Now add the broth and water. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a rolling boil; add the frozen spinach and the lentils. Cook for 5 minutes on high heat then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked to tender. (Partway through cooking, check the liquid levels, and if you need to add a little bit of hot water.)

Once the lentils are fully cooked, stir in the lime juice and chopped parsley. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes or so. Serve hot with pita bread or your favorite rustic Italian bread.

My parents didn't have sumac, so I used lemon zest as a substitute. I used a Vidalia sweet onion in place of a yellow onion, and I served it with naan instead of rustic Italian bread. Otherwise I followed the recipe to the letter. It was certainly spicy, too much so for my mother, although it was perfect for me. I stored leftovers in individual Tupperware containers in the freezer and had a serving earlier this week, which tasted great. I'll add this soup to my rotation of favorite soups and stews.

Dez. 29, 2017, 8:55am

>2 kidzdoc: Mmm -that looks good-
I just made a lentil soup from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook Smitten Kitchen Every Day page 72 " Red Lentil Soup, Dal Style." It was very good but I do have to make myself a note to use an old small frying pan to heat up the mustard seeds- I wrecked my old pan ( don't ask- stupid mistake)

Bearbeitet: Dez. 29, 2017, 9:53am

That red lentil soup sounds yummy, as does this recipe by Melissa Clark from The New York Times:

Yikes. One of the recipes I frequently make calls for roasted mustard seeds. I use a small nonstick frying pan to heat them, which works well.

Dez. 29, 2017, 12:30pm

>3 torontoc: Love that cookbook! Love everything Smitten Kitchen, actually.

I'm hosting my monthly supper club tomorrow night, and all of the recipes are coming from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I'll post pictures tomorrow or the next day. The recipes are pretty complex, so wish me luck!!

Dez. 29, 2017, 12:34pm

>5 Cait86: Yum! I look forward to seeing photos and descriptions from your supper cub meet up, Cait. I have at least two of his cookbooks, Ottolenghi and Plenty, but I haven't tried many recipes in either one.

Dez. 29, 2017, 4:25pm

Heather's white chicken chili is ready!

This recipe came from Heather, my group's former administrative assistant, who also shared her crawfish étouffée and chicken & Andouillle sausage Creole jambalaya recipes with me:

Heather's White Chicken Chili

A take on the Mayo Clinic's recipe so it is healthy (until you add the sour cream and cheese...ha!)

• 2 lbs raw chicken breasts (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper)
• 3 cups canned white beans (northern, pinto, garbanzo, etc)
• 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with jalapenos
• 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 medium red pepper, chopped
• 1 medium orange or yellow pepper, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• Cayenne pepper, to taste
• 6 tbsp shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
• 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
• 6 oz low-fat baked tortilla chips (about 65 chips)

• In a crockpot add the first 12 ingredients. Adjust crockpot to medium heat for 4-6 hours. Check around 4 hours and pull chicken apart to shred it. Continue cooking another 30 minutes-1 hour.
• Ladle into warmed bowls. Sprinkle each serving with cheese, cilantro and sour cream (if desired). Serve with baked chips on the side (about 6 to 8 chips with each serving of chili).

I use three cans, not cups, of mixed white beans (cannelllini, garbanzo and Great Northern), and only one or two cups of chicken broth, as the ingredients provide enough liquid during the cooking process. My slow cooker only has "high" and "low" settings, so I cooked it on high for 3-1/2 hours. I had forgotten how good this tastes, and I'll make it far more often from now on.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 30, 2017, 9:42am

Favorite New Cookie of 2017:

Pannelets (or Panellets) from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

(The orange balls in the foreground)

1 c. (8 oz) mashed/pureed yams
2 c. (6 oz) shredded, unsweetened coconut - toasted
1 1/3 c. (9.3 oz) sugar
2 large egg whites
3/8 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 c. (5 oz) almonds - ground
Cardamom sugar (1/4 c sugar mixed with 1 tsp cardamom)

Whisk yams, toasted coconut, sugar, egg whites, salt, and lemon zest together. Stir in almonds. Chill for at least one hour, or up to two days, to allow the coconut to absorb moisture from the yams.

Scoop level tablespoons and roll dough into balls, about 1.25 inches. Roll balls in cardamom sugar and place 1.5 inches apart on lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 325° F for 18-24 minutes, until the outside is crusty and the bottom is a deep golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before storing. Keeps 4-5 days in an airtight container. (As if they weren't all going to be eaten in less than 24 hours!)

Dez. 30, 2017, 10:42am

>8 ELiz_M: Wow! I'll have to give those cookies a try. Thanks, Liz!

Dez. 30, 2017, 11:56am

>9 kidzdoc: I like to pretend that they are healthy -- sweet potatoes, coconut, & no butter!

Dez. 31, 2017, 11:28am

Okay, so supper club last night was a massive hit -- the recipes from Jerusalem were all very well-received. A run-down of what I made (pictures not mine, because the food was so good that I forgot to take any!):


I made three dips, which I served with veggies, pita, pita chips, and olives. The dips were:
1. Beet with za'atar and goat cheese
2. Basic hummus
3. Roasted eggplant with lemon, garlic, and pomegranate, which is really a salad, but I blitzed it into a dip in my food processor

The beet dip was declared the winner of the three, but I am partial to the eggplant dip, which is soooo garlicky. The sweetness of the pomegranate seeds on top adds a nice pop of flavour that contrasts the earthiness of the dip.

Main Course:

1. Turkey and zucchini burgers (really just large meatballs) with sumac sauce
2. Lamb meatballs
3. Spicy carrot salad
4. Chopped salad with spiced chickpeas

The lamb meatballs were extraordinary - even my friend who claims not to like lamb had seconds of them. The chopped salad is a staple in my kitchen, though I don't usually take the time to make the chickpeas. I didn't think that they added much to the salad, which is super fresh. The carrot salad was good, but Ottolenghi has another spicy carrot salad in Plenty that I like better. The turkey meatball mixture was so wet while I was mixing it, and I was worried that they wouldn't hold together, but they turned out really well; the sumac sauce on top is seriously good, and I am looking forward to making another batch of the meatballs this week, so that I can eat the leftover sauce!


Yogurt pudding with poached peaches (I used nectarines)

I couldn't get the pudding to come out of the ramekins, so we ate them from the dishes, which hindered the presentation a bit, but did not change the delicious taste! This was a very easy dessert to make, and really very good.

Dez. 31, 2017, 11:43am

>11 Cait86: Yum! Looks wonderful! I love the salads that I make from Jerusalem
Since it is so cold today I am making another batch of the red lentil soup from the latest Smitten Kitchen cook book.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 17, 2018, 1:19pm

>11 Cait86: That's a fabulous meal, Cait! I wish I could have been there.

I tried a new recipe on Sunday, Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup, based on its ingredients and not because it was "detox":


for the crockpot:

2 cups butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
2 cups carrots (peeled and sliced)
2 cups potatoes (chopped)
2 cups celery (chopped)
1 cup green lentils
3/4 cup yellow split peas (or just use more lentils)
1 onion (chopped)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
8-10 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 teaspoons herbes de Provençe
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

add at the end:

2-3 cups kale (stems removed, chopped)
1 cup parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup olive oil – rosemary olive oil or other herb infused oil is delicious
a swish of sherry, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice to add a nice tangy bite


Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

Place about 4 cups of soup in a blender with the olive oil. Pulse gently until semi-smooth and creamy-looking (the oil will form a creamy emulsion with the soup). Add back to the pot and stir to combine. Stir in the kale and parsley. Turn the heat off and just let everything chill out for a bit before serving. The taste gets better with time and so does the texture, IMO!

Season to taste (add the sherry, vinegar, and/or lemon juice at this point) and to really go next level, serve with crusty wheat bread and a little Parmesan cheese.

I mentioned this recipe on my Facebook timeline on Saturday, and Beth, one of my favorite nurse friends and fellow foodie, also made it on Sunday. We were both concerned that there wasn't enough seasoning in this recipe, and both independently thought that we should add cumin to the stew; we had a good laugh about that when we saw each other in the hospital on Monday. However, we each decided to try the recipe as is, and we were pleased that we did. I cooked it on high for 5-1/2 hours, and the aroma while it was cooking was heavenly. I used 8 cups (2 quarts) of vegetable broth, which was a good idea, as my 6 quart slow cooker was so full that I'm not sure that an additional two cups of broth would have fit in it. I had it for dinner Sunday night and lunch the following day, and loved it both times. It makes at least eight full sized servings, and I'll make this on a regular basis from now on.

Jan. 17, 2018, 10:37am

On Saturday I made another Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche with Oat Crust, a fantastic recipe that Erin, another good friend from work, shared with me two or three years ago. I inexplicably hadn't made it in a long time, and although I probably mentioned this recipe after I first made it I think it's worth posting again:


For the crust:
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons cold, low-fat buttermilk

For the filling:
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly into half moons
8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry)
3 large eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk (not condensed milk)
2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 1-ounce)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

To prepare the crust, put the oats, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 12 times, until you get a pebbly course texture. Add the buttermilk and pulse 3 to 5 times more to combine. Form the mixture into a ball and place it between 2 large pieces of waxed paper. Roll out into a circle about 10 inches in diameter.

Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Transfer the crust, still on the other piece of waxed paper to the pie dish, then remove the waxed paper from the top. Press the crust gently into the dish. Bake for 9 minutes, then let cool.

To prepare the filling, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their water and begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the onions back to the pan, stir in the salt, pepper, mustard and thyme.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites and evaporated milk.

Sprinkle the cheese into the pie crust. Top with the mushroom-onion mixture and pour the egg mixture on top. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges and serving.

Even though this recipe has far less fat and fewer calories than a typical quiche it is bursting with flavor. The oat crust recipe is brilliant, and I've used it in the two other quiches I've made in the past.

Jan. 17, 2018, 10:55am

Ooh that quiche looks really good!

Jan. 18, 2018, 3:19am

>14 kidzdoc:

That quiche looks fantastic. It'll be a nice change from a traditional quiche lorraine or spinach quiche. Although I'd probably make it with a more standard quiche crust.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 2018, 8:39am

I make up my own dishes most of the time.

"Dump soup" last night. When we're low on stuff, we turn it into soup so it doesn't go to waste, a cost-saving strategy we used in grad school.

So: Chicken chunks, onion, browned together. Deglaze the kettle to make a nice broth.

Add whatever veg you have, in this case: two chopped carrots, a celery stalk with leaves, couple handfuls of spinach, a stray can of low-sodium V8, the last of the dried garlic.

We leave our sage on the bush and use it "freeze dried" thru the winter, so a sprig of that.

Add enough water to cover everything.

Simmer and then added a half pkg of whole wheat noodles at the end, which makes it all nice and thick. If there are no noodles, rice, or barley, I make drop dumplings or spaetzle.

Nothing fancy, but nice and tasty.

I have to restrict salt, so flavorful as is.

Made corn bread from cornmeal box recipe, but I leave out the sugar and salt. Leftover corn bread is good for breakfast next day with maple syrup.

Jan. 19, 2018, 6:07pm

We made a great pasta recipe the other night Almond, Dill and Sardine Bucatini. The paprika based sauce had a great depth of flavor and was a surprising technique I'd never used before. Really loved the good fishy flavor with the almonds for crunch. And I got to use my new Kitchen Aid that I got for Christmas!

*image from original blog post, not my own

Bearbeitet: Jan. 24, 2018, 12:18pm

>18 janemarieprice: That looks great! We have a simple pasta dish with almonds:

Toast 1/2 cup raw slivered or halved almonds in a dry skillet, set aside

Saute 1-2 cups of fresh chopped spinach in olive oil until limp and moisture level of spinach is reduced

Add 1 can evap milk and 8 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese (use the creamy, less salty kind) and stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and cheese is melted, making smooth sauce.

Pour over spaghetti or linguini. Top with almonds.

Sauce and pasta are done about the same time.

Jan. 21, 2018, 7:24pm

>19 nohrt4me2: I really liked it. We make pasta at least twice a week so I'm always on the lookout for things that are a little different than just sausage and tomatoes. This one will definitely stay in the mix.

Yours sounds really nice and a little different as well. We'll have to try it out soon.

Jan. 24, 2018, 11:02am

>18 janemarieprice: That sounds fabulous, Jane! I may try that recipe later this week.

I'm glad to see you back here, especially posting recipes!

>19 nohrt4me2: That sounds good, too. I'll give that recipe a try as well.

On Friday I bought a bag of produce from Eat Right Atlanta, a food co-op that visits the hospital I work in twice a week, which included baby spinach and white mushrooms. I used them in a new recipe, Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Quiche, which I made yesterday afternoon:

1 pie crust, homemade or store bought
4 Eggs
1½ cups Heavy Cream
8 oz. White Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
½ teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoon Pepper
1 tablespoon Butter
½ tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pint (8 oz.) Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
6 oz. Baby Spinach

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Unroll pie dough into a deep dish pie pan, prick all over with fork.
3. Prebake pie dough for 12 minutes, remove and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
4. Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper and heavy cream; stir in cheese set aside
5. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add olive oil.
6. Add mushrooms, cook until golden, about 8-10 minutes.
7. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
8. Toss in spinach and cook until just wilted. Allow mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
9. Stir the vegetable mixture into the egg mixture and pour into pre baked pie crust.
10. Place onto a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.
11. Lightly cover with foil if crust is getting dark.

I made an oat crust for this quiche, using the instructions in the Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Gruyere Cheese Quiche that I cooked earlier this month, so I skipped steps 1-3 in the instructions. I used roughly 8 oz of leftover mozzarella and Gruyere cheese instead of white sharp cheddar cheese. I didn't weigh the spinach and mushrooms I used, and compared to the photo in the recipe I probably used less of each than it called for. Otherwise I followed the recipe to the letter, and cooked the quiche for 50 minutes. It tasted great after it came out of the oven, although it was a bit runny, and I anticipate that it will taste even better and be less runny when I have a slice for lunch today. Highly recommended!

Jan. 24, 2018, 8:03pm

QUESTION TIME: What's your favorite ravioli stuffing?

I told my husband that, according to my strict "use it within a year or it's gone" policy, he needed to use the pasta roller by the end of February or lose it.

He's trying to get inspired to make ravioli. In the past we have stuffed with:

Sweet Italian sausage
Ricotta/winter squash mix
Ricotta/spinach mix
Ricotta/goat cheese (chevre) mix

New ideas? Low salt options are a plus. Vegetarian is good with Lent coming up.


Jan. 25, 2018, 10:20am

>22 nohrt4me2: I love ravioli with braised beef short rib, served with a hearty tomato wine sauce! A nice meat-free option is a filling of butternut squash, gorgonzola, and walnuts.

Jan. 25, 2018, 11:01am

>22 nohrt4me2: It's not the right season for it unless you're in the Southern hemisphere (or you have access to frozen veggies), but artichoke and spinach is nice.
Salmon/smoked salmon with a bit of grated lemon zest
Courgette (zucchini) with mint

Jan. 25, 2018, 3:59pm

There was a fantastic Italian market by my old place (one of few things I miss about Brooklyn) which had great prepared pastas. I'm just copying some from their menu:

Mediterranean Eggplant
Asparagus/Smoked Mozzarella
Porcini Mushroom
Goat Cheese
Roasted Peppers / Sundried Tomato
Lemon Chicken
Broccoli Rabe / Fennel
Provolone / Proscuitto
Roasted Pepper / Eggplant

I'm really partial to ricotta based stuffings, but the roasted pepper ones were really good if you had a cheesy sauce and wanted something to counterbalance.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 27, 2018, 2:36pm

I decided to make biscuits for breakfast this morning, after I realized that I had nearly a full quart of buttermilk in my refrigerator that I had no idea what to do with. I had never made biscuits before, not counting Pillsbury Grands biscuits that come already mixed in a refrigerated can, so I found the following recipe for Southern Buttermilk Biscuits online and gave it a try:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board (if you can get White Lily flour, your biscuits will be even better)
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk (approx)

*Preheat your oven to 450°F.
*Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
*Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
*If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
*Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
*Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
*Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
*Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
*You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
*Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.
*If you like"crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
*Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. Do not overbake.

*Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits. I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of overmixing. You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.

*Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month. When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.

I didn't have, nor had I heard of, White Lily flour; I used Publix's all-purpose flour. I have no idea if it is bleached or not. Who knew that baking powder had aluminum in it?! My can didn't indicate whether it did or not.

I was very pleased that these biscuits turned out as well as they did, considering that this was my first time making homemade biscuits. The tops weren't as brown as I would have liked, even though I cooked them for 12 minutes, probably because I put them on the lowest rack in my oven, just above the heating element, as the bottoms were nicely browned. The biscuits were moist and flaky, and weren't tough at all. The three misshapen biscuits in the last row were made from scraps, which is why they aren't as pretty as the others, and I haven't tried any of them yet. I wasn't going to post this recipe, as I mistakenly assumed that everyone except me knew how to make homemade biscuits, but after I read comments from my Facebook post, received an earful from my barber for not bringing him some when I got my hair cut this morning (ha!), and realized that my European friends didn't know how to make our biscuits, I thought it would be a good idea to do so.

Jan. 27, 2018, 5:34am

Oooh nice, I love biscuits!!

I think all baking powder has aluminum in it by default, unless it's a newer one explicitly advertising not having it. Instead you can use baking soda+cream of tartar (1:2 ratio), so for instance in this, you'd want to use 2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon baking soda, mixed together, in place of the baking powder. :)

Jan. 27, 2018, 10:10am

>26 kidzdoc: Also love biscuits! They can often be tricky though, and as you mention it's all about the working of the dough. I think the big key is VERY cold butter. Food processor works well for cutting it in.

>27 .Monkey.: I've used that substitute before. Works pretty well except in one instance that required a lot of baking powder - the soda flavor really came through in that instance.

Jan. 27, 2018, 10:30am

Hah, I haven't used it in large quantities, good point there! There's other options, too, depending what's being made (yogurt etc), so usually there's something to be done if that one won't work out. :)

Jan. 27, 2018, 10:34am

>29 .Monkey.: Yeah, it was a little weird. I don't remember what I was making but it was about 3tbsp and was just too much. Would never have thought of it though. :)

Bearbeitet: Feb. 7, 2018, 1:09pm

I made a pot of Red Cabbage and Sausage Soup for lunch, which is one of my favorite soups and stews:

1 cup black eyed peas, dry (or 2 cups cooked)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
2 tablespoons corn starch
6 cups vegetable stock
1 lb red potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch pieces
½ lb pork sausages, cooked and then sliced into ½ inch pieces
½ lb red cabbage, shredded
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
smoked paprika as garnish


If starting from dry black eyed peas:
Soak peas overnight in a large bowl of water. Drain water and transfer peas to a pot. Cover with at least 1 inch of water. Add bayleaf and a healthy dose of salt and cook for 30-40 minutes, until peas are tender and soft. Drain and set aside.

To make the soup:

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add garlic and leeks and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

In a small bowl, combine corn starch and ¼ cup stock. Whisk until corn starch dissolves. Pour corn starch mixture into dutch oven and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining broth, potatoes, and sausage. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add red cabbage and black eyed peas to pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Lastly stir in cream and cook for 4-5 minutes more. Remove from heat, ladle into bowls, and top with smoked paprika.

I used one 15.5 oz can of cooked black eyed peas to cook the soup; however, I decided to add a second can of microwaved cowpeas after it was already fnished, as I used a bit more sausage and, I think, red cabbage than the recipe calls for.

Feb. 7, 2018, 8:38am

>31 kidzdoc: I'm going to have to try this recipe!

Feb. 7, 2018, 3:18pm

>31 kidzdoc: That looks excellent!

Could you substitute kidneys or black beans for the black-eyed peas? Then I wouldn't have to run to the store.

Feb. 8, 2018, 2:54pm

>32 MsNick: Great!

>33 nohrt4me2: I see no reason why you couldn't substitute kidney beans or black beans for black-eyed peas in this recipe.

Feb. 20, 2018, 2:54pm

Cream of Winter Squash and Tomato Soup

1 small winter squash of your choice - pumpkin, butternut, hubbard, banana, etc. You should end up with about 6 cups of diced squash.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
4 cups canned diced tomatoes
3 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub the cavities with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender enough to scoop out. Remove from oven and let cool to a point where you can handle them.

Meanwhile in a large pot saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaf in the olive oil. Scoop the squash from its shell, discarding the skin. Add the roasted squash flesh to the soup pot and saute for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the paprika. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Add the chicken broth. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the bay leaves. Puree the contents of the pot and strain through a mesh sieve. Return to the pot and over low heat, stir in the cream. Gently simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with toasted bread.

This was quite delicious and I highly recommend it. Good hoping for spring meal in that it was warm and comforting in the cold but sweet and fresh also. We made it with a bacon, fontina, and provolone grilled cheese which was a particularly serendipitous pairing as the fontina really played nicely off the sweetness of the soup.

Apr. 25, 2018, 11:49am

The weekend before last I made Chickpea, Tofu & Spinach Curry, one of the few new recipes I've tried so far this year:

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 fairly large garlic cloves, center germ removed and crushed with a garlic crusher
2 tbsp (or more!) fresh ginger, grated
8 dried unsulfured apricots, diced
3 heaped tbsp curry powder
2 400 ml cans coconut milk
1 can 520 ml + 1 can 400 ml chickpeas, drained and rinsed
500 g firm tofu, patted dry and cut into cubes
3 cups packed baby spinach
2 tsp coarse sea salt

a few sprigs of coriander
a squeeze of lime juice
basmati rice


1. Heat up the coconut oil in a wide pot on medium heat.

2. Add onion, garlic, ginger and apricots and sautée for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent and soft.

3. Add curry powder and mix it in well with the rest of the ingredients. Allow the spices to toast for a minute without letting them stick to the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the coconut milk and season with sea salt, mixing well.

5. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the spinach), let it come to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. These are all ingredients that need only 5 to 8 minutes to heat up and absorb the flavours. By then, the coconut milk will also have reduced and become a creamy and velvety sauce.

6. Add the spinach leaves one cup at a time and mix them in right before turning off the heat. They will wilt down in a matter of seconds, and your curry will be ready to serve!

This is a perfect recipe for me, as it is quick & easy, as mentioned, it freezes well, and it makes 6-8 full servings, so this is a good meal prep on weekends and days off. I'll definitely make this on a regular basis from now on.

Apr. 25, 2018, 1:04pm

The other new recipe I tried was Crispy-Skinned Fish with Herb Sauce, courtesy of Bon Appétit, using a striped bass fillet that I purchased from my local Whole Foods Market:


2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)
1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped tender herbs (such as parsley, dill, and/or basil)
1 Tbsp. chopped pickles (capers, cornichons, or chile)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice or white wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 5–6-oz. skin-on black bass, striped bass, snapper, or salmon fillets
Flaky sea salt


Using the side of a chef’s knife, mash anchovies (if using) and garlic on a cutting board until a coarse paste forms. Mix in a medium bowl with herbs, pickles, lemon juice, and 5 Tbsp. oil. Season green sauce with kosher salt and pepper.

Swirl remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet to coat. Season fish generously on both sides with salt and lay, skin side down, in cold skillet. Place skillet over medium heat and let it gradually heat up until fat starts to cook out of fish, about 4 minutes. At this point you may press gently on fish so that the skin is flat against the pan. Continue to cook until skin is super-crisp and flesh is mostly opaque (you can increase or decrease heat slightly if needed, but don’t try to rush it), 8–12 minutes longer, depending on the thickness of the fish. Less fatty fish won’t release as much fat on their own, so you may need to add a splash more oil to the skillet if the skin isn’t getting crisp enough. Turn fish and cook just until opaque all the way through, about 1 minute.

Spoon green sauce onto a platter and carefully set fish, skin side up, on top. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Instead of using the herb sauce called for in the recipe I substituted an Italian Salsa Verde that Paola, a ?formerly active LTer, posted on my Facebook timeline last month:


2 heaped tablespoons salt-packed capers
1 salt-packed anchovy fillet (or 2 anchovies preserved in oil)
1 garlic clove
3 1/2 ounces (100 grams or 1 bunch) flat-leaf parsley
10 basil leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (60 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. If using salt-packed capers and anchovies (which is highly recommended), first rinse the excess salt off them, then place in a bowl of fresh water to soak for about 15 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. The anchovy will need to have the spine removed: Starting from the tail end, split the anchovy in two lengthways and pull out the spine. You will now have two fillets.
2. Blend the anchovies, garlic, herbs, capers, and lemon juice together thoroughly with a food processor or immersion blender (or chop together with a large kitchen knife or mezzaluna). Add enough olive oil until you have a smooth, paste-like consistency. Taste for seasoning (important, as the salt-packed capers and anchovies will already be quite salty) and add any salt and freshly cracked pepper as needed. Store in a jar in the fridge if not using right away. It will keep well for a week.

I had fish four times that week, using half of a striped bass and half of a red snapper each time, cooking the fillets skin side down for 12 minutes each time. The skin was very crispy and flavorful, and the fish was perfectly cooked through and moist. The one thing I did different after the first time was to put the salsa verde underneath the fish, away from the skin, as the sauce added on top made the fish less crispy. This will be my go to way to cook fish from now on, with or without the salsa verde.

Mai 5, 2018, 6:32pm

I made Baked Avocado Eggs for the first time this morning, using two halves of a large avocado and two large eggs. The one on the left is tomato basil, and the other one is cheddar cheese with chives:

The recipe comes from a video which I posted on my Facebook timeline yesterday. I didn't see a written recipe for it, but watching the video is all you need. Here's how you make it:

1. Slice one large avocado in half.
2. Scoop out a sufficient amount of the avocado fruit, so that one egg (medium or large) will fit into the center
3. Place one whole uncooked egg in the center.
4. Add salt and pepper, then whatever toppings you prefer.
5. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 15 minutes.
6. Add any additional toppings.
7. Done!

The video showed four types of baked avocado eggs: no toppings; bacon (precooked, and added before baking); tomato basil (add the tomato before cooking, and the basil afterward); and cheddar cheese with chives (sprinkle grated cheddar cheese before cooking, and chives afterward).

The cheddar cheese with chives baked avocado egg was perfectly cooked after 15 minutes. However, the tomato basil one was larger, and it took 25 minutes for the egg to cook thoroughly, as I didn't cut the avocado evenly and I scooped out too much of the fruit of the avocado. Both avocado eggs tasted great, and I'll make this on a regular basis from now on.

Mai 6, 2018, 3:16pm

>18 janemarieprice: Thanks for posting the Almond, Dill and Sardine Bucatini recipe, Jane! I made it for lunch today, and it tastes fabulous.

Mai 13, 2018, 9:09am

I tried another new recipe for lunch yesterday, Tomato Spinach Shrimp Pasta:


2 tablespoons olive oil
8 oz (220g) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika or more, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
6 oz fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz (220g) penne or spaghetti
2 tablespoons high quality olive oil, optional


1. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet, on medium-low heat. Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, paprika, Italian seasoning and salt in the skillet and cook on medium heat until shrimp is grilled cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, add chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach, and chopped garlic. Cook on medium heat about 3- 5 minutes until spinach wilts just a little and tomatoes release some of their juice. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning, if needed. Cover with a lid and keep off heat.

3. Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the tomatoes and spinach. Reheat on low heat, mix everything well, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

4. Once pasta and veggies are off heat, add grilled shrimp back and drizzle with good quality olive oil just before serving, for an extra taste. Serve the shrimp pasta immediately, enjoy!

Notes: Keep pasta al dente because they will soak up a bit of the sauce. Also don’t overcook shrimp at the beginning, otherwise they will dry up.

I made a double batch of this pasta, so that I could use up the spinach, tomatoes and shrimp I had on hand. The pasta tasted a bit bland overall, so I added two tbsp of lemon juice and more black pepper, which helped somewhat. Although this isn't a bad recipe the use of fresh tomatoes made the pasta very watery, and as a result the penne didn't blend well with the other ingredients. I would suggest using canned diced tomatoes that have been fully drained, and adding perhaps a small amount of leftover pasta water if needed when cooking the tomatoes and spinach. I'll probably add tomato paste to the penne next time as well. This is an easy and quick recipe, though, which serves four people and is suitable to make for dinner during the work week.

Jun. 2, 2018, 11:59am

I tried several new recipes on my parents when I visited them over the past week, mainly summery dishes that are healthy and relatively easy to make. The first new recipe I tried was Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes and Summer Herbs, also known as pasta con salsa crudo:


About 1-1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, halved or quartered if small, diced if large
2 cans olive oil-packed tuna or 1 pound mozzarella cheese, diced (optional)
2/3 cup pitted oil-cured black olives, halved, or 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped, or 3 tablespoons capers (optional)
2/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, mint, chives, cilantro, scallion tops, or a combination), more for garnish
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
About 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds short pasta, like fusilli, farfalle or penne
Hot red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)


Up to 4 hours before serving, put tomatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle all over with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes, then drain off liquid.

Add tuna and its oil, olives or capers, if using. Add herbs and zest. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and stir gently, flaking tuna into pieces. Cover and set aside at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. Drain very well. Combine tomatoes and pasta well, then taste and add more oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add red pepper flakes if desired. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if using, and chopped herbs. Serve immediately.

I love this pasta, with its bright mixture of fresh herbs and tuna; I didn't use mozzarella cheese, red pepper flakes or toasted pine nuts, but I'll add the latter two ingredients the next time I make it. I enjoy summer pastas, and I'll make this on a regular basis from now on.

Jun. 4, 2018, 9:16am

On Wednesday, the last full day with my parents, I cooked crispy skinned salmon, using the simple recipe I posted in April on my thread and in The Kitchen, along with Spring Time Risotto (Gennaro's Risotto with Asparagus, Courgette and Peas), using a recipe by Gennaro Contaldo that I saw on Jamie Oliver's Food Tube channel. A link with written instructions is available here, but I just followed Gennaro's straightforward instructions in the video.


1.2 vegetable stock (from powder or home-made)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
350 g arborio rice
125 ml dry white wine
1 courgette, cut into small cubes
8 asparagus stems, finely chopped
100 g podded fresh or frozen peas
30 g butter
40 g parmesan, grated


1. Pour the stock into a saucepan, bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and leave it gently simmering.

2. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and sweat on a medium heat until softened. Stir in the rice with a wooden spoon and coat each grain with the oil.

3. Add the wine and allow to evaporate, stirring all the time. Stir in the courgette, asparagus and peas. Add a couple of ladles of hot stock and, stirring continuously, cook until the stock is absorbed.

4. Add more stock and repeat. Continue adding stock, cooking and stirring in this way for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked. It should be soft on the outside but al dente on the inside.

5. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and parmesan with a wooden spoon. Leave to rest for one minute, then serve.

This was my first time making risotto, and it wasn't hard at all, although you do have to stir the risotto nearly constantly; I cooked the fish after the risotto was done. My risotto is darker than the ones pictured in the video and the link, as the vegetable stock I used was dark brown in color. I used Pinot Grigio wine in the recipe. There are some differences between the written instructions and the one in his video; I would strongly suggest watching the video, which is quite entertaining. My mother and I liked this recipe, and I'll make it, and other types of risotto, in the near future.