Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30: Citrus-Marinated Chicken and Orange Salad

3 large, seedless oranges
3 garlic cloves, chopped
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional), plus a large pinch for the dressing
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 6- to 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch of arugula or spinach, stemmed and thoroughly cleaned
1 teaspoon dried oregano, stripped of leaves then chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 thick slices crusty bread

Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill on high.

Zest 2 of the 3 oranges and put the orange zest in a large, shallow dish. Juice half an orange and add to the zest. To the zest and juice, add the garlic, 3 tablespoons of the EVOO, the 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (if using), salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the chicken breasts, toss to coat thoroughly, and let marinate for 5 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, with a paring knife cut the skin and white pith from the 2 remaining whole oranges, being sure to remove it all. Slice the oranges into disks and place in a salad bowl.

Cut the iceberg lettuce in quarters through the core, cut the core off from each quarter, and then thinly shred the lettuce and add to the oranges.

Add the red onions and arugula.

To make the dressing, juice the other half orange into a small bowl and add the pinch of cayenne, the oregano, honey, and mustard. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the 4 remaining tablespoons of EVOO.

Transfer the marinated chicken to the grill and cook on each side for 5 to 6 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes. Lightly toast the bread.

Thinly slice the grilled chicken on an angle, add to the salad, and then pour the dressing over. Toss to combine and serve with the toasted bread.


I went back to January for this recipe because today's recipe was supposed to be chicken soup with rice, which I made in January. I changed a few things to make it better. First I changed the recipe to say "large seedless oranges." Second, I changed the large head of radicchio to 1/2 head iceberg. Radicchio is too bitter for me. Third I changed the recipe to say arugula or spinach. Fourth, I changed the 3 sprigs fresh oregano to 1 teaspoon dried oregano. I think it turned out great, but my husband didn't like it. He didn't like the oranges or the dressing. My daughters liked the oranges and the chicken, but not the lettuce.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29: Swordfish Burgers with Lemon, Garlic, and Parsley

2 pounds swordfish steaks, trimmed of skin and dark connective tissue, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
   Zest of 1 lemon
   Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
   Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
   Crusty rolls, split and toasted
   Juice of 1/2 lemon
   Romaine lettuce leaves
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 navel orange, pith and peel removed, sliced into thin disks
   Cole slaw
   Specialty potato chips such as Terra brand's Yukon Gold onion and garlic chips

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat the broiler to high.

Place the swordfish in a food processor and pulse to coarsely grind the fish, then transfer to a bowl. Add the garlic, shallots, parsley, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and a healthy drizzle of EVOO.

Form 4 large patties, 1 inch thick, and cook in the preheated skillet for 4 minutes on each side until firm but not tough.

Char the buns under the broiler and drizzle with EVOO.

Place the burgers on the bottoms of the buns and squeeze some lemon juice over each. Top with romaine, onions, and orange slices.

Set the bun tops in place and serve with slaw and chips.


I wasn't sure how or if I was going to make this meal tonight, since I'm pregnant and can't have swordfish. So I scrounged around in my freezer and found an assortment of leftover frozen fish fillets. So, tonight we had cod, tilapia, and flounder burgers with lemon, garlic, and parsley. It was very flavorful and quite good. I think my orange was a little too old because it had a sort of off flavor. I didn't have a shallot or a red onion, so I just skipped those (I wasn't planning for this meal). It still turned out really good though. I used green leaf instead of romaine lettuce, and I added the slaw and chips to the ingredient list.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28: Fried Greens with Ham and Eggs

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
4 large slices prosciutto di Parma, deli sliced but not too thin (you need to handle it)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tin of flat anchovy fillets, drained (optional, but highly recommended)
1 1/2 pounds dandelion greens, trimmed and halved or torn across
   Coarse black pepper
   Freshly grated or ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
   Coarse salt
2 scallions, finely chopped

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the 5 tablespoons of EVOO and fry the sliced prosciutto for 5 minutes, until crisp.Remove the prosciutto with tongs, reserving the oil. Cool the prosciutto and crumble it into pieces. Set aside.

Preheat a griddle or second large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

To the oil in the first skillet, add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and anchovies. Melt the anchovies into the oil, 2 minutes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Once melted, the anchovies will taste nutty rather than fishy. Add the greens to the pan and wilt. Season the greens with pepper and nutmeg to taste. The anchovies should provide enough salt.

Drizzle EVOO on the hot griddle pan and fry the eggs as you like: sunny side up, over easy, or over hard.

Pile one fourth of the greens on each plate and top with bits of crisp prosciutto and a fried egg. Season the egg with salt and pepper, garnish with chopped scallions, and serve.


I made this recipe last year, and I hated it. I really like eggs, but the dandelion greens were so bitter I wanted to gag. I could only take about 2 bites of them. I wrote at the bottom of the recipe "I do not like green eggs and ham." I do not like them in a boat. I do not like them with a goat :) Anyway, I would recommend just having a nice bacon/egg dinner with buttered toast and orange juice :) Or an omelet if you wanted to get some vegetables in there. RR says: "Here's another meal that's good for B, L, or D: Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. This one is for my gran'pa." Now that I'm all caught up, hopefully I can get back to cooking each meal. That might not happen though, because I'll be going on vacation for 2 weeks (at least) coming up on Friday. We'll see.

June 27: Seared Greens with Cheese Ravioli and Sage Butter

   Coarse salt
1 pound cheese ravioli
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 heads of Belgian endive, halved, trimmed, and sliced lengthwise
2 heads of radicchio, quartered, cored, and shredded
1 large bunch of arugula, trimmed and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
   Coarse black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it and add the ravioli; cook according to the package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO, garlic, shallots, and greens and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter, return the pan to the stove, and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the sage and the butter and cook until the butter begins to brown. Drain the ravioli and toss in the sage butter to coat. Season with salt and pepper, scatter the pasta over the greens, and serve.


I didn't get a chance to make this this year. I've made it before, and I didn't mark it a keeper. I said "Try with Spinach or Turnip greens or kale." Apparently I didn't like the greens it was served with. My husband definitely didn't like it. He hates sage.

June 26: My Mom's 15-Minute Tomato and Bean Stoup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 10-ounce box frozen cut green beans
1 10-ounce box frozen cut yellow beans
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded
   Grated Parmesan cheese, to pass at the table
   Crusty bread

Add the EVOO to a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stir, then add the onions, carrots, celery, and zucchini.

Cook for 10 minutes, then add the stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.

Bring the stoup up to a bubble and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and wilt the basil into the stoup.

Ladle up the stoup and serve with the grated cheese and the crusty bread.


When I went to the freezer section to buy frozen green and yellow beans, the only yellow beans I could find were in a package with green beans and baby carrots. So I just used those carrots instead of the sliced ones. I think this would have been better had I been able to follow the recipe. And my basil went bad, so I had to use dried basil.

RR said, "One rainy day I called my mom from the road. I was getting a cold and I really wanted soup for supper. She said she didn't know what she had on hand, but she'd come up with something. This was it. (And you don't have to be sick to enjoy it.)"

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 25: Chicken in a Fresh Tomato and Eggplant Sauce with Spaghetti

   Coarse salt
1 pound spaghetti
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 baby eggplant or 1 small, firm eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/3 pounds chicken tenders, cut into small bite-size pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
   Coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 pint red cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
   Crusty bread, to pass at the table

Bring a  large pot of water to a boil. Once it is boiling, salt the water and cook the pasta al dente. Heads up: you will need to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons of the EVOO. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove the eggplant from the skillet to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm; return the skillet to the stove.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Add the chicken and cook to lightly brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the onions and garlic and return the eggplant to the skillet, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

 Add the white wine and chicken stock, bring up to a simmer, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add the cherry tomatoes and the reserved pasta cooking water and cook until the tomatoes begin to burst.

Add the parsley and the cooked pasta, toss to coat, and cook for  to 2 minutes, or until the sauce tightens up around the pasta. Turn the heat off and add the grated Parmesan cheese.

Toss to coat the spaghetti, then serve it up. Scoop up any sauce left in the pan and divide it atop the pasta. Pass the crusty bread.


This meal is delicious! I love the way the sauce gets really creamy. I didn't change the recipe except to use Parmesan instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and I used thin spaghetti because that's what I had in my cupboard. I used grape tomatoes and a small eggplant.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 24: Indian Tofu and Spinach over Almond Rice

2 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 14-ounce container firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry of excess liquid in a kitchen towel
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable stock or broth
2 tablespoons curry paste, mild or hot
1/4 cup prepared mango chutney
1 15-ounce can chick peas
1 cup sliced almonds

Prepare the rice according to the package directions.

Preheat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil. Add the tofu, season with salt and pepper, and lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the tofu from the skillet and reserve on a plate. To the same skillet, add the garlic, ginger, onions, cumin, and coriander. Saute together for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Add the spinach and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a bubble. Add the curry paste, mango chutney, and chick peas, then return the browned tofu to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer the curry for 8 to 10 minutes.

While the curry is simmering, toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until golden. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork, add the toasted almonds, and stir with the fork.

Serve the curry in shallow bowls with scoops of almond rice on top. (Rice on the bottom gets too mushy.)


I'm very sorry I don't have pictures of this recipe. I took a few days off from my cooking, and so I decided to skip 2 or 3 recipes. This one got cut because I have made it before, marked that It was not a keeper, and wrote down at the bottom, "it's ok." I'm not a huge tofu fan, and neither is RR. She writes: I really do not get tofu, but some of my friends do. This is for them." I will eat it, but I would always rather have meat :). Oh, and she says rice on the bottom gets "mushy," but I would never, ever say that. I LOVE it when the juices soak into the rice and make it nice and moist!

June 23: Chili Dog Bacon Cheeseburgers and Fiery Fries

8 slices center-cut or other lean, thick-cut smoky bacon
1 sack (16 to 20 ounces) crispy-style frozen French fries
1 pound lean ground beef
2 beef or pork hot dogs, diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
   Hot sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons ketchup
   Vegetable oil, for drizzling
4 slices deli sliced Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped chives
   Coarse salt, to taste
1/2 cup chili sauce
4 kaiser rolls, split
   Veggie sticks or oil-and-vinegar-dressed slaw

Preheat the broiler to high.

Place the bacon on a slotted broiler pan. Cook the bacon 10 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until crisp, and remove to a plate.

Adjust the oven to bake, setting at the temperature recommended on the package of fries, and bake the fries.

While the fries cook, make the burgers. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Mix the beef with the chopped hot dogs, chili powder, grill seasoning, Worcestershire, some hot sauce, and the ketchup. Form 4 large patties. Add a drizzle of oil, once around the skillet, and add the patties.

Cook the burgers for 6 minutes on each side, then top each with 2 slices of bacon and 1 slice of Cheddar. Turn the heat off, cover the pan with a loose foil tent, and let the cheese melt for a minute or two.

When the fries are extra crisp remove them from the oven. Place the butter, some hot sauce, and the garlic in a small dish and microwave on High for 20 seconds, then transfer the fries to a large bowl. Toss the fries with the butter mixture and chives and season with salt.

Slather chili sauce on the tops of the split kaiser rolls. Place the bacon-chili-cheeseburgers on the bun bottoms and set the tops in place. Pile fries alongside and serve.


I made this meal for dinner tonight after church, but it was too late for my daughters by the time I got home. My husband cooked them some pizza rolls (those are his favorite food). So I ate this meal by myself. While he was baking, I microwaved the bacon, because you can't broil and bake at the same time. I baked my fries when he was done with his pizza rolls.

Here is what I did differently: I used crinkle cut fries instead of crispy. Crispy probably would have been better with the butter topping, because they were a little soggy. I changed the hot sauce in the recipe from 1 teaspoon in the burgers and 1 tablespoon on the fries to "to taste." I just used a few drops of it in the burgers, and none on the fries. I only had 3 slices of Cheddar, so I subbed in 1 of Colby-Jack. I added the veggies to the ingredient list, because RR suggests it before the recipe.

This meal is not bad, but I probably would have just rather had regular chili dogs. The hot dog pieces made my hamburgers fall to pieces in the pan. Plus, the chili powder flavor was a little too strong. I liked the fries, but they would have tasted as good and been much healthier to eat plain (or as I like it - with ketchup).

June 22: Greek Bread Salad with Grilled Shrimp

20 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for liberal drizzling
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in the palm of your hand
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 pitas, split open
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with some coarse salt
   Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 2 lemons
1 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, then sliced into half-moons
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely copped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced on an angle
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
   Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
1 3/4-pound brick of Greek feta cheese, drained and sliced into 12 thin wedges

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high.

Toss the shrimp with enough EVOO to coat, and season with the oregano and grill seasoning.

Grill the split pita halves for a minute or two to char on the grill. Remove when crisp, break or tear into large pieces, and reserve.

Combine the garlic with the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1 1/2 lemons in the bottom of a large, shallow bowl. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, parsley, mint, celery, olives, and the reserved bread. Add the 1/4 cup of EVOO and lots of salt and coarse black pepper, then toss the salad with your hands to combine well.

Grill the shrimp on the screaming hot grill pan or outdoor grill. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until pink and firm. Transfer to a plate and top with the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon.

Pile the salad into large, shallow bowls and top with the grilled shrimp and wedges of feta.


I've been busy for a few days combined with our Internet being down, so sorry about the lack of posts for the last few days. I really liked the Greed Bread Salad, but maybe next time I'd go a little lighter on the herbs (parsley and mint). My DH didn't like anything but the bread, shrimp, and cheese. These are all his least favorite vegetables :(. I used a yellow onion because I ran out of red ones. I cooked everything in a regular skillet, but it turned out just fine. Rachael Ray says: "If you don't groove on the shrimp, use 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders, 20 large sea scallops, or even 8 pieces of calamari, 2 per person, and grill in the shrimps' place."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 21: Ham and Swiss Crepes with Chopped Salad

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
   Coarse salt
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 pint red cherry tomatoes
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
   Coarse black pepper
1/2 seedless cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 bunch of watercress, stemmed and coarsely chopped
   Vegetable oil, for cooking crepes
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 pound thinly sliced Black Forest ham, chopped into ribbons

For the crepe batter, combine the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, milk, and brandy to the well and whisk to combine. Stir in the melted butter. Cover the batter and set aside for 20 minutes.

While the batter is resting, halve the red and yellow cherry tomatoes and add them to a salad bowl. Add the basil, parsley, balsamic vinegar, EVOO, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Add the cucumbers, watercress, and onions.

Preheat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat with a drizzle of vegetable oil. Cover the bottom of the skillet with just enough batter to coat, lifting and shaking the skillet to help the batter along. Let the crepe cook and lightly brown on one side, just about 1 minute.

Turn the crepe with a rubber spatula, lifting up the edges, then use a toothpick or your finger to flip it over. Once it is flipped, scatter some of the cheese and ham on top.

Season with a little salt and pepper, then fold the crepe over and continue to cook until the cheese starts to melt. Transfer the crepe to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat this 7 more times to serve 2 crepes per person.

Divide the 8 crepes among 4 serving plates; serve some salad next to the crepes.


This is a pretty good meal. I don't know why the salad calls for whole parsley leaves. Next time I would chop them. I used red grape tomatoes instead of red and yellow cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are about $5 for a pint, and there are no yellow ones around. So I just go with the grape tomatoes. Instead of brandy I just used some whiskey I had left over from another recipe. I used a regular cucumber instead of seedless since they're much cheaper. I used spinach instead of watercress. And I left the thinly sliced small red onion out of the recipe. I guess I made some of the crepes too thick because I only got 7 crepes out of the recipe. It was a good amount still.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 20: Fruited Chicken Curry in a Hurry

2 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 6-ounce chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch slices across the width of the breast
   Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
   2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green apple, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons curry paste, mild or hot
1/4 cup golden raisins
8 pitted dates, or 6 pitted prunes, chopped

4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup toasted shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds or Spanish peanuts
1 cup prepared mango chutney
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare the rice according to the package directions.

Preheat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and lightly brown.

Remove the chicken and reserve on a plate. To the same pan, add the garlic, ginger, coriander, onions, apples, and remaining tablespoon of oil and saute together for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the flour and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring to a bubble. Add the curry paste, golden raisins, and dates. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan. Simmer the curry for 8 to 10 minutes.

Assemble the toppings in small dishes.

Serve the curry in shallow bowls with scoops of basmati rice. Garnish with any or all of the toppings.


This meal was a winner in our house. My girls loved it because of the fruit, but especially because of the coconut. I realized too late I didn't have any curry paste, so I used a tablespoon of curry powder. That seemed to be the right amount. My cilantro went bad and I am allergic to mangoes, so we didn't have cilantro or mango chutney as toppings either. That was ok with everyone else. I used mostly Jasmine Rice instead of Basmati because I ran out.

Rachael Ray's tidbit is: "For a vegetarian Fruited Curry in a Hurry, swap a 14-ounce container of firm tofu, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices and patted dry, for the chicken, and vegetable broth for the chicken stock. Brown the tofu as you would the chicken and follow the same method above."