CHINESE FRIED WALNUTS

Chinese Fried Walnuts

Lightly sweet caramelized walnuts, great served as a snack with drinks or in salads.
Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980
Total Time30 mins
Course: Snacks
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 4 cups California walnut halves approximately 1 pound
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • canola oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Fill a 3-quart saucepan 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Add walnuts; reheat to boiling; cook 1 minute. Drain in colander and rinse under hot water.
  • In large bowl, toss walnuts in sugar.
  • In sauce pan, heat about 1 inch oil to 350 degrees F. Using slotted spoon, add a portion of walnuts; fry 5 - 6 minutes or until golden, stirring often. With slotted spoon, remove walnuts to coarse sieve placed over bowl to drain; sprinkle with salt; toss lightly to keep walnuts from sticking together. Transfer to waxed paper to cool. Fry remaining walnuts in batches. 
  • When cool, store in tightly covered container.

PEAR – GORGONZOLA SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

Pear - Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

An easy salad with a great combination of flavors. Perfect for special meals in the autumn or winter.
Course: Side Dishes - Salads
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • mixed salad greens with radicchio and/or red leaf lettuce torn in bite sized pieces
  • 1 ripe Bosc pear cored and sliced lengthwise and again in half for bite sized pieces
  • crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

    Chinese Fried Walnuts

      Instructions

      • If preparing in advance of serving, toss pear slices with a bit of lemon juice to avoid browning.
      • In a salad bowl, toss together salad greens, pear salad, and Gorgonzola cheese. Just before serving, add only enough dressing to lightly coat leaves and toss. Sprinkle with Chinese Fried Walnuts or pass separately.

      BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE SALAD DRESSING

      Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

      Course: Sauces
      Author: Catherine Christiano

      Ingredients

      • 1/3 cup olive oil
      • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
      • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
      • 1 clove garlic crushed

      Instructions

      • In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk all ingredients together.

      Notes

      Makes 2/3 cup.

      GROUND BEEF TACOS

      Ground Beef Tacos

      Based on a recipe from Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker, 2006, Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY, p 188.
      Total Time45 mins
      Course: Main Course - Beef
      Servings: 9 tacos
      Author: Catherine Christiano

      Ingredients

      • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
      • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
      • 1 pound lean ground beef
      • 1 clove garlic minced
      • 1 tablespoon chili powder
      • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
      • 2 teaspoons coriander
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1 cup canned unsalted tomato sauce
      • 1/4 cup water
      • 1 jalapeno chile pepper minced
      • 12 6 inch flour tortillas or 9 larger flour tortillas

      Toppings

      • 2 cups shredded lettuce
      • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese Cheddar, or queso fresco
      • salsa
      • sour cream

      Instructions

      • In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat vegetable oil 
      • Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 - 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef. Cook, breaking up meat with spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Drain.
      • Stir in minced garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, and salt. Cook while stirring for 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and minced jalapeno chile pepper. Simmer uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      • Meanwhile, prepare tortillas, place in separate serving bowls shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream.
      • Transfer the meat mixture to a serving bowl. Allow guests to assemble their own tacos.

      Notes

      If doubling recipe, use same amount of oil.

      QUICHE LORRAINE

      Quiche Lorraine

      A traditional French recipe that incorporates the classic flavor combination of ham, onion, and cheeses in a custard. Serve with a soup and/or salad to make a meal.
      Prep Time45 mins
      Cook Time30 mins
      Resting time5 mins
      Total Time1 hr 15 mins
      Course: Main Course - Other, Main Course - Pork
      Servings: 6 servings
      Author: Catherine Christiano

      Ingredients

      Standard Pie Pastry for one 9 inch pie shell

      • 1 tablespoon canola oil
      • 3/4 cup julienned canadian bacon or ham
      • 1/3 cup onion approximately 1 small onion, thinly sliced
      • 1 cup grated swiss cheese 4 ounces
      • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
      • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
      • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
      • Line 9" pie plate with pastry, prick with fork to prevent bubbles from forming, and bake 5 minutes.
      • In a 9 inch skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and ham; saute until  onion is golden, approximately 7 minutes. Distribute evenly in baked pastry shell. Distribute cheeses on top.
      • In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, avoid foaming. Pour over onion-cheese mixture.
      • Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F; continue baking until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 10 minutes.
      • Remove from oven. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve while hot.

      Notes

      Serve with soup, salad, or steamed vegetables. Bacon trimmed of all fat can be substituted for ham. Gruyere cheese can be substituted for the Swiss. 2% milk can be used in place of whole milk. For a richer option, cream can be used in place of the milk.

      VEAL STEW MILANESE

      Veal Stew Milanese

      This savory stew pairs perfectly with Risotto alla Milanese. 
      Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, 1980, Hearst Books, NY, p 239.
      Prep Time45 mins
      Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
      Total Time2 hrs
      Course: For Entertaining, Main Course - Veal
      Servings: 6 servings
      Author: Catherine Christiano

      Ingredients

      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 2 pounds veal for stew cut into 1 1/4" chunks
      • 1 cup onion approximately 1 large onion, diced 1/4"
      • 2/3 cup carrot approximately 1 large carrot, diced 1/4"
      • 2/3 cup celery approximately 1 large stalk, diced 1/4"
      • 1 teaspoon garlic approximately 1 clove, minced
      • 1/3 cup white chianti or other dry white wine
      • 16 ounces diced unsalted canned tomatoes
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
      • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
      • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

      Risotto alla Milanese

        Instructions

        • In 5-quart pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add 1/3 of veal, browned well on all sides, removing pieces as they brown to separate bowl.  Repeat for remaining veal, adding more oil as necessary.
        • In same pot, in drippings over medium heat, saute onion, carrot, celery, and garlic until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes and liquid, next 5 ingredients (through chicken bouillon), and browned veal. Stir to combine.
        • Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook 1 1/4 hours or until veal is fork tender, stir occasionally.
        • Meanwhile, prepare the Risotto alla Milanese; keep warm.
        • Before serving, discard bay leaf, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with risotto.

        RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE

        Risotto alla Milanese

        A classic Milanese recipe with a beautiful golden color from saffron. This risotto pairs beautifully with Veal Stew Milanese.
        Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, 1980, Hearst Books, NY, p 339.
        Prep Time15 mins
        Cook Time30 mins
        Total Time45 mins
        Course: Side Dishes - Grains - Rice - Stuffing
        Servings: 6 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 1/4 cup olive oil
        • 1/3 cup minced yellow onion
        • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
        • 3.5 cups low sodium chicken broth heated
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt
        • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
        • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
        • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
        • In 3-quart oven-safe pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Saute onion until golden. Or, using 3-quart oven-safe microwave casserole dish with lid, add olive oil and onion, microwave until tender, approximately 2 minutes.
        • Add rice and stir until oil is absorbed. 
        • Stir in preheated broth, salt, saffron, and pepper. Heat, stirring frequently, to boiling. Cover and bake in oven 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
        • Stir in Parmesan cheese. 

        CREAM OF TOMATO – BASIL SOUP

         

        Cream of Tomato - Basil Soup

        Total Time1 hr 15 mins
        Course: Can Prepare Ahead, Soups - Starter, Vegetarian
        Keyword: Freezes Well
        Servings: 8 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 4 pounds tomatoes 10-12 medium ripe field tomatoes
        • OR
        • 48 ounce canned unsalted crushed tomatoes
        • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
        • 3/4 teaspoon celery seed
        • 1 bay leaf
        • 1/2 cup basil leaves packed
        • 3/8 cup unsalted butter
        • 3/8 cup flour
        • 2 1/4 cups whole milk preheated
        • 1 teaspoon salt
        • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

        Garnish

        • whole basil leaves

        Instructions

        • If using fresh tomatoes, boil water in a 6 quart stock pot. Par boil tomatoes until skin splits, about 5 minutes. Remove tomatoes as they are done to large bowl. When cool enough to handle, core, peel, and roughly chop.
        • Using a 6 quart stock pot, add tomatoes, onion, celery seed, bay leaf and basil. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for fifteen minutes or until tomatoes are very soft; stir occasionally.
        • While the tomatoes are cooking, prepare Béchamel (white sauce). If planning to freeze, freeze only prepared pureed tomato mixture and prepare white sauce later, after defrosting. In 3 quart saucepan make a white roux by melting butter, adding flour and whisking until blended. Do not allow to brown. Gradually add hot milk to butter-flour mixture, stirring vigorously with whisk until sauce is thick and smooth. Set aside off heat.

        • When tomatoes are soft, puree using an immersion blender or in batches using a blender until very smooth. There should be about six cups.
        • While whisking, add the Béchamel sauce to pureed tomato mixture. If mixture curdles, whisk vigorously or try using immersion blender to eliminate lumps.
        • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a basil leaf and serve hot.

        Notes

        Don't use supermarket tomatoes. If field tomatoes are unavailable, used canned tomatoes. If using canned tomatoes, prep time is reduced to 1 hour. Substituting lower fat milk for the whole milk will make the soup more prone to curdling. If planning to freeze, prepare the Béchamel sauce later when serving.
        Good sides include slices of French bread brushed with garlic and olive oil and toasted, focaccia, pizza bianca, or cheese sandwiches.

        POTATO – LEEK SOUP (VICHYSSOISE)

         

        Potato - Leek Soup (Vichyssoise)

        This classic French soup can be served warm or cold.
        Total Time1 hr 20 mins
        Course: For Entertaining, Soups - Starter
        Servings: 8 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
        • 6 cups leeks approximately 4, white and tender green part, thinly sliced
        • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion approximately 1 medium - large, thinly sliced
        • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth preheated in microwave
        • 6 cups potatoes about 5 medium, thinly sliced
        • 2 teaspoons salt
        • 4 cups whole milk preheated, if serving warm
        • chopped fresh chives or scallions

        Instructions

        • In a 6 quart stock pot over medium - high heat, melt butter. Add leeks and onion; cook until just beginning to brown. Add the potatoes, broth and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer twenty-five minutes, or until potatoes are very tender. 
        • Use blender or immersion blender to puree until completely smooth. Stir in milk, add additional salt to taste, heat or cool to desired temperature. Garnish with fresh chives or scallions and serve.

        Notes

        For a richer variation substitute cream for 1 cup of milk.

        GRILLED SALMON WITH GINGER-ORANGE MUSTARD GLAZE

         

        Grilled Salmon with Ginger - Orange Mustard Glaze

        With steamed vegetables, this recipe makes for a quick and flavorful meal that can be scaled up or down, depending on the number being served. The fish can also be prepared in a broiler.
        Based on a recipe from Cooking Light, September 1996, p 130.
        Prep Time5 mins
        Cook Time12 mins
        Marinating Time30 mins
        Total Time42 mins
        Course: <= 30 Min Prep, For Entertaining, Main Course - Seafood
        Servings: 4
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
        • 1/4 cup tamari or light soy sauce
        • 1/4 cup cream sherry
        • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
        • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
        • 2 tablespoons honey
        • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
        • olive oil
        • scallions optional garnish

        Instructions

        • In zip-lock bag or baking dish, combine first 6 ingredients (orange juice through honey).  Add salmon, seal or cover, and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. 
        • About 10 - 15 minutes before fish is done marinating, turn grill on high. Scrape grates clean with grill brush. Pour some oil on paper towels, use tongs to wipe grate. Repeat until grate is black and glossy.
        • Reserving marinade, place fish skin-side down and diagonal to grates. Reduce heat to medium, cover grill. Cook without moving and baste frequently with marinade, 3 - 5 minutes, until skin is crisp, brown, and well marked. Brush top of fish with marinade. Use 2 spatulas to flip fish to second side. Cook with grill covered until center of fillet is opaque and registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 2 - 6 minutes.
        • Place remaining marinade in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Serve salmon immediately with boiled marinade and, if desired, garnish with scallion fans.

        MINESTRONE SOUP

        Minestrone Soup

        A nice vegetable soup for autumn or winter. If you enjoy beans, stir some in.
        Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
        Cook Time45 mins
        Total Time2 hrs
        Course: Can Prepare Ahead, Soups - Main Course, Vegetarian
        Servings: 8 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
        • 1 medium onion approximately 1 cup, 1/4" diced
        • 1 large leek approximately 2 cups, 1/4" diced, tough green leaves removed, washed well
        • 1 teaspoon minced garlic approximately 2 average cloves
        • 28 ounces canned no sodium diced tomatoes
        • 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
        • 2 bay leaves
        • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth heated, (substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
        • 1 Parmesan rind
        • 1 1/2 cups carrots approximately 4, peeled and 1/4" diced
        • 1/2 cup celery with leaves approximately 1 large stalk, 1/4" diced
        • 1 1/2 cups Idaho or Russet potato approximately 1 large, 1/2" diced
        • 3/4 cup green beans cut into 1" pieces
        • 2 cups zucchini approximately 2 small, trimmed and 1/2" diced
        • 3/4 cup small shell pasta or other small pasta
        • salt to taste
        • 1/2 cup basil - pine nut pesto or grated Parmesan cheese

        Instructions

        • In large 8- quart stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and leeks; cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; continue cooking until onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
        • To the pot, add diced tomatoes and tomato juices, crushed red pepper, bay leaves, heated chicken broth, and Parmesan rind and bring to a boil.
        • Once boiling, add carrots, celery, and potato. Return to boil, reduce heat  and simmer 25 minutes. Add  green beans, return to a simmer, and cook 20 additional minutes. Add zucchini to stock pot and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
        • Meanwhile, in separate small pot boil water and cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
        • Remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Stir pasta into soup. Let stand off heat to cool slightly for 5 minutes. If necessary, season to taste with salt and pepper.
        • Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of pesto or Parmesan, or alternatively, pass pesto and Parmesan

        Notes

        If you enjoy beans add them in with carrots and celery; cooking time may need to be extended.

        CHICKEN – BARLEY SOUP WITH VEGETABLES

        Chicken - Barley Soup with Vegetables

        A hearty chicken soup, with carrots and celery, and a great way to make use of a carcass from roast chicken.
        Prep Time45 mins
        Cook Time45 mins
        Total Time1 hr 30 mins
        Course: Can Prepare Ahead, Soups - Main Course
        Keyword: Freezes Well
        Servings: 8 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • bones left-over meat and juice from one chicken
        • 1 quart water
        • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
        • 4 medium carrots peeled and cut into 3/8" slices, approx 2 cups
        • 4 medium stalks celery cut into 3/8" slices, approx 2 cups
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1 teaspoon sugar
        • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
        • 1/2 cup barley
        • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped

        Instructions

        • Dice leftover chicken meat and set aside.
        • Add chicken bones and all remaining ingredients to a 4-quart stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 45 minutes, or until barley is tender. Skim fat and any impurities.
        • Transfer chicken to cutting board. Separate meat from bones, dice and add back to broth along with additional meat set aside earlier. Adjust seasonings, garnish with parsley, and serve hot.

        Notes

        Can easily be scaled up if using bones from two chickens or from a turkey. Corn bread makes a great side for this soup.

        RICE CRISPY TREATS

         

        Rice Crispy Treats

        Inspired by the classic recipe; light, crispy, and sweet.
        Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Can Prepare Ahead, Desserts - Cookies
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • canola oil spray
        • 6 cups miniature marshmallows 10 1/2 ounce package
        • 1/4 cup unsalted margarine
        • 8 cups crispy rice cereal

        Instructions

        • Spray a 9 x 12 inch non-stick baking pan with canola oil.
        • Spray a large, 4 quart, microwavable dish (with lid) and a rubber spatula with canola oil.
        • Add miniature marshmallows and margarine to microwave dish. Cover with lid; microwave until completely melted, approximately 2 minutes.
        • Add crispy rice cereal. Stir with greased spatula until marshmallow mixture evenly coats cereal. Turn into baking pan and press with spatula to evenly distribute. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

        TORTELLINI SOUP

         

        Tortellini Soup

        An easy soup for a cold winter's day.
        Total Time30 mins
        Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Main Course - Pasta, Soups - Main Course
        Servings: 4 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 48 ounces low sodium chicken broth
        • 13 ounces frozen cheese tortellini (about one package)
        • 5 scallions white and light green parts, sliced
        • pinch ground black pepper
        • 1/4 cup frozen petite peas

        Instructions

        • In 3 quart pot, heat chicken broth to boiling.
        • Add tortellini, return to low boil, and cook as recommended on package until al dente.
        • Add scallions, black pepper, and frozen peas. Cook until peas are tender, approximately 4 minutes.
        • Serve immediately.

        Notes

        Do not make ahead and reheat.

        GAS-GRILLED SALMON FILLET

        Gas-Grilled Salmon or Firm White Fish Fillets

        Easy method to grill thick, firm fleshed fish, including salmon, red snapper, grouper, halibut, and sea bass. 
        Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, J. Kenji Alt, May & June 2009, p 15.
        Prep Time10 mins
        Cook Time10 mins
        Total Time20 mins
        Course: <= 30 Min Prep, For Entertaining, Main Course - Seafood, Vegetarian
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • skin-on salmon fillets, 3/4 to 1 inch thick approximately 6 - 8 oz per person
        • olive oil
        • ground black pepper
        • lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

        Instructions

        • Turn grill on high, about 10 - 15 minutes. Scrape grates clean with grill brush.
        • Pat fish dry with paper towel. Brush both sides of fish with small amount of oil; sprinkle with pepper.
        • Pour some oil on paper towels, use tongs to wipe grate. Repeat until grate is black and glossy.
        • Place fish skin-side down and diagonal to grates. Reduce heat to medium, cover grill. Cook without moving, 3 - 5 minutes, until skin is crisp, brown, and well marked. Fish should lift cleanly with spatula, if not, continue cooking and check at 30 second intervals. Quickly brush top of fish with a small amount of oil. Use 2 spatulas to flip fish to second side. Cook with grill covered until center of fillet is opaque and registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 2 - 6 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Can also be served cold with salad.

        OATMEAL – CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

        Oatmeal - Chocolate Chip Cookies

        A light, crispy cookie with oats and nuts that is a nice alternative to traditional chocolate chip cookies. If desired, a small portion of chocolate chips may be substituted with currants or chopped raisins.
        Based on a recipe by Maida Heatter, Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Deserts, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1984, p 178.
        Total Time1 hr 30 mins
        Course: Can Prepare Ahead, Desserts - Cookies
        Servings: 46 3 inch cookies
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 1 cup margarine
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 1 cup granulated sugar
        • 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
        • 2 large eggs
        • 1 teaspoon baking soda
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt
        • 2 cups unbleached flour
        • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
        • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
        • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

        Instructions

        • Adjust oven racks to divide oven into thirds and preheat to 350 degrees F. Gather two baking pans and cooling rack.
        • Using a stand mixer, cream margarine. Add vanilla and sugars, beat well. Add  eggs and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour. Beat, scraping bowl occasionally, until incorporated. Stir in oats and then chocolate chips and nuts.
        • Use a teaspoon to form rough 1 1/2" balls of dough. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes, until golden. Rotate pans in oven to ensure even browning.
        • Allow to cool 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

        ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

        Roasted Sweet Potatoes

        Based on a recipe by Cook's Illustrated, David Pazmino, November 2008.
        Total Time1 hr 10 mins
        Course: Side Dishes - Vegetables
        Servings: 6 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 2 tablespoons canola oil
        • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
        • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
        • 3 pounds sweet potatoes about 6 medium as even in width as possible, with ends trimmed, peeled, rinsed, and slice into 3/4 inch thick rounds

        Instructions

        • Adjust oven rack to middle position; do not preheat. Line large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with canola oil. 
        • In large bowl combine oil, salt, and pepper.  Add potatoes and toss until evenly coated. Arrange potatoes in single layer on baking sheet; cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in cold oven. Set oven to 425 degrees F, bake 20 - 25 minutes. Do not allow to brown.
        • Remove baking sheet from oven, carefully remove top layer of foil, return to oven and roast until bottom edges turn golden brown, 12 - 15 minutes.
        • Remove baking sheet from oven, using tongs or metal spatula, flip potatoes over. Return to oven; roast until bottom edges of potatoes are golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven; let potatoes cool 5 - 10 minutes; transfer to platter and serve immediately.

        Notes

        Recipe also works without peeling potatoes, simply well before slicing.
        On Thanksgiving, 3 potatoes, or half recipe, is enough for 8 people along with other side dishes. Half recipe is 18 minutes prep.

        BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH SAGE AND PARMESAN

        Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Parmesan

        The flavor of butternut squash in this bright yellow soup is balanced with a onion, leeks, celery, sage, a generous amount of Parmesan and nutmeg. Cayenne and black pepper give it a bit of a kick. This is a nice starter for an autumn meal.
        Based on a recipe by Moira Hodgson, The New York Times, November 2, 1997.
        Total Time1 hr 20 mins
        Course: Can Prepare Ahead, For Entertaining, Soups - Starter, Vegetarian
        Keyword: Freezes Well
        Servings: 8 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 3 tablespoons canola oil
        • 2 cups Spanish onion diced
        • 1 1/2 cups celery diced
        • 2 cups leeks white part only, coarsely chopped
        • 4 cloves garlic sliced thin
        • 7 cups no sodium chicken broth preheated. Use vegetable broth for vegetarian version
        • 1/4 pound Parmesan piece or rinds
        • 10 cups butternut squash peeled and 1" cubed (approximately two, 2 lb squash)
        • 3 fresh sage leaves chopped
        • 1 bay leaf
        • pinch black pepper
        • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
        • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

        Garnishes

        • 3 scallions thinly sliced
        • freshly grated Parmesan

        Instructions

        • In a 6 quart stock pot over medium heat, heat canola oil, . Add onion, celery, leeks and garlic; cook until soft.

        • Add chicken or vegetable broth and Parmesan or rinds; simmer 15 minutes. Add butternut squash, sage, bay leaf, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. Cook until  squash is tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.
        • Remove bay leaf and cheese. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree until smooth. If too thick, add additional broth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm, garnished with scallions. Pass freshly grated Parmesan separately. 

        ITALIAN SPINACH

         

        Italian Spinach

        Steamed spinach with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan.
        Total Time20 mins
        Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Side Dishes - Vegetables
        Servings: 4 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        • 1 pound spinach leaves well washed, trimmed of tough stems, roughly chopped if leaves are large
        • 1 tablespoons olive oil
        • 1 teaspoon garlic finely chopped
        • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese coarsely grated

        Instructions

        • Fill a 6 quart pot half way with hot water and bring to a boil. Add spinach so it is completely immersed in water and parboil thirty seconds. Drain well in a colander, squeezing out excess water with the back of a spoon.
        • Return empty pot to stove and set temperature to medium-low. Add olive oil; when hot, add garlic and saute until golden. Remove from heat. Return spinach to the pot and stir to incorporate oil and garlic.
        • Transfer spinach to baking dish about the size of a 9" pie plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Just before serving, broil in the oven for 1 - 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

        MAPLE GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

        Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

        The glaze in this recipe has an interesting combination of maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, and cloves with a bit of heat from the pepper. Some mustard is added to the glaze to create a sauce that is passed when serving.
        Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, J. Kenji Alt, May & June 2009.
        Prep Time25 mins
        Cook Time25 mins
        Resting Time10 mins
        Total Time1 hr
        Course: Main Course - Pork
        Servings: 6 servings
        Author: Catherine Christiano

        Ingredients

        Pork

        • 1/2 cup maple syrup
        • 2 tablespoons molasses
        • 2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy
        • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        • pinch ground cloves
        • pinch cayenne pepper
        • 1/4 cup cornstarch
        • 2 tablespoons sugar
        • 1 tablespoon table salt
        • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
        • 2 pork tenderloins 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each
        • 2 tablespoons canola oil

        Sauce

        • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
        • 1/4 cup maple syrup

        Instructions

        • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F. Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
        • In 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
        • In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, salt, and black pepper. On work surface, lay out a layer of paper towels about the size of a baking sheet. Sprinkle cornstarch mixture evenly over paper towels. Using new paper towels, pat tenderloins dry, then roll in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Thoroughly tap off excess cornstarch mixture (any excess will leave gummy spots on the tenderloins).
        • Heat oil in 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to medium and place both tenderloins in skillet, leaving at least 1 inch in between. Cook until well browned on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes or less if tenderloins are small. Transfer tenderloins to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.
        • Pour off excess fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add syrup mixture. Using whisk scrape up browned bits and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons glaze in small bowl to make sauce at the end.
        • Brush each tenderloin with approximately 1 tablespoon of remaining glaze. Place tenderloins in oven and roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 130 degrees, 12 to 20 minutes. Brush each tenderloin with another tablespoon glaze and continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 150 degrees, approximately 4 minutes longer.
        • Remove tenderloins from oven and brush each with remaining glaze; let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.
        • While tenderloins rest, make the sauce. To the small bowl with reserved 2 tablespoons glaze, add 1/4 cup maple syrup, and mustard. Whisk to combine. 
        • Brush each tenderloin with 1 tablespoon mustard sauce. Transfer meat to cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Serve immediately, passing extra mustard sauce.