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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Roasted Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Roasted Tomato Soup
original recipe by Tyler Florence

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced
  • Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Wash, core, and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat in a baking pan. Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
  3. Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later). Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
  4. Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.

Grilled Cheese with Bacon
original recipe found here
makes 4 sandwiches

  • Dijon mustard
  • Eight 1/2-thick slices country-style white bread
  • 12 ounces farmhouse Cheddar, sliced
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked to desired doneness
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Alternatively, you can use a panini press if you have one.
  2. Generously spread the Dijon on 4 slices of bread. Top each slice with some of the Cheddar, 3 pieces of bacon, some apple and additional Cheddar. Place a slice of the remaining bread on top of each sandwich and spread with the butter. Place a sandwich on the skillet buttered-side down and butter the remaining side. Cook until the cheese is slightly melted and the bread is browned. Flip the sandwich and continue to cook until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the sandwich is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meatball Subs

Meatball Subs
recipe by Rachael Ray

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce,
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
5 Minute Marinara Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper   
  • 4 semolina crusty sub rolls
  • sliced provolone 
  • shredded mozzarella 
  • caramelized onions

  1. Place ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl and punch a well into the center of meat. Fill well with the egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, parsley, cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Mix up meatball ingredients until well combined, yet not over-mixed. 
  2. Divide mixture into balls using a medium ice-cream scoop (makes about 20 meatballs).
  3. Place meatballs in oven and roast about 12 minutes. 
  4. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add oil and garlic.  When garlic starts sizzling, add herbs and crushed pepper. Allow oil to infuse for half a minute, then stir in the tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper.  Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer until meatballs are removed from oven.
  5. Toast sub rolls with sliced provolone.  Combine meatballs and sauce and pile into sub rolls.  Top with caramelized onions and shredded mozzarella.  


Friday, August 29, 2014

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken
original recipe found here

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds  
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the sauce, whisk together sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic powder in a large bowl; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cornstarch and gently toss to combine. Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
  5. Add chicken to prepared baking dish. Top with sweet and sour sauce. Place into oven and bake until the sauce has thickened, about 55 minutes, turning over every 15 minutes to evenly coat the chicken.
  6. Transfer chicken to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Serve immediately.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Oh Tartar Sauce!

Homemade Tartar Sauce
makes 1/2 cup


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon relish, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • minced dill, optional

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Allow sauce to sit for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Easy Chicken Gyro

Easy Chicken Gyros
original recipe found here

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Tb. lemon juice
  • 2 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • julienne sliced pickles
  • homemade naan
  • homemade tzakziki sauce

  1. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Cut the chicken into thin slices, place in a medium bowl and add the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spices. mix with hand or fork until all the chicken pieces are fully coated.  Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Using a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat, and cook green pepper and onions for 5-10 minutes.  The veggies should be softened, but not soggy.
  3. Place the chicken on the griddle and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes while stirring every few minutes. Remove from griddle and place in a warm flat-breads topped with tzakziki sauce, green peppers, onions, and pickles.  


Homemade Naan

delicious when served with homemade tzakziki sauce

Homemade Naan
makes 4-6 pieces
original recipe found here

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  
  3. Roll individual balls into an oval shape, about 1/4" thick.
  4. Heat a medium-large cast iron skillet to medium heat.  
  5. Lightly brush one side of naan with a butter and lay in skillet.  Cover for 2 minutes; then brush exposed side of naan with butter and flip dough.  Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Repeat with the rest of dough.  


Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce
original recipe found here

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups finely diced cucumber 
  • ½ cup fresh dill - minced
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl check for seasoning. Add more dill, lemon, garlic or salt/pepper if you wish!
  2. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.