Sunday, March 16, 2008

Potato Ravioli

Let me tell you a story...

Several years ago, my Mom was at a deli in a grocery store. She saw this, and couldn't identify it based on the menu board. And the only thing on the menu board that she could not match with a dish was Potato Ravioli. Potatoes? Yes. Ravioli? No. But she recreated it at home, and a Carr Family staple was born. Who knows what it is really called, but it is SO good.1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 red potatoes, chunked
1 onion, sliced
3 bell peppers (I use one each red, green, and yellow) sliced
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
1 pkg turkey smoked sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup chicken broth

Heat olive oil and garlic. Add potatoes and let cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and let cook 20 minutes, stirring often.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup feta cheese

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 zucchini, chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Toast almonds in a pan. Add olive oil and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Transfer to plate and let cool. When cool, mix with olives and cheese. Set aside.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan. Add garlic and onions. Cook 5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add squash, zucchini, and fresh and canned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and stir.

Ladle ratatouille in a bowl and top with almond mixture.

(And leftovers are good as a pasta sauce...add shrimp to the ratatoiulle and eat with whole wheat noodles!)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mom's Chicken and Rice Soup

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons chicken fat, or butter
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup diagonally sliced carrot
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 cups frozen white or yellow corn, thawed
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium jalapeno pepper
1 gallon (16 cups) homemade or canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1½ pounds chicken breasts, cooked and diced
3 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Slivered almonds, toasted

Heat butter in a skillet set over medium heat until hot. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat 2 minutes, or until mixture becomes a paste, stirring constantly — do not brown.

Heat chicken fat or butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat until hot. Add celery, carrot, onion, green pepper and red pepper. Increase heat to medium-high; cook until onion is tender. Stir in corn, mushrooms and jalapeno.

Cook until mushrooms begin to turn golden brown and shiny wet, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Bring broth to boil in an 8-quart stock pot. Stir in butter and flour mixture. Simmer until thickened, whisking to prevent lumps. Stir in cooked vegetables, parsley, salt, black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken, rice and whipping cream. Cook just until heated through.

Black- and Blue-Berry Cobbler

3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. blueberries
1 c. black berries

3 tbsp. shortening
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup water in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in fruit and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole, keep fruit mixture hot in oven. Cut shortening into flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, the baking powder, and salt until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk. Drop dough by 6 spoonfuls onto hot fruit mixture. Bake until topping is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Balsamic Salad with Figs and Goat Cheese

It's not real pretty, but it sure was yummy!


2 bags mixed salad greens, cut small (I used scissors)
12 dried figs, quartered
2 tbsp golden raisins

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss.

Hot Candied Walnuts:

½ cup shelled walnuts
4 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
sprinkle salt

In a large saute pan on medium heat, place all ingredients. Keep the pan moving until the sugar melts and the ingredients are all melted together. (Be very cautious, can burn easily). Pour mixture onto a greased sheet pan. Leave out to cool. When cool, chop into small pieces and add to salad.

Simple Balsamic Viniagrette:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or half balsamic/half red wine vinegar)

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped shallots

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients and blend with a whisk. Add to salad immediately before serving.

Breaded Goat Cheese:

1 pkg log-style goat cheese
¼ cup pecan panka (just a combo of bread crumbs, pecans, and spices. Mine came from Whole Foods)

Cut cheese into slices (based on number servings in package. Makes for easier figuring.) Roll cheese in pecan panka. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Place the crusted cheese in the pan. Heat for 45 seconds, turn with a spatula, and heat for another 45 seconds.

Serve cheese beside salad.

Kent's Shrimp Scampi

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb cooked linguine
3-4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Place the olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp and spread them evenly in skillet. Add Italian seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes and flip over. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, lemon juice, and remaining butter to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the pasta, tossing to coat well. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sausage and Pepper Quiche

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 jar roasted red bell peppers (in water), chopped
12 oz. jalepeno chicken sausage links, chopped
8 eggs
4 cups 2% shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups 2% cottage cheese

Brown onion and peppers in pan until soft. Reserve in bowl. Brown chicken until heated through and add to bowl.

Scramble eggs. Add cottage and cheddar cheese and mix well. Add onions, peppers, and sausage.

Spray 2 9 inch round pans with cooking spray. Put half of the egg mixture in each pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Beef and Burgundy

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), 4 turns of the pan
2 1/2 to 3 pounds lean sirloin, cut into large bite size pieces
3 tablespoons flour, plus some for dredging
Coarse salt and black pepper
1/2 pound good quality bacon, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 tablespoons, 5 or 6 sprigs, fresh thyme, chopped
One bottle good quality French Burgundy Wine
2 cups beef stock
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 rounded tablespoon sugar
1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, a generous handful
brown rice to serve 8
1/2 cup smoked almonds

Heat EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high—high heat until very hot and oil ripples. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess and add to hot pan. Working in two batches to prevent overcrowding, brown meat evenly on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch.

Heat beef broth and wine in a stock pot. Add beef to stock after it is browned.

Add chopped bacon to the pot. Render bacon 3 to 5 minutes until it begins to crisp. Add carrots, chopped onions and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add to broth pot. Add fresh thyme.

Return pan to heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts add pearl onions to pan. Sprinkle with sugar and add a little salt. Allow onions to cook until evenly caramelized, light brown, and glazed all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Add to pot with beef and veggies.

Wipe pan clean and return to heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add mushroom caps and cook until mushrooms are lightly browned and tender about 10 minutes. Add all citrus zest to mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Add to beef and veggies. Continue to cook until beef is tender, about 30 minutes (depending on how long it took to complete the steps since you put the beef in the broth).

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk a minute or two to form a roux. Whisk your roux into the Beef and Burgundy to thicken gravy. Remove bay leaf. Garnish meat and rice with parsley.

Prepare rice to box directions. When rice is done fluff with fork and stir in almonds and some parsley.

Nicole's Pineapple Cake

1 store bought angel food cake

12 oz. can crushed pineapple

1 cup whipped cream

1 pkg sugar free vanilla pudding mix

Strawberries, halved

Split cake into three layers horiozontally. Mix pineapple, whipped cream, and pudding mix. Spread mix between layers of cake and over cake like icing. Top with strawberries.


1 (750-ml) bottle red wine
1/2 cup brandy or cognac
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup club soda
1 medium unpeeled orange, sliced
1 unpeeled lemon, sliced

In a pitcher combine the wine, brandy, orange liqueur and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the orange juice and club soda. Add the orange and lemon, and chill. Serve over ice.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Creamy Corn and Veggie Soup

4 cups fresh corn kernels or 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen, thawed
2 cups 2% milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium zucchini, (about 1/2 pound) diced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put 2 cups of the corn and the milk into a blender or food processor, until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini and cook, stirring until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of corn and the broth and bring to a boil. Add the pureed corn and tomatoes and cook until warmed through, but not boiling. Add the salt and season with pepper.

Note: I think next time I'll add some shredded chicken to add some meat. It's a great soup, but feels more summer than a cozy winter soup.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Savory Peach Chicken

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 pounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16 oz) package frozen peaches
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Meanwhile combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and orange juice in a small bowl and set aside. When the chicken is browned, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, the soy sauce mixture, and the peaches to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and cook, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce is nicely thickened and the peaches soften. Add the chicken back to the pan with the sauce, turn the heat down to moderate-low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. In the meantime, toast the almonds in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce and sprinkled with the toasted almonds.

Choco-Cherry Cupcakes

This recipe is in honor of Token Fat Girl's Healthy Thursdays!

It's really old school, from when my Mom was a Weight Watchers leader in the 1980's. I haven't had time to make them yet, but I will for Saturday. (and there are 3 eggs in the just can't see the other one.)

They freeze well too. Just put them in the microwave!

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can Light cherry pie filling
3 eggs
Mix all ingredients by hand until combined. (If you use a mixer, it breaks up all the cherries, and I don't like that). Bake as indicated on cake box.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni Bake

I saw this on the Rachael Ray Show today while I was home. I went to Meijer immediately. It originally called for celery, but I left it out due to my violent opposition to celery.
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup buffalo sauce
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 lb. whole wheat elbow macaroni
4 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Place a large pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Cook chicken until brown, 5-6 minutes. Add onions, carrots, garlic, paprika, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook the veggies until tender, stirring frequently. When tender, add chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer while pasta cooks.

Preheat broiler. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook pasta according to pasta directions. Drain when tender.

Toss the pasta into the chicken chili. Then transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over the top. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and top is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hamburg Stew

This was the first meal I made in our new home, which is in the Hamburg area. Thus the name.

12 oz. jalapeno chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
6 cups fat-free chicken broth
2 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup whole wheat penne
6 cups coarsely chopped kale
2 (16 oz) can navy beans, rinsed and drained

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta. Stir in kale and reduce heat. Simmer until kale and pasta are tender. Stir in beans and cook until heated through.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Banana Pancakes

1 1/2 – 2 bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup eggbeaters or 2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp Splenda or sugar
flour, if needed*
Powdered sugar for dusting

Mix bananas and pecans. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix Bisquick, eggs, milk, and Splenda. Add bananas and pecans. Place in hot pan using large silverware spoon. Flip when bubbles begin to form. Lightly dust with powdered sugar.

*I had to add about 2 tbsp of flour to the mix to get the right consistency, but just this time. It's just good to have on hand anyway.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Penne with Asparagus and Pesto

1/2 cup uncooked penne

8 sprigs asparagus, snapped into pieces

1 tbsp prepared pesto

1 tbsp shredded parmesan

Cook penne in salted water to package directions. When 5 minutes remain, add asparagus to pasta. When both are tender, drain. Place in a bowl, adding pesto. Top with cheese.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Black Bean and Sausage Soup

8 cans black beans
1 lb. hot breakfast sausage
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 tbsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
½ cup olive oil

Brown sausage thoroughly and drain. Set aside. Sautee garlic, green pepper, and onion in olive oil. In a Dutch oven, add all ingredients except water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 30 minutes, then add water and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cook and put in the refrigerator over night. Before serving the next day, cook for another 30 minutes on low. Remove bay leaves. Continue stirring until ready to serve.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Grilled Banana Split Sandwich

2 slices bread
1 tsp butter, softened
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp chocolate chips
1/2 small banana, cut lengthwise into 3 slices
1 tbsp strawberry jam
Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter. Combine peanut butter and honey and spread over plain side of one slice of bread. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and top with banana slices. Spread jam over plain side of remaining bread slice. Carefully assemble a sandwich, buttered sides out.
Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sandwich 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

2 tsp olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups beef broth
4 cups cubed red potatoes
2 cups sliced carrots
3/4 cup red wine
2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen pearl onions
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add beef and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove been from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute 2 minutes, or until onion begins to brown. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add broth and bring to a boil. Return meat to pan. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occassionally. Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Stir in salt and pepper.

Makes 8 servings.

329 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, 4 grams fiber

Monday, January 7, 2008

Couscous Salad with Roasted Veggies

1 lb carrots, cut on the diagonal
2 zucchinis, halved horizontally then sliced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 can (7.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
fresh spinach

Preheat oven 450. Place carrots and zucchini on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes, rotating and tossing once during cooking.
Cook couscous according to package directions.
Make dressing in a small bowl by whisking together lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Combine veggies, couscous, and chickpeas. Serve with spinach, drizzling both spinach and couscous mixture with dressing.
This is really good hot or cold.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Shrimp and Tomato Pasta

1 lb. whole wheat angel hair pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 lb. shrimp
2 pints cherry tomatoes
fresh parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and garlic. Add shrimp and cook until opaque. Add tomatoes and cook until just heated through.

Drain pasta. Plate and cover with shrimp mixture. Top with 1/2 tbsp parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Cuban Shredded Pork

1 (2-pound) pork shoulder roast
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Rinse pork roast. Combine orange juice, lime juice, and next 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; add pork roast, and seal. Chill at least 3 hours, turning occasionally.

Coat an ovenproof Dutch oven with cooking spray. Place pork in Dutch oven, and pour marinade over pork. 3. Bake, covered, at 300° for 4 hours or until meat shreds easily with 2 forks. Remove pork from oven, and cool slightly. Shred pork, and keep warm.

Buttermilk Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 medium)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature or slightly warmed
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Steam over boiling water until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (Or, pierce unpeeled potatoes with fork and microwave on high (100% power) 12 to 14 minutes, turning over halfway through, let cool and peel.)

Transfer sweet potatoes to mixing bowl and mash, blending in orange zest, buttermilk, butter and brown sugar. Transfer to serving dish. Can be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated in microwave.

Makes 8 servings.

Cuban Black Beans

2 cans black beans, washed
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cups water
1/2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and saute onion, green bell pepper, and garlic until tender.

Into the onion mixture, stir the drained beans, water, tomato paste, pimentos, and vinegar. Season with salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Chopped Salad with Spicy Pork and Buttermilk Dressing

1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 (1lb) pork tenderloin
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
3 tbsp light mayo
1 tsp dry Ranch mix
2 scallions, whites minced and greens thinly sliced, separated
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed and chipped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn kernels, thawed and patted dry
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, cubed

Heat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Sprinkle pork with salt, pepper, and chile powder. Rub in.Broil pork until a thermometer reads 145, 14 to 156 minutes, turning pork twice during cooking. Let the pork rest 10 minutes, then cut into bite sized chunks.

Whisk together buttermilk, mayo, ranch powder, scallion whits, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss romaine, tomatoes, corn, cheese, scallion greens, and pork in a bowl. Add dressing as desired.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mediterranean Salad with Artichokes, Penne, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cups penne pasta
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), thinly sliced lengthwise
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 can (15 oz) cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts (water packed), drained and quartered
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta until 1 minute short of al dente. Add sun dried tomatoes and cook until tomatoes and pasta is tender, about 1 minute more. Drain pasta and tomatoes. Rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine pasta, tomatoes, beans, and artichokes. Add dressing and toss. Divide lettuce between 4 plates. Top with pasta mixture. Sprinkle feta over the top.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Asian Steak Salad with Cucumber and Napa Cabbage

¼ cup fresh lime juice (2 limes)
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil (such as safflower)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
1 lb. flank steak
¼ cup soy sauce
½ head napa cabbage, thinly sliced cross-wise
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced diagonally
¼ cup coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

Pierce steak all over with a fork and place in a resealable plastic bag. Pour soy sauce and half of the lime juice mixture over steak (reserve remaining half for dressing). Marinate at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches below heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, oils, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

Lift steak from marinade and discard marinade. Place steak on prepared baking sheet. Broil, without turning, until medium rare, about 8-10 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal, across the grain.

In a large bowl, toss cabbage and cucumber with reserved dressing. Divide among 4 plates. Top salad with steak and peanuts.

Seared-Chicken Salad with Green Beans, Almonds, and Dried Cranberries

3 tbsp olive oil

1 lb. chicken breast cutlets

coarse salt and ground pepper

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp apricot jam

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

5 oz. baby arugula

1 head radicchio, cored and shredded

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes per side. (You may have to cook in batches.) Transfer to a plate. When cool enough to handle, slice chicken crosswise.

To make dressing, whisk together vinegar, jam, mustard, and 2 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss arugula and radicchio with all but 1 tbsp dressing. Divide salad between 4 plates. Arrange chicken, cranberries, and almonds on top. Drizzle with remaining dressing.