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Posts Tagged ‘Dish Nicole’

Chicory month continues with another take on stuffed endive!

From Dish Nicole:

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Endive is a curious veggie.  One would think that is a lettuce when in fact it is part of the chicory family which includes bitter leafed vegetables such as radicchio or escarole.  Endive, not just for salads, takes on various forms of deliciousness and can be prepared in a multitude of ways.  I have had Belgian endive au gratin, in salads, soups and even stir-fry’s, all delicious.  Perhaps one of the best characteristics of endive is the way the leaves, when separated, create perfect cups for stuffing.  Stuffed endive seems to be a staple passed hors d’oeuvres at events.  Recently my pals were hosting a house warming party and I decided to stuff some endive and bring it over to share.  They were mess free and tasty if I do say so myself.

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Ingredients:

4 Belgian Endive Heads (there are about 8-10 leaves per head)

½ cup of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

½ cup of dried cranberries chopped

½ cup chopped chives

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Wash and dry your endive and set aside.  Next you will want to dice up all of your other ingredients and mix in a large bowl adding the olive oil a little at a time while mixing.

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Taste and add the salt and pepper as needed.  You can prepare this mixture several hours before serving.  When you are ready to serve, separate the endive leaves and place on a platter, stuff and devour.

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While being an extremely easy recipe to make, the presentation is beautiful with all colors and textures and your friends will LOVE it!  At least mine did.

Endive!

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From Dish Nicole:

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It sometimes works out in the land of Saucy Little Dish that we dishes have the same thing in mind.  Last week Deanna posted her quinoa recipe and simultaneously I had quinoa on the brain when I came across this recipe for a quinoa bake in the New york Times.  Quinoa is classified as a pseudo-cereal rather than a true cereal, or grain so I decided to make it pseudo-healthy and bake it into a gratin.  Who doesn’t love a delicious cheesy gratin anyway??  Plus I was just bringing the side dish; my good friend was making us the healthy main dish of fish and asparagus to accompany my quinoa creation.

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 plump garlic cloves, minced

4 cups cooked quinoa, (1 cup uncooked)

2 large eggs

3 ounces Sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and start out making your quinoa as instructed (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water).  I added chicken broth instead of water for added flavor.  While the quinoa is cooking, prep your ingredients and wash the spinach.  Leave a little of the moisture on the spinach and heat in batches in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the spinach is wilted let it cool or rinse with cold water, squeeze out the excess water, chop and set side.

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Next you will want to heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add in your onion and cook until soft.  Add in the garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute before adding in the chopped spinach.  Add salt and pepper and set aside.

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Next beat the eggs in a large bowl and add in the sage, spinach mixture and the cheddar cheese and mix well.  Pour into your gratin dish (aka baking dish) and smooth out.  Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top, drizzle a little olive oil and bake until golden brown.  Approximately 30 minutes.  I prefer the top a little crunchy so I left it in a little longer.

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End result: crunchy, cheesy, yummy.

*The original recipe called for Gruyère, I chose to use sharp white cheddar instead.

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From Dish Nicole:
Ginger scallion - 09

It’s always nice to have a recipe that’s an old standby when you have little or no time to come up with something.  It’s also nice when said recipe is simple and delicious and does not need to be improved upon what so ever.  My new “old standby” is David Chang’s ginger scallion sauce.  Just to give a little background, David Chang is a Korean-American chef and is chef/founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which includes Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Má Pêche, Milk Bar and Momofuku Ko in NYC just to name a few.  I have only been to the Noodle Bar and my taste buds did a happy dance when I took the first bite into my ginger scallion noodles.  I am slightly ramen obsessed and I would definitely say this was my favorite ramen dish to date.  I decided that I should make my old standby for my old standby (Dish Danielle) when she came over after work one night.  You can make the sauce ahead of time, in fact it’s recommended for flavor infusion, so you have plenty of time to catch up with your pal.  I also had some bok choy on hand so I decided to sauté that up and serve up with the noodles along with a lovely little cucumber salad.

Ginger scallion - 01

Cucumber salad:

2 medium cucumbers thinly sliced

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

I started out by making the cucumber salad and setting aside to garnish the noodles with later.  Simply slice and mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

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For the sauce:

2 1/2 c. thinly sliced scallions (greens & whites from 1 to 2 large bunches)

1/2 c. finely minced peeled fresh ginger

1/2 c. grape seed or other neutral oil

1 1/2 tsp. light soy sauce

3/4 tsp. sherry wine vinegar

3/4 tsp. Kosher salt, or more to taste

2 packages dried ramen noodles (I use the Ka-me Chinese noodles)

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To make the sauce mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and add more salt or soy sauce if needed.  Make the sauce at least 15-20 minutes before you plan to serve it so the flavors infuse.

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Set aside the sauce and boil water for the noodles and prep your bok choy.  I like to leave the bok choy in thin long slices and I sautéed with minced garlic and a little sesame oil until soft (approx 5-8 minutes).

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Cook the noodles for 3 minutes, drain and serve with the ginger scallion sauce, cucumbers and the bok       choy.  For those of you that like a little kick in your food, add a little sriracha and enjoy.

Actually I’d say best served with a best friend and gossip.

**Another great thing about this sauce is that it keeps well for several days and its delicious served on fish, eggs, rice etc.

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From Dish Nicole:

Gnocci glam

I have a love-hate relationship with gnocchi. I love it when it’s light and fluffy and has just the right amount of sauce. I hate it when it’s heavy, gluey and starchy. My fiancé and I attempted to make potato gnocchi a while ago and the outcome ended up heavy and gluey. We tried baking the potatoes then ricing them. We tried boiling the potatoes. Different kinds of potatoes. Every recipe had a different approach and none of them were better than “just okay”. We then visited Lupa, one of Mario Batali’s restaurants and had his ricotta gnocchi. The man knows his pasta. It was the best gnocchi we had ever had (actually everything we had was pretty fantastic). It was like eating a savory cloud. We couldn’t stop thinking about it and went back again. Then I realized that the consistency I was looking for all along was that of ricotta gnocchi. So I found a recipe I liked and got to work. It turned out PERFECT and was super easy. Don’t get me wrong I have had fabulous potato gnocchi, but it’s much more labor intensive. This recipe (taken from Epicurious) is less time consuming and will impress the pants off your friends- it’s that good.

egg grated

Serves 4

2 cups whole-milk ricotta (1 pound)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 ounces), divided

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 stick unsalted butter

2-4 large sage leaves torn into pieces

Parchment paper to layout the pre-cooked gnocchi

mixdough

Stir together the ricotta, eggs, 1 cup of the cheese, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add in the flour and form into a wet sticky dough.

cut

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface with lightly floured hands into 1-inch-thick ropes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces and place on a floured parchment-lined baking sheet.

boilslotted spoon

Cook gnocchi in batches in a large pot of boiling salted water, adding a few at a time to the pot and stirring occasionally, until cooked through (cut one in half to check). I found that 3 minutes was the perfect amount of time. Lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside.

brown butter 1 brown butter

While cooking the gnocchi, cook the butter and sage in a skillet over medium heat until the butter is golden brown. (approx 5 minutes). Toss in the gnocchi and serve with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top.

toss

I think Mario would approve.

glam

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From Dish Nicole:

pepperoni white pizza

While I was home over Thanksgiving my family and I ate too much and then talked about how full we were. Then the next day we ate the leftovers and did the whole cycle all over again. A family tradition. One of the great things about my family is that we have a huge family and tons of close friends that are honorary family members. We get together throughout the holiday season and usually we do a pot-luck style gathering due to the amount of people. You always get to sample the holiday classics as well as a new recipe someone was trying out. Some are healthy, and well you know, some call for a pound of butter, a la Julia Child. At one recent get together my mom’s best friend Cindy came over and she mentioned a recipe her daughter had told her to try. Pizza dough made from cauliflower. I was intrigued. When I got back to NYC I started the old Google search and came across a website called Eating Bird Food and got to work making my dough. I made 2 pizzas and they were excellent. I am not saying that you should replace delicious crusty pizza dough with this permanently but it is a healthy alternative and is gluten free for our gluten intolerant friends!

 
Yields 2 Pizza crusts
1 head cauliflower (about 2 cups riced)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt & Pepper

chopped
Start off by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Grease your cookie sheets or use a pizza stone. I recommend using a pizza stone if you have one. (I do not but you bet I’ll be registering for one!) Remove all the stems and leaves from the cauliflower and chop into small chunks.

processedheatingmix

Put all the cauliflower in a food processer and pulse until the cauliflower is ground to a coarse rice consistency. Next you want to cook the cauliflower until it’s translucent. You can do this by microwaving it for 8 minutes or heat in a sauce pan over medium heat. If using the sauce pan, you do not need to add oil, just keep stirring and do not leave unattended. Once the cauliflower is ready you can mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. If you would like to add salt and pepper you can do so at this time.

Now you are ready to roll out the dough. Unlike regular dough you do not need to knead the dough. You will simply spread out the dough onto your prepped baking sheets or stone. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The center should be cooked through and the edges will be crispy.

prebake baked
Remove from the oven and add your toppings. Here is what I used:

fixins
Pizza 1: tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, onion, pepperoni & fresh chopped basil
Pizza 2: red potatoes thinly sliced, ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese & fresh chopped basil

baking
Once your pizzas are ready you are going to put them back in the oven and broil for approximately 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Slice and eat immediately.

pizza!
You won’t trick any bread lovers but this pizza sure was tasty. Grab a fork and knife, you will need it, and eat away.

final pic

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From Dish Nicole:

Ah October, the month of zombies and ghosts, sexy(____insert occupation___) costumes, candy corn and my new favorite, black rice risotto. Risotto is relatively easy to make but you must have patience, patience and more patience. If you have ever worked with black rice, you will know that it takes a particularly long time to cook but the result is well worth the wait. Black rice is not only festive for Halloween-inspired meals, it has several health benefits. It is full of antioxidant-rich bran known as anthocyanins which are the purple and reddish pigments that are also found in blueberries, grapes, and acai. Anthocyanins have been linked to a decrease in the risk of heart disease, cancer and improvements in memory. Another little nugget of information I stumbled across is that according to ancient Chinese legend, black rice was so rare, tasty, and nutritious that only the emperors were allowed to eat it. The reason I like it is a little simpler: it has a delicious nutty flavor, a beautiful color and an amazing texture. Cooking it risotto-style makes the texture a little more tender and creamy than if you cook it according to the package directions.

Here is what you will need for my spooky black rice risotto:

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups black rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

To start, place your broth in a saucepan on medium on the back of your stove. It is very important to use low- sodium chicken broth because as your risotto cooks down and becomes more concentrated it can become too salty. Next you will want to take a large saucepan and heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens.

Add the rice to the oil and onion mixture and cook for about 1 minute. Cooking the rice in hot butter or oil before adding liquid helps the rice to absorb the liquids slowly. This is called “Toasting the Rice.”

Once toasted, reduce the heat to medium low and add the wine and cook until it is absorbed. All of the beautiful purple and red colors will probably be all over your kitchen at this point.

The next step will require all the patience you can muster: add ¾ cups of broth stirring constantly until all of the liquid is absorbed, which takes approximately 10 minutes. Continue this process with the remaining broth until the rice is tender and creamy. This should take you about 60 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now that your arms are tired and you are very hungry from all the stirring, you can dive into your well deserved meal. Garnish each portion with basil and parmesan. Happy Halloween y’all!

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From Dish Nicole:

We are in the home stretch of summer SLD’ers. Last weekend was Labor Day weekend and even though I do not get the summers off like my teacher friends, it still pretty much means the end of summertime activities. I have had a wonderful season of weekend getaways, weddings and beach excursions, but alas all good things must come to an end. The post Labor Day weather here in NYC has been rainy and humid which all you commuters know is not fun. I am beginning to long for cool, crisp fall weather. Today being rainy, again, I wanted to create a meal that wouldn’t send me out to the grocery store to get supplies. Luckily I have a stocked pantry and some leftover roast chicken breast in the fridge so I could easily create this light and spicy chicken, orzo and lime soup. I think that the summer citrus flavors combined with the warm soup base perfectly represent seasonal transition.

Here is what you will need:
¾ cup Orzo
6 cups of chicken broth
2 chicken breasts- cut into bite sized pieces (I used pre-cooked chicken but you can start with raw breasts)
6 cloves of garlic- thinly sliced
1 medium red onion- diced
2 jalapeno peppers- seeded and thinly sliced
The juice from 2 fresh limes
1 large tomato- seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
(Yields approximately 6 servings)

Start out by heating the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the diced garlic, jalapenos and onion until the onions soften and start to brown.

If you are using raw chicken, add the diced chicken and cook until it’s cooked through. If using precooked chicken, add the diced chicken and sauté for about 1 minute and then add the chicken broth, lime juice, cilantro and tomato. Reduce the heat to simmer. This is a good time to take a taste test and season with salt and pepper. I for one like soup a little on the salty side but this soup doesn’t really need too much, thanks to the lime juice.

For the next step, you have a couple of options: If you plan on eating the soup right away and not having any leftover, you can add the orzo right into the broth and serve once the orzo is cooked completely. If not, I suggest cooking the orzo separately and add per serving. This prevents the orzo from getting too mushy and absorbing all of the broth while waiting in the fridge to be consumed once again. So once you have made your orzo cooking decision, your kitchen should be completely fragrant with limey, garlicky soup smells and anyone in close proximity will be salivating. So serve it up piping hot with some tortilla chips and you have yourself a crowd pleaser.

The next day at the office I found myself shopping online for new leather boots. I brought in the leftovers for my coworkers to sample and it passed the test with them as well. I think I am ready for the fall.
This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.

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