panzanella (italian tomato bread) salad best if done in summer when tomatoes are at their best

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INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 pounds mixed tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4 pound ciabatta or rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups bread cubes)
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
DIRECTIONS
1.
Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes.

2.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to center position. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp and firm but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

3.
Remove colander with tomatoes from bowl with tomato juice. Place colander with tomatoes in the sink. Add shallot, garlic, mustard, and vinegar to the bowl with tomato juice. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

4.
Combine toasted bread, tomatoes, and dressing in a large bowl. Add basil leaves. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until dressing is completely absorbed by bread.

 

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QUINOA SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS, PEAS, AVOCADOS

FOR THE DRESSING:

you can use this simple dressing but since my daughter does not like lemon we used a greek store bought dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 2 cups chicken broth (low or nos alt)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, about 15 spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen peas (I found some fresh from Costco so used those)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl or medium jar, combine the dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine or shake with the jar lid on tight. Set aside.
  2. Add water, quinoa, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, cook the asparagus. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and fresh lemon juice. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, asparagus, peas, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Braised chicken

 

family loved this !

served 4 (so I made double)

Ingredients

1 5 lb chicken cut up. (I used organic)
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 bulbs of garlic, halved
1 bunch thyme
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
1 large white onion, roughly chopped

Directions

1. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1 ½ cups|350 ml canola oil, 1 cup|250 ml white wine, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerator for at least 25 minutes and up to 24 hours.

3. Heat the remaining canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook, turning as needed, until golden and the skin is crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

4. Add the garlic, thyme, carrot, and onions and cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Take the remaining marinade and pour it directly into the hot pan and bring up to a low simmer. Add the remaining wine to the simmering vegetable mix and let it cook for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

5. Add the chicken back to the pot and cover. Bake for 35 minutes, remove the lid, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until golden on top.

oysters mignonette sauce great balance between salty, tangy, sweet

oysters
oysters mignonette sauce great balance between salty, tangy, sweet
1 shallot finely chopped
pepper
white wine vinegar 
vanillia balsamic vinegar

Clementines almond cake

  • INGREDIENTS
    Serves: 8-10

METRICCUPS
approx. 13 ounces clementines (approx. 3 medium-sized ones)
6 large eggs
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2¼ cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder (see NOTE below)
METHOD
Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines – skins, pith, fruit and all – and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/375ºF. Butter and line a 21cm / 8 inch Springform tin.
You can then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix. Or, you can beat the eggs by hand adding the sugar, almonds and baking powder, mixing well, then finally adding the pulped oranges.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake’s cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it’s made, but I don’t complain about eating it at any time.
I’ve also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g / 2¼ cups and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

best beef stew

Pizza pasta

Pizza pasta

1/2 box penne pasta

GROUND BEEF, 1LB

1 pound spicy pepperoni,

chopped in 1 inch pieces 4 pints (or so) Cherry Tomatoes

2 large onions cut in 8

1 head garlic cloves, peeled and halved

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons or so dried oregano

4 ounces cream cheese

1-2 sprinkles salt and lots of freshly ground pepper

3 cups or so mozzarella cheese, shredded

Procedure Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C).Toss pepperoni, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl. Turn into a 9- X 13-inch (3.5L) ovenproof casserole or baking dish. After 30 minutes or so stir the works once or twice then keep an eye on things. Bake until the tomatoes soften and the pepperoni and onion lightly brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven.  Blend tomato mix in blender with cream cheese.  Cook beef until well browned.  Meanwhile cook your pasta in lots of boiling salted water. Drain it well but do not rinse or you’ll drain away the surface starch that helps the sauce cling to it. When the roast tomato sauce has ×nished cooking toss it and ground beef with the pasta and top  with the mozzarella.