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April 23, 2011

Chicken in Creamy Riesling Sauce

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes from Lobel's. Select a dry Riesling for cooking but you should try a Pinot Blanc to accompany the meal. It’s not that the Riesling is a bad match but it doesn’t hold up to the rich creamy sauce as well. Try it for yourself and determine what you like best.

Serving Size: 8
Prep time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1:35


4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons butter
6 pounds chicken breast and thighs, without skin
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup shallots, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups dry Riesling wine
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium bay leaves
1/2 cup creme fraiche
Kosher salt to taste


In a large pot heat the oil and butter over medium high heat until the butter melts. Season the chicken generously with salt on all sides. Working in batches, if necessary, add the chicken to the pot and cook until rich golden brown all over, reducing the heat if it threatens to burn, 10-12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate. Pour off all but about 4 tablespoons of the fat.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally until pale gold at the edges, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring. Add the wine, stock, nutmeg, thyme, bay leaf, and salt to taste, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
Return the chicken and juices to the pot. When the liquid reaches a low simmer, cover the pot and cook until tender, about one hour. Check the pot occasionally to ensure that it is simmering gently. Remove the chicken, keep warm. Reduce the heat to very low and whisk the creme fraiche into the sauce; add the chicken back and combine. Remove from heat, allow to set about 10 minutes then serve.

Terri’s Tips:

Serving Ideas : This dish is very good served with egg noodles. After adding the wine the chicken and stock can be finished in a slow cooker to save time; all you will have to do when you get home from work is add the crème fraiche

Cooking Wiser:

To save money use sour cream to replace crème fraiche To save calories use low fat sour cream

Per serving: 205 Calories (kcal); 18g Total Fat

Posted by terri at 04:18 AM | Comments (0)

Romaine Caesar Salad

This popular salad was first made in 1924 by Italian chef Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana Mexico. As coincidently the first time I had Caesar salad was in Mexico while on vacation. It was prepared right at the table and what a show that was.

A "real" Caesar salad has salad greens that are tossed with a garlic vinaigrette with grated Parmesan cheese and anchovies.

Romaine Cesar Salad
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon like mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups garlic croutons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste or 4 anchovy filets, minced
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • Kosher salt to taste


    Wash lettuce and dry on paper towels. Refrigerate until crisp.

    For the vinaigrette: In a bowl or jar combine oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, garlic and pepper. Whisk until well blended.

    Coddle egg by heating 3 cups of water to boiling. Drop in egg (still in shell) and let stand for 1 minute. Remove egg from water and let cool. Once cooled crack open and whisk egg into dressing. Whisk until thoroughly blended.

    Add anchovy paste or mash desired amount of anchovies and whisk them into the dressing.

    To assemble, place torn lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss lightly. Add the grated cheese, garlic croutons and freshly ground pepper, toss. Serve immediately.

    Terri’s tips:

  • Make your own croutons by cutting French, Italian or wheat subs into 1 inch cubes. Coat with olive oil and any seasoning of your choice (garlic powder, fresh minced herbs, chili powder)
  • You can eliminate the anchovies from the dressing if you prefer but you will eliminate a lot of flavor

    Cooking Wiser:

    If you have concerns about using a raw egg for the dressing, use egg substitute equal to one egg. Egg substitute is pasteurized and bacteria free
    Or you could use a store brand Caesar dressing

    Make it your own
    Add grilled chicken, tuna or salmon for a complete meal

    I like to toss in sunflower seeds

    I thought if you can add chicken, why couldn't you add anything you wanted to so I tried adding steamed snow peas and zucchini and it was delicious.

    Posted by terri at 03:34 AM | Comments (0)

    April 18, 2011

    Encrusted Sea Bass in Truffled Wild Mushrooms

    Truffle oil can be expensive but a little goes a long way. There are black and white truffles and they are different so know what you want your final dish to taste like before you pour.

    Serves 4
    Prep Time :
    Total Time:


    4 six ounce sea bass fillets 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes -- finely chopped 1/2 tablespoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 easpoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs -- very fine 1/4 cup flour Truffled Mushrooms 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 12 ounces mixed wild mushrooms -- sliced 8 ounces button mushroom -- sliced 1 tablespoon truffle oil


    To prepare Seasoning, blend ingredients 3 through 9 using a small food processor or coffee grinder.
    Prepare mushrooms. Heat butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute until tender. Remove from heat and stir in truffle oil.
    To cook fish, dredge each fillet in the seasoning mix. In a medium size frying pan, heat the olive oil and carefully place the fillets into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Using a large spatula, flip each fillet over and continue to cook until done.
    Serving Ideas : Serve with Polenta

    Per serving: 179 Calories (kcal); 13g Total Fat; 520mg Sodium

    Posted by terri at 03:13 AM | Comments (0)

    April 14, 2011

    Carrot Pachadi

    I don't remember where I found this recipe but I love it. The traditional Indian spices combine with the sweet carrots creating a flavor sensation

    Makes 2 ½ cups
    Prep time: 8 minutes + 30 for yogurt to drain
    Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 6-8 carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


    Drain yogurt in a large fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl about 30 minutes.
    Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add mustard seeds and cook, covered, until they make popping sounds, about 15 seconds. Add curry leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 3 seconds. Add carrots, onion, cumin, salt, and cayenne and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until carrots are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and cool about 30 minutes. Stir in yogurt and cilantro.

    Posted by terri at 03:15 AM | Comments (0)

    Caramelized Pumpkin and Ginger Trifle

    Think outside the shell. Pumpkin dessert doesn't have to be pie.
    Mace is similar in taste to nutmeg and is actually from the same flower from the nutmeg tree. It will add citrus and piney flavor notes.

    Serves 8
    Preparation time: 45 minutes
    Total time:2:45 (Chills for 2 hours)


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 slices pumpkin bread
  • Candied pumpkin
  • whipped cream -- for garnish
  • candied ginger -- for garnish
  • mint sprig -- for garnish


    In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, yolks and salt. Heat the milk. When the milk has heated, slowly add 1/3 cup to the sugar mixture. Mix well and slowly add the sugar mixture to the remaining milk. Add the cinnamon and mace. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the pudding thickens. Remove from the heat and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla. Transfer the pudding to a bowl and press plastic wrap on the surface. Refrigerate until chilled.

    Arrange one third of the pumpkin bread slices in a large glass bowl, over-lapping them slightly. Spread one-third of the cinnamon pudding evenly on top. Top with one-third of the Candied Pumpkin with its syrup. Repeat the layering process two times. Garnish the trifle with a few dollops of whipped cream, the candied ginger and mint sprigs.

    Candied Pumpkin and ginger: Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet. Add 3 cups cooked, diced pumpkin and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir until dissolved. Stir in 3/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon minced ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and remove from the heat. Let cool and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

    Per serving: 391 Calories; 46g Carbohydrate; 151mg Cholesterol; 250mg Sodium

    Posted by terri at 02:52 AM | Comments (0)

    April 08, 2011

    Wild Mushroom and Rice soup

    Any combination of mushrooms will work in this soup. Since each mushroom has its own flavor together they will create a wonderful complex flavor. Make it a vegetarian dish by using vegetable broth to replace the beef broth.

    Serves 6
    Prep time: 8 minutes
    Total time: 35 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 3/4 pound mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    In a 3 quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and when hot add the onions. When onions are tender add the stock and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat while preparing the mushrooms.

    In a separate sauté pan, heat remaining oil, add mushrooms. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and rice to broth. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Reduce heat and add cream. Cook, stirring until mixture is well blended and slightly thickened.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • I like to use a mix of Oyster, Chantrelle, Shiitake and Cremi mushrooms. You can also add in sliced button mushrooms

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Make this soup with less calories and fat by substituting the cream for 2% milk. If you prefer a thicken soup, thicken with a beurre manie, a paste made with equal portions of butter and flour. Use 1 Tablespoon floor mixed with 1 Tablespoon melted butter. Stir into soup and cook on medium heat until thickened.

    Posted by terri at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

    Cauliflower au Gratin

    If this recipe reminds you of one of your favorites it might be because it is a remake of one of the most popular potato casseroles in the world. The potatoes are replaced with cauliflower that are high in vitamin C with a lower amount of carbohydrates.

    Serves 6-8
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 1:30 minutes


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Butter a casserole dish.

    Layer 1/2 of the cauliflower into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining cauliflower.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste as you layer the casserole.

    In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened.

    Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the cauliflower, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.

    Bake 1 hour, remove foil and cook an additional 15-20 minutes.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture to avoid lumps. If the sauce is lumpy simply run it through a sieve to remove lumps and return it back to the heat to add the cheese
  • After you add the cheese to the milk, turn the heat down to low and slowly melt for a smooth sauce
  • Save about ½ of the cheese and top the casserole after removing the foil

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Use whole milk or 2% milk to reduce fat and calories

    Make it your own

    Ah Ha, Use potatoes instead of cauliflower
    Change up the cheese, use Pepper Jack, Smoked Gouda, or Fontina

    Posted by terri at 03:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Wilted "Killed" Lettuce

    Mom fixed this a lot when we were growing up because we all loved it. It is best in the spring when the lettuce is tender and mild. Serve with a big pan of cornbread

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 8 minutes
    Total time: 10 minutes


  • 4 cups leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    Heat oil in a heavy skillet until slightly smoking. Meanwhile combine remaining ingredients in a heat proof serving bowl. Mix well. When oil is hot pour it over the salad and stir to coat all the greens.

    Terri's Tips:

  • Be careful when pouring the hot oil over the salad greens, it will pop and sizzle. Wear a long oven mit
  • Serve right away

    Make it your own:

    Use a flavored vinegar (cilantro, dill, etc.)
    Add grape tomatoes before or after wilting

    Posted by terri at 02:32 AM | Comments (0)

    Gorgonzola and White Bean Soup

    Gorgonzola is an Italian Blue Cheese that is added at the end of the cooking process. It tops the soup, giving it a creamy texture and a firm, buttery flavor.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 2 ½ hours (includes cooking beans)

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped about 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 large leek, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 1 cup dried white beans
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • Salt to taste


    Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook leek, onion, celery and carrot until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add vegetables or chicken broth and beans. Heat to boiling and boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Remove from heat.

    Place half of the soup into the blender and blend until smooth. Return blended mixture to remaining soup and stir until heated. Adjust seasoning with salt. Stir in cheese and serve.

    Terri's Tips:

  • Like many great soups and stews this starts with a mirepoix, onions, carrots and celery; the longer it cooks the more flavorful it becomes
  • In a pinch you can use canned white beans. The texture and flavor will be a little different but still very good
  • To increase the creaminess, add one cup milk or half and half
  • Garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley

    Posted by terri at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)

    April 07, 2011

    Italian Stuffed Eggplant

    A bottle of red Italian wine such as a Sangiovese will be a very good pairing with the rich tomato sauce in this dish.
    You can easily make this dish vegetarian, see below under make it your own.

    Prep Time: 20 min.
    Cook Time: 15 min.
    Serves 4


  • 2 large eggplants
  • cooking oil for deep frying
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cups tomato puree
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¾ pound fresh gnocchi
  • 3 oz. Fresh mozzarella diced
  • ½ freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ pound cooked ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


    Cut each eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and dice. Immerse the eggplant cases in abundant hot oil and fry them until golden. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan and saute the pulp until golden. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Add the ground beef, tomato, basil and the eggplant pulp. When heated through turn off the heat. Add the pasta to the sauce. Stir in 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste and spoon into the eggplant cases. Top with the Parmesan and remaining Mozzarella cheese. Heat under broiler only long enough to melt cheese. Serve immediately.

    Terri's Tips:

  • Use ground chuck with 20%-25% fat to provide more flavor
  • If you don't have fresh basil substitute by adding 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • For a creamy, rich flavor use fresh mozzarella
  • Parmesan Reggiano will provide the best flavor
  • If you don't have fresh gnochi use dried pasta and cook al dente, drain. Then add to the sauce.

    Cooking Wiser:

  • To decrease the oil content coat eggplant cases with oil and bake until golden.

    Make it your own:
    Make it vegetarian by omitting the beef and adding other vegetables:
    1/4 cup each diced onions, red and yellow peppers or diced carrots, squash and zucchini

    Posted by terri at 03:50 AM | Comments (0)

    Mesclun with bacon and shallot vinaigrette

    Try heating the vinaigrette slightly before adding to the salad greeens. You will love the complex flavors that develop making this a comforting, winter salad.

    Serves 6
    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Total time: 12 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
  • 8 cups mesclun, bite size


    For the vinaigrette: Whisk shallots and red wine vinegar in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Whisk in almonds and bacon. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper

    Toss mesclun in large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Mesclun, sometimes called salad mix, is a mixture of young small salad greens including among others arugula, dandelion, radicchio and sorrel. You can make your own mixture or buy it premade.
  • Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for best results
  • To add a more complex flavor to the vinaigrette heat it slightly before serving

    Make it your own:

    Serve salad with Kalamata olives and feta cheese
    Omit bacon, add a few dried cranberries or pecans

    Posted by terri at 03:23 AM | Comments (0)