Category: Dairy-Free

Israeli Couscous with Peas and Tarragon

Israeli Couscous with Baby Peas and Tarragon in a bowl

We’re big fans of food with an anise-like flavor, such as fennel and tarragon. This recipe for Israeli Couscous with Peas and Tarragon has a subtle anise flavor that nicely complements the couscous and the peas. It’s a quick and easy side dish that goes particularly well with fish or chicken.

Israeli couscous is a pasta, made from durum wheat semolina, which is rolled into balls, similar to its tinier cousin couscous. However, Israeli couscous is toasted, which gives it an appealing nutty flavor and is prepared in boiling water. You can prepare it using the pasta method or using the risotto method as I do here: bring the couscous to a boil in a measured amount of seasoned water or stock, stir frequently until all the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, but not mushy. Once the cooking is done, the dish is table ready.

Israeli Couscous with Peas and Tarragon

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in the couscous and scallions and sauté, stirring frequently for 2 minutes; the lightly toasted aroma of the wheat should be apparent.

Israeli Couscous with Baby Peas and Tarragon in pan with scallions

Add water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking for 12 minutes; the couscous is done when the water is completely absorbed and the couscous is tender, but not mushy.

Israeli Couscous with Baby Peas and Tarragon showing absorbed water

Add the peas, stir, and cook until the peas are heated through.

Finish off by stirring in the tarragon and serve immediately.

Israeli Couscous with Baby Peas and Tarragon in a bowl

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Israeli Couscous with Peas and Tarragon

Israeli Couscous with Baby Peas and Tarragon in a bowl

Use the risotto method to make this quick and easy Israeli Couscous with Peas and Tarragon by cooking in a measured amount of liquid with the aromatics. A great side for chicken and fish.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the bias (include green tops) about 3/4 cup
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (ounces
2 generous tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in the couscous and scallions and sauté, stirring frequently for 2 minutes; the lightly toasted aroma of the wheat should be apparent.

Add water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking for 12 minutes; the couscous is done when the water is completely absorbed and the couscous is tender, but not mushy.

Add the peas, stir, and cook until the peas are heated through.

Finish off by stirring in the tarragon and serve immediately.

Keywords: pasta side dish, couscous, Israeli couscous, cooking couscous using the risotto method, peas, tarragon, scallions

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash in a bowl

This One-Pot Hungarian Goulash was inspired by a dish my Mom made when I was a kid. She simply called it goulash and it was a mixture of ground beef, green bell peppers, elbow macaroni and tomatoes.

It wasn’t until many years later that I learned what real goulash was – a Hungarian meat stew made with paprika, a much more seasoned dish than what Mom made. To honor her, I’ve kept the basics of her version – ground meat, pasta and tomatoes. However, there are more options with peppers today that when I was a kid, sweeter versions in red, yellow, and orange. And, if I can find them, I always prefer the baby bell peppers for their tenderness as well as sweetness.

I also changed the macaroni to pipete pasta, which has larger openings and crevices that capture the sauce. To make this a true Hungarian stew, I’ve used Hungarian paprika for its heat, and smoked paprika for the depth of flavor it provides.

Hungarian Goulash in a bowl

This is also a good recipe to use the leanest ground meat possible. There are lots of ingredients and plenty of moisture in the recipe, but too much fat in the meat makes the dish is a little greasy.

Aside from the fact that this is delicious Hungarian goulash recipe, it’s a one-pot recipe! I put the pasta and water directly into the stew to cook. No extra pot, no draining, and best of all, the pasta soaks up tons of flavor from the sauce. I used ground beef in this version, but feel free to substitute any ground meat, veal is a great option, or poultry.

METHOD FOR MAKING HUNGARIAN GOULASH

Hungarian Goulash vegetables

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat.

Add the lean ground meat/poultry and use the tip of a wooden spoon to break into a small crumble. Simply push the spoon in and give a little twist to separate the meat, repeating this over and over until the meat is very loose.

Hungarian Goulash ground beef

Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all the pink is gone.

Hungarian Goulash meat ready for vegetables

Lower the heat to medium and stir in the onion, peppers, celery, garlic, bouquet garni, and both paprika; cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Hungarian Goulash adding the vegetables

Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook on very low, just a gentle simmer, for 45 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package instruction. Stir frequently to make sure all the pasta is submerged and cooking evenly.

Hungarian Goulash cooking the pasta

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Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash in a bowl
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Stew

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 medium onion minced
20 baby bell peppers, sliced or 2 regular bell peppers diced
2 celery stalks minced
6 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons bouquet garni herb mix
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 pound elbow or pipete pasta

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat.

Add the lean ground meat/poultry and use the tip of a wooden spoon to break into a small crumble. Simply push the spoon in and give a little twist to separate the meat, repeating this over and over until the meat is very loose. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all the pink is gone.

Lower the heat to medium and stir in the onion, peppers, celery, garlic, bouquet garni, and both paprika; cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook on very low, just a gentle simmer, for 45 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package instruction. Stir frequently to make sure all the pasta is submerged and cooking evenly.

Keywords: stew, goulash, one-pot dinner, one-pot recipe

Hummus

Hummus with celery

Hummus is a great party food. It’s got a lovely, smooth texture and great flavor from the tahini, garlic, lemon, and smoked paprika. It’s perfect any time of the year and is usually liked by all!

Recently I’ve been seeing some recipes that recommend peeling the chickpeas to make a very smooth hummus. After much experimentation, I find this a needless and tedious task. Simply let the food processor run a little longer and you achieve that same silken texture without the bother of peeling each individual chickpea.

Hummus with veggies

Hummus is perfect for a crudité platter or serve with toasted pita chips or mini pita cut in half. It also makes a great sandwich stuffed into a pita with some chopped parsley.

METHOD

Place the chickpeas, tahini, lemon zest and juice, oil, garlic, salt, and smoked paprika in a food processor and purée until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

Once you think it’s perfectly smooth, scrape the sides again and puree for another 5 seconds.

Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and dash of smoked paprika.

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Hummus

Hummus with celery
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drain, but don’t rinse
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large smashed clove garlic
generous ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Garnish
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of smoked paprika

Instructions

Place the chickpeas, tahini, lemon zest and juice, oil, garlic, salt, and smoked paprika in a food processor and purée until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

Once you think it’s perfectly smooth, scrape the sides again and puree for another 5 seconds.

Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and dash of smoked paprika.

Notes

Recipe doubles well.

Keywords: dip, chickpeas, chickpea dip, snack, spread, Middle Eastern, appetizer

 

Cooking Bacon on the Stovetop

cooking bacon on the stovetop

The real secret to successfully cooking bacon on the stovetop is to start with a cold frypan, which prevents the bacon from sticking. Lay the strips of bacon in the bottom of the pan, a slight overlap is okay as the bacon shrinks, and place over high heat. Use a good frypan that distributes heat evenly, such as an iron or a Le Creuset frypan.

Cooking bacon on the stovetop is messier that cooking bacon in the microwave or in the oven. A frying spatter screen helps contain some of the mess, but the stove still requires requires a good wipe down.

cooking bacon on the stovetop

Once the bacon begins to sizzle and render some fat, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking. Lift the spatter guard and gently flip the bacon. Bacon spatters and to help prevent burning yourself, lift the end of the strip closet to you and turn toward the back of the pan. Hopefully any spattering occurs away from you!

cooking bacon on the stovetop

Return the spatter cover, and cook a minute or two more. The bacon cooks quickly at this point, so watch closely to remove the bacon at the floppy or crispy point.

Place the cooked bacon on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb some of the excess fat.

cooking bacon on the stovetop

As an alternative to a frypan, use a griddle. The rectangular shape and bigger size accommodates more strips. There’s quite a bit of spattering and unfortunately no spatter screen for a griddle, so a bigger cleanup job.

Whether you use a skillet or griddle, have a plate ready for the cooked bacon and place in a warm oven or warming draw to hold. Finish cooking the remainder of the bacon and your eggs or pancakes or waffles.

stovetop bacon

Cleanup requires some elbow grease. I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which makes the job a little easier.

Watch our How to Cook Bacon on the Stovetop Video Here.
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Cooking Bacon on the Stovetop

stovetop bacon

Cook up a batch or two of bacon and hold in a warm (200-degrees F) oven while you finish cooking.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Total Time: -25845846.966667 minute
  • Yield: 2 slices per person
  • Category: Breakfast/Brunch

Ingredients

4-6 slices bacon

Instructions

Lay the strips of bacon in the bottom of the pan, a slight overlap is okay as the bacon shrinks, and place over high heat.

Once the bacon begins to sizzle and render some fat, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking.

As an alternative to a frypan, use a griddle. The rectangular shape and bigger size accommodates more strips. There’s quite a bit of spattering and unfortunately no spatter screen for a griddle, so a bigger cleanup job.

Lift the spatter guard and gently flip the bacon. Bacon spatters and to help prevent burning yourself, lift the end of the strip closet to you and turn toward the back of the pan. Hopefully any spattering occurs away from you!

Notes

Use a good frypan that distributes heat evenly, such as an iron or a Le Creuset frypan.

Keywords: bacon, panfrying bacon, frying bacon, cooking bacon, cooking bacon on the stovetop

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted acorn squash makes a delicious side dish. For this recipe I served this with a pan-roasted pork tenderloin, seasoned solely with salt and pepper, seared in a skillet and finished in the oven to 145 degrees F. A slightly pink interior. Try our Rosemary Honey-Mustard sauce over the pork, it’s perfect for this dish.

I chose to leave the skin on for a different presentation. I’ve been told the skin is edible, but I find it to be tough, especially when roasted, it gets a little firmer. But, the skin on add a beautiful presentation to any dish and the sweet pulp is easily scrapped off with a fork.

This recipe is easily adaptable to any number of people. And, the squash can be cut in half or in quarters in lieu of slices. Add a few more minutes of cooking time. The squash is done when fork tender. One-half acorn squash is usually a perfect serving, unless you have many other sides, then figure ¼ squash per person.

chopped thyme

This recipe is a great example of using both dried and fresh herbs. The dried thyme is best when roasting – the flavor permeates the squash but doesn’t burn and there are no fussy twigs to get rid of. The fresh thyme is the perfect garnish; it brings a pure, fresh taste of the thyme to the dish, as well as a lovely contrasting color.

Roasting the Squash

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Scrub the outside of the squash with a vegetable brush and dry.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Scoop out the seeds and discard.

The acorn squash is ready to be seasoned and roasted in this form, or cut in half again for quarters, or cut each quarter into 2 or 3 more slices. The squash is very adaptable to cooking in any format.

Sliced Roasted Acorn Squash

If cooking the squash in half or quarters, trim a small piece off a center rib so the squash sits flat when place skin side down.

Combine the salt, dried thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Brush the inside and outside of the squash with the oil. Sprinkle the squash with the spice mix.

Place the half or quartered acorn squash skin side down or strew the slices of squash across the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the squash is very soft when pierced with a fork.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Garnish with the fresh thyme and use the sprigs to garnish the serving platter.

Roasted Acorn Squash

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Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

This recipe is easily adaptable to any number of people. One-half acorn squash is usually a perfect serving for one, unless you have many other sides, then figure ¼ squash per person.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 - 8 servings
  • Category: Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Method: Roasting

Ingredients

2 acorn squash
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Garnish
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
Thyme sprigs

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Scrub the outside of the squash with a vegetable brush and dry.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.

Scoop out the seeds and discard.

The acorn squash is ready to be seasoned and roasted in this form, or cut in half again for quarters, or cut each quarter into 2 or 3 more slices. The squash is very adaptable to cooking in any format.

If cooking the squash in half or quarters, trim a small piece off a center rib so the squash sits flat when place skin side down.

Combine the salt, dried thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

Brush the inside and outside of the squash with the oil. Sprinkle the squash with the spice mix.

Place the half or quartered acorn squash skin side down or strew the slices of squash across the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the squash is very soft when pierced with a fork.

Garnish with the fresh thyme and use the sprigs to garnish the serving platter.

Keywords: squash, acorn squash, roasted squash, roasted acorn squash

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Looking for a quick and easy dinner? This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe and cooks quickly on the stovetop, about 1 ½ hours, or in a slow cooker, about 3 ½ hours. Simply prep the pancetta and aromatics, sauté, add the seasonings, canned tomatoes, stock, and chicken (no browning necessary), cover and cook. Add the kale and beans 10 minutes before finishing up and dinner is ready!

Slow Cookers

A quick note on slow cookers. Not all slow cookers are not the same. I personally think it is a waste of money not to own a programmable version. The ones with high/low settings are usually inaccurate and the low setting cooks at too high a temperature for a succulent braise or stew. The perfect temperature for slow cooking is 180 degrees F. Anything higher than that cooks at temperatures that denature and coagulate proteins quickly and there is a greater loss of natural juices and flavors.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

I also like the slow cookers that have a removable, oven-proof insert. This allows you to sauté, brown, etc. in one pan and then transition into the slow cooker with no added dishes to wash. Some slow cookers have many programs available and offer a sauté function and the entire recipe can be made start to finish in the vessel.

If you can’t find or are not a fan of kale, substitute other greens, such as chard, mustard greens for a little zing, or spinach, which only needs to be stirred into the hot stew last minute to wilt.

Putting the Stew Together

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

sautéing pancetta

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

sautéing aromatics for Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This may not look like enough liquid, but don’t add more. The vegetables and chicken exude lots of flavorful juices and adding more liquid now only dilutes the flavor.

Here’s the difference in the amount of liquid, above before cooking and below after cooking.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

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Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe that cooks quickly on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Lots of flavor and vegetables, too!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Stew/Braise
  • Method: Slow Cook

Ingredients

4 ounces diced pancetta
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 baby bell peppers, tops removed, sliced lengthwise, or one bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup vegetable demi-glace, such as More Than Gourmet
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken (white meat, dark meat, or both), cut into 2-inch cubes

Instructions

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Notes

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

Keywords: slow cook, crockpot, stew, braise, chicken stew, kale, white beans, one-pot dinner

Apple-Pear Sauce

apple and pear varieties

Here’s a little twist on traditional applesauce, Apple-Pear Sauce.

Fall is upon us and apples and pears are in season and in abundance. To create a complex flavor and varying textures I like to use three varieties of pears and apples. I used Bartlett and Starkrimson, which are sweet and juicy pears with a softer pulp, and Bosc, which is less sweet and firm in texture. The apples, which I sourced from The Whittier Fruit Farm during my recent trip to Rochester, included SweeTango, crisp with good acidity, Jonagold with a sweet honey flavor, and a Macoun, with a firmer texture. To highlight the vanilla undertone of the pears, I add a vanilla bean and a little lemon zest for acidity.

The recipe comes together easily and with few ingredients. Simply peel and core 6 pears and 6 apples and cut into about 1-inch cubes, the smaller the size the shorter the cooking time.

To core apples, use a melon baller. The stems of the pear extend down to the core. Quarter the pear and use a paring knife to slice top to bottom to remove inner stem and core.

coring pears

To get to the seeds of the vanilla, make a slit at the end of the bean, but don’t cut through to the bottom. Slide the knife between the pod and run the knife down the bean to split it in half lengthwise.

splitting a vanilla bean

Scrape out the seeds with the edge of a paring knife.

scraped vanilla bean

Add 1/4 cup cold water, the vanilla bean seeds and the lemon zest. Cover and cook over a very low flame. Low and slow is the way to go – high heat only scorches the fruit and that flavor permeates the entire sauce.

chopped pears and apple in saucepan

Stir every 3 minutes or so to move the fruit on top to the bottom. Once the fruit starts to break down, raise the heat a bit, just a little bit, and leave the cover askew. These are juicy fruits and it’s good to let a little of the liquid evaporate. A loose apple-pear sauce isn’t as tasty or pleasing to the palette.

The sauce is usually done in 30 to 40 minutes, again this depends on the size of the fruit. An unripe, extra-firm fruit can also take a little longer to cook. To test, push a few fruit cubes against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. The sauce is ready when easily smashed.

Mash with a potato masher. I like my apple-pear sauce to have a little texture and leave some small chunky pieces. Don’t use a blender, food processor or immersion blender, however, the harsh processing destroys cell structure and the sauce becomes a soup.

Cool, place in jars, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

apple-pear sauce in jars

Serve warm or at room temperature.

apple-pear sauce in a bowl

Recipe doubles easily and freezes well.

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Apple-Pear Sauce

apple-pear sauce in a bowl

Here’s a little twist on traditional applesauce, Apple-Pear Sauce. Use a variety of pears and apples for complex flavor and texture.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups; 10-12 servings
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

6 assorted pears
6 assorted apples
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
zest of one lemon

Instructions

The recipe comes together easily and with few ingredients. Simply peel and core 6 pears and 6 apples and cut into about 1-inch cubes, the smaller the size the shorter the cooking time.

To core apples, use a melon baller. The stems of the pear extend down to the core. Quarter the pear and use a paring knife to slice top to bottom to remove inner stem and core.

To get to the seeds of the vanilla, split it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the sharp edge of a paring knife.

Add 1/4 cup cold water, the vanilla bean seeds and the lemon zest. Cover and cook over a very low flame. Low and slow is the way to go – high heat only scorches the fruit and that flavor permeates the entire sauce.

Stir every 3 minutes or so to move the fruit on top to the bottom. Once the fruit starts to break down, raise the heat a bit, just a little bit, and leave the cover askew. These are juicy fruits and it’s good to let a little of the liquid evaporate. A loose apple-pear sauce isn’t as tasty or pleasing to the palette.

The sauce is usually done in 30 to 40 minutes, again this depends on the size of the fruit. An unripe, extra-firm fruit can also take a little longer to cook. To test, push a few fruit cubes against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. The sauce is ready when easily smashed.

Mash with a potato masher. I like my apple-pear sauce to have a little texture and leave some small chunky pieces. Don’t use a blender, food processor or immersion blender, however, the harsh processing destroys cell structure and the sauce becomes a soup.

Cool, place in jars, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Recipe doubles easily and freezes well.

Keywords: apple sauce, pear sauce, condiment, Thanksgiving dinner,

Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

I know many are intimidated by the thought making Poached Eggs, but it really is quite simple. The key is to poach the egg until the white is set and the egg yolk is runny, which means temperature control and timing. If you prefer a firm yolk, a little more time at the controlled temperature is all that is required.

Farm fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The egg whites are nice and tight so there’s less spread in the pan. For an older egg, a dash of white vinegar in the cooking water helps coagulate the egg white. There are also egg poaching machines and lots of little cups, etc that claim to make pretty poached eggs. I don’t see the point myself and they would only take up more space in my already full kitchen.

Poached Eggs

How to Poach Eggs

To make them the old-fashioned way, fill a low rimmed saucepan or a straight-sided skillet with cold water, high enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Add almost a capful of white vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Place a couple of folded paper towels by the side of the stove to briefly drain the cooked eggs on before plating.

Crack up to 4 eggs in a small bowl, slide the eggs into the hot water and immediately lower the heat to the gentlest of simmers. Cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firm yolk. The key to success here is the gentle simmer, a rapid boil is harsh, and the eggs are easily ruined by the turbulent water.

Poached Eggs

Use a mesh skimmer spoon and gently scoop up all the eggs together. Rest the bottom of the skimmer spoon on the paper towels to drain for a couple of seconds and then slide onto your plate.

Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher salt and ground pepper over the eggs and dig in. Hollandaise sauce recipe coming next week.

Watch our video here. Note: Since making the video, I prefer to crack my eggs in a bowl and slide them into the water vs. cracking them individually into the pan. They keep better shape and cooking time is even for all.

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Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

Farm fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The egg whites are nice and tight so there’s less spread in the pan. For an older egg, a dash of white vinegar in the cooking water helps coagulate the egg white.

The key is to poach the egg until the white is set and the egg yolk is runny, which means temperature control and timing. If you prefer a firm yolk, a little more time at the controlled temperature is all that is required.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Eggs

Ingredients

1 to 4 large eggs
white vinegar

Instructions

Fill a low rimmed saucepan or a straight-sided skillet with cold water, high enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Add almost a capful of white vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Place a couple of folded paper towels by the side of the stove to briefly drain the cooked eggs on before plating.

Crack up to 4 eggs in a small bowl, slide the eggs into the hot water and immediately lower the heat to the gentlest of simmers. Cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firm yolk. The key to success here is the gentle simmer, a rapid boil is harsh, and the eggs are easily ruined by the turbulent water.

Use a mesh skimmer spoon and gently scoop up all the eggs together. Rest the bottom of the skimmer spoon on the paper towels to drain for a couple of seconds and then slide onto your plate.

Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher salt and ground pepper over the eggs and dig in.

Keywords: poached eggs, eggs, poaching

1 to 4 large eggs
white vinegar

Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce - in gravy bowl

Before we get into the ABCs of this delicious Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce, I want to tell you about a product I use in place of homemade or canned stock, or, heaven forbid, bouillon.

More Than Gourmet

More Than Gourmet display photo

First, I want to assure you that this is not a product-sponsored post – I don’t do them. More Than Gourmet doesn’t advertise or pay anyone to promote their products; they rely on word-of-mouth. My goal is to make you aware of a superior product and I want you to know about it because it’s a key ingredient in my soup, stew, and sauce recipes.

More Than Gourmet french demi-glace

Canned or store-bought stock is thin in flavor and I don’t like the fact that salt has been added, which limits using them in reductions. Back in the day, I used to make homemade stock. It was a 24-hour chore. Starting and skimming the stock, simmering overnight, straining, cooling, and finally putting in jars for freezing. It was worth it in terms of flavor, but very time consuming. It also seemed like I used it up quickly and was back at the chore again and again and again.

More Than Gourmet Sauce packet

I have an entire pantry door devoted to a wide variety of More Than Gourmet concentrated stock and demi-glace packets. These are a life-saver, especially when I make something spur of the moment, I know I’ll always have what I need on hand.

More Than Gourmet - my kitchen cabinet

I bring this to your attention, because it’s all I use in my recipes and I believe that my recipes benefit from the depth of flavor provided by these stocks and demi-glaces, which store-bought products can’t match.

Back to the Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Here is a quick and easy sauce that goes well with chicken and pork. It only takes about 20 minutes to make and it freezes well.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slide the shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper into the hot pan, stir and sweat for 2 minutes. If the shallot begins to brown, lower the heat a smidge.

sweating the shallot and garlic in oil

Whisk in the orange zest and honey mustard. Stir in the stock or demi-glace, I used the roasted chicken demi-glace, which is more concentrated in flavor and creates a rich and tasty sauce.

adding the orange zest and honey mustard to shallots

Toss in the rosemary sprig and simmer for 5 minutes.

Discard the rosemary and pour the sauce over chicken or pork or serve in a ladled bowl on the side.

finished sauce Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Sauce freezes well.

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Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Make this quick and easy sauce to use over chicken or pork.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: generous cup
  • Category: Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of one orange
2 teaspoons spicy honey mustard
1 cup chicken stock or demi-glace
1 sprig rosemary

Instructions

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slide the shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper into the hot pan, stir and sweat for 2 minutes. If the shallot begins to brown, lower the heat a smidge.

Stir in the orange zest, honey mustard to combine. Then whisk in the stock or demi-glace. The demi-glace is more concentrated in flavor and creates a very rich sauce.

Toss in the rosemary sprig and simmer for 5 minutes.

Discard the rosemary and pour the sauce over your chicken or pork or serve in a ladled bowl on the side.

Notes

Sauce freezes well.

Keywords: sauce, rosemary, honey mustard, gravy

 

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Corn and Black Bean Salad in a bowl

When my husband came home from the store over Labor Day weekend, he said Terry, the produce manager at the Village Market, told him this was probably the last weekend for corn. I’m always shocked how quickly corn season passes. I hadn’t even made my Corn and Black Bean Salad yet!

This salad comes together easily. The only ingredient that is cooked is the corn and even that is optional. I either steam it on the stovetop or grill it.

Prepare the Corn

To steam the corn, fill a large saucepan with a couple of inches of cold water and a tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, add the corn, and cook for 5 minutes.

To grill the corn, preheat the grill to high. Brush a little olive oil on the corn, set on the hot grill, reduce the heat a bit, and cook for 5 minutes, turning the ears 3 times.

Let the corn cool for 5 or 10 minutes for easier handling and then cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.

Corn and Black Bean Salad prepped ingredients

Finish the Salad

Pop those kernels into a medium serving bowl along with the black beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, but be sure to hold back of couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad, salt, and lime juice. Toss to combine thoroughly.

I like the salad to sit at least an hour to let the flavors meld, so I omit the avocado until just before serving to prevent it from oxidizing. The oxygen in the air reacts with the avocado flesh and turns it brown. Nothing unhealthy about it, just not eye appealing. You can also make the salad the day before without the avocado. Take the salad out of the fridge a good 30 minutes before serving to warm a little.

Corn and Black Bean Salad with avocado

Lots of flavors and textures in the Corn and Black Bean Salad and it goes with everything – burgers, kabobs, chicken, fish, beef, pork, or seafood, and it’s vegan/vegetarian!

Happy Labor Day!

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Corn and Black Bean Salad

This salad comes together easily. The only ingredient that is cooked is the corn and even that is optional. Steam it, grill it, our use it au naturel. It’s colorful, tasty, and the only side dish you need for a meal.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

6 ears corn
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Kirby cucumber, diced, or about ¼ cup cucumber, remove seeds if bitter
¼ red onion, small dice
1 jalapeno, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bunch cilantro chopped, reserving a couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 avocado

Instructions

To steam the corn, fill a large saucepan with a couple of inches of cold water and a tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, add the corn, and cook for 5 minutes.

To grill the corn, preheat the grill to high. Brush a little olive oil on the corn, set on the hot grill, reduce the heat a bit, and cook for 5 minutes, turning the ears 3 times.

Let the corn cool for 5 or 10 minutes for easier handling and then cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.

Pop those kernels in a medium serving bowl along with the black beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, but be sure to hold back of couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad, salt, and lime juice. Toss to combine thoroughly.

Notes

I like the salad to sit at least an hour to let the flavors meld, so I omit the avocado until just before serving to prevent it from oxidizing. The oxygen in the air reacts with the avocado flesh and turns it brown. Nothing unhealthy about it, just not eye appealing. You can also make the salad the day before without the avocado. Take the salad out of the fridge a good 30 minutes before serving to warm a little.

Keywords: summer salad, salad, black bean salad, corn salad, black beans, corn, side dish, gluten-free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, summer recipe

Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles

Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles in a mason jar

Quick pickles are popular lately, especially if you watch the food show competitions. It’s a quick and easy way to add a crunchy texture and boost flavor using acid, salt, sugar, herbs, and/or spices. Ginger, chili peppers, cumin, and coriander give this recipe a Middle Eastern flavor.

The pickles can be used within 20 minutes or so of a quick brine – use an ice bath to chill before serving. Store remaining pickles in jars with the brine and seasonings. The pickles continue to soak up flavors and the vegetables soften a little over time.

Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles in mason jars

I created this quick pickle recipe to go with the Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Salad, the pungency of the pickles complements the dish nicely as does the crunchy texture.

Watch the Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickle video here.

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Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles

Quick pickles are an easy way to add a crunchy texture and boost flavor using acid, salt, sugar, herbs, and spices. Ginger, chili peppers, cumin, and coriander give this recipe a Middle Eastern flavor.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups
  • Category: Pickles

Ingredients

1 small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups cold water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup coarsely chopped cloves garlic, about 6 cloves
3 serrano chilies, halved or dried chilies
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon diced fresh ginger, about a 1-inch piece

Instructions

Combine water, vinegar, sugar garlic, chilies, salt, coriander and cumin seeds, ginger and salt in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil; lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cauliflower and onions, return to a boil, then turn the heat off and let steep for 10 minutes.

Ladle the vegetables and brine into jars, make sure the brine come to 1/2-inch below the top of the jar.

Strain the remaining liquid and divide the garlic, chilies, seeds and ginger evenly between the jars.

Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Notes

To use immediately, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water, place a smaller bowl in the center and fill with the quick pickles. Stir frequently to chill evenly.

Keywords: 38370

Grilled Vegetables

Do you get carried away by the beautiful produce at the farmers’ market? It happens to me all time. From one stand to the next there are more and more tantalizing vegetables. Fear not, you can toss them all on the grill and make a medley of Grilled Vegetables!

Grilled vegetables are a wonderful side for any meal or a meal in and of themselves. The leftovers make great wrap sandwiches the next day or dice them for a salad.

grilled vegetables on grill, zucchini, red onions, eggplant and corn

Cooking times vary depending on the whether the vegetable is cooked whole or sliced. I like my eggplant cooked well. I don’t find the taste of undercooked eggplant or its spongy texture appealing. However, a well-cooked, silken eggplant is perfection.

Corn takes a couple minutes per side, so 6 – 8 minutes. Cook over high heat for charred corn, which also makes a wonderful chowder. To cook gently, place it on the indirect heat side and cook for the same amount of time.

Scallions cook quickly and char easily – keep an eye on them, but it’s well worth grilling them for the sweetness they exude right off the grill.

To cook zucchini and summer squash I remove them while they have a little firmness. They contain lots of water and can turn to mush easily. A little texture in the bite is nice.

To grill, simply drizzle with olive oil and good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Additional dressings or herbs can be added after cooking.

Grill up some thick, bone-in pork chops to go along with your grilled vegetables!

Let yourself be tempted – bring those veggies home and grill them up!

Watch our video on How to Grill Vegetables here.