Wednesday, December 30, 2009



1 package (8 oz.) linguine or spaghetti
1 can (8 oz.) imported oil-packed tuna
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare pasta according to manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, cook tuna with its oil and garlic over medium heat in a medium skillet until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce, marjoram and pepper. Lower heat; simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes.

Drain pasta; place in a large bowl. Add sauce; toss to coat pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Notes: Don't use water-packed tuna; you want all the richness olive oil can give tuna fish. For a zestier dish, add pitted Greek or Italian black olives, sauteed red pepper strips or anchovies. Make your own tomato sauce if you have time, using either canned diced tomatoes or fresh.

Greek Black-Eyed Peas Salad

Greek Black-Eyed Peas Salad

Black-eyed peas may not be part of the Greek New Year’s tradition, as they are in the American South, but this recipe still makes a great, light dish.
1 1/2 cups black-eyed peas, washed and picked over

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 red pepper, diced

2 plump garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar

1 red onion, halved and sliced (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1. Place the beans in a pot with the bay leaf and cover with water by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, add salt to taste and simmer gently until peas are tender but not mushy, about 45 to 50 minutes. Drain through a colander set over a bowl. Transfer the black-eyed peas to a salad bowl.

2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When it is hot, add the red pepper and cook, stirring often, until just crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds, and stir together for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat and toss with the black-eyed peas. Toss with the vinegar, remaining olive oil, 1/4 cup of the bean broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Cool to room temperature.

3. If using the red onion, place it in a bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse. Add to the salad along with the dill and parsley. Toss well. Sprinkle the feta over the top, and serve.

Yield: Serves four to six.

Advance preparation: You can make the dish through step 2 up to three days before you wish to serve. Keep well covered in the refrigerator. Proceed with step 3 shortly before serving.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Skordalia Dip

This is a recipe for skordalia, which is a Greek garlic-potato dip. Skordo is Greek for garlic.
Place 2 medium baking potatoes (12 ounces total) in a saucepan with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Drain the potatoes well in a colander. Return the potatoes to the pot over low heat for 2 minutes to dry them. Shake the pot so that they dry evenly and don’t stick.

Mince 6 to 8 cloves of garlic and place in a mixing bowl with a little salt and pepper. Mash the garlic to a paste with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the potatoes and mash with a potato masher or put them through a ricer.

This dip should be highly seasoned. You may increase or reduce the salt and lemon juice to taste.

Using a wooden spoon, beat in 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and enough chicken or vegetable stock (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make a light, creamy puree.

Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Serve with pita chips.

Note: For the best results, do not use a food processor. Pureeing in the food processor will make the dip gummy.

This recipe yields 2 cups dip. There are 71 calories to a quarter cup serving. This version saves calories by replacing part of the traditional olive oil with chicken or vegetable stock

Tuscan white bean and garlic soup


2 T butter
2 T olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced
2 shallots, minced
2 sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried sage
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, pancetta and the shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is beginning to brown and the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and beans and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until garlic is soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle 1/3 of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pan. Puree the remaining soup. Once all the soup is blended and back in the soup pan, add the cream and the pepper and keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

Serve the soup, piping hot in heated bowls.

Serving suggestion: Brush some thick slices of crusty Italian bread with olive oil and toast until golden brown. Drizzle each serving of soup with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Chef's note: You may choose to not puree a portion of the soup to give it a more rustic texture. Either way, this soup is comfort in a bowl.

Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leftovers on a budget

(CBS) After a full day of eating and drinking on Christmas, the last thing you want to do is prepare another meal.

Though ham is great, after that 20th ham sandwich, it can get a little old.

So, on "The Early Show Saturday Edition," Chris Santos, executive chef and owner of New York's Stanton Social, took on the "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge. His mission was to prepare some great dishes with leftovers you'll actually want to eat -- on a $30 budget.

"Early Show" Recipes Galore

All of Santos' dishes had leftovers from Christmas dinner. Since he was using leftovers, Santos didn't have to pay for the following:

• Sweet potatoes
• Dinner rolls
• Ham
• Turkey
• Mashed potatoes
• Apple pie


Spicy and Sweet Potato Pizzas

Use leftover sweet potatoes and blend with maple syrup, molasses, chipotle and butter to make a sweet and spicy topping for French Bread Pizzas with fresh whipped ricotta.

2 cups leftover roasted yams
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon chipotle adobo
2 tablespoons softened butter
Chopped parsley
Chopped thyme
1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 strips cooked bacon
Olive oil, for brushing
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 loaf French bread

Place everything in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more cream if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and fold in 1 teaspoon chopped parsley and 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme.

Place balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan and reduce by 2/3. Cool.

For the Pizzas, split French bread in half and brush generously with olive oil. Spread bread with potato puree and then top with evenly spaced teaspoon dollops of fresh ricotta cheese. Add crumbled cooked bacon and place in 375°F oven until golden and crusty. Remove from oven and top with grated Parmigiano or asiago cheese (optional), drizzle lightly with a few drops of reduced balsamic vinegar and finish with fresh cracked pepper and fine chopped parsley and thyme. (The Food Lover's Companion)

Golden Potato & Ham Croquettes

1 cup leftover ham
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Finely dice the ham and sauté in olive oil with a touch of garlic until crispy. Drain.

Combine the mashed potatoes with cooked ham, mozzarella, parmesan, onion powder, and parsley. Form into croquettes about two inches long and one inch wide.

Dust with flour and dip in the beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs. Pan or deep fry croquettes until they are golden and crispy.

Serve on own or with your favorite marinara or tomato sauce. They also go great with the roasted garlic mayonnaise.

Leftovers Transformed, on a "Shoestring"
Chef Chris Santos Gives Ways to Remake Your Holiday Extras. on a Budget
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Recipes Galore
Searching for a new dish? Get cooking with recipes presented on "The Early Show"!

Cuban Sliders

Make non-traditional Cuban inspired sliders by slicing the leftover ham and turkey and layering the meats. Spread on the fixings and you've got a delicious sandwich in no time at all.

6 Parker House rolls, split lengthwise
12 slices leftover ham
12 slices leftover turkey
24 slices cheese (Swiss or Gruyere)
18 thin slices of pickle
6 razor thin slices of jalapeno
6 tablespoons mustard
6 tablespoons roasted garlic mayo (see recipe below)
Cilantro leaves, picked

To assemble the sandwiches spread mustard and mayo evenly on rolls. Using the bottom half of each roll as a starting point, layer the sandwiches in the following order:
1 slice of cheese
2 slices of Ham
1 slice of cheese
2 slices of turkey
1 slice of cheese
3 slices pickle
1 slice jalapeno
4 cilantro leaves
1 slice of cheese

Place on griddle and press while cooking or cook in a Panini press until exterior is golden and crusty and cheese is gooey.

Roasted Garlic Mayo

12 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil for drizzling

Drizzle 12 peeled cloves of garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes or until softened and aromatic. Cool slightly and puree with 2 cups of your favorite mayonnaise. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Apple Pie Ice Cream Sundae

1 pint vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
Caramel sauce
2 pieces leftover Apple (or whatever pie you have) pie

Freeze and then chop the leftover pie into bite sized pieces. Divide ice cream into four bowls and top with the pie bites and drizzle over the caramel sauce.

So how did Chris do with our $30 budget?!

Sweet Potato Pizza
heavy cream $1.19
molasses $2.59
chipotles in adobo $.99
bacon $1.99
ricotta $1.98
French bread $1.59
total $10.33

Ham & Potato Croquettes
mozzarella $2.99
parmesan $2.24
bread crumbs $1.19
total $6.42

Cuban Sliders
Swiss cheese $1.66
pickle $.56
jalapeno $.16
cilantro $.69
garlic $.39
total $3.46

Apple Pie Sundae
ice cream $1.33
caramel sauce $2.69
total $4.02

Grand Total: $24.23!

Spicy Coconut Turkey Soup by Chef Tom Valenti

Spicy Coconut Turkey Soup
Tom Valenti
Serves 4

I came up with this soup as an unusual way to use Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, which often find themselves in a slightly richer version of chicken noodle soup. We don't associate turkey with Asian flavors, but I decided to take that direction and ended up with this variation on a noodle soup. If you have houseguests for the holiday, they'll be pleasantly surprised.


• 4 cups store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
• 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
• 2 oz piece of peeled fresh ginger, minced (about 2 TSB)
• 1 piece lemongrass, white part only, crushed
• Zest of 1/2 lime
• 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1/8 tsp Asian fish sauce
• 2 cups skim milk
• 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
• 6 oz diced leftover roast turkey (about 1 1/2 cups)
• 4 oz rice vermicelli, cooked
Recipe continues below ↓

Optional garnishes: Thinly sliced scallion, thinly sliced cucumber, sliced shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced cilantro leaves, lime wedges

1) Put the chicken broth, garlic, bay leaves, ginger, lemongrass, lime zest, red pepper flakes, and fish sauce in a soup pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and add the skim milk and coconut milk. Let simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

2) Strain the soup an dreturn it to the pot over medium heat. Add the turkey and the vermicelli to the soup and let them warm through, 4 minutes.

3) Ladle the soup into 4 soup bowls and serve with desired garnishes.

Nutritional info (per serving, without garnish)
208 calories
6g fat
4g saturated fat
0g transfat
17g total carbs
1g dietary fiber
8g total sugars
21g protein
39mg cholesterol
207mg sodium

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chicken Shaslik

Delicious with Kashmiri salad.


To marinate the chicken, mix the yoghurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, whole cumin, chilli powder, garam masala powder and turmeric powder before adding the chicken.

Set aside for about three hours, or overnight.

Soak the wooden skewers in water, then skewer on the chicken.

Grill/braai the chicken skewers until cooked through.

For the Kashmiri salad: Mix 500ml yoghurt with 30ml cumin seeds, half a chopped pineapple, a handful of raisins, a handful of chopped dried apricots and a handful of chopped mint.

Leave to infuse for an hour.

In a separate bowl, mix together 100g of chopped, mixed lettuce leaves, two chopped tomatoes, one small sliced red onion and half a chopped cucumber.

Mix the yoghurt mixture into the lettuce mixture with 100g of cashew nuts, 100g of pistachio nuts and 250g paneer (Indian cottage cheese).

Add chopped green chillies if you like.


TIME: 15 minutes + marinating

Picture and recipe courtesy of Avocado magazine. To subscribe, contact the magazine on 011-280-5420

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yard House BBQ beans

Yard House BBQ beans
These beans are a great side dish to have on hand as the weather cools. The recipe is relatively simple but rich with flavor, with the beans neither too sweet nor too spicy. Enjoy!

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 as a side dish

Note: Adapted from the Yard House. It makes its own barbecue sauce for this recipe but suggests using the brand Bull's-Eye as an alternative to homemade.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped green onion
1 to 2 jalapeños, minced, or to taste (seeding the jalapeños will minimize their heat)
4 cups cooked pinto beans (from about 1 pound dry, or about 3 drained 15-ounce cans)
2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups of pinto bean liquid from boiling
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce SUGGESTION Mama Raps Garlic Dude Garlic BBQ Sauce
2 to 4 tablespoons puréed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or to taste
2 teaspoons Tabasco, or to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat a medium heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil, garlic, green onions and jalapeño and sauté, stirring constantly, until the garlic is aromatic and golden, about 2 minutes.

2. Stir in the pinto beans, chicken broth, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, puréed chipotle peppers and Tabasco sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to avoid burning the mixture, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

3. Continue to cook just until the beans begin to break apart, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning and heat as desired. Smash some of the beans slightly with the back of a spoon and stir to thicken the texture. The beans will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

Each of 8 servings: 355 calories; 9 grams protein; 65 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fiber; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 37 grams sugar; 588 mg. sodium.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Fuss Bouillabaisse and Rouille

No-Fuss Bouillabaisse
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces shallots (about 4 shallots), diced
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced orange zest
½ teaspoon saffron
2 bay leaves
6 cups (1½ quarts) fish broth
2 pounds thick fish fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces (such as halibut, grouper and cod)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
1 batch rouille (recipe below)
In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium. Add the shallots, fennel and garlic. Sauté until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, orange zest, saffron and bay leaves. Cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add the fish broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add the fish and shrimp, then return to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through,
5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and stir in the rouille until thickened.

Makes 1 batch
2 whole jarred roasted red peppers
3 cloves garlic, peeled, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
½ cup olive oil
In a food processor, combine the peppers, garlic and salt. Process until smooth. Add the bread crumbs and process again until fairly smooth. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.

Garlic-Cranberry Chutney

Garlic-Cranberry Chutney

Recipe from Madhur Jaffrey
"East/West Menus for Family and Friends."

Makes 2 cups
1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ cup cider or white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
½ teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
Cut ginger into very thin slivers. Combine ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar and cayenne in a small pot. Simmer on medium for about 15 minutes, until about 4 tablespoons of liquid are left (excluding solids). Add cranberry sauce, salt and pepper. Mix — lumpy is fine — and bring to simmer. Simmer on low 10 minutes.
— Madhur Jaffrey, "East/West Menus for Family and Friends"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Salad with Baba Ghanoush

Turkey Salad with Baba Ghanoush


2 cups turkey, chopped into ½ thick, bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
¾ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 organic cucumber, unpeeled and chopped
3 whole wheat tandoori naan (Indian flat bread), cut in half
¾ cup baba ghanoush (eggplant spread)
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce


Whisk the vinegar, mint, red pepper flakes, 1 clove garlic, and ¼ tsp. salt in a shallow dish. Add the turkey, and marinate
for 15 to 20 minutes.
While the meat is marinating, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, and the remaining clove of garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with olive and season with salt and pepper. After meat has marinated, toss with tomatoes and cucumber.
Preheat a pan on the stove. Brush the naan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Grill in the pan until brown marks the bread, turning once. Place each naan on a plate and spread with baba ghanoush. Top with lettuce and turkey salad and drizzle with any juices from the bowl.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6.