Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tips from Sherry Page

  • Cutting onions: Slice in half and then place flat side of each half on cutting board so onions don't slip
  • Cooking garlic: take out the bitter inside green stem
  • Cheese: take out of the fridge before serving for more flavor
  • Organic berries: don't wash them; you'll dilute the flavor, and especially not before refrigerating because they will mold
  • Brush mushrooms instead of washing them to preserve the flavor
  • Need to take stem out of shitaki mushrooms
  • European-style butter has more fat, flavor, and is able to withstand higher temperatures
  • Toasting almonds: put in microwave until they pop
  • Get garlic smell off hands: rub against stainless steel under lukewarm water

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tunisian Couscous Pilaf with Chickpeas, Almonds, and Dates

From Family Health Cookbook, 1997 (Pocket Books)

Spicy and sweet Middle-Eastern-style dish, goes well with other spicy foods and yogurt.

Makes 4 main dish servings, or twice the side dish servings

  • 2 tbs olive oil, preferably extra virgin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • .5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • .5 tsp ground coriander seed
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups defatted lower-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 4 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates (yum!)
  • 1 box (10 oz) or 1.33 cups raw couscous
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .25 cup sliced natural almonds
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan wtih a lid or in a Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, strring frequently until lightly browned, about 8 minutes
  3. Add the garlic, along with the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, coriander, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for one minute
  4. Add 2.5 of the 3 cups of broth, lemon juice, lemon peel, chick-peas and dates.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the couscous and salt, stir once with a fork and remove the pan from the heat. Set it aside, covered, for five minutes until the couscous absorbs the liquid and softens.
  8. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a small skillet set over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly brown and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes (I found this takes longer)
  9. Fluff the couscous with a fork and season with additional salt if necessary and pepper to taste.
  10. Stir in the remaining .5 cup of broth and heat through over low heat
  11. Turn the couscous onto plates and spinkle with the almonds and scallions before serving.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Crab and Linguine with vodka sauce

An expensive but quick to make and VERY tasty, rich and filling meal... from the December 27th, 2006 Food Section of the San Jose Mercury News

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 lb crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
  • 4 oz fresh linguine
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Place a pot of 4 to 5 quarts of water on to boil
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat
  3. Saute onion and garlic until onion is transparent, about 3 minutes
  4. Raise the heat to high. Remove skillet from heat (for safety) and add vodka. Return to heat and cook until vodka is reduced by half, about 30 seconds
  5. Turn heat down to medium. Add pasta sauce and crab. Cook gently without boiling for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. In pot, place linguine in boiling water for 2 minutes.
  8. Drain and add sauce.
  9. Serve with garlic bread, romaine salad and red wine