Mechwya (Moroccan Grilled Pepper Salad)

1 whole garlic bulb
4 large bell peppers (mixed colors)
4 large tomatoes
1 large onion, sliced
salt to taste
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon tabil

Roast garlic in oven until soft, about 25 minutes at 350. Squeeze out pulp and set aside.
Heat broiler. Place peppers and tomatoes on baking sheet and broil, turning until blackened on all sides. Let cool.
Peel and seed both peppers and tomatoes. Dice tomatoes. Mince peppers almost ot the consistency of a puree. Place in colander to drain.
Broil onion slices until soft and golden, about 4 minutes per side. Finely chop and set aside.
Toss peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and tabil in serving bowl.

Traditionally served with hard boiled eggs, capers, and Kalamata or nicoise olives.

Basic Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons vinegar or citrus
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pinches salt
Freshly ground pepper
Optional: garlic, onions, chives, shallots, or scallions
Optional: Dijon mustard
Optional: pinch of sweetener such as sugar or honey

Cabernet or zinfandel wine vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
White balsamic vinegar
Sherry vinegar
Raspberry vinegar
Rice vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
Lime juice (freshly squeezed)
Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
Pineapple juice
Grapefruit juice

Combine three parts oil to one part
vinegar/citrus. Add salt and pepper, and any optional ingredients.

Combine them with a fork for a ?broken? dressing, or with a whisk or a blender for an emulsion.
from the New York Times food section.

Asparagus with Tangy Mustard Dressing

1 pound fresh aspargus, trimmed and blanched, cooled and dried
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon hot water
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix mustard and hot water together and stir into a thick paste. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over asparagus and serve within three hours.
from Asianvegetarianfeast (Hom)

Asparagus with Ginger Vinaigrette

When asparagus is out of season in the winter and fall, use fresh green beans or broccoli.

1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus (about 2 pounds), steamed and chilled

Combine first 10 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Combine vinegar mixture and asparagus; toss well.

from Cooking Light

Spiked Strawberry Sundaes

Strawberry Ice Cream
Toasted Almond Liqueur
Whipped Cream
Toasted Almonds (optional)
Strawberries (optional)

Place three small scoops of strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt in Sundae glass
Top ice cream with 3 shots Toasted Almond Cream Liqueur
Top with whipped cream, toasted almonds and a strawberry


Replace strawberry ice cream with vanilla or coffee and replace shots with Baileys Irish Cream or Hazelnut Cream liqueur

For shakes: blend ice cream, 3 shots liqueur and 6 oz. milk for a spiked shake, top with whipped cream

Sauteed Apples

1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups sliced Fuji apple
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons brandy
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 cup vanilla ice cream

Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add apple and cook five minutes until lightly browned.
Add sugar, brandy, juice, and ginger and cook over medium low heat two minutes.
Serve warm over ice cream.

Figs Stuffed with Marzipan

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
3 whole cloves
3 orange zest slices
18 to 20 dried figs
4 Tbs. Cognac or Armagnac
1 package (6.5 oz.) marzipan paste

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, cloves and orange zest. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the figs and 3 Tbs. of the Cognac. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for 2 hours to plump the figs. Let cool for 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove the figs from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid. Using a small knife, make a slit at the center of each fig. Using a small spoon or your fingers, press 1 scant tsp. of marzipan into each fig, smoothing the surface of the marzipan. Pinch the slit closed but leave a little marzipan visible. Return the figs to the liquid in the saucepan. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. Cognac, mixing well, and then stir the figs to coat them with the liquid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl.

Boil the liquid in the pan, stirring often, until it is a good sauce consistency, then pour over the figs.
from Williams Sonoma.

Basic Fruit Cobbler

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 beaten egg
3 tablespoons milk
Fruit filling of choice, heated through

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon
Cut in margarine until mixture resembles course crumbs
Combine egg and milk in separate container
Add to flour mixture, stirring just to moisten
Place filling in 8×8 inch baking dish
Drop topping into 6 mounds atop hot filling
Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

Baked Apple Aixoise

4 Golden Delicious apples
1 Meyer lemon
4 rosemary sprigs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves
2 tablespoons lavender honey

Heat oven to 350.

Carefully remove part of each apple’s core to form a cavity in the center, but not a tunnel through it. Peel the Meyer lemon into strips and reserve the skin.

Put a strip of Meyer lemon skin, a sprig of rosemary, 1/2 tablespoon of oil, 1 cove, and 1/2 teaspoon of honey into teach apple.

Put apples in a baking dish and add 2/3 cup water. Cook in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until apples start splitting.

Serve warm.

from French Women for All Seasons.

Savory Bread Pudding with Corn

1 loaf country style white bread
2 teaspoons butter
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat free milk
1 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon salt
? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ? cups shredded sharp white cheddar

Heat oven to 300.
Trim crust from bread and discard or reserve for another use. Cut bread into 2-inch cubes. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until bread is toasted, turning occasionally.
Increase over temperature to 425.
Heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and garlic and cook four minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Combine milk, egg substitute, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Add corn mixture and cheese to milk mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the bread cubes.
Pour corn mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Let stand 10 minutes.
Bake for 40 minutes or until puffed and set.

Basic Beans

Quick Soak
Add 1 pound dry beans to 6 cups boiling water. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and soak 2-4 hours. Drain, rinse and use fresh water to cook.

Traditional Soak
Add 1 pound dry beans to 6 cups cold water. Soak 12 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse and use fresh water to cook.

Dry beans keep for up to 12 month in an airtight container on a cool shelf. Cooked beans keep for up to three days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for several weeks.

In recipes?
2 ? cups canned beans can be substituted for 1 cup of dry beans. On 15.5 oz. can equals 1 2/3 cups cooked.


2 tsp granulated sugar
8 limes wedges
2 1/2 oz cachaca

Muddle the sugar into the lime wedges in an old-fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour the cachaca into the glass. Stir well.

Roman Holiday

2 clusters champagne grapes
1/2 cup champagne grapes, pulled off the stem
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Elysium Black Muscat dessert wine (available at Whole Foods)
1 cup (8 ounces) vodka

Clip the first clump or two of grapes from the tops of the grape clusters to leave 1 inch of the stem exposed. Place the clusters in a sandwich-size plastic food storage bag and freeze the grapes.
In a small glass bowl, add 1/2 cup champagne grapes and crush them with the side of a spoon or a pestle. Add the dessert wine and microwave on high for 1 minute. Allow the grapes to macerate and cool for at least 1 hour. To serve the cocktail, pour the grapes, wine and vodka into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain the cocktail into two champagne saucers. Place a cluster of frozen grapes into each glass.
This cocktail may be served in a martini glass, but a champagne saucer (not a flute) makes a nicer and more apt presentation. The frozen grape-cluster garnish keeps the cocktail cold. Hold the cluster by its stem and eat the grapes Roman-style.

Moroccan Mint Tea

Chinese gunpowder tea
Mint to taste
Sugar to taste

Bring five cups water to boil
Place two teaspoons Chinese gunpowder tea in pot
Rinse fifteen sprigs of common mint and pack into pot
Add boiling water to pot
Add sugar to pot, to taste
Serve hot in small clear glasses
Add jasmine flowers or toasted pine nuts to glasses as garnish, if desired.

Spiked Coffee

Any of the following: amaretto, Tia Maria, almond cream liqueur, creme de cacao, creme de noisette, Baileys Irish cream

Pour any good coffee onto a spoon (to divert heat) into a glass Irish coffee mug filling 3/4 full.

Overpour a shot of any of the following: hazelnut cream liqueur, almond cream liqueur, cream de cacao, Baileys Irish cream.

OR overpour a shot of any of the following: Tia Maria, Kahlua, Amaretto or Butter shots AND add a little cream.

Top with whipped cream and dust whipped cream with cocoa.

Baked Gigantes in Tomato Sauce

1 pound dried gigantes beans or large dried lima beans (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrot
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried dill
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Drain beans.
Preheat oven to 325?.

While beans cook, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in oregano and tomatoes; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in parsley, dill, honey, salt, and pepper. Combine the cooked beans and tomato mixture in a 3-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325? for 1 hour.

from Cooking Light

Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
? teaspoon Dijon mustard
? cup olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper
1 pound green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1-1/2 pounds small new potatoes, halved or quartered
? cup thinly sliced red onion

Heat oven to 425. Lightly oil two rimmed baking sheets.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, and mustard. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking until fully emulsified. Fold in chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange beans in a single layer on baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Roll to coat evenly. Arrange in a single layer.

Place potatoes on the other baking sheet. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Arrange in a single layer.

Place the baking sheets side by side in the oven (if they don?t fit, put beans on the bottom). Roast the green beans for 15 minutes until well browned and tender, shaking the pan a few times. Roast the potatoes for 30-40 minute until lightly browned and tender, stirring or turning occasionally.

Transfer beans and potatoes to a bowl. Add onion and remaining vinaigrette. Toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

from The Roasted Vegetable.

Pebre (Chilean Cilantro Sauce)

2 cups fresh parsley leaves (about 1 bunch)
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves (about 1 bunch)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or crushed red pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil

Combine first 9 ingredients in a food processor; pulse until minced, scraping sides occasionally. Place herb mixture in a bowl; cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Stir in oil before serving.

According to Coooking Light: Similar to Italian pesto or Argentinean chimichurri, this fresh herb sauce is a staple on Chilean tables. In addition to Pastel de Choclo, it pairs well with grilled meats and is good stirred into pasta or rice.

Butterscotch Petit Pots

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp. dark muscovado sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. demerara sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Set an oven rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 300?F.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine cream, muscovado sugar, and salt. Place
over medium heat and bring just to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, combine water and demerara sugar in a medium (2-quart) heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes. (To gauge the color of the mixture, it may help to tilt the pan a little, so that the liquid pools on one side.) Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream mixture, whisking until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and vanilla. Add hot cream mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a 1-quart glass measuring cup, and pour the custard through the sieve. Skim off any foam with a spoon.

Divide the custard among four (4-ounce) ramekins or other oven-safe vessels. Select a baking dish, one large enough to hold the ramekins without any of them touching. Fold a dish towel to line the bottom of the baking dish; this will protect the delicate custards from touching the hot bottom of the pan. Arrange the ramekins in the pan. Seal the top of each ramekin with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent a skin from forming as they bake.

Slide the pan into the oven, and immediately pour hot tap water into the pan to reach halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are set around the edges but still jiggle lightly in the centers when shaken, like firm gelatin, about 40 minutes. (You?ll have to move the foil to see this.)

Using tongs, transfer the ramekins to a rack. Discard foil tops and cool to room temperature. The custards will continue to set as they cool. Refrigerate for a
couple of hours, or until you?re ready to serve them.

Serve plain or topped with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.
This custard gets its deep, warm flavor from the two special sugars: muscovado and demerara.

For the ater-and-demerara step, be sure to use a light-colored saucepan so you can see the color of the mixture as it caramelizes.

Note: These are best on the first day, but they?ll keep, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated, for up to two days. The texture slowly declines and they develop a thin skin on top.

Chocolate-Espresso Petit Pots

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso, granules-only
2 1/2 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 eggs, yolks-only
2 tablespoons sugar

Center a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Place a folded towel in the bottom of a small baking pan and position two 5- or 6-ounce
ramekins on the towel. Boil a kettle of water and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk and espresso granules. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture almost
comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking until it has completely melted and the mixture is uniform.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the chocolate cream, mixing well. Gently whisk the remaining chocolate cream into the egg mixture.

Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-cup measuring cup, then pour the custard into the ramekins. Pull out the center oven rack and place the baking pan on it, then fill with the boiled water until the bottom halves of the ramekins are submerged. Cover the baking pan with a piece of aluminum foil and bake the custards for about 30 minutes or until they are just set. Start checking after 20 minutes; the custards should jiggle a bit in the center.)

Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until ready to serve.