All posts tagged: nuts

Broccoli Crunch Salad with Apple, Walnut, and Dried Cranberries

I have been an admirer of 101 Cookbooks for years.  After reading a new post, I always walking away thinking “I should eat healthier.”  “I should eat more vegetarian.”  “Why don’t I make more recipes from this blog??”  I share Heidi’s passion for broccoli and was thrilled to stumble on this recipe.  I made a recent discovery of a product called PB2.  PB2 is essentially genius peanut butter.  The manufacturer presses peanuts under extreme pressure which releases the natural oils from the nuts.  They then bottle the pressed oil and sell it as well as the ground oil-free peanuts.  The ground peanuts are in powdered form in the jar when purchased.  You simply add a little water to the ground peanuts to make a paste–just like real peanut butter.  It’s truly delicious, and we’ve become addicted.  I decided to substitute PB2 for the peanut butter in the recipe here and was thrilled with the results.  I think you will be too. Broccoli Crunch Recipe courtesy of 101Cookbooks.com The success of this salad hinges on the …

Kale, radicchio, and apple salad with pecans and pancetta

  I’ve caught the kale bug.  As more and more kale varities become available at grocery stores everywhere, so do more recipes emerge making delicious use of this superfood.  Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.  WebMD calls it the ‘queen of greens’ and is a true cancer-fighter.  If you’re not familiar, read more on the benefits of kale here.  As with most leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, escarole, and spinach, people tend to cook them to soften their texture and serve alongside a protein and starch on their dinner plate.  Trouble there is that some of the vitamins and nutrients are lost when cooked–leafy greens sometimes are better consumed raw or juiced.  Kale has a somewhat tough and waxy texture when eaten raw.  However, I’ve found that when sliced really thin, the texture is much better–and perfect for a salad. I served this kale salad to my family in Cleveland as part of Christmas dinner, to rave reviews.  What’s not to love?  Leafy greens, refreshing apples, sweet and spicy pecans, and …

Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake with White Chocolate + Pecans

I’ve learned a lot about food, wine, and cooking from my parents.  My father has been making cheesecakes for well over a decade.  At one point, he even sold them to restaurants for resale.  Lemon, cherry, chocolate, you name it–he’s made them all, and every single one of them has been a hit for all that were lucky enough to get a precious bite.  Because they were so relatively common, I’m not sure why I found the idea of making one so intimidating.  I think the fear of an under-cooked gooey center or a faulty spring-form pan might have been two potential reasons. My husband Nick had never had the opportunity to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes, so for Thanksgiving this year, cheesecake was the simple dessert choice.  I mean, you have to have a dessert for Thanksgiving, and Nick HAD to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes eventually.  That whole two birds, one stone thing… yeah, it’s an expression for a reason.  So we went for it–together.  I figured if I watched my …

table for 1: Strawberry Poppy Salad

When you love to cook like I do, you’re always cooking–always making something.  It’s not in my wiring to simply put a frozen pizza in the oven, bake it, slice it, and eat it.  Without fail, I find myself doctoring something up no matter what.  So maybe that would mean I would add another kind of cheese to the frozen pizza or caramelize some onions to go on a frozen veggie burger.  I just can’t help myself.  When I find myself alone for a day or evening, and don’t want to swim in leftovers, I like to come up with new recipes just for me–just for one serving.  Here you have a new kind of recipe I’d like to start sharing with you–Table for 1.  Now these recipes could easily be doubled for 2 or quadrupled for 4, but I like to think we should all embrace our solitude and evenings/days by ourselves sometimes–enjoy the treat of eating by yourself.  And you can watch any TV you like while doing so. Strawberry Poppy Salad Ingredients …

Broccoli Rabe, Walnut, and Pecorino Bruschetta

  I recently dined at one my fave restaurants in NYC, Dell’ Anima, with my friend Marcy.  There is so much to love about this place.  If you’re lucky (or get in early enough in the day,) you can get a seat at the bar overlooking the small kitchen OR at the little nook looking out the window in the front of the restaurant.  There’s always lots to see in the West Village of Manhattan.  There’s a new menu at Dell’ Anima everyday–though many things stay on during a given season on a more consistent basis.  Their daily ‘Bruschette’ selections are always a must.  Marcy and I ordered two to share: the Rapini Pesto and the Cannellini Lemon.  Wow.  Both were packed with flavor.  Served pureed and smooth in little bowls with olive oily grilled bread slices to spread them on, we swooned over the two.  We especially couldn’t get enough of the Rapini.  As we practically licked the bowl, I knew I had to recreate it.  While I’m sure my copy cat version posted …

Escarole, Sunchoke, Marcona Almond Salad

One of my favorite Fall salads is the Escarole Salad served at Otto in New York City.  I used to live walking distance from Otto, which meant lots of delivery.  But now that I live farther away–and out of their delivery range–I decided to try to recreate this salad.  Almost all of the ingredients were obvious: escarole, marcona almonds, and sunchokes.  However I was clueless (and remain so) about what kind of cheese they sprinkle throughout and what the dressing is composed of.  So here I have made my best attempt to recreate this delicious salad, from ingredients I had on hand. First a note about sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes.  Funny enough, they are neither artichokes or grown in Jerusalem.  Their outside is knobby and potato-skin like.  While the inside flesh is firm and similar to a potato/jicama consistency.  They can take some funny shapes.  For the salad they are peeled, resulting in oval knobs.  Once I peel them, I always add them to a lemon water bath (2 tablespoons of lemon juice + 1 …

Maple-Glazed Pork Chops with Toasted Pecans

  Who doesn’t love pork chops?  I think we all can remember a time when pork chops for dinner meant super dry, pan-fried, bricks on your plate.  Now we all know better.  I like to cook my chops (especially the really thick ones) with a quick sear in a really hot pan on all sides and then finish them in the oven.  The result is the most tender, juicy chops you’ve ever had.  Super easy, super cheap, and super delicious.  This particular combo of maple syrup, rosemary, pecans, and hot sauce (yaay!) sings of cool Fall nights and warm bellies. I started by quickly brushing the chops on all sides with olive oil and rubbing with salt and pepper–all in the styrofoam package they come in!  Who says you need to dirty another dish?  Not me.  (Although Nick would argue when I cook, I like to dirty every dish in the kitchen.) Then the searing begins.  In an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat with a light coating of oil, I threw in the chops and …

Strawberry, Concord Grape, Red Onion, Baby Lettuce Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Chopped Hazelnuts

  Pour some sugar on me, salad baby!  This salad is bursting with Summer and sweetness and color.  The fruit and poppy seed combo is nothing new (who doesn’t love a lemon poppy seed cake?!), but when combined with the tang and bite of red onion and buttery baby greens, the mix just comes alive and skips on your tastebuds.  Making this salad was a lot of fun, and it was even more fun to eat.  The sweetest part about this salad is the low-calorie value–Livestrong.com/MyPlate tells me the dressing is only 70 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.  The dressing comes straight from the sweetest cook on TV, Paula Deen, while the salad mix is my own.  Enjoy! I started with some gorgeous strawberries and concord grapes from the farmers market in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.  The grapes were supplied by Red Jacket Orchards.  Concord grapes are my new favorite grape (and maybe fruit… though the Honeycrisp apple really is sooooo fantastic.)  They are bursting with flavor and taste exactly like Welch’s grape juice.  …

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms, Pancetta, and Almonds with Haricots Verts

I love Anne Burrell.  If I had to pick one Food Network chef I’d like to meet it would be her.  I’ve learned the most from watching her.  Some tips I’ve picked up: 1.  How to use salt during the cooking process and not as an afterthought. 2.  That black pepper’s taste doesn’t go with everything as salt does.  Think about substituting white pepper or red pepper flakes. 3.  That brown(ed) food tastes good. This recipe makes use of all of these tips.  The result is something so rich, so tender, so perfectly-seasoned.  I found myself grabbing a spoon just to take full advantage of the sauce that still lingered on my plate after devouring every bit. To get started, I added 8 skin-on chicken thighs (seasoned with salt and black pepper) to a hot dutch oven, bottom coated with a pre-heated layer of olive oil, over medium-high heat.  Anne gives a another great tip here… The thighs become easier to flip over after they’ve browned adequately–the pan “releases” them from the bottom.  If you …

Escarole Salad, Walnuts, Red Onion, Pecorino

Escarole is most commonly eaten cooked.  After first having it raw and cold in a salad at Otto a few years ago, I knew I had discovered another wonderfully crunchy, hearty, and crisp salad green–similar to romaine, but with more umph and bitterness.  At Otto, Mario Batali’s kitchen prepared it simply with a lemon & olive oil dressing, Marcona almond halves, curls of parmesan, and peeled Jerusalem artichokes, raw, and sliced thin.  Since Otto, I also discoverd an escarole salad at Centro Vinoteca (which is now off the menu) that Anne Burrell prepared with pickled red onions.  She generously shared that recipe on the Food Network, and I chronicled that recipe here. I purchased a gorgeous head of escarole at the farmers market over the weekend and wanted to try a different salad recipe.  I recently picked up a copy of the Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual, after falling in love with their Caesar Salad recipe, which I also chronicled here.  When browsing through the salad section of the book, I found this …