Creamy Lemon Soup with Lamb Mint Meatballs

Ingredients:
MEATBALLS

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Finely shredded zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb

SOUP AND SERVING

  • 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Wide ribbons of zest from 1/2 lemon (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice or sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • Fresh juice of 1 large lemon
  • Chopped fresh mint and parsley


Directions:
1. Make meatballs: In a large bowl, combine egg, panko, milk, garlic, lemon zest, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper and let sit a few minutes for crumbs to soften. Add lamb, breaking up with your fingers, and mix well with your hands.
2. With wet hands, form meat mixture into 3/4-in. balls (use about 3/4 tsp. for each) and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until a little firmer, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make soup: In a large covered pot, bring broth and zest to a simmer. Add rice and simmer over low heat, partially covered, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.
4. While soup simmers, heat oil in a large, heavy frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs in 2 batches, turning once, to brown on 2 sides, about 6 minutes total. Shake pan, rolling meatballs around to brown a little further. With a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to paper towels.
5. With a slotted spoon, remove zest from soup and discard. Add meatballs and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn off heat.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs to blend and add lemon juice. Whisk in a ladle of hot soup. One at a time, whisk in about 5 more ladles of soup, then return mixture to pot. Rewarm over low heat if needed. Serve immediately with more mint and parsley.
Mastering meatballs. They sound rustic, but they’re delicate things that suffer from over-handling. Here are tips for making them come out right.
Mixing: Always start by mixing the bread crumbs (which keep the meatballs from getting tough), any liquids, and seasonings—then add the meat. Stop when the mixture looks evenly blended; don’t overwork it.
Forming: Dampen your hands with cold water to keep the meat mixture from sticking while you roll it into balls. If it’s still sticky, let it sit for a few minutes in the fridge.
Browning: A good crust helps meatballs retain their shape—important if they’re going to simmer in a thick sauce. If you plan to eat them on their own or add them to broth, though, a light pan-frying will do the trick.

Greek Egg, Lemon, and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice


Directions:
1. In a medium pan over high heat, bring broth and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is tender to bite, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water to blend. Gradually whisk in about a cup of the hot broth mixture. Then gradually whisk egg mixture into broth and rice mixture. Stir over low heat just until hot, 1 to 3 minutes; don’t boil or soup may curdle. Ladle into bowls.

Crumbed Calamari

Ingredients:
4 pieces calamari, sliced into rings
2/3 cup stale breadcrumbs
salt
pepper
garlic powder
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
oil (for deep frying)
tartar sauce (for serving)

Directions:
Mix the breadcrumbs with the salt, pepper and garlic powder and place into a plastic bag so you can shake the crumbs onto the calamari.
Beat the egg and combine with the milk and place this into a small dish.
Heat the oil up to 160C degrees.
Dip the calamari rings individually into the egg/milk mix and then into the plastic bag and shake.
The calamari should be well coated.
Deep fry until a nice brown tinge. I tend to fry mine for about 4-5 minutes. It also depends on the calamari some it is better at a lower heat for longer. This rule especially applies to bought crumbed calamari.
Enjoy.
Serve with tartar sauce.

Chicken, Rice, and Spices Bake

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 -10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove (chopped, minced or crushed)
1/2-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
3/4-1 teaspoon salt
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained or 2 cups regular medium grain rice or 2 cups long-grain rice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Bring water to boiling and add chicken bouillon cubes, lower heat and simmer till dissolved–keep it hot.
Sprinkle chicken with half the spices (except the garlic).
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on med-high to high heat and fry the chicken till both sides are brown, lower heat to medium and remove the chicken to a plate.
In that same skillet sauté the onions for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and remaining spices and sauté another 2 minutes, then turn off the burner.
Add the rice and stir for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, till well coated.
Spread rice in the baking dish and place the chicken thighs over the rice.
Gently pour in the chicken stock and cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Pita Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Combine yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup very warm water-give a quick stir and set aside for 5 minutes to activate yeast.
  3. Make a well in the flour/salt mixture and add the yeast, 1 cup warm water and the olive oil.
  4. Gently stir to gather dough into a ball-you may need a touch more water-depending on where you live, altitude.
  5. Turn out and knead for 10 minutes.
  6. Put into a LIGHTLY greased large bowl, cover and place in a warm spot for around 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  7. Punch down and knead to smooth.
  8. Cut dough into 12 pieces, form into rounds, roll out and place on a dusted baking sheet, cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 500F degrees.
  10. I use my large cast iron skillet for this part, so I place it in the oven and when really hot I place in two pitas and let bake for around 3 minutes-you can broil for 1 minute if you like, just to get the tops browned.
  11. I wrap the cooked pitas in a slightly damp tea towel for a minute or two-then cool and place in plastic bags.
  12. This process can also be done on a cooking sheet.

This entry was posted in Breads.

Sweet Potato Curry With Spinach and Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large sweet onions, chopped or 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 -2 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, can substitute fresh if available
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • basmati rice or brown rice, for serving

Directions:

  1. You may choose to cook the sweet potatoes however you prefer.
  2. I like to peel, chop and steam mine in a veggie steamer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Baking or boiling work well too.
  4. While sweet potatoes cook, heat 1-2 tsp of canola or vegetable oil over medium heat.
  5. Add onions and sauté 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  6. Next, add the curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon, and stir to coat the onions evenly with spices.
  7. Add tomatoes with their juices, and the chickpeas, stir to combine.
  8. Add ½ cup water and raise heat up to a strong simmer for about a minute or two.
  9. Next, add the fresh spinach, a couple handfuls at a time, stirring to coat with cooking liquid.
  10. When all the spinach is added to the pan, cover and simmer until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the cooked sweet potatoes to the liquid, and stir to coat.
  12. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes, or until flavors are well combined.
  13. Transfer to serving dish, toss with fresh cilantro, and serve hot.
  14. This dish is nice served over basmati or brown rice.

Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 cup thinly sliced onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (7 3/4-ounce) can salsa de chile fresco (such as El Pato)
15 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
1 cup shredded queso blanco (about 4 ounces)

Directions
Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken; cook 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in beans. Add broth and salsa to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Place half of tortilla strips in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of chicken mixture over tortillas; top with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Pour broth mixture evenly over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salad oil
  • 1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce
  • Salt
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


Directions
1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste.
2. Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.
3. Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Almond-Cherry Chocolate Bark

Ingredients
3/4 cup whole skin-on almonds
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 percent to 70 percent cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
toasted almonds
1/3 cup dried tart cherries

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toast 3/4 cup whole skin-on almonds until fragrant and light gold, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely; transfer to a bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch water; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Set a large heatproof bowl atop saucepan, making sure water doesn’t touch bottom of bowl. Place 10 ounces dark chocolate (60 percent to 70 percent cocoa) in bowl; cook, stirring, until smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan; add another 2 ounces dark chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, toasted almonds and 1/3 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped. Pour onto baking sheet; spread into an even layer about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour. Break into 24 pieces.

Chocolate-Oatmeal Moon Pies

Ingredients
Cookies:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (4 ounces), chopped into chocolate chip–size chunks
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 7-ounce jars marshmallow creme
Chocolate dipping sauce:
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (2 1/2 ounces), chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions
For cookies:
Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine oats, cherries, pecans, and chocolate in a large bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat to blend. Scrape down sides of bowl. With machine running at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just to blend. Stir in oat mixture with a wooden spoon just to blend.
Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or scooping out 2 level tablespoonfuls of dough, measure dough into 36 portions. Divide among baking sheets. Using your hands, gently press down on each dough ball until 1/2″ thick.
Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Rotate sheets front to back and top to bottom; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will appear underdone and shiny in centers), 7–8 minutes longer. Do not overbake. Let cookies cool on baking sheets. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Spread 1 tablespoon marshmallow creme on bottom of 18 cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies.
For chocolate dipping sauce: 
Place chocolate and honey in a medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate and honey; let stand for 1 minute; stir until melted and smooth. Drizzle over cookies or serve alongside sandwich cookies for dipping.