Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms


Stir fries are great on so many levels , especially as the cook up so fast , not only do you get fast gratification when hungry , you also retain many of the rich nutrients , otherwise lost in slow cooking . This dish is a perfect accompinment to chicken or pork with a bowl of  steamed Jasmine rice or great when you want something less filling , but still satisfying.

Adapted from food and Wine

Serves 8

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 large garlic clove , minced

1 lb small fresh shiitake mushrooms , stemmed , or 1/4 lb dried mushrooms , soaked in hot water , then drained and stemmed.

2 lbs baby bok choy

1 tbs dark soy sauce (  or 1 tbs Asian Fish sauce )

Kosher salt  and freshly ground pepper

3 Thai chiles , halved , seeded and julienned

Heat the vegetable and sesame oils in a wok . Add garlic and stir fry over high heat until golden , about 5 seconds . Add the shiitakes and stir fry for 5 minutes . Add the bok choy and stir fry until just wilted , about 5 minutes longer . Season with soy sauce , salt and pepper and stir fry 1 minute longer .

Transfer to a serving dish , top with chiles and serve.

Soy Marinated Pork Tenderloin with cilantro


French Thai fusion cooking gives you the very best of both worlds . I like to serve this easy to prepare tenderloin whole and slice it at the table , in front of my family or guests . A side of leafy green asian vegetables and a bowl of steaming Jasmine rice make a complete meal .

Adapted from Food and Wine

 Serves 8

1/2 cup Chinese mushroom soy sauce

4 medium garlic cloves , minced

2 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 1/2 tbs honey

1 tbs freshly ground pepper

Two  1 lb whole pork tenderloins

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

In a large  ziplock bag or baking dish , whisk the soy sauce with the garlic , ginger , oil , honey and pepper . Add the pork and turn to coat . Marinate the meat in the refridgerator for 2 hours., turning every 30 minutes . Bring to room temperature before roasting  .

Preheat the oven to 375*F . Pour 1 cup of water into a roasting pan , set the tenderloins on a rack over the water and roast for 40 minutes , turning the meat once and basting about every 10 minutes . Remove from the oven and let tenderloins stand for 15 minutes , covered loosly , with foil.

Thinly slice the meat and arrange on a platter. Garnish with cilantro. Serve

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe


They beauty of pasta is that it is delicious , easy to cook , economical and always on hand , a pantry staple. This dish is best prepared with Fusilli (corkscrews ) or farfalle ( butterflies ) . It is wholesome , filling and very satisfying . Just add a salad and you have a perfect weeknight meal.

4 to 6 servings

Food and Wine

1  1/2 lbs broccoli rabe , thick stems trimmed and peeled

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

6 large garlic cloves , minced

3 anchovy fillets , mashed ( vegans please omit)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 lb fusilli

1 tbs unsalted butter

Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese , for serving

Steam the broccoli rabe until just tender, about 3 minutes. Coarsely chop.

Heat oil in a large skillet . Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden , about 3 minutes. Add the anchovies (optional ) and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe and cook , stirring , until the flavors are well blended , about 4 minutes . Season with salt and black pepper and keep warm.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water , stirring occasionally , until al dente. Reserve 3 tbs of the pasta cooking liquid and toss again . Season with salt and pepper ; transfer to a warmed bowl . Serve at once , passing the cheese separately.

Eggless Chocolate Chip Macaroons


Delicious , moist morsels filled with  chocolate , pecans and coconut. Reminicent of a mini blondie, just eggless , such a find from Food and wine. This makes up to 4 dozen macaroons , they may be stored in an air tight container up to 3 days of frozen for up to 1 month.

1 1/4 cups pecans , toasted and coarsely chopped

two 7 oz bags of sweetened shredded coconut

1 1/4 cups ( 8 oz) semi sweet mini chocolate chips

1/3 cup plus 1 tbs all purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 1/2 tsps vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter 2 baking sheets , keep aside.

In a large bowl combine pecans , coconut , chocolate , salt and flour.Pour in the condensed milk and vanilla and stir all the ingredients until evenly moistened.

Mound level tablespoons on baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes  until lightly golden and moist inside. Let the macaroons cool to room temperature , before serving or storing.

Cranberry -Walnut Tart


Cranberry and walnuts are a beautiful marriage of flavors. This delicious tart is a super make ahead dessert,freeing you up on the day of that big dinner, simply refridgerate overnight and warm in a moderate over for 15 minutes prior to serving.

Source Food and Wine

Makes one 10 inch tart

PASTRY

12/3 cups all purpose flour

21/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

1/4 teaspoon ice water

FILLING

12 oz cranberries

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup coarsley chopped walnuts

Vanilla icecream for serving

PASTRY

In a food processor ,combine the flour ,sugar, salt and cinnamon and pulse. Add butter and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Whisk the egg yolk with the ice water and add to the bowl;stir until an evenly moistened dough forms. transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough into a 6 inch disk,wrap it in plastic and refridgerate for 30 minutes.

FILLING

In a medium saucepan,combine the cranberries with both sugars,citrus zests,orange juice and cinnamon and bring to a boil. lower the heat ,simmer till thickened, 8-10 minutes. stir in the butter.Leave to cool. Stir in the walnuts.

Preheat the oven to 375*F. Butter a 10 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to the tart pan and fit the dough to the sides. Trim. prick bottom of tart shell and refridgerate until chilled.

Blind bake the pastry shell with wax paper and dried beans for weights for 30 minutes until lightly golden around the edges. Remove paper and weights and bake 5 minutes longer or until dry on the bottom. Cool slightly.

Spread cranberry filling evenly in tart shell and bake for about 25 minutes or until edge of pastry is golden. Coll on a wire rack before unmolding. Serve at room temperature with vanilla icecream.

Black Pepper Chicken Curry


This great chicken curry is a specialiality of South India where the food can reach heights of spice and flavor. The addition of Cashews tames the spiciness and offers a creaminess. The beauty of Indian cusine is that the flavor intensifies with keeping ,so ,this dish is  ideal make to   ahead  Simply garnish with cashews prior to serving.

Source Food and Wine

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

11/2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

13/4 lbs skinless,boneless chicken thighs,cut into 11/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions,thinly sliced

1 large garlic clove,minced

11/2 teaspoons fresh ginger

1 teaspoon minced serrano chile

3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup broken raw cashews

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a bowl ,combine the coriander with the cumin,peppercorns,turmeric and 1/4 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken and rub with spices to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 -30 minutes.

In a large deep non stick skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil. Add onions and cook over moderately high heat,stirring occasionally, until golden,about 8 minutes. Add the chicken ,garlic, ginger, serrano chili and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and cook stirring occasionally ,until the chicken is golden brown and just cooked through,about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of coconut milk and water, then cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the cashews and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk and lemon juice to the chicken and simmer, stirring. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the cashews;serve hot.

Serve with steamed rice.