Rustic Chicken Minestrone

 

INGREDIENTS-

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

8 cups chicken broth

1 cup shredded cooked chicken

3/4 cup pasta shells

3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 Parmesan rind (optional), plus grated Parmesan to garnish

1 bunch kale, stemmed, leaves shredded

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

salt and pepper

 

METHOD-

 

1.  In a large, heavy pot (such as a Dutch oven), heat the olive oil over medium until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until translucent and soft, 6-8 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more. Add the tomatoes with their juice and cook until the liquid is evaporated, 5 minutes more.

 

2.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then add the pasta, carrots, and Parmesan rind (if using). Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the kale, zucchini, and chickpeas. Cook until zucchini is crisp-tender and the pasta is almost al dente.

 

3.  Add the chicken and cook until just warmed through. Season to soup to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and serve with grated Parmesan.

Serves 4

Brussels Sprout and Steak Salad

 

4 Servings

 

INGREDIENTS-

 

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound brussels sprouts, halved

8 ounces flank or skirt steak, thinly sliced against the grain

Kosher salt

4 scallions, whites chopped, greens sliced

3 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger

2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on a diagonal

1 Fresno chile or jalapeño, sliced into rings

Steamed rice (for serving)

 

METHOD-

Whisk oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl; set sauce aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add brussels sprouts and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; wipe out skillet.

 

Season steak with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add steak in a single layer; cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until nearly cooked through, about 30 seconds. Add to brussels sprouts.

 

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add scallion whites, garlic, and ginger and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, adjusting heat as needed. Add carrots and chile and cook, tossing occasionally, until carrots are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Return brussels sprouts and steak to skillet and add reserved sauce. Cook, tossing occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with scallion greens.

Buffalo Cauliflower & Chicken Casserole

 

INGREDIENTS-

 

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

6 tbs. hot sauce

1 tbs. paprika

2 tbs. garlic powder

1 tbs. freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

1 cup dairy-free shredded pepper jack cheese

1 cup minced green onion

3 nitrite-free bacon pieces, cooked until crisp & crumbled

 

METHOD-

Preheat oven to 400. Put hot sauce, spices and olive oil in a large bowl and mix. Add cauliflower florets and toss to coat.

 

Spread cauliflower out in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes, tossing once.

 

Meanwhile, add chicken to bowl with remaining sauce and seasonings. Toss to coat the meat. When cauliflower is done, remove from oven and scatter chicken on top. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Serves 2

Crispy and Tender Octopus, Spicy Arugula, Red Pepper Romesco

 

INGREDIENTS-

 

Braised Octopus-

Octopus - 2 each cleaned 

Tomato - 1 each cut in half

Lemon - 1 each cut in half

Onion - 1 each sliced

Thyme - 3 sprigs

Bay Leaf - 1 each

Star Anise - 1 each

Juniper Berries - 2 each

White Wine - 3 cups

Seafood Stock - 3 cups

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1/4 cup (to crisp after braise)

Butter - 1 tbsp

Rosemary and Thyme - 1 sprig each

 

Romesco Sauce-

Roasted Red Pepper - 3 whole peppers with seeds and skin removed

English Cucumber - 1/2 peeled

Tomato - 1/2 cup diced

Marcona Almonds - 1/4 cup soaked

Shallot - 1/2 sliced

Smoked Paprika - 2 tsp

Olive Oil - about 1/3 cup

Sherry Vinegar - 2 tbsp (to taste) 

Lemon - 1 squeeze (to taste)

Honey - to taste (about 1 tbsp)

Salt and Pepper - to taste

 

Arugula, Jicama and Cucumber Garnish-

Jicama - 1 cup small dice

Cucumber - 1 cup small dice

Arugula - 1 handful 

Olive Oil - 2 tbsp

Shallot - 1 tbsp

Lemon Juice - 1/2 juiced

 

Method-

Octopus - In a medium sized stock pot sweat the tomato, onion and lemon. When the vegetables become aromatic add the herbs, spices and both tomato and white wine.  Bring to a boil, turn down and add the octopus. Cover and place in the oven at 350 for 90 min. or until the octopus becomes very tender. Remove from the pot and let cool. 

 

To crisp, heat a pan over medium high heat and add olive oil, place seasoned octopus in the pan and cook for about 90 seconds on each side, or until it is golden and crispy. After the first side is cooked add some thyme to the pan for additional aroma. 

Romesco Sauce - roast the red pepper over an open flame, place in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap to let them steam. When they are cooled off a bit, peel the pepper and separate from the seeds. Do not wash them! That will get rid of all of the flavor. In a blender put the pepper, cucumber, shallot, almonds and a bit of vinegar. Blend on high. When smooth begin to drizzle the olive oil in. If it is too thick add a bit of water. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and sherry vinegar. Pass through a chinois (sieve) and then fold in the chopped herbs. 

Garnish - dice the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and toss in shallot, olive oil and lemon juice. 

To Plate -  Place the garnish of jicama and cucumber on the bottom of the plate. Randomly place the octopus tentacles around the plate. Pour the Romesco Sauce around the

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