All Posts By: NANCY DeLUCIA REAL

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Valentine Biscotti & Kickback Strawberry Sunshine with CBD

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets, Desserts, Creams & Sauces, Holidays On February 4, 2020 0 Comments

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I need to relax these days – don’t you? Here’s a great biscotti dessert with a “kick”! Enjoy this on Valentine’s Day with anyone you love!

Prep time: 15 minutes (mixing dough & shaping biscotti logs)
Makes: 36 to 40 biscotti

Ingredients:
3-3/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached, granulated sugar
69 drops red food color
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Mixing the Dough:
1. Preheat double ovens to 350°F. You can also use one oven (baking directions will follow).

2. Line two 18X12-inch baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

3. In a 2-quart bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves & cinnamon; set aside.

4. In a 4-quart mixing bowl using a hand mixer (or in bowl of a stand mixer), blend together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar until uniform.

5. With mixer going, add the red food color drops.

6. With mixer set on low speed, stir in the chocolate chips.

7. Set mixer on medium and gradually (a little at a time), stir in the flour until a dough forms.

8. When dough is uniform, turn it onto a lightly-floured surface (NOT MARBLE, GRANITE or OTHER STONE – IT WILL HALT THE “RISING” ACTION OF DOUGH).

Shape Biscotti Logs & Bake:

1. Lightly knead dough until it is smooth – do not overwork it.

2. When dough is smooth, divide it into four balls.

3. Roll each dough ball into a 15 X 2-inch log; place two logs on each baking sheet, spaced 3 inches apart.

4. Flatten logs slightly.

5. If using two ovens, place one sheet in each oven – racks must be centered in ovens; bake for 30 minutes.

6. Alternatively, if using one oven, place sheets on separate racks (top and bottom); bake for 15 minutes.

7. After 15 minutes, switch top and bottom sheets and bake for additional 15 minutes.

8. After 30 minutes baking time, transfer sheets with dough logs to a counter; cool for 6 minutes.

9. After 6 minutes, using a serrated knife, cut biscotti – 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide. DO NOT USE A “SAWING MOTION” AS BISCOTTI WILL CRUMBLE. INSTEAD, CUT “DOWN” INTO DOUGH.

10. Place each biscotto (Italian, singular) with cut side down on baking sheets.

11. Bake 5 minutes per side. Cool and serve.

TO STORE BISCOTTI: Place biscotti in double freezer bags and freeze up to two months. Place biscotti on a platter one hour prior to serving.
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Spinach, Leek & Carrot Saute (Vegan)

In Sides, Vegetables On January 16, 2020 0 Comments

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It’s January 2020 and time for post-holiday diets! Here’s an easy, vegan dish that can be served alongside any delicious food you like.

Prep time: 25 -3o minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
3 to 4 leeks, rinsed and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
12 ounces fresh spinach leaves, rinsed & spun dry
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil.

2. When oil is hot (but does not smoke), add the carrot rounds and saute on medium-high heat for 1 minute.

3. After 1 minute, add the leeks and saute on medium-high heat for 2 minutes.

4. After 2 minutes, add the spinach leaves and saute on medium high-heat for 2 to 4 minutes.

5. Cook vegetables for 2 to 4 minutes longer or until carrots are crunchy-tender and leeks and spinach are tender.

6. Add salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Wild Shrimp Salad – Italian Style

In Fish & Shellfish, Salads On January 3, 2020 0 Comments

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Wondering why you see the word “wild”? Since Italians have enjoyed wild shrimp for millennia, we realize that wild shrimp are sweeter than the farm-raised variety. In order to taste the ocean, salt and sweetness of these little crustaceans, I literally bite a chunk off (shell and all) while standing at the fish market. It’s okay – the fishmongers know me well and laugh it off. When shrimp are farm-raised, they are literally flavorless.

This Italian style salad has limited ingredients so that the sweet, wild shrimp flavor stands out at every bite.

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 to 1-1/2 pounds wild shrimp, peeled and deveined (top and bottom veins)
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 of a yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh, flat leaf Italian parsley, finely minced

Directions:
1. Rinse the shrimp under cold water, drain and transfer to a 6-quart saucepot.

2. Cover shrimp with cold water and place saucepot on burner set on high – uncovered.

3. Stand by to make sure water does not foam up and spill out of saucepot.

4. When shrimp come to a boil, cook until flesh is opaque and pink – about 1 to 2 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

5. Taste a shrimp to make sure it is cooked through.

6. When shrimp are cooked, immediately drain them into a colander set over a sink.

7. Transfer shrimp to a large glass or porcelain bowl.

8. Add remaining ingredients; toss and taste.

9. If needed, adjust seasoning levels.

10. Cover salad with aluminum foil and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

11. Alternatively, prepare salad 2 to 3 hours ahead and refrigerate, covered. Wild Shrimp Salad – Italian Style can also be served cold.
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Holidays On December 16, 2019 0 Comments

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Wanna have some fun with food sculpture, colors and textures? Round up kids of all ages and make these bright Christmas Tree Cupcakes!

Decorating time:  20 to 30 minutes
Bake time: 35 to 40 minutes
Makes: 20 to 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
One 15.25-oz. Betty Crocker® cake mix (any flavor)
Two 12-cupcake size baking pans
24 cupcake baking paper cups  (optional)
One 7-oz. package Betty Crocker® Red Cookie Icing mix
One  .67-oz. tube Betty Crocker® Green Decorating gel
One .67-oz. tube Betty Crocker® Yellow Decorating gel or icing
One .67-oz. tube Betty Crocker® Blue Decorating gel or icing

NOTE: You can substitute yellow and blue gel or icing with colored nonpareil or other types of candies.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven according to cake mix package directions .

2. Prepare cake batter according to cake mix package directions.

3. Either grease and flour the cupcake sections of baking pan or line them with cupcake baking paper cups.

4. Pour and divide cake batter evenly among cupcake sections in baking pan..

4. Bake cupcakes per package directions.

5. To check doneness of cupcakes, insert a pointed knife in center of one cupcake – the knife should come out clean.

6. If batter clings to knife, bake cupcakes 3 to 4 minutes longer.

7. After 3 to 4 minutes, check doneness again.

8. Transfer baking pans with cupcakes to a cooling rack or counter; let cool to room temperature.

9. When cupcakes are completely cool, remove them from baking pans and set on a flat surface lined with parchment or waxed paper.

10. Using a cake decorating spatula, decorate cupcake tops with the red icing.

11. Next, using green gel tube, create abstract tree design with side-to-side, squiggly lines.

12. Finish decorating each cupcake “tree” with green and yellow dots from decorating icing tubes or sprinkle with decorating nonpareils or other candies.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Roasted Turkey with Chipotle-Orange Marinade

In Poultry On November 25, 2019 0 Comments

Roasted turkey never tasted more succulent! The marinade for this bird is rich with smoky chipotle chiles, citrus, honey and garlic flavors. You can also use it for roasting chicken (whole or cut in pieces). Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast!

Prep time (for marinade): 15 minutes
Prep time (for roasting turkey): Follow the turkey wrapping instructions
Makes: 1 turkey (12 to 16 pounds)

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons salt (divided)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 2 limes
1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Rinse turkey well and drain it; set on paper towels set on a baking sheet.

2. Pat turkey dry (inside and out) with fresh paper towels.

2. Place turkey in roasting pan & rub its interior cavity with 2 tablespoons salt; set remaining 1 tablespoon salt aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree together the garlic cloves, olive oil, lime and orange juices, chipotle chiles, thyme leaves, black pepper and 1 tablespoon remaining salt.

5. Pour the marinade over entire turkey; cover well with aluminum foil.

6. Roast in preheated oven set at temperature indicated in turkey wrapping instructions – it is usually 325°F.

7. For timing, follow the same instructions (time will vary according to weight of turkey).

8. To brown turkey: uncover it during the last 30 to 45 minutes of roasting.

9. Every 20 minutes or so, baste the turkey with marinade sauce.

10. Turkey is done when the breast is cut at its thickest point and juices run clear.

11. Set turkey in roasting pan on a cooling rack or counter for about 10 to 15 minutes.

12. Slice and serve the turkey with the strained liquid in roasting pan and with your favorite sides.
Recipe Text ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real