All Posts By: NANCY DeLUCIA REAL

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Bean, Tomato & Parsley Salad

In Meats On August 1, 2019 0 Comments

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Enjoy this easy, fresh salad to keep you cool during August!

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:

One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 quart cherry tomatoes, rinsed & halved
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup fresh, Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and ground black pepper; toss and taste. If needed, adjust seasonings.

2. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Israeli Herb Salad

In Salads, Sides On July 4, 2019 0 Comments

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I went to Israel in April -as many of you know – and learned how to make the best herb salad ever! Here it is:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh, Italian flat leaf parsley, stems discarded
1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander), stems discarded
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, stems discarded
1 bunch fresh tarragon
1/2 of a Serrano chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped, unsalted almonds
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup (for a slightly sweet flavor)
2 teaspoons fine-quality dark Balsamic vinegar
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 4 cherry tomatoes, for garnish

Directions:
1. Wash and spin dry (in a salad spinner) the parsley, cilantro and mint.

2. Transfer half of the spun-dried herbs to a food processor; process finely (DO NOT OVERPROCESS, AS THE HERBS WILL WILT).

3. Transfer the spun-dried herbs to a glass, porcelain or stainless steel mixing bowl; set aside.

4. Repeat processing remaining herbs and transfer them to the bowl; set aside.

5. Rinse and pat dry the taragon; then chop it finely.

6. Add tarragon, Serrano chili pepper, carrot, pine nuts to herbs in mixing bowl.

7. Stir in the olive oil, agave nectar or maple syrup, Balsamic vinegar, salt and ground black pepper.

8. Taste the herb salad and adjust seasonings, according to taste. Serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin

In Vegetables On June 12, 2019 0 Comments

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Tired of the same old, same old cauliflower? Here’s a roasted, spicy version of this otherwise boring vegetable.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 cauliflower head
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried, red chili pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Cut cauliflower into florets measuring about 2 inches each. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and chili pepper flakes; set aside.

4. Place cauliflower in a 4-quart saucepot; cover with cold water.

5. Bring cauliflower to a boil; boil 2 minutes.

6. Drain cauliflower.

7. Coat each cauliflower floret with the cumin-oil dressing.

8. Place cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and roast in oven for about 20 minutes.

9. After 20 minutes, remove cauliflower from baking sheet and transfer to a serving bowl.

10. Mince the mint and parsley leaves; toss them into cauliflower. Taste and adjust salt leaves, if needed.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Cabernet Pear & Custard Desserts

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On May 6, 2019 0 Comments

These Cabernet Pear & Custard Desserts can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. And yeah – two days before Mothers’ Day! You won’t have to cut and serve cake on individual plates  ’cause it’s all done ahead of time. Everyone will love it! Blessings to all my moms!

Active prep time: 30-40 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 to 3 hours (for custard to set & chill in refrigerator)
Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Custard:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated white sugar (unbleached)
2 cups whole or low fat milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks

Directions:
1. In a 2 to 4-quart saucepot set on a cold stove burner, stir cornstarch and sugar until blended.

2. Gradually (a little at a time) and with a wooden spoon, stir in milk, salt and vanilla extract.

3. Transfer 1 cup milk mixture to a small bowl and whisk in the egg yolks until uniform,.

4. Pour the milk-egg yolk mixture into the saucepot and whisk until blended.

5. Set stove burner on medium-high heat.

6. Cook custard mixture, stirring constantly, until steam rises. To prevent scorching, lower heat to medium.

7.  When custard reaches a boil, set heat on low and stir for 1 minute until it thickens.

8. Set saucepot with custard on a trivet on counter – divide custard evenly among four small glass or porcelain bowls. Immediately cover each custard bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and set – about 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, poach pears in wine-

Ingredients for the Pears:
750 ml (1 bottle) Cabernet Sauvignon wine
2/3 cup granulated white sugar (unbleached)
2 pears (any variety)

Directions:
1. In an 8 to 10-quart saucepot, bring the wine to a boil.

2. When wine boils, stir in the sugar. Immediately lower heat to medium or medium high so that the wine simmers.

3. Simmer-boil wine until it reduces by half – about 10 to 15 minutes.

4. When wine has reduced, peel pears and cut them in half (lengthwise).

5. Core the pear halves and gently add them (hollow-side down) to the simmering wine.

6. Cook pears for 3 to 4 minutes. After 3 to 4 minutes, using 2 forks, gently turn them over.

7. Cook pears for an additional 1 to 3 minutes. After 1 minute, check doneness by inserting pointed knife in center of one pear – it should feel tender but not overcooked. If needed, cook pears 1 to 2 more minutes.

8. When pears are done, using a flat, slotted spoon, gently transfer them to a dinner plate; set aside to cool completely. Pears can be made one day ahead, covered in plastic wrap and chilled in refrigerator overnight.  For Chantilly Cream-

NOTE: IF BUYING PRE-MADE WHIPPING CREAM IN A CAN, OMIT THE FOLLOWING RECIPE

Ingredients for Chantilly Cream
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
pastry bag fitted with a star tip

Directions:
1. Pour whipping cream into a 4-cup mixing bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour cream in mixer bowl.

2. Using a handheld mixer or in stand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

3. With mixer running, add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until lumps dissolve. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, according to taste. Set the Chantilly Cream aside in a small bowl, covered, in refrigerator until ready to garnish the dessert.

Assemble the Pear & Custard Desserts:

1. Transfer the custard bowls to a counter or work surface.

2. Gently dry each pear half with paper towels (on both sides).

3. Place one pear half, hollow side down, in center top of each custard dessert. Set aside.

4. If using store-bought whipped cream, decorate the pear-custard bowls around the edges of custard.

5. For homemade Chantilly Cream garnish, transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

6. Make single rosettes with cream, side by side,  around edges of custard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the desserts.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

 

Israeli Shakshuka – Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce

In Eggs Selections On April 19, 2019 0 Comments

I just returned from Israel last night. There are no words to describe the beautiful people, culture, history and gastronomy! Every day, for breakfast, I enjoyed Shakshuka – poached eggs in tomato sauce.  Here’s the delicious recipe I learned in Jerusalem. Happy Passover!

Prep time: 8 to 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white or brown onion
1/2 of a red bell pepper, finely chopped
1-1/2 to 2 cups tomato purée
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground paprika
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 eggs
parsley leaves and fresh dill, for garnish

Directions:
1. In an 8 to 10-inch skillet, heat the olive oil.

2. When oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper; stir fry until mixture has softened.

3. When onion-bell pepper mixture has softened, stir in the tomato purée; bring to a boil.

4. Cook tomato sauce on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. After 5 minutes, stir in the paprika, salt and ground black pepper.

6. Cook the tomato sauce for an additional 10 minutes. It will reduce and thicken.

7. After 10 minutes, break the eggs and drop them gently into the skillet – leave about 2 inches between the eggs.

8. Cook eggs until they are to your desired consistency. Serve immediately with Matzo crackers.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real