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Image.Roast'dButterntSquash&Parsnips

Roasted Butternut Squash, Parsnips & Shishito Peppers

In Meats On November 21, 2017 0 Comments

This side dish of roasted butternut squash, parsnips and shishitos is perfect for Turkey Day!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
12 ounces butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large parsnips, peeled & cut into 1-inch pieces
8 Shishito peppers, sliced lengthwise, seeds discarded & flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together.

3. Transfer tossed ingredients to a 16 X 12-inch rectangular baking pan.

4. Bake/roast for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes, toss all ingredients.

6. Place roasting pan with ingredients 6 inches away from top oven broiler element.

7. Broil for approximately 5 minutes or until roasted vegetables look golden brown.

8. Serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real

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Organic Homemade Ketchup

In Meats On November 7, 2017 0 Comments

Lately, I’ve been craving ketchup – without Monsanto corn syrup and other artificial ingredients.

Here’s my organic, homemade ketchup – you won’t believe how DELICIOUS this is!

The gourmet flavors of this ketchup depends on high-quality tomatoes. I use Bionaturae Organic Strained Tomatoes (available at Wholefoods, Bristol Farms & Gelson’s supermarkets):
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Ingredients:
24 ounces Bionaturae Organic Strained Tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup organic agave nectar
1/2 cup organic, pure maple syrup
3/4 cup distilled, white vinegar
1/2 brown or white onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, heart removed & discarded & flesh finely minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Pour ground tomatoes into crockpot.

2. Swirl 1/2 cup water in empty tomato container and pour into crockpot.

3. Add agave nectar, maple syrup, vinegar, onion, garlic, salt, mustard powder and cayenne pepper.

4. Whisk to combine.

5. Cook on high, uncovered, until mixture is reduced by half and very thick, 8 to 10 hours.

6. Stir every hour or so.

7. Smooth the texture of the ketchup using an immersion blender, about 20 seconds.

8. Let ketchup cool to room temperature.

9. When ketchup has cooled, transfer it to glass jars. Seal jars tightly and refrigerate up to 4 weeks.

10. Use ketchup as needed.
Text & Photograph ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real

Pappardelle with Meatballs

Pappardelle with Meatballs

In Meats, Pastas, Rice & Legumes (Beans & Grains) On August 7, 2016 0 Comments

On weekends, I like to go back to my southern Italian roots. For example, today I was craving a good dish of pasta with traditional tomato sauce and meatballs.

Yes, you have to make the tomato sauce from scratch, prepare the meatballs separately and then combine the two together. But no worries – the recipe is fast, neat and healthy. I broil the meatballs instead of frying them.

The best part is that leftover meatballs and sauce keep up to 5 days, refrigerated. Buon Appetito!

Tomato Sauce Prep time: 20 minutes (while meatballs are broiling)
Meatball Prep time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium brown or white onion, peeled and finely chopped
One 28-ounce can Muir Glen Organic® Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Dash freshly-grated nutmeg
2 bay leaves (optional)
Salt, to taste (start with 1 teaspoon)

Directions for Tomato Sauce:
1. In a 4-quart saucepot, heat the oil. When oil is hot but does not smoke, add the chopped onion.

2. Stir-fry the onion on medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.

3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée the tomatoes.

4. When onion is translucent, stir in the puréed tomatoes.

5. Add the nutmeg (just a dash), the bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt.

6. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil.

7. When tomato sauce boils, immediately set heat on medium-low and cook/simmer for approximately 15 minutes. During this time, you can start the meatballs (see below).

8. As the sauce cooks, stir occasionally.

9. After 15 minutes, taste the sauce. It should no longer taste raw. Adjust salt level, if needed.

Meatball Ingredients:
1 to 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef or dark ground turkey (organic, preferred)
1 small brown or white onion, finely chopped in a food processor
1/3 cup finely chopped, fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Dash ground black pepper
Dash freshly-ground nutmeg (a tiny amount)
1 to 2 large eggs, beaten

Meatball Directions:
1. Using plastic cooks’ gloves or your bare hands, in a 5 to 6-quart glass or porcelain bowl, mix together all ingredients.

2. Set meat mixture aside and wash your hands very well (if you do not use gloves).

3. Prepare an 18 X 12-inch baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Oil the foil with a basting brush or with your hand. Set baking sheet aside.

4. Set a 2-cup bowl of cold water on counter. Dip your hands in the water so they are wet (this will prevent the meat from sticking to your hands).

5. Grab enough meat mixture to form a 2-1/2-inch ball and set it on oiled, lined baking sheet.

6. Repeat shaping the meatballs, wetting your hands in between every 2 to 3 meatballs. Continue this procedure until you have set all meatballs on baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart.

Broil the Meatballs & Add them to Tomato Sauce:
1. Set the top oven element to “broil” – make sure the top oven rack is set 6 to 7 inches below the broiling element.

2. Place the baking sheet with meatballs on the oven rack; broil the meatballs for approximately 8 to 9 minutes or until they look golden brown.

3. When meatballs have turned golden brown, using tongs, turn them over and broil the other side for 8 to 9 minutes.

4. When the meatballs have turned golden brown, take one at a time with tongs and gently drop it in simmering tomato sauce.

5. At this point, simmer the sauce with meatballs for an additional 10 minutes.

Ingredients for the Pappardelle:
1 pound pappardelle or other pasta variety
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese (garnish)

Directions for Pappardalle:
1. Bring a 6-quart sauce pot of water to a boil.

2. When water boils, add the pappardelle and salt to the water.

3. Cook pappardelle for 9 to 10 minutes or until it is “al dente” (crunchy-tender).

4. Drain the pappardelle in a colander.

5. Return the pappardelle to the sauce pot and add 3 to 4 ladles of tomato sauce. Stir with tongs.

6. Divide the pappardelle among 4 to 6 pasta bowls or dinner plates.

7. Add 1 or 2 meatballs to each serving.

8. Serve immediately and ask guests to add a sprinkle of cheese, if desired.

Wine Pairing: Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon (reds) or chilled Chardonnay (white)
Text and Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real

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Raspberry-Cucumber Salad

In Meats, Salads On April 8, 2016 0 Comments

Need a fresh, new salad? Make this sweet-and-savory salad with raspberries and Persian cucumbers (they’re small and loaded with flavor). The salad gets its kick from the raspberries’ sweet-tart flavor.

Serve this Raspberry-Cucumber Salad alongside fish or poultry or with vegetarian selections.

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
4 to 5 Persian cucumbers, peeled
Juice of 1 to 2 limes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon Serrano chiles, minced (optional)
8 ounces fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Directions:
1. Cut each cucumber in half, lengthwise.

2. Cut each half, lengthwise – now you have fourths.

3. Cut the cucumber fourths crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside in a glass or porcelain serving bowl.

4. Repeat same cutting procedure with the remaining cucumbers; add them to the bowl. Set aside.

5. Add lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, agave nectar and Serrano chiles to cucumbers in bowl; toss and set aside.

6. Add the raspberries and gently toss, taking care not to crush them.

7. Taste and adjust seasonings. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.

Text and Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real

Shepherd'sPie

Sherpherd’s Pie

In Fun Foods, Meats On February 27, 2015 0 Comments

Don’t you just love the winter months? This is when we can eat foods that warm the heart and soul. One of my fav’s is Sherpherd’s Pie – our family recipe is made with mashed organic potatoes, corn and ground beef or turkey. Enjoy this one-dish dinner next to a fireplace and let the evening linger with a few glasses of wine…

Prep time: 30 to 40 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 pounds Yukon Gold organic potatoes (or other favorite variety)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound organic ground beef or turkey
3/4 cup finely chopped white or brown onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (optional – for mashed potatoes)
One 15-ounce can organic corn, drained, rinsed & drained once more

Prepare the Mashed Potatoes:

1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into 3-inch chunks.

2. As you cut the potatoes, immediately place them in a 4 to 5-quart sauce pot, covered with cold water (this will avoid blackening of potatoes).

3. After all potatoes have been placed in sauce pot, drain them and cover them with cold water once more.

4. Bring potatoes to a boil.

5. Boil potatoes on medium heat until they are cooked through – about 7 to 10 minutes.

6. After 7 to 10 minutes, test the tenderness of potatoes by piercing one of the chunks with a fork or pointed knife.

7. When potatoes are cooked, drain them in a metal colander.

8. Return potatoes to the sauce pot and mash the potatoes with a masher; stir in the butter or olive oil.

9. Add salt, ground black pepper and the broth, to taste.

10. Cover the mashed potatoes in sauce pot and set them aside.

Prepare the Ground Meat Filling:

1. In a 12-inch skillet and on medium-high setting, heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

2. When oil is hot, add the ground meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon continuously (this will avoid large clumps).

3. As soon as the meat turns gray, stir in the chopped onion with salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

4. Cook the meat mixture for 5 to 7 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and onions are translucent.

5. When meat is cooked, transfer it to a clean, metal colander to drain over a bowl.

6. Let meat drain for about 5 minutes.

Assemble & Bake the Sherpherd’s Pie:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Oil or butter a 10 X 10-inch baking dish (alternatively, a rectangular or oval dish can be used).

3. Transfer half of the mashed potatoes to the baking dish, spreading the potatoes evenly.

4. Add half of the drained meat mixture, spreading it evenly over the mashed potatoes.

5. Spoon the drained corn over the meat.

6. Top the corn with remaining mashed potatoes.

7. Cover the Sherpherd’s Pie with baking dish cover or with aluminum foil.

8. Set Shepherd’s Pie on a rack positioned in center of oven and bake for 20 minutes.

9. After 20 minutes of baking, uncover the Shepherd’s Pie and place it underneath oven overhead grill.

10. Grill the Shepherd’s Pie for 4 to 5 minutes (stand watch in order to avoid charring).

11. Serve Shepherd’s Pie immediately. If desired, add a little ketchup on the side.

Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon (with ground beef version)
Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio (with ground turkey version)
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real