All Posts By: NANCY DeLUCIA REAL

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Misto Peppers Frittata

In Eggs Selections On June 21, 2010 2 Comments

Have you ever reached for an onion in the refrigerator drawer, but also found some forgotten, mixed peppers? Well, now you can turn it all into a delicious frittata and presto – you just made a nutritious breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced mixed red, yellow or green bell peppers
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced (optional)
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
8 eggs, beaten with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. In a 12-inch, nonstick skillet set on medium-high, heat the oil.

2. When oil is hot but not smoking, stir fry all peppers and onion for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is translucent.

3. Lower heat (on lowest setting) and add beaten eggs to the pepper-onion mixture.

4. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Uncover and with a spatula, lift frittata edges, tilting pan to let raw egg escape to bottom of pan.

6. Cover and cook an additional 2 minutes.

7. After 2 minutes, uncover and with the spatula, lift frittata edges, tilting pan to let raw egg escape to bottom of pan. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

8. Uncover the frittata and, place a 14-inch round, flat platter over skillet.

9. With one hand securely holding skillet handle and the other firmly holding platter, make a quick flip (you will have raw side of frittata underneath and cooked side on top).

10. Slide the frittata back into skillet and cook one more minute.

11. Transfer the frittata to a platter and cut it nto 8 wedges or other decorative shapes.

Serve immediately with a salsa, tomatoes and bread or hot tortillas.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Five-Minute Raspberry Coulis

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On June 12, 2010 2 Comments


Many people believe coulis is a vegetable or fruit sauce that only true professionals can make. They’re all wrong. In all my years of cooking and entertaining, I’d say this is by far the easiest and most popular recipe I’ve ever made. Beginner cooks beware – you can make this raspberry coulis in your sleep. Sweet dreams!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1. Puree all ingredients in a blender and strain into a bowl.

2. With a spoon drizzle the raspberry coulis onto and around desserts.

Note: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs. Just look at my not-so-perfect photos – the messier it is, the more artistic it appears!

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Passionate Peach Fantasy

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On June 10, 2010 2 Comments

I’ve been fantasizing about peaches lately, but I’ve been lazy about preparing and rolling out pastry sheets. Thanks to ready made pastry, this luscious peach dessert is assembled in only 25 minutes. Red raspberry coulis adds color and delights all your senses! When serving, take in all the “oohs” and “aaahs” – your guests will think it took you hours to create this masterpiece.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 to 18 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
One package Pepperidge Farm® frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed per manufacturer’s instructions
4 yellow peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Five-Minute Raspberry Coulis (previously published on this blog)
Whipped cream and fresh mint leaves for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with parchment paper (alternatively, grease and flour the baking sheet).

2. On a flat surface, lay out two pastry sheets next to one another; set aside.

3. Meanwhile in a 2-quart bowl, stir to combine cut peaches with the sugar, flour and cinnamon; set aside.

4. With a pastry wheel or a knife, cut one pastry sheet in half lengthwise (vertically). Cut each half into three equal pieces – you now have 6 pastry rectangles.

5. Repeat with remaining sheet – you now have 12 pastry rectangles.

6. Divide the peach mixture evenly among 6 pastry rectangles.

7. Cover each peach filling with remaining 6 pastries; trim edges with pastry wheel or a knife to form neat rectangles.

8. Carefully transfer each peach pastry onto prepared baking sheet. Cover edges of each pastry with thin strips of aluminum foil – this prevents burning.

9. Place baking sheet with pastries on a rack positioned in center of oven for 15 minutes.

10. After 15 minutes, remove foil strips and bake an additional 2 to 3 minutes – monitor this carefully to prevent blackening.

11. Transfer baking sheet with peach pastries to a counter to cool 5 minutes.

12. Beginning at short end of each pastry, carefully slide a metal spatula between parchment paper and pastry. Gently loosen and lift pastry, placing it on an individual dessert plate. Repeat with remaining pastries.

13. Decorate each plate with the raspberry coulis; garnish pastries with whipped cream and mint leaves. Serve warm.

Variation: Using shears, cut pastries into squares, placing them on plates for decoration and garnish.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Salmon Nicoise Salad

In Fish & Shellfish, Salad Dressings, Salsas & Savory Sauces, Salads On May 29, 2010 3 Comments

Salade Nicoise is a salad that originated in the city of Nice, located on France’s southern Mediterranean coast. Traditional ingredients for this salad are composed of raw vegetables, anchovies and tuna. In American restaurants the Nicoise Salad includes various types of lettuce, potatoes, green beans and hardboiled eggs. Because I favor salmon over tuna and love all types of fresh vegetables, I created a special version of this great French salad which is perfect for summer. Bon Appetit!

PREPARE AND ASSEMBLE THE SALAD:

8 small potatoes (red or white), cooked and cooled
6 ounces French green beans, cooked and cooled and sliced
4 hardboiled eggs, cooled and peeled
3 cups loosely packed fresh arugula leaves
3 cups loosely packed baby Romaine lettuce or mixed salad greens
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup Spanish Manzanilla olives
8 marinated artichoke hearts
1 pound fresh salmon, divided into fourths and poached or grilled

1. Cut potatoes in half; set aside (potatoes can be cooked a day ahead & refrigerated, uncut).

2. Cut green beans in half crosswise;  set aside (green beans can be cooked a day ahead & refrigerated, uncut).

3. Slice eggs into thirds; set aside (eggs can be cooked a day ahead & refrigerated, uncut).

4. Divide the arugula and lettuce or salad greens evenly among four dinner plates.

5. Divide potatoes, green beans and egg slices, onion slices, olives, artichoke hearts and salmon pieces evenly into four portions; arrange decoratively over lettuce mixture in four plates.

PREPARE THE LEMON VINAIGRETTE DRESSING:

1 garlic clove, crushed or 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons white Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic or shallot, lemon, vinegar and mustard.

2. Slowly whisk in the oils until dressing begins to emulsify.

3. Stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.

4. Drizzle vinaigrette over salads.

Note: Dressing can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated.

Serve immediately with wine.

White wine suggestions: Bordeaux, Pinot Grigio or Viognier.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Greek Lamb Kabobs

In Meats On May 27, 2010 1 Comment

During my high school senior year in Massachusetts, my friendship with a Greek family magically transported me to a new and exotic land – Greece. Later on, my studies of Greek art history and culture left me in awe of what this unique land has given the world (democracy, philosophers, architecture, amazing art, lively music and a delicious cuisine). Flanked by the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean seas, eighty percent of Greece’s terrain is mountainous – a perfect environment for sheep. And for millennia, the peoples of Greece have relied on sheep to sustain them with milk, cheese and meat. Clearly, some of the best lamb kabobs I have ever tasted in my life have been those served to me by my Greek friends!

The instructions for this recipe look long, but they are deceiving – after marinating, these delicious kabobs are made on the spot!

Active prep time: 25 to 30 minutes
Inactive prep time: 8 hours (marinating)
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice from 3 lemons or limes
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano or mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds lean lamb steaks (bone removed and meat cut into 2-inch chunks)
1 green bell pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and stem discarded
1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and stem discarded
1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered and pulp discarded
6 to 8 wooden skewers (10 to 12-inch length)
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARE THE MEAT & CUT-UP VEGGIES:

1. Mix the first four ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Place lamb chunks in a large glass bowl; pour the marinade over lamb and stir to combine.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

4. Cut green and red bell peppers into 2-inch squares; set aside.

5. Pull onion quarters apart to yield 12 to 16 pieces

6. Cut each tomato quarter in half; set aside.

ASSEMBLE THE KABOBS:

1. Put 1 onion section on skewer followed by 1 lamb chunk, 1 green bell pepper square, 1 tomato section, 1 red bell pepper square.

2. Repeat until skewer is full, ending with an onion section.

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside while assembling remaining kabobs.

4. Grill kabobs on an outdoor barbeque or indoors in an oven.

PREPARE FOR OVEN-GRILLING:

1. lace kabobs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

2. Place baking sheet with kabobs on an oven rack set 6 inches away from top oven broiler/grill.

3. Grill 9 to 10 minutes per side, turning once.

Serve Greek Lamb Kabobs immediately with rice, a green salad or both.

Wine pairing suggestion: Barolo, Malbec, or Cabernet Sauvignon (reds).

Text ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real
Kabob and Rice Photograph only ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real