Sunday, July 28, 2013

Protein Diet

Proteins are a very good source of power for people regardless of the age. Protein Diet Recipes aim at minimizing fats content in the body and promoting muscle growth which is not possible with a normal diet or recipe. Protein is very significant requirement of one’s body otherwise its deficiency may lead to multiple disorders. Those who are looking for some efficient ways to lose weight, a protein rich diet will definitely provide positive results. In such kind of diet plan intake of calories is greatly reduced along with fats and carbohydrates.

For breakfast, egg white, cheese low-fat, skimmed milk, butter low-fat, unsweetened juice and proteins shakes are the best. A dish with cottage cheese and scrambled eggs is considered as the best. In lunch, one can enjoy a wide range of recipes prepared by different delicious ingredients but make sure to take less quantity of oil and fatty acids. Add lots of fresh vegetables and fruits like tomato, carrot, cabbage, French beans, cucumber, capsicum, etc. Chicken, tofu, salmon, tuna, tilapia, etc. are also good sources of proteins and should be included in lunch. Dinner should be light including green vegetables, salads, fishes, shakes, skimmed milk and wheat tortilla etc.

Famous Chefs

"Fame and fortune come to those who wait and work hard for what they wish to achieve. "

Giada De Laurentiis
This can very well be the mantra for people who persevered and became successful and recognized in their field of work or business. With the internet, one can literally get the proverbial 60 seconds of fame by posting on the internet or on social networking sites. However, lasting fame is something that takes much longer to achieve, sometimes over a lifetime and even longer for posthumous recognition.

In the culinary world, fame and fortune oftentimes go hand in hand with the most popular of living chefs living on the lap of luxury–owning and operating several award winning restaurants in many countries. Some host television programs watched by millions of viewers via syndicated TV. Others publish cookbooks and/or write for popular magazines and newspapers. There are those few that have actually achieved all of the above and then some! Fame of course can be a matter of audiences specifically age and other demographics.

For a lot of people who grew up in the 1950s and several decades afterwards, Julia Child would be the most famous American culinary celebrity. She was a gourmet cook, author and even became a TV personality who gained unparalleled fame by introducing the unfamiliar world of French cooking to mainstream American households. Among her famous accomplishments were her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television series The French Chef. She became the cover of an issue Time Magazine in 1966 and would then write and host over two dozen books and TV shows before passing away in 2004. Years after her death, she continues to be an inspiration to many and has even been made into the main character of the 2009 Hollywood movie entitled “Julie and Julia” starring award-winning Merryl Streep.

In today’s modern world, who are the most famous chefs? Again based on demographics, this can vary very considerably. For those who are not at all familiar with the culinary world of fine dining Michelin star awarded restaurants, TV show chef-hosts get more recognition than those who are responsible for the most respected dining establishments.

Bobby Flay
Rachael Ray
Mario Batali
A quick internet search for the word “chef” results in thousands of articles on Jamie Oliver, popularly known as The Naked Chef. He has gained popularity due to his accomplishments, good looks and advocacies. Other widely-searched online chefs include Gordon Ramsey, Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Giada De Laurentiis and Mario Batali among many others. Their popularity is primarily due to the highly rated TV shows they host and/or successful business empires they run.

Wolfgang Puck
For those who are more educated in the history of gastronomy, the idols of the kitchen are much different that from others. Ask the seasoned chef and other names come to mind. A few of them include Fernand Point, the "Father of Novelle Cuisine", James Beard the "Father of American Gastronomy", and Auguste Escoffier, whose one great achievement among many include organizing the professional kitchen.

Luxurious Aumonieres With Strawberries

In this recipe, strawberries are marinated in mint alcohol and mint leaves and enclosed inside fritter pastries and browned in the oven. A sweet and tangy red fruits sauce is poured over the dish and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. The result is a simple dessert that is crunchy, soft, sweet, tangy, minty, and intoxicatingly delicious.

Similar to Chinese wanton or dimsum but a dessert version, this unique and quirky recipe is sure to please both kids and adults. Aumonieres is a French term for purse of bag that is elaborately or richly embroidered, and in this dessert, the “purse” is filled with beautiful red strawberries that shine like precious gems and rubies.

This beautiful dessert dish is wonderful for Christmas parties and perfect for romantic occasions. The strawberries wrapped inside the fritter leaves look like a gift and makes a thoughtful presentation. Served with a bottle of Muscat wine, aumonieres with strawberries is stupendously luxurious.

You can prepare the red fruit sauce in advance or go get some in the grocery. Raspberry juice or fruits are best when making delicious red fruits sauce. Melting sugar over low heat in a saucepan creates a simple basic syrup and the juice from fresh fruits or from concentrate is mixed in to make a slightly thick sauce. You can also mix different kinds of red fruits to make a more flavorful sauce. Fruits such as currants, strawberries, and cranberries work when excellently when making red fruit sauce. If the fruits are on the sour side, add sugar to make it sweeter.

Quick Cheesecake

To make a basic cheesecake, which you can top with any fresh fruits of your choice, all you need is softened cream cheese, white sugar, vanilla extract, large eggs, and premade piecrust. The rich and wonderful texture of cheesecake is made from a combination of cheese, eggs and sugar. A crucial element in making delicious cheesecake is the kind of cheese you use. Poor quality cheese will lead to poor quality cheesecake so choose a high quality cream cheese.

Heavy and dense cheesecake like New York-style cheesecake is made with cream cheese like Philadelphia cream cheese while lighter Italian cheesecake is made with the more crumbly ricotta cheese. You can also use other kinds of cheeses depending on your taste preference and the texture you want to achieve—whether you want a light and ethereal dessert or a rich and dense cake. Some common cheeses used to make cheesecake are Neufchatel, cottage cheese, fresh cheese or fromage blanc, goat cheese, or mascarpone. Some even combine a variety of cheeses for more flavors and a more complex texture.

Before blending in the ingredients together, it is best for everything to be at room temperature. The cheese should be softened to make blending easier and the eggs should be well beaten before it is added to the other ingredients. One crucial rule for making successful cheesecake is to never over mix the ingredients, folding them together until they are just blended. One of the common problems encountered when making cheesecake is that it has the tendency to crack. Cheesecake relies on the eggs to hold it together. The cheesecake should be cooked slowly and gently to avoid overcooking the eggs and making them puffy. Quick changes in temperature upset the structure of the cheesecake so heat and cool gradually to achieve a smooth consistency.

Quick Tortilla Pizza Recipe

Crisp and tasty, it is sure to be a hit in any situation or occasion. It also makes the perfect dish to serve your vegetarian friends. This Mexican-inspired recipe is also fun to make for Mexican-themed menus. They go great with beer or soda and can is so convenient to make as well as very affordable.

You can buy flour tortilla in most grocery stores. If you want something even healthier, choose whole-wheat flour tortilla, which has more nutrition and is less fattening. You will save a lot of time and money when making your own tortilla pizza at home than ordering out. If you don’t have an oven, you can even cook the pizza in the skillet!

In this recipe, the pizza is topped with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, capers, chopped onions, and good quality grated cheese, and seasoned with salt and pepper. With a few ingredients, you can make a sumptuous gourmet meal in no time. You can use a blend of cheeses to make the dish even more delicious. Some of the best cheeses to use for making tortilla pizza are those with low moisture and won’t burn easily at high temperatures. These include Mozzarella, Provolone, Asagio, Fontina, Parmesan, Romano, Goat’s cheese, Feta, and Gorgonzola. You don’t have to fill the tortilla with cheese, as it might get too heavy. Sprinkle roughly shaved cheese on the surface and this will melt and spread out for a mouthwatering pizza treat. Since you won’t be using tomato sauce or marinara in this recipe, make sure you use ripe and sweet cherry tomatoes that will burst wonderfully in the palate.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

What is Cooking Roast?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends roasting when cooking meats that are tender. “To roast, meat is placed on a rack in a shallow, uncovered pan and is cooked by the indirect dry heat of an oven. To keep the meat tender and minimize shrinkage due to the evaporation of moisture, a moderately low oven temperature of 325 °F should be used.”

Since the meat is seared during roasting, the flavor is enhanced especially when a crusty brown surface is formed and the juices react to the process known as Maillard reaction or as caramelization (as per Wikipedia). This does not mean a sweeter flavor in meats, but more of that rich, savory flavors given off by cooked meat.

Roasting is also appropriate for large cuts of meats (hence, whole turkeys, whole chicken, whole duck, pork tenderloin, rump roast, rib roast and others). It is important, however, to observe safety especially in maintaining the appropriate internal cooking temperature of the meats. That’s also the reason why most of the stuffing for chicken and turkey is cooked or just served on the side.

According to the USDA website, they “do not recommend cooking meat and poultry at oven temperatures lower than 325 °F because these foods could remain in the "Danger Zone" (temperatures of 40° to 140 °F) too long. Bacteria which may be present on these foods multiply rapidly at these temperatures.”

Source: Gourmandia

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Healthier Pizza Take-Out Food

Americans order 3 billion pizzas a year, mainly from the more than 60,000 pizza restaurants found in every burg with a ZIP code.

There’s no reason to cut pizza out of your life — it offers a quick, easy, tasty way to get loads of vegetables, fruit, fiber, and even fish without much artery-clogging saturated fat. But pizza, like any other take-out/order-in food, has its own pitfalls.

When the Center for Science in the Public Interest evaluated pizza slices from the top chains, it discovered fat levels approaching — and sometimes surpassing — a fast-food cheeseburger. The main culprit: way too much cheese. Add to that fatty meat like sausage and pepperoni, and you are in the unhealthiest reaches of the food world. Here’s how to make pizza a healthy delight:

1. Order half cheese or no cheese.
2. Ask for extra veggies.
3. Steer clear of stuffed crust pizzas. You don’t need the extra cheese.
4. Avoid anything called Meat Lover’s, All the Meat, or Super Supreme. In fact, order your toppings individually.

Best toppings: After veggies and fruit (ever tried pineapple-topped pizza?), chicken, ham, clams, shrimp, and anchovies offer the greatest nutritional punch with the lowest saturated fat.

Bitty Bites Snacks

Ice Cream Snaps

Sandwich a heaping teaspoon of your favorite ice cream between two pretzels or your favorite crackers. Roll edges in sprinkles.


Make a sammie with two thin cinnamon-raisin or pistachio-almond cookies. Cover one cookie with peanut butter and another with hazelnut spread. Place a row of sliced bananas between cookies for a sweet treat.


Stack a marshmallow and a piece of chocolate bar on a potato chip, top with another chip, and microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.

Ways to Factor Out Bad Fat

Cutting down on “bad” fats and reducing your overall consumption of fat isn't something that’s going to happen overnight. But it doesn't have to be an impossible task. In addition to making the obvious move of switching to low- and nonfat versions of staples such as milk, mayonnaise, sour cream, and ice cream (doing so can save you anywhere from 1 to 22 grams of fat per serving), try to:

Turn to Teflon. Nonstick pans enable you to brown or stir-fry meats and vegetables with far less oil or butter than regular pans require.

Eat naked chicken. Peel the skin off chicken (either before or after cooking) and cut the visible fat (before cooking) from all meat. If you pop the chicken or meat in the freezer first for about 20 minutes, the fat hardens and is much easier to trim.

Bake your fries. Instead of dunking potatoes in boiling oil or buying frozen fried potatoes chock full of saturated fats, make your own fries the healthy way. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice (you don’t even need to peel) potatoes into sticks about a half-inch thick, coat a cooking sheet with cooking spray, put the potatoes on it, then spray the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then bake for 45 minutes or until brown and crisp, turning the slices once midway through.

Don’t pour, mist. Get a nonaerosol sprayer (like a Misto) and fill it with your favorite oil, or use a nonfat spray like Pam. Use for flavoring foods, coating pans and grills, or spraying directly on bread or salad (best done with a high quality olive oil in the Misto). Fake the cream. Instead of heavy cream or half-and-half in recipes, substitute nonfat condensed milk. You’ll get the creaminess without the fat.

Bulk up skim milk. Simply switching from whole milk to skim can cut your cholesterol levels 7 percent. But for some people skim is just too thin. To bulk it up, stir 2 to 4 tablespoons of instant nonfat milk powder into each cup of skim milk until it dissolves. Or try a protein-fortified skim milk like Skim Plus. It tastes creamier and thicker than skim, but still has no fat.

Do better than butter. Butter substitutes like Molly McButter really do taste like butter — give them a try.

Go whipped. Hate to give up butter altogether? Try whipped butter. It contains just 60 calories a serving compared to 100 calories for stick butter, and it has 5 grams of saturated fat compared to regular butter’s 7. Let it soften before using; it spreads easier, so you’ll use less.

Substitute with applesauce. Applesauce substitutes well for some or all of the oil or butter used in muffins and cakes.

Stretch the meat. Add grated vegetables (try carrots or onions) to ground turkey or beef to stretch the meat, reduce the fat in burgers, and add some much-needed fiber. Learn to use soy, beans, lentils, mushrooms, and eggplant as delicious protein sources instead of meat in dishes like stews, spaghetti sauce, and lasagna.

Power of Drinking Tea

Following a lifestyle that decreases LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and increases HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is the primary path to lower cholesterol. However, there are certain foods thst can also make the LDL you do have less dangerous.

LDL is a bigger threat when it becomes oxidized. This happens because of exposure to free radicals, highly reactive molecules that are byproducts of bodily functions involving oxygen (which is just about all of them). When LDL is oxidized it becomes stickier and therefore more likely to form plaque. If LDL can be prevented from oxidizing, your arteries are less likely to become clogged.

How do you prevent LDL from becoming oxidized? With antioxidants — which many of nature’s best-tasting foods happen to include. Antioxidant-rich foods include, fruit, vegetables, tea, and chocolate.

Tea, whether black or green, caffeinated or decaffeinated (herbal teas don’t count), has spectacular antioxidant capabilities owing to large amounts of substances called flavonoids. In addition to preventing oxidation, flavonoids may have an anti-clotting effect.

One study found that among people who’d had heart attacks, those who drank 14 or more cups of tea a week were 44 percent less likely to die in the 3 1/2 years following their heart attacks than those who didn’t drink any tea. In another study people who drank about 1 1/2 cups of tea daily had roughly half the risk of heart attack of those who didn’t drink tea. An added bonus: A cup of black tea has less than half the caffeine of coffee; green tea has even less. Some tea tips:

Bag it. When Consumer Reports tested the antioxidant punch of 15 brewed, bottled, and instant teas, it found most teas brewed from tea bags scored highest in antioxidant content. In fact, the magazine reported, “Brewed tea appears to have more antioxidant action than almost any whole fruit or vegetable — and more than most commercial fruit or vegetable juices, too.” But iced teas from mixes and bottle are a decent second choice; they contain a “good deal” of antioxidants, according to the magazine. Just watch the sugar content.

Dunk the bag. Continuously dunking the tea bag as the tea steeps seems to release far more antioxidant compounds than simply dropping it in and leaving it there.

Add lemon. One study found that the addition of lemon to plain tea increased its antioxidant benefits. That makes sense, since lemon itself contains antioxidants.

Brew a batch. To make a day’s supply of iced tea, bring 20 ounces of water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Drop in three tea bags, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and refrigerate.

Try green tea. Because it isn’t fermented, green tea has even more antioxidant power than black tea does. It also has less caffeine. And it may provide some protection against certain cancers. Experiment with brands until you find one you like. Don’t let green tea steep for more than a couple of minutes or it may become bitter.

What to Eat After Workout

You've sweat up a storm at the gym and you've burned several hundred calories. Now you're starving and that fast-food joint is calling your name. But not only will this greasy meal counteract all your efforts in the intense workout you've just completed, it won't help your body recover. Plan your eating right, and your body will bounce back quicker — and you can avoid achy muscles and sluggishness.

Eat some carbs

The body is fuelled by carbs, and when you exercise, you're burning that fuel. So you need to replenish your stores of energy. But no scarfing down cookies and cake — it's complex carbs your body needs. Think whole-grain bread (make a sandwich with some peanut butter); or, if it's suppertime, include some quinoa salad with your salmon fillet. If you've gone for a morning run, a bowl of steelcut oats when you get home would be a good choice that'll get you on the road to recovery.

Eat some protein, too

Your body also needs protein post-workout. Protein is what helps your muscles recover — those same muscles you've just put to the test in your workout. Keep a protein shake handy if possible, or be sure to include a lean protein in your meal if you're dining soon after you exercise. As for a protein snack, a PB and banana sandwich on whole grain fits both the carb and protein requirements, as does some hummus and whole wheat pita bread. Or try some Greek yogurt (which is higher in protein than regular yogurt) and fruit.

What to Eat After Workout

You've sweat up a storm at the gym and you've burned several hundred calories. Now you're starving and that fast-food joint is calling your name. But not only will this greasy meal counteract all your efforts in the intense workout you've just completed, it won't help your body recover. Plan your eating right, and your body will bounce back quicker — and you can avoid achy muscles and sluggishness.

Eat some carbs

The body is fuelled by carbs, and when you exercise, you're burning that fuel. So you need to replenish your stores of energy. But no scarfing down cookies and cake — it's complex carbs your body needs. Think whole-grain bread (make a sandwich with some peanut butter); or, if it's suppertime, include some quinoa salad with your salmon fillet. If you've gone for a morning run, a bowl of steelcut oats when you get home would be a good choice that'll get you on the road to recovery.

Eat some protein, too

Your body also needs protein post-workout. Protein is what helps your muscles recover — those same muscles you've just put to the test in your workout. Keep a protein shake handy if possible, or be sure to include a lean protein in your meal if you're dining soon after you exercise. As for a protein snack, a PB and banana sandwich on whole grain fits both the carb and protein requirements, as does some hummus and whole wheat pita bread. Or try some Greek yogurt (which is higher in protein than regular yogurt) and fruit.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

“Wonder Drug”

Garlic has been used throughout history to ward off the Plague and to protect soldiers from gangrene. Today this herbal “wonder drug” is used for a myriad of health problems, including high cholesterol and coughs.

Know Your Garlic

For those looking to reduce sodium intake, garlic is the answer! The hot, strong taste of fresh garlic gives food a zing no amount of salt can equal. Buy cloves in bulk and store in a cool, dark place. To get the most health benefits out of your garlic:

Always peel it first. Otherwise, some of the disease-preventing compounds might not form.

Give it a break after cutting or crushing it. Leave it there on the cutting board for about 10 minutes to allow the health-promoting compounds to form.

To get rid of garlic breath, chew on fresh parsley, mint, or lemon or orange peels, and use lemon juice to get the odor off your hands.

Healthy Investments
Garlic Peelers and Garlic Crushers are two gadgets that make using fresh garlic not only easy, but fun. A garlic peeler — really, a small plastic tube — takes the work and mess out of peeling garlic. Just put a whole garlic clove inside the tube and roll it back and forth, pressing firmly. VoilĂ ! A naked clove, ready for your garlic crusher.

credits: Reader's Digest

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Delicious Vegan Monday Recipe

Vegan Sausage Stir-fry Recipe

Serving size 4

Although there are plenty of ways to include protein and flavorful meaty textures into your meatless meals without faux-meat products, meat-free alternatives such as vegan sausage can make the transition to eating less animal products easier for many. Enjoy the comfort of a sausage dinner in a healthier and cruelty-free way with this easy-to-make vegan sausage stir-fry.

8 vegan breakfast sausages or 4 full-size vegan sausages (such as Yves Veggie Breakfast), sliced
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
red bell peppers, thinly sliced
3 cups broccoli florets
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups packed shredded kale
3 tablespoons soya sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)

 1. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add in the onions, carrots, peppers and broccoli. Cook for 10–12 minutes or until the vegetables start to become tender.
2. Make a well in the centre of the vegetables, and then place sausage slices and garlic in the centre of the well. Cook for 7–8 minutes, stirring regularly to evenly brown the sausages.
3. Add the kale, and stir everything together. Continue cooking until the kale has wilted.
4. Add in the soya sauce, honey and salt, and combine thoroughly.
5. Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Makes: 2 cups

All the flavor and spice of pumpkin pie coats these roasted seeds for a healthier take on the classic dessert.

What to buy: We used raw pumpkin seeds for this recipe. You can also use the seeds left over from carving a pumpkin or roasting squash. Just collect the seeds, rinse them in a strainer to remove the pulp, and thoroughly pat them dry. They may take a few minutes longer in the oven, depending on how fresh they are.

Game plan: The seeds are best fresh from the oven but will last up to 5 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

 1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Toss 2 cups pumpkin seeds with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. 
 2. Roast on a baking sheet, stirring every 5 minutes, until seeds are aromatic, crisp, and browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
 3. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, and toss to coat.

Tips: The spice doesn't stick well to already roasted seeds. You need to spice them either halfway through or at the beginning.

Kale Chips Recipe

Cheesy Kale Chips Recipe

Makes 6 servings
Prep 5 mins
Cook 45 mins

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch curly kale, torn
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).

2. Drizzle olive oil over the kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and salt. Stir with your hands to coat kale.

3. Spread kale onto baking sheets.

4. Bake in preheated oven until kale begins to get slightly crisp; rotate racks and flip the chips, and continue baking until completely crisp, 45 to 60 minutes total. Make sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn; if you notice certain chips ready much sooner than others, take them out.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One-Pan Pasta Recipe

At a tiny restaurant in the Puglia region of Italy, we saw a chef place dried pasta in a skillet with water, tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, and a glug of extra-virgin olive oil, and then cook everything together. It has been one of our "back-pocket" recipes ever since: Once the water has boiled away, you are left with perfectly al dente pasta in a creamy sauce that coats every strand.


 12 ounces linguine
 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
 Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
 4 1/2 cups water
 Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

Credits: Martha Stewart Living, June 2013

Pici with Summer Squashes and Tarragon Recipe

Tender summer squashes are a sweet foil for the cool, bracing flavor of anise, which comes in the form of ouzo and a handful of fresh tarragon leaves. The glossy, mouthwatering sauce -- which also contains a touch of cream, white wine, onion, and garlic -- coats strands of pici, a long spaghetti-like pasta with a hollow center.



 1/2 onion, finely chopped
 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 2 summer squashes, such as yellow and zucchini, sliced
 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
 Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
 1 cup dry white wine
 1/3 cup ouzo
 3/4 cup heavy cream
 1 pound pici or other long, thin pasta, such as bucatini or spaghetti, cooked until al dente (1 cup cooking water reserved)
 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon


1. Cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon oil, the squashes, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Add wine and ouzo. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Add cream; toss to coat. Add pasta, reserved cooking water, and tarragon, and gently toss.

Credits: Martha Stewart Living, August 2011

Pasta Shells with No-Cook Tomato Sauce Recipe

It’s hot out! Minimize your time over the stove with a cool no-cook pasta sauce. Tossing the tomatoes and peppers with vinegar and salt helps release their juices and infuses them with lots of bright flavor.



 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (4 cups), any color, halved or quartered if large
 2 small red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced medium
 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
 1 garlic clove, minced
 Coarse salt and ground pepper
 3/4 pound medium pasta shells
 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large
 1/2 cup ricotta, for serving


1. In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, bell peppers, oil, vinegar, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature, 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add pasta to sauce, tossing to combine. Add basil and toss. Divide pasta among four bowls and top each with ricotta.

Credits: Everyday Food, July/August 2011

Pennoni with Grilled Eggplant, Mint, and Burrata Recipe

When cooked on the grill, eggplant takes on a smoky intensity that offsets the burrata cheese, a creamier cousin of mozzarella that melts into the pasta. With the addition of refreshing mint and lemon zest, the dish is comfort food at its best and brightest.


 5 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
 1 red Thai chile, thinly sliced
 Coarse salt
 1 pound pennoni, rigatoni, or orecchiette, cooked until al dente (1 cup cooking water reserved)
 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
 8 ounces burrata or mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces

1. Heat grill to medium. Brush eggplants with oil. Grill, turning occasionally, until soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let cool. Coarsely chop eggplant.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic until golden, about 3 minutes. Add eggplant and chile; toss to coat. Season with salt.

3.Toss in pasta, reserved cooking water, and lemon zest and juice. Remove from heat. Stir in burrata and mint.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2011

Orecchiette with Sausage, Corn, and Chiles Recipe

Sweet summer corn and spicy jalapeno or Fresno chiles mingle in this hearty pasta dinner. A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro complete the Southwest vibe of the dish.



 Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
 1 pound orecchiette
 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
 1 to 3 jalapeno or Fresno chiles, very thinly sliced crosswise
 4 1/2 cups fresh yellow corn kernels (from about 6 ears)
 Sour cream, for serving
 Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving


1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, and then drain pasta.

2. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break into bite-size pieces, until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate; drain fat from skillet. Add butter to skillet, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add corn and continue cooking until corn turns a deeper yellow and chiles are softened, about 2 minutes. Return sausage to pan along with pasta and toss to combine, adding enough pasta water to form a smooth sauce that coats pasta. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with sour cream and cilantro.