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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Shrimp Paesano


Amount Ingredient Preparation
1 pound shrimp raw, deveined and shelled
1 pint light cream 10% or half & half
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
2 cups flour, all-purpose
1 large egg yolk
1 stick butter
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 cup parsley leaves fresh, chopped
1 x chives fresh
1/4 cup lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Reserved some cream for the sauce.
3. Soak shrimp in the remaining cream for at least 30 minutes in the refigerator.
4. Drain and roll shrimp in flour then saute in oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Do not turn shrimp!
5. Remove and place shrimp in baking dish with the sauted side down in preheated oven.
6. Turn oven to broil and broil for 5 minutes.

For sauce:

Mix egg yolk and lemon juice in half the butter and stir over low heat until melted, take off heat.

Add garlic and rest of butter and stir briskly until butter melts and sauce thickens. (Add small amount of 1/2 and 1/2 to thicken). Add chives and parsley.

Serve the sauce with the crispy shrimp.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Cocina Recipe: Ometepe Island Grated Tostones


1. 4 large, green plantains
2. Abundant corn oil for frying
3. Coarse sea salt to tasteTrim the tips of the plantains and cut them in half crosswise
4. With a sharp knife, make a slit down one of the plantain ridges and use your fingertips to pull off the skin
5. Grate the flesh on the large holes of a box grater
6. Place at least 3 cups oil in a deep, heavy saucepan and heat to 350 degrees
7. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the grated plantain into your palm
8. Press lightly to hold the plantain strands together as you place it in the hot oil
9. Fry, two or three at a time, turning with a slotted spoon or skimmer, until golden brown and crisp on all sides, about 1 minute
10. Drain on paper towels, sprinkled with sea salt and serve hot

Crunchy and positively addictive, these grated tostones look more like golden plantain nuggets.

You can make them compact and somewhat flattened, but I prefer them a bit looser so the plantain strands get crunchier when deep-fried.

Serve hot with a dipping sauce of your choice and ice cold beer or mojitos made with Flor de CaƱa Nicaraguan rum.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Italian Focaccia

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 kilo (about 7 cups) white flour (you can use whole wheat also but it's just not the same)
2 level tablespoons dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups warm water (about)
1 tablespoon raw sugar
whole rosemary
olive oil
sesame seeds
kosher salt
or just about anything you like!


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Pour flour in bowl and make well inside.
3. Put in bottom of well salt then sugar then yeast and slowly pour half of the water.
4. Mix slowly with large wood spoon and slowly add remaining water as needed.
5. When dough has formed a nice ball and does not stick to the sides dump out on counter.
6. Knead dough about 5 minutes until it is very smooth and elastic.
7. If you want a thick focaccia flatten dough out with hands and put on standard sized (40cm X 35cm) flat oven tray or cookie sheet that has been liberally doused with olive oil. Flatten the dough a little more on tray and cover with tea towel. Let rise about 40 minutes.
8. When risen gently punch and stretch dough with finger to fit sides of tray and to make the traditional "bumps". Douse top of focaccia with more olive oil and sprinkle on sesame seeds, kosher salt (not to much) and rosemary leaves.
9. Put in warmed oven and bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

If you like a thinner foccacia then just divide the dough into half and bake on two separate trays. This makes the foundation for the best pizza in the world and you can top it with anything just don't leave out the olive oil.

I got this recipe from my friends Italian mother-in-law and anyone who tries it...loves it! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Taco Platter Appetizer


1 16-ounce can refried beans
2 avocados, skin & pit removed
1 cup sour cream
1 packet dry taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can chopped black olives, drained
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped black olives
4 roma tomatoes, chopped


1. Spread refried beans on the bottom of a shallow platter.
2. In a small bowl combine cup sour cream and taco seasoning.
3. Spread on top of the refried beans.
4. Next, pour salsa over sour cream mixture.
5. Sprinkle cheese, then add avocados, black olives, chopped tomatoes and green onions.
6. Serve with plenty of tortilla chips.
This Taco Platter Appetizer recipe is very versatile for any gathering. Although it is nothing new, this is just one of those old no-cook standby recipes that are also great with the warmer weather time.

It also travels well to bring-along functions.
I sometimes jazz it up by placing either blue corn or green guacamole tortilla chips in a colorful napkin-lined basket for a great presentation.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

How to Keep Those Veggies Fresh

* Do not store onions and potatoes together as onions give off a gas that makes potatoes spoil faster.

* When storing beets and carrots, cut off the leafy tops to prevents spoilage.

* A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will remove every strand of corn silk.

* Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator. The starch in the potatoes will change to sugar.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cold Veggie Pizza


2 packages refrigerator crescent rolls
2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 package Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing mix
4 to 6 cups assorted chopped vegetables
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Press the crescent roll dough in a large greased jelly roll pan, sealing all perforations.
2. Bake as directed about 10 minutes.
3. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise and dressing mix and beat until smooth.
4. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the cooled crust and sprinkle the chopped vegetables and cheese over entire crust.
5. Chill and serve!

Veggie ideas: broccoli, carrots, red, green, yellow pepper, red onion, cauliflower, radishes, firm tomatoes, olives, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, green onions...

One of my all- time favorite appetizer recipes fresh from the archives has been this Cold Veggie Pizza. This one never gets old!

A huge secret to the success of this is having all of the veggies chopped uniformly, otherwise the pieces you serve will just fall apart when picked up..

You can keep switching up the veggies each time you make it too and keep it a little different. This is a super-easy and portable platter too. You can literally keep it in the pan and just foil over it.

For hot weather occasions, bring along another 9x13 sized pan, fill it with ice and lay the baking sheet over it to keep cooler (little salad bar trick).


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Simple Spinach Pie


Canola cooking oil spray
3 packages (10 oz. each) frozen spinach
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 cup (1 oz.) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped dill (4 tsp. crumbled dried)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Coat an 8-inch spring-form pan with spray. Set aside.
3. Cook spinach according to package directions.
4. When cool enough to handle, squeeze spinach out to remove most of the water.
5. Coarsely chop spinach. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
6. In medium bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.
7. Mix in feta cheese, flour, salt and pepper to make a sticky dough.
8. Stir in chicken broth and dill.
9. Add spinach and mix well to combine.
10. Spread mixture in prepared pan into an even layer.
11. Bake 15 minutes, until set. Cool in pan.
12. Release spring-lock and carefully remove sides of pan.
13. Cut into 8 slices.
14. With wide metal spatula, transfer slices to serving plate, arranging them in a circular pattern,
pointed ends facing inward.
15. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 6 Servings
Per serving: 75 calories, 2 g. total fat (less than 1 g.
saturated fat), 10 g. carbohydrate, 7 g. protein, 4 g.


This simple spinach pie is a great way to get in your veggies...pleasing the palate with the unexpected flavors of fresh dill and feta cheese.

This can really be stored up to 24 hours by covering with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerating but you'll want to bring to room temperature before serving, or reheat in oven or microwave.

For vegetarians, you will absolutely loves this recipe.