Friday, February 27, 2015

Iceberg Wedge Salad with Thousand Island Dressing

This chunk of super-crisp iceberg lettuce bathed in creamy dressings, has been making a comeback at some famous restaurants and steakhouses these days.  Making your own fresh dressing takes no time at all with the help of a food processor.

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
2 hard boiled eggs (1 for dressing and 1 grated for topping)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce (Heinz)
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1-1/2 Tbsp. minced onion
2 tsp. dill relish (not sweet relish)
1 hard-boiled egg

Put all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until well combined.  Chill until ready to serve.

Put one wedge of lettuce on each plate.  Add dressing and toppings and serve well chilled.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Saucy Peach-Apricot Garlic Chicken

Saucy Susan Peach/Apricot Sauce has been around for as long as I can remember.  My last recipe for Coconut Chicken Tenders with Sweet & Sassy Dipping Sauce brought on a lot of comments that most folks could not find it in the supermarket.  If it's not available in your area, simply substitute apricot or peach preserves with some white vinegar, honey and crushed red pepper flakes to taste or use Asian Duck Sauce.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup Saucy Susan Peach Apricot Sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Asian Chili Garlic Sauce (to taste - add more if you like it spicy)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. teryaki sauce
Salt & Pepper


In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until softened and lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken cubes and brown lightly on all side.  Deglaze with white wine.  Let wine reduce by half, about 5 minutes.  Add Peach Apricot Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, chicken broth and teryaki sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer.  Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 30-40 minutes.

Serve with white rice and stir fried broccoli.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Nutella Brownies - Two Ingredients

If you are a Nutella fan, you have it in the cupboard. 
I came across this recipe over at Diethood.  Mixing eggs with Nutella and that's it?  Yep, that's it.
They only way I can describe these delightful squares are that they reminded me of a light fudge.  Yes....ffffffffffuuuuudge.  Not overly sweet, just as sweet as Nutella.  Cut them into smaller squares and have little bites to serve.  Either way, you have to give these a try!
4 large eggs
1 cup Nutella
Confectioner's Sugar (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 x 8 brownie pan with parchment paper.
Beat eggs in your mixing bowl for 7-8 minutes, or until tripled in volume.
Heat the Nutella in a microwave dish for 60 second; stir.
Slowly pour Nutella into the eggs, beating until thoroughly combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool completely before cutting.
Cut into squares.
Source: Diethood
Refrigerate when cooled.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bavarian Bread Dumplings - Semmelknödel

Most countries and cultures put dry, leftover bread to good use.  All forms of bread can be brought back to life with a little liquid and is a great way to stretch a dish.  The first recipe that comes to mind is Thanksgiving stuffing.  You have to have stale bread for stuffing!  Panzanella salad, French Toast and bread pudding are just a few recipes and they all say one thing - soul-satisfying comfort food.  Just the word "dumpling" creates a thought of home style Chicken and Dumplings. 

Growing up, I can remember stale bread on the counter that was usually "for the birds", but the bread was never wasted.  It still reminds me of a simpler time when something like a loaf of bread was sacred and valuable.  

These traditional bread dumplings from Austria and Bavaria are great for sopping up rich gravy from any meat dish.  They are very similar in texture to "stuffing".


5 kaiser rolls - stale and thinly sliced and cubed
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 cups milk
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup flour
Breadcrumbs (if needed)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot gravy


Transfer bread cubes to a large bowl.  Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown; transfer to the bowl with the bread.  Add milk to the same saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Pour over bread.  Add parsley, flour, nutmeg and eggs.  Season with salt and pepper and using your hands, mix until evenly combined.  If the mixture is too wet, add breadcrumbs until the mixture can be formed into a ball.

Bring an 8-qt. pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Moisten hands with cold water and form bread mixture into 2" balls.  Carefully add dumplings to boiling water.  When dumplings float to the top, lower heat to a simmer and cook until firm; about 15 minutes(uncovered).  Using a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and transfer to a serving platter.  Serve in bowls with plenty of hot gravy.

Makes about 12 dumplings.
~Adapted from Saveur