Tag Archives: Sunday Supper

Sunday Supper: End of Winter Pasta with Cabbage, Speck and Grappa

16 Apr

It’s 85 degrees in NYC today which means that spring is officially upon us!  Last week I made a delicious pasta that is perfect for the final days of cold weather.  Since I found this Andrew Carmellini (former A Voce chef) recipe in a Daily Candy post from 2009, I’ve made this recipe at least once every March/April.  Cabbage is one of those veggies that I know is really good for you but I don’t love cooking with it, so this recipe is a great way to include it in my diet.  Another added plus of this recipe is that it tastes awesome reheated so one pot of this can last me a few days.

Hearty Pasta

End of Winter Pasta with Cabbage, Speck and Grappa
Adapted from Andrew Carmellini recipe (via Daily Candy)
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced thin
½ lb. speck, trimmed of overdried skin and cut into thin 1½-inch strips (if you can’t find speck, you can substitute pancetta, bacon or even prosciutto)
1 medium green cabbage
1 lb. dried pasta (I prefer shells because they soak up more of the sauce)
1 c. heavy cream
salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg
½ c. grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
2 tbsp. grappa (very strong Italian alcohol)

Directions
1. Boil a pot of water.  Just before adding pasta, add salt and a dash of olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together while cooking.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter has melted, add onions and speck and cook until onions soften, about three minutes.
3. Meanwhile, remove outer leaves of cabbage and cut in half. Remove hard white core and slice cabbage into thin strips. You should have about four cups.
4. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
5. While pasta cooks, add cabbage to onion-speck mixture and stir continuously until cabbage begins to wilt, about three minutes.  At this point, if you pasta is not finished cooking yet, turn off the heat on the cabbage-onion-speck mixture and let it rest until the pasta is finished.
6. Drain the pasta, saving one cup of the cooking water (you will use if for the sauce).  Return pasta to the pot you cooked it in.
7. Turn heat back on pan containing cabbage-onion-speck mixture to medium heat.  Add cream, black pepper, salt, and UP TO one cup of pasta cooking water. (Note: I usually use 1/2 to 3/4 cup.  It all depends on how thick you want your sauce to be.)  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for two more minutes, until the cabbage has wilted but still maintains a little crunch.
8. Turn heat on pot containing the pasta and add the sauce. Mix well to coat pasta and cook for one minute, so the pasta absorbs some liquid.
9. While the pasta/sauce are cooking together, beat a raw egg.
10. Turn off heat and add egg to pasta, stirring well so it cooks in the hot mixture.
11. Add cheese and stir. Add grappa and stir.
12. Serve immediately in large bowls topped by more cheese and a few cracks of black pepper.

Hearty Pasta

Advertisements

Sunday Supper: Healthy & Hearty Borscht

29 Jan

Low Sodium Borscht

Borscht is a traditional Ukranian soup/stew and makes a great hearty winter meal.  My father is part Ukranian and would have my mom make this for us a few times every winter and always on Valentine’s Day (because of the soup’s deep red color).  My mother used a recipe from the Joy of Cooking that I adapted to include meat and make the borscht more of a soup-consistency.  The main ingredients are beets and cabbage, two of the NY Times 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating, so while this is another recipe that doesn’t necessarily photograph well, it is an easy, savory winter meal that is also very healthy.  And delicious!

Healthy & Hearty Borscht
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking (75th Anniversary Edition)
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp. butter
2 cups very finely chopped beets (I used pre-packaged peeled beets so I didn’t have to worry about roasting/peeling beets)
1/2 cup very finely chopped carrots
1 cup very finely chopped yellow onion
1 pound beef chuck, 1/2″ cubes (optional)
Flour (optional)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups beef stock (low sodium) (Note: For a vegetarian option, use vegetable stock)
1 cup water
1 cup very finely shredded green cabbage
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper, to taste
Sour cream (or 0% Greek yogurt), for a garnish
Dill, for a garnish (optional)

Directions
1. Chop the beets, carrots, onion and cabbage in advance.  Set aside.
2. Lightly dredge the cubes of meat in a bowl of flour.
3. Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan.  Add meat and cook until lightly browned.
4. Heat butter in soup pot over medium-low heat.  Once melted, add beets, carrots and onions.  Stirring continuously, cook until softened.  About 8 minutes.
5. Add beef stock, water, cabbage, red wine vinegar and meat to pot.  Bring to a bubbling simmer.  Once simmering, lower heat, partially cover soup with lid, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Serve hot.  Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream (or 0% Greek yogurt) and dill.

Note: This soup also tastes great cold.  I like it even better reheated as leftovers the next day though because the flavor intensifies and the broth thickens.

Low Sodium Borscht

Sunday Supper: Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup

11 Dec

Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla SoupThis past summer, my friend Sarah told me about a blog called Sodium Girl that specializes in low sodium/salt free recipes that still taste great.  As someone who is health conscious and also trying to watch my sodium intake, I was immediately hooked on this site!  Last month, SG posted a recipe for Salt Free Chicken Tortilla Soup which you can find here.  I was waiting for the perfect lazy Sunday evening to test it out.  This recipe was so easy to make after a long weekend and really hit the spot now that it’s chilly in NYC.  My adapted recipe is listed below.  I found all of the ingredients no problem at the neighborhood Whole Foods.

Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup
(Adapted from Sodium Girl)
Serves 4

Ingredients
For Soup:
1 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 ripe hot house tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp no-salt added tomato paste
3 cups water
1 Whole Foods rotisserie chicken (Note: SG’s recipe provides directions if you want to cook the chicken from scratch.  I was too hungry/tired/lazy to go through this process.)

For Toppings:
4 green onions, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 lime, quartered
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (Note: For less heat, remove the seeds.)
Greek yogurt (0%) or sour cream (Note: Use Greek yogurt if you’re watching calories/fat intake.  You seriously can’t taste the difference)
Tortilla chips, broken into pieces

Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup Toppings

Directions 
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped garlic and corn, stir continuously for five minutes.  Don’t stop stirring or you will burn the garlic.  This happened to me on my first try and I had to start over…
2.  Next add the four spices, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and water to the pot.  Stir occasionally and bring to a boil.  Then cover with a lid, lower heat and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
3.  While the soup is simmering, shred the rotisserie chicken into pieces and set aside.  Be sure to remove the skin.
4. Add the shredded chicken to the pot and increase heat to medium-high again.  Bring to a rolling boil then lower heat a bit until it is just bubbling and continue to reduce without a lid for 15 to 20 minutes.  (Note: Don’t skip this step!  If you do, the soup will be watery and not as flavorful.  Letting the soup bubble during this time helps intensify the flavor and thicken the broth.)
5. While the soup is cooking, prep your green onions, red onions, avocado, lime, jalapeno peppers, Greek yogurt/sour cream and tortilla chips that you will have as a garnish.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with garnishes as desired.

Here’s what the soup looked like before I added the garnishes:
Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup

This meal was met with raving reviews by D.  He didn’t even notice the lack of salt which really speaks to the flavor of the soup!  He likes extra spicy food and suggested using Habanero peppers next time and adding them to the pot during the reducing period to add extra spice to the dish.  Since my mouth is still burning from the few jalapenos I added to my bowl, I probably won’t try that,  but it’s a great suggestion for those who do like it extra hot!

Sunday Supper: Mom’s Meatloaf Two Ways

21 Aug

Growing up, the ultimate in comfort food for me was my mom’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  I always ask my mom to recreate it for me when I go home, but I also make it for myself often, normally adding a healthy spin to it.  By replacing the ground beef with lean, ground turkey, adding fresh veggies to the meatloaf, and replacing the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower (it’s really yummy, trust me!), I cut out extra fat/cholesterol from the ground beef and add 2-3 extra servings of veggies.  The original recipe my mom created is adapted from a Lipton soup recipe.  She puts a delicious ketchup/Dijon mustard/brown sugar sauce on top of the meatloaf which gives it an awesome savory/sweet flavor that is a hallmark of Southern cooking.  I’ve included both recipes below so you can try out either depending on your mood.  Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Meatloaf is not a “pretty” looking dish.  This version tastes GREAT though!

Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Cauliflower

Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Cauliflower

Mom’s Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6

Ingredients (Meatloaf)
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. ketchup

Ingredients (Sauce)
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

Directions
1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatloaf.  Place in baking dish.
3. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and put mixture on top of meatloaf.
4. Bake for 1 hour.

Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Cauliflower (aka the “healthy” version)

Serves 6

Ingredients (Meatloaf)
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. ketchup
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced mushrooms (I prefer button)

Ingredients (Sauce)
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

Directions
1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatloaf.  Place in baking dish.
3. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and put mixture on top of meatloaf.
4. Bake for 1 hour.

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients
2 heads cauliflower
Grated parmesan cheese
Butter or margarine, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Skim milk, to taste

Directions
1. Steam cauliflower to cook.  (Note: If you don’t have a steamer, you can cook it in the microwave as well.  Just put the cauliflower (stems removed), in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid and put just a little bit of water at the bottom.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until soft.)
2. Using a hand mixer or blender, blend cauliflower until smooth and creamy.
3. Add parmesan cheese, butter or margarine and salt & pepper, to taste.  The less cheese and butter you put in, the healthier this dish with be, so start slow!
4. If the mashed cauliflower is too thick, add some skim milk to the mixture to thin it out a bit and make it creamier.

Sunday Supper: Lemon Spaghetti

14 Aug

Today I was craving a light but filling summer pasta and was short on time.  D & I discovered the lemon spaghetti at Supper in the East Village earlier this year and I set out to re-create it at home.  Here’s the very simple recipe that I adapted from Giada De Laurentis.  Normally, I add grilled chicken, but seafood such as crab or shrimp would also be delicious.  Enjoy!

Lemon Spaghetti
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 pound spaghetti (I use whole wheat)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2/3 c. grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon zest, for garnish
Fresh chopped basil leaves, for garnish

Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions (8-9 minutes) in a large pot of boiling, salted water.  I add a dash of olive oil to the water right before I add the pasta to keep it from sticking together.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, parmesan cheese and lemon juice in a large bowl until blended.
3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
4. Toss the pasta in the lemon sauce.  If the pasta is getting too thick, add 1/4 c. cooking liquid at a time to moisten.  (When I make this, I generally add at most 1/4 c. so start slow!)
5. Season with salt & pepper and garnish with lemon zest, basil and an extra sprinkling of parmesan cheese.