Leeks & Coucous

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Leeks are amazing when they are cooked low and slow in butter and olive oil. Added to couscous and you have a hit on your hand.

Ingredients:
4 leeks, thinly sliced and rinsed well
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP olive oil
1 c veggie broth
1 c Coucous
Salt & pepper

In medium pan over medium low heat melt butter and heat olive oil. Add leeks and cook slowly, storing often until softened and starting to brown. Add broth, bring to a boil, remove from hear and stir in couscous. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

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Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Homemade Harissa

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More inspirations from F&W! I made a few changes – added a bit more spice, double the Harissa recipe and used boneless leg of lamb instead. It was amazing. Low and slow is the secret to this tasty meal. Perfect for a Sunday night dinner with lots of leftovers for lunch.

Ingredients:
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 oz ancho chiles
2 TBSP smoked sweet paprika
2 TBSP lemon juice
6 large garlic cloves
2 TBSP olive oil
Kosher salt
3-pound lamb
Freshly ground pepper
Lettuce leaves, greek yogurt and warm naan, for serving.

In a spice grinder, finely grind the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds.
In a microwave-safe bowl, cover the ancho chiles with water and microwave at high power for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer the softened chiles and 4 TBSP of the soaking liquid to a blender. Add the ground spices, paprika, lemon juice, the garlic cloves, olive oil and 1 TBSP of salt. Puree the harissa until smooth.

Set the lamb in a medium roasting pan and rub 1/2 cup of the harissa all over the meat; let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Add 1/2 cup of water to the roasting pan and cover the pan loosely with foil. Roast the lamb for 2 1/2 hours, adding more water if needed to the pan a few times to prevent scorching. Remove the foil and roast for about 2 1/2 hours longer, until the lamb is very brown and tender; occasionally spoon the pan juices on top. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Using forks or tongs, pull the lamb off the bone in large chunks. Using your fingers, pull the meat into smaller shreds and serve with the yogurt, lettuce leaves, naan and the remaining Harissa.

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Buckwheat Crepes

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David Leibovitz is amazing pastry chef! This is his recipe for buckwheat crepes, if you have issues with wheat you can use all buckwheat flour. If you have extra they freeze wonderfully, just separate them with wax paper. I made savory with cheese, bacon & green onions; sweet with Nutella & whip cream and fruit with strawberry spread, strawberries & whipped cream.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
1 TBSP sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 c buckwheat flour
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3 large eggs

In a blender, or with a whisk, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Cover and chill overnight.

To fry the crêpes, remove the batter from the refrigerator about an hour before frying. Stir it briskly; it should be the consistency of heavy cream. (If not, you can add a tablespoon of milk.)

Heat a 8- to 9-inch skillet on the stovetop. You can use a real crêpe pan that’s been seasoned, but I use a Tefal non-stick skillet which works great.

Drop a tiny piece of butter or neutral oil in the hot pan and wipe it around with a paper towel. (I only do this for the first crêpe.)

Lift the pan and pour 1/4 c of the batter in the middle of the hot skillet, swirling the pan to distribute the batter quickly and evenly. The pan shouldn’t be too hot or too cold: the batter should start cooking within a few seconds, giving you just enough time to swirl it. It may take a couple of crêpes for you to get your rhythm.

After about a minute, run a non-stick spatula around the underside of the rim of the crêpe, then flip the crepe over.

Let the crêpe cook on the flip side for about 30 seconds, then slide it out onto a dinner plate.

For savory – melt the cheese and top with bacon and green onions. Top with a little sour cream.

For sweet – remove from pan, add ingredients, fold and top with whipped cream.

Makes 12 – 16 Crepes.

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Apple, Onion & Pancetta Pizza

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I love pizza! As far as I am concerned it is the perfect food – crispy crust, gooey cheese and a couple choice toppings = bliss!! I have to say thanks to some heavy borrowing from Bon Appétit, I really outdid myself last night. This pizza was amazing! The cheese sauce, with the roasted apples and onions tossed with fresh herbs and crispy pancetta – I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Ingredients:
2 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP flour
1 c whole milk
4 oz Gruyère, grated
Cayenne pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 red onion, cut into 1/4 inch wedges
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 firm, tart apples, cut into 1/4 inch wedges
1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
1 TBSP chopped fresh sage
1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
8 oz pizza dough, room temperature

Preheat oven to 450. With pizza stone inside.

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted and just beginning to foam. Whisk in 2 flour; cook, stirring often, until flour begins to smell nutty, about 5 minutes. Whisk in milk; cook gently over low heat, stirring often, until mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Add cheese; whisk until combined. Season Mornay sauce to taste with cayenne, nutmeg, and salt.

Cook pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp and browned; set aside.

Toss apples and onions with a little olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast on a large pan for about 12 minutes until starting to brown and soft.

Transfer to large bowl add rosemary, sage, thyme, and reserved pancetta. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll out pizza dough. Spread with cheese sauce top with apple onion mixture, bake for 7 – 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Serves 4.
OK…who am I kidding? The hubby and I scarfed this down.

Pear-Tini

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It’s been awhile since we have had cocktails- lets face a hangover & toddler party is a recipe for disaster. This is an amazing little cocktail!

Ingredients:
1½ parts St-Germain
1½ parts Pear Vodka
½ part freshly squeezed lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle nutmeg.

Spicy Broccolini with Ricotta Salata

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One of my farmers always has the most wonderful Broccolini – usually I turn it into a stir fry, but last night I was feeling Italian so I came up with this spicy Italian version.

Ingredients:
2 small bunches of Broccolini, lightly steamed & chopped
2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBSP red pepper flakes
1/4 c veggie or chicken broth
1/4 c ricotta salata

In a medium sauce pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and peppers cook for 2 minutes. Add Broccolini and broth, toss until well coated. Put a lid on it and cook for 5 minutes. Top with cheese and serve.

Serves 4.9

Pasta with Ricotta, Spinach and Tomatoes

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Monday always seems to be pasta night in our house. This week I combined cherry tomatoes, spinach, ricotta and pancetta to come up with this one – even the boys ate this one.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes
8 oz spinach
4 oz pancetta
6 oz ricotta
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 c pasta water
Pine nuts
Parsley, minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package.

In a large skillet cook pancetta over medium high heat, once browned remove and drain on papers towels. Add tomatoes and cook until softened. Add ricotta, parm and spinach, stir in pasta and 1/4 c pasta water to thin out the sauce a bit.

Serve with pine nuts, parsley and pancetta.
Serves 4.

Swordfish with Herbed Butter

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Mmmmmmm butter! Infused with some herbs and poured over meaty halibut makes for one tasty meal.

Ingredients:
1/2 stick butter
3 cloves of garlic
4 TBSP fresh parsley
Zest of one lemon
2 tsp peppercorns
8 oz swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick

Preheat oven to 400.

In a food processor combine butter, garlic, parsley, lemon, peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Process until well combined.

Heat an oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the fish and add to pan, cook for 3 minutes. Flip over and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove halibut from the pan. Return to medium heat, melt butter until foamy. Pour over fish.

Serves 2.

Spiced Lamb

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The main course from our Ethiopain feast. This was amazing! And even better as left overs. Thank you Food & Wine.

Ingredients:
2 TBSP red wine
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP berbere
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 so Dijon mustard
3 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt
Pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large shallot, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk the wine with the lemon juice, berbere, paprika and mustard.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add half of the lamb to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining lamb.

Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the lamb and any accumulated juices to the casserole along with the wine mixture, tomatoes, bell pepper and shallot. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the tomatoes and bell pepper have softened and the lamb is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Pumpkin Cookies

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This is my healthier version of pumpkin cookies. My 4 year old helped and added 2x the salt – which I think was an improvement. These are great little cookies and there’s even veggie in them!

Ingredients:
1 c all purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c date sugar
1/2 c coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 c canola oil
1 1/4 c pumpkin purée
1 c choc chips

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine dry ingredients. Add wet, combine. Use a scoop to scoop dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes, turn sheets, bake 10 more.

Makes about 2 dozen.