Cabbage, Pancetta, and Potatoe Soup

This soup will warm you on a cold winters day.

10 oz pancetta, cubed
10 oz potatoes, cubed
1 onion, sloced thin
2 leeks, sliced thin
8 cloved of garlic, sliced thin
10 oz cabbage slided thin
1 quart of chicken stock
Salt and pepper

In a large stock pot, cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy, add potatoes, onions, leek and garlic, stir to coat and cover, stirring occasionally until onions and leeks are softened. Add cabbage and stock and cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6 – 8.

Cabbage Soup

This is the perfect healthy winter soup.

1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, sliced thun
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp deied thyme
2 28-ounce jar chopped tomatoes
4 c chopped green cabbage
6 c beef broth
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink, breaking the meat up into small pieces as you brown; add onions, garlic and spices and cook for 4 more munutes until softened.

Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaf and cabbage; bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover, leaving the lid ajar slightly. Simmer for 30-minutes or until cabbage is tender and cooked through.

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed; remove the bay leaf and serve immediately.

Serves 6 – 8.

Spicy Carrot Salad

This is a great cooked spicy carrot salad. 

10 oz shredded carrot
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, sliced thun
2 tbsp harissa
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, freshly ground
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp cider vinegar
6 oz baby arugula
salt and pepper

Steam carrots for 10 minutes. In another pan, cook onion with 1 TBSP oil over medium high heat until crispy and browned.

In a small jar, combine harissa, cumin, caraway, sugar, cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp of oil. 

Toss carrot and onions with the dressing and set aside for 30 minutes to deepen the flavors.

Serve atop arugula.

Serves 4.

Beer Braised Chuck Roast with Bacon and Onions

Beer, bacon, beef – you can’t go wrong with this combo! Slow and low perfect for a Sunday dinner.

1 2 – 3 lb chuck roast
2 TBSP olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 oz pancetta, cubed
1 12 oz Belgium beer
1 c water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper

Pat Chuck roast dry. Toss in a bowl with flour and shake off excess.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat, add beef and brown on all sides. Set aside. Add pancetta and onions and cook for 5 – 8 minutes until soft. Add beef, beer, water and herbs, reduce heat to low and cover cooking for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until tender.

Slice, serve with sauce.

Serves 6 – 8.

Cheesy Cauliflower and Onion Gratin

This is a quick and easy gratin dish, perfect as a side or a main.

1 head of cauliflower
1 sweet onion
3/4 c ricotta cheese
2/3 c chicken broth
4 TBSP pecorino cheese, grated
Salt & pepper
1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375F. Remove core and stem of cauliflower and pull apart the florets. Place them and the whole onion in its jacket on a parchment covered baking sheet. Drizzle sparingly with EVOO and season to taste. Mix with your hands.

Bake for 20-30min until fork tender. Turning over after 10-15 min.

Squeeze cooked onion from skin. Add to processor along with, cauliflower, broth, ricotta, 1/2 pecorino and blend to a smooth consistency.

Spoon into a casserole dish. Sprinkle crumbs and cheese over cauliflower and broil for 5 min until cheese is melted and crumbs toasted.

Serves 4 – 6.

Polenta with Onion and Tomato Sauce

This dish is so easy and perfect for a light weeknight dinner. You can use precooked polenta log. I made a double batch, poured 1/2 into a glass pan and chilled overnight then sliced into polenta sticks.

8 oz cooked polenta sliced 1 inch thick
1/4 grated gruyere
1 large onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into thin half-rounds
2 TBSP olive oil
2 dried bay leaves
One 28-ounce (765g) can peeled Italian plum tomatoes in juice
Fresh, flat-leafed parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 c Pine nuts, toasted

In a large skillet, combine the onion, the olive oil, and 1/2 tsp salt and sweat – cook, covered over low heat until soft and translucent – about 5 minutes. With a large pair of scissors, cut the tomatoes in the can into small piece. Add the bay leaves and tomatoes and their juices and cook, covered, over low heat for about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

At serving time, preheat the broiler. Cut the polenta into 8 even sliced.
Place on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler and broil, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plates, top with cheese, spoon the sauce all over. Garnish with parsley and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Chicken with Spiced Rice

Another amazing dish from Jerusalem! This one is perfect for a weeknight and only requires one pot. I made some minor changes, used a little lesson love oil, left out that currents because I did not have any. I also added some extra ground spices. This dish is amazing!

Olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 1/5 lb chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
10 cardamom pods
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
2 long cinnamon sticks, broken in two
2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 2/3 c brown basmati rice
2 1/4 c boiling water
1 1/2 TBSP parsley, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup Greek yogurt mixed with 2 TBSP olive oil

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned a deep golden brown. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and wipe the pan clean.

Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and season with 1½ tsp salt and black pepper. Add 2 TBSP olive oil, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and use your hands to mix everything together well.

Heat the frying pan again and place the chicken and spices in it. Sear chicken for 5 minutes on each side and remove from the pan. The spices can stay in the pan, but don’t worry if they stick to the chicken. Remove most of the remaining oil as well, leaving just a thin film at the bottom. Add the rice, caramelized onion, 1 tsp salt and plenty of pepper. Stir well and return the seared chicken to the pan, pushing it into the rice.

Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan, and cook over very low heat for 40 minutes. Add the herbs and use a fork to stir them in and fluff up the rice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot or warm with yogurt mixture if you like.

Serves 4.