Food & Drink

Weekly Recipes


Leek and Fennel Chicken Ravioli with Kale and Sage Brown Butter Sauce

2 leeks

1/8 cup fennel seeds

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 bulb garlic

2 stalks kale, coarsely chopped

1/2 pound ground chicken

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces chopped portabella mushrooms

5 tablespoons butter

12 sage leaves, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


2 cups flour

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

Olive oil

Begin by cutting the top off of the garlic and wrapping it in foil. Cook at 400 degrees in a toaster or conventional oven for about 20 minutes to roast it. It will be ready when the casings are browned and the cloves can be easily squeezed into a paste. When finished roasting, cut in half.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour the flour and salt and make a well for the eggs. Add one egg and start the mixer on low. Once incorporated, add another egg and repeat. Begin pouring the oil one tablespoon at a time until the dough forms into a single ball. Remove from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Cut the leeks into rings by removing the bottom root and slicing in1/4-inch increments up to where the dark green color of the leaves begin. Rinse the rings and dry before sauteing them with the shallot and olive oil. Add the kale, salt and pepper. Saute until browned, about 15 minutes on medium heat.

Remove the aromatics and greens from the pan and place into a food processor.

Brown the chicken together with the fennel seeds until cooked. Place this mixture into the food processor and add half of the roasted garlic and the Parmesan cheese. Mix in the processor until fine. Allow to cool.

Fill a stock pot halfway with water and at least1/4 cup of salt and heat to boiling.

Saute the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt.

Cut the pasta dough into discs, about 1 inch thick. Using a pasta machine, roll the dough into long sheets, according to its instructions, until paper thin.

Lay the sheets of pasta on a floured surface and using a ravioli press (or just spacing in 2 inch squares) pile the filling on top of the pasta. Layer the pasta and filling with another layer of pasta and cut the squares.

Boil the ravioli about 5 minutes per batch. Remove from the water and strain.

For the sauce, heat the remaining butter on medium heat. Once it begins to brown, add the chopped sage and remaining roasted garlic.

Plate the dish by topping the pasta with the mushrooms and the sauce. Optionally, add some fresh Parmesan shavings, or garnish with kale.


Mushroom Bolognese with Whole Wheat Penne

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

(8-ounce) package mushrooms, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup dry red wine

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 (14.5-ounce) canfat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup fat-free half and half

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

6 cups cooked whole wheat penne pasta

Serves six.

In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and red wine and cook until the wine has almost evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stirring occasionally until the mixture is lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth to loosen pan renderings. Add the half-and-half and salt and allow the sauce to simmer until it is thick and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes. While sauce is cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions, omitting the fat and salt. To serve, top 1 cup cooked pasta with 3/4 cup Bolognese and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

One Pot Beef Stew

1 pound flat iron steak or lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 cup sherry

1 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium beef broth

2 cups onion, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 cloves minced garlic

5 carrots, peeled and sliced

4 celery ribs, sliced

1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, quartered

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salted-added diced tomatoes, undrained

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

1/2 teaspoon salt

Serves six.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Coat beef with flour, shaking off excess. In a large Dutch oven or other stovetop and oven-safe pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove beef from pot.

Add the sherry and broth to the pot, loosening the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, paprika, bay leaves and black pepper. Add browned beef.

Stir to combine, cover and place in the oven for about 2 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and place on stovetop.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the cornstarch and water until dissolved. If you want to thicken the stew, mix the cornstarch mixture into the stew and allow to thicken, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Stir in the salt and remove bay leaves.

Serve this stew on its own or with a crusty multigrain baguette, yolk-free egg noodles or brown rice.

Chicken with Cherry Balsamic Glaze

1 tablespoon trans fat-free margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

4 (4 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to1/4-inch thickness

1/2 cup cherry preserves

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

Serves four.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the margarine and oil over medium heat until margarine melts.

In a shallow dish or pie plate, combine the flour,1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour and saute until golden brown on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side.

Remove the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. In a small saucepan, heat the cherry preserves and balsamic vinegar until warm. Season chicken breasts with remaining salt and pepper, top with cherry sauce and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

3 cups sliced zucchini

3 cups sliced mushrooms

3 cups eggplant, peeled and quartered

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 teaspoons dried oregano, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

8 cups plum or Roma tomatoes, quartered

3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons sugar

1 container (15 ounces) low-fat ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Nonstick cooking spray

9 no-boil lasagna noodles

Serves 10.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have ready 2 large sided baking sheets, such as a jelly roll pan.

On one baking sheet place the zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant and red peppers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and1/4 teaspoon black pepper and toss to coat.

On the other baking sheet, toss the tomato wedges with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon oregano, fennel seed,1/4 teaspoon black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Place both in the oven and roast uncovered for 15 minutes. Turn the vegetables over and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Remove roasted vegetables and roasted tomatoes from oven.

Carefully place the tomatoes and all pan juices in a bowl and add the sugar and remaining1/4 teaspoon salt. Mash the tomatoes to create a sauce.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese,1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining1/4 teaspoon black pepper; set aside.

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. To begin layering the lasagna, place about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce in the baking dish, spreading to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with 3 noodles, half the ricotta cheese mixture, half the roasted vegetable mixture and one-quarter of the tomato sauce. Begin again with 3 noodles, remaining cheese mixture, remaining roasted vegetables and remaining 3 noodles. Top noodles with remaining tomato sauce and a1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake lasagna uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are bubbly and the cheese topping is golden brown.

Broiled Salmon with Yogurt Sauce

4 small salmon fillets, about 3/4-inch thick, with skin (about 1 pound)

2 tablespoons trans fat-free margarine, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


6 ounces fat-free, plain yogurt

3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 minced garlic clove

1/2 1 cup peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped cucumber

Serves four.

Set oven to broil. Spray a broiler pan. Place the salmon fillets on the broiler pan. Brush the salmon with the melted margarine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil fillets about 4 inches from the heat source for about 8 minutes or until cooked through.

To prepare the yogurt sauce: Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, dill weed, lemon zest, garlic and cucumber together in a small bowl.

Remove salmon from broiler and top each salmon fillet with1/4 cup of yogurt sauce.


Potato Knishes

3 eggs, divided

6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Kosher salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 large yellow onions, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme

Ground black pepper

Serves 16.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the water, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the flour and knead together to form a smooth dough. Divide the dough in 2 and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

While the dough chills, prepare the filling. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly, then transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl. Mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and cook until tender and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir the onions into the potatoes, along with the thyme. Season with salt and black pepper.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll and stretch each piece until it is a long strip about 6 inches wide and 16 inches long. Spoon half of the potato filling mixture down the middle of each strip of dough, using your hands to smooth the mixture into an even mound. Dip your fingers in water and moisten the edges of the dough, then wrap both sides of the dough up and over the potato filling.

Slice each piece of dough, which now should resemble filled tubes, into 8 pieces. Turn each piece onto its side and use the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Working in batches of 8, arrange the pieces on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them.

In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water until foamy. Brush a bit of the egg mixture over each knish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Smoky Sweet Potato Latkes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 4 cups grated)

1/2 large yellow or sweet onion, grated (about 3/4 cup grated)

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/3 cup cornstarch

4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided

Plain Greek yogurt and unsweetened applesauce, to serve

Makes 16 latkes.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large colander, combine the sweet potato and onion. Set over the sink.

Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Slowly pour the water over the potato mixture, then let it drain and cool until easily handled, 8 to 10 minutes. A handful at a time, place the sweet potato mixture in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible, then transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, beat together the egg, salt, cumin and paprika, then stir into the sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the sweet potatoes and mix well. The mixture should be moist, but not wet. If needed, blot excess moisture and add a little more flour.

Use 2 tablespoons of the oil to evenly coat a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the sweet potato mixture into 16 mounds (each about 2 tablespoons) on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between them. Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to flatten each.

Using a pastry brush and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, brush the tops of the latkes with oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Serve the latkes with a dollop of yogurt and applesauce.