Artichokes are strange little–okay not so little–vegetables (which stems from the fact that they're not veggies at all but rather immature thistles). Half of their leaves and center are completely inedible, which makes for some focused–but not difficult–prep work. The other half is pretty delicious when properly cooked. It's fun to spend some time scraping the soft leaves clean with your teeth when they're fresh from the oven. I'm a firm believer in the fact that cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, and olive oil can make anything taste phenomenal and this recipe has enough of those ingredients to do just that.
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4 large, full-size artichokes
1 lemon, halved
1 3⁄4 cups dried bread crumbs
1 cup grated pecorino cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 tsp. sea salt salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
extra-virgin olive oil
1. Using a serrated knife, cut off artichoke stems to create a flat bottom. Cut top thirds off artichokes, pull off tough outermost leaves, and trim tips of leaves with shears. Scoop out choke. Open artichoke leaves with your thumbs to make room for stuffing. Rub cut parts with lemon halves and set aside.
2. Heat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, 3⁄4 cup pecorino cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. Working with one artichoke at a time over bowl, sprinkle one-quarter of bread crumb mixture over the artichoke and work it in between leaves. Transfer stuffed artichoke to a shallow baking dish. Drizzle each artichoke with oil until saturated.
3. Pour boiling water to a depth of 1" in baking dish. Rub 1 tbsp. olive oil on a sheet of aluminum foil, cover artichokes with foil (oiled side down), and secure foil tightly around dish with kitchen twine. Bake until a knife easily slides into the base of an artichoke, about 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle tops with remaining cheese, and switch oven to broil. Broil until tops of artichokes are golden brown, about 3 minutes.
I'm always looking for easy but impressive side dish and appetizer recipes. These stuffed mushrooms are definitely a crowd-pleaser. I've tried filling mushrooms with all sorts of flavor combinations but this is by far my favorite. The stuffing is both easy to throw together and complex, with moist breadcrumbs, plump clam meat, and flavorful herbs and cheeses. Make sure you cover the tray properly–the key to cooking this dish is to let everything steam for its long bake-time.
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12 fresh mushrooms, stemmed and washed
2 6-ounce cans clams, drained and finely minced
1/2 cup of clam juice, reserved from can
2 green onions, finely minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup breadcrumbs
1.5 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon finely grated romano cheese
4 tablespoons finely grated mozzarella cheese, for stuffing
1/2 cup finely grated mozzarella cheese, for garnish
1/2 cup olive oil
fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a small baking dish.
2. Combine clams, onions, garlic powder, minced garlic, oil and oregano in a bowl and mix well. Add bread crumbs, egg, and clam juice,mixing well. Add Parmesan, Romano, and Mozzarella cheeses.
4. Place approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons of the clam stuffing mixture inside mushroom cavity and slightly mound.
5. Place the stuffed mushrooms in the baking dish and pour 1/4 olive oil over their tops. Cover and bake for about 40 minutes.
6. Remove cover; sprinkle with 1/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese and return to the oven to melt the cheese.
7. Remove from oven. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve hot.
I always make picking food for the Super Bowl, whether we're having a large party or a smallish get-together. Nothing is a bigger crowd-pleaser than pigs in a blanket–old and young alike love the mini hotdog/bun treat. I'm not going to lie, the few times I ever crafted the appetizer I used store-bought, tube-popping crescent roll pastry and after I read the long (and not so yummy) ingredient list, I avoided snacking on the finished product. Then I discovered this dough. Easy to make and so much more tasty, these cocktail franks are more addictive than ever.
What do you think? Which team are you rooting for during Sunday's game? And what will you be eating while you watch?
2 1/4 tablespoons canola oil
¾ cup milk
1½ tablespoons sugar
3½ cups unbleached flour
1½ teaspoons instant yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
2 packages of mini hot dogs
2 tablespoons milk
1. Heat oil and milk in small saucepan over medium heat until just warm. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
2. Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs.
3. Mix flour, salt, and yeast in bowl. Slowly add milk mixture. Mix until dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, kneading in extra flour if dough is too sticky. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead to form smooth, round ball.
4. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1-1½ hours.
5. Line baking pan with parchment paper or grease. Roll dough in one direction until dough is ¼-inch thick. Trim to size and place 1 hot dog near a short end, then tightly roll, keeping the tips of the hot dog exposed. Place seam side down on pan. Repeat with remaining dough and hot dogs.
6. Cover and let rise until dough is slightly inflated, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush dough with milk. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
Buffalo wings are one of those foods that I always knew were terrible for me (unlike say, chocolate anything, which I'll gladly eat without much initial guilt). There's the butter in the sauce, the oil in the deep-fried batter, the skin on the chicken, and the mayonnaise in the dip. All that fat makes for a heavy, greasy experience. The good news? The whole process can be successfully lightened up: oven baked tenders (read: no skin and much less oil) in a light panko breading with a blue-cheese yogurt dip. Still spicy and crunchy, any fan of the originals will thank you (I know my boyfriend did).
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Ingredients and Preparation:
For the Hot Sauce:
8 tablespoons Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (such as Frank's)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, and over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then turn off.
For the Blue Cheese Sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Stir together the yogurt, blue cheese, parsley and pepper in a bowl.
2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
For the chicken:
3 lb. skinless, boneless chicken tenderloins
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups low fat buttermilk
6 tablespoons Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (such as Frank's)
3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
6 cups panko crumbs
2 cups of flour
8 teaspoons paprika
1. In a bowl, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Whisk together.
2. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 3 hours or over night.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray an oven-safe wire rack with cooking spray.
4. Combine panko, flour, and paprika in a large bowl.
5. Dredge chicken in the flour and bread crumb mixture. Place chicken tenders on a wire rack. Spray each tender completely with more cooking spray.
6. Bake for about 10 minutes. Turn over and spray other side with cooking spray and bake for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked completely and crispy.
7. Using a pastry brush, brush buffalo sauce on top of each tender and serve.
I've heard a lot of buzz about a new restaurant specializing in meat pies that recently opened in Times Square. While I haven't ventured there yet, in every interview its owners ramble on and on about how thrilled they are to be bringing authentic Australian meat pies to the city. It's all a bit patronizing–this is New York after all, a place not exactly known as a culinary vacuum–but since I hate to miss out on a food phenomenon I dug out a meat pie recipe I already know, a Middle Eastern version laden with the bright flavors of lamb, lemon, and tomato. They're perfect on their own as a snack and with a salad they become a great light dinner. Just a heads-up: they're addictive right out of the oven.
1 pizza dough (my recipe here)
1 pound ground lamb
1 medium onion, chopped very fine
1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lemon juice