Sunday, July 13, 2014

Frijoles de la Olla

This recipe comes from Saveur. I love good beans. I have always wondered how good Mexican restaurants get their frijoles to be soft but not too soft and flavorful but not overwhelming. This recipe does the trick. I imagine adding some pork - a good, fat-streaked piece of pancetta or prosciutto end would be a nice addition too.



2 cups dried pinto beans
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 whole jalapeño, plus ½ stemmed, seeded, minced
½ small yellow onion, plus ¼ minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup minced cilantro
1 tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
Crumbled cotija cheese and flour tortillas, for serving


Bring beans, garlic, whole jalapeño, ½ whole onion, and 8 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, season with salt and pepper, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until beans are just tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Meanwhile, make pico de gallo by stirring remaining jalapeño and onion with cilantro and tomato in a small bowl until combined. Ladle beans into serving bowls, and top with pico de gallo and cotija. Serve with warm tortillas.

Ginger Grilled Chicken

This recipe comes from Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey via Saveur. It's a great grilled chicken. I was not able to find a 3 lb. chicken, so I used a 5 lb. chicken and just added more ginger. I grated the ginger so it was more pulpy which added some liquid to the marinade. 


1 (2½–3-lb.) chicken, halved, backbone removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (1") piece ginger, peeled and minced
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted


1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir lemon juice, oil, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and ginger in a bowl; add chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 2–4 hours.

2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high.) Grill chicken, turning as needed, until slightly charred and cooked through, about 35 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a thigh reads 165°. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with melted butter.

Tony's Potato Salad

This is my own recipe. :)

5 medium Red potatoes - cut into pieces
1/4 small onion finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped
basil chopped
6 green onion greens chopped
Kosher Salt
8 oz. non-fat plain greek yogurt
Feta cheese (greek style in brine cut into small cubes 12-16) or crumbles if preferred
Fresh Italian parsely - finely chopped ~ 1/4 cup
2 t white wine vinegar

Boil potatoes till soft then throw in a bowl of ice to cool them down quickly. Cut into pieces.

Mix everything together, add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle paprika over top, keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Green Minestrone

This recipe comes from Alison Roman via Bon Appetit. This is a great, fresh soup. Hearty, tasty and fully in the tradition of the minestrone. The DeLallo orzo is a great gluten-free substitute for the pasta. 


6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
½ small fennel bulb, finely chopped
½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 small carrots, peeled, thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
1 cup fresh shelled peas or fava beans (from about 1 lb. pods) or frozen
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fregola, ditalini, or other tiny pasta
1½ cups (lightly packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 red pearl onions or ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
Shaved Parmesan (for serving)


Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Cook leek, fennel, yellow onion, and celery, stirring occasionally, until softened but not taking on any color, about 5 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are just tender, 10–15 minutes.

Add carrots and peas and simmer until carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and add pasta to soup.

While pasta is cooking, process parsley and remaining 4 Tbsp. oil in a food processor to a coarse paste, transfer to a small bowl, and mix in shallot. Season pesto with salt and pepper. Serve soup topped with pesto, pearl onions, and Parmesan.

Polenta with Tomatoes

This recipe comes from Melissa Rubel Jacobson via Food and Wine. There is a restaurant in Venice Beach called Figtree's Cafe and they used to make a wonderful polenta dish with black beans and feta. It was awesome. It was the only thing I would order because I loved it so much. This polenta reminded me of that. The tomatoes are really good too, but the fresh polenta is the star of the show. I would recommend making more tomatoes because this recipe makes a lot of polenta.

8 1/2 cups water
6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound polenta (2 3/4 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes on the vine
8 thyme sprigs
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, bring the water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook over low heat, whisking, until thick, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Scrape the polenta into the baking dish and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently toss the tomatoes with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet and scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to burst; discard the thyme.

Meanwhile, turn the polenta out onto a work surface and trim 1/2 inch off all sides. Cut the polenta into 8 rectangles. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Brush both sides of the polenta with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt. Working in 2 batches, cook the polenta over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the polenta to plates and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Arrange the roasted tomatoes over the polenta and serve.

Chickpea, Barley, and Feta Salad

This recipe comes from Dawn Perry via Bon Appetit. To make this gluten free, I used DeLallo gluten-free orzo. It's fantastic and this recipe is just great. My wife loved it. I loved it. I double up the recipe so I can use a full package of orzo. Personally, I think the dill is optional.

8 oz. green beans, halved crosswise
Kosher salt
1 cup pearled, hulled, or hull-less barley
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
4 oz. feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a sieve or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water.
Return water to a boil, add barley, and simmer until tender (refer to packaging for timing); drain. Let cool on a baking sheet.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook sunflower seeds, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; let cool.

Toss green beans, barley, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, feta, dill, lemon juice, and vinaigrette in a large bowl.

Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

This recipe comes from Dawn Perry via Bon Appetit. It goes really well with the Chickpea, Barley, and Feta Salad.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toast coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then chop. Whisk with oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.