Sunday Sauce Again

I have a dear friend in the hospital with baby number two and I promised to make this amazing Sunday Sauce from Wegman’s for her and her family to have when she comes home.  It’s a hearty and nutritious sauce that gets its flavor from seared meats, sauteed garlic and onions and 5 hours of slow simmering.  I made good on my promise today and took some pictures along the way.  The recipe at the bottom makes enough sauce to feed an army, so I decided to cut it in half to make it a more manageable delivery for my friend.  There’s still plenty for several meals, however, and the good news is, it’s excellent even after freezing.

1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 pkg (about 1 1/2 lbs) boneless country spare ribs
6 links Italian Classics Hot Italian Pork Sausage
2 pkgs (8 oz each) Food You Feel Good About Cleaned & Cut Chopped Onions (4 cups)
8 Tbsp (20 cloves) minced Food You Feel Good About Peeled Garlic
2 cans (6 oz each) Tomato Paste
4 cups water
6 cans (28 oz each) Italian Classics Coarse Ground Tomatoes
4 Tbsp dried basil
14 Homemade Meatballs (see related recipe), cooked
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in large braising pan on MEDIUM-HIGH; add ribs and sausage. Cook, turning, 2-5 min, until meats are browned on all sides. Transfer meats to stockpot; set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to LOW. Add onions and garlic to braising pan; cook, stirring, 10 min, until veggies are translucent.
  3. Raise heat to MEDIUM; add tomato paste. Cook, stirring, 3-4 min, until paste just begins to brown. Add water, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan. Bring to simmer.
  4. Transfer tomato paste/water mixture to stockpot. Stir in canned tomatoes and basil. Bring to simmer on MEDIUM. Reduce heat to LOW. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 hours. Add cooked meatballs. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.
  5. Carefully transfer meats to clean serving platter; cut meats into manageable pieces. Transfer sauce to serving bowl.
Chef Tip(s):
To get every bit of goodness from cans of tomato and tomato paste, rinse them with water and add that liquid to your sauce.

Check out my Sunday Sauce post from July 7, 2011

Clam, Chard, and Bacon Pizza

We made this delicious pizza recently and I’m quite pleased to see that it looks very much like the photo in bon apppetit where we got the recipe.  This is my photo below.  Click here to see theirs.  When you make this dish, definitely use the cast iron skillet preparation for the most amazing crust you can imagine!


  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 1 1-pound store-bought pizza dough
  • 1 10-ounce can whole baby clams
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon (2 ounces), cut into 1″-wide pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, center stalks removed, leaves torn
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan


  • Preheat oven to 500°. Fill a large bowl with boiling water. Place a baking sheet over; dust with flour. Place dough on baking sheet; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes to soften. Flip dough; cover and let sit 10 minutes longer.
  • Meanwhile, drain clams, reserving liquid. Cook bacon in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4–5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add garlic and shallot to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in chard and 1/2 cup reserved clam liquid and cook, stirring, until chard is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in butter, vinegar, and as many clams as you’d like. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.
  • Wipe out skillet and heat over medium-high heat until very hot. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12″ round. Sprinkle skillet with cornmeal and transfer dough to skillet. Brush top of dough with oil. Cook, shaking pan occasionally and turning pan to avoid hot spots, until bottom of dough is golden and crispy, 6–8 minutes.
  • Spread chard mixture over dough. Bake until crust is golden and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Scatter bacon and cheese over; cook just until cheese is melted, 2–3 minutes longer.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of my favorite times of year when it comes to seasonal cooking, and Native Offerings Farm has hooked us up in the squash department.  I definitely see more of this dish in our Thanksgiving Day future.

This recipe is from the NY Times and it goes really well with a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich.


  • 4 pounds butternut squash
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped red onion for garnish
  • Chervil leaves for garnish


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using a large, heavy knife, split the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and discard them. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and roast until very tender, about 1 hour. Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh; set aside, discarding the skin.
In a large pot set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion just turns golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the stock and squash and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return it to the pot. Stir in the milk and cream and reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with red onion and chervil.
4 to 6 servings

Avocado & Lime Coleslaw – Recipe

I made this coleslaw to go along side a Mexican pork dish with a mole sauce and it was a lovely accompaniment.  I used a whole head of cabbage from the share, so there were plenty of leftovers.  They kept very well and I was able to serve them to guests as an horesdorve the next night too.  The avocado gives the dish a delightfully creamy texture, the cilantro and lime really compliment the zingy cabbage flavor and the red onion adds just the right accent for a finishing touch.

Avocado & Lime Coleslaw <CLICK

  • 4 cups chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, minced (if desired)
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • water to thin dressing as needed
  • salt, pepper

Combine cabbage, red onion and 1 Tbsp of minced cilantro. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add water as needed. Toss with cabbage mixture with dressing and let refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Zucchini Muffins – Recipe

I made these delicious zucchini muffins for a cookout at my friend Lisa’s house today.  This recipe is so good it almost makes me want MORE zucchinis.  Almost.  I definitely recommend adding the raisins and walnuts like the recipe suggests. Along with the cinnamon and nutmeg, they really enhance this sweet, hearty treat.

Zucchini Muffins Recipe <CLICK

3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)


You don’t need a mixer for this recipe.

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the zucchini mixture and mix in. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.

2 Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick or a thin bamboo skewer to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.

Note, if you are including walnuts and dried fruit, you will likely have more batter than is needed for 12 muffins.

Tex-Mex Chicken – Recipe

I wanted to use the corn from my CSA, so I revisited this household favorite.  This is an excellent dish, packed with flavor and spice.  You can serve it right on the plate with rice pilaf or inside a warm tortilla.   The recipe suggests removing the seeds from the jalapenos, but I say DON’T.  Your dish will be spicy, but really good!  Be brave.  (Actually it’s not THAT hot)

Tex-Mex Chicken with Chiles and Cheese <CLICK

1-1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 medium jalapeño, seeded if desired and thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2–3 medium limes, 1 or 2 juiced to yield 3 Tbs. and 1 cut into wedges
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar

Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Toss the chicken with the chili powder, cumin, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Lightly dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off any excess.

Melt 2-1/2 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter, the corn, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until the corn begins to brown lightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken, lime juice, oregano, and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the Cheddar and transfer the skillet to the broiler. Broil until the cheese melts and browns on top, about 3 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

Quinoa and Green Bean Salad – Recipe

I had two weeks worth of green beans to use so I decided to make a cold salad with some of them.  I’ve been meaning to find a good Quinoa recipe too and this seemed like the perfect time.  I turned to which sent me to this recipe and it turned out great.  It’s a surprisingly elegant salad with lots of refreshing flavor and it’s easy to make.

Quinoa and Green Bean Salad <CLICK

1 1/2 cups green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups cooked quinoa (just follow the instructions on the box)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh mint, choppd
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and black pepper, to taste (it needs a good amount of salt)

Cook the green beans in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Rinse under cold water, drain and pat dry. Combine with the quinoa, pecans, parsley, scallions, and mint in a large bowl.
Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss to blend. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Goat Cheese with Frisee – Recipe

I finally got around to making the Baked Goat Cheese and Frisee dish I’ve had my eye on ever since frisee started appearing as an option on our Thursday pick ups.  I love the combination of the two flavors – very decadent. And I reminisced about a similar dish I experienced back in my art school days at a restaurant called the Stolen Grill in Kansas City, MO – which I’m sure not longer exists.  But Alas, although my results were pretty good, they just did not measure up to my cravings.  I’ll have to keep working on it.  If anyone out there has a good recipe, please send it my way.

Baked Goat Cheese With Frisee Salad <CLICK



  • 1 bunch fresh thyme or rosemary – leaves only
  • 3/4 cup  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces goat cheese (the fresher the better)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or rosemary for breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt


  • 1 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons leftover olive oil marinade
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups frisée
  1. Mix thyme, black pepper and olive oil in a deep dish, large enough to hold goat cheese rounds in 1 layer.
  2. Cut cheese into disks about 3/4-inch thick, add to the dish.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Turn cheese over and marinate for at least 12 more hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  5. Mix bread crumbs with a pinch of sea salt and olive oil.
  6. Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring a few times during baking. Once toasted, let cool and mix in chopped fresh thyme or parsley.
  7. Remove the goat cheese rounds from the oil and let the excess drip off briefly.
  8. Dredge the cheese in the toasted breadcrumb mixture until they’re completely coated. Bake on a cookie sheet or in a gratin dish for 5 to 8 minutes, or until warmed through and soft when you press gently in the center. Don’t over-bake them or they will start drying out.
  9. Remove the pan from oven and use a spatula to lift the cheese rounds.
  10. Toss the frisée with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Evenly divide the salad and the cheese among 4 dinner plates. Serve warm with garlic toasts.

Greek Tonight: Recipes

Zucchini Pancakes, Tzatziki, and Greek Style Fish

I wanted to use up the zucchini and some of the green peppers from my CSA share so I hunted around for some recipes and found this really great one for the zucchinis: pancakes from  Next time I’ll make them a little smaller so they’re crisper in the middle.  They were really tasty though, so I’ll definitely be making them again.  I have a feeling I’ll be seeing a lot of zucchinis in the near future!

I also made my own Tzatziki to go with the Zucchini Pancakes, which is where the green peppers went.  Three cups of tzatziki sounded like a lot so I halved the ingredients which I adapted from a classic recipe.

And finally as a main dish, I decided on sea food.  I found a great recipe on for a Greek style preparation and I chose Alaskan Halibut.  I used a little less fish than the recipe calls for and therefore less of everything else as well, and I elected to skip the tomatoes all together simply as a matter of personal taste.

The final presentation of all the fixings on the dinner plate didn’t quite turn out as I’d envisioned, a problem that making the pancakes a little smaller should help.

Zucchini Pancakes


serves 2 to 3, active time 20 minutes, total time 50 minutes

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed


  1. Shred the zucchini and onion on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor with the shredding disk. Place the shredded vegetables in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to combine. Let drain for 30 minutes, then pick up by the handful and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place on a kitchen towel or double layer of paper towels.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, garlic, cheese, herbs, lemon zest, and pepper. Beat well with a fork. Add the drained zucchini mixture and mix together. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top and mix with a fork just until well combined.

  3. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy pan. When the oil is hot, drop the batter into the pan by heaping tablespoonful. Cook for about three minutes on the first side, until nicely browned. Flip and cook for about two minutes more. Place the cooked pancakes on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining oil and batter. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, sour cream, tzatziki or applesauce.



  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups of Greek or strained yogurt made at home
  • 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of dill
  • Green pepper-after taste
  • Salt-after taste


  1. Clean the skin of the cucumber and then remove the seeds from the cucumber because if you chop it with seeds inside it will have a bigger quantity of water and we don`t want that to happen because we want a creamy tzatziki.
  2. After you have removed the seeds, chop the cucumber in small pieces or chop it with a mice or blender. Drain carefully the cucumber after you chopped it.
  3. Crush the garlic in very small pieces. You will need 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic.
  4. Chop the dill in very small pieces.
  5. In a bowl mix the yogurt with the chopped cucumber, the crushed garlic and the dill and then add the lemon juice and the olive oil. Then put some green pepper and salt after taste.
  6. You will obtain 3 cups of tzatziki sauce.
  7. Put the tzatziki sauce in the refrigerator for at least 1hour
  8. Don`t forget tzatziki sauce is always served cold.

Greek Style Fish


  • 2 lbs. fish fillets
    1 red onion, thinly sliced
    4 tbsp. lemon juice
    2 tsp. oregano
    4 tbsp. minced parsley
    1 lg. tomato, chopped
    1/2 c. feta cheese


Place fish in lightly oiled baking dish. Cover with onions. Sprinkle on lemon juice and oregano. Mix together parsley and tomatoes and spread over fish. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 5.

Kashmiri Turnips – Recipe

This turnip recipe is simple and fast and goes quite well with the Chicken dish from the previous post.  I would say, however, that we really needed rice to sop up the delicious cream sauce from that dish, so maybe the turnips should have gone on the side, instead of the rice.  Live and learn. 🙂

Serves 4

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves thumb-nail sized piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 smallish turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger past
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp pure red chile powder
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • large handful of cilantro leaves chopped

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan.  Add the asafoetida, cumin, cloves and cinnamon.  Once the cumin starts to color, add the turnips and cook until starting to brown on the edges or sides, around 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the remaining spices, salt ad sugar, give the pan a stir and add enough water to come nearly halfway up the turnips.  Bring to the boil, then cover and cook over a low heat until the turnips are tender, around 6-8 minutes or until the point of a knife goes through them.  Do not overcook as they will start to break down.  Uncover and dry off any excess water, if there is any.

Taste and adjust the salt and sugar, stir in the fresh cilantro and serve.

Adapted from “Anjum’s New Indian,” by Anjum Anand (Wiley, 2010).