Main Course

  • Chiptole Chicken Corn Tacos with Peach & Plum Salsa

    Who doesn't love the idea of creating two meals from one? This recipe was one of those spontaneous creations made out of sheer hunger and leftovers in the refrigerator, but I would make it again from scratch in a minute. INGREDIENTS: 1 cup Grilled Chipotle Chicken (or pork) 1 cup white or brown rice, cooked 1 roasted or steamed ear of corn on the cob 1 ripe peach 1 ripe plum 1 sprig mint 1/2 cup grape or cherry juice 6 Tortillas In a shallow saucepan, warm the juice over medium heat until it boils. Reduce the liquid by half, until it has a thick but not too syrupy texture.  Remove from the heat to cool. Remove the pit from the peach and plum and cut into 1/4 inch dice.  Remove the corn from the cob with a sharp knife. Place all the ingredients into a small bowl.  Chop the mint and add to the bowl with the reduced syrup.  Stir until combined and let sit until ready to use. Heat the tortillas in the 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or warm over an open flame on the stove top just until slightly charred on each side.  To assemble the tacos, place the chicken on the taco and layer with the rice and salsa. * When serving guests for entertaining,  keep the tortillas warm in a cloth napkin lined container and serve all of the condiments in separate bowls.  

  • Quinoa & Kale Cakes with Sweet Pepper Pesto

    www.bellacucina.com

    I hate to waste anything.  so, when I had a handful of kale stems left over, I just had to come up with a good way to use them.  I think this recipe might be a good start.

     

    Kale & Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Pepper Pesto

    4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 cup onion, chopped

    1 cup kale leaves and/or stems

    1 clove garlic, chopped

    1/2 tsp. salt

    1/8 tsp. pepper

    1 cup cooked quinoa

    ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs

    2 TBSP. grated fontina or Parmesan cheese

    1 large egg

    ½ cup Sweet Pepper Pesto

    In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil over medium low heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.   Add the kale, garlic, salt and pepper to the onions and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the kale stems are tender. Remove  pan from the heat and place the kale mixture in a mixing bowl.  Add the cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese and egg. Mix until well combined. Form patties in the palm of your hand.  In the same sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Cook a few quinoa patties on each side until lightly golden brown.  Serve warm with warm sweet pepper pesto sauce and a garnish of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6 as an appetizer   *vegan version: omit cheese and substitute 2 Tbsp. olive oil for egg.   recipe adapted from cherylstyle.com

  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Lime Blossom Honey Dipping Sauce

    Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Lime Blossom Honey
     Dipping Sauce 
    This is  quick an easy recipe can be served as both appetizer and entree.
    It's the perfect summer dish as a refreshingly light dish.
    12-16 shrimp
    zest and juice of one lime
    1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 Tablespoons Lime Blossom Honey
    Soak 8 inch wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes.
    This will prevent the wood from burning on the fire.
    Remove the shells from the shrimp, leaving on only the tail.
    Starting at the tail side first, thread the pointed end of the skewer through the middle of the shrimp until you have skewered the entire shrimp. the end of the shrimp should be at the edge of the flat end of the skewer, without any edges showing.  Continue until you have skewered all of the shrimp.
    Refrigerate until ready to toss with sauce and grill.
    To make the marinade and dipping sauce: 
    In a medium bowl, add the lime zest and juice, vinegar, salt and honey. Whisk until smooth.
    Divide the mixture in half. Toss the skewered shrimp with one part of the sauce just before cooking.  Let the shrimp marinate with the sauce for about 15-20 minutes.  Use the remaining sauce to serve with the grilled shrimp. Serve the shrimp warm or at room temperature.
    Serves 6- 8 as an appetizer
    or
    4 as a main course. *
    *Serve with a gorgeous green jade pearl bamboo rice from our friends at Lotus Foods. 

    Buon appetito!copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

  • Tempting & Simple: Roasted Sweet Balsamic Peppers with Goat Cheese

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    Buon appetito!copyright 2012 Alisa Barry

  • Oxtail Soup

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    One of my most favorite comfort foods in fall was my mom's oxtail soup.  Feeding a family of nine, she did whatever she could to cook on a budget and still feed us well.  Back then, oxtails were the poor man's meat. Today, they are an expensive treat. And well worth the money.

    Rich, dark veal stock or beef broth makes this hearty soup simply delicious without any embellishment, but you can also add carrots, celery and onion as a flavorful base.  Mushrooms would also be a nice addition. Toss in a small handful of grains, such as farro,  or whip up a batch of home-made dumpling dough that will get dolloped on top, steaming until puffed up and ready from the steam of the broth.

    I don't have my mom's recipe, but I winged it pretty well.
    Here's my version of this fall comfort food feast:

    Oxtail Soup

    1 pound oxtails 
    2 Tablespoons olive oil 
    4 cups veal stock or beef broth 
    pinch of Porcini & Parsley savory salt 
    In a large cassarole dish  or saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
    Place the oxtails in the pan and sear on all sides until the meat is browned and caramelized.
    Add the stock or broth and cook, covered, until the meat is tender and the broth is 
    reduced, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  The meat should fall off the bones and the broth should be infused with the flavor of the meat. 

    Buon appetito!copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

  • Alfresco Pizza Party

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    Hard to believe it's the end of November and I'm cooking out of doors alfresco with friends! Even for northern California it's unseasonally warm for almost winter time, so we took full advantage of it.  
    My friend Barbara is an amazing cook {and accomplished artist} so spending an afternoon at her house watching her create a fabulous feast from her garden was like heaven on a plate. 
    We were welcomed with roasted olives perfumed with lemon oil and a hint of picante peperoncini. Salumi and cheese whet the appetite while Barbara rolled out the pizza dough, readying it for the 500 degree oven.  Caramelized shallots, fresh heirloom sweet 100's {or sweet million as she calls them} and fresh milk mozzarella melted into the crispy crust. Freshly picked arugula leaves drizzled with oil gave the pizza a nice bright finish.  And of course, prosecco and red wine took us merrily, merrily, merrily from antipasti to dolci dessert. 
    Good food is good, but shared with friends in the spirit of love and generosity
    makes it something sublime. 

    Buon appetito!copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

  • Baked Penne with Farmhouse Sugo

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    Baked Penne Pasta with Farmhouse Sugo
    8 serves
    2c whole milk
    4T unsalted butter
    3T AP flour
    1 1/4c Parmesano-Reggiano
    1 T kosher salt
    pinch nutmeg
    1 # pene pasta, cooked al dente
    1 ea jar Bella Cucina Farmhouse Sugo Pasta Sauce
    8 oz mozzarella, cut into 1/2in cubes
    Preheat oven to 350°F
    Warm milk over low heat.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted.  Whisk in flour until there are no longer any lumps.  Continue to whisk as the flour cooks for 4 minutes.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the roux, whisking all the while. Cook The Béchamel, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and is smooth.  Whisk in 1/2c parmesaeno, 1T salt, and nutmeg.  Then stir in the sugo pasta sauce. 
    In a large bowl combine the pasta, sauce, mozzarella, and 1/2c parmaseno.  Transfer pasta to an oiled oven safe casserole dish and top with 1/4c parmesaeno.  Bake for 40 minutes or until the top of the pasta is golden brown and bubbly around the edges.

    Buon appetito! copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

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