Porcini-Rubbed Turbot with Tarragon

This dried mushroom rub works well not only on fish, but chicken, pork and even seared scallops or firm tofu. Simply a mixture of finely ground dried mushrooms, a touch of salt and a touch of pepper– just a little goes a long way on whatever protein you choose to cook; simply rub a small amount onto your protein and bake or sear away.  For this flaky white fish called Turbot (a wild Alaskan fish similar to halibut in texture) I added a touch of chopped, fresh tarragon as well as a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the umami-flavored dish.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

‘Iceberg Salad with Italian Dressing’

Recipe Courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine

Iceberg lettuce doesn’t have the best of reputations.  Most people associate its crunchy texture and cheaper price with bad salad bar experiences and bland school lunches.  But I guarantee that a traditional wedge salad, a tasty chopped salad, or a crisp Italian salad like this one will forever change your mind about iceberg.  Here, crunchy shreds of iceberg lettuce are served with sliced red onion, mozzarella and provolone cheeses and pickled pepperoncini.  I added some ripe wedges of tomato to the salad as well, which goes perfectly with the easy homemade Italian dressing. The dressing gets its tang from white wine vinegar and a touch of sugar, along with oregano and a creamy touch of mayonnaise.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/iceberg-salad-with-italian-dressing)

‘Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms, Fennel, and Blue Cheese’

Recipe Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

Quick-cooking and elegant, this pork tenderloin recipe could work for a dinner party or special occasion, but also works well on a regular weeknight for a casual dinner.  Searing the seasoned pork tenderloin first helps the meat achieve a lovely browned crust, but also reduces the cooking time in the oven.

Once the pork is in the oven, the same pan is used to saute a decadent combination of fennel, mushrooms, garlic and peppery arugula.  And that’s not all! The warm fennel and mushroom saute is served with  topping of crumbled blue cheese for a rich, umami finish.  If you wanted to change things up a bit, you could even serve the pork tenderloin with a raw salad of the same side dish ingredients; just slice the fennel thinly and toss together with the mushrooms, blue cheese, greens, cheese and a light lemon vinaigrette.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/pork-tenderloin-mushrooms-fennel-blue-cheese)

Saffron Rice with Green Peas, Pine Nuts & Tarragon

With end of season heirloom tomatoes on hand both from our garden and our local CSA, I have had my thinking cap on this week on original ways to use them.  A batch of homemade tomato sauce is always a good choice, a classic caprese salad is a must, and of course sliced right onto a turkey sandwich at lunch.  For dinner last night, I decided to stuff a couple of the ripe tomatoes with a yummy saffron rice studded with sweet green peas, fresh tarragon and buttery pine nuts.  The tomatoes make for a nice color compliment in the dishes overall presentation and their sweet burst of flavor when baked for a bit is a lovely contrast in texture to the whole dish as well.  This rice dish would also be nice served on its own, or even in zucchini boats or halved, baked sweet bell peppers.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

‘Lentil Salad with Prosciutto’

Recipe Courtesy of www.WilliamsSonoma.com

A wonderful resource for recipes of every type is Williams Sonoma The established all-things-cooking brick and mortar store that we all love has a collection of cookbooks available, and a superb website.  Even their catalog these days has recipes scattered throughout!  This recipe for a warm lentil salad is unique in that it is served with thinly sliced prosciutto for a salty addition, as well as sliced, creamy (and dreamy) fresh mozzarella cheese.  I added in cooked carrots, garlic and tomatoes to the warm lentils, which paired nicely with the recommended scattering of fresh basil and a drizzle of red wine vinegar.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: https://blog.williams-sonoma.com/lentil-salad-with-mozzarella-prosciutto/)

‘Seared Scallops with Celery & Golden Raisins’

Recipe Courtesy of www.MarthaStewart.com

When cooking something extremely simple like seared scallops, the best accompaniments to the scallops need not be complicated. Take this easy and fresh recipe from MarthaStewart.com for example: seared jumbo sea scallops served over a crunchy and flavor-filled salad of raw celery, fresh herbs, golden raisins and a light lemon-Dijon vinaigrette.  The decadent, tender texture of the scallops pairs wonderfully with a crisp, raw salad like this one.  A nice addition to the salad could also be diced, sweet apples and even a few walnuts or pine nuts.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: https://www.marthastewart.com/1511466/seared-scallops-celery-and-golden-raisin-salad)

‘Tarragon Chicken’

Recipe Courtesy of EatingWell.com

Recipe Courtesy of EatingWell.com

One of my favorite ways to use fresh tarragon is in a creamy sauce like this one.  This type of sauce is made in a traditional way by first deglazing the pan you use to sear the chicken itself.  You deglaze in stock and wine to scrape up any of the yummy brown bits from the pan, then add in chopped shallots, and finally, you enrich the sauce with mustard, fresh tarragon and a bit of low-fat sour cream.  Lovely over these seared chicken breasts, but I imagine this sauce would be very tasty over seared scallops as well.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252589/tarragon-chicken/)

‘Mississippi Mud Pie’

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart.com

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart.com

Calling all chocolate lovers!  This Southern-inspired chocolate cream pie is made that much more decadent with the inclusion of ground pecans in the chocolate cookie crust, as well as toasted pecans on top of the pie itself.  The filling is a rich homemade chocolate pudding and the topping?  Lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream.  The key to this pie is to leave it in the fridge overnight, so that the filling sets nicely and makes the pie easy to cut into slices.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.marthastewart.com/336789/mississippi-mud-pie)

Potato, Mushroom & Prosciutto Pizza with Pesto


A pizza with potatoes as a topping might sound strange, but don’t knock it til you try it.  Thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes are first roasted until tender, then top a whole wheat pizza crust slathered with your favorite pesto sauce.  Thinly sliced prosciutto, sliced mushrooms and sweet peppers also adorn this delightful pizza; colorful and very flavorful, I decided to top this gourmet homemade pizza with some grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of creamy goat cheese crumbles.

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‘Baked Beef Meatballs with Sweet Spices’

Recipe Courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine

These unique beef meatballs are flavored with a touch of white miso paste, Panko breadcrumbs, Pecorino cheese and garam masala.  Garam masala is a mixture of ground spices popular in South Asian cultures–a blend that is both warming and a touch sweet.  The combination of meatball ingredients make for a tender meatball, and the addition of garlic and sweet dried currants makes for a sweet yet salty combo that is irresistible when paired with a quick saute of Lacinato kale, radishes and a squeeze of lemon juice,

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/baked-beef-meatballs)