Chocolate Pot-de-Crème

Sarah’s Notes: Super easy and tastes and looks as good as the fussy kind. Many thanks to Cara for sharing the recipe.

6 oz. (1c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T Sugar
dash of salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. milk

Place all but mike in blender. Heat milk to boiling (2 mins in microwave) and add to blender.
Blend for one minute. Pour immediately into 6 serving dishes or 4 ceramic ramekins)
Chill well
Serve with whipped cream or crushed nuts

Salmon With Roasted Asparagus and Ginger Soy Mustard Sauce

Sarah’s Notes: A great spring meal. Pretty easy and very pretty.

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1 1 1/2-pound skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut three 1/2-inch-deep slits crosswise in top of salmon (as if dividing into 4 equal pieces but do not cut through). Arrange asparagus in even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and turn to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place salmon atop asparagus; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until salmon is just opaque in center, about 20 minutes.

Transfer asparagus and salmon to platter. Spoon sauce over salmon. Cut into 4 pieces along slits and serve.

Per serving: calories, 336; total fat, 18 g; saturated fat, 3 g; cholesterol, 96 mg

Bruléed Irish Oatmeal

Sarah’s Notes: Served by Lidia as part of Sharry’s wedding festivities

Serves 6
This recipe is adapted from one developed by chef Katy Sparks, of Quilty’s restaurant in New York City. Do not use old-fashioned rolled oats, instant, or quick-cooking oatmeal for this recipe.

1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups Irish, Scottish, or any steel-cut oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
Apple and Pear Chips
1 cup stewed prunes(optional)
Pure maple syrup(optional)
Heavy cream (optional)
1.  Crumble brown sugar onto a baking pan or shallow dish; let dry overnight. Press through sieve or grind in spice grinder. Set aside.

2.  In a large saucepan, bring milk and 3 1/2 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in oatmeal and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 15 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until almost all liquid has been absorbed and oats are al dente, about 25 minutes.

3.  Transfer oatmeal to a 6-cup shallow ovenproof dish with 2-inch sides; sprinkle with dried brown sugar.

4.  Heat broiler, and broil oatmeal until sugar melts and forms a crust, about 2 minutes. Garnish with apple and pear chips, prunes, maple syrup, and cream, if desired.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Sarah’s Notes: This is one of Rachel’s favorites. Does not taste light at all.

From Cooking Light

Processed cheese melts beautifully, giving this soup a smooth texture and mild flavor.

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

CALORIES 203(28% from fat); FAT 6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 15.6g; CHOLESTEROL 24mg; CALCIUM 385mg; SODIUM 897mg; FIBER 2.9g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.7g

Parmesan Risotto

Recipe adapted from “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker’’ by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, Harvard Common Press, 2005.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium-sized minced shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
3 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the shallots until softened, 3 to 4 minutes; do not brown. Add the wine and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the rice and cook, stirring until it turns from translucent to opaque (do not brown), about 2 minutes. Scrape with a heat-proof rubber spatula into the slow cooker. Add the broth and salt. Cover and cook on HIGH until all the liquid is absorbed, but the rice is still moist, 2 to 21/2 hours. The risotto should be only a bit liquidy, and the rice should be al dente, tender with just a touch of firmness.

2. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and pass the remainder for sprinkling. Serve immediately, spooned into bowls. Risotto will keep on the KEEP WARM setting for an hour or so.

Swedish Muesli

Sarah’s Notes: Very nice way to have oatmeal in the summer. Somehow both refreshing and filling. Fresh grapes or berries are also nice in this, added just before serving.

1/2c slivered almonds (toasted at 350 for 8-12 mins, cool 20 mins)
2 apples, coarsely grated
1.5 c rolled oats (not instant)
1c skim milk
1/2c yogurt (plain, non-fat is best for you)
1/2c raisins
1/4c sugar (or 12 packets Splenda)

serves 4-6

Combine and chill for 8+hours.

Sarah’s House Mojitos

Sarah’s Notes: When the mint was taking over the back yard, we had a Mojito making contest to determine the best recipe. This was by far the winner and was also the most labor intensive. I strongly recommend Ten Cane Rum rather than Bacardi in any form. The new reigning favorite, though, was given to me by Dan Maxfield (see elsewhere on this site)

3 c. packed fresh mint

9 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

6 cups club soda
6 cups crushed ice
6 lime wedges

Reserve 6 mint leaves for garnish. Place remaining mint leaves in medium bowl. Add sugar and mash with a wooden spoon until mint is aromatic and oils are released. Add rum and lime juice and stir until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture into pitcher. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead, refrigerate)

Add club soda to pitcher, gently stir. Fill each of 6 glasses with 1c. crushed ice. Pour Mojito over and garnish each glass with 1 mint leaf and 1 lime wedge.


Sarah’s Notes: I’ve done this in the foil packets on the grill or in the fire at Minocqua. Crowd pleaser and very light.
Fish dish: Tori Amos’s favorite recipe

Chef Duncan Pickford shares his recipe for his client’s preferred healthy dinner.

1-inch cube fresh gingerroot, finely chopped or grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 green onions (green part only), finely chopped
Fresh chile to taste
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp grapeseed (or safflower) oil
Dash of toasted sesame oil
Dash of soy sauce
Dash of fish sauce
4 tsp dark maple syrup

4 fillets (4 oz. each) fresh tilapia (or other firm-fleshed whitefish)
4 large banana leaves (or unbleached parchment paper or foil)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a fillet on each banana leaf and divide topping evenly among them, spreading it over the top. Fold each banana leaf over to form a packet around each fillet and seal the edge of each packet with a small piece of aluminum foil, crimping it tightly. Place on a baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 213 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 7 g carbohydrates, 22 g protein, trace fiber
Makes 4 servings.

Nan Bauer’s Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup

9 1 1/3 cup servings

Bake or microwave 2 large sweet potatoes. Take out the pulp and mash real good with a fork (it can be kinda stringy if you don’t smash it down).

Sauté a diced red onion in some oil or butter (or non-stick spray if you’re being good).

Add the sweet potatoes and a 14 oz. can of pumpkin puree (make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling, which has all sorts of weird stuff added).

Whisk in 8 cups of broth; let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Whisk in 1 c peanut butter – it has to be the cheap hydrogenated kind, not the healthy kind that separates – and 2 T grainy mustard (any mustard except for the bright yellow stuff is fine). Sprinkle in some nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste. (I usually salt the onions as it makes them brown a little nicer, but you could probably make this with no salt at all).

Scallions make a nice garnish.

Thickens seriously on reheating. Freezes swell.

Jean’s Red Lentil Soup

Serves 6

Heat in a large heavy soup pot over high heat:
1 Tbls Ghee or peanut oil
2 Tbls black mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
Cover and let sizzle until mustard seeds pop. (15-30 seconds).  Immediately turn off the heat and let sit, covered, until the seeds stop popping, about 1 minute.

Stir in:
2 c chopped onion
2 Tbls freshly minced ginger
¼-½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Sauté over medium high heat for 1 minute.

2 c water
2 c soymilk
1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium low and stir in:
1 ¼ c red lentils
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick pieces
1/3 c unsweetened grated dried coconut
Cover and cook at a gentle boil for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add:
1 tsp salt
Continue cooking about 15 minutes more, until lentils have melted.  If the soup is too thick, thin with additional soymilk.

318 calories per serving
11g Fat
17g Protein
41g Carb
11g Fiber
6,724 mg sodium

2 Protein, 1 carb, 2 fat