Egg Salad, Jenni Fleetwood Style

Yield: Serves 4-6

Prep time: 3-4 minutes

Total: 15-16 minutes (including hard boiling the eggs)

Ingredients

8-10 eggs

6-8 scallions and/or 1 yellow onion, very finely chopped, plus extra to garnish

4-6 tablespoons (60-90 ml) mayonnaise, or aioli if you have it

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh parsley, chopped

salt and ground black pepper

mild French mustard, to taste (optional)

Instructions

1. Hard boil the eggs: put them in a large pan and cover them with cold water.  Heat the water.  When the water boils, reduce the heat and simmer the eggs for 10 minutes.  Stir the eggs twice so they cook evenly.

2. Drain the eggs, run them under cold water (to prevent the yolk from turning greenish), remove the shells, dry the eggs, and chop roughly into large squares.

3. Put the chopped eggs in a large bowl.  Add the onions, salt, and pepper and ix well.  Add enough mayonnaise to bind the mixture together.

4. Stir in the mustard (if using) and chopped parsley.

5. If you have time, chill the mixture before serving, as is or on toast.

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Bildner’s Baked Chicken with Nectarines

I love the roasted citrus flavor of Clementine-Fennel chicken, but don’t always have fennel on hand or the time to make it.  This more streamlined recipe from Bildner and Son’s Cookbook gets a similar sweet-and-savory effect from nectarines, chicken stock, onions and garlic, and takes a little over 30 minutes to make.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: A little over 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 boneless half chicken breasts
  • 1 large nectarine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: To achieve a similar effect to the clementine-fennel chicken, add a little mustard and a little brown sugar.  I’d start with about a teaspoon of each, and add more to taste.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut onion into 1/3 in. slices. Mince garlic cloves.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and saute til translucent, about 3-5 mins.
  4. Add garlic & cook, stirring often, 12 mins more.
  5. Arrange onions & garlic in a 8×8″ or 7×11″ baking dish. Place chicken breasts on top of the onion-garlic layer.
  6. Halve, pit, and slice nectarine. Arrange the slices on top of the chicken.
  7. Pour stock over all, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  If you’re adding mustard and brown sugar, add at this point.
  8. Cover dish with foil & bake 15-20 mins.
  9. Serve with onions & juices from the baking dish.

In looking for a picture of baked nectarine chicken, I didn’t find an appropriate picture but I did find some tasty-looking nectarine and chicken recipes!  More to come!

Avocado Soup

I love avocado.  I love it in guacamole, I love it sliced and served with Mexican food; I even like eating it right out of the shell as a snack.  But I’ve never tried avocado soup. This will change soon, as I recently discovered a recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks, Cooking with Just Four Ingredients.

Avocado soup(The picture actually comes from a different, somewhat more complicated recipe from sheknows.com).

Not only does it have only four ingredients, but it only has a few steps.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados

1 1/4 cups sour cream

4 cups chicken broth

small bunch fresh cilantro

Garnish: lime juice, salsa

Instructions

  1. Cut avocados in half, peel and pit them. Chop fruit coarsely & put in food processor with 3-4 tbsp sour cream. Process til smooth.
  2. Heat chicken stock in a pan. When it’s hot but below simmering point, stir in the rest of the cream with salt to taste.
  3. Gradually stir avocado mix into hot broth. Heat gently but don’t let mixture approach boiling point.
  4. Chop cilantro. Ladle soup into heated bowls & sprinkle with chopped cilantro & black pepper. Serve immediately.

Picadillo (Spanish Ground Beef Hash)

My stepmother made this meat hash for me once and I fell in love.  Sauteed garlic, onions and peppers, tomato sauce, and capers add lots of flavor.  This tastes great with rice or flatbread, and the leftovers would probably make a nice sandwich.

It’s not a particularly quick recipe–the cooking time alone takes about 40 minutes–but it would be doable on a weekend.

It looks something like this:

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup green peppers, chopped

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup seedless raisins (if you like them.  Personally, I don’t, and will probably leave them out).

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup capers

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the garlic, onions, and green peppers for 5 minutes.

2. Add the beef and cook over medium heat until browned, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in tomato sauce, white wine, raisins, salt, and pepper, and cook over low heat 25 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Mix in the capers and almonds and cook 5 minutes longer.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta Skillet

My boyfriend is a mushroom fanatic.  He could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I like them a lot myself–and I also love chicken and pasta.  So odds are, I’ll be making a lot of this dish from Eat Live Run in the near future–especially as it takes only 15 minutes to make.

Yield: Serves 4, generously

Total Time: 15 minutes (oh yeah)

Ingredients

8 oz dry pasta.  The original recipe calls for farfalle (bow ties), but I don’t like the texture. I’ll try a short, curly pasta such as rotini instead).

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes

1 shallot, minced

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp oil

20 oz sliced cremini mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms you have on hand)

1/2 cup beef or chicken broth (I’ll use chicken)

1/2 cup cream (I’ll use light cream to make it a little healthier)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or to taste)

fresh minced parsley for serving

Directions

1. Heat up the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about six minutes, until cooked through.

2. Remove chicken to a plate and drizzle in a teeny more oil in your pan.

3. Reduce heat to medium/low and add the minced shallot, followed by the garlic, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook until mushrooms are juicy—about five minutes.

4. Then, slowly stream in the broth and cream.

5. Add the chicken back to the sauce and bring to simmer for a couple minutes.

6. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.

7. Drain and add pasta to the sauce. Add the salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and parsley. 8. Serve.

Asian Steak Salad from Bon Appetit

In addition to her cookbook library, my mother has a vast collection of old Bon Appetit issues, with recipes she likes marked in pen.  One of her favorites is this salad, which uses the Vietnamese flavors of lime, cilantro, mint, and fish sauce.

This recipe looks complicated because it includes a lot of ingredients, but there actually aren’t that many steps involved.

Yield: 12 servings

Total Time: Unknown

Ingredients

For Steak

  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or a neutral-flavored vegetable oil if you’re allergic to peanuts)
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef flank or sirloin steak, cut into 2 ieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

For Dressing

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce/nam pla
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeno chili, minced

For Salad

  • 1/2 head green leaf lettuce, separated into leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges

Instructions

For Steak:

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a piece of steak and half of the garlic to skillet.

2. Cook until steak is brown on both sides, about 6 minutes, then transfer it to platter.

3. Repeat steps 1-2 with remaining steak and garlic.

4. Let meat cool slightly, then cut it across the grain into 1/4 inch wide strips.

For Dressing:  Whisk lime juice, cilantro, mint, fish sauce, sugar, and jalapeno together in a large bowl.

For Salad:

1. Add steak to dressing bowl and toss to combine.

2. Arrange half the lettuce on a large platter.  If you want to be decorative, cut remaining lettuce into fine shreds and arrange them in the center of the platter; arrange tomatoes overlapping each other around the outside border; and place cucumbers and onions in overlapping concentric circles inside the tomatoes.

3. Using a slotted spoon, mound the steak in on the center of the plate, leaving the dressing in the bowl.

4. Spoon remaining dressing over the vegetables and meat, garnish with lime wedges, and serve.

The salad can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead.  If you do, cover salad and dressing separately with plastic and refrigerate them.

Four-Ingredient Greek Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon Soup)

My mother has a huge collection of cookbooks, and these days I look through them almost every time I see her.  Cooking with Just Four Ingredients caught my eye immediately, and yielded this Greek egg-lemon soup.  I’m excited to try it–especially as it takes only about 10 minutes to make.

This picture doesn’t actually correspond to this particular recipe (it’s from here), but it’s a pretty representative picture of an Avgolemono soup without pieces of chicken in it.

Yield: Serves 4-6

Total time: About 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 1/2 cups chicken stock (when recipes say chicken stock, I use good-quality canned chicken broth).
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta or other small shapes
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of 1 large lemon

Instructions

  1. Pour chicken broth in large pan & bring to boil
  2. Add orzo or other small pasta & cook for 5 mins, or according to packet instructions
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy, then add lemon juice and cold water to them.
  4. Slowly stir a ladleful of hot chicken broth into the egg mixture, then add one or two more.
  5. Remove pan from heat, pour in egg mixture and stir well. Season to taste with salt & black pepper & serve immediately. (No, I’m not sure what’s up with the confusing back-and-forth between the pan on the stove and the bowl with the eggs.  I’m guessing these steps help the ingredients mix better, avoid curdling, or both).
  6. Do NOT let the soup boil once egg, lemon juice and stock mix has been added, or it will curdle.