Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Charmoula with Salmon

This roasted garlic charmoula—a classic North African marinade and sauce packed with fresh herbs and spices—is excellent with a rich fish, such as arctic char or salmon.

3 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green olives
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt
Four 5-ounce, skin-on arctic char or salmon fillets
Pepper

1 .  In a small skillet, toast the garlic over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the skins blacken, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard the skins.

2 .  In a food processor, puree 1/3 cup of the oil, the garlic, parsley, cilantro, olives, lemon juice, cumin and paprika until smooth. Transfer the charmoula to a bowl and season with salt.

3 .  In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place it skin side down in the skillet. Cook the fish over moderately high heat until the skin is golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook just until it flakes easily, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve the fish with the charmoula.

TIP:
The charmoula can be refrigerated for 2 days.
SUGGESTED PAIRING :
Citrusy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc .
Heart healthy

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Good old classic beef stroganoff

Classic beef stroganoff is cooked with an amazing creamy mushroom sauce and served over egg noodles. And it all comes together in under 30 minutes! I forgot how much we liked this dish. We totally enjoyed it.



Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. wide egg noodles
  • 4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) butter, divided
  • 1.5 lbs. thinly-sliced steak (I used top sirloin, but just about any will work)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. sliced mushrooms (I used a mix of button and baby bella mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or you can substitute in more beef broth)
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
  • (optional garnish) chopped fresh parsley

  • Directions:

    *Cook egg noodles al dente in boiling, salted water according to package instructions. (For optimal timing, I recommend actually adding the egg noodles to the boiling water at the same time that the beef broth is added to the stroganoff.)
    *Meanwhile, as your pasta water is coming to a boil, melt 2
    tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
    *Add the steak in a single layer, seasoned with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, and let it cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes to get a good sear.
    *Flip the steak, and cook on the other side until browned, about another 3 minutes. Then remove steak from pan with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a separate plate. Set aside.
    (If your pan is not big enough to fit all of the steak in a single layer, then add just 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and cook half of the steak. Then repeat with a second batch.)
    *Return pan to heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Once it has melted, add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes.
    *Add garlic and mushrooms, and stir to combine. Continue sauteing for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked and the onions are soft.
    *Add the white wine, and deglaze the pan by using your cooking spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture cook down for an additional 3 minutes.
    *Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the beef broth, worcestershire sauce and flour until smooth.
    *Pour the beef broth mixture into the pan, and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    *Then stir in the Greek yogurt (or sour cream) until combined, and then stir the cooked steak back in.
    *Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
    *Serve over the egg noodles, garnished with parsley if desired.
    Dig in!

    Friday, May 5, 2017

    First spring vegetables ------Vegetable Spring Soup

    Total time   1 hour  minutes
    Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups soup and about 1-1/2 teaspoons cheese)

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
    1 large leek, trimmed and diced (about 2 cups)
    1 celery stalk, diced (about 2/3 cup)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    5 cups unsalted chicken stock
    1 pound very small red potatoes, quartered
    1 cup frozen green peas
    1 cup (1-1/2-inch) slices asparagus
    1 (15-ounce) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    2 cups fresh baby spinach
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme
    1/4 cup torn fresh basil
    1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved

    Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add carrots, leek, and celery; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add stock; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add potatoes; reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15  minutes or until potatoes start to soften.

    Add peas, asparagus, and beans; simmer 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add spinach, thyme, and basil; cook 10 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; top evenly with cheese.
    Heart healthy

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Creamy Tuna Noodle Cazuela

    Jarred piquillo peppers and imported canned tuna from Spain add an Iberian twist to the classic American tuna casserole, making it more elegant but keeping it as simple and quick as the original.
    TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES       SERVINGS: 4 SERVINGS OR 
     4 INDIVIDUAL GRATINS

    12 ounces farfalle pasta
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
    1-1/2 cups frozen baby peas
    3/4 cup piquillo peppers, sliced (6 ounces)
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1           6-ounce can or jar solid white tuna in oil, drained and flaked
    Salt
    Freshly ground pepper
    1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

    1 .  Preheat the oven to 450*. Cook the farfalle pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.

    2 .  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Cook the sauce over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes.

    3 .  Add the farfalle pasta, frozen baby peas, sliced piquillo peppers, Parmigiano cheese and tuna and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish, a <em>cazuela</em> (casserole dish) or 4 individual gratin dishes.

    4 .  In a small skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the panko and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the panko over the casserole and bake for 10 minutes (5 minutes for individual gratins), or until bubbling. Serve right away.
    SUGGESTED PAIRING
    Crisp, medium-bodied Languedoc white.

    Heart Healthy

    Thursday, April 27, 2017

    Coffee Cake Pound Cake

    TOTAL TIME       3 hours, 35 minutes               Makes 12 serving
    This year, resolve to think beyond a ho-hum box of chocolates for a hostess gift. Instead, pass on this sweet treat, which marries two Southern specialties, coffee cake and pound cake, to create one buttery, best-of-both-worlds dessert.

    PECAN STREUSEL:
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup butter
    3/4 cup chopped pecans

    POUND CAKE BATTER:
    1 cup finely chopped pecans
    1 cup butter, softened
    2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
    6 large eggs
    3 cups all-baking soda
    1 (8-oz.) conpurpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon tainer sour cream
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Prepare Pecan Streusel: Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans.

    Prepare Pound Cake Batter: Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

    Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

    Stir together flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.


    Pour half of batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan. Stir together toasted pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Spoon remaining batter over pecan mixture; sprinkle with Pecan Streusel.

    Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
    Heart healthy

    Sunday, April 23, 2017

    Maxy sez :When is the Best Time to Test Your Blood Glucose


    By Amy TenderichAmy Tenderich was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May of 2003. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Diabetes Mine and co-authored the book Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes. You will frequently find her speaking at diabetes, health, and social media events across the country.
    The best times to check your blood glucose (BG) actually depend on your reasons for checking. If you are checking in order to choose your insulin doses, then the best times are:

    1. At wake time in the morning
    2. Before and after each meal
    3. At bedtime

    If you do not need the information immediately to set insulin doses but are checking for more “general purposes”—like to evaluate changes or improvement in your overall BG control—then checking at the same times each day is most helpful. This helps you identify trends, like if you are consistently high every day in the late afternoon. Of course, you’ll only see these trends if you keep track of your test results.

    It’s important to use the little log book that comes with your meter to keep track of your numbers and look over them periodically. The data is not just for your doctor. It's for you. 

    As a rule of thumb, just before a meal and then three or four hours afterward provides a useful timeframe for seeing the effects of that meal. Similarly, testing before and just after exercise will tell you the effects of that particular activity.

    If you routinely test before and after meals, before and after exercise, and before and after sleeping, you'll have great results to review yourself or with your doctor. These numbers will give you a good sense of what might be pushing your blood glucose up or down.  
    Some people believe that if they get their A1c blood test done regularly, there’s no need for daily glucose testing.
    Wrong.
    It is true that the hemoglobin A1c (or simply A1c for short) is considered the “gold standard” of blood glucose measurement. It’s conducted in a laboratory and measures your average blood glucose levels for the past three months. This test is used as the main measure of your glucose management. (The recommended goal is a level of less than seven percent.)

    The big picture

    The A1c looks at the big picture, i.e. “What effect are my blood glucose levels having on my chance of future diabetes complications?” BUT, if your A1c turns out to be high, this test doesn’t provide a clue as to what you can do about it. A high A1c result tells you that you need to change something, but only your individual daily glucose results can provide the real clues about specific actions or strategies you might need to take. That’s why frequent home glucose testing matters!

    Meeting your target A1c

    What if you meet the A1c target (7.0 or below), while your before- and after-meal blood glucose numbers have been “off”? What does this mean?

    Remember that the A1c is an average number. In other words, it's a point that reflects the “middle” of all your glucose values over the past three months. So you could have a “perfect” A1c result of 6.5 that might actually reflect the mid-point between several weeks of severe highs and lows. Not good.

    If, however, your A1c met your target and you did not have frequent low blood glucose values, then all of your levels during the previous three months were okay. They were okay even if they were occasionally off-target. There will always be fluctuations, which is why the A1c is the perfect complement to daily testing.

    In a nutshell: All of the existing clinical research tells us that your A1c is the vital indicator of your future health. Your glucose meter is a vital indicator of how you’re doing on a daily basis, leading up to your A1c.

    Stay tune Amy Tenderich will share more tips with us .

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Southern Fried Chicken

    This fried chicken  is a no-fail, no-fuss version of classic fried chicken with a perfectly crunchy seasoned crust (the trick is the cornstarch) and juicy meat.

    TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES      SERVINGS: 4

    6                   large eggs
    Kosher salt
    3                  cups all-purpose flour
    1/2              cup cornstarch
    1-1/2          tablespoons garlic powder
    1                   teaspoon paprika
    1                   teaspoon crushed red pepper
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1                  3-1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
    Vegetable oil, for frying

    1 .  In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. In another bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

    2 .  Pat the chicken pieces dry. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in the seasoned flour. Dip the coated chicken in the egg, then dredge again in the seasoned flour and transfer to the baking sheet.

    3 .  In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 3/4 inch of oil to 360 /176*;. Set a rack over another baking sheet. Fry half of the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted nearest the  bone registers 165 /176*;, about 15 minutes. Transfer to the rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve right away.

    PAIRING
    There are myriad opinions for fried chicken: Champagne, Pinot Noir, even Lambrusco. Try the minerally NV Christian Etienne Champagne Brut.

    Heart healthy