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Food52′s Roasted Broccoli with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette and Marcona Almonds

Wednesday, 10. April 2013 5:26

Roasted broccoli with a smoky-sweet paprika dressing.

Roasted broccoli with a smoky-sweet paprika dressing.


Broccoli doesn’t always get the love.

It’s often despised by children. And of course, we know how George W. felt about it.

But roasting it will make an instant fan out of anyone. Even the former president, I bet.

It brings out the veggie’s natural sweetness, gives it a hint of char and makes it crunchy-tender. And it takes all of 20 minutes to do on high-heat in the oven.

“Roasted Broccoli with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette and Marcona Almonds” is a gussied up version that still takes little effort.

It’s from “The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2” (William Morrow), of which I received a review copy last year. New York Times writer Amanda Hesser and Le Cordon Bleu-grad Merrill Stubbs created the online cooking community, Food52, which seeks to ferret out the best home-cook recipes. This second volume includes 104 recipes arranged by the seasons.

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Category:General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (12) | Author:

My Favorite Go-To Dish

Wednesday, 3. April 2013 5:35

A favorite in my house for its ease and bold flavors.

A favorite in my house for its ease and bold flavors.


You know your favorite pair of jeans?

The ones you can don anytime, anywhere, and know they’ll fit well, look good and do no wrong?

This recipe is exactly like that.

“Mexican-Style Lasagna” is from Everyday Food. And I’ve made it countless times since it was published in the magazine’s March 2005 issue way back when.

You layer tortillas in a baking pan with canned pinto beans, purchased salsa, plenty of cheese, and a green sauce of spinach, cilantro and scallions you whip together in the food processor in seconds.

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Category:General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (12) | Author:

Enchanting Endive

Friday, 22. March 2013 5:26

Endive salad with creamy Maytag blue cheese.

Endive salad with creamy Maytag blue cheese.

When it comes to bitter, its best buddy is something equally aggressive.

Oh, don’t worry. This isn’t a case of butting heads.

In fact, it’s a recipe for perfect harmony, as one assertive taste needs another, lest one overtake the other completely.

That’s why when it comes to endive, its pleasant bitterness practically begs for something sharp like mustard or vinegar or a piquant cheese.

“Tangle of Radicchio and Endive with Chives and Maytag Blue” proves just that.

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Category:Cheese, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (9) | Author:

Spaghetti with Calamari Sauce and a Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 18. March 2013 5:25

A tangle of noodles and calamari.

A tangle of noodles and calamari.


This bowl of pasta is chock-full of tender calamari.

That much, you can see.

But did you know there is also one serving of vegetables hidden within that is not visible?

Yes, there is corn, carrot and squash — a half cup’s worth — incorporated into each 4 ounces of the dried spaghetti noodles.

Golden Grain has launched a new line of pasta, Hidden Veggie, that comes in spaghetti, thin spaghetti, small penne and twisted elbows. The pasta cooks up just like any other dried pasta. It also looks and tastes the same as any other. In other words, your spaghetti isn’t going to all of a sudden taste like Bug Bunny’s favorite snack.

What you get, though, is 150mg of potassium per 2-ounce serving compared to the company’s regular spaghetti that contains none. The Hidden Veggie spaghetti also weighs in at 200 calories per 2-ounce serving, 10 calories fewer than the company’s regular spaghetti. The total fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, dietary fiber and protein amounts are the same with both, though the Hidden Veggie has 5mg of sodium, compared to 0mg for the company’s regular dried pasta.

If you’re worried about your family getting enough potassium, Hidden Veggie pasta is one way to up that nutrient quotient. Each 12-ounce box is about $1.99 and available at Safeway stores.

New Golden Grain Hidden Veggie dried pastas.

New Golden Grain Hidden Veggie dried pastas.

I used the Hidden Veggie spaghetti in this recipe for “Linguini with Calamari Sauce,” swapping out the slightly wider, flatter noodles called for originally. The recipe is from “Williams-Sonoma The Pasta Book” (Welden Owen) by food journalist Julia Della Croce, of which I received a review copy when it was first published three years ago. What’s great about this book is that it truly spans the world of pasta, including recipes not only for making fresh Italian pasta and dishes with dried noodles, but also for making Asian noodles and dumplings. Find recipes for everything from “Fresh Herb Pappardelle with Veal and Lemon” to “Pork and Cabbage Gyoza.”

The calamari pasta sauce cooks up quickly, in only about twice the time it takes to cook the dried spaghetti. Shallots, garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes are sweated gently in olive oil, before adding tomato paste, red wine and bottled clam juice. The calamari is added in for the final five minutes of cooking. I used calamari bodies, already cleaned and scored, purchased from my local Japanese market to make the process even easier.

The tangle of noodles absorbs the briny sauce that’s a little sweet from the tomato paste and a little spicy from the pepper flakes. The tender calamari add just enough chew.

It’s a dish that’s a classic at Italian restaurants. Try your hand at it to realize just how easy it is to make at home, too.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win practically a year’s worth of Golden Grain Hidden Veggie pasta — 24 coupons, each good for one free package of the new pasta varieties. Hidden Veggie pasta has rolled out in these markets: San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Oahu, Seattle and Portland, Ore. So, entries should be limited to those folks who live in those markets or have friends in those regions you want to give the winnings to. Entries will be accepted through midnight PST March 23. Winner will be announced March 25.

How to win?

If a fairy with a magic wand could make it so, what else would you want a year’s worth of? And why? Best answer wins the pasta.

Here’s my own answer:

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Health/Nutrition, New Products, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (8) | Author:

Que Syrah Syrah

Thursday, 14. March 2013 5:25

A glass of Syrah pairs with duck-Syrah ragu over Syrah-flour pasta.

A glass of Syrah pairs with duck-Syrah ragu over Syrah-flour pasta.

That’s what you’ll be humming, when you dig into this lusty pasta dish.

Because there’s wine, wine, everywhere in it.

There’s Syrah in the meaty duck ragu that tops it. There’s even Syrah flour in the pasta dough for the homemade fettuccini. And of course, a glass of — what else — Syrah to sip alongside it all.

I was inspired to cook “Venetian Duck Ragu” with “Syrah Fettuccini” when I received samples of the new WholeVine products from Santa Rosa.

Company founders Barbara Banke and Peggy Furth started their line of grapeseed flours, grape skin flours and grape seed oils — all gluten-free — as a way to make greater use of what vineyards provide. They’ve also added a line of four different gluten-free cookies ($6.99 for eight of them), as well as a line of eight different wheat crackers ($6.99 for 12), all made with their flours.

Syrah skin flour.

Syrah skin flour.

Moreover, they donate a portion of profits to charitable organizations that help children in need.

The varietal grape skin and seed flours ($6.50 per 1/2-pound bag) are made from Chardonnay, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Syrah and Zinfandel grapes grown in certified sustainable California coastal vineyards.

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Category:Fruit, General, New Products, Recipes (Savory), Wine | Comments (11) | Author: