Kale and Pecorino Salad with Walnuts & Sherry-Soaked Raisins

I am always thinking about kale because our family is focused on health, although we sometimes break away for something sweet.  Kale is one of those super healthy foods so I have experimented with many combos of ingredients with kale.  © Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup walnut halves and/or pieces, toasted

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 Tablespoon creme sherry

1 Tablespoon water

1/2 cup Panko crumbs

2 or more (optional) cloves garlic, pressed

Pinch kosher salt (optional)

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch Tuscan kale washed and patted dry

2 oz. or 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated or ground in a food processor

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Directions

 

Prepare the walnuts:

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, tossing once. Let cool and coarsely chop.

 

Prepare the raisins:

 

In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer champagne vinegar, water, creme sherry and raisins for 5 minutes, until plump and soft. Set aside in liquid, for as long as you can. (Keep in the liquid)

 

Prepare the crumbs:

 

Toast panko, garlic, curry powder, pinches, pepper, chili flakes and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet together with a pinch of salt until golden. Set aside.

 

Prepare the kale:

 

1. Trim heavy stems off kale and remove ribs. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise.

 

2. Put kale in a large salad bowl. Add the pecorino, walnuts and raisins (leaving any leftover vinegar mixture in dish), remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice and toss until all the kale ribbons are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and some of the reserved vinegar mixture from the raisins, if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving, if you can.  This enables all of the lovely flavors to merge.

 

3. Add the Panko crumbs, just before you serve the salad, and toss it one more time.

 

We started with chilled Orvieto, warm Italian bread, olive oil & butter and an antipasto.

 

Next the kale salad with fresh halibut dipped in egg then panko (mixed with curry and parmesan), and quickly cooked in a small amount of olive oil.  For dessert we had spears of fresh mango which we have been eating all week.

 

This weekend we went to MetOpera and saw, Rusalka an opera by Antonin Dvorak.  We love Dvorak, so were looking forward to this.  The role of Rusalka was sung by the Latvian soprano, Kristine Opolais; the role of the Prince was sung by (beautiful) tenor, Brandon Jovanovich from Montana.

 

Below are my two favorite Dvorak compositions; the first is the hauntingly gorgeous First Act aria, “Song to the Moon“ from Rusalka; the second is his magnificent, String Quartet #12 (American).  I’m including one other video, which is a cello rendition of “Song to the Moon“  The cellist is the young, Stjepan Hauser, from Croatia.

 

Kristin Opolais, “Song to the Moon“ Dvorak

 

Stjepan Hauser, cello, “Song to the Moon“ Dvorak

 

 String Quartet #12, “American”

 

A glass of icy Proseco. Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cheers!

 

Curried Shrimp Rissoles Topped with Mango

For months, I have been trying to come up with a new shrimp recipe, good enough to share with everyone. Finally, here it is. Versatile enough to serve as an entr?e or an appetizer. There were enough made, so that we ate them for two dinners; plus, Jules could snack on them over the long weekend. BTW, Jules gives this recipe a 5. He’s eating them hot or cold, I like them best warm with hot gravy spooned over and chopped fresh mango scattered over the top, and a garnish of fresh cilantro. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

Ingredients

 

For the dough:

 

2 cups almond flour

1 3/4 cups and 2 1/2 Tablespoons boiling water (for the dough)

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt (to taste)

1 eggs

Panko

Canola oil (or extra virgin olive oil) for frying

 

For the filling:

 

2 pounds medium to large shrimp, cleaned and de-veined

1 onion, chopped very well

10 fresh garlic cloves, chopped

3 stalks scallion, well chopped up to half the white section

1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 cup mango chutney

Pinch black pepper

Pinch pink Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 Tablespoon white or brown sesame seeds, toasted

1/2 Tablespoon almond flour

1 Tablespoon butter

1 bunch fresh Parsley, very well chopped

1 onion to cook the shrimp

 

Gather all the ingredients in one place. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

 

Get all of the ingredients out

Do all chopping, slicing, cutting, etc.

 

Chopping parsley. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Chopping garlic, onion, mango. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

For the dough:

 

1. Pour the water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. To the water, add the butter and the salt. When starts boiling, reduce to low heat and add the flour. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a compact ball.

 

2. Turn off the heat, place the dough on a table and allow to cool to room temperature. Knead the dough with your hands, make one large ball and set aside.

 

The dough should look like this. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Gravy

 

Make your favorite seafood gravy that’s light, or no gravy at all. I put together a simple sour cream, flour, teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, curry, garlic, chopped mushrooms in a saucepan, then set aside.

 

You don’t need gravy for this recipe but I made a simple gravy, to see if the recipe needed it and it doesn’t. © Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

For the filling:

 

1. In a skillet, with extra virgin olive oil and a little chicken stock or broth, and the parsley, cook the chopped onion until it’s golden.

 

Cooking onion, garlic, parsley. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

2. Place the shrimp in the skillet with the onion/parsley. While stirring constantly, cook the shrimp for about 2 or 3 minutes.

 

Add the shrimp to the parsley mixture and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring all the time, to get both sides of the shrimp cooked. When shrimp are done, remove quickly into a bowl and cook more, until all the shrimp are done. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

After cooked and oil drained on paper towel, put shrimp in bowl to be chopped.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

3. Chop by hand, the shrimp garlic and the bunch of parsley. Don’t chop too much. You want the filling to have texture to it. You want small pieces of the shrimp to show when the little rissole is cut open to eat.

 

4. To the chopped shrimp add the curry powder, nutmeg, all seasonings, all spices, all herbs, corn kernels, chopped mango and mix to combine well.

 

Here is the filling. I need to chop some of the big pieces of shrimp some more and then the filling will be ready to become part of the dough. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Make the Rissoles

 

1. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.

2. Cut small circles by using a coffee mug, turned upside down

 

3. Place portions of the filling in the center of each circle. Put another circle over the filling and press the edges of the two circles, together to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork.

 

Fry the rissoles

 

1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork.

2. Put Panko on a flat plate

3. Dip the rissoles in the beaten egg and then cover them with the Panko.

 

The beaten eggs to dip the rissoles in before frying. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The Panko to roll both sides of the rissoles after dipping in the beaten egg, just

before frying.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. Heat the oil in skillet. When the oil is hot, add the rissoles and fry them on both sides until golden on each side.

 

5. Once they are fried, place them on a plate with paper towel.

 

6. Then put the rissoles on a serving platter. Add some gravy, if you wish. Scatter chopped mango over the top and garnish with chopped cilantro.

7. Put some chutney on the table to serve with the shrimp rissoles.

 

Platter of curried shrimp rissoles, ready to serve. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Over the rissoles, gravy added, plus scattered chopped mango over the top of the rissoles.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

These curried shrimp rissoles are so delicious, you can’t stop eating them.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We ate these all weekend. Mmmmmm outstanding! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

These rissoles were the entre, with which a simple salad was served.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Wonderful with mango chutney ! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Chilled Prosecco was perfect with the Shrimp Rissoles. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This was the perfect long weekend for us. The outstanding event was attending the MetOpera’s, I Puritani, shining gem of outstanding bel canto, with brilliant voices, lyrics, conductor. On our list of perfect operas, this is tied at the top.

 

All Bravas and Bravos, standing ovations, were well deserved. If you can still get tickets for this glorious opera, there are three more performances in February; try not to miss this superlative production by the great master, Vincenzo Bellini.

 

The electrifying Frech coloratura, Diana Damrau is Elvira, gripped by madness and love; great Mexican tenor, Javier Camarena, a sensation in his recent appearances in other bel canto works, takes on the role of her beloved and heroic Arturo. If you think you hear a little Verdi, you would be almost right.

 

Bellini, earlier composer, had a great influence on Guiseppe Verdi, not the other way around. Bellini wrote long swaths of melody, a style that influenced all of Europe’s composers including Chopin and yes, Wagner. I would venture to say that IMO, Wagner’s greatest creation, Tristan and Isolde, was influenced by Vincenzo Bellini.

 

Click the link for my favorite aria from Bellini’s, I Puritani, sung by the greatest tenor who ever lived, Luciano Pavarotti

 

Vincenzo Bellini, operatic genius, makes LGBT proud

 

 

We were so enthralled by this glorious opera, that at dinner afterwards, the first thing we ordered was, two Bellinis, toasting the genius of Vincenzo Bellini. Opera doesn’t get any better than this production of, I Puritani.

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Valentine Sweethearts

Pretty and Easy ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients


1 large package chocolate chip cookies
1  container of Tofutti
2 or more cups white chocolate chips or white block of chocolate

1 can (11 ounces or more) marzipan (bought online at Nuts.com)

Bottle of red food coloring

Tiny candy hearts for garnish

Box or bag of thin red licorice sticks

 

Just a few, easy to find, ingredients.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Who doesn’t love the flavor of marzipan?  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Red licorice, for sticks   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

 

  1. Cover one or 2 plates with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 42 (1 large package) chocolate chip cookies in a large food processor and pulse until all you have are crumbs. If you only have a small food processor, make your crumbs in stages, pouring some in a bowl, while you pulse the rest.

 

Making the crumbs in small food processor.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Crumbs are in bowl and about to add the Tofutti; then the marzipan.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

  1. Slowly, add crumbs and Tofutti together until all crumbs and Tofutti are completely combined. You can do this back in the food processor, or mix very well in a bowl.
  2. Next, add the whole can of marzipan to the bowl and mix it very well into the crumbs and Tofutti already combined.

 

This is the consistency you want, just before you start to roll by hand;  firm dough.  Let your own judgement guide you.  If you need more crumbs, just pulse a few more and add to bowl.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

  1. With a spatula, scrape the mixture out of the food processor and into a bowl. Then, by hand, one by one, make small, 1-inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet or on plates covered in parchment paper.
  2. Cut the red licorice into sticks about 2 or 3 inches long.
  3. Add a thin red licorice stick to each ball and freeze for 10-15 minutes.

 

Rolling out the balls by hand, then adding little red licorice sticks, before going into the fridge.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

  1. Melt your white chocolate in the microwave for 30-seconds, or in a small pan on top of the stove, stirring often.

 

Melting white chocolate on top of the stove in my favorite tiny pan.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

  1. After 15 to 20 minutes or more, take out of the fridge, 1/3 of the marzipan balls and dip them into the white chocolate, covering them all over. After coated with the white chocolate, put them back on the plate or baking sheet and while they’re still wet with chocolate, sprinkle tiny hearts over them, in a design you like. Set aside.

 

Here’s the first completed batch, with white first, of course.  Sprinkle with tiny hearts while the chocolate is still wet, or it will be more difficult to get the little hearts to stick.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

  1. Now, add about 20 drops of the red food coloring into the melted chocolate until you get a nice medium pink. Take another 1/3 of the marzipan balls out of the fridge, and dip into the pink chocolate, put back on a plate. Sprinkle with hearts and set aside.

 

Here’s the result of the first pink chocolate balls (20 drops of red food coloring into the pan of melted white chocolate).  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Easy to make darker pink chocolate; same pan, just more drops of red food coloring, in the melted white chocolate.  The above photo, shows my second, darker pink chocolate   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Second batch, pink marzipan balls with garnish.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

  1. If you’re running out of melted chocolate, simply add more white chocolate to the pan and melt more.
  2. To the pink chocolate, add more of the red food coloring until you get a darker pink to rose color. Take the last 1/3 of the marzipan balls out of the fridge and dip them into the remaining dark pink chocolate, covering each ball with the melted chocolate and add to plate. Again, while chocolate is still wet, garnish with little hearts (or your own ideas for garnish).
  3. Serve these little sweeties for dessert with coffee and/or tea.

 

Tea for Two   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Luscious !   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to You and Your Special Someone!  Share the Love!

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Broccoli Baked with Turkey Bacon, Lemon/Garlic & Cheddar

Trial and error — We ate this recipe three times this past week, until it was just right, as you see above.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

 

2 bunches broccoli

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for cooking, or more

1 slab of turkey bacon, chopped, put into mixing bowl

20 garlic cloves, sliced, put into bowl with turkey bacon

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

20 garlic cloves, sliced

2 eggs beaten in small bowl.

2 cups Panko, on flat plate

1.5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

 

Directions

  1. Slice the garlic
  2. Chop the turkey bacon
  3. Make your lemon zest

 

Chop the turkey bacon into little pieces. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 

 

4. Beat the eggs

5. Grate the cheese

6. Pour out the Panko into a flat dish

7. Wash broccoli two or three times and dry well.  You want all sand and grit removed.  Break broccoli into pieces about bite-size, on paper towel.  Use stems for soup or another recipe.

8. Oil a large baking dish that you can bring to table to serve from.

9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

10. Dip each piece of broccoli into the beaten eggs, and then roll in the plate with Panko.  Set aside

 

11.  In large skillet, put about 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium flame.  Cook the broccoli pieces, moving them around with tongs, so that each piece is cooked to a golden brown color.  Put each cooked piece of broccoli into the baking dish.

 

Put the cooked broccoli into the oiled baking dish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

From the bowl, pour the turkey bacon garlic mixture over the cooked broccoli. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Finally, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and put the casserole into the oven, uncovered. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Just out of the oven, smelling wonderful. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We started with chilled sauvignon blanc and the little sourdough flat crackers we recently discovered & hummus.  Then, a simple salad of tomatoes and avocados in a lemon/oil/garlic dressing.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Then, I brought out the final version, and we loved it.  Crunchy, but still soft where you wanted it.  If I do say so myself, this was fun to experiment with, the colors are beautiful and the end result is delicious.  This is quick and easy to make, now that the trial and error part is behind us.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

For dessert, we had some chocolate covered juicy fresh strawberries, that I’m experimenting with for Valentines Day

 

Your favorite chilled white, goes well with this recipe.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This weekend we saw Rigoletto at the MetOpera. As you know, this is a gorgeous opera and one of our favorites. The new MetO production is set in Las Vegas, the perfect setting for the dark story. The voices were fine but could have been stronger. The Russian soprano who sang Gilda has a lovely voice, but at the end of the famous quartet in the third act, (which I wait for eagerly each time we see this opera) she was not able to hit the high notes.  I felt let down. Oh well, we’ll go again next year.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the MetOpera is a glorious place and magical each time we go.  I can’t think of a better way to spend several hours, floating on beautiful waves of sound, while the stresses of life fade, momentarily.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6S_kx0gDzc

Here is the Rigoletto quartet, (Act 3) the way it should be heard.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  The brilliant soprano here is Dame Joan Sutherland, the glorious tenor is the greatest, Luciano Pavarotti

 

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

The Rooster        Asian New Year Celebration

An online ad for Korean vodka, intrigued me, especially when there was no way to buy it in the U.S.  After some research, it turned out two countries stocked it: Korea and Germany.  Executive Director of Target Health Inc., Yong Joong Kim was contacted for advice.  Luckily, for the newsletter, Y.J. Kim’s wife was heading to Korea for a visit.

 

Ingredients for two unbelievable vodka (Korean vodka) cocktails

 

3 jiggers of Korean vodka

1 cup of ruby red Tropicana grapefruit juice

3 jiggers of Frangelico

3 jiggers Ginger liqueur

1 teaspoon Campari in each glass, after all else is poured in

2 Martini picks (1 per glass)

6 Cocktail cherries, 3 on each pick (per glass)

1 Cara Cara orange, 1 circle cut in half, half per glass

2 spears watermelon (1 per glass)

2 spears cantaloupe (optional) – 1 per glass

 

This particular vodka cocktail is for Absolut Korean vodka only.  Korean vodka comes with spices infused: coffee, almond, chili.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Special voyage needed to obtain this special vodka.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

In Korea, Mrs Kim is receiving the Korean vodka from her father, who got it from her brother who made the purchase.

 

Here Mrs. Kim hands her husband, Yong Joong Kim the long sought after special Korean vodka, who brings it to THI in Manhattan and finally to yours truly, who now must come up with an extraordinary recipe saluting Asian Lunar New Year.

 

Above are the 4 basic alcoholic ingredients needed for this vodka cocktail: Absolut Korean (spiced) vodka, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Frangelico Liqueur, and after the above mixture is shaken with ice & with gusto, 1 teaspoon of Campari is gently dropped on the surface of the drink.  I learned this secret from a friendly Italian master bartender, now Maitre D’  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

You never want to use those bright red totally chemical cocktail cherries.  Instead, shop around for slightly more expensive real cherries in their own syrup or sometimes infused in brandy, cognac or (above) bourbon.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

After trying out several brands of juice (orange and grapefruit) plus some bubbly, we settled on the above ruby red with pulp.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cut your fruit, before you do anything else.  Cara cara oranges were used because they have peak flavor right now and because their color is really beautiful, as you can see above.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Here’s a close up of the fruit I ended up using.  Three dark cherries on each pick, half a slice of Cara cara, spear of watermelon.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

 

1. Decide what fruit you want to use, then do all the cutting and slicing needed.  This is a fun chance to be creative, in the shapes and lengths you make of the fruit.

2. Put all the fruit in each cocktail glass, so you’re free to arrange it any way you want.  If you do this after the drink is poured, it’s much harder.

3. In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients except for the Campari

4. Shake vigourously.

5. Take cover off shaker and add as many ice cubes as will fit.  Shake again with gusto

6. Pour the mixture, through the strainer, into each glass, about 1 inch from the top of the glass rim.

7. Pour a small amount of Campari into a small glass or measuring cup.

8. Place the drink in front of the lucky person about to take a sip.  Now dip a teaspoon into the Campari, fill it,  and carefully drop the Campari onto the surface of the drink.  DO NOT STIR. WAIT until the Campari drops through the rest of the drink and falls to the bottom.  There are photos below, that show the remarkable layers of color, this small amount of Campari adds to the already delicious Korean vodka drink

9. Okay, now sip and smile

 

The Rooster, a Korean vodka cocktail to celebrate the New Year with!  We raise our glasses to Mr. and Mrs. Yong Joong Kim.  We also raise our glasses to all of our wonderful Asian employees who contribute daily to the feeling of community at THI.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The Rooster                                        ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Like part of a rainbow, the color layers are so pretty.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Up close example of the separate layers of color that make a lovely presentation.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Here are the beautiful layers of color easy for you to achieve.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

HAPPY  NEW  YEAR  EVERYONE !  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

 

Rice crackers or the Asian mix, above, are especially good with this cocktail.  During one experiment with the Rooster, we had Ahi tuna & avocado sticks, which also went well with this drink.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Warm Curry Cauliflower Salad with Avocado-Cilantro-Lime Dressing

It’s not every day that we rave about a salad; however, this warm curry creation is worth trying. It’s extremely easy to make, so no time wasted. Marinating overnight, does a lot of the work for you. Give it a try; you won’t be disappointed. Add some warm bread and/or rolls, a chilled glass of wine and enjoy with whomever you share this salad. One evening, along with this warm salad, and chilled wine, we had hummus and a new kind of sourdough flat cracker (11 calories each). We were satisfied and happy.  Oh, and Happy New Year everybody! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

 

1 large cauliflower head, washed, dried, chopped into bite size pieces

1 fresh lime, juiced

Zest of 1 lime

10 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

1 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon curry (more if you want spicier)

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

2 avocados, diced

2 stalks scallions, chopped up to half the white section. Save some for garnish

 

Just the right herbs and spices, not many, and amazingly?. You have a tasty warm salad to start your meal, or fine alone for lunch or low calorie dinner. Warm crunchy bread or rolls dipped in extra virgin olive oil, a chilled white wine and you’re all set. Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Get all your chopping, squeezing, cutting, slicing done, except for the avocados. Cut them the next day, just before serving the warm salad.

 

Chopping cilantro, scallions, and slicing garlic on same board and at same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

3. In a large mixing bowl, add cauliflower, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper and 1 chopped scallion. Mix to combine, cover and let it marinate overnight.

 

Getting ready to cover the cauliflower with marinade overnight. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

4. Transfer cauliflower into a very lightly oiled (extra virgin olive oil) baking dish, (or no oil at all) using a slotted spoon. Keep as much of the marinade in the bowl (the garlic and cilantro, etc.) as you can.

 

Cauliflower, having marinated overnight, has been transferred into a baking dish. Naturally, some of the herbs and spices are sticking, but most remain in the bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cauliflower is going into oven (first without the cheese) to bake for 15 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

5. Bake the cauliflower for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Add the grated cheddar cheese stir with cauliflower and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

 

After baking for 15 minutes, baking dish removed, grated cheddar cheese added and stirred a bit; dish goes back into oven until cheese melts. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

6. While cauliflower is baking, check the bowl and taste any marinade that’s left, to determine if you want to add something more. Consider adding a little more fresh lime juice or more curry, pepper, or chili flakes, etc.

7. When cheese has melted, remove baking dish.

 

Here’s what the cauliflower looks like after the cheese has melted. Set aside while you finalize the dressing. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

8. Now, to the bowl with dressing, add a little more well chopped cilantro. Cut into cubes the two ripe avocados and add to bowl. Stir the dressing well, so that all ingredients are well combined.

9. To the baking dish with warm cauliflower, scrape all of the dressing out of the bowl and over the cauliflower. Toss everything together. Garnish with extra chopped scallion. Serve warm immediately.

 

Cheese melted, baking dish out of oven. Here the dressing with added avocados, has been added to the warm cauliflower. Next, the salad will be tossed and served. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Tossed, ready to serve; filling the room with a soft yet spicy scent. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Salad for two. By now, we really love it. This is the fourth time this week, we’ve had this particular warm salad. Each time a slight tweak, and each time it got better and better. The trick seemed to be to get the right balance of lime juice and curry. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Warm, healthy and delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This was the perfect chilled wine, that we sipped with our warm cauliflower salad.

Let us know if you tried it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

From Our Table to Yors !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Fresh Fruit Dessert Plate with Stuffed Dates and Aril Garnish

Like many relatives, friends and colleagues, we’ve struggled with bouts of serious winter maladies. Weight loss has been the only redeeming feature. In our house, loss of appetite, lead to lethargy regarding creating any food combinations, resulting in new recipes. Luckily, during our “down“ time, we craved fresh fruit. Above, is one of many fruit plates we feasted on, with a low desire for anything else. These ubiquitous plates appeared during breakfast, dinner, snacks and over the past three or four weekends, plus, ever-present at Scrabble. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Ingredients

 

Cara cara oranges
Blood oranges
Mandarin oranges
Sumo Tangerines
Mangoes
Red seedless grapes
Pomegranate arils
Turkish dates
Tofutti (soy cream cheese)
Grand Marnier

 

Basically, I went onto the fresh fruit page at FreshDirect, and bought a variety of peak oranges, tangerines, pink grapefruit, pomegranate arils, grapes, dates, Tofutti and a bottle of Grand Marnier. Just buy fresh fruit that you and your family like, and create a beautiful plate. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Directions

 

1. Start by peeling all the fruit. If you feel like marinating some of the fruit in Grand Marnier, do it now. I cut the Cara cara oranges in circles and covered them with this liqueur overnight. The strawberries are on the table, because I was planning to dip them in chocolate to serve with the fruit, but never had the energy to actually do it.

 

Cara cara oranges are at their peak now. Don’t miss this season’s a lovely range of citrus fruit in markets now. I bought these at FreshDirect. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Mangoes are very fine in markets right now and as healthy as can be. They can be addictive we found, as we slurped them down. Mmmm super delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

2. Cut your fruit in different shapes: I made some spear shaped mangoes; circles of Cara cara oranges; segments of tangerines; half circles of other oranges. I cut the dates almost in half, spread with Tofutti (soy cream cheese); distributed the grapes and sprinkled the entire plate with the pomegranate arils.

 

Many varieties of grapes are well rated, now. We’ve eaten a lot of these, often with plates of American and European cubed cheeses. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

One of our favorite soft cheeses, to eat with grapes, is this Italian: Bra Tenero. If you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a treat.  Sometimes, an evening meal of warm crusty bread, robust red wine, your favorite cheeses and lots of grapes, apples and pears, is all you need to feel happy  …oh, and good conversation with plenty of laughs.

 

At one point, we tried some white wine with the fruit, which at any other time would have been just fine; but I found that it did not mix well with my illness and made me feel worse. I had not yet begun taking medication. Jules was okay with it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

“May Your Days Be Merry and Bright“ (Irving Berlin)

 

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Under the Weather  –  Recipes Resume Next Week

 

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Baked Cauliflower with Marinara

This is a recipe worth trying. If you’re too busy to make your own marinara sauce, get a good store-bought marinara like Newman’s Own. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Mop the delicious juices up with warm Italian or French bread. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, well chopped

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, well chopped

1 teaspoon fresh dill, well chopped

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

10 fresh garlic cloves, large slices

3 cups panko

1 onion, chopped

Pinch Kosher salt

Pinch Black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 or 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 2-inch florets

1/2 cup or more, olive oil, for frying (more as needed)

5 cups Marinara Sauce (more if needed). Use your favorite recipe.

1 or more cups finely grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 to 1 pound fresh Burrata mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces

 

Fresh ingredients make a huge difference in the outcome. However, when making marinara sauce, I always use Cento tomatoes, because I never know if Whole Foods or FreshDirect will have peak flavor tomatoes. Long ago, a chef at a very fine Italian restaurant told me Cento is the secret ingredient of many chefs. I have been doing that ever since. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Directions

 

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Do all the chopping that needs to be done.

 

Chopping all the herbs at the same time. When you chop this way, and mix all herbs together, just use 3 teaspoons of mixed chopped herbs. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

3. Make the marinara sauce. Set aside. If pressed for time, used store-bought, like Newman’s Own.

 

Making the marinara sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

4. Place flour, eggs and panko into three wide, shallow bowls. Season each generously with salt and pepper. Dip a cauliflower piece first in flour, then eggs, then coat with panko. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.

 

Dip the cauliflower florets first into almond flour, then egg, then the Panko. Now, you’re ready to fry. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

5. Sautee onions & garlic in olive oil. Then add spices, and herbs. Add more oil if needed, stir to combine well. Set aside. You will add all of this to the marinara sauce.

 

Cooking the onions & garlic. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

6. Fill a large skillet with 1/2-inch oil. Place over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry cauliflower in batches, turning halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer fried cauliflower pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.

 

Frying the cauliflower. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The fried cauliflower should look like this when you’re done. It happens to be scrumptious like this, as well. If you just wanted to stop and serve at this point, you would not be disappointed. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

7. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle one-third of the Parmesan over sauce. Scatter half cauliflower mixture over the Parmesan and top with half the mozzarella pieces. Top with half the remaining sauce, sprinkle with another third of the Parmesan and repeat layering, ending with a final layer of sauce and Parmesan.

 

Here is final layer of sauce, parmesan and burrata are about to be added. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

8. Transfer pan to oven and bake until cheese is golden and casserole is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

 

About to go into the oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This is a fairly low calorie comfort food, delicious on a cold night with a full bodied Italian Banfi, or Napa cab or? the list of fine red wines is endless. Oh, and serve warm Italian or French bread to sop up the flavorful juices. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Saturday, we saw the show, “Love Love Love“ named after the same song by John Lennon, which I do love.

 

Beatles: Love Love Love

 

A great song but not a great show. The actors gave it their all, but the play itself was lacking in depth and never seemed to be quite in focus. Afterwards, we dined at the recommendation of friends, an informal French bistro on Broadway, near Carnegie Hall and City Center, called Brasserie Cognac. Apparently, it’s open around the clock, so if we get out of the theater at say, 4, we could go to a place like this. Most well-known Manhattan restaurants don’t serve dinner until 5 or 5:30 at the earliest. These days, many shows are 90 minutes long, so we need to know what’s open after 90 minute productions. Anyway, we sat at a cozy corner banquette. Jules had a delicious tomato/goat cheese tart and I had a tuna tart. Next, we shared a cheese souffl?, which was wonderful. The wine selection is not extensive, but we were happy with a Napa red. They had run out of Stags Leap cab. Jules had chicken Paillard and I had a perfect filet mignon flambe; both very fine. I don’t have very good luck with the thin pounded chicken, Jules had. Mine always comes out too dry; whereas this bistro style chicken was moist and tasty. Probably, the real reason we tried this bistro out is we heard they served crepes suzette flambeed, table side. The last time we had this dessert was at The Four Seasons Restaurant, where we used to hang out a lot. Now, sadly, this great NY restaurant has closed. Anyway, we had the world’s most delicious dessert once again with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, (Four Seasons style) and were not disappointed.

 

We headed home, up Park Avenue, with slight powdering of snow, and its mall of holiday lights. Manhattan is very lovely at this time of year. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright! Irving Berlin. Photo: ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Individual Turkey Pies with Thyme & Mushroom Curry Gravy

 

One turkey pie (without gravy) is perfect to pass around at a party, as finger food or as a perfect appetizer (with gravy). Like last week’s recipe, I was trying to use up left-over Thanksgiving turkey, in a creative way. Hope you enjoy making this; it’s worth it, because of the delicious intermingling flavors. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

One is an appetizer; two is good enough for dinner with crunchy asparagus or broccoli. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

I made this recipe three time last week, just to get it exactly right for this newsletter, and of course for our own palate. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 pound left-over light or dark meat, cut into bite-size pieces

1 Onion, chopped

15 fresh garlic cloves, chopped (not squeezed)

1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

1/2 cup sweet baby peas (frozen is fine)

1/2 cup carrots or other veggie cooked with the turkey, cut in small pieces

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

1 Pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup fresh parsley, well chopped

1/4 cup fresh dill, well chopped

1.5 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 8 ounces)

 

Pie Mixture

 

1 cup almond flour

1 1/2teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup almond milk, another drop if needed 

2 eggs, beaten together, in a small cup 

 

Directions

 

1. Heat oven to 375?F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. Chop everything that needs chopping, shredding, grating, slicing, cutting, beating.

 

About to wash, dry and chop these beautiful herbs. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Grate the cheese then set aside. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

I used frozen sweet baby peas (BirdsEye), but 1 large fresh carrot, cut into cubes ( the next day, changing my recipe slightly, I grated the carrot, which was better. Here I am cooking the carrots in chicken broth, until they’re soft. I also cooked the grated carrots in broth. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

3. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook the onion and garlic, until soft. Next add all spices and herbs, stirring while you add. Now add the chicken stock (or broth), stirring as you add.

 

Add oil to a large skillet, over a medium flame, then add the garlic & onions. Next add all the seasonings and herbs; after which add the chicken stock or broth. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

4. To the skillet, add all the left-over turkey and combine with all other ingredients in the pan. Add the peas and the other veggie and heat until hot, stirring occasionally until almost all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.

 

Next step: to the mixture in the above photo, add the turkey, peas, precooked carrots and stir everything together. Note: the pan is different, because this is the first time I experimented with my recipe. (day before). ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

5. Cool 5 minutes; stir in the shredded cheese then set aside.

 

Make the batter

 

6. In medium bowl, stir the two dry baking ingredients together. Then add the canola oil and milk and whisk everything until well combined. Finally, add the 2 beaten eggs and stir until all ingredients are well blended together. That’s it. That’s your batter.

 

Easy to make batter. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Getting Ready to Bake (3 layers in each muffin tin)

 

7. Spoon 1 Tablespoon flour/egg mixture into each muffin cup. This is the bottom layer. Over the bottom layer, add a Tablespoon of the turkey (or chicken) mixture. This is the second or middle layer. Finally, spoon 1 Tablespoon flour/egg mixture over the chicken mixture in each muffin cup. This is the third, top layer in each muffin cup.

 

One Tablespoon of batter in bottom of tin, then bake for 5 minutes and remove to cool for 5 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

After bottom layer cools, add the turkey/veggie layer over it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Before baking, the last step is adding the rest of the batter over the turkey/veggie mixture. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

8. Bake the 12 turkey pies for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes.

9. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve.

 

Just out of the oven and cooling for 5 minutes. Pies come out of tin easily. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

10. While the pies are baking, make a simple curry mushroom gravy to serve at the table.

 

All the ingredients for the mushroom curry gravy. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Easy Gravy Recipe

 

1 Onion

4 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

Extra virgin olive oil for cooking

1 box of mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (chop them more than I did)

1 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

Several pinches curry powder (to your taste)

1 cup chicken broth, (stock or canned)

1 Tablespoon almond flour

1 Tablespoon sour cream

 

 

Directions

 

1.     Sautee the onions & garlic in olive oil in large skillet

2.     Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until soft

3.     Add all the spices and stir in

4.     Add the chicken broth and stir all ingredients together.

5.     In a measuring cup, mix the sour cream with the almond flour

6.     Last, add the sour cream mixture to the mushrooms and combine well.

7.     Cover until you plan to serve the whole recipe

8.     Just before you plan to serve, warm the gravy and pour into a bowl for table.

 

I used this.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Chop the mushrooms into smaller pieces than I did.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

First sautee onion and garlic, then add mushrooms, chicken broth, all spices and stir well.  Cook until mushrooms are soft.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

In a measuring cup, combine the sour cream and the almond flour.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cover to keep the gravy warm; but just before serving turn the flame on for another 3 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Serve the gravy in a bowl on the table.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Really delicious!  You’re gonna love this!  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Discovered a new red you might like Poggio il Castellare, ”Cervio” Cabernet Sauvignon Sant’ Antimo , 2010. We loved it. Following is a short wine review:

 

“Offers pungent aromas of cassis, bell pepper, licorice and tar, focused by a dense texture and firm structure. Concentrated and intense, this builds to a long, cassis-infused aftertaste.“ -Wine Spectator (93 Points)

 

It’s similar to Stags Leap cab, which we had last night at The Water Club, in Manhattan, with friends, after going to a great show, “Holiday Inn.“ BTW, try to see this production at Studio 54, the famous disco now turned into a beautiful Broadway theater.  This is a musical for the whole family, especially appropriate at this holiday time.

 

 

From Our Table to Yours !

 

Bon Appetit!

 

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