Time Chart of Lightly Toasted Nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Cover and freeze up to 1 month.

Almonds: 12 to 15 minutes
Hazelnuts: 12 to 15 minutes
Macadamias: 12 to 15 minutes
Peanuts: 15 to 20 minutes
Pecans: 10 to 12 minutes
Pine Nuts: 10 to 12 minutes
Pistachios: 10 to 12 minutes
Walnuts: 10 to 12 minutes

Roasted Bell Peppers

Roasted Bell Peppers can be substituted for fresh bell peppers in any recipe. They’re great to have around anyway, as a tasty addition to sandwiches and omelets. You can’t even compare them to those you can buy in jars – it’s like the difference between fresh and frozen orange juice.

Bell peppers, any color

1. Preheat the broiler or oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the peppers directly under the broiler or in the oven and cook until blackened on all sides

3. Place the peppers in a heavy plastic or paper bag, close, and let sweat for about 10 minutes. Remove from the back, remove the burned skin, then stem and seed the peppers. Slice as desired and use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)

Roasted Garlic

When I want strong garlic flavor but not too much garlic pungency, I substitute roasted garlic for fresh. You can use this in any recipe calling for fresh garlic for a different taste twist.

1 head garlic
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Makes about 2½ tablespoons, depending on size of the garlic head.

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Remove as much of the peel from the garlic as possible, being careful to keep the head intact. Place the garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with the oil, and wrap the foil around it.

3. Roast until the garlic is soft and tender, about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic from the peels and, if using it as a puree, mash with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)

Yogurt Cheese

I use only lowfat or full-fat yogurt to make this component: when you make yogurt cheese with nonfat yogurt, the result is chalky. However, if you are used to the flavor of nonfat, it might be a viable alternative for you. Yogurt cheese is a terrific substitute for both sour cream and cream cheese in all recipes in this book. I suggest you try it with other recipes, too.

Makes about 2 cups

1 32-ounce container of lowfat or full-fat plain yogurt

1. Line a colander with muslin or cheesecloth. Place the colander over a large mixing bowl. Place the yogurt in the colander and cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

2. Discard the liquid that has drained into the bowl. Transfer yogurt cheese to a small mixing bowl and use as directed in recipes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)

Caramelized Garlic Cloves

Caramelized Garlic Cloves
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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, separated and papery skin removed from cloves
Instructions
  1. Place a small pan over low heat and when it is hot, add the oil.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is softened and golden in color, abotu 20 minutes.
  3. Set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate up to two weeks.

 

Omelet for two

Omelet for two
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Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼- 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper, or more, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
  • **Fillings**
  • use ¼ - ½ cup of any of the following:
  • caramelized onions
  • chopped ham
  • any kind of cheese
  • fruit preserves
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • smoked salmon and cream cheese
  • roasted vegetables
  • roasted potatoes
Instructions
  1. Combine the eggs, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Heat a medium sized omelet pan or skillet over a medium low flame and add oil or butter, being sure to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add egg mixture. When the eggs begin to set, agitate the pan back and forth so they they completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  4. Swirl the eggs until they begin to thicken.
  5. Add filling on one side of the omelet and cover with the other, thereby making a half moon shape. Serve immediately.

 

Scrambled Eggs for two

Scrambled Eggs for two
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Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼- 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper, or more, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
Instructions
  1. Combine the eggs, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Heat a medium sized omelet pan or skillet over a medium low flame and add oil or butter,
  3. being sure to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add egg mixture. When the eggs begin to set, gently turn them with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking and turning until they are set but still soft and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Other options:

Just before the eggs are completely cooked, add freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, caramelized onions, bacon bits, smoked salmon, sour cream, caviar, capers.

Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze
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Ingredients
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place chocolate, water and cream in a double boiler.
  2. Stir occasionally and cook until the chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour over cake both the cake and glaze are still hot.

 

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions
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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large red or Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Heat a large non stick skillet over very low heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  2. Add brown sugar and chicken stock, one tablespoon at a time, as needed for moisture. Stir occasionally.
  3. Cook until the stock is completely absorbed, about 25 minutes.