Tomato Sauce for Rice

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Author: James Kirkley

A classic Southern dish. Wonderful with lima beans and fried chicken or baked ham.

This sauce goes over white rice. Ideally accompanied by lima beans. A package of frozen lima beans should be cooked in salted water to cover. Add some chopped bacon and let it cook until almost all the water has evaporated and the beans are mushy. Now you are eating!

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 can, tomatoes
3 tablespoons, flour
3 tablespoons, butter or buttery olive oil
1/4 teaspoon, salt
1/4 teaspoon, pepper
1 teaspoon, sugar

METHOD

  1. Puree tomatoes in blender until completely liquified.
  2. In sauce pan over medium heat melt butter or heat olive oil. When butter is melted completely and foaming or the olive oil is hat, add flour. Cook flour stirring constantly, with a wire whisk until it starts to brown slightly.
  3. Carefully add tomatoes to roux, blending as you go. Cook stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 or 6 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Careful, it will bubble and spatter out all over the place. Keep the heat as low as possible.
  4. Add salt, pepper and sugar. This is really to taste. Some tomatoes have more acid than others. The sugar will cut the acid of the tomatoes. The sauce should be barely sweet.

This was one of my Dad’s favorites and was one thing my Mom could make without him complaining, so I guess she made it pretty well according to him. After I got married I asked Mom for the recipe and this is it.

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Sweet Potato-Topped Turkey Pie

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For a faster preparation you can make the mashed sweet potato topping up to 2 days ahead and use purchased rotisserie chicken and chicken stock.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Potato Topping
2 pounds, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons, kosher salt
3 tablespoons, unsalted butter – melted
1/4 teaspoon, freshly ground nutmeg – optional
freshly ground black pepper
Turkey Filling
2 tablespoons, unsalted butter
2 tablespoons, il Fustino EVOO (preferably Arbequina)
1 large, yellow onion – diced
1/4 cup, celery – diced
3/4 cup, carrots – peeled and diced
1 teaspoon, kosher salt
3 tablespoons, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups, chicken or turkey stock or low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup, whipping cream or half and half
2 1/2 cups, roast turkey or chicken – shredded
2 tablespoons, flat leaf parsley – finely chopped
1 tablespoon, fresh sage – finely chopped
1 tablespoon, fresh thyme – finely chopped

METHOD

  1. For Sweet Potato Topping: In a saucepan combine sweet potatoes, 1 tsp. of the salt, and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover partially. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes; return to warm pan. Stir over low heat for 1 minute to dry. Using potato masher, mash potatoes. Stir in melted butter, optional nutmeg, the remaining 1 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Position a rack in center of oven Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. For Turkey Filling: In a large saucepan melt butter with oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook and stir, about 2 minutes. Add salt. Cover partially. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until vegetables are very tender, about 12 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle flour over vegetables. Stir to combine. Slowly stir in stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cream; bring to a simmer. Add turkey, parsley, sage, and thyme. Stir to combine while humming Simon and Garfunkel. Return to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  6. Spoon filling into 2 1/2 to 3 quart rectangular baking dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread and mound sweet potato mixture over filling, leaving some of the filling visible.
  7. Bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Spice-Roasted Almonds

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Tasty, low-calorie and easy to make

Serves: 12

INGREDIENTS

1 pound, raw almonds
1 tablespoon, chili powder
1 tablespoon, il Fustino olive oil
1 teaspoon, kosher salt
1 teaspoon, cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon, coriander
1/2 teaspoon, smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon, cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon, ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Combine all ingredients in a metal bowl and toss to combine.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. On a cookie sheet, lay down a bit of parchment paper or wax paper.
  5. Spread almonds on cookie sheet spreading out to one layer.
  6. Bake about 10 minutes or until almonds are toasted, stirring twice.
  7. Cool before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Polenta Pizza

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Polenta and broccoli rabe pair well in many Italian dishes. Here we give the pairing a new twist as a pizza. Gluten-free.

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

2 cups, Instant Polenta
1 tablespoon, Instant Polenta
1 1/2 teaspoons, table salt
1/2 teaspoon, garlic salt
6 tablespoons, parmesan cheese – grated
3 tablespoons, il Fustino EVOO (preferably Tuscan Blend)
4 cloves, garlic – sliced
1 bunch, broccoli rabe – tough stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
15 ounces, ricotta cheese

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 14 pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Dust with 1 tbsp of the polenta
  2. Bring 6 cups water to boiling. Add 1 1/4 tsp of the salt and the garlic powder. Slowly add polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tbsp of the parmesan cheese. Spread onto prepared pizza pan. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large, lidded skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook an additional 3 minutes until just tender.
  5. Spread ricotta over polenta, leaving a 1 inch border. Scatter broccoli rabe and garlic over ricotta. Top with remaining 3 tbsp parmesan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cut into wedges and serve.

Sprinkle the tablespoon of Instant Polenta on the pizza pan to keep the rest from sticking.

Garlicky Braised Brussel Sprouts

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Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 pound, Fresh Brussel Sprouts – halved lengthwise
6 cloves, Garlic – finely chopped
2 tablespoons, Butter
1 tablespoon, Olive oil
1/2 cup, vegetable broth
salt and pepper – to taste

METHOD

  1. In a large non-stick frying pan, melt butter and add olive oil.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Lay brussel sprouts in pan face side down. There should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan but no more.
  4. Fry sprouts for 1 or 2 minutes but do not let the garlic get brown.
  5. Add about 1/3 cup of vegetable broth and cover for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove cover and reduce liquid completely. Let sprouts brown. DO NOT MOVE THEM OR SHAKE THEM.
  7. When spouts are brown and almost burning. Add remaining vegetable broth and reduce again.
  8. Serve immediately.

Cannellini Beans

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Author: Revised by Laura S. Kirkley

Classic Tartine served on toasted Artisan Bread, Appetizer served on Red Endive or Belgian Endive, Salad served on bed of Spring Greens

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons, butter
1/4 cup, il Fustino EVOO
4 cloves, garlic – minced
12 leaves, fresh sage leaves – minced
2 15 oz. cans, cannellini beans with 2/3 liquid
1 tablespoon, fresh lemon juice
pinch, red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. In a medium saucepan warm olive oil and butter, Lightly toast garlic until golden.
  2. Add beans, sage, and lemon juice, stir for 1 minute
  3. Add red pepper flakes
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes or until beans are creamy.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste

Braised Black Grapes

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Author: Laura S. Kirkley

Here’s a recipe you will hard pressed to find, the grapes should be used as a visual enhancement to desserts such as ice cream or a moist vanilla cake. The grapes also look great on a Cheese Board.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

4 small bunches, black grapes (preferably seedless)
1/4 cup, il Fustino Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup, sugar

METHOD

  1. Wash and air dry grapes
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Coat grapes with il Fustino Arbosana EVOO
  4. Dredge in sugar
  5. Place on baking sheet, use middle rack in preheated oven
  6. Bake for about 6 minutes or until you hear them begin to hiss or see them split
  7. Remove immediately
  8. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving