A First Course:  SWEET ‘N SPICY SUMMER SQUASH SOUP PUREED WITH A MULTITUDE OF DRIED HERBS – RED ONION – MINCED GARLIC – MAPLE SYRUP – UNDILUTED VEGETARIAN VEGETABLE SOUP – LEMON JUICE – AND A BASE OF MILK

For 4:

–squash (2 large, or 4 small, fresh, sliced)

–ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper (1 teaspoon each, except for cayenne, which is one-half teaspoon)

–red onion (fresh, one-half, sliced)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–maple syrup (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–vegetarian vegetable soup (undiluted, 1 can)

–lemon juice (bottled, 2 squirts)

–olive oil (1 tablespoon)

–milk (dairy, almond, or soy, 1 cup)

1 – Slice the squash and onion.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Add the herbs (see above for amount), garlic, maple syrup, soup, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, let cool for 5 minutes (food is too hot to work with).

2 – Place the ingredients in a food processor.  Puree until smooth.

3 – Add 1 cup of milk.  Stir. Microwave for 5 minutes on high.

4 – Let the soup stand for 5 minutes, covered, before serving.

5 – Serve hot.

–adapted from the Mississippi Daily, newspaper of the University of Mississippi

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A Comfort Dinner:  SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH CHICKEN STRIPS – GREEN PEAS – SHREDDED CARROTS – BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS – SLICED RED ONION – MINCED GARLIC – THYME – WORCESTERSHIRE – TOMATO SAUCE – BONE BROTH ATOP MASHED POTATOES

For 4:

–6 chicken breast strips

–potatoes (red, 3 one-inch, quartered)

–milk (dairy or almond, not soy; one-third cup)

–green peas (half a package)

–shredded carrots (1 handful)

–baby bella mushrooms (quartered, 2)

–sliced red onion (also called purple, one-quarter, large)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–thyme (bottled, 1 teaspoon, divided)

–Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon)

–tomato sauce (I used Ragu garden pasta sauce, 2 tablespoons, bottled)

–bone broth (I used organic chicken, one-half cup, packaged)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the quartered potatoes in a covered baking dish with one-third cup of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil, all to taste.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  When finished, drain, and place in a food processor.  Place the milk in a microwaveable measuring cup, and microwave for 1 minute.  In the food processor, slowly add the warm milk while pulsing.  When finished, set aside.

2 – Place the bone broth, Worcestershire, and tomato sauce in a covered baking dish, and stir.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. 

3 – When finished, place the green peas, shredded carrots, mushrooms, onion, and half the thyme in the sauce.  Stir.  Add the chicken on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and the remainder of the thyme.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

4 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece to be sure of doneness.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

5 – Reheat the mashed potatoes by placing in a baking dish and microwaving for 1 minute.

6 – Serve the chicken and vegetables, hot, atop the mashed potatoes.

–recipe adapted from Real Simple magazine.

A Simple Dinner:  BAKED CHICKEN STRIPS WITH ROSEMARY – MINCED GARLIC – LEMON – FRESH ITALIAN PARSLEY IN RED WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken breast strips

–rosemary (1 tablespoon, dried, bottled)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–lemon (bottled, 3 squirts)

–fresh Italian parsley (1 handful, chopped)

–red wine (use the real stuff; one-quarter cup)

1 – Place the chicken strips in a covered baking dish.  Place on top salt and pepper to taste, rosemary, minced garlic, lemon juice, and fresh Italian parsley. 

2 – Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Strips are usually narrow, and cook rapidly.  Check a center piece for doneness.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

3 – Serve the chicken hot.

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.

A Winner:  GLAZED SALMON WITH HONEY – GINGER – MINCED GARLIC SPRINKLED WITH SESAME SEEDS AND IN A RED WINE & SOY SAUCE

Note:  Originally intended as a glaze for grilling outside.

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–honey (3 tablespoons, bottled)

–ginger (bottled, 1 teaspoon)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–sesame seeds (bottled, 2 tablespoons)

–red wine (one-eighth cup)

–soy sauce (low sodium, bottled, one-eighth cup)

–pepper (no salt)

–olive oil

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with red wine and soy sauce.  Season with honey, ginger, and mined garlic.  Sprinkle with pepper to taste and sesame seeds.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  (Salmon is best if cooked medium rare.)

3 – Serve the salmon hot.

–adapted to the microwave from a recipe of friends in Marion, Illinois.

CHICKEN WITH BASIL – PARSLEY – NUTMEG – PURPLE ONION SPRINKLED WITH SHREDDED PARMESAN & BREADCRUMBS AND IN A MILK & WHITE WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–basil (1 teaspoon, divided, bottled)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–nutmeg (bottled, divided, one-quarter teaspoon)

–purple onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–shredded Parmesan (one-quarter cup, packaged)

–breadcrumbs (one-quarter cup, boxed, plain)

–milk (one-eighth cup, dairy or almond, not soy)

–white wine (one-eighth cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the sliced purple onion in a covered baking dish.  Add the milk and white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and half the basil and nutmeg.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Nestle the chicken in the sauce.  Season with basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan, in this order, atop the chicken.  Drop chopped parsley over.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 7 minutes.  When finished, check a center piece for doneness.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the chicken hot.

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.

COD STEW WITH FRESH PARSLEY – PURPLE ONION – TURMERIC IN WHITE WINE SAUCE AND ON A BED OF CIABATTA BREADCRUMBS SEASONED WITH MINCED GARLIC & OLIVE OIL

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–turmeric (bottled, 1 teaspoon)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–purple onion (one-half, sliced)

–ciabatta bread (1 bun)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–white wine (two-thirds cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Chop one-half purple onion and place in a covered baking dish with a little water and white wine (equal parts of each).  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Place the cod on top of the onion.  Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, parsley, and olive oil.  Add a bit more white wine.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  Cod is done when it starts to break apart.

3 – Break apart the ciabatta bun.  Drizzle olive oil on top.  Sprinkle with minced garlic.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.

4 – Serve the cod, hot,  in a bowl with sauce atop one piece of broken ciabatta bread for each serving.

–cod adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking..

COD BASIL WITH FRESH TOMATO – PEPPERS – GREEN ONIONS IN LEMON – CLAM JUICE SAUCE

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–basil (if fresh, 3 minced leaves; if dried, 1 tablespoon)

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped)

–red bell pepper (one-half fresh, sliced)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–lemon juice (3 squirts, bottled)

–clam juice (one-quarter cup, bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the tomato and red bell pepper in a covered baking dish with the clam juice.  Season with half the basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave for 3 minutes on high.

2 – Place the cod in the sauce.  Drench in lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Drop green onions on top.

3 – Microwave the cod for 7 minutes on high.  Cod is done when it begins to break apart.

4 – Serve the cod and sauce hot.

–adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Dining.

SALMON AND PEPPERS WITH SLICED VIDALIA ONION – BALSAMIC VINEGAR – MINCED GARLIC – MINT – LEMON – CLAM JUICE – GREEN ONIONS

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–red bell pepper (one-half, fresh, sliced)

–Vidalia onion (one-half, sliced)

–clam juice (one-quarter cup, bottled)

–lemon juice (3 squirts, bottled)

–balsamic vinegar (one-eighth cup, bottled)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–mint (dried, bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped, fresh)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the sliced red bell pepper and the sliced Vidalia onion in a covered baking dish.  Add the clam juice.  Season with minced garlic, mint, salt and pepper, and olive oil.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – When finished, nestle the salmon amid the peppers and onion.  Drench in lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt, pepper, mint, and olive oil.  Drop chopped green onion on top.

3 – Microwave on high for 6 and one-half minutes.  Salmon is best if medium rare.

4 – Serve the salmon with vegetables hot.

–salmon adapted from Edward Giobbi and Eugenia Giobbi Bone’s Italian Family Dining

ITALIAN VERSION – CHICKEN MARSALA WITH THYME – ROSEMARY – BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–marsala wine (or any good red wine; one-quarter cup)

–thyme (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–rosemary (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–baby bella mushrooms (5 or 6, medium size, quartered, fresh)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the marsala or other red wine in a covered baking dish.  Add the mushrooms.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Place the chicken in the sauce.  Add a bit more salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  When finished, test a center piece for doneness.  If not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve the chicken marsala hot. The entrée goes well with rice or pasta (see the search box on this blog for instructions).

–adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking.

ITALIAN COD WITH FRESH TOMATO – BASIL – OREGANO – MINCED GARLIC IN A MILK – WHITE WINE SAUCE ATOP JASMINE RICE

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–basil (3 fresh leaves, torn; or 1 tablespoon, dried)

–oregano (3 fresh sprigs, leaves only; or 1 tablespoon, dried)

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–milk (one-eighth cup)

–white wine (one-eighth cup)

–tomato (fresh, medium chopped)

–jasmine rice (follow package instructions for microwaving; brand differ)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, minced garlic, and olive oil. 

2 – Chop the tomato, and season with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano.  Place the tomato on top of the cod.  Add milk and white wine to the dish.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  Cod is done when it begins to break apart.

4 – Serve the cod hot, atop jasmine rice.

–cod inspired by C. Mabry, chef.