Menus and Recipes  


  • Under the Tuscan Sun
  • Asian Fare
  • THIC CURE 2008
  • V-Day Recipes
  • Spring Fever
  • Comfort Foods

Under the Tuscan Sun

On the Menu:


Bruschetta, Spaghettini con Aglio e Olio and Grilled Shrimp




(Serves 4-6)

½ lb. tomatoes, diced

½ cup olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pinch hot pepper, crushed

Fresh basil to taste

Salt to taste

Italian bread sliced


Put diced tomatoes into a bowl with olive oil, garlic, hot pepper,
basil, black pepper and salt.

Mix well.

Slice bread into 1/2" thick slices and drizzle with olive oil. 
Toast/Broil for 5-8 minutes on high.

Remove from broiler oven and place on serving tray.

Place a heaping tablespoon of tomato mixture on each slice.

Serve immediately.



Spaghettini con Aglio e Olio

Spaghettini Con Aglio E Olio

(Serves 4-6)


1 lb. spaghettini

1 hot pepper, crushed

½ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

Garnish with fresh parsley


Prepare spaghettini as directed.  Be sure to check the pasta after 8
minutes to ensure the pasta is al dente.  Strain spaghettini and set

Saute garlic in olive oil until golden brown.  Add basil, parsley, and
crushed red pepper and saute for until basil and parsley are dark green
(about 5 minutes).

Lift spaghettini from strainer and place it in hot pan.  Turn off the
eye and coat spaghettini with oil mixture.

Serve immediately and garnish with fresh parsley.



Gamberoni Alla Griglia

Immerse shrimp with Tom's Paddy Wheel Spice*

Marinade overnight

Cook shrimp on the grill for two or three minutes on each side and enjoy!


Asian Fare

On the Menu:


Lumpia, Asian Coleslaw and White "Sticky" Rice


Asian Fare

Lumpia (Filipino Eggroll)
Serves 24

2 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup white onion (finely chopped)
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup water chestnuts (chopped)
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tsp black pepper
1 package of lumpia (crispy egg roll) wrappers
Water or egg whites, to seal the wrappers
2 cups Canola oil, for frying

1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over med high heat. Add minced garlic and onion and sauté until translucent. Next add the ground beef and brown. (If you use 93% lean meat, you shouldn't have to drain the pan.)

2. Once the meat is brown, add remaining ingredients and cook for 5 to 8 more minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Remove lumpia wrappers from bag and wrap them in a damp kitchen towel so they don't dry out.

Wrapping & Frying the Lumpia:

1. Place wrapper in front of you with a corner pointed toward you like a diamond.

2. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoon of filling near the end of the wrapper nearest to you.

3. Fold over the edge and squeeze the filling into a thin tube.

4. Fold each side of the wrapper in. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to dab the edges of the wrappers with water or beaten egg mixture to seal.

5. Then roll, roll, roll...making sure to keep the roll very tight. Fold the ends like you’re wrapping a present. Wet the pointed end of the wrapper to seal.

6. Transfer the completed rolls to a baking sheet and keep covered with the damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. (If you're not frying the lumpia right away, freeze them, then fry them straight from the freezer.)

7. Fill a wide, heavy saucepan with the canola oil. Place over medium-high heat and heat until the oil registers 350 degrees F on a cooking thermometer. Fry about 4 to 6 lumpia at a time (don't crowd the pan), turning with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a strainer to drain.

8. Serve hot with sweet and sour sauce.




Asian Coleslaw
Serves 6


1 cup low fat mayonnaise (eggless mayonnaise works best)
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 cups shredded green cabbage
3 cups shredded red cabbage
2 carrots, shredded
1 (6 ounce) can bamboo shoots, julienned
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, or to taste


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, fish sauce, red wine vinegar, and sesame oil.
2. Once the wet ingredients are fully mixed add the red and green cabbage, carrots, and bamboo shoots. Toss to coat thoroughly. Add pepper and freshly grated ginger.
3. Refrigerate until serving time.




White "Sticky Rice
Serves 4

2 cups short-grained white rice (Calrose Premium White Rice)
2 1/2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (for garnish, not necessary)


1. Measure the rice and place it in a fine-holed colander or strainer. Rinse the rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain well, and transfer to a heavy saucepan.

2. Add 2 1/2 cups fresh cold water. Cover and soak for 30 minutes before turning on heat. (If you are under a time constraint soaking the rice granules are not necessary.)

3. Bring rice to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, about 20 minutes.





Appetizer: Lobster Bisque Soup


Main Entree: Miso Salmon 


Side Dishes: Asian Spinach, Sticky White Rice, Sticky Brown Rice


Dessert: White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake


Beverage: “Faux Pink” Champagne


Click here for details, bios on the Survivors and recipes! (pdf)



V-Day Recipes

On the Menu:

Appetizer: Perfectly Portioned Rock Shrimp & Lobster Cheese Bake (perfect for spoon feeding your Valentine)

Main Entree: Cornish Game Hens with a Strawberry Glaze

Side Dish: Sweet Honey (and Barack) Brown Sugar Carrot Souffle

Side Dish: Grilled Asparagus

Dessert: I (heart) Blueberry Tarts


Perfectly Portioned Rock Shrimp & Lobster Cheese Bake
Serves 8

1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
8 oz. cooked lobster, cut up
6 oz. cooked shrimp
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup mild cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup bread crumbs

1. Combine all ingredients except bread crumbs. Place on greased 1/2 quart casserole.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until celery is done.

3. Once casserole is complete, remove casserole from oven and lower temperature to 250 degrees. Scoop casserole by rounded tablespoons onto Asian soup spoons and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

4. Place soup spoons (with casserole and bread crumbs) into oven for 10 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and serve. *** Caution: Spoons may be very hot to the touch.



Cornish Game Hens with a Strawberry Glaze
Serves 4


2 Cornish hens
Black pepper
6 large garlic cloves, minced


1 (12 oz) jar strawberry preserves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 cup grand marnier liquor or orange juice


1. Remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens with cold water; pat dry. Remove skins; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise.

2. Rub hens with salt, pepper, and garlic.

3. In small saucepan, combine glaze ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Let stand 5 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 325. Place Cornish game hens into a 13" x 9" baking dish. Spoon glaze over hens. Baste occasionally while baking. Bake approx. 45-55 minutes or until glaze is caramelized.




Sweet Honey (and Barack) Brown Sugar Carrot Souffle
Serves 4

2 pounds carrots, chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. To the carrots add melted butter, brown sugar, honey, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract and eggs. Mix well and transfer to a 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.



Grilled Asparagus
Serves 4

1 1/2 lb medium asparagus (24), trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

* Special equipment: 8 (6-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in warm water 10 minutes

1. Prepare grill.

2. Divide asparagus into 4 bunches. Align each bunch in a flat row and thread 2 skewers crosswise through each bunch. Brush asparagus with oil and season with kosher salt.

3. Grill asparagus on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until tender, 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

** Note: • The parallel skewers make it easier to turn the asparagus. • If outdoor grilling isn't an option, asparagus may also be grilled in a well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.



I (heart) Blueberry Tarts
Serves 4

For crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg yolk

** Special equipment: 4 (3 3/4-inch) nonstick fluted tart pans or 4 (8-ounces) ramekins

For filling:

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups picked-over blueberries
1 tablespoon vanilla
Accompaniment: Whipped cream

1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a food processor blend together flour, sugar, salt and butter until mixture resembles meal. Add yolk and pulse until dough begins to come together but is still crumbly.

3. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up side of each 3 3/4-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim. Prick bottom of crust all over with a fork and chill 30 minutes.

4. Bake crust in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden, and cool in pan on a rack.

5. Make filling: In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water to soften.

6. In a saucepan combine lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, a pinch salt and 3 cups berries and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla. Transfer blueberry mixture to a metal bowl set in a bowl of ice and cold water and stir until thickened to the consistency of raw egg white but not set, about 15 minutes. Fold in remaining 5 cups berries and pour filling into crust, spreading evenly. Chill tart, covered loosely, at least 4 hours, or until set, and up to 1 day.

Serve blueberry tarts with whipped cream.




Spring Fever

On the Menu:


Salmon Burgers, Grilled Corn on the Cob with a Roasted Bell Pepper Butter, Sweet Potato French Fries with Homemade Ketchup, and Nectarine Spring Salad

Salmon Burgers
Serves 6

1 1/2 to 2 lb. salmon fillet, ground

1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 large shallots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup miso paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 onion rolls, split
canola oil

1.    In a bowl, combine salmon, bread crumbs, cucumber, shallots, parsley, miso paste, and garlic powder. Mix lightly but thoroughly.

2.     Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and shape each portion into a patty 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate about 2 hours.

3.     Oil grill or grease skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil. Grill or pan-fry salmon burgers over medium-high heat. Turn once, until cooked through when tested with a knife, 5 to 6 minutes per side. About 1 minute before the burgers are ready, place the onion roll halves, cut sides down, on an area of the grill or skillet with lower heat and toast lightly.

4.     Place the bottoms of the onion rolls on individual plates. Top with the burgers and the tops of the rolls. Serve with condiments of your choosing.

5.     Serve immediately.



Corn on the Cob
Serves 6

6 ears of corn with husks

1.     Prepare a fire in a covered grill.

2.     Working with 1 ear of corn at a time, carefully pull back the husks but leave them attached. Remove and discard the silk, then replace the husks around the ear. In a rectangular baking dish, soak the ears in cold water to cover for at least 20 minutes and then drain.

3.     Carefully pull back the husks from each ear and spread the Roasted Bell Pepper Butter (recipe follows) evenly over the kernels. Replace the husks.

4.     Place the corn on the grill rack, cover, open the vents, and grill until the husks are browned and the kernels are tender, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.


Roasted Bell Pepper Butter

1 red bell pepper, roasted, patted dry, and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, patted dry, and chopped
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
salt and black pepper, to taste

1.     In a food processor purée the roasted peppers, add the butter, the lemon juice, and salt and black pepper to taste, and blend the mixture until it is smooth. Serve the butter with grilled vegetables or grilled chicken.


Sweet Potato French “Fries”
Serves 6

4 or 5 medium sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

1.     Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash the sweet potatoes, and trim off any bruised spots. Cut them into slices about 1/2 inch thick, or even slightly less. Cut each slice into further slices, lengthwise, about the same thickness to form the fries.

2.     Put the oil in a shallow roasting pan. Toss the fries gently in it, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the fries for 15 minutes. Turn the fries over, and roast for another 15 minutes.

3.     Serve very promptly; because of their small size they will cool off fast.



Homemade Ketchup
Makes 12 ounces

6 ounce can tomato paste
1/4 to 1/3 cup water (depending on desired consistency)
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch* ground cloves
1 pinch* ground allspice
1 pinch* cayenne pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar

* Note: A pinch is equivalent to about 1/8 teaspoon. To reduce the sodium content simply omit the salt. To reduce the sugar content replace the brown sugar with 1 teaspoon molasses and 1/4 cup granulated Splenda.

1.     In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients with a wire whisk or fork making sure to blend the ingredients well. Scrape the mixture into a pint-sized, resealable container.

2.     Chill ketchup mixture overnight to blend the flavors.

3.     Use wherever ketchup is desired.



Spring Nectarine Salad
Serves 4-5


1 small shallot, finely diced
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon clover leaf honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 nectarines, cut into wedges
1/2 pound fresh salad greens
1/2 cup shaved Pecorino Romano cheese

1.     In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk until emulsified.

2.     Toss greens with sliced peaches and just enough vinaigrette to coat. Garnish with cheese.






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