Archive for Lunches

Edamame and Pistachio Salmon Salad

Posted by: · Apr 07 2011 · Comments (3)

I created this dish for dinner last night and I must say that I was quite pleased with myself.  The pistachios and edmamae go wonderfully with the salmon and make for a 20 minute meal with excellent texture and flavor.  Serve on couscous or on a toasted roll.

Serves 6


- 2 LB’s salmon fillets, about 3 fillets

- ½ cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped

- 1 cup edamame beans, shelled

- 2 teaspoons store bought fish sauce, can be found in the Asian section of most grocery store

- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

- ½ cup light mayonnaise

- Salt


Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Place the fish on a baking dish, skin side facing down.  Sprinkle each fillet with a dash of salt. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the fish is flakey.  Remove the fish from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the skin from the fish and discard.  Place the fish in a large bowl and gently use a fork to pull the fish apart into medium size flakes.  Fold in the pistachios, edamame, fish sauce, rice vinegar and mayonnaise.  Season with salt to your desired taste.  Serve immediately or stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice, cover and refrigerate for later use.

Categories : Dinners, Lunches, Salads, Seafood
Comments (3)

Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

Posted by: · Apr 03 2011 · Comments (0)

This soup is perfect for a weekend dinner or lunch.  Easy, flavorful and pretty.

Serves 6


- 3 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

- 4 cups corn, canned or straight off the husk

- 2 tablespoons butter

- ½ cup chopped scallions

- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in half

- 4 cups chicken broth

- 1 cup Half and Half

- 1 teaspoon salt + extra for seasoning the chicken

- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper + extra for seasoning the chicken

- Sour cream


Pre-heat oven to 375°.  Place the chicken on a baking dish and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.  Once the chicken has cooled, use a fork to shred it into thin strips.

Meanwhile, bring a large stockpot filled half way with water to a boil.  Carefully lower the sweet potatoes into the water with a slotted spoon.  Continue to boil for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  Drain the potatoes and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the corn and coat with the butter.  Sauté for 5 minutes then add the scallions, ginger, salt and pepper.  Continue to cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer all but ¾ cups of the corn mixture to a food processor.  Set the other ¾ cups aside for later use.  Also add to the food processor the cooked sweet potato.  Mix until fully incorporated and smooth.  Return the mixture to a stockpot medium-high heat.  Fold in the reserved corn as well as the broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and stir in the half and half.  Fold in the chicken and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.  Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as you see fit.   Ladle into soup bowls, top with a spoonful a sour cream and enjoy.

Categories : Dinners, Lunches, Poultry, Soups
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Pear-Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Posted by: · Mar 30 2011 · Comments (3)

In typical fashion, I forgot to buy celery for my chicken salad and decided to substitute with the pears that were being ignored in the dark reaches of my refrigerator.  The result is a twist on a classic dish with a hint of new flavors and a delicious spring meal.

Serves 4


- 4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

- 1 cup Ponzu Sauce

- ¼ cup chopped scallions

- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

- 2 pears

- ½ cup light mayonnaise

- ½ cup cream

- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed and cleaned


Place the chicken breasts in a shallow bowl.  Combine the Ponzu Sauce, scallions and ginger in a small bowl.  Pour this mixture over the chicken.  Cover with cellophane and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375°.  Cut the pears in half and remove the core.  Place the pears on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, flip and cook for 5 more minutes.  Remove the pears and let cool to room temperature.  Chop the pears into ½” cubes and set aside.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.  Use tongs to transfer the chicken from the marinade to a medium sized baking dish.  Reserve the marinade.  Bake the chicken at 375° for 12-15 minutes.  Cut into the chicken to ensure it is thoroughly cooked.  Remove the chicken from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

While the chicken is cooling measure ¾ cup of the remaining marinade and transfer to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce to a simmer over low heat and stir in the cream.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from the heat

Once the chicken has cooled to room temperature, use a fork to shred it into thin strips.  Place the chicken in a large bowl and fold in the pears and mayonnaise.   Place a few large spoonfuls of the chicken salad onto each piece of lettuce.  Drizzle the sauce over each lettuce wrap and serve.

Categories : Dinners, Lunches, Poultry, Salads
Comments (3)

Beer Braised Oxtail Sandwich

Posted by: · Mar 21 2011 · Comments (0)

Much like short ribs, oxtail requires a long braise to produce the tenderness and flavor we have come to love.  Here I used a thick lager for the braising liquid and the result is this perfect weekend lunch or casual dinner.  Just a note, plan ahead with this dish and start the braising early.  This leaves you with very little to prepare around meal time.

Serves 6


- 6 LB’s oxtail

- 1 cup flour

- 3 tablespoons olive oil

- 2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

- 7 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

- ¼ cup freshly grated horseradish

- 2 teaspoons kosher salt

- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

- ¾ teaspoon sugar

- 3-5 12 ounce lager beers

- 1 tablespoon butter

- 2 red bell pepper, sliced

- 2 yellow bell pepper, sliced

- 1 cup grated Gouda cheese

- 6 sough dough rolls

- Mayonnaise


Make sure your oven racks are positioned to allow room for a Dutch oven.  Pre-heat oven to 325°.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven.  Place the flour in a shallow bowl.  Thoroughly coat each oxtail with the flour and dust off the excess.  Add the oxtail to the pot and brown on both sides- about 4 minutes per side.  You might need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pot.  Stir in the onions, garlic, horseradish, salt and pepper.  Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  At this point, pour in the beer so that is covers the top of the oxtails by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven.  Cook for 3.5 hours or until the meat is visibly falling off the bone.  Remove from the oven.

Using a slotted spoon remove the meat from the pot and let cool for a few minutes.  Set the Dutch oven aside and retain the remaining liquid for later use. Using a fork or your hands pull the meat off the bone.  Discard the fat and the bones.  Set the meat aside.

In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the peppers and sauté until slightly browned.  Spoon one cup of the remaining beer mixture from the Dutch oven onto the peppers.  Now fold in the meat, followed by ½ cup of the cheese.  Stir until the cheese is fully incorporated into the meat.  Reduce the heat to low and cover.

Meanwhile, turn the oven to broil.  Slice the buns in half and broil on both sides until slightly browned.  Remove the buns from the oven and fill with the meat and pepper mixture.  Top each sandwich with a sprinkle of the remaining cheese and a dab of mayonnaise. Enjoy!

Categories : Beef, Dinners, Lunches, Sandwiches
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Veal Burger Topped with Fried Egg

Posted by: · Feb 26 2011 · Comments (0)

Veal burger is fantastically juicy and a welcomed change from beef.  I added a fried egg for extra richness and flavor – an idea I picked up from my husband.  So, so, so good!

Serves 4


- 1 LB ground veal

- ½ teaspoon kosher salt

- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

- ¼ teaspoon sugar

- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

- ½ teaspoon lemon juice

- 4 eggs

-  Sesame buns

- Fresh spinach

- 4 eggs and butter as needed

- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese

- Condiments as desired


- 2 cups cherry tomatoes

- ½ cup water

- ½ teaspoon salt


Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat.

Combine tomatoes, salt and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 4 minutes or until the tomato skin opens.   Drain the tomatoes in a colander and set aside.

Combine veal, salt, pepper, sugar, shallots and lemon juice in a medium size bowl and mix together using your hands.  Don’t over mix, just enough to incorporate the shallots throughout the veal.   Make equally sized patties.

Grill for 3-4 minutes per side for medium- rare.  Place a layer of cheese on each burger and cook for just long enough to allow the cheese to melt.  While the cheese melts, quickly grill the buns until crispy- usually no more than 30 seconds per side.  Remove the burgers and buns from the grill and cover with a dish towel or place in a heating drawer or an oven set to “warm.”  Meanwhile, fry the eggs until they are just barely runny, about 3 minutes per side.

Assemble the burgers with a topping on the tomatoes, followed by a handful of spinach and then the fried egg.  Serve immediately.

Categories : Dinners, Lunches, Sandwiches, Veal
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Caper Goat Cheese and Fennel Salmon Sandwich

Posted by: · Jan 25 2011 · Comments (0)

I love capers, likely because they are so salty and I love salt.  I would almost be tempted to salt my capers, but that would likely draw stares and a dramatic increase in my blood pressure.  Here I have combined my salty favorite with the rich licorice taste of fennel.  A perfect complement to a basic baked salmon filet.



- 1 LB salmon filet

- 1 teaspoon caper juice, liquid in the caper bottle

- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


- 2 tablespoon olive oil

- 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

- ½ teaspoon salt

- ¼ teaspoon sugar

- 2 cups spinach

Goat Cheese

- 4 ounces plain goat cheese

- 1 teaspoon capers

- ½ teaspoon chopped dill

- ½ teaspoon lemon juice

- 2 tablespoons low fat ricotta

- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

All in

- 4 toasted whole wheat buns or a whole wheat bread loaf cut into 4 inch long slices


Place fish in a non-stick baking dish.  Coat with caper and lemon juice, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine goat cheese, capers, dill, lemon juice and ricotta in a food processor.  Mix on medium speed until capers are fully incorporated into cheese.  Manually fold in cream and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add fennel, salt, pepper and sugar and stir frequently until fully cooked and slightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.    Remove from heat and stir in spinach.  Cover and set aside.

Remove fish from refrigerator and place on center rack of pre-heated oven.  Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until flakey. Remove from oven and transfer filet to a large cutting board. Slice filet into 2 inch wide pieces.

Assemble sandwiches with one piece of salmon per bun, topped with caper goat cheese and fennel mixture.  Serve immediately.

Comments (0)

Nicoise Salad Sandwich

Posted by: · Jan 22 2011 · Comments (1)

Every once in a while I splurge and make my own tuna salad with fresh ahi fillets.  This recipe is infinitely better than the canned version and requires minimal effort…a perfect weekend lunch!


- 2 ahi fillets, about ¾ LB’s in total

- 1.5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

- 1 teaspoon kosher salt

- 4 eggs

-  ¼ cup light mayonnaise

- 2 teaspoons drained capers

-  8 Slices toasted whole grain bread

- 4 ounces sliced sharp cheddar cheese

- Mixed greens


Pre-heat oven to 375°.  Place ahi fillets on a non-stick baking dish.  Coat the fish with one tablespoon of the lemon juice, followed by ½ teaspoon of the salt.   Cook for 7-9 minutes or until flakey and no longer pink in the middle.  Remove fish from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Bring a medium sized saucepan halfway full of water to boil over high heat.  Using a slotted spoon, add the eggs.  Gently boil the eggs for 12 minutes.  Remove the eggs from the heat and transfer to a bowl of iced water.  Let eggs cool in iced water for 1 minute.  Remove the eggs from the water and remove shells.  Cut eggs into 1/4” disks along their width.

Using a fork, pull apart the fish into small shreds until it resembles the consistency of canned tuna.  Ahi has a natural grain line that you can follow while pulling apart.  Mix the ahi with the mayonnaise, capers, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and remaining 1.5 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Assemble the sandwiches with ½ cup ahi mixture then top with a few pieces of sliced egg, 2 slices of cheese and a handful of mixed greens. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Categories : Lunches, Sandwiches, Seafood
Comments (1)

Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Posted by: · Jan 03 2011 · Comments (0)

So simple and so good for a lazy weekend lunch.


-  2 chicken breasts

- 3 tablespoons pesto at room temperature

-  4 ounces brie cheese

-  Mixed greens

-  Fresh whole grain bread

-  Mayonnaise

-  Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 375°.  Trim fat from chicken.  Spoon pesto into a large Ziploc bag.  Add chicken to the bag and seal.  Using your hands mix the contents of the bag, being certain to coat the chicken evenly with the pesto.  Remove chicken and place on a non-stick cooking pan.  Cook for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is opaque.  You can also cheat and cut into one piece.  The chicken is done once the inside is no longer pink and any juices are clear, not pink.  Lay cheese on chicken breast for the last minute of cooking.  Remove the chicken and cut into ¾ inch slices.

Toast bread and assemble sandwiches with chicken slices, mixed greens, mayo and salt and pepper.

Categories : Lunches, Poultry
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I love the color and rich taste of Brussels sprouts.  This dish is great for a weekend lunch or an easy work week dinner.


-  2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

-  2 cups chopped Brussels sprouts

- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage

- 1 cup cherry tomatoes

-  ½ cup water

- 1 teaspoon kosher salt

-  2 tablespoons pine nuts

-  ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

-  One loaf ciabatta bread


Heat olive oil in a large non stick sauté pan over medium/high heat.  Add sausage and stir frequently with a wooden spoon.  Be certain to break up clumps.  Continue cooking until browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add tomatoes.  Cook until slightly browned.  Add water, Brussels sprouts and salt.  Continue cooking and stirring until tomatoes break open and form a sauce, about 5 minutes.  Add pine nuts.

Pour tomato mixture over sausage and incorporate.

Heat oven broiler.  Spoon sausage mixture onto bread and sprinkle with cheese.  Place on a cookie sheet and broil until cheese is just melted and bread begins to brown.  Remove from oven and enjoy!

Categories : Dinners, Lunches, Pork, Sandwiches
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