April 10, 2013

Recipes to rescue a weary home cook

By ELLISE PIERCE McClatchy Newspapers

(Continued from page 1)

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Chopped steaks with grilled radicchio

McClatchy Newspapers

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Spinach stracciatella soup

McClatchy Newspapers

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TIP: Toss roasted veggies with leftover arugula pesto, or use it as a sandwich spread or whisked into vinaigrette. Pasta works, too.


Servings: Two to four

4 cups/1 quart vegetable or chicken stock

2 cups water

Sea salt and pepper

4.5 ounces baby spinach

¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Warm stock and water over medium-high heat, with salt and pepper to taste. When it comes to a simmer, add spinach and Parmesan and let cook until the spinach wilts, 5 to 10 minutes. Slowly add beaten eggs, briskly stirring so they'll be streaky throughout and not cook in clumps. Taste for seasonings and serve right away with more Parmesan.


Servings: Two

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon grainy mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and pepper

4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 chopped steaks, at room temperature

1 to 2 heads of radicchio (depending on the size; I used 1), cut into fourths

About 2 ounces Roquefort, crumbled

1. Make the vinaigrette: Put garlic, mustard and vinegar in a jam jar along with a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and give it a shake. After 5 to 10 minutes, add olive oil and shake again. Taste.

3. Put vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet, making sure it's evenly coated, and turn the heat to high. Salt and pepper the steaks, then add them to the skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes each side, depending on how done you like them. Remove steaks and cover with foil.

4. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add a tiny bit of olive oil -- just enough to moisten the bottom. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add radicchio wedges and cook for about 30 seconds on each side.

5. Put the radicchio on two plates and top with steaks. Drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with Roquefort.


Servings: Four to six

1 pound chicken tenders

1 celery stalk, halved

1 carrot, halved

A couple sprigs of parsley

About 10 peppercorns

Olive oil

½ of an onion, diced

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped

2/3 cup canned corn, rinsed and drained

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

Sea salt and pepper (if needed)

6 to 8 tortillas (corn or flour)

1 avocado, chopped

Handful of chopped cilantro

3 to 4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled

2 to 3 limes, cut into wedges

1. Poach chicken tenders: Put chicken, celery, carrot, parsley and peppercorns in a saucepan. Cover with water, put on the stove over medium-high heat, and cover. When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and set the timer for 10 minutes. Let the chicken cool in the pot if you have time; if you don't, shred chicken and proceed to the next step.

2. Drizzle a little olive oil in a large skillet, add onion and garlic and turn heat to medium-low. Cook just until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add chipotles, corn and black beans and stir. Add shredded chicken and let mixture cook 10 to 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and let it go for 5 minutes more. Taste and add seasonings if necessary. Serve on warmed tortillas with avocado, cilantro, goat cheese and limes.


Ellise Pierce is The Cowgirl Chef and author of "Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking With a French Accent" (Running Press). Read her blog and watch her cooking videos oncowgirlchef.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at cowgirlchef


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Chicken tinga, a quick spin on tacos

McClatchy Newspapers


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