Steamed Stuffed Artichoke

 

8 ounces 90% lean ground beef
blend of provolone, asiago, parmesan, romano
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup green onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 raw egg
Chicken broth to mix well
  1. Combine all the ingredients above in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use just enough chicken broth to moisten the meat mixture.
  2. Clip points off artichokes leaves. Barely trim off bottom of stalk, leaving stalk intact. Soak in salted water, gently loosening leaves. Do not remove choke.
  3. Drain and stuff each leaf with 1/2 teaspoon meat mixture.
  4. Place stuffed artichoke on stand in pot. Add water just covering shortest stalk, not touching stuffed leaves. Drizzle oil over stuffed leaves.
  5. Steam for about 45 minutes covered. When a center leaf comes out easily, uncover.
  6. To serve, cut off stalk at bottom of artichoke, and place on plate. Generously dust with paprika.

May be served as an appetizer by using an electric knife to cut in quarters and serve cut side down and dust with paprika.

Makes 1 Artichoke

Broccoli Brown Rice Pilaf

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2¼ cups reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1/4 cup silvered almonds
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté rice until lightly browned.

Add the broth, rosemary and garlic; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until rice is almost tender.

Stir in the broccoli, almonds, sunflower kernels, salt and pepper.

Cover and cook 3-5 minutes longer or until rice is tender and broccoli is crisp-tender. Fluff with a fork.

6 Servings

Baked Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Lobster Sauce

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 Ritz crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cooked lobster
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 large heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, about 1 pound each
Lobster Sauce
cup lobster or shellfish stock (available frozen in some fish stores and gourmet markets)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
teaspoon brandy
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup cooked lobster meat
Kosher salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the butter and simmer for 5 minutes. Do not let the onion brown. Remove from the heat and add the cracker crumbs, stirring to coat them with butter. Add the parsley, thyme, and lemon juice. Set aside and let cool.

Add the 1/4 cups lobster meat to the crumb mixture and stir well. Season the lobster with salt and pepper. Cut the tomatoes in half and trim the ends so they sit flat. Scoop out the tomatoes pulp to form a cup. Salt and pepper the tomatoes and fill with the lobster mixture.

Place the tomatoes in a baking dish and bake until the lobster mixture is heated through, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the tomatoes.

To make the lobster sauce: in a small saucepan, simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add the brandy. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, waiting until each tablespoon is melted before adding the next. Fold in the ¼ cup lobster meat. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a stuffed tomato half on each of 6 plates and spoon 2 tablespoons of lobster sauce over each serving. Serves 6.

Black-eyed Peas and Jalapeno Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, deveined, and chopped (wear gloves to prevent irritation)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup water
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion or 2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Sauté the chopped onions, jalapeño peppers, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, broth, cumin, coriander, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors are blended, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the sherry, lime juice, and salt. Let the mixture cool slightly.
Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender; puree. Pour back into the saucepan and heat to serving temperature. Serve immediately topped with the finely chopped onion and cilantro.

Makes 4 Servings

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