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June 29, 2006

Pesto

1 large clove garlic, remove any green center
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 tightly packed cups young basil leaves
2 heaping Tbsp pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Fiore di Sardo sheep cheese, or American Stella Fontinella
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

In a mortar and pestle, or food processor with the motor running, puree the garlic and salt. Gradually add basil and then the pine nuts, crushing or processing everything into a rough paste.

Blend in the cheeses, and finally enough oil to bring the pesto to the consistency of heavy cream.

June 20, 2006

Tuscan Grilled Steak

3 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 flank steak, about 2 lbs
Salt and pepper
4 oz. (about 6 cups) arugula

In a small bowl, mash garlic and oil until a paste forms (you may also do this in the food processor). Pat steak dry with paper towel, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub garlic paste over both sides of steak. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to high heat. Grill steak 5 to 7 minutes, until medium-rare. To check, cut into meat with a knife and remove when meat is slightly less done than you want it to be. Transfer to cutting board; cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Slice very thin, against the grain and at a slight angle.

Arrange arugula on platter. Top with steak slices. Drizzle with any accumulated platter juices. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 - 6. Per serving: 280 calories, 12 g total fat (4 g sat), 60 mg cholesterol, 1 g carbohydrate, 40 g protein, 0 g fiber, 105 mg sodium

June 8, 2006

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

1 cup warm water
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups soy flour
cooking spray
cornmeal for dusting

In a bowl mix the water, yeast, molasses, and salt. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, then gradually mix in the whole wheat flour and soy flour. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth. Place in a large bowl lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Punch down the dough, and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Divide into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each piece to about 1/8 inch thick with a rolling pin. Cover with a towel, and let rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Warm a baking sheet in the preheating oven for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Arrange the dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 6 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from heat and cover the bread with a moist towel to soften. When cooled, slice in half and use a knife to cut pockets in the bread.

Makes 12 servings

June 5, 2006

Grilled Lemon and Herb Salmon Packets

2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 can (14-oz) chicken broth
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
4 (4-6 oz each) salmon fillets
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning salt
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1 medium lemon, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Spray four 18x12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil with cooking spray.

Mix rice and broth in medium bowl. Let stand about 5 minutes or until most of broth is absorbed. Stir in carrots.

Place salmon fillet on center of each foil piece. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning salt and salt; top with chives. Arrange lemon slices over salmon. Spoon rice mixture around each fillet. Fold foil over salmon and rice so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion.

Cover and grill packets 4 to 6 inches from low heat 11 to 14 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with fork. Place packets on plates. Cut large X across top of each packet; fold back foil.

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Packets

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/2 cup sweet-and-sour sauce
1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks, drained
1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 small onion, cut into small wedges
1/2 cup chow mein noodles, if desired

Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut four 18x12-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray.

On one side of each foil piece, place 1 chicken breast. Top each with 1 tablespoon sweet-and-sour sauce and one-fourth of the pineapple, bell pepper and onion. Top with remaining sauce.

Fold foil over chicken and vegetables so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for heat expansion.

When grill is heated, place packets on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill over medium coals; cover grill. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, rotating packets 1/2 turn after 10 minutes, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F). Place packets on plates. Cut large X across top of each packet; fold back foil. Top with chow mein noodles.

Lemon Pepper Halibut and Squash Packets

1 lb halibut fillets, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
2 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
3 medium zucchini or summer squash, cut into 2x1-inch strips
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Cut four 18x12-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray. Cut fish into 4 serving pieces if necessary. Place 1 fish piece on each foil piece. Sprinkle fish with 1 teaspoon of the basil, 1/2 teaspoon of the lemon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoned salt.

Arrange zucchini and bell pepper over fish. Sprinkle with remaining basil, lemon pepper and seasoned salt. Drizzle with oil. Fold foil over fish and vegetables so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion.

Cover and grill packets over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes with fork and vegetables are tender. Place packets on plates. Cut large X across top of each packet; fold back foil.