Easy Romesco Sauce

From the blog forkinthekitchen.
An easy, super flavorful sauce that’s excellent on sandwiches, with cheese and crackers, as a pasta sauce, on fish… endless possibilities!

1/2 cup almond slices
1 cup roasted red pepper
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1/2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Pepper, to taste
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In a small skillet, toast almond slices over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and warmed.
In a food processor (affiliate link), add almonds, roasted red pepper, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, red wine vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Begin to pulse until combined into a coarse crumb. While food processor is blending, slowly add olive oil until completely combined.
Add salt and pepper, adjusting to taste. If needed, add additional olive oil if you prefer a smoother sauce. Continue pulsing until desired consistency is reached (generally it’s slightly chunky; not completely smooth).

I usually use the sun-dried tomatoes that are packaged in oil, but feel free to use dried. You may just need to adjust the addition of olive oil depending on which you use.

Make Ahead Gravy with Onions and Sage

From the wonderful Ina Garten, this is such an easy recipe to make a day or two ahead of needing gravy for your turkey. It makes about 4 cups.

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
1 large red onion, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
10 large fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onion becomes browned and starts to caramelize. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1½ minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, Cognac, sage leaves, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour and strain, pressing the solids lightly and then discarding them. Refrigerate until ready to use.

After the turkey is cooked, remove it to a carving board to rest while you finish the gravy. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the wine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up all the bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Slowly whisk the gravy base into the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Roasted Tomato Salsa and Tomato Sauce from fresh Tomatoes

Winter came early this year to Denver and I was forced to harvest my 7 tomato plants at once due to a freeze. I had Early Girl, Brandywine, Big Boy, Sungold and Sweet 100 tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes disappeared but I had enough of the larger tomatoes to make salsa and tomato sauce for pasta-after slicing them daily to eat as is or on BLT’s.
I love the method of making the salsa and of course you can vary it to your own taste.
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Cut up 6-8 tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet, skin side up
Slice 1/2 onion
1-2 jalapeños or serrano peppers, cut in half (seeded if you don’t want spicy)
3 cloves of garlic
any other pepper (Poblano or Anaheim)
Broil until charred. Let sit 5 minutes. Purée in blender or food processor with
Juice of 1/2 lime or more to taste
handful of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Store in glass jar in the refrigerator.

Fresh Tomato Sauce
From The Splendid Table
3-5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
12 large fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
3 -1/2 pounds mixed ripe delicious tomatoes (never Romas of any kind), cored and quartered (do not seed)

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the garlic, basil, onion, salt and pepper, and oil. Heat over medium-high heat 30 seconds, no more. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands as they go into the pan. Bring to a lively bubble, uncovered, and cook 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and reduced by half. Stir often, watching for sticking or scorching. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand 15 minutes. Then taste for seasoning.

Pass the sauce through a food mill or chop it in a blender or food processor until in small pieces. If desired, the sauce can be cooled and refrigerated up to 4 days, or frozen up to 6 month

Nobu’s wonderful Asian Vinaigrette

Denver has recently gotten one of Nobu’s restaurants, Matsuhisa. This is the house vinaigrette which I am very fond of as a salad dressing or a dip for crudités. It keeps very well in the refrigerator and gets better as it ages!

3⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1⁄2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 pinch sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon mustard powder
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 teaspoons grapeseed oil
4 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine the onion, rice vinegar, water, granulated sugar, pinch of sea salt, mustard,  and ground black pepper in a bowl.
Stir until the salt and mustard have dissolved.
Add the grapeseed and sesame oils and soy sauce and mix well.

Salsa Verde

We were recently in San Francisco and had dinner at Jonathan Waxman’s in Ghirardelli Square. All of our food was excellent but my nephew Alex, out ordered all of us with the signature chicken and salsa verde! It is a condiment that would go with almost anything! Chock full of herbs, capers and anchovies, it is easy to make. I did not use sage as I do not like it. I am sure you can mix up the herbs to your liking or what it available. I hope you will try this wonderful condiment!
1 tablespoon capers
2 anchovy fillets
3 cloves garlic (peeled, green germ removed)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup arugula, chopped
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Rinse capers in cold water, then drain. Soak anchovies in cold water for 5 minutes, then pat dry and remove the bones. Using a mortar and pestle (or a small mixer if you are in a hurry), smash the capers, anchovies and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add all the herbs and remaining olive oil. (The mixture should be chunky, not oily.) Season with sea salt.

Easy Caponata

From David Leibowitz’s blog-one of my favorite end of the summer dishes!
Caponata is meant to be a touch sweet, a tad vinegary. I added more than Fabrizia but since vinegars can vary in strength, you can taste and add more later in the game. The original recipe made quite a bit of caponata and and I reduced the recipe by half. (Some might say you can never have enough caponata, but because of the concentrated flavors, a little goes a long way.) It keeps very well in the refrigerator, so if you wish you can double the recipe.
Easy caponata
3 branches celery (tough outer strings removed, if necessary)
Vegetable oil (or olive oil), about 1 cup (250ml), for frying
1 pound (450g) eggplant
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (60g) green olives, pitted and very coarsely chopped (about in thirds)
2 tablespoons (30g) capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225ml) best-quality tomato sauce
3 tablespoons (40ml) wine vinegar, red or white
1/2 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Chopped flat-leaf parsley or mint, for serving
1. Remove the leaves from the celery branches and cut the branches into 1/2-inch (1,25cm) thick slices. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a low boil and simmer the celery until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse well in cold water. Set aside.

2. Trim the stems off eggplant and cut into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.

3. In a large, heavy-duty skillet (I used cast iron) heat 3/4-inch (2cm) of vegetable or olive oil. Cook the eggplant in batches, not crowding too many into the pan at once, turning them occasionally, until they are browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with salt, then fry the rest of the eggplant in batches, seasoning them with salt as you remove them from the oil. You’ll likely need to add more oil to the pan as you go. (I ended up using a total of 1 cup/250ml.)

4. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until wilted and starting to turn golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the parboiled celery, olives, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes. Let come to a low boil then add the eggplant.

5. Cook the mixture at a simmer, stirring carefully so as not to mash up the eggplant pieces, for 3 to 4 minutes. Taste, and add additional salt if desired, and perhaps another splash of vinegar. Remove from heat and transfer the caponata to a large, shallow serving platter or bowl and cool.

Serving and storage: Caponata is best served the next day, so the ingredients and flavors have time to meld. Top with chopped flat leaf parsley or fresh mint. It also makes a nice topping for crostini: Pile it atop grilled bread that’s been brushed with olive oil before grilling,


In the middle of winter, there is nothing better than finding organic basil for $3 at Trader Joes. Since basil doesn’t like to be refrigerated, I immediately made pesto! The smell takes me straight to summer basil harvests in my garden. It is so easy to make and delicious on everything!
Organic basil
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2-4 T. cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Thanksgiving Menu

I love to cook the Thanksgiving meal! I have many fond memories of going to both of my grandparents and my aunts house for the holiday. We rarely have any family here but always feel so fortunate when we do!
David and Jer
Scalloped Oysters (my grandmothers recipe on this blog)
Roast Turkey
Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries
Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic
Sausage Stuffing with Caramelized Onions
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Raw Cranberry Orange Relish (my absolute favorite!)
Pumpkin Custard
Cherry Pie
Thanksgiving 2015
Cranberry Relish
1 navel orange, quartered (remove any seeds)
12 oz. cranberries, rinsed and picked over
3/4 c. sugar, or to taste
In a food processor chop the orange and add cranberries-pulse until fine. Add sugar.
Chill at least one hour. Keeps covered and chilled for 2 weeks!

Salsa Verde

This is a delicious sauce on almost anything-fish, pork, beef or lamb! There are a zillion variations but I used a recipe from Taste. There are many recipes that vary the herbs and also add a little bread for thickening. It is the perfect sauce for anything hot off the grill! This is a sauce you should make at least one hour but not more than few hours before serving so the flavor is fresh and the color vibrant.
Salsa verde
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 c. packed parsley leaves
1/4 c. mint leaves
1 anchovy, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, drained and patted dry
1 T. capers
1 t. dijon
1 1/2 t. white or red wine vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
Pulse garlic in a processor, add parsley, mint, anchovy,capers, dijon and vinegar. Pulse until smooth. Add olive oil until thick and blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


My mother in law discovered dukkah ages ago and has given me some but I have never made it. Traditionally it is served alongside olive oil as a dip. This is an exquisite recipe from Nom Nom Paleo cookbook. I use it on meats and vegetables before and after grilling and on salads. It is a great condiment to add to your kitchen!
1/3 c. hazelnuts (it is a labor of love to skin but worth it)
1/4 c. coriander seeds
2 T. cumin seeds
1/3 c. raw sesame seeds
1/4 c. shelled, roasted pistachios (I used non salted and shelled them)
Preheat to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Spread hazelnuts on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, until golden and fragrant and the skins have split. Cool 5 minutes. Use a towel to rub off the papery hazelnut skins. Toast each of the seeds separately on low heat in a skillet, about one minute or until fragrant. Toast the sesame seeds until lightly brown and reserve 1 T. Add cooled hazelnuts and pistachios to the bowl of toasted seeds. Cool slightly and grind in small batches in a clean spice grinder. Mix in reserved whole sesame seeds. Will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few months!