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nacho cheesiest bay scallops gratin

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This dish was dinner Tuesday night to celebrate Cinco de Mayo but it’s good any evening – no holiday required to enjoy!  I adapted this recipe that’s been in my binder of fish and seafood recipes for years by switching out a couple of the original ingredients – namely Ritz crackers and Parmigiano-Reggiano – for Spicy Nacho Doritos and a Mexican blend of finely shredded cheese.  If your kids are not big seafood eaters, cheese and Doritos just might be the enticement they need to dig in.

 

 

 

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Christian - Thanks! Really Good!

hearts of palm salad with olives and ham

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This salad is a twist on the famous 1905 Salad at the Columbia Restaurant – a Tampa and Sarasota, FL Spanish-Cuban dining establishment that dates back to 1905 – and there is a little story on how this recipe came to be.

Let’s go back to 1999 – a very important year because that’s the year in which my son was born.  But I was also hard at work on recipes back then, fueled and inspired by my frequent weekends spent at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY taking a wide variety of courses.  It was during this time that I challenged myself to submit recipes to what was Bon Appétit magazine’s former  “Too Busy to Cook?” section that featured recipes by readers of the magazine.  Surprising enough, my recipes were accepted and I found myself staring in awe at the April 1999 issue in which they were published.

So yesterday, I decided to resurrect this recipe exactly 16 years later.  The only change I made was to increase the amount of garlic and I tossed the lettuce in the bowl with the other ingredients instead of laying leaves on a plate.  Not touching anything else – it’s a food blogger’s dream when someone else does the recipe testing for you – in this case the Bon Appétit test kitchen.  Pretty cool.

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Veronica - Wow! That’s awesome 🙂 I hope you kept a few copies! They knew what they were doing- this is a beautiful salad.

chicken with prosciutto, rosemary, and lemon

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Boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be a yawn.  Haven’t we all been there?  Looking for a zap of genius to elevate the lowly and overused boneless, skinless chicken to a new level?

Buy skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts – leave the skin on and remove it from the bone.  Have your butcher do it for me if you’d like, but it’s easy to do yourself at home.  I just run my fingers between the meat and bone, and then use a small paring knife to keep cutting the breast away from the bone.

The prosciutto, pine nuts (or pignoli nuts if we want to be fancy and Italian), and rosemary give this dish a decidedly Mediterranean flair and I love the texture that the pine nuts and crispy prosciutto provide.  I like to serve this over a bed of baby arugula greens and a few slices of fresh mozzarella cheese……and leftovers are delicious.

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twice-baked potatoes with crispy shallots

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Who can resist a delicious twice-baked potato?  

Don’t see any hands raised lol.  This dish is when you crave something a little special, when just a regular ‘ole baked potato just won’t do.   Perfect with a steak or swordfish, these can also be made ahead and finished in the oven at a later time.  And the shallots?  YUM.  I would of course probably top anything off with crispy shallots if given the opportunity.

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spicy chicken sausage with cabbage

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  Just a wee recipe for ye lads and lassies today………..it’s a little like Italy meets Ireland in one dish.  Serve over pasta or boiled potatoes and enjoy with a couple of cold ones!  I cooked it in my favorite new pot that I and all attendees at the Big Harvest Potluck food blogger conference in Pennsylvania received last fall – this is the 3.5 quart Covered Chef’s Casserole by Anolon.  Love it, love it, love it.

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