For the vegetable broth:
1 onion, cut in half or quarters
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch celery, or at least several stalks
2 large carrots, cut into several chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups water

For the minestrone:
4 stalks Swiss chard, stems separated from leaves
2 or more tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and briefly rinsed
1 small zucchini, diced
2 small carrots, finely diced
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 garlic cloves, or a bit of garlic paste
black pepper

For serving:
hard rolls
freshly grated parmesan

1. First off, prepare the vegetable broth. Combine the vegetables and salt, add the water, and bring to a boil. At this point, you can either simmer it on the stove while you chop the vegetables for the minestrone, or, if there is no rush, you can simply cover the pot of vegetables with a lid, turn the heat off, and let the vegetables “stew” in their own heat for 2-3 hours.

2. Dice the zucchini and carrots. Drain the beans and combine zucchini, carrots and beans in a small bowl.

3. Add the spices and garlic to the opened can of diced tomatoes.

4. Mince the Swiss chard stems and onion.

5. Heat the olive oil. Then sauté the onion and chard stems. Add a little black pepper.

6. Add the vegetables and beans.

7. Add the tomato sauce and spices.

8. Remove the broth from the homemade vegetable broth and add to the minestrone. Bring it to a boil and then simmer 20 minutes.

9. While the minestrone is cooking, tear or chop the chard leaves into small pieces, grate the parmesan, and heat the rolls. The carrots from the homemade broth make a nice snack while you wait for the minestrone to cook.


Leftover Risotto Casserole

We love risotto, but with just two of us at home, I’ve always wondered what to do with the leftovers. Now I know.


leftover risotto
a bit of white wine
some feta
some Parmesan
some parsley
6-oz can of tomato paste

First off make Swiss Chard Risotto and enjoy it! Here’s the link: https://terimusocooks.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/swiss-chard-risotto/

If there are only two of you for dinner, you will have leftovers. I lined an oven safe glass dish with parchment paper. The dish was about 5×7 inches and not much deeper than an inch. I packed the leftover risotto into the dish, covered it, and stored it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I took the risotto and doused it with several tablespoons of white wine, Pinot Grigio. I took a 6-ounce can of tomato paste, put it in a pan, and diluted it with about 1/4 cup of Pinot Grigio, heating and stirring. I chopped up several tablespoons of parsley and added half of them to the tomato sauce. When the wine was absorbed and the sauce thick, I layered it over the risotto. I sprinkled about 3 tablespoons of crumbled feta over the tomato sauce. Then I added enough grated Parmesan to cover the top and sprinkled some more chopped parsley over the top. I put it in an oven heated to about 375’f and let it bake 20-30 minutes.

It was delicious. Jon said it reminded him of something he ate on Air France, one of those little dishes that is reminiscent of eggplant parmesan, but lacking eggplant and infused instead with a certain je-ne-sais-quoi.

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Start with a prebaked pizza crust. Layer smoked salmon on the pizza, followed by a layer of raw spinach leaves. Next add a layer of feta. Sprinkle dried oregano and dried chile flakes over all. Then add some grated cheddar. Bake at 425′ F for 10 minutes. Serve with grapefruit.

Naga Roast Chicken

Naga chicken adapted to an American kitchen.

5 lbs. chicken pieces
5 scallions
5 mild chile peppers
1-inch thumb of ginger
10-15 cloves of garlic
Canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper.

Cut off the tops of the chiles and put the chiles in blender, seeds and all.
Rub skin off ginger with spoon and add ginger to blender.
Pop garlic cloves from their paper sleeves and add cloves to blender.
Remove scallion roots and any wilted leaves; add scallion white and green to blender.
Add enough canola oil to more or less cover garlic-ginger mix ( or cover it halfway).
Blitz in blender.
Place chicken in one or two large bowl.
Add salt & pepper to blender chile-garlic-ginger paste & pour over chicken.
Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 400’.
Arrange chicken on two parchment lined baking trays.
Bake for 90 minutes, but start checking for doneness after 60 minutes.


My most requested recipe:

In a large bowl, combine:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup salt
4 tablespoons Cream of Tartar

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

water that has just boiled
2 tablespoons canola oil
a few drops of paint or food coloring (optional)

Pour the water mixture over the flour and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula.
When all the flour is incorporated, dump the mass onto a smooth surface lined with wax paper and knead it. If it is sticky, add a bit of flour. Knead until smooth and then allow to cool. When it is cool, put it into a sealed container.

Spinach & Pasta

1/4 cup olive oil
6-10 oz. fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
garlic powder
chile flakes
Parmesan, freshly grated

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
Grate the Parmesan.
Heat a skillet; then add the olive oil.
sauté the spinach leaves until just wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the spinach with seasonings.
Serve with Parmesan on the side.

Barley Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 pound beef, diced
1 cup barley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon vegetable base
6 cups water

Saute the onion, carrot and celery in olive oil.
When the onion is transparent, add the cubed beef and brown it.
Add the barley and stir. The add the seasonings and bouillon base.
Add the water, bring to a boil.
Simmer for 90 minutes or until the barley is soft.