Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
 
This is a wonderful, basic, go-to dressing to whip up and use on any salad…. so much better than any store-bought dressing out there!  Very classic in taste, yet so easy to make.  Once you start making your own salad dressing you’ll wonder why you ever bought bottled to begin with!
                                                    
                                                              Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
 
1/3 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chives, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or cruet  and mix or shake well.  Drizzle over salad and toss lightly.
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small brown onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 each green and red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 10oz can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups water
chicken breast meat (from grocery store roasted chicken)
3 tablespoons cornmeal
6 corn tortillas, cut into small strips
 
In large stock pot, saute onion in olive oil over medium low heat until soft (about 5 minutes);  Add garlic, green and red peppers and saute 3 minutes more.  Sprinkle seasonings over vegetables, then stir in Rotel, chicken broth, tomato paste and water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes, slightly covered.  Add chicken meat.  Put cornmeal in a small cup and stir small amount of hot water in to make a loose paste or slurry.  Pour in to soup.  Put tortilla strips into soup.  Simmer for 10 minutes or so, as it will thicken up.  Serve it with sour cream, avocado, cheddar and jack cheese, etc as toppings. 

Pasta, Peas and Pancetta

  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounce pancetta
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch green onion (whites and about 2 inches of greens thinly sliced)
  • 10 oz box frozen peas, thawed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1  pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta according to directions on the box for less than 1 less minute then the box indicates! Just as it is done, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water for cooking with.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med heat and cook pancetta until most of the fat has rendered; add the garlic and green onion and saute until soft (about 2 mins).  Add peas and pasta water and cook another 2 minutes. Add pasta to pan, toss with salt and pepper, then plate and top with Pamesan cheese before serving.

My World Famous Spin Dip

 
2 tablespoons  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 small jalapeno, chopped
1 (10oz) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups grated Montery Jack cheese/Cheddar cheese blend
8 oz cream cheese, cut into blocks
1 cup half-and-half
4 oz can sliced black olives
2 tablespoons VOM FASS Vinagre Viejo Spanish  12year red wine vinegar or any good RED WINE vinegar
 
Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onions and jalapenos and sauté until onions are soft.  Lower heat and mix in spinach, jack cheese, cream cheese, and half-and-half and stir until cheeses are melted.  Add black olives and Vinagre Viejo red wine vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a 9 inch round or square baking dish and bake at 375 for approximately 20 minutes, or until slightly browned on top.   Serve  with tortilla chips. 
 
*VOM FASS is a wonderful oil and vinegar store.  I truly believe their red wine vinegar makes this spinach dip taste better than when you use a grocery store-bought one. If you don’t have a VOM FASS near you, it’s worth ordering on their website!

Penne a la Vodka

1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente and drained
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 to 1 whole brown onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vodka
1 14oz  can tomato puree, sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
 
Saute the garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan until soft.  Pour the vodka into the pan, being careful if you have a gas stove! Cook and reduce for 3-5 minutes, then add the tomato puree, stirring until combined well. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes more, then add  cream while stirring continually. Reduce heat to lowest setting  and sprinkle in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Finally, add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir well.  Pour the drained pasta into the sauce and, using tongs, toss to coat. Plate and serve with Parmesan cheese.

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