The Neely’s Creamed Collard Greens

Creamed collard greens

A few years I got the opportunity to interview Patrick and Gina Neely of the Food Network and we talked about a variety of things.  Among the recipes mentioned, was creamed collard greens.  I tried this recipe and it has been a winner for me. It puts a spin on the classic African American preparation of collards and gives a robust earthy taste to what would be the typical creamed spinach.

Ingredients

4 bunches collard greens, tough stems and ribs removed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large shallots, minced
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Click for Directions

See MCCN Editor’s Interview with the Neely’s. 

Baked Penne with Eggplant Pasta alla Norma

In honor of MCCN’s Anniversary Mario Batali has provided his favorite recipe for Baked Penne with Eggplant Pasta baked-penne-with-eggplant1-300x225alla Norma. Recipe courtesy of Mario’s book: Molto Italiano (ecco 2005)

The success of this dish relies on the quality of the eggplant. Older, larger eggplant tend to hold bigger seed pockets and can be bitter, so look for small- to medium-sized eggplants, of any variety. If you cannot find ricotta salata, try a young pecorino or provolone.

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Pounds small to medium eggplant, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Pound penne
  • 2 Cups Basic Tomato Sauce (see below)
  • 1 Cup Toasted bread crumbs
  • ½ Cup freshly grated pecorino romano
  • An 8-ounce of ricotta salata, for grating

DIRECTIONS

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.

Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking.

Working in batches, sauté the eggplant slices, seasoning them with salt and pepper, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Grease a 9-by-12-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Cook the penne in the boiling water for 2 minutes short of the package instructions; it should still be quite firm.

Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain very well, place in a large bowl, and toss with 1 cup of the tomato sauce.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with ¼ cup of the tomato sauce. Top with half the bread crumbs, then add half the pasta.

Arrange half of the eggplant slices, overlapping them slightly, on top of the pasta.

Dot about ¼ cup of tomato sauce over the eggplant, and top with half of the pecorino and half of the basil.

Top with the remaining pasta, arrange the remaining eggplant over the pasta, and dot with the remaining tomato sauce.

Sprinkle with the remaining pecorino and basil, and then the remaining bread crumbs, and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before servings.

Place a generous portion of pasta on each plate, grate ricotta salata over, and serve.

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe courtesy of Molto Italiano (ecco 2005)

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into ¼-inch dice.
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ medium carrot, finely shredded
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes.
  • Salt

Makes 4 cups DIRECTIONS

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, with their juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes.

Season with salt.

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 6 months.

Veggie Burger Recipe

MCCN’s editor is member of the Food Blogger Connection on LinkedIn.  Took one look at this veggie burger and 17d296b69355d2dc5de73e7753763345_Lthought, this has got to be on the menu for MCCN readers.  This recipe can be found on the eatliverun.com blog.

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 small beets, peeled and chopped (222 grams)

1/2 cup green lentils

1/2 cup bulgur wheat

1/3 cup raw cashews

1 cup mushrooms

1/2 cup minced yellow onion

1 tsp fresh thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil, divided

2 cups water, divided

pepperjack cheese for serving

lettuce for serving

sweet chili sauce for serving

Click for Directions at Eatliverun.com

A Vegetarian Twist on Peruvian cuisine

Peru Delights, offers a vegetarian alternative – in English – for those with an affinity for new sensations, but who may not like the strong flavors and meat-centric style of many Peruvian dishes.

“We actually cook all the dishes,” said Escardó, who started Peru Delights back in April with her mother, Morena Cuadra (“Morena” means either “brunette” or “dark-skinned” in Spanish). “We really want to make sure that it’s actually possible to cook them. If I can’t do it on the first try, we fix the recipe immediately.”

Cuadra, a former Nicaraguan beauty queen turned journalist, chef, and wine expert, moved to Peru some decades ago. After marrying Escardó’s father, a famed Peruvian magazine publisher, Cuadra started the short-lived cuisine outlet Cocina, Arte y Estilo in 2001, whose extensive photo catalog and contents remained unused for a long time after the magazine was closed. arroz tapado (READ MORE)