Mushroom sauce

For crepes or similar use.

  • 1lb mushrooms (variety is best), cleaned and sliced
  • ¼ leek or onion chopped fine
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1.5 tbsp mushroom fond
  • 1.5 tbsp corn starch made into slurry
  • Salt & pepper
  • Butter
  1. Over medium heat, sautee leek or onion with a little butter until soft
  2. Add a little more butter, mushrooms, some salt and pepper and sautee until mushrooms release liquid and some of it evaporates
  3. Lower heat to low. Add heavy cream, mushroom fond and stir until warm. Add corn starch slurry and stir until thick

Can be refrigerated 1-2 days.

Lemon, rosemary garlic marinade

Makes ½ cup of marinade, enough for 1-3 lbs. of meat/seafood

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (6 tbsp. juice)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Mix ingredients, marinade for 1-3 hours.

Spongecake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, minus 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8- or 9-inch cake pans and cover pan bottoms with a round of parchment paper. Whisk flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and add vanilla; cover and keep warm.

2. Separate three of the eggs, placing whites in bowl and reserving the 3 yolks plus remaining 2 whole eggs in another mixing bowl. Beat the 3 whites on high speed until whites are foamy. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of the sugar; continue to beat whites to soft, moist peaks. (Do not overbeat.) 

3. Beat yolk/whole egg mixture with remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Beat on medium-high speed (setting 8 on a KitchenAid) until eggs are very thick and a pale yellow color, about 5 minutes (or 12 minutes by hand). Add beaten eggs to whites.

4. Sprinkle flour mixture over beaten eggs and whites; fold very gently 12 times with a large rubber spatula. Make a well in one side of batter and pour milk mixture into bowl. Continue folding until batter shows no trace of flour, and whites and whole eggs are evenly mixed, about 8 additional strokes.

5. Immediately pour batter into prepared baking pans; bake until cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, about 16 minutes for 9-inch cake pans and 20 minutes for 8-inch cake pans. (or springform pan for 28 minutes)

6. Immediately run a knife around pan perimeter to loosen cake. Cover pan with large plate. Using a towel, invert pan and remove pan from cake. Peel off parchment. Re-invert cake from plate onto rack.

Beef taco filling

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 small onion, chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef (or leaner)
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (preferably cider vinegar)
  • Ground black pepper
  1. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, spices, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Fresh tomato salsa

  • 1 ½ pounds firm, ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/8-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup minced red onion **
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (about ½ teaspoon) **
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves **
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 – 6 teaspoons lime juice from 1 to 2 limes
  • Granulated sugar to taste (up to 1 teaspoon)

** can be chopped in food processor

1. Set large colander in large bowl. Place tomatoes in colander and let drain 30 minutes. As tomatoes drain, layer onion, garlic, and cilantro on top. Shake colander to drain off excess tomato juice. Discard juice.

2. Transfer contents of colander to empty bowl. Add salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons lime juice; toss to combine. Taste and add sugar and additional lime juice to taste, if needed.

Corn salsa

  • 2 ears corn (cooked), kernels cut from cobs (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 medium scallion, sliced thin
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons corn oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

Place all ingredients in medium bowl, toss well, and serve.

To cook corn:
Bring 2 cups water to boil in small saucepan over high heat. Stir in corn, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt; remove pan from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain corn and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Tomato farro with vegetables

Serves: 4 as a side, 2 as a hearty main

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro 
  • ½ large white onion, halved, then thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 oz. of grape or cherry tomatoes halved, or equal amount diced fresh tomato
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt or 1 cube bullion
  • Up to ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 1-2 cups diced veggies to stir in: sugar snap peas, bell pepper, corn, asparagus, zucchini or any variation of veggies you want
  1. Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak 5-10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Sauté onions, garlic and red pepper flakes in some olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add drained farro, salt or bullion, 2 c. water and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes. Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. 5 minutes before timer rings, stir in diced veggies. Farro should be al dente to bite. If it’s not ready, add 5 more minutes. Add a little more liquid if dry and sticking to pan.
  5. Serve with parmesan cheese.

WW 3 pts = 1 cup cooked