Carmelized Corn and Red Peppers

2 cups fresh corn kernels

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn; stir until beginning to dry and brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add oil to skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Sauté until peppers are tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in cilantro and chili powder, then corn. Stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage

1 head cabbage

3 Tbs. olive oil

8 oz. ham cut in ¼ in. cubes

6 cloves garlic, diced

1 onion

5 ½ cups chicken stock

1 1/3 cups cornmeal

½ Tbs. hot paprika

½ Tbs. sweet paprika

6 oz. tomato paste

1 tsp parsley for garnish

1 sweet pepper cut into rings and seeded

Salt & pepper to taste

Sour cream

Remove the core from the cabbage. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the cabbage head. Watch the cabbage and remove the outer leaves with tongs as they become tender (it takes about 3-4 minutes per leaf).  Remove the thick ribs from the leaves and set them aside.  Repeat until you have 12-15 leaves.  Remove the remaining cabbage head, cut into thin slices and set aside.  Using a 4 qt. sauce pan, cook the ham in the olive oil until slightly browned.  Add the garlic and onion and cook until golden.  Add 2 ½ cups of the stock and bring to a boil.  Whisk in the cornmeal, hot paprika, salt and pepper. Place a cabbage leaf on a flat work surface and place ¼ cup of the filling in its center. Fold the top of the cabbage leaf over the stuffing then fold in half crosswise.  This should fully encase the stuffing.  Roll the leaf into a tight cone shape and set aside.  When all the leaves are filled, spread the sliced cabbage  in the bottom of an 8 qt sauce pan.  Sprinkle with sweet paprika.  In a bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and the remaining stock.  Pour this over the stuffed cabbage leaves, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer approx. 45 minutes or until tender.  Transfer the stuffed cabbage leaves to a serving platter, strain the sauce (removing the sliced cabbage) and spoon the sauce over the stuffed leaves, garnish with parsley, sliced pepper rings and sour cream.  Sprinkle with additional paprika.  Adapted from Saveur #159, October 2013

Szechwan Noodles with Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb udon noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 spring onion or green onions

Whisk water, peanut butter, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, sweet chili sauce and minced garlic in medium bowl to blend (sauce will be thick; add more water if too thick). Break noodles in half and cook in large pot of boiling water until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain. Rinse noodles under cold water and cool. Transfer noodles to very large bowl. Toss with sesame oil to coat. Shred cabbage; cut red pepper, carrots and onions into matchstick-size strips. Add veggies to noodles and mix. Toss with peanut sauce to coat. Optional garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, etc.


  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • ½ lb. green beans
  • 4-5 tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs of basil, finely chopped

If you wish, blanch and peel tomatoes, seed, and chop.  Tomatoes can also just be chopped and used skin, seeds and all.  Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic, and saute until translucent.  Add eggplant and zucchini, turn up heat and cook until they start to brown.  Add sweet pepper, green beans and chopped tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer, add salt, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add basil in the last five minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  This can be served hot or cold.  Ratatouille can also be frozen: it keeps its taste well and is a wonderful reminder of summer in the winter months.

Pimiento Salad

Roast the peppers on a grill or under a broiler.  Place the peppers close enough to thoroughly char the skins, turning so that they are pretty uniformly black.  The idea here is to do this as quickly as possible with high heat so that the skins char but the meat doesn’t cook too much.  Let them cool in a paper sack for about ten minutes.  At this point, the skin should come off easily.  Remove the stem and seeds and slice thinly. Dress with the following vinaigrette to thoroughly coat the peppers.  This salad can be kept in the refrigerator for several days and improves the longer the peppers marinate.


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper

Press garlic into the bottom of  your salad bowl.  With a fork, mix well with salt until it forms a paste.  Mix in vinegar and mustard until salt is dissolved.  Whisk in olive oil to make an emulsion.  Add black pepper to taste.  These proportions are in no way set in stone.  You should experiment to find the proportions you prefer.  Also, other spices, herbs and vinegars can be used to vary the dressing.

Hot Wax Bean Chef’s Salad

For the mustard vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. vodka

For the salad:

  • ½ Lb. wax or other beans trimmed and cut French style
  • 1 small bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 scallion or 2 Tbs. onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ Lb. thinly sliced cooked smoked ham, cut into strips
  • 1Tbs chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cooked chicken

To make the vinaigrette: Whisk the mustard with the vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then the vodka.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

Cook the beans and bell pepper in boiling, salted water until crisp-tender (about 3 minutes).  Drain. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the scallion or onion and cook for 1 minute.  Add the garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Add the beans and peppers, ham, chicken and basil and cook, tossing continually, until warmed through.  Transfer the salad to a serving dish, pour the chilled vinaigrette over the top and toss at the table before serving.

From Greene on Greens and Grains.

Celeriac Dumplings in Tomato Broth

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 900 ml (1½ pints) vegetable stock, preferably home-made
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 140 g (5 oz) frozen petit pois
  • 2 tomatoes, about 100 g (3½ oz) in total, skinned and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • sprigs of fresh basil to garnish

Celeriac dumplings:

  • 150 g (5½ oz) celeriac, diced, or 55 g (2 oz) cooked celeriac, mashed
  • 75 g (2½ oz) fine fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 125 g (4½ oz) soft mild goat’s cheese
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat the grill to the hottest setting, then grill the red pepper for about 10 minutes, turning it often, until the skin is charred all over. Put it in a polythene bag and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the pepper, discard the seeds and cut the flesh into 1 cm (1/2 in) squares.

For the dumplings, cook the diced celeriac in boiling water for 10–15 minutes or until very tender. Drain well, then purée in a blender or food processor, or mash until smooth. Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the leek and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper, stock and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peas halfway through the cooking. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tomatoes and seasoning to taste, then set aside.  Add the breadcrumbs, goat’s cheese, basil and egg to the celeriac, with seasoning to taste. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Use 2 small spoons (teaspoons are suitable) to shape the mixture into 12 small dumplings, setting them on a plate as they are made.  Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Gently lower half the dumplings, one by one, into the water on a draining spoon. Bring the water back to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 4–5 minutes. Use the draining spoon to remove the dumplings from the pan to a double layer of kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.  Return the tomato broth to the heat and bring to the boil. Ladle the soup into bowls, add the dumplings and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

Broccoli and Sweet Pepper Sauté

A quick and tasty side dish can be made by slicing one red pepper into strips and sautéing it in 1 Tbs. olive oil and 1 Tbs. butter with a clove of minced garlic.  After five minutes, add a head of broccoli florets and thinly sliced broccoli stems.  Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of Balsamic vinegar, cover and steam until broccoli is dark green.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.