May 24, 2012

Balsamic Marinated Mushroom Caps topped with Mozzarella and Herbed Panko Crumbs


4 portobello mushrooms
olive oil
2-3 tbs of balsamic vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
Salt and pepper

1 c. panko crumbs
1 ½  tsp oregano
1 ½  tsp thyme
2-4 tbs olive oil
1 clove minced garlic

1 cup shredded mozzarella

Scoop out gills from mushrooms and set gills aside. Arrange mushrooms on a baking tray placing scooped-out side down. Drizzle olive oil over the mushroom caps. Flip mushrooms over and drizzle more olive oil. Pour 2-3 tbs of balsamic vinegar over the mushrooms then season with salt and pepper. Spread one clove of garlic between the mushrooms.  Let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Turn oven to 400˚. Sprinkle mozzarella over mushrooms. Combine panko crumbs, gills, oregano, thyme and olive oil.  Spoon-out panko mix over mozzarella.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until panko crumbs are golden brown. 

May 11, 2012

Tuna Burgers


4 tbs. minced red pepper
6 scallions
3 cans tuna
2 tbs. of dijon
zest of 1/4 a lemon
1/2 c. bread crumbs or panko
1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
buns, lettuce, tomato, mustard, cheese, etc.

1. Cut up all vegetables and place in a large bowl.
 2. Combine tuna, dijon, egg and bread crumbs in the bowl with the vegetables. Make sure you drain the tuna really well, otherwise the center of your burgers will be really mushy. 

3.  I chose to cook the burgers in a pan, but the oven would work just as well. I'm not sure if they would stand up to a true grill, but I bet a George Foreman would do the trick. I cooked these for about 5-10 minutes on each side.
Try as I might, I have serious issues making sweet potato fries. Most likely because I keep trying to make them in the over instead of a deep fryer. Instead I buy my fries from the freezer section, so far Alexia has been my favorite brand.

May 7, 2012

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Tofu, Asparagus & Peanuts

This dish gets its distinct flavor from roasted sesame oil.  Ideally the noodles used in the dish would be a fresh chinese egg noodle, but those can be difficult to find so substituted cappellini. Recently I have been using a lot of baked tofu. I like it better than regular tofu because I don't have to spend tons time pressing water out of the tofu to get a firm, non-gelatinous texture I prefer. The brand we buy is Fresh Tofu Inc.

1 tsp oil
2 tbs of minced ginger
2 large cloves of a garlic minced
3 tbs of roasted sesame oil
3 tbs of soy sauce
1 tbs of sugar
3-4 tbs of rice vinegar
bunch of scallions sliced thinly
3 tbs of sriracha (you may want to alter the amount of sriracha, I tend to like things very spicy)
1 package of baked tofu
1 cucumber diced
2 bunches of asparagus cut in 1" pieces
1 lb noodles
1/2 cup roasted peanuts crushed
Sprinkling of sesame seeds

Saute the ginger and garlic in a pan with a tbs of oil until fragrant and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and quickly blanch the asparagus. The asparagus stalks I had were fairly thick so it took about 3 minutes for them to cook. [I put the asparagus into the pasta strainer that sits inside of the pot so that I didn't have to dump out the water when I drained asparagus and I could then use the same water for the noodles.] While the pasta is cooking combine the ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, scallions, sriracha, tofu, cucumber and asparagus in a large bowl. Drain, rinse and add the noodles to the bowl.  Garnish with sesame seeds and crushed peanuts

May 2, 2012

Roasted Eggplant Soup

The key to this soup is in the roasting of the eggplant. Actually, charring is a much more accurate description than roasting. You literally want to burn the eggplant until it is black and crispy on all sides. You can do this in a broiler, a grill or any open flame. After it is charred, let the eggplant cool and then you can just peel off the skin. Here is a 30 second instructional video: How to Roast an Eggplant.  Don't worry too much about the chopping because the entire soup will be pureed. You are only chopping the items to ensure they cook evenly.  If you can't find goat's milk or goat's milk yogurt you might try using a combination of cow's milk and goat cheese.

Apr 29, 2012


This is one of my favorite appetizers, perhaps second only to tomato mozzarella.

- A few chopped tomatoes – it really depends on the size of the tomatoes. I’d say 4 -5 roma tomatoes or the equivalent amount
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Handful of fresh basil
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Baguette

Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.  I like to slice of the baguette in rounds and toast them for a minute or two in the oven so they are nice and crunchy.

Apr 5, 2012

Alison Eats... Passover Edition

In honor of Passover, I went through all my recipes and tagged those that can be made kosher for Passover.

Chag Sameach!


I first discovered hummus when I was in high school, and in my opinion I that was about 15 years too late. Hummus (or hoh-moose) the super-star of all dips.  It is healthy, filling, fast, and cheap. It can be eaten in its most pure form or it can be used as a blank canvas to showcase other ingredients.

Apr 3, 2012

Maple-glazed Salmon and Collard and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Happy New Year!

Being New Years Day I decided to make some traditional good luck foods - fish and collard greens.
Collard greens are eaten because they symbolize money. Fish is said to bring abundance because fish swim in schools. Although not part of this meal, I also bought black eyed peas for the chili I am making later this week. Can you tell I love traditions?

Mar 22, 2012

Herbaceous Thai Noodle Soup

This is a fast and flavorful soup that can be adjusted to accomodate your tastes.  I like to cook and store the noodles seperate from the soup to prevent the noodles from becoming soggy.

- 2-3 tbs of curry paste
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 6 c. of water or stock
- Chopped vegetables (I used mushrooms)
- 1lb. of capellini or rice noodles
- Zest from 1 lime
- 1 container/package of tofu
- 1 cup of chopped herbs (thai basil, cilantro, scallions, mint, etc.)
- Garnish- bean sprouts, lime wedges, sriracha, extra herbs

Prepare the noodles according to the package and set aside.

In a large pot combine the coconut milk and the curry. Mix until there are no lumps. If you want to add additional curry later make a slurry out of 1 part curry and 2 parts water. Pour the water/broth into the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Lower to a simmer, add the chopped vegetables and lime zest. Continue at a simmer until the vegetables cooked to your liking. Turn off heat and add the tofu and herbs.

To serve fill 1/3 of the bowl with noodles, ladle soup over the noodles and garish as desired.

Jan 17, 2012

Black Bean Salsa

I make this salsa quite often. It is extremely versatile and can be paired with a number of dishes. Here I served it with fish and quinoa. I often use it as a filling for quesadillas or with tortilla chips as an appetizer. It travels well and tastes good at room temperature making it a great dish to bring to a potluck. No one ingredient is essential, so feel free to alter the recipe to your liking.

Dec 5, 2011

Rosemary & Ricotta Pumpkin Sauce over Penne

It is odd that we use pumpkin, not a different squash, to bake pies because of all the winter squashes pumpkin is the least sweet.  Pumpkin’s lack of sweetness and the fact you can find its puree in a can is the reason I chose to use pumpkin to make my lasagna rather than butternut squash or acorn squash.  If you decide to try this recipe make sure you don’t accidentally buy pumpkin pie filling. It is a very easy mistake to make and cannot be substituted. 

Nov 7, 2011

Linguini alla Puttanesca Cruda

  • I'm sure you've heard of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, but do you know what it means? 

  • Translated into English it's "the Whore's Spaghetti". Yup, that's right. The New York Times recipe for Puttanesca provides a few theories on where the name came from,

  • "Ostensibly a sauce invented and made by prostitutes, it is said that pasta puttanesca was designed to lure customers with its aroma. Other explanations have more appeal to the minimalist cook: that the prostitutes were too busy to cook much, or that they had no storage for fresh ingredients and cooked entirely from the pantry. My favorite legend has it that it was a favorite not of prostitutes, but of women who wanted to serve a quick meal at home in order to move on to other things. Whatever the origin, no better wintertime pasta sauce has come down to us."

I'm calling my version cruda, because the sauce is uncooked (or barely cooked). Tomatoes are too inexpensive and delicious right now to use a can.  Puttanesca is one of those sauces that you can add a million things to- anchovies, capers, basil, onion, tuna, oregano, parsley, cheese.  However, there are only a few ingredients that you must add- tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes and olives. I highly suggest you also have some red wine and crusty bread.

Oct 30, 2011

Mahi Mahi with Nectarine and Mint Salsa over Quinoa

I have a huge backlog of posts that I wrote up the recipe and took the pictures, but never edited. So here is a recipe I made back in July - no joke. You don't need to use plums, any stone fruit would work: nectarines, peaches, cherries. You could also add a little minced jalapeno if you are in the mood for something spicier.

Oct 15, 2011

Vegetable Tian

Delicious? Yes. Beautiful? Yes. Healthy? Yes. Time consuming? Double Yes.

This recipe comes from my dear friend Elyse.  She loves this stuff. Tian is a french way of preparing vegetables. It consistes of baking layered vegetables in a casserole. The vegetables are arranged in a circle and topped with cheese and bread crumbs and baked until brown and crispy.
It is very important to buy vegetables that are all the about the same size. I did not. This resulted in much frustration because I could not get it to look as pretty as I would have liked. Normally I do not care so much about appearances, but the whole point of the tian style is to create an impressive looking dish. Oh the French and their sophistication.