Want comfort food at its best – and on a budget too? Try this riff on a recent New York Times hit recipe using a ramen pack (you know, your favorite from college days), but elevated with some veggies, cheese (wait, what??) for ultimate umami yum. You’ll have dinner in a flash. Kid pleaser, too.
1 package of your favorite ramen noodles with flavor packet
1 large egg
1 pat butter
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
¼ cup snow peas
2 slices American cheese
1 tsp sesame seeds
½ green garlic or scallion, green part only, thinly sliced on the bias
Your favorite sriracha, optional
Break the stems off the snow peas and pull the strings off.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add noodles and cook acccording to package directions. Add snow peas and garlic. Add flavor packet, stir, and continue to cook for another 30 seconds.
Break the egg on top of the noodles. Let it poach for 1-2 minutes on low heat. Add butter, cheese and sesame seeds. Stir until combined. Garnish with the scallions and sriracha, if you like a little heat.
The Muffaletta is a NOLA classic, purportedly invented at Central Grocery, in the middle of New Orleans’ French Quarter, where it’s still made today. The old-fashioned grocery store was founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant who is famous for creating the Muffaletta or “Muffuletta.”
Charcuterie, briny olives and cheeses are at its heart and soul. We’ve added a Left Coast twist with some arugula tossed in a bold vinaigrette to bring some fresh balance to the rich proteins and fats, as well as used an easy-to-find baguette rather than the classic round sesame loaf. This is a simple stick-to-your-ribs dinner that doesn’t require any heating up.
Want to try a vegetarian or vegan version? Try subbing out different combos of your favorite alt meats and cheeses. You’ll find a winning “stuffaletta”!
2 sprigs each fresh thyme and oregano
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, minced
½ cup cup pitted Kalamata olives, minced (or in place of the olives, 1 cup of your favorite tapenade)
¾ tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 14” baguette
4 oz each ham, salami and prosciutto thinly sliced
4 oz sliced provolone
4 oz fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups arugula leaves
Strip thyme and oregano leaves from stems and rough chop. Combine with garlic and red wine vinegar in medium bowl and set aside.
If making, mix olives and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Set aside.
Cut baguette in half lengthwise. Remove about ½” of the inside to make room for the filling. Spread olives/tapenade on bottom half, layer with meats, cheeses, then roasted red peppers and red onions.
Add olive oil to the vinaigrette and whisk until combined. Add salt and pepper. Taste and add more as needed (beware, the cheeses, meats and olives will all add additional salt to the dish.) Toss some of the vinaigrette with the arugula and add to sandwich. Cover with top of baguette. Allow the sandwich to sit for about an hour to let the oils soak into the bread and the flavors to meld. Cut into slices and serve.
In Morocco, folks enjoy Chorba in winter and during Ramadan to break the fast. “Chorba” refers to a soup that hasn’t been thickened with cream or flour. There are many versions of this beloved dish, in other countries as well in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent.
This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on the evening of Wednesday, March 22 and end on Thursday, April 20.
We hope you will enjoy this hearty version of Chorba with meat – lamb, beef or chicken – and chickpeas, potatoes and pasta to lend cozy comfort.
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ lb boneless lamb or beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces or shredded rotisserie chicken, primarily thigh meat
2 medium yellow onions, halved/finely sliced
2 tsp ground turmeric
Small pinch saffron, about 3 threads (optional)
1 tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
1 14-oz can chickpeas, rinsed/drained
½ of 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 ½ Tbsp tomato paste
Dash of harissa, mild or spicy
2 medium russet potatoes (a little over 1 lb total), peeled/diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 oz spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice for serving
In a large pot, over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add meat, onions, turmeric, saffron (if using), salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is slightly browned, and onions softened, about 7-10 minutes.
Add 7-8 cups water and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until meat starts breaking apart and is almost cooked. In the last 15 minutes or so, add sliced carrots and celery.
Add chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste and potatoes. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to low, cover with lid and leave to simmer gently for 8-10 minutes – until potatoes are almost cooked and start to soften.
Add broken spaghetti and parsley; increase heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until spaghetti and potatoes are cooked, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add more water during cooking process if too much is evaporating, to maintain desired soup consistency.
Season with more salt/pepper and serve immediately with more chopped parsley on top and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Ro’s Gumbo is unique to Chicago because he adds a flavorful twist and he incorporates his heritage…making this delicious dish a must have. Perfect for a Fat Tuesday celebration! Laissez les bons temps rouler! Thanks to Dill Pickle Food Co-op in Chicago for this tasty recipe.
1 lb andouille sausage
1 lb chicken breast
1/2 lb shrimp
3 oz butter
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup okra
1/2 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
1 cup bell peppers
1 2/3 cups veggie broth
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp House seasoning**
1 1/2 tsp salt
Season chicken with half the house seasoning and half the broth. Simmer until internal temperatures reach 165 degrees. Let cool. Shred chicken, reserve cooking liquid.
Cut andouille in 1/2″ pieces. Brown in sauté pan. Deglaze with ½ cup broth.
Dice onion, celery and bell peppers. Slice okra into ½” slices.
Melt butter in a pot. Add flour, stirring until roux is rust-colored. Add remaining broth, reserved liquid from chicken to roux. Bring to boil over medium heat.
Add veggies, cook until tender: 8-10 minutes. Add proteins, cook 2-3 minutes. Add seasonings/salt to taste.
**House Seasoning Makes approx. ½ cup
Blend: 2 Tbsp salt , 1 Tbsp each onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, Italian seasoning, and ground mustard
Mix well. Keeps two months in an airtight container.
Want a delicious salad that’s a fresh, flavor-filled home run?
Look no further than this beauty, chock full of tantalizing tastes and textures sure to make any meal a special event.
3 endive heads, sliced lengthwise and then crosswise in ½ inch slices
2-3 Tbsp chopped walnuts
2-3 Tbsp crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese
1 Bartlett, D’Anjou or Comice pear
3 Tbsp walnut oil
1 Tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1/8 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
Combine 3 Tbsp vinegar and shallot, finely chopped. Let stand 15 minutes. Whisk in Dijon mustard, honey, 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. While whisking mixture, slowly add ¼ cup walnut oil in a steady stream until thickened. Adjust salt/pepper as needed. Makes about ½ cup.
Place chopped endive in a large bowl. Add walnuts, crumbled gorgonzola and chopped pears. Toss to combine.
Drizzle dressing over salad, toss to combine. Season with salt pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Note: You can also leave the Belgian endive as whole leaves, mix the other ingredients in a bowl with enough dressing to moisten, and spoon into leaves as an appetizer.
This is a wonderful dish to tuck into on a cold night. Rather than breading/frying eggplant, it’s oven-roasted, and braised kale adds another tasty dimension. And…you can make an amazing sammy with any leftovers!
3 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium)
1 bunch kale – curly or dino
¼ cup plus 4 Tbsp olive oil – divided
¼ cup water
Fine sea salt and black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced – divided
¼ cup tomato paste
28 oz fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
Pinch red pepper flakes
6 oz. freshly-grated mozzarella cheese (about 1 ½ cups packed)
2 oz fresh-grated parm (about 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 425° with racks in the lower/upper thirds of the oven. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper.
Slice off both ends of an eggplant, stand it on its widest flat side. Slice through vertically to make ¼” – ½” slabs. Discard both ends and sides covered with eggplant skin and repeat with other eggplant.
Brush both sides of eggplant slabs with olive oil (will take about ¼ cup). Arrange in a single layer on sheet pans and sprinkle with salt/pepper. Roast 11-13 minutes and then rotate and move pans to different racks. Roast 11-13 minutes more until eggplant is tender and golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
Strip kale from stems and cut leaves into thin ribbons. In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 clove garlic. Stir/cook garlic about 1 minute and add in kale. Stir kale to cover with oil and add ¼ cup water. Stir once more, turn heat down to low and put lid on the pot. Check/stir kale every two minutes, cooking until tender – about 10-12 minutes. Drain excess liquid and set kale aside. Once cool, chop roughly.
In medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and tender, about 5-8 minutes.
Add garlic and tomato paste. Cook/stir about 1 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, bay leaf and dried thyme; bring mixture to a simmer. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 15 minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove pot from heat and stir in ¼ cup chopped basil and red pepper flakes. Take out bay leaf and add salt/pepper to taste.
Spread about ¾ cup sauce in the bottom of a 9” square baking pan. Arrange about 1/3 of eggplant slices over sauce, overlapping slightly and cutting fit as needed. Add half of the braised kale on top, and then another ¾ cup sauce and ¼ cup mozzarella cheese.
Put about half of the remaining eggplant slices evenly on top, followed by the rest of the kale, another ¾ cup sauce and ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Layer remaining eggplant slices on top and top with ¾ cup sauce (you might have a little leftover) and remaining mozzarella cheese. Evenly sprinkle Parmesan on top.
Bake on lower rack at 425°, uncovered, until sauce bubbles and top is golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes so it can set. Chop and sprinkle remaining ¼ cup basil on top. Slice with sharp or serrated knife and serve.
Note: Instead of making tomato sauce, you can use a 28 oz. jar of your favorite.