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Cilantro-Lime Dressing

March 22nd, 2010

1 Conchos jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and coarsely chopped
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place jalapeno, ginger and garlic into a blender; pulse until finely chopped. Add balsamic vinegar, honey, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cilantro leaves; pulse, to blend. Turn on blender then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until blended into the dressing; season with salt if desired.

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Oregano Pesto Fingerling Potatoes

March 22nd, 2010

1 cup fresh oregano leaves
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 cups torn spinach leaves (fresh)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 fingerling potatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place first 8 ingredients into a food processor; process until smooth. With food processor running, slowly add olive oil via food chute; process until well-blended then set aside. Place potatoes on a jelly-roll pan then place in oven and bake until tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put potatoes in a large serving bowl, add 1/3 cup pesto then toss gently to coat.

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Bay-Thyme Scalloped Potatoes

March 22nd, 2010

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 medium-size russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)

Adjust an oven rack in center of oven then preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, melt butter. When foam subsides, add onion; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and soft. Add thyme, garlic, salt and pepper; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add potatoes, cream, broth and bay leaves; bring ingredients to a very light boil. Cover Dutch oven, reduce heat to medium-low then simmer for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are just about tender. Discard bay leaves. Transfer ingredients to a buttered 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese then bake for about 15 minutes, until cream is bubbling and top is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

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Bean Soup with Fennel

March 22nd, 2010

1 1/2 cups dried navy beans, soaked overnight
1 pound smoked ham hocks
8 cups water
2 large bunches of fennel leaves, stems snipped off
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 teaspoons black pepper
3 large potatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped, white parts only
1 cup chopped cabbage
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound ground pork sausage, browned and drained

Place beans, ham hocks and water in a large pot; bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer ingredients until beans can be mashed and pork is tender, about 1 hour. Chop fennel until you have about 2 cups; set aside. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf and pepper to pot; simmer 5 minutes. Add chopped fennel, potatoes, green onion, cabbage, olive oil and cooked sausage to pot. Return soup to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf before serving.

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