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“ORZOTTO” with Ratatouille

This is another fun thing to do… Cook Orzo pasta like a “Risotto” (in half the time!)

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
Serves: 4 or 6 (depending on your appetite!)

3 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into thin slices 1 red bell pepper, cut into slivers 4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups) 1/2 cup of Fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme) 1 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
1lb of Orzo pasta
1 cube of chicken/vegetarian broth diluted in 4 cups of boiling water

Over medium-low heat, add the oil to a large skillet with the onion, garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the eggplant has softened. Stir in the zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized. Stir in the fresh herbs and a few grinds of pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook orzo:
Sauté sweet onion in olive oil until translucid… Add orzo. Stir until well coated. Add hot chicken stock/vegetable stock a saddle full at a time and stir until absorbed. When the orzo is almost cooked (before al dente) take off fire and add fresh herbs.

Serve orzo topped with ratatouille and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I love using this “Orzotto” recipe for all different kinds of dishes. You can add saffron and serve it with shrimp or fish… Add fresh basil Pesto and serve with chicken. Possibilities are endless!

Use your imagination… And don’t be shy!

Putting ingredients together is how
great recipes are born…

Coconut Veggie Soup… one soup, many flavors

Coconut fish soup

Cooking is a creative process. Mixing ingredients together and discovering new tastes has always been my passion. Making simple recipes from fresh ingredients and inventing new tastes is really fun. Different spices in a same dish make for a different experience. A lot of different vegetables can be used in this recipe. Create! Invent! Below the recipe are a few ideas that you can make from the same “Coconut Veggie soup” that I made today. Recipes do not have to be intimidating. A few simple ingredients are enough to make a delicious dish!


Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Serves: 4 or 6 (depending on your appetite!)

1tbsp vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 large sweet potato or 2 medium, diced in ½ inch cubes (purple potatoes are fun to add for color and a different tecture)
3 carrots (I love the rainbow carrots for their fun colors), sliced
1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
2 cans of coconut milk (you can use the light for less fat)
1,5 cubes of chicken/vegetarian stock or 2 cups of broth
1tsp turmeric
Fresh cilantro
Lime wedges for servings
Sauté onions in oil until slightly translucent. Add sweet potato and carrots and cook until almost tender steering frequently, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add yellow squash and zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk, 2 cups of water, turmeric and bring to a boil. Add stock to dissolve. (if using liquid broth just add 2 cups of broth)
Check seasoning and adjust as needed.
Serve topped with fresh cilantro and a lime wedge


– Add orange lentils or garbanzo beans for protein and curry powder for an Indian flavor. Top with fresh cilantro and serve with Naan bread (Indian flatbread, available in supermarkets)
– Add shrimp and serve over rice. Top with fresh cilantro
– Add fish (white fish like cod, red snapper work well), fresh mango slices and serve with scallions and a lime wedge for a Caribbean flavor
– Add chicken and curry powder (can be chicken breast that you will cook in the broth or use left over chicken meat)
– Add a touch of sesame oil, Nory (dried seaweed used in sushi) cut in small pieces, toasted sesame seeds and edamame for a Japanese flavor.

Recipe of the month: “BOUILLABAISSE”

(a classic fish stew from France)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes   Cook time: 40 min   Serves: 6


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
peel of 1 orange, orange part only (use vegetable peeler)
3 tomatoes, chopped & seeded
1/3 cup chopped fennel fronds (save the bulb for a salad)
fresh herbs of your choice thyme, parsley, oregano…
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
Fish stock (you can buy pre made stock or make your own with fish trimmings and
shrimp peels)
10 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 pounds of assorted fish (grouper, cod, halibut,salmon, shrimp and
shellfish (clams and mussels should be scrubbed clean)

1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. When hot, add onion and garlic.
Saute for 5 minutes until softened but not brown.
2. Add in the orange peel, tomatoes, fennel, fresh herbs, saffron, fish stock, water, wine, salt
Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain the soup into another large pot.
3. Bring the strained soup to a boil over medium high heat. Taste and adjust with additional salt if needed.
Add the seafood, adding in the items that require the most cooking time first.
If you have large crab claws, add them in first and give them a 2-minute head start.
Clams next, then the mussels and extra-large shrimp, lastly the fish, scallops and any smaller shrimp.
You want to be careful not to overcook the seafood, so 4-5 minutes max then turn off the heat.
4. Ladle bouillabaisse into each bowl with the seafood and garnish with fresh fennel fronds.

This is a delicious and light dish. You can also add any kind of fish freshly caught from the Gulf.
For those who like a little spice in their cooking, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
You can serve the Bouillabaisse with fresh baguette or sour dough bread. Bon Appetit!!

Recipe of the Month: PEACH PIE


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
   1/4 cup granulated sugar
   1/2 teaspoon baking powder
   1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
   7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
   1 large egg
   1 large egg yolk
   1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peach preserves
   3 to 4 firm white peaches, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
   Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 375° and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and butter and pulse to blend. Add the whole egg and egg yolk and process until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead just until it comes together. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the side of a 10 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

Spread 1/4 cup of the preserves on the dough and arrange the peach wedges in concentric circles on top. Bake for 20 minutes, until the peaches are barely tender and the crust is still a bit pale. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of preserves over the peaches and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the peaches are tender and the crust is golden. Immediately dust the tart with onfectioners’ sugar and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Make Ahead The tart can be kept at room temperature overnight.

Recipe of the month: “STRAWBERRY TIRAMISU”

strawberry tiramisuPrep Time: 20 Minutes

Serves: 8

1 cup strawberry jam    
1/2 cup warm water    
1/3 cup orange juice    
1/4 cup Grand Marnier, plus one tablespoon extra    
1-1/4 pounds mascarpone, at room temperature    
1-1/3 cups whipping cream (35%)    
3 tablespoons sugar    
1 teaspoon vanilla extract    
ladyfingers (you’ll need about 50)    
1-1/2 to 2 pounds strawberries, washed, dried and sliced    
2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 –  In a bowl, combine the jam, water, orange juice and half of the Grand Marnier. Mix well. Set aside    
2 –  In another bowl, combine the mascarpone and the remaining Grand Marnier. Mix well. Set aside.    
3 –  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream with the sugar, vanilla extract and remaining 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier. Beat until stiff peaks form.
4 – Take a quarter of the whipped cream mixture and stir into the mascarpone to lighten the mascarpone. Then add the remaining whipped cream mixture and fold gently into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside.    
5 – Spread 1/2 of the jam mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. The mixture will be very liquidy but don’t worry about it. The ladyfingers will absorb the liquid.    
6 – Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest over the jam mixture.    
7 –  Line the bottom of the dish with ladyfingers, making sure to fill in every spot. If you have to snap the ladyfingers into smaller pieces in order to make them fit.     
8 – Spread half of the mascarpone mixture evenly over the ladyfingers.     
9 – Layer half of the sliced strawberries over the mascarpone.    
10 – Spread the remaining jam mixture over the strawberries.    
11 – Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon zest over the strawberries and jam.    
12 – Create a second layer of ladyfingers over the strawberries and jam. Again be sure to completely fill in the layer.    
13 – Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.    
14 – Layer the remaining strawberries on top. Chill for at least 12 hours before serving.     

This is the perfect time to make strawberry desserts in Florida…Strawberry season is here!!! 

Recipe of the Week: “Sautéed Shrimp over Wilted Mustard Greens”


grilled shrimp

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
½  cup onions, diced
1 large bunch mustard greens, shredded
¼  cup rice wine vinegar
1 ½  cups chicken stock
Kosher salt & pepper to taste
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons Anaheim pepper, seeded & minced
1 ½  pounds medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
½  cup white wine
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
½  cup tomatoes, diced
¼  cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine


Preheat two large sauté pans on medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of canola oil to the first pan. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring. Add the greens in small batches until all are in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the vinegar and chicken stock and reduce by 2/3rds. Turn off the heat, cover and hold warm.

Add the remaining canola oil to the second pan, add shallots and peppers. Season with salt and pepper, cook for 3 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

Add in the wine and reduce by half. Stir in the cold butter, tomatoes, and parsley. Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve on top of the greens.


This recipe was contributed by Maggie’s Seafood! Please feel free to check out all of our delicious farmer’s market recipes @ www.englewoodfarmersmarket.org  .

Recipe of the week: “VEGETARIAN COUSCOUS”

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Serves:  6

Ingredients:vegetable couscous saffron

1 sweet potato, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow squash, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 15 ounce can chickpeas
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
dash cayenne pepper
dash cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups couscous, uncooked
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins

Preparation:  Sautee the vegetables in olive oil until just barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, water and spices. Cover and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a large saucepan, cover the couscous with water. Bring to a boil, then cover,  remove from heat, and allow to sit for about 15 minutes, or until couscous becomes  light and fluffy when mixed. Serve vegetables over couscous.

Degustation:  This is a wonderful light dish to eat in the winter. In North Africa, it is often eaten with some type of meat such as lamb or chicken.You can also add a little cayenne pepper for extra spice.

Cheese Ravioli with Butternut Squash Sauce

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

1 Butternut squash
1 Small sweet onion
4 Sprigs of fresh sage
2 Ounces of pancetta
1 Can low sodium chicken stock
Hot pepper flakes
Fresh ground pepper
Grated parmigiano
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1 Lb. Frozen cheese ravioli


Peel and cut squash into 1? cubes. Place cubes on a baking pan and drizzle some olive oil , toss squash being sure to evenly coat with oil and sprinkle very lightly with salt. Roast about 20 minutes @ 425-450 degrees, turn the squash every now and then so that the cubes brown evenly and do not stick to the pan.

Meanwhile chop the pancetta into very small pieces. Lightly coat the bottom of a fry pan with enough olive oil to cover and then fry the pancetta on high until brown and crispy to allow the fat to render about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon , add a bit more oil reduce to medium heat and then add the onions to slowly caramelize.Put water on to boil for the ravioli, but do not salt the water. They will need about 10 minutes to cook once the water has boiled. Stir as necessary to avoid sticking but do not stir too much or they will break apart.

Just as the onions are done caramelizing tear in 2 of the sprigs of sage. Lower the heat to simmer and add the chicken stock. Simmer 5 minutes, add the rendered pancetta, take 2/3 of the roasted squash and mash into the stock and onion mixture. Grind in some fresh pepper, add a shake or 2 of red pepper flakes. Simmer another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and tear in remaining 2 sprigs of sage. Lightly stir in the left over squash carefully to maintain their cube shape.Drain the ravioli, return the squash sauce to low heat and then slowly fold in the ravioli in small batches to coat and absorb the flavors.Serve with grated parmigiano and more fresh ground pepper if desired.

Recipe of the Week: “BAKED APPLES”

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves:  4

baked apple raisins-lrgIngredients:

4 large good baking apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup boiling water  


1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash apples. Remove cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom  of the apples. It helps if you have an apple corer, but if not, you can use a paring knife  to cut out first the stem area, and then the core. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds.  Make the holes about 3/4-inch to an inch wide.  2 In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, currants/raisins, and pecans.  Place apples in a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Stuff each apple with this mixture.  Top with a dot of butter (1/4 of the Tbps).  3 Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until tender, but not mushy.  Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.


Serve warm with vanilla icecream on the side.


Prep Time: 20 Minutes   Cook Time: 15 Minutes    Serves: 4 to 6

southwest vegetablesIngredients:    

2 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup of black olives, sliced
1 green onion,chopped
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp of prepared salsa ground
black pepper to taste
Chili powder, to taste
Ground cumin, to taste
Paprika, to taste
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced


1 – Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat to  “shimmering”. Add the zucchini and sauté until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook,stirring for 1 minute.
Add the tomato, black olives and green onion and cook,  stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the cilantro and seasonings and stir to combine, Add the prepared salsa and cook until heated through.
2 – Just before serving, fold in the diced avocado. Transfer to a bowl and serve  warm  


These vegetables are great served with chicken or over quinoa, brown rice or pasta for a  vegetarian entree.
They also make a great omelet stuffer for a Holiday brunch!!  (Add a little cheddar for added flavor)