Mia Cucina da Texas

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I couldn't call this "Summer Squash Bisque with Basil" because no one would have even tried it. BUT since my kids are reading these books about fairies named after gem stones, Emerald Soup is the ticket. Der Junger tried a big bite, made a face that showed candidly how much he disliked it, and that was it. Das Elder said, "It really does look like bits of emeralds in there!" and enthusiastically downed her entire bowl. Das Herren said, "For what it is, it is a very good soup. I ate half; do you want the rest?"

Emerald Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
5 small to med summer squashed, sliced
3 c. chicken stock
1 large handful basil, julienned
1/3 c. cream
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
S&P to taste, as always

Sweat the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, then add squash and continue for another 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Add basil, then immediately puree with hand blender. Add cream, vinegar, and seasoning. Good served warm or cold. Don't tell them what's in it.

PS Steph feel free to leave out the garlic on this one!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Pasta Yia Yia
a la Cafe Lula, Chicago

This was one of those simple humble dishes where the sum of the ingredients rises up to create an elegant, superior dish. Also, simple enough I knew I could recreate it at home. Use a good quality pasta since it is so simply adorned. They used perciatelli, I used an organic casarecce from Italia. Also I picked up some local goat/sheep feta at the FM that morning.

8 oz buona pasta
1 stick butter
5 cloves garlic, sliced
6 oz feta (preferably creamy and local), finely cubed
Approx. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Salt to taste

While the pasta is boiling, gently cook the sliced garlic in half of the butter over med-low heat until nicely caramelized. Add the rest of the butter to melt before the pasta is done. When the pasta is al dente, drain then immediately toss with the butter, garlic, and feta. Sprinkle generously with salt and judiciously with cinnamon.

Very kid friendly, if your kid likes cheese. If not, be sure to leave a cheeseless portion out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lamb Chops alla griglia

I love lamb, especially for Easter. I've made a lot of leg o' lamb for Easter and Christmas, but this year went for chops. Under the right circumstances, I could totally turn into a vegetarian... but lamb chops bring out the carnivore in me. I usually end up eating it with my hands, right off the bone.

Disclaimer: that's not my picture, we forgot to take one, so I stole one off the web. That is approximately what my chops looked like, maybe a little more carmelized, with a lot of green rosemary bits attatched. Also, the measurements below are approximate, as I did not measure anything.


1/8 cup chopped fresh rosemary
4 cloves crushed garlic
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Lots o' pepper

Mix together in a large ziplock bag with 3-4 lbs lamb chops. I trim my chops minimally. Leave a nice rim of fat around the meat, but cut off the really excess chunks, otherwise you'll have flare-ups on the grill.

Cook over med-high heat for 5-8 minutes per side. Baste occassionally with any leftover marinade. Serve medium. So tender, you're guaranteed to find your inner T.Rex.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anthony's Chocolate Chip Cookies

● 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
● 1 tsp. salt
● 1 tsp. baking soda
● 1/2 cup shortening, SmartBalance or other non-transfat veggy shortening
● 1/2 cup butter
● 1 cup packed brown sugar
● 1/2 cup white sugar
● 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
● 2 eggs
● 2 cups rolled oats, Old-Fashioned - NOT INSTANT!
● 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips

This recipe is VERY close to the original Hillary Clinton Cookie Recipe. The slight changes are my take - my improvements - on the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). It's best to use a silpat on a cookie sheet.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda.

Beat together shortening, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.

Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in rolled oats until mixed well, but careful not to macerate the oats. Hand stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop batter by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or till golden. Cool cookies on sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Tip: To make them chewy - even when they are refrigerated - Cook until edges are slightly brown and remove from oven. They may look a little underdone in the very center. Leaving them on the cookie sheet for the required two minutes will further cook them just the right amount.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our poblano pepper plant is still producing (and obviously one yellow bell). The late season peppers are smokin' hot, so I make some salsa. Three batches, because Anthony loves it so much.

5 picante poblano peppers
1/2 small yellow onion
28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Approx 1 tsp salt (to taste)

Roast the poblanos over a grill or under the broiler until the skin is all black. I use the grill, and also throw the onion on there for some nice flavor. After the peppers are charred, peel the skins off and remove the seeds and stems.

Put the peppers, onion, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, and salt in the food processor, and whirl until you get the desired consistency. Taste test with a chip, and adjust as needed.

Sorry it's so blurry. Just pretend your eyes are watering from the hot salsa...

Monday, October 27, 2008

One of the best things to make with the cage-free Berkshire pork I buy from the farmers' market is potstickers.

1 lbs ground pork
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 green onions, minced
1/4 julienned greens (this was basil, sometimes its kale or cabbage)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 package won ton wrappers

Combine all the ingredients except the wrappers in a bowl, mixing well by hand. Place 1 tsp in the middle of one wonton wrapper. Paint the four edges of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper over the meat, forming a triangle. Squeeze out any excess air and press edges together.

Heat 1 tsp oil (I like peanut; canola will do) in a nonstick skillet. Place a few finished potstickers into the pan so they are not touching (about 6 fit in mine). Cook until slightly browned (around 3-5 minutes). Then flip the potstickers, fill the pan with about 1/8 cup of water, and quickly place a lid over the pan. Cook until all the water is steamed away (about 3 minutes). Keep potstickers covered and warm, and repeat.

Here the picture I almost forgot to take. Nearly all the potstickers were already consumed by this point! We like ours with edamame, and a fresh sweet red bell pepper from the garden is nice, too.

Dipping Sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp water
Pinch brown sugar
Drop of sesame oil
Dash of Sriracha (optional)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I was inspired tonight by a recipe in one of my cooking mags, but as usual, changed it a lot on the maiden voyage. Four thumbs up, though!

Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers

1 lbs ground chicken breast
1 (homegrown) scallion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Cracked pepper, to taste

Mush it all together with your hands, then form into 4 sticky little patties. Grill and serve on whole wheat buns and my custom condimenti.

Curry Ketchup

1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp shriracha (garlic chili paste)

Cool Raita Spread

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
Chopped herbs (I used cilantro and basil, but mint and oregano would be good, too)

Hopefully I will post more frequently here. I know its been a 4 month drought. At least I know I have one demanding fan!