Bohemian Chic

Blouse from Candela, jeans from J Brand, and bag from Balenciaga.


This is my all time favorite soup to make.  Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa. It’s very easy. Serves 8.

1/2 pound dried white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini

Kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving

1/4 pound diced pancetta or smoked bacon

2 cups chopped yellow onions ( 2 onions)

1 cup chopped carrots ( 3 carrots)

1 cup chopped celery ( 3 stalks)

3 tablespoons minced garlic ( 6 cloves)

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 ( 28 ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes in puree , chopped

4 cups shredded or chopped savoy cabbage (optional)

4 cups coarsely chopped  kale

1/2 cup chopped basil leaves

6 cups chicken stock

4 cups sourdough bread cubed and crust removed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the beans with cold water by 1 inch and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Drain the beans and place them in a large pot with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and simmer for another 15 minutes., until beans are tender. Set aside and let cool in their liquid.


Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stockpot. Add the pancetta and onions and cook over medium low heat for 7 to 10 minutes., until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium low heat till vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally for another 7 to 10 minutes.


Add the tomatoes with their puree, the cabbage if using, the kale and basil and cook over medium low heat for another 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Drain the beans reserving their cooking liquid. In a food processor puree half the beans with a little bit of their liquid.


Add to the stockpot, along with the remaining whole beans.


Pour the bean liquid into a measuring cup and add enough chicken stock to make 8 cups. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. over low heat. Add the bread and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot in soup bowls , add cheese and drizzle olive oil.

Mediterranean Puff Pastry Chicken

I came across this recipe the other day while searching for Greek recipes. I was a bit surprised at how delicious it was. I was a little nervous at how well the chicken would cook but it came out perfectly after 40 minutes. Courtesy of Allrecipes.

3 tablespoons of crushed garlic

1 egg yolk

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

2 tablespoons basil pesto

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 crumbles herbed feta cheese

1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed and cut in half ( I didn’t cut mine since the chicken breast was large)

In a small bowl combine the egg yolk and garlic with a fork. Place the chicken in a shallow glass dish and spread both sides with the egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (recommended)

Preheat oven at 375 degrees F ( 190 degrees C).  Grease a baking pan.

Place one half of the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  Place 1/2 cup of spinach in the center, place a chicken breast on top (shaking off excess marinate) of spinach. Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto over chicken, layer with one half of sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkle with half the feta cheese and with 1/2 cup of spinach. Fold the pastry around the chicken, using fork or fingers seal the seam and place on cooking sheet seam down. Repeat with the other chicken breast.

Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes. Test for doneness by cutting through the center. If juices run clear chicken is cooked. Serves 4.

Fregola Salad with Broccoli and Cipollini Onions

I made this salad last night with grilled salmon. Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis Serves 4.

1 pound of fregola, orzo pasta or Israeli couscous

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cups or 10 ounces cipollini onions, peeled and halved

kosher salt and pepper

3 cloves garlic minced

1 pound broccoli, cut into small florest

1/3 cup water

1 ( 15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 large lemons. zested and juiced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

3 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt divided

1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided

1 cup of fresh chives

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil add the pasta and cook till tender but still firm to the bite stirring occasionally. about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in large serving bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat and  add the onions   season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden and tender, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and saute for 1 minute. Add the water scraping any brown bits from the pan with a wooden spoon.

Cover the pan and cook till broccoli is tender 4 minutes or till liking. Add the beans and cook for 1 minute till warmed through.


Transfer the mixture over to the bowl with the pasta, add the cheese and toss.

For the dressing;

In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk till smooth and stir in the chives. Pour over the fregola and toss well till coated. Season with the remaining 3 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. and serve.

Skillet Gratinate of Summer Tomato and Pork

Here’s is a delicious recipe if you still have some left over tomatoes and wondering what to do with them. I love this recipe because you can change the ingredients; Chicken and Zucchini and Veal and Eggplant. Courtesy of Lidia Matticchio Bastianich”s Lidia’s Family Table. Serves 6.

2 pounds of boneless pork loin, in one piece

1 to 2 large firm beefsteak style tomatoes ( about 1 1/2 pounds total)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup or more flour, for dedging

freshly ground pepper

For the Sauce;

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

12 fresh sage leaves

1/2 cup white wine plus more if needed

1/2 cup hot simple vegetable broth

3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana cheese

With rack in the middle of the oven, preheat to 425F

Slice the pork loin crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Trim the fat if there’s a lot but leave some for moisture and flavor. Nick the fat and skin around each cutlet so it won’t twist and tighten during cooking. Pound each piece to tenderize and flatten to 1/2 inch thick.

Cut out the core of the tomatoes and slice off the top 1/2 inch, where the core was.  They can be used for the sauce. Slice the the rest of the tomato into 1/2 inch rounds, to place on top of each cutlet.

Starting at the stovetop place one tablespoon of butter and olive oil in skillet over medium low heat. Stew the sage leaves around the pan and cook them slowly for a minute or 2 as the butter melts and starts to sizzle.


Salt the pork pieces, dredge them in flour, then arrange them in the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, browning slowly.  Pick out them sage leaves and place 2 on each cutlet. Season with salt and pepper.


Place the tomato rounds on each cutlet and sprinkle with salt. Raise the heat and drop the remaining butter, in pieces. Add the tomato left over chunks in between the chops. and cook for a minute. Pour the wine and broth; shake the pan and raise the heat. Adding more liquid if too low. Sauce should be 1/2 inch deep. Then add the grated cheese on top of each cutlet


Place in oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Shake the pan; use oven mitts the pan will be very hot. And cook for another 8 to 10 minutes ans serve.

Camarones Enchilados

Cuban styled shrimp served over white rice. This is a meal my mother used to make for us. However, she didn’t use recipes so here’s one courtesy of Ana Quincoces Rodriquez, Cuban Chicks can Cook.

2 pounds medium peeled and de-veined shrimp

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup dry cooking sherry

1 1/2  tomato sauce

1 medium green pepper finely diced

1 large Spanish onion finely diced

4 garlic cloves minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 cup fish or vegetable stock

In a large heavy pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, and pepper and saute for 5 to 10 minutes. add the tomato sauce, wine, stock, bay leaf, salt and spices and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat and simmer over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes.


Adjust the seasoning by adding salt if necessary and bring to a boil again. Add the shrimp while stirring frequently till it turns pink for about 5 to 10 minutes. Allow the shrimp to sit for a few minutes to allow the flavor to penetrate fully.


Fish Quenelles in White Wine Sauce

I found this recipe on the internet but it stated that it came from Julia Child. It was slightly different so I incorporated  both. I would hold off on adding the cream until you see the consistency in the mousse and make sure the stock is really simmering before you place the scoop in.

Here’s what you need;

Pate a choux (see recipe)

white wine sauce (see recipe)

1 1/4 pounds of )2 1/2 cups packed) well chilled skinless and boneless halibut, monkfish.gray sole or winter flounder

1/2 teapoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of white pepper

4 to 8 tablespoons chilled heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons of chopped truffle or a large pinch of nutmeg

6 cups of homemade fish stock or store bought

3 tablespoons of grated Swiss cheese

1 tablespoons of butter cut into pea size pieces

For the Pate a Choux;

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon of salt 4 tablespoons of butter or 1/2 of stick

3/4 cup of flour

2 large eggs

2 egg whites ( 1/4 cup)

For the white wine sauce;

5 tablespoons of butter

7 tablespoons of flour

1 1/2 cups of boiling milk

1 1/2 cups of boiling fish stock ( I substituted the  1/2 cup with white wine)

1/8 or about a  teaspoon white pepper

3/4 to 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice

Prepare the Pate a choux:

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil with the salt and butter. A soon as the butter melts remove the pan from heat and add all the flour at once a beat with a wooden spoon. Then beat over medium high heat several minutes until it forms a mass. Remove from the heat and one at a time beat in the eggs, then the egg whites.

Set the saucepan over a bowl of ice water to cool down. Leave it there while you prepare the fish. Make sure it well chilled before combining the two.


Prepare the white wine sauce;

Cook the butter and flour together slowly about 2 minutes, not letting it turn color. Remove from heat and beat in the boiling milk, oiling stock and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minutes more. Sauce will be very thick. Reduce the heat and add very slowly add the cream. Adjust salt and pepper and add lemon to taste.


Cut chilled fish into 1 inch pieces and place in a food processor along with the chilled pate a choux, salt pepper and 4 tablespoons of cream. Process for 30 seconds and  stop and scrape the sides with a spatula. If mixture is too stiff add more cream however it should hold its shape.

Using a 12 inch skillet with high sides pour in the stock. It should be at least 2 inches deep. Bring to a simmer, don’t boil or you’ll overcook the quenelles. You can test it by dropping a dollop in the stock and taste. Blend in the truffle or nutmeg.

Using a wet spoon dip it in the mixture to create a rounded mass. Using the back of another wet spoon to smooth out and then slip it under it to loosen it up and drop in the liquid.

Poach uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. They are done when they double in size and turn over quickly.


Remove with a slotted spoon onto a rack or towel. To assemble, pour 1/4 inch of the white wine sauce in a 13 by 9 baking dish. Arrange the drained quenelles on top, then spoon the rest of the white wine sauce over each one and sprinkle with the cheese and dot with the butter. About 15 minutes before serving place in the oven 350f for 10 minutes or heated through. Julia Child’s recipe called for the broiler so I did both in order to get the top a little golden.