Connolly Kitchen

Our family cookbook


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Lemony Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

roasted vegetable orzo

Adapted Slightly from Ina Garten

Ingredients:
1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.


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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

mac and cheese

Adapted Slightly from the Joy of Cooking

Ingredients:
2 cups (8 ounces) elbow macaroni or other pasta
3 tablespoons butter – divided plus extra for greasing pan
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole or skim milk
1/2 onion, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar or Colby cheese, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Directions:
Bring 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to rolling boil in medium saucepan. Add macaroni and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and put in large bowl.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir in onion, bay leaf and paprika. Simmer gently, stirring often, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf.

Stir in macaroni. Pour half of mixture into greased, deep 1 1/2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining macaroni and remaining cheese.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over top of macaroni.

Bake at 350F. until bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


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Lemon Chicken Breasts

lemon chicken breasts
Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.


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Pasta Salad with Green Beans, Pistachios, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

lemon green bean salad

Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:
8 ounces uncooked gemelli or other short twisted tube pasta
1 cup (1 1/2-inch) cut haricots verts (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind, divided
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup)

Preparation:
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add haricots verts during the final 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse pasta mixture under cold water; drain well.
2. Place the pasta mixture, pistachios, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1 tablespoon lemon rind in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.
3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon rind, shallots, juice of a lemon, Champagne or white wine vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add salt and black pepper; stir with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture, and toss gently to coat. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese.


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Halibut with Sambal Vinaigrette and Wasabi Cream

tilapia
Adapted from Gourmet

Ingredients:
For sambal vinaigrette
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (Southeast Asian chile sauce)
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For wasabi cream
2 teaspoons wasabi (green horseradish) powder
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sour cream

For halibut
1 (2-lb) halibut steak (1 1/2 inches thick), skinned, boned, and cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Make vinaigrette:
Blend vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth. Season with salt.

Make cream:
Whisk together wasabi powder and water until smooth, then whisk in sour cream. Season with salt.

Make halibut:
Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 side of each piece with parsley.
Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add oil, then fish, parsleyed sides up. Sear fish until undersides are browned, about 1 minute.
Turn fish over and put skillet in middle of oven. Roast until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
Serve fish, parsleyed sides up, with a spoonful of each sauce.


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Wheatberry Salad

wheatberry salad
Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:
1 cup hard winter wheatberries
Kosher salt
1 cup finely diced red onion
6 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 scallions, minced, white and green parts
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the wheatberries and 3 cups of boiling salted water in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain.

Saute the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl, combine the warm wheatberries, sauteed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheatberries to absorb the sauce. Season, to taste, and serve at room temperature. Serves 6.


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Cream Cheese Crockpot Chicken Chili

crock pot chicken chile

Adapted from Rita’s Recipes

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, still frozen
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can corn kernels, do not drain
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1 T cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

Directions:
Put the chicken in the crock pot.
Top with the tomatoes, corn, the drained and rinsed beans, ranch dressing, cumin, onion and chili powders, stir to combine then top with the cream cheese.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring one or twice to blend in the cheese.
Shred the chicken into large pieces and serve over rice or in tortillas.
Serves 4