Connolly Kitchen

Our family cookbook


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Tomato & Feta Salad

Feta Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:
4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors
1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 onions)
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese

Directions:

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature.

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Lemon Rice

Adapted from Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter (preferred) or extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 cups cooked rice, made by any method
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Juice of 2 lemons, plus more if needed

Directions:
1. Heat half the butter or oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet; when the butter foam subsides or the oil is hot, spoon in the cooked rice, tossing and stirring.

2. Season with salt to taste, lots of pepper, the garlic, and most of the lemon juice. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until hot. Stir in the remaining butter or oil and cook for 1 minutes.

3. Remove the rice from the pan to a platter, add the remaining lemon juice and serve. Serves 4.


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Captain Morgan’s Banana Bread

banana bread2
Adapted from Stephanie Ward

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Captain Morgan’s rum
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped nuts

Directions:
Combine bananas and rum.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar; add eggs.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Gradually beat banana and flour mixtures into butter, alternating.
Add nuts or chocolate chips.
Bake for 1 hour at 350º.


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Mall-style Pretzels

pretzels
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse salt

Directions:
Warm the milk in a saucepan until it’s about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Brush with butter as desired. Makes 6 pretzels.


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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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Lemon Risotto

lemon risotto
Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients:
2 shallots
1 rib celery
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups risotto rice
Approximately 1 quart vegetable stock
1/2 unwaxed lemon, zested and juiced
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more, for garnish
4 tablespoons heavy cream (have used non-fat milk in a pinch)
Good grating black pepper, preferably white
Maldon or other sea salt, to taste

Directions:
Put the shallots and celery into a mini food processor and blitz until they are finely chopped. Heat half the butter, the oil and the shallot and celery mixture in a wide saucepan, and cook to soften the mixture for about 5 minutes, making sure it doesn’t stick. Mix in the rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter. Meanwhile, heat the stock in another saucepan and keep it at the simmering point.

Put a ladleful of the stock into the rice and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed. Then add another ladleful and stir again. Continue doing this until the rice is al dente. You may not need all of the stock, equally, you may need to add hot water from the kettle.

Mix the lemon zest and the rosemary into the risotto, and in a small bowl beat the egg yolk, lemon juice, Parmesan, cream and pepper.

When the risotto is ready – when the rice is no longer chalky, but still has some bite – take it off the heat and add the bowl of eggy, lemony mixture, and salt, to taste.


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Biscoff Granola Bars

granola bars
Adapted from Two Peas & their Pod

Ingredients:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Biscoff Spread
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/3 cup chopped Biscoff Cookies
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Cut out an 8 x 8 inch square of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper in the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

2. In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and Biscoff Spread. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, and Biscoff Cookies. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the granola bars with your hands.

4. Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.