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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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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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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Lemonies (Lemon Brownies)

lemon brownies

Adapted from Bakergirl

Ingredients:
Brownies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Zest and juice two small lemons; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachement, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Pour into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
When brownies are cooled completely, make the glaze by whisking together all three ingredients. Spread over the brownies with a rubber spatula, cut into bars, and serve.


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Lemon Fusilli with Spinach and Tomatoes

lemon fusilli
Adapted slightly from Ina Garten

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
2 lemons
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 1 lemon, the juice of 2 lemons, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, and tomatoes. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.