Monthly Archives: May 2014

New England Fish Chowder with Rosemary and Thyme-Scented Crackers

Fish_Chowder1 (1 of 1)One of the nice things about New England is the availability of really good fish chowder (and of course, clam chowder) in restaurants. However, I find it’s also nice to prepare my own at home — this mouth-watering, creamy (although not exactly slim!) version so easy to make, and the herbed crackers are really what make this dish. Delicious! Hope you’ll give this a try!

3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp dried thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp fresh)
3 cups oyster crackers
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
4 tsp flour
1 tsp ground paprika
2 8-oz bottles clam juice
2 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
2 baking potatoes (about 1 lb tot.), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 lbs firm white fish (cod, halibut, etc.), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus a pinch
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, plus a pinch
3 Tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 3 Tbsp butter with thyme and rosemary in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add a pinch each of salt and ground black pepper. Add oyster crackers and stir well to combine. Spread cracker mixture out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Cook bacon over medium-high heat in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Stir until crisp, then transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Drain off fat. Add onions, carrots, celery and 2 Tbsp butter to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and stir 3 minutes. Add paprika and stir another 30 seconds. Add clam juice, water and cream. Increase heat to medium high, add potatoes and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes (stirring occasionally). Stir in fish and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Serve with the prepared crackers.

Serves 4.

Italian Meatloaf

Italian_Meatloaf2 (1 of 1)Some of my readers may recall that I have a thing for meatloaf. Well, it’s been a while since my last meatloaf post, so here we go (again). This fantastic version comes from central Italy — its ingredients are simple, but make for a delicious meatloaf and sauce! Really easy to prepare — hope you’ll try it out!


Two thick slices bread, torn into pieces and soaked in about a cup of milk
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork
1/4 lb pancetta, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 chopped parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2  14-oz cans diced tomatoes with juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drain milk from bread, squeezing out excess liquid. Combine bread and next 8 ingredients (ground beef through black pepper) in a large bowl. Mix well with hands.

Coat lidded casserole with cooking spray. Add meat mixture to casserole and form into a Italian_Meatloaf1 (1 of 1)10-inch x 5-inch loaf. Combine tomatoes and wine, together with a pinch of additional salt in a bowl. Pour tomato mixture around loaf. Cover, place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 45 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Slice meatloaf in casserole into 1-inch slices. Serve with hot pasta.

Serves 8.


Chicken Simmered with Black Olives and Rosemary

Chicken_with_Black_Olives_and_Rosemary1 (1 of 1)This is a simple-to-prepare chicken recipe. The list of ingredients is short (at least among my posts), but these ingredients combine very well into a delicious dish. A very important component is the anchovy paste — it does not add any sort of a fishy flavor, but rather an important “depth of flavor,” so don’t skip it! If you have whole anchovy filets, you can substitute 2 filets for the paste. A wonderful Mediterranean take on chicken, hope you’ll give it a try!

2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Combine chicken with salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk flour into white wine and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or similar pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown on Chicken_with_Black_Olives_and_Rosemary2 (1 of 1)all sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion, rosemary and white wine/flour mixture. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add olives and anchovy paste to the chicken mixture; stir well. Cover pan and simmer gently another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in red wine vinegar. Season with additional salt, if desired. Serve with pasta,  white rice, or pane di casa.

Serves 4.