Summer Ratatouille

Your Royko Recipe for June, 2018

This recipe uses less heat than long-baked versions.
Food & Wine, July 1992, Page 85. Credit: Ann Haskell.

Ratatouille is incredibly flexible. Enjoy it as a side dish. Use it as an omelette filling. Serve it over pasta. Or, fill cornmeal crepes with it.

A personal note. Eggplant soaks up a great deal of oil in cooking. And if you feel as I do that its flavour is not worth writing home about, by all means eliminate it. If you want a substitute, slice 2-3 small zucchinis, washed but not peeled, and use them instead.

Summer Ratatouille

Serves 4.

6 tbl. olive oil-or less

1 medium chopped onion
1 julienned green bell pepper-1/4-inch thick
1 julienned yellow bell pepper-1/4-inch thick
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 julienned red bell pepper-1/4-inch thick

1 medium sliced globe eggplant-1/4-inch thick
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
Freshly ground black pepper
3 large halved lengthwise, sliced tomatoes -1/4-inch thick
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 ̊. In a large, heavy, nonreactive skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over moderately high heat. Add onion, garlic, peppers, eggplant and mushrooms and sauté, tossing and adding more olive oil as necessary, until the vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and add the basil. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute longer.

Transfer the vegetables to a 14-inch oval gratin dish and sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Ratatouille will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Chicken Sauce Piquant

This is the first time I have posted a second Royko Recipe in the same month, but this one was our dinner last night and I have a photo illustration.

Danica may comment on some recipe tweaks she made. She made cornbread to go with it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Chicken Sauce Piquant
Chicken in a tangy tomato-based sauce that’s so tender, it almost falls apart. Serves 6 to 8.

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 large split in half whole chicken breasts – or use boneless breasts
2 medium coarsely chopped onions
4 coarsely chopped celery ribs
1 large coarsely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 28-oz. can crushed Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 large bay leaves
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
4 cup chicken stock
2 tbl. chopped green onions
2 tbl. minced fresh Italian parsley
12 pimiento-stuffed olives

Heat oil over moderately high heat in a large pot. Add chicken pieces in batches and
sauté, turning, until browned, 4-5 minutes on each side. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

Add onions, celery and green pepper to the pot and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened but not browned, 5-10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to another plate.

Whisk flour into the remaining oil in the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until the roux turns a rich brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste, bay leaves, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt, pepper and stock. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken and sautéed vegetables and simmer, uncovered, stirring and skimming the top occasionally until the chicken is tender and the sauce is thickened.
The recipe can be prepared to this point the day before and refrigerated, covered.

A few minutes before serving, stir in green onions, parsley and olives.

Royko’s Fresh Salsa

I haven’t tasted Royko’s salsa for over 20 years, but I remember that fresh flavour like it was yesterday!

Your Royko Recipe for May, 2018

Royko’s Fresh Salsa
This uncooked fresh salsa is great with nachos or nacho chips. It’s easy. It’s tasty. What else is there?

Serves 6 to 8.

4 large ripe tomatoes – or 1 large can whole tomatoes out of season
1 large green bell pepper
1 medium Spanish onion

1 to 2 cloves garlic

1 cup fresh coriander leaves-(cilantro)
Salsa or hot sauce-to taste

Chop coriander leaves in food processor (using the steel blade), until finely chopped. Leave in food processor.

If using fresh tomatoes, peel and seed them. If using canned, drain. Chop tomatoes in the food processor with coriander until still somewhat chunky (1/4″ pieces, roughly-roughly). Do not purée. Transfer to a large bowl.

Seed green pepper. Cut into large pieces and chop coarsely in food processor. Drain off any liquid that is released and add to bowl with tomatoes.
Process garlic in food processor until finely minced. Add onion, in pieces, and chop together until still somewhat chunky. Add to other chopped ingredients. Mix thoroughly, then chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Spoon into individual bowls and let each person add salsa or hot sauce to taste.
Serve with plain tortilla chips. Or, layer tortilla chips in a baking dish, cover with grated Monterey Jack cheese and broil until cheese melts. Or, try cutting mini pitas in half, stuff with Monterey Jack cheese and broil until cheese melts.

Lower-fat falafels

Your Royko Recipe for March, 2018

Lower-fat falafels

A healthier version of this classic Middle Eastern dish featuring chickpea patties in pita.
Serves 8

1 19-oz. can rinsed, drained chick peas 
1 small chopped onion
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbl. all-purpose flour
2 tbl. chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbl. sesame oil
2 tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 to 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 tbl. vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbl. ketchup
1/2 tsp. salt
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
8 6-inch pita bread
1/2 head shredded lettuce
1 large thinly sliced cucumber
2 sliced tomato

In a food processor, process chick peas, onion, bread crumbs, flour, parsley, garlic, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin and Tabasco until smooth and pasty. Shape into patties 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook patties in batches, adding oil as needed, for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned on both sides.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 400 ̊ for 10 minutes.

In a food processor, blend egg yolk, vinegar, garlic and mustard. With motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until all is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Blend in ketchup, salt and hot pepper sauce.

Cut off ends of pitas and open to make pockets. Add lettuce, 2-3 patties, sauce, cucumber and tomato slices.

As an alternate sauce, use commercial or home-made tzatziki.

Ligurian Vegetable Soup

Your Royko Recipe for February, 2018

Ligurian Vegetable Soup
This chunky, flavourful soup comes from Liguria, which is the area around Genoa.
Serves 6 to 8.

1 large coarsely chopped onion
2 large ribs coarsely chopped celery
2 medium peeled, coarsely chopped carrots

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. shredded Savoy cabbage

1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 cup coarsely shredded romaine lettuce-or escarole 3 medium peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice potatoes
1 1/4 cup drained, coarsely chopped plum tomatoes

4 cup rich vegetable Stock-or use chicken stock
1 cup fresh, shelled peas-or use frozen peas
1/3 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves minced garlic

8 to 10 slices toasted Italian bread
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, onion, celery and carrots in the olive oil over moderate heat until they are softened, about 10 minutes.

Add cabbage, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until cabbage is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in potatoes and tomatoes, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Increase heat to moderately high, add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, covered. Combine parsley and garlic and stir into soup. Cook for 5 minutes.

Ladle over a piece of toasted bread and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Barley Soup in the Style of Trentino

Your Royko Recipe for January, 2018

Barley Soup in the Style of Trentino
Trentino is in north-eastern Italy with Friuli.
Food & Wine, Oct. 1992, Page 71. Credit: Marcella Hazan.

Marcella Hazan is undoubtedly the queen of Italian cooking. Her two books, The Classic Italian Cookbook and Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking are a must-read for anyone who thinks Italian cooking is all spaghetti and meat sauce or pizza.
Serves 4.

1 1/4 cup rinsed, drained pearl barley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions
1/4 cup plus 2 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
2 oz. finely chopped prosciutto or pancetta
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary-or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 tbl. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 medium peeled, diced potato
1 large peeled, diced carrot-or 2 small carrots
1 beef bouillon cube
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tbl. freshly grated 
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large saucepan, cover the barley with 3 inches of water. Cover and bring to a slow, steady simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, partially covered, until tender (about 1 hour).

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the onion in the oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden (about 3 minutes). Add the prosciutto or pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and parsley and cook for 1 minute.

Add the onion mixture, diced potato and carrot, and the bouillon cube to the cooked barley. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little more water if the soup is too thick. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender (about 30 minutes). Just before serving, stir in the grated cheese.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Your Royko Recipe for November, 2017

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
A tasty, meatless version of the old favourite. Serves 4 to 6.

This dish is quite good on its own. Or, you can add your favourite vegetable as a side dish, which we do quite often.

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1 medium chopped onion

2 chopped carrots

2 cloves minced garlic

1 19-oz. can canned stewed tomatoes
1 19-oz. can drained, rinsed lentils-or 1 cup dried green lentils
3 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
4 chopped green onions

black pepper

If using canned lentils, drain and rinse. If using dried lentils, boil in enough water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Add tomatoes to onions, carrots and garlic and mash with a potato masher to break tomatoes into smaller pieces. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Stir in lentils and heat until lentils are hot. Transfer mixture to a deep, 8-cup baking dish.

Combine potatoes, cottage cheese and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over lentil mixture, covering ot completely. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 ̊ oven for 35 minutes or until bubbling.

Suttle Turkey Chili

Your Royko Recipe for October, 2017

Suttle Turkey Chili
Even dedicated carnivores will have trouble believing that this chili contains no beef. Makes 10 1/2 cups.

This recipe comes from Ann Suttle in Florence, Alabama. Cooking Light, Nov./Dec. 1993, Page 123.

1 tbl. vegetable oil
2 lb. Freshly ground raw turkey
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
1 clove minced garlic
2 1/2 cup water
2 tbl. chili powder
1 tbl. dried parsley
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 19-oz. can red kidney beans
1 4-oz. can chopped canned green chiles
1 bay leaf

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add turkey, onion and garlic, and cook until turkey is browned (about 9 minutes), stirring to crumble. Drain and wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel.
Return mixture to pan. Add water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for 1 more hour, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.

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