Whatcha Got Cookin’?
by Chef Marcelle Bienvenu
Grilled Vegetables with Pasta
1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into wedges
2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into wedges
2 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into wedges
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Toss the vegetables with the salt, cayenne, soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large bowl. Arrange the vegetables in a grill basket and grill over a medium fire for about five minutes, turning them once or twice.
Toss the spaghetti with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/4 cup of olive oil and the crushed garlic. To serve, arrange the grilled vegetable atop the spaghetti.
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1 cup crushed tortilla chips
3 tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces cottage cheese
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your preference)
4 tablespoons (to taste) chopped pickled jalapeño peppers (or mild green chilies)
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces jalapeño cheddar cheese dip (ready-made, or make your own)
salt, freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce (to taste)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped or sliced black olives
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the chips and butter and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Process the cottage cheese, cream cheese, eggs (added one at a time), cheddar cheese and jalapeño peppers (or green chilies). Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well. Pour into the springform pan and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven. Mix together the sour cream and cheese dip; spread over the cheesecake. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour. The cheesecake can then be refrigerated until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature. Before serving, sprinkle the top with tomatoes, black olives and green onions. Serve with tortilla chips.
Note: If pressed for time, purchase ready-made olive salad.
1 1/2 cups chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
1 cup chopped ripe olives
2 tablespoons capers, drained
3 anchovies, drained and chopped
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. dried oregano leaves
1 round loaf Italian bread (8-10 inches round)
2/3 pound mortadella, thinly sliced
2/3 pound provolone cheese, thinly sliced
2/3 pound Italian salami, thinly sliced
Combine the olives, capers, anchovies, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and oregano in a bowl. Cover and chill for 2-4 hours.
To assemble the sandwich, halve the bread loaf horizontally. Remove some of the soft inside bread from both the top and bottom, leaving a 3/4-inch-thick shell.
Brush the inside of the top and bottom shells with excess marinade from the bottom of the olive salad bowl. Stir the relish to blend, then spoon half onto the bottom round of bread. Arrange the mortadella slices over the olive salad, then layer the provolone and salami. Mound the remaining olive salad over the sausage and cheese slices and cover with the top shell. Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
To serve, cut the sandwich into wedges.