Wednesday, September 29, 2010



Farinata is an Italian flatbread made with garbanzo (chickpea) flour. I came across this recipe while thumbing though Veg News magazine at a bookstore one day. I knew I will be addicted to this recipe as I was reading though the list of ingredients. This is a very simple recipe. It's healthy and delicious. It bakes up thin and the texture is somewhat like
a firm pancake. There are so many variation of Farinata and I will continue to update the variations as I make them. This variation is adapted from Veg News magazine, using Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes...with a few changes of my own:

1 cup garbanzo flour (4.0 ounces)
1 cup water (8.0 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
About 9 to 10 Kalamata olives, minced (1.0 ounce)
3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil, minced (1.0 ounce)

Place garbanzo flour in a small bowl. Gradually add water and whisk together until smooth. Add the olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, olives and tomatoes. Mix until blended. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour (I set it aside for 3 hours).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a
12-inch pizza pan in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and grease with olive oil. Return skillet to the oven for about
2 more minutes. Give the farinata batter a quick stir and pour the entire batter into the skillet. Bake for about 20 minutes. Farinata will be firm and browned on top and crispy brown around the edges. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

NOTE: I prefer to use a cast-iron skillet because it gives a much crispier texture around the edges and on the bottom. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, use a 12-inch pizza pan or a shallow-rimmed, quarter-sheet size baking pan. I had used all three pans, but had the best results using a cast-iron skillet. Whatever pans you choose to use, it is essential to preheat the pans in the oven as instructed.

Yield 2 to 4 servings

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spicy and Smokey Roasted Potatoes

Spicy and Smokey Roasted Potatoes

These are my all-purpose roasted potatoes. I serve these with roasted chicken, roasted pork, fish, meatloaf, etc. I even serve these in place of hash brown potatoes for breakfast. I can eat them straight out of the refrigerator as my lunch the next day. Leftover roasted potatoes can also be used in your favorite potato salad recipe. Potatoes are rich with Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B6, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids.

2 pounds small red potatoes, sliced in halves or in quarters, if large size
2 tablespoons olive oil or garlic-infused olive oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika and/or ground chipotle chili pepper*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or to taste (Optional)

*NOTE: If using ground chipotle chili pepper, it will make your potatoes spicy. If you do not want your potatoes spicy, then use entirely smoked or just regular sweet paprika (if you do not have smoked paprika). Sometimes I use a combination of sweet paprika and finely chopped canned chipoltle peppers with some adobo sauce, but the canned chipoltle peppers will also give some kick to your potatoes. Just using plain adobo sauce will make it less spicy.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Position oven rack to center of the oven. Lightly spray a shallow rimmed baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and transfer to prepared baking pan in one layer, cut-side down. Roast in oven for until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove potatoes from oven and toss in lime juice, if desired. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

To reheat leftover potatoes stored in the refrigerator, place baked potatoes in a nonstick pie plate. Reheat in a toaster oven or regular oven at 450 until hot, about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the quantity you are reheating.

Yield 4 to 6 servings.