An Easy Dinner—Fit for a Queen, and Two Princesses

DSCF2437 DSCF2441When I tell you that this meal created by Arnold Myint is one of his best yet, you need to pay attention and strap your bib on! Arnold is my dear friend and he also is a great chef. He is going to be on the Food Network Star show premiering Sunday, June 7. I have been fortunate to eat his cooking both in his Nashville restaurants (PM, blvd, Suzy Wong’s House of Yum) and in his home and mine. If Arnold visits your kitchen, you can bet he will be cooking. He just can’t help it. This time we are staying at an Air B&B in Memphis along with our super galpal, Candace Keller. We are here for two pageants–Miss Gay TN America and Miss Gay Mid-America. Arnold is not only a chef; his alter-ego, Suzy Wong, is a devasting drag queen, so you really get fabulous food and extravagant entertainment when you hang with him. He whipped this simple and simply wonderful meal up last night. And then, he glued rhinestones on a head dress. I am enclosing the recipes and if you try this easy meal at your own home, I can guarantee your friends will be just as excited as Candace and I were last night. Chow down!

Zucchini Pappardelle with Mushroom Bolognese and a Divine Kale Salad

The Sauce
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
Sauté in 1/4 cup olive oil until they turn translucent and fragrant.
Then add 1/2 pint rough chopped cremini mushrooms.
Allow to simmer. Note: mushrooms release a lot of liquid. Allow the liquid to cook away.
Stir occasionally.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add 2 Tablespoons Italian herbs of choice (oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage)
Rough pulse 10 ounces of San Marzano canned tomatoes and add to the mushroom base. Allow to heat and keep,it warm.

The “noodles”
Count on one zucchini per person.
Slice the zucchini into thin flat ribbons, like thin, flat noodles. Include the peels as well.
Do this with a vegetable peeler. Much safer than a mandolin, and you get the same effect. Slice three whole roasted bell peppers (pimentoes) into long, thin strips.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet. Once oil is heated, add red peppers and allow moisture to escape, slightly.
Then add the zucchini strips and cook over high heat until the zucchini is wilted.
Salt and pepper

Assemble on a large platter. Pour the sauce over the zucchini and garnish with fresh Italian flat- leaf parsley.

The Kale Salad
Rough chop 1/2 large bunch of kale. Stems removed. Rough chop 1 head of Romaine lettuce.
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dress with
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Whisk

Kale Salad. You’ll Love This One.

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KALE SALAD

My favorite trendy food is kale salad. It’s so easy to make at home and so good for you. Here’s my jazzed up version. Throw a fried organic egg on top and you’ve got a complete meal in minutes. This is for 2.

The Kale
Take half a bunch of kale, wash it, and tear away the stems.
Put into your Cuisinart and pulse with chopping blade. You want it well-chopped, but not ground into a mush.
12 ripe fresh cherries. Roughly cut into pieces–stems and seeds removed.
(You can use dried cherries, dried cranberries, or raisins. Most people do. The fresh ones are just so much more fabulous.)
16 roasted almonds ( or nut of your choice ) chopped

The Apricot Mustard Dressing
3 T Veganaise
1 T good quality grainy mustard
2 T apricot preserves
1/4 teas salt
3 T coconut milk, or soy milk
Whisk together.

For this amount of kale salad use 2 to 3 T of the dressing.