Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cooking with Chemo

As promised here are Luke's recipes from the Cooking with Chemo class.

Chicken Stir-fry Simplicity

By Luke Miller

4 T Olive Oil

2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic (Chopped fine or pressed)

1 T Ground or Freshly Grated Ginger

¼ Cup Soy sauce

1 lb. Chicken Breast (Cut in bite size pieces)

Two bags of frozen stir-fry vegetables

½ Cup Chicken Stock

2 T Cornstarch

¼ Cup Dry Sherry

4 Green Onions


In a medium bowl add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chicken breast and stir to combine and let stand. This can be done up to a day in advance. In another small bowl or measuring cup add cornstarch and sherry and mix until combined.

In a hot stir-fry pan add remaining oil and marinated chicken mixture. Stir while cooking until chicken is cooked through. Add frozen vegetables and continue to stir until vegetables are warm. Push your mixture up the sides of the stir-fry pan making a hole in the center like a doughnut. Add you chicken stock and let the liquid come to a boil. Once liquid starts to boil add your cornstarch and sherry mixture to the middle and stir until it starts to thicken. Fold in the vegetable and chicken mixture from the sides of the pan and combine to evenly coat the sauce.

Serve over some steamed rice and enjoy!

Veggie Spaghetti

By Luke Miller

Two large parsnips cut into threads with Mandolin or Julienne slicer.


2 14.5 ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes chopped in bowl

3oz. tomato paste

¼ Cup red wine

Three cloves garlic diced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon of fennel seed

¼ Cup of fresh basil coarsely chopped

8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms

1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons Light Olive oil (for sauteing)

Chicken Breast (or Salmon)

Salt and Pepper


In a medium sauté pan add two tablespoons of light olive oil on a medium to medium high heat. Season your chicken breast with salt and pepper on each side and add to the pan then cover with a lid. Let chicken sauté for about 2 minutes then turn it on the other side. Continue to sauté until chicken is browned on both sides and cooked through. While chicken is cooking assemble your remaining ingredients so they are ready to add to the pan. Once the chicken is cooked set it aside on plate with a paper towel to remove the excess oil.

In the same pan add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil the sliced garlic cloves and sauté for about 30 second being careful not to brown the garlic. Add fresh sliced mushroom to pan and sauté with red pepper and fennel seed. Add half of the red wine to deglaze the pan scraping the brown bits from the pan. Turn up the heat to medium high and continue to sauté until mushrooms soften and are cooked through. Add chopped tomatoes and turn the heat down to medium. Continue to simmer the sauce until it lightly bubbles. Add the basil to the sauce and turn the heat to medium low.

In a pan with a steamer insert add the Julianne strips of parsnips and steam them until tender. You may want to taste the threads as if they were spaghetti noodles to test for doneness. Spoon sauce over parsnip noodles and top with parmesan cheese if your diet allows.

Black Bean Hummus

By Luke Miller

2 cloves of fresh garlic

4 Green onions

1 Jalapeno

2 Limes of Juice (if you want more lime flavor zest lime first before you squeeze juice)

One big handful of fresh Cilantro

2 16oz cans black beans strained and washed

1 T kosher Salt

2 T ground cumin

1 T Fresh ground Black Pepper

Hot pepper sauce of some type, if you want it spicier


In a food processor add the first five ingredients and run processor until liquefied. Add rinsed black beans and process again until it becomes the consistency you desire. Add salt, pepper, cumin and additional hot sauce and adjust to taste.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pasta Class II

Chef Luke came to class with prepared dough from the recipe we learned last week. From there we broke up into twos and rolled and cut the dough for ravioli. What fun, we ended up with several sizes and shapes (the thinner the dough, the easier it was to boil). Again in twos and then fours we made the fillings (the cheese and the seafood fillings were made) and sauces listed below. After the ravioli were filled, they were boiled for a very short time. Everything was so delicious. Just thinking about it I am getting hungry all over again!

Three Cheese Filling Base

1 C Ricotta Cheese
1/4 C Parmesan Reggiano
1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella or Provolone
1 t EVOO
1 t Basil
1 Clove Garlic finely chopped or made into a paste with kosher salt
1 large egg

For Seafood Filling: Add to the above, one cup of mixture of seafood finely minced or shredded in a processor with one tablespoons of lemon zest and a 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley. Luke sauteed shrimp and mussels to use for our class. Very, very good.

In a bowl add all of the ingredients and mix well.

Cajun Cream Sauce

2 Cloves Garlic
2 T White Wine or Vermouth
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 C fine grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
1 T Tomato Paste
1/2 t Paprika
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper to taste
1/4 t Oregano
1/4 t Thyme
2 T Butter

Sweat garlic in oil for a few seconds and add wine before garlic browns. Add cream and reduce while whisking on low heart until cream thickens and coats back of spoon*. Whisk in cheese until smooth. If you feel it is too thick, add more cream as needed. Add paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme and which. Whisk in butter before serving.

*When thickened to right consistency, you should be able to run your finger down back of spoon and separate the sauce in two parts.

Bolognese Sauce

1 Carrot, finely diced
1/2 C Onion, finely diced
1/2 C Celery, finely diced
1/2 C Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed/chopped
1 Lb. Ground Sweet Italian Sausage
1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 15 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1/4 C Red Wine
1 t Sugar
1/2 t Basil*
1/2 t Oregano*
1/4 t Red Pepper Flakes*

Saute carrots, onion, celery and red pepper in oil. Add sausage and garlic, and brown meat. Drain fat, add tomatoes, red wine, sugar and seasonings. Serve hot over pasta.

*Add spices to taste.

I want to thank everyone who participated in these pasta classes, especially Luke and Cydney Miller. Luke will be back May 20 to teach nutritious cooking to people who need, will need to or have had chemo. Good luck to Cydney on her next competition.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Basic Pasta Class I

Hi, all. We had a wonderful time at our basic pasta making class with Luke Miller. Everyone had a chance to make their dough, roll the dough through the pasta machine to make their choice of noodles and cook two sauces. Of course after all of that work they were able to sit down and eat their creation and drink a bit of wine. To make this class even more fun the fire alarm went off during Luke's basic Alfredo sauce demonstration. Not knowing the code to stop the alarm, 911 would not stop the fire department from coming to "ingredients". I could silence the alarm; but not stop the strobe and I apologize to my downtown family for any distress cause by the fire truck being parked on First St. The strobe has stopped (as of this morning) and all is well.

Below are the recipes by Luke Miller from Class One: Basic Pasta:

Basic Pasta Dough

1 3/4 C Unbleached Flour
1 t Kosher Salt
2 extra large eggs or 3 large eggs

On a solid work surface add 1 1/2 C flour in a mound and make a well in the center reserving the remaining 1/4 c for later kneading. Add oil, eggs and salt in a bowl and mix. Pour egg mixture in center of mound and begin to work with your fingers until you form a mass. Use the reserved flour a little at a time to form into a smooth ball. The dough will be slightly tacky to the touch when it is ready. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator until you are ready to roll it out.

Simple Tomato Sauce

2 Cloves Garlic chopped fine
1/4 C Yellow Onion chopped fine
1/4 C Red Wine
2 16oz cans of diced Tomatoes
1 T Basil
1 T Oregano
1/2 t Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Kosher salt to taste
Sugar to taste*

Sweat garlic and onion in oil for a few minutes until translucent and cooked through. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add tomatoes and spices and simmer until desired thickness.

If you would like a smoother tomato sauce, pulse it in a blender or food processor before serving.

*Sugar is added as a way to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Add this in small amounts, like salt, until you get the desired taste.

Alfredo Sauce

2 Cloves Garlic
2 T White Wine or Vermouth
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 C fine grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
1 T Butter

Sweat garlic in oil for a few seconds and add wine before garlic browns. Add cream and reduce while whisking on low heat until cream thickens and coats back of spoon*. Whisk in cheese until smooth. If it is too thick add more cream. Whisk in butter before service.

*When thickened to right consistency, you should be able to run your finger down back of spoon and separate the sauce in two parts.

I can tell you that everything tasted so good. I didn't realize how easy it is to make pasta (although we sell some pasta here) and how good it tastes. It does take a bit of time; but you can store your mound of pasta for a while. The homemade sauces were easy and delicious and they didn't take much time at all. I promised Calla Rae we would attempt this at home. Hmm, I wonder if Luke would come over and help :-).

Next week we will be filling ravioli with cheese and seafood and we learn two new sauces.