Volume 1: Issue 4

The “Amazing Meals Made Easy” system for the busy food lover!

Week of February 26, 2012

For all of our new folks, welcome to the hautemealz.com eNewsletter! For the rest of you…how about that Polpette Di Carne last week, eh? We received some very nice email comments on that one…glad you liked it! (It was my favorite too!)

This week was another tough call as to which dinner was my favorite. The Stromboli was awesome, but so was the Chicken BLT Salad (I loved that avocado dressing!) Guess it’s a good thing I got to have them both!

Couple of things to keep an eye out for, this week

On the haute & light menu:

You’ll save yourself some time, and likely some money, if you double up on the bone-in chicken breasts that you’ll cook for Dinner #2: Pan-Roasted Chicken, and use the leftovers for Dinner #5: Chicken BLT Salad. Once cooled, the meat will peel right off the bone, but to keep it moist, don’t do so until you’re ready to prepare the second dish. This should allow you to snap out Dinner #5 in just a few minutes!

Second…I loved the Brazilian Fish Stew, but I know that not everyone shares my piscatorial passion. So, feel free to replace the tilapia in this recipe with either good old chicken breast meat, or, to crank it up a notch, try some pan-fried kielbasa, cut into 1-inch chunks…yum!

For the regular hautemealz menu:

Terry whipped up some amazing dishes, including Dinner #6: Chicken Korma with Naan. The recipe calls for store-bought naan or flatbread, but if you, like Terry, are of the baking ilk…make sure you check out the recipe for making homemade Goat Cheese Nann from scratch! I’ve had this recipe from Terry’s ovens before…it’s next level!

Make sure to note that for Dinner 7: Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, you’ll want to apply the rub the night before, and refrigerate the whole beast overnight, or up to two days before, to really soak in those flavors. It really will make an amazing difference!

Okay, so let’s hit the kitchen for another week of easy, and awesome, hautemealz dinners, and, as always, if you have any questions along the way, we’re ready and waiting to help you out!

The hautemealz.com team

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Be sure to hook up with us (socially, of course) at

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hautemealz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HauteMealz
and, of course…
Our Blog: http://hautemealzblog.wordpress.com/

Oh, and if you’re one of those crazy pinners (like us)…pin us, baby!

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INGREDIENT OF THE WEEK: CILANTRO

Cilantro, also called coriander or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia.

While in the rest of the English-speaking world the leaves and seeds are known as coriander, in American culinary usage the leaves are generally referred to by the Spanish word cilantro. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most commonly used in cooking.

Desiccated cilantro plants were found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Nahal Hemel Cave in Israel, which may be the oldest archeological find of the plant. About half a liter of coriander seed was recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamen, and because this plant does not grow wild in Egypt, many interpret this find as proof that coriander was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians.

The Bible mentions coriander in Exodus 16:31: “And the house of Israel began to call its name manna: and it was round like coriander seed, and its taste was like that of flat cakes made with honey.” Coriander was brought to the British colonies in North America in 1670, and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers.

Some people may be genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro, according to often-cited studies by Charles J. Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. The theory is that certain chemicals in the plant react differently to the enzymes in certain folk’s saliva. This is why one person will react with disgust at the “soapy” taste, while others (like myself) are perplexed at that description, tasting none of it ourselves. Strangely, for many years I didn’t like cilantro at all (I can’t remember if it tasted “soapy” or not), then, in my mid-thirties, I fell in love with the stuff. If I couldn’t have cilantro in my homemade pico-de-gallo…I’d probably quit making it.

For more on storing, preparing, and cooking with cilantro, check out the video post on the hautemealz.com blog, “Tips for Storing Fresh Herbs.”

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FEATURED RECIPE

Dani’s Hakuna Frittata

One thing I love about working and hangin’ out with chefs and foodies is, not only is the menu always amazing…but invariably someone in the group rummages through the fridge and just “throws a little something together” on the spot…and it usually turns out awesome!

Our last hautemealz.com team meeting was no exception. While I was finishing up the apple gravy for the roast pork (on this week’s hautemealz menu) and Terry was putting the final touches on the smashed potatoes…Dani, our sous chef, food artist, and staff photographer, did a little “rummaging” for an appetizer…this is what she came up with and, oh my, it was good…

The philo strips on the bottom create a crispy crust, allowing you to eat your frittata like a pizza slice, and giving it a great crunch. The salty savory cheeses are a great counterpoint to the fresh veggies, as is the sweetness in the peppers to the tang of the spinach. The egg white holds it all together with a rich creaminess, while packing in some healthy protein.

The fresh ground black pepper is optional, but it really ties the room together…

Dani’s (amazing) Hakuna Frittata

1/2 pkg philo dough, cut into 1/4 inch strips
8 egg whites
2 Tbs water
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, shaved
1/2 cup mizithra cheese (or asiago)
1 tsp of salt, divided
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (opt)

Preheat oven to 375f

Combine cheeses, 1/2 tsp of salt, and garlic is a bowl and toss to combine.

Oil a pie-plate (Pyrex, if you got it) and cover the bottom with philo dough strips.

Whisk eggs whites with water and remaining salt; pour them into the plate, over the philo strips. Sprinkle evenly with cheese mix, reserving about a Tbs, then top with spinach, then peppers. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered 8-10 minutes, or until eggs are firm. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper (optional), cut into eighths, for appetizers, or quarters, for an entree. Serve hot and enjoy!

Dani’s advice: The 2 Tbs of water gives your eggs a smoother consistency.

When making a frittata, an omelet, scrambled eggs, etc, use a water to egg ratio of 1Tbs water to every 4 eggs.

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CHERYL’S HEALTH TIP…

There is something to be said for the bedtime snack of hot cocoa! If you are having night cravings for sweets and refined carbohydrates (most common during the winter!), opt for the hot cocoa – but not the processed kind with chemicals and too much added sugar!

Make your own!

Lactose-free milk is a great choice because many people struggle to breakdown the lactose in dairy products which causes bloating and discomfort. I use low-fat, lactose free milk, a little unsweetened cocoa powder, a little light agave for sweetener, and a tad of vanilla extract.

Add cinnamon for more health benefits!

The calcium in the milk is best utilized at night when the body loses it, plus the calcium helps relax your muscles. Sipped slowly, this will satisfy the temptations to eat your way through the pantry in the evening!

Health Coach Cheryl Cranston is an over-60 grandma with a youthful spirit. Zumba instructor, speaker, writer, and educator, Cheryl’s passion is inspiring women over 50 to be healthy, fit, strong and full of purpose!

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hautemealz.com

E-mail: perry@hautemealz.com
PO Box 21, Wilsonville Oregon, 97062

http://www.hautemealz.com
Copyright 2012, Perry P. Perkins

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