SECONDI (Main Course)

Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving Turkey

In a medium sauce pan place:
1 package fresh cranberries
1 green apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
zest, juice and pulp of two oranges (no seeds!)
1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
a pinch of salt
water (to come to half the height of the fruit)

Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until most of the cranberries pop open and the apple is very soft.

Chicken and Vegetable Tajine over Couscous

Saute 1 medium onion (chopped), 3 cloves of garlic (sliced paper-thin or chopped), 1Tbsp. coriander seeds, and 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds. Place on the bottom of an oven-proof pot. Add 1 celery stalk (sliced), 1 carrot (sliced or grated), 1 lb. chicken (preferrably dark meat, in stew-size pieces), 1/2 butternut squash (in large dice), 1 winter squash or zucchini (sliced), 1 small eggplant (in large dice), and 1 sweet pepper (green or red, diced). In a medium bowl combine 1 can of diced tomatoes with 1 tsp. cumin, 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika, 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro leaves, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Pour over the chicken and vegetables. Cover the pot and place into a preheated 375░F (185░C) oven and cook for 1 hour or until the vegetables are soft. Add 1/2 can chickpeas (drained) and cook another 5-10 minutes. Serve hot on a bed of couscous.

Chicken in Orange Sauce (makes 6 portions)

6 pieces of chicken (legs, thighs or breasts), with skin and bones, cleaned and wiped dry; freshly ground black pepper; paprika; olive oil; 1 large white onion, finely shopped or pureed; 1 cup orange juice; 1 orange (peel and all); peel of one lemon; juice of half a lemon; 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar; 1/2 cup water; 1 tsp. salt.

Sprinkle the chicken with pepper and paprika. Fry in small amount of olive oil on high heat until the skin is crisp and there is no pink flesh. Place in an ovenproof dish and set aside. In the same frying pan, saute the onion. Place over the chicken. Put in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C, covered with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, water, salt, finely shopped lemon and orange peel and the orange segments. Cover again and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve with hot rice.

Polenta with Smoked Cod (serves 6)

In a large pot bring to a boil: 6 1/2 cups of water; 2 tsp. of salt. Gradually, stirring constantly, add 3 cups instant polenta. Cook stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in: 200 gr spinach (fresh or frozen & thawed), chopped; 3 tbsp butter; 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese (or any other finely grated cheese). Season to taste with salt and pepper (you might want to put less salt at this stage). Place the polenta in a buttered ovenproof dish, spreading it evenly across the base and up the sides of the dish.

In another large pot or skillet bring to a boil 3/4 cup milk. Add about 1 pound skinless smoked cod. Cook on low heat, turning once, for 8-10 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon. Remove the pot/skillet from the heat. Beat slightly 4 eggs. Add the milk that cod was cooked in. Using a fork, flake the fish (debone if necessary). Place the cod in the center of the polenta dish. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the fish. Sprinkle the top with 1/3 cup pecorino cheese

Bake in a preheated oven at 375░F (185░C) for 30 minutes or until the center is set and the top is golden. Serve hot! Buon Appetito!

You can use 350 gr of cooked chicken breast with 2 tbsp of chopped tarragon instead of the fish.

Lamb Tajine with Preserved Lemons, Spinach, Chickpeas and Coriander

This is a delectable dish, quick and easy to make! If you don't have a tajine pot, use wok or Dutch oven instead.

500 gr lamb, finely chopped or coarsely ground; 400 gr frozen spinach, partially defrosted; 400 gr canned chickpeas (or dried chickpeas, cooked beforehand); 1 large onion; 2-3 cloves garlic; 1/2 preserved lemon (for the recipe, see March recipes); 1 1/2 tbsp. coriander paste; 1 tsp. coriander seeds; 1 tsp. cumin; 1/2 tsp. paprika; 1/4 tsp. black pepper; 1-2 tbsp. oil.

In a tajine pot/wok, heat up the oil. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Add finely chopped garlic, and coarsely chopped onion. Saute together until the onion is translucent. Sprinkle with pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander seeds and mix well. Let the meat stew for about 10 minutes. Mix in the spinach and chickpeas. Cook another ten minutes, stirring so that the ingredients cook evenly. When the meat is tender, add the coriander paste and finely chopped rind of the preserved lemon. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. Serve piping hot on a bed of rice. Enjoy!

Salmon with Blue Cheese Sauce

Marinate salmon in lemon juice and black pepper. Leave for 30 min. at room temperature or overnight in a fridge. Broil the salmon in a pre-heated oven at 200░ C (400░ F) or grill.

In a saucepan, heat 1 cup sour cream or heavy cream. When the cream almost starts to boil, reduce the heat and add 100 gr blue cheese (crumbled or finely shopped). Whisk together with the cream until the sauce is uniform in texture.

Serve the salmon with potatoes topped with the sauce. Bon appetit!