Holiday Recipes




(Serves 6)

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1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic
2 thick slices baguette
1 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Heat oil in a skillet and fry the whole garlic cloves until brown in color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove garlic from the pan and set aside.Place the bread in the hot oil and toast on both sides. Combine the bread, garlic, almonds, and parsley in a food processor or use amortar and pestle. Crush and set aside. This will be used to thicken the stew before serving.
1/2 cup Spanish olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 ounces prosciutto or jamón serrano cut into strips
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped (or use canned tomatoes)
Pinch of saffron threads
1 cup amontillado sherry
21/2 cups fish stock
12 clams
12 mussels
6 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound cod
Salt and pepper

Heat oil and sauté onion, pepper, ham, and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. Add the saffronand sherry and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Add the fish stock and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium and add all the seafood. Coverand cook for about 3 minutes, or until clams and mussels open; discard any that fail to open. Stir in the thickener and taste to adjustseasonings. 

Creamed Spinach With Taleggio

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(8 servings)


2 pounds mature, large-leaf spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped (3 or 4 bunches)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Taleggio, the rind trimmed and the cheese diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano

Line a very large strainer or colander with a large, clean kitchen towel. Fill the colander with spinach leaves and pour boiling water froma kettle over the spinach to wilt the leaves. When cool enough to handle, wrap up and twist the towel to wring out all excess liquid.Finely chop the drained spinach. (If you don’t have a very large colander, you can do this in batches.)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Then add the butter. When the butter foams, add the shallotsand garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until the shallots soften. Add the cream and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Melt in theTaleggio. Add the lemon juice and finish with the parmigiano-reggiano.

Toffee Cheesecake Bars

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(Makes 2 1/2 Dozen)


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup cold butter
1 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/4 cups milk chocolate English toffee bits, divided

1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.Press in the bottom of an ungreased 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes or until set.
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the milk, eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup toffee bits. Pour overcrust. Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until center is almost set.
3. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours overnight.

Steak au Beurre de Roquefort

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(Serves 2)


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, removed from the refrigerator at least an hour in advance
Scant 1/4 pound Roquefort cheese, at room temperature
2 fillet steaks, preferably from Charolais beef
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Mash the butter and Roquefort together with a fork. Form into two round pats, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill.
When you are ready to eat, heat a heavy ridged pan for the steak, which you have seasoned. Once the pan is very hot, grill the steak toyour satisfaction. Always remember to ask your fellow diners their tastes as well. Put the cold pats of butter and cheese on top of the hotsteak and serve straight away.


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