March 5, 2012

Spinach - Recipes from Cucina Cocina

Sautéed Spinach and Leeks
5 oz. of fresh spinach, chopped
2/3 cup sliced leeks
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or canola oil)
salt and pepper

Heat oil in medium/large skillet over medium heat, add leek to pan. Cook for about 1 minute, shut off heat and toss in the chopped spinach until coated and wilted from heat. About 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Recipe by Cucina Cocina

Mushroom and Leek Chicken with Madeira Sauce

4 large chicken breasts cut into quarters
1 cup of heavy cream
1½ cups of Madeira wine (inexpensive Taylor Brand works just fine)
1 ½ heaping cups sliced mushrooms
2/3 cup sliced leeks
1 – 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground sea salt (season to your liking)
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Make sure chicken is dry, pat it with a paper towel if needed…then cut into quarters and season well on all sides with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large skillet until it gets a bit foamy, add chicken and cook until golden on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, add the leeks, mushrooms, salt, pepper, herbes, and thyme. Cook for approx 1 minute stirring so that everything in pan is coated with the remaining butter.

Next add the cream, stir, and then add the Madeira, stir.  Add the chicken back to the pan and finish cooking the chicken with the sauce (keep it on a low boil) flipping the medallions once throughout the cooking process. Cook approx 10 minutes uncovered. If you like a thicker sauce, remove chicken and cook another 2 minutes then return chicken to pan to warm. Top sautéed spinach and leeks with the creamy chicken and sauce.
Serves 4 - 6
Recipe by Cucina Cocina

Rustic Spinach Tart
Spinach Filling

1lb. of fresh spinach, chopped
1cup chopped sundried tomatoes
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or canola oil)
salt and pepper
1 cup feta cheese

Heat oil in medium/large skillet over medium heat, add spinach and tomatoes to the pan. Cook for until just wilted from the heat (about 1-2 minutes).  Place mixture in a strainer and press gently to drain excess water.  Mix spinach and tomatoes with feta. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve until pastry is ready to go.


1 stick butter (chilled in freezer for 5 minutes)
1 cup white all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons thyme leaves left whole (loose packed into tablespoon)
4 tablespoons of ice cold water
piece of plastic wrap

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a food processor, pulse the ice-cold butter and flour until it is fine crumbs.  Add the salt, pepper, thyme and then pulse briefly. 

Pulse processor and while running, add the water a tablespoon at a time.  Blend for another 30 seconds, then quickly empty the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. It may be loose…quickly form in a ball shape and wrap tightly and put into fridge until the onion filling is complete (at least 30 minutes).

Take the pastry out of the fridge.  Have a very lightly floured area to work on, unwrap the dough and smack it a few times with a rolling pin to make it easier to rollout.  (You must work quickly in rolling this out, so that the butter does not warm otherwise your crust will not be flaky). 

Roll the dough into a circle and keep it 1/4 of an inch thick.  Move the pastry very carefully to non-stick cookie sheet.

In the middle of the pastry, add the spinach, tomato and feta mixture around the tart. Then work around the tart to fold over the edges onto the onion mixture. 

Brush the edges of the tart with melted butter and bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes or until light golden brown.  Let cool about 10 minutes before serving or let sit out overnight and serve the next day. 
Recipe by Cucina Cocina

About Cucina Cocina

Tracy Kontos and Alejandra Schrader, co-founders of Cucina Cocina are excited to be using Farm Fresh To You fresh organic produce for their upcoming cooking classes. With our seasonal ingredients in mind, they have graciously shared a few of their recipes with you – our CSA members. We hope you enjoy them!

Tracy and Alejandra met during the taping of MasterChef Season 2, a show with Chef Gordon Ramsay. From over 30,000 applicants, they both made it to the Top 10. Driven by their passion for food and love for the art of cooking, they decided to leave their careers after the show and founded Cucina Cocina in August, 2011.

Cucina Cocina is a private chef service based in southern California that focuses on private events, catering, corporate team building/wellness cooking classes, as well as life-style cooking classes for the public.

Farm Fresh To You members receive $10 off Cucina Cocina cooking classes. Click here for a list of their upcoming classes.    

Their Mission: to change, empower, and educate people through sharing the art of cooking and the love for great, locally produced food. They are committed to helping communities grow, develop, and connect. Both Tracy and Alejandra are committed to the environment, support sustainable farming practices, farmers markets, and community supported agriculture.