Wednesday, November 24, 2010



I just finished making the cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving feast. It is still cooling in the pot as I write this, when I am done I will simply add the mandarin oranges and garnish the dish. It will be completely ready to serve, no last minute fuss or bother. Something that I really find valuable with such an important meal. I had to share this recipe with my readers. There is a secret ingredient, "ginger" only fresh will do. Don't be intimidated by this gnarly root, fresh is a must. Just peel it with a teaspoon and chop it fine. It adds a great dimension to the sauce that you rarely find. And remember cranberry sauce is not just for Thanksgiving. I make it several times during the winter months as it is so good with all poultry and pork dishes.

I hope you have a great holiday with your family and friends.

Buon appetito!

Carmela Tursi Hobbins


3 cups cranberries (12 ounces)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1- 12 ounce can of mandarin oranges

Combine the cranberries, sugar and ginger in a large pot. Cook stirring occasionally, over medium heat until sugar is melted and cranberries begin to pop, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup of water and simmer until liquid has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Some cranberries should still be whole. Remove from the heat, stir in oranges. Let cool before serving

Sunday, November 21, 2010



I don't know about you, but this holiday season I am determined that I will not gain the usual five pounds and then have to fight all winter long and into the summer to take it off. I am looking for some tasty, but satisfying side dishes to go along with my turkey dinner this year. And something that my family is going to love too.

We really enjoy this marinated carrot salad. It can be made ahead and even stored in your fridge up to six week. I have to confess, we have never had it last nearly that long so I really don't know. What I do know, it that it is really a great recipe, easy to make and you will enjoy it on your Thanksgiving table.

I hope you all love Marinated Carrots as much as we do and that you have a most wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends this year.

Buon appetito,

Carmela Tursi Hobbins


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
One can tomato soup
2 pounds baby cut carrots, cooked but still firm
1 medium red onion sliced into half rings
1 cup chopped parsley

Combine the sugar, vinegar, oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the soup. Mix the carrots, and onion together in a large glass dish, pour the sauce over the vegetables, stir gently to combine and refrigerate over night. When ready to serve toss in the chopped parsley. This salad will keep stored in a plastic container for up to six weeks in your refrigerator.


Thursday, November 18, 2010



I will be teaching a wonderful class at Hopkins Community Education on Dec. 1, 2010.

Learn the secrets of making the fabulous savories served at wine bars that are all the rage in Italy. This is a fun filled class where yo will learn tips for easy, yet impressive entertaining and how to party like the fun-loving Italians. Leave this class filled with good food and recipes for your holiday entertaining! We will make Virgin Bellini, made famous in Harry's Bar in Venice (then make the real thing at home). Next enjoy Warm Rosemary Mixed Nuts, Roasted Olives, Mini Pizzetta with Carmalized Onions, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto, Mini Frittatas, Prosciuitto-wrapped Asparagus Spears and Tuna Cream in Phyllo Cups.

Contact Hopkins Community Education to register at www.hopkinscommunityed,org or phone them at 952-988-4070.

Hope to see you there.

Buon appetito,

Carmela Tursi Hobbins

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



The front cover of the Nov. issue of Edina magazine features my Italian Fish Soup which we always serve around the holidays. The magazine also includes the recipe for that special meal and a great Insalata Mista which I serve to go with it. To see the picture and article go to The recipes can be found on page 27. Or just look below.

They say that by the end of the week it is going to be much cooler, so you will want to try out my Zuppa di Pesce, and Salad. Just add a loaf of crusty bread and you will have a great meal. The other recipes in the article are from well known Edina chefs so you may want to make all of them and invite company for dinner.

Thanks to Paulette Mitchell for asking me to contribute to her story.

Buon appetito,

Carmela Tursi Hobbins


1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 medium cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp. crushed dried basil leaves
1 can (28 ounces) Italian style pear or plum tomatoes, un-drained
2 cups dry white wine
1 (8 ounce) bottle of clam juice
1 cup water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 lemon cut into thin slices
1 and 1/2 pounds sea bass, halibut or other firm fish cut into 2-inch pieces
12 hard-shell clams
1/2 pound bay scallops
1/2 pound medium to large shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1 pound mussels
juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat the olive oil in a 6-8 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and basil, saute until just tender.

Add the tomatoes and break up with the edge of a large spoon. Stir in the wine, clam juice, water, tomato paste and 1/2 cup parsley, bay leaf and salt. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the lemon slices and sea bass, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the clams, scallops, shrimp, mussels and lemon juice, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is just done. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the remaining parsley. SERVES 8


8 cups mixed field greens
3 cups sliced fennel bulbs (discard hard core and stalks)
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Combine the greens, fennel, and pine nuts in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until the dressing is emulsified.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Top with the Parmesan.