Chef Yolanda Banks

Epicurean, Culinary Instructor & Cookbook Author

Acquire a taste for Fresh Fabulous

Bringing seasonal, healthy, global cuisine to your kitchen.

Fresh is Fabulous

I make delicious food that happens to be healthy... moderation over deprivation!

Pasta, Grains & Beans

Chicken Carbonara  
Instead of cooking the chicken yourself, you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken and cut the cooking time of this recipe in half. If you don’t have edamame you can use frozen peas.

Ingredients

1/2 pound pancetta, diced
1 pound chicken tenders, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound spaghetti
3 large eggs
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen edamame
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Method

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, saute pancetta over medium heat in a large saute pan until crisp. Transfer     crispy pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.
3. Using the same pan with drippings, brown chicken in batches over medium-high heat for 3     minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
4. Return all chicken to the pan with garlic; cook 30 seconds; deglaze with wine and lemon     juice. Reduce by half, about 3-4 minutes.
5. Cook spaghetti for 8-10 minutes or until al dente, reserving pasta water to thin the sauce if     necessary.
6. Whisk eggs, cheese, cream, and peas together in a large bowl. Add the chicken, pancetta,     and spaghetti; toss quickly, adding reserved pasta water to thin sauce, if needed.

Servings
6

Source
Yolanda Banks


Dirty Farro  
Farro is an ancient Emmer wheat grain from Italy. It was one of the first domesticated crops in the Near East.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed, finely chopped
1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage, ground
1 cup white onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups semi-pearled farro
2 whole bay leaves
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

Method

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot add olive oil, livers and sausage, breaking up sausage with a spoon until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
2. To the same pan, add onions, celery, bell pepper, salt, and cayenne; saute for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
3. Add garlic, farro, and bay leaves; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Return livers and sausage to the pan; add broth and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for about 20 minutes or until farro is tender but still toothsome. Add vinegar, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Notes

This is my take on Dirty Rice, the traditional Cajun rice dish made with chicken livers and/or giblets. The giblets give it a brownish or “dirty” color; hence the name. It’s similar to a pilaf and usually includes onions, celery, and bell peppers (otherwise known as the holy trinity).

Servings
8

Source
Yolanda Banks


Moroccan Couscous  
Ingredients

8 ounces baby carrots, halved lengthwise
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups summer squash, cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups zucchini, cut into 1″ cubes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 lemon, zested
2 cups couscous
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 450degrees.  Toss carrots in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.
2.  Toss squashes in the same bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add to carrots and roast until crisp-tender, 6-8 minutes longer.  Combine broth, honey, lemon juice, 2 T. oil, spices, and zest in a microwave safe measuring cup; bring to a boil.
3.  Place couscous in a large bowl, stir in hot broth, raisins, and nuts.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Fluff couscous with a fork, add vegetables, and parsley; toss to combine.  Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Notes

Couscous is one of the most versatile grains around.  Its perfect with chicken, pork, or lamb, and is even wonderful on its own.  The tangy vinaigrette helps intensify the flavor of this dish.

Servings
12

Source
Yolanda Banks


Orecchiette in brodo  
Shrimp complements the sausage and broccolini beautifully, so feel free to add it. Serve with French Bread.

Ingredients

3/4 pound orecchiette
1 pound broccolini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian sauage, sliced, into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper lakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Method

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the orecchiette and broccolini.
2. Add broccolini to the boiling pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking time, cook pasta     and broccolini until just cooked through. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, red     pepper, and oregano; cook 30 seconds.
4. Deglaze with wine, scraping bottom of pan. Reduce by half, 1-2 minutes.
5. Add broth, bring to a boil; cook 2-3 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Taste and add salt     and pepper. Add pasta and broccolini to sauce and simmer to warm through, about 3     minutes.
6. To serve, top with cheese and parsley.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Quick Fettuccine Alfredo  
If you want to add some protein to this dish, chicken, shrimp, or even lump crab goes great with alfredo. If using shrimp or crab, squeeze a little lemon over the pasta just before serving.

Ingredients

1 pound fettuccine
2 tablespoons unsalted Butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta for 8 minutes or until just al dente.     (The pasta will continue to cook in the sauce.)
2. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.
3. Whisk cream, broth, yolk, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Add cream mixture to pan,     stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add pasta to the pan, and cook until sauce thickens and coats the pasta, about 3 minutes.
5. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and parsley.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks

 


Red Curry Shrimp with Mung Bean Noodles  
You can use any noodle you like or even substitute Jasmine rice for the noodles. I love Mung Bean noodles because you just cover them with hot water to make them pliable; no boiling required!

Ingredients

2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and smashed
4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
1 can water
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Agave nectar
1/2 lime, juiced
2 cups snap peas, strings removed
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
2 cups mung bean sprouts, rinsed and dried
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Method

1. Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, but not smoking, add oil, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Cook, stirring for about a minute or until fragrant. Add curry paste; stirring constantly for 30 seconds. (You don’t want to burn it or it will become bitter.
2. De-glaze the pan with the fish sauce; stirring to break up any brown bits accumulated in the pan. (The smell will be very intense, but will mellow once the remaining ingredients are added.).
3. Add the coconut milk, can of water, vinegar, Agave, and lime juice; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Increase heat to medium-high. Add snap peas, bell pepper, and sprouts; cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add shrimp; cook for another 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in green onions and cilantro. Serve on top of noodles.

Notes

You can find red and green curry paste in the Asian aisle of any grocery store. If like it extra spicy, swap out the red for the green. It’s basically a blend of red or green chilies, ginger, garlic, and spices.

Servings: 8

Source
Yolanda Banks


Summer Gnocchi  
Ingredients

1 pound gnocchi, fresh packed
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1  cup yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 cup red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper lakes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 handful fresh basil, torn
2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded

Method

1.  Bring large pot of water to a boil, add a generous amount of salt to the water to season.  Prepare gnocchi according to package directions, cooking 2 minutes less than directions suggest.  Drain, do not rinse; reserve pasta water.
2.  While gnocchi cooks, prepare sauce.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
3.  Add tomatoes, salt and crushed red pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
4.  Toss pasta with sauce.  If too dry add a couple tablespoons of pasta water.  Add basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and olive oil; tossing to combine.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Servings
4

Source
Yolanda Banks


Tomato Sausage Lasagna  
Ingredients

12 dried lasagna noodles
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Method

1. Fill a 9″ by 13″ baking dish two-thirds of the way with hot tap water. Add noodles, and arrange them in alternating directions to prevent sticking. Let soak while preparing sauce.
2. To make sauce: Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil and sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up with a spoon. Add onion, carrot, garlic, oregano, and red pepper; saute, stirring until vegetables have softened, another 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, stirring for a couple minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary; add basil. Sauce tastes better the next day, so this is the perfect thing to make in advance. Allow to cool slightly before assembling.
4. To assemble lasagna: Drain noodles, blot dry with a clean towel. Spoon 1 cup sauce in bottom of dish. Fit 4 noodles in dish, overlapping slightly. Cover with 2 cups sauce, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta, and 1/4 cup Parm.
5. Repeat with 4 more noodles, 2 cups sauce, remaining cup mozzarella, remaining cup ricotta, and 1/4 cup Parm. Top with remaining 4 noodles, 1 cup sauce and remaining 1/2 Parm. Cover dish tightly with foil. At this point, lasagna can be placed in the freezer until ready to cook, for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place lasagna onto a baking sheet lined with foil; bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until bubbly and lightly browned; about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven; let cool for 20 minutes before cutting.

Servings
8

Source
Yolanda Banks


Truffled Macaroni and Cheese  
Ingredients

1 pound elbow macaroni
cooking spray
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter
3 tablespoons all purpose white flour
4 cups nonfat evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon white truffle oil
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted

Method

1. Preheat oven on 400 degrees.
2. Cook macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 6 minutes or until al dente.     Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
3. Coat a large baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter in a medium pot over     medium heat; add flour, whisking to combine. Cook, stirring for about 4 minutes.
4. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth; add nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until     sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 6-8 minutes.
5. Turn off heat; add cheeses, mixing with a wooden spoon until melted. Taste and adjust     seasoning with salt and pepper. Add truffle oil and macaroni and mix well to combine; pour     into prepared baking dish.
6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix bread crumbs and melted butter together until combined.     Sprinkle evenly over macaroni. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Servings
8

Source
Yolanda Banks


Turkey Bolognese  
For me this dish represents the perfect Sunday main dish. In fact, I like to make the sauce the day before so the flavors have time to meld and the acidity of the tomatoes mellows. Just re-heat on medium-low, cook the pasta and you’re good to go! Serve this pasta with a simple green salad and some crusty bread.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper lakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup red wine
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Method

1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Brown ground turkey and sausage in oil,     using a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
2. Add onions, celery, and carrots to browned meat; cook until vegetables soften, about 5     minutes.
3. Add garlic, tomato paste, and spices to the pan, cook another 2 minutes to release the oils     in the spices.
4. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and broth; bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer     partially covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Bring a large of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain. (Do     not rinse!)
6. Finish the sauce with heavy cream and basil, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.     Serve over rigatoni; sprinkle cheese on top.

Servings
8

Source
Yolanda Banks


Zucchini “Pappardelle” with Cherry Tomatoes  
Ingredients

3 large zucchini
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper

Method

1.  Cut zucchini lengthwise, using a mandoline or slicer, into paper-thin slices.  Set zucchini into a colander in the sink, sprinkle with salt and gently toss; let drain for 10 minutes.  (The salt with draw the excess water out.)
2.  In a large bowl, whisk lemon juice and olive oil.  Pat zucchini gently with paper towels; transfer to bowl.  Add tomatoes, cheese, and pepper.  Taste and add salt if needed.  Serve at room temperature.

Servings
6

Source
Yolanda Banks

Peach Tart Tatin
Salmon-Nicoise
Fig & Goat Cheese Crostini
Fish-Tacos

Chef Yolanda's Latest Creations

 

 
 
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