Mmmm. Today I’ll post this picture of some curried butternut squash soup that I topped with blue cheese and some balsamic glaze. It was delicious and makes for a warm and creamy soup with just a bit of kick.
Cauliflower and Quinoa with Almonds December 8, 2009
This is a really lovely vegetarian dish. I’d say it’s pretty enough and tasty enough to serve to guests as well. Cauliflower can get a very rich, beautiful flavor when seared and the mixture of spices, nuts and cheese makes this a great winter dish. I found the recipe on Serious Eats.
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot or small red onion, minced
- 1 small head cauliflower, or 1/2 a normal one
- 1 cup couscous (or quinoa, which is what I used)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- Freshly sliced or grated Manchego (or other semihard sheep’s milk cheese)
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Toast the almonds in a deep skillet over medium-high heat for a couple minutes, just until toasted and fragrant. Remove the almonds from the pan, set aside. In the meantime, chop half the cauliflower and break up the other half into bite-size florets.
2. Return the pan to the heat, add the olive oil and cook the shallot until soft and beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the cauliflower until it begins to soften and color, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the couscous (or quinoa) and cook another 3-5 minutes, allowing the grains to be well coated and a bit toasted.
3. Add the smoked paprika, followed by the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to low heat, cover and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Chop the almonds and add them to the pan along with the parsley and fluff with a fork.
4. Garnish with grated or shaved Manchego and serve. Feel free to drizzle with olive oil.
Soba Noodles with Kale, Peppers and Peanuts September 27, 2009
I have tried several different peanut sauces with soba noodles in the past and they have all been terrible. Too much peanut butter, too heavy, yuck. I found this wonderful recipe and was so excited it didn’t have peanut butter involved! I mixed up the sauce, diced and prepared everything, tasted the sauce and… added a little bit of peanut butter. It just needed something, and one tablespoon of peanut butter did the trick. This is the best noodle dish I’ve made!
For the sauce (quantities approximate):
- 2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1-1/2 T hoisin sauce
- 1 t. sriracha or other hot chili sauce (more or less, to taste)
- 1 t. agave nectar (or honey)
- 1 t. fresh lime juice
- 1 T. peanut butter
2 bundles (approximately 6 ounces) soba noodles, prepared according to package directions, rinsed under cold water and drained
1 bunch kale – cleaned and torn into 1-inch pieces
1 small orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 cup peanuts, dry-roasted and unsalted, roughly chopped
In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients; adjust to taste with more agave or lime, and set aside (can be made days ahead of time, and stored in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid).
Place the soba in a mixing bowl.
In a pot, steam the kale first. This should take just a few minutes. In a saute pan, heat some oil and toss in the sliced peppers, saute for a few minutes then add in the steamed kale. Add the vegetables to the soba. Pour in the sauce, and stir well to combine. Transfer to individual serving bowls, and top with chopped peanuts and cilantro if you have it on hand. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Blueberry French Toast August 11, 2009
This is the perfect brunch entree! I can make it the night before, toss it in the fridge and just bake for 30-40 minutes the next morning. The blue berries are perfectly in season and fresh from Michigan. Add a little mascarpone cheese to the mix and it’s filling, decadent and perfect for guests.
- 1 large loaf of Italian bread (better if it’s a couple days old, more stale and soaks up the eggs better)
- 14 large eggs
- 1/2 or so milk
- splash of vanilla and pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- pint of blueberries
- 1/2 container of mascarpone cheese
Butter a rectangle baking dish first. Slice the bread into medium thick slices (you need enough for one layer on the bottom of the pan and another for the top). In a large bowl, mix all the eggs with the milk and seasonings.
Layer the bread onto the bottom of the pan. Spread a layer of mascarpone cheese onto the bread and toss the blueberries on top. For the next layer of bread, spread a little bit more mascaropne cheese onto the bottom sides first. Finally, pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly over the bread, trying to cover all the bread. Use a fork or spatula to smoosh the bread down a little bit. Cover and put into the fridge over night to bake in the morning! Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
Notes: This is decadent! Server with a little syrup on top.
Servings: 6 + big brunch servings
Spring Panzanella – Asparagus June 14, 2009
Spring salads! I’ve made panzanella before (an Italian bread salad that has been manipulated to match every season and produce available) and it continues to be an amazing dish. Toasting up some bread, letting it soak up seasoned oil and mixing it with in season produce and a great dressing is perfect. I made this for the premiere of True Blood. “Soooo-kie” This recipe came from The Kitchen Sink blog.
- 3 large garlic clove
- 1/2 C plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 (12-inch) lengths of crusty baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (12 cups)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1 lb asparagus – cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 T. balsamic vinegar
- 3 T capers (packed in brine), rinsed and drained
- 1/2 t. sugar
- 1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb lightly salted fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 3/4 C. chopped fresh basil
Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife, then transfer to a small bowl and add 1/2 cup olive oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well. Put bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons garlic oil, tossing to combine, then put onto 1 shallow baking pan, arranging in 1 layer. Toast in oven at 425, stirring once or twice, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Leave oven on.
Toss asparagus in same bowl with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, then arrange in 1 layer in another large shallow baking pan. Roast asparagus until just tender and browned in spots, 12 to 16 minutes. Cool vegetables in pans until ready to assemble salad.
While vegetables roast, add vinegar to remaining garlic oil along with capers, sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and whisk to combine well.
Put asparagus, tomatoes, toasted bread, beans, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl, then drizzle with dressing and stir to combine well. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to develop, then stir just before serving.
Notes: YUM! This could be served as a main dish as it does have protein (garbanzo beans). But I think it’s probably best of a summer picknick or as a side dish.
Servings: SO MUCH. 4 big side dishes plus 4 extra servings.
Channa Masala June 4, 2009
Yowza! This is some chickpea awesomeness. It’s spicy, filling, and so good. I may have added more spices than needed (or more jalapenos I’m thinking) but even if you tone down, the flavor would still be great. I used this recipe.
- 1 T. butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 T. ground coriander
- 1 t. ground cumin
- 1/4 t. ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 t. ground turmeric
- 1 chopped roma tomato
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (I used dried, cooked, and then frozen chickpeas which was nice.)
- 1 t. paprika
- 1/2 t. garam masala
- 1/2 t. salt
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1 t. ginger, grated
1. Toss the butter in a skillet set over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and turmeric. Stir until combined and cook for 30 seconds or so, or until it is very fragrant.
3. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Dump in the chickpeas and the pour in the water. Stir until combined, and then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the paprika, garam masala, salt, and lemon juice. Cover and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Sprinkle in the ginger and jalapeno. Cook for another 30 seconds. Season with salt if needed.”
Notes: Great vegetarian meal!
Servings: 2 dinner servings
Asparagus Stir-Fry May 19, 2009
Another one from Heidi at 101cookbooks! I’m currently on my honeymoon in Grand Cayman so this is all you get. Go look at the recipe on her site! I added cabbage but that’s the only difference. I used our new wok to make this and it was so much fun. Also fun? Honeymoon with my new husband Chris!