18th December 2008

    Fettuccine with Spicy Chicken Sausage, Kale, and Tomatoes

    fettsausagekale
    “But baby, it’s cold outside” … today we were snowed in for most of the day (wahoo!), but I did manage to pick up this week’s CSA box, which included a delicious-looking bunch of kale. This pasta recipe adapted from epicurious used the entire bunch, and we didn’t have to go out and get any of the other ingredients: we had some chicken sausage in the freezer, there’s always leftover pasta, and the tomatoes were also from the CSA box. A super-quick meal, and a change from the recent squash-soup overload!

    Lisa says:

    Ooooh yeah, pasta — I’m hungry!

    Chris says:

    And it’s always nice to have a dinner with a superfood.

    Lisa says:

    The kitchen certainly smells super…

    Chris says:

    Wait until you taste it — the pasta’s cooked in the same water that the kale was in, so it imparts some flavor into the fettuccine.

    Lisa says:

    You’re right — this is really good. I like the cheese, too. Just enough.

    Chris says:

    Yep, it just gives the dish the tiniest bit of creaminess. We happened to have that on hand, too. I love when we don’t have to go out and buy anything to make dinner.

    Lisa says:

    I love snow days — we’re usually not even sitting down to dinner for another couple of hours!

    Chris says:

    I could get used to this…


    Fettuccine with Spicy Chicken Sausage, Kale, and Tomatoes
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 lb spicy italian chicken sausage, casings discarded and sausage crumbled
    1 bunch kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
    1 tomato, roughly chopped
    1/3 lb whole wheat fettuccine
    1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    1/4 cup grated Asiago plus additional for serving

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add sausage and brown for 5-7 minutes, breaking up lumps with a spoon.
    Meanwhile, blanch the kale in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove the kale with a large sieve and drain. Return the cooking water to a boil, then add fettuccine and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander.
    While the pasta is cooking, add the kale and tomatoes to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes. Add the broth, stirring and scraping up any brown bits in the skillet. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the pasta water, tossing until combined well. Stir in the cheese to incorporate, and thin with additional pasta water if desired.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Italian, Main Dishes | 7 Comments

    16th December 2008

    Free Stuff Review: Cowgirl Truffles

    freechoc

    One of the benefits of being a FoodBuzz Featured Publisher is the opportunity to sample new food finds. Recently we received in the mail this 1/4 box of chocolate from Cowgirl Chocolates, which included a delicious variety of truffles and caramels, ranging from ever-so-mild to holy-that’s-hot!

    The habañero caramel was by far the hottest treat in the box — noticeably spicier than the habañero dark chocolate truffle, which just provided a little tingle in the back of the throat.  I’m all for spicy foodstuffs, so these made me very happy.  We’ve been nibbling our way through the box a bit at a time, and there hasn’t been a dud in the bunch.  (Lisa’s never been a fan of “filled” chocolates, so she may disagree with me on the raspberry-goo filled dark chocolate.)

    If Cowgirl offered an “all spicy” box, I’d be all over it.  In any case, this little box would make a great gift to share with the chocolate-lover in your life.

    Actually, share it with the chocolate-hater in your life; you’ll get to eat more.

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    posted in free stuff | 0 Comments

    15th December 2008

    Acorn Squash, Pear and Adzuki Soup with Sautéed Shiitakes

    acornpearsoup

    Tonight’s recipe (hm, we’ve been doing a lot of squash soups lately…) is from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. Squash, pears, onions, and peppers are cooked until tender and then partly pureed; adzuki beans are stirred in, and then it’s all topped with some sauteed shiitake mushrooms.


    Chris says:

    This soup reminds me that I want an immersion blender. This transferring half the soup to the blender thing is for suckas!

    Lisa says:

    Guess you’re a sucka then… looks good! Like butternut squash soup.

    Chris says:

    Acorn, but close enough. I like it; it’s got a nice sweetness from the pears.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmm, it’s like I’m eating dessert…

    Chris says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot that you don’t like sweet things for dinner. And this isn’t even that sweet, really.

    Lisa says:

    I know… it’s good, but I like savory.

    Chris says:

    Well I really like it — and the mushrooms are awesome.

    Lisa says:

    That’s totally true — I’d actually put more in and make it part of the soup.

    Chris says:

    Sounds like you’re trying to recreate the soup we made last week.

    Lisa says:

    Oooh, yeah! I liked that one a lot.

    Chris says:

    Thought so…

    Acorn Squash, Pear and Adzuki Soup with Sautéed Shiitakes
    2 tbsp peanut oil
    1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch thin slices
    1 red pepper, cut into 1/4 inch thin slices
    2 tsp minced ginger
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
    2 acorn squashes, seeded, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
    2 firm bosc pears, peeled, seeds removed and sliced into thin slices (roughly one inch long)
    4 cups vegetable broth
    15 oz can adzuki beans, drained and rinsed (about a cup and a half)
    1 tbsp fresh lime juice

    4 oz fresh shiitakes, sliced in half (about a cup and a half)
    2 tsp peanut oil
    1/2 tsp sesame oil
    1 tbsp soy sauce

    Preheat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onions and peppers for about 10 minutes, or until onions just begin to brown.
    Add the ginger and garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the salt, Chinese five spice, acorn squash and pear and cook for another minute, stirring often. Add the vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, set the heat to medium-low to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
    Puree half the soup by transferring half the soup to a food processor or blender and then back into the rest of the soup.
    Add the adzuki beans and lime. Cover and simmer on low, just until the beans are heated through.
    While the soup is heating, prepare the mushrooms. Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Add the oils and sauté the mushrooms for about 7 minutes, until they are soft. Add the soy sauce and stir constantly until the soy sauce is absorbed (about 1 minute).

    Ladle soup into bowls and top with sautéed mushrooms.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Veganomicon, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

    15th December 2008

    Maker’s Mark Bourbon-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

    makerscake

    Lisa and I tag teamed to make this cake as a welcome-home-from-your-birthday-weekend treat for Abbie. The recipe in the New York Times doesn’t specify any particular brand of bourbon, but this is a Maker’s household, so that’s what we used.

    Lisa says:

    Smell it and see if you can guess the secret ingredient!

    Thad says:

    Booze!

    Chris says:

    Correct! But more specifically?

    Abbie says:

    Bourbon? Jack?

    Chris says:

    Maker’s!

    Abbie says:

    Wahoo! Okay — I have to have a slice right now.

    Thad says:

    Wow, you can really taste that bourbon in there…

    Lisa says:

    I know, I felt like I was getting drunk tasting the batter.

    Abbie says:

    Oooh, this is SO good…

    Chris says:

    That’s half the reason we made it for you — it wouldn’t be stuck at our house; that would be VERY dangerous.

    Abbie says:

    You realize you just locked yourself in to making this every year, don’t you?

    Chris says:

    So NOT a problem. It’s bourbon. And CAKE!

    Maker’s Mark Bourbon-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, more for greasing pan
    2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting pan
    5 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
    1/4 cup instant espresso
    2 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder
    1 cup Maker’s Mark bourbon
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs
    1 tbsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp baking soda
    powdered sugar

    Grease and flour a 10-cup-capacity Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In microwave oven, melt chocolate, and let cool.
    Put espresso and cocoa powder in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to come up to the 1 cup measuring line. Mix until powders dissolve. Add whiskey and salt; let cool.
    Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
    On low speed, beat in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat additions, ending with whiskey mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour yourself a Maker’s Mark on the rocks and enjoy.
    Transfer cake to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey. Let cool before serving, garnished with powdered sugar.

    10-12 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes | 12 Comments

    15th December 2008

    Quinoa & Gruyère with Sauteed Mushrooms and Broccolini

    quinoashroom

    This was the first dish we’ve made from Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways To Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking, and it didn’t disappoint. Shrooms and broccolini sauteed with red pepper flakes sit on a bed of quinoa and onions cooked in wine and mixed with a bit of gruyère cheese — sounds super to me!

    Chris says:

    Supernatural Cooking? Like cooking for ghosts and stuff?

    Lisa says:

    Super. Natural. Two words.

    Chris says:

    Ah, duh… well this sure smells good! Wait — is there cheese in this? I don’t see it.

    Lisa says:

    It’s mixed in with the quinoa — it adds a nice nutty taste. You would have been able to tell if you had tasted the quinoa before I added it in.

    Chris says:

    I also like the wine in it.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, I added a little extra in…

    Chris says:

    Nothing wrong with that! And good move on adding the broccolini — adds color and crunch.

    Lisa says:

    Oops, some of the Brussels sprouts and pancetta ended up in my quinoa…

    Chris says:

    You. Are. Brilliant.

    Quinoa & Gruyère with Sauteed Mushrooms and Broccolini
    3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/4 onion, chopped
    1 cup quinoa, rinsed
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1/2 tsp sea salt plus more as needed
    1 cups water
    1 pinch red pepper flakes
    8 oz mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    2 cups broccolini
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded

    Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften. Add the quinoa, wine, and 1 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 3 to 4 minutes, until the liquid has reduced a bit.
    Add the water, return to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the quinoa cracks and is soft to chew.
    Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, along with the red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Stir in the mushrooms and broccolini and cook for a few minutes until they begin to brown and release their juices. Then shake the skillet every few minutes until the mushrooms and broccolini are evenly browned, about 4 more minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Once the quinoa is perfectly tender, drain off any excess liquid and stir in the cheese. Ladle into big bowls and top with the mushrooms.

    2-3 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Super Natural Cooking | 2 Comments


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