14th December 2008

    Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pine Nuts

    brussels

    This recipe comes from the Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook, a great find that features, oddly enough, recipes that are appropriate for the current season, and ingredients that are readily available in Washington state. As a former Brussels sprouts hater, I can pretty much guarantee that if I hadn’t already been won over by the two other recipes featured on this site, this one would have done the job. Because, really, doesn’t crispy pancetta make everything taste better?

    Chris says:

    Remember I used to hate Brussels sprouts?

    Lisa says:

    Yep — and now a third brussels sprouts recipe from a brussels sprouts hater…

    Chris says:

    Well, I still hate saying “Brussels Sprouts”. The “s” in Brussels followed by the “s” in sprouts bothers me.

    Lisa says:

    Well, no one says it that way, so who cares?

    Chris says:

    Good point.

    Lisa says:

    This pancetta is really tasty.

    Chris says:

    And crispy! I can totally see why someone would want to be a bacontarian — I could totally only eat vegetables, as long as they were suplemented with the occasional bit of pork fat. ;)

    Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pine Nuts
    1 lb Brussels sprouts
    3 oz pancetta, diced
    olive oil
    sea salt
    pepper
    1/4 pine nuts, toasted in dry skillet until golden brown

    Preheat oven to 400F. Slice Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise, and remove any wilted outer leaves. Toss in a bowl and mix with a splash of olive oil, pancetta, salt, and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until the pancetta is crispy, stirring the brussels sprouts occasionally so they cook evenly. Toss with pinenuts and another splash of olive oil, if desired.

    3 Servings

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    posted in Sides, Washington Local and Seasonal | 5 Comments

    11th December 2008

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Mushrooms and Shallots

    butternutshroom

    This side-dish just looks like Fall. Once again, the interweb earned its weight in vegetables by providing a recipe to match what arrived in the CSA box: yams and cremini mushrooms! I wasn’t sure that the combination of mushrooms and yams was going to work out that well, but wow, was I pleasantly surprised. Roasting them with large shallots, which sweetened during cooking, turned out wonderfully. We made it a meal by serving this alongside chicken breasts cooked with onions and yellow bell peppers in a white wine reduction. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

    Chris says:

    This is awesome.

    Lisa says:

    Steal — I just took some shallots off your plate.

    Chris says:

    Get yer own, lady!

    Lisa says:

    Oh, I have my own, I’m just taking more from you. This rules.

    Chris says:

    I love how the yams are crispy on the outside and tender and steamy on the inside.

    Lisa says:

    I think we should bring this to potlucks for our mushroom-hating friends.

    Chris says:

    Totally — more for us! This is one occasion where I wouldn’t want to try to convince them to try shrooms; it would just leave us with less roasted goodness.

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Mushrooms and Shallots
    Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    1/4 cup low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
    3 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    2 lbs yams, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
    10 large shallots, peeled, halved through root end
    4 bay leaves
    2 tbsp plus 1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram
    8 oz cremini mushrooms, stemmed, halved
    3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk chicken or vegetable broth, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in small bowl. Mix sweet potatoes, shallots, bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon marjoram in large bowl. Pour half of broth mixture over and toss; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss mushrooms, 1 tablespoon marjoram, and remaining broth mixture in medium bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Spread sweet potato mixture on baking sheet. Roast until potatoes begin to soften, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Mix in mushrooms. Return to oven; roast until potatoes and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl. Mix in parsley and 1 teaspoon marjoram.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Sides | 5 Comments

    9th December 2008

    Apple Bread Pudding

    applebreadpudding

    Lisa made us personal-size apple bread pudding in ramekins the night Carrie came over for dinner.  We had a ton of apples from previous CSA shipments, and Lisa has recently been experimenting with Agave Nectar as a sweetner, so this recipe that Cathy found on About.com fit the bill.

    Lisa says:

    So, this recipe is actually supposed to be pretty healthy. There’s no dairy, and it’s sweetened with agave nectar!

    Carrie says:

    Wow, this does sound healthy — usually when I make bread pudding there’s a bunch of booze in it.

    Chris says:

    Ooh, good idea! Put Maker’s Mark in mine!

    Carrie says:

    It smells *really* good…

    Lisa says:

    Well, we’ll see how it tastes.

    Chris says:

    I do like that the top got all carmelized. Looks good — now, let’s eat!

    Carrie says:

    This is really good, Lisa!

    Chris says:

    Ooh, yeah, I like it. You can totally taste the almond milk.

    Lisa says:

    Really? I don’t get that at all.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, it tastes really nutty.

    Lisa says:

    Well, there’s also walnuts in there… where are you going?

    Chris says:

    I’m getting the Maker’s…

    Carrie says:

    Are you really going to pour… yes you are.

    Lisa says:

    Wow. Usually you put that in before it cooks.

    Chris says:

    Whatevs — I heart bourbon!

    Apple Bread Pudding
    2 cups 1/2 ” whole-grain bread cubes
    1/2 cup finely chopped apple pieces
    1/8 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 cup vanilla almond milk
    1/6 cup and 1/2 tbsp agave nectar, plus more for drizzling

    Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil 3 6-ounce ramekins. Set aside.
    In a medium-sized bowl, combine the bread cubes, apple pieces, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well mixed. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the almond milk and agave nectar and allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.
    Split the mixture into the prepared dishes and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Broil for a couple minutes to carmelize the tops. Drizzle with syrup, and drink with bourbon, if desired.

    3 Servings

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    posted in Desserts | 4 Comments

    8th December 2008

    Dungeness Crab Soup with Cilantro Relish

    Carrie came over this week for dinner and we enjoyed this crab soup with a spinach salad and plenty of wine. The cilantro relish was a big hit, and though crab is expensive, it was totally worth it in this dish. We all loved it! The recipe comes from The Ultimate Soup Bible.

    Carrie says:

    Yum, I love crab!

    Lisa says:

    This soup is awesome…

    Chris says:

    I think there’s probably a bit too many noodles, but other than that I’m in love with this soup!

    Lisa says:

    Too many noodles in the recipe?

    Chris says:

    Nah, the recipe itself is probably a good amount, but my estimating skills are lacking. Determining five ounces out of a package of 16 when some unknown portion of them have already been used apparently is a challenge for me.

    Lisa says:

    The cilantro topping is awesome.

    Carrie says:

    Can I have more?

    Chris says:

    Yes! Let’s finish the batch!

    Lisa says:

    Leave room for dessert…

    Dungeness Crab Soup with Cilantro Relish
    SOUP:
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 red onion, finely chipped
    2 red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 lb fresh Dungeness crab meat
    2 tbsp chopped parsley
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 lemongrass stalk
    4 cups chicken stock
    1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
    5 oz angel hair pasta, broken into 2-3 inch lengths
    salt and fresh ground pepper

    RELISH:
    1 cup cilantro leaves
    1 green chili, seeded and chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds

    Heat the oil in a large dutch oven and add the onion, chilies, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until the onion is very soft. Transfer the cooked onion mixture to a bowl and stir in the crab meat, parsley, cilantro, and lemon juice, and set aside.
    Bruise the lemongrass on a chopping board. Pour the stock and fish sauce into the dutch oven. Add the lemongrass and bring to a boil, then add teh pasta. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes until the pasta is just tender.
    While the soup is simmering, prepare the relish by using a mortar and pestle to make a coarse paste of the cilantro, chili, oil, lemon juice, and cumin.
    Remove and discard the lemongrass from the soup. Add the crab mixture into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then set on low and simmer for two minutes.
    Ladle the soup into four bowls and put a spoonful of the cilantro relish in the center of each.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Soups and Stews, The Soup Bible | 2 Comments

    7th December 2008

    Acorn Squash and Wild Mushroom Soup

    This soup, adapted from this recipe, was great on a cold evening: a variety of mushrooms, a bit of pasta, and chunks of acorn squash swim in a delicious, rich, mushroom-y broth. A very simple recipe with a fantastic result — it’s definitely going into our keepers list.

    Chris says:

    Holy — this is one of the best broths we’ve had in a long time.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, it has a really strong mushroom flavor from soaking the dried porcinis.

    Chris says:

    Mmmmmm… really good.

    Lisa says:

    I’m totally going to make this again; next time I’m also going to add carrots.

    Chris says:

    Sounds great; sign me up!

    Acorn Squash and Wild Mushroom Soup
    5 cups hot organic vegetable or chicken broth
    1/2 ounce dried porcini or morel mushrooms
    1/2 cup peeled and finely diced acorn squash
    1 bay leaf
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 cup sliced red onion
    1/2 lb assorted wild mushrooms, tough stems removed, sliced
    1/2 cup small pasta
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    2 tbsp cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan

    Pour 1 cup hot stock over mushrooms in a small bowl; let sit 20 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter or paper towel. Add mushroom broth to stock. Rinse mushrooms and dice; set aside.
    Add squash to stock in a large pot with bay leaf and bring to a boil; lower heat and continue simmering. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions 5 to 8 minutes, until soft. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes, adding a little broth if they become too dry. Transfer to broth along with pasta. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, until pasta is cooked and squash is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in parsley. Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan.

    2-3 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes | 5 Comments


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