Beet Greens, Sausage & Rice Gratin

Don’t throw away those beautiful leafy greens topping your farm-fresh beets! They are both delicious AND full of nutrients.  Usually i just sautee them with a little olive oil and garlic, but sometime i want to go fancier… This recipe is adapted from one I found here (from the New York Times).

beet greens gratin

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked arborio rice (any other rice or grain may be substituted)
  • 1 lb pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 bunch beet greens, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Method:

Cook rice according to package instructions so that you have about 1-1.5 cups (cooked).  Set aside.

Brown sausage over medium high heat in a skillet.  Remove to paper towels to drain off fat. Add onions, garlic, and beet greens to the same pan and cook until softened, stiffing frequently.

Heat the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until butter is slightly browned (about 3-4 minutes).  Add chicken stock, a little bit at a time, until it reaches a consistency thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.

Combine rice, sausage, and beet greens mixture in a large bowl.  Add the roux and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish and top with the panko and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Remove foil, increase oven temperature to 450 degrees, and cook for another 10-20 minutes or until the top is brown and crunchy.  Cool slightly and serve.

 

Cod in Lemon Butter Sauce

This wonderfully delicious and light entree can be ready in about 20 minutes.  It’s fast enough for a weeknight, but elegant enough for company!  You’re welcome to substitute any white fish (sole, tilapia) and adjust the cooking time accordingly, but cod is just so delicious… Even with the butter, this is still such a healthy meal! Adding baked zucchini/asparagus/etc as a side makes it even more so:-)

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cod fillets (if using frozen, defrost first)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers (drained)
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Method:

Pat the cod dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat the butter and oil in a pan over medium heat.  When butter is melted, add the cod and reduce the heat to medium low.  After about 4 minutes, flip the cod over and cook for an additional 4 minutes.  Add the capers and lemon juice, and heat through.  Transfer to a plate and serve!

 

Croissant Breakfast Bake

Yet another easy, delicious breakfast casserole… you know you love them!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package store bought croissants
  • 1/2 lb breakfast or Italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 1-2 tbsp minced Rosemary (fresh)
  • 7 eggs
  • 2/3 cup half and half
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)

Method:

Brown sausage in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until no longer pink.  Set aside to cool.
Grease an 8×8″ casserole dish. Tear up enough croissants to fill the dish. Top with cooked sausage and sprinkle with rosemary.
Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Pour over croissants.
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from fridge and preheat oven to 350. Cook, covered, for about 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake until casserole is set and cheese is melted (about 15-20 more minutes).
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Deb’s Greek Gazpacho

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) red onion, chopped and rinsed
  • 1 English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and chopped (or a regular cucumber, peeled and seeded)
  • 1 28oz can good diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 (46-ounce) can Sacramento tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces good feta cheese, small-diced not crumbled

Method:

Place the panko, garlic, oregano, and parsley in a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped. Add the vinegar and olive oil and process again until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Place the peppers, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives separately in the food processor and process until very coarsely chopped. Add to the mixing bowl. Add the tomato juice, salt, and pepper and stir well. Taste for seasoning, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Fold in the feta and serve cold.

Yield:8 to 10 servings

***This makes a lot of soup, but it freezes beautifully.  Just leave out the feta until just before you serve.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers (any color), halved lengthwise, seeded, and membranes removed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 small/medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • cayenne pepper, Italian herbs, fennel seeds… whatever you like
  • 8oz shredded cheese (Italian blend, Parmesan, provolone…)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce, any variety

 

Method:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, and garlic to the pan and season.  Saute until softened.  Remove to a large bowl.  Add the ground turkey to the skillet and cook until no longer pink, making sure to crumble it up as it cooks (season with S&P, Italian herbs, cayenne, whatever…).  Remove to the large bowl.  Add the eggplant to the skillet and season.  Cook until the eggplant is just softened, then remove to the large bowl.

Pour just enough of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13″ casserole dish to coat the bottom (probably a good idea to spray with Pam first).  Add the peppers, cut side up, in the casserole dish.

Add the remaining pasta sauce to the veggies/meat and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Spoon mixture into the peppers (it’s ok if it overflows).

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 min – 1 hour, or until peppers are tender.  Remove foil, sprinkle cheese on top, and return to the oven until cheese melts.

Cool slightly, and serve. (Couscous or rice make nice accompaniments)

 

Cathy’s Green Chili Egg Puff

Yet another wonderful “company eggs” recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (optional)
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 oz cottage cheese
  • 4 oz can green chilis, drained
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Method:
Whisk all ingredients together and pour into an 8-inch square (or equivalent) greased casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 350 until set (about 30 min).
Doubles easily, just use a 9 x 13″ casserole and increase cooking time by about 10 min.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

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Ingredients:
Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Zest of 3 lemons (reserve a little for garnish)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
Syrup
  • ¼ cup meyer lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)
  • ¼ cup sugar
Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (approx.)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (approx.)

 

Method:

Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease & flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition.
  7. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and poppy seeds and mix until combined.
  8. Add some batter into your prepared pan and press it into the cracks of the bundt pan with a small spatula. Add remaining batter until pan is no more than ¾ full. Smooth the top with a spatula and whack the pan against the counter to evenly distribute.
  9. Bake for 50mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
  10. Place cake on wire rack to cool for 10mins. Whack the pan on the counter to loosen the cake and turn out onto wire rack.
  11. While the cake is still hot, poke it will a toothpick or skewer and immediately brush with syrup. Allow cake to cool completely.
  12. Once cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over top.
Syrup:
  1. Place lemon juice and sugar into a glass measuring cup (or other microwave-safe bowl). Microwave, stirring often, until all sugar has dissolved. Set aside until cake is ready.
Glaze:
  1. Place powdered sugar and lemon juice into a 2 cup measuring cup. Stir with a fork until fully combined. Add more powdered sugar or lemon juice until you reach to right consistency – it should be pretty thick, but still pour-able. Drizzle over cake and sprinkle with reserved lemon zest.
*Note: If using the 10 cup Heritage Bundt pan pictured, the recipe will make 1 bundt and 8 cupcakes.

Popovers!

Oh my goodness – I don’t know why I was always so scared to try to bake popovers!  1) you don’t need a special pan. My regular muffin tin works just fine. 2) You can make the batter in the blender! So much easier than whisking ’til your arm falls off. 3) I am NOT a skilled baker, and this recipe has yielded perfect popovers for me countless times. 4) They do keep! I’ve let these sit on the counter all day, and they were still yummy in the evening. 5) The variations are endless! Add a couple tablespoons of chopped herbs, dried herbs, cheese powder, top with cinnamon sugar…

Special thanks to King Arthur Flour for their awesome Popover Recipe.

Yield: 8 popovers in regular muffin cups

popover 3

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, warmed in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes before cracking
  • 3/4 cup milk (skim, low-fat, or full-fat), lukewarm
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • Crisco

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Position a rack on a lower shelf. What you don’t want is for the tops of the popping popovers to be too close to the top of the oven, as they’ll burn. I place a rack in the topmost position and put a sheet pan there to shield the popovers. 
  2. Use a standard 12-cup metal muffin tin. Grease the pan thoroughly with Crisco or other shortening, covering the area between the cups as well as the cups themselves. Make sure the oven is up to temperature before you begin to make the popover batter.
  3. Add the eggs, milk, and salt to a regular electric blender.  Blend until frothy and pale.  
  4. Add the flour all at once, and blend until no lumps remain and mixture is frothy.
  5. Blend in melted butter. 
  6. Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about 1/2 to 2/3 full.  I consistently end up filling 8 of the cups. 
  7. Make absolutely certain your oven is at 450°F. Place the pan on a lower shelf of the oven .
  8. Bake the popovers for 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Reduce the heat to 350°F (again without opening the door), and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re a deep, golden brown.
  9. If you plan on serving the popovers immediately, remove them from the oven, and stick the tip of a knife into the top of each, to release steam and help prevent sogginess. Slip them out of the pan, and serve!

Tips:

  • You don’t have to use a blender!  A food processor, stank mixer with whisk attachment, hand mixer, or good old-fashioned arm power all work just fine.
  • For herbed popovers, stir 1 tsp dried herbs or 1 tbsp fresh herbs into the batter.
  • For cheese popovers, stir 2 tablespoons of Vermont cheese powder into the batter.
  • Delicious served with honey butter or maple butter! (or butter and jam, or plain…)
  • Using a popover pan, this recipe will make 3 standard popovers; Using a mini muffin pan, this recipe makes 9 popovers. The minis need to bake about 10 minutes less than indicated; the standard popovers, about 5 minutes more.
  • You can easily double this recipe!

 

Cider Roasted Root Vegetables

Root vegetables have a lot of natural sugars in them which caramelize when roasted at a high enough temperature. The one thing about those sweet vegetables, so perfect for caramelizing, is that they love a little acidity to sharpen their flavor. The vinegar in this recipe intensifies the taste of the vegetables, and brings balance to their natural sweetness. So good!

If your root vegetables are competing with a roast for the oven, just make them ahead, and put them in the oven to warm them up again while the roast rests before serving. I like using parsnips, beets, and carrots, but you could use any of your favorite root vegetables (yams, onions, or turnips all make great options!).

Serves: 3-4 People

Adapted from Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables.

cider-roasted-root-vegetables-horiz-a-1600

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 beets
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 parsnips
  • Fresh thyme, chopped (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Peel and chop all of the vegetables into even pieces (about 1-2 inch long pieces).  Toss with the vinaigrette and thyme, and spread out on a large sheet pan. Make sure the veggies aren’t too crowded, or they’ll steam rather than roast!

Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes, tossing halfway through if needed (aka, if some pieces are getting too brown). Remove from oven and gently scrape up veggies from pan.  Add more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve!

Uncle Dave’s Onion Soup

I cook this recipe in a large dutch oven.
 

Best Onion Soup

4 lbs of yellow onions – cut pole to pole
spray PAM the dutch oven
3 tbls Butter
Add onions
tsp salt
Lid on in 400 degree oven for 1 hour
stir
put back in oven for 1 hour and 1/2 with lid cracked
put on stove – medium high heat for 15-20 minutes
stir constantly
adjust heat lower if too hot
add 1/4 cup of water
scrap bottom of pan (I use a wood flat end spatula)
cook for 6-8 minutes till brown on bottom
Do this step 3 times
Then:
deglaze with 1/2 cup of dry sherry ( I don’t have this so I usually use dry white wine)
scrape bottom and cook for 5 minutes until alcohol evaporates
add:
4 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of beef broth
2 cups of water
1/2 tsp of salt
thyme and bay leaves tied together
put lid on pot and simmer for 30 minutes. remove bouquet
turn broiler on
fill ramekins
float toasted bread on top
add 1/2 cup of swiss or parmesan
broil cheese
yum, yum. you’ll love it. Worth the effort.
***Notes from Grace: I never have the patience/I’m to lazy to do the whole “ramekins under the broiler” thing – I just make cheese toast and float it on top…  Also, I use a little less liquid than Uncle Dave calls for (you can always add more if you want/need). Salt and pepper should be to taste, and depend on the saltiness of the stock/broth you use, so be careful.