Smitten Kitchen’s Brussels and Three Cheese Pasta Bake

From “Smitten Kitchen EVERY DAY”

1/2 lb. (or 225 grams) twisty pasta (such as cavatappi)
2 tbsp. butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
10 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced or shredded (about 4 cups)
1/2 lemon, zested (about 3/4 tsp.) and juiced (about 2 tbsp.)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 3/4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyère
1 cup coarsely grated Fontina (or Jack)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook until 2 minutes shy of al dente. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 2-quart or 9-inch round baking dish. In a large deep skillet (or in the bottom of the pot where you just cooked the pasta), heat the oil over medium-high. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for 10 to 20 seconds, then add the Brussels sprouts.

Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until brighter green but barely wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and 2 tbsp. butter and stir until the butter melts, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir until blended, about 1 minute more.

Add the stock, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly to blend between additions. Simmer the sauce until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, then the cooked pasta; stir to coat evenly.

In a medium bowl, mix the cheeses. Stir all but 2/3 cup of the cheeses into the pasta mixture; season with salt and generously with pepper. Scrape the pasta mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 2/3 cup cheese. Bake until bubbly around the edges and browned in spots on top, 25 to 30 minutes.

Kristin: yes
Anna:  yes
Sam:  no
Sean: no

Published in: on January 4, 2018 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slightly adapted from a recipe from Meal Makeover Moms’ “No Whine With Dinner”

Makes 8 Servings

  • 2½ pounds pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half across the equator and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 6 oz barbecue sauce
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  1. Put the pork, carrot, red bell pepper, onion, and barbecue sauce in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours.
  2. When the meat is done, drain off juice as desired. Use two forks to pull the meat into shreds.  Stir until well combined, adding more sauce as desired.  Divide the pork mixture evenly between the hamburger buns and serve.

Ma  yes
Sam  so-so
Anna  so-so
Da   yes

Published in: on May 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm  Comments (1)  

Barley Pilaf

From “Simply  Satisfying” by Jeanne Lemlin

Serves 4

1 cup barley
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups (6 oz) quartered mushrooms
1 large onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (omit for Sean)
1 2/3 cups Vegetable Stock
2 teaspoons tamari or other soy sauce1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the barley in a strainer under cold running water, then put it in a medium saucepan and cover it with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then trun off the heat and cover the pan.  Let sit for 1 hour, then drain thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt the butter in a medium flameproof baking dish over medium heat.  (I do this in a cast iron skillet.)  Add the mushrooms, onion, and thyme, and saute for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to brown.  (I give the onions about an 8-minute head start because onions have to be completely soft for Sean.)

Add the drained barley, stock, soy sauce, salt, and pepper, and toss to mix.  (I use my 10″ square covered Corningware casserole.)  Cover the baking dish and bake undisturbed for 1 hour, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Do not stir until just before serving.  Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven until you are ready. May be prepared up to 48 hours in advance and chilled.  To reheat, add a few Tablespoons of water or stock and place in a 350 degree F oven until hot, about 20 minutes.

Ma  yes
Da  yes
Anna  yes but without the mushrooms
Sam no

Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

from “Simply Satisfying” by Jeanne Lemlin

Serves 4-6

3 Tablespoons olive and/or canola oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/2″ dice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
16 oz can diced tomatoes, well drained (1 cup pulp)
16 oz can chili beans, drained
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground pepper

2 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 oz) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits

In a large skillet heat the oil over mediu mheat.  Add the onions and green pepper and cook until tender yet still crunchy, about 10 minutes.

Add the chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, and beans, and toss well.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through and begins to get dry.

Add the corn, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minutes more.  Remove from the heat.  May be prepared to this point and chilled up to 24 hours in advance.  Bring to room temperature before proceeding with the next step.

To make the crust: Butter a 9″ pie plate. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the water, cornmeal, chili powder and salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and whisk frequently with a wire whisk (I use a flat whisk) until smooth and thick.  As it begins to thicken whisk constantly.  When the mixture begins to tear away from the sides of the pan, it is ready, about 5 minutes.

Immediately spread 2/3 of the cornmeal on the bottom and sides of the pie plate.  Smooth over with a rubber spatula. Top with the bean mixture and smooth over the top.  Evenly spinkle on the cheese.  Top with the remaining cornmeal mixture by dropping on small spoonfulls, and use your fingers to spread it out.  Top with the butter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Ma:  yes
Sam: doesn’t like the crust
Anna: will eat the crust

Published in: on May 4, 2016 at 7:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Cauliflower with Rosemary au Gratin

Cauliflower with Rosemary au Gratin

1 large or 2 medium heads cauliflower (about 3 lbs.), cut into florets (about 8 cups)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine or vegetable or chicken stock
2 1/2 cups milk, warmed
Freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk, preferably free-range organic
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
optional:  buttered bread crumbs for the top

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees .
  2. Fill a bowl with ice water. In a large pot, bring about 4 inches of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the cauliflower and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and cold-shock in the ice water. Drain very well.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the garlic and rosemary and whisk in the flour. When the flour bubbles, add the wine and cook until reduced to a few tablespoons. Whisk in the warm milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk. Stir in a ladleful of sauce to prevent the egg from cooking, then pour the tempered yolk into the sauce. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese until it melts.
  4. Pour half the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and add all of the cauliflower. Top with the remaining sauce and 3/4 cup cheese. (This dish may be made ahead to this point and refrigerated. Just bring it back to room temperature before baking.)
  5. Top with the buttered bread crumbs (if using) and bake until browned and bubbling and hot all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 8:44 am  Comments (1)  

Broccoli Quiche Lorraine

from The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers

Serves 4

2 cups fresh broccoli
2 Tablespoons dried whole wheat bread crumbs
2 ounces lean ham, diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
5 large eggs
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Steam the broccoli until tender, about 5 minutes.  Chop to desired size (I suggest smallish) and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ pie pan and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Arrange the broccoli, ham and cheddar cheese in the bottom of the pie pan.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, thyme and pepper in a medium bowl.  Pour over the broccoli and top with the Parmesan.  Bake uncovered until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.

Ma yes
Sean no
Anna yes
Sam no

Published in: on February 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Chicken with Olives, Capers & Kale

from Rachael Ray:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, white or dark meat or a combination, cut into large pieces
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine or red wine
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cracked green Sicilian olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
4 cups baby kale or 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and sliced
Crusty bread, for mopping

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil, three turns of the pan, over medium-high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about five minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

And the onion, celery, garlic, crushed red pepper and fennel seed to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about five minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until fragrant, about two minutes. At the wine and stir until evaporated, about two minutes.

Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands, then the olives, stock and capers. Add the kale, stir to wilt, then add the chicken and its juices. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Season and serve with the crusty bread.

Published in: on January 16, 2016 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Cheesy Goodness Pasta with Meat Sauce

Slightly modified from The Pioneer Woman’s Skillet Lasagna

Serves 8

12 oz fettuccine, broken into thirds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb ground beef (Anna and I like half beef and half sausage)
1 large onion, diced small and sauteed
12 oz mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or 3 cups homemade)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping teaspoon Italian seasoning
8 oz shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
optional:  ricotta or parmesan for serving

Boil pasta in large pot of salted water until al dente, drain.  In large skillet, brown and crumble ground beef until fully cooked, drain fat from pan.  Stir in the sauteed mushrooms and onions. Pour on the jar of sauce, add the salt, garlic powder and Italian seasonings and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.  Add cheese, sour cream and pasta. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined.  Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.  Serve with parmesan or ricotta, if desired.  And French bread is practically required.

Published in: on January 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Last Resort Beef & Onions

Brown 1 pound ground beef.

Meanwhile saute one diced onion in olive oil and/or butter until very soft.

Drain the fat from the beef, add the soft onion.

Add 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup, about 1 cup milk, salt to taste and lots of black pepper.  Stir well to combine and cook until hot.

If you have a few mushrooms, slice and saute those and add them.  (highly recommended)

Serve over hot rice or noodles with a vegetable or salad.

Published in: on November 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm  Comments (1)  

Crustless Quiche Lorraine

 Adapted from a recipe at epicurious

Serves 4-6

1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped cooked bacon
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese (2 cups)
5 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (I have used non-fat with excellent results)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F with the rack in the middle.

Butter a quiche dish or 10″ glass pie plate, then sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs.

Saute onions in olive oil until golden and soft (about 15 minutes), season with salt to taste.  Spread over bread crumbs in dish.  Top with most of the bacon and the cheese.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and pepper and pour over the cheese.  Dot the top with the reserved bacon bits.  Bake until the top is golden and the custard is set in the center, 30-35 minutes.  Cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Serve with farro and a salad or vegetable.  Sliced red peppers are super easy and go nicely.  Slices of delicious tomato, with or without a little vinaigrette would also be lovely.

Published in: on September 4, 2015 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment