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Archive for the ‘vegetables’ Category

(adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb. peeled gold or russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-in slices

1 tsp. salt, divided
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c. flour
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
1/2 c. grated Asiago
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. chopped chives (i used green onions on xmas)
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (i didn’t use this on xmas, but it’s AMAZING with it in)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°.
1)  Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 min or until potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with ¼ tsp salt; set side and keep warm.
2)  Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 2 min or until tender, stirring frequently. Sprinkle flour over onions and garlic. Combine broth and milk in measuring cup; gradually add ½ cup of mixture into saucepan, stirring with whisk until well blended. Add remaining liquid, stirring constantly. Cook on medium 9 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in ¾ tsp salt, cheeses, chives, pepper, and bacon.
3)  Arrange half of potatoes in bottom of 8×8 pan. Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes. Top with remaining potatoes, then remaining sauce. Sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan. Bake for 35 minutes.

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So I’ve talked about how my husband is not a huge fan of vegetables. For the most part, he is a good sport about eating them, even if they aren’t as mushy as he’d prefer. I mostly think he does this to spare the heartache of listening to me give him a lecture on the nutritional benefits of veggies. However, as much as he loves me, there are certain vegetables he absolutely positively will not touch,  no matter how mushy they are or how much cheese I put on them.  Cauliflower is one of these.  This past Christmas, a friend gave me a cookbook written by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld. It’s called Deceptively Delicious.  The main trick she does is steam and puree certain veggies and then use the puree to sneak into dishes:  like pureed beets into pancakes, pureed sweet potatoes or butternut squash into spaghetti sauce, or cauliflower into soup.  Last week I received a cauliflower head in my CSA box.  Not wanting it to go to waste (and not wanting to eat the whole thing myself), I decided to copy Mrs. Seinfeld’s cauliflower trick.  So in this soup you get double the benefits.  Only after hubby ate a couple of bite of the soup did I tell him the secret ingredient; he said he couldn’t even taste it, and that he loved, loved, loved the soup. Success!

 

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloved, minced or pressed
4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
4 red potatoes, diced
2 broccoli crowns, chopped
broccoli rabe (optional; I had it in my CSA box, so I threw it in here to get rid of it)
1 cauliflower floret, stems removed, and chopped
3 T.  olive oil (or butter)
3 T. flour
2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
salt
pepper
tabasco sauce (or paprika)

Instructions:

1)  In a stockpot over medium heat, “caramelize” your onions for about 10 minutes.  Add garlic; cook another 5 minutes.

2)  Pour in broth; bring to a boil.  Add potatoes to pot; boil over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

3)  Add broccoli and cauliflower; return to a boil.  Turn down to medium heat; steam 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.  Turn down to a low simmer. 

4)  Using a slotted spoon, scoop broccoli and cauliflower into a blender or food processor.  (I left a few little chunks of broccoli in the soup cuz I like it a bit chunky.)  And it’s ok if you get little pieces of onions and potatoes in the processor.  However, if you would like for your entire soup to be creamy, place all the soup into the fodd processor or blender.  (You can even use an immersion blender, if that strikes your fancy.)  Process until smooth.

          a)  if you processed only the broccoli and cauliflower, leave the puree in the blender until after the next step (step 5)

          b)  if you processed the whole soup, you can return it to the stockpot and leave it, covered, on a low simmer.

5)  In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil.  Add in flour; stir quickly with a gravy whisk (or regular whisk) to combine.

6)  Add milk to flour mixture; whisk until lumps dissolve.  Pour in pureed broccoli and cauliflower to milk mixture; stir to combine.  Pour into stockpot with rest of soup.  Add extra milk if you desire it to be thinner.  Heat through, then remove from heat.  Stir in cheese until melted.

7)  Season to taste using the salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce (or paprika).

Yields 4-5 one-cup servings.

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 Saturday morning I was craving breakfast potatoes. I don’t know why; it’s not like I grew up eating breakfast potatoes, nor do I order them on those rare occasions we go out for brunch. Maybe I was low on potassium and my body knew it. (Did you know that a medium potato has the same amount of potassium as a medium banana? Not being a huge fan of bananas, I was tickled silly to find this out.)  So I decided to whip up a batch of breakfast potatoes.  This is a simple “base” recipe to start with. It’s great just by itself (I served it with scrambled cheesy eggs), but you can also add in other items to spice it up a bit.  At the end of the recipe I have a list of variations that I thought would be good in it.  Feel free to leave a comment on anything else you think might be good.

Ingredients:

5 red potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic butter (recipe follows)
salt & pepper
1/2 c. broth (chicken or vegetable)
tabasco or hot sauce (optional seasoning)

 

Instructions:

1)  Wash potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Cook in microwave for 3-4 minutes.  The potatoes should still be hard; we just want to get a jump-start on the cooking process.

2)  Cube the potatoes.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and potatoes. Let cook about 1 minutes.  Stir to rotate potatoes around in pan, then cook another minute, to let other sides brown.

3)  Add garlic butter, salt, and pepper (and more olive oil if you need it–I prefer to use the butter for flavoring, but olive oil for the cooking process).  Toss to combine ingredients and melt the butter.

4)  Add broth.  Cover and turn down to medium/medium-low heat.  Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring once, or until taters are tender.  Season with tobasco or hot sauce, if desired.

 

Garlic Butter:
butter, softened to room temperature
parsley flakes
pressed or minced garlic cloves
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Use any measurements of the above ingredients to suit your fancy. Mash together with a fork to combine. Store in the frig in an airtight container. I like to use this mixture to make garlic bread.  As a snack lately, I’ve been spreading a smidge on a toasted whole-wheat english muffin then topping with a thin slice of baby brie. Mmmmm, lip-smacking goodness! Co-workers always think I’m cooking up something fancy.

 

Variations

Experiment by adding any (or a combination) of the following ingredients:  bacon, ham, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, chili peppers, rosemary, a mixture of green herbs (my favorite is Herbs de Provence), paprika.

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(adapted from Cooking Light)

the original recipe called for asparagus and peas. i didn’t have either on hand (hubby doesn’t like asparagus anyways); instead i used broccoli and green beans, as that is what i had from the farmers market. so if you do like and/or have asparagus and peas, use those instead. or, if you really like veggies, add all four! (whoa! gettin’ kinda crazy over here with all these veggies!). other veggies could very easily be substituted or added in. i decided to start with the basic this time.

ingredients:

8 oz. rotini, penne, fettucine, or linguine (i had tri-colored rotini on hand)

1 broccoli crown, chopped into bit-size pieces

½ – 1 lb. fresh green beans, diced (hubby doesn’t care too much for green beans so i cut them really small. but you could leave them whole or just cut in half)

olive oil

1 c. chicken or vegetable stock

1 ½ tsp. cornstarch

1 T. butter

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

½ c. half and half

juice of 1 lemon

½ c. shredded parmesan or asiago cheese

salt

freshly ground pepper

a dash or two of cayenne powder

instructions:

1)  cook pasta according to instructions. drain; set aside.

2)  in skillet, saute veggies in olive oil until desired cruchiness (or mushiness, as the case may be. if you prefer it on the mushy side, add some broth to steam them a bit). place into separate bowl and set aside.

3)  whisk together broth and cornstarch; set aside.

4)  add butter to skillet over medium/medium-high heat.  add garlic; saute until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. add broth mixture. bring to a boil; cook until thickened, stirring constantly. add cream and lemon juice. stir with whisk to combine; remove from heat.

5)  add cheese and stir until melted. stir in veggie mixture. add pasta and toss to combine. serve with shredded parmesan cheese on top.

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how to cut an onion

i used to hate cutting onions, especially mincing them. that is, until i stumbled upon a super-secret and special trick (that turned out to be not so secret or special after all).

click here for step by step photo instructions.

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(adapted from cooking light)

ingredients:
5 lbs. orange sweet potatoes
1 large egg
1/2 c. half-and-half
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 T. butter

1/2 c. flour (i used my 1/2 wheat-1/2 white mixture)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

 

instuctions:
Preheat oven to 375°.

1)  peel potatoes. cut into 1-in sized cubes.

2)  place in dutch oven pot. cover with water. bring to a boil. reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes. drain

3) in a large mixing bowl, lightly beat egg. add half-and-half through nutmeg. whisk until combined. add potatoes and butter. beat with an electric mixture until smooth. spoon into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.

4) combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. add butter. using a pastry blender or two knives in a criss-cross motion, cut butter into mixture until resembles coarse pea-sized meal.

stir in pecans; sprinkle topping over casserole, covering completely.

5) cover and bake for 15 minutes. uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until topping is browned.

 

and if you are anything like me, you will promptly scrape the topping off and, in a very lady-like manner of course, shovel it straight into your mouth. streusel and cobbler toppings are my weakness.

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i’ve filed it under my how-to page, so click here to see it.

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