Tag Archives: recipe

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

Yesterday, with the storm blowing outside, I was ready with a fist full of recipes. Sausage and Lentil Soup was already on the docket, along with sprouted wheat bread recipes, both dinner rolls and French bread.  Mid-morning, the creative process kicked in and this recipe lined up in my head like a military march.

I often wonder why these flashes of creativity strike during a shower, at 3:00 a.m., or when I am already committed to something else for the day. 

Oh well, I have learned to grab a pen and something to scratch it out on, because you can bet money on the fact it will NOT come back to me later.  Fortunately, I had more than the back of an envelope at hand, so the recipe made its way from my head to the paper.

Roasted cauliflower and roasted garlic … these would carry the show. 

Wanting it as creamy white as possible, I chose parsnips over carrots, and declined the notion of celery. Cauliflower creates a creamy texture all on its own once pureed, so a small amount of cream is all it took to hit the mark for texture.  Roasted garlic brings a smooth, deep flavor to quick soups, making it taste like it has simmered all day. Stir in extra roasted cauliflower just before serving, garnished with bacon and scallions for a little crunch and satisfying finish.

This recipe was so easy to put together it was ready in time for lunch with plenty of energy for my breads and lentil soup, which we had for dinner.

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

Serves: 2
1      small head  garlic (8-10 cloves) — roasted
2     tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
1/2    small head  cauliflower — sliced 1/4″ thick
lemon pepper
2     slices  bacon — fried, crumbled
3/4   cup  parsnip — peeled and diced
1/2    cup  sweet onion — chopped
2      cups  chicken stock
2      tablespoons  cream
scallions — for garnish
sea salt — to taste
pepper — to taste

Heat oven to 400°F Cut top of garlic bulb off so that the majority of the cloves are exposed. Place in a small oven proof dish, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil over garlic bulb, and roast at for 30 minutes or until garlic is soft.

Arrange sliced cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet, brush with additional olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2-1 teaspoon of the lemon pepper. Place in the oven beside the garlic and roast for about 10 minutes, stirring midway through, until cauliflower is lightly browned. Remove cauliflower from oven and set aside. When garlic is soft and top is lightly browned, remove from oven, place garlic bulb on a plate and let cool. Reserve roasted garlic oil for garnish, if desired.

Cook bacon in a medium sauce pan until crisp and fat is rendered. Drain on paper towel, crumble, and set aside. While bacon is cooking, finely chop 1/2 cup of the roasted cauliflower and reserve.

Cook onion and parsnip in bacon fat in the same sauce pan over med heat until vegetables are softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add cauliflower except for the reserved 1/2 cup to the onions and parsnips. Squeeze the garlic bulb from the bottom to remove garlic cloves and add cloves to the pot.

Pour 1 1/2 cups of the broth over the vegetables and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are all cooked through.  Puree soup in a blender until smooth, return to sauce pan and add remaining broth, reserved cauliflower, and cream.

Heat on low for 2 minutes to heat through. Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with crumbled bacon, scallions, and drizzle with reserved roasted garlic olive oil.

Minestrone Soup with Blue Cheese-Parmesan Meatballs

Sunday is our day to rest, which includes a rest from cooking, so dinners throughout the week have to carry us through the weekend. As the weather turns colder, soup is ideal to comfort from the chill in the air, as well as provide for Sunday’s break from the kitchen.  I have had this Minestrone Soup recipe rolling around in my head for months. It is one of those things you have to get into the kitchen to work it out—even take an entire day just to make it as you imagined. Well, that’s how it is for me, anyway.

Yes, I’ve had those times when not all the tweaks and additions measure up to what my taste buds anticipated, though it is never a waste, I always learn. Fortunately, yesterday wasn’t one of those times :D.  This recipe turned to gold right before my eyes with beefy broth, loads of savory vegetables, and tender meatballs.

Rolling mini-meatballs can be a bit tedious, but I am a perfect bite kind of gal, so there has to be more than just a meatball on the spoon.  The blue cheese is subtle, blending with the Parmesan beautifully, packing deep flavor in each morsel—it was exactly as I imagined. If it is the perfect bite you’re after, you will want a hearty, crusty bread to soak up every drop of the delicious broth too.

Minestrone Soup with Blue Cheese-Parmesan Meatballs

Serves 8-10
For the Meatballs:
2          eggs
1/2      cup  milk
1 1/2   teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
1/2      cup  bread crumbs [for gluten-free, use GF bread]
3/4     cup  Parmigiano-Reggiano — grated
1/4      cup  fresh parsley — minced
1           teaspoon sea salt
1           teaspoon  pepper
2          teaspoons  unrefined sugar
1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
1/2      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1/2      teaspoon  ground allspice
1          teaspoon  Italian seasoning
1          teaspoon  oregano
2         tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
1          medium  onion — finely chopped
3         cloves  garlic — minced
1          pound  ground beef
1          pound  ground lamb
1/2      pound  hot Italian sausage — casing removed
1/4      cup  blue cheese — crumbled fine

For the Soup:
3        quarts  beef stock
2×3 piece  Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
4        tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2  cups  leeks — white and light green part only, coarsely chopped
1         cup  fennel bulb — sliced, then coarsely chopped
1         cup  celery — chopped
6         cloves  garlic — minced
1         cup  carrots — diced
1 1/2   cups  parsnips — diced
2         teaspoons  oregano
1/2     teaspoon  rosemary leaves — crushed fine
1/4     teaspoon  red pepper flakes
2         cans  diced tomatoes — crushed or pulsed in processor
1          can  red kidney beans — drained and rinsed
1 1/2   cups  dry pasta [for gluten-free, use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Shells]
3          cups  baby spinach leaves — lightly packed
1/2      cup  fresh parsley — minced
sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the Meatballs:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix in the bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, sugar, and spices; set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until softened.

Mix meats and blue cheese together, add egg and spice mixture and onions; mix thoroughly. Shape into small 1/2″ meatballs. Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Broil on HI until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on size of meatballs.  Break one open to be sure they are cooked through, extend cooking time if needed.

Set meatballs aside to finish the soup.  Note: This meatball recipe will produce more than is needed for the soup, though you can add as many as you like. Add the remaining meatballs to a pasta sauce or use for appetizers, simply freeze until ready to use.

For the Soup:
Pour beef stock into a soup pot and add a 2×3″ piece of Parmesan rind, bring to a low simmer (if you do not have Parmesan rind, grate some Parmesan into the stock). In a skillet over medium heat, saute leeks, fennel, and celery in half the olive oil until the vegetables begin to caramelize. Add garlic and continue to cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add to the soup pot with stock.

In the same skillet, saute the carrots and parsnips in the other half of the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle with the oregano, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and cook until vegetables begin to brown lightly and herbs are fragrant. Add to the soup pot.

Crush the tomatoes by hand or in a food processor until desired consistency. Add tomatoes with juices to the pot along with the drained kidney beans and meatballs. Stir to combine and simmer until flavors meld and vegetables are cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Add dry pasta, spinach, and parsley to the soup and simmer an additional 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with more Parmesan and serve with crusty bread or Parmesan-Garlic toasts.

Note: This meatball recipe will produce more than is needed for the soup, though you can add as many as you like.  Add the remaining meatballs to a pasta sauce or use for appetizers, simply freeze until ready to use. A versatile soup, easy to substitute your favorite vegetables in place of any of those listed.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania
Premeditated Leftovers Hearth & Soul Hop
SS&GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Food Friday
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Easy Natural Food Sunday Soup Night

Turkey Pot Pie with Gluten Free Pie Crust

Over the past few months, I have experimented with a number of gluten-free recipes, especially on those nights our daughter will be home for dinner.  I have had some great hits and some real misses trying to find what works and still tastes good.  Cupcakes, stews and sauces, and pancakes all turned out, but pie crust was illusive, either crumbly or gritty.  There was advice about grinding the flour more fine or buying certain mixes, but I wanted a recipe that worked with the six flours I already had.

Yesterday, I hit a home run (in the spirit of the World Series).  This pastry crust was easy to handle, light and delicious, without the grit common in gluten-free pastry.  It got a thumbs-up from everyone, even our youngest who is not thrilled about anything GF, so she is my real tell.

Last year I posted a recipe for Inside Out Turkey Pot Pie with Whole Wheat Biscuits, this recipe shows how to make it gluten-free with a traditional pie crust. This one-pot meal is full of comfort for cold winter days.  Often we save leftovers from rotisserie or baked chicken for this recipe, but with the holidays coming, it is a great way to use up those turkeys.

Turkey Pot Pie [Gluten-Free]

Serves: 6
1/3      cup  butter
3/4     cup  onion — minced
1        cup  carrots — sliced thin
1/2      cup  celery — chopped
1/2      teaspoon  thyme
2        cloves  garlic — minced
3/4      teaspoon  salt
1/2      teaspoon  pepper
1/4      cup  sweet rice flour
1 3/4   cups  chicken or turkey stock
2/3      cup  milk
3        cups  turkey — cooked and cut into small pieces
3/4      cup  frozen peas — defrosted

Preheat oven to 425° and prepare pastry crust.  Roll out 2/3 of the crust for the bottom and press into 9x9x2 pan (minimum 2.2 quart).  Pierce with a fork to prevent bubbles and pre-bake the bottom crust at 425° for 5-8 minutes until set, but not brown. Roll out other part of crust enough to top the dish and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prep vegetables and rinse peas to separate.  Melt butter on medium heat, stir in onion, carrot, celery, and thyme and cook until vegetables are softened. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in salt, pepper, and flour.

Add salt, pepper, and flour, stir until mixture is bubbly, 2-3 minutes.

Add broth and milk, heat to boiling stirring constantly.  Stir in turkey and peas; simmer for 3-5 minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste.  Pour mixture into prebaked crust. Cover with crust, pierce crust with a fork to allow steam to vent.  Bake at 425° for 30 minutes and bubbly.

Remove dish from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Pie Crust [Gluten Free]

Adapted from You, Me & Gluten Free
Yield: 2 crust pie
1       cup  sweet rice flour
2/3    cup  tapioca flour
1/2     cup  cornstarch
1        tablespoon  coconut palm sugar
3/4     teaspoon  sea salt
1        teaspoon  xanthan gum
1        teaspoon  baking powder
3/4     cup  butter — very cold or frozen, cut into small pieces
2        large  eggs — beaten
2        teaspoons  lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Combine the flours, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder in a bowl or food processor until well mixed.

Cut in butter with a pastry knife or in the processor until blended and butter pieces are very small (smaller than peas).

Mix in beaten eggs and lemon juice until a smooth ball forms.  If the room is warm or the dough is too soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour until firm. Sprinkle a little rice flour on a sheet of parchment paper and on a rolling pin to roll out dough into desired shape. Fold in half and place in the pan.

Unfold and gently press the dough into the pan and bake according to recipe directions.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck

Seasonal Ingredient Map [via Epicurious]: Feature Fridays

Epicurious Seasonal Map

THIS is cool!
An interactive map from Epicurious showing what is fresh and grown locally in your area, by month.  Ever wonder when you can expect local strawberries or winter squash?  Want to be more purposeful about buying locally, but not sure what is available?  Just click on a state and there it is, along with ingredient descriptions, shopping guides, recipes, and tips.  Pretty neat, huh?!  Well, I liked it, though on Fridays I can be easily entertained. 😀  Enjoy!

Green Chile Sauce Quest

I like challenges, especially when it is a food challenge levied by my husband.  There is no one on the planet I want to please more with efforts I bring to the dinner table.  From time to time, he will mention a meal he had while traveling or point to a recipe in a cooking magazine, requesting I replicate it.

The magazines don’t give me near the fit a fond dining experience does, though sometimes he provides a photo. Whether trying to match childhood memories of Grandma’s Molasses Cookies or the swoon-worthy Wagyu filet at a steakhouse in Phoenix, trying to recreate a dish or flavor experienced by someone else had can be daunting.  I do appreciate his unwavering confidence.

This brings us to Green Chile Sauce.  A couple of years ago while Matt was working in New Mexico, the stories of amazing green chile sauce started rolling in. Served on just about anything that would hold still, New Mexico Green Chile Sauce is known for its superior status.  Time and again, it drew him back to a small cafe for breakfast, and then lunch, for the chance to savor the saporous sauce.

I know, I’ve heard it before how easy green chile sauce is to make, but if that is so, why do so many taste flat, or lack depth?  With fresh green chilies, a few recipes (links below), and Matt’s savvy culinary memory to use as a guide, it’s time to rise to the challenge—make the best green chile sauce on the planet outside New Mexico (or maybe anywhere).  Somehow, so long as he believes I can, I am willing to try.

Beef and Green Chile Chili at Fine Cooking

New Mexico Breakfast and Green Chile Sauce at I love New Mexico

Traditional Style New Mexico Green Chile Sauce at Food.com

Green Chile Sauce at Great-Salso.com

New Mexico Green Chile Sauce Recipe at MJ’s Kitchen

Of course, your comments, suggestions, recipe hints are all welcome 🙂

Stone Soup and The Well-Fed College Student

College is a season of life with precious little time or money for nutritious food. Most meals are heavy on carbs to fuel the schedule, yet light on the sustaining nutrition the brain requires. However, being a well-fed college student goes beyond checking the mail for the next care package or searching the grocery aisles for cheap convenience foods.

How do you avoid buying Ramen in bulk or the nutritional void of fast food?

Don’t try to do it alone, make Stone Soup.  I don’t know if this old folk story is read anymore, but the lesson is timeless—there is enough for everyone when we pool resources for a common goal. In this case, eating was the goal and the soup was far better than the bits of food they would have had independently.

So how do you make Stone Soup these days?

Share resources, both talent and financial. It does not take an entire village just a handful of people with the same goal of escaping the grab-n-go trap. Divide the responsibilities and a few dollars and you’re on your way. One student told me she cooked for a group of guys who agreed to buy the food if she would prepare it. Her labor and their funds meant they all ate well.

My friend and I cook together once a month to prepare meals in advance for our family. We both save money on bulk items and enjoy the ease of having a menu of items to choose from for dinner. She has the benefit of a freezer (not all students do), so she can pull something out for dinner when she is studying for a test.

Whether it is one cooking for others, a small group cooking together, or two families making multiple meals to last a month, the concept is the same—you are sharing resources (and great food) instead of trying to do it alone.

Practical items you will need:
♦  A stove or a good countertop burner
♦  1 large pot (8 qt or larger)
♦  Skillet (optional, but helpful)
♦  Large casserole dish 9″x13″ (optional, and requires an oven)
♦  Cutting board
♦  Sharp knife – even old knives get a second chance with AccuSharp
♦  Utensils – spatula, stirring spoons, tongs
♦  Mixing bowls
♦  Storage bowls with lids to divide the food amongst the group
♦  Recipes, and patience to work things out
*Many of these items can be found at thrift stores or garage sales for little cost.  Borrowing larger pots or mixing bowls can work too, my friends and I have shared a stock pot for years.

Divide the Responsibilities:
♦  Organizing, searching out the recipes, creating shopping lists
♦  Shopping
♦  Prepping/Cooking
♦  Clean-up
♦  Managing the money/contributions
Note: If you have food sensitivities or strong food preferences, it is ideal to cook with a like-minded group.

Agree on a time to put it all together, enjoy good food, and divide the leftovers.  Cooking together enables students to have nutritionally superior, great tasting food, while building community at the same time.  This is not limited to soups, that’s just an easy, inexpensive way to begin. Spaghetti or skillet suppers, salads, and casseroles work well for groups too.  Below is a recipe to get started.

White Chicken Green Chili

Source: Mary Schoenecker
Yields 7 servings
1       pound boneless chicken, cut into 1″ cubes
1       medium onion, chopped
1       ½ tsp. garlic powder
1       tablespoon oil
2 15  ½ oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1       can 14 ½ oz. chicken broth
2      cans (4 oz.) green chilies
1       tsp. salt
1       tsp. cumin
1       tsp. oregano
½    tsp. pepper
¼    tsp. cayenne pepper
1       cup sour cream
½    cup heavy whipping cream

In a large pot, sauté chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream.

Other recipes to consider:
Chicken & Dumplings
Curry Chicken Salad
Red Beans & Rice
Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Skillet Beef Fajitas
Sausage & Vegetable Pasta Bake

Savoring Today was nominated for a Top Foodie Blog Award at eCollegeFinder and asked to write a student centered post, which is what you find here. Dedicating this to my friend, Pati, who went back to school much later in life. I admire her courage and determination.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Premeditated Leftovers Gallery of Favorites

Emeril’s Butternut Squash Lasagna with Italian Sausage and Sage: One-Pot Wonderful

There are those meals you select knowing you are going to put extra effort into it.  You buy the freshest ingredients, dedicate a chunk of time to fuss over it, accept no substitutions, no excuses, you go all-out.  Emeril‘s Butternut Squash Lasagna with Italian Sausage and Sage is one of those planned indulgences.  I invited my cooking buddy over to indulge with me and we got started at 3:00 for a 6:30 dinner.  Don’t let the time investment dampen your enthusiasm for trying this dish; it is worth every minute, besides new recipes always take longer.

I like butternut squash prepared savory rather than sweet, so this recipe was especially appealing to me. Tender squash seasoned with fresh marjoram, thyme, and bay leaf, accompanied by Honeycrisp apple, fennel, and onion. Fennel sausage, fresh sage leaves and toasted hazelnuts join the mix, rounding out flavors and imparting a hearty texture.  Oh, and it is lasagna, so ricotta, mascarpone, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano set the stage for a sensational dinner.

When you pick up a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders for yourself, mark page 76 for a cold fall afternoon and invite a small army of friends over for dinner.  I had to split this between two pans, the smaller of the two went directly to the freezer and we still had 8-10 servings.

Everyone loved it, each of us trying to describe our delight at the same time. Our daughter said, “This tastes like fall. It’s a little sweet, but then it’s not.” She was right, every bite was a nuance of engaging flavors. By the time we finished dinner, we finally agreed on a single word to describe it–delicious!

Click on the Photo for Order Info

Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders is now available!  Butternut Squash Lasagna with Italian Sausage and Sage and more than 130 other delectable recipes are compiled in this great cookbook.  Just click on the link or the photo to order yours and start enjoying them today.

Disclosure: For my participation in The Secret Ingredient’s One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party, I received a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, a jar of Emeril’s Essence seasoning, and a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece. Once the party concludes, upon my successful completion, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and a set of Emeril’s cookbooks.