Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Deviled Eggs

(I cobbled this together from internet recipes)

1 dozen eggs
1/3 cup mayo
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste

Place eggs in a large pot; cover with water by and inch or two.  Bring water to a rolling boil.  (You can put 1/2 tsp. salt or 1 tsp. vinegar in the water to help the shells become easier to peel.)  Turn off the heat, cover, and allow to sit for 12-15 minutes.

Drain eggs.  Fill pot with cold water and allow eggs to cool.

Peel eggs.  Cut each in half lengthwise.  Remove yolks, place them in a medium bowl, and mash them.  Set whites aside on a dish.  Add remaining ingredients to mashed yolks and mix thoroughly.  Spoon yolk mixture into egg white hollows.  Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

(Tangy and delicious!)

Escarole and Edamame Salad

(recipe from Gourmet magazine)

2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar (I used honey)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. escarole, trimmed and cut crosswise into very thin strips (8 cups)
1/3 cup finely chopped mint
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (I omitted this)

Cook edamame in a 3-quart pot of well-salted boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.  Drain edamame again and pat dry.

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a small bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.

Toss together edamame, escarole, and mint in a large bowl.  Add cheese and drizzle salad with dressing, then toss again.  Serve immediately.

(I am in love with this salad!  It is simple to make and very fresh tasting.)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage

(recipe adapted from Bon Appetit magazine)

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used olive oil)
4 cups 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (from 2-lb. squash)
1 1/2 tsp. golden brown sugar (I used honey)
6 cups broth
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped shallots (about 5 large)
3/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
2 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add squash.  Sprinkle with sugar, then salt and pepper.  Saute 6 minutes.  Cover; cook until almost tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Uncover; sauté until browned but still holding shape, about 8 minutes.  DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover; chill.  Bring to room temperature before using.

Bring broth to a simmer in large saucepan; cover and keep warm.  Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add shallots.  Saute until soft, about 4 minutes.  Mix in sage and thyme; stir 1 minute.  Add rice; sauté until kernels are white with translucent edges, about 4 minutes.  Add wine; stir until wine evaporates, about 1 minute.  Add 1 cup warm broth; simmer until broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add 1 cup broth; simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Continue adding broth 1 cup at a time and cooking until rice is just tender and risotto is creamy, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix in parsley and squash.  Cook until squash is heated, about 1 minute.

(Risotto is always yummy, and this one is delicious with the autumn flavors of sage and squash.)

Frosted Green Beans with Sesame

(recipe from The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper)

4 1/4 cups green beans, trimmed
2 Tbsp. butter (I just used olive oil)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Strained juice and grated rind of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper

Cook the beans in salted, boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan, add the scallions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until softened.

Stir in the lemon juice and rind.  Add the beans, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for two minutes.

Meanwhile, dry-fry the sesame seeds, stirring frequently for about 1 minute until they give off their aroma.  Remove from heat.

Transfer the bean mixture to a warm serving dish, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix well and serve.

(Delightful, tangy flavor!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wild Mushroom and Spinach Stuffing

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, stemmed shiitake, and crimini), cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 9 cups)
3 cups chopped onions (about 1 lb.)
2 cups chopped celery (4 to 5 stalks)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
5 ounces baby spinach leaves
12 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old pain rustique or ciabatta bread with crust (about 1 1/4 lbs.)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup (or more) broth

Melt 1/4 cup butter with olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add diced wild mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Saute until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.  Transfer mushrooms to large bowl.

Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in same skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and celery.  Saute until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes.  Add all herbs; sauté 1 minute longer.  Add spinach and toss until just wilted, about 1 minute.  Add vegetable mixture to bowl with mushrooms.  DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cool, cover, and chill.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets.  Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets after 5 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes total.  Transfer to very large bowl and cool.

Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish.  Stir vegetable mixture into bread.  Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend well; whisk in 1 cup broth.  Add egg mixture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry.  Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.

Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.

(Stuffing is always tasty, this one particularly with the mushrooms throughout.  I skipped the bread cube baking step, as I had cut my bread the day before and left it out overnight on the counter to dry out.  Thanksgiving 2015 - me alone and a whole bunch of stuffing!  Yum.)

Raw Cranberry Sauce

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

1 orange, peeled
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 medium apple, quartered
5 pitted dates (or to taste)
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
Zest of 1 orange

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse till chunky.

(So easy and delicious!  And healthy!)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Brussels Sprouts with Horseradish and Pomegranate Seeds

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup grated horseradish

Heat oven broiler.  Cook sprouts in salted boiling water, 4 minutes.  Drain and transfer to an ice bath.  Drain, halve, and pat dry.  Toss with oil, paprika, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet.  Broil until caramelized, 8-10 minutes.  Toss with lemon zest and juice, and vinegar.  Garnish with pomegranate seeds and horseradish.

(So unique and tasty!  I roasted the sprouts in the oven for 40 minutes instead of boiling and broiling.  The vinegar and pomegranate and horseradish give the sprouts a tangy flavor, which is unexpected and delightful.)

Coconut Beluga Lentils

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1 1/4 cup beluga lentils
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used coconut oil)
4 shallots, minced
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup shelled edamame
1 Tbsp. minced thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. minced parsley

Boil lentils in a 4-qt. saucepan of water until tender, 18-20 minutes; drain and transfer to a bowl.  Add butter to pan; melt over medium-high heat.  Cook shallots until golden, 5-7 minutes.  Add lentils, coconut milk, edamame, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 5 minutes.  Stir in parsley.

(These lentils are delicious!  Creamy and light, unexpected flavor.)