Archive for March, 2012

Mac and Cheese with Mushrooms and Kale

Posted on Mar. 31st 2012 No Comments »

An old standard updated with the addition of mushrooms and kale. This yummy version is from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.

  • 3/4 pound kale, stems cut from leaves (about 5 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 ounce (1/2 cup) dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the kale for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to a colander (keep the pot of cooking water at a boil). Run the kale under cold water to stop the cooking and then drain and squeeze out any liquid. Coarsely chop.

Add the macaroni to the boiling kale-cooking water and cook according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the dried porcini with 1 cup warm water. Let stand until the mushrooms have softened, about 20 minutes. With your fingers, lift the mushrooms from their soaking liquid, leaving the grit behind. Line a fine-mesh sieve with paper towels, a paper coffee filter, or cheesecloth. Pour the mushroom-soaking liquid through the sieve into a bowl. Reserve the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the porcini and cremini mushrooms, thyme, and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have wilted and released their juices, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushroom-soaking liquid, milk, paprika, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Add the macaroni and kale and toss to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 X 13-inch glass baking dish or individual ramekins.

In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the panko and toss to coat. Scatter the butter crumbs over the mac and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is crunchy and golden brown.

Serves 8

Posted by poppa-d | in Garlic, Ingredients, Kale, Mushrooms, Recipe

Caprese Salad Frittata

Posted on Mar. 23rd 2012 No Comments »

This is our favorite new frittata. If you like caprese salad then you’ll love this dish. We like to have this with some light sour cream on top and a side salad. The recipe is from Eggs, fresh, simple recipes for frittatas, omelets, scrambles and more.

  • ½ bunch fresh basil, about ½ cup
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ pound fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cream or milk
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the basil leaves and cut the remaining leaves into thin ribbons. Transfer the cut basil to a bowl and add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir well and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Warm the olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring gently, until the eggs begin to set but do not begin to scramble. Gently stir in the tomato-mozzarella mixture. Cook the eggs, undisturbed, until they begin to set around the edges, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer the frying pan to the oven and bake until the eggs are set around the edges and just firm in the center, about 5 to 8 minutes more.

Loosen the sides of the frittata with a spatula and hold a platter over the top of the pan. Holding the sides with hot pads, invert the frittata onto the platter. Cut into wedges, garnish with the reserved basil, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4-6

Posted by poppa-d | in Basil, Tomato

Potato and Leek Soup

Posted on Mar. 17th 2012 No Comments »

A satisfying Irish soup that’s creamy without having milk or cream in it. I found this recipe in Tom Valenti’s Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals.

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large leeks, white part plus 3 inches of green, split lengthwise, diced, and washed well
  • 2 large Spanish onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Course salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 3 medium)
  • Crisp cooked bacon (optional for garnish)

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot with at least a 4-quart capacity over medium heat. Add the leeks and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir well to integrate the flavors. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the broth is simmering, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch dice. Put them in a bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside.

Drain the potatoes, add to the pot, and return the liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a thin-bladed, sharp knife, about 20 minutes.

Fish out and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (or use a hand blender in the pot being very careful of hot splatter) until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve top with bacon if desired. May also be served cold.

Serves 8

Posted by poppa-d | in Garlic, Leek, Onion, potato

Baby Carrots in Herb Sauce

Posted on Mar. 10th 2012 No Comments »

A lovely way to serve baby carrots. This recipe is from the cookbook Vegetables From an Italian Garden.

  • 1 3/4 pounds baby carrots, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons mixed herbs, such as parsley, basil and marjoram, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper

Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook for approximately 5 minutes, until just tender.

Melt the butter with the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic clove and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, until golden brown. Remove the garlic and discard.

Add the carrots to the pan and cook for a few minutes, then add the chopped herbs, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the cream. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced. If the sauce seems a little too thick, stir in a little lukewarm water or milk. Remove from the heat and serve warm.

Serves 4

Posted by poppa-d | in Ingredients, Recipe, carrot

Chicken and Sugar Snap Pea Stir-fry

Posted on Mar. 3rd 2012 No Comments »

A nice Asian style dish served over rice. This recipe is from the cookbook Cooking from the Farmers’ Market.

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch (cornflour)
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3/4 lb sugar snap peas, halved crosswise on the diagonal
  • Cooked White or Brown Rice for serving
  • Soy sauce for serving

In a bowl, toss the chicken strips with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut oil, the baking soda, and the cornstarch. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, add the chicken, spreading it out as much as possible. Season with salt and sear for 1 minute without stirring, then stir until opaque throughout, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the oyster sauce and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Return the wok to high heat, add the peas, and stir-fry until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Transfer to a platter and serve right away with the rice and soy sauce.

Serves 4

Posted by poppa-d | in Ingredients, Sugar snap peas


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