Tuesday, November 24, 2015

sesame tofu with cold noodles

I love cold Asian noodles & this dish does not disappoint! This recipe makes about 2-3 servings.

tofu marinade
1 lb extra firm tofu, well-drained
3 tablespoons soy
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Whisk together soy, fish sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and onions. Pour over cubed tofu and allow to marinate for an hour (up to overnight in the fridge).
Bake tofu at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until just browning. Remove and cool. 

peanut sesame sauce & noodles
1/2 pound whole grain angel hair pasta
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Prepare pasta according to package and then rinse under cold water, set aside to drain. In the blender combine peanut butter, stock, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil, garlic, ginger until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the noodles, bell pepper, green onions, peanut butter sauce (reserving about 1/4 of the sauce at least) and sesame seeds. Assemble into bowls, place tofu on top, spoon reserved sauce over tofu and sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds. 


The tofu adds some protein to this dish but you could easily leave it off. Enjoy!


Friday, October 9, 2015

fall entertaining - did someone say cheese?


My aunt and uncle came to Nashville this week and we caught up over cocktail hour and dinner. Here are some tasty cheese selections for your fall cheese board.
From the top left corner, going clockwise...Murray's Aged English Cheddar, Saint Angel Triple Creme, Cambozila Black Label (blue), Mango Ginger Stilton, and Prima Donna Maturo (gouda). We also had dried apricots, globe grapes, honey roasted almonds, sour cornichons and two great cheese toppers (both from the South!) Emily G's Cabernet Sauvignon jam and Nashville Jam Co.'s peach habanero jelly.
Happy Friday all!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

it's pumpkin time!

As usual, it is September in Nashville (90 degrees) and all I can think about is fall cooking! It's all the food magazines that come this month - apple, pumpkin, dark beer, chili...I am so excited for cooler cooking weather. Here is a fall teaser recipe - very delicious.
Oatmeal, pumpkin, chocolate, walnut muffins (long name).
 
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup low-fat milk
one large egg
one large egg white
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ºF, and line muffin tin with cupcake wrappers. Whisk dry ingredients and spices together in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, oil, milk, egg, and egg white to a medium-size bowl, and mix thoroughly. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Fill muffin tins evenly, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 18 muffins.
watermelon lime aguas fresca
small (sometimes called personal) seedless watermelon, cubed
agave syrup or honey (optional)
juice from whole lime
Pulse the watermelon in the blender until smooth, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Take watermelon juice and combine with lime juice - taste. If you would like it sweeter, add some agave or honey. Fill a glass with ice and halfway with watermelon juice, top with club soda. I love a salty sweet combo so I enjoyed my drink in a salt-rimmed glass.



Friday, August 21, 2015

oatmeal for dinner?

Have you ever heard of oat groats? No - no one has heard of oat groats. I hadn't either until we were given some and they kept staring at me from the pantry. Well - Martha Stewart has heard of them (of course). This is a spin on her recipe and it is topped with an Italian tofu. Amazing. Time to move oatmeal type dishes to dinner! The recipe below serves 4.
For the oat groats:
1 cup oat groats
2 carrots
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
half head or bushel of kale
3-4 tablespoons EVOO
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/3 shredded Parmesan cheese
For the tofu:
1 package tofu, drained/pressed well
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
big squeeze of lemon 
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest from half a lemon
S&P
To prepare tofu, whisk all ingredients together (except tofu). Slice tofu and place in a shallow dish, cover with marinade for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 25 minutes. If you like a little more color or crisp on your tofu (we do), I crank up the heat to 400 degrees (after 25 minutes) and move to the tofu to the top rack. Give it about 5 or so minutes then remove.
While tofu bakes, prepare oat groats. In a Dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons EVOO and saute the chopped onion until translucent, add garlic and chopped carrot. Saute vegetables for about 5 more minutes, then add oat groats, toast lightly, add stock. Bring to a slight boil, then put a lid on the pot and lower the heat. Cook for about 25 minutes. 
 In the last few minutes of the oat groat cooking, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a large saute pan. Saute torn kale, add in 2 cloves garlic. Saute until just tender and add to Dutch oven - incorporate. Remove from heat and mix in Parmesan cheese - season with S&P.
Assemble hot oat groats and vegetables with tofu slices on top. 

From the Whole Grains Council, a groat is another name for a grain kernel. Whole oat groats are the result of simply harvesting oats, cleaning them, and removing their inedible hulls. You can most often find these in health food stores. They take the longest to cook.
Below is chart to help you distinguish the best grains for you!




Friday, August 7, 2015

knock-off recipe: cheesy cauliflower

Over 4th of July, Vance and I went to Chattanooga for the weekend. We are doing a Southern tour this summer and have hit Atlanta, Chattanooga and Knoxville - next up, Birmingham!
In Chattanooga, we had a great brunch at Tupelo Honey. I took myself to lunch at the Knoxville location this past Saturday (while Vance slaved away at a conference).
We had delicious salt-roasted beets with pistachio & goat cheese. Actually, Vance wanted french toast and I can't seem to get enough beets these days - so I inhaled this dish.
I had a fantastic cauliflower dish too - mashed with cheddar. Gave that a spin last night at home (and had leftovers this morning with an egg and tomato atop - yum!)
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup milk 
4 ounces white cheddar, shredded
S&P to taste
Steam cauliflower florets until tender (about 8 minutes). Pierce with a fork - when soft, drain. In a food processor, place cauliflower and milk. Pulse a few times, season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the cauliflower is a mashed potato-like consistency. Remove to a bowl and incorporate shredded cheese - serve (devour) immediately.
This is dish is a like a cross between mashed potatoes & cheese grits, but MUCH healthier. Enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2015

cantina!

Vance and I had a great happy hour hosted by Cantina Laredo in the Gulch. The head chef and bar manager shared some fantastic bar bites and cocktails. Great way to start the week! They serve half price dishes and drink specials during their weekday happy hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. - yes - that is pretty much the whole day!
watermelon & coconut mojitos


coconut, watermelon-mint and black & blueberry mojitos
artichoke & spinach nachos
ahi tuna tacos
Thanks Cantina Laredo - we will be back soon!






Sunday, June 28, 2015

when you don't like the wine...

I think opening a bottle of wine and not liking is just a terrible terrible feeling. Even if it was cheap wine - or perhaps you have open wine and can't drink it - for some reason...
This recipe provides a good way to use up a fair amount of white wine that might not be to your drinking taste (yet you don't want to pitch it).
wine poached salmon over vegetable with white wine, butter, basil sauce
2 (or double ingredients for 4 people) salmon fillets
3 ears of corn, shucked and cut off the cob
2 zucchini, shredded & drained with salt
2-3 cups white wine (about half a bottle)
assorted fresh herbs (sprig of rosemary, lemon thyme & lemon balm)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
EVOO
S&P to taste
3 shallots
5 tablespoons butter
In a large saute pan, heat a little EVOO and saute 2 chopped shallots until soft. Add zucchini - stirring so it does not brown. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft, remove to serving bowls. In a separate sauté pan, heat 2 cups of wine and 1 cup water together. Add the assorted fresh herbs and one shallot, halved, bring to a light simmer. In the same pan you used for the zucchini, add about one tablespoon EVOO and 2 tablespoons butter. When hot, add corn kernels - sauté. Pour in about 1/3 cup water and cover corn for 5-6 minutes. At this time, season the salmon and place in simmering poaching wine mixture. Fish will take about 8 minutes, flip after 4 minutes.
When corn is done, remove from heat. Remove poached fish to a paper towel and discard poaching liquid. In fish pan, heat remaining cup or so of wine and 3-4 tablespoons butter - whisk together and season with S&P. Remove from heat and stir in chopped basil. Assemble bowls with zucchini, corn, fish, butter sauce and top with cherry tomatoes for color.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

i like my peaches spicy

Spicy Peach Chutney (adapted from Whole Foods)
2 Anaheim chiles or other mild chiles, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, or another 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 ½ pounds ripe apricots or peaches, diced (I peeled the peaches first)
1/3 cup raisins
3 cinnamon sticks
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon crush red pepper flakes (optional)
Combine chiles and vinegars in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Set aside. Combine apricots, raisins, cinnamon sticks, salt and 3 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until fruit is softened and a thick sauce forms, about 15 minutes. Uncover and stir in vinegar mixture and cloves. Cook, stirring, until hot throughout, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon sticks. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week. We had our chutney over balsamic tofu, spinach & barley.

Monday, June 8, 2015

foodcycle

Remember when we had that roasted beet, goat cheese & egg sandwich? Well the beet greens looked so green and lovely that I couldn't throw them out. I foodcycled the greens into two tasty dishes.
braised coconut greens & chickpeas over quinoa
2 teaspoons EVOO
1 small yellow onion
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pint cherrie tomatoes, quartered
1 large lime, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1 dried hot red pepper or dash of red pepper flakes
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 pound beet greens, roughly chopped
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to brown. Add the garlic, lime zest, and red pepper, if using. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat for a few minutes, or until the chickpeas are beginning to turn golden and they are coated with the onion and garlic mixture. Add tomatoes and saute until soft. Toss in the greens, one handful at a time. This will take about 5 minutes; stir in a handful or two and wait for it to wilt down and make room in the pot before adding the next handful. When all the greens have been added, pour in the coconut milk, salt, ground ginger, and lime juice. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chickpeas are warmed through. Taste and add more salt and lime juice, if necessary. Serve over warm quinoa.
wilted balsalmic honey green crostini
1 whole wheat baguette, sliced
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
1 pound (or less) greens (beet, spinach, collard)
pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons balsalmic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
teaspoon honey
Sauté the greens in a large pan until just beginning to wilt - mix in vinegar, remove from heat. Toast the baguette slices. Mix the honey, chili flakes and goat cheese - assemble on each crostini, goat cheese mixture, cherry tomatoes, greens. Drizzle any leftover vinegar over the crostini - devour while warm. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

spring soup & sammy night

zucchini garlic bisque
makes about 3 quarts - good for sharing or freezing!
4 tablespoons butter
2 small white onions, sliced
8 to 9 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
7-8 medium zucchini, about 3 pounds, half peeled and chopped
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy stock pot over medium heat. When it foams, add the sliced garlic and onions and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn't brown; you want everything to sweat. When the onions are soft, add the zucchini and cook until soft. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer at a low heat for about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then blend with an immersion blender until creamy, or transfer to a standing blender to puree. Taste and season with ginger, salt and pepper. This soup will taste even better after a night's rest in the fridge.
What better to pair zucchini bisque with other than a delicious and colorful sandwich!
sandwich service for two
4 slices hearty bread (like oatmeal, whole grain, sourdough)
3-4 ounces goat cheese, softened
small handful of fresh herbs - I used basil and chives
bunch of fresh beets - mine where quite small and there were about 8 in a bunch
2 eggs
S&P to taste
Preheat the oven to 375. Trim and clean the beets - reserve the greens for later. Toss with some EVOO and Kosher salt in a tin foil packet and place in the oven for about an hour. When the beets are done, allow to cool. Peel off any outer layer that is coming off and slice. Assemble sandwiches: toasted bread, about 2 ounces goat cheese, spread on one piece of toast, chopped herbs, beet slices, fried egg over medium and a little salt and pepper. Top with second piece of toast, slice, devour.







Sunday, May 10, 2015

blackberry.lemon.mint

To prepare cocktails for four...
1/2 cup blackberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup lemonade
1 cup water
vodka or gin
lemon slices
mint
club soda
In a small saucepan, mash the blackberries with a fork, add sugar, lemonade and water. Heat until a mild simmer and then reduce heat for about 8-10 minutes. Strain the blackberry mixture through a mesh colander to reserve the juice - chill for about an hour. In a rocks glass, assemble ice, blackberry juice, 1-2 shots vodka or gin and top with club soda. Garnish with spanked mint and lemon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"the best guac you ever made"

Happy belated Cinco de Mayo! Vance could barely get his hands out of this guacamole for me to snap a few photos. Chipotle released their guacamole recipe online earlier this week - made at home, it is even better!
Vance claims this is the best guacamole I have ever made - I agree. 
Other festive food for the week included tofu, black bean & corn soft tacos and white turkey enchiladas.
1 package extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed
2-4 ears of corn off the cobb
1.5 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
8 small flour or corn tortillas
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 purple onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional toppings:
chopped lettuce, chopped tomato, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream
In a medium bowl, mash the drained tofu with a fork and add the four dried spices and mix well. In a large saute pan, add the oil, saute the onion for about 3-4 minutes. Add the corn, and saute for another few minutes, add tofu. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more oil. Add the black beans, season with salt - heat all the way through. Warm the tortillas and serve in taco bar style. This is also very good as a taco salad over lettuce.
I used pulled turkey instead of chicken on these enchiladas by Ree Drummond - they are delicious! Great way to use up leftover roasted chicken or turkey. 
Summer is starting!










Wednesday, April 22, 2015

our april ham

We only have ham once a year - Easter. Well growing up, we always had a holiday dinner at our neighbor's house, the Wilson's - and we had ham then too. It was always so delicious!
Easter has become one of my favorite holidays because I don't have to cook a main dish - Honey Baked does that for me. This year, we were lucky enough to have Kayla and Peter join us for the holiday weekend!
We toured Yazoo Brewery - very fun.
spent an afternoon at Radnor Lake...
Peter was a crane.
In addition to lots of other good food and drink, we went to Hattie B's for hot chicken. And then Peter cried because his chicken was so hot - it was very funny for the rest of us.
After a great long weekend (and lots of leftover ham), I made a delicious split pea soup.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chopped medium onion
4 carrots, thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 quart chicken stock, homemade is preferable
1 bag (16 ounces) green split peas, picked over and rinsed
ham bone plus 2 cups reserved ham cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a large stock pot with a lid, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Add broth, split peas, ham bone, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and partially cover; simmer until peas are soft, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove and discard bone from soup. Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup (or carefully remove half to a blender). After it is the consistency you like, add ham cubes, and simmer until heated through. If necessary, thin with water. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Serve topped with croutons. 
Top with some croutons, yum!




Thursday, April 9, 2015

put an egg on it

Before the warm weather arrived, I made a delicious farro risotto - truthfully though, this lighter spin on my beloved risotto, makes it a great spring option too.
asparagus farro risotto with farm fresh egg - inspired by Mark Bittman
2 lbs. asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into one-inch-long pieces, tips reserved
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (homemade or low-sodium)
2 tablespoons EVOO
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
½ medium onion, diced
1¼ cup semi-pearled farro
½ cup dry white wine
1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt
¾ cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
4 fresh eggs
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add half the asparagus stalks (not the tips) and cook until quite soft, at least five minutes. Rinse quickly under cold water or put in ice water. Put cooked asparagus in a blender or food processor and add ¼ cup water. Purée adding more water one tablespoon at a time if necessary. Set aside. Place stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium heat. When it is hot, add onion, stirring occasionally until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add farro and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away. Add the salt. Add warmed stock, ½ cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally. Each time stock has just about evaporated, add more. After about 15 minutes, add remaining asparagus pieces and tips, continuing to add stock when necessary. After 5 minutes, begin tasting the risotto. You want the grains to be tender but with a bit of crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes total to reach this stage. When the risotto is almost ready, bring a medium saucepan with 4 eggs in it to a light boil - boil eggs for about 4 minutes (start timer when boil begins). When risotto is ready, stir in ½ cup asparagus purée. Remove skillet from heat, add cheese, parsley and remaining butter, and stir briskly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve in a shallow bowl and gently crack an egg, scooping out the yolk for serving. Discard the egg whites and shell. Serve immediately.
When the egg is mixed into the risotto it helps create an even creamier delicious dish!
Enjoy!




Thursday, March 5, 2015

sometimes you just have to do it

just post it. it has been so long since I have posted on the blog - and when that happens, I think a lot about what to post - and how to post - and when...but I realized I need to stop thinking and just post it!
Ina Garten does it again! Pomegranate cosmopolitans for my mom's birthday celebration!
Vodka Metropolitan
2 shots vodka
1 shot cranberry juice
large wedge of fresh lime, juiced
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass, garnish with 2 blackberries and a twist of lime.




Saturday, January 31, 2015

now that is good

Inspired by Ree Drummond and a sale on potatoes...potato bacon bisque - too good.

5 medium potatoes, scrubbed and peeled (I used Idaho...you da hoe? what?)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 pieces of bacon
1/2 cup cream
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons flour
8 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
dash (or two) of cayenne pepper - we like heat so I used about 1/4 teaspoon
2-3 heaping tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
ground pepper
Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.  Over medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, paprika, thyme oregano and cayenne pepper. Add the chicken stock and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Chop up your delicious cooked bacon and set aside. Whisk together the flour and the milk in a cup and pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for about 5 more minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend until a consistency that you like. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream, bacon and 2 tablespoons parsley. Taste for seasonings - may need more S&P. Garnish with additional parsley and other tasting toppings like a few reserved bacon pieces, grated Parmesan cheese or a dollop of sour cream. SO delicious!
You could leave the bacon out and use about 2 tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon EVOO to sauté vegetables in - delicious vegetarian option.

Friday, January 23, 2015

5 pounds is a lot


When I go to the store, I always just grab the two pound bag of carrots. Well between salads, pot roasts and soups - a two pound bag of carrots goes quickly. The last time I went shopping, I thought "you know what - go for it - get the 5 pound bag of carrots...you will use it!" Let me tell you - five pounds of carrots is a lot. Do not be fooled. But - if you do make the commitment to purchase lovely carrots in bulk then try out this spicy carrot soup!
spicy carrot soup
2-3 tablespoons EVOO
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 inch knob ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
ground black pepper
sour cream for topping
Toss the sliced carrots and chopped onion in the EVOO, season well with S&P. Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Assemble vegetables on a cookie sheet and roast for about 30 minute until tender. In a large stock pot, add a tablespoon of EVOO and saute the garlic clove until fragrant. Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a light simmer. When vegetables are done roasting, add to chicken stock. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add curry powder, cumin, ginger and cayenne. Cook for about another 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt - taste for seasonings. When serving, place soup in a shallow bowl and swirl a tablespoon of sour cream into it.
You could also stir in a little heavy cream - either will cut the heat a bit and provide a nice bit of creaminess. Enjoy!


dive right in!



Sunday, January 11, 2015

a warm winter salad

The holidays are over, but who says you still can't enjoy a delicious beef tenderloin for dinner? This dish, adapted from Country Living, is served with a warm salad that has a crisp pop of pomegranate.
beef tenderloin over cauliflower, kale & pom salad for two
1-1.5 pound filet of beef, trimmed & tied
1 bunch of kale, torn
1 pomegranate (seed from half the fruit)
1 head of cauliflower
2 shallots, quartered
5 tablespoons EVOO
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup chicken stock (optional)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Tie the beef in about three spots. Using about a tablespoon of EVOO, rub the beef down (woo!), salt and pepper well and assemble in the center of a flat pan (like a  lasagna dish). Toss chopped cauliflower heads, shallot quarters, about 3 tablespoons of EVOO with S&P. Assemble the vegetables around the roast. Test the beef after about 13-15 minutes - if it is at 120 degrees, remove to a plate and cover with foil. Allow vegetables to finish roasting (might take a bit longer depending on how big your florets are).
In a small saucepan, add about 3 tablespoons of EVOO, lemon juice, mustard and chicken stock - bring to a slight simmer. Remove the vegetables and add the torn kale to the the pot - stir to allow the kale to wilt. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well. Plate the warm cauliflower salad, pomegranate seeds and top with thinly sliced beef.

Friday, January 2, 2015

soup of the month

A work inspired post - in more ways than one! Today is my first day back to the office in almost two weeks. Prepare yourself for an odd comment - it actually feels a little good to be back to work. There I said it - now never speak of this again. 
My colleague, Irisa, mentioned that a "soup of month" post would be a good idea, and I (as a soup lover) totally agree. Oddly enough, I brought a nice bowl of soup for lunch today. I find soup to be the finest of the packable lunch selections. Today's special is cauliflower, corn & chicken chowder. Yum.
1 medium head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, diced
3 tablespoons EVOO
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup frozen corn 
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/3 cup chopped parsley
lots of S&P to taste
shredded chicken from a rotisserie bird or roughly 3-4 breasts cooked and shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cauliflower and onion in 2 tablespoons EVOO and season well with S&P. Assemble in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes until tender. Over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of EVOO and saute the bell pepper until just soft, remove to the side. In the same large pot, heat the chicken stock. Add cooked cauliflower and onion mixture - puree with an immersion blender (or remove to blender and puree in batches). Add in bell pepper, thyme, shredded chicken, corn and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a light simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and taste for seasoning. The cauliflower helps give this soup a creamy feel (yet with no cream - it is a cauliflower miracle).
Okay lunch break is over - happy Friday all!