Puréed Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the new kale.  You type cauliflower into a Pinterest search and you get anything from buffalo cauliflower bites to cauliflower pizza crust.  I’m glad because I feel like I have ignored it for years.   For one, it smells when it’s raw and I thought it was just boring.  I have tried the pizza crust (and have perfected it!) and the Asian flavored bites are a great appetizer.  I made this Puréed  cauliflower for one of my clients and when I tasted I fell in love! Soft, silky and aromatic, it was the perfect side dish.  Perfect addition for your Thanksgiving menu! Enjoy!

Puréed Cauliflower with garlic

Special Equipment – blender or food processor.  (A potato masher will work too)

1 head of Cauliflower

2 gloves of garlic

1/4 of a small onion, sliced

2 cups chicken stock

2 springs of fresh thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Add stock to a pot and heat to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to a nice simmer and add whole garlic, onion and cauliflower to the pot.  Cook for about 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.  Strain into a bowl and add the cauliflower, garlic and onion to a blender or food processor. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to the blender, the butter, and fresh thyme.  Blend until smooth.  (add more cooking liquid depending on the consistency you are looking for) Add puree to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve Immediately!

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Weeknight Peruvian Chicken

People always ask me for a quick go-to dinner for week nights, and I always give a bone in chicken meal because it’s cheaper than boneless chicken breast and WAY more flavorful, and will last longer for a lunch the next day or get another dinner out of it. This meal is one that I make for my clients a lot since it has a good shelf life in the fridge and it is bursting with flavor!  For people who usually deal with boneless chicken breast, you will see a huge difference in taste and bone in chicken is not at all hard to cook, it takes longer to cook but it is certainly worth an extra few minutes.  You want to wash your chicken pieces and pat dry, then you just rub this amazing paste inspired by Peruvian cookery, of cumin , paprika and garlic.  A paste is a dry rub with a tiny bit of liquid, in this case oil and vinegar.  Then you just pop in oven for 45 minutes and you are done, and a kitchen hero! While the chicken is cooking make a few side dishes.. Sweet potato fries, roasted parsnips, sautéed spinach, and so on.  Enjoy!

4 lbs bone in chicken thighs and legs mixed or 1 whole chicken cut up into 8-10 pieces

2 red onions or 2 sweet yellow onions, thickly sliced

2 green bell peppers, thickly chopped (square pieces)

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 TBS paprika

2 TBS cumin

2 Teas. Black pepper

2 Teas. Salt (I use Kosher or Sea salt)

2 ½ TBS white or red wine vinegar

1 ½ TBS olive oil

1 lemon thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to  400 degrees and prepare a deep pan lined with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking oil. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl combine the garlic, paprika, cumin, black pepper, salt, vinegar and olive oil to make a thick paste.
  3. Take 2 TBS of the paste and mix with the onions and peppers
  4. Use the remaining paste and rub into the chicken (rub ALL over don’t  miss a spot)

The chicken before putting in the oven.. I had some parsley so I sprinkled over the top

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Right out the oven!

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Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage

hmmmm.. doesn’t it just SOUND amazing??  Caramelized onion, fresh thyme, juicy sausage and incredible sweet potatoes come together in a perfect marriage for this amazing anytime of the day meal.  In the morning, you can throw a fried or over easy egg on top for a quick breakfast, for lunch it becomes the main attraction and so perfect heated up on its own, and for dinner it makes an excellent side dish to chicken, beef,  fish, tofu, hearty salad… ummm you get the point!  This is great meal to make in bulk, and ahead of time as it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month (but it won’t last that long..trust!) This whole meal comes together rather quickly, and not to many ingredients, if you’re a vegetarian substitute the sausage for tofu, simply cook up the tofu before adding to the sweet potatoes and onion mixture. So go ahead, get in your kitchen is and make this..now!! Enjoy folks 🙂

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage

Ingredients

1 lb Italian style sausage

4-5 Sweet potatoes

1 yellow onion, chopped

Fresh Thyme

1 TBS paprika

2 TBS oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Peel and cut potatoes into bite size cubes (don’t need to be perfect but you want the same size pieces so it cooks evenly) Put in a pot and cover with cold water, then bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.  You want it to be soft and tender but not in a “mashable” state.  Test with a fork and taste, you want a little bite, not completely soft.

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2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a pan on medium heat and cook the sausages fully.  Once they are done cut into pieces (about 1 inch)

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3. In the same pan you cooked the sausages, add the onions and thyme to pan and cook until onions are soft and slightly caramelized.  Drain the potatoes and add to the pan with the onions, cook for about 4-5 minutes, season with salt, pepper, paprika and oregano.  Add the sausage, mix all together and serve, or store in air tight container in the fridge for up to a week or longer in the freezer.

 

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Sunday Brunch: Sausage, Spinach, Sundried Tomatos and Cheddar Cheese Frittata

The title says Sunday brunch but really you can have this for dinner any night of the week. I recently made this frittata for a client that I cook for on a weekly basis. Its filling, delicious and easy! One of the first things I made back in culinary school was a onion frittata and I was so nervous it wouldn’t flip out of the pan correctly, the anxiety was on HIGH that class haha! But it came out great and that’s because I had an excellent non stick pan. That is the key here, and once you have that the rest is piece of cake. Frittata by the way is a big omelet started in a non stick heavy duty pan and finished in the oven to blow up and be nice and puffy. Similar to a quiche but with no crust. You can add any kind of toppings your little heart desires, so its great when you want to get rid of herbs and vegetables in your fridge! For this one I used sweet Italian sausage, spinach, sundried tomatoes and cheddar cheese. The process is always the same, you want to cook your filling in the same pan you cook the frittata in then add your egg mixture, cook in pan and then finish it off in the oven. Then you invert on to a plate. Try this combo or one of your own for you next brunch party or week night dinner!

 

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Sausage, Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes and Cheddar Cheese Frittata

Preheat oven to 350. Use a non stick, oven safe frying pan.
10 Eggs
2 lbs spinach, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
8 ounces of sundried tomatoes
8 ounces of cheddar cheese, shredded
Butter or oil

1. Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk until frothy and well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside in the fridge
2. Cook the sausages on medium heat all the way through, cool on a plate then cut in small pieces
3. Next heat a heavy duty non stick pan on medium heat, drizzle oil or a few teaspoons of butter around the pan. Add spinach to pan and cook down and season with a little kosher salt, next add onions and cook until translucent. Add in the cooked sausage and tomatoes. Mix all together and cook for another minute or two.
4. Add egg mixture to the pan and let sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula go around the edges of the pan once, then go from one edge to the middle of the pan, letting the middle liquid go to the edge. This will ensure the middle is cooking and as well as the edges. When you see sold pieces of egg forming, turn off heat, add shredded cheese on top and transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes. The egg mixture will rise and the edges will be a dark brown. You can use toothpicks to see if the middle is well cooked.

5. Let cool in pan completely.  Then take a plate or cutting board and put over the pan and flip over.  Frittata should come out easily.  Then flip over again on to a plate.  Cut in triangle pieces  and serve with a simple salad.

 

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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup

I have been meaning to make butternut squash for the longest time, and just haven’t got around to making it.  It’s a great weeknight soup because you can make it super fast (30 minutes or less!) and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.   I tend to go to the grocery store and buy things that I can freeze and make when I feel like it, one of those things is butternut squash.  I bought it a few months ago, cut it up and put in a plastic bag and kept it in my freezer.   I keep this soup super simple with just 3 ingredients; onions, garlic and squash.  I use my immersion blender to make  smooth creamy soups.  I had black beans and corn left over from my stuffed sweet potatoes , so I thought why not use them up and make a great addition to this soup.  The results were just what I wanted, the black beans added  the creaminess, and the corn (which I did not purée) gave the soup a nice texture against the smooth soup.  I cut up scallions and grated fresh parmigiano reggiano on top. Really. Really. Good

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup

Special Equipment- food processor or immersion blender (if you don’t have either of these this is a great chunky soup as well!)

1 lb of butternut squash cut into 1 inch pieces

3 cups vegetable, chicken or (like I used) homemade stock

2 cups black beans

1 cup of frozen corn

1 small onion chopped

2 cloves garlic cloves chopped

chopped scallion, grated or shaved parmigiano salt and pepper to taste

1. Put a large soup pot on medium heat with 2 tbs of olive or coconut oil

2. Saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes until the onions are beginning to soften

3. Add the butternut squash and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper

4. Add the stock, corn and beans.  Let simmer for 10 minutes

5. Let cool.  Then blend in batches until creamy (if using food processor) or right in the pot (if using immersion blender)

6. Adjust seasonings (add a few drops of hot sauce if you wish!..I did)  Add scallions and cheese.  EAT!

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