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Archive for December, 2010

Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna

December 29, 2010 1 comment

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Alison made Martha Stewart’s Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna for Friendsgiving and I liked it so much I made it for Christmas Eve dinner with my family! It turned out pretty good though I could probably have used a layer or two less of no bake noodles and more butternut squash! I also poured a little extra milk into the corners after I had put everything together because I was worried that there would not be enough moisture to soften the noodles during the short bake time. Frying the sage in butter smells amazing and my carnivorous family seemed to enjoy the vegetarian lasagna.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Bacon Jam

December 27, 2010 1 comment

Bacon Jam

Last Christmas, Joel got me bacon jam that I really enjoyed. My friend just got out of cooking school and made a bacon jam for a potluck brunch last weekend and I REALLY enjoyed her bacon jam…moreso than the one Joel got me. While the jam Joel got me was more of a bacon & onion compote, my friend’s bacon jam had a sweetness to it that I really enjoyed. She gave me her recipe and I made it to go with the cheese plate at Christmas Eve dinner. My cousin described it as a “bacon chutney” which is a pretty good description…

Goes great with a cheese plate, on top of a breakfast casserole, smeared on a croissant…its delicious on everything! I wonder if Elvis would have eaten a peanut butter and bacon chutney sandwich??

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium brown onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Sriracha Sauce (optional) TT (I used hot pepper flakes instead)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Black Pepper TT
  • Extra water
  • Salt TT
  • 1 to 2 green apple, small dice (I used 2)
  • ¼ teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove

Method:

  1. In a non stick pan, fry bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp.  Using a pair of scissors cut into 1 inch pieces
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in the rendered bacon fat on medium heat until translucent. (I poured out most of the rendered fat and left just enough to fry the onions and garlic)
  3. Transfer bacon, onion and garlic into heavy based cast iron pot and add the rest of the ingredients except for the water.  Simmer for 2 hours adding ¼ cup of water every 25 – 30 mins or so and stir
  4. When finished cooking put in food processor.  Pulse for 2 to 3 seconds so that you leave some texture to the “jam” or  you can keep processing and make it a smoother and more paste like.

 

Categories: appetizers, bacon, breakfast Tags: ,

Lamb & Potato Pies

December 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Lamb & Potato Pie

I went to a Middle Eastern grocery on the Peninsula to look for some tarama to make taramasalata. Though I didn’t quite find what I was looking for, I did pick up some pre-made dough perfect for meat pies (I think its intended for spanakopita). I had been craving meat pies; I was remembering the snack-sized meat pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Company that I had at the Green City Market on my last morning in Chicago.

I sauteed:

  • 1/4 lb. ground lamb
  • small cooked potato (diced)
  • 1/3 white onion (diced)
  • handful chopped castelvetrano olives
  • dash of cinnamon
  • salt & pepper to taste

When adding the filling, I sprinkled some feta on top. Fresh meat pies hot out of the oven–yum! I have more wrappers in the fridge to make more of these super simple (though not light) pies.

Lamb & Potato PieMeat mixture

Lamb & Potato Pie

Lamb & Potato Pie

Lamb & Potato Pie

Risotto Cakes

December 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Risotto Cakes

Leftover asparagus risotto = risotto cakes. I don’t have a mold so I used a well-greased 1/4 measuring cup to form the cakes (with a nugget of cheese pushed in the middle). Dipped in flour, egg and panko & parsley and fried in vegetable oil. Served over a bed of spinach with a side of tonkatsu sauce.

Growing up, I always thought it was weird that my mom had a second kitchen outside behind the garage. She used it for cooking stinky things like ca kho (Vietnamese caramel braised fish) or frying because she hated the way the food made the house smell. I didn’t understand then but I certainly do now. I hate how the house smells after I fry stuff so I probably won’t be doing much of it in this kitchen. Better for the waistline anyway…Hawaiian bikini diet starts soon.

Risotto Cakes

Risotto Cakes

Categories: leftovers Tags: ,

Breakfast Casserole

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Breakfast Casserole

I made this breakfast casserole for a potluck brunch last weekend with old friends based on this recipe from Simply Recipes. The comments in the recipe indicated that the casserole could get salty so I chose a chicken mustard sausage from Drewes Brothers and added sauteed anaheim chiles and mushrooms to the mix. I can’t say I loved it…it was a little bland, a bit too mushy and the chicken sausage got quite rubbery in the oven. I also had to cook it for a little longer than the recipe indicated…when I took it out the first time it was still swampy in the middle (perhaps because I used 2% milk instead of whole?).

If I make this again, I’ll use a saltier sausage, add some potatoes for texture and serve it with a side of bacon jam from a recipe a friend shared with me. I made some bacon jam this morning to go with the Christmas Eve cheese & salami platter 🙂

Merry Christmas!!

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

Categories: breakfast, food Tags: ,

Mentaiko Spaghetti

December 23, 2010 1 comment

Mentaiko Spaghetti

Creamy, spicy cod roe over whole wheat spaghetti…I had planned to make this from scratch but the Asian market I went to didn’t have any mentaiko. They did, however, have the packaged variety which helped scratch my itch for La Ciccia’s bottarga spaghetti. So simple yet so flavorful! Served with a side of brussels sprouts that I picked off the stem and sauteed with bacon & andouille sausage.

Veggies from Berkeley Bowl

Brussels w/andouille & bacon

Categories: Asian, pasta, seafood Tags: , ,

Smitten Kitchen’s Shakshuka

December 19, 2010 2 comments

Smitten Kitchen's Shakshuka

Smitten Kitchen’s Shakshuka has been on my list of things to try for a while…and yesterday’s rainy Saturday morning was the perfect time to try it! We started the morning at Rainbow Grocery, which sadly is not as awesome as Berkeley Bowl…quickly made and ate this shakshuka (I really like saying shakshuka!! *with jazz hands*)…went for a drizzly run…and then off to Elizabeth Street Brewery to sample some brews.

I halved the recipe and used three anaheim chiles. My fingers were tingly for the better part of the afternoon, which was a bit surprising since the anaheim chiles didn’t taste that spicy in the shakshuka. Although we had whole wheat pitas in the fridge, we sopped up the oozy egg yolks and spicy tomato sauce with the remnants of a fresh Acme sweet Italian loaf (the rest went into a breakfast casserole for a potluck brunch this morning). Quick, tasty and simple!

Smitten Kitchen's Shakshuka

Smitten Kitchen's Shakshuka