Lamb and Fennel Sitting in a Tree

delicio8:

Oh I can’t wait to try this. I LOOOOOVE lamb.

Originally posted on Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide:

So moist and tender

So moist and tender

Roasted fennel is one of those things that smells so good, and tastes even better. How to make it even more tasty?

Roast it in rendered lamb fat.

Red onion can be substituted for shallots if need be. The leg of lamb can be deboned before roasting to make it easier to slice. If you do, the cooking time will be reduced so, be careful not to dry out the meat.

Roast Lamb with Fennel and Shallot

  • 3-4 lb leg of lamb
  • 4 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced to almost a paste
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 4 large shallots
  • olive oil

Wash and dry leg of lamb. In a bowl mix three tablespoons rosemary, zest and juice from lemon, sea salt, pepper, and garlic. Add enough olive oil to form mixture into a…

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Eggplant parmesan

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I recently bought some ricotta cheese for a dish I wanted to make. I bought much more than I needed and wasn’t sure what else to use it in.  Cheesecake?  No!  I had enough sweets over Christmas.  An internet search turned up lots of pasta dishes but that wasn’t it either.  How about eggplant parmesan?  I’ve wanted to make eggplant parmesan for quite some time but I didn’t really want a heavy, greasy dish as it can sometimes be.  I looked around and found a recipe that baked the eggplant first instead of frying it. I didn’t really like anything else about that recipe so I decided to use that idea but make my own sauce, plus there was the ricotta.

I love putanesca sauce so I made something along those lines, you can use any sauce you like of course.  As usual the measurements are not exact, I throw in what I have or what I feel it needs after tasting.

The Sauce

  • 2Tb olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 10 green olives sliced
  • 15 Kalamata olives sliced
  • Can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 small cans tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 4 drops fish oil
  • 1/2 Tb yerma or Schezuan pepper
  • salt/pepper/sugar

Heat the oil over med heat in a pan, add the garlic. Cook a few minutes and add the olives. After they heat a bit add the diced tomatoes and cook together for around 5 minutes.  Add 1 can of tomato sauce, the red wine, fish oil, Schezuan pepper. Taste and add salt/black pepper and about 1 Tb sugar to cut the acidity.  If it looks like you will need more sauce, add the other can of tomato sauce and cook until thickened.

  • 2 Eggplants
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Italian bread crumb mix (bread crumbs, oregano, garlic, pepper & parmesan)

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Meanwhile, cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and salt. Let sit while salted about 1/2 hour.  You will see drops of water coming out of the eggplant.  The salt will take some of the bitterness away from the eggplant.  Rinse and pat dry.  Whisk the eggs together and dip the eggplant and then coat in breadcrumbs.  Put on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes each side.

  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese
  • 1 TB basil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 cup or more Grated mozzarella

Mix together the Ricottta, eggs, parmesan, basil and salt/pepper.  Butter a baking dish and layer eggplant, ricotta mixture, sauce and mozzarella cheese, about two layers.  Sprinkle with parmesan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

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Burgundy Mustard Pork

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So yummy!I got this recipe from a Williams Sonoma catalog of all places. The catalog came into my work and a friend of mine who also likes to cook (as well as fantasize about all the cookware in said catalog) told me that she had made the recipes from the catalog before and that they were pretty good. I decided to give this one a shot and am really glad I did, so is Jason.

It’s been modified a bit, for example the actual recipe uses white wine and Burgundy mustard. I had neither at the time so I used red wine and dijon. It was delicious. So here goes. You will need a dutch oven to make this or some kind of oven proof pan with a lid. I used my cast iron dutch oven and it was perfect as it put a nice sear on the meat.

3/4 cup red wine
1 TB packed brown sugar
2 Tb olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tb rosemary
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 boneless pork loin roast
salt/pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream

Whisk together the wine, brown sugar, olive oil, mustard, rosemary & garlic. Brush the pork on all sides with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about an hour. Put the rest of the marinade in a saucepan and reserve.
Preheat the oven to 475 F. Place the pork in a Dutch oven, season with salt and pepper, cover and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 400 and continue roasting with the lid on for about 30-40 minutes. (Meat thermometer should read 145 when done). Remove from the Dutch oven and let sit while you make the sauce.

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Pour the marinade into the Dutch oven and add the 1/4 cup cream. Bring to a boil on the stovetop until reduced (about 5 minutes). I’ve made the sauce without adding it to the roasting pan but it’s not as rich and delicous that way. The juices and browned bits from the pork add a depth of flavor, so I highly suggest you try it like that.

I served it with roast squash, I figured since the oven was on for the pork I might as well roast squash. I added the squash when the temperature was turned down to 400 and it took about 40 minutes for it to finish, which was how long the pork needed so that was good.  I served the squash with coconut oil and Fleur de Sel, yummy!

Amish apple individual pies

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A friend of mine recently moved to Pennsylvania and she described these Amish individual apple pies.  Once I heard what it was I had to make one!  You wrap an apple in pie dough and bake it!  Well it’s a tiny bit more involved than that but not much. 

The other night the stars aligned and I had a craving, an apple and some pie dough in the fridge left over from a pumpkin pie I had made.

Pie dough (you can use your favorite recipe or possibly even the kind you buy in the store, although I can’t guarantee how good that will taste)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening or butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tb sugar
  • 3 Tb ice water

This makes enough dough for a decent sized pie so it would probably make about 6 apples I think.  Whisk the flour, salt & sugar together, cut in cold butter or shortening until the mix looks like crumbs. Drizzle in the ice water 1 Tb at a time and mix with a fork until the dough comes together.  Wrap the dough in plastic and let it sit in the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour.  Roll out the dough.

Core the apples, I don’t core all the way through. I used a red apple I had sitting around but use your favorite baking apple, some people prefer the tart green Granny Smith for baking. I use a red apple like a Gala because I don’t like to add alot of sugar and the red apples have their own sweetness.  Put a pat of butter, brown sugar, sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger & clove in the core of the apple.  I don’t measure this I just eye it but I suppose it would be about a tsp of butter, and a tsp of sugar.

Meanwhile in a saucepan combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tbs butter and some spices.  I used cinnamon, ginger & clove because that is what I like in my apples,  you can use whatever spices you prefer.  Bring this mix to a boil and then remove from the heat.

Wrap the apples in the pie dough, place in either individual ramekins or a baking pan with sides and pour the syrup over the top of them.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes.  If you have enough syrup left, baste again at the half way point.

I must admit I shared this with my husband but next time I will make two so I don’t have to share!

Stuffed Turban Squash

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The first time I saw a turban squash I knew I had to possess one!  They are so gorgeous.  But I had no idea what to do with it. Internet search here I come (what did we do before the internet?)  This is what I found and I’ve never looked back.  My husband LOVES this dish and every fall whoever sees the striped beauty first always brings it home.

The recipe is super easy and open to lots of adaptation.

Ingredients

  • 1 turban squash
  • 2 Tb butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped small
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs
  • 2-4 TB brown sugar (depending on your taste)
  • salt & pepper
  • any herbs you want to experiment with, hot chili? sage? etc

Preheat the oven to 350 F. First you must cut the top off the turban squash and remove the seeds from top & bottom (keep the top). Brush the cut edges with olive oil and put cut side down on a foil wrapped cookie sheet.  Roast the squash until mostly soft, depending on the size it will be at least an hour.  You want to be able to scoop some out but it will also cook a little more when you stuff it so you don’t want it to fall apart.

Saute the onion, celery & carrots in a saucepan in the butter or oil until tender.  Add the sausage and cook, drain any fat.  Mix in brown sugar, bread crumbs, salt/pepper and herbs if you want to use some (I usually like it as is).  Scoop out some squash and add to the sausage mixture.  Stuff the mixture into the squash, cover with the top and bake at 350 F about 25 minutes so the flavors can blend.  Serve!

I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished meal until it was …much…too…late………….

I was lucky to get a picture of these last remains.

My apologies, I’m a terrible food blogger but a wonderful cook! 

 

 

Kale, Quinoa & cheese casserole!

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So is this a “clean” recipe you might ask?  Somewhat.  Too much cheese can be a bit heavy but I think the other ingredients make up for it and what’s a little cheese between friends?!  The other ingredients are kale and quinoa, plus some eggs and I even added Greek yogurt….so there’s lots of protein and the kale is healthy right?  I’m totally justifying.  What the hell?  Let’s eat some cheese! Lots and lots!!!!  Cheesy goodness.  Whew! That’s out of my system.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  •  1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • salt/pepper
  • panko

Cook the quinoa, I get mine in the bulk section so I always soak in cold water for about 10 mins and rinse until the water runs clear.  Then add 2 1/2 cups water to the quinoa, bring to a boil, cover & simmer until the water is absorbed. While it’s cooking, cut the kale into bite sized pieces and either stir fry or saute until wilted.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, yogurt, spices, salt/pepper and the chopped garlic.  Mix in the quinoa, the kale and the cheese.  Pour into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish and sprinkle panko or bread crumbs on top.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes.  Like all recipes you can adjust the amounts of anything including the spices to your taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And done!

The BEST pancakes ever….in my opinion.

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This summer when I was visiting my sister she made us delicious pancakes made with yogurt.  They were really fluffy and good.  I have a standard multi-grain pancake recipe I use so I thought….why not add yogurt and see how they turn out?  They were so wonderful that I have to share.  The basic recipe can be modified with any grains you like.  I don’t always make them the same way.  I’ve added cooked quinoa, cooked rice, oatmeal etc.  The version I like lately which is below has rice flour which makes them a bit crispier than usual and sesame seeds.  Please try these and definitely try changing up the combination of grains.

Oh so good.

Basic recipe

  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour (I usually keep this as the base but you do whatever you like)
  • 1/4 c corn meal
  • 1/4 c oatmeal
  • 1/4 c mix of rice flour & ground flax seed
  • 1 Tb Sesame seeds
  • 1 – 3 Tb sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tb melted butter or oil (coconut oil is tasty)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients together (just remember your grains should equal 1 1/2 cup total). Mix the wet ingredients together.  Add the wet into the dry until combined.  The mixture gets very thick, add milk if needed but the batter should be much thicker than regular pancake batter.   Heat a pan or griddle to a slightly lower temperature than you use for regular pancakes.  Cook until one side is golden, flip and cook until golden.  The batter may still be wet when you flip the first time but it will be ok.

Not your usual Blackberry cobbler

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Blackberry season is upon us up here in the Pacific Northwest.  The blackberries are at their prime and might last another week or two!  I love this time of year.  You can feel fall in the air but it’s still warm during the day and the blackberries are bursting out everywhere!  The blackberry bush is considered a weed and a pest to some. It will definitely take over a space if left unchecked and that is one of the things I like about living here. I can find blackberries most everywhere.  The trail I take my dogs walking on….blackberries, the empty lot across the street, blackberries, the walk around our block….you got it…blackberries!

I use this recipe every year (this is my second one this year so far)  and diet be damned, I will eat this and enjoy it mightily!  Oh and why is this recipe different from other cobblers I’ve seen?  The biscuit starts out on the bottom, the fruit on top and then a whole lot of water is poured over everything. It looks like it will be a disaster but it has worked every time.

Blackberry Cobbler  (You could probably use other fruit as well but I’ve only ever done it with blackberries)

Biscuit topping

  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c milk

Filling

  • 2 c berries
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c sugar (depends on how sweet the berries are)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 tsp tapioca powder (optional)

Cream the butter & sugar together.  Sif the flour, salt & baking powder together and add to the butter mix alternately with milk.  The batter will be stiff, spoon into a greased 2 qt baking dish.  Preheat oven to 375F.

Spoon the berries over the biscuit dough. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and the tapioca powder.  Pour the water into the baking dish. Bake for 45-50 mins.  Fruit will sink, the biscuit will rise.  It’s done when golden brown on top.

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