Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- vinegar (Balsamic, red wine, white wine, sherry)
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the beet greens off, leaving about 1/2 inch of stem. Wash the beets well and put them in a baking dish with a big splash of water (about 1/2 inch of water). Cover tightly (either with a lid or foil) and bake for about 40 mins (for small beets) to 1 1/2 hrs. (for large beets) -- until a sharp knife easily pierces through the center of the biggest beet.
- After the beets have cooled a bit, peel them. I just slide the skins right off, using a small knife in any spots where it sticks. Cut them into quarters and place in a bowl.
- Sprinkle the beets with vinegar, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Let them sit for as long as you can -- at least 15 mins. (The beets need a chance to absorb the vinegar to be truly, truly delicious!)
- Add a little olive oil -- not too much!
The beets are delicious just plain like this, but here are my favorite ways to finish them:
1. Add some crumbled goat cheese and dill.
2. Prep some baby greens with salt, pepper, juice from half a lemon, and olive oil. Put the beets on top. Bonus points: add goat cheese and toasted walnuts. (And grilled chicken is yummy, too!)
3. Toss some sections of blood oranges (or whatever oranges you have on hand) with the beets. Also good over the greens described above.
Source: adapted from Cooking Light magazine
Serves: about 4
Time: about 7 mins. prep, 20 mins. mostly unattended cooking time, and 5 more mins. assembling
- 1 head cauliflower
- cooking spray (or olive oil)
- coarse salt
- about 1-3 tsp. butter
- Preheat the oven to 425. Prep the cauliflower: cut out the stem and separate the florets into small, bite-size pieces. Spray a baking sheet (jelly-roll pan) with Pam and spread the cauliflower onto it. Roast the cauliflower for about 20 mins, until it is nicely browned. Stir the florets once or twice while roasting.
- Meanwhile, put a bit of butter in a small frying pan and let it brown. (If you're rushed for time, use high heat and it will brown fast.)
- When the cauliflower is done, put it in a serving bowl and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle the browned butter on and toss.
Note: My neighbor adds mushrooms to the roasting pan, which sounds delicious, but I haven't tried it, yet!
- 1 winter squash of your choice (butternut, acorn, kabocha, pumpkin, etc.)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- a few cloves of garlic
- parsley or thyme
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- Peel your squash with a sharp vegetable peeler (and a knife, if necessary). Scoop out any seeds/strings. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with a few whole cloves of garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet (jelly-roll pan) and roast for about 40 mins., until tender and nicely browned. Stir every now and again to prevent burning.
- Toss roasted squash with some freshly chopped parsley or thyme.
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Peel and trim the carrots and then cut them on the diagonal into thin slices. Toss the slices with a lot of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the carrots into a single layer on a baking sheet (jelly-roll pan) and roast for about 20-30 mins. Definitely stir and toss them a few times, especially near the end. I like them pretty browned, but it's up to you.
Note: Alice Waters' recipe adds turnips to this, which sounds awesome. I've added wedges of onion and enjoyed that, too.
- 1 lb. bag frozen corn (organic and extra-sweet recommended!)
- 1 TBSP canola oil
- Coarse salt
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Dump the corn into a colander and rinse with cool water, to defrost somewhat. Drain well. (I pat it with paper towels, too.)
- Spread the corn on a baking sheet (jelly-roll pan). Drizzle with the oil. Stir to coat and then redistribute in a single layer. Roast until the kernels start to brown -- the original recipe calls for 10 mins, but I like them pretty browned, so I go closer to 15-20 mins. I stir at 10 mins., though. (If I can remember!)
- Season with coarse salt to taste.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
QUICKIE SHEPERD'S PIE
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 TBSP ketchup
- 1 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c frozen peas
- 1 c frozen corn
- other veggies as desired (canned, frozen, steamed & pureed, or just fresh veggies chopped finely in the food processor)
- 1 tsp beef "Better Than Bouillon" (or 1 beef bouillon cube)
- 1/2 c water
- 1 TBSP cornstarch (might need more if you use a lot of pureed or minced veggies)
- leftover mashed potatoes OR 20 oz. package of refrigerated mashed potatoes OR large container of mashed potatoes from deli section of your grocery store
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 1 c shredded sharp Cheddar
- Turn on your broiler.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Peel and chop the onion and add it to the skillet. Add the beef and raise the heat to high. Cook, breaking up the beef, about 5 mins. or until the beef is browned.
- Stir in the ketchup, Worchestershire, and garlic. Then stir in any veggies you are using (frozen peas, corn, purees, whatever you've got). Reduce the heat and let simmer.
- Meanwhile, combine the "Better Than Bouillon" with the 1/2 c water and heat in a microwave. Stir to fully dissolve. Next, make a slurry to thicken the beef mixture: stir the cornstarch into the bouillon to dissolve. Pour the slurry over the skillet and stir well. Continue to simmer, letting it thicken. If it doesn't thicken enough, make another little slurry (1 TBSP cornstarch in 2-3 TBSP water) and add.
- Meanwhile, heat up your potatoes (either according to package directions or just in the microwave for a minute or so).
- Add the sour cream to the beef mixture once it is thickened. Then pour the mixture into a casserole dish (11x9 works well, but it's up to you). Plop the potatoes all over the top of the beef mixture and spread them out with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the cheddar over the top and pop it under the broiler until the cheese in melted and brown in spots.
TO MAKE GHOSTS: Save some of your mashed potatoes. Spoon them into a plastic baggie and snip off one corner. Squeeze the potatoes out of the open corner into a ghost shape. I did one blob for the body and another, smaller one for the head, with a little tail on top. Add eyes. (I used two black, disc-shaped sprinkles we happened to have around, but chocolate sprinkles or raisins would work. Better Homes & Gardens suggested capers, but my kids would freak out over that.)
Hope you all had a wonderful, fun Halloween!