Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kale and Farro Soup

Soup is one of my go-to weekday lunch options. I like to take the time to make a big pot of soup on Sunday and then portion the soup into individual containers. Early mornings always seem a little less chaotic when lunch is already packed. I am always looking for new soup recipes that are healthy yet filling. The below soup is delicious plus it's filled with nutrients- superfood kale, vitamin rich butternut squash, and farro which is high in protein.

Picture from TasteFood
Kale and Farro Soup
** adapted from TasteFood

Serves: 6
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c. farro
6 c. chicken stock
2 c. butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
1 (15oz) can Italian plum tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 to 3 cups coarsly chopped kale, stems removed
grated Parmesan, option

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the farro and stir to coat. Add the chicken stock, butternut squash, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, using the back of the spoon break up the tomatoes, and then simmer until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the kale leaves. Serve with grated Parmesan.

** If making this for weekday lunches, I would suggest adding in a little more stock or water. The farro seemed to absorb a lot of the liquid over the course of the week.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Sweet Italian Sausage and Apples

I was not very good about posting recipes this fall while working on wedding plans. The below recipe was one that I made back in October or November but never got around to posting on the blog. This was an outstanding dish and perfect for fall/winter so I am happy to finally be sharing it. While you aren't going to be able to find sugar pumpkins in the grocery store this time of year, butternut or acorn squash would work just as well in it's place. The combination of the apples, sausage, and cheese go together perfectly and make this such a warm and comforting meal.

Picture from The Cozy Apron

Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Sweet Italian Sausage and Apples
** adapted from The Cozy Apron

Serves 4
Prep/Cook Time:

1 small sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and diced (or butternut squash)
2 golden delicious apples, peeled, corded and diced
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T. honey
3. T. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 c. Arborio rice
1/2 c. white wine
4 c. chicken stock, very hot
2 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed and browned
1/4 c. shredded Gruyere
1/4 c. Parmesan, grated
4 sage leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, apples, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper, honey, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside.

Cook the Italian sausage in a small skillet until browned. Set aside. 

While the pumpkin is roasting, begin the risotto by preheating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add 2 tablespoons of butter and then add the chopped onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat all of the grains. Add the white wine and gently stir. Allow the wine to reduce until almost absorbed and then add 1/2 cup stock. Stir gently and allow the rice to absorb the stock. Once the stock is almost fully absorbed add another 1/2 cup stock; repeat this process until the rice is soft and creamy. This should take about 20 minutes.

To finish the risotto, turn off the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, Gruyere, Parmesan, browned Italian sausage, and the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the chopped sage leaves. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Ricotta Salata

Brady's sister made a delicious farro and butternut squash dish at Christmas from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  After the holidays, I went onto the Smitten Kitchen blog and came across what I think is the same recipe. If it's not the same, it is very similar. I have been on a quinoa kick for a while now but I am definitely going to start making more farro recipes. I loved the nutty flavor that it has and it's super quick to make. Not only was the farro salad perfect for a healthy yet hearty vegetarian dinner but it made for great leftovers to bring in my lunch all week.

Picture courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I forgot to take a picture.
Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Ricotta Salata
*** adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4-6
Prep/Cook Time:  1 hour

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into small cubes
4 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 c. quick cooking farro
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. ricotta salata, crumbled (you could also use feta)
1 T. sherry vinegar
1 T. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 small red onion, finally chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread the squash onto the baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, cook farro according to the package directions. Drain and cool slightly.

While squash is roasting and the farro is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the sherry, water, salt, and sugar. Stir in the onion and cover and refrigerate until needed.

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked farro, roasted squash, walnuts, and ricotta salata. Add in the red onion mixture, including the liquid. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve warm or can be served cold later on in the week.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pasta with Braised Pork and Red Wine

Before the holidays Andrew Zimmern posted the below recipe on Twitter. Brady forwarded the recipe to me and it was instantly added to the "must make soon" list. Andrew Zimmern is probably best known for his Bizarre Foods shows but there is nothing bizarre about this recipe. The ingredient list, while it appears long, is basic and the flavor that the pork gets after simmering for a couple of hours in the red wine is fantastic.

Pasta with Braised Pork and Red Wine
*** from Andrew Zimmern's blog

Serves 6
Prep/Cook Time: 2 hours

2 T. olive oil
1/2 pound pancetta, diced
3 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch chunks
salt and pepper
3 sage leaves
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 leek, white and green parts only, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 c. chicken stock
2 c. dry red wine
1 14oz can of tomato puree
1 pound tubular pasta such as Ziti
freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large dutch oven or cast iron pan, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until the fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a medium bowl.

Season the pork with salt and pepper and add half of it to the pan. Cook over moderately high heat until richly browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to the bowl with the pancetta. Repeat with remaining pork.

Add the herbs to the pan along with the onion, carrot, celery, leek and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Return the pancetta and pork shoulder to the pan and simmer over moderately low heat until liquid is almost fully evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and tomato puree and return to a boil. Cover and simmer the sauce over moderately low heat for 1 hour, until the meat is very tender.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce and discard the herb stems. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and toss until well-coated. Serve with grated cheese.

Rosemary Sriracha Roast Chicken

I thought I posted the below recipe earlier in the week but apparently I forgot to hit the publish button, oops!
It's been one of those days. I can't say it's not partially my fault though. I let 27 second graders eat birthday doughnuts at 9:30am. I paid the consequence the rest of the day. If that wasn't enough, I also had the brilliant idea to do an art project with glitter...

That being said, I am running out of steam this evening. Before I crash on the couch I wanted to share the below recipe. I made this for dinner last week and it was a big hit. The chicken had tons of flavor and I loved that most of the ingredients I already had on hand. The marinade has what seems to me like a strange combination of ingredients but somehow it works. 

Rosemary Sriracha Roast Chicken

Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes, 1 hour to marinate
Cook Time: 40 minutes

1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp Sriracha
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)

In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, Sriracha, garlic, salt and pepper. Place chicken in a large ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Turn bag over several times to coat chicken. Place the chicken in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread any marinade remaining in the bag over the chicken. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Then broil on high for 4 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rosemary and Garlic Pork Roast

Sunday is the perfect day for cooking a comforting meal that requires a little more time than most weeknights allow. I love to cook a more hearty home-style meal on Sunday nights to gear us up for a busy work week.  Right before the holidays I made the below pork roast. Despite the minimal ingredients that went into the dish the flavor in the pork was fantastic. 

A a side note, the below rosemary garlic marinade works great on grilled pork tenderloin as well. I tested it out while in Florida over Christmas and the grilled pork was a big hit.

Rosemary and Garlic Pork Roast
Adapted from Jo Cooks

Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours

3 lb pork loin
1/8 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced
4 cloves garlic cut in half
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp dry rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.

In a small bowl mix the olive oil, minced garlic, chili flakes, rosemary, and the salt and pepper.

Cut small slits in the meat and stuff them with the garlic halves. Place the pork loin in a roasting pan covered with a little olive oil. Rub the pork with the olive oil/rosemary rub thoroughly.

Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake the pork loin in the oven with the aluminum foil for 45 minutes then remove the foil and continue baking for another 45 minutes.

Remove meat from the oven and place the pork on a cutting board. Cover the meat completely with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting it and serving it.