Monday, November 23, 2009

Recipe: Roasted Brussel Sprouts + Cranberry Chutney

Ahhh. Thanksgiving. Foodie paradise. A favored Holiday for those of us that love to cook + eat, I thought I would share a couple of my favorite sides for your Thanksgiving Table!

Brussels Sprouts are one of the unsung veggies, although they have been gaining in popularity in recent years. I think there is no better way to enjoy them than simply roasted with salt, pepper and olive oil. So damn good. Don't worry about the leaves that fall of and get a crunchy brown...they're my favorite part! I eat 'em like potato chips.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

serves 4-6

2# fresh Brussels sprouts, rinsed + patted dry

olive oil



-preheat oven to 400˚F
-trim stem end of sprouts, then cut in half -place on large baking sheet (cover with foil for easy clean-up!)
-toss with generous amount of olive oil, salt + pepper

-roast until tender and gently browned, turning once, about 15-20 minutes

This chutney is addictive. You have been warned. Shared with me by a beloved sister-in-law it is also fantastic with such non-Thanksgiving-y fare as goat cheese, scones, pork, or straight off the spoon...which is how I usually eat it.

Cranberry Ginger Chutney

(Makes 1 2/3 cups, double for large family gatherings)

1 ½ cup cranberries

16 dried apricots, quartered
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup dried currants
2 Tbl. minced peeled ginger

2 Tbl. cranberry juice
¾ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Increase heat to high and boil for three minutes.
Transfer to bowl to cool.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Recipe: Easy Spanish Tortilla

Here is the recipe for a terrific, versatile dish for Holidays or anytime. Breakfast, brunch, light supper, tapas, vegetarian entree. It works for all, and won an award for low-carbon recipe using local ingredients!

Easy Spanish Tortilla
serves 6-8

4 small to medium potatoes, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
salt + pepper to taste
1T smoked paprika
1/4C sunflower oil
8 eggs

preheat oven to 375˚
heat oil in large, deep skillet or wok
add potatoes, season with salt
cook potatoes, stirring frequently until they are not quite tender
add onions + smoked paprika, cooking until onions are just translucent and potatoes are
tender yet still firm
remove from heat and allow to slightly cool
whisk eggs until frothy, season with salt + pepper
place potato mixture in oven-proof dish, such as a tart or pie pan
pour eggs over the top, gently distributing the potato mixture evenly in the pan
place in oven and bake until puffed and golden, and eggs are set in middle (about 25
may serve warm or room temp as an entree or tapas

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food Find: Green Gifts Fair 2009

If you have never been to the Midtown Global Market, this would be a great weekend to go. Do It Green! Minnesota hosts their annual Green Gifts Fair this Saturday, November 21st from 10AM-5PM. Great Christmas shopping opportunities, as well as eco-activities for kids + adults. So, why is this a Food Find? Two reasons....

1) The Global Market has some of the best ethnic cuisine in the cities under one roof (please, please try La Sirena Gorda. You will not be disappointed with their ridiculously delicious Mexican Seafood!)

2) Yours truly will be having a Low-Carbon Cook-Off with Chef Paul Lynch from Firelake. I'll need all the support I can get, as the dishes are judged by the audience and a celebrity panel of judges!

Come enjoy the day, get some Holiday shopping done, enjoy some good food, and celebrate Local businesses in a unique way.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ingredient: Pumpkin Puree

Ever since I read Unplanned Cooking's blog about her post-Halloween Pumpkin Latte, I have not been able to get it out of my head. Make your own pumpkin latte at home? Why didn't I think of that? Maybe many of you have, but it just never occurred to me. Since the fam loves pumpkin waffles (with chocolate chips) and pumpkin pancakes (with cinnamon sugar), I usually have some pumpkin puree in the fridge. So, I set out to make my very own pumpkin latte....

Now, I had to tweak it a little to suit my taste. And you should feel free to do the same. Although, any combination is going to be delicious. You know another reason to love this DIY beverage? It's actually healthy. Using real pumpkin (instead of that pumpkin-y flavored syrup) gives you Vit C, beta-Carotene + potassium. Not using the syrup also gives you control over your calories. And finally, the milk adds some Calcium + protein. Not a bad way to rationalize a latte!

Here is my version for one. Note that I use the new Starbucks' Via instant coffee (it's good. really!), as no one else in my house will touch coffee. No need to make a full pot!

Lazy Pumpkin Latte
serves 1

maple syrup (to taste)

1T organic pumpkin puree

1/4t cinnamon (or more to taste)

1-2 drops Mexican vanilla

about 6oz. organic fat-free milk about
6oz. Via Coffee (medium or dark roast)

-in your BIG mug, add maple syrup to cover bottom, cinnamon vanilla + pumpkin. Stir to combine.
-add milk (about half a mug)

-microwave for 1 minute (I told you this was the lazy version)
-add Via coffee packet, and hot water to fill mug.
-stir and enjoy!

Not bad for a Monday morning....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Equipment: 2oz Scoop

As a caterer, I occasionally get asked what items in my kitchen I could not live without. Most chefs have a favorite knife (Henckels or Global for me), but my most used and beloved item in the kitchen is my Vollrath Stainless Steel #16 scoop. #16 is the industry standard that is equivalent to 2oz. (i.e. it takes 16- 2oz sized scoops to equal 1 quart or 32 oz.).

So, it may sound odd that with all the cooking I do, that I am in love with a scoop. All I can say is that it is awesome, and you really should try it for yourself. Forthwith, a few of my reasons for loving the scoop (in no particular order)...

1) ice cram (duh!)
2) perfect amount for pancakes
3) perfect amount for waffles in my iron
4) portion control for sides
5) easy to clean
6) easy for kids to use
7) scooping out pumpkins + squash
8) perfect portion for rolls
9) perfect portion of hummus for a wrap
10) easy to use without getting anything else in the kitchen dirty...including your hands.