Monday, October 28, 2013

Apple Sausage Patties

This fall, try this for your breakfast sausage. Instead of the traditional breakfast sandwich, you could put these patties between two slices of apples. Or serve one of the patties with a side salad for lunch. They could be made smaller and served as an appetizer on a skewer.
Apple Sausage Patties

3 Tablespoons apple, peeled and shredded
3/4 pound Italian sausage or breakfast sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon rice bran oil or vegetable oil

Combine apple, sausage, and sage together in a bowl and mix well; form into 4 patties.

Over medium heat, pour oil into a skillet, add patties and cook, turning, until cooked throughout.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Roasted Pepita Pesto

This is a spicy pesto sauce for you cilantro lovers. Additional varieties of peppers may be added to increase the heat. Today I used it over a sweet potato pasta, but would be great in a sandwich as a spread or alongside some tortilla chips.

1 1/2 cups roasted pepitas, if using raw, toast them in a small skillet, about 3 minutes.
Roasted Pepita Pesto over Pasta
1 large Jalapeno pepper with seeds, sliced
1 Tablespoon shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
3 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine pepitas, pepper, shallot, garlic, salt and fresh pepper, lime juice and honey. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined.

Cook sweet potato pasta, top with pesto and toss. Serve and top with a few cilantro leaves and Cotija cheese.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Roasting the sweet potatoes brings out their sweetness and the paprika adds a smokiness. Substituting vegetable stock instead of chicken stock would make this a vegetarian/vegan soup.

20 ounces of sweet potatoes peeled and diced
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
1 sweet onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Alfie's seasoning
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
4 cups chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
6 ounces coconut cream
1 1/2 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 400F.

On a baking sheet, lined with foil, toss the sweet potatoes, and onion with olive oil. Sprinkle with Alfies seasoning and paprika. Roast for about 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

In a medium sauce pan, add the cooked vegetables, stock, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until heated throughout, check seasoning. Add the lime juice and coconut cream.
Blend with immersion blender or Vita mix, until processed.
Serve and top with sesame seeds.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Plum Crumble

Ripe, sweet Italian prune plums were used for this crumble. If your plums are not as sweet, more sugar may be required.
Plum Crumble

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, chilled
2 pounds Italian plums, pitted and quartered
1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix flour, oats, sugar, flax seeds, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal.
Plum Crumble
Place plums into a 9 inch pie dish and toss with orange juice. Sprinkle oat mixture over top of plums. Bake until bubbly and topping browns, about 1 hour.
Note: This can be served topped with yogurt, whipped cream, ice cream or creme fraiche.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Ginger Soup with Toasted Pepitas

I made this vegan because Steph is visiting today. I replaced the butter with olive oil and the heavy cream was replaced with coconut cream. It is delicious either way.

1 Tablespoon butter
Pumpkin Ginger Soup with Toasted Pepitas
1 Tablespoon peeled and diced fresh ginger
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
15 ounces pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup raw, hulled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add ginger, carrots, celery, and onion, and saute until vegetables begin to soften, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

Add pumpkin and stir well. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon, cayenne and nutmeg. Reduce heat and simmer, until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender and puree until mixture is smooth. Check seasoning. Place soup back into saucepan and add the cream. Keep warm.

Toast the pepitas in a nonstick pan over medium heat, stirring until the seeds are fragrant, light brown and begin to pop, about 3 minutes. ( I recently found toasted pepitas, prepared at Trader Joe's)

To serve, ladle the warm soup into serving bowls and garnish with the toasted pepitas sprinkled over the top.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad

The combined flavors of this dish reminds Bake of some of his favorite Asian dishes during his travels. For him, it starts with the noodles, total comfort food. Chili oil would be a great addition for a little heat.

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
10 ounces soba noodles or spaghetti
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced, into 2 inch pieces
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

Salad Dressing:
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoon rice bran oil or peanut oil
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon sugar

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse well under cold water, set aside.

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, rice bran oil, sesame oil, peanut butter, garlic, ginger and sugar in a blender and blend until mixture is smooth.

In a large bowl, combine chicken with noodles, bell peppers, peanuts, green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds. Toss with salad dressing. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Note: This can be made gluten free by looking for rice noodle or pure soba noodles made with buckwheat and a gluten free Tamari or soy sauce.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon, and Apple Soup

Fresh tart apples with Butternut squash and smoky bacon make this a hearty fall soup.

1 Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1 inch cubes (about 8-10 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Alfies seasoning
12 ounces applewood bacon, cut in 1/4 inch pieces, large bits of fat removed
2 tart apples, peeled and diced
Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon and Apple Soup
2 Tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of nutmeg
apple juice or apple cider, if needed
sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
2 green onions, sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a large saucepan (dutch oven), cook bacon and remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.

On a sheet pan, place squash and onion and mix with a tablespoon of bacon fat. Season with Alfies and roast in oven about 20 minutes until squash is tender.

Into saucepan, with remaining bacon fat,  add apples and sage and saute a couple of minutes. Add squash, onions, chicken stock, maple syrup, and nutmeg until heated throughout. Thin with apple juice, if desired.
Puree in batches in a blender. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour into soup bowls and garnish with cooked bacon and green onions.

Friday, October 4, 2013

S'more Dessert in Jars

I have been making these for a couple of years, usually for a picnic or when dropping off meals.
Using prepared pudding mix from the refrigerator section of the store and boxed crushed graham crackers, the dessert is almost made.
S'more Dessert in Jars

1/2 pint or pint size mason jars
prepared chocolate pudding or
boxed pudding mix
12 graham crackers, crushed
8 Tablespoons (one stick) butter, melted
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 bag of small marshmallows

In a bowl mix together the crushed crackers, melted butter, and sugar.
Fill the jars about an inch high with the cracker mixture and pat down.
Spread the pudding mixture on top, about another inch.
Repeat, making another layer of each.
Top with marshmallows and broil about 6 inches from heat source. Watch carefully as they go from brown to burnt in seconds.
Serve immediately or cover with lids and store in the refrigerator. Jars minus the lids, can be heated in the microwave to warm for a few seconds, if made in advance.
Note: Gluten free graham crackers are now available to make this a gluten free dessert.