Oct 17, 2009

Finally She POsts SoMething

I am sure none of you have been waiting for another post, but just in case I am making up for my recent absence by posting some of the the best recipes I've been dilly dallying with this fall. I have been hibernating and gathering chanterelles on the weekends. Now my husband has a cold and we are stuck inside because of the rain we are finally getting so I have time to post something.

Beet & Goat Cheese Crostini
I adapted this from a Cooking Light recipe and instead of making fresh pickled beets, I buy a jar of nice ones from the store to save time and work. These are so garlicky and delicious. We used our garlic from the garden. 

Yield 12 servings (serving size: 2 crostini)

1 (5-ounce) package goat cheese
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
24 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted

Drain the pickled beets saving the juice in case you have any extra. To prepare cheese spread, combine goat cheese, mayonnaise, tarragon, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Spread each baguette slice with 1 teaspoon cheese mixture; top with 3 slightly overlapping slices of beet. 

Nutritional Information Calories:127 (27% from fat) Fat:3.8g (sat 2g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.3g) Protein:5.2g Carbohydrate:18g Fiber:1.4g 


Cashew Potato Leek Soup
This is a vegan soup that my husband now prefers to a previous version of potato soup I used to make. It is very basic and the apple is not noticeable in the soup, the cashew lends a thick creaminess to the texture. We got this recipe from The Bold Vegetarian Chef cookbook. We prefer to add chopped scallions to this on top of the soup before serving as well. I also use our handy stick blender to blend the cashews and soup.
3-4 leeks (white and green parts) coarsely chopped and well rinsed
2 Tbls olive oil
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
6 cups vegetable broth or stock
 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp
fresh pepper
1 cup unsalted cashews
about 1 cup apple juice
chopped fresh chives for garnish 

1.Soften the leeks in olive oil over medium-low heat in a covered soup pot without allowing them to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the potatoes, stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft.
2.While the soup is cooking, prepare the cashew cream by pureeing the cashews and apple juice in a blender until very creamy. Add more juice or water if the cream is too thick. Set aside in a small bowl or measuring cup and rinse out the blender.
3.In small batches, ladle roughly equal amounts of potatoes, leeks, and stock into a blender or a food processor. Puree until very smooth. Serve warm or reheat. 4.Decorate the soup with the cashew cream or blend it in entirely. (It’s completely up to you how you want to do this). Top with chopped chives.  

 Pan Roasted Chicken with Leeks & Chanterelles
This is a recipe I created from combining a couple recipes that I liked, but I liked different parts of them. It is one of our favorite ways to eat our chanterelles we forage in the fall. If you don't eat meat, try this with a tofu steak, tempeh, or faux meat product like Quorn (and sub in veggie broth). I served this with roasted brussels sprouts.

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium shallot, minced
2 Tbls garlic, minced
1 cup chanterelle mushrooms, cut into thick slices
2 tablespoons dry vermouth, or dry white wine
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons half &half
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, or scallion greens

1.Combine 2 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture. 2.Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once or twice and adjusting the heat to prevent burning, until brown and/or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil, or your toaster oven to keep warm.
3.Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add garlic and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Pour in vermouth (or wine); simmer until almost evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Pour in broth and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cream and chives (or scallions); return to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, turn to coat with sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Kale & Bacon with Butternut Squash Ravioli
I came up with this recipe because Costco has been selling this butternut squash ravioli that is not too bad on the waistline and very tasty. But it's hard to come up with anything else that tastes as good as serving it with brown butter and sage. So I made this last night with the intentions of stretching the ravioli and adding a bit of texture to the dish. The results were awesome and tasty. I might mess with it a bit more in the future but this is filling and serves at least 3 for dinner. We use kale from our garden, use any variety you prefer, or use swiss chard instead.

1 package Monterey Butternut Squash Ravioli
4 cups coarsely chopped kale
5 pieces turkey bacon (or pork, or none at all if you don't eat meat)
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 Tbls fresh sage, finely chopped
salt & pepper
1 Tbls olive oil
 fresh grated parmesan

In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp and place on paper towels. Boil a large pot of water and add chopped kale and salt to the water. Then add ravioli. Drain, making sure you save a cup of the water from the pan. Meanwhile in the skillet add oil then add shallot and garlic. Cook about 1-2 minutes stirring. Toss in the pumpkin seeds and sage, stir for 30 seconds. Add kale and cook, stirring to coat with shallot mix, sprinkle on pepper. Add ravioli and some pasta water, cook stirring constantly for about a minute. Use more water to thin out if needed, and before serving crumble bacon into the dish and stir to combine. Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan.

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