A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

This is a simple but festive looking dish. I like to get a head start by cooking the sausage ahead of time. I actually microwave it for a few minutes (horrors!) until it is partially cooked then, once it is firm enough, I cut it into bite size slices and sear it in the sauté pan. Alternately it can be grilled until cooked through.

1 pound sweet Italian sausage cooked through and sliced into bite size rounds
1 large bunch or broccoli rabe, thick stems removed
1 pound Orecchiette
5 cloves of garlic (medium size) peeled and minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 additional cup for sauce
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of kosher salt

Place the pasta on to boil; it should take about 12-13 minutes to cook. When the pasta has about 3 minutes or so left to cook, place 3 tablespoons of oil into a large sauté pan, over medium high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook it until it wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the 1 cup of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt stir and cook on medium for 1 minute. Add in the Drained pasta and cooked sausage and toss before serving.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Aebleskiver (Danish round pancakes)

Every cook shop has been selling these ebleskiver pans lately. These pans used to be sold only in Danish or Scandinavian stores. There is a myth that Pancake batter can be used in these pans. Well, you can use pancake batter but it makes for very heavy dough. I prefer this light home made version. Filling can be anything from jam to lemon curd to chocolate chips.

About 2 tablespoons of melted butter to brush the pan with
1 chopstick to turn the pancakes with
4 eggs, separated
¾ cup heavy cream
1 lemon juice and zest
2 ½ Tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
Favorite filling such as jam, nutella, lemon curd (about a half of a teaspoon per pancake)

In your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Into a medium mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, lemon juice, and zest. Stir to combine. Add in the egg yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, and flour. Stir with a wooden spoon then with a whisk until most of the lumps are gone. Fold in the egg whites.

Place pan on medium high heat. Brush the holes with a light coating of butter. Fill the hole up ½-3/4 of the way with batter. When you start to see the batter bubbling (as with pancakes) you can add about a half of a teaspoon of your favorite filling. Then with your chopstick you will flip the cake over. Finish cooking on second side for a minute or so. You may need to adjust the heat while cooking as needed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Simple slow cooked Black beans

Here is a very simple method for slow cooking spicy black beans. You can use these beans as part of casserole dishes, as side dishes (I am serving them with Pernil pork) or as the base for a re-fried bean recipe.

2 pounds black beans, rinsed well then, soaked overnight in enough water to cover (You may need to top off the water from time to time
1 quart chicken stock
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 green pepper, cored and roughly chopped
1 can 7.5 oz Chipotle Chiles in Adobo, you will use the whole can and the sauce- I roughly cut up the chilies with a kitchen scissors

Drain the beans, which have been soaked. Place them in a slow cooker. Add in the chicken stock, garlic, pepper, and can of chilies and the sauce. Cook on high for 4 ½ to 5 hours stirring once during cooking.