One of the things that entertains me the most about dating Brendan is his ridiculous appetite. The boy can EAT. He’s the best taste tester ever, and I don’t think he’s ever met a meal he didn’t like. As a Colorado guy, he’s used to more meat-based meals, but sometimes I’ll make something totally vegetarian, and healthy too, and I swear he doesn’t even miss a beat. These portabellos have a pretty meaty flavor, anyway, so maybe that was the middle ground? I added some sausage just for a little more substance and flavor, but you can leave this out if you want.
I cook with cauliflower so much that I finally looked up its health benefits, just so I could mentally pat myself on the back for making good eating decisions. So here you go: it’s a great source of fiber, vitamin C, provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, and on top of all of that, it’s basically the tofu of vegetables since you can make it taste like just about anything. This was a really quick and tasty side dish, the onions make it a little more hearty, the thyme adds some dimension, plus: parmesan. Enjoy.
PARMESAN-ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH THYME
– 1 head cauliflower, cut into slices and florets
– 1 onion, sliced
– 4 sprigs thyme
– 6 garlic cloves, skin still on
– 3 tbsp. EVOO
– fresh parmesan
– Kosher salt & pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Slice the cauliflower into pieces and florets, add to a big bowl.
4. Add the EVOO, kosher salt & pepper. Shake everything up so that the cauliflower and onions are coated. Continue reading
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt 1 tbsp. butter over low heat. When it starts to brown and bubble, add the sage leaves. Let the leaves get crispy, then remove and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
4. Thinly slice an onion, then cook it over medium heat in 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp. EVOO until it soften and starts to caramelize. Continue reading
Ohhhhh, there is just nothing better than butternut squash from the farmer’s market. You roast this, you can make a million different things from soups to salads to breakfast sandwiches to burritos and even pasta (but that’s our next post). I’m 100% of the mindset that it’s one of the world’s most perfect foods – super flavorful, chock full of nutrients, plus a really pretty color that sounds like something J.Crew would name the orangey version of one of their wool pencil skirts.
Sometimes I buy a squash and roast it sections at a time, especially when I’m just making something for Brendan and me. You can do that or roast this all at once – either way, get that oven up to 425.
HOW TO ROAST A BUTTERNUT SQUASH
– 1 butternut squash
1. If you’re roasting the whole squash, poke a couple holes in it with a fork and throw the entire thing in the pre-heating oven. Continue reading
The first Sunday brunch in the new place really made it feel like home. Bren and I woke up, got a ridiculous grocery order to stock the fridge, and then put together this incredible breakfast sammie. Roasted butternut squash serves as a savory base, bacon crisped within an inch of its life added the crunch and saltiness, fried egg made it breakfast-y, and the browned-butter crispy sage was the perfect topping. We made some Zummo’s coffee, halved a grapefruit and brought everything out to our awesome sun porch to have breakfast while listening to a Sunday morning Motown playlist and reading the Sunday edition of the Scranton Times, which Brendan dominated today.
I’m writing this from the porch and currently 100% content with life. Make this breakfast sandwich and enjoy your Sunday!
FALL BREAKFAST SANDWICH – ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, FRIED EGG, BACON & CRISPY SAGE (makes 2)
– 2 whole-wheat english muffins, halved and toasted
– 1.5 cups of butternut squash
– 4 eggs
– 4 slices of bacon
– 8 sage leaves
– 3 tbsp. butter
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– Kosher salt & fresh black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. Cut off probably 3 inches of the top of a butternut squash (so you don’t waste the rest of it), then rub the cut side with a little bit of EVOO.
3. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet, roast for approx. 40 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool while you put everything else together.
4. In a larger pan, add the bacon over medium-high heat. Flip when the underside starts to get crispy, pushing the bacon around the pan to make sure it gets cooked and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
5. Meanwhile, in a non-stick or enamel skillet, melt 1.5 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium heat.
6. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a ramekin. Add to the skillet when the butter/oil mixture starts to be shimmery and have tiny bubbles.
7. I cooked 2 eggs at a time. Gently add each one to the pan, let them set a bit, and then cover with a lid to steam it all together. This takes about 5 minutes – in about 3, uncover the pan and add a little kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to the eggs. When finished (you can cook them as long as you want for yolk consistency – I cooked the yolks all the way through, but might try this again with the yolks a little runnier), remove with a spatula to a plate and cook the other 2 eggs the same way.
8. In a different, smaller pan, melt the butter slowly over medium low heat while the eggs are cooking. When it starts to get a little brown (brown – not black, otherwise throw it out and start over), add the sage leaves and shake the pan while the butter coats them and they get crispy.
9. Remove the skin from the butternut squash, cut into chunks and add to a bowl. Mash. This needs nothing as apparently butternut squash is the world’s perfect, most tasty food when roasted.
10. Toast the english muffin halves, then assemble – a spread of the butternut squash, then the bacon, the fried egg and top it all with a couple of crispy sage leaves.
11. Serve and watch your boyfriend be completely impressed by how you’re changing his entire opinion of squash. Happy Sunday.
Well, today wasn’t terrible.
I went on a work trip to the Mohonk Mountain House (less a “house”, more a “castle”) in the Catskills, and set up shop in probably the most relaxing, beautiful “office” that I’ve ever had. Working lakeside in a rocking chair on a wrap-around porch is something I definitely need to do more often. Also, so is taking a lunchtime hike with unbelievable views and strolling around a garden filled with flowers exploding in color. On top of all this, they served the best buffet I’ve ever experienced (and yes mom, I know “best buffet” is an oxymoron, but this really was fantastic – same food and chefs as the CIA, and a tomato soup that rivals The Kitchen’s).
I really want to come back here on a day off. But for the first day of fall, this was about as perfect as it could get.
Brad came home for lunch the other day as I was making these, and couldn’t believe how good the house smelled. I couldn’t believe that something with kale, almost zero flour, and sweet potatoes could be so delicious, and filling, too. I guess these were meant to be served as a burger, but I upped the kale and sweet potatoes, and made the patties a little bigger, so 2 plus a side salad were more than enough for a lunch (or, for that matter, a dinner).
CHICKEN, KALE, & SWEET POTATO PATTIES (makes 8-10 patties)
– 1.5lbs ground chicken (I got this at the farmers’ market, but apparently you can just grind up chicken breast in a Food Processor – which should then be cleaned really well, because, ew.)
– 2 shallots, chopped
– 2 green onions, chopped
– 1 sweet potato, cut into tiny cubes
– 3 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped roughly
– 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp. paprika
– 1 tsp. garlic powder
– 2 tbspns dijon mustard
– kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1. In a saucepan, heat EVOO over medium-high heat. Add shallots and green onions, heat until wilted.
2. Add tiny cubes of sweet potatoes, saute until soft. These can take a little while, so just let them cook while you arrange the mixing ingredients for the chicken.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg, paprika, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
|You can see me in this picture! My red shirt was a giveaway.|
4. When sweet potato is fairly soft, chop up the kale, add to the sweet potato/shallot/green onion mixture, turn heat down to medium low, and combine until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.