Sunday, January 31, 2010
While looking for an alternative to the usual starchy side dish of potatoes or rice, I came across Karina's recipe for Roasted Vegetables on Broiled Polenta. It's the kind of recipe I really enjoy - a fridge cleaner. Take whatever veggies you have in the fridge and throw them on a pan. There isn't much to the recipe. No measurement or quantities. Usually I make stir fry's using this method so this roasted vegetable dish is a nice change. Using pre-cooked, store bought polenta is a real time saver too. What is polenta, you ask? It's just boiled cornmeal and it's darn tasty broiled with EVOO.
4-5 cups of assorted, chopped vegetables (I used brocoli, carrots, red onion, zucchini, beets and cherry tomatoes.)
4 cloves whole garlic, peeled
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Herb blend of your choice (I used a Vegetable seasoning blend from Epicure)
Salt & fresh ground pepper
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 roll of pre-cooked polenta
Shaved Parmesan for garnish
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place chopped veggies (including garlic) on a baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle herb blend, salt and pepper over top. Toss well. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar.
3. Roast for 30-40 minutes until nearly done.
4. Meanwhile, slice polenta into thin slices and arrange them on a separate baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil. Brush tops of slices with more olive oil. I used a garlic infused olive oil for this part.
5. When veggies are nearly done, cover with foil and place on bottom rack of oven. Set oven to broil and place polenta into the oven on the higher rack.
6. Broil until polenta is sizzling, just starting to brown on top and crispy around the edges (10-15 minutes).
7. Remove everything from the oven. Arrange a few polenta slices on each plate. Take one of the roasted garlic bulbs and squish it a bit then rub it across the polenta. (Add the rest of the roasted garlic to the veggie mix and eat them whole! Yum!) Top polenta with roasted veggies. Grate some fresh Parmesan over top and drizzle with more balsamic vinegar.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
This recipe is adapted from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook. The original recipe is simply rice, broth (or water), salt and lemon juice. I wanted to jazz my rice up a bit to pair with a side of pork tenderloin, which I marinated in Souvlaki seasoning. Add a fresh Greek Salad and dinner is served!
1 cup brown rice
2 1/2 cups water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced (I omitted this)
1/2 tbsp Greek seasoning (If you can't find a blend in the stores, you can make your own. There is a good one here
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp lemon zest (reserved)
1/2 tomato, seeded and diced (reserved)
fresh parsley, chopped (reserved)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Add rice to a casserole dish. Pour water and lemon juice over rice. Add vegetables and seasonings. Gently stir to mix everything around.
3. Place in hot oven and bake for 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Fold in tomato and lemon zest. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
- After cooking, fold in some crumbled feta cheese
- Try dried dill weed instead of Greek seasoning
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Beurre Blanc, translated directly to french, means "white butter". In culinary terms, Beurre Blanc is a butter sauce made with a reduction of white wine, shallots and melted butter. Despite being a rich sauce, it is best severed over lighter fare such as vegetables and fish.
This recipe is adapted from Christine Cushing Live.
1 large shallot, very finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
*It is important that your butter is COLD. Room temperature or melted butter will not work.
1. Add shallot, wine and vinegar to a small saucepan over high heat. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce mixture to about 2 tbsp. Do not let the sauce over reduce!
2. Remove pan from heat. Start whisking the wine/vinegar mixture. While whisking, add the cold butter a little at a time. Make sure the butter melts slowly into the sauce. If the butter melts too quickly, the sauce will separate. When all the butter is emulsified into the sauce, season with salt and pepper.
3. Serve immediately over assorted steamed vegetables, or fish (I spooned some over a salmon steak as well as my vegetables).
Note: FYI - This sauce does NOT do well as left overs. If you try to re-heat in the microwave, the sauce will separate and you will end up with an oily mess.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I came across the Pioneer Woman very recently and am absolutely in love with her food blog. Her photos are divine, her recipes delicious and her writing amusing and witty. Hers isn't a health food blog though... Butter rules the roost but it makes things damn tasty.
My absolute favourite of her recipes is Beef Stew with Mushrooms.
I make a few very minor adjustments when I make my version, like omitting the flour and reducing the amount of butter, but other than that, everything is the same.
Make sure you use the beef consomme instead of beef stock... it makes all the difference!
And... Be sure to check out Pioneer Woman's site and the original recipe for beautiful step-by-step photos.
Pioneer Woman Beef Stew with Mushrooms
2 pounds beef stewing meat
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole shallot, minced (or half of one onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces button mushrooms (white or brown) cut in half or quarters if very large
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 can Beef Consomme (about 142 ml, or just over 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup water
Salt And Pepper, to taste
enough egg noodles to serve your guests, cooked and drained
1-2 tbsp corn starch, mixed in a small dish with a bit of water
1. Rinse beef in a colander under water. Place in a single layer between paper towels and pat dry.
2. Melt butter with olive oil over high heat in a dutch oven or other heavy pot. Place beef pieces into pot and sear a minute or two on each side. Remove from pot and set aside.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shallots to the same pot. Saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add mushrooms and saute another couple minutes.
4. Add wine, consomme and 1/2 cup of water. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Bring liquid to a boil.
5. Add the beef back to the pot. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme or rosemary. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes.
6. Add cornstarch mixed with water to the stew and stir occasionally to thicken for another 10 minutes.
7. Serve over cooked egg noodles. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.