Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brussels Sprouts Roasted With Maple Syrup

As simple as can be. Sweet and savory.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice your cleaned brussels sprouts in half. Spread them out on a lined baking sheet for easy clean up because the sugar in the maple syrup will stick to the pan. Toss brussels sprouts with a little extra virgin olive oil to coat, a few sprinkles of white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic), a generous tablespoon of real maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 5-7 minutes or until you start smelling the aroma and they look tender. Check for doneness and once you plate them you won't be able to stop eating them!

See, I didn't use parchment paper or foil and the maple sugar stuck to the pan. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pork Tenderloin in Apple Cider Reduction with Apples | Spinach

This was delicious!

The recipe for this delicious seasonal meal last night was found here at the Food Network website:

The only thing I did differently was that I added apple slices (from one Gala apple and one Granny Smith apple because it's what I had) to the reduction during the last few minutes, just enough to soften the apple slices a little. They were a nice touch! 

Baby spinach made a nice side dish. The sauce in the recipe turned out thin but it made a nice dressing for the baby spinach. I served the pork and apples over the spinach and the heat from the pork, apples, and sauce wilted some leaves a little, some stayed crunchy. Just perfect. Although, I didn't think there was enough sauce for three of us. Next time, I'd reduce the sauce less (or make more?) so there'd be more sauce to dress the spinach and pork. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Haricot Verts With Walnuts And Caramelized Onions

Great idea for the holidays or anytime! 

Fresh and easy!

Roast haricot verts (usually available around Thanksgiving) or green beans that have been coated with a little extra virgin olive oil at 400 degrees for a few minutes, until they start turning brown on the ends. While they roast, warm about two cups of chopped walnuts (or almonds) in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. Remove from pan and then start caramelizing the onions (in the same pan to save dishes) that have been thinly sliced. Caramelizing onions takes time, about 20 minutes, but is easy to make. Patience is required and I find it easier when I'm in the kitchen doing other tasks anyway. For a pack of haricot verts, I used two large sweet onions. Cooking directions for roasting, heating nuts, and caramelizing can be found on the internet.

Leftover Idea
A few days after Thanksgiving, I used the leftover haricot verts and shrimp we had had as an appetizer in this pasta dish. So simple! While linguine or fettuccine cooks, reheat haricot verts (or green beans) in about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (depending on how much is leftover!) and some chopped garlic. Add about 1/4 cup white wine and 1/4 cup leftover turkey stock (I had made turkey stock from the bones) and keep warm on low heat until the pasta is done. Mix with the pasta then add the shrimp (I removed the tails to make it easy to eat), and add a ladle full of the pasta water. The shrimp has already been cooked so it only needs to be warmed from the heat in the mixture. Top with freshly ground pepper and a little salt if needed. I would have added chopped fresh parsley if I had some. Maybe next time!

My roasted green beans with leeks idea can be found here:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quick Zucchini Relish

We are still harvesting zucchini from our garden and the plants look strong! They usually look pretty tired by September. Bored with the usual zucchini dishes and baked goods, I decided to make a relish. I'll shred and freeze the rest of the zucchini for baking in the future.

Quick Zucchini Relish

Shred one large zucchini (the kind you find hiding under zucchini leaves in your garden that grew and grew and grew!) and mince one large shallot and place in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar), one tablespoon honey, salt and pepper to taste. Place mixture in a covered container in the fridge for about one hour to let the flavor develop before eating. Store in the fridge for about one week. Add the relish to anything you think will taste good with it!

On Labor Day, we enjoyed the zucchini relish with organic grilled hot dogs, whole wheat buns, garden salad, and potato salad.

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For the potato salad, I baked chopped potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees, instead of boiling them, with extra virgin olive oil, Herbs de Provence (I just love these herbs on potatoes), some fresh rosemary from our garden, and a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper. After the potatoes cooled, I removed the rosemary stems, pulled off some leaves and broke them up, sprinkling pieces of rosemary over the potatoes. I added a little more extra virgin olive oil and then a little white balsamic vinegar to taste.