Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Baked Everything

Credit to 101 for this one. Nice comfort food on a cold winter night :)
Baked Farro Pasta Recipe

You can use pretty much any green cabbage here - savoy, napa, or even shredded brussels sprouts if you have some to use up. On the pasta front I call for farro tagliatelle, but you can substitute a wide range of pasta shapes and types. For example, fettuccine, penne, broken lasagne, etc. And you can experiment beyond farro - whole wheat pastas, buckwheat, spelt, they'll all work nicely here. Lastly, I don't hammer this point to death down below, but do your best to salt/season each of the casserole components as you go. Each should taste great on its own.

1 pound small waxy potatoes, for example Yukon gold, fingerling, Yellow Finn
fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
2 medium leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced, well washed
3 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 medium head of cabbage, cored and shredded
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
16 fresh sage leaves

12 ounces dried farro tagliatelle, broken into 3-inch segments

4 ounces soft-rind, creamy cheese, cut into tiny cubes (for example, I used this Ardrahan farmhouse cheese, but Stracchino, fontina, or tallegio could all work too)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta.

In the meantime, in a separate pan, cover the potatoes with water and a few big pinches of salt. Simmer until just tender, somewhere between 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain well, then slice into 1/4-inch rounds, toss gently with a bit of salt. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft, a few minutes. Stir in the garlic. Stir in the cabbage, and then the broth. Season with salt and cook, covered, for a few minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the mustard, then 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and half of the slivered sage leaves. Taste, adjust the seasoning if needed, and set aside. It should taste good on its own, with an assertive mustard flavor at this point.

Cook the pasta in generously salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, or equivalent. Arrange 1/2 of the noodles evenly in the bottom of the dish. Layer half the cabbage mixture, half of the potatoes, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and half of the cubed cheese on top of the noodles. Arrange the remaining noodles over the cheese and cover with the remaining cabbage, potatoes, and cubed cheese. Finish with the remaining Parmesan and slivered sage.

At this point you can cover and refrigerate the casserole for up to a couple days, or bake in a 400F degree oven for 45 - 60 minutes - until the top is nicely golden, and it is hot throughout. Serve hot.

Serves 6 - 8.

Prep time: 60 min - Cook time: 60 min

Monday, December 20, 2010

Parsnip Mash

1 lb parsnip roots, trimmed, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 wedge light garlic & herb cheese
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp chopped chives


Steam the parsnips until they are very soft, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add the cheese, and purée until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with chives before serving.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 40 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped (great job for kids!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Don't wait or they won't work.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Penne with Cauliflower and Mustard Breadcrumbs

Found this at Veggie Mama... Sounds and looks amazing! Taste, texture, flavor, and unbelievably simple. I'm sold :)
Penne and Cauliflower with Mustard Bread Crumbs
The taste in this dish is amazing!! Easy to make too!


•8 ounces penne rigate (2 1/2 cups)
•5 cups small cauliflower florets
•2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
•1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
•1 1/2 cups fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs made from crustless country-style bread
•3/4 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional (for serving)
•1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
•2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

•Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cauliflower. Cook until cauliflower is tender and pasta is tender but firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Drain pasta and cauliflower, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta and cauliflower to pot.

•Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in Dijon mustard. Add breadcrumbs. Cook until breadcrumbs are golden and crisp, stirring to break up clumps, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer breadcrumbs to medium bowl.

•Add 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, cream, lemon peel, and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to pasta mixture in pot. Toss over medium heat until sauce simmers and coats pasta, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

•Transfer pasta to wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

Chai Carob Latte

Chai Carob Latte

If you don’t have a high-powered blender, melt the chips first to ensure that they will blend in completely.

2 cups unsweetened rice, almond or soy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened carob chips
2 Tbsp-1/4 cup raw cashews, depending on how thick and rich you want the latte
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
15-20 drops vanilla or plain stevia liquid

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until hot. Pour into mugs and serve immediately. ( Alternately, place all ingredients in a small, heavy-bottomed pot, and heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until everything is melted and blended together. Then, use an immersion blender or frother to ensure that the melted chips are well-blended and to create a foamy top.) Makes 2 servings.
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