Wednesday, December 10, 2014

[Genius] Mashed Cauliflower Bake

Mashed potatoes out of a box were hands down my favorite food as a child. My mom and dad will vouch for that. I'm pretty sure it's the first thing I learned to make. And by make, I mean microwave. 

So that leads me to this recipe. Mashed potatoes are a favorite of mine. Instead of using potatoes though, I subbed in cauliflower. And instead of all the cream and butter, I have used mostly non-fat Greek yogurt. I'm so addicted. I will be making this at home for the holidays. 

Stay tuned for a lemony, garlicky slow roasted chicken recipe I'll post later this week. You have to serve it with this recipe.

Mashed Cauliflower Bake
makes 4 servings

1 head cauliflower (leaves removed, rough chop)
1 tbsp dried, roasted garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried shallots or 1 tsp onion powder
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add chicken broth and a few cups of water to a pot. Bring to a slow boil. Add salt, dried garlic/garlic powder, dried shallots/onion powder, a big pinch of salt and pepper. Add cauliflower, cover and let boil for 5-7 minutes. Cauliflower should be fork tender. 

Drain cauliflower in a fine mesh sieve, or something that will catch all the little pieces. Return to pot with no heat on. 

Mix in Greek yogurt, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Puree with an immersion blender until there are no big chunks of cauliflower left. Transfer to a small baking dish.

Pop into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and serve with something with lots of sauce!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Beef with Paprika Yams

I occasionally get lost on Pinterest. It only happens about once a month lately, but once you start looking it's so hard to stop. So much to see. 

I found a really delicious Balsamic Roasted Beef recipe on there and knew it had to be made. I've adapted the recipe a bit to not use a crock pot. It's honestly just as simple in the oven. I served this yummy beef recipe over simple yams, and recommend serving with either sour cream, Greek yogurt or horseradish sauce.

Balsamic Roasted Beef with Paprika Yams
recipe adapted from add a pinch  - serves a family

for the beef
3-4 lb boneless beef roast (a cheap, fatty cut)
1 cup low sodium broth (beef or chicken)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
7 cloves garlic (crushed)
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Take beef out of fridge 20 minutes before cooking.

Coat a Dutch oven in olive oil, and crank up the heat to medium high. Coat all sides of the beef in salt and pepper while oil gets hot. Drop beef into hot oil and let each side brown for about 3 minutes.

Remove to a plate. Lower heat to medium. Add crushed garlic and all other ingredients to pot and mix together. Bring to a simmer. Drop beef back in and cover with a lid. Pop into the oven for 4 hours. Check to see if falling apart after 4 hours. Leave in for another hour if not. 

When fall apart tender, place beef onto a cutting board. Pull off all large pieces of fat and discard. Cut or pull beef into big chunks. Add back to pot and keep heated over very low heat in gravy and juices until ready to serve.

I suggest serving with the paprika yams recipe below, lots of pan sauce and some horseradish sauce to really make it delicious!

for the paprika yams
2 medium yams (peeled and cubed)
1/2 tbsp smoky paprika
2 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Get a pot or saucepan of water boiling and add some salt. Drop in cubed yams and let boil until tender, 5-7 minutes. Drain yams. 

Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add yams, paprika and salt and pepper. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, smashing with wooden spoon as it cooks. This will result in a chunky and super flavorful dish to serve this winter. Make sure to serve with lots of pan sauce from the beef and a scoop of sour cream, Greek yogurt or horseradish sauce!

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Apple Gastrique

I've had some really good food in San Francisco lately which has inspired a few recipes. Last week you saw the Burmese Curry I posted, and now I've got a new one for Thanksgiving. 

We had dinner at Maven a couple weeks ago, and I had the best Brussels sprouts I've ever had. Our waitress was nice enough to tell me roughly how they were made. Make a trip to Maven next time you're in SF. It's a great atmosphere, awesome cocktails and delicious food.

Gastrique sounds like a fancy and scary thing. It's not. In this version, you just simmer apple juice, honey and apple cider vinegar down until it thickens. That's all folks. So make this one for Thanksgiving next week, your framily will be happy.

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Apple Gastrique
makes 4 side servings

1 lb Brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
~1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Start with the gastrique.  Add apple juice and honey to a saucepan over medium high heat. Let simmer alone for 5 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer again and add a pinch of salt. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are done frying. It won't be a ton of liquid left, about 1/4 cup, but that's all you need.

In a large, high sided frying pan or Dutch oven, add vegetable oil so it is between 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep. Heat over medium to medium high heat. 

Trim the Brussels sprouts. First remove all brown and wilted leaves, and trim the very bottom of the sprout. Don't remove the whole core. You want the leaves to stay attached. 

Test the oil by dropping in a loose leaf. The oil should sizzle around the sprouts, but not smack and shoot oil around your house. If it does, lower the heat a little bit and let it cool down. Drop Brussels sprouts, all cut side down, into the oil.  Let sizzle in the oil on one side for about 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn over and let other side cook for about 4 minutes. The leaves should be golden but not black. 

Remove from heat to a mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt immediately and pour gastrique over everything. Mix and transfer to serving dish, leaving most of the liquid behind. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Jalapeno Ranch

Here it is, the ultimate football snack meatball. A Buffalo Chicken Meatball. My meatballs were not perfectly shaped, hence, ugly pictures. I hope they look good enough to entice you guys to make this recipe. It's so delicious and easy to make at home when you're craving Buffalo wings!

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
makes 12-15 meatballs

1 lb ground chicken breast
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
1/2 tsp onion powder or 1 tbsp dehydrated onions
2 green onions (finely minced)
1 large egg
1 tsp green chili powder (optional)
salt and pepper
3/4 - 1 cup Buffalo sauce
3 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)

for the jalapeno ranch
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp green chili powder
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp liquid from picked jalapenos
3 tbsp pickled jalapenos (minced)
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line with parchment paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken breast, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion powder, green onions, egg, chili powder (if using), salt and pepper. Use about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Combine with your hands until just mixed. Form into golfball sized meatballs and place on the baking sheet. Pop into the 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. This will help give the meatballs shape before dropping them into the slow cooker. 

Drop the meatballs into a slow cooker turned on to low heat. Mix together the Buffalo sauce and butter, and pour over the meatballs. Let cook for 2 hours.

When you put the meatballs in, mix together the Jalapeno Ranch. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate.

Serve meatballs with some extra Buffalo sauce, Jalapeno Ranch, and celery sticks!

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