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So I’ve been a bit lax about posting the last year, so to try a new approach I am going to share some of my favorite recipes from other sources and some of the changes I made to them.

Pork tenderloin with pureed cauliflower

Pork tenderloin with pureed cauliflower

This is probably my favorite pork tenderloin recipe, it’s just amazing! Here is a link to the recipe:¬†http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/grilled-pork-tenderloin-recipe/index.html

I made just a few tweaks here. I add 2 more chipotle peppers to the marinade to kick up the heat and flavor, and I use all the marinade in the first step (In the “tent” step, I just tent it without the extra liquid). Instead of discarding the marinade I cook it down for at least 20 min and serve the reduced marinade over the pork. Another trick I use when I don’t have time to let it marinate over night is to use a vacuum sealer as it infuses the flavor into the food faster. I serve this with a quick cauliflower puree, made with cooked cauliflower, lots of butter, a little cream, and some salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

This broccoli has become a staple in my house, we make it at least once a week, and no matter how much gets made there is never any leftover. You don’t have to make it with all the ingredients, for instance sometimes we realize we don’t have cheese or lemon and make it with just garlic. Or make it with out garlic and just lemon, it’s really versatile. My quick cheat for when I am in a rush is buying a package of pre-cut broccoli at Whole Foods and pairing this with a roasted chicken, a fast yet wonderful meal!

The Best Broccoli, Ever

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets (or one bag/container pre-cut broccoli)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced (more if you really like garlic, less if you don’t)
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Place oven rack on second slot down from broiler (ie, about 1/3 of the space from the top of the oven) and turn on broiler.
  2. Toss cut broccoli and garlic with olive oil. Spread on an oiled baking sheet. Place baking sheet under broiler
  3. After 5 minutes remove baking sheet from the oven and flip the broccoli. Return baking sheet to the oven. Repeat this process every 5-7 min until broccoli is crispy and brown on the outer portions.
  4. Gather broccoli in a pile in the middle of the tray. Grate Parmesan on top of pile (about 3-4T worth.)* Zest about half the lemon peel onto the pile. Toss so that the lemon and Parmesan are incorporated.
  5. Serve and eat immediately.

*You can easily skip the Parmesan if you don’t eat cheese/don’t have any. It still tastes delicious ūüôā

This is a recipe I first had made by Ben, who usually double or quadruples the recipe as it saves well in the freezer. The original recipe is made on the stove top, and only takes an hour, however I adapted for the crock pot. It’s the perfect meal to come home to after a day of skiing or snowshoeing.

Ben’s Mom’s White Chili

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs cubed (note: you can use breasts if you prefer, I find they dry out in the crock pot though)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can¬†chopped green ¬†chilies
  • 1 can chopped jalapenos (for a milder spice use another can of green chilies instead)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 (19-ounce) cans white kidney beans, undrained
  • Monterrey Jack cheese and sliced green onions for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients except for the garnish in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Serve with Garnish (I like to use lots of cheese!)

lasagna

Campfire Dutch Oven Lasagna

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • Spinach and Meat Sauce (see below for recipe, make before the trip and then keep cold)
  • 12 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 32 oz ricotta
  • 1 package fresh lasagna noodles
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Build up a large camp fire for at least an hour to ensure an abundance of coals.
  2. Oil the inside of the dutch oven.
  3. Spread a layer of sauce across the bottom, add a layer of noodles (you will have to cut them to fit the shape of the dutch oven.) Top the noodles with a layer of ricotta and a layer of mozzarella. Repeat until sauce and noodles are used up, end with the mozzarella layer.
  4. Keep a small fire going in one corner of the fire circle. Put a layer of coals down, place dutch oven on top, add a layer of coals to the lid. Rotate the dutch oven every 15 minutes (since the heat for the fire will also do some cooking.) Every 30 minutes replace the coals.
  5. After 1 hour check for done-ness, cheese should be starting to brown, check every 15-20 minutes after that.

Spinach and Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Sweet or Spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 3 large cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 onions, diced
  • 1/2 head of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 large handfuls of basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 bag or large bunch of spinach, washed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a enameled cast iron pot*, cook sausage in a healthy amount of olive oil for about 8-10 minutes (does not need to be fully cooked, but should be broken up.)
  2. Add onions and more olive oil if needed and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for about an hour, stirring often.
  5. Add basil and cook for another 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in spinach, cook until spinach wilts. Remove from heat and serve or let cool and store.

*I find a heavy pot works best for slow cooking sauces because there is less potential to burn. Use what you have, just be careful of burning if you use a lighter pot.

Carnitas

 

carnitas

Spicy Carnitas in a Crock Pot

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Pork Shoulder (3-4lbs)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 small can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (use less if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt, to taste (~1 teaspoon)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 6-8 hours
  2. Remove meat from crock pot and shred on a baking sheet. Add some of the cooking liquid until moist (about 1.5 cups)
  3. Broil meat until crispy on the outside but moist in the middle, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Add more cooking liquid if necessary

Eggs for Dinner

This fast and hearty dish was inspired by a recipe for fried eggs topped homemade chive olive oil from one of my latest cookbooks. However I wanted something more substantial that I could eat for dinner, so after rummaging through my fridge this is what I came up with. The chickpeas become nice and crunchy, the kale gives a great salty flavor, served with thinly sliced and lightly toasted french bread you have yourself a fantastic meal in less than 30 minutes!

Eggs for Dinner

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 eggs (depends on how hungry you are)
  • 1 bunch kale or chard, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1.5 ounce pancetta (or bacon), roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • herb blended/infused oil* (optional)
  • French bread, sliced and toasted for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan (preferably cast iron) on medium high heat and add the pancetta. Give a few good stirs and add shallots. After 1-2 min, before shallots start to brown add the chickpeas and cook for another few minutes until shallots and chickpeas start to brown. If pancetta is not fatty enough add a little bit of olive oil so that the chickpeas have a bit of crunch.
  2. Once everything starts to brown add the kale (or chard) and a little more oil if needed. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Cook until kale is throughly cooked, about 6-8 minutes. Divide between two plates.
  3. Add oil to the pan and coat. Crack eggs into pan and cook until desired firmness (I prefer mine sunny side up, but you might like your flipped). Drizzle with herb oil while cooking.
  4. Top the chickpeas and greens mixture with eggs and serve immediately.

Notes:

*While you can buy herb infused oils at the store you can also make your own, just combine 1/2 extra virgin olive oil with 1 cup chopped herb of your choice and some salt in a food processor until well blended. (I made my herb oil with chives!)

This is a great¬†appetizer¬†that is¬†relatively¬†easy to make and really impresses people I got the idea from Trader Joe’s feta cheese puff pastry cups my friend Kaitlyn served at a pumpkin carving gathering (I think I might have single-handedly put down half of those). I went home thinking that I might have found a use for the 5 jars of plum jam I had made a few weeks before. I tinkered in the kitchen and this is what I came up with, though I used raspberry jam here since that is readily available¬†in the grocery store. I plan on making this dish as an¬†appetizer¬†for our family’s Christmas gathering.

Savory Feta Pastry Puffs

Makes 24 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package phyllo dough (usually¬†contains 2 sheets of many layers)
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 large jar¬†raspberry¬†jam, or any jam you prefer (I actually prefer plum jam)
  • 16 – 24 ounces crumbled feta (depends on how much you like cheese)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to as instructed on the phyllo dough package. Spray the cups of 2 muffin tins so that phyllo dough does not stick and set aside.
  2. Spread out one sheet, cut into 4 squares. For each square divide the layer sheets into 3 and mold each division into a cupcake tin. (Before dividing the sheets into layers you can cut them into a large circle if desired to make them look slightly neater.) Repeat this process with the second sheet of phyllo dough. Now all your muffin tins should be lined with phyllo dough cups.
  3. Add about a table spoon of feta to each cup (make sure there is a little left over.) Divide all the onions between the cup and then add about 2 teaspoons of jam. Sprinkle the remaining feta on top.
  4. Bake for at least as long as the phyllo dough package indicates. Then continue baking until the dough has crisped and the contents of the cup are bubbling.
  5. Let rest at least 10 minutes before trying to remove from muffin tins. They will be very hot (I know from personal, tongue burning, experience.)

Note:

  • This dish can be taken to the next level by adding bacon or using bacon jam.
  • These are great reheated, just pop back into the oven for about 15 min (or even the microwave if you don’t have the time.)
  • 2 paired with a salad makes a great lunch, it has that quiche-y sort of vibe

This recipe is a great alternative to a traditional lasagna, using bacon and braised winter greens. Feel free to substitute the Swiss chard with kale, or even spinach in the summer. You could also go meatless and skip the bacon, but what would be the fun in that? Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.

White and Green Lasagna with Bacon

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 fresh lasagna sheets (I prefer to make my own whole wheat lasagna for this)
  • 2 cups ricotta Cheese
  • 14-16 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thinly
  • 12 pieces thick center cut bacon (about one package)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until still chewy. Put bacon on plate or cutting board reserving the fat in the pan.
  3. Add onion and mushrooms to the bacon fat and sauté until golden. At this point add the Swiss chard and cook for another minute or two until it begins to wilt. Add the tomatoes and broth, salt to taste, cover and simmer stirring every few minutes for 10-15 minutes, until chard is tender.
  4. While the chard is cooking, dice the bacon. Once the chard is done add it to the mixture and remove from heat. Drain off some of the remaining liquid into a separate cup.
  5. Oil you baking pan. Line the bottom with 1/3 of the Swiss chard mix. Top with 1/4 of the ricotta and mozzarella slices. Cover with lasagna sheets. Repeat twice more. Now you should have lasagna sheets on the top and 1/4 of the ricotta and mozzarella left. drizzle the reserved braising liquid over the lasagna sheet and crumble on the ricotta and add the slices of mozzarella trying to cover most of the pasta.
  6. Bake for 45min – 1 hour, until cheese on the top has melted and turned a golden brown and most of the liquid has cooked off. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

On a cold fall day sometimes there is nothing better than a nice hot soup. This soup is thick and rich, and with the addition of jalapenos it also packs a bit of a kick to warm you up. This soup is hearty enough to be eaten on its own, with a slice of bread and a side salad, or serve it in smaller portions as a starter.  For extra kick leave the seeds in, if you prefer a milder soup seed the jalapenos  and/or just use one.

Pumpkin Soup with a Kick

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2¬†jalapenos, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh¬†thyme, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs winter squash (like a pie pumpkin), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch peiced
  • 2 cups¬†vegetable¬†stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup manchego cheese
Directions:
  1. Melt butter and sauté onions until soft and golden.
  2. Add tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeno, thyme, sage and salt. Saute another minute or two, until fragrant.
  3. Add squash, stock and wine. Simmer for about 40 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Transfer to a blender, or use an immersion blender, to puree until smooth.
  5. Return to pot, add milk and bring back to a simmer. Add cheese, when it melts serve immediately.

I’ve been told that this dish is even better than¬†my eggs benedict, which I think is my best breakfast dish! You can substitute¬†another leafy¬†green vegetable for spinach in this recipe, sometimes I substitute kale. Also sometimes I add a second egg for a heartier meal. This dish can also be easily scaled down to two servings, perfect for a romantic weekend brunch!

 

Baked Eggs with Bacon and Spinach

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 English Muffins, toasted
  • 6¬†ounces spinach
  • 8¬†slices smoked bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 ¬įF
  2. Cook bacon in a pan until crispy. Remove from pan and reserve drippings.
  3. Add spinach to pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Brush ramekins with reserved bacon grease. Add English muffins to each ramekin split side up. Divide spinach between the four ramekins. Crumble bacon evenly between each ramekin. Crack eggs into each ramekin, being careful not to break the yolks. Add one tablespoon of cream to each.
  5. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until whites are set but yolks are still runny. Serve immediately.