Creamy Pasta Bake with Baby Broccoli

From Giada via Food Network. I made a half recipe of this but used the full recipe of topping because I love the crunch. I threw my chopped broccolini into the pasta one minute before it was done. I did not have provolone but used some fontina and gruyere that I had on hand in addition to the parmesan cheese. I think this recipe could be very flexible and you could add some leftover sausage or ham or any vegetables that you wanted to use. This is a very simple recipe that comes together quickly. You can make it ahead and finish it in the oven when you are ready to eat. Delicious!

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound medium shell pasta
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for the pasta water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
2 cups grated mild provolone
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
3 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
For the topping:
Mix together the panko, Parmesan and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with the salt and set aside.
For the pasta: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 4 minutes, then reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and drain. Set aside.
Place a medium pan (that can go into the oven) over medium heat. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour until smooth. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, then add the cream, whisking. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer, whisking often. Whisk in the provolone and Parmesan until melted and smooth. Season with the salt. Fold in the blanched pasta, reserved pasta water and the broccoli florets. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake in the top third of the oven until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Chile Verde

I often cook a whole pork shoulder and freeze half of it and this recipe is the perfect use for that pork. I am lucky to have access to lots of different fresh green chilies-poblanos, Anaheims, jalapeños which I roast for this recipe-either on a grill or under a broiler. We love to eat this Chile verde with warm tortillas but you could serve it with rice and lots of garnishes like cilantro, lime, cheese.

1-2 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 T. cumin
1 t. Mexican Oregano
1/4 c. flour
1 quart of chicken stock
4 Poblano chilies, roasted, seeded and peeled
3 Anaheim chilies, roasted, seeded and peeled
1-2 Jalapeños, roasted, (seeded if you like)
1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1# or more Leftover Pork shoulder, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
fresh limes
tortillas-I love flour or the corn and flour mixed tortillas

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute onion for a few minutes, add garlic, cumin and oregano. Stir until fragrant. Add flour and stir for a minute. Add chicken stock, stirring. Purée all of the chilies in the food processor and add to saucepan. Pulse the can of tomatoes in the food processor four times and add to pan. Add pork and cook 15 minutes. Add cilantro before serving with warm tortillas.

Puttanesca Sauce for Pasta

Originally from The New Basics cookbook by the Silver Palate gals-via alexandracooks which is a wonderful blog and her cookbook Bread, Toast, Crumbs is also great. This is the fastest sauce to make and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. The recipe does not call to add cheese, but I added some freshly grated parmesan and fresh basil.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 can (2 oz.) anchovy fillets, undrained
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28-oz can San Marzano plum tomatoes
1 jar (2 1/2 oz) or 1/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 cup black or kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 lb. pasta — shapes like campanelle and orecchiette catch all of those yummy bites of capers and olives, but use what you like

Place all ingredients with the exception of the pasta in large pot or wide-mouthed sauté pans. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every so often — you need something like a potato masher or flat-bottomed whisk or wooden spoon to gently crush the tomatoes as well as the garlic cloves every so often. The anchovies dissolve on their own, but the tomatoes and garlic need assistance.
Boil pasta — no need to salt the water — drain, and toss with sauce.

Tangy Brisket with Fennel and Herbs

A delightful new brisket recipe from Alison Roman via Bon Appetit. I tried this with a half of a brisket and made the full sauce and vegetable mixture. I will make it with a whole brisket next time as the meat is delicious and can be used in tacos or sandwiches or soups. I was a little concerned about the thick fat cap that my brisket had but it crisps up in the last hour of cooking and is perfection!

1 4–5-lb. piece untrimmed flat-cut beef brisket
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, cut through root end into 1″-thick wedges
1 large fennel bulb, cut through root end into 1″-thick wedges
3 celery stalks, cut into 2″ pieces, plus 1 cup leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
½ bunch thyme, oregano, or marjoram
¾ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
2 cups mixed tender herbs (such as parsley, mint, and/or cilantro)
½ lemon
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Flaky sea salt

Season brisket on all sides with kosher salt (about 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton per lb.) and pepper and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 300°. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Cook brisket, fatty side down, until deeply browned (it might be snug at first, but the meat will shrink as it cooks), 10–12 minutes. Turn and cook until the other side is deeply browned, 8–10 minutes. Turn onto edges and brown (this isn’t necessary, but it will add more flavor). Transfer to a platter.

Pour off fat in pot; discard. Pour remaining 2 Tbsp. oil into pot; set over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown and frizzle around the edges, about 3 minutes.

Add fennel, celery, garlic, and thyme and toss to coat; season with kosher salt and pepper. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and 4 cups water. Place brisket in pot, arranging fatty side up; it should be submerged. (Use tongs to work it in there. If anything has to poke out of the liquid, let it be the vegetables.) Bring to a simmer, then cover and slide into the oven. Braise (without peeking) 3 hours. Check brisket; it should be very tender (the tip of a knife should easily pierce meat). If not, braise another 20 minutes or so and check again.

Uncover brisket and increase oven temperature to 425°. Roast until liquid is reduced by three-fourths and top of brisket is crisp and deeply browned (it should be extremely tender), 50–60 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a cutting board. Slice with a serrated knife or shred with your hands. Skim fat from surface of braising liquid.

Just before meat is done, place tender herbs and celery leaves in a small bowl; squeeze some juice from lemon over and toss to coat.

Arrange meat on a platter. Spoon vegetables and braising liquid in pot around meat and top with herb salad. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and sea salt.

Do Ahead: Brisket can be braised (but not roasted) 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Uncover and remove fat from surface. Continue with roasting process before serving.

Chicken Pot Pie with Chive Biscuits

I have been following Diane Morrisey on Instagram for at least a year and love so many of her recipes. This is a great one. You can make it ahead up until reheating the chicken mixture in the oven and then making the biscuits and finish cooking it. I used leftover chicken from a whole chicken that I had roasted and made the stock from the carcass and added some vegetables. I did not have all of the herbs or peas but used what I had. A great recipe!

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
1 package biscuits
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, heat oil and add garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Stir with a wooden spoon until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Add flour and continuously whisk until well incorporated. Slowly whisk in broth and heavy cream until mixture is smooth. Add the fresh herbs.
Add chicken and bring to a boil; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas. Smooth out and bake in 400F oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place biscuits down along rim of the pan.
Bake until biscuits are golden brown and filling is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes
Buttermilk Chive Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick cold butter diced
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the buttermilk and combine on low speed. Mix in the chives. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out 10 circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.

Vietnamese Braised Beef

From the wonderful David Tanis of The NY Times. The smells from the stew as it cooks perfumes the house with wonderful scents. You can serve it with carrots, potatoes and bok choy, over rice or with a crispy baguette. It would be great for a dinner party as you can easily make it ahead and reheat. The herb garnishes are gorgeous and delicious. I processed the ginger, garlic and lemon grass together.
Vietnamese beef
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce, such as Red Boat
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 large shallots or 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped tomato, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass, tender center only
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon annatto powder (optional)
4 star anise pods
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick, or substitute cassia bark
1 or 2 Serrano or Thai chiles, stem on, split lengthwise
1 ½ pounds medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
1 cup cilantro sprigs, for garnish
½ cup mint leaves, for garnish
½ cup small basil leaves, preferably Thai, for garnish
bowl of beef stew, herbs

Make the marinade: Stir together fish sauce, sugar, ginger, 5-spice powder and pepper.
Put beef in a large bowl, add marinade and massage into meat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, or longer if time permits (may be wrapped and refrigerated overnight if desired).
Put oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry the beef cubes in small batches, taking care not to crowd them, until nicely browned. When all beef is browned, return chunks to pot. Add shallots, stir to combine and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened.
Add tomato, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, salt and annatto, if using, and stir well to coat, then add star anise, cinnamon and chile. Cover with 4 cups water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with lid ajar and cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Add carrots to pot and cook 15 minutes more. Skim fat from surface of broth as necessary (or refrigerate overnight and remove congealed fat before reheating).
To serve, ladle into individual bowls. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, mint and basil.

Roasted Tomato Salsa and Tomato Sauce from fresh Tomatoes

Winter came early this year to Denver and I was forced to harvest my 7 tomato plants at once due to a freeze. I had Early Girl, Brandywine, Big Boy, Sungold and Sweet 100 tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes disappeared but I had enough of the larger tomatoes to make salsa and tomato sauce for pasta-after slicing them daily to eat as is or on BLT’s.
I love the method of making the salsa and of course you can vary it to your own taste.
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Cut up 6-8 tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet, skin side up
Slice 1/2 onion
1-2 jalapeños or serrano peppers, cut in half (seeded if you don’t want spicy)
3 cloves of garlic
any other pepper (Poblano or Anaheim)
Broil until charred. Let sit 5 minutes. Purée in blender or food processor with
Juice of 1/2 lime or more to taste
handful of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Store in glass jar in the refrigerator.

Fresh Tomato Sauce
From The Splendid Table
3-5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
12 large fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
3 -1/2 pounds mixed ripe delicious tomatoes (never Romas of any kind), cored and quartered (do not seed)

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the garlic, basil, onion, salt and pepper, and oil. Heat over medium-high heat 30 seconds, no more. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands as they go into the pan. Bring to a lively bubble, uncovered, and cook 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and reduced by half. Stir often, watching for sticking or scorching. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand 15 minutes. Then taste for seasoning.

Pass the sauce through a food mill or chop it in a blender or food processor until in small pieces. If desired, the sauce can be cooled and refrigerated up to 4 days, or frozen up to 6 month

Miso Sweet Potato Broccoli Bowl

From Smitten Kitchen-a wonderful recipe! I used brown basmati rice but you can use whatever grain you like. I love the miso-tahini dressing and the only condiments we added were hot sauce and soy sauce.
Serves 4

For the bowl
1 cup dried rice or another cooking grain of your choice
1 to 2 sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds)
1 large bundle broccoli (about 1 pound)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

For the miso-sesame dressing
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons white miso (the mildest kind)
2 tablespoons tahini (other nut butters can work in a pinch)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place rice or grain and cooking liquid in a rice cooker or on the stove. Cook according to package directions.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cut tops off broccoli and separate into bite-sized florets. If your broccoli stems feel especially woody, I like to peel them (with the same vegetable peeler), then cut them into 1/2- to 1-inch segments.

Coat one large or two smaller trays with a thin slick of olive oil. Layer sweet potatoes on tray(s) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until browning underneath. Flip and toss chunks around, then add broccoli to the tray(s), season again with salt and pepper, and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, until broccoli is lightly charred at edges and sweet potato is fully bronzed and tender. Toss chunks around one more time if it looks like they’re cooking unevenly.

In a small skillet, toast black and white sesame seeds until fragrant. (You can do this in the oven if using an oven-proof skillet.) Let cool.

While vegetables roast, prepare sesame-miso dressing: Combine everything in a blender and run until smooth, scraping down sides once. Taste and adjust ingredients if needed, but try to resist adding more honey if it tastes salty, as that extra pop of saltiness is exactly what I think sweet potato needs.

Assemble bowls: Scoop some rice/grains into each, then pile on the roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli. Coat lightly with sesame-miso dressing and finish with toasted sesame seed duo. Serve with extra dressing on the side.

Vegetable Quiche with Potato Crust

From Dr. Andrew Weil, this quiche can be made vegetarian or not.
This fresh vegetable quiche makes a wonderful brunch, or dinner when served with a salad. If you want to avoid egg yolks, it can be made with egg whites only. I have varied the vegetables and it is always delicious. Today’s quiche was bacon, onion, broccoli, sun-dried tomato, pepper jack and cheddar cheeses. If your sun-dried tomatoes are in oil, just blot them off and chop them. I used my mandolin to slice the potatoes thinly for the crust.

1/2 cup purified water
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 pound asparagus (about 2 cups chopped) or broccoli florets
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, cut in small cubes (about 1 cup)
5 mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 small red potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated cheese, Pepper Jack or Swiss
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
6 eggs
1 medium tomato, sliced (seeds squeezed out)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375º F.

2. Boil the water, pour over the sun-dried tomatoes, and allow to soak for about 15 minutes until they become soft and plump. Strain off any remaining liquid, and coarsely chop.

3. Cut off about 1 inch of the coarse ends of the asparagus stalks and discard or save them for soup. Cut the remaining stalks into about 6 pieces or chop coarsely. (If you are using broccoli, cut into florets.)

4. Blanch the asparagus by boiling it in a medium pot of water for 2 minutes or less. Asparagus should be bright green and firm to the bite. Drain, rinse the asparagus in cold water, and drain again in a colander.

5. Sauté the onions and the garlic in the olive oil over low heat until the onions are transparent, approximately 10 minutes. Add the carrots, mushrooms, basil, parsley, chili flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat.

6. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Line the bottom with the potato slices, overlapping them slightly.

7. Whisk together the cheese, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, sour cream and the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the sautéed vegetables and the blanched asparagus, coating everything with the cheese, milk and egg liquid, then pour into the potato-lined pie pan. Arrange the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake for 1 hour, covering after 45 minutes if top browns. Completely baked quiche should be very firm.

8. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tips from Rosie’s Kitchen:

Try to grate fresh nutmeg and Parmesan cheese yourself because it makes a noticeable difference in the flavor.
Drop the potato slices in cold water to prevent them from discoloring.
To blanch fruits and vegetables, boil them for about 2 minutes and then plunge them into cold water – this stops the cooking and sets the color. Blanching is also done to loosen the skins of fruits or vegetables such as plums or tomatoes.
Read more tips, recipes, and insights on a wide variety of topics from Dr. Weil here.

Fresh Corn Carbonara

From Epicurious It is a winner!
It’s the end of our corn season in Colorado but I had four ears left and was excited to try this recipe. I love that half of the corn kernels and corn milk and cream are puréed to make the sauce. I got wonderful thick bacon from a new stand at the farmer’s market called The Noble Hog. I added a roasted, peeled and chopped poblano Chile because we like spice. Very simple to make and delicious! I always reserve a cup of pasta water incase the sauce is too thick and I added about 1/2 c. pasta water to the finished dish.

12 ounces spaghetti or linguine
Kosher salt
3-6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4″ strips
4 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 3 cups), cobs reserved
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces), plus more to serve
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped, divided

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain (reserve fat). Scrape excess corn milk from cobs into a blender by firmly running the back of a chef’s knife down the sides. Add cream, half of the corn kernels, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. reserved bacon fat. Purée until a smooth sauce forms.
Toss hot pasta with corn sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and half each of the remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil in a large bowl.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil. Season with pepper and top with Parmesan.