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HOT POTATOES THAT ARE COOL

Smashed Potato Appetizers

*Minted Peas*   *Steak*    *Kale or Spinach*

 

 

Smashed Potatoes with Minted Peas, Filet Mignon & Kale

Smashed Potatoes with Minted Peas, Filet Mignon & Kale

 

 

 

 

I feel as if I am cheating because this posting did not require the amount of time normally devoted to this process. Working a few less hours did not diminish the quality of this recipe as a worthwhile appetizer. The smashed potato…love the perfect description…is everywhere, with an endless choice of toppings. A friend suggested caviar…consider toppings you may be using for other appetizers. My choices were based on some of my favorite ‘potato and’ combinations as well as what I had in the fridge on that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe for Smashed Potatoes…

Recipe for Minted Peas…

Recipe for Steak…

Recipe for Kale or Spinach…

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A Hill Of Beans: Three Cannellini Bean Recipes

 

 

  *Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)* *Cannellini Beans and Red Chard with Toasted Walnuts*

*Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies & Orange Segments*

 

 

Cannellini Beans

 

As a child, who knew the popular rhyme about beans being good for your heart was in fact, true. Apparently kidney beans have a multitude of health benefits and the white, cannellini beans, have been a part of my diet since childhood. Tricked by a mother into eating delicious meals that were nutritious and economical…well, my mom was always ahead of her time.

Cannellini beans are creamy and will absorb a variety of flavors and spices, making them perfect for a wide range of recipes, both hot and cold. There is a long list of dishes and these are three of my easy favorites. Another benefit is the canned beans are as good as cooking the dried beans, so opening a can of beans and adding a few ingredients is a quick meal. The dark red kidney beans are in the same league, but I usually reserve those for meals requiring a longer cooking time or simmering because they hold their shape. Red ones are delicious in all sorts of salads, too, but recipes for another time.

 

 

 

 

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Beans)

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Beans)

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Beans)

 

A dish with as many different recipes as there are cooks and mine is a slight variation on my mother’s recipe. Although one of the simplest, it took me many attempts to achieve just the right flavors and consistency as in her dish…and still not quite as tasty. It probably has to do more with the emotional childhood, food and family connection that always makes her dishes remain the best…but that is a good thing.  Attempts at additions or changes always return me to the original version…simple and satisfying.

recipe…

 

 

 

 

Cannellini Beans with Red Chard & Toasted Walnuts

Cannellini Beans & Red Chard with Toasted Walnuts

Cannellini Beans & Red Chard with Toasted Walnuts

 

The texture of the cannellini beans and the addition of some grated cheese make this a creamy side dish.

recipe…

 

 

 

Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies & Orange Segments

 

Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies and Orange Segments

Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies and Orange Segments

 

 

A prerequisite is that you like anchovies in order to enjoy this recipe. If made without the anchovies, then it is a green salad with beans. A substitution could be a can of tuna packed in olive oil, but then you are headed in the direction of a salad Niçoise.

recipe…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Savory, Crunchy or Sweet: Cabbage and Fennel Pairings

*Cabbage, Fennel & Pork Chop Casserole Alsatian Style*

* Asian Cabbage & Fennel Slaw*

*Warm Cabbage, Fennel  & Pear Salad with Gorgonzola and Toasted Walnuts*

Cooking cabbage dishes such as corned beef and cabbage or cabbage with pork and potatoes were recipes learned from my mother, whose name is mentioned each time I cook one of these recipes… stuffed cabbage is another story. However, after living in Switzerland for a few years and traveling through the Alsace-Lorraine region to visit good friends in Strasbourg, there are new associations for cabbage recipes. Driving past field after field of cabbages was an unexpected part of the journey that required my French friends to help me make the connection to an area renowned for the best sauerkraut and classic cabbage, pork, sausage & potato dishes.  I decided to try a cabbage and fennel combination and believe they complement each other, both hot and cold.

 

 

Cabbage, Fennel & Pork Chop Casserole Alsatian Style

Cabbage, Fennel & Pork Chop Casserole Alsatian Style

Cabbage, Fennel & Pork Chop Casserole Alsatian Style

An amazing woman and beloved friend, Soeurette, was the inspiration for the addition of juniper berries to this recipe. Apparently, she always used juniper berries as a standard ingredient in this dish and as a native of the Alsatian region and a force to be reckoned with, I am a believer.

Recipe:

Asian Cabbage & Fennel Slaw

Asian Cabbage & Fennel Slaw

Asian Cabbage & Fennel Slaw

Of the three dishes, this is the one that required the most tweaking. You know how it goes…more ginger, less ginger…adjust the mayo…add less honey…and so on. The original recipe called for the basil to be blended as part of the marinade, but I did not like the taste, nor the green-colored dressing, and prefer the flavor as an ingredient with the cabbage & fennel. By the last batch, I needed a break from cabbage consumption and left it in the refrigerator for a day or two. I was pleased to discover that it continued to be tasty, crunchy and not at all soggy.

Recipe:

Warm Cabbage, Fennel & Pear Salad with Gorgonzola & Toasted Walnuts

Warm Cabbage, Fennel & Pear Salad w/Gorgonzola &  Walnuts

Warm Cabbage, Fennel & Pear Salad w/Gorgonzola & Walnuts

This recipe is satisfying as a substantial appetizer to a meal or as a light lunch accompanied by a slice of crusty French or Italian bread.

 Recipe:

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The Little Legume: Three Lentil Dishes

*Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Hummus* French Green Lentil & Mushroom Burgers*

*French Green Lentil & Israeli Couscous Salad*

 

LentilBlog_001LentilBlog

Along with new tidbits of knowledge I picked up while working on this blog, I also learned something about myself…I like lentils a great deal more than I thought. Two weeks of lentil recipes made numerous times provided an abundance for me, family members and a small group of patient and supportive friends. Although I am ready to move on to other foods, I never grew tired of eating them…probably not news to those who consider lentils a staple in their diet.

This set of recipes has been my most challenging thus far…maybe a ridiculous statement as this is my third blog, however my lentil cooking experiences have been limited to soups, an occasional salad and usually paired with ham. As I formulated ideas for recipes, I decided to attempt making the dishes vegetarian or at least my understanding of such…it is not a cuisine with which I am familiar and usually think in terms of substituting fats with extra spices.

I would love some advice and suggestions from those who are the lentil eaters…happily, a group to which I now belong.

 

 Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Hummus

 

Indian Spiced Red Lentil                    Hummus

Indian Spiced Red Lentil
Hummus

 By Indian food standards, not at all spicy hot, just enough of that flavor that it warranted the label… I hope. Instead of additional olive oil, The Greek yogurt was effective in pureeing the chick peas and seemed a complimentary ingredient with the chosen spices.

 Recipe…

French Green Lentil and Mushroom Burgers

French Green Lentil and       Mushroom Burgers

French Green Lentil and
Mushroom Burgers

Browning on both sides is all that is necessary because all the ingredients are cooked. Melted cheese, sliced tomatoes, pickles on a toasted bun give Mcdonalds a run for their money.

 Recipe…

 

French Green Lentil & Israeli Couscous Salad

French Green Lentil and   Israeli Couscous Salad

French Green Lentil and
Israeli Couscous Salad

The bit of sweetness to this combination is offset nicely by the peppery taste of a bed of arugula. The French green lentils hold their shape after cooking better than others and may be tossed with the couscous without becoming mushy.

Recipe…