Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gobble Up Turkey Leftovers

This year I set a new record for myself - we celebrated Thanksgiving three times in four days, which definitely had some pros and cons.

  • We got to see lots of family
  • I got to cook several different meals and dishes
  • PIE!
  • Too much driving
  • Too much turkey
  • I only ate leftovers ONCE
Since it's only our second year to be married and celebrating the holidays together, Luke and I are still doing the Texas Triangle -> Austin - Houston - San Antonio - back to Austin (by way of a stop at Grandma's house in New Braunfels). So, while I enjoyed many a turkey dinner, I didn't have time for the iconic turkey sandwich. I was lucky enough to depart with not only some delicious meat, but the picked apart bird itself too, perfect for homemade stock! I took a note from Bon Appetit on this one and whipped up a Turkey and Mushroom Risotto, but I gave it a bit of a healthier spin by swapping traditional arborio rice with barley.

Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

2 quarts homemade turkey stock
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups barley
1/4 cup dry white wine, room temperature
2 cups button mushrooms (or fancy wild ones if you feel like it!)
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, warm turkey stock. Keep warm on low heat.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil. Saute onion 3-4 minutes, then stir in barley. Stir frequently for 2 minutes. Turn off flame and add wine and stir. Turn heat back on medium low and stir until wine absorbs. Start adding broth in 1/2 cupfuls, stirring frequently (it's ok to take a 20-30 second break to enjoy a sip of wine!) and adding more once it absorbs. With normal risotto with arborio rice this process takes 20-30 minutes. With the barley it'll take longer - more like 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter on low heat. Stir in mushrooms and rosemary and saute, stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add mushrooms to risotto and stir in Parmigiano Reggiano. Taste then add salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with additional Parmigiano Reggiano.

Monday, November 19, 2012

We three beans (recipes that is)

After feasting on Thanksgiving food and three rounds of leftovers, you might need a break from indulgence (for both your pocketbook and wallet). Below are three healthful (or mostly healthful - I'm looking at you enchiladas!) dishes incorporating affordable dried beans. It's time to get creative!

I want to know - what's your favorite find in the bulk department of your grocer?

Chicken and White Bean Soup with Kale

2 cups dry white beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken legs (about 1 pound)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
6-8 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bunch kale, chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)

Put beans in a sauce pan and cover with 2 inches water. Bring it to a boil, let boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 1 hour. Drain.

When beans are almost done, warm a dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil and let warm. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then place in dutch oven and sear on all sides. Remove from pot and set on a place. Add onion, garlic and carrot and saute 5 minutes. Add chicken back to the pot, beans, chicken broth (use 8 cups for a very brothy soup, 6 cups for less) and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes until beans are fully cooked through. Remove rosemary stems and add in kale. Stir to let wilt - about 2 minutes. Serve in bowls with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.

Rosemary Baked White Beans

1 pound white beans (I used cannellini)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 sprigs rosemary, tied together with kitchen twine
1 Parmigiano Reggiano rind (several Whole Foods Market stores sell the rinds separately. I always save mine in the freezer when I'm done to add flavor to soups)
2 teaspoons kosher salt

 Preheat oven to 325. Place beans in a large dutch oven and cover with 1 inch of water. Add in garlic, rosemary, parmesan rind and salt. Bake with the lid on for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, or until soft. Add additional salt to taste. Bonus, with any leftover beans, mash with a fork and a bit of olive oil for an easy spread or hummus replacement.

I served these with my own spin of the Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Bourguignon. 

Butternut and White Bean Enchiladas

2 cups light sour cream
3 chipotles in adobo plus 2 tablespoons sauce
1 lime
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup cooked white beans
1 cup roasted butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups white cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, add sour cream, chipotles and sauce, lime and broth and pulse until smooth. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Then, spread 1/4 cup sour cream mixture evenly across the bottom.

Next, stir white beans, squash and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Next, spread 1 tablespoon sour cream sauce across the middle of a tortilla. Add 1/4 cup of white bean mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese and roll tightly; place in pan. Continue with remaining 7 tortillas until tightly fitted in pan. Spread remaining sour cream sauce evenly across tortillas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 30 minutes until sauce is bubbling.
Not much to look at, but delicious!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Pork Tenderloin

If you need a meal that says, "fall is here!" - then this is for you. I certainly enjoy pork year-round, but it tends to make itself onto my plate especially in the fall. And with the addition of apples, walnuts and blue cheese, it doesn't get any more fall than this to me. Oh wait, it does when you add mashed sweet potatoes with Vermont Creamery's exclusive maple and sea salt butter (OMG so good! Grab some at Whole Foods Market next time you're in, but only if you have good taste), and roasted cauliflower. 

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Pork Tenderloin

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1 pound pork tenderloin, butterflied and pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, warm to medium heat then melt butter. Add apple and shallot and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and add blue cheese and nuts. Meanwhile, spread out pounded pork tenderloin and then about 2 inches away from one end, add the apple filling in a long strip from end-to-end, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then, carefully roll up the pork and secure with with kitchen twine to ensure it stays rolled.

Place pork in the cast iron and sear on all sides. Then place in the oven and cook until it reached at least 145 degrees, about 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then slice. Enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Paul Qui Brussels Sprouts (at last!!)

If you haven't heard of Paul Qui or Uchiko by now, please drop everything and go look them up. Or, if you're in Austin, head straight to Uchiko - trust me, you'll thank me. I've been fortunate enough to eat there about 5 times now, and each time I get at least one order of the brussels sprouts - trust me, they're THAT good. The last time I ate there, the bartender even shared the general method:
  • Caramlize some fish sauce
  • Flash fry the sprouts
  • add with fish sauce and sweet chile sauce and some lemon
Sounds basic enough, right? Well, this isn't store-bought fish sauce or sweet chile sauce. Lucky for me, last month the Austin American-Statesman posted Uchi's recipe for the sprouts. This was almost dead-on. And, the best part? It makes a ton of sauce, probably enough to make the dish 4-5 times. And, since both have plenty of vinegar, they won't go bad anytime soon. Word to the wise, the sauce has quite a strong smell, so if you can leave a window open, that might be best :)

For this dish, I roasted the sprouts instead of frying them, but frying is definitely the way to go to enjoy them on their own :)
These little beauties are ready to go in the oven!

Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped 
2 cups cooked brown rice, chilled
1 egg, beaten
2 cups Uchi Brussels sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup peanuts

In a large wok or nonstick skillet, warm to medium high heat then add oil. Add bell pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. Stir in rice and toss thoroughly and let warm, another 2-3 minutes. Make a well in the middle of the skillet and add egg. Let the egg cook 1-2 minutes, then toss around with rice and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in brussels sprouts and green onions, then finally peanuts. 

I had some spectators while cooking. Gratuitous dog and husband photos!

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts too? :)