Husband is so delighted, in fact, that he volunteered to go to the grocery store tonight after work. If I understood anything about how odds are calculated, I would put a numeric figure here; since I don’t, I will just say that odds are very high we will not be eating vegetarian tonight.
fresh sage (about 4 leaves) and fresh thyme (leaves from about 6-8 stems)
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 cups veggie or chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
optional toppings: green onions, sage, sour cream, pistachios, etc.
In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add the fresh herbs and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Add the white wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook off the alcohol (2-3 minutes) and add the stock. Turn down the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 10 minutes. (Note: this is an ideal time to get cornbread going! Recipe here.)
Working in small batches in a blender/food processor OR with your awesome immersion blender, blend the stock, veggies and herbs together. Add stock, as needed, for desired consistency. Season, if needed.
Remove from heat and add the cream, mixing thoroughly. Serve immediately with desired toppings…and with cornbread, of course!
While I debated the merit of posting a recipe that sounds a little too familiar (I did say that there were about 1001 variations on our favorite butternut squash soup), ultimately, I decided this was dinner chez nous last night, so I might as well. (The real risk is probably in trying to make the Husband eat more roasted veggies.) In the meantime, this is delicious, filling and makes tons of leftovers – using 100% ingredients that were already in my fridge. Score for frost living.
I am loving this week of the root vegetable. Dinner is done in 20 minutes, everything is (fairly) healthy, and the earthiness of the veggies can sometimes stop me from wishing it were spring.
And then here comes morning, and I actually have to blow dry my hair, so it doesn’t freeze (literally) on my walk to work, and I put on my fleece jacket underneath my long down coat, and then my hat and mittens and boots, and even root vegetables can’t save me. Oh, spring. You’re going to be glorious.
Roasted Root Vegetable Tart
one or two cups roasted root vegetables (parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, fennel, onions, yum)
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (don’t let it get too sticky!)
pinch flour, for rolling out the dough
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup spinach
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2-3 oz crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese
salt + pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, gently roll out the puff pastry dough so you have a larger surface area. Put on a large baking sheet, score all the way around (about an inch from the edge), and lightly prick the dough with a fork (to let air escape while it bakes). Place in the oven and bake about 7-8 minutes, until lightly golden.
While the puff pastry bakes, gently combine the three cheeses in a small bowl. No need to over work it.
Pull the puff pastry out and lightly spread the cheese all over. Top with vegetables – root veggies, mushrooms and a little bit of spinach. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes.
You’re dominating winter.
So easy, so quick & it even looks pretty! Fact: puff pastry is a gift to dinner.
It is either a mark of supreme laziness or supreme awesomeness that with one 35 minute rotation through my oven last night, we now have the basis for a week’s worth of meals sitting pretty in our refrigerator.
Given that I was able to spend Sunday brunching with the Hubs, imbibing with our friends, and snoozing/alternately chowing down on cheese through the Oscars, I think we can all agree that supreme awesomeness is more likely. Bonus: our grocery bill was kind to us this week, too.
Roasted Vegetable & Goat Cheese Salad
assorted root vegetables, peeled & diced. Note: you can use any variety you like (obviously). This is what we roasted here at home:
1 sweet potato
3 pounds or so butternut squash
1 bulb fennel (quartered, not diced)
1 red onion (quartered, not diced)
1 bag baby spinach
crumbled goat cheese
homemade dressing (or any dressing you like)
optional: nuts, prosciutto, etc.
(Do we even need directions?)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Peel, dice and appropriately chop your vegetables and scatter in large baking dishes. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper; feel free to use your favorite spices, as well. Roast for about 35 minutes.
As the veggies come out of the oven, assemble your salad – the warmth of the vegetables will slightly melt the goat cheese, creating a delicious creaminess, and lightly wilt the spinach. Spoon a little dressing over the salad and serve immediately. Preferably with some cheese + charcuterie.
The Husband was highly skeptical of a “salad” for dinner. I sweetened the deal with an accompanying cheese board, and we both went to bed with full & happy stomaches. I just wish that bedtime had happened a little earlier…too much Oscars!
This weekend has been a busy one in the kitchen. Part of that it is due to our effort to save “mo’ money” in November, and part of that is the pure joy of having a kitchen and the ability to cook again. Sometimes, there comes a point – usually when you’re traveling – when you just cannot order one more meal out. (Did I really just write that?)
While, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, weeknight meals tend to be quick or one-pot affairs, the weekend allows me a bit more time. Enter our girl Ina. As my sister talked about a couple weeks ago, there is a serious love for Ina in our households, that began with my mom and trickled down to both of us. With a little more time on my hands to cook, I chose this particular recipe as part of my ongoing bid to get the Husband to enjoy fish (um, it has prosciutto!). Because if Ina can’t get the husband to tolerate it, who can?
Prosciutto Roasted Bass with Autumn Vegetables, adapted for 2
2-3 cups peeled & diced butternut squash (tip: the pre-diced at Trader Joe’s will save you loads of time)
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
optional: 1 potato, peeled and diced (unless they’re fried or mashed, I am generally not interested in potatoes, so I skipped this part)
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 8 oz. fish skinless white fish fillet (recipe calls for bass, I used snapper, which was on sale…and forgot to ask for skinless)
2-4 slices prosciutto
1/2 stick butter
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a jelly roll pan, toss the diced vegetables (except for the garlic) together and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Ensure everything is nice and coated; spread out in a single layer and roast for 30 minutes.
While vegetables roast, line another sheet put with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top of the foil (I don’t have one of these, so I skipped this step.) Brush the fish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the fish in prosciutto, all the way around. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Back to our roasting vegetables. After the 30 minutes or so, toss the garlic in with the rest of the vegetables, stir them around a bit, and roast for about 10 minutes more.
While the vegetables and fish finish up, melt the butter over medium heat in a saute pan and add the rosemary sprigs. Cook over low heat until the rosemary is crisp and the butter browns a bit. Stir in some lemon juice and set aside.
Depending on your oven, and whether you used skinless fillets or not, your fish will be done at about the 12 minute mark. Plate it with roasted vegetables and spoon the rosemary butter over the fish. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.
The recipe clearly calls for skinless fillets, which I neglected to buy. I also have a strong suspicion the baking rack roasting method is designed to keep an even flow of heat around the fish, so that it cooks quickly without being overdone. That being said, the fish still turned out beautifully, if potentially slightly overdone. The prosciutto was crispy and added both a texture and a saltiness to the sweet, roasted vegetables. The best compliment was the Husband’s empty plate, and his pronouncement that he’d “definitely” eat this again.
Also – I’m going on record now: parsnips are to 2015 the way kale was to 2014. I’m going to start a parsnip watch. Join me?