Saturday, June 3, 2017

Roasted Italian Sausage and Fennel Salad

I made this a few summers ago and it's really good if you hate salad, or even find it hard to get enthusiastic about. My guess is this serves 2 people.

a container of arugula or spinach or red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 large head of fennel aka anise
2 potatoes (or one head of cauliflower in one inch florets)
1 avocado
1 ripe large tomato (or two little ones)
half a pound of sweet italian sausage
one lime
chili powder
garlic (optional)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Cut the stems off the head of the fennel bulb, cube the bulb in half inch dice.
2. Peel the potatoes and cube them in one inch dice/break the head of cauliflower into one inch florets.
3. Get a glass pan and toss the fennel and cauliflower with: 2 T or more olive oil, salt and pepper, 2 t cumin, 2 t chili powder, and half a teaspoon oregano (crush it with your fingers over the veggies). Toss. Roast for 20 minutes, then stir, roast another 20 minutes, take out of oven, let cool on the stovetop while you do the rest.
4. In a pan, heat olive oil at medium high/7 until it's a got a little haze on it. Turn on stovetop fan. Saute the sausages in their skins 3-4 minutes a side, then lower heat to medium low and put a cover on it with 1/4 cup water to really steam the pork all the way through. Set aside on a paper towel.
5. In a container you can shake up, put 1/4 olive oil, juice of one whole lime, a clove or two of garlic minced, 1 t cumin, 1 t chili powder, a pinch of oregano, salt and pepper. Shake! Taste and add salt if you need to.
6. Slice up the tomato and avocado.
7. On each plate: make a bed of lettuce, put the tomato and avocado on one side all decorative-like, and then put the potatoes/cauliflower on the other side and put the sausage on top.
8. Pour dressing on with a spoon. It's easy to get too much, so be careful.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Curried Chickpeas and Cauliflower

I recommend playing CSNY album Deja Vu for full effect. I was supposed to go to the Catskills this weekend to write, but not feeling it. Instead I needed to stay home and perform a syllabus miracle.

 2 cans garbanzos drained
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic smashed and minced
2 T olive oil
2 T butter or ghee
1 t cumin
1 t tumeric
1 t garam masala
1-2 t curry powder (optional)
a few dashes of cayenne pepper
half t coriander half
t of cardamom
1 large head of cauliflower in florets
1 large Russet potato peeled and cubed smallish
1 T tomato paste half a can of coconut milk
1 t cornstarch
2 cups water

 1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put cauliflower in glass pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil, then salt and pepper. Add a little dash of cumin. Roast for 35 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Set aside.

2. In a Dutch oven, heat oil and butter, then add garbanzos and stir on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add onion and garlic and spices and tomato sauce. Let cook until you can smell the spices develop, turn heat down to med low.

4. Put two cups of water in a container and add the cornstarch. Stir until dissolved. Add water and coconut milk to Dutch oven.

5. Add potatoes. Turn heat up to medium high, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then cover and continue to simmer for another 7 minutes.

6. Add the cauliflower florets. Serve over rice. If you leave the butter out, this is vegan and gluten free.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chipotle Rice Copycat

There are a lot of copycat recipes for Chipotle's chili lime rice. I often wondered how it was made and assumed there was cilantro and maybe some lime in it. I've looked up recipes by wonderful cooks who suggest adding a bay leaf to the rice when it cooks, who suggest using basmati rice instead of long grain (which is what Chipotle seems to use). One recipe even suggests using two parts lime juice and one part lemon juice (used on 2 cups of cooked rice). Lots of rinsing, etc.

This summer I saw the line chef make the white rice. Twice! She made two batches so I watched her like a hawk. She dumped the hot rice (which did not seem wet, which did not seem like it had been rinsed) into a big metal bowl, added oil, added a decent amount of what looked like kosher salt or salt, cilantro and lime. If I were going to guess, she was mixing about 3-4 cups worth of cooked rice with

1/3 cup olive oil
1-2 T kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
FRESH limes, maybe two hole ones for this much rice.

She tossed it all together pretty seriously for a minute or two. Then she shouted "RICE READY" and everyone said "THANK YOU!!!" to her. That was nice, even if it was their corporate policy to say those things, probably.


I do not have a lime, my lime died RIP.

So I made basmati rice and put in olive oil, kosher salt and chopped cilantro. Definitely the lime is missing, but this was pretty great. Has a good consistency and flavor and takes up my black beans well.

I did go to a mexican restaurant in a small town and it was so awesome, carrot and sweet potato and green pepper hash and so on. And then there was a bunch of sides but the lime cilantro rice was parboiled brown rice that had gotten hard. :-(

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Beans and Wine

2 cans cannellini, Progresso
One yellow onion minced
2/3 stick of unsalted butter
bay leaf
1 cup of white wine
dashes of cayenne
half a cup of water
a pound of brussels sprouts trimmed and split in quarters

Brown onion in the butter. Add beans and let roast. Add wine before beans get too dry, and spices. After alcohol has boiled off, add brussel sprouts and water and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Let stand. Serve over pasta or rice or whatever.

Serves 6

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Smoked Salmon Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

Simplified version of smoked salmon mac and cheese originally conceived by Super Nummy .

5 cups 2% milk (organic, not Horizon brand or you’ll have a sweet mess on your hands)
1 entire package (6 oz) Applewood smoked gruyere grated (or cheddar if you can't find it)
1 package Tinkyada GF pasta (brand with bunnies on it)
4 oz smoked wild caught salmon (smoked trout also works)
two handfuls of fresh arugula or spinach (optional)
little dash of cayenne 
dash of freshly grated nutmeg

Put dry macaroni and quart of milk into a casserole or cast iron pan and bake at 325 for half an hour. 

Take out pan, increase heat to 375. Into hot macaroni, mix shredded cheese, salmon broken into chunks and stir. Add the arugula or spinach, stir. Put it back in the oven with no cover for 20-30 minutes.

Think about things.

Take it out and let it stand for 10 minutes as it will be very hot.

This should thicken up really well and not require cornstarch or flour. It makes a gooey mac and cheese, not dry or runny.

The original calls for dry mustard and buttered bread crumbs, but it was very tasty without this.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad

This is the original, but the one I brought to class was a bit different:

First, I used a very plain dressing: one part lime juice, two parts olive oil, black pepper, salt, cumin, a little coriander and chili powder. I wish I had this in amounts, but I just eyeballed it. I think you can use a lot more cumin than you might think. It's good to add a tiny bit of water to all these dressing ingredients and then shake them up in a jar or container. I did put a little minced onion in, but the green onion is kind of better I think.

I boiled 6 cups of water, and put in 3 cups of quinoa.
I let it simmer for maybe 20 minutes and then turned it off when a little water was left to let it really absorb the last bit without burning.

I peeled and cubed two yams. I told Dan Arra from our class I normally buy my yams from some farmers that set up a market in my neighborhood, but the yams I used in your all's were exceptionally good and from Target (!). I roast them at 400 with cumin, coriander, chili powder and lots of olive oil until they are soft. I can't tell you how long this is. It might be 35-45 minutes.

I took about a half a cup or raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds and roasted them in a pan dry until they popped for a while. I shook the pan around while this was happening.

I put the dressing in the bottom of a big bowl, put in the quinoa, the yams, the pumpkin seeds and the dressing. Then I cup up a really ripe avocado and put it in. It's better when it's either room temperature or cold. Sometimes it tastes weird when it's still warm. I put lentils in a different one. That should be pretty good too, though technically, quinoa is very protein heavy. (This is what a recipe looks like when written by a poet, sorry to say).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Welcome to some family recipes

I just want it publically known that you asked for these in 2008. I put them on the internet at At the time you had said you were going to be going on the internet more having realized it was not a fad. But six years have passed and I respect that you are not an internet person and may never be. I do feel bad it has taken me this long to make you a book of the recipes. I've ferreted out some ones not previously published on the blog, so I think you can think of this as the second edition.

No one of us can hold a candle to your lasagna, your hashbrown casserole, and probably just about anything you cook. But you know the power of nostalgia and childhood dishes. Here they are. I love you so very much. Thank you for being the kind of person who cared enough to ask for these, who makes me feel like my family is with a big-hearted person. You are a special one. I'm sure you'll make these your own as well. As mom likes to say, "With Alanna, there is always a solution." ;-)


Christmas 2014
Philadelphia PA to Evansville IN