Ah it’s begun, that heady whirlwind of a season that consists of holiday preparations, money-dropping, and (for some of us) manic all-nighters and frantic emails to advisors and professors triple-checking “that one last question.” This means that I’m two steps away from freedom, sweet lovely freedom. But in the meantime I’m just trying to wake up in time and not get to bed too late. I’m getting ready to head off to a weekly dinner with friends (one of those lovely respites that helps break up the craziness while simultaneously implanting a little seed of guilt in the back of my mind), but first I wanted to do my post-Thanksgiving post!
As I was certain it would go, the day ended up being a lovely day full of family, love, and too much damn food. Of course I mean that in the best way possible! Everybody always asks what you’re thankful for, and I’m definitely thankful for those three things. It’s a holiday that is strange in its celebration of excess (oh wait, that’s every American holiday, right?), but wonderful in its celebration of love and family. So I am thankful for my family, thankful for the love we share, and thankful for the blessing of access to wonderful food and fantastic cooks.
(I got pictures of everybody but my grandma and myself. She was too busy being an amazing hostess and cook, while I was too busy goofing around with instagram. PS that’s my lovely brother scarfing down some tasty appetizers)
But anyways, back to the food. Like I mentioned before, I made portobello mushrooms stuffed with butternut squash risotto. I really loved it (as the resident vegetarian), so I’m including the recipe here. I really suggesting trying it yourself!
(I also put together an amazing brussels sprout slaw that ended up being a hit. And for the record, there were no “oh nooo brussels sprouts” complaints. So slip that one in under the unsuspecting noses (and into the unsuspecting mouths) of the supposed brussels sprouts haters.)
|Portabellos Stuffed with Butternut Squash Risotto
Recipe type: Entree
A delectable way to use some late-autumn squashes along with the mighty meaty portabello.
- 4 cups pureed or mashed butternut squash
- 1 scallop, sliced and diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 5 cups vegetable broth (for me that meant 5 cups water and 5 tsp vegetable “better than bouillon”
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 (or 6!) portabello mushrooms
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- Heat broth in pot until it reaches a rolling boil. When it reaches a boil turn down the heat a little so that it stays hot.
- In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, deep pan on medium-high.
- Add diced scallop and garlic to the pan and saute for 3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add 2 cups rice to pan and stir to coat with oil. Heat for 3 minutes.
- Add wine and stir into the rice.
- When wine has soaked into the rice and evaporated a bit, but before the rice burns, add 1 cup of hot broth and stir.
- Add broth cup by cup and stir into the rice. The pan of rice should be hot enough to keep a light boil of the added liquid before it soaks into the rice.
- Taste as you go and stir. Add the broth slowly. The rice should be softening.
- When all the broth is added, stir in squash and cheese.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Rice may be a little al dente, so cover the pan and turn off the heat, letting the risotto steam for 5 minutes.
- Cut out stem and wash.
- Marinate in olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place the mushrooms underside up on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add a hefty spoonful of risotto to each cap and a sprinkle of parmesan on top. Cook for 5-10 more minutes (depends on how soft you want your portabello).
- You can cut them into cute little fourths like I did if you’d like.
You can make the risotto the day before like I did, or make it right before you cook (takes about thirty minutes to prep and cook the risotto as long as you have already roasted and pureed the butternut squash).
You will have a lot of leftover risotto. They make lovely leftovers.
Hello hello hello!
I’m busy making preparations for Thanksgiving and wanted to do a little check-in. I’m WAY late and I’m sorry! But hopefully my pre- and post-Thanksgiving posts will make up for such belatedness.
I’m making this delicious looking brussels sprout slaw that my mom passed my way from Brown Eyed Baker (yep, my mom’s an avid food blog reader too- and starting one herself!). I haven’t tried this particular recipe yet, but I did prepare it all in pieces: maple-glazed pecans, tart dressing, and boiled and sliced brussels sprouts. In its separate fragments everything tastes amazing and I am excitedly anticipating everything’s combination.
Plus I’m a little bit excited to be presenting a side which features one of my very favorite, though oft hated, vegetables. I think brussels sprouts get a bad rap. Whoever decided to berate them as hated of all vegetables was clearly suffering under some kind of don’t-know-how-to-prepare-them malaise. I admit, brussels sprouts can be done all wrong. But when they’re right, oh lord how right they are. So I’m happy to be giving them a chance to shine at the Thanksgiving table tomorrow (and if you’re searching for a last-minute side, try them alongside me!).
I’m also about to prepare the risotto part of a butternut squash stuffed portabello side dish. Well, it will be a side to all of the turkey-eaters in my family (read: everybody but me), but a main course for this lady right here. I had risotto made by le boyfriend this week and I’m officially on a kick. So I decided to incorporate both my favorite squash and my most recent favorite rice dish with my favorite mushroom and present them all on the Thanksgiving table. Yes, it’s a lot of favorites, and as you may be able to guess I am VERY excited. In fact, the butternut squash is roasting in the oven as we speak, so I’m making this post brief.
One last note: as you can see, I’m making my dishes early. I’ve realized that this may be the best way for me to operate. If I can make everything early then all I have to focus on when showtime hits is gorging myself on delicious food and trying to convince the men (aka dad and brother… fanatics) to turn off the football game. It’s tough battle, but I gotta do what I gotta do.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and have a wonderful day!
I’ve been having a lot of experimental soup recipes lately. Hearty, hot, and wholly un-publishable, they’re messy and tasty and completely dependent on what we have in the refrigerator. I kind of feel like everything I’ve been making lately is pretty experimental, actually. Tasty, of course (especially when I’m hungry and its venturing into past-dinner-time), but not the kind of thing I really think is ready to share with anybody on here. For instance, I tried egg drop soup today… and I think it will definitely make its way on here soon, but not the one I made today.
But one experiment that I really do want to share with you is this fabulous tomato sauce I made last week. I didn’t expect this tomato sauce to be something special, in fact I didn’t even take many pictures, but lordy be was I happily surprised. It was completely experimental and completely dependent upon the random stuff we had in the fridge and the pantry, but it turned out to be so flavorful that I must post it here for posterity. It didn’t make a huge batch because I only had a few tomatoes, so unfortunately I don’t have any of it left. In fact, I used it all up in two days. First, it was mixed in with some rice and then the next night it was the star of a polenta lasagna (another that will have to be re-worked and shared later). Basically, I gobbled it all up as quickly as I could.
So I’m going to share this recipe with its approximate measurements because I didn’t take special care to be exact. But have no fear, a little extra oregano or a little less salt is something that is a) easily fixable, b) highly adaptable, and c) all up to your special preferences. This is not a recipe that relies on a specific exacting ratio of tomato to onion (in fact, I didn’t even have fresh onion! I used dried minced onion and it worked just dandy). This is simply a recipe that has flavorful ingredients that work together to make a divine tomato sauce. No difficulty, just deliciousness.
|Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 3 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 48 mins
- 3 cups diced tomato
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp minced onion
- Dice your tomatoes and put in a saucepan on medium-high. Stir as you’re assembling the other ingredients.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. As the tomatoes release their juices and the mixture begins to boil, taste it and see if you like the herb/spice balance. Adjust to your liking.
- Continue to let the mixture boil down and reduce, approximately 30 minutes or until you have a thick, chunky tomato sauce.
I used heirloom tomatoes because that’s what I had in the fridge- they were absolutely divine, but so would be most any tomatoes I’m sure!
I don’t have a food mill, so I made this an easy, chunky recipe and left all the skins and seeds in the tomatoes when I diced them. If you wanted to make a smoother recipe, I’d suggest using a food mill or even utilizing the food processor. Personally, I was extremely pleased with the more chunky sauce.
I added a few notes to the bottom of the recipe about kinds of tomatoes and the methods for preparing the tomatoes. Basically, what I’m trying to say is I used what I had on hand. I had heirlooms, so I used them. I don’t have a food mill, so I didn’t use the food mill I do not have. It’s back to my ever-lazy, but resourceful, philosophy: make do in the kitchen! (wow… now that I’ve read that over, I’m going to admit that that’s not the note I wanted to end on… I’ll choose better words next time haha)
Posted in CSA, Dinner, Lunch, Sauce
Tagged Chili Powder, Cumin, Diced Onion, Heirloom Tomatoes, Onion, Oregano, Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Tomatoes