What I Made: Chorizo Skillet with Cauliflower and Cabbage

Let me start with an observation: you know a recipe was good when the only photo I have to show for it is in the form of leftovers!

It’s surprising, too, that I would find myself so fond of a recipe that features cauliflower and cabbage – two veggies I tend to avoid.  It’s the rich flavor of spicy chorizo that stars here, making up for the yummy taste that plain cauliflower and cabbage lack.

The recipe starts with Mexican-style chorizo.  A word of caution – I did not buy the pack labeled “hot” and still found this PLENTY spicy.  You could substitute a regular pork sausage if you want to be safely in the mild camp.  Removed the chorizo or sausage from its casing and brown it in a skillet, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.  Add in all the vegetables of your choosing and some water and steam until the veggies are tender.  It’s a filling one-pot meal and is so tasty you’ll forget your fears of cabbage altogether!

CabbageSkillet

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What I Made: Sautéed French Breakfast Radishes

I’ve gotten a lot of radishes in my baskets, and for the most part, I unimaginatively chop them up and toss them in a green salad. This week’s variety definitely looked different than the little round, red radishes I had been accustomed to seeing, so I was excited when I learned that their mild flavor made them ideal for a cooked radish dish.

It’s a basic sautéed dish: halve or quarter your radishes, and cook in a pan with some butter and a little olive oil until the radishes are translucent, or even a bit browned as I preferred. They are crispy, but with a mellow flavor that doesn’t bite back.

SauteedRadish

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What I Made: Chicken Orzo Skillet with Peppers

Hearty, one-pot meals are my go-to during these season, both to cook up during the cool evenings and as microwaved leftovers to warm me up from my typical popsicle-like state in my office. This has pasta and chicken and uses s many of the peppers I’ve been receiving, along with the tomato sauce I made previously. It’s great served with a nice green salad on the side, along with some crusty garlic bread.

There’s a bit of chopping involved, but afterwards, the meal comes together pretty easily.  The chicken is cut into tenderloin-sized strips and orzo should be cooked and kept hot.  Half of the chicken is cooked in the skillet, then removed and set aside.  The remaining chicken, along with some peppers, shallot, and garlic are added and cooked until the chicken is done and the peppers have softened.  The reserved chicken is added back and given a toss with the cooked orzo, tomato sauce, and basil. Once the mixture is hot, season it with salt, pepper, and cheese and serve.

ChickenPepperOrzo

Sorry the cheese is in the way of the actual dish, but that shouldn’t be surprising by now…

Detailed instructions follow.

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What I Made: Spaghetti Squash with Gruyere Cheese

To someone who has never made it before, spaghetti squash seems so intimidating.  Somehow I’m supposed to take something that looks like a regular, unremarkable squash and turn it into something that looks like spaghetti? Turns out it’s not so hard after all.  Then tossed with cheese and some fresh parsley, it makes a great pasta substitute for those looking to go gluten free or just upgrade to a healthy option.

To get squash into cooked form, you just jab a couple of vents in it with a knife (to keep the thing from exploding inside your oven, the recipe explains!) and bake it for at least an hour until it’s soft, much like baking a potato in the oven. Next, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds, without removing too much of the flesh.  To create the “spaghettis”, just scrape the remaining flesh with a fork and scoop it out from the skin.  Toss it with some butter, gruyere cheese, garlic and fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper to complete the dish.

SpaghettiSquash

You can tell a dish is really good when all I have is a photo of the leftovers ready for another day’s meal.

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What I Made: Chard Greens with Dill, Parsley, and Green Onions

When I have received chard in the past, I’ve tended to rely on my old standby recipe of chard baked with feta and egg. I’m a real dairy lover, but I’ve become conscious through writing these posts just how much cheese I use in these recipes.  The chard recipe I’m sharing today is lighter, but no less flavorful thanks to the fragrant punch from the herbs.

It’s an especially fast side dish, as well. Chop up the chard, cutting out any ribs larger than the width about your pinkie fingernail. Next, wilt the chard.  Leave it wet after washing and toss it for a few minutes in a hot pan. Cook some green onions, dill, and parsley in oil over medium heat in a skillet until wilted. Then, add chard and toss until warm.  Season with salt and pepper. Easy, right?

ChardHerbsOnions

As always, full recipe with detailed steps is below. Continue reading

What I Made: Rigatoni with Kale and Cream Sauce

I’ve been having fun trying my hand at homemade pastas, but let’s face it – some things are just way outside my skill level. Thankfully, with the easy substitution of some store bought rigatoni, the most labor-intensive part of this dish is slicing the kale and mushrooms!

First, cook pasta according to directions. Then, melt butter in a large pan and whisk in flour to make a light brown roux. Next, add milk and stir constantly until the sauce boils. Finally, mix in thyme, chopped mushrooms and chopped kale and pour over the cooked and drained pasta. For an extra kick (and to use up some leftovers), I added chopped prosciutto just before serving.

Don’t like mushrooms? Substitute cooked chicken instead.

RigatoniKale

 
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What I Made: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

While fans of the Pumpkin Spice Latte might disagree, to me, nothing says “Fall is here” like butternut squash soup. It’s sweet but savory, and hearty enough that it makes a nice meal when served with a crusty piece of french bread.  Pair it with a grilled cheese when there’s really a chill in the air and enjoy the Fall season before we’re all complaining about the bitterly cold winter.  Maybe I’m just still in shock from the deep freeze that was last year.  Brr!

Besides the patience required to sit idly by while smelling the delicious vegetables as they roast slowly in the oven, the soup recipe is very simple. Cut up the squash and place cut side up in a baking sheet, brushed with oil and sprinkled with thyme.  Cut the tops off two onions and a head of garlic and do the same.  Cover both with foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for at least two hours.  My squash roasted faster than my onions, so check frequently, as cooking time may vary. Once the veggies are cooled, peel off the skin and mash together in a large pot. Add broth and cream (I used half and half to cut down a bit on the fat) and mix with a stick blender until smooth.

ButternutSoup

 

As always, the full recipe follows.

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