Tag Archives: Cheese

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Walnuts and Blue Cheese

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Walnuts and Blue Cheese

One of my favorite things about summer is, without a doubt, heirloom tomatoes. I await their annual arrival with impatience and once they are finally here I buy them every chance I can. Truth be told, I’m mostly boring with them. Slice them, a sprinkle of salt, and given their size I find that’s a lovely and surprisingly filling side dish to a lean protein.

heirloom tomato salad with pickled walnuts and blue cheese

Obviously I can’t blog that. So I blog my other favorite thing to do with them: salads!! Every summer I hunt down a unique and creative way to showcase these beauties via salads, and when I find one I like, I keep making it every other day until Matt serves the cease and desist request. (He’s not nearly as big a fan of tomatoes as I am).

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Walnuts and Blue Cheese

But, he did like this one a lot, which means it’s *extremely* tasty. I couldn’t get enough, every time I made it. The first time found us pressed for time, so I skipped the candied walnuts and just pickled regular ones. No. Hunt down or DIY them up candied, it’s so worth it. I also skipped the celery, on account of having forgotten to buy it (d’oh!), and please don’t do that either. It lends not so much flavor but a wonderful crunch that complements the soft texture of the heirlooms.

heirloom tomato salad with pickled walnuts and blue cheese

I really can’t say enough good things about this beautiful salad. If you love, or even like, heirlooms, then this needs to be in your summer repertoire while we can still get ahold of those babies. Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Walnuts and Blue Cheese

Source: Food & Wine, June 2011 (recipe submitted by Richard Blais)

Ingredients:
½ cup candied walnuts, coarsely chopped
4 tsp sherry vinegar, divided
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 lbs. assorted heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced or cut into large wedges
2 small celery ribs with leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions:
In a small bowl, toss the walnuts with 2 tsp of the vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk the mustard with the remaining 2 tsp vinegar and the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange the tomatoes on a platter. Season with salt. Add the celery and its leaves, nuts and cheese. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

Well, it is officially August, but instead of lamenting that summer is almost over (though believe me, I’m tempted to do so) I’d rather celebrate the arrival of stone fruit season! At least in my northeast US neck of the woods. It seems like those peaches, nectarines and plums just aren’t really ripe for use until the beginning of August up here, though rest assured I try to rush them every year.

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

So for my first peach dish of the season, I went for brunch. I realized it’s been forever since I made pancakes (the horror), so Matt vehemently happily agreed it was time to rectify that. I can always count on him for support. 🙂

goat cheese pancakes with fresh peach syrup

The goat cheese flecked throughout the fluffy pancake batter turns out delicious pancakes. They are both sweet and tangy, and the goat cheese plays very well with the sweetness of the peaches. I tested this recipe both ways, and you definitely need the cinnamon in the peach syrup. I was worried it would overpower the peach flavor, but it just brings it out and adds some warmth to the syrup. And without it, the syrup is actually a little bland.

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

Enjoy! A perfect way to begin the wonderful peach season! And your morning…

Source: adapted from Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson

Ingredients:

PANCAKES:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tbs flavorless oil, like canola, plus more for brushing the skillet
3 oz. crumbled goat cheese

SYRUP:
½ cup honey
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:
To make the PANCAKES: combine the flour, sugar, salt,  baking powder, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil, plus ¼ cup water.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, all at once, then whisk until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the goat cheese crumbles. Set aside to rest for a few minutes while the griddle heats up.
Place your griddle over medium-low heat and give it all the time it needs to heat up. Don’t rush this process, or you’ll be throwing out your first batch of pancakes. It’s ready when you flick a few drops of water onto the griddle and they spit and dance around.
Once ready, brush the griddle all over with canola oil. Ladle the pancake batter, about ¼ cup at a time, onto your hot griddle and cook until the edges are set and you see bubbles forming on top. Quickly flip the pancake over and cook on the other side until just cooked through. I like to test for doneness with a toothpick. Remove the pancakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter until done.
While the pancakes are cooking, make the SYRUP: in a medium stockpot, bring the honey and peaches to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cinnamon and salt. Cook until the peaches release their juices and the mixture reduces to a syrupy consistency. This should take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, it goes from a perfect syrupy texture to overdone in a blink. Once it’s ready, keep on low heat until you’re ready to use.
To plate, place 2-3 pancakes on a plate and generously ladle the peach syrup over. Serve immediately.

Nacho Dogs

Nacho Dogs

Happy Tuesday. Moving sucks.

Enough about me – we should instead talk about combining two comfort/junk food classics into one incredibly tasty meal. This is for sure something to be saved for splurge day. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Which brings me to what I have discovered through my journey of shedding some pounds, and is actually a pretty important point. My new philosophy (one of them anyways) is to spend my calories the way I spend my money. No one would purposely go out and spend their hard-earned money on say, clothes that they found ugly, or that didn’t fit right; or a book you have no desire to read, or a genre of music you know you don’t enjoy. We spend money wisely, on things we know we’ll use and enjoy.

Nacho Dogs

It’s really the same with food. If I’m spending more calories than usual on a meal or snack because I’m allowing a small or occasionally a large splurge, then I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I’ll really enjoy it. Good ingredients, things I know I like, and savoring every bite.

Nacho Dogs

These nacho dogs were worth it. They’re kind of like the Kardashians – a bit over the top, and a bit trashy, but making no apologies. (Speaking of which, please, oh please watch this video if you haven’t seen it. My sides were hurting from the laughter). Unlike the Kardashian’s show though, these hot dogs were extremely enjoyable and good. Like I said, worth every extra calorie. Enjoy!

Nacho Dogs

Source: Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
4 plum tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 large chipotle in adobo, minced
3 tbs finely diced red onion
Small handful of cilantro leaves, minced
8 good-quality beef or turkey hot dogs
8 good-quality hot dog buns, split (I used brioche – so delicious)
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup sliced pickled jalapenos
Guacamole (homemade or good quality store-bought)
Tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled

Directions:
First make the salsa: preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to high for direct grilling. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill until charred on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove the tomatoes from the grill, and let cool enough so you can handle them. Slice in half, scrape out the seeds, and coarsely chop.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbs olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced chipotle, red onion and cilantro. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now cook the hot dogs. Grill the hot dogs until golden brown and lightly charred (if you like) on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove to a plate, then grill the buns, cut side down, until lightly golden brown and toasted, about 20 seconds.
To assemble this wonderful hot mess: place a hot dog in the bun, then top with cheese, jalapenos, guacamole, salsa, and crumbled tortilla chips. Serve immediately.

Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs Chicken

Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! This month I was assigned Angel’s Homestead, written by the lovely April – a lady living with her husband and the last of FIVE children in Southern Indiana. April has a very full blog as she writes about her family’s journey being simple, frugal and living off the land as much as possible; she also shares allergy-free recipes and blogs about her weight loss journey. Spoken from someone who’s been there, huge congrats on your accomplishment, April!!

It’s always such a treat when you peruse your assigned blog for SRC and find that they have a recipe you’ve been dying to try anyway, and thus they give you this perfect excuse to make it now. April has a restaurant remake on her blog that has been on my to-make list for a few years now, so what better time to take the plunge? This is Alice Springs Chicken from Outback Steakhouse.

Alice Springs Chicken

Although I grew up frequenting the Outback, I never tried this dish until a couple years ago, I guess because… well, who goes to a steakhouse and orders chicken? Judging from the popularity of this dish and the fact that so many try to copycat it at home, apparently lots of people order it and love it, and two years ago, I joined those legions of people who went to a steakhouse and ordered chicken.

I was visiting my sister and her family right after my niece Claire was born. My brother-in-law’s parents had just come in to see the baby too, and our first night for dinner, seeing as everyone was a bit too weary to cook, his parents generously brought some Outback takeout home. I decided to order the Alice Springs Chicken – see what all the fuss was about.

Alice Springs Chicken

And? It’s really good! It’s rich and decadent and comforting, and everything I wanted after the agitation of missing my connecting flight in Charlotte because someone in air traffic control saw two whole snowflakes. Though I’d never done it before, I was not the least bit regretful about ordering chicken from a steakhouse. I vowed to make it at home, and somehow that’s taken two years. I have no excuses…

The homemade version might be even better, I kid you not. This is really cheesy and flavorful and fun to make, and more important, it just tastes really, really good. Perfect comfort food, and no futzing around with getting out and worming your way through a crowded restaurant. So thank you so much for having this wonderful recipe on your blog April! Y’all be sure and check her out. Enjoy!

Alice Springs Chicken

{One Year Ago: Collard Greens, Mushroom, and Cheddar Bread Pudding}

Source: adapted from Angel’s Homestead and See Aimee Cook

Ingredients:
6-8 slices bacon (April calls for 6 slices, my bacon was looking very puny so I went with 8)
2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Oil or butter, if needed
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Smoked paprika, to taste
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 tbs garlic powder
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Preheat a 12″ cast-iron, or other oven-safe skillet over medium heat. If you do not own an oven-safe skillet, then use your regular large skillet and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish. Cook the bacon in the skillet until crisped. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
Add the mushrooms to the bacon fat. Some versions of this recipe instruct to drain most of the bacon fat, but remember that mushrooms are little sponges that love to soak up any fat the encounter, which just makes them taste better in the end, and this is a splurge meal anyway, so I say leave all that bacon fat and don’t worry about it! Anyway, cook the mushrooms until they are softened and browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Pour off any mushroom liquid in the pan. Add a touch of oil if it’s too dry to sear the chicken.
Turn the skillet to medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Sear the chicken in the skillet, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a heat-proof flat surface.
Meanwhile, make the honey mustard by thoroughly whisking together the Dijon mustard, honey, mayonnaise, and garlic powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
As soon as you remove the chicken from the skillet, brush the side facing up with a generous amount of the honey mustard. Place the chicken breasts back into the skillet, OR in the prepared baking dish, mustard side down. Brush the other side generously with the honey mustard. Now top the chicken with the bacon, the mushrooms, and some of both cheeses. Really press the cheese down, and do not worry about it spilling over onto the skillet or baking dish. Transfer the chicken (carefully!) into the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the chicken is just cooked through. Slide a chicken onto each of 4 dinner plates, making sure you scoop up a good amount of that cheesy goodness too.


Pork Lover’s Pizza

Pork Lover's Pizza

Well, it happened – I caught my first (and last? Oh please, oh please) cold of the season. Compared to the last two years, this is actually pretty good for me, but damn if it wasn’t incredibly unpleasant for four days. First world problems though. It’s good to be back!

Pork Lover's Pizza

Since I’ve been gone so long, I wanted the first post back to be a knock-out. And really, what is more decadent and pleasing than a meat-lover’s pizza? Childhood favorite of mine, that’s for sure. But when I realized that the only meat on here is pork, I decided to embrace it and call it pork lover’s pizza instead. It’s no less delicious for lacking in beef.

pork lover's pizza

Homemade pizza is always better than commercial big chain take-out, we all know that, and this is no exception to that rule. This pizza is quite fine, the flavors melding together perfectly but each standing on their own, and more importantly, they aren’t muddled together by an overabundance of salt and salt flavorings so prized by the fast food industry. Yes, this is a salty paradise, but in a welcoming way that doesn’t blow out your palate.

Pork Lover's Pizza

I made this one twice, both times on a Friday night after a less-than-thrilling work week for both me and Matt. It was the perfect comfort food answer to cheer bad moods and soothe wracked nerves. Especially if paired with red wine – just sayin’! Enjoy!

Pork Lover's Pizza

{One Year Ago: Banana Split Brownies}
{Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Stuffed French Toast; Lemon Risotto; Chocolate Pistachio Fudge; Classic Caesar Salad}

Source: lightly adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton

Ingredients:
1 scant tbs olive oil
1 link uncooked Italian hot or sweet sausage, casings removed
2 thick slices Applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
1/8 lb. thinly sliced guanciale or pancetta
1 round pizza dough, enough for 1 (~ 12-inch) thin crust pizza
4 oz. tomato sauce
6 deli slices low-moisture mozzarella
5 thin deli slices of salami

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 500 F if using a pizza stone, making sure you place your pizza stone in a cold oven.
Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the olive oil, then add in the sausage in little clumps, sort of like free-form mini meatballs. Cook for a few minutes, turning the sausage to brown on all sides, until just cooked through. If a few pieces aren’t quite cooked through, don’t worry about it. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the bacon to the same skillet and cook until crisped and browned. Remove with the slotted spoon to the same plate as the sausage.
Pour out any excess fat – you want to keep about a tablespoon in there. Now add the guanciale or pancetta to the skillet and cook until crisped. Remove with the slotted spoon to the same plate.
If you haven’t yet, roll the pizza dough to about 12 inches around (I know some pizza doughs have to be rolled out beforehand and some don’t). If your pizza stone requires parbaking, do so now.
Assemble the pizza for baking (either on a raw or parbaked crust): spread the tomato sauce all around with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Now lay the cheese slices all around – some gaps or some overlapping is fine.
Next lay the salami slices over the cheese. Now scatter the sausage, bacon and guanciale evenly over the pizza. Place the pizza in the oven and cook according to your pizza stone’s instructions. While I’m still experimenting with my new pizza stone, what seems to work for thin crust pizzas is 4 minutes parbaking the plain dough (rolled out to about 12 inches), then assembling the pizza and baking another 8 minutes.
When the cheese is melted and browned on the edges and the crust is cooked through, remove the pizza and let rest about 5 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

Italian Sausage Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Boats

Italian Sausage Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Boats

This cold winter is really making an aggressively menacing effort to sabotage my weight loss efforts. I’ve got nine more pounds to go, and those nine pounds may just have to wait until spring. I’m serious. It’s not that I don’t want to lose them, it’s not that I’m not cognizant of my dietary and exercising efforts; it’s more that the cave man part of my brain is taking over and telling me that I need tons of animal fats and carbs to store up energy for this stupid cold weather we’re having. And it’s pretty difficult to talk back to that very strong voice.

Italian Sausage Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Boats

I try, of course. I tell it that I’m living in the 21st century, which means that I have access to all kinds of modern conveniences my cave man ancestors did not: winter coats, hats and gloves and scarves, indoor plumbing, indoor heating, any blanket I want, sweatshirts, long underwear…

It doesn’t matter. The inner voice persists, quite loudly sometimes. That’s why I am so thrilled that spaghetti squash is still in season. And that’s why I was even more thrilled to find that Kevin posted this recipe that includes a very hearty, meaty, cheesy lasagna type thing that nestles over spaghetti squash. I feel like Kevin is really looking out for both my inner cave man and my current waistline! Haha!

Italian Sausage Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Boats

Spaghetti squash is low-carb, of course, but it’s also filling and nutritious. And while not a pasta replacement, it is quite tasty on its own. In this dish we’ll be tossing that cooked spaghetti squash with lots of cheesy goodness: ricotta, Fontina, and some basil for extra flavor. It’s then topped with a hearty, warm, stick-to-your-ribs Italian sausage and tomato sauce ragu, which is then topped with more Fontina and melted under the broiler.

Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Boats

It’s PERFECT for cold winter nights, and it’s also pretty figure-friendly. You could sub in ground turkey for even fewer calories if you wanted, not to mention you could use low-fat ricotta and part-skim low moisture mozzarella for the Fontina.

And most importantly, this is really delicious. How could it not be? There’s just so much flavor here, and it’s so filling and satisfying without much guilt. And not nearly as time-consuming as actual lasagna, so score!! Enjoy this one guys! And try to stay warm!

Italian Sausage Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Boats

{One Year Ago: Margarita Fish Tacos}
{Two Years Ago: Giant Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze}

Source: slightly adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients:
2 small spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 tbs olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, removed from its casings
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs basil, chopped, divided
1 cup ricotta
6-8 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded, divided

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a silpat. Brush the inner flesh of the spaghetti squash with 1 tbs olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast, skin side up, in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes. You know when it’s done when a sharp paring knife can be inserted into the flesh and removed with no resistance.
Meanwhile, make the ragu. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle in the remaining tbs olive oil. Add the sausage and crumble with a sturdy spoon. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook until tender, another 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, paprika, balsamic vinegar, plus salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10-15 minutes, to let the flavors marry and the tomato sauce thicken. Stir in the basil and turn the heat to very low.
Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and let cool just slightly. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash into a large bowl, taking care not to break or crack the spaghetti squash shells. Add the ricotta, remaining tbs basil, and a medium-sized handful of the shredded Fontina. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well, evenly coating the strands of squash with the cheese.
Nestle the cheesy spaghetti squash strands back in the spaghetti squash shells, using a spoon to make an indentation, or a “bowl” in the center of each. Spoon the sausage ragu evenly into the 4 boats, then top each with the remaining shredded Fontina.
Broil in the oven until the cheese has melted and turned a light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve immediately.

DIY Velveeta Cheese

DIY Velveeta Cheese

Welcome to the most fun day ever – yep, it’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month I was assigned The Painted Apron, a fun and creative blog written by the beautiful Jenna Meon. Jenna is not only a great cook and baker, she’s an artist too, and owns her own business designing hand-painted glassware! After moving around a bit, Jenna and her husband settled in Birmingham, AL where they live when they’re not relaxing at their beach house in Orange Beach, AL. It’s 3 degree Fahrenheit where I’m sitting. I’m not jealous of you Jenna, not at all, lol!

homemade Velveeta cheese

Family is very important to her, having two grown children, three grandchildren and one grand-dog. Jenna embodies everything we all love about Southern hospitality; her warm, sweet spirit shines through in every recipe.

DIY Velveeta Cheese

I had a tough time deciding, but she features a recipe I’ve been dying to try anyways, so that made my decision for me: homemade Velveeta cheese that you make from scratch!! Yes, this is the coolest thing ever! You get all the meltiness of that processed cheese product we all secretly love without any nasty chemicals, and there’s a ton of real cheese in there! The texture is exactly like the store-bought version, but made from scratch! Win-win!

DIY Velveeta Cheese

Oh, and it’s really easy to throw together too. Thank you so much for featuring this great recipe on your site, Jenna! I so enjoyed reading through your recipes this month!

DIY Velveeta Cheese

UPDATE: This homemade cheese product only works on sandwiches, as far as I can tell. It does NOT work in a queso or cheese dip. For some reason, prolonged exposure to heat causes the elements to separate. Sorry. :/

Source: The Painted Apron

Ingredients:
1 tbs water
1 1/2 tsp gelatin powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs whole milk
12 oz Colby Jack Cheese, grated
1 tbs milk powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Directions:
Line a 9×13″ loaf pan with enough plastic wrap to over hang down the sides 3 inches. You will use this overhang to cover the finished cheese.
Combine the water and gelatin in a small dish and set aside. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile place the grated cheese in the food processor bowl and add milk powder, salt and cream of tartar. Pulse a few times to distribute. Remove milk from heat and put it in a pourable measuring cup. With the machine running, pour the milk into the feed tube. Once the milk is incorporated add the gelatin mixture. Process for 1-2 minutes more until cheese is smooth. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
Transfer the cheese into the prepared pan and pack down tightly, forming an even block. Bring excess saran up and over cheese and seal. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before using. Use within 2 weeks.


Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips #SundaySupper

parmesan pistachio kale chips

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week is Heart Healthy – in the middle of February, which is Heart Healthy Month. (Very apropos!) We’re doing our part to spread awareness and reminders of the benefits of incorporating heart healthy practices into our lifestyles.

But what exactly does heart healthy even mean? These days, it’s hard to know for sure. The prevailing wisdom dictates eating a low-saturated-fat diet and getting enough exercise, and lowering cholesterol. But the data coming in is indicating that maybe this is not the key to decreasing and preventing the American epidemic of heart disease. Many scientists are now reporting that sugar and refined carbohydrates may be the real culprit, and that saturated fat is just fine in moderation.

Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips

The results seem to be inconclusive at this point. But it’s interesting to note that Dr. Ancel Keys, the scientist who got this whole low-fat-equals-heart-healthy trend started with his Seven Countries Study is widely believed to have cherry-picked his data. Oops. BIG no-no there. And did you also know that, according to renowned Harvard researcher Steven Pinker, this “prevailing wisdom” from a purportedly flawed study has been used by some animal rights activists to help further their cause of advocating widespread vegetarianism as a way to end factory farming and animal cruelty? While I’m as against factory farming and animal cruelty as anyone, and I absolutely laud the intentions of the animal rights revolution, I say this to demonstrate the ubiquity of this so-called common wisdom, that it’s coming at us from more than one source, and not all those sources are concerned with our heart health. The more a line is repeated, the more it seems obvious and self-evidently true, even if maybe it’s not.

Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips

I think the jury may be still out, but the old verdict is seriously in question. So that left me pondering what to make for today’s theme. I decided to go for something settled and non-controversial. Even if we someday find out conclusively that saturated fats are just fine, that certainly won’t invalidate the health benefits of fresh vegetables, particularly dark greens. I think everyone can agree that vegetables are an important part of a healthy lifestyle, including for the health of our hearts.

Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips

So I made you kale chips! Kale chips that are baked, not fried, and that are flavored with pistachios – again, not at all disputed that nuts are good for you – and a touch of parmesan cheese. Parmesan is a lower-fat cheese and is usually a garnish, not a main ingredient, as it is here.

I’m sort of in love with these things! They are super crunchy, flavorful, nutty, and completely guilt-free! This is probably the most perfect afternoon snack I’ve made yet!

parmesan pistachio kale chips

I hope y’all enjoy them, and definitely check out the Heart Healthy recipes my Sunday Supper peeps are sharing today!

{One Year Ago: Soy-Ginger Salmon over Asian Veggie Noodles; Anchovy Pasta Carbonara; Freeform Crawfish Ravioli}
{Two Years Ago: Malted Chocolate Ice CreamPimento Cheese SpreadCuban Black Bean Soup}

Source: slightly adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Ingredients:
1/3 cup roasted salted pistachios
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
2 small heads of lacinato, or dinosaur kale, each leaf chopped into thirds, bottom third with the thickest part of the stem discarded or saved for another use
2 tbs olive oil

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
Add the pistachios to a food processor and pulse until the nuts are in fine crumbs. It’s fine if there are a few slightly larger pieces. Keep this on the pulse setting as you do NOT want to make nut butter.
Pour the pistachios into a small bowl and use your fingers to thoroughly combine them with the cheese.
Add the kale pieces to a very large bowl. Pour the olive oil over the top and use your hands to toss the kale and massage the oil into the leaves. Once the kale is evenly coated with the oil, lay the pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the pistachio mixture evenly over the top of the kale, pressing it to adhere if necessary. Bake the kale 15 minutes, until crispy but not browned.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely, and then leftovers can be stored in an airtight food storage container.
Note: I’m sure you could also make this recipe with curly kale, but I haven’t tried it.

Better for you breakfasts:

Jump start your health with these appetizers and snacks:

Soups that’ll win your heart:

Veggies, Sides, & Salads your heart will thank you for:

Healthy is the center of attention in these main courses:

Staying healthy doesn’t mean giving up desserts!

We heart wine.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

In what was perhaps (okay fine, most assuredly) a coincidence, I ran across a recipe in my blog reader for putting gruyere cheese in a biscuit, just when I happened to have the exact amount of gruyere cheese called for in said recipe sitting in my refrigerator, about to expire! I took it as a divine sign from the Cheesy Biscuit Gods (of course they exist! Why on earth would you doubt that?) that I was simply meant to bake up these biscuit beauties.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

So this is sort of like taking the main elements of French Onion soup – the caramelized onions, the gruyere cheese – and mixing them up into biscuit dough. They bake up incredibly fluffy and beautiful, with the sweet bite of onion and sharp nuttiness of cheese in every bite.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

They are milder in flavor than I was expecting, but certainly not in a bad way, and Matt’s coworkers have already demolished them, even though they were apparently competing with amazing New York bagels in the break room.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

So I hope y’all will enjoy these! A perfect savory treat!

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

{One Year Ago: Crab Macaroni and Cheese}

Source: slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
9 tbs cold unsalted butter, divided
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch plus 1 tbs granulated sugar, divided
1 tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp coarse or kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
4 oz. (about 1 cup) gruyère or another Swiss-style cheese, shredded
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add olive oil. Add the onions, plus a pinch of sugar, and reduce the heat to low. Place a lid on top, letting them steam for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re nicely golden and caramelized, which will take anywhere from another 10 to 35 minutes. Don’t rush this – you want them caramelized but not browned or charred. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Dice 8 tbs remaining cold butter into 1/2-inch bits. Use your fingertips or a pastry blender to work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly with butter in pieces no larger than a small pea.
Pour the buttermilk onto the flour mixture, then add the cooled onions and shredded cheese. Stir all to combine. Add a few drops more buttermilk if needed. Once the dough has mostly come together, use your clean hands to knead the last little scraggly bits into the entire mixture. Do not knead for more than 1 minute though, as you don’t want to overwork the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out to a 1-inch thickness. Use a floured 3-inch cutter to stamp out circles and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Gather the scrap and re-roll them as needed. Space the biscuits fairly close together – not touching, but fairly close. These are not cookies, so don’t worry about them running together. Biscuits (and scones for that matter) have a lot of leavening agent; if you space them widely, they spread out, but if you space them close, they spread up. And spread up biscuits are much fluffier and lighter.
Sprinkle biscuits with sea salt and black pepper and bake 20 to 23 minutes. Serve warm.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

Huevos Rancheros Salad

I have one more classic-dish-turned-dinner-salad recipe to share with you to conclude this themed week, and I was going to share it yesterday, until I remembered that (for whatever reason) Friday is always my slowest traffic day; and thus, I decided to share this on a Saturday (which, again for whatever reason, is a much better traffic day for me) because this dish is just too delicious and too special to risk not being seen.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

This is Huevos Rancheros, the classic Mexican morning dish of crisp tortilla covered in ranchero sauce, cheese and a fried egg, but it’s turned into a salad!! You may be asking if that can even work, and I’m here to assure you, yes it can. It does. It’s insanely good.

Now, I’m not going to ask you to take my word for it – that this salad is just beyond. You see, I don’t have the least bit of an objective relationship with Huevos Rancheros. I love it, period. It can do no wrong in my book. I guess what I’m saying, is that, for me, Huevos Rancheros is like sex: when it’s good, it’s indescribable, and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

So you should take Matt’s word for it, instead. He, being much more discerning about his Huevos Rancheros and not being quite so obsessed, found this salad to be “phenomenal.” And he, unlike myself, would recognize and say so if it wasn’t.

This salad is everything you love about the iconic dish, just transformed by placing the traditional ingredients on a bed of lettuce and crushing some tortilla chips on top. There’s a creamy chipotle dressing that lightly coats the lettuce pieces but doesn’t compete with the traditional flavors. And of course, that runny egg yolk – arguably one of the best parts of Huevos Rancheros – serves to dress everything too.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

It’s different, for sure! But, I firmly believe that all of you out there who are Huevos Rancheros lovers will also love it in salad form. A really beautiful meal, for any time of day. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Julie’s Famous Buffalo Wings; Soy, Dijon and Blue Cheese Chicken Wings}
{Two Years Ago: Meyer Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones; Gas Station Pork Tacos}

Source: recipe slightly adapted from The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Ellen Brown; egg technique from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
DRESSING:
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tsp adobo sauce
1 large egg
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup sour cream

SALAD:
1 large romaine heart, chopped
¾ cup diced jalapeno Jack cheese
1 cup cooked corn kernels (frozen are fine, just thaw them first)
¾ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1-4 tbs unsalted butter, lard, or rendered bacon fat
1-2 large eggs per serving (anywhere from 2 to 8 eggs)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup tomato salsa, homemade or store-bought
Crushed tortilla chips, about 1 generous handful per serving
4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Directions:
First make the DRESSING: combine the chipotle, adobo sauce, egg, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. With the machine still running, carefully pour in the olive oil through the top of the blender, until a thick sauce forms. Add the sour cream and process 30 seconds. Refrigerate until using.
Combine the lettuce, cheese, corn, and beans in a large mixing bowl. Toss with your hands to evenly incorporate everything. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over high heat and get it screaming hot, about 1 full minute. Add the fat of choice, about 1 generous tbs for every 2 eggs. Work in batches to avoid crowding the eggs. Let the fat melt completely, then add your egg, reduce the heat to medium-high, and step back. The whites will sputter and hiss. Within a minute, it should get brown at the edges but don’t touch or move it. Let it cook until the white looks fully opaque, another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Shimmy a thin metal spatula under the egg, gently loosening any stuck parts. Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat as needed to cook all of your eggs.
To serve, dress the lettuce mixture lightly with the dressing and toss to combine. Mound the lettuce on dinner plates, then top with 1-2 fried eggs. Spoon salsa over all and garnish with the tortilla chips and scallions. Serve immediately.
As written, this will probably yield 4-6 servings, depending on how large a portion you prefer. I got 4 servings. How many eggs you use depends on whether your diners want 1 or 2 eggs per serving, and how many servings you choose to have.