Tag Archives: Dark Greens

Tuscan Porterhouse with Rosemary-Balsamic Steak Sauce and Seared Radicchio #SundaySupper

Tuscan Porterhouse with Balsamic Rosemary Steak Sauce and Seared Radicchio

Ah, Italy. That romantic, boot-shaped European country known for a seemingly unfixable corrupt government, the inability to mass produce a decent car, and some of the most beautiful, delicious, well-crafted food in the entire world. Yep, it’s Sunday Supper, and our theme this week is Italian Feast!

Tuscan Porterhouse with Balsamic Rosemary Steak Sauce and Seared Radicchio

Though I’ve only been to Italy once, back in college when my foodie palate was … unsophisticated, to say the least … I have absolutely adored and relished getting to know real-deal Italian cuisine the past ten or so years. Italian food is all-around wonderfully superlative: it’s regionally diverse, skillfully crafted, maturely restrained, honest, and incredibly romantic.

Tuscan Porterhouse with Balsamic Rosemary Steak Sauce and Seared Radicchio

I had a difficult time deciding what to share for today’s post. Gelato, the best frozen treat ever? One of the many classic and delicious pasta dishes? A pizza from Naples? I went around and around in my head before deciding that a Tuscan porterhouse, also known as bistecca alla fiorentia, was my calling for today.

seared radicchio with gorgonzola

What a stunning meal. Thick juicy steak, doused in a sharp, tangy, earthy homemade steak sauce, and some of the best radicchio I’ve yet tasted as a side dish. So, we all know that radicchio is BITTER. It’s almost too much for me, but I found that searing it in the meat drippings then tossing with a lovely gorgonzola really tamed the almost-too-bitter part. So delicious and perfect. Enjoy!

Tuscan Porterhouse with Balsamic Rosemary Steak Sauce and Seared Radicchio

And do not forget to check out all the Italian Feast recipes from my Sunday Supper crew!

Source: adapted from Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
1 (16 oz.) porterhouse steak, about 1 ½ inches thick
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small to medium head of radicchio, outer leaves peeled, quartered, cored, and thickly sliced lengthwise
2-4 oz. crumbled gorgonzola

STEAK SAUCE:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
6 tbs low-sugar ketchup
1 tbs prepared horseradish
1 tbs honey
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tbs olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
Marinate the steak: whisk together 2 tbs olive oil, smashed garlic, and rosemary in a small baking dish just large enough to hold the steak. Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. Bring the steak to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Remove the steak from the marinade and brush off any pieces of garlic or rosemary. Season the steak generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Preheat a cast iron skillet over very high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Once it is very hot, add the steak to sear. Don’t touch it and let it sear very nicely on one side, then flip and let it sear on the other side. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the meat, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook to your desired doneness. Remove from the oven and transfer the steak to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
While the steak is in the oven, make the STEAK SAUCE: add the balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary to a small saucepan. Boil over high heat until reduced by half. Let the mixture cool a bit, then add the remaining steak sauce ingredients. Whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Let the steak sauce cool to room temperature before using, for best results.
Once the steaks are out of the oven and resting, place that same cast iron skillet over medium heat. Do not wipe it out. Add the radicchio and toss it around with tongs to sear and wilt it. Once it has wilted to your desired preference, add the gorgonzola and let it slightly melt, for about 1 minute. Taste the radicchio and see if it needs any salt; season accordingly to taste.
Slice the steak and serve with the steak sauce drizzled over and the radicchio on the side.

Appetizers:

Mains:

Dessert:

Beverages:

And Artichoke Torta plus More Recipes for Italian Fest from Sunday Supper Movement

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

Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing #SundaySupper

Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where we are bringing you a theme of Winter Salads! I personally love this one 🙂

I’ve actually been making several delicious winter salads lately, but the one I’m sharing today is probably the absolute tops. I literally made this recipe three times in two weeks. For me, that’s saying a lot.

Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing

I know I often say that a recipe is repeat-worthy, but my shameful little secret is, it doesn’t mean that I actually repeated the recipe. I don’t have many repeat recipes in my arsenal. Not because they aren’t wonderful, but because there’s so many more things to cook! So the fact that I made this one three times in two weeks should tell you something.

Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing

It’s superlative. The broccoli is roasted within an inch of its life, which makes a wonderful complement to the raw escarole – my favorite dark green – and the creamy dressing and salty cheese ties it all together. I adore anchovies, and I’m not pregnant or squeamish about a raw egg yolk, but I made this salad for hosting a brunch and was a little worried that my guests might not agree with me there, so I dressed this with a homemade ranch, and it was absolutely outstanding that way too. Food for thought…

Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing

I hope y’all enjoy this one. It’s really one of my favorite things I’ve made lately. And be sure you check out the winter salads from the rest of my Sunday Supper crew!

Source: Food & Wine, April 2010

Ingredients:

DRESSING:
2 anchovy fillets, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg yolk
½ tbs fresh lemon juice
1 generous tsp chopped fresh marjoram
6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste

SALAD:
1 head of broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch florets only
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium head of escarole, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
3-4 oz. Asiago cheese, cubed

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 450 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets with 1 tbs olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer. Roast for 18 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the DRESSING. In a mini food processor, blend the anchovies, garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, and marjoram. Transfer the mixture to a medium-to-large sized mixing bowl, preferably one that will stay still on the counter without you holding it. Whisk the mixture once or twice, then start streaming the 6 tbs olive oil while still whisking rather vigorously. Slow drip of olive oil is key here. If you stream it in too fast, the dressing won’t emulsify and will keep breaking on you. Once you’ve added the olive oil, season generously with black pepper and with only a pinch of salt. The anchovies are very salty already! If your dressing is too thick, like the texture of mayonnaise, thin it with a splash of water.
Assemble the salad by tossing the escarole and roasted broccoli in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the cheese and serve immediately.
Leftovers will actually keep, fully dressed, for about 3 days. The escarole doesn’t wilt, and as long as you refrigerate it immediately after dinner, the raw egg will be fine.

#SundaySupper Winter Salads

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Rice Salad plus more Winter Salad Recipes #SundaySupper from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper Movement
Join 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.

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.

Beans and Greens Salad

Beans and Greens Salad

Happy Hump Day! What classic dish did I turn into dinner salad today? The simple Italian soup of Beans and Greens, a wonderful soup that shines with very few ingredients: escarole, broth, cannellini beans, and parmesan cheese. Pancetta optional. I’m happy to say these same ingredients (minus the broth, of course), absolutely shine in a salad too.

Beans and Greens Salad

I did not include pancetta in my salad, although you absolutely could if you wanted to. Escarole is a fantastic green to use for salads. It doesn’t need to be cooked or wilted, and the texture is just buttery. And, it’s more nutritious than lettuce, so I think we win all around today!

Beans and Greens Salad

Beans and Greens Salad

This salad is hearty and filling, nutritious and sooooo tasty. We always love it. The dressing is a tangy vinaigrette that adds some punch without obscuring the original flavors of the soup itself. I hope you love it! And stay tuned for tomorrow and Friday – I have some *amazing* classic-dishes-turned-dinner-salads coming up that you absolutely cannot miss!! Enjoy!

Beans and Greens Salad

{One Year Ago: Chocolate-Chipotle Braised Chicken Wings}
{Two Years Ago: Spicy Calamari Stew with Garlic Rubbed Ciabatta Toasts}

Source: adapted, ever so slightly, from Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely minced or run through a garlic press
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 large or 2 small heads of escarole, coarsely chopped
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Grated parmesan, plus a few shavings from a wedge (optional)

Directions:
First, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic, and olive oil. Whisk well, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large salad bowl, toss together the escarole, beans, and as much or as little grated parmesan as you like. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, a little at a time, and toss until dressed. Beware of overdressing the salad. Garnish with a few parmesan shavings if desired. Serve immediately.

Massaged Collard Greens Salad with Smashed Croutons

Massaged Collard Greens Salad with smashed croutons 4797

Allow me to please post … my new favorite salad of all time! This is just beyond. It’s a salad to make you forget about the steak on your plate. I could eat a whole bowl for lunch. Yeah, it’s one of those.

Massaged Collard greens salad with smashed croutons 4765

The original recipe called for young, or baby collard greens, and that seemed important as you’re eating them raw in this salad. And collards can be a bit bitter; usually they are cooked to avoid too much of the bitter factor. Except that I couldn’t find anything but regular old adult collards at my grocery store. Do the babies have a particular season? I haven’t yet googled anything on this subject.

Massaged collard Greens salad with Smashed croutons 4780

All I know is that I picked up the regular collards with a hint of trepidation, wondering if this would work, and then I walked past the kale and had an “aha!” moment that would make Oprah beam with pride (okay, maybe not): I remembered that massaged kale salads are/were all the rage (are they still? We don’t eat kale here thanks to Matt’s allergy/”allergy”), and I figured that I could just massage collard greens and make them much more palatable in their raw state.

massaged collard greens salad with smashed croutons 4774

Maybe you already knew this, but turns out – my hunch was correct! You can totally massage collards the same way as kale, and it turns them delicious and perfectly at home in a salad. I am now officially obsessed with massaged collard greens salads. You simply must try this one, very, very soon. Enjoy!

Massaged Collard Greens Salad with Smashed Croutons 4778

{One Year Ago: Ancho Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas, Duck Fat Chex Mix}
{Two Years Ago: Hatch Chile White Cheddar Scones, Molasses Mustard Pork Chops}

Source: adapted from Man Made Meals by Steven Raichlen

Ingredients:
4 (3/4 inch thick) slices of Italian white or semolina bread, cut on the diagonal
1 clove garlic, cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of collard greens
Juice of 1 lemon
About ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Lightly brush about 1 ½ tbs olive oil on one side of the bread slices. Rub the garlic clove on the oiled side. Arrange the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the slices are golden brown and crisp, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the baking sheet to a trivet and prop the slices of bread up on the rim and let them cool. Cooling this way prevents steaming.
Rinse the grit off the collards and shake or spin them dry. Use a knife to cut the tough stem out of each leaf. Roll the collards lengthwise into a cigar-shaped tube, then thinly slice them into ¼-inch ribbons. Transfer to a mixing bowl. With clean hands, massage the greens for about 1 minute, tossing as you go and making sure you get all of them.
Use the garlic halves and rub the salad bowl you’ll be serving in with them. Discard. Add the collard greens, separating the ribbons as needed. Add the remaining 2 ½ tbs olive oil and the lemon juice. Don’t toss yet.
Just before serving, chop the bread slices into chunks, and then crumble the chunks over the salad. Add the Parmesan cheese, plus salt and pepper to taste, and then toss everything together. Serve immediately.

Collard Greens, Mushroom and Cheddar Bread Pudding #SundaySupper

collard greens, mushroom and cheddar bread pudding

Alright, alright, alright – Sunday Supper is back, y’all! Channeling my inner Matthew McConaughey for a second. Don’t worry though, I’m fully clothed and not stoned, so I suppose I’m not channeling him too much…

Collard Greens, Mushroom and Cheddar Bread Pudding

collards and cheddar bread pudding

Anywho… our theme this week is Eat Your Greens! Because this month is St. Patrick’s Day…. Which features the color green…. Get it? I thought it was rather clever, whoever came up with this one! I mean, the obvious choice would have been to do a St. Patty’s Day themed #SS, which would have been delicious, no doubt, but this is a very cute and healthy spin on things.

Collard greens, mushroom and cheddar bread pudding

So now which greens to choose? I went with collard greens. I love ‘em. Actually, I remembered a recipe I’d filed away in my “must-try-soon” folder, this savory bread pudding which originally called for kale. But I can’t use kale in my house; Matt says he is allergic to it. (Now, whether he’s actually allergic or whether he just doesn’t like it – well, that’s between him and his god, I suppose. Just kidding, sweetie!) But, seriously, I don’t cook with kale for his sake; no one wants the one we love to ever be miserable. So I simply made the substitution and neither of us minded one bit. It was incredibly delicious! I would highly urge you to try this one, using whichever dark greens you and yours prefer the most. Enjoy!

Collard Greens, Mushroom and Cheddar bread pudding

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the fabulous recipes from my #SS crew!

{One year ago: Classic Caesar Salad, Chocolate Pistachio Fudge, and Lemon Risotto}

Source: adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients:
Olive oil
½ a bunch of collard greens, leaves stripped from the stems and rough chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
5 oz. Cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
About ½ a loaf of round white bread, such as ciabatta or rustic white round loaf, cut into cubes
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8”baking pan and set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the collards and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add the mushroom and onion, and more oil if it looks dry. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and the mushrooms lightly brown, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk together with a fork or whisk in a medium bowl.
Add the bread cubes to a large bowl. Add the collard green mixture, plus 2/3 of your shredded cheese. Stir together until combined. Spoon the mixture into your prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture in the baking dish. Press the mixture with a spatula to make sure the bread is submerged in the custard. Sprinkle the last 1/3 of cheese on top.
Let the casserole sit at least 15 minutes, or up to overnight (covered with foil in the refrigerator, of course).
Cover with foil, if not already done, and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25-30 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Let the casserole sit 5 minutes before cutting into portions and serving. Leftovers work beautifully!

Green Light Appetizers and Sides

Getting Greens Through Salads

Entreés That Will Leave You Green With Envy

Desserts and Beverages That Will Make Others Turn Green

Join 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. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Red Wine Beef and Swiss Chard Stew

Red Wine Beef and Chard Stew

Welcome to the second-ever Week Of… blog series here at The Texan New Yorker! This week we are feasting on WINTER STEW! Although it’s been freakishly, unseasonably warm the past few days up here in NYC, the past few weeks pretty much everyone in the continental US has been hearing about cold fronts, blizzards, snowstorms, and polar vortexes, pretty much ad nauseum. We get it. It’s cold.

red wine beef and swiss chard stew

So maybe some warmth from the kitchen is in order. I’m not sure anything can warm you up like a hearty stew. And when I think of stew, I think of a nice, chunky beef stew. While I’ll demonstrate this week that it may be a culinary crime to limit stew to just beef, I think it might also be a culinary crime to discount it.

Swiss chard in the salad spinner

Swiss chard, cleaned

And that’s why we’re starting our Winter Stew week with beef. This was everything you demand want from a beef stew: warms your bones, warms your soul, flavorful, tender beef chunks and lots of veggies. The original recipe called for green beans, but seeing as they’re currently out of season, and we’re all supposed to be eating more dark greens, I threw in some Swiss chard instead. It was quite welcome and fit with the stew’s flavor profile very nicely. Enjoy! And stay tuned for more winter stew ideas this week!

Red Wine Beef and Swiss Chard Stew

Source: adapted from Food Network Favorites: Recipes from Our All-Star Chefs

Ingredients:
2 lbs. beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tbs unsalted butter, divided
4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbs all-purpose flour
3 cups beef stock
2 cups dry red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 6-inch sprig of rosemary
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium bunch of Swiss chard, leaves stripped and torn
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 300 F. Place your large Dutch oven, or other large oven-safe stock pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tbs butter in the Dutch oven, then add the beef cubes and brown on all sides. Do this in batches if necessary; do not crowd the pan as that will cause the beef to steam and not brown properly. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon to a plate or bowl.
When all the beef has been browned, lower the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the carrots and onions and sauté until softened. Add the flour and stir until all traces of it disappear into the veggies. Now add the beef stock, wine, and tomatoes. Toss in the rosemary.
Slide the browned beef cubes back into the pot along with any juices collected on the plate. Bring the liquid to a boil. Once boiling, shut off the heat. Cover the top of the pot with aluminum foil, then cover with the pot’s lid. Place the pot of stew into the oven and cook for 50 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and stir in the potatoes and chard. Replace the foil and the pot’s lid, and slide the stew back into the oven. Cook for another 50 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and discard the foil. Place the pot on a burner and simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes with the lid ajar. Season to taste again with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley. Fish out the rosemary stem and serve.

Green Gumbo

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I made this meal a few weeks ago whilst still on my I’ve-just-come-back-from-New-Orleans high, and am just now able to share it with you. Gumbo is of course a NOLA classic, but it usually contains either chicken or seafood. Although many people ardently take sides on which version of gumbo is better, I stay neutral in that debate, for I love them both. So I figured that if I love the Cajun (chicken) and the Creole (seafood) versions pretty equally, then it stands that I would probably love a meat free version too.

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I was correct. This may not be completely traditional, and I will freely admit that I never saw a green version of gumbo on any restaurant menus when I was down there, it’s still quite tasty with huge flavor. It’s still unmistakably gumbo, but with the calorie count lowered and the nutrient density much higher thanks to the dark greens. We both loved it. And the leftovers only get better.

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I found this recipe in a Rachael Ray cookbook where it was touted as one of her 30 Minute Meals. And I’m sorry, but no, Rachael, you cannot make gumbo in thirty minutes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for recipes that come together quickly, (we all need those at times) and I’ll freely admit her 30 Minute Meals concept that launched her career into the stratosphere was pretty darn genius. But the idea of making proper gumbo in thirty minutes or less is really kind of offensive. You can’t do it. Gumbo needn’t take all day, but it does take longer than half an hour, otherwise your roux isn’t executed correctly and the flavor is off. So I heavily adapted her recipe to account for a proper roux, which yielded a delicious tasting gumbo.

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And now I will answer the million dollar question people ask all the time: how long does it take to make a roux? Well, the answer varies depending on who you ask and the type of gumbo you’re making. It is generally understood that Cajun gumbo needs a darker roux than Creole gumbo. Some cooks advocate taking up to an hour to make a proper Cajun roux. But a general rule of thumb that I like to follow is that roux takes about a beer.

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So crack open a cold beer, sprinkle in your flour, and start stirring and drinking (but not guzzling). When you’ve finished your beer, your roux should be done. It’s a good rule. I followed it for this gumbo, and the flavor was great. Enjoy!

Source: heavily adapted from 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 fresh bay leaf
1 (12 oz.) bottle pale beer
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs hot sauce (I used Texas Pete’s)
1-2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 bundles of dark greens (I used dandelion greens), stemmed and chopped
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 scallions, chopped
Cooked white rice, for serving

Directions:
First you make the roux. Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Melt the butter. When it is completely melted, sprinkle in the flour. Using a wooden spoon, start stirring. Keep stirring until your roux resembles the color of peanut butter. This will take a good 15 to 20 minutes. If it starts to smoke, lower the heat. Do not walk away or stop stirring. If it burns, you must start over, because that burnt taste will end up in the gumbo and make it taste yucky.
Once your roux is done, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Saute until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and add the bay leaf. Now add the beer and stir to thicken a little. Add the stock, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, and greens. Season the greens with the nutmeg then stir them into the gumbo.
Bring to a quick boil, then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.
To serve, ladle some gumbo into a bowl, then use an ice cream scoop to serve some rice on top. Garnish with scallions and serve hot with extra hot sauce at the table.

Beans and Greens Soup

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A question to all you food bloggers out there: do you ever make a recipe, love it, want to share it, but then don’t know what to write about it? You sit down to put the post together and find you don’t have an entertaining story to tell about it? And all you can think to say about it is something along the lines of it’s-so-good-you-should-try-it-soon? And you don’t want to have the post be all in that vain, because then your readers will be thinking, “thanks Captain Obvious, I doubt you would have blogged it if it wasn’t great. Don’t you have anything else to say?”

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Because that’s the spot in which I stand with this soup. It’s one of my favorite simple soups, it is really good, I do think you should make it soon, but I can’t for the life of me find anything witty or charming to say about it. I could blather on about how delicious it is, but that would get old; or I could prattle on about how I never even tried escarole until a few years ago but now I absolutely love it, but that’s just sad.

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So I’ll just leave you with the recipe and this uninspired post. Please know that the recipe is not so dull, even if this post rather was. It’s simple, classic Italian peasant food that is comforting and warm and will kind of make you feel like you live in a simpler time (if such a thing ever even existed) and if nothing else, it may transport you to some old-world, rustic Italian village for half an hour.

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Source: Giada’s Family Dinners by Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. escarole, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 ounce chunk of Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Shredded Parmesan, for serving
Olive oil, for drizzling
Crusty bread, for serving

Directions:
Heat the 2 tbs olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds. Add the escarole and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, beans, and Parmesan chunk. Simmer until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with up to 1 tbs shredded Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp olive oil per portion. Serve the bread alongside.

Apple Escarole Salad

A couple of weekends ago marked a first for me.  For the first time ever, this bona fide city girl picked an apple off of a tree.  Remarkable, right?!  Yeah, okay, not so much…

Matt and I ventured upstate to the Catskills area to a farm that allows the public to descend upon them every fall and ransack pick their orchards for all the apples you can possibly handle.  We chose a gorgeous Sunday and drove the 90 minutes past the city to a charming little farm.  They grilled us corn on the cob and hot dogs for lunch, after which we walked around the property admiring the chickens, rabbits, and sheep. Then we thud-thud-thudded our little sports car over a mercifully short gravel road to reach the orchards.  There, we walked through rows and rows of apple trees, picking at our leisure.  Apparently, the apples came about a week ahead of schedule this season, so we had to walk deep into the orchards to find any low hanging fruit, as it were.  But found it we did, to the tune of one and a half bushels of four different kinds of apples!

Thus, I’ve been on something of a tear lately, trying to use them up before they spoil.  Fortunately, apples have a long shelf life if stored properly, so we’re still going strong.  I knew I’d be making lots of dessert recipes with my stash, but I wanted plenty of savory dishes as well.  This salad seemed perfect.

And can I just tell you that this is one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten?  It was truly amazing and so satisfying.  The apples were simply sliced, not even peeled, so you could enjoy their tart and sweet crispness.  The escarole was slightly bitter, but buttery and clean tasting. And the bitterness was offset by the sweetness of the apples.  Hazelnuts, such an ideal pairing with apples anyway, lent a necessary crunch to the dish, and the blue cheese added a sour note to balance the whole dish out.  We both raved.  I can’t wait to make this again.  Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we did.

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, October/November 2012

Ingredients:
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs minced shallot
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz. whole, shelled, skinned hazelnuts
2 large apples, quartered, cored, and sliced thin
1 lb. escarole, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Add the hazelnuts to a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then coarsely chop.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated.
In a large bowl, toss the apples with 1 tbs of the dressing. Add the escarole, cheese, parsley, and hazelnuts. Toss with the remaining dressing and serve.

6 side servings