Tag Archives: Rachael Ray

Pistachio Crusted Pork Chops

Pistachio Crusted Pork Chops

This was the last meal I made and photographed for the blog in our old place (moment of silence please. Ha! Just kidding!). This meal came at that in-between stage you hit during a move: where you’re well into the throes of preparing for the movers to come, but you aren’t yet on the days on end of take-out diet because the kitchen is inaccessible. In other words, the meal you cook has to be quick and simple. And hopefully it can use up a fridge or pantry staple that you don’t want to throw out, but there’s not enough of it in the can/bag/jar/bottle to justify moving it to the new place.

pistachio crusted pork chops

I found an open bag of roasted pistachios in the refrigerator, then found this pork chop recipe, and as they say, dinner was served. I can honestly say that I would have made this meal anyway, and would happily make it again (unlike some of the slop I threw together in the last days of having a working kitchen, ahem).

Pistachio Crusted Pork Chops

The pork chops were tender inside and crunchy outside, tangy from the pistachios and mild from the pork flavor. Easy to prep and easy to clean up. I adore a good nut-crusted protein anyway, but for whatever reason I don’t think I’d had anything crusted with pistachios, and I’ve concluded that I have missed out a great deal. The flavor really pops. I hope you enjoy this one, moving or not!

pistachio crusted pork chops

Recipe notes: you could really use whatever pork chop you prefer for this. It would work on thin-cut, thick-cut, bone-in or boneless. I used a thick-cut bone-in chop, simply because that’s my favorite one that I find is most flavorful and easiest to cook. If you’re going for thin-cut, you’ll need to cut back on the cooking time. Use a meat thermometer to be sure.

Pistachio Crusted Pork Chops

Source: Every Day with Rachael Ray, November 2008

Ingredients:
½ cup shelled unsalted pistachios
1 clove garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
Kosher salt
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
Fresh cracked black pepper
4 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup olive oil

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Using a food processor, finely grind the nuts, garlic, lemon zest, and ½ tsp kosher salt. Be careful you don’t overdo it and make nut butter here. Transfer the ground nut mixture to a shallow bowl or pie plate, then whisk in the breadcrumbs.
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper to taste. Dip each chop into the egg, let the excess drip off, then coat both sides well with the nut mixture. Transfer to a plastic plate or baking sheet as you go.
In a large, oven-safe skillet, such as a cast iron, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pork chops and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 145 F, about 15-20 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

Middle Eastern Chicken with Green Harissa #SundaySupper

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

Welcome to a special April Fool’s Day edition of Sunday Supper! Seeing as my family or origin were definitely pranksters, April Fool’s Day was quite up our alley. I’ve detailed our shenanigans in this post. However, my childhood experiences didn’t really help me in coming up with a recipe to share today, because things like putting cat food under scrambled eggs, or possibly putting um, “dietary supplements” in brownies, were not what Sunday Supper had in mind.

making green harissa

My first idea was something I randomly pulled on Matt, my English-pea-hating husband, a few years ago. This one is kinda cool: you take thawed frozen, or fresh blanched peas and place them on a pizza dough round with some minced garlic and olive oil. Then cover it with shredded cheese and pepperoni slices. Bake it off, and when you take that bad boy out of the oven, no one sees the peas. It just looks like a pepperoni pizza, so it would be an awesome, perfectly edible recipe to share today! But Matt was somehow less than enthused about repeating that experience (no, I didn’t tell him the peas were there before he took his first bite), so I decided to spare him the misery and brainstorm further.

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

I came up with this gem of a recipe, and the April-Fool’s-appropriate part is the green harissa. It looks mostly like pesto, but doesn’t taste a thing like it. It really is harissa paste that happens to be green, so I thought that worked for April Fool’s Day.

And this chicken, plus that homemade harissa, is really outstanding, with those deep, sharp flavors from garlic and za’atar spice blend and the piquant spiciness of the harissa. Fairly easy to pull off, too. So I hope y’all will enjoy it, on April Fool’s or whenever the mood strikes you. And be sure you check out the April Fool’s-worthy dishes my Sunday Supper gang has brought to the table today!

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Green Harissa

{One Year Ago: Shaved Asparagus and Spinach Salad; Veal Oscar}
{Two Years Ago: Cajun Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Tartar Sauce; Slow Cooker Refried Beans}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:

CHICKEN:
1 large clove garlic, minced
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
Leaves from 1 large sprig of rosemary, minced
1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs.), spatchcocked (also called butterflied)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Za’atar spice blend
Olive oil, for drizzling

GREEN HARISSA:
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small bunch of spinach leaves
2 fresh serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and rough chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the minced garlic, softened butter, lemon zest, and rosemary. Carefully loosen the skin over the chicken breasts and insert the softened butter mixture in between the breast skin and flesh. Season the skin side of the bird generously with salt and pepper, then place the chicken in a baking dish or large cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle liberally with za’atar. Drizzle with olive oil and rub it in to coat the chicken evenly.
Roast the chicken at 425 F for 15 minutes, to crisp up the skin; then lower the oven heat to 350 F and continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a breast reads 165 F, about an hour longer.
Meanwhile, make the harissa. Add the cilantro, spinach, chiles, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, plus salt and pepper to taste to the bowl of your food processor. Process until everything is minced and mostly uniform. With the machine still running, remove the feed tube and stream in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside until time to serve.
Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle with a dash more za’atar, then transfer to a cutting board and let rest for a good 5-10 minutes.
Carve the chicken and serve with the harissa.

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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.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Alright, I’m predicting this now: when I evaluate my blog stats in December 2015, this post will be in the top ten most popular for page views. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s my current prediction. And I predict such a thing because this meal is just SUCH a crowd-pleaser.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

I mean, it’s chili. Everybody loves chili. And on top of that, it’s buffalo chicken chili!! Meaning it’s some kind of a buffalo chicken meal; and buffalo chicken anything is still insanely popular, with very good reason. This meal combines two of everyone’s faves; and as an added bonus, since we’re using chicken, it’s much leaner than regular chili. Oh, and it’s pretty spicy (though you absolutely can control the amount of heat!), and we all know capsicum in chiles speeds your metabolism, so this meal is pretty figure-friendly while still being rich and comforting.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

I’ve been making it for years, and I couldn’t believe that I’d never photographed and shared it before now. This is one of the perennial favorites in my house, I make it once a year or so.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

A few recipe notes: I use my own buffalo sauce, which is very hot and spicy! Feel free to sub in a store-bought or homemade buffalo sauce with less heat if you want. I highly recommend making sure that your ground chicken is at least partly dark meat. I know we’re all watching calories, but I’ve found that using all white meat just makes dry chili, which no one likes. And lastly, like any other chili, this one too will be more flavorful if it sits overnight before you serve it; though it’s still really tasty served the day of. I think that’s it! I hope y’all will enjoy this delicious bowl of comfort! And stay tuned for December 2015, when we find out if my prediction comes true!

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Source: adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray, February/March 2006

{One Year Ago: Broccoli Basil Soup, Tacos de Lengua}

Ingredients:
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 lbs. ground chicken, preferably with some dark meat included
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 bottle beer
½ cup buffalo sauce
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
Snipped chives or scallions, for garnish
Blue cheese crumbles, for garnish

Directions:
Heat a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, melt them together, then add the ground chicken. Cook, breaking up the meat, until no traces of pink remain. Now add the onion, celery, carrots, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Now add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Season with salt and black pepper, then add the cumin and coriander. Stir to combine, then add the beer to deglaze. Use your spoon to scrape up all the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Let the beer reduce 2 to 3 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the buffalo sauce and tomato sauce. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat and simmer the chili for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot.
Taste for seasoning, then cool and store in the refrigerator overnight, or serve immediately. When you serve, garnish as much or as little as you want with the scallions and blue cheese crumbles. Serve with beer – it’s spicy, you’re gonna need it!

Andouille and Pumpkin Gumbo

Andouille and Pumpkin Gumbo 5522

I’ve slowly but surely discovered over the years that it’s best to not ignore cravings. Like parking tickets, you can try and pretend it didn’t happen, but they don’t ever really go away until you do something about them. At least for me, it’s better to just eat the one cookie instead of obsessively thinking about cookies for several days and then eating twelve of them.

Andouille and pumpkin gumbo 5538

So a couple weeks ago, when I noticed a mad craving for gumbo, I thought it best to just find a recipe and make some gumbo. And when I came across a recipe for a gumbo with pumpkin (!!!) I was ecstatic, because how completely perfect is this for fall!

andouille and pumpkin gumbo 5549

This is going to be a departure from the dishes I’ve posted this week, all of which would be more than welcome at your Thanksgiving table in a few weeks. This is probably a bit heavy for a first course and quite a bit unconventional for the main dish part. But, it’s a great pumpkin recipe for our season of all things pumpkin. Matt and I found it quite lovely, perfectly Cajun-flavored and hearty, but you know, with pumpkin! And plenty of Andouille sausage, one of the best sausages on planet Earth. In my humble opinion.

Andouille and Pumpkin gumbo 5556

I hope you will enjoy it!

{Two Years Ago: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Onion and Candied Pecans}

Source: slightly adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
1 small pumpkin, about 1 ½ lbs.
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
1 lb. Andouille sausage, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb. fresh or frozen okra, trimmed and sliced (thawed if frozen)
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 large fresh bay leaf
1 (12 oz.) bottle of pumpkin ale
2 cups chicken stock
2 (14 oz.) cans diced or stewed tomatoes
Hot sauce, to taste and for serving
Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Cooked white or brown rice, for serving

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the top off the pumpkin and discard the stem. Using a spoon, scoop the seeds out and discard or save for another use. Cut the pumpkin in half, then cut the halves into quarters and the quarters in half. Place them skin side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Drizzle them with a touch of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-60 minutes, until they are cooked and tender but not mushy.
Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the skins and chop into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat, add a small drizzle of olive oil and the Andouille. Cook until browned and a nice amount of fat has rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate.
Lower the heat to medium and add the canola oil, then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 20 minutes, until the roux is brown and very fragrant. Adjust the heat as necessary as you do not want it to burn.
Once your roux is ready, add the paprika, bell pepper, onion, and celery. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened about 8 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Now add the okra, plus the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and stir a few minutes more. Add the beer, stock and tomatoes. Season with hot sauce to taste and simmer to thicken 20-30 minutes.
Add the Andouille and pumpkin and stir to combine and warm through. Serve in bowls, garnished with scallions, and with a scoop of rice on top.

Mexican Chorizo Strata

Mexican Chorizo Strata 5517

Thanks to my dislike of Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing (soggy bread, y’all – can’t do it!), I automatically assumed I would dislike bread pudding and strata, especially the savory types. Several years ago I tried dessert bread pudding (similar to this one), in a restaurant in New Orleans, and immediately fell in love. Of course the boozy whiskey sauce didn’t discourage me from loving it, but I’d like to think I would have enjoyed it anyway.

Mexican chorizo strata, before baking 5460

Mexican chorizo strata 5472

After solidifying my taste for sweet bread pudding, I decided earlier this year it was time to tackle the savory. I made and tasted this one, and found myself overjoyed and unable to stop eating it. That really cemented things, and now I’m part of the bona fide I-Love-Savory-Bread-Puddings-and-Stratas Club. I couldn’t wait to make more!

mexican chorizo strata w/ guacamole 5478

And now I’ve made my first strata. (Honestly I’m not sure what the difference between the two is, other than stratas seem to sit longer than bread puddings before you bake them? Feel free to enlighten me in the comment section.)

Mexican Chorizo strata 5485

Mexican chorizo Strata 5493

I had some chorizo sitting around, so I opted to go Mexican with this. This also afforded me a lovely opportunity to use up some Hatch chiles sitting in my freezer, and I’ll always take those opportunities, because 1) who doesn’t love Hatch chiles, and 2) I have a few too many and I desperately need to start whittling down the stash.

Mexican Chorizo Strata 5501

This dish is lovely, and will feed a large crowd. It’s one of the easier meals I’ve put together, too. And leftovers reheat beautifully. I’m not a mom, but if I were, I’m thinking stratas would definitely be in the dinner rotation. They are infinitely adaptable, nutritious (you can of course use whole wheat bread), and can be very kid friendly. Enjoy!

Mexican chorizo strata 5516

{One Year Ago: Cranberry Apple Muffins}

Source: slightly adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
Olive oil
1 lb. Mexican chorizo, casings removed
3 fresh chiles, either Hatch, poblano or large jalapeno, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
7-8 thick slices of stale white or egg-based bread, cut into large cubes (I can’t imagine why you couldn’t use whole wheat bread here if you wanted)
2 cups milk
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 large eggs
1 tbs hot sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Guacamole, for serving

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it into crumbles as it browns. Cook until no traces of pink remain. Add the chiles in and stir to combine. Set aside off the heat.
Grease a 9×13” baking dish, then scatter the bread cubes around in an even layer. Add the cooked chorizo mixture and gently move the bread around to get some of the chorizo down into the nooks and crannies.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, eggs, hot sauce, plus season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the bread and chorizo. Top with the cheese. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Place the strata on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the eggs are set and the top is golden, about 1 hour.
Let rest a few minutes, then slice into squares and serve warm with guacamole on the side.

Louisiana-Style Shrimp and Andouille One Pot

Louisiana-Style Shrimp and Andouille One Pot 5150

A random grocery store run to Fairway a couple weeks ago turned out to be a major score, when I found a rare-to-this-area item sitting nonchalantly on the shelves: Abita Pecan ale. Now, I can find Abita regular brew, but the company also puts out a pecan harvest ale, and that I could never before locate anywhere in NYC. Happy dance time!

Louisiana-Style shrimp and andouille one pot 5134

Before buying it here, I’d only had it one time in my life. That time was with Matt in New Orleans, where the beer itself is brewed, and their pecan ale is seriously the best beer I’ve tasted, ever. With sincere apologies to the Shiner.

Abita Pecan Ale 5155

I figured it was perfect for this recipe, a simple one pot that can be thrown together for tons of Cajun flavors, and one that really requires a Louisiana beer. Obviously, using regular Abita (or another brand of Louisiana style beer) would be perfectly fine.

Louisiana-Style Shrimp and andouille one pot 5160

This was a very lovely dish. Bold flavors, just saucy enough, just messy enough, and pairs so perfectly with that amazing pecan beer. I’m still excited over it. And yes, I’m rationing my stash, trying to make it last, since who knows if I’ll ever see it in NYC again… Anyways, I hope you enjoy this easy one-pot! Oh! Very important – puh-leeze don’t forget a hunk of bread to mop up the delicious holy trinity sauce.

Louisiana-style shrimp and andouille one pot 5152

{One Year Ago: Hatch Chile Cheese Bread, Apple Pie Bagels, My Mom’s Apple Cake}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
Olive oil
½ lb. Andouille sausage, thinly sliced or chopped
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 thyme sprigs
2 fresh bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tbs sweet paprika
2 tbs flour
1 (12 oz.) bottle of beer (I used Abita, from Louisiana, which I highly recommend)
1 cup chicken or seafood stock
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Louisiana-style hot sauce, to taste
1 ½ lbs. medium-to-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Crusty bread hunks, for mopping sauce

Directions:
In a Dutch oven or deep, large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and the fat rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl or stir to combine it with the sausage drippings. Add the bell pepper, onion, celery, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, until completely softened and cooked. Add the garlic and chile flakes, and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now add the paprika and flour. Stir 1 minute to cook the pasty taste out of the flour. Stir in the beer and cook 2 minutes, stirring to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the stock and Worcestershire, reduce the heat to low and simmer about 3 minutes to combine the flavors. Stir in hot sauce to taste. Add the reserved sausage back into the pot.
Lightly toss the shrimp with a little bit of kosher salt, then add it to the simmering pot. Cook over medium heat until the shrimp are opaque and firm to the touch, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves, and ladle into either deep bowls, or wide shallow bowls. Garnish with scallions and dig in!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Anchovy Marinara

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Anchovy Marinara 5107

Spaghetti squash doesn’t have a terribly long season here in New York, and for many years I’ve only made it once per season (this fabulous dish, every time). And then I woke up and realized, that is rather dumb of me. This year we will have it at least twice! And not the same way twice.

roasted spaghetti squash with spicy anchovy marinara 5117

Spaghetti squash is named so because after you roast it, you scrape out the insides with a fork, and it comes out in strands, like spaghetti. And it happens to pair well with thick, hearty pasta-type sauces. But that is not because it tastes like pasta (it doesn’t), it’s because its inherent flavor is very mild, enabling it to take on bold, saucy flavors without masking or marring anything about the squash itself, and because it is easy to toss with sauces, due to the strands and all.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with spicy anchovy marinara 5125

I adored this dish. And best of all, it’s very customizable to you and your family’s palates. Want it less spicy? Cut back or eliminate the crushed chile flakes. You can also leave out the anchovies, but unless you’re wanting this to be vegetarian, please don’t. They are so delicious and not at all fishy tasting. And they melt into the sauce – no chunks to be worried about when you serve dinner. Enjoy this one, y’all!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Spicy anchovy marinara 5129

{One Year Ago: Apple Butter Doughnuts}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
2 medium spaghetti squash
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tbs olive oil, plus more for drizzling
6 flat anchovy fillets
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 generous tsp crushed red chile flakes
Leaves from 2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano, chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
½ cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, with their juices
A few fresh basil leaves, torn
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle lightly with oil, or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Using a *very* sharp and large knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Using a regular cereal spoon, scoop out the seeds. Season the cut sides of each squash with salt and pepper. Place them, cut side down, on the baking sheet and roast for 45-60 minutes. Mine were very good to go after only 45 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a paring knife into the skin side of the largest squash half. It should go in with no resistance.
Turn the squash halves over, and use pot holders or oven mitts to hold them while you scrape the flesh out into a bowl with a fork. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the “spaghetti” and taste for seasoning. Stir the “spaghetti” to evenly coat it with the oil. Do not discard the squash shells.
While the squash is roasting, make the marinara. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the anchovies and shake the pan a bit to get them heated and moving around a little. Stand back because they spit daggers, and when they start to melt, lower the heat and mash them with a stirring spoon. Add the onion and saute at medium heat until softened. Add the garlic, chile flakes, and oregano, and cook 1 minute more. Add the tomato paste and stir 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine, then add the stock, tomatoes, and parmesan rind. Use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes. Keep at a gentle simmer and let the flavors meld for about 10-15 minutes.
Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Remember the anchovies are very salty, so you may not need anything.
To assemble, spoon the “spaghetti” evenly back into the squash shells and top with marinara. Toss some torn basil over each and garnish with parmesan cheese to your heart’s desire. Serve immediately.
Leftovers will work if you transfer the “spaghetti” out of the shell and into a food storage container.

Buffalo Turkey Burgers

Buffalo Turkey Burgers 203

It’s official – football season is here!!! We’ve been at it for two weeks now, both college and the pros, and it’s a mixed bag for me personally. Oh Cowboys, how you kill me sometimes….

But, even if I can’t get on board with – how many interceptions did Romo throw Sunday before last? Ugh. But I’m happy they won last week! Will they keep it up? – I can *always* get on board with game day and tailgating food. Always. And that includes buffalo anything.

Buffalo turkey burgers 214

Buffalo chicken wings are fantastic, of course, but I’m not always in the mood for that giant production. Sometimes I crave the flavors while wanting something simpler, and sometimes it’s only two people watching the game (and their waistlines!) so you need a more … contained meal, one with fewer calories that provides fewer opportunities for eating all night long.

buffalo turkey burgers 209

Enter these delicious burgers! All that beautiful, hotter-than-hell buffalo wing flavor with significantly less messiness. But, there is some messiness, I should warn you. I personally believe that if you don’t need about five napkins, then the burger just wasn’t worth eating.

These are awesome, perfect for a busy weeknight game that can only be partly watched over dinner, or for any time you’re just craving buffalo wing flavors in a healthful turkey burger. Enjoy!

Buffalo Turkey burgers 187

{One Year Ago: Ricotta Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins, Chili Cheese Fries, Salumi Burgers, Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops}
{Two Years Ago: Baba Ghanoush}

Source: adapted from The Book of Burger by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
Olive oil
6 tbs buffalo sauce
Leafy lettuce
Blue cheese sauce/dressing
4 hamburger buns, preferably Brioche, split and toasted

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, garlic, scallions, celery, salt and black pepper, plus a quick drizzle of olive oil. Using your clean hands, mix gently but thoroughly. Score the meat into 4 equal portions and form each into a burger patty. Use your index finger or thumb to make an indentation in the center of each patty (this prevents “burger bulge” as they cook).
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with olive oil. When the skillet is hot, add the burgers and cook, flipping once, 10 to 12 minutes total, or until the juices run clear. Remove to a plate. Shut off the heat and wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Place the skillet back over low heat. Add the buffalo sauce to the pan and swirl it to coat. Place the burgers back in the pan and flip once to coat them well in the buffalo sauce.
Now assemble the burgers. Place a buffalo-sauced burger on the bottom bun, then top with lettuce and blue cheese sauce. Now add the top bun and serve immediately.

Balsamic Strawberry Lemonade

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Lemonade, especially pink lemonade, tends to remind everyone of childhood, even if you still legitimately enjoy it as an adult. I think we’d all agree that there are drinks out there that are universally considered kid-friendly, and making said drinks more adult-friendly usually involves alcohol.

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Not so with this lemonade! Not that you couldn’t spike it if you so desire – of course you could. But if you are looking for something non-alcoholic that isn’t too cloying that the kids might not enjoy, then this is where you can stop looking. This is a fresh pink lemonade with nothing artificial inside, with a wonderful tartness from the vinegar. Definitely not too sweet, but it also doesn’t scream balsamic vinegar at you like salad dressing does. It’s just there, in the background, mitigating the sometimes too-sweet nature of lemonade.

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I’m thinking this drink would be perfect to set out at a grown-ups-only outdoor shindig this summer. You could put bottles of your hard liquor of choice alongside and let people spike it or not as they pleased. One way or another, your pitcher would be empty soon enough.

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And the kids might like it – I personally don’t know as I did not test this one out on any children. But I can assure you it’s very adult friendly. And delicious. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes}

Source: Look + Cook by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tbs good quality aged balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup superfine sugar, or granulated sugar
6 cups water
12 lemons
A few sprigs of mint

Directions:
Place the strawberries and vinegar at the bottom of a glass pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to muddle them together. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the drink.
Add the sugar and 2/3 cup of the water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Let cool a bit, then pour over the strawberries.
Juice the lemons into a bowl or measuring cup, then pour into the pitcher through a strainer to catch any seeds. Fill the pitcher with the remaining 5 1/3 cups water and stir. Chill or pour over ice into glasses (or both!) and garnish each glass with mint sprigs.