Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

Delicious and incredibly easy. I added spinach instead of peas and the lime juice and cilantro additions at the end were clutch for flavor integrity. 

2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 12 ounce cans of coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon lime juice
cilantro for garnish
cooked white rice

  1. Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  2. Add in the peas and cook for 1/2 hour longer. Stir in lime juice and serve with cilantro and white rice.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

baked pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage (smitten kitchen blog)

This is easy and so fucking delicious. I used a mix of hot and mild italian sausage which was a nice, more flavorful combo.
Link with pics here http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/09/baked-pasta-with-broccoli-rabe-and-sausage/.

Important: This is my dream of a baked pasta dish — not too heavy, not to rich or gooey, tons of crunchy edges. As you might see in the photos above, it’s on the firm side. If you’d like a baked pasta with more sauce, which I expect most of you will, you’ll want to use 1 1/2 times the bechamel and cheese below.
Broccoli rabe (also called raab or rapini) is a leafy green vegetable with buds that somewhat resemble broccoli. It’s slightly bitter and holds up well to cooking. If you can’t find it, regular broccoli or broccolini will work here as well; they will only need 3 and 2 minutes respectively of boiling time with the pasta to keep it semi-crisp. If you’d like to make this without meat, the sausage can definitely be omitted. You could add some lightly sauteed chunky brown mushrooms for extra bulk, as well.
The pasta shape I used here is called toscani and it’s from the brand Seggiano. I have found it at Whole Foods and, if you’re in the East Village, Commodities Natural Market on 1st Ave. (plus I’m sure other stores). When I can’t get, it I use Barilla’s similar campanelle or seriously any chunky pasta you like to bake with.
Pasta and assembly
1 pound chunky pasta of your choice (I love bell shapes; see above for details)
1 bundle broccoli rabe (see above for options), stems and leaves cut into 1-inch segments
1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or spicy pork or chicken), casings removed
2/3 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
6 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes
2 cups milk, full fat is ideal
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Few gratings fresh nutmeg

Cook the pasta and rabe: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain the broccoli rabe and pasta together and place in a large bowl.

Cook your sausage: Meanwhile, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide saucepan (you will use this for the bechamel in a few minutes; you could also use your pasta pot, once it is drained) over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Remove with slotted spoon or spatula, leaving any fat behind. Eyeball the drippings (pork sausage will leave some; chicken usually does not) — use one tablespoon less butter next if it looks like there’s a tablespoon there. Any less, don’t worry about adjusting the butter.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Make the bechamel: Melt your butter in same saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add your flour and stir it into the butter until smooth. Cook the mixture together for a minute, stirring constantly. Pour in a small drizzle of your milk, whisking constantly into the butter-flour mixture until smooth. Continue to drizzle a very small amount at a time, whisking constantly. Once you’ve added a little over half of your milk, you’ll find that you have more of a thick sauce or batter, and you can start adding the milk in larger splashes, being sure to keep mixing. Once all of the milk is added, add the salt, garlic, nutmeg, and few grinds of black pepper, and bring the mixture to a lower simmer and cook it, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Assemble and bake: Add the sausage and bechamel to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli rabe. Stir in mozzarella and half of grated parmesan or pecorino until combined. Pour into a lasagna pan, deep 9×13-inch baking dish* or 3-quart casserole dish and coat with remaining parmesan or pecorino. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the edges and craggy points are nicely bronzed.

Eat warm. Reheat as needed.

Cauliflower Cheddar Bacon Chowder (minus bacon if you don't want it)

I just made this yesterday and it was easy and delicious. It is easiest to chop/grate everything in a food processor but wouldn't be a big deal if you had to do it by hand. I also added some paprika and chile powder for more flavor.

Link with pics etc. http://iowagirleats.com/2012/09/25/bacon-cheddar-cauliflower-chowder-a-low-carb-alternative-to-baked-potato-soup/

8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped (half used for garnish)
1/2 small onion, chopped OR 1 teaspoon onion powder
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper
4 cups shredded or grated cauliflower (1/2 large head)
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups 2% milk
3-4 dashes hot sauce (or more or less)
2-1/2 cups (12oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (half used for garnish)
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
  1. Whisk together flour and 1/4 cup chicken broth in a small bowl then set aside.
  2. Saute bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate then remove all but 1 Tablespoon drippings from the pot. Add chopped onion (if using,) celery, and garlic to the pot then season with salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower and onion powder (if using) to the pot then stir to combine. Add water then place a lid on top and steam cauliflower until tender, stirring a couple times, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and milk then turn up heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Slowly whisk in flour/chicken broth mixture while stirring, then turn down heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until chowder has thickened. Turn off heat then stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese until smooth, then stir in half the cooked bacon. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce if necessary. Serve topped with remaining shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and green onions, if desired.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake

(Adapted from Fine Cooking)

Probably the best pumpkin cake that I have ever had. Ever.

Makes one 13x9 sheet cake or one double-
layered cake

6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Position a rack in the center of the
oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Layer cake: Butter two 9-inch round
cake pans, line the bottoms with
parchment, butter the parchment, and
flour the pans). Sheet cake: Butter
and flour one 13x9 pan.
3. Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1-
quart saucepan over medium heat.
Stir frequently, until the butter
turns a nutty golden-brown, about
4 minutes. You will see brown bits
appear at the bottom of the pan – this
is what will give you that golden-
nutty-caramel flavor. Be very careful
not to burn! Pour into a small bowl
and let stand until cool but not set,
about 15 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour,
cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking

5. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin
purée with the granulated sugar,
brown sugar, eggs, and buttermilk
until very well blended.
6. With a rubber spatula, stir in the
flour mixture until just combined.
Gently whisk in the brown butter
until completely incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the
prepared pans. Batter will be very
thick – do not be alarmed.
7. Bake the cake(s) until a tester
inserted in the center comes out
clean, 25-28 minutes for 9-inch
round cakes or 28-32 minutes for
13x9 pan. Cool to room temperature.

1. When cake has cooled, place cream
cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in
bowl of standing mixer fitted with
whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-
high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to
2 minutes, scraping down bowl with
rubber spatula as needed.
2. Reduce speed to low and add heavy
cream in slow, steady stream; when
almost fully combined, increase
speed to medium-high and beat until
mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/
2 minutes more, scraping bowl as

- Cake can be made in advance,
wrapped in plastic wrap and foil
and then frozen. Thaw at room
temperature before frosting.
(Uncover when thawing).
- Make the frosting on the day you
plan to serve the cake. (Whipped
cream will lose its structure and the
frosting will get soupy otherwise).
- Refrigerate the cake (because of the

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Claire, this is amazing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I'm quite sure that Claire has contributed more to the blog in one day than all of us have combined over the last two years. Surprising? Not really....just very exciting.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Mother’s Mother’s Banana Nut Bread


1 ¾ cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp soda

¾ tsp salt

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2-3)

1 cup nuts


Mix flour with baking powder, soda, and salt. Cream shortening and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add bananas and mix. Add flour in 4 portions and beat until smooth each time. Bake in load pan (well greased.) 350 oven for 50 monutes.