Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spicy Garlicky Greens

This side dish is a power meal in itself.  Fresh greens with garlic and a little spice and you can't go wrong.  Plus, you won't feel guilty one little bit when you eat the whole pan.  Really.

Spicy Garlicky Greens

1 tbsp. ghee
1 tbsp. olive oil
24 cloves garlic
2-4 tsp. red pepper flakes depending on desired spice level
2 bunches kale, roughly chopped
2 bunches swiss chard, roughly chopped

In a large saute pan, melt ghee with the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until they are soft and golden brown.  Watch, and stir often, closely so they don't burn.  Remove the garlic and set aside to cool.

Add the greens, stirring to coat well with the oil mixture.  Add 1 c. water and cover.  Stir every few minutes and cook until the water is gone and the greens are tender (not mush!)

In a small bowl, press the garlic cloves, add the red pepper flakes, and 1/4 c. water.  Mix well and then add to the greens, stirring well.

Salt and pepper to taste.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bacon Butternut Squash Soup

The other night I decided to adapt my regular butternut squash soup a bit.  I made more bacon than I needed (yeah, I am shocked too) so I decided that the smokey bacon would go perfect with the slightly sweet butternut I had sitting on my counter.

There really isn't any that bacon can't make better.

Bacon Butternut Squash Soup

1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. ghee
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into large cubes
8 ounces bacon, cooked and minced in a food processor.  (Set oil aside for use in this recipe.)
6 c. vegetable stock
1 tbsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces smoked Gouda, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large sheet pan, place all of the squash and coat well with the bacon grease.  Cook until the squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

In a large dutch oven, heat 1/4 c. of the ghee over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until the onion starts to golden, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the butternut squash to the onion and stir well.  Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer 20-30 minutes.  

About 15 minutes into simmering, add the thyme and stir well.

After the soup has simmered, use an immersion blender and blend until the soup is smooth.  You may need to add more stock to desired consistency.

Salt and pepper to taste and add the remaining 2 tbsp. ghee, stirring until melted and incorporated.

To serve, put the soup in a warmed bowl, add 2 tbsp. of cheese in the center, using a torch to melt and soften, and then add crumbled bacon.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Maple Espresso Sausage

I get why many of my friends enjoy coffee.  I used to like it too.  I haven't drank coffee in about 17 years, but I still use it in certain recipes.

Like chocolate.  Coffee in chocolate, even if it is the smallest amount, makes the flavor of the cocoa bean stand out.

I even have an venison recipe that I will be sharing soon that has coffee.

The other morning on a whim I decided to adapt my breakfast sausage recipe.  Um...delicious!  Just hint of the coffee flavor and the sweetness of the maple was perfection.  Really.

Maple Espresso Sausage

1 tsp. espresso salt
1 tsp. espresso powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. cardamom
4 tbsp. maple syrup
1 lb. ground pork

Mix all of the ingredients together .  Form into balls.

In a fry pan, preheat over medium.  Add four of the sausage balls and allow to cook for about 30 seconds to release some fat so they don't stick.  Slightly flatten and then cook until deep golden brown, about 5-7 minutes depending on how big you make them. Turn, flatten again slightly, and then cook until done.  

Medium heat works best and this method will yield the perfectly cooked sausage patty!