Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts

Recipe By: Whole Living, 11/2011
Serving Size: 8


1.5 pounds brussels sprouts, halved
1.5 pounds grapes, red seedless
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons vinegar, balsamic
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. On two rimmed baking sheets, toss brussels sprouts and grapes with oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, until caramelized and tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Drizzle each tray with 1 teaspoon vinegar and scrape up any caramelized bits with a wooden spoon. Toss in walnuts.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes hours
Total Time: 30 minutes

4 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed
tbs cup olive oil
1 bell pepper,yellow, finely diced
1 bell pepper, red, finely diced
2 green onions, finely sliced
3 celery ribs, finely diced
1/2 cup bread crumbs (use panko if you can)
1/2 feta cheese crumbled
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet then sweat celery and onions until they become translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Add peppers and continue to sweat until peppers are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Brown bread crumbs in the skillet with vegetables, about 5 minutes.
5. Add feta and Worcestershire sauce and continue to mix until feta softens and all ingredients are mixed.
6. Remove and discard the stems from the Portobello mushrooms and place in a baking dish.
7. Place a large spoonful of the mixture on top of each mushroom. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
8. Enjoy.

I served this with a side of quinoa seasoned with garlic using a basic recipe of 2 parts water to 1 part grain. My three year old loved the whole meal especially the giant mushrooms. It also held up the next day for lunch which I served cold.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

It's been a while we've had guests most of the last month and things have been a bit crazy. I made this last night and it was a hit. The rub might be a little difficult to recreate but it's essentially coarsely ground black pepper, dehydrated red and green bell peppers, minced green onion, thyme and ground basil. I served it with green beans and a nice red wine. The meat was so tender it broke apart on the fork. My wife who hates pot roast loved this because of the crust that is created when you saute the roast.

Spicy Peppered Beef Roast

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 4-8 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

2 to 2.5 lbs beef roast, boneless
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, quartered
1 lbs carrots, baby
2 cubs broth, beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbs meat rub, unsalted
  1. Lightly oil roast and apply meat rub covering all sides of roast.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the roast until all sides are browned.
  3. Place the onion, carrots, garlic in the bottom of slow cooker. Place the roast on top of the vegetables and pour the broth into the slow cooker.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours or on the high setting for 4 to 6 hours, stirring once.
  5. Transfer roast to a serving platter and place the vegetables around it. Pour the roast au jus from the slow cooker into a gravy boat.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

July is national baked bean month.
This is a childhood recipe. My mom made this using Campbell's Pork and Beans. It was present at every barbecue we had and often came with us to summer pot-lucks. I've changed it up a little; traded Campbell's for Bush's Baked Beans (yeah, it's redundant but it feeds into my Bush Bros. fetish) added bell peppers and took out the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. It's present at most my barbecues and I'll take it to a pot-luck or two during the summer. It's quick and easy and the leftovers hold for about two weeks.

Slow Cooked Baked Beans
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
2-3 cans pork and beans (Depends on your tastes)

  1. In a skillet brown ground beef. Drain off excess fat.
  2. When beef is cooked add the onions and bell peppers. Cook on medium heat until onions are translucent.
  3. Put meat mixture, beans, ketchup and mustard into slow cooker and cook on low until thoroughly heated.
  4. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dill Bread

This bread is easier to make than it looks. It's also always a home run. I've brought it to dinner parties where I've been responsible for bringing bread. I find I get asked to bring the bread a lot. It's not a great sandwich bread but it's perfect for sopping up gravy or spreading butter over. It's perfect for barbecues and a nice change from cornbread although the flavor is savory not sweet.

Dill Bread
Prep time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

1 Pack dry yeast
1 cup cottage cheese at room temperature
1 egg
2 Tbsp onion, chopped
2 tsp dill seed
2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup water, warm
2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter
For wash
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tsp salt

  1. In a large mixing bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. Add the cottage cheese, onion, sugar, 1 Tbsp butter, dill seed, salt, egg and mix until integrated.
  3. Throw in half flour and mix continue to add flour until dough no longer stick to side of bowl.
  4. Cover bowl with damp towel and let rise 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F
  6. Punch down dough and put in greased casserole dish. Brush dough with butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake 350 F. 40 to 50 minutes.
  7. Let bread cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ratatouille and tow trucks

I'm a Pixar junkie and with a three year old son you know I've seen Cars weekly since it came to dvd. I don't know about the next movie, Ratatouille, I'll let you know after I've seen it. But with all the hype and always in search of inspiration. I made the movie's namesake for dinner.

The problem I had in finding a recipe is that there are so many variations. I found six different recipes in six different cookbooks. Which recipe to use was settled for me when I went shopping and forgot my list. I decided to the recipe posted at
Cooking for Engineers because I remembered seeing it and I could get to the ingredient list from my blackberry while shopping. I strayed from the recipe but everyone really liked the results.

I adapted stole this recipe from Michael at Cooking for Engineers. Which is currently my favorite food related website. I increased the amount of eggplant, bell peppers, basil than he suggested and added a bay leaf. The end result is very good. I served the leftovers the next day over scrambled eggs as suggested.


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

6 garlic cloves
1 1/2 medium zucchini diced 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion diced 1/4 inch pieces
1 bell pepper,green diced 1/4 inch pieces
1 bell pepper,yellow diced 1/4 inch pieces
2 eggplant, diced 1/4 inch pieces
5 sprigs of Italian parsley, chopped
6 sprigs of basil, chopped (half for cooking and half for garnish)
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup stock, vegetable
1 1/2 Tbs. tomato paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan, to garnish

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute until garlic smell intensifies.
  2. Add diced onions sweat until they become translucent.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir until onions are coated with the paste and continue cooking until the paste darkens and begins to stick to the pot.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and bay leaf to pan and deglaze the bottom of the pan allowing the broth to begin simmering.
  5. Add the eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and a pinch of salt to the pot. Stir to combine thoroughly and cook for 10 to 12 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add diced tomatoes and combine until the tomatoes are brought up to temperature. Turn heat to low.
  7. Stir in parsley and half of the basil. Remove bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve in bowls garnished with basil and Parmesan.
  9. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Spice it up!!

I love herbs and spices. You can take almost any meal and get two completely different styles from just changing the spice combinations while keeping the methods and main ingredients the same. This is great because it makes it easier to maintain variety but allows you to keep the minimal amount of ingredients on hand. But, getting the spices right can be daunting. Make a mistake and dinner might be inedible.

My favorite book on the matter is A Busy Cook's Guide to Spices, which I picked up at Savory Spice Shop I also buy all my spices from them because they're local and I can get there when I run out of something. I've since turned others on to Savory and they do ship all their inventory quickly and for a reasonable price. A good online resource is 3men the breakdown of spices is great. Another online spice shop is Penzeys. And finally Spice Advice is another great spice primer that is run by Tone Brother Brands, the makers of French's Mustard and Spice Island spices.

I keep most of spices in the pantry, in brown glass bottles to preserve flavor and color. Light, heat and moisture will kill most flavor. When adding spices to a hot pan put the spice in a measuring spoon or cup and then add to your dish this lessens the chance of moisture from the pan getting trapped into your storage container. I to keep seeds or whole spices. When I need ground spices, I use a coffee grinder dedicated to spices to grind that way we don't get coffee flavored spices.