Author Archives: Dillon

About Dillon

Foodie. Gardener. DIYer. Social Worker. Baby Snuggler. Pet Wrangler. Lover of cheesecake and all things homemade

Sausage, Rice & Beans

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This is a cheap and easy, but not fast, dinner (45-60 minutes of cook time).  I enjoy making dinners like this because I only use one dish, can catch up on some TV shows, and have leftovers for lunch the next day.  I like to complete each step during a commercial break; its really a hands-off dinner.  Depending on the ingredients you use (generics/homegrown vs. organic) it can cost between $0.84 and $3.29 per serving for 6 large servings.

 Ingredients

  • 4 cups stock (any flavor or water)
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 cups dried azuki beans (any bean is fine, but these cook around the same rate as rice, making it easier)
  • 7 sausages, cut to 1 in pieces (adjust number for your audience – we used a pack of andouille chicken sausage from costco)
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (I use a quart of home canned)
  • 1 can corn (I use a pint of home canned)
  • 1 diced pepper (any pepper is fine, we used a Serrano with the seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup of taco seasoning

Directions

  1. Optional – soak rice & beans the night before in water with a Tbs. of acid (vinegar, whey, lemon juice, etc.) to break down some indigestibles.
  2. Bring stock or liquid to a boil in a large pan.  Add rice and beans and bring to a boil again before reducing the heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes (and juices), corn, pepper & seasoning.
  4. Add sliced sausages and let cook until rice and beans are tender.  Stir occasionally.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin

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Adapted from Barefoot in Paris

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into large florets
  • 4 Tbs. butter (divided into 2 Tbs)
  • 3 Tbs. AP flour or cornstarch for Gluten Free
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp black better
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated baby swiss
  • 1/2 cup grated muenster
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 (F).  Meanwhile, cook florets in a large pot of boiling salt water until tender but firm (5 min), drain.
  2. Add 2 cups of milk in a saucepan.  Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbs of butter in a second saucepan over low heat.  Add flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, making a rue.
  3. Pour hot milk into the rue and stir until it comes to a boil.  Boil, whisking constantly, until thickened.  Off the heat add a large pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  4. Pour about 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, filling the dish with the drained florets.  Spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses and breadcrumbs.
  5. Drizzle 2 Tbs. melted butter of the top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned.
Can be served hot or at room temp (read: a great make ahead meal).

Bananas Brulee

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Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 3 tsp vanilla sugar*
  • A kitchen blow-torch.  I think you could broil them in the oven, but I’ve not tried it.

Directions

  1. Slice the ends off each banana then cut them in half length-wise and width-wise so you’re left with 4 pieces per banana.
  2. Coat the cut edge of banana in the vanilla sugar (nestle it in).
  3. Peel the bananas and lay them, sugar side up, on a heat proof pan.
  4. Torch those babies in an even sweeping motion until the sugar caramelizes – don’t let it burn.
  5. Cool and enjoy!

*You can use regular white sugar, but we thought the hint of vanilla would add to our enjoyment.  I make my own vanilla sugar by stashing emptied/used vanilla bean pods in a small container of sugar.  I shake it and adjust every few months.

Granola

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Granola

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered and shaved almonds
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1-2 Tbs. cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup wildflower honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients well.
  2. Spread onto a baking sheet (on parchment paper) and bake at 250 (F) for 80 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.

Delicious – and subtle.  I like that it doesn’t contain any sugar.

Asparagus & Quinoa

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This dish is one of Devin’s favorite.  It goes great with a nice filet of seared salmon underneath.

Asparagus

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1 lb. asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Bring water, with a pinch of salt, to a boil.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  When cooked, remove from heat.
  2. Toss asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Bake in an oven-proof pan for 12 minutes or until tender.
  3. Brown butter in a heavy bottomed pan.  Be careful not to burn, but it should be a golden brown.
  4. Add vinegar and soy sauce and simmer until slightly thickened.  Poor over cooked asparagus.
  5. Top with quinoa and enjoy!

Baked Crab Rangoon

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Crab Rangoon

Ingredients

  • 16 oz crab or krab, shredded
  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot or small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, small dice
  • 1 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 packet of wonton wrappers (45+ wrappers)
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil (or some other heat-tolerant oil), melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F) and brush a muffin tin with coconut oil.  Place wontons in each of the muffin holes so they form a cup.
  2. Mix together crab, onions, garlic, and sauces fill wontons with 1 tablespoon of crab filling.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the filling is bubbling.

This made 47 wontons with about 2 Tbs. of filling left over that we used in an omelet.  Note: These do not reheat well in the microwave (the wontons lose their crunch) but might do better reheated in the oven.

Chicken-Artichoke White Pizza

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Pizza

Dough – Ingredients

  • 7g or 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 235ml or 1 cup warm water (110-115 (F))
  • 200g or 1 1/2 cups white flour (bread flour for a crisper crust, AP for a chewier crust)
  • 75g or 1/2 cup wheat flour (you can use all white if you’d like)
  • 30ml or 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 6g or 1 tsp salt
  • 8g or 2 tsp honey

Dough – Directions

  1. Proof yeast in warm water with honey for 10 minutes.  Add olive oil.
  2. Combine flour and salt, then mix in wet ingredients and combine into a loose dough.
  3. Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes or until the dough passes the windowpane test.
  4. Form into a ball and let rise in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a tea towel for 30 minutes.
  5. Halve the dough and roll out onto a stone/lightly oiled pan.  Note: if your pizza dough always springs back and won’t roll out – let it rest for 5 minutes and try again, repeat as needed.  The gluten needs time to relax.

Pizza – Ingredients

  • Pizza Dough, rolled out
  • Enough olive oil to brush the crust’s face-up side
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful of good ricotta cheese (whey squeezed out)
  • 1/2 lb. shredded brick cheese (we used “brick” an italian pizza cheese with a lot of flavor but mozzarella works well, too).
  • 1 handful of chicken (shredded/sliced, baked/grilled)
  • 1 handful of artichoke hearts
  • Big pinch of oregano, italian, or pizza seasoning

Pizza – Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 (F).
  2. Brush out enough olive oil to lightly over the dough.
  3. Spread remaining ingredients evenly starting with garlic, then ricotta, chicken, artichokes, shredded cheese.
  4. Pop pizza in the oven, turn oven down to 400 (F) and bake for 15 minutes.

Stroganoff

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I don’t have a picture of this recipe because every time I make it, we eat it all before it can be photographed.  I’ll work on it though.  I love this recipe because it can be mixed and matched with different meats and starches.  My two favorite combinations are ground beef over noodles and cubed lamb over potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb meat (beef tips, ground beef/lamb, etc.)
  • 2 Tbs. fat of choice (tallow, lard, coconut oil)
  • 3 carrots, diced small
  • 1/4 onion, diced small
  • 3 garlic gloves, diced small
  • 2 cup stock
  • 1 cup red wine (something worth drinking)
  • 1/4 cup creme fresh/sour cream
  • 2 tsp. flour (or cornstarch for gluten free)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Optional: sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups cooked pasta, potatoes, or rice

Directions

  1. Brown salt & peppered meat in a pan with 1 Tbs melted fat; once fully cooked spoon out meat and set aside.
  2. Add 1 Tbs fat to the pan and when its hot add aromatics and sweat until translucent (add mushrooms here if using).
  3. Add high quality stock and red wine and bay leaf.  Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer until reduced.  (I reduced mine for about 15 minutes – I was in a hurry.)
  4. Whisk in flour/cornstarch until liquid thickens.  Add meat back into the pan and mix in creme fresh/sour cream.
  5. Serve over your starch.  Oh my goodness.

 

 

Apple-Banana Crumble Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used Namaste Gluten Free)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce (homemade)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • Crumbled Topping:
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 2 Tbs. flour
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 Tbs. butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 (F).  Line muffin tins.
  2. Gently mix applesauce, bananas, egg, and sugar.
  3. Fold in mixture of flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and pie spice.
  4. In a small bowl mix brown sugar, cinnamon and flour and cut in butter until it forms a course crumble.
  5. Fill tins with a large spoon of batter and top with crumble.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes then let cool.