the recipe sharer

Archive: Nov 2011

Breakfast casserole with pancetta and cinnamon ricotta

Absolutely delicious and indulgent!
Serves 4 -6 people

1/4 lb pancetta, diced
1 small ciabatta loaf, thinly sliced
1/2 lb ricotta cheese
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence,
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
5 extra large eggs
1/2 cup half and half
2 tbsp turbinado sugar

Butter an 8 by 8 casserole dish and set aside.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat and cook pancetta 5 – 6 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Fold together the ricotta, 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, vanilla essence and dark brown sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the 5 eggs, half and half and t tsp cinnamon.
Place a layer of ciabatta in the prepared pan. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the bread.
Sprinkle cooled pancetta over the top.
Layer the remaining bread slices over the top. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the remaining bread, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the casserole from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 40 minutes or until the custard is set.
Serve warm!

Pumpkin sausage meat muffins with cranberry glaze

These are so cute and easy!
Makes 12 muffins.

1 cup finely chopped onion
8oz mushrooms, chopped finely
3 cloves minced garlic
1lb pork sausage meat (I used Sweet Italian sausagemeat)
1 cup pumpkin puree, either canned or homemade from roasted butternut squash
1 egg
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tsp each minced thyme, sage and rosemary
Freshly ground pepper and salt
1 tbsp Worcester sauce

1 cup cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
grated zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a standard 12 cup muffin tin with non stick cooking spray.

In a non stick skillet over medium heat, cook the onions until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes more, until vegetables are tender. Add to a bowl with the sausage meat, pumpkin, egg, oats,sage,rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper.
Toss gently to combine. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin tin. Place in the oven, bake for about 20 minutes.

Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon onto the meatloaf muffins and bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Coffee cake

This is from the food blog, “One Perfect Bite” and is gorgeous!

3 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith apples (about 4 large)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs

Prepare the apples; Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; saute until apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add sugar and cinnamon and saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Cool.

Prepare cake;  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 inch diameter springform pan. Combine flour, brown sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl. Using the electric mixer beat until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place walnuts in a small bowl. Add 2/3 cup of crumb mixture to nuts and set aside.
Beat pumpkin, sour cream, 2 tbsp sugar, spice and baking soda into remaining flour mixture, beating just until smooth.
Beat in the eggs. Transfer the batter to the pan. Scatter the apples evenly over the top.
Sprinkle reserved topping over the apples.

Bake the cake;  Transfer pan to the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack for about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the pan sides to loosen cake. Release the pan sides from the cake. Transfer the cake to a platter.
(Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature)
Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Serves 6 – 8



Sweet Italian sausage with white beans and chard over pumpkin polenta

This is divine!!!   Serves 2 but can easily be doubled.

1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
1 large bunch of Swiss chard, kale or spinach or any other leafy green vegetable of your choice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz sweet Italian sausage pushed out of their skins, or the sausage meat
1 cup drained, rinsed canellini beans
1 cup canned pumpkin puree, or even better, homemade roasted and mashed butternut squash
1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
a good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 oz grated Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until softened.
Meanwhile, prepare the Swiss chard. Cut off the thick stems and slice the leaves into 1″ ribbons. Rinse in a colander and set aside.
Add the garlic and crumbled sausage meat to the onions. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook till the sausage meat has turned from pink to light brown, add the white beans. Cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add the Swiss chard(or spinach etc) with the water still clinging to it. Stir to combine then cover the pan and raise the heat to medium high. Let the greens wilt down while you prepare the polenta. Stir occasionally.
Whisk together the water/chicken broth and pumpkin puree in a medium saucepan. Season generously with salt and add the nutmeg. Place the cornmeal in a small bowl and pour a little of the pumpkin mixture over it, stir well (this will make it easier to incorporate the cornmeal into the heated pumpkin mixture, without clumping)
Bring the remaining mixture in the saucepan to a boil. Whisk in the wet cornmeal until smooth, then reduce heat to medium high and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes.
When the polenta has thickened (if you draw the spoon across the bottom of the pan the line should remain visible for a short time) stir in the grated cheese and turn off the heat. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
Taste the sausage and bean mixture and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Divide the hot polenta between two plates and top with the sausage, white beans and chard.

Curried rice with lentils

A great Mark Bittman recipe.  Serves 4 – 6

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
3/4 cup red lentils
1 cup long grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
salt, pepper to taste
1- 2 tbsp melted butter
Chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish

Put the oil in a large, heavy pan with a tight lid and heat for one minute.
Add the onion and saute for 3- 5 minutes, until starting to brown on the edges.
Add curry powder and saute 1 minute, then add stock and bring to the boil. Add the lentils and rice, bring back to a boil, then lower heat to a steady simmer and cover.
Cook for 20 minutes or until rice is done and lentils are tender. (Bittman says if the liquid is not all absorbed, boil off the excess, but I didn’t have to)
Season with salt and pepper then stir in the melted butter just before serving. Garnish with the chopped parsley or cilantro or you can stir it through at the last minute

Roasted cauliflower and pear puree (CleanCuisine)

Absolutely divine, different and dairy-free! Another great food blogger’s recipe.

Serves 2 but can easily be doubled

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of thinly sliced leek
1 medium cauliflower, chopped into small florets (about 1lb chopped cauliflower)
2 small pears, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 tsp salt
a few sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp vanilla unsweetened almond milk, warmed
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 F
Heat olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat.
When the oil is shimmering, add the sliced leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened.
Add the cauliflower and pears and sprinkle with salt. Increase the heat to medium high and cook for another 6-8 minutes, until the cauliflower is lightly browned in spots.
Turn off the heat. Place the sprigs of thyme on top of the vegetables and tuck in.
transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 25- 30 minutes, turning once or twice until the cauliflower is very tender.
Remove the sprigs of thyme and set aside a few pieces of vegetables for garnish, if desired.
Place remaining vegetables in a food processor and add the almond milk and nutmeg.
Process until smooth and serve hot

Spiced Wheat Berry Pilaff

This is another great one from a fellow food blogger. The spices in it are very ‘Thanksgiving-like”

Serves 8 -10

2 cups wheat berries
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup (about 3 oz) finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin (I roast and grind mine as it has a better flavor)
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Bring the wheat berries and 6 cups of water to a boil in a 2 qt saucepan over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat; add garlic and cook, stirring until soft, about  minute
Add wheat berries along with apricots, pistachios, cinnamon, cumin, cardamon, salt and pepper and cook stirring until warmed through and fragrant, abut 5 minutes or so.
Remove from the heat and stir in the mint, lemon zest and juice.

Masala Chai (Hot spiced Indian tea)

Another great recipe from “One Perfect Bite” fellow food blogger.

1 cup water
4 tsp Darjeeling or other loose black tea
2-3 crushed green cardamon pods
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, smashed
2 cups milk
3-6 tsp sugar

Place water in a 2 qt saucepan and bring to the boil
Add loose tea leaves to water. Stir in the crushed cardamon pods and smashed ginger.
Add the milk and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes.
Add sugar to taste. Simmer for 1 minute longer or until the sugar is fullydissolved.
Strain the mixture through a strainer into cups or tempered glasses.
Yield is about 3 servings

Kheer (Spiced Indian rice pudding)

This recipe comes from fellow blogger “One Perfect Bite”. Well worth subscribing to!

4 -6 servings

1/2 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
6 cups whole milk
10 tbsp sugar
a few strands of saffron
1 tsp golden raisins (I put a 1 tbsp in)
1 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 cup thinly sliced cashews, slivered almonds or pistachios

Soak rice in water for 30 minutes before cooking. Drain.
Melt ghee in a large pan, add rice and saute until translucent.
Add milk to the rice, stir and simmer until liquid has been reduced by half.
Stir in sugar and saffron and cook until sugar is dissolved. Add the raisins, nuts and cardamon and simmer for a few more minutes.
Remove from heat and serve warm or cold.

Paula Deen’s Creamy Mac and Cheese in the Slow cooker

This is a real hit with the kids, and even the adults keep picking at it. Very moreish. The Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup sounds weird, but really makes it! We have this every year as an extra and it’s

always gone!

Serves 10

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8 oz box isn’t quite 2 cups)
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 cups (about 10 oz) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cans  (10 3/4 oz) condensed Cheddar cheese soup (I used Campbells)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard (I use Colmans)
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

Boil the macaroni in a 2 qt saucepan in plenty of salted water until not quite tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. Okay, so here, having used the pre-packaged grated American cheddar cheese, it didn’t seem to melt and stayed all lumpy. Next time I will grate my own “real” mature cheddar cheese, but the lumps do go away once it goes into the slow cooker.
In the slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well.
It might still be weird and lumpy at this stage but don’t worry as it all changes when it’s cooking so slowly.
The add the drained macaroni and stir well again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.