We have a baby foodie in the house! He’s older than 6 months, which means we are thinking about food. And although right now he survives only on breastmilk and single veggies, pretty soon he’ll be sharing family meals with us. Which is why when he was born I had to buy Tyler Florence’s new baby food cookbook Start Fresh. First of all, Tyler Florence is awesome. Second of all, I love people’s takes on what babies should eat. He thinks baby’s first food should be baby carrots (the real kind, not the cut and bleached processed kind). Continue reading
Want the taste of Chinese food in your very own kitchen? This beef and broccoli dish really tastes like Chinese food! And there’s no MSG. And you can make it with brown rice and not charge $1 extra. I just wish I had a wok, because that would make cooking this dish extra fun. Try it even if you don’t have one. Cast iron works wonders. So do dutch ovens. Continue reading
Or fasullieh. I’m really not sure how to spell it, and it doesn’t matter because it’s not English. In English, these are Great Northern Beans. These beans absorb flavor really well, so they are great in this dish. They take on the meaty flavor of the marrow bones, and tomatoey flavor from the tomato paste. Serve it over rice, and you have a perfect Shabbat dinner side. Or a nice weeknight meal. Continue reading
The Irish are very proud of their Guinness. So even though I’m not Irish, and St. Patrick’s day has nothing to do with Middle Eastern Jewery, They do say, “On March 17, everyone is Irish,” so I’m sticking to that. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Dear Internet Friends!
Well, it’s actually Eggplant Parmigiana. But the cheese I bought was spelled Parmesan, so that’s how I’m spelling the title of this dish. Continue reading
I have seen this episode of Barefoot Contessa many many times. Ina makes this pot roast with some baked potatoes. It’s such an easy recipe, though you do need a whole bunch of ingredients to make it. I finally decided to try it, and it was definitely worth it! The pot roast is soft and flavorful, and the sauce is thick and delicious over rice or couscous. I dipped garlic bread in mine. yum! It’s also a pretty forgiving recipe, so if you don’t have some of the ingredients, don’t fret! Continue reading
I remember watching Jamie Oliver on the Food Network, back when he was the Naked Chef. Well, he wasn’t actually naked, which is why I wasn’t surprised when they changed the name of his show (or did they just start a new one) called Oliver’s Twist. Anyway, he would “strip down” recipes so that they were really just the essentials of cooking. No fancy gadgets or ingredients, just great homemade food. Now he’s never on the Food Network anymore, and I don’t get the Cooking Channel, so I never see him on TV. I can’t even watch the reruns of his show Jamie at Home. But I can still get most of the recipes on the Food Network website, which makes me happy. His recipes are simple and tasty, and he doesn’t use any gross ingredients; it’s mostly natural, earthy food. His recipes really bring out the essential flavors of the main ingredients.
And this is why I was so excited to make this soup recipe. I love Jamie Oliver and I love butternut squash! It’s definitely my favorite winter squash, even though it’s a pain to peel and chop. Everything else about it is just perfect, an my favorite way to eat it is in soup form. Something about butternut squash soup just makes me smile.
Sage is a classic combination with butternut squash, and infusing the oil with that flavor imparts a wonderful undertone to the soup. The sage on top adds a great crispiness. I ate a lot of those sage chips before serving the soup. Oops. Hence the lack of crispy sage on top of the soup in the picture. It’s delicious with a teaspoon of sour cream mixed in, too. Just so you know.
Superb squash soup, adapted from Jamie Oliver (serves 8):
- 16 fresh sage leaves
- 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds taken out and chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- Extra-virgin olive oil
1. Heat large saucepan over medium heat and pour in some olive oil, enough to cover the bottom.
2. When it’s hot, throw in the sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds, until crispy. Remove with a slitted spoon and drain on paper-towel lined plate.
3. Add your celery, onion, and carrot, garlic, and jalapeno to the pot. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
4. Add the squash and stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. When the squash is soft, blend the soup using an immersion blender until you have a smooth puree (or as chunky as you like it).
6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle the sage leaves on top.
7. Serve with croutons if you want (that’s how Jamie Oliver did it).
As you can tell, we like making stews in our Dutch ovens. It’s not something we do much during the summer, but now that the temperature is dropping, we’re back to braising and browning and serving over rice!
I used mostly vegetables from my csa with a few other groceries that were hanging around in my fridge. Served with a simple green salad, this made for a delicious dinner for two with enough leftover for a lunch the next day. Which is the perfect kind of dinner.
Beef and Vegetable Stew
- 1 pound beef stew meat (I don’t know what that means, I bought it at Trader Joe’s)
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, chopped
- 3 tiny red onions, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2-3 cups of stock or water
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Brown the beef over medium-high heat in a little bit of olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.
- Remove beef from pot and stir in chopped onions. Let cook for 5 minutes and add garlic. Mix and add the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add half of the stock (I used vegetable stock), mixing well. Put the beef back into the pot and mix. Add more stock if it seems too dry.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Put the pot in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over rice.
This, my friends, was my first time ever making lamb. And it was amazing! The herbs gave the lamb a great flavor without overpowering the taste of the meat, and the sauce was the perfect addition. It’s a great celebratory meal, but easy to prepare on a weeknight. So in honor of our mom’s birthday (happy birthday mommy!) I am sharing this lovely lamb recipe.
My favorite thing to make in the dutch oven is short ribs. They’re so good! They get soft and flavorful from the braising and are easy enough to cook while busy with other things in the kitchen. The more you cook them, the more flavorful they become, so make them on Sunday and eat them on Monday. Plus, people love to eat short ribs on Monday nights. Better yet, make them tonight and eat them for Shabbat dinner!