~Church of Cheesus Tarts~ my own recipe. ;-)
Celebrating good cheese and some delicious berries from the Northwest - basically everything you wanna put in your mouth in one tasty bite. The pastry is filled with:
Gjetost cheese on the bottom - mmmm, that caramel-like goodness.
Then a mixture of fried chopped bacon, toasted chopped almonds, granola, huckleberry preserves, marionberry jam, marionberry mustard, and fresh chopped rosemary.
Topped with Skellig cheese and a pinch of porcini infused salt.
Baked into melty, golden, flaky, sweet-savory heaven.
Because I love my people, I made Church of Cheesus Tarts.
From the garden to starting the quiche.
Marionberry Mustard Pork Chops, Bacon & Marionberry Jam Braised Mustard Greens, and Puréed Cauliflower with Fontina Cheese & cracked pepper.
On a recent trip to the OR and WA coast, we picked up some yummy berry jams. We also got an amazing gourmet Marionberry mustard. I used both the mustard and the jam in tonight’s dinner.
The marinade for the pork chops, which turned out great! - flavorful and juicy. (The secret is to leave them out of the fridge in the marinade for 30 min prior to cooking over medium heat, keeps them from drying out.):
- 3 tablespoons Marionberry Mustard (from Oregon’s Berry Patch)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw blackberry honey (picked up on the WA coast)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp porcini infused salt
- 1/4 tsp rosemary infused salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp Annie’s organic worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
For the braised mustard greens, I cooked 4 chopped slices of bacon and toasted some chopped oil-roasted sea salt almonds (from City Peanut Shop in Boise, ID) with the bacon and grease added a couple of heaping teaspoons of Marionberry jam (from Oregon’s Berry Patch) and braised the mustard greens in that, adding porcini infused salt.
I streamed a head of cauliflower and puréed it with organic butter, Etoile de Mer Custom gourmet sea salt (French grey sea salt, grand commore vanilla bean, and kafir lime leaf), and some Cacique Crema Mexicana, and plated it up with finely grated Danish Fontina cheese and coarse ground pepper.
Creamy Potato Soup and Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
Tortellini Alfredo with summer veggies, sautéed mushrooms with parsley, fresh oregano & basil, and grated Asiago served with kale, carrot, and gala apple salad. Mmmm. The kids preferred theirs sans the veggies of course.
Hoisin Chicken Thighs and Carrots over Organic Soba Noodles with Spicy Sprouts
I’ve been cooking a lot of heavier fare lately with a lot of stews, pasta dishes, and soups and breads. So, this evening I wanted to create a lighter dish and switch flavor profiles as well. I marinated 6 organic chicken thighs in hoisin sauce for a few hours. To create the dish, I seared the chicken thighs in a bit of grapeseed oil, then I added some organic carrots to the skillet. I drained a small can of pineapple mixed the juice with some of the reserved hoisin sauce, covered the carrots and chicken in the sauce, put the lid on them and put them in the oven to bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. To make a sauce for the soba noodles, I took a couple of heaping tablespoons of organic miso paste and added some of the hot and bubbling hoisin sauce to it from the pan in the oven. I whisked that together and added some sesame ginger dressing to it. I cooked the soba noodles and drained them, then tossed the sauce with the noodles. To plate it up, I put the sauced soba noodles in the bottom of the bowl, added some pineapple chunks to the bowl, added a few chicken thighs and the carrots, topped everything with a few spoonfuls of the hoisin sauce and some spicy sprouts (radish, clover, and alfafa sprouts). My husband, Brian, loved it!
Roasted Garlic & Red Potato Soup and Batter Bread with Organic Butter and Cherry Jelly
The foundation of this soup started with roasting three heads of garlic (that first picture above shows the addition of the wonderful caramelized garlic paste that I created from the roasted cloves of garlic). I use this method: Take each head of garlic peel off the outer skin and cut off the top of the head to expose the garlic cloves. Use a muffin tin and put a square of aluminum foil in one of the cups, place the garlic head in cut side up and then cover all of the exposed garlic with olive oil. Use your fingers to make sure all of the exposed garlic is covered in oil and the seal up the aluminum foil into a packet. Place all 3 in the oven at 400 degrees and roast for about 35 to 40 minutes. Once they’ve cooled, you can squeeze the garlic cloves out easily, or use a cocktail fork to slip them out of the skins. Then mash them with a fork and set aside.
To make the soup: Dice up about 3 1/2 lbs of organic red potatoes and set aside. Finely chop 6 shallots and about 1/2 a white onion, and slice 4 stalks of celery. Start by sauteeing the shallots and onion in butter and bacon fat and sprinkle them with wild porcini infused sea salt, then add the celery and continue sauteeing. I continue to add butter as needed while I’m sauteeing, and I’m not shy about it ;-). Lighthouse makes a freeze-dried poultry herb blend that I love and use a lot for soups like this, it has the following in it: onions, thyme, sage, marjoram, spring onions, garlic, and rosemary. I add a few handfuls of that and some fresh cracked pepper. I add in a bit of organic free-range chicken stock, and then start to stir in the roasted garlic paste. Once the garlic paste is incorporated, I add in the diced red potatoes and the rest of the chicken stock. Then just simmer on a low heat for a few hours, adjust the seasoning/salt as needed during the simmer, and the soup will thicken as the potatoes cook down. Super easy and so yummy!
I baked beer batter bread as well, which I do often, and served it with the soup topped with organic butter and some cherry jelly (fig butter was also an option for the bread).
TWO Pasta Dishes the other night:
Chiocciole Pasta Bake with Grass-fed Organic Ground Beef & 6 Cheeses, and a Cheesy Pasta Bake with Creamy White Sauce
All of the kids (young and old) were happy with this dinner. I made a delicious, rich tomato-based sauce with grass-fed organic beef for the first dish and baked the al dente Chiocciole with layers of 6 different cheeses. The other dish had a creamy and rich white sauce with 8 different cheeses - including mascarpone, organic cream, and organic butter.
Ingredients and process for the tomato-based one -
Ingredients and process for the white sauce one -
Mmmmmm PASTA. :-)
Organic Grass-Fed Beef Stew
On Friday, I made this organic beef stew for dinner and baked homemade bread topped with whipped honey butter. I simmered the stew on low for hours. It had great flavor and the meat was tender and delicious. So good for a chilly winter evening meal. :)
Last night I made Chicken Tetrazzini for dinner. This is a long-time favorite recipe of mine. There are 4 separate steps and you end up using 3 pans and a baking dish, but it’s so worth the prep work and dish clean up. :-)
Cook one package of spaghetti pasta, until al dente.
Rinse, pay dry, and cut up 4 organic chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Heat some butter and olive oil in a skillet and squeeze in some Gourmet Garden garlic paste and basil paste, add the chicken to the pan and begin to cook over medium heat. Season the chicken with the following - porcini infused sea salt, rosemary infused sea salt, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, fresh marjoram, and fresh thyme. Once the chicken is cooked and tender, set it aside in a bowl and cover with foil.
Keep the chicken juices and garlic/spice paste mixture in the pan for the start of the sauce. Add butter to the pan and then add flour to make a roux. Then add some organic chicken stock and stir with a whisk, and begin whisking in heavy whipping cream and half-n-half alternating with Parmesan cheese until you have a thick rich sauce, careful not to let it break.
In another pan sauté some mushrooms in butter and as they’re finishing add some lemon juice to them. The lemon juice brings out a delicious bright flavor in the dish.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Add the sauce and chicken to the drained pasta and stir to combine and coat the pasta with sauce. In a baking dish, add a layer of the pasta/sauce/chicken, then put 1/2 of the sautéed mushrooms over that first layer, then sprinkle with grated Asiago, Parmesan, Fontina, and Provolone cheese. Add a second layer of pasta, top with the second 1/2 of the sautéed mushrooms and the grated cheeses. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is a golden brown.
Enjoy! This dish is even better as left-overs and it freezes great too.
Lemon-Lime Paprika Potatoes fried in coconut oil and topped with a Spicy Coconut Curry made with chicken thighs - dredged in an amazing blend of spices (curry powder, cumin, coriander, cardamom, fleur de sel, and garam masala), coconut milk, shredded carrots, Thai chili flakes, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and green chiles with fresh cilantro on top.