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. :)
Tacos, Black Beans, and Organic Green Salad with Mexi-Corn and Jalapeno Balsamic Vinaigrette
This evening I mixed up my own taco seasoning mix (the same one I shared in the spices class I taught a few weeks ago, with a few changes), and added it to 1/2 yellow onion sauteed in olive oil and some grass-fed organic ground beef for taco night.
I topped the tacos with cheddar cheese, hot salsa, crème fraîche, and clover/radish/alfalfa sprouts, and plated them up with black beans, and an organic green salad with mexi-corn and homemade jalapeno balsamic vinaigrette (jalapeno mustard, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil).
Taco Seasoning Mix
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.
Al dente Fusilli pasta with a rich tomato and beef stock sauce made with 2 sautéed onions,1 head of garlic, and baby carrots, topped with sautéed zucchini and chili peppers. I served this hearty bowl of veggies and pasta with a greens and herbs salad with crisp apples, asiago cheese, and raspberry blush vinaigrette, and Angry Orchard hard cider. For dessert we had fresh-from-the-oven zucchini bread baked with dried plums from the Saturday market and some bottled orange rind from World Market, with whipped organic butter on top. So good on an Autumn evening.
We had friends over for dinner last night and this is what I served:
Albondigas! Homemade Meatballs with a rich Tomato-based Vegetable Soup, served with a green salad, and Buttered & Toasted Guinness Beer Batter Bread with artisanal Sun-dried Tomato Salt sprinkled on top — once toasted, spread with Fig Butter and topped with Olive & Fig Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers.
The meatballs had ground beef, sautéed onion and garlic, chopped Italian parsley, Himalayan pink salt, onion and tomato goat cheese, bread crumbs, and organic free-range eggs.
The soup was made with sautéed onions and garlic, sweet potatoes, carrots, Serrano peppers, bell peppers, zucchini, basil, oregano, salt, beef stock, and tomato sauce.
I served the soup, bread, and salad with a wonderful hard cider from Lake Chelan Winery called Chelan Gold. So good!
PEPPER AND ASIAGO CHICKEN SAUSAGE & RED POTATOES, CARROT/CABBAGE SLAW W/VINAIGRETTE, AND CORN ON THE COB
For dinner last night I fried pepper and Asiago chicken sausage with red potatoes in a bit of organic pasture butter, then steamed some organic corn on the cob, and made a salad of carrot/cabbage slaw with a spicy vinaigrette.
My Grandma. An Homage.
My Grandma on my mom’s side was an amazing cook (my other Grandma was too for that matter). Every Sunday, growing up, we would go over to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Sunday dinner. The woman put a little bit of EVERYTHING on the table. It was a complete smorgasbord. Seriously, you could expect to have fried chicken, a pot roast, potatoes, several different veggie dishes, tamales…etc. all in one meal! She loved to feed people, she was all about comfort food, and if she found out something was your favorite then you could count on that thing being on the table. I had an affinity for Velveeta cheese. Oh, man, I loved that stuff. So, she would put a plate of sliced Velveeta on the table too…just for me.
As I wandered through the grocery aisles the other night, I saw it. Velveeta. Now, back in her day I don’t think Nascar was sponsoring the stuff. ;-) But, I stood there in the grocery store filled with fond memories of Sunday dinners, made with love by my Grandma, and being stuffed to the gills with all manner of family member favorites that graced her table. And the Velveeta? Well, it went into the cart. I also added bacon, and a bag of Fritos. I decided to fully embrace this walk down memory lane and create some good old comfort food. My cart definitely looked weird, Velveeta, tempeh, Morning Star stuff, Fritos, organic bananas… crazy person checking out!
Here’s the deal:
Cook pasta and drain.
Mix in cubed Velveeta, organic butter, and organic half-n-half (because God knows you should be using ORGANIC ingredients with that processed cheese!)
Put cheesy pasta in baking pan.
Top with chopped fried bacon.
Put a Cup, who am I kidding…probably 2 cups of crushed Fritos on top.
Put some shredded cheddar cheese on top of that and pop that in an oven at about 350 degrees.
Pull it out. Realize it needs MORE Velveeta. Grab a saucepan and melt MORE cubed Velveeta, organic butter, and organic half-n-half.
Poor that over the top and let that cheesy goodness ooze down into the pasta-cheesy-bacon-Frito situation you’ve got going on.
Bake it just a little bit more.
Proactively contact a cardiologist. Then plate that stuff up! :D
I love my Grandma. I miss her. And I had happy thoughts of her all evening long.
Thanks for making amazing food, Grandma. Thanks for the way you loved on us at the dinner table. I’m sure you’ve got all of heaven’s favorite dishes dialed in and you’re cookin’ up Sunday dinner tomorrow. <3
Hearty Lentil Stew and Guinness Beer Batter Bread
Last night I pulled together a hearty lentil stew. Sauteed red onion and white garlic in butter in the bottom of the stock pot and added dried oregano. Then added a few splashes of white wine and the organic free-range chicken stock and some of the Indian tomato sauce I’d made from scratch earlier. I chopped and added the following - delicata squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and celery. Then I added roughly 2 cups of lentils, some dried basil, and 4 bay leaves. Let that lovely batch of colorful and aromatic yummyness simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
While the stew was simmering, I made a loaf of Guinness Beer Batter Bread. With the bread baking and the stew simmering, we went out on the back patio in the cool Fall air and lit a fire in the fire pit. My husband got out his guitar and played for me and the boys and I sat all cozied up to the fire with a glass of wine…my life is really good.
When we came back in, I served up steaming bowls of delicious stew with fresh-from-the-oven beer batter bread slathered in organic butter. Oh, yes!