Creamy Horseradish Mashed Kale and Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is the greatest thing since mashed potatoes.

It’s creamy, it can be as rich or as virtuous as you desire, it’s fast to make, and it’s GENIUS if you are cutting down on carbs.

But you know what I say…lose the carbs, keep the fat.

So here it is…one of my fave mashed cauliflower dishes ever, with a little something healthy mixed in.

Creamy Horseradish Mashed Kale and Cauliflower

2011-08-25 fritatta and cheatloaf Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1 bunch kale, torn into small pieces and cleaned

1.5 cups shredded horseradish cheese

1 bunch scallions, diced

1/3 cup cream cheese

3 tbsp. seasoning (throw some salt in there, too!)

IMG_0904 1. Toss the kale and cauliflower in a large stockpot filled with water. It’s okay if the veggies almost overflow from the pot – the kale cooks waaaayyy down. Cover the pot and cook for at least 40 minutes at a full rolling boil. I mean, you want that kale WILTED into submission. It should be almost as tender as spinach. You cannot overcook this – cook it longer than you think is necessary.
IMG_0918 2. When everything is totally limp (that’s what she said), turn off the heat, drain the veggies well, and return it to the pot.  IMG_0920 3. Add the cheese, seasoning, scallions, and cream cheese to the pot. The cheese should instantly start to melt.  IMG_0923 4. Puree with a hand blender (ie, the best thing on our registry…I LOVE this thing!). IMG_0925 5. Taste for seasonings and serve.

THIS is the way that you get someone to eat kale. This is the way that you get someone to forget that they can’t eat potatoes. This is the way to use up that cauliflower that is about to go bad. This is just awesome. The horseradish really gives a sharp, spicy hit  and the cream cheese makes the dish both buttery and creamy. The scallions make the whole thing taste like loaded mashed potatoes, and – guess what? – you don’t taste the kale. Such a great way to sneak in some roughage. It’s the ideal one-pot meal, especially with the stick blender – serve it right out of the pot, like I do.  IMG_0927 Then, scrape the remnants with your finger, like I do.

Bacon Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken

Okay, so this is something that I don’t even know if I can count as a recipe.

But…then…I certainly never had it growing up. And I didn’t know how it would turn out. And it turned out GREAT. So maybe you want to know how to make it, too!

It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner because it’s incredibly quick and easy to make. It’s adjustable – make it low fat with chicken breasts, kosher with turkey bacon, or gluten free with gluten free teriyaki sauce.

That’s right…I’m using bottled teriyaki sauce and calling this a recipe.

Because if you never grew up wrapping things in bacon, it’s a gosh darned near revelation.

Bacon Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken

2013-03-27 meatloaf Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 cup teriyaki sauce

1 onion, diced

4 strips thick cut bacon

1 dash of sambal olek or sriracha

IMG_0886 1. Lay the onions in the bottom of a baking dish and preheat the oven to 350F. Then, wrap each of the bacon pieces around the chicken, with the ends underneath the chicken on the bottom so they are secured. The chicken may be wrapped diagonally, horizontally, or any which way…it really doesn’t matter. You just want as much of the bacon on the top of the chicken as possible.

IMG_0889 2. Pour over the teriyaki sauce and drizzle on the sriracha or pepper paste. Then, pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes, basting the chicken with the juices and teriyaki sauce every 10 minutes.

IMG_0915 3. When the chicken is almost done - within 5 minutes of being totally done – set the oven to broil for about 4 minutes, or until the chicken is finished, the bacon is very crisp, and the teriyaki sauce makes the whole kitchen smell savory and sweet.

IMG_0924 This is some really tasty chicken. It’s juicy and soft, with bacon that is so insanely crispy on top that it shatters between your teeth. The sugars in the sauce caramelize on the bacon, giving it a candied sensation and the sriracha adds a touch of heat. The onions pretty much melt into the sauce, which itself is perfect atop mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower and kale (don’t worry, that recipe is coming). The bacon on the bottom isn’t really crispy, but if you turned the chicken it would be.

Or if you are lazy and an inner fat kid like me, you just eat that floppy bacon on the bottom and you like it.

That’s what she said.

Bacon and Blue Turkey Burgers

I am trying to be healthier.

And let me tell you – it is hard.

But I have a really big birthday coming up and I hear that my metabolism is going to hit the rocks. And the chances of me exercising are probably slim to none, so I should start eating a  little healthier, at least when I cook at home.

For me, that means cutting down on the refined carbs. Blah.

But I can’t let go of the fat – I need that fat.

Well, I want it, anyway.

So this is something to make me forget that I am trying not to eat bread. It’s fatty, spicy, a little sweet, and smoky.

Obviously it has bacon.

Bacon and Blue Turkey Burgers

bacon mushroom burgers Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey or chicken

6 slices thick cut bacon, diced

1 package cleaned and chopped mushrooms, diced a little smaller

1 onion or 1 bunch scallions, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 cup spicy steak sauce

salt and pepper to taste

drizzle of olive oil

blue cheese dressing

wedge salad fixins

20140715_174750 1. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and then throw the chopped bacon in there over medium heat. You just want enough oil to get the bacon going. When the bacon starts to sputter and brown, add the mushrooms – expect some oil splatter.  20140715_180359 2. When the bacon and shrooms are super brown, in about 15 minutes, turn off the heat and take them out and drain on a paper towel. However, do not drain the pan.  20140715_191752 3. Combine the ground turkey, steak sauce, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and bacon and mix well, then form into 4 patties. Make sure that the steak sauce that you choose is a little spicy and properly salty, because this is where most of the flavoring comes from.  20140715_191946 4. Turn the pan on medium high and cook those burgers right in the bacon fat. I sometimes take the easy way out and put a lid on the pan to steam cook the burgers – you lose the charred taste but it keeps the burgers moist, and since this is turkey, you don’t have to worry about keeping them rare.  20140715_200245 5. Serve over salad or in portabella buns with blue cheese dressing.  20140715_200256 I mean, this doesn’t taste like I’m missing out on carbs. It tastes like a sweet, spicy burger with crispy bits of bacon and juicy mushrooms. The raw onions or scallions add an unexpected brightness and if you steam the burgers like I do, they are especially soft and juicy. Best of all, the blue cheese is a creamy, cooling counterpart with just a bit of tangy blue cheese taste. The key here is adding the steak sauce to the burgers – it takes care of the seasoning for you. Just try to choose one low in sugar so you don’t sabotage your own healthy meal.

Especially since you are going to want seconds.

Remember These Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings?

I got some chicken legs at the supermarket the other day and didn’t know what I wanted to do with them – so, I turned to the blog. I TOTALLY FORGOT about this recipe, and I bet you did, too! Well, it’s good enough to bear repeating! Besides, how many of you were actually paying attention in 2012? I mean, wasn’t Kim still married to that basketball player back then?

I love wings. Spicy, salty, juicy, saucy…I mean, it sounds more like an R rated film than a food, right? Wings are delicious when they are fried and crunchy, dipped in fire truck red sauce and served in a bar, but they are also great when made at home! Homemade baked wings are juicy, tender, and flavorful. They are the perfect party snack, inexpensive to make, and can be easily transported. Best of all, this recipe is a snap – my favorite “no recipes, just proportions” rule comes into play.

Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Ingredients:

2 packages Chicken wings or drummettes(the drummettes are dark meat, so they are naturally juicier)

2/3 part your favorite teriyaki sauce (I am a fan of Soy Vey products)

1/3 part  hoisin sauce (it’s easy to find kosher or vegetarian versions)

1 dash of Sriracha

a palmful of brown sugar (or as much as you need…this is all done by taste, remember?)

1. Combine the sauces and sugar in a large roasting pan. Mix to combine, then taste. It should be salty and savory, with a distinctly sweet edge and just a touch of spice. Also preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Put the chicken wings in the pan, then toss them around in the sauce to make sure they are coated.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the largest wing/drumette runs clear juices when it is pierced with a fork.  During that time, baste the chicken with the sauce every 10 minutes, so by the time the wings are done they look like…

this. Browned, caramalized with sugars and salt, crispy in parts and juicy underneath the skin.

4. When the chicken is entirely cooked, remove it from the pan and drain the juices and sauce into a saucepan. Boil it on the stove for 15 minutes, or until it has drastically reduced in volume and has become very sticky and thick.

5. Add the sauce to the wings, then serve immediately or let come to room temperature or refrigerate, or freeze…you get the picture.

What you probably don’t get is how delicious these wings are. If they were any saucier, juicer, or more tantalizing, they would have been the high school hussies.

So sweet and savory, so reminiscent of bad-for-you food while being baked instead of deep-fried. Sure there is skin on there, but it helps self baste the chicken, keeping it soft and juicy. This is a great dinner with a side of rice but is also ideal for a picnic. served room temperature, these actually taste better a few hours or a day after they are made. This couldn’t be easier or more delicious.

If I haven’t said it before…damn. I love wings.

Tomato Sandwich Redux – No Mayo!

When I read about this tomato sandwich on some food forum or other (what, you don’t spend your days trolling sites for restaurant reviews and recipes?), I knew that I had to try it. I have had at least 4,000 tomato sandwiches in my lifetime, but never one like this.

This isn’t your traditional tomato sandwich. 

Why, you ask?

Well, for one, there is no mayonnaise. Now, I LOVE tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches, but sometimes, they can be a little too much – too creamy, too goopy, too messy.

Also, there are seasonings beyond salt and pepper. A TRAVESTY in the tomato-sandwich making traditional school of thought.

Also…well, it’s not really tomato season yet. It’s early. The tomatoes are fresh and juicy at the farmer’s market, but they aren’t quite those sweet, dripping with flavor, sun warmed tomatoes that August is sure to bring.

But it was a long winter. And I need some tomato sandwiches NOW. 

So, without further ado…here is the simple way to make a nouveau tomato sandwich.

20140702_074652 1. Take your piece of bread. I had sour rye, but fresh white bread or even some thinly sliced pumpernickel would work well. 20140702_074803 2. Spread it thickly with unsalted butter. The butter must be spread thickly and it MUST be unsalted. I always buy unsalted butter because it’s so easy to season your own butter to the saltiness that you prefer, and then you control the sodium. Also, keep that butter at room temperature when you are spreading it so you don’t tear the bread.  20140702_075109 3. Layer on your tomatoes, none too thinly sliced. The heartier the bread is, the thicker the slices must be. Also, the tomatoes aren’t fully flavored yet, so you need thicker slices to taste them fully. Come August, you can use a razor blade to cut those slices and still have the taste burst through.  20140702_075134 5. Top with your seasonings of choice – I prefer a spicy lemon pepper seasoning with red pepper flakes, salt, and dried lemon zest. 
20140702_075143 6. Eat openfaced, in front of the air conditioner and with an ice old root beer, if possible. 

This sandwich blew me away. The butter seems less important than the mayo is – it really lets the tomato be the star of the show. It is more of a barrier than anything else – it keeps the tomato’s juices from making the bread soggy. The bread was a good choice – a slightly sour bread highlights the tomato’s natural sweetness. And the seasoning was really exciting – tart and spicy and salty enough to make every other flavor sing. I really felt like such a rebel – who puts extra seasoning on their tomato sandwiches?! Who AM I?!

I’m jut a girl who was ready for a freakin tomato sandwich.

And it. was. good.

Moroccan Turkey Kebabs

I haven’t posted a recipe since 1999, or so it seems.

Well, what can I say? I have been making a lot of old favorites that just haven’t needed repeating. However, I am now firmly back on the recipe development bandwagon and offer to you this – my favorite new recipe. It requires a bit of prep work, but then comes together very quickly. I love Moroccan food because it’s so complex – sweet, spicy, fragrant, crunchy, soft…it really appeals to all the flavors and textures that I crave. However, I rarely make it because just like the flavors are complex, the cooking methods can also be somewhat time-consuming.  This dish takes the best things about Moroccan cooking (the flavors) and the best things about American cooking (45 minute meals) and fuses them together for a dish that is unique enough for company but easy enough to make for yourself on a weeknight.

Moroccan Turey Kebabs

moroccan chicken Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 onion, half diced, half sliced into rings

3/4 cup harissa tomato sauce

3 tbsp. cilantro

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (quinoa flakes or oatmeal also work)

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp. Moroccan seasoning

1/4 cup orange juice

olive oil to drizzle
20140623_173945 1. Mix all of the ingredients together except for the sliced portion of the onion. The mixture will be very loose and moist. Preheat the oven to 350F.  20140623_174302 2. Put the sliced onions in a baking dish and form the turkey into large, quenelle shaped patties. Place them on top of the onions – it’s okay if they touch. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil – not a huge amount, just enough to help the onions along since the turkey has no fat.  20140623_182057 3. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the turkey is completely cooked though (it may look a little pink inside even when it’s totally cooked through because of the harissa. You know that it’s cooked by using a meat thermometer or when the meat loses its mushy quality and becomes firm). 20140623_202258 4. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad and Greek yogurt. 20140623_202339 It’s hard to explain just how satisfying this dish is. It’s incredibly fragrant with the cumin, cinnamon, and various spices in that Moroccan spice mixture. Definitely get a spice mix if you don’t make Moroccan food a lot – it lasts a long time and adds an unmistakably North African feel to your food. The cilantro is bright and the orange juice lends a faint, sweet backnote. The texture is wonderfully soft and juicy, thanks to the breadcrumbs and mayo, and the outside becomes crispy and golden brown. Best of all is the harissa tomato paste…that takes this over the top. It’s quite spicy, so go easy on it if it’s your first time using this. It has the heat of cayenne with a low, slow burn like chipotle. Plus there is the added sweetness of the tomatoes…wow, it’s just delicious.

Best of all, this reheats really well.

Not that there will be any leftovers.

Paleo Asian Sloppy Joes

This is something that morphed as I made it.

It was gonna be paleo Asian burgers. Sounds great, right?

Follow me on the journey to see what ended up happening:

Paleo Asian Sloppy Joes

marmie cooking class and il mulino

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground white meat chicken

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 serrano pepper, diced

2 tsp. chile paste (I used these pastes that I seriously love for those times when you don’t have the fresh stuff on hand – it’s LEAGUES better than the jarred stuff and doesn’t have any weird chemicals)

1 cup cilantro leaves, washed and diced

1 package fajita or Asian mix, diced

1 tbsp. oil

to taste: ground ginger, coriander, soy, hoisin (ignore that bottle of mayonnaise there!)

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1. Sautee the onion, garlic, spices, and other veggies (but not the serrano pepper) in the oil for about 5 minutes, or until they start to turn translucent.

2. Now, put  lid on the skillet and turn down the heat. Cook the veggies for another 15-20 minutes or until they are incredibly soft. We don’t want to caramelize the veggies, we want to soften them and stew them until they become a jam that we can…

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mash with a potato masher or drinking glass! This makes the meat very moist and the vegetables palatable for even the harshest of critics.

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3. Combine the chicken with the hoisin, soy, and diced pepper.

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Don’t try to form them into patties. With so much moisture from the veggies, they will just fall apart. 

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instead, just add them to the veggie mixture and mash it all around.

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4. Cook until the chicken is totally opaque and cooked through.

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5. Serve on portabella buns or mixed greens with a garnish of hoisin and Sriracha.

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These didn’t turn out the way that I thought they would, but they are still great. The important part is the extra fat from the oil used to sautee the veggies – it makes the meat very tender and juicy instead of the hard, crumbly discs that you occasionally get when using low fat meat. The vegetables literally disappear into the meat. The sweet, spicy, and pungent flavors of the sauces and spices make this a great filling for a taco or topping for a salad – I would even serve this with fried wonton crisps as a room temperature party dip!

Bottom line, mistakes aren’t all bad.

Some of them are pretty damned tasty.

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Quesadillas

This is a sweatpants-appropriate recipe.

It’s not classy. It’s not dinner party-appropriate. Hell, it’s not even fresh – it came about when my fiance was hangry* one day around 3 pm. I threw some stuff together, served it to him, and then asked for a taste…and it was good. Real good.

Blog good.

So, here it is. Just dig around your fridge and pull out the leftovers and make this rather tasty, embarrassingly trashy dish.

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Quesadilla

spinach and meatloaf quesadilla1 Ingredients:

2 tortillas

leftover meatloaf (the really good, glaze-y kind)

1 onion, diced and caramelized

1/4 cup mashed potatoes (yeah, we used purple ones)

Handful of shredded cheddar cheese (maybe 1/4-1/3 cup)

20140321_201744 1. Put the tortilla in a nonstick pan over medium/high heat.
20140321_201820 2. Add about 1/3 of your cheese.
20140321_201914 3. Add the meatloaf, the onions, and…

20140321_201946 the mashed potatoes. Add all of the ingredients to the center area of the quesadilla, because when you add the top tortilla, the toppings will spread and you don’t want them to fall out of the sides of the quesadilla.

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4. Top with the rest of the cheese and the other tortilla. When you top with the second tortilla, push down hard with your fingertips. You want to mash the meatloaf and the potatoes and also tho help the melty cheese glue the tortillas together.

20140321_202059  5. Pretty soon, your bottom tortilla should be golden and crisp, which means that it’s time to flip! Just let the other side cook for a couple of minutes and you are ready to…

20140321_202249 6. Serve (on a paper plate of course…toldja this was dirty food).
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This is a handheld guilty pleasure. It’s crispy, cheesy, and melty. It’s meaty, soft, and has buttery mashed potatoes. The meatloaf is even better than regular chorizo or ground beef because it’s extra soft, thanks to its breadcrumbs. The quesadilla gets its flavor from the spicy/sweet ketchup glaze that melts in the heat of the pan, and also the sharp, salty cheese. You can top this with sriracha or bbq sauce, but you don’t need to. This is everything that you need.

Oh, and you need sweatpants.

There…now you have everything that you need.

*Hangry: so hungry that you get angry. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

Lazy Creamy Spinach

I have always loved creamed spinach.

My earliest memories it involve the California institution Lawry’s. I haven’t been back in years and don’t know if I can bear to every visit again. From what I hear, it is an overpriced tourist trap with salty meat and overpriced drinks, but I remember it as my first truly fine dining experience. I loved getting all dressed up and eating prime rib as heavy as I was, a baked potato that came with a cute little poem encouraging me to eat the skin, and  - of course – that creamed spinach.

Lawry’s spinach was dense and rich – it barely tasted of spinach at all, it was really just a vehicle for gallons of cream and loads of butter.

Look, it was so delicious that it upstaged the Yorkshire pudding. How many dishes can say that?

This dish isn’t creamed spinach and it isn’t nearly as delicious as I the version that I recall from Lawry’s.  But, then, I wonder if anything would be as delicious as that memory?

Lazy Creamy Spinach

spinach and meatloaf quesadilla

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 lb. fresh spinach

1 tbsp. butter plus 2 tsp. oil

1/4 cup creme fraiche

a few dashes of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

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1. Sautee the garlic in the butter and oil over medium heat until it is fragrant but not brown – we don’t want any bitter taste here.

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2. Throw in the spinach. Turn it for the next 5 minutes or so. It will wilt down very quickly.

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3. When it is wilted – I mean really wilted – turn off the burner and add the creme fraiche. it will get a little soupy but not too much.

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4. Add seasonings, taste, and serve piping hot.

This is such a great side dish to meatloaf or honey mustard chicken. It’s rich but not super heavy and the creme fraiche adds and unexpected tang along with its creamy richness. You don’t have to boil cream forever or strain out any complicated spices – just sautee, add the creme fraiche, and go. It’s similar to sour cream but with an even denser texture and slightly sweeter taste. Speaking of sweet, if you don’t have fresh nutmeg you can skip it, but it really does add that “je ne sais quoi” - like how orange rind perks up carnitas or a bay leaf enriches chicken stock. This is comforting, savory, and tastes leagues better than the frozen stuff. It isn’t the same as real creamed spinach, but it does the trick.

You can’t go back to your youth, but it doesn’t hurt to update your classic memories. 

Baked Buffalo Chicken

Originally published at Whisked Foodie

Though it’s hard to characterize something as “the best,” some things just are “the best.”

For example, “Walk Like an Egyptian” is the best song by a girl group.

The first sequel is the best Back to the Future movie. And Anchor Bar Buffalo Sauce is the best sauce for wings. It might be because the bar created the buffalo wing, or it might be because it is the perfect blend of spicy, salty, and tangy. But it is, without a doubt, the best buffalo sauce on the planet. It doesn’t need any doctoring or fresh herbs. It doesn’t need any extra heat. It really doesn’t even need chicken – mix it with blue cheese dressing for the world’s most delicious veggie dip. If you do want the original dish, you will have to fry those wings. However, I – shockingly! – take the lazy way out and bake them. I also use thighs because who doesn’t love some juicy meat? Just use this easy recipe on some wings and thighs, bake them, and impress everyone at your girls night.

 What, y’all don’t eat wings at your girls nights?

The Best Baked Buffalo Chicken

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Ingredients:

2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and wings
¾ cup flour
1 tablespoon pepper
1 cup anchor buffalo sauce

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1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Then, toss the thighs in flour and pepper until they are coated. Place them on a greased baking sheet. 

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2. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear when the thigh is poked with a fork. 

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3. Take out of the oven and toss immediately in the buffalo sauce. Too much sauce isn’t a problem, too little sauce is. Don’t be stingy, here!

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4. Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing and celery. 

This stuff is so delicious. Even though it isn’t fried, it is crispy from the flour coating, juicy, and undeniably saucy. The sauce is obviously the king – don’t doctor it at ALL! It’s signature vinegary, spicy flavor is all I want or need in an American-style wing. And don’t forget that floury coating because that is what keeps the chicken from getting soggy. I have eaten these for dinner with some freezer fries and for lunch with an iceberg wedge salad – they don’t weigh you down too much and the flavor is just exactly what you crave. These aren’t great the next day, so try to eat them all in one sitting.

Somehow, I don’t think that will be a problem.

After all, these are the world’s best baked wings.