Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ina Garten's Sole Meunière

People think I'm joking when I say this, but sometimes I just get really hungry for some fish. A nice, light, flaky piece of well-seasoned fish. There is just something about the texture that I find delightful.

This week I found myself craving fish. Lucky for me, we're cooking up Ina Garten's French recipes and Sole Meunière is a French recipe I've always wanted to try.

Sole Meunière is a very simple dish. I found some beautiful sole fillets. A light coating of flour, a quick saute in butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of parsley and lemon zest and you're all set. Quick, easy, and classic! A staple preparation for any light delicate white fish.

I will definitely be making this again!

Sole Meuniere
Adapted from Food Network
by Ina Garten
Serves 2

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt and black pepper, to taste
4 fresh sole fillets, 3 to 4 ounces each
6 tablespoons butter
 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 200F. Have 2 heat-proof dinner plates ready.

Combine the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large shallow plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side with salt.

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat until it starts to brown. Dredge 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a metal spatula and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. While the second side cooks, add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the pan. Carefully put the fish filets on the ovenproof plates and pour the sauce over them. Keep the cooked fillets warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining 2 fillets. When they're done, add the cooked fillets to the plates in the oven. Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

Ina's Bistro @ IHCC

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ellie Krieger's Mediterranean Braised Green and White Beans

I love to cook, but I DO NOT LOVE WASHING DISHES! So, I look for recipes that are delicious, but simple, and don't require a sink full of dishes. One-pot meals are a favorite for this reason.

In the winter time, when you're looking for something hearty to warm you up from the inside out, a comforting one-pot meal is just about the best thing on the planet. Unfortunately, these dishes tend to be heavy in fat and calories and leave you feeling like you need to take a nap and/or cuddle up with a blanket on the couch with some Netflix. There's a time and place for all of these things, but since I've done a lot of that lately, I was looking for something a bit lighter and healthier.

Ellie Krieger's Mediterranean Braised Green and White Beans was the perfect dish.  A slow-cooked blend of green beans and white beans simmering away in a flavorful tomato sauce would serve as a satisfying vegetarian entree or a side dish. The good thing is that this recipe makes quite a bit, and only tastes better with time, so you can serve it both ways throughout the week.

Now, I must admit that I am very partial to beans, so I knew that I would absolutely love this bean dish. However, I was not prepared for how delicious it really was! It really does taste like something that's simmered for an hour, with incredible flavor. This is incredibly comforting and hearty, somewhat like a chili, and perfectly eatable all on its own. In fact, I did serve it up just like a chili in a bowl and enjoyed it as a main. Since the recipe made quite a large batch I also divided it up and will be enjoying it along with some chicken for my lunch in the next few days. I would most definitely make this again! It's a perfect 10!

Mediterranean Braised Green and White Beans
Adapted from You Have It Made
by Ellie Krieger
Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
One 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
2 pounds of green beans, trimmed
1/3 cup chopped parsley
One 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: Red chili flakes, if you like a little heat

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, eight minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, one minute more. Stir in tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste is lightly caramelized, one minute more. 

Add the tomatoes with their juices, crushing each tomato with your hand over the pot before adding it. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Then, add the green beans, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover, lower the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the white beans and continue cooking, covered, until the green beans are very tender, 30 minutes more. Serve.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Butternut Squash Hummus

It's Superbowl Sunday and we all know what that means: it's time to get your dip on! Now, most Superbowl parties have a variety of dips that are sinfully delicious, using copious amounts of cheese, mayo, and meat. Don't get me wrong, I do love all of those, but this time around I'm opting for a healthier option: Ina Garten's Butternut Squash Hummus. It's been on my go-to list for a long time!

I've always liked butternut squash, but I fell head over heels in love with it when I made Ina'a Butternut Squash and Ricotta Bruschettas. That recipe is so good it has me craving butternut squash on the regular, so I figured this recipe for Butternut Squash Hummus would be a good way to satiate that craving.

I love traditional hummus of any variety, but this is definitely NOT your traditional hummus! This recipe gets it's roots from a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe and if you're familiar with Ottolenghi's recipes than you know that he is known for building complex flavors and textures. This recipe definitely tastes like an Ottolenghi recipe, which is always a good thing.

I think the first thing worth noting is that this hummus does not taste of chickpeas, or beans, in any way. There is an entire can of chickpeas in the recipe, and it does help to lend a creamy texture, but it's the butternut squash that is the heart of the dish. The complex flavors come in with the variety of ingredients Ina uses to flavor this hummus. For example, the Greek yogurt gives the dip a bit of tang, the small amount of Sriracha provides a surprising amount of heat, the tahini and the toasted squash seeds lend a nutty flavor, and the drizzle of maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness. All in all you've got a sweet, spicy, savory, nutty, creamy and crunchy delight of a dip!

I am absolutely crazy for this dip! I love the gorgeous orange color, all the fun toppings, and the complex flavors. I find myself strangely addicted to it! This is one of those recipes that is even better the day after once all the flavors have had a chance to meld. I'm really looking forward to enjoying this for lunch throughout the week. I would definitely make this again!

Butternut Squash Hummus
Adapted from Cooking For Jeffrey
by Ina Garten
Serves 6-8

1-1/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and 1-inch-diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained with liquid reserved
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
4 teaspoons
minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 teaspoon Sriracha
Pure Grade A maple syrup, for serving (optional)
Toasted pita bread, or pita chips, for serving
Toasted butternut squash seeds, for garnish

Notes: I opted to leave out the cinnamon in this recipe. I like cinnamon in sweet dishes, but prefer to omit it from savory dishes. I tossed the butternut squash seeds with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them at 400F for about 10 minutes.

 Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.Toss with your hands and spread the squash out in one layer on the pan. Roast for 25 minutes, until tender, and set aside for 15 minutes to cool.  

Reserve 1/3 cup of squash for the garnish and transfer the rest to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Add the chickpeas, yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, Sriracha, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and pulse until coarsely processed but not pureed. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid and pulse a few times to combine. If the hummus is too thick, add more liquid a few tablespoons at a time. Taste for seasonings, transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the reserved butternut squash, toasted butternut squash seeds, if using, and drizzle with maple syrup, if desired, and serve at room temperature with toasted pita bread or pita chips.