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Cooking Method: Baking

Mac n’ Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower, Scallions and Bacon by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

Cauliflower is now a mainstream vegetable!
At our Prepared Foods counter, I am surprised (and impressed) at our Millennial customers’ whole-hearted embrace of all kinds of vegetables. Their mothers were so successful at getting them to eat their vegetables that they continue to do so long after they have left the nest (and moved into South Boston).
This recipe ‘embraces’ roasted cauliflower. Roasting cauliflower is a game-changer; roasting expresses cauliflower’s hidden sweetness without the ‘cruciferous stink’ associated with boiling or steaming the vegetable. The cauliflower is then cooled, chopped into smaller pieces and folded into the
mac n’ cheese base, adding texture and earthiness to the finished dish.

Strollin’ Stromboli: Italian Sausage & Broccoli Rabe by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

There are varying online discussions about the difference between a calzone and a Stromboli.

 

And each have there ‘own story and are sticking to it’.

 

First, Stromboli is a place.  It’s a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily; with a not completely dormant volcano.  And It is an American invention from a famous Philadelphia pizza shop; apparently conceived to eat your pizza, ‘sandwich-style’.

 

And, calzone, or ‘pants leg’, like pizza, was born in Naples and meant for eating-out-of-hand while strolling. (Apparently, pizza was always eaten at the table with a knife and fork!)

 

The fillings being pretty much equal; it seems to be a question of shape.   If your stuffed pizza is folded over and crescent- shaped, then it is a calzone.  On the other hand, if you’re stuffed pizza is rolled and log-shaped, then it’s a Stromboli.

 

…And I won’t even get started on the sauce-inside or on-the-side debate.

 

 

Pear Cherry Crisp by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

I had cherries and I had very, very, very ripe pears. 

 

I know that a cherry-plum or cherry-nectarine crisp is more common than a cherry-pear crisp, but I had these very ripe pears to use (as I have said…) and I knew that the pears would soften during baking and wrap their arms, as it were, around the firmer cherries.  It would be a compatible match.

 

I used a 12-inch ceramic, fluted quiche dish - a wide shallow baking dish, to ensure that the ratio of crisp topping and cooked fruit would provide equal bites of both in your mouth.

And finally, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with almond flour, making the crust crumblier and crunchier, both desirable attributes.

 

Spring Eggs ‘n’ Ham by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

With a nod to the famous children’s author, I’ve made a batch of molded green egg ‘frittatas’ to serve with an Easter Sunday brunch.  They are green from pureeing sautéed swiss chard and leeks with egg whites and cream.  I’ve baked them in small, silicone, prism-shaped molds; never-opened treasures found in a yard sale.  But fear not, bake them in non-stick muffin tins or in one larger well-buttered casserole dish. For convenience, they can be made and baked ahead and gently re-heated in a microwave before guests arrive.

 

 

CHEF CLAUDIA’S CLASSIC STUFFED PEPPERS

 

Claudia is our Deli Chef in the South Boston Foodie’s Market.  She has been in the Foodie’s family for a number of years; working first in the Duxbury store.  She is a master at producing large quantities of beautiful, tasty food.  She knows what the customers want and exceeds their expectations.

 

 These stuffed peppers ‘fly-out’ of the case; with some customers even calling ahead to ‘reserve’ their weekly portion.

 

 

“FRENCH ONION SOUP” Inspired PIZZA By Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

This recipe sprang from a desire to eat a glorious, steaming bowl of French Onion Soup with grilled crusty bread and gooey Swiss cheese.
But I was more than reluctant to invest the hours it would take to make an excellent beef broth; and anything less than an excellent broth would not be satisfying. Hence, this is how the ingredients of a classic French Onion Soup ‘shape-shifted’ their way into a pizza topping.

Tart Cherry-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks, Sesame Miso Spinach by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

I am my father’s daughter in my love for cherries.  My father didn’t ‘bother’ with most fruit, with the exception of cherries and blueberries. And the blueberries had to be made into homemade pies to attract his attention.

 

I thought cherries were delicious as well.  And I also knew that they were special: they were only available for a short few weeks in early summer, they were expensive enough to be semi-rationed by my mother and that my ‘fruit-phobic’ father really enjoyed them.

 

In this recipe, cherries (cherry juice, actually) become a vehicle for combining Asian flavors, especially the pungently spicy Korean Gochujang paste with familiar garlic and ginger to glaze roasted chicken legs.

 

The dish can be made ahead and eaten at room temperature with the sautéed miso spinach. 

 

Great for a beach picnic!

 

 

Chickpea & Cauliflower Salad with Spiced Tahini Dressing by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

Instead of taking last year’s pasta salad to your summer get-togethers …why not show-off with this show-stopper?   It’s very easy to make:  roast some seasoned cauliflower pieces and open a couple of cans of chickpeas!  (Well, OK, plus make a very simple and quick tahini dressing!)

 

Roasted cauliflower is ‘meaty’ and especially delicious with this tahini dressing.  And the recipe makes extra dressing that would be great with grilled lamb and/or beef in a pita bread and crunchy vegetable sandwich.

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower Wedges with Clarified Butter and Tahini Sauce by Foodie’s Market Chef Laura Brennan

 

Roasted cauliflower lives up to its hype; roasting greatly improves the flavor. 

I have always roasted smaller pieces of cauliflower or ‘flowerets’, coated in extra-virgin olive oil in a hot oven, with great success. However, I have less successfully roasted cauliflower ‘slices’ which seem to always fall apart. Hence, the roasted wedge recipe here: each quarter piece is still attached to the core during roasting.  To add flavor, I first prepared clarified butter and used this fat as my cooking medium.  Cauliflower and butter are a complementary pairing and clarifying the butter first, removes the dairy ‘solids’ and enhances the ‘nuttiness’ of the finished dish.

 

 

A Frittata Savory Custard for your lunch box by Foodie’s Market’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

My old-school Italian grandmother, Giuseppina, always had a frittata or the makings of a frittata on the stovetop.  I say this because there was ALWAYS a pan of sautéed peppers around.  I was intrigued by the pile of glistening strips that always seemed more ‘animal’ than ‘vegetable’.  If it was summer, they were just waiting to be turned into a frittata; a quick-cooking supper dish which wouldn’t make the kitchen any hotter.

 

I have modernized her frittata a bit:  the peppers are dehydrated, I’ve used two different cheeses and I have baked them in muffin tins in the oven in a water-bath.  They are now suitable to be packed up for lunch on-the-go.

 

(And a frittata would typically be made with leftover bits & pieces of vegetables and cheeses; it was frugal as well as efficient. Food was not wasted.)