Recipe of the week

Ode to Rome: Pasta Cacio e Pepe By Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

This is a quick and simple and delicious pasta dish from Rome.  Long strands of pasta are coated with a cheese & butter sauce.  Traditionally made with only sheep’s milk pecorino cheese; I have added a bit of Parmigiana to soothe the American palate. It adds a bit of sweetness to temper the tang of the pecorino.  And -  this recipe uses very few ingredients and can be made in one pot!

 

 

Corned Beef Hash with Taste & Texture-Enhancing ‘Hacks’ by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

What to do with those corned beef dinner leftovers? Make hash, of course.
My mother always put aside some of the corned beef dinner fixings’ just for this purpose, and she would crank it through the meat grinder, that cast-aluminum model that got clamped to the table.
Truth be told, this was my job…the vegetables and meat would squish out through the small holes of the attached die-piece.
As much fun as this process was, it did render ALL the ingredients to a bit of a wet-homogenous pile.
As I thought about my mother’s technique, I realized that some chef-style improvements could be brought to bear on the process:
1.) Draining the meat and cabbage on paper towels overnight in the fridge would remove excess moisture and yield a firmer finished product.
2.) Cooking a new batch of carrots and potatoes would add flavor & texture. (The potatoes & carrots that cooked together with the corned beef have given up both their texture and flavor to the cooking broth.)
3.) Adding prepared sauerkraut to the hash adds piquancy and texture to the finished dish, and it’s not detectable as a strong sauerkraut flavor; it gives nuance and crunch to the dish. (I continue to experiment with our new line of Cleveland Kraut. Choose your favorite flavor.)

Gratin of Potatoes with Sauerkraut by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

This recipe began with an idea about using a new product on our produce shelves: Cleveland Kraut sauerkraut!
It’s not just any ordinary sauerkraut. No indeed! It’s colorful, flavorful, crunchy and delicious.It’s cut thicker than most other krauts and comes in a variety of intriguing flavors: whisky dill, curry, garlic and spicy to name a few. It’s a live, fermented and unpasteurized probiotic product. All those ‘good for you’ attributes, currently making nutritional headlines. I’ve made a gratin of potatoes without cream and/or cheese. I wanted the sauerkraut to not be masked by dairy fat…but I did add a bit of smoked bacon to the dish and suggest that you serve the gratin with a side of kielbasa, or other smoked pork, beef or chicken sausage. I also used Yukon Gold potatoes. They are less starchy than an Idaho potato, but more starchy than a Red Bliss potato. They work well in a gratin and because they will keep their shape when baked. Choose larger potatoes to get a better slice. And as an added time-saver, they really don’t need to be peeled before using, the skins are very thin and tender. Just wash and dry the potatoes before slicing. (It is safer to slice a dry potato, it’s less likely to slip under the knife.)

Simple Salmon Rice Bowl…and ideas for variations by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

This recipe is about using simple-to-make and ready-made ingredients to prepare a tasty & healthy dinner or lunch-on-the-go. I’ll give you the recipe for a straight-forward gingered red cabbage to build the dish with a crunchy and sweet-sour component.
I made the dish with cooked, room temperature brown rice, but white rice, udon noodles or other cooked grains (i.e. barley, quinoa) could work as well.
I used an Asian sweet red chili sauce to flavor my salmon and drizzle on my rice. But there are lots of prepared Asian sauces and dressings on the market now that are very tasty and greatly help get dinner on the table quickly.
And the fresh ‘greens’ on top are your favorite: watercress, baby spinach or kale, radicchio etc.
Have fun with varying the ingredients to your personal tastes !

Quick & Easy: Chicken Pot Pie by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

This is a recipe that uses leftover rotisserie chicken, a good quality store-bought cream of chicken soup and a sheet of ready-made puff pastry! In the words of a well-known TV Chef: “How easy is that” !
Choose any pie dish or baking dish, combine ingredients with the creamed soup, top with a pastry sheet and pop it in the oven.
It’s dinner, on the table, in under an hour, definitely.
(I used a 9” standard pie tin and 1 sheet of puff pastry and based the recipe on this.)

Naan Flatbread ‘Pizza’ (Vegetarian, Non-Dairy) By Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

Many years ago, a working mother (mine) would make individual mini pizzas using split English muffins as the base.  They were buttered and toasted under the broiler first to crisp-up the surface and then the usual pizza toppings were piled on top and then back into the oven to melt and ooze.  The sauce was always a bit of leftover ‘red gravy’ (marinara sauce) from the weekend’s cooking; never sauce from a jar!

 

Fast forward to 2020 and we have a plethora of pizza crusts and substitutes readily available.    In this recipe I have used the ‘slipper-shaped’ naan bread, which is a traditional Indian flatbread.  At Foodies, we sell Stonefire Naan…there are two ‘slippers’ per package at 4.4 ounces each.   The naan bread comes in plain, whole wheat and garlic varieties.

 

It’s the base for this quickly made meal, using only vegetables and NO cheese!

 

And on the table in well under an hour!

 

 

Fideos: Spanish-style Toasted Noodles with Poached Shrimp & Romesco Sauce By Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

‘Fideos’ is both a dish from Spain and a short, spaghetti-like noodle that is usually toasted.  Toasting gives the noodles a warm golden color and a deep rich flavor.  And it is very easy to accomplish in your home kitchen.

 

The recipe includes a simple and quick-cooking shrimp stock.  Both the toasted noodles and the peeled shrimp are cooked in this broth which builds in a supporting layer of flavors to the finished dish.

 

A traditional Catalan sweet red pepper sauce, Romesco*, adds body and a bright punch of flavor to the finished dish.

 

 

Beyond Meat ® Bolognese Sauce by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

 

I was slow to ‘join the bandwagon’ of plant-based protein meat-substitutes, then a purveyor gave me samples, and I thought I should give it a try. These are not your typical ‘veggie’ burgers.  These are patties made with green pea protein and with a texture and mouth feel thought to imitate ground beef.

 

I made a couple of traditional ‘burgers’; pan-sautéed with traditional burger toppings. The texture was indeed very ‘meat-like ‘and it looked like a sautéed beef patty in the pan, but the flavor was a bit more vegetal than beefy.  

 

And then I wondered how Beyond Meat® could be used in other ways…how about a traditional Italian Bolognese meat sauce for example?  Would the tomatoes and other traditional Bolognese sauce ingredients make a satisfying sauce without the addition of pork, beef or my beloved pancetta?

 

Well, you be the judge. 

 

The following is my version of a Beyond Meat® Bolognese sauce. 

 

Without the beef.  Without the pork.  And without the pancetta.

 

And yes…… I can hear you Italian purists scoffing at me!

 

 

Warmed ‘Hummus Bowl’ with Beef, Eggplant & Tomato Ragout by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

This recipe is a riff on a Bon Appetit Magazine recipe. It is an extension of the ‘rice bowl’ craze that previously swept the nation. Here, hummus, a chickpea dip/spread that is generally eaten cold or at room temperature is gently heated and spread out on the bottom of a shallow dish with a meat or vegetable sauce on top.
The ragout could be made with ground lamb instead of ground beef or prepared meat-free with colorful sautéed bell peppers and zucchini.
My dinner guest was pleasantly surprised to taste the warmed hummus; she thought it was a parsnip puree at first glance. The spices in the dish are traditional ‘warm’ Middle Eastern flavors (allspice, cumin, coriander & marjoram) which marry effortlessly with the hummus.

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.