Recipe of the week

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.

ANTIPASTO SALAD by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

Something crunchy, something colorful and something savory to bring to a last-of-the-season cookout, or a first-of-the-season tailgate party.
There is barely any cooking to do: the cherry tomatoes are slightly roasted, the broccoli crowns are tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and grilled along with some crusty French or Italian bread.
The rest of the work required improves your knife-skills.1

Smoked Trout Dip with Pickles & Radishes by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

Smoked Trout gets very little attention, unlike its attention-grabbing smoked salmon cousin. In an effort to ‘even-the-playing-fields’, I offer a quick cream cheese-based dip/spread ready in about 30 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to gather some crackers, radishes, cornichons, olives or other piquant and crunchy bites to complete your serving platter.

GAZPACHO The Classic Chilled Tomato & Vegetable Soup from Spain By Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan

This is the answer to the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ dinner-dilemma. This soup can be made in 45 minutes or less and you may reap some leftovers for lunch. Add grilled shrimp or scallops for an easy protein upgrade.

The ingredients are raw, so be sure your vegetables are in primo condition.
Choose an olive oil that has a smooth, mild finish; a harsh or bitter olive oil will provide a jarring note in your finished soup.
All the vegetables are cut into pieces and blended together until smooth. Soaked bread is traditionally added; it provides a bit of body and creaminess. (and it’s fine to omit for a gluten-free version.)
Sherry vinegar is traditional; as it’s a vinegar from Spain. And it’s fine to substitute red wine vinegar.
Finally, a small amount of each vegetable is held back from blending and is finely-diced and added back to the finished soup. The diced vegetables provide a pleasing texture-crunch at the end.