Mushroom and Beef Stroganoff+

Makes 4 servings

12 ounces boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced across the grain

¾ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1 or 2 large shallots, chopped (about ½ cup)

Two 10-ounce packages white button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced (about 6 cups)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp flour

1¼ cups low-sodium beef broth

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½ cup sour cream

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Cooked whole-grain egg noodles

Season the meat with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the beef and cook for one to two minutes, until seared but still pink inside. Transfer the meat with its juices to a plate.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the skillet (medium heat). Add the shallot and cook for about a minute, stirring, until softened. Add the mushrooms, and then the garlic, and cook for eight to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their water and it has evaporated.

Sprinkle the mushrooms with the flour and stir until well combined. Add the beef broth and, stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; add the remaining 1½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook for about five minutes, until the mixture thickens and reduces slightly, then stir in the mustard until well incorporated. Add the sour cream, stirring until well blended.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan; cook for one to two minutes, until the meat is just warmed through, but still medium-rare.

Serve warm, garnished with the parsley, over the noodles.

Per serving (without the noodles): 310 calories, 25 grams protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar

Homemade Green Bean Casserole+

  • 1 1/2 lb. haricots verts, trimmed (see Note)
  • 4 oz. pancetta or bacon
  • 9 c. sliced, stemmed shiitake mushrooms and/or sliced cremini or button mushrooms (1 1/2 lb.)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. half-and-half
  • 1 (5.2 oz.) pkg. semisoft cheese with garlic and fine herbs, broken into pieces
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • Crispy Shallots (see recipe) or commercial French-fried onions

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart gratin or baking dish.

In a 10-inch skillet, parcook beans in enough lightly salted boiling water to cover until crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes; drain. Transfer beans to large bowl of ice water to stop cooking them; drain.

In the same skillet, cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain, reserving the drippings. Finely crumble or chop pancetta.

Meanwhile, add mushrooms, garlic and thyme to drippings in skillet (if there aren’t many drippings, you may need to add up to 1 tablespoon vegetable oil). Cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid has evaporated. Stir in pancetta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add mushroom mixture to beans, tossing gently to combine.

For sauce, in a 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Add half-and-half all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Whisk in cheese, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat; stir in wine. Pour sauce over green bean mixture, stirring gently just until combined. Transfer green bean mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and beans are tender. (If using commercially made French-fried onions, sprinkle them on the bean mixture for the last 5 minutes of baking.) Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Crispy Shallots.

 

Irresistible Almond Bars

Crust:

  • 1 c butter
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 2 c flour

Filling:

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs

Icing:

  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • sliced almonds

To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all crust ingredients. Put into 9×13″ pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

To make filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar and almond extract together. Add one egg at a time and beat. Pour into baked crust and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.

To make icing: Mix all ingredients together and spread over bars. Cut into squares. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Refrigerate bars.

Cauliflower Steaks with Curry and Chutney

Serves 2.

Note: To carve out your steaks, you’ll be bisecting the cauliflower from the crown down through the center of the stem, and making parallel cuts an inch or more from that center cut. It’s easier if you make the side cuts before you cut the center one. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you may have 3 or 4 cups of florets leftover when the steaks have been cut. Either way, just season to taste. From Robin Asbell.

  • 1/2 c. slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 lb. cauliflower (1 medium)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Salt
  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. fresh mint, packed
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil

Directions

Place the almonds in a heat-safe cup and pour boiling water over them to cover by an inch. Let stand for 30 minutes, then drain.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the leaves from the cauliflower, trim the bottom flat and stand it up on its base. Cut out 2-inch-thick steaks from the center of the head and reserve. Break the remaining cauliflower into florets.

Put 4 cups of the florets in a steamer, and steam for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is very soft. Place the steamed cauliflower, drained almonds, ginger and lemon zest in a food processor and process to purée. Scrape down and repeat until smooth. Add the curry powder, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and process. Then add the coconut milk and process until very smooth. Transfer to a small pan to heat on the stove (this makes more than you need for 2 steaks; reserve the rest for another use).

Wash the processor and place the mint, ginger and jalapeño in the bowl. Process to mince, scrape down and mince well again. Add the lemon juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

In a small pan, place the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and place over medium heat. Swirl the pan until the seeds are fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop. Transfer to the food processor, then process until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Scrape the chutney into a small bowl.

To cook the steaks, have a baking sheet handy. Heat the canola oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Slide the steaks carefully into the oil and sear on each side, pressing down with a sturdy spatula to make sure the cauliflower is in contact with the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, until evenly browned. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until you can insert a paring knife into the fat part of the stem with no resistance.

To serve, spread 3/4 cup of the sauce on each dinner plate, and place a cauliflower steak on top. Sprinkle with chutney and serve immediately. Provide steak knives for carving.

 

Cheesy Baked Zucchini Noodle Casserole+

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds zucchini (about 5 to 6 good sized zucchini, enough for 8 to 10 cups of salted zucchini noodles)
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 16 ounces Italian sausage (in bulk, out of casings)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Spiralize the zucchini, toss with salt, let drain: Using a spiralizer, use the zucchini to make zucchini noodles (zoodles) with the device, following manufacturer’s directions. You should have a generous 8 cups of zucchini noodles.

Place in a colander over a bowl. Snip zucchini noodles with scissors here and there to keep them from tangling too much.

Toss the zoodles with 3 teaspoons of kosher salt. Let the zoodles drain of excess moisture while you make the sauce.  Rinse really well to remove the salt.

2 Lightly brown the sausage: Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil. Break up the Italian sausage into small clumps in the pan. Heat on medium heat and gently cook the sausage until it is just cooked through and lightly browned. Remove to a bowl. Discard all but 1 Tbsp of rendered fat.

3 Brown the onions and garlic: In the same pan, add the chopped onion. Cook until softened and lightly colored, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

4 Add tomatoes, cooked sausage, then simmer, add basil: Add the canned crushed tomatoes and cooked sausage to the pot with the onions. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 additional minutes.

Stir in thinly sliced basil and 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt.

5 Squeeze moisture out of zoodles: While the sauce is simmering, use a clean dish towel (or several paper towels) to squeeze more moisture out of the zucchini noodles.

6 Add zoodles to sauce, place in casserole: Add the zucchini noodles to the pot with the tomato sausage sauce. Gently stir to combine so that all of the noodles are coated with sauce.

Transfer into an oiled 8×13 casserole dish and spread into an even layer.

7 Top with ricotta, Mozzarella, and Parmesan, and bake: Arrange the ricotta in clumps on the casserole. Press the ricotta into the zucchini noodles to penetrate the casserole a bit. Mix the grated mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle over the top in an even layer.

Bake at 350°F, uncovered, for 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach and Cheddar Souffle+

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 6 to 8-cup souffle dish (6 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches in diameter by 3 1/2 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan and bread crumbs.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, the nutmeg, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.

Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Cheddar, 1/4 cup of Parmesan and the spinach and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.

Whisk one quarter of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don’t peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.

Spiralized Zucchini & Summer Squash Casserole+

I have served this with a meat and arabiatta sauce on top.  I also squeeze moisture out of the noodles by putting them into a colander with salt, letting them sit, then wring out the moisture and then rinse well to remove the salt

Ingredients

    • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
    • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
    • 2 medium summer squash
    • 2 medium zucchini
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Position a rack in the top position of oven; preheat broiler to high.
  • Combine ricotta, Parmesan, basil, garlic and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a spiral vegetable slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut summer squash lengthwise into long, thin strands or strips. Stop when you reach the seeds. You should have about 6 cups of “noodles.” Place them on a cutting board and shape into an even 10-inch square. Cut the square into quarters. Transfer each “nest” to a 9-by-13-inch broiler-safe pan (or similar size 3-quart baking dish). Repeat with zucchini. Arrange the zucchini nests in an alternating pattern with the summer squash.
  • Drizzle the nests with oil and season with salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Make a well in the center of each and spoon in about 2 tablespoons filling.
  • Broil the nests until browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve warm.

Stuffed Banana Peppers+

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 large banana peppers
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (could use less)
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 to 16 bacon slices (takes more than one package if you really want to fully wrap peppers)
  • could add bread crumbs to soak up some of the cheese?

How to Make It

Pre-step: works well to partially cook the bacon before wrapping the peppers

Step 1

Cut a slit lengthwise in each banana pepper, cutting to, but not through, other side. Remove seeds.

Step 2

Combine cheese and next 6 ingredients. Spoon mixture evenly into each pepper, and wrap each with 2 bacon slices; secure with wooden picks. Place peppers on a rack in a broiler pan.

Step 3

Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden.

Persian Rice and Sweet Corn Salad+

Makes 8 cups.

Note: This light and colorful salad is a meal in itself, and would be terrific with a salad of sliced cucumbers and herbs, or some flatbread and baba ghanoush. For a special finish, sprinkle with chopped pistachios or pomegranate seeds. From Robin Asbell.

• 3 ears sweet corn, shucked

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• 1 c. basmati rice

• 1 pinch saffron

• 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided

• 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (also called garbanzos), drained

• 1 large red bell pepper, chopped

• 1 large tomato, chopped

• 1/2 c. fresh spearmint, chopped, plus more for garnish

• 1/2 c. fresh dill, chopped, plus more for garnish

• 1/2 c. whole milk Greek yogurt

• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Cut the corn kernels from the cobs and reserve.

In a 2-quart pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn. Sauté, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the corn is browned in spots and starting to stick to the pot. Scrape the corn into a large bowl.

Add the rice to the pot and stir, and crumble in the saffron, and stir for a few seconds. Add the cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cup water, and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to low, cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat to cool.

When the rice is cool, add it to the bowl with the corn, and add the chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, mint and dill.

In a small bowl, stir the yogurt, lemon, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour over the rice and fold in.

Serve immediately, garnished with fresh mint and dill, or store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition information per 1-cup serving:

Calories 230 Fat 7 g Sodium 320 mg

Carbohydrates 38 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

 

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork+

Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
  2. Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
  3. If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.