Vegetable Curry Pot Pie

Vegetable Curry Pot Pie

Vegetable Curry Pot Pie

It’s Fall baby! It’s an to the end of the 100 degree days and a promise of beautiful colors, cool evenings and toasty campfires. It’s also comfort food season. Like pot pie comfort food. I’m all about the comfort food. Food needs to comfort your soul, needs to make you feel all warm and snuggly inside. It helps if that food also tastes great. There’s something about the warm, fragrant smell of curry, that makes my heart sing. Makes my tummy rumble, if you know what I mean. Anticipation! Let’s get this show on the road!

Here’s what you’ll need – One package of puff pastry. Take out one pastry and save the other for another use. Cover the puff pastry with a damp towel, so it won’t dry out.

puff pastry

Puff pastry

I forgot to cover mine up and the edges dried out. It still worked just fine, it was just a mess to look at. You’ll see that later. I share my mistakes as well as my success. So, do what I say, not what I do. Ok?

You’ll also need a few other things –

Veggie curry pot pie

Veggie curry pot pie fixings.

Some cauliflower florets, crimini mushrooms, onion, carrots, celery, frozen peas, vegetable broth, curry powder, flower, parsley, salt & pepper, and some heavy cream. My coop now offers organic milk from some of Alabama’s happiest cows. It’s great stuff. I even used that heavy cream to make the butter you’ll see later, too!

Place your cauliflower in a microwave safe dish.

microwaved cauflower

Ready to nuke

Add in 2 tablespoons of water, cover with plastic wrap, poke a vent hole in it and microwave for a couple of minutes until it’s crisp tender. Drain off the water and set it aside. If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, use a potato. Matter of fact, change out the veggies to what YOU like. It’s your pot pie after all.

Get out a large saute pan and melt some butter in it, over a medium heat. Add in the onions. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 400º.

onions

Saute the onions

Cook for 2 minutes, then add in the carrots.

saute carrots

Add the carrots

After another 2 minutes, then add in the celery and mushrooms.

celery and mushrooms

Add the celery and mushrooms

Cook for 5 more minutes. While those are cooking, pour the cream and broth in a microwave safe cup and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. You want it to get hot, but not boil. Set it aside.

cream and broth

Hot broth

Now, add more butter to the veggies in the pan.

butter in pan

Home made butter!

Add in the flour and curry powder.

Flour and curry

Flour and curry powder

Mix it up and cook for a minute.

Curry spice

Breathe deeply

Add in the hot broth mixture and stir it up.

add broth

Add broth mix.

Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.

making a sauce

Bubble, bubble

When it’s thickened, add in the cauliflower, frozen peas, parsley, salt and pepper –

add veggies

Frosty peas

and mix it all together. Turn off the heat.

combine mix

Stir it up.

Unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured board. See how sad mine looks? I didn’t show it the love. It stuck all together and the edges dried out. But, I pinched the tears together and rolled it flat again. All fixed! Almost.

puff pastry

A sad puff pastry

Flip your pie pan upside down over the pastry and cut off whatever sticks out. Like this – hey, where’s that picture. Oh, I forgot to take it. Dang. So here’s a picture of my cutting tools instead. The pizza roller was the best choice for the job.

knives

Use the pizza cutter.

Butter the inside of a large pie pan.

pan butter

Butter your pan

Then, fill it with the vegetable curry mix.

fill the pan

Pour into pie pan.

Top it with the puff pastry, tucking in the sides.

top with pastry

Top with the puff pastry

Cut a couple of vent holes in the top of the pastry. You can cut some decorative leaves or whatever out of the pastry scraps. Just dampen the undersides and stick to the top of the pastry. I put my pie dish on a foil covered pan before I slid it in the oven. A little preventive boil over protection.

in the oven

Into the oven

Bake for about 25 minutes, but check it after 20 minutes. Don’t want the puff pastry to burn. When the top is golden brown and the pot pie has bubbled up around the edges, pull that baby out!

Vegetable Curry Pot Pie

All done!

Give it a little parsley garnish and call the crew in for dinner!

Vegetable Curry Pot Pie

Ready to serve

slice of Vegetable Curry Pot Pie

Yummy.

Vegetable Curry Pot Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
 
A fragrant, curry and vegetable filled, puff pastry pot pie to welcome to cooler temperatures.
Ingredients
  • 1 package puff pastry
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons butter - divided
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a large pie dish and set aside.
  2. Open box of puff pastry and remove one pastry. Allow pastry to come to room temperature, covered with a slightly damp paper towel. Re-wrap remaining pastry for another use.
  3. Place cauliflower and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap, poke a vent hole in it and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes until crisp tender. Drain, set aside to cool.
  4. In a saute pan, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and saute the onions. After 2 minutes, stir in the diced carrots. Cook for 2 more minutes, then, add in the celery and mushrooms. Cook an additional 5 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, add the broth and cream to a microwave safe dish. Heat in microwave until hot, but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the vegetable mix, add in the flour and curry and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the hot broth mixture and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Mix in the steamed cauliflower, frozen peas and parsley. Turn off heat.
  7. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured cutting board. Pinch together any tears and press seams flat. If necessary, roll the pastry out to fit your baking dish. Place pie pan upside down on the pastry and trim puff pastry to fit.
  8. Pour vegetable curry mix into the buttered pie pan. Top with puff pastry, tucking in edges. If desired, cut decorative shapes out of the scrap pastry, dampen bottoms with water and attach to the pastry. Cut 4 vent holes in pastry for steam to escape. Place into the oven and cook until puff pastry has browned and the mixture is hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

 

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

This was to be my Cinco de Mayo post. As you can see, I’m quite a bit late with it. Sloth, thy name is Ruth. Ah well, better late than never!

Enchiladas. A little – sometimes, not so little – rolled up package of goodness. Smothered in a blanket of delicious sauce and baked to perfection! Also, it’s one of the fastest and easiest dinners to make. Mix of a bunch of stuff and roll it up. Sauce it, cook it and BAM! Dinner is ready. We all want that. A no fuss, no muss dinner.

Your ingredients – it looks like a lot, but it’s really not much work.

enchilada ingred

Future enchiladas

Trust me. You can trust me, you know. Really.

Anyhow, scrub those sweets, stab them to make steam holes and nuke them.

sweet potatoes

Clean potatoes

My fancy schmancy microwave has a potato button. I like that. So, after the sweets have cooked, let them cool down. Peel them and chop them up. You’ll need 2 cups.

Go ahead and grate the cheese, if you bought the block kind.

grated cheese

grate the cheese

Then, chop the cilantro.

choped cilantro

chop chop

Heat the oven up to 350º and coat a 9 X 13 baking dish with spray oil.

Get out a large bowl and start dumping in the stuffing mix. Beans, chiles and garlic.

add chiles

getting ready

Cilantro, cumin, cayenne, smoked paprika and lime juice.

adding in more

getting closer

Don’t forget the sweet potatoes and cheese! Mix it all up.

enchilads mix

there it is!

Coat the bottom of the baking dish with a little of the tomatillo salsa.

coating the dish

smooth it out

If you’ve never had this kind of salsa, you’re in for a treat. It’s spicy, but not too spicy and has a nice clean taste. It’s tart and fresh, not heavy like to red salsas.

Now, assembly time. Spread a 1/2 cup of potato mix down the center of each tortilla.

making enchiladas

ready to roll

I use flour tortillas, not corn. No reason. I just like them better. Roll up the tortilla and place it in the baking dish.

making enchiladas

1 down, 7 to go

Repeat with the remaining 7 tortillas. Snug them up against the others, so you can fit them all in.

dish full

pack ’em in

Cover with the rest of the salsa and top with the last bit of cheese.

enchilada dish

ready to bake

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is nice and bubbly and the cheese is browning.

baked enchiladas

all done

Serve these bad boys up with a dollop of sour cream and a couple slices of avocado.

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

yum yum

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Oh yeah, I forgot. Happy July 4th! See, I’m early for that.

Recipe time!

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Florida-Mex
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Flour tortillas, filled with a spicy black beans & sweet potato mix, covered with a fresh tomatillo salsa and cheese.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked sweet potato, diced.
  • 1 16oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 16oz jar of tomatillo salsa or salsa verde.
  • 8 flour tortillas, 8 to 10 inch size.
  • 2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese – divided.
  • 1 4oz can of diced green chiles
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped. Reserve some for garnish.
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons diced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Do Ahead: Wash sweet potatoes, pierce skins and microwave until cooked. Allow to cool. Peel and chop into 1 inch pieces, set aside.
  2. Grate cheese, if necessary.
  3. Preheat oven to: 350º F. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with spray oil.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the black beans, green chiles, garlic, cilantro, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne and lime juice. Add in the sweet potatoes and 1 cup of cheese, stir well.
  5. Coat the bottom of the baking dish with ¼ cup of tomatilla sauce.
  6. Place ½ cup of filling in the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place in baking dish. Snug them close together to fit all 8 in.
  7. Cover with remaining salsa and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and cheese has browned.
  8. Serve 2 enchiladas topped with sour cream and avocado slices. Enjoy.

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Come & get it!

Cannellini al Gratin

Cannellini al Gratin

Grab a spoon!

Winter has decided to wrap her icy fingers around Florida (and the rest of the country) for what I hope, is the last time. Enough with the cold already!

Cold weather means comfort foods. Hearty, stick to your ribs casseroles, flavorful soups & stews and crock pots full of all manner of tasty things. It also means I can run my oven as much as I want! When it’s 100 degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is stand in front of a blazing oven. So, I take advantage of the cold weather to fire it up and enjoy the extra heat.

Since our temperatures dipped down into the low 30’s (hush, this is sub-tropical Florida, 30 is COLD), I decided to make my favorite bean casserole. It is so easy. Minimum effort for maximum flavor. It uses cannellini beans. These beans are a good for you inclusion to your diet. They are high in magnesium, fiber, iron, folate and a good source of protein. If you can’t find cannellini bean, you can substitute great northern or any white bean.

On with the show –

cannellini fixings

cannellini ingredients

Gather all your ingredients. Get out a cutting board and knife, so you can dice up all those veggies. Did you know that the celery, onion and carrot mix is called a mirepoix? You do now! Not only do we provide good eats, you get to learn new things, too.

Do you see that? Wait, here it is –

kitchen kitty 2

kitchen kitty is watching you.

There she is. Kitchen kitty is making sure I do this right.  Anyhow, onward. Pre-heat the oven to 400º. Get out your dutch oven. Now, lets dice up some mirepoix. Do the celery

diced celery

dice the celery

The carrots – which btw – I don’t peel. I use organic, so it’s wash, dry and eat.

diced carrots

dice the carrots

Dice up some onion. You’ll need a cup of each. Oh, and dice up 3 tablespoons of parsley.

diced onion

dice the onion

Put your pot of the stove, over medium – high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Dump in the mirepoix.

add the mirepoix

Add the celery, carrot & onion to the pot.

Cover the pot and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft. Turn the heat off and add in the white wine vinegar, scraping up the browned bits off the bottom.

adding vinegar

add the vinegar

Now, dump in 2 cans of cannellini beans with their juices. Add in the chopped parsley, thyme and some salt & pepper. Give it a stir.

add beans parsley and other ingred

add the beans and things

Add in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. I used Boars Head Gouda. You can use whatever vegetarian friendly cheese that you like or can find.

add cheese

add in some cheese

In a large measuring cup or small bowl, add 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, the remaining parsley, cheese and tablespoon of olive oil.

crumb top

making the crumb topping

And mix it well.

crumb topping mix

mixed up

Spread the crumb topping in an even layer over the top of the casserole.

Cannellini al gratin ready

Ready to bake

Place it in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. When it’s all bubbly and the crumb top is golden, you are ready to pull it out of the oven.

Finished Cannellini al gratin

All done

Let it rest for 5 minutes to let that bubbling, bean brew settle down. Serve it up with a nice crusty bread or a focaccia. We had a whole wheat focaccia. Yum!

Cannellini al Gratin dinner

Dinner is served!

Recipe below.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cannellini al Gratin
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
An easy, fast, delicious cannellini bean casserole with a crunchy crumb topping.
Ingredients
  • 2 – 19 oz cans cannellini beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cups diced carrots
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup coarsely grated Gouda cheese, divided
  • 1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the diced carrots, celery and onion, and cook, covered, 6 to 8 minutes, or until onion is soft, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from heat, and stir in the white wine vinegar, using a spatula to scrape up any browned bits stuck to bottom of pot. Add beans with juices, chopped thyme, chopped parsley, ½ cup shredded cheese, salt & pepper. Stir well to combine.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs, remaining 1 Tbs. chopped parsley, and remaining ¼ cup shredded cheese in small bowl. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbs. oil into crumb mixture, and combine to moisten breadcrumbs. Spread breadcrumb mixture over bean mixture. Bake gratin, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and the top is browned. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.
  4. Makes six generous servings.
  5. Adapted from Vegetarian Times Jan/Feb 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin

 

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

Something simple. Something easy. Something – so delicious. A gratin. Fling a bunch of stuff in a casserole dish and top it with cheese or breadcrumbs. Bake. Now, you have a gratin. You can be extra special and use both cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake. Now,  you have a show stopping gratin. I like show stopping. You’ll like it, too.

This one uses tomatoes, basil and goat cheese. Why? Because they had been in my fridge a little too long and I needed to make room for fresh vegetables from the co-op. Saturdays are always a surprise dinner day. We never know what’s going to be left over from the week or what needs to be used up right now. I don’t know about you, but things hide in my fridge. You know it’s in there, but you can’t find it. Later, much later, dang! There it is! Harumph. Sneaky veg. Well, these tomatoes were hiding under a bag of spinach. I found them, though. Along with that little knob of ginger that I never use up. The tomatoes, I’ll use. The ginger? Well, let’s just say the chickens enjoyed it.

Our ingredients.

gratin ingred

For the tomato goat cheese gratin

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.

sliced maters

Slice the tomatoes

You don’t have to get out the ruler. Just guess. Look! I used my ceramic Yoshi blade. That thing is great for making really thin slices of tomatoes. I use it for nothing else. I am a Yoshi blade snob.

Then, chop up the basil. You can roll it up and make a lovely chiffonade, or you can be like me and scrunch the leaves up and hack away. Whatever gets the job done.

chopped basil

chop up the basil

Get out a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish and give it a coat of spray oil. Use half the tomatoes and make a layer in the bottom, overlapping the sides if necessary.  Sprinkle half the diced garlic over them.

garlic and tomatoes

garlic and tomatoes

Use half the basil – after you save some for the garnish – and spread out that over the ‘maters.

basil and tomatoes

Add the basil over the tomatoes.

Now, do that again and make the second layer. Then, get out the olive oil and drizzle it over the top. Add some salt and pepper, cause you know you’ll want it.

tomatoes basil and oil

Top with olive oil and salt & pepper.

Now, you could go ahead and grab a fork and gobble this down right now because it;s just that good –

tomato salad

Tomato salad!

But DON’T! You’d miss the creamy goat cheese and crunch topping! Instead, plop that dish into the oven for 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, get a half cup of panko bread crumbs out. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper over it and add in a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix it up real good.

panko salt pepper and olive oil

panko, salt & pepper, and olive oil

panko, salt & pepper, and olive oil combined

All mixed up  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that 10 minutes has passed, get the hot dish out of the oven. It’s cheese time! Pinch off little pieces of the goat cheese and drop them all over the top of the dish.

goat cheese and tomatoes

add the goat cheese

Cover it evenly. Share the cheese. I know those look like hunks of cauliflower and I imagine that would work too, but stick with the cheese. You’ll thank me later. Then, sprinkle all the seasoned panko crumbs on top.

panko topping

Really crumby.

Now, pop that dish back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until the top is all nice a browned.

Tomato Gratin

Golden Goodness!

Don’t forget to finish it off with that basil you saved!

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

All you need is a fork!

Let’s get a better look at this, shall we?

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

Extreme close up!

Oh my! Oh my, oh my, oh my! That looks wonderful! It is, really! So good. Try it! Soooonnn.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious layered tomato gratin topped off with creamy goat cheese and crunchy panko bread crumbs.
Ingredients
  • 3 large tomatoes or 4 smaller ones
  • 4 oz. weight - goat cheese
  • ⅔ oz. weight - basil, approx ½ cup chopped. Divided.
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, divided.
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Spray a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Reserve some basil for garnish.
  3. Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. You don't have to measure, just guess.
  4. Using half the tomatoes, place a layer of them in the casserole dish, overlapping the sides, if necessary. Next, evenly spread a layer, using half of the chopped basil. Sprinkle half the garlic over that. For the next layer, repeat with tomatoes, basil and the rest of the garlic. Over the top, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake casserole for 10 minutes. While it's baking, to your panko crumbs, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. After 10 minutes of baking time has passed, remove casserole from oven. Pinch off pieces of goat cheese and drop over the top, as evenly as possible. Top the casserole with the seasoned panko bread crumb mix. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the crumb topping is nice and golden. Garnish with the reserved basil.
  7. Serve!

And now, the recipe.

Mac and Pimento Cheese

 

Mac and Pimento Cheese

mac and pimento cheese close up

Yummy

 

I’m pretty sure that every southern woman worth her salt, has a pimento cheese recipe or two or three. We like to shake it up and add in some unexpected ingredients. Some horseradish in this one or some cream cheese in that one. Well, I really shook up my pimento cheese recipe. I added macaroni to it. Why not? It seemed like a natural thing to do. Mac & cheese is a perfect combination. Pimento cheese is a perfect combination of peppers and cheese. Why not combine all three? So, I did and it’s done and it tastes great. It’s a natural combination.  Like chocolate and peanut butter, milk and cookies, potato chips and ketchup. OK, maybe not the potato chips and ketchup. That’s just some freaky thing my sister did. But, macaroni and pimento cheese is a good combination. Give it a try.

The cast for this evenings dish.

m & c ingredients

Getting it together.

Cook the box of macaroni according to the box directions. Drain and set aside.

cooked macaroni

Use your noodle!

Shred the cheese, saving ¾ cup to top the casserole. Open and drain the can of pimentos. Pat them dry and open them to lay flat. Give them rough chop.

chopping pimentos

Chopping the pimentos

Save out two thin strips so that you can decorate the casserole dish, nice and purty.

While the pasta is cooking, put 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pot.

melting butter

Mmmm, melty.

Melt it over medium heat. Then, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour and let that cook for 2 to 3 minutes. I used whole wheat flour, so mine is browner than if I used white flour.

making a roux

Bubbly flour

Pour in the milk and add the salt, pepper and dry mustard and stir to combine.

adding in spices

Add in the spices

Whisk while cooking until it thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise.

Adding the cheese, mayo & pimentos.

Add the cheese, mayo & pimentos.

Fold in the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour it all out into the greased casserole dish and sprinkle with ¾ cup of that shredded cheddar. Then, artfully arrange those pimento strips.

ready to cook

Ready for the oven

Bake. Eat. Enjoy.

ready to eat

Let’s eat!

Recipe time!

Mac and Pimento Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A new twist to a creamy, cheesy favorite, mac & cheese.
Ingredients
  • 1 - 16 oz box of macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons AP flour. I used whole white wheat.
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups milk. I used Almond milk
  • 1 – can of pimento peppers 4 to 7 ounce size.
  • 2 – 8 oz packages of cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Prepare macaroni noodles according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with spray oil.
  3. Drain and pat dry the pimentos. Give them a rough chop. Reserve two long strips for garnish, if desired.
  4. Shred cheese and reserve ¾ cup to top casserole before baking.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour. Pour in the milk and add the salt, ground pepper and dry mustard. Raise heat to medium high and continue whisking until it thickens, around 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise. Whisk until the cheese is mostly melted and the ingredients are fully combined. Fold in the cooked macaroni and mix well.
  6. Pour the cheesy macaroni into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and arrange the two pimento strips on the center of the dish.
  7. Bake at 350º for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese top and melted and started to brown. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

Pumpkin Streusel Breakfast Strata

 

pumpkin streusel strata

Company food.

This is what we call “company Food”. You know, something so sumptuous, you save it for company. You set this in front of them and wait for the complements to start. Good food. Great food! Food sooo good that you don’t even care about the calories. This is that food. Plus, it’s super easy. I love those kinds of company food. This casserole you prepare ahead of time and stick it in the fridge to bake in the morning. That way, you’re not rushing around, trying to fix something while everyone wants morning coffee or orange juice. Pull this out and set it on the counter, crank up the oven and go take a hot shower before everyone else uses all the hot water. Then, come out looking glamorous, pop the casserole in the oven and relax!

It’s sharing time!

Set up your ingredients.

ingredients for strata

Assembly time

This calls for a stale loaf of french bread. I cut a hunk off for dinner the night before and this was leftover. Bread doesn’t usually make it to the leftover stage around here. You’ll need the bread, eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, sugar, flour and some pecans. And pumpkin, you’ll need some pumpkin puree.

To make the cinnamon streusel, in a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter.

streusel topping

make some streusel topping

Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Stir in the chopped pecans. Cover and refrigerate the streusel topping until needed.

streusel topping

Cover and refrigerate.

 

Take the loaf and cut in into thirds, lengthwise. Then cut it into 1 inch strips and then crosswise into 1 inch cubes.

cubing the bread

It’s a crumby job.

 

Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the milk, the spices and the sugar, then whisk.

eggs spice and milk

Ready to whisk

Then add the pumpkin in and whisk again.

milk spice pumpkin

Whisk again.

Dump in the bread and let it absorb all the liquids.

bread milk mix

Bread and milk mixture

 

Coat a 2 qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the bread milk mixture in. Cover it up and stick it in the fridge.

strata mix

Cover and refrigerate.

 

30 Minutes before you want to bake, take the casserole dish out so it can start to warm up. Never, ever stick a cold dish in a hot oven. That’s a mess you don’t want to clean up. Believe me! Set the oven to 350º. Get out the streusel mix and spread it in a even layer, all over the top of the casserole.

streusel topped casserole

Topped with the streusel mix

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes or longer.

baked pumpkin strata

All done!

You have to get that cup of coffee, you know. Set out the plates and syrup and let your guest serve themselves. Tell everyone you got up a 4am to fix this very special dish for them. They don’t need to know it’s easy, right?

Pumpkin Streusel Strata

Pumpkin Streusel Breakfast Strata

Pumpkin Streusel Breakfast Strata
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A delicious start to any morning.
Ingredients
  • For the streusel:
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • To make the strata:
  • 1 – 12 inch loaf of french bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups milk, Almond milk works fine.
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 large eggs
Instructions
  1. To make the cinnamon streusel, in a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Stir in the chopped pecans. Set aside. If using the overnight method, refrigerate the streusel topping until needed.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt and spices. Add in the pumpkin and whisk until combined.
  3. Add in the bread cubes and toss to combine.
  4. Coat a 2 qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour in the bread and milk mixture. If using the overnight method, cover casserole and refrigerate until morning. If cooking now, top with streusel crumbs.
  5. Thirty minutes before baking, remove the casserole from the fridge. Remove cover and spread streusel topping evenly over the surface. If baking right away, no need to wait those 30 minutes.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until top is golden brown and the center has firmed up. Serve with warn maple syrup.

 

 

Red Dragon Pie

Red Dragon Pie

Red Dragon Beans

Aduki beans

Beans. We don’t give them enough respect. They’re easy to grow and available year around. Fresh, frozen, canned or dried. So many varieties. Limas, lentils, kidney, black eyed, garbanzo, soy and many, many more.

Not only are beans good for your heart, they also contain saponin compounds that appear to protect cells from cancer causing damage. Cancer facts. Women who eat beans two or more times a week have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. They’re full of flavonols for antioxidant activity and fiber for, well, you know what fiber does. Beans are on the low end of the glycemic chart, so are better for diabetics. Dark beans have the added bonus of being loaded with iron. Beans – is it any wonder they’re called the magical fruit?

This recipe pairs dried aduki beans with rice to form a complete protein. Throw in a mashed potato topping, covered in cheese and man, you’ve got it made. The aduki bean is also called the red dragon bean. If you eat them, you are blessed with the strength of a dragon. Couldn’t hurt, could it. Then, you could really mean this – Meddle thee not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup!

Crunch, crunch.

slice out of a Red Dragon Pie

Red Dragon Pie

Let’s get to cookin’! Start with a ½ cup of beans in four cups of salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour. After they have simmered for 20 minutes, add in ¼ cup of brown rice and stir. Continue cooking until the beans are tender and the rice cooked. Drain over a bowl to save the broth. You’ll need to save one cup of broth.

aduki beans and brown rice

cooked aduki beans & brown rice

On to the mashed potatoes. Peel and dice up 4 medium to large potatoes. Add to a pot and cover with salted water. Boil until tender. Drain and return to the pot. Add some butter and cream. Mash away! If you like some lumps, leave some lumps. Lumps mean it’s real stuff, man.

mashed potatoes

mashed potatoes

Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Pour in a little oil and add in a diced carrot, diced onion and some quartered white mushrooms.

Sauteed carrots, onions and mushrooms

Sauteed vegetables

Saute for about 5 minutes until they’re softened. Add in the beans and rice mixture. Sprinkle with the italian herbs. Add in the tamari sauce, the tomato paste and chili sauce.

condiments

Flavor!

Tomato paste in a tube. The world is a marvelous place. Pour in the reserved bean stock. Mix it all up. Add in some pepper and salt, if it needs any more salt. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the juice is absorbed.

dragon beans and rice mix

Mix it all up.

Preheat your oven to 350º. Get out a nine inch pie dish and butter the sides and bottom. Spread the bean mixture in a even layer over the bottom.

dragon bean mix

layer the bean mix

Spread a layer of mashed potatoes over that, covering the beans completely and sealing to the edges with the mashed potatoes.

layer of mashed potatoes

add a layer of mashed potatoes

Lick potato spoon.

Shred 1 cup of cheese. I used fontina but you can use any hard cheese. Cheddar would be dandy! Sprinkle the cheese all over the top of the dish.

top with shredded cheese

top with shredded cheese

Bake for 30 minutes at 350º. If the top is not nicely browned after that time, run it under the broiler for a few minutes. You just gotta have a crunchy, toasty, cheesy pie top. You just have to!

Aduki Cottage Casserole

Toasty goodness!

Red Dragon Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole
Cuisine: vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A savory sheppard type pie featuring aduki beans.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dry aduki beans
  • ¼ cup brown rice
  • 4 medium to large potatoes. Butter & cream to mash.
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • ½ cup carrot, quartered, then diced
  • ¾ cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 1 - 8oz package whole white mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp mixed dried italian herbs
  • 1 Tbsp chilli sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup of aduki/rice stock - reserved
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan combine ½ cup of aduki beans in four cups of salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour. After they have simmered for 20 minutes, add in ¼ cup of brown rice and stir. Continue cooking the remaining 40 minutes, until the beans are tender and the rice cooked. Drain over a bowl to catch the stock. You'll need to save one cup of stock.
  2. Peel and chop 4 medium to large potatoes. Add to a pot and cover with salted water. Boil until tender. Drain and return to the pot. Add some butter and cream. Mash them up.
  3. Heat a large skillet pan over medium heat. Pour in the oil and add in the diced carrot, diced onion and quartered white mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes until they're softened. Add in the drained bean and rice mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with the italian herbs. Add in the tamari sauce, the tomato paste and chili sauce. Pour in the reserved bean stock. Mix it all up. Add pepper and salt to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the juice is absorbed.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350º.
  6. Get out a nine inch pie dish and butter the sides and bottom. Spread the bean mixture in a even layer over the bottom. Spread a layer of mashed potatoes over that, covering the beans completely and spread to the edges.
  7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350º.
  8. If the top is not nicely browned after that time, run it under the broiler for a few minutes.

 

Another Holiday side dish. Scalloped potatoes and kale


scallop potato and kale gratin

scalloped potatoes and kale

 

Kale. A leafy, green, stalky, thing. I generally do not like leafy, green, stalky, things. I can narrow that down – I do not like greens. I can grow collards, mustard greens, turnip greens and cook them up just fine. Just don’t expect me to eat them. Nope, not gonna happen.

Funny thing about belonging to a produce co-op, you never know what’s going to be offered. Sometimes, it’s a bonanza for me. Hello, organic shiitake mushrooms! Other times it’s a Buh? Moment. Like kiwiberries. What are those? Well, they’re tiny, kiwi like, berries. I was shocked, I tell you. Kiwis that are a berry! My world has exploded with new and wondrous produce. Then, along came kale. And the kale cheerleaders. “You must try it. Makes delicious chips.” What is it with kale chips? Do they give you super powers? Do you get to belong to a super secret kale club? With a handshake? Try it, they said. You’ll like it, they said. So I did. Try it, that is. No secret hand shake. Dang. No chips were made either. Maybe, they do give you super powers. What is did, was find a recipe and make it my own. Now, you can make it your own, too.

The kale line up.

kale. potatoes, cheese

scalloped potatoes and kale ingredients

Rinse and shake dry the kale. Fold it in half, holding in one hand. With the other hand, pull that stem off. Nobody wants that stuff. Yuk. Now, tear the leaves into smaller pieces. Stuff them all in a larger stock pot. Add in 1/2 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Cook until the kale wilts, about 8 minutes. Drain and let cool.

cooked kale

draining the cooked kale

When cool enough to handle, squeeze the excess water out. Fluff and set aside.

Peel and slice the potatoes into thin slices. You’ll want between 4 and 5 cups of sliced potatoes.

potato and kale gratin ingredients

fluffy kale, sliced potatoes, shredded cheese, butter and garlic

A mandoline comes in handy here. I got mine at a thrift store. Amazon has some good ones, too.

Preheat your oven to 425º. Spray or grease a 2qt casserole dish. Spread half the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the dish.

potato layer

potato layer

Next, add all the kale in a layer. Top that with half the shredded cheese, all the garlic and half the butter cubes.

kale and cheese layer

kale, cheese garlic and butter

Arrange the last of the potatoes on top. Then, add the remaining cheese and butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover it all with a cup of milk.

scalloped kale

final layer, adding the milk

I used almond milk. Give the dish a gentle shake to settle it.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and the cheese has browned. Get a plate and eat that sucker up!

Scalloped kale with potatoes

Yum!

Scalloped potatoes and kale
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of fresh kale or 1- 10 ounce package of frozen, thawed and squeezed dry.
  • 6 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thin, about 4 to 5 cups.
  • 1 teaspoon of finely diced garlic
  • 1½ cups of grated Organic Valley Baby Swiss cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup milk, almond milk works for this
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. If you are using fresh kale, rinse thoroughly and shake dry. Pull kale leaves from stems and rip into smaller pieces. Put kale into a large stock pot with ½ cup of water. Cook over medium high heat for about 8 minutes or until kale wilts. Drain and let cool. When cool, squeeze dry. Fluff and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425º. Spray or grease a 2qt casserole dish. Layer half the potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Spread all of the kale as the next layer. Sprinkle on half the cheese and all the garlic. Dot with half the butter. Arrange the last of the potatoes on top. Then, add the remaining cheese and butter. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Pour the milk evenly over the top and gently shake to settle.
  3. Bake 45 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and the cheese is browned.

 

Garden bounty! Calabacitas or summer squash casserole.

Where I live, back yard gardens are in full swing. If you are like me, someone has already gifted you with a bag or two of summer squash. You are left scrambling for ways to use your bag of goodness.

I’m going to help you out here and share my recipe for Calabacitas or summer squash casserole.

Your starting ingredients.

Quarter and dice your squash. Add the squash and chopped onion to the oil in a large saute pan.
Saute over medium heat until barely tender, about 10 minutes.

Add in your shredded cheese, the corn, garlic and green chiles. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Pour into your buttered casserole dish, bake and enjoy!


Calabacitas or summer squash casserole.
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 zucchini and yellow squash, quartered and diced. Any combo to give you 4 squash total.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 - 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1 - 16 ounce can whole kernel corn
  • ½ cup grated Cabot cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Cabot monterey jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute squash and onion in oil until barely tender.
  2. Add garlic, chilies, corn and cheese; mix well. Add in the salt and pepper.
  3. Pour into a buttered 1-quart casserole and bake at 400º for 20 minutes.