Friday, December 28, 2012

Roasted Squash and Goat Cheese Sandwich

We regularly make squash enchiladas this time of year but one night a few weeks ago, we had a delicious loaf of bread and decided to make squash and goat cheese sandwiches instead.  The marinade for this squash needs to become part of your rotation; Smitten Kitchen is truly a genius with the squash marinades.  Serve with your favorite chips or coleslaw and you will have a truly special meal.

Ingredients (4 sandwiches)

1 acorn squash
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 slices toast
2 cups arugula
1/2 cup goat cheese

1. Rinse acorn squash.  Dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
3. Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Chop into 1 inch thick slices
4. Place squash on a cookie sheet and use two tablespoons of the olive oil to coat the squash.  Let cook 25 minutes in the oven.
5. Combine the rest of the olive oil, garlic cloves, lime juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small dish.  Whisk to combine.
6. When squash is done, remove from oven and cut away skin.
7. Place squash meat in a bowl and add lime juice dressing, toss to coat.
8. Toast bread until nicely brown in a toaster.
9. Remove from toaster and spoon equal amounts of squash on the bread.  Top with arugula and goat cheese.
10. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Spinach, Bacon & Feta Potato Frittata

This is a frittata for people that don't like a lot of egg in their frittata.  Seriously I love eating eggs in a lot of things, but not when I'm trying to enjoy other flavors like spinach, bacon, feta and onion.  The egg should be what holds the dish together, not the defining ingredient.  Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen has a great basic frittata so I used the base as the foundation for this dish.  Feel free to swap arugula for spinach and goat cheese for feta, the options are endless!

Ingredients (makes a 9'' round frittata)

1 lb small red or new potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices bacon (more if you desire)
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup chopped spinach (from about 2 cups loose)
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss sliced potatoes with olive oil and lay them evenly on a cookie sheet
3. Let cook about 25 minutes, turning over with a spatula about halfway through.
4. In a cast iron or other skillet, cook bacon slices until crispy.
5. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.
6. In the same skillet, add red onion and look about 4-5 minutes until lightly caramelized.  Then remove from heat.
7. Meanwhile chop bacon and set aside.
8. In a bowl, toss bacon, spinach, onions, and potatoes until mixed well.  Add feta and mix again to incorporate.
9. Return back to the skillet and spread evenly in the pan.
10. Whisk eggs together and evenly pour over the mixture in the pan.
11. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees until top is turning brown, about 15-20 minutes.
12. Carefully remove from the oven and serve!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dutch Oven Bread - Perfected!

We have a few variations on this recipe, but I have finally perfected my go to bread recipe.  Combining my two favorite methods, the end product is so delicious it will be gobbled up in minutes so you might as well make two loaves!


1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

1. In a small bowl combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup warm water.  Let sit until yeast is blooming, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl combine flour and salt and whisk to incorporate and mix.
3. Add yeast mixture and 1 cup of warm water to the flour mixture.  Let sit 30 seconds.  Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
4. If still dry, add the last 1/2 cup water and stir to combine.
5. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour.  Kneed the dough for a minute or two to combine, return to the bowl and let rest until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
6. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
7. When preheated, put dutch oven in the oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
8. Remove dough from your bowl and form into shape you want to cook.  Let sit on lightly floured counter.
9. After 30 minutes, CAREFULLY remove dutch oven after 30 minutes and put dough in, do not oil or anything!  Be carefully putting the dough in, the dutch oven is extremely hot.
10. Cook 30 minutes with the dough in the dutch oven.  When you are done and remove it from the oven it will look like the picture.  This bread will be devoured in minutes.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mushroom Bacon Cheeseburger

Ok, I realize the last three recipes include bacon...what can I say?  Safeway had a buy one, get one on bacon and I couldn't resist!  I've made a lot of burgers in my day, but adding bacon to the ground beef really adds a subtle bacon flavor to this burger.  In addition to cooking the mushrooms in bacon grease, the homemade bun recipe from Smitten Kitchen is well worth the extra time if you have it!

Ingredients (4 burgers)

5 slices bacon (4 for the burger toppings, 1 for the patties)
1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 small shallot, diced
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
7 mushrooms thinly sliced
1 sliced tomato
Cheese slices (your favorite!)
Arugula or lettuce

1. Preheat saute pan to medium high heat, when hot add 4 slices of bacon.  Let cook.
2. While bacon is cooking, take last slice of bacon and chop.  Add to ground beef, shallot, panko, worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with pepper and salt.
3. Mix with your hands and form into burger patties.
4. When bacon is done cooking, put it on a papertowel lined plate.
5. Don't drain the bacon fat, instead add the sliced mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until softened.  Use a slotted spoon to remove.
7. Add burger patties to the pan and cook 7 minutes each side until browned and meat is cooked through.  Top with cheese and let melt.
8. Assemble burgers with buns, patties, mushrooms, bacon, tomato and arugula.
9. Serve with Tim's Cascade potato chips and enjoy your mushroom bacon cheeseburger!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Steak Au Poivre - Anderson Style

There is nothing better than a perfectly cooked steak.  One of our favorite dinners is from David's mom when she makes us steak au poivre (steak with pepper sauce).  It is always our request for birthday dinners.  "Anderson" style means this recipe can be made on a weeknight to provide a quick and delicious meal for you and your family.  Feel free to experiment with side dishes; in this recipe we used roasted butternut squash, parsnip and onion.  

Ingredients (for 2 people)

2 - 5oz filet mignons or other high quality steak
4 strips bacon
salt/pepper (generous amount of pepper!)
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon butter mixed with 1 tablespoon flour

1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil and butter.
2. Wrap bacon around steaks and secure with a toothpick or two
3. When butter has melted add steaks to the pan, let cook on each side about 7 minutes for a medium steak.
4. When steaks are done, remove to a warm plate and cover with foil
5. Add beef broth to the pan and deglaze the pan for a minute.
6. Add butter/flour mixture and whisk quickly to incorporate and form a gravy.
7. Serve steaks with gravy drizzled over and a large glass of red wine.