This is really quick to prepare before setting it in the oven, so it is one of those set it and forget it type of meals. I didn't use cranberries, but that is something you could add to the filling if you want to. I had the filling in the oven with the squash, adding the cheese for the last 20 minutes in the oven. If you want, you can cut the bottom a bit so it will stay upright, if you want that security but I didn't have any problems with that. I set aluminum foil on the cookie sheet before setting the squash on it, just for ease of clean up afterward in case of any spilling. If you have the other half extra, roast it on the side with the skin up, with little oil and salt and pepper on it, and use it on soup later on.
So here is my cheesy butternut squash recipe, I hope you enjoy it. Until next time
CHEESY ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
This dish is an idea that came to me early this autumn and I have been tweaking it for a couple of months now and I'm so excited to share it with you because it was just delicious.
The different flavors of the dish do well together, and I have to say I'm really happy with the results. This is a great side dish, I served it on the side of fish, breaded and fried plaice. In the breading of the fish, I had a touch of chili pepper powder giving it a bit of a kick.
But the beetroot casserole works as a main dish as well and will be a filling and satisfying meal as it is with a good salad on the side, for example, arugula because of the strong flavor it has.
The casserole does take a considerate time in the oven, but I thought it was worth it. And the first hour when the vegetables are in the oven by themselves, you can spend with your family, or read, as I did. After the coconut cream mix went on the top of the veggies for the last thirty minutes, I prepared the rest of the meal.
The timing went really well, I love that the beetroots are not soggy, but were done and still had a bit bite into them. Just perfectly as I liked them to be. I used three different colors of beets, but if you have only red ones available, you can certainly use just them, the color of the casserole might be a bit more pink in that case.
I used coconut cream instead of milk and there is a difference in the consistency of the product. The cream is thicker, not liquid like milk, and thus it was the perfect product to use in a casserole when I wanted to have the casserole consistency in 30 minutes.
This dish is really quite delicious. I hope you enjoy it and have a great upcoming week!
Til next time,
BEETROOT CASSEROLE WITH COCONUT CREAM
Growing up sausages and potatoes where a big favorite to us kids. So I consider them comfort food for me, but these days they get a bit more refined flavors combined with them.
Here are some of my favorite flavors all put in a pan together, letting them make harmony in the oven over time. The stronger the flavor of the sausage and cheese you choose to use, the deeper the taste of the casserole. I combined sweet potatoes and baking potatoes but you could use just baking potatoes if you will. Instead of the tomato slices and vegetable broth, you can use tomato juice as the liquid.
So, there are many options once again, all bringing the deliciousness to your dinner table the way you like it the best. I hope you enjoy it!
Till next time
Chorizo & potato casserole
Pork goes well with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes go well with kidney beans. Kidney beans go well with peppers. Peppers goes well with salsa. Beans go well with pork. Salsa goes well with pork...
Someone asked me how is my thought process as I am cooking or planning a meal. Well, it is like a puzzle where I start to pair ingredients with each other and see how the beautiful picture forms and different tastes are playing harmony with each other.
This post is not what I had scheduled for today, but I am breaking the lineup, and taking a little sideroad this week. This meal so delicious, and one of those meals that the leftovers are just about better than the first time serving because the flavors had time to infuse and intensify. It is a simple dish, ready in 30 minutes, and had some seriously layered flavors there.
First I hit the slices of spiced up pork file in a very hot pan, searing them on both sides. I had dusted the pork slices with chilli powder, salt, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
I sautéed some sweet mini peppers with spring onion in the pan with the pork and added a cup of hot salsa I had ready-made previously and was left over. To that, I added some thinly sliced carrots, sliced sweet potatoes, and two cups of rinsed, hydrated kidney beans. When everything was in the pan, I poured vegetable stock so that it just about covered the goods in the pan, and then let it slowly low simmer on the stovetop until the veggies were done and tender. At the end, I added some thinly sliced apples to the pan, and let them get a bit soft while setting the table and getting ready to enjoy the meal.
That's it. You can serve this as a soup, and cut all the sweet potato into small cubes, and use small cut pieces of pork, or you can serve it as the cooking broth is the sauce and drizzle it on top of the food. It is tasty either way, with a nice heat coming from the salsa and the chilli powdered pork.
I hope you all have a great weekend, I will be back to the regular-scheduled program next week.
Till next time
AUTUMN PORK WITH BEANS AND VEGGIES
"Baby, It's cold outside..." Yes, the polar nights are just about here. The daylight hours are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, even when it is a sunny day, the air is cold and biting. We haven't had snow yet, as I type this post, but it seems like any day now we are going to have that, nearly magical, first snow.
For many of us living up north, comfort food is the thing we go for at this time of the year. As long as the comfort food is part of a well-balanced diet, that is just fine. "Everything is allowed in moderation" is a great goal to keep in mind.
I am all about soups this time of the year, and the more veggies the soup has, the better. Chicken noodle soup has as many recipes as there are cooks in the kitchen. I add some cabbage to it, to make it more filling. I also added some sweet peas, broccoli, and spring onions, with the traditional carrots and celery, for the flavor and color. The chicken breasts I used was from a day-before roasted chicken dinner, where I on purpose roasted a whole chicken just to use the legs and save the breasts for the soup.
I cooked the soup in a vegetable broth, with whole black peppers that I removed afterward. A couple drops of hot sauce would have given it a nice kick!
Do you have a favorite chicken noodle soup recipe, or do you attack a soup duty as a chance to clean the fridge?!
I hope you are staying warm, healthy, and happy!
Until next time
CHICKEN & VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP
The more the flavor in the cheese, the more flavor in the casserole. You can have a little blue cheese drizzled into the mix as well if you are a fan of it.
Lots of options out there, it is just trying and tasting, and baking and sampling to find the perfection that suits your style.
What is your favorite savory pie or breakfast casserole dish? How have you resolved any allergy issues? Do you always make them without meat to respect the possible vegetarians in the group? Please let me know in the comment section, I am curious to hear your thoughts.
It is 72 days till Christmas, I am sure I will find one recipe that will be 'the perfect breakfast casserole' for my needs.
Till next time
Once again I wish I could share the scent of the dish with you. While this meal was slow cooking in the oven, my home was filled with the most enticing aromas that you might be able to imagine by just from the ingredients - pecans, bourbon, pork, rosemary, maple syrup... Ah!
The great thing about the recipe is that you most likely have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Truly, a recipe that utilizes what we often have as stable ingredients at home.
I choose to slow cook the pork chops in the oven with the marinade for a couple of hours. I used pork chops with the bone attached to get that greatly enhanced flavor the bones bring to the slow-cooked dishes. Of course, if you have a slow-cooker, you can set the meat and marinade in it and let it slowly simmer all day if you have the opportunity for it.
My choice of side dishes with the pork was sweet potato purée and a mixed baby green salad. I like to use the sweet potato purée instead of mashed potatoes because I purée them with just a tiny amount of salted cooking liquid and add freshly ground black pepper. I love the taste of the sweet potato and the nutrients of it. Also, compared to mashed potatoes, fewer calories, if that's something you want to be aware of.
It was so delicious all together, giving me a spark to look forward to the season to come, and the lovely autumn flavors, colors, and aromas!
I hope you enjoy it, until next time
PECAN BOURBON PORK CHOPS
If you don't like to have a large bottle of bourbon or whiskey at your house, or don't want to invest in a whole bottle for a couple of tablespoons you need for cooking, most liquor stores sell tiny, shot size, bottles of a variety of alcohol, that is very handy for baking and cooking. These tiny bottles are often located close to the cashier. All the alcohol will be cooked away from the marinade, and the dish is safe to serve for the whole family.
Today's recipe for the lovely soup is one of those things that it gets better the longer you cook it. It might not look much, but the taste is going to be so layered and delish that the looks are not important. So set it to go in the morning, and with very little effort you have a great meal waiting for you when you are ready to enjoy it.
What a great way to kick off the autumn cooking! I hope you enjoy this vegetarian lentil soup! Till next time
ROOT VEGETABLE LENTIL SOUP
Sometimes the most simple things are the best ideas.
I am not one of those people who does everything self, from the scratch, just because I can. I am a believer that there is some great quality, ready-made products today that can and should be used. It saves not only time and money, but also energy and the resources we have.
That being said - you knew there was a 'but' coming - this simple, easy to make crackers or flatbread, that only takes a couple of ingredients and is ready in minutes might be something you want to try to make at home.
The recipe is just so simple - two parts flour to one part of water + salt. To make four flatbreads I use 2 dl of flour with 1 dl of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt adding 1/2 teaspoon of spices for more flavor. If you have a gluten intolerance, just use gluten-free flour and you are set.
Mix the ingredients in a bowl until they form a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into equal parts, and roll them into thin circles.
Set the circles on a hot pan (one at the time) and let them cook for a minute or two before flipping over to cook the other side.
There will be black spots on the flatbread, and it might puff up if the dough is not very thin.
The flatbread will be crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. They are meant to be eaten directly after cooking them.
A cup of tea, some cinnamon flatbread with applesauce, and a good book - just some of my favorite things on an autumn evening... I hope you enjoy it as well.
Till next time
As the temperatures are cooling off, it is lovely to start planning one dish meals that can be set in the lower temperature oven for hours to simmer, or in the slow cooker for the day.
A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to a specialty grocery store, where I got a variety of dry beans for the winter months to cook with. I felt like I was a pioneer gathering food for the winter, kind of funny but true!
I had had this piece of beef in my freezer for a bit too long, so I decided to use it for this dish, even though I wouldn't normally, with a prime piece like that, use it in a slow cooked dish. But I promise you, at the end, it was so tender, it melted in the mouth.
I soaked a cup of black eyed beans and a cup of alubia beans overnight, so they would be ready to cook the next day. Alubia is a small white European-style bean, you can use them in all kinds of cooking from soups, baked beans, salads, bean dips, pot beans etc. You can substitute it with, for example, navy beans.
At the bottom of the dish, put the soaked beans and poured over hot vegetable stock, twice the volume of the rehydrated beans.
Sear the salt and pepper seasoned meat quickly on a very hot pan on all the sides and set it on the top of the beans in the dish.
Toss the washed chanterelle mushrooms and champion mushrooms on the hot pan fast after the meat and set them on the oven dish around the meat. Little springs of rosemary with the rest of the ingredients complete the dish nicely.
Set it in the oven on 125-150C/250F and let it cook until the beans are done and tender. For me, this was a little over 3 hours. Remember to check the liquid while it cooks in the oven, and add as/if needed.
The dish is lovely just as it is, or you can serve it with rutabaga and carrot purée or mashed potatoes if you want a milder taste for the side dish.
I have to say, this dish was a hit. The beans were so full of deep flavors, the meat melted in my mouth, and aromas from the dish that filled the kitchen were mouth watering.
I hope you will enjoy this dish and the change of seasons, taking advantage of the harvest time surrounding us.
Till next time
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