Pasta Salad with Kale and Red Beans

It’s a party when you wear a bow tie

When we lived in the South, every potluck had about four plates of deviled eggs and at least two banana puddings. Here in the Northwest, whenever we go to a barbecue where people bring sides there are about 15 kale salads. We’re not complaining. Kale is  a super food, right? (Although, we miss all those deviled eggs.)

We plan to bring this to a future potluck to keep up with the Joneses.

Pasta Salad with Kale and Red Beans

  • 1 lb cooked farfelle
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from one lemon
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced
  • 1 can kidney or red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil or dried

Cook pasta al dente, drain and cool. Mix oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. If tomatoes are dried, let steep in boiling water for about 10 minutes, drain, rinse and dice. Mix pasta, oil and lemon juice mixture and remaining ingredients in large bowl. refrigerate until ready to serve.



Posted in Food, Recipes, Sides, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Roast Parsnip Soup

The giant scoop is loose again run for your lives

Here is an easy first course. Or double everything for a main.

Roast Parsnip Soup

  • 3/4 lb parsnip peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 lb carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 leak chopped small
  • 1/2 lb potato peeled and cut into small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt/pepper

Mix parsnips and carrots with olive oil, spices. salt and pepper and mix well. Place on roasting sheet and roast at 400 degrees until browned, about 30 minutes. In a large pot heat 2 tbsp olive oil and saute leeks until tender over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant then add potatoes. Turn heat to low cover and sweat for five minutes. Stir and sweat five minutes more. add roast vegetables, mix well, then add stock and deglaze pan. Bring to a boil then simmer until all vegetables are soft. Puree and add more stock to thin to desired thickness. Serve with fresh bread and sprinkled with parsley.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Garden, Recipes, Soups, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Irish Lemon Pudding

Where is my ice cream

This is a fantastic dessert that separates into a fluffy cake on top and a dense pudding on bottom.

Irish Lemon Pudding

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 4 large lemons zested and juiced, about 1 1/4 cups liquid
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9″ spring form pan. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until very smooth. Add the egg yolks one by one, mix well. Sift the flour and beat into butter mixture. Add the lemon zest and juice, followed by the milk, and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into the lemon mixture until incorporated. Bake for 50-70 minutes, or until very lightly browned and set on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with freshly whipped cream or ice cream.

Posted in Dessert, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Irish Brown Bread

Hearty and dense

This is a dense wheat bread fantastic for soaking up broth from corned beef and cabbage.

Or other meat stews.

This is not Boston brown bread which is sweeter and steamed.

Irish Brown Bread

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Create well in center and add egg and buttermilk. Beat egg till smooth then mix into flours. Knead dough on counter until smooth. Dough may seem to dry when starting but wait for 3-4 minutes before adding more liquid. Shape into a loaf and press into pan. Bake until risen 1/2″ above pan and done, about 50 minutes.

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Bearnaise Sauce

By Katherine

So much lovely butter

I typically make Greg steak and potatoes each year for his birthday and try to do something slightly different each time.  It can be a challenge to come up with new ideas since we met in 1999. Surf and turf. Done. Steak and frites. Done. Balsamic reduction. Coffee rub. Peppercorn rub. Grilled. Broiled. Seared. Done and done and done…

This year I was inspired by this recipe which called for topping pan-seared steaks with bearnaise sauce and serving them with shoestring fries. I didn’t want to make shoestring fries because we don’t have a fryer and I find frying messy and a bit tricky to time. So I went with twice-baked potatoes. Instead of pan-searing, Greg grilled an aged rib eye and a New York strip. The original recipe called for tarragon, but I wanted something milder. Also, I didn’t have tarragon. It also called for less lemon juice, so adjust to your taste.

Béarnaise Sauce

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots (I used a mandolin)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 tablespoons
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Boil wine, vinegar, shallots, and a tablespoon of the thyme in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to two tablespoons. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set into a medium metal bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk yolks into vinegar mixture, then set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until yolks have thickened slightly (do not scramble). Whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before previous one has melted completely. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve steaks with sauce. Dust with remaining thyme.

Posted in Beef, Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Breaded Sole on Crispy Kale

Crispy all around

This is a good way to use some leftover ham. Bacon is the natural substitute. Any firm flesh white fish will work, but the oilier ones crisp the breading better.

Breaded Sole and Crispy Kale

  • 1/2-1 lb Sole filet
  • 1 head kale stems removed and leaves torn into chip sized bites
  • 2/3 cup finely diced ham
  • 6 green onions chopped fine
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg beaten with 1/2 cup buttermilk and 2-3 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried lavender
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup grated romano
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt/pepper

Wash and pat dry fish, then season with salt and pepper. Place in egg mixture and marinade 30 minutes. Mix bread crumbs, 1/2 green onion, spices and cheese in a pie dish. Remove fish from egg, shake off excess and dredge in breadcrumbs. Heat 1 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil in large oven safe saute pan. Brown fish on both sides then remove to a plate. Add ham and brown, then add remaining butter, onion and kale. Mix well getting all kale coated in fat and beginning to soften. Place fish in center of pan with kale on sides and place in oven at 400 degrees. Cook for 5 minutes stir kale and check to see if crispy. Continue cooking until done, about 5-10 more minutes.

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Broiled Oysters on the Half Shell

Guaranteed to be devoured

Here is a simple way to enjoy fresh oysters if someone prefers them cooked and someone else prefers them raw. If you do not know how to shuck an oyster go here. If you do not have an oyster knife any very stiff dull knife with a good point will work. I use an old butter knife.

This recipe works for about 6-8 small oysters. Adjust ingredients for more or less.

Broiled Oysters

  • 8 live oysters
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 green onions diced fine
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 tbsp grated romano
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp pepper flakes

Shuck oysters retaining all juice and large deeper side of shell. In a shallow roastin pan fill bottom with sea salt and press shells into it until firm. Place raw oyster in each shell. Mix everything else but butter together in bowl and add enough oyster juice so mixture becomes crumbly but packs together if pressed. If out of juice add white wine. Cover oysters with stuffing then drizzle melted butter evenly over tops. Broil until stuffing browns, about 4-5 minutes. Serve hot drizzled with extra lemon juice and hot sauce on the side.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Italian, Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments