Category Archives: Quick & Easy

Easy Herbed Green Beans

In my attempts to broaden my gardening horizons I tried my hand at starting pole beans from seed, lured in by the appeal of an Italian heirloom variety called Trionfo Violetto.  Last year my seedlings got hijacked by some greedy rabbit or squirrel but this year, I have four strong plants. The first round of my purple beans was finally ready this week and they are a thing of beauty. Something about eating richly colored purple beans is just that much sexier than everyday green beans, don’t you think?

purple green-beans

Since my first picking had enough for a little over one serving, I happily snatched up some extra green and yellow beans at the weekend farmer’s market, already imagining the gorgeous Mardi Gras-like mix that would appear on our plates.

This recipe is so simple that it feels like a sham to even call it a recipe but may be my favorite way to eat green beans. The combo of freshly picked beans and bright herbs tastes like “garden” in all the best ways and why mess with that?

multicolored green beans

Herbed Green Beans
serves 2-3 but volume is easily increased
1/2 lb green beans
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley & chives), chopped
freshly cracked black pepper
kosher salt

Wash and trim ends from green beans. Add beans to saute pan and drizzle with olive oil. Saute on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until beans are tender and just beginning to blister. While sautéing, season with salt and pepper. When beans have 1-2 minutes left, add chopped herbs. Serve warm.

green beans with herbs

katie

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Filed under Garden, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Sides

Grilled Asparagus & Hakurei Turnip Panzanella

As the mercury creeps up, our CSA box and farmer’s market finds are starting to expand beyond greenery into heartier and more adventurous veg. Enter, hakurei turnips. While asparagus and I are well acquainted, these little white turnips were new to my table. Originally I had thought about just shaving them raw but had been craving a hearty panzanella lately so I detoured from my plan.

Panzanella makes for a fun, experimental salad (like most salads) where you can toss in whatever you’ve got handy. For this one, I ended up grilling everything but the spinach. The grilled hakurei turnips add an earthy-sweet element to the flavor mix.

Since this was dinner, I served the panzanella alongside my Bacon and Grilled Scape Risotto, also replete with grilled CSA treasure.

asparagus panzanella salad

Grilled Asparagus Panzanella
Serves 4
1 bunch stalks asparagus
1 bunch hakurei turnips
1/2 C shaved parmesan
2 medium tomatoes, thickly sliced
2 C fresh spinach
1 medium baguette, sliced in half laterally
olive oil
red wine vinegar (approx 1 Tbsp)
cracked black pepper
kosher salt

Trim asparagus ends and set aside. Trim off turnip greens and ends, then slice turnips into disks. Slice tomatoes and set aside.

I used a grill pan to do my grilling but you could certainly use a real grill. I would, however, recommend a grill basket for the smaller vegetables. Using a grill pan, add about 1 Tbsp olive oil to the pan and shift pan around to coat lightly. Add asparagus and turnips. Grill on medium heat for about 4 minutes or until grill marks begin to appear, then flip vegetables and repeat. Once both sides are nicely marked, remove and set aside on a cutting board.

Transfer baguette halves onto grill pan and grill for about 5 minutes, until bread developed a golden crust or grill marks. Set aside. Transfer tomatoes to grill pan and grill for about 2-3 minutes per side.

Roughly chop asparagus and tomato into large bite sized pieces. Slice baguette into large, crouton-like chunks. Add vegetables and bread to a large bowl. Toss with spinach and shaved parmesan. Drizzle lightly with red wine vinegar, cracked black pepper and salt. Toss to combine. If desired, toss with an additional drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm.

grilled panzanellakatie

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Filed under Grill, Healthy, Quick & Easy

Easy Chicken Chilaquiles

Once upon a time, long, long ago I was a college student on a spring break trip in Mexico. Having been just introduced to the wonder that is “all-inclusive” I tried all sorts of interesting looking things at the various restaurants and buffets during the week, with one of those items being spicy, savory chilaquiles. I don’t know what randomly made me think of that one day but I did and decided I wanted to take a crack at making them.

As it turns out the key to chilaquiles is a good rojo sauce. Having never really made a rojo sauce before, I did the sensible thing and found a solid looking recipe as a starting point that I’ve since modified to better fit my tastes. I really love that this batch makes enough to support two meals. Besides the application below, I’ve used it as a mole base, as an enchilada sauce and as a slow cooking sauce for carnitas and it’s delicious all around. Turns out lots of things get better with a good rojo sauce.

Moving along to the main show, chilaquiles themselves come in many variations and flavor combinations and are traditionally eaten for breakfast or brunch. I happen to think they also make an excellent, easy weeknight dinner too and are a good way to mix up your standard “taco Tuesday”.
chicken-chilaquiles

All Purpose Rojo Sauce
makes enough for 2 meals
7 dried New Mexico chiles
1/2 C chile soaking liquid*
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, chopped
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt

*Place dried chiles in a bowl of warm water and let soak and soften for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add chopped onion, crushed tomatoes, plum tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno to a food processor and blend well until mostly smooth. Add spices and honey and pulse twice. Remove chiles from water and trim off stems. Shake out seeds if desired (many may just fall out, which is fine). Roughly chop chiles into large chunks and add to food processor. Blend until entire mixture is smooth. Reserve half of sauce. The rest can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for future use.

Chicken Chilaquiles
serves 2-3
3C tortilla chips
2C shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 batch rojo sauce
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C queso fresco or cotija cheese
3 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
4-5 eggs, poached
Cholula hot sauce, to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, add chicken, green onions, cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the reserved rojo sauce. Toss gently to combine ingredients.

Very lightly grease a 13×9 glass pan. Spread a thin layer of tortilla chips (you may wish to partially crush a few of them, depending on the shape of your chips) across the bottom of the pan. Top tortilla chips with chicken mixture. Crumble 1/4 C of cotija over chicken. Mentally divide remaining sauce into two portions and pour one of the “portions” evenly over the chicken and cheese. Repeat layers – chips, chicken mixture, cotija and sauce.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. While chilaquiles are baking, use your favorite method to poach your eggs. We use this odd Depression-era egg pan of my husband’s but here is an easy picture tutorial to get it right without a special pan. Take note that it only take about 4 minutes to perfectly poach an egg so you will want to wait until your chilaquiles are almost done to drop your eggs in.

Serve chilaquiles with 2 eggs per person and roughly chopped cilantro.

chilaquiles

katie

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Filed under Main Dish, Quick & Easy

Baked Fish Tacos with Creamy Tomatillo Salsa

Yesterday for Cinco de Mayo I was lucky to have some fresh fish to work with for these tasty, tangy baked fish tacos. Fish tacos are a regular in our repertoire but lately we’ve been baking them instead of frying them. With a substantial panko crust, they taste just as good with a bit less guilt. I used fresh pan fish but tilapia or any readily available white fish would be delicious. Shrimp would also be a great choice.

I served the fish tacos with a homemade creamy tomatillo salsa, with the bright flavors lending themselves well to seafood. I like to add avocado to my version since the richness of the avocado helps balance out the tang of the tomatillos.  Add in some sweet carrots, crunchy cabbage and peppery radishes and you have the perfect spring meal.
baked-fish-taco1

Baked Fish Tacos
makes 4 small tacos
12 panfish filets or 1 lb tilapia, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C panko bread crumbs
1/3 C shredded parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp chipotle or chili powder
cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cooking sheet or glass pan and set aside. In a medium bowl or large Ziploc bag, combine panko, parmesan and spices. Stir or shake to combine. Melt butter in a small bowl. Dip fish filets lightly in butter, then toss in breading mixture to coat. Set on cooking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness of filets. Fish should be white and flaky when fully cooked.

2 radishes, very thinly sliced
1 C chopped cabbage
1/2 C matchstick carrots
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
pinch of salt
4 small tortillas
chipotle mayo

In a medium bowl, add cabbage, carrots and radishes. Drizzle on olive oil and lime juice, tossing to combine. Season with salt and toss again.

Serve baked fish with warm tortillas, chipotle mayo, tomatillo salsa and hot sauce.

baked-fish-taco

Creamy Tomatillo Salsa
6 medium tomatillos, quartered
1/2 avocado
1/2 small onion
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
2 cloves garlic
1 lime, juiced
1 handful cilantro
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne

Add tomatillos, avocado, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro and lime juice to a food processor. Process until blended and just barely chunky. Add salt and cayenne and pulse two more times. Add additional salt or cayenne to taste if desired.
tomatillo-salsa
katie

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Filed under Healthy, Main Dish, Quick & Easy

Cinnamon Honey Butter

For Christmas this year, I made and delivered Cinnamon Honey Butter to neighbors, family and friends.  The butter was very easy to make and turned out to be delicious.  I have received so many requests for the recipe that I figured I should post it on HAP!

cinnamon honey butter up close

This is supposedly the recipe for the Texas Road House honey butter.  You can find variations all over the internet, but this combination is my favorite.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1 cup butter, softened (not melted)

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Blend all of the ingredients together with a mixer until smooth.  Store in jars and refrigerate.

cinnamon honey butter

We have used this on everything from toast to sweet potatoes.  The possibilities are endless and so delicious!

anne

 

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Filed under Christmas, Cook, Quick & Easy, Treats

Smoky White Bean Soup with Rosemary

I have a tendency to experiment with cooking more when the hubs is out of town. He’s not a picky eater by any means but when he sees “bean soup”, “kale salad” or “veggie pesto” on our menu board he tends to think the “healthy” stuff will leave him still hungry and feeling like a rabbit.

As far as veggie-based soups go, this one is pretty hearty and doesn’t even seem veggie-based thanks to the rich beans and smoky bacon. Plus it was easy to make. I’ll be resurrecting this again – whether the hubs is around or not!

white bean soup
Smoky White Bean Soup with Rosemary
5 slices smoked pepper bacon, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 15 oz cans cannellini beans
3 1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
1 C chopped kale
1 Tbsp sherry
1/3 C parmesan cheese, shredded
1 spring rosemary, chopped
kosher salt, to taste

Place chopped bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until bacon begins to crisp and brown. Add in onion, celery and garlic. Drizzle in olive oil if extra fat is needed to prevent burning. Some browned bits on the bottom of your pan are ideal though! Let vegetables and bacon cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.

Next, add 1/4 C of chicken broth to the pan and use the moisture to scrape and release browned bits into the liquid. This will add additional flavor to your base. Add in sherry, beans, remaining broth and rosemary. Let simmer over medium low for 10-15 minutes.

Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender or food processor to puree soup until smooth. Mix in parmesan and chopped kale and stir. Season well with salt until flavors pop and let simmer until kale is cooked.

Serve with french bread or pretzel rolls.

white bean soup

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Filed under Main Dish, Make Ahead Meal, Quick & Easy

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Soup

With the first crisp breath of fall air I take, comes the first batch of soup. This soup is easy to make with staples that can be found any time of the year. The fresh basil adds the perfect balance to the sweet pepper taste. If you want to kick this up a notch, add some crushed red pepper.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Soup
1 TBSP olive oil
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
4 sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 C chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 sherry wine
1 C fresh spinach
1/2 nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
cracked black pepper
salt

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over high heat. Add potatoes, stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Add peppers and tomatoes. Pour stock into pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes. Add fresh spinach, boil until softened. Remove from heat. Add yogurt and stir. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth (or transfer to a blender or food processor). Add basil and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Perfect for a cool fall day!

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Filed under Cook, Healthy, Main Dish, Make Ahead Meal, Quick & Easy