Icelandic Lamb Loin Chop Roast

 

IMG_3395I love lamb. And you should too even if you don’t eat meat. According to the butcher at WFs , Icelandic lamb is “where it’s at” and is only offered for one month a year, so get to it.

serves 4

  • 3 heads garlic
  • 1 big shallot
  • 1 carrot (peeled)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 4 lamb loin chops
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig sage
  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • 2 delicata squash
  1. slice shallot, onion and carrot and mince garlic
  2. in a large pot heat olive oil then add shallot, onion, garlic and carrot
  3. heat oven to 350° F and slice squash in half
  4. scoop seeds out and brush with olive oil, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put squash face up
  5. when oven is pre-heated cook for 20 minutes or until soft
  6. when onions and shallots are starting to turn opaque, add the red wine
  7. add chicken stock, rosemary and sage and slowly simmer for as long as possible
  8. in a medium sized saute pan, brown lamb in butter then add to the saucy mixture and cook over low heat until fully cooked through
  9. cut squash in half and serve the lamb mixture over the top

© 2015 – 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Sauteed Chard with Dates and Garbanzo Beans

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad
This was another attempt to use up large amounts of greens before they wilted past the point of no return. I love making warm wilted greens in the winter instead of salads. It’s so much more satisfying and comforting. The combination of sweet dates and savory spiced garbanzo beans adds complexity and takes these healthy greens to a whole new level. If it wasn’t already good enough, another reason to eat chard is its’ plethora of health benefits. It has lots of antioxidants, vitamin C (for immunity), vitamin K (for bone strength), omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, calcium, potassium and iron (red blood cell production).

According to “nutrition-and-you.com”, regular inclusion of chard in the diet has been found to prevent osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and vitamin-A deficiency; and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers

  • 1/2 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large bunch green chard
  • about 8 cups-worth spinach
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 10 dates
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  1. heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and mince garlic
  2. add garlic to the pan with the cumin paprika and chili flakes
  3. drain garbanzos and add them to the skillet, stirring to coat them in the spices
  4. continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until garbanzos start to brown a little bit
  5. slice chard and spinach and add chard in batches to the skillet, pit and slice dates
  6. in the first batch add the water and cover for 1 minute
  7. then remove cover and add more chard, flipping so that the already cooked greens are on top
  8. continue this process until all of the chard and kale are cooked about evenly, turn the heat down
  9. add the sliced dates and mix in, remove from heat and move to a large mixing bowl
  10. squeeze lemon juice in and mix, adding salt and pepper to taste

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Breakfast Hash

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad
Veteran’s Day was gloomy and kind of cold. My roommate and I both had a lot of studying to do so we decided we would hole up at home (not too out of the ordinary for us). I made this comforting breakfast hash to get the day off to a good start. It made the house smell nice all day and then I re-heated the leftovers for an easy dinner. Caramelized onions make anything 10 times better. Especially potatoes. The secret to making good caramelized onions, is keeping the heat low and letting them cook low and slow them for a long time.

  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 pat butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus 3 more
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 white onions
  • 1o baby bell peppers (or capsicum)
  • a few sprigs each rosemary, thyme and or sage, whatever you have/can find
  • salt and pepper
    1. melt butter and olive oil over medium low heat in a non-stick skillet
    2. slice onions thinly and add to the skillet
    3. let caramelize, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, add a splash of balsamic vinegar
    4. seed and slice the capsicum and add to the skillet, caramelize for 5 more minutes then take off the heat
    5. pre-heat the oven to 400 F and line a large baking pan with tin foil or parchment paper
    6. dice potatoes and sweet potatoes as uniformly as possible

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

    1. in a large bowl mix potatoes and sweet potatoes with herbs, 3 tbsp olive oil and generous amounts of salt and pepper
    2. spread out the mixture in the pan and bake for 20 minutes stirring occasionally
    3. remove and add caramelized onion mixture, continue baking for 25 more minutes or until potatoes reach the consistency you’re after. serve with eggs, toast, cottage cheese or pretty much anything. Parsley Chimichurri (pictured) is a great addition!

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

(Mostly) Vegetarian Fall Stew

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato saladThere’s nothing like warm soup during these cold months and there is so much good seasonal produce to use. Another plus of slow-cooking a soup like this, is it makes your house smell really nice and cozy.

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 1 large fuji apple
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 celery
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • salt n pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig each sage and thyme
  • 1 pat butter
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can canellini beans
  • 5 small carrots
  • 1 bunch kale
  1. slice onions and mince garlic
  2. add butter to large pot, add onions, garlic, spices and herbs to pot
  3. let cook at medium low heat until onions start turning opaque
  4. peel carrots and sweet potato, then slice them along with the celery and apple, into smaller-than-bite-size pieces
  5. add these fruits and veggies to the pot and add the chicken broth and water
  6. drain canellini beans and add them to the pot
  7. cover and let cook on medium low heat for 5 hours, the longer it cooks the more flavorful it will be
  8. clean and slice kale away from the stem and add to the pot
  9. continue cooking until kale begins to wilt, serve with hearty bread, with some garlic and melted cheese perhaps

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

  • 1/2 can pumpkin purée
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 poblanos
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco
  • 1 tbsp chili lime seasoning (or substitute 1 tsp cumin and 1 tbsp lime juice)
  1. in a medium skillet, heat olive oil and diced onion over medium high heat
  2. add black beans, pumpkin puree and seasoning
  3. turn heat down to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper
  5. cut stems out of poblanos and remove centers with seeds
  6. take the bean/pumpkin mixture off heat and mix with queso fresco and cottage cheese
  7. stuff the poblanos with the mixture and put in lined pan or baking sheet
  8. bake for 25 minutes until peppers are starting to blister and cheese is melty

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Giant Pumpkin Cookies with Spiced Ricotta Frosting

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad
Pumpkin everything.

cookies:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cup raw sugar +a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 20 walnuts (optional)

spiced ricotta frosting:

  • 3 cups Ricotta
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  1. pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment
  2. beat together butter and sugar with a fork in a large mixing bowl
  3. add egg, vanilla and pumpkin puree stir until combined
  4. add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and mix until combined
  5. spoon cookies onto baking sheet and cook for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown
  6. remove and let cool
  7. in a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together all ingredients for ricotta frosting until fluffy
  8. spread ricotta mixture over the cookies and sprinkle with remaining sugar, press a walnut on top
  9. great with chai tea. or red wine, as is everything

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Fennel, Orange and Feta Salad

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 orage
  • 1/4 head butter lettuce
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (preferably the block one)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 sm yellow beets
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  1. cut tops off of fennel and remove outside layers, slice fennel thinly and place in a large bowl
  2. zest the orange into the bowl then halve and juice one half into the bowl; peel and slice the other half and add it to the salad
  3. slice the butter lettuce into bite sized pieces and add to bowl; peel and slice beets and add to bowl
  4. crumble feta cheese (if it isn’t already crumbled) into the salad bowl and add the almonds, pomegranate seeds, mustard and vinegar

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Apple Turnovers

Nothing says fall like apple desserts. Except maybe pumpkin desserts. Which I will broach later this week/weekend. Here is an easy apple turnover recipe I threw together for an impromptu dessert tonight. To top off this seasonal dessert, already made with love, I used apples that we picked with my parents in the Cal Poly orchards last weekend.

serves 2 (heaping servings though)

  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 sheet puff pastry
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp raw brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup ricotta
  1. thaw a puff pastry sheet, dice apple and grind or slice walnuts
  2. heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in pan and add the apple, cardamom, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey
  3. cover and let simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes
  4. pre-heat oven to 350°F and cut the puff pastry in half then cut that half in triangles
  5. once apple start softening, take off heat and let cook a minute
  6. then fill one half of each triangle with just enough of the apple mixture, making sure you can still fold dough over and seal them and that there is some leftover for topping
  7. then fold dough in half and push sides down with a fork, sealing the triangles
  8. brush with remaining melted coconut oil and sprinkle with sugar
  9. place on lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and puffy
  10. while baking, whip ricotta and 1/4 cup honey in a food processor
  11. serve each turnover with a spoonful of whipped honey ricotta and the remaining apple/walnut mixture and a drizzle of the remaining honey

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

The Cheesiest Mac n Cheese

This is arguably one of the most decadent dishes I’ve ever made but sometimes baked mac n cheese just hits the spot and we happened to have 10 kinds of cheese in the fridge so I thought what the heck, might as well just throw them all in. You can never have enough cheese.

  • 1 pack of pasta to feed 8 (preferably something with some texture to capture the creamy sauce)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth plus 2 tbsp
  • 1 leek
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp brie
  • 2 tbsp bleu cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago
  1. cook cauliflower in pot of boiling water until tender
  2. cut cauliflower into bite size pieces and blend in a food processor or in a pot with an immersion blender
  3. mince garlic; slice leek thinly, removing rough outer layers
  4. heat olive oil and add garlic and leek, add the 2 tbsp chicken broth and tomatoes, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until fragrant
  5. place cauliflower in pot over medium-high heat and add butter and brie, stirring occasionally until butter and brie are melted
  6. while this is working it’s magic, boil water and cook the pasta in another pot
  7. pre-heat oven to 350°F
  8. add chicken broth, milk and heavy cream, mustard and chili flakes to the cheesy cauliflower sauce
  9. crumble the bleu cheese and goat cheese into the mix
  10. once pasta is done, drain and return to the pasta cooking pot, drizzle with olive oil and pour cheese sauce over it
  11. mix well, then spread into an oven-proof pan and bake until starting to brown, about 10 minutes
  12. sprinkle asiago on top and put it under the broiler for 3 more minutes until asiago is completely melted
  13. serve warm…also good cold as leftovers. if you wanna get really crazy, slice a piece off the next day, put more cheese on it and put it back in its’ rightful place under the broiler.

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Celery, White Bean Soup

  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 can cannellini/white beans
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 sprigs each rosemary and thyme
  • pepper and salt
  1. mince garlic and add it to a large pot with olive oil
  2. dice onion and add to pan with 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and the herbs
  3. drain the beans and slice the celery
  4. add them to the pot along with the rest of the chicken broth
  5. add pepper and salt to taste
  6. great with some grainy bread

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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