Mustard and Mushrooms

I had high hopes for our kale because every other year we’ve had an abundance of it from just a few plants.  Alas, not this year.  Which I think my husband is thrilled about as he is not a huge fan of what he refers to as rabbit food.  🙂 I succeeded in growing tiny kale, most of which I used for this dinner.  For two, mind.  Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Mushroom mustard sauce 1 2014

The kale was the base of the dish with pan browned pork and a mushroom mustard sauce.  Because I’ve recently done a couple of dishes with bacon I had bacon fat on reserve which I used to brown the pork.  Season the pork with salt and pepper and brown on both sides.

Mushroom mustard sauce 2 2014

Remove from the pan and finish cooking by baking.  I had the oven going for the roasted parsnips so I popped the pork in with the parsnips.  For the mushroom sauce pick a mushroom of your choice that is on the lighter side, not meaty like portabellos.  Chop up the mushrooms and saute in the bacon fat used for the pork.

Mushroom mustard sauce 3 2014

Add about 2 tablespoons of stone ground mustard and 1/4 cup of dry white wine and continue to saute.  Add a few pinches of sea salt and a bit of pepper.

Mustard mushroom sauce 4 2014

When the pork is nearly done add a bit of bacon fat to another small skillet and lightly cook the kale.

Mushroom mustard sauce 5 2014

Reduce the sauce by about a 1/3.

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Place the pork on the kale then spoon the sauce over the pork to serve.

Mushroom mustard 7 2014

A simple dish that has loads of flavour.  🙂

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Tuscan Potato Kale Soup

I used to subscribe to Cooking Light magazine and clip recipes.  I have a ton of them.  There was one that looked really good but boy were there a lot of steps!  Not only were there a lot of steps but it required a food processor, a blender, and several pots and pans.  I hate doing dishes.  So I retooled the recipe, so to speak.  I wanted something tasty and simple to make.  My daughter loves what I came up with.  🙂

To begin with I roast two bulbs of garlic.  This should be done earlier and allowed to cool so it is easier to work with.

Dice about a cup of onions and saute about 3/4 of that in olive oil in a large saucepan.  I use the olive oil from the roasted garlic.  Cube about 6 cups of potatoes and saute for a few minutes with the onions.  Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add a cup or so of chopped kale and cook another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

In the meantime, take two Italian sausages out of their casings and place in a hot skillet to begin browning.  Also add 1-2 oz of pancetta to the pan.  Once the fat begins to render add the rest of the onion to the skillet.

As this begins to brown I turn my attention back to the saucepan and add a cup of milk.  This can be cream, fat free milk, chef’s choice basically.  I add in the roast garlic and then bring it back to a simmer.

We have an immersion blender and it’s a great tool to have for soups and things.  I remove the soup from the heat and blend the ingredients together.

Once it is completely blended I add in the meat and a cup or so of grated pecorino cheese.  At this point I check the seasonings as the cheese and pancetta can be quite salty.  Add more salt if needed but not before you check at this point.  The consistency should look like this:

At this point it is ready to serve!  I always make sure there is plenty of pecorino on the table for people to grate the cheese over the soup.

While not difficult to make this soup does require a bit of time to bring it all together but it is worth the effort.  A very healthy and tasty meal!

 

Colcannon

I’m not a fan of cooked kale by itself. I normally have to hide it in something like I do with my chili. A few weeks ago my mum made colcannon and we all loved it so I asked for the recipe as we have an abundance of kale to eat.  This is my version of her version of colcannon.  As I have said before we aren’t very good at following recipes exactly!  🙂

I start the potatoes for the mash at the beginning.

In an oven safe skillet I pour olive oil to cover the bottom.

I then chop up celery, onion, and garlic to saute in the olive oil.  The celery in our garden seems to be more leaf than stem this year but the flavour is still really good.

Saute for a few minutes.  In the meantime, boil some water to make 2 cups of broth.  I use the veg broth that we have.  Pour into the skillet and simmer. Add a bit of mustard, we used stone ground mustard to taste. Add the kale.

Simmer until the kale cooks down.

For the mash I add salt and pepper, butter, and milk.  Spread it over the kale mixture and top with cheddar cheese.  We used Kerry Gold that says it is from Ireland.  Wonder if it is actually sold in Ireland.  Either way it is tasty.

Pop the skillet under the broiler until it is a melty lovely golden colour.

We cooked up some Irish bangers to go on the side.  I have to say both went really well with the HP brown sauce.  🙂

This took about 30-40 minutes total to put together.  It’s a great meal for autumn and the kids love it.  Though when I mentioned we were having kale for dinner to my daughter’s friends they decided to eat at home.  Their loss!

It’s Chili Time!

I love fall and spring.  Warm enough not to have to wear a thousand layers but cool enough for comfort food.  We had a hint of fall yesterday so I thought it was time for warm bowls of chili.  I think this is my son’s favourite.  I make ours vegetarian.  I know it doesn’t look it from my previous posts but we do cook a lot of meals without meat.  I do use in this recipe Morning Star “beef” as it adds protein along with the beans.  But without all the fat or grease!

First stop was out to the garden.

I picked some peppers and kale for the chili.  We already had some scallions from the garden in the fridge that we needed to use up.

The recipe is:

Olive oil – to coat the bottom of the pan

Garlic – 3-4 cloves minced

Onions or scallions (we used scallions as that is what we have.)

Peppers

Mushrooms ( I used a portobello cap this time)

Lime juice

1 28oz can of crushed tomato or diced tomato

1 15oz can of tomato sauce

3/4 cup of black beans.  If they are dried soak them in water for a bit, otherwise you have to simmer the chili for a few hours like I had to.

Chili powder to taste (For the seasonings add the amount you like.  Some like the chili to be on fire, others not so much)

Cumin to taste

Adobo seasoning to taste

About 1 cup of fresh or frozen kale

1 cup of corn

6 oz of Morning Star “beef” (or any brand you like as it’s a taste preference)

Cilantro

Dice your veg to saute.  I usually saute the garlic and onions for a minute or so before the rest of the veg.  If you are using scallions then add those as you are adding the sauce.

Add a bit of lime juice to the sauteing veg. Then add the tomatoes and sauce, beans and corn.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the seasonings to the heat level you would like.  Add the kale and the “beef”.  Add a bit more lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro.

Once the beans are cooked through it is ready to serve.  I usually put hot sauce, sour cream and shredded cheese on the table.  This is a super easy meal and prep time is under a half hour.  The simmer time depends on the beans. And of course if you have it the next day the flavours are even better.