Rosemary Roasted Nuts

The recipe originally called for cashews, but I used almonds and just cooked them a smidgen longer, so I’m working on the assumption this is adaptable to any and all nuts.

  • 1 lb nuts, unsalted
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or 1 tsp paprika)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spread nuts in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet.

Toast nuts in preheated oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in large bowl (big enough for the pound of nuts).

Add salt, rosemary, pepper, and sugar to butter; stir.

Remove nuts from oven; use foil to make a funnel to pour nuts into bowl.

Toss nuts in rosemary butter mixture until evenly coated.

Return nuts to foil-lined baking sheet; return to oven for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes, cashews should be done; for almonds, stir and then return to oven for another 3 minutes.

Serve warm! ūüėÄ

Adapted from: http://familyspice.com/recipes/recipe/?recipe_id=282

Figgy Meat

This original recipe is the result of making a very nice recipe a few weeks ago, something with ground beef seasoned and made into meatballs, and then a sauce that – and this is all I remember for sure – included chopped figs and balsamic vinegar, simmered & reduced. ¬†I don’t remember what else was in the fig-vinegar dressing/glaze, and I decided afterwards that making meatballs was an unnecessary step when cooking for one person, but I did like the flavor combination.

Then this weekend, I impulse-bought some more figs at the store, but when I got home, I couldn’t find/recall the recipe I used.

So I decided to improvise! ¬†It turned out pretty well, in my opinion, so I want to keep some sort of record of what I did… but I was improvising, which meant I didn’t measure anything. ¬†Soooo…. here we are, at this probably-not-very-helpful recipe.

  • some figs (I had about 10 oz)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • rosemary
  • ginger
  • mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • handful finely chopped onions

Prepare figs Рcut off the tip, then quarter vertically.  Cut each quarter in half or in thirds, depending on size.

In small saucepan, combine fig chunks and balsamic vinegar.  I emptied out what was left of my bottle, then added a little water until the figs were mostly submerged.  I would estimate 1/3 or 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar and 1/4 c. water.  Bring to a (very) low boil, then reduce heat and let simmer.

Add about Tbs brown sugar, Tbs rosemary, 1 or 2 tsp ginger, 1 or 2 tsp mustard, and any other spices you think would be complimentary. ¬†Stir well, mashing the fig pieces slightly (they should be pretty soft after coming to a boil, but you don’t want to pulverize them, just mush), and leave at low heat.

In preferred pan (I always use a certain skillet when browning a pound of ground beef), begin cooking ground beef.  Stir in a handful of finely chopped onion and salt & pepper to taste.  (Feel free to incorporate other veggies that you need to use up; bell pepper was a nice inclusion, for example.)

By the time the meat is nearly finished cooking, the fig sauce should have reduced somewhat.  Empty fig-vinegar sauce into beef; stir well.

Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until sauce is reduced as much as you’d like.

…so you end up with, basically, just flavored ground beef – but it’s fantastically flavored ground beef! ¬†I put a serving of it on salad, or serve with saut√©ed zucchini & carrots, or anything else that’s handy. ¬†¬°Fantastico!

Extra-Loaded Sweet Potato

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (yes, boring white potatoes can be used, but they won’t be as tasty or nutritious or yummy or colorful)
  • 1 T ¬†chopped shallots
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T Ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 T chopped green onion
  • 1 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 4 slices bacon
  • cheese, cayenne, salad greens (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 F. ¬†Cut the potato like you’re cutting it into rounds, but only cut about 2/3 of the way down, so the potato stays technically in one piece. ¬†Cut 1/8″ thick partially-attached “slices” all the way down the potato.

Heat ghee in pan, then add garlic and shallots. ¬†Do not cook, but thoroughly melt ghee and coat garlic and shallots. ¬†Brush potatoes with the ghee mixture, getting some of the shallot/garlic bits left in between the “slices.” ¬†Coat outsides thoroughly with ghee, then bake for 50 minutes.

Cook bacon in pan until 75% done, then remove from heat. ¬†Cut into 1″ squares; set aside.

If desired, season greek yogurt by adding spices (such as rosemary), or blending it with goat cheese and capers, or stirring in random things from the back of your fridge.

After potatoes have baked for 50 minutes, add bacon squares between the “slices” and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.

Garnish with greek yogurt, lemon zest, any desired cheese, and a sprinkle of cayenne.  Serve on a bed of salad greens, such as collard or kale.

Source: I dumbed-down this recipe: http://kitchenofzig.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/loaded-hasselback-sweet-potato/

Unauthentic Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground meat (lamb is better, but lean beef is acceptable)
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary (ground up a bit so it’s not big spiky leaf chunks)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 regular potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 c. frozen peas and carrots (or more if desired)

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.

Begin cooking potatoes.  Pretty much anything works; microwave them like baked potatoes, boil them, whatever you prefer.

Cook ground meat in vegetable oil.  Add onion, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until meat is no longer pink.

Stir in garlic until thoroughly combined (I love garlic, but not when I get ALL the garlic in one bite).

Stir in flour.  If meat seems excessively greasy, soak up some of it with a paper towel first, but remember that the flour will thicken it.

Stir in tomato paste until thoroughly combined.

Gradually whisk in broth, thyme, rosemary, and Worcestershire, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any remaining garlic, tomato, or flour lumps.  Simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in peas and carrots.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add more vegetables if desired.

Pour meat mixture into rectangular casserole dish. ¬†So long as it all fits, the size of the dish isn’t actually terribly important. ¬†If you have an oven-safe skillet to cook in, you can do the whole recipe in that one dish, but I don’t, so…there.

Scrape delicious mushy insides out of potatoes into mixing bowl, and combine thoroughly. ¬†Measure out 4 cups of mixed sweet and regular potatoes. ¬†(Remaining potatoes are now a side dish for some other main; if there’s not much left because you had small potatoes, just use it all on this recipe. ¬†This is not an exact science.)

Using a regular spoon, dollop the potatoes onto the top of the meat mixture. Spread them around as evenly as you can; you are aiming to cover the entire surface with mashed potatoes, sealing the potatoes to the edges. ¬†However, I’ve made this recipe multiple times and I’ve never actually successfully done that and made it look pretty. ¬†There’s got to be a magical trick to it, but I usually murmur “This is not an exact science” over and over until I give up and throw it in the oven. ¬†It’s still tasty, but if you’re serving other people, you might want to put more effort into this step.

Place dish in oven and broil until top is golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. ¬†LET COOL and serve (oh god I only made that mistake once; I was just so hungry and it smelled so good I got carried away by my own enthusiasm, but in the end that just meant I couldn’t really taste how good it was until the next day when my tongue wasn’t burnt-numb anymore).

Rosemary Foccacia Bread

  • 2 tsp rapid-rise dry yeast
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 3.5 – 4 c. flour
  • 1 Tbs coarse salt
  • 1/4 c. olive oil (plus some)
  • cornmeal, for dusting
  • FRESH rosemary (dried will burn)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 Tbs of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. Scrape dough off the hook periodically. Mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Turn dough onto a work surface and fold a few times. Form into a round and place in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat entire ball with oil so it doesn’t form a skin. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Line a cookie sheet with foil, then coat with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto counter. Roll and stretch into an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick.  Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with damp towel. Let sit 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F.

In the meantime, prepare toppings. Fresh rosemary is always the best, but other suggestions include onion (freshly copped end caramelized, or simple dried flakes), shredded parmesan cheese, fresh-ground black pepper, coarse salt, or other herbs, mixed in with 2 Tbs olive oil.

Uncover dough and dimple surface, re-stretching to desired thickness. Spread olive oil topping mixture evenly over surface. Bake on the bottom rack 15-20 minutes.

Source: ?? ¬†This is another one I typed ages ago… I think it might be a simplified version of America’s Test Kitchen, or it’s from the internet…somewhere.¬†