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Have you started your holiday meal planning yet? If you have, bravo! If you haven't, don't despair, neither have we. Typically that happens about two days before the event. But if I have anything to do with it this year (and that's a big if, as my dad is usually the one who decides what we eat for the big family meals) these brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon will be on the menu.
Chestnuts and brussels sprouts are a natural combination—earthy and strong, warm and filling. Add bacon to the mix and you have a match made in heaven. The only tricky part to this recipe is that you shred the brussels sprouts and then blanch them in salty water, and then shock them in ice water to set the color bright green. Other than that it's an easy sauté. Whatever you do, don't overcook the sprouts. Overcooking them will give them a somewhat sulfuric taste. But cooked just enough? Perfect. Especially with the chestnuts and bacon.
Continue reading "Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts" »
I love making chutneys because they're so easy to make—just cook together a fruit, some onion, vinegar, sugar, and spices—and because chutneys go so well with baked chicken, our go-to midweek meal. This apple cranberry chutney would work even better with turkey, and I could see it with pork as well. The chutney will vary in texture depending on the cooking time and the type of apples you use (our Granny Smiths turn to mush pretty quickly). I like this version with a bit of structure, but you could easily cook it longer and have it be more sauce-like.
Continue reading "Apple Cranberry Chutney" »
Garlic mashed potatoes, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. One forkful, two forkfuls, three forkfuls... sorry, none left for you! Just kidding. Growing up in a family of six kids, we are all rather competitive eaters. Basically, whoever finishes first gets seconds. And you're going to want to have seconds of these. Creamy not only because of the cream and butter, but because we are using Yukon Gold potatoes, which in my opinion are simply the best potato for creamy mashed potatoes. Garlicky, of course, but even though we are using an entire head of garlic, we are roasting it first, so you get all the flavor without it seeping through your pores.
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A stew with sauerkraut, a whole head of cabbage, and 3 types of pork? You should have seen my dad's eyes when I told him Hank was making this recipe for us. Enjoy. ~Elise
Also known as bigos, this hearty, cabbage and pork-based stew has been called the national dish of Poland. It definitely has an Eastern European feel to it: Cabbage and sauerkraut, lots of different meats – many of the them smoked – and a variety of mushrooms. Anyone who knows anything about Eastern Europe knows they are mad about mushrooms. Apparently the original bigos was made with wild game, but over the centuries – the dish is said to be close to 700 years old – it has become a stew of many domestic meats. Smoked sausage, mostly kielbasa, is a given, as is either bacon or a smoked ham hock. Fresh sausages, pork shoulder, veal or beef are also used.
Continue reading "Polish Hunter's Stew" »
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