Tag Archives: broccoli

Dinner vs. Supper and Fancy Farfalle with Sausage and Broccoli

What do you call your evening meal? Is it dinner or is it supper? Mama D isn’t quite sure what she calls it because she has called this meal by both names over the years. A little online searching revealed that Dinner generally refers to the largest meal of the day.  Supper is defined as “a light meal served in the early evening, if Dinner was served at midday…or it is the meal served late in the evening when Dinner was served in the early evening.” I’m still trying to wrap my head around that sentence, but it does seem, in this instance, size matters.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this lately because now that I am back to working a split shift, meal preparation is beginning to change. Here we eat the biggest meal of the day in the early evening, which by definition makes it Dinner which we are eating at Supper Time. Should I call it Sinner? Probably not. What if I call it Dupper? That just sounds silly. I think that I will leave the semantics to the linguists and come up with my own working definition.

The evening meals from Mama D’s Kitchen will be labeled by what is served. Dinner will be a more formal affair. It will consist of a protein served with various side dishes that require a good amount of time and several pots, pans and other appliances to prepare.

DIGITAL CAMERA

THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN DURING THE WEEK!  Weekends will be the time for Dinner when the time for preparing and enjoying meals are more flexible.

The meal that graces the evening table Monday through Friday, while made with just as much love, but far fewer pans and in much less time shall now be called Supper. Supper shouldn’t take too much more time than it takes to enjoy a glass of wine. It should be healthy and satisfying, but not too heavy and with just enough creativity to keep things from getting boring. That’s what this post is about and the recipe I’m sharing pretty much fits my definition. 2015-08-19 19.44.45This one dish supper required a pot (to boil the pasta) and a fry pan (to put everything together). It did also require a grill ( for the broccoli and sausage) which I left in the capable hands of Papa D.

2015-08-29 16.08.56The farfalle pasta I used was lemon flavored and sported bright yellow stripes. The lemon was noticable to the nose but subtle on the tongue. Lemon became one of the inspiration flavors for the dish. I found this pasta at Aldi along with a spinach and tomato basil variety. Not the type of thing one expects to find there, but it’s been my experience of late that Aldi is full of surprises. Don’t run out to your local Aldi, these went on closeout recently and very few stores have them. This is sadly the case with many of Aldi’s unique items…here today, gone tomorrow. I have, however, seen colored/flavored pastas in gourmet stores, so check them out if you want that extra festive look, but there is nothing wrong with going with the traditional variety.2015-08-19 19.37.52

I used pre-cooked Chicken Italian Sausage. This has appeared in so many of my recipes that I could become a spokesperson for the product. It’s convenient, quick, and is available in  flavors to match almost any cuisine. It seems that every store carries them and many of the larger stores have their own brand. I’m fickle as to what brand I like best, I honestly often choose by price and what I plan on making.

I cut some broccoli crowns into small florets, tossed them with a little olive oil and threw them in my grill basket. They joined the sausage on the grill. It is still summer after all and you know how Mama D feels about grilling….they turned out lightly charred and perfectly tender crisp.2015-08-19 19.29.42

Now for what held these three ingredients together. Onion and garlic were sautéed in some olive oil…could there be any other beginning? Some Chicken Stock, Lemon Thyme, and Cracked Black Pepper provided some flavor. The zest of a lemon went in along with the juice of said lemon. A little (fat-free) Half and Half added a bit of creaminess. Some freshly grated Romano Cheese added some bite. Everything got well acquainted in the skillet becoming a feast for the eyes, nose and tongue.2015-08-19 19.40.08

Farfalle with Grilled Broccoli and Chicken Sausage
Print Recipe
Farfalle with Grilled Broccoli and Chicken Sausage
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until it is just shy of "al dente". Drain and set aside. Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking.
  2. Toss the broccoli with one teaspoon of the olive oil. and place in a grill basket. Cook 8 - 10 minutes until it is just tender crisp and lightly charred.
  3. Cook the sausages on the grill whole until they are nicely browned. This takes about 10 minutes. Bring them in and allow them to cool slightly. Slice into 1/2 inch thick coins. Set aside.
  4. While the sausage and broccoli cook, heat a large fry pan over medium high heat. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the onions and cook until they begin to wilt and become translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.
  5. Add the chicken broth and the thyme leaves to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice and allow to cook 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the sausage and broccoli to the pan along with the half & half. Simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Add the Romano Cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the cheese melts into the sauce. Serve in pasta bowls with a sprinkling of the finely grated cheese.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

My plan is to share more “Suppers” in the coming weeks and I hope that you will use these musings as a jumping off place to create your own perfect evening meal….whatever you choose to call it.

Soup For a Summer Evening: Grilled Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

When I first thought about making this soup, I felt that the season and the veggies didn’t go together. Broccoli and cauliflower are usually part of a rich creamy soup that in Mama D’s Kitchen has bacon and cheese as  mandatory ingredients. It creates a soup that is perfect for crisp autumn days and cold winter nights. I love how the smokey salty flavor of the bacon brings out something special in the vegetables. Full flavored cheese has the same magical powers. We are in the hea(r)t of summer and as delicious as those flavors are, they are just too heavy when the thermometer is tickling the 90’s.

The question then becomes, can there be a summer weight broccoli and cauliflower soup? Why yes, yes, there can, and if I do say so myself, it’s very tasty and there isn’t a bit of bacon or cheese, or even cream for that matter. This could fit into a Vegan meal or star in a Meatless Monday one. I think it is also gluten-free, so whatever your dietary restrictions you can enjoy this soup.

It starts with vegetable stock. I always have bags of it in the freezer for just this kind of occasion. Obviously there was broccoli and cauliflower along with some onion, carrots and garlic. To create a more interesting texture I chopped up half of the broccoli and cauliflower including the stems and ends and let them sweat it out with the onion, carrots and garlic. I reserved the rest of the veggies to cut into bite size florets. More about them later.

I added the stock to the now sweaty veggies and allowed everything to come to a boil. I added a big bunch of lemon thyme as well as the peel of a lemon to the pot. I left the thyme sprigs whole and tied them to the handle of the pot. The leaves fall off during the cooking process and the stems get untied and put into the compost bin. I used a peeler to remove just the yellow part of the lemon peel. I kept it in one long piece that was easy to remove at the end of the simmer. I may have left a little in the pot, but it would soon become one with the soup.

The immersion blender did its magic and my soup base, beautifully thick, was ready. Salt, pepper and a touch of Worcestershire and hot sauce gave it a little more dimension. What to do with the remaining broccoli and cauliflower? Summer and the grill go hand in hand so I popped my reserved veggies in a grill basket along with some sweet onion and a drizzle of olive oil.

DIGITAL CAMERA

I grilled them covered for maximum smokieness and in about 7 minutes they were ready to plunge into the soup base.

DIGITAL CAMERA

The resulting soup was a perfect marriage of a hearty main dish soup with the smokey flavor of tender crisp veggies from the grill. We didn’t miss the bacon or the cheese. What could I add? Some sliced green onions were perfect, but a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream for the non-vegans would be nice as well.

DIGITAL CAMERAThis recipe would work beautifully with only one or the other of the cruciferous vegetables. As with most any soup, it freezes beautifully and is even tastier re-heated the next day.

Grilled Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Grilled Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Chop one of the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the chopped onions, garlic and carrots to the pot and sweat over medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes. The vegetables should be softened and fragrant.
  2. Add one cup of each the broccoli and cauliflower to the pot using as many of the stems as possible. Cook for 3 minutes or so.
  3. Pour the vegetable stock into the pot and increase the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Tie the bunch of thyme together with kitchen twine. Leave enough string to allow the thyme to be submerged in the soup and the twine to be tied to the pot handle.
  5. Using a potato peeler, cut the yellow skin off the lemon. You want the yellow part, not the white pith. Drop it into the pot.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot. Simmer for 45 minutes. The vegetables should be very soft, the leaves should be off of the thyme sprigs and everything should smell delicious.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and remove the thyme bundle and the lemon peel.Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is almost smooth. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauces and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. While the soup is simmering, slice the remaining onion lengthwise into the strips. Toss with the rest of the broccoli and cauliflower. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and toss to combine.
  9. Coat a grill basket with cooking spray and heat on the grill. Add the broccoli/cauliflower/onion mixture to the pan. Put the lid down on the grill and cook the vegetables for 7 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Everything should be tender crisp and slightly browned.
  10. Add the grilled vegetables to the pureed soup and cook for a few minutes until everything is heated through.
  11. Ladle into bowls and top with a sprinkling of green onions.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

So another summertime soup is born. Give this a try. I think you’ll find the smokey taste delightful.

It’s Time For Soup Love

 

DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The weather has taken a decidedly Fall like turn. We even had our first snow sighting. Making soup goes with this weather like frost on pumpkins. I love soup. I’ve written about it several times. Today I want to share two of my favorite creamy soups, Cauliflower and/or Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup.

This is the first post I’ve done that has an actual recipe in it. I have a bright shiny new plugin that is allowing me to do this, and even though I’m still learning all the things it can do, I’m excited that I can now share Mama D’s Recipes Of Love with you.

These two soups share a basic recipe. The main ingredient is all that changes. I bet that you could even choose a main ingredient of your own and this soup would still be fabulous. It’s quick to prepare as soups go; it can be on the table in about an hour.

I’ve added different herbs; thyme or rosemary work well. Spices like Smoked Paprika , Cayenne or Nutmeg can also create more flavor.  Seasonings like Tabasco or Worcestershire Sauce are also great. In fact you could add (or subtract) any ingredient to make it your own.

I just made the Broccoli version using Homemade Vegetable Stock. I make stock using vegetable scraps that I save in the freezer until I have 3 cups or so. Then a little olive oil to sweat a mirepoix, water, the veggie scraps, and a Bay Leaf plus any herbs of your choice and in a couple of hours you have Vegetable Stock. A proper recipe is forthcoming.

In the meantime, give this recipe a try….’tis the season(ing).

Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup
Print Recipe
A creamy and indulgent soup that helps you get your veggies.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup
Print Recipe
A creamy and indulgent soup that helps you get your veggies.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and saute until golden brown. Remove the bacon but leave all the drippings in the pan. Reserve the bacon for later.
  2. Saute the leeks in the oil/drippings in the pan about 3 minutes until soft. Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Toss them around until they are caoted with the oil. Continue to saute until they begin to color a little.
  3. Add about a cup of the chicken stock to the pan stirring to deglaze and get all of the lovely brown bits. Add the remaining chicken stock and bring to a low boil. reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and puree with an immersion blender until almost smooth. If you like your soup chunky, remove some of the cauliflower and potatoes before you puree. Put them back in the pot once everything else is smooth.
  5. Return the pot to the heat . Stir in the cream and heat gently . Slowly add the shredded cheese and stir until each addition is melted and blended. Add 3/4 of the reserved bacon. Continue to heat gently until the fragrent steam rising almost makes you swoon.
  6. Serve in soup bowls topped with the last 1/4 of the bacon and some snipped chives
Share this Recipe
 
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe