This recipe beautifully marks the transition to fall here in Florida by showcasing seasonal ingredients and flavors without resulting in a heavy sort of dish that we’re not ready for quite yet here in the still-warm Sunshine State. I noticed that I had several bags of frozen pearl onions in the freezer (not entirely sure why??) which prompted me to come up with something delicious and different to reduce my inventory. This would also make a great holiday side to share with family and friends.
A great group of ladies and I belong to a group aptly named The Inspired Plate and we have themed challenges each month to help hone our food photography and styling skills. I normally present my contribution to the group on my photography blog, but I thought it would be nice to start compiling the monthly challenges here at Kitchen Serendipity. This month’s challenge is to present a “seasonal dish.” Please check out the beautiful work of fellow The Inspired Plate members Jen Olson, Sabrina Wong, Tammy Bilodeau, and Laurie Vengoechea this month!
Three-Onion Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms
- ½ cup thinly sliced shallots (from 1 large or 2 medium)
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
- 1¼ cups reduced-sodium beef broth (use vegetable broth or mushroom stock for vegetarian version)
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cups diced, uncooked butternut squash
- 2 cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1½ cups frozen pearl onions, thawed and pat dry
- pinch red pepper flakes to taste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- pumpkin seed oil (optional)
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often until they begin to turn deep in color, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel, season with a pinch of salt, and set aside.
- Bring the beef broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon butter and keep covered.
- In a bowl, add water to cover the diced butternut squash, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high 4 minutes.
- In a large skillet or wok, melt the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat and add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes and then add the thawed pearl onions and pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for about 3½ minutes, stirring frequently,. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up any cooked bits and allow the wine to cook off. Add the couscous and the butternut squash to the skillet and stir to combine. Add the Worcestershire sauce and chives; season with salt and pepper and give it a final stir.
- Drizzle with a swirl or two of the pumpkin seed oil and serve.
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I’m normally not a big breakfast eater but find myself constantly on the lookout for morning meal ideas that are maybe just a little bit unusual and surprisingly delicious and satisfying. This recipe which I adapted from one of my magazines some time ago features nutritious quinoa (KEEN-wah) which is very high in protein and fiber, making this dish a great way to fuel your body for the day ahead.
Red Quinoa Power Breakfast
- 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well in a colander
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- ½ cup dried apricots, diced
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon orange zest, divided
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- Cover the quinoa with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then keep covered.
- Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the almonds and pine nuts and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden brown, about two minutes. Add the apricots, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon orange zest, raisins, and cinnamon and stir to combine.
- Add the quinoa to the pan and combine with the apricot mixture and heat through. Divide into four bowls and top each with a dollop of ricotta cheese and remaining ¼ teaspoon orange zest.
Makes 4 servings
This cocktail was up on my photography business blog recently as part of a September challenge with the ladies at The Inspired Plate which featured fall-inspired drinks. This is definitely a classy libation and something wonderful to serve to friends (or to your special someone!). Enjoy!
Maker’s Mark Pear and Ginger Cocktail
- 6 ounces Maker’s Mark Bourbon
- 18 ounces pear nectar (can find near the Goya brand products in the grocery store)
- 12 ounces ginger ale (I used Gus brand extra-dry ginger ale)
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon or so of agave nectar (or honey)
- Fill 6 lowball or rocks glasses partially with ice. Add 1 ounce Maker’s Mark, 3 ounces pear nectar, and 2 ounces of ginger ale into each glass. Drizzle with agave nectar and stir.
- Garnish with a rosemary spear in each glass and serve.
Makes 6 servings
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living October 2013
This recipe already ran as part of my food photography and styling challenge with The Inspired Plate for our September theme of “fall drinks” on my photography blog at Stacey Siegal Photography…..but it’s worth a share here as we progress further into fall (FINALLY here in Florida!). All recipes were made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, including the one below.
Maker’s Mark Mulled Apple Cider
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2-inch knob of fresh, peeled ginger
- 10 cloves
- 10 allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 4 2-inch orange peels
- 4 slices orange
- 4½ ounces Marker’s Mark bourbon
- 1½ ounces Grand Marnier
- orange slices for garnish
- Place the apple cider in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, grated nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice berries, brown sugar, orange peels, and orange slices and gently bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, giving it a good stir now and then.
- For each serving, pour 1½ ounces of bourbon and ½ ounce of Grand Marnier into each glass. Strain the spices and orange peel and slices from the cider mixture into a large glass measuring cup using cheesecloth. Carefully top with the apple cider mixture and garnish with an orange slice.
Servings : 3 (okay so two BIG ones!)
Recipe adapted from Peck the Beak
This will be your new go-to weeknight meal!When our nearby The Fresh Market opened, I began buying the pre-cut steak tips from the meat counter to make some fast meals with little prep involved. It’s an easy as broiling a strip steak – it just makes a little more mess on your stove top but with such delicious results!Have you tried Belgian endive? It’s part of the chicory family which is represented by the more bitter and hearty lettuces such as radicchio and escarole. Belgian endive is great raw and can be added to salads or its leaves used in appetizer dishes to hold a myriad of ingredients. It’s also wonderful cooked and braised…….that is the first way I enjoyed it years ago after seeing a recipe for Endive on Toast with Gruyêre Cheese in Deborah Madison’s book Local Flavors. It’s also really high in nutrients as an added bonus! For more info and recipes, please check out California Endive’s website.I loooove Belgian endive and I found a great way to marry the steak tips with this vegetable using pasta as a vehicle to deliver them together. I use either bucatini (which is like spaghetti but is hollow), linguine, or spaghetti. The amounts of ingredients in the dish can be played with at whim – I like to keep it as more of a pasta dish and serve it in small bowls rather than a meat-heavy dish. Normally, I make this dish for my son and I and use about ½ pound or so of steak tips for the two of us, along with two medium heads of Belgian endive. Most stores carry steak tips….they may be labeled as beef tips for stir-fry as well. If you can’t buy pre-cut steak tips – you can cut your own from a sirloin steak. Ree Drummond explains how in her Steak Bites recipe post on her blog The Pioneer Woman. Oh the buttery goodness of that recipe!
Bucatini Pasta with Pan-Seared Steak Tips & Belgian Endive
- 1 16-ounce package bucatini, linguine, or spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus i teaspoon butter
- 1 – 1¼ pounds steak tips
- 3-4 medium heads Belgian endive, quartered, and then quartered again, woody cores and ends discarded
- ¼ cup dry white wine or apple cider
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve a bit of the cooking water in a glass measuring cup; drain and set aside.
- Sprinkle the steak tips liberally with onion powder, salt, and pepper. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted and frothy, add the steak tips and let them sear – undisturbed – one one side for 1-2 minutes. Turn using a spatula to sear the other side for another 1-2 minutes until meat is brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the wine to the pan and deglaze, scraping up the brown bits. Toss in the Belgian endive, season with salt and pepper and let cook, stirring often to get color on all sides for about 2 minutes. Add the teaspoon of butter, and pour in any accumulated meat juices from the plate of reserved steak tips.
- Splash the drained pasta with the reserved cooking liquid and mound a portion in each of 4 small or shallow bowls. Add desired amount of Belgian endive and steak tips to each, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.
Makes 4 servings