Heavenly Hash: Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Hash

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Sweet and savory flavors make for a complete brunch plate.

Happy National Heavenly Hash day!  I had no idea that was a thing to be celebrated, but I learned a little from Google this afternoon.  Here is our version of a Heavenly Hash, but you can find a recipe for the sweet treat or ice cream versions here and here (shoutout to Greylock dining hall for the greatest HH ice cream).

After a couple of months adjusting to Seattle life, it feels good to blog about cooking with friends!  The first time I tried this recipe was when Paul and Loretta came over for a potluck brunch back in November.  Paul walked in with a huge skillet full of sweet potato hash, and set it on the burner to reheat.  The end result was a rich, flavorful, filling and crave-worthy hash that I kept returning to for seconds and thirds.  When Paul and Loretta had some time off around the holidays, they came back for a weekday brunch, and Paul taught me his brother’s recipe for sweet potato hash.  This recipe makes many servings, which keep nicely in the fridge for two to three days, though I guarantee it will not last that long.  Alternatively, you can enjoy this versatile breakfast dish at any time of day!

During Loretta’s vacation, we did a lot of sculling and lifting together, and got hooked on eating recovery meals at Stone Way Cafe after training.  As holidays ended and normal schedules resumed, cafe visits decreased, but cravings for Stone Way creations persisted. Paul and I are both experimenting with recipes for a baked oatmeal dish that can satisfy Stone Way Cafe cravings.  Stay tuned!

Recipe

Sweet Potato Hash – serves 6 to 8

Credit for this recipe’s creation goes to Paul’s brother.  Thanks to Paul and Loretta for sharing this feast, and to Paul for writing up the recipe for me!  This recipe calls for apple, but we accidentally left the apple out and did not notice until we were finished eating.  Try using a fuji apple to start, for a crisp, sweet flavor.

You will need: 4c48b3dc-9555-4767-b72d-11cfee4731ca

  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes
  2. 1 medium onion (your choice – we used yellow)
  3. 1 medium or 2 small sweet peppers
  4. 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts
  5. 1 apple (your choice)
  6. 12 to 16 ounces Andouille sausage
  7. cooking oil
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. 4 eggs (optional)

Steps:

  1. Par cook the sausage in a large pan, just until sausages firm up on the outside a little bit, set aside and let cool.
  2. Dice the sweet potatoes to 1/4-1/2 inch cubes and sauté in the pan with oil for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes cook, dice the onion and add to the pan, stirring into the potatoes.
  4. Remove bottoms from Brussels sprouts and cut down to 1/2 inch halves or quarters.  Add to pan.
  5. Dice sweet peppers to 1/2 inch pieces and add to pan.  Be sure to keep everything stirring for even cooking.
  6. Cut the sausage into 1 inch pieces and add to the pan, cooking the whole mixture until the sausage is cooked through (if using eggs, add them with the sausage).  Continue stirring until egg coats the mixture and cooks.  Remove from heat.
  7. Cut the core from the apple and dice into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces and stir in.  The apple should not cook and will add a crisp bite and sweet tongue to the dish.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Baked Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Vegetables in San Diego

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Liz and I enjoyed preparing this meal together, and comparing notes.  Not pictured: the banana bread that we baked the day before!

My sister, Liz, and I enjoy spending time in the kitchen together, whether we are at home in Delaware, visiting one another at our apartments in Seattle or San Diego, or simply connecting by phone and FaceTime.  We like to compare notes on recipes and reminisce about our childhood favorites that we could recreate sometime.  Liz also recently introduced me to Daphne Oz’s cookbook, “The Happy Cook”, and we followed her banana bread recipe together on my first day in San Diego.

After the rainiest Seattle October on record, it was luxurious to step out of the airport in San Diego and shed a couple layers.  Even better was getting picked up by Liz and Jay and being greeted by their dog Gracie (she remembered me!).  While in San Diego, we enjoyed meals out and a special dinner with Robin and Maria, but we made sure to make time to cook dinner together.  We used a recipe from SkinnyTaste as inspiration for our chicken parmesan prep, and consulted “Cook Yourself Thin” for the roasted vegetable steps (you can find that recipe on Food.com as well).

Recipe

Baked Chicken Parmesan – serves 4 to 6

I like using thin-sliced chicken breasts for this meal because that can increase your surface area for breading, sauce and cheese.  You can buy thin-sliced chicken breasts or slice them in half carefully at home.  When Liz and I made this meal, we found out that we accidentally had vegan cheese, which did not melt readily but still tasted great.  At home, I replicated the recipe with shredded mozzarella on top.  I have also started using foil to line the baking sheet for this recipe, because the topping and cheese tend to adhere to your baking sheet otherwise!

You will need:fullsizerender-16

  1. cooking spray
  2. 2 T butter
  3. 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thin-sliced)
  4. 3/4 C breadcrumbs (preferably Italian breadcrumbs)
  5. 1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
  6. 1 C marinara or other pasta sauce of choice
  7. 3/4 C shredded mozzarella

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray sheet lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in a large bowl.
  4. Brush both sides of the chicken breast with butter and dip in the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture, generously coating each sides.  Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes for thin-sliced chicken breasts, or 25 minutes for thicker pieces.
  6. Remove from the oven and flip chicken breasts with tongs.  Top each piece with a spoonful or marinara and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for another 5 minutes.

Recipe

Roasted Root Vegetables – serves 4 to 6

The original recipe calls for these veggies to roast for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you make these with your chicken parmesan, keep an eye on the vegetables and check and stir them after 20-25 minutes.

You will need:img_8572

  1. 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  2. 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  3. 2 yukon gold potatoes, sliced
  4. 1 t parsley, chopped
  5. 1 t dried chives
  6. 1-2 T olive oil
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle 1-2 T olive oil over top and add salt and pepper and dried spices.
  4. Spread vegetables out on baking sheet in an even layer without too much overlap.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes and then shuffle the vegetables around on your baking sheet.  You may need to roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes; check potatoes for tenderness and then bake an additional minute or two for crispy potato skins.

 

Sources:

Diva, Mommy. “Turkey Mini-Meatloaves With Roasted Root Veggies Recipe – Food.com.” Recipe – Food.com. N.p., 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. (online resource for roasted root veggies)

Homolka, Gina. “Baked Chicken Parmesan | Skinnytaste.” Skinnytaste. N.p., 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

Lifetime Television.  Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny Meals You Can Make in Minutes. New York: Hyperion, 2009. Print. (print resource for roasted root veggies)

 

Bohemia Lea Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Asparagus and Watermelon Salad

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Our delicious summertime feast, featuring my favorite watermelon salad.

Summer is in full swing and I am loving the produce section!  When I was last in Delaware, Patrick, my Mom and I tried two methods for seasoning pork tenderloin – dry rub and simple, fresh garlic slices.  The tenderloins came from Cal Hurtt’s Bohemia Lea Farm in Cecilton, MD.  In May, Alex and I visited Cal at his farm stand at the Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market.  His sustainable farming operation would thrill any Michael Pollan devotee – Cal even cites Pollan’s “the Omnivore’s Dilemma” as inspiration for his farm.  Cal used his engineering background to design a sustainable farming operation, where cattle, hens and turkey rotate across his land, benefiting from one another and improving the health of the topsoil (read more on Bohemia Lea’s webpage).  We were excited to finally try Bohemia Lea Farm products, and all the meat we have sampled has been fantastic.

In keeping with the sustainability theme of our meal, we opted to use only local, seasonal ingredients for our sides.  Patrick picked up a large, juicy watermelon and fresh New Jersey asparagus on his way down to visit us in Delaware.  We paired our tenderloin with watermelon salad, sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Recipe

 

Bohemia Lea Pork Tenderloin – serves 8-10 

We prepared the pork two ways – with the dry rub and with garlic – and our group was split as to which was our favorite.  We kept the cooking methods simple to allow the flavors of the meat to shine through.  Sweet potatoes bake at about 400-425 degrees for about 40 minutes as well, so we added some sweet potatoes wrapped in foil in the same oven.

You will need: IMG_5938

  1. 2 large pork tenderloins
  2. 3-4 T dry rub (see recipe below)
  3. 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  4. 1-2 T olive oil
  5. black pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using the tip of your knife, make shallow slits in the surface of one pork tenderloin, and insert garlic into the slit pocket.  Slather on a little olive oil and add a little fresh ground pepper.
  3. With your second pork tenderloin, first, pat dry with paper towel.  Then, dust on an even layer of dry rub, patting the tenderloin as you apply your spices.
  4. Roast tenderloins together on a baking sheet for 40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Let meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Optional: Mom’s Dry Rub to make ahead and save.  Mix 1/4 C paprika, 2 T brown sugar, 2 T salt, 2 T garlic powder, 1 T pepper, 1/2 t chili powder, 1 T cayenne pepper, 1 T onion powder, 1 1/2 t ground cumin and 1 1/2 t dry mustard.  You will have plenty of dry rub left over if you follow this recipe – save it for next time.

Recipe

Grilled Asparagus – serves 6 – 8

You will need: IMG_5929

  1. 2 bunches asparagus
  2. olive oil to drizzle across asparagus ~ 1-2 T
  3. black pepper, to taste
  4. salt, to taste
  5. about 1 t garlic powder

Steps:

  1. First, snap off the asparagus ends and throw the ends away or save them for compost.
  2. Next, lay the asparagus out on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Too much olive oil, and even after grilled, they will seem a bit too oily.  Add some fresh ground black pepper, a little fine grain salt and some powdered garlic.  Mix.
  3. With the grill on medium heat, lay asparagus on, and after about 5 minutes, “roll” them.  You should see the bottoms with brown grill marks.  After another 5 mins., roll them again.  Then, roll them every couple of minutes until you get nice brow/black grill marks.

Recipe

Watermelon Salad – serves 6

Watermelon salad is the ultimate summer refresher.  We love this salad with mozzarella or feta cheese – you can’t go wrong!

You will need: IMG_5912

  1. 1/2 large watermelon
  2. about 1 C mozzarella balls, halved
  3. 1-2 T olive oil to drizzle
  4. 5 or more large basil leaves
  5. salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. First, cut large watermelon in half and cube melon.  Spread out cubes onto serving dish.
  2. Next, arrange mozzarella across serving dish.  Our ideal ratio of melon to cheese is about 2:1.
  3. Drizzle olive oil across melon and cheese.
  4. Chop basil into thin ribbons or use herb scissors to cut small pieces.  For ribbons, roll the basil leaves together and slice in thin strips from end to end.
  5. Scatter basil pieces and salt and pepper across your salad.
  6. If desired, salad can be chilled before serving.

Salmon Series Part One: Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto

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Posing with the final product!

After our last day of racing at the Olympic Trials, my parents took my husband Alex, me and Jess out to eat in St. Armand’s Circle. We picked an Italian restaurant that had caught my eye the previous week when Jess and I were on more stringent meal plans. After several days of racing, I was craving a hearty, warm meal, and savored the salmon risotto that I ordered for lunch. After the meal, we stopped by Kilwin’s for ice cream, at my sister-in-law Becky’s recommendation. I ordered the Heavenly Hash flavor, which I had not come across since college!

This blog entry is the first in a series of six ways to prepare salmon. Salmon is one of the staples in the Taylor kitchen, and Jess’s boyfriend Austin recently requested my top three salmon recipes. There are so many favorites to chose from, so why not six?

For my birthday eve meal, Alex and I cooked our own version of salmon risotto. We loaded up our risotto with as many veggies as possible, and used the Persian spice zarchobeh for extra flavor and color. We broiled two small filets of salmon, and added the cooked salmon after the Arborio rice had absorbed all of our cooking liquid.

Recipe

Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto – serves 4 to 6

We used 1/2 stick of butter as recommended in the “Wild mushroom risotto with peas” recipe by Giada de Laurentiis in “Everyday Italian,” but you could get away with using half that amount.  Allow a full hour for cooking this meal; the risotto alone takes at least 30 minutes, and you will want to be patient while all cooking liquids get absorbed.  White wine is traditionally a popular addition to risotto.  If you want to use white wine, pick a dry wine and add just 2/3 of a cup after you add your Arborio rice.

You will need:13100965_10206263031229973_6779215179086965754_n

  1. 1 lb of salmon
  2. ½ T dried basil
  3. ½ T garlic salt
  4. ½ T black pepper
  5. ½ stick of butter
  6. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  7. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  8. 1 or 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  9. 1 C white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  10. 1 ½ C Arborio rice
  11. 32 oz chicken broth
  12. ½ T cayenne pepper
  13. 1 T zarchobeh or turmeric
  14. 1 can artichoke hearts
  15. 1 C frozen peas
  16. 12 cherry tomatoes
  17. 1 handful fresh basil, washed and torn
  18. ¼ C shredded parmesan

 

Steps:

  1. Add half of your dried basil, garlic salt and black pepper to the bottom of an oven-safe ceramic dish. Place salmon filets on top of spices, skin down, and add the remaining basil, garlic salt and pepper to the top of the filets.
  2. Broil salmon for approximately 20 minutes on high.
  3. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced red onion as soon as butter has melted, and stir for five minutes until the slices begin to soften.
  4. Add chopped garlic and thinly sliced red peppers to your pan, stirring to combine. After a few more minutes, add chopped mushrooms.
  5. When mushrooms begin to darken, add your Arborio rice to the mix.
  6. Start adding chicken broth by the cupful, and stir while broth is absorbed by rice (about 5 minutes per cup of broth).
  7. After you have added three cups of broth, add your cayenne pepper and zarchobeh or turmeric. Add your final cup of broth.
  8. When your broth has mostly been absorbed, add canned artichoke hearts, peas, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine for about five minutes or until all ingredients have heated through. Finally, add shredded parmesan and stir to combine evenly.

The first risotto recipe I ever followed came from Giada’s cookbook.  Patrick and I made the “wild mushroom risotto with peas” found on page 131 of “Everyday Italian.”  I followed the sequence of Giada’s recipe loosely when I created this dish.

Source: Laurentiis, Giada De. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005. Print.

 

Butternut Squash Vegan “Quesadillas” and Colorful Cauliflower Sides

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Mixed greens with frisée, raspberries and raspberry vinaigrette.  Orange cauliflower, mashed.  Green cauliflower, roasted.  Black beans with sautéed onions.  Butternut squash mash.  Purple cauliflower, steamed.

 

 

“Eat your colors” – Michael Pollan, “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”

Having devoured the “Omnivore’s Dilemma” on my recent travels, I stopped by Read It and Eat, my favorite cookbook bookstore in Chicago, in search of any other books by author Michael Pollan.  In “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Pollan challenged readers by exposing the relationship between the food industry and the foods they consume; “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” turns the truths that Pollan exposes in “Omnivore’s Dilemma” into digestible advice.  Pollan’s notions have become more visible in mainstream culture.  At one San Diego restaurant, True Foods, a Pollan quotation is chalked on the wall above the bar: “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.” (from “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” which I will be reading next).

Last year, I began talking regularly with Georgie Fear, registered dietitian and sports dietetics specialist.  The most fun thing that Georgie has taught me is to include more vegetables in my meals!  I had to get creative to prevent roasted asparagus-induced boredom, and I’ll endeavor to share some of my favorite vegetable recipes with you in the form of “Intimidating Vegetable” posts.

On my last night in San Diego, I cooked dinner in Jess’s mother’s kitchen one last time.  I made a vegan meal for us, including half a dozen produce varietals.  I used a recipe for butternut squash “quesadillas” and black beans that I picked up when I trained in Seattle last March and stayed with Katherine Robinson.  With this final dinner, I made use of the rest of our produce from when Jess took me to the PB Farmers Market.

Recipe

Butternut Squash “Quesadillas” – serves 4

Butternut squash is so flavorful that you do not even need to add cheese to your tortilla!

You will need: IMG_2218

  1. 1 large butternut squash, chopped (see below)
  2. 1 1/2 T olive oil
  3. salt
  4. pepper
  5. 14.5 oz can black beans
  6. 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  7. 4 tortillas
  8. 1 avocado, sliced
  9. your favorite salsa for serving

Steps:

  1. Microwave your butternut squash for 2-3 minutes, with the skin on.  This will make it much easier to remove the skin. Allow several minutes for squash to cool before handling. When squash has cooled, chop into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add butternut squash chunks and ½ cup of water, cover.
  4. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until squash begins to soften.
  5. Meanwhile, add 1/2 T olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Add chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes, just until the onions begin to turn translucent.  Add black beans and stir to heat.
  6. Mash the squash with the back of your spoon, until about half of the chunks are completely smooth. You will want to retain some squash-chunk texture to enjoy in your tortilla.
  7. Remove squash and beans from heat.
  8. Serve with tortillas and avocado slices, with beans and salsa on the side.

 

Recipe

Colorful Cauliflower Sides – serves 3-4

The cauliflower at the farmers market was so vibrant that we could not choose just one variety! I had three cauliflower heads, and wanted to retain their original flavors for accurate comparison, so I decided to keep my preparation simple. I roasted the green cauliflower, steamed the purple and mashed the orange. The orange cauliflower claimed to taste cheesy, and is otherwise known as cheddar cauliflower, so I knew I would not need to add much to make a satisfying mashed-potato alternative.

You will need:

IMG_2217

  1. 1 head of green cauliflower
  2. 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  3. ½ T olive oil
  4. 3 t black pepper
  5. 1 head of purple cauliflower
  6. 1 t salt
  7. 1 head of orange cauliflower

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop green cauliflower heads. Chop garlic clove into large chunks.
  3. Arrange cauliflower and garlic in a single layer on a baking sheet, coating with olive oil and 1 t black pepper.
  4. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops of the cauliflower pieces have begun to brown.
  5. Meanwhile, chop both the purple and orange cauliflower heads.
  6. Arrange orange and purple cauliflower into two separate pots on the stove, set to steam for 5 to 7 minutes. Check tenderness. When the purple cauliflower is tender, remove from heat and sprinkle with ½ t salt and 1 t black pepper.
  7. Steam orange cauliflower for a few additional minutes, until it is soft enough to mash with a spoon. For a smoother consistency, like mashed potatoes, transfer cauliflower to a food processor and blend for a minute before adding spices and butter, if desired. For this recipe, mash cauliflower with a spoon and then add ½ t salt and 1 t black pepper.

 

Pollan, Michael. Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin, 2009. Print.

Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.