Monday, December 17, 2012

Fall in love with Brussel Sprouts!


I literally fell in love with Brussel sprouts at a food truck....I ordered them instead of french fries because I was told they were "that good!"  The ingredients were simple, brussel sprouts bathed in honey and red pepper flakes...they were sticky, sweet and simply delicious.  I knew right away I would re-create them in my house.  Since first tasting them I have made this recipe a dozen or so times, never measuring, always adding more honey and less heat, deglazing with wine because I was out of chicken broth or forgetting to add the sesame seeds because I was to hungry to eat and rushed.  I hope you give them a try this holiday season...they might help you stick to your New Year's Resolution of no french fries!  


Sweet, Sticky, and Spicy Brussel Sprouts



1 lb fresh Brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and  sliced in half
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
    (I like the kind in the tube)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon light cooking oil    
    (canola or vegetable are fine)
2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
A few red pepper flakes
Black and white Sesame seeds
¼ cup chicken broth or white wine
1/4 cup honey


In a large sauté pan, over medium to medium high heat, add both sesame and light oils with the grated ginger and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  (Can also add black pepper here). 
Once oils are heated and ginger starts to bubble add brussel sprouts.

Shake pan to distribute brussel sprouts and add soy sauce.

Cook for about 10 minutes, once brussel sprouts begin to caramelize (turn a golden brown) you can deglaze the pan with your broth or white wine…just need a splash. 

Cook another 2-3 minutes, 
shaking pan a few times. 

Add honey and a few sprinkle of sesame seeds, cook another 2-3 minutes or until brussel sprouts are tender and taste good.


You can add more soy sauce, honey or red pepper flake prior to serving.  











Thursday, November 1, 2012

One Great Quiche Recipe


I hosted an afternoon bunco group in my neighborhood recently and fell in love with quiche and tarts all over again!  I love the freshness of the ingredients in this recipe and adore a slice for breakfast or lunch.  It is also great with soup as we barrel into winter.  The best part, this recipe uses one sauté pan and one mixing bowl, not to mention it has bacon. 

If you choose to try out this recipe, don’t feel like you have to follow it to the letter….it is very forgiving.  Omit the tomatoes, try goat cheese instead of feta, add some asparagus or red pepper, try store bought shredded pizza cheese because they have a great blend of fontina, parmesan and mozzarella.  No heavy cream or 2% in the house use 1 ½ cup regular milk.  Adjust it as you need or want based on what you have in the house! 
            
Spinach, Mushroom, Caramelized Onions and Feta Quiche 


1 Prepared pie crust    
5 eggs
¾ cup heavy cream                          
¾ cup 2% milk 
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes (sliced)
2 huge handfuls fresh spinach
1 container portabella (sliced)
6-8 slices cooked bacon (crumbled)
2 red onions (sliced)
½ cup feta  
1 cup shredded white cheese
Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and Pepper
                                                                                         
Spread pie crust in glass baking dish and pierce the bottom a few times with a fork.

Saute the red onions in about 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until soft and tender.  
Layer in bottom of crust.

In the same sauté pan, add the sliced mushrooms and cook over medium heat until tender.  
When cooked, season with kosher salt to taste and add to onions on crust.


In the same sauté pan, now cook your bacon until crispy.  Drain on paper towels and when cool, crumble and add to crust.

In a mixing bowl combine eggs, milk and heavy cream.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Wisk to combine and add the spinach (uncooked).

If using tomatoes, I add them in two batches, add a handful to bacon mixture and the rest to top of egg mixture.
  
Pour your egg mixture in the crust, top with feta and shredded blend of white cheese.

Bake at 400 Degrees for 7 minutes and lower oven to 350 degrees.  
Continue baking for about 30-35 minutes or until done.

Remove from oven and cool before serving.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Mint and a drizzle of Creamy Balsamic Glaze



Recipe Courtesy of Celeste Podojil
www.celestecooks.com

3-4 cups cooked Israeli Couscous (cooked and cooled)
1 can mini corn on the cob, diced into ¼ inch (found in Asian isle)
½  cup each sliced black, green and Kalamata olives (all drained well)
4-6 scallions (sliced on a bias)
3 cups, cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
1-2 cups crumbled feta, Gorgonzola or blue cheese
Handful each of fresh herbs, chopped or torn;  flat leaf parsley, basil, mint
2 teaspoons (or more) kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup (give or take) of extra virgin olive oil

Cook and cool Israeli Couscous (after cooking, I put couscous in huge bowl and toss with about ½ cup olive oil to help prevent sticking while it cools).
After about 30 minutes in fridge toss all the above ingredients with couscous and add another ½ cup olive oil. 

Toss together with salt and pepper…taste and add additional olive oil, salt or pepper to taste.   You can mix and match herbs, omit or substitute based on what you have on hard.  Sage, oregano and thyme would work well here also.



OPTION 2:  For an even more spectacular dish mix the finished product with a creamy balsamic glaze.  You can drizzle it over the top or mix in the salad or both.

Balsamic glaze:
In a small saucepan simmer over med head, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup balsamic vinegar.  It will take around 20 minutes to thicken and become very sweet.  Glaze will coat the back of a spoon when done.  Once finished, whisk in ½ cup heavy cream.

This glaze is fabulous on grilled NY strip, over asparagus and with this Israeli Couscous.  It will also keep in the fridge.

Note:  Israeli Couscous is also called pearl couscous. 
You can purchase it at Trader Joes, most grocery stores and Costco.

Click here for a printer friendly version

Monday, October 1, 2012


                       Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread




This might be my favorite recipe ever!!!  My girls love these as muffins, bread or in mini loaf pans to give away as gifts.  It is perfect in the morning, as an after school snack or as a treat instead of dessert.  And....I use whole wheat flour in this recipe so you can feel just fine about adding in the mini chocolate chips!



Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 cup oil (or use drained apple sauce)
2/3 cup water
1 can pumpkin
3 1/2  cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg (I use fresh, grate one half whole nutmeg)
1/2 bag of small chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease two loaf pans with butter or spray
Sift dry ingredients together and place in large mixing bowl
Beat eggs, oil, water and pumpkin together
Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients to center of well.  Mix just until incorporated, do not over mix.  Add chocolate chips.
Pour into 2 greased (non-stick spray) loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Options:  Make mini muffins, bake for 15-18 minutes.  Can also make 5 mini loafs, bake for 30-40 minutes.  These are great teacher gifts!




All cook kids blog these days!  




I love reading food blogs, I love taking pictures, I'm lucky enough to host a cooking show......here goes my attempt to combine them all!  I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone to photograph my food and dive head first into blogging things I like to cook and eat!  I hope you follow, print, cook, eat, and enjoy my new venture!

Comments and suggestions welcome, new fun recipes wanted!

Cheers!

Celeste Cooks