Ragout of Bratwurst, Mushrooms & Tomatoes with Kale & Carrot Salad

Ragout of Bratwurst, Mushrooms and Tomatoes and Kale Salad

I made the salad this morning to let the dressing marinate and be more absorbed into the kale. I took about 6 cups of chopped kale. Be sure to remove the ribs before chopping. I chopped the kale and then diced two carrots. I took a handful of pecans (about 2 oz) and chopped them with my knife as well. I tossed the large nut pieces into the salad and tossed the pecans, kale and carrots together. The tiny bits of pecan I put into a bowl with a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, a 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and the cloves of three garlic that I put through a garlic press. I added 1 tbsp of mustard and 1 tbsp of white vinegar and 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Then I added about 1/2 cup of mayo and mixed together. With salt and pepper to taste, it was ready to dress the salad. I mixed it all in well and stored in the fridge to marry. It has a delicious garlicky tang and a little bit of heat. The nuts add a bit of sweetness to the mix.

For the ragout, I put a small amount of liquid in a skillet and put two bratwurst in to cook. I sliced up two mushrooms and chopped up a tomato. When I turned the bratwurst, I added the mushrooms and tomato to the liquid and put the lid on it. About 8 minutes later, I sliced up the bratwurst and added 1 TBSP of mustard and 1/4 cup of sour cream. A little salt and pepper and it was good to go. Bratwurst has enough spice and flavor that the little mustard and sour cream were plenty of flavor. It made a rich, creamy ragout with plenty of bite.

Kale Sauteed with Bacon

Kale Sauteed with Bacon

Everything goes with bacon, right? This was a fast an easy lunch that I was able to cook during one of the twenty minute breaks between fashion shows at Modavia Fashion Week. I used an old-fashioned iron skillet, putting it on the burner at medium with 1 TBSP of olive oil. I chopped up half an onion and tossed it in with the olive oil. I added some salt and pepper and 1/4 tsp of cumin. I squashed a clove of garlic with the side of my knife and chopped it up and tossed it in. Then I took 4 slices of bacon and cut them into 1 inch pieces and added them. I put the lid on and let them cook while I trimmed the stalks off my kale.

I used half a bunch of curly kale or about 2 cups or so, and cut into thing strips. I find it easiest to trip by folding it in half and sliding a thin boning knife along the rib. It’s not as fast as with the bigger knife, but I actually manage to remove most of the ribs instead of pretending I did. This takes so long that by the time the kale is trimmed and cut into small shreds and 1 fresh, juicy tomato has been quartered and diced, the onions and bacon are done and ready for them. Toss everything in and put the lid back on. Clean up your mess and get your bowl ready. When the kale is tender and the tomatoes are cooked, sprinkle some balsamic vinegar on and some salt and pepper to taste and serve. It has a rich, savory flavor with a bit of tang from the garlic and some freshness from the balsamic. It’s delish.

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta

Mint, Melon and Feta Salad

This is a delicious salad recipe I learned from Food Network’s show Aarti Party featuring the fabulously tasty food of Aarti Sequeira. Her recipe is on their web site here. I pretty much followed their recipe exactly except I added a bit more sumac and I mixed the honey into the lime juice before putting the juice on the salad. My honey is raw and wouldn’t just easily pour.

I love watermelon, so much so that I have resisted all watermelon salad recipes thinking that it’s silly to mess with the perfect food, but the flavor combination intrigued me. It’s such a perfect blend of tart from the lemon and a hint our sour from the sumac and the creamy tang of the cheese all with the luscious melons and the bit of bite from the limes. The sum is truly greater than the parts, it’s plain amazing.

 

 

 

Sauteed Arctic Cod with Cucumber Salad

Sauteed Arctic Cod with Cucumber Salad

I washed the cucumber and sliced it thinly on a mandoline. I took half a sweet onion and did the same. I chopped a tomato into small pieces. Tossed in a bit of vinegar and some salt and pepper and a 1/4th of a dried chili pepper and called it tasty.

For the torsk or Arctic cod, I melted 1/2 TBSP of butter in a saute pan. I added the cod fillet and cooked lightly on one side. Turning it over, I grated fresh  nutmeg over the fish. I know most folks think of nutmeg for baking, but nutmeg is so delicious on cod. Nothing tastes better than the piquant bite of nutmeg,  but be sure it’s fresh  nutmeg. I think the reason most people only use nutmeg for baking is that they are using the mild, dry and not nearly so tasty ground nutmeg in a jar.

It cooks quickly, serve it with the remaining butter in the pan and the salad on the side.

Mushroom Red Pepper Ravioli with Steak

Sirloin Steak with Mushroom and Red Pepper Ravioli

I love a good steak every once in a while and thought a ravioli side would go well with it.  I started out by putting a bit of pepper, salt and garlic powder in a tbsp of olive oil and rubbing it on the steak.

Meanwhile in another pan I chopped up 1/2 onion, a clove of garlic and a pinch of oregano and set them to cooking in a TBSP of olive oil on medium heat. When the onions turned transparent, I started heating a small pan to cook the steak in. I wanted the pan hot before adding the steak so I could get a nice sear. I gave it a short squirt of olive oil spray to lightly coat the pan to avoid sticking. I put the steak on and cooked about 5 minutes per side, using a spoon to put the butter back on the steak over and over. I removed from the pan and set on the plate to rest.

Back to the pasta, I sliced two mushrooms and one-fourth of a roasted red pepper and tossed them in. I put a pan of water on to boil for the ravioli. When the mushrooms and red peppers were about done, I added 1 TBSP of mustard and stirred it in and tossed the ravioli in the pot. The ravioli was done in about 5 minutes. Strained, I stirred it into the mushroom, red pepper sauce and served with the steak, grating a bit of parmesan on top.