Brussels Sprouts in Brown Butter Sauce & Bratwurst

Steamed Brussels Sprouts in Brown Butter Sauce and Bratwurst

As I have said many times, I am a lazy cook. I also don’t have lots of gadgets. One item I don’t have is a veggie steamer, but I just use a colander inside my pan instead. To make this, I put some water on to boil. While it was heating, I cut the ends off and quartered 10 brussels sprouts and put them in a metal strainer/colander. By then the water was boiling, to clean fewer pans, I tossed the two links of bratwurst in to cook and put the strainer on top of them and put a lid on. The strainer handle made the lid uneven, but that really didn’t matter that much in steaming these fast cooking veggies.

I put a small nonstick pan on medium high and chopped up 2 TBSP of almonds and tossed them in the un-greased pan to roast, shaking the almonds so the flavor bloomed but they didn’t char. I set them aside and added 1 TBSP of butter to the pan, swirling the pan to keep it cooking very evenly and cooked until the butter turned brown. This gives it a rich nutty flavor. I poured the brown butter in a bowl, added 1 tsp of dill weed, salt, pepper and reamed half a lemon into the bowl. I then tossed the brussels sprouts, which were now done, in the bowl. I took the bratwurst and tossed them in the pan for a few seconds to brown a bit.

Bratwurst always tastes good with any of the brassica cultivars, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, etc. It’s a perfect complement. Brown butter is such a flavorful and easy sauce and I love the flavor you get when you mix it with lemon. This sauce is also delicious on pasta. And just two small pans to clean.


Fresh Tomato Basil Soup & Turkey Burger

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup & Turkey Burger

In sauce pan, add 1 TBSP of olive oil, 2 garlic gloves and 1/4 cup of yellow onion, chopped. Salt and pepper. Cook until softened. Meanwhile chop up 2 tomatoes and toss in and cook until they start breaking down. Add 1/4 of chopped fresh basil and ream a lemon into the pan. Add about 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer and let cook down. Add salt and pepper. Puree and serve.

At the same time as you add the basil, heat a skillet to medium and make a patty with ground turkey flavored with some salt, pepper and garlic powder. I added some pepper jack when I turned it over. Toasted a ciabatta bun, and made a burger with some mayo, mustard, lettuce and the patty. I sliced it in half to make it easier to eat.

Torsk & Vegan Wheatberry Salad

Vegan Wheatberry Salad & Sauteed Cod

Add 1 cup of wheatberries and a tsp of salt to 2 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil, reduce to a low simmer, cover and let cook for an hour. Check to make sure it doesn’t burn, adding more water if necessary. Strain and rinse in cold water and set aside.

In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of chopped onions with 1 red pepper, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 serrano chili and 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped. Squeeze the juice of 1 fresh lime and add 2 to 3 TBSP of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the wheatberries and refrigerate until it’s time to serve. This makes 4 servings – but only gets better the second day.

I get frozen Alaskan cod from Schwann’s because it’s easy, convenient and delicious and it’s as close as someone in Portland can get to torsk (Arctic cod). If you live in Minnesota or North Dakota, you can probably get torsk more easily. I thawed the fillet, added 1/2 tbsp of butter to a saute pan, tossed in the cod and sprinkled salt, pepper, dill weed and paprika on it and let it cook lighting on one side for 3 minutes, turned to cook another minute on the other side and then plated. I added a large serving of the wheatberry salad on the side.

The torsk was, as always, light and flaky. The paprika gives it a nice smokiness and the dill adds a bit of freshness. The salad was crunchy and fresh with plenty of heat from the serrano and a bright tang from the limes. I love the flavor of lime and chili together and this salad was a great medium for those flavors.

Hungarian Mushroom Noodles

Hungarian Mushroom Noodles

Heat saute pan to medium, add 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 tBSP of chopped onions and 2 large mushrooms sliced in half and then sliced into 1/4 slices. Add salt, pepper and 1 TBSP of paprika. Cook until tender. Add 6 ounces of ground turkey. Put a sauce pan of water on to boil. When the meat is browned, add 1 TBSP of tamari sauce, 4 TBSPs of sour cream, 1 TBSP of dill weed and juice of 1/2 fresh lemon. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add noodles to the boiling water, they will cook quickly. Meanwhile, taste the sauce and add paprika to taste. Drain the pasta and toss the sauces with it.

Velvet Green Bean Casserole

The Velvet Green Bean Casserole

While I was at The Velvet last night, I started cooking supper during Lux’ set. I tossed 2 cloves of minced garlic and 2 TBSP of chopped onion plus 1 jalapeño into a medium heat skillet with 1 TSBP of olive oil. I added salt and pepper and let them start to saute. I sliced a bratwurst sausage into 1/2 inch wide pieces and tossed them in. I then chopped up a tomato and tossed it in as well.

While they cooked, I asked for direction from the folks at the Velvet, where I was with the meal, I could go any direction, but was dithering between kale and green beans. They all said green beans, so I added 1 cup of green beans, 1 oz of ground parmesan and 1 TBSP of green salsa. I added a bit of salt and pepper. I sauteed and then just before serving squeezed in the juice of one fresh lemon.

It was a delicious meal with a bit of heat from the chili and salsa, some fresh tang from the lemons and tomatoes and the hearty umami of the bratwurst and green beans.

Tomato-Zucchini Tortellini

Tomato-Zucchini Pasta

In a saute pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 diced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp chopped onion and 1 serrano pepper diced small. Saute until tender and add 3 chopped mushroom and 6 oz of ground turkey. Saute until brown.

Start water boiling for tortellini. Add and cook until they all float.

Add 1 diced tomato and 1 chopped zucchini and juice of 1/2 fresh lemon to the mix in the saute pan. Cook down to a sauce and stir in cooked tortellini.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a hearty, flavor-rich chicken noodle soup that keeps the noodles nice and tender – even when reheated.

First, rinse a whole chicken in the sink and pull out any organ parts and neck bones that may be stuffed inside. Put the whole chicken and parts in a stock pot with 1 chopped onion and a bay leaf. Add some salt and pepper. Cover with water and cook over medium heat until tender. Remove from the stock and set aside to cool.

Add 1/2 pound of mushrooms, salt and pepper and 2 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of curry powder. Add about 8 oz of green beans, fresh or frozen. Let cook while the meat cools. Then removed the chicken from the bones. Put the white meat aside for salads and other dishes and put the dark meat back in the soup.

In another pan, boil water and cook the noodles until done, rinse in cold water, store in a sealed container and add to the soup when it’s reheate so that it remains al dente.

Tuna Melt & Salad

Tuna Melt

Use a small can of white albacore tuna in water and drain the water off. I rinse in a colander and squeeze the water out of the tuna before putting it in a bowl. You will want to use a storage bowl for mixing this up because it makes two sandwiches, not one. Add 2 TBSP of diced yellow onion and 8 chopped up olives with pimento (or 2 TBSP of sliced black salad olives if you prefer) and 2 ounces of pepper jack cheese sliced into 1/4 inch bits. Season with some salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Add 2 tsp of mustard and 2 tbsp of mayo and juice of half a lemon. Stir all together and spread on both sides of a ciabatta bun or a Kaiser roll and bake at 350° F for 15 minutes or so – until lightly browned on top.

Put the lid on the remainder for a second meal.

I served with a simple salad of romaine, red grapes, feta, pecans and a bit of oil & vinegar dressing.

Ground Turkey with Apples, Mushrooms & Pecans on Herb Fettucini

Turkey, Apples, Mushroom & Pecans with Herbed Noodles

I noticed an apple in the crisper that was no longer crisp. It was a bit old and wrinkly and sure to be not a crispy, juicy snack, so I decided I needed to cook it up with something. One apple wasn’t enough for a tart and I don’t care for applesauce or cooked apples on Swedish pancakes, so I decided to add it to a savory dish. Now this will make two servings, but I was not going to use only half an apple. It will make a nice lunch to reheat at work.

I put 1 TBSP of olive oil in a saute pan on medium. I added 1 crushed garlic clove and 1.4 cup of diced onions. I cooked until tender. I chopped up one small jalapeño and tossed that in with some salt and pepper and a bit of cardamom. I then chopped up two crimini mushrooms and added them. I let them get about half cooked and added 7 ounces of ground turkey and let it all cook together.

Meanwhile I started some water boiling with a bit of salt. When it hit a rolling boil I tossed in some fresh herb fettucini (it was on sale at New Seasons).

I chopped up the apple and tossed it in with the meat and mushrooms along with 1/4 cup of pecans. I added 1/4 or so of white wine and let simmer until the apples were tender, but not soft.

I strained the pasta and served the turkey and fixings on top. It has a great flavor mix. The heat from the jalapeño is very mild, but nicely balances the sweet tendency of the apple. The pecans and mushrooms provide a nice earthy flavor that is well-balanced by the wine and the cardamom lifts the ground turkey, giving it some zest. I will definitely be making this again.

Broccoli and Bacon

This is a quick and easy lunch that’s very tasty. Take two slices of bacon and slice into one inch pieces. Heat skillet to medium, toss in the bacon slice along with about 2 TBSP of diced onion and some salt and pepper. Let that cook until the onions turn soft. Meanwhile, take two stalks of broccoli and peel the stems. Cut off the florets and slice the stem into 1/4 inch coins. If you peel the stem, it is more tender and does not have a bitter taste. Toss them into the pan with the bacon, add some salt and pepper and put a lid on it, lowering the temp to a low-medium. In five minutes, take the lid off, test for doneness, stir and if necessary, cover and cook a few minutes more. When the broccoli is tender, add the juice from one fresh-squeezed lemon which will offset the bacon fat beautifully. Serve. It has a lovely, fresh flavor and the mix of bacon and lemon is always delicious.