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Greens and Bulgur Gratin…Boo!

Greens and Bulgur Gratin

Looking for a side dish or even a vegetarian meal for Meatless Monday, or something like that? Well then, look no further because I have got the dish for you! Hearty winter greens (I used a mix of only kale and spinach, but the possibilities are pretty endless) are steamed and wilted, then combined with onion, garlic, a hint of mustard and bulgur wheat and layered into a cheesy, satisfying gratin. And, you can assemble this up to baking it and keep it on the fridge overnight, so it’d be an easy side dish for Thanksgiving…or even a hearty dinner on Halloween!

Greens and Bulgur Gratin
Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet magazine; serves 2-4; easily doubled.
1/4 cup coarse bulgur
1 pound assorted greens such as kale, collard, escarole, spinach, Swiss chard, and/or mustard greens
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine or vegetable broth
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
4 oz chilled whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella, grated coarse (or a mix of provolone and mozzarella cheeses)

For topping
1/4 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
2 tsp olive oil

In a heatproof bowl pour enough boiling water over bulgur to cover by 1 . . . → Read More: Greens and Bulgur Gratin…Boo!

Xico on SE Division

Xico, SE Division, Portland, OR

Yes, as you’ll be able to tell from the photos here, we went to Xico early last month, back when there was this thing called…the sun, hanging bright in the sky. Even though it is all cold and rainy now, I suggest going to Xico and getting yourself a margarita — that will definitely lighten up the evening.

During our visit, we sat in the back patio area and enjoyed a very good meal. But really, the actual inside of the restaurant looked super cozy too. I’d imagine it will be a great place this fall and winter for a few drinks, enchiladas, quesadillas and other assorted Mexican dishes. The vibe is slightly upscale and authentic Mexican fare (sort of like Nuestra Cocina further down on Division) but Xico is a shorter walk for us in the rain, so that is a definite bonus. I liked it and would definitely go again.

They also have lunch and a lunch window. I think my new goal is to try a Sonoran hot dog (Grilled Nathan’s all beef frank, bacon, salsa verde, eye-of-goat beans, cotija, crema, pico de gallo) one day very, very soon!

Xico
3715 SE Division . . . → Read More: Xico on SE Division

FFwD: Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes (Figs)

French Fridays with Dorie Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes (Figs)

French Fridays this week features a tagine, which is a dish that I love. This one has chicken and sweet potatoes, along with prunes or…hmmm, let’s maybe just say figs. That’s what I had already, so that’s what I used for the dish (and these Around my French Table recipes do seem to be fairly forgiving ingredient substitution).

I do look forward to making tagines on account of my super-awesome Emile Henry tagine (the result of a gift card to Sur la Table), so this FFwD was an extra special treat for me.

Notes:
1. I replaced the 1/2 cup water with wine because, why not?
2. I deglazed the pan that I browned the chicken in with the stock and then added the saffron to that, before adding it to the tagine (for some reason, I think I’ve heard to add saffron to liquids first). Plus, I really didn’t want to waste any flavor from the chicken-browning pan.
3. There was garlic added (duh).
4. We had this with whole wheat couscous.
5. I liked the flavor a lot, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the French are just not . . . → Read More: FFwD: Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes (Figs)

Ninja Cooking System: Lemon Chicken with Rosemary

Ninja Cooking System Lemon Chicken with Rosemary

Last August, I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference* in Portland, OR (a short 20 block trip) and had a really wonderful time. Lots of interesting and useful sessions (some with wine!), met some new food people, reconnected with some food bloggers I mainly knew from the online world and….got a free Ninja Cooking System!

The Ninja Cooking System is sort of like a crockpot that also sears, steams and oven roasts food. You can set it for slow cooking or stove top cooking and I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. But, I’ve tried it twice now and both times, it worked really well. The first experiment was for a traditional crock pot-like meal — African Peanut Stew and it performed exactly like a slow cooker would. So, good job, Ninja!

Ninja Cooking System Lemon Chicken with Rosemary

The second experiment was a bit more challenging — I tried a recipe that came in the accompanying recipe booklet for Lemon Chicken with Rosemary, which they categorize as steam-infused roasting. Now, in a traditional slow cooker, I would expect this to come out like a pale, . . . → Read More: Ninja Cooking System: Lemon Chicken with Rosemary

A Fall Brunch: Smoked Salmon, Capers & Cream Cheese Quiche

Smoked Salmon Quiche

On Friday jwa brought some home some seafood graciously supplied by his friend Kevin at work (previously, he had been given some Crab that Kevin caught while crabbing). This time it was some freshly-caught salmon that had then been smoked here in town.

My initial idea for the smoked salmon was bagels and cream cheese but then I remembered this quiche recipe that I made all the time in the late 90s. It was a recipe from a 1996 issue of Cooking Light magazine and it might sound kind of weird, but it really works.

Now normally quiche is (of course, delicious) but also filled with cream, eggs and cheese and then poured into a buttery and white flour laden crust. So, so good but not really anything you can eat and not feel like you have to go on a 5 mile walk afterwards. Actually, it’s really rainy right now so I decided to lighten up the quiche instead. Plus, this recipe brings quiche into the realm of everyday eating, rather than just a high fat splurge.

Step One: Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust from Chocolate & Zucchini. This is the most awesome whole . . . → Read More: A Fall Brunch: Smoked Salmon, Capers & Cream Cheese Quiche