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Portland, Oregon food blog with many years worth of recipes, restaurant features, and food photos.

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National Kale Day: Chicken Kale Pasta (Casserole) with Apple & Bacon

Chicken Kale Pasta with Apple & Bacon

Kale, like brussels sprouts, fish sauce, and swiss chard, is an ingredient that I discovered that I liked later rather than sooner. I don’t even think I started with the now ubiquitous kale chips — I think it was maybe braised kale at a restaurant, and only about three years ago.

Did you know October 2nd is (possibly) National Kale Day? I think that it’s not quite an official thing yet, so let’s all try to make it happen! Until then, I’m just going to pretend that Wednesday IS National Kale Day and celebrate with this kale post.

This casserole is hearty and comforting, just want you want on a cold, windy day that we’ve been having a lot of here in Portland lately. jwa thought it needed a bit more spice, but I thought it worked nicely just as is – creamy, a little bacony-y, and of course, kale-y. People who think it needs some extra spicy heat can always add their own hot sauce.

This would also be extremely easy to make vegetarian — just omit the chicken and bacon. But then, you probably could have figured that out on . . . → Read More: National Kale Day: Chicken Kale Pasta (Casserole) with Apple & Bacon

A Late Summer Dinner at 3 Doors Down Café (or: Yes, August is a Perfect Time for Pasta!)

Dinner at 3 Doors Down, Portland, OR

3 Doors Down Café
1429 SE 37th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97214

We actually live close enough to 3 Doors Down to walk there, the problem is, we tend to forget about going there most of the time. Why? I have no idea — every meal we’ve had there has been wonderful. Maybe it’s just because over the last couple of years, when we think walkable dinner, we are always concentrating on SE Division Street.

But, this fall and winter, I am definitely remembering to throw 3 Doors Down into the mix for dinner. Every time we go we get the scallops to start and they are always amazing. Amazing. The recent summer version with seared peaches and basil cream sauce is no exception.

And it’s funny, but every other time we’ve gone there in the past, I’d never gotten pasta as my main course. I always chose the chicken, or pork, or whatever. Not this time! Apparently, summer is pasta weather because I decided to get the rustichella ceppo with ground chicken, rapini, mushrooms, and pancetta — it was so good and creamy. And pancetta-y. jwa got the pasta special and he was . . . → Read More: A Late Summer Dinner at 3 Doors Down Café (or: Yes, August is a Perfect Time for Pasta!)

White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

This was a recent meal at our house and even though I accidentally made two “errors” with it, the meal was still delicious. So, I think we’ll call this one both forgiving and versatile.

Error number one was not realizing this recipe made two cake pans worth of polenta (not a big deal as the other polenta is safely in the freezer awaiting a dinner soon) and error number two was baking the polentas in the cake pans. Also not a big deal since, as far as I can tell, it worked out fine. Lessons learned: if you’re just trying to feed two, just make a half recipe of the below and for possibly crispier polenta, turn them out onto a baking sheet. But you know, no big deal.

That all said, the versatility comes in by really being able to top these pizzas with anything you might normally put on a pizza. Mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, lamb sausage, feta — it’s completely adjustable to the season and whatever you’re in the mood for eating!

White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

White Polenta <span style= . . . → Read More: White Polenta with Sausage, Chard and Fresh Mozzarella

Cibo Italian Restaurant in SE Portland

Cibo pdx

In the last few months (year, maybe? I am bad at judging time), it seems that my stretch of SE Division street has just exploded with new places — Ava Gene’s, Xico, Lauretta Jean’s, Sunshine Tavern, Cibo. And I’m sure there’s more I’m even forgetting. Of this group, we’ve been to Cibo twice so far and I can’t wait to go again. It was a bit crowded on a Tuesday night for our last visit, so we started at the bar and moved to the table when one opened up.

Cibo
3539 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97214

On that visit, we split the octopus dish as a starter and I think it’s my favorite plate featuring octopus in Portland right now. A great char, nice and tender, on a plate full of creamy beans, herbs and lemon. It changes from time-to-time (right now I think it’s on a bed of potatoes) but it’s definitely worth checking out no matter what version it is.

We also split the Caesar salad, which was also good and recommended, but the pizza. Oh my! Get the pizza. They are definitely big enough to share, but if you get one per person, you can try . . . → Read More: Cibo Italian Restaurant in SE Portland

FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades

FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie was a very interesting thing indeed — so interesting, in fact, that I am a day late in getting the post up.

Cod and Spinach Roulades — a spinach and onion filling, wrapped up in fish mousse, steamed and served with tomato sauce and pesto. Kind of like an Italian-French fish tamale?

I don’t see the recipe officially online, so I can’t link to it, but it can be found in the cookbook, Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

Notes:
1. I did not use plastic wrap. I know that it is probably fine, but I just don’t like the idea of wrapping plastic around food and then heating it. So…I used parchment paper. And it was moderately successful. It did let some steam/condensation in while steaming, but the fish still held together fine.

2. No cream on hand and didn’t want to go buy some for such a small amount, so I used a mixture of full-fat Greek yogurt and non-fat milk for a substitute. It seemed to work. I also substituted some plain lemon zest for the preserved lemon zest.

3. Plating was not as . . . → Read More: FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades