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Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

For Christmas, I received the Toro Bravo cookbook and although there are many pages ear-marked, this is the first recipe I’ve made from it. And I have to say, although I deviated a bit from the recipe (and took some shortcuts), this was delicious!

I did add some yellow bell pepper and (full disclosure) I used a bag of cubed Trader Joe’s butternut squash (because I had some and I needed to use it). I can only imagine how awesome this would be with freshly cubed squash. If you use a big squash and you have more than 12 oz cubed, just use extra cream and harissa, or straight-up double the rest of the ingredients.

This is great on the side of some grilled fish or chicken. Or just add a huge salad and make it a vegetarian meal. Also, definitely get the book for the original recipe — it will be even better! (Spoiler: there’s butter involved).

* Ingredient note: The original recipe calls for Rose Petal Harissa, which you can find at PastaWorks if you live in Portland. I used the Harissa paste in the yellow tube. That worked great, although, it is a bit . . . → Read More: Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

Farro with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa

Farro with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa

In writing an intro for this recipe, I was going to link to all of the other farro recipes I’ve made but then I realized that I’ve only posted about one other — Farrotto with Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Saffron. Maybe I’m thinking of spelt? I do enjoy that whole grain a whole lot (see what I did there)?

So. Yeah. Farro. I have a HUGE container of it at home and I’ve decided it’s time to start working my way through that. And a good option for that 2014 project is to use farro instead of pasta on occasion. Of course, farro is nothing like pasta and it will certainly be a different dish, but the results can be just as tasty. Take this roasted broccoli rabe recipe, for instance.

The grains of farro get plump and chewy and mix well with the still slightly-bitter rabe and spicy harissa. A little goat cheese on top adds some creaminess. Delicious! Roasted broccoli rabe gets a little crunchy in parts, almost like kale chips, so you do need to keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven.

And while you can . . . → Read More: Farro with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa

FFwD: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

FFwD: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

This post will be fairly short and sweet as I’m on location in Seattle for IFBC tonight. In fact, just now, coming back up to my hotel room, I walked right past Dorie in the lobby!

Anyway, I liked these peppers a lot. I ended up using a can of Trader Joe’s smoked trout for the tuna, but only because I had that and I didn’t have any tuna (and it seemed close enough). Plus, I think the smoked fish complimented the peppers quite well. The only other thing I did differently, is that I sprinkled my peppers with a little smoked paprika before putting them under the broiler.

Oh yeah, and I added garlic to the fish-olive-lemon-parsley mix. My photos are below and here’s a link to everyone’s posts.

And as always, recipe’s for French Fridays with Dorie can be found in the cookbook, Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

FFwD: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

FFwD: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

FFwD: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

FFwD: Tuna Packed <span style= . . . → Read More: FFwD: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

Almond Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco) with Mango & Crispy Prosciutto

Almond Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco)

Wow, I can’t ever remember a summer in Portland being so humid. Because of that (and also just because I love — LOVE– fall), I seriously can’t wait for the weather to get colder. Until then, there’s gazpacho. Yes, it’s usually made with tomatoes, cucumber, and peppers, and while that version is completely delicious, there’s something to be aid about the version with bread, almonds, and garlic. And that something is, Mmmmm.

You can use plain old white bread, but if you live by a Trader Joe’s you may want to get a loaf of the round, small rosemary bread and use that. Or just add some rosemary leaves while blending. While not exactly traditional, the flavor of that herb is really good in this gazpacho.

Green grapes are the typical garnish, but I found diced mango or grilled fig halves to be just as tasty. Also, some crumbled, crisp prosciutto, using this recipe.

The gazpacho recipe is from one of my most favorite cookbooks of all time — The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen. If you don’t have it, I highly recommend it. I have made so many amazing recipes from . . . → Read More: Almond Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco) with Mango & Crispy Prosciutto

Portland Food Adventures: Levant

Portland Food Adventures: Levant

Monday evening we went to the Portland Food Adventure’s dinner at Levant. Have you ever gone to one of these? If not, you really should. There’s at least five courses and the chef (in this case, Scott Snyder), will tell you about the food you’re eating, the restaurant, and their favorite places to eat in Portland. And at the end of the night, you get gift cards to those places! It’s a pretty sweet deal.

Here are my main thoughts on this event at Levant: there was a lot of sun, the food was amazing, there were multiple dessert courses. Win! Unlike the equally delicious Gruner meal, everything Monday night was plated separately and while it maybe took a bit longer that way, the plates were just stunning. The menu is listed below and then my photos follow.

I think if I had to pick a favorite course (and I really liked them all), I’d have to go with the cheese and bread course because, well, it’s cheese. And bread.

Passed Canapes and The Phoenician (cocktail).

First Course: Spot Prawn Crudo, Preserved Lemon & Arak Sorbet, Pickled Chili, Mint Oil.
Wine: Getariako Txakolina, Ameztoi, Hondaribbi Zuri 2012.

Second . . . → Read More: Portland Food Adventures: Levant