Brassicas Bowls

When I make birthday dinners for friends I always aim for new recipes. I was flipping through a Bon Appetit and there was a recipe at the very beginning that was from a chef or that somebody had submitted. It just sounded great and was definitely up my friend’s alley based on ingredients — you can’t go wrong with stuff like hummus, kale, Brussels sprouts, avocado (a lot of green here) and more… It was Brassicas Bowl.

Ingredients
4 Servings

4 large eggs (I didn’t use these as I opted to serve the dish with pan seared tuna)
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
½ bunch curly kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds, divided (great to grab them from salad bars if you don’t want a whole bunch)
½ cup hummus
1 avocado, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Crushed red pepper flakes (for serving)

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Preparation

Cook eggs in a large saucepan of boiling water for 7 minutes (whites will be set and yolks still slightly soft). Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water and let sit until cool. Drain; peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 500°. Toss broccolini with 1 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt. Roast, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and charred in spots, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Whisk shallot, vinegar, mustard, and remaining 4 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl (large bowl is key because of all the other ingredients you’re going to add — I had to change the bowl several times because of the volume of greens!) until emulsified; season with salt. Add kale and Brussels sprouts and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Massage kale until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add roasted broccolini and 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds; toss again.

Swipe some hummus along the inside of each bowl with a spoon. Divide salad among bowls and add an avocado wedge and 2 reserved egg halves to each. Top with chives, sesame seeds, and remaining sunflower seeds; sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

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This salad was delicious. So many flavors and very hearty. The tuna on top was great, so much more flavor than an egg! Will definitely be making this again. And it was enjoyed with a bubbly red (one of my favorite types of wines, and hard to find sometimes). It was the I Quercioli Dolce Reggiano Lambrusco DOC.  Some nice bubbles, not overly sweet and some nice fruit notes.

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Beer, basil & bread

Beer, basil & bread…sounds like some kind of heaven to me.

So when I was making a dinner menu for the other night I decided that I really wanted to bake some bread to pair with the pork tenderloin I was craving. A recipe I had used a long time ago popped into my mind and then it was a matter of finding it…Basil Beer Bread. It’s from an issue of Real Simple in 2006! What’s great about this recipe is that you don’t have to think too far ahead because the stuff doesn’t have to rise.

Ingredients

Olive oil for the baking sheet
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan — I used Manchego
1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale — ok, total side note, somebody brought non alcoholic beer to a party at my place once. It’s been sitting around for awhile. Finally got to get rid of some of it here!
flour for the work surface
1 cup chopped or torn fresh basil

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Directions

Heat oven to 400° F. Oil a baking sheet. In the bowl of a standing mixer on low, or in a large bowl using a spoon, combine the flour, yeast, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.

Add the beer and mix just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the basil and knead gently just until incorporated. Shape the dough into a round loaf and transfer to the prepared sheet.
Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

The loaf is heavy! Definitely not light and fluffy but totally delicious! Paired perfectly with the tenderloin and roasted Brussels sprouts.

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Cheapskate Roasting?

So I really wanted a roasted bell pepper recently. And ok, I don’t have a gas stove (grrr) and I didn’t feel like throwing the pepper in the oven for awhile. So I decided to have fun in the kitchen. I love to cook, so why not play more.  The pictures explain it all. I had every single fan on in my kitchen and brought in two others and had them on at top speed. Also had several windows open. I did not want the fire alarm to go off or any neighbors to wonder. In the end, the pepper was perfect!

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Sour Grapes

I was recently told about a wine documentary released last year, Sour Grapes.

            image source: sourgrapesfilm.com

 

What’s it about? Straight from the site (love to copy & paste):

With pockets full of cash, charisma and a preternatural memory for vintages, an unassuming young Rudy Kurniawan earns the reputation of a wine savant, surrounding himself with some of high society’s most fervent wine connoisseurs. But when Bill Koch, a top US collector,and, Laurent Ponsot, a Burgundian wine producer, discover suspicious bottles, a humorous and suspenseful investigation begins into one of the most ingenious cons of our time.

I will say, I buy affordable wine. I know each person has their own definition of this. The most expensive bottle I’ve purchased is $75, my normal price $10-$20. This movie was fascinating about the prices people spend on wine, what Rudy was blowing away on vino and the investigation into his family. When they were talking to Koch and Ponsot it was amazing. Then some of the jobs the people have investigating labels. Dang!

Totally worth checking this flick out. If you don’t have NetFlix, go to a friend’s place who does and take a bottle of wine to enjoy while watching.