Warning: This post is recipe heavy. But don’t worry, there are lots of pictures.
So I have always wanted to cook with my own vegetable broth, I have just never had the time/energy to make my own. But when I made soup the other day (http://wp.me/p1Y51C-U) it occurred to me that it would be much better with homemade vegetable broth. The slow cooker makes it so easy to make broth. I turned it on before bed and when I woke up there was my broth. All I had to do was strain it. Easy as pie!
Picture of the vegetable broth before bed.
We are saving most of the broth to make the Potato Leek soup again, but here is the first thing we (and by we I mean my lovely wife) made with it. This recipe is adapted from the Saveur magazine website (more on how much I love Saveur later). It is always interesting to make things vegetarian, especially when the recipe calls for far rendering
Penne with Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries, and Caramelized Onion:
2 tbls olive oil
3 oz. of morningstar bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 dry white cooking wine (the original recipe called for vermouth, but unless you already have it sitting around, you can just use white wine)
1 cup vegetable broth (made at home in the slow cooker!)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (we ran out and used some raisins in addition to the cranberries, delicious)
6 oz. of penne (original recipe called for fettuccine, but it was great with penne)
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat 1 tbls of the oil in a large heavy bottom skillet (we used our beautiful orange dutch oven). Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Set bacon aside.
2. Add the other tbls of oil turn the heat to medium-high. Put the Brussels sprouts in, cut-side down and cook until they are brown. Then add the onion and toss to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the broth, wine, and cranberries and bring to a fast simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sprouts are soft.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to the skillet and toss continuously over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed (if its too dry, that is what the reserved cooking water is for.) Season with salt and pepper and serve with the Parmesan and bacon on top. Delicious
We have been feeding the baby greek yogurt, but clearly she eats it slowly so I figured I had to do something with the leftover yogurt. I went to my trusty Moosewood cookbook and found a ridiculous recipe for Cardamom Coffee Cake. However, it is supposed to be made in a budnt pan, which we don’t have. So I thought I would cut the recipe in half and try to make muffins. A great success.
Here is the recipe as I made it: Cardamom Coffee Cake Muffins (makes 12)
2 sticks of butter (OMG so much butter, delicious!)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
1 cup yogurt (she says you can also use sour cream or buttermilk)
1/8 cup of brown sugar (I eyeballed it in a 1/4 cup measuring cup, cause who has a 1/8 measuring cup?)
1 1/5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 and fill muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl (I used the Kitchen Aid) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Then add the vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients (not including the nut mixture).
4. Add the flour mixture, 1/3 of it at a time, alternating with the yogurt. Stir just enough to blend after each addition. Do not overmix. At this point I stopped using the Kitchen Aid, took the bowl off the stand, and mixed with a wooden spoon.
5. Combine the nut mixture. I used the magic bullet!
6. In the muffin tin, fill each tin half full with the batter, then a layer of the nut mixture, then the rest of the batter on top. They will be full to the brim. Spread flat (as best you can).
7. Bake for 30 minutes. Make sure a knife comes out completely clean to check if they are done. Let cool.
In the muffin tin and out. See the layer of the nut mixture? Yummy!
Also, just a note. If you happen to make chocolate cookies, and you have leftovers, and you happen to have some mint chocolate chip ice cream in the fridge, and your wife is a genius, you should make these: