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Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

 

Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Cream Polenta // Karista's Kitchen

 

When I dream about sitting down to the perfect meal, paired with the perfect wine, this Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta and a glass of Yao Ming 2013 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon rings my dinner bell to the core. 

There is something so completely indulgent about sitting down to a plate of beef short ribs.  It’s on my Sunday supper menu at least once a month during the fall and winter months and for good reason.  Typically it’s a simple meal to prepare and it pairs deliciously with creamy polenta, rice or gnocchi.  I’m a huge polenta fan, so if I’m cooking, the side dish is creamy polenta. 🙂 Although this recipe is exquisite in flavor as well as presentation, it can be served as fancy or as casually as you like.

I created this dish with Five Spice Powder along with traditional aromatics and dry red wine because I felt the flavors could definitely live up to the bold notes of the gorgeous Yao Ming 2013 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (and I adore Five Spice Powder). “The 2013 vintage will prove to be one of the most outstanding in Napa history, and this wine is one of the most artful expressions of the vintage. 96% Cabernet, 100% new French oak for 24 months. An absolute classic in the making”.

Five Spice Braised Beef Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta // Karista's Kitchen

I am completely in love with this wine.  Yes, they sent me a bottle to “taste test” for this recipe, and I was oh so happy to do that taste testing. Pure heaven. Ranger Craig and I sipped and savored every last drop of this wine.  So impressive and unlike any Cabernet Sauvignon my palate has ever had the pleasure of tasting. If you’re looking for that special gift for that special someone in your life or you want to add to your fabulous wine collection, this is the wine to purchase.

I hope your holidays have been joyous!  I wish you loads of love, delicious food and everything warm and cozy in life.

Karista

Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

Serving Size: 4

Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

  • 8-10 beef short ribs (I serve 2-3 short ribs per person)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup of corn starch
  • 2-4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or microgreens for garnish
  • For the Creamy Polenta
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ -1 cup quick cook polenta (or according to package directions)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and then dust them with the corn starch. Place a Dutch oven over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons ghee or oil. When the ghee/oil is hot but not smoking, brown the short ribs. You will need to do this in batches as placing too many short ribs into the pot at once will lower the temperature on the bottom of the pot and the short ribs won’t brown.

Transfer the browned short ribs to a platter and then add additional ghee/oil if needed to the pot. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are wilted. Then stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Stir in the Chinese Five Spice Powder, bay leaves, tomato paste and bottle of wine, about 4 cups of wine. Add the browned short ribs back to the pot and liquid and then add enough beef broth to cover the short ribs completely.

Cover the Dutch oven and place it into the oven and braise for about 2 hours. After 2 hours check the beef to see if it is fork tender. If not, place it back in the oven for another 30 minutes and then check again.

Once the short ribs are done, remove them from the pot and strain the liquid. Put the liquid into the pot and then add the short ribs back into the liquid. Keep the short ribs warm over low heat while you prepare the polenta.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the three cups of milk and two tablespoons butter, stirring occasionally until the milk comes to a boil. Then add the ½- 1 cup of quick cook polenta, depending on the package instructions. Cook the polenta for 3-5 minutes and then take it off the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, pour the polenta onto a platter and place the short ribs over the polenta and then drizzle the sauce over the short ribs, or serve the sauce on the side. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or micro greens.

Notes

Braised beef short ribs are never short on flavor and remain one of the most sumptuous beef dishes one could serve. This recipe uses a fragrant Chinese Five Spice Powder along with traditional aromatics and dry red wine which lives up to the bold notes of this gorgeous cabernet sauvignon. The braised beef ribs are served over creamy polenta which balances flavor and texture for a lush and enticing meal.

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Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Holiday Cheese Board

Holiday Cheese Board with Nibbles // Karista's Kitchen

 

If there is one moment during the year that no one will ever question how long you (I) linger around the hors d’oeuvre table, it’s during the holidays when the table is loaded with glorious amounts of creamy, lush cheese.  After all, what can be more fun than nibbling on new types of cheese or an excuse to indulge in your favorite cheese?

Putting together a holiday cheese board couldn’t be simpler.  I like to include at least five kinds of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard from different regions of the US or International.  You could always create a “local” cheese board with cheese made only from your region.  This would be a delicious way to support not only your local cheese makers but introduce your guests to the cheese produced in your area.

I also like to assemble an international cheese board, sort of “around the world in cheese”.  This is delectable fun and creates interesting conversation around the food table.  It’s also a great way to introduce guests to new cheese!

Holiday Cheese Board with Nibbles // Karista's Kitchen

I like to label the cheese on the holiday cheese board and if there is room on the label, give a short tasting description.  You can find tasting descriptions online or simply ask your local cheese specialist.  They love to talk cheese. 😉 I should know, I worked as a cheese specialist once upon a time – and I still like to talk about cheese.

When putting together your holiday cheese board be sure to add in a few extra nibbles either on the board or on platters around the board.  I recently found these lovely parmesan cheese crisp crackers that are divine when paired with cheese.  I also love an interesting selection of charcuterie paired with the cheese, possibly from your local charcuterie shop or butcher.  Assorted oil cured or stuffed olives (I adore lemon rind stuffed green olives), candied or truffle laced nuts, peppers or peppadew peppers, grapes, apple or pear slices dipped in chocolate.  A small assortment of fresh bread, crostini or crackers rounds out this lovely holiday cheese board.

A holiday cheese board makes a perfect first course for all your dinner parties or celebrations, but it can also make a fabulous last course with cocktails or aperitif.

Wishing you all a most delicious and happy holiday season!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Holiday Cheese Board

Holiday Cheese Board

Ingredients

  • Five types of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard to soft
  • Oil cured or stuffed olives
  • Charcuterie, assorted (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, pancetta, etc)
  • Fresh fruit such as grapes, pear or apple slices
  • Peppers or Peppadew Peppers (goat cheese stuffed peppadews are divine!)
  • Candied, smoked, herbed or truffled nuts
  • Assorted crackers, crostini, fresh bread, slices of pumpkin or banana bread is always fun

Instructions

On a large platter, platters or wood board, place your cheese around the board/platter, spacing it out and cutting a few slices of each to get the slicing started.

In between the cheese place bits of grapes/fruit, tiny bowls of nuts, peppers and olives, roll or stack the charcuterie and then wedge the crackers in if there is space. If not, serve the crackers, crostini, bread pieces, etc in small bowls or platters.

Label the cheese and serve. Simple and delicious!

Notes

This Holiday Cheese Board was created for Western Horse & Gun Magazine 2016 Holiday Issue.

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Appetizers Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table vegetarian

Socca (chickpea flatbread)

Socca (Chickpea Flatbread) // Karista's Kitchen

Sometimes I feel this humble blog is my somewhat ignored child.  I think about this blog all the time and I’m constantly planning a million things to post here.  But alas, paid work must come first and sometimes that work takes up most of my time… which is a good thing is it not?

You should see my list of recipes I’ve got going.  Every season I make this long list of recipes to prepare, photograph and post here for you to completely revel in and enjoy.   However, half of those recipes never make it onto the blog. The really delicious recipes that I feel you MUST have come rain or shine or snowstorm or vacation actually get posted.  Other recipes sort of hang around season after season until before I know it, it’s been a full year and the recipe is still on my “to post” list.

This Socca (chickpea flatbread) is one such recipe.  I can’t say for certain why it’s taken me so long to post this other than it often disappears before I can snap a few photos.

Socca (Chickpea Flatbread) // Karista's Kitchen

Socca is such a simple, fragrant, tasty little recipe that I prepare at least two or three times a week.  Sometimes I’ll make Socca on the weekends and we nibble on it with cheese and wine for a light dinner or snack.  My sassy gals love socca with fresh herbs and garlic as a compliment to a dinner salad or soup.

Socca is so versatile I use it for pizza crust on occasion or serve it for breakfast with fried eggs and wilted greens.

Socca, also referred to as Farinata, originated in Italy.  It’s a simple flatbread made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and typically rosemary.  Although, many versions of socca can be found all over the world.  Some recipes call for resting the batter for several hours prior to baking.  I’ve tried it both ways. Whisking the batter and baking it off within minutes of preparation. Or letting the batter sit for several hours before popping it in the oven before dinner.  Personally, I love the end result when the batter has had time to rest and flavors meld and allow all the delicious magic to happen.  But if you’re in a hurry and just need to get it in the oven, it will still taste delicious.

I’ve listed a basic socca recipe but feel free to add your favorite fresh chopped herbs, garlic, sautéed onions, shallots or garlic.  I love it simply with rosemary, salt and pepper and eaten right out of the pan.  Which is how I finally managed to photograph the socca.  I suppose I could have fancied up the photo but socca is simple goodness and truly needs nothing fancy added.  Maybe just hungry family members. 😉

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Socca (chickpea flatbread)

Serving Size: Makes 8 slices

Socca (chickpea flatbread)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or a mixture of fresh herbs or chives)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Instructions

Whisk together the chickpea flour, 3/4 cup water (adding more for a thinner flatbread), salt, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes or covered in the fridge for about 2-3 hours or overnight if you're preparing for breakfast.

When you are ready to bake the socca, pre-heat the oven to 425F. Place a 10 inch cast iron or iron skillet in the oven and let it pre-heat with the oven.

When the oven is ready, carefully remove the pre-heated skillet and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan. Pour in the socca batter.

Carefully place the skillet back in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until it's golden brown and a little cracked on top.

Remove it from the oven and slice into 8 wedges and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Salad vegetarian

Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad

Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad for the win! // Karista's Kitchen

 

Sometimes the simplest ingredients come together easily like this Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad.  

I adore warm salads during the cooler months, which is why I probably make a warm salad almost every night for dinner. I like to serve warm salads with roast beef, pork and chicken as well as  fish or shellfish.  Warm salads also make a fabulous one-dish meal.

When I make a warm salad, I use every kind of green that’s available this time of year – or any leftover leafy greens that might be growing in my fall garden. Kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, spinach and arugula are all perfectly delicious slightly warm and dressed in a sweet or spicy vinaigrette.

Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad for the win! // Karista's Kitchen

Kale and collard greens hold up best to the slight heat and vinaigrette – and they hold really well on the dinner table.  If I’m using Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens or arugula, I heat the vinaigrette first, add the delicate greens and then take the pan off the heat, tossing the greens in the warm vinaigrette.

I especially adore the flavor combination of this warm kale, Delicata squash and quinoa salad.  The slight peppery flavor of kale, sweetness of the Delicata, and nutty flavor of quinoa pair so deliciously together.  I use thinly sliced red onions for the aromatics and roasting the squash with maple syrup adds another beautiful layer of flavor.  I toss the salad in a sweet and spicy mustard vinaigrette and I like to finish this salad with pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds or dried cherries.

For me, the weeknight meal is all about taking fresh, seasonal ingredients and pairing them with a few pantry staples.  This makes dinner delicious, healthy and achievable.  Achievable is good, right? 

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad

Serving Size: 4

Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Delicata Squash, halved, seeded and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
  • 1 bunch purple or green kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the Vinaigrette
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Dash of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Toss the bite sized Delicata squash with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Place the squash in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and roast for about 15-20 minutes or until the squash is slightly soft and golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

Whisk together the 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes and dash of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad

In a skillet over medium heat, add about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and heat. When it's hot add the sliced red onion and sauté just until slightly soft. Then stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer. Fold in the chopped kale and tossing it with the onion and garlic. When the kale is warm and slightly wilted, remove the skillet from the heat and season the kale with salt and pepper. Toss the kale with the squash and quinoa, adding more vinaigrette as needed.

Transfer the warm salad to a platter or individual bowls and garnish with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cherries or cranberries. Serve.

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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad VRAI Magazine

Autumn Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Autumn Harvest Salad from A View to Delicious Magazine // Karista's Kitchen

I know I’m blasting your inbox with posts today and I’m hoping you don’t mind an extra post.  I wanted to mention that this gorgeous Autumn Harvest Salad recipe is included in our first digital food magazine, A View to Delicious!

We published A View to Delicious to highlight the bounty of the season and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  This magazine is our first issue and it won’t be our last.  We’re working on a second issue that is going to be jam-packed with even more recipes, stories, photos, tips and techniques that you won’t want to miss.  I’ll announce more about it later. 😉

Until then, A View to Delicious is on sale!  Click HERE  (and enter code “delicious 50” for 50% off ) to download your copy today and don’t miss all the delectable recipes that are so perfect for this time of year.  And so perfect for your holiday table!

As well, we have a new kitchen shop that is filled with the most unique and fun kitchen finds and so perfect for your holiday shopping.  You’ll find the link at the top of the front page under “Shop Karista’s Kitchen Store”.  Check out the new Karista’s Kitchen Fall Baking and Spice box. I love this little box for gift giving.

This beautifully curated box is perfect for the FOODIE and home chef!  The Karista’s Kitchen Fall Spice & Baking Box contains hand selected, high-quality spices that are perfect for all seasons but especially wonderful for Fall Baking! Included in the box are two packages each of fragrant smoked paprika and Korinje cinnamon and a delightful matcha green tea salt.  I completely adore the Matcha Green Tea Salt as a finishing salt for the Autumn Harvest Salad.

Also in the box are four Kilner square spice jars, crafted in the U.K., three recipes from Karista’s Kitchen and a gorgeous tea towel from Claudia Pearson or Belle & Union. Purchase the box as a hostess gift, birthday gift or gift to yourself.  Be sure to use the coupon code for 25% off this box! Coupon Code is: kkbox25

Karista's Kitchen Spice and Baking Box from the Karista's Kitchen Shop

 

Loads of love and gratitude to you all for reading and supporting Karista’s Kitchen!

Delicious Wishes,

Karista

 

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Soup vegetarian

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons // Karista's Kitchen

Can you believe I never liked tomato soup when I was a kid? I mean, really, who doesn’t love tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches? Well, I didn’t.

I’m not sure why I didn’t like tomato soup; honestly I didn’t like any kind of soup.  My mom prepared all sorts of crazy grilled cheese sandwiches just to get me to eat soup. Which I ate. That is, I ate the grilled cheese sandwiches and usually left a nearly full bowl of soup at the table.

However, somewhere along the years and with a more developed palate, I became obsessed with tomato soup.  So much that I serve tomato soup often in my kitchen and today, both my daughters love a bowl of tomato soup, tomato bisque, or just a chunky tomato stew.

For me, it was the creamy texture of tomato bisque that first caught my attention.  I was working in Boston and there was a little Italian deli down the street from where I worked that served the most lush, creamy and cheesy soup.  In a word, it was divine.  The highly entertaining and charismatic deli owner, Giovanni, served it with crusty Italian bread and butter which paired perfectly with the creamy tomato concoction.

I walked to that deli every day for my beloved tomato bisque, when finally, I realized I was developing a bit of an allergy to tomatoes.  I seriously had to back off the soup for a while. Thankfully at that time, spring was making an appearance and my soup days would hopefully be limited with the warmer weather.

Of course, I continue to eat tomato soup – just not every day. I enjoy it the most when the weather is cool and rainy outdoors and when the soup is paired with my friend, Sheri’s, version of grilled cheese with apple butter.  For me, its food heaven.

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons // Karista's Kitchen

When my client asked for a classic tomato soup recipe for a retro food article, I was thrilled.  I knew I wanted to include grilled cheese somehow, so I made little mini’s and called them grilled cheese croutons.  However, there are times when I really want a hearty grilled cheese and apple butter sandwich with my tomato soup, so feel free to indulge.

This is totally off topic but notice the sweet table-cloth printed with apricots? Yep, it’s my mom’s tablecloth from the 1950’s and it was so perfect for this shoot.  😉

Wishing you warm and cozy days all curled up with this Classic Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 28-32 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 8 slices good quality white bread
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese

Instructions

In a large pot over medium heat, add the ghee or olive oil and onions. Sauté the onions until wilted and then add the garlic and cook one minute longer.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, dried basil, pinch of crushed red pepper, vegetable broth and sugar. Bring to a slow boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the croutons. Pre-heat the oven to broil. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place them buttered side down on a baking sheet. Add the cheese slices to the bread and then top with the remaining bread buttered side up. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and toast. Flip the sandwiches and toast the other side.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Slice them into small square croutons.

When the soup is done either transfer to a blender and blend until smooth or using an emersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then stir in the heavy cream.

Serve the warm soup in bowls topped with the grilled cheese croutons.

Notes

This recipe first appeared in Home By Design Magazine Fall 2016

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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Creamed Swiss Chard

Creamed Swiss Chard // Karista's Kitchen

Creamed Swiss Chard is always a welcomed side dish on my dinner table. It never fails to bring a smile to my hungry family’s faces.  But really, who could ever resist creamy, cheesy, leafy green goodness?! 

This gorgeous leafy green is a staple in my kitchen and I use it in all kinds of recipes.  Swiss chard finds its way into our weeknight sautés, salads, rice bowls, weekend egg dishes, pastas and even my savory bread pudding.  Although I do love kale, mustard greens, spinach and collard greens, lately Swiss chard has been my “go to” green.   Mostly because it grows so voraciously in my garden and I typically get a good 7-8 months worth of chard each year.  It’s the leafy green that just keeps on giving!

Swiss chard is a tall leafy green that belongs to the same family as beets and spinach.  It tastes similar to spinach, which makes Swiss chard an excellent substitute in cooked dishes.  It doesn’t cook down quite as much as spinach and it omits less water – making it a meatier option for sautés and gratins.  Honestly, sometimes I prefer it to spinach because it holds up a little better when cooked. Not quite as hearty as kale, but not quite as delicate as spinach.

Creamed Swiss Chard // Karista's Kitchen

This gorgeous Creamed Swiss Chard makes a delightful side dish to any meal.  It’s especially complimentary to grilled or roasted meat or poultry or prepared in individual dishes for a light lunch or brunch.  For a one dish meal, I add diced ham to this recipe and serve with a warm crusty baguette and a glass of wine. Ahh… my kind of meal.

I’ve paired this Creamed Swiss Chard with leeks, however shallots work just as well.  And on occasion when I’m out of both leeks and shallots, a yellow onion will do the job just fine.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Creamed Swiss Chard

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 leeks, trimmed just as the light green turns to dark green, cut in half lengthwise, rinse and dice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard or about 2lbs, stems removed (I save the stems for stock or soup), leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Mix together the panko bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.

In a large oven safe sauté pan or skillet, add the butter and olive oil to the pan and place the pan over medium high heat.

Once the butter is melted and oil is hot, add the chopped leeks and chopped fresh Italian parsley and sauté until wilted and slightly golden. Then stir in the minced garlic and sauté for one minute longer.

With tongs, add the chopped Swiss chard in batches to the pan and toss with the leeks, continuing to toss the greens and leeks gently, until all the greens are in the pan and wilted. Sprinkle with the grated nutmeg and season with ½ - 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

Pour the heavy cream into the pan and gently toss with the greens. Sprinkle the panko parmesan mixture over the top of the creamed Swiss chard and then place the pan in the oven.

Let the creamed Swiss chard bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the sides are bubbly and the cream has thickened. To toast the panko parmesan mixture, set the pan under the broiler for just a few minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the creamed Swiss chard sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

I originally created this recipe for Hobby Farms Magazine Spring 2016

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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes // Karista's Kitchen

It seems I anguish over Thanksgiving side dishes every year.  

The question being, should I prepare the same sides as last year and make everyone completely happy or should I venture out of our “safe” side dish zone and create a few new dishes that will hopefully catch on and become new favorites? Ah the side dish dilemma.

I always try to set a selection of colorful and appetizing sides on the Thanksgiving table as well as sides that complement our roasted or grilled turkey.  One of my daughters insists on some sort of potato dish, preferably a mashed potato, and my other daughter would never let me hear the end of it if we didn’t serve apple and sausage stuffing.  Ranger Craig is big on veggies, so there is always a hearty vegetable dish of some sort along with my favorite roasted cranberry and mandarin salad.  Dare I forget the gravy and on occasion I’ll throw in a sweet potato spoon bread for good measure.

As my youngest daughter once said, “I come to the Thanksgiving table excited for all the side dishes”. 🙂

So in honor of the well-loved and obligatory side dish, I thought I’d share a collection of side dishes that just might tickle your taste buds and inspire a few new Thanksgiving side dish traditions in your home.

Maple Roasted Carrots and Parsnips from Alaska From Scratch

Maple Roasted Parsnips and Carrots from Alaska From Scratch

I think what I love most about these Maple Roasted Carrots and Parsnips from Alaska From Scratch and Perfect Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci’s Morsels is that they make a colorful and delectable addition to the Thanksgiving table as well as they are relatively fuss-free – which is a good thing during the holidays.

Perfectly Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci’s Morsels

Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci's Morsels

These stuffed acorn squash make a lovely alternative to Thanksgiving side dishes and can serve as a vegetarian entrée option for your guests.

Cranberry, Wild Rice and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cranberry, Wild Rice and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash // Karista's Kitchen

Oh who can resist the lush elegance of Gorgonzola mashed potatoes?!  This is always the first of the side dishes to be passed around my table.

Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes 

Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes // Karista's Kitchen

Add a little light, fresh and sweet to the meal with this gorgeous mixed greens salad with mandarin oranges. A tasteful compliment to the heavier Thanksgiving side dishes.

 

Mixed Greens and Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Nuts 

Mixed Greens with Mandarin Oranges, Candied Nuts and Parsley Vinaigrette // Karista's Kitchen

I’ve finished this round-up with one of my favorite sweet potato dishes, Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Gingersnap Crumbles – you’ll find the recipe below.  This captivating dish often serves as my dessert!

Wishing you all the most delicious of holiday seasons.  If you have any questions, comments or need a different recipe for your Thanksgiving table, please leave a comment below or feel free to email me.

Loads of Love!

Karista

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Serving Size: 4-6

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Sweet potatoes are delicious on their own, but add maple syrup, spices and ginger snaps and this bright orange side dish tastes like a celebration

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes or yams (I prefer yams due to the rich color and smooth texture)
  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • ½ cup real maple syrup, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled ginger snaps

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Wrap each sweet potato or yam loosely in foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. When they are cool, take them out of the foil and remove the skins. The skins should easily peel away. Discard the skin and place the sweet potato in the bowl of an electric mixer.

With the whip attachment, begin to whip the potatoes on medium speed. Add the melted butter, cinnamon, all-spice and ¼ cup of the maple syrup and whip until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and top with the remaining ¼ cup of maple syrup and sprinkle with crumbled ginger snaps. Serve warm.

Notes

Created for Home By Design Magazine Retro Buffett Issue 2016

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Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy

Deliciously simple Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy // Karista's Kitchen

 

There’s nothing that says simple delicious goodness like an Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy.

Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy was a regular dish on our family table and it was truly loved by my bright-eyed, character of a grandfather. Grandpa was born in the Southwest in 1901 and he loved to tell tall tales of how he’d been a cowboy in his younger days. Of course, grandpa had never been a cowboy, however, when he was very young, his family drove a covered meat wagon through Arizona and Southern California. My grandfather and his family hunted the wild game and then cleaned, packaged and sold it from their covered wagon.

My grandfather was a meat and veggie kind of guy and nothing made him happier than my grandmother’s pan-fried ground beef patties with beef broth gravy. Grandma would mix ground beef with onion, garlic and herbs and then form patties to pan fry and then serve them with a simple pan gravy. Sitting on the table alongside those ground beef patties were several large bowls of assorted vegetables. Green beans with bacon, creamed corn, honeyed carrots and always lima beans. When the food was done, the table was set and everyone was seated, my grandfather, with a knowing smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, would give thanks for his delicious “steak and gravy”.

Today I’ve re-created that steak and gravy dinner with my version of an old-fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy. 

I decided the creamed corn needed a little revision so it became a decadent Corn Gratin and who am I to disturb good ole Southern green beans and bacon so I left those just as grandma made them.  The honeyed carrots get a splash of spice and brown butter and the lima beans typically don’t make it to the table.  Sadly, I’m not a fan. Of course, now that we’re all grown-ups, there is nothing like following up grandpa’s cowboy meal with a “yippee-yo-ki-yay” Cowboy Bourbon Sour.

So, giddy on up to the table and chow down on this delicious meal and celebrate a season of food, flavor and of course, twinkly-eyed grandfathers. 😉

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

    Salisbury Steak
  • 1lb ground beef 
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs, or your favorite brand of bread crumbs (skip the bread crumbs for wheat free or use GF bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil, beef tallow or ghee
  • Beef Broth Gravy
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup organic beef broth
  • Dash of red wine (optional)
  • ½ cup sliced sautéed mushrooms (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine the bread crumbs and warm milk.  If you are preparing a wheat free meal, skip this step.

Mix together the ground beef, onion, garlic, bread crumb mixture, Worcestershire, egg, fresh Italian parsley, salt and pepper. 

Form the ground beef mixture into 4-6 round patties, pressing slightly thinner in the center of each patty for even plumping during cooking. 

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Place the patties in the skillet and pan fry on each side until the beef is done to your preference. 

Transfer the patties to a platter.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter to the skillet.  Just as the butter melts whisk in the tablespoon of flour. 

Add the beef broth and a dash of red wine if desired.  I like about ¼ cup red wine.  Continue to whisk the gravy, pulling up all the yummy brown bits (called fond) off the bottom of the pan.

Once the gravy has thickened slightly, taste for salt and pepper.  If using mushrooms, add them to the sauce.  If the gravy is too thick add additional beef broth until it’s the desired consistency. For more sauce, the recipe is easily doubled. 

Pour the gravy over the patties and garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve with corn gratin, garlic mashed potatoes and fresh green salad, or roasted veggies.

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Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Seafood

Retro Crab Salad with Toast Points

Retro Crab Salad with Toast Points // Karista's Kitchen // A perfectly delicious way to start a dinner party or holiday gathering.

I call this crab salad, Retro Crab Salad, because its much like the crab salad I used to nibble on “back in the day”.

This is the kind of crab salad that would have been beautifully displayed on my mom’s orange and yellow fruit covered table-cloth.  I didn’t always remember every dish of food that would grace the table but for some reason, I always remember that table-cloth.  Funny how we remember the most unusual things from our childhood.  This table-cloth (and the food that adorned it) and my gram’s tapioca pudding are two of my favorite food memories.

A few months ago when I was visiting my mom, she reminded me to browse through her old linens and take what I wanted.  Well wouldn’t you know it… the first linen I saw was the old orange and yellow fruit covered table-cloth.  Of course, I had to have it – and I had to use it for a retro menu that I created for one of my clients.

Retro Crab Salad and Toast Points // Karista's Kitchen

This lovely little retro crab salad was one the recipes I created for that menu.  Along with a few other delectable retro dishes, this crab salad has been a staple in my kitchen all summer long. Mostly because Ranger Craig and I went deep-sea fishing and crabbing and came home with 16 crab.  I made scores of crab salad, crab cakes, crab stuffed Dover sole and crab beurre blanc.  Crab landed in every dinner meal that week.  And I wasn’t a bit sad about that. 😉

Crab is a staple here in the Pacific Northwest.  It can be pricey certain times of the year, but when it’s in season, or we go crabbing, it’s economical and the perfect seafood to add to our dinner menu.  Although, crab has ended up in breakfast omelets a time or two.

I love this retro crab salad any time of the year.  But I think this dish is especially fun during the holiday season.  You can certainly serve it with crostini or crackers, but serving it with toast points somehow feels befitting.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Retro Crab Salad with Toast Points

Serving Size: 4-6

Retro Crab Salad with Toast Points

This retro crab salad includes all the traditional elements of crab salad using pimentos, mayonnaise and cheddar cheese. However, the addition of thinly sliced green onions gives it a little bite that blends so deliciously with the other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 8-12 ounces of crabmeat (if fresh crab is not available, feel free to use good quality canned crabmeat)
  • ¼ -1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 2-ounce jar of pimentos, drained
  • ¼ cup thin sliced green onions
  • ¼-1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-12 slices of good quality white bread or dark rye
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

Squeeze the excess water from the crabmeat. In a medium bowl, mix together the crabmeat, mayonnaise, pimentos, green onions, cheddar cheese and squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place it in the refrigerator while you make the toast points.

Pre-heat the oven to broil. Brush each slice of bread with butter on both sides. Place the bread slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and then place the baking sheet in the oven.

Once the bread is golden brown on the first side, turn the slices over to toast the other side. This shouldn’t take long so watch your toast carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Remove the baking pan from the oven, sprinkle each slice of bread with a pinch of salt and let the toast cool. Trim the crust and slice each piece of bread diagonally to make two triangles.

Serve the chilled crab salad with the toast points.

Notes

This recipe originally created for Home by Design Magazine

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Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili perfect for the Autumn table // Karista's Kitchen

This spiced pumpkin and ground beef chili didn’t last long in my house. It was gone by the second day and of course, that’s when I think chili tastes best.

This chili is slightly spiced with cinnamon and smoked paprika, flavored with fresh aromatics, vegetables, grass-fed ground beef and of course, a good beer. It’s rich in flavor and hearty in texture and it tastes like Autumn in a bowl!

Adding pumpkin or squash to chili during the fall season adds a festive quality to this dish.  Each year I experiment using different spices in my pumpkin and ground beef chili and I have to say my favorite combination is a bit of Korinje cinnamon and smoked paprika – along with my traditional chili spice blend.

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili perfect for the Autumn table // Karista's Kitchen

In addition to my lovely Karista’s Kitchen spices, which you can currently find in the Karista’s Kitchen store, I love adding beer to my chili. A flavorful pilsner, which is what I use, light red ale or cream stout are excellent beer choices for chili.

Using beer in chili adds another layer of flavor and compliments the vegetables and spices as well as the ground beef. I don’t recommend using beer that is high in IBU (International Bitterness Units), like an IPA, because it’ll make your chili taste bitter. I adore sipping IPA’s but I don’t recommend using an IPA in chili.

I also prepare a vegetarian version of this chili using only the roasted pumpkin and beans. Although my crew enjoys the ground beef version, they also adore this cozy vegetarian version as well. 

Must I wrestle the pumpkin you might ask? No need. I cut the sugar pie pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, rub with a little oil and place flesh side down in a baking dish. Then I fill the baking dish with about an inch of water and roast at 350F. until just slightly under cooked. Once the pumpkin has cooled, the skin is easily removed and you can dice the pumpkin for the chili. Don’t worry about uniform diced pumpkin, just dice it up however you like and once it’s in the chili it’ll look fabulous.

This pumpkin and ground beef chili is flavorful and satisfying and I know it will add a flair of festivity to your fall and holiday season.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Pumpkin Love!

Karista

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Serving Size: 4-6

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4lb sugar pie pumpkin(you will need 2 cups cubed cooked pumpkin)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup corn flour or 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Karista's Kitchen Korinje Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Karista's Kitchen Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of pilsner beer (or red ale/cream stout)
  • 1-2 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can of kidney beans or chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onions and cheddar cheese

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Cut the sugar pie pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil and then place the pumpkin halves flesh side down in a baking dish. Add about 1 inch of water in the baking dish and then place it in the oven. You want to slightly under bake the pumpkin so that you can cube it for the chili. Bake the pumpkin for about 20 minutes and then check for tenderness. If it's still a bit hard, bake the pumpkin for another 10 minutes or until it's tender but still firm. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

In a large pot over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté just until it's tender. Then add the garlic and the ground beef. While you're cooking the ground beef, mix in the 1/4 cup of corn flour or corn starch. Stir in the cinnamon, smoked paprika, chili powder, coriander, cumin, brown sugar and pinch of cayenne.

Once the ground beef is mostly cooked, don't over cook, add the tomato paste and beer. Stir until incorporated. Then add the 2 cans of beans, dried bay leaf and at least one cup of broth. Reserve the second cup of broth and use it as needed.

Let the chili simmer on low for about 30 minutes to develop all the lush flavors.

While your simmering the chili, peel and cube the cooled pumpkin.

Gently stir the 2 cups pumpkin cubes into the chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add additional broth if needed.

Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onion and cheddar cheese if desired. This chili will keep for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. But I honestly don't think it'll be there in three days 🙂 .

Notes

Ack! I completely forgot the brown sugar in the recipe so I've just updated.

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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce // Karista's Kitchen

It’s the weekend and I think we need something sweet like these adorable Pumpkin and Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce! 

It’s that time of year when I jump into all things pumpkin and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’m whipping up a pumpkin chili, pumpkin cornbread to go with that chili, these tasty pumpkin coconut tarts with caramel sauce and Sunday I’ve planned pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon maple syrup – or maybe some pumpkin crepes with cinnamon cream.  Ok, I’ve gone totally pumpkin overboard.

When there’s a chill in the air and the leaves begin to turn their brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow, I find myself pulling out my fall sweaters and setting out my cozy sofa blanket.  And of course creating all things pumpkin and Autumn and delicious.  All I need now is my chai tea and I’ll be set.

This is my favorite time of the year.  Although the summer months were filled with fun and frolic and food from the grill, this new season seems to invigorate me and inspire a new collection of recipes as well as a seasonal change in how I frolic and fun. 😉

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Ricotta, Shrimp and Pasta // Karista's Kitchen and A View to Delicious Magazine

Speaking of a new collection of recipes… (you know I had to mention the magazine) I’ve created several new recipes for our first digital food magazine, A View to Delicious.  Butternut Squash Gratin, Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Ricotta, Pasta and Shrimp (and a drizzle of truffle oil just for fun), Roasted Chicken with Brandy Butter and more! So if you’re looking for Fall recipe inspiration be sure to click here and download your copy.

Back to dessert… these Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce are the perfect small portion size with just enough sweetness that is slightly spiced, rich and creamy.  They make the loveliest after dinner nibble or perfect with a mid-morning cup of coffee.

However you serve these pumpkin coconut tarts with caramel sauce, I’m certain once they’re gone, you’ll be asked for more. 

Cheers to the new season, cozy blankets, hot spiced tea and delicious desserts!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

Serving Size: Makes 8-10 tarts

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

These little tarts make the most delicious ending to a delicious meal. They also make fun and tasty after school treats and on occasion, a quick nibble with morning coffee, sans the caramel sauce. However you enjoy them, they will delight the palate and enchant the sweet tooth.

Ingredients

    Pie Dough (Pate Brisee):
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour or pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ice water
  • Pumpkin Coconut Filling
  • 1 15 ounce can organic canned pumpkin puree (you can also substitute with sweet potato puree)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup organic canned coconut milk (do not use “lite” coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of vanilla or brandy

Instructions

For the Pate Brisee

If you don’t have pastry flour on hand, combine 2 parts all purpose flour with 1 part cake flour. (I keep this combination handy in a separate container, so I always have some ready to use.)

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.

Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse a few more times until the butter and flour resemble coarse pea sized pieces or a coarse meal.

As you pulse the food processer add the egg and water and pulse only until the dough is holding together in one piece.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead just a few times forming the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so, or overnight. Often I’ll make several batches of pate brisee and then keep them wrapped in the freezer, pulling them out when I know I’ll need them.

Remove the chilled disk from the refrigerator and roll it out with a wooden rolling pin. With a biscuit cutter or mouth of a drinking glass, cut out discs large enough to press into the mini tart pans. Fill all the mini tart pans and then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill them with the pumpkin filling.

Pumpkin Coconut Filling

In an electric mixer or blender, combine all the ingredients until well blended.

Caramel Sauce

In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat mix together the sugar, butter, heavy cream and pinch of salt. Add a dash of vanilla if you like, or a dash of brandy.

Whisk the ingredients until it comes to a boil and then let it simmer for about 5-8 minutes or until it thickens.

Let it cool slightly and serve over the Pumpkin Coconut Tarts or Vanilla ice cream.

Finishing up

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Place all the mini tart pans on a baking sheet and fill each mini tart pan with pumpkin coconut filling.

Place the baking sheet of tarts in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the filling is nicely firm and crusts are golden.

While the tarts are baking prepare the caramel sauce.

Once the tarts are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Remove each tart and place onto a small dessert plate. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Toasted coconut makes a love garnish but is optional.

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