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DaVinci Wine Recipes Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

Apricot and Sage Stuffed Pork Loin Roast and DaVinci Chianti

 

Apricot and Sage Stuffed Pork Loin // Karista's Kitchen

This is a lovely and simple dish filled with sweet and savory flavors of the Tuscan countryside.  Herbs are abundant in Tuscany; fields of rosemary and sage, thyme and lavender dance about the hillsides creating the most fragrant Tuscan breezes.

This succulent pork loin roast is stuffed with fresh sage, dried apricots and a hint of garlic and then roasted to moist and exquisite perfection.  Serve this tasty dish with my Arugula and White Bean Salad and pair with my favorite DaVinci Chianti.

We wouldn’t want to forget dessert… How about a Lavender Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate to finish the meal?

For additional DaVinci Chianti recipes click HERE.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Apricot and Sage Stuffed Pork Loin Roast and DaVinci Chianti

Serving Size: 4-6

Apricot and Sage Stuffed Pork Loin Roast and DaVinci Chianti

Ingredients

  • 2-3lb pork loin roast
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 ½ cups white wine (DaVinci Pinot Grigio) If you don’t cook with wine use chicken broth with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450F.
  • In a small sauce pan warm one cup of wine and soak the apricots for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the apricots from the wine (reserve the wine) and coarsely chop them. Add them to a bowl and then toss with the sage and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of oil to bind the ingredients.
  • With a long blade knife cut into the vertical center of the pork loin roast, making a nice size hole for the stuffing. Pierce all the way through to the other side.
  • Stuff the apricot sage mixture into the pork, spreading as evenly as you can. This takes a little bit of fiddling but it’s fairly easy.
  • Place the stuffed pork loin roast in a small baking dish or small roasting pan. Pour the reserved wine over the pork. Rub a little oil on the pork and season with salt and pepper.
  • Put the pork loin in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 350F and roast for another 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145F.
  • Remove the pork loin from the oven and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. While it’s resting, take the pan juices and pour them into a sauce pan.
  • Heat the juices over medium heat and add the butter. If needed, add additional chicken broth to the pan. Whisk until the butter is nicely incorporated and the pan sauce is heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve: Slice the pork loin roast and lay the slices on a platter. Pour some of the pan sauce over the pork slices and garnish with additional chopped fresh sage.
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    Here’s a not so great picture of me stuffing a pork loin.  Hope this visual is helpful!

    Stuffing the pork loin roast

    DaVinci Wine Recipes Halibut Karista's Kitchen Seafood

    White Fish Florentine with DaVinci Pinot Grigio

    Halibut Florentine from Karista's Kitchen

     

    This White Fish Florentine is a lush and flavorful dish inspired by my visit to Tuscany with DaVinci Wine a few years ago.  

    Spinach is used in all sorts of Tuscan dishes and it’s also prevalent in many coastal seafood recipes like my Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Dover Sole.  I love the simple list of ingredients combined with fresh white fish, which is typically easy to find year round.   This gorgeous recipe makes for a fuss free weeknight meal or an elegant meal for entertaining.

    Living here in the Pacific Northwest, I use several different types of white fish for this recipe, depending on the season.  I adore this dish when halibut is in season or when I can snag a gorgeous piece of black or ling cod.

    I like to enjoy the fresh and enticing flavors of this White Fish Florentine paired with a bottle of DaVinci Pinot Grigio. Perfection!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    White Fish Florentine with DaVinci Pinot Grigio

    Serving Size: 4

    White Fish Florentine with DaVinci Pinot Grigio

    A great way to use all that fishing trip fish stocked in the freezer or the spinach you froze from summer. Substitute with fresh winter greens instead of spinach and spike with your favorite spices rather than the Dijon.

    Ingredients

    • 1lb fresh spinach (or 1 large pkg frozen organic chopped spinach)
    • Olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream (for a saucier dish add ½ cup cream)
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and a few squeezes of lemon
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 ½ – 2 lbs fresh fish (Cod, Ling Cod, Halibut, Snapper, Sole, if using snapper try to remove the bones prior to cooking)
    • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
    • Serve with fresh lemon wedges

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • In a sauté pan over medium heat, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and add the fresh spinach, in batches if you need. Sauté just until the spinach is wilted and transfer to a dish. Continue until all the spinach has been sautéed. Let the spinach cool a bit and then squeeze all the excess liquid from the spinach. Coarsely chop the sautéed spinach and set aside.
  • Or, if using frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze out all the excess liquid.
  • In the same sauté pan over medium heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the shallots and garlic for one minute or until fragrant. Next, stir in the heavy cream, Dijon mustard and lemon zest. Take the pan off the heat and fold in the chopped spinach until combined with the sauce. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, just enough so the fish won’t stick. Season each piece of fish with salt and pepper and place the fish in the baking dish in a single layer.
  • Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the fish. Then squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the spinach and fish. Mix together the bread crumbs and grated parmesan and then sprinkle on top of the spinach.
  • Place the fish into the oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is flaky and done. Typically you can cook fish about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness, however, because we’ve layered with spinach and breadcrumbs cooking time may be longer.
  • When the fish is done, remove from the oven and serve with fresh lemon wedges.
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    This dish is inspired by my visit to Tuscany with the 2013 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience and adapted from many versions of Fish Florentine.  I dined on something similar and I was so impressed with the simple but flavorful meal I had to re-create it for this website. Enjoy! 

    Beef Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly VRAI Magazine

    Grilled Rib-Eye with Tomato & Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

    Grilled Rib-Eye With Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette Karista's Kitchen

    We’ve just launched the 4th fabulous issue of VRAI Magazine and I’m thrilled to be a part of this exciting and new online magazine!  Filled with food, travel, DIY, Gardening and more.

    VRAI Magazine is made up of real bloggers, with varying backgrounds, expertise and unique perspectives, who are passionate about sharing stories. In these stories, you’ll also find wonderful ideas, inspirations and information for everyday living, as well as topics of interest that are designed to spark genuine conversations. “Life is filled with stories both big and small. They can be found in big events and milestones throughout life or even in the most mundane acts of each day — there is always a story worth telling.  Through VRAI Magazine, we hope to capture and share some of them with you.”

    In this issue of VRAI Magazine I talk GRILLING!  Here’s a sneak peek:

    I get positively giddy this time of year.  With the longer days and warmer temperatures, grilling once again becomes my preferred method of cooking.  Gone are the cooler days and Pacific Northwest winter weather that requires rain gear while grilling. 

    Although I enjoy most methods of cooking, there is something about grilling that feels just a bit festive, carefree and whimsical. Maybe it’s the feeling of warm summer months when life is slower and less scheduled.  Fresh produce arriving with color and intense ripened flavors just aching to be tossed into some delicious concoction to share.

    Grilling steak couldn’t be easier, but there are a few simple steps that will make your steak taste like perfection. 

    1. Quality is key –  Purchasing a quality cut of beef is key to a delicious and flavorful steak.  I prefer purchasing local beef that has been grazing in a nice open pasture and preferably grass-fed only. (I know, I sound like the television show Portlandia) Truly, fresh is best for optimum flavor.  Not only does buying local mean your steak will be fresh, you will be supporting your local economy.  If  you don’t have access to a  local beef rancher, try to purchase beef from your region.  Most local markets purchase regionally,  or ask your local butcher.

    For the Grilled Rib-eye with Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette and a Grilled Romaine Recipe head on over to VRAI Magazine…  Click Here!

    Stay Tuned – Coming up this week, I will be posting a most delicious and special pastry recipe from Italy.   Buon Appetito!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

     

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pasta

    Tuscan Lasagna al Forno

    Tuscan style lasagna with bechamel and sugo

    Tuscan Lasagna al Forno

    Due to legalities you have to promise you’re 21 or older before proceeding to read this post.  Yes, we are talking wine and food.  But it’s the wine that’s the tricky part.  Thanks!

    ————————————————————————

    Nothing could have prepared me for the magic and beauty of Tuscany.  Although I’ve read about Tuscany for years, viewed what feels like a million photographs and watched several films, it didn’t even begin to compare to the moment I stepped onto the gloriously beautiful landscape.

    Now, never a day goes by that Tuscany doesn’t come to mind. The lovely memories of decadent food and wine, beautiful landscape, warm and hospitable residents and our DaVinci Wine team… seem to linger and cause my heart to long as if I’ve lost a true love.

    Glorious Tuscan Cuisine and Franco the Sous Chef

    Glorious Tuscan Cuisine and Franco the Sous Chef

    Sounds dramatic I know.  But as my sister said to me after her trip to London – I feel forever changed.  Traveling abroad and experiencing life in a new land is an enlightening feeling.  Probably because I’ve always been so intrigued by people and their food.  Our own food culture here in the states is beautifully diverse as well and possibly some of the most intriguing.  But to experience Tuscany was indeed a highlight that makes me feel forever changed.

    My trip was full of little surprises – like when Ranger Craig and I were in search of breakfast.  Eggs?  I think not. A pastry and espresso is found on every corner.  Ask for an egg and you just might be tossed out of the pastry shop.  Honestly , I didn’t mind.  Who wouldn’t mind having a gorgeous pastry and espresso for breakfast.  Nothing terribly sweet, just a little something to start the day.    Or when my fellow Storyteller, Jim O’Donnell asked for an Americano at a little establishment just outside Monteriggioni. He promptly received a “no”; with an espresso instead. A hilarious moment that you can read all about it here.

    DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience

    Harvesting the Sangiovese grapes and Photographer Leela Cyd catching the action.

    While dining at a restaurant in Florence, I was surprised by the lasagna I ordered.  Not at all the version we prepare here in the states.  Although our Italian American version is divine, this thing of beauty included layers of lush and buttery lasagna pasta sheets with rich béchamel, parmesan, pecorino and rich Bolognese sauce, or as they call it here, sugo.

    The absence of ricotta and mozzarella was startling. But I must say it wasn’t missed.  So when I arrived home, I simply had to re-create this lovely dish I so vividly remember.

    Because this Tuscan Lasagna al Forno was created for my friends at DaVinci Wine, you can find it on the DaVinci Wine Facebook page.   To check out the websites of our other two Storytellers, just click on their names… Kristina Laurendi Havens and Leela Cyd.

    I wish you all Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Tuscan Lasagna al Forno

    Ingredients

    For the Sugo:

    ¾ – 1 lb ground beef or ground Italian sausage

    1 red onion, diced

    1 carrot, small diced

    1 rib of celery, small diced

    1-2 cloves garlic, minced

    ½ cup DaVinci Chianti

    2-3 cups tomato sauce

    Pinch dried oregano

    Pinch of allspice or pumpkin pie spice (I know  this seems unusual but a kind Trattoria Chef told me this ingredient is always included in his Sugo for Lasagna al Forno)

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    In a heavy bottom skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium high heat and sauté the onion, carrot and celery until nicely golden brown, almost caramelized. Add the ground meat and garlic to the soffrito (diced veggies) and cook until done, breaking up any big pieces.  The meat should be small and somewhat minced.

    Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the wine, scraping up the bits of good stuff (fond) on the bottom of the pan.

    Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano and allspice or pumpkin pie spice and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.  Put the skillet back on the heat and bring to a low simmer.  Let the sauce simmer while you prepare the béchamel.

    Bechamel or White Ragu:

    Ingredients

    6 tablespoons unsalted butter

    6 tablespoons flour

    3 cups warm whole milk

    Pinch of nutmeg

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    In a large sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.  When the butter is melted whisk in the flour.  Then slowly whisk in the warm milk.

    Continue whisking until your milk comes to a simmer and begins to thicken.  Turn the heat down so you don’t burn the sauce and continue whisking until the sauce thickens.

    Stir in the pinch of fresh grated nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    You will want this béchamel (white ragu) thicker than a béchamel that you might toss with pasta.  So if it feels heavy or thick that’s ok.  It’ll be perfect for the lasagna.

    For the Lasagna:

    Ingredients

    Fresh lasagna sheets, cooked – enough to fill a lasagna baking dish or a 9×13 baking dish.  I love a deep baking dish for this lasagna.

    3-4 cups Sugo

    3-4 cups Béchamel

    ½ cup grated parmesan

    ½ cup shaved pecorino Toscana

    Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

    Ladle a little Sugo in the bottom of the baking dish and line with pasta sheets.  Ladle the pasta sheets with béchamel, sprinkle of parmesan and pecorino. Continue alternating the béchamel and Sugo until you’ve created 5-6 layers or used all your pasta sheets.  Be sure to save a cup of Sugo for the top of the lasagna.

    Sprinkle the lasagna with the remaining cheese, cover with foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the sides are bubbly.

    Raise the heat to 400F.  Remove the foil and cook the lasagna until the top is toasty and cheese is golden brown, another 10 minutes or so.  Sometimes I put it under the broiler for extra color.

    Let the lasagna rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.  This will allow the béchamel and cheese to firm for slicing.

    Serve with a side of extra Vinci sauce and grated parmesan if desired.

     

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Pork Seafood vegetarian

    Holiday Antipasti Platter

     

     

    Antipasti platter with crostini, salumi, and cheese

    Holiday Antipasti Platter with Assorted Cheese, Salumi and Crostini

    While visiting Tuscany this past Autumn, almost every meal began with an antipasti; signifying the beginning of the meal.  It’s a first course served to create anticipation of the meal to come, as well as stimulate the appetite without filling the stomach. Much like the French hors d’oeuvres and Spanish tapas or the American appetizer, Antipasti sets the stage for the dinner meal.

    In Tuscany, antipasti usually consists of assorted dry cured meats, olives, cheese, roasted peppers, Crostini, marinated artichokes and traditional Bruschetta.  For a special occasion or light lunch the traditional pappa al pomodoro, ribollita (a lovely cabbage and bread stew) and rosemary white beans might be served.

    Antipasti is the perfect starter for holiday celebrations, special occasions, dinner parties or social events. Lovely nibbles to build excitement of the event.

    Holiday Antipasti Platter

    This my favorite assortment of antipasti, including two of my favorite crostini and a traditional bruschetta.  Many of these were served for lunch or before dinner while visiting Tuscany with the Storytellers.  A delicious combination that pairs beautifully with all the DaVinci wines.

    I created this platter for DaVinci Wine and it can be found on their Facebook page. Just click HERE.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Buon Appetito,

    Karista

    PS: Wishing everyone a very happy and safe New Years Eve!

     

    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Turkey Recipe Round-up

    Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin and Swish Chard

    Leftover Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to end up in sandwiches – although I’m a huge fan of the turkey, cranberry and Havarti Panini.  There are so many lovely and delicious recipes for Thanksgiving turkey I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you.

    Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa and Cream Cheese from Mountain Mama Cooks

    Turkey Salad and Warm Clementine Dressing from Chef Jamie Oliver

    Turkey and Sweet Leek Pie from Chef Jamie Oliver

    Turkey and Dumplings from Alaska From Scratch

    Rustic Turkey Pot Pie from A Beautiful Bite

    One last Bennett Crew favorite… Turkey, Pumpkin and Swish Chard Enchiladas Verdes. 

    Wishing you all a most Delicious Thanksgiving Holiday!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Turkey Enchiladas Verdes with Roasted Pumpkin and Swiss Chard

    This recipe can be as simple or as complex as you’d like.  If you’re in a pinch for time use your favorite jarred Salsa Verde, about 2 cups (I completely adore Frontera Brand).  If you prefer to make your own, I’ve included the recipe.

    It appears a lengthy recipe, but it’s really very simple.  I’ve been a bit wordy and tried to write the directions in stages.  To keep things as simple as possible.

    This also makes a fabulous vegetarian Pumpkin and Swiss Chard Enchiladas Verdes.  If for some reason you really are tired of turkey.

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    For the Salsa Verde: (or if in a pinch, I like Rick Bayless Frontera Brand Salsa Verde products)

    2 cans tomatillos

    ½ cup diced onions

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

    1 jalapeno, roasted and seeded

    ½ cup water or chicken broth if needed

    Salt to taste

    For the Enchilada filling:

    2-3 cups chopped roasted turkey

    1 sugar pie pumpkin (or use leftover sweet potatoes)

    1 small bunch Swiss chard, washed and trimmed of stalks and coarsely chopped

    1 small white onion, chopped

    ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

    ½  teaspoon ground cumin

    ½  teaspoon ground coriander

    Salt and pepper to taste

    1-2 cups shredded Jalapeno Jack cheese

    10-12 corn tortillas

    Chopped green onions for garnish

    For the Crema:

    1 cup sour cream

    1 lime juiced

    ¼ teaspoon ground coriander

    ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Whisk together all ingredients and set aside.

    To prepare the Salsa Verde:

    Place the tomatillos in a blender or food processor and puree.

    Add a little oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until wilted.

    Stir in the pureed tomatillos, cilantro and jalapeno and let it simmer on low for about five minutes, adding water or chicken broth if necessary.  Set aside while preparing the enchiladas.  Reserve ½ cup to top the enchiladas.

    To Roast the Pumpkin:

    Preheat the oven to 400F.  Slice the stem section off the squash first and then slice the squash in half (very carefully).  Scoop out the seeds.

    Brush the cut sides of the squash with a little oil. Lay the squash halves cut side down in a glass baking dish and add a little water to the pan.   Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and skins are a little toasted.  You will want the pumpkin a little firmer than if you were roasting for a pie.

    Once the pumpkin has cooled, peel it and slice it or crumble into pieces.

    Sauté the Swiss Chard in a large skillet over medium heat with just a bit of oil.  Once it has wilted, but not watery, transfer the wilted chard to a large bowl.  Mix in the turkey, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, cumin, coriander and 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

    Heat the tortillas in a stove top steamer, or use the steamer function on a rice cooker or you can always pop the tortillas one or two at a time into the microwave for about 10 seconds.  You need the tortillas soft so they will roll and not tear.  Keep the tortillas covered and warm until you use them.  If they firm up, steam or microwave a little more.

    Ladle a little sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Take a tortilla and fill one end with a few pieces of pumpkin, a spoonful of filling and roll. Continue this until your baking dish is full or you’ve run out of tortillas.

    Ladle a cup or so of Salsa Verde over the enchiladas.  Then ladle the crema over the salsa verde.  Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the crema and bake for about 20 minutes or until the enchiladas are heated through.  Let them cool for a few minutes and then garnish with green onion and serve.

     

     

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Brussels Sprouts Gratin

    brussels sprouts gratin

    Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived on a little farm with a little red barn, lots of animals, a vegetable garden, fruit trees and lush green raspberry bushes.

    brussel sprouts gratin

    Brussels Sprouts Gratin

    Her little farm was filled with chickens, ducks, a few turkeys, rabbits, pigs, goats, a large white goose named Charlie, a naughty and stubborn Shetland pony named Sugar (not at all a sweet animal), a steer named Rex, and a fluffy white sheep named Fearless.

    Often, the little girl would spend hours with her farm animals, naming each one, even though her Father said most of them were being raised for food.  You’d think she would have become a vegetarian.  Instead, she fell in love with life on a farm.  A constant circle of life, helping feed a community with beautiful, healthy and naturally raised food.

    Valley View Farm, Zillah, WA

    Photos by April Smith. Taken at Valley View Farm, Zillah, WA

    I still remember the scent of the molasses in the mixture that helped feed and nourish the baby cow.  Mom’s hearty leftovers that were treats for the three little pigs.  Yes, there were three little pigs.

    There was much love and care that went into creating healthy and happy farm animals. I wanted to be part of that care;  so I decided to call myself the farm animals supervisor.

    Until the day one of the pigs, Lester was his name, decided to take a little nip out of my backside as I crawled over the pig fence.  My Father had given me warning, but I was the farm animal supervisor and I knew my pigs.  They would never bite me.

    I believe Lester may have had enough of my plucking through his pig yard.  He told me, very clearly, stay out!

    After that exciting event I admired my pigs from afar and took up management of our pet sheep, Fearless.

    brussel sprouts

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    I’m no longer the little girl who lived on a little farm with a little red barn.  Those memories however, remain close to my heart.  I’m certain those memories are one of the many reasons I adore and appreciate our local farmers.  The hard work, the love, the care, the belief that raising fresh food is good for the body and the soul.

    Supporting our local farm communities is the best ways to keep fresh, healthy, local food on our tables.  This is why I support a new online marketplace called Farmstr.com .  Farmstr.com was founded by my good friend and colleague, Janelle Maiocco.   Janelle is an entrepreneur with an MBA, as well as a trained Chef.  An amazing woman who has dedicated her time and energy finding a way to help farmer’s bring their local goods to local consumers.

    Farmstr is passionate about supporting farmers, and enabling their success by bringing them new customers and better margins. Farmstr is excited about making it possible for anyone, people like you and me, to easily find and access nearby farms, choose farmers, ranchers, and fishermen to support and to be able to buy farm fresh food for less than you would pay at the store. ~Janelle Maiocco

    If you live in Western Washington, Farmstr.com is up and running in your area.  Sign up for the weekly hot sheet to keep informed about current produce, meat and poultry for sale.  If you live in a different state, not to worry.  Farmstr.com has plans to expand to most states in the near future.  Personally, I can’t wait until they reach Oregon. 🙂

    Another great way to stay informed about local produce, meat and poultry for sale, as well a when Farmstr.com is coming to your area, check out and “like” the Farmstr Facebook page. www.facebook.com/farmstr

    In honor of Brussels Sprouts season, the holidays, and our local farmers, I’ve listed my favorite Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe, adapted from one of my favorite Italian cookbooks, The Silver Spoon.

    For additional Brussels Sprouts recipes check out these fabulous farm loving food bloggers:

    Our Lady of Second Helpings – Farm Fresh Gorgonzola Brussels Sprouts Hash

    Seattle Seedling – Cilantro Lime Brussels Sprouts Slaw

    Comfy Belly – Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

    Loads of Love and Delicious Wishes,

    Karista

    Brussels Sprouts Gratin

    One of my favorite Brussels Sprouts recipes is found in a traditional Italian Cookbook, The Silver Spoon.  I’ve adapted this recipe slightly, only using half the Béchamel sauce and using Gruyere mixed with traditional Swiss. If using 3lbs of Brussels Sprouts, the full quantity of Béchamel sauce can be used.  Buon Appetito!

    Serves 4 (can be doubled)

    Ingredients

    1 ½ lbs Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved

    1 tablespoon Butter

    1-2 tablespoons Olive oil

    3 ½ – 4 ounces pancetta, diced (or substitute with thick cut bacon)

    1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere (or ½ cup of each)

    1 quantity Béchamel Sauce (recipe follows)

    Salt and pepper

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Prepare Béchamel sauce (recipe below) and set aside.

    Butter an ovenproof dish.  I used a smaller baking dish for the 4 servings and used a 9×13 for a double serving.

    Cook the Brussels Sprouts in salted, lightly boiling water for about 10 minutes, drain and set aside.

    Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add the diced pancetta or bacon, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.  Add the Brussels Sprouts and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

    Stir half the shredded cheese into the prepared Béchamel Sauce and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

    Place the Brussels Sprouts in the prepared dish and ladle sauce over the top.  I use only half the Béchamel for 4 servings.  Reserve the remaining Béchamel for a delicious tossed pasta.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the sauce and place the baking dish in the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes.

    Let the Brussels Sprouts Gratin cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

    Bechamel Sauce

    Ingredients

    ¼ cup butter

    ¼ cup all purpose flour

    2 ¼ cups warm whole milk

    Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

    Salt and pepper.

    Directions

    Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the flour.  Put the pan back on the heat and continue whisking until the flour and butter is smooth.

    Slowly whisk in the warm milk and continue to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken.

    Stir in the pinch of nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.  The sauce should be the consistency of a white gravy, not too thin, but not too thick.  Add additional milk if the sauce is too thick and continue to cook a little longer if sauce is too thin.

    This sauce is also great over your favorite pasta with peas and diced bacon.

    Beef Karista's Kitchen

    Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Madeira Wine Pan Sauce

    beef tenderloin with madeira wine sauce

    When I was little, I would stand with my face pressed against the chain link fence that surrounded our yard, watching my Grandfather attempt his daily chores outside.  Grandpa was a hard worker.  Once a policeman, then a plumber and always semi-retired.

    Grass never grew under Grandpa’s feet.  He was always up to something.  Digging holes for posts so he could hang a new tire swing for the Grandkids, tinkering in his man cave with his motorcycles, somehow resisting the ache of taking a long ride through the country.

    A hearty man.  Skin made of leather from years in the sun, barely a speck of blonde hair left on a shiny brown head.  Scars and a crooked nose from numerous motorcycle accidents never deterred the sweetness of his face.  A smile that could warm the heart and the bluest eyes that twinkled brightly.

    Until the moment my Grandmother opened the front door and shouted his name.  He pretended he didn’t hear her calling.

    This always made me giggle.  I’d keep his secret.  I’d never tell Grandma where he was, although I’m sure she knew.

    —————————————————————————————————————————

    I’ve been lucky.  I’ve had, and continue to have, many good men in my life.  Uncles, Grandfather’s, Father’s, brother’s, cousins who are like my brothers, friends and of course my main man and love of my life, Ranger Craig.   Men of character and integrity, respect for the strong women in their lives, men who were, and still are, some of the best Father’s I’ve ever known.

    Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and most delicious Father’s Day!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Beef Tenderloin Medallions with a Madeira Wine Pan Sauce

    Serves 2 (can easily be doubled)

    Ingredients

    2 Beef Tenderloin approximately 5-6 ounces each

    Salt and pepper

    2 tablespoons high heat oil or clarified butter (Ghee)

    1 tablespoon chopped shallots

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 tablespoon flour

    1 cup beef stock

    ½ cup Madeira wine

    1/2 cup sliced sautéed cremini mushrooms (optional)

    1 tablespoon beef demi-glaze.  This gives a little richer flavor to the sauce and can be found at most markets, usually near the beef broth, or in the freezer section

    Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish (optional)

    Directions

    Season the beef with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Once the oil is shimmering and hot, place the beef tenderloin in the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.  About 6-7 minutes per side for medium doneness. Transfer the beef to a plate.

    Turn the heat down to medium and in the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Then stir in the chopped shallots.  Once the shallots are fragrant stir in the flour.  Once the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds to one minute, whisk in the beef stock and then the Madeira wine.

    Continue whisking and cooking until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened just a bit.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Ladle a bit of sauce on a plate and place a tenderloin on top with any remaining beef juices from the beef plate.  Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley and serve immediately.

    I love this beef dish with Potatoes Dauphinoise and Roasted Asparagus.

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes

    Beef Stracotto with Creamy Parmesan Polenta

    Italian slow braised roast beef with red wine and creamy polenta

    Italian Beef Stracotto with Creamy Polenta

    Years ago I met a lovely woman named Sianna.  An older woman, a wise woman and a woman whose every word I seemed to tuck away in the file drawers of my mind.  She was fascinating. Full of  adventurous life stories and snippets of wisdom that I’m sure she felt my ears needed to hear.

    Sianna, originally from Tuscany, sent me the most wonderful book; The Tuscan Year by Elizabeth Romer.   Written many years ago by the English Author who spent a year with a Tuscan family.  Elizabeth Romer documents each seasons harvest and the foods prepared in the region as well as the everyday life of the small Tuscan village.  If you love books about culture and food, this is a fun, and might I say delicious read.

    One of the recipes, a Stracotto, is a beef stew made with wine and herbs.  It’s braised until the meat falls apart and is almost overcooked, which is what “stracotto” means, overcooked.  But this is no dried out tasteless beef stew!  This Stracotto couldn’t be more decadent or simple.  It’s a rich, herby and full flavored Italian beef stew that is a perfect meal for a cold winter or spring night.

    Now in typical Karista’s Kitchen fashion, I’ve adapted this recipe to be easily recreated in American home kitchens.  It still needs to cook for quite a good length of time, but works well in a slow cooker or Dutch oven.  The Stracotto creates the most mouth watering scents in my house and anyone who walks in my front door can’t wait to eat!

    Enjoy this delicious taste of Tuscany!  Bon Appetito!

    Beef Stracotto with Creamy Parmesan Polenta

    Serves 6

    Ingredients

    4 lbs Beef top rump or top side roast

    5 – 6 slices Pancetta (or 4 slices bacon), chopped

    1 large onion, chopped

    2 ribs celery, chopped

    2 carrots, chopped

    6-8 cloves garlic, thin sliced

    2 cups dry red wine (This dish taste best with DaVinci Chianti wine) Note: if using a slow cooker reduce wine to 1 cup.

    1 18 oz. jar Organic whole tomatoes (I use Jovial Whole Tomatoes) crush them just a bit with your hands.

    1 teaspoon dried Rosemary, crushed (or 1 stalk fresh Rosemary)

    ½ teaspoon dried Oregano

    ½ teaspoon dried Thyme (or 1 stalk fresh Thyme)

    1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian Parsley

    1 teaspoon black pepper

    1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

    Directions

    Season the roast with salt and pepper on all sides and preheat the oven to 350F.

    In an oven proof Dutch oven or heavy stock pot on medium high heat brown the roast on all sides.  Transfer the browned roast to a plate and set aside.

    Turn the heat to medium and add the chopped pancetta.  Brown the pancetta until crisp and then add the onion, celery and carrots.  Cook the veggies until soft and translucent, and then add the garlic.  Cook for another few minutes.

    Sprinkle the veggies with the teaspoon of pepper and then add the wine, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.  Let the wine simmer for a minute or two and stir in the tomatoes.

    Add the dried herbs and chopped fresh Italian parsley and combine with the veggie mixture.  Let the mixture come to a slow boil and then place the beef back into the pot.

    Turn off the stove top, put the lid on the pot and place the pot in the preheated oven.  Cook for about 4-5 hours in the oven until the beef falls apart.  Check for seasoning, adding the teaspoon salt if needed.

    Serve the Stracotto over a Creamy Parmesan Polenta and serve immediately.

    Creamy Parmesan Polenta

    ½ cup quick cook polenta (I like Moretti brand) Or prepare according to package directions.

    3 cups whole or 2% milk

    2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan

    Season with salt and pepper to taste

    In a medium stock pot heat the milk on medium.  Stir every once and a while so the milk won’t burn on the bottom.  When the milk comes to a slow boil, add the polenta and stir.

    Continue stirring the polenta until it thickens to a heavy creamy texture.  Take it off the heat and add the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with the Stracotto or any beef or pork stew or use in place of pasta with a delicious ragu.

    Appetizers Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Crab and Egg White Muffins

    crab and egg white muffins, gluten free

    Crab and Egg White Muffins

    There’s a whole lot of egg love goin’ on at The Bennett Camp.  Orange Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast and now these tasty little Crab and Egg White Muffins.

    It’s possible I’m a tiny bit over joyed with my chicken gals.

    They’ve been laying at least two eggs a day for a while now.  It’s feels like Christmas!   And while I was so elated with one egg,  you can only imagine my excitement when I started finding two.

    Egg related dishes have been pouring out of my kitchen and this tasty little Crab and Egg White Muffin is the latest.  Although, I’ve been making these for several years now, I realized yesterday, I have not shared.

    So I’m sharing today. 🙂

    crab and egg white muffins, brunch

    Crab and Egg White Muffins make the perfect Brunch!

    I love this egg muffin for everything that it is, and is not.  It’s not terribly heavy or over stuffed, it is enticingly simple.  Purest of flavors that mingle together like a soft breeze, light, fluffy and perfectly adaptable to my ingredient whims.

    Now, I completely adore the entire egg.  So you might be wondering why I’ve only used egg whites.

    Originally, I crafted this recipe for a client and the egg whites were included to maintain my clients nutrition and dietary guidelines.  However, the egg whites keep this muffin light, airy and less dense than using the whole egg.  Which suits the crab and herbs beautifully.  So save those egg yolks for a custard or lemon curd.  Which would make a lovely dessert following these muffins.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Crab and Egg White Muffins

    Makes 4-5 large muffins.  This recipe can be doubled.  I’ve also prepared these in the smaller 12 cup tin.  Just be very careful not to over fill.

    Ingredients

    12-14 ounces crab meat (about 2/3 to 3/4 lbs)

    1 cup cottage cheese or 1/4 cup heavy cream

    8 ounces egg whites, I use a liquid measure for this or if I want to save my eggs, I purchase organic egg whites at my market

    2 rounded tablespoons chopped fresh chive (I’ve also subbed with finely chopped green onion)

    1 rounded tablespoon chopped fresh basil

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ¼ teaspoon pepper

    Dash of Tabasco if desired

    1 tablespoon flour or arrowroot powder (arrowroot powder is used as a gluten-free substitute for flour when flour is used as a thickener. I purchase it at PCC in the bulk section, or it can be found at whole foods or most natural markets)

    1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional) The Bennett Crew likes a creamy Swiss in these muffins.

    Directions

    Heat the oven to 375F.

    Whip the egg whites until slightly foamy, they don’t need to be stiff.  Add in the arrowroot powder or flour if using.

    Fold in the crab meat, cottage cheese or heavy cream, herbs, salt and pepper, dash of tabasco if using.

    Spray a large six *muffin tin with spray oil, only 4 or 5 of the cups.  Then gently ladle the egg mixture evenly into 4 or 5 of the muffin cups.  About 2/3 full.  It will make about 5 slightly large muffins.  Then top with shredded cheese if using.

    Place the muffin tin on a cookie sheet as sometimes the mixture overflows and can drip onto the bottom of the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins bounce back when touched.  They will be slightly golden brown on top.

    Cool for several minutes before gently removing them from the muffin tin.

    *A student recommended the use of silicone muffin pans as the muffin tins can be challenging to clean after baking these muffins.   If using a regular muffin tin, be sure to coat the muffin tin liberally with oil.  I use a spray coconut oil and it works beautifully.

    Ingredient options:  cooked ground turkey or chicken sausage, fresh herbs from your garden,  or a handful of wilted cooked spinach or greens, but be careful to squeeze all the excess water from the greens.

    For a lovely brunch, serve these muffins with a salad of spring greens, fresh fruit and lavender shortbread 🙂

    Related Posts:

    http://abeautifulbite.com/good-morning-muffins/

    http://theplumpalate.com/2013/01/31/on-eggs-and-salt/

    http://www.talkoftomatoes.com/2012/03/vegetable-strudel/

    Karista's Kitchen Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Roasted Beet and Cucumber Salad

    Roasted Beet Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions and Smokey Bleu Cheese

    Roasted Beet Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions and Smokey Bleu Cheese

    Today, my heart is filled with overwhelming appreciation.  Friends and family who share in my fear and anxiety, my sadness and hope.

    Beautiful dishes of food, cookies, desserts and love arriving on my doorstep.  Meant to comfort and heal.

    Phone calls, texts, emails, messages of well wishes, friendship, love.

    My Tink

    My Tink

    Today, my heart is grateful.  Grateful my precious Tink is home with us, healthy and recovering.  She’s not the first adult child to be ill or endure a difficult surgery.  There are those who have suffered much more.   For this my heart grieves.

    I wish I could write this post about something comical Tank has done this week.  Even he has been a bit somber.  Missing his girl, knowing something was different.  Giving her tons of kisses when she returned home and not wanting to leave her bedside until I insisted.

    I’m sure no one needs reminding… life is messy.  It’s scary, it’s heartbreaking.  But it’s also glorious.  A reminder to cherish every moment.  Even when those moments are less than Norman Rockwell, or the prettiest, perfect blog.

    Me and My Two Sassy Gals

    Me and My Two Sassy Gals

    You know the old saying “when it rains, it pours”.  It poured this week.  We endured.  Together. With love and friendship, generosity and kindness.

    I am humbled and reminded… Life doesn’t just happen to me.  It happens around me.  To everyone who touches my heart.

    I wish you all the best of health, love and happiness.

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    To Good Health and Happiness… A Roasted Beet Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions and Smokey Bleu

    Serves 2

    Ingredients

    2 beets, roasted and sliced

    1 cucumber, sliced (as much or as little as you like)

    1/2 red onion sliced

    Handful of Rogue Smokey Bleu

    Balsamic Vinegar

    Your favorite good quality extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    Place the sliced roasted beets on a plate, arrange however you like.  Layer the sliced cucumber on top of the beets, followed by a sprinkling of sliced red onion and a dash of smokey bleu.  Spritz with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Season with a pinch or two of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

    Enjoy with the ones you love 🙂

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Slow Braised Barbacoa with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

    slow braised barbacoa with cucumber avocado salsa I’ve been trying to write this post for at least a week.  I’d like to think my days are so filled with exciting and essential work, of momentous proportions, that I had to continuously delay this post.

    Nope.  Just my beautiful life.  Work, family, chasing chicken gals who escape their chicken yard, chasing Tank down the street because he thinks he’s a hunting dog (I do a lot of chasing), making the 20 weekly trips to the market ( I exaggerate a bit, but not by much) and the mountain of test recipes that go awry and end up in the garbage.  Or in Tanks food bowl.

    Slow Braised Barbacoa with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

    Slow Braised Barbacoa with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

    Thankfully, one recipe that didn’t go awry was this beautiful slow braised beef.  Barbacoa is the Mexican version of our barbecue.  Slow braised, lightly spiced and scented with earthy, smoky flavors of unsweetened cocoa and chipotle chili powder.  Topped with spring shades of green cucumber and avocado salsa that balances the rich and decadent dish with bright and refreshing flavors.

    Just a little sunshine on the palate while waiting for the summer sun.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Slow Braised Barbacoa with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

    Serves 6-8

    Ingredients

    3 lbs Beef Brisket

    Vegetable oil

    Salt and pepper

    1 tablespoon unsweetened Cocoa

    ½ heaping teaspoon chipotle chili powder

    1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (or Italian)

    ½ cup tomato sauce

    1 cup red wine (or 1 cup beef broth with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar)

    1 white onion, chopped

    3 cloves garlic, smashed

    1 cup water, reserved

    To Serve:

    Corn tortillas

    Crumbled Cotija cheese

    Cucumber Avocado Salsa (recipe below)

    Directions

    In a small bowl mix together the unsweetened cocoa, chipotle chili powder, dried oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

    Heat the oven to 325F.  Heat a Dutch Oven with a tablespoon or two of oil over medium high heat.  Season the brisket with salt and pepper and brown on both sides.

    Once the brisket is browned, transfer to a dish and turn the heat down to medium.  Add the onions and sauté until wilted.

    Then stir in the garlic, tomato sauce, wine or broth and seasonings.  Add the brisket back into the Dutch oven tossing to coat in the sauce and bring the mixture back to a lively simmer.

    Place the Dutch oven in the pre-heated oven and let it cook for about 1 ½ – 2 hours, until the brisket is fork tender.  After about 45 minutes of cook time, check for liquids.  If the pot seems to dry add about ½ cup water to the brisket.  Adding the full cup if needed.

    Once the brisket is done, shred for tacos.  Serve with corn tortillas, cotija cheese and Cucumber Avocado Salsa.

    Cucumber Avocado Salsa

    1 cucumber, small dice

    1 avocado, small dice (I use an avocado that isn’t overly ripe)

    Handful of cilantro, chopped

    Squeeze of lime juice

    Salt to taste

    Gently toss the cucumber, avocado, cilantro and lime juice together.  Season to taste with salt.

    For another fabulous Barbacoa recipe check out http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2013/03/lightened-up-sweet-pork-barbacoa-slow-cooker-recipe/