Brown Butter Cheesy Potatoes and Brussels

brown butter brussels and potatoes

My favorite winter-time pasta dish is Orecchiette with Brown Butter Brussel Sprouts. It is the BEST. The flavors of  sautéed leek, shredded brussels, nutty pine nuts and rich browned butter meld together to create a dish that literally makes me happy from the inside out. I could eat it every night, no problem. Honestly, I would probably even talk myself into thinking it’s healthy because of the brussels sprouts. But it’s not. No, chalk this one up as a loss in the healthy-eating department, as you generally can with anything that calls for a stick of butter. It’s ok though. ‘Tis the season to indulge!

I planned to make my all-time favorite pasta dish last week but when I got home from the grocery store I realized I hadn’t put any pasta in my basket. UGH. How does a meal planner leave things off her list? Good grief. I scoured the pantry looking for any kind of pasta I could find…I saw a box of no-boil lasagna noodles and briefly considered what that would come out like. Eh. Then I saw the potatoes on the counter. Tiny, beautiful, golden potatoes that practically begged to be doused in brown butter and all of the other brussels “fixins”. Sure thing teeny potato. Today is your lucky day.

So the dish went the same way it always does…leeks and brussels sprouts sautéed in olive oil and a splash of white wine, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. Butter, (much less than a stick as I wasn’t making a butter sauce for pasta, but a light glistening for the spuds0, slowly browning in a saucepan. The only difference in prep was instead of boiling orecchiette pasta I roasted the potatoes in a 375 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes. When the potatoes were cooked to perfection I tossed the whole thing together and took a fork straight to the serving dish. Ahhhhhhh.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’ve found a new, delicious side dish. I mean let’s be real, this combo screams Turkey Day. If you’re looking for something a little different this Thanksgiving, yet still a timeless classic, this should be your go-to. It’s definitely a new favorite in my house!

Happy cooking– and Happy Thanksgiving!

brussels and potatoes

Brown Butter Cheesy Brussels and Potatoes

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 lb. small yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered to the same approx. size
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium to large leek, quartered and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups Brussels sprouts, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until cooked.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown, Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; set aside.
  3. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and leek and cook for 2 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add a splash of white wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer until the wine is mostly absorbed. Stir in the potatoes and pine nuts. Pour browned butter over the mixture and combine. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Ten-Course Thanksgiving Day Meal Plan

thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving!! Of course I do, as it’s a holiday almost completely centered around food. What’s not to love? Since I love it so very much I wanted to share with you my complete 10-course dinner meal plan complete with tried and true family recipes. Use the whole thing or use just a few recipes and incorporate them into your family’s tradition. I imagine you in the kitchen with someone very near and dear to you, chopping and mixing and cooking your heart out. Perfection. I’ll be with my mom and sister, talking through Chelsey’s wedding plans as we cook, our fellas hanging out with Kellan and Allie and watching football. Pure perfection, indeed. Enjoy the holiday, your loved ones and some really great food. Remember all you have to thankful for and simply take the time to soak in your many blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1o-Course Dinner

Short Rib Chili

short rib chili

Halloween has come and gone and we somehow forgot to schedule our annual late-October chili night potluck. I guess that’s what happens when life is no longer just about a fun night with friends, but is completely centered around your kids’ Halloween costumes, scouting out the best neighborhood for trick-or-treating, and making it out to the Pumpkin Patch before the moment passes. Check, check, and check. Chili night? No check. Bummer.

To cheer myself up, I decided we would have our very own little chili night, Purvis party of four, three, make that two. Allie’s still on the bottle and Kellan is boycotting food, so BJ and I were left to ourselves with a giant pot of chili. It’s ok though, because this was gooooooood chili. I started with a friend’s already awesome recipe and made some minor changes and one MAJOR addition. Short ribs. Yep. So now we’re talking a three-meat chili made with ground beef, bacon, and beer-braised short ribs. Holy. Cow. Literally.

three meat chili

Take out your calendar, phone, day planner, or if you’re like my husband, a sticky note, and plan a day to make this chili. You’re going to want to get this on the books ASAP. Pick a day when you have nothing else to do because you’re going to want to babysit this one. Low and slow wins the chili race. Add ingredients, taste, add more, cook more, taste again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Great chili is very much a personal preference, so I don’t want you  to limit yourself to my suggested measurements and time frames. Take these ingredients and methods and make them your own. If something sounds like too much heat to you, leave it out. If the idea of honey in your chili weirds you out, skip it. (Actually please don’t skip the honey, it really rounds the whole thing out. Unless you must. Sigh.) Let me know how your chili turns out, especially if you have a delicious addition that I absolutely MUST know about. Happy cooking!!

Short Rib Chili

For the short ribs:

3 lbs. beef short ribs
2 red onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
light Mexican beer
tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil

  1. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a large braiser or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear each side until brown, approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove the short ribs and add in onions and garlic. Cook until softened and beginning to brown.
  2. Add short ribs back to pan and pour in beer until the liquid comes a little over halfway up the sides of the meat. Bring to a boil and stir in oregano. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  3. Cook on low heat for 3 hours. After 3 hours remove the short ribs and pull the meat off the bone and shred. Try to keep the fat separate and discard.

For the chili:

1 lb. bacon
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
4 shallots, diced
2 cans El Pato Mexican tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chili powder, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon cumin, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder, plus more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
3 poblano peppers
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tablespoon honey
large can light Mexican beer

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Bake the bacon for 25 to 35 minutes, or until crispy. Finely chop.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallots and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add ground beef and cook until crumbled, browned and cooked through.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add bacon, El Pato, beans, spices, and half of the can of beer. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, set the oven to HIGH Broil. Spray the poblano peppers with cooking spray and put on a baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes or so per side, until skin is charred and blistering. When the entire pepper is charred, remove from the oven and place in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes. Next, remove blackened skins. Seed and finely chop.
  5. After 2 hours, add the poblano peppers, yellow mustard and honey. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If it needs tang, add more mustard. If it needs something to take some of the heat out, add more honey. If it needs thinning out, add more beer. Let your tastebuds be your guide.
  6. Lastly, add the short rib. Stir to combine and serve. You can top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, or cornbread croutons. Enjoy!

short rib chili

Brussels and Kale Winter Salad with Cranberries, Goat Cheese and Walnuts

This delicious salad needs to be on your Thanksgiving menu. If not Thanksgiving, definitely Christmas. It’s brussels sprouts and cranberries, so it screams Thanksgiving! It’s also green, red and white- so it absolutely has some Christmas flair. Regardless of which holiday dinner you choose, this hearty winter salad will be a hit.

winter salad

Brussels and Kale Winter Salad with Cranberries, Goat Cheese and Walnuts

1 bunch brussels sprouts, thinly sliced or shredded
1 bunch kale, shredded
1 package shredded white cabbage (angel hair shred)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3-4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Citrus Vinaigrette

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
juice and zest of one orange
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon, ground ginger
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. For the vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Season to your taste with salt and pepper.
  2. For the salad, combine brussels, kale and cabbage in a large bowl. Toss with as much or little of the vinaigrette as desired. Add in the cranberries and walnuts and toss. Top with crumbled goat cheese.
  3. This salad can sit in the refrigerator overnight, but is best served within 12 hours.

brussels and kale winter salad

The BEST Chicken Noodle Soup

chicken noodle soup with dill

It’s that time of year again. I dread it like the plague and do all I can to keep my family from being hit by it, often to no avail. That’s right, it’s cold and flu season. Ugh. Last year Kellan got the flu the day after Christmas. Miserable. He went from being the happiest little boy playing with all his new things from Santa Claus, to running a 103 fever and looking pitiful in a few short hours. Oh well, what can you do? These things happen, and I try to not be crazy-hand-sanitizer-helicopter-mom…at least not in front of strangers. 🙂 As I type this I think of a friend who would probably like to call me out on that since I chased Kellan down with hand sanitizer after every ride at the Harvest Carnival last week. Like I said, I do what I can to prevent the ickiness, but try not to freak out when we get hit.

My husband came home from a conference last week with what he called a conference cold. He said he heard that when you go to these conferences you inevitably leave with a cold from being inside all day and then going from really cold indoor air temps to really warm, So Cal outdoor temps. I’d like to call the BS card on that one. You leave with a cold because you’ve been around a few thousand people with germs. Period. Can I get an amen, doctors? So he came home sniffling and I made a bee-line to the grocery store for all things pomegranate, acai, and green tea. Who knows if those things actually work but it’s nice to feel like you’re doing something to combat the virus. I also loaded up on everything I needed to make my homemade chicken noodle soup. I personally think this soup is amazing. It’s so fresh, so yummy, and feels so good going down a sore throat. My secret ingredient is fresh dill, the more the merrier. You can’t have too much fresh dill in this soup- it’s the superstar.

Remember this soup next time a loved one falls victim to the conference cold (chuckle). There’s nothing quite as comforting as a huge pot of homemade chicken noodle soup simmering on the stovetop. The smell alone makes me feel better, but there’s nothing but goodness in fresh vegetables, good chicken stock, tender breast meat and perfectly cooked noodles. And the dill…can’t forget about the star. Actually, don’t wait until you’re sick to enjoy this recipe. It’s good all of the time and might even taste a little better if you’re able to eat without sneezing, hacking or blowing your nose! 🙂

Happy cooking and stay well!

chicken noodle soup

 

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small leek, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
½ cup fresh dill, minced (plus more if you want!)
8 cups no salt added chicken stock
8 oz. orzo pasta, cooked al dente separate from the soup
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. In a slower cooker or crock pot, cook the chicken with water filled a little over half way up the chicken, on low for 4 to 6 hours. Shred and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Once hot, add carrots and celery. Sauté 2 minutes. Add onion and leek and continue to cook until they are beginning to brown, another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock and bring to a low simmer.  Add chicken, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes to meld the flavors, but longer if you have the time. The lower and slower it cooks, the tastier it will be.
  4. Meanwhile in a well-salted pot of boiling water, cook the orzo according to package directions.
  5. Add dill to finish the soup. To serve, put about a 1/2 cup of orzo in the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle the chicken soup over the top.