Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Easy Sweet-Potato Hash with Bacon

Serve as a side, or top with a fried egg for a quick main course

So you’ll probably have some sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving dinner, right? And your guests will be hungry the day after, despite the huge meal you served. (Funny how that works.)

If you roast sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, you’ll have the perfect leftover ingredient for a tasty breakfast dish. Or even the foundation for a quick dinner.

This Easy Sweet-Potato Hash with Bacon makes a savory side. Or top it with a fried or poached egg for a one-dish meal. Add a beverage of your choice (if it’s dinner, a glass of wine would go well), and you’re all set.

So hash your mouth.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roast Squash & Sweet Potato Chili with Kale

Roast Squash & Sweet Potato Chili with Kale in bowl

This vegan crowd pleaser is perfect for Thanksgiving Eve

All of us in the US know Thanksgiving is coming up, right? And you probably know what you’ll be serving for the big meal. But how about the evening before?

Some picky out-of-town guests may be arriving on Thanksgiving Eve. You know the ones we mean: That college student who turned vegetarian. The fussy in-law who insists on having the latest food-fad ingredients at every meal. And so on.

Fortunately, this Roast Squash and Sweet Potato Chili with Kale covers all the dietary bases. It’s vegan, so it will appeal to non-carnivores. But it’s also chili (aka flavorful guy food), so meat eaters won’t mutiny. And it has kale, so it should pass muster with the food faddists. It’s even gluten-free.

Best of all? It’s easy to make. In fact, it’s basically a one-dish meal. So you’ll save time cooking—which will give you more time for arguing around the dinner table. Ah, those family gatherings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam on biscuit

A sweet way to use end-of-season tomatoes

As we’ve moved into autumn here in St. Louis, our garden has continued to put out late-season goodies. Including quite a few tomatoes that didn’t have time to ripen before the summer sun faded.

We happily harvested our green tomatoes—but then had to figure out what to do with them. Fried green tomatoes? Nah, been there, done that. Curried Green Tomatoes? Terrific, but we did that last year. We wanted something really different.

So we decided to make Green Tomato Jam. It’s wonderful with biscuits or on toast. And you can even use it as a “sauce” or garnish on meat (it’s spectacular with pork roast).

But we have to make a confession here: Our favorite way to consume Green Tomato Jam is straight from the jar. By the spoonful. Take that as a warning.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Harvest Moon Cocktail

Harvest Moon Cocktail in cocktail glass with lemon slice garnish

A forgotten classic

Autumn is important for us eaters (and drinkers). That’s when farmers rush to harvest crops before the first frost. Then they take those crops to market—which is how the rest of us get fed.

Earth’s natural satellite (aka the moon) even helps celebrate the harvest: Every autumn we enjoy a particularly notable full moon called the “Harvest Moon” (more on that in the Notes).

Here in the US, some of autumn’s bounty traditionally has been distilled into applejack—a hard cider made from North American apples. And applejack just happens to be used in a classic cocktail called the Harvest Moon. Appropriate, don't you think?

Many of today’s imbibers have never tasted a Harvest Moon Cocktail. If you’re among them, get ready for a treat. Just mix up one of these gems, and you may be dancing by the light of the moon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Green Chile Stew with Pork

Green Chile Stew with Pork in bowl

Meat and potatoes, New Mexico style

Green Chile Stew with Pork (aka Chile Verde) is one of the best-known dishes in New Mexico. And while it’s a meat-heavy dish, the flavor is all about the chilies.

Which makes sense, because green chilies—New Mexico’s largest agricultural crop—feature superb quality and flavor.

More about chilies later. Right now, all you really need to know is this: When the weather turns cold, nothing heats you up better than a steaming bowl of Green Chile Stew with Pork.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream in bowl, with pumpkins in background

Its pie-like flavor is no trick, just a (luscious) treat

This time of year, we love to use one of our favorite autumn ingredients: pumpkin. You know, the big orange squash people use to make pumpkin pie.

But man (and woman) cannot live by pie alone. We also need ice cream!

Which reminds us: A while back, we discovered a way to make ice cream without churning—and using no special equipment except our trusty stand mixer. It’s a quick and easy method that produces better ice cream than anything you’re likely to buy in a carton.

So of course, we couldn’t resist adapting it to make this terrific tasting No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream. Just in time for Halloween. Boo!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Texas-Style Chili con Carne

Texas-Style Chili con Carne with jalapeno and cheddar cheese garnish

Warm up with a meat-based classic

With autumnal equinox receding in the rear-view mirror here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re entering a period of chilly (not to mention gloomy and rainy) weather. Which is good news, in a way. Because chilly season means chili season.

During the cooler months, we have chili frequently—at least once a week. And although we make chili using all sorts of ingredients (including a mean vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans), there’s something special about a chili that’s heavy on the meat.

And when it comes to meatiness, nothing beats Texas chili. It typically contains loads of meat and chilies—and not much else. Just the thing to take the chill off.