Sunday, August 28, 2016

Homemade Veggie Breakfast Sausage (or Italian Sausage) (gluten free)

Ahhh, sausage, my one true food love! As a vegetarian for 13 plus years, I finally caved and began eating real sausage. My sisters called me a sausatarian. But it was because I was tired of eating bad faux meat with unprounceable ingredients. Failing to make good faux veggie sausage, I had subccumbed to the real stuff. But then the vegan sausage revolution happened and things changed! Unfortunately, gluten is not my friend, so after some experimentation, this gluten free version was born!

It does hold together pretty well when frying, but certainly will not hold up in a stew. But super tasty it is! This is a basic recipe that can be changed according to the seasonings to make it Breakfast sausage or Italian Sausage, or maybe one day I'll even try to make a bratwurst!

I like to make the breakfast sausages really fat so that I can slice them thin and cook like a patty. Yum!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mashed Potato Pancakes

Apologies to whomever (or whereever) I first saw a recipe for mashed potato pancakes! The website is completely lost from my memory.

What a wonderful idea! And yes, they are as delicious as you would expect: pillowy pancakes made of mashed potato goodness. Wednesday is mashed potato night for us and leftovers are made on purpose to make these tasty morsels for weekend brunch.

While they are tasty on their own, we like to slather them with chipotle mayo or chevre or tomato jam or pesto. Kind of anything goes well with them, the sky's the limit!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eggplant Involtini with Feta and Raisins

Involtini - a thin slice of something wrapped around something else. Kind of non-descript but oh so Delicioso!

Borrowing from a New York Times recipe, this version is thinnly sliced eggplant wrapped around feta, raisins, and nuts. Strange combination you may think? Not really, very traditionally Sicilian, and trust me, those Sicilians know a thing or two about how to make great food!

Not surprisingly, my version diverts from the original recipe, mainly because I got distracted and forgot to add the lemon zest and dried mint. They were spectacular without those extra ingredients but next time they will be in there.

Yes, it takes a bit more time than a 30 minute meal; closer to 90 minutes. But it is so worth the effort. For myself, my time spent preparing food is my alone time, my daily meditation. But if that time commitment is daunting, you can make part of it ahead of time; fry the eggplant and refrigerate it, bringing it to room temperature before stuffing and rolling it.

Since we are in full blown tomato season, just go with a very simple topping of chopped fresh tomatoes. Do drain off the extra tomato juice (or slurp it when no one is watching, cook's perogative!)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bearnaise Sauce...on Halibut Steaks

As mentioned before, French cuisine has always intimidated me. But since mastering hollandaise (and aioli ages ago), Bearnaise sauce was next on the list to conquer. Eh Voila! So easy if you follow these steps!

Usually Bearnaise is served on steak or lamb (and it is also delicious with fries!) but being mainly pescatarians it was halibut steaks for us and it worked beautifully.

A few words of advice. Do be overly cautious about overcooking the yolk mixture; remove the double boiler bowl from the heat often because once you overcook the yolks, the sauce is ruined. You will have to start over. Believe me, this has happened to me with hollandaise sauce, and it is as frustrating as it sounds! But patience is a virtue and this sauce is worth the time!

Reread the recipe several times to understand the process. Don't be overwhelmed by the length of instructions, it is just helpful tips so that you will be successful on your first try.