Monday, November 15, 2010

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Stoup

I recently decided to give Rachael Ray's new show Rachael Ray's Week in a Day a try. And I confess, I love it! I do like to spend an afternoon cooking and end up with a bunch of stuff I can pick on during the week. But for me it's more about lunches and breakfasts than having dinner prepared in advance. Regardless, I was excited about a bunch of recipes she features.

I have made "stoup" before and love the concept. It's Rachael Ray's cute way of naming a chunky soup - like a cross between a soup and a stew. And I loving making things like this on the weekend, when the house can smell all good while it's cooking, and then taking it for lunch. In addition, this uses broccoli raab which is something I've been trying to eat more of (dark green leafy veggies).

All the flavors come together great in this dish. And in fact, it's a bit spicy! If you are sensitive to heat you may want to cut down on the chili pepper. But for me, it made it even better.

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Stoup
4 servings

1 large bundle broccoli rabe, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage
1 onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or very thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon lemon zest
A few grates nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock-in-a-box
2 cups water
About 3/4 cup orecchietti pasta
Grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping
Crusty bread, such as ciabatta

In a medium pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil over medium heat, then salt the water. Trim the broccoli rabe and cut it into 1 1/2 to 2-inch lengths. Simmer in boiling water to reduce the bitterness, about 4 to 5 minutes, then cold shock in ice water and drain very well.

Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan. Add the sausage and brown and crumble, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and chile and cook a few minutes more. Add the thyme and lemon zest, then add broccoli rabe and season with a little nutmeg. Stir in the stock and the water and bring to a boil. Simmer a few minutes to combine the flavors. Turn off the heat, cool and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat the stoup over low heat and bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, about 10 minutes. Ladle the stoup in shallow bowls and garnish with cheese. Serve with crusty bread for mopping.

Note: For a milder version, use only 3 tablespoons of chili powder and ½ teaspoon cayenne.

See more hearty recipes for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays hosted weekly by Kahakai Kitchen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Apple Slaw

This recipe is a fresh twist on coleslaw, it includes two kinds of apples! This isn't a creamy coleslaw, so be prepared for vinegary flavors. It's REALLY important to let this sit. When I first ate it I didn't think it had much flavor, but when I had a few bites a few hours later it was really great. So I suggest letting this sit even longer then their recommended thirty minutes.

To turn this into a meal we at it with some fresh bratwurst straight from Milwaukee. And with my leftover I sliced it up and mixed it in with the slaw. What a great lunch. And the next night I broiled some tilapia and used this slaw to make fish tacos. The flavors of the slaw were a bit strong by then but it went great with the fish tacos! In fact I may use this recipe for fish tacos from now on.

Apple Slaw
Serves 4

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 small cabbages, shredded (7 cups)
3 large carrots, shredded (1 cup)
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and cut into thin strips
1 Braeburn apple, unpeeled and cut into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted walnuts, chopped (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, Dijon, oil, salt and pepper.

In a large salad bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, apples and parsley; toss with dressing to coat. Top with walnuts, if desired. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serve immediately after chilling.

Nutritional information per 1 1/4 cup serving as provided in magazine:
Calories: 129, Total Fat: 4g, Sat. Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Carbs: 22g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars 13g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 247 mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Broccoli Raab, Sicilian Style

Well, this confirms it. I only like broccoli raab in soups. I have tried several times because I am trying to "eat more green leafy vegetables", but the taste is too strong for me. Or maybe I'm still not doing it right. I had hope for this recipe, but the flavor was still too overpowering. However, I do want to try this with regular broccoli and also spinach! I think tomatoes and fennel seeds are amazing together so I'm sure this would be great if I like the greens. But it's simple to make and smells great while cooking so if you like broccoli raab I hope you give this one a try.

Broccoli Raab, Sicilian Style
Serves 4

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 chopped tomato, or 12 halved cherry tomatoes
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 big bunch (16 oz.) broccoli raab
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, tomato, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently for a few minutes, until the tomatoes soften and the garlic is golden but not burned.

Blanch, then drain the broccoli raab. Add to skillet - careful, it splatters - and sprinkle with sea salt.

Cover, and cook about 3 minutes, then toss again to cook evenly. Cover, and continue cooking for another minute or two.

Taste for doneness; it's ready when tender to your preference.

Nutritional information as published in magazine:
Per 1-cup serving: 107 Cal; 4 G Prot; 7 G Total Fat (<1 G Sat Fat); 7 G Carg; 0 MG Chol; 231 MG Sod; 3 G Fiber; 2 G Sugars