Sausage,  Kale, and Sweet Potato Soup


  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 large onion, cut to 1/2″ cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 links smoked  Polish sausage
  • 1 pinch celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut to 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 bunch dino kale, cut to 1/2″ slices
  • salt

In a 3-quart saucepan, begin heating the chicken broth over medium heat. Add the sausage links, onions, garlic, celery seed, and bay leaves.  When broth begins to boil, add sweet potatoes, garam masala, and cumin. When the broth returns to a boil, turn  it down to a simmer. When the sausages are cooked through, remove them from the pot. When the sweet potatoes have begun to soften, add the name to the pot . salt to taste.  Cut the sausage into 1/4″ slices, and return them to the pot. Serve when both kale and sweet potatoes are tender.

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Baked rice with chicken and mushrooms

This weekend I tried this Baked Rice with Chicken and Mushroom recipe from New York Times Cooking.

This tastes amazing, but instead of being nice and fluffy, it’s rather gloopy.

Since the recipe calls for 4.5 cups of liquid for 2 cups of rice and most recipes I’m finding use a 1:1.5 or 1:1.75 ratio of rice to liquid for Basmati rice, I think this is the most likely cause of gloopiness.

I made two minor changes to the ingredients. Instead of the handful of king oyster mushrooms in the rice, I used sliced crimini mushrooms, which I added while sauteing the onions. And to brown the king oyster mushrooms I used a lactose-free butter.

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My Recipe: Roasted potatoes with mustard greens and bacon

~1lb of sliced bacon (use more if the bacon is thick-sliced), cut into 1/2″ slices

5 lbs red potatoes, clean, remove eyes, and cut into 1″ pieces
2 yellow onions, quartered and cut to 1/4″ slices
1 bunch of mustard greens, cleaned and cut to 2″x1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
Fry the bacon in batches, set bacon aside to drain and reserve the fat after each batch.
Pour some of the bacon grease on the potatoes to barely coat, season with salt if the bacon is more smoky than salty, and roast the potatoes in a single layer until soft in the center and lightly browned on the edges, about 20 minutes. 5 pounds fits on 2 half-sheet pans (I did this in batches, and I recommend doing 2 pans at once).
Fry the onions in more of the bacon grease until soft and starting to brown. Set the onions aside.
Cook the mustard greens in bacon grease until tender. Test them when they look wilted, if they still aren’t actually tender, add a little water to help them soften, season with salt if necessary.
Put everything in a big mixing bowl, add a bunch of black pepper, a 1/4 cup of cider vinegar, and stir until mixed.

Gluten-sensitive Crab Cakes

When the grocery store has Phillips lump crab meat on sale, I buy some and make these:

  • Crab meat
  • Mayonnaise
  • celery
  • garlic
  • corn meal
  • black pepper
  • vegetable oil

Dice the celery and mince the garlic. Saute together until both are soft. Mix crabmeat, mayonnaise, celery, garlic, and black pepper gently. Form patties. Roll patties in corn meal. Pan-fry in vegetable oil.

Japanese-inspired-inspired breakfast

My little brother the chef went to Japan, and he made a Japanese-inspired breakfast with his new rice cooker when he came home. I was inspired to make something similar with my old rice cooker.

Brown rice, ginger-sesame salmon, crabstick and cucumber salad, and green onions.

The rice was from the pantry, cooked in the rice cooker.

The salmon was from Whole Foods fish case, seasoned and ready to cook. I seared it in a little avocado oil on all the long sides until crispy. Little brother did his with a miso-teriyaki glaze, but I was feeling lazy. I doubt the store-bought fish was gluten-free, but if I make my own sauce, I can use a GF temari.

The seafood salad is crabstick and English cucumbers cut into smaller pieces and drizzled with a mix of Hellman’s mayo and sriracha. Little bro used some teriyaki sauce in his, but I didn’t make teriyaki, so I had no sauce to add. I did not use gluten-free crabstick because none of the shops near my house stock it. But I did pick some up at the shop near my office so I can make this for my dining partner. Then I cut some spring onions from my garden as fine as I had patience for and sprinkled them on top.

Very yummy.

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Winter Squash Risotto

Pumpkin risotto this weekend. Well, actually red kuri squash risotto, served in squash bowls.

Here’s the recipe I used as inspiration:

Since my dining partner can’t eat cow dairy, I used goat butter, Romano, and Roquefort for the butter, Parmesan, and Gorgonzola.

Scraping the contents of this squash out to make bowls was difficult and I now have a blister and bruise. So I only scraped 2 of them. The third I removed the seeds, peeled, and cubed. I cooked the 2 different shapes in 2 different batches.

I accidentally over-salted the first batch of squash, so the ended up super-salty.

So I added the properly-seasoned cubed squash, which wasn’t enough bland to fix it. So the next day I made a batch of risotto with onions, olive oil, wine, and rice. No salt or broth. Then mixed the leftover risotto into the new rice. This fixed the salt, but left it tasting a little flat. So I added some fresh sage leaves (the original recipe had some, too), which made it perfect.

I will definitely be doing something like this again.

We ate it with bacon/cider sausage from Seward Co-op,  my favorite place for sausage, that I pan-fried until cooked through and nicely browned on the outside. For the second day, I made swiss chard with mushrooms and leeks and a splash of cider vinegar.

The dining partner has decided that this is even better at quelling a mac-and-cheese craving than gluten-free sheep/goat mac-and-cheese.

Gluten-sensitive Lactose-sensitive Macaroni and Cheese

Starting with this recipe for stove-top mac and cheese, but using goat milk, goat cheese, and gluten-free pasta.

1 lb gluten-free pasta

1 quart goat milk

1 cup water (if needed)

9 oz cheese (I used a mix of goat cheedar and goat gouda)

8 oz mushrooms

1-2 Tbsp goat butter

2 heads broccoli

Salt & pepper

Cut the broccoli into florets and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Run cold water over them in the colander and set aside.

Clean the mushrooms, remove bottoms of stems, and slice. Sauté in goat butter until they start to brown. Set aside.

Put the pasta in the pan, add 4 cups of goat milk, heat until it bubbles, reduce heat to keep it barely simmering. Stir frequently. Add more liquid a cup at a time.

Meanwhile grate the cheese.

When the pasta is al dente (took about 30 minutes for this batch), turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. When the cheese is all melted stir in the broccoli and mushrooms.

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