Posts by tag: pork

  • Kale and Apple Soup

Kale and Apple Soup

Posted on January 16, 2017
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This post was originally published here on February 4, 2015. I’ve since updated the recipe slightly and added new (and better!) photos. Enjoy!

And just like that, we’re right smack into the middle of January. Seriously, how does this time go by so fast? I feel like I say that as we approach the end of every day/month/year. But it just seems to be true. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

So how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a damn good thing that I didn’t make any regarding food, because whoa nelly would I have broken them all this weekend. Shattered them, actually.

I don’t know what got into me. Well, I know exactly what got into me: a couple of bags of Valentine’s Day candy. Seriously, I don’t know what it is about Valentine’s Day candy, but it’s my favorite and I can’t ever seem to resist it. And with the stores pushing the Holiday’s earlier and earlier each year, I’m doomed from the start of January until mid-February.

Side note: My friend Christina wrote a little Valentine’s Day candy review this past week and it’s a fun read, if you’re into that sort of thing.

So it’s back to soups and smoothies for me for the next couple of days. And this Kale and Apple Soup is one I’ll be enjoying on the regular.

Kale and Apple Soup | www.floatingkitchen.net

Now, don’t go and immediately write this soup off as some weird dieter recipe. Sure, it’s packed full of greens and it can certainly be labeled “healthy”. But it also has a little bacon, which gives it a rich, luscious taste. And it’s not at all thin, watery and one-dimensional. Those are not good characteristics for soup, or otherwise. Nope. This Kale and Apple Soup has body, a touch of sweetness from some maple syrup and a little bit of heat from a heavy sprinkling of red and black pepper flakes to finish it off. It’s a recipe that I’ve been making for a couple years now. And it’s one I always go back too when I feel the need to be a little bit kinder to my body.

Kale and Apple Soup | www.floatingkitchen.net

The soup recipe itself is dairy free. Although I do love adding a little drizzle of heavy cream on top. But you can certainly skip that part, if you prefer. No big deal!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Kale and Apple Soup

Serves about 4

Kale and Apple Soup

Ingredients

  • For the soup
  • 1/4 cup chopped bacon
  • 1 large bunch of kale (about 10-ounces), thick stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Granny smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup

  • For Garnish
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Heavy cream
  • Maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it’s just starting to brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the kale, parsley and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stirring to coat the kale and parsley in the fat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups of the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
  2. Carefully transfer the kale mixture to your blender and blend on high until smooth. Be careful when transferring and blending hot liquids, and work in batches if necessary. Transfer the blended kale mixture to a clean bowl and set it aside.
  3. Place the pot back over medium-high heat and warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in the chopped apple, salt and black pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
  4. Carefully transfer the apple mixture to your blender and blend on high until smooth. Be careful when transferring and blending hot liquids, and work in batches if necessary. Add the blended apple mixture and the maple syrup to the blended kale mixture, stirring to combine.
  5. Re-heat the soup as necessary, adding additional broth to thin it to your desired consistency. Lade the hot soup into bowls for serving. Top with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, black pepper and a drizzle of heavy cream and/or maple syrup, if desired.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/kale-and-apple-soup/
  • Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney

Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney

Posted on November 17, 2016

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stonewall Kitchen. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that help to keep my little kitchen afloat!

It’s no secret that I love appetizers. Just sit me down in front of a spread of bite-sized foods and I’ll be pretty happy. I can easily skip the main event all together. Cocktails, finger foods and desserts are where it’s at, in my humble opinion. No need to go to all the trouble of roasting up a whole turkey just for me!

And you know what? I kind of have an inkling that you all might be feeling exactly the same way. So today, I’m bringing you these adorable Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney for all your snacking pleasures. You’re welcome.

Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney | www.floatingkitchen.net

My go-to appetizer is usually some kind of toasty bread piled high with cheese and ALL THE toppings. But this year, I really wanted to create something gluten-free. And while I certainly could have just used gluten-free bread, that seemed like a bit of a cop-out. Then I remembered my friend Sarah’s polenta bites from the Summer, and I decided to try my hand at creating a festive Fall/Winter version that would be appropriate for Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday entertaining. My rendition has whipped ricotta cheese with fresh herbs, a flavorful chutney, a few crumbles of bacon and everyone’s favorite seasonal vegetable – brussels sprouts.

There are a few separate steps required to make these polenta bites. But none of them are particularly taxing or time consuming. The polenta gets baked in the oven (no stirring required!), and can be prepared up to a day or two in advance, which is a huge time saver. And you can even separate out the brussels sprout leaves ahead of time as well, storing them in your refrigerator until you’re ready to crisp them up.

I should warn you that these crispy brussels sprout leaves are highly addicting. Once you start munching on them, it’s hard to stop. You’ll be amazed at how quickly an entire pan can disappear!

Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney | www.floatingkitchen.net

But the real star of the show is the Holiday Chutney from Stonewall Kitchen. With it’s blend of fruits (including pears, cranberries and rhubarb) and warming spices, it provides the perfect tart-sweet balance to offset the other savory-salty ingredients in this recipe. Which ultimately makes these polenta bites one heck of a well rounded appetizer.

Both literally and figuratively. You know, because they are round.

Ugh. I’m the worst. Sorry.

Stonewall Kitchen’s Holiday Chutney is also a great addition to any charcuterie or cheese plate (these Simple White Crackers are my favorite!). And it’s a wonderful topping for baked ham, pork or chicken. I like to keep a jar on hand at all times, because it totally helps me bring my A-game to the table around the Holidays!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe inspired by The Kitchn

Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney

Yield: Makes 16-24 bites, depending on the size

Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney

Ingredients

  • For the Polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups polenta
  • 1 tsp. salt

  • For the Toppings
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 4 cups loosely packed brussels sprout leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • About 1/2 cup Stonewall Kitchen Holiday Chutney

  • For the Whipped Ricotta
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. To prepare the polenta, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Generally grease an 9 X 13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk together the water, polenta and salt in your prepared baking pan. Then transfer the pan to your pre-heated oven and bake until the polenta is firm, about 50 minutes. Remove the baking dish from your oven and set it on a wire rack to cool. Then transfer it to your refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Add the chopped bacon to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp, stirring frequently. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve the bacon fat.
  3. To prepare the brussels sprout leaves, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Add the brussels sprout leaves to a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, then use your fingers to rub the olive oil over the leaves, making sure to separate any leaves that are stuck together. Spread the brussels sprout leaves out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt and black pepper. Bake in your pre-heated oven until slightly crispy, about 10-12 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Cut the chilled polenta into appetizer-sized bites. You can use a round cookie/biscuit cutter to make circles. Or use a knife to slice it into triangles or squares. Arrange the polenta bites onto a baking sheet. Brush the tops with some of the reserved bacon fat. Then transfer the polenta bites to your pre-heated oven and bake until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the whipped ricotta. Add the ricotta, cream cheese, milk, salt and black pepper to a medium bowl. Beat with your hand mixer until well combined and smooth. Fold in the fresh herbs. Set aside.
  6. To assemble the polenta bites, first spread some of the whipped ricotta onto the surface of the warmed polenta. Top with the Holiday Chutney, a couple pieces of bacon and a few crispy brussels sprout leaves. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/polenta-bites-with-crispy-brussels-sprout-leaves-ricotta-and-chutney/

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