Shakshuka is a delicious, single-skillet dish of eggs poached in a spicy, homemade tomato sauce, traditionally made in the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on my list of recipes to try for far too long, and now that I’ve finally gotten to it, I just can’t get enough. Add or substitute a can of chickpeas or a diced red or green bell pepper, and simmer along with the tomato sauce. This dish is quick and easy and will warm you right up if you happen to be in the middle of a March blizzard… Shakshuka By Holly Rodricks, inspired by countless recipes Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 1/4 cup Olive Oil 1 medium Onion, finely chopped 4 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped 1 bag Spinach, sliced into ribbons 1 tsp. Paprika 1 tsp. Ground Cumin 1 tsp. Chili Powder Pinch of Cayenne to taste 1 28-oz. can Whole Tomatoes, crushed by hand 6-8 large Eggs 1 cup Plain or Garlic-Chive Chèvre (Goat Cheese) Salt and Pepper to taste Fresh Parsley for garnish if available, chopped coarsely Pita or fresh, crusty Bread (Optional) Instructions: Preheat oven to 425º. Heat Oil in large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add Onion and sauté until translucent. Add Garlic and sauté until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add spices and sauté for 2 more minutes. Pour crushed Tomatoes over Onion mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in Spinach and season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Crumble Goat Cheese evenly over surface of sauce. Crack Eggs one at a time over sauce, spacing evenly. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, until whites of Eggs are set but yolks are still runny. Scoop into bowls, garnish with Parsley, and serve with Pita or fresh, crusty Bread for dipping!
Many years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to this recipe, and I have never made another butternut squash soup since. It is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It will fill you up and keep you toasty in this chilly weather, and it freezes well, too, in case you want to save some for a rainy day! Creamy Butternut Squash Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 8 servings. Ingredients: 1 large Onion, diced 4 cloves Garlic, minced 3-4 tbsp. Oil of Choice 4-5 lbs. Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed 3 Carrots, diced 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and diced 6 cups Chicken Stock (Vegetable Stock may be substituted for vegetarian version.) 2 tbsp. Honey 2 (8 oz.) packages Cream Cheese, cubed Salt and Pepper to taste 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. Chili Powder dash of Nutmeg Instructions: In a stock pot over medium heat, sauté Onions and Garlic in Oil until translucent. Add Squash, Carrots, and Apple. Mix together and cook covered until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally, approximately 15-20 minutes. Add Stock, Honey, Pepper, Chili Powder, and Nutmeg. Let mixture simmer until vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 20-30 minutes. Use immersion blender to blend all ingredients in the pot. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, blend the soup in batches in a regular blender.) Add cream cheese and stir until melted and evenly mixed. Use immersion blender one more time, if necessary. Voila! Enjoy your soup hot, with whatever toppings suit your fancy–roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Sour Cream, fresh or dried Herbs, another sprinkling of Chili Powder, etc. with some fresh bread alongside! Image courtesy of: http://www.snixykitchen.com/2014/03/25/recipe-rewind-butternut-squash-soup-with-parmesan-crisps/.
These spring rolls just taste like summer. They’re cool, light, and crisp. I usually make the peanut sauce first, using a food processor, and the base of this sauce can double as a great salad dressing! Unfortunately, this is a perfect example of how I’m not much of a recipe follower. Use the suggested ingredients below in whatever quantities appeal to your taste buds. Let your stomach be your guide. Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce By Bob Cat Ingredients: For the Sauce – Garlic Ginger Olive Oil Sesame Oil Herbs (Use whatever is available – Cilantro, Basil, Parsley, Thyme, Sage, Dill, Oregano, etc.) Apple Cider Vinegar Soy Sauce or Tamari Hot Sauce (I prefer Sriracha.) Lime Juice (Optional.) Spices (Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder and/or Cayenne, etc.)* 1-3 tbsp. Peanut Butter (Use to taste, depending on how peanut-buttery you like things.) Water (I usually add a splash to make it go further, but it depends on what kind of consistency you like.) *If you stop right here, this makes a really awesome salad dressing. For the Rolls- Veggies of choice, chopped finely (Whatever you have will do – Cabbage, Kale, Chard, Lettuce, Spinach, Onions, Peppers, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Radishes, Carrots, Beets, Turnips, Scallions, Avocados, etc.) Rice Noodles/Bean Threads, cooked (Optional.) Rice Wrappers, softened in a pan with a little hot water (You can find these at most grocery stores or health food stores in the Asian section.) Instructions: Lay Rice Wrapper flat. Load up with Veggies and drizzle with sauce. To create roll, bring bottom triangle of Wrapper up and lay on top of Veggies. Wrapper should stick to Veggies. Then, fold the two sides in, so edges stick to bottom piece of already folded wrapper. Finally, fold top triangle down. *Image Courtesy of: http://blog.eatnuts.com/recipes/appetizers/item/thai-spring-rolls-with-almond-dipping-sauce.