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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Farro Breakfast Bowl

Farro Breakfast Bowl (3)

Farro is an ancient grain from Rome. Its delicious nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture remind me a lot of barley. Farro has been a long time coming. You just couldn’t get your hands on it anywhere! Now, it’s readily available in your local grocery store.

I’m showing two pictures of my Farro Breakfast Bowls, one that’s topped with an egg, and one below without. That’s where Steve and I have a strong difference of opinion. I’m not even sure if “opinion” is even the right word. I’m no fan of the fried egg.  To be fair though, eggs are a big part of any breakfast and Steve loves them, that’s the reason for two pictures.

Anyway, this Farro Breakfast Bowl is easy to make while combining great flavor, color, and texture. Here’s how this dish comes together.

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Let’s talk about Farro

 

I took a screenshot of this brand because it’s the one I’ve used for this dish. You know I love to take help from the grocery store, this cooks up in about 25 minutes and includes some Porcini mushrooms. I’m SOLD!

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch sautèpan, saucepan with tight-fitting lid.

Ingredients:
1 package of cooked Alessi Farro with Porcini mushrooms, 7-ounce package
1 pound, cooked bulk Italian chicken sausage (casings removed) (substitute pork or turkey Italian sausage)
1 small can white shoepeg corn (rinsed and drained)
1 cup of 1-inch diced red bell pepper (1 medium-size pepper)
1 cup of 1-inch diced yellow bell pepper (1 medium-size pepper)
1 cup yellow onion,  1-inch diced
1/2 cup carrots, 1-inch dice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Pistachios (optional)
7-ounces Feta cheese, cubed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese,  shredded or grated
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
1 fried egg (optional, cooked to the temperature of your choosing)

Directions For Farro:
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Feel free to use either water or unsalted chicken stock for cooking the Farro. In place of the butter on the package, I substitute olive oil.

Tip: Cook the sausage while the Farro is cooking.

Directions:
Start by cooking the Farro. Next, in a large sautèpan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using a wooden spoon start by breaking up the sausage. Turn and toss the sausage allowing it to brown on all sides or until the sausage is complete brown with no pink spots, around 10 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, diced peppers and carrots to the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Stir and continue cooking until vegetables become tender another 7-10 minutes.

Don’t worry about the sausage bits sticking to the bottom of the pan because once the vegetables are added, they’ll release their water allowing those bits to be released.

Using the back of a wooden spoon, scrape as much of those brown bits off the bottom of the pan, that’s all flavor!

Transfer the cooked Farro and shoepeg corn to a large mixing bowl. Using a slotted spoon, add the cooked sausage and vegetable mixture to the bowl. Next, add the pistachios (optional), Parmesan cheese, cubed feta, and fresh herbs, then toss together.

Ladle the Farro mixture into a serving bowl and top with a fried egg (optional). Serve hot!

 

 

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Crab Rangoon Souffle

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I love a Crab Rangoons. What better way then to put those flavors into a light and fluffy souffle. This recipe came to me as I was remembering a dear friend of mine, Ellyn. Ellyn and I worked together many years ago. She loved crab, so to pay homage to her, and our longtime friendship I came up with a twist on crab rangoons. This is my Crab Rangoon Souffle. Thanks for all the great memories.

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Crab Rangoon Souffle (2)

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Crab Rangoon Souffle (3)

Crab Rangoon Souffle (1)

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Souffle Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 8 cup souffle dish, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, food processor,  large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, 3-quart saucepan, 6-quart saucepan, large whisk, oven thermometer

Ingredients:
1 pound of crab meat, jumbo lump
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons for greasing the dish
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly ground (using a food processor)
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 cup of scalded milk
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
a pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
4 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
5 extra-large egg whites, room temperature
5 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
4 tablespoons of freshly, finely minced chives

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Prepare the souffle dish with butter and grated Parmesan cheese, making sure the entire inside surface is coated with both, shake off any excess.

Prepare the lump crab by checking for any shells. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pat dry the lump crab with another piece of paper towel making sure the crab is completely dry of any moisture before transferring to a medium-size mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan, add milk and bring up to temperature over medium heat. Once the milk reaches the scalding point turn off the heat. 

In a saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add all-purpose flour whisking constantly for about a minute forming a *roux. Once the mixture has formed a thick, blonde color (refer to picture above) remove the pan from the heat. Add the freshly grated nutmeg, cayenne pepper, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine.

Return the pan back on the heat, add the *scalded milk whisking continuously. Turn the heat up to medium, when the sauce just starts to boil, the sauce is at its thickest consistency. Test by placing a wooden spoon into the mixture and when you pull the spoon out and swipe your finger down the back of the spoon, if the sauce on the spoon remains separated, it’s ready. Turn off the heat.

Transfer the pot onto a cutting board, while the mixture is still hot vigorously whisk in the egg yolks one at a time until all are incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula, add the room temperature cream cheese, by gently smashing up the cream cheese, and mixing, until it’s incorporated throughout. After mixing, if there are a few bigger pieces that’s fine.

Next, add the jumbo lump crab and stir through.

Immediately before placing souffle into the oven, adjust the temperature to 375-degrees F.

Place the egg whites into a large clean/dry mixing bowl. Add cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Using a large whisk, beat the egg whites until they form firm shiny peaks. This will take a few minutes. You could do this in an electric mixer. Gently stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the prepared souffle mixture. The mixture will look slightly lighter. Very gently, fold in the rest of the whites. Pour the completed mixture into the prepared souffle dish. Without peeking, bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until puffy and golden brown.

I like to serve my Crab Rangoon Souffle with a simple salad of mixed greens, lightly dressed with my Lemon Vinaigrette, and topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese.

*Scalded Milk is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will appear around the inner rim of the pot.
*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

 

Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette

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Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

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When I was a growing up I despised mash potatoes, the texture, the taste, everything about them. As I got older, that all changed as I became a parent and cooked almost every night. I learned how to make some improvements to foods I didn’t like as a child. Honestly, I wanted my daughter to like and eat everything I made, especially all variety of vegetables. A mother can dream, can’t she?

I can remember, the texture of mash potatoes was just awful, NOW, I love their creamy texture. Funny thing, Steve doesn’t care for smooth mash potatoes, he likes them to have some texture like mashed potatoes with the skins left on, those he really likes. I came up with a compromise, I’m calling them my Lumpy Mashed Potatoes.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart stockpot, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
5-large Yukon Gold, cooked, peeled, and diced
1 garlic bulb, 4 roasted cloves
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
4-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4-ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of half-and-half
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoon of fresh chives, minced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Peel and discard the papery out layer of the garlic bulb, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top of the cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Set the garlic on top of a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Sprinkle each head with a pinch of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Wrap the garlic bulbs up in the foil. Place the foil packet on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed. Remove from the oven, carefully open the foil packet and set aside to cool.
Start with a large stockpot, add 5 large Yukon Gold potatoes. Cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring the potatoes up to a boil. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of Kosher salt. Continue boiling for around 10 to 15 minutes until just fork tender. Turn the heat off. Strain the water, return the potatoes back into the hot pot. Place a towel over the top so they will continue steaming for another 5 minutes or so. They will be perfectly cooked and the skins can be easily removed. Remove the skins and dice into approx. 1 1/2-inch size chunks. Place the diced potatoes into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In the same large stockpot on low heat, melt the unsalted butter. To the melted butter add the fresh chopped thyme, cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese, half-and-half, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stirring occasionally. Continue to stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until everything becomes nice and smooth. Take the mixture off the heat, add the 4 roasted garlic cloves and diced potatoes right into the cream mixture.

With a potato masher start mashing. The warm potatoes start to absorb the liquid as I start the mashing. This potato recipe is kind of unique because it still has the creaminess of what you know mash potatoes to have, but yet because they are not whipped or put through a food mill they still have little bits of potatoes throughout. Finally, I add 4 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives. There you have it, my Lumpy Mashed Potatoes.

 

 

Homemade Meatloaf

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