Creamy Artichoke Basil Sauce

Artichokes give this sauce its creamy factor without adding any fat.

Motherhood has changed me. We just spent an evening discussing life insurance and wills. I wake up before eight a.m. without an alarm. I no longer pee alone. I don’t shower until noon most days (if I shower at all). And I cook every meal while simultaneously pulling my child out of cabinets, trash cans, and the wash machine … or out from between my legs.

My mom snapped this picture of Jackson last time she was here. He pulls up on my pant legs right behind me and completely immobilizes me. I can’t turn around or squat down to get him or he’ll fall over. Cooking like this is challenging to say the least.

So I love a meal that is quick and easy, but tastes deliciously gourmet. This pasta sauce is exactly that. It takes about five minutes to make and if you pour it over hot pasta, you don’t even have to simmer it. As a bonus, Jackson likes it too, so I can give him little bites of my dinner without making a different meal for him. Mommy and baby approved!

Did I mention there is no cream in this creamy pasta? It’s almost guilt-free, minus the two tablespoons of olive oil. Another bonus for this post baby body!

Rachel’s
Creamy Artichoke Basil Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 T. olive oil

1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, reserve liquid

1 1/2 roasted red bell peppers (jarred or make your own*)

A palm full of basil, roughly chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1/2 t. Italian seasoning

8 oz pasta (I used whole wheat spiral pasta, but any kind you like would be fine)

Directions

In a small skillet, heat garlic and olive oil until garlic is just starting to brown. In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients including the sauteed garlic and olive oil. Add reserved liquid** from the artichokes (I think I used about a half a cup) to thin out sauce to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Toss with pasta immediately out of the boiling water. Garnish with a little chopped basil if desired.

*Making your own roasted peppers is easy. Just placing them directly on on a gas burner flame rotating it a few times (like this) or on a pan under the broiler until charred. Then put it in a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap for a about five minutes. Rub off most of the skin with a damp paper towel. Voila, roasted peppers!

**Pasta water would work great too if you accidentally forget to reserve the liquid from the artichokes. Yes, I speak from experience.

Variations

Stir in chickpeas, sauteed veggies, chicken or Italian sausage (or the vegan versions of these)

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Creamy Artichoke Basil Sauce
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/04/17/creamy-artichoke-basil-sauce/
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Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Curry — Easy Enough for Curry Cowards Like Me

I’m a curry coward. It’s exotic. It’s bright yellow. It has a long ingredient list.

So last night I decided to come up with a simple curry that even a curry coward like me can manage to make. I took the easy route and bought a can of curry powder instead of buying ten different spices and making my own. The first batch I made had lots of veggies and chickpeas, but I decided that three ingredients really stood out from the crowd — cauliflower, kale, and roasted garlic. So I made it again for breakfast this morning while the baby was napping. The life of a food blogging mama! This time I just used those two veggies and a whole bulb of roasted garlic. Much easier. Much better.

I don’t know if brown sugar is a classic addition, but I found it really balanced the strong curry flavors nicely. Curry powders can vary from brand to brand, so you may want to taste the seasoning as you go to see if it needs adjustments. Here’s the kind I used.

Roland Pure Indian Hot Madras Curry Powder (I didn't think it was spicy at all)

Are you intimidated about making your own curry too or was I the only curry coward?

What other dishes would you love to make but haven’t because they seem to complicated or overwhelming?

I watched Michael Symon on The Chew sharing tips on plating food and I thought I'd give it a try. Professional, eh?!

Rachel’s
Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Curry

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 bunch of Kale, ribs removed, washed & dried well
1 head of Cauliflower, chopped into “trees”
1 bulb of Garlic
3 tbs Olive Oil, divided
~ 4 tbs Curry Powder, divided
4 tsp Brown Sugar, divided
1 tsp Salt, divided
1 can of Coconut Milk
16 oz  Lentils, prepared per package instructions

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the top of the garlic to reveal the top of each clove. Put the bulb on a piece of foil, drizzle olive oil on top, and wrap the clove tight with the foil. Put in the oven (directly on the rack is fine until you get the cauliflower in).

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower “trees” with about 1 tbs olive oil. Tossing as you go, gradually add 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt until evenly coated. Place on a large baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray and put in the oven. (Move the garlic onto the baking sheet at this time.) Set the timer for 20 minutes.

In the same large bowl, toss the kale with 1 tbs olive oil, using your hands to massage it into the leaves. Tossing as you go, gradually add  2 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Put the kale on a large baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. It will be crowded, but that’s okay, we aren’t looking for crisp kale chips so it can be a little crowded. Add the kale to the oven, leaving the garlic and cauliflower in too. Cook everything for 20 more minutes. You might want to give the cauliflower and kale a shake every now and then.

In a small sauce pan, heat 1 tbs olive oil on medium heat and add 3 tbs of curry powder. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 2 tbs brown sugar and 1 can of coconut milk. Stir.

When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and remove the garlic. You can leave the kale and cauliflower in the oven to stay warm while you finish up the sauce. Carefully (it will be really hot) take the garlic out of the foil and squeeze it into the curry sauce. You can just stir it in if the garlic is really oozy or put it into the blender for a few seconds to evenly incorporate it.

Serve veggies on a bed of lentils and top with curry sauce.

And just like that I’m over my fear of curry and you can be too!

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Curry
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/29/roasted-cauliflower-and-kale-curry
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved

Jalapeno Jelly & Gorgonzola Burgers

Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers

I am married to a man who appreciates a good meal like you wouldn’t believe.  He enjoys the gourmet fare I occasionally serve, but one of his favorite suppers is a simple hamburger patty, a side of corn and a tossed salad.  I served this meal to him not long ago, on a day when he must have been really hungry because as I handed Greg his plate, he looked up gratefully and said, “You saved my life!”

“Really?” I asked.  “Just by cooking a hamburger patty?”

“Yes. Absolutely.”

Wow, I had no idea I welded that much power with a quarter pound of ground round.

Tonight I decided to jazz up his patty a bit, by mixing the meat with mustard, Worcestershire and jalapeno jelly, then stuffing it with Gorgonzola cheese and topping it with a bit more jelly and chopped jalapenos.

He loved it.   I loved it.  Lots of happy flavors did a salsa in my mouth.

I now share it with you,  as my small part in helping to save lives.

Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers

Becky’s Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers

Ingredients

Makes 4 juicy patties, serves 2 – 4 people, depending on how hungry they are!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

* 1/4 c.  jalapeno jelly, divided (you’ll use some for topping)

1 T. mustard (I prefer stone ground, but use what ever kind you like)

1 large clove garlic, grated

1 t. Worcestershire sauce

1 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

4 one inch cubes of Gorgonzola or blue cheese  (you can use any cheese you prefer)

4 t. chopped pickled jalapenos (you may also use fresh jalapenos, too, just expect  an extra kick of heat)

* Alternate substitute for Jalapeno Jelly: Mix 3 T. of your favorite jelly with 1 T. oickled jalapeno juice, Tabasco or buffalo sauce

Directions:

In a large bowl, use clean hands to mix hamburger meat with 2 T. of the  jalapeno jelly (or substitute), and the next 4 ingredients. Divide into 8 equal size hamburger patties, making them a bit on the thin side. Crumble each 1 inch cube of cheese in the middle of 4 hamburger patties as shown in the picture below.

Top the cheese covered patties with the remaining 4 patties and press to seal the edges.

Place four patties in a hot skillet (may use a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking) and brown until nice  caramelization takes place on one side.  Flip and turn stove temp down to medium,  cook about a minute to let the other side get good and brown as well. Then lower temp to low, cover and cook until burgers are cooked all the way through,  to your liking.

Remove from skillet to plate lined with paper towel to let excess fat drain off.  Spread a teaspoon of jalapeno jelly over each burger before serving, then garnish each patty with about a teaspoon of chopped jalapeno.

Wonderful with corn and a green salad made with tomatoes and avocados.   Or make into gourmet hamburgers with a dollop of guacamole between the burgers and buns.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/21/jalapeno-jelly-gorgonzola-burgers
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved