Thursday, November 21, 2013

sweet potatoes with feta, grapes, and spicy sausage

Opposites attract. Even in the food world. I mean, this literally sounds like an episode of Chopped where you open your basket and there's (gasp!) a sweet potato, a bunch of red grapes, some spicy pork sausage, and feta cheese. Uh - what would you possibly make? This. And it will be real, real good. Trust.

There's something about the tangy, salty feta mixed with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and the grapes. And then spicy sausage for that heartiness and protein that dinner time calls for. I threw on a drizzle of honey for good nature. Feta and honey? You haven't lived until you've tried this.

This dinner is incredibly fulfilling. I downed it after a few mile run and it was ever so satisfying. I could also see this with 1 (maybe 2?) glasses of red wine being the ultimate Wednesday night. Especially if you have an episode of The Voice on your DVR. You know you love it....

roasted sweet potatoes with feta, grapes, and spicy sausage
makes 1

1 lb. sweet potato
1 link of spicy pork sausage
2 tablespoons feta
1 bunch of red grapes, rinse and sliced in half
1 teaspoon honey
Salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste

Set oven to 375 degrees. Wash sweet potato and prick several times with a fork. Roast until fork tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, remove the sausage from its casing and cook in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through.

When potato is done, remove and let cool for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Slice open and create a pocket for stuffing. Add in sausage, feta, grapes, drizzle with honey, and season with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

roasted squash and mushroom pockets

These savory tarts are legit. Josh has a way with dough and whipped these little puppies up for my birthday a few nights back. The pastry has poppy seeds and sunflower seeds and everything nice. And then you bite into the filling and - oh my goodness - it's like a bite of Autumn in your mouth. Like a really good bite of Autumn. A mix of sweet and savory onions and acorn squash and cremini mushrooms.

You could serve these as an appetizer. Or atop a lightly dressed salad. Or you could eat it standing in front of your open fridge. I won't judge.

roasted squash and mushroom pockets
from the incredible Joy the Baker
(makes 6 pockets)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppers
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 small acorn squash
1 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 8-oz package cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala


Combine flour, salt, seeds, and black peppers. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg and 1 egg white, 1/4 cup cold water, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with fork.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it comes together in a disk (add water or flour as necessary to get a moist but not overly sticky texture). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge. Overnight is best.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut acorn squash in half, remove fibers and seeds, slice into 1/2-inch semi-circles, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Remove skin from onion and slice into 1/4-inch semi-circles. Add to the baking sheet. Smash the clove of garlic, add to baking sheet. Clean mushrooms with damp paper towel, slice into bite-sized pieces and add to baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and a healthy portion of salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables until browned and fork tender, approximately 25 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Remove skins from squash and place in bowl. Add in roasted onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Add cumin, garam masala, and salt and pepper.

Roll out dough into a 1/4-inch thick sheet. Slice the dough into 6x6 squares. Spoon 1/4 cup filling into the center of the pasty. Beat 1 egg. Lightly brush the edges of each pastry with the egg wash. Bring opposite corners together of the dough and pinch together - it should form an X on top. Brush the tops of each tart with egg wash.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.