Braised Cabbage with Apple and Onion [RECIPE]

Braised Cabbage with Apples and Onions

Fresh cabbage is sweetened with sliced apples and a touch of sugar. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

I’m not someone who usually craves cabbage on his plate, but this dish is so delicious, even I went back for seconds. The apples and cider vinegar give this side a slightly sweet flavor and make this one vegetable you’ll want to make time and again. It especially pairs well with pork dishes like my Apricot-Glazed Pork Tenderloin or a plate of Hoppin’ JohnRead more of this post

Are Baby Carrots Bad For You? [VIDEO]

Baby carrots

Baby carrots might be a snack-sized way to add veggies to your diet. But are they good for you? (Photo by m01229, Flickr)

Upon perusing the produce section at the supermarket, ‘baby carrots’ may seem ready made for mindless, healthy eating. After all, they’re already cut, peeled and ready for munching. But are they bad for you? The answer may surprise you. Read more of this post

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

The perfect blend of sweet and savory, our Sweet Potato Spoon Bread is a decadent side dish perfect for any gathering.

From the first time we tasted this decadent recipe, we knew we’d found a keeper. Delicious enough to be desert, this rich and creamy spoon bread is a sweet and savory blend of vegetables and spices. Sweet potatoes are baked until their natural flavors literally ooze through their skins, then they are combined with a medley of spices, pureed and baked into a rich custard. Whether served with roasted poultry or glazed pork, this is a luscious taste of home-baked goodness your family will ask for time and again.

PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 100 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, about 4 pounds
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Bake sweet potatoes until soft when pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool. Peel, and discard skins.
  2. Reduce heat to 350°F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine cornmeal, milk, butter, brown sugar, spices, salt and 1 cup water. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Working in batches if necessary, place cornmeal mixture, sweet potatoes, flour, honey, eggs, and cream in a food processor. Process until smooth; pour into dish. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve.

TIPS: When baking the potatoes, be sure to poke them all over with a fork so they don’t explode in the oven. Also, place a baking sheet beneath them to collect any juices that may drip down to ensure easy cleanup.

YIELDS: 10 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Simple Sauerkraut

Simple Sauerkraut

A staple in German cuisine, our Simple Sauerkraut puts a quick and delicious spin on a cultural classic.

When I lived in Dallas, I used to frequent a little German restaurant called Henk’s European Deli and Black Forest Bakery, because I loved their sauerkraut and sausages. When I moved to Ohio, I quickly discovered that the buckeye state’s culture and geography resemble certain places in Germany. Communities like MainStrasse Village in Covington and German Village in Columbus are steeped in a rich Germanic heritage and still hold many ties to the Rhineland. Here in Porkopolis, aka Cincinnati, German cuisine is easily accessible, and numerous festivals celebrate Germanic culture, like Oktoberfest downtown, the GoettaFest in Newport, Kentucky and the Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, Ohio. But you don’t have to wait for a festival or even go out to eat at one of our German restaurants to satisfy your sauerkraut cravings. It is quite simple to prepare at home, and it delivers health benefits like vitamins A and C, is high in phytonutrient antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which some studies indicate may help combat some cancers.

PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or apple juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, 5 minutes.
  2. Add cabbage, apple cider vinegar, apple cider, and 1/2 cup water to a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until cabbage is tender, 30 – 35 minutes.

TIPS: Serve over hot dogs, on Reuben sandwiches, or with bratwurst and mashed potatoes for a German-inspired meal.

YIELDS: About 4 cups

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Creamy Spinach Lasagna

Creamy Spinach Lasagna

Packed with heart-healthy vegetables and smothered in a surprisingly low-fat cream sauce, our Cream Spinach Lasagna is a hit among carnivores and vegetarians alike.

Although we’re unabashed carnivores in our family, some of our best friends don’t eat any meat. So I’m constantly looking for new recipes that I can add to my repertoire that are hearty and tempting, whether you’re a vegetarian or not. I was thrilled when this Creamy Spinach Lasagna was a big hit among all my friends when I served it at a recent gathering. Filled with heart-healthy vegetables and a surprisingly low-fat béchamel (cream sauce), this lasagna delivers layers of yummy goodness for everyone that eats it. This is best prepared when you have plenty of time on your hands, though, as the multi-step process is somewhat involved and it has a long cook time. But don’t let that prevent you from preparing it! Simply assemble the lasagna, then pop it in the oven, set the timer, and catch up on household chores, watch some shows on your DVR, or enjoy our latest book club pick while it bakes to delicious, bubbly perfection.

PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 85 minutes + 20 minutes resting time

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 pounds spinach, trimmed and washed in water bath
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 packed cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick planks
  • 8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded (6 ounces)
  • 1/3 packed cup grated Pecorino Romano (1 ounce)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle position.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 minutes. Add spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and cook, stirring frequently, until all spinach is wilted, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a mesh strainer and press against spinach to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over high heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is golden brown, 1 minute. Add milk and continue whisking until milk begins to boil and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cover surface with plastic wrap.
  4. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry zucchini, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Spread 1 cup béchamel along the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Place one-third of noodles over béchamel in a single, overlapping layer. Top with 1 cup béchamel and half of spinach. Repeat with a second layer of noodles, béchamel, and spinach. Top with remaining noodles, remaining béchamel, zucchini, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is golden in places and lasagna is bubbling along the edges, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove lasagna from oven and let stand 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

TIPS: This lasagna may be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, bring lasagna back to room temperature before putting it back in the oven at 375°F and cooking until warmed through, about 15 minutes. Serve with a tossed salad and crusty herb bread for a complete meal.

YIELDS: 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.