This dish could or should be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen called the dish “pizza beans” to make it more appealing to her kids- so I did the same. 😉 She also had the genius suggestion of serving it with garlic bread, giving it even more appeal. Perelman described it as “a mash-up of a giant-beans-in-tomato-sauce dish from Greece and American-style baked ziti, with beans instead of noodles.” Heaven!
My husband and I enjoyed this dish very much. We are already big fans of Greek Gigante beans, by the way. 🙂 With the name “pizza beans,” my kids were expecting pizza, but the flavors in the dish were more like minestrone soup. It may have been more well-received if I had simply called it by the original title, Tomato & Gigante Bean Bake. 😉
This dish would also be wonderful as a cold-weather comfort food casserole. The recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman, via smitten kitchen.com. I used a pressure cooker to cook the dried beans, incorporated the pressure cooker bean liquid as well as beet greens, and increased the amount of garlic. I plan to make it again in the winter and give it a different title. I’m sure it will be more well-received. It will be served with garlic bread, of course.
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large or 2 regular carrots, diced
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white or red wine, optional
- 4 ounces (115 grams) curly kale leaves, beet greens, and/or mixed baby greens, coarsely chopped
- 2 1/4 cups (550 grams) crushed tomatoes (28-ounce or 800-gram can minus 1 cup; reserve the rest for another use)
- 1 pound (455 grams) giant white beans such as Italian fagioli corona, Greek gigante/gigandes, Royal Corona, or large lima beans
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) vegetable broth or pressure cooker bean liquid, as needed
- 1/2 pound (225 grams) mozzarella, coarsely grated
- 1/3 cup (35 grams) grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons (5 grams) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish, optional
- garlic bread, for serving, optional
- To use a Pressure Cooker to “Soak” the Beans: Place 12 cups of water, 3 tsp of coarse salt and the dried beans in a pressure cooker. Raise to high pressure (2nd ring) for 2 minutes. Release pressure using the natural (water) method. Drain the beans.
- Cook the Beans in a Pressure Cooker: Place the drained beans with 9 cups of fresh water in the pressure cooker. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cook on low (1st ring) for 3 minutes. Release pressure using the natural (water) method. Drain the beans reserving the bean liquid.
- Heat the oven to 475 degrees, preferably on convection.
- In a 2 1/2-to-3-quart (ideally oven-safe) deep sauté pan, braiser, or shallow Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Season well with salt and black or red pepper. Cook, sautéing, until the vegetables brown lightly, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the wine, if using, to scrape up any stuck bits, then simmer until it disappears, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the kale/greens, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until collapsed, then add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
- Add the beans, and, if the mixture looks too dry or thick (canned tomatoes range quite a bit in juiciness), add up to 3/4 cup broth/bean liquid, 1/4 cup at a time.
- Simmer the mixture together over medium for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasonings as needed.
- If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a 3-quart baking dish.
- Sprinkle the beans first with the mozzarella, then the Parmesan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on top. If you’re impatient and want a deeper color, you can run it under the broiler.
- Finish with parsley, if desired. Serve with garlic bread.
Posted in Casserole, Pressure Cooker, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: beans, beet greens, casserole, dinner, fagioli, gigante beans, Greek, greens, Italian, kale, kid-friendly dinner, legumes, lima beans, mozzarella, parmesan, pressure cooker, royal corona, Smitten Kitchen
I have another wonderful Indian dish to share. I first spotted this mouth-watering dish on Safari of the Mind– the site of my like-minded blog friend, Loretta. I had to make it. 🙂
I doubled the amount of chicken in the original recipe -thinking it would be the highlight- but I was obsessed with the rice! I didn’t cut the chicken into pieces, but may opt to next time. I used 1 tablespoon of prepared Garam Masala powder but included the ingredients to prepare it below- I do think it would be even more delicious if it was prepared with the fresh spice blend. I also omitted the water in the marinade and the mint in the tempering. I baked the biryani rather than cooking it on the stove.
The recipe was adapted from Yummefy.com, via Loretta @Safari of the Mind. We ate it sautéed greens with garlic and cumin. Yum!
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
For the Marinade:
- 2 cups plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
- 1/2 large yellow onion, very finely chopped (about 150 grams)
- 5 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped (about 1 T)
- 2-inch piece ginger root, very finely chopped (about 2 T)
- 4 to 8 green chillies, fresh, chopped, de-seeded and minced, to taste (I used jalapeños)
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from 1 large lime
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
- 8 to 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 in pieces, if desired
For the Masala Powder:
- 4 cloves
- 1 piece cinnamon, 1 inch
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
For the Rice:
- 2 cups basmati rice, or any other long-grain rice
- 4 cloves
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 1 piece cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
- 4 tsp plus 1 T ghee, divided
- 2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
- 3 large yellow onions, sliced
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk for 30 minutes
- 14 fresh mint leaves, for garnish, as desired
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish, as desired
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, blanched and toasted
- Place yogurt in a large bowl and whisk, using a fork until smooth. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies to a bowl and combine with yogurt, turmeric, lime juice, coriander leaves and salt.
- Place masala powder ingredients in an electric grinder and process to a fine powder. Add to yogurt mixture.
- Add chicken and massage with your hands for the marinade to coat and penetrate the chicken. Marinate, covered for 2 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
- Wash rice at least 3 times until the water runs clear. Soak rice in water to cover by at least 1 inch for 15 minutes. Drain.
- Place a large pan on high heat and pour in 2 liters (8 cups) water. (I used a 4 quart pan.) Bring to a boil and then add drained rice, stirring gently. Toss in cloves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon, bay leaf and salt. Stir to mix, then cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat or until half-cooked. Drain the rice. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Heat 4 teaspoons ghee and tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the sliced onions till caramelized and crisp. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (200 degrees C)
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil onto the bottom of a heavy saucepan and place the marinated chicken at the bottom, spreading it out in one layer. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
- Spoon half the rice in a layer over the chicken. Drizzle 2 tablespoons saffron milk, 1/2 tablespoon ghee, and 1/2 tablespoon coriander leaves over the layered rice. Top with 1/2 the onions.
- Repeat one more layer with the remaining rice, saffron milk, ghee, coriander leaves, and onions.
- Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and then with a fitted lid.
- Place biryani in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is 165 degrees. Remove from the oven. Let the biryani rest, covered for 10 minutes. (Because the chicken pieces were whole, I baked it for 45 minutes.)
- Remove lid and foil, and garnish with mint and/or cilantro leaves and slivered almonds, as desired. Serve hot.
One Year Ago: Green Curry Pork Tenderloin
Three Years Ago: Jerk Chicken with Spicy Pineapple Sauce & West Indies Roti
Four Years Ago: Indian-Spiced Chicken Stew
Five Years Ago: Indian-Spiced Chicken & Spinach
Posted in Casserole, Chicken (Poultry), Recipes
Tags: baked rice, biryani, boneless skinless chicken thighs, cardamom, cardamom pods, chicken, chicken thighs, cilantro, cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin seeds, dinner, ginger, Greek yogurt, Indian, jalapeños, lime juice, masala, saffron, turmeric
I have a couple family friendly comfort food pasta casseroles to share. In my house, this type of dish always seems to be the perfect meal in cold weather.
We recently enjoyed this one on a snowy evening- eating by candlelight. I thanked my lucky stars that it had finished baking before our power went out… hence the candlelight! 😉
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I used diced tomatoes and substituted fontina for provolone. I suppose half and half could be substituted for some (or all) of the heavy cream, but I went for the full indulgence on this (dark and cold) occasion.
1 pound pasta, such as medium shell or tube pasta (I used Capunti pasta)
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella, coarsely grated
4 ounces fontina, coarsely grated
2 ounces extra sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
2 ounces Parmesan, finely grated
1½ cups heavy cream
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
room-temperature butter or nonstick cooking oil spray (for pan)
- fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, or parsley, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until about halfway cooked (it needs to be very firm at this stage so that it doesn’t overcook when baked). Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid, and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
Combine mozzarella, fontina, cheddar, Parmesan, cream, diced tomatoes, and reserved ½ cup pasta cooking liquid in a large bowl; mix to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Add cauliflower and cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Grease a 3-qt. or 13x9x2″ baking dish with butter or cooking oil spray.
Scrape in pasta mixture and spread out into an even layer.
Cover dish tightly with foil and bake pasta until hot throughout and steaming when foil is lifted, 20–25 minutes.
Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 425◦, preferably on convection.
Continue to bake pasta until sauce is bubbling and top is browned and crunchy in spots, 20–30 minutes.
Let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs, as desired.
Posted in Casserole, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: basil, Capunti, casserole, cauliflower, cheddar, fontina, Italian, kid friendly, kid-friendly dinner, macaroni and cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiani, parsley, pasta, sharp cheddar cheese, thyme, tomatoes, vegetarian
The plus side (supposedly!) of the original recipe for this dish from Martha Stewart was that it was a vegetarian casserole without cheese. After seeing an adaptation on Kirkley Crossing, I added fresh mozzarella. Cheese makes everything better! I added fresh spinach too.
I made the polenta but did use jarred marinara as a shortcut. We enjoyed it with a green salad. Cheesy vegetarian casseroles are perfect comfort food in cold weather!
Yield: Serves 6
For the Polenta:
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal (not quick cooking)
- Mix one cup of liquid with the cornmeal and stir. This prevents the cornmeal from lumping when added to the boiling liquid.
- Bring the remaining stock to a boil in a 3 or 4 quart sauce pot and add the salt and pepper.
- To the boiling stock, pour the cornmeal slurry in a steady stream, stirring constantly until completely added.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until done, about 30 to 40 minutes. When done, polenta will pull away from the sides of the pot and will be soft in texture.
- Remove the pot from the heat and finish as desired. Adjust the consistency with additional stock or water, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour onto a greased half-sheet pan and refrigerated until cool and firm. (I coated the sheet pan with cooking oil spray.)
For the Layered Eggplant & Polenta Casserole:
- 24 oz jar (3 cups) marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine- delicious!)
- 1 batch Polenta (recipe above)
- 2 large handfuls organic baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, or more if necessary
- coarse salt
- 1 medium eggplant, preferably organic, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 pound (16 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- Heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Slice polenta into squares about 1/2 inch thick. (I cut mine into 24 pieces.) Brush lightly with olive oil. Place in the skillet until lightly browned. Flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the skillet until nicely browned, flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Spoon about 1/2 cup tomato sauce into a 9-inch square baking dish, spreading to coat evenly. Arrange eggplant slices snugly in a single layer. (I used 9 slices per layer.)
- Top each round with a sprinkling of spinach (1 large handful) and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Top with a layer of polenta.
- Spoon about 3/4 to 1 cup tomato sauce over the top. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, spinach, cheese, and polenta. Finish by dotting with remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover with foil; place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbling and juicy, about 45 minutes.
- Remove foil; place on upper rack in the oven and continue baking until sauce is lightly caramelized and eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes more.
- Remove from oven; let cool slightly, and serve.
One Year Ago:
Two Years Ago:
Three Years Ago:
Four Years Ago:
Five Years Ago:
Posted in Casserole, Greens, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: casserole, cheese, comfort food, cornmeal, dinner, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, grits, marinara, polenta, spinach, vegetarian
This dish was the first-runner up for Valentine’s Day dinner. It was a Valentine’s Day bonus that I made it in addition to our celebratory biscuit-topped Chicken Pot Pie. Right? Why choose when you can have both? 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook by Jim Lahey. I increased the amount of vegetables, modified the baking temperature, and incorporated the garlic used to make the garlic oil. We could eat some sort of cheesy, veggie pasta every night of the week. Great!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Béchamel:
- 5 T (70 g) unsalted butter
- 2 T (20 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (650 g) whole milk
- 1/4 tsp (2 g) fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 g) freshly grated nutmeg
For the Pasta:
- 2 T (24 g) coarse salt
- 1 pound (454 g) penne or rigatoni
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound), large stems removed, cut into 1-inch ribbons
- 1 bunch thin asparagus (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 T (30 g) extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 batch béchamel, about 3 cups (recipe above)
- 1 1/2 cups (130 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
To Make the Béchamel:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is a light butterscotch color, about 2 minutes.
- Add the milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously to keep lumps from forming.
- Continue to whisk and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and has the consistency of heavy cream.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl to cool.
To Finish the Dish:
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil, add the salt, and cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente.
- Drain the pasta well and spread it out over the surface of a rimmed baking sheet.
- Heat the oven to 475, preferably on convection.
- Steam the chard and asparagus for 4 minutes, or until tender. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so, until it begins to sizzle. Lower the heat and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the garlic is lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Brush the inside of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with some of the garlic oil.
- In the pot that was used to cook the pasta, combine the cooled pasta, the garlic oil (including the garlic, if desired), the béchamel, half of the grated cheese, the steamed asparagus and chard. Stir until well incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta begins to brown on top.
One Year Ago: Flattened Chicken Thighs with Roasted Lemon Slices
Two Years Ago: Meera Sodha’s Chicken Curry
Four Years Ago:
Five Years Ago:
Posted in Casserole, Greens, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: al forno, asparagus, bechamel sauce, casserole, chard, dinner, nutmeg, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, penne, rigatoni, Sullivan Street, Swiss chard, vegetarian
This chicken pot pie was really elevated by the inclusion of fresh herbs. Even the biscuits had arugula in them. I loved it!
This was our Valentine’s Day dinner. ❤ The recipe was adapted from My Paris Kitchen, by David Lebovitz. I increased the amount of onions, garlic, peas, and chicken. I also used arugula instead of watercress in the biscuits.
I chose the “Americanized” version of his Chicken Pot Parmentier by using the biscuit topping rather than the potato topping. According to Lebovitz, the fresh tarragon in the filling still makes this dish decidedly French. Fancy comfort food. 🙂
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Chicken Filling:
- 4 cups (1 quart/1 liter) chicken stock (I used my homemade turkey stock)
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 25 peeled pearl onions (I used frozen pearl onions, thawed)
- 6 T (3 oz/85 g) unsalted butter
- 6 T (60 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 T dry white wine
- 4 to 5 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken meat)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas or shelled fava beans, thawed
- 2 T finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp coarse salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Drop Biscuit Topping:
- 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 8 T (4 oz/115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1/2 cup packed (50 g) finely chopped arugula or watercress
- 1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
To Make the Chicken Filling:
- Heat the stock in a saucepan over medium heat with the carrots, celery, and onions. Let simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Whisk a few ladlefuls of the warm stock into the flour mixture, which will appear lumpy at first but will smooth out as you go. Gradually add all the stock, including the vegetables, stirring as you go.
- Cook for about 9 minutes, until thickened.
- Add the garlic and wine and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chicken, peas, tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Transfer the mixture to a shallow 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish. Set the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drippings.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
To Make the Drop Biscuit Topping:
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, pepper, baking soda, and baking powder to combine.
- Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, combine until the butter is broken into pea-size pieces.
- Add the arugula, and then the buttermilk, mixing just until the dough holds together.
- Using a spring-loaded cookie scoop, distribute the dough evenly over the chicken filling. (I made 3 rows of 6 biscuits.)
- Bake the chicken potpie for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling and hot.
One Year Ago: Chicken Stew with Biscuits
Two Years Ago: Fried Chicken Thighs & Cheesy Grits
Four Years Ago: Fried Chicken Biscuits
Five Years Ago: Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork and Popovers
Posted in Casserole, Chicken (Poultry), Holiday, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders
Tags: arugula, biscuits, buttermilk, chicken, dinner, drop biscuits, French, Lebovitz, pearl onions, peas, pot pie, rotisserie chicken, stew, tarragon, valentine's day, watercress