Sunday, September 21, 2014

Braised Kale and Broccoli with Chorizo

Every now and then, people express surprise that I eat meat.

Like this: "You ate a STEAK? That's not plants."
Or: "Bacon?? So much for mostly plants, huh?"

To which I say, emphatically: Mostly plants. And when possible, mostly pork-flavored plants. For example, here is a dish that is mostly plants, in terms of content, and yet mostly chorizo in terms of flavor. What's not to love?

Olive oil
1 fresh pork chorizo sausage
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bunch dino kale, cut crosswise into thick ribbons, rinsed well, and dried
1 lb or so of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets, tender part of stems sliced
Sweet paprika (not smoked)
Aleppo pepper (or sub a little cayenne)
Kosher salt

Heat a wide, nonstick saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil. Slice the sausage from its casing and add to the pan, breaking apart into pieces with the spatula. Allow to brown on one side, then stir. Add the garlic, stir again, then add the kale and broccoli and toss to combine. Sprinkle with salt.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then cover the pan and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until browned here and there and the broccoli is tender. If it's browning too quickly, turn the heat down a bit and add a small splash of water before covering again; if it's not browning, turn the heat up a bit and wait longer between stirs. (Excess liquid? Leave the lid off for a few minutes.)

Serve hot, sprinkled with a little salt over the top.

Serves 2.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mushrooms with Sherry and Thyme

I realize that I claim bests a lot. And that this habit has led to deep philosophical conundrums in the past. But I can't help myself. These right here. These are the best mushrooms ever.

Make them. Eat them. Love them. We'll cross the conundrum bridge when we come to it.

1 tbsp pastured butter
Olive oil
About 10 oz. crimini mushrooms (whole if very small; halved or quartered if larger)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 medium to large clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
A slosh (about 2 oz.) sherry
Fleur de sel or kosher salt

Heat a wide nonstick pan over medium-high heat (make sure it's wide enough to cook the mushrooms without crowding them, or they won't brown). When hot, melt the butter and add the olive oil. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, then toss in the mushrooms. Stir once or twice to coat lightly, then cook until the mushrooms turn golden on the bottoms. Toss or turn with a spatula, then continue cooking until golden again.

When the mushrooms are nicely browned, turn the heat down to medium or just below. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and freshly ground pepper, stir, and push to the side of the pan. On the other side, add a bit more olive oil, the shallot, and the garlic. Sauté for a minute or two until they soften slightly, then stir to combine with the mushrooms. Stir in the thyme and parsley, and cook for another minute or two.

Add the sherry, stir, and allow to cook off for about a minute. Serve hot, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Serves 2-3.