Monday, November 25, 2019

Quick Focaccia with Goat Cheese, Fig Jam and Prosciutto


The holidays are officially here this week! Having some simple and quick appetizer recipes on-hand is helpful when you have a hungry crowd arrive at your door. This focaccia is so delicious and is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. The focaccia recipe itself (without the toppings) would also be a nice addition to your salad or soup course.

Serve this with a crisp, dry white wine or sparkling rose.




1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Sift flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

3. Stir in olive oil and milk until mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough gently on a floured work surface for 2 minutes.



4. Drizzle a large baking sheet with olive oil and place dough on top. Spread out the dough into a rectangle (about 1/2-inch thick) and poke holes all over the top with your fingers. Drizzle the dough with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes.


5. Once out of the oven, sprinkle the warm bread with goat cheese. Top evenly with fig jam and prosciutto. Garnish with fresh thyme, then transfer to a serving board and cut into squares.





Quick Focaccia with Goat Cheese, Fig Jam and Prosciutto 
Serves 8 (as an appetizer)

All you need:
2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
3/4 cup milk
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top

4 oz. plain goat cheese
4 tablespoons fig spread
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Sift flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
3. Stir in olive oil and milk until mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough gently on a floured work surface for 2 minutes.
4. Drizzle a large baking sheet with olive oil and place dough on top. Spread out the dough into a rectangle (about 1/2-inch thick) and poke holes all over the top with your fingers. Drizzle the dough with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Once out of the oven, sprinkle the warm bread with goat cheese. Top evenly with fig jam and prosciutto. Garnish with fresh thyme, then transfer to a serving board and cut into squares.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Toasted Nut and Dried Fruit Couscous


I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week! I always enjoy coming up with fun side dishes for the holiday because they really make the whole meal. Couscous is one of those grains I normally keep on-hand in my pantry because it cooks so quickly and I love it's fluffy texture. When I was developing this recipe I went through my pantry to see what dried fruits and nuts I had and these ones compliment one another very well. Feel free to swap in dried cherries, dried currants or shelled pistachios.



1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.


2. Add turkey (or chicken) stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add couscous and stir to combine. Remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.


3. Add chopped almonds, pine nuts, cranberries and raisins and stir to combine. Add lemon and orange zest and stir again.


4. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm.



Toasted Nut and Dried Fruit Couscous
Serves 8

All you need:
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cups turkey stock (or chicken stock)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/4 cup toasted salted almonds, chopped (I used marcona almonds)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange

All you do:
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add turkey (or chicken) stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add couscous and stir to combine. Remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Add chopped almonds, pine nuts, cranberries and raisins and stir to combine. Add lemon and orange zest and stir again.
4. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Roasted Root Veggie and Apple Soup with Chicken Sausage


Oh warmth, how I need you. Soups are just what the doctor ordered with all this snowy weather. This soup is so tasty and celebrates all kinds of fall flavors. The combination of sweet, caramelized roasted root veggies, pan-fried chicken sausage and apple cider broth is a perfect balance of sweet and salty.

Serve this soup with crusty bread or cornbread muffins for dipping.



1. Preheat oven to 425. Place diced carrots and parsnips on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.


2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced chicken sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.





3. In the same pan, add the apple, onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly softened.


4. Add browned sausage and roasted veggies to the pan and stir to combine. Add chicken stock and apple cider and bring soup to a simmer; simmer for 5 minutes longer. Finish with cannellini beans.








Roasted Root Veggie and Apple Soup with Chicken Sausage
Serves 6

All you need:
2 large carrots, diced small
3 small parsnips (or 1 large), peeled and diced small
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 chicken apple sausages, diced small
1 apple, diced small
1 small onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup apple cider
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Place diced carrots and parsnips on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced chicken sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
3. In the same pan, add the apple, onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly softened.
4. Add browned sausage and roasted veggies to the pan and stir to combine. Add chicken stock and apple cider and bring soup to a simmer; simmer for 5 minutes longer. Finish with cannellini beans.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Swiss Steak


Swiss steak is a classic dish (the first recipe appeared in print in 1915!). 

My grandpa grew tomatoes in his garden and would use his homemade tomato juice to make this recipe. I remember knowing we were having it because he would have it cooking on the stovetop in his pressure cooker. While I too could have made this in my pressure cooker, I decided to go low and slow today and braise my steak in the oven. 

This is a great make-ahead meal if you want to prep it on Sunday and simply reheat it for busy weeknights. Serve this with rice or mashed potatoes and a side of steamed or roasted veggies.




1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. Place the flour, garlic powder and paprika on a plate and stir gently until the spices are incorporated. Dredge steaks in the flour mixture until well coated.

4. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add steaks and brown on both sides; transfer to a plate. Place onion, green pepper and carrots on the bottom of the pan and place steaks on top. Top with tomato paste, diced tomatoes, beef stock and Worcestershire. Cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until the steaks are completely tender.





5. Serve over rice or potatoes, if desired.



Swiss Steak

Serves 4

All you need:

1 pound sirloin steak (or eye of round steak), pounded flat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.
3. Place the flour, garlic powder and paprika on a plate and stir gently until the spices are incorporated. Dredge steaks in the flour mixture until well coated.
4. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add steaks and brown on both sides; transfer to a plate. Place onion, green pepper and carrots on the bottom of the pan and place steaks on top. Top with tomato paste, diced tomatoes, beef stock and Worcestershire. Cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until the steaks are completely tender.
5. Serve over rice or potatoes, if desired.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Wine Sauce


Michigan is the nation's leading producer of tart cherries. You turn those cherries into wine and you are able to enjoy that wonderful flavor any time of year. Cherries and pork are a great combo, so using this wine to make a pan sauce made perfect sense. This meal is another great one for the holiday season because it boasts those beautiful holiday colors and it's on the table in less than 30 minutes. 

Serve this dish with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Serve Crane's cherry wine with the meal to compliment the flavors in the sauce.




1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil as well as the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl and rub over the pork tenderloins.

3. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (like stainless steel or cast-iron) over high heat. Add pork tenderloins and brown on both sides. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.


4. Transfer the tenderloins to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and turn heat to medium-high. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.



5. Add wine to the pan and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half. Whisk in butter and remove pan from heat.




6. Slice the pork and return to the serving platter. Spoon sauce over and serve.



Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Wine Sauce
Serves 6

All you need:
2 pork tenderloins, trimmed (about 1pound each)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup Crane's Michigan cherry wine
2 tablespoons butter

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil as well as the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl and rub over the pork tenderloins.
3. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (like stainless steel or cast-iron) over high heat. Add pork tenderloins and brown on both sides. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
4. Transfer the tenderloins to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and turn heat to medium-high. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.
5. Add wine to the pan and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half. Whisk in butter and remove pan from heat.
6. Slice the pork and return to the serving platter. Spoon sauce over and serve.