Well Dined

2Feb/170

Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

Well Dined | Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

I get a lot of emails with recipes from blog subscriptions, magazines, etc...  Some I delete, knowing they aren't my style.  Most I archive to make later.  Very few inspire me to make them ASAP; this recipe was one of those few.  Shakshuka is a dish of Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, and Moroccan origin that consists of eggs poached in spiced tomato sauce.

Well Dined | Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

This recipe, from Bessou restaurant in NYC (via Tasting Table), puts a Japanese spin on the dish.  It was that fusion element that caught my eye.  The tomato sauce is spiced with Japanese curry powder and cumin.  Roasted kabocha squash is added, along with poached eggs.  The original is topped with miso marinated tofu - I went for miso flavored labneh, instead.  Lastly, it is sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, and served with toasted Japanese milk bread.

Well Dined | Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

The tomato sauce is so fragrant and spicy (the original recipe uses harissa, too, but the curry powder was enough heat for me).  It is counterbalanced by the sweet squash, tart pomegranate seeds, cool labneh, and creamy egg yolk.  The squash and the pomegranate add varying texture, too, along with the crispy toast.  And the miso adds this funky umami note that adds to the complexity.  Dipping that perfectly crispy toast into the runny yolk and velvety tomato sauce is just so insanely satisfying.

26Jan/170

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Empanadas

Well Dined | Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Empanadas

I fell behind on posting over the holidays, which I wouldn't too bad about, except that it means I haven't posted about these empanadas yet!  These were Melissa's idea for one of our amazing vegetarian lunches.  You can see from her post, which is from all the way back in October, just how far behind I am!

Well Dined | Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Empanadas

Anywho, back to the empanadas!  Crispy, buttery, flaky crust.  Smoky, creamy, hearty filling.  Cool, creamy, vibrant dipping sauce.  Yes, yes, yes!

Well Dined | Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Empanadas

You will need to bake some sweet potatoes, the fastest and easiest way to do this is in the microwave.  Then scoop out the flesh and mash it with a fork.

10Jan/170

Try The World – Spain Box; Tapas

Well Dined | Spanish Tapas

I've had to pause my Try The World subscription, because I have been so slow to go through the boxes, plan a meal/blog post, make it, and write it up.  Oops!  So I've made a goal for 2017 (I don't like the word "resolution") to work on 1 Try The World post per month.  This month I made tapas with the Spain Box!  So much food!!!

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

The Spain Box came with El Navarrico salsa tumaca con ajo (tomato sauce with garlic); El Avión paprika; Oleum Hispania extra-virgin olive oil; and Espinaler canned white tuna - all of which were used to make the tapas.

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

It also contained P. listo jasmine floral jam; Ines Rosales cortadillo citrus crumble cakes; and El Almendro turrón (almond candy).

20Oct/163

ICC – Curry Carrot Soup with Coconut Cream

Well Dined | Curry Carrot Soup with Coconut Cream

This month for the Improv Cooking Challenge, our ingredients were Carrots & Curry.  I knew immediately that I wanted to make a soup, so I looked back through my archives and found three soup recipes that I'd previously made.  I used these three recipes to help me come up with a new one: Spiced Carrot Soup with Chickpeas and Tahini, Spiced Carrot Soup with Crispy Prosciutto, and Thai Pumpkin Soup.

Well Dined | Curry Carrot Soup with Coconut Cream

I started by cooking madras curry and grated ginger in olive oil (though it occurs to me now that I could have used coconut oil), then adding carrots, onion, and garlic.  I seasoned with salt and cooked for 15 minutes, until the vegetables started to brown.  Then I added chicken broth and coconut milk and simmered covered for 20 minutes.  You can use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian/vegan.

5Sep/161

Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Shrimp and Strawberry?  Do you think I sound crazy right now?  Trust, young padawans, and learn the ways of combining sweet and savory.  Rice noodles, pickled veg (and mango!), basil, mint, scallions, shrimp, and strawberries are combined in a rice wrapper for the ultimate summer freshness.  Served with a delicious peanut sauce for dipping - get in my face!

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

I had seen a blog photo ages ago that I loved on this site, but I was scared to try it because I had never made summer rolls before and it seemed finicky.  Then I was over at a friend's house for dinner and that is what we made!  It was a bit tricky, but not as scary as I had imagined.  She was a pro, so I asked her to help me make my shrimp and strawberry rolls.  Then I looked at the recipe for the photo I loved, and wasn't a big fan of the ingredients.  I wanted noodles instead of cabbage, and mango instead of bell pepper.  So I switched some things around.

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Then we got to work!  She was skeptical of my flavor combo, but ended up loving it.  You can see the progression here from back to front where I put the ingredients on in the wrong order so the pretty parts didn't show, then exploded one, then finally got some decent rolls.  The good news is - it doesn't matter if you don't get the best looking rolls, they still taste amazing!

21Aug/162

Vegetarian Beet Burgers

Well Dined | Vegetarian Beet Burgers

A month ago, Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) asked for my help coming up with toppings for these gorgeous beet, quinoa, and black bean burgers. How could I refuse?!  Before I tell you what we decided on, let me tell you about the burgers themselves.

Well Dined | Vegetarian Beet Burgers

The are firm, full of flavor, have great texture, and are a little bit smoky.  Everyone always says this, but they do taste very meaty.  I swear.

Well Dined | Vegetarian Beet Burgers

Veggie burgers rely on many ingredients to make a good product.  They can be notoriously mushy and fall apart.  This recipe seems to hit all the right notes to make a great burger.  Mushrooms, onions, and beets give moisture and flavor; quinoa gives texture; and black beans and ground nuts hold it all together.

18Aug/163

ICC – Orecchiette with Chicken, Garlic, and Rosemary

Well Dined | Orecchiette with Chicken, Garlic, and Rosemary

I have recently joined a group called Improv Cooking Challenge (see my first post here), where we are assigned 2 ingredients to incorporate into a dish each month.  This month, the challenge was garlic and rosemary - perfection!

Well Dined | Orecchiette with Chicken, Garlic, and Rosemary

I chose to make a simple pasta with shredded rotisserie chicken, garlic, and rosemary; tossed together with starchy pasta water and Parmesan to make a light sauce.  Five ingredients, 30 minutes, easy and delicious.  You're welcome, world!

8Aug/167

SRC – Breakfast Risotto from Cookaholic Wife

Well Dined | Breakfast Risotto

It's Secret Recipe Club Reveal time!  This month I was assigned Cookaholic Wife, written by Nichole.  We are both married, in our 30's, on the East Coast, and cat moms.  I feel a connection!  We also must have similar tastes, because I saved more recipes than I have with any other SRC blog.  So bear with me for a bit here, and know that this is the edited down list!

Nichole loves s'mores just as much as I do!  Okay, maybe a little more.  The top s'more recipes that caught my eye were Vanilla Bean and Bacon S'mores, S'mores Pie, and Cinnamon S'mores Bark.

She also has some killer looking cupcake recipes like Orange Cream, Butterbeer, and Brown Sugar Butterscotch.

Other sweets that I liked the sound of were Sugar Cream Pie, Stone Fruit Eton Mess, Limoncello Cheesecake Bars, Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, Lemon and Sour Cream Doughnuts, and Coconut Lime Cookie Bars.

On the more grown-up (read: boozy) side of things, we have Rum Punch and Limoncello Gelee.

My favorite apps were Philly Cheesesteak Spring Rolls, French Onion Puff Pastry Bites, and Corn Basil Cakes.

And, lastly, the entrees that had me drooling were Ham and Cheese Gnocchi Skillet, Drunken Italian Noodles, Doritos Casserole, Corn and Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese, and Chicken with Creamy Orzo.

Well Dined | Breakfast Risotto

But the overall winner, the one I knew I had to make as soon as I saw it, was this Breakfast Risotto.  Creamy risotto with white wine and shallot, finished off with crispy pancetta, Parmesan, and a poached egg.  Simple and amazing.

Well Dined | Breakfast Risotto

There aren't a ton of ingredients here, just simple classic flavors.  And while risotto is a bit labor intensive (you gotta stir, stir, stir to release all that creamy starch), it isn't particularly complicated.  I love the bacon and eggs take on this that is reminiscent of carbonara; and who doesn't want breakfast for dinner?  Enjoy!

20Jun/160

Chicken Bacon Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups

Well Dined | Chicken Bacon Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups

I have been saving Tasty (Buzzfeed Food) videos on Facebook like crazy.  They always look so good!  So this week, I declared that I must make one thing from a saved link; and I chose these decadent Chicken Bacon Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups.

Well Dined | Chicken Bacon Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups

Start by cooking lasagna noodles and filling them with a mixture of cooked chicken, bacon, and Alfredo sauce (made with butter, garlic, cream, cream cheese, and Parmesan).  I made some changes to the original, using 12 noodles instead of 8 and more filling per noodle to use up all the filling.  I didn't like how, in the video, there was chicken and bacon on the top instead of all contained.

17Jun/161

Smoked Salmon Tartines

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Tartines

These started off as peanut butter and jelly, I'm not even kidding.  Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) and I had been having a bit of a rough week and hadn't planned anything for our weekly get together.  So that morning we just wanted to keep things simple and focus on getting our cats to be friends (long story).  We were thinking - let's just make PB&J or store-bought ravioli.

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Tartines

But then - she said she was craving salmon, and I said smoked salmon and goat cheese with crackers was easy and good, she said what about nice bread and an egg.  Then there were herbs and kale and shallot and good lord we can't keep it simple!  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  Fresh, gorgeous ingredients (including some from Mel's garden) turned into a lovely lunch for us, even while wrangling a baby, a toddler, and 2 kitties in an un-childproofed house (mine).