Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 44/138
Luckily for us, some of the recipes in the Epicurious magazine are short, easy, and things we've already made in the past. We love to make roasted potatoes, whether they're in small cubes like this recipe, or in french fry form, potatoes make for an easy side dish. This recipe took very little time to prep and since we grow a bunch of rosemary in our backyard, we always have the ingredients on hand.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 44/138
This post comes with some caveats. The first is that I don't like beets. I've never liked them in any form. I used to be a horribly picky eater as a kid and the list of foods I didn't like was excessively long. Beets have always been on this list. But, growing up, my parents always insisted that before you say you don't like a certain food, you must try it. So when I see beets, I'll give them a bite and see what happens.
We made this dish for a dinner party along with 4 other Epicurious Challenge Recipes! Killin' it! And thankfully the people who were dining with us really liked beets. This was encouraging because it would at least help me understand if I cooked them properly!
After all is said and done, I still don't like beets. Sorry! But if you like beets, you should make this! Everyone else at the table really loved this dish. Even people who were on the fence with beets loved it. I, however, am still not a fan. I'm happy for someone to convert me, but I don't think that's going to happen.
Another big caveat with this post is that I'm not a huge fan of the photos we took. We had a TON of great prep photos but when it got to the final dish, after making a 5-course dinner, we didn't get the best final photo. So no judgments please!
Beet lovers: try this out and tell us what you think!
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 35/138
Sometimes, we read recipes and make them exactly as they are written. Other times, we tweak the recipe. This is one of those recipes that we tweaked before we even started cooking. Two of the ingredients on this page were either expensive or hard to find, so we decided to be kind to our wallets and swap out for something cheaper and easier.
Originally this recipe called for currants and pine nuts. As the title states, we swapped out raisins for currants and almonds for pine nuts.
Before even going to the store, I went on a downward spiral learning about currants. True currants aren't grapes or similar to raisins at all. They're tart in flavor and grow on a bush. But wait, it gets more complicated. Zante currants are dried grapes. They are sweet and grow on a vine like grapes. How confusing is that! When you Google "dried currants" Zante currants come up. And guess what? We didn't buy them anyway. Although similar in cost, our store didn't carry them so we bought raisins and called it a day.
We doubled this recipe and cooked it in two batches for a dinner party. It is the easiest and fastest side dish to make for a crowd. It takes about 6 minutes in total to put together from start to finish.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 29/138
This puts a new spin on the term "caprese sandwich"! This was a really enjoyable recipe to do and also very, very easy. I love caprese. We make this in salad form all the time so when this Epicurious magazine showed a recipe called Caprese al Forno, I got really excited... except I had no idea what al forno meant. A quick Google search later, and it turns out al forno means anything that's cooked in the oven in Italian cooking. Things like pizza, bread, and pasta.
These little stacks of tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil, are so simple to put together and tasty when served warm. Turns out they're also a little messy to eat but we figured it out! The best advice I have is the bigger the tomatoes, the easier it is to stack these babies higher and higher. We did 3 tomato slices per caprese.
Advance warning - this recipe serves 8-10. Being only 2 people, we made one each which was really easy to simplify (one large tomato, a few thin slices of fresh mozz, a few leaves fresh basil). We at this as a side dish at lunch one day.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 15/138
Salads don't always have to have lettuce!
We're always looking for a good, light salad to eat as a side or a main dish. This dish is so light and full of flavor I know we will be making it over and over again! In fact, we've already re-made this at least 3 times. This takes about 6 minutes to make from start to finish and while we ate it as a side to a pizza, we're planning on making it again really soon as a main course.
The original recipe called for a ricotta salata cheese but when we couldn't find it, we went for a substitution. When I started this challenge, we agreed we would not run around town to find ingredients if we can find an easier (and often times cheaper) substitution. We want to challenge ourselves, but we don't want this challenge to take up too much time or money. We learned that a good substitution was feta cheese, and that's what we went for and loved it.
Epicurious Challenge Recipe: 4/138
Replacing traditional pasta with noodles made from vegetables can seem a bit daunting. The texture and flavor from traditional pasta really makes the dish so what would pasta made from zucchini taste like? We've made pasta like this a few times because it's easy and of course healthy!
To make this dish, you need a special tool that cuts the zucchini in long spirals creating long, thin noodles. The biggest thing to look out for when making noodles like this is texture. No one wants slime noodles! Because of this, we always try to squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the zucchini before cooking.
We topped ours with cherry heirloom tomatoes, pancetta, chicken, feta cheese and used pesto as the sauce.
These are some nachos you'll need a fork to eat! We also added some cheese (duh) and topped it with garlic aioli for added deliciousness. You can top these with whatever you want but we stuck with our favorite toppings: corn, black beans, avocado, tomato, and cheese.
The recipe has great flavor from all the veggies hot and cold and great texture from the crispy cauliflowers. Bottom line: try this recipe you will not be disappointed! In case you're wondering, these are delicious and very filling. This became my dinner last night and it did not disappoint. I got through about half of it before calling it a night.
This is by far the best recipe for Brussels sprouts we've ever had! All you need is honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and of course the Brussels sprouts.
Chop the sprouts, add salt and pepper, cook for 20 minutes at 425°. Once done, add 1-2T of honey and 1-2T of balsamic vinegar!
While out and about, Colin talked about these amazing recipes he's had that included farro. So of course, we had to make one! Farro was not at our normal grocery store but you find it at Trader Joe's. You can also find it at Whole Foods, which is where this particular recipe comes from!
Whole Foods posted its nutritional information and one serving is 490 calories, which makes for a healthy and, I might add, delicious meal! And yes, it reheats perfectly for work lunches!
We are excited to be cooking unique and new-to-us ingredients! Check back as we continue our cooking adventures!