Sheet Pan Veggies

Close up of Sheet Pan VeggiesVeggie Blues
Winter cooking can get a little boring. As much as I love potatoes, I do actually get tired of them. Cabbage, squashes, carrots, and fennel are great, but it is only January, and I am already longing for spring’s seasonal offerings. Something a little bit more exciting…

Sure, I could buy the stuff that comes from the Southern hemisphere where different veggies are in season but it’s not the same. I bought a tomato the other night to have as a garnish for the gyros I made for dinner. And, my husband commented that I hadn’t eaten any. After twenty-plus years you would think that he would pick up on my quirks…and refusing to eat out-of-season tomatoes is definitely one of my quirks. That being said, I find myself craving all things green, leafy, and rooty lately—which is somewhat out of character. I also want comfort. In essence, I am rather high-maintenance culinarily right now.

So, what does one do when one desires some tasty veggies that are interesting yet also comforting? Throw everything on a sheet pan, toss with your favorite herb blend and some olive oil, and see what happens…

You can get creative with the flavor profiles. It’s as easy as switching up the spice blend.

Sheet Pan Veggies
Yields 2-3 servings Read more…

Sheet Pan Sausage with Arugula and Bread Salad

Photo of sausages for the recipe, Sheet Pan Sausage with Arugula and Bread SaladWinner, Winner Sausage Dinner
When I sit down and think about what to eat each day, my process always starts out with what protein is going to be the basis of the meal. ‘Cause once you know that everything else sort of falls into place. After sitting down once again to figure it out, I came to the realization that of all the possible options, the one that I choose least often is sausage.

This is noteworthy because I love sausage. I will choose sausage over bacon at breakfast almost every time and my pizzas will always have sausage on them. But, while I will occasionally throw some sausage on the grill, or whip up some Sausage and Apples or Sausages and Peppers, overall, we don’t have a lot of sausage dinners.

It’s a tragedy, really. Well-made and well-cooked sausage is incredibly satisfying and wholly comforting. I mean, Bangers and Mash? You could never go wrong with buttery carbs and fatty flavor. But see that’s the issue. Eating sausage frequently is frowned upon by nutritionists and cardiologists alike. Having said that, the occasional sausage meal can be a nice change from the day-to-day on the chicken, pork, beef, or fish carousel.

Everything in moderation.

The best thing about a sausage dinner is that no matter what you do with them, the recipes aren’t generally complicated. And, for the most part, you can do it all in one pot. Or, in this case, a sheet pan.

If you have ever had the Roast Chicken with Bread Salad at Zuni Café in San Francisco, you may find this recipe for Sheet Pan Sausage with Arugula and Bread Salad has a familiar feel. The original recipe comes from New York Times Cooking but I have changed it a bit because I felt it needed more drippings and just a punch more flavor from some onions.

Sheet Pan Sausage with Arugula and Bread Salad Recipe
Yields 4 servings
Adapted from The New York Times Cooking

Read more…

Sheet Pan Salmon with Green Beans and Miso

Photo of Sheet Pan Salmon Rain Sheets and Sheet Pans
So here we are, swimming our way into January. Seriously, can someone turn off the water? I’m sure the last thing that most of us are thinking about while dodging raindrops, falling trees, and torrents of water, is dinner…but ya gotta eat.

In recent years I have become a big fan of sheet pan dinners because of how easy they are to throw together. And, also because the relatively small amount of cleanup avoids the nightly discussion about doing the dishes. This is important if you have teenagers in your household. Sheet pans are the workhorses of any well-stocked kitchen. If you don’t yet have a decent set of sheet pans, do yourself a favor and get at least one. You will find you use it for everything.

There are so many options when it comes to cooking your dinner entirely on a sheet pan. There is literally nothing you can’t do with a sheet pan. Fish, beef, pork sausage, shrimp…the sky is the limit people!! And, for whatever reason, it sort of feels like you are eating healthier (whether it is true or not). We all have our own delusions. This is just one of mine…

The Sheet Pan Salmon below actually is healthier. And, it’s a nice way to rebound from the bacchanalia that is the last two weeks of December. I make this New York Times recipe often. Though, I have adapted it to my tastes. The original version was just too sweet for me…

Sheet Pan Salmon with Green Beans and Miso Recipe
Adapted from New York Times Cooking
Yields 4 servings Read more…

Little Latke Cups

Preparing potatoes for Little Latke CupsHole Lotta Latkes 
You don’t have to be Jewish to be a fan of potato latkes. How can anyone not like fried shredded potatoes? I could eat them by the dozen. And, therein lies the problem. Latkes go down easy. And, if you are the cook, you can get stuck at the stove trying to keep up with demand. Sure, you can make a bunch of mini latkes but then it can be messy for your guests when they go for their favorite toppings. I have, however, found a solution.

Latkes, in my opinion, can be fantastic just on their own. But, when you top them with applesauce or sour cream it raises them to a different level. Smoked salmon or brisket is even better. So, what better way to get the best of everything than making your latkes in the shape of little cups so that you get all the goodness all at once? Brilliant, right?

I like to make these bite-sized. But, you will need mini muffin pans if you don’t already have them. You could, of course, make them in standard-sized muffin pans but just be aware that they will be a little too big to pass around at a party. The mini muffin pan makes the perfect pop-it-all-in-your-mouth-at-once bite.

How you fill these cups is up to you. Applesauce and Sour cream are traditional. I like to add some chives to my sour cream, but I am also a fan of a little smoked salmon or, for the more ambitious, you could top them with some brisket from your favorite recipe. And, if you’re feelin’ fancy, there’s always caviar…

Little Latke Cups Recipe
Yields 8 servings Read more…