Chicken, Leeks and Spinach in a Creamy Wine Sauce

In our ongoing quest to resurrect interest in under-appreciated vegetables, I present this week’s subject: the leek.

We don’t get too excited about leeks in the U.S. but we should. They’re healthy, easy to grow*, cheap to buy, and best of all, really tasty.

Chicken, Leeks and Spinach in a Creamy Wine Sauce
Leeks, mushrooms, garlic, spinach, cream and white wine.

* Theoretically, and according to rumors I read on the internet. Matt and I, conversely, have zero luck growing leeks. Nada. Zilch. They sprout beautifully but then … nothing. They turn spindly and never really get very big. They end up more like thick scallions. It’s quite rude of them if you think about it, because here I am telling the world (our 5 readers, anyway, hello there *waves*) how great leeks are and they can’t even be bothered to make an effort in the garden. Oh well. It’s broccoli rabe this year, I’m telling you.

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Pizza Chicken (with Pepperoni and Basil)

Pizza Chicken (with Pepperoni and Basil)

Chicken dinner, meet pizza night. Chicken sautéed until golden brown and baked with marinara sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese, spicy pepperoni and fresh basil.

For the sake of clarity and because I really, really like you guys, I want to acknowledge that this title might be a little misleading.

Say you were googling “chicken pizza,” this post might show up (probably on page 35, but whatevs) and I wouldn’t want you to get halfway through reading it before you realized that this recipe is not, in fact, for pizza with chicken on top of it.

This recipe is for chicken cooked in the style of a pizza. And it’s frigging delicious. It’s cheesy and salty and tangy. Exactly the flavors your tongue expects when your brain has told it you’re having pizza for dinner. It also happens to be gluten free and ready in about 20 minutes.

Pizza Chicken (with Pepperoni and Basil)
The flavors that make pizza so delicious

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Savory Beef Stew with Mustard and Brandy

I have to say that in general, beef stew is one of those dishes I had always been ‘meh’ about. I never disliked it, but I can’t say I ever craved it either. I think I probably associate it with the gross canned stuff that everybody ate in college. You know, that brownish sludge with chunks of ‘beef’ and … Read more

Our other winter warmer: Vanilla Old Fashioned

Like our Maple Syrup version, this modern update on the classic Old Fashioned combines the warmth of vanilla bean with fresh orange peel and citrus bitters. The result is a little sweet, very smooth and dangerously drinkable. I think my deep and long standing love of all things vanilla began in an unexpected place. A pharmacy, to … Read more

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup kicked up with Thai curry flavor and served with sweet and spicy candied peanuts. Want a soup that’ll warm you up? This is it.

I was vegetarian for most of my twenties and though I eat (ethically-raised, organic) meat now, I wouldn’t have that much trouble giving it up. On the other hand, I was vegan for about 45 minutes and almost lost my mind craving cheese.

I admit that I’m slightly weird with dairy. The thought of drinking a glass of milk makes me shudder with horror, but cheesy pastas and creamy soups are my comfort foods of choice. It would take a lot for me to say goodbye to them forever.

This soup is absolutely comfort food in the best way but, surprise! It also happens to be vegan. Yes, vegan. The trick (if it could even be called that) is to combine silky puréed butternut squash with creamy, rich coconut milk. The texture becomes as smooth as bisque, without a drop of dairy.

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

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Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage (and Sausage)

Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage (and Sausage)
Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage (and Sausage)

I’m not sure why but I used to think of risotto as a big complicated project. Somehow I got it in my head that you absolutely must make your own stock and add it a thimbleful at a time and stir and stir and stir and if you stop stirring for even a second, the whole thing turns to garbage.

None of that is true.

While it is true that the better the stock is, the better your risotto will be, there are a lot of ways to impart flavor into the dish using simple, everyday ingredients.

And while I’ve never had great results from simply pouring in all the stock at once, the process is a lot less delicate and precise than you might think.

The rice itself should take less than 20 minutes to go from raw to beautifully creamy and al dente. Even including the time it takes to cook the mushrooms, that’s well within the realm of an easy weeknight dinner.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage
The crispy sage adds a great flavor and texture. For a VEGETARIAN version, use good vegetable stock. Look for note below on tips for making a VEGAN version.

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