Saturday, November 17, 2012

Give Thanks: Corn Bread Dressing with Chorizo and Roasted Red Peppers

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Traditional Thanksgiving fare is delicious, but sometimes it’s fun to change things up a bit.

I'll admit we sometimes go a little bit crazy with our Thanksgiving escapades. Whether it's serving our turkey with deep dark mole, or trading it in for duck or rabbit, we like to change the game every now and again.

But, that doesn't mean we don't love some of the traditions that come with the Thanksgiving meal -- including a nice big both of tender dressing.

This southwestern style dressing is the perfect way to liven things up without heading too far off course.

Buttery homemade cornbread acts as the base for this make-ahead recipe, which uses chipotle peppers, chorizo, and roasted red peppers to enliven a family favorite. As written, this recipe is more smoky than spicy, but you can kick up the heat by adding more minced chipotles.

It makes the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving feast, but it's also great served as a main dish with a nice crunchy side salad, or a mound of tender cooked kale or spinach.

Corn Bread Dressing with Chorizo and Red Peppers

©BURP! Where Food Happens

Monday, November 12, 2012

Imagine Autumn: Crockpot Pork Roast with Melted Apples

Pin It Imagine a pork roast so tender it shreds with the tap of a fork, its aroma redolent of sweet apples and woodsy herbs, and its meat so succulent that it takes your breath away. 

This is that roast.

It starts where most good roast recipe begin - with a good quality pork shoulder, preferably procured from a trusted butcher.  In this case, it was a beautifully marbled roast from a local farm that we pulled out of the freezer and thawed.

The thawed roast spent the night marinating in a mixture of herbs de Provence and garlic before undergoing a quick sear in melted butter, a nice deglaze with white wine, and a day-long braise in the crockpot with some sliced apples and onions.

You can probably imagine the smell emanating from the crockpot as the roast cooks -- the perfume of the apples and herbs swirling about the kitchen, augmented by the savory richness of the pork and garlic.

You can probably imagine the flavor of the savory apple and onion laden sauce that tastes just perfect adorning the meat, but also somehow melts seamlessly into that pile of buttery mashed potatoes you've placed alongside.

But, you probably can’t imagine an easier or more delicious autumn dinner for even the  busiest of weeknights.  So, try it out and enjoy.

Crockpot Pork Roast with Melted Apples

©BURP! Where Food Happens

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

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Halloween might be over, but pumpkin season is just beginning as far as I'm concerned.

That delicious orange flesh is just screaming to be used in pies, pastas, enchiladas, oatmeal, soups, stews, breads, and desserts. The seeds are screaming to be toasted for snacks and deliciously crunchy garnishes.  And, since we're in Wisconsin, we'll be looking forward to pairing pumpkin with beer every chance we get.

Take this delicious seasonal soup, for instance.

Warming, creamy, and filled with beta-carotene, this soup is a healthier take on the traditional beer cheese soup. 

Using pumpkin soup as a base, we've added a bit of beer and some deliciously smoky Wisconsin Gouda to create the perfect warm-up for game night or a casual weeknight dinner.  Serve with soft pretzels or crusty bread for the perfect autumn meal.

Serve the soup in a hollowed out pumpkin for a lovely, seasonal effect.  Or simply ladle into bowls and top with chopped scallions, crispy croutons, additional shredded gouda, or a few toasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Soup with Beer & Cheese

©BURP! Where Food Happens