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Tomato Fennel Sausage Stew

Tomato Fennel Sausage Stew

The back story.

Eating processed food or eating out too often takes a huge toll on my energy levels and my clarity of thought. It also enjoys tipping the scale and turning my digestive system into an MMA match. Needless to say if the motivation was a bird, I’d have enough for a flock. Guess what? I still can barely muster giving a goose. As a result, my weekly lunches are often Sunday’s stew which I force myself to make. Maybe that’s the norm for some of you, but for a food blogger, that’s horrifying. My breakfasts and dinners come from simplicity and laziness. However, there are some benefits. I’ve held onto the simple yet tasty recipes and those easy enough to put together even when I’m catatonic. In other words, life savers. Over the course of the next few months, I’ll be sharing these with you. Hopefully, you enjoy these as much as I have until I get back into my cooking and blogging groove.

Today’s story starts with a Pig.

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Recently I’ve had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a family that raises Berkshire pork. The kobo beef of pigs! Get in my belly! What a score.
With some convincing I was able to get my hands on enough meat to last me through the year. Moving to a new city means finding all new sources of sustainably raises animals, a CSA, farm fresh eggs and local dairy. It’s been a process, to say the least, but getting access to Berkshire pork far exceeded my expectations of finding quality local products. It’s like a won the jackpot and it’s living in my freezer.

Being asked for feedback on the sausages prompted me to get into the kitchen and that’s how this stew was born.
I feel a warning is in order. I can guarantee that your stew will end up tasting different from mine no matter how closely you follow the recipe. The flavor of your sausages will undoubtedly be different. Your tomatoes might be a different variety, grown in a different climate or maybe they came from a can. Your fennel bulbs might be larger, your garlic more potent. In the end, none of that will matter because this is one of those foolproof recipes. I’ve included the variations I’ve made in the past that have been successful, but feel free to play around. This stew can handle it!

Tomato Fennel Sausage Stew

My favorite addition to date is a drizzle of black truffle oil. If you want to serve lasts night’s stew to some special guests, this is the way to go. Garnish with fennel fronds and feta, crumbled goat cheese or parmesan pedals. The color contrast ads visual interest and layers of flavours. I love that this stew is so pliable.

Tomato Fennel Sausage Stew
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 onion, roughly chopped
  3. 4 galric cloves, minced
  4. 6 cups of roasted tomatoes or 2 756ml cans of whole tomatoes
  5. 1 cup of chicken stock
  6. 1 can tomato paste (156ml)
  7. 2 fennel bulbs, core removed and sliced
  8. 2 tsp dried thyme
  9. 3 Tbsp of honey (or more to taste)
  10. 1 Tbsp Hungarian or Spanish paprika (sweet or bitter)
  11. 6-8 sausages (approximately 2 lbs)
  12. Chopped fennel fronds to garnish
  13. Drizzle with black truffle oil (optional)
  14. Additional toppings: cheese such as feta, goat cheese or Parmesan.
Instructions
  1. Preheat pven to 350 F. In a cast iron pan or oven proof pan, brown the sausages on all sides. Place the sausages in the oven and cook until no pink remains and their juices run clear. Depending on the thickness of the sausages, this will take 20-25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven, cook onions with olive oil over medium heat until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except the sausages and stir to combine. Simmer for 25 minutes or until fennel becomes tender.
  3. Once the sausages are cooked, add all the juices and fat from the cooked sausages into the stew and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more honey if the stew is too acidic (depends on your tastes and the tomatoes).
  4. Serve stew with slices of sausage and top with your favourite garnishes.
The Restless Palate http://restlesspalate.com/
The basics:
-Add 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can drained and well rinsed) white beans and serve it over angel hair or spaghetti. Garnish with Parmesan petals.
-Add 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can drained and well rinsed) of cooked chickpeas, garnish with feta and serve with crusty bread and butter
-Add shrimp and cooked diced chicken and 1 can of drained and rinsed clams and chilis flakes to taste. Serve over rice with grated aged cheddar.
-Add 3 cups (approximately) of chicken stock and serve as a soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
-Add 1/2 cup of sour cream  and serve with Pappardelle and toasted Panko crumbs

Maken’ it fancy:
Serve it over creamyParmesan polenta and drizzle with black truffle oil and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan and fennel fronds
Serve on top of zucchini fritters and top with grilled halloumi cheese

By on November 17, 2015 in Blog, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Course, Main Ingredient, Pork, Recipes, Tomato

4 Ingredient Maple Adobo Glazed Salmon (15 minutes flat)

Sweet and Spicy Salmon

There are days when simplicity is best. When it’s just about getting something tasty, flavorful and easy into the belly. Especially when the mind is too cluttered to give much thought to dinner.  Serve it with greens and dinner is done. Thank gawd because sometime….we all have those days. 

Sweet, spicy and tangy. What could be better all smothered on top of a thick slice of wild salmon?

4 ingredients, 15 minute sweet and spicy wild salmon. Is there really any need to say more? I didn’t think so. Continue Reading →

By on February 2, 2015 in Blog, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Main Course, Main Ingredient, Recipes, Salmon

Moroccan Coconut Corn Chowder ( Vegan/dairy free)

Moroccan Coconut Corn Chowder

The sky is grey and trees once hanging heavy with snow are now bare due to 25 km winds. It’s amazing how much a landscape can change with just a gust of wind. Though mild temperatures persist, it feels more like a blizzardy day, one where you’d  hunker down with a big bowl of stew and your fuzziest blanket. Ice pellets falling from the sky are in the immediate future and the wind gusts are proving to challenge even the strongest ravens (and those things are fierce in the north…and the size of medium sized dogs. These are seriously huge birds!). It’s time for comfort food. Again…

Comfort food. Perfect for cold days, low days, sad days, days on the ski hill with the kids, days that are blustery, after a night of not sleeping well or for days spent outside frolicking in the snow with good friends. Seriously, when is it not the right time? Depending on who you ask, comfort food can vary greatly. However, it’s usually associated with dishes someone you loved used to make. What they often have in common is some kind of startchy goodness like rice, potatoes, pasta or bread and some type of creamy texture mixed in for good measure. Comfort food doesn’t always have to be unhealthy though and with New Year’s resolutions falling like flies in late fall, this one won’t leave you with any guilt at all. Little potatoes, corn, and butternut squash all surrounded in a coconut milk broth and warming spices to wrap you up in proverbial blanket of coziness. Continue Reading →

By on January 21, 2015 in Blog, Chickpeas, Coconut Milk, Corn, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Main Course, Main Ingredient, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs and Parmesan Risotto

Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs 

Stout Braised Beef Ribs! Perfection for a cold winter’s day where the snow hangs heavy in the trees, the cold clings to your skin and you can hear the snow creak beneath your feet. When it’s paired with a cheesy risotto (basically fancy mac and cheese in my books) it instantly becomes one of my favorite comfort foods. Put this dish/meal on your stove top to cook before heading out for a snowshoe or set it in a slow cooker in the morning, and it will be waiting for you at the end of the day. Continue Reading →

By on January 15, 2015 in Beef, Blog, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Main Course, Main Ingredient, Recipes

Curried Hash with Poached Eggs and Herbed Olive Oil

Curried Rutabaga Hash

There are lazy mornings. Sleepy mornings. Mornings that beg for runny yolks and starchy taters (or Rutabaga in this case) fried up with onions. This is most true on cold and grey mornings. 

This is especially true in the late fall as temperatures drop. The dulled colors of dying grass covered in a light film of frost. The light is muted and grey. The air even smells different brought on by the decaying leaves on the ground. Even the crispness of the air is dulled by the fact that the atmosphere hovers just above and below freezing varying by any given hour. The trees are stark, managing a majestic presence and vulnerability at the same time. 

Curried Hash with Herbed Oil

These are the mornings that cause you to put on extra cozy socks and a sweater before wrapping your hands around that perfect cup of coffee while the smell of onions and root veggies waft through the house. These are the mornings that command a hot breakfast that won’t leave you craving anything for many hours to come. Continue Reading →

By on November 20, 2014 in Blog, Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Main Ingredient, Recipes, Rutabaga, Vegetarian

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