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Thyme and Honey

  • Cuban Sandwich Casserole

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    Happy March!!!


    Spring is on its way!!! At least we all hope so!!


    In the meanwhile, we need warm comfort foods to keep us warm. And this recipe fits the bill.
    Now, I have to admit, as much as I love food and to cook and create, there are foods that I had never been exposed to, the Cuban sandwich being one of them. I know, I know… how can that be? I must have had plenty of opportunities or maybe no one I know had ever raved about a sandwich so great that I just had to have one. I became interested in the Cubano after watching the 2014 film Chef, the story of a chef who loses his job and starts up a food truck, reconnecting with his past and bringing him closer to his family. It’s a great movie, funny and heartwarming and the only thing that would have made it better would have been if there was a way to capture the aromas of all that this talented chef created.


    It left me with a desire to try a Cuban sandwich. Oh, but where to get one! I had no idea where to find an authentic Cubano outside of Havana or Miami and certainly not in the Lehigh Valley. Now I am sure that they are out there, if you know of one … please share.

    I left the theater vowing to have a Cuban sandwich within the week. I did, making it myself!
    And now I know why in the film people followed that truck and stood on line for what appeared to be hours. Cuban sandwiches are amazing. Making them is like an art project to me. There are steps, marinating the pork, layering the ingredients, pressing it in the grill. It’s like a masterpiece!!

    So recently I bought a whole pork loin and while trimming it into a roast and some chops I had some trimming s and small pieces that I cubed. I thought to myself, “Self, what am I going to do with these cubes? A stew with some sweet potatoes, a stir fry?” Then it came to me about how I should make
    Cuban sandwiches but how can I do that with cubes? And that was how the Cuban Sandwich Casserole was born. All the goodness of a Cuban sandwich in one baking pan!

    It too has steps… toasting the bread, marinating and cooking the pork, making the sauce, layering the ingredients. But it results in a masterpiece that tastes just like an authentic Cuban sandwich.
    I like to serve it with a shaved brussel sprout slaw dressed with citrus vinaigrette. It makes a nice addition.

    So I hope you give it a try, it will make you want to Tango!

    Or whatever you want to dance to keep warm!

    Think spring, think spring, think spring…..

     -- Diana

     

  • Penne with Spinach Tomato and Capers

     

    main.jpgPenne with Spinach, Tomato and Capers

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 1/2 medium sweet onions, diced
    6 cloves garlic (minced) Try Apple Ridge Farms
    15-20 sundried tomatoes in olive oil with herbs, diced
    1 1/2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with their juices
    3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
    5 ounces baby spinach
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add EVOO and onions. Cook until onions are soft, stirring occasionally. While onions cook, heat a large, salted pot of water on high.

    Next, add garlic to the onion and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly. About 30 seconds. Add sundried and canned tomatoes, along with capers and heat until warm.

    Add spinach and cook until wilted, stirring to help the spinach begin to break down. Allow for the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Once the pot of water begins to boil, add the pasta and reduce to medium high. Cook pasta to al dente. Serve sauce over pasta with grated Parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!

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  • Shepherd's Pie

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    Shepherd's Pie

    (serves 6)

    5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced Try Twin Maples Farm
    One pinch nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    Milk
    1/4 cup butter
    1 pound ground beef
    1/2 pound ground lamb Try Willow Haven Farm
    1-2 turns EVOO
    1/2 sweet onion, decided
    3/4 cup diced carrot
    1 1/2 cups fresh peas
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup shredded cheddar
    One gravy packet

    ShephardsPie_Big.jpgPlace potatoes in a medium pot, cover with water and place over high heat. Add nutmeg, onion powder, salt and pepper to water. Once the water begins to boil, turn the stove down to medium-high and cook until tender. Drain. Add butter and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    In the meanwhile, begin browning the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Once the meat is fully cooked use a slotted spoon to remove the it from the pan and place directly into a pie dish, reserving the drippings for gravy.

    Wipe out pan, add EVOO and sauté onion and carrot. Cook until soft. Add peas. Cook two to three minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

    Next, place cooked veggies on top of meat and spread evenly. Layer mashed potatoes on top of veggies. Top with shredded cheese and bake until golden brown and warm throughout.

    Make gravy according to directions on the package, using the meat drippings in place of water. Add enough water to compensate for whatever amount is needed. Serve on the side. Enjoy!

  • Creamy Coleslaw

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    This is a family favorite, especially at Christmas and Easter, served alongside ham! But honestly, this coleslaw is delicious anytime! It's simple to prepare and a huge crowd pleaser! Sweet. Creamy. Versatile. Enjoy!

    -- April

  • Smoky Tomato Soup

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    Nothing says "snow day" quite like a bowl of tomato soup! This recipe is updated by incorporating smoked paprika, which deepens the flavors and leaves your belly warm and satisfied. For a less subtle smokey flavor, the paprika can be increased to 1 1/2-2 tablespoons, depending on preference. 

    -- April

     

  • S'mores Baked Oatmeal

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    I recently enjoyed having breakfast with some friends. One of the dishes we indulged in was a cheesecake and chocolate baked oatmeal. Its velvety ribbons of sweetened cream cheese and perfectly placed chocolate morsels had me going back for seconds! And...it got me thinking! I wonder if I could pull off a s'mores baked oatmeal?

    After a bit of contemplating and experimentation, I've created the perfect baked oatmeal! It's flavors will take you back to summers sitting around the campfire, all the while filling your belly with a hearty breakfast sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!

    -- April

  • Chicken Tagine

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    Ahhh…. Winter, you either love it or hate it! Personally, I’m not a fan of the cold but I think winter is a time for introspection. The New Year brings with it all kinds of resolutions and time to make them happen or maybe think about making them happen. Winter has its challenges, keeping warm, keeping safe, keeping well but eating well isn’t one of them. Winter is about comfort food!


    Trying to eat in season in the dead of winter is difficult, but not impossible. We still have root veggies and the season’s bounty stored in the freezer and on the shelves of the pantry. Slow roasted stews and soups not only warm the body but warm the soul.
    Making a tangine is a great way to warm up the winter ! A tagine is a slow-cooked Moroccan dish, typically made with sliced meat, poultry, or fish with vegetables or fruit. Warming spices like ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron are common. This dish is called a tagine because traditionally it is cooked in a tagine. A tagine pot is made of clay which is often painted or glazed. It consists of two parts, a base that is flat and circular with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. A tagine is usually used over coals but can be used on a stovetop or in the oven using low temperature for a long slow roast. Or you can just use your slow cooker or crock pot which is what I do.

  • Potato Leek Soup with Kielbasa

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    Soup is by far, one of our favorite things to eat during the cold months of fall and winter. This soup is not only super simple to throw together but delicious! Enjoy!

  • New Yorker Onion Sandwich

    IMG_1334.JPGThe Quote “Cooking is like love — it should be entered into with abandon or not at all” has uncertain origins, but who ever originally said it was wise indeed. Always true, however more so during holiday times when we gather together to celebrate with family and friends. Food is history and when it comes to holidays, a very special gift we share… a gift of love.

    This recipe is not a family recipe but it has become a bit of a tradition for my family. In the 1960s my mom became a fan of Graham Kerr, the charismatic, British TV Chef better known as The Galloping Gourmet. Known for his use of clarified butter, he charmed the housewives of America, wine glass in hand, each weekday afternoon. I inherited one of his cookbooks from my mom, and in it is the New Year’s Eve tradition, the New Yorker Onion Sandwich. These tasty treats sat beside the biscuit wrapped wieners and the good luck herring, ready to help usher in the New Year every year since he entered our living room.

  • Creative Crostinis

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    Crostini, which is Italian for "little toast", is the perfect finger food for holiday entertaining! Its quick yet classy composition makes it a great anytime snack! Whether you're looking for something savory like my prosciutto, wilted kale and pomegranate crostini or something sweet like goat cheese and fig jam spread on crusty, toasted baguette...there's something for everyone! Be creative and design your own flavorful concoction. With endless possibilities, you'll never run out of ideas for tasty pairings! 

    Happy Holidays!

    April

    P.S. A BIG thank you to Beckie Sydlowski for graciously agreeing to photograph our epic food adventures!  XO

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