Brussels Sprout, Kale and Corn Pie

brussel sprout, kale corn pie With Thanksgiving less than a week away I’m sure all of your menus are pretty much planned and now the cooking and prepping begins!

I don’t know about you, but until then I’m not cooking anything very elaborate, in fact all these ingredients for this luscious pie were just sitting in my fridge, and I bet most of them are in your fridge right about now.

I went easy on myself, I had a store-bought pie crust handy, some brussels sprouts that I bought way too much of, and kale, I always have kale, but spinach or swiss chard would work equally as well. Oh, and frozen corn, we all have some of that don’t we?

brussel sprout kale, corn pie I added a small leek, but an onion would do, and one clove of garlic. Then you whisk up a custard of eggs and cream and add some wonderful melt-y cheese and the end result is a wonderful, savory pie/ quiche/tart, call it whatever you want, I call it delicioso!

brussel sprout leaves I prefer pulling the looser outer leaves off of my brussels sprouts then slicing what’s left, I think it looks prettier, but it is time consuming so you don’t have to do that, you can just shred or slice them up or even use leftover cooked sprouts.

pre cooking pie crust Roll out your dough, then pre-cook it for 7 minutes until set using pie weights.

ingredients for brussel sprout pie Saute the brussels sprouts and kale until they start to wilt, adding them in raw is not good, then crisp up your leeks or onion.

ingredients for brussel sprout pieThen a mixture of  grated parmesan or romano and a shredded cheese of your choice, maybe a fontina or chedder, something that melts nice, I had a package of Gruyere that I wanted to use up.

After the piecrust is precooked add all the sauteed veggies, top with the cheese and pour on the eggy custard.

brussel sprout kale, corn pie I like to reserve some of the veggies to place on top after you add the custard and cheese because it tends to cover everything up.

brussel sprout kale, corn pie

 

You can add a salad to this if you’d like, or just cut a nice wedge and pour a glass of wine like I did, it’s a quick eat when you’re busy, like prepping for the holidays, and you’ll be very happy to have leftovers for the next day!

I probably won’t be posting much until after Thanksgiving, but if you want to see what I’m up to, pretty much on a daily basis, follow me  here on Instagram!

Brussels Sprout, Kale and Corn Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 9" piecrust, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 cups of slightly cooked and wilted brussels sprouts
  • 3 leaves of kale cut chiffonade style sauteed, slightly cooked and wilted down
  • 1/2 cup, frozen corn,
  • 1 small leek, or onion, sauteed and caramelized
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 branches of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese, Gruyere, fontina or chedder
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan or romano
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream or half and half
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees, roll out piecrust and place into a 9" pie plate that has been brushed with olive oil.
  2. Add a piece of parchment on top and some pie weights, or dry beans. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 7 minutes, then remove and cool and reduce oven to 375.
  3. Saute the brussels sprouts, kale just until it starts to wilt, you could add the frozen corn also, then let it cool down.
  4. Saute the leek, garlic and thyme in a drizzle of olive oil until nicely golden, let cool, then mix all the veggies together.
  5. Whisk up the eggs, the grated cheese and the heavy cream together.
  6. Arrange all the veggies on the precooked and cooled piecrust, reserve some for top after egg mixture is poured.
  7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
  8. Pour the egg custard all around.
  9. Place some of the reserved veggies on top.
  10. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, let it cool down, then cut.
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2014/11/brussels-sprout-kale-corn-pie.html

 

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Stuffed Cabbage Cake

stuffed cabbage cake I have to say right off the bat that this post was solely inspired by a photo I saw in the beautiful new cookbook by Mimi Thorisson, A Kitchen In France. In fact she posted the recipe recently on her blog, the name she calls it is, Chou Farci.

Instead of individual rolls of stuffed cabbage like most of us are use to seeing, her recipe was made and molded into a cake-like form by building layers of meat and vegetable filling and then wrapping it all into a beautiful little package of lacy savoy cabbage leaves.

After reading her recipe, which I’m sure is  quite delicious, I thought it would be fun to make my Italian style version, just the way I make my own stuffed cabbage.

unmolding stuffed cabbage cake You’ll need a round, deep souffle or casserole dish because you’re going to layer the bottom and sides with the cabbage leaves as well as each layer of filling and the top. After it’s baked together you let it rest a bit, then invert it onto a serving plate.

unmolded stuffed cabbage cake All the filling stays neatly contained inside the wrapped cabbage leaves. It looks like there’s a cute little tree on top doesn’t it?

stuffed cabbage cake But I just couldn’t keep it unadorned, so I decided to embellish it with warm marinara and freshly grated parmesan cheese, just like frosting on a cake!

stuffed cabbage cake This way of presenting stuffed cabbage takes a simple meal and elevates it to something very special. You can try Mimi’s version, or use a filling that your own family would like, the sky’s the limit!  Just follow the directions for the cabbage layout and you’re good to go.

Here’s my Italian style version.

Stuffed Cabbage Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 head of savoy cabbage, it has pretty lacy leaves
  • 1 1/2 pound of good quality ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of marinara sauce plus extra for topping mold and plating
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • fresh chopped basil and parsley, a small bunch of each
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Core and separate the leaves from the savoy cabbage, then cook them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a deep souffle type dish and then arrange the prettiest and largest leaf on the bottom. Place another leaf on top of that and up the sides of the dish all around.
  3. In a large saute pan cook your meat until you see no pink, if it needs to be drained of added grease do so and set aside.
  4. Add olive oil to the pan and cook the onions, carrots, garlic and diced red pepper until soft, then toss it all together with the cooked meat.
  5. Add the grated cheese, marinara and fresh herbs, toss til well coated, let it cool then toss in the egg.
  6. Put your first layer down, about 1/2 inch then layer a cabbage leaf on top. Repeat until you reach the top or run out of filling.
  7. Finish with cabbage on top making sure to tuck it in the dish all around.
  8. Drizzle the top with olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkling of romano cheese all over.
  9. Bake at 350 for around 40 minutes.
  10. Let it rest then invert a serving plate over the souffle dish, then flip it over.
  11. Cut into slices and serve with additional warmed marinara and more grated cheese.
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2014/11/stuffed-cabbage-cake.html

 

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Big and Bold Meatball

giant meatballs Here’s a fun way to eat your favorite meatball, make it giant sized, nestle it in a pool of homemade marinara, top it with fresh ricotta, basil and olive oil, then just make sure you have some crispy, crunchy bread to soak up all that sauce. It’s a meal in itself and it’s so good!

I got this idea from the very popular meatball that’s on the menu at Siena Tavern in Chicago, I went there recently with a friend, we shared the jumbo sized meatball and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.

They make theirs with wagyu beef but honestly as we were eating it we both agreed you don’t need to use pricey wagyu beef at all because it’s the combination of all the different flavors that get melded together that makes it so amazing.

meatball ingredients So for my version I just picked up some good quality ground beef from my reputable butcher, it was 85% lean and 15% fat.  You could do a mixture of meats if you like but I wanted to stick strictly with beef to stay close to the flavor profile that we had in the restaurant.

The rest of the ingredients are exactly how I make my own meatballs, I always use grated romano cheese, dry and wet bread breadcrumbs, sauteed onion and garlic, fresh parsley, eggs, salt and pepper.

making giant meatballs For one pound of meat I made three meatballs, I feel anything bigger than that is overkill, this was perfect for individual servings.

You’ll want to form your meatballs then bake them on parchment until they set as shown in the picture on the right, about 20 minutes or so.

making giant meatballs Then drench them in some good homemade marinara sauce topped with romano, then back into the oven until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 160.

giant meatball When taken out of the oven drench them with more warmed sauce, don’t be shy, add a healthy dollop of fresh ricotta, right on top, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil and  more romano, then immediately dig in!

giant meatball

 

But don’t forget that warmed crunchy bread it’s a MUST!

I used sliced ciabattta that I drizzled with olive oil and stuck under the broiler until  nice and golden, a match made in meatball heaven!

Big and Bold Meatball

Ingredients

  • 1 lb, quality ground beef,85% lean 15% fat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 hunk of day old Italian bread moistened with water or milk and squeezed out
  • 1/3 cup or so of dry plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of grated pecorino romano
  • salt and pepper
  • homemade marinara sauce
  • fresh ricotta
  • fresh basil for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small pan add olive oil and saute onions and garlic until soft, let it cool
  2. Place all the ingredients into a bow, the meat, eggs, cheese, bread, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, onions and garlic.
  3. Mix well and form 3 meatballs, they'll look about the size of a tennis ball.
  4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and cook them until set at 375 for around 20 minutes or so.
  5. Remove and place meatballs into their own individual baking dish.
  6. Drench with sauce and top with romano cheese and finish baking in the oven at 375 until internal temp reaches 160.
  7. Add a generous amount of additional warmed sauce, a dollop of fresh ricotta on top, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of romano and some fresh chopped basil.
  8. I highly recommend sliced ciabatta bread, drizzled with olive oil and placed under the broiler or in a 400 degree oven until nice and golden to accompany your meatball.
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2014/11/big-bold-meatball.html

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