March 2013


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One of my favorite (non-Italian) comfort foods is noodle kugel. It’s a heavy hit of all things rich and delicious, and you’d best believe only full-fat dairy is invited to this particular party.

Though this is a minor adaptation of my Aunt Ellen’s recipe (I added cornflakes to top it, as many people do), I’m pretty sure this is everyone’s noodle kugel recipe. It’s super simple and so satisfying. You can eat it as a side dish, make it your main meal with a vegetable or even eat the leftovers for lunch or breakfast as I do! It heats up beautifully with a splash of milk in the microwave.

NOODLE KUGEL

1 pound full-fat cottage cheese, small curd
1 pound full-fat sour cream
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz. bag of egg noodles

Topping
handfuls of crushed cornflakes
1/2 stick (or so) of butter

Whisk eggs, combine with cottage cheese, sour cream and salt. Boil noodles according to package instructions, drain. Combine noodles with eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream mixture.

Butter a 10″ pie plate. Fill with noodle kugel. Crush cornflakes over top. Dot with butter. Be generous–I use almost half a stick. You’ll want to be sure your oven rack is right in the middle. Bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour. Take a peek around 50 minutes to make sure the top isn’t burning–just in case your oven runs a bit hotter than mine. If need be, cover top with foil. I didn’t have to do this–hopefully, you won’t either.

Now that I’ve shared part 1, perhaps you’re wondering about part 2! It’s the same story with a sweet twist–brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit and tart cherry preserves. No one made it in my family, so I riffed on this base recipe and made my own. Share with you soon!

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What say we go green for St. Patrick’s Day? I’m servin’ up broccoli cheese soup family style! I found an old recipe my cousin Michael had written out for my mom years ago–try 30 of them or more probably. It’s officially from “the restaurant” as evidenced by the now faded yellow order slip it’s written on.

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That was my jump-off point, but Mike’s soup was cream of broccoli. I wanted some cheese in the mix, so I added cheddar in place of the cream and changed up the prep and seasonings a bit. We are family, regardless, so we are genetically predisposed to crank out tasty recipes. 🙂 Give this a try and see what you think!

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP

1/2 stick salted butter (4 tablespoons)
1.5 pounds broccoli
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup flour
1.5 cups whole milk
1 cup shredded cheddar (I really like Cabot’s Seriously Sharp, as you may already know)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
healthy pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat; add onion, garlic and broccoli. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring as you go. Next, add the chicken stock, bay leaves, nutmeg and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves. Move the vegetables over to the other side of the pan to create a small space where you can whisk in the flour. Just add it gradually and whisk, whisk, whisk! Now you can add the milk and cheese. Remember, we’re on simmer now. Stay there, and when everything melts together, remove from the heat. It’s time to grab the stick! YES, I finally bought a stick blender!

If you’d like some pieces of broccoli to remain whole (rather than to puree the entire pot), take out a cup or so of florets as I did. Then, fire away and blend up that broccoli! Return the florets to the soup and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Freshly cracked black pepper is a nice addition, too.

Soup’s on! Are you hungry? Let’s eat! And may the luck of the Irish be with ya today! Sláinte!

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I went bananas this morning and couldn’t wait to tell you about it. Bananas Foster is so delicious…and here a Casa Katty, it’s always fun to riff on brownies. What if? Could it be? Oh, yes, it can!

I “fostered” one banana, blitzed it up with some Neufchatel and swirled it into my favorite brownie batter. I’m pretty sure you’ll go bananas over this recipe, too.

BANANAS FOSTER BROWNIES
adapted from my all-time favorite basic brownie recipe from Ghirardelli

For the brownies
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
3/4 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa
2/3 cup unsifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks (I chopped up Valrhona feves)

To foster a banana
1 banana, sliced
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla rum
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tablespoon golden rum

For the bananas foster layer

Process in mini food processor till smooth:
4 oz. cream cheese (I use Neufchatel, 1/3 less fat)
1 large egg
1 “fostered” banana

First, let’s foster the banana. In a pan, melt butter with brown sugar, vanilla rum and cinnamon. Once everything has melted together, add bananas.

Gettin' the party started heah!

Gettin’ the party started heah!

The bananas will begin to soften and the caramel color of the sauce will darken as it bubbles away. Carefully add the golden rum. I’ll be honest: I tried to light it up, but it wasn’t happening, so let’s skip the flambé portion of the program. Fact is, you’ll get lovely caramelized bananas regardless. See? Even the spatula is happy about it.

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Set the bananas aside. Once they cool a bit, you can add them to a mini food processor with the cream cheese and one egg. Process till smooth and wait to put the brownies together.

Now, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a spoon, stir eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter.

Sift dry ingredients together; stir dry ingredients into egg mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks. Spread half the batter in a buttered 8″ square pan.

Smooth the banana mixture over the bottom brownie batter layer. It vaguely resembles a cartoon balloon, no? What is it saying? EAT ME.

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Spread the remaining brownie batter over that. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, ’cause we’re gonna swirl it with a knife to marble the pan. Look how nice.

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Bake for 35 minutes. Cool completely before cutting and enjoying.

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And speaking of “fostering”–“Don’t Stop” thinking of ways to change it up–in the kitchen and elsewhere! Take the tried and true one step beyond with something new! The possibilities are endless. Have a great week!

♥,
Katty

P.S. Spring is coming! 16 days and counting, amici!