Mini Lemon & Rhubarb Upside Down Cakes

Rhubarb is finally in season! I absolutely love it. It’s tart and sweet at the same time, which is my favorite. There are so many things you can do with it as well. This week I thought it would be nice to make some mini cakes to bring into the office for my friends. This recipe was very easy to make, and super delicious. I made a little extra rhubarb topping so I could pour it over the cakes before serving. Overall a successful cake party at work. Happy summer!

Ingredients:

Cake:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

Topping:
3 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Start by beating the butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy. Next add the eggs one at a time, making sure to full incorporate each. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mix, followed by the lemon zest, folding it all in evenly.

To make the topping, melt the butter in a pan followed by the mint and brown sugar. Add the rhubarb and cook for about 6-8 minutes until soft. Make sure not to overcook or it will break down too much! Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cups- using about one heaping tablespoon worth for each. Next, pour the batter over the rhubarb, filling the cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan. Once cooled, use a knife to loosen the sides of the cakes, then place a baking sheet over top of the muffin tins, and flip it over onto a flat surface. I ended up slicing a sliver of the bottoms off so that they would sit flat on the plate. Serve with a little extra rhubarb sauce. Enjoy!

 

 

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Celeriac & Potato Mash With Lemony Meatballs

I had heard of celeriac mash before but never tried it, so this week I gave it a shot. It was really great, as if eating mashed potatoes but with a little hint of celery in them. I had some lemons as well and though I would make some meatballs and pour the sauce over the mashed celeriac. YUM! It was fairly easy to make and a nice weeknight meal. I usually make my meatballs with a pork/beef mixture but could only get beef at my grocery store this week. I think next time a little fennel seeds might be good in the meatballs too!


Celeriac & Potato Mash:

1 medium celeriac (aka celery root) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 medium red potatoes, skin on and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 small shallot, simply smashed once as you would a garlic clove
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Meatballs: (Adapted from The Kitchn)
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 lb ground pork/beef mixture
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Olive oil
Black pepper
Salt

Lemon Sauce:
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
Black pepper, to taste

To make the mash- place the celeriac and shallot in a saucepan with enough water to cover it by an inch or so. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes or until everything is fork tender. Drain the water and toss the shallot, then add the milk and butter and wash away! Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to serve. If it dries out, just add a little more milk when warming it back up.

Next make the meatballs. Start by sautéing the onion in a little olive oil. Once it is slightly softened, add the garlic and cook for another minute. Season with a mini pinch of salt and pepper, then set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients with your hands- meat, breadcrumbs, onion, Parmesan cheese, thyme, lemon zest, cayenne, and a little salt and pepper. Form the mixture into golf ball sized balls and place on a plate until ready to cook.

In a large skillet, drizzle some olive oil and place the meatballs in one uncrowded layer. While cooking, constantly turn them so they cook evenly and don’t get stuck to the pan. Cook them most of the way, but not all the way, as they will finish cooking in the pan with the sauce later. Place on a plate and immediately make the sauce.

While the pan is still hot, add the chicken broth and white wine, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced by at least a third. Add the lemon juice, thyme, and pepper. Toss the meatballs back in and let cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until fully cooked (but not over cooked, as it is easy to do!) Serve over celeriac and potato mash, and pour the remaining lemon sauce over top. Sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

 

 

Portuguese Boiled Dinner

One of the best things in the world is to sit down and have a big family dinner. There’s just something really special about it! A lot of memories and past times are reminisced about while passing dishes around, and a lot of memories are made while you are sitting there, too. I always look forward to going home to my mothers house because we all get together, and 99% of the time food is involved. I’m assuming this is because we are Portuguese and love to celebrate family time with a big hearty meal!

This weekend we went home to Rhode Island for Mother’s Day. My mom was making Portuguese boiled dinner, which she has been making my whole life- it is one of those sentimental meals that I love very much. She learned how to make it from my great-grandmother, and yesterday she taught me how to make it. I have documented it here to share with you all! It is quite simple, but does take a few hours of cooking time. Well worth it though. And what’s even better is the next day you chop up all the leftovers and make hash out of it- which I have also included in this post for you as well!

Overall a wonderful weekend with my family! Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Ingredients: (this is for a double batch, use half for a smaller portion)
2 smoked pork shoulders
5 lbs whole carrots
2 heads of cabbage
6 large Linguiça links
6 large (Portuguese) chourico links
Apple cider vinegar, for serving
Butter, for serving

In a HUGE pot, add the pork shoulders and cover with water. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, cut everything else up. What you need to keep in mind is that all of these things will be cooking for a long period of time, so if you cut them to small then they will just cook down to mush. For the carrots, keep all the thin ones whole, and only slice the tops of the ones that are very thick. Next, core the cabbage and cut into quarters. Also peel and quarter the potatoes as well. Finally, cut the linguiça and chourico into about 3 inch pieces.

After the pork has boiled for 20 minutes, dump the water and fill it with new water. The reason you do this is to get rid of some the salt that comes off the meat. Add the linguiça and chourico to the pot, pushing it down around the pork. Add the carrots as well then cook for 1 hour. Next add the potatoes and cook for another hour. At this point, depending on how much room you have in the pot, you can either remove the potatoes and sausage or leave them in before you add the cabbage. It really depends on how big of a batch you’re making and how big your pot it. Seeing we were making a huge batch, we removed them then just warmed them through before serving. We also removed one of the pork shoulders (at this point it’s cooked all the way) to make even more room. But if you have the room in the pot or are making the smaller batch, then you can leave it all in! Up to you. Just be VERY careful when scooping things out or moving things around in there, everything has been cooking so long that it can break apart if not handled gently! Once the cabbage is added, cook for one more hour.

To serve, plate all ingredients in separate bowls and pass around the table! We love to put apple cider vinegar on our cabbage and potatoes. We also keep butter on the table as well, depending on how people like to eat their boiled dinner!

Thanks mom for sharing this recipe with me, I can’t wait to teach my future kiddo how to make it one day as well. Love you!

 HASH MADE FROM THE LEFTOVERS!

To make the hash, simply chop up the leftovers and add to a frying pan, cooking for about 15 minutes. Next add it to a baking sheet and place in the oven on 350 degrees for another 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Top with some runny poached or fried eggs!

Beet Carpaccio With Oranges, Goat Cheese & Chive Vinaigrette

I normally roast beets when I eat them, but chioggia beet are just so beautiful when you slice them raw, that I wanted to make something a little more special with them to showcase the gorgeous colors and patterns they have. I decided to slice them very thin with my mandolin and make a vegetarian “carpaccio” with a tangy chive vinaigrette to go with it. It was delicious! The sweet oranges, creamy goat cheese, and tangy dressing were great together. And the whole meal only took about 15 minutes!

Ingredients: (serves two)

Chive Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
Pepper

Other:
2 medium beets, sliced very thin
2 medium oranges (I used tangelos) sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
4 tablespoons goat cheese

Start by making the vinaigrette. Add the chives, mustard, vinegar, honey, and pepper to a food processor and blend well. With the motor still running, slowly add in the olive oil. Set aside. Next, thinly slice your beets, preferably with a mandolin if you have one. Place them on a plate slightly overlapping each other. Peel the oranges down to the flesh, (removing all of the white) and cut them crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Add those to the plate as well as the shaved carrots. Drizzle with chive vinaigrette and top with rumbled goat cheese!

 

Prosciutto Wrapped Potatoes With Ramp Chimichurri Sauce

It’s ramp season!!! I’ve been waiting for them to pop up and was super excited when I got some in my CSA bag this week. Ramps are little onions that are only in season for a very short period of time in the Spring. They have small bulbs on the bottom, and leafy greens on the top. All of which are edible and delicious! I made a chimichurri sauce using the ramps, which was really fresh and flavorful. It could be used on a variety of things really, from chicken or steak to a simple plate of roasted vegetables! I was only planning on eating a few then taking the rest to work tomorrow….but I ate all of them. Every single last one. I guess that’s a good sign though!

Ingredients:

Chimichurri Sauce (from Sweet Paul)
1/2 cup ramps, leaves and bulbs separated
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flaked
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Other:
1/2 pound fingerling potatoes
4 oz prosciutto
Olive oil
Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Start by making the chimichurri sauce. In a pot of boiling water, boil the stems/bulbs of the ramps for 3 minutes, then add the leaves and cook for one more minute. Remove and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Add the ramps, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper, and chili flakes to a food processor. Blend until mixed well, then slowly add the olive oil a little at a time, followed by the red wine vinegar. Set aside until ready to use.

Next, cook the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt and boil for about 6 minutes. You do not want to cook them all the way, otherwise they will dry out in the oven. Remove and set aside until slightly cooled. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle some pepper, then cook for 10 minutes, flipping half way through. Once they are cooked, remove from the oven but keep the oven on. Cut the prosciutto in half the long way so each slice is about 1 inch thick or so. Place the potato on one end of the prosciutto and roll it up. Continue with the others then place back on the baking sheet. Cook in oven for about 5 minutes or until the prosciutto is crispy.

Add the potatoes to a dish and spoon some chimichurri on top!