Friday, January 9, 2015

Sausage and White Bean Gratin

I'm slowly building my cookbook library (and by "slowly," I mean that I own three books total...). For Christmas this year, Boyfriend's mama got me Food & Wine's "Best of the Best." This is the first recipe I've made from it and it. So far, so good!!!

I'm not a huge fan of beans, but I'm pretty sure this recipe changed my mind!

  • 2/3 cup panko or dried bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet italian sausages, casings removed (I used spicy turkey italian sausage)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 scant tbsp fresh time leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Two 15.5 ounce cans white beans, such as cannelloni or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
  • pepper
  • 4 large handfuls baby spinach

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine panko and melted butter in a small bowl and set it aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add the sausage and cook until it has evenly browned. This should take about 5 minutes. 
  4. Remove the sausage from the skillet, leaving as much oil in the skillet as possible. Set the sausage aside. 
  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 8 minutes or so.
  6. Add the tomato paste and thyme and stir until well incorporated.
  7. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer, scraping up brown bits for about 2 minutes.
  8. Add broth and simmer. 
  9. Add beans and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Simmer until reduced by about half. There should still be some liquid in the mixture.
  11. Add spinach and stir until wilted.
  12. Spoon mixture into a baking dish ad top with panko/butter mixture.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes. 
  14. Remove from over and let rest for ten minutes or so before serving.

Shrimp and Potato Cakes with Kale Braised in Chile Broth

Day 2 of my New Years resolutions for 2015:

Haven't started trying for Baby Murphey just yet. We are having a very belated Friendsgiving/Christmas tomorrow and I'd like to be able to drink alcohol without worrying that I may be pregnant.

BUT... healthy dinner night number 2 was a success!

I ate kale and I didn't hate it!!

Shrimp and Potato Cakes with Kale Braised in Chile Broth
(Adapted from Food and Wine)

Shrimp and Potato Cakes


  • 2 baking potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), peeled and halved lengthwise
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped, plus 1 thinly sliced scallion, for garnish
  • 2 serrano chiles—stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 3/4 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Cotija cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Kale Braised in Chile Broth (recipe follows)


  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the saucepan to dry and cool completely. Using a box grater, coarsely grate the potatoes into a large bowl.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the finely chopped scallions and the serranos and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the scallions and serranos to the potatoes and let cool.
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Add the shrimp, egg, 2 tablespoons each of Cotija and chopped cilantro and 1 teaspoon of salt to the potatoes and fold gently to combine. Form the mixture into 6 patties, a scant 3/4 inch thick and transfer them to the baking sheet. Refrigerate the cakes until just chilled, about 20 minutes.
  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of canola oil until shimmering. Add 3 of the shrimp cakes and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cakes to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining 3 cakes.
  5. Spoon the kale into shallow bowls and top with the shrimp cakes. Garnish with Cotija, chopped cilantro and the sliced scallions and serve right away.

Kale Braised in Chile Broth


  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 guajillo chiles, stemmed
  • 2 dried ├írbol chiles, stemmed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the guajillo and árbol chiles and let stand until the chiles are softened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chiles and stock to a blender. Add the oregano and cumin and puree.
  3. Strain the broth through a fine sieve back into the saucepan.
  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the kale and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until the kale just starts to wilt.
  5. Add the chile broth and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat until the kale is tender and the broth is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.

Asian Chicken Meatballs with Brown Rice

Happy New Year! I've been really lame about posting this year, and I definitely regret it. But it's been a crazy year for us here at Casa Murphalielann (Murphey, Curiel, Phalen, Brann)! A baby was born, I'm in my last year as an undergrad, and Boyfriend and I GOT ENGAGED!!!!!

Happy New Year from our furry family to yours!

Our nephew Rowan: AKA- R'wan, Babyman, Chunk, Fatty, and Chubbs


Dat ring doh.

And guess what? Our New Year's Resolution is to get pregnant!

So, obviously, we need to get our shit together as far as eating healthier and exercising. But who says eating right has to be boring?

As the first meal of the year, we're doing a flavorful twist on a classic meatball with chicken! Enjoy!

(And New Years Resolution number 2 is to update this blog more often!)

Asian Chicken Meatballs

(Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine)


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Lightly toss together all ingredients.
  3. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and arrange on baking sheet
  4. Bake for 13 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice and chile sauce.