Chorizo and Mushroom Salad

In our house, dinner is the “big” meal of the day.  We usually do a quick breakfast, I make a really simple lunch, but I tend to focus most of my efforts (and appetite) on dinner because it’s the meal I eat with my whole family and my husband is usually starving when he gets home.  Typically our dinner is pretty filling, so with that in mind, this is NOT a recipe that would cut it in our house for dinner.  It is super easy, delicious,

Here are 3 situations where making this would be ideal:

1. You want a light, yet hearty lunch for a few friends.

2. You’re serving a light dinner, like quesadillas or sandwiches, and need a hefty side.

3. You spent your afternoon making a killer dessert and you don’t want to hear any nonsense about your diners being “too full for dessert”.

In my life, #3 is a real situation often – I hate when a great dessert is under appreciated.  Plus, these won’t leave you with a ton of dishes, either, so you can focus on the kitchen disaster at hand after making said dessert.

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Chorizo and Mushroom Salad

8 cups fresh spinach

8oz. chorizo

8oz. mushrooms (I used some shiitake and some button)

1 onion

3T olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2oz. goat cheese

salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425.  Dice the onion and chop the mushrooms.  Break the chorizo up into blobs on a rimmed baking sheet.  Scattter the onion and mushrooms around the pan, too.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes (so the onions and mushrooms gain some fat and flavor from the chorizo).

2. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, oregano, and 2T of water together to make a dressing, season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Put the spinach into bowls for serving, then scoop the now cooked mushroom mixture over the top.  Drizzle with dressing and crumble a little goat cheese on top.

Dill Cheddar Scones

I really feel like if you serve soup for dinner, you need some sort of homemade bread or muffin to go along with it.  I have pretty much eaten my weight in goat cheese biscuits this winter, so when I made potato soup tonight, I decided to revisit these savory scones to go along with them.  Having made the recipe before, I knew that it yielded way more scones than I needed so I figured I’d half the recipe.  Unfortunately, I’m quite poor at math, so I split the whole recipe in half up until the end, when I added a whole cup of cream instead of a half cup, so, obviously, I ended up making the whole recipe of them.  The one I posted here makes about 12 medium-sized scones, a good amount to serve with dinner.  Like all scones, what keeps the flakiness intact is streaks of unincorporated butter.  Be mindful about that as you mix, especially if you use a stand mixer.

Scones

Dill Cheddar Scones

2 cups flour, plus a few tablespoons for assembling

1 T baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons)

2 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 oz. cheddar cheese

handful of fresh dill

1. Preheat your oven to 400.  Using either a large bowl or mixer, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the butter into small, centimeter-sized pieces and toss them in.  Mix briefly until the pieces of butter have broken up a bit.  Add the eggs and cream and mix until just incorporated.

2. Grate the cheese and chop up the dill, fold both into the dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and mold into a big rectangle, roughly an inch tall.  Using a bench scraper or  chef’s knife, cut triangles off and transfer to a baking sheet (I do 3-4″ hypotenuse triangles).

3. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the tops begin to brown.

Adapted from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This is my 10th post on Butter Is My Jam – and we’ve been live for 2 weeks.  In those weeks I’ve had more than 600 visitors from 7 countries!  Thank you so much for reading and sharing – I so appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read, perhaps try a recipe, or pin something you like.

Every time I cook with quinoa I think of the Budweiser commercial where there’s a guy tailgaiting and having a tormented inner dialogue about grilling a pathetic looking quinoa burger.  Fortunately, quinoa tastes much better than the ad would lead you to believe.  It has a really nice texture and gives you a great protein boost.  After making this, I ate it for lunch every day for a week – it was really filling and my toddler loved it, too!   It’s also vegan and paleo (according to some – apparently quinoa is up for debate).

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa

1lb. cherry tomatoes (I used a mixture of yellow and red)

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 green onions

1/2 of a red onion

1 cucumber

for the dressing:

3T lemon juice

1T red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1. Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, and olive oil together in a small jar.  Mince or press the garlic and add.  I put them in a mason jar so I can shake it up.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Rinse the quinoa and place it in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, and a little salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, put a lid on the pan, and cook until the quinoa is tender (12-15 minutes).

3.  Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters, halve the olives, and thinly slice the red and green onion.  Slice the cucumber into bite-sized pieces.  Place the quinoa into a bowl and stir in the tomatoes, olives, onions, and cucumber.  Drizzle the dressing over the top and season with salt and pepper as needed.   Chill before serving, the longer the better!

Source: adapted from Bobby Flay for Food Network

Texas Caviar

According to my wise father, New Year’s resolutions don’t begin until the first Monday of the new year, so you have plenty of time to come up with one and continue to not exercise and eat whatever you want.  I think it also means you have a few days to get in your black-eyed peas.

While I’m not entirely convinced that eating black-eyed peas on January 1 is a guarantee for good luck, I’m not one to give up an opportunity for luck.  Unfortunately I have never been a huge fan of black-eyed peas (the food or the purveyors of “My Humps”) until I learned about Texas Caviar.  For the record, it doesn’t resemble actual caviar in the slightest.

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Texas Caviar

adapted from Food Network

2 cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters

1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2T olive oil

1/2 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco or Cholula)

salt and pepper

1. Stir the black-eyed peas, red onion, tomatoes, parsley, bell pepper, and jalepeno together in a medium-sided bowl.

2. Whisk the red wine vinegar, oil, and hot sauce together in a small bowl.  Pour the dressing over the caviar and stir to coat everything.

3. Cover and chill for several hours.  The longer the flavors marinate together, the better it tastes, so give it at least 3-4 hours.  I serve it with tortilla chips.