Collard Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits

Collard greens are a very hearty and robust with a distinct earthy flavor. Collard greens require a longer cooking time than chard or other leafy green vegetables. This recipe is a delicious take on a spicy sausage casserole with a southern flavor – collard greens – in a flavorful reduced chicken broth topped with fluffy cornmeal biscuits. This recipe is a complete meal and will satisfy your salty, hearty and spicy cravings.

Collard Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits

by Grace Parisi, Food & Wine


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup coarse yellow cornmeal

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup half-and-half


1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch sticks

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 ounces spicy andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick

4 cups Turkey Stock or chicken stock

4 pounds collard greens—thick stems and inner ribs removed, leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

MAKE THE BISCUITS In a food processor, pulse the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it’s the size of small peas. Add the half-and-half and pulse just until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough slightly and roll it out to a 10-inch square. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares and refrigerate on a baking sheet.

MAKE THE COLLARDS In a large pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until golden and the bacon fat is rendered, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 6 minutes. Add the bacon, andouille and 3 cups of the Turkey Stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the collards in 3 batches, stirring so each batch wilts before adding more. Cover and simmer over low heat until the collards are very tender, 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Add 1 cup of the half-and-half and the remaining 1 cup of stock to the collards and bring to a boil. Stir the cornstarch slurry and add it to the pot. Cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the collards to a large ceramic or glass baking dish. Top with the biscuit squares, overlapping them slightly, and brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of half-and-half. Season the biscuits well with pepper and bake for 50 minutes, or until the greens are bubbling and the biscuits are golden. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.


Classic Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew

This recipe not only satisfies your cravings for a rich beef stew, but will warm your stomach with the course ground Dijon that imparts a depth of flavor. I served this fabulous dish over lightly buttered ribbon Pappardelle noodles. This dish is not only part of an impressive collection in The Essential New York Times Cookbook but will impress guests with its complexity and depth.

Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew
The Essential New York Times Cookbook

1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons butter, as needed
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, as needed
1/2 cup Cognac
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons Pommery mustard
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
1/4 cup red wine.

Place salt pork in a Dutch oven or a large heavy kettle over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and discard. Raise heat, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.

If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pan, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and the crust comes loose. Add stock, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pan. Lower heat, cover pan partway, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Add carrots, and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until slices are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté mushrooms until browned and tender.

Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

Baked Manicotti with Sausage and Mushrooms

I came across a recipe for Baked Manicotti in Saveur magazine. I deviated from the traditional manicotti recipe with the additions of spicy Italian sausage, red pepper flakes and mushrooms. The result was a spicy, hearty Italian dish that will definitely be making its way into my binder of time-honored recipes.
Baked Manicotti with Sausage and Mushrooms
Inspired by Saveur

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cups tomato basil marinara
1  8-oz. box dried manicotti shells (about 14)
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
4 cups whole-milk ricotta
1 cup grated parmesan
7 tbsp. chopped curly or flat-leaf parsley
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten

Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with 1 tbsp. butter and spread 1⁄2 cup of the marinara sauce across the bottom of the pan. Set aside. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the manicotti and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain manicotti and rinse under cold water; set aside.

Heat oven to 450°. Heat remaining butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add spicy Italian sausage, red pepper flakes and mushrooms. Saute until sausage is browned. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl along with the ricotta, 1⁄2 cup parmesan, 5 tbsp. chopped parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs and stir to combine.

Spoon some of the filling into both openings of each manicotti shell. (Alternatively, transfer the ricotta mixture to a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag, snip off a bottom corner of the bag, and pipe filling into pasta.) Repeat with remaining manicotti shells. Transfer stuffed manicotti to prepared baking dish, making 2 rows. Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the manicotti and sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Hanger Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce

Hanger steak is a flavorful cut of beef and when paired with a decadent red wine sauce, oyster and cremini mushrooms, alongside roasted brussel sprouts and oven roasted fingerling potatoes, this recipe can easily become a fantastical food legend.

Hanger Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce

by Bon Appetit

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12 ounces assorted mushrooms, torn or cut into large pieces
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2-pound hanger steak, trimmed, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
Coarsely cracked black pepper
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 6″ sprig rosemary
1 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup low-salt chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
Melt 1 Tbsp. butter with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium heat. Season steak with salt and cracked pepper. Add steak, garlic, and rosemary to skillet. Cook about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest while preparing sauce.

Discard garlic and rosemary from skillet. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. fat. Add wine; cook, stirring up bits, until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Strain; return liquid to skillet. Stir in stock; bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; Whisk in 3 Tbsp. butter. Stir in mushrooms and 1 Tbsp. tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon mushroom mixture onto plates. Thinly slice steak; serve over mushrooms. Garnish with remaining 1 Tbsp. tarragon.

Autumn Panang Vegetable Curry

This delicious version of Panang Vegetable Curry highlights the bounty of fall’s produce, with delicious buttercup squash, cauliflower and carrots. I think adding the firm tofu is optional, but if someone didn’t care for tofu, you could easily just add an additional vegetable such as eggplant or zucchini. I served this hearty, perfectly spicy curry over jasmine rice and spinach.You can easily substitute store bought panang curry paste.

Panang Vegetable Curry
by Bon Appetit

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Panang Curry Paste (see below)
2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
2 1/3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk, divided
1 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable stock
8 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
2 dried chiles de árbol
1 4-lb. kabocha squash, cut into 8 wedges, seeded, or 2 acorn squash, quartered, seeded (I used buttercup squash)
1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lb.), cored, broken into 1″–2″ florets
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut on a diagonal into 1/2″ slices
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2″ squares
1/4 cup liquid tamarind concentrate or 2 Tbsp. tamarind paste mixed with 2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 12-oz. package firm tofu, drained, patted dry, cut into 1″ cubes
Kosher salt
1/4 cup cup chopped peanuts
Steamed jasmine rice

Heat oil in a large heavy wide pot over medium heat. Add shallots, Panang Curry Paste, and ginger; stir until shallots begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup coconut milk; stir until browned, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, lime leaves, and chiles; stir to blend, scraping up browned bits.

Add kabocha squash to pot, set on sides so all pieces fit in a single layer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until squash is almost tender, 15–20 minutes. Remove squash from pot; stir in cauliflower, carrots, and peppers. Return squash to pot, placing on top of vegetables; cook until all vegetables are tender, 10–15 minutes. Transfer squash to a plate.

Stir tamarind concentrate, half of basil, fish sauce, and lime juice into pot; add tofu. Cover and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes, adding more stock if too thick. Season to taste with salt.

Divide curry among bowls; top each with 1 wedge of squash; sprinkle remaining basil and peanuts over. Serve curry with steamed jasmine rice.

Panang Curry Paste
by Bon Appetit

2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, bottom 4″ only, tough outer layer discarded, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh (or frozen, thawed) galangal
6 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh serrano chiles, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place dried chiles in a medium bowl; cover with hot water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain; place chiles and all remaining ingredients in a mini-processor; process until paste forms. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 months ahead. Store airtight in freezer.

Garlicky Spinach-Sausage Gratin

Diving further into my Cooking Light magazine I found myself drawn to the “Budget Cooking” section. Curious if I could make a delicious meal for only $2.42 a serving, I decided to try the Garlicky Spinach-Sausage Gratin. Not only was I surprised at the simplicity of this dish, but its heartiness is filling, yet the ingredients healthy. I adore spinach so I’m drawn to anything that contains the green leafy vegetable. This recipe is a harmonious gratin that is filling and comforting, welcoming fall’s dark, chilly nights. In case you’re wondering, yes this meal can feed four people for under $10. Not an easy feat in today’s tight-budgeted world.

Garlicky Spinach-Sausage Gratin

by Cooking Light

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
6 ounces pork sausage (I used 1 pound)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed
Cooking spray
2 ounces French bread baguette, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450°.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sausage, salt, and pepper; sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove mixture from pan; drain. Wipe pan.

Return sausage mixture to pan. Stir in flour; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine milk and eggs, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium. Stir milk mixture into sausage mixture; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Spoon spinach mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Place bread in a food processor, and pulse until 1 cup coarse crumbs form. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Stir in crumbs, and sauté for 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Sprinkle crumbs over spinach mixture, and top with cheese. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until bubbly.

Vegetarian Moussaka

This recipe is inspired from the March 2011 issue for Vegetarian Moussaka. The original recipe called for uncooked bulgar but when I started making this recipe, I realized I had run out. So I substituted a brown rice with daikon seeds and chicken stock instead of vegetable broth. The creamy bechamel sauce was the star of this dish and I wish I had doubled the recipe. The result of this simple dish was a hearty, delicious meal that will even satisfy the ravenous carnivore within.

Vegetarian Moussaka

by Cooking Light

3 peeled eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 2 1/2 pounds) (I used 2 large eggplants)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup uncooked bulgur (I precooked 1 cup of brown rice with daikon seeds)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups organic vegetable broth (I used chicken stock)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat broiler to high.

Brush eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon oil. Place half of eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant. Set eggplant aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chopped onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add bulgur; cook 3 minutes or until bulgur is lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Add ground allspice, cinnamon, and cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vegetable broth, oregano, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese and salt. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Add egg, stirring well with a whisk.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Arrange half of eggplant in an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the bulgur mixture evenly over eggplant; arrange remaining eggplant over bulgur mixture. Top with milk mixture. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes, and remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 475°. Return dish to oven for 4 minutes or until the top is browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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