Have you ever been overwhelmed by the idea of cooking a (nice) dinner menu? I may very well be alone here (I am not known for my cooking skills. That said, I excel at folding laundry and styling the house :). But if there is a slight chance that you are in those same shoes, I wanted to share with you our experience of planning, cooking and eating one of the most delicious dinners we have ever had.
Right here, at home.
Now, none of these recipes are originally mine... All I can attest to is that each one turned out more delicious than we ever imagined!
The total prep and cooking time for this dinner was about 90 minutes (not a terrible time investment). I actually started off with the dessert since I was able to whip it up and put it in the fridge and be done with it. That way, it was also nicely chilled by the time of serving.
Next, I started on the soup... while that was cooking, I was working on the one-pot wonder. During the 15-minute wait times of the entree, I quickly threw together the mushrooms.
And voila! There's the order of events. Oh, and savoring every bite was rather wonderful too.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
- 1/4 cup butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil1onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 lbs cauliflower, cut into florets
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2/3 cups milk
- 2 oz Gruyère, coarsely grated
- 2 tbsp crème fraîche
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, leek and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (7-10 minutes). Add cauliflower, stir to coat in butter, add stock and simmer until very tender (40-45 minutes). Add milk, bring to the simmer, then purée in a blender until very smooth. Stir in Gruyère, crème fraîche and mustard, season to taste and keep warm. Original recipe here.
One-Pot Chicken, Quinoa, Mushrooms and Spinach
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- ¾ tsp crushed, dried rosemary
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups low-fat chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups sliced spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the chicken thighs in a medium bowl. Add the rosemary, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and toss to coat the chicken. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion and mushrooms, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the quinoa and broth into the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the quinoa, and cook (covered) until the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes (total of 30 minutes). Transfer the chicken to a plate. Stir the spinach into the quinoa. Serve with the chicken. Season to taste. Original recipe here.
Garlic Thyme Roasted Mushrooms
- 12 oz white mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- Pinch of salt, or to taste
- 3 dashes ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat up a skillet and add the butter, olive oil. Add the garlic, thyme, garlic powder, salt, pepper and lime juice. Saute to combine well before adding the mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms to coat well with the ingredients. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the mushrooms.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the mushrooms for 12 minutes. Serve immediately. Original recipe here.
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cognac or 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups fresh strawberries
Mix sour cream, brown sugar and cognac in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whip cream until starts to thicken and add sugar - whip until thick. Fold cream into sour cream mixture and blend well. Serve with fresh strawberries. Original recipe here.