Pork Sausage with Swiss Chard

One of the cookbooks that was on my Christmas wishlist was David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.
I’ve been a huge fan of Lebovitz’s blog for quite some time now, and loved his novel My Life in Paris.  I spent one lazy Sunday afternoon pouring through his book with a glass of wine when I stumbled upon his Pork Sausage with Swiss Chard recipe and knew I had to make it for the 2015 cookbook challenge.

my paris kitchen david lebovitzThe original recipe called for chicken livers which I wasn’t on board with, but we followed the rest of it to the letter.  Plus the recipe called for the sausages being wrapped in bacon, and you can’t really go wrong when bacon is involved.

We don’t have a food processor so we chopped all of our ingredients by hand and then mixed it all together in our Kitchen-Aid stand mixer.  From start to finish it took a little over an hour and yielded 4 delicious sausages that we paired with some roasted root vegetables.

pork sausage with swiss chard Making this recipe got me all excited for our upcoming one year wedding anniversary trip to France this May.  Oh did I mention we are going to France?  Burgundy and Champagne, here we come.

Also if you are looking for a beautifully shot cookbook with lots of delicious recipes then I highly recommend this one.  It’s quickly becoming one of my favorites!

Green Protein Smoothie

Once upon a time I visited a magical land called Portland and had a magical green smoothie from Kure Juice Bar.  It had coconut, avocado and kale and was seriously fantastic.  A year and a half has passed since that trip, and after many attempts I have finally been able to create a green protein smoothie that is almost as great as the original one from Kure.

I don’t always love posting smoothie recipes since really all you do is throw a bunch of ingredients in a blender and pour into a glass, but since I spent months trying to re-create the Kure one, I figured this green protein smoothie gets a pass.

green protein smoothie ingredients

The main difference between this smoothie and the Kure Juice bar one is that I added protein powder, but you can still remove the protein powder and it will be quite tasty.  Trust me.

The avocado gives the smoothie a nice creamy texture and the kale is a nice little nutrient punch.  However you look at it, this is a delicious drink that can be enjoyed pretty much anytime.

green protein smoothie pin

Green Protein Smoothie (inspired from Kure Juice Bar’s Envy Blend)

Ingredients:

1 cup almond or coconut milk (coconut water would work too)

1/2 avocado

1/4-1/2 cup chopped kale

2 tbsp coconut butter (use coconut oil if you don’t have the butter)

1 scoop protein powder of your choice

1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Ice

Directions:

Throw all of your ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

green protein smoothie straw

Pour into a glass and drink with a fun straw.  Repeat.

Guacamole Fish Tacos

Living in Southern California, it is pretty much a prerequisite that you must love guacamole.  And yet, I don’t have it often enough!  But in the spirit of the 2015 cookbook challenge and to celebrate the return of Portlandia, I decided to make Guacamole Fish Tacos from the Portlandia Cookbook.

guacamole fish tacosI’ll be honest, this recipe was pretty straightforward and easy to make.  The main modification I made was with the fish.  The original recipe called for red snapper (which I love), but we are both trying to be more conscientious about our seafood choices thanks to Seafood Watch, so we opted for wild sole and rockfish from Santa Monica Seafood.  Another good seafood tip?  Buy wild over farm raised and fresh over frozen as often as possible.

santa monica seafoodOnce we got our fish, the rest of the recipe came together pretty quickly.  We whipped up the guacamole, sautéed the fish and vegetables, assembled the slaw and warmed up the tortillas.  The great thing about fish tacos is you can customize them however you want, as long as there’s guacamole involved of course.

guacamole fish tacos taco bar

One of my lovely friends from LA joined us for dinner and we created a build your own taco bar with all of the fixings.  I knew this recipe was a winner when there wasn’t a drop of guacamole left after.

fish tacos and cheese

Guacamole Fish Tacos (adapted from the Portlandia Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh fish (see note above)

4 avocados, mashed

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

flour tortillas

sour cream or other cheese for topping (I used Tillamook Cheese)

Directions:

Grill your fish to your liking (I also recommend baking in parchment paper)

While you fish is cooking, assemble the guacamole ingredients in a large bowl and mix until everything is well blended.  Since many people have different preferences to how they like their guacamole, I recommend seasoning to your liking.

Warm your tortillas in the oven.  Assemble your fish taco, devour, and repeat.

Ways to use Tillamook Cheese

I really like cheese.  And I really, really like Tillamook Cheese.  I wanted to make the trip out to Tillamook last time we were in Oregon to tour the cheese factory but we just ran out of time.  So in honor of Tllamook and my love for their cheese, here are some ways to use Tillamook Cheese.

tillamook cheese cheddar loaf

The Englishman makes a mean loaf of bread, and we decided to take it to the next level by adding a layer of Tillamook Cheddar on top of it, so when the loaf was done it was filled with cheesy goodness.

tillamook cheese breadThe great thing about this cheese bread was that since the cheese was just on top, this bread was quite versatile – it made a great grilled cheese (see below), was perfect with a smear of butter and jam, and even made an excellent stuffing for meatballs.

One of the other ways to use Tillamook Cheese is to make yourself a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.  For this one we kept it simple: grilled onions, a bit of ketchup, and lots of cheese.  It may not have been the prettiest thing to look at, but it was quite tasty.

tillamook grilled cheese

Growing up my dad always made tacos with cheddar cheese on top (I know, not Mexican at all but roll with it), so one night when we made fish tacos, I knew I had to bust out some Tillamook Cheddar as an homage to my childhood.  Say what you will, but cheddar on tacos is pretty fantastic.

tillamook tacosJust some delicious guacamole, fish, beans, slaw and cheddar cheese.

fish tacos and cheese

What’s your favorite way to use cheddar?  I’m thinking I need to try a cheddar and apple galette soon!