Ben was late coming home tonight, something about “working”. I had a brisket in the oven all day (the best way to cook it–put it in marinade in an oven bag. Put the bag in a baking dish. Bake at 250 for 6-9 hours until you cannot pick it up in one piece), and was going to have that with a small baked potato and swiss chard. I think I have talked about it before on here, but we LOVE swiss chard. It is delicious, nutritious, and so very easy to grow in your garden. I normally do it very simply. Sautee onions and the stems in butter, toss in some garlic, and then put in the chard until just wilted. Yum.
But we had chard like that a few days ago, and I wanted to do something different. And, like I said, I had time because of the bum husband. So I decided to make something off the top of my head from what I had in the house. I love to cook like this, but I don’t do it all that often. This time it was a resounding success.
Today’s educational lesson is about cooking with butter and oil. Butter, as we know, is disturbingly delicious, and great to cook with. It adds taste and creaminess, and I love it. While I thought that it was more WW points than cooking with olive oil, it is actually the same. So if you were going to cook something in olive oil, you can do it in the same amount of butter for a different flavor. However, rarely do you want to cook with just butter. Butter burns at a very low temperature (about 250F to be specific), and so is not often good for sauteeing like I usually do. Burned butter does not add much to your meal. There is a way to solve that problem. Add in an equal amount of olive oil to the butter when you first put it in to melt. This will increase the burning temp to about 360F, plenty high for sauteeing. So, in effect, you have made butter flavored oil. You will use this technique for this recipe.
Creamy Swiss Chard, Carrot, Almond, and Goat Cheese Bake
- 2 large bunches of swiss chard (you can also use collard greens, kale, any dark green leaf)
- 4 carrots
- 1/2 a small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Handful almonds (about 4 oz)
- 1/2 c (ish) plain yogurt
- Salt Pepper
- Couple of dashes of oregano
- Couple of dashes of thyme
- Dash tarragon
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 C (ish) italian seasoned bread crumbs (or you can make your own bread crumbs. I mixed the two)
- 1/8th C (ish) parmesan or romano cheese, freshly grated (really any freshly grated hard italian cheese)
- 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
- Heat oven to 375.
- Chop the almonds into medium sized pieces (big enough you can still detect them in the mix), I used a slap chop, and it worked well. Roast the almonds in a small sautee pan. You do that by putting a very small amount of oil in the pan and heating it. Add in the nuts. Shake or stir the pan frequently to prevent burning. They are roasted once they are turning golden and fragrant.
- Peel and julianne the carrots. You julianne them by making them into long slivers. Take the carrot and chop short ways across into sections about a couple of inches long. Cut that in half the long way. Set them down flat side down. Slice them long ways into thin slices. Chop your onions too.
- Chop up the swiss chard. First take off the stems. You can choose to chop them up and sautee them with the onions, or you can just put them in the compost. If the stem continues thickly into the leaf, make sure you take that out too. Then take the leaves and stack them up on each other. Roll them long ways (so that they are still long). Cut them into about 1 inch wide strips.
- Put the butter and oil in a large sautee pan. When they are hot (when they move freely around the pan) toss in the onions and carrots. Put in a little salt and pepper. Let them sautee until the onions are carmelizing well, and the carrots have color. Toss in the garlic and sautee for about a minute, until fragrant.
- Put the chard in all at once. Mix well with the other veggies. When the leaves JUST start to wilt (you don’t want to over cook them) put it all in a bowl. Add in the oregano, thyme, tarragon, some more salt and pepper. Then put in the almonds, lemon juice, and the plain yogurt. Mix well. Put into a small square baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Mix together the bread crumbs and parmesan and/or romano hard cheese. Scatter over the veggies. Then take the goat cheese crumbles and sprinkle evenly over the top.
- Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.