Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage

Not getting enough butternut in your risotto? Has this ever happened to you? (Warning: video contains choice words from British chef)

This basic butternut squash risotto recipe comes from a less disgruntled (gruntled?) British chef whose cooking style I really admire. The dish may be simple, but the garnish makes it a bit more interesting.

In addition to the chopped sage cooked slowly with the rice, whole sage leaves are quickly pan-fried and used as a seemingly out-of-place topping. Resist the urge to push the browned herbs to the side of the plate in favor of the bright orange morsels. The crispy sage leaves crumble and release a mellow smokiness that nicely complements the sweet butternut squash and creamy rice.

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Flaxseed and Oat Bran Broom Bread – 100% Whole Grain

Flaxseed and Oat Bran High-Fiber Bread Crumb

Is that 22-ounce steak dinner from last night bogging you down? Suffering from a roughage-deficient diet? Move mountains with this high-fiber variation on the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread. Packed with flaxseeds and oat bran, this bread recipe provides the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fiber without the unpleasant side effects of pumpernickel.

If it’s still not obvious why cleaning equipment is involved in the bread name, here’s a video that might help:

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Pork Belly Recipe – Braised in Soy and Dashi

Braised Pork Belly - Japanese-Style - with Pearl Onions and Snow Peas

Since the Japanese have high life expectancy, it follows that this braised pork belly recipe is health food, doesn’t it? Green vegetables are also involved and a hefty portion of the fat is melted away through slow cooking, so the corollary holds true so far.

A few glasses of Japanese green tea or red wine can help negate the unsavory effects of rich foods anyway, so there’s absolutely no reason to worry. Right?

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Chicken Braised with Ancho Chiles

Pollo en Ajo Comino - Ancho Chiles, Garlic, and Cumin in Bowl

“Traditional” and “simple” rarely belong in the same breath when it comes to Mexican recipes, but if you can find ancho chiles, this braised chicken recipe makes great weeknight fare without being light on flavor. It’s the antithesis to festive Mexican dishes that have several sub-recipes — you only need a few spices, pantry staples, and fresh tortillas.

When selecting ancho chiles, look for pliability and a shiny dark exterior. Holding it up against light will reveal a reddish-brown hue. Since poblano chiles are naturally mild and sweet, its dried version in ancho chiles lend a similar quality to sauces and moles.

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Gambas al Ajillo – Simplest Garlic Shrimp Tapas

Gambas al Ajillo - Spanish Garlic Shrimp

Simplicity is not always synonymous with traditional when it comes to recipes, but with gambas al ajillo, a handful of choice ingredients is enough to recreate one of Spain’s most famous tapas. Fresh shrimp is cooked briefly with garlic, dried red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and extra virgin olive oil in a preparation equally at home in minimalist and traditional recipe collections.

Paprika, parsley, and lemon juice are not even mentioned, but hopefully this serves as a good starting point for your own variations. Just don’t forget the crusty bread — gambas al ajillo is as much about the shrimp as the garlic-infused oil.

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