Hello delicious dinner that took half an hour to make.

You are my favorite kind of meal. Because you seem fancy. But you’re secretly not.

Trout with Braised Turnips and Swiss Chard | Things I Made Today

If it seems like I’ve been pumping out so much volume on the blog lately, it true. It’s because the CSA box has kept me challenged, making sure I use up every last morsel in a creative way and not letting a single carrot go to waste. There’s only one more week left, and I’m looking forward to taking a little detour from the kitchen. Perhaps I’ll pick up that knitting project I started last year. Or maybe I’ll actually get moving on the nursery.

Trout with Braised Turnips and Swiss Chard | Things I Made Today

But for now, it’s marathon cooking time, and I can’t say I’m not pleased with myself. This dinner is what I recommend for a tired weeknight, when you’re just a step above throwing your hands up in the air and ordering out burritos. I know, I know, it sounds ambitious, but it’s not. If you can withstand 10 minutes of chopping and 10 minutes in front of the stove, you’re ready for this one.

Trout with Braised Turnips and Swiss Chard | Things I Made Today

Oh, and you will need to preheat the oven. But that’s it, I promise.

Trout with Braised Turnips and Swiss Chard | Things I Made Today

Trout with Braised Turnips and Swiss Chard
Recipe type: Main Dish, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1½ lb trout fillets
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 3-4 large turnips, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Place trout fillets, skin side down, on baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sesame oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Throw garlic cloves on top. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add turnips and 1 cup water, then cover with lid and braise for 15 minutes, checking occasionally. Remove lid and let liquid evaporate completely, letting turnips brown. Turn off heat, and drizzle with ½ the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a separate pan, heat 1 more tablespoon olive oil. Cook swiss chard until leaves are wilted and stems have softened, about 7 minutes. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Once trout is done, serve it on top of the braised turnips and swiss chard.

Recipe adapted from June 2014 issue of Bon Appetit.

Yesterday, I shared the line up at Mark and Johnna’s 10th annual cheese party.

And I promised to share the recipe for my course, a curried split pea soup with fried paneer and bacon. The past five years I’ve been one of two dessert courses, but this year, my responsibilities changed to soup. A new challenge.

Curried Split Pea Soup with Fried Paneer and Bacon | Things I Made Today

Knowing the pace of eating at the cheese party, I didn’t want to make the soup course so cheese-heavy that people would be too full so early in the game. The cheese in this recipe—the paneer—is a topping more so than a main ingredient, but a key component of tying the soup together. read the rest »

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Mark and Johnna’s annual cheese party. And just like cheese, it gets better with age.

I’ve had the honor of attending the cheese party for the last five years. Unfortunately, the 2010 and 2011 party were pre-blog days, so I don’t have good documentation of what amazing food was prepared or what witty jokes were made. However, the 2012 and 2013 parties are well captured, and you can see our progression.

Usually, the party is held in September, but this year Mark and Johnna waited until their new house in Oregon, WI was finished. And what better housewarming party is there than a cheese party? It was worth the wait.

I usually do a bad job of capturing all the glorious details of everyone’s dish (and trust me, there are plenty of important details), so this year, I asked each cook to jot down their description so nothing was missed. The photos don’t do the deliciousness justice. Sorry about that.

So here it is, course by glorious course.


Mark and Johnna's Annual Cheese Party 2014 | Things I Made Today

Green grapes with fresh pecorino and olive oil snow*. Made by Mark.

*If you’re wondering what olive oil snow is, it’s a molecular gastronomy trick that turns olive oil into a powder-like substance that tastes like olive oil but has a completely different consistency. read the rest »