a Chef's Journey
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Recipes
 April 30 – What to do While Waiting for Purchased Home to Close!!

To back up a little and fill in the blanks – Last July, we put our house on the market with the plan of taking our time over a couple months to plan our strategy in selling what we didn’t want to keep (as we wanted badly to down-size) and what we would put in storage to wherever we finally decided to put roots down.

Our house sold in 3 days and the buyers wanted in A.S.A.P. – Panic time. So, after a scramble of a few weeks, we packed up the travel trailer and headed out on Highway 2 with the intention of driving across the northern U.S. and see new sights and old friends. We made it to Minnesota where snow was predicted – in September, for God’s sake!! After visiting with and being fed like royalty by our friends, Laura & Brad Behrendt in Rogers, MN, we hightailed off Highway 2 plans and headed south.

We gave it a bloody try to go south and then east to Florida and be able to head north up the eastern coast. But, after roosting for 3 months in Louisiana waiting for good weather and road conditions, we gave it up as a lost cause.

O.K., that’s the background to where we are today. We left Louisiana traveling west stopping here and there to visit friends and kids and landed back in Washington April 21st.  We started our search for a new home Sunday, April 26th AND found the house with the Denham name on it that first day!! If you haven’t noticed Roy and I do not move in slow motion – when we see what we like, we know it and act. A little farm was calling our name and we knew it the minute we drove in the drive way – this is us!!

Now is the time of waiting  - offer accepted and paperwork crawling along thru all departments it needs to travel. Anyone who has ever bought a house knows how this is just the slowest, agonizing time of waiting……

Hence, the question - What to do While Waiting for Purchased Home to Close!
The answer is – COOK! 

I’m filling my days by cooking all kinds of goodies to have pkg’d up and in the freezer so when the house closes, and we are swamped with moving in and beginning remodel, we will have fast food available to us.Today was a marathon of cooking and remember we’re in a travel trailer. Hope my necessary methods don’t bother anyone.

Started yesterday with a Wine-Braised Beef Short Rib dinner from Ruhlman’s new Braising book which is over the top delicious!

This morning, I started with a crockpot of Chile Colorado Burrito filling – a recipe which a number of friends (Daphne, Blane and ‘Trixxee’) have made over the last couple of years and we all really enjoy! I plan to use for topping pasta, sandwich and taco filling. Because of space, the crockpot needed to go in the bathroom!

Crockpot Hawaiian Beef Cubes – I’ve used this mixture in sandwiches topped with Fontina cheese, also Garlic jam as a condiment and slices of candied Jalapeno peppers slipped inside. This one braised in the kitchen oven.

My sourdough needed feeding, so used the extra for a loaf of Sourdough bread and a focaccia. Stove was too hot with oven on to rise my bread, so found a sunny spot on the bed!

Lastly, with all the nice flavor aromas floating around this trailer, I was in the mood for a simple pasta and tomato dish – and, a new favorite was born! This is such an easy to put together flavorful Mediterranean-style dish and will be called upon in the coming months as we work our aging butts off with no energy to make complicated dinners!!

Tomorrow will be an easy day of making rice to pkg. up to be added to the different burrito dinners. And, figure out what’s for dinner – everything is in the freezer!!!! J

Now, I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine and beat my loving husband at a few games of Cribbage!

P.S. I need to pass along a tip I was reminded of when reading the Braising book – Michael Ruhlman’s “How To Braise” – when braising, topping the pot with a regular lid allows the  contents to come to a boil, which is counterproductive to a braising  method. The meat and veggies can fragment and loose valuable flavor. 

A parchment paper lid is a perfect solution; one which I learned in culinary school and have completely forgotten over the years!! Cut a circle of parchment paper and cut a little hole in the center of the paper for steam to escape and keeps the meat/veggie from drying out. I hope you all will give this a try and find how well it works.

Here are a couple of the above mentioned recipes –

Chile Colorado Burritos

2 lbs stew meat
1/2 cup of tomato sauce (if you’re out of tomato sauce – mix 1/2 tomato paste & water for a substitute)
1 Tbs Knorr's Caldo de Tomate (easily found in the Mexican section of grocery stores)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbs chili powder
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
flour tortillas
shredded cheese

Make enchilada sauce. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together tomato sauce, Caldo de Tomate, garlic powder, chili powder, flour and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Place stew meat in 6-quart slow cooker. Cover with enchilada sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours. 

Shred beef. On an oven-proof plate, lay out a tortilla. Top tortilla with about 1/3 cup of the meat and some shredded cheese. Roll up into a burrito. Pour some enchilada sauce from the crock pot over the burrito to cover it. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly, about 2-4 minutes.
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Crockpot Hawaiian Beef Cubes
This recipe is very flexible – can be doubled, tripled; whatever your needs are. I made this with no clear idea of what to do with it after….So, I’m still looking for ideas. 

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. Beef chuck roast, cut in chunks, 1” to 1 1/2" size
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp Sriracha, optional

Spray crockpot with cooking spray for easier clean up later. Serves 6 to 8 C
Combine all together, cook in Crock-pot 6-8 hours...that's it! Done!

Note: This is a Chef’s Journey recipe - a takeoff of a recipe my cousin, Lynn Shelledy, posted on face book a couple of years ago.
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Pasta with Tomatoes, Capers and Kalamata
SERVES 2 generously   

It can be a bit tricky cooking angel hair pasta. You have to pay close attention to cooking time. Here’s the trick: Cook this pasta to just below al dente, drain, and toss it with just enough olive oil to avoid stickiness. Then add the pasta back to the pan, and heat it through quickly so the pasta does not overcook. It is worth the attention because when you get it right, this dish is sheer perfection. This tip is from The Fast Diet Cookbook for Weight Loss.

4 oz Angel hair pasta
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (or if you have them, 2 T. roasted garlic cloves)
3 tomatoes, rough chopped
1 Tbs capers, rough chopped plus 1 tsp. of the brine
8 Kalamata olives, rough chopped
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock
Chives for garnish
1/4 cup (1 oz.) grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Cook the angel hair pasta according to the package directions, drain, toss with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil until shimmery. Add the garlic and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, and basil, salt, and pepper, and cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the chicken stock and reserved brine; stir well to coat the pasta; continue over heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed. 

Serve the pasta sprinkled with chives on warm plates and pass the Parmesan cheese in a bowl.
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Enjoy!

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April 23, 2015 - Freezer Clean-out Time   

Since we’re winding down on this trip, I took everything out of the freezer and I could not believe what all I have in there. I won’t list everything, but suffice to say – we could probably live out off this inventory for 2 months!! 

I wasn’t going to admit this on any ‘social media’ – but, then I realized some good recipes and ideas are coming out of this cleanup project, so like everything else in my life, I’m hanging these ideas out for everyone. The bad part is, I will be making dishes I can’t possible duplicate as in the dish we had today – a dish from Noble Pig’s blog: Skillet Bowtie Bacon-Cabbage-Ham-Mushroom Pasta.

The following is a statement I make so often upon seeing a recipe which sounds too good not to make, but…….
But, I don’t have Bowtie pasta, bacon, or ham, or sour cream…

Here’s the recipe and I think the original would be very tasty, but with the revisions I had to make, I think it was wonderful!! I made kind of 1/2 a recipe of the below -

Skillet Bowtie Bacon-Cabbage-Ham-Mushroom-Leek Pasta – Altered to fit our ingredients
Author: Noble Pig, Newsletter, 12/28/12

1/2 lb bowtie pasta, dry (I used 4 oz. Spaghetti Rigati)
6 slices thick cut bacon, diced (I used 1/4 cup prosciutto bits)
4 leeks, white parts only, sliced (no leeks, I used 1/2 on onion
8 oz sliced mushrooms (I used dried morels and porcini)
2 cups leftover ham, cubed(no ham, used ~2 cups seasoned alligator bites a cook gave me in Louisiana and I froze)
8 Tbs butter (~ 3 T. clarified butter from freezer)
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (used green)
1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded(no purple- didn’t use)
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Garnish with:
freshly ground black pepper (added Truffle Salt – great addition of musky flavor.)
dollop of sour cream (had none – not needed)

1. Make pasta according to package directions. Let sit in the water to keep warm.

Kind of bastardized the method from here, but pretty much close:

2. Sauté bacon over medium heat until slightly brown. Add leeks and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes more. Add mushrooms and ham and cook until done. Remove from pan.

3. Without wiping the pan, melt butter and add cabbage. Cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add bacon-ham-mushroom mixture to the cabbage as well as bowtie pasta. Toss together and serve immediately.
serves 6

What a great dish!! And, because we have so many goodies in the freezer, I don’t think we’re going out for Mexican tonight after all. In fact we may not have dinner at all…also found some Vanilla ice cream in the freezer and I have bourbon, maple syrup and peanut butter….know where I’m going with this?????????????? Probably will be our dinner.

   Peanut Butter Bourbon Milkshake
2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz maple syrup
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup vanilla ice cream (we used yogurt)
1 cup of ice cubes (or use however many to make as thick a shake as you prefer)

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until fully incorporated and frothy.

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M
ore dishes which turned out very tasty from leftover packages:

Hawaiian Pork and rice from a Medford, OR restaurant – diced the pork, added the rice and a can of refried beans spiced up with taco sauce and packaged up in 1/2 cup baggies. One morning, spread the filling on a crispy corn tortilla topped with tomatoes, green onions and cilantro for a Tostada dinner.

For brunch, used the filling in a burrito and topped again with tomatoes and green onion and served with a grapefruit and banana salad. Four more pkgs. are left to think about.
How easy can a dinner or brunch be for a busy family?

A pkg. of BBQ Ribs with sauce morphed into a wonderful pizza! Brush a pizza dough round with BBQ sauce, then layer chopped rib meat (or BBQ Pork roast meat), cheese slices (I had Taleggio cheese), tomato slices, dried basil and red pepper flakes sprinkled over and baked. Sprinkle with green onions as it comes out of the oven.

It was a good feeling to scratch out a few items on my list of freezer goodies, but I have a couple pages to go yet, so I’m anxious to see what dishes  develop out of this little experiment. I’m thinking the real challenge will be to have on hand some of these same packages again so when I have to go freezer diving, I can recreate them.  

More to come…
April 21, 2015 - When Grandkids grow up –  Grandparents Have Fun! 

We spent the afternoon with our oldest Grandson, Jimmy/James, his fiancé, Amber and his best friend, ‘Abe’ and had just the best time!! Introduced them to wine tasting and these beer drinkers took to it like champs; picking up the nuances of matching wines they weren’t particularly liking with food which brought a sparkle to their eye as they discovered how food can change the whole perspective of liking vs. disliking a particular wine.

And, a new experience for Roy and me, after years of wine tastings, we were introduced to a  new way of tasting. Instead of ‘bellying’ up to the bar for one taste after another, we were given wine flights of the wines we chose to taste. 2 Hawk winery, in Medford, OR, also offered a bistro-style menu, which we took advantage of and this was the best possible thing we could have done. Ordering an Artisan cheese and charcuterie platter plus an Olive mix of three varieties served with Pita triangles gave the perfect introduction for the ‘kids’ to mix and match flavors with wine.

Manning the wine tasting bar, Amy was knowledgeable and ready with the history of the wines, winery and the beautiful building housing the tasting room. Had to go with a bottle of their Red-Tail Red

Tasting notes: Released in November 2014, Red-Tail Red is a proprietary blend with an emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit used was sourced from the Rogue Valley and the wine was aged in both French and American Oak barrels, blended specifically for 2Hawk. The nose on this wine is full of black cherry and currant; the flavors on the pallet include tangy berries, black cherry, wood spice, and herbs. This is a full-bodied red with ripe flavors. The firm tannins are off-set nicely by a touch of oak on the finish. This wine will pair wonderfully with just about any meat dish you might put a glass of it next to!
http://www.2hawkwinery.com/

When
you are in the Medford, OR area, you will miss a real joy of a winery if you don’t stop in for the beauty of the winery itself plus superb wines. And, tell Amy hello!

Two other wineries we experienced the same day were:
http://www.delriovineyards.com/

 picked up a bottle of Semi-Sparkling Rose Jolee  -
Tasting Notes:
“A lovely pink shade, with soft aromas of rose and mango provide a delicately balanced wine perfect for summer fun. The sweet fragrance is enhanced by the flavors of grapefruit and strawberry. Completed with a slight spritz, this wine provides joy with each sip.”

On to Ledger David Winery
http://ledgerdavid.com/

Had to buy two bottles here of their 2012 Epitome of Three (a blend of Syrah, Sangiovese and Tempranillo) – what a luscious wine this is.
Tasting Notes: “Our proprietary Syrah-based blend is redolent of raspberry jam, briary black fruit and distinct pepper notes. Oak shadings are noticeable on the palate behind the concentrated ripe fruit and round tannins giving the wine a feeling of delicate balance and substantial density.”

 And, back to our daughter’s for grilled burgers and winding down after a full day of enjoyment with family.
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Basil Jelly –

It’s almost time to plant our basil and then not much longer before we can start taking advantage of our ‘harvest.’ It's great to have this jelly in your pantry  during the winter and be reminded of this wonderful summer flavor

4 cups water
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves -- finely chopped
1 package powdered fruit pectin -- (1-3/4 ounces)
3 drops green food coloring -- optional
5 cups sugar

In a large saucepan, bring water and basil to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Strain and discard basil. Return 3-2/3 cups liquid to the pan. Stir in pectin and food coloring if desired. Return to a rolling boil over high heat.

Stir in the sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off foam.

Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.

Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: 6 half-pints. Allow jelly to set up 5 days before using.
Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

Using Basil Jelly:
An old friend, Labs, suggested: Layer slice of mozzarella on a cracker, top with a dab of basil jelly and tomato jam – Caprese Salad takeoff.
Topping a cream cheese cracker.
Melt over low heat combining a few red pepper flakes and use as a sauce or glaze when grilling,
Slather a toasted bagel.

P.S. And, this year, I’m going to add a couple jalapenos to the mix!!

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April 13, 2015

Half A Pie – Apricot & Pineapple Goodness

A couple of years ago I bought a pie pan that has become the number 1 used in my kitchen. Because there is just the two of us, I rarely baked pies because we found ourselves pigging out every time! This clever half-pie pan solved the problem for us. They are readily available online. I ordered mine through Amazon.

 http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Non-Stick-9-Inch-Decision/dp/B00576ARAA/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1428962217&sr=1-1&keywords=half+pie+pan

Add
a scoop of ice cream – and, in my case with apricot pie, I want chocolate – and I have a perfect dessert. Be easy on yourself, Pillsbury makes wonderful, easy pie crusts.

For the Crust:
1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust
Or
Make your own crust
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For the Filling:
2 1/2 cups fresh apricots, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, juice squeezed out as much as possible (optional)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sugar for sprinkling, or as desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Carefully open the crust pkg. and fit one half the crust in the pie plate allowing the other half of the crust to drape over straight edge. Set aside in refrigerator to keep cold.

In a medium bowl, combine the apricots, pineapple and lemon juice.

In another small bowl, mix the 1/2 cup sugar, flour and cinnamon; sprinkle over the fruit and gently combine. Spoon the apricot filling over the pie crust in the pan, and fold the draped half of crust over. Crimp the edges of the crust together with a fork, and cut slits into the pie to allow steam to escape. Cover the edges of the pie crust with strips of foil to prevent burning the crust.

Bake on center rack of the preheated oven until the pie is browned and the filling is bubbling and thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool and sprinkle top with the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

Won't you feel virtuous eating only 1/2 a pie?? 

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April 12, 2015
Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Pineapple Rice

Adapted from a Cuisine at Home Grilling Book

The earthy flavor of the rosemary combined with the slight sweetness of the pineapple juice in the rice pairs well with a grilled steak seasoned with lots of freshly ground black pepper.I would only caution if you do not have access to fresh rosemary, please use another herb, such as basil, mint, cilantro or other favorite, as dried rosemary is very  tough and woody.

1/4 cups water
1 can (6 oz.) pineapple juice
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup dry basmati or jasmine rice
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Bring water, juice, sugar, butter, salt, pepper flakes and rosemary to a boil in a saucepan.
Stir in rice, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 to 18 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, let sit 5 minutes, and then fluff rice with a fork.  
Stir in lime juice.
Makes 3 cups

If you have questions about any recipe,
please feel free to contact me at
achefsjourney@netscape.com



Grilled Chicken, French Fries & Corn Dinner

Grilling time is here for most of us – hang on Midwest and East Coast! For those of us who have small grills, either at home or on the road with your RV, here’s an idea for using your grill for dual purpose – grill and an oven.  For a grilled chicken, French fries, and corn dinner, this is how I’ve solved the problem of just one burner and small grilling area.

As you are heating your grill, place 2 fire bricks (which you can buy at a hardware store) spaced as wide as grill will allow and the lid will still close. When ready to start cooking, grill your chicken 5 to 8 minutes on each side to the brownness you prefer brushing with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Place a small metal cooling rack on the bricks and transfer the chicken pieces to the rack to one side. On the other side of the rack place a small baking sheet with leftover French fries; then put corn directly on the grill and rotate every 5 minutes a quarter turn. When the chicken has reached an internal temperature (165°F for breasts/175°F for thighs), the corn is lightly charred and the fries are heated through, remove everything to a platter and dinner is ready!!

While you little grill takes care of dinner, just sit back and enjoy a Blue Hawaii and dream you are there –
Blue Hawaii - Combine in a martini shaker, gently swirl and pour into your prettiest chilled martini glass:
2 oz Hipnotic
1 oz blue curacao
1 oz vodka
1 oz sugar water*

*Sugar water is made by combining sugar and water and heating just until the sugar dissolves; let cool and refrigerate for up to a week. I usually make mine with equal parts of sugar and water, but the bartender told me she uses a little less than 1/2 the sugar. Taste is the best way to tell how sweet you prefer it.

ENJOY!!

 

 

Asian Beef and Cabbage Wraps

This is a wonderful way to use up leftovers you find in your refrigerator. In place of ground beef, I like to use leftover steak minced finely; I’ve also added leftover French fries I’ve found in the freezer. Rice or leftover beans would be a nice addition, also.

4 8-inch flour tortillas
1/2 lb leftover lean beef steak or spicy chicken
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups cabbage with carrots (coleslaw mix) or 2 cups of shredded cabbage + 1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Heat the tortillas wrapped in foil in a 200°F. oven while you prepare the filling.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion. (if using cooked leftover meat, just sauté the onions alone for 3 or 4 minutes over low heat). Drain, if necessary.  Add in the cabbage, carrots and corn; cover and cook over low heat about 4 minutes until the vegetables are tender, stirring one or two times. (Add the cooked meat if using leftovers and just stir to heat.)

Stir in hoisin sauce and sesame oil; cook and stir until all is heated through. Spoon 1/2 cup filling onto each tortilla below center; fold bottom edge up and over filling. Fold opposite sides in, just until they meet. Roll up from the bottom as for a burrito. Serve with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.
Makes 4 servings – 2 wraps per person
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Tips: I used filling for taco salad: 2 crisp corn tortillas, lettuce, cilantro, beef/cabbage mix, candied jalapeno, tomato, gr. onions, cheddar, sour cream, taco sauce

 

From Harbinger's Pick Up Party, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012
BlackBerry Supremes

Blackberry Supremes

Tarts:
15 oz pkg. piecrust
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Filling:
1/3 cup cold water
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut in pieces
pinch of kosher salt
1 pint blackberries
1 Tbs crème de Cassis
------
Garnish:
3 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Tarts:
Unfold piecrusts; press out fold lines on a lightly floured surface. Cut piecrusts with a 2 1/2 inch star-shaped cutter and fit into lightly greases miniature muffin pans.

Bake at 380°F for 4 minutes; rotate pans in oven and continue baking 4 more minutes. Let rest in pans 5 minutes then turn out on a cooking rack.

Filling:
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch; add the sugar and continue whisking until sugar is incorporated. Add the butter pieces, salt and blackberries and bring to a boil over moderate heat. When mixture begins to thicken, turn the heat to low and whisk continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the crème de cassis. Allow the mixture to cool and use to fill the tarts.

If you prefer a smoother filling (which makes it easier to pipe into the tart shells), transfer the filling to a food processor and pulse a few times to break up the berries.

Topping:
With a mixer, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; add the sugar a little at a time and keep the mixer on low to incorporate into the cream cheese mixture.

To finish the tarts:
Spoon or pipe the blackberry mixture into tart shells; pipe or dollop with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with addt’l powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: Makes 20 tarts

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The tarts can be made up to 2 days ahead and the filling 1 day ahead. So, makes for a nice put together dessert at the last minute.


Here's a recipe from my new book, Black Beans & Corn. I hope you will enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

 

For an extra kick to your salsa replace vegetable oil with Southwestern Oil (see The Pantry) for this colorful salsa.

 

15 oz. can black beans, drain and rinse              4 green onions, tops included, chopped

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels                    1 T Vegetable oil

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped           1 tsp. chili powder

1 to 2 Serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced        1 tsp. ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced                                        1/2 tsp. sugar

1 medium onion, chopped                                         1/2 tsp. salt

 

Combine all the salsa ingredients together gently. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours for the flavors to meld. Let come to room temperature for best flavor. Makes  4 cups.

 

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o




I'm  back and I'm going to be posting recipes willy-nilly as I play with them. Here is an old family favorite the adults and kids alike love - Crab Melts. AND, they are so easy for a weeknight meal or a Sunday Brunch with a little sparkling.

Easy, Easy Sunday Brunch

 

This used to be a favorite dinner when the kids were home because one or two little cans of crab (or some fresh crab we were lucky to catch at Bodega Bay) would feed the whole family.

Crab Melts
For 4 servings


Make a bechamel sauce:
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 cups milk

Melt butter in a saucepan; add the flour and with a whisk, continuously whisk the butter and flour over medium heat for 1 minute (this will get rid of the floury taste). Slowly add the milk and continue whisking until beginning to thicken.

Add one or two cans of crabmeat or approx. 1 1/2 cups of crabmeat; turn the heat to low and continue cooking just until all is heated through.

Toast 4 English muffins and put 2 halves on each plate; top with the crab mixture and grate a little cheddar cheese over the top.

 

Also good is if you have a little breakfast or other lightly spiced sausage, crumble it up and add to the crab mixture to heat through.

[IMG]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y72/cjdacook/FARMERS%20MARKET/CrabMelt2June6.jpg[/IMG]

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o






As you can tell, I'm so far behind myself, it will be a wonder if I ever catch up!

So, I'm having to put my monthly recipe postings on hiatus for a while ~ I'm almost ready to publish the next book, "Black Beans & Corn," and I have committed this spring, summer and fall to visiting as many farmers markets in Washington, Oregon, and as many in other states as I can get myself to. This is research for the following book, which I'd like to have out by the first of next year. So far, we are meeting so many new folks and trying so many new products at the markets we've visited, so this will not be a hardship research at all.

So, until I get caught up, please continue cooking all the fun things for your family and having a good time in the kitchen.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o


Recipe for March 2010
I love March - the winds blow, kites are flying and sheets and towels
hung out smell so fresh and wonderful. We're also being teased
with warming sunshine.

This month, I'm giving you an old recipe for Broccoli salad that I
have updated for my next book, Black Beans & Corn, by adding
black beans and pine nuts. They add flavor and texture to an old
favorite! Hope  you enjoy it.

Broccoli and Bean Salad

Salad:

2 to 3 bunches broccoli, cut in bite size pieces

15 oz. can black beans

4 strips bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled

1/2 medium red onion, cut in thin slices

1/2 cup golden raisins, softened in boiling water, then drained

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

 

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sugar

2 to 3 T. cider vinegar

 

Toss together the salad ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; pour over the salad and combine. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow the sugar to dissolve.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o





Recipe for February 2010 

Hello to all who are still checking in to see a new recipe!! 
My computer is finally fixed and I think we're on the 
right track for a few months now.

Back to cooking and fun. This is Valentine's Day month,
so we need something really yummy and bad for us. 
Chocolate-Glazed Irish Cream Cheesecake will 
hit the spot for all of us. I hope you enjoy it.


Chocolate-Glazed Irish Cream Cheesecake

Crust:
6 graham crackers
1/4 cup unsalted butter -- melted
Filling:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese -- room temp
7 Tbsps sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
6 Tbsps Irish cream liqueur
6 Tbsps sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extrac
Glaze:
1/2 cup whipping cream
9 ozs good-quality semisweet chocolate -- chopped
Garnish:
1 oz white chocolate curls (estimated qty)
raspberries for garnish (~2-3)
1 sprig mint for garnish


Crust:
1. Oven to 350°
2. Finely grind graham cracker; add butter & blend till combined.

3. Press crust mixture into bottom (NOT SIDES) of a 9" springform pan.
4. Bake crust till golden brown, ~8 min.

Filling:
1. Using an elect. mixer, beat cream cheese & sugar till smooth. Add flour, then the eggs, one at a time, beating till just combined.
2. Add remaining ingredients.

3. Pour filling into the pan & bake for 10 min. at 350°.
4. Reduce oven temp. to 250° and continue baking till set, ~40 min. longer.
5. Cool. Cover & chill in refrigerator overnight.


Glaze:
1. Bring cream to a simmer; remove from heat & add chopped chocolate.
2. Stir till melted.
3. Cool till glaze is lukewarm.

To Complete:

1. Once cheesecake is chilled, remove the sides of the springform pan & place the cake on a rack set over a b. sheet.
2. Pour glaze over the cheesecake, spreading w/offset spatula to cover top and sides; allow excess to drip onto the sheet.
3. Let glaze set before serving.

Garnish:
Place slice of cheesecake back of plate, top w/white chocolate curls. On either side, place 3 berries and a mint sprig.



 
Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

                                                                        o o o o o o o o





 
Recipe for January 2010

I sure hope this is not an omen of how 2010 is going to be for me.
In this case I'm late because of my computer ~ I know just enough
about them to get me in trouble.

It would be hard to find an easier, more satisifying dinner than this slow-cooker dish.
Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready.
 So good on a wintry night too.Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Slow-Cooker Chicken & Refried Bean Gravy

  

1 can spicy refried black beans

10 oz. can Enchilada sauce

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 chicken breasts, halve each lengthwise into paillards

 

Combine the refried beans and Enchilada sauce together and pour 1/2 cup of this mixture into the crockpot; top with chicken paillards and the onions and garlic slices.

 

Pour the remainder of the bean/enchilada sauce over all. Cook on low for 8 hours.

 

30 minutes before serving, cook and mash potatoes or cook rice to serve with the chicken and gravy.

 

 

                                                       Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

                                                                        o o o o o o o o

Recipe for December 2009

It may be snowing where you are, or like it is here in the
Pacific Northwest...raining! Either way, it's time for
hot goodies and here's one of the most versatile
dishes ever.


Kim’s Beef Picadillo


Picadillo can be used as a dip and it's also wonderful tossed with pasta or rice for an easy and fast dinner. Also, we like to use it as a  sauce over a cheese omelet or frittata. I'd love to hear your ideas how to use it.
 

1 lb. ground beef

2 14-oz. cans stewed tomatoes

3 green onions, finely chopped

3/4 cup sliced pimiento

3/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Garlic powder and crushed red pepper to taste

6 oz. can tomato sauce

Freito Corn Chips

 

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and add

the tomatoes, onions, pimiento, almonds, oregano, salt & pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes and tomato sauce.

 

Heat thoroughly, pour into a bowl and serve with the chips.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o


Recipe for Month of November, 2009

I'm so far ahead of myself I'm even posting November's recipe
a day ahead of time!
The Pizza book is at the printers
and will be available after Nov. 22nd ~ finally.
So, with time on my hands, I can think about other things for a while.
Such as the next three cookbooks I have in my head screaming
to be released.
But it is time for you all to have another recipe to try. This one will
probably be in one of the next books.

Mushroom-Broccoli Chowder

 

Chop your veggies in the morning and putting this chowder together at night is a snap! For those of you who like a little zing in your soup, try a couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce.

 

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms or 8 oz. canned

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Black pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups milk

10 oz. pkg. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed or corn cut from 3 ears

1/2 roasted red bell pepper, chopped

 

In a saucepan bring the broth and broccoli to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 

Sauté mushrooms and onions in the butter until just soft, 4 minutes. Blend in the flour, salt and pepper and cook stirring for 1 minute; then add milk and cook, stirring often until thickened. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Add the broccoli/broth mixture, corn and roasted peppers; just heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Makes 5 cups.

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o


Recipe for Month of October, 2009

I couldn't believe it when September happened, but
my goodness now October is already here???
Christmas is just around the corner.
Speaking of Christmas, I now have a wonderful idea for
an easy, inexpensive present you can give all your cooking
friends - use for a stocking stuffer or add to a basket of
goodies.
I'm speaking of my new book that is having the finishing touches
put on it right now and will be on the market by the end of
the month, fingers crossed. See my home page for details, but
I'll say here that the title is,
Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!!

So, to start things off, here is a recipe from the new book -
it's easy, fast and so delicious.

Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Pizza

One of my family’s favorite desserts growing up was dipping fruit in a  mixture of cream cheese and marshmallow crème ~ seems like no matter how full we all  are, we always have room for this and now we can have it as a pizza too!

 

Pizza Dough/Crust:

1 tube prepared sugar cookie dough

 

Sauce:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened                Jar of Marshmallow Crème

 

Pizza Topping:

Fresh fruit of your choice                      Powdered sugar

 

Spread cookie dough on a cookie sheet and bake per directions. While cooling, mix softened cream cheese and marshmallow crème together and spread on cookie dough when dough is cool.

 

Arrange fruit over the top and sprinkle with powdered sugar and chill until serving.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o


Recipe for Month of September, 2009

SEPTEMBER! It can't possbily be September already, can it?
We still have time for summer barbecuing and outdoor eating,
so here's a sald with just a little difference ~ 
adding corned beef ~ it's wonderful as a side dish
or serve it as a main dish salad. Grill some
garlic bread, make up a fruit platter and you're
all set! Enjoy the last days of summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potato Salad with Corned Beef

 

 

2 lbs. red potatoes, cut in 1/2" slices

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

2 T. white vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. celery seed

Salt & pepper

1 1/2 cup diced cooked corn beef

1 cup sliced green onions

1 cup thinly sliced celery

6 T. mayonnaise

3 hard-cooked eggs, quartered for garnish

 

Cook the potato slices in hot salted water for 8-10 minutes until done; cool 10 minutes.

 

Put the potatoes in a large bowl and season with the vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Add the corn beef, onions, celery and mayonnaise; mix to combine thoroughly. Garnish with egg wedges and chill.

CJ's tip: Grill 2 ears of corn, let cool until easy to handle; cut the kernals off the cob and add to the salad for an added taste treat.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o


Recipe for Month of August, 2009


It's hot!!! Even up here in the Pacific Northwest, it has been
in the 80s and low 90s - not a common occurance. So, let's
have easy, cool food. Walking Tostado has been in our
family since my old friend, Susan, brought it to a neighborhood
party at least 35 years ago. It is really an hors d' ouevre but
it is so filling that sometimes we have ruined our dinners having
it beforehand. On a hot night what a perfect dinner, just layer
the ingredients and dinner is ready.

And for dessert, what could be simpler than dipping fresh
fruit in a wonderful combination of marshmallow creme and
cream cheese? Stay cool and just enjoy your food!


Walking Tostado

 

16 oz. can Spicy Refried Beans       

8 1/2 oz. avocado dip        

1 small can diced green chilies, drained

1 small can sliced black olives, drained

1-2 tomatoes, diced

1/4 lb. (1 cup) grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 of a medium red onion, diced

----

A bag of corn chips

 

On a large platter, layer all the ingredients in the order they are listed indenting each layer 1/4- to 1/2-inch from previous layer.

 

Stick corn chips around the edge of platter and serve with additional chips. 12 servings as an hors d' oeuvre, but will serve 4 for dinner on a hot night when you

want to eat a little lighter.

Marshmallow Cream Cheese Dip

 

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature

7 oz. jar marshmallow crème

Assorted fruit: strawberries, pineapple, grapes, bananas, melons, whatever is in season

 

Combine softened cream cheese and the marshmallow crème; mix until well blended. Serve with the assorted fruits.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o o

Recipe for month of July, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hash can stretch leftover beef or pork roast to feed an entire family. Topped with a couple of fried eggs, you have a satisfying breakfast. But it doesn't have to made just for breakfast, hash is great as a quick and easy dinner.

 

Old Fashioned Hash

 

Hash:

1 1/2 cup coarsely ground or minced cooked Beef or Pork

3 coarsely grated or minced cooked potatoes

1/2 medium onion, coarsely grated or minced

1 coarsely ground or minced green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 T. dried

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2/3 cup evaporated milk

Topping:

1/3 cup crushed corn flakes

1 T. olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Oil a large loaf baking pan; set aside. Combine all the hash ingredients and form into a loaf in the baking pan.

 

Combine the corn flakes and olive oil and sprinkle over the loaf of hash. Bake 30 minutes or until heated thru. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Slice and serve with ketchup and/or mustard.

4 – 6 servings. 


CJ’s tip: Hash is even more flavorful if you have leftover gravy to substitute for the evaporated milk.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Recipe for month of June, 2009

Years ago we made this picadillo dip every superbowl ~ it's a great make ahead dip that everyone enjoys. You can also use it as a filling when making empanadas, as a topping for pasta, slices of eggplant or top a baked potato with it also. But enjoying it cold on a hot summer day with a nice glass of wine is probably my favorite way to serve it.

Beef Picadillo Dip

 

1 lb. ground beef
14 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
14 oz. can stewed tomatoes with juice
3 green onions, finely sliced
3/4 cup sliced pimiento
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 oz. can tomato sauce
Garlic powder & crushed red pepper to taste
Frito corn chips

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and add the rest of the ingredients, except the corn chips.


Heat thoroughly, pour into a bowl and serve with the chips. Makes 8 cups.

CJ’s tips: Toasting the almonds adds a nice flavor to the Picadillo.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Recipe for month of May, 2009

Here's a salad that goes so well with grilled meat or poultry ~ it is made ahead, so everything is ready as soon as you're done grilling. I've added different ingredients to the salad, like grated cheddar cheese and/or toasted pine nuts.  Just have fun with it.

Marlene's Broccoli Salad

2-3 bunches broccoli, cut in bite-size pieces
4 strips bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
1/2 a medium red onion, cut in thin rings
1/2 cup golden raisins, softened in boiling water, then drained
Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 T. cider vinegar

Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with
the salad ingredients.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours for the flavors
to blend and the sugar to dissolve.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o

A note to you all ~ it is said as we get older time flies,
but this is getting ridiculous! Where is the time going?

I'm thinking I can stay on top of offering one new recipe
a month, so starting May 1st, I'll get my act together
and have some wonderful dishes for everyone to try.

Until then ~
Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

P.S. Must tell you all I made the Chicken Carinci
(see the recipe below) yesterday and served it
with mashed cauliflower (mixed with a little sour cream,
cream cheese, butter, and parmesan) and it's delicious
together!

o o o o o o o

Recipe for week of March 27, 2009

I apologize for being late this week and thank you 
to those of you who let me know ~ it's nice to know folks
look forward to the ideas each week.
I'm afraid we were just goofing off - making sausage
with a friend and having too much fun.

 HAMBURGER PIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

makes 4-6 servings

 

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup  chopped onion

16 ozs. can cut green beans, drained

1 can condensed tomato soup

5 medium potatoes, cooked

1/2 cup warm milk

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup shredded American Cheese

 

In a large skilled, cook meat and onions until the meat is lightly
browned and onion is tender. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and dash of pepper.
Add drained beans and soup; pour into greased 1 1/2-qt. casserole.

Mash potatoes while hot; add milk and egg.
Season with salt and pepper. Spoon in mounds over casserole.
Sprinkle potatoes with cheese.
Bake in 350° oven for 25-30 minutes.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o


Recipe for week of March 20, 2009

Years ago this dish was called "Gourmet Onions," but it always
seemed too pretentious to me. It wasn't long before
family and friends referred to it as "Onion Gratin."
Serve it along side your choice of meat or poultry ~
it compliments any meat dish.

Onion Gratin

 

3 large white onions cut in half and thinly sliced.
(You’ll want 4 cups of onions)

5 T. butter

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper, to taste

 

Preheat oven to 425°F.


Sauté onions in butter until transparent. Place them in a greased
1 1/2- to 2-quart au gratin dish or flat casserole.

 

Beat eggs until light and frothy; add sour cream, salt and pepper;
mix together. Pour over onions and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serves 8.

and for a quick meat dish to go with the onions ~
Mix together peach preserves, Dijon mustard and honey;
brush over pork chops just before they are done grilling.



Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o

Recipe for week of March 13, 2009

Attie's Corned Beef

This is my absolute favorite way to cook a corned beef ~
I thank my friend, Attie, everytime I make this dish. 
Cooking the brisket to 210
° F. may sound overcooked,
but the brisket is full of tough connective tissue
that won't break down until it gets to around 200
° F. 
At this point, it will be fork tender.

CJ's tip:
And, if you have leftovers, this will make the most wonderful
tasting corned beef and muenster sandwiches ever!!


Approximately a 2 1/2 lb. corned beef
1 onion
3 cloves garlic, smashed
12 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 11-oz. each bottles of Guinness Draught
(may be a little more than needed,
but we all agree more beer can't hurt.)
1/3 cup molasses
2 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375
° F.
Lay your brisket in a deep  baking pan. If the meat is too big,
cut it into more mangeable pieces. Discard the seasoning mix,
if one's included. Next throw in the onions, garlic,
peppercorns and bay leaf.

In a mixing bowl mix the beer, molasses and brown sugar
and pour over the meat until about 2/3 covered
(supplement with water if needed).

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 4 hours;
at this time start checking the internal temperature
with an instant thermometer. It's done when the
temperature reaches 210
° F.
o o o o o o o

CJ's tip:
Roasted potatoes, onions and cabbage makes a good side dish
in addition to the cabbage rolls, see last week's recipe.

And we can't forget Irish soda bread - here comes the controversy.
Sugar in soda bread??? Some, me included, love it, others think
it blasphemy. Here, you're getting a recipe with sugar.


Every good corned beef needs a soda bread for sopping up
all the wonderful jus from the meat. Here's my favorite.

Soda Bread

4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425
° F.
Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan or a 9X5" loaf pan.

Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together
into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar; make a well in center and
add the buttermilk. With a fork, work the milk into the flour
until a soft dough is formed.

Turn into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 400
° F. and bake until bread
is golden brown and firm to the touch, about
45 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

CJ's tip:
This bread dough also makes a great top crust for meat
and game pies when rolled out to approximately 1/4" thickness.


Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o

St. Patrick's Day is coming up shortly, so how about some recipes
that kind of say Ireland. Cabbage rolls are so tasty and fun
to put together ~ so that's my offering for this week.

Recipe for week of March 6, 2009

Cabbage Rolls

1 egg
Salt and a dash of pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup milk
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
3/4 cup cooked rice
6 large cabbage leaves
1 can condensed Tomato soup
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice

In a bowl combine egg, 1 tsp. salt and pepper, Worcestershire
sauce, onion and milk; mix well. Add the beef, pork and rice;
mix together with a fork. Set aside.

Immerse the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes or
until limp; drain. Remove the heavy center vein of each leaf
up to about 2 1/2 inches.

Place 1/2 cup meat/rice mixture on each leaf at the stem end; fold in sides
and roll up to enclose the filling. Place each roll in a lightly oiled baking dish.

Blend together the soup, brown sugar and lemon juice. Pour this mixture
over the cabbage rolls. Bake uncovered in a 350 F. oven
for 1 1/4 hours. Baste once or twice with the sauce.
Makes 6 servings.

Here are a few side dishes which go well with the cabbage rolls:
  Steamed carrots sauteed in a little butter and honey
Your favorite Baked Beans
Mashed potatoes

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o


Recipe for week of February 27, 2009

Chicken Carinci

I developed this dish for a customer years ago and it turned out so well,
it was added to my catering menu. It's much tastier with the
skin left on, but it certainly can be enjoyed using skinless pieces.
This recipe is from the upcoming book, a Chef's Journey...Home.

2 T. Olive oil, divided
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 T. capers, drained, coarsely chopped
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 chicken breast halves or thighs, skin on or off
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Combine the garlic, capers and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
In another small bowl combine the vinegar, wine and 1 T. of the olive oil;
 set aside.

Spray a 9"X12" baking dish with cooking spray and place chicken
so edges are touching in the prepared dish, skin side up.

Rub chicken with the other 1 T. olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Rub the garlic mixture over the pieces and
drizzle with the vinegar and wine.

Place the chicken in the preheated oven, uncovered,
and bake until done to an internal temperature of 165F.,
basting with the juice twice during the baking time of 40-45 minutes
or until the chicken is done.

Remove chicken to a serving platter and drizzle some of the
sauce over and around the chicken; pass the rest
of the sauce separately.

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!


o o o o o o o


Recipe for week of February 20, 2009

Corn Surprise

This dish is a wonderful way to stretch a pound of hamburger and the
whole family will love the combination of flavors.
 It makes a large casserole, but it freezes very well
and heats nicely in the oven;
or put in two dishes and freeze one for later.

4 slices bacon
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, roughly chopped
8 oz. long pasta
1 can cream style corn
1 can cream of tomato soup
3/4 cup (3 oz.) cheddar cheese, grated and divided
3/4 cup (3 oz.) Swiss cheese, grated and divided
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
2-3 shakes Tabasco sauce


Fry bacon until crisp; remove from skillet, cool and crumble. Set aside.
Pour out any collected bacon fat, but don't clean skillet.
Add the ground beef, onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook until
the beef is no longer pink. Set aside off the heat.

Break the long pasta in half and cook according to pkg. directions;
drain and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Add to the pasta the meat mixture, bacon, corn, tomato soup, half of the cheddar and Swiss cheeses, and mushrooms; mix together.
Pour into a buttered baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350 F. oven for 35-40 minutes until bubbly.
Serves 10-12

Eat well, stay safe and hug your family everyday!

o o o o o o o

 Recipe for week of February 13, 2009

Crockpot Cranberry-Sauced Pork Chops

2 T. vegetable oil
4 pork chops or steaks
Flour for dusting the chops
Salt & pepper
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
16 oz. can jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 T. cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet; sprinkle chops with
salt and pepper. Dredge the chops in flour and carefully
lay them in the hot skillet. Brown nicely one side.

Turn over and cook just 2 minutes on the 2nd side.
Remove to a plate and set aside, but don’t clean the skillet.

 

In a bowl mix together the cranberry sauce, chicken stock, ketchup,
vinegar and dry mustard; pour into the skillet and cook
over low heat just until all the brown bits of food
on the bottom of the skillet have come loose
and are mixed into the sauce.
(This is called deglazing the pan.)

 

Spray the crockpot with cooking spray; then spoon in a
layer of cranberry sauce, top with 1/3 of the onion slices.
Layer two of the pork chops, browned side up, and top with
more sauce and another 1/3 of the onions.
The last layer, add the other two pork chops,
top with the rest of the onions and
spoon the remaining sauce over all.

 

Cover and set the crockpot to low; cook for 8-9 hours.
When ready to serve remove the chops to a platter;
stir to mix the sauce and onions together and
pour over the meat. Pass the rest of the sauce
in a separate bowl. 4 servings.

 

The gravy will be great served with mashed potatoes,
rice, polenta, or a pasta of your choice and,
 of course over the chops.

 I look forward to offering another recipe for you next week ~ until then
eat well, stay safe and hug your
family everyday!

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

Add a salad or fruit platter, rice or mashed potatoes and dinner is ready. So good on a wintry night too.

 

       

 

a Chef's Journey to your home!

Basil Jelly

It’s almost time to plant our basil and then not much longer before we can start taking advantage of  our ‘harvest.’ It's great to open the jelly up during the winter and be reminded of this wonderful summer flavor.

  4               cups  water
 2               cups  firmly packed fresh basil leaves -- finely chopped
 1            package  powdered fruit pectin -- (1-3/4 ounces)
 3              drops  green food coloring -- optional
 5               cups  sugar

In a large saucepan, bring water and basil to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Strain and discard basil. Return 3-2/3 cups liquid to the pan. Stir in pectin and food coloring if desired. Return to a rolling boil over high heat.

Stir in the sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off foam.

 Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.

Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: 6 half-pints. Allow jelly to set up 5 days before using.

Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

Using Basil Jelly:\
An old friend, Labs, suggested: Layer slice of mozzarella on a cracker, top with a dab of basil jelly and tomato jam – Caprese Salad takeoff.
Topping a cream cheese cracker
Combine with barbecue sauce; simmer and add mini meatballs or cocktail wieners.
My favorite: slather a toasted bagel and top with the jelly.

 

  

Basil Jelly – a Chef’s Journey recipe

It’s almost time to plant our basil and then not much longer before we can start taking advantage of our ‘harvest.’ It's great to have this jelly in your pantry  during the winter and be reminded of this wonderful summer flavor.

4 cups water
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves -- finely chopped
1 package powdered fruit pectin -- (1-3/4 ounces)
3 drops green food coloring -- optional
5 cups sugar

1. In a large saucepan, bring water and basil to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Strain and discard basil. Return 3-2/3 cups liquid to the pan. Stir in pectin and food coloring if desired. Return to a rolling boil over high heat.

3. Stir in the sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off foam.

4. Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.

5. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: 6 half-pints. Allow jelly to set up 5 days before using.

Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

Ideas for sing Basil Jelly:
An old friend, Labs, suggested: Layer slice of mozzarella on a cracker, top with a dab of basil jelly and tomato jam – Caprese Salad takeoff.
Topping a cream cheese cracker.
Melt over low heat combining a few red pepper flakes and use as a sauce or glaze when grilling,
Slather a toasted bagel.  


Cincinnati Chili


Tagine Cooking ~ Chicken Thighs


Roasted Chicken with Risotto


Walking Tostados with Margaritas


A few dishes that I would love to share with you ~ just let me know if you're interested.




If anyone has any ideas for dishes you would like to see in the coming weeks' recipes, please send me a comment and I'll try and post the recipe for you.
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