Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! May you find peace this holiday season. I will be back in the new year with more recipes.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Egg Nog

This is not really a recipe, more like an embellishment to purchased egg (or soy) nog. Of course, if you like to make your own, don't let me stop you!

Egg (or Soy) Nog
Dark Rum
Creme de Cacao

You can make this according to your own tastes, but a good place to start is about 8 oz. nog, one shot of rum and about 1/2 shot of creme de cacao. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

White Bean and Kale Soup with Roasted Garlic

This has been one of our favorite soups for years. The roasted garlic adds a wonderful richness, as well as making the whole house smell of garlic as it roasts. If you don't like the smell of garlic, this one's probably not for you!

This recipe came from Cooking Light Magazine many, many moons ago. Here is my version.

White Bean Soup with Kale and Roasted Garlic

1 Whole Head of Garlic
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, Diced
Large Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Chopped Carrot
1/2 Finely Chopped Potato (red or yellow)
1/4 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
6 Cups Veggie or Chicken Broth
1 16 Ounce Can Cannellini Beans, Rinsed and Drained
One Bunch Chopped Kale (Or Chard, or Collard Greens - Cook longer if you are using Collards

Preheat Oven or Toaster Oven to 350

Remove the papery skin from the garlic but keep the head in tact. Wrap it tightly in foil and roast in the oven for one hour. Unwrap carefully and let cool for about 10 minutes. Separate the cloves and squeeze to extract the garlic pulp.

Heat the oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and saute for 5 minutes. Add the carrot, potato, celery, rosemary and tomato paste. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring often. Add the broth and the beans and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir in the garlic and kale and simmer 10 minutes or until the kale is tender.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Print White Bean and Kale Soup with Roasted Garlic.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Old Fashioned Pot Roast

This is a great recipe for those winter afternoons when you have no place to be. A fire in the fireplace, writing holiday greeting cards, reading a good book, playing board games. The aroma slowly fills the house. Are you hungry yet?

Old Fashioned Pot Roast

Preheat oven to 300

2 tsp Canola Oil
Chuck Roast (You can use boneless or 7 bone) between 2 and 4 lbs depending on how many eaters
1 Tbsp Salt
1Tbsp Pepper
1 Large Onion, Large Dice
2 Cups Beef Broth
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 14 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained (Or a cup or so chopped fresh if they're in season)
1 1/4 Pounds Red or Yellow Potatoes, Cut up if Larger, Whole if they are small.
1 Pound Carrots cut into one-inch pieces

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Sprinkle the roast all over with the salt and pepper. Brown the roast in the hot oil on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the roast from the pan and the onions. Sautee until browned, about another 10 minutes. Return the roast to the pan. Combine the broth, ketcheup and Worcestershire sauce and pour over the roast. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Cover and bake in the 300 degree oven until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and add the potatoes and carrots. Return to the oven and continue cooking until the vegetables are done, about 30-45 minutes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Painted Sugar Cookies

This is by far the easiest way I know of to decorate cookies with small children. Make a "paint" of corn syrup and food coloring, and paint the cookies before baking for beautiful holiday treats and gifts. I got this recipe from the Food Network website years ago.

Painted Sugar Cookies

For the Cookies:

1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

For the Paint:

4 tsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp Water
4 Colors of Food Coloring

Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until lighter in color. In a separate bowl, combine the soda, salt and flour. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until well combined. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough in half, return half to the refrigerator with you work with the other half. Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness (mine are usually thicker, I think) on a lightly floured surface. Cut cookies with cookie cutters and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Put one tsp of corn syrup and 1/4 tsp water in each of 4 ramekins or other small bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl and stir well. Paint the unbaked cookies with paintbrushes.

Bake for 9-10 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven. Move to wire racks to cool.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

I got this beautiful cauliflower from the farm last week. I was inspired with many great ideas about how to use it. Sadly, I had neither great amounts of time nor energy, so opted for a simple preparation instead. Not that it turned out to be a bad thing! This roasted cauliflower is delicious. Sweet and nutty. Make some today!

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 400

Cauliflower Florets
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

That's it. Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. A lining of foil or parchment makes clean up super easy. Roast in a 400 degree oven until beginning to caramelize, but still retaining some crunch, 15-20 minutes. Stir 2 or 3 times during roasting for even cooking.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oven Fried Chicken

What can I say? Crispy skin, juicy meat. Yummy Chicken. You can use any chicken pieces you like for this recipe. I usually use thighs, but my store was out this time, so I used leg quarters instead, with great results!

Oven Fried Chicken

For the Marinade:

6-8 Ounces Plain Yogurt (any fat content will do)
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Black Pepper to Taste
Chicken Pieces (I cooked 3 leg quarters this time and there was a lot of marinade to spare, you could probably squeeze a whole cut up chicken into this marinade.)

Stir together everything but the chicken in a shallow bowl suitable for holding all of your chicken pieces. Add the chicken and turn to coat completely with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours.

Preheat Oven to 375

For the breading:

1/3 Cup Flour
2/3 Cup Dry Breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1-1 1/2 tsp Paprika

Combine all of the breading ingredients in a plastic bag or a shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the marinade and get off as much excess as you can. Add the piece to the bag or the dish, and coat completely with the breading. Move to a rack inside a baking sheet. Continue until all chicken pieces are coated. Put in the preheated oven and bake until cooked through and nicely browned, 40-60 minutes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chili Verde Recipe

I love chili. Pretty much any chili. And this one is no exception. Cilantro, spices, pork tenderloin. Did I mention cilantro? It is an acquired taste, I think, but now that I have acquired the taste, I love cilantro. Anyway this chili hit the spot on a cold rainy night with homemade tortillas prepared by my sweetie.

Chili Verde

4-5 Small Tomatillos
2 Mild Peppers (I prefer Anaheims for this recipe, but all they had at the market this time was poblanos, so I used those instead with delicious results.)
2 Hot Peppers, Jalapeno or Serrano
A Few Handfuls of Fresh Cilantro
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Pork Tenderloin 1-1/2 lbs
1/2 Cup or so Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
4 tsp Canola Oil, Divided
1 Onion, Diced
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Mexican Oregano
2 Cups Broth (Veggie or Chicken)

Remove the papery skin from the tomatillos and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet along with the mild and hot peppers. Roast the tomatillos and peppers under the broiler or in a hot oven, turning often, until beginning to blacken and char on all sides, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cut the pork into about 1/2 inch dice. Combine the flour, salt, onion and garlic powders in a shallow bowl. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Dredge the pork in the flour mixture and cook, in batches if necessary, until nicely browned, about 5-8 minutes per batch. Remove the pork to a plate or a bowl.

When the vegetables are charred, remove from the oven. Seal the mild peppers in a bag for about 10 minutes. Put the tomatillos in a food processor and process until smooth, then remove to a small bowl. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins, seeds and membranes, and place them in the food processor along with the cloves of garlic, hot peppers (remove seeds for a milder chili) and cilantro. Process to form a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining 2 tsp of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee until just beginning to brown, then add in the cumin and oregano. Cook for about one minute. Add the pork, tomatillos, and cilantro puree. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the broth and simmer the chili for at least 45 minutes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots

Over the past few years I have been experimenting with new ways to cook Brussels sprouts. Thanks to Tequilarista for giving me the idea to try cooking them with bacon! These were delicious.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots

1 Slice Bacon
1 Small Shallot, sliced
1/4 Cup Water
Pinch Sugar
Salt and Pepper
Brussels Sprouts, whole, halved, or quartered depending on size. (I forgot to weigh my brussels sprouts before I started, but I had about 3 cups or so.)

Chop/slice the bacon and cook it over medium-low to medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan to drain on a paper towel. Drain off all but about 2 tsp of fat from the pan. Add the shallots and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes, add in the brussels sprouts, sugar, salt and pepper and sautee for about 5 minutes to get some color going. Add in the water and cook until it has evaporated, stirring occasionally. At this point the sprouts should be cooked through. Just continue cooking until they are as nicely browned as you like them, sprinkle with the reserved bacon and enjoy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Cornflake Crust

I like pork tenderloin a lot. It is super versatile and easy to prepare. This version is a simple oven roast with coating of cornflake crumbs.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Cornflake Crust

3/4 Cup Crushed Cornflakes
1/4 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Pork Tenderloin (1-1 1/2 lbs)

Preheat oven to 350

Combine everything except the mustard and the pork in a plastic bag. Rub the mustard all over the pork, then put the pork in the bag with the crumbs and seasonings. Shake the pork around in the bag to coat evenly with the crumb mixture.

Place the pork on a rack in a baking sheet, and bake to desired degree of doneness. I usually cook my pork to about 140 or so, then let it rest and continue cooking for about 10 minutes before slicing. This one came out of the oven at 145, and coasted up past 151.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rutabaga and Carrot Puree

Wow, this was surprisingly good! I really, really loved it. Rutabagas are a relatively new addition to my repertoire, and this is the first recipe I've tried that turned out really great. The original recipe is from Gourmet Magazine. The main changes I made were to cut the sugar way down (The original recipe called for 3 packed Tbsp of brown sugar!), and the addition of the half and half.

Rutabaga and Carrot Puree

1 1/2 lb Rutabagas
3 Carrots
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp (or more to taste) Brown Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Butter
2-3 Tbsp Half and Half
Pinch Nutmeg

Peel the rutabagas and cut them into one-inch pieces. Use knife to peel them: Slice off the top and the bottom. Stand the rutabaga on a cutting board and use your knife to peel the skin away. Be sure to get it all, the skins are rather thick.
Cut the carrots into one-inch pieces and add to a pot with the rutabagas. Fill the pot to cover the vegetables by one inch with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor with a slotted spoon. Add the butter, nutmeg, salt, and brown sugar and process until smooth. Add enough half and half to get the consistency you like. Return it to the pot and re-heat if needed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Turkey Albondigas Soup

This is one of our favorite soups. Cilantro meatballs and veggies in broth. Pretty simple, but oh so delicious. This recipe is from the Too Hot Tamales.

Turkey Albondigas Soup

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 or 4 Garlic Cloves
1 Bunch of Cilantro, leaves and stems
Salt and Pepper
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 egg
1/2 Cup Dried Bread Crumbs
4 tsp Canola Oil
1 1/2 Cups or So Leeks, Sliced and Cleaned
2 Medium Carrots, Diced
1/2 Head Green Cabbage, Thinly Sliced
2 Jalapenos, Seeded and Diced
1 14 ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, with the juice
8-10 Cups Broth
2-3 Tbsp White Vinegar

Combine the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and a big pinch of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Mix the turkey, egg, and cilantro paste in a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs and mix until combined. Form into small meatballs, about the size of a walnut. Put the meatballs in the refrigerator.

Heat about 2 tsp canola oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Saute the leeks and the carrots for about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, jalapenos, and tomatoes, and cook, stirring frequently, for another 3 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat 2 tsp canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chilled meatballs in batches and brown on all sides. Drain the meatballs on paper towels. When all the meatballs are browned, transfer them to the simmering broth and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Butternut Pinwheels with Cheese Sauce

This was a fun dish to make. The pinwheels were great, the sauce was okay. It definitely suffered from the lack of fresh basil. I would not recommend making it unless you have fresh basil, I think it would really have made it pop. But alas, my basil is long done for the year, and the store's supply did not look very good, so I went with dried. Live and learn.

Butternut Pinwheels with Cheese Sauce

For the Sauce

1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Flour
1 cup Broth
1 cup Milk
4 Ounces Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tbsp Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp Chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried) Fresh is really best in this recipe
White Pepper to Taste

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and stir together. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Whisk in the broth, then add the milk. Cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in the mozzarella cheese in batched until melted. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add the basil and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

For the Pinwheels

Preheat Oven to 375

One Butternut Squash (The one I had was about 1 1/4 pounds)
3-4 Fresh Sage Leaves
1 Small Clove Garlic
1 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
4 Tbsp Minced Shallots
4 Tbsp Milk
4 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
8 Lasagna Noodles

Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Chop the sage leaves and garlic. Mix the sage, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub over cut sides of the squash. Put the squash in a baking pan with a lid or cover with foil and cook until very soft, 45-60 minutes. Scrape the squash out of the shell and puree in a food processor. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until nicely softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the squash puree and the milk. Cook until heated through and add the Parmesan cheese.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain them, then lay out one or two on a plate. Cover the length of each noodle with a thin layer of the squash, then roll it up. Spoon some sauce over and serve!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Garlicky Sauteed Greens

Being members of a CSA, we get a lot of greens. Lots and lots. Chard, collards, spinach, multiple types of kale, cabbages, etc. etc. Lucky for me, my husband loves greens. One of my favorite (and also simplest) ways to cook them is to simply saute them in some olive oil that has been infused with garlic. Add some salt and pepper, and you're good to go. Tonight we had lacinato kale, but this technique works with any greens.

Garlicky Sauteed Greens

1 Bunch Greens (Kale, Chard Spinach,...)
2 tsp (or so) Olive Oil
1 Large Clove Garlic, Minced or Pressed
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Wash and coarsely chop the greens, removing tough stems as needed. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for a few minutes. At this point you can turn off the heat and let the garlic and oil sit if you are working on the rest of the meal. If you are ready, go ahead and add in the greens, a bit at a time if necessary. As they cook down, add more until all of the greens are in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue cooking until the greens are tender.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup Recipe

This is definitely a case of a 'what do I have in the fridge' dinner. A couple of sausage links leftover, a few potatoes in the pantry, and a new CSA delivery with lots of greens! Soup it shall be!

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, Diced
1 Clove Garlic, crushed or minced
2-3 Carrots, sliced (Cut in half lengthwise if large)
2 Stalks Celery, sliced
2 Small Potatoes, Small Dice
2 Links Precooked Sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Crushed Pepper (or more to taste)
One Can Diced Tomatoes with Juice
2 Cans Chicken Broth
1 Bunch Kale, Coarsely Chopped

Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and brown for about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook for another minute. Add basil and crushed pepper. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add kale, and cook uncovered, until the kale is tender, about 5-8 minutes more.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chipotle Enchilada Casserole with Chicken or Turkey

How do I love Mexican food? I'm not going to even bother to count the ways. I love enchiladas, but I am too lazy to make them. The solution? Enchilada Casserole. Tonight I used leftover turkey (even though I told you there wouldn't be any more turkey recipes : psych!) But I normally make this recipe with chicken.

Chipotle Enchilada Casserole

for the sauce:

2 tsp Canola Oil
1/2 Onion, finely diced
1 Clove Garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp Chipotle in Adobo, seeded and minced
1 tsp Mexican Oregano
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp Flour
2 14 oz Cans Chicken Broth
3 tsp Corn Starch (if needed)

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle, oregano, cumin and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in the flour and stir to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk in the first can of broth. Add the second can and stir well. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. If your sauce seems to runny (like mine did) whisk 3 tsp cornstarch with equal parts water or broth. Stir into the sauce and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

for the Enchiladas

Preheat Oven to 375

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced
4 oz. Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Jack, whatever you have that sounds good)
3 Tbsp Minced Onion
8 Corn Tortillas, cut in half

Sliced Green Onions for Garnish

Spoon about 1/4 cup sauce in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish. Cover with 2 tortillas. Cover the tortillas with sauce, then sprinkle half of the turkey, cheese and minced onion. Cover with sauce and repeat the layers. End with a layer of tortillas covered with sauce and cheese. Bake until bubbly and the cheese has browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with sliced green onions. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Apple Galette Recipe

Here is a really quick and easy dessert. It takes about 15 minutes to put together, plus about another 15-20 to bake.

Apple Galette

Preheat oven to 425

Dough for one pie crust (homemade or store-bought refrigerated)
2 Medium Apples
1 tsp or so Lemon Juice
2-4 tsp Sugar (Depending on the sweetness of your apples)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (or more to taste)
Pinch Nutmeg

If you are using store-bought dough like me, pull it out of the fridge to defrost for 15 minutes. In the meantime, core and thinly slice the apples. Put them in a bowl and squeeze some lemon juice over to keep them from turning brown. Sprinkle with 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, stir and taste for sweetness. Add more sugar or cinnamon as desired. Grate or sprinkle just a tiny bit of nutmeg and stir it in.

By now your dough should be defrosted. (Alternately, if you are using homemade, roll it out into about an 11 inch round. Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, and put your dough on it. Heap the apples in the center of the dough, leaving about a 3 inch border all the way around. No need to be neat here, this is a 'rustic' dessert! Fold dough border over the apples, but not all the way to the center of the pastry. There should be a circle of apples exposed in the center. Bake for 18-25 minutes until golden brown and delicious. Let cool before slicing and enjoying.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Carrot Salad Recipe

Now, before you go running screaming from the building, this is not your typical carrot/mayo/raisin concoction. If you're a fan of those, please excuse me. This salad is more savory, has no mayo, and is one of my favorite ways to eat carrots. Exact measurements are tricky, as it all depends on how much you are making, but I will do my best.

2-4 Carrots, grated (I like to use my handy dandy cheese grater, but if you are making a ton, a food processor would make quicker work of the job)
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Clove of Garlic, Crushed or Minced
Pinch of Dried Basil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Pinch Sugar if the salad seems too tart
Sliced Green Onions (Optional, but a nice addition if you have them)

Whisk everything but the carrots in a bowl. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Easy, quick and delicious. This salad does not keep exceptionally well, so try to eat it within about an hour of preparation.