Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Took a new picture of the cocktail meatballs that I posted about a year ago...great for a party!  You can find the recipe here 

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Warm Taco Dip

My mom made a version of this years's extremely easy and the components can be made the day before and then put together when you're ready to serve.  Just spread the meat mixture in your serving plate and refrigerate and have the sour cream topping refrigerated until ready to spread.

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
1  14 to 15 ounce can re fried beans
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, cored and finely diced
1 pint sour cream
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Black olive slices (optional)
Sliced green onions (optional)
Shredded lettuce (optional)
Diced tomato (optional)

In a large saute pan brown the ground meat and then drain.  Add the taco seasoning mix and 3/4 cup water and the diced jalapeno.  Work in the re fried beans over the heat until all is combined.
Transfer the mixture to a large pie plate or quiche dish.
Bake at 350F until nice and hot, about 20 minutes.
While the meat mixture is baking, combine the sour cream with the chili powder and cumin.  Spread over the baked meat mixture and sprinkle with cheese and any or all of the optional toppings.
Serve warm with taco chips!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweet Carrots

Here's any easy side that sat on our Christmas buffet this year.  I thought that we could get kids to eat some veggies by making them sweet...well I don't think it worked, but many of us enjoyed them anyway.

1  1/2 pounds baby carrots
6 Tbl brown sugar
4 Tbl butter
2 Tbl honey
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan place the carrots, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Simmer the carrots for 8 to 10 minutes until tender.  Drain and reserve in a bowl.  In the same pan, melt the butter and stir in the sugar and honey over medium heat.  Add the cooked carrots and continue to cook about 5 minutes more until the carrots are nice and glazed.  Season with the salt and pepper.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!!
And many thanks to Pam for the beautiful flowers!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spicy Pork Ragu over Perciatelli

While going through my freezer I stumbled across a smallish bone in pork shoulder roast and decided that it must be put to good use.  We love pasta and tomato sauce so I settled in to make a pork ragu to serve over some perciatelli.  I love slow cooking meat and fowl and this was a perfect dinner, with leftovers to boot!

1  3 to 4 pound bone in pork shoulder roast
Salt, pepper and olive oil to season the roast
3 Tbl olive oil
2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
10 large mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground fennel seed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
28 ounces tomato puree
14 to 15 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, chopped a bit

Season the roast heavily with some salt, black pepper and olive oil and then roast at 425F for 30 minutes so it browns up.
while the pork is roasting, saute the onions, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic in the 3 Tbl olive oil until the vegetables begin to soften.
Stir in the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, ground fennel, salt and pepper and saute a minute more.  Add the tomatoes and tomato puree.
Place the partially roasted pork in a dutch oven, bathe with the sauce, cover and roast in the oven at 350F for about 2 hours.
After 2 hours, remove the roast from the dutch oven and pull the meat off the bones, shredding it as you go.  Return the meat to the pot, cover and continue to roast at 325F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Cook some perciatelli(or your favorite pasta) according to package directions and serve the ragu over. (about a pound of pasta for 6 servings)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quinoa, Spinach and Tomatoes

This week I bought a 4 pound bag of quinoa, that super grain that's packed with protein...I've never really used it before but decided we needed more super foods in our diet and since the bag was very reasonably priced, took the plunge.  For my first experiment I paired it with spinach and tomatoes (more super foods!).  More ideas to come...

2 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
2 green onions
3 handfuls of baby spinach, stems removed and large leaves torn a bit
12 grape tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan saute the garlic in the olive oil for just a minute.
Add the quinoa, stir it around to coat with the oil and add the chicken broth.
Bring up to the boil and add one of the green onions which you've sliced.
Put a lid on the pot and simmer the mixture for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 12 minutes, leave on the heat and stir in the grape tomato halves and the spinach constantly stirring until the spinach is wilted.  Should take three or four more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the second sliced green onion.
Serves 4 as a side

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dilled Broccoli Soup

My kids have always loved broccoli soup a number of ways...with cream, with cheese, with doesn't matter.  I'm always seeking variations and so made this one.

5 cups steamed fresh broccoli florets (save the stalks)
3 medium leeks
2 Tbl olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 cup minced fresh dill
3 cups cooked rice
3 cups broccoli-leek broth (instructions follow)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream

Cut the dark green parts of the leek into large pieces, saving the white part.  Cut the broccoli stalks into large pieces.
In a soup pot place the broccoli stalks and dark green leek pieces and cover with water.  Bring up to the boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 3 cups.  Strain and set aside.
Cut the white part of the leeks into quarters lengthwise and then cut crosswise into a small dice.
In a 4 quart dutch oven or soup pot, saute the diced leek and garlic in the olive oil until the leeks soften.
Stir in the dill, salt and pepper followed by the broccoli-leek stock and the chicken broth.  Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the cooked rice and broccoli and turn off the heat.  Let cool a bit and then puree the soup in batches in a blender.  Return to the pot and reheat to boiling.  Stir in the sour cream and serve.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm a Finalist....

Just found out I'm a finalist in Your Best Salmon contest at Whole Foods Greenhills for my Asian Inspired Salmon's the link


Denny's Tetrazzini

Denny Deluca was a restauranteur in the northern suburbs of Detroit some years back.  His restaurant, Deluca's, was a family oriented American-Italian place serving, pasta,pizza, steaks, chops etc.  My mom fell in love with his Chicken Tetrazzini and eventually was able to get him to give her a cryptic recipe for it which I still have, written on the back of a paper place mat.  His recipe called for a whole skinned and boned chicken cut up in pieces and skin and bones used to make stock.  I've taken the liberty of using leftover turkey (and sometimes chicken) to make a quicker, simpler version.

8 Tbl butter (one stick)
4 cups bite size pieces of cooked turkey or chicken
4 Tbl instant flour (Wondra)
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup finely diced ham
2 cups sliced mushrooms
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped parsley plus more for garnish
3 cups chicken broth (or turkey)
1 pound pasta such as fettuccine or linguine which has preferably been cooked in chicken broth but water is ok
 Save a little pasta water if needed 

Place the poultry pieces in a plastic or small paper bag with the instant flour and shake to coat the pieces.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter, add the poultry and saute for a few minutes.  Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms, cook another minute and add the Sherry.
Continue to cook another couple of minutes, then add the ham and tomato sauce.
Stir in the parsley and broth and simmer until the mixture thickens a bit.
Stir in the cheese and pour the mixture over the cooked pasta.  Stir it around, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed.  garnish with more cheese and parsley.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sweet Hots

Here's an easy appetizer based on those jalapeno wonton poppers served with a dipping sauce you see all over the internet...I just put the sauce in the appetizer.

4 ounces softened cream cheese
2 Tbl sweet chili sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 large jalapeno pepper, very finely diced
20 to 25 wonton wrappers
Vegetable oil for pan frying

In a bowl thoroughly combine the cream cheese, chili sauce, sugar and jalapeno.
Take a wonton wrapper and with a pointed end facing you, place a teaspoon of the filling about a third of the way up.
Using clean fingers moisten the edges of the wrapper with a little water.
Fold that bottom corner of the wonton up over the filling and then fold the 2 side corners to the center.  Your wrapper should look like a little envelope.
Starting at the bottom, roll the wonton all the way up to form a mini egg roll.
Repeat for the remaining wrappers.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan and then fry a few of the little bites at a time for about 30 seconds on each side.
Serve warm

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cranberry Cream Cheese Palmiers

If you're making cranberry sauce for Christmas or have some leftover in your freezer, consider these little palmiers for a breakfast treat....not too sweet and great with a cup of coffee.

1 sheet of puff pastry from a 17.3 ounce package
1 Tbl granulated sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of your favorite cranberry sauce, large berries smashed up a bit
1 egg beaten with 2 Tbl water

On your work surface evenly sprinkle the sugar over about the size of your sheet of pastry.  lay the pastry over and roll it out to about 10 x 12 inches.
Spread the cream cheese evenly over the pastry and then spread the cranberry sauce over the cream cheese.
With the short side of the rectangle closest to you, fold the pastry up to the middle of the sheet.  Do the same with the top half and then repeat the process one more time.
Loosely cover and refrigerate the roll for at least 30 minutes to firm it up.
When ready to bake, trim the ends of the roll and then cut the roll into 10 even pieces.  Place the pieces cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush a little of the was on each piece.
Bake at 425F for 12 to 15 minutes.. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

We seem to always have  ham and cheese from the cheese tray  left over from holiday dinners and this Thanksgiving was no exception.  I took some of that cheese and grated it and diced some of the ham and made a casserole for dinner. It was wonderful with a little salad!

5 medium potatoes sliced thinly, preferably on a mandoline
1  1/2 cups diced ham
4 cups grated cheese ( I used Colby and Jack)
1 cup sliced green onion
4 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1  1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp white pepper

Boil the sliced potatoes in water for about 5 minutes to get them started.  Drain well and pat them dry.
In a sauce pan melt the butter, add the green onions, mustard and pepper.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two to make a roux.
Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens up a bit.
In a buttered medium casserole dish, layer a third of the potatoes, half of the ham and a third of the cheese.  Repeat this step over the top. Add the remaining potatoes and then the cheese on top.
Pour the creamy milk mixture evenly over the casserole, cover and bake at 350 for one hour.  Remove the cover and continue to bake for 15 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are done and the top is lightly browned.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brothy Tomato and Bean Soup

A couple of weeks ago we had chicken salad sandwiches from a leftover roast for dinner and I wanted a light soup to complement them.  A can of tomatoes, chicken broth and Great Northern beans and an adaptation of Marcella 
 Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter laid the the groundwork for this.

For the tomato sauce:
1   14.5 ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed
3 Tbl butter
1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
1 garlic clove, halved
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until thick.  Set aside.

For the soup:
1/2 pound Great Northern beans which have been soaked overnight and the cooked for about 45 minutes until done.
1 cup of the bean broth, reserved from the cooked beans
4  1/2 cups chicken broth
1 large sprig fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken broth and thyme sprig in a medium soup pot and simmer for about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile place the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup bean broth, and 1/2 cup cooked beans in a bowl or blender and blend until smooth.  If using a bowl, blend with an immersion blender.
Remove the thyme sprig from the broth, add the tomato mixture, the remaining bean broth and the beans.  Simmer for another few minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Monday, November 28, 2011

boulangere's First Night in Florence Spaghetti....

This photo is mine but the recipe belongs to fellow FOOD52er boulangere, a native Californian who now lives and works in Montana.  She's a chef, culinary educator and caterer who creates awesome food.  She spent some time in Florence this past summer and brought back this fabulous recipe.  I've made it a few times and just love it!  She's graciously allowed me to share it with you and when you take a look, please read the story behind the recipe and peek at all of the wonderful recipes she's created for FOOD52.  Thanks so much boulangere!!

Go here to see this amazing recipe: 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Lesson in Carving

Son Matt picked up some valuable tips from his "Papa" Thursday on how to carve a turkey....a fun time was had by all...and the turkey wasn't bad either!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day and don't forget, the cook has worked very hard - DON'T MESS WITH THE COOK!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meatloaf 101

This is a basic meatloaf mom's meatloaf recipe, plain, simple and covered with bacon.

1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1 pound ground pork
1 cup diced onion
1 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup ketchup
2 eggs
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
8 slices bacon

In a large mixing bowl using clean hands, mix all ingredients except the bacon together until well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for about 2 hours.
Shape the mixture into a large loaf and place in a parchment lined baking pan about 9x13 inches. (Parchment for easy clean up)
Place the bacon strips around and on top of the loaf.
Bake, uncovered for about and hour and a half at 350F or until internal temperature reaches 160F.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

FOOD52 Finalist

My Gingered Lemon Punch recipe is a finalist in the FOOD52 contest for Your Best Holiday Punch.  I'll post it here in the next couple of days, but in the meantime see it here and PLEASE vote!! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Sauerkraut

For as long as I can remember there has always been sauerkraut on our Thanksgiving grandmother made it, my mom made it and even after I took over Thanksgiving over 30 years ago, my mom brought it.  After mom passed away I decided that even though not everyone cared for it , it had to be.  I lightened it up by adding fresh cabbage instead of straight sauerkraut, but otherwise the recipe is about the same.  I made some last week to go with sausage and potatoes and for Thanksgiving I'll probably double this recipe that  serves 4 to 6.

2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl turkey drippings or olive oil
1 cup rough chopped onion
6 cups chopped cabbage
2  1/2 cups shredded sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 Tbl Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 to 2 tsp salt (depending on the saltiness of the sauerkraut
2 cups turkey or chicken broth

In a large saute pan heat the butter and oil or drippings, add the onion and saute for a few minutes until the onion softens a bit.
Add the paprika, salt and pepper and stir.
Add the cabbage, stir it around and add one cup of the broth.
Continue to cook down and after the cabbage begins to wilt, add the sauerkraut and 2nd cup of broth.
Transfer to a small baking pan, cover and bake covered for about 20 minutes at 350F.  Uncover and bake about 15 minutes more. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another Roast Chicken

I enjoyed the flavors of sdebrango's (from FOOD52) turkey so much that I decided to adapt it to my slow roasted chicken recipe.  Her compound butter is so fragrant yet subtle and fills the house with "home cooking".  Here's what I did:

For the compound butter:
6 Tbl softened butter
2 sage leaves, minced
The leaves of 3 thyme sprigs
The zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 cloves crushed garlic
Thoroughly combine all ingredients and set aside

For the chicken:
1  4 to 5 pound whole chicken
6 cloves garlic, halved
The compound butter
Salt and pepper

Using your hands, push 4 tablespoons under the skin of the breast of the chicken, pushing it around to even it out.
Place the garlic cloves in the cavity of the chicken
Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter all over the chicken and  then liberally season with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken uncovered at 250F for three hours and then crank up the heat to 275 for 1  1/2 to 2 hours (depending on the size of your chicken)  Let the chicken rest while you add a little chicken broth and flour to those pan drippings to make an excellent gravy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Retro Pear and Brie En Croute

With the Holidays soon coming it's time to think about appetizers, new drinks, extra special roasts and sides.  Here's an oldie but goodie appetizer..

Makes 1 eight ounce round

1 Tbl raisins
2 Tbl plus 2 tsp pear brandy or liqueur
1 nice firm ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbl sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 8 ounce brie round, very cold
1 sheet of puff pastry from a 17.3 ounce package, thawed if frozen
1 egg beaten with 2 Tbl cold water

Soak the raisins in 2 Tbl of the pear brandy for about 30 minutes. Drain
In a small sauce pan, place the raisins, diced pear, cider vinegar, sugar and cayenne pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes until the pears have softened but have still kept their integrity.  Set aside and cool.
On a parchment lined baking sheet lay down the pastry sheet.  Spoon the pear mixture in the center of the sheet keeping it about the size of the brie round.
With a fork, poke holes on one side of the brie round all over and then sprinkle the remaining 2 tsp brandy over.  Let the brandy settle in and then place the poked side on top of the pear mixture.
Wrap the round with the pastry cutting off any excess and seal carefully.  Flip the round over so that the seamed side is on the bottom.  Use any scraps of dough to decorate the top of the pastry.
Brush the round lightly with the egg wash.
Bake for about 25 minutes at 400F until golden.  Let rest about 20 minutes before serving.
Serve with fresh pear slices if desired.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Easy Weeknight Slaw

This is my "go to" slaw recipe, the one I always make when time is short.  It's very easy and very tasty!

4 cups shredded cabbage
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1/2 cup mayo
3 Tbl rice vinegar
2 Tbl sugar
3/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the shredded cabbage in a mixing bowl.
Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the onion and carrot into the bowl of cabbage and mix.
In a small bowl whisk the mayo, vinegar and sugar until smooth and add it to the cabbage mixture.  Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate before serving.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cornish Hens on Bok Choy Pilaf

We love Cornish hens now and again and I like to pair them with some kind of rice as almost a one pot meal.  This time we had our veggies in the rice and truly only used one  "pot".

2 Cornish hens about 1  1/4 pounds each, split, backbones removed
Salt, pepper and paprika to season the hens
2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl butter
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp fennel powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1  1/2 cups raw long grain white rice
10 to 15 small baby bok choy or Shanghai bok choy cut crosswise in 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups chicken broth

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large shallow pan with a lid that is oven proof.
Season the hen halves liberally with salt, pepper and paprika.
Brown the hens on each side until golden and remove from the pan temporarily.
To the same pan add the diced onion and garlic and saute until the onion softens a bit. 
Stir in the fennel powder, salt and pepper.
Stir in the rice, add 2 cups of the chicken broth and simmer the mixture for 4 or 5 minutes.  Stir in the bok choy and then push the mixture around the rim of the pan.
Nestle the hens, skin side up, in the center of the pan and pour the remaining cup of chicken broth over all.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350F oven  Uncover, stir the rice a bit (adding more broth if the rice is dry) and continue to bake 20 to 30 minutes more until the hens are done.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Salmon on Avocado Cream with Salsa Fresca

Here's a nice salmon dish that can be prepared ahead and has cool Mexican flavors.  Makes 4 servings.

For the salmon and avocado cream:
4  six to eight ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets
2 limes
1 Tbl salt, divided
3 jalapeno peppers
2 medium avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half
Olive oil for brushing the baking dish.
Prep the salmon by brushing a little olive oil on the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch baking dish.  Place the salmon fillets in and sprinkle with the juice of one lime, half the salt and one finely diced jalapeno.  Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the avocado cream by placing 2 chopped jalapenos, the avocado meat, the juice of the second lime, 1  1/2 tsp salt, the sour cream and the half and half in the bowl of a mini food processor and process until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap by placing the film directly on the cream and refrigerate.
In a 425F pre heated oven, roast the salmon for about 15 minutes.  Cool and then refrigerate.

For the salsa fresca and service:
2 cups seeded, cored and finely diced tomatoes
1  1/2 cups finely diced red onion
3 finely diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup minced cilantro
Juice of one lime
1 minced garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour.
When ready to serve spread 1/4 of the avocado cream on a dinner plate, place a salmon fillet on the cream and spoon some of the salsa over.  Repeat three more times. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Custard Filled Mini Phyllo Cups

This is my riff on Galaktoboureko, the lovely Greek pastry of layers of phyllo dough filled with custard, topped with more layers of phyllo, soaked in a sugary syrup and baked until golden.  I use mini phyllo cups available in the freezer sections of most grocery stores, but you could certainly line mini muffin pans with sheets of phyllo instead.

Makes about 60

2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup semolina flour
1 Tbl cornstarch
A pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 Tbl fresh orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 packages mini phyllo (fillo) shells (15 per pack)
1/2 cup walnuts toasted in a 350F oven for 5 minutes and then chopped
Honey for drizzling

Whisk the semolina, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan begin slowly heating the milk to boiling.  While watching the milk, beat the eggs with an electric mixer, add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue beating until fluffy.
Once the milk comes up to the boil, whisk in the semolina mixture and continue stirring until the mixture thickens and just starts to boil again.  Take off the heat and let rest for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the egg/sugar mixture, vanilla and orange zest.
Place the mini phyllo cups on baking sheets and fill each with the custard, almost to the top.
Bake in a 350F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until the custard is set.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the walnuts and then drizzle each cup with a few drops of honey.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Butter And Herb Roast Turkey

Over the weekend I roasted a turkey for the first time in I think I've told you that we have been frying them for years....but when I saw this recipe on the FOOD52 website, I was intrigued...a turkey that didn't need to be basted? It was magnificent and all credit goes to fellow FOOD52'r sdebrango.  She is a wonderful cook and has posted great recipes on FOOD52. Take a look at this roast turkey recipe and all of sdebrango's other recipes on the site while you're there.  And Thank You so much sdebrango!! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pancetta and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Here's a nice little roast for about 4 people..I served it with a garden pea risotto..if you don't have pancetta, feel free to use bacon.

For the stuffing:
1 Tbl olive oil
3 ounces sliced pancetta cut into a fine dice
2 cups diced mushrooms (your choice)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup Marsala wine

In a large saute pan, cook the pancetta in the olive oil until almost crisp.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook until the mushrooms brown a bit.
Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, basil salt and pepper until all is combined. Moisten with the Marsala and set aside while you prep the tenderloin.

Putting it together:
1 pork tenderloin, about 1  1/2 pounds, butterflied lengthwise and the pounded with a meat mallet to form a rectangle about 6 by 12 inches
1/2 tsp porcini powder (dried porcini mushrooms, pulverised)
1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Olive oil for rubbing the roast
The previously made stuffing

Spread the stuffing mixture lengthwise down the center of the butterflied tenderloin and then roll the roast and tie with butcher string to secure.
Rub the entire roll with olive oil and the combine the porcini powder, ground fennel, salt and pepper and rub that over the roast.
In a large non stick saute pan, sear the roast on all sides until well browned.
Roast in a preheated 350F oven in an open roaster for 40 to 45 minutes.  Let rest for about 10 minutes before removing the string and slicing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hearty Chick Pea and Greens Soup

The weather is starting to turn so time for bowls of hearty belly warming soup.  This one uses some collards, tomatoes , parsley and basil from the end of my garden.

2 cups dried chick peas, soaked in water overnight and then cooked for about an hour (alternatively use 2 cans (14 to 15 ounces, drained and rinsed)
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 Italian sausages (hot or mild) casings removed (about 12 ounces)
2 Tbl olive oil
2 medium fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
8 cups chicken broth
5 cups baby spinach leaves
5 cups chopped collard greens which have been braised in water for 8 to 10 minutes
10 large fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
3/4 cup chopped flay leaf parsley
Salt and pepper for re seasoning if necessary

Place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and Italian sausage in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 to 20 times until the mixture resembles a coarse paste.
heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the processed mixture, the fennel seed, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently until the sausage loses its pink color and you can see the onions softening.
Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomato seems to disintegrate into the mixture.
Add the chicken broth, bring back to the boil and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the collards and spinach and continue to cook until the spinach wilts.
Stir in the parsley and basil and re season with the s&p if necessary.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chunky Pepper and Pork Chop Skillet

Growing up we always called these Bulgarian pork I don't know if they are Bulgarian or not, but they sure make for a great dinner.  We love them with mashed potatoes.

4 bone in pork chops, about 3/4 inch thick,seasoned with salt and pepper
3 Tbl olive oil, divided
1 very large onion, cut up coarsely
1 very large green bell pepper cut in 1  1/2 inch pieces
1 very large red bell pepper cut in 1  1/2 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbl sweet paprika
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with a few Tbl water to make a slurry

In a large frying pan with a lid, brown the chops in 2 Tbl of the olive oil on both sides.  Remove from the pan.
Add the third Tbl oil to the pan and add the onions, peppers and garlic and saute until the onions just begin to get a little brown on the edges.
Stir in the paprika, salt and pepper.
Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth and return the chops to the pan.
Spoon some of the sauce over the chops and simmer, covered for about 45 minutes until the chops are very tender.
Stir in the cornstarch slurry and simmer a couple of more minutes until the sauce thickens a bit.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Leftover Roast Beef Hash

I made hash for dinner the other night with our leftover standing rib roast.  It took me back to when I was a kid...for years Monday night dinner was a fast hot dog meal because my mom was totally involved in the PTA and meetings were Mondays.  As time went on and my folks were making a little more money, Sunday dinner went from roast chicken to standing beef rib roast and the leftovers went to roast beef hash....My pic of the hash was terrible, but this is the tomato I served with it...called a pineapple tomato, it was sweet, juicy and delicious! Serve the hash with a fried egg on top if you like..

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups diced roast beef (1/2 inch dice) either leftover or from the deli
4 cups 1/2 inch diced potatoes (par boiled for about 5 minutes)
1 cup sliced green onions
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/4 to 1/2 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan start sauteing the beef in the olive oil.  After a couple of minutes add the potatoes, onions and mushrooms and cook until the potatoes finish cooking, stirring it all up now and again. When all is cooked add some of the beef broth to bring it all together.  Season generously with salt and pepper.(we like pepper!!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Bacon Brushed Standing Beef Rib Roast

I know I haven't posted much this past week, but for good brother was in town from Baton Rouge and so most of my cooking revolved around some of his favorites which you've seen on this site.  For his farewell dinner, however, I gussied up a standing beef rib roast.  Yum!

For the roasted garlic and bacon paste:
3 heads of garlic, top third cut off, drizzled with a Tbl of olive oil, wrapped loosely in foil and roasted at 350F for an hour.
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/3 cup bacon fat, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins and place them in a mini food processor with the rest of the ingredients.  Process until smooth and set aside.

For the roast and pan sauce:
5 pounds standing beef rib roast, cradled if possible, and at room temperature
10 fresh button or baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 Tbl butter
3 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 cups beef broth
1  1/2 cups dry red wine
A couple of Tbl butter for finishing the pan sauce
The roasted garlic and bacon paste

In a 9 by 13 inch open roasting pan place the shallots, 1/2 cup beef broth and 1/2 cup of the wine and stir.  Place the roast over the mixture, bones facing down.
Brush the top and sides of the roast with the roasted garlic and bacon paste.
Place the roast, uncovered in a 450F preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Lower the oven temp to 350F and continue to roast for one hour.  At this point add 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 cup wine to the bottom of the pan.  Continue to roast until the internal temp reaches about 125F to 130F for medium rare.  Depending on your oven this could take another 15 to 30 minutes.
While the beef is roasting, saute the mushrooms in the 3 Tbl butter until nicely browned.
When the roast is done, place it on a cutting board, tented with foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
While the roast rests, place the roasting pan over 2 burners on your stove.  There should be nicely browned shallots sitting on the bottom.  Add the sauteed mushrooms, crumbled bacon and the remaining wine and broth and simmer, whisking as you go until the sauce has reduced a bit.  Whisk in the 2 Tbl butter for a super rich sauce and serve over the sliced beef.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Little Mushroom Pinwheels

These little appetizers are so easy to make and so good to eat.  You can make the roll ahead of time and freeze and just thaw, slice and bake when ready to serve.

12 ounces mushrooms(your choice) chopped finely
4 Tbl butter
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry from a 17.3 ounce package

In a large saute pan,, cook the mushrooms in the butter with the thyme, salt and pepper until the mushrooms give off their liquid and begin to dry a bit. Let cool.
Roll the  pastry sheet into a uniform rectangle about 10 by 12 inches.
Spread the mushroom mixture over the entire sheet and then starting at the long end, roll the sheet up jelly roll fashion.
Refrigerate for about twenty minutes before slicing crosswise about 1/4 inch.
Bake at 425F on a parchment lined baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.  Serve warm. Or wrap the unbaked roll and freeze for another day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fennel, Leek and Tomato Pasta

A fellow Food52 Community member posted a recipe a couple of weeks ago that intrigued me.  He listed the ingredients which included olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, ground fennel seed and anchovies, but no amounts.  I played around with it a bit and made the pasta with the original ingredients and loved it and then added a few fresh ingredients and came up with this one... very flavorful.

1/4 cup olive oil
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp ground fennel seed
1 cup diced fresh fennel bulb
1 medium leek ( white and light green parts) quartered lengthwise and then cut crosswise in small pieces.
1 cup ( about i medium) seeded diced tomato
1 cup chicken broth
4 anchovy fillets,, minced
8 ounces dry pasta, cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan shavings for garnish

In a large saute pan heat the oil, add the garlic and red pepper and saute for a minute.  Add the fennel powder and then the leek and fresh fennel and continue to saute until the leek softens.
Add the tomato and cook a couple of minutes until the tomato softens.
Add the anchovy and chicken broth, bring up to a simmer and simmer for just a few minutes. Check for salt and pepper.
Add the cooked pasta, stir around a bit and place in a serving bowl.
Garnish with the Parmesan.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Root Vegetable, Mushroom and Bread Dressing

I love experimenting with different vegetables in dressings and stuffings...spinach, celery, mushrooms, this one I add celery root and carrots.

8 Tbl butter ( one stick)
1  1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup peeled grated celery root
1 large carrot grated
2 cups chopped button mushrooms
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup chopped parsley
6 cups sturdy bread cubes(cut about one inch) which have been set out to dry
1 to 2 cups chicken broth
2 beaten eggs

In a nice size pot, saute the onion, celery root, carrot and mushrooms in the butter until everything softens.  Stir in the thyme, sage salt and pepper.
Add the parsley and then the bread cubes.  Stir.
Start by stirring in one cup of the broth, adding more if the dressing seems dry.
Take off the heat, cool a bit and then stir in the beaten eggs. (the mixture will be a little goopy)
Pour the mixture into a 9 x 11 or 10 inch round buttered baking dish.
Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.  Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more at 400F.
Note: Can be made ahead but you may need to add a little more broth before covering and reheating. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Potato Mash with Leek Confit and Bacon

I love leek, potato and bacon in soups and decided to make a little casserole using those ingredients.  The leek confit is a Molly Wizenburg recipe but with bacon fat substituted for butter.

Makes 4 servings

For the leek confit:
4 leeks, white and pale green parts only, quartered lengthwise and the cut crosswise in quarter inch pieces.
2 Tbl bacon fat
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
In a medium sauce pan with a lid, melt the bacon fat, add the leeks, water and salt and cook covered on medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove the lid and cook a few more minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Set aside.

For the casserole:
3 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Chicken broth to cover the potatoes in a medium sauce pan
1/4 cup light cream (or a little more if necessary)
2 Tbl bacon fat
1 Tbl butter
1/4 tsp white pepper
The leek confit

Boil the potatoes in the chicken broth until fork tender.  Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the broth.
Mash the potatoes (I put them through a ricer)
W arm the cream, broth, butter, white pepper and bacon fat and mix into the potatoes.  Add more cream if the mixture seems dry.
Stir in 3 Tbl of the leek confit and spread the mixture into a buttered small shallow baking dish. ( about 9 x 11 inches)
Top with the remaining leek confit and bake for about 40 minutes in a 325F pre heated oven,  uncovered.(You can prepare up to this point early in the day and bake later)
Once out of the oven, sprinkle with the crumbled bacon and serve.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mushroom Onion Burger

Here's another topping for a burger...mushrooms and onions...just add your favorite cheese and condiments....I like provolone and Dijon mustard and you're set to go!

3 Tbl butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms of your choice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large saute pan, melt the butter , add the onions and saute on medium low heat until the onions just begin to caramelize a bit.  Add the sliced mushrooms, raise the heat and continue to saute until the mushrooms are softened and start to brown a bit.  Stir in the salt and pepper.  Makes enough for 4 to 6 burgers.