Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sesame Slaw

Created this after playing around with a great but bland recipe.

3 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs water
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seed
2 tbs vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 16 0z bag shredded coleslaw mix

In a large bowl whisk all ingredients except for cabbage mix. Toss with vegetables and check for seasoning, adjusting salt and pepper as needed. Let stand at least 30 min in refrigerator. Retoss and serve.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hot Feta and Artichoke Dip

1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 c mayo
1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
12 oz jar diced piementos, drained
1 minced garlic clove

Mix all well, Spoon into a greased pie pan or two small baking dishes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min until lightly browned. You can freeze one before baking if you wish to serve at a later time. Serve with crackers, pita chips, crostini, or nachos.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Taco Seasoning Mix

This is my own blend that is far better than what you can buy.

Seasoning Mix
1/4 c instant minced dried onion
2 tbs chili powder (I mix 1 tbs generic, 1/2 tbs New Mexico chili powder, 1/2 tbs Arbol chili powder or Chipotle chili powder)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp crushed hot pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
4 tsp salt
1 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs instant minced garlic
2 tsp ground cumin

Mix all ingredients well using a whisk and store in a tightly lidded jar. Post recipe on jar:

Recipe: Brown 1 lb ground beef. Drain grease. Add 1/2 c water and 2 heaping tbs of seasoning mix. Simmer 10 min. Add additional seasoning if needed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuscan Ribollita Soup

Recipe from Megan Wolfe. Yum!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Serves 4-6

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1 celery stalk
4 ounces organic chicken sausage (one link from Whole Foods)
½ cup olive oil
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ bunch kale, roughly chopped (will be about ½ lb)
½ loaf of Italian bread, cut into 1-inch squares
grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

• Chop the celery, onion and carrot.
• In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, celery, carrot and sausage in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
• Add the tomatoes with their juices, the beans, broth and rosemary.
• Simmer, covered, for about an hour (or until the beans break apart).
• Add the kale and cook for 7 more minutes.
• Stir in the bread and serve, drizzled with the remaining olive oil and sprinkled with Pecorino Romano cheese.

Since this makes alot of soup, I put a handful of bread cubes in the bottom of each bowl and stirred in while serving so I could save the remainder of the soup without the bread.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slow-Cooker Steak and Guinness Pie

Super recipe from the latest issue of Fine Cooking. I modified the recipe a bit with more vegetables and more broth.This recipe is very easy and makes plenty.

3/4 c. flour
3 lb. boneless beef chuck
6 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
1 12-oz bottle Guinness or other stout
2 c. beef broth
5-6 potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

In a large bowl combine the flour, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Toss the beef in the flour mixture to coat. Transfer the mixture, including the excess flour, to a 6 qt. slow cooker and add the carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme. Slowly pour in the broth and Guinness and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hrs. or on high for 4-5 hrs.(Meat was tender after 3 hrs on low). Add the potatoes and continue cooking for about an hour or until the potatoes are fork tender. While the cooking is going on cook the pastry.

Pastry: Heat oven to 375 degrees with rack in center of oven. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray. Unfold pastry sheet and lay on the baking pan. Bake 15-18 min or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool, and cut into quarters.

To serve, lay a pastry piece along one edge of the bowl. Spoon the stew into the bowl and enjoy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Exotic Mushroom Pizza

This recipe is on the Food Network Site-one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. Though it contains gorgonzola cheese, there is very little and what it contributes is a rich creamy topping. Yum!

1 (12-inch) pre-baked pizza crust (we make our own dough)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots or mild onion, thinly sliced or minced
1 pound assorted exotic mushrooms, sliced or chopped (if using shiitakes, remove inedible stems)
1/4 cup dry red wine (we used chianti)
1-ounce gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
8 ounces fontina cheese, grated or thinly sliced (this is easier to do if cheese is cold)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pizza stone or pizza pan(we got 4 terra cotta tiles at Lowes and they live in our oven full time)

Put pizza stone in oven and heat to 425 degrees. While stone is heating, brush olive oil evenly over shell and bake 5 to 7 minutes or until oil bubbles. (If using thin crust pizza, you can eliminate pre-baking of the pizza crust.)

While shell bakes begin cooking the mushrooms. Heat saute or fry pan on high heat, add the oil, garlic and shallots and quickly saute for approximately 30 seconds. Do not allow the garlic/shallot mixture to burn.

Add mushrooms to hot pan, saute quickly until most of the mushroom juices have evaporated (3 to 5 minutes), then add wine. Continue to saute until wine completely evaporates and mushrooms have turned a darker shade or brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove mushroom mixture from heat.

Remove shell from oven (leave stone in oven to keep it hot) and allow to cool slightly. Spread the gorgonzola cheese evenly over the warm crust so that it melts slightly. You can dip your fingers in olive oil to spread the gorgonzola. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the crust. Add the Fontina cheese, distributing it as evenly as possible. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place on hot stone in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Cool and cut into small rectangles for hors d'oeuvres or into pie-shaped pieces for first course or main course portions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas

Very easy recipe from Martha Stewart that makes a great quick supper.

2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1-2 small canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 ½ tablespoons oil over medium. Add flour and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chili powder, chipotle and adobo sauce, and ¾ cup water; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Make filling: In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining ½ tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. (If freezing, don’t place any sauce in baking dish; see To Freeze, below left.) Spoon ¼ cup sauce in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Set aside. Make enchiladas: Stack tortillas; wrap in foil, and warm in oven, 10 minutes. Fill each with a heaping ¼ cup beef mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese; tightly roll up.

Raise oven heat to 450°. Arrange enchiladas, seam side down, in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro and, if desired, a green salad.

To freeze: Make sauce and enchiladas; arrange enchiladas in baking dish without sauce (so tortillas dont become soggy). Place sauce in an airtight container. Cover dish with plastic wrap and foil. Label, date, and freeze enchiladas and sauce. Use within 2 months; bake without thawing (see opposite page).

To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 450°. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dish. Pour sauce over top, and sprinkle with cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; serve.

If baking right away: Spoon ¼ cup sauce in the bottom of baking dish; pour the rest over the enchiladas.

This recipe is easily doubled; you can bake one batch tonight and freeze another for a no-fuss weeknight meal.

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

This recipe comes from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American. I never liked creamed chipped beef until I tried this. Use Texas Toast for a nicely substantial base to the sauce.

3 tbs butter
3 tbs peeled and chopped yellow onion
3 tbs flour
2 cups hot milk
4.5 oz jar dried chipped beef, sliced into bite-sized strips
1/4 tsp paprika
black pepper
hot sauce
1 tbs dry sherry


In a heavy saucepan or large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion until clear. Stir in the flour with a whisk and then the hot milk, stirring all the time until the mixture thickens. When the mixture is thick, add the remaining ingredients and heat until warm. Serve over toasted bread cut diagonally and arranged on plate.I use Texas Toast for a substantial presentation.Super!

Sausage Gravy for Biscuits and Gravy

This recipe comes from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American. Great cookbook! Terrific breakfast recipe.

1/2 lb pork breakfast sausage (bulk not links)
2 tbs chopped yellow onions
3 tbs flour
2 c hot milk
salt and pepper to taste
splash of hot sauce to taste

Heat a frying pan and fry th esausage and onion until the sausage is brown and the onion clear. Stir in the flour and cook for just a minute. Add the hot milk and stir constantly until the mixture thickens and then season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve over warm opened biscuits.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tangy Hummus

This recipe comes from Recipes From A Kitchen Garden Volume Two, by Renee Shepherd and Fran Raboff. It was originally called Garbanzo Bean and Parsley Dip, but it is hummus, so I thought I would just call it that. The lemon juice and fresh parsley give the spread a wonderful bright flavor.

1 15 1/2 oz can chick peas, drained
1 clove minced garlic
3 tbs lemon juice
1/3 c tahini (sesame seed paste-look in the Asian or Greek aisle)
2 chopped scallions
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/2 c chopped Italian parsley
salt, pepper and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper
garnish: chopped fresh mint or parsley

In a food process drop all ingredients. Process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Serve with pita chips, fresh pita triangles, or crispy crackers.

French Country Chicken and Sausage Soup

This recipe comes from Comfort Foods by Rachael Ray. It has a surprising depth of flavor and serves four. Keep the staples for this in your pantry and freezer and you have a great winter meal for that snow day. Serve with crusty bread and some hearty wine-it will be gone fast!

3/4 lb. bulk sweet sausage
2 tbs olive oil, plus a drizzle to brown meat
3/4 lb diced boneless chicken thigh meat (spectacular flavor)
1 bulb fresh fennel, tops trimmed off and chopped
1 large chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 15 oz can great northern white beans, drained
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 quart (32 oz) chicken broth, 1 box
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed in palm
2 tbs chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed in palm
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan and croutons to top soup

In a deep pot, brown sausage in a touch of olive oil over high heat. Remove sausage and drain on paper towels. Add 2 tbs olive oil to the pot and add the chicken. Brown chicken for 2-3 min and add fennel, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Cover pot and cook vegetables for 5-6 min, stirring occasionally.

Remove cover and add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until ready to serve. For a thinner soup, add up to 2 c of additional broth.

Serve soup topped with grated parmesan and chunks of bread for dipping or float croutons on top of the soup.

Lemon Chicken Baked on a Bed of Sauerkraut

This recipe comes from The Country Gourmet Cookbook, by Sherrill and Gil Roth. Comfort food at its finest, serve it with your favorite green vegetable, some crusty bread and a nice Savignon Blanc. Takes little time to prepare with simple ingredients and is a nice meal when you are too busy to do much in the kitchen.This recipe is one reason to grow your own rosemary in a pot-fresh is the best! Serves 4.

3 lb. chicken, butterflied
1 qt sauerkraut in a bag
1/2 tsp dried hot pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (my preference), or 3/4 tsp crumbled dried rosemary
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper, black is fine if you do not have white

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

With a pair of kitchen shears, remove the backbone of the chicken. Flatten the chicken by spreading it open, skin side up, and pressing on the backbone until it cracks and the chicken remains flat. Rinse the chicken under cold water and remove excess fat. Wipe it dry with paper towels. Tuck the tips of the wings under the body and arrange the legs so they point out horizontally from the body. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the sauerkraut in a colander and rinse it well with cold water to remove the salt. It will lose its strong scent and flavor-now to season. Drain, squeeze dry with your hands and squeeze dry again in paper towels. Place the sauerkraut in a shallow baking dish that has been brushed with 1 tsp olive oil to coat. The dish should be just large enough to hold the chicken-I use a 9 X 13 Pyrex rectangle and it works fine. Toss the sauerkraut with the red pepper and rosemary.

Arrange the flattened chicken, skin side up, on top of the sauerkraut, tucking all the sauerkraut in under the body of the chicken. Rub half of the lemon juice into and over the surface of the chicken-it will dribble all over the sauerkraut below. Brush the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hr 20 min to 1 1/2 hrs until the chicken is well browned but still moist. During the first half hour, it may appear dry but will begin to exude juices and brown during the latter half of roasting. After 30 min, remove the chicken from the oven and rub the rest of the lemon juice over the surface. If the sauerkraut appears to be browning too quickly, mix it slightly and rearrange under the chicken. If it appears dry, add a splash of water or wine to the bottom of the baking dish. As soon as the juices begin to flow from the chicken, the sauerkraut will have sufficient moisture. Let it rest for five minutes before serving with its wonderful juices. The sauerkraut does not taste liked the packaged product you are familiar with at all and is wonderful!