Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Portuguese Kale Soup

One of my favorite soups from my classic, "go-to" vegetable cook book,The Victory Garden Cookbook, by Marian Morash, 1982.

1 lb kale, leaves stripped from stems; trimmed, washed, and cut into wide slices
1 lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb smoked sausage, such as linguica or chorizo, or Italian sausage
1 c chopped onions
1/2 c chopped carrots
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
2 qt chicken broth
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 can cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Blanch sausages for 5-10 min to release fat. Drain and cut into 1/2 inch slices and set aside.

In large saucepan, saute onions, carrots and garlic in oil and butter, until soft, about 5 min. Add potatoes and broth and simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 min or until potatoes are cooked.Mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot.Stir in tomatoes and kidney beans and cook 10 min longer. Add the kale and sausage and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beef Bulgogi

The Bulgogi recipe is courtesy of the Frugal Gourmet. The next four recipes go together with the Bulgogi as the star, and the next three as condiments to serve with it and other Korean dishes. Enjoy!

1 lb. ribeye beef, thinly sliced

2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. sesame oil
1 tbs. salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbs sake’ or dry sherry
1 tbs red pepper flakes

For frying- 1 tbs peanut oil
For garnish-toasted sesame seeds

Prepare the beef. Mix the marinade in a bowl. Add the meat and toss. Allow to marinate 30 minutes.

Cook the meat over medium high heat in a frying pan or griddle. Heat the pan first and make it very hot. Add the oil. Cook meat for 1 or 2 min on each side, browning nicely. Serve aside steamed rice and garnish w/toasted sesame seeds. Also serve daikon and carrot pickle as a side dish.

Daikon and Carrot Pickle

Do Chua

Try this daikon and carrot pickle recipe once and then tweak the recipe to your liking. Variations of the include adding tangy-sweet-pungent pickled shallots (cu kieu) to the mixture, as well as making heavier on the carrot side than the daikon side. Makes about 3 cups, or two quart mason jars full.

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 pound daikons, each no larger than 2 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water
Place the carrot and daikons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Use your hands to knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, expelling the water from them. They will soften and liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl. Stop kneading when you can bend a piece of daikon so that the ends touch but the daikon does not break. The vegetables should have lost about one-fourth of their volume. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, then press gently to expel extra water. Return the vegetables to the bowl if you plan to eat them soon, or transfer them to a 1-quart jar for longer storage.
To make the brine, in a bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, the vinegar, and the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the vegetables. The brine should cover the vegetables. Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Beyond that point, they get tired.

Korean Bean Sprouts

Great side dish to go with Bulgogi or other Korean dishes.

1½ c water
2 lbs soybean sprouts
1 tsp salt

1 tbs tamari
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs salt
2 finely chopped scallions
2 tsp ground Korean red pepper

In a large shallow pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and bean sprouts. Simmer for 5 min. Drain well.

Mix the light soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the sprouts along with the salt, scallions and red pepper. Toss and chill. Serve as a side dish for a Korean meal.

Korean Kimchee

Kudos to the Frugal Gourmet for this recipe. Immensely better than anything you could buy.

6 lbs Napa cabbage
¾ c Kosher salt
8 finely chopped scallions
1 ½ c shredded carrot
7 tbs grated fresh ginger
2 tbs finely chopped garlic
2 tbs chopped candied ginger
2 tsp sugar
½ c ground Korean red pepper
1 tbs salt

Remove limp outer leaves from the cabbage. Quarter the cabbage lengthwise, then cut across the quarters into 1 ½ inch wide pieces. Put the cabbage n a very large bowl and add the Kosher salt. Toss so that the salt coats the cabbage evenly. Allow to stand for 30 minutes, tossing a few times while it is sitting.

Rinse the cabbage with cold water and drain. Toss with the remaining ingredients and pack into a large crock or covered pottery casserole. Add water to cover, about three cups. Allow to sit on the counter for 1-2 days Store in the refrigerator, covered, in the crock or individual glass jars.

Serve as a relish with any Korean dinner or use in cooking meat or soup dishes. This recipe can be adjusted depending on the size of the Napa cabbage. I used a 3 lb head of cabbage and halved the other ingredients.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Monkey Muffins

Saw this on the Pioneer Woman website and it was so easy! I modified this to make it easy for myself.

leftover bread dough (or refrigerated biscuit dough, cut into thirds)
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/3 c Sugar
ground cinnamon to taste
sweetened condensed milk or homemade glaze
chopped nuts-optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix cinnamon and sugar and place in a small jar with a shaker top. I save old spice bottles for this purpose. Spray 10 muffin tins with PAM. Melt butter, and add 1/2 teaspoon butter to muffin tins. Add 1/2 tsp of nuts if you are using them. Sprinkle in some of the cinnamon sugar.

Roll dough into walnut sized balls (or cut refrigerated biscuit dough into thirds). Place three into each muffin tin. Add more nuts if you are using them. Top with 1/2 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle on more cinnamon sugar. Allow dough to rise (1 hour was great)-even if you use biscuit dough, and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Remove from oven and immediately drizzle plenty of sweetened condensed milk over the top of each one. Be generous! Allow rolls to sit for a little while to absorb sweet, sticky milk.

OR: If you are using homemade glaze, cool for 5 min. I used refrigerator biscuits and topped with a little glaze of ½ c powdered sugar mixed with a little cream and mixed well until glossy. Put in a Ziploc sandwich bag and snip a corner to drizzle in a controlled stream on the slightly cooled rolls. Works great!

Eggs Baked in Ham Cups

This recipe appears on Pinterest as well as numerous cookbooks I own. Easy and tasty.

6 thin slices of ham
6 large eggs
grated white cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda or other cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham, letting it ruffle up the sides. Crack an egg into each, sprinkle with a bit of cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the white is set but the yolk is still runny. Serve immediately on a plate or set in small dishes for extra support. Serves 3-6.

You could add some chopped spinach to the bottom of the cup before putting in the egg. Or top with Hollandaise-I always make Marion Cunningham's Blender Hollandaise which is easy and perfect every time.

Baked Eggs in Tomato Cups

Found this recipe on Pinterest-it was a really different and healthy way to serve eggs.
Servings: 2

2 large tomatoes (variety of your choice)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup white cheddar, shredded**You will probably have extra cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh basil, shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Slice off the tops of each tomato, and using a sharp knife, gently cut around the inside perimeter of each tomato and scoop out the seeds.
3. Place the tomatoes in an oven-proof baking dish, with the tops. ***I shaved a slice off the bottom so it was flat
4. Depending on the size of your tomatoes, place about 1-2 tablespoons of the white cheddar in the bottom of each, making a little well with your fingers so that the eggs will lay flat.
5. Break an egg into each tomato, trying as best as you can to keep all the whites inside the tomato.
6. Bake the eggs for 10 minutes. **They will just begin to set during this time.
7, After ten minutes, remove the eggs from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
8. Bake for another 7-10 minutes, until the eggs are set to your desired consistency.
9. Remove the eggs from the oven and let sit for about 2 minutes.
10. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and garnish with the fresh basil.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

I have no idea where I found this recipe but it is hearty and tasty.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 3/4 pounds)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1/4-1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
Salt, to taste

In a large saucepan, heat oil and sauté onion for 3 minutes until soft. Add sweet potatoes and stir to coat. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.

With a slotted spoon, scoop out 2 cups of sweet potato cubes; set aside. Puree remaining soup until smooth-I use an immersion blender. Return soup to pot, add remaining sweet potatoes and black beans, and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute, until just wilted. Stir in sour cream and salt to taste. Serve hot. If you will not be serving all of it, Add a dollop of sour cream to individual bowls and not the entire pot.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

You can bake this a bit before serving or leave it extra creamy and serve without baking! If you want to be creative, add bacon, crab, lobster...

• 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
• 1/2 stuck butter, cut into pieces
• 3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. Combine cheese/butter mixture and add the sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Bake for 10-20 minutes until bubbly.

Italian Wedding Soup

Made this a couple of weeks ago-very different, the dill adds a nice surprising flavor.
3/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound turkey sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (about 3 medium)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
10 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta (I used mini bow-tie pasta)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
8 ounces fresh baby spinach- trimmed, washed & patted dry
extra Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Prepare meatballs: Place ground meats, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (you'll make somewhere around 40 meatballs). Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

3. Prepare soup: Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large stock pot. Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and wine and bring to a boil. Add pasta to the simmering broth and cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute, until spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Dried Cherry Jus and Caramelized Red Onion and Spinach Compote

I can't tell you where I got this recipe but I knew it would be a winner. Made it last weekend and it is one of the best meals I have ever had. All the recipe parts are included. You can halve the recipe for 2 people. Fabulous and worth the effort!

Duck Breast:
6 cleaned duck breasts (make several slices in the skin), see note
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch salt, pepper, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg
Marinate duck in oil and Chinese Five-Spice seasoning and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dried Cherry Jus:
4 cups duck stock or chicken stock
4 cups veal or beef stock
2 cups diced carrots, leeks, onions and celery
1/2 cup dried cherries soaked in 1/4 cup cognac
Simmer the 8 cups of stock with the vegetables, reducing until it yields about 3 cups of liquid. Strain out the vegetables and add rough-cut cherries. Simmer down to a total of 2 cups.

Presentation: Sear duck breasts in 1 tablespoon olive oil, skin down, until golden brown and place in 350-degree even. In another pan, heat the onion-spinach compote. When the flesh of the duck is no longer pink, pull from oven, drain any fat and add sauce and gnocchi. Turn breasts over and cook for another minute or two. Remove duck, slice and fan out on a plate with a pile of gnocchi and compote. Glaze with sauce. Serves 6.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons salt
3 eggs
Bake sweet potatoes until soft. Push through a ricer into a bowl (they can also be mashed). Add flour, eggs and salt and gently mix together into a dough. Add more flour if sticky-mine was and I added four in 1/4 cup increments until the texture was right.. Cut into small balls about the size of a dime and dust with flour. Roll on a gnocchi board or in a wicker basket (they will be oblong in shape). Boil in salted water until they float, then run under cold water. Set aside.

Caramelized Red Onion and Spinach Compote

3 medium red onions
1 pound fresh cleaned spinach (stems removed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Slice onions thinly and add to saucepan. Cook onions until caramelized, then add spinach leaves. Cook until spinach is limp and incorporated.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 c. self-rising flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. shortening
3/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place flour and baking powder in mixing bowl;add shortening and cut in until mixture looks like small nuggets. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk. Stir with a fork until the mixture is fairly unified into a ball. Do not overmix.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 10-12 times. Roll the dough to about 3/4 inch thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly spray the tops of the biscuits.

Bake in the oven 6-8 minutes. Makes 8-9 biscuits.