Sunday, December 25, 2011

Yorkshire Pudding

Jamie Oliver's Yorkshire Pudding (the best I've had)

1 cup milk
4 Tbsp flour
Pinch salt
3 eggs
Vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450º

Mix ingredients and let rest for 10 minutes. While batter is resting, preheat muffin tins with about 3/8 inches of oil in each section. Pour batter into 10 sections (this has to be done quickly and carefully while the oil is hot!) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until puddings are puffy and golden brown. Turn out and serve immediately.

Note: Don't open the oven door while they are baking or they won't rise.

Note 2: Be careful when turning them out as there may be a little hot oil in the puddings.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Turkey Soup

Originally called Turkey Carcass Soup, I have decided to temper the name for the purpose of public relations.

1 turkey carcass
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 quart water.

Boil for 2 1/2 hours. Remove turkey bones. Process broth with blender til chunky.

2 celery sticks, chopped
5 or 6 carrots, chopped
1 package frozen corn
whatever you have lying around, in this case:
1 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Masoor Dal (orange split lentils)

Cook until vegetables are done. Add 1 tsp mace, 1 can condensed milk, salt and pepper to taste.
chicken broth and water to cover

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup boiling water
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar

Mix and dissolve. Stir until lukewarm so as not to kill yeast.

Dissolve 2 packets dry yeast (2 Tbsp bulk) in half cup warm (140º) water with 1 tsp sugar.

Add yeast to cooled mixture, then add:

2 eggs
3 to 4 cups flour, one cup at a time then stir. Mixture should be sticky.

Beat thoroughly, cover then rise til double in size. (Takes about an hour if the room is reasonably warm).

Roll into oblong shape. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon, raisins, and brown sugar. Roll lengthwise.

In pan melt 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, 4 Tbsp butter, and 2 Tbsp corn syrup. (I double this recipe as I like them stickier.) Pour quickly into three small round cake pans.

Cut dough into 1" sections and line pans. Cover and rise until double.

Bake at 425º for 15 to 25 minutes (until very lightly browned on the top). The correct time is closer to 15 even though they might look like they aren't quite done. If you overbake them they will be dry.

Turn out immediately. For best results set a rack on top of the pan then flip the whole thing together. Be aware that hot sugar mixture will pour out and be careful.

Oh yeah. The rule on these is that you have to give one of them away. It hurts because they are so good, but that's the rule so what else can you do.

Lemon Curd Tarts

Super easy, once you've made the lemon curd.

Fill small, pre-baked tartlette shells with lemon curd and refrigerate or fill a large pre-baked tart shell with lemon curd and refrigerate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

So a couple things you need to know.

First of all, you have two choices when it comes to making shells. Make a pie crust, line a tart pan with small rounds of crust or buy pre-made tart shells. There are advantages and drawbacks to both.

1) I have experimented with a variety of pans including a regular muffin tin, two different sized tiny tart pans (which I haven't been able to find at any store or website), and I just bought a Nordic Ware tartlette pan. The muffin tin and Nordic Ware tarts make the tarts a little larger than I would like, the mini tart pans result in tarts that do not have flat bottoms since the bottoms puff up when you bake them. I haven't made tarts in the Nordic Ware yet but will be making a batch soon and will post an update.

2) Buy pre-made tartlette shells. The problem in the Pacific Northwest is that no one carries them. The only ones I've been able to find are Phyllo (avoid for this application). Popping across the border to Canada I picked up Tenderflake shells in two sizes. The smaller ones are pictured above and worked quite nicely but they are a bit heavier than I would like.

UPDATE: I tried out the Nordic Ware pan last night and it is just right. I filled each well with pastry, about a three inch circle, poked some holes with a fork to keep it from swelling up, then lined each one with a mini-muffin liner and a few pie weights. Baked for five minutes, took out the weights and liner, and baked another five. They came out great.

Lemon Curd

Originally used as topping for toast and scones, generally Lemon Curd is now used for tarts. You can make a full sized tart or, in my family, the small one or two bite sized.

2 cups sugar
juice of 4 lemons
rind of 3 lemons

Melt in a double boiler over medium heat.

Beat 6 egg yolks and 4 egg whites until thick and lemon colored.

Add eggs
Add 1/4 pound butter.

Stir in double boiler until curd has the consistency of honey. This will take a while, maybe twenty minutes.

If the curd doesn't seem to be thickening, turn up the heat but KEEP STIRRING.

Note: I made a double batch so you won't have as much as shown in the picture.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Salsa Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I like this one because it uses fewer tortillas than traditional enchiladas, and therefore has fewer carbs.

Two half chicken breasts, butterflied
Southwest Taco seasoning
Salsa Verde
Five small whole wheat tortillas (or whatever you prefer) cut in one inch strips
1# shredded Monterey Jack cheese or 1/2 # Jack and 1/2# Queso Fresco

Shake SW seasoning over chicken breasts and broil until they start to brown a little. Flip, re-season, and broil til the other side is done. Roughly chop the cooked chicken.
Cover the bottom of a medium baking dish with salsa
Layer tortillas, chicken, sauce, and cheese until you run out of ingredients, making sure that the top layer is cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350º. Eat and enjoy.

Salsa Verde

I use this to make my Chicken Enchiladas. Sometimes I use the stuff in a jar but this is so much better so if you have an extra fifteen minutes...

1/3 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 # tomatillos
1 jalapeno, seeded and flattened
3 cloves garlic, chopped
handful cilantro, choppped
chicken stock

Broil the tomatillos and the jalapeno until they start to blacken.
Saute the onion and garlic until the onion starts to turn translucent.
Add tomatillos, jalapeno, and chicken stock to cover, as well as salt to taste. I have a salt pig on the counter and probably pull out a good teaspoon.
Simmer until tomatillos start to soften

With an immersion blender (boat motor), smash up all the ingredients until you have a thick soup. Cook for a while and let it thicken. You want it to still be sort of runny.

Roughly chop and add the cilantro. Smash it up some more with the blender. If you don't have an immersion blender you can wait til the end and then stick it into a food processor or a blender and pulse it up a few times.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cheddar-Chipotle Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ok, already posted a stuffed chicken breast, plus a comment that you can pretty much modify the last recipe with anything you want to stuff. But this one is good enough that it deserves its own post.

Large split chicken breasts, one per person

Stuffing (per breast):
1/2 cup grated cheddar
2 chipotle en adobo plus a little of the sauce
1/8 cup finally chopped onion

Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and fill with stuffing.
Set into greased casserole dish
Cover with a thin layer of bread crumbs.
Top with slices of thick cut pepper bacon.

Bake at 375º for 45 minutes (55 if they are particularly thick).

Brigid's Range Chili

Well, she's done it again. An incredible improvement on an old standby. Chili, with sweet. And hot. Really. Who'd think to put Coca Cola and chocolate in chili.

Pictured with Skillet Cornbread.

A couple warnings before you get started. This overflowed my large crockpot. I had to scoop some out and add it back in later after I ate the first bowl.

Went in the kitchen and now I can't remember the second. I could edit it to "a warning" but since I know there's another one out there somewhere I'll just leave it as is. Maybe I'll remember it.

I made a couple modifications to her recipe based on availability but nothing that I think would change it dramatically from how her's might taste. Other than that, I copied it pretty much ingredient for ingredient, word for word. In exchange for this you should definitely go visit her site, read her brilliant writings, and try some of her other recipes which may appeal to you. (What do you think? Enough sucking up so she won't be mad at me for poaching one of her recipes?)

2 29 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 28 ounce cans chopped, diced or stewed tomatoes, or any combination thereof
2 cups diced onions
1 heaping tablespoon Italian Seasoning (or 1 tsp each basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme: homemade italian seasoning since I don't keep the mix around)
1 pound thick cut peppered bacon, cooked until done but not too crispy and then chopped into bite sized pieces.
3 pounds burger or venison (lean as you can get it)
2 pounds spicy sausage
4 cans kidney beans - drained and rinsed (canned beans have a LOT of sodium)
1 bottle (about 18 ounces) Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup Penzey's 9000 chili seasoning (I used Mohave Chili Powder from the Spice Hut since I haven't seen Penzey's around here)
1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper
approx. 3/4 cup Coca Cola (yes, and not Pepsi and certainly not diet), use the Mexican Coca Cola in glass bottles made with sugar, not corn syrup if you can find, Costco often has it.
2 individually wrapped squares Baker's unsweetened dark chocolate, finely chopped (each square breaks into two pieces so it's pretty easy to chop up).

Cook the meats separately and drain well. Saute the onion in with the burger so that it caramelizes. Mix in with rest of ingredients adding the dark chocolate last. Cook in the crockpot on high about 2 hours, or on low 4-6 as as desired.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cornbread Stuffing with Porkchops

Two thin cut pork chops


Leftover cornbread, crumbled (about 2 to 3 cups worth)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
celery salt
fresh ground pepper

Mix stuffing ingredients

Grease small baking dish
Spoon stuffing mix into pan
Top with both pork chops

Bake uncovered at 375º for 45 minutes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quick Wednesday Night Chili


2 lb chuck, cubed about 1/2 inch
1 bunch green onions, chopped about 1/2 inch long
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small can black beans
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp chili powder (I buy Mohave Chili Powder from the Spice Hut)

Brown chuck in small handfuls. Don't turn it too much as you want it to actually brown.
Add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for about a minute.
Add rest of ingredients, stir well, cover loosely and simmer for about two hours.

Serve with Skillet Corn Bread.

Skillet Corn Bread

Put about three tablespoons bacon fat or lard in a 10 inch cast iron skillet and put it in the oven. Preheat oven to 450º.

While the oven is heating mix:

1 1/2 cups corn meal
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda


2 cups buttermilk
1 egg

Add to dry and mix.

Melt 2 Tbsp bacon drippings or butter and add to mixture. Stir to mix.
Add 1 to 2 cups grated cheddar and a chopped jalapeno to batter.

When oven reaches temperature, take out cast iron skillet (don't forget it is very hot) and pour the batter into the hot grease.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Grilled Salmon

So the other day (Friday) my friend Alan gives me a whole filleted humpback salmon that he caught in the Skagit River. Today (Sunday) I put half of it on the grill with my brother's recipe. Skin on is best

Olive oil
Lemon juice

Quantities aren't particularly important. I put in about two T of butter, one of olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, a tsp of Gulden's Spicy Brown mustard, and a good healthy amount of dried dill. Mix it all up to make a paste and slather it over the non-skin side of the salmon. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill on high heat with aluminium foil. Add the salmon, skin side down. Cook for about ten minutes or so. Basically when you stick a fork in it it should flake and not look like jelly.

Remove and eat.

If this isn't on the menu at the Hyatt it certainly should be.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mom Green's Fruit Salad

This is one of my favorites for a summer barbeque.

2 green apples
2 red apples
purple or green grapes, halved
4 bananas, sliced
1 large can pineapple tidbits or chunks, drained
2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 container Extra Creamy Cool Whip
cinnamon to taste (start with about a half teaspoon and go from there)

Apple Stuffed Pork Chops with Maple Glaze

I threw this together the other day because I had some leftover maple glaze from a ham I had made and was trying figure out what to do with a couple pork chops. Apple trees are starting to produce a few ripe apples so this is what I came up with. No picture because I was hungry and forgot to grab the camera. (Edit: Picture added.)

Thick cut pork chops
One apple (preferably one that is firm and a little tart. I have used Gravensteins from my one of my trees and Granny Smith from the store with good results.)

Cut a deep pocket into each pork chop
Slice the apple and stuff the pork chops full

Mix 1/2 cup maple syrup with 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/8 tsp each of nutmeg and allspice.

Place stuffed chops in greased baking dish and drizzle with maple syrup mixture.

Bake 375º for 45 minutes uncovered (you may need a little less time if your chops are not very thick).

I serve with homemade applesauce and sauteed sliced zucchini and yellow squash.

Update: The second time I actually made sure the chop was covered with syrup. The
maple flavor was much more pronounced and the dish was even better.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Easy Green Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken, one whole roasted
Onion, two medium
Queso Fresco Mexican cheese (I do not recommend substituting any sort of Feta as this is way less salty than Feta)
one large can salsa verde

Slice and saute onion
Tear apart chicken (I get the pre-cooked ones from the grocery store as they are cheaper than buying a whole chicken and then you still have to roast it)
Pour about a third of the salsa verde into the bottom of a rectangular baking dish and coat the bottom.
Wrap cheese, onion, and chicken in a tortilla and place it in the dish, tortilla flap down.
Repeat until you run out of ingredients. It is OK to shove the filled tortillas together to fit more in the dish.
Top with the remaining salsa verde (and some shredded Monterey Jack cheese if you have it around).

Bake at 350º for 20 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

Serve with sour cream and guacamole.

Hat tip to Bad Example for setting a Good Example and linking to stuff he thought people might not know about.

This recipe is somewhat approximate as it just depends on how much stuff you put in each tortilla before you wrap it up and how big your baking dish is.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Worcestershire Sauce

This will keep for a long time in canning jars, or makes great presents for those Bloody Mary fans amongst your friends.

1 tbsp olive oil
6 oz peeled fresh horseradish, chopped
2 med white onions, chopped
3 tbsp jalapeno, minced
3 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
2 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
1 cup molasses
2 cups dark corn syrup
1 oz anchovy fillets, chopped
12 whole cloves
1 tbsp salt
1 lemon, peeled

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add horseradish, onions, jalapeno, and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer 1 hour.

Strain through a double thickness of cheesecloth and store in a wooden cask if possible (these are expensive and I haven't done this so far. They are called "vinegar casks" from what I have found. I just use canning jars.)

Allow to age about a month before using.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hot Fudge Sauce

Pictured here with vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries.

6 oz chocolate chips
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

Melt in a double boiler

2 cups icing sugar
10 oz evaporated milk

Cook until bubbly or until you despair of every seeing bubbles and decide it is done.

Serve hot over anything.

To reheat, either heat in water in a jam jar, or microwave on half power for thirty seconds.

Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

Mouth watering yet?

Raisin Cranberry Scones

Actually this is my regular scone recipe. I ran out of raisins and so chucked in a handful of dried cranberries. It was good.

4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
Sift together and cut in 4 tbsp shortening.
1 cup raisins or
1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup dried cranberries or
1 cup whatever dried fruit you fancy

Add 1 egg and stir into flour
sour milk to knead - about 1 cup (sour milk can be quickly made by adding a tsp white vinegar (found under the sink at Mum's) to the milk and stirring)

Roll out about 3/4 inch thick and cut into triangular pieces
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

These should barely start to brown. If they do they will be dry the next day if you have leftovers.

Quote of the day: "Raisins are just humiliated grapes."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Buffalo Wings

!Warning! This is hot.

Party wings. As many as you want.

Buffalo Wing Sauce

1 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
5 to 6 generous shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp butter

Bake wings on baking tray for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven, toss with sauce, return to oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, toss with sauce, return to oven for ten minutes (unless they were frozen in which case this is about twenty minutes).
Remove from oven, toss with sauce, serve with blue cheese dressing.

These are spicy. If you are serving them to people who are not fans of hot food, skip the last tossing and serve them with the baked on sauce.

Buffalo Roquefort Chicken

Split a half chicken breast to create a pocket.
Stuff with blue cheese.
Secure pocket with toothpicks.
Carefully dredge in breadcrumbs.
Top with buffalo sauce.
Repeat as necessary for the number of chicken breasts you have.

Bake at 350º for 45 minutes.

Buffalo Sauce
1/2 cup Louisiana hot sauce
5 or 6 generous shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp butter
Bring to a boil then shut off heat.

Roquefort and Apple Stuffed Chicken

Split a half chicken breast down the middle to create a pocket.

Stuff with crumbled blue cheese.
Secure pocket with toothpicks.
Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully dredge in breadcrumbs (I set the bottom in a bowl of breadcrumbs, then spoon more breadcrumbs over the top.)
Cover with slices of Granny Smith apple.
Repeat as necessary for the number of chicken breasts you have.

Place in a greased baking dish pocket side up.

Bake at 350º for 45 minutes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maple Glazed Ham with Raisin Sauce


Cross hatch ham and stick cloves in every intersection.

Maple Glaze
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice

Stir well and pour over ham.
Bake at 325º for 25 to 30 minutes per pound of ham. Baste every 25 minutes and cover with loose foil after an hour and a half or so. Internal temperature should be around 160º if you have a meat thermometer.

Raisin Sauce

2 cups brown sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
Stir together and add...

2 cups raisins
1 cup water
4 Tbsp OJ
4 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt

Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, simmer until it thickens and raisins are nice and soft (Yes, you will have to taste the sauce to see if it is done because it is sort of subjective. Try not to eat it all before the ham is ready and the guests arrive.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jennifer's Seafood in Garlic Cream Sauce

Snow peas
Red pepper
3/4 cup crab
1 pound shrimp (50 to 60 sized)
Lemon juice

Heavy cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar
1/4 cup white wine

Saute onions in butter.
Add broccoli, carrots, snow peas, red pepper, whatever, chopped fairly small to saute quickly and retain colour.

In another sauce pan make sauce. Saute garlic (as much as you like) in butter until soft. Add cream.
Beat two egg yolks, temper with the hot cream and add back to sauce and whisk.
Add 1 1/2 cups of your favourite shredded cheese. I used aged white cheddar.
Stir until thickened and creamy.
Add 1/4 cup white wine and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add 3/4 cup of crab (Costco) and as much shrimp (I like the 50-60 size) as you want to the veggies and toss to warm up.

Top with the sauce and garnish with fresh ground pepper, a wee splash of lemon juice, and any other seasoning you want.


Update: I tried to thicken the sauce using Almond Flour, as an experiment. Almond Flour does not thicken things, probably because it has no starch. Instead it gave the whole recipe a weird mealy consistency which neither I nor my roommate cared for. I am probably going to throw away the leftovers. Warning: Don't thicken things with Almond Flour.

Brunswick Stew

1 full chicken breast
1 1/4 # ground pork
1 1/4 # ground beef
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp cayenne
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 summer squash, sliced

Cover chicken with salted water, and boil til cooked, about 20 minutes. Save stock.
Saute ground beef and pork
Finely chop or shred cooked chicken
Combine all ingredients except squash, add stock to just cover, and simmer about an hour and a half.
Add squash and cook 10 more minutes.
Mixture should be a fairly thick stew at this point.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crusty Italian or Viennese bread.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce

2 split chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 yellow onion, medium, chopped
1 zucchini squash, halved lengthwise then sliced thin

2 Tbsp butter
5 cloves garlic
3/4 cup cream

Melt butter
Saute smashed garlic
Add cream
Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to low to keep it warm.

Saute chicken pieces in 2 tablespoons olive oil until lightly browned.

Remove chicken from pan.

Add onion and celeray and cook over medium heat about five minutes until they start to look translucent. Add chicken, zucchini, and sage. Stir.

Cook covered about ten minutes or until zucchini has just a slight crunch. (I don't like the squash to get soggy so this is my measure for this dish.)

Serve in bowls and top with cream sauce. This would go nice over rice.

Braised Lamb

All I can really say about this one is a) Mmmmmmm and 2) lamb is not cheap!

2 1/2 pound boneless leg of lamb, cut in bite sized pieces
1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped coarsely (1/2 inch pieces)
3 celery sticks, chopped coarsely (see above)
olive oil
Red wine
fresh mint leaves, about 1/3 cup loosely packed
one lemon
3 Tbsp Lapsang Souchong tea
salt and pepper to taste

In a dutch oven or other deep, heavy pan, over medium high heat, sear the lamb pieces. Leave them alone for three to four minutes, stir, then leave for another two to three minutes. Remove from pan. (Searing means you do not want oil and you do not want the meat packed together tightly. I did mine in two batches.)

Lower heat to medium, add 1/4 cup olive oil to pan and add onion and celery. Stir fry for about three minutes.

Add 1/2 cup red wine to deglaze pan. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan.

Smash half the mint between your hands and add to vegetables. Add meat. Make a sachet out of the tea (wrap in cheesecloth and tie the top with string) and add to pot.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add water to just barely cover the mixture and give it a good stir. Taste. Whatever it tastes like seasoning-wise, this is about what the lamb will taste like. Add more S&P to taste as necessary.

Bring to a low simmer, cover but crack the lid slightly, and cook for about 2 1/2 hours.

Mix the remaining mint, a teaspoon or so of salt, some lemon peel, and the juice of about half the lemon in a bowl. Portion out the lamb and then put a little of the mint salad on top for a flavorful garnish.

I served this with a small salad with creamy dressing to contrast the mint and lemon. Wild rice would also be nice.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Various wonderful spice mixtures

You will probably notice, if you are a reasonably discerning person, that all four spice mixtures closely resemble each other. Don't be fooled. They are different and should be used accordingly.

Southwest Seasoning

2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp dried oregano

This one works great for any southwest flavored food and is a great substitute for those Taco Seasoning packets.

Emeril's Essence

2 1/2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
1 Tbsp dried Thyme

This makes a decent addition to any recipe that you find a little bland. Quiches, chicken, pork chops, etc. Experiment. Go crazy.

Pork Rub

1/2 c black pepper
1/2 c paprika
1/2 c turbinado sugar (aka raw sugar)
1/4 c salt
4 tsp dried mustard
2 tsp cayenne

I use this for my Pulled Pork BBQ (watch this space as summer arrives) and for sprinkling on chops and ribs that are headed for the BBQ. It really adds flavor.

Wild Willy's Beef Rub

3/4 c paprika
1/4 c ground black pepper
1/4 c salt
1/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion powder
2 tsp cayenne

Mostly to sprinkle on steak or beef ribs before they hit the BBQ.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Na'an (Indian style bread loaves)

I don't make this often. It is so good that I would just sit and eat the loaves until they were gone. Not great for watching my weight. They also take some advance planning as they have to rise for about two hours.

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast
5 oz warm water (140º works nicely)
2 c flour
3 oz melted butter (or ghee if you have access or make your own)
1 tsp salt
1 egg yolk, beaten

Combine sugar, yeast, and water. Whisk well and rest until it froths up.
Sieve flour and salt to mix them thoroughly. (In practice I generally just mix them with a whisk in the mixing bowl.
Make a well and pour in yeast mixture and melted butter.
Mix together with your fingers. Rub your hands with a little butter and knead to make a soft smooth dough, about five minutes.
Cover dough and allow to rise for about two hours.

Divide into six portions and gently roll into small loaves on a lightly floured surface.

Brush with egg yolk.

Bake on greased baking tray for 10 to 15 minutes at 450º.

Serve immediately and be prepared to have people swooning at the goodness of them.

Moroccan Stew

Looks like stew. Picture will follow next time I make it.

One recipe Berber Spice Mixture
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 pound stew beef
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 zucchini, sliced
1 crookneck squash, sliced

Saute onion, peppers, carrots, and garlic in oil for about five minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Add stew beef in small handfuls and toss to brown. Lower heat and add Berber spice (the whole thing), tomatoes, squash, and stock. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes.

Check seasoning and add salt or pepper to taste.

Serve. This would go nicely with some Na'an bread or other soft loaves that could be torn apart rather than sliced.

B'har / Berber / Berbere / Bahar / Baharat

There seem to be as many recipes for Middle Eastern spice mixtures as there are people in the middle east who cook, and as many spellings as there are variations. I grew up eating food made with B'har, the internet lists bahar as the most common spelling that I can find, baharat is the Arabic word for spice, and berbere (the Ethiopian version) seems to have about the same ingredients.

My mother spent years cooking with b'har that she would purchase in bulk when she found it, not realizing that spices lose their flavor when stored for long periods of time. Recently she got back in touch with an Arabic friend (who used to look after us when we lived in Israel) and discovered that the friend makes her own. She is currently working on getting that recipe and it will be posted here once I have it from her.

This recipe is technically a berber that I used in my Moroccan stew recipe.

Berber Spice Mixture

2 Tbsp cumin seed or 1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp fennel seed
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp whole allspice berries
3 whole cloves
1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp grated ginger
Pinch saffron
2 Tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric

Grind with mortar and pestle or in spice grinder.
If you don't have either of the above you can just put it into the stew the way it is. I prefer the ground up option.

Beef Stroganoff Stew

Basically what you are seeing here is a low budget beef stroganoff (ie made with ground beef) with vegetables added so that it can be called a stew. Easy to make, tasty and filling.

Warning: All quantities are approximate as I tend to make these up as I go along.

2 tbsp olive oil (or any other oil you like cooking with)
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 red or green bell pepper
1 zucchini or crookneck squash, sliced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream

Saute onion and bell pepper over medium high heat for about two minutes.
Add beef in small handfuls, tossing frequently to brown the meat.
Add mushrooms and toss the whole thing. Cover for about two minutes.
Add squash and toss the whole thing. Cover and cook for ten minutes.
Stir in sour cream, bring to a boil, shut off heat and serve.

This can be served as is or over egg noodles.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread (from Betsy)

No pictures as I'm not eating or making much bread these days but a friend asked for bread recipes. So, by special request...

4 cups whole wheat flour
8 tsp salt
4 packages dry yeast (4 Tbsp if you buy bulk)
1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/8 pound)
1 cup honey
6 cups hot water (about 140º)

Mix well. Add whole wheat flour one cup at a time until ready to knead. Takes about twelve cups total, more or less. Knead five minutes. Let rise til double.

Shape into four loaves, let rise until double again.

Bake at 375º for 40 minutes.

Eat the first loaf with butter while hot. Mmmmmm. :)

Eleven Spice Chicken Stew

Naming food dishes is not my strong point. However, I created this the other day and it was good. If anyone has a better suggestion for a name let me know. The winner will receive a lifetime free subscription to my blog.

The spice mixture is a little tedious to make, and perhaps not all the entries are contributing to the final flavor, but it's what I put in and it worked.

Spice Mixture

1 Tbsp rosemary
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp sage
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp marjoram
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp garlic salt
2 Tbsp onion salt
2 Tbsp powdered chicken bullion
1 Tbsp powdered tomato bullion
1 Tbsp flour

Mix well.


2 pounds chicken breast in bite sized pieces
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 zucchini squash, sliced
1 crookneck squash, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
chicken stock

Toss chicken with spice mixture and set aside.
Saute onion and green pepper in olive oil until onion starts to turn translucent.
Add squash and stir for about one minute.
Add chicken and about a half cup of stock.
Cover and simmer until squash is tender, about ten minutes.

Serve over rice, rice noodles, or just plain in a bowl.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cheddar Jalapeno Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 large chicken breasts
12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2 jalapenos
1/4 cup tomatoes dried by the sun
4 strips thick cut bacon
salt and pepper

Season breasts with salt and pepper.
Mince jalapenos, chop tomatoes, mix with cheddar cheese.
Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and fill with cheese mixture.
Set filled chicken breasts in greased baking pan.
Cut bacon strips in half crosswise and lay two pieces over each chicken breast.
Bake at 350º for 50 to 60 minutes (internal temperature of breasts should be 180º)

Remove from oven and serve.

There will be a lot of juice from the chicken and the cheese. I ladle some of this over the breasts before serving.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Belgian Fondues au Fromage

1/4 cup butter
4 tbspn flour
1 1/2 cup milk
4 oz sharp cheese, grated
4 egg yolks
salt and pepper
1 egg, bread crumbs, and flour for coating
Oil for frying

Heat the butter til bubbly and blend in the flour. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, whisking til the flour/butter starts to bubble. Do not let it brown.
Heat the milk in a separate pan, then slowly add to butter and flour, whisking constantly.
(These two should be heated somewhat simultaneously so that the butter/flour mixture isn't cooling down while the milk heats.)
Cook until thick and bubbly, whisking frequently, then add cheese and stir until melted.
Cool slightly and stir in egg yolks, one by one.
Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Grease a flat dish and pour cheese mixture into it, cover with wax paper or saran wrap, and refrigerate until cold and firm.

Working quickly take spoonfuls of cheese and, with well-floured hands, form into little balls about the size of walnuts. Return to fridge to re-chill as rolling tends to warm the cheese slightly.

Dip each cheese ball in beaten egg, then bread crumbs. The easiest way to do this and minimize the mess is to use one hand for each operation. Dip the ball into the egg with one hand, drop into bread crumbs, push bread crumbs over the ball with your other hand, roll, lift, and shake off excess then place on a wax paper covered tray. Return to fridge and chill thoroughly.

Using a deep fryer or a skillet with at least an inch of oil, heat the oil to 375 degrees, and fry fondue a few pieces at a time. Turn with a spoon until a deep golden brown, then remove and drain on paper towels. (Do not, under any circumstances, pierce them.)

Serve warm.

This is a time consuming but wonderful recipe. The fondues can be frozen after coating with bread crumbs and then just thawed a little and fried when you need them. The recipe comes from Myriam Guidroz' Adventures in French Cooking from 1970. The book is long out of print but I've seen copies on ebay and Amazon if you want one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Calvin's Seafood au Gratin

1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound large shrimp or prawns
1/2 pound crab meat (I use imitation, mea culpa)
1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1 inch lengths
olive oil
4 cloves garlic
8 oz soft goat cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
1 to 2 oz freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg
2 Tbsp whipping cream
white pepper

12 to 16 oz cheese tortellini, cooked

Heat olive oil and butter.
Smash garlic and saute lightly.
Add scallops and brown lightly.
Add green onions and stir to mix. Saute for about 1 minute.
Remove from heat.

Mix goat cheese, and half Parmesan cheese in bowl.
Beat egg lightly with whipping cream and add to cheese. Stir to mix.
Mix in mozzarella, cooked scallop mixture, and rest of seafood. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Gently stir in cooked tortellini.

Grease four au gratin dishes. (I have four round ones with handles that I really like but you can use any small individual sized casserole dish. You will serve this in the baking dishes.)

Divide into four equal portions and top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Bake twenty minutes, then broil for three or four to brown the Parmesan cheese. Serve with some sort of vegetable side dish.

I made this up the other day cause I wanted something different and it was incredible. I left out the pasta because I am not eating carbs right now, and used 1/3 pound of each seafood and it fed my roommate and I with no leftovers (and no vegetables or side dishes).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mongolian Beef with Broccoli

1 lb flank steak

Meat marinade:
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tblsp cornstarch
2 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp sherry (I use Harvey's Bristol Cream)
1/2 tsp salt
white pepper

5 tbsp soy sauce (or 4 tbsp soy and 1 tbsp dark soy)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sherry
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp black bean garlic sauce
1 tbsp ground bean sauce
1 tsp dried chili pepper, crushed
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 oz bean thread, broken into two pieces
1 bunch green onions, chopped to about 1 inch

Broccoli florets

2 c oil

Steam broccoli florets until tender.

Cut steak across the grain into 1" x 1 1/2" x 1/8" pieces. I slice the flank steak lengthwise to make two long pieces, then slice each of these across into thin slices.
Mix with meat marinade and set aside.

Combine sauce ingredients.

Heat 1 1/2 c oil to very hot (275º to 300º). Add half bean thread, wait five seconds, flip, wait five seconds, remove. Repeat with second half bean thread and add both pieces to bottom of serving dish.

Add 1/2 c oil to cool to less than 250º. In two batches, fry beef for approximately 30 seconds. Remove beef and set aside. (Do not overcook the beef or it will lose its texture)

Drain off all but 2 tbsp oil and add sauce. Simmer for approximately two minutes to thicken.
Add beef, stir fry for 30 seconds, add green onion. Stir for 15 seconds.

Top bean threads with broccoli, top with steak, and pour cooked sauce over dish.