Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mustard and dill Brussels Sprouts

No, you can never have too many ways to prepare Brussels's just a fact of life!

Mustard and dill Brussels Sprouts

Up to 1 lb of Brussels Sprouts, quartered
2 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 T whole-grain mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 T chopped fresh dill
Dash of salt and pepper

Steam or microwave the sprouts until just tender.  Whisk the other ingredients together in a serving bowl.  Add the sprouts and toss to coat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hazelnut dressing

I adapted this recipe from one available from Hannaford's Fresh magazine.  It was too heavy on the vegetables vs the bread for me, and it needed a bit of the rosemary flavor that they were baking into their turkey.  You can see the original recipe at the link, and here is my version:

Hazelnut Dressing

2 c hazelnuts, chopped (one bag of unshelled or 8 oz shelled)
Olive oil
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced thinly
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
Vegetable cooking spray
8 to 10 slices of oat nut bread
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1 T fresh sage, chopped
1-1/4 c broth, turkey, chicken, or vegetarian broth
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 325.  Toast the hazelnuts over medium heat in a large nonstick pan for about 3 minutes.  Put them into a large mixing bowl.  Cook the leeks and mushrooms in oil over medium heat, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 15 minute, until the mushrooms have given up their liquid.

Meanwhile, cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes and spread them out on a large baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray and toast in the oven at 325 for 12 to 15 minutes.  Put them in the bowl with the nuts.

Add the herbs to the mushroom mixture and add to the bowl, tossing all ingredients together.  Mix the broth and eggs together in a large measuring cup.  Spray a large covered casserole or a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray and fill with the bread mixture.  Pour the broth mixture over, turning a bit to coat.  Cover with either a lid or with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cioppino with fennel

I shared a Cioppino recipe before that is based on onions, ginger, and garlic and is just delicious, so I wasn't really in the market for a new way to make Cioppino...until fennel, leeks, and small red potatoes came along.

Now I'm not sure which I like better, so we'll just have to alternate ;-)

Cioppino with Fennel

2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 - 3 leeks, white and pale green parts thinly sliced
Olive oil
12 oz small red potatoes, quartered
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
Oregano and basil to taste
16 oz clam juice
1/2 c red wine
Additional water as needed (start with 1 c)
1 t fennel seeds
1/2 t cayenne pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
3 lbs fresh seafood (we like l lb each of white fish, shrimp, and scallops)

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, saute the fennel and leeks for about 10 minutes in olive oil.  Add the red potatoes and the tomato juice and add the spices to taste.  Add the juice, wine, water, fennel seeds, and pepper flakes and bring to a boil.  Drop the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper as needed.  Do not add the fish until close to time to serve.  You can store the soup base at this point until later if you'd like.

Chop the fish into bite-sized pieces and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the scallops and simmer for about 4 minutes.  Add the shrimp (assuming it's pre-cooked) and heat through before serving.  Serve with sourdough bread.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bacon-bourbon jam

Decadent doesn't even begin to do this condiment justice.  Actually, I'm not sure condiment is exactly the right term.  Even though Bacon-Bourbon Jam is great smeared on a bagel, sometimes it's even better right off a spoon.  Ok, enough said.

Is it healthy?  Are you kidding?
Is is good for you?  Definitely yes!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fudgy chocolate cookies, with or without heat

Since I wasn't sure how chocolate cookies with chili spice would be received (I knew that I'd like 'em, at least!), I split the batter into two parts and added heat to one, but rolled the other half in extra sugar.  The reactions were mixed.  No surprise, people who like spicy foods mostly liked the Mexican-inspired spicy cookies.  Purists and folks who aren't so crazy about heat preferred the sweeter version.

I used the recipe from Hannaford's Fresh magazine, cutting the spice by half since it was only going in half the batch.  I used red pepper flakes to decorate the tops of the spicy ones.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sweet and sour barbecued drumsticks

These chicken drumsticks can be grilled or cooked in the oven.  It's kind of nice to have alternatives in the wintertime...

Sweet and Sour Barbecued Drumsticks

2 lbs chicken drumsticks
2 t vegetable oil
1 T fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 clove of garlic, crushed or minced
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/4 c pineapple juice
1/4 c ketchup
1 T lime juice
1 t Worcestershire sauce
2 T soy sauce
2 T brown sugar

Mix oil through brown sugar in a ziploc bag.  Dip out about 1/3 c and refrigerate.  Add drumsticks to the bag and turn to coat.  Marinate for several hours in the refrigerator, turning from time to time.

When ready to cook, either grill the chicken, brushing on the reserved sauce in the last few minutes, or bake in the oven.  Place foil in a baking pan and spread out the chicken.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Brush with reserved sauce on all sides, increase the temperature to 400, and continue baking for another 25 minutes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mushroom strata

I posted a recipe for my favorite Spinach Strata quite awhile ago, but I recently ran across a new blend that I think I might like even more.  This one is lighter on the cheese and heavier on the eggs, so it really depends upon your taste.  Maybe, like me, you'll love them both :-)

Check out the Country Breakfast Strata on the Hannaford website.  I made a half-sized version of it, and it came out just fine...when everyone's at home next time, I'll make this honking big version for them!  make sure you cook the mushrooms long enough for them to give up most of their liquid, otherwise it takes extra time for the strata to firm up properly.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Steel cut oatmeal

Is there a difference between steel cut and rolled oats.  Oh yeah, baby!  I like them both, and rolled oats are convenient for daily consumption (not the quick-cook type...yuk), but nothing beats a hearty bowl of steel cut oatmeal.  And now there's a super easy way to prepare it, and you don't even have to stir.  Just use your rice steamer!

I'll include the proportions and time that worked for me, but basically the first time you try this, you'll have to check it periodically and see how it's doing.  After that, stress-free oatmeal.  If you've got a steamer that has a timer, you could even have oatmeal waiting for you after your morning shower!

Steel Cut Oatmeal
to serve 2

2/3 c oats
1-2/3 c milk or vanilla soy milk
Flavorings like vanilla, cinnamon, a dash of salt, maple syrup (all optional)
Dried fruit

The proportions are 1 to 2-1/2, oats to liquid.  Steam for 55 minutes.  I stir in the dried fruit after the steaming is complete.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Apple pie for π Day

π π π  Happy Pi Day!!  π π π

So many recipes for apple pie, so little time to try them all!  With the exception of the insipid frozen apple pies that you can buy in the freezer section, I've never met an apple pie I didn't like.  All that aside, I have been working on and modifying my own favorite recipe for years.  Back in 2002, Ina Garten shared a recipe that became my staple for quite some time.  That is, until Alton Brown came along a convinced me to modify it somewhat again. 

So here is my current version.  It is not their faults, either of them, if you're not nuts about my pie ;-)

And for your entertainment on this glorious Pi Day, don't miss the video I posted last year!

Apple Pie

Approximately 5 - 6 apples, in this mixture:
2 Granny Smith, 2 Braeburn, 1 Honeycrisp, 1 Golden Delicious

1 lemon, zested
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c flour
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice

Double piecrust

Prepare your pie dough and refrigerate it until ready to roll.

Peel, halve, and core the apples.  Cut each half into 6 equal slices.  Combine the apples with the other ingredients in a large bowl and set aside to drain a bit.  Roll out the bottom crust and ease it into a deep dish.  Fill the pie with the apples, placing them carefully in a spiraling pattern rather than just dumping them in.  Pour drained juices and spice mixture over the top.  Top with the second crust and crimp the edges.  Slash the top or use a steam release bird.  Bake on a baking sheet at 400 for around an hour or a bit more.  Cover the edges of the crust if it browns too much.  The juices should be bubbling out when the pie is done.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pennsylvania Dutch Cabbage

I'm not real big on sauerkraut, but I looooove Pennsylvania Dutch Cabbage.  With less vinegar and more sweet ingredients that kraut, this stuff is great.  I've written up the recipe exactly as it was given to Mom.

From my mother's friend Valery Sahrle to RuthAnn Lavin:  "So Good!  So German!  Enjoy!"

Pennsylvania Dutch Cabbage (Dampfkraut)

Cabbage 4 cups shredded
Bacon 4-5 slices diced
Onion 1 medium diced
1 apple peeled & cored & sliced
2-4 tbls vinegar
Caraway seeds optional

Fry bacon until crisp remove drain half the drippings save.  Saute onion until tender, add cabbage, apple, a little water, vinegar.  Cover to get started, stirring often.  Add bacon.  Cook until brown & golden, remove lid half way through, fry down, add more vinegar to taste if you want it tart-(er)  Add caraway seeds if you like.  I make it ahead if entertaining.  Can do day before, warm 350, 40-60 minutes.
Serves 6-8

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another lentil stew

Oh this is soooo good.  If you like figs and spice, and we really like figs and spice in our house.  I made a batch of the Lentil, Sweet Potato, and Fig Stew exactly as instructed by the Hannaford recipe.  I ended up adding more water than they called for (you can also use stock instead), and I left out the optional cilantro as we are just not huge fans.  But oh my...we are definitely fans of this stew.  I made a second batch - a double batch actually - to share at a potluck later in the week.  We didn't bring much of it home.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lentil vegetable stew

This is an incredibly versatile (and tasty) lentil concoction!  You can serve it plain as a stew, you can serve it over Basmati rice, or you can add more vegetable stock and some spinach and make it into a soup.  You can add a dollop of yogurt and make it creamy, either with or without the spinach.

No matter what, it's just darned good stew!

Lentil Vegetable Stew

Vegetable oil
Large onion, chopped
2 T fresh ginger, minced
1-1/2 t garam masalah (my favorite mix)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
4 c water
2 c green lentils, rinsed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
2 c vegetable broth
Options: additional broth, fresh spinach, a dollop of yogurt, Basmati rice. 

Prepare rice if you are going to serve the stew over it.  In a large sauce pot or dutch oven, cook the onion in oil until soft and lightly browned.  Stir in the spices and garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the water through the salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and  cover, simmering until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

Serve as is, or serve over rice.  Add spinach if desired, additional broth to make a soup, and top with yogurt if desired.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mashed gouda cheese potatoes

Choose a smoky-flavored gouda cheese and some thick-cut applewood bacon for this heavenly dish.  These potatoes are so high in fat it's ridiculous...make them as often as you dare, but keep an eye on your cholesterol!

Mashed Gouda Cheese Potatoes

4 thick-cut slices of applewood bacon
2 - 3 scallions, chopped white and pale green parts only
3 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3/4 c sour cream
1/2 c milk
2 c (8 oz) smoked Gouda cheese, coarsely grated

Cook the bacon until crisp.  Place on paper towels and set aside.  Meanwhile, boil up a large pot of water with salt and cook the potatoes until soft, about 15 minutes.  Drain and return to pot.  Mash them with half the crumbled bacon and scallions, the full amount of sour cream and milk, and 3/4 of the cheese.  Top with the rest of the cheese and bacon before serving.  Keep warm in a 375 oven if needed. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Roasted carrots with thyme and lemon juice

The splash of fresh lemon juice at the very end of cooking brightens up the earthy flavor of these roasted carrots.

Roasted Carrots

Olive oil
Carrots, cleaned
Shallots, chopped
2 t fresh thyme or 1/2 t dried
Fresh lemon juice

Heat the oven to 425.  Oil the pan and add the carrots and shallots, covering with foil for the first 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and add the seasonings.  Cook for 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Toss with lemon juice just before serving.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stuffed squash

There was a terrific recipe in Hannaford's Fresh magazine for Acorn Squash with Double Mushroom Stuffing that we just had to try.  It was very very tasty just as they presented it, but it got me to thinking about what other stuffings might be good with squash.  We love acorn, buttercup, butternut...basically all the hard-skinned squashes.  But not everyone in the family is crazy about mushrooms, so I decided to come up with another squash-stuffing mixture that they would like.

Butternut Squash with Orzo Stuffing

2 butternut squash, cut in half and seeded
Cooking spray
2 slices of bacon
Bacon grease or 2 T olive oil
Onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Red pepper, chopped
2 t fresh thyme
1 c orzo pasta
1 1/2 c vegetable or chicken broth
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Bake the squash at 400, face down in an inch of water for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Fry bacon in a nonstick skillet until crisp.  Remove and set aside.  Save some of the grease or replace it with olive oil and cook the vegetables and thyme until softened.  Add pasta, and broth, cooking until pasta is soft and the broth has been absorbed or boiled down.  Add crumbled bacon just before stuffing the squash, and garnish with Parmesan cheese.