Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rene's Coleslaw

5 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 c almonds, toasted
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 c mayonnaise
1 tblsp sweet pickle relish
1 tblsp honey mustard
1 tblsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Combine cabbage, almonds, cranberries, green onions, and green pepper in a large plastic bowl with a snap-on lid. Combine all dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour dressing over slaw just before serving. Stir well.

Prep time: 10 minutes. Servings: 10-12.

Cowboy Beans

6 slices bacon, cut in pieces
1/2 c onions, choped
1 garlic clove, minced
16-oz. can baked beans
16-oz can kidney beans, drained
15-oz can butter beans or pinto beans, drained
2 Tbsp dill pickle relish or copped dill pickles
1/3 cup chili sauce or ketchup
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce, optional

Lightly brown bacon, onions, and garlic in skillet, drain. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Mix well.
Cover. Cook on low 5-7 hours or high 3-4 hours.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cheese Straws from Ina Garten

2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
Flour, for dusting
1 egg
1 T. water
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 t. minced fresh thyme (or try rosemary)
1 t. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Peheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board until it is 10-12 inches. Beat the egg with the water and brush
the surface of the pastry. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with 14 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, 12 t. of the thyme, 12 t. of the salt, and some pepper. With the rolling pin, lightly press the flavorings into the puff pastry. Cut each sheet crosswise with a floured knife or pizza wheel into 11 or 12 strips. Twist each strip and lay on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Trun each straw and bake for another 2 minutes. Don't overbake or the cheese will burn. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mike Chiarello's Baby Back Ribs with BBQ Sauce

3 racks baby back ribs, about 6 lbs total
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

BBQ Sauce:
2 tblsp EVOO
2 tblsp minced garlic
1 cup ketchup
1 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brewed espresso (or coffee)

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Cut each rack of ribs in half crosswise (between 2 ribs). Season with salt and pepper. Cover a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set 3 of the half-racks side by side on the prepared baking sheet and top each with another slab.

Bake the ribs, rotating the slabs top to bottom every 30 minutes, until tender, about 2 1/2 hours (I do 3 hours). Remove ribs from the oven and cover with a foil tent to keep them moist until you are ready to grill them.

Prepare the barbecue sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and saute until it is golden. Remove from heat and let the garlic cool in the oil. whisk in the ketchup, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, and espresso/coffee. Simmer gently for 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill, preheat a gas grill, or preheat an oven to 425 F. Brush the ribs generously with barbecue sauce. If you are grilling the ribs over charcoal, arrange the hot coals in a ring around the perimeter of the grill so that the ribs can cook in the center over indirect heat; if cooked directly over the coals, they would burn. If you are using a gas grill, adjust the flame so the ribs cook over indirect heat. Grill the ribs in a covered grill with the vents open, or bake them uncovered in the oven Baste occasionally with additional sauce until the ribs are lightly caramelized. Transfer the rib racks to a cutting board and cut into individual riblets. Serve immediately.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fluffy Potato Casserole

2 cups hot or cold mashed pottoes
1 large package (8 0z) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 T. all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (3 1/2 oz.) French-fried onions

Put the potatoes into the large bowl of your electric mixer. Add the cream cheese, chopped onion, eggs and flour. Beat at medium speed until the ingredients are blended, then beat at high speed until light and fluffy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chimichangas (best of food and wine)

Makes 12 servings

2 lb chuck roast, coarsely chopped
2 med potatoes, peeled and halved
1 large tomato, diced
1 green pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
Twelve 8- or 9- inch tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
oil for frying (we bake)
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded lettuce

In a large saucepan, combine the meat, potatoes, diced tomato, green pepper, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, sugar, and cumin. Add water just to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until soupy, about 1 1/4 hours. Break up the potatoes and simmer until thick, about 30 minutes longer. let cool slightly. Season with salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 325. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in oven for 10 minutes to soften.

Spread about 2 tblsp refried beans on each tortilla followed with a handful of grated cheddar cheese. Spoon a scant 1/2 cup of the meat and potato filling in the middle of each tortilla. Fold one side of the tortilla over the filling, then fold in the two adjacent sides. Finally, fold over the fourth side and place fold down on greased cookie sheet. Brush each tortilla with melted butter or beaten egg white.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Arrange on a platter. Serve with sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Strawberry Spinach Salad (Pam Klampe)

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 lb romaine lettuce, torn
1/2 lb baby spinach
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup pecans, toasted

To prepare dressing, combine first six ingredients (vinegar through poppy seeds) and
blend well. Dressing may be prepared in advance. To serve, toss dressing with
remaining ingredients.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Coffee Nudge

3/4 oz. dark creme de cacao
3/4 oz coffee liquor
1/2 oz brandy
6 to 8 oz. hot coffee (decaf espresso works)
1 1/2 oz whipped cream


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Potato-Leek Gratin

6 tbs. unsalted butter
4 lb leeks, white ad light green portions, cut into 1/4 inch rings
1 1/2 tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
6 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
3 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
3 lb. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4" slices
3 tbs minced chives

In a 12-inch nonstick fry plan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs of butter. Add the leeks and salt, stirring to coat the leeks with the butter. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the thyme, nutmeg, pepper and cream and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Wipe out the pan and grease with the remaining 1 Tbs. cutter.

preheat oven to 400 F

In a bowl, combine the cheeeses. Layer one-third of the potatoes in the fry pan and spread one-third of the keep mixture on top. Sprinkle with one-third of the cheeses, and then 1 Tbs of the chives. Repeat the layering 2 more times, reserving 1 Tbs of the chives.

Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking until the potatoes are tender and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Sprinkle the remaining chives on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

My Traditional Turkey Stuffing

1 bag seasoned bread stuffing
1 box Uncle Ben's long grain and wild rice mix
1 med onion
1/2 c. celery
1/2 cube margarine or butter
1-2 c. hot water with chicken bouillon
1 t. sage
1 t. salt

Cook rice according to package directions. Saute onion and celery in butter. Add the rest of ingredients. Mix lightly and stuff into washed and drained turkey cavities.

Variations: I add sauteed mushrooms, 1 lb pork shoulder. If you use pork lighten the mixture with 3-4 eggs beaten. Toss in when you mix all ingredients together, above.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Potato Rolls

To TWO cups boiling water add:
1/4 c. instant mashed potatoes
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. cold butter
1 egg

Add two packages yeast(1/2 ounce) after the butter has melted and the egg has been incorporated. The temperature of the mixture should be about 110 degrees at this point. Check it if you're not sure. Then add 6 cups white flour beating well after each cup until
too thick for beaters. I do all this in my large mixer. Add remaining flour by hand.
Raise the dough twice punching down after each rise.
Form rolls and raise again.
Bake @ 425 about 10 minutes

Makes 3 dozen depending on size.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Helen's Fried Cheese Balls with Chili Mayo

Helen's Fried Cheese Balls with Chili Mayonnaise

For Cheese Balls
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup find bread crumbs
5 drops Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
vegetable oil, for frying

For Chili Mayo
1 cup mayo
6 tblsp chili sauce (I would reduce this...very hot!)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (go slow...very spicy mayo)

1. To make cheese balls: cover a cooling rack with three layers of paper toweling. In a bowl, combine cheese, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and beaten egg. Roll dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Set aside.

2. To make the chili mayo: Combine mayonnaise, chili sauce, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl and mix well. Cover and chill until ready to use.

3. Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 375 F in a heavy, deep, flat-bottomed pan or electric fryer. Use a slotted spoon to transfer balls, one at a time, into hot oil. Fry balls in batches of four (to keep oil temperature from dropping), turing once, until both sides are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with slotted spoon to prepared rack. Cover with additional paper towels and allow to drain. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 F oven until ready to eat. Serve with Chili Mayonnaise.

Portuguese Red Kidney Bean Soup

1 lb dried kidney beans, rinsed (I used canned pinto and black beans)
4 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
2 tblsp tomato paste
7 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups canned tomato puree
8 oz. (1 link) chorizo sauce (suggest 6 links and using 1/2 andouille sausage)
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (use 2+)
1 tblsp red wine vinegar

Place beans in bowl, add cold water to cover, and let soak overnight. The next day, drain beans and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.

Heat 3 tblsp of the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk tomato paste with chicken stock and add to pot. Add salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, tomato puree, and drained beans (if using canned I suggest waiting until you add chorizo to add beans) and stir with wooden spoon to mix. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add chopped chorizo and cook about 15 minutes, or until slightly crispy.

Add cooked chorizo and browned bits from the bottom of the pan (and canned beans), to soup pot. Cover and continue cooking another 30 minutes. Add macaroni and vinegar. Simmer, covered, another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. If beans are still a little firm, continue cooking 15 minutes more. Store leftover soup in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup submitted by Anya

4 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
1 slice onion
4 whole cloves
2 c. chicken broth
2 T. butter
2 T all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
2 t. white sugar, or to taste

1. In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Discard any stuff left over in the food mill.

2. In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with sugar and salt and adjust to taste.
(Anya used canned tomatoes and added celery, carrots and oregano into the stockpot.)

Serves 6

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Steak and Chimichurri Toasts

1 c packed fresh parsley
3/4 c olive oil, plus additional
for brushing the toasts
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. dried oregano
2 t. ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. dried crushed red pepper
Two 1-lb pieces flank steak
Freshly ground black pepper
16-0z thin French bread baguette, cut into 40 slices

To make the chimichurri sauce, in a food processor combine the parsley, 3/4 c. olive oil, vinegar, oregano, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth, then set aside.
Place the steaks in a large glass baking dish, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush about 2 tablespoons chimichurri sauce over the steaks, then refrigerate the remaining sauce. Cover the steaks with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour (or up to a day.)
Preheat oven to 450 F. Place the bread slices on a large baking sheet, then brush them lightly with olive oil. Bake the bread until just firm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large plantter.
Prehead the broiler.
Tansfer the steaks to a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium.
Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Cut each steak in half along the grain. Cut each half crosswise against the grain into 10 slices. Top each bread slive with 1 piece of meat and a bit of chimichurri sauce.
Arrange the toasts on a platter and spoon remaining sauce into small bowl and place in a center of the platter. Serve warm or let stand up to 2 hours at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vegetable Pot Pie from Stacey

Winter Vegetable Ragout

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 cups chopped leeks, white and pale green portions only

1 cup thinly sliced fennel

2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic

12 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

12 ounces rutabagas or turnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

12 ounces sweet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or tarragon (I did tarragon…yum)

½ cup dry white wine

About 2 cups homemade vegetable stock or chicken stock, reconstituted vegetable bouillon, or canned chicken broth, low-sodium type

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ cup half and half

salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

1 egg white beaten for moistening

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon cream for glaze.

Prepare pastry and chill.

To make ragout, melt 3 tblsp of the butter with the oil in a heavy stew pot such as a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and fennel and sauté until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, carrots, rutabagas or turnips, parsnips, potatoes, and about half of the herbs and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stock, bouillon, or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and transfer the vegetables to a separate bowl. Melt the remaining 3 tables of butter in the cooking pot. Add the flour and cook, whisking or stirring, for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk or stir in the cooking liquid and half and half. Simmer until the liquid is thickened to sauce consistency about 5 minutes. Combine the sauce, vegetables, and the remaining herbs and spoon the mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole or into 6 shallow baking dishes such as quiche dishes, measuring 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until quite cold.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough about ¼ inch thick. Using a ruler as a straight edge and a sharp knife or rolling pastry cutter, cut into long strips about ½ inch wide. Surround the edge of the dish with a strip of dough and pinch the edges to form a decorative pattern. Cut the dough strips to a length that will fit across the top of the casserole. Crisscross the dough strips to form a lattice design over the filling. Moisten the ends of each dough strip with beaten egg white and press together with the strip surrounding the dish edges. Pinch off any excess dough and smooth the edges with your fingers. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg glaze. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Alternatively, roll out the dough to fit the top of the baking dish, allowing for an overlap of 1-½ inches. Place the dough over the top of the dish and press with fingers to secure the edges to the baking dish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat an oven to 450 F. Bake the pie for 0 minutes, ten reduce the heat to 350 F and continue baking until the crust is golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Spicy Cream Cheese Pastry (I used store bought which was great)

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

In a bowl combine the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir together. Using a pastry blender or two knives, but in the butter and cream cheese to form a soft dough. Alternatively, combine the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the butter and cream cheese and process with short pulses until the dough just sticks together.

Gather the dough into a ball, enclose in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill for at least 30 minutes or for up to several hours.

Makes top crust for 1 large pot pie, or 3 individual pies.

Monday, July 6, 2009


3 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
1/2 c. pecans, chopped
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. real maple syrup

Mix together. Spray baking sheet.

Bake 40 minutes @ 300 degrees, stirring occasionally

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Toasted Pound Cake with Citrus Cream

Pound Cake:
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (10.75-ounce)frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into 9 (1-inch)slices
2 T. butter, melted
1/3 c. honey, for drizzling

Citrus Cream:

8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 T. fresh orange juice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 t. orange zest
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large oranges, segmented

For the pound cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.  Arrange the pound cake in a single layer on the prepared pan.  Brush with the melted butter and drizzle with honey.  Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly golden.  Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

For the citrus cream:  In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat all the ingredients together until stiff peaks form, about 1 minutes.

To assemble:  spoon the citrus-cream filling on the cooled pound cake slices.  Top with orange  segments and serve.

Tri-Colore Orzo

1 pound orzo pasta
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet.  Drizzle the pasta with 3 T. olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.  

Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine.  Serve

(Next time I will mix the cooled pasta with everything but the arugula and serve it on top of the arugula.)  

Chicken or Steak with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

For the Balsamic BBQ Sauce:

1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

For the chicken or steak:

4 pieces chicken (any combination of breast or leg-and-thing pieces) or 4 pieces of New York strip or Club strip steak
Salt and pepper to taste

For the BBQ Sauce:

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.  Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

For the chicken or steak:

Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.  Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.  Lightly coat with some of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill.  Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over low heat or on the edge of the grill and allow to gently simmer while the meat cooks.

Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side.  Cook the steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until a meat thermometer reads the desired temperature, 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 for medium(about 6 minutes per side), 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side).  Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes.  Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes.  Serve with the heated BBQ sauce alongside.

Alternately, the chicken can be baked in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken.  Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

Roman Summer Salad

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup pitted green and black olives, halved
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped (I use anchovy paste)
2  T. capers, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)


Cook the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until thick, syrupy, and measuring 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Combine the olives, parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and toss to combine.

To serve, slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place, slightly overlapping, on a serving plate.  Spoon the olive and parsley mixture over the tomatoes.  Drizzle the reduced balsamic over he salad and serve.