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.