Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Baked Mac-and-Cheese Bites (www.purewow.com)

Ingredients:
1 pound small elbow pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
2 cups grated yellow cheddar cheese, divided


Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two mini-muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. Recipe makes approximately 48 muffins.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow pasta and cook according to the package instructions, about 7-9 minutes. Drain.
3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
4. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly.
5. Add the milk and whisk well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat stirring frequently.
6. Season the sauce with the cayenne pepper (if using), salt and pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the white cheddar and 1 1/2 cups of the yellow cheddar. Stir until the mixture is melted.
7. Stir in the cooked pasta and mix until it is every coated with the sauce. Scoop 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the mac-and-cheese mixture into each cavity of the prepared pans.
8. Sprinkle a few pieces of yellow cheddar on top of each mac-and-cheese bite and then transfer the pans to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and the bites become golden, 17-20 minutes.
9. Let the bites cool for 15 minutes before unmolding and serving. Serve hot or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Clear Toy Candy Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
3 ounces water
1 teaspoon of natural flavoring
Coloring (Green, Red, Yellow)

Directions:
Combine sugar, cream of tartar and water in a saucepan and heat slowly stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat and cook to 310 degrees.

Total cooking time is approximately 25 minutes. Add a few drops of coloring and the flavoring before the final temperature is reached.

Assemble the mold prior to starting candy. Use a thick rubber band to hold the mold together.

Pour syrup into molds slowly. Fill each mold about halfway on first pass and do a second pass filling to the top. If you fill too quickly the molds may overflow.

Insert lollipop sticks immediately and let cool (approximately 5-8 minutes). If sticks lean after insertion straighten as the liquid hardens.

Separate two halves of mold. Remove candy from mold by slowly lifting the stick. If you remove the candy before it has cooled, shape may droop. If Hoya wait too long candy may break. Denser shapes take a little longer to harden. If difficulty in opening use knife point to pry open.

Makes 8 individual clear toys (two molds). Store in a cool, dry place.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Sage Sausage


Photo courtesy of  Chelsea Imbler




















Ingredients:
  1. 1 pound ziti or rigatoni noodles, cooked to al dente
  2. 1 pound sage sausage (can substitute for sweet Italian)
  3. 1/2 onion, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 4 sage leaves, chopped
  7. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  8. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  9. pinch of cinnamon
  10. 1/2 cup dry white wine (like chardonnay)
  11. 1 cup vegetable stock
  12. 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  13. salt and pepper to taste
  14. 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


   Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Brown the sausage in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the fat is rendered and the sausage is no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.
  3. In the same skillet, add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt / pepper to taste. Cook one more minute.
  4. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. The heat should remain to medium high. Add the stock and stir in the pumpkin puree. Mix until everything is incorporated. The pumpkin will thicken the sauce.
  5. Stir in the sausage and transfer to a large bowl with the pasta. Mix until combined.
  6. Transfer back to your cast iron skillet (or a baking dish) and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes until bubbly.
  7. Garnish with sage and parsley. Fried sage is good too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Easy Chicken Santa Fe

Ingredients:
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup bottled thick and chunky salsa
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. In a 3 1/2 or 4 quart electric slow cooker, mix together the beans, corn, and 1/2 cup of salsa. Top with the chicken breasts, then pour the remaining 1/2 cup salsa over the chicken.
2. Cover and cook on the high heat setting 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the chicken is tender and white throughout; do not over cook or the chicken will toughen.
3. Spinkle the cheese on top, cover, and cook until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Rye Crisp

1 cup swiss cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup crisp bacon ; crumbled (4 strips)
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon worsterchire sauce
1/4 cup onion chopped
1/2 of a 4 ounce can of chopped ripe olives

Mix and spread on rye cocktail bread. Cook at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

Rye Crisp

1 cup swiss cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup crisp bacon ; crumbled (4 strips)
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon worsterchire sauce
1/4 cup onion chopped
1/2 of a 4 ounce can of chopped ripe olives

Mix and spread on rye cocktail bread. Cook at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

Taco Tartlets (Cookery for Entertaining)


Ingredients:

Tortilla Chip Filling (see below)
1 lb lean ground beef
2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning mix
2 Tablespoons of ice water
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Tortilla Chip Filling:
1/2 pint dairy sour cream (1 cup)
2 Tablespoons of taco sauce
2 ounces of chopped ripe olives
3/4 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips


Directions:
Preheat oven to 425. Prepare tortilla chip filling and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix beef, taco seasoning mix and ice water with hands. Press into bottom and sides of 1 1/2 inch miniature muffin cups, forming a shell. Place a spoonful of filling into each shell, mounded slightly. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over tops. Bake 7-8 minutes With the tip of a knife, remove tartlets from pan. Serve immediately or cool and freeze.

Makes about 30 appetizers

Variation:
For a main dish pie, substitute a 9 inch plate for muffin cups. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

French-Style Potatoes (Cookery for Entertaining)

Ingredients:
4 lbs. white rose potatoes
Boiling salted water
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions:
Peel potatoes. Slice inhale lengthwise. Cunt into 1-inch slices to make pieces about 1"x1"x 1/ 1/2 inches. cut a think strip of potato from corners, so edges are slightly rounded. To keep from discoloring, drop each slice as it is trimmed into a bowl of cold water. Drain. In a large saucepan, cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover for 5 minutes; drain. At this point, potatoes may be held at room temperature several hours or refrigerated covered overnight.

Before baking, preheat oven to 475. Place butter or margarine and oil in a 13x9 inch baking dish. Heat in oven until melted. Add potatoes and salt. Toss gently topcoat thoroughly. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden brown. Place on a platter. Sprinkle with Parsley, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Good Food Fast)

Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 large shallot, minced
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 cup coarsely chopped sundries tomatoes


Directions:

  1. Cut each chicken breast crosswise on the diagonal into 6 equal pieces
  2. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over moderately high heat. When foam begins to subside, add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute over moderate heat, turning, until the chicken is just opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon. Add the shallot to the skillet and saute, stirring, until softened, about 1 min.
  4. Add the cream, wine, marjoram, and sundries tomatoes. Bring to a boil over moderate heat heat and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened about, 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet. Simmer gently, spooning the sauce over the chicken until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Chile Colorado (Bon Appetite)



INGREDIENTS:

5 Ancho chilies (dried)
2 Passilla chilies (dried)
2 quajillos chilies (dried)
3 cups chicken stock
2 puonds of boneless pork shoulder (diced in ½ pieces)
Salt and Pepper
6 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

Directions:

Take 5 anchos, 2 pasillas, and 2 guajillos, and remove the stems and seeds. Look for chiles that are soft and pliable, like a raisin. If they are brittle, they are old and will be flavorless—don’t use them!
Cover chiles with 3 cups of boiling chicken stock and let them steam, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes until they are plump and tender. Put the chiles and all of the soaking liquid into a blender and purée until very smooth.
Cut 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder into ½” pieces, season with saltand pepper, and brown the meat in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil to keep it from sticking. Chop up abunch of garlic (about 6 garlic cloves) and throw it in the pot along withtwo bay leaves, a tablespoon of ground cumin, and a couple of teaspoons of chopped fresh sage and chopped fresh oregano(Mexican oregano if you have it). Stir that around for about a minute, or until very fragrant. Add in 5 cups of chicken stock and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Then, stir in the chile purée and simmer for another 45 minutes until the meat is very tender and the sauce is a thick, mahogany-red color. Season with additional salt and pepper.
My mom served this with Mexican rice, beans a la charra, and flour tortillas

Chile Colorado (Bon Appetite)



INGREDIENTS:

5 Ancho chilies (dried)
2 Passilla chilies (dried)
2 quajillos chilies (dried)
3 cups chicken stock
2 puonds of boneless pork shoulder (diced in ½ pieces)
Salt and Pepper
6 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

Directions:

Take 5 anchos, 2 pasillas, and 2 guajillos, and remove the stems and seeds. Look for chiles that are soft and pliable, like a raisin. If they are brittle, they are old and will be flavorless—don’t use them!
Cover chiles with 3 cups of boiling chicken stock and let them steam, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes until they are plump and tender. Put the chiles and all of the soaking liquid into a blender and purée until very smooth.
Cut 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder into ½” pieces, season with saltand pepper, and brown the meat in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil to keep it from sticking. Chop up abunch of garlic (about 6 garlic cloves) and throw it in the pot along withtwo bay leaves, a tablespoon of ground cumin, and a couple of teaspoons of chopped fresh sage and chopped fresh oregano(Mexican oregano if you have it). Stir that around for about a minute, or until very fragrant. Add in 5 cups of chicken stock and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Then, stir in the chile purée and simmer for another 45 minutes until the meat is very tender and the sauce is a thick, mahogany-red color. Season with additional salt and pepper.
My mom served this with Mexican rice, beans a la charra, and flour tortillas

Monday, July 18, 2016

Creamy Herb Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 (4.4 oz) package spreadable herb cheese (such as Boursin)
1 shallot, minced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 lemon tested and juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Brush chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper
2. Heat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken breasts until opaque and no longer pink. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. To the same skillet, heat remaining olive oil and sauce shallot and garlic with basil, oregano and tarragon for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
4. Stir in herb cheese, broth, lemon juice and zest and whisk together until smooth, then sprinkle in flour and whisk until incorporated.
5. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
6. Return chicken to skillet and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Almond Puff Loaf (King Arthur Flour)











Ingredients

  • FIRST LAYER:
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • SECOND LAYER:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • TOPPING:
  • 2/3 cup jam or preserves
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ICING:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons milk or water

Directions

  • 1. In a medium bowl, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
  • 2. Divide dough in half; shape each into a log. On a large greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the logs into 11-in. x 3-in. rectangles, leaving a 4-in. space between pastries.
  • 3. For second layer, bring water and butter just to a boil over medium heat. Add flour all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Transfer to a small mixing bowl; beat at medium speed for 30-60 seconds.
  • 4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny. Beat in extract. With a spatula, spread half over one pastry strip until the surface is completely covered. Repeat.
  • 5. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Spread warm pastries with jam; sprinkle with almonds.
  • 6. For icing, combine the sugar, vanilla and enough milk or water to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over pastries. Cut into strips or squares. Yield:16-20 servings.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Rustic Apple Tart (Martha Stewart)





















Ingredients:
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
Flour, for work surface
3 Granny Smith Apples
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water, for egg wash
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons apple jelly, or apricot jam

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Open pastry sheet and remove paper Fold sheet back up. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry c=sheet (still folded) to an 8-by-14-inch rectangle. Trim edges with a pizza cutter or sharp paring knife. Transfer to a baking sheet; place in freezer. Peel, core, and slice apples 1/4 inch thick.

Brush pastry with egg wash, avoiding edges. Use a sharp paring knife to score a 3/4 -inch border around pastry (do not cut all the way through). Place apples inside border, and dot with butter. Bake until pastry is golden and apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

In the microwave or a small saucepan, heat jelly with 1 tablespoon water until melted. Brush apples with glaze. Server tart warm or at room temperature, cutting into pieces with a serrated knife.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bacon Cure and How to Make Your Own Bacon


Snake River Farms Kiribato Pork Belly

















Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons of Prague Powder #1
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of maple syrup
10 pounds pork belly


Directions for Curing Bacon:
Mix the first 3 ingredients then add the maple syrup and stir to combine. Rinse the pork belly then place in either a 2 gallon ziplock bag or a large pleated food saver bag sealed on one end. Place approximately 1/3 of the cure on the fat side of the pork belly. Rub into the fat side of the belly then flip the pork belly over and place the other 2/3 of the cure on the meat side of the belly and rub into the pork belly. Seal the bag and brine for 7 days in the refrigerator. The pork belly should be flipped every day and the brine rubbed into the meat.






















Directions for Smoking After Curing

1. Set up smoker for indirect heat. I use a Big Green Egg so I use the plate setter with the feet up.
2. Start the charcoal
3. Adjust the temperature to 225 degrees
4. Add soaked apple wood chips
5. Rinse the pork belly and dry well with paper towels.
6. Place the pork belly on the smoker with the fat side down. It is ok to cut the pork belly in half if the pork belly is too large to fit on the grill. I had to do this and smoke in 2 batches.
7. Close up the smoker and allow the bacon to smoke for about 2 hours or until an internal temperature of 150 degrees is reached.
8. Remove the pork belly from the smoker and allow to cool then wrap in foil and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
9. Trim the belly into a form that is good for slicing (square up); I also remove the fat cap before slicing.
10. Slice into the thickness desired and package in 8 oz or 16oz packages then vacuum seal and freeze.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Laundry Detergent

Ingredients:
1/2 Bar of Fels Naphtha soap (grated)
1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/4 cup of Borax
Optional: Downey Scent

Directions:

1. Grate the 1/2 bar of Fels Naphtha with a cheese grater
2. Add grated soap to a medium sized sauce pan.
3. Add hot water to the soap and place over medium heat and mix until the mixture has completely melted.
4. Use an immersion blender to help make solution homogeneous
5. Add the mixture to a 5 gallon bucket and fill about half way with warm/hot water.
6. Rinse your sauce pan with soap into the bucket a few times to get all the soap into the 5 gallon bucket.
7. Add the Arm &Hammer, Borax and Downey Scent to the bucket then mix well with immersion blender.
8. Add additional warm water to the bucket to the 5 gallon line and mix either with a long handle spoon of the immersion blender.

Detergent can be put into 5 1 gallon bottles or left in gallon bucket if there is a lid for the bucket. If you leave in the bucket you should remix the solution prior to filling up your container that is used for doing the wash.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mississippi Pot Roast




Ingredients:
Chuck or Pot Roast 3-4 pounds
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder
1 package of McCormick's Au Jus powder mix
1 stick of butter
5-8 pepperoncini
1/4 teaspoons of pepper

Directions:
Trim any large areas of fat from roast as needed. Some fat is OK. Then place the meat into a large crock pot. Sprinkle the Ranch Dressing powder over the meat then sprinkle the Au Jus powder mix over the meat. Place the stick of butter on top of the meat. Sprinkle with pepper and add the pepperoncini.

Cover and cook on low (in crock pot) for 8 hours then shred the meat with a couple of forks. Place the gravy in a fat separator and drizzle some of the gravy over the "pulled" meat.  Serve with egg noodles and pass extra sauce.

So I have to say that this really did hit the mark for both easy of preparation and being very tasty. We made this for the Super Bowl 50 and it was a big hit with everyone. Allright, so it was just me and the wife but the good news is that my Food-Saver has been put to good use. I made 4 individual meal packs with about a cup of noodles, the roast and a bit of gravy. Looking forward to enjoying this again real soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olives

Photo by Chelsea




















Ingredients:
2 tablespoon(s) butter melted
6 skinned and boned chicken breasts
1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup(s) butter
3/4 cup(s) marsala wine
1/2 cup(s) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) pepper
1/4 cup of sliced sundries tomatoes
1/4 cup of pitted kalamata olives (hailed or sliced)1/2 cup(s) shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup(s) parmesan cheese
2 green onions chopped



Directions:
Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/8 inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour. Cook chicken in batches, in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Place chicken in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish, overlapping edges. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and butter. Reserving pan drippings in skillet.
Add wine and broth to skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and pepper. Toward the end of the cooking, add the sundries tomato and kalamata olives. Pour sauce over chicken. Combine cheeses and green onions; sprinkle over chicken.
Bake uncovered, at 450 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes until cheese melts.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bouchon Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients
1 3-to-3 1/2-pound butternut squash
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs sage
1 cup leek, sliced 1/8 inch slices
1/2 cup carrot, sliced in 1/8 inch slices
1/2 cup shallot, thinly sliced in 1/8 inch slices
1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced in 1/8 inch slices
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons honey
6 cups vegetable stock, more if needed
Bouquet Garni made of 8 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs Italian parsley, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, all wrapped in a packet made of 2 green leek leaves
1/4 cup creme fraiche 
Fresh nutmeg
olive oil
fried sage leaves
Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the neck off the squash and set it aside. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out and discard seeds. Brush each half inside and out with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the canola oil. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of sage into each. Place cut-side-down on the baking sheet and roast until completely tender, about 1 hour. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool, then scoop out and reserve the flesh (discard sage).
2. Meanwhile, using a paring knife, peel away the skin from the neck of the squash until you reach the bright orange flesh. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 4 cups).
3. Put the remaining canola oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots and onions and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes. Add the diced squash, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep the garlic and squash from coloring. Stir in the honey and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.
4. Add the roasted squash and simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and puree. Strain the soup through a fine sieve into a bowl. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Gently reheat the soup until just hot. If it is too thick, add a little more vegetable stock. Ladle the soup into six serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of creme fraiche with nutmeg and top with a couple of fired sage leaves. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil

Monday, January 4, 2016

White Chicken Enchiladas

















Ingredients

10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (See separate instructions and ingredients)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese ( I like the Kraft Tex Mex)
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream ( I use Greek yogurt)
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies (these are not hot)
1 small can of sliced black olives to garnish (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Add olives if using.
7.  Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

Shredded Chicken
2 boneless skin-less chicken breast halves
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 onion cut into 4 pieces
1 bayleaf
3 cloves of garlic, smashed

Directions:
Add 2 cups of chicken broth and the two chicken breasts to a medium sauce pan then add the remaining ingredients. Place over medium heat, covered for about 10 minutes then lower the heat to a slow simmer and continue to cook covered for 50-60 minutes.
When done cooking, remove the chicken to the bowl of a stand mixer and with a paddle attachment run at medium/low speed for about 90 seconds to shred the chicken breast meat.
Strain the broth and use for the recipe above.

Tomato Soup (Taste of Yum) - from Colleen

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • half of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth (more to thin out the soup at the end as needed)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • cream (optional - to add at the end as desired)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Fry the bacon in a large soup pot over medium low heat until bacon starts to get crispy and browned, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic to the bacon in the pan; saute for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are very aromatic and tender.
  3. Add the tomato paste - stir for a few minutes until you can see/smell the tomato paste starting to brown and caramelize. Add the flour and stir for a minute or so.
  4. Pour the tomatoes and their juice into a bowl and crush them with your hands. Add the broth, thyme, bay leaf, and tomatoes to the soup pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in batches and return to the pot. Add cream if you want.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Individual Chocolate Souffle (Cook's Illustrated)

















Ingredients
5tablespoons unsalted butter (1 tablespoon softened, remaining butter cut into ¼-inch chunks)
cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for coating the dishes
8ounces bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped coarse
teaspoon table salt
½teaspoon vanilla extract
1tablespoon orange liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
6large egg yolks
8large egg whites
¼teaspoon cream of tartar
2tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions:

This technique only works for the individual chocolate soufflés, which can be made and frozen up to two days before baking. For a mocha-flavored soufflé, add one tablespoon of instant coffee powder dissolved in one tablespoon of hot water when adding the vanilla to the chocolate mixture. If you are microwave oriented, melt the chocolate at 50 percent power for three minutes, stirring in the butter after two minutes.
1.Coat eight 1-cup ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter, then coat inside of dish evenly with the 1 tablespoon sugar; refrigerate until ready to use. 
2. Melt chocolate and remaining butter in medium bowl set over pan of simmering water. Turn off heat, stir in salt, vanilla, and liqueur; set aside.
3. Bring the 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons water to boil in small saucepan, then simmer until sugar dissolves. With mixer running, slowly add this sugar syrup to egg yolks; beat until mixture triples in volume, about 3 minutes. Fold into chocolate mixture. Clean beaters. 
4. Beat egg whites until frothy; add cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks; add confectioners’ sugar; continue beating to stiff peaks. (Mixture should just hold the weight of a raw egg in the shell when the egg is placed on top.) 
5. Vigorously stir one-quarter of whipped whites into chocolate mixture. Gently fold remaining whites into mixture until just incorporated, (see illustrations below). Fill each ramekin almost to rim, wiping excess filling from rim with wet paper towel. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.
6. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until fully risen, about 16 to 18 minutes. (Soufflé is done when fragrant and fully risen. Use two large spoons to pull open the top and peek inside. If not yet done, place back in oven.) Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (The Italian Dish Blog)
























Makes 2 loaves.  They freeze beautifully. You will need two 9x5 loaf pans.

1 cup milk
¾ cup water
⅓ cup butter
about 7½ cups cups of flour (more or less)
6 Tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons of instant dry yeast (fast acting yeast) or 2 packages of active dry yeast 
(I prefer instant yeast)*
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of raisins (optional)
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted 

Combine milk, water and ⅓ cup butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are warm (not hot - it will kill the yeast). Remove from heat and stir until butter is melted.

Place 6 cups of flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl. If you're using a KitchenAid mixer, attach your dough hook.  Mix for a few seconds and then gradually add the eggs.  Mix and then add the liquids and mix for a couple of minutes. (If you are not using a mixer, just do this process in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon and then your hands).

Add remaining flour until dough clings to the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl.  Add  just enough flour until the dough gathers into a ball.  Knead for about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and set in a warm location; let rise until double, about 40 minutes.

Combine ½ cup of sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Spray the loaf pans with non-stick spray. 

Punch the dough down and divide in half. Roll each half to a 9"x14" rectangle, Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture.  Roll dough tightly and shape into loaves. Place in the loaf pans. Cover; let rise until double, about  40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 F degrees.

Bake at 375 F for 35 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and let cool on wire racks.
To freeze, wrap tightly.