My Wonderful World

W e l c o m e... And Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cozumel Cooking!

What a wonderful Cooking Experience!!   Playamia.com was featured by our Carnival Inspiration staff and they hit a home run with their suggestion. Our Chef Luis helped us create good food and even better plate presentations!  And we all became "more gifted" at our craft with una más cerveza!

Our three course menu included a fabulous homemade huarache with diced potato and traditional Mexican chorizo served with lettuce, cheese and cream, a Veracruz style fish filet wrapped in banana leaves and a triple tower dessert of lime pastry cookies with rice pudding topped with strawberry sauce. 


And it was a real treat to meet nine new "foodies" that enjoyed cooking, dining and imbibing!  Senior Frog in Cozumel will never be the same!!  Thanks to my nine new "foodie" friends for making this shore excursion one I will never forget. 


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Mexico

What a beautiful Mexican Cruise on the Carnival Inspiration!   It was so nice to be in Mexico on Christmas Day....sun...fun and met some wonderful new friends!  


Christmas Morning Sunrise

The Ship's Pastry Chef was AMAZING!





Early Morning on the Lido Deck

So many things to share and will be doing that in the next few days.   Meanwhile, wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comfort Foods

I enjoy the fine dining experience immensely...but nothing beats a Comfort Food meal at home.   Growing up on a farm, many meals we shared at the kitchen table would and could qualify as comfort food.   Some that come to mind....Mac & Cheese, Chicken and Dumplings, Great Northern Bean Soup with home made bread,  Salmon Patties..My  blessed mother could always fill the table and fill our bellies with good food.    As I have lost Mom and continue to "age" myself, I find those foods an absolute essential for our table too.  

Last week I roasted a sirloin pork roast.   Quite a value in grocery budget at $1.69 per pound.   I found one roast with a small bone and 98% of the roast was usable.   Belle, our sweet dog enjoyed that part of the meal.  

Last evening, I was scouring the refrigerator for something to make for supper.   I found the left over pork and about 1 cup of leftover gravy.   Also, a cup of leftover baby carrots caught my attention.   

I took the pork chunks and cut into small bite size pieces and added to stock pot.  Sauted with a tablespoon of oil.  Added gravy and carrots.   The gravy was a little thick and I thinned it with a cup of water.  Let it simmer for 30 minutes and then added four large quartered  mushrooms to the pot.   

Now it comes time to boil egg noodles, a Comfort Food staple in Mom's kitchen.  Cooked for six minutes, drained and added to simmering pork.   A quick stir to blend; simmered for five additional minutes to allow the noodles to soak up flavor.  By the way,  Mom made egg noodles more than we ever had a bag from the grocery.  I find myself buying a few things and never found the need to make noodles. 

Along with the new Comfort Food creation, a salad with French vinaigrette completed the meal.   Hearty and healthy for a cold winter's night supper.  



Ready for serving with a dollop of Sour Cream and Scallions

A Fresh Salad

Bon Appetit!! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Apple Tart Tatin

While browsing through the grocery, I came across beautiful, Granny Smith apples at a great price.   Of course, any apple dessert will be at the top of my dessert  choices and a little scoop of good vanilla ice cream can't hurt!   This is SO EASY and will impress with little effort or skill. 

Ready for Serving


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Apple Tart Tatin

Desserts

5 lg Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored
2 tb butter
1/2 c brown sugar
  or
1/2 c Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 c walnuts; chopped
1/4 c Amaretto Liqueur; if desired
1 tb cornstarch
1 pinch salt
1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry; thawed

 
Preheat oven to 400F.     Thaw Puff Pastry, covered, on counter top for 30 minutes.  Directions will be included with the  Pepperidge Farm package.

Core and peel apples.  Slice apples and place in bowl.   Sprinkle with a  tablespoon lemon juice, if desired.   Lemon juice prevents apples from darkening, but since this has cinnamon in the spice mix, the color change is not objectionable.

Over medium heat, melt butter, add brown sugar and chopped walnuts.  Add sliced apples, cinnamon, salt and Amaretto.   Sprinkle cornstarch over top.  Stir to blend and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes.

While apples are sauteing, cut thawed puff pastry a little larger than the skillet size.    After cooking, remove from heat to cool slightly.    Place pastry over top of cooked apples and slightly tuck the edge into the skillet to prevent apple mixture from boiling out.

Immediately, place in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden puffed.

Remove from oven and let set for five minutes....NO LONGER!   With a knife, loosen the pastry from the edge of pan and immediately invert onto serving plate.  Adjust as necessary to re center on serving plate.   I cut small heart shapes from the pastry scraps.  Cooked in separate sheet for 15 minutes, cool completely and add to top after inverting. 

Cool completely and serve with ice cream or whipped cream is nice.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

Walnuts chopped

Brown Sugar and Walnuts ready to saute

Beautiful Granny Smith Apples

After 15 minutes, covered stove-top cooking

Pastry cut to pan size

Right from the Oven!
 
 
Bon Appetit and Enjoy! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Perfect Loaf?

My bread baking friends suggested I jump over to a news article and check out a recipe.     Dan's Easy Yeast Bread was the page they were referring to since it appears to be an "odd method" of baking a loaf.  And they were right...it is different than any other method I have experienced.    The results were incredible!   I hope you enjoy the ease of this recipe and try it.  A novice bread baker will have great results on their first try!

I recopied the recipe for NYC format.  Enjoy!!


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Sour Cream Easy Yeast Bread

Breads

2/3 c cold water
1/2 c boiling water
2 tb orange juice
2 ts salt
2 ts sugar
1/2 c sour cream
2 ts instant yeast
4 1/2 c flour
  Or:
4 1/2 c whole wheat flour


NOTE:   Use 2 tablespoons orange juice IF using whole wheat flour!

Combine the cold water, boiling water, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the sour cream, then the yeast.  Stir in the flour. The dough may seem quite dry at first; work it with your hands to bring it together.

Let the dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Knead the dough, on a lightly oiled counter or right in the bowl, for 10 to 20 seconds. If you're kneading in the bowl, just push it vigorously against the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead it again for 10 to 20 seconds. Repeat the process once more; you will have kneaded the dough three times.

Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 1 hour.

Gently deflate the dough, and place it in a lightly greased 9' x 5' loaf pan. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise until it's crowned about 1' over the rim of the pan; this should take about an hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Uncover the bread, and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes, until it's golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 190°F.

Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Run a stick of butter over the top, if desired, for a soft, buttery crust. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Store the bread well wrapped, at room temperature.

Source: Dan Lepard



Yield: one loaf


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

Ready for Butter!!   Enjoy. 

 

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Fate of One Pound

Somehow, I gravitate to sales at the grocery.   This week, once again, we have shrimp at $4.99 per pound.  Shells on but deveined which makes cleaning easy.   OK...been through fried, boiled, sauteed, Chinese...what are we going to do tonight?    And this is what was created...no recipe..but a quick put together dish.    

  


I had a red and yellow pepper, onions and garlic.   Looks like Italian something is on its way to the supper table.  Sauteed in olive oil and butter.  




After onions become translucent, I added basil from the summer garden.  I hang it to dry in the fall, and store the dried leaves in the freezer.   Great to have available all winter long.  


Added six mushrooms and I find my egg slicer is the quickest way to slice mushrooms....all equal sized for even cooking.  



To the pound of shrimp, I added three tablespoons flour, and one tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning....stir to coat shrimp and added to skillet.   Added one pint jar of tomatoes from the summer garden.  Salt and pepper, to taste.    Added the dried basil and let simmer until shrimp is cooked.  



And the finished plate ready with a salad from our cold frame....mesculin is doing so good this year even in the unusually cold weather.



Pasta of choice is Whole Wheat Linguine topped with 
Shrimp Sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese!  


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Shrimp Tomato Creme

Italian, Seafood

1 tb olive oil
2 tb butter
1  yellow pepper; cleaned & julienned
1  red pepper; cleaned & julienned
1 md onion; diced
2  garlic cloves; minced
6  mushrooms; sliced
1 lb shrimp; cleaned, deveined
3 tb flour
1 tb Old Bay Seasoning
1 tb basil; dried or fresh
1 pt tomatoes
3 tb heavy cream


In heavy saute pan, heat olive oil and butter until melted. Add peppers, onions and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Don't let garlic burn! After five minutes, add mushrooms and saute gently until golden.

Mix shrimp with two tablespoons flour and one tablespoon Old Bay seasoning.  Mix to coat and add to pepper/mushroom mixture. Sprinkle dried basil or chopped fresh basil. Add tomatoes, or a jarred tomato sauce of your choice.  Simmer until shrimp is cooked. Shrimp cooks very quickly, so don't overcook...will make the shrimp tough. Just before serving, stir in heavy cream and stir to blend.

Serve over pasta of your choice or cooked rice.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman

Yield: 6 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie

Like most....there was left over turkey.  Time to reinvent leftovers and Turkey Pot Pie has to be one of my favorite comfort foods.    Here is my version...with the addition of carrots I also had left over!!

Onions, Celery and Mushrooms in the Saute Pan

Turkey and Vegetables added


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Turkey Pot Pie

Casserole, Poultry

2 tb butter
1  onion; diced
2  celery stalks; diced
3  carrots; diced
4 tb flour
4 c turkey stock
2 c turkey; cubed
2 tb parsley; minced
1/2 cup peas; fresh or frozen
4 md mushrooms; sliced
1  pastry crust; unbaked
1  egg; mixed w/
1 tb water
  salt & pepper; to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.

Melt butter in saucepan and cook diced onion until tender. Stir in diced celery and diced carrots;  cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add turkey stock and bring to a simmer to thicken.   Adjust seasonings.

Stir in turkey, parsley and peas and sliced mushrooms. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Pour mixture into casserole. Top with pie crust and brush with egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes until crust is golden.

I make this in four individual baking dishes.     This freezes very well for later...just thaw in refrigerator overnight.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman--I found some left over carrots and added them to the mix.


Individual Oven Proof  Bowls

Pastry Tops in Place

Yield: 4 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **



And ON to the pastry...this is so easy!!   Make this recipe and you will NEVER be afraid of pastry again.   Makes a perfect crust every time!....Thanks Lucinda!! 

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Cream Cheese Pastry Dough

Pastry

8 tb unsalted butter; room temperature
4 oz cream cheese; room temperature
1/4 c heavy cream
1 1/2 c flour plus
2 tb flour; for dusting
1/2 ts coarse salt


For a novice baker, this is the most forgiving dough to work with. The cream cheese allows this pastry some elasticity but still produces tender and flaky results. From the book 'Mad Hungry,' by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

Process the butter, cream cheese, and cream in a food processor, electric mixer, or by hand to thoroughly combine.

Add the flour and salt. Process just until combined and the dough holds together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Flatten into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. If the dough is chilled overnight, take it out 15 minutes before rolling out.

Rub flour all over a rolling pin. Working with one dough disk at a time, place the disk on a clean, well-floured surface. Applying some pressure with the rolling pin, roll gently from the center of the dough to the top and bottom edges. Rotate the disk and roll to the top and bottom edges again. Reflour the work surface and rolling pin, turn the dough over, and continue to roll the dough from the center out to the edges. Turn over and roll again, rotating the disk to ensure even rolling until the dough is about 12 inches in diameter, thin but not transparent.

Makes 10 pocket pies or 1 double-crusted 10-inch pie.

Notes:  ©Martha Stewart Living

Yield: 2 10" rounds


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **



Presenting...FRESH from the oven! 


Turkey Pot Pie with Mesculin Salad

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Remembered!

What a great day!!   Weather was absolutly beautiful....sunny, and in the 70's.  As a matter of fact, we had to open the doors to the veranda to cool the Kitchen and Living Room down.  Our good friends joined us today and brought along their version of the Macy's Day parade....and the breezes through the Living Room keep the cat entertained as they bounced around!



Time to set the table and Miss M presented me with a new set of Birthday Dinnerware...she is so sweet and always surprises me with little treats.  

The Dining Room Table ready for feasting
Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage

Fresh Baked Rolls

The Grande Entree

Of course....TOO MUCH but we still had to eat!

And we couldn't be with out a little dessert!   And a few Lindt Chocolate Truffles with coffee.



Hoping your Thanksgiving Meal was wonderful!

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Favorite Pecan Pie

The day before Thanksgiving and time to start baking a few things including my favorite pie, PECAN!



My old standby recipe from years gone by....   

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Pecan Pie

desserts, pies

4 large eggs; lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoon butter; melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 9" unbaked pastry shell

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl beat eggs with sugar and salt. Add corn syrup, butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth and frothy. Scatter pecans evenly in bottom of pie shell and pour egg mixture on top. Bake until filling is set, about  1 hour. Cool 30 minutes.

Variation:  Chocolate-Pecan Pie.  Scatter 2 ounces chopped chocolate with pecans and stir 1/4 cup Grand Mariner liqueur into filling mixture.

Yield: 8 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **


Wishing YOU a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

FREE Turkey!!!

In past years.....ten and or more, my local grocery stores have offered a "free" turkey if you buy a qualifying amount from their store over a period of weeks.  The terms have always been disclosed before hand...and you must buy a certain amount of groceries from their store.   Kroger and Food City here in Knoxville have always featured this premium.  

Turkey Day in fast approaching...but we have not had that bonus availed to the shopping public!

...oh well.....I just bought my first "fresh" turkey and I hope I wasn't cheated with my choice.    There is nothing worse than thawing out a frozen product only to discover the product was "spoiled" before you can replace your selection! 


Monday, November 15, 2010

Kung Pao Shrimp

One of my old stand by stir fry dishes.  
Easy to prepare and very tasty.


Update:.......I just discovered the convenience of freezing fresh ginger!   I used to buy a nice piece and wouldn't use it all.   I stored in the refrigerator, room temperature, covered, uncovered without any good results...and then threw it away.   I found a  note on a cooking site and they suggested freezing the unused portion.   You can grate the frozen piece on a fine rasp and it is perfect!   I haven't had good results slicing the ginger, but  grating the frozen works like a charm.      




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Kung Pao Shrimp

Oriental, Stir Fry

1 lb shrimp
2  egg whites
1/2 ts salt
2 ts cornstarch
3 tb shrimp stock
2 ts rice vinegar
1 tb soy sauce
1/2 ts sugar
  vegetable oil; as needed
6  red chilies or chili paste; to taste
1 ts minced ginger
1 tb garlic; minced
1/2 c peanuts


Shell and devein the shrimp. Cut in half lengthwise. Reserve shells, if making shrimp stock. I usually add shells to one cup water...bring to boil and let cool to room temperature. If desired, use some of the shrimp stock for making white or brown rice.

Lightly beat the egg white. Marinate the shrimp in the salt, egg white and cornstarch for 15 minutes. This technique is known as velveting.

In a small bowl, combine the shrimp stock, rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Set aside.

Heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp. Cook briefly until the shrimp turns pink. Remove from the wok. I use a 12" Lodge Cast Iron pan.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Add the Chile peppers or Chile paste. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the minced ginger, garlic and stir fry until it is aromatic. Stir in the peanuts. Stir fry for about 1 minute, taking care not to burn.

Make a space in the middle of the wok. Add the sauce. Heat briefly. Add the shrimp back into the pan. Cook for 1 more minute and serve hot.

Notes:  WHStoneman


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Potato, Spinach, Feta Gratin

Had to share a very old recipe in the repertoire...haven't made this in years, but remembered the great flavors from this dish.  Perfect companion with a New York Strip Steak!   



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Potato, Spinach and Feta Gratin

potatoes

2 lb russet potatoes
2 lb fresh spinach; washed well
  and the coarse stems discarded
8 oz feta cheese
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper


 
Preheat the oven to 350F.

Oil an 8-inch-square baking dish lightly, line it with wax paper, and oil the paper lightly. Peel the potatoes and in a food processor fitted with a 2-mm. slicing disk slice the potatoes crosswise. (Alternatively, the potatoes may be sliced thin with a hand-held slicing device.)

In a kettle of salted boiling water boil the potatoes for 7 minutes, or until they are just tender, drain them in a colander, and rinse them briefly under cold water.

In the kettle cook the spinach in the water clinging to the leaves, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until it is wilted, drain it, and refresh it under cold water. Squeeze the water from the spinach by wringing it by handfuls in a kitchen towel, transfer it to the food processor fitted with the metal blade, and add the Feta.

In a bowl whisk together well the half-and-half, the eggs, the salt, and the pepper, add half the custard to the spinach mixture, and pulse the motor of the processor until the mixture is puréed coarse. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish and spread them in an even layer. Pour the remaining custard over the potatoes, shaking the dish slightly to distribute the custard evenly, and top the potatoes with the spinach mixture, smoothing the top.

Bake the gratin in the middle of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it is set in the middle, and let it cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the side of the dish, invert the gratin onto a flameproof plate, and peel off the wax paper. Pre­heat the broiler and broil the gratin about 4 inches from the heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Serve the gratin cut into squares.

Yield: 8 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

Enjoy!! and Bon Appetit!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Masitas De Puerco Fritas -- Fried Pork Chunks

The flavors and aromas from a Cuban kitchen send me salivating!    I love the cuisine and the cold weather makes me homesick for Calle Ocho in Miami....Little Havana.    When I lived in Miami, (seems like ages ago) the 70's and the gas shortage  are seared into my mind.  That was a long time ago but my memories remain!

It was with great pleasure to find Three Guys from Miami and their blog.   They have renewed and revived my interest in Cuban Cooking.    Included with this I have  a recipe for Mojo...Cuban marinade.   Easy to make but also available in most grocery marts under the brand name of Goya.  


Ready for serving


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Masitas De Puerco Fritas -- Fried Pork Chunks

Cuban, pork

21/2 pounds pork loin or
  boneless country ribs
  Mojo (recipe follows)
2 cups water
1/4 cup lard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2  onion, sliced into rings
  lime wedges

Cut pork into 2-inch chunks. Cover the chunks with Mojo. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove meat from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the meat in a pot with approximately 2 cups of lightly salted water and lard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until all water boils away-about 30 to 45 minutes. Don't, as we have, take this opportunity to walk the dog, mow the lawn, or shoot the breeze with the next door neighbor. You must remain alert and vigilant. The time between when the water boils away and the whole pan of meat is turned into charcoal is very short!

Lightly brown the cooked pork in the melted fat until crispy on the outside-you don't want to overcook it! Toss in the onion slices and sauté briefly. Garnish with lime wedges.

Original source  www.icuban.com

Notes:  Three Guys from Miami


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

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Mojo Sauce

Cuban, marinade

1/3 cup olive oil
8  garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup sour orange juice or lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
  salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly toasted but not brown, about 30 seconds.

Add the sour orange juice, cumin, and salt and pepper. The sauce may spatter. Bring sauce to a rolling boil. Correct seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Cool before serving. Mojo tastes best when served within a couple of hours of making, but it will keep for several days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Notes:  Steven Raichlen

Yield: 1 cup


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

Along with the pork, I am serving the traditional  
Black Beans and brown rice.  

A fresh salad with green grapes dressed with a 
honey mustard dressing finish the meal!  



Bon Appétit! 
and Enjoy your day 



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Key Lime Chicken Adventures!

I stumbled upon this recipe in the past few days...and something made me stop to study the entire combination.  Chicken...Lime Juice...Garlic...what could or would go wrong with that?  

The original recipe as I read it....

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Key Lime Chicken

poultry

1 cup Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Splenda
1 teaspoon Splenda brown sugar
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger; peeled, minced
3 pounds chicken pieces

 
Combine first nine ingredients in blender;  mix until well blended.


Pour marinade over chicken pieces. Allow to stand in marinade for eight hours in refrigerator.   Remove from refrigerator for two hours to come to room temperature. 

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Drain and reserve marinade.   Bring marinade to boil; reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.  Cool for basting.


Place chicken in baking dish. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes, basting with marinade every 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **


My cooking adventure started.....and with this "flavor", all I could think of was Cuban, Carib, South Beach.  The part that was throwing it all off, in my opinion was thyme.  I feel thyme was "too wimpy" for ginger and lime juice.   My replacement had to be cilantro.  My initial reaction was right...the pungent flavors welcomed the cilantro.  

After my all day in the marinade, I removed the chicken and patted dry.   The oven temp at 350F sounded a little low for me.   I moved the temp to 375F convection for a crispy skin on the chicken.   Also, I always roast chicken in a Lodge 10" cast iron skillet.   The secret to crispy skin in the oven is a preheated cast iron skillet to 500F.  Place the chicken in a HOT HOT pan and the cooking starts immediately.   Also, be sure your chicken is a room temp.....nothing can be accomplished by putting refrigerator cold food in the oven but a longer cooking time which will just dry out your finished dish.  

Crispy and Moist from the Oven
 

While the chicken was roasting, I took the remaining marinade and reduced the volume by two thirds.  To add extra richness, I added a half cup of heavy cream and let it simmer until it had thickened more.   Slow and low temps on the pot will evaporate the water in the cream and it naturally thickens without any additional thickener.    

Cream Thickened Lime/Cilantro Sauce

And the finished plate with a freshly tossed salad, brown rice and my home made mango chutney made for a wonderful plate of flavors.  




Bon Appetit!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Greetings!...and it is unbelievable Thanksgiving is right around the corner.   It seems like time evaporates in my world.   But, we must keep on going and can't slow down life's timeclock.  

We are having a Thanksgiving and birthday celebration with my good friend, Marilyn.   I just discovered that she might likely is the only other person on the planet that liked canned jelled cranberry sauce.   I always have it for Thanksgiving  and not a single person will touch it.  Marilyn and I can share an entire can.   And one of my favorite leftover sandwich is sliced turkey with a thin slice of the jelled cranberry sauce.  


The Revised Menu!
Our Holiday menu has little variance since everyone expects the basic menu.  Nothing like tradition with that.  

I had planned on making a Pumpkin Cheesecake Brulee for Marilyn's birthday...but she informed me that cheesecake is her least favorite dessert!  Wow....glad that I asked her ahead of time.     So, my wheels started turning and Pumpkin Roll was a dessert that I have not made in fifteen or more years.......hum...that will be nice for a change.  


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Pumpkin Roll

desserts

  Cake:
1/4 cup powdered sugar; sprinkle on towel
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin; canned
1 cup walnuts; chopped
  Filling:
8 ounce cream cheese; room temp
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  powdered sugar; optional decoration

 
FOR CAKE: PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick.  Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.  (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

FOR FILLING: BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

COOKING TIP: Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Yield: 10 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

And how could you have Thanksgiving without Pecan Pie! 

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Pecan Pie

desserts, pies

4 large eggs; lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoon butter; melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1  unbaked pastry shell, 9

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a bowl beat eggs with sugar and salt. Add corn syrup, butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth and frothy. Scatter pecans evenly in bottom of pie shell and pour egg  mixture on top. Bake until filling is set, about 1 hour. Cool 30 minutes.

Variation:  Chocolate-Pecan Pie.  Scatter 2 ounces chopped chocolate with pecans and stir 1/4 cup Grand Mariner liqueur into filling mixture.

Yield: 8 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **

May your Thanksgiving be blessed with wonderful family 
and great food!   Bon Appetit!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sirloin Pork Roasts!

What a deal....pork roasts on sale for $1.29 per pound.   I had to buy three of them, so easy to keep in the freezer for months.   Overnight in the refrigerator to begin thawing, then directly into the crockpot vessel for marinating.   I use Helen Willinsky's "Jerk--Barbecue From Jamaica".    She delivers an amazing palette of Caribbean flavors. 

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Jerk Marinade

marinade, sauces

1  onion, minced
1/2 cup scallion, chopped
2 teaspoon thyme, fresh
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1  hot pepper, finely ground
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in workbowl with steel blade. Process until finely chopped. Store excess marinade in the refrigerator for about 1 month.  

...from Helen's comments:    Excellent marinade for chicken, beef, or pork. The flavor of the marinade may strike you as a little harsh when you first mix it, but I assure you, the flavors will all blend and mellow as the meat cooks.

Notes:  Helen Willinsky  Jerk BBQ from Jamaica

Yield: 1 1/2 cup


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **
 

  After eight hours in the marinade,  I drained and discarded.  Pat dry the roast very well and there will be no need to add any salt to this roast.  Add at the table if necessary since the marinade penetrates the meat.  

Onion "Rack"


My onion rack always works well....and on top of the onion rack, a generous handful of cilantro is added.  Three tablespoons of lime juice and a cup of water.  




Added the roast back to the vessel, and studded the top of the roast with garlic slivers.   This works great using a boning knife.   Insert the trip of the knife, rock the slit open and while holding apart, insert your garlic cloves.  




On with the crockpot  lid and six to eight hours later on low, we will be enjoying good eating!  This entire process can also be completed in a 325F oven for  2-3 hours.  Check to see of the meat will shred.   If not, return to oven for additional roasting time.  



  Pinto beans from earlier this week will accompany.   Bon Appetit!





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Croque Madame and Variations


This adaptation turned heads at the supper table.  The inspiration...a great big thank you to Fine Cooking!

I was not familiar with the Croque Madame.  After checking with various sources, including Wiki,  I found easiest English definition would be a grilled cheese sandwich.   This opened a door and the wheels began to turn.  

My taste buds were ready for a bacon cheeseburger and the inspiration began.  


The base of my creation was a toasted rye slice, 
topped with fresh mesculin and ranch dressing.  


I find the best method for bacon is using the oven 
on a rack at 375F for 12-15 minutes.   
No mess and perfectly flat bacon!  



I grilled a sirloin patty until medium well, topped with the fried egg with cheddar cheese under the egg.  Topped with fresh parsley to finish.  


What a great combination of flavors...and the bacon cheeseburger urge was satisfied!  Yum...and this will be a keeper.  


                      The soft cooked egg provides a wonderful "sauce" for the entree!  




Sunday, October 17, 2010

Roast Beef/Cheddar Pizza

Time for an easy supper and a quick look about the refrigerator and pantry has limited my choices.   I have deli Roast Beef....cheeses,  and a tomatoes from last summer in the freezer.  I am heading down the path of Beef and Cheddar Pizza.  

My stand by Pizza Dough is from Fine Cooking magazine.   This is the easiest and most reliable recipe I have ever encountered....works well every time and also makes a good focaccia bread dough for a spaghetti and meatball night. 

Here is the dough recipe....and enjoy!    And a heads up...this recipe makes enough for two sheet pans of dough.   I always make this....divide in half and freeze the other piece of dough for later use.   Just let it come back to thawed temperature in the refrigerator.   Otherwise, you results might not be satisfactory. 


@@@@@ Now You're Cooking! Export Format

Pizza Dough/Fine Cooking

breads, Italian, pasta

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water; 110F
18 ounce bread flour
  plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside.


Meanwhile, put the flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process briefly to mix. With the machine running, add the water-yeast mixture in a steady stream. Turn the processor off and add the oil. Pulse a few times to mix in the oil.


Divide the dough. Scrape the soft doughty out of the processor and onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, quickly knead the doughty in a mass incorporating any bits of flour or doughty from the processor bowl that wasn't mixed in.


Cut dough into four equal pieces with a dough scrapper. Roll each piece into a tight smooth ball, kneading to push out all the air.


Proceed as usual.


Extra pieces of doughty will freeze very well. Cover with extra flour and seal and freeze in a quart zip lock bag for future use.




** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.86 **  

Your choice of sauce can range from home made to a bottled jar.   I can't tell the difference other than when I make my own sauce, I get to control the salt content and the seasonings.   There are many "jar" sauces on the market today that are very acceptable...I do use them.   My preference is to make my own from the garden tomatoes.  


Pizza extras include....sliced cheddar, fresh oregano, parsley and basil from the dwindling herb bed, chopped onion and green pepper.    Enjoy!!




 

Bon Appétit!! 
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The Fine Art of Cooking involves personal choice. Many preferences, ingredients, and procedures may not be consistent with what you know to be true. As with any recipe, you may find your personal intervention will be necessary -- © WHStoneman 2015