My Wonderful World

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

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! 

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

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!

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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 2017