Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crockpot Meatloaf

Crockpot Meatloaf
The recipe description is if you try this recipe, your family will ask for it over and over again!
2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 slices bread, crumbled or torn into small pieces
1/2 C diced onion
1 envelope dry Ranch Dressing mix
1/2 C ketchup
Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Allow to soften (about 20 minutes). Combine this mixture with ground beef, onion, ranch pack, and ketchup. Mound in a greased crockpot. Cover the top of the mixture with additional ketchup. Put the cover on and turn crockpot on high for 15 minutes, then reduce to low and cook for 7 hours.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Louisiana Hot Crab Dip

Louisiana Hot Crab Dip 
This is a recipe which is posted almost daily on Facebook.  I have access to a great supply of crab meat.  It just sounds like a recipe I will be trying when I can share it with friends!

1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, free of shells 
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons minced green onions (white and green parts)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine all of the ingredients in a casserole dish and gently stir until thoroughly mixed. Adjust seasoning to taste. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly golden on top. Serve hot.

Serve hot, with hot sauce on the side for those who like it spicy.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
This is another recipe used from a Facebook post.
Yields 36 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 small package Instant Vanilla Pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pkg (12 oz..) milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat the butter, both sugars, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat until creamy and fluffy.  Then slowly mix flour and baking soda.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoonsful on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake only nine to ten minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before eating.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baked Potato Casserole

               Baked Potato Casserole
 A friend posted this recipe on Facebook.  I thought it looked like one I could pare down the calories and make it with fewer calories and not compromise flavor!

8 medium potatoes, peeled & cut up
1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheese (divided)
6 slices bacon ( crispy and crumbled)
sliced green onions

Place the potato chunks in a large pot. Fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil until tender. Drain. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Grease a 2 ½-3 quart casserole dish. Return potatoes to the pot. Add evaporated milk, sour cream, salt and pepper. Beat with a hand held mixer until smooth. Stir in 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese and half of the bacon. Spoon the potato mixture into prepared casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese, remaining bacon, and green onions. Bake for an additional 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bratwurst Sausage

Bratwurst Sausages
Oktober Fests will be celebrated with Brats, Beer and Oom pah pah bands.  Classes in sausage making are becoming popular as homemakers attempt to control the quality of foods they feed their families.  I found this recipe on the internet and plan to try my hand at making a batch.
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins | Active Time: | Makes: 20 sausages

There are countless versions of this sausage throughout Germany. Here we opted to combine pork and veal, and used a delicate mixture of caraway, pepper, and marjoram. Try these sausages pan-fried or roasted and you’ll see why making them fresh is worth the effort.
What to buy: There are several types of veal on the market, so be sure to ask your butcher for milk-fed veal from calves 12 weeks or younger. This creamy, white, fine-grained meat will lend the best flavor and texture to the sausages.
Special equipment: You’ll need a grinder and a stuffer in order to make sausage. We’ve used various types in the past, but this recipe was tested using the special attachments for a KitchenAid stand mixer.
Game plan: If you choose to wear latex gloves, replace them with a fresh pair after grinding the meat and before stuffing the casing. Be sure to keep the meat and equipment ice cold during every stage of the process—it reduces the risk of food-borne illness and makes the stuffing process less cumbersome.
Important:  You may be tempted to cook up your sausages right away, but aging is important to developing the flavor, so don’t skip this final step.


For the casings:

10 feet medium hog casings

For the filling:

3 pounds pork shoulder
1 1/2 pounds veal shoulder
3/4 pound pork fat
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice


For the casing:
Find the end of the casing, measure about 10 feet, and cut. If the casings were packed in salt, rinse thoroughly. Place in a bowl of tepid water and soak for 30 minutes. Discard soaking water, rinse the insides of the casing with running water, and soak in fresh tepid water at least another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, start making the filling.

For the filling:
Place a baking sheet, a large mixing bowl, the grinder attachment, and the fine grinding plate (1/8 inch) in the freezer until very cold, at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim the pork and veal shoulders of any excess fat, gristle, tendons, glands, silver skin, or blood vessels. Cut the pork, veal, and pork fat into 1-inch pieces and mix to evenly combine. Arrange in a single layer on the frozen baking sheet and place in the freezer until stiff but not frozen solid, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place the spices in a small bowl and mix to evenly combine; set aside.
When the meat is ready, attach the frozen grinder attachment to the mixer. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the meat. With the mixer on medium speed, grind the meat by the handful into the frozen mixing bowl. (The meat should easily pass through the auger and grinding plate. If it appears to stick to the front of the grinding plate, disassemble the grinder and clean out any tendons or fat that may be entangled in the blade.) Place the ground meat back in the freezer until stiff but not frozen solid, at least 30 minutes. Clean the grinder attachment and place it back in the freezer. (You will no longer need the grinding plate.)
Meanwhile, check the meat mixture for proper seasoning by forming a small, thin patty. Pan-fry until the center is no longer raw. Taste it, keeping in mind that the flavor will develop as the sausage sits, or ages; add additional seasoning to the ground meat as desired.

To stuff the sausages:
Attach the cleaned, chilled grinder attachment fitted with the large stuffer tube to the mixer. Place a baking sheet in front of the stuffer tube and moisten it with water (this will help the sausage coil more easily). Remove the filling from the freezer and, with the mixer on low, push enough filling into the feeding tube using the stuffer tool until the filling is just visible at end of the tube (this keeps air from being pushed into the end of the casing before the first sausage). Place the filling back in the freezer.
 Moisten the stuffer tube with water. Dip the end of the casing in water to create a small water bubble and begin feeding the casing onto the stuffer tube with one hand while holding the casing with the other hand to keep the water bubble level with the stuffer tube. Leaving a few inches of casing slack in between your hands, feed all but a few inches onto the stuffer tube. Let any water drain out of the casing, then tie the end in a knot.
 With the mixer on medium speed, begin to stuff the casing by feeding golf-ball-sized handfuls of filling down the tube using the stuffer tool, adding more filling as it packs the casing. (You may feel some suction in the stuffer tube—using small handfuls of filling and allowing the attachment to become coated with filling keeps this to a minimum.) Make sure the filling is firmly and evenly packed but not stretching the casing. Leave enough vacant room for sectioning off the sausages. Continue to stuff the casing until all the filling is gone.
 Push any remaining casing off the stuffer tube, leaving at least 1 to 2 inches of empty casing from where the sausage ends, and tie it off with a knot. Cut off any remaining casing with kitchen scissors and discard. (You should now have one long, coiled sausage.) Gently run your hand down the length of the casing to evenly distribute the meat.
 Pinch the sausage about every 5 inches to demarcate the links. Beginning at one end, twist the first and third links in the same direction about 3 times. Continue to twist in this manner until all the links have been sectioned off. Cut the sausage links with kitchen scissors at the twisted joints. If any air bubbles appear, prick them with a clean, sharp pin or knife tip.
 Refrigerate the sausages in a single layer covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Let them age at least 2 to 3 hours before cooking and eating. Use fresh refrigerated sausages within 3 days, or freeze sausages individually wrapped in plastic for 2 to 3 months. The sausages can either be roasted at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes or pan-fried over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nature's Miracle - Distilled Vinegar

Nature’s Miracle

Find innovative solutions to everyday problems with a product you already have in your kitchen:

Unleash the power of white vinegar―an all-purpose cleaner, brightener, herbicide and more. Just a bit of this multitasker, straight up or mixed with water, can replace many pricier products huddled under your sink. Try these tips to see how vinegar can make your life cheaper and easier.
1. Freshen up the fridge. Clean the shelves and walls with a solution of half water and half vinegar.
2. Brighten coffee cups and teacups. Gently scrub stains with equal parts vinegar and salt (or baking soda).
3. Eliminate odors. Swab plastic containers with a cloth dampened with vinegar.
4. Kill bathroom germs. Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
5. Save a garment. To remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub gently with vinegar. Wipe with a clean cloth. This technique also works on antiperspirant stains.
6. Tidy up a toilet. Pour a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush.
7. Lose the carpet stain. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and ¼ cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the stain and let dry. Vacuum the residue the next day. (Always test an out-of-sight part of the carpet first.)
8. Renew paint brushes. To remove old paint, place brushes in a pot with vinegar. Soak for an hour, then turn on the stove and bring the vinegar to a simmer. Drain and rinse clean.
9. Wipe off a dirty faucet. To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.
10. Stop static cling. Add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle. The acid reduces static and keeps dryer lint from sticking to your clothes.
11. Make old socks look new. Get the stains out of old socks and sweaty gym clothes by soaking them in a vinegar solution. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and drop in the stained clothes. Let them soak overnight, and in the morning stained clothes are fresh and bright.
12. Restore handbags and shoes. Wipe white distilled vinegar on scuffed leather bags and shoes. It will restore their shine and help hide the marks.
13. Banish weeds. Pour white distilled vinegar on the weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Saturate the plant so the vinegar reaches the roots.
14. Liven droopy flowers. Don’t throw out cut flowers once they start to wilt. Instead, add two tablespoons of white vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water. Pour the solution into your vase, and the flowers will perk up.
15. Put an end to itching. Dab a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar on mosquito bites and insect stings. It will stop them from itching and help disinfect the area so they heal faster.
16. Whiten your teeth. Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly. It will help prevent bad breath, too.
17. Make nail polish last longer. Before you apply your favorite polish, wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your manicure last.
18. Keep car windows frost-free. Prevent windows from frosting over in a storm by coating them with a solution of three parts white distilled vinegar to one part water. The acidity hinders ice, so you won’t have to wake up early to scrape off your car.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Loaf 



1/3 cup brown sugar 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

2/3 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened 

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk

1 apple peeled and chopped
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and flour a 9X5 inch loaf pan.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.  Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer unti smooth and creamy.  Beat eggs one at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla exact.
Combine flour and baking powder together in another bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture.  Mix milk into batter until smooth.  Pour half the batter into prepared loaf an.  Add half of the apples and half of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.  Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Pour the remaining batter over the apple layer; top with remaining apples and add more brown sugar cinnamon mixture.  Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.

Bake in a preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Drunken Fig Jam

My daughter Barbara, who shares my passion for cooking and is my source of many great recipes or suggestions that I post, sent this recipe to me.  I am such a lucky mother.
Hi Mom, I wanted to send you this recipe, I made a batch of this jam today. I know you will like it, will make sure you get some :) xo-b


Drunken Fig Jam
2 lemons
4 pounds ripe fresh figs (preferably black), stemmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 9 cups)
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup brandy or Cognac
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemons (yellow part only) in long strips. Cut peel into matchstick-size strips (about 3 tablespoons).

Combine lemon peel, figs, sugar, brandy, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in heavy large deep saucepan; let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Bring fig mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; continue to boil until jam thickens and is reduced to 6 cups, stirring frequently and occasionally mashing mixture with potato masher to crush large fig pieces, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat.

Ladle mixture into 6 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool jars completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peach Sour Cream Pie

               Peach Sour Cream Pie

A perfectly peachy pie with a custardy texture more like a fruit-filled quiche.  The Red Haven Peaches are now available and perfect for a pie.

1 cup sour cream
2 tsp grated lemon rind
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp  vanilla
½ tsp salt
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2½ cups peeled, sliced peaches (about 4 large)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
partially baked Sweet Pastry (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.

2. Mix together sour cream, lemon rind, sugar, vanilla, ginger, salt and egg yolks in a bowl. Sprinkle flour over the peaches and toss together. Pile the peaches into the pie shell. Spread sour cream mixture over the fruit.

3. Bake for l5 minutes. Lower the heat to 350ºF,  and bake for 25 to 35 minutes more or until the top is browned.

Serves 8

Sweet Pastry
½ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF

2. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes.

3. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Combine egg yolks and lemon juice. Add to flour mixture and blend well.

4. Roll out or pat the pastry until 1/8 inch thick. Place in a 9-inch flan pan. Trim off excess and prick the pastry with a fork.

5. Bake blind (instructions follow) for 15 minutes in the lower third of the oven. Remove the pie weights. Bake for a further 5 minutes to partially bake the crust. Or another 10 to 15 minutes to fully bake the crust.

To Bake Blind:
Line pastry with foil or parchment paper and fill with beans or pie weights. This ensures an even crust that does not sink down the side of the tart tin or bake unevenly. Bake for 15 minutes, remove weights and bake 5 minutes for partially baked shell (if making in advance) and 10 to 15 minutes for a fully baked one.

Makes enough pastry for one 9-inch or 10-inch single-crust pie.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sourdough Bread with Manchego Cheese

Sourdough Bread  With Manchego Cheese

This cheese-topped crusty-bread appetizer comes together in a flash, literally! The highlight is the sweet, mellow-flavored macerated red onions.

½ red onion
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. granulated sugar
¼ tsp. each salt and peppercorns

1 round loaf of sourdough bread
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
4 oz. Manchego cheese, shaved
2 to 3 tbsp. honey
1.) Thinly slice onion. Place in a small container. Drizzle with both vinegars and oil. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and peppercorns. Stir to evenly mix. Stir occasionally, allowing flavors to infuse. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Onions will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week.

2.) Just before serving, preheat barbecue to medium. Slice bread in half crosswise. Brush olive oil over bread covering all sides. Drain onions well. Place nuts in foil. Fold and seal. Bring all ingredients on a cutting board to the grill. Place foil with nut-package on grill. Using tongs, carefully shake occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted, then remove.

3.) Oil grill. Place bread, cut-side-down, on grill. Barbecue for 3 to 7 minutes or until grill marks form. Remove bread to cutting board, cut-side up. Top each with cheese, then scatter with nuts and onions. Place back on grill. Close lid. Continue barbecuing for 2 to 3 more minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from grill to cutting board. If bread browns too quickly and cheese is not melted, remove from grill and loosely cover with foil until cheese is melted. When cool enough to handle, cut into 8 or 16 pieces. Drizzle with honey. Serve warm.

Makes 8 appetizer servings

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Coconut Chicken

Coconut Chicken
Boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk-any milk will do
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs (these work better then regular bread crumbs)
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil ( I would use coconut oil)
Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping

Cut chicken into strips, cutting diagonally so the ends are not too small.

Prepare three separate bowls for breading your chicken:
Combine flour and salt
Whisk eggs and milk together
Stir panko bread crumbs and coconut together

Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in large skillet over medium/high heat. It is hot enough when the flour sizzles and bubbles when it comes in contact with the oil.

Coat chicken strips in the three bowls. Start with the flour combination, then the egg and milk, and end with the bowl containing the bread crumbs and coconut.

Place some of your chicken strips in the hot oil with about an inch in between each strip (this helps prevent the oil from cooling down). I prefer to just fry the strips for until they are golden brown, place them on a paper towel to drain, and once I’m done with all of them I bake them for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. (Cooking time may very depending on how thick your chicken is)
Last but not least serve immediately with your chili sauce.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled Caesar Salad Sandwich

Serves 4

30 minutes or fewer

Unlike most lettuces, firm hearts of romaine stand up beautifully to the heat of the grill as they develop smoky flavor. This is a knife-and-fork sandwich.

Vegetable oil, for brushing grill
3 ½ Tbs. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, divided
1 Tbs. low-fat mayonnaise
3 tsp. Dijon mustard, divided
1 tsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1 oz. for shaving into curls
1 ½ Tbs. olive oil
2 romaine hearts, each halved
4 large slices crusty Italian bread (½-inch thick)
1 clove garlic, halved
1. Brush grill grates with oil, and preheat grill to medium. 

2. Whisk together yogurt, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, mayonnaise, 1 tsp. mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in bowl. Stir in 3 Tbs. Parmesan; season with pepper.

3. Whisk together olive oil, remaining 1 Tbs. lemon juice, and remaining 2 tsp. mustard in separate bowl. Brush oil mixture over romaine halves. Grill 6 minutes, turning once, or until brown around edges. Transfer to platter. 

4. Grill bread 1 minute on each side. Rub garlic halves over toast slices. Spread yogurt mixture on toast slices, and top with grilled romaine halves. Shave Parmesan curls over top.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kemp's Black Beans

Kemp's Black Beans
This is a recipe from the site epicurious.  Since I am trying to use up food supplies from my cupboards in anticipation of my absence and the fact I do enjoy black beans, I am researching recipes to use up my supply.  This will be on my table tomorrow.  This recipe is best made ahead and refrigerated allowing the flavors to develop.


1 lb dried black beans (about 2 1/3 cups), picked over and rinsed (but not soaked)
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
8 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup Sherry (cream or medium-dry)
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Bring black beans, onion, oil, water (8 cups), and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on age of beans). Thin to desired consistency with additional water. Stir in Sherry and remaining teaspoon salt, then soy sauce and vinegar to taste (start with 1 tablespoon each), and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Read More

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Black Bean Tart With Chili Crust

Black Bean Tart With Chili Crust
The crust of this tart is tender and quite crumbly.


For crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • raw rice for weighting shell
For filling
  • 1/2 pound dried black beans, picked over, or 3 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • a 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander sprigs, washed well, spun dry, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 2)
For lime sour cream:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make crust:
In a bowl with a pastry blender or in a food processor blend or pulse together flour, spices, and salt until combined well. Add butter and blend or pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and blend or pulse until incorporated and mixture forms a dough.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim and chill 15 minutes, or until firm. Line shell with foil and fill with rice. Bake shell in middle of oven until edge is set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil and rice and bake crust 10 minutes more, or until golden. Cool crust in pan on a rack. Crust may be made 1 day ahead and kept at room temperature, covered loosely with plastic wrap.

Make filling:
In a bowl soak dried beans if using in water to cover by 2 inches overnight and drain. In a large saucepan combine soaked beans, bay leaf, onion, and water to cover by 2 inches and simmer, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until tender, adding more water if necessary. Drain beans, discarding bay leaf, and cool.

In a food processor purée 1 cup cooked or canned beans with sour cream until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

In a skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté corn with salt and pepper to taste, stirring, about 2 minutes. Cool corn.

In a large bowl stir together corn, whole beans, bell pepper, coriander, Monterey Jack, jalapeños, and scallions and season with salt and pepper.

Spread bean purée evenly onto crust and mound with remaining filling, pressing gently. Bake tart in middle of oven about 20 minutes, or until hot and cheese is melted. Let tart cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes.

Remove rim of pan and serve tart warm or at room temperature with lime sour cream.

Make lime sour cream:
In a bowl whisk sour cream and lime juice with salt and pepper to taste. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Makes about 1 cup.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Maple Pork Sausage Patties

Maple Pork Sausage Patties
Covered patties keep well in the refrigerator for up to a day. Patties can be frozen on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet; then peeled off and transferred to a plastic bag. Defrost when needed and sauté as in recipe.
1 shallot
1 tbsp. butter
1 lb. lean ground pork
2 tbsp. dry white wine
1 tbsp. maple syrup
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried sage leaf, finely crumbled
½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 to 2 tbsp  canola or peanut oil

1. Peel and finely chop shallot in food processor. Heat butter in a small frying pan over medium heat until bubbly; add shallot. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; cool.

2. Stir pork with white wine, syrup, salt, sage, pepper, parsley and shallot mixture; mix well with a large wooden spoon. Line a flat baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Divide pork mixture into 8 portions; shape into patties about ½-inch  thick. Cover and chill for several hours.

3. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Without crowding pan, sauté patties in batches, turning occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned and crispy. Add more oil as needed. Keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grilled Flank Steak with Roasted Tomato Pesto

Grilled Flank Steak with Roasted Tomato Pesto

Serve the steak at room temperature. You can use other steak such as hangar, if you prefer. The meatiness of the steak and the richness of the pesto match the flavors in Cabernet Sauvignon perfectly.


1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1½ lbs. flank steak

2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
⅓ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp. chopped garlic
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped coriander or mint leaves
½ cup grated Parmesan

1 Combine Dijon, soy sauce, rosemary, chili powder and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Lay flank steak in a shallow dish and coat with marinade.  Leave for 1 hour.
2 Preheat oven to 350°F. 
3 Toss tomatoes with 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, reserving remainder, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, flesh-side up. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until shrivelled but still juicy. Let cool for 5 minutes.
4 Add tomatoes to food processor along with garlic, parsley, coriander or mint and remaining olive oil. Whirl until chunky and season well 
with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan and reserve.

5 Preheat grill to high. Place the steak on grill and sear for 1 minute. Close lid and grill for 4 minutes. Turn over and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes or until  medium-rare. 
6 Let steak cool. Thinly slice against the grain and serve with tomato pesto.
Serves 12 as a tasting dish size.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Irish Roasted Salmon

Salmon fillets marinated in Irish whiskey and honey have a glazed look as well as a superb taste and texture. Irish whiskey has a slightly peppery taste. Serve with fennel and apple slaw (recipe follows) and new potatoes.

2 tbsp honey
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup Irish whiskey
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1½ tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 salmon fillets, 6 oz each

Mix together honey, vinegar, whiskey, thyme, lemon zest, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salmon and marinate 1 hour on the counter, or 4 hours refrigerated.
Preheat oven to 450°F
Remove salmon from marinade and place on a rack over a roasting pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, basting once with the marinade or until golden and white juices are just beginning to appear. Place on 4 serving plates and serve fennel and apple slaw on the side.

Serves 4

Fennel and Apple Slaw
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp ground fennel
½ tsp grainy mustard
¼ cup olive oil

1 Cortland or Spy apple, unpeeled
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and core removed
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
½ cup very thinly sliced red onion

Whisk together cider vinegar, salt, pepper, ground fennel, mustard and oil.
With the julienne blade of a mandolin or julienne grater, grate apple and fennel. Combine apple, fennel, thyme and red onion in a bowl.
Add dressing to salad and toss. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4

Monday, August 5, 2013

Baked Cheese-Broccoli Patties

           Baked Cheese-Broccoli Patties
yield: 8 broccoli patties

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 onion - chopped
1 (12 ounce) bag frozen broccoli - defrosted
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs - beaten

preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat, add in the garlic and onions. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Sauté until onions are garlic are tender, set aside to cool.

Add the broccoli to a kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the broccoli and squeeze out the extra moisture. Pour the drained broccoli into a large bowl, add the onion and garlic and mix gently.

To the same bowl, add the panko, the cheeses, eggs, and salt/pepper to taste.
Mix together and form into patties, place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for another 15 minutes or until browned and crispy.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Crisp Skin Salmon

Crisp Skin Salmon  (Appetizers)

The sweetness of the leeks, the red wine sauce and the sweet spices on the rich, fatty salmon make this an excellent match for Pinot Noir’s acidity. The skin crisps best if it is very dry. Serve this dish either warm or at room temperature.

2 tbsp. butter
3 leeks, white and light green portion only, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup water

1 cup Pinot Noir
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped shallots
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
⅓ cup cold butter, diced

4 salmon fillets, each 6 oz. skin on
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

1 Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter and, when it sizzles, add leeks. Sauté for 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup water and cook until water has evaporated and leeks are very soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. The leeks should not brown. Reserve.

2 Combine wine, vinegar, shallots and tarragon in a pot. Bring to a boil and boil until reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter slowly until butter is absorbed and sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper and reserve. Reheat gently when needed.

3 Draw the blunt side of a knife over the salmon skin to release any water. Pat salmon skin with a paper towel.

4 Combine coriander, cinnamon and pepper in a small bowl. Season flesh side of salmon with salt, then rub with spice mixture. Do not season skin side.

5 Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil. Place fish skin-side down and sear 4 minutes or until skin is crisp and releases easily from the pan. Reduce heat to medium and flip onto flesh side. Cook 3 to 5 minutes more (depending on thickness) or until salmon is still slightly pink inside.

6 Let salmon sit for 5 minutes then cut each fillet into 6 portions. Plate each on top of some leeks and drizzle with a little sauce.

Serves 12 as a tasting size

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Zucchini and Carrot Egg Loaf

            Zucchini and Carrot Egg Loaf
(Makes 1 small loaf)
6 eggs (whisked)
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 zucchini grated
1/2 carrot grated
1 garlic clove grated
4 slices bacon diced, fried crisp
1/4 red onion chopped
1 tablespoon melted butter

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a prepared in loaf dish (bread) and bake at 180 C or 350 F' in oven for 25 minutes.