Sunday, November 30, 2014

Coconut Shrimp With Curry Dipping Sauce

Coconut Shrimp With 
Curry Dipping Sauce
20 - 24 shrimp, peeled and deveined,
   tails intact
3-4 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup rice flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher style flake salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 egg whites
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut*
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
Dipping Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon hot curry powder
3 tablespoon Penzy's Raspberry Enlightment
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

Rinse the shrimp and pat dry with paper toweling.  Pour the oil onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Make sure there is a nice layer of oil coating the entire bottom.

Use three wide shallow bowls to bread the shrimp.  In the first bowl, combine the rice flour, salt and pepper.  In the second, beat the egg whites.  In the third, combine the cornstarch, sugar and coconut.  

Dip the shrimp in the flour, salt and pepper the the egg white and lastly in the cornstarch sugar and coconut.  Press the coconut firmly onto the shrimp.  Place on the baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the shrimp carefully after 10 minutes.  Using a spatula works great.   

Remove from oven when shrimp area lightly golden brown.  Let cool slightly.  

While the shrimp bake, combine the mayonnaise, curry powder, and Raspberry Enlightenment in a small bowl.   (Raspberry Enlightenment is a "Penzy Spices" Sauce).  Serve the shrimp with the dipping sauce.
*Unsweetened coconut flakes are a lot more readily available these days, either by the sweetened flakes or in the Asian cooking section.  If you can only find the sweetened coconut, the recipe will work, just eliminate the sugar. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Old Fashioned Hard Candy

Old Fashioned Hard Candy
This recipe was shared by the daughter of a couple well known for their participation in the project at their church back in Ohio which made this candy every year at Christmas time.
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 c. Karo
1 c. water
Flavoring oils
Food coloring

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved; then cook without stirring, lowering the heat and coking more slowly during the last few minutes, to the hard crack stage (300 degrees F). If star crystals form on side of pan, wipe them off with a damp brush.
Remove from heat, add flavoring and enough food coloring to color; stir only to mix.  Pour into 2 well buttered 9 inch pans.  Set one pan of candy over a saucepan containing hot water (unless you have a helper to help cut the candy).  As soon as the other pan of candy is cool  enough to handle, cut it with scissors into 1-inch strips. Then snip the strips into pieces. Work fast. Drop the pieces onto a buttered baking sheet. If the candy cools too quickly, set it on a saucepan over hot water to soften it, but if it gets sticky, return at once to the work counter.

Toss in a small amount of powdered sugar to keep from sticking together. Repeat with the second pan of candy.

Soft and Chewy Granola Bars

Soft + Chewy Baked Granola Bars
By Angela Liddon
Dense, chewy, soft, doughy, seedy, hearty, protein-and-fibre-packed granola bars, sweetened naturally with dates! Try them spread with nut or seed butter for a fun treat or just enjoy them plain.

3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour
1 cup water
3/4 cup packed pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.

Add rolled oats into a high-speed blender. Blend on highest speed until a fine flour forms. Add oat flour into a large bowl.

Add water and pitted dates into blender. Allow the dates to soak for 30 minutes if they are a bit firm or your blender has a hard time blending dates smooth. Once they are soft, blend the dates and water until super smooth.

Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the oat flour and stir well until combined.

Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread it out with a spatula as evenly as possible. You can use lightly wet hands to smooth it down if necessary.

Bake at 325F for about 23-25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

I suggest freezing leftovers to preserve freshness.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pear And Almond Frangipane Tart

Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Makes one 9-inch tart
Pâte Sablée
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

9 tablespoon butter, very cold, 
    cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk

Poached Pears
3 ripe medium pears (I used Anjou) – 
you only need 2 pears but I suggest 
having an extra one just in case you 
mess up a pear
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract

For the pears: 
Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cut the pears in half, remove the seed core and fibrous cores at either end, then peel the pears.

Add the pear halves to the simmering syrup and reduce heat to low. Cover, and let pears poach for about 10 minutes, turning them halfway. The pears will become slightly translucent, very tender, and easily pierced with a knife or skewer.

Let the pears cool in the liquid until room temperature before using. Or, you can store them in their liquid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For the tart shell: Put the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and combine in several pulses until the dough starts to turn from dry to clumpy. Do not let the dough form one giant ball or it will be be overworked – just keep checking after every pulse and when the dough pieces looks like they will stick when you press them together, stop.

Butter a 9-in tart tin with removable bottom. Turn the dough out into the tin and press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. You probably will not need all the dough – save the extra for patching the shell after you bake it. Do not press the dough too hard or it will become tough – just enough for it to form to the tin.

Freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

To partially bake the tart shell, take a piece of foil and butter the shiny side, then press the buttered side tightly to the shell. You do not need pie weights. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, until the shell is dry and lightly colored. If any places have cracked, repair with the extra dough. Let cool on a rack until room temperature.

For the frangipane: 
Combine the butter and sugar in the food processor and combine until smooth. Add the ground almonds and blend together. Add the flour and cornstarch, and then the egg and egg white. Process the mixture until it is very smooth. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts just to blend. The frangipane can be used immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If it becomes too firm in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for a while to soften before using.

To finish the tart: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell (It should be liquid enough to smooth out on its own so you don’t need to work to much on it).

Take the poached pears out of their liquid and drain them on paper towels. You don’t want too much excess liquid or they will make the frangipane soggy. Cut each pear half crosswise into 3/8 in thick slices. Do not separate the pear half yet.

Slide a spatula or other flat utensil underneath the pear so you can transfer the entire half onto the tart. Press on the pear to fan the slices toward the top narrow end of the pear.

Slide the pear half onto the frangipane carefully – you can move the pear after you place it, but not much.

Repeat with three other pear halves until there are four halves on the tart, evenly spaced.

Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Cool the tart on a wire rack.

Before serving, you can brush the pears with some warmed apple jelly to glaze, or dust confectioner’s sugar over the tart.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium onion diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 1/4 lbs. skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons green chiles
32 oz. reduced sodium chicken stock
2 cups hot water
1  15oz. can no-sodium black beans,  
    drained and rinsed
5 corn tortillas, sliced into strips 1/2" wide
2 avocados cut into cubes
8 oz. shredded light cheddar cheese
2 limes, cut in wedges
1 cup chopped cilantro

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Ad onion, pepper, anad garlic and cook until they start to soften.  Add chicken breasts, chili powder, cumin, and salt and stir until all ingredients are coated in spices.  Add tomatoes, chiles, stock and hot water and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken breasts to a plate until cool enough to handle.  Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to puree part of the soup (just enough to thicken a bit).  Shred chicken using a fork and return to pot with black beans.  Simmer another 20 minutes.

To serve, divide tortilla strips, avocados, and cheese among bowls and ladle the soup over.  Garnish with a squeeze of lime and cilantro.    Makes 8 servings    

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes With Easy Mushroom Gravy

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes With
Easy Mushroom Gravy
2 pounds of Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes, peeled or
   unpeeled and cut into chunks
1 small head of cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds) chopped
   into bite sized chunks
2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic minced
Milk or non-dairy milk if desired
Place  the potatoes in a very large saucepan and add water to cover.  Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for 10 minutes uncovered.

After 10 minutes add the cauliflower to the saucepan with the potatoes.  Boil both vegetables for 10 minutes more, uncovered until they are fork tender. 

Drain the potatoes and cauliflower and return them to the saucepan.  Mash with a potato masher until smooth. adding the butter, salt, pepper, and garlic as you mash.  Resist the urge to add milk right off the bar.  As you mash the cauliflower, it will release some water and thin out the mixture.  If you need to add some milk at the end do so to make the mixture your desired consistency, feel free to do so.
Easy Mushroom Gravy
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups finely sliced cremini mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari, or to taste.
In a skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the sliced mushrooms and rosemary and raise the heat to medium-high.  Sauté for 8 to 9 minutes more, or until most of the water is released by the mushrooms has cooked off.

Stir in the flour until all of the vegetables are coated.

Add the broth and tamari gradually  and stir quickly to smooth out any lumps of flour.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Cook stirring often to ensure that it doesn't burn, for 5 minutes more.

When the gravy has thickened to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and serve.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Farro Risotto

Farro Risotto
1 cup farro
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (see Cook's Note)
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a medium bowl, mix together the farro and 4 cups of water. Soak for 30 minutes and drain well.

Heat the broth in a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and season with

1/4 teaspoon salt and

1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the drained farro and cook, stirring constantly until toasted, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and stir constantly until evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth and stir constantly until completely absorbed.

Continue adding the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until the farro is creamy and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the currants, pine nuts, feta cheese, and the remaining salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Cook's Note: To toast the pine nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad With Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad 
with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
An amazing fall salad with the best creamy poppyseed dressing that you will ever have!
6 ounces baby spinach
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 Granny Smith Apples, chopped
½ cup crumbled Feta Cheese
¾ cup dried cranberries
Creamy Poppyseed Dressing:
⅓ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup 2% milk
3 Tablespoons Sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons poppyseeds

In a large bowl, toss baby spinach, pecans, apples, feta cheese, and cranberries.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, sugar, cider vinegar, and poppyseeds. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.
Serve salad immediately and garnish with more feta cheese if desired.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rosemary- Garlic Top Sirloin Roast

Rosemary-Garlic Top Sirloin Roast
Since top sirloin has no fat cap for flavor, a robust coating of herbs season the roast.
Top Sirloin Roast
2 tablespoons Kosher salt, divided
4 teaspoons oil, divided
3 tablespoons Rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon garlic, crushed
5 anchovies
1/4 cup olive oil
Pepper, freshly ground
Pepper flakes
5 pieces kitchen string per roast
Sea salt
Lay the roast on a cutting board.  Cut the roast lengthwise equally into halves. Rub each half with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt divided.  Refrigerate uncovered overnight or for 24 hours.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil almost to the smoking point.  Brown one of the roasts on all sides 6 to 8 minutes.  Place on a plate and let rest 10 minutes to cool.  Put another 2 teaspoons of oil in skillet and continue to brown the second roast and repeat.

Process to make a paste in food processor; 

3 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves,
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
5 anchovies,
1/4 cup olive oil
When you have a nice paste consistency, add
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes  Quick pulse X 2.

Using 5 pieces of kitchen string, tie each of the roasts crosswise into a "loaf" at equal intervals.

Transfer the two roasts onto a rack and apply the paste onto the roasts.

Roast on the middle rack of a 225^ F. oven.  Using an internal thermometer 125^F for Medium Rare or 130^F. for 2 hours to 2 hrs 15 minutes.  

Remove from oven and tent with foil for 30 to 40 minutes. 

Heat oven to 500^ F. Remove twine.  Return to oven for 6 to 8 minutes.  Season with sea salt.  Slice in 1/4" thick slices.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How To Make Preserved Lemons A Moroccan And Middle Eastern Speciality

Unlock one of the secrets of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine and discover how preserved lemons transform a dish into something indescribably exquisite!

If you’re a fan of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking you’ve probably had the experience of thumbing through recipes, drooling all the while, earmarking the ones you particularly like, only to then scan through the ingredients and see the words:  “Preserved Lemons”.  Your heart sinks for a moment as you realize you’re sorely lacking this crucial ingredient (and simultaneously wondering, what the heck is a “preserved lemon” anyway??)  And so with disappointment you un-earmark that page and move on to the next recipe.

DON’T let that scenario stop you again!
Preserved lemons are so easy and quick to make, last practically forever, and will enhance your dishes like nothing you’ve ever tasted.  If you’re willing to take a few minutes of your time to make these preserved lemons, you’ll be able to reap your lemony harvest throughout the rest of the year.

Okay, so first things first.  What are preserved lemons?  They’re lemons that have been pickled in salt and their own juices and left to sit for a month before using.

Preserved lemons will transform your dish from something good into something amazing.  Think about how much you love things flavored with lemon.  Preserved lemons are lemons on steroids.  They add an intense, concentrated lemon flavor to the dish without all the sour tartness.  The preserving process tempers the tartness while accentuating the lemon flavor.  Mildly tart but intensely lemony.  See, I told you.  Don’t think twice next time about leaving out this touch of heaven.

Preserved lemons are used throughout Morocco, the Middle East and in certain areas of India to add flavor to a variety of dishes – everything from meats to salads, stews and sauces.  And really, your imagination is the limit to how they can be used and enjoyed.

Here are a few more ideas:
Salad Dressings.  Blend some preserved lemon into it and that dressing will love you forever.  

Fish.  Seafood and lemons are soul mates.  Now think about relationship seafood and preserved lemons can form.  Till never do us part.  Whip up a lovely marinade for your fish with some finely diced or blended preserved lemon or add it to your sauce to drizzle over your fish.  

Healthy Grain Dishes and Salads.  Think nutty roasted barley or quinoa tossed with vegetables and tiny bits of preserved lemon with a tasty vinaigrette.  Or how about a preserved lemon risotto or pilaf?  Now you’re talking.  

Pasta.  Buttery pasta tossed with a creamy preserved lemon sauce?  Commmme to mama!  

Dips.  Try adding some preserved lemon to your hummus next time.  Or to your baba ganoush. 

Salsas.  Next time you make your famous mango/pineapple/however-you-make-it salsa, add some diced preserved lemon to it.  Life never was so good.

How To Make 
Toss the lemon slices in kosher salt to coat, and place them into a sterile 2 quart glass jar. Pour in the lemon juice, cover tightly, and let stand on the counter for 1 week. Turn the jar over daily. At the end of the week, top the jar off with enough olive oil to cover the lemons. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.

How To Use 
To use, pull the lemon pulp from the peel, and scrape out the pith to leave only the yellow rind. Julienne, and add to your favorite dish for a lemony zing.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Roasted Shrimp Bruschetta

Roasted Shrimp Bruschetta
This is a recipe from the Tuscan Dining cooking class that I took recently.  This appetizer is absolutely tasty.  Did you know shrimp from Mexico are caught in the coldest waters?
1 pound Mexican Shrimp - 16 to 20 cleaned,
   defined and butterflied
1 yellow bell pepper, julienne
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch red chili pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, rough chopped
1/2 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise

1 cup pea tendrils
2 mint leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

12  1/2-inch slices of baguette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for brushing
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high heat
Mix oil and butter together.  
Brush each slice of bread on both sides with the oil and butter mixture.  
Grill until crispy and golden.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine all of the ingredients except for the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese.  
Place on a baking sheet and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until shrimp have turned pink and have cooked through.
Add the mayonnaise to the shrimp mixture and gently fold together.
Evenly divide this mixture among grilled bread, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and broil for 1 minute.
Top with pea tendrils and mint.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Microwave Coffee Mug Brownies

(makes 1 serving)

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 tablespoon instant coffee
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 or 2 drops vanilla extract

Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and instant coffee to a microwave-save ceramic mug. Use a fork to mix together and break apart any clumps.
Add butter, water, and vanilla to the mug, and stir until the mixture is smoothe.
Microwave on high about a 1 minute 40 seconds or until the brownie is cooked all the way through. Each microwave is different, so experiment.
Let cool for a minute, then either eat straight or add ice cream or whipped cream on top.

Floor Cleaner

Floor Cleaner
7 cups water, 
1/2 cup baking soda, 
1/3 cup lemon juice 
1/4 cup vinegar 
Pour into a spray bottle and spray your floor, let it sit for a minute or two... then scrub.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pumpkin Roll Cake

Pumpkin Roll Cake
3 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
optional powdered sugar for dusting
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted.
Preheat oven to 375^.  

Line a rimmed 11 x 17 cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with waxed paper and set aside.  Parchment paper doesn't work unless you use spray oil to grease it first.

In a large bowl beat the eggs on high for 5 minutes.  Add the pumpkin, sugar, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt: mix well.  

Spread the batter on the waxed paper on the jelly roll pan.  It will be very thin.  If it doesn't quit reach all of the edges, don't worry.  Sprinkle with nuts, if using.  

Bake on the top rack for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.  Generously sprinkle powdered sugar on a clean tea towel.  Gently flip the cake onto the towel.  Peel the paper from the cake.  Roll the cake up in the towel (Like a jelly roll) from the long side and let it cool completely.

To prepare the filling, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread the with the filling.  Roll again and keep in the refrigerator.  Slice when fully chilled into 12 to 16 pieces.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms With Squash, Scallions, And Orange Vinaigrette

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms With 
Squash, Scallions, And 
Orange Vinaigrette
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice, strained
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Olive oil
2 bunches scallions, cleaned
4 portabello mushrooms whole, stems and
    gills carefully removed
3 to 4 thin yellow summer squash,  cut into
   1/2-inch slices
Salad greens your choice
Toasted Sesame seeds
In a saucepan, reduce orange juice to 1/4 cup over medium high heat.  Whisk in sesame oil, then rice wine vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Brush vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill vegetables over a medium-hot fire: mushrooms about 4 minutes a side, squash 2 to 3 minutes a side, and scallions about 3 minutes.  When grilled, arrange vegetables over greens and drizzle with orange vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Serves four as a lunch or light dinner, eight as an appetizer.
Wine suggestion:  Beaujolais

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tangerine Cranberry Sauce

Tangerine Cranberry Sauce 
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice 

    (orange juice also works well)
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until cranberries pop, about 10 minutes. Watch for hot splatters. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate up to 5 days.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes 
My favorite instructors at Great News Cooking School, Phyllis Carey has offered the recipes for a complete but delicious Thanksgiving Dinner.  I have posted one recipe daily and they follow.
Serves 8 to 10.
5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in 8 pieces
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into 

    8 pieces and softened 
1 1/2 to 2 cups sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt to the water. Cook potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes longer.

2. Place butter, cream cheese and 1 cup sour cream in the bottom of a large bowl. Drain potatoes and garlic and let air dry for 5 minutes. Press potatoes and garlic through a ricer into the bowl on top of the other ingredients. Stir to combine until smooth adding more sour cream as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Mashed potatoes may be served immediately or transferred to a buttered 4- quart casserole. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, covered with foil, for up to 48 hours. Bake, covered, at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until very hot.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fresh Mango And Cranberry Relish

Fresh Mango And Cranberry Relish 
Makes 2 1/2 cups.
1 lb. mangoes (about 2), peeled and cubed
2 cups cranberries (8 oz.)
1⁄2 medium unpeeled orange, seeded, 

   cut into large pieces 
1⁄2 cup sugar
Place mangoes, cranberries and orange in processor and pulse to coarsely chop. Transfer to bowl and stir in sugar. Let relish stand at least 30 minutes before serving. Keeps 3 days in refrigerator.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sausage, Apple And Dried Cranberry Stuffing

Sausage, Apple And Dried Cranberry Stuffing Serves 10 to 12.
1 lb. firm white bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
1 lb. sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/4 cup unsalted butter
6 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 large leeks) 

1 lb. tart green apples, peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped celery with leaves 4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 cup dried cranberries
4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/2 to 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide bread cubes between 2 large baking sheets. Bake until slightly dry, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
2. Sauté sausages in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl. Pour off any drippings from skillet. Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, apples, celery and poultry seasoning to skillet; sauté until leeks soften, about 8 minutes. Mix in dried cranberries and rosemary. Add mixture to sausage, then mix in bread and parsley. Season stuffing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Mix eggs into stuffing. 
3. To bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 15x10x2-inch baking dish or 2 smaller casseroles. Mix 1 1/3 cups broth into stuffing. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake until heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown if desired, about 15 minutes.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shredded Brussels Sprouts With Pine Nuts

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts Serves 8.
1 1/4 lbs. small Brussels Sprouts
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water
2 T. unsalted butter
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

Halve Brussels sprouts lengthwise. Cut lengthwise into thin (1/8-inch) slices or slice with food processor. Heat oil with garlic in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown at edges, 6 minutes. Add water and butter; sauté until most of water evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, 3 minutes. Toss in the toasted pine nuts. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash With Red Graped, Pine Nuts, And Sage

Roasted Butternut Squash With Red Grapes, Pine Nuts And Sage Serves 4 to 6.

1 (2 1/4 lb.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (I just buy the already cubed squash—1 1/2 lbs.)
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes (about 8 oz.)
1 medium onion, cut into 1 inch cubes or chunks
2 T. thinly sliced fresh sage leaves 
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine butternut squash, grapes, onion and sage in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Spread squash out onto a parchment-lined large baking sheet and roast until squash and onion begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 50 minutes (less time with the already cubed squash). Serve sprinkled with toasted pine nuts.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Green Beans With Caramelized Shallots

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots
Caramelized Shallots:
6 T. unsalted butter, divided use 
1/2 lb. shallots, thinly sliced 
Coarse salt and pepper to taste 
2 T. balsamic vinegar
Serves 10.
4 tsp. sugar
1 T. salt
2 lbs. thin green beans 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes. (Shallots may be cooked the day before.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Add the green beans and boil 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender and still bright green. Drain and rinse in cold water. (Beans may be cooked the day before.)
Melt remaining 3 T. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the green beans and cook and toss until heated through, as much as 10 minutes. Add shallots and heat through; season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

This completes the recipes from Phillis Carey, my favorite instructor at Great News.  Phillis emailed a complete Thanksgiving menu which I have shared.
The Best Pumpkin Pie Ever!
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 

2 T. chilled Crisco, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 T. (or more) ice water
2/3 cup golden brown sugar 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin 

2 T. real maple syrup
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream Sweetened whipped cream

To make the crust, mix flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter and Crisco and pulse to process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 3 T. ice water over mixture. Process just until moist clumps form, adding more water by tsp. if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
2. Roll dough out into a 12 inch round. Transfer dough to a 9 inch pie pan. Trim edges and fold under. Crimp edges decoratively. Refrigerate until very cold.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line pastry with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake 12 minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake until very light brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Cool crust on a rack.
4. For filling, place brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, salt and spices in a large bowl. Whisk until combined. Whisk in pumpkin, maple syrup and eggs and then cream. Pour mixture into crust. Bake until edges puff and center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely on a rack. Serve with whipped cream. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mango Lassi
Serves 2-3
3-4 medium mangoes (or 2 cups mango pulp)
2 cups full-fat, plain yogurt, chilled
2 tablespoons low-fat cream
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
mint leaves, garnish
Peel mangoes and chop them into cubes.
Place mangoes in blender and pulse with sugar and honey.
Add cold yogurt, cream and cardamom powder, and continue blending for another 1-2 minutes.
Once smooth, taste and see if you want to adjust the cream or add ice to make it thinner or thicker. Blend until smooth.
Pour into chilled glasses and garnish with mint leaves.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pan Roasted Filet Mignon Stuffed With Stilton Cheese Lemon Dill Bleurre Blanc

Phillis Careys Recipe of the Week October 19, 2014
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
1 shallot, chopped
4 filet mignon steaks (1 1/4 inches thick) 

8 T. crumbed Stilton cheese
2 T. olive oil
1/2 cup tawny port 

3 T. unsalted butter
1. Place chicken broth, beef broth and shallots in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue cooking down until only 1 cup remains, about 15 minutes. Strain liquid into a measuring cup and set aside.

2. Cut a pocket in one side of each steak and stuff 2 tablespoons Stilton cheese in each, pinching the meat to seal as best as you can. Season steaks well with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add steaks and cook 4 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare to medium.

3. When steaks are roasting add the port to the skillet and boil down by half, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan port is half cooked down. Add the broth reduction and bring to a boil. Cook down by half again. Swirl in the butter and serve spooned over the steaks.

Tip: Its ok to skip the Stilton cheese and simply make the steak.  You might also like to thicken the sauce by mashing some flour into part of the butter and whisking it in and letting it boil to thicken. Finish with remaining butter just before serving.

1/2 cup dry white wine
2 T. chopped shallots
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
8 T. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces 

2 tsp. minced fresh dill
Place wine, shallots and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until mixture is reduced to 3 T.of liquid plus the shallots, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add butter, one piece at a time, whisking until melted before adding next. 

Do not allow sauce to boil, removing from heat and whisking vigorously if sauce becomes too hot. Remove from heat and stir in dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.