Friday, September 27, 2013

Mississippi Pot Roast

  I first heard of this pot roast recipe a few weeks ago, some of the ladies at my usual Friday night get together were talking about it.   Well, it sounded really interesting and I wanted to try making it.
So I did.  Make it for dinner that is, yesterday and wow, was it good.


Hard to believe something so simple could be that tasty, however, I will say it was a tad salty.   But then again, we don't eat a lot of salt.  Or rather, I don't cook with a lot of salt, I really do prefer herbs to season with.    That being said, I will make this again, but will make a few changes.* 

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ostestænger (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)

I joined some friends for a little get together last Sunday   And was trying to think of what I could bring/make/share. I really didn't want to run to town to get something special.    As it just so happened, I was looking through my copy of Danish Home Baking, by Karen Berg and found this recipe.   Simple, tasty and good.
Ostestænger  (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)


A lot of the recipes in this book assume a certain level of expertise. Most recipes are baked in a moderate, fast or slow, or hot oven.   I've had very little difficulty in translating moderate, fast and slow to degrees, but will add the recommended temperatures here.
The recipe follows at the end. 

Mix the grated cheese with the flour, salt and paprika.   Work in the butter.

 Pat the dough into a rectangle and set aside to cool.   When cold, roll out to roughly 24 inches long by 5 inches wide.  Brush with egg and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Ostestænger  (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)


   Cut into approximately 50 straws.   Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake very pale golden.   On no account allow to get browned as they will then taste bitter.
You can also make a roll of the dough, and cut it into rounds.   

Form the dough into a roll and then just cut slices from it, and flatten them a little before brushing with egg and sprinkling with cheese.
Ostestænger  (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)
 I used some Kerrygold Herb butter.  You can also make your own herb butter by adding some garlic and a choice of chopped herbs to a 1/4 stick of butter. 


The feedback I got on these was positive, especially when they were crumbled into a bowl of home made baked beans.   I bet these would also be brilliant on some Chile or crumbled into a nice Tomato Soup as well. 

yield: 50 Crackersprint recipe

Cheese Straws (Ostestænger) and Cheese Medallions (Ostemedaljer)

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 30 mins
These light cheese crackers are a welcome addition to any cocktail hour. Flavorful, rich and yet not too much of any good thing. They also go great with a bowl of chili.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup Herb Butter
  • 1 2/3 cup flour (add up 1/4 cup more if needed)
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Colby Jack cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for topping the crackers)
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Up to 1-2 tablespoons water (adding 1 teaspoon at a time)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix 2 cups of the grated cheese with the flour,cayenne and paprika.   Work in the butter. 
  2.  Add 1- 2 tablespoons ice water, one teaspoon at a time, just til the dough comes together (this makes it less like a pie crust and more like a cracker). 
  3. Pat the dough out into a rectangle, wrap well and place in fridge for an hour or so to cool down. 
  4. When ready to bake, take the dough out, roll out to roughly 24 inches by 5 inches. 
  5. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup cheese. Cut into strips, you will get approximately 50 straws.
  6.  You can also take half the dough and roll it into a cylinder and cut slices from it, roll them out a little thinner, which you then brush with egg and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 400-425 degree oven (depending on oven) for about 15 minutes, checking the pan after 10 minutes. You want them a pale, pale, golden color. If they brown, they become bitter tasting.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Raspberry Chipotle Sweet Hot Wings

I'm still craving some wings with a sweet hot sticky sauce baked on them. 

This is my latest effort try.
Raspberry Chipotle Sweet Hot Wings

 I gotta say I'm having fun trying to get this recipe just right.  The first try time I experimented with them, I served them at Tapas Night in July and they were ok, not all that great but meh, ok.     My second try was for Boat Club in July and I called them Sweet and Spicy and they were good, but not great.  I thought they were better than my first try.   

So onwards and upwards, I'm still craving those wings.  And I will get them right, even if it takes me a few more tries.

This time round, I'm trying a hint I read somewhere of poaching the wings first for about 10 minutes, before slathering them with sauce and baking them off.  
I then baked them for about 30 minutes in a 350 deg. oven to try and get them browned a little.  Didn't work.
Next time they will go in for an hour, minimum.      I want them to be falling off the bone tender, browned and yummy.  

So I put them in a pan, and poured my prepared sauce over them, well, actually I basted them with the sauce first.
Raspberry Chipotle Sweet Hot Wings
But that didn't seem like it would be sufficient so I just poured the sauce over them and baked them off.
Raspberry Chipotle Sweet Hot Wings

And this is how they looked when I took them out.
Sorry a little blurry...
Raspberry Chipotle Sweet Hot Wings


I served them with some sweet potato fries and thoroughly enjoyed them.   But as I was eating the wings, I was planning my next try.  I have the sweet part down, just need a little something more, a little heat of course, but they are still missing something.  Maybe a marinade or a dry rub, hmmmm, and I just remembered I bought some chipotle pepper seasoning not that long ago...

Here's the latest mixture  sauce:
1/2 cup Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
1/4 cup Ken's Asian Soy Sauce dressing
1/4 cup Blackberry Jelly
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

Heat and whisk together and then pour over the wings and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Serve with some sweet potato fries if you like.
Raspberry Chipotle Sweet Hot Wings
Which I made as a last minute thought.   I peeled the potato, cut it into strips, and zapped it in the microwave for 3 minutes.   Heated up the oil and added a few pieces of potato at a time, and fried them til golden.   As soon as they came out of the oil, I sprinkled them with a little sugar and cinnamon.    I have to say, this is my first time making these, and it will not be my last, they were so good. 


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Monday, September 16, 2013

Green Goddess Hummus for SRC

 The Secret Recipe Club is a bunch of bloggers, divided into groups, and we make recipes from a secretly assigned blog from within our group once a month and then post about what we made. I've really enjoyed being a member of the Secret Recipe Club this past year, and I want to continue on with it.  Each group has a designated "Reveal" day and we have our blog entries set to go live at a certain time.   I love to see which  recipe someone picks to make from my blog, and have even more fun trying to find recipes I can make and blog about from my assignment
.
This month my assigned blog was Gluten Free A-Z and I got excited.   I don't cook gluten free, but do have some friends who are gluten free as well as some who are pescatarians, and I like making foods that they can also eat.   (A pescatarian is a vegetarian who eats seafood. )   And Judee had a lot of recipes in there that fit both eating styles.

I waffled around a little though.   I found several recipes, but settled on making just a couple, then had to decide which one to make and blog about.   Decisions, decision, decisions...

Green Goddess Hummus
I picked this one, the Green Goddess Hummus.   I get together with a bunch of ladies most Fridays and Hummus is a very popular nibble here.    And  I wanted to try a new version of  Hummus, cause we're Hummus junkies, and it's just plain fun trying new versions of Hummus.  

My hummus was not as green as Judee's, I think I needed a lot more parsley then I had.  I used a full cup of parsley, but it wasn't packed into the cup, it was more or less loosely packed.    Here's Judee's  recipe with my changes in blue.

Recipe
2 cups chick peas, cooked
1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 - 3/4 cup parsley
1 cup parsley
3/4 -1 cup tahini ( depending on how creamy you like it) available in health food stores and supermarkets
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup green scallions, chopped
Juice of two limes ( or lemons)
2 cloves fresh raw garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp. cumin ( or more to taste)
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander ( or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/3 cup water
( I also added Trader Joe's 21 Salute which is a saltless spice mixture)  Did not use this.  

I also wanted to try something with the chickpeas which I'd just read about, I 'skinned' the peas.  And it really wasn't as labor intensive as that sounds.  


You just rub the pea between two fingers and the skin slips right off.   And I did wash and rinse my hands before I did this.    It;s supposed to make a silkier, smoother hummus. 


I then processed the chickpeas and  3/4 cup of tahini together, but did not get it really smooth, I needed more moisture, so I added a couple tablespoons of olive oil and some water.   My little immersion blender was having some problems getting the mixture smooth.  But I persevered.  I don't have a large food processor, just a little two cup one so I used that for the parsley,garlic and onions.   Got them pretty smooth and added a 1/4 cup of tahini, and then added all of that to the chickpea/tahini mixture.   Tasted it and added some more cumin, it needed it, I thought.  It really tasted garlicky to me at this point, but that's not a bad thing.

Took my pictures, and had fun with that.   I served this with some gluten free crackers and after the Hummus had a chance to sit in the fridge for an hour or so, it mellowed out a lot.  And the ladies told me I'd hit another home run.  


So thank you Judee, I will make this again.  

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bok Choy and Bean Thread Noodles

I bought some baby Bok Choy last week when I went to the 'big' city.  I visited my favorite little oriental store and as I think I've told you before, this is where I pick up my fun veggies and spices and other necessities.
So last night I wanted something good for dinner.   I've not been cooking a lot lately, my partner has been under the weather so I've been 'gasp' zapping some Lean Cuisines for dinner.  Which are pretty good, but I wanted something better, something that was good to eat and quick last night.
Bok Choy and Bean Thread Noodles
 Bean Thread noodles are a great thing to keep in the cupboard.   You can do so many things with them.  I bought some for my Spring Rolls awhile back and decided that Bean Thread noodles were now a pantry necessity.  
Bok Choy and Bean Thread Noodles

I decided at this point that it was ready to eat.   But when I tasted it, it was lacking something.  So I got out my Sriracha Sauce and added a good tablespoon or maybe it was just a long squirt of sauce to the bowl.   And that was the ticket.   It was so good.
Bok Choy and Bean Thread Noodles

It was then I got the idea, DANG!!!!  I should post this, it was a tasty dish, vegetarian and gluten free.   Well, mostly vegetarian, but you could omit the chicken stock if you like and use a good vegetable stock.   And if you need meat with it, I don't know why you couldn't add some thinly sliced chicken to it as well.

Maybe I'll try that tonight.   I still have some noodles left.     And there are still a couple of carrots in the bin that would probably taste really good with this as well, especially if I cut them into coins.    

yield: 1 servingprint recipe

Bok Choy and Bean Thread Noodles

prep time: cook time: total time:
This quick and easy meal is gluten free and delicious. You can make it totally vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. You can also add some chicken or pork or beef if you want more protein.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Baby Bok Choy cut into quarters or eights.
  • 4 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/3 package Bean Thread Noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce (you can also use the gluten free one here)
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce or Sambal Oelek

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Saute the mushrooms and onions until the onions are translucent, add in the sliced up Bok Choy along with the chicken stock and a couple of tablespoons soy sauce. Put the lid and and let it cook for a few minutes while you prepare the Bean Thread noodles by pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit for a few minutes. Drain the noodles and add them to the Bok Choy mixture, and then add a little more soy sauce, a tablespoon or so of Sesame Oil and stir that in.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Boat Club for September

Another month, another Boat Club gone.     We had a pretty light turnout this month, but that's OK, we still had some awesome food.

I was in the 'big city' most of the day and really didn't think I would get back in time for the event, but I did.  And since I didn't have time to make anything special, I fell back on an easy thing.  I made Hummus.  Plain old Hummus. 
 Just puree some one can Cannellini Beans together with 1/2 cup Tahini, add 1/2 tsp. salt and serve with some Pita Crackers or some other crackers.  Very simple and quick.

 I did drizzle a little Sesame Chile Oil and Sesame Oil on top for flavour, and served it with some gluten free crackers.  
To the right was some more Hummus, but I didn't get a clear (read unfuzzy) shot of it. 
As for the rest...

Creamy Gazpacho with Toppings.   Apparently this is a different take on regular Gazpacho, I wouldn't know, I just know I want this recipe as well from Kathy.   I could just eat this alone for dinner, breakfast, a snack.   








 Stuffed Jalapeno's .  Perfection in every bite.   I love these.  A little sausage, a little cream cheese, and YUM.   Thanks Quinn and Cheryl Ann  for these and the chicken wings below. 
My mom's favorite part of the chicken were the wings, and I know why.   They're my favorite part as well.  And these were done beautifully.   Tender and moist. 









 Curried Chicken Pot Pie in Phyllo, as well as some wrapped in Puff Pastry.   Leon comes up with some fun stuff.   And I do dearly love my curry.  So, this was a winner for me.   
The only problem is that I now have a craving for Curry Chicken and Rice.  











And if you read here, you know I love Mexican Food, and Roberta made an awesome Enchilada Casserole.   I don't think there were any leftovers.   She's going to share the recipe with me, cause this one will be a hit at my house. 




 Danes love their Pickled Beets, we do and Harriet made some that were so good, I could have eaten the entire dish. 
 Jon brought his Apple Salad.  So good, and good for you as well.











And you can't forget Dessert.      Nothing like a satisfying cupcake.  Perfect hand held morsels.
So there you have it.    Our Boat Club wrap up for September.    Gotta start thinking about next month now.    But I have time...

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Kohlrabi and Sweet Potato Fritters

Have you ever had Kohlrabi?   It's this weird vegetable that kinda looks a little like a turnip with leaves.    The name comes from the German, Kohl being cabbage and rabi means turnip.  Doesn't taste like either one though.  

I was very fortunate to grow up on a farm, we raised our own pigs, cattle, chickens and even had sheep and a goat at one point.    We also grew vegetables and soft fruits.

As a young person I was not that fond of vegetables.  I loved the fresh corn, I'd generally manage to polish off an ear or two on my way up to the house after picking some for dinner.   I would eat as many peas as I shelled when we were having fresh peas for dinner, but never cared for them cooked.

Wait a minute, I think I see a pattern emerging.   I liked raw cauliflower, raw cabbage, raw carrots and raw peas, but not cooked.  However, when it was time to harvest Kohlrabi, I was happy to eat that raw or cooked.   Mom never really did anything fancy with the Kohlrabi, basically it was steamed and served with a little butter.  Simple and oh, so very good.   You really didn't need more seasoning than that.  

Now that I've gotten the story telling out of the way -

I got so excited when I found some Kohlrabi at a little oriental store I go to when I visit the big city.   They have the most incredible variety of fun vegetables there.  I usually pick up some baby bok choy, as well as chinese eggplants and other fun stuff.    But this time after grabbing my essentials, I found some Kohlrabi.  So I bought it.

I thought one of the bulbs would go nicely with a sweet potato and some besan flour  and some of the new spice mixtures I picked up at another store.   And since I was going to go to a gathering yesterday, I used my friends as guinea pigs.    I decided to play with this and see how it turned out.   Of course if they hadn't passed my taste test, I was just going to share it here and  and not say a word about it.  I used the recipe for Carrot Pakora's I made a while ago as a base for these.

Recipe:  Kohlrabi and Sweet Potato Fritters
1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 Kohlrabi, peeled and grated
1  cup Besan Flour  (Chickpea Flour)
1 cup Rice Flour
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1 Jalapeno, finely diced
3 teaspoons cumin/coriander powder mix  to taste,
(I just purchased this at the Indian store).
1/2 teaspoon salt
Water to moisten, I used about 3/4 cup
Oil for frying 




Peel the Kohlrabi, making sure you get all that woody outer peel off.

 You can see in the picture that under the peel is a layer of white peel, you don't really want that either.  Not for this recipe.   Grate it and set aside.  Peel and grate the sweet potato, then mince the onion and jalapeno.

Dump all the veggies into a bowl and add the flours and spices.  Mix together and then add water.

 I used a half cup water but it was still a little dry, so I added about another 1/4 cup, which was almost too much.   But it worked.  Heat the oil to about 350 degrees, you can do a shallow fry with these fritters, which is what I did.  Or you can use a Fry Daddy if you like, whatever floats your boat.

Place a tablespoon of the fritter mix into the oil and fry til golden on one side, then turn and fry til golden on the other side.

 Remove from oil and drain.

Serve warm with some Chutney sauce.  

And I did say I was at a gathering with some friends, which in my neck of the woods equates to lots of yummy dishes.
I tried Gefilte Fish yesterday, served with Horseradish.  Very interesting.


There was some Ham, and I took a picture before the mustard and mayonnaise was put into the bowls.


 There was also some yummy Asparagus, with a touch of balsamic vinegar and caramelized onions.
You gotta have some Cheese and Crackers along the way as well.   And I did not get a shot of the yummy burrito's either, grrr.   I managed to eat one, but... 


All in all, another successful gathering. 

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mise en place, huh?

I've not been doing a lot of cooking lately, I got a couple of new cookbooks on my Kindle and have been having fun reading recipes, bookmarking them and planning out some cooking.   But, one of the cookbooks made note of the fact that you have to plan, and I do.   But there is a very specific term for planning in a kitchen. 
Mise en place.
Sounds pretty fancy, don't it?     Mise en place is French for 'putting in place', and pretty much every professional kitchen has everything organized so that the recipe ingredients are all at hand and prepped, which means onions chopped, meat trimmed, etc.   Which means, no one is searching for anything at the last minute.  Ovens are usually turned on, pans ready to go, water boiling if needed for pasta's or potato's or ...

Now, I'm not always that organized, but I try.   I get out all the ingredients for a recipe, put them all in place and take a picture of them for this blog.    Like this, the ingredients for Sildesalat all in one place.
Sildesalat ingredients

Which I have to say has helped me to become better organized, really it has.    I try to read through not only the ingredients for a recipe, but also make note of the oven temperature if necessary, cook times, any special pots, pans, everything.   I've lately gotten used to using my glasses when reading a recipe. 

I mean, just cause I read flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas, does not mean I have a problem.  They were still tortillas.   So now I double check, mostly.    

By having your ingredients all together you're not hunting up anything at the last minute or three.  Especially if you're cooking something like Shrimp, which we all know can get over cooked the minute your attention is drawn away.

Go ahead and chop, and trim and measure to your hearts' content.   That way you know you  have all the ingredients together.
Ingredients for Chicken Piccata
So you can go ahead and finish preparing.   Prep work is key.   By having the lemons sliced, the chicken cut into cutlets, the parsley chopped, I was ready that day to make my  Chicken Piccata.
Chicken Piccata
And yes, I had a pot of water boiling so all I had to do was drop in the Bowtie Pasta, and let it cook.

Easy peasy.   or is that

 Mise en Place.







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