Friday, October 28, 2005

Honey Butter Corn Bread

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large  eggs
1 and 2/3 cups milk
2  and  just slightly less than 1/3  cups  all-purpose King Arthurs flour (fill the 1/3 cup measure then remove a half teaspoon of flour)
1 cup plus 1/2  teaspoon cornmeal
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (check the expiration date, baking powder does not work as well if it is old)
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tbsp honey

You will need three bowls, large, medium and small

In large bowl with a hand held mixer cream butter and sugar  (do NOT substitute margarine or tub spread).  In medium bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. I do not sift the flour, but use a large spoon to gently scoop and shake it into the measure cup (over a bowl to catch the excess) so it is not packed down, then I use a knife to level the top. 

 In small bowl combine the eggs and milk. Add  egg/milk mixture to creamed mixture alternatively with the flour mixture, stirring gently after each addition. When combined,  stir in a good squirt of honey (about 2 generous tablespoons) and gently stir until blended.

 Bake in preheated, lightly oiled cast iron skillet or  a lightly buttered 13 x 9 pan (do not preheat) at 400 for 22-27 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean).


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Honey Thyme Glazed Haminal

Due to the difficulties in processing and canning traditional ham, scientists have bio engineered a smaller, tastier, and boneless animal that's conveniently can-shaped: Haminal!

Note to the Ham Processors - think of all the time and money you'll save. Just dispatch it humanely, remove the fur and pop it in the can!

Of course then you'll need a recipe.

Honey Thyme Glazed Haminal 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
1 (12-to 14-pounds) boneless or semi boneless fully cooked ham
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup mild honey
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Let ham sit at room temperature for one hour. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in lower third. Peel off and discard any rind or skin from ham, leaving 1/4 inch of fat on ham. Score fat on top of ham in a crosshatch pattern without cutting into meat. Put ham on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover ham with parchment paper, then cover roasting pan with foil. Bake 1 and 3/4 hours.

Melt butter with thyme and let stand until ready to use. While ham continues to bake, boil vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Remove from heat and whisk in honey, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme butter that you had on standby. When the hour and 3/4 is done, remove ham from oven, leaving heat at 350. Discard foil and parchment from ham. If there is no liquid in roasting pan, add 1 cup water (liquid will prevent glaze from burning in pan).

Brush ham with half of honey glaze, then bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Brush with remaining glaze and bake until glaze is deep golden-brown and ham is heated through, about 30 minutes more (140 F. internal temperature).

Served with mashed garlic red potatoes, stuffing, and green beans.

Sausage Lentil Soup

Range Kitchen Sausage Lentil Soup

1 pound ground Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups beef stock (you can use canned)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Ozark Seasoning (or salt, pepper, and a pinch of smoked Paprika)
3/4 cup spinach, rinsed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used Artisanos 18 year old Baslmatic vinegar)

Brown sausage in large soup pot until no longer pink. Remove meat and set aside. Drain off the grease, leaving just a few bits of meat in the bottom of the pan. Add olive oil, onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaves Italian seasoning, and basil; cook on low for two or three minutes. Stir in lentils, stock, water and undrained tomatoes. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook another 10-15 minutes. Remove bay leaves, stir in vinegar and serve.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stufffed Shells with Pancetta and Garlic Cooking Cream

To make garlic cooking cream:

Roast a head of of garlic and scoop out garlic goodness into small saucepan (2-4 cloves, to taste) Add 1/2 a package of cream cheese and 1/4 cup sour cream. Warm, stirring occasionally.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet and a 10 x 9 glass baking dish. Set aside

1 box jumbo pasta shells

Cook shells in boiling salted water 4-6 minutes. They should be firm as they will continue to cook in the oven.

Drain and place on cookie sheet, and spread out so they cool (a slotted spoon works better than a colander so the shells don't fall apart).

In another bowl mix:

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 small eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons parsley

pinch of salt and pepper

In a large fry pan:

saute 2 to 3 ounces of Pancetta on medium in 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes (will be golden brown) and remove. The pancetta is more of a "flavor" to the dish, not the main meat ingredient. It is also quite salty, so be very stingy on salt in the rest of the recipe.

Finely chop the Pancetta and return to pan. Add 1 pound ground turkey or chicken breast and cook thoroughly. Do not drain.

1/4 cup grated carrot (gives it a nice sweetness)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar Basil Marinara sauce
1 teaspoon wild honey
1 heaping teaspoon of Penzey's Tuscan Sunset OR
pinch of:
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cover and simmer on low 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in warmed "cooking cream" (like the Kraft kind but without all the chemicals), stir well and reduce heat just to keep warm.

To assemble:

Fill each cooled shell with a generous 2-3 Tablespoons of ricotta filling

Spread a cup and half of the sauce in the bottom of the oiled cook pan. Place shells on top and cover with remaining Pancetta meat sauce. Sprinkle a cup of fresh shredded Parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

* To Roast Garlic:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
Place the garlic heads in a baking pan and drizzle with a couple teaspoons of olive oil, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

When the garlic is cool enough that you can handle it without burning yourself, use a small knife to cut the skin slightly around each clove. Your your fingers or a small cocktail fork to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yukon Bacon Maple Quiche

Yukon Bacon Maple Quiche

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin-olive oil
2 medium Vidalia onions, sliced
3/4 to One pound bacon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
8 large eggs
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 quart heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of thyme is nice

To make the pastry: combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. (or use a food processor) Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat the egg yolk and ice water in a small bowl to blend, add it to the pastry. Work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the counter and a rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll the dough out into a 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin (this may take a little practice) and lay it inside a 9-inch springform pan. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and sides so it fits tightly; trim the excess dough around the rim. Place the pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easier to move in and out of the oven, this quiche is pretty heavy.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the filling: Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, and add the bacon and fry until just tender crisp. Remove the bacon and wipe out the pan, leaving some of the bacon leavings Chop the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Add the olive oil and the onions to the pan. Slowly cook the onions, stirring, until they caramelize and release their natural sugars. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to help the onions break down, if needed and as they are about halfway cooked, the maple syrup. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy, pour in the cream; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the caramelized onions and about 2/3 of the bacon over the bottom of the crust, sprinkle with cheese and carefully pour in the cream and egg mixture; the filling should be about 1-inch from the top of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining bacon on the top. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until the quiche is set, puffy, and jiggles slightly. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes.

Loosen the quiche from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Carefully unmold the ring, and transfer the quiche (with the bottom base) to a serving plate. Cut it into wedges, add a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Brigid's Best Potatoes

Brigid's Best Potatoes

3 and 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled or not, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
small sprig fresh basil, chopped roughly in small pieces
Mix together: 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, and a pinch of Penzey's garlic powder (or your favorite brand)
3 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 10 ounces whole cheese)
1 and 1/3 cups whipping cream
1 and 1/3 cups chicken stock (I use homemade which I make and freeze but you can use chicken broth)
1/4 cup Dijon and white wine mustard (the Grey Poupon brand is quite good for the price)

Heat oven to 400 F. Butter a 2-3 quart shallow baking dish. Overlap 1/3 of the potatoes in dish, sprinkle lightly with 1/3 of the salt/pepper/garlic mixture, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp dill and 1 cup cheese.

Repeat layering twice, using the rest of the potatoes, divided, 1/2 t. dill and 1 cup of cheese for each layer, sprinkling with the remaining salt/pepper/garlic mixture.

Lightly whisk the cream, chicken stock and mustard in bowl. Stir in chopped basil and pour over the potatoes.

Bake until the top is crusty and starting to brown and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

400 degrees for 1 hour, or 325 for 2 hours.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Spicy Oven Fried Chicken

1 chicken cut up (four thigh and leg pieces also work well for this)
4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Penzey's Chili 9000 ( a chili powder that has all KINDS of good stuff in it, and is the base of the chili I've won two work chili cook offs with).
heaping 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground tellecherry pepper
pinch of smoked Paprika
pinch of Penzey's ancho chili powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff, fresh and finely grated, NOT from a green can).
1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking or cookie sheet with foil and sprinkle butter bits on top and place in oven to melt. Keep your eye on it so it doesn't burn. Put the flour, cornmeal, seasonings and cheese in a plastic bag and shake to mix. Put the buttermilk in a shallow, wide bowl or dish and place chicken pieces in the buttermilk for 10-15 minutes, then remove and place pieces one at a time in the bag to coat by shaking.

Place the chicken on the baking pan and turn once to coat with a bit of butter. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, skin side up. Turn the smaller pieces over carefully so the coating doesn't come off. Breasts can be left skin side up. Bake another 25 minutes. Note: really large breasts may need an additional 5-10 minutes and no, don't go there. :-)

Monday, October 3, 2005

Deep Dish Peach Cobbler With Caramel Cream Sauce

This makes a cobbler with both a top and bottom pastry layer, almost like a deep dish pie. If you wish, you can cut the pastry in half and just do the lattice top. Serve with caramel cream sauce.

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 butter
3/4 cup lard
1 extra large egg (or two small eggs)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cup cold water

3 and 1/2 to 3 and 3/4 pounds fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
(about 9 medium to large peaches)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice adding water to make 3/4 cup total liquid (if peaches are in season and very juicy you may wish to reduce the total O.J. and water to 1/2 cup).
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
1 and 1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
small pinch of ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

for topping
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the lard/butter mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and work with hands to form dough into a ball. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll out half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Place in a 9x13 inch baking dish, covering bottom and halfway up sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. (you can also cut this recipe in half and use a 8 x 8 pan for smaller families)

In a large saucepan, mix the peaches, lemon juice, and orange juice. Add 1/2 cup butter, and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and cornstarch; mix into peach mixture. Remove from heat, and pour into baked crust.

Roll remaining dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into half-inch-wide strips. Weave strips into a lattice over peaches. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.

Caramel Cream Sauce

Combine 3/4 sugar (white, but you could use brown or a blend if that's what you have on hand) and 1/4 water in a heavy bottom saucepan with tall sides. Boil the mixture over a medium high heat just until the water evaporates and the sugar begins to melt.

Immediately reduce the heat, stirring constantly, and continue to cook until the sugar is completely melted (it will be a dark amber color.) The whole process takes about 20 minutes. Remove the melted sugar from the heat and add 1 cup cream gradually, whisking constantly. The cream will foam up quite a bit and you need to whisk constantly so that the sugar blends. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and a tiny dab of butter (about 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon) and whisk again. Set aside to cool slightly.