Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apple Pie

Time to the Table: 90 minutes
Yield: 1 pie

You’ll Need:

  • 1 five pound bag Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ½ inch wedges
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 piecrusts (see Flaky Pie Crust Recipe)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl add apples with the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.

Play with the thickness of the apples, depending on how chunky you like your pieces.

Thoroughly mix until all apple chunks are coated.

Lay the piecrust into the pie dish and pour in the apple filling.

Press the apples down, smooth it out, lick your fingers, and then dot with a few small pats of butter.

Set the second crust ovefr the top and pinch the edges down or mash them with a fork.

Go crazy here, and make whatever decorations you like.

Put small vertical slits into the main part of the crust to allow some ventilation.

Before Baking:

Tear off four- inch long strips of aluminum foil.

Place them around the edges to prevent them from burning.

You will need to pinch the two ends of the aluminum sheets together.

Then put your creation into the oven at 350F for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and return the pie for 15 minutes more to brown.

Play with your food!

I always use Granny Smith apples because I love that edgy tartness they give. They are also a good firm variety that stands up to baking well, but any type you like will work.

For Dutch Apple Pie, add 1/4 cup of cream to the apples prior to baking.

And for Christmas, add cranberries and walnuts, about 2 tablespoons each.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Golden Roast Turkey

You’ll Need:
  • 16 pound turkey
  • 1 cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Remove giblets and neck from turkey: wash and set aside

Wash turkey thoroughly inside and out.

Pat dry with towels.

Remove any excess fat.

Prepare your choice of dressing.

Preheat oven to 325 F

Spoon some of dressing into neck cavity of turkey.

Bring skin of neck over back; fasten with poultry pin.

Spoon remaining dressing into body cavity; do not pack.

Insert 4 or 5 poultry pins at regular intervals.

Lace cavity closed with twine, bootlace fashion and then tie.

Bend wing tips under body, or fasten to body with poultry pins.

Tie end of legs together.

Insert meat thermometer in inside of thigh at thickest part.

Place turkey on rack in shallow roasting pan.

Brush with some butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast uncovered and brushing occasionally with remaining butter and pan drippings: about 4 hours or until meat thermometer registers to 185 F. (Leg joint should move freely)

When turkey begins to turn golden, cover with a square of butter-soaked cheesecloth or a loose tent of foil, to prevent burning.

While turkey roasts, cook giblets and neck.

Place turkey on heated serving platter.

Remove cheesecloth or foil, twine and poultry pins.

Let stand 20 to 30 minute before carving.

Serves 14

NOTE: Approximate baking time is 18 minutes per pound.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

You’ll Need:
  • 4 baked potatoes
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup butter

Directions:

Bake the potatoes and cool.

Cook bacon.

Combine sour cream, cheese, butter, onion salt and pepper.

Cut the side of each potato and scoop out the potato, saving the skins.

Whip the potato pulp and mix in the cheese mixture

Stuff the potato/cheese mixture back into the potato skins.

Reheat for a few minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brining the Turkey


To properly brine a turkey you need to start the night before you plan to cook.

You will need at least 10 to 12 hours (plan on 1 hour per pound of turkey), a container large enough to hold your turkey and enough brine to cover it.

You'll also need salt, water, sugar, seasonings, and enough room to refrigerate it.

A large stainless steel stock pot or even a 5 gallon clean plastic bucket would make excellent containers. Whatever container you choose the turkey needs to have enough room to be turned so it should be big. Both Reynolds (Oven Roasting Bag for Turkeys) and Ziploc (XL Storage Bag) make very large food safe sealable bags that are great for brining.

Turkey:

Now let's get to the turkey. The turkey should be cleaned out, completely thawed, and should not be a self-basting or Kosher turkey. Self-basting and Kosher turkeys have a salty stock added that will make your brined turkey too salty. A fresh turkey works best, but a completely thawed, previously frozen turkey will work just as well.

Brine Ingredients:
To make the brine, mix 1 cup of table salt in 1 gallon of water. You will need more than 1 gallon of water but that’s the ratio to aim for. One way of telling if you have enough salt in your brine is that a raw egg will float in it. Make sure that the salt is completely dissolved before adding the seasonings you like, making sure not to add anything that contains salt. Brines can be spicy hot with peppers and cayenne, savory with herbs and garlic, or sweet with molasses, honey and brown sugar. Whatever your tastes are, you can find a large number of brine recipes on my site.

Set-up:
Place the turkey in a container and pour in enough brine to completely cover the turkey with an inch or two to spare. You do not want any part of the turkey above the surface of the brine. Now you put the whole thing in the refrigerator. If you are like me, making enough room in the fridge is the hardest part of this project. The turkey should sit in the brine for about 1 hour per pound of turkey. Brining too long is much worse than not brining enough so watch the time.

Keep it Cool!:
Don't have room in the refrigerator? Try a cooler. A cooler big enough to hold your turkey makes a good container for your turkey and brine. The cooler will help keep it cool and allow you to brine your turkey without taking up precious refrigerator space. If the weather is cool, but not freezing you can put the whole thing outside until you need the turkey. If the weather is warm fill a a zip top bag with ice. Place this in the cooler with the turkey and brine and it will hold down the temperature during the brining process.

Rinsing:
When you are ready to start cooking your turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off thoroughly in the sink with cold water until all traces of salt are off the surface inside and out. Safely discard the brine and cook your turkey as normal. You will notice the second you start to carve your turkey that the brining has helped it retain moisture. The first bite will sell you on brining turkeys forever, and after you've tried this you will want to brine all your poultry.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rum-Glazed Sweet Potato Pudding

This is a jazzed up sweet potato dish. A fun and yummy complement to the holiday meal.

You’ll Need:
  • 1/3 cup sweet or dry sherry or Madeira
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, baked, boiled or steamed until tender
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon mace
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon dark rum
Directions:

  • Pour the sherry or Madeira over the raisins in a small bowl; let stand for 30 minutes or longer.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F with a rack in the center.
  • Butter an 11 inch oval gratin dish or other shallow basking dish; set aside.
  • Halve the cooked sweet potatoes; scoop out the flesh and place it in a large bowl.
  • Add ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon of the melted butter.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat with an electric mixer into the sweet potato-butter mixture.
  • Add the milk, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, the mace, salt and orange zest and beat until blended.
  • Beat in the raisins and their soaking liquid.
  • Scoop the mixture into the baking dish.
  • For the Rum Glaze:
  • Warm the remaining 3 Tablespoons of melted butter in a small skillet.
  • Stir in the remaining 2/3 cup brown sugar and the lemon juice;
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the rum and return the mixture to a boil.
  • Drizzle the rum glaze randomly over the surface of the sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake until the pudding is set and the glaze is bubbly, about 45 minutes.

  • Serve it warm topped with whipped cream flavored with vanilla and dark rum.

Serves 10-12

Friday, November 7, 2008

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Submitted by Linda B. at Westinghouse. Thank you, Linda B.!

You'll Need:

  • 1 Yellow Onion thinly sliced (Vandaila Onion will add a different taste)
  • 1-1/2 lb. Pork Shoulder Roast
  • ½ Cup Water
  • 1 12 oz bottle Tangy Organic Barbecue Sauce (from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or your own recipe)
  • 4 –6 Whole Wheat Buns

Directions:

Place half the onion slices in the bottom of a slow cooker or crock-pot.

Add pork, water, half the barbecue sauce and the remaining onion slices.

Cover and cook on medium 8 to10 hours, stirring occasionally to break up the pork.

Combine pork with the remaining barbecue sauce and serve on warmed buns with coleslaw.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grilled Salmon on Cedar Plank

Submitted by Linda B. at Westinghouse. Thank you, Linda B.!


This is a slow cooking method that will produce a wonderful aroma, delicate texture with a rich smoky flavor.

Untreated Red Cedar Plank soaked in cold water about 3 hours. You should weight it down to submerge. Home Centers have broken lots of cedar singles or you can buy 1-foot lengths of cedar 1 x 6 or 1 x 8. Some kitchen stores sell cedar-cooking planks.

You'll Need:
  • 1-1/2 lb. Salmon Fillet with skin on
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
  • ¼ Cup Bourbon or Apple Juice (natural)
  • 6 sprigs Rosemary or Thyme or a combo of each

Directions:

Preheat grill.

Remove plank from soaking water and place on the grill until hot.

Brush the smooth side of the plank with olive oil.

Place salmon skin side down on oiled plank, season with pepper, then brush with a mixture of maple syrup and bourbon or apple juice.

Arrange herbs on top.

Cook over medium to high flame 10 to 15 minutes to desired doneness.

Be sure not to over cook.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Grilled Shrimp Pasta Verde

Submitted by Linda B. at Westinghouse. Thank you, Linda B!

You'll Need:
  • 2/3 Cup Parsley Leaves or 1/3 Cup each Parsley & Basil
  • 3 tbsp. Drained Capers
  • 1 Clove Garlic chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp. Anchovy Paste (optional)
  • ½ tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  • ½ cup Olive Oil plus 2 tbsp. Olive Oil for grilling
  • 2 Zucchini cut in half lengthwise (small to medium)
  • 1-1/4 lbs. Large Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 12 oz Spaghetti or Linguine

Directions:

Pulse parsley, capers, garlic, lemon juice, anchovy, paste, mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, just enough to chop.

With the machine running add ½ cup of oil in a thin stream to puree the sauce.

Set aside.

Heat the grill or a broiler.

Brush the zucchini with 1 teaspoon of oil and sprinkle with salt.

Grill or broil both sides until just done 5 to 10 minutes.

When cool to handle, cut crosswise in ½” pieces and place in a large bowl.

Thread shrimp onto skewers, brush with remaining 1-tablespoon oil and season.

Grill or broil until done, about 4 minutes.

Remove from skewers.

Add the shrimp and halved tomatoes to the zucchini in the bowl.

Cook the spaghetti until done, drain, then add the ingredients in the bowl and toss with desired amount of sauce.

Serves 4 to 6.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Marinated Chicken – in 15 minutes!

Submitted by Jesse from Westinghouse. Thank you, Jesse!

You'll Need:
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.

Directions:

Combine the first 5 ingredients;

Spread on both sides of the chicken.

Place chicken on a plate.

Marinate at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes or for several hours in the refrigerator.

Grill uncovered, over medium coals, turning once, for 10 -15 minutes or until juices run clear.