Thursday, December 15, 2011

Irish Potato Bread

You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 tsp.yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes at room temperature
  • 4 T sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 egg (for glaze)
Directions
If You Have A Food Processor pour warm water into the bowl. (The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. )
Sprinkle the yeast over the water and mix at low speed.
Let stand for five minutes.
Slowly mix in milk, potatoes, salt and sugar.
Gradually mix in flour.
Mix on high for about a minute or two.
The dough should turn into a ball and roll around the processor.
If the dough does not ball up because it's to dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does.
If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. (Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts.)
After Your Dough Is Made transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).
Grease 2 loaf pans and pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Punch down dough and divide into two pieces.
Shape each piece into loaf shape and place in greased pans.
Cover pans with clean towel and let rise till doubled (about 1 hour).
Use a pastry brush to brush beaten egg over the tops of the loaves.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.


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Monday, December 5, 2011

Duck L'Orange

You've GOT to try this ... as a wonderful alternative to standard holiday meals. 

The best part about it -- besides the amazing flavor -- is that it is SO much easier than it sounds!! 


Here's What You'll Need

  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (orange rinds reserved)
  • 1 (5-pound) duck, cleaned, with innards and wing tips removed
  • 2 oranges, zested
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Bitters
  • 1 1/2 cups duck or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier 


Now Here's What You Do

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Roughly chop the orange rinds and place in the cleaned duck cavity. Put the stuffed duck on a baking rack over a baking sheet with 1/2-inch of water. Bake until skin turns golden brown and lightly crisps, about 30 minutes. 
Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue cooking until duck reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile
In a medium heavy saucepan combine the orange juice, zest and sugar over medium high heat and reduce to 3/4 cup. Add the bitters to the orange juice and set aside.
Add hot duck stock to reduced orange gastrique and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes to reduce. Add the thickener to ... thicken!! 
Remove duck from roasting pan, and discard the fat from pan. Remove orange rinds from duck cavity. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.
Add the Grand Marnier to the roasting pan and place over 2 burners on medium high heat. You will use this to deglaze the pan, scraping continuously with a large wooden spoon. 


Reduce for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the orange sauce in the pan into a gravy boat and serve with carved duck.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Here is another recipe submitted by Margaret Raines. This one seems fabulous because it seems so easy to make! Thanks for sharing Margaret.


You'll Need 
  • 1 cup peanut butter (if using a non oily brand add 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg


Directions 
Mix all together until well combined
Roll into one inch balls and put on a greased cookie sheet
Pat with fork crossing directions
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes
Sit on wire rack until cool.


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baked Chicken Kiev

You’ll Need
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup room temperature butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
  • ¼ teaspoon teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • Melted butter
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Lightly butter 8-inch square baking dish.
  • Pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Combine 1/4 cup butter, tarragon and salt in small bowl and blend well.
  • Place equal portions of butter mixture in center of chicken breasts.
  • Fold ends over and tuck in sides, securing with toothpicks if necessary.
  • Roll chicken in flour.
  • Dip in eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs, covering completely.
  • Arrange in prepared baking dish.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes, basting several times with melted butter, if desired.
  • Serve immediately.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Pine Nut Salad

This is a great recipe to use up bread that is loosing its freshness. So buy a fresh loaf and use it in many different ways. It won't go to waste and you will enjoy the taste!

You'll Need
  • 1 loaf Italian bread, cubed
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 (16 ounce) packages mixed salad greens
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Directions 

Preheat broiler. Toss 3 cups cubed Italian bread with olive oil. Season with seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread out in a single layer in a well oiled 9x13 inch baking dish. Broil until toasted, turning to brown evenly. Set croutons aside to cool.

Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet, place on bottom rack of the oven, and toast under broiler. This should only take a few minutes, so watch carefully to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.

Soak sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and slice.
In a large salad bowl, toss mixed greens with green onions. Top with croutons, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and feta.


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Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

You’ll Need
• ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
• Salt
• Pepper

Directions
• Mix together breaking up the blue cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.



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Buttermilk Corn Bread


You’ll Need
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1/2 all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons olive oil, separated


Directions
Preheat the oven to 450. Place 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil into an 8-10 inch iron skillet.

Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Now add the egg, buttermilk, and remaining tablespoon of oil. Then stir completely, making sure there are no little dry clumps in the .

Set the iron skillet onto the stove over a medium-high flame until the oil gets hot (it will appear "wavy"). At this point, pour the cornbread mixture into the skillet. Make sure it spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan, and let it sizzle for 3 minutes.

Take it off the stove and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Check the cornbread. If it is golden brown and/or begins to pull away from sides of pan, it is done. 


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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pickles


Timeframe: 1-4 weeks
Special Equipment:

  • Ceramic crock or food-grade plastic bucket
  • Plate that fits inside crock or bucket1-gallon/4-liter jug filled with water, or other weight
  • Cloth cover
You'll Need: (for 1 gallon/4 liters):
  • 3 to 4 pounds/1.5 to 2 kilograms unwaxed cucumbers (small to medium size)
  • 3⁄8 cup (6 tablespoons)/90 milliliters sea salt
  • 3 to 4 heads fresh flowering dill, or 3 to 4 tablespoons/45 to 60 milliliters of any form of dill (fresh or dried leaf or seeds)
  • 2 to 3 heads garlic, peeled
  • 1 handful fresh grape, cherry, oak, and/or horseradish leaves (if available)
  • 1 pinch black peppercorns
Process:1. Rinse cucumbers, taking care to not bruise them, and making sure their blossoms are removed. Scrape off any remains at the blossom end. If you’re using cucumbers that aren’t fresh off the vine that day, soak them for a couple of hours in very cold water to freshen them.
2. Dissolve sea salt in ½gallon (2 liters) of water to create brine solution. Stir until salt is thoroughly dissolved.
3. Clean the crock, then place at the bottom of it dill, garlic, fresh grape leaves, and a pinch of black peppercorns.
4. Place cucumbers in the crock.
5. Pour brine over the cucumbers, place the (clean) plate over them, then weigh it down with a jug filled with water or a boiled rock. If the brine doesn’t cover the weighed-down plate, add more brine mixed at the same ratio of just under 1 tablespoon of salt to each cup of water.
6. Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and flies and store it in a cool place.
7. Check the crock every day. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to rinse the plate and weight. Taste the pickles after a few days.
8. Enjoy the pickles as they continue to ferment. Continue to check the crock every day.
9. Eventually, after one to four weeks (depending on the temperature), the pickles will be fully sour. Continue to enjoy them, moving them to the fridge to slow down fermentation.

Excerpted from Wild Fermentation...
Growing up in New York City, experiencing my Jewish heritage largely through food, I developed a taste for sour pickles. Most of what is sold in stores as pickles, and even what home canners pickle, are preserved in vinegar. My idea of a pickle is one fermented in a brine solution. Pickle-making requires close attention. My first attempt at brine pickle-making resulted in soft, unappealing pickles that fell apart, because I abandoned it for a few days, and perhaps because the brine was not salty enough, and because of the heat of the Tennessee summer. And and and. “Our perfection lies in our imperfection.” There are, inevitably, fermentation failures. We are dealing with fickle life forces, after all.I persevered though, compelled by a craving deep inside of me for the yummy garlic-dill sour pickles of Guss’s pickle stall on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Zabar’s on the Upper West Side and Bubbie’s in upscale health food stores elsewhere. As it turns out, brine pickles are easy. You just need to give them regular attention in the summer heat, when cucumbers are most abundant.One quality prized in a good pickle is crunchiness. Fresh tannin-rich grape leaves placed in the crock are effective at keeping pickles crunchy. I recommend using them if you have access to grape vines. I’ve also seen references in various brine pickle recipes to using sour cherry leaves, oak leaves, and horseradish leaves to keep pickles crunchy.The biggest variables in pickle-making are brine strength, temperature, and cucumber size. I prefer pickles from small and medium cucumbers; pickles from really big ones can be tough and sometimes hollow in the middle. I don’t worry about uniformity of size; I just eat the smaller ones first, figuring the larger ones will take longer to ferment.The strength of brine varies widely in different traditions and recipe books. Brine strength is most often expressed as weight of salt as a percentage of weight of solution, though sometimes as weight of salt as a percentage of volume of solution. Since in most home kitchens we are generally dealing with volumes rather than weights, the following guideline can help readers gauge brine strength: Added to 1 quart of water, each tablespoon of sea salt (weighing about .6 ounce) adds 1.8% brine. So 2 tablespoons of salt in 1 quart of water yields a 3.6% brine, 3 tablespoons yields 5.4%, and so on. In the metric system, each 15 milliliters of salt (weighing 17 grams) added to 1 liter of water yields 1.8% brine.Some old-time recipes call for brines with enough salt to float an egg. This translates to about a 10% salt solution. This is enough salt to preserve pickles for quite some time, but they are too salty to consume without a long desalinating soak in fresh water first. Low-salt pickles, around 3.5% brine, are “half-sours” in delicatessen lingo. This recipe is for sour, fairly salty pickles, using around 5.4% brine. Experiment with brine strength. A general rule of thumb to consider in salting your ferments: more salt to slow microorganism action in summer heat; less salt in winter when microbial action slows.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

An Unexpected Casualty of the Obesity Epidemic


A chilly wind has shriveled up the nether reaches of the nudist beach communities in Germany. 


As Germans are getting fatter und fatter, it seems that their tendency to brave all, bear all, and brave the nudist beaches has suffered its own form of shrinkage.


They're so modest, those Germans!!


_____
Much to the chagrin of Free Body Culture enthusiasts who have been stripping off their clothing on beaches and parks since the early 1900s, a cold wind has been blowing across Germany for nudists and their numbers are steadily dwindling.
"German society is changing and it's not easy to be a naturist anymore," said Kurt Fischer, president of the German association (DFK). There are some 500,000 registered nudists and a total of seven million Germans sunbathe naked regularly.
"But the numbers are unfortunately falling by about two percent each year," Fischer told a group of reporters in the Foreign Press Association (VAP) while sitting, fully clothed, at a beach bar in Berlin's government quarter. "Times are tough."

"WE'VE GOT A LOT CHUBBIER"
Increasing wealth and fashion-consciousness in Germany and especially the east has hurt the movement.
"In East Germany, there were a lot more people with attractive physiques," said Brigitte, a retired dental assistant and avid naturist who asked that her full name not be used.
"But with the rise in prosperity a lot of people have come apart at the seams and they can't show their bodies in public anymore. We've become a lot chubbier with all this prosperity. It's not really very aesthetic anymore."
Brigitte said she misses the East German era when entire beaches and camping areas were packed with nudists even though parts of West Germany, such as Munich's English Garten park and West Berlin's Tiergarten, have proud nudist traditions.
"I miss those places more and more," she said, admitting that she often feels inhibited about being nude and now wraps a towel around herself until she gets to the water. "You definitely see fewer people in the nude. 


But I don't think the movement will die out. It's too much fun." 


Fatter and fewer German nudists as numbers dwindle | Reuters


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Caramelized Peaches

If you live in an area where you can get fresh peaches I recommend going that route!

You'll Need

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 29 ounces canned peaches, drained
  • Cinnamon
  • Sour cream
Directions

Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan

Cook until slightly thickened

Stir in peaches

Season to taste with cinnamon

Garnish with a small dollop of sour cream



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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chilled Tomato Soup with Chipotle Cream


You'll Need 
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded, chopped
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • Sour cream (optional)
Directions 
Heat oil in heavy saucepan over low heat. Add next 4 ingredients. Cover; cook about 20 minutes. Add tomato juice, tomatoes, 3 Tablespoons lime juice and horseradish. Increase heat to medium-high; boil, uncovered, until flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Before serving top with a dollop of sour cream if you would like. 
                                    

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cajun Shrimp



  • 1 pound extra large shrimp, peeled
    •  1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
    •  ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ¼ teaspoon thyme
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    •  ¼ teaspoon red pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • Lime wedges
Directions
  • Toss the shrimp with the lime juice in a bowl.
  • Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, red pepper and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle over the shrimp and toss to coat well.
  • Place cooking oil in a large skillet.
  • Heat until hot.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink, stirring constantly.
  • Spoon into a serving dish.
  • Chill, covered, for 1 hour or longer.
  • Garnish with lime wedges.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fried Cow Narrative Recipe

On my Saturday radio program (click here for more info on that or to listen live) I will talk about making this crazy good recipe that I first found at the Alma de Cuba restaurant in Philadelphia. 


Basically, it's a twice-cooked meat (you can use beef, but pork works just as well). After the meat is falling off itself, you put it into a pan with a little oil, some spices, garlic, onion, and let those aromatics infuse into the meat until the onions are good and soft. 


Once that happens, turn up the heat to HIGH and crisp-up the shredded meat just a bit. At the end, you will want to squeeze a lime over the top to freshen up the flavor. 


This is served over rice and seasoned black beans. We are making this tonight at my house -- served along with our avocado mango salsa. By the way, if you have a mojito on hand, it's just a wonderful Cuba-inspired bonus!!



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Monday, May 9, 2011

Strawberry Sauce

Fruit sauces are so easy to make from fresh and frozen fruit and this can help on cost too.

You’ll Need
28 to 32 ounces of frozen
¼ cup sugar

Directions
Thaw strawberries in a pot. (some excess water will remain in the pot from the strawberries thawing.)

When strawberries are thawed add sugar place on low to medium heat mashing and constantly stirring the strawberry mixture. Mix until desire consistency is reached.

You can also let the mixture cool and then place in a blender for a finer consistency. And if you want a thicker consistency you might want to add some cornstarch during the heating and stirring process.

Let cool and the store in the fridge. Or you can also serve it warm.

Serve on pancakes, French toast, waffles, strawberry shortcake, ice cream etc


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Monday, May 2, 2011

Creole Salad Dressing

Submitted by Sue at HHM. Thank you Sue!

You'll Need
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 C. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 T. Creole mustard (stone ground)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 to 3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 T. cold water
  • Vinegar (enough to make 1/2 C. when added to the water)
Directions

Blend onion, garlic and olive oil together in a blender.

Add remaining ingredients.

Mix well. Enjoy.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Amazing Shrimp Diablo Recipe


This was an amazing recipe. I put this together from a number of recipes on line, and now my mouth wants it. 


Waaaants it!!


So I want to share it with you, so that you can be similarly afflicted, and addicted to this recipe. 




You'll Need:
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 good solid swirl of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine or sherry
  • 1 large, 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound small large shrimp. Frozen, peeled, but uncooked. 
  • 1 small can clams, with juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (or so), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Fettuccine or linguini pasta (enough for 6)

First
Put a large pot of water over a flame to boil, with some salt and olive oil throw in as well. 

Meanwhile
Toss the shrimp in bowl with about half the red pepper flakes, 2 Tbsp olive oil and some salt. Make sure the shrimp are good and coated with the pepper/oil/salt mixture. Set aside.

While these flavors are thinking about themselves, heat a heavy, 12-inch skillet until it's very hot. Throw in the shrimp and sere them on each side for less than a minute, each. The idea is not to cook them, per se, but to singe in the flavors. 

Remove the shrimp to a holding bowl and start on the sauce
Turn your flame to low and put in the wine or sherry to deglaze with a spatula (to pull up the tasty bits from the bottom of your skillet). Let this cook down by half. 

Now sautee your minced onion and garlic in that remaining sauce. Add a bit more olive oil if needed. You want your garlic to end up lightly brown, but not burned, so keep it moving with your spatula. 

Then, add the rest of the pepper flakes, tomatoes, oregano, and crush the diced tomatoes with a masher of some type. Simmer this sauce to marry the flavors.

To finish the sauce
Before adding the meats into the batch, you're going to want to finish the sauce. First of all, I add about 1/3 cup of cream. Next I mash up butter and flour (1 Tbsp flour to 1 Tbsp butter) into a paste, and toss it in to thicken it up. You'll need to whisk it around to distribute it into the sauce. 

Taste for deliciousness, and correct the seasonings as necessary. Then add the shrimp and the clams, with juice, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so to "hot up" the shrimp again. 

Now to finish the dish
Once the pasta is done, drain it and figure out a way to ladle the sauce over it -- either from separate containers, or melded together in one big dish. 

You are going to love this. 

Shrimp Pasta Diablo Recipe

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