Posts tagged ‘recipe’

December 26, 2012

Holiday Highlights From The Family Foodie!

It has been a festive time for the foodies in our house.  We started with a Christmas Eve goose!  Cooked simply, that is, just like a turkey, it roasted quickly in the oven, and served as our centerpiece for Christmas Eve dinner. 

Christmas Eve Goose

Accompanied with roasted curry cauliflower (from the farmer’s market) and sweet potatoes (from our CSA), everyone devoured it all up. Rich, we didn’t need huge amounts to sate our hunger.

Goose Meat

After a breakfast of pumpkin muffins, we laid out our traditional Christmas brunch featuring products from two of our favorite local stores, Arrowine and The German Gourmet.

Christmas Brunch Spread

And then this morning, we made Ho Ho Hole-y Popovers….

An extraordinarily simple recipe, but one that I have resisted making — for no good reason at all — because they are super dooper easy. On my husband’s recommendation (and he is the popover expert in this house), I followed the Joy of Cooking recipe. 

You start out with a few simple ingredients (we doubled the recipe) and a preheated 450 degree oven:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

All You Need For Popovers

While you let the ingredients get to room temperature, butter the muffin (or if you have them popover) tins.

Then beat (or stir in my case) those ingredients until smooth.  Then you add in 2 beaten eggs.

Adding The Eggs One At A Time

Fill the buttered baking cups three-fourths full, and bake at once.

After 15 minutes, lower the heat WITHOUT PEEPING to 350 degrees and bake about 20 minutes longer.

Then you can take them out and they will look like this:

Fresh from the oven

Gently release them from the baking tin and serve.

If you are a young child, you might want to turn yours upside down and put the butter in from the bottom.

Holy Popover!

 

If you are more interested to see what they look like inside, before you add the butter and jam, you can slice them open.

Popover AirCool huh?!

We served our popovers with some sausages from one of our favorite vendors at the market, and apple cider.

Day After Christmas Breakfast

Here’s hoping that you have been having a wonderful holiday season … and that warm popovers are in your future!

 

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November 26, 2012

Two Things I Learned This Thanksgiving

The two lessons below may seem straightforward, and perhaps well known by my readers. But here is what I learned this Thanksgiving (besides the fact that my 12-14 lb. turkey that I made for leftovers was insufficient. I made it on Saturday, and came home this afternoon to discover that all but the broth is GONE!!!).

Lesson 1. Simple Is Best

I am always looking for new vegetable sides to serve with Thanksgiving. For many years we have made a broccoli-lemon-garlic-parmesan sautee that we love. But not everyone is as crazy about it as we are. So, I was browsing my many recipe-filled magazines and came across a recipe for Roasted Vegetables from Eating Well.  Featuring both garlic and capers, we were pretty sure that we’d love it. Oh, and all it really required was chopping, seasoning, roasting, and then drizzling with a dressing made with said garlic and capers. Easy-peasy, and delicious. And an even better bonus … it was a great way to use the fall vegetables that had been featured in our CSA in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Pics below, check Eating Well for the full recipe.

Not Quite As Pretty As The Professional Photo….But They Sure Tasted Good

Lesson 2. Make Your Own Cranberry Sauce

Nuff said. Why did I ever buy a can?! All you need to do is heat up 3/4 cup of orange juice, add a bit of sugar, some cinnamon and nutmeg, and some grated fresh ginger… Heat until the sugar dissolves…Stir in the cranberries and heat for about 5 minutes or until they “pop.”  If you are so inclined, stir in some pecans or walnuts. My husband has never ever commented on the cranberry sauce. He felt compelled to try this one and exclaimed…”Why haven’t we been making it this way all along?”  Good question, dear one.

 

What did you learn over your Thanksgiving holidays? Hopefully something wonderful.

September 10, 2012

Sweet and Tasty SSFC Meal: Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie

Hamburger and sweet potatoes. That is what I had in my need-to-prep local food stash. Hamburgers and sweet potato fries would have been easy, but I didn’t have any buns. And, besides, it seemed kinda boring – which is one of the biggest challenges with cooking, at least for me.

So I pulled up my Epicurious app, put hamburger and sweet potato in the search list, and picked Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie. A one-dish meal that allowed me to pull from ingredients in my pantry, and my back yard. We modified a bit as a function of what was in the house…something I never used to do, but now find that I do regularly!

With no further ado, here is my featured SSFC meal for the week:

1. Dice one medium onion (from our CSA, Potomac Vegetable Farms) and one small green pepper (from our garden). Sautee in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 10 minutes or until soft.

2. Add 2 cloves garlic (from our CSA) and one chopped green jalapeno (from our garden).  Cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Then add 1 pound ground beef. Ours came from South Mountain Creamery. Brown for 5 minutes.

4. Then the recipe says that you should add tomato paste, chili power, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and simmer. We just added some barbeque rub, and let it simmer. Then, the recipe says to add tomatoes, black beans, and corn. We added some diced fresh tomatoes and a can of Wolfgang Puck tortilla soup. I know that sounds odd, but I didn’t have any prepped black beans. So, I added in this can of soup that needed to be used.  And 4 tablespoons of cilantro from PVF. And it simmered away.

5. Meanwhile, I had peeled, chopped, and steamed the sweet potatoes (6 medium sized ones). They were nice and soft at this point, so I massed them, and mixed them up with 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. Both from South Mountain.

6. Then I put the meat filling into a baking dish, covered it with sweet potatoes, and baked it for about 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Next to it in the oven, a pan of corn bread was baking.

And, then, it was dinner time. Served with cilantro on top and sour cream.

The verdict: 3 thumbs up (me and the boys), 1 okay (it was a bit too sweet – from the Man of the House), and 1 there is no way I am trying that (guess who?!).

Next time – more beans and corn to balance the sweet, I think, but it will reappear!

September 2, 2012

The Eldest Cooks Now and Then

As a little boy, the eldest loved to help out in the kitchen. Especially when helping meant that he could be part of the cooking itself. I was browsing through pictures this afternoon and found two pictures that captured his favorite type of participation.

Making Dinner Then

Dad stirs.

The Eldest adds corn to the wok.

What is wonderful is that his comfort in and love of the kitchen continues to this day.  He spent the past year working in the kitchen of our local beer garden and deli, and has had the opportunity to work closely with professional chefs. Best of all is that we now get to benefit from his expertise and ease in the kitchen.

Returning home from a visit to my mom the other day, the Eldest and I were talking about what to make for dinner.

“What,” he asks, “do we have in the kitchen?”

“Hmm…” I said, “we have some ground pork from South Mountain that I’d to use.”

“Okay,” he said, “any veggies?”

“I think we have some red peppers, tomatoes, and onions from the CSA.”

“I know,” he said, “I can cook all that up, and add them to some pasta, and we’ll be good to go.”

At this point, I am sure that I looked over at him with a huge grin.  He’s not headed to college for another year yet, but I know that he’ll be able to cook for himself…although I believe the reputation of college cafeterias remains a key component of his decision to apply to some colleges over others!

Making Dinner Now

We got home, and he got right to work.

First, he cooked the ground pork.

While the pork was cooking, he chopped the peppers, and got the water boiling for the pasta.

Then, he exhibited some professional kitchen skills (at least they looked that way to me). He moved the pork to one side of the frying pan, and added the peppers in so that they could sautee (and the meat stay warm).

Meat to the side of the skillet, peppers cookin’ up!

Meanwhile, he found some parsley in the fridge, and chopped that up nice and fine while the peppers cooked.

Check out the excellent chopping form

Then he mixed up the peppers and pork, and added the parsley, 

Mixing them up

and some wonderful cherry tomatoes to the mix.

It’s more fun when you can “flip” the tomatoes.

To finish it up, stir in the rotini.

Ta da!

Pork Pepper Pasta a la Eldest

Besides no longer needing to stand on chairs to cook, the main difference these days is that doing the dishes doesn’t have quite the same draw that it used to.

Doing the dishes used to be fun!

Happy Sunday all!

August 20, 2012

Preserving Summer Produce: Quick Pickles

Many of you may think that getting ready for the beach entails laundry and shopping and packing. For me, this year, beach preparation involved thinking about how to make sure that none of the produce that we have from the garden and the CSA was wasted. And so, pickles.

We had some beets from several weeks ago, carrots, and more yellow squash than we know what to do with. A few quick Epicurious searches later, and I was in quick pickling heaven.

We made 5 quarts of pickles: yellow squash, carrots, and beets. The yellow squash pickles have already become a mainstay of our beach cuisine – everyone is pleased with them.  The best thing about quick pickles is that other than chopping, the time involved is minimal.

First – prep your veggies – cut into bite sized pieces, blanch the carrots, boil the beets, no need to cook the others.

Second – peel and smash a couple of cloves of garlic.

Third – identify any spices from the fridge you might want to add- dill or parsley or fennel in our case.

Fourth – boil some vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns and/or fennel seed for about two minutes, or until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Fifth – pour over the veggies in a clean glass jar.

Sixth – cool and then put in the fridge.

Then, let sit for a day or so in the fridge and enjoy…

Easy peasy – and quick to be consumed!

If you want actual recipes, I found lots on Epicurious.

August 9, 2012

Yellow Squash Casserole and CSA Week 10

I was visiting with my mom the other day, explaining just how much yellow squash I had in my house… and she said, “You know, I really love the yellow squash casserole that they serve at Ted’s (Ted’s Montana Grill that is).”  Now I rarely try to reproduce meals that we love from restaurants, but I thought that we could give this one a go, since no one in my immediate household had ever tried it.

So, once I got home, I started the Internet search, and came across a recipe on the Food Network. It looked straightforward, so I jumped in. (For the full recipe, do visit the link – I’m just going to hit the highlights here).

First off, turn the oven on to 350 degrees.

Next, chop up lots of yellow squash and a couple of carrots.

Barely cover them with water, bring to a boil, then simmer until tender (I was tempted to skip this step and go right to baking it in the oven, but I believe it was critical to the creamy texture that you get at the end…)

While the veggies are bubbling, you should melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, add one chopped medium yellow onion, and sautee slowly until translucent. Then add a minced garlic clove and let it soften too. Remove to a mixing bowl.

Then, add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet, and add 1/2 cup of crumbled Ritz crackers. Toast ’em until they are golden.

Drain the squash (which should by now be plenty tender) and mash slightly when you add to the onions. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (or more to taste), a dash of hot sauce, and 3/4 cup of crumbled Ritz crackers (try to keep them on the counter… I found that they kept going all over the floor).  Mix it all up good. Add salt and pepper. Stir in 2 lightly beaten eggs.

Then, put it in a greased medium baking pan, and cover with the toasted crackers. Let cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered.

Then eat! Although I was greeted by the family with some questionable expressions when it was served, they all enjoyed it — and even went back for seconds.  I’m not sure if this actually counts as healthy, but we sure ate some squash!

What else came in our CSA this week?  Here’s a photo for the records:

More pesto making and some slow roasting of tomatoes, and some creation of tomato sauce are on our weekend plans — and some baba ganoush too, I think!

What are you planning to do with your summer produce over the weekend? Any plans to preserve some summer goodness for the dark days of winter?

August 6, 2012

SSFC Week : Considering Corn Chowder

Now you may think that August is not soup weather. And generally you would be right. But when the Family Foodie moves into August, we moving into the time for our almost annual trip to the beach. And the beach means Ocracoke Clam Chowder.

This week, as I was considering the bountiful produce in my kitchen, I had a brainstorm — let’s make a chowder with the corn and the potatoes and the tomatoes. It won’t be Ocracoke Clam Chowder, but it will surely get our taste buds ready for the real thing.

So, for our SSFC meal this week, Corn Chowder was made. Following the ever useful Mark Bittman*, here’s what we did.

1. Remove the kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn. Keep ’em in a bowl until Step 3.

2. Place the corn cobs and 2 cups of water in a pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently, cover and cook, for a half hour or so. Leave the cobs in the water until you’re ready to make the soup. Then remove then and save the broth.

This step is totally worth having made the recipe. I would not have thought to do this, but what a great way to make some wonderful flavorful broth to add to the soup. And for the clam chowder, adding this delicately flavored broth will nicely cut the sometimes strong flavor of the clam broth…

3. Then you make the roux. Well, he doesn’t call it a roux, but that’s what it seems like to me. Put 4 tablespoons of butter or oil in a soup pot. When the butter is melted, add 1/2 cup chopped scallions (we actually used little leeks) and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. When the scallion is soft, turn the heat down a bit and stir in 1/4 cup of flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns golden.

You’ll have a nice roux at this point.

4. Now, add 1 quart of milk or half-n-half (we used half-n-half) and the reserved corn cob broth to the pot, and raise the heat to medium-high.  Stir or whisk constantly until the flour is dissolved and the soup starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

It’s starting to smell quite delicious.

5. Stir in 1 peeled large potato, cut into small dices, and the reserved corn kernels into the soup. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat. Stir occasionally until the potatoes are cooked.

6. Add diced fresh tomatoes to the broth when the potatoes are beginning to soften.

7. Taste and season.

Because I was thinking about clam chowder, I added some Phillip’s seafood seasoning for some additional flavor.

Accompanied by a cucumber-pepper salad with a soy sauce-rice vinegar vinegrette, all was good!

*Bittman’s recipe can be found in his book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

June 11, 2012

The Perfect Summer ‘Slaw

Does not have any mayonnaise in it.

Does not require you to go to the store.

Does not require any heat-producing devices to be turned on.

So with my trusty How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by my side, I whipped up a batch of Spicy Slaw from pg. 48 to take on a picnic by the Potomac.

First, I chopped up the head of green cabbage that we had from the CSA.

read more »

May 27, 2012

If You Like Flowcharts and Dessert,

you might want to check out this story….

May 8, 2012

What To Do With Lettuce

The New York Times Health section online is focusing on lettuce recipes beyond salad in preparation for CSA time. This I am bookmarking. My last attempt at lettuce soup was an abject failure. Today’s recipe looks great, however, and it will provide me with an excuse to use my immersion blender…

http://nytimes.com/2012/05/07/health/nutrition/turning-up-the-heat-on-lettuce-lettuce-and-green-garlic-soup.html?_r=1&ref=health

Already, lettuce is everywhere!

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