Monday, January 26, 2009

Ground Nut Soup

African Ground Nut Soup

Above is the recipe I received and below is how I made it.

1 onion, 3 carrots, chopped in food processor
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups of chicken broth (I used the turkey broth I made from el carcas)
1-1/2 cups rice (2 scoops in my rice cooker), cooked
1-2 teaspoon(s) cayenne (mine is old, start with a half if you're a spice chicken)
1-2 teaspoon(s) salt (I started with a teaspoon and rechecked after the peanut butter was added)
2 cups of chunky peanut butter

Melt butter in dutch oven/stock pot, cook chopped carrots and onions until onions start to turn translucent. You don't want to cook them, just get them started in mellowing their flavor. Add rice, broth, cayenne, salt. Bring to simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes.

Wrestle peanut butter out of the jar into a medium bowl. When the soup has simmered its full time, scoop some into the bowl to start to melt the peanut butter.

Return all to stock pot and return to simmer. If more liquid is needed add water or additional stock. Heat in microwave before adding. Simmer 10 minutes.

Changes I think I'll make next time: Putting the cooked vegetables and rice and broth into the food processor before adding the peanut butter so the nuts are the only texture.

That said, this is very thick and good.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Teri's Winter Peach Cobbler

Teri's Winter Peach Cobbler

I have tried several cobbler recipes this fall and winter. None left me wanting to repeat a recipe. Tonight I "cobbled" together the flavors that had left an imprint on my palate's memory. This is the result and it was fabulous! Not too sweet, not too runny, not too bready. It did not need cream, milk, or ice cream to make a full statement!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

16 oz frozen unsweetened peaches, "just" thawed and drained.
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablesppoons butter
8 teaspoons milk
vanilla sugar

Assemble and mix dry ingredients separately for "filling" and topping. In a medium blowl, mix vanilla with peaches and add sugar/flour/cinnamon mixture. Mix gently.

In a medium to large bowl add the flour/baking soda add milk and mix with fork. Turn out onto well floured counter and roll out to fit top of 2 quart or 2 litre baking dish. The pastry will be thin.

Pam or butter baking dish. Pour peach mixture into dish, scraping sides of bowl until "clean". The mixture will be thick and kind of goopy.

Drape the pastry over the peach mixture, tucking in sides and draping overages that don't exactly fit (will look pretty when baked). Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

Note: Because I did the draping thing - the crust was away from the sides a little bit. It was a very thin crust and I did not vent it with slits. If you are using a different pastry recipe or a smaller pan, you may want to place some holes in the top to let steam escape.

Bake for 30 minutes or so until sauce is bubbly and the top is slighly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ballard Lox Quiche

I missed the Pacific NW today. And I've been craving protein all this week after some really fantastic yoga sessions. I made this up on my own. I hope you like it!

Start with preparing my favorite pie crust recipe and add 1 tablespoon Penzey's Mural of Flavor before mixing. (My daughter says this makes it taste like pot pie crust.) Partially bake, cool.

1 cup cream and 1 cup skim milk or 2 cups half and half
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups mozzerella / parmesan cheese combination
8 oz of salmon baked at 375 degrees for about 8-12 minutes (almost done) and then tear into bite sized pieces.
12 can of diced, no salt tomatoes, drained in a seive (you'll only use about 2/3 of the can).
1 tablespoon capers
Penzey's dill weed
Green onion sliced in thin rings


Beat eggs and mix in the cream/milk mixture.

In cooled pie crust sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese mixture on the bottom. Sprinkle 1/2 of the salmon bites around the bottom. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the tomato. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the capers and 1/2 of the green onions. Sprinkle the layer very lightly with dill.

Repeat layer with the exception of the dill.

Top with last 1/3 of cheese. Pour egg/milk mixture over into crust. Sprinkle lightly with dill.

Bake for 50-60 minutes in 350 degree oven until crust is lightly browned and center is just set. Let sit about 10 minutes before serving. Best if cooled, refrigerated, reheated and served later.

Serves 4-6.

Lox and bagels with a different bagel! Ballard locks without the locks :) And the significance is....I had my first lox and bagels guessed it - The Ballard Locks in Seattle!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Utah Fog

My favorite coffee place is promoting an earl grey tea with lavender and milk. My brain thinks coffee when I'm there. But when I tried one of these teas and loved it. So at home, I found a way to make my own....and I can do a decaf version.

Hot water
Earl Grey tea bags (regular or decaf) or loose leaf
Culinary lavender buds (mine are from Washington State)
Milk or cream
Sugar if desired

Heat the water via teapot, microwave or fancy spigot.
Pour over teabag and add one pinch of lavender buds which you've rubbed between your fingers.

Let brew for a bit. Remove teabag and buds. Add warmed milk and/or cream. Add pinch of sugar if desired.

Relax, say "ahh" and enjoy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

English Lemon Shortbread Strips

English Lemon Shortbread Strips
(Another winner from Culinary in the Country - Which they adapted from LandOLakes.)

These are vibrant and tasty. They are very easy to make. I took them to work and received lots of compliments (and a couple return-ees)!

For the dough
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
1 pound (4 sticks or 32 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

For the glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest

To prepare the dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a large mixing bowl, add sugar and zest - use your fingers to massage the zest into the sugar until very fragrant and combined. Add butter and beat mixture together until smooth. Add juice and mix until combined and creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add flour mixture and beat just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Scoop mixture into a 10" x 15" baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Place into the oven and bake until the top is lightly golden, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the glaze
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, butter and lemon juice until smooth. Spread glaze over the cooled shortbread and sprinkle with lemon zest, if desired. Set aside and let stand at least 30 minutes before cutting. The cooler the shortbread, the sturdier it will be. I like to let it sit overnight before cutting. (Except for one little tiny piece from a corner!)

Makes about 40 cookies.

Maple-Balsamic Pork Medallions

Maple-Balsamic-Glazed Pork Medallions
Cooking Light - Modified

1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine syrup and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Cut pork crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each pork piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side. Add vinegar mixture; cook 1 minute or until desired degree of doneness, turning pork to coat.

Place 2 pork medallions on each of 4 plates; drizzle about 1 tablespoon syrup mixture over each serving.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tortilla de Patata Dos

4 potatoes, sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
2 roasted red peppers, sliced into strips and then squares
6 sundried tomato halves, "rehydrated"/softened, sliced with hard centers removed/discarded.
1 cup chopped ham
6 eggs

Cook potatoes and onions in olive oil, add garlic when potatoes are nearly done/lightly browned. Salt and pepper to taste. Wisk eggs, add potato/onion mixture. Add peppers, tomatoes and ham.

Place in pan, cook bottom, helping liquid top flow to sides. Flip, cook until done. Slice like pie.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Brownie, Mousse and Raspberry

This was a delightful dessert. Lots of mmmmmm's to be heard.

Favorite brownie recipe (I used a Penzey's recipe)
Favorite mousse recipe (I used Mrs. Fields)
Favorite raspberry sauce recipe (I used Mrs. Fields)

Make brownies early or a day ahead so they are cool. Place individual brownie slices at the bottom of small dessert bowls. Make mousse and spoon a generous dollup on top of each brownie. Make a small indentation on the top to be a small reservoir for the raspberry sauce. Chill the mousse until set. When ready to serve, drizzle the raspberry sauce on each serving.

Yes, those are moans of contentment.

Secret Family Recipe Lasagna

Secret Family Recipe Lasagna

My grandson requested "Secret Family Recipe Lasagna" for New Years. I don't, actually didn't, have a secret recipe. But I made one up for him. After dinner he commented that we need to have it for ALL holidays and ALL birthdays and ALL celebrations forever and always. Now you can too. Shhhh, don't tell him I shared the secret.

That and the brownie and mousse topped with raspberry sauce - Happy New Year!

Barilla lasagna noodles (I quit buying other brands). Lay the dried noodles out in your pan to see how many you'll need to make. You'll be doing three layers.
olive oil
Mom's spaghetti sauce (about 3 cups)
1/2 lb. lean hamburger
1/2 lb. lean sausage (spicy is fine)
1/2 cup diced onion
2-3 tbls. diced garlic
salt and pepper as desired
1 lb mozerella (I liked grating it myself)
1/2 cup (about 4 oz) greatated parmesan (I grated it myself)
3 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten

Heat the spaghetti sauce if it's been thawing. Cook hamburger and sausage with onion and garlic. Drain meat, add to spaghetti sauce. Let cool slghtly (you'll want to be able to use your hands to place it in the lasagna pan).

I cook half the lasagna noodles in two batches. Heat the water to boiling with a little oil. Barilla states to cook the noodles 8-9 minutes (once the water starts to boil again after adding the noodles). Their timing is perfect. Drain the noodles in a collander and use tepid water to rinse. (Again, cooling them down so you can handle them.) Place the rinsed noodles on foil or a clean, but damp spot on the counter (so they don't stick together).

While the noodles are boiling grate the cheeses, beat the eggs a little and mix the cheeses and the eggs together.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Assemble all your "parts" for the lasagna within arms reach on the counter. Oil/Pam a 9x12 or 13 inch pan. Line the bottom of the pan with noodles. Add a layer of spaghetti sauce/meat mixture using 1/3 of the sauce. Add a layer of cheese using 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Repeat two more times.

Before the last layer of sauce and cheese are added, I press down on the top layer of noodles just a bit to make the lower layers be dense.

Bake for 40-60 minutes - until the center is hot and starting to bubble. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Have a knife and pizze cutter handy to slice into 9-12 servings. Use a spatula to remove the hearty slices.

Celebrate and enjoy!