Monday, February 10, 2014

Bolognese Sauce

Source: Pappardelle with Bolognese
Yield: Approximately 10 cups

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots - peeled, minced
2 stalks celery - minced
2 cloves garlic - minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms - minced
1 onion - minced
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 bottle red wine
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound pappardelle pasta

Heat olive oil in a large, deep sided pan over a medium-high flame. A heavy-duty, enamel stock pot is good for this. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the veggies (carrots through onion) and saute for 20-25 minutes, until soft and tender.

Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper and brown. Once the beef is fully cooked, add the tomato paste. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the wine. Allow the sauce to cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Check seasoning and add additional salt and pepper as required.

Add water to cover the sauce by 1 inch. Simmer on low, stirring as necessary. Continue to cook on low heat for at least 1 hour, adding additional water if needed. Flavor will improve if allowed to cook for 2-3 additional hours.

Prepare pasta according to package directions, serve with bolognese sauce.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chicken Posole

Source: Cooking Light
Yield: 6-8 Generous Bowls

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 half large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 10 oz. can tomatillos, drained and coarsely chopped
4 c chicken stock
2 c water
2 15 oz. cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
1 rotisserie chicken, picked from the bones and chopped (discard skin)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced $
4 radishes, thinly sliced $
Cilantro leaves

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until barely softened, add celery, carrots, and garlic. As the veggies begin to cook, add the spices and bay leaf. Sauté 2 minutes. Stir in tomatillos; cook 1 minute.

Add broth and hominy; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook 8 minutes. Stir in chicken cook until heated through. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Divide evenly among bowls. Top with avocado and radish. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Source: Martha Stewart
Yield: 1 10" pie

One pie crust

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Apple Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
16 ounces sour cream
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 Granny Smith or other crisp, tart apples (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Roll out dough into a 15-inch round (1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 10-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, and fold under, pressing onto rim of pie plate. Use your fingers to create a scalloped edge if desired. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Make the crumb topping: Whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter, and combine with a fork or pastry cutter. Stir in walnuts, and press filling into large clumps with your hands; refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with 2 racks in lower third.

Peel and core the apples, slice them into 1/4-inch wedges and put into a very large mixing bowl.

Make the filling: Whisk together granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir in sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Pour over apples and stir to coat. Carefully fill the crust with apples. Arrange them neatly so that they are packed firmly and there are no open spaces.

Place an empty rimmed baking sheet on lowest oven rack to catch any drips, then bake pie 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until apples are golden brown in places, juices are bubbling, and crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Remove topping from refrigerator, and crumble over hot filling. Bake until topping is browned and set, apples are tender, and bottom crust is thoroughly baked, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours.

Black-Eyed Pea Queso Dip

Source: Homesick Texan
Yield: 8 servings

1/2 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from any casing
1/4 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 roasted jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, diced
1 roasted ancho pepper, seeds and stems removed, diced
16oz frozen chopped spinach, cooked per package directions but without the added water
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas, drained or one 15-ounce can of black-eyed peas, drained
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
4 cups shredded Machego cheese (16 ounces)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, heat the Mexican chorizo and onion on medium low. Add the garlic to the pan after about 3 minutes. While stirring occasionally to break up any large chunks of chorizo, cook until the chorizo and onions are cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and if you like, drain off any excess grease.

Stir into the skillet the diced peppers, black-eyed peas and spinach. Evenly distribute on top the cubed cream cheese and shredded cheese then pour in the cream. Bake uncovered until the cheese is bubbling, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently stir to combine everything. If you’d like a little tang, you can squeeze in some lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and add salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Meatball Sliders with Garlic Aioli

Source: Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Cookbook
Yield: 24 Sliders

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 c dry bread crumbs
2 tbls dried parsley
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 small onion, diced
1/2 c milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
3 tbls olive oil
2 12 count packages King's Hawaiian dinner rolls

Crumble beef and pork together with your fingers into a large mixing bowl. Mix in bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper. In a separate container (I like to use a large measuring cup), combine milk, beaten egg and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the meat mixture and lightly crumble all of the ingredients together until everything is fully incorporated.

Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Scoop golf-ball sized portions (a meduim to large sized disher works well) of the meat mixture and form into 1/2 in thick patties using your hands. When the pan is ready, fry the sliders. Brown them on each side for 3-5 minutes to cook through. Work in small batches, don't over crowd the pan. Keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until you are ready to assemble.

1/2 c mayonaise (not Miracle Whip)
2 tbs grated prepared horseradish (not horseradish sauce)
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp fresh basil, finely minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbls dried parsley

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Heat the dinner rolls according to package directions. Split each roll in half and fill with a slider patty and a dollop of aioli. Additional suggested garnishes: thinly sliced red onion, red bell pepper, and cheddar cheese.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cherry Pie

Source: King Author Flour Presidential Cherry Pie
Yield: 1 9" pie

One double pie crust
16 oz. bag frozen sour cherries
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Clear Jel
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, optional

Preheat oven to 425.

Line a standard (nont deep dish) pie plate with pie crust and set aside.

Thaw cherries completely and drain juice unto a large pot over medium high heat. Reduce juice to approximately 1 3/4 cups. Remove pot from heat and pour concentrated juice into a heat proof container.

Move cherries to the pot. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup of concentrated juice, and almond extract. Stir to combine while cooking over medium high heat.

In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup Clear Jel and remaining 1/3 cup sugar, add to the pot with the cherries and cook to desired thickness. Cool for about 5 minutes to test thickness before filling pastry.

Spoon filling into the pastry-lined pan.

Roll out the second crust and place it on top of the filling. Cut slits into the top to vent steam, and seal the top and bottom crusts together, fluting with your fingers or a fork. (You may also choose to make a woven lattice crust.)

Place the pie on a parchment-lined (to catch any spills) baking sheet, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Remove the pie from the oven, and cool completely on a rack before slicing, so the filling can set.

Easy Flaky Pie Crust

Source: The Solitary Cook
Yield: Two Crusts

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine ground sea or kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
8 oz cold butter
6 oz ice water

Measure the flour, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle. Cut the stick of butter into 8 pieces. Fill a large measuring cup with ice, followed by cold water. Have a smaller measuring cup into which to measure the ice water.

Drop the butter cubes into the bowl, scattering them over the surface of the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on to its lowest speed. Mix only until most of the chunks of butter are about the size of hazelnuts.

Measure off 6 ounces of ice water. With the mixer running on low speed, pour it straight down the side of the bowl in a steady stream, and not necessarily a slow one. Get it into the bowl quickly, but don't dump it all at once. Pouring the water down the side of the bowl delivers it to the bottom of the bowl.

Continue mixing only until no dry ingredients remain in the bottom of the bowl. Allow the mixer to run just until the last of the dry ingredients have been picked up by the paddle.

On a lightly floured your work surface use the palms of your hands to just press the dough into a somewhat cohesive dome. Divide in half and work with one piece at a time. Shape each one into a round disk about 3/4" thick. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling or freeze for up to 2 months.