Chicken Mole for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

A spicy, smooth and rich sauce bathes the shredded chicken as it simmers and fills the house with the aromas of chocolate, cumin, cinnamon and chili powder.

This dish is in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on her feast day of December 12th. Patron of the Americas, she is said to have appeared to Juan Diego in 1531 near Mexico City.

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup chicken broth, reserved from cooking the chicken
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, finely diced
2 tsp garlic, finely minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp shelled pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp each, ground cumin, oregano, chili powder and cinnamon
1/2 tsp each, ground cloves and pico fruta spice mix (Penzey’s spices)
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp chipotle in adobe sauce
1/2 tsp salt

1. Cook the chicken thighs in chicken broth. Reserve one cup of the broth. Cool and shred the chicken.

2. In a dry skillet, separately char the tomatoes and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.

3. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil.

4. In a small food processor, grind the onions, garlic, pumpkin seeds, raisins and tomatoes to make a paste.

5. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add all the remaining ingredients along with 1 cup of the reserved chicken broth.

6. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

7. Add the shredded chicken and cook over low heat for 2-3 hours.

chicken mole3

8. Adjust seasoning and with corn tortillas or over rice.

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes

nutrition chicken mole

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Poultry

Creamed Spinach

creamedspinach

Everyone needs a good, quick recipe for creamed spinach. Here it is. You’re welcome.

16 oz frozen spinach (cooked and squeezed dry)
1 tsp dried buttermilk ranch dressing mix (I prefer Penzey’s)
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1/4 cup walnut pieces, pine nuts or sliced almonds.

1. Cook the spinach, drain and squeeze dry.

2. Combine the spinach, dry buttermilk dressing, bouillon granules, sour cream,

3. Spoon in to a lightly greased casserole dish. Top with the parmesan cheese and nuts.

4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

5. May be prepared through step 3 and refrigerated until ready to cook.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 325°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (4.1 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Amount Per Serving
nutrition creamed spinach

Recipe Type: Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Jesus Cake (Syble H. Ruppe)

This was my mom’s recipe. She made it throughout the year, but always at Christmas when she also made fruitcake and all sorts of cookies and candies. I loved it as a kid and it remains one of my favorite desserts. I don’t know the origin of the name, but I always thought of it as Jesus’ birthday cake.

This recipe is simple and easy and provides a good opportunity for practicing mindfulness while cooking — especially if you do all the mixing and beating by hand. Light a scented candle, play some quiet holiday music, and, while you’re waiting for the raisins to cool, sip a cup of herbal tea.

I’ve left the directions and ingredients just as Mom wrote them out. Keep in mind that this recipe originated in the 1950’s, when Crisco was a cooking staple. So, if you’re loathe to use solid vegetable shortening, feel free to substitute butter.

The images are photos my sister, Robin Ruppe Rose provided (made from mom’s handwritten recipe files).

1 cup raisins
1/2 cup Crisco Vegetable Shortening (or butter)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

1. Grease an 8″ square pan. Start the oven at 350. Combine raisins, shortening and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling point, reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat egg in medium size bowl. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup water and cooled liquid (from raisins.) Mix in dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Stir in cooled raisin mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Servings: 8
Yield: 1 8″x8″ pan

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (5.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Nutrition Jesus Cake

Recipe Type: Cakes, Pastries, and Desserts

Minted Lamb Meatballs with Creamed Spinach and Pomegranates

minted lamb meatballs

A dish for the Magi on their journey from the East to greet the Christ Child. This dish is not difficult, and if you have prepared a rich turkey stock from your Thanksgiving of Christmas bird, it is that much easier. If you don’t have the stock on hand, use a good chicken stock fortified with additional herbs.

You can make the meatballs as spicy or as savory as you like by adding additional spices (cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, etc.) It’s all good! Glyn

1 quart rich turkey or chicken stock
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 large egg
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup coconut milk (organic, unsweetened if possible)
10 oz frozen spinach (cooked and squeezed dry)
2 cubes chicken bouillon cube
1/3 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1. Bring the stock to a boil in a deep saucepan. Reduce t a simmer and keep at a slow bubble

2. Combine the lamb, onion, walnuts, egg and seasoning and form into 12 or more meatballs.

3. Slide the meatballs into the simmering liquid and adjust the heat to keep the stock at a slow bubble.

4. Simmer 5 minutes then turn the meatballs. Cook another five minutes then reduce the heat to a bare simmer.

5. Meanwhile, cook the spinach in the bouillon cubes with enough water to cover. Drain completely, shaking the colander or seive to remove as much water as possible.

6. Combine the spinach with the sour cream and the nutmeg.

7. Spread the spinach mixture onto the serving plates.

8. Top with the meatballs and enough sauce to moisten.

9. Garnish with fresh pomegranates seeds.

Servings: 4
Yield: 12 Meatballs

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (11.1 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition minted lamb meatballs

Recipe Type: Main Dish

Lamb and Lentil Stew (Instant Pot)

Ras El Hanout

Last week a friend who had just returned from Morocco gifted me with a collection of spices straight from the vendor in Marrakech. In addition to bags of green cardamom pods, cumin, curry, and sweet paprika, was a packet of Ras El Hanout. Ras El Hanout means “top shelf of the shop” and contains the best spices the vendor has to offer. In this case, the blend is a mix of 35 spices!!!

So on this damp, grey December afternoon, I am making a Lamb and Lentil Stew, adding carrots for color and dried barberries for their bright, tart notes.

If you don’t happen to have Ras El Hanout, try substituting a combination of your favorite spices such as curry, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and cloves to make your own variation.

You can also substitute chopped, dried cranberries for the barberries.

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb lamb shoulder chops, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tsp Ras El Hanout Spice* (see recipe notes)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried onion
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup dried brown lentils
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp dried barberries (or cranberries)
1 tsp Ras El Hanout Spice
1 tsp dried cumin

1. Place the lamb cubes in a bowl. Combine the next seven ingredients to make a dry rub. Toss the lamb in this mixture and let sit for 5 minutes.

2. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté function and heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the lamb and sauté until lightly browned.

lamb and lentil stew3

3. Remove the lamb to a small bowl and in the same oil, sauté the chopped onion and garlic, adding more oil if needed.

4. Return the lamb to the pot on top of the onions.

lamb and lentil stew1

5. Add the lentils, carrots, barberries, chicken broth and remaining spices.

6. Turn the instant pot to pressure cooking mode and set for 15 minutes.

7. When the pressure cooking time ends, let the pot naturally release for 10 minutes, then open the vent to let it completely release.

8. Open the pot, stir, adjust seasoning, and keep warm until time to serve.

9. Serve alone or over rice.

10. Alternately, prepare the stew in a dutch oven on your stove top.

lamb and lentil stew2

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (6.3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition lamb and lentil stew

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

 

Tortellini and Chickpeas with Walnut Pesto Sauce

Tortelinni in walnut pesto sauce

Perfect for autumn on winter meals, this vegetarian dish is fancy enough to serve company but quick enough to put together in a hurry on a weeknight. You may use either chickpeas or cannellini beans, canned or cooked at home. If preparing your own from dried beans, I suggest cooking them in vegetable bouillon for enhanced flavor.

1 lb dried cheese tortellini
2 15-oz cans chickpeas or cannellini beans, drained
6 oz pesto (Barilla Basil and Pinenut or homemade
2 cups walnut halves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
5 oz fresh arugula
1 dash salt and pepper (or to taste)

1. Drain the beans and set aside.

2. Add the olive oil, pesto and walnuts to a skillet. Heat to medium and sauté to lightly brown the walnuts,

3. Meanwhile cook the pasta and drain, reserving about a cup of the cooking water.

4. Add the beans and red pepper flakes to the pesto/walnut mixture.

5. Add the tortellini and stir gently. If needed, add some of the reserved cooking water.

6. Adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

7. Arrange the arugula on serving plates, top with the tortellini/walnut/bean/pesto mixture.

8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Servings: 6
Yield: Six Main Course Servings or Eight Appetizer Portions

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (9.7 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

tortelinni nutrition

Recipe Type: Appetizer, Main Dish, Pasta, Vegetarian

Glyn’s Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherds Pie1

Great Make-Ahead dish for your next dinner party. May be cooked and assembled in the morning then refrigerated until time to heat and crisp the topping for dinner. Vary the chopped vegetables, just be sure to cut them all to a fairly uniform dice. This version uses lamb, mint, thyme and red wine in the vegetable filling and is topped with allspice and mace mashed sweet potatoes and chopped chives. Serve with a simple lightly dressed salad (we like a tomato, cucumber and Arugula chopped salad).

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in small dice
1 large parsnip, peeled, cored and cut in small dice
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in small dice
7 oz frozen baby peas
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut in small dice
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium stalk celery, trimmed and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb ground lamb
1 1/2 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp A-1 Sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 cups water
3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the potatoes, carrots, peas, parsnips, and turnips in the chicken broth until crisp tender. Drain, RESERVING the liquid.

2. Place the cooked vegetables in a large bowl and gently stir in the frozen peas.

Shepherds Pie 2

3. Sauté the mushrooms, onions, garlic and celery in the olive oil. Add the to cooked vegetables.

4. Saute the ground lamb. Drain and season with the mint, thyme, red wine and A-1 sauce.

Shepherds Pie31

5. Gently stir into the vegetable mixture.

6. Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato in the reserved vegetable broth, adding additional water if needed.

Shepherds Pie 4

7. Drain the sweet potatoes, RESERVING the liquid. Mash the potatoes and season with the butter/margarine, mace, allspice, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning. Set aside.

8. Add the cornstarch to 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer to thicken. Pour over the meat/vegetable mixture and stir gently to evenly distribute the sauce.

9. Divide the meat/vegetable mixture among six gratin dishes. Spread the mashed sweet potatoes over the pies, pushing it to the edge of the dish to seal. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

10. Bake the pies for 30 to 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven (or until the filling bubbles and the top is browned.

11. Top with chopped chives and serve.

Servings: 6
Yield: 6 Individual Pies

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (22.2 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition shepherd pie

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

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