Quick Chicken Tomato Egg Drop Soup

quick tomato chicken eggdrop soup

Whether you’ve been working remotely, home-schooling quarantined children, or going stir-crazy yourself while you stare out the window wishing the incessant rain would end, sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking a whole bag of dried beans or ransacking the pantry for the ingredients for yet another “taste-tempting” casserole.

When that happens, give yourself a break! You can make this soup in half an hour, It’s also low-calorie and low-fat and it’s guaranteed to taste better than that can of condensed “cream of whatever, ” you’ve been eyeing. Instead, serve this quick and easy soup with crackers and fresh fruit for a light lunch, or as a first course in a more substantial meal. Then take a deep breath. Tomorrow is another day.

15 oz canned tomatoes with juices
3 chicken bouillon cube
3 cups water
2 oz Spaghetti or Linguine, uncooked
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil

1. Combine tomatoes, water and chicken bouillon cube in medium saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Break pasta into 2″ pieces and add to the broth.

4. Increase heat (adding additional water if needed) and cook 8 minutes, or until pasta is done.

5. Using a fork or whisk, briskly stir in beaten egg. Cook one additional minute.

6. Adjust seasoning and serve. If desired, sprinkle with chopped herbs and/or grated parmesan cheese.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (11.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition quick tomato chicken eggdrop soup

Recipe Type: Soups

Weekday Sunday Brunch Strata

Weekday Sunday Brunch Strata

Millions of us are currently housebound as we await the end of the Covid-19 quarantines. Weekdays blur into weekends, and it becomes difficult to maintain normal schedules. Some are struggling to obtain basic groceries. All of us are subject to anxiety and worries. But, some of us, even those with young children at home, remain fortunate enough to be have the dual blessing and luxury of time and ingredients to prepare and share a family breakfast.

This strata, like those prepared by our parents and grandparents, offers a means to produce a simple, nutritious and slightly fancy meal. It multi-tasks as breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and makes good use of leftovers and basic ingredients.

Mix up the strata the day before. Let it rest, covered, in the fridge until the next morning. Bake and serve with fresh fruit and you have a Sunday Brunch worthy dish on any day you have the luxury of a relaxed morning–even if that luxury is accompanied by self-quarantine or social distancing. And don’t forget to give thanks!

There are lots of options:

I used leftover Challah for the bread, and seasoned the dish with a healthy sprinkle of Za’Atar.

You might layer in left-over cooked veggies (mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, artichokes, asparagus?)

Feel free change out the spices with whatever you have on hand. (I’m thinking Shakshuka!)

Substitute whatever dairy or non-dairy milk you have on hand. I used Soy Milk.

If it suits your dietary choices, add chopped, cooked meat.

Ingredients:

8 slices white bread (about 8 oz total)
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup regular milk or non-dairy milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
nonstick cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Za’atar (or seasoning of your choice

Procedure:

1. Spray your dish with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Combine the milk, eggs and seasonings. Mix well with a fork.

2. Layer half the bread in the greased dish, pushing pieces together to cover the surface.

3. Sprinkle on half the cheese and half any additional ingredients you are using Pour half the milk/egg liquid over.

4. Repeat with the remaining bread, cheese, additional ingredients and milk/egg mixture.

5. Top with additional seasonings. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

6. To cook, let strata sit at room temperature for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.

7. Bake 30-45 minutes or until puffed and golden. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Servings: 4 generously or 6 smaller servings

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours and 40 minutes (includes resting time in refrigerator)
Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (7.4 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
nutrition weekday sunday brunch strata

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch, Main Dish

Maintaining Your Pantry and Your Sanity

Stock your Pantry

Our parents knew how to plan ahead. Daily trips to the supermarket were all but unheard of. Instead, they cooked at home, knew how to bake bread, had weekly meal plans, used leftovers efficiently, and cooked enough to freeze for another day. This list is for the home cook who wants to reclaim some of that stability by having non-perishable items in stock. This list is not exhaustive. It contains things that may not apply to you at all. It assumes that your water and electricity are on.

Most of these items are available online, and with places like Amazon Prime, can even be set up as subscriptions which automatically refill at intervals you specify. You do not have to buy everything at once. You don’t need cases of beans, reams of toilet paper or a flat of bottled water. You know what you and your family require. Rely on that knowledge.

REMEMBER: Our current covid-19 experience will end. Stores are being, and will continue to be, restocked. If you can’t get out to shop, most grocery chains will deliver. And when this is over, grocers and farmers markets will still be there. We will get back to buying fresh produce, meats and prepared foods. But, even then, if your pantry is well organized, and regularly replenished, you will be better prepared for the next crisis, whether it is a weather emergency, a health quarantine, or even unexpected guests.

Remember, our lives will return to normal. There is no need to hoard, or to panic.

This list is intended to help you plan in advance so that you can relax a bit in times of stress.

How to Stock a Pantrystock your pantry.jpeg

Spiced Lentils with Potatoes and Carrots (serves 4)

DSCN3097

Spiced Lentils with Potatoes and Carrots

For a remarkably quick, healthy, spicy and filling dinner, try this recipe. Low in calories and fats, it is high in protein and fiber. Leftovers can be used to make lentil burgers the next night. Baharat is a middle eastern spice blend made from cinnamon, peppers, and chilies. In lean times, or if you’re housebound by Covid-19, feel free to use dried or dehydrated onion, garlic, or peppers. If you don’t have Baharat, try adding a bit of cinnamon instead. ~ Glyn

3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tsp. garlic, minced or 1/8 tsp granulated or dried garlic powder
1 cup chopped onion or 1 Tbsp. instant chopped onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet or white potato, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped or 1 tbsp dried, dehydrated
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp baharat spice
1 cup dried lentils
4 tbsp regular or vegan sour cream

1. Cook the lentils in the vegetable broth for 20 minutes, or until not quite tender.

2. Sauté the remaining ingredients (including the spices) until they begin to brown.

3. Combine all the ingredients, cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are soft and the lentils cooked through.

4. Serve alone or over rice in deep bowls with a spoonful of vegan sour cream.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (16.3 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 Spiced Lentils

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Potatoes, Pasta, and Grains, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Black Bean Tamale Casserole

Tamale black bean casserole9

Home Cooking During Covid-19

I cook for stress management, personal expression, and because I have a spouse who loves my cooking.

That said, as of today there’s no shortage of dry or canned beans in the markets in our area, though if like me, your’re housebound and you have to have groceries delivered, you may not get your first choice of bean or brand. I ordered dried Navy beans. Out of stock. They sent dried black beans instead “Even better!” said my Tex Mex Soul.

So, how to cook dried black beans? Put them in your Instant Pot*, cover with about an inch of water. Add granulated onion,, dried garlic, cumin, red pepper and salt to taste. Toss in a beef bouillon cube, the peel and segments of one small orange or tangerine (extra points if you can peel it in one long strip).

Process for 25 minutes. Let pressure naturally release.

Couldn’t be easier.

*If you don’t have an Instant Pot, use a dutch oven or large saucepan. Pre-soak (or quick soak by boiling for 2 minutes, covering and let sit for two hours) then add seasonings and cook for about 40 minutes.

20200322_140341

Beef and Black Bean Tamale Casserole

Lots of options and short-cuts if you like, but there’s something very rewarding about home cooking for those you love. If you cook your own beans, toss in some orange zest along with onion, garlic and cumin to really get the flavor going!

2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large Clove garlic — thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
1 tsp southwest seasoning (or a mix of cumin, chipotle, pepper, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups masa flour
2 chicken or beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups hot water
1 tsp oil (to grease baking pan)
1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese

1. If cooking from scratch, prepare the beans.

2. Brown the beef, add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Drain if there is any grease.

3. Add the tomatoes, southwestern spices and beans. Adjust seasoning if needed. Simmer about half an hour to meld flavors.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the crust by combining the masa harina with the hot water and bouillon. Cover and let sit while the filling simmers.

5. Grease the bottom of a heavy casserole or oven proof skillet.

6. Spread half the crust into the bottom of the pan.

7. Spoon in the filling. Top with half the cheese.

8. Spoon the remaining crust over the filling. Smooth with the back of a spoon.

9. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

10. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and cooked through.

11. Serve with Salsa and Guacamole. (optional)

Servings: 6

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

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 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 Tamale Beef Black Bean Casserole

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish

Applesauce Bread Pudding

20200321_202456
So you’ve gone full Pandemic Pioneer Woman..baking, preserving, conserving. What are you going to do with the leftovers?

APPLESAUCE BREAD PUDDING

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9″ baking dish. Tear half a loaf of leftover bread into tablespoon size pieces. Add to the dish. Top with a cup of chunky applesauce. Sprinkle on a generous amount of spice (I used cinnamon and cardamom). In a 2 cup pyrex measure in the microwave, melt two tablespoons butter. Stir in 4 tablespoons sugar, two eggs and a healthy dash of salt. Add enough milk or cream to measure 2 cups. Mix well and pour over the bread and applesauce. Bake at 350 until slightly puffed, set and golden. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Bread

whole wheat bread

Nothing smells better than fresh baked homemade bread. Moist and fragrant with a hint of spice, this one is easy enough for inexperienced bakers but worthy of an artisan shop.

Cooking and baking are therapeutic, especially in the cold, grey, and often wet times of the year when we find ourselves housebound. (Or when you;re under a “stay at home” order during a pandemic!) Besides, baking is good for your soul, and I’m convinced that bread is the original source of aroma therapy. This one, especially if you add some ground spices, is comfort food for body and spirit.

This recipe only requires about half an hour of active time. Of the three and half hours from pantry to cooling rack, a good three hours are taken up by the dough’s quietly rising while you are free to do other things.

You don’t have to be a master baker to do this. Follow the directions and think good thoughts. Or, as my mom used to do, use the time spent kneading the dough to work out your frustrations on something productive.

If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you can let it do the mixing and kneading, but honestly, I think that removes half the fun…

If your oven has a “proof” setting use it! If not, just be sure to let the dough rise in a warm (not hot) draft-free place.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Ingredients:

1 packet active dry yeast
2 cups warm water about 115°F
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt (less if you’re watching sodium intake)
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

Procedure:

1. In a large bowl, add the yeast to the warm water. Let sit up to five minutes.

2. Combine the melted butter, sugar and eggs. Beat lightly with a fork. Pour into yeast mixture

3. Mix the salt and flours in a large bowl. Add to the yeast/egg mixture. Don’t be timid about it. Just pour it in.

4. Using a fork, a spoon, or your own hands, stir to form a shaggy dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 6-8 minutes, adding more flour if needed to make a smooth, elastic dough.

5. Return dough to a greased bowl. Turn to coat all surfaces. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes.

6. Form into loaves** and place in lightly greased bread pans (9″x 4″). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

7. Turn out of pans and cool on rack. Makes to large loaves. Freezes well.

8. **To form loaves: Divide dough into two pieces. Flatten each into a 9″x6″ rectangle. Working from the short edge, roll dough into a snug cylinder. It will get longer as you roll. Pinch the edges (sides and bottom) together. Tuck ends under. Place in pan seam side down.

Servings: 24
Yield: 2 large loaves

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 3 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours and 25 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/24 of a recipe (2.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition whole wheat bread

Survival Stew

survival stew

My mother, may she rest in peace, was like most folk who grew up poor and hungry in Appalachia in the 1930’s, always very frugal. To the day she died (in 2012) she was embarrassed by her childhood and worried about whether her cooking, housekeeping and personal appearance were good enough. As a consequence, she was a great cook, a beautiful woman and great housekeeper. But more importantly, she always took care that every meal she prepared and served was delicious, wholesome, and made with love. And she never, ever, let on that in the early years of my life we, too, were very nearly as poor as she had been.

I remember one meal in particular — fried potatoes and brown cream gravy on toast. We thought it as a feast, never knowing when we ate it four nights a week that it was because Dad’s foreign duty military paychecks were late in arriving (again) and that she had bought the potatoes and bread on credit at the local market. She was that good.

I finally figured that out when I was a young mom and shopping had to wait until the next payday. In my case, the meal was called “Survival Stew” and I made it from whatever left-overs, fresh vegetables and cans of tomatoes I had in the pantry. My sons loved it, and my eldest still makes it and shares the “recipe” with his friends.

Now a days when I am blessed to have more than I need, I still make the soup when I am feeling especially stressed out, frustrated by life or just plain sad. Just smelling it on the stove is a reminder of the continuity of human experience, the goodness of life, and all the folks in every age who stand over a soup pot, cooking whatever they have with love and gratitude. ~ Glyn

Today’s Version
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1 can kidney beans ( or any canned bean you have on hand)
1 can (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups water
4 herb-ox vegetable, beef or chicken bouillon cube
basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup savory sauce (soy, tamari, etc)
1/4 cup dried pasta (optional)

1. Saute and drain the ground beef. Set aside.

2. Saute the onion, garlic and celery in the vegetable oil.

3. Return the beef to the pot. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and bring to a boil,

4. Reduce the heat, and simmer for one hour.

5. Adjust seasoning and serve with muffins of biscuits or crackers.

Servings: 8

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

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (17.3 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 survival stew

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Soups, Vegetables

Homemade Matzoh

Matzoh6

!! EDITED!!

NOTE: I’ve just learned that this recipe IS NOT Kosher for Passover.

This recipe is my take on homemade Matzoh, adapted from the basic recipe on leitesculinaria.com.

Start to finish, it can be made in under 18 minutes if you preheat the oven first. I made these fairly thick and they cooked for about 8 minutes. The thinner they are the less time they take to cook. This makes 5 (quarter inch thick loaves), or 10 thin ones. They crisp as they cool.

They taste good and are more akin to what was eaten at the original Passover than the ones we buy at the market. But, strictly speaking,its just unleavened bread, not Matzoh.

Preheat oven to 500 F.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup warm water (plus more if needed)

Combine all ingredients. Mix into a shaggy dough. Squeeze together, adding more water by the tsp. if needed to hold together. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes.) Tear off a chunk and roll as thinly as you desire. The thinner, the faster it will cook. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, poke holes in the surface. If you want to salt them, brush lightly with water (use your fingertips) and sprinkle on additional kosher salt.

Bake at 500 until the tops begin to brown in spots (thick ones take about 3-4 minutes per side. Use a spatula to turn. Bake other side until brown in spots. Remove from oven and cool. They will crisp as they cool.

Instant Pot Dried Bean and Meatball Stew

Dried Bean and Meatball Stew3

Since many of us will be home-bound for the indefinite future, may not get to the market as often as we normally do, and are learning/re-learning how to cook with canned goods and staple grains, I’m thinking we can all use some one pot meals. This one takes advantage of Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooking techniques, but don’t worry if you don’t have one! Just soak the beans overnight (or in a pinch use the quick soaking method below*)

The Meatballs are optional. If you’re between grocery deliveries, or planning a meatless meal, just leave them out. The bean stew is tasty and very nutritional. Make substitutes as needed, and use what you have on hand.

Don’t be put off by the cooking times — they’re inactive! This stew cooks on it’s own while you do all the other things on your social distancing to do list.

Best of all, this dish is delicious! Also Gluten Free.

To quick soak beans: Cover with several inches of water. Bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes. Cover and let sit for two hours. Proceed with the recipe as a traditional stove top stew.

2 cups dried beans (I used Gigantes Greek Beans, but any bean will do)
4 cups water
1 tsp olive or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried onion flakes
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tbsp dried tomato flakes

1 lb ground beef
2 eggs
2 tbsp breadcrumbs (or gluten-free or oatmeal)
1/2 tsp dried onion
1/8 tsp granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried mint

Part One:

1. Place all ingredients in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Process until beans are done. Check your owner’s manual or online for how long to cook. The Gigantes Beans take a full hour, but other beans may be as little as 25 minutes.

2. If using traditional cooking method, place all part one ingredients in a dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the beans are done.

Part Two:

1. If using an instant pot, change function to slow cooker. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into walnut sized meatballs. Nestle the meatballs into the cooked beans. Cover and slow cook for several hours, until meatballs are done and the flavors have melded.

2. If using a slow cooker or stovepot method, combine all part two ingredients. Shape into meatballs, Nestle into the cooked beans. Bring to a bubble, reduce heat, cover and cook slowly until done, at least one hour. Keep warm.

Servings: 6

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

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (11.3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving

nutrition dried bean and meatball stew

Recipe Type: Beans and Legumes, Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat, Vegetables

Colcannon

colcannon1

It is said that in Ireland, there are as many recipes for Colcannon as there are cooks. My mother, of blessed memory, had roots in Clan Kennedy and was a beautiful representative of the Scots Irish of Western North Carolina. She often made a dish which she called hot potato salad. Because it contained bacon and onion, I always thought it was a variation of German potato salad. But thinking about it today, I suspect it was an echo of Colcannon.

I don’t have her recipe; but here, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day is my interpretation of the dish. It serves 8 as a side dish or four as a main.

If you don’t eat bacon, just omit it. Maybe adding additional chopped onions for crunch.

colcannon

1/2 head cabbage, cored and chopped
1 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
4 cups water
4 oz bacon, diced, fried and drained (fat reserved)
4 medium russet potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 green onions, sliced OR 2 tsp. dried, reconstituted chives
salt, pepper and additional butter to taste

1. Combine the chicken bouillon granules with the water. Bring to a boil. Add the chopped cabbage and cook until tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking broth. Keep warm

2. Meanwhile, cook and drain the bacon, reserving about 2 tbsp of the rendered fat.

3. Peel, coarsely chop and boil the potatoes in salted water. While they cook, saute the onion in the bacon fat. Drain, and stir into the cabbage.

4. Drain and mash the potatoes. Stir in the butter, and green onions or reconstituted chives,

5. Combine the potatoes with the cabbage mixture, adding reserved bouillon broth as needed.

6. Correct seasoning as needed and serve topped with a dollop of butter.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (8 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

colcannon nutrition

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Holiday, Vegetables

Lentil Rice Turkey Sausage Curry

lentil rice sausage curry3

As we enter a period of school closings, self-quarantine, precautionary isolation, and social distancing because of the Corona Virus Pandemic, I am very much aware of how difficult it will be for folks to shop, cook for, and feed their families. Even those who remain well will most likely face new challenges in shopping and in preparing nutritious meals from available shelf-stable ingredients. With that in mind I am shifting the focus of my cooking blog to suggest simple, filling, tasty, and inexpensive recipes. This meal will serve four to six and is high in protein and fiber. The turkey sausage is optional. I had it on hand in the fridge, but even without it, this recipe will provide a wholesome and comforting meal.

4 oz turkey sausage, browned crumbled and drained
1 medium onion, chopped OR 1 tbsp dried onion
1 clove garlic, minced or 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium russet potato, diced
1 cup dried lentils
2 cubes bouillon (chicken, beef or vegetable)
1 tbsp dried tomato flakes
1 cup long-grain rice
3 cups water
1 tbsp curry powder (optional)
1 tsp dried mint (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

lentil rice sausage curry

1. In a lidded casserole on top of the stove, brown, crumble and drain the sausage, if using. Set sausage aside.

2. In the same pan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil.

3. Stir in the lentils, potato, rice, and tomatoes.

4. Add the water, bouillon, and spices and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice and lentils are done, adding more water if needed. (about 45 minutes to an hour).

6. Remove from heat, fluff and serve as a main dish.

lentil rice sausage curry2

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (12.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition lentil sausage rice curry

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Poultry

Za’Atar Beef Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

ZaAtar Beef Stuffed Cabbage2

Beef Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with an Israeli vibe. This slow cooking main dish is good for those days when the weather is challenging and you feel like the sun may never shine again. It will fill your home with the scents of dill, caraway and Za’Atar It serves six and is even better the next day. Also great as a make ahead main course for informal entertaining. And, it also freezes well. A winner all around.

6 large green cabbage leaves
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cooked white rice, held warm
2 medium eggs
1 15-oz tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried dill weed, plus extra for garnish
1 tsp dried ground caraway seed, plus extra for garnish
2 tsp Za’Atar Spice Blend, plus extra for garnish
1 tsp olive oil

1. Trim flat the tough stems from the cabbage leaves. Boil the leaves 3-5 minutes. Drain.

2. Combine the meat, onion, garlic, rice, eggs and spices and 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce. Using your hands, mix well.

3. With the olive oil, lightly oil the bottom of a lidded casserole.

4. Lay a cabbage leaf flat. Place 1/6 of the rice/meat mixture onto the bottom third of the leaf. Fold in the sides of the leaf, then starting from the stem end, roll into a fat package.

Za'Atar Beef Stuffed Cabbage 3

5. Place the rolls in the prepared casserole. Top with remaining tomato sauce. Season generously with additional dill weed, caraway seed and Za’Atar.

ZaAtar Beef Stuffed Cabbage

6. Bake in middle of a pre-heated 275 oven for at least one hour. (Or, if you are in a hurry, cook at 325 for one hour.)

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 275°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (4.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 3 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Amount Per Serving

nutrition za'atar beef stuffed cabbage

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

Turkey Sausage Stuffed Game Hens

Sausage Stuffed Game Hens5
Game Hens are generally too small to stuff efficiently, so these are spatch-cocked and laid on top of the stuffing to bake. One hen serves two and makes a comforting and elegant main dish. Perfect for a cold, wet winter evening.

2 20 oz. Game Hens, Spatch-cocked
2 cups stale bread cubed
4 oz turkey breakfast sausage cooked and crumbled
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

1. Season the Game Hens. Saute the sausage and crumble. Set aside.

2. In the oil, saute the onion, garlic, celery, and walnuts. Return the sausage to the same skillet

3. Add the chicken broth, bread cubes and poultry seasoning. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

4. Place the cooled stuffing in an oven proof casserole. Lay the halves over the stuffing and season as desired

5. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Check for doneness (juices should run clear).

6. Remove from oven, cover with foil and keep warm until serving. Goes well with minted peas.

Servings: 4

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

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (11.4 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 sausage stuffed game hens

Recipe Type: Main Dish

Chicken Pot Pie to Cure What Ails You

chicken pot pie4

Making this comfort food classic for myself. My holiday cold has now lingered into February, and each time I think it’s finally gone, seems to show up yet again with a new assault on my immune system and my sanity. Time for drastic measures!

The point of this dish is symptom relief, not a beauty contest, there’s no need to fuss about making the top crust look like a fruit pie. I have some homemade puff paste in the freezer, so I’m just rolling it an approximate size and laying it on top of the filling. It will draw in during baking, but that’s OK. It’s also fine to use biscuits as a topping, or a grocery store pie crust. Even toast or mashed potatoes. What we’re after is the healing property of chicken!

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
1 tbsp garlic, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 medium mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 lb cubed boneless chicken thighs
1 large carrot, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
1 cup chopped green beans
1 cup frozen green peas
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon mix
2-3 cups water
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
4 oz Homemade Puff Paste or Phyllo pastry sheets

1. In the olive oil, saute the garlic, onion, celery and mushrooms. Add the chicken and cook till opaque.

2. Add the remaining ingredients (EXCEPT the cornstarch and puff paste). Boil gently for 15-20 minutes.

3. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring until thickened (2-3 minutes). Pour into oiled baking dish.

4. Roll our the puff paste, trim, and use to cover the chicken filling.

5. Place dish on a baking sheet to catch spills. Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden.

Servings: 6

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

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (18.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition chicken pot pie

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Poultry

Asian Stir Fry Chicken

asian chicken stir fry 1

Set the chicken up to marinate overnight, and the next day you can have this dish meal ready in half an hour.

The Singapore Spice is optional. It’s a blend of black pepper, lemon peel, garlic, onion, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, cardamom, cloves, and cayenne.

This and many other wonderful spices and blends may be found online at http://www.penzeys.com.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbs soy sauce (gluten-free)
2 tbsp olive or sesame oil
2 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame seeds (white, black or mixed)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried onion
1 tsp Penzey’s Singapore Seasoning OPTIONAL
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 lb broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup uncooked rice


1. Rinse and pat the chicken dry.

2. In a small bowl or ziploc bag, combine all soy sauce, olive (or sesame oil) and the spices. Mix well.

3. Add the chicken, making sure all the pieces are covered with the marinade. Refrigerate from 2 hours to overnight, turning occasionally.

4. Prepare the rice and keep it warm.

5. In a large skillet or wok, sauté the chicken, in it’s marinade, until cooked through. if it begins to burn, lower the heat. (Molasses will turn to caramel) Remove the chicken, but keep warm.

6. Adding additional oil if necessary, sauté the onion, mushrooms, and broccoli until crisp tender.

7. Return the chicken to the skillet and reheat, adding up to a 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth if things are too dry.

8. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve over rice.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (14.7 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 asain chicken stir fry

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Poultry

Dhedah’s Layered Alsatian Charcuterie

Alsatian Charcuterie6

Today is Dhedah’s (AKA Grandmother Glyn) opportunity to prepare a Sunday evening supper which I know will be a real crowd-pleaser with the family. It’s a slow cooked meat, sauerkraut and potato casserole that my Wisconsin born grandsons will demolish. If you don’t have hungry young men to feed, this is also a great way feed the neighborhood. Serve it with a vinegary cucumber tomato salad, mustard and a selection of pickles to add some balance.

Not low-calorie — but fairly low-carb if you skip to potatoes — but that would be an unforgivable act so far as my grandsons are concerned.

Alsatian Charcuterie1

2 oz thick slices bacon
2 lb. bone-in country pork ribs cut in 3 inch pieces
1 lb sliced onion
1 tbsp sliced garlic
1 lb skinless kielbasa, cut in 4 inch pieces
1 lb bratwurst, halved
10 oz smoked mini cocktail sausages
3 lbs sauerkraut, well-drained
3 lbs small red potatoes
2 tsp ground caraway seeds
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large slow cooker with a searing function (I love my Ninja!) lightly brown the bacon. Remove the bacon and set aside. Drain and discard all but about 1 tbsp. of the bacon fat.

2. Meanwhile parboil the potatoes. Drain.

3. In the rendered bacon fat, lightly saute the ribs. Remove the ribs and set aside.

4. Add the onions and garlic and, and in the bacon fat, sauté until lightly browned.

5. Arrange the seared ribs over the onions and garlic. Top with half the sauerkraut. Season with half the ground caraway and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Arrange the brauts and kielbasa on the sauerkraut.

7. Top with the remaining saurkraut. Arrange the remaining mini sausages and browned bacon on top. Season with the remaining caraway seed, and salt and pepper to taste.

8. Arrange the parboiled potatoes around the edges of the casserole. Cover and slow cook for four to six hours on low.

9. Serve with spicy brown or dijon mustard, and a variety of pickles.

Alsatian Charcuterie3
Servings: 10

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/10 of a recipe (18.9 ounces).

Nutrition Alsatian Charcuterie

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat, Potatoes, Pasta, and Grains

Grilled Lamb Chops with Za’Atar and Pomegranate Molasses

With only five ingredients (plus salt and pepper) this dish is simple but delicious. To eliminate smoke and grease in the house, I grill these in a Staub grill pan on an induction burner on the screened porch. Cooking takes only about 10 minutes so outdoor cooking is possible, even in January. Both Za’Atar and Pomegranate Molasses are available online or from Middle Eastern markets. I enjoy shopping in the grocery section of Olive Branch Gourmet Foods in East Ridge, TN. 

Serve this with grilled asparagus and minted rice.

3/4 lb loin lamb chops (2-3 chops)
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1-2 tsp Za’Atar seasoning
1 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

1. In a quart size ziplock bag, combine the Za-atar spice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil.

2. Add the lambchops, seal and turn several times to cover the chops. Marinate about 2 hours (or overnight) turning occasionally.

za'atar marinade

3. Heat your grill or grill pan until very hot. (too hot to hold your hand over for more than a second or two.)

4. Cook the chops about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Set aside to rest for five minutes.

5. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 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. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.


Nutrition za'atar lamb chops

Recipe Type: Low-Carb, Main Dish, Meat

King Cake For Epiphany

It’s an all day recipe, but it makes enough pastry and filling to freeze for later use.

King Cake For EpiphanyDOING IT THE HARD WAY.

Today, for the Feast of the Epiphany, I’m going to make a Gallette de Rois (King Cake). I’ll be using my vintage copy of Larousse Gastronomique for the puff paste recipe.

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP ONE
Step One Completed: mix 3 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup water. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let rest 25 minutes (while I start packing up the Creche and some of the Santas).

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP TWO
Roll the dough into a large even rectangle. Place the pound (yes, pound!) of softened butter in the center. Fold to enclose. Chill for 30 minutes. (The recipe calls for a 10 minute chill, but I know from experience that’s for a French kitchen, not an American one, especially not in Chattanooga!)

King Cake 2

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEPS THREE TO EIGHT
This step is repeated six times with a 30 minute rest between steps. A good time to read a book or catch up on the laundry. Roll dough into a long rectangle. Fold in thirds onto itself. Turn folded side down and chill for 30 minutes. Repeat for six turns.

King Cake 7

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP NINE
Make and chill the filling. You’ll need 3/4 cup almond meal ( I ground my own in the food processor.) 6 tbsp softened butter. 3/4 cup confectioners sugar. 2 eggs (reserve one of the yolks for the glaze. 2 tsp corn starch. 1 tsp.vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the remaining ingredients and chill for one hour. Keep the remaining egg yolk in the fridge till needed.

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP TEN
Roll out 1/4 of the puff paste to make two circles. (Freeze the rest for another time). Spread about 1/2 of the filling to within an inch of one circle. (Freeze the rest of the filling for later use.) Moisten the edge. Place second circle on top. Press edge to seal. Using the back of a spoon, scallop the edge. Refrigerate one hour.

King Cake 13

KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP ELEVEN
Preheat oven to 375. Remove cake from refrigerator. Combine reserved egg yolk with a tsp milk. Brush this mixture over the top but do not let it drip over the edge. Use a knife to lightly score a decorative design. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

King Cake 14

And 9 hours later: C’est Fini

Braised Lamb Shoulder Blade Chops Provencal

Braised Lamb Shoulder Blad (2)

I can’t always find lamb at the nearest grocery store, so when it’s in stock I make sure to get it. These lamb shoulder blade chops are perfect for a braise with onions, celery, garlic, red wine and herbs de Provence. The temperatures are dropping once again and this will make for a very pleasant dinner.

1 lbs thick lamb should blade chops
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 medium carrots peeled and cut in 2″ pieces
1 large potato, peeled and cut in thick slices
2 tsp dried herbs de Provence
onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 275. Pat the chops dry and season with salt, pepper, powdered onion, powdered garlic and some of the herbs de Provence. Set aside

2. In the oil in an oven proof casserole, saute the onion, garlic and celery until golden. Remove to a bowl or plate.

3. Increase the heat till nearly smoking and sear the chops on both sides,

4. Quickly return the sauted vegetables to the pan. Add the carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle on the remaining herbs de Provence.

5. Pour the wine over all, cover, and place in the preheated oven, Cook, covered, 1 1/2 hours.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Oven Temperature: 275°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (20.8 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.

Amount Per Serving

nutrition braised lamb shoulder blade chop

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

Winter Pork Ragout with Polenta

Pork Ragout1

It’s late afternoon on cold, gray, very rainy January 2nd afternoon. We appear to be the only family in the neighborhood whose holiday lights are still on (we keep them up through the 12 Days of Christmas) and I am especially grateful for their effectiveness in challenging the advancing dark. I’m still, slowly, recovering from a December chest cold and a lingering cough, but I’m snug and warm inside; and after having spent the day reading, am preparing a hearty, warming, supper from ingredients I have on hand.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 lb boneless pork ribs, cut in half inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp dried savory
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/3 cup dried instant polenta
2 tbsp butter (for the polenta)
4 1/2 cup water

1. In a heavy, lidded casserole, saute the chopped vegetables in the olive oil until crisp and lightly browned.

2. Remove the vegetables to a plant and in the same oil, saute the pork till lightly browned.

3. Stir in the salt, pepper, and spices. Return the veggies to the pan. Add the halved tomatoes.

4. Increase the heat and bring all to sizzle. Pour in the wine. Cover and reduce heat to low.

5. Let simmer/braise for up to 90 minutes. Remove lid and, if necessary reduce the liquid. Adjust the seasoning.

6. Prepare the polenta according to the package directions, and serve topped with the ragu.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (20.2 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition pork ragout
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Meat

Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Mirepoix and Lentils

Lentil Lamb Meatballs3

Despite my best efforts I caught a cold over the holidays and am now barking like a seal. On the mend, my body now wants something spicy, earthy and warm.

This recipe calls for several unusual ingredients: ras el hanout spice mix, maqluba, and aleppo pepper. Don’t worry if you don’t have them. While they are all very reasonably priced and available at middle eastern markets or online, you may also substitute a mixture of curry powder, cumin, allspice, cardamom, cayenne and cinnamon (among others). there is no set recipe for these spice blends. The point is to find one that you enjoy, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp dried mint
2 tsp ras el hanout, maqluba sice blend or curry powder
1/4 tsp dried aleppo pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced potatoes
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
2 tbsp golden raisins
1/2 cup dried lentils
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup long grain white rice (steamed)

1. Partially cook the lentils in the chicken broth. (I do 10 minutes in an instant pot). Do not drain.

2. Combine the lamb with the spices. Form into medium sized meatballs and set aside.

3. In the olive oil, in a sturdy stove-top-to-oven lidded casserole, sauté the onion, potato, celery, carrot and raisins.

4. Nestle the meatballs in among the mirepoix veggies and brown lightly, turning once.

5. Top with the lentils and any remaining chicken broth.

6. Cover tightly and cook in a slow (350 degree oven) for up to 90 minutes.

7. Stir, adjust seasoning and serve over steamed rice.

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Oven Temperature: 300°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (8.4 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 lentils lamb meatballs

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish

Walnut Sage Tortellini

Walnut Sage Tortellini3

Super easy and quick. A filling winter supper dish, especially good for those evenings when you are already cooking for the holidays and don’t have the time or the energy for lots of preparation. Great with a dry white wine.

6 oz dried cheese tortellini
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

1. Boil the tortellini according to the package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil to medium in a skillet, Don’t let it smoke.

3. Lightly brown the mushrooms and walnuts. Add the garlic last and don’t let it burn.

4. Season with the sage, cayenne flakes and salt to taste.

5. Toss with the drained pasta, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, if desired.

6. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with the shaved parmesan.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (7.2 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.

Amount Per Serving
Nutrition Walnut Sage Tortellini

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Pasta

Lamb Meatballs in Lemon Sauce

Lamb Meatballs Lemon Sauce3
We’ve had a 40 degree temperature drop in the past 24 hours, and it’s time for something warming and comforting, but not heavy or starchy. These meatballs are gluten-free and low-carb, and have a rich and creamy sauce; but for those whose meal is not complete without a grain of some sort, try them with rice.

For the Meatballs
1 lb ground lamb (grass fed is best)
1/4 cup ground nuts (I prefer pistachio, but use what you have)
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely minced
1 egg
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and red pepper to taste
For the Sauce
3 eggs
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 quart chicken broth

1. Combine the first 10 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill for 1-3 hours.

2. When lamb is chilled, form the meat mixture into small to medium meatballs.

3. Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth to a slow boil.

4. Gently place the meatballs into the broth and cook till 10-12 minutes. Drain and keep warm.

5. Beat the three additional eggs in a medium bowl and add the lemon juice.

6. Temper the mixture with about a cup of the chicken broth.

7. Stir the lemon egg mixture back into the remainder of the chicken broth and heat gently to thicken the sauce.

8. Return the meatballs to the sauce and warm through. Serve at once.

Lamb Meatballs Lemon Sauce1

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (15.7 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 Lamb Meatballs in Lemon Sauce

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Main Dish

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

Glyn’s Holiday Fruitcake 2019

fruitcake 2

This cake is heavy on the fruit and light on the batter. Aside from the candied green cherries, all the ingredients are available year round in most supermarkets. I used dried fruit from Sun-Maid and Mariana. This cake will keep for up to a month in a cool dry place. Especially if you bathe it in brandy before sealing.

8 oz pitted dates, chopped
7 oz dried figs, stems removed and chopped
8 oz green cherries candied fruit
5 oz dried cherries
6 oz dried pineapple
8 oz brazil nuts
7 oz walnut halves
1 cup all purpose-flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cloves
5 eggs
1/2 cup brandy (optional)

1. Grease and flour two loaf pans (4″x9″)

2. Combine all the fruit and nuts in a very large bowl (or dutch oven pot)

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the fruit/nut mixture. Stir to thoroughly coat.

5. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and add to the fruit/nut/flour/sugar mixture. Stir thoroughly to moisten.

6. Divide the mixture between the two prepared loaf pans.

7. Bake at 300 for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

8. Cool in pans for 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

9. If desired, pour 1/4 cup brandy over each loaf. Wrap tightly and store in a cool dry place.

Servings: 24
Yield: 2 loaf pans

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 55 minutes

Oven Temperature: 300°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/24 of a recipe (3.1 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition fruitcake

Recipe Type: Cakes, Pastries, and Desserts, Dessert

Chocolate Cherry Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding

Pudding2

Notes from my kitchen on “Stir-Up Sunday”

This pudding began with a request from my daughter-in-law for a gluten-free Christmas Dessert. It’s based on a BBC Good Food recipe from several years back. But considering the work involved in converting the measurements and ingredients for American tastes, and making it Gluten-Free, it turned out to be easier to do my own recipe.

12 oz frozen, pitted dark cherries (reserve and freeze half for decorating the pudding)
1 pear, peeled and grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup golden raisins
3.5 oz whiskey or brandy
3.5 oz very dark chocolate bar
4 oz butter (1 stick)
2 large eggs
1.5 cups almond meal
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped pecans
.5 tsp ground cinnamon
.5 tsp ground cardamom
.25 tsp ground ginger
.25 tsp ground cloves
.25 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

3.5 oz dark chocolate bar (semi sweet)
4 oz whipping cream
1.5 oz whiskey

.5 cup whiskey or brandy for aging

1. Drain the cherries. Cut each in half.

2. Add the grated pear.

3. Stir in the raisins (regular and golden).

4. Add the whiskey and stir well.

5. Cover and microwave for 3-5 minutes.

6. Add the melted butter.

7. Add the chocolate (broken in pieces.)

8. Let the fruit mixture cool to lukewarm.

9. In a measuring cup, beat the eggs with a fork, then stir into the fruit mix.

10. In another bowl, mix together the almond meal, brown sugar, spices, cocoa, and ground pecans.

11. Combine the dry ingredients with the fruit/egg mixture.

12. Pour into a buttered (lidded) pudding tin or heat proof bowl.

13. Top the pudding with a buttered round of parchment paper.

14. Seal firmly (either with the lid of the pudding tin or with aluminum foil if using a bowl).

Pudding 3

Steam the Pudding

1. I steam the pudding by placing the sealed tin in my slow cooker, adding boiling water to within two inches of the top, and cooking on the low setting for 6-8 hours. Check occasionally and add more boiling water as needed.

2. Alternatively, steam the pudding on the stovetop, placing it in a dutch oven, and filling the pot halfway with boiling water. Cover tightly. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and steam for 2-3 hours.

Store the Pudding

1. Let cool at room temperature, un-mold and baste with a few tablespoons of whiskey. Wrap well and let age in a cool dark space for up to ten weeks.

To Serve the Pudding

1. Reheat the wrapped pudding in a slow oven, or steam it for up to one hour.

2. Melt the second chocolate bar, add the double cream and whiskey or brandy to make the sauce Pour over the pudding and garnish with thawed dark cherries, and if desired, whipped cream.

Servings: 10
Yield: 1 Large Pudding

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/10 of a recipe (7.1 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.

nutrition GF christmas pudding

Recipe Type: Cakes, Pastries, and Desserts, Dessert

Gigantes with Lamb Meatballs

Gigantes and Lamb2

Last week, I found a bag of gigantes (dried, Greek Giant beans) at the Olive Branch Deli and Restaurant. This recipe is my attempt to combine some of my favorite textures and flavors in one slow cooked meal.

1 cup large dried lima beans, or gigantes
2 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried lemon peel
1/2 tsp oregano, divided
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
15 oz tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 thinly sliced preserved lemon (optional)

1. Soak the beans overnight in the two cups of water. Do not drain.

2. In a heavy duty, covered casserole, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil.

3. Meanwhile combine the lamb, egg, bread crumbs and 1/4 tsp each of the oregano, lemon peel, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Shape the lamb mixture into about eight meatballs. Nestle among the onions and garlic. Brown lightly, turning once.

5. Combine the tomato sauce, presoaked beans. Add the remaining lemon peel, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Press on the beans to submerge, and if necessary, add a bit more water.

6. If desired, sprinkle a few slices of preserved lemon on top.

7. Bake at 300 for up to four hours, or until the beans are tender. Keep warm until serving

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 300°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe.
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 Gigantes and Lamb

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat, Vegetables

Devilled Eggs With Caviar and Smoked Salmon

Devilled Eggs1

This is my go-to appetizer for Shabbat Dinners or family Events. It’s really simple, and always extremely well received. I am told these are excellent, but as the unfortunate consequence of having been forced (as a child) to eat cold eggs with catsup, I wouldn’t know. Don’t be too concerned about the cost of the ingredients. A 2 oz. jar of Romanoff black lumpfish caviar can be found in most supermarkets for less than $9 and will keep, refrigerated for months. This recipe requires only one teaspoon so you can count on having enough for making this a dozen times. Concerning the smoked salmon, a 3oz pack of wild-caught sliced will cost even less than the caviar. Half of one slice in a will more than suffice for the devilled eggs, and I know you’ll find a use for the rest!

6 eggs, boiled
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp black lumpfish caviar
1/2 oz smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
dash sweet paprika

1. Boil, cool and peel the eggs. Halve the eggs and remove the yolks.

2. Mash the yolks with a fork and combine with the mustard, mayonnaise, onion powder, salt, pepper and dill.

3. Lightly spoon the egg yolk mixture into the egg halves. Top each with a strip of salmon and a few grains of caviar.

4. Sprinkle with paprika and serve at once or refrigerate, loosely covered, for up to six hours.

Servings: 12

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/12 of a recipe (1.2 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 Devilled Eggs

Middle Eastern Beef Stuffed Onions

beef stuffed onions7

This recipe was inspired by a technique used for rice stuffed onions in the cookbook “Jerusalem” by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi. It is my interpretation and application of that technique, using ground beef, barberries and pistachios.

“Beef Stuffed Onions” is a bit labor intensive, and requires what may be unfamiliar ingredients. But all are readily available either online, at specialty grocers or, in the case of the preserved lemons, are easily made at home.

Note: If a soupier dish is preferred, increase the amount of tomato sauce to one cup. Alternatively, for a more savory dish, substitute beef bouillon for the tomato sauce.

The aromas are spectacular, and as is often true of such methods, taste even better the second or third day.

Middle Eastern Flavors. Comfort Food. Autumn Main Dish. What are we waiting for?

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
2 large onions
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tbsp Ras El Hanout
1 tbsp dried barberries
1 tbsp ground pistachios
1 tbsp roasted pistachios
1/4 preserved lemon
1 egg
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut in one inch cubes
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup tomato sauce

Procedure
1. cut the stems from onions. peel and boil in salted water for 15 minutes. set aside.

2. remove and discard the inner flesh of the preserved lemon. Finely dice the skin and peel

3. slit one side of the onion halfway through. Carefully separate the onions into layers. About four layers per onion. Chop and reserve the inner sections of the onions to use in making the filling.

4. combine and thoroughly mix the beef, chopped onion, egg, mint, ras el hanout, ground pistachios, preserved lemon, salt and pepper to taste and the barberries.

5. holding one onion layer at a time in the palm of your hand, fill it with the beef mixture and place slit side down in oiled casserole.

6. scatter potato cubes around the stuffed onions.

7. add the pomegranate molasses to the tomato sauce and pour over onions.

8. bake one hour at 325. to serve, garnish with roasted pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

Servings: 4

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

Oven Temperature: 325°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (10.6 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 6 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.
beef stuffed onions nutrition

Refried Meatloaf with Browned Onion Gravy

DSCN2192

It was a cold, wet Saturday afternoon. With the wind blowing down the chimney, even the firewood was damp and the whole house smelled of peat. Naturally I was thinking of Scotland just when Will came in to tell me that of one Diana Gabaldon’s Claire and Jamie Outlander books was about to be made into a TV series. I immediately knew what to prepare for supper–something simple and hearty and worthy of a hungry clan chieftain and his time-traveling wife. Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

I had half a meatloaf in the fridge, so all I had to do was bring it to room temperature, dredge and fry it. The onions for the gravy could brown at their leisure, and the potatoes, sweet and white could be prepared while Will and I shared a wee dram. So we did.

In case you don’t have any meatloaf on hand, the recipe for that is included.

Meatloaf
2 lbs ground beef (or meatloaf mixture)
2 eggs
1 large onion finely chopped
2/3 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 oz bacon, about 4 strips
1/2 cup additional tomato sauce

Refried Meatloaf
4 slices cold meatloaf
2 eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water
2 cups breadcrumbs, gluten free if desired
1/4 cup cooking oil

Browned Onion Gravy
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup oat flour
2 cups beef-flavor instant bouillon
1 tsp soy sauce

For Meatloaf
1. Combine the meat, eggs, onions, oatmeal, tomato sauce and spices in a large bowl.

2. Mix well. Your hands are the best tools for this task.

3. Line a loaf pan with the bacon strips, press the meatloaf mixture into the pan and top with additional tomato sauce or catsup.

4. Bake at 325 for 90 minutes.

5. Drain the fat and juices and turn the meatloaf out onto a platter. Let rest for about 5 minutes for easier slicing.

6. Refrigerate leftovers for sandwiches or for refrying.

To Refry the Meatloaf

1. Dredge the meatloaf in beaten egg, then press into breadcrumbs.

2. Fry until golden and crispy and serve with onion gravy.

For Onion Gravy

1. Slowly brown the onions in the butter and olive oil (may take up to 30 minutes).

2. Remove the onions to a bowl, and in the same oil/butter mixture brown the flour till a deep golden color.

3. Slowly add the broth and stir constantly until thickened.

4. Return the onions to the skillet, add the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Oven Temperature: 325°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (11.4 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.

refried meatloaf nutrution

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

Osso Bucco

What’s the difference between pot roast and Osso Bucco? If you think that one is braised beef and other is braised veal, then the difference is primarily one of price. Of course, the real difference is in taste and the taste of Osso Bucco is incomparable. Pot roast is a wonderful comfort food, but Osso Bucco is lush, aromatic, sensuous, and romantic. The meltingly tender marrow is especially good. Works well with risotto or polenta.

1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 veal shanks
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt, oregano, thyme
1 bay leaf
pepper to taste
6 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup parsley minced
1/4 cup freshly grated lemon peel

1. Try to purchase veal shanks that have a large central bone and lots of marrow.

2. Preheat the oven to 350. In a heavy lidded casserole, sauté in the butter until golden the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic.

3. Set aside. Dredge the veal shanks in flour, and in the same pan, add the olive oil and brown the shanks.

4. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and bay.

5. Combine the tomatoes with the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Add to the veal shanks.

6. Add the wine, chicken stock, and the 1 tbsp of lemon peel.

7. Cover and bake at 350 for two hours, adding more liquid if needed.

8. Combine the additional lemon peel and parsley, using it as a garnish when you plate the dish.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (20.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

osso bucco nutrition

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Meat, Veal

Seared Tuna with Tarragon Mayonnaise

seared tuna with tarragon mayonnaise Israeli salad and raisin pistachio pilafSeared Tuna with Tarragon Mayonnaise

The wonderful thing about having your own herb garden (or a really well-stocked spice cabinet) is that you can put together a gourmet meal in record time. This meal includes seared tuna steaks with tarragon sauce and an Israeli Salad. So, if you have spent the day working on something other than dinner, and find yourself planning a meal at 6pm, this is for you.

And trust me, there is no better or faster and fail-proof recipe for homemade mayonnaise. I found the technique on the internet after just about trashing the kitchen trying to use a whisk-till-you-drop recipe. (The Last Appetite). It requires an immersion blender and about 2 minutes to produce. But, if you’re just not up to making your own mayonnaise, use commercial and tarragon and garlic

NOTE: Although it cooks very quickly, if you don’t have a first rate exhaust fan, this dish can smoke up the kitchen. Weather permitting, I cook this in a grill pan on an induction hot plate set up on the porch.

8 shushi grade tuna steaks (6oz each
2 tsp olive or sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 whole egg
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp prepared dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp tarragon leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp salt

Mayonnaise

1. Place the egg, mustard, salt, lemon juice, garlic, tarragon and oil in the beaker that came with your immersion blender. Insert the blender attachment all the way to the bottom of the beaker and process on high until it becomes mayonnaise (probably about 30 seconds…maybe a bit longer. This makes about a cup so cover and refrigerate anything you don’t use. It will keep for several days.

Tuna

1. Brush the tuna with oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Let sit while you heat the grill or skillet. It needs to be very hot!

3. Sear the tuna for about 90 seconds per side.

4. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then slice on diagonal.

5. Serve with the tarragon mayonnaise on the side.

Servings: 8

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (2.3 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.

Recipe Type: Fish and Shellfish, Low-Carb, Main Dish, Seafood

Chattanooga Chew-Chew

chattanooga chew chew 3

If you like cooking with kids, this is a recipe that children six to eight years old can handle with ease (and adult supervision, especially with the instant pot). The grandsons were here for the afternoon, so Elijah, Eddie and Dhedah (me) made this dish for a supper for Mom after she’d had an especially long and busy day. It’s called Chattanooga Chew-Chew as a pun on the name of the local train. Besides, it has lots of crunchy and chewy ingredients.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 cup onion chopped
1 can tomatoes with green chilis
1 can canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup rice, (not instant)
1 cup water
8 oz cheddar cheese grated
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
13 oz tortilla chips
salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder to taste

Procedure
1. Brown the ground beef and onions. Add the taco mix and 1/2 cup water. Simmer. Keep warm.

2. Cook the rice and beans, tomatoes and 1 cup of water in the instant pot on the rice setting. Use manual release.

3. Combine the cooked rice, tomato and bean mixture with the meat.

4. Taste. If more seasoning is needed, add salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Mix well.

5. Serve over tortilla chips and garnish with salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (11.3 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.

chattanooga chew chew nutrition

Recipe Type: Main Dish

Rich Chicken Stock

rich chicken stock

Over the years, this stock has garnered impassioned requests for the recipe, pleas for adoption, and on at least one occasion a proposal of marriage. Hands down, it’s the BEST chicken stock you’ll ever taste. Ridiculously easy to prepare, it fills the house with all the aromas of comfort food and is an incredible base for all your soups, gravies and stews.

No prep to speak of. Basically, everything goes into the pot as is. No peeling, trimming or slicing. Keeps three days in refrigerator or freezes up to six months.

If using a crock pot or slow cooker, cook on high until it comes to a boil, then reduce to low and cook six to eight hours. Also works in making turkey stock. Just add turkey neck and giblets, additional water and adjust seasoning to taste. At Thanksgiving, I start this is the afternoon of the day before, strain before bedtime, then let it cook on low overnight.

Ingredients:
3 lbs chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
8 cups water
2 medium onions (unpeeled, cut in half)
5 cloves garlic (small, whole, unpeeled)
3 stalks celery (whole or halved)
2 large carrots (unpeeled)
1 knob fresh ginger root (about one inch long, unpeeled)
8 whole cloves
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon
2 tsp poultry seasoning (optional)

Procedure:
1 Place all ingredients in a dutch oven or stock pot. Or use a slow cooker and extend time to 6 hours.
2 Bring to a boil. Skim if necessary.
3 Reduce heat and simmer at least 3 hours. Strain, discarding solids.

Nutrition Rich Chicken Stock

Servings: 8
Yield: 2 quarts
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (11.2 ounces).
Recipe Type
Poultry, Soups, Stocks and Sauces

Brussels Sprouts Pomegranate Slaw

Brussels Sprouts Pomegranate Slaw

This autumn slaw combines sweet, sour, and earthy flavors in one make-ahead dish. Best at room temperature, it can be prepared several hours in advance. For the best flavor, but sure to blanche the Brussels Sprouts.

For ease in releasing the pomegranate seeds, roll the fruit on the counter to loosen, then cut into quarters and remove the seeds over a bowl of cold water. The seeds will fall to the bottom and the pith with float and is easily removed.

Substitutions:
For Argon Oil, substitute Walnut or Sesame Oil.
For Baharat Spice, use equal amounts of cinnamon, cumin and paprika.
For Dried Barberries, substitute dried, chopped cranberries
For Pomegranate Molasses, use regular molasses

Ingredients:
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, sliced and blanched
1/4 cup dried barberries or cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp Culinary Argon Oil Walnut Oil
4 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil, first cold pressed
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses or regular molasses (unsulfured) 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp Baharat Spice or 1/3 tsp each cinnamon, cumin and paprika
1/4 tsp curshed garlic
1/4 tsp dried orange peel
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
For the Salad
1 In a dry skillet, toast the pecan halves. Reserve
2 Trim and slice the brussels sprouts. Blanche for 2 minutes, then place in ice water to stop cooking.
3 Soak the Barberries (or cranberries) in very hot water for 5 minutes. Drain.
4 Remove the seeds from one pomegranate. Will yield about 1 cup. Be sure to remove any pulp or pith.
5 Combine the sprouts, barberries and pomegranate seeds in a salad bowl.
For the Dressing
1 Using a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic and the Baharat (or spices) to make a thick paste
2 Combine the paste with the oils, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, orange peel and sugar.
3 Add he salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed,
Assembly
1 Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing.
2 Add the toasted pecans.
3 Rerigerate or leave at room temperature (up to several hours) for the flavors to meld.
4 Best served at room temperature.
Servings: 6
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (5.5 ounces).
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Potato Kugel with Cream Cheese, Chives, and Walnuts

Created this when looking for a potato casserole that could stand on its own as a weeknight supper. It’s filling comfort food without being too heavy. The nutmeg in the creamy sauce and the toasted walnuts take the flavor up a couple of notches.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
8 oz cream cheese with chives, softened
4 oz Swiss cheese, diced into 1/4-inch cubes 1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
6 medium red potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)
1 pinch garlic powder

Procedure
1 In a medium sauce pan, sauté the walnuts in the butter. Drain on paper towel, season with salt, pepper and garlic and set aside. Wipe the sauce pan clean.
2 Using the same saucepan, saute the garlic and shallots in the olive oil over medium heat.
3 Reduce the heat and stir in the cream cheese until melted.
4 Add the half and half and stir until blended.
5 Add the swiss cheese and stir until melted.
6 Season with the nutmeg. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.
7 Slice the red potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.
8 Coat the bottom of a small oval casserole with a bit of olive oil.
9 Arrange half the potato slices, slightly overlapping.
10 Pour half the sauce over the potatoes.
11 Repeat with the remaining potatoes and sauce,
12 Cover the dish tightly with foil, place it on a foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 for one hour.
13 Remove the foil, and briefly broil the casserole until lightly browned.
14 Top with the reserved toasted walnuts.
15 Serve with a green salad and a crisp white wine.
Servings: 4
Yield: serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Potatoes, Pasta, and Grains, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Chicken Tagine: The Goose and Brisket

20191028_163407
This Middle Eastern Stew is slow cooked and very savory. It calls for preserved lemon, Ras El Hanout and Maklouba. If you don’t have these, feel free to improvise with fresh lemon, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, curry, cardamom and the like. Just use the spices you like. Prepare this in a tagine on your stovetop, If you don’t have a tagine, a slow cooker will also work. It’s very easy to make your own preserved lemon, but it’s usually available in the international department of a good grocery store. Ras El Hanout and Maklouba are both available online from Middle Eastern shops.

Ingredients
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive-oil, first cold pressed, divided
1 large onion sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
3 small red potatoes
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained
2 chicken thighs
1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cayenne or aleppo pepper
1 large clove garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp Maklouba
1/2 tsp Ras El Hanout
6 green olives
1 small preserved lemon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup water

Procedure
1 Place 1 tbsp in the bottom of your tagine
2 layer the sliced onion on the bottom
3 add the sliced red bell pepper
4 season with salt and pepper
5 add the chicken and season with salt, pepper, ras el hanout and maklouba
6 add the kidney beans
7 add the olives, preserved lemon and cilantro
8 mix the remaining oil with the water and pour around the edge
9 place the bottom of the tagine on a heat diffuser on your stove top on
medium heat
10 cover with the top of the tagine
11 cook on medium heat until you hear the contents simmering (about 20
minutes)
12 reduce heat to low and cook for about 75 minutes. Check occasionally
adding a bit more liquid if needed. the sauce should be thick.
13 serve with bread and a salad.
Servings: 2
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes

Recipe Type
Main Dish, Poultry

Chicken, Apricot and Chickpea Stew

chicken apricot chickpea stew

Yes, I know it’s been a LONG TIME since my last post, but that’s another story all together. (Besides,the re-learning curve on my recipe program is really steep!) Anyway, here’s what I’m up to today…

Perfect for a gray autumn or winter day, this slow-cooked stew is sweet and savory comfort food. Serve with rice or couscous and a medium dry red wine. Ras El Hanout is a North African spice mix. The name literally means “top of the shelf” and is made from the best spices to be found in any shop (sometimes as many as 50!) Most blends contain at least the following: ginger, cloves, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and all spice,

INGREDIENTS:

6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

1 cup mushrooms coarsely chopped

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

6 dried apricots, halved

2 tbsp dried barberries

2 tbsp ras el hanout spice blend

1/2 cup water

1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper, to taste

PROCEDURE

1 Season the meaty side of the chicken thighs liberally with the Ras El Hanout

2 Brown the chicken thighs, skin side down, in a multi purpose cooker (I use a Ninja) or on your stove top in heavy bottomed, lidded casserole. Remove the chicken and set aside.

3 Lightly saute the garlic and mushrooms in the rendered chicken fat.

4 Change the setting to slow cook, If using a casserole on a stove top, turn the heat to a low simmer.

5 Layer the sliced onions over the mushrooms and top with the chicken thighs (skin side up).

6 Sprinkle on the halved apricots, the barberries, and the remainder of the Ras El Hanout.

7 Carefully pour the water down the side of the pan, taking care not to displace the spices, apricots or barberries.

8 Scatter the chickpeas around the chicken and press them gently into the liquid.

9 Cover and cook very slowly for up to six hours. Can also be prepared in a 250 degree oven.

Servings: 6

Oven Temperature: 275°F

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours and 30 minutes

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms with Shrimp, Capers and Marinara Sauce (serves 4)

stuffed artichoke bottoms

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms with Shrimp, Capers and Marinara Sauce (serves 4)

Prep the Artichokes
2 cans artichoke bottoms drained and rinsed (about 8-10 artichokes)
Juice of 2 lemons (added to 4 cups water)

Soak the rinsed artichoke bottoms in the lemon juice and water for at least one hour.  Drain

Prepare the Marinara Sauce
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp each basil, marjarom and oregano
Kosher salt to taste
1 tbsp capers, drained

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil.  Add the tomatoes and spices (but not the capers) and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce.  Stir in the capers. May be made in advance and reheated.

Stuff the Artichoke Bottoms
8 artichoke bottoms (prepared as above)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Lightly beat the egg.  Add the cheeses and spices and mix thoroughly.  Lightly mound the stuffing into the artichoke bottoms.  Place on a lightly oiled sheet of aluminum foil and bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and golden.  Transfer to individual oven proof au gratin dishes.

Prepare Shrimp
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Return the Marinara Sauce to a slow boil.  Add the Shrimp and cook until just pink (about two minutes. Spoon the shrimp from the sauce and arrange around the artichoke bottoms on the au gratin dishes.

Use the remaining sauce to lightly nap the shrimp and the artichoke bottoms.  Sprinkle with additional grated cheese.  Place in the middle of a 425 oven for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated and the cheese melted.  Serve at once.

Holiday Sweet Bread: Challah

holiday-challah

Challah:  Holiday Fruit Bread

This is a wonderfully fragrant, moist and yeasty bread.  Lovely to look and even better to eat!  Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the process from mixing to kneading to baking and serving.  Glyn

 1/4 cup dried apricots diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Granny Smith apple diced

1/2 cup boiling water
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter (melted)

2 Duck Eggs (or 3 XL chicken eggs)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups all purpose-flour

1 egg (for brushing)
1 tbs. sugar

  1. Soak the cranberries and apricots in the boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving both fruit and water.
  2. Let the water cool to warm. Measure. If needed add additional warm water to make 1/2 Cup.
  3. Pour the yeast onto the warm water and stir.
  4. Combine the duck eggs, sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon and cardamom. Mix well.
  5. Stir in the yeast and water.
  6. Add the reserved fruit and 1 cup of flour
  7. Gradually add the remaining flour to create a slightly sticky but manageable dough.
  8. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 minutes, adding additional flour if needed smooth elastic dough.
  9. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to oil both sides. Cover with dish towel and place in an oven with light on.
  10. Let rise till doubled (about 1 and 1/2 hours)
  11. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  12. Shape the dough as you wish. Braided, spiral, round loaf, or small individual loaves. Place on baking sheet.
  13. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with 1 tbs. sugar.
  14. Let rise again for 30 minutes.
  15. Preheat Oven to 350.
  16. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
  17. Cool on a rack. Serve warm, toasted or at room temperature.

Servings: 12           Yield: One Loaf

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/12 of a recipe (3.6 ounces).

Calories 293.7
Calories From Fat (20%) 57.74
Total Fat 6.54g 10%
Saturated Fat 3.07g 15%
Cholesterol 128.8mg 43%
Sodium 219.7mg 9%
Potassium 130.71mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 51.7g 17%
Fiber 2.58g 10%
Sugar 8.82g
Protein 6.83g 14%

Braised Oxtails

Braised Oxtails 4

Here’s a variation on Osso Bucco made with oxtails rather than veal or beef shanks. It’s a lovely, savory, slow-cooked main dish perfect for a cold winter day. And if you don’t have time to make it all at once, do the active part in the evening, refrigerate over night, and cook on low in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours the next day.
You can use either red or white wine with this dish. Just make sure its a dry wine.
To keep it gluten-free, serve with polenta or rice. Otherwise, use your favorite noodles.
Bon Appetit!
Glyn

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs beef oxtail
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot 1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste (or dried tomato powder)
1 cup dry wine (red or white)
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
1 Preheat the oven to 300 F.
2 Pat the oxtails dry.

braised oxtails 1
3 In a heavy, lidded casserole, heat the olive oil to medium high.
4 In batches, sear the oxtails on each side. Remove to a plate.

Braised oxtails 2
5 In the same pan, saute the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until lightly browned.

braised oxtails 3
6 Remove from the burner and stir in the tomato powder or paste.
7 Return the oxtails to the casserole, placing them on top of the vegetables (in one layer if possible).
8 Add the wine.
9 Cover tightly and place in the pre-heated oven if you are cooking it all in one day.
10 Cook slowly for two hours,
11 If you are cooking in two stages, refrigerate overnight and use a crock pot or slow cooker the next day to complete.

Servings: 8
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Oven Temperature: 300°F
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (6.2 ounces).
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Main Dish, Meat

Nutrition Braised Oxtails

What to do with the left-over bubbly?

 

beef in champagne 1

Beef in Champagne

Like many cooks and entertainers, I tend to over-shop at holidays. This year, in addition to a half-full bottle of completely potable California “Champagne,” I found myself with a pound and a half of Crimini mushrooms, a quart of whole cream, assorted nuts and cheeses, and enough produce to stock a small market. Much of it will keep long enough to see us through this week, but the mushrooms were staring down their “use-by” date, and the champagne (even when stored with a spoon in the neck of the bottle to preserve the bubbles) was loosing it’s charm.

Enter Beef in Champagne — a gluten-free, low-carb riff on beef burgundy (or stroganoff). It takes about two and half hours to prepare but it also sits for four hours. So if you get it into the oven in half an hour and set your oven to go off after two hours, you can leave and then reheat it at dinner time.

To keep things low-carb, serve it with mashed cauliflower or spaghetti squash. Or, if your New Year’s resolutions permit, serve with potatoes or over noodles.

Pair it with a nice salad, and a crisp dry wine — even champagne!

Enjoy,
Glyn

Ingredients:
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb stew beef chunks, cut intoi inch cubes
2 cups sliced yellow onions
4 cloves garlic, chopped
18 oz mushrooms thickly sliced 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Champagne or White Wine
1/2 cup sour cream (OPTIONAL)

beef in champagne3

Procedure:
1 Heat half the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan or oven proof lidded casserole.

2 Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent and slightly golden in color. Remove to a bowl.

3 Turn the heat to medium high. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté until they have released and re-absorbed their liquid — about 15 minutes.

beef in champagne2

4 Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Remove to a bowl.

beef in champagne4

5 Pat the beef cubes dry. In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil and sear the beef. If it is too moist to sear, just cook until the liquid evaporates.

beef in champagne5

6 Return the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the pan with the beef, Stir well.

beef in champagne 6

7 Add the champagne and let it bubble for a moment or two.

beef in champagne 7

8 Lower the heat, cover tightly and simmer for two hours. (Or bake in a 275 degree oven.)

9 Let sit for up to four hours (or overnight in the fridge.)

10 Reheat before serving, cooking down the sauce to your preference.

11 For an even richer dish, stir in a half cup of sour cream.

beef in champagne 1

Servings: 4
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Inactive Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 6 hours and 15 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (14.8 ounces).
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Main Dish, Meat

Nutrition Information:

beef in champagne 8.jpg

A Body and Mind in Sync

solstice quote

First Day of Winter. December 21st. 3:30pm on the eastern edge of the central time zone. It’s grey, foggy and wet. The dusk is so deep that the holiday lights have come on. Today is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere; a moment when the wheel of the year turns again toward the lengthening of days and the coming of Summer.

In previous years, I was at work on this day. I would have noted the ever earlier sunset and perhaps have driven a bit more carefully on the way home through the wooded hillside of Pennsylvania; conscious of the altered routines and challenged circadian rhythms of my fellow creatures. But the Solstice would have remained an external phenomenon. It would not have had the power to alter my daily rounds.

Today is different. I have walked these hours through a liminal landscape. My brain has been aware of the time of day, the events on the calendar, the household chores at hand. My body, however, has insisted that I listen to the rhythms within. I have been sitting quietly. Reading, thinking, deeply aware…deeply at peace. And when after lunch I felt the pull of sleep, I did not fight it. Wrapped in an afghan, I stretched out on the sofa and slept, allowing my body and brain to operate for once in tandem, cradled and motionless in the arms of the gathering dark.

Today is a special day. My heart, body and genetic memories know it. They always have. But today, my mind has known it too, and joining my spirit, has entered into the deep peace of winter.

This is good. Very Good.

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