Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
1 pound of sausage, browned and then sliced. (this was an apple chicken sausage from Trader Joes):
Put the apples and sausage in the pie crusts:
Top with about 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (you can mix in asiago, dubliner, fontina, gouda, etc from the bits in your cheese drawer:
Crack 8 jumbo or 10 large eggs, mix with cracked black pepper, nutmeg, 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard, a sprinkling of parsley and a dash of garlic powder, and a cup and a quarter of whole milk plus a big spoonful of sour cream (many quiche recipes call for half and half or heavy cream but I rarely have those in my fridge):
Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Let it cool for at least twenty minutes before serving:
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Let them cool. Peel them with your fingers (almost as easy as peeling a banana when they are baked and cooled - but if you prefer to use a vegetable peeler on raw ones, by all means)
Place the now lukewarm peeled sweet potatoes in your mixer (or a big bowl). Mash them. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg, milk and molasses. Once it is nice and creamy, scoop into a casserole dish.
To make the topping, melt 1/2 stick of butter, and mix with brown sugar (about 1/2 cup), a dash of salt and a cup of pecans. Pour this mixture on top, evenly distributing the pecans with your spatula or spoon.
Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes - until hot and bubbly in the center.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The 20 minute time was accomplished by:
1. using already slow-cooked grits in a package from my beloved Trader Joes:
2. using frozen already cut peppers and onions from BJ's:
3. Microwaving things.
4. Using thawed already cooked shrimp (bought on sale, of course!):
5. Using marmalade from a jar. (ok, if you factor in the time MAKING marmalade, this would be 500 minute shrimp and grits. But that was back in March. It doesn't count).
Microwave the frozen onions and peppers until they are cooked. Meanwhile pull the tails off the shrimp and set aside. Open the tube of cooked grits, and pour into a bowl. The grits go into the microwave after the onions and peppers.
In a pot, pour about a cup of white wine, 1/2 pint of marmalade, cajun seasoning (a tablespoon?), a tablespoon or two of molasses, and bring to a boil, then immediately turn down. Add pepper/onion mixture and keep stirring occasionally.
Shred some cheddar cheese, and mix into the grits.
Add the shrimp at the last second - just long enough to warm the shrimp all the way through.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Into the room temperature coffee pot, throw a tablespoon or two of salt and about a dozen ice cubes. Start swirling. As the salt melts the ice it will be very easy to swirly, but yet abrasive enough to get all those little bits off.
It would also work for a glass pitcher or glass lined thermos. Works for me!
Monday, September 8, 2008
I had some cubed pancetta and prosciutto (the local farmers markets sells the bits too small to slice at a lower price - like cheese ends, only expensive Italian hams)
First, start a pot boiling with water for your pasta. Send your children or husband out to shell the lima beans.
I started by chopping two small onions into thin half moons. Into the hot pan they went, after a bit of oil:
I soaked some dry mushrooms. Dry mushrooms are a great thing to have in your pantry, because they last for years, and can be used in small quantities. Pre soak them to add like a dish to this - just cover with warm water. If adding to soup, you can throw them right in.
I started the pasta (1/2 pound) in the water, and then added the lima beans:
I added about a cup of white wine to the onion mixture, as well as the reconstituted (but drained) mushrooms. Boil off about half the liquid from the wine.
Add a large spoonful of sour cream:
and some shredded cheese. I used some parmesan, some asiago and a little bit of Chevre from my cheese drawer. You can't see it, but I grated fresh nutmeg on top of the cheese as well.
Drain the pasta and beans, and stir into the creamy onion mixture. Serve with a fork!
I'm very sorry that this mixture didn't show how PRETTY this dish was, with the vibrant light green of the beans.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Corn: to prepare sweet corn for the freezer: use a serrated knife to saw down the edges of a corn cob (stand the corn on end). Gather the golden nuggets into a air tight container (Tupperware, freezer proof canning jar, etc). The kernels will be wonderful for soup later - especially a crab-corn chowder!
Tomatoes: If the skins don't care to come off, score the bottom with an "x":
Plunge them into boiling water for just one minute. Pull them out with a slotted spoon, and wait five minutes so you don't burn your fingers. But then it will be easy to peel away the peel.
Some tomatoes don't seem to require blanching (the minute in boiling water)
Don't look now! Naked tomato!!
Chop the tomato and pack tightly in a plastic container (leave head room for expansion). Obviously you won't be able to use the thawed tomatoes for a perfect summer burger in the dead of winter, but they are healthy addition to stew or soup in February.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Rinse and slice tomatoes into nice thick slices. Layer slices on paper towels to drain excess moisture. Pat the top dry as well.
beat together one egg with a splash of water.
Preheat a pan to medium-high. I used olive oil as my fat - enough to coat the whole bottom of the pan with a thin layer.
(sorry no picture - messing with hot oil never helps me remember to pick up my camera)
mix together bread crumbs (I prefer panko), a couple tablespoons of flour, salt, pepper and possibly other seasoning (I added a bit of ancho chili powder).
(on a side note, my friend Sarah told me you can put leftover bread into a blender to make bread crumbs - so obvious but yet it never occured to me!)
Dip a slice of tomato in the egg mixture, then dip both sides in the crumb mixture, and into the frying pan. Repeat with other slices until pan is full. Wait about five minutes and fry other side.
It turned out pretty well. Because fresh tomatoes are softer, you'll need a spatula (not just tongs) to get the tomatoes out of the pan. I served with a piece of steak. The red and yellow color added visual interest to the plate.