Friday, November 28, 2008

Cranberry Sauce with Pears and Fresh Ginger

From Cooks Illustrated

Hands-down, best cranberry sauce I've ever made! Even people who don't normally enjoy cranberry sauce helped themselves to large spoonfuls after trying a little taste! It will now make an annual appearance on my Thanksgiving table! And, I love the use of the pears, which are in season in the fall!

Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

The cooking time in this recipe is intended for fresh berries. If you've got frozen cranberries, do not defrost them before use; just pick through them and add about 2 minutes to the simmering time.

3/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries , picked through
2 medium firm, ripe pears (I use Bartlett) , peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Bring water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and salt to boil in medium nonreactive saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Stir in cranberries and pears; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until saucy, slightly thickened, and about two-thirds of berries have popped open, about 5 minutes. Transfer to nonreactive bowl, cool to room temperature, and serve. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 7 days; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Turkey Spring Rolls with Quick Peanut Dipping Sauce

Look for bahn trang, the thin, round Vietnamese rice paper wrappers used to make spring rolls, in the ethnic foods section of most large supermarkets. If you can’t find them but still feel like a yummy peanut sauce, make an Asian-style noodle salad by tossing the ingredients below (with the cilantro chopped) with half a pound of cooked whole wheat pasta (or half a package of soba or rice noodles, if you have them).

If you use unsalted peanut butter, you may need to add salt to the peanut sauce.

2 cups shredded leftover turkey
1 small green cabbage (about the size of a softball), finely shredded
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
8 sprigs fresh cilantro
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup very warm water, plus more for softening bahn trang
2 teaspoons sriracha (Thai chili-garlic sauce) or Chinese chili paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium rice wine vinegar
8 bahn trang (plus a few more, in case some rip while you’re folding)

Arrange the turkey, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and chopped peanuts on a large plate.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the peanut butter, 1/2 cup warm water, sriracha, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar until smooth, and set aside.

Fill a large, shallow bowl with very warm water. Dip a clean, smooth tea towel in the water, wring dry, and place flat on a clean work surface.

Working with one rice wrapper at a time, dip half of it into the water, and turn it like you’re driving a car in circles, around and around in the same direction. When you feel the wrapper begin to soften between your fingers (but before it begins to fold over on itself all willy-nilly), transfer the wrapper to the towel. Place a sprig of cilantro horizontally on the wrapper about a third of the wrapper away from the edge of the wrapper nearest you. Top the cilantro with little handfuls of cabbage, carrots, and turkey, in layers, and sprinkle with a few chopped peanuts. Starting with the side closest to you, wrap the spring roll up like a burrito, tucking the sides in halfway through rolling. Transfer the roll to a serving plate, and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serve rolls whole or cut in half, with the peanut sauce, for dipping.

Makes 8 Spring Rolls.

Sprouted Wheat Parker House Rolls

Follow the recipe for sprouted wheat bread.

After it has risen, divide dough into 2 ounce portions. Form each into a ball and then flatten out into a disk. Place a small piece of butter in the middle of the disk and fold over into a half circle.

Let rise until doubled, then bake in a 400º oven on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for 20 minutes.

Slow-roasted Turkey with Gravy

From Cook's Illustrated

Excellent recipe; the gravy was exceptional! --PKS

Instead of drumsticks and thighs, you may use 2 whole leg quarters, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds each. The recipe will also work with turkey breast alone; in step 2, reduce the butter to 1 1/2 tablespoons, the salt to 1 1/2 teaspoons, and the pepper to 1 teaspoon. If you are roasting kosher or self-basting turkey parts, season the turkey with only 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

3 medium onions , chopped medium
3 medium celery ribs , chopped medium
2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped medium
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 medium garlic cloves , peeled and halved
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 whole bone-in, skin-on turkey breast (5 to 7 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and patted dry with paper towels (see note)
4 pounds turkey drumsticks and thighs, trimmed of excess fat and patted dry with paper towels (see note)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
1 tablespoon table salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 bay leaves
Table salt and ground black pepper

1. For the Turkey: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Arrange onions, celery, carrots, thyme, and garlic in even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Pour broth into baking sheet. Place wire rack on top of vegetables (rack will rest on vegetables, not on bottom of baking sheet).

2. Brush turkey pieces on all sides with melted butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over turkey. Place breast skin-side down and drumsticks and thighs skin-side up on rack on vegetable-filled baking sheet, leaving at least 1/4 inch between pieces.

3. Roast turkey pieces 1 hour. Using wads of paper towels, turn turkey breast skin-side up. Continue roasting until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 170 to 175 degrees in thickest part of thighs, 1 to 2 hours longer. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer rack with turkey to second baking sheet. Allow pieces to rest at least 30 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours.

4. For the Gravy: Strain vegetables and liquid from baking sheet through colander set in large bowl. Press solids with back of spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard vegetables. Transfer liquid in bowl to 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Add chicken broth to measuring cup (you should have about 3 cups liquid).

5. In medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat; when foaming subsides, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is dark golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisk in broth mixture and bay leaves and gradually bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until gravy is thick and reduced to 2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Remove gravy from heat and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Keep gravy warm.

6. To Serve: Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place baking sheet with turkey in oven. Roast until skin is golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, transfer turkey to cutting board, and let rest 20 minutes. Carve and serve, passing warm gravy separately.

Serves 10 to 12.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Breakfast Sausage

from Alton Brown

2 pounds pork butt (2 1/2 pounds with bone), diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 pound fat back, diced into 1/4-inch pieces (I omitted this and it was fine--PKS)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I added a little more--PKS)
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I added a little more--PKS)
Special equipment: meat grinder

Combine diced pork with all other ingredients and chill for 1 hour. Using the fine blade of a grinder, grind the pork. Form into 1-inch rounds. Refrigerate and use within 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. For immediate use, saute patties over medium-low heat in a non-stick pan. Saute until brown and cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oven-roasted Turkey Breast with Leeks and Cornbread Stuffing

from Florence Tyler

Incredibly delicious--I may be a cornbread stuffing convert now! I brined my turkey breast for 2 hours before stuffing it. Also, it was a pretty large breast so it took about an hour to cook. --PKS

4 whole leeks, white part only, roots trimmed and cut into rings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups crumbled cornbread, store-bought
1 cup chicken stock
2 Boneless Turkey breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large bowl with water and add the leeks, swish around with your hands to get the sand out from in between the layers. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. Add the leeks, sprinkle with the thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, turning every now and then, until the leeks are softened but not colored. Remove the leeks from heat to cool.

In a large bowl combine the leeks, cornbread, and chicken stock and season with salt and pepper.

Use a sharp, thin knife to cut down the length of the turkey cutting the breast parallel to the board, almost in half just stopping short of the outside edge. Open out the 2 halves as if you were opening a book. Now you've got a large piece of meat that will cook evenly and is thin enough to roll. Place 2 cups of the stuffing inside each of the breasts and then fold the turkey back over.

Place the remaining stuffing in a small baking dish and cook alongside the turkey.

Tie in 4 places with kitchen twine and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and olive oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat. Put the turkey in the roasting pan and sear all over. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for about 25 minutes (internal temperature should reach 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut crosswise into slices.

Emeril's Ruben Sandwiches with Russian Dressing

from Emeril Lagasse

2 pounds quality corned beef, very thinly sliced
12 slices Jewish-rye or marble-rye bread
1 recipe Emeril's Russian Dressing, recipe follows
12 ounces sauerkraut
12 slices good quality Swiss cheese
1 quart store-bought cole slaw, divided
4 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
6 kosher dill pickles, halved or quartered if large

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the corned beef in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with a little water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Lay the bread slices on a clean work surface and spread 1 side of each slice with some of the Russian dressing. Layer 1/2 of the slices with some of the corned beef. Divide the sauerkraut evenly over the meat, then top the sauerkraut with the slices of cheese and cole slaw. Place the remaining bread slices on top, dressing sides down, and set aside.

Heat 2 heavy large skillets over medium heat. When hot, brush 1 side of each sandwich with some of the butter and place in the hot pans, buttered sides down, and cook until crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Spread the unbuttered, top sides of the sandwiches with the remaining butter and turn the sandwiches to cook on the second side until golden brown, crispy, and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half on the diagonal, then serve immediately, with remaining cole slaw and a kosher dill pickle, for garnish.

Makes 6 large sandwiches.

Russian Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced dill pickle
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except salt and whisk until well-blended. Add salt to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups.

Creamy Coleslaw

from the Martha Stewart show

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cabbage (3 pounds), finely shredded
2 large carrots, finely shredded

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, celery seed, and vinegar until well combined. Slowly whisk in mayonnaise until combined.

Toss cabbage and carrots together in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss until vegetables are fully coated. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 8 cups.

The Rachel Sandwich

Chef Chris Schlesinger joins Martha Stewart to prepare his signature Rachel sandwich.

5 ounces sliced roasted turkey breast
2 slices sourdough bread
Unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Russian dressing (see recipe)
3 thin slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup Creamy Coleslaw (see recipe)

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Layer turkey slices on griddle and let cook for 1 minute.
Butter one side of 1 slice of bread and spread opposite side with Russian dressing; place buttered-side down on griddle. Butter one side of remaining slice of bread and place buttered-side down on griddle; top with cheese. Turn turkey and top with coleslaw. Cook until turkey and bread are warmed through and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Sandwich turkey and coleslaw between bread. Slice and serve immediately.

Serves 1.

Day-After Turkey Soup

From Body+Soul

This soup makes great use of leftover turkey. If you've already frozen the carcass, there's no need to thaw it out before using it in this recipe.

Per serving: 269 calories; 26 g protein; 7 g fat; 27 g carb; 5 g fiber.

1 turkey carcass, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
3 carrots, halved crosswise
2 celery stalks, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Coarse salt
1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
5 cups kale leaves, shredded
3 cups leftover diced cooked turkey
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Place the carcass in a large soup pot or stockpot and add cold water to cover by 2 inches (about 14 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.

Add carrots, celery, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary. Return to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 2 hours.
With a wire skimmer, remove and discard turkey carcass and vegetables. Strain and transfer 8 cups of broth to a large saucepan; freeze the remainder.

Bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add red pepper flakes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary; season with salt. Add kale, reduce to a simmer, and cook until kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in turkey, corn, beans, and scallions and cook just until corn is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt if desired.

Serves 8.

Apricot-and-Cheddar Chicken Melt

From Everyday Foods, September 2007

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), split horizontally (you can also use cooked turkey breast slices--PKS)
1 baguette (about 20 inches), split horizontally, then cut in half
1/4 cup apricot preserves
4 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)

Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, combine vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add chicken, and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes (or cover and refrigerate in marinade up to 24 hours).

Lift chicken from marinade, and place on prepared baking sheet; broil (without turning) until opaque throughout. Transfer chicken to a work surface; discard pan juices from baking sheet.
Place baguette pieces on baking sheet, cut side up; dividing evenly, spread with apricot preserves, and layer with chicken, ham, and then cheese. Broil until cheese is melted, 4 to 6 minutes.

Serves 4.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Grilled Turkey with Pomegranate-Black Pepper Glaze

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

1 (15 pound) fresh turkey
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pomegranate-Black Pepper Glaze:
1 1/2 cups pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt to taste. Truss the turkey. Place turkey on a work surface, breast side up. Rub it with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill to medium heat. Have the rotisserie shaft fitted with 1 spit fork. Making certain that the turkey is centered, push the rotisserie shaft through the turkey between the legs, exiting at the neck. Slide the spit fork onto the shaft. Insert the tines of the spit forks into the turkey, screw side up, and tighten the screws to secure firmly. Set the rotisserie shaft in place in the rotisserie ring. Loosen the retaining loop at the handle, and let the counterweight assembly hang down to counterbalance the weight of the breast. The rotisserie should rotate so that the heavy side of the turkey rotates down to the bottom. Swing the counterweight assembly so that the counterweight is directly opposite the heavy side of the turkey. Tighten the retaining loop. The counterweight travel should stick out a little bit above the shaft handle and retaining loop. You may need to adjust the travel of the counterweight as the food cooks, or if the motor sounds like it is straining. Insert the pointed end of the rotisserie shaft into the motor. Set the rotisserie shaft into the ring.

Cover the grill, and turn the motor on. Grill the turkey 11 minutes per pound if unstuffed. During the last 30 minutes, baste the entire turkey with 1 cup of the marinade. Remove the turkey from the grill and immediately brush with the remaining glaze. Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

To determine if the turkey is thoroughly cooked, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the inner muscle of the thigh, making certain not to touch the bone, and check that the temperature is 175 to 180 degrees F.

Serves 8.

Turkey Pot Pie with Sage Crust

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

1 (2 pound) boneless turkey breast
4 cups chicken stock
4 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
3 black peppercorns
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, white and pale green part, sliced thinly
1 large shallot, finely sliced
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh sage chiffonade
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup ice water

Butter a 4-quart baking dish.

Place turkey breast in a medium saucepan, cover with stock, and add parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns. Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat to low. Cover pot and simmer until turkey is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer turkey to a plate, remove herbs and peppercorns with a slotted spoon. When turkey is cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces and transfer to the buttered baking dish.

Add carrots and turnips to the broth and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer carrots, turnips and thawed peas to the buttered baking dish. Strain broth into a bowl. Melt butter in the same pot over medium heat. Add leeks and shallots and cook until soft. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and white wine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until reduced slightly. Add cream and cook until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley and sage. Pour the sauce over the turkey and vegetables in the baking dish.

For the Crust: Place flour, herbs, and salt in a food processor and process until herbs are finely chopped. Add butter and shortening and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add a few tablespoons of the cold water at a time and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Gather dough into ball and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll dough into a 15 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle and place dough over onto filling. Trim overhang, tuck dough edge inside dish. Bake until crust is golden and gravy is bubbling, about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 4-6.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

From Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa

1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

Serves 6.

Cranberry Glazed Breast of Turkey

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.

3/4 gallon water
2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped ginger
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 (6-pound) whole turkey breast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1/3 cup chopped ginger
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Combine all of the brining liquid ingredients in a large non-reactive container (a stockpot works well for this) and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Rinse the turkey well under cold running water. Place the turkey in the brine, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

While the bird is brining, make the cranberry glaze by combining the cranberries, ginger, orange zest, sugar, orange juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries burst and sauce is very thick. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a mixing bowl to cool. When cooled, add the liqueur and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to glaze the bird. (Make sure to return the glaze to room temperature before serving. If the glaze gets too thick, thin it with a bit of water.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Place the turkey, breast side up, in an aluminum foil lined roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey with the vegetable oil and sprinkle on all sides with Essence.

Roast the turkey until it is golden brown and almost done, about 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven and brush all over with about 1/3 cup of the cranberry glaze. Return the turkey to the oven and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes longer. (If the turkey begins to get too dark before it is cooked through, cover loosely with aluminum foil until it reaches the desired temperature. Transfer to a platter and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

Carve into thin slices. Serve with the remaining glaze passed at the table.

8 to 10 servings.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Grilled Portobellos Filled with Wild Rice-Almond Pilaf and Piquillo Pepper Vinaigrette

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

8 medium-sized portobello caps
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Wild Rice Pilaf, recipe follows
Piquillo Pepper Vinaigrette, recipe follows
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Heat grill to high. Brush both sides of mushrooms with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill caps until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Fill the caps with the wild rice pilaf, drizzle the piquillo vinaigrette and sprinkle tops with the toasted almonds.

Wild Rice Pilaf:
1 1/2 cups wild rice
3 cups chicken stock, plus 1/2 cup
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place wild rice in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Combine 3 cups of the stock and the water in a large saucepan with a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook until the grains open and are very soft, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain well.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the cooked wild rice, thyme, rosemary and remaining 1/2 cup of stock and season with salt and pepper and cook until heated through and flavors combine, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the parsley.

Piquillo Pepper Vinaigrette:
5 piquillo peppers, chopped
1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves roasted garlic, peeled
1/4 cup aged sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil

Combine peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified.

Serves 8.

Brined Turkey Breast with Spanish Spice Rub and Sour Orange Sauce

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

Jim and I made this last night; we used half a bone-in turkey breast and did it on our gas grill. We made just one-quarter of the rub and orange sauce. The amount of rub was just right for our half-breast, but we ate all the sauce, so next time I would only half the sauce recipe. Read my review the recipe on the title link. This was one of the best dishes I've ever made and it was quick, easy, inexpensive, and didn't require a lot of clean up. We did it on the gas grill.

2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 boneless turkey breast, 4 to 5 pounds
Spanish Spice Rub, recipe follows
Vegetable oil
4 oranges, halved
Sour Orange Sauce, recipe follows
Flat-leaf parsley leaves

Place water in a large bowl or plastic container. Whisk in salt and sugar and let sit 5 minutes to dissolve. Add the turkey breast, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Heat grill to medium-high. Remove turkey from the brining solution, rinse well under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the skin side of the turkey with the rub. Using tongs, dip paper towels into the oil and oil the grates of the grill. Place the turkey on the grill, rub side down and grill until slightly charred and a crust has formed, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat of the grill to medium, turn the turkey over and continue cooking, with the lid closed for 30 to 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breast registers 155 degrees F (the temperature will continue to rise off the heat). Remove from the heat, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.

While turkey is resting, brush the cut side of oranges with oil and place cut side down on the grill and grill until slightly charred. Ladle sour orange sauce onto a platter and top with the sliced turkey. Garnish with grilled oranges and parsley leaves.

Spanish Spice Rub:
6 tablespoons Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons cumin seeds, ground
1 tablespoon mustard seeds, ground
4 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground
4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Whisk together in a bowl.

Sour Orange Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup honey
8 cups homemade chicken stock
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat on the grates of the grill. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the orange juice, lime juice, zest, and honey and cook until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock and cook until thickened to a sauce consistency and reduced to about 2 cups.

Strain the sauce into a bowl, whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the parsley and serve hot.

Serves 6-8.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Creamed Turkey and Fall Vegetables Over Wild Rice Recipe

6 T. butter
3/4 C. chopped leeks, white parts only
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large fennel bulb, stalk cut off and bulb halved, cored and chopped
3 1/2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. half and half
1 1/2 C. chicken or turkey stock
1/2 C. grated imported Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
3/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
2 C. cooked 1/2-inch cubed turkey
1 1/2 C. wild rice
1 C. long-grain rice
1/3 C. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add leeks, carrots, parsnips and fennel and cook, stirring, until softened, about 15 minutes. Season vegetables generously with salt. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in same pan over medium heat until hot, then add flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Do not let flour brown. Lower heat if necessary. Pour in half and half and stock and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, cayenne and nutmeg.

Return vegetables to sauce along with turkey. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may need more salt depending on whether stock was salted or not. (Creamed turkey and vegetables can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat, preferably in large, shallow skillet, stirring, over low heat.)

Cook each rice separately according to package directions. Drain and toss together, seasoning with salt as needed (see Note).

To serve, ladle mound of rice on each of 6 dinner plates. Stir half of the parsley into creamed turkey mixture, then ladle sauce over rice. Sprinkle each serving with some of the remaining parsley. Makes 6 servings.

Note: If you buy wild rice in bulk and do not have cooking directions, cook in the following way: Add the 1 1/2 cups wild rice to 3 quarts boiling salted water and cook 30 to 35 minutes. Rice will double in size and still should be somewhat crunchy when done. Remove and drain in a strainer.

Chinese Turkey Salad

Recipe courtesy Aida Mollencamp

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups coarsely shredded cooked turkey
1/2 small head iceberg lettuce, halved lengthwise and thinly shredded (about 4 cups)
1/2 small head napa cabbage, cored, and thinly shredded (about 4 cups)
2 cups snow peas, cut into 1-inch pieces on bias
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 medium carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted

In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and ginger until honey is dissolved. Whisking constantly, add oils in a slow stream until completely incorporated. Taste and adjust flavor, as desired.

Add turkey, toss to thoroughly coat, and let sit 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and toss again to combine.

Serves 6 to 8.

Waldorf Salad with Chopped Truffles and Walnut Dressing

1 Granny Smith and 1 Red Delicious apple, julienned
3 egg yolks
4 oz. walnut oil
4 oz. créme fraiche
4 oz. plain yogurt
1-1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. chopped black truffle
Micro greens or baby lettuce
Candied walnuts (recipe below)

Whisk the yolks and walnut oil together to form a mayonnaise. Fold in créme fraiche and yogurt. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and white pepper. Fold in apples. Add the truffles and serve on a bed of baby lettuce or micro greens. Garnish with chopped candied walnuts.

Candied Walnuts

1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
Apple juice (to thin)
2 cups vegetable oil

Heat oil in a saucepan to 250 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat the molasses, maple syrup and honey. Thin the mixture down with apple juice (consistency should be thick, like paint). Add the walnuts and cook them until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the nuts. Carefully add the nuts to the oil and fry until they are crunchy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the oil and spread them out on parchment paper to cool.

Turkey Waldorf Salad

Recipe Courtesy Wes Martin

An American classic, Waldorf salad gets its name from the majestic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, where it was first served in 1896. Crunchy, sweet, savory, and satisfying, it is the perfect use for leftover turkey and all those beautiful fruits and nuts from your Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Chopped ripe pears are a great addition; this tasty salad can also be served on a bed of crunchy butter lettuce in place of the celery root.

An American classic, Waldorf salad gets its name from the majestic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, where it was first served in 1896. Crunchy, sweet, savory, and satisfying, it is the perfect use for leftover turkey and all those beautiful fruits and nuts from your Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Chopped ripe pears are a great addition; this tasty salad can also be served on a bed of crunchy butter lettuce in place of the celery root.

2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more whole leaves for garnish
1 crisp apple, such as Gala or Macintosh, cored and chopped
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup non-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, gently toss the turkey, celery, celery leaves, apple, grapes, and pecans until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Put the celery root in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing, and toss to coat completely. Add the remaining dressing to the turkey mixture, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to evenly dress the salad.

To serve, spread the celery root evenly onto a serving platter, top with the dressed salad, garnish with celery leaves and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

Chicken or Turkey Divan à la Locke-Ober

Recipe courtesy James Villas, Crazy for Casseroles, The Harvard Common Press, 2003

Chicken Divan, created and served with great flourish in the Divan Parisienne Restaurant in New York's Chatham Hotel in the early twentieth century, remains one of America's most classic and delicious casseroles, a dish as appropriate to an elegant buffet as on the family supper table.

In my own lifetime, the casserole was a specialty at the renowned Locke-Ober restaurant in Boston, and it was there I learned to enhance the dish by adding a few slivered almonds.

Chicken Divan, created and served with great flourish in the Divan Parisienne Restaurant in New York's Chatham Hotel in the early twentieth century, remains one of America's most classic and delicious casseroles, a dish as appropriate to an elegant buffet as on the family supper table. In my own lifetime, the casserole was a specialty at the renowned Locke-Ober restaurant in Boston, and it was there I learned to enhance the dish by adding a few slivered almonds.

1 (2-pound) head broccoli, stems removed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons dry sherry
12 slices cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place a collapsible steamer in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, pour in enough water to just reach the bottom of the steamer, and bring to a boil.

Break the broccoli into florets and place them in the saucepan. Steam until just tender, about 5 to 7 minutes and drain.

Preheat to oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a shallow 2-quart casserole and set side.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat, then add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add the broth and milk and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper; add the nutmeg, 1/4 cup of the cheese, and the sherry. Stir until the cheese melts, and remove from the heat.

Arrange the broccoli in the prepared casserole in a single layer, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top, arrange the chicken slices evenly over the broccoli, and sprinkle the almonds over the top.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, fold into the cheese sauce, pour evenly over the chicken and almonds, and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Serves 6.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage Feast

From The New Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Pat Dailey

1 corned beef brisket, about 4 pounds (we prefer the flat cut over the point cut)
1 medium onion, quartered and peeled
1 tablespoon pickling spice (simply use the one that comes with the corned beef)
Water, about 12 cups (about ½ way up the side of the pressure cooker)
1 medium head cabbage, cut in wedges
6 to 8 small red potatoes, partially peeled by running the peeler around the center of the potato (but leaving the ends peeled)
5 pounds carrots (you can also add parsnips, or rutabaga, as desired), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

Creamy Horseradish Sauce:
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt to taste

Combine the corned beef, onion, and pickling spice in the pressure cooker. Add water to cover, making sure it does not go beyond the recommended level for the pressure cooker. Cover pressure cooker and bring up to full pressure. Because of the large amount of water, it will take about 15 minutes to reach full pressure. Reduce heat to stabilize pressure and cook for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure.

Remove the corned beef and set aside (tent loosely with foil to keep warm). Add the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage in that order (potatoes should be in the bottom of the pan)(and any other vegetables you are using). Cover pressure cooker and bring up to full pressure. When full pressure is reached, cook for 1 minute and then, quick release the pressure. The vegetables should all be properly tender.

To make the horseradish sauce, whip the cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks, then fold in the remaining ingredients. The sauce can be made several hours in advance and refrigerated.

Cut the corned beef into thick slices, going against the grain. Serve with the vegetables and horseradish sauce, if desired.

Serves 6

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled, depending on the size of your pressure cooker.

Beef Rosettes with Duxelles and Green Peppercorns

From "The Cook's Magazine", Nov/Dec. 1983

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium shallots, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
1 pound fresh mushrooms, minced and squeezed dry in cheesecloth
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Pinch dried thyme

4 1-1/2-inch-thick médaillons beef fillet or tenderloin (about 6 to 7 ounces each)
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons clarified butter, see note
16 sheets phyllo, approximately 12 b 16 inches each
1/2 pound melted butter, approximately
4 tablespoons fine, dry, white breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons green peppercorns, rinsed in cold water, drained, and crushed

1. To make duxelles, in a large frying pan melt butter. Add shallots and cook gently until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until any remaining liquid evaporates and butter is absorbed, about 5 more minutes. Season well with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add parsley and time.

2. Pat médallions dry with paper towels and season with pepper.

3. In a frying pan, heat clarified butter (see note) and brown médaillons over medium-high heat just 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

4. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on work surface and brush evenly with melted butter. Place another phyllo sheet on top and brush with more butter. Put 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs in center and place médallion on top. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Press one-quarter of the duxelles on top of médaillon. Sprinkle with one quarter of the green peppercorns, pressing them evenly into duxelles. Wrap médaillon like a package in phyllo dough, folding the ends over the meat. Repeat with another layer of butter phyllo. Place package in center of a fourth sheet of phyllo, which has also been brushed with butter. Draw phyllo up around meat and squeeze together in the middle. Pull the ends up and out to resemble a flower. Make sure all outside surfaces of pastry are brushed with butter. Repeat with other médaillons.

6. Place rosettes in preheated 375ºF oven and bake 15 minutes for medium rare beef. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Note: To make clarified butter, melt somewhat more butter than needed over very low heat. When completely melted, remove from heat and allow to stand so sediment will sink to bottom of pan. Skim off any surface foam. Pour off clear butterfat from pan into a measuring cup or other receptacle and discard sediment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How to Cook and Clean Dungeness Crab


  1. Place the crab/s (either alive or recently killed) in boiling, salted water and cover the pot. There should be enough water so that the crab is completely submerged, plus an additional 4 or 5 inches on top of that. Use about half a cup of salt per gallon of water. Cook for about 15 minutes; 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones, up to 20 minutes for large ones. When cooking live crab, you can put it in the freezer for half an hour beforehand so that it moves more slowly and is easier to handle when placing in the pot. Some people also feel this is a more humane method. They say the cold puts them into a dormant state and then they're not fully conscious when they're boiled.
  2. Obviously, the crab will be hot. So, if you want to serve it warm, you’ll need to wear rubber gloves to clean it. Otherwise, put the crab in a bowl of ice water for several minutes and then drain before cleaning.


  1. To remove the back, hold the base of the crab with one hand and pull the shell away from the body with the other hand.
  2. Turn the crab over and pull on the triangular-shaped section and lift it away. Turn the crab again and gently scrape away the gills on either side with your thumb or a spoon. Also, throw away the intestine, which runs down the center of the back.
  3. Most people wash away the "crab butter" (the yellow, mushy stuff in the cavity). But, some consider these organs a delicacy and there are recipes that call for them. So, set them aside if you like.
  4. Twist off the legs.
  5. Rinse the rest of the body under cold water and break it in half.
  6. Crack the legs with a mallet.
  7. Dig out the meat with forks or picks or however you can get to it. Eating crab is a messy affair, so just dig in and enjoy.
  8. Crab meat is typically served with lemon wedges and melted butter. But, of course, there are many sauces and recipes you can experiment with.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Petits Pois à la Francaise

from Jacques Pépin's A Franch Chef Cooks at Home

8 ounces fresh tiny white onion (about 30 to 35), peel (these onions are the size of large olives), (frozen will do)
1 large head Boston lettuce, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 pound small shelled peas (frozen will do)

Place all of the ingredients, except peas, in a large casserole (not aluminum); bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon flour

Mix the flour and butter together until well blended (this is called a beurre manié). Pour the liquid from the peas on the butter mixture and mix with a whisk to blend together. Pour the sauce back into the peas, cover and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Taste for seasoning, you may need a dash of sugar.

Serves 6.

100% Sprouted Wheat Bread

Proofing box: I use a heating pad underneath a plastic container into which I place the broiler trivet from my toaster oven and boiling water (I don't want the bowl or loaf pans to actually sit in the water). I cover the whole thing with a towel. It takes a few tries to figure out how much water you need to maintain the temperature.

See link for more elaborate instructions.

1340 grams sprouted hard red spring wheat berries
67 grams vital wheat gluten flour
18 grams sea salt
14 grams active dry yeast (you can also use instant yeast, which doesn't require activation in water)
57 grams honey
1/2 cup water
whole wheat flour for kneading

To sprout grains: generously cover wheat berries with water and store in a dark, cool place for  about 36 hours. Change the water every 12 hours. After 36 hours, drain the wheat berries, place in a covered container, and let them sit on the counter for about 3 to 6 hours until they are just beginning to sprout (until you just begin to see a little white tail form). At this point you can process sprouted grains to a fine pulp with fine meat grinder disk of a KitchenAid mixer. You can also store the sprouts in the refrigerator overnight and grind them the following day. I have also ground them right away and then stored the grind overnight in the refrigerator.

Mix all ingredients together in your mixer (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant, you will have to activate it with some of the water first before putting it in the mixer) with the paddle attachment for a few minutes, then switch to the dough hook. It takes quite a bit of coaxing and scraping and hand-kneading to get the dough to knead correctly on the dough hook (in other words, I have to move it in and out of the bowl and reposition it multiple times before I'm able to get it to sit in a kneading position on the dough hook). Once the mixer really starts to knead it, I begin tapping tiny amounts of whole wheat flour in the side of the bowl whenever needed so as to keep it sliding around in the bowl. My mixer (4.5 quart 1976 vintage Kitchenaid) takes about 20 minutes to develop the gluten properly; I can tell when the dough starts to really develop because it makes a "slapping" sound as it hits the side of the bowl and undergoes a significant texture change. You have to make it several times until you get the feel for what is going on. I can knead the entire batch of bread at once in the 4.5 quart bowl.

When it is well kneaded, form it into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, 45 to 60 minutes in a warm, humid environment (about 80º). Gently degas it and knead for a few minutes to redistribute yeast action, cut in three parts, form into three loaves and place into three lightly greased loaf pans (I use pyrex loaf pans). Let rise again until nearly doubled, about 50 minutes, in a warm, humid environment (about 90º). If you don't want to mess with the proofing box, just let it rise on the counter at room temperature; this seems to work almost as well.

Place in a preheated 425º oven on middle lower rack position, and immediately turn oven down to 350º. Let bake 20 minutes. Rotate loaves 180º and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until center of loaf reaches about 205º. Let cool 1 hour before slicing.

Makes three loaves.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pears

Serves 4

2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 garlic cloves
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 Bartlett pears, quartered and cored

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim pork, removing excess fat and silver skin. Using string, tie the two tenderloins together and season with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof saute pan, heat oil over medium. Add pork, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
Add pears and garlic cloves to skillet, and transfer to oven. Cook, tossing pears once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork registers 145 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork and pears to a platter; let rest 5 minutes. Season pan juices with salt and pepper, and pour into a gravy boat or small bowl. Remove string and slice pork. Serve with pears and pan juices.

Adapted from Everyday Food - November 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Salmon Croquettes

I am a big fan of Paula's but this recipe needed some work. When I first saw it, I had a strange feeling it would be very bland although I have never made Salmon croquettes before and had no idea what went into them. I tasted the fish mixture once I was ready to form the croquettes and oh boy was that boring! I added old bay seasoning, a little cayenne, 2 tsp lemon juice, and a bit of salt and they came out fantastic! I also added a little mayo to the mix, not much only about a 1/4 cup and this made the filling nice and moist and delicious. I will definitely make these again! My boyfriend was raving and kept insisting they were the best he's ever had! --Anna, NY

We thought these were terrific--PKS.

2 fillets canned salmon, drained and flaked (one 6-oz. can)
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons green onions, diced
1/3 cup dried whole wheat bread crumbs
2 teaspoon oil oil oil, for frying

Over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium, non-stick skillet. Combine canned salmon, beaten egg, green onions and half the bread crumbs. Form into 2 patties and dust with additional bread crumbs. Saute until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drizzle with remaining teaspoon olive oil, turn over and cook an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 2 @ 4 points per serving.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Southern Cornbread Dressed-Up Chicken

from Food Network Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1

4 strips thick-sliced bacon
2 large onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup crumbled prepared cornbread
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pecan pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 chicken halves, backbone removed (about 1 1/2 pounds each)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the onions to the pan with 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper; cook over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Set the skillet aside.

Combine the cornbread, spinach, cheese, pecans, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg in a medium bowl. Crumble in the bacon and toss gently. Stuff the mixture between the skin and flesh of each chicken half, making sure to cover the breast and thigh.

Place the chicken halves skin-side up on top of the onions in the skillet. Combine the butter and honey in a bowl and brush all over the chicken; season with salt. Roast in the oven until a thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165, about 50 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon mustard into the onion mixture and set aside. Carve each chicken half and serve on a platter with the onions.

Serves 4.

Farmstand Corn Fritters

from the Episode: Barbecued Brisket and Corn Fritters

Serve these crisp corn fritters with almost anything from the grill. The batter can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 hours.

Makes 12 fritters
1 1/2 pounds fresh corn (2 large or 3 to 4 medium ears), husks and silk removed
1 large egg , beaten lightly
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 small shallot , minced
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup corn oil or vegetable oil, or more as needed

1. Using chef’s knife, cut kernels from 1 to 2 ears corn and place in bowl (you should have about 1 cup whole kernels). Grate kernels from remaining 1 to 2 ears on large holes of box grater (you should have generous 1/2 cup grated kernels) into bowl with cut kernels. Using back of knife, scrape any pulp remaining on all cobs into bowl. Stir in egg, flour, cornmeal, cream, shallot, salt, and cayenne.

2. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop 6 heaping tablespoonfuls batter in pan. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer fritters to plate lined with paper towels. If necessary, add more oil to skillet and heat until shimmering; fry remaining batter. Serve fritters immediately.

Barbecued Beef Brisket For a Charcoal Grill

from the Episode: Barbecued Brisket and Corn Fritters

Cooking a whole brisket, which weighs about 10 pounds, may seem like overkill. However, the process is easy, and the leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. (Leave leftover brisket unsliced, and reheat the foil-wrapped meat in a 300-degree oven until warm.) Still, if you don’t want to bother with a big piece of meat or if your grill has fewer than 400 square inches of cooking space, barbecuing brisket for less than a crowd is easy to do. Simply ask your butcher for either the point or flat portion of the brisket, whichever cut you prefer. Then follow the master recipe, reducing the spice rub by half and grill-smoking for 1 1/2 hours. Wrap the meat tightly in foil and reduce its time in the oven to 2 hours. No matter how large or small a piece you cook, it’s a good idea to save the juices the meat gives off while in the oven to enrich the barbecue sauce. Hickory and mesquite are both traditional wood choices with brisket.

Serves 18 to 24

Spicy Chili Rub
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 whole beef brisket (point and flat cut together), 9 to 11 pounds, fat trimmed to 1/4-inch thickness
3 cups barbecue sauce (store-bought if preferred)
2 wood chunks (3-inch)

1. For Spicy Chili Rub: Mix all ingredients in small bowl.

2. Apply dry rub liberally to all sides of brisket; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 48 hours.

3. For Brisket: About 1 hour prior to cooking, remove the brisket from the refrigerator, unwrap, and let it come up to room temperature. Soak the wood chunks in cold water to cover for 1 hour and drain.

4. Meanwhile, light a large chimney starter filled a bit less than halfway with charcoal briquettes (2 1/2 quarts, or about 45 briquettes) and allow to burn until the coals are fully ignited and partially covered with a thin layer of ash. Empty the coals into one side of the grill, piling them up in a mound 2 or 3 briquettes high. Keep the bottom vents completely open. Place the wood chunks on top of the charcoal. Put the cooking grate in place, open the grill lid vents completely, and cover, turning the lid so that the vents are opposite the wood chunks to draw smoke through the grill. Let the grate heat up for 5 minutes and then scrape the grate clean with a grill brush.

5. Position the brisket, fat side up, on the side of the grill opposite the fire. Barbecue, without removing the lid, for 2 hours. (The initial temperature will be about 350 degrees and will drop to 250 degrees after 2 hours.)

6.Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Attach 2 pieces of heavy-duty foil, 4 feet long, by folding the long edges together 2 or 3 times, crimping tightly to seal well, to form an approximately 4 by 3 foot rectangle. Position the brisket lengthwise in the center of the foil. Bring the short edges over the brisket and fold down, crimping tightly to seal. Repeat with the long sides of the foil to seal the brisket completely. (See illustrations below.) Place the brisket on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the meat is fork-tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

7. Remove the brisket from the oven, loosen the foil at one end to release steam, and let rest for 30 minutes. If you like, drain the juices into a bowl (see illustration) and defat the juices in a gravy skimmer.

Unwrap the brisket and place it on a cutting board. Separate the meat into two sections and carve it on the bias across the grain into long, thin slices (see illustrations). Serve with plain barbecue sauce or with barbecue sauce that has been flavored with up to 1 cup of the defatted brisket juices.

Autumn Panzanella

from Michael Chiarello

1/4 cup unsalted butter
12 cups crust-free cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)*
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons warm water

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound fresh wild mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup thinly sliced celery heart (on the diagonal), plus some chopped leaves
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced onion-soup style
2 ounces baby arugula or spinach leaves
Grated Parmesan
For the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over moderate heat and cook until it foams. In a large bowl, pour the butter over the 12 cups cubed bread and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to season all of the bread. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet.
Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Croutons can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
*Michael's Notes: I use a serrated knife to remove the crust from day-old bread, then switch to a chef's knife to cut the cubes because it doesn't tear the bread. Also note that I recommend grating the Parmesan finely so that it will stick to the bread better.
For the dressing: Melt the butter in a small skillet over moderately low heat. Add the yellow onion and saute until soft, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the skillet. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add 1/2 cup of the olive oil, then the water. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
For the salad: Heat a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add 1/4 cup olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, sprinkle in the mushrooms. Don't stir! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. If you toss them too soon, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss the mushrooms, reduce the heat to moderate, and continue to cook until well browned. Stir in the thyme and garlic and cook for about 1 minute to release their fragrance. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the croutons, the mushrooms, and the onion dressing. Toss well to coat. Add the celery, red onion, and arugula or spinach and toss again gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Grate fresh Parmesan on top and serve immediately.

Sweet Broccoli Salad

This raw broccoli salad is a popular side dish at Curry's in Decatur, Ala. Upon sitting, the sauce begins to weep, so hold for only one day after mixing.

1/3 cup mayonnaise (chef Scott Curry recommends Hellmann's brand)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sugared pecan or walnut halves
1/2 cup diced red onion

In a bowl, whisk mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar well. In a separate bowl, combine broccoli, raisins, nuts and red onion. Add mayonnaise sauce. Mix broccoli by hand and serve immediately.

For the sugared pecans: Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 325°. Toss 2 cups pecan halves with 1 egg white in a 13- by 9-inch baking pan until nuts are completely coated; stir in 1 cup granulated sugar. Bake, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes, until pecan coating turns a nutty brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately transfer nuts to a clean pan in a single layer to cool. Cool, then cover and store at room temperature.

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

From Everyday Italian

For the lemon oil:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested
For the pasta:
1 pound linguine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces frozen shrimp
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces arugula (about 3 packed cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the lemon oil:
Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Barack Obama Pizza Burger

from Food Network Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1

For the Garlic Butter:
1 head garlic
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
Kosher salt
For the Burgers:
6 8-ounce Angus beef patties
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup marinara sauce, plus more for serving
12 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
6 crusty rolls, such as ciabatta, kaiser or Portuguese, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 350.

Make the butter:
Remove the papery outer layer from the head of garlic and slice off the top to expose the cloves slightly. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast in the oven until soft, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then squeeze the roasted pulp into a bowl. Whip with the butter, parsley, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.

Make the burgers:
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Season the beef patties generously with salt and pepper and grill, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning once.
Move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill (or reduce the heat on the stove) and top each with some marinara sauce and 2 slices cheese. Spread the cut sides of each roll with some of the garlic butter and place facedown on the grill. Cover and cook until the cheese melts and the buns are toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Place a burger on each roll bottom; add some chopped basil and the roll top. Serve with more marinara sauce, if desired.

Serves 6.

Pressure Cooker Buffalo Hot Wings

12 chicken wings, wing tips removed

1/3 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce

few dashes of Tabasco-type sauce or pinch of cayenne pepper

Marinate all ingredients for at least 30 mins. Place in cooker and cooker at full pressure for 15 mins. Depressurize quickly and serve with additional sauce.

Serves 2 to 4.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced as thin as possible and rings separated
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 Poblano pepper, sliced thin
12 ounces chipped steak (thin sliced eye of round, rib eye, or sirloin tip roast)*
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 cup Cheese Whiz
1 Italian, French or hoagie roll (I used a fresh small loaf of French bread and scooped some of the bread out of its middle to reduce its bulk--PKS)

* Freeze steak before sliced. Slice it paper thin.

In a large frying pan over high heat, add olive oil and heat so that a drop of water will sizzle when you drop it in the oil; lower heat to medium. Add onions, pepper slices, and mushrooms, stir and cook until mushrooms darken, and onions and peppers soften and start to look transparent. In a second pan, add steak slices and cook for 3 minutes or until meat lightly browns. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer cooked meat mixture to onion pan and form into a long pile across pan. Melt Cheese Whiz in the microwave for about a minute.

Slice bread lengthwise and toast cut-side down in now-empty meat pan for a few minutes. Flip over and using a spatula, scoop meat mixture and lay on bread. Ladle melted Cheese Whiz on top and slice sandwich into 2 to 4 pieces.

Makes 2 servings.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Slow Cooker Veal Short Ribs in an Osso Buco Style


Looks like a good recipe. --PKS

6 bone-in veal short ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup finely diced carrot
¼ cup finely diced onion
¼ cup finely diced celery
4 garlic cloves
1 cup white wine
1 cup low sodium organic chicken stock
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons drained and diced sun-dried tomatoes in oil
salt and pepper

Pat ribs dry and season with salt. Warm oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear on each side. Remove ribs and drain briefly on paper towels. Transfer ribs to your slow cooker. Turn slow cooker on and set to high.

Return saute pan to stove and reduce heat to medium. Add more olive oil if needed. Add carrots, celery, onions, and whole garlic cloves to saute pan. Season lightly with salt. Saute until the veggies start to become tender and begin to brown slightly. Add white wine to pan and crank heat up to high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and reduce slightly. Pour veggies and wine into slow cooker.

Add chicken stock to slow cooker. The liquid should come up about ¾ of the side of the ribs. If it’s short, add water. Tie rosemary, thyme, and parsley together with kitchen twine. Toss into liquid. Add bay leaf.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook another 4 hours. Check the meat. You want it very tender, starting to fall off the bone.

Remove ribs to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Strain cooking liquid into a fat-separating pitcher, allow fat to rise, and pour liquid off into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce by one-third. Add tomatoes.

For two good eaters.

Serve the ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes and green beans. Pour some of the sauce over the ribs right before serving. Top with some finely chopped Italian parsley and lemon zest.
Pour a Brunello di Montalcino (a red Italian wine like a Sangiovese) with some age on it.

Emeril's Ruby Red Rocket Cocktail

from Food Network Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1

1 1/2 ounces citrus flavored vodka, or vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
3 ounces red grapefruit juice blend
2 teaspoons creme de cassis or raspberry liqueur
Coarse brown sugar crystals, optional garnish to coat rims of the glasses
Candied orange slices, optional garnish

If desired, wet the rim of a tall martini glass, then dip in the coarse brown sugar crystals. In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, triple sec, and juice with crushed ice. Shake well for 30 seconds, then strain into the prepared martini glass. Gently add the creme de cassis, allowing to fall to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with a candied orange slice, if desired, and serve.

Serves 1.

Cranberry Pomegranate Terrine

from Food Network Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1

This made an excellent congealed salad. It was not too sweet and very easy to make. --PKS

1 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups pure pomegranate juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole black peppercorns
2 large strips orange peel, white pith removed, plus strips of zest for garnish
3 packets (6 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
Pulse the cranberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor until chunky and juicy, about 8 times. Set aside for 20 minutes to macerate.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, orange peel and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat; simmer, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat; let steep for 20 minutes. Discard the cinnamon, peppercorns and orange peel.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup cold water in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Set aside without stirring until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Add the steeped pomegranate juice to the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin dissolves.

Spread a thin layer of the cranberry mixture in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; pour in enough of the pomegranate-gelatin mixture to cover (about 3/4 cup). Refrigerate until just beginning to set, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the remaining cranberries into the remaining gelatin mixture and set aside, unrefrigerated. Once the bottom layer is set, pour in the remaining gelatin mixture and refrigerate until completely set, at least 2 hours or overnight.

To serve, run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert the terrine onto a platter. (Set the pan in warm water to soften the gelatin if necessary.) Garnish with the orange zest.

Serves 8.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pressure Cooker Parmesan Chicken Packet

from Pressure Perfect, by Lorna Sass

If you've been on the lookout for a healthy version of fast food, consider this approach. Top a chicken breast cutlet with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, and wrap it in an aluminum foil packet. The cutlet steams in the confines of the packet, and remains juicy and flavorful. This recipe is for a single chicken packet, but you can cook as many as will fit in your cooker. Use either heavy-duty aluminum foil or two layers of standard foil to avoid rips and leaks. Packets can be assembled in advance and frozen.

For each packet:

4 to 6-ounce chicken breast cutlet
3 to 4 tablespoon Five-Minute Tomato Sauce (see Blog) or other good-quality tomato sauce
2 slices mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

If any portion of the cutlet is thicker than 1/2 inch, place it on a flat surface, cover with plastic wrap, and pound to flatten to 1/2 inch or less.

Tear off a 1 1/2-foot-long sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two layers of standard foil). Spoon 1 tablespoon of the sauce in the center and position the cutlet on top of the sauce so that its length is parallel to the cut sides of the foil.

Cover the top of the cutlet with the mozzarella slices, spoon remaining sauce on top, then sprinkle with parmesan.

To make the packet, bring together the two cut ends of the foil and fold them over a few times to seal, leaving some air space above the cutlet. Fold both ends of the packet several times to seal. With the tip of a paring knife, poke a 1-inch steam vent in the top of the pack, just beneath the top fold. This is important!

Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the cooker. Set the packet, folded side up, directly in the water.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 9 minutes (15 minutes if cutlets are frozen). Turn off the heat. Quick-release the pressure.

Use tongs to remove the packet from the cooker and transfer contents to a plate.

You can cook 4 packets in a 6-quart cooker. Place the second packet next to the first, directly in water. (It may be necessary to squeeze them in a little to fit.) Set additional layers at right angles to the layer below. (Avoid stacking packets directly on top of each other.) Timing remains same no matter how many packet you are cooking at once.

Blog Archive