Foodie Corner

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January Theme: Healthy Eating

Each week we will highlight our readers favorite recipes vetted by team BA50. Please Click below to submit a brief description of what you love about your recipe, where you found it or if you invented it — no more than 200 words, your website link if you have one, the recipe itself of course and please upload a photo (optional). Click below to submit. Thank you.

 

Our Latest Recipes

Who Took The Fun Out Of Eating?

who took fun out of eatingWho invented chia seeds?

When did make-your-own salad places start asking “Do you want arugula or kale?”

Salad used to start with iceberg lettuce and end with Kraft dressing – Italian, French, Thousand Island or the enticingly exotic Seven Seas. Now I choose an extra virgin (immaculately conceived?) olive oil and add vinegar (not the clean-the-coffeepot kind): a palate-pleasing balsamic.

Would someone please tell me how raw fish and seaweed went from off-putting to delectable?  I’m with the cabbie in a 1980s film who said: “I bought some of that sushi, brought it home and cooked it.”

The same set that made sushi trendy transformed coffee drinking.  

My husband and I started our day with instant Maxwell House. My GenX children (well along the coffee-drinking “maturity path”) grind the beans, then prepare their morning brew in a pricey Breville contraption.  A natural beverages CEO notes, “Today’s coffee lovers customize their cups depending on their mood – hot or cold, sweet or strong, flavored or not.” Well, I don’t know a latte from a macchiato; both leave a milk mustache (soy, of course). I close my eyes and point to select blends for my single cup brewer.

I find it amusing that oatmeal’s the new power breakfast.  The kind I buy has flaxseeds–with blueberries (brain food) and almond milk I spring from the breakfast table ready to  go full throttle until the magic lunchtime mix of greens, feta and sunflower seeds propels me through the afternoon. Dinner?  Wild-caught Pacific salmon, lentils (!) and organic, locally grown veggies. Not the Frosted Flakes breakfast, salami sandwich lunch, and pot roast with canned peas and carrots dinner my mother served. How did I survive childhood?  With the graying of America, I anticipate more of my favorite interviews:  “What’s the secret to your longevity, Mrs. Don’t-Need-No-Doctors?”  “I fry my food in bacon grease, add plenty of salt, love sweets—especially frosted donuts—and enjoy a smoke and a shot of bourbon before bed.”

I bless and curse the nutritionist who scared me straight and took the fun out of eating. She made tofu a staple in my diet.  I don’t know what it is, it has no flavor, but I’ve learned to disguise it until I almost forget it’s there.  Breakfast? Tofu (smashed) mixed with yogurt (an item grocers didn’t carry when I was young that now takes up half the dairy aisle), organic berries, raw walnuts and yes, a generous sprinkling of CHIA SEEDS. Yum.  Better than eggs, pancakes and a side of bacon?  Well….

I grew up believing that Wonder Bread, “enriched with vitamins and minerals,” was all I’d ever need. Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob told me it built strong bodies 8 ways.  Now I eat whole wheat bread, sprouted, with seeds and nuts. Do I miss the classic PB&J?  Yes, but I make do with crunchy cashew butter and pomegranate seeds on seven grain bread.

Years ago when my Seattle hostess asked, “Are you a foodie?”  I’d never heard the term. I assumed I was not.  Today I’d get points for shopping at organic markets or the natural foods aisle and my eating preferences (sweet potatoes, yes; Idaho no; whole grain anything, yes; white flour anything, no.)  Asian restaurants? If they serve brown rice.  (See how long an Asian meal sticks to your ribs without rice. I’m barely out of the restaurant before I’m hungry again.)

My culinary education continues when I visit my son in California. He frequents farmers markets and knows how to choose among the array of mushrooms offered. (I never questioned what Campbell used in their cream of mushroom soup; I just poured it over tuna and green beans, added canned onion rings and popped it in the oven.)  I bought Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese by the case; and don’t get me started about Versatile Velveeta.   Cooking utensils?  A can opener and a spoon, big pot and strainer. My pasta maker? Chef Boyardee. When I cooked pasta I topped it with Ragu tomato sauce–pureed until the color was the only clue to its source.

Just when I think I’m riding the latest health food wave something comes along that puts me in my place.  “You’re going to love this,” my son promised, as he checked the ancient grains choices before adding faro to our grocery cart. (The ancient grains in my pantry are instant grits in a hard-to-reach spot.) Now that my generation learned to pronounce “quinoa,” is it yesterday’s news?

Don’t tell my doctor but every year after my annual physical I go off the deep end, lunching on a double cheeseburger with extra fries; dining on pepperoni pizza. Forget frozen yogurt or fruit–for dessert I feast on Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.  For that one day I relive the ignorant bliss of yesteryear.

A Simple Crowd Pleaser Dish For Mother’s Day (And Beyond)

crowd pleaserEditor’s Note:  Not exactly the most healthy dish in the world…but an easy dish and a crowd pleaser for a mother’s day BBQ just the same!   

Potluck parties—some people love them and some hate them.

Those in the hate ‘em group either start the what-to-bring handwringing as soon as the evite drops in their inbox or they block it out and break into a hot-yoga level sweat each time evite reminders hit. This latter group will RSVP at the last minute and then search the Internet for recipes that may or may not turn out edible.

I’ve made a few such clunkers myself.

I shudder to recall a potato dish for a St. Patrick’s Day supper club. I made this untried recipe, which called for stewing together potatoes, leeks and cabbage. In theory it wasn’t a bad combination, though it turned into a standout disaster. It simmered and gave off a pungent odor that made my kitchen smell like wet dog. The end result was edible (I tasted it), but not good, and it pretty much went untouched at the party. I consoled myself by noting that at least no one got sick from it.

Recently, I read about professional chefs and their networking potluck dinners. These are events where restaurant chefs who don’t know one another gather to get acquainted, and like we civilians, each brings a dish to share. The article noted that the anxiety associated with such gatherings reached Defcon 1. And then there’s the hilarious piece over at The Onion about the guy who brought banana bread to a party and spent three hours watching as it went uneaten. He repeatedly checked on his bread, rearranged it on the table, cut into it to get the ball rolling, but by party’s end there were still no takers.

Who has time for failed recipes? I don’t. Life is busy and on any hectic weeknight, figuring out dinner is enough of a challenge. I consider the Panera Bread app a pantry staple, and the phone numbers for our local pizza joint and Chinese restaurant live on each family member’s phone contacts.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that one potluck go-to recipe, the one that will disappear within an hour of hitting the buffet?

I have that recipe, and its name is Southwestern Corn Dip. Years ago, a friend shared this recipe with me and changed my bring-a-dish-to-share days forever. This recipe didn’t originate with her, or with the person who gave it to her. Truth is that I haven’t a clue as to the origins. But here’s what I do know—and what I’ve tested over time and events—it’s a crowd pleaser. Over the last ten years, I’ve made this dish for every imaginable situation: informal dinners, cocktails and appetizers, barbecues, bunco, book group, company gatherings, holiday parties, Halloween parties, birthday parties and a whole bunch of ladies’ wine (and whine) nights. Each time my oven-safe dish of Southwestern Corn Dip hits the buffet, within an hour it’s empty and the next morning my email is full of recipe requests. Like my friend before me, I have shared the making of Southwestern Corn Dip with people all over the country as well my husband’s colleague from Germany.

In theory, I love to cook. But that theory includes the idea that I have a lot of time on my hands. At fifty years old, my favorite recipes are those that require a limited commitment. Southwestern Corn Dip is that low-commitment dish. All it takes is five ingredients, six if you count a store-bought bag of tortilla chips.

IMG_1773[1]

Summer is almost here, but now your next evite or barbecue will be a no-sweat affair.

Here’s the full recipe:

Southwestern Corn Dip

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 4.5 ounce can of chopped green chilis/drained

1 11 oz. can Mexicorn/drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and then pour that into an oven-safe casserole dish. If you want this to be extra easy, use a disposable metal pan from the supermarket. Then you don’t have to worry about getting your dish back at the end of the party. Salt and pepper the top to taste. Bake until the top is slightly browned, usually about 40-45 minutes. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Enjoy watching it disappear.

You can find Sharon on Twitter @sharonkurtzman1.

Garlic Chicken Lasagna

This twist on traditional lasagna from Samantha Miner of myweightlossdream garlic chicken for foodie corneris not only delicious, but a lot lower in calories as well.

Peach Pie and Other Tarts

peach tartsWhen I was a kid, my grandfather used to speak like an alien to me.

 

He used phrases that might as well have been Greek. (See what I did there? ‘Might as well been Greek’ was one of his favorites).

Here are some examples:

 

“Hi Grandpa.”

 

“Well, don’t you look like the bee’s knee’s.”

 

“Bees have knees?”

 

“If you believe that one, you better not take any wooden nickels. Now come here and gimme some sugar!

 

cluelesssssssss

 

“Grandpa. I need some help.”

 

“You’re a good egg. I’ll make it right as rain.”

 

WTH???

 

“Grandpa. Grandma’s looking for you.”

 

“She acts like the Queen of Sheba. Tell her I jumped ship with a bucket of worms.”

 

“What did you say?”

 

“Grandpa. Grandma and I are going shopping.

 

“Jesus K Riste. She already owns everything and the kitchen sink!”

 

I’m confusedddddd.

 

“Grandpa. That man’s waving at us.”

 

“Don’t know him from Skippy.”

 

Was his name Skippy? And if so, how could he not know him and yet know his name???? Ohhhhh the questions.

 

And finally, “Grandpa. I’m going downstairs to play the organ. Wanna sing along?”

 

“You’re the Cat’s Meow, Cheryl. I’d love to. Sweet as peaches. Your Grandmother says my claptrap is horsefeathers. But your asking the choir!”

 

I do love cat’s. Any kind of trap sounds bad though. I didn’t know he sang in the church choir, but I get the ‘Peaches’ reference…

 

“Let’s ask Grandma to bake us a pie!”

 

“Good idea. She’s can bake-up a storm.”

 

“That sounds kinda awesome. The whole controlling the weather thing.”

 

“What are you talking about, Cheryl?”

 

 

Grandma’s Peach Pie

 

Ingredients

Prepared pastry- enough for two pie shells

8 peaches- poached (see directions)

* 2 quarts water

* 1 cup sugar

1/2 cup peach liquid

2 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons salted butter

pinch of salt

 

Directions for Poaching Peaches

Bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the one cup of sugar. Reduce heat and dissolve the sugar. Do not let this mixture come back to a boil.

 

Slice each peach in half and remove the pits. Scoop out any fiber from the center.

 

Place the halved peaches, skin side down, in the hot pot of sugar water. Let them cook for 10 minutes then remove them to a shallow pan and pour the syrup over them. Let this sit until room temperature then remove the skins.

 

Reserve 1/2 cup of the syrup.

Slice the soft peaches and put aside.

 

Directions for the Pie Assembly

 

Reheat the 1/2 cup of reserved liquid to simmer.

Add the additional 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and butter blending it all.

Whisk in the corn starch to this mixture until smooth.

Remove from heat.

 

Line your pie tins.

Arrange the peach slices in the bottom.

Pour the liquid syrup over the top.

 

Bake at 425 for 40 minutes.

 

Peep This: Which Candy Reigns Supreme?

peeps vs jelly beansWith Easter just around the corner, are you slowly sneaking in extra candy calories—a jelly bean here, a chocolate bunny there—or are you waiting until Easter Sunday arrives to treat yourself?

If you’re like millions of Americans, the answer depends on the type of candy. Data from MyFitnessPal members shows that people start snacking on jelly beans and chocolate eggs weeks in advance, but don’t start popping Peeps and chocolate bunnies until Easter Sunday itself.

Jelly beans start becoming popular in mid-February, with consumption climbing steadily throughout spring until their peak on Easter day, when consumption’s up 1152% over average. After Easter Sunday, there’s a steep drop off, but consumption stays well above average throughout May. Overall, jelly beans enjoy about three-and-a-half months of seasonal popularity.

jelly beans and peeps graph

Peeps, on the other hand, have a shorter moment in the sun, with peak Peep season lasting only a couple of weeks. They see a sharp jump to stardom on Easter day, with an impressive 1706% increase over average. Still, though, they’re less than one third as popular as jelly beans.

Brandi Newell is the Manager of Research and Insights at MyFitnessPal. She uses qualitative and quantitative methods to help understand what people want and need to live healthier lives. Her background includes a master’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Harvard University and unseemly amounts of cooking, hiking, and yoga.

 

 

Charoset Strudel For Passover: An Original Creation

At first mention of the news that Ben & Jerry’s was now selling a Charoset-flavored Ice Cream in Israel, the idea sounded a little like a marketing ploy to me. But after giving it some thought, I Passover Dessertsrealized that, while being pretty out of the box, Charoset-flavored “anything” is not so far-fetched. One of the symbolic foods on the Passover Seder plate, this fruit and nut mixture symbolizes the mortar the Jews used to build the pyramids while they were slaves in Egypt. Depending on where your ancestors were from, your Charoset might be a variation on the theme, but according to Bustle, “the Ben and Jerry’s flavor seems to be based on the Ashekanzi or Eastern European version made from apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and some sort of sweetener like honey.” And, as my mom would say, “What could be bad?”

The combo of apples, walnuts, and cinnamon is indeed, quite traditional. Frankly, if Ben & Jerry had called their creation “Apple Pie,” and offered it around Thanksgiving time, no one would have batted an eye.

I thus began to think of all the dishes one could make while using Charoset as a base—sandwich cookies, tarts, rugelach, and I even found a chicken salad and a brisket recipe that both sounded wonderful. Charoset muesli (kosher for Passover, of course), Charoset pancakes, muffins…

Of course, one could get carried away, but I played it safe and created a Charoset Strudel.  I retained the traditional mixture of chopped apples and walnuts (but you could use pears and pistachios), and took a page from the book of the Sephardic Jews who favor a few more add-ins, such as dried apricots and dates, and incorporated them as well. The melange of fruits and nuts is often moistened with sweet wine, but one could just as easily use apple juice or apricot nectar.

The strudel dough recipe is an adaptation from a similar one by pastry chef Marcy Goldman. The texture is more cooke-like than filo-dough strudel, but it is tasty and homey; something perhaps a Jewish grandma might make. And ifyour grandma is no longer at your Seder table, this strudel will definitely bring her there in spirit.

Passover Charoset Strudel

Dough:

1/2c. vegetable oil

1/2c. brown sugar

insides of a scraped vanilla bean

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2-4 Tbsp. apple juice

1 1/4c. potato starch

1/2c. matzoh cake meal

1/2c. matzoh meal

Filling:

1/2c. sweetened coconut

1c. walnuts, light toasted and coarsely ground

1/4c. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped

1/2c. dried apricots, coarsely chopped

1/2c. dates, coarsely chopped

1/4c. preserves, any flavor

1/2 Tbsp. matzoh meal

Passover Powdered Sugar :

1/3c. granulated sugar

1/2tsp. potato starch

Grind together in an electric coffee/spice grinder until powdery

Make dough: In the bowl of a n electric stand mixer, mix together oil, brown sugar, vanilla bean scrapings, salt, eggs, and most of the apple juice. Stir in the potato starch matzoh cake meal, and matzoh meal and mix  together on low, adding additional apple juice to form a soft, rollable dough. All ow dough to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. (Moisten again w/a tad more juice, if necessary.) Divide the dough in half.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Roll out dough half between two sheets of waxed paper until each becomes a very thin 5 by 10-inch rectangle.

Make Filling: Mix all ingredients in a food processor until mixture resembles a coarse paste. Spread half the filling over the dough. Lightly sift the 1/2 tablespoon of matzoh meal over filling. Using the bottom sheet of waxed paper as an aid, roll up the dough into a log. Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Repeat with the remaining dough, filling, and topping.

Transfer the logs to prepared baking sheet and score them into 1-inch sections. Bake until lightly golden , about 35 minutes. Cool, and sift approximately 2 tablespoons Passover Powdered Sugar over the tops. Then, using a very sharp knife, cut the scored sections into slices. (Rolls may be frozen and then cut right before serving.)

My Dad’s Matzoh Brei Had A Secret Ingredient

matzo brieMy dad was not a cook. He built skyscrapers in New York City, and his strong hands were more comfortable wielding the heavy steel of a hammer or a saw than the gentle curves of a metal whisk. He was more adept at hoisting large wooden planks than swirling a wooden mixing spoon inside a soup pot. I’d never seen him bake a cake or make a goulash like my mom, but for many years during my childhood, he rose even earlier than usual — which was at the crack of dawn — during Passover and prepared Matzoh Brei for my sister and me.

Matzoh Brei can be defined as Jewish French Toast with the matzoh substituting for the bread. I have no idea where Dad got his recipe; it may have been my mom’s but hers never seemed to taste the same. And even when Dad would sometimes prepare it for us on the weekends, that Matzoh Brei just wasn’t as perfect.

Because his weekday ritual occurred so very early in the morning, we never saw him in his cooking mode, not even a glimpse. By the time we awakened, he was long gone, having taken the subway into the city. The wonderful breakfast treat he left behind was often on the stove, in a well-used nonstick skillet, covered with an inverted, green milk-glass dinner plate. (This was our Passover dinnerware. And in spite of the fact that it was used every year for only eight days and nights, eventually, the entire set dwindled down to a mere few soup bowls.)

Passover Breakfast

While Dad’s prowess forty and fifty stories above the streets below was based solely on precision, his techniques in the kitchen were less so. Measuring spoons and cups were not for him. He would pour warm water into a metal mixing bowl (a “shissel”) and add the matzohs whole, breaking them up into random shapes with the back of his hand. We girls loved the smaller bits that became browned and crispy as they were fried, so Dad made sure we had lots of them. He soaked the matzoh pieces just until they became soft — too soft would be disaster. While they soaked and the pan was heating, he would take a large spoonful of “schmaltz,” rendered chicken fat, from a jar in the fridge. This was his secret ingredient; it was a staple in our house.

The cream-colored dollop of fat would hiss as it plopped into the hot pan, eventually melting and coating the bottom. As it heated, it made low popping noises. The softened matzoh was gently combined with beaten eggs, and then the yellow, glistening pieces were dumped into the hot, hazy fat. Once the entire concoction was browned, he would flip it and then brown the other side. Only then did he break up the pieces again with the back of a wooden spatula and douse the top with a healthy shake of sugar. That snowy dusting soon became the crunchy, caramelized coating that my sister and I loved so much.

My dad was not a very demonstrative man, and to the outside world he may have even appeared gruff. He showed us love in more ways than I can say, but they were on his own terms. Who knows what he thought as he prepared this dish for us in the darkened kitchen while everyone else slept, and the sound of the clock ticking was the only sound he heard. This act was not one of obligation–it was an act of sincere love. It was a small, simple gesture, but one that he knew would make us happy. Today, I can never eat Matzoh Brei without thinking of Dad…and that would make him happy.

I meant it when I said Dad really didn’t adhere to a recipe when making his Matzoh Brei. The closest one I found is from Joan Nathan’s “Jewish Holiday Cookbook.” It is a little light on the egg-to-matzoh ratio, and makes for a crispier end product. (That’s how we liked it!) Additionally, butter or vegetable oil can be substituted for the chicken fat.

MATZOH BREI

3 matzohs
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. chicken fat, butter, parve margarine, or oil
1/4c. sugar
cinnamon, cinnamon/sugar, for topping.

Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl. Place the matzohs in the bowl and break into pieces. Allow to soak for a few minutes. Drain and gently squeeze the matzohs dry.
Pour the fat of your choice into a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat.

Place the matzohs back in the bowl. Add the beaten eggs, salt, and half of the sugar. Mix well, without crumbing the matzoh.

Once the pan is very hot, gently slide the matzoh mixture in, patting down the center a bit. When brown on one side, turn. Break up the mixture with a spatula and allow it to brown further, adding remaining sugar. Once the sugar has coated the Matzoh Brei and the pieces have all browned, turn mixture out on a large platter.

Serve with additional sugar or cinnamon/sugar, if desired.

 

Soufflés For Your Easter & Passover

chocolate souffleAt my house, we celebrate Easter and Passover. I was raised Catholic and my husband was raised Jewish. These Spring holidays play a crucial role in our remembering redemption from slavery and the deliverance to freedom.

Meals with lamb, spring greens and eggs are where my recipes bring these two religions together in acknowledging traditions. The Jews serve only unleavened bread during passover and in our house I have taken it a step further by avoiding gluten altogether. Soufflés are fun and easy. Don’t be intimidated by them as they are so rich without being heavy.

 

Chocolate Souffle

For passover I am often asked for recipes without gluten. Who needs gluten? I am not a fan of replacing one grain for another “flour”. I love everything about souffles.  Once you master this recipe, consider a savory green souffle. They are very light and fluffy and can be easily incorporated into any course, and naturally they are gluten free, without adding anything or replacing anything!

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate

5 tablespoons sour cream or housemade strained yogurt *

½ cup melted grass fed butter or coconut oil + more for wiping ramekins

5 egg yolks

3 tablespoons of water

5 tablespoons of xylitol or rapadura unrefined sugar to dust the ramekins

7 egg yolks

Instructions:

Place chocolate in double boiler and allow to melt. Add butter or oil. Remove from heat and allow to cool and add sour cream. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 8 ramekins and dust with sugar. In a bowl with electric mixer, mix on high the egg yolks and water. Beat for about one minute until light and fluffy. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat the egg whites separately on high until stiff.*

Mix yolk and chocolate mixture until well blended. Then gently fold in the stiff whites. Do not over mix. Spoon mixture into ramekins, almost full. Bake 20-25 minutes. The souffles should rise and be puffy, with a dry top and a little but jiggly.

*Notes: Look for real sour cream, which is heavy cream allowed to sit on the counter for hours and fermented and strained. It does not compare to store bought sour cream. If you cannot find, skip it and use the best yogurt you can buy and strain it yourself in a mesh strainer until it is very thick like sour cream.

Be sure to wash the beaters well when going from beating the yolks to whites as your white will not beat well if there is any yolk on them.

Jan Buhrman is a caterer, a localvore educator on Martha’s Vineyard. In the off season, Jan develops recipes with nutritionist John Bagnulo, MPH, PhD and together they host Diaeta Way. Diaeta Way  is one of the many websites that can help us find our own balance in nutrition. John and Jan have been forging the path to understanding our evolving nutritional world while finding balance and eating delicious meals around the table.

For more information click here or visit: Diaetaway.com

 

 

 

Consider Lamb Over Ham For Your Easter Dinner This Year

roasted-lambMany of us carnivores look for hams as the center of the Easter dinner table, but most of us do not have the luxury of knowing where the animal was raised. Unless you know where your pig lived and you are sure it was raised in a very humane way, consider the lamb.

Most lamb today is raised on grass on farms and less likely to experience the confined factory farm conditions other animals do. On Martha’s Vineyard, lambing season has begun. All farmers begin lambing at different times in the Spring and for most farms, lambing lasts two or three weeks in March and April. Lambs on farms live their whole lives on the farm, eating mostly hay and grass, and are brought to the slaughterhouse at six or seven months.

If you don’t have the luxury of having a farmer’s market nearby, and you go to the grocery store, your lamb meat is going to have a higher chance of being treated better than your pigs, chicken or cattle.

And just one more consideration, do you really want to grab that Australian or New Zealand lamb that traveled 10,000 miles to get here?

Lamb was one of the first meat meals I cooked when I went off to college. Back then there was no internet to look up recipes. I asked the butcher and he guided me through the whole process. He suggested garlic, thyme and rosemary and 40 years later I still use this mix to flavor my lamb. The flavors of garlic and lemon and rosemary compliment lamb and I like to lightly rub the lamb an hour before roasting.

This recipe calls for a deboned leg of lamb. Legs vary in size with an average leg being 4.5 pounds for a locally raised deboned leg of lamb.

The cooking time will be a bit longer if you have a leg with the bone it it, but use a thermometer to ensure the doneness of your meat.

(Butterflied simply means that the bone has been removed or the meat was sliced away from the bone).

Oven temp 450°

1 4.5 lb lamb leg – deboned

For the rub:

4 garlic cloves mince

¼ cup of rosemary leaves

2 onions, minced

4 whole garlic cloves

4 sprigs of thyme- leaves removed

juice of one lemon

For deglazing the pan:

1 cup red wine

1 cup stock- either beef, lamb or chicken

Make a paste mixture of minced garlic, red wine and rosemary and rub the lamb all over with paste. Smooth it evenly all over the surface of the meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Allow the lamb to rest for one hour with the paste at room temperature.

Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and cook for about 1 hour longer, or until the internal temperature of the lamb is 135° (rare) or 145° (medium). Be sure the thermometer does not touch the bone. Remove from the oven and put the lamb on a platter; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 20-30 minutes before slicing.

While the lamb is resting, deglaze the pan:

Using the pan that the meat was cooked in, place the pan over the burner and turn on the burner to medium. Pour in the wine and stock and mix with the drippings. Add the minced onions to pan, and stir to combine.  Scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any meat particles, continuously stirring to cook and reduce. Reduce over high heat until it forms a sauce consistency. Slice lamb and serve with sauce drizzled over the top.

Jan Buhrman is a caterer, a localvore educator on Martha’s Vineyard. In the off season, Jan develops recipes  with nutritionist, John Bagnulo MPH, PhD, they together they hosts Diaeta Way. Diaeta Way  is one of the many websites that can help us find our own balance in nutrition. John and Jan have been forging the path to understanding our evolving nutritional world while finding balance and eating delicious meals around the table.

For more information click here or visit: Diaetaway.com

 

 

The Big Mac(aroon)s of Passover

I’ve never been a big fan of the traditional Passover macaroon, and perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I am not a big fan of coconut–just don’t like the stringiness. (Or maybe it relates back to the little dried-up nubbins that come out of a can that’s been sitting on the supermarket shelves for weeks before the holiday even begins.)
But, Passover is a lot like Thanksgiving in that some people just need and expect to see certain things at the traditional dinner year after year, so the presence of macaroons is often non-negotiable. The coconut in the macaroons below is combined with almond flour, thus producing a texture that is more cookie-like in the center. When I bite into one, I get creamy coconut flavor rather than a mouthful of fibrous strands. Baking them until they’re golden brown produces a sweet, crackly surface. Dipping the bottoms in dark chocolate offsets the sweetness and adds another dimension to the flavor. These Macs are more than good enough to maintain their yearly place at my Seder table, without any grumbling on my part.
By the way, those canned macaroons that I mentioned earlier have some purpose too. They can be pulverized in a food processor and combined with softened butter to be used as a crust for a Passover Pie. (But that’s another story.)
MACAROONS
(adapted from Oh Nuts!)
(makes 12-15)
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/4c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
2 1/2c. shredded coconut
1/4c. almond meal
1/2 Tbsp. matzoh cake meal
1 tsp. kosher for Passover vanilla extract
8 oz. dark (60-64%) chocolate, melted (opt.)
Combine the almond meal, egg whites, granulated sugar, salt, honey, coconut, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized saucepan.
 Stir the mixture over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved and egg whites turn milky–between 5 to 7 minutes. Continue stirring until all is incorporated and mixture thickens.Once mixture holds together, remove pan from heat and stir in the matzoh cake meal. Scrape mixture into a bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. (The bowl can also be covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator for later use.)

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, measure out 12 to 18 mounds of mixture.  
With moistened hands, pinch and press each cookie into a triangular, pyramid shape, being careful not to make the tops too pointy. Bake the macaroons in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, rotating them halfway during the baking process.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, you can dip the bottoms into the melted dark chocolate. Place them back on the cooled baking sheet to set. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or (without the chocolate) in a well-sealed container in the freezer for up to a month.

 

Best Cabbage Recipe EVER– Tastes Like Candy

cabbage and beets 2This roasted cabbage recipe– with or without the beets– is like candy…try it once, and you’ll be hooked! Laurie Brownstein, from Inspirational Nutrition, gives Felice Shapiro from BA50 a cooking lesson (hopefully, the first of many) so you can see exactly “how to” do the preparing and the roasting. This bright and beautiful dish– pretty enough for your guests at Passover or Easter– takes under 5 minutes to prepare—and it is ultra good for you! Watch this…and then make it yourself…you won’t believe how good it is…and totally guilt free!

 

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

slow cooker recipesIt looks like there are still a few more days (at least!) left of winter here in the Northwest, and that means heartier fare can still reign on our menus. The traditional Mexican chicken mole is a long, slow-cooked dish that gets its deep, smoky flavor from chipotle chiles and chocolate. The list of other ingredients is long, but simple to put together, and making it in the slow cooker facilitates things even more. Served over rice or pasta (or just tucked into soft tortillas) and accompanied by sliced avocado and a sprinkling of cotija cheese, this dish will carry you into spring…whenever it arrives.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

  • 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into wide strips
  • 6 soft flour tortillas, torn into pieces
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4c. chili powder
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
  • 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1c. chicken broth
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
  • 1/4c. cotija cheese, for garnish
  • Season chicken breast strips with salt and place in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet and pour remaining ingredients into pan.Simmer for 10 minutes, until softened and then pour into a blender. Slowly puree all ingredients until smooth.
  • Add tomato mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until chicken is tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low). Serve chicken and sauce topped with cilantro and crumbled cheese.

Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies (For the Game)

alice medrich browniesNot counting tomorrow’s game, there have been 48 Super Bowls. That means 48 Super Bowl parties…and A LOT of chili! With each year, the menus at the parties I’ve attended have gotten more and more elaborate and over the top. This year, I say, “Enough with the fancy schmancy party food!” Back to the “basics” for me tomorrow—good, easy to manage food—with a little bit of a twist.

These brownies from Alice Medrich are just what I’m talking about. There’s no dark, 72% chocolate called for in this recipe—no melting, no fuss. They are the quintessential brownie—rich, fudgy—perfect for any game day. Toss in a handful of coarsely chopped nuts or chocolate chips if you must. A touch of cayenne and paprika gives them a bit of heat that you won’t notice until you’ve finished your first bite, because on a cold day in February, everyone could use a little bit of heat.

ALICE MEDRICH’S COCOA BROWNIES

Makes 16 to 25 brownies

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet via Sassy Radish

10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (105 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, cold

1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour

2/3c. walnuts or pecan, coarsely broken into pieces

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper so that there is an overhang on two sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, paprika, cayenne, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla, Once the batter looks shiny and well-blended, stir in the flour until no streaks remain. Vigorously beat the batter for 40 strokes. Stir in the nuts or chips, if using. Spread the batter evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the sea salt lightly over the top.

Bake until a toothpick in the middle comes out slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes Remove and let cool completely before lifting out of the pan and transferring to a cutting surface. Cut to your desired size.

Shrimp Mac and Cheese

SUPER BOWL PARTY FOODThere’s no rule that you must serve your Super Bowl party guest Chili, but there is an unwritten rule that you must serve them delicious, hearty food that will sustain them through the entire game. This Shrimp Mac and Cheese from Nancy Lowell’s Chef’s Last Diet is that type of dish. Serve up bowlfuls of this and watch them come running!

SHRIMP MAC AND CHEESE

  • 12 Large Shrimp (Peeled and deveined, for 4 servings add 4 more shrimp)
  • 1 cup Orzo
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Half and half or milk
  • 2oz Sharp Cheddar (Grated)
  • 2oz Fresh Goat Cheese (crumbled)
  • 1oz Parmigiano Cheese (Grated, and about half, set aside)
  • 1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
  • Ground Black Pepper (4-5 grinds, or to taste)

Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350F
Cook orzo 7 minutes and drain

Step 2

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While orzo is cooking, make sauce
Melt butter over low heat
Add flour and stir to form a roux, and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes

Step 3

Add milk or cream to roux, slowly, stirring constantly and continue stirring until sauce thickens

Step 4

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When sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, add cheddar, goat, and half of parmigaino cheeses,
Stir well, and remove from heat
When pasta is cooked, drain well, and mix well with cheese sauce

Step 5

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Butter, or spray an 8×8″ pan, coat pan with breadcrumbs by sprinkling some of the breadcrumbs in the pan and shaking while turning pan, to coat bottom and sides of pan.
Return loose breadcrumbs to bowl with parmigiano that you set aside, and the rest of the breadcrumbs, and mix well

Step 6

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Put pasta and sauce into breadcrumb coated pan
Top with shrimp, and press shrimp into pasta
Cover the top with the breadcrumb and cheese mixtures

Step 7

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Bake for thirty minutes, until top is golden brown

Super Bowl Parties – Something For Everyone!

What I love the most about Super Bowl Sunday is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a sports fan, a specific team fan or you’re in it for the commercials, chances are this weekend you’ll be sitting inSuper Bowl Party Food front of the TV with friends and family.

When I’m the hostess that whole “something for everyone” has to hold true for the food too.  But when the party’s at my house, I don’t intend to spend the day in the kitchen. With the game not starting until evening and guests arriving in the early afternoon, my selections will run from snacks to munch on throughout the day to brunch-type appetizers that will be out on the food bar when my guests arrive, to hot, more substantial finger food that I’ll serve just before the game starts.  Of course, you know I won’t forget dessert.

When my guests arrive I always have a fire going in the fireplace, and hot drinks ready. This year I’m making Spiked Raspberry Cocoa with Orange Whipped Cream:

Super Bowl Party Food

Bakinginatornado.com

There are snacks on all the coffee tables throughout the day. This year one of the selections will be my Butterfingers Popcorn:

Super Bowl Party Food

Initially on the food bar I’ll have brunch themed options including my Apple French Toast Brunch Dip, which I serve with cinnamon toast sticks and cinnamon cookies.

Super Bowl Party FoodI’ll also be including my Bagel Crisp Brunch Sandwiches.

Super Bowl Party FoodJust before the game and the good commercials start, I’ll put out the hot food. I always include my BAKED Hot Wings. (My boys would disown me if I didn’t include them.) I make them ahead and keep them warm in my slow cooker.

Super Bowl Party Food

Another favorite that makes the cut every year is my Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread, it’s like individual pizza pockets. Because this requires rising time, I prepare this the night before so it rises overnight and is ready for cooking on game day. I serve it with my Homemade Marinara  for dipping.

Super Bowl Party FoodA brand new recipe I just developed this week will be making an appearance this year as well, my Burger Sliders on Potato Crisps.

Super Bowl Party FoodNo party is complete without dessert. Cream Cheese Toffee Cake. ‘Nuff said!

Super Bowl SUnday desserts

If, by any chance, you haven’t already made plans? Stop by my house, the door will be open. Oh, and GO PATRIOTS!

Gluten-Free Franks in Blankets (For the Big Game)

Super Bowl SUnday appetizers

Marissa Rosenberg

If you’re expecting a crowd on Super Bowl Sunday, you can stave off their hunger pangs with lots and lots of these Franks in Blankets. The best thing about them, besides them being awesome?  They can be frozen in advance, and, the “blankets” are gluten-free! You can find many other delectable gluten-free recipes from Marissa Rosenberg on her blog, Sugar & Spice.

 

 

 

Pan de Yuca (Dough):

2 1/2 cups tapioca starch
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick of cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 package Wellshire Farms uncured beef cocktail franks
Spicy Brown Mustard, for dipping

-Combine the tapioca starch, cheese, baking powder and salt in a food processor.  Mix for about a minute until everything is combined.
-Add the butter and eggs
-Mix until everything starts to come together.  If it looks too dry, you can add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until combined.
-Refrigerate dough for at least an hour or overnight.
-Once the dough has had time to chill, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
-Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
-Take about an 1/8 cup of the dough and roll it into a ball.
-Take the dough ball and wrap it around one of the mini franks making sure to leave the ends of the frank out.
-Place the frank and blanket on the baking sheet seam side down.  Leave about two inches in between each one.
-Bake for 8-10 minutes until puffed and brown.
-Serve with Spicy Brown Mustard, and enjoy immediately.
*Makes 2 dozen
*Can be frozen unbaked ahead of time and baked off when needed.
*Pan de Yuca recipe based on recipe from www.laylita.com

Butterscotch Pudding with Caramel Sauce

butterscotch pudding Osteria Mozza

Beth Fink

Memories of chocolate pudding in small glass dishes with scalloped rims take us right back to our childhood dinner tables. Now that we’re grown, and a little more “sophisticated,” dessert that comes from a box just won’t do. Beth Fink has taken this butterscotch pudding recipe from Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles. Silky and creamy…so special it’s called by its Italian name, “budino.” Pudding from a box can’t hold a candle to this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterscotch Budino

3 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 egg

3 egg yolks

5 tablespoons cornstarch

5 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum

1. In a large bowl, combine the cream and milk and set aside.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine the brown sugar, one-half cup water and salt over medium-high heat. Cook to a smoking, dark caramel, about 10 to 12 minutes. Sugar will smell caramelized and nutty and turn a deep brown.

3. Immediately whisk the cream mixture carefully into the caramel to stop the cooking (the mixture will steam and the sugar will seize). Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and cornstarch. Temper the hot caramel cream into the egg mixture by adding a cupful of caramel at a time, whisking constantly, until half is incorporated. Pour the egg mixture back into remaining caramel, stirring constantly with a whisk until the custard is very thick and the corn starch is cooked out, about 2 minutes.

5. Remove the custard from the heat and whisk in the butter and rum.

6. Pass the custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps and divide among 10 (6-ounce) ramekins leaving one-half inch at the top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill several hours or up to three days.

Caramel sauce and assembly

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/8 vanilla bean, scraped

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons fleur de sel

1/4 cup whipping cream

3/4 cup creme fraiche

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and vanilla over medium heat, until simmering, about three minutes. Add the butter, turn off the heat and set aside.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the corn syrup and sugar. Add enough water to make a wet sandy texture, about one-fourth cup. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the pan just slightly to gauge the caramelization, until the sugar becomes a medium amber color, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove the caramel from heat, carefully whisk the cream mixture into the caramel (be very careful — it will steam and bubble). Whisk to combine. Place the pan in a large bowl of ice water to cool.

4. In a chilled bowl with a wire whisk, beat the whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add the creme fraiche; whip until thick and fluffy.

5. Before serving, warm the sauce over medium heat. Spoon one tablespoon on each budino, sprinkle with one-eighth teaspoon fleur de sel and add a dollop of cream topping.

Creme anglaise

Total time: 15 minutes, plus infusing and cooling time

Servings: Makes 2 cups

2 cups whole milk

1/2 vanilla bean

5 large egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk and drop in the bean. Heat over medium heat until just simmering (do not boil), about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep half an hour. Reheat the infused milk over medium heat until almost simmering, about 3 minutes.

2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, then temper the mixture by pouring half of the hot milk into the egg-and-sugar mixture and whisking, then pouring this back into the rest of the hot milk.

3. Stir the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as it can curdle easily.

4. Strain the custard through a sieve into a bowl and immediately place it in an ice bath, stirring until it begins to cool. Keep the bowl in the ice bath until the custard is completely cool. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until needed.

Herb-Crusted Baby Lamb Chops

lamb chops for new year's eve hors d'ouevresDelicious Herb-Crusted Baby Lamb Chops from chef/instructor Renee Cohen make a fuss-free hors d’oeuvre or main course for your New Year’s Eve party.

 

 

 

 

Herb-Crusted Baby Lamb Chops

12 baby lamb chops
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 sprigs rosemary, needles removed, roughly chopped
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
3 sprigs sage, leaves removed, roughly chopped
3 sprigs Italian parsley, leaves removed, roughly chopped
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the chops on a baking sheet and season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

Place the breadcrumbs and the herbs into a bowl of a food processor. Process mixture until all of the herbs have been incorporated. Add 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, process for 10 seconds. Remove breadcrumb mixture from the bowl and place in a plastic container until ready to use.

Spread half of the breadcrumb mixture onto a baking pan.

Rub the seasoned chops with extra-virgin olive oil. Dredge the chops in the herb breadcrumb mixture and coat well on both sides.

Place 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on the bottom of a baking pan, and spread the oil all over. Place the chops on top. Pour the white wine all over the pan and on top of the chops. Cook the chops in the preheated oven and roast for 12-15 minutes or until done.

Remove the lamb chops from the oven; platter and serve.

 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Spice Cookies

gluten-free cookie recipeIt’s always a good time for chocolate cookies, and a little spice gives these an extra Yuletide-ish flair. They’re also gluten-free, so, if Santa is watching his gluten intake, these would be perfect to leave out for him on Christmas Eve. This recipe is from Denise Costello, and for more gluten-free cookie recipes, check out her website, theenergizedbody.com.

 

 

 


Gluten-Free Chocolate Spice Cookies
(from America’s Test Kitchen)
Makes about 42 cookies
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups whole or slivered almonds
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Process almonds and confectioner’s sugar in food processor until almonds are very finely ground, about 45 seconds. Add chocolate, 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and salt and process until chocolate is finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add egg whites and vanilla and pulse until dough forms, about 10 pulses.
3. Transfer dough to piece of parchment paper, kneading gently to form smooth ball. Let dough sit until no longer sticky, about 10 minutes. Top with second piece of parchment paper and roll dough 1/4 inch thick; refrigerate for 10 minutes.
4. Spread remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small shallow dish. Using a 2-inch star cutter, cut dough into shares, rerolling scraps and re chilling as needed. Dip stars in sugar to coat and space them 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies have puffed and cracked but centers are still soft, 13-15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

German Christmas Cookies

Christmas CookieThis simple recipe for delicious Knappkuchen comes from Kim Demshki. While Kim calls the dessert “German Christmas Cookies,” it really is a classic, buttery pound cake, and it is a staple at her Christmas get-togethers.

 

 

 

Knappkuchen

1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 level tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

cinnamon/sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix until combined. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture. Scrape batter into a greased 9×12-inch pan, and smooth out top. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the cake.

Bake for 22-25 min. Let cool and cut into squares.