Thursday, December 27, 2012

Spaghetti with Creamy Spinach and Tarragon

(from Food & Wine via delish.com)

10 oz prewashed spinach
2 T butter
3 scallions or green onions, including green tops, chopped
1-1/2 t dried tarragon
3/4 t salt
3/4 lb (12 oz) spaghetti
5 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t black pepper


Remove any tough stems from the spinach. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the scallions and tarragon and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and salt and stir until wilted. Simmer until the liquid evaporates from the spinach, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve one cup of the pasta water. Drain the spaghetti and toss with 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the spinach mixture, and the remaining ingredients. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water.

Fish and Bok Choy Noodle Stir Fry

(adapted from a recipe at kidspot.com.au)

1 lb long noodles (spaghetti, fettuccini, etc.)
2 t sesame oil, plus another tablespoon for the fish
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb boneless fish fillets (or use Swai nuggets)
1 T soy sauce
4 baby bok choy, bottom sliced off and washed well (or any kind of cabbage)
1/3 c oyster sauce
Juice of ½ lime


Cook the noodles until almost done, then drain and add a tablespoon of oil olive or vegetable oil to keep them from sticking. Meanwhile, bring a wok or a non-stick frying pan to a high heat, and then add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and onion and cook for one minute, tossing around so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the extra tablespoon of sesame oil and the fish and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is nearly done. Add the soy sauce, stirring constantly so the fish stir fries and doesn’t stew. Add the bok choy, oyster sauce and noodles, and heat through until the fish and noodles are done. Stir in the lime juice and serve immediately.

Lentil-Escarole Soup with Sausage

(from a recipe at rodalenews.com)

3/4 lb Italian pork sausage, cut into bite-size chunks
1 c chopped leeks (or onions)
1 c lentils
1 t basil
Salt
2 c water (or chicken broth or stock)
2 c chopped escarole (or kale)
1 T lemon juice
Pepper


Brown the sausage in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the leeks (or onions) and cook for 3 minutes. Add the lentils, basil, and water. Cover and simmer until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Add some water if it seems to be cooking dry. Add the escarole (or kale) and cook for 10 minutes. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and season to taste with pepper and more salt.

Collard Greens with Smoked Meat

(from Paula Deen at foodnetwork.com)

1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones)
2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1 T hot red pepper sauce
1 large bunch collard greens (or a box of frozen greens)
1 T butter


In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the smoked meat and seasonings. Reduce heat to medium and cook for an hour. Wash the greens thoroughly. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don’t need to be stripped. Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into half inch to 1 inch thick slices. Place greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. When done, taste and adjust seasoning.

Hoppin' John

(from Emeril Lagasse on foodnetwork.com)

1 T olive oil
1 large ham hock (or bacon or sausage)
1 c onion, chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
1/2 c green pepper, chopped
1 T chopped garlic
1 lb black eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart (4 cups) water
1 bay leaf
1 t dry thyme leaves
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne (ground red pepper)
3 T finely chopped green onion
3 c steamed white rice


Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic, and cook for 4 minutes. Add the black eyed peas, water, bay leaf, thyme and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stirring occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings. Garnish with green onions and serve over rice.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ham Broth

Just simmer the bone, after you’ve taken all the meat off of it, in a pot of water (You might need to break the bone first so it fits – just wrap the head of a hammer in a towel and hit the bone really hard. It might take a few swings to get it to break.) and simmer it for a long, long time, with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. I’m talking several hours. A crock pot or slow cooker works well for this. Then strain the broth (to make sure you don’t have any shards of bone in it) and freeze it to use for soup making later. 

Ham, Potatoes and Green Beans

(the way my Mom used to make)

2 pounds potatoes
2 pounds fresh green beans (or 2-3 cans of green beans, drained)
2 c ham, diced
Ham broth, if you have it
Salt, but not if you use ham broth

Peel the potatoes and quarter them. If they’re big potatoes, you’ll need to cut them again. Tip and tail the green beans and cut them into about 1” to 1-1/2” pieces. Cook the potatoes, green beans and ham in ham broth, if you have it, or in water if you don’t, until the potatoes are done. Serve it in bowls, with some of the broth.

Actually, I'm just pulling quantities out of the air, here. The real recipe is however much ham you have, and how every many green beans you have, and enough potatoes to make it feed however many people you expect for supper. It's a very flexible and forgiving recipe.

Baked Yams, Apples and Canadian Bacon (or Ham)

(adapted from a recipe in The Doubleday Cookbook, vol. 1, by Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna, 1975)

4 medium size yams, parboiled, peeled, and sliced ½” thick (about 1 lb)
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut in ¼” rings (about 1 lb)
½ t salt
3 c cubed cooked ham (or 8 slices ready-to-eat Canadian bacon, cut ¼” thick)
1 t prepared hot mustard
¼ c firmly packed light brown sugar
2 T butter or margarine


Preheat oven to 375. Layer yams and apples into a buttered 2-1/2 quart casserole, sprinkling with salt as you go. Toss the ham with the mustard to coat evenly, then spread on top of yams and apples. (Or spread each slice of Canadian bacon with mustard and arrange on top, overlapping spoke fashion.) Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter. Bake uncovered 30 minutes, until yams are tender and ham (or Canadian bacon) is lightly glazed. 

Ham and Broccoli Saute

(adapted from a recipe in Back to Protein, by Barbara Doyen, 2000)

2 T butter
3 c diced ham
4 c fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
            (or 1 pound frozen chopped broccoli)
1 c shredded Colby/Jack cheese blend or cheeses of choice


Melt the butter in a skillet, then toss in the ham and broccoli and sauté until the ham is lightly browned and the broccoli is bright green. (If using frozen broccoli, thaw the broccoli and drain it, then add it to the ham and sauté it.) Serve topped with the shredded cheese.

Carrot Salad

3 or 4 carrots, grated or chopped
1/4 c mayo
Dash cinnamon
1/2 c toasted salted sunflower seeds (or slivered almonds)


Just mix everything up and serve.

Ham and Spinach Casserole

(based on a recipe from Magic with Leftovers, by Lousene Rousseau Brunner, 1955)

2 c cooked ham, diced small
1 lb frozen chopped spinach
3 T butter
3 T flour
1-1/2 c milk or cream
Salt to taste
1 c grated sharp cheese
2 T buttered bread crumbs
Paprika

Thaw spinach, then drain thoroughly. It’s easiest to do if you put it in three or four layers of paper towel and squeeze it hard. It works better if you use a cloth towel, but it stains the towel.

Meanwhile, make a white sauce with the butter, flour, milk and salt. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and whisk in the flour until it’s smooth. Slowly add the milk, whisking or stirring as you go, so it stays smooth. If it’s lumpy (which does happen, even to people who cook a lot), just dump it in your blender and whirl it around a bit. Put one tablespoon of the grated cheese with the bread crumbs, and add the rest of the cheese to the sauce.

Mix half a cup of the sauce with the spinach. Make a layer of half the ham in the bottom of a casserole, then all of the spinach, then the rest of the ham. Then pour on the rest of the sauce. Finally, top it with the cheese and bread crumb mixture, and sprinkle it with paprika.


Bake for 15 minutes at 400, or until the crumbs are brown and the sauce is bubbling.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fermented Cranberry Chutney

This is delicious at the holidays in lieu of traditional cranberry sauce. It is also tasty over yogurt.
 adapted from a recipe at oh lardy 

Ingredients

3 cups fresh cranberries (1 bag)
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup of whey 
1/2 cup apple juice (original recipe called for apple cider)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove (optional)
Juice from 1 orange and 1 lemon
1/2 cup raisins

Instructions
Mix all ingredients (except raisins) together.
Put into a food processor or vitamix and lightly pulse until the desired consistency. I make mine medium chunky.
Stir in raisins.
Add mixture to a 1 quart mason jar.
Add filtered water if need to leave about 1 inch headroom.
Tighten lid and leave at room temperature for 48 hours to ferment.

Refrigerate and use within 2 months.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fermentation Fun at MHC

Much excitement is brewing about fermentation at the Hub this season. Stephanie (Director of Education and Advocacy) and Kayte (Nutrition Education Coordinator) traveled to Louisville for an intensive fermentation workshop with Sandor Katz.  The day-long session was part of the ACRES USA conference and featured one of the leading voices in fermentation practice. Sandor Katz is the author of Wild Fermentation: the Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, and most recentlyThe Art of Fermentation: an In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World, which includes a forward by Michael Pollan. In MHC’s annual Food Preservation Workshops, Stephanie often raves about Wild Fermentation, claiming she “reads it like a novel,” so she was thrilled to finally have the chance to spend a day learning from “Sandy Kraut” himself.

The session is an  in-depth exploration of fermenting foods, from grains and beans to vegetables, dairy and beverages. Kraut was made, and samples were tasted, including some pickled turnips and a strawberry-rhubarb wine. Stephanie and Kayte expanded their fermentation knowledge base, and had many questions answered. In addition, the two educators picked up some important tips on leading large scale workshops.
The Louisville trip came at an opportune moment– the following week MHC partnered with the public library’s It’s Your Money financial literacy program for a workshop on fermentation! The session was led by devoted MHC volunteer/patron Barbara Lehr. Barbara’s passion for all things fermented is contagious, and because she has integrated a practice of fermenting all sorts of foods into her daily routine with her family, she has lots of practical advice and information.  She is also a skilled teacher, and this comes in handy when your workshop registration reaches  the 30 person capacity of the room, with a waiting list of another 30 people. Fermentation is hot right now!









Barbara talked about the benefits of incorporating fermented foods into your diet, and the ways it can save you money. She argued that regular consumption of ferments can reduce health care costs. Fermented foods  replenish the essential flora in the gut, and thus make food easier to digest and make the nutrients in the food more bio-available to the body. Besides, fermentation enhances flavor and produces some of our most beloved delicacies, such as pickles, cheeses, sourdough bread, yogurt, wine and beer.
Participants assembled their own customized jar of Kim Chi. This traditional Korean condiment  is made from cabbage, onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper, with as many variations and additions as their are Korean families! Salt is worked into the vegetables, and then the food is left to ferment on the kitchen counter until it develops the flavor and texture most desired by the consumer.










Participants also had the chance to sample a few ferments, including pro-biotic almonds, curried fermented cauliflower and carrots, kefir “soda” and pickled radishes.
As Barbara emphasized in the workshop, fermenting is a very friendly practice. It is an art, not a science, an you can adjust everything to your own tastes and lifestyle. It is also friendly in the sense that cultures such as soughdough starters, kombucha mothers and and yogurt cultures grow and can be shared with others! Home ferments are perfect foods for a place like Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, where we value community nurturing and DIY food production. Check out the Kim Chi recipe, along with a few resources from the workshop here.

Kim Chi (Korean Sauerkraut)



Adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Ingredients:
  • 1 large head napa cabbage (the type of cabbage is important to get the traditional look of kimchi, but you can use green cabbage, if you prefer the sturdiness of the leaves)
  • 1 bunch of spring/green onions
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots (optional)
  • 1/2 cup daikon radish grated
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 Tablespoons whey (this is optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt (add only 2 teaspoons if you use the fish sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon non-MSG added fermented fish sauce (optional, creates a deeper flavor, and does not taste “fishy” after fermenting.)
  • 1/4 cup of Kochukaru (Korean chili pepper powder – look for this in your Asian market)  —- OR —- 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes (red pepper flakes)
Preparation:
  1. Cut each napa cabbage leaf in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch pieces (bite-sized). Cut the green/spring onions into thin disks and also use most of the green parts too.
  2. Combine all of the vegetables, the salt and the whey in a large non-reactive bowl. Squeeze the veggies with your hands until juices are released. I usually do this about 10 minutes and it really helps your stress levels.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, fish sauce and chili pepper and combine them well into the vegetable mixture.
  4. Pack the kimchi into quart jars, making sure that there is some liquid above the kimchi (“sealing” it with an extra cabbage leaf on top can help with this).Let sit out on the counter (with or without the lid)* unrefrigerated for 3 days.
  5. After 3 days, refrigerate the kimchi to slow the fermentation process. You can start using it immediately but it gets even better with age.
Another option is to toss the veggies with salt, then mix garlic, ginger, a bit of sesame oil, a bit of rice vinegar, and Korean pepper in a bowl, to make a paste, then spread that over the veggies, and mix well. You could also add fish sauce to this, if you are using it.
*For the results of an at-home experiment  on the  pro-biotic benefit of ferments in 18 different kinds of jars , check out this blog
Best place to get Fido jars for fermenting: Christmas Tree Shoppe in Greenwood 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Ham Loaf

(based on a recipe in Magic with Leftovers, by Lousene Rousseau Brunner, 1955)

1 recipe HAM LOAF, before it’s cooked
1-1/2 T butter
2 T brown sugar
Slices of canned pineapple
Maraschino cherries


Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. (It’s important that you do, because you want the ham loaf to fall out of the pan.) Melt the butter and brown sugar in the loaf pan you’re going to bake the ham loaf in. Stir until they are well blended. Lay in the pineapple slices to cover the bottom and place a maraschino cherry in the center of each slice. Pile the ham loaf on top. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, and turn out on a hot platter with the pineapple on top. Be careful when you turn it out – the butter and sugar mixture will be very hot! I’ve been burned making a regular pineapple upside down cake. 

Horseradish Sauce

Whip 1/4 cup whipping cream until stiff. Add 1 t prepared horseradish and salt to taste.

Serve with ham or ham sandwiches, roast beef or roast beef sandwiches, HAM LOAF, meatloaf, etc.

Mustard Sauce

Blend 1 cup sour cream with 2 – 3 tablespoons prepared mustard and salt to taste.

Serve with ham or ham sandwiches, roast beef or roast beef sandwiches, HAM LOAF, meatloaf, etc.

Ham Loaf

(based on a recipe in Magic with Leftovers, by Lousene Rousseau Brunner, 1955)

2 c ground ham
2 T butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 eggs, well beaten
2 T ketchup
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t prepared mustard
Salt and pepper


Brown onion in butter and add to ham with remaining ingredients. Pile in a greased loaf pan and bake 40 minutes at 350, or until well browned. Turn out on hot platter and serve with one of the following sauces.

Cauliflower and Ham Pudding

(based on a recipe in The German Cookbook, by Mimi Sheraton, 1965)

1 large head cauliflower
1-1/2 c coarsely ground cooked ham
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
3/4 c sour cream
1 T grated onion
1 T minced parsley
1 T tomato paste (optional)
1 t paprika (optional)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Break cauliflower into flowerets, wash and cook until tender in just enough salted water to cover. Drain well. Butter a baking dish and add alternate layers of cauliflower and ham. Pack ham down around cauliflower pieces. Sprinkle each layer with grated cheese and dot with tiny flecks of butter. Mix egg yolk into sour cream along with the onion, parsley, tomato paste and paprika. Add a bit of salt and pour the sauce over the ham and cauliflower. Sprinkle with the last fourth cup of cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the top is brown.


Quick Creamed Ham

(based on a recipe in The Doubleday Cookbook, by Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna, 1975)

1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of green pea, mushroom, or celery soup
            (or use CREAM OF WHATEVER SOUP MIX)
1/2 c milk
1-1/2 c chopped or slivered ham
2 T coarsely chopped pimentos (optional, but they add a bit of color)
1/4 t mustard powder


Combine everything in a saucepan and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve over cooked broccoli or spinach. (Or over toast, muffins, biscuits, waffles, etc.)

Ham and Whatever Else is Handy Quiche

6 eggs
2 c grated Swiss or cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 – 2 c diced ham (about ¼” dice)
10 – 16 oz frozen chopped broccoli
1-1/2 c cream
1 T mustard


Put the eggs, cream and mustard in the blender and blend it for at least a couple of minutes. Add half the cheese and blend it again. Add the rest of the cheese and blend it again. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli until it’s not quite done. Say a minute or so shy of being done. Drain it thoroughly (or you’re likely to get a watery quiche) and add the ham. Mix them up well, and pour them an 8X8 or 9X9 cake pan. Spread them out evenly. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the top and poke it a bit to be sure that the broccoli and ham are still evenly spread. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.

Ham Basics - Costing, Types, Spiral Sliced vs Unsliced, Etc.

I don’t know how to cost ham. It’s got that big bone in it, or bones if it’s the butt half, and I don’t know how much meat you end up with. So here’s a warning for you all – these costs are just plain guesses. According to various websites, a cup of cooked ham weighs about 135 – 140 grams, or about 4.85 ounces. And one site said that about 75% of the weight of a ham (with bone and skin) is meat. So, based on these numbers, it would take about 6.5 ounces of ham+bone+meat+fat+skin to equal one cup of cooked ham. Here’s a quick conversion chart, using this very inexact formula:

            At 99 cents a pound, 1 cup costs about 40 cents
            At $1.09 a pound, 1 cup costs about 44 cents   
At $1.19 a pound, 1 cup costs about 48 cents
            At $1.29 a pound, 1 cup costs about 52 cents
            At $1.39 a pound, 1 cup costs about 56 cents
            At $1.49 a pound, 1 cup costs about 61 cents

Another factor is how much water has been added to the ham. If it just says “ham” (that’s the labeling, not the ad in the flier), there’s been no water added. “Ham with natural juices” may have about 7% - 8% added water, though one site said they probably didn’t add any water. “Ham, water added” may be up to 10% added water. A “ham and water product” may have any amount of water added. At seriouseats.com, where I got this information, they said that one brand had 23% of added liquid! While I didn’t see anything that told me if a cup of a “ham and water product” weighed more or less than a cup of, say, “ham with natural juices,” the one with the least added water is likely to have a stronger ham taste, which is important when you’re talking about leftovers, which is mostly what I’m going to be doing.

Bottom line – I’m going to figure that a cup of ham costs 60 cents. I’m just not convinced that you get almost two and a half cups of ham from a pound of ham+bone+fat+skin. I’d rather figure high than low.


A spiral sliced ham is great for serving the first time around, when you’re serving ham slices. And it’s good for sandwiches, too. Unfortunately, it’s not so good for making other things with the leftovers, because it’s sliced so thinly. Should that make or break your decision to buy a spiral sliced ham? Not necessarily, though you might want to consider how you’ll be eating it. If you expect it all to vanish at your ham dinner, except for some leftovers that get put into sandwiches, then the extra 10 or 20 cents a pound may be worth it. For a ten pound ham that’s an extra dollar or two. On the other hand, if you’re buying a great big ham so you’ll have lots of leftovers to put in soups and casseroles over the next few months, you might be better off getting an unsliced ham so you can cut the leftovers up into chunks. You might also want to consider what a “serving” will be from a spiral sliced ham vs. a ham that you slice yourself. The pre-sliced slices will probably be a lot thinner than the ones you cut yourself, but they may be bigger around. If you end up giving two or three thin slices of ham instead of one thicker slice that weighs less, the thin slices cost more per serving. If, on the other hand, a serving is one slice, regardless of how thick it is, then the thin slices will cost less per serving. But, to be honest, I doubt that I’d be considering things like that. I’d probably figure that the holiday ham costs what it costs when it comes to the ham dinner itself, and just concern myself with the price per cup for leftovers. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kale Salad





This simple, bright, festive winter salad is the perfect addition to any holiday meal.

1 bunch kale, any type
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon coarse salt (or more, to taste)
juice of  1/2 to one whole lemon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
seeds of one pomegranate, or 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
Chop the kale into thin ribbons. Drizzle the olive oil onto the kale, sprinkle with salt and then massage the kale with your hands. Add lemon juice, vinegar and grapefruit or pomegranate seeds to kale, toss and serve. The salt massage softens the kale, releases the juices, and brightens the leaves to a glossy emerald. The pomegranate seeds sparkle like little jewels in the rich green ruffles.

Cauli-Rice

(the recipe is all over the place among folks who don’t eat grains)



Take a head of cauliflower, and cut off the green leaves. Trim the end off of the stalk. Cut the florets and the stem in roughly 1” chunks and run them briefly through the food processor. You want it to end up about the size of grains of rice. Figure on between half a cup and a cup of the “rice” per person. It doesn’t expand like real rice does, but it doesn’t shrink, either. Put the riced cauliflower in a bowl, cover it, and nuke it for about 6 minutes, then check it. It should be soft but not mushy. You may need to nuke it another minute or two. Take it out of the microwave immediately when it’s done and uncover it, or it will continue to cook and will turn mushy and may taste cabbagey. That’s all there is to it! You can use your cauli-rice for lots of things, but you don’t want to add it to soups while they are cooking or it will get overcooked. It’s good for putting things over, like these soups, or for making salads out of. You can use it in pretty much any kind of salad that calls for cooked rice, couscous, bulgar wheat, or similar small grain products.

Stewed Chicken and Chicken Broth.


Take the skin off of about five pounds of chicken leg quarters. Save the chicken to make GRIBENES. Put the skinned legs into a big pot and add a couple of quarts of water, a peeled but whole onion, and a couple of stalks of celery. Add some salt and pepper, and a bay leaf if you have it. A couple of teaspoons of poultry seasoning would be good, too, or some sage and thyme. Or just leave out the seasonings if you don’t have them. I usually don’t bother to season my broth. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about an hour, or about four hours in a slow cooker. Take the chicken out, and when it’s cool enough, take the meat off of the bones. You should end up with about two quarts of Chicken Broth and about five cups of cooked chicken, and a pile of bones that you'll use to make BONE BROTH.

Mulligatawny Soup

(adapted from a recipe in the third edition of The Settlement Cookbook, 1965)

3 c cooked, diced chicken
1/4 c fat
1 Granny Smith apple (about 8 oz)
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped carrot
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 T flour
1 t curry powder (or up to 1 T, to taste)
2 cloves (or 1/2 t ground cloves)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/8 t mace (or nutmeg)
1 t chopped parsley
1 t sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups cold broth or water


Brown the apple, onion, celery, carrot, and green pepper in the fat. Add the chicken, flour and curry powder, stir, and cook another minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes. 

Turkey Creole Soup

(adapted from a recipe in Recipes from Minnesota, With Love)

4 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
minced garlic to taste (about 2 cloves)
1/4 c cooking oil
4 c chicken or turkey stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 green pepper, diced
2 c cooked, diced turkey (or chicken, for today’s recipes)
8 oz frozen peas
1 T dried parsley, or 2 T minced fresh
1 t dried thyme leaves, or ½ t powdered thyme
1 bay leaf
2 t dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste


Sauté celery, onion and garlic in oil until tender.  Add stock and bring to boil.  Add remaining ingredients.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 to 20 minutes.  Adjust seasonings.

Mexican Chicken Soup


3 cups of cooked, diced chicken
2 T olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onions (1 onion)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
1 cup chopped carrots (2 carrots)
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the chicken, chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and cilantro. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Top with sour cream or diced avocado, if desired. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stove Top Popcorn


·       2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed, sunflower seed, peanut oil or refined canola oil
·       1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

Preparation: Add the oil and popcorn kernels to a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan with a lid. Shake the pan to coat the kernels with oil. The kernels should cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.  Cover the pan and place it over medium high heat, shaking the pan occasionally until you begin to hear popping. When the corn begins to pop, lift it slightly from the heat and shake the pan continually, holding the lid in place, until the popping begins to slow, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Leave the lid on for 1 minute — some kernels will continue to pop. When the popping stops, pour the popcorn into a large bowl. Enjoy plain, or season as desired with olive oil, butter, salt, or spices.

Taco Hummus

A hummus flavored with taco seasonings, great as a dip or a taco filling.

Taco Seasoning Mix (spices, herbs and salt)
15 oz Chickpeas
2 Teaspoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
¼ cup crumbled queso fresco cheese

1.     Drain chickpeas, reserving liquid. In blender or food processor, place chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, Garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix and cilantro (optional).
2.     Cover; blend until smooth. Add reserved chickpea liquid, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency.
3.     Spoon humus into corn or flour tortilla, add a sprinkle of cheese and serve cold or warmed.
4.     Toppings idea’s (salsa, spinach, lettuce, tomato)
5.     This dish is also nice as a dip with tortilla chips or in a quesadilla.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

3 large sweet Potatoes (peeled)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ Teaspoon salt
1 Pinch of Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (optional, just makes clean up easier). Peel sweet potatoes and slice into thin fries. Toss oil, salt and pepper in fries and mix well. Place fries in a single layer on cookie sheet and bake 20 to 25 min. or until fries reach desired crispiness. 

Apple Oat Crisp

From Super Foods by Dolores Riccio

As tasty as an apple pie, but much easier to make, and lighter in calories.

4 cooking apples, such as Granny Smith (or use 2 cups of frozen apple slices)
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg

For the topping:
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat)
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup uncooked “old-fashioned” oatmeal
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat oven to 375° F. Peel and thinly slice the apples. If using frozen apples, don’t defrost. Mix them with the granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Spoon them into a 9-inch pie plate and press them flat. Mix the flour, brown sugar salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knifes until the consistency of cornmeal. Stir in the oatmeal and walnuts. Sprinkle the topping over the apples; press into a flat layer. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the topping is brown and the apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.