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Showing posts from December, 2010

12-31 Spritzer

A party drink for New Year's Eve and the end of this blog! Phew. Thanks for using it. Love you!!

In a small pitcher, combine:
1 c fresh orange juice, chilled
1 c fresh grapefruit juice, chilled
4 oz club soda
Garnish each glass with a section of navel orange.

Happy New Year!!

12-30 Potato Tomato Cheese Tart

Anni says she made this back when she didn't know how to cook so it must be easy. :)

Microwave in covered large bowl:
4 c thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes (not peeled)
Set aside.

Combine
1 c Gruyère cheese, grated (or Asiago)
1 c Cheddar cheese, grated
Set aside.

In hot skillet, sauté
1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
Remove from heat and season with
salt and pepper
Gently mix potatoes with garlic mixture.
Cover again and return to microwave for 3-5 minutes.

Arrange layers of potatoes, cheese mixture and deli ham (optional)
5 large Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
in 9 inch pie pan.
Cover with parchment paper and foil.
Bake 40-50 minutes at 425 degrees then uncover and bake 15 minutes more .

12-29 Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Another cupcake club favorite

Applesauce cupcakes -
Whisk together until smooth:
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1/2 c canola oil
Set aside. Sift together:
1 1/2 flour
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/2 t ground allspice
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground cloves
Alternating, add flour mix and
1 c unsweetened chunky applesauce
to sugar mixture.
Scoop into lined cupcake pan and bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting -
Blend with mixture:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T unsalted butter at room temperature
Add a little at a time at low speed about 1 minute:
3 c sifted powdered sugar
Then add:
1 t gr cinnamon
Increase speed to medium for one more minute until fluffy.

12-28 Basic pancakes

Can't believe I didn't put this on here before but here is a basic recipe.Add fruit if you want.

Mix together:
2 c white, wheat, oat or a combination of flours
4 t baking powder
4 t sugar
1 t salt
Add:
2 c milk
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs

Stir batter just enough, to lumpy, not smooth.
Pour onto a hot griddle.

ADD berries, coconut and bananas, whatever you are craving that day.
Serve with agave, jams, jellies, etc.

12-27 Nordic Chocolate Sauce for winter fruits

The Norwegians get the credit for this one.

In a small bowl balanced over simmering water in a saucepan (or if someone has a double boiler set), combine:
6 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 c heavy cream
Stir until the chocolate is melted. Add:
1/4 sugar
Stir until it dissolves then remove from heat and stir in:
2 T butter
1 T water, white grape, apple or pineapple juice OR 1/2 t vanilla or rum extract
Spoon chocolate sauce over poached pears or apples or whatever is calling for chocolate sauce.

12-26 Swedish Rice Pudding

For Christmas, our favorite is a Swedish rice pudding with a Danish raspberry sauce.
Hide a whole almond in the pudding and whoever finds it wins a prize.

Rice Pudding-
Rinse with boiling water:
1 c white rice
In sauce pan, melt
1/2 T unsalted butter then add the rice and 1 c hot water
Boil 10-15 minutes until water disappears then add:
5 c milk
Allow to barely simmer for 45 minutes
Stir and add:
1/3 c golden raisins
zest of 1 lemon
1 whole almond
Pour into baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes

Raspberry Sauce
Bring to a boil:
1 10 oz frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 c currant jelly
Combine
1 T cold water and 1 1/2 t cornstarch
then stir into berries.
Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
Pour over hot or cold rice pudding.

12-25 Ensalada Noche Buena

A delicious popular Christmas salad from Mexico is what the article said but my friends from various parts of Mexico had never heard of it!  "Authentic or not, it always disappears at potlucks and picnics.

For salad-
Toss together:
6 c more or less baby lettuces or romaine
1/2 c toasted pine nuts
1/2 c gold raisins1 small pear, sliced thin
2 oranges peeled and segmented (valencia or navel are best, in a pinch a can of mandarins,drained, works)

Add the following dressing just before serving:

Whisk to combine:
1/8 c red wine vinegar
1/8 c fresh orange juice (from concentrate works,too)
1 T fresh lime juice (lemon is ok)
1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 T agave
Then add: 1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper
Shake well.

12-24 Köttbullar - Swedish Meatballs

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is based on the Swedish-American traditions of our ancestors in the late 1800s.  It is somewhat labor intensive (for my recipes).  The point is to make them with everyone in the kitchen helping and the Christmas music blaring.  It helps Christmas come faster :)
The meat mixture can be made ahead of time. The meatballs can be cooked and frozen as well and thawed and cooked in a gravy for a meal (but then the drippings won't be available to flavor the gravy).

Soak for 10 minutes in large mixing bowl:
1 1/2 c soft breadcrumbs
1 c half and half OR 1/2 c cream and 1/2 c milk

Meanwhile, sauté:
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 c onion, chopped
When softened, add to crumb mixture and add:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 egg
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t nutmeg
Mix at high speed until well combined and color changes to pink. This tenderizes the meat and makes all the difference, giving you a soft meatball.
The mixtu…

12-23 Glögg - 2 nonalcoholic versions

This Swedish drink is traditionally made with wine and served hot. You could substitute with grape juice but usually people use apple or cranberry juice. Here are two different versions to try. If you find them too tart, add sugar to taste.

Thecranberry juice version-
Combine:
1 liter cranberry juice1/2 c raisins1/4 c sliced/chopped almonds2 cinnamon sticks1/2 t ground cardmom1 orange studded with whole cloves
Refrigerate until needed then simmer over low heat or heat in crockpot to keep warm for a party. Strain before serving.

The apple juice version-
Combine in saucepan or crockpot: 5 whole cloves1/2 t ground cardamom1 cinnamon sticks1/2 t ginger, minced1 c water, use more if needed 5 almonds, halved3/4 c raisins1/2 c pitted prunes1 orange, quartered
Bring to a boil and then remove spices before adding:
1 gallon apple juice or cider
Allow to simmer about 45 minutes before serving.

12-22 No bake granola bars

There should be a better title than this but.... don't have one. Let me know if you think of one.
These are another easy to tote to campus snack
Combine in large bowl:
2 1/2 c toasted rice cereal (try to find the brown rice one)
2 c oats
1/3 c raisins
Set aside.
In small sauce pan, mix over med heat - stirring constantly:
1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c honey or agave
Remove from heat when it begins to boil. Now add:
1/2 c peanut butter
1 t vanilla
Combine and pour over the cereal mix.
Press mixture into a 9 x 13 pan. When it cools, cut into desired size bars.

12-21 Swedish Beef Stew

This is a simple and easy dish that is traditionally served outdoors on those long summer nights in Sweden. I can see how it would taste good there but it will sure hit the spot during a snowstorm, too. This bakes for 2-3 hours and does all the work during that time. You can double it to feed a crowd of 6-10.

Set oven to preheat at 350˚
Place your dutch oven stovetop and heat on medium heat, when pan is hot, add in :
1 lb beef chuck/stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 onions, sliced
Stir and turn the beef to brown on all sides to seal in juices. (this is the secret)
When all are browned, add:
3 - 4 med potatoes, peeledand cubed OR 1 1/2 lbs of baby red potatoes, halved
4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced thickly or replace some with parsnips
1/2 T salt
1/8 t white pepper or 1/4 t black pepper
Now pour in about
2-3 c water -enough to just cover all the ingredients
Cover with lid, remove from stovetop and place in a 350 degree oven about 2 1/2 - 3 hours until everything is tender. You will nee…

12-20 Gâteau au Yaourt (Yogurt cake)

Child friendly recipe in France. Should be easy, right?
You can substitute other fruits like berries or pears depending on the season.
Or even used canned fruit. Use a 10" cake round if possible.

Mix together until smooth:
1 c plain whole milk yogurt1 c sugarpinch of sea salt1 t vanilla
Whisk in:
1/3 c canola oil2 eggs, one at a time

Separately sift together: 1 1/3 c flour1 1/2 t baking powder1 t baking soda
then add to yogurt mix.
Stir in:
zest of 1 lemon
Pour batter into cake pan and top with
2 c apricots, pitted and quartered
Bake in center of oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cover to save as an airtight container will make it soggy.

Adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier

12-19 Feta Tomato Salad

This is similar to a tomato caprese salad. Since Swedish feta isn't imported, we use the Greek feta or fresh goat cheese from the Saturday market.

Combine in a bowl:
1/4 lb feta cheese cubed or crumbled 1/3 c olive oil1/8 c white wine vinegar1 clove garlic, minced1 large ripe tomato, cubed1 T fresh basil, torn or 3/4 T dry1/2 T fresh oregano or 1 t dry1 t saltpinch of freshly ground pepper
Blend gently and serve alone or on top of lettuce.

12-18 Quick oat squares

The whole grains of oats makes it easier to rationalize eating these cookies. But they are an easy snack to make and take on campus in your backpack for "emergencies."

Melt
1 c butter
Allow to cool slightly then stir together with
3 1/2 c quick oats
1 c sugar
2 egg whites
Press into buttered pan and smooth the top.
Feel free to add dried fruit or nuts
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes , depending on the depth of your pan, until golden brown.
Cut into bars while still warm but let rest before packaging.

12-17 Tonkatsu (Japanese pork chops)

We used to make these often. Dad learned how to make them when he lived in Japan.

You need to coat the pork before frying it.
To prepare the pork for their coating, pound between two sheets of plastic wrap until very thin:
2 boneless pork chops

Mix together: 1/2 t salt1/4 t pepper1/4 c flour
Coat the pork on both sides then coat pork in:
1 egg, beaten
Next, coat pork in: 1/4 c Panko bread crumbs (look on the Asian aisle)
Place each pork chop in a hot skillet with a generous amount of
Sesame oil
Fry each side until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve on hot rice with Asian sides or salads.

12-16 Coconut macaroons

These are one of Papa's favorite treats. You can see the change in his face just by mentioning them. They are more of a candy than a cookie but who cares? they are so yummy!

Mix gently:
2 2/3 c grated coconut, unsweetened
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
Form into 1 1/2 inch balls, be gentle so they do not become too dense.
Place on silpat or foil lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Watch them as you don't want to overcook.
If they ooze, reshape and roll them in more coconut if you don't like the look of them.
Cool on a rack and store in airtight container.

Recipe from Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

12-15 Feta Pasta & Peas

A quick pasta dish that you can easily substitute in other cheeses and/or veggies.

Basic recipe -
Prepare in boiling salted water:
1 lb shaped pasta like shells or bowties
a minute before the pasta is ready, add to the water:
2 c fresh peas, thawed if using frozen
1 c chopped, cooked ham
After a minute, drain all and mix with
3/4 c prepared pesto
Crumble on top:
8 oz feta or Parmesan
Serve immediately.

12-14 Berry Parfait

This is really a summer recipe but you can use frozen berries if you want it in the winter.

Combine:
1/4 lb berries like strawberries, raspberries & blueberries or any combo. If using frozen berries, allow to thaw first.
1/2 T agave or honey
Layer half of the fruit in a glass then add a layer of
1/4 c Greek yogurt
then layer with
1/4 granola or cookie crumbs - gingersnaps are a good choice
then top the layers of with the rest of the fruit.
You can make several at a time and top with a dollop of whipped cream for a dessert.

12-13 St. Lucia Buns & Wreath

This is the traditional breakfast roll served in the morning to family on this date in honor of Lucia, an Italian saint who carried food to the hungry in Italy.
You will need saffron threads for these rolls.

In large mixing bowl, dissolve: 2 1/4 t active dry yeast (1 package)1/4 c warm water
Let sit a few minutes to proof.

Meanwhile, scald (heat to almost boiling): 3/4 c milk
then add: 1/2 c unsalted butter
Cool until butter is melted.

At 250 degrees, lightly toast 1 t saffron threads on a piece of foil for about 5 minutes, no more.
Pulverize them with
1 t sugar
using a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon in a larger spoon
Mix with 1 T of the milk-butter mixture.
Now add the milk, the saffron to the yeast bowl.
Also add to the yeast bowl: 1/2 c sugar1/4 t salt1/2 c chopped raisins2 eggs
Beat until blended then add
2 c flour
Stir until smooth and satiny then add gradually
1 1/2 c - 2 c flour
You should have a stiff dough.
Knead for 10 minutes on lightly floured surface until smooth and satiny. Pla…

12-12 Salade de haricots et de Pommes de Terre

This is a potato salad without mayo. Hooray! I found another one. There must be others who do not prefer the typical version. This is out of season but there is no reason potato salad has to only be eaten al fresco.
The original recipe calls for Pastis which adds a licorice flavor (and alcohol), if you want you can use the anise seed but it will taste great without it.

Bring to a boil in salted, cold water:
1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes halved/quartered to same size

While waiting, blanch - by dipping in salted, boiling water about 3 minutes until bright green:
1/4 lb haricots verts (extra thin green beans), trimmed
Submerge in cold water immediately to stop cooking and pat dry. Cut in half if they are long.

In large serving bowl, combine the beans with:
1/2 red onion, chopped1/2 c flat leaf parsley, chopped1 T fresh thyme1/2 c black olives, chopped - optional
Drain the potatoes when tender and add to this salad.
Toss all and toss to coat with the vinaigrette.
Refrigerate for at least one ho…

12-11 Quick Tomato Potato Soup

This is a fast and easy soup and great to have on hand for a few days.

Bring to a simmer:
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 med onions, peeled and diced
4 c chicken broth
Heat until tender, about 20 minutes then add:
1 14 oz can whole stewed tomatoes or cut is fine. If you feel like using fresh, peel them first and add them at the start...
Using your stick blender, blend until smooth. Then add:
just under 1/4 c flour
salt and pepper
Remove from heat and stir in
1 c heavy cream or light/ half & half or milk
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

12-10 Baked Apples with Vanilla cream sauce

Yummy warm dessert for a cold winter evening.

Prepare:
4 large Granny Smith or tart apples, cored and halved lengthwise
Set face up on a shallow baking dish

Mix together in small bowl:
1/2 c almonds, finely chopped
1/4 c sugar
2 T water
Fill each apple with this paste.

Drizzle :
1 1/2 T melted butter
over all the apples
In a small bowl, mix together:
1/2 c fine dry bread crumbs
2 T brown sugar
Sprinkle over all the apples.
Bake the apples for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.
Serve with vanilla cream sauce (see below) or heavy cream as desired

Vanilla Cream Sauce - this is really good on fresh berries in the summertime.
In saucepan, beat together
1 egg
2 T sugar
2 T cornstarch
3 c milk or light cream
Stir constantly bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes more.
Remove from heat, cover and allow to thicken.
When cooled, stir in:
2 t vanilla
Cover and chill before serving.

12-09 Persian Jeweled Rice

The perfect accompaniment to the Lebanese meatballs even though this is from Iran.

Melt on low heat:
1 T unsalted butter
toss & coat:
1 c Jasmine or nonsticky rice (I used 1/2 white & brown when my wild mix was out)
Then add:
1/3 c pistachios, chopped (I substituted macadamia when we were out of pistachios)
1/3 dried apricots, chopped
1/4 c almonds, chopped (or slivered)
1/2 t salt(original recipe calls for 2 t salt but it was TOO much)
3-4 star anise, I used 2 t fennel seeds, crushed
Stir and pour in:
2 1/8 c hot water
bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until fluffy.

Meanwhile, place on a silpat:
1/2 to 1 red onion, sliced(original recipe calls for 2 but we don't eat that much)
then drizzle with
1-2 T unsalted butter, melted
Bake in a 350 degree oven until crispy
Place on top of cooked rice with a few nuts and apricots to serve. Original recipe calls for more melted butter on top of all... )

Original recipe by Mark Zolun, owner of Iralia, no longer operating.

12-08 Lebanese meatballs with Apricot sauce

This dish is a nice change of flavor. Be careful not to overcook them because they get tough easily. Serve with Persian Jeweled Rice (12-09) and a salad.

Combine:
1 lb ground meat (I did half ground turkey breast & 1/2 organic ground beef)
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
When thoroughly combined, add:
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley
Now add:
1/3 c dried apricots, chopped (Try to find the organic ones without sulfur, they look scary but taste fine)
1/3 c golden raisins
1/3 c toasted pine nuts (slivered or chopped almonds would work)
Combine well and slowly incorporate
1/3 c yogurt (I used plain Greek)
Form meatballs and fry them in a 1:1 ratio of vegetable oil and olive oil over medium heat*
*I like them better baked in the oven...

Apricot sauce - He made this just for the American customersso its not the "authentic" part. We also put it on…

12-07 French Mashers

Just a twist on the usual mashed potatoes using celery root.
Its an ugly thing but changes up the flavor, you might like it.

In a large pot of chilled, salted water, bring to a boil
1 lb potatoes, one inch chunks
When water is boiling, add
1 - 1 1/2 lb celery root, peeled and cut in one inch chunks
When both are tender, drain and mash over low heat.
Add a few tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste.

12-06 Swedish Baked Porridge

Something about winter makes me cook a lot more Swedish food....

This is handy because you put it in the oven overnight and its ready for breakfast. Perfect for a chilly morning.

Combine in your dutch oven:
6 c water
2 c steel cut oats
1/4 t salt
Cover and place in a larger pan filled with hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of your dish. Place in oven at 250 degrees. Bake overnight - eight hours.
Eat hot with lingonberry preserves or cinnamon sugar and milk.

Evidently the leftovers were commonly pressed in a bowl, then sliced and fried in butter & served with jam for another breakfast on another day!

From Scandanavian Feasts by Beatrice Ojakangas

12-05 Keshi Yena (Antilles Chicken)

Apparently the island of Curacao is quite the melting pot. When the ruling Dutch threw out their cheese rinds, the poor would take them home and fill them with chicken and vegetables. I haven't any rinds laying about and you don't have any ramekins so of course I have already altered and simplified it for us. The original recipe came from Relish magazine. We all liked the unusual (to us) mix of flavors.

In skillet, sauté:
2 colored bell peppers, sliced or chopped
1 onion, chopped
olive or canola oil
When the peppers are softened, add:
2 T golden raisins
3 T chopped dill pickles
a handful of chopped black olives
3 c cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
2 T tomato paste
1/2 t salt
Stir to combine, cover and heat thoroughly. When serving, sprinkle generously on top:
Gouda or sharp white cheddar, shredded

12-04 Wassail

There are many variations on Wassail, traditionally made with wine, but they always have spices and sweeteners. So here is a basic recipe with some options for variations. It will make your apartment smell like heaven.

Heat in a large pot (or halve the recipe):
1 gallon unfiltered apple juice
24 - 30 whole cloves or whole allspice
8 cinnamon sticks
1 quart pineapple or cranberry juice or 1 cup brown sugar
1 small can frozen orange juice concentrate or 2 oranges sliced, with peels or 1 can lemonade concentrate
Consider adding a bit of crystalized ginger, too.
Bring to a near boil and let simmer about an hour.
Remove spices or avoid them when filling your cups.

12-03 Fondue!

This is very aprés ski for the season, too. There are many fondue possibilities, this is just a basic recipe for starters and then you can start experimenting.

Heat over medium heat for a few minutes:
1 c milk
1 clove garlic, minced or herbs that smell good to you like dill or rosemary
Toss together in small bowl:
2 T flour
1 lb Gruyére or Jack, shredded
Whisk the cheese into the warm milk, a bit at a time allowing it to melt before adding more.
Now fondue it!

Ideas for dipping:
cubed bread
sliced fruit
ham or chicken cubes
boiled potato cubes
lightly steamed veggies

12-02 Gingerbread waffles

These were so yummy! Definitely goes with the Christmas season :)

Plug in waffle iron to heat up.
Combine in large bowl:
1 c flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour or oat bran flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t dry ground ginger
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground cloves
In another bowl, whisk together
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c canola oil
1/3 c molasses
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine, but not smooth.
Pour batter onto hot waffle grid and close.
Serve warm with jam, syrup or powdered sugar...or a dollop of cream.

I found this recipe in Better Homes & Garden magazine in May 1990.

12-01 Meatloaf

Yet another flexible recipe. Many, many versions exist. My grandma added oatmeal or you can use Italian breadcrumbs. My mom added a mixture of ketchup and brown sugar as a sauce on top. Or some people sprinkle cheese on top. And so on and so on...

Beating the meat in a mixer helps to tenderize it. This is a soft meatloaf.

Mix in counter top mixer (if possible, a hand held mixer may not have the strength)
1 lb ground beef or combination with ground turkey breast
1 T meatloaf seasoning (see 01-24)
1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c quick oats or Italian breadcrumbs
1 onion, sautéed
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
1 T Worchestershire sauce (optional)
1 c baby spinach, chopped or 1 box of frozen spinach, thawed (optional)
Shape into loaf and bake in loaf pan or in baking dish at 350 degrees for one hour.
This can be shaped differently, just adjust cooking time according to thickness.