Sunday, December 26, 2010

Great Northern Ham Soup

2 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. diced baby carrots
1 stalk celery, diced

2 c. diced baked ham

7 c. organic chicken broth, warm (or substitute vegetable broth)

2 c. dry Great Northern White Beans, rinsed

1/2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Heat olive oil in 4 qt. saucepan. Add onion, garlic, carrots & celery and saute until onions start to become translucent. Add ham & saute 2 minutes more.

Pour in broth; stir well to combine. Bring to a boil. Stir in beans; add seasonings. Cover, reduce heat & simmer on low for 2 & 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more liquid if necessary.

Spiral Ham with Irish Whiskey Glaze

2 TBS Irish Whiskey (Bushmills White Label)

5 TBS light brown sugar
4 TBS Irish Whiskey
1 & 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Bake spiral ham (Cook's brand 1/2 Brown Sugar Spiral Ham preferred) according to package directions, covered tightly with foil.

In small ceramic bowl, combine brown sugar, 4 TBS whiskey & mustard; whisk until well blended.

With 1/2 hour left to cook, remove foil from ham, baste liberally with Irish Whiskey (use more than 2 TBS if necessary). Generously spread glaze over ham. Return to oven for remaining 1/2 hour of cooking time.

Remove ham from oven & let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gingerbread Mini Loaves

3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger root
1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. dark molasses
2/3 c. canola oil
1/2 c. golden brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 4 mini loaf pans.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & fresh ginger in large mixing bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

Combine egg, molasses, oil, brown sugar, milk & vanilla; stir thoroughly. Pour egg mixture all at once into dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened & most lumps have disappeared.

Divide batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 25 minutes or until center tests clean. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Wrap & store in refrigerator or freeze.

Chai Spice Blend

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground 3 peppercorn blend (black, pink & white)

1/4 piece vanilla bean*

Stir all spices together in small bowl until evenly blended. Store in tightly covered container.
*Add vanilla bean to container for Oregon Chai

This spice blend lends itself to limitless possibilities. Steep it in tea. Sprinkle into hot cereals. Substitute when recipes call for cinnamon or "pumpkin pie spice".

Chai Spiced Tea Loaves

1/2 c. water
1 tea bag-English Breakfast Tea

3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp chai spice blend*
1 tsp baking powder baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 c. vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. packed light brown sugar

5 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 5 mini loaf pans.

In micro-proof measuring cup, heat 1/2 cup water in microwave 2 minutes or until boiling. Steep tea bag in water; set aside to cool.

Combine flour, chai spice, baking powder & baking soda in medium mixing bowl.

Drain tea bag & pour off any excess to reserve 1/3 c. and stir in yogurt.

In large bowl, cream butter until light, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars in 2 batches. Beat 2 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in eggs in 2 batches, until well blended. Add vanilla & beat until combined.

Mix in flour mixture and tea mixture alternately, beginning & ending with flour mixture just until combined.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake loaves 30 minutes or until tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove loaves to cool on wire racks 15 minutes.

*Chai Spice Recipe

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

8 oz pineapple wedges sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick
2 TBS butter
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 TBS pineapple juice

1/3 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 TBS pineapple juice & enough warm water to make 2/3 c. liquid

1 1/2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt 2 TBS butter in bottom of 9x1 inch round baking pan. Stir in brown sugar & 1 TBS pineapple juice. Arrange pineapple wedges evenly in one layer in bottom of pan. Set aside.

Cream butter on high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on medium until light; add egg and vanilla and continue beating for an additional minute until well mixed. Add dry ingredients and warm liquid alternately, starting & finishing with dry ingredients, beating well after each addition. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove from oven to wire rack; allow to cool for 5 minutes, then immediately invert onto serving plate.

Serve warm.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Malay Red Curry Chicken

2 TBS olive oil
1.5 boneless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 TBS fresh ginger, finely minced

1 c. chicken broth
1-15oz can tomato sauce
1/8 tsp star anise
1 bay leaf

3/4 c. thinly sliced baby carrots
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled, diced

3/4 c. petite green peas
3 TBS Thai red curry paste

Heat olive oil in 4 qt. Dutch oven (or other large, heavy saucepan) over medium heat. Add chicken & cook until no longer pink. Add onions & garlic & saute until the onions just become translucent. Add jalapenos & ginger, saute for one minute more.

Pour in chicken broth, tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to boil, then reduce to a light simmer. Cook, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced & thickened.

Add carrots and potatoes. Simmer, covered, for an additional 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in peas & curry paste. Simmer for 10 minutes more.

Serve with hot jasmine rice.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chipotle Tortilla Soup

2 TBS olive oil
1/2 lb. top sirloin strips, cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & diced

1 can black beans,rinsed & drained
1 c. frozen corn

4 c. organic beef broth (or 4 c. water & good beef boullion/soup base)
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 c. bottled chipotle sauce

tortilla chip strips

shredded cheddar

Heat oil in 4 qt. pan over medium heat. Add beef & saute until seared. Add onion & garlic & saute until onion just becomes translucent. Stir in peppers & continue to saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in black beans & corn. Mix well. Add vegetable broth, tomato sauce & chipotle sauce; stir well, & bring soup to a simmer; reduce heat to medium low. Cover & simmer for 35 minutes.

To serve, place 1/4 c. tortilla chip chips in bottom of individual bowls, ladle soup over strips, sprinkle generously with shredded cheddar.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Buckwheat Pancakes

1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. buckwheat flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder

1 egg
1 c. milk
1 TBS oil
1 tsp. vanilla

In large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar & baking powder; make a well in the center.

Combine milk, oil, vanilla & egg, mixing well until light & frothy. Pour into center of flour mixture. Stir until smooth & most lumps have disappeared. Do not over stir.

Set non-stick griddle or electric fry pan to 350, waiting until fully heated before adding batter. Allow batter to "proof" while the griddle heats up.

Pour 1/4 c. batter onto hot griddle, allowing room to spread. Repeat as room allows. Wait until batter forms bubbles that rise to the surface and burst. Gently flip pancakes and allow to brown to a light golden. Flip onto plate.

Reheat in toaster for a quick mid-week breakfast.

White Wine Rice

3c. water
1/2 c. white wine (Sauvignon Blanc preferred)
1 & 1/2 c. long grain white rice
1/2 c. petite green peas (frozen)
1/2 c. baby carrots, thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped (or one very small white onion)

1 TBS quality chicken soup base ("Better Than Boullion" preferred)

1/4 c. Parmesan & Romano blend cheese

Combine all ingredients except soup base in 3 qt saucepan. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Stir in soup base. Cover; reduce heat to medium low and simmer 20-25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. (Watch carefully.) Stir in cheese blend. Serve immediately.

Note: Do not cook over too high a heat. The rice needs to simmer slowly in order to produce a creamy texture.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coconut Lime Rice

2 cups Basmati or Jasmine rice
2 cups good-quality coconut milk
1 3/4 cups water
2 Tbsp. dry shredded unsweetened coconut (baking type)

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBS fresh lime juice

In large saucepan, bring coconut milk & water to a simmer, stir in shredded coconut. Simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium. When hot, add rice, stir to coat, & smooth to form even layer for cooking. Stir often until rice begins to turn from clear to solid white on the ends. Be careful not to scorch or burn it!

Return liquid to heat; quickly stir in rice, salt and lime juice. Gently simmer, covered & undisturbed, until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork & serve.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

3 TBS olive oil
3 lbs boneless Country Style spare ribs, cut in half, fat removed

1 large onion, quartered & sliced thin
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 TBS coarse sea salt

4 c. warm water
1/2 c. bottled Chipotle sauce

Heat oil in large Dutch oven/cast iron pot; add pork pieces & cook, turning often, until all sides are seared. Add onions, garlic & salt and cook until onions just begin to look transparent.

Combine water & Chipotle sauce; pour over pork mixture. Cover & simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours. Add more liquid if necessary to keep meat evenly covered.

Turn off heat; remove pork pieces one at a time. Shred (you should be able to just pull the meat apart) & place in large mixing bowl. Pour 1/2 c. of the cooking broth over the shredded meat.

Serve with warm tortillas.

For Carnitas sandwiches, place meat on crusty rolls & top with slices of Pepper Jack cheese.

Guacamole Azteca

3 ripe avocados*

1/3 red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced**
1 serrano chile, stem and seeds removed, minced
1 TBS fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1 lime, halved

Cut avocados in half, remove seed. Gently scoop avocado from the peel into a large non-metal mixing bowl. Partially mash using solid potato masher or the back of a large spoon.

Gently stir in onion, garlic, serrano & cilantro and mash until desired consistency is reached. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the guacamole & blend well.

Divide into 2 small serving bowls & cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent browning. Refrigerate until ready.

*Avocados are ripe when they give slightly when gently pressed.
**Always use kitchen gloves when working with serranos. In a pinch, use a sandwich bag over you hand to protect yourself, they can be hot!!!

Fiesta Flan

1 cup white sugar

4 large eggs, separated
1 (14 ounce) can non-fat sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

4 c. boiling water for baking pan

fresh raspberries for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350.

Place sugar in 1 qt. heavy saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar becomes a light golden brown syrup. Spoon immediately into 6 individual 1 c. ramekins, swirling so that the syrup coats the bottom. Set aside to cool.

Place the egg yolks into a large non-metal bowl and whisk until thick. Add all remaining ingredients (except water & raspberries) and continue to whisk until well combined.

Pour egg mixture into ramekins. (I first pour the mixture into a gravy separator to make pouring easier.) Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel; place ramekins on towel. Set roasting pan on oven rack and fill with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake custards until almost set in center when molds are gently shaken, about 20 minutes. Remove custards from water bath to wire racks; cool 30 minutes. Chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours.

Arrange individual serving plates; gently flip ramekins upside down & unmold flans. Garnish with raspberries.

Blood Orange Sangria

1 lime
1 lemon
1 orange

1 bottle dry red table wine (ie. Cote Sud by Domaine Lafage)

1/2 c. Stirrings Blood Orange Mixer*

1 bottle Freixenet Cava (or other Brut champagne), well chilled

Wash fruits well, slice into 1/8 inch rounds, discarding ends. Reserve some of the slices for garnish & place remaining slices in glass pitcher. Pour wine & Stirrings Mixer over fruit; stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Cut reserved fruit slices in half; place a piece of each in large wine glasses. Add 3 oz of Sangria mix. Pour in 3 oz of Cava/champagne; swirl gently to combine.

*Stirrings Mixers can be found at World Market & Fresh Market. You can substitute Orange Juice if you don't have the mixer.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tuscan Spring Green Beans

1 lb fresh green string beans

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS olive oil

sea salt

Wash & string green beans; pat dry. Cut off stem ends & slice on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces. Place in small microwavable casserole with 2 TBS water; cover & microwave on high for 4 minutes (or until just beginning to cook). Drain well.

In large heavy saucepan, heat olive oil on medium high; add garlic & saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add green beans & saute until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle generously with coarsely ground sea salt.

Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Garlic Lemon Shrimp Capellini

2 - 4 oz packages of frozen, cooked salad shrimp, rinsed & drained

2 TBS olive oil

4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 piece of fresh ginger root, peeled & finely minced

2 c. Bok Choy (or substitute fresh spinach), chopped

3/4 c. organic chicken broth, warm (or water with soup base)
1/4 c. Sauvignon Blanc or Albarino
1 TBS cornstarch
juice of 1 lemon
fresh ground pink peppercorns

1 - 8 oz. package whole wheat or whole grain blend Capellini (Angel Hair) pasta

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large sauce pan. Add pasta & cook 5-7 minutes until al dente. Drain well & set aside.

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in large skillet on medium high. Saute green onions, garlic & ginger until onion just begins to soften. Add shrimp & saute 3 minutes more.

Add Bok Choy & stir fry until crisp tender.

Combine chicken broth & wine, blend in cornstarch. Mix until smooth. Add lemon juice, stir to combine. Pour over shrimp & vegetable mixture, stirring gently, but thoroughly, until sauce thickens. Stir in fresh ground pepper to taste.

Immediately pour sauce mixture over pasta & blend thoroughly.

Serve warm.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lamb Kefta (Moroccan Meatballs)

1 lb. lean ground beef lamb
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
dash crushed red pepper
fresh ground pepper
1 egg

8oz carton of plain, low-fat yogurt
2 tsp snipped fresh mint
~Mix all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, and leave for several hours to allow the flavors to blend.

lemon wedges

Mix all Kefta ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and leave for an hour or longer to allow the flavors to blend.

Preheat oven to 375.

Shape mixture into 2 inch meatballs & place on shallow baking pan or cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes until done.

Serve immediately with Yogurt Sauce & fresh lemon wedges.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ginger Crinkles

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla

2/3 c. molasses

4 c. unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

3/4 c. granulated sugar for rolling (spread in glass pie plate)

Preheat oven to 350.

In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon & cloves; blend well; set aside.

Cream butter in large mixing bowl at medium speed. Add sugar slowly, cream until light. Add eggs & vanilla; cream until light & fluffy.

Pour in molasses, beat until well incorporated.

Add dry ingredients in three batches, blending well each time.

Form dough into 1 inch balls; roll in sugar & place on ungreased baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light golden. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes; remove to rack to cool completely.

Store tightly covered. The cookies freeze well too.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moroccan Chicken Lentil Stew

A new twist on a centuries old traditional dish.

2 TBS olive oil
1.25 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 medium onions, quartered & thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. thinly sliced baby carrots

4 c. warm chicken broth
3/4 c. brown lentils
1 can fava beans, rinsed & drained (Great Northern or Cannelini may be substituted)

1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 bay leaf
generous pinch of saffron threads

1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground red peppercorns
1/2 tsp tumeric

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil for 2 minutes. Add chicken & cook until no longer pink. Add onion, garlic & carrots, saute until onion is translucent.

Pour in warm chicken broth; bring to a simmer. Stir in lentils, beans, ginger, cinnamon, bay leaf & saffron. Cover & simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in additional 1/4 tsp of ginger, pepper & tumeric; simmer an additional 5 minutes.

To serve, place a piece of flatbread (or substitute a whole wheat tortilla) in shallow bowl, ladle stew over.