Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Toaster Oven Roast Potatoes

Toaster Oven Roast Potatoes
Developed April 3, 2013. Good companion to pork and beef.
5 to 6 small russet or red skin potatoes
3 to 4 T olive oil
2 t coarse salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t granulated garlic
Put the potatoes in a small sauce pan, cover with an inch of cold water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a gentle boil. Slowly boil for 10 to 12 minutes, until the point of a sharp knife barely enters. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a kitchen towel to dry and cool. Preheat a toaster oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes lengthwise and, if russets, peel off the skins. Arrange in baking pan with the cut sides down. Drizzle on half the oil, season well with salt, pepper, and garlic. Turn each piece with tongs until well coated. Turn flat side down and roast for 15 minutes. Turn each piece, and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until nicely browned and tender on all sides. Serves 2 to 3.

Zesty Italian-Style Salad Dressing

Developed June, 2007. Similar to a popular bottled dressing, but homemade.
3 oz vegetable oil
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 oz water
1/4 t minced garlic
1/4 t dry Italian herbs
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
1/2 t salt
1/4 t paprika
1 t dried minced onion
1/8 t dry mustard powder
1/8 t red pepper flakes
Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a 8 oz bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to combine and let stand 5 minutes. Add the oil, and shake vigorously to combine before using. Store cold. Yields about 8 servings.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Easy French Toast

Recorded December 23, 2013. First prepared by Laura. No muss, no fuss, and delicious.
4 slices white bread (Arnold’s Country White™ is good)
2 eggs
about 1/2 c half and half (or use heavy cream for a very rich product)
1 t sugar (optional)
2 t brandy (optional)
1/8 t ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
1/2 t vanilla
pinch salt
1 T butter
Beat the eggs well in a shallow bowl, and stir in the cream, sugar, vanilla, and seasonings until dissolved. Heat a non-stick 12-inch skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the butter. When the sizzling stops, lower heat to medium. Dip each slice of bread into the egg batter on both sides until saturated, drain, and add to the hot butter. Repeat for the remaining slices. Fry each slice about 3 minutes until lightly browned, turn over, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Top with a sprinkling of sugar, fruit preserves, or maple syrup. Serves two.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fruit Smoothie

Prepared many times over the years. A Family Favorite. Makes a nourishing and tasty quick breakfast or a wholesome in-between-meals snack.
2 c low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 large very ripe banana cut into large pieces
1/3 lb (150 g) each fresh or fresh-frozen ripe pineapple, cantaloupe, and berries (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, or blackberries)
fruit juice to adjust thickness (apple cider or orange juice)
sugar to taste
Add the yogurt to the jar of a blender. Partly defrost each of the fruits by rinsing briefly under cold running water in a colander. Drain each fruit well and add with the banana pieces to the blender jar. Mix by hand with a spatula with the power off. Cover, blend with pulses at successively faster speeds, using the spatula to ensure thorough mixing. Finish by blending on top speed for 1 minute. The volume will increase as air is incorporated. Blend in fruit juice to adjust thickness for pouring. Taste for sweetness, blending in sugar in small amounts, aiming for a balance between sweet and tart.

Crispy Twice-Baked Pancakes Glazed in Maple Walnut Sauce

Developed December, 2013. This breakfast or brunch dish uses leftover pancakes filled with a nut butter between the cakes. This boosts the flavor and balances the carbohydrates with healthy fat and quality protein. Nut eaters live longer.
2 or 3 pancakes
1 T softened butter or low-fat margarine, divided
2 T nut butter (peanut, sunflower seeds, almond, tahini), divided
2 T maple syrup, divided
1 T ground roasted walnuts
Heat a non-stick griddle or large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add half the butter. When the foaming stops, add the pancakes. Spread the remainder of the butter on the top of the cakes. When the first side is hot and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip the cakes and crisp the second side. Remove to a plate. Add half the maple syrup and nuts to the hot griddle and return the cakes. Turn to coat. Place a cake on the plate, spread 1 tablespoon of nut butter, add another cake, and then the rest of the nut butter. Pour the remaining syrup over. Garnish with ground walnuts. Serves one.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ingredient: Quick Mushroom Stock

Developed May, 2013. Porcini powder is sold on the internet or may be prepared from dry porcini mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder. The commercial product costs less and is more uniform than the homemade version.
1 c water
1 T porcini powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/8 t garlic powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t sugar
Mix the ingredients together in a 1 pt microwavable container. Heat on high for a minute. Stir well. Return to microwave and bring to a boil, taking care not to boil over over. Stir. Let stand, covered for 15 minutes to mature. Keeps well. Yields about a cup.

Deviled Eggs

Developed April, 2008. Just another deviled egg recipe but when served at parties they go fast. A Family Favorite.
8 hard boiled eggs
approximately 1/3 c mayonnaise
1/4 t yellow mustard
1/8 t onion powder
1 t dill relish
1-1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/8 t hot pepper sauce
paprika, for garnish
To prepare the eggs, place them in a medium sauce pan, cover with cold water, and add a teaspoon of salt to prevent cracking of the shells. Heat over medium high until a slow boil, cover, and turn off heat. Let stand 18 minutes, drain, cool in cold tap water, carefully shell and chill the eggs. When cold, split the eggs lengthwise with a sharp knife. Remove yolks to a small bowl, and arrange the egg white halves on a platter. Crumble the yolks with a fork until fine, mix in the mayonnaise, and then add the other ingredients. Using two spoons, fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture, garnish with paprika, cover and chill. Yields 15 halves (the cook gets one 'for testing').

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chopped Liver

Prepared December 18, 2013. Reconstructed from memory of mother Dorothy’s dish, prepared for special holidays meals if meat was being eaten.
1 lb (450 g) chicken livers (or calves liver, cut into pieces)
1 large yellow onion, divided
3 T butter or rendered chicken fat (schmaltz), divided
2 to 3 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
2 T brandy (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the livers by removing any bad spots, rinsing in five changes of cold tap water, and draining thoroughly. In a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 2 T butter or chicken fat until foaming stops. Coarsely chop the onion, reserving 2 T as raw and saute until lightly colored and soft, about 8 minutes, and set aside in a bowl. Heat the remaining fat in the skillet over medium heat, and add the livers in a single layer. Salt the livers as they cook. Cook about 3 minutes and turn them to cook another 2 to 3 minutes until they are thoroughly cooked but not hard and overcooked. Add the brandy and flambé it. Gently mix the livers with the onions and set aside to cool. On a chopping board with a large knife or in a wooden bowl, chop the liver-onion mixture in three batches and place in a serving bowl. Don’t be tempted to use a food processor. Mix in most of the chopped egg, finely mince the raw onion, and add it. Taste for salt and pepper. Garnish with the reserved egg, cover with plastic foil, and chill before serving. Present with an assortment of crackers and breads for guests to make their own canapés. Variation: Stuff celery ribs with chopped liver as an appetizer with crunch.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Steamed Chinese Meat Cake

Recorded from memory December 11, 2013. Not often encountered in Chinese restaurants in the US, steaming is widely used by home cooks in China. DrDaddy first prepared this dish in Seattle in 1968, following a simple cookbook, now lost. Reminder: save and dry the skin from your next tangerine.
1 lb minced pork shoulder
small can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
1 T dry tangerine skin, soaked, pith removed, and finely chopped
1/4 c chopped pickled vegetable (cabbage, mustard, salt turnip, or the like)
1 t garlic, minced
2 T corn starch
2 T soy sauce
1 t dark sesame oil
Cut meat into large cubes and freeze 30 minutes. With a heavy cleaver on a cutting board or with a food processor chop the meat until it is coarsely but completely minced. Put meat in a shallow bowl, and mix in the other ingredients, and press into a compact cake that fills the bottom of the bowl. Cut down with a knife to form six wedge-shaped slices to make it easier to serve. Place the bowl in a steamer for 20 to 30 minutes until done. Use a pot with a steamer insert or a bamboo steamer in a wok. Cut into serving pieces and top each serving with pan juice. Serves six as part of a Chinese meal.

Batter Fried Smelt

Batter-Fried Smelt on Newsprint
Prepared December 10, 2013. DrDaddy fondly recalls frying up an abundance of smelt that crowded Michigan rivers in the spring spawn. No limit on the catch. This fileting, breading, and frying method yields a product similar to tempura-fried fish.
1/2 lb fresh dressed smelt (about six)
3/4 c all-purpose flour (a low-protein flour such as White Lily® is preferred)
1 egg
1/4 c milk
2 T kosher salt, divided
vegetable oil for frying
Carefully clean each fish under cold running water, and soak in a brine of 1 T kosher salt in a quart of cold water for 15 minutes. To debone the fish, beginning from the tail end, work your thumbs on both sides under the spine, working forward to free it from the fish. Heat a 1/4 inch (6 mm) of oil in a heavy 10-inch (25 cm) skillet over medium high to 380 degrees F (195 C). Beat the egg in a small bowl and stir in the milk. Put the flour and 1 T salt in a 1 gallon (4 liter) plastic bag, and dredge three fish in the flour, then in the egg wash, back into the flour, and then into hot oil, skin side down. Fry about two minutes until lightly browned and turn to cook the other side, also about 2 minutes. Remove to newsprint, brown paper, or paper towels to drain. Salt lightly at once. Repeat for the second batch adding oil as needed and preheating as before. Serves two. Add quick home fries and turnip greens to make a complete meal.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cranberry, Apricot & Raisin Chutney

Developed by Laura for Thanksgiving, 2013. Perfect condiment for rich meats. 
2 12-oz packages of fresh cranberries, washed and sorted
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 c dried apricots, finely chopped
1 c golden raisins
I c orange juice
1 c water
1 c dark brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 t salt
1/2 to 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 to 1 t chili powder
2 T grated orange zest
Saute onion and shallot in olive oil in a sauce pan until translucent. Stir in orange juice, water, the sugars, and salt. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries, apricots and raisins to the pan and bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly as mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in orange zest, and spices to taste. Chill before serving. Keeps well covered in the refrigerator.

Toaster Oven Waffle Fries

Prepared December 5, 2013. Adding the extra oil and semolina half way through roasting gives extra crispness. 
2 c frozen waffle fries (Ore-Ida™ is good)
2 T vegetable oil
1 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 t smoked paprika
1 t onion powder
2 T coarse semolina flour
Preheat a toaster oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Spread the frozen potatoes evenly in the pan and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle on oil, and toss lightly with tongs. Sprinkle on the seasonings and toss gently to coat. Toss with semolina, adding extra oil as needed, and roast for 10 to 15 minutes more, until well browned and crispy. Serves 2 to 3.