Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Time    2 Hours    makes about 2-1/2 dozen 2-inch biscuits
These biscuits get a kick from cayenne pepper and an aromatic lift from fresh herbs. Mashing the sweet potatoes with a fork means that the biscuits will be flecked throughout with orange.    

1                   pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2-1/2           cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3                   tablespoons light brown sugar 
1                   tablespoon baking powder 
1                  teaspoon salt 
1/4              teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1                 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
 1/3            cup whole milk 
1                 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon heavy cream
 30             small sturdy herb sprigs, such as sage, thyme and rosemary

 1 .  Preheat the oven to 400°. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Set the potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Using a spoon, scoop the potato flesh from the skins into a bowl and mash with a fork; you should have 1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Refrigerate until chilled.

2   .  In a large bowl, mix the 2 1/2 cups of flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender. In a small bowl, mix the sweet potatoes with the milk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until all of the flour is incorporated; the dough will be quite sticky. Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes.

3 .    Preheat the oven to 425°. On a well-floured work surface, pat out the dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. Using a floured 2-inch round or fluted cutter, stamp out as many biscuits as you can and transfer them to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll the scraps and stamp out more biscuits. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash and press a small herb sprig into each one. Bake the biscuits for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Once cooled, the biscuits can be frozen in a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 weeks. Bake frozen biscuits in a 350° oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Chicken in Vinegar Sauce

Salad  and rolls , dinner in less than an hour ... enjoy

Sauce :
4           tablespoons unsalted butter
 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
4           garlic cloves, unpeeled 
1            3-3/4 pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces
 Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
1/2        cup rice vinegar
 2           medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
 2          tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 .  In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the olive oil. Add the garlic. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over, about 8 minutes. Add the vinegar and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm.

2 .  Boil the sauce over moderately high heat until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

3 .  Peel the garlic cloves and mash them into the sauce. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meatloaf Muffins

1           teaspoon olive oil 
1           cup finely chopped onion 
1/2       cup finely chopped carrot 
1          teaspoon dried oregano 
2          garlic cloves, minced
 1         cup ketchup, divided 
1-1/2    pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
 1        cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
 2        tablespoons prepared mustard 
1         teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1/4      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2         large eggs 
Cooking spray

 1 .  Preheat oven to 350°.

2 .  Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

 3 .   Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

 4 .  Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled PeppersTotal Time

Total time  50 Minutes             Makes   4 Servings 
In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. 

4         ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch 
dice 1 (medium) onion, finely chopped 
1            inner celery rib, finely chopped 
2          cloves garlic, minced
 1          pickled jalapeño, finely chopped
 1/4      cup Peppadew peppers, chopped, plus more for garnish 
30         ounces (two cans) red kidney beans 
1           cup low-sodium chicken broth 
Salt Freshly ground pepper 
Steamed white rice, for serving

1 .  In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic, pickled jalapeño and 1/4 cup of Peppadews and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the beans with their liquid and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, 8 minutes. Season the beans with salt and pepper.

 2 .  Ladle the beans into bowls and top with a mound of rice. Garnish with more Peppadews and serve right away.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Pork Chili

Prep : 10 minutes    Cook:  2-1/2 hours    makes 10 servings

1               boneless whole pork loin roast (3 to 4 pounds) cut into 1-inch cubes 
1               medium onion , chopped 
1               garlic clove  , minced
2               tablespoons vegetable oil
2               cans (15-1/2 ounces each) chili beans , un-drained 
2               cans (10 ounces each) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies , un-drained 
1               cup water 
1               teaspoon beef bouillon granules
Chili powder , pepper and cayenne pepper to taste 
Sour cream , tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese , optional 

1 .     In a Dutch oven  or large soup kettle  , cook the pork  , onion and garlic in oil  over medium heat  until meat is no longer pink  and vegetables is tender .

2 .      Add the beans , tomatoes  , water  , bouillon  and seasonings  ; bring to a boil . Reduce heat ; cover and simmer for 2 hours  or  until meat is tender . Serve with sour cream , tortilla  chips and cheese  if desired .

In addition to eating this chili the traditional way (with a spoon) , my family likes to scoop bites onto tortilla chips . The leftovers are great rolled  in tortillas and reheated  , too .

Friday, November 3, 2017

Filet Mignon in Puff Pastry

 Prep : 20 minutes    Bake: 20 minutes   Makes 2 servings

2               beef tenderloins steaks (6 ounces each)
1/2            teaspoon coarsely ground pepper 
2                teaspoons butter , softened 
1               sheet frozen puff pastry , thawed 
1               garlic clove , minced 
2               slices  Muenster cheese 
1               egg , slightly beaten 
2               tablespoons prepared horseradish 
1/4            teaspoon Dijon mustard 

1 .       Place the steaks on an ungreased baking sheet . Sprinkle with pepper ; top with butter  . Bake at 425* for 10 minutes  . Cool slightly ; refrigerate  until chilled .
2 .        Meanwhile , on a slightly  floured surface , roll puff pastry  into a 14-inch x 9-1/2-inch rectangle  . Cut out 2  7-inch squares  , reserving scrapes .
3 .       Rub steaks with garlic  and top with cheese  ; place the steaks cheese side down in the center  of each pastry square  . Lightly brush  pastry edges  with egg . Place opposite  corners  of pastry over steaks  ; pinch seams  to seal  tightly . Place seam side down  on an ungreased baking sheet  . Cut small slits  in top  of pastry  , brush with egg .
4 .         Using lightly  floured cookie cutter  , cut out shapes  from reserved pastry . Arrange over the wrapped steaks  ; brush shapes with egg.
5 .         Bake at 425* m for 20 to 25 minutes  or until pastry is golden brown  and meat reaches  desired doneness . (medium-rare , a meat thermometer should read  145* ; medium , 160* ; well done 170*)
6 .        In a small bowl  , combine sauce ingredients  . Serve with steaks .
Want a nice , quiet , romantic  dinner at home  . This is what to serve  . It's gorgeous  , very easy  and so much nicer than eating out .

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hot and Sour Soup

Prep :  20 minutes    Cook:  25 minutes   Makes 6 servings

3/4              pound pork tenderloin , cut into 1-1/2 x 1/4-inch strips 
1                 tablespoon olive oil
1/2              pound sliced fresh mushrooms 
6                 cups chicken broth 
2                 tablespoons chili garlic sauce 
3/4              teaspoon pepper
1                 package (14 ounces) extra-firm tofu , drained and cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1                 can (8ounces) bamboo shoots , drained 
1                 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts , drained 
1/2             cup white vinegar 
1/3             cup cornstarch 
5                 tablespoons water 
2                 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4              cup finely chopped green onions 

1 .        In a Dutch oven , brown pork in oil  until no longer pink ; remove  meat  and keep warm . Add mushrooms  ; saute  until tender . Set aside and keep warm .

2 .        Add the broth , soy sauce  , chili garlic  sauce and pepper in the pan .Bring to a boil . Reduce heat ; cover and simmer  for 10 minutes . Return the meat and mushrooms  to the pan  . Stir in tofu , bamboo shoots , water chestnuts  and vinegar . Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes .

3 .         In a small bowl , combine  cornstarch  and water  until smooth ; gradually  stir into soup . Bring to a boil  ; cook  and stir for 2 minutes  or until thickened . Remove from heat  ; gently stir in sesame oil . Garnish with onions .

Regular or hot chili sauce  can be used , according to your taste .