Thursday, December 20, 2007

Super easy roasted dinner for company

This is a great, delcious dinner that is so simple to make. You can put it together the night before and just move it from fridge to oven. Stir a few times and voila!

6 chicken legs
4 large potatoes (or 3 potatoes and a few turnips), cut in large cubes
6 carrots, sliced into thick rounds
6 onions, peeled and quatered
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Italian dressing (bottle or made from mix)
lemon (opt)
rosemary (opt)

Place veggies in a large baking dish. Pour Italian dressing over them - the amount is up to you. You want enough to moisten them well, but no need to drown them.

Place chicken on top of veggies and brush generously with dressing. Squeeze lemon over it all.

(If preparing for the next day, cover and refrigerate now.)

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees. Stir every 20 minutes or so. Add more dressing if veggies begin to dry out. Bake until veggies are soft with crisp edges and chicken is 180 degrees at thickest point. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary just before serving.

Chewy oatmeal raisin cookies

3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg, water and vanilla and beat well.

In a separate bowl mix together oats, flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Stir dry ingredients into wet. Mix in drained raisins.

Drop on a cookie sheet by small spoonfulls. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Serve with milk for dunking.

Spinach and bacon tarte

1 recipe Kari's favorite pizza dough

Spread out the dough to make a thin crust. Let rest while preparing toppings.

Mix together:
1 cup steamed spinach, drained and chopped
1/3 cup fromage en faiselle, creme fraiche, ricotta or sour cream
1/2 cup goat cheese
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

Top with:
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
8-10 slices bacon, crumbled
sun-dried tomatoes (opt)

Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crust is browned.

Italian dressing from scratch

1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon salt

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

To prepare dressing, whisk together 1/8 cup white vinegar, 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons of the dry mix.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bulgur and wild rice pilaf

1 cup wild rice
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 cup bulgur
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup diced celery
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 dried apricots, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
3 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp chicken bouillon
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Add garlic, mushrooms and celery, cooking until fragrant. Set onions and garlic aside.

Heat another Tbsp of oil. Stir in the rices and bulgur. When rice grains become clear, pull off heat.

In a large saucepan, combine rices and bulgur with onions, mushrooms, celery, garlic and chopped apricots. Add water to cover, plus an additional 3/4 inch. Sprinkle in bouillon and herbs. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook, covered, until all liquid has been absorbed. Check for doneness once absorbed. If still a bit hard, add another 1/2cup water. Cook another 10 minutes, then check again.

Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Heavenly MFBC yeast rolls

These are one of my fondest memories from church as a kid. I'm serious! Marietta First Baptist Church had the best homemade dinner rolls for Wednesday Night Suppers. And my mom scored the recipe.

In Bowl 1 dissolve 3 T sugar in 1.5 cup very warm water. Add 1 1/4 T yeast and stir gently to dissolve.

In Bowl 2 mix:
5.5 cups flour (can sub 2 cups wheat flour + 3 cups flour)
1 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 c dry milk
2 T sugar

Back to Bowl 1. Add 4 eggs and 1/2 c melted butter (I told you these were good!) and beat well.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. If the dough barely sticks, that's good. Knead the dough on a floured surface 8 minutes. Coat bowl in oil and place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat lightly with oil. Let rise in a warm place 30 minutes. To test readiness, poke with your finger. If the indention stays, you're good to go. Roll onto a floured surface 1 inch thick. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or a juice glass. Place on a cookie sheet and paint each roll with milk (or more melted butter). Let rise 30-45 minutes until doubled in size. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sauerkraut and sausage stuffed bread

Soft yeast bread braided around sauerkraut, slice sausage and spicy Dijon mustard

Step 1:

Make 1/2 batch Morning sunrise bread or other white bread dough. Let rise once, then punch down. Let dough rest ten minutes.

Roll dough out on lightly floured surface into a long rectangle. Cut strips one inch wide along both sides, leaving about 5 inches in the center. Spread Dijon mustard down the center. Place a layer of sliced smoked sausage on mustard, then top with 2-3cups sauerkraut.

Gently pull the dough strips in, each one overlapping the last to make a 'braid'. If the dough isn't sticking well, brush it with water to help hold in place.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until browned. Slice, and serve!

Sauerkraut and sausage calzone

This is a variation on the stuffed bread recipe above. It makes a great lunch - easy to pack, easy to eat. Just make it up the day before and refrigerate once cooled.

Follow the recipe above, but rather than rolling the dough into a large rectangle, roll it into two smaller ovals. Fill with sausage, sauerkraut and mustard. Pull the sides in to make a roll. If needed, brush edges with water to help them stick. Pinch the edges together to seal, then place the roll on a baking sheet with the seam side down.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until browned.

25-minute broccoli cheese soup

3-4 large potatoes, washed and cubed
2 cups broccoli florets, cooked until bright green
1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp butter
1/4 cup light cream
2 tsp chicken bouillon
nutmeg (opt)

1 cup shredded Gouda or cheddar cheese

Place cubed potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until fragrant and soft, stirring often.

Once potatoes are cooked, drain off the water - but keep it! Add 1 tsp chicken bouillon, garlic and onions, cream and a pinch of pepper and nutmeg. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture. Add the potato water as needed to thin the soup to the consistency you like.

Taste, and add another tsp of bouillon if desired.

Stir in the cheese and ladle it up!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Pizza fritta.

I'll try it and keep you posted.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cinnamon raisin rolls

1/3 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
1 1/2 tsp yeast
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/4 cups flour

4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins (soaked in hot water 15 minutes, drained)

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm milk. Add yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

Add butter, eggs, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Stir until well until it evenly mixed. Turn dough our onto a floureds surface. Slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky about 5 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the oil from the bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and let sit 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make the filling. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drain raisins. Melt butter. Keep each of these separate. Roll dough out into a 12" x 20" rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly. Top with raisins.

Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 12 slices. Place dough slices, flat side down, in a greased 9x13 pan, preferably glass. Crowd them so they touch - this way they'll rise up nice and tall! Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning...

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven pre-heats to 375°.

Bake rolls until just golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and immediately take them out of the baking dish (you don't want them to overcook). Let the rolls cool slightly and serve warm, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Curried chicken pizza

I could have called it "cleaning out the fridge pizza" but the PR major in me thought better of it. I tried to recreate a pizza I'd had from a local delivery place - really great, exciting taste! The thing I love about curry is that it's one part exciting spice and one part smoky comfort taste.

1 recipe favorite pizza crust, pre-baked
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into strips
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 Granny Smith apple, chopped
3/4 cup creme fraiche (sour cream)
1 tsp curry powder
pinch cinnamon
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp olive oil

Heat olice oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Cook onion until soft, then add chicken and garlic. Stir often until not pink remains. Sprinkle on curry and cinammon. Turn of the heat and stir in apple, tomato and creme fraiche.

Spread chicken mixture over pre-baked crust. Top with a little shredded mozzarella - you don't need a lot since there's no strong tomato marinara to match.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until cheese has melted.

This recipe is for Hanalee.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cornmeal pan-fried fish

We buy inexpensive frozen fish and doctor it up at home.

4 white fish fillets, thawed
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper OR dill
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat.

Pour milk into a bowl. In wide-bottomed bowl, mix dry ingredients. Dip the fish in the milk, then roll in the cornmeal mix until well-covered.

Cook the fillets in the frying pan 6 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Flip halfway to ensure even cooking. Fish should flake easily with a fork when it's done.

Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce. (Also really good for making fish tacos!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Apple cinnamon roll

This yeast dough may look familiar - it's the same one I use for making doughnut! It's a great, versatile sweet dough. This apple cinnamon roll is a cross between cinnamon rolls and apple bread. They're easier to make than cinnamon rolls, and stay moist thanks to the apples - no need for icing!

1/8 cup hot water
1/6 cup melted butter
3/4 milk, warm
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp yeast
2 1/2 - 4 cups flour
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 1/2 cups raisins, soaked in hot water then drained
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix together water, butter, milk and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir once. Wait about ten minutes until the top is foamy.

Add egg and salt, beating well. Stir in 2 cups flour and mix well. Wait ten minutes.

Knead in flour one half cup at a time until smooth and elastic. Don't add in more flour than needed - you want these to be nice and fluffy!

Put the dough back in the bowl (oiled) and cover gently with plastic wrap. Let rise an hour or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down. Roll it out on parchment paper into a rectangle about 1/2 thick.

Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on evenly, going out to the edges of the dough. Next, add the apples and raisins.

Gently roll the dough up from one of the shorter sides. Lift up on the parchment paper to help the rolling process. It should roll up nicely, without sagging or losing its filling. Once you reach the other end, gently pinch together to seal the seam and the ends.

Cut slits in the dough every 2 inches. Bake at 350 degrees until browned. Cover with aluminum foil then cook another 20 minutes to be sure the inside is fully cooked. Once cooked, slice thickly and serve!

Spicy sausage pizza

1 batch favorite pizza crust
2-3 cups marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cups Country sausage

Gently stretch and roll the dough out onto a pizza stone or baking sheet. Top with marinara, then cheese. Sprinkle sausage evenly on top, then a few pinches of rosemary.

Let the pizza sit while the oven preheats to 425 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Late night doughnuts

1/8 cup hot water
1/6 cup melted butter
3/4 milk, warm
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp yeast
2 1/2 - 4 cups flour

In a large bowl, mix together water, butter, milk and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir once. Wait about ten minutes until the top is foamy.

Add egg and salt, beating well. Stir in 2 cups flour and mix well. Wait ten minutes.

Knead in flour one half cup at a time until smooth and elastic. Don't add in more flour than needed - you want these to be nice and fluffy!

Put the dough back in the bowl (oiled) and cover gently with plastic wrap. Let rise an hour or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down.

Using a knife, cut the dough into small pieces about the size of a golfball. Roll into a ball, pinching the ends to form a little belly button. Dip the balls in milk, then place them on baking sheet about one inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled.

Heat oil to med-high heat. Carefully put one doughnut in the oil. If it browns immediately, your oil is too hot. If it take a minute or two to brown, it's too low.

Cook until deep brown, flipping to cook evenly. Put the doughnuts on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Best made after 10 pm as a late night snack

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Grilled chili cheese sandwich

2 slices of wheat bread
Sliced Gouda or Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup black bean chili, heated

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place butter side down in a frying pan heated to med-high. Put cheese slices on one piece of bread and carefully spread the chili on the other slice.

Lift a corner of the bread with spatule to check on browning. Once done to your liking, put the chili covered slice onto a plate. Then top it with the cheese covered bread.

Peanut butter & apple oatmeal

I love peanut butter on apples for a snack, and I also like peanut butter oatmeal cookies. So I got to thinking...and it worked!

1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 Granny Smith apple, chopped
Maple syrup

While the oatmeal is still very hot, spoon in the milk and peanut butter and stir until melted. Add chopped apple (ooh! raisins could be good too) and maple syrup to taste. All done!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Groceries in Lyon

I've compiled a list of where to a few grocery items that I've "discovered" since moving to Lyon. Please let me know if you have any additions (either items or stores) or if you

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sesame foccacia bread

1 teaspoon honey
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/4 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

To prepare sponge, dissolve honey and yeast in warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add flour and 2 tablespoons oil to yeast mixture, stirring until well combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasame seeds
To prepare dough, stir 1 cup flour, whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and sesame seeds into yeast mixture. Beat with a mixer at medium speed 6 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic (dough will be sticky). Cover and let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt

Scrape dough onto parchment paper. Gently press dough into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Brush dough with oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. Cover and let rest 30 minutes. Preheat oven and baking stone to 400 degrees. Once oven is hot, bake foccacia for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Spiced butternut squash stew

I admit the photo doesn't do much for me either - but this stew is amaaaazing. Such an exciting blend of tastes (sweet, spicy, savory and tangy) that it's really not like anything else I've ever had.

1 lb pork roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp beef bouillon
dash ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
1-2 carrots, sliced into rounds
2 cups cooked white beans or chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup lemon juice (crucial - do not skip this!)

Sprinkle pepper on the meat. In a large skillet (with tight-fitting lid), heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add the meat and cook over mediumheat, stirring, until all the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook stirring, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add tomato paste, 1 Tbsp of paprika and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the mixture begins to carmelize. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.

Add the squash, beans, tomato, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and enough water to just cover the ingredients. Cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

Using a ladle, pull off as much liquid as you can into a deep container. Add about 1 cup of cooked squash pieces and lemon juice. Puree using a stick blender (or electric mixer). Pour back into stew - and you're ready to serve!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Veggie pasta with goat cheese

2 cups tomato sauce
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic (or more!), chopped
1 zuchinni
2 yellow squash
1/2 cup cooked carrot puree
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp sugar
5-10 fresh basil leaves, cut thinly
salt to taste
2 tsp olive oil
Goat cheese
Hot pasta

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic, zuchinni and squash. Cook over medium heat until squash is tender.

Add tomato sauce and paste, carrot puree, seasonings and sugar. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Serve over hot pasta, topped wityh crumbled goat cheese.

Everything nice spice cookies

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beating well. In a separate bowl, combine flours and reamining ingrediants, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Beat at low speed until well blended.

Shape the dough into 30 balls. Place on baking sheets and flatten cookies with bottom of a glass.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Drizzle with sauce caramel for extra yumminess.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pucker-up lemon meringue pie

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
4 lemons, juiced and zested
2 Tbsp butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 Tbsp sugar

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter.

Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.

In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add 6 Tbsp sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Let cool completely, then chill well for a few hours before serving.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Boeuf Daube Provencal

There is quite a drama behind this recipe.

My Cooking Light magazine arrived and had a recipe for Boaef Daube Provencal, a dish I'd never heard of but looked yummy and do-able. I decided I'd compare their recipe with Julia Child's from her famous Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was apples and oranges, I tell you.

The Cooking Light version was a stew (which they described as, "classic French braised beef, red wine, and vegetable stew is simple and delicious. It stands above all of our other beef recipes because it offers the homey comfort and convenience of pot roast yet is versatile and sophisticated enough for entertaining. Garnish with chopped fresh thyme"), but Madame Child's was a casserole, kind of like a layered meat dish.

Both looked good, but it was obvious that Cooking Light just needed a fancy name for their beef stew. So I combined the best of both, in my humble opinion. The result was what I'd call a rich stew that we ate over garlic mashed potatoes.

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 lb bacon or poitrine fumee, cut into thick slices
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine (I used a Cote du Rhone)
4 cups chopped carrot (I like a lot!)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
Dash ground cloves
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf

Heat olive oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Increase heat to medium-high. Cook bacon until browned. Remove and set aside.

Add beef to pan. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, bacon, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and remaining ingredients to pan. Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and pour into earthenware baking dish.Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf and serve over garlic mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Coffee banana bread

I love banana bread. I love coffee. I hate not living near a Starbucks to enjoy all their yummy fall specialties. Here's my solution: coffee banana bread with lots of warm spices! (Recipe dedicated to Kate.)

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp milk (or light cream)
1/4 cup espresso or very strong coffee
2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed well

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until flour disappears - but not longer. Pour into non-stick loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Take out of oven and remove loaf from pan. Cool completely. Store in airtight container or Ziploc. Freezes well!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Chicken a la king

1/2 recipe Brilliant chicken, thawed
1 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream
Southern girl's cornbread

Mix together Brilliant chicken, milk and cream. Heat slowly, allowing sauce to thicken.

Serve over hot cornbread.

Savory chicken pot pie

1/2 recipe Brilliant chicken, thawed
1 prepared pastry crust, unbaked
2 large potatoes, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup light cream

Boil the potatoes until just soft. Drain well and stir into warmed Brilliant chicken. Add milk and cream, heating slowly and never allowing it to boil. Stir often, letting it thicken slowly.

Roll out the pastry crust and place ina small cast iron skillet or round cake pan. Pour Brilliant chicken mixture into pastry crust. Pull the pastry edges toward to center.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until browned.
PS - Why call it 'savory' pot pie? So as not to confuse it with my recipe for Curried chicken pot pie.

Brilliant chicken

The other night I was making chicken a la king and had an epiphany. The basic recipe, up to a certain point, is the same thing I do when I make chicken pot pie. Hmmm... Why not save time by making a double batch of the basic recipe and freezing half for later in the week? Brilliant!

This makes enough for a 4-serving chicken pot pie and 4 servings of a la king, which I recommend serving over Southern Girl's cornbread.

3-4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups chicken broth (4 tsp chicken bouillon + 2 cups warm water)
2 tsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
2 pinches ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp flour
3 cups frozen sliced mushrooms, thawed
2 cups peas

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Heat to med-high and add onions, celery and carrots. Cook until carrots are brightly colored and just starting to soften. Stir frequently. If the veggies begin to stick to the pan, add a few spoonfuls of chicken bouillon. Sprinkle flour over top. Stir until evenly blended.

Stir in chicken, seasonings, mushrooms, peas and remaining broth.

The Brilliant chicken is finished! You can divide it and freeze half in Ziploc bag for later. Now the big question: Do you want to make chicken pot pie or chicken a la king?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chicken and spinach calzones

1 batch Definitely the Best Pizza Crust
2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced thinly
1 1/3 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup goat cheese mixed with 1/2 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Marinara sauce for dipping (at least 1/2 cup per person)

Prepare dough and let rise once. Punch down and divide into four balls. Cover gently with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes to an hour.

Roll dough out to about 9-10 inches in diameter. Spread goat cheese mixture in the shape of a D on one half of a dough round. Leave 1/2 inch of plain dough along the edge. Scoop 1/3 cup spinach onto the cheese. Cover with chicken slices. Top with shredded mozzarella.

Dip your finger in water and run it along the edge of plain dough. Fold the dough over the half with toppings, lining the edges up well. Press edges together gently with your finger. Sprinkle the edge with flour, then seal by pressing closed with a fork. Make the seal about 1/2 inch. Make 2-3 slices in the top of the dough with a sharp knife - be careful not to pull the dough.

Place the calzone on a baking sheet or baking stone sprinkled with cornmeal.

Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve hot with marinara sauce.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mushroom pilaf

I started off with something quite different in mind, but I really like how this turned out!

1 cup mixed wild rice
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup bulgur
1 cup black mushrooms (I rehydrate dried ones), chopped
2 cups broth
1-3 cups water according to cooking directions for your rice
1 Tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add rice ance cook until translucent, browned and starts to smell yummy. Add mushrooms and broth. Add as much water as needed according to your rice instructions. Cover and reduce heat. Cook as directed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Beef tagine coucous

This recipe originally called for lamb and the addition of turmeric, which I didn't have. It did not call for carrots or prunes, but we had both and thought, "why not?". In the end, we prefered the prunes over the apricots. I tweaked a few amounts of ingredients to our taste, but overall this is a basic beef tagine. Serves two, ready in two hours.

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 lb beef, cubed

Spice mix:
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder

Sauce ingredients:
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
small handful dried apricots, chopped
small handful raisins
4-5 prunes, pitted
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp beef bouillon
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup water
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt to taste

Mix together the spices and coat the meat.

Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the onions well, then add the meat. Stir often until nicely browned. Add all remaining sauce ingredients. Stir well, bringing to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer 1-2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Serve over coucous.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

San Diego fish tacos

I am all over this.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mom's granola

Mom used to make this in Africa when we were little. I adapted it a bit based on my pantry stock, but the same overall recipe.

In a large bowl, mix:
2 cups whole wheat flour
6 cups oatmeal
1 cup dried coconut
1 cup wheat germ (I subbed ½ cup cornmeal + ½ cup wheat bran)
½ cup powdered milk (opt)
2-3 cups peanuts

In another bowl mix:
½ cup water
1 cup oil
1 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp maple flavoring (opt)

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix thoroughly. Spread on 2 non-stick cookie sheets or cookies sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 250 degrees for one hour or until dry and golden. Cool completely, then store in airtight container. Eat plain, as cereal, over yogurt or in trail mix.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Southern fried green tomatoes

3-4 firm, green tomatoes
½ cup milk
½ cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup cornmeal
olive oil

Slice the tomatoes into half inch rounds and salt.

Heat 1-2 Tbsps olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet.

Set up four bowls: one for milk, one for flour, one for egg and one for cornmeal. Dip each round in this order, allowing each addition to coat it well.

Cook the rounds until golden brown, flipping occasionally. Add more olive oil if needed.

Serve plain, with goat cheese (or feta) or on a salad.