Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oven-baked pork chops with rice

Best rice ever. So richly flavored and goes so well with the pork chops, which were really tender. Big fan.

2 pork chops, bone in
1 cup rice (I used some broken rice and wild rice that I had on hand)
1 tsp beef bouillon
1 handful frozen or fresh sliced mushrooms
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 1/2 cups water

In a covered casserole dish, mix together the rice, bouillon, mushrooms, rosemary and water. Place pork chops on top. Cover and bake for about 1 hour at 350° (or until liquid is absorbed by rice). Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Roasted green beans, carrots and garlic

My new favorite for green beans - fast, flavorful and delicious.

3 big handfuls of fresh green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
5-6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp olive oil

lemon juice

Combine all vegetable in a large bowl and toss to coat in olive oil. Spread vegetables out on a baking sheet (parchment paper makes for easier clean up).

Roast in preheated oven at 450° OR, if you're feeling brave and attentive, you can broil them. Keep an eye on them though. (A little burned tips is good - charcoal is not.) Remove from oven when green beans and carrots are brightly colored and sizzling. Serve hot with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spicy, salty, sweet roasted peanuts

3 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts

1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Mix coating ingredients together in a bowl. Stir in peanuts until well-coated.

Spread the peanuts evenly on the baking sheet and bake in preheated oven at 350° for 25-30 minutes, stirring three times during baking, until the nuts are deep-golden brown and glazed.

Cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Applesauce breakfast bread

If you're wanting a hearty, filling bread that's just a bit sweet to start your morning - this is it.

1 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1 cup oatmeal
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup oil
1 1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt or 1/3 cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, yogurt/buttermilk and applesauce and mix well.

In a second bowl, mix the flour, wheat bran, oatmeal, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder,baking soda and salt.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just mixed (flour 'disappears').

Pour batter into non-stick loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pear crisp with fresh ginger

This was my first time using fresh ginger and I am hooked. It is delicious - and pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of the pears. Definitely going to make this again soon.

6 ripe pears, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp butter, cut into bits

In a large bowl, toss together the filling ingredients. Pour into a buttered baking dish.

In a second bowl, mix together topping ingredients. Using your fingertips, mash the butter pieces into the mixture until it is an even texture. Pour over top of pear mixture.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 350° for 25 minutes or until pears are soft, not mushy.

Serve warm or cool with whipped cream or heavy cream.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kari's thai soup

This spicy soup is served with a dollop of rich garlicky paprika spread and fresh mint and cilantro. I don't claim it to be authentically Thai, but definitely pulls its flavors from Thai cuisine.

4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked rice, rinsed (I used broken rice)
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup frozen mushrooms
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp flour

Last minute
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
fresh mint
fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground paprika

Bring broth, rice and carrots to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Add chicken, mushrooms, sugar and ginger.

Whisk together the yogurt, coconut milk, egg yolk, and flour in a medium bowl. Slowly add a ladle of the heated soup liquid, whisking after each small addition to incorporate. Once 1/4 of the liquid has been added. Slowly pour the yogurt mixture into the soup saucepan. Cover and reduce heat to very low.

Melt the butter on medium heat in a small skillet. Stir in the garlic and paprika. Cook for a couple minutes, until fragrant, then remove from heat.

Remove soup from heat and stir in lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve soup with a small amount of paprika spread swirled on the surface. Sprinkle with chopped mint and cilantro.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Yeast dinner rolls

3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup very warm water
½ cup very warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 Tbsp yeast
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
pinch baking powder

In a large bowl, combine water, milk, butter and sugar. Add yeast and stir until it 'sinks'. Wait about ten minutes until the yeast foams, covering the mixture. Using a whisk, dissolve the foam and beat in the eggs.

In a second bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add half to the bowl of wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir in with a wooden spoon. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

Coat larger bowl in oil and place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat lightly with oil. Let rise in a warm place one hour or until doubled. To test readiness, poke with your finger. If the indention stays, you're good to go.

Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each one into a ball, pinching the ends to form a little belly button. Dip the dough balls in milk, then place them n a baking dish about one inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled.

Let rise 30-45 minutes until doubled in size. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oven-baked barbecue pork chops

These were unbelievable, if I do say so myself. So tender - just falling off the bone.

4 pork chops, bone-in
1 small onion, cut into wedges
3/4 cup Mom's barbecue sauce (or other)

Place the pork chops and onions in a large baking dish. Pour barbecue over top, using a brush to spread evenly - but don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover, flip pork chops and bake another 15 minutes. Serve hot with sauce poured over top.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Green beans in mushroom sauce

I make these as a side dish in winter. Goes great with roasts, baked chicken, ham...

2 cups frozen green beans
1/2 cups frozen mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp beef bouillon
freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp rosemary

Melt butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir in flour, then half the milk. Stir until smooth, then add remaining milk. Once smooth, add bouillon and rosemary. Add in frozen mushrooms and green beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are bright green, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Exploded potatoes

Mmm... these are so good. I think most people call them 'twice-baked potatoes' but my brother calls them 'exploded potatoes' and I like it.

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed clean
2-4 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp butter
1 clove garlic, crushed

Rub potatoes lightly oil and pierce with a fork two or three times. Bake in 400° oven for 1 hour or until tender. When cool enough to handle, split potatoes lengthwise and scoop out potato into electric mixer bowl. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. Add egg and beat until smooth. Fill potato shells. Bake at 375° until puffed and lightly browned.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Winter buckwheat pancakes

I set out looking for a recipe for breakfast, but kept finding vegan, gluten-free or crêpe recipes. But what I wanted was a warm, filling winter pancake using buckwheat flour. And, as an added twist, I wanted to eat them with sliced bananas and a thin spread of all-natural peanut butter. So I had to play around to come up with this recipe.

1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 egg, beaten
2 tsp melted butter
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just mixed and flour 'disappears'. Don't worry if it's a little lumpy.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot with maple syrup, peanut butter and sliced bananas.