Friday, April 30, 2010

Beef stroganoff with mushrooms

Comfort food in 15 minutes

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 pound of top sirloin or tenderloin, cut thin
1/3 cup onions
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 dashes nutmeg
1/2 cup of sour cream

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the beef, browning on each side. When both sides are browned, remove the beef and set aside.

In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onions. Cook for a minute or two, allowing them to soak up any meat drippings. Remove onions, placing aside with meat.

Increase heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Sprinkle in nutmeg.

Reduce heat to low and add the sour cream to the mushrooms. If sauce is too thick, add a few Tbsps water. Stir in the beef and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over egg noodles, fettucine, or rice.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

5- minute banana pudding

I know. It looks awful - and so yellow. But it was so good and exactly what I was craving.

1 package instant vanilla pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
8-12 Vanilla Wafers OR Petit beurre cookies
heavy cream (opt)

Whisk together pudding and milk as directed.

Place a layer of cookies in the bottom of a serving dish. Pour 1/3 pudding over them and spread with a spoon. Add a layer of banana slices. Then cookies, pudding, bananas... Repeat until bananas and pudding run out.

You can serve immediately with a drizzle of cream, but the pudding is really, really good after sitting a couple hours so the cookies soften.

Southern heaven. With bananas.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet and sour pork

I love sweet & sour dishes: chicken, fish, pork... Yes, please! This dish takes about 30 minutes to make.

2-3 boneless pork chops, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 green pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 large onion, sliced into 8-12 wedges
1 can pineapple chunks or rings, with juice
1 Tbsp oil

Sweet and sour sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice from can
1/4 cup ketchup

First, make the make sweet and sour sauce. In a large frying pan, mix vinegar, sugar, salt, orange juice, pineapple juice and ketchup. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until it has evaporated to the consistency of maple syrup. Add pineapple chunks to the sauce and set aside.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cut pork into bite-sized pieces. Cook in frying pan until no pink remains. Add green and red peppers, carrot and onions for three minutes. Add to sweet and sour sauce and heat.

Serve the pork over hot white rice, with sweet and sour sauce pour over the top.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Whole apple crisp

Serves 2 perfectly.

1 large apple (Canada Gris is good)
2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup oats, uncooked
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Cut each apple in half along its equator. Using a knife or melon baller, cut out each side of the core, creating a hole.

For the topping: in a small bowl mix together flour, butter, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Press this mixture on the top of each apple. Place in a baking dish filled with about a 1/4-inch of water. Bake in preheated oven at 350° until top is browned and apple is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spinach & pecan quiche

Look familiar? Well, the idea at least.

1 pie crust (pâte feuilletée)
5-6 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled OR fromage en faiselle OR full fat cottage cheese
handful of whole pecans, toasted
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper

Roll the crust out larger than you pie pan and place it in carefully.

Beat the eggs, then stir in milk, cheese, spinach, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour into the pie pan. Gently fold the pie crust dough in over the eggs mixture. Place pecans on top.

Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 30-20 minutes or until firm and golden.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oatmeal cookies with cranberries and orange zest

These won't win any points for looks, but oh wow are they good!

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter; softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp orange zest

Cream butter and sugars, beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Mix dry ingredients together, and add gradually, incorporating to the mixture on low. Stir in oats, cranberries and zest. Shape dough into 2 inch balls, place on greased baking sheets and flatten slightly.

Bake in preheated oven at 325° until lightly browned, about 12-15 min. Remove and cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mushroom & sausage quiche

This variation on a traditional quiche is different in that the crust is folded over before baking. It changes the texture, but also make it more firm and easier to transport...on a spring picnic, for example!

1 pie crust (pâte feuilletée)
5-6 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen mushrooms, thawed
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled OR fromage en faiselle OR full fat cottage cheese
2 chipolatas (or other sausage) sliced thinly
salt and pepper

Roll the crust out larger than you pie pan and place it in carefully. Sprinkle the mushrooms and sausage evenly on the bottom of the crust.

Beat the eggs, then stir in milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into the pie pan over the sausage and mushrooms. Gently fold the pie crust dough in over the eggs mixture.

Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 30-20 minutes or until firm and golden.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Brunswick stew

This recipe is from Brunswick, Georgia. It's like a barbecue stew with pork, chicken and/or beef - whatever you've got leftover from other meals works great. So delicious.

1 tsp butter
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 cups chicken broth (or water + bouillon)
1 lg potato, diced
1 cup cooked chicken (grilled is best)
1 cup cooked pork, shredded (smoked is best)
1 lg can crushed tomatoes
1 small can corn, drained
1 cup peas
1 cup lima or white beans
1 cup sweet tomato-based barbecue sauce
hot sauce

Get a BIG pot.

Over medium-low heat, melt the butter and sauté the onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, chicken, and pork. Increase heat until it reaches a rolling boil, stirring every few minutes.

When the potatoes are soft, add the tomatoes and the liquid. Then add the barbecue sauce, corn, peas, and beans. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Add hot sauce to taste and serve hot.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Chipolata sausage gravy

Finally, after five years in France, I have figured out a good way for making sausage gravy... as in sausage gravy on biscuits, sausage gravy on eggs, sausage gravy on anything that will stand still.

2 chipolata sausages
pat of butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
pepper (lots of it!)

Cook sausage in a heavy skillet. Remove sausage and set aside. Once cooled enough to handle, cut into small pieces.

You want about 2 Tbsp of sausage grease/butter in the pan, so either spoon off a little grease or add a little butter to get the right amount. Over medium heat, stir flour into the grease. Stir constantly until browned. Stirring constantly, pour in 1 cup of regular milk. Once thickened, add 1 more cup. Keep stirring until desired thickness is reached. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Ginger and lemon tea

I loved the spiciness of this hot tea.

2 cups water
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root
lemon slice
honey to taste

Peel the ginger root and chop it into small pieces. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once it is boiling, add the ginger. Reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea.

Add honey and lemon to taste.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Lemon pie

Tart lemon pie made with traditional lemon curd in a freshly-baked crust

1 batch lemon curd
1 prepared flaky pastry crust
2-3 cup dried beans

First, you need to 'blind bake' the crust, which means baking it before pouring in the filling. That way the bottom stays crispy and delicious.

Roll the crust out and place it in the pie pan. Place a piece of waxed paper over it, then gently pour in the dried beans. Bake in preheated oven at 375° for about 15 minutes until the edges are just barely brown - no more.

Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Remove the beans, then fill your pie!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Lemon curd

Just four ingredients to make this deliciously tart lemon curd. Goes great on scones and as a pie filling.

3 eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

In a double boiler, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream) and reaches 160°F. Should be about 10 minutes - don't rush it.

Remove from heat. Whisk butter into the mixture until melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately and refrigerate for up to a week.