31 August, 2011

Jalapeño-Mushroom Feta Sauce

Skip this recipe if you don't like jalapeno peppers. The sauce is excellent with ravioli or tortellini, and over an omelet.

Jalapeño-Mushroom Feta Sauce ingredients
Makes about 5 cups
2 cups 2-Day Nina Tomato Sauce
2 cups (liquid measure) dried mushroom blend (I used Manitou Trading Co Gourmet Blend consisting of Morels, Porcini, Brazilian Caps, Ivory Portabella, Shiitake Oyster from Costco.)
3 cups boiling water
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
About 4-oz Jalapeño Monterey Jack, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 tsp ready-to-use minced garlic
2 whole fire-roasted red peppers, broken into chunks
1 (7-oz) can diced jalapeño peppers, undrained, plus
1 to 2 Tbsp of La Victoria Hot Sliced Nacho Jalapeños, drained and brine reserved
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp crushed dried basil leaves
1 tsp of crushed, dried rosemary
1 Tbsp brine from jar of Hot Sliced Nacho Jalapeños, to taste
3 sun-dried tomatoes
4-oz cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 cup Feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup Chardonnay

Notes:  I used Franciscan Oakville Estate (Napa Valley) "characterized by the flavors of apple, pear, and honey."

Broccoli-Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Broccoli-Roasted Red Pepper Sauce ingredients
Makes about 4 cups
2 cups 2-Day Nina Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4-oz cream cheese, softened and cubed
1/2 tsp ready-to-use minced garlic
1 whole fire-roasted red pepper, broken into chunks
1 (1-lb) bag frozen organic broccoli, slightly defrosted and separated into small florets (3 to 3.5 cups)

Total Time: 3 to 3.5 hours 
Combine all ingredients in crock-pot. Stir and cook on Low for 1.5 to 2 hours. Stir and adjust seasonings.

Use immersible blender to break up large vegetable pieces. Cover and cook on Low for an additional 1.5 to 2 hours.

Use immersible blender to purée sauce until smooth. Serve warm as sauce with pasta or cold as dip.

26 August, 2011

Orange Olive Oil Cake with Orange-Cranberry Compote | Woman's Day

You can bake the Orange Olive Oil Cake and store it at room temperature up to 3 days in advance. You can also refrigerate it as the cake is delicious chilled, or freeze it up to 1 month. Make the Orange-Cranberry Compote up to 8 hours before serving.

Orange Olive Oil Cake
with Orange-Cranberry Compote ingredients
Makes 16 servings
For cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp each baking powder, baking soda and salt
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp grated orange zest
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil (not extra-virgin)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup orange-flavor or regular sweetened dried cranberries, finely chopped

For compote:
8 navel oranges
2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar

For garnish:
Confectioners’ sugar
Mint leaves

Fay's Green Bean Casserole: Reconstructed

My family thinks this is the best green bean casserole! We're trying to reconstruct the original family recipe, and will post quantities as we prepare it in the future. The "secret ingredient" is Beau Monde Seasoning and is essential to the flavor of this dish.


Note "Blue Lake" in small print above "Cut Green Beans."

Fay's Green Bean Casserole ingredients
(Reconstructed draft)
For the casserole
2 (28-oz) cans Del Monte Blue Lake Cut green beans, undrained (if you're making lots, 101-oz here and here)
Beau Monde Seasoning
Granulated garlic

For the sauce
About 2 Tbsp butter
About 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Ground white pepper (Fay used black pepper, but I prefer using white in the roux)
About 8-ozs (1/2-lb.) Velveeta® Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
About 1/4 cup brine from the Blue Lake Cut green beans

1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers, crumbled / crushed (panko would be a reasonable substitute)

Notes:  Getting closer! For 2 (14.5-oz) cans of green beans, I made light roux consisting of 1 Tbsp unsalted butter and 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour. Then I cubed and melted (4-oz) Velveeta and stirred into the roux with 1/2 tsp granulated garlic (which proved to be too much--Fay did just sprinkle over the beans before adding sauce). I added 2 Tbsp / 1/8 cup of reserved bean liquid. (I usually doubled Fay's recipe.) ~03/11/2013

Get ready
Preheat oven to 350ºF (assumed).

Lightly butter 13- x  9-inch casserole dish and set aside.

Drain green beans, reserving liquid. Measure {1/4 to 1/3 cup??} of the liquid and set aside.

Place green beans in the prepared casserole. Generously apply Beau Monde Seasoning over the beans. Thean, sprinkle with granulated garlic. Set dish aside.

Prepare sauce
Make a white roux of butter, flour and pepper. For roux basics, visit LouisianaCookin'.com here. They have PDF file here..

Slightly warm the reserved liquid from the beans. To the roux, gradually add 1/4 cup (still set remainder aside) of warm liquid from the beans, whisking constantly. When the liquid is incorporated, gently simmer while stirring constantly.

When the pasty taste of raw flour has disappeared and the sauce has thickened:

  • Fay would have already melted the Velveeta® in the top of a double-boiler and would now combine with the sauce; her method still works.

  • These days, however, I skip the double-boiler. Instead, I gradually add cubed Velveeta® to the warm sauce, stirring constantly. Tasting as I go, I may add a little more of the reserved liquid, cubed Velveeta®, or both. 

Taste, and if desired, add more warm liquid from the green beans and/or cubed Velveeta®, just a little at a time and stirring constantly.

When the cheese sauce is velvety smooth, pour over the green beans in the prepared casserole.

Bake and serve
Garnish the perimeter of the casserole with the Ritz crackers.

Bake in preheated oven for {45 to 60 minutes??}. Serve warm.

For interesting information about the Blue Lake variety, read Oertel, Esther. "The Veggie Girl: Good gracious! Green beans." Lake County News 20 Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Aug. 2011.

Green Bean Casserole, Fay's

Page Last Updated 29 April 2015

25 August, 2011

Grandmother's Orange Pecans | The Memphis Cook Book

Grandmother's Orange Pecans ingredients
Juice of 1 large orange
Rind of 1 large orange
1 cup sugar
1-QT pecan halves


Let orange juice, grated rind, and sugar come to a good quick boil. Add pecans a few at a time. Stir thoroughly.

Cook until all syrup is absorbed, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and continue stirring until each pecan is coated. Turn onto wax paper to harden.

This recipe is from the The Junior League of Memphis, Inc, The Memphis Cook Book 14th Edition Junior League of Memphis, (Memphis: S. C. Toof & Co., 1952), 200.

Horseradish and Apple Salsa

My salsa recipes are growing from a 'few' to a 'collection.' This recipe caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, I didn't expect to see "salsa" on Lidia's web site. Second, McIntosh apples are my mother's favorite for cooking (read my favorite apple pie and apple sauce). Toss in horseradish and you'll get my family's attention. 

I believe McIntosh are harvested in September, so now is a perfect time to try this recipe. Lidia suggests serving this Horseradish and Apple Salsa with boiled beef, poached chicken and all kinds of roasts.

Image via Wikipedia
Horseradish and Apple Salsa ingredients
Makes about 3 cups
3-LBS good sauce apples (McIntosh or Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 Tbsps lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp kosher salt
5-oz chunk fresh horseradish root, or more if you love it
1/2 cup heavy cream

Notes: You will need a heavy 3- or 4-quart saucepan, with a cover and a potato masher.

24 August, 2011

Tipsy Trifle with Peaches and Cream | The Shiksa Blog

I saw this gorgeous dessert on Zabar's while I looking for infused olive oils to make Marinated Mushrooms. Many summers ago, my mother went to the orchard to pick peaches. As an annual ritual, she and my sister stocked their pantries with home-canned peaches and brandied peach jam (unfortunately, we don't have those recipes). Nevertheless, this sounds like a great dessert.

Image credit

The recipe calls for Superfine Sugar which you can learn about here.

Tipsy Trifle with
Peaches and Cream ingredients
Makes 10 to 12 servings
For cake:
One Angel food cake from the bakery, cut into 1-inch cubes

For trifle:
8 cups fresh ripe yellow peaches, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup rum, divided
1/4 cup peach nectar, divided
11 Tbsp sugar (caster or superfine sugar preferred / divided use)
1 pt heavy whipping cream, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
3 cups prepared vanilla pudding, soft set (about 1.5 pkgs)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Mascapone cheese

For garnish:
Fresh mint sprigs
6-8 peach slices

19 August, 2011

Strawberry Salad | Just Cook Already

Here's another addition to our Spinach Salad set; this recipe is from just cook already (former food blog). Perfect for summer, it's a quick dinner, and is colorful, too.

Strawberry Salad ingredients
Servings not stated
2 pkgs spinach
Crumbled cooked bacon
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 cup fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and vertically sliced
1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup toasted almonds

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 to 1 tsp dry mustard
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup strawberry jam

Strawberry Salad Directions
Toss spinach with other salad ingredients.

Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad.


Page Last Modified 19 June 2015

Meat Sauce (Crock-Pot) Test

This sauce slowly cooks for two days. Next batch, we'll reduce cooking times, measure better and make other adjustments.

Meat Sauce (Crock-Pot Test)
Makes about 1 gallon (plus the 1-QT reserved for another recipe)
Day 1:
2 tsp McCormick Chicken Base
2 cups boiling water
2 Vidalia onions
Lemon pepper
Minced garlic
About 1/4 bottle Cabernet (best guess 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 (106-oz) can whole San Marzano Italian Plum Peeled Tomatoes with Purée and Basil (divided use)
2 frozen whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1.5-LBS frozen sweet Italian sausages
Granulated California garlic
Italian Seasoning

Day 2:
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Granulated garlic
Dried rosemary leaves (crushed)
Dried Italian Seasoning
3 to 5 links of reserved Italian Sausage
1 (28-oz) can Contadina Roma Style Crushed Tomatoes 
Tomato can 3/4-full (21-oz) water, and top-off (7-oz) Chardonnay