Young, Broke and Hungry
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Young, Broke and Hungry
Feasting for good fortune in the New Year
Depending on where you live or what nationality you are, there are foods thought to bring good fortune if eaten January 1st.
In my family it was pork and sauerkraut. It would be cooking on the stove all day long on New Year’s Eve, and atmidnightwe all had to have at least one bite as we welcomed in the New Year. Then it was served for dinner New Year’s Day.
When we moved south we learned it was traditional to eat black-eyed peas in a dish called hoppin’ john which combines peas and collard greens.
Both dishes are great, but I wanted some alternatives which would provide the pork, sauerkraut, peas and collards in a non-traditional way.
I think most of us are wishing, hoping for and could use a more prosperous New Year not only personally, but nationally. Maybe if we all eat some of what our traditional lucky foods are it will help. One can always hope.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
New Year Stew
2 bunches collard greens, washed, stemmed, and rough chopped
2 smoked ham hocks
1 pound cooked ham, diced to about 1/2″
7 Cups Water
3 cans (15 oz) blackeyed peas, rinsed
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth, low sodium
2 stalks celery, washed and sliced to 1/4″
1 med onion, diced
1/3 cup Sweet Marsala wine
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
Sauté onion and celery in a little butter until softened.
Put the water, onions, celery, garlic salt, Creole seasoning, pepper, collard greens and ham hocks in a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and bring just to a boil.
Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook one hour, stirring occasionally.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the blackeyed peas.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring back to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Uncover, increase the heat to medium, and add the blackeyed peas.
Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes to allow the broth to reduce and thicken.
Turn off the heat and let stand 10 minutes.
Really great served with cornbread!
Ham, Sauerkraut and Apple Rolls
Source: kayotic kitchen
1 1/2 Pounds potatoes
1 Pound sauerkraut
2 Sweet apples
8 Baked deli ham slices
2 Cups grated cheese
1 1/2 Cups milk
4 Tablespoon flour
2 oz. butter
Nutmeg or mace
Peel, wash and dice the potatoes. Cut bigger potatoes in four and smaller ones in half. Boil them in salted water until tender.
Peel and finely mince two smaller or 1 big sweet apple.
Drain the sauerkraut.
Heat a tiny drop of butter and sauté the apple for 3 minutes, until slightly soft.
Add the sauerkraut, sprinkle a generous amount of black pepper in there as well, combine everything, pop the lid on and simmer over really low heat. 5 minutes will do
Top each slice of ham with an ample amount of sauerkraut and roll up. Put aside.
Grate two cups of your favorite cheese, gruyere, swiss, sharp cheddar maybe for example.
As soon as your potatoes are done, drain them, return the pot to the hot burner to steam-dry them for a minute or two and transfer them to an ovenproof dish.
Heat 2 oz of butter. Sprinkle 4 tbsp all-purpose flour in there, stir and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Keep stirring.
Pour in 1 1/2 cup of milk, stir and bring to a boil. As soon as the milk heats up, the sauce will thicken. Usually this will give you the exact consistence you need, but if your sauce ends up too thick just add a little splash of milk. Simmer the sauce for 2 minutes.
Add the grated cheese, stir until it melts and season the sauce with salt, pepper and a touch of mace or nutmeg.
Spoon half the sauce over the potatoes
Place the ham, sauerkraut & apple rolls on top and spoon the other half of the sauce over the rolls.
Pop the casserole in a preheated oven and bake at 400F (200C) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese sauce turns golden brown.
Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
3 cups beef broth
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups sauerkraut undrained
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
sour cream to dollop on top
Brown the ground beef and pork and set aside draining the grease from the pan.
Heat the oil in the pan.
Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the rice and toast for a few minutes.
Add the broth and deglaze the pan.
Add the beef, tomatoes, sauerkraut, paprika, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 50 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
Serve garnished with sour cream and chopped fresh parsley.
iDRINK.com: Christmas & Holiday Recipes
If you are planning to host a Christmas party this year
you might be looking for some help to make it extra special or
at the very least more unique. A part of most Christmas
parties is various alcoholic drinks. Instead of just
providing (or having guests bring their own) the regular beer,
wine, rum, vodka and rye, why not create a theme around the
There are various cocktails and shooters that have Christmas
theme to their names or appearance. A quick visit to
shows more than 60 different recipe ideas with a Christmas
theme. One idea is to setup a table with the various
ingredients for the drinks with small recipe cards and
the appropriate glasses so everyone can be their own bartender.
Here is a sample of some recipes to try:
North Pole Cocktail
1.0 dollop Whipped Cream
1.0 each White Eggs
1.0 oz. Gin
0.5 oz. Lemon juice
0.5 oz. Maraschino
Shake all ingredients (except whipped cream) with ice and strain
into a cocktail glass. Top with whipped cream and serve.
1.0 oz Cognac
1.0 oz Cointreau
1.0 oz Lemon juice
1.5 oz Rum
Shake over ice and pour into cocktail glass. Garnish with
Steaming Hot Holiday Punch Recipe
3.0 cups Apple Juice
1.5 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
3 sticks Cinnamon
0.75 teaspoon ground Cloves
6.0 cups Cranberry juice
0.75 cup Maple syrup
0.75 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
3.0 cups Orange juice
2.0 teaspoons powdered Sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a very large heavy pan, except
the cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil and turn to simmer for
few minutes. You can put the ingredients in a crockpot after
it has boiled and keep warm over low heat.
iDRINK.com now has over 32000 alcoholic and non-alcoholic
recipes, making it the largest drink and cocktail recipe database
on the Web. iDRINK.com has some unique features that make it ideal
for preparing memorable parties. You can enter the ingredients you
have and find all the recipes you can make, the site can even tell
you what ingredient to get next to make the most new recipes.
There are best and worst recipes to checkout along with a slew of
theme recipes and drinking games. Searching by name of drink or
by ingredient is also easy and fun.
The site is useful for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink
recipes. In fact, there are currently hundreds of non-alcoholic
recipes in the database as well. We assure you, these non-alcoholic
drink recipes are far from boring, and will definitely spark some
interest at your next party.
So pull up a browser and take a tour of iDRINK.com
Follow us on Twitter too!
I would like to add my 2cents worth.I’ve ‘been baking nut roll for about 55yrs. My maternl grandmother was German background, before WWI Austria-Hnugary.
Calling all nut roll bakers
I hope there are some nut roll makers out there, I need some expert advice.
The hubs early-gifted me with a 5 pound bag of walnuts from Costco Friday so I could make nut rolls for him. What a thoughtful guy!
I made a deal with him that I’d add it to my already long baking list on Saturday provided he help, then I dug around for an old hand-me-down recipe from Patty — a great baker — and used annually by my mother-in-law until she announced at Thanksgiving her holiday baking days are over. No doubt one of the reasons why I ended up with the nuts.
The Kitchen-Aid with the grinder attachment made quick work grinding the nuts. I gave that job to hubs. I think they could be done in the food processor under careful supervision to make sure they don’t get ground too fine.
Before we set out to make the dough, while the filling cooled, the hubs gave his mom a call to see if she had any advice.
She said don’t knead the dough too much, it makes the dough tough. She advised we roll the dough out no larger than pie pan size. And she said don’t let the nut rolls rise too long before baking them, maybe a half hour.
Since the dough makes six nut rolls, to cut out some of the kneading work, I pulled out the bread machine and kept an eye on it so I could remove it as soon as it formed a nice smooth dough.
Then came the fun part with the hubs. He manned the filling, I did the rolling. Unbaked they looked wonderful. We did as instructed, but six rolls would not fit in the oven at the same time, so there were two that had to sit out longer.
Here’s the reason why I need some help from any and all of you nut roll makers out there. Each and every one of them burst open and the filling ran out. They were delicious, but far from pretty. When they cooled there were air pockets between the bread and filling. And mom-in-law said the bread would rise in the oven when it baked — it did not. There appear to be no layers between the nut filling, if you catch my drift.
So, I’m providing Patty’s recipe. And I hope some of you who have never made nut rolls before decide to give them a try, because whether or not it breaks open, they do taste yummy. And I also hope to get e-mails from you nut roll bakers out there to give me helpful hints or your recipes.
The hubs says we just have to keep on making them until we figure it out. He’s already asking when I want to give it another go since we gave most of the ones we made away.
I’m also providing another recipe I found posted online several years ago belonging to a Sophia Saliwonczyk touted as a nut-roll baker extraordinaire.
One big difference I see between the two recipes is Sophia makes six nut rolls with 2 pounds of ground walnuts, while Patty uses 3 pounds, which makes for more filling. Sophia makes six rolls with more flour and other ingredients than Patty’s. Even so, Patty’s nut rolls always were picture perfect. That’s what I want to produce.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post your comments, recipes, whatever I receive on my blog at http://dinnerandadeal.freedomblogging.com/ I look forward to hearing from many of you.
Patty’s Nut Rolls
Makes 6 rolls
Ingredients and instructions to make filling
3 pounds walnuts
3 Cups sugar
1 1/2 Cups milk
2 sticks butter
1/2 Cup honey
3 eggs, beaten
Grind the nuts. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and heat, stirring. Bring to a slight boil, being careful to continue to stir so the bottom does not burn. Let stand to completely cool before proceeding with dough.
Ingredients and instructions for dough
4 packages dry yeast
1 Cup lukewarm water
1 Cup Crisco
6 Tablespoons sugar
8 egg yolks
1 Cup sour cream
6 Cups all-purpose flour
Stir together yeast and water. In a mixer, mix the Crisco, egg yolks and sour cream together. In a large bowl combine salt, sugar, flour, add sour cream mixture and yeast mixture and begin to work together until you have a smooth dough.
Cut into six balls and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll each ball out to pie pan size on a lightly floured board. Spread with one-sixth of the filling, leaving a thin margin all around, then roll up and tuck in ends.
Place on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet – I strongly suggest parchment paper here.
Let stand in a warm place until almost double in size — not what mother-in-law suggested.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Before placing in preheated oven brush each roll lightly with an egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Sophia Saliwonczyk’s Nut Rolls
Makes 6 Nut Rolls
1 pound butter, softened
1 cup vegetable shortening
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 ounces compressed yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 (16-ounce) containers sour cream
8 large egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
8 large egg whites
1 tablespoon rum extract
4 cups brown sugar
2 pounds ground walnuts
Egg wash (2 eggs beaten with 2 teaspoons sugar)
In a large bowl, combine butter, vegetable shortening and flour as for pie dough.
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Transfer to a large bowl and add sour cream, egg yolks and salt. Mix until well combined.
Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and, using hands, blend until dough is smooth and soft and no longer sticks to hands or pan. Add as little extra flour as necessary. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Make the filling by beating the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Gradually add sugar and walnuts. If mixture is too thick to spread, add a little milk.
Divide dough into 6 portions. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness on pastry cloth. Spread 1/6 of filling over each portion of dough to cover evenly. Pick up edge of cloth nearest you and roll dough away from you. Pinch the ends. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place three rolls each on large parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cover nut rolls lightly and let rise for at least 30 minutes. Brush with egg wash. Bake 1 hour or until brown.
When rolls are thoroughly cooled, they may be wrapped in foil to freeze if desired.
FarmFlavor.com Releases Let’s Talk Turkey, a Digital Guide to Thanksgiving Turkey
E-book features turkey-related recipes, cooking tips, facts
Franklin, Tenn. — FarmFlavor.com announces the release of Let’s Talk Turkey, an electronic book dedicated to turkey and featuring recipes, tips and other turkey-related facts and information. Download the e-book at farmflavor.com/turkeymagazine.
The e-book features recipes for baked and roasted turkey, as well as recipes for dishes made with leftover turkey. Readers will also find preparation tips and techniques; the e-book even includes a comprehensive guide to frying turkey including instructions and safety information.
“Almost ninety percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving,” says Jessy Yancey, FarmFlavor.com content director. “The turkey really is the centerpiece of the holiday meal, so we decided to focus our efforts on providing readers the best information on preparing turkey, as well as an interview with one of America’s turkey farmers.”
Let’s Talk Turkey is stuffed with turkey trivia, such as the answer to why commercial turkeys’ feathers are white. The e-book also takes a look at the business side of Thanksgiving with a profile of Kauffman Turkey Farms, one of the last independent family-owned farms in the nation.
About FarmFlavor.com: FarmFlavor.com is a property of Journal Communications Inc. The website features profiles of farm families, farm facts and food trivia, cooking and gardening tips, videos and recipes from Journal publication sites tnhomeandfarm.com, ilfbpartners.com and my-indiana-home.com.
With Halloween past, the countdown to Thanksgiving and Christmas has begun.
With the time change, we have to come to terms with the fact that winter is soon to be upon us.
The old body is still trying to adjust to the temperature changes. I’m cuddling my favorite blankie every night after work and while I drink my first cup of joe in the morning. Getting out of bed when it feels like it is the middle of the night has been challenging.
This past Sunday morning as the hubs prepared breakfast, I settled in with a new King Arthur catalog, and I have to admit, one of everything would have been a dream come true. Only Williams Sonoma tops it. Various cooking magazines lately have recipes for baking donuts versus frying them. The new gadget seems to be the donut baking pan. King Arthur has a recipe for a cider donut calling for boiled cider, a concentrated flavoring, of course sold in its catalog. And in checking out comments written about the cider, it sounds like it has many uses and is pretty awesome. Convinced me — I placed an order for three.
As much as I like to bake and give, I also like the idea of giving key ingredients, a recipe and an appropriate and an unusual kitchen gadget to those who love to cook and try new things. One year it was a small manual nut grinder that is still one of my favorite gadgets. After ordering the cider I went in search of the best donut pans. Norpro seemed to get top billing by consumers and Amazon had the best price. So I ordered three of those.
And that folks means I’m on my way to putting together a couple of nice pre-Christmas presents for my niece and my nephew — who both have taken an interest in cooking and entertain during the holiday season.
If you have not been on the King Arthur web site, kingarthurflour.com, I suggest checking it out, or call 800-827-6836 and ask them to send you a catalog. Even if you don’t order anything, there are lots of great recipes to be had with a lot of pretty pictures. And if you bake and give during the holiday it is a great source for pretty packaging to present baked gifts.
There is no rhyme nor reason to this week’s recipes, other than the fact that they are quick and good. The crazy crust pizza recipe is from Pillsbury Company and first appeared on its flour bag in 1969. Kids love it, even though it is unconventional.
Have a great week. May we all adjust to the time change without being too grumpy.
Crazy Crust Pizza
Crust Batter Ingredients
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano or 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 Cup milk
In a small bowl combine flour, salt, seasonings, eggs and milk.
Mix until smooth.
Pour batter into a well greased 12-14 inch pizza pan to cover bottom. Crust will be thin.
1 pound ground Italian sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained
1/4 Cup finely onion, chopped
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, sliced, drained
1/4 Cup green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
2 -3 tsp. fresh garlic, minced (optional)
1 Cup mozzarella cheese, shredded or shredded cheese of choice
Sprinkle cooked sausage or ground beef all over the batter, then do the same with the garlic, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms if using.
Bake on a low rack in preheated 425 F oven for 25-30 minutes until deep golden brown (to give it a crispy crust).
Sauce (make extra if you prefer more sauce)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsps. oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsps. salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. garlic powder, to taste
1/8 tsp. dried red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
While baking mix together the sauce ingredients.
When pizza is ready, drizzle the sauce over the pizza as evenly as you can and sprinkle cheese over the top. Resist the temptation to add extra sauce and toppings
Bake another 10-15 minutes or until sauce is heated through and cheese has melted.
Cut into squares and serve.
2 pounds Kielbasa, cut in 2 inch diagonal strips (I used fresh ground kielbasa and made meatballs with the seasoned meat)
2 Tbsp. hot shortening
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 (No. 2) can chunk pineapple (I use fresh pineapple with 1 small can pineapple juice)
1/4 Cups brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 Cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 Cup wine vinegar
1 large green pepper, cut in strips
1/4 Cup thinly sliced onion
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Serve over hot rice
Brown kielbasa slowly in hot shortening. Add 1 cup water, bouillon cube, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; mix well. Cover and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Combine brown sugar and cornstarch; add reserved pineapple syrup (juice), vinegars, soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir over medium high heat until thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat. Add sauce to pork; mix well. Stir in pineapple, green pepper and onion. Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender- crisp. Serve over rice.
Makes 6 servings.
Adapted from Cooks.com
Sunday Pot Roast
1 Tbls. vegetable oil
3 1/2 to 4 pound beef chuck or pot roast
1/2 Cup chopped onions
1/4 Cup chopped green pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 Cup water
1 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
8 potatoes, peeled and halved
8 carrots peeled and quartered
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and brown beef well on all sides.
Remove roast and add onions, peppers and garlic to the pot and sauté until tender.
Add tomato sauce and water and stir to blend.
Return meat to the pot, add mushrooms and salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer 2 hours OR preheat oven to 300-325 degrees and cover and bake 2 hours. Add potatoes and continue to cook or bake until vegetables are tender.
Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups shredded Jarlsberg cheese
In large heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and cook several minutes, stirring. Remove from heat. Gradually blend in broth. Bring to boil, stirring. Add next 8 ingredients.
Cover, simmer 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Whisk the cream with the egg. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot soup to temper the egg. Whisk this mixture into the soup and cook; stirring, until thickened.
Blend in cheese and serve.
The all purpose pear
Pears not only taste good, but they are a healthy choice too.
Levulose, the sweetest of known natural sugars, is found to a greater extent in fresh pears than any other fruit. And did you know fresh pears have no cholesterol, sodium, or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy due largely to high amounts of fructose and glucose. Pears are a good source of natural fiber, potassium and vitamin C. And last but not least, a pear is a nutrient-dense food, providing more nutrients per calorie, than calories per nutrient, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are several varieties of pear, includingAnjou,Bartlett, Bose, Comice, Forelle, and Seckel. These fruits have a sweet, rich flavor and come in a variety of colors including green, golden yellow and red. Among these varieties there are only slight differences in flavor and texture.
Oh, and did I mention how versatile they are in both sweet and savory dishes.
Well, let’s not waste any more time talking about them and get to it, shall we.
Vanilla Pear Muffins
Yields 12 muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon (or orange) zest
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large ripe pear, diced
1 Tablespoon butter
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, zest, brown sugar, butter, oil, and applesauce until well combined. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined; do not overmix. Distribute the muffin batter evenly between 12-13 baking cups.
Sauté pears in skillet with butter to soften and lightly brown. Fold into muffin batter. Sprinkle granulated sugar onto the muffins, if desired.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffin tops are lightly browned and bounce back to the touch. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Adapted from Inspired Taste
Bon Appetit Pear Upside Down Cake -
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided, plus more
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal or polenta
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar, divided
2 medium pears (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup whole milk
Whipped cream or caramel gelato (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 8″-diameter round cake pan with 2″-high sides pan; line bottom with a parchment-paper round.
Whisk four, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil syrup without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns dark amber, 8–10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add 1 tablespoon butter (caramel will bubble vigorously) and whisk until smooth. Pour caramel into prepared cake pan and swirl to coat bottom.
Peel, halve, and core the pears. Place flat on a work surface and cut lengthwise into 1/8″-thick slices. Layer slices over caramel, flat side down, overlapping as needed.
Mix remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 8 tablespoon butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites on low speed in a medium bowl until frothy. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat until whites form soft peaks. Fold about 1/4 of the whites into cake batter. Add in remaining whites; gently fold just to blend. Pour batter over pears in pan; smooth top.
Bake cake, rotating pan halfway through, until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few small moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inside of pan to release cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Invert cake onto a plate; remove parchment paper. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or caramel gelato, if desire
Grilled Nutella and Pear Sandwich
Ingredients (makes 2)
4 slices of wholegrain bread
One pear, peeled and sliced
Spread Nutella onto 2 bread slices. Make a layer of sliced pear. Close with the remaining bread slices and bake in the sandwich toaster or oven until golden brown!
Pressed Ham, Gruyere, and Pear Sandwiches for Two
4 slices country bread
2 teaspoonsDijon mustard
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced or grated
2 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
1 cup baby arugula or young leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 pear, very thinly sliced (without skin)
Knob of butter
Splash of olive oil
Spread some Dijon mustard on the bread, then stacked half the cheese, ham, arugula, pear, remaining cheese and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Melt butter and oil together in a frying pan or cast iron skillet and press the sandwiches with something heavy until browned on both sides and cheese is melted.
From Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food
Apple & Pear Slaw with Caramel Cider Vinaigrette
Caramel cider vinaigrette ingredients
2 tablespoons jarred caramel sauce, at room temperature
2 tablespoons apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure all your ingredients are at room-temperature, this will ensure they combine well.
Screw the lid onto the jar tightly, and shake the jar vigorously for about 30 seconds to combine and emulsify the dressing. Be sure the caramel is incorporated into the dressing
Apple pear slaw ingredients
2 medium gala apples, cut into long matchsticks
2 medium Fuji apples, cut into long matchsticks
2 Bartlett pears, cut into long matchsticks
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Assembling the slaw
Combine the sliced apples, sliced apples, cranberries and golden raisins in a bowl.
Add about 1/4 cup of the caramel cider vinaigrette and the ground cinnamon and gently toss the slaw to coat it in the dressing.
Allow the slaw to sit covered in the fridge for about an hour before re-tossing and serving.
The slaw will keep, covered in the fridge for up to three days.
Chicken Tangine with Honey Pears
1 chicken, cut up or the equivalent 6 pieces
1 large onion (sliced)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground all spice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
20 dried apricots
3 ripe pears (peeled, cut into 4-6 wedges)
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp drawn butter
3/4 cup whole blanched toasted almonds
5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tbsp olive oil (vegetable oil)
Salt, fresh ground black pepper
Stir together all spices, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat well.
Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tablespoon oil in base of tajine, or in skillet, uncovered, over moderate heat until hot, place the chicken pieces and fry until they turn golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate and reserve.
Add the onions to the tajine and cook, stirring from time to time, until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes then add apricots and cook occasionally stir for 2-3 minutes more. Return the chicken to the tajine and add the stock, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 40-50 minutes.
In a saucepan, melt butter until bubbling. Add pears and honey, turning them gently until the honey is caramelized. Put aside.
Serve chicken with honeyed pears, sprinkled with almonds on top, and garnish with parsley.
Overnight Baked Pear Vanilla French Toast
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons water
3 fresh pears, sliced
4 cups French bread, cut into small pieces (recipe suggest cutting off crust)
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Powdered sugar or maple syrup
Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the water and continue heating until bubbly. Remove from heat and pour into a well-greased 9″x13″ baking pan, making sure to spread it evenly. Arrange the pears on top of the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle the bread evenly over the pears, then sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together and pour evenly over the entire mixture.* Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Suggestion** Press the bread down with the hands or a spatula after pouring the egg mixture on top to make sure the bread all gets soaked with the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until it becomes puffy and the eggs are no longer runny. Serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup.
Serves 6 to 8
Source: The Reluctant Entertainer
Thanksgiving is peak day for home cooking fires
NFPA urges caution when preparing holiday meals
November 9, 2011 –The number of home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day was three times the national average of fires per day in 2009, according the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.) NFPA is urging the public to keep fire safety in mind when preparing holiday meals.
Dan Doofus shows how to stay safe when cooking (Cooking Safety public service announcement).
“Thanksgiving can be a whirlwind of cooking and entertaining guests,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “With so much multitasking taking place, fire hazards around the oven or stovetop can easily be overlooked. Cooks should be conscious of fire safety this Thanksgiving whether the menu is meant to serve two or 20.”
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and related injuries. In 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 155,400 home fires per year involving cooking equipment. These fires caused an annual average of 390 civilian deaths, 4,800 civilian injuries, and $771 million in direct property damage.
To reduce the risk of cooking fires this holiday, NFPA recommends the following safety tips:
• Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.
• Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• When simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire…
• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path (to your way out of the home and someone has called the fire department).
• Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.
Italian Beef Rolls
Grace Diodati Vigneri lived 98 years.
When I read an obituary about her life, poignantly written by her two sons Ronald and Richard, my first thought was somehow I wish I had crossed paths with her.
I’ve certainly never been inspired to write a column based on someone’s death, but according to her sons this woman lived a full, ardent life that I could only aspire to live, and of course they noted what a great cook she was.
They said a book should have been written about her — and I think it very well may have been a loss she had no biography.
To be brief, she was born inMontelsivano,Italyin 1913 and was only 7 years old when her mother and siblings came toAmerica, according to the obituary. She married Salvatore Vigneri and they were together for 69 years. She was a lead seamstress at Lord and Taylor, she loved ballroom dancing and won several two-step competitions, she knew how to be a good friend, was a loving caregiver.
As someone who is passionate about food and feeding people as I, I hope in death my niece and nephew and their children will remember me for many good things but also for my great food and family gatherings. And recently I was around old friends I had not seen for many years and one of them said he’d traveled all over the country but never tasted Beef Wellington as good as mine. It made me feel really good he remembered that special dinner party almost 20 years ago.
Over many decades Vigneri hosted parties and large family gatherings, and the sons stated, “… something good was usually cooking in her kitchen. Her braciole and lasagna pasta dishes along with lemon meringue pie were unbelievable.” I’d like to be remembered like that.
Connoisseurs of Italian food love braciole, or Italian beef rolls. It is not a dish found in many cookbooks. In our house, it is mostly reserved for special occasions and is a team project, because the hubs really like to get his hands into it.
Like most recipes, there are many versions. Here’s mine and one from Giada De Laurentiis. Soon I will make this great dish, and when I do, I will think of Vigneri and hope if she tasted it, it would pass muster.
To read her entire obituary go to legacy.com/obituaries/starnewsonline/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=154261423 (can we do this?
2-pounds thin, flat beef cut into 6 rectangular steaks (top round or flank steaks)
3/4 Cup dried Italian breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
3/4 Cup pecorino romano
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
6 slices prosciutto
2 carrots cut into thin sticks the width of the meat after pounded
3-hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 Cup dry red wine
1/4 Cup of tomato paste
6 Tablespoons fresh or dried basil
1-(28-ounce) can whole Italian plum tomatoes, crushed, with juices
Pound each steak with a mallet to tenderize and until about 1/4 inch thick.
Mix together breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, cheese, garlic and parsley into mixing bowl.
Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over each steak. Lay a prosciutto slice on each steak, leaving about 1 inch all the way around edges open. Add cut up eggs to the center of the breadcrumbs At one short end lay a few sticks of carrot.
Roll the beef tightly jelly roll style. Tie once lengthwise, or use toothpicks to secure.
Heat olive oil in pan large enough to hold the meat. Brown all sides of meat on medium high heat. Remove meat, deglaze pot with wine.
In a separate bowl add tomato paste and red wine to large can of tomatoes and season with oregano and rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, mixing well. Pour into pan and add meat back to pan. If necessary gently stir in enough water or beef stock to come 2/3 of the way up meat. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 2 hours, basting meat as necessary. Remove lid and cook another hour, basting meat often. Remove meat from pan, cover lightly and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve covered with sauce and pasta of choice.
Giada De Laurentiis Braciole
1/2 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/3 cup grated provolone
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak
1 cup dry white wine
3 1/4 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce
Stir the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.
Lay the flank steak flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Starting at 1 short end, roll up the steak as for a jelly roll to enclose the filling completely. Using butcher’s twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Sprinkle the braciole with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover partially with foil and bake until the meat is almost tender, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, uncover and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer. The total cooking time should be about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the braciole from the sauce. Using a large sharp knife, cut the braciole crosswise and diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer the slices to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.
Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Yield: 6 cups