Friday, July 6, 2012


Raspberry Crumb Pie Crust (makes two single pie crusts) 4 cups all purpose flour 3 Tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 3/4 cup cold shortening, diced 1/2 cup cold water 1 large egg 1 large egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water (for the egg wash) Filling 4 1/2 cups raspberries 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup flour 1/2 cup sour cream 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Crumb Topping 2 1/2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar 2 Tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon pinch ground nutmeg 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and kosher salt. Put the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. It’s important that the ingredients for the pie crust are very cold. Dice the shortening and also place it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Take the bowl out of the freezer and add in the shortening. Using a fork, cut the shortening into the flour. The mixture should resemble small peas. Mix together 1/2 cup very cold water (I put the water in the freezer) and 1 large cold egg. Add it to the bowl and mix the ingredients together with a fork. Put the dough onto a floured counter and form it into a large circle. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and take off 3/4 of the dough. I always use a little more so it’s easier to roll out. You can reserve the extra dough you don’t use for another pie. Flour the counter, rolling pin and the dough. Roll it out into a large circle. Then roll the dough onto your rolling pin. Roll the dough over the pie plate (a 9 inch pie plate) and press it into the insides of the pie plate. Crimp the edges of the pie or if you can just take a fork and crimp the edges. Place the pie in the refrigerator while you work on the filling. In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and flour. Add in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until combined. Take the pie crust out of the refrigerator and put the raspberries on the bottom of the crust. Pour the filling over the raspberries and spread it out. Now make the crumb topping. Mix together the sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Pour the melted unsalted butter into the bowl and mix everything together. Add in the flour and mix until the ingredients form a crumble topping. Crumble the crumb topping over the pie. Mix together 1 large egg and 1 Tablespoon of water and brush over the edge of the crust. You won’t use all of the egg wash. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes. (the pie is done when the filling is somewhat firm) Let the pie cool for at least 1 hour on a cooling rack before cutting into slices. The filling will set when the pie cools. Then enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dr. Pepper Roast

This is a recipe that CAN be canned for food storage... but I've always just made it in the crock pot. Ingredients: Roast (approx. 1.5 lbs roast per quart sized jar) 1 can Campbell's cream of mushroom soup 2 cans Campbell's cream of potato soup 2 cups Dr. Pepper (we joke that the caffeine cooks out...but, you can opt to use caffeine free) 1 package Lipton onion soup mix 1/2 - 1 tsp. Tony's Creole Seasoning (depending on how spicy you want it) If you were to cook this in your crock pot, you simply add all ingredients and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes. Directions for canning: Cut Roast into chunks (or buy stew meat, which is already cubed for you) Put chunks of roast into clean pint or quart size jars (depending on the size of your family) In pitcher, mix all remaining ingredients. (Multiply gravy mixture as needed for amount of roast you are canning. One batch of gravy mixture will fill approximately three quart sized jars.) Pour gravy mixture over top of roast. Use handle end of a plastic spatula and run it down the insides of the jar all the way around. This will allow the gravy to settle in around the roast . Add more gravy until the jar is full, leaving approximately one inch headspace. In small pan, boil flat lids for three minutes. While lids are boiling, use damp cloth and wipe down rims of jars. Place flat lids on jars, screw bands on. Cook at 15 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes. Store and enjoy!

Creamy Shrimp Rolls

Ingredients 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice kosher salt and pepper 1 1/2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, cut in half crosswise 2 stalks celery, chopped 1/4 cup sliced chives (optional) 4 hot dog buns 1 small head butter lettuce, torn into pieces 1 5-ounce bag potato chips Directions In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Fold in the shrimp, celery, and chives, if desired. Line the buns with the lettuce and fill with the shrimp mixture. Serve with the potato chips.

A Different White Chili

Have ready: 2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed. 2 cans of great northern or white kidney (canellini?) beans OR 1 1/2 cups dry beans that you’ve soaked overnight and then cooked on low in the crockpot since breakfast. (Pour off extra water, but leave some for the soup base — you can always add more later, but it takes a long time to simmer off extra liquid.) Saute 1 onion (chopped) and 3+ cloves garlic (minced) in some butter and oil ’till soft and sweet. Add the beans to the pot of sauteing onion/garlic, or the onion/garlic to the crockpot. Add chicken and chicken soup base or bullion cubes to taste. (I don’t use chicken stock because it’s more expensive, and also, if you add the water and the seasonings separately, you can adjust the flavor easily). Add 2 cans of (mild) diced green chili peppers. Add cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add 1/2 cup (or more) heavy cream and 1/2 cup (or more) sour cream. (Don’t boil after adding the dairy). Toppings : fresh cilantro, sharp cheddar (or Monterey Jack) cheese, Fritos, and diced tomatoes.

Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies

1 ¼ cup flour ¾ tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder ¼ salt ½ cup butter, softened 1 cup peanut butter ¾ cup sugar ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1 large egg 1 Tbsp milk 1 tsp vanilla ½ cup peanut butter chips ½ cup chocolate chips Sugar in a bowl for dipping Preheat oven 350 degrees In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, and the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Drop Tbsp size rounded cookie dough into bowl of sugar to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheet leaving several inches between for expansion. Slightly flatten cookies with back of spatula. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look underdone. Cool for 1 minute on pan then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Ingredients: 1 lb. italian sausage 2 cloves garlic, minced 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 15 oz. can diced tomatoes 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper 2 Tbsp. basil, minced 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. sugar 8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)* 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded 1 lb. ziti pasta Instructions: Cook pasta according to package instructions, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water before draining. Cook 1 lb. italian sausage in skillet, casings removed. Drain sausage and set aside, reserving 1 Tbsp. oil in the pan. Add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant. Add tomatoes with juices, crushed red pepper and sausage. Simmer 15 minutes, until thickened and flavorful. Remove from heat and add basil, salt and sugar. Pour pasta back into pot and add sausage mixture. If sauce seems too thick, add reserved cooking water (I usually do this because it makes for better leftovers). Spray 9x13 pan lightly with Pam. Put half of pasta mixture into pan. Cover with half of both cheeses. Repeat. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. * NOTE: It's worth the extra dollars to buy fresh mozzarella on this recipe. It makes the dish creamy good.

Garlic Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta

1 Tb olive oil 1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast, sliced crosswise 1 tsp salt 1 Tb olive oil 6-8 cloves garlic, crushed (1 rounded Tb) 1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered 1/2 c green onions, sliced 3/4 c red or orange sweet peppers 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained) 1/2 c chicken broth 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 1/2 tsp cornstarch 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups dry bow tie pasta – cook as directed 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped (may use fresh parsley) parmesan cheese, grated 1. Fry chicken in oil over medium heat until done. Sprinkle with salt and remove from skillet. Keep warm. 2.Cook garlic in oil until golden. Add mushrooms, green onions and peppers – cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, red pepper, cornstarch and salt. Heat to boiling then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 3. Combine chicken, hot mixture, pasta and cilantro. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan to your liking

Good for you Creamy Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 (14 ounce) cans Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained 2 cups chicken broth or stock pinch of red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon honey 3/4 cup evaporated skim milk, or 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese chopped fresh basil or parsley for serving In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add oniion and carrots and saute for five minutes. Stir in garlic and saute an additional minute. Add tomatoes, broth, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. For a creamy soup, transfer to blender and blend, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot. (Immersion blenders are a must have for soup lovers!) Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead of time to this point. Just before serving, add evaporated skim milk (or cream cheese of half and half) to pot. Warm through, but do not boil. Serve immediately with basil or parsley, and hopefully some warm focaccia. Rosemary Focaccia Estimated Cost: $3.50 for 12 wedges Notes: My favorite yeast is SAF, which many professional bakeries use. It may not be available at your store, so ask your supermarket baker which yeast they use behind the counter and buy that one. If you get a truly reliable yeast, and you make sure your water isn't too hot, you almost can't fail. 2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (think baby bottle warm) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped, or 1 tablespoon fresh 3 cups flour (I use half whole wheat) For Top: 2-6 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup parmesan cheese additional chopped dried or fresh rosemary black pepper In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, pepper, salt, rosemary and half of the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. (Alternately, if you have a free standing mixer, put in all of the flour and let the machine do the work.) Work in the remaining flour, using your hands and kneading when necessary. Knead dough for five minutes. Cover and let rise for one hour. (The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with saran wrap and store in fridge.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press dough into a 12 inch circle. Don't worry about being perfect; you're going for rustic Italian here. Press the dough all over with your fingertips to make indentations. Cover dough with olive oil, cheese, rosemary and black pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve. Any leftovers make a killer sandwich for the next day.

Refried Beans

1 tsp olive oil 2 tbsp sweet yellow onion, diced finely 1/4 jalapeno, diced finely 1 clove of garlic, minced 2 cans of pinto beans Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste, Pinch of dried cumin Cotija cheese, finely grated Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and jalapeno. Sauté until tender and golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds. Add one can of beans with liquid and mash with a potato masher or fork until thoroughly mushed. Drain the second can of beans and add to the mushed beans. Mix and mush to your desired consistency. Cook on low for 5 minutes. Serve topped with cotija cheese.

Green Chili

10-12 tomatillos 5 garlic cloves, not peeled 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped 1 Pasilla chile, cored, seeded and flattened 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of pork loin (or shoulder), trimmed of excess fat and cut into to 2-inch cubes Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste Olive oil 2 yellow onions 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano 2 1/2 cups chicken stock Position the oven rack close to the broiler. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil (for easier clean up). Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 5 unpeeled garlic cloves and the cored, seeded and flattened chile pepper, skin side up on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven until the tomatillos, garlic and chile are blackened – about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the chile pepper to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool for 7-10 minutes. Once the pepper is cool enough to handle, carefully remove the blackened skin. Place tomatillos, skins included, into food processor or blender. Remove the now roasted garlic cloves from their skins then add them to the processor. Add the chopped jalapeno pepper, the chile, any extra juice from the roasting tray and cilantro then pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season the pork cubes generously with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and oregano, to taste. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat then brown pork chunks on all sides. Remove pork from Dutch oven and set aside. I had just a little grease in the pan so I didn’t add olive oil but if you have no grease, add a bit of olive oil. Place the onions in the Dutch oven and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 60 seconds. Add the pork to the onion mixture then pour your chile verde sauce on top. Add enough chicken stock to cover the meat. Taste and re-season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Be careful not to add too much because the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender. Other ingredients: Flour or corn tortillas Cilantro and Lime Sour Cream (recipe below) Cotija cheese Fresh cilantro, chopped finely (garnish) Cilantro and Lime Sour Cream: 1/2 cup of sour cream (I use fat free) 1/2 tbsp sweet yellow onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped Juice of half a lime 1/2 clove of garlic, minced Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste Place the meat and sauce inside a warmed flour or corn tortilla then add a bit of cotija cheese. Roll into a burrito or taco, cover with more verde sauce. Enjoy.

Sesame Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

8 oz linguine 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbs red wine vinegar 1 Tbs brown sugar 6 Tbs chunky peanut butter (¼ c. plus 2 T.) ¼ cup soy sauce scant ¼ cup sesame oil ½ – 1 Tbs hot chili oil (depending on how hot your chili oil is. I add the whole Tb.) 2 ½ boneless and skinless cooked chicken breast halves 5 Tbs sesame seeds, toasted ¾ lb to 1 lb thin asparagus, trimmed 3 scallions, white bulb and 3 inches green, cut into 2-inch julienne 1 small cucumber, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch dice Cook chicken. (Many options here – put frozen breasts in microwave at 50% power, or boil in water, or cook for a few hours in the crockpot with a cup of water…) Trim asparagus; set aside. *see note below Toast sesame seeds, set aside. (Two options: toast in the microwave, stirring every minute or so, or toast in a dry skillet on medium, stirring frequently. They are done when they turn brown. Takes 5-10 minutes.) Cut scallions and cucumber as directed in ingredients. Set aside. Prepare sauce: Place the garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, peanut butter, and soy sauce in a food processor. Process for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the sesame and hot chili oils through the feed tube, and process until well blended. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the linguine, and cook at a rolling boil until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, drain again, and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Shred the chicken into 2-inch julienne, and toss with the linguine. Add the sauce and 4 Tbs of the sesame seeds, and toss to coat well. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus. They will be done when you can easily insert a thin-bladed knife or skewer into them. Drain, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. **see note below Place the linguine and chicken in a large flat serving bowl, and arrange the asparagus on top. Sprinkle with the scallions, cucumber, and remaining 1 Tbs sesame seeds. Number Of Servings:6 * Trimming the asparagus – This is a very important step. Snap the ends off by bending the bottoms until they snap. They will snap off above the white part, and some of the green will snap off too. This is the safest way to trim asparagus. It seems like you are wasting a lot of asparagus, but don’t be deceived! When I was new at cooking I tried cutting off just the white part, or just 1 inch off the bottoms, and would live to regret it! The bottom part of asparagus spears are very fibrous. If you don’t cut enough off the bottom, you will feel like you are trying to chew on a piece of bamboo. It’s horrible. My trusty cookbook by Mark Bittman says, “Snap off the bottom of each stalk; they will usually separate naturally right where the woody part ends.” Take it from the pro. **Also, I combine the steps of blanching the asparagus and cooking the linguine. 4-5 minutes before linguine is done, I add the asparagus. Then I drain it all when the asparagus is done. I drain the noodles and asparagus once, then add the sauce, chicken, and some sesame seeds and toss. Then I add the scallions, cucumber and remaining sesame seeds on top and lightly toss a bit. I’ve learned to combine steps to make this a faster recipe.