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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving?  Are you all still stuffed to the brim?  Thats how I feel, like I could probably not eat for days...but thats not stopping me. :)
Well I have no pictures to share with you and I am sorry for that, but I wanted to post the recipes that we made this year.  Nothing from the cookbooks for this blog, but thought you might find it interesting anyway.  

My uncle Dug does most of the cooking, but he is slowly passing the responsibilities onto me, which scares the crap out of me!  Thank god he hasn't passed on the turkey yet...I'm hoping I have a few more years before that. So anyway he did the turkey, dressing, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy.  My mom and I made cornbread corn and coleslaw from the regular annual thanksgiving menu and then we added a couple more for variety this year.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple Hickory Nuts
First, these Brussels sprouts, which were pretty awesome in my opinion!  
Recipe here.
Picture of Caramelized Butternut Squash Recipe
And then also this butternut squash.  Which was ABSOLUTELY delicious!
And then for dessert we made...
Picture of Chocolate-Almond Torte Recipe
This Chocolate Almond
And of course...the classic...
Picture of The Ultimate Caramel Apple Pie Recipe
And ours looked almost as good as these pics! :)
Hopefully you all had a great thanksgiving with family and friends!  
Personally, I can't wait for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stuffed Pork

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all!!!
This meal is somewhat has squash and stuffing (of sorts).  
The pork is KILLER!  In a good way!
I was a little worried, because I had never heard of bulgur wheat and then when I bought it I thought, this is supposed to make a good stuffing?? NO WAY!
But boy was I wrong!  This was delicious!  In fact it was so delicious that I made it again last nigh! But thats another post....
The squash was also delicious in my opinion, my cooked vegetable hating fiancee was not a fan.
I used a golden nugget squash, mainly because I loved the name, but also because I couldn't find a butternut squash.  Can you believe that??  
Anyway I really liked this golden nugget, it tasted very pumpkiny...more made up words, sorry!  If you like squash you will like this recipe no matter what kind of squash you use.  It's pretty standard.

P.S.  I'm leaving for MN today and so won't be blogging for a few days!  I do have some recipes to catch you all up on when I get back though, so have no fear.  

Pork Chops with Bulgur Stuffing
2/3 medium grain bulgur wheat
1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 boneless pork chops
1 T olive oil

Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat source.  Place bulgur and apricots in a fine sieve set in a bowl; cover with boiling water, and let soak 5 min.  Drain and rinse with cool water; press on bulgur and apricots to remove excess water. 
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, cumin, ginger, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add almonds, scallions, and drained bulgur and apricots; mix to combine. 

To stuff pork chops, make a deep slit in each pork chop, being careful not to cut all the way through.  Fill with stuffing, dividing evenly.  Place pork chops on a baking sheet.  Rub with oil; season with S&P.  Broil, without turning, until pork reaches 160, about 12-15 min.  

Serves 4.

Butternut Squash with Sage
2 T butter
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 in pieces
1 T chopped fresh sage

Melt butter in a skillet over med heat.  Add squash season with S&P.  Cook tossing frequently until squash is lightly browned, 5-6 min.  

Add 1/4 cup water and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook until squash is fork tender, 8-10 min.
Serves 4.

Logan Rating: Pork *****

Monday, November 22, 2010

BEEF, it's whats for dinner!

Do you look like this when you chop onions???  Embarrassing picture, I KNOW, but I need help!
Does anyone have any tricks for chopping onions without crying through the whole experience and then almost chopping your finger off because you can't see through the tears????
I thought I was safe with shallots, but woahhh baby, as you can see, they got me!
Alight, enough about me, onto the food!
Once I recovered from all the crying, we had a really fantastic meal.  
This one made me feel like a full blooded American!
The average American eats over 200lbs of meat per year...we definitely did our part here!
That statistic actually makes me nauseous...
Nonetheless here is a bright pink slab of meat for you to enjoy! :)
In all seriousness though, this was a good meal.  
You can never go wrong with roasted potatoes and these were particularly good.
The green beans were simple and quick.

Roast Beef with Shallots and New Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs small red new potatoes halved or quartered
1 lb shallots, peeled and trimmed, halved lengthwise
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 lbs eye of round beef roast, tied

Preheat oven to 400.  On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes and shallots with oil; season with S&P.
Push potatoes and shallots toward edges of baking sheet; place roast in center.  Turn roast to coat with oil on the pan and season with S&P.
Roast, tossing potatoes and shallots occasionally, until meat reads 130 on a meat thermometer, about 40-50 min.  Let beef rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, before slicing and serving. 
Serves 4.

Lemon Thyme Green Beans
1 1/2 lbs green beans
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T butter
1 tsp fresh thyme 

In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, bring 1/2 inch water to boil; salt generously.
Add green beans; reduce to a simmer and cover the skillet.  Steam beans, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 6-10 min. 
Pull lid back and tilt skillet to drain water; add lemon juice, butter and thyme.  Season with S&P and toss to melt butter.  
Serves 4.

Logan Rating: ****

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It may be hard to tell by this picture, but this is not your ordinary enchilada.  
This is a PUMPKIN enchilada.
I know what your thinking...EW! 
But I'm telling you they are amazing!
I was skeptical in the beginning also, but one bite and I was hooked!
Don't get me wrong I still love your good ole regular enchilada, BUT I will mix it up every once in a while with this recipe FOR SURE.  
It has great flavor and decent spice, I would probably add another jalapeno next time for some extra bite.  
But for the most part this is a pretty perfect recipe, WEIRD, but perfect!

Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
1/2 roast or rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded ( I used 2 bone in breasts)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, quartered
1 tsp chili powder
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar

Preheat oven to 425.  In a med bowl, combine chicken and scallions.  Season generously with S&P, set aside.

In a blender, puree pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 1/2 cups water, 2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper until smooth.  Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 8inch square baking dish (or whatever you have).
Lay tortillas on a work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly.  Roll up each tortilla into a tight log; place seam side down over sauce in baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese.  Place dish in oven bake until golden and sauce is bubbling, 25-30 min.  Let cool for 5 min before serving.

Logan Rating: ****

Lentil soup-lunch version

We had company and leftover soup and a salad still to I put two and two together and made a pretty good lunch out of it.  
When I first tasted this dressing, just with my finger, I thought....EW.
All I could taste was mayo and it did not taste good.
BUT with the whole salad put together it was actually pretty good.
Still not my favorite, but it was good with this salad.
I added all the toppings, this salad actually calls for only the dressing as a topping, 
which didn't sound good to me at all.  So add whatever tickles your fancy.

Iceberg wedges with Thousand Island dressing
1 cup reduced fat mayo
1/4 cup tomato based chili sauce
1/4 cup milk
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T sweet pickle relish
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 8 wedges

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.

Place wedges on a platter and divide among 4 plates, drizzle with dressing as desired.
Serves 4.  

Logan Rating: ***


Are lentils beans?  
Wikipedia tells me that they are legumes...those are beans right? 
Side anyone else disturbed by the fact that Wikipedia is in the dictionary?
Anyway I'm not entirely sure what they are but they are delicious, nonetheless!
I should probably apologize for my absence again, SORRY!  
I won't say it isn't going to happen again, because, well it probably SORRY ahead of time!
So even my bean hating fiancĂ©e loved this soup, so maybe lentils aren't beans...or maybe he's just inconsistent...either way this soup is GOOD!  
It is a fantastic winter soup, it really warms you up from the inside out.
It's also very hearty, we ate it for dinner and then again for lunch later in the week, just perfect!
I used turkey bacon, because I always feel so guilty when I cook regular bacon.  
I saved some to serve as a garnish too...loved the extra CRUNCH!

Lentil Soup
3 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 med carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 in pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1 T red wine vinegar

In a dutch oven or large pot with a tight fitting lid, cook bacon over med-low heat until browned and crisp, 8-10 min.  Pour off all but 1 T fat.
Add onion and carrots; cook until softened, about 5 min.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 sec.  Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 min.
Add lentils, thyme, broth and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer.  Cover; cook until lentils are tender, 30-45 min.  If soup becomes too thick during cooking, add up to 1 more cup of water. 

Stir in vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, or more to taste.  
Serves 4 (as a meal) 

Logan Rating: ***

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I love celery!

I discovered something odd about myself while making this recipe...I LOVE CELERY!
And even weirder...I love the SMELL of celery!
Yes I'm speaking of the vegetable mostly comprised of does have a smell.  I can't put my finger on what it reminds me of, but whatever it is makes me very happy.  
Onto more important things, like this recipe that is like Thanksgiving rolled into one breast of chicken.  It was so easy and so delicious, and true comfort food.  I served it with some roasted broccoli, which was also delicious, but you could use any vegetable or side you like.  Also it calls for dried cranberries, but I happened to have dried golden plums so I used those instead and it was still great.  Next time I'd try the cranberries though, in an effort to be true to thanksgiving dinner.  
Oh and don't be like me and forget to halve the stuffing recipe when you're cooking for two...I had OVERSTUFFED pun intended...ok so maybe I did intend it a little bit!

Roasted Stuffed Chicken and Broccoli
1/2 loaf soft Italian bread, torn into bit size pieces
1 celery stalk (be sure to sniff it!) thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 small onion coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
4 T olive oil
1 roaster chicken breast (3-3.5lbs) -I used two skin on bone in chicken breasts and stuffed under the skin
2 heads broccoli, florets separated.  

Preheat oven to 450.  Make stuffing: Combine bread, celery, sage, onion, cranberries, and 1 T oil; season with salt and pepper.
Press down on center of breast with the palm of your hand until the breast bone cracks.  ( I did not do this, because I had separate breasts). Working from neck end of chicken use fingers to loosen skin from flesh and separate skin from flesh and separate skin from center breastbone with a paring knife.  Generously season under and over skin with S&P.  Tuck stuffing under skin, distributing evenly.  Rub skin with 1 T olive oil and place on rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until thermometer reads 165, 45-60 min.  Remove from oven.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 15min.
Meanwhile toss broccoli with remaining 2 T oil on another baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.  Roast until beginning to brown, 15-20 min, tossing halfway through.  
Remove chicken breast meat from bone; slice crosswise.  Serve chicken with broccoli.  

Serves 4. 

Logan Rating: ****

Diet Schmiet!!!

Sooooo I couldn't help myself...I mean look at these things!  I've never deep fried anything that I can think of, this was a first, but it was TOTALLY worth it!  Everything in moderation right?
Anyway this was so good!  Not just the deep fried goodness, but the salsa on the steak was scrumptious too!  This is a great refreshing way to serve steak.
And if you are better than me, you could serve it with a salad or maybe some roasted potatoes.
If you are like me, you will deep fry some onions, and LOVE IT!
Don't worry, I made up for it with Kickboxing the next night...I know you were worried!
Try this one, I'm telling you, you will NOT be disappointed...
Oh but I will warn you, you should definitely halve the onion ring recipe if you are only cooking for 2...or else it will not be moderation at will be excess of a bad thing, which is delicious, but NO good.

Grilled Steak with Southwestern three tomato salsa
3 plum tomatoes, cored and seeded
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 yellow tomatoes cored and seeded (I used yellow cherry tomatoes)
2 T oil packed sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced, PLUS 1 T oil from jar
4 boneless strip steaks (10-12 oz each)

Make salsa; in a food processor, puree tomatoes, jalapeno, lime juice and cumin; transfer to a small bowl.  Stir in yellow and sun dried tomatoes.  Season with S&P.

Heat grill or pan to med high.  Lightly oil grates or pan.  Pat dry steaks.  Season both sides with S&P.  Cook turning once, about 8 min total for med rare.  Just before serving, stir oil from sun dried tomatoes into salsa.  Serve steaks topped with salsa. 

Onion Rings
1 large sweet onion, sliced crosswise into rings
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
12 oz seltzer water
6 cups vegetable oil, such as safflower (I only used about 1 don't need to fill the pot with oil, just flip the rings one time while cooking)
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 250.  Soak onion slices in a large bowl of ice water, 10 min; drain and pat dry with paper towels.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and seltzer. 

In a large heavy pot, heat oil over high until deep fry thermometer registers 375.  (Come on!  Who has a deep fry thermometer??? NOT ME...I just waited until the oil sizzled when I placed the onion into it).  Working in batches, place onion in batter, coating completely; using your fingers, lift out, letting excess drip back into bowl.
Carefully lower onion slices into oil, making sure not to overcrowd pot; cook until golden brown.
Using a slotted spoon or metal tongs transfer onion rings to a paper towel lined baking sheet, and season with salt.  Keep warm in the oven.  
After onion rings are done.  Carefully lower parsley into pot (oil will splatter) and fry until crisp, 10 seconds; transfer to baking sheet and season with salt.  Sprinkle over onion rings.  (I skipped this step...seemed messy and unnecessary to me).
Serves 4.  

Logan Rating: *****

Squash and Apple Soup

Well folks, I've created a monster!  Logan and I went out to eat this past weekend and while we were sitting and enjoying a wonderful meal cooked by someone OTHER than me, he began to critique the food.  He now thinks he is a food critic and expects exceptional food at all times.  What have I done?  Its actually quite funny, a guy who a few months ago loved pretty much everything I cooked, now has a rating for everything he eats.  Which is completely my fault...I suppose he could start a column and make some money off of this new hobby.  :)  Well I guess I  just have to keep cooking!

This soup was good, but not a favorite around here.  However, again I think this is my fault, because I kind of screwed up the recipe.  It calls for unsweetened apple cider, which I couldn't find so I just bought apple juice...and it was a smidge too sweet.  SO I'm telling you all that if you are going to try this recipe don't make the same mistake.  To compensate for the sweetness I ended up sprinkling some cayenne pepper on top along with the other garnishes.  Also I decided to make homemade squash puree instead of buying frozen, it was super easy.  It does take extra time because you have to roast the squash, so if you don't have much time then I would just buy frozen...that makes it a really quick recipe.  

I definitely want to try this one again, because I have a feeling next time it would be much better.  You try it, and let me know!

Squash and Apple Soup
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 granny smith apples, cored, peeled and finely chopped
2 1/2 cups unsweetened apple cider
1 tsp ground ginger
2 1/2 cups water
3 packages (12oz each) frozen squash puree or 6 cups homemade puree (see below)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I use greek)

In a large pot, heat oil over med.  Cook onion, stirring frequently , until beginning to brown, 4-6 min.  Add apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened 3-5 min.  Remove 1/2 cup apple mixture, and reserve for garnish.

Stir cider, ginger, and the water into remaining apple mixture in pot; bring to a boil.  Stir in squash puree; cook until heated through, 8-10 min (4-5 min for homemade).  Reduce heat; simmer until mixture thickens, 15-20 min.  Season with S&P.  At this point, soup can be refrigerated up to 3 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container; let cool completely before storing.  

Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with 1 T yogurt and 2 T reserved apple mixture. 
Serves 4.  

Squash Puree
Preheat oven to 400.  Place 3 whole acorn squash (about 2 lbs each) on a rimmed baking sheet; bake, until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 1 hour.  When cool enough to handle, halve each squash lengthwise and discard seeds; scrape out flesh into a food processor (discard skins).  Process until smooth.

Logan Rating: **