Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Red Burritos


These were so delicious when we had them last night that we plan to make them often. Perhaps it was the fact that we ate them sitting in front of a fragrant pecan wood fire that made the experience so wonderful.

There has been a little problem in getting our new gas range hooked up. The burners work, but we need a visit from an electrician to add an outlet so that the oven and timers all can function. Darned fancy stoves! Having no regular oven, we did the baking of this casserole in the microwave as follows: 10 minutes at 40% power; and 5 minutes at 30%. It worked out just fine.

1/3 to 1/2 lb. boneless pork, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbl. olive oil

Beef bouillon cube
Salt, pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 generous tbl. red chile powder (this is the powder made from grinding dried red chiles, with no additives)
Water as needed

4 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch cubes

8 tortillas, corn or wheat (your choice)
Grated monterey jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)

Sour cream as garnish

***
Brown the pork cubes, onion, and garlic in the oil. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, cumin, and chile powder. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer.

After the first 15 minutes, stir and add more water, if necessary. Cover and continue to cook.

After another 15 minutes of simmering, add the cubed potatoes and more water, if needed. Simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. (Note: Your total cooking time should equal 45 minutes).

Assemble the burritos: Spoon the meat mixture into each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, fold and place in a greased casserole dish. Pour over the top of all the burritos any sauce you may have left and sprinkle with more cheese.

Cover the casserole and bake at 350〫for 30 minutes, removing the lid of the casserole for the last few minutes. Serve with a little sour cream on the side.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Orange Yeast Bread



What we see while drinking our morning coffee

Well, it took more than a few moments to change kitchens during our recent move from New Mexico's High Plains to its spectacular city in the Chihuahuan Desert, Las Cruces. However, the kitchen is finally unpacked, and every once in a while we are able to tear ourselves away from the magificent views we see out of every window to do a little cooking.

This recipe has been under development for a while and I think that it is ready to share with you. It makes a deliciously fragrant toast to have with your morning coffee.

1 heaping tbl. yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water, to which you have added a tiny pinch of sugar

1 whole orange (seeds removed), ground up, juice, rind and all
1 cup warm water (may be part additional orange juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, optional

6 to 8 cups of flour, or however much it takes to make a nice bread dough

I do the whole process using the Kitchenaid mixer, grinding up the orange first, then mixing the cup of warm water, the yeast mixture, the orange, sugar, salt, oil, eggs, and optional cardamom together and beating well.

Add 3 cups of flour and beat at medium speed for several minutes. Change to the dough hook and add flour, a cup at a time, until you have a nice dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing it for a few minutes to get it really well kneaded.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand until no longer sticky. Let rise, covered, in a greased bowl in a warm place until the dough is doubled. Until we get a better heater installed in this little adobe house, we've been setting the bowl of dough on the raised hearth of the kiva fireplace, which keeps it nice and warm.

Bread dough rising in front of the kiva fireplace

Turn out dough onto a floured surface again, punch down, knead a few times, and divide into thirds. Shape each third into a loaf, put each into a greased bread pan, cover, and let rise again until almost doubled.

Bake at 375〫for 45 minutes. Cool on racks, slice, and freeze (if you wish). Delicious as toast, or in sandwiches. We would have loved it with sliced turkey and leftover cranberry sauce. Well, that was the plan, anyway, but the Thanksgiving leftovers got eaten up too soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Few Moments to Change Kitchens, Please...


It's time for our family to load up the moving van and move to our "new" adobe home, which you can see more of over on my other blog, The Zees Go West. I'll be back in a week or so, hopefully with some recipes perfect for serving in that lovely desert climate we'll be calling home.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Panettone

Special Italian dessert bread for holidays. This version comes from Auntie Bucksnort.

3 tbl. yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup warm water
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon peel
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1/3 cup candied citron
1/2 cup raisins (mix dark and light if you wish)

2 tbl. melted butter to brush on crust

Soften yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with a little sugar. Mix the remaining ingredients (except for 2 tbl. butter), adding more flour as necessary to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth, let rise in a greased bowl until doubled.

Form into a round loaf and let rise on a greased cookie sheet until doubled. Bake at 400〫for 10 minutes, then brush with melted butter. Continue baking at 350〫for 30 to 40 minutes until done.

Cool on rack.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chicken Breasts Supreme

6 chicken breasts

For marinade, mix together:
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. celery salt
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. pepper
Salt to taste
1 tsp. paprika

Crushed cornflakes

1/4 cup butter

Cover breasts with marinade and chill overnight. Dip in crushed cornflakes.

Bake in a buttered shallow pan for 45 minutes at 350〫

Turn pieces over and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chicken Tandoori

From Bucksnort's ancient recipe box.

2 chicken legs
2 chicken breasts

Mix together:
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. whole cumin
juice of one lemon
turmeric
cinnamon
fresh or dry cilantro
salt
pepper
coconut
1 cup plain yogurt

Pour yogurt mixture over chicken in a greased casserole. Bake covered at 400〫for 45 minutes or until done. Serve with rice.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Poppy Seed Cake

From Bucksnort's ancient recipe box.

1 yellow cake mix
1 pkg. instant french vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil (you may use butter-flavored oil, if you wish)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Mix all well, beat until smooth. Bake in a greased angel food pan for one hour at 350〫

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wine Cake

From my mother's recipes.

1 yellow cake mix
3/4 cup cream sherry
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs

Mix together, beat well. Bake in an ungreased angel food cake pan at 325〫for 50 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes, loosen sides with a spatula, then invert the pan to remove the cake.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Basic Cheesecake

This recipe was in an old wooden recipe box on a card in my mother's handwriting. She got the recipe "from the kitchen of" Maxine Partridge, a name I remember vaguely from my childhood. Thank you, Maxine!

Crust:
16 graham crackers, rolled and finely crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix, press into a pie pan, and bake at 350〫for 10 minutes. Cool.

Fill cooled crust with:
9 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 pint sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and beat until smooth. Pour into cooled crust and bake at 325〫for 20 minutes. Cool on rack for 5 minutes.

Top with:
1/2 pint sour cream
3 tbl. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together, beat until smooth, spread on top of cheesecake. Bake at 350〫for 5 minutes. Cool, then chill before serving.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Marie's Taco Soup

Everything that Marie has ever brought to our knitting group's potlucks is always delicious, and she is very generous about sharing her recipes with us.

1 pound of ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes with chiles
1 can regular pinto beans
1 can pinto beans with jalapeños
1 can yellow corn
1 can hominy, drained
1 cup salsa

Brown the beef and onion. Add the contents of all the cans, undrained (except for the hominy, which is drained). Add the salsa. Mix well and simmer for a bit to combine the flavors. Taste for seasonings; add salt, pepper, and chile powder, if you wish.

Note: I added some water to the mixture by rinsing out the emptied cans into the soup pot. If you want it soupier, add more.

Serve with cornbread.

Marie said to tell you that this soup freezes well.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Panko Chicken

Beez has never been a fan of chicken, but he will eat this dish with something approaching vague enthusiasm. It's really delicious and is similar to Chicken Dijon.

2 boneless chicken breasts, washed & patted dry

1/4 c. butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. Dijon mustard

1/2 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tbsp. parsley flakes, or some minced fresh parsley


Mix melted butter, garlic and mustard. Set aside.

Mix panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Set aside.


Slice the chicken in 1/4" thick pieces. Coat the pieces in mustard sauce on both sides, then roll the pieces in the crumb mixture to coat.


Put the chicken pieces on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for 15 minutes*, turning pieces over halfway through.


This is my own variation of a recipe from Cooks.com.


*Important note re time and temp: I just got a new gas stove and this is too much time at too high of a temp. Just realize that you will need to adjust for your own cooking conditions. Don't worry though, it will be worth the trouble!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chile con Queso


This must be the only possible use* for Velveeta cheese (sorry, cheese "product"). You will notice that the recipe calls for just half of the contents of the smallest available box. DO NOT worry about your leftover Velveeta. It is indestructible and will easily last until next year when you want to make Queso (as it is commonly called) again. Just wrap up that cheese product well and shove it back into the nether regions of your refrigerator.

I might go on a bit about this strange fake foodstuff, but it really does make a delicious Queso.

*Later note, October, 2010: It turns out that there is something you can do with the rest of that leftover Velveeta--you can try making White Trash Fudge! But let's get back to the Queso:

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. Velveeta "cheese," cut into cubes
Enough milk to make a smooth dip

6 chopped green chiles (your choice of heat); roasted, peeled, and seeded before chopping
1 medium-sized fresh tomato, chopped
1 tsp. minced onion (you can use just a few shakes of minced dry onion, if you wish)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Optional: A couple of tbls. of salsa or El Rancho de los Garcia's Green Chile Sauce (if you can find it. You might have to move to New Mexico for this sauce, which is made in Portales).

Directions:
Melt the Velveeta in a 1 quart bowl in the microwave for about a minute. Stir well, add a little milk, and microwave for 30 seconds to one minute more, until smooth.

Add the chiles, tomato, onion, and garlic powder. Stir well. Stir in the salsa or chile sauce, if you are using it.

Microwave again, just until warmed through.

Serve as a dip with tortilla chips, or pieces of tortillas, or chunks of warm fresh bread. Focaccia (Italian flat bread) is delicious here, and adds even more of an international flavor.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping in New Mexico

Piloncillo

We lived in Las Cruces for a year in the late 1990s. When we first shopped at the local grocery stores after moving there from New Hampshire, we were pretty amazed at the differences we found. We liked those differences, mind you, because we could really tell that we had moved, not only to a different part of the country, but a different part of the
world. We definitely had a whole new culture to learn about.

Here are some of the products--some familiar, some very unfamiliar--we found in our local grocery store:

Large, strange-looking unwrapped cones of brown stuff in the produce section that we eventually learned was a kind of Mexican brown sugar called piloncillo.

Really large containers--buckets, actually--of old-fashioned lard, used in refried beans, tamales, and more. They say that the flavor it gives is wonderful and not found in any substitute.

Big slabs of tripe, used to make menudo, a traditional fiery soup that is thought to be the best hangover remedy.

Each grocery store had its own tortilleria, where fresh flour and corn tortillas were made. We were always able to buy fresh, warm tortillas.

Canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. We had a recipe calling for these and embarrassed ourselves by asking the clerk for "chip-O-tel" chiles. He probably thought we were from Texas. The actual pronunciation is chee-POHT-lay.

Big bags of bulk dried red chiles, in more varieties than we had ever seen

Strings of dried red chiles (ristras)

Large containers of frozen green chiles

And Velveeta. We were amazed to find Velveeta cheese boxes stacked in the aisles by the pallet-load. I had grown up thinking that Velveeta was something found in the refrigerated aisle, but the boxes didn't sit around long enough in these stores to spoil, if that is even possible with such a fake food product.

Why so much Velveeta? More about that tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Roadhouse Hippie Salad


This recipe comes from Harry's Roadhouse Cookbook.

On a warm August day, Beez and Auntie Bucksnort and I all went for a drive up around the Santa Fe area. We stopped for lunch at Harry's Roadhouse, a place that I had heard about again and again. We found a smallish-looking building with a a lovely view to the south and a huge, packed parking lot. However, there didn't seem to be much of a line, so we signed up and prepared for a wait.

To our surprise and delight, our names were called in under ten minutes. We were guided through the building, then into an added-on wing that had been invisible from the front of the place (and which explained where all the people were being seated), and then out to the most beautiful patio I've ever seen.

The patio was set into a hillside, so that it was actually a series of small terraces connected by the stone paths that wandered through natural-looking beds of colorful and fragrant flowers. There were several fountains, soft music in the background, and the whole was shaded by a number of very large trees.

If you have ever been in Santa Fe in the summer, you know how much you appreciate shade trees. You are at such an altitude (7000 ft.) that the air is probably thinner than what you are used to and the sun really beats down, so every scrap of shade is valuable. We were seated at a round table under one of the trees and the waitress immediately brought us huge glasses of ice water with lemon slices, and made sure to keep them coming.

Our meal was wonderful and the setting was fantastic. We vowed to go back and I bought the cookbook later as a gift for Bucksnort's birthday. Any time we are missing Santa Fe, we just page through and remember that fine afternoon.

Approaching Santa Fe

The Salad:

1 ear corn
2 medium beets
2 cups summer green beans
1 avocado
2 tomatoes
2 small heads or one large head Bibb lettuce
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 Vidalia (or sweet) onion made into Vidalia Onion Rings
Dried porcini mushroom powder*

Roast the corn (Remove outer husk. Turn back inner husks; remove silks. Replace inner husks. Place on grill. Turn often. Roast 12 to 15 minutes) and remove the kernels.

Boil the beets, then peel and cut into wedges.

Blanch green beans in boiling water and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Cut tomatoes into wedges and dice avocados last.

Place the lettuce on a salad plate and top with corn, garbanzos, avocados, tomatoes, beets, and green beans. Drizzle with either Green Goddess or Sesame Dressing. Sprinkle with mushroom powder.

*Grind the mushrooms with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder that has been reserved for spices.

For a nice review of breakfast at Harry's, be sure to go to Eating the Road.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Green Goddess Dressing


This recipe comes from Harry's Roadhouse Cookbook.

3 tbl. lemon juice
1/2 tbl. chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbl. fresh tarragon
2 tbl. fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 tbl. fresh chopped mint
1 tbl. lemon balm
1/2 tbl. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and puree in a blender. Serve on the salad of your choice.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sesame Dressing


This recipe comes from Harry's Roadhouse Cookbook.

8 ounces tahini
2 tbl. soy sauce
1 tsp. sambal sauce
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup water
1 - 1/2 tbl. sesame oil
1/4 cup lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. If it is too thick, add a little more water to get the proper consistency. Serve on the salad of your choice.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vidalia Onion Rings

This recipe comes from Harry's Roadhouse Cookbook.

1 Vidalia onion
1 cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cut onion into very thin rings (1/8" or thinner). Soak onion in buttermilk for at least 2 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook, drain the onions in a colander.

Heat about an inch of oil in a cast-iron skillet.

Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Toss the drained onion rings in this mixture until they are thoroughly coated. Shake off excess coating and fry the rings until they are crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels. These onion rings may be fried up to half an hour before serving.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Curried Chicken Sandwiches

These sandwiches are quite simple to make, once you have baked the focaccia and chopped up some leftover cooked chicken. I suppose you could use some other kind of bread, but the results won't be quite as elegant.

Finely chopped cooked chicken
Salt, pepper, and curry powder to taste
A sprinkle of dehydrated minced onion
Optional: Finely chopped tart apple and/or nuts
Just enough mayonnaise to hold it all together

Mix the chicken salad ingredients and let sit, covered and refrigerated, for at least an hour. Add a good scoop of the chicken mixture to focaccia squares, which have been split horizontally, warmed, and spread with chutney.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Georgia's Special Cornbread (Wheatless)

This is the cornbread that Georgia served with her Pinto Beans. It was a wonderful meal! This is a good recipe for those with wheat allergies.

2 cups cornmeal
1/3 cup melted shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. soda
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk

1 can cream style corn
1 can chopped green chile (or substitute fresh or frozen)
1 cup grated cheese

Mix the first 7 ingredients as for cornbread.

Add corn and chile.

Grease a large iron skillet.

Pour in half the batter, sprinkle with half the cheese, add the remaining batter and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 500° for 25 minutes or until done. Note: That's a really hot oven, and I confirmed the temperature with Georgia. Just watch carefully that your cornbread doesn't burn.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Georgia's Pinto Beans: Our 500th Recipe!

These beans are very simple but absolutely delicious. Georgia made them for our knitter's group and all of those very experienced cooks were impressed and asking for her recipe.

Georgia served the beans with the following side dishes: Cornbread (I'll post her recipe tomorrow); chopped sweet onions; a plateful of whole green chiles, peeled and seeded; grated cheese; and salsa.

4 cups of pinto beans
Water
Hickory smoked bacon
Salt

Pick over the beans, rinse them well, cover with cold water and soak for 8 hours or overnight. Or, you may clean them, bring them to a boil with water to cover, boil rapidly for one minute, remove from heat, cover and let stand for an hour. Then drain.

Cut up 4 to 6 slices of bacon and place it in the bottom of a crock pot. Add soaked and drained beans. Cover all with cold water and cook in a covered crockpot on medium heat overnight or for 8 hours. Taste the beans and add salt if needed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gnocchi with Cheese

This recipe comes from Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines; China, Greece, and Rome.

I have to tell you that the Frugal Gourmet TV cooking shows were a big hit in our family. We used to get them on Saturday afternoons, and I can't tell you how much we learned about cooking from watching Jeff Smith. I believe to this day that the expansive gestures that Beez uses in the kitchen were learned on those long ago Saturdays. Of course, great flourishes in the kitchen make for great messes to be cleaned up later by the galley slaves, but I still maintain that there is nothing so satisfying as seeing a husband who formerly ate only steak-hamburgers-pizza turn into a chef with choppers! and gestures! and great gusto! in the kitchen.

2 lbs. baking potatoes, washed but unpeeled
1 egg yolk
3 cups regular flour
3 tbl. semolina flour [may substitute Cream of Wheat]
1/2 tsp. salt

SAUCE:
1/4 lb. butter, melted
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Boil the potatoes, skin on, until fork tender. Drain them well and allow to cool just so that you can touch them. Peel and run through a potato ricer.

Place the potatoes in the bowl from your electric mixer and beat in the egg yolk. Add the flour, semolina, and salt and mix just until you have a smooth dough.

Roll the dough into long cylinders the thickness of your finger. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Roll each piece a bit on the rough side of a vegetable grater to give the dumpling some texture. Do this quickly and set them on a tray to dry a bit. You can forget about the rolling if you wish and just allow the dumplings to dry a bit before you boil them.

Flouring the dumplings before you put each on a tray will help keep them separated when they cook.

Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil and add about 1/4 of the batch. Boil gently until the gnocchi float to the top. Continue to boil for one minute and then, using a strainer, remove them from the pot to a warm bowl. Continue cooking until all are done and then toss the dumplings with the butter and cheese.

Serve as a pasta or starch dish with almost any meal.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gingerbread Waffles with Warm Applesauce

  • These always made the loveliest weekend breakfast for the family; the kitchen was so fragrant with the smell of spices and apples.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk (plain yogurt may be substituted; you can add a little milk or water to the batter if it seems too thick)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Stir together egg yolks, buttermilk, and the melted butter; stir into flour mixture.

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.

Bake in a preheated, oiled waffle iron until golden.


Serve with butter and warm applesauce.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pot Roast of Beef in Beer

1 tbl. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 - 1/2 cups beer
1/2 cup salad oil
2 onions, chopped

4 lbs. bottom round beef pot roast
Bacon drippings or olive oil

1/2 cup water
3 beef bouillon cubes

2 cups chopped celery
8 whole carrots, peeled
8 small potatoes, peeled
8 whole small onions, peeled

Mix the first six ingredients together and marinate the beef in the mixture for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove the beef and reserve the marinade.

Brown the beef in the bacon drippings or olive oil in a deep pot. Add the marinade, water, and bouillon cubes.

Simmer, covered, for 3 hours. Add the celery and the whole vegetables during the last hour. If the gravy boils away to less than two cups, add hot water or more beer.

Serves 8.

From The Boston Globe Cook Book, 1974 (now out of print).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Maple Pralines


Ben asked for recipes with maple syrup, because we all have such fond memories of maple sugar time in New Hampshire. This recipe comes from The Tasha Tudor Cookbook; Recipes and Reminiscences from Corgi Cottage.

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup Vermont maple syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbl. unsalted butter
1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, maple syrup, cream, and butter. Place the pan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cook to the soft ball stage, or 134 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it stand for five minutes without stirring.

Add the pecans and stir until the mixture is slightly thick and beginning to look cloudy. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let it stand until cold and firmly set.

Store in a tightly covered container. Makes approximately 2 dozen 1-inch patties.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cashew Butter Toffee


This recipe comes from Tasha Tudor's Old-Fashioned Gifts. Every time I look through this book I am struck anew by the lovely, other-worldly life she led with her family in Vermont.

1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped cashews
1 - 12-oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Butter a cookie sheet and set it aside.

Combine the sugar, salt, water, and butter in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, cook the mixture to the "soft-crack" stage (285°).

Add 1/2 cup of the chopped cashews and immediately pour the mixture onto the buttered cookie sheet. Spread out the mixture with a spatula and allow it to cool.

Melt half of the chocolate chips and spread on the top of the cooled toffee. Sprinkle with half of the remaining chopped cashews. Let this mixture cool until the chocolate has hardened. Turn the mixture over with a spatula and repeat the same process on the other side. Both sides of the toffee should be coated with chocolate and chopped nuts.

Break the toffee into pieces and store in a covered container in a cool, dry place.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Banana Date Bread


Here is another favorite recipe from the Pickity Place cookbook.

3 - 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped dates
2 tbl. lemon juice
3/4 cup shortening
1 - 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Sift dry ingredients together.

Mash the bananas and add the lemon juice to them.

Cream the shortening and sugar, add the eggs and beat thoroughly until very light and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk.

Fold in the bananas, dates, and nuts; mix well.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350° for one hour, or until done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cherry Cottage Pudding

Here is another favorite recipe from the Pickity Place cookbook.

1 No. 2 can pitted red cherries
1/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 - 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour milk

Drain the cherries, saving the juice for the sauce (below).

Cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and flavoring and beat well.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and soda together.

Add alternately with milk in small amounts, mixing well after each addition.

Add cherries.

Pour into a buttered 9" square cake pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve with hot Cherry Sauce.*

*Cherry Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbl. flour
1 cup heated red cherry juice (drained from can of cherries, above)
1/4 cup butter
2 tbl. lemon juice
2 drops almond extract

Combine the sugar and flour. Stir in the cherry juice gradually. Heat to a boil and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add the butter, lemon juice, and extract.

Serve hot over the Cherry Cottage Pudding.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Herb Cheese Spread (Pickity Place)

Pickity Place was always a favorite stop when our family was touring the area near Mason, New Hampshire. It features wonderful herb and flower gardens, a greenhouse shop, a gift shop, and a restaurant. My favorite part was the Grandmother's Cottage, a little red cape-style house that served as the model for the cottage in the 1948 Golden Book edition of Elizabeth Orton Jones' Little Red Riding Hood.

I was lucky enough to come across their cookbook, Country Herb Cooking; Four Seasons of Recipes from Pickity Place, in the Swap Shop at our old New Hampshire town recycling center. This is one of the appetizers that they serve at their luncheons.

1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh chives
1 tsp. fresh sage
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream

Blend all ingredients well and serve with crackers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

French Pork Pie (Tourtière)

So many people in New England come from Canada--now that I live in New Mexico, I miss hearing all those [anglicized] French last names. The French Canadian traditions include this wonderful pork pie, which you can usually only get if you know somebody's mom who still makes tourtière.

This version comes from one of those little cookbooks you get for free along with your
subscription to Yankee Magazine. This one was published in 1980 and is called Yankee's Main
Dish Church Supper Cookbook. It was apparently a small edition of a full-sized cookbook
of the same name, which is now out of print.

Crust:
1 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
2/3 cup water

Cut half the shortening into salted flour, then add the remaining 1/2 cup of shortening. Mix well and
stir in water. Roll out. Makes enough pastry for one 10" two-crust pie.

Filling:
2 lbs. pork, trimmed of fat and ground or cut into 1/2" cubes
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients together, place in a pastry-lined 10" pie plate, and top with the remaining
pastry. Cut a few slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 1 - 1/2 hours at 325° or until the pie is nicely browned. Serves 6-8.



Monday, October 12, 2009

Chinese Pie



I have an old 1962 cookbook called Creature Comforts that was compiled by the Ladies' Evening Circle of the Chester Congregational-Baptist Church in Chester, NH. Chester is the town next door to Candia, where our family spent so many wonderful years. This recipe is contained in that cookbook.

When we first arrived in New Hampshire from Washington state, we were puzzled by a number of things. For instance, we could hardly understand what people were saying a lot of the time. I took a call at work from someone in the "Kearsarge" School District and couldn't for the life of me understand the name of the district. It was pronounced something like Keeeahhhsaaaj and, since I had never heard of the place, I was at a loss as to what to write on the message pad. Asking the person to spell it didn't help at all--my request just resulted in a mystifying series of unfamiliar sounds: K-E-A-Ahh-S-A-Ahh-G-E.

Ladies who sewed shared dress "pattens"--back in those days when there were ladies and sewing and dresses.* And patterns.

Dinner was suddenly called supper (suppah), and lunch was dinner (dinnah). A "little lunch" could be eaten as an evening snack--perhaps after the business part of a community meeting.

Something else we had never heard of was "Chinese Pie," which was a popular dish served in school lunchrooms and at potlucks. My questions about it were met with incredulity--You've never heard of Chinese Pie??? Here is the recipe, courtesy of the Congregational-Baptist ladies of Chester.

1 lb. ground beef, fried
1 onion, cut up and browned
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cans cream-style corn
5 or 6 potatoes, cooked and mashed

Put beef in the bottom of a buttered casserole with onion and seasonings. Add the corn and cover with the mashed potatoes. Bake in a moderate oven till hot [I'm guessing this would be a 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes]. Serves 4.

***

*Here is a delightful "household hint" from this same 1962 cookbook (incidentally published the year I graduated from high school): When ironing dresses for school girls, put hanky in pocket before hanging it up.

Don't you just love it? Ironing! Dresses! School girls! Hankies! It makes you think about how much times have changed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rhamkuchen (Cheese Cake)





Ben is a great fan of cheesecake, so I am always on the lookout for recipes for making this dessert from scratch. This one is from my old 1951 cookbook, A World of Good Eating; a collection of old and new recipes from many lands; tested in the kitchen of a New England housewife.



1 - 1/2 cups rolled Zwieback crumbs
3 tbl. butter
2 tbl. sugar

1 lb. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Rind of 1 lemon
1 tbl. lemon juice
2 eggs, separated

1 cup thick sour cream
1 tbl. sugar
Vanilla

Blend the rolled crumbs with melted butter and 2 tbl. sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9" spring-form pan. Place in warm oven (350°) for 5 minutes to set crust. Cool.

Warm the cream cheese to room temperature and break up with a fork. Blend in the sugar and lemon juice, rind and vanilla. Drop in the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well after each one. Beat the egg whites stiff and fold into the mixture with a spatula.

Pour over the crumb base and bake for 45 minutes at 300°.

Mix 1 tbl. sugar and the vanilla into the sour cream. Spread lightly over the top of the cake and return it to the oven to bake 10 minutes more.

Let the cake cool and remove the rim of the spring-form pan to serve.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pommes de Terre Anna


I came across this recipe in my old 1951 cookbook, A World of Good Eating; a collection of old and new recipes from many lands; tested in the kitchen of a New England housewife.

The recipe reminded me of the times my father would make Potatoes Anna and recount his experiences as a waiter working in the dining room of the Copley Square Hotel in the late 1920s. We would listen to his stories while watching his careful preparation of this beautiful dish, which turned out looking something like this picture from Wikimedia Commons.

6 medium-large potatoes
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 tsp. prepared French mustard
Salt and pepper.

Butter a 9" pan that is about 2 - 1/2 inches deep.

Pare and slice the potatoes thin and brush or spread the slices with butter into which the mustard has been worked.

Arrange the slices around the edges of the pan and covering the bottom, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to build up the layers this way until the pan is filled. If any butter remains, melt and pour it over the top. Press the layers down so that the pan is well filled.

Bake in a hot oven (400°) until the slices are tender when tested with a sharp knife (40 - 50 minutes).

Remove from the oven and let stand a minute or two. Then run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert and unmould the golden brown potatoes onto a hot serving plate.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Poppy Seed Cake

I think that this recipe first came into fashion in the late 1950s when people were experimenting to see how they could gussy up those cake mixes so beloved by housewives of the day. I certainly remember our mom serving this cake proudly, and it was delicious (if you didn't mind the little seeds getting stuck in your teeth).

This version comes from Tastes of Our Town, a cookbook compiled in 1994 by the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Candia (NH) Volunteer Fire Department.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup hot water
4 tbl. poppy seeds

Mix all the ingredients together well. Pour into two greased loaf pans.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Remove cake from pans and put on racks with a plate underneath to catch the icing overflow. Now, poke holes in the cake.

Mix:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix and pour over loaf cakes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blueberry Pudding Cake

This is one of those pudding recipes where the cake batter starts on the bottom and the baked cake ends up on the top of the filling. From Tastes of Our Town, a cookbook compiled in 1994 by the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Candia (NH) Volunteer Fire Department.

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 - 1/2 tbl. lemon juice
1 - 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbl. butter
1/2 cup milk

1 tbl. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water

Place the blueberries in an 8" square pan and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Sift together 3/4 cup of the sugar with the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix with the butter and milk. Pour over the berries.

Mix the remaining 3/4 cup sugar with the cornstarch. Sprinkle over the flour mixture. Pour the boiling water over the top.

Bake at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes.

Good served with vanilla ice cream. Makes 9 servings.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Copper Pennies (Sweet and Sour Carrots)

Candia, NH, Fire Department

Years ago, when we lived back east, my ladies knitting group went out to lunch in Concord, New Hampshire at a place that served copper pennies. I had never heard of them; all the others had, so I assume that this is an old New England favorite.

This version comes from Tastes of Our Town, a cookbook compiled in 1994 by the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Candia (NH) Volunteer Fire Department. Reading it make me so nostalgic and homesick I can hardly stand it!

2 lbs. carrots
1 large green pepper
1 large green onion
3/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1 can tomato soup
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. dry or prepared mustard

Cut carrots crosswise into coins; cut the pepper and onion in slivers. Cook the carrots till tender but firm. Layer vegetables in casserole.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in saucepan and cook about 10 minutes until it thickens. Pour the sauce over the vegetables. Serve hot or cold.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Broccoli Salad

I first had this at a family picnic in Massachusetts.

1 bunch raw broccoli* flowerets
1/2 lb. bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/2 lb. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion

Dressing:
1 cup Miracle Whip or mayo
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbl. vinegar

Mix dressing into first 4 ingredients; stir well and chill.

*Can substitute cauliflower for broccoli or use a combination of the two

Monday, October 5, 2009

Szechuan Sesame Noodles

  • This recipe came from the Bon Appetit Magazine Millennium Special, Sept. 1999. It's a fairly quick dish to make.

  • 8 ounces thin dried Asian noodles or linguine
  • 4 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons bottled teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green or red onions

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return noodles to same pot. Mix in 1 tablespoon oil and peanuts.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy small skillet over medium-low heat. Add ginger and garlic; stir 10 seconds. Add teriyaki sauce, lime juice and chili sauce; simmer 30 seconds. Mix sauce and onions into noodles. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Grilled Sea Bass with Tropical Salsa

  • I have no idea who started the idea that men do the grilling, but I love it. Grilling has changed Beez from a man who only ate hamburger, steaks, and pizza into a culinary adventurer.

This recipe came from the Bon Appetit Magazine Millennium Special, Sept. 1999.

  • 1 cup 1/4-inch pieces peeled, cored pineapple
  • 3/4 cup 1/4-inch pieces peeled, pitted mango
  • 2/3 cup 1/4-inch pieces red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch pieces seeded tomato
  • 1/3 cup 1/4-inch pieces seeded English hothouse cucumber (guess what? I'm betting you could substitute regular old every day cucumber)
  • 1/3 cup 1/4-inch pieces red onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 6 6-ounce sea bass fillets
  • Olive oil

Combine first 10 ingredients in medium bowl; toss to blend. Season salsa with salt. Chill to blend flavors, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours, tossing occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush fish with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just opaque in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Top with salsa and serve.