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Posts Tagged ‘inspired cooking’

Is it just me or when you’re away for a few days you come home to find little bits and odds and ends of stuff in the fridge? Does anyone see these things and think to eat them? Are they still edible? Have they turned into a giant hunk of mold in the container? I hate to waste so I always try find a way to use what I have on hand.

My favorite thing to do with odds and ends in the refrigerator is make a pizza.   The danger with using lots of veggies on your pizza is that it’s easy to have a soggy crust.  Read along and I will tell you my tips and tricks for using up your leftovers on a pizza and keeping the crust crispy.
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I few days ago, I made my way in to the unknown….the back recesses of the fridge to find all of the these ingredients:  sauteed escarole, oil packed sun dried tomatoes, pitted stuffed olives, cooked mushrooms, pepperoncini, roasted yellow pepper strips and grated parmesan cheese.  I was also lucky enough to find a container of my Mom’s nut free pesto in the freezer.  She makes it at the end of the summer and its delicious.  We had been to the store the day before and stocked up on some fresh veggies as the fridge was more than kind of empty since I had been gone.  We got some chopped kale and some more mushrooms, both of which I sauteed in a large batch to have some to put in my eggs the rest of the week.  I also had some shrimp in the freezer (we love shrimp on our pizza) and some four cheese pizza blend.

You might be afraid to put so many veggies on your pizza for fear that it will never crisp up but the secret to using high water content vegetables is as follows:

  1. Roast veggies on the top of the pizza (as I will do with the kale)
  2. Cook out most of the water (which is what I did with the mushrooms, slowly over medium heat and did not salt them until they were mostly cooked, which roasts them and enhances the flavor)
  3. Literally squeeze the liquid out of the greens (which is what I did with the escarole and do with spinach)
  4. Pat dry anything that is in liquid or oil (the pepperoncini, olives, roasted peppers and the sun dried tomatoes)

 

 

 

The next trick to a crispy crust is a pizza stone or an overturned large baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone and a very high oven temperature.  Long before you start building your masterpiece, put the pizza stone in the oven at 450 degrees to heat all the way through.  It’s going to take a good 25-30 minutes to heat to 450.  If you are using a baking sheet overturned, it only takes about five minutes.  The key to a crisp crust is sliding the dough on to a hot surface to set it right away.

If you have a pizza peel, use it.  If you don’t, you can use a second overturned baking sheet in it’s place.  Cornmeal.  Cornmeal is the key to success with all pizza but especially a heavy one laden with deliciousness.  Sprinkle your peel (or second baking sheet) with a generous amount (at least 2 tablespoons) of cornmeal and spread it around to the edges of the peel.  Stretch your dough as thin as possible, leaving a nice edge for the crust and lay it on your pizza peel.  Now shake the peel.  Does the crust move freely back and forth?  If not, lift up the crust gently where it’s stick and through some cornmeal in there.  Shake it again…does it move?  You’re in good shape.

The next step is to layer appropriately.  I start with the pesto (obviously) in a very thin layer and then the dried vegetables that don’t need to be cooked, just heated including the escarole, sun dried tomatoes, olives and roasted peppers.  It’s important NOT to put anything that needs to be cooked (such as raw chicken, shrimp, raw mushrooms etc) under the veggies and cheese on the pizza because by the time the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted the raw food will not be cooked through, it will steam being trapped under the cheese and veggies and will cause the crust to be soggy.  Now is time to shake your crust again to be sure it moves freely.  If not, through some more cornmeal under the crust.  This is going to be a heavy pizza with all of the stuff on it so periodically, make sure it moves.

 

 

 

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The next layer is the remaining veggies, all but the kale, the cheese and the raw protein.  Keep in mind, however, that unless chicken, for example is cut very small it may not cook through, even on the top of the pizza.  Seafood, shrimp and/or scallops are a good bet because they cook so quickly as is any other cooked protein.  Time to add the shrimp and then sprinkle with some grated parmesan.
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And finally the kale.  I love crispy kale so it’s the perfect veggie to top the pizza.  Cooked broccoli is also a good bet as both kale and broccoli get very crisp when exposed to high heat.  Then some dried rosemary/oregano/ thyme or whatever you have on hand and some kosher salt and pepper.

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Shake your pizza on the peel once again and if it moves freely, you are all set.  If not, you know what to do.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until shrimp is cooked through and crust is golden brown and crispy.  Remove from oven and let pizza sit for 5 minutes for the cheese to set up and so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth because you’re going to want to eat this pizza as soon as possible!

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20160127_195207.jpgI usually work night and have been traveling quite a bit lately for work and cooking adventures so I was very excited about a night at home and time too cook a meal for my family!  Here’s the perfect recipe even for the pickiest of eaters.  Hands on time is quick, cooking time is fairly fast and you don’t have to do much to have a wonderful dinner that the leftovers are as good as the meal, easy to reheat and simple to make for a small crowd.

I adore chicken thighs.  They are inexpensive (12 pc for 7.20 at Market Basket), delicious, meaty, moist and tender and usually I use my good friend Doug Keiles’ line of rubs (http://www.ribswithin.com/products/) on the meat and put them on the grill or in the oven on a sheet pan and all is right with the world.

Tonight however, I decided that I wanted to make something to go with pasta with Meyer Lemon Oil, parsley and spicy roasted broccoli, which are two favorites in my family and I had the pleasure of not only my immediate family for dinner but Famous Chicka (my niece, Sarah) and my daughter’s best friend Ashley who is a culinary student at Lily’s school for expert assistance.  It’s remarkable how fast you can get things done with extra hands chopping, slicing and stirring!

Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Meyer Lemons and Olives

2 tablespoon olive oil

10-12 bone in skin on chicken thighs

2 tablespoons dried Italian Seasoning

2 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 cup dry white wine

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup pitted brined olives (use whatever you have on hand)

2 Meyer Lemons (or regular if you don’t have Meyer), one thinly sliced and seeds removed and one zested and juiced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

With a knife or kitchen shears, remove any excess skin from chicken.  Season chicken liberally with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, Italian seasoning and crushed rosemary.

In a large, heavy Dutch Oven (I use the Le Creuset 9.5 quart French Oven) over medium high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering and nearly smoking.  Place chicken thighs, six at a time, skin side down in hot pan and brown for 5-6 minutes until skin is browned.  Remove from pan to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken.

Drain all but 3 tablespoons fat from pan, reduce heat to medium and add wine to the pan, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan while stirring.  Add shallots and cook until shallots are softened, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.  Add olives and Meyer lemon slices, zest, juice and chicken broth to the pan.  Add chicken back to the pan, skin side up in a single layer.  Cover pan with lid or aluminum foil and place in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and reaches 165 degrees F.

Remove from oven and set aside, uncovered, for 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

I served mine with spicy broccoli (toss bite sized broccoli pieces in olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, place on a baking sheet and roast at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until slightly charred and softened) and pasta (I used the high protein) tossed with Meyer lemon oil, fresh parsley, freshly cracked pepper and topped with parmesan cheese.

Another veggie that I thing is under appreciated is escarole.  If you sautee it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and some garlic, its initial bitterness and then sweetness on the palate is the perfect accompaniment to the meal and I often toss it with the pasta.

 

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Here’s the second recipe using some terrific products from Barhyte “Saucy Mama.”   I created this recipe as part of a food blogger recipe contest.  I needed to make a recipe that was a crowd pleaser, easy to make and delicious and I hope this pizza fills that bill.

If you would like to try some “Saucy Mama” products be sure to leave a comment at the end of this post or at the end of my previous pizza post:

https://laurielufkin.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/heres-a-fun-new-party-pizza-recipe-and-a-giveaway-and-i-know-everyone-likes-a-giveaway/

And I will randomly choose a winner of some free products on Sunday night at 8.  Will mail the products to you or drop them off, depending on where you live.

and here’s today’s yummy and spicy recipe~

Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Party Pizza

1 1/4 cups Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade, divided
10-12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 oz softened cream cheese
1-1 pound homemade or store bought pizza dough
Cornmeal for dusting peel
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
2 scallions thinly sliced, white and light green part only
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 fresh avocado, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Move oven rack to the bottom third of the oven and place a pizza stone or overturned large baking sheet on the rack.

Combine 1 cup Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade and shrimp in a small bowl and set aside.

In small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade and cream cheese and stir until smooth (add a few more tablespoon marinade if you like your pizza extra spicy)

Stretch the dough on a pizza peel or the back side of a baking sheet that has been well dusted with cornmeal.  Spread cream cheese mixture on the dough, leaving 1” dough uncovered to form the crust.  Layer on sliced pepper and chopped scallions and one cup of the cheese.  Slide pizza into the oven on the hot stone and bake for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, add marinated shrimp the pizza, gently tapping off any excess marinade before placing the shrimp on the partially cooked pizza.  Sprinkle on remaining cheese and continue to bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes until crust is golden brown and shrimp is cooked through.

When cooked, remove pizza from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Add sliced avocado and sprinkle on chopped cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and slice into wedges or squares to feed your guests.

Enjoy!

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Sometimes when I work on creating a new recipe I go back to my favorite flavors.  This Spring I made potato leek soup about four or five times, experimenting with creamy vs. not, thyme vs. marjoram or another herb, etc. etc. because I love a delicious, warming soup that satisfies and is simple to make.  So, when asked to come up with a recipe for a great product, the adorable and delicious Tasteful Selections Purple Passion Potatoes I knew right where to go…..but not to a soup but to pulling the flavors out of my favorite soup and adding one of my favorite seafood, shrimp (I was thinking scallops would be delicious too, or maybe small pieces of another fave–salmon–but that is for another post I guess..).

It would be a toss up most days to try to tell you my favorite food—but potatoes, shrimp and pizza are right at the top of the list.  So here is my creation that combines all three:

Shrimp Topped Creamy Potato Leek Pizza

7 Tasteful Selections Purple Passion potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced leeks

3 cloves garlic minced

4 oz (about 8 cups) baby spinach

4 oz cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons milk

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried

1-one pound ball pizza dough (store bought or home made)

Cornmeal for sprinkling pizza peel

18-20 large (26/30 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 oz shredded four cheese blend pizza cheese

1 tablespoon  fresh chives, roughly chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Move oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.  Place pizza stone on rack and preheat oven and stone to 475 degrees F.

In a small pot, cover Tasteful Selections Purple Passion Potatoes with cold water.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to water and bring to a boil.  Boil approximately 7 minutes until potatoes are fork tender and drain.  Set aside and allow to cool to the touch before slicing in to 1/4” rounds.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, combine olive oil, leeks and garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste and saute over medium low heat until translucent, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add spinach to hot pan and saute until wilted.  Remove from pan and set aside until cool enough to handle.  When cool, squeeze out excess liquid until nearly dry and set aside.

In the meantime, in a small bowl combine cream cheese, milk and thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle a pizza peel (or the back side of a rimmed baking sheet if peel is unavailable) with cornmeal to cover and stretch pizza dough to form the crust.

Spread crust with cream cheese mixture and top with sautéed leek and garlic mixture.

Layer on the drained spinach 3/4 of the cheese and then artfully place the sliced Tasteful Selections Purple Passion Potatoes on top of the cheese.  Dot the surface of the pizza with the shrimp and sprinkle on the remaining cheese*.  Season pizza with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake on preheated stone for 16-18 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  Remove from oven onto peel and sprinkle on chopped chives.  Allow pizza to rest for 5 minutes before cutting in to 8 slices.

*Cook’s note:  after making this pizza as written, then next time I make it–and I will make it again because it is really delicious–I will place the pizza in the oven for about 8 minutes before adding the shrimp and the last bit of cheese  to ensure that the shrimp does not overcook.

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It was one of those rare cool days a few weeks ago (believe me, I am not complaining) that I was lucky enough to go back in to the kitchen of Chef Clark Dexter while he whipped up another one of his specialties “Saco River Boys Seafood Chowder.”  Clark and a large group of his friends make a yearly “man’s trip” to the Saco River for a canoe trip (no girls allowed) and Clark is in charge of all things culinary–clearly, he has smart friends for putting him in charge–and we are all fortunate that he is sharing this wonderful recipe with us.

I have had a lot of seafood chowder in my life and much like Gail “The Chowder Lady” Mathews’ clam chowder, it is one of the best chowders I have ever tasted.  Rich and decadent and full of lobster, shrimp and whole steamers I was in Heaven.  We topped it off my my own recipe of homemade oyster crackers and it was a meal fit for royalty, or a large group of men in canoes, or both.

So, without further delay, here are both recipes–and thank you again Clark for welcoming me back in to your kitchen!

SACO RIVER BOYS SEAFOOD CHOWDER

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. Small Soft Shell Clams (Steamers) (soak in cold water for ½ hr.)
1 ½ cups water
3/4 lb. 16-20 Shrimp (shelled and cut in half)
3/4 lb Sea Scallops (cut med. To small)
3/4 lb Fresh Lobster Meat (cut med. To small)
½ cup Salt Pork (diced small)
½ Stick of Butter
1 Med. Onion (sliced)
2 Med Potatoes (cubed and cooked until soft then cooled in cold water, drained and set aside)
1 cups of flour
16 Oz. Of Clam Juice
24 Oz.  Milk
12Oz.  Light Cream
White Pepper

(1) Put salt pork in a pan on med. To low heat and render until salt pork is nice and brown. Strain pork scraps from liquid and set aside pork scraps. Add butter and onions to salt pork liquid and cook until onions are  soft. Add flour to this to make your roux (roux is equal parts of fat and flour cooked). Cook this while stirring for about three min. to set the roux.

(2) Put clams in a pan with water and cooked covered until clams open. Remove clams from the liquid and shell and clean. Add 16 oz. Of clam juice to this liquid, add shrimp and scallops and cook until just firm. Remove shrimp and scallops and set aside. Bring this liquid to a boil and add roux, Whip for about two min. this makes your base.

(3) Stir in milk and cream while cooking on low heat. Add potatoes, clams, lobster meat, shrimp and scallops, heat until nice and warm. Chop half of the pork scraps that you had set aside (very small) and add with a little white pepper.

(4) Serve with Laurie Lufkin’s home made oyster crackers. ENJOY

Homemade Oyster Crackers

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
½ teaspoon sugar
1 2/3 cup cake flour
1 ½ cup all purpose flour, plus more for rolling surface
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling if desired
¼ cup cold shortening, cut in to cubes
¼ cup cold butter, cut in to cubes
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine yeast, water and sugar.  Stir to combine and set aside until mixture is frothy and yeast is activated.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine cake flour, all purpose flour and salt.  Process for one minute to mix and aerate.  Add shortening and butter and pulse until small crumbs form.  With processor running, pour yeast mixture through feed tube.  Process until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead in a little addition flour if dough is sticky.  Roll out the dough as thin as possible into a rectangle.  Fold in the long sides of the dough to the center and repeat with the ends to form a smaller rectangle.  Roll out thin again and repeat this procedure two more times.  Roll out one final time to a 9” x 11” rectangle. Brush top of dough very lightly with milk and sprinkle very lightly with additional salt if desired.  With a pastry cutter or knife, cut crackers in to ½” – 1” squares as desired.  Place crackers 1” apart on prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.  Slide parchment off of baking sheet and allow to cool.  Serve with seafood chowder.  These can be made days ahead if necessary as they keep well stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

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Happy Memorial Monday all. Hope you have had a glorious day filled with remembering those who have served and are serving our Country.

I was hoping to have a recipe for you from a new episode of Inspired Cooking today but due to technical difficulties, the new show will air next week. In the meantime, Lily and I thought you might enjoy this recipe, Lily’s Secret Strawberry Pie–the perfect recipe to use the native strawberries that are so terrific right now!

We made the video a few weeks ago for Kiwi Magazine’s Next Young Chef contest (which explains the brand names next to the ingredients) and fingers crossed that she does well and wins one of the big prizes! Here is the recipe and video.

Be sure to leave a comment on the youtube page or here and let Lily know what you think.

And here is the recipe:

Lily’s Secret Strawberry Pie

For the crust:

25 chocolate wafers cookies
1/4 Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter
3 oz Endangered Species All Natural Milk chocolate, finely chopped

Combine cookies, Organic sugar and melted butter in the food processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Press into 9” pie plate. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, sprinkle on chopped milk chocolate and bake for 2 more minutes until chocolate is softened. Remove crust from oven. Using a pastry brush, paint melted chocolate over the bottom of crust. Place crust in refrigerator until cooled and chocolate is hardened.

For the filling:

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups light cream
¼ cup cornstarch
1/2 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Organic granulated sugar
2 large organic eggs plus one egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Nielson-Massey vanilla extract
Pinch salt

In a large microwave safe bowl, whisk together heavy cream, light cream and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and salt.

In the microwave on 100% power, cook custard mixture for 11-13 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave, pausing to stir the custard at 5 minutes and every one minute thereafter until thickened. Refrigerate until cooled.

To assemble pie:
6-8 large strawberries, thinly sliced, plus one strawberry for the top of the pie
1 oz shaved Endangered Species Milk chocolate, shaved

When ready to assemble pie, spread sliced strawberries over chocolate coating on pie crust. Spoon custard over strawberries and spread until level. Sprinkle shaved chocolate over the custard and top with remaining strawberry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Here is a recipe I created for a contest that is sponsored by Paula Deen and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  Because it is a contest, there is some product promotion (so please excuse that as it is not my regular m.o.) and enjoy the recipe and the video!

And here is the recipe–these are perfect for a party this weekend!

Looking for a delicious, gorgeous and crowd pleasing dessert in a few easy steps? Grab the Philly Cream cheese and get started! These little pink cuties will be a hit at any event from the PTO bake sale to your best friend’s baby shower and a breeze to make. Enjoy!

Sweet & Tart Raspberry Lemonades

* Prep time: 10 minutes
* |
* Cook time: 25 minutes
* |
* Total time: 35 minutes
* |
* Servings: 24

* 1 17.5 oz package sugar cookie mix
* 1 stick salted butter, melted
* 1 cup(s) of plus one tablespoon frozen pink lemonade concentrate, defrosted
* 2 tbsp. of cornstarch
* 2 8 oz. packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
* 1 large egg yolk
* 1 cup(s) of plus one tablespoon granulated sugar
* 1 -3 drops liquid red food coloring
* 1/2 cup(s) of seedless raspberry preserves
* 48 fresh raspberries
* 24 small mint leaves

Steps

1. Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place a paper baking cup in each of 24 regular sized muffin cups.
3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or with an electric mixer in a large bowl, process or beat sugar cookie mix and melted butter until a dough forms, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.
4. Place a heaping tablespoon of dough mixture in to prepared muffin cups and press lightly to cover bottom of liner.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
6. In the meantime, in a small bowl, whisk together lemonade concentrate and cornstarch until smooth and set aside.
7. Add softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese, egg yolk, granulated sugar and pink lemonade concentrate mixture to bowl and process or beat until smooth and creamy.
8. Add desired amount of food coloring and process again until completely combined.
9. Place one teaspoon of raspberry preserves in the center of each of the partially baked cookie crusts.
10. Using a quarter cup measure, scoop 3 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture in to each of the prepared muffin cups to cover raspberry preserves.
11. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until centers are set. Remove from oven and place in refrigerator immediately to cool for 20 minutes.
12. After 20-30 minutes (or as soon as cool), remove from and top with two fresh raspberries and one mint leaf in the center and enjoy!

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Good Afternoon all!

I am taping another show tomorrow so will have new recipes to share with you soon.   However, in the meantime, would you please go and vote for my “Taste of Mexico Tortilla Crusted Tilapia Salad?”  I need all of the votes I can get!

Here is a link to the recipe so you can vote:

http://www.gortons.com/grilled-details.php?id=425&page=

and here is a link to the terrific article from last week’s Cape Ann Beacon. Thank you so much Jane Dooley for doing such a great job with the article and to Dave Sokol for the wonderful photographs.  It was a blast doing the article and the photos with them and they left happy with the tilapia salad for lunch and a container full of brownies!

http://www.wickedlocal.com/gloucester/features/x1664778690/Essex-cook-Laurie-Lufkin-passionate-about-recipe-contests

Thank you Cape Ann and everyone all over the country for your continued support!

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Here is the recipe my girl Lily and I made yesterday at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Home & Garden Show.  If you were not able to make to the show for a sample, and you make the pasta, let me know what you think.

You can add whatever veggies you like to this excellent pasta dish and I upped the nutritional value and the fiber by using a “pasta plus” instead of a traditional pasta.  You will find the “pasta plus” next to the traditional pasta in the grocery store and comes in a yellow box.

Thank you to Sharon Lowe for this gorgeous photograph!

Spring Vegetable Pasta with Creamy Goat Cheese Sauce

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and broken in to bit sized pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
2 cup leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
6-8 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1-14 to 16 oz box rotini pasta (traditional, pasta “plus” or whole wheat will work), cooked, drained and tossed with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and place asparagus in a single layer in the pan.  Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and shake pan to coat asparagus with oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.  When still bright green and partially cooked, removed from oven and set aside.

In the meantime, melt remaining two tablespoons oil with butter and add leeks and minced garlic in large skillet.  Cook over medium heat until leeks are cooked through and translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add wine and broth and stir, scraping any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, add crumbled goat cheese and stir until cheese melts and a creamy sauce forms.  Stir in cooked pasta and asparagus and toss with sauce.  Remove pan from heat and stir in halved tomatoes, lemon zest and dill.  Re-season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Serve 6-8

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As my Grandfather used to say, if you spend an entire day in the world and didn’t learn anything, it was a “No Sale” day.  Well, my afternoon spent with Myron certainly was NOT a No Sale day.  Who knew that making pickles and relish could be so much fun, so interesting, so easy yet almost scientific at the same time and that the results would be so delicious?

Here are the recipes and some photos from tonight show on Cape Ann TV at 8:30, Making Pickles With Myron Lapine.   The show will also air Friday at 4:30 and again Sunday at 11:30 and re-air on the same schedule next week.

SPEEDY DILL PICKLES

4 POUNDS PICKLING CUCUMBERS
6 TABLESPOONS KOSHER OR PICKLING SALT
3 CUPS DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR
3 CUPS WATER
1 TABLESPOON WHOLE MIXED PICKLING SPICES
18 PEPPERCORNS
3 TABLESPOONS DILL SEED
1.  WASH YOUR CUCUMBERS, LEAVE THEM WHOLE IF THEY’RE SMALLER, THAN 4 INCHES IN DIAMETER. FOR LARGER CUCUMBERS CUT THEM INTO SLICES OR LENGHWISE, IN HALVES OR QUARTERS.
2  PREPARE YOUR CANNING JARS AND TWO-PIECE CAPS ACCORDING TO MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS.  KEEP THE JARS AND LIDS HOT
3.  COMBINE THE SALT , WATER, AND VINEGAR IN A TO 3-TO 4 QUART SAUCEPAN.   BRING THE LIQUID TO A BOIL OVER HIGH HEAT, STIRRING OCCASIONALLY TO DISSOLVE THE SUGER.  KEEP THE LIQUID HOT.
4.  SNUGGILY PACK THE CUCUMBERS INTO YOUR PREPARED JARS.  TO EACH QUART JAR, ADD 1 TEASPOON OF PICKLING SPICES, 6 PEPPERCORNS, AND 1 TABLESPOON OF DILL SEED.  TO EACH PINT JAR, ADD 1/2 TEASPOON OF PICKLING SPICES, 3 PEPPERCORNS AND 1 1/2 TEASPOONS OF DILL SEED.
5.  LADLE THE HOT LIQUID INTO YOUR FILLED JARS, LEAVING HEADSPACE OF 1/2 INCH IN THE QUART JARS AND HEADSPACE OF 1/4 IN THE PINT JARS.  COMPLETELY SUBMERGE THE CUCUMBERS IN THE LIQUID.  IF THEY PROTRUDE FROM THE JAR, ADJUST THEM UNTIL YOU HAVE THE PROPER HEADSPACE
6.  WIPE THE JAR RIMS: SEAL THE JARS WITH THE TWO-PIECE CAPS.   HAND-TIGHTENING THE BANDS.  PROCESS YOUR FILLED JARS IN A WATER-BATH FOR QUART JARS  15 MINUTES FOR PINT JARS, 10 MINUTES: BOTH FROM THE POINT OF BOILING.  REMOVE THE JARS WITH A JAR LIFTER.  PLACE THEM ON A CLEAN KITCHEN OR PAPER TOWEL AWAY FROM DRAFTS.

BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES

4 PONDS PICKLING CUCUMBERS
4 SMALL TO MEDIUM ONIONS
ICE WATER, ABOUT 4 TO 6 QUARTS
1/2 CUP KOSHER OR PICKLING SALT
5 CUPS GRANULATED SUGAR
4 CUPS DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR
2 TABLESPOONS MUSTARD SEEDS
2 1/2 TEASPOONS CELERY SEED
1 1/2 TEASPOONS TURMERIC
1,  SLICE THE CUCUMBERS INTO 1/4 INCH THICK ROUNDS.  PEEL THE ONIONS AND CUT THEM IN HALF LENGTHWISE FROM THE TIP TO THE BOTTOM CORE.  LAY THEM ON A CUTTING BOARD, CUT SIDE DOWN AND SLICE THEM, STARTING AT THE TOP OF THE ONION, TO A THICKNESS OF 1/4  INCH.  PLACE THE CUCUMBER AND ONION SLICES IN A PICKLING CROCK OR TWO 5 TO 6 QUART BOWLS.  SPRINKLE THEM WITH SALT.  ADD ICE WATER TO COVER THE VEGETABLES.  STIR THEM ONCE, THEN COVER THE BOWLS AND LET THE VEGGIES STAND AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR 3 HOURS.  TRANSFER THE VEGGIES TO A COLANDER AND RINSE THEM THOROUGHLY WITH RUNNING WATER.
DRAIN WELL ROLL THE PIECES IN A CLEAN DRY KITCHEN TOWEL TO PARTIALLY DRY THEM.
2  PREPARE YOUR CANNING JARS AND TWO-PIECE CAPS ACCORDING TO MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS KEEP JARS AND LIDS HOT.
3.  COMBINE THE SUGAR, VINEGAR, MUSTARD AND CELERY SEED, AND TURMERIC IN A 8-TO 10 QUART POT.  BRING THE LIQUID TO A BOIL OVER HIGH HEAT, STIRRING OCCASIONALLY TO DISSOLVE THE SUGAR AND MIX THE SPICES.  ADD THE VEGETABLES AND RETURN THE MIXTURE TO A BOIL.  REDUCE THE HEAT TO MEDIUM-HIGH AND SIMMER, UNCOVERED FOR 5 MINUTES.
4.  PACK THE HOT PICKLES INTO THE PREPARED JARS,  LEAVING HEAD SPACE OF 1/4 INCH.  RELEASE ANY AIR BUBBLES WITH A NONREACTIVE TOOL.  ADD MORE PICKLES AND LIQUID TO THE JAR, LEAVING 1/4 INCH OF HEAD SPACE FOR BOTH THE PICKLES AND THE LIQUID.
5.  WIPE THE JAR RIMS:  SEAL THE JARS WITH THE TWO-PIECE CAPS.  HAND TIGHTENING THE BANDS.  PROCESS YOUR FILLED JARS IN  A WATER BATH FOR 15 MINUTES FROM THE POINT OF BOILING.  REMOVE THE JARS WITH A JAR LIFTER  PLACE THEM ON A CLEAN KITCHEN TOWEL OR PAPER TOWEL AWAY FROM DRAFTS  ENJOY

BELL PEPPER RELISH

12  GREEN BELL PEPPERS
12 RED BELL PEPPERS
12 MEDIUM-SIZE ONIONS
2 CUPS CIDER VINEGAR
2 CUPS SUGAR
2 TABLESPOONS SALT
1. REMOVE CORES AND SEEDS FROM PEPPERS AND CHOP FINELY.  PEEL ONIONS AND CHOP FINELY.  COVER WITH BOILING WATER AND LET STAND 5 MINUTES.
2.  DRAIN AND ADD THE VINEGAR, SUGAR AND SALT.
3.  POUR INTO HOT, STERILIZED JARS AND SEAL PROCESS TIME 5 MINUTES. ENJOY

Myron’s website is MAANDPASPICKLES.COM

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