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Posts Tagged ‘laurie lufkin’

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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Thank you all for coming out to see my baking demonstration at yesterday’s Rockport Harvest Festival.  What a gorgeous day I was so thrilled with all of the people who came and watched my demo!  Here, as promised, is the recipe I make yesterday.

I am so glad I was able to give out samples and that they were so well received, but here is the presentation that was giving to the judges-this photo was taken when I was a guest on TV Diner a few weeks after I won the contest.  Like I told you yesterday, second only to the birth of my daughter Lily, that day was the most exciting day of my life.

Good Luck to this years competitors.  Hood will be announcing the names of the finalists tomorrow and if any of my friends have made the cut, I wish them all the best–enjoy every second of it and I want to see one of you holding the BIG CHECK (mine still currently resides on the wall of my kitchen for inspiration)!

New England Buttermilk Pumpkin Cakes with Sour Cream Apple Caramel and Dried Cranberries

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Hood Cultured Fat Free Buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons demerara sugar, divided
6 tablespoons sweetened dried cranberries, divided
Hood Original Whipped Light Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place 6 one cup ramekins on a baking sheet.  Spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and set aside.

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat again until combined.  Beat in pumpkin and Hood Cultured Fat Free Buttermilk and vanilla extract until thoroughly incorporated.   Slowly incorporate dry ingredients and beat until well combined.

Divide batter between prepared ramekins, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon demerara sugar and bake in preheated oven for 25 to 28 minutes until a skewer inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean.

While the cakes are in the oven, prepare the sour cream apple caramel sauce.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons salted butter, cut in to small pieces
1/4 cup Hood Heavy Cream
3/4 cup Hood sour Cream
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Cortland apples, peeled and cut in to 1/2” to 3/4” matchsticks

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix the sugar and water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved.  Do not allow any sugar to get on the side of the pan.

Allow mixture to boil, gently stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to change color.   When the liquid is a medium caramel color turn off the heat and whisk in the butter until melted.  Quickly whisk in the Hood Heavy Cream until combined and then whisk in the Hood Sour Cream, salt, vanilla extract and apples.  If caramel cools too quickly, reheat gently over low heat, stirring frequently.

To serve:  Place pumpkin cake in the center of a dessert dish  Spoon sour cream caramel apple caramel sauce over cake and sprinkle on one tablespoon sweetened dried cranberries.  Top with desired amount of Hood Original Light Whipped Cream and enjoy!

 

 

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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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Hi All!  I made this recipe when I got an email from the King Arthur Flour Company with a similar recipe.  I changed it up a little but the original is so delicious that I didn’t do much, trust me!  I wanted to make the bread a little healthier so I changed out some of the all purpose flour for some King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour (which has more fiber) and used reduced fat cheese instead of full fat.  I also upped the salt a bit because I prefer a tiny bit more salt in my bread.  If you make it, please let me know what you think.

Cheddar Cheese Soda Bread

1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut in to small pieces
8 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese (I used jalapeno cheddar for a kick), shredded
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Work in cold butter with fingertips until small crumbs form.  Add cheese and toss to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs until well combined.  Add to flour and cheese mixture and fold until just combined.

Turn dough out on to a well floured surface.  Knead several times and shape in to a smooth ball.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in to the middle of the loaf comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.  Makes excellent sandwich bread or toast.

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Gorton’s is sponsoring a recipe contest using their frozen grilled products so naturally, I entered.  Yesterday I was thrilled to find out that I was a finalist in the contest but now I need some hometown support to win! The person who gets the most votes wins a HUGE Pottery Barn gift certificate and boy could Lily and I use some updates in our little apartment.

Here is there recipe, photo and the link to vote.  Easy Easy voting!  Just click the link and then fill in the words in the white box to cast your vote.    You can vote daily until the end of April (yikes, a long time, I know) but if you could I would so appreciate it!

Here is the voting link:  http://www.gortons.com/grilled-details.php?id=425&page=

And here is the recipe for “Taste of Mexico Tortilla Crusted Tilapia Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette”

For the Dressing:

3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup canola oil
Salt & pepper to taste

For the Fish:

1 egg white
1/4 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups reduced fat tortilla chip crumbs
1-6.3 oz Gorton’s Roasted Garlic & Butter Grilled Tilapia
2 tablespoons canola oil
5 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cleaned and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime wheels for garnish, if desired

First, prepare the dressing.  Combine lime juice, vinegar, agave nectar, cumin and cilantro in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil and whisk until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.*

In a shallow dish such as a pie plate, whisk together egg white and skim milk.  Set aside.  Pour crushed tortilla chips into another shallow dish and season with freshly ground pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Remove Gorton’s Roasted Garlic & Butter Grilled Tilapia from pouch and place in a microwave safe dish.  Using the defrost setting on the microwave, defrost the fillets.  Do not allow fillets to cook.

Heat canola oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Gently coat fillets with milk and egg mixture then gently press fillets in to crushed tortilla chips.  If fillets separate be sure to coat all sides of the fish with the crumb mixture.  Gently place crusted fish in hot oil and cook for about 4-5 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second side until crumbs are lightly browned and fish is cooked through.

In the meantime, divide salad greens, sliced tomatoes, avocado and bell peppers between two serving plates.  When fish is cooked, place fillets on top of greens on each plate and drizzle fish and greens with desired amount of cilantro lime vinaigrette.   Garnish with lime if desired.  Enjoy!

*Store bought cilantro lime vinaigrette may be substituted for convenience

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The “Hometown Favorites” episode of Ultimate Recipe Showdown from last season is re-airing  tonight at 9:00.  Even though I didn’t win there really were no losers on that show.  The women that I competed against have become dear friends and I even was able to see one of them in January.  The experience was amazing, the people at Food Network are top notch and I am hoping that maybe I will get chosen again for next year.  Who knows?  All I can do is try try!

Here are the recipes from the show.  Enjoy!

Only in Essex Steamer Clam Cakes with Traditional New England Tartar Sauce

Clams:

  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 1 can beer (Budweiser or the like is fine)
  • Olive oil
  • 6 pounds steamer clams

Traditional Tartar Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup dill pickles, diced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 2 cups canola oil or more, according to manufacturer’s instructions on deep-fryer
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups clam broth
  • Lemon wedges, if desired

Directions

For the Clams: Over medium heat in a large pan, pour 3 tablespoons olive oil. Chop onion into large chunks and saute in oil until lightly cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the beer and the clams. Cover and cook until all of the clams are opened, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on how many you have in the pan.

Remove pan from heat, uncover and allow to cool to the touch before shucking.

Push the clams to the side so that there is broth visible to rinse the clams in after shucking. Remove clams from shell 1 at a time and pull off membrane that covers the neck and discard. Rinse shucked clams in broth and set aside. When all clams are shucked, drain the broth out of them by giving them a slight squeeze over the pan of broth. Chop roughly and set aside.

For the tartar sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl to serve with clam cakes. Refrigerate until serving.

For the clam cakes: In a deep-fryer or on the stove top in a deep skillet, preheat oil to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in eggs, evaporated milk and clam broth until thoroughly mixed. Stir in clams and mix well.

Dip a spoon into the heated oil, then take a 2 tablespoon sized scoop of the fritter mixture and carefully drop into oil. Turn the cake over when the first side is browned. Fritters should be cooked through and browned in 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a skimmer and drain on brown paper bag. Reseason with additional salt, if desired. Serve with the tartar sauce and enjoy! If desired, serve on small plates with wedges of lemon.

North Atlantic Pan Seared Cod with New England Succotash and Cranberry Vinaigrette

Succotash:

  • 4 slices pre-cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can navy beans
  • 2 cups fresh, canned or frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk or light cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cranberry Vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fish:

  • 5 (6-ounce) Atlantic cod fillets, preferably from the thick head end
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 grape tomatoes
  • 8 cups baby arugula

Directions

Roughly chop the bacon and dried cranberries and set aside. Drain and rinse beans and set aside. Drain the corn, if necessary.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and milk together. Add the corn, beans, chopped bacon and cranberries and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Season mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat, loosely cover and set aside until ready to serve.

While succotash is cooking, prepare the dressing. If you are very short on time, substitute store bought cranberry vinaigrette and add 1 tablespoon horseradish.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade, combine all ingredients except for salt and pepper. Pulse ingredients until cranberries are roughly chopped and dressing is emulsified. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside until ready assemble plates.

Rinse and pat fillets dry. Combine the flour and salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Coat fish on all sides with seasoned flour, shaking off the excess and set fillets aside.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil. Heat melted mixture until hot but not browned and place the fish in the skillet, leaving space between the fillets. Cook 4 to 5 minutes on the first side and turn fillets over carefully. Continue cooking until flesh is firm and no longer opaque, about 5 more minutes. Remove fillets to a plate and set aside.

While fish is cooking, slice the tomatoes in half and assemble plates. Evenly distribute arugula among 5 plates and arrange in a small mound. When fish is cooked, lean the cod fillet against the arugula and place a scant cup of succotash on the plate touching both the fish and arugula. Drizzle 2 tablespoons cranberry vinaigrette over arugula and succotash and top greens with 6 tomato halves per plate.

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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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Hearty Fire Roasted Tomato & Chicken Soup

3 large chicken breasts, diced (about 2-2 ½ pounds)
4 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium onions, diced
2 medium peppers, diced
8 cups fat free chicken broth
3-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
2-14.5 oz cans Fire Roasted diced tomatoes
1-10 oz can tomatoes with diced chilies
1-14.5 oz box high fiber white or whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Reduced fat sour cream (optional)
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

On the stove top in a large Dutch oven, combine chicken, 2 teaspoons cumin and 2 teaspoons chili powder over chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.  Brown chicken and then saute until cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.


In the same pan, combine garlic, onions and 2 tablespoon olive oil.  Cook slowly over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.  Add green peppers and 2 teaspoons cumin and cook until peppers are softened, about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add diced tomatoes.  With an immersion or conventional blender, puree vegetable mixture until no large chunks are present (you can omit this step if you like a chunky soup).  Return puree to the pan and add chicken broth, fire roasted tomatoes and tomatoes with green chilies and stir to combine.  Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.

While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions.  When finished, drain and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with freshly ground pepper and set aside.


After soup is simmered, add diced chicken, pasta and fresh cilantro.  Simmer until hot again.  Dish into bowls and top with sour cream and fresh cilantro springs, if desired.

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Budget Meal-yes, all of this for about $20.00!

White Bean and Chicken Chili with Green Chile Sour Cream

*this recipe makes a huge batch of chili—make sure to use a large pot

2 cups onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup olive oil

1 large red pepper, diced

1 large green pepper, diced

4 large chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch dice

¼ all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground oregano

4-15 oz cans cannellini beans

9 cups chicken broth, divided

2-4.25 oz cans diced green chiles

1-15 oz can navy beans

2 cups corn kernels

2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

¼-1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro, to taste

Hot sauce to taste

Additional salt & pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add diced peppers and continue to cook until peppers are soft, about 10 more minutes.  Add chili powder, cumin and oregano to pot and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, toss chicken with flour and salt and pepper.  Add to vegetables and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan until chicken is cooked.

In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, puree cannellini beans and one cup chicken broth until smooth.  Add to the chicken and vegetable mixture, along with remaining chicken broth.  Stir to combine.  Add corn and navy beans and simmer for about an hour.  Mixture will thicken.

Before serving, stir in Monterey jack cheese and chopped cilantro.

Green Chile Sour Cream

1-8oz container sour cream

1-4.25 oz can diced green chiles-do not drain

Juice of one lime

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Double Coconut Shortbread Bars

2 cups all purpose flour

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 cup toasted coconut, divided

2-8 oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature

2/3 cup coconut milk

1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9” x 13” baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor or with a fork, combine flour, confectioner’s sugar and cubed butter until a fine crumb forms.  Reserve ½ of mixture and set aside.  Stir in ½ cup toasted coconut and press crust into prepared pan.   In a separate small bowl, stir together reserved crust mixture and reserved coconut and set aside.

Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until crust is set and edges are lightly browned.

In the meantime, prepared the filling.  In the bowl of a food processor or with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and coconut extract until smooth until smooth.  Pour mixture over hot partially cooked crust and sprinkle with reserved crust and coconut mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly caramel brown.  Allow to cool completely before cutting.  Enjoy!

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It’s All About Ice Cream-Episode #5–Down River Ice Cream

I hope you will make these recipes for ultra dark chocolatey cookies for the “greenhead” ice cream sandwiches and the fantastic toasted pecan cinnamon blondies with they spiced apple compote to make a wonderful sundae with vanilla ice cream!  Thank you again to my friends at Down River Ice Cream on rt 133 in Essex.  Go visit them soon and experience their wonderful homemade ice cream, gelato and sorbets.  Joe & Amy are doing their part and operating as a ‘green business’ to keep our environment happy and healthy!

Inspired Cooking airs on Cape Ann TV ch 12 Tuesdays at 8:30, Fridays at 4:30 and Sunday morning at 11:30.  I hope you will tune in!

Double Darks

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup natural cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon espresso powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

16 oz. semisweet chocolate (8 oz chopped)

1 cup salted butter

3 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 4 large baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt and set aside.

In a microwave safe dish, melt butter and chopped chocolate in the microwave, about 1 ½ -3 minutes (individual microwave power will vary).  Stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended and lighter in color.  Gradually mix in flour mixture and then chocolate mixture and finally chopped chocolate.

Using a #40 ice cream scoop (about 1 ½”) scoop onto prepared baking sheets, 9 to a sheet.  Bake 15-17 minutes in preheated oven until cookies are flat and surfaces are cracked.

To assemble, press a large scoop of mint chocolate chip (or another favorite ice cream) between two cookies

Enjoy!

*these cookies keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.  You can also make the ice cream sandwiches well in advance, wrap them individually and freeze them until ready to serve.

Cinnamon Pecan Blondies Sundaes with Warm Apple Sauce

2/3 cup salted butter, melted

1 pound light brown sugar (yes, one pound, about 2 1/2 cups)

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¾ cup all purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup cinnamon baking chips

½ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together butter and brown sugar and extract until smooth.  Add eggs and stir until combined.  Gradually stir in dry ingredients until incorporated.  Mix in cinnamon chips and pecans and pour dough into prepared pan.  Wet fingers with water and press batter into pan.

Bake 25-30 minutes until center is just set and edges are lightly browned.  Allow too cool about ½ hour before slicing.  Serve with vanilla ice cream and warm apple sauce.  Enjoy!

Warm Apple Sauce (this sauce is great on french toast too!)

4 tablespoon salted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 cups cooking apples (empire, gala) peeled, cored & sliced or cubed

Pinch salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a large saucepan, melt together butter and brown sugar.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15-20 minutes or until apples are soft and cooked through.  Serve with cinnamon pecan blondies and vanilla ice cream.

To assemble, cut blondies into desired size and place in a serving dish.  Top with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and several spoonfuls of warm apple sauce.  Sprinkle with additional toasted pecans if desired.  Enjoy!

Blondies keep well tightly wrapped or in an airtight container

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