Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saurkraut Revisited....Canning time

Yes, those who follow my blog saw how to "cook" cabbage into saurkraut. My ancestors would be proud! (although I don't think they did theirs in a 5 gallon bucket using garbage bags!) Seriously though....I allowed 2 more weeks to ferment my kraut than last year and it made ALL the difference. IF you like your kraut mellow--cook (ferment) for only 6 weeks. If you want a twang and a sour taste, go for 8 weeks. This year I alternated layering cabbage and salt with dill and caraway seeds.

After cabbage has fermented to your desired taste, pack hot, sterilized pint or quart jars with cabbage Spoon liquid over the top and seal with hot, sterilized lids and bands. Process in a hot water bath (all that means is a BIG freakin' pot--like a stock pot, with boiling water that covers the jar-lids about 1/4") as follows:
pints - 15 minutes
quarts - 20 minutes
Immediately remove your jars and listen for the "pop" as the lids seal.....Lids that do not seal should be stored in the fridge and served at your leisure.

Wow! This is going to be a great year at the Blizzard House for kosher dogs, grilled sausages and Mom's Fe'Lances.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

La Posta Green Chile Enchiladas

When I married Jim (almost 21 years ago), I inherited a cookbook that is now out of print. The copyright date on it is 1971. The La Posta Restaurant in Old Mesilla, New Mexico was once a stagecoach stop on the famous Butterfield Trail and has been serving some of the best food the Las Cruces area has to offer since 1939. My favorite dish (and I make it often) is Enchiladas Verdes (Green Chile Enchiladas). Please note that the "Original" recipe calls for layering enchiladas in a pancake-style fashion, not ROLLED up the way I do. Either way, they taste the same.

1 doz. corn tortillas (yellow are best)
3 cups green chile sauce (see recipe below)
2 cups grated cheese

Allow 2-3 tortillas per person. Fry tortillas in hot oil to soften. Quickly dip in sauce and build on plate layer-cake fashion with grated cheese sprinkled between the layers. Spoon green chile sauce over each enchilada and top with grated cheese. Bake until cheese is melted. Serve with shredded lettuce as a garnish and sour cream if you desire.

Green Chile Sauce (Chile Verde)
12 green chile peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined and diced into 1/2" pieces.
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small garlic cloves or garlic powder
1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and add only enough water to slightly cover. Simmer for ten minutes.

Somen Noodle

Somen noodle reminds me of a "grown ups" version of Ramen. I love these noodles with this simple sauce.

Juice of 1 lime
1 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP olive oil
pinch of fresh ground ginger
optional: thinly sliced green onion

1 bundle of Somen noodles, cooked separately.

In boiling water soften Somen noodles (only takes a few minutes). Drain. Mix sauce ingredients and pour over Somen noodles to mix.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bologna Anyone?

Every once in a while I develop a craving for my mom's Stuffed Green Bell Peppers. Just like getting our own individual artichoke, it was a treat to get your own piping hot stuffed pepper served up with a mound of mashed potatoes. This wonderful dish is made, not with the traditional hamburger and rice--NO! Mom used ground bologna. Don't let the main ingredient throw you off. It tasted unlike anything else! Here it goes:

4 medium sized green bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds removed

1 1/2 lbs. bulk bologna (get the good stuff from the butcher dept.), ground
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 large raw potato, grated
1/2 onion, diced fine
salt and pepper to taste

1 can Tomato soup, diluted with 1/2 can water

Mix bologna, eggs, grated potato, onion and seasonings. Stuff raw peppers and place in a baking dish. Pour the diluted tomato soup over the top, cover with foil and bake in hot preheated 375 oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Mom also likes this over quartered potatoes to bake with your peppers.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chocolate Mint Jelly and Canning Tomatoes

I can't believe that it is October and there is no snow on the ground! First time in the 6 years I have been in Alaska. My mint is still producing lovely outside. I grew 3 varieties this year: Chocolate Mint, Orange Mint and Ginger Mint. I just had to give the Chocolate Mint a haircut and make some jelly. No Kidding....This mint tastes EXACTLY like a York Peppermint Pattie...I kid you not! So it only stands to reason that I should make a jelly out of this to serve on Easter Sunday with a grilled leg of lamb served with wild rice and grilled bacon-wrapped asparagus and mozzarella! (I am so traditional...Thanksgiving MUST be turkey stuffed with cranberries, cornbread and walnuts and Christmas will be spent this year in Hawaii sunning on the beach, getting couple of tan lines, listening to island music, warming ourselves, looking at turtles under water and roaming the streets at night for a good place to eat with the hunky hubby---so I'll eat fish with macadamia nuts and snorkel day and night! ha ha)

The tomatoes have ripened as much as they are going to. Poor things have sat on my dining room table for 4 weeks now....and I have nurtured them to this point. Many of them are meant to be eaten yellow and don't be alarmed. I have par-boiled and will freeze them for pizza sauces, or soups or anything that calls for really good tomatoes. There is nothing like the taste of a fresh, vine-ripened tomato, don't you think? One knows--IMMEDIATELY....that this tomato was not mass produced and shipped to some grocery store. NOPE! It was nurtured along and hand-picked and selected with tender loving care.

The calendar says that on October 25 I will need to can my sauerkraut. It will have been fermenting for 8 weeks. More later on great kraut recipes...Mom's Fe'Lances for one!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pot Pie

TOTAL comfort food....when in need one MUST submit to their total comfort foods......mine are Pot Pie and Chicken and Dumplings.......So tonight I am submitting to a left-over moose stew that has magically transformed itself with a little help, into a wonderful pot pie with a fabulous phyllo-crust topping....

It makes me smile just to think of it...Listen to the crunch sound as the spoon penetrates the crust. One immediately knows that a wonderful surprise awaits in the first bite. Yes, when depressed, eat your heart out! Cry later and grin now!