Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cranberry-Apple Easy Cake

As part of the newly formed FNSBSD Cookbook Club, I just ordered the cookbook "The Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Can It Be?". A preview recipe on inspired me. I had the cranberries on hand and only needed to get a Granny Smith apple to complete this recipe. This will go wonderful with my Baked Pork Chops, Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and home-canned Green Beans. A PERFECT Sunday dinner.

12 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used Splenda Brown Sugar)
1 TBSP grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the above ingredients and set aside.

In a bowl using an electric mixer, beat the following:

2 eggs, for 2 minutes on medium speed
1 cup sugar
1 stick or 1/4 lb. unsalted melted and cooled butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
beat this until combined. On low speed add
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Pour the fruit mixturee into a 10" glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the top. Combine the following:

1 TBSP sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Sprinkle this over the batter. Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temp.

Skinny Oven Fries

Simply Colorado: Nutritious Recipes for Busy People published by the Colorado Dietetic Association cannot be purchased in any bookstore. I love this cookbook! Every recipe is packed with healthy, tasty ingredients. Some of my favorite recipes include: Garbanzo Nuts, Cranberry Cottage Cake with Lemon Sauce, Ratatouille and this recipe for Skinny Oven Fries. Jim asks for these "fries" on a regular basis. Christopher grew up with these fries and there were never any leftovers. This recipe also works well with sweet potatoes if you are so inclined.

The only way to get a copy of this wonderful cookbook is by writing to: Colorado Dietetic Association, 6930 So. Bemis Street, Littleton, CO 80120. I bought this cookbook while living and working in Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1989, so I don't know how much the book is today but, if interested, call 1-800-798-2635.

2 tsp Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
4 large russet potatoes (I like to leave the skins on)
1/8 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix seasonings. Cut each potato into 8 wedges; toss with oil, place on baking sheet. Sprinkle potatoes with seasoning mixture, turn over and sprinkle the other side. Bake until soft when pricked, about 45 minutes or 1 hours for crisp fries.

Lamb and Lentils with a Root Vegetable Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Lamb and Lentils

These recipes come from a cookbook I purchased years ago, Farm House Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis ISBN: 0-89480-772-2. Travelling all across America with her husband visiting family-owned farms Loomis includes farming family favorites. Who knows better than those who till the soil and provide us with a wealth of sustinance straight from Mother Nature? After recently reading Animal, Vegetable, or Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, I've rekindled a passion for healthy, organic foodstuffs. I was lucky to happen upon free-range lamb free of hormones or drugs. Fred Meyer carries organic and pesticide-free meats and vegetables.

The original recipe called for carrots, but I wanted and had organic yams on hand and substituted them instead.

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb lamb (recipe calls for 1/2" chunks but I used ground)
2 cups water
1 cup lentils
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
10 black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
4 large fresh sage leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried crumbled
2 TBSP lemon juice
zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 carrots or yams, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
2 cups green cabbage, rough chop
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot. Brown lamb, add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. While this simmers, gently boil carrots or yams in salted water in a seperate pot (drain when tender). After 20 minutes test to see if lentils are almost done. To the lamb and lentils add lemon juice, zest, carrots and cabbage. Cook just until the cabbage is tender.

Root Vegetable Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

I love tubers! They store well and can be bought in large quantities and stored for months in a cool, dry place. This is a great colorful winter salad and off the grid as far as salads go. The fennel provides a clean, cool and crisp crunch. Don't be daunted by the anchovies--like a putanesca sauce, it is a necessary ingredient and no one needs to know the "mystery" ingredient in this vinaigrette.

The Salad
2 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded and quartered (reserve 1 1/2 cups to mix with fronds and vinaigrette)
2 fennel bulbs with fronds (finely chop the fronds-reserve a heaping 1/4 cup of the fronds for the vinaigrette)
8 oz rutabaga, peeled and diced
8 oz small turnips, peeled and diced

For the Vinaigrette
7 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
3 TBSP sherry
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar (but the good stuff---don't skimp on this)
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cans anchovy fillets in oil, drained and minced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix chopped salad ingredients together. In a mixing bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. In another bowl combine the reserved 1 1/2 cups red pepper and the 1/4 cup fronds with 1 TBSP of the vinaigrette. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad vegetables and toss. To plate, transfer the vegetables to a large platter. Surround the salad with the reserved pepper and fennel garnish.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Real Men Eat Quiche! Lobster and Halibut or do you want Vegetarian?

I've put up my quice recipe before and the egg/cream mix remains the same (If you need that recipe again, either search here or email me and I'll send it again). Jim insisted I put up two seperate quiches on Mama's site. One is made of leftover lobster and halibut. The other includes mushrooms, baby peppers, onions, and broccoli. I use different cheeses for each.

Step 1: Mix the eggs, 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup fat free half and half. Make and roll out the pie crust and fit into dish.

Lobster and halibut are enhanced with thyme...keep that but you can also substitute dill weed instead. I added some mushrooms, but the cheeses need to be a mix of a variety of cheeses that will marry and complement each other. I used a mix of Fontina, Tuscan Cheddar and Parmagianno Regianno (to equal 1 cup).

I think I could be a vegetarian. Easily! I grew up in a farming family and never met a vegetable I didn't like. In the summer, many meals on the table didn't include meat and we didn't miss it a bit. This quiche is for me! Mushrooms, tomatoes, sauteed peppers and broccoli. The cheese you need here need to be simple and not overpowering. Use a simple Monterey Jack with 1/4 the amout of Guyerre. I used basil instead of thyme.

Point to take: You cannot go wrong with quiche. Anything you put into it will be great. Just think of seasonings that the meat or vegetables they love....parsley, thyme, basil, savory, sage, nutmeg, or whatever. The list goes on.