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New England Clam Chowder

When I was a teenager on the farm I worked at a Gun Club on Sundays setting skeet traps. Skeet shooting is a recreational and competitive activity where participants, using shotguns, attempt to break clay disks mechanically flung into the air from two fixed stations at high speed from a variety of angles. My mother was a weekend cook and one of the women who prepared clam chowder for the competitors, using cans of clams and water…yuck! I detested this version. Later on in life I came to love New England clam chowder. Recently I came across this recipe which turned out very well.

New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
1 cup heavy cream or Media Crema
2 bay leaves
1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes I cheated and used canned potatoes chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/new-england-clam-chowder-recipe.html?oc=linkback

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Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Ingredients
• 1½ pounds boneless chicken, cut in 2-inch chunks or slivers
• ½ cup flour
• ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
• ½ cup milk
• 1 egg
• 2 TB olive oil (I prefer peanut oil)
• 1 TB kosher salt
• 6 ounces (1/2 can) frozen orange juice concentrate (no pulp), thawed
• 3 TB brown sugar
• 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
• 3 TB ketchup
• 6 ounces (other 1/2 can) orange juice concentrate

one green onion chopped
Instructions
1. In a small bowl mix egg and milk.
2. In a separate bowl, mix your flour and panko. In 5-10 piece batches, soak chicken chunks in milk mixture then in flour mixture, Repeat this twice.
3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on the stove and brown your chicken on all sides. You will not be fully cooking the chicken, just giving it a nice coat. Place the chicken pieces into your slow cooker
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 of the orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste. Pour sauce evenly over the chicken, and carefully toss to coat.
5. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4*. Serve warm over the rice of your choice.
6. Just before finishing add the remainder of the orange juice and continue to heat.

Sprinkle with chopped green onions.
I found that this recipe was actually done in a little over 1 ½ hours on LOW. Maybe its because I am at sea level…LOL

Glazed Balsamic Chicken

This recipe is quick and tasty…

Glazed Balsamic Chicken (Canadian Living)
Ingredients
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil (do NOT use olive oil as it heats too quickly)
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) crumbled dried sage or rosemary
• 1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
• 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Preparation
• In shallow dish or plastic bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken and turn or shake to coat.
• In large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat; fry chicken, turning once, until no longer pink inside, 12 minutes. Remove to plate and keep warm.
• Add remaining oil to pan; cook garlic and sage just until golden, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with any remaining flour; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in stock, vinegar and honey; cook until thickened enough to coat back of spoon.
• Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan, turning to coat; cook until chicken is glazed, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with parsley.

French Florentine Cookies

These crunchy chocolate coated cookies are popular in France at Christmas. They were also great when our friend Kathy made them while we were visiting in December.

1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
3/4 cup candied orange peel* (see note below)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 T butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chocolate chips of your choice

Combine almonds, peel and flour. Set aside.
In heavy saucepan combine butter, cream and sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in floured fruit.
Grease and flour 2 baking sheets. Drop batter by spoonfuls (1 T) at least 3 inches apart,
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool slightly and then remove to cooling rack.

Spread or brush with melted chocolate on the underside of each cookie.
Makes about 24 cookies.

* Since peel isn’t always available, you might want to check the Internet for an easy homemade recipe.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

As my wife and I had Greek neighbours, we often had Greek food with them or at the ethnic festivals each summer. Across the border from us in Detroit there was Greektown with wonderful restaurants (before the casinos moved in)…nothing like flaming cheese and OPA followed by this great soup!

From Wikipedia…Avgolemono or egg-lemon (from Greek: αυγολέμονο or αβγολέμονο), is a family of Mediterranean sauces and soups made with egg and lemon juice mixed with broth, heated until they thicken. In Arabic, it is called tarbiya or beida bi-lemoune ‘egg with lemon’; and in Turkish terbiye. In Sephardic Jewish cuisine, it is called agristada or salsa blanco, and in Italian cuisine, bagna brusca, brodettato, or brodo brusco. It is also widely used in Balkan cuisine.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons shredded carrots
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped celery
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons chicken soup base
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cooked white rice
1/4 cup diced, cooked chicken meat
4 slices lemon
2 egg yolks

Preparation
1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, carrots, onions, celery, soup base, and white pepper. Bring to a boil on high, then simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Blend the butter and the flour together. Then gradually add it to the soup mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add some of the hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the soup pot and heat through. Add the rice and chicken. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.

Scalloped Potatoes with Pork Chops

The only recipe I ever knew placed the pork chops on top and they always were too well cooked! This method probably originated when there were all the concerns about pork not being well cooked. Fortunately, I came across three different recipes that changed this arrangement. These turned out very well and the liquid went all the way through to keep the chops moist.

2 Tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 Tablespoons flour

14 oz. chicken broth

6 pork chops not too thin

6 cups thinly sliced potatoes (choose skins on or off)

1/2 cup sliced onions or more

dash paprika

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons thyme

1/2 cup sour cream

PREPARATION

Set the oven to 350 degrees

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter, adding salt and pepper, flour, Dijon mustard and thyme. Pour in the broth, cook and stir until it boils. Remove from heat and add the sour cream.

Brown chops in 1 Tablespoon of butter.

Grease cooking dish with butter.

Layer the chops in the bottom of the dish. Layer the potatoes and onions over the chops evenly.

Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to bake 1/2 hour more until starting to golden.

 

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

How to get friends and family to eat asparagus….. we served these last night and they were INCREDIBLE! Our friend who never touches the stuff had seconds. I would serve this again as a side dish, as well as a great appetizer for a buffet…..

Check out the source of this recipe http://www.closetcooking.com/2013/05/crispy-baked-asparagus-fries.html

If you subscribe to the site you will receive an eBook of other recipes he has come across…

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Servings: 2+

Asparagus coated in panko bread crumbs and Parmesan and baked until golden brown and crispy.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan), grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.     Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko, parmesan, salt and pepper.

2.     Place the asparagus in a single layer on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes. If you don’t have a baking rack, use parchment paper.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 312, Fat 8g (Saturated 4g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 172mg, Sodium 174mg, Carbs 44g (Fiber 6g, Sugars 5g), Protein 19g

 

Asparagus and Corn Chowder (with chorizo sausage)

Another recipe as a result of a Costco Multi purchase of two packs…this time asparagus! Had to do some searching since I did not want to use potatoes since I had none…LOL

Asparagus and Corn Chowder

Found this recipe in  Pittsburgh Post Gazette dated July 2, 1945….. still works with a couple of modifications for today. Check out my options below the recipe!

 1 pound asparagus ( Cut off tops and set aside; cut remaining stalks into 1 inch pieces)

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups water

 1 can of creamed corn

1 cup of milk

½ teaspoon sugar

1 small white onion chopped

¼ cup flour

2 Tablespoons melted butter

 

Preparation:

 Simmer asparagus STALKS in medium boiling salted water for 10 minutes.

Add asparagus tops and onion – continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add creamed corn, milk and sugar. Stir and reduce heat a bit.

 Mix melted butter with the flour and slowly add to the chowder mix until it begins to thicken.

Serve.

 OPTIONS:

 1.     While the asparagus is simmering away, chop up two chorizo sausages (Johnsonville Italian would also work) into slices and brown in a small frying pan. Add them to the chowder before adding the flour/butter mix.

2.     Consider adding some chopped red pepper when you add the asparagus tops…

 

Seafood Lasagna

For a very special dinner, we like to prepare this seafood lasagna in a white sauce. Yes, it is very rich, but there is never any leftover!!! Use whatever seafood you favour, but I like shrimp, scallops, lobster or crab in any combination. Think New Year’s Eve!!! The recipe can easily be halved…

If seafood isn’t your thing, substitute chicken! Add some slivered almonds to the Parmesan cheese sprinkling….

Seafood Lasagna (Cooks.Com)

8 Tablespoons butter

8 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup cream

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

1 package “no-boil” lasagna

10 ounces of spinach (you could use frozen if thawed and drained)

16 ounces of ricotta cheese

8 ounces of mozzarella cheese (I preferred Manchego from Spain)

8 ounces of Provolone cheese

1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms

2 sliced onions

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tomato, cut and peeled

1 1/2 pounds of seafood

parsley and rosemary to taste

Sauce:

Melt butter and add flour. Take it off the burner, add cream, milk and broth. Put back on burner. Stir constantly.

When everything is mixed, take it off the heat. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Lasagna:

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter and a little oil. Add tomato, parsley and rosemary. Add all of the seafood.

Preparation:

In a greased lasagna pan pour some sauce, place a row of lasagna, followed by 1/2 of the seafood, some mozzarella or Manchego, ricotta (mixed with the spinach), and Provolone. Press it down before adding a second layer. Follow same order as first layer, ending with another layer of lasagna noodles and sauce to cover the noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes. Cover with foil if it is browning to rapidly!!!

It will be rich, so do not give your guests large portions to start with. Serve with a nice fresh salad.

Madison’s Banana Bread

On our recent visit to my daughters, my granddaughter made this great banana bread for us. It is very easy and tasty too!

Madison’s Banana Bread

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 bananas mashed

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in 1 egg (2) at a time to the butter. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking soda. Slowly mix flour mixture into the butter mixture.

Add vanilla.

When all mixed well, add sour cream and cinnamon. Set aside. Mash the peeled bananas into the mixture until well combined.

Spray your 9 x 5 baking pan. Pour in batter.

Bake for about 1 hour, checking periodically. Edges will be golden brown.

N.B. Papa’s suggestion…add chopped nuts….