….Or what to do with the leftover broth from the neck and giblets from the Thanksgiving turkey.
The great soup experiment – Took the Thanksgiving turkey broth and strained all the stuff out of it and threw it into the food processor with a bunch of carrots, two onions (one sweet and one regular) , and a big package of corn. I let it cook down a bit.
To that I added evaporated milk and let it cook down a little bit more. The herbs are smoked paprika, thyme, dill, mild curry powder, salt, pepper, basil and cumin. I also added some plain mashed potatoes to thicken and ginger powder.
I just felt like making a quiche and I had made a ham a few days ago, so I pulled out one of my Smithfield Barn vintage pie plates and away we went. And by the way, spend the money to make your quiche with Swiss and Gruyere cheeses…it makes a world of difference.
Here is what I made (my recipe):
Quiche with Ham and Portobello Mushrooms
6 large eggs
¾ cup evaporated milk
1 large shallot
1 small onion
1 8 oz package of baby Portobello or crimini mushrooms sliced thin
2 tablespoons butter
1 deep dish pie plate and one pie crust (I make my own crust or buy refrigerated pie dough in a pinch – don’t like frozen pie crusts)
2 ½ cups shredded cheese – half Swiss and half Gruyere
About 2 cups of minced up ham
Preheat oven to 400°.
Sauté onion, shallot, mushrooms and ham in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl.
Add milk and mix well. Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.
Place sautéed mixture into pie crust. Then cheese. Finally pour milk and eggs mixture over top.
Place quiche on a baking sheet and bake on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes at 400°, and then reduce heat to 350° and bake another 30-32 minutes.
When toothpick or knife comes out of quiche clean, it’s done. Allow to cool at least 25 minutes before serving.
Becky Home Ecky has taken me over the past three weeks. I have been canning apple sauce, apple butter, pear butter, pickled watermelon rind with red onion, and garlicky bread and butter pickles with jalapeño peppers. The apples and pears I picked myself out of the gardens of friends, and this year everyone seems to have a bumper crop of apples, especially.
I have memories of my mother canning and making preserves and her mother, my grandmother, and my late cousin Suzy. My grandmother would pickle and preserveanything that stood still long enough, and she was an amazing cook. I remember my mother pickling okra and green tomatoes and I also remember her making peach preserves when my parents’ friend Charlie Peterson gave them a big bushel of peaches when I was little.
My mother’s German friends Susi and Babette were canning wizards. I remember all the things they made, pickled, and preserved. When you were in the kitchen of Babette’s farmhouse in the fall you could hear the sauerkraut popping in their stone crocks in the basement.
And I also remember my great aunts on Ritner Street in South Philadehia doing a lot of canning too. They had essentially an extra kitchen in the basement and I remember them pickling and canning what came out of my Aunt Rose’s large kitchen garden in Collegeville.
My Aunt Rose and Uncle Carl had this big old house with sweeping grounds that backed up to a farm when I was little. The farm had horses near some apple trees that would stick their heads over the fence looking for a pat (and some apples!)…my cousin sold the property after my aunt and uncle passed away and by that time (after 2000) where they once lived had stopped being country long ago, and was obscenely over developed. My great aunts would mostly can tomatoes and made these pickled hot peppers that would bring tears to your eyes. I remember the jars of canned tomatoes all lined up one after the other all in a row. It actually looked really pretty.
I had a lot of fun doing my canning with the exception of a minor kitchentastrophe. I singed my backsplash behind my stove top when my giant 21 quart enamel pot I use for the canning water bath was off center on its stove burner.
My kitchen was filled with the smells of childhood. The vinegary garlic spice odors of making a pickling brine. And the sweet smells of apples and pears cooking in cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, star anise, and turbinado sugar. They were wonderful smells and truly sensory memories.
But last evening when I had finished placing my last batch of applesauce in the canning hot water bath, I was ready to be finished. Canning is actually pretty hard work, even if it’s fun. Your arms ache by the time you finish pushing hot fruit through the chinois before the final cooking stage. It made me realize how hard women used to work putting up food for their families to last all winter long.
A fun fact is canning dates back to the late 18th century France. Canning food in unbreakable tins was an English invention from the early 19th century.
I am pretty much a novice at this culinary art form. I am not as nearly accomplished as some of my friends and neighbors. I am sure as I do more canning I will become more adept.
So now all I have to do is finish labeling and dating my final couple of batches and put it away.
So bean salad is a summer staple. One bean, two bean, three bean and more.
I decided to change it up. I took half a bag each of Goya dried navy beans and pinto beans yesterday and put them in to soak with salt and water overnight. I then cooked them according to directions on their packaging this morning.
While the beans were cooling I minced three large cloves of garlic, chopped fine one large red onion, chopped one fresh red bell pepper, peeled and chopped one fresh cucumber, and tossed into a bowl.
To that bowl I added salt and pepper to taste, 3 tablespoons of white table sugar , a bunch of fresh dill chopped, and a third of a cup of Italian flat leaf parsley chopped.
I mixed the salt and pepper, herbs and spices, along with the vegetables and drizzled olive oil and rice wine vinegar and red wine vinegar over the top of it and stirred some more. I always add more vinegar than oil to bean salads.
I should’ve measured exactly how much oil and vinegar but I didn’t I’m sorry- you want basically enough that your salad gets coated and sort of pickled but not enough that it swimming in dressing.
Last but not least I tossed in the beans which I had drained and mixed everything together, as well as adjusted for salt and pepper. I will now chill the salad down until this evening but it looks beautiful and tastes terrific!
It’s been a brutally hot week and I’m having people for dinner. We will start with Mutabbal which is basically Egyptian baba ghanouj and pita.
Next to accompany a marinated roast we will be grilling we will also be grilling marinated veggie shish kebabs, lentil salad, and for dessert a simple summer trifle.
Guests may have sparkling water, ice tea, a lovely rosé wine or glass of Sancerre.
vegetables marinating for veggie shish kebab. Marinade marinade made with an Arabian spice blend known as Baharat
Lentil salad made witjh red and regular lentils, for grated carrots, one purple onion, one small purple bell pepper, halved grape tomatoes, Italian flat leaf parsley and fresh basil diced, a simple vinaigrette made with lemon juice lemons asked, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, cumin
Mutabbal- two cans drained canned chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil, one roasted white egg plant and one roasted red pepper, half an onion, three cloves of garlic, a few dashes of Tabasco, Stonington sea salt, a little fresh parsley, juice of one large lemon and zest as well, paprika, cumin, couple dashes of Ras el Hanout. Purée and refrigerate and serve with pita.
Summer trifle made with rasberries, blueberries, lady fingers, lemon and coconut puddings
I ended up having some people over for dinner last night. So I butterflied a big roaster chicken and roasted Julia Child style simply with fresh herbs (you can see the chicken in the photo at the bottom of the page – that was what it looked like as it went into the oven – I forgot to take its picture when it came out).
I served with a fresh mixed green salad to which I added a simple balsamic mustard vinaigrette, and the starch was homemade gnocchi with mushrooms. Dessert in case you were wondering was sliced fresh strawberries from Kimberton Whole Foods.
I have previously given you my gnocchi recipe. So use that as your guide to rolling them out until little logs and slicing them into bite-size pieces, but the dough composition is different and here’s how I did it:
1 egg beaten
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium sized (not huge) potatoes roasted skins removed and smashed up
1 cup of ricotta strained to remove any extra liquid – whole milk is best
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
About 2 cups of flour, maybe less – add half a cup at a time to your dough to see. You don’t want a dry dough with gnocchi, it should always feel not quite sticky but more elastic.
1 tablespoon of rosemary leaves dried, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt.
Basically you mix it all together until becomes a dough but don’t overwork it. Then I throw a cloth over my bowl and allow the dough to rest for at least half an hour.
When your dough has rested, break off pieces of the dough and roll into little logs and slice into bite-size pieces from the log. You can roll them off the edge of the forks so they have those lines in them or you can cook them just the way they are.
After I make my gnocchi I lay them out on a large baking sheet on parchment paper and put it on a shelf by itself in the refrigerator till I am ready to cook.
The sauce is pretty simple:
Melt one stick of butter which is half a cup in a sauté pan – a large sauté pan because you will be adding the gnocchi to it later.
When the butter is melted and starting to bubble just a slight bit, add half a large red onion diced. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Add one finely grated medium sized carrot.
After the onion starts to turn slightly translucent, add thinly sliced baby Bella mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, and a handful of white mushrooms. Basically you should use one 8 ounce package of shiitake, The same size package of baby Portabella mushrooms also known as crimini, and about 4 ounces of white mushrooms.
Next add a handful of fresh sage leaves chopped into small-ish pieces and about a teaspoon of dried rosemary or if you have fresh dice up a smallish twig.
When everything seems to be cooked together fairly well but not mushy remove from heat.
I do the mushroom mixture ahead of time and not at the same time I am cooking my gnocchi because there is not enough time.
After the mushroom mixture is cooled use a slotted spoon and remove the vegetables to their own bowl for the time being. Leave the butter and liquid from mushrooms in the bottom of the pan.
Boil a large pot of salted water and when everything is really boiling toss in all your gnocchi.
The same time you are boiling your gnocchi bring the pan with the butter and the mushroom juices back up to heat. You may have to add about another tablespoon of butter and do add a scant 1/4 cup of white wine. (Last night I was roasting a chicken as I was making these gnocchi for a side dish so I also tossed in 2 tablespoons of pan juices. ) You need that mixture to reach almost boil but not cook off. Also toss in two or three whole sage leaves.
The gnocchi will cook probably in about 3 to 4 minutes – when they all are bubbling to the surface and bobbing around, use a slotted spoon to remove them.
Put the gnocchi immediately into the pan with butter and wine that should be really bubbling at this point. Move the gnocchi around gently to brown slightly. As you are moving the gnocchi around gently add back the mushrooms and red onion to heat again.
Be careful with your gnocchi they are a slightly delicate things but once everything is browned through toss half a cup of grated Parmesan on on top and some diced flat leaf parsley if you choose. Toss one more time into a bowl and serve.
I ended up with a a pair of pies…and here is how I did it:
Preheat oven to 350°
Take ricotta pie recipe and assemble the filling but ONLY add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the vanilla and add the lemon zest of one fresh lemon. Do not add the orange zest.
Take two piecrusts and line two regular pie plates. Put in refrigerator to keep dough chilled.
Split your ricotta mixture in half into two large bowls.
In one bowl which will be your sweet pie add the sweet ingredients (1/2 of the sugar or 1/2 a cup, lemon zest, candied citron/lemon/orange peel, cinnamon, white raisins if you want and even 1/3 cup UNSWEETENED coconut), and there you have the mixture for the sweet Easter or ricotta pie.
In the second bowl (for the savory Easter pie) beat in one more egg, add half a cup of Parmesan and Romano cheese mixture, and a about 4 to 5 ounces of grated cheddar. I prefer a sharp and white cheddar very dry. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, and a little dill and thyme and tarragon.
In a small sauté pan sauté with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter melted add 2/3 cup of diced ham, one onion, and eight or nine baby bella mushrooms. Sauté down and drain of any liquid. Set aside to cool slightly. Some dill, oregano, thyme, tarragon to taste. I do not add any extra salt because of the salt in the ham.
Put the meat mixture into the bottom of one of your pie crusts in the pie plates and pour the savory ricotta cheese mixture over.
Pour your sweet ricotta pie mixture into your other prepared pie crust and plate and you can bake them together in the oven for about an hour – you’re going to have to start checking at about 55 minutes- this is my first time through doing it this way so you guys are learning with me! I took about 1 hour and 10 minutes baking both – the savory dinner pie in the end was ready before the dessert pie.
Both pies turned out ok and are honestly very tasty and disappearing fast, although I probably should have taken both pies out of the oven at the 1 hour mark.
Winter means comfort food desserts as well as comfort food entrees. Here’s an easy bread pudding that you will like.
My friend Linda makes homemade extracts so I use her coffee extract in this and I have approximated how much regular espresso you would use in place of the extract.
1 package of potato rolls (about 12 oz) cubed into bite sized pieces and left sitting out a couple of hours to get stale
3 eggs beaten
4 cups whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup butter melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons coffee extract or half a shot of espresso
1 1/4 cup of butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 350°.
Butter a 9 x 13″ baking dish. I have a deeper square one I like to use that accommodates the same amount of liquids and food. It’s a vintage Pyrex that is square and deep.
Melt the butter in the microwave for only as long as it takes to melt it which is under a minute and set aside.
Separately in a large bowl beat eggs, milk, sugars, coffee extract/espresso together.
Stir in butter that you have melted into egg/milk/sugars mixture.
Put cubed potato bread and butterscotch chips in buttered baking dish and mix together evenly. Pour the liquid mixture over the bread and chips and give an additional stir. The whole thing will be a big goopy mess.
Place pan that you have put the pudding in into a Bain Marie (fancy name for a larger pan with hot water and at the water should only go about half up side of your baking dish) and place entire thing in oven.
Bake for between one hour and one hour and 20 minutes. Pudding will be nearly set coming out of the oven or have a good jiggle to it.
Yes….how to get more vegetables into your teenager. Of course my teenager has just decreed that he’s not eating any quiche.
(Deep breath…..deep breath…..)
As parents is incredibly frustrating when you are going out of your way to try to make things that will be appealing to them, and then they won’t even try things if they are in a teenage mood. Well the teen can try it, right? Not everything can be of the favorite teenage boy food group of starch sugar and more starch. He was much easier to feed when he was 10, and he was actually open to trying new things and allowing things that were green and vegetable like to pass his lips regularly.
Of course if I had a show on Food Network like Nancy Fuller or Martha Stewart or Ree Drummond or Ina Garten everybody would sit magically around the table which would be set beautifully to perfection every night and eat everything that I made and rave….LOL reality is far different!
Okay enough venting my frustration over the eating habits and mercurial moods of the teenage male! I just have to keep repeating “I love my teenager I love my teenager I love my teenager I love my teenager“.
I think out there somewhere there must be a 12 step program for surviving the teenage years. They really aren’t mutant ninja secret agent super gamer teenage cave dwellers who have taken a vow of silence. My brother-in-law humorously noted recently that the average teenage boy doesn’t really start conversing with adults again until they hit 18 or 19.
Anyway I know this quiche will be delicious. The wine depicted in the photo is for adults in the house.
So how this recipe came about: I had ham leftover from New Year’s. I had frozen the bone for an upcoming lentil soup, but decided to go quiche with the remaining ham meat.
First I made my crust – I am into these herbs and savory crusts these days, so the recipe for this particular crust is below the rest of the quiche recipe.
Once I had rolled out my crust and fit it into my 9 1/2 inch vintage glass dish pie plate, put that in the refrigerator to keep cool well I got to work on the rest of the quiche.
Somewhere during the crust making process I preheated my oven to 375°.
My next step involves the ingredients below:
1 1/2 cups cubed ham
1/2 cup grape tomatoes sliced thin
1 medium onion chopped small
1 cup fresh broccoli diced
Dash of salt fresh cracked pepper
Dash of Cumin
For all those ingredients listed above, sauté with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat for about 10 minutes, maybe 15. Turn off heat and set-aside.
Okay now that that part was complete and the crust was chilling, comes the next step before assembly. It involves the ingredients below:
1 3/4 cups shredded Swiss and Gruyere cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Dash sriracha sauce
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach stems removed
In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs milk salt, pepper herbs and spices. Add your dash of sriracha sauce.
Fold in the cheese. Take your piecrust out of the refrigerator and place in the center of a rimmed baking sheet – I use a professional jellyroll pan. First layer in the ham mixture from your sauté pan, then add baby spinach – the leaves are so small I don’t bother to chop up. Finally add your shredded cheese.
Place quiche on your baking sheet and your preheated 375° oven. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving. I don’t like eating boiling hot quiche so I will let mine sit 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve with a green salad.
Oops, I almost forgot, here is how I made the crust:
1/2 teaspoon each rosemary, marjoram, tarragon
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 Tbs. very cold buttermilk
To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives or yes your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together. Form dough into a ball and flatten slightly on a floured surface roll out. Put in your pie plate crimp the edges, and refrigerate why you assemble the rest of your quiche.
This is my new recipe for Christmas 2014. The cookies are very cinnamony, chewy, and soft. The white chocolate adds a mellow sweetness and the cinnamon chips enhance the cinnamon flavor of the cookie.
I just took the last batch of these out of the oven. I hope you like them if you try my recipe!
1 cup of butter softened (2 sticks)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup quick cook oatmeal (plain no flavoring)
2 cups white chocolate baking chips
1 cup cinnamon flavored baking chips (I buy mine from Edwards Freeman in Conshohocken)
Preheat oven to 350°
Cream together until well mixed butter and both sugars in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla, beat until light and fluffy.
Add cinnamon, salt, baking soda.
Mix in 2 cups of all-purpose white flour until mixed well. Stir in oatmeal, followed by white chocolate baking chips, and finally the cinnamon chips.
I like to chill my dough about 30 minutes.
Drop by rounded teaspoons on parchment paper lined baking sheets. I actually like to roll might dough into about 1 inch balls. I place them a couple inches apart on the sheet.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 11 minutes depending on your oven. Do not overbake and please cool these cookies at least five or six minutes before removing from baking sheet to cooling rack to cool completely.
This recipe makes a little over 4 1/2 dozen cookies,