Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cran-Raspberry Sauce

So I had this idea about stuffing pork chops with wild rice and cranberries.  I still like the idea and plan to do that at a later date but it was Sunday afternoon and I got a later start at dinner than I planned.  So instead of stuffing the pork chops, I made this sauce to top them with.  Luckily I had frozen raspberries and cranberries to harvest from the freezer so it worked out well.

Cran-Raspberry Sauce

1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp raspberry wine vinegar
1 tbsp green chilies

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Simmer until all the juices have released from the raspberries and the cranberries have softened.  Strain and serve over pork chops or a pork roast.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peach Tart

White peach score!  I found some beautiful and giant white peaches at the grocery score.  Originally I had planned on using 3 to make this recipe but only needed 2 to fill the tart pan.  This is one of the reasons I love summer.

Peach Tart

Tart Shell ~
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup cold butter, sliced in small pieces
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla
Put all the dry ingredients in your food processor with the blade and pulse until combined.  Add in butter slices.  Pulse again until just combined so the butter doesn’t get too warm.  In a small dish, combine the milk, egg and vanilla.  Pour into the flour mixture and pulse until a dough forms.  Remove the dough from the processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for a half hour.  Remove from the refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes.  Roll out until the dough is ¼” thick.  Butter  the bottom only of your tart pan.  Place dough in pan.  Only lightly pressing down and on the sides.  Trim off any extra.  Return to refrigerator while your oven heats up to 350°.  Cover the bottom of the dough with aluminum foil and add pie weights.  When the oven is heated, bake for 30 minutes.

Let the tart cool for 15 minutes.  While that is going on, melt 1/2 cup butter and allow to cool slightly.
When cool, stir in ~
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Skin and slice the peaches and lay in a circular pattern on your tart crust.  Pour butter mixture evenly over the top.  Return to the oven and bake for an additional 50 minutes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuscan Baked Beans

Baked beans without your normal sweet and tomato sauce.  There is a mild taste of tomato in the background but it's not overpowering.  

Tuscan Baked Beans

2 - 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 oz pancetta, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 - 3/4 cup chicken stock

Cook the pancetta.  After you remove the pancetta, cook the onion until carmelized and then add in the garlic and cook a minute longer.  In a crock pot, place in the cannellini beans, crumbled pancetta, cooked onions and garlic and stir in the honey, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup chicken stock.  Cook over medium heat for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add in up to 1/4 cup chicken stock if needed.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pear Crisp

Another sign of Fall going to make an appearance is that of beautiful pears showing up in the grocery stores.  I did try planting a pear tree a few years ago but one wicked cold winter did it's damage to the poor tree and it did not survive so it's back to store bought pears.  As with any crisp, the wonderful smell of cinnamon and fruit coming from your oven is one of the best smells that no candle can come close to copying.

Pear Crisp

6 pears, pared and sliced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cups brown sugar
4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small slices
1/2 cup quick oats

Grease a 9 x 9 glass baking pan.  Place the sliced pears and lemon juice at the bottom.  In a small bowl, combine the white sugar, cornstarch and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Sprinkle evenly over the pears and turn them over to coat on both sides.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and brown sugar together.  Blend in the cold butter slices with a pastry blender until a crumbly mixture forms.  Stir in the quick oats and cover the pears.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350°.  Let cool 15 minutes if you are going to serve warm.  You can serve it like it is or top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Three Cheese Turkey Pasta Hotdish

After making turkey, you always need to find something to make with the leftovers.  I combined ingredients that were in my refrigerator and pantry to make this hotdish on a day that the temperature was in the low 60's and the house was chilly.  

Three Cheese Turkey Pasta Hotdish

2 cups cooked turkey, cut into small pieces
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
8 oz soft cream cheese
3 oz Fontina cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp green chilies
1 cup peas
6 oz Dumpling noodles, cooked and drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Topping ~

1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small pan, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Add in Panko bread crumbs and spices.  Top the pasta mixture.

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil.  Add in minced garlic and cook for a couple minutes until softened.  Add in the 3 cheeses and broth.  When the cheese has melted, stir in the cream.  In a greased casserole or baking dish, add in drained pasta, turkey, green chilies and peas.  Stir until combined.  Pour the cheese mixture over and gently toss to combine.  Sprinkle with the topping.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Brined Turkey Breast

I've always wanted to try brining a turkey or turkey breast to see what it would be like.  It was soooooo moist and tender that it's worth the extra steps to make it. 

Brined Turkey Breast

1 - 6# fresh turkey breast
4 cups warm water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme

Place the turkey breast in a large pot.  In a bowl, combine the warm water, brown sugar, minced garlic and spices.  Stir to make sure the brown sugar and salt are dissolved before pouring into the pan with the turkey.  Cover the pot and place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.  I brined it over night.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bacon Waffles

What better way to start off the day than with the aroma of the ultimate comfort food ~ bacon.  It seemed like a good day to start off with a nice breakfast since there's been a break in the 90+ degree weather and high humidity outside.  A piece of bacon is in almost every bite and it adds that bit of saltiness that works well no matter if you want maple syrup or a berry one.  It works well with bit of apple butter as a topping too.  

Bacon Waffles

6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl.  In a small bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy.  Gradually mix buttermilk, egg yolks and butter into dry ingredients.  Gently fold in the egg whites.  Add in the bacon pieces.

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.