cissalj: (Default)
These are not authentic, but are very tasty. Feel free to play with the proportions.

Cold Sesame Noodles

1 pound fine egg noodles

1+ tablespoon chopped scallions (I usually use a lot more)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
0.5 tablespoon canola or peanut oil

2-3 tablespoons sesame oil (hot chili sesame oil or just roasted)

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons soy sauce (I use a mix of authentic Chinese and Eden Shoyu)
4 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy; I use natural without added sugar and usually without salt)
0.5 teaspoon hot chili oil (optional)

Chopped cooked chicken or turkey (optional)

Cook the noodles as specified on the box/bag. Drain well. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of the sesame oil (hot or not), in a large bowl.

Put the canola or peanut oil in a small pan and heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions. Saute until soft but not browned. Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and peanut butter, and cook- stirring- until they come together in a glossy dressing. Add the chopped poultry, if using, and stir in. Add the chili oil if you like, especially if you have not used hot sesame oil on the noodles.

Mix the dressing with the noodles. Taste, and add more sesame and/or hot oil if it seems to need it. Chill.

This is good at anywhere from cold to room temp, and makes a TON.
cissalj: (Default)
This came to us through J's dad's family. The non-revised version called for "1.5 inches" of butter! I remember seeing J's mom measuring a stick of butter with a yardstick... Thing is, this made tasty but, er, STURDY cookies; they took some serious gnawing, and could probably be described as tasty granola nuggets.

Since I am fascinated by both the formulae of cooking, and food history, I re-thought this. At the time the recipe was written, it seemed likely that butter was sold in 1-pound blocks, not 0.25-pound sticks... which would mean 4 times the butter. When I checked this against other cookie recipes, the quantities looked reasonable, so I tried it- and the results were very cookie-like (and LOTS easier to mix!).

Gluten-free flour, like from King Arthur, makes more tender but just as tasty cookies.

Fisher Christmas Cookies

0.67 (2/3rds) cup butter (1.5 inches, or 5.33 oz.)
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups all-purpose or gluten-free flour
2 cups shredded coconut (5.25 oz.)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 pound chopped dates

Heat oven to 375F. Grease cookie sheets, or use Silpat or parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix in.

Mix baking soda and salt with flour; add to butter mixture and mix.

Slowly add the rest of the stuff, mixing by hand (and often, just using your clean hands to stir it up is fastest and easiest!).

Drop from spoon (or fingers) in roughly 1 tablespoon+ blobs. Bake for around 10 min- it may be a bit shorter or longer. Cool on rack or whatever, and when cool, put in bowl or tin.
cissalj: (Default)
This is a Secret Family Recipe* that I clipped out of the Boston Globe probably 15+ years ago; it was published as a Rosh Hashannah turkey-stuffing recipe, but I looked at it and said to myself "This would be PERFECT in goose!" and so it is.

I joke that it involved throwing the kitchen at it, and it rather does... but it is REALLY good, and very suitable for fatty birds like goose and duck, since there's nothing to absorb extra fat.

Fruit and Nut Stuffing

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
0.5 cup orange juice
0.25 cup sugar
1.5 cup cranberries (frozen or frozen/thawed OK; rinsed and picked over)
12 seedless prunes, chopped (quartered)
6+ dried apricots, chopped (quartered)
1 cup raisins or currants
3 med or 2 lg apples, diced (I like Granny Smith)
1.5 cup slivered or sliced almonds (or other nuts)
2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
0.5 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon cinnamon
0.25 teaspoon ground cloves
0.125-0.25 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt, pepper to taste

Melt butter. Add celery and onions; cook till tender and maybe just barely browned. Add a TINY bit of salt to help them tenderize. Set aside.

In the same pan, heat the orange juice and sugar slightly. Add the cranberries and cover. Simmer slowly until the cranberries are all or mostly popped. Add to the veg.

Meanwhile, chop the prunes and apricots (kitchen shears are easy). Add them and the raisins to the veg.

Wash the apples well (I use soap to get rid of wax), or peel them. Quarter, core, cut the quarters in half, and dice the slices. Add to rest.

Add almonds.

Add eggs and parsley, Stir some to start mixing. Add the spices, including pepper, and mix well. I do not add more salt- it's really flavorful- but do so if you wish.

Stuff into bird, close ends, truss, and cook.

If you make it ahead, maybe leave the eggs out, warm it up in the microwave, then add and mix in the eggs right before you stuff.

* ETA: I am not a fan of Secret Family Recipes that people adore, but because the cook is secretive, they die with her/him. As a cook, I am in dialog with other cooks, and sharing and adapting recipes is lots of what makes that FUN!
cissalj: (Default)
This is based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, modified with my notes.

I used rather more of most of the stuffing ingredients and stuffed 5-6 zucchinis (I forget which), plus had extra. The zukes/summer squashes I used were roughly 8 inches long and maybe 1.5 inches thick.

My notes are in parentheses.

Serve with rice or similar for a full meal.

4 (or more) medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), washed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Red Bliss potato (about 5 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (8 oz)
1+ medium onion , chopped fine
1+ cup corn kernels , (fresh) cut from 2 medium ears (or similar of thawed frozen corn,
esp Trader Joe's roasted)
5 large cloves garlic , minced
3 chipotle chiles en adobo , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces), seeded and chopped (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1 can (16-19 ounces) black beans , drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar, or colby/jack, or whatever), shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)


1. Adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position and second oven rack to lowest position, then place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack and heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, halve each zucchini lengthwise. With small spoon, scoop out seeds and most of flesh so that walls of zucchini are 1/4 inch thick. Season cut sides of zucchini with salt and pepper, and brush with 2 tablespoons oil (or spray with spray oil; Trader Joe's has some pretty decent pray olive oil); set zucchini halves cut-side down on hot baking sheet on lower rack. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl and spread in single layer on hot baking sheet on upper rack. Roast zucchini until slightly softened and skins are wrinkled, about 10-12 minutes; roast potatoes until tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once. Using tongs, flip zucchini halves over on baking sheet and set aside.

3. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in corn and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and chipotle chiles; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, black beans, and cooked potatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes (or until the juice from the canned tomatoes decreases; I usually do this before adding the potatoes). Off heat, stir in cilantro and 1/2 cup cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Divide filling evenly among squash halves on baking sheet, spooning about 1/2 cup into each, and pack lightly; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return baking sheet to oven, this time to upper rack, and bake zucchini until heated through and cheese is spotty brown, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately.

(This also nukes really well so it makes good leftovers. Do serve with a starch of some kind; it's not super filling else. Any leftover filling is great with rice etc.)
cissalj: (Default)
I have had very good results with the basic recipe from Cook's Illustrated.

Note that if you have a BIG brisket, you can cut it in half and freeze half after 2-3 days of brining; when you thaw it, it'll be fully brined.

After it's done, rinse well and cook in fresh water, according to any boiled dinner recipe. It usually needs at least 3 hours braising. Cut the time a bit short if you want to cut the beef for sandwiches (you want to retain some of the structure so it doesn't just fall apart), or cook it longer if you're using it for a boiled dinner.

Home-corned Beef Brisket (without saltpeter)

1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns , cracked
3/4 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 bay leaves , crumbled
1 beef brisket (fresh, 4 to 6 pounds), preferably point cut, trimmed of excess fat, rinsed and patted dry

Mix salt and seasonings in small bowl.

Spear brisket about thirty times per side with meat fork or metal skewer. Rub each side evenly with salt mixture; place in 2-gallon-size zipper-lock bag, forcing out as much air as possible. Place in pan large enough to hold it (a jelly roll pan works well), cover with second, similar-size pan, and weight with two bricks or heavy cans of similar weight. Refrigerate 5 to 7 days, turning once a day.
cissalj: (Default)
This is from the Penzey's spice catalog. If you have non-Penzey's curry powder, you might want to add some ground cumin.

2 med. eggplant (12-16 ox.)
4 tablespoons butter
1-2 teaspoons sweet or hot curry powder
2 cloves garlic, smashed (or 0.5 teaspoon garlic powder)
0.25 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3-5 tablespoons water

Peel the eggplant- or don't- your choice. Cut into squares about 1 inch (2.5cm) square. Sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside.

Melt butter in skillet and add fresh garlic if you're using that. Saute. Add eggplant and saute, stirring/flipping frequently- the eggplant will shrink. After 1 minute or so, add curry powder, salt, pepper, and garlic granules (if you haven't used fresh garlic). Add 1 tablespoon water, stir to coat, and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, adding 1 tablespoon water every couple of minutes to keep things moist. The eggplant will brown during this. It's done when the eggplant is not longer hard.

Serve with rice for a veg main dish, or use as a side dish. It nukes well for the leftovers.
cissalj: (Default)
I am not making any particular claims for authenticity here...

Half gallon (2 quarts, 8 cups) milk- NOT ultrapasterized, and whole or 2% preferre
4 tablespoons lemon juice


Heat milk to boiling slowly, stirring to prevent it scorching.

Once it's boiling, add lemon juice. Turn heat way down. Stir slowly and carefully, to not break up curs, until the milk has separated into large curds and greenish whey. Turn off heat.

Line strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Pour separated milk in.

Rinse curds with cold water till it runs pretty clear.

Tie opposite corners of cheesecloth together, and loop this over the faucet. Drain 1.5 hours. Compact the curds into a circular form (still in cheesecloith). Put them on a flat plate and put a heavy weight on them, and compact them for 0.5-2 hours. Cut into squares and refrigerate if not using immediately- they're supposed to keep OK for 4 days.

Notes: I'd add a bit of salt to the milk; without that, the results are prety bland.
cissalj: (Default)
This is a great recipe. Easy, fast to make, and open to all sorts of reworkings; last night I used it as the base for colcannon, for example.

The basic recipe is from Cook's Country, and this is my adaptation; mostly, I've cut it in half, and reduced the fat.

2 pounds russet/idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons butter, divided*
4-6 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press*
0.5 teaspoon sugar
0.75 cups whole milk*
0.25 cups water
Salt and pepper

Place cut potatoes in colander. Rinse under cold running water until it runs clear.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy, large pot- big enough to hold potatoes. Cook garlic and sugar, stirring often, until garlic is cooked and golden.** Add potatoes, 0.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk, water, and 0.5 teaspoon salt to pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook till potatoes are done- 25-30 min., stirring occasionally.

Off heat, add remaining butter to pot and mash potatoes with potato masher until smoothish.*** Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons milk until potatoes are creamy. Serve.

*Half of original recipe says 6 tablespoons butter, 6 cloves garlic, half-and-half instead of whole milk.
**Onions can be cooked in this before adding the garlic. Or shallots, or whatever.
*** This is when to add (warm) cooked chopped kale, for example- after mashing the potatoes but before adding the rest of the milk.
cissalj: (scribe)
This is based on a recipe in Cook's Illustrated, though I've adapted it to our tastes.

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

2 large eggs
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk, skim preferred
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard , dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
12 oz elbow macaroni or shells
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , American cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
0.5 jar Trader Joe's Chipotle Salsa (optional)

1. Mix eggs, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, pepper sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, and mustard mixture in small bowl; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 quarts water to boil in large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add 1.5 teaspoons of the salt and macaroni; cook until almost tender, but still a little firm to the bite. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butter; toss to melt.

3. Pour egg mixture over buttered noodles along with three-quarters of the cheese; stir until thoroughly combined and cheese starts to melt. Gradually add remaining milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes.

4. Add salsa at some point, if using. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens. Serve.

Notes: I have removed the breadcrumb topping in the original recipe, because I don't see that it adds anything except calories. I also increased the noodle content to 12 oz., and specified evaporated (NOT condensed!) skim milk*. I lowered the butter content, but myself use 100% extra-sharp cheddar cheese, usually Cabot's, which I can reliably get for $5/pound on sale; if you prefer more creaminess and less cheese oomph, use some monterey jack mixed with it.

I will add that with 100% cheddar, this does tend to separate some when re-warmed. It doesn't affect the flavor much, though. I expect using jack cheese would mitigate against this, but am personally not willing to give up the flavor hit of the extra-sharp cheddar.

*At this point I'm using full-fat evaporated milk, and it helps the cheddar to NOT separate.
cissalj: (Default)
This is a good basic recipe, and very amenable to tweaking. The principles seem to be: add seasoning and eggs to NOT fat-laden mashed potatoes; apply breadcrumbs for crunch; fry in some oil.

I think these would be great with the leftover mashed garlic potatoes I made last night, except we're eating them with other things.

1.5 pounds baking potatoes such as russets (not reds)
0.5 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or chives
0.5 cup freshly grated Parm cheese (NOT the stuff that's shelf-stable!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour if needed
Olive oil or butter for frying
Plain bread crumbs

1. Peel and quarter the potatoes and cook them in lightly salted water just until barely done. Drain well and mash, then add milk. Or make mashed potatoes without much added fat as you choose. Allow to cool enough that they don't cook the egg when it's added.
2. Combine potatoes, eggs, nutmeg, parsley or chives, cheese, salt and pepper. Add flour if necessary so that the potatoes can hold a shape. Mold into hamburger-like patties. Refrigerate for an hour if you have the time.
3. Heat the butter and/or oil in a large, deep skillet. As it heats, dredge the patties in the breadcrumbs. Cook patties in hot oil until browned on 1 side (about 5 min.); flip and brown on other side. Serve hot or at room temp.

My notes: while parsley was good, I think chives would be better. I bet you could use cheddar or other cheese, too. They warm up again well. Sour cream is a nice garnish.
cissalj: (Default)
I promised this recipe a couple of weeks ago...

Scraping the grill grate clean will help prevent the salmon from sticking. Also be sure to oil the grate just before placing the fillets on the grill.

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 salmon fillets (about 8 ounces each), each about 1 1/2 inches at thickest part
ground black pepper
vegetable oil for grill grate
lemon wedges for serving

1. For glaze: Stir together soy sauce and maple syrup in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium-high heat and cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Measure 2 tablespoons glaze into small bowl and set aside.
2. Whisk soy sauce and maple syrup in 13 by 9-inch baking dish until combined; carefully place fillets flesh-side down in single layer in marinade (do not coat salmon skin with marinade). Refrigerate while preparing grill.
3. Turn all burners on gas grill to high; cover and heat until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grill grate clean with grill brush. Turn all but 1 burner to medium-low. Remove salmon from marinade and sprinkle flesh liberally with pepper. Using long-handled grill tongs, dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and wipe hot side of grill grate. Place fillets flesh-side down on hot side of grill and cook until grill-marked, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip fillets skin-side down, still on hot side of grill; brush flesh with glaze, cover grill, and cook until salmon is opaque about halfway up thickness of fillets, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Again using long-handled grill tongs, dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and wipe cooler side of grill grate. Brush flesh again with glaze, then turn fillets flesh-side down onto cooler side of grill; cook until deeply browned, crust has formed, and center of thickest part of fillet is still translucent when cut into with paring knife, about 2 minutes. Transfer fillets to platter, brush with reserved 2 tablespoons glaze, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

My notes: I generally use 1 filet, between about a pound and a pound and a half (around 0.5 kg), and try to get it center-cut. It's generally not 1.5 inches thick, though! 1 inch is fine. This makes 3-4 servings for us (generally, 2 larger ones for dinner, and 2 smaller ones for lunches). I make a half recipe of the glaze and the marinade- why waste maple syrup??? and use a pan in which the fish fits snugly. We tend to use a grill basket, too, rather than doing it directly on the grill- less sticking that way.

Serve with rice or similar to sop up the juices. Yum!
cissalj: (scribe)
I know no one has requested this recipe- unlike some others, which I will try to get to!- but I'm adding it because it's a favorite of mine, and super-easy, and really good.

Mini Meatloaves
makes 6

1 pound lean ground beef (90-95% lean, or maybe buffalo)
1+ tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried minced onion (or toasted; scallions would probably also work)
0.5 cup bread stuffing mix, pref. herb seasoned
1 egg
1 tablespoon dried parsley, or chop fresh, or omit
salt and pepper to taste (I usually add neither, since the Worc. sauce and stuffing has salt and seasonings)
0.5+ of an 8-oz. can tomato sauce

the rest of the 8-oz.can tomato sauce
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1+ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 400F. For easy clean-up, line small rimmed cookie sheet or pie plate or similar with foil. Spray with spray oil.

Mix meatloaf ingredients together. Divide into 6 (a scale helps here- roughly 4 oz each), and form each into an oval loaf. Bake, uncovered, for 30 min.

While loaves are baking, mix sauce ingredients together. After 30 min., remove loaves and top each with sauce. Be generous; the stuff that drips down will caramelize. Return to oven and bake 5-10 min, until sauce has thickened.

Notes: These are great served with mashed potatoes, and put some of the dripped, caramelized sauce on the potatoes. Yum.

I make these with out super-lean CSA ground beef, and they throw no fat whatsoever. This is supposed to be 95%+ lean, and from its behavior I believe it. I would NOT use the recipe with anything under 90% lean, since the bread would soak up the fat and it would be less good. It would probably work well with ground chicken or turkey, esp. dark meat, too.

The basic recipe is from Penzey's "one" magazine, v2#6, with some adaptations.
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