Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crab Rangoon

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces fresh crab meat or canned crab meat, drained and flaked
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 - 1 1/2 green onions, finely sliced
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon red onion, chopped
1 package wonton wrappers
Oil for deep-frying

Combine the crab and the cream cheese. Mix in the remaining filling ingredients one at a time. On a flat surface, lay out a wonton wrapper in front of you so that it forms a diamond shape. Fill a small bowl with water. Using your finger tips, wet the edges of the wonton. Add a heaping teaspoon of filling to the middle, and spread it out toward the left and right points of the diamond so that it forms a log or rectangular shape.

Fold over the edges of the wrapper so that it forms a triangle shape. Seal the edges, adding more water if needed. Cover the completed Crab Rangoon with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out while preparing the rest.

Heat wok and add oil for deep-frying. Heat the oil to 360 degrees, carefully slide in the Crab Rangoon, taking care not to overcrowd the wok. Deep-fry until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Cool and serve.

Servings: 34 - 38 Crab Rangoon 

Tip: These make great appetizers for anytime! Dip them in hot mustard and sweet and sour sauce! Yum!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Savory Turkey Brine

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

1 gallon water
1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried savory
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried celery seeds
1/2 tablespoon cracked allspice berries
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

The day before roasting, remove giblets and turkey neck; rinse turkey inside and out.  In a large stock pot, or a 5 gallon bucket, mix water with ingredients. Stir well until all the salt is dissolved. Place turkey in the pot cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 - 16 hours. If the turkey is not immersed in the water, add more water. 

Once brining is complete, remove turkey from the brine, and rinse turkey well. Follow your regular cooking instructions. Enjoy!

Tip: A good turkey brine recipe not only keeps the meat moist from start to finish, it adds flavor to your roasted, smoked or barbecued turkey. Brine is strong solution of water and salt used for pickling, preserving and tenderizing foods. Herbs, spices or a sweetener such as sugar or molasses is sometimes added to flavor the brine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Port Cranberry Sauce

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon reduced port wine, (I use Adams brand)
4 cups (1 12 oz package) fresh cranberries
1 medium orange, for strips of orange zest and juice
pinch fresh nutmeg

Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water, sugar, port wine and squeezed juice from orange, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add a few strips of orange zest, and pinch of fresh ground nutmeg.  Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator.

Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Enjoy!

Servings: About 2 1/4 cups

Tip: Did you know that cows love cranberries! The English word cranberry is the shortened version of craneberry, which came from the plant's flowers that dip down and resemble the head of a crane.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Italian Kale Soup (Zuppa Toscana)

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
3 spicy Italian sausages, skins removed and crumbled
1 1/2 cups kale
2 large russet potatoes
4 cups chicken stock or broth*
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt* 

Wash, peel and slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices, then quarter them.  Set aside.

Wash, remove stalk and chop kale.  Set aside.

Remove skins and crumble sausage.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed stockpot.  Add red pepper flakes and sausage, and cook until there is no more pink.

Add kale and cook until wilted.   Add potato and stock.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Add cream.  Serve hot.  Enjoy!

* If using canned stock or broth, do not add salt.  If using homemade stock, add 1 teaspoon salt.

Servings: 4 

Tip:  This hearty soup is great with toasted garlic bread!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Panko Crusted Chicken Piccata

Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

4 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
2 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/2 cup flour
1 extra large egg
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon, freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of waxed paper and pound with a mallet to 1/4 inch thickness. It's important that you pound the breasts to an equal thickness throughout. This is so they cook evenly. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Mix the Panko bread crumbs, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish.

In a second dish, beat the egg. Dip each breast first in the egg, then in the Panko bread crumbs/flour mixture.

Preheat a saute pan over medium high heat, add canola oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Once butter is melted, add chicken breasts and cook 4-5 minutes on each side (do not turn the chicken so a crispy brown crust is allowed to form). After both sides are browned, remove chicken to a plate and let rest.

Turn the heat down to medium low and add olive oil. Pour in white wine and scrape up brown bits from the pan, let wine liquid reduce by half. Add 1 tbs butter, lemon juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer, add capers. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, place chicken on a platter and cover with sauce. Enjoy!

Tip:  Chicken Piccata is commonly thought of as a dish of Italian origin, but actually originated in the United States.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Tip:  Read directions completely before preparing.

4 corn tortillas, cut into pieces1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup ham, chopped
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Cut the tortillas into pieces.

Chop the onion, and ham. Shred the cheese.

In a 10" pan, over medium high heat, add oil.  Once the oil is hot, add tortillas pieces and fry them in the oil until slightly brown.

Add the chopped onion and chopped ham.

Then add beaten eggs and stir until they're almost cooked through, or set.  Lower heat to low, add cheese on top and cover, once cheese is melted it' done! Enjoy!

Servings: 2

Tip:  Migas can be made with a variety of ingredients.  Add avocados, tomatoes, serrano or jalepeno peppers, bell peppers, cilantro, green onion, garlic, sausage, chorizo, bacon and basically anything you find you would love to add! You can also use different cheese, such as Swiss, Mexican Queso Fresco, Muenster, American, and so many more! Top them with hot sauce!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Glazed Bread and Butter Pudding

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

1/4 cup soft butter
10 slices white bread, cut diagonally across, (regular slice bread, not extra thin)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugar Glaze (Click for recipe.)

Heat the oven 360°F. Grease a pie dish with a little of the butter. Spread each of the bread triangles with butter.

Cover the base of the pie dish with overlapping triangles of bread, butter side up. Sprinkle half the golden raisins evenly over the bread. Lightly sprinkle with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Repeat this layer one more time or until the dish is filled, finishing with the raisins on top.

In a saucepan gently heat the milk and cream until warm. DO NOT Boil.

In a large baking bowl beat the eggs with 3/4 sugar and the vanilla extract until light and airy and pale in color.

Pour the warm milk over the eggs and continue beating until all the milk is added.

Pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly over the bread until all the liquid is added. Gently press the surface with your hand to push the bread into the liquid. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the surface then leave to one side for 30 minutes.

Bake the pudding in the hot oven for 40 minutes, until the surface is golden brown and the pudding well risen and the egg is set. This can be served hot or cooled with glaze. Enjoy!

Servings: 8

Tip: Bread pudding is a dish with very old roots. It evolved as a use for stale bread.

Sugar Glaze

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

3 tablespoons or butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 tablespoons water

Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until smooth and of desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake or desert.

Tip:  You can use this glaze on cookies, cakes and breads!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guinness Irish Stew

Tip: Read directions completely before preparing.

4 pounds beef chuck roast, boneless meat, cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch cubes
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 pinches salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 pinches cayenne pepper
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups Guinness Beer
2 cups chopped carrot
4 large potatoes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Salt to taste

Toss the beef cubes with 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the beef in this to coat.

Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef, and brown on all sides. Brown in batches until all the meat is browned. Remove the browned meat and add to a deep heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, until all the meat is browned.

To the skillet, add the onions, and garlic. Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water to dilute; pour into the skillet and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour 1 1/2 cups of the beer into the skillet, and as it begins to boil, scrape any bits of food, stuck browned bit from the bottom (fond)of the pan with a wooden spoon. This adds an intense flavor to the broth. Add to pot with browned meat.

Pour in the rest of the beer, and add the thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours.

Add potatoes and carrots and simmer another hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Taste and adjust salt seasoning before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Serves: 8

Tip: Irish stew, "ballymaloe" or "stobhach gaelach" as it is called in Gaelic, is traditionally made of lamb or mutton (less tender sheep over two years of age), potatoes, onions, and parsley. But I am using beef.  Original Irish stew was a thick and hearty meal, meant to keep a body warm and on your feet for many hours of hard work.