Split Pea and Pumpkin Soup
4 tablespoons butter
1 diced red onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 minced Serrano chili
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups yellow split peas, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained
8 ½ cups water
1 (15 ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
¾ pound fresh sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
1½ tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
In a large pot, melt butter. Add onion, garlic, and chili. Cook over medium high heat until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Add cumin and cayenne. Cook until fragrant. Add split peas and water. Stir in the pumpkin puree and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the split peas are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Pumpkin Soup with Goat cheese
It’s hard not to think of pumpkins especially if you live in the Pacific North West. We have pumpkins patches out the wazoo. So, if you’ve carved a pumpkin, and are wondering what to do with the flesh, you can always make soup. In honor of those bright orange gourds, here’s a recipe for pumpkin soup with goat cheese.
3 pounds (2 pounds flesh) pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch chunks
1 cup banana shallots, skin on, halved lengthways
1 small garlic head
3 sprigs rosemary
2 teaspoons dried chili flakes (optional)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
toasted pumpkin seed oil
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup of goat cheese
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the pumpkin in a large roasting tin with the shallots, garlic-cut-side down - rosemary, chili (if using), olive oil and seasoning to toss to coat in the oil. Roast for 45 minutes until mostly tender and golden in places, but not too browned - if it starts to brown, cover with foil. For the garnish, toss the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray with the olive oil and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.
When the pumpkin is ready, remove the rosemary - reserve for a garnish unless blackened - and squeeze the softened garlic shallots from their skins into the roasting tray, discarding the skins. Heat the stock in a saucepan large enough to fit the pumpkin, then add the contents of the roasting tray and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Blend to a smooth purée using a stick blender, thinning with more hot stock if necessary. Alternatively, cool slightly and blend in batches in a jug blender or food processor (a processor won't give as smooth a result).
Reheat gently to serve, season and ladle into warm bowls. Crumble over the goats' cheese and scatter with pumpkin seeds. If using, break over the crisp rosemary needles and drizzle with a little pumpkin-seed oil.
From the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Recipe by Louisa Carter; photographs by Helen Cathcart; food preparation & styling by Bridget Sargeson; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon; table styling by Alexander Breeze.
Fall Recipes 2018
Farmer’s Market Eggplant, Tomato, Squash Baked Ratatouille
Measurements are approximate, based on your success at the Farmer’s Market or the abundance of your garden. Fit the size of the casserole pan to the quantity of vegetables. You will be laying the ingredients edgewise into the pan so the colors alternate. This is a beautiful dish if you use care when assembling.
1/2 cup olive oil, used in every step of the recipe!
1 medium eggplant
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium zucchini, about ¼ - ½ pound
1 medium yellow squash, ¼ – ½ lb
2 or 3 large ripe tomatoes, about ½ pound
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup soft fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup or so freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preparing the vegetables
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with some of the olive oil. Slice eggplant ½” thick, discarding ends. Press the slices onto the oiled sheet to coat, then turn them over. Arrange the slices in the pan in a single layer and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon each of salt and herbs de Provence.
Bake until the eggplant slices in the hot oven until they are soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes; allow to cool briefly.
Meanwhile, cut the zucchini and yellow squash into slices no more than ¼" thick. Salt lightly and let sit for about 15 minutes, then wipe the moisture off.
Core the tomatoes and slice ¼” thick, sprinkle with pepper.
Assembling the gratin
Coat a rimmed baking dish well with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle a teaspoon of the dried herbs over the bottom. The vegetables will lean semi-vertically against the end of the dish in alternate layers. Start with a slice of eggplant, then zucchini, tomato, another eggplant, yellow squash, tomato, etc. Repeat until the pan is full of alternating rows of eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. Arrange the rows of slices so the colorful top edges of the previous row are still visible.
Mix the Parmesan bread crumbs, and a teaspoon of herbes de Provence. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and then toss lightly with a fork.
Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the vegetables and drizzle with remaining oil.
Preheat oven to 400. Bake for 40 minutes until the casserole is bubbling, the vegetables are soft, and the topping is brown. You can stick the pan under the broiler for a few moments if it isn’t brown enough.
Serve hot directly from the baking dish, although it is good at room temperature as well.
Note: this can be assembled and then refrigerated (covered) for several hours. Preheat oven and drizzle on the last olive oil just before baking.
Summer Recipes 2018
Black-eyed Pea and Avocado Salad
I used celebrity chefs, Patrick and Gina Neely’s, recipe and added the avocado.
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Two 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 avocados, cubed
Mix the first seven salad ingredients in a medium-size bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredient: vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Our dressing over salad and toss.
Refrigerate for eight hours.
Add avocado and toss.
Apricot Bars or What to do when your home-made apricot jam doesn’t set up
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup ground almonds
1 ½ cups runny apricot jam, (or good jam if you have it)
Preheat oven to 350°. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, beat in the egg and vanilla. Whisk flour and baking powder together in a small bowl; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in coconut and almond flour.
Prepare a 9x13” baking pan by lining with foil that is long enough to overhang the ends. Butter the foil.
Press about 2/3 of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Spread with apricot jam; crumble the remaining dough over the jam.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift out of the pan using the foil, cut into bars, peeling off the foil as you go.
Alton Brown's Gazpacho
Cold soup in the summer? This Alton Brown’s Gazpacho recipe and I think it’s one of the best.
Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.
Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.
Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil.
Quick Broiled Salmon
Serves 3 or 4, depending on filet size
1 filet of fresh wild coho (silver) or red (sockeye) salmon, no more than 1 inch thick at thickest part, skin on, about 12-16 oz. Pull the pin bones from the filet with needle-nosed pliers before marinating.
2 Tbsps each
Splash of sesame oil
Stir until sugar dissolves.
Cut filet cross-wise into desired number of serving pieces
Marinate skin-side up in shallow dish for 30 minutes to 2 hours
Place fish skin-side up on a lightly oiled broiler rack. Place in pre-heated broiler close to heat, and broil on high for 4-5 minutes or until done. Do not turn. Skin will blister and char.
Surprise Cake (My girlfriend, Suzanne's Recipe)
2 cups white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup water
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup butter, water and 3 tablespoons cocoa to a boil. Remove from heat. Add to flour mixture and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix sour cream, eggs, baking soda and cayenne pepper. Add to the cake batter. Blend well. Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan.
Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
Melt butter, add cocoa powder. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Spread on cooled cake.
Tabernacle Crush from Food & Wine
1/2 large peach, sliced
6 small basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce Lillet (a French wine-based aperitif from Podensac.)
1/2 ounce simple syrup
In a tall glass, muddle the peach with the six basil leaves and the lemon juice. Add the gin, Lillet, and simple syrup. Add ice cubes and top with club soda. Garnish with basil.
Homemade Peach Ice Cream
One of my most vivid summertime memories growing up in West, Texas was spending all day at the Playdium, the local swimming pool. My friends and I would meet when the pool opened and I wouldn’t return home until suppertime. This was back before sunscreen replaced sun-tan location, and tanning your skin to a golden brown was considered healthy. When the water wasn’t enough to keep us cool, we’d head over to the snack bar for the best peach ice cream under the hot Texas sun.
6 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 cups sugar
10 fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
Mix together eggs and sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
Puree peaches in blender or food processor and stir 5 cups of puree into egg mixture.
Stir in half-and-half, vanilla, and salt.
Mix well and pour mixture into freezer canister of ice cream maker and or pour into tubs place in the freezer.
Salamanca Spain Sangria
Forty years ago, I spent a summer in Salamanca, Spain, hoping to become fluent in Spanish. I finally had to admit that I don’t have a brain for languages. I can order meals, ask directions, interpret time, and utter a few sentences like, ¿Tienes un lapiz? (Do you have a pencil?) What I did learn was how to make sangria.
In honor of summer, here’s the traditional sangria recipe.
1 bottle dry red wine. Do not use expensive wine since the taste will be lost in the following ingredients.
½ cup of brandy
½ cup of gin
½ of Cointreau or other orange liqueur
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 lemons, sliced and unpeeled
2 limes, sliced and unpeeled
1 orange, sliced and unpeeled
1 cup of cherries
Add all ingredients into a large picture filled with ice. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Cattails & Wild Mushrooms in Cream Sauce
Don your rubber waders and get ready to harvest tasty cattail shoots from a pond near you!
Note and Disclaimer: you may want to purchase a book or attend a class on foraging before you actually try this
2 tablespoons olive oil plus one tablespoon butter
8-10 sliced mushrooms (forage some hedgehogs or lobster mushrooms)
6-8 garlic scapes, remove flower head and lower woody stem chop like a scallion into 1/4" pieces
35 cattail shoots, cut down into 1” pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper
chopped chives (see if any wild ones are growing near the cattails when you are out foraging)
Heat butter and oil in a sauté pan, cook mushrooms & scapes until soft. Add cattail shoots and cream to pan. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Remove lid and simmer for roughly 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. A good crusty loaf of Breadfarm bread will send this meal & you to the moon!
Spring Recipes 2018
The French 75 and Variation
The French 75 is a lovely spring/summer cocktail made from gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar syrup. Measurements below are approximate: adjust to taste
Combine ½ oz fresh lemon juice, 1 oz gin, and ½ oz of simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with chilled Champagne, stir gently, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Variations on this drink reward creativity. I like to substitute elderflower cordial for the sugar. That drink is sometimes called a French 77, but I usually substitute Prosecco, so I’m not sure it qualifies as “French.” Other variations substitute créme de mur (blackberry) or orange liqueur for the elderflower. All according to taste!
Combine ½ oz fresh lemon juice, 1 oz gin, and ½ oz elderflower cordial in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with chilled Prosecco, stir gently, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Salmon with a Juniper Berry Rub
20 whole dried juniper berries
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Zest from half a medium orange
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 6-ounce salmon fillets
Partially crush juniper berries with a mortar and pestle; add salt and sugar and continue to crush until the berries are coarsely ground. Stir in the orange zest.
Whisk the juice and oil together; brush onto salmon fillets.
Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over the fillets and press it lightly into the flesh. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Place fillets on a parchment-lined baking sheet skin-side down. Broil for 3 minutes. Turn salmon over and broil another 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to 400 degrees and cook 4 minutes longer, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest, divided
1 lime wedge
1 avocado, pitted, peeled
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons tequila blanco
¾ cup triple sec
¾ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Pinch of cayenne pepper
8 lime wheels
Toss salt and 1 tsp. lime zest on a small plate. Rub the rim of each margarita glass with lime wedge and dip into salt mixture.
Purée avocado, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, cilantro, cayenne, remaining 1 tsp. lime zest, and 2½ cups ice, preferably crushed, in a blender until smooth.
Divide among prepared glasses and garnish each with a lime wheel.
From bon appétit
Oysters Rockefeller was created by Jules Alciatore in 1889 at Antione’s restaurant in New Orleans. The dish came about when there was a shortage of escargot and oysters were used instead. It is believed that the original recipe was taken to the grave when Alciatore died and that all subsequent recipes are merely versions.
1 garlic clove finely chopped
2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur
1 teaspoon ground fennel
Dash of salt
Dash of black pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 pound rock salt
24 freshly shucked oysters (saved the shells)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Gin & Tonic Cake
Gin and Tonic Cake speaks summertime! And summertime has finally arrived in the PNW (at least for now).
This recipe comes from Good Housekeeping (UK). I’ve used conversions on amounts. Caster sugar is a very fine grain of sugar. You can substitute powdered sugar or go online to find out how to make caster sugar.
Chiles Rellenos (serves 2)
1 8-10 oz can whole green Anaheim or poblano chile peppers: should be 4 or 5 chiles in the can
about 1 oz of Monterey Jack cheese per pepper, so 4-5 oz
3 whole eggs, separated
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp water
oil for frying
Drain chiles, lay on cutting board and slice down one side, open & remove seeds. Cut cheese into “planks” about 3/8” thick. You can taper one end so that it fits down into the pointy end of the pepper. Lay the cheese inside the pepper and fold the edges back over it. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Mix the 3 yokes with 2 Tbsp of flour and a tsp of water to make a runny batter, then fold it gently into the egg whites.
Heat a skillet and add 1/8” of oil. When the oil is hot, dollop in spoonfuls of the egg mixture in the size and shape of the peppers, lay the peppers on the puffy cloud of egg batter, and dollop more of the egg on top. Cook until the bottom is golden, and flip gently. Cook until the other side is golden and the cheese has melted.
Serve with desired salsa & sour cream.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
Large pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup husked hazelnuts, toasted , coarsely chopped
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved (about 4 cups)
12 ounces rhubarb (preferably bright red), ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces Vanilla ice cream
Vanilla ice cream
Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter. Rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats and nuts. DO AHEAD: Topping can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 11 x 7 x 2- inch glass baking dish. Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; whisk to blend well. Add strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well. Scrape fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.
Bake crumble until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.
Lima Bean Burgers
1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
6 saltine crackers, crushed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, mash butter beans. Mix in onion, jalapeno pepper, crushed crackers, egg, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide into 4 equal parts, and shape into patties. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; use more or less oil to reach 1/4 inch in depth. Fry patties until golden, about 5 minutes on each side.
Blueberry Rum Smash
Strawberry & Asparagus Salad
1 head romaine lettuce–chopped
1/2 bag of baby spinach leaves
1 bundle of asparagus–steamed and chilled then cut
1 pint of strawberries–sliced
1/3 cup sliced almonds– toasted with 1tsp sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tb olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Bunny’s Favorite Carrot Cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 fresh whole eggs
2 cups pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups raw finely grated carrots
4 ounces chopped walnuts
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
12 ounces room temperature cream cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 ounces room temperature butter
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, mix sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture and blend well. Fold in carrots and chopped nuts until well blended. Distribute batter evenly into 3 (9-inch) cake layer pans, which have been generously greased. Place in preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool layers in pans for an hour, and then turn onto racks until completely cool.
For the frosting:
In a suitable bowl of large mixer, place powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and butter. Beat until thoroughly blended.
Assemble and enjoy!
Winter Recipes 2017-2018
Official National Banana Cream Pie Day--Banana Cream Pie
In honor of National Banana Cream Pie Day, March 2, which is also Texas Independence Day and a darn good reason to eat dessert, I’ve chosen to share my recipe for this luscious pie. My grandmother used to make it for our Sunday family gatherings. She made a traditional flour pie crust, but I added my own twist—a Graham Cracker crust. Enjoy!
Graham Cracker Crust
1/12 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter
Banana Cream Filling:
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups of half and half
4 egg yokes
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, sliced
Whipped Cream Topping:
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup of shaved almonds
Graham Cracker Crust:
1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine Graham Cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon, and mix well. Add melted butter and mix until blended.
3. Press into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 7 minutes. Let let cool.
Banana Cream Filling:
1. In medium sauce pan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add half and half and egg yokes and whisk until well combined. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
2. Pour ½ of the filling onto the crust.
3. Cover with sliced bananas.
4. Pour remainder of filling over the bananas.
5. Cover with saran wrap directly on filling to avoid a sticky film from developing.
6. Chill for at least 3 hours.
7. Remove saran wrap and top with another layer of sliced bananas.
Whipping Cream Topping:
1. In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream at high speed. Slowly add sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form.
2. Spread whipping cram over the top and garnish with more sliced bananas and shaved almonds.
The Only Drink for Lovers
Open and drink, with pleasure, one bottle of chilled, dry champagne or prosecco. Then another...
Sweet and Sour Microwave Red Cabbage for Lovers
Put the butter, onion, and caraway seeds into a large heat safe glass bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute to melt the butter. Add the cabbage, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to the melted butter and stir to combine. Cover with a vented lid or plastic wrap with 6 small holes poked in it. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Carefully uncover and stir the cabbage. Recover again and cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the largest parts of the cabbage are wilted and tender, 10 to 15 additional minutes.
Use a pair of tongs to transfer the cabbage to a serving platter; discard any extra cooking liquid in the bowl. Sprinkle the chopped bacon over the cabbage. Serve immediately.
1 cup flour
1/4 oz butter or margarine
1/2 lb good quality dark chocolate
1 or more tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
Forget the flour, eggs and shortening: eat the chocolate, go for a long, vigorous walk in the woods, and drink the whiskey when you get home.
Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
This recipe and photo came my way via Facebook. It's from Mel Kitchen's Website and it's perfect for the holiday season-sweet, spicy and festive.
In honor of our new release,
Between the Swastika and the Bear
A Polish Memoir, 1925-1948
By Andrew Jurkowski
Polish Mushroom Soup for Christmas Eve
Polska Zupa Grzybowa dla Wigilii
The Polish Christmas Eve feast is called the Wigilia (Vigil). It’s traditionally a meatless meal, so many people use a vegetable broth. It’s fine to use chicken or beef stock instead.
4 or 5 oz of dried mushrooms, soaked overnight in a cup of water, and then chopped. Strain and reserve soaking liquid.
2 Tbsp butter
4 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 leek, the white part, rinsed and chopped
8 oz white or crimini button mushrooms, sliced
2 quarts stock of your choice: beef, chicken, vegetable
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream and chopped parsley for garnish
Saute all of the chopped vegetables, including the dried and fresh mushrooms, in butter until lightly browned. Bring the stock to a simmer in a large soup pot. Stir the chopped & browned vegetables into the stock, along with the strained mushroom soaking liquid. Cover and simmer gently until vegetables are tender. Season to taste. Thicken if desired (roux or cornstarch slurry). Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Icelandic Lamb Chops with Minted Cherry Sauce for Lovers
This is best with Icelandic lamb as they live in the wild and only a few local farmers have license to butcher them. No pesticides are used around their grazing sites nor do they receive any antibiotics plus their natural diet of wild herbs and berries flavors them from the inside---amazing. If you can’t get your hands on lamb from Iceland, local organic lamb will do in a pinch.
2 teaspoons olive oil
5-6 Icelandic lamb chops
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1 cup full bodied red wine (or port)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
3 tablespoons cherry jam
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Chopped fresh mint
Wash lamb chops and pat dry with paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt and coarse ground pepper Heat oil in heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb to skillet turn frequently until desired doneness (8-10 minutes for medium rare). Remove lamb from skillet and tent under tinfoil. Add shallots to skillet stir and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add wine, chicken broth, cherries, jam, vinegar and cardamom, stirring frequently at a boil. Reduce the sauce until the it sticks to your spoon and season with a little salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the lamb and sprinkle with chopped fresh mint.
Best served with mashed potatoes, greens and a mint leaf garnish.
Beets (called “beetroot” in Australia) are the ubiquitous antipodean vegetable. Generally served in the form of cold, pickled slices, they are an essential (inevitably red-staining) addition to salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, everything. The jellied variant, prepared as below, makes a colorful accompaniment to Christmas dinner and may inspire renewed table conversation in moments when this is lagging.
Serves 6-8 people. Requires 1 large or 6 individual moulds, for serving on 1 large platter or 6 small plates.
3 medium beets, cooked and finely diced
1 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon gelatine soaked in 1 tablespoon water
6 prepared lettuce cups
Place water, vinegar and flavorings in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer 2 minutes.
Strain hot liquid over gelatine. Dissolve gelatine and allow to cool.
Place beets in mould and pour liquid over the top.
Chill until set. Unmould and serve on lettuce.
Not to be confused with rice pudding--riskrem is not as sweet and twice as nice!
For the Filling
1 Quart milk
¾ Cup long-grain white rice
½ Cup plus 1 to 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tsp salt
½ Tsp almond extract
½ Cup almonds
½ Cup frozen raspberries, thawed
2 Cups whipping cream
3 Tbsp cloudberry or lingonberry preserves
For the Filling
Preheat oven to 350º.
To serve, heat the raspberry mixture in the microwave until just hot. If the preserve mixture is too thick add in a little hot water and whisk until smooth.
Serve and drizzle with the preserves or raspberry sauce.
Seriously Delicious Non Dairy Quiche
Have all ingredients at room temperature before you begin.
Preheat oven to 350°
1 9” pie shell of your choice, uncooked
½ cup grated Daiya non-dairy cheese
½ cup plain Daiya non-dairy yogurt
½ cup unsweetened almond, rice, or soy milk
3 room temperature eggs, broken into a bowl and beaten well
½ medium onion, finely chopped
Spinach or chard, fresh or frozen
Pepper to taste
In a large skillet, saute half a finely-chopped medium onion in olive oil until soft.
Add 4 handfuls of well-washed, coarsely torn spinach or chard and sauté until wilted (you can substitute 1 cup of cooked, cooled, and well-drained frozen spinach).
Lay spinach in pie crust. Cover with grated non-dairy cheese. Stir together non-dairy yogurt, almond milk, and beaten eggs, with pepper to taste. Pour gently over spinach and non-dairy cheese. Bake until browned and set, approximately 45 minutes.
Red Velvet Cake for Lovers
My recipe contribution for this month is Red Velvet Cake. Since recipes tend to evolve over time, I thought about selecting one from the plethora of offerings from the internet. There were several delectable choices, including the Southern Red Velvet Cake, which is covered in diced pecans. But they all called for a small amount of red food coloring. I remembered, or at least I thought I did, the recipe my mother used, which called for much more. She passed onto me her collection of favorite recipes when I left home in the early 70s. I searched my recipe box and found it. It came from an Adams Extract Company recipe book. I was right, the recipe called for 1 ½ ounce bottle of Adams red food coloring. Mom said this was the reason the cake turned out so moist.
½ cup shortening
1 ½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ ounce bottle of Adams red food coloring
3 tbs. cocoa
2 ½ cups sifted floor
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. vinegar
1tsp. baking soda
3 tbs. flour
½ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp butter flavor
Cook milk, flour, salt until thick, stirring constantly.
Cream shortening and sugar well; add flavors.
Combine with the first mixture; beat well.
Cream, shortening, sugar, eggs, and flavors.
Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring; add to first mixture.
Alternately add flour and buttermilk.
Mix baking soda and vinegar in small bowl; add to batter.
Bake in three 9” or 10” pans for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let cool completely.
Cover with frosting.
My favorite dish (this is my Mormor's recipe) we usually enjoy this on Christmas Day and on Syttende Mai.
Fall Recipes 2017
This is a traditional Australian Thanksgiving dinner accompaniment. Not that Australia has a Thanksgiving holiday, but it’s what I, as an Australian, have made on each of the twenty-plus Thanksgivings I’ve spent here in Anacortes—because this is an iconic Australian recipe; I like savory scones more than sweet ones; and I hate to see pumpkins going to waste just as porch decorations.
2 cups self-raising flour
I cup cooked mashed pumpkin
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter
¾ cup milk
Optional: ½ cup sugar or ½ cup grated sharp cheese
Sweet Nothing Beets Yams!
Pre-heat oven: 400 degrees
6 beets peeled & cubed
1 walla walla onion chopped in large chunks
3 sweet potatoes peeled & cubed
olive oil (2-3 Tbs), coarse sea salt (1 tsp), coarse black pepper (1 tsp), garlic powder (1 tsp), raw sugar (1 tsp)
Mix beets with 1-2 Tbs olive oil---place on sheet pan in oven for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime mix all other ingredients together in bowl including remaining olive oil, mix with beets and toss it in the oven for another 45-50 minutes and yum!
No Cows Allowed in the Orchard: Dairy-Free Apple Crisp
These quantities are approximate—adjust to your taste.
Stir these dry ingredients together until well mixed
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp garam masala
Stir into a bowl with
6 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
Pour into an 8” x 11” baking pan greased with coconut oil
Stir together until evenly mixed & crumbly
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup almond meal
½ cup flour
Pour topping lightly over apples. Bake at 350° until brown and bubbly and apples are tender: ~45 minutes. Cool and enjoy.
It’s All In The Stuffing!
1 lbs fresh Hot Italian sausage
3 diced celery ribs
6 shallots finely chopped
10 ounces wild mushrooms
6 cups prepared corn bread cubed
1 ½ c toasted chopped pecans
1 c dried cherries chopped rough
3 large eggs
½ c heavy cream
1.5 c chicken stock
½ c dry white wine
1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
1.5 tsp table salt
6 tbs butter plus extra for baking dish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet. Place cornbread chunks on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Toast in oven until golden brown, 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely
Heat cast iron skillet medium-high heat and add sausage; cook, breaking sausage into ½-inch pieces with wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towel–lined plate, leaving rendered fat in skillet.
Heat butter (4 tbs) with rendered fat in skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion, celery, mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Add thyme, sage, and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chopped cherries
Add 1 cup broth and bring to simmer, using wooden spoon to scrape browned bits from bottom of pan. Add vegetable mixture to bowl with dried bread and toss to combine.
Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, remaining broth cream, wine and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add egg/broth mixture, mushrooms, cherries, pecans, and sausage to bread mixture and gently toss to combine; transfer to greased baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place baking dish on rimmed baking sheet.
Bake on lower-middle rack 40 minutes remove tinfoil and cook another 10 minutes. Using fork, gently fluff stuffing. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Mr Crabs Cheesy Macaroni
Cook one box of of macaroni. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
To the cooked macaroni, add the following: 1 stick of butter, 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1 cup provolone cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, ½ cup smoked gouda, 2 tablespoons feta cheese, three eggs (make sure the macaroni has cooled), 12 ounces of evaporated milk, and 1 cup of crab meat.
Stir well and place in a 9 X 12 X 2 inch casserole dish. Top with more cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 large yellow onions thinly sliced
6 gloves of minced garlic
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
pinch of salt
6 slices of day-old bread. Any kind will do: white, grain, French (I’ve even used croutons. But my favorite is toasted focaccia.)
1 ½ cups of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 ounces of goat cheese
2 to 3 cups stock (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
Preheat over to 325.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add onion slices and toss to coat them with oil. After about fifteen minutes, add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook until the mixture turns golden brown and begins to caramelize. Remove from heat and season with salt.
Lightly grease a two-quart casserole dish. Line the bottom with bread. Spoon a layer of onion mixture over the bread. Dot with an ounce of goat cheese. Top with ¼ cup grated cheese or enough to cover the onion mixture. Continue layering until the bread, onion mixture, and cheeses are used, reserving ¼ to 1/3 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Slowly pour the stock into the dish, until it almost reaching the lip. Add the rest of the grated cheese on top.
Carefully place the dish on a baking sheet.
Slide into the oven and bake until bubbly and the top turns golden brown. Usually about 1½ hour.
Serve while hot.
Easy Apple Cake (non-dairy)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4-5 cups of peeled and chopped tart apples
1 cup chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans (optional)
Optional maple glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Mix together until smooth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9x13” baking pan. Beat oil and eggs together large bowl until creamy, then beat in sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir dry ingredients into the egg mixture until well mixed (batter will be thick), and then stir in chopped apples (and chopped nuts if desired). Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. You can add the simple glaze, but it actually makes a crispy sugar crust on its own. While the cake is light and crisp right out of the oven, it settles and becomes damp and gooey the next day