Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Pasta

12 ounces of all purpose flour (weighing is recommended)
1 T. of semolina flour, plus more for the work surface
1/2 t. of fine sea salt
7 ounces of beaten egg (about 4)
1 T. of extra virgin olive oil

Place the flour, semolina and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine.
Add the eggs all and once and process for 30 seconds, drizzling the oil through the opening in the lid. The dough should look like coarse, wet sand.

Knead the dough for a good 4 minutes on a surface that has been dusted generously with semolina. It should be smooth when you are done, not sticky.

Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes

Use a pasta machine to roll it out and cut it.

From The Washington Post, September 26, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie

A get well gift that keeps giving

When I was in high school I worked at a great restaurant, The Pancake Wagon. It was only open from 6-3 every day and it was full of characters -- the cook, the "hostess", the owners, and the waitresses. I learned to drink coffee there, and we ate fried fish sandwiches after our shift. One of my favorite things about the Pancake Wagon was the pie lady -- she'd bring in pies on Saturdays and they were awesome. One of my favorites was the coconut cream.

Flash forward 30 years, and I find myself craving some coconut cream pie. I decided this weekend to make one -- I thought I'd give it to my friend Pat who wasn't feeling well, but then my husband got wind of the baking, and requested one for us. So I made two.... neither worked out, the filling never solidified, and it was just a mess. Still edible, but not a mess.

On Sunday I tried again, but this time, with a new custard recipe. Success! Unfortunately, that's the one that went with Pat (feel better soon!) but as we eat the two duds in bowls with spoons, next time I make it for us it's going to be great.

Pie Crust
1 c. flour
1/3 c. shortening
1/3 c. cold water

In food processor put flour and butter into bowl, with the blade running, slowly add cold water in the tube, just until the dough forms a ball in the processor. Remove, shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

After completely chilled, roll out for a 9" pie plate, prick liberally, and pre-bake for this pie.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.

Coconut Custard
1/4 c. cornstarch
3/4 c. sugar (divided)
2 c. half and half
4 egg yolks (when separating eggs, save 2 egg whites for pie; 2 others for breakfast another day)
3 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 c. coconut

In large sauce pan, combine sugar and cornstarch. In bowl, combine egg yolks and cream. Gradually add liquid to sugar mixture, heating it over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once all liquid is added, heat to
boiling, stirring constantly. Once it reaches boil, allow to boil for 1 minute, remove from heat, stir in butter, coconut, and vanilla.

Place custard in bowl, cover with plastic so the plastic touches the top of the custard, chill for at least 20 minutes.

Whip 2 egg whites until stiff, add 1/4 c. of sugar.

Fold custard in baked pie shell, top with egg whites making sure they are spread all the way to the crust covering all custard. Sprinkle coconut on top of pie. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes (until lightly browned).

Next weekend might be banana cream!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Enchiladas de Pollo

Why haven't I written about this recipe before? This is a family favorite -- and I've taken a somewhat complicated recipe and made it WAY easier by substituting salsa verde. Quick to make, everyone likes it, like I said, why didn't I write about it sooner?

2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded with two forks
1/2 large onion chopped
1 1/2 c. mexican blend cheese

One jar salsa verde
1 egg
2/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine shredded chicken, onion and Mexican cheese in a large bowl. Dip tortillas, one at a time, in simmering water. Fill with 1/2 c. chicken, cheese, and onion. Roll and place into a 11x7 casserole pan. Once all tortillas are filled and placed in pan, mix sauce ingredients and pour over the tortillas. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, uncover pan, sprinkle another 1 c. of cheese on top, return to oven for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream, and a tossed salad. Yum.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oven Denver Omlete

I LOVE breakfast -- and this month, at work, we were all asked to bring in food for a breakfast buffet. I've already brought in the bachelor sausage strata that Uncle Chuck made for his hunting buddies (recipe below), so I dusted off an old recipe from an unknown source to impress my friends. Fast, easy, and universally loved...

Do all the chopping the night before, throw it together and in the oven in the morning --

Oven Denver Omelet
8 eggs
1/2 c. half and half
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. finely chopped ham (food processor)
1 c. finely chopped green pepper
1/4 c. finely chopped onion

In a bowl, beat the eggs and cream until light and fluffy. Stir in cheese, ham, green pepper, and onion. Pour into a greased 9 inch square baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Uncle Chuck's Bachelor Breakfast

1 lb. pork breakfast sausage (like Bob Evans)
6 slices of white bread, crust removed
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese (Cheddar, swiss, you pick)
5 eggs
2 c. half and half
1 t. salt
2 t. Dijon mustard

Cook, crumble, and drain sausage on a paper towel. Place bread on the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch greased baking dish. Sprinkle sausage on top, top with cheese. Beat eggs, half and half, salt, and mustard in a bowl. Pour over bread/sausage. Cover and chill overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lemon Spaghetti

I bought a bag of lemons the other day, I have no idea why. So, when thinking about how best to use them, I came across this recipe -- it combines everything my family seems to enjoy (pasta, lemon, cheese, and basil), so I thought I'd give it a whirl. And it was delicious. For some strange reason the 10-year-old is now in a, "I hate spaghetti" phase (could it be that his mother serves it too frequently)? So perhaps some other noodle next time....

Lemon Spaghetti (from Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentis)

2/3 c. olive oil
2/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
3/4 t. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 t. black pepper
1 lb. dried spaghetti
1/3 c. chopped fresh basil
1 T. grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, cheese, lemon juice, and 3/4 t. of salt and 1/2 t of pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally until tender but firm. Drain, reserving 1 c. of cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce and toss with basil and lemon zest. Toss with enough water (1/4 c. at a time) to moisten. Season with salt and pepper.


If you know me, you know I love meatloaf. I believe my love of meatloaf is enriched by the fact that my husband hates it -- and by that I mean, it has become a forbidden love -- something I can only indulge in at restaurants, or when he travels. There have been times when I've subjected him to experiments (meatloaves that include italian sausage or blue cheese) -- and this week, his trip was cancelled but we forged ahead with our meatloaf plans. This, I believe, is my most successful meatloaf to date, and may become our go-to recipe.

Meatier Meatloaf (Cook's Illustrated September and October 2012)

2 T. unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
6 oz. white mushrooms sliced and trimmed
1 T. tomato paste
3 T. plus 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. unflavored gelatin
1/2 slice hearty white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/3 c. minced fresh parsley
2 t. Dijon mustard
3/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 lb. ground pork
1 pd. 85 percent lean ground beef

1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. cider vinegar
3 T. packed brown sugar
1 t. hot sauce
1/2 t. ground coriander

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat overn to 350 degrees. Fold heavy-dty aluminum foil to form 9 by 5 ince rectable. Center foil on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Poke holes in foil with skewer (about 1/2 inch apart). Spray foil with vegetable oil spray.

2. Melt butter in 12-inch skilletover medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add 3 T. broth and garlic; cook, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, remaining 1/2c. broth, and soy suce together in bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over egg mixture and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

4. Pulse bread in food processor until finely ground, 5 to 10 pulses. Add gelatin mixture, cooled mushroom mixture, parlsey, mustard, pepper, and thyme to bread crubs and pulse until mushrooms are finely ground, about 10 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer bread-crumb mixture to large bowl. Add pork and beef and mix with hands to thoroughly combine.

5. Transfer meat mixture to foil rectangle and shape into 9 x 5-inch loaf using wet hands. Bake meatloaf until it registers 155 to 160 degrees, 75 to 90 minutes. Remove from oven and turn on broiler.
(NOTE: I actually made this on a Sunday, and after this step, removed the meatloaf from the oven for a few hours before going on to the glaze part)

6. While meatloaf cooks, bring all the ingredients for the glaze to simmer in a small sucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

7. Spread half of glaze evenly over cooked meatloaf; place under broiler and cook until glaze bubbles and begins to brown at edges, about 2 minutes. Remove meatloaf from oven and spread evenly with remaining glaze; return to broiler and cook until glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes longer. Let meatloaf cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Magic Box

Every year we go on vacation to a condo in Hilton Head -- and we always take "the magic box." After years of taking stuff I don't need, and buying stuff I could have brought, I decided I'd publish the list of what to bring in the magic box.
  • Cumin 
  • Oregano 
  • Red Pepper Flakes 
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • Garlic 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Laundry Detergent (HE) 
  • Dryer Sheets 
  • Quart Bags 
  • Gallon Bags 
  • Foil 
  • Plastic Wrap 
  • Pam 
  • Chip Clips 
  • Ranch Dressing 
  • Peanut Butter 
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Pasta
  • Mayo 
  • Mustard 
  • Ketchup 
  • Coffee 
  • Plastic Cups

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Bowl

Yikes! We've invited a bunch of our neighbors over to watch the Super Bowl with about 6 days notice. I had a rough idea of what to feed the adults, but what about the kids?! Here are my ideas.

Pigs in a Blanket
Pork Barbecue
Black Bean Salsa
Veggies and Dip
Chocolate Chip Cookies

We'll see!