Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Comfort Food

Emily loaned us her copy.

Here are 5 that we chose to prepare:

Quick Potato & Carrot Latkes

vegetable oil, for frying
1 sack (24 ounces) shredded potatoes for has browns
1 large carrot 1 medium onion
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons matzo meal, cracker meal, or all purpose flour

Heat 1/2 inch oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. To test oil, add a piece of bread to the pan. It should turn golden brown i a count of 10. Adjust heat as necessary.Place potatoes in a large bowl. Using a hand grater, grate the carrot and onion into the bowl. Add beaten eggs, salt, baking powder, and meal or flour. Combine vegetables and meal with a wooden spoon. Drop mixture into oil in 3-inch mounds. Press down gently with spatula to form patties. Fry in batches of 4 to 6 patties, 1 inch apart, until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel or parchment- lined tray.

Chunky Golden Applesauce

4 golden delicious apples, cored and chunked
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup apple juice or cider
3 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and cook over medium to medium-high heat until apples begin to break down and raisins are plump. Serve with potato and carrot latkes.

Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 & 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 pinches cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
Coarse salt, to taste

Heat a deep pot over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter melts, add onion and saute, 5 minutes, until tender. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans, and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and stir in cream, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and a few pinches of salt. Simmer 5 minutes and adjust seasoning. Serve with chunky guacamole and tortilla chips.

Pork Chops with Golden Applesauce

4 golden delicious apples, chopped
1 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces golden raisins (a handful)
1 inch fresh gingerroot, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons light brown suger
2 cup natural apple juice or cider
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg

Pork chops:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
6 center-cut boneless pork loin chops, 1-inch thick (6-8 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make the applesauce: Combine apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, raisins, ginger, brown sugar, apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Cook until a chunky sauce forms, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce begins to spatter, reduce heat a little. Once apples are soft and sauce forms, emove from heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan. Season chops on one side with salt and pepper. Using a pair of tongs, add chops to ho oil, season side down. Season to side with salt and pepper, too. brown and carameliz 2 minutes on each side, then reduce heat to medium and cook until juices run clear, another 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally. remove from heat and let chops rest a couple of minutes, allowing juices to redistribute. Top with generous portions of warm golden applesauce to serve.

Chunky Guacamole
2 medium ripe avocados, pitted and diced
The juice of 1 lemon
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt, to taste

Mash avocado with lemon juice into a chunky paste. Stir in jalapeno, onion, and slat, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sausage Stars

JJ & Nicole's Wedding

One of the best hors d'oeuvres served at the wedding reception was this item prepared by Stacey. Stacey shared the recipe with us.

1 pound cooked crumble sausage (hot is best)
1 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese (orange) (grated)
1 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese
1 cup hidden valley ranch dressing
1 can black olives (chopped)
1 package wonton wrappers
1/2 cup chopped red pepper

Cook sausage. Blot dry.
Combine with cheeses, salad dressing, olives, and red pepper.
Lightly grease muffin tin and lightly brush wrapper with oil. 
Press one wrapper into each cup.

Bake at 350 -- for 5 minutes or until lightly brown.
Remove from tins - place on baking sheet & fill with filling mixture. 
Bake 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Can make wrappers ahead of time - store in an airtight container.