Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt in Pita Bread

This is from Bon Appetit and you can find it online on Epicurious. It was really delicious.

The only problem we had was that the mixture was rather soft when forming patties. Looking over the comments there was a person from Egypt who said that canned garbanzos are too mushy and soaking dried ones for 24 hours is the proper way to do it. Without cooking them at all. This blew our minds and I began pulling out cookbooks that were the closest to primary sources as I had.

They agreed! My goodness! We will be going on an adventure the next time we make these, but in the meantime the recipe below works well and is simply delicious.

We're going to double the sauce next time but that's really the only change, aside from the fact that we didn't have pita bread so wrapped them in flour tortillas instead. Delicious!

Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt in Pita Bread

Makes 4 servings


1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped onion
5 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large egg
Olive oil
4 warm pita breads, top third cut off
Sliced tomatoes
Crisp lettuce leaves

Step 1
Whisk yogurt, 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup onion, 1 garlic clove, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in medium bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 2
Blend garbanzo beans, 3 tablespoons flour, cumin, remaining 1/2 cup cilantro, 4 garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in processor until almost smooth. Add egg and remaining 3/4 cup onion and blend, using on/off turns, until onion is finely chopped. Transfer mixture to bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Turn patties in remaining 1/2 cup flour to coat on both sides.

Step 3
Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to coat bottom; heat over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes per side. Open pita breads; slide 1 patty, sliced tomato and lettuce into each. Spoon in some yogurt mixture.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Coriander Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower and Herbed Yogurt

This is easy and really delicious, from Cook's Country. The chicken is delicious but the genius comes from cooking the vegetables in the pan that the chicken browned in so it picks up extra flavor. I loved the way that the cherry tomatoes get cooked just enough by adding them to the pan the cauliflower is in, off heat.

I served it with Garlic Naan (from the freezer, thanks to a recent visit to a local India Bazaar). Delicious! And perfectly suited to the tone of the meal.

Coriander Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower and Herbed Yogurt

Serves 4

8 (5- to 7-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed
1-1/4 teaspoons table salt, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower (2 pounds), cored and cut into 1-inch florets
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus 1/2 cup torn leaves (or fresh basil)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle chicken with 3/4 teaspoon salt, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is browned and crispy, about 7 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken, skin side up, to rimmed baking sheet and roast until chicken registers 175 degrees, about 17 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat fat left in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until tender and browned, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes. Off heat, stir in tomatoes and garlic.

Combine yogurt, chopped mint, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Transfer cauliflower to platter and sprinkle with mint leaves. Serve chicken with cauliflower and yogurt sauce.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Beef-Sauced Hot Lettuce Salad

From Beyond the Great Wall, another of the wonderful books by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. This is an unusual dish — a warm salad from Inner Mongolia — which the authors posit may be a fusion dish of some kind, possibly with a Russian influence. The sauce is literally a ground beef dressing which is delicious.

I turned it into a main dish by doubling it — which worked well — and the simple expediency of serving it with rice. Oh, so very good ... and it looked just like the picture in the book. It will not only make your taste buds sit up and sing but will be easy on the budget as well.

Beef-Sauced Hot Lettuce Salad

About 4 packed cups coarsely torn romaine lettuce

1 tablespoon peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 pound (1 packed cup) ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon Jinjiang (black rice) vinegar, or to taste
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil

Place the lettuce in a wide salad bowl or serving dish and set aside.

Place a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. toss in the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the ginger. Stir-fry over medium-high to medium heat until slightly softened and starting to turn color. 

Add the meat and use your spatula to break it up so there are no lumps at all, then add the salt and stir-fry until most of the meat has changed color. Drain fat. 

Add the soy sauce and vinegar and stir to blend. Add the warm water and stir to blend. (The dressing can be prepared ahead to this point and set aside for up to 20 minutes. When you are ready to proceed, bring to a boil.)

While the dressing mixture is coming to a boil, place the cornstarch in a small cup or bowl and stir in the cold water to make a smooth paste. Once the liquid is bubbling in the pan, give the cornstarch mixture a final stir, add to the pan, and stir for about 1 minute, the liquid will thicken and become smoother. Taste for salt, and add a little salt or soy sauce if you wish. 

Add the sesame oil and stir once, then pour onto the lettuce. Immediately toss the salad to expose all the greens to the hot dressing. Serve immediately (or see Note).

Serves 4 as a salad or side dish.

Author's note on texture: If you use romaine lettuce, the salad will have good crunch as well as some wilted softer textures when you first serve it. We love the contrast. If you prefer a softer texture, either let the salad stand for 5 minutes before serving it, to give the greens more time to soften in the warm dressing, or use leaf lettuce instead of romaine.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

“Impossible” Ham-and-Cheese Pie

This is from Cook's Country and is just as easy and delicious as advertised. It's just as good reheated for breakfast as it was for dinner the night before.

“Impossible” Ham-and-Cheese Pie 

Step 1
    3    tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 1 tablespoon softened and the other 2 tablespoons melted
    3    tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate with softened butter, then coat plate evenly with Parmesan.

Step 2
    8    ounces Gruyere, shredded (2 cups) — don't use pregrated if you can avoid it. Real Gruyere is      worth the trouble of grating by hand to get great flavor.
    4    ounces thickly sliced deli ham, chopped
    4    scallions, minced 

Combine Gruyère, ham, and scallions in bowl. Sprinkle cheese-and-ham mixture evenly in bottom of prepared pie dish.

Step 3
    1/2    cup all-purpose flour (2½ ounces)
    3/4    teaspoon baking powder
    1/2    teaspoon pepper
    1/4    teaspoon salt
    1    cup half-and-half
    4    large eggs, lightly beaten
    2    teaspoons Dijon
    1/8    teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt in now-empty bowl.  

Whisk in half-and-half, eggs, melted butter, mustard, and nutmeg until smooth. Slowly pour batter over cheese-and-ham mixture in pie dish. 

Step 4
Bake until pie is light golden brown and filling is set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Slice into wedges. Serve warm.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Cheat's Souffle with Three Cheeses

Here's a little something that makes a truly delicious Lenten Friday meal. Serve it with rolls and a salad.

This is from Gordon Ramsay and has become a regular, especially on our meatless Fridays. It heats up really well for breakfast too!

Cheat’s Soufflé With Three Cheeses  

1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup cottage cheese
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/3 cup cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9x13" baking dish.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the beaten eggs, milk nand a pinch of salt and pepper.

Stir in cottage cheese and grated cheese. Dot small lumps of cream cheese over the egg mixture and then mix in with a spoon.

Pour into the greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and set all the way through.

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Mushroom Galette

Meatless Fridays are here! If you're looking for something different and meatless, try this. This is from Taste of the South magazine and has a sophisticated taste and look without being difficult.

Mushroom Galette

Step 1:

2 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, about 10 minutes.

All all else. Cook until aromatic, about 1 minute more. Drain any excess moisture.

Step 2:

1 cup whole-milk ricotta
1 cup shredded Gruyére cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 piecrust, whether packaged or homemade
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Gruyére, and salt.

Roll piecrust into a 9" circle or unroll packaged crust. Spread 1 cup cheese mixutre onto crust in a think layer, leaving a 1-1/2-inch border. Top with mushroom mixture and reamining Gruyére; gently fold edges of dough over filling.

Brush dough with egg; bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.

Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Classic King Cake

Traditional for Mardi Gras, this is worth spending the time on. 

A couple of years ago Taste of the South magazine published this recipe. I'd only had store-bought King Cakes and they were no treat, believe me. So I gave this a whirl. Not only was it easier than I thought it would be, but it was absolutely delicious. In fact, my friend Patsy, who grew up in Dallas, said she'd never had one that tasted so good. 

 I hereby pass it along to anyone who wants the real reason to celebrate right before Lent begins.

 I didn't have the traditional purple colored sugar to go along with the green and yellow, but red makes a nice display also! After all, it all tastes the same.

Leftovers freeze well. Or you can look at it as the perfect opportunity to share with friends and family. Everyone likes it when I make King Cake!

Also a 12" wreath is quite large. I always vow to make two smaller wreaths. Maybe this is the year!

Yields: 1 (12-inch) wreath
  • 4 to 4¼ cups bread flour, divided
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Almond Cream (recipe follows)
  • Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: colored sanding sugar

    Almond Cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1⅓ cups almond meal
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

    Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup water, milk, and butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120° to 130°. Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, beating at medium speed until combined and cooled slightly, about 2 minutes. Add 1 egg and egg yolk, beating at medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 cups flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, about 6 to 7 minutes, stopping to scrape dough hook and sides of bowl as needed. (Add up to remaining ¼ cup flour, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, if dough is too sticky.)
  4. On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a smooth ball. Place dough in prepared bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg and remaining 1 tablespoon water.
  6. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 24×2-inch rectangle. Spread Almond Cream onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Brush border with egg wash. Starting with other long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Using a serrated knife dipped in flour, trim ½-inch off each end of log. Form into a circle. Brush ends with egg wash and press together, pinching dough to seal. Carefully place wreath on a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Using a serrated knife or kitchen scissors, makes cuts three-fourths of the way through the dough, 1 inch apart, leaving the center of wreath intact. Gently pull and turn each slice onto its side, slightly overlapping with the previous piece. Slide parchment onto a rimless baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°.
  9. Brush dough with egg wash. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°, 30 to 35 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Spread with Cream Cheese Icing. Garnish with colored sanding sugar, if desired.
For Almond Cream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in almond meal until combined. Add egg and almond extract, beating on low until combined. Beat in flour and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until smooth. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, beating on low until smooth.

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Chicken-Rice Soup with Garbanzos and Green Chile

This is from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. It was easy, homey, and perfect for a cold night in Texas. It makes a huge batch and, based on my breakfast the next day, the flavor improves over time.

I didn't serve it with a lot of extras but the recipe notes say you can add various extras like shredded Monterey Jack, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and avocado. Everyone said this made them think of a variation of Chicken Tortilla Soup, especially if you had the extras to add.

My cooking notes:

  • This was a super-thick soup. I think that next time I will try using half the rice and see what a less solid version is like.
  • I used about 3 cups of chicken instead of the amount below, just because that is what I had on hand.
  • If you don't want to use rotisserie chicken: cook the chicken in the way I do for Chicken Tortilla Soup. I include it here for anyone who is interested. Simmer 1-1/2 - 2 pounds chicken thighs in 8 cups chicken stock until done. Let cool on a plate and then discard skin. Pull meat off the bone in bite sized pieces. This enriches the broth and gives good moist chicken that will stand up to the later simmering. Reserve broth and chicken.
  • I skipped the bay leaf
  • I used 1 tablespoon cumin
  • I used poblano chiles, skipped the roasting, and just chopped it up to add with the chicken, etc.
  • We served it with grated Monterey Jack (hand grated so it would melt well, not like the pre-shredded kind). The cheese added a great layer of flavor.

Chicken Rice Soup with Garbanzos and Green Chile

1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked rice
8 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
15 ounce can garbanzos (chickpeas), drained
3/4 cup chopped roasted mild green chiles
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper

In a heavy sauce pan, warm the butter over low heat. When melted, add the onion and garlic. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the rice and saute it briefly until the grains become opaque. Pour in the stock, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until rice is very soft. Serve hot.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Oven-Fried Chicken

I've made this so long that I no longer remember where I got it. It's easy and delicious and has become our family standard. I can't believe I haven't included it here before now. 

Once you're used to the basic recipe, play around with adding a teaspoon or two of spices or spice blends. You really can't go wrong.

Whole chicken, cut up OR 6-8 chicken pieces as desired
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Additional seasoning or dried herbs, if desired
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted or room temp

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together and put in a bowl or shallow pan for dredging. (I use a pie pan.)

Dredge chicken in seasoned flour and arrange skin side up, 1 layer deep, on rimmed baking sheet. Brush butter onto skin. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or so until fork tender and browned.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Classic Chess Pie

This is from Pie Academy by Ken Haedrich. It's a great book because he's got so many solid recipes and interesting flavor combinations. We bought it for ourselves after testing out a number of recipes.

However, you've got to keep an eye on him. For example, his basic streusel is surprisingly tasteless. His fruit pies are made with frozen fruit (which has worked out great) but you've got to keep an eye on the cooking times. For example, we have found that we need to let the fruit fully thaw to get good results, as opposed to Haedrich's "partially thaw" instructions. So if you go in ready to be flexible and adapt occasionally, it's good. 

I trust Haedrich enough that I made this pie for the first time for my book club. It has a lovely lemony flavor and several people had two pieces. Naturally they wanted the recipe. So here it is, paraphrased by me.

8-10 servings 

Pie crust dough for a single-crust pie (I used a half recipe of easy Perfect Piecrust


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Prepare pie dough. Roll into a 13-inch circle and line a 9- to 9-1/2-inch deep pie pan with it, fluting the edge. (My pie didn't need a deep dish pan. Next time I'm going to try my 9" regular pan.)

Partially prebake — Preheat oven to 375°. tear off a sheet of standard aluminum foil about 16 inches long. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork in a lot of places. Press down on pie shell so it fits like a glove. (Haedrich then has you use beans to weight the foil. His technique is here. Having read somewhere long ago that you just need to be sure the foil is pressed really hard against the crust, that is what I did and it worked out fine.)

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, gradually adding sugar about 1/4 cup at a time. Beat in the flour and salt; the mixture will be quite grainy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well on medium speed after each addition. Blend in the lemon juice and zest on low speed. (The filling may look curdled. That's ok.) Place the pie shell on a baking sheet, near the oven, and carefully pour the filling into the shell, smoothing the top with a spoon.

Bake the pie, on the sheet, on the center oven rack for about 46 minutes. The pie is done when the filling is just set and no longer soupy in the middle. Give it a little nudge to check.

Transfer the pie to a rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers, covered with tented aluminum foil.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Cheese Pennies

This recipe is from King Arthur's Flour and is really easy and really a treat. Everyone loves them.

We use the lower amount of cayenne but they are really full flavored.



2 cups (227g) grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups (180g) flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
paprika, optional

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the paprika to make a cohesive dough, sprinkling in a tablespoon or so of water if the dough doesn't seem to want to come together.

As soon as the dough starts to come together, turn off the mixer and gather it into a rough ball.

Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a 16" log about 1-1/2" in diameter. (We make two 8" long logs. That way one can wait in the freezer while the first is being cut into pennies. If you want to freeze the dough for a longer amount of time, just make sure to remove it from the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to slice it.)

Wrap the log in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and chill it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, slice the log crosswise into 1/8" rounds. Place them on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving only about 1/2" between them; they won't spread much as they bake. Sprinkle them with a bit of paprika if you like.

Bake the cheese pennies in a preheated 400° oven for 11 to 13 minutes, or until they're just beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan for several minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely.

Store, well-wrapped, for up a week.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Goodness gracious, I first shared this recipe in 2004. That is so long ago! In the meantime, I've made a number of time-saving changes or those that up the flavor. This soup is so simple and so delicious you've got to try it so I'm rerunning it, revised.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Step 1:
1-1/2 - 2 pounds chicken thighs
6 cups chicken stock

Simmer the chicken thighs in the broth until done. Let cool on a plate and then discard skin. Pull meat off the bone in bite sized pieces. This enriches the broth and gives good moist chicken that will stand up to the later simmering. Reserve broth and chicken.

Step 2:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped (app. 2 cups)
OR instead of the above use 2 cups fresh pico de gallo from your grocery store (if your grocery store does that)

In a large stock pot, heat oil. Saute everything for about 10 minutes.

Step 3:
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder (I've also used ancho chili powder, which my husband loves in this dish)
1 teaspoon salt
Reserved chicken and broth from Step 1

Add all, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve up in big bowls to make room for accompaniments below.

Step 4:
Lime wedges
Shredded Monterey Jack
Sour Cream
Tortilla chips

Crumble some tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl (or let each person add their own at the table), ladle soup over them. Serve with accompaniments.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Gochujang Chicken and Tortellini

This is from Cook's Country and is a quick meal which totally surprises the palate. I myself couldn't imagine the final dish, coupling as it does the unlikely combination of cheese tortellini with Korean chile paste. And some honey. And some fontina cheese.

But it works. In fact, it works so well that my husband, who usually forgets leftovers are in the fridge, ate it all up in three days running.

NOTE: We did wind up using the Korean sauce instead of the paste just because that's what we could fine. It was tasty but the juice was runny. Having since found the paste we are eager to try it again because a clingier sauce would be very good.

Gochujang Chicken and Tortellini

8 ounces dried cheese tortellini
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons gochujang paste (not the sauce)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (2 cups)
2 scallions, sliced thin on bias

Adjust oven rack 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain and return to saucepan.

Meanwhile, combine chicken, honey, gochujang, soy sauce, oil, garlic, and ginger in 12-inch broiler-safe skillet. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Off heat, stir in tortellini. Sprinkle with fontina. Broil until cheese is melted and just beginning to bubble, 2 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Broccoli-Cheddar Rice Casserole

From Taste of the South magazine comes this delicious meatless casserole. It was surprisingly satisfying for such a simple recipe.

Broccoli-Cheddar Rice Casserole

Makes 4 to 6 Servings


2 cups water 1 cup long-grain rice, rinsed (OR 3 cups cooked rice, room temp)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 cups broccoli florets
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
¼ cup finely crushed buttery round crackers


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 11×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a 3-quart Dutch oven, bring 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add rice, stirring for 20 seconds. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, without stirring, until moisture is completely absorbed and rice is tender, 22 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and moisture is released, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more. Remove vegetables from skillet and place in a large bowl.

In same skillet, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, until flour is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until milk thickens, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream cheese until completely incorporated. Whisk in 2 cups Cheddar cheese, a small handful at a time, until completely incorporated. Pour cheese sauce over vegetable mixture. Add rice and stir to combine. Pour rice mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Cheddar cheese.

Cover and bake until casserole is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and increase oven temperature to broil. Sprinkle casserole with crushed crackers. Broil until cheese and crackers begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Cajun Meatball Fricasee

This is from Cook's Country. It is quite good and makes a nice change from the regular idea of meatballs derived from Italian or Swedish roots.

They say it serves 4-6 but we were able to put half of it in the freezer for another meal later. So I'd say it serves 8 ... and with two pounds of hamburger, that makes sense. Also, we're going to halve the amount of broth called for when we make it again. There was no way that was cooking down enough to be the texture of cream. Even brothy it was good though.

Cajun Meatball Fricasee

Step 1 — Meatballs
22 saltines, crushed finely
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 pounds ground chuck
2 ounces Parmesan
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425°. Line jellyroll pan with foil, set wire rack in pan and spray with cooking spray.

Whisk saltines, milk and Worcestershire together. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften crackers. Whisk until smooth paste forms. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with hands.

Divide into 24 scant ¼-cup portions. Roll with wet hands into meatballs and evenly space on rack. Roast until lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes.

Step 2 — Roux
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
1⁄3 cup flour

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir continually for entire roux making: stir in flour and cook until mixture is color of peanut butter, 2-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until milk-chocolate brown, 5-10 minutes.

Step 3
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
6 scallions, white and green separated and sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
2 cups chicken broth (original recipe - 4 cups)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
White rice, cooked
Tabasco, to taste

Stir in onion, bell pepper, celery and bacon and cook until softened, 7-10 minutes.

Stir in scallion whites, garlic and creole seasoning and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Whisk in broth and Worcestershire. Bring to boil over medium-high heat.

Step 4
Add meatballs to stew; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, about 20 minutes. Uncover; increase heat to medium-high and cook until thickened to texture of heavy cream, 8-12 minutes. Serve over rice, sprinkled with scallion greens, with Tabasco on the side.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Crunchy Onion Burger

These are from the Good Housekeeping grilling cookbook. Simple, delicious, and even my mom who doesn't like hamburgers (which is still hard for me to fathom) liked them.

I made French Onion Dip in the time honored fashion using sour cream and Lipton's Onion Soup Mix. So we had Onion Dip for the rest of the week. A nice bonus!

Crunchy Onion Burger

1 pound hamburger
4 buns
1/4 cup onion dip
1 cup French's canned fried onions

Shape beef into 4 burgers, grill, and put on buns. Top with fried onions. Spread onion dip on buns.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Lime Crinkle Cookies

These are from Taste of the South magazine which we've found to be a great source for simple, tasty recipes. Rose says these remind her of Fruit Loops. They are just plain good.

Lime Crinkle Cookies

Step 1
1 cup sugar
1/2  cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 10 minutes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 tablespoons lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice

Whisk together sugar, butter, and vanilla until well combined.

Whisk in egg and yolk. Beat in zest and lime juice. (May look slightly curdled; it’s ok.)

Step 2
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Sift all together and add to sugar mixture in two additions, folding until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Step 3
1/3 granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325° and line jelly roll pans with parchment paper. Put sugars in separate bowls.

Shape dough into 1” balls. Roll in granulated sugar, then roll in powdered sugar.

Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and cracks have formed. Cool completely on pans.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Summer Corn Salad

My mother got this from somewhere on the internet but I can't track it down. However, I share it here as a good, different summer salad.

Summer Corn Salad

Step 1
6 ears of corn, cooked as Corn Off the Cob

Drain and cool.

Step 2
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

Toss the kernels in a medium bowl with the red onions, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Chocolate Mousse

Hannah asked for Chocolate Mousse for her birthday and I automatically pulled down The Silver Palate Cookbook which has a whole section of them. I've made the Lime Mousse many times but never tried this (which is actually in the chocolate section - so these ladies are all about mousse and put them everywhere).

It was the deepest, darkest, most luscious mousse ever. Also rather solid, not ethereal like some you might think of. The recipe says it serves 8, but I'd say 10-12.

It was really easy, worked like a charm, and, as I said above, delicious.


1-1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup prepared espresso coffee
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
4 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup sugar
8 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring; add the espresso coffee, then stir in the Grand Marnier. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  3. Whip 1 cup of the cream until thickened, then gradually beat in the sugar, beating until stiff. Beat the egg whites with salt until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the cream.
  4. Stir about one third of the cream and egg mixture thoroughly into the chocolate mixture. Then scrape the remaining cream and egg mixture over the lightened chocolate base and fold together gently. Pour into 8 individual dessert cups or a serving bowl. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set.
  5. At serving time, whip the remaining cup of cream until thickened, add the vanilla, and whip to soft peaks. Top each portion of the mousse with a share of the cream.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Shrimp Soup with Cumin

This is from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. My mother loves this soup. She says that she feels as if she is in an elegant restaurant whenever she has it. So, in some cases, it literally carries you away from your hum drum life!

It is easy, delicious and ... elegant.

Shrimp Soup with Cumin
Yield - 4 bowls


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 thick slices French or Italian bread
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 cups shrimp stock, chicken stock, water or a combination
1 to 1-1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled

Combine olive oil and garlic in a large, deep saucepan or casserole and turn heat to medium. Add the garlic cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are a very deep golden, almost brown, about 10 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Turn heat to low and brown the bread in the oil on both sides, in batches if necessary; it will take about 5 minutes. Remove the slices and spread each with about 1/2 clove of the cooked garlic. Mince the remaining garlic. (I just use a whole glove on each slice.)

Cut each of the shrimp into 3 or 4 pieces. Put stock into the pan, turn heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil. Add shrimp, cumin, salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes.
Place a piece of bread in each of four bowls, then ladle in a portion of soup with shrimp. Sprinkle with minced garlic, garnish and serve.