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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Browned Butter Raspberries

This is one of those simple but surprisingly delicious desserts that we should serve more often because they are so easy. The recipe is more of a guide so following this precisely isn't completely necessary. 








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Browned Butter Raspberries


Source:  Amanda Hesser on Food52.com
Serves 4

1 pound raspberries, at room temperature
4-5 T unsalted butter
1/4 teas vanilla extract
raw sugar or granulated sugar if that's what you have, about 1/2 teas per bowl depending on the sweetness of the berries

Divide the raspberries between 4 bowls. Place the butter in a 10-inch skillet and heat over medium. Allow the butter to melt and begin the bubble and boil. It will spatter so you may want to put a spatter guard on top of the skillet. The sputtering of the butter will settle down somewhat and the solids will begin to brown. Swirl the pan a bit so the butter will brown evenly. When the butter begins to smell nutty and the solids turn golden brown you can remove it from the heat. Add the vanilla.

Evenly drizzle the butter over the raspberries and sprinkle with the sugar. Serve immediately because it is best when the butter is warm. Diners can stir their berries before they begin, if they prefer.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Chicken with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Black Olives in a Slow Cooker

This past summer I had huge amounts of tomatoes when I came home from a long trip in Europe. It was too hot to roast and freeze them and to complicate matters I didn't have an oven anyway. So I looked for slow cooker recipes that used healthy amounts of tomatoes. This is one. 




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Chicken with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Black Olives in a Slow Cooker


Adapted from THE MEDITERRANEAN SLOW COOKER by Michele Scicolone

Serves 6-10

2 T olive oil
6 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 pd)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 c dry red wine
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, or 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes run through the food processor
6 whole chicken legs, skin removed if preferred, or 12 thighs, boneless or bone-in
salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1 1/2 c pitted Kalamata olives, halved
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, or basil sliced in chiffonade, or chopped fresh oregano 

If you are using chopped fresh tomatoes, you may want to cook them by themselves in the slow cooker for about an hour on high to help break them down more completely.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet and place the sausages into the hot oil and cook them until they are brown on all sides. Place them in a large slow cooker. In the oil, cook the chopped onion until it is softened. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper. Cook for a minute and add the wine. Bring to a boil but turn down to a simmer and cook for about a minute.

Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker and add the crushed tomatoes if you haven't used fresh tomatoes. Place the chicken pieces into the sauce in the slow cooker. Turn them over and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Cover and cook on high for an hour and then for approximately 3  hours on low until the chicken is very tender. The meat may start to separate from the bones. You can also test the meat with a thermometer and make sure it is at least 165F.

Check the sauce. It should be about the texture of a spaghetti sauce. If not, remove the chicken and sausage and place the sauce into a shallow saucepan or a skillet and cook over medium heat until it is reduced to your preference. Return the sauce, chicken, and sausages to the slow cooker, stir in the olives, and return to heat. Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the chicken and sausage garnished with one or the other of the fresh herbs. I believe it would be good accompanied by pasta or polenta, as well.  


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

White Peach Cardamom Crumble

I've still got a few white peaches on my tree, very few.








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White Peach Cardamom Crumble


Source: howsweeteats.com
Serves 4-6

For the fruit layer:

6 white peaches, thinly sliced (4 cups, approximately)
2 T loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 teas salt
1/8 teas ground cardamom

For the crumble topping:

1/3 c rolled oats
1/3 c loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 c AP flour, you can substitute wheat flour if you prefer (I did)
1/4 teas cinnamon
1/4 teas salt
1/8 teas ground cardamom
3 T butter, softened
1/3 c sliced almonds

Heat your oven to 375F. Place peaches into a buttered baking dish (7X10 or approximate equivalent). Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cardamom, and salt. Stir until peaches are coated and set aside.

Combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry blender, until coarse crumbs appear. Spoon the topping over the peaches. Sprinkle the almonds over the top and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream or yogurt (frozen or not).

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Salad of Peaches and Strawberries in Orange Vinaigrette

 Last bit of summer fruit for me. Many thanks to Betsy for sharing her peaches with me!




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Salad of Peaches and Strawberries in Orange Vinaigrette 

Adapted from: myrecipes.com
Yield: 4 servings

1/3 c frozen orange juice concentrate
1T sugar
1 1/2 T champagne or white wine vinegar
1T extra-virgin olive oil
dash of salt
2 c halved strawberries
1-2 ripe peaches or nectarines, cut into wedges
1/4 c small fresh basil leaves (or large leaves cut into strips)

Combine the juice concentrate, sugar, vinegar, oil, and salt into a small jar and shake to emulsify. Place berries and peaches in a bowl and pour the dressing over all. Stir until fruit is coated. Sprinkle top with the basil leaves and serve.

Notes:

Although not listed in the title, the original recipe includes 1 1/2 c of blueberries using half a cup fewer strawberries and only one large peach. I didn't have blueberries but I believe the salad would be gorgeous, and delicious, with them. I felt like the volume of the dressing was excessive so I saved some for a later salad.   

The original recipe instructs cooks to heat the dressing and pour it over the salad warm, allowing the salad to sit for 20 minutes before serving. I haven't used this extra step but you may want to try it. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Cucumber, Melon, and Watermelon Salad

This sweet and tangy salad was a recent kitchen synchronicity: I happily realized I had all the necessary ingredients already on site. While it's very good exactly as written, this recipe can also serve as a general flavor guide, with room for negotiation on amounts and ingredients. 

My maternal grandfather used to salt cantaloupe and watermelon, so generously that it seemed gross to me as a child. But I suppose I understand now. The salt and feta here blend so well with the sweet melons. 



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 Cucumber, Melon, and Watermelon Salad

Source: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015022-cucumber-melon-and-watermelon-salad
Serves 4

4 c mixed diced watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe (or use just one type)
2 c diced cucumber, seeds removed (not necessary on English cucumbers)
salt to taste
1 teas lemon or lime zest
2 T freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1-2 teas chopped fresh mint
1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 teas Aleppo or Turkish red pepper, or chili powder (to taste) or 1 serrano chile, minced (optional, and those of you who know me will not be surprised to know that I've never added the heat)

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently together just before serving.

This is best just after mixing but leftovers can sit for a day in the fridge.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Overnight Blueberry Almond Oatmeal

It's not really oatmeal season anymore, but a slight drop in temperatures for a few days recently, down into the 60s, was enough of an excuse for me to make this oatmeal again. Plus the aforementioned huge bag of frozen blueberries is still taking up space in my freezer. 

This recipe came from a cookbook that belongs to my 12 year old. Yes, it's for young chefs, but it also has some excellent recipes that are simpler than many that come from the Cook's Illustrated franchise. Not everything is a slam dunk, for me or the kids (I don't like the chocolate chip cookie recipe, they don't like the sesame noodles with snow peas and carrots), but the simplicity is certainly appealing to this adult. 


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Overnight Blueberry Almond Oatmeal

Source: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs from America's Test Kitchen
Serves 4 

3 c plus 1 c water, separated
1 c steel-cut oats
1/4 teas salt
2-3 T packed brown sugar, depending on your sweetness preferences
2 T almond butter
1/2 c blueberries
1/2 c sliced almonds

In the evening, boil 3 c water in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in oats and salt. Cover saucepan and let sit overnight. 

In the morning, stir 1 c water into the saucepan with the oats and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender but chewy and the mixture is creamy.  (Original recipe says 4-6 minutes, but at my elevation I went several minutes longer.) 

Remove from heat. Stir in the brown sugar, almond butter, blueberries, and almonds, and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Slow-cooker Roasted Mississippi Roast

I cooked this several weeks ago and became an instant fan; the pepperoncini make it especially tasty but not particularly hot.




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Slow-cooker Roasted Mississippi Roast


Adapted from: NY Times Cooking
Serves: 8-10

1 boneless beef chuck roast or top or bottom round roast, 3-4 pds (if you choose to use a bone-in roast add an extra 1 to1 1/2 pds to compensate for the bone)
1-2 teas kosher salt
1 1/2 teas freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c AP flour
2-3 T neutral oil
4 T unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, (if you have a fat cap on your roast, you can cut this butter down, or remove the fat cap)
8-12 pepperoncini (I like even more since they didn't seem to retain heat in slow cooker)
2 T mayonnaise
2 teas apple cider vinegar
1/2 teas dried dill
1/4 teas sweet paprika
1 teas buttermilk, optional
chopped parsley, for garnish

Rub the roast with the salt and pepper all over. Then sprinkle the flour over all and rub it into the flesh with your fingers.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high to high, heat the oil until it shimmers and threatens to smoke. Set the roast into the pan and cook on all four sides until you have a well-browned crust. Remove from the pan and put the roast into the slow cooker. Drop in the butter and the pepperoncini peppers and turn on the cooker to low.

Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, dill, and paprika in a small bowl. Stir in the buttermilk and pour all into the cooker spreading over the roast. Replace the lid and continue cooking for 6-8 hours without disturbing it. I found 6 hours was sufficient. At any rate, after 6 hours take the lid off to see if the roast is easily shredded by pulling it apart with 2 forks. If it isn't tender, replace the lid and continue cooking for another 1-2 hours.

When tender continue shredding and mix with the gravy in the cooker. Top with parsley to garnish and serve with buttered noodles, rice, or potatoes (my preference). I used some of my leftovers for pulled beef sandwiches.