Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sliced Canadian Bacon with Rosemary and Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage Slices with Rosemary and white vermouth

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Finnish Pancake by itselfSliced Canadian Bacon with Rosemary and Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage Slices with Rosemary and white vermouth

Amount of Servings is up to you

 

My guests at my bed and breakfast just loved both of these easy to make side dishes.  First it makes the house smell so good, second it looks  pretty when served with rosemary sprigs and third, it tastes delicious and light. Both of these dishes really aren’t very rich or “greasy” like a pork sausage or regular bacon can be.  My guests insisted that I share my recipes with them—and so now, I am sharing it with you.

Canadian Bacon with Rosemary

  1. Let a large skillet that has been sprayed with a bit of olive oil spray warm up over medium  heat.
  2. Place your Canadian bacon slices in the skillet and spray them with a bit of the olive oil spray. Then sprinkle them with some Italian Seasoning and also a generous amount of fresh rosemary.
  3. Place a cover on the skillet and let cook for about 5 minutes—watching carefully that they are not getting a bit brown, but not too much.
  4. After 5 minutes, turn them over with tongs let them simmer without the skillet’s cover for another couple of minutes.
  5. When they look perfect to serve, place them on a pretty platter that has been decorated with some rosemary sprigs. As well, if you want to wait a bit until your accompanying dish is ready, you can turn the burner off, keep the cover on the skillet so that they stay warm, and serve them a bit later.

Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage slices with Rosemary

  1. Slice your sausages in 1/2 inch thick slices
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 C. chicken broth, a generous dash of white vermouth and some fresh rosemary.
  3. Once the liquid starts to simmer, turn the heat down to medium low, place the sausages in the skillet and put a cover on the skillet.
  4. Let the slices simmer about 10 minutes and then turn them over using a pair of tongs. Covered once again, let them simmer for another 10 minutes.  Watch carefully to see if the liquid level is getting low and if it is, add a bit more chicken broth.
  5. If they seem to be done, make sure to cut one slice in the middle to see that it’s done and not pink.  Remember, you are dealing with CHICKEN—not beef.
  6. Once again, I plate my sausage slices on an attractive platter that has several loose fresh rosemary sprigs.
  7. This dish also goes nicely atop a serving of pasta.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

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Margot’s Lethal Eggnog

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Margot’s Lethal Eggnog

Makes 24 Cups

 

Holiday time is upon us and so I want to share with you this really fabulous eggnog recipe that I have made for many years. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t absolutely rave about it.  However, please make sure that you and your guests all drink it in moderation because it’s so good and goes down so easy that it’s easy to guzzle a lot of it without realizing the effects.  If you wish to cut down on the hard liquor amounts, please do.  It’ll still be good.  And as always, if any of your guests have driven to your fun event and have maybe enjoyed this nog a bit too much, please make sure that the guests have a designated driver to get them home.  As a fun aside, did you know that there was an Eggnog Riot that occurred at the United States Military Academy in December 1826?  Evidently whiskey was smuggled into the barracks to make eggnog for a Christmas Day party and the incident must have turned into a huge rowdy party because it resulted in the court-martialing of 20 cadets and one enlisted soldier.  So there you are; that’s why I call it “Margot’s Lethal Eggnog”.  You never can tell what can happen when making and enjoying this.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 Gallon French Vanilla Ice Cream (softened)
  2. 1 Pint Whipped Whipping Cream
  3. 1 Pint Rum (white or dark)
  4. 1/2 Pint Brandy or Bourbon (I use bourbon because it’s less sweet tasting)

 

Directions:

  1. Let soften the ice cream; this may take up to an hour at room temp.
  2. Whip the whipping cream.
  3. In a large punch bowl, or any kind of nice holiday container, fold the whipped cream into the ice cream.  Add the booze, stir a bit and sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on the top.
  4. Around your bowl place your nog cups, a shaker with nutmeg, and of course a ladle in the bowl.
  5. Bon Appetit and as I said—BEWARE but enjoy and be safe.

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

 

 

Perfect Par-Boiled White Rice Cooked in the Micro

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Perfect Par-boiled White Rice Cooked in the Micro

For those of us who don’t have a rice cooker

 

My mother who was Dutch really was not an avid cook however she had a thing about the way she cooked her rice.  Most of the time she made it her Holland styled risotto manner which for her meant stir frying a bit of chopped onion in some butter along with some long grained rice( which she always used), and then she would add chicken bouillon and cook it covered  for about 25 to 30 minutes.  One was NOT ALLOWED to take the cover off to peek. She felt that was her trick to her “perfect” rice. Her rice was excellent and every grain was separate which she was always so proud of.  She was not a fan of the true Risotto or Japanese sticky rice.  I like to do it her way, but sometimes I get a bit busy in the kitchen and so, I have discovered this “modern” way—because I do not have a rice cooker.  This recipe is actually printed on some of the par-boiled long grain white rice packages—but not all of them.  That’s why I thought for those of you who haven’t encountered this easy painless way of cooking perfect rice, I would share the recipe.

 

  1.  In a microwave-safe dish, combine water and rice.  Add butter or olive oil and salt if you wish.
  2. Cover dish and place in microwave on high using the time tables below.  After continue microwaving somewhere between 50% to 70% power according to your micro.  With mine, it was 70%. So the first time, you’ll have to give your micro the power test.  Once again, follow the time tables below.
  3. Remove from microwave and let stand 5 minutes and fluff.
  4. Time Tables:
    1. For 2 servings, ½ C. rice; 1-1/3 C. water; 5 min. high power; 20 minutes 50-70% power.
    2. For 4 servings,1 C. rice; 2 ¼ C. water;  8 min. high power; 20 min. 50-70% power
    3. For 6 servings, 1 ½ C. rice; 3 1/3 C. water; 10 min. high power; 20 min. 50-70% power
    4. For 12 servings, 3 C. rice;6 C water; 15 min. high power; 20 min. 50-70% power

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Roast Pork with Potatoes and Sauerkraut

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Roast Pork with Potatoes and Sauerkraut

Makes 6 servings or more

I read that pork is supposed to go up in price soon, however so far, I’ve found that here in our valley it’s been extremely reasonably priced.  So, I couldn’t resist and I bought another Boston butt pork shoulder roast (bone in). BRRR– at this time of the year I start thinking about warm sauerkraut.  I sure do enjoy it on cold days and you can always improvise a bit and make a yummy Reuben sandwich later with the left over sauerkraut and pork.  So, here’s the way I cooked this dish.

Ingredients:

2 Tblsp. minced garlic (fresh is better)

2 Tblsp. minced fresh sage leaves (fresh is definitely better but you can use 2 tsp. dried sage if fresh is not within your realm)

1/4  Tsp. fennel seeds

1/2 Tsp. dill weed

A splash of white vermouth

S&P to taste

1 package Boar’s Head sauerkraut not drained—you can use canned, but I happen to like this brand.

S&P to taste

2-3 medium sized peeled baking potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes

2 Tblsp olive oil

1 (3-4 pound) pork loin, bone in, or 1 (2-3) boneless roast

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, fresh sage, and S&P.
  3. Place potatoes and sauerkraut in a Pam sprayed oven proof dish large enough to hold the pork as well. Toss the potato/sauerkraut mixture with the fennel, dill, S&P, a tad of the sage leaf mixture and vermouth. Place the dish in the 425 degree oven while you prepare the pork.
  4. With a thin-bladed knife make slits all over the pork and then, with YOUR FINGERS, insert most of the remaining garlic-sage mixture.
  5. Take the hot dish with the potato/sauerkraut mixture out of the oven and nestle pork into the mixture.  Pour the olive oil over the roast and then spread the rest of the garlic-sage mixture over the roast.
  6. Place roast nestled in the potato/sauerkraut mixture in the 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Turn oven down to 325 degrees and remove dish from the oven; gently with tongs remove the pork roast to a platter; stir the potato/ sauerkraut mixture in the dish because some of it may be sticking to the bottom; and replace roast nestled in the potato/sauerkraut mixture. You can pour a little more olive oil on top of roast if it looks a bit dry or if there are pan juices, baste the pork with them.
  8. Replace roast dish in the 325 degree oven and continue to cook for about 3/4 hour more.  Start checking the meat by sticking an instant-read thermometer.  It should register 145 to 150 degree F when done.  Don’t let the roast over cook. Pork tends to dry out rapidly.
  9. When you think that the pork is just about done, take the roast out and place on a warm platter.  Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. In the meantime look at your potato/sauerkraut mixture and test to see if everything is done. I bet it will be If not, let it roast a bit more.
  11. If you wish a richer or more unique taste, you might try adding at the beginning of this recipe some raw bacon slivers and maybe some caraway seeds.  I haven’t tried this myself, however, my mind always likes to expand when cooking—and I hope that I am leading my readers to doing this themselves.  As always I am always open to comments or suggestions.
  12. Lastly, once again, thank you everyone for giving me the encouragements and compliments for these columns I am writing.  You all have made my day if not my year.  Additionally, I want

to thank everyone at the Weekly Sun for their fabulous support.  I hope that all my readers will give them their support as well.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Chicken with Avgolemono Sauce

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chicken avgolemono ingredientsChicken with Avgolemono Sauce

Avgolemono Sauce comes from Greece and is made with lemon juice and egg yolks

Serves 4

One of our markets had a very good special going on packages of various chicken parts; so I loaded up. Shortly after,  I heard a bit of Greek music on the radio and this wonderful recipe came to my mind.  I had to make it right away. Avgolemono or egg-lemon sauce may originally be a Sephardic Jewish dish.  It is a sauce used often in the Mediterranean. You may have experienced it even as a soup.  I do enjoy the unique taste of it and in this chicken recipe, I think that it’s excellent.  I serve it with white rice and a good veggie dish or a nice salad.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it as well.

Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs (or chicken pieces of your choice amount to match up to 8 thighs if you wish to serve 4)

1 Tsp. safflower or olive oil

1 small onion, minced

6 mushrooms, minced ( I used my frozen mushrooms duxelles from my freezer-recipe given in a previous issue)

1 celery stalk, chopped

3 C. chicken broth

S&P to taste

1 bay leaf

Paprika to sprinkle on the dish at the end

For the sauce:

2 Tblsp. water

2 Tsp. cornstarch

2 egg yolks

1/4 C. lemon juice

Directions:

  1. I actually used a wok like pan for this dish but I’m sure another larger deep pot would work as well.  Place wok over medium heat; add oil.
  2. When hot add onion, mushrooms and celery; stir-fry till crisp-tender.
  3. Add broth; bring to a simmer and add chicken parts, S&P, and bay leaf; simmer uncovered till chicken is done—depending on the parts used, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Remove chicken and cover to keep warm.
  5. At this point, you may only have about 2 cups of liquid left, however if not, simmer more uncovered till you only have 2 cups or so of liquid. Remove wok from hot burner.
  6. Strain the broth and put back in wok.  Reserve the veggies with the covered chicken to keep warm.
  7. In a small bowl or cup, stir together the water and cornstarch till smooth.
  8. In another bowl beat the egg yolks till light and lemon colored.  Slowly beat in the lemon juice.
  9. To the strained broth in the wok add the cornstarch mixture stirring till smooth.  Place wok on medium burner; bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until slightly thickened.
  10. Remove wok from heat and stir in the egg mixture.  Season with S&P.
  11. Place chicken topped with your veggies on a pretty platter; pour the sauce over all and then sprinkle with paprika.

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Brussels Sprouts 8 Different Ways

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Roasted Brusels Sprouts 001 Brussels Sprouts at Xmas Brussels Sprouts in Cup (2)

Brussels Sprouts 8 Different Ways

Now I know why: the Brussels Sprouts issue- UGH or YUM!

UGH:mushy and bitter— YUM: so sweet and crunchy.  You may already know the following, but I didn’t—so here goes. In web hunting info about this debate I found out to my amazement that scientists have discovered a genetic reason why people love or hate Brussels sprouts.  Brussels sprouts contain a chemical similar to PTC (Phenylthiocarbamide) which tastes bitter to people who have that particular mutated gene.  Those without this gene are immune to the bitterness (that’s 50% of the people).  I know those who only like Brussels sprouts raw (I guess less bitter).  No matter what please know that this veggie is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a great source of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium phosphorus and copper and is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A,C,K,B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.  It is low in calories, is good for you and is abundant at this time of the year.  I guess that’s why it’s also thought of as a festive dish so I am thinking sprouts for my holiday meals.

So, why do these little cabbages have the first name of “Brussels”?  In researching this, I found out that this vegetable was first cultivated in Italy during Roman times and possibly as early as the 1200’s in Belgium.  Ah-ha!! That’s it!  As early as 1587, the sprouts with which we are familiar today were indeed cultivated in large quantities in Belgium and were gifted with its first name after the Belgian capital of Brussels.  They were introduced in the USA in the 1800’s when French settlers brought them to Louisiana.  In fact, T. Jefferson grew them at Monticello.   California started growing them in the early 1900’s on its central coast in Steinbeck country (Monterrey and the likes).  Coastal fog and cool temps made growing conditions for these little guys just perfect. Today California supplies the majority of the U.S. production from June through January.

Brussels Sprouts: 3 to 4 servings per pound

Here are 6 ways of serving them and who knows, maybe because of the additional ingredients, even those with the “bitter” gene might enjoy them as well:

  1. Stir-Fry: Peel the outer leaves off the heads; slice thinly the nubby center; stir-fry all in a bit of olive oil for about 2 minutes with some minced fresh ginger and red pepper flakes; when the leaves are tender, stir in slivered scallions, lemon zest and a bit of butter.
  2. Sauté:  Cut into quarters and sauté with butter, caraway seeds, bits of real bacon and chopped onion (or thinly sliced onion); then add a splash of apple cider vinegar and let that cook down to glaze the sprouts.
  3. Use Raw: Slice thinly and toss with very thinly sliced radicchio, toasted pine nuts, sharp goat cheese and red-wine vinaigrette.
  4. Carmalized: Slice thinly or in quarters.  In a skillet, melt some butter and olive oil and add the sprouts to brown for about 8-10 minutes.  Then add some brown sugar and/or honey and keep on stirring till the sprouts are well covered with this mixture and done the way you would like.  Taste for adjustments.  If you wish add a bit of ginger, cinnamon or paprika and/or some chicken bouillon, a dash of orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar or even brandy to finish it off.   You can really use your imagination here however don’t use too many ingredients at once.
  5. Roast: Trim and halve sprouts lengthwise. In a bowl mix 1-3 Tblsp. olive oil, S&P, and a bit of lemon juice. Toss the sprouts with this mixture. (Don’t wash the bowl yet.) Then arrange the sprouts cut side down in a baking dish with tall sides and lined with parchment paper.  Place the sprouts evenly spaced towards the pan sides as much as possible.  Roast in a 425 oven until tender and browned, about 15 minutes.  No need to flip. They will be very brown but good.  Before serving toss in the olive oil bowl once more. (Now you can clean that bowl.)
  6. Roasted with gomasio: If you wish, pair the roasted sprouts with gomasio (sesame salt).  To make this take 2 Tblsp. sesame seeds and toast them over medium heat in a small dry skillet, stirring almost constantly until light golden-brown-3-5 minutes.  Add the salt and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a small bowl and cool completely.  Put the salted seeds in a clean spice grinder and pulse a few times to grind coarsely—or smash them with a rolling pin in a plastic bag.  You should have a few whole seeds in the mixture.  Toss about 2 tsp. sesame salt per pound of sprouts with them after roasting. If need be, save the remainder of the gomasio for other roasted veggies such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, parsnips, sweet potatoes and turnips.
  7. Italian-Style: Cook your sprouts in which ever manner you wish and add the following well whisked vinaigrette to the sprouts when cooked: 1 Tblsp. Dijon mustard, 2 Tsp. lemon juice, 2 Tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 minced clove of garlic; add 2 Tblsp. shaved Parmesan Cheese  over the top. You could even add to the sprouts some shavings of raw sprouts.
  8. Thanks to Alex duMauriee, here is one more recipe: 3 Tblsp. grape seed oil; 1 Tblsp. minced shallot; 12 large Brussels sprouts trimmed and leaves separated from the cores (about 8 C.); 3/4  C. shelled pistachios (salted or not); 2 Tblsp. lemon juice.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over med. hi; add shallot and stir 20 seconds; add Brussels sprout leaves and pistachios and sauté until leaves begin to soften but are still bright green(about 3 min.); drizzle lemon juice over; season with S&P. YUM. Thank you Alex.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.