Saturday, December 8, 2018

Sunday Dinner December 9, 2018

On the Menu

 

Stuffed Salmon
8 - 10 Servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
½ pound fresh spinach
2 ½ - 3 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 – 2 teaspoons black pepper
½ pound roasted red peppers
Have the butcher cut a pocket the length of the salmon 
Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan; add garlic and spinach and sauté just until spinach wilts.  
Immediately remove from heat and let it cool down as quickly as possible.    Combine salt, granulated garlic and black pepper in a small vessel then sprinkle it on the salmon inside the pocket and outside rubbing it in. 
Place salmon in a lined or oiled sheet pan, open the pocket and line the bottom half with the spinach then add a layer of the roasted peppers, close the salmon flap.  
Place the salmon in the preheated oven and roast 15 – 20 minutes depending upon how thick the fish is..
{Rule of thumb is to cook fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. i.e. If the thickest point is 1 1/2 inches, cook for 15 minutes}
If you want it browned, place it directly under the broiler 5 minutes prior to the elapse of the cooking period.   
Salmon will continue cooking anywhere from 8 - 10 minutes after it is removed from the heat, so let it sit undisturbed until cooking process is complete.
 
 
Miss Rhonda's Vegetarian Linguine
6 - 8 Servings
1 pound linguine
1 gallon water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoon sea salt
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tomatoes, crushed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 teaspoons oregano, dried
1 teaspoon basil, dried
1 teaspoon rosemary, ground
1 cup water

Method 
   For the Pasta
In a large pot, bring water to a boil, add linguine then bring the pot back up to a rapid boil again and stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let the pasta sit covered and undisturbed  for the amount of cooking time stated on the package.
Once pasta is done, 6 - 8 minutes, drain it in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While the pasta is still hot, stir in 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, mix thoroughly and set aside.
   For the Vegetables/Sauce
Heat a large sauce pan on medium high add the olive oil.  When oil is warm, add the sliced peppers, onions, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic and 1 teaspoon granulated onion. Saute until onions are translucent. Stir in the tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic and red wine vinegars and mix until well combined. Add the crushed red chili peppers, oregano, basil, rosemary and water and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on low, for 15 minutes.
Add the linguine and remaining seasonings (2 teaspoons granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon granulated onion) then mix until everything is well combined. If needed add more water.
Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning as needed then continue cooking until linguine is hot approximately 3 - 5 minutes. 
 
 
 The New Age Olive Garden Salad
6 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
½ head romaine lettuce, sliced
½ head red leaf lettuce, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes cut into eighths
6 – 8 black olives
6 – 8 pepperoncini or banana peppers
½ medium red onion, sliced 
½ cup croutons
½ cup freshly sliced Parmesan cheese 
For the New Age Dressing: (Traditional dressing listed below)
½ cup vegan mayo
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper

Method
Chill your salad bowl in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once bowl is chilled, add the lettuce then top them with onions, olives, pepperoncini, tomatoes, croutons and cheese. 
For the Dressing:
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed. If this is a little too tart for your own personal taste, add a little honey
 Keep dressing for up to 10 days if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
 
Traditional Olive Garden dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic salt, or 1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed.
 
 
 Nilofa's Red Lentil Soup
13 - 1 cup servings

Ingredients
1 pound red lentils
3 cups water
1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 bay leaves
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 medium onion diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 4 Garlic cloves, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

Method
Rinse lentils in cold water until water runs clear. In a large pot, add the water, lentils, sea salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, turmeric and bay leaves.
Bring pot to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and cook uncovered for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
While lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat add the onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers and sauté until garlic is lightly browned.
Remove the bay leaves from the soup pot then puree the soup with an immersion blender (wand) or in a blender.
If soup was pureed in a blender, transfer it back to the pot. If the soup has cooled down while it was blended, bring it back up to a boil and add the sautéed ingredients and cilantro.  Remove pot from the heat, mix thoroughly and serve immediately while hot.

 
 
 

 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Sunday Dinner December 1, 2018

On the Menu
 
Savory Pot Roast Potatoes & Carrots
6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients 
5 to 6 pound pot roast (rump)
salt to taste
Savory Spice Rub – Recipe to follow
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cup vegetable stock
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds potatoes peeled and diced
1 pound carrots, sliced – about the same thickness as the potatoes
Savory Spice Rub
2 tablespoons of mixed whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
½  tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Method 
Season the roast with salt and sit aside. 
Place the peppercorns, coriander, cumin and onion flakes in a coffee/spice grinder, grind until seeds are cracked add the remaining spices and sugar and grind until they are well mixed.
Place the spices in a large dish or bowl and roll roast in spices until well coated.  Wrap roast in plastic wrap or foil and let marinate over night. 
Heat a large pot on high, add the oil, once the oil is heated, add the roast and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat and add the vegetable stock, onions and garlic.  Cover with a tightly fitting lid and let simmer.
After 1 hour of cooking, turn roast with tongs (do not pierce with a fork because you will release the juices), cook another 30 minutes and turn again.  After 1½   hours of cooking, add the potatoes and carrots, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until potatoes are fork tender. 
Plating:  On a very large platter, place the roast and surround it with the vegetables. 


6 - 8 Servings
 Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion diced
2 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded diced
1 large bell pepper, sliced thin 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced, thin 1 bay leaf
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt - divided 3 tomatoes, diced 6 okra pods, sliced
1 head cabbage ¼ teaspoon cayenne or chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons oregano

Method 
Heat a large skillet or wok on medium add the olive oil and turn heat to medium high, add the onions ,  peppers, garlic,  celery, bay leaf and ½ teaspoon sea salt, sauté approximately 3 minutes..
Add the tomatoes and okra continue sautéing until all liquid is absorbed.  
Add cabbage, remaining salt, cayenne, granulated garlic and onion and oregano mix thoroughly, cover and simmer 20 minutes remove from heat and keep covered if desired tenderness is reached.   If cabbage is tender enough for your taste, uncover to release steam or serve immediately.
Remove bay leaf before serving.

 The Best Tomato Soup Ever 

10 – 12 Servings

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup chopped onions

⅔ cup chopped garlic

1 quart vegetable broth

2 quarts crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons basil, dried

¼ teaspoons salt – dependent upon type of broth used

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves



Method

In a large stock pot, heat the oil and saute the onions for 2 minutes, add the garlic and saute another minute.

 Add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, sugar, basil salt and pepper; cook 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Taste for season and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Remove from heat, stir in the cream then puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor.

If pureeing using a food processor, return pureed soup to the pot then stir in the fresh basil.
 Arugula and Fennel Salad 
4 Servings
Note:  I love to mix arugula with spinach or you can use spinach instead of arugula.  Either way it's a very delicious salad.
Ingredients
For the Salad
12 ounce arugula or spinach
1 large fennel bulb, sliced thin
For the Dressing:
1 large orange, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Method
For the salad
Wash the fennel bulb, remove stems and leaves slice bulb in half and remove the core then cut in thin slices as you would an onion.
In a large bowl add the arugula and sliced fennel.  Coarsely chop some of the leaves and toss them in a bowl. 
Use remaining leaves as you would parsley or dill and the stems as you would scallions or onions. 
For the dressing
Place juices, vinegar, salt, garlic and peppers in a blender or use a hand wand and puree.  Gradually drizzle in oil and continue pureeing until dressing thickens.
Pour ¼ cup of dressing over salad and mix thoroughly. 
Store remaining dressing in a glass container and refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018


On the Menu



 Black Bean Soup with Roasted Vegetables
8 Servings
Ingredients
6 tomatoes cut in half
1 large onion, cut into quarters, with core in tact
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bell pepper, seeded, halved
1 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½  teaspoon granulated garlic
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 cups black beans
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped 
1 avocado for garnish

Method
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic into a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste.
Transfer vegetables to a 2 sheet pans then roast for 30 minutes, or until vegetables turn slightly brown.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large saucepan over medium heat; add the black beans, vegetable broth, chipotle pepper with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano.
Simmer  on low for about 30 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor along with the fresh cilantro and puree. 
Garnish with slices of avocado .

Field Greens Salad
6 – 8 servings
Ingredients
1 ½ pounds salad greens
1 cup mandarin oranges
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup pecans halves
¼ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

Method
In a large bowl, toss the salad greens, oranges, blue cheese and pecans.
Just prior to serving, add the dressing and toss until thoroughly mixed.   Do not saturate greens with dressing ¼ cup is sufficient to moisten and flavor the salad.


Roast Turkey 
10 Servings


Turkey Serving Guideline: 
The rule of thumb for buying turkey is:1 pound per person. This should be enough to cover  dinner and allow for leftovers to snack on throughout the evening. 

I'm choosing a 12 pound turkey to feed 10 people allowing for bone and water weight. So trust me there is enough for left overs even when I'm feeding 4 people with hearty appetites. 

Ingredients
1 – 12 lb turkey
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 cup peanut oil 
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning 
1 tablespoon paprika

Note:  Turkey should be seasoned 1 day prior to cooking.  If turkey is frozen allow 1 day of thawing (in the refrigerator) for every 4 pounds. 

Method:
Remove giblet bag from turkey and clean the turkey inside and outside thoroughly.  Pat it dry with paper towels then generously sprinkle the inside and outside with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and poultry seasoning. Wrap the bird loosely in Heavy Duty foil and let it sit over night.


 Poultry Seasoning
Yield 1/3 cup 

Ingredients
2 tablespoon sage, rubbed
1 tablespoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon rosemary, dried
1 tablespoon marjoram, dried
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method 
Combine all ingredients.
Try and purchase all ingredients from a specialty store that sells herbs and spices in bulk.  This way you can purchase only the amount that is needed. 

24 Hours Later

                                Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil with 1 tablespoon each of the following:  garlic powder, onion powder and paprika and 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning.
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Drain turkey of any excess liquid that may have accumulated.
With a paper towel, wipe the foil dry and smooth it out place the turkey back on the foil.  Massage the oil mixture over the turkey making sure you coat it inside and out thoroughly.
Loosely wrap the oiled turkey again in foil, crimping the edges to seal in the heat but do not have the foil tightly wrapped around the turkey. Place the bird in a roasting pan and roast  undisturbed 10 minutes per pound (a 12 pound turkey will cook in 2 hours).
After the cooking time has elapsed, remove turkey from oven and let it sit  in  the unopened foil 1 hour before serving.
I know, you have to peek to make sure the turkey is brown/done,Okay so peek, take the temperature and re wrap. Place it back in the oven another 10 minutes to regain the heat you just released. Now let it sit 1 hour before serving!Note: Even after the turkey is removed from the oven it will continue to cook.  Just know, that if you followed the instructions your turkey will be done, juicy and golden brown.

Do not over crowd your oven.  The more food you have in it, the longer it will take your food to cook.


Apple Cranberry Stuffing
8 - 10 servings

Note: This dish can be put together 24 hours prior to actually cooking.  Just moisten with ½ cup of vegetable broth prior to baking.

Ingredients
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sage
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, diced
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, diced
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 bag Pepperidge farm stuffing - 16 oz [cornbread or herb]

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray a baking dish
In a small bowl, combine vegetable broth and cranberries; let soak for 30 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sage, saute 3 minutes.
Add bell pepper, celery, garlic, poultry seasoning and salt; cook for a few minutes stirring frequently until tender.
 Add apples and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and add vegetable broth, seasonings and stuffing mix.
Mix gently to combine then spoon mixture into prepared dish.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is set.


Cranberry Sauce
8 – 10 Servings
Ingredients
12 ounce bag of cranberries 
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 whole orange, peeled, seeds removed and chopped 
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup of crushed pineapples, juice included
½ teaspoon ground cinnamonNote:  Fresh cranberries can be found in the produce section

Method

Sort through cranberries and remove stems or bad berries rinse, then set aside.
Mix sugar and water together and bring to a boil.  Add cranberries, oranges, allspice and cinnamon.  Cook over a medium flame, uncovered until berries pop open stirring frequently.  Add pineapples, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes - 1 hour or until desired thickness is reached stirring occasionally.
Sauce can be served hot or cold.


 Honey Glazed Christmas Ham 
Serves 10 – 12

Ingredients
5-6 lb. fully cooked ham
¼ cup whole cloves
¼ cup pure maple syrup 
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ cups honey
1 tablespoon butter
 ¼ cup brown sugar
 ¼ cup orange juice
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place ham cut side down in a foil-lined roasting pan. 
Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern
lace the whole cloves in the scored intersections.
Combine  syrup, allspice, honey, butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and pepper in the top half of a double boiler, and heat until the butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally.
Keep this glaze in the top of a double boiler, over hot water, while baking ham.
Brush glaze over ham, then cover with foil. 
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees, basting ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the warm honey glaze. 
During the last 5 minutes of baking time, remove the foil and turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. 
Watch the ham carefully during the broiling time! Remove the ham from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

 Orange Honey Glazed Carrots
10 - 12 Servings
Ingredients
3 bunches carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method
Cut the carrots diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices.  Place 1/2 cup water, the butter, honey, 2 teaspoon of salt, and the ginger in a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, cover the pan, and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. You may want to raise the heat for the last 5 minutes.

Add the orange zest and orange juice to the pan, tossing with the carrots. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, until the carrots are al dente (tender but still resistant when you bite) and the sauce glazes the carrots. Add the pepper a salt, to taste.
  Green Beans with Sauteed Garlic
8 Servings
Ingredients
2 pounds green beans, trimmed, halved
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red peppers
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Method
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans; cook 5 minutes. Plunge beans into ice water; drain and discard bay leaf.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic and chili peppers and sauté 30 seconds. 
Add beans; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, tossing frequently.

Candied Yams with Peach Schnapps
10 Servings

This fun twist on sweet potatoes was inspired by James Rosebud of the famous Cotton Club in New York City.

Ingredients
3 Pounds Sweet Potatoes
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 ½ Cups Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
¼ Teaspoon Almond Extract
¼ Cup Peach Schnapps
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Lemon, Juiced
½ Orange, Sliced

Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Peel and slice sweet potatoes, place them in a large pot of lightly salted water.  Bring to a boil, let potatoes boil 5 minutes, drain and set aside. 
Put sweet potatoes into a 2 quart casserole, dot with butter.  
Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon and orange zest mixing thoroughly.  Then sprinkle mixture over the potatoes.  
Combine vanilla and almond, extract, peach schnapps, orange and lemon juice then pour over the potatoes.  
Place orange slices over the top of the potatoes then back in the oven uncovered, 45 minutes to an hour.

Macaroni and Cheese - for Holidays Only 
10 - 12 Servings

Ingredients
1 pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil, ground
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups (1 lb.) pepper jack cheese
6 cups (1 1/2 lbs.) NY or WI  Xtra-Sharp cheddar cheese

Method
Heat oven 350 degrees
Cook macaroni until it's al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water, add salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add the macaroni, stir and bring the water back up to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the pot sit covered and undisturbed until the cooking time stated on the box is reached. Approximately 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the milk and butter heating just long enough to melt the butter.
Once the cooking time has elapsed on the macaroni, drain it and return it to the pot.
Add the paprika and basil and mix thoroughly.
Add the warm milk and mix thoroughly.  Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
The cheese does not necessarily have to be melted, just make sure it is well distributed
throughout the dish. Mixture should be moderately moist, if needed add more milk.
Taste for flavor and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the
foil and plastic wrap and bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until the casserole is slightly
browned on the top and all of the milk is absorbed.