Saturday, December 21, 2019

Christmas 2019

On the Menu





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 teaspoon sea salt
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, basil and sea salt, 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.     


8 – 10 Servings

Ingredients
3 – 4 lb. Salmon Fillet
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
8 ounce can pineapple slices
Small jar maraschino cherry

Method
Rinse fillet and pat dry with paper towels, check for bones and remove.
In a small bowl, mix together the dry seasoning and sprinkle it generously over the entire salmon.  Place salmon on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Remove salmon from refrigerator place it on the counter for 15 – 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature. Transfer the fillet to a sheet pan sprayed with oil. Place the pineapple slices over the top of the fillet and put a cherry in the center of each slice and sprinkle smoke paprika over the top. 
Place it in a hot 400-degree F oven and bake approximately 15 minutes.  You can test for doneness by inserting a fork or knife in the salmon and twisting it a bit; the fish should be opaque and flake easily. What ever you do, don't overcook it.
And remember, it will continue to cook at least 5 minutes after it is removed from the heat. 


8 Servings

Ingredients
2 pounds green beans, trimmed, halved
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
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 , almonds and chili peppers and sauté 30 seconds.
Add beans; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, tossing frequently.


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.
  

Squash with Sage
8 - 10 Servings
Ingredients
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds crook neck [yellow] squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds zucchini, cut ½” on the diagonal
½ bunch fresh sage, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Slice squash again lengthwise then cut on the diagonal.
Wash then cut the crookneck (yellow) squash and zucchini in half lengthwise and cut on the diagonal.
Remove sage from the stems and rough chop.
Place the butternut squash in a bowl and mix in ½ sage, olive oil, salt and
pepper.
Place on a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash is golden brown.  Approximately 45 minutes.
Combine the crookneck, zucchini squash and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Transfer to a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash are golden brown.  Approximately 30 minutes.
Turn once ½ through the cooking time.
Once both pans of squash are done, combine them.
Serve hot


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.


Soulful Vegan Potato Salad
6 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
½ medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small carrot, grated
4 sweet pickles, diced OR 1 cup sweet relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ - ½   cup vegan mayo

Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.
Place pan in the refrigerator uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool, transfer potatoes to a bowl, mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.



                                                      Winter Squash and Apple Soup
6–8 Servings
Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon dry
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon dry
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 acorn squash (about 1¾ lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½″ cubes

   or any hard winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti, etc.)
2 Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into ½″ cubes

1 ½ teaspoon sea salt  

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice


Method
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat add onion, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add curry powder, squash, apples, salt and pepper, and cook about 2 minutes. 
Add stock, and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until squash and apples are tender, stirring occasionally.
Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup and then return it to the pot. Stir in the lime juice, cover and keep warm.


4 – 6 Servings
Ingredients
4 cups fresh spinach, washed and dried
2 cups strawberries, sliced (or any fruit desired for color)
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
For the Dressing
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Method
In a salad bowl, toss the spinach, strawberries, onions and mushrooms.
In a blender, combine the dressing ingredients; cover and process until blended.
Serve with salad. Refrigerate any leftover dressing.


Pumpkin Pie
16 Servings

Note to Sweet Potato Pie lovers, use sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin

Ingredients
1 ½  - 2 pounds sugar pumpkin
2 - 3 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix - divided
1 cup evaporated milk
2 large eggs
2 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
 ½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
½ teaspoon ginger, ground
2 commercial pie crust

Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wash pumpkin, remove stem then carefully cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds with  a spoon then using a melon baller, scrape out the strings. 
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix on top of each half.
Bake in oven 45 minutes or until pumpkin is done
Let pumpkin cool down just enough to peel.
Pour off any excess liquid.
Place the peeled pumpkin in the bowl of your electric mixer affixed with the paddle add the remaining spice mix and all other ingredients except the crust and mix on medium low until you have a puree.
Prepare crust according to the instructions on the package.
Pour filling into the partially baked pie shell, make sure your oven is still on 350 degrees and bake 60 minutes or until pie is set in the middle.


 Pumpkin Spice Mix

1/3 cup cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon ginger, ground
1 tablespoon nutmeg, ground
1 ½ teaspoons cloves,ground
1 ½ teaspoons allspice, ground

Method
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Store up to 6 months.
Use on baked sweet potatoes and butternut squash or any roasted root vegetable as well as pumpkins.  Also great in butternut squash and pumpkin soups.


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