Monday, November 26, 2012

Sausage Apple and Cranberry Nut Bread Dressing

Sausage, Apple and Cranberry-Nut-Bread Dressing

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 12

    Using a dried-fruit-and-nut bread in this classic sausage-apple dressing is a super shortcut.

    1. 2 pounds sliced cranberry-pecan bread, cut into cubes
    2. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3. 3 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
    4. 2 shallots, thinly sliced
    5. 1 celery rib, finely chopped
    6. 2 tablespoons chopped sage
    7. 1 pound bulk breakfast sausage, broken into pieces
    8. 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
    9. Salt
    10. Freshly ground pepper
    1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the bread cubes in a large roasting pan and toast for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until slightly dry. Transfer to a large bowl.
    2. In a large, deep skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the apples, shallots, celery and sage and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are lightly browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage pieces and cook over high heat, breaking them up with a spoon, until they're browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of the stock and boil until nearly evaporated, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Add the sausage mixture to the bread along with the remaining 3 cups of stock. Stir until evenly moistened. Transfer the dressing to a large, buttered baking dish and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
    4. Cover the dressing with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes longer, until the dressing is browned around the edges. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
    Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for 3 days.

    Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples

    Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples

    • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
    • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
    • SERVINGS: 10 to 12
    This delicious, super-healthy salad is a great meal-in-one; it makes an ideal vegetarian option at the Thanksgiving table.

    1. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2. 1 1/2 cups quinoa
    3. Salt
    4. 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
    5. Freshly ground pepper
    6. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    7. 2 large Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    8. 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    9. 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
    10. 8 packed cups baby greens, such as arugula or kale (about 6 ounces)
    1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the quinoa and toast over moderate heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer the quinoa for 16 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa, spread it out on a baking sheet and refrigerate until it is chilled, about 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until golden and softened. Let cool.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, apples, parsley, onion and greens and toss well. Serve right away.
    Make Ahead The quinoa and sweet potatoes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Roasted Beer Brined Turkey with Onion Gravy and Bacon









    Roasted Beer-Brined Turkey with Onion Gravy and Bacon

    • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
    • SERVINGS: 12

    Adding Guinness, or any dark beer, to the brine gives theturkey a toasty flavor and helps give the skin a dark brown color.

    1. 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
    2. 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
    3. 8 bay leaves
      1. 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
      2. 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
      3. 8 bay leaves
      4. 1 cup dark brown sugar
      5. 1 cup kosher salt
      6. 2 onions, cut into thick wedges
      7. 1 pound slab bacon, skin removed and meat sliced 1/3 inch thick
      8. Six 12-ounce bottles Guinness stout
      9. One 12- to 14-pound turkey
      10. 1 cup turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
      11. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
      12. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
        1. In a very large pot, combine the mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaves and toast over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and salt and remove from the heat. Add 4 cups of water and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved; let cool completely.
        2. Add the onions, bacon, Guinness and 16 cups of cold water to the pot. Add the turkey to the brine, breast side down, and top with a heavy lid to keep it submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
        3. Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack on the bottom shelf. Lift the turkey from the brine, pick off any peppercorns, mustard seeds and bay leaves and pat dry. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter the onion wedges in the pan and add 1 cup of water. Using toothpicks, secure the bacon slices over the breast. Roast the turkey for about 2 hours, turning the pan occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the turkey thighs registers 150°. Remove the bacon and return the turkey to the oven. Roast for about 1 hour longer, until the breast is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 170°. Transfer the turkey to a carving board.
        4. Pour the pan juices and onion wedges into a saucepan and boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey stock and return to a boil. In a small bowl, mash the butter to a paste with the flour. Whisk the paste into the gravy and boil until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
        5. Meanwhile, cut the bacon crosswise 1/2 inch thick. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.
        6. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and bacon.

      Lemony Brussels Sprout Slaw

      A new favorite thanks to Food and Wine magazine...

      Lemony Brussels Sprout


      • TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
      • SERVINGS: 10 TO 12

      1. 1/2 cup 2 percent plain Greek yogurt
      2. 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
      3. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
      4. 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
      5. 1/2 cup chopped chives
      6. 1/4 cup chopped dill
      7. Salt
        1. Freshly ground pepper
        2. 2 pounds raw brussels sprouts, finely shredded in a food processor (12 cups)
        3. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted roasted sunflower seeds
          1. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, chives and dill and season with salt and pepper. Add the brussels sprouts and toss to coat evenly. Fold in the sunflower seeds and serve.
          MAKE AHEAD The brussels sprout slaw can be refrigerated overnight.

      Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

      This year I decided to try all new recipes for Thanksgiving dinner and I am happy I did. There are a few new favorites. Thank you Food and Wine magazine for having great recipes!

      On the menu...

      - Roasted beer brined turkey with onion gravy and bacon
      - Quinoa with sweet potatoes and apples
      - Lemony brussel sprout slaw
      - Garlic and chive mashed potatoes
      - Sausage, apple and cranberry nut stuffing
      - stuffed mushrooms
      - Pecan pie with candied ginger and rum

      Sunday, July 8, 2012

      Peach Summer Salad

      Last week I visited the local farmers market and as usual, purchased way too much fresh yummy food for one person. So what did I do? Made a new favorite summer salad, took it to a party and it was a huge hit. I hope you enjoy it too.

      Baby Arugula
      Fresh peaches
      2 Garlic Cloves
      Sea Salt
      Olive Oil
      Mixture of shaved Parmesan, Asiago and Pecorino cheeses
      Fresh lemon juice

      1. Peel and slice the peaches, sprinkle with lemon juice (this will keep them from turning brown. 
      2. Place baby Arugula in a bowl and toss with just enough olive oil to coat lightly.
      3. Peel and press the garlic cloves, add to the Arugula and toss to coat.
      4. Add fresh ground sea salt to the salad mixture and toss. This is to taste.
      5. Add the peaches with lemon juice.
      6. Add the shaved cheeses and toss.

      Serve with your favorite protein and enjoy!

      Monday, June 4, 2012

      Triangle Restaurant Week

      Last night kicked of Triangle Restaurant Week with a cool party at Marbles Museum in Raleigh. I am excited to try some new restaurants and of course an all time favorite.

      On the list for the is week...

      - blue Mango
      "blue MANGO offers delicious Indian cuisine in a stylish atmosphere. Our creative dishes are prepared with the freshest ingredients and the perfect combination of spices. Our soft lighting, attentive service and of course, superbly satisfying fare makes blue MANGO a perfect choice for an amazing experience." 

      - Little Hen
      "Little Hen restaurant is a family business owned by Regan and Dawn Stachler. It is born of our dream to create a restaurant we both believe would best showcase our joint knowledge and passion for food and service, while meeting the growing needs and demands of diners for accountable and sustainable farm-to-table cuisine. This would not be possible without our strong working partnership with local farmers."

      - Zely and Ritz for The Pink Effect breast cancer dinner supporting
      "Zely & Ritz is all about fresh, organic, locally grown dishes. The food is beautifully presented, intensely flavorful and simply delicious. Chef Sarig uses local organic ingredients in unexpected ways to create fantastic culinary works of art.
      What makes Zely & Ritz so special is that over half of our ingredients come from our farm, Coon Rock Farm. We are the only local restaurant that has its own farm delivering fresh produce and meats every day."

      Saturday, June 2, 2012

      Grilled Sirloin with Anchovy-Lemon Butter and Broccoli Rabe

      I served this dish last night with a side of Quinoa salad, it was delicious! Definitely on my list to make again. Healthy and quick, what's not to love.

      Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Cindy Barr

      Cooking spray
      1 (1-pound) boneless sirloin steak
      1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
      3/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
      2 tablespoons unsalted butter
      1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, divided
      1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
      1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
      1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
      1/4 cup pre-sliced onion
      2 garlic cloves, sliced
      1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
      1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
      8 ounces broccoli rabe (rapini), cut into pieces


      1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add steak to pan; cook for 3 minutes on each side. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak across grain into thin slices.

      2. Place butter in a bowl. Microwave at HIGH 10 seconds. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon rind, juice, and anchovy paste; stir until combined. Set aside.

      3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in broth and rabe; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining rind and salt.

      4. Place 3 ounces steak and 1/2 cup rabe on each of 4 plates. Top each steak with 1 1/2 teaspoons butter.

      Laura Zapalowski, Cooking Light 
      MARCH 2012

      Monday, April 9, 2012

      Pantry Raid: Quinoa and Lentil Salad

      I have heard a lot of talk lately about Quinoa, but never really knew how to make it. So this weekend while at Whole Foods I decided to pick some up and do a test run. Glad I did, because it came out delicious.

      This made a really large bowl for a party I was attending. It's easy to cut the recipe in half.

      2 1/2 cups of Quinoa
      1 cup green lentils
      Fresh bunch of basil - chopped
      1 container of crumbled feta cheese
      1 large red onion - diced
      2 containers of cherry or grape tomatoes - cut into 4's
      1 bottle of Tessemae's All Natural Lemon Pepper Dressing - can be found at whole foods.

      2 1/2 cups of Quinoa placed in 5 cups of water, bring to a boil, place lid on pot and cook on low for 15 minutes. Start the lentils at the same time. Place them in a pot cover with water and once it boils cook covered on low for 15 minutes.

      Once the Quinoa and lentils are cooked, place in a large bowl and refrigerate to cool them down.
      While they are cooling start prepping the other ingredients.

      Once the lentils and Quinoa are cool, mix in the dressing until coated. Then add the basil, tomatoes, onion and cheese. Season to taste with salt if necessary (I didn't add any).

      Refrigerate and then enjoy!

      Pairs nicely with grilled chicken, fish or steak.

      Tuesday, February 21, 2012

      Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Bisque

      I found this recipe in the January issue of O Magazine. It turned out really good. It is slightly sweet due to the coconut milk and apricots, but if you want more spice add just a touch more chili paste. Enjoy!

      Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Bisque Recipe - created by Dana Jacobi

      Makes 6 servings


      • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
      • 1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
      • ½ cup dried apricots, quartered
      • ¼ cup chopped onion or shallots
      • ¼ to ½ tsp. Thai red chili paste
      • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
      • ¾ cup light coconut milk
      • ½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
      • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
      • Chopped cilantro (optional)
      • 4 Tbsp. pomegranate juice or seeds (optional)


      Active time: 25 minutes
      Total time: 50 minutes

      Place sweet potatoes, lentils, apricots, onion, chili paste, and broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are falling apart, about 25 minutes. Let soup sit, uncovered, 10 minutes.

      Add coconut milk. Using a blender, puree soup until smooth, in batches if necessary. Stir in salt and pepper, and add more if desired.

      To serve: Divide pureed soup among bowls, and top each with cilantro and pomegranate juice or seeds (if using).

      Tips: You can substitute brown or green lentils for the red; they won't fall apart as easily, so forgo the blending and serve the soup as a chunky stew instead. Freeze up to 8 weeks.

      Sunday, February 19, 2012

      Sweet Potato Pancakes with Pecan Butter

      Courtesy of The Food Network








      In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together and whisk until smooth. Cook batches in buttered skillet on medium high temperature until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook until dark golden brown. Serve with pecan butter and maple syrup.

      Pecan Butter:

      • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans toasted and cooled
      • 1/2 pound butter, softened
      • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
      • 1 tablespoon honey
      Mix all ingredients together (use rubber gloves). Roll in parchment paper and freeze. Cut into slices and top sweet potato pancakes

      Yield: 10 servings

      Saturday, February 18, 2012

      Pantry Raid: Garlic Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

      I love to cook, so there is nothing worse than being on a food budget. No wine, no fancy fixings just whatever I was able to budget in for the week.

      Tonight when I opened my fridge there was...Milk, broccoli, Pecorino cheese and left over chicken, BORING!

      Thank goodness things I will never skimp on are good olive oil, sea salt and garlic. With them you can make a lot of different dishes.

      - thin spaghetti noodles - 1 1/2" diameter when holding in hands
      - broccoli cut into medium size pieces
      - 2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and pressed
      - olive oil
      - grated pecorino cheese
      - rosemary sea salt
      - left over cooked chicken, diced

      Boil pasta water and follow instructions on package to cook pasta. Before putting the pasta in the boiling water quickly blanch the broccoli for about 1 minute so there is still some crunch to it. Then remove the broccoli and add the pasta to cook.

      While the pasta is cooking, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, add pressed garlic and diced chicken, just to long enough to heat of the chicken.

      Drain the pasta and put in a bowl. Pour the chicken and broccoli over the top and toss lightly to coat with the olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary sea salt and cheese, toss again to mix, then serve.

      Dinner turned out great, I only wish there was a bottle of wine around. Sigh!

      Monday, January 23, 2012

      3-3-3 Chili

      Hands down the best chili I have ever made and I have made a lot of chili.

      Courtesy of Woman's Day and Linda Arceo


    4. 5 slice(s) bacon, cut into ½-in. pieces
    5. 1 pound(s) beef chuck, trimmed and cut into ½-in. pieces
    6. 8 ounce(s) hot Italian sausage (about 2 links), casings removed
    7. 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    8. 1 medium onion, chopped
    9. Kosher salt and pepper
    10. 1  green bell pepper, cut into ¼-in. pieces
    11. 1  jalapeño (seeded, if desired), finely chopped
    12. 1 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped - I added 3 to mine.
    13. 1 28-oz can(s) crushed tomatoes
    14. 1 tablespoon(s) Tabasco sauce - Texas Pete's Hot Sauce is what I used
    15. 1 tablespoon(s) chili powder
    16. 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
    17. 1 teaspoon(s) pickled jalapeño juice (optional)
    18. 1  chile de arbol pepper, crushed, or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    19. 1 - 15 ounce(s) can pinto beans, rinsed
    20. 1 - 15 ounce(s) can black beans, rinsed
    21. 1 - 15 ounce(s) can of red kidney beans, rinsed
    22. Shredded cheeses (such as Muenster, Monterey Jack and/or Cheddar), sliced avocado and radishes, and tortillas, for serving
    23. I also added; halved black olives and drained canned corn. 
    24. Tostitos hint of lime tortilla chips are perfect for dipping.

    25. Directions

    26. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
    27. Add the beef to the pan and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a second plate and set aside. Pour off any liquid and return the pan to medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the plate with the beef.
    28. Wipe out the pan and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and ½ tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
    29. Add the crushed tomatoes, Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, jalapeño juice (if using), ½ tsp each salt and pepper, and 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Return the beef and sausage to the pan add the chile de arbol and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
    30. Add the beans and reserved bacon and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 45 to 55 minutes more. Serve with the cheese, avocado, radishes and tortillas, if desired.