Friday, February 23, 2018

Okra and Tomato Casserole


1 1/2 pounds okra, cut up
3 Lg. tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
Salt and black pepper to taste
6-8 strips bacon
1. Layer okra, then tomatoes, onion and bell pepper into a greased a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

2. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Lay bacon on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Homemade Vegetable Stock


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
5 celery stalks, sliced thick
1 large brown onion, unpeeled and quartered
1 small celery root, peeled and chopped in big chunks
7 garlic cloves, peeled
2 small bunches of parsley
5 sprigs thyme
12 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
1.Warm butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, celery root and garlic, stirring to coat in the butter/oil. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

2.Wrap bay leaves and thyme sprigs within the parsley bunches then secure the entire bundle with a string. Add the bundle to the pot with peppercorns and prunes. Add enough cold water to cover everything (about 16 cups).

3.Bring mixture to a gentle boil. As soon as the boil begins, drop heat to very low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. The stock should not bubble away during this time period. It should remain fairly still with just a few bubbles coming to the top occasionally. Do not stir. Stirring will cause the vegetables to break down and cloud your stock.

4.Double strain the mixture into a large bowl. Start with a medium mesh strainer to remove all of the large particles then strain again with a fine mesh strainer to remove any tiny bits.

5.To chill rapidly, place the bowl in a sink filled with ice and water. Gently stir until the stock chills. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 6 months  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cheese and Broccoli Soup


1¼ pounds broccoli
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper 
3 tablespoons butter  
1 onion, chopped 
1 celery rib, celery diced and leaves chopped 
½ pound yellow-fleshed potatoes like Yukon Gold, peeled and diced 
1  garlic clove, chopped 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste 
1 teaspoon dried marjoram 
1 bay leaf 
1 pinch of dried thyme 
1 tablespoon flour 
1/2 cup light cream, milk, or reserved cooking water from the broccoli
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard, or to taste 
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese 
Rye or whole wheat bread, toasted


1.  Separate the crowns from the broccoli stems, then separate the crowns into florets. 
You should have at least 4 cups or a little extra. Thickly peel the stems, quarter them, 
and chop into small pieces, yielding a cup or so. Bring a quart of water to a boil and 
add 1 scant teaspoon salt and the broccoli florets. Cook for about 3 minutes, then scoop 
out the florets, reserving the water. Rinse under cool water and set aside. 

2.  Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the onion, celery, potato, broccoli stems, garlic, 
cayenne, and marjoram bay leaf pinch of dried thyme. Cook over medium-high heat for 
about 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Add ½ teaspoon salt, stir in the flour, then pour 
in 3 cups of the reserved water from the broccoli, saving any remainder. Bring to a boil, 
lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until the potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the 
cream or additional broccoli water if needed to thin the soup. During the last few minutes, 
add the florets and allow them to heat through. 

3.  Remove the bay leaf, puree the soup, and return it to the pot. Stir in the mustard, then 
taste for salt and season with pepper. Just before serving, stir in the cheese, but don’t let the 
soup boil or the cheese will toughen. Serve with the toast on the side or broken into the soup.

Sausage, Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya


1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 pound chicken, pieces
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups rice -uncooked
1 can (16 oz) tomatoes
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet. Add sausage, chicken and then brown meats on both sides. Remove meat from skillet.

2. Next add onions, green bell peppers, celery, green onion and garlic to skillet. Sauté over low heat.

3. When onions are tender, add broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper, hot sauce and rice. Stir thoroughly and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Return meats to skillet, reduce heat, cover and simmer until sausage and chicken are tender, about 30 minutes

4. Drain the shrimp, cool and then peel them.

5. Stir in shrimp and cook until shrimp turns pink, about 4 or 5 minutes.

Pumpkin and Cauliflower Casserole


1 cup fresh, whole-wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup hulled and roasted pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and quartered
1 head cauliflower, quartered
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9X5 inch casserole dish with butter then set this aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, butter, half of the thyme and breadcrumbs. Add the goat cheese and stir it well then set aside.

3. Slice both the pumpkin and cauliflower into a 1/8 inch-thick slices. In a small bowl, combine the flour, mustard seeds, garlic, cumin seeds, pepper and the rest of the thyme.

4. Spread a third of the pumpkin in the bottom of the casserole then sprinkle it with 2 teaspoon of the flour mixture. Layer this with half the cauliflower and another 2 teaspoon of the flour mixture.

5. Just follow the pattern and continue re-layering with the rest of the ingredients until what’s on top is the pumpkin layer.

6. Pour half-and-half over the casserole then place this on baking sheet before baking it for 30-35 minutes. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Black Bean and Pork Stew


1 16-oz package dry black beans
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder butt roast
2 12-oz bottles dark beer
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Place the beans in the bottom of a lightly greased large slow cooker. Place the pork on top of the beans and add the beer, red peppers, jalapeños, garlic salt, cumin, and black pepper.

2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

3. Use two forks, pull apart the pork. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of the tomatoes, and a garnish of cilantro on each serving.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mediterranean Style Tuna Casserole


1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound wide egg noodles
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
4 6 oz. cans tuna in olive oil, drained
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and thickly sliced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease two 8-inch square baking dishes with oil then set aside.

2. Cook noodles in a large pot for 2 minutes until al dente, drain then return to the pot.

3. Using a five quart Dutch oven/ heavy pot heat the oil over medium heat and cook bell peppers until crisp-tender, seasoning this with salt and pepper, for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the flour and stir while cooking for another minute. Gradually add milk while stirring the mixture until smooth. Cook while stirring occasionally until it comes to simmer.

4. Remove this from heat then pour the mixture to the pot together with the artichoke hearts, tuna, and scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste then toss.

5. Divide the mixtures between the baking dishes and top with the Parmesan by sprinkling.

6. Bake until the mixture bubbles and top appears golden, about 20-25 minutes.