Popovers

Popovers — you’ll need a little more than an hour, and if you don’t have a popover tray, a muffin tray will do

  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and grease the pan.

Beat the eggs slightly and add the remaining ingredients — LET SIT FOR 15 MINUTES.  This matters. I don’t know why, but it does.

Fill the cups 3/4 fill (this recipe will make 6 popovers or about 12 muffin-sized popovers)

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees.

Bake another 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Smile at the miraculous pop.  Or conversely, remark at how your pancake-flavored disks sure are neat.

Serve with butter and jam.

Carmelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing

I may not be Southern, but somehow Thanksgiving and Cornbread stuffing have always gone together in my mind.  Here’s how I do it–

  • 1 pan of cornbread*  (*I use the recipe on the back of the cornmeal package, but whatever the recipe I always add a heaping TBLS of sour cream to the batter.)
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 1 cup or so of dried apples, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 chicken stock
  • 3 Tbls dried sage
  • salt+pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut the cornbread into smallish pieces and spread out on a baking sheet to dry out. Here in Colorado it takes no time as any moisture is sucked out of anything in minutes.  If you live anywhere less desert-like, put the baking sheet in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes to achieve the same results.

Melt the butter in a medium pan.  Add the chopped onions and saute for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

Crumble dried-out cornbread into a bowl.  Add the onions, apples, sage and salt and pepper.

In separate bowl whisk together the egg, cream and chicken stock.  Pour over the cornbread and stir. together.

Put into a buttered 9X13 baking dish.

Bake 30 minutes until hot and crusty on top.

Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey

  • 15 lb turkey — I went for the natural one at Whole Foods, which was going for 99 cents/pound.  They even defrosted it for me and kept it chilled until I needed it.
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider
  • 10 dried sage leaves, or a few Tablespoons of dried sage

Prop the turkey up on a counter somewhere and take a good look.  A good look inside.  Typically the neck will be tucked into one end. Remove it and save it for my father.  He insists that it’s the best part.

Now peek into the business end of the turkey.  Reach in– there will be a baggie of giblets.  Do not cook the bag inside the turkey (I have. I don’t suggest it.)  Remove it and set aside for gravy making.

Melt the butter–until it’s mushy but not liquid.  Add the crumbled sage and the cider to the butter.

Roll up your sleeves.  Massage the butter combination into the turkey, all over, even a little on the inside.

Chop the apple, the onion and the lemon in big chunks and throw them into the roasting pan.

Place the turkey, breast side up, into the roasting pan, uncovered.

Roast at 425 for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 375.  At this point if the turkey is brown enough already, create a little tent of tin foil to cover the turkey loosely.

Begin checking with a meat thermometer after 3 1/2 or 4 hours.  Our 15 pound turkey, cooked at altitude, took 4 1/2 hours to cook.

Shortbread Cake with Peaches and Raspberries

I adapted this recipe from the Stone Fruit Tea Cake recipe in Gourmet magazine (because raspberries make it taste better, and my name sounds yummier.)

Ingredients–

  • 2 cups diced and peeled peaches (about 2 large peaches)
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbls vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbls turbinado sugar (optional)

1. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

2. Cream sugar and butter for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

4. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined in a sticky dough.

5. Wrap in plastic wrap and smoosh down into a 1 inch disk. Freeze dough for ½ hour.

6. Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a round baking pan.

7. Divide dough in half. Spread one half the dough evenly on the bottom of the pan. Spread the fruit over the dough. Break the rest of the dough into 4-5 inch pieces and place on top of the fruit (they will spread and mash together.)

8. Sprinkle turbinado sugar across the top.  This is optional–it is not needed for taste since the cake is sweet enough, but it does add a little glitz and sparkle to the top of the cake, you know, if you’re serving it to princesses.

9.   Bake 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool a little before serving.

Dave’s Crazy Good Peach Salsa

This salsa fresca is unbelievably good.  This version is medium-mild, but you can always increase the number of jalepenos if you like it hot hot hot.  The key here is using ultra-fresh ingredients.

  • 2 c diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large diced, peeled peach
  • 1/4 seeded and diced jalapeno (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 c chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbls lime juice

Add all ingredients together and toss lightly.  Put it in the fridge for about an hour and serve cold.  The extra liquid can be drained off before serving.

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant
  • Flour, wheat or white
  • One beaten egg, or milk
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Mozzarella–fresh is best

If you use a fresh eggplant (picked within 5 or so days) there is no need to “sweat” it.  If it’s been around a little longer, salt the slices to draw out the bitter liquid.

  1. Peel the eggplant.
  2. Slice the eggplant into thin circles—I try for about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Dredge the slices in flour to coat both sides.
  4. Dip the floured pieces in beaten egg or milk.
  5. Coat in breadcrumbs and fry in mild oil (I use canola) over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Flip and fry for a couple more minutes, then transfer to a cooking sheet.
  7. Top each piece with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella.
  8. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and eggplant can be very easily cut.

Annie’s Magical Chard Chips

My daughter actually said this last night:

Mom, can I eat the chard now, or do I have to wait for dinner?

I kid you not, this is good stuff.  Even I’ve been eating my greens lately; it’s that good.

Ingredients: Olive oil, chard, salt

Wash chard, and blot – leave it a little bit damp.
Slice and remove the stalks. Set aside for salads or other recipe.
Slice the leaves in half or quarters.

Drizzle oil on a baking sheet, and arrange the chard in a single layer.

Sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 7-8 minutes in 400° oven.

Watch closely so leaves crisp but don’t char.  Eat as is or dip in your favorite dressing.

No-mush lasagna

Though I am an enormous fan of cheese, I never liked the goopy cheesy layers of traditional lasagna, so I made up my own version.

  • 12-14 lasagna noodles
  • 1 large tomato, sliced thin
  • fresh spinach, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • swiss chard, cut small and sauteed in olive oil, diced onions and garlic
  • tomato sauce
  • Parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella, shredded or sliced
  • mushrooms, peppers, or any other veggie you’ve got around,
  • optional–ground turkey or meat
  1. Boil noodles according to package directions.
  2. Start with a layer of noodles.  Cover noodles with thinly sliced tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Cover tomatoes with spinach, dollop entire layer with sauce (to taste) then sprinkle with cheese, (also to taste.)
  4. Layer with noodles, repeat.  I usually do a different veggie on each layer, ending with noodles and topped with cheese.
  5. Bake at 350°for about 30 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly and inside is piping hot.

Homemade Granola

This is the recipe that I cobbled together from a few sources.  Based on my wholly unscientific research, I found that the recipe is extremely forgiving.  Use what you’ve got in the kitchen. The kids will eat it.

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup honey
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbls water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans (or any other nut)
  • ¾ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened if you can find it. I couldn’t.)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or any other fruit combo.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter or spray a baking sheet.

Mix the first 7 ingredients together, and set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients—except for the dried fruit–in a large bowl, and add wet ingredients. Mix until everything is coated.

Spread the mixture on the baking sheet. Bake about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the granola is golden brown.

After baking, add the fruit.  Cool, and store in jars or Tupperware.

My favorite way to eat it is over plain yogurt and drizzled with a little more honey.  But then, I like things sweet.

Ruth’s Amazing Brownies

Adapted from Ruth Reichle’s recipe, from her book Tender at the Bone.

2/3 cup butter
5 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup sifted flour (add 1 Tbls for high altitude)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler.  Remove from heat, add vanilla and set aside

Beat eggs and salt.  Add the sugar and beat at high speed until white (about 5 minutes.)

Add chocolate and butter mixture to the eggs and beat on low until just mixed.

Add flour and mix until just combined.

Pour into greased and floured 9X13 (or so) pan and put in oven.

Immediately reduce heat to 350°.  Bake for about 35 minutes (toothpick should not come out clean.)