Monday, October 25, 2010

Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower

3-4 carrots cut abt 1-2" long. Halve if thick
1/2 head Cauliflower cut to 1 - 2" Florettes
4-6 TBS olive oil
1 - 2 TBS smoked paprika
1 - 2 TSP Bouquet Garni
Toss all ingredients in a baking dish

Roast at 400 or 425 (depending on main course) for 20-30 min.
Turn once or twice during roasting

chicken basics

Chicken Leg Quarters bake at 425 for 35-45 min. (180 internal)

Whole Chicken bake at 400 for 1 - 1.5 hours

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Before there was Mac and Cheese with Ham or Ham Potato Corn Chowder there was...


Slice an onion and place the slices under the ham face, to prevent burning. 
Place the ham front face down in a ceramic dish
add up to 1/4 C dry vermouth or dry white wine
Cover loosely with tin foil
bake at 325 20-25 min per LB of ham.
This can also be done on a grill over low heat if the oven is filled with other holiday dishes

Mac and Cheese

I have ruined my own children, they only like the Mac and Cheese in a box.
Because that is all I made for 10 years. May the culinary gods forgive me.

1 Box Pasta - Shells, Elbows etc.
1 8 oz. block SHARP cheddar, grated and DIVIDED
4 oz Swiss or other cheese... could be cheddar, american... check the ice box
1 - 2 C chopped leftover ham
1 egg
12 - 16 Ritz crackers, crushed or 1/2 C breadcrumbs

6x6 roux = 6 TBS butter 6 or 7 TBS flour
3 C milk or a combo of Milk and half and half or cream (using up ingredients here)

2 TBS butter
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp pepper
1/2-1 tsp hot paprika or cayenne

grease (butter) a pyrex(r) brownie pan (8x11)

preheat oven to 375 (400 for a crispier crust?)

sautee crackers or beadcrumbs in remaining butter

make a roux by heating 6 tbs butter and blending in 6 tbs flour
add milk slowly, stirring
stir in 1/2 cheddar and other cheese + egg while stirring until thick and creamy
stir in spices
pour 1/2 noodles in pan
pour 1/2 sauce mixture over noodles
add all of ham, spreading over noodles
add other half of cheddar cheese, spreading over noodles
add remainder of sauce

top with cracker / breadcrumb mixture

bake for 30 min at 375.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bottom Round Roast Beef

3-4 LB Bottom Round Roast
3-4 TBS Oil
3 C Beef Broth
1 Onion sliced
Seasoning to Taste - Essence of Emeril
Emeril recommends 3 sprigs of thyme
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat Oven to 275
Coat roast in seasoning
Heat oil and brown roast in Dutch Oven
Remove roast, add sliced onions to bottom and add broth
Return roast, and place in oven for 1.25 - 1.5 Hours until 130 (Rare)

Make Gravy from remaining juices.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hambone Soup With Potatoes and Corn

8 C water
med onion chopped
1 carrot grated
1 stalk celery chopped (w/ leaves if possible)
bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 clove garlic smashed

6 med potatoes (yukon gold 1st try) peeled chopped into 1" cubes
3 - 4 carrots sliced
1/2 head cauliflower
1 can or small bag frozen corn

4x4 roux (Heat 4 TBS butter, cook in 4 TBS flour)
1 C half and half
+ 1 C milk

Bring 1st ingredients to boil, simmmer 1/2 hour
remove bay leaf, bone, de-meat and add additional ham as needed

Add vegetables, simmer 15 minutes, until veggies are cooked

make white sauce from roux, add dairy
gently combine white sauce into soup.

heat through, serve

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Kate just advised me that we are having her family for Thanksgiving. 8 adults, 6 kids and and infant. Cool. My mind immediately goes to menu planning. My family Holiday dishes are Zesty Carrots and Cheesy Cauliflower Head. Moose made them, they defined the Holidays of my youth.

Mashed Potatoes. My ex-wife wouldn't eat them with milk in them, so he kindly set aside some boring spuds for her. She never liked my cooking, either.

A Ham and a Turkey. Maybe that green bean casserole, the one with cream of mushroom soup and French's onions on top and perhaps pearl onions. How the hell can I cook all of this with four burners and one oven? Wait I have a grill. for the ham. My clever sister did an extra breast on the grill one year... I think her oven was broken too.

But I think can do the ham on the grill. And Vince down the street has the Turkey fryer, he did three or four last year. I'll have to inquire! And some Pillsbury rolls. But what about a soup? A squash soup would be nice, and seasonal too. And there's the crock pot for soup. But the first recipes I found have creme fraiche, which made me wonder what is Thanksgiving about? It's not about gourmet, it's a feast of thankfulness, and hopefulness that we survive another winter. So in my mind it should be hearty food, pack on the pounds, come February they'll be gone, and we'll be looking for the first greens of spring and to slaughter the lambs.

And an olive tray: Gherkins, green olives and black and a fourth I can't remember what - pickle chips?

So methinks simple food it will be:

savory roasted squash soup - crock pot
mashed potatoes, perhaps with garlic and onion - stovetop 1
cauliflower with cheese and mustard - oven Y
zesty carrots - oven b
sting bean casserole with pearl onions - oven c
brined turkey - deep fry / oven X
roasted ham - BBQ
Beans with carrots - Microwave
Stuffing w /sausage - stovetop 2
Rolls - oven Z

Buy takeaway containers!
level the stove!
buy a brining bucket!
buy a turkey fryer?