Friday, November 20, 2009

Cranberry Orange Toasted Pecan Bread

Cranberry Orange and Toasted Pecan Bread

1/3 cup orange juice plus 1 tsp. orange extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 Tbs. melted butter
1 large egg lightly beaten
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 oz fresh cranberries chopped coarse
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

Heat oven to 375, grease loaf pan. Stir together orange juice and extract, buttermilk, butter and egg in a small bowl. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking power. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Gently stir in cranberries and pecans (to toast pecans: heat chopped pecans in a fry pan until aromatic, stirring constantly).

Scrape batter into greased pan and bake 20 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Cool ten minutes in pan and at least one hour before serving.

Recipe from an old Cooks Illustrated magazine.

Friday, August 28, 2009


To make stromboli, use your favorite bread dough. (In a pinch you can buy frozen dough or stop by your favorite Italian pizza spot and ask them to share theirs!)

Make a paste of:
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. flat-leaf parseley, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Roll out bread dough into a rectangle, and spread the above mixture all over the dough.

Layer the following ingredients in the center of the dough (this is my husband's favorite recipe, but you can fill the dough with anything you like):

~~pepperoni (sandwich size, from your grocer's deli section)
~~mozzarella cheese
~~sliced onions
~~sliced green peppers

Roll up the dough lengthwise, sealing ends well. Place on baking pan, seam side down, and brush top with fresh beaten egg yolk. Let rest about 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Bon appetit!

*(The second picture above was taken before I added another layer of pepperoni and the mozzarella.)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

Easy and delicious. To make even easier, I use no-preservative, pre-cooked chicken strips found in the frozen section at the local grocers, and pre-sliced creminis or baby bellas (whichever is in stock).

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup dry Marsala wine
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
12 ounces fettuccine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.

Bring water to a boil and cook fettuccine.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet used for the chicken, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss the hot pasta with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, then top with marsala sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy Giada de Laurentiis

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cranberry-Pear Butter

Although it contains ginger, this buttter is more sweet than savory and tastes as good on your morning toast as it does on a turkey sandwich. Make sure to stir the mixture often to prevent it from sticking and scorching. Straining the mixture is not essential, but is an easy way to remove skins.

5 pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
2 cups fresh cranberries , picked through and coarsely chopped
1 cup apple cider
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer, stirring often, until pears fall apart and mixture thickens, about 1 hour. Working in batches, process mixture in a food mill or press through a fine sieve to strain out solids. (Can be jarred and refrigerated for at least 2 weeks.) Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Recipe courtesy Cooks Illustrated

Friday, November 23, 2007

Leftover Turkey Casserole

Though it isn't a family recipe, this one also comes to me through my mother. It is a wonderful creamy cheesy sauce with a bit of zing, balanced nicely by the mushroom, black olive, and turkey combo. I'm not sure the original source, but here it is with slight adaptation.

3 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Cayenne (I like to add a few dashes)
Dash of red hot pepper (I like to add a few dashes)

6 oz. fresh chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup cold water

1 and a 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 and a 1/2 cups milk

2 and 1/2 cups cooked macoroni shells (medium)
1 can pitted black olives sliced
2 1/2 cups chopped leftover turkey

4-5 slices white American cheese

Preheat 425 degrees.

Cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Simmer fresh chopped mushrooms in a 1/2 cup water until they have absorbed most of the liquid.

Melt butter in a large saute pan. Blend in flour and all the spices and seasonings up to Cayenne and red pepper. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring all the while. Add mushrooms (liquid and all). Add milk and bring to a boil. Stir until mixture thickens. Add shells, olives, and turkey.

Turn half the mixture out into a 2 quart casserole dish. Cover this first half with American cheese slices cut into triangles. Pour remaining mixture on top and top with American cheese triangles again.

Bake 15-20 minutes.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups corn syrup
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup cold water
1/2 stick of butter
1 can sweetened, condensed milk

Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, butter and water in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium high and bring to boil. Stirring constantly, boil the butter mixture for three minutes. Do not overcook. After three minutes, remove from heat and stir in sweetened, condensed milk.

Makes two and a half pints.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce

A favorite recipe here. Tart, sweet, and richly flavored. The apples in this sauce reduce the bitterness of the cranberries, keeping it nice and tart as you would want it, but less bitter. It's also quite beautiful on the Thanksgiving table. The photograph below really doesn't do it justice - I'll replace it when I make the sauce next week. Enjoy!

1/2 orange
2 cups water
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, pippin or McIntosh
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Squeeze the juice from the orange and set the juice aside. Remove and discard the membrane from inside the orange rind and cut the rind into small dice. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Peel, core and quarter the apple. Cut into 1/2-inch dice and place in a saucepan. Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 hour before serving. Or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a sauceboat and pass at the table. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 cups.

Recipe courtesy Williams-Sonoma