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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Healthy Heart
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Coconut Cranberry Sundae


For a party we hosted the other night, I spooned the leftover maple cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving over rich and creamy coconut ice cream. I garnished the colorful duo with shredded coconut and toasted pecans and topped it with a caramel filled chocolate square from Lake Champlain Chocolates. It was as tasty as it was beautiful. 

If you're looking to serve a delicious, simple, fun and festive dessert for the forthcoming holiday, I've included this tried and true popular Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe I've been preparing for years. 

Maple Cranberry Sauce


One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup cranberry-raspberry juice
Grated zest of one orange
     
In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, maple syrup, juice and orange zest. Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally until cranberries pop open, about 5-10 minutes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Juicy and Flavorful Turkey Recipe


Our rendition of Marie Louise’s Turkey

Pictured is a turkey recipe from a cookbook Nick picked up at a yard sale in 1989. The editor's note below the title says; This is the best way we have  found that will make the juiciest and most flavorful turkey that you have ever cooked! I posted this recipe last Thanksgiving and received so much feedback I decided to share it again. Whenever we prepare this for Thanksgiving Nick marks the size of our turkey and how many hours to cook the bird. The editor is correct, it turns out one of the most delicious and moist turkeys we've ever eaten. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Gobble, gobble!

Juicy and Flavorful Turkey Recipe

I didn't change much from the original recipe, but I did simplify the directions. It's best to prepare the turkey the day before you plan to cook it. As for the soft paste consistency (we have never measured the ingredients and evidently neither did Marie Louise), think of thick ketchup. Cheesecloth can be found in kitchen supply isle of most grocery stores.

Soft Paste Mixture
Olive oil
Worcestershire sauce
Dry mustard
Apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard and a little bit of apple cider vinegar, season well with salt and pepper. Rub the turkey well inside and out with the soft paste. If you run out of paste mixture, make another batch.

1 turkey
1 onion, cut in half
2 stalks of celery, cut in half
A few sprigs of parsley
2 strips of bacon
1 stick butter, cut into chunks
Cheesecloth
Olive oil
2 cups chicken broth

Place onion, celery and parsley sprigs inside the turkey. Across the breast of the turkey, lay 2 pieces of bacon. In the little crevice between the drumstick and the body of the turkey, place chunks of butter. In a medium bowl, soak cheesecloth in olive oil. Cover the turkey with the olive oil soaked cheesecloth. Transfer turkey to a roasting pan to accommodate. Cover and refrigerate turkey until the following day.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Add chicken broth to the bottom of roasting pan. Cook turkey uncovered according to these (Marie Louise’s) recommendations:

7-10 pounds, 30 minutes per pound
10-15 pounds, 20 minutes per pound
15-18 pounds, 18 minutes per pound
18-20 pounds, 15 minutes per pound
20-23 pounds, 13 minutes per pound

Baste the turkey only once or twice during the course of cooking. This browns the turkey beautifully and makes it tender. Remove cheesecloth and allow turkey to stand for about 30 minutes prior to carving.






Friday, November 2, 2012

Apple Salad Tower Sandwiches with Tangerine Vinaigrette

Apple Salad Tower Sandwiches with Tangerine Vinaigrette
Everyone
                                                                                           loved the salad I served at the luncheon I catered the other day. They especially appreciated the presentation even thought the tower collapses once you cut into the salad! The occasion was a seated luncheon with an intimate group of friends celebrating a significant birthday and this unique creation made for fun and lively conversation. There is lots flavor and texture that come from combining these fall-oriented ingredients; crispy apples, flavorful and hearty arugula and spinach, tangy feta, naturally sweetened cranberries and tangerines and salty roasted sunflower seeds. 

Once you have all the ingredients together it's simple to assemble. Core small crispy apples, then slice each apple into about ¼-½ inch slices, about 4-5 slices for each apple. Lightly coat arugula and spinach with Tangerine Vinaigrette. To assemble, layer apples and greens alternately. Top each apple tower with crumbled feta cheese, dried cranberries, tangerine segments and toasted sunflower seeds. Drizzle the Salad Sandwich Tower with Tangerine Vinaigrette. Serve immediately. 

Tangerine Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon salt
Several grindings of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
¾ cup canola oil

In a 2-cup capacity jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard and tangerine juice. Add canola oil ¼ cup at a time, shaking well after each addition. Keep dressing at room temperature until ready to serve. Shake just before using. Refrigerate any unused portion. About 1 cup

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Green Bean Casserole Soup


This soup is as outstanding as the famous and wildly popular 1950’s Classic Green Bean Casserole. I’ve turned the creamy casserole ingredients into a delicious pot of soup using healthier ingredients. Instead of using the familiar white button mushroom (the type of mushroom in the soup portion of the casserole), I used a combination of exotic mushrooms, specifically, beech, royal trumpet and shitake. I replaced the French fried onions (that top the casserole), with thinly sliced shallots that I sautéed until crispy. The result is a mouth-watering delicious soup you will not soon forget. 

3 tablespoons butter
1 package (8 ounces) assorted mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups green beans, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons cooking sherry
½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 shallots, thinly sliced
Buttermilk
Flour
Canola oil

In a medium pot over moderate heat, melt butter and sauté mushrooms until tender. Add flour one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add water one cup at a time, stirring well to incorporate ingredients. Add vegetable bouillon cube and allow cube to dissolve. Add cream, green beans, sherry, salt and pepper, stir to combine. In a medium bowl, dredge shallots in buttermilk and cover them with flour. Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan over moderately high heat and sauté shallots until chestnut brown. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top each bowl with crispy shallots. Yield: 4 servings

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