juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

THREE FAMILY FAVORITES

THREE FAMILY FAVORITES

Back to the kitchen.  My brain demands a rest from subjects more serious than chicken soup. You might think chicken soup is a pretty serious matter and I ‘d have to agree but it’s not quite the same as discussing Plato or our rotten educational system.

Every family has favorite foods, whether Grandma’s corned beef and cabbage or whipped spaghetti squash.  Some jump for joy over a meat loaf; some applaud fried chicken; others would rather have Pad Thai.  Likewise, some dishes are frowned upon. One kid is allergic to chocolate (poor thing), another won’t look at a green vegetable, a third complains if something is spicy. Preparing food that pleases a variety of tastes is a trick only the most determined cook can master.   Here are three that scored in my family.

GORGONZOLA PASTA

Even kids who live on macaroni and cheese (cheddar) gobble this up.

  1. Melt 2 T butter and stir in 8 oz. gorgonzola cheese until melted.
  2.  Whisk in ½ C whipping cream, 1 t. cornstarch dissolved in 2 T vermouth.
  3.  Add 1 t fresh sage, salt and pepper and whisk until sauce boils and thickens.
  4.   Toss with 1 lb. cooked pasta.

CARROT RING (This is a side dish. Can be served  with anything but particularly good with chicken.)  

  1. Mix ¾ C shortening and ½  C  brown sugar.
  2. Add 1 egg and 1 T  water.  Beat well.
  3. Add 1 1/4 C flour, 1 t. baking powder, ½ t. cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add 2 C finely grated carrots.
  5. Using a well greased mold with a hole, bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Can also be made in the form of cupcakes. Bake about 20 minutes.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN MEATBALLS (ABOUT 12 SERVINGS)

      A great appetizer or serve over rice or noodles.

  1. Combine 1 1/2 lb. ground chicken, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, 2 t. garlic powder and about ½ C of bread crumbs or enough to make the mixture hold together.
  2. Shape into about 24 meatballs and drop into the following simmering sauce: cook about ½ hour. 

SAUCE

6 T olive oil                                    2 chopped onions

2 chopped green peppers               2-3 chopped carrots

4 C chicken broth                           2 small cans tomato sauce

½ C brown sugar                            ¼ C white vinegar

2 small cans crushed pineapple with juice    ½ C catsup

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil. Then add the rest of the ingredients and  simmer about 10 minutes.

Share a favorite.

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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SAUCY

SAUCY

            My intention was to devote one week of blogs to recipes but I let my mind wander out of the kitchen. Now I’m back on track. I’ve told you I like to do themed diners and the next one will be “Sauces and Dips.”  I wouldn’t dream of dipping a French fry in catsup but good sauces are an entirely different matter. They are the essence of gourmet cooking and once you get the hang of cooking sauces, there’s no limit to the possibilities. They are perfect for experimentation and the exercise of kitchen creativity.

Here is the menu and the sauces I will serve at my ‘saucy’ dinner provided I can find enough bowls and a fresh lime leaf. . Most of these can be refrigerated for several days or frozen and are handy to have available for spontaneous entertaining or snacking.

APPETIZERS 

SWEET & SOUR SAUCE– with egg rolls

¼ C vinegar      ½ C pineapple juice

1/3 C brown sugar        1 t. salt

1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T water

Combine all ingredients & bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Let stand about 5 minutes.

 

THAI DIPPING SAUCE – with egg rolls

Combine and bring to a boil

1 C sugar         ½ C each white vinegar & water

2 T minced garlic

1 T each salt, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce/paste

Reduce heat and add ½ of a lime leaf.  Simmer about 15 minutes & remove from heat

Add the other half of the lime leaf and 1 T sesame oil

 

GREEN HERB DIPPING SAUCE – with cut up vegetables

In food processor place ½ bunch Italian parsley, ½ bunch dill, ½ bunch watercress. Chop fine & transfer to bowl.

Process 1/2 C fresh spinach the same way & add to bowl

Combine herbs with 2 green onions, 2 C mayo and 1 C sour cream. Fold all together & add salt and pepper to taste

 

TZATZIKI – GREEK YOGURT & CUCUMBER SAUCE –   with cut up vegetables

Drain 3 C Greek yogurt

Dice 2 Cucumbers, seed , salt and let stand 30 minutes.

In food processor blend: cukes, juice of 1 lemon, garlic,

1 T chopped dill, pepper.  Fold into yogurt

 

TOMATO HORSERADISH SAUCE AND KEY LIME SALSA  – purchased from a gourmet food shop – with chips, Doritos, etc.

 

SALAD 

ASIAN VINAIGRETTE – with tossed salad of greens, toasted almonds, mandarin oranges, rice noodles

Combine: ¼ C soy sauce , 1/4 C lime juice

¼  t  . lime zest    1 T grated ginger

1 clove minced garlic

¼ C salad oil    ½ t. sugar         salt  & pepper to  taste

 

ENTREES

SAUCE LOUISIANA – with whole salmon  poached in dry white wine and lemon juice

Combine 1/3 C catsup, 1/2 C chili sauce, ½ t. Tabasco sauce or 1/8 t. cayenne pepper,

½ t. salt, 1 minced garlic clove,

2 T minced green pepper, ¼ C green onions & tops,

2 T.  horseradish

Dissolve 1 t. plain gelatin in 1 T cold water & let stand until thick, then dissolve over simmering water.

Pour melted gelatin into sauce, stir well and quickly. Refrigerate for about half an hour, stirring several times

Can make ahead & store, covered. Let stand at room temperature about 2 hours before serving.

 

ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE – with rigatoni pasta 

In 2 9×13” pans place 20 Roma tomatoes halves, cut side up. Sprinkle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), salt and pepper, 1 C diced onion, 2 t. minced garlic, 1 T each chopped oregano & thyme leaves.  Bake for 2 hours.  Check after 1 hour and turn down heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly.  Increase temp to 400 & bake another 30 minutes.  Remove & process through a blender, discard skins.  Add 1 C white wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Makes 4 cups.

 

SPICY MINT SAUCE – with vermicelli pasta

1 ¼ C chopped fresh mint         ½ C grated pecorino cheese

½  C EVOO    1 lg. sereno chili, seeded, coarsely chopped

1 smashed clove garlic

Combine all in food processor until smooth

 

DESERT 

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE – with ice cream and strawberries

Melt 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate and 2 T butter very slowly.  Heat 2/3 C water to boiling.  When chocolate has melted, add water & stir well.

Add 1 ½ C sugar & 6 T corn syrup & mix until smooth. Turn heat up and stir mixture until it starts to boil.  Lower heat.  Allow to boil, without stirring for 9 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.  Stir in 1 T rum.  Makes 2 ½ C.

 

CARAMEL SAUCE – with Bourbon Pound Cake – a family favorite

Mix 1 ½ C sugar and 1/3 C water in a heavy bottomed pan. Cover and heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase  heat and boil until sugar browns ( 5-7 minutes). Watch carefully as it will burn quickly.  Step back to avoid spattering and gradually add  1¼ to  1½ C heavy cream and ½ t. vanilla extract.  Simmer until smooth and thick  – about 2 minutes.  Makes 1 ¾ C.

Yes – send me the recipe for Bourbon Pound Cake.

My e-mail address follows and yours is:

 

_______________________________________

 

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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