Friday, September 24, 2010

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS

1 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. packed golden brown sugar
5 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1 (8 oz.) pkg. softened cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Libby's solid pack pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine flour and brown sugar in medium bowl. Cut in butter to make a crumb mixture. Stir in nuts. Set aside 3/4 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture into bottom of 8 x 8 x 1 1/2 inch basking pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Combine cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Blend until smooth. Pour over baked crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes. Cool before cutting into bars. Makes 32 x 2 inch bars. If you double recipe and put in a spring form pan it makes a wonderful cheesecake (increase baking time).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Allspice String Beans


Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons ground allspice
salt and pepper to taste
Directions

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir garlic until lightly browned. Mix in green beans and water, and bring to a boil. Stir in allspice, salt, and pepper. Cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until green beans are soft.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CINNAMON AND VANILLA CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST

3 eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp milk, any type
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
6 slices challah, brioche, or other egg bread

Preheat a griddle or large nonstick frying pan to medium-low heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla powder, cinnamon and milk, until smooth and slightly frothy.

Melt the butter on the griddle or in the frying pan.

Dunk each slice of bread into the egg mixture, making sure both sides are coated. Don't let the bread sit so long in the egg that it begins to fall apart, but do allow some of the egg mixture to soak into the bread. Place the bread slices on the griddle. Let cook 2-3 minutes on one side. When nicely browned, flip the slices and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until browned.

Serve hot, with additional butter and maple syrup.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sumac Chicken & Bread Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 (3- to 3-1/2-pound) chicken
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground sumac-powder
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large red onions (about 1 pound), sliced thinly
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 pounds dense bread (such as farm bread or pane de casa), cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices, and tossed with a big pinch of salt
1 large ripe summer tomato, cored and cut into chunks
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

INSTRUCTIONS


Cut the back bone out of the chicken with kitchen shears and flatten the chicken. Season it generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Make a paste with the sumac and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and rub the paste into both sides of the chicken. Refrigerate on a plate—no need to cover—for about 8 hours. Or, if you haven’t planned ahead, just leave the seasoned chicken on the counter while you prepare the onions and bread.

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Put the onions and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Salt the onions and cook, stirring once in a while, until they are limp and turning gold at the edges, around 9 minutes. Add the garlic and parsley, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scrape the onions into a large mixing bowl and add the cubed bread. Toss.

Oil a casserole dish large enough to hold the bread in a single layer (I use a 12-inch round terra-cotta dish). Scrape in the bread and onions, and spread them out. Set the chicken on top of the bread and roast for 1 hour.

Set the chicken on a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Scrape the bread out into a big mixing bowl and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Add the cucumbers and tomato, squeeze in the lemon juice, and toss. Check for salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice if you want.

Pile the salad onto a platter. Cut the chicken into quarters and arrange it around the salad. It’s ready to serve.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

CRUSTY OVEN-ROASTED POTATOES

1-1/2 lb baby Yukon Gold or red-skinned new potatoes
1-1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 Tbsp grey salt
1-1/2 tsp fresh thyme or lemon thyme (leaves removed from stems and left whole)
2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut potatoes in half or thirds or quarters -- just make sure they are all approximately the same size. (Leave the skins on.) Place in a nonstick deep roasting pan, and add remaining ingredients. Toss with your hands, and distribute evenly in the pan. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turn the potatoes, and roast for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes develop a nice crust on the cut sides. Serve warm.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bayou Pasta Salad

Ingredients :

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbl lemon juice
1 tbl Greek seasoning
8 oz vermicelli -- cooked
2 oz pimientos -- diced, drained
2 1/4 oz canned ripe olives -- sliced and drained
3 x green onions -- sliced
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast

How to cook :

Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
Add pasta and 4 ingredients, tossing to coat.
Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley and grape tomatoes.
4 servings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mustard Green Peppercorn Sauce

3 shallots, minced
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon green peppercorns (re-hydrate dried green peppercorns in a small amount of warm water for one hour prior to use)
½ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt or to taste

Cook the shallots in the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until they are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add the wine and peppercorns (drained). Cook until mixture reduces by half, about five minutes.

Stir in the cream and mustard; boil until the mixture reduces slightly, just enough to coat a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.”

Green Peppercorn Sauce




1 1/2 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon crushed green peppercorns

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

2 ounces brandy or white wine

Melt 1 1/2 teaspoon butter in sauce pan (or use it to deglaze a pan), add remaining ingredients, and bring to boil being careful not ignite the brandy.

Serve warm.