Saturday, December 26, 2015

CHRISTMAS ON THE ISLAND - WITH A LITTLE SNOW!


Victorian table Christmas tree in my sun room, which is now a 'snow room'.


Country Christmas tree cut from our property.


My little Christmas kitchen tree.


Christmas Eve with our daughter



Christmas Eve with my husband

Sunday, December 13, 2015

FOUR CHEESE SWISS FONDUE

Fondue is a Swiss, Italian, and French dish of melted cheese in wine. It is made and served in a caquelon or fondue pot. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish in the 1930s.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
Gruyère is a hard yellow whole cow's milk cheese named after the French area of Switzerland known as Gruyères. 
Swiss Emmentaler another whole cow's milk cheese and is made in Emmental, Switzerland. 
Appenzeller, is the top of the line, and is also a whole cow's milk fruity cheese, also made in Switzerland. A good substitute for Appenzeller, if you cannot find it, is Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese..
Gouda is named after the Dutch city of Gouda and is one of the oldest cheeses that is still made today.
Kirsch is a colorless, dry brandy. It is made from the fermented juice of black morello cherries.
Fontina is an Alpine cheese originating in Italy.




1 large clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
6 oz  Swiss Gruyère cheese
6 oz Swiss Emmentaler cheese
6 oz Swiss Appenzeller cheese or Jarlsberg cheese
6 oz Dutch Gouda cheese
1 ½ cups dry white wine
2 T cornstarch
1 T fresh lemon juice
3 T kirsch brandy
¼ t nutmeg 
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt

Rub fondue pot with garlic clove and discard.
Grate the cheese with a box grater into a large bowl and set aside.
Add the wine to the fondue pot and heat until it starts to bubble.
Add the cornstarch and whisk to smooth out any lumps.
Slowly add the grated cheese, a handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the cheese is melted and mixture is creamy and smooth.
This will take about 15 minutes.

Add lemon juice, brandy, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt.
Stir for another minute.

Serve with chunks of crusty bread and sliced apples.

Serves 4

Sunday, December 6, 2015

MEATLOAF WITH BOURBON-MAPLE GLAZE

Almost everyone loves a good meatloaf, especially one with a bourbon and maple glaze.Make the glaze first and then set it aside while preparing the meatloaf. If the meatloaf cracks a little during baking, fill in the cracks with a little more glaze before slicing. 



Glaze
¾ cup ketchup
¼ cup chili sauce
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup Kentucky bourbon
2 T dry mustard
1 t hot sauce

Place the above ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to combine.
Heat to a low boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until it thickens.
Set aside.

Meatloaf
1 T extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs lean ground beef
¾ cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 T dry mustard
½ cup chili sauce
½ cup ketchup
2 T Worcestershire sauce
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 t dried thyme
1 t sea salt
½ t finely ground black pepper

6 slices thin bacon, cut in half

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. 
Add the onion and celery and sauté over very low heat for 10 minutes. 
Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. 
Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add the ground beef, bread crumbs, mustard, chili sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, Parmigiano, beaten eggs, thyme, Seasoning salt, and pepper.
Mix all ingredients together gently by hands.
Form and pat into a firm loaf shape on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan.

Spoon some of the glaze on top of the meatloaf. 
Arrange cut pieces of bacon on top and brush with a little more glaze, saving the rest for later.

Bake for 30 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.


Brush with the rest of the glaze and bake another 40 minutes or until the center registers 160 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer.

Let meatloaf rest on a platter for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4 

Friday, November 27, 2015

OLD-FASHIONED DRESSING

I stopped stuffing the turkey several years ago because in order to get the stuffing to 165 degrees F, the breast tends to be overdone and dry, even with brining. The turkey cooks much faster when it is unstuffed and you don't have to worry about removing the stuffing from the bird within a hour. My husband cuts the turkey up and puts it all on a platter. Any parts we don't use, the dogs love!



1 rustic loaf of country sourdough or white bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 t grape seed oil 
1 lb sage sausage, crumbled
6 T unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery with tops, diced
1 T fresh thyme leaves
2 T minced fresh sage leaves
1 t poultry seasoning
3 cups chicken stock or broth, divided
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
                                               
Place bread cubes on two large baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.    
This can be done a few days ahead and when cool, place in an airtight container.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to another bowl and set aside.
Pour off most of the grease.
In the same large skillet, melt the butter and add the onions and celery and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. 

Add the thyme, sage, and poultry seasoning.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and sauté a minute more.
Add the sausage back to the skillet, along with ½ cup of chicken stock and stir to combine. 

In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes with the dressing ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs with the remaining 2 ½ cups of the stock.
Pour into the bread ingredients and mix to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a large greased baking dish, such as a large oval gratin dish or lasagna pan.
Bake in the 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Fluff with a fork before serving and serve hot.


Monday, November 23, 2015

SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE, DRIED CRANBERRIES & SPICED CANDY PECANS


If you love blue cheese in a salad but don't always want the creamy dressing, this salad is for you!


Mixed salad greens, torn into bite size pieces
½ cup dried cranberries
8 to 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Raspberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
½ cup Candied Pecans
½ cup coarsely crumbled blue cheese

Place greens in a salad bowl and add the cranberries and tomatoes.
Pour some of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Add the pecans and blue cheese, and gently toss again.
Evenly divide among 4 salad plates. 

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 clove garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1 T Dijon mustard
6 T raspberry vinegar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour all of the above ingredients into a jar fitted with a tight lid and shake vigorously.
This is enough vinaigrette for 10 to 12 salads. 
Store the unused vinaigrette in the refrigerator.

Serves 4