Friday, November 27, 2015


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


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

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Sockeye salmon is a species of salmon found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and rivers. The color is very red compared to the Coho salmon. In this recipe, you can use Coho, Sockeye, or when in season, Chinook (also called King Salmon). Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, B6, D, niacin, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

1 12-oz wild sockeye salmon fillet, skin left on
2 T seafood grilling spices
1 T extra-light olive oil

Wild Rice Salad
¾ cup raw wild rice
½ cup green lentils
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
¾ cup walnuts, chopped and divided
½ cup dried cherries
Grated rind of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
4 scallions, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad Greens
Enough mixed salad greens, for 2 servings
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon slices, for garnish

Drizzle olive oil over salmon fillet and sprinkle with grilling spices.
Cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water.
Rinse lentils in a strainer under cold water and set aside.

Place rice in a medium saucepan and add the chicken stock and water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer 15 minutes.
Add lentils and simmer another 15 to 18 minutes, stirring often.

Pour off any remaining liquid and pour into a large bowl.
Add most of the walnuts. Save the rest for garnish on top of the salmon
Add the cherries, orange zest, orange juice, scallions, mint, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Set aside while roasting the salmon.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove salmon from refrigerator and set aside while oven is preheating.

Place salad greens in a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide salad between two plates, add some of the wild rice medley over the salad.
Place salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet.
Roast salmon for 10 to 12 minutes.
Cut salmon in half and remove from baking sheet with a spatula (the skin will remain on the baking sheet) and place on top of the rice salad and greens on each plate.
Top the salmon with a few chopped walnuts and a couple of lemon slices.

Serves 2


Beef stroganoff is a quick and easy meal to make, even on a weeknight. This recipe serves four but if there is just the two of you, cook half of the noodles and freeze half of the sauce for another night. You can substitute red wine for the Cognac or brandy. 

Lee Kitchen Tips:
Cognac is a type of brandy that is made in an area of France called Cognac. It is a spirit that is distilled from wine and aged in oak barrels for a minimum period of two years. . .all Cognac is brandy but not all brandy is Cognac.

2 lbs boneless sirloin, striploin or chuck eye roast, well trimmed
2 T extra-light olive oil, divided

2 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 onions, cut in half and sliced
2 T unsalted butter
¼ cup Cognac or brandy
1 ½ cups beef broth
2 t dry English mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of saffron (optional)
2 T tomato paste
2 t paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 T chopped tarragon

12 oz package wide egg noodles

Place meat in freezer for one hour to make it easier to thinly slice.
Cut meat into thin bite-size thin strips.  
Heat oil in a large skillet fitted with a lid.
Working in two batches, add meat and brown.
Set meat aside.
Add mushrooms and cook until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. 
Add butter and sauté onion for another 5 minutes.
Add Cognac or brandy and then broth.
Simmer until liquid thickens, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in dry mustard, Worcestershire, saffron, tomato paste, paprika, and meat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Stir in sour cream and tarragon and heat through.

Serve over hot buttered egg noodles.

Serves 4