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














Saturday, November 21, 2015

ROASTED SALMON WITH WILD RICE SALAD & GREENS

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




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN DINNER WITH PAN GRAVY

Roast chicken is a delicious Sunday family meal. Knowing how to roast a perfect chicken is easy if you follow these instructions. Stuffing the bird with herbs and lemon adds flavor to the pan gravy. Placing the chicken on a 'rack' of sliced onions also adds flavor to the gravy. All you need is a green vegetable or salad for this complete meal.



1 (4 to 4 ½ lb) organic, free-range roasting chicken, if possible
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper                  
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided                                
2 sprigs fresh thyme, divided                        
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemon, cut in half
2 onions, thickly cut into rounds
2 T melted butter

Vegetables
2 large carrots, cut into chunks                                   
2 bulbs fennel, fronds removed, cut into chunks     
2 medium onions, cut into chunks                            
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks                     
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
Extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil
1 t garlic powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Dry chicken with paper towels. No need to rinse chicken - this contaminates your sink.
Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
Add one sprig of rosemary and thyme to the cavity.
Cut the lemon into halves and add to the cavity along with the garlic.
Tuck the wings under the chicken and tie the legs together with cotton kitchen twine.
Layer the onion slices in the middle of a large cast-iron skillet or heavy roasting pan.
Place the chicken on top of the onions and brush the outside with the melted butter.
Generously season the outside with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. 
Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F and roast another hour, or until the chicken is a deep golden brown. 
The temperature in the thickest part of the thigh should read 175 degrees F with an instant read thermometer.

While chicken is roasting, place the vegetables in a heavy roasting pan or cast-iron skillet.
Remove the leaves from the second sprig of rosemary and thyme and sprinkle over vegetables.
Drizzle vegetables with oil and garlic powder.
Season to taste with salt, and pepper. 
Stir, to combine.
Place vegetables in oven after chicken has been roasting one hour.
Roast vegetables for 45 minutes. They will be done when the chicken is ready for carving.

Pan Gravy
2 T all-purpose flour
½ cup Madeira or white wine            
1 cup chicken broth or stock                                      
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
                                                           
When chicken is finished roasting, carefully tilt chicken to let juices run out of cavity into the skillet.
Place chicken on a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes, covered loosely with aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, place skillet on top of stove over medium-high heat. 
Add flour and stir for a couple of minutes. 
Add chicken broth, wine, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Boil for a couple minutes while whisking. 
Carve chicken into chunks and place on a platter with vegetables. 

Strain gravy into a gravy boat and pour some over chicken.