Sunday, September 25, 2022

SIMPLE NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER

This recipe will ensure your clams will not feel like little erasers in your mouth.  Adding canned chopped and whole baby clams makes this recipe easy and less expensive.  My husband said it reminds him of the clam chowder at the Brotherhood in Nantucket.

You can leave out the bacon and use just a teaspoon of oil to cook the onion.


3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium size russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 (6.5-oz) cans chopped clams
2 t sea salt
2 t finely ground black pepper
2 (10-oz) cans whole baby clams
2 cups half-&-half or whole milk
3 T unsalted butter
3 T instant mashed potato flakes
Paprika, for garnish

In a 2 qt saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl; discard most of the grease.
In the same pot, slowly cook the chopped onion over low heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring up the brown particles from the bottom of the pot.  
Transfer onions to a large bowl, with a cover and set aside.
In the same pot add the potatoes and cover with cold water to about 1-inch.
Slowly simmer for about 5 minutes.
Drain potatoes in a colander and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Add the cooled potatoes to the bowl with the onions.
Add the 2 cans of chopped clams, to the bowl, along with the clam broth, salt, and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate, to infuse the flavors, for 1 to 3 hours.
You can do this in the afternoon and finish it in the evening.

Pour the clam mixture back into the same pot along with the juice of the whole baby clams.  Reserving the whole clams.
Slowly simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the whole clams and half-&-half or milk.
Slowly simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the butter and instant mashed potato flakes.
Cover and let sit a couple of minutes.
Ladle into soup bowls or large mugs, add a few bacon bits, and serve with oyster crackers.

Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a first course.












Sunday, July 31, 2022

SHREDDED BEEF ENCHILADAS

My husband says these enchiladas are as good as the ones we had at our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant.
If your flour tortillas are too big to fit perfectly in your baking dish, fold them in half and cut them, in a circular pattern, to fit.



1 T avocado or your favorite oil
1 to 1½ lb top round steak
1 T Southwest or Mexican seasoning
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 cup beef broth or stock
1(10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 package of 8 flour tortillas

1½ cups sharp shredded cheese
1½ cups Mexican-style shredded cheese
2 scallions, finely sliced, for garnish
Cilantro, finely chopped, for garnish
Sour cream, for serving

Serve with:
Lime wedges, if desired
Black beans with a topping of pumpkin seeds, if desired

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Add oil to a large cast iron skillet.
Brown meat over medium heat on both sides.
Sprinkle with SW or Mex seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Flip meat over and pour in the beef broth and can of enchilada sauce.

Cover with a lid and place in center of oven and bake for 3 hours.

Remove from oven and with tongs or a large spatula, transfer meat to a large plate.
When cool enough to handle, shred meat, discarding fat.

While meat is cooling, bring sauce in skillet to a simmer.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Pour shredded cheeses into a large bowl and mix to combine.

Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Add a couple of ladles of sauce to a baking dish.  
Add some of the shredded beef to the tortilla and top with some of the cheese.  
Roll up tightly and place in the baking dish, seem side down.
Continue to all have been place in baking dish.
Add a few ladles of the enchilada sauce from the skillet and top with the rest of the cheese.

Loosely cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking oil.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is blubbling and slightly golden brown.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle with chopped scallions, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

Makes 6 to 8



Saturday, June 11, 2022

SLIDER BUNS WITH HAM, CHEESE, & POPPY SEED SAUCE

Country rolls or slider rolls with ham and cheese are a traditional brunch entree in the South. They are heated in the oven in a baking pan or dish covered with aluminum foil. Set up your sideboard with good silver, china, crystal, and flowers. Add some scrambled eggs, a fruit salad, Mimosas or Bloody Marys. This is southern hospitality at its best.



24 slider buns
Thinly sliced milder Country Virginia ham or honey ham
12 slices Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

Poppy Seed Sauce
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 T honey
2 T Dijon or spicy brown mustard
2 T finely minced onion
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 t garlic powder
¼ cup poppy seeds 

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, honey, mustard, onion, Worcestershire, garlic powder, and poppy seeds.
Set aside.

Open up the slider buns and spread tops and bottoms with some of the Poppy Seed Sauce.

Place the bottom halves in a large baking dish or casserole dish.

Divide the ham evenly between the bottoms.
Tear the Swiss cheese into a couple of pieces to fit onto each bottom.

Add the tops of the buns.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.


 

INDIAN BUTTER CHICKEN

Here is another one of our favorite Asian dishes. This dish comes from India and you can make it with lamb if you prefer. Somehow all of those curry spices make your stomach feel good. 



Spice Mixture
1 T garam masala
1 t hot chile powder
1 t ground turmeric
1 t paprika
½ t ground coriander
½ t ground cumin
½ t sea salt
½ t hot pepper flakes (optional)

In a small bowl, add the above spices, stir to combine, and set aside.

2 large chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 T avocado or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 T tomato paste
2 t grated fresh ginger
1 cup chicken stock or broth
4 T unsalted butter
1 cup half-and-half or Greek yogurt
2 T finely chopped cilantro leaves

In a large cast-iron skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high  heat. 
Cook the onion until soft and translucent. 
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the chopped chicken and cook another 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, Spice Mixture, ginger.
Stir until combined then add the chicken broth.  
Cook for 5-6 minutes until cooked through.
Add the butter and half-and-half or yogurt and stir in.  
Simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over Basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.

Serves 4 

Friday, June 10, 2022

THE BELMONT RUBY

The Belmont Stakes is held every June. It is the final race of the Triple Crown, held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. I'm not fond of watching the horses races, but I like to know who won and that no horse was injured. I saw the recipe for the latest official drink of the Belmont, named Belmont Jewel, but I like my version better. It is not made with bottled lemonade; it's made with fresh squeezed lemon juice (or pure organic lemon juice in a jar), a few dashes of lemon bitters, and contains a lot less sugar.  Come on, Rich Strike!


Here is a little trivia about the three races:

The name "furlong" dates back to early Anglo-Saxon times, it originally referred to the length of the furrow in one acre of ploughed (plowed USA) open field.

Kentucky Derby: 1 1/4 miles = 10 furlongs

The Preakness Stakes: 1 3/16 miles = 9 1/2 furlongs
The Belmont Stakes: 1 1/2 miles = 12 furlongs

One furlong = 1/8 mile



¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice or pure organic lemon juice, room temperature
1 T cane sugar or granulated sugar (you can also use Stevia Extract)
½ cup pomegranate juice
4 dashes lemon bitters or unflavored bitters
1 cup Maker’s Mark bourbon or your favorite bourbon

In a pitcher, stir together the lemon juice with the sugar, until sugar is dissolved.
Add the pomegranate juice, bitters, and bourbon.
Fill four glasses ¾ full with pounded or crushed ice.
Divide mixture between the four glasses.
Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Makes 4 drinks


Monday, June 6, 2022

GRILLED CHICKEN & CHEESE QUESADILLAS

This is one of my go-to meals in the summer. I like to grill the chicken on the barbecue grill. I like to cook the quesadillas in a grill pan on the stove or a large cast-iron skillet, where I have much more control of the cheese and golden browning of the tortillas. Serve with Pico de Gallo or Salsa Fresca.





Pico de Gallo
3 cups finely diced tomatoes
¼ cup finely diced red onion
2 scallions, finely diced
½ cup finely diced cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno chile, seeds removed and minced
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 small lime
Sea salt, to taste

Mix all together, cover and store at room temperature 1 to 2 hours before serving

2 boneless chicken breast halves
2 T Southwest or Mexican Seasoning
1 T avocado oil
2 T Tequila or white wine

Place chicken in a shallow dish and season with above ingredients.  
Cover and refrigerate for at 2 to 4 hours.

4 flour tortillas
Avocado oil, for cooking
4 oz Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, thinly sliced or grated 
4 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced or grated
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Place cheeses and cilantro in a medium bowl and toss to combine.

Grill chicken directly over coals for 3 minutes.  
Flip the chicken over and grill another 3 minutes
Push to cooler side of grill and grill another 3 to 4 minutes on each side.  
Remove from grill and place on a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Brush one side of 2 tortillas with avocado oil and place on a cookie sheet, oil side down.

Divide half of the cheese mixture evenly between the 2 tortillas.
Evenly distribute the chicken on top of the cheese.
Add the rest of the cheese mixture and top with the rest of the tortillas.
Brush tops of tortillas with the oil. 

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and using a large spatula, add one quesadilla to the pan and brown.  
Gently press down on the tortilla to stick everything together, and then carefully flip over and cook on the other side, until you can see that the cheese is melting.

Keep quesadilla warm in a 225 degree F oven while cooking the other quesadilla.
Transfer each to a cutting board and cut into 4 wedges.

Serves 2 to 4

KEY LIME SQUARES

I have previously posted my recipe for Key Lime Pie.  These squares are even easier to make and they are smaller.  This recipe makes 9 squares or bars.  If you cannot find fresh Key Limes in your grocery store, look for Key lime juice in a bottle.  I have used Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice.



Graham Cracker Crust
½ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 T granulated sugar
6 T unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of sea salt

Spray bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Crush graham crackers in a zip lock plastic bag to make 1 ½ cups.
Pour into a bowl, add the sugar, melted butter, and salt and stir until combined.
Evenly press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan.

Place in the refrigerator to set up for 15 minutes, while oven preheats.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove pan from refrigerator and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool while making the filling.

Filling
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh squeezed or bottled Key lime juice 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, beat the egg yolks at high speed until very fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Lower speed and add the cream cheese and beat at high speed another 3 minutes.
Lower speed and gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat at high speed until thick, about 3 more minutes.
Lower the speed and slowly add the Key lime juice and mix another few seconds.
Evenly pour onto the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely then place in refrigerator until completely cold, about 1 hour.

Whipped Cream
1 cup very cold heavy whipping cream
3 T confectioners’ sugar
½ t pure vanilla extract
1 t grated lime zest (Persian limes are fine)

Whip cream until soft peaks are formed.
Add sugar and whip another minute.
Add vanilla and whip a few more seconds.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Loosen sides of pan with a table knife.
Cut into 9 squares and carefully transfer to dessert plates.
Spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top of each square and sprinkle tops with a little lime zest.

Makes 9 squares