December 6th, 2019
November 19th, 2019
And so it begins. I have to admit that I got a head start on the holidays by putting up the tree and decorating right before Thanksgiving. Since we have to put everything away by December 29th to make the trek to Florida, it seemed like the right thing to do to get the most joy out of the season. This Scalloped Potato Recipe is another reason for joy. It is easy to assemble and a perfect dish to make ahead of time and reheat. Because it is just the two of us before the holidays get underway, I halved the recipe for this photo-op. But as a full recipe, it would go so well with Christmas celebrations with friends to accompany most anything from Roasted Rib Eye, Crown Roast of Pork, Baked Ham or Leg of Lamb.
The combination of Gruyere Cheese and a thick white sauce make the potatoes luscious.
There will be more Christmas recipes in the next few weeks. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
CREAMY GRAVY SCALLOPED POTATOES
- 3 pounds Potatoes , peeled and sliced thin
- 1/4 cup Butter , plus extra for buttering baking dish
- 3 cloves Garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 1 cup Chicken Stock or Beef or Vegetable Stock
- 2 cups Milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt , or to taste
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper , to taste
- 2 cups shredded Cheese , divided
- Optional – chopped Italian Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 9”x13” baking dish. Set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and then add the garlic. Cook until softened, about 1 minute.
Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for about 20 seconds. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock until well combined. Whisk in the milk and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring regularly until it comes to a gentle boil and slightly thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Layer 1/2 of the potatoes in the prepared baking dish, making sure to separate slices. Top with half of the gravy. Layer about 1/2 of the cheese over the potatoes.
Top with the remaining potatoes (making sure to separate slices). Top with remaining gravy and cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, the remove foil and bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes or until top is golden and potatoes are cooked through. If desired, top with chopped parsley and serve warm.
November 10th, 2019
Family traditions play a big part in most get togethers over the Thanksgiving holiday. The same dishes are served year after year. I remember that no one could make better dressing than my Mother. It was a classic bread dressing with basic ingredients and loved by all. I blogged about it here. But this year I am sharing a recipe that is not one of my family’s traditions. Rather, it comes from Cory Baldwin; a food writer and contributor to the Food52 website. This Angel Corn Casserole is a part of her family heritage, passed down from her Grandmother. It is indeed delicious and worthy of the holiday.
I tried to research the term “angel” in describing this dish, but found no explanation. I am going to assume that family members thought that the taste was heavenly. That is not hard to believe after tasting it. The corn is combined with crushed Ritz crackers, heavy cream, eggs, brown sugar, butter and nutmeg.
I plan to make this again for our Thanksgiving with the extended family. It calls for frozen corn kernels. I have decided to use a different frozen corn this time. I am going to look for small white shoe peg corn. Since we are traveling, I appreciate that the Angel Corn Casserole can be made ahead. Hopefully, it will become a part of our family traditions also. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
ANGEL CORN CASSEROLE ( From Cory Baldwin via Food52 )
- 2 (16-ounce) bags frozen corn (or about 4 1/2 to 5 cups fresh corn kernels)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, plus more for optional garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup plus a heaping 1/3 cup crumbled Ritz crackers, divided
- Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large 9×13-inch casserole dish.
- If using frozen corn, steam and drain the kernels. If using fresh, scrape kernels off the cob.
- Beat the eggs, cream, and brown sugar in a large bowl until just blended. Stir in chives and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in corn kernels.
- Combine 1 cup of the crumbled Ritz crackers with 6 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add to the corn mixture. Stir until combined. Pour into the casserole dish.
- Toss remaining cracker crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over the top of the pudding.
- Bake uncovered until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch, about 45 minutes.
- Optional: Garnish with more snipped fresh chives.
October 23rd, 2019
Soup is always on my mind when the cold winds blow. We are expecting the first below freezing temperatures tonight. To complicate our lives, our heating system is not working. We are managing to keep warm with our gas fireplace and may even light a wood fire in out kitchen fireplace. David is now down in the furnace room with the new parts. Hopefully we will have heat again soon. But soup restores all discomfort and warms the soul. This goulash soup was adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen. David is still avoiding carbs so this combination of Ground Beef, Cabbage and Roasted Red Peppers fits perfectly into a Keto diet.
The changes I made to the recipe were to increase the ground beef and cabbage. I doubled the cabbage from two cups to four cups. I increased the ground beef from 1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds.
We enjoyed the warming goodness of this soups flavored with paprika, beef stock and tomatoes. The cornbread is a side dish that I enjoyed alone. It is Rosa’s Cornbread which is very rich and indulged in only in small slices.
GOULASH SOUP WITH RED PEPPERS AND CABBAGE (Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 tsp. finely minced garlic
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 T sweet Hungarian Paprika
- 1 T hot Hungarian Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. crushed caraway seed (optional)
- 4 cups homemade beef stock (or 3 cans, 14 oz. each)
- 3 cups roasted tomatoes or 2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 4 cups finely diced cabbage
- 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (ground chuck is best)
- 1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, diced into 1 inch pieces
- Heat large heavy frying pan, add oil, and saute onions about 5 minutes, until barely starting to color. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more, then add paprika (and caraway if using) and saute 1 minute more.
- Put onion/spice mixture into large soup pot. Deglaze pan with 1 cup of beef stock, then add that and rest of beef stock to soup pot. Add roasted tomatoes or canned tomatoes, cabbage and 2 cups water to soup pot and start to simmer.
- Brown ground beef in frying pan until quite brown, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. When browned add to soup pot. Let simmer on very low heat one hour. (Taste for seasoning and add more paprika if desired.
- After one hour, add diced red peppers and simmer about one hour more. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream. This freezes very well.
October 3rd, 2019
The end of summer is bittersweet. Warm days of sitting on the dock overlooking sparkling waters have been replaced by glowing russet leaves reflected in quieter waters. The Farmers’ Markets are reflecting the change of seasons with hard squashes, apples and pumpkins. But at many farm stands you can still find the last of the summer tomatoes, both red and yellow. I snatched up a few to give summer its due. I celebrated them in a small pastry galette sprinkled with the last of my basil.
This is such an easy preparation especially if you use a store bought pie crust. The recipe came from Country Living Magazine. We are preparing for cooler weather. Our weekend plans include a trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the fall colors.
FALL TOMATO GALETTE
1 1/4 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 refrigerated rolled piecrust from a (14.1-ounce) package
2 oz. sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 tbsp. fresh basil or thyme, plus more for serving
1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Arrange tomatoes on paper towels and lightly sprinkle with salt; let sit 10 minutes. Blot with paper towels.
- Roll piecrust to a 12-inch circle on a piece of parchment paper. Slide paper and crust onto a baking sheet. Top with cheese and basil, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border all around. Season with pepper.
- Arrange tomatoes on top of cheese. Fold border of crust over tomatoes. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water in a bowl; brush on top of crust. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with additional basil or thyme.
Nonnettes are tender little muffins originating in Dijon, France. What sets them apart is the warm spice (pain d’epices) which is a blend including cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and coriander. It is easy to make and I will include the recipe at the bottom of this post.
In addition to the spices, the Nonnettes have a filling of orange marmalade, orange zest and Grand Marnier. They are perfect for the Fall weather to come. It is still summer on Lake Lure even in these early days of October.
I made these Nonnettes a few months ago and photographed them. The leftovers were frozen. I forgot to add the drizzle to them before I froze them. The muffins above came from the freezer. I added the glaze and enjoyed them just as much as when they were freshly made.
ORANGE MUFFINS (NONNETTES) WITH GRAND MARNIER (Adapted from The French Life)
3/4 Cup Water
7 Tbls Butter
3/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbls Pain d’épices spices
2 Tbls Grand Marnier
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup All-Purpose-Flour
1 Tbls Baking Powder
Zest of 1 Orange
6 tsps. Orange Marmalade
3 Tbls Orange Juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup Confectioners’ Sugar
Heat water, butter, honey and sugar, just until butter is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices and Grand Marnier. In a large bowl whisk the flours and baking powder. Add the orange zest and stir to combine. Pour in the syrup (it should still be fairly hot). Stir until combined. Flour and butter a 12-hole muffin tin. Divide the batter over the holes. Chill for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a teaspoon, make a little well in the center of the batter and fill with half a tsp of marmalade. Bake the nonnettes for 20 minutes. The nonnettes should be tender and spring back when pressed. Allow to cool completely before unmolding. Place the nonnettes on a rack, making sure there is a sheet of tin foil underneath it. Make a thin glaze by whisking the orange juice into the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the nonnettes and leave to set.
Pain d’épices Spices:
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
4 whole star anise ground
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp coriander
Use 1 tablespoon of this mixture in the muffins and save the rest.