Chicken Saltimbocca and Farro Salad

August 14th, 2017

Chicken Saltimbocca

I am overrun with herbs.  I’m not complaining.  I just have to make dishes that will take advantage of the fresh bounty.  The sage is doing so well this year.  I immediately thought of Chicken Saltimbocca; that Italian dish made with chicken, Prosciutto and sage.  I found a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis for rolled chicken with prosciutto, spinach and Parmesan and added extra sage.

Herbs

You can see all of my sage to the right of the basil.  The balcony looks a little messy right now.  We have had a week of rain and clean up has been neglected.

Farro Salad

I also made this Giada recipe for Farro Salad using my cherry tomatoes and lots of herbs.  Keeping up with summer produce is a challenge for many with large gardens, but well worth the time.  I am limited to container gardening.

October Beans

We found these beautiful October Beans at a roadside stand the other day.  I couldn’t resist them.

October Beans

They are even beautiful when shelled.  Fresh October Beans cook in about an hour.  I simmered them in water with a slice of bacon, some onions and chopped sage.  I didn’t get a picture of the final product but they do lose their beautiful color, although the creamy goodness makes up for the beige color.

You can find the Chicken Saltimbocca here.  The Farro Salad recipe is here.

We are off next weekend to enjoy a complete Eclipse of the Sun on Monday in Highlands, NC.  The area will be crowded with people coming from all over to enjoy the experience.  Part of our family will be joining us.  We have rented a house and have been advised to bring all of our food because the one grocery store in Highlands will not be able to accommodate the demands.  Will keep you posted.

Pork Carnitas For a Rainy Day

May 25th, 2017

Pork Carnitas

Dinner was from the freezer and pantry tonight.  We have had four days of constant rain that have made me depressed. Pictures tonight are horrible without natural light. Maybe when the sun comes out again I will feel better, but I certainly haven’t been in the mood to cook.  Pork Carinas

The carnitas were in a freezer bag from a previous meal.  The meal was wonderful in spite of coming from the freezer and pantry.  You can find the recipe for the pork carnitas here.  The final run under the broiler makes the carnitas crispy. The recipe for the rice is here. It is basmati rice flavored with cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon.  I opened a can of black beans and flavored them with oil, vinegar and orange zest.

The sun has come out today and I have hopes that my enthusiasm will return.  Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend.

Herbed Brown Rice Stuffing

March 28th, 2017

Herbed Brown Rice

Brown rice has never been a favorite in our house.  But its nutritional value is so much better than white rice.  I was going through my stash of ancient Gourmet Magazines the other day and found this recipe for Herbed Brown Rice Stuffing to accompany a roasted chicken.  We had just gotten home from our 6 weeks in Florida and cooking was not high on my “to do” list. I put the rice on to cook (It takes 40 minutes), headed for the grocery store for a rotisserie chicken and finished the additions to the rice when I got home.

Herbed Brown Rice Casserole

The boring brown rice was transformed with the addition of roasted red peppers, chopped vegetables, bacon, tomato paste, parsley and chicken broth.  Plus, we had enough to go with our pork chops for the next night.

New York 2

I lost a friend last month.  So many memories.  We went on a girls’ trip to New York City a few years ago and posed for this picture in the “Friends” fountain in Central Park.  Karen (center), you will live on in our hearts always.

HERBED BROWN-RICE STUFFING ( Gourmet Magazine May 1992 )

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 rib of celery, chopped fine
1 small green pepper, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
7 ounce jar roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and puréed in a food processor
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion greens
4 cups cooked brown rice

In a heavy saucepan cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp and transfer it with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.  In the fat remaining in the pan cook the onion, the celery, the bell pepper, and the garlic over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, add the red pepper purée, the tomato paste, and the broth, and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until it is thickened.  In a bowl stir together the vegetable mixture, the bacon, the parsley, the scallion, the rice, and salt and pepper to taste, transfer the stuffing to a baking dish, and heat it in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until it is hot.  Serves 4 to 6.

Printable Recipe

Gingerbread Love

December 20th, 2016

Grove Park Inn

The place to be at Christmastime if you love Gingerbread houses is the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.  It began with a few gingerbread houses built by members of the community in 1992.  No one had any idea that two decades later the Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition would be one of the nation’s most celebrated and competitive holiday events.  The event has attracted the highest quality of competition and the best judges in the United States.

Grove Park Inn Fireplace

The Grove Park Inn is the perfect venue for displaying the Gingerbread houses.  With fires burning in its many fireplaces and immense Christmas trees everywhere, the setting is something right out of a Victorian masterpiece.  Christmas magic is in the air.

Gingerbread Winner

The winner, from Innisfil, Ontario Canada, created her “Dream House”.  The gingerbread castle features Gothic spires and arches – an inspired sugar-filled creation.  The details were amazing.

Gingerbread Winner

Another view of the detailed work.

Gingerbread Dolls

3rd Place went to a local Asheville resident whose gingerbread sculpture “The Bakers”, featured two gingerbread cookies baking gingerbread.

Gingerbread Carnival

Of the top ten winners, this was one of my favorites because of its unique colors and whimsical theme.

Gingerbread Farm

I also loved the detail on this entry.  There were so many beautiful gingerbread houses.  I have not made a gingerbread house before, but this competition has inspired me.  What I have made is a delicious gingerbread cake.

Ginger-Cake-1

I have blogged about this before, but it is perfect for Christmas and full of freshly ground spices and fresh ginger.  The recipe comes from Ruth Reichl and was featured in her novel Delicious!  I think that you will agree that this is just what you need for dessert during the holidays.  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May the holidays bring you joy and peace.

BILLIE’S GINGERBREAD ( From Delicious! by Ruth Reichl )

CAKE:
Whole black peppercorns
Whole cloves
Whole cardamom
1 cinnamon stick (I used 2)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large pieces fresh ginger root (1/4 cup, tightly packed, when finely grated)
Zest from 2 to 3 oranges (1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 6 cup Bundt pan.

Grind your peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom (individually) and measure out 1/4 teaspoon of each (You can use pre-ground spices, but the cake won’t taste as good.)  Grind your cinnamon stick and measure out 1 teaspoon (Again, you can use ground cinnamon if you must.)

Whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a small bowl.

In another small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk into the sour cream.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until the mixture is light, fluffy, and almost white.  This should take about 3 minutes.

Grate the ginger root-this is a lot of ginger-and the orange zest.  Add them to the butter/sugar mixture.

Beat the flour mixture and the egg mixture, alternating between the two, into the butter until each addition is incorporated.  The batter should be as luxurious as mousse.

Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until cake is golden and a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Remove to a rack and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

SOAK:
1/2 cup bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

While the cake cools in its pan, simmer the bourbon and the sugar in a small pot for about 4 minutes.  It should reduce to about 1/3 cup.

While the cake is still in the pan, brush half the bourbon mixture onto its exposed surface (the bottom of the cake) with a pastry brush.  Let the syrup soak in for a few minutes, then turn the cake out onto a rack (I used a serving plate).

Gently brush the remaining mixture all over the cake.

GLAZE
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted or put through a strainer
5 teaspoons orange juice

Once the cake is cooled, mix the sugar with the orange juice and either drizzle the glaze randomly over the cake or put it in to a squeeze bottle and do a controlled drizzle.

Printable Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving

November 22nd, 2016

Christmas Tablescape

It is the beginning of the holiday season and we are thankful to be able to share this time with family and friends.  We are especially thankful for our home after the scare of forest fires.  I set a holiday table that combines both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It has a woodland theme in celebration of our beautiful North Carolina mountains.

Cheddar, Bacon and Chive Biscuits

We will be having an unusual Thanksgiving dinner with family this year.  Everyone loves Jeff’s Ribs so there will be no turkey on our table.  I was asked to bring the bread component to the meal.  Biscuits go well with ribs so I did a riff on the basic biscuit.  I made these Cheddar, Bacon and Chive Biscuits that I found on Epicurious.  I made them small because there will be lots of dishes on the table and huge biscuits may be more than everyone can handle.

Cheddar, Bacon and Chive Biscuits

I wish all of you a bountiful Thanksgiving and hope the holiday season brings you joy and fellowship.

CHEDDAR, BACON AND CHIVE BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS

    • 6 thick-cut bacon slices
    • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing
    • 2 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
    • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
    • 1 3/4 cups chilled buttermilk
    • Honey (optional)

PREPARATION

    1. Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop coarsely.
    2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and chopped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).
    3. Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.
    4. Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve biscuits warm or at room temperature with honey, if desired.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.