all sorts of recipes, from me to you

all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Friday, September 30, 2011

Smoky Beef and Hominy Stew





I remember Mom serving hominy occasionally in a stew when I was young.   I haven’t eaten or thought about it since then, until I saw it included in a recipe in Family Circle magazine.  I showed Bill the recipe and asked if he liked hominy ~ he didn’t really know anything about it but said he was willing to try it if I cooked it.

If you’re not familiar with hominy either, it’s dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed.  This is done through a process called nixtamalization, which is a procedure of treating corn kernels with an alkaline solution to remove the hull and the germ. It is said that this process makes hominy more flavorful and aromatic with superior nutrition.

Supposedly, hominy has been used by the Native Americans for a very long time. In fact, the history of hominy has been traced back to 1200 BC. It is said that the process of nixtamalization originated during that period, in some parts of Mexico and Guatemala. Today, hominy is popular throughout the United States, especially in the South.

Hominy is tenderer than corn with a much creamier texture.  Stir it into hearty stews or chili instead of the traditional beans.  I followed the list of ingredients, except for omitting 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and I cooked it in a slow cooker instead of in a Dutch oven on the stovetop. If you haven’t enjoyed hominy before, try this!




Photo:  Huffpost Food
Yellow and white hominy draining



Spicy Beef and Hominy Stew
Adapted slightly

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons flour
1 to 1½ teaspoons chipotle chile powder, depending on taste
1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
2 cans (15-ounces each) hominy, rinsed and drained
1 pound carrots, sliced
1 large green pepper, chopped
4½ cups cooked rice (1½ cups uncooked)

Method:

In a shallow dish, whisk flour and chile powder.
Coat beef with flour mixture; reserve unused flour.
In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add beef and cook, turning, until all sides are browned.
Add all of remaining ingredients, except rice, into slow cooker.
Stir in beef and combine well.
Cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Serve with cooked rice.




Please visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.



Be sure to enter my Tate’s Bake Shop Giveaway if you haven’t already.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Tasty Tate’s Bake Shop Giveaway Just for You!




Cookie lovers rejoice, I have a scrumptious cookie to tell you about!





You may recall that the first Tate’s Bake Shop giveaway on my blog was last December and now I’m honored to say that Denielle from Tate’s Bake Shop just offered me another of their super giveaways for all of you wonderful readers out there!  


Tate's Bake Shop, Southampton, NY

Kathleen King, owner and founder Tate's Bake Shop



Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better - Kathleen King, owner and founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, located in Southampton, NY, created her Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie.  In fact, it is so delicious that it won ~ GOLD ~ in the Cookie category in the 2011 sofi™ Awards, presented at the Fancy Food Show (known as the Oscars® of the specialty food industry) in Washington, DC. 



Yum!  My new fave cookie!  Tate's Bake Shop Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip!



So, I was thrilled when the 3 bags of Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies arrived on my doorstep!  Sophisticated and delicious fits them perfectly!  The cookies are like the original Tate’s Chocolate Chip variety ~ thin and crispy ~ but incorporate whole wheat flour and sinfully rich, dark chocolate chips.  The result is an incredible deep, full-bodied taste packed with healthy whole grain, tempting both healthy cookie aficionados and chocolate lovers also.  These cookies amazed both Bill and I ~ they are exceptionally delicious and you will not believe that something this heavenly can come out of a bag!

Now for the fantastic giveaway - here’s what Kathleen and Tate’s Bake Shop have for you if you are the lucky winner:   3 bags of the Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip cookies and a copy of The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, signed by Kathleen King with the foreword written by Ina Garten of the “Barefoot Contessa” fame.






I love, love The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook!  It’s chock full of tantalizing recipes, such as:  Mocha Pecan Muffins, Pear Crisp, Sweet Potato Pie, Cranberry Crumb Cake, Tres Leches Cake, Multigrain Muffins, Crème de menthe Pie, Persimmon Cookies, Orange and Oat Chewies and Lemon Pound Cake which to Bill’s delight,  I will be baking soon.  Watch my blog for that in the next week or two.


If you want to be the lucky winner of the 3 bags of Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies and The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, here are the contest rules offering you 6 chances to win:


1.       Leave a comment on this post telling me you are a follower of Pam’s Midwest Kitchen Korner through Google Friend Connect (on the side bar of this blog) and tell me what your favorite Halloween costumer was/is



2.      Like Pam’s Midwest Kitchen Korner on Facebook (on sidebar of this blog) and leave me a separate comment telling me you’ve done this.

3.      Follow Pam’s Midwest Kitchen Korner on the Facebook Networked Blogs (on sidebar of this blog) and leave me a separate comment telling me you’ve done so.

4.      Follow Pam’s Midwest Kitchen Korner on Google+ (on sidebar of this blog) and leave me a separate comment telling me you done so.

5.      Like Tate’s Bake Shop on Facebook and leave me a separate comment saying you’ve done this.

6.      Follow Tate’s Bake Shop on Twitter and leave me a separate comment saying you’ve done this.

7.      This giveaway is open only to U. S. residents. 

8.     This Tate’s Bake Shop giveaway for 3 bags of Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies and The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, signed by Kathleen King, is open through midnight CST, Sunday, October 2, 2011.  The winner will be selected by Random.org and announced on Monday, October 3, 2011.



By the way, Tate’s Bake Shop is also happy to offer my readers the opportunity to try their gourmet desserts too, with an exclusive discount coupon worth 15% off at their e-bakery, tatesbakeshop.com (15% off any order).  Please enter the discount code:  COOKIE (good through Oct. 31, 2011).  So---go visit there shortly and see all the goodies you can purchase!  




Thanks so much to Kathleen, Denielle and the crew at Tate’s Bake Shop for this first-rate giveaway!  What a “sweet” thing!


 GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!






Friday, September 23, 2011

Coq au Vin the Slow Way







So when you were a kid and first heard of coq au vin, did you picture a “cocoa van” too?  And then you were told it was just chicken with wine…

Actually, coq au vin translates “rooster in wine.”  The recipe for this dish was first documented in the early 20th century but was created at least 400 years ago to tenderize tough old birds for poor households and in these tough times today ~ this recipe I’m giving you still fills the bill!

Prior until the 20th century, most rural families housed chickens for eggs and meat plus a rooster.  The rooster remained around until he was too old to perform his duties ~ then he would be killed and eaten.  The problem, by this time, was that the meat was barely edible; being tough and stringy.  Thus, this was “poor people’s food” since the well-off could afford better cuts of meat which did not require wine and slow cooking for a tender dish.

Nowadays, chicken is the cut of meat and it’s still stewed in wine.  It’s cooked and served “country-style” with the chicken and vegetables remaining together from beginning to end.  I chose to cook it in my slow cooker to allow the flavors of the dry red wine and tomato paste to meld with the meat and veggies for a hearty dish on a chilly yesterday!




Coq au Vin in the Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups pearl onions, peeled*
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste

Method:

Place chicken in slow cooker that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Season with herbs de Provence, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Add onions, mushrooms and carrots.
Whisk together in a medium bowl the wine, broth and tomato paste.
Pour over chicken and vegetables. 
Cover and cook on high for 5½ hours or on low for 7½ hours.
Serve over egg noodles or with mashed potatoes.
4 servings


ENJOY!



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes. 





Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roasted Veggies with Orzo and Feta






Orzo is a new-comer in my kitchen cabinet and I’m hooked on it; whether it’s in a cold salad or a hot dish.  Orzo is small and rice-shaped ~ it looks like rice but it’s really pasta.  It’s perfect for casseroles like this one!

With fall arriving on the 23rd, our farmer’s markets’ supply of fresh veggies is starting to dwindle and I wanted to squeeze in one more veggie dish using the market’s tender veggies.  We all know that local food tastes better and purchasing from farmer’s markets supports our farmers in the area and contributes to the community.  It’s just sad to me in that the season is so very short here!

Most of us like roasted veggies for the bold deep flavors the roasting brings out.  This mixture consists of asparagus, bell peppers, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and grape tomatoes roasted with orzo, feta cheese and pine nuts.   Browning the orzo and pine nuts first, gives them a nutty toasted flavor that’s a great match with the veggies.  I hope you give this a try!



Baked!



Roasted Veggies with Orzo and Feta

Ingredients:

1 zucchini
1 pound asparagus
1 pound mushrooms
2 large bell peppers, red and yellow
8 green onions, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 cup orzo
1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice first 5 veggies into bite-size pieces.
Place into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray along with tomatoes and garlic. 
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss well.
Roast 30-40 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add orzo and sauté until lightly browned.
Pour broth over orzo and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the orzo absorbs the broth.
Add orzo to roasted veggies and mix thoroughly.
Season with additional salt or pepper, if needed.
Top with feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Cover with foil.
Bake 30 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 6-8

This is veggie love for sure!



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes. 






Monday, September 19, 2011

Garlic Dill Pickles





Grandma used to can and Mom did also, to a lesser degree ~ they were stocking their farm cellars for winter.  Grandma’s cellar was filled with shelf after shelf of beautifully colored Mason jars filled with all sorts of fruits and veggies.  Mom even canned beef from our own cattle after they were slaughtered, which to me was excellent; especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas when she made Mincemeat Pie. 

I just never got into canning and it’s still a mystery to me.  I always figured I would poison people if I tried it so I have no interest in canning anything.   Then, when I came across recipes for pickles that require no canning, I knew they were meant for me.  There are countless recipes for refrigerator pickles with some heating the brine, some with more salt, more sugar, more garlic and more dill weed than this recipe contains.  So you can customize this recipe to your liking. 

These 2 jars won’t get us through the winter, but they’re perfect to enjoy right now.  They’re crisp and crunchy with just the right tang.  I cut the cucumbers, make the spicy brine to pour over them, refrigerate and wait.  They do get better; tangier as they age.  This is almost as easy as going to the grocery store and picking up a jar off the shelf!



Garlic Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

20 small pickling cucumbers
2 quarts cold water
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling spices
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt (do not use iodized salt)
4 garlic cloves, divided and lightly smashed
2 sprigs fresh dill heads, divided

Method:

Wash 2 quart mason jars.
Wash cucumbers without scrubbing them.
Trim 1/8-inch from the blossom end of each cucumber and slice into halves or quarters, whatever size you want them to be.
In each quart jar, layer 1 dill sprig, 2 garlic cloves and half of the sliced cucumbers.
In a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Pour half the brine over the cucumbers in each quart jar, making sure the cucumbers are submerged.
Place the lid on the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
Place jars in the refrigerator and allow to set for 2 days before tasting.


Crunchy delicious!




Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes. 







Friday, September 16, 2011

Panko Breaded Cod






If you’ve never breaded any fish with Japanese panko bread crumbs, you must try it!

Panko bread crumbs are perfect in low-fat recipes as it gives food the crunch that comes from breading and frying fish in deep fat.  The panko crumbs have a light, flaky texture that’s a change from the traditional heavier bread crumbs. 

Cod is high in protein, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6, yet low in sodium, fat, and carbohydrates making it a great healthy food.  Deep frying that cod filet turns it into a greasy piece of fish that is about as good for us as smoking.  There is nothing you can do to make fried foods healthy and that's why it's good to consider using panko bread crumbs.

In this recipe, swiping the cod through a mixture of garlic and onion powders, paprika, ground red pepper and lemon juice adds flavoring for the cod.  Then coating the filets with panko bread crumbs and baking the fish delivers a crispy texture.  Covering the baking sheet with cooking spray eliminates the need for any oil and here’s the bonus:   you will not have a messy stove top from the splattering grease to clean up, nor the aroma of grease in your kitchen!  Cod is delicious but any whitefish would work just as well.


Panko Breaded Cod

Ingredients:

4 cod filets, 4-6 ounces each
¼ cup flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

With flour, combine garlic and onion powders and salt and pepper on a plate for dredging.
Mix together Panko, paprika and red pepper on another plate.
In a bowl, whisk the egg and lemon juice well.
Pat filets with a paper towel.
Dredge through the flour mixture.
Swipe through the egg mixture.
Coat with the Panko mixture.
Place cod on a baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, turning half way through baking.

ENJOY!!!



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes. 





Monday, September 12, 2011

Zucchini and Sautéing 101





Do you know sautéing means “jumping” in French?   It’s kind of like frying, only different.  It requires a heavy bottomed skillet, food that is cut the same small size and oil that likes really high heat.  Frying means quite a lot of oil, larger food items such as chicken parts and lower heat allowing the food to cook longer for doneness. 

The question I have with sautéing is:  do I heat the pan first and then add the oil or do I add the oil to a cold skillet and heat them both at the same time?  Usually I add the oil to a hot skillet but I’m not sure if this is the correct procedure to ensure that very little fat is absorbed by the food.  What do you think ~ how do you do it?

No matter which method, I really like sautéed veggies and since summer is about over for this year, I had to squeeze in one more dish that’s filled with fresh zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.

By the way, zucchini, a member of the plant species, cucurbita pepo, was introduced into American culture by Italy. The Italians developed what we now call zucchini through a freak of nature – a chance mutation of one of its squash brethren. The Italian immigrants brought the seeds with them to California in the 1920’s when later; a small southern California seed company began distributing the seeds. It took a while to catch on ~ all that zucchini you see at your farmer’s markets and the ones your neighbor unloads on you were barely recognized here in the United States just 50 years ago.  Now look how prolific it is, being served as a vegetable dish, bread, dessert or as a smoothie to sip on!

This is about as easy as it gets for the veggies I bought at our farmer’s market Saturday morning and quick too.  It combines them all with some onion, garlic, chicken broth and crushed red pepper for a little heat.  With all the vibrant colors, it looks as appealing as it tastes!  I hope you like it!



Sautéed Zucchini Mix

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
3 garlic heads, minced
3 zucchini, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 bell pepper, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
9 ounce bag spinach
½ cup chicken broth, low sodium
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, shaved

Method:

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are cooked.
Add zucchini, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Cook until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.
Add spinach and cook until it wilts.
Pour broth over all.
Add red pepper and salt and pepper.
Cook until all is heated through. 
Transfer to a serving dish.
Serve along with shaved Parmesan.


It’s a delicious colorful side dish!


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.  









Friday, September 9, 2011

Not Your Usual Tomato and Mozzarella Sauce with Pasta







Do you want a different side dish or even a main dish?  This is definitely not your mama’s pasta with tomato sauce!

This recipe came from a 1990 Hometown Collection of America’s Best Recipes Cookbook and was submitted by The Women’s Art Guild, Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas.  I have no recollection of where I picked up this cookbook but it is filled with some tasty recipes. 

If you adore ripe tomatoes and pasta, you will enjoy this for a meal.  It is a simple recipe that is easy to toss together.  The finished dish has a strong tomato taste and the texture of the cheese becomes softer.  I like it warm so I serve it immediately.  I’m guessing it would be fine if it were served with the pasta at room temperature.  It is definitely different!



Ready to rest for an hour



Tomato and Mozzarella Sauce with Pasta

Ingredients:

6 to 8 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti

Method:

Combine first 7 ingredients, stir well.
Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain well.
Immediately transfer hot spaghetti to a large serving bowl.
Pour sauce over hot cooked spaghetti, tossing gently to combine.
6-8 servings


ENJOY!!!




Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.  






Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A New Laptop, A Healthier Me and Cornmeal Cake with Macerated Berries for You!







What a week last week was!

I bought a new laptop last Wednesday ~ turned it over to Bubba that evening ~ he had it up and running and returned to me by Friday morning on his way to work.  In the meantime, I developed a very nasty little cough which seemed to clear up a little when Bill came down with the sweats and pneumonia out of the blue.  That left me with a good case of bronchitis.  So, even though I had the laptop working great, cooking and blogging were the last things on my mind.  But, I’m happy to say Bill is doing fine now and I’m just about cured!



Our first computer - 1983
Bubba 14 years old teaching Matt 8 years old


Bubba told me to look at HP computers as well as Toshiba and Lenovo.  There were many good ones but I fell for this HP Pavilion DV6000 series in brushed umber.  It feels sturdy with these specifications:   6GB memory and 640GB hard drive, a 15.6” screen with high definition display.  It came with Windows 7, Blu-ray support, Simple Pass fingerprint reader, and an island-style (Chiclet) keyboard (awesome!) and number pad.  So far, with many thanks to Bubba for setting it up, it’s great ~ I love it!

A week ago before the old laptop died, I was going to give you a mouthwatering dessert recipe in time for Labor Day weekend.  This recipe was in our local newspaper a while back and made me curious:

I like texture in food ~ you know, the feeling food has in your mouth.  I’m not much for mashed or creamed food with that soft mushy, slushy feeling; except for ice cream and even that I like with bits of fruit or nuts.  I’m not big on mashed potatoes and forget pudding, smoothies and custard.  So I had a feeling I’d like this cake because of the gritty texture of cornmeal.  And I did, it was a hit!

Cornmeal cake has a buttery, very appealing lightly gritty texture and that’s not all it’s about.  It includes a couple of teaspoons of finely grated orange rind that adds a tangy citrus taste to the cornmeal.  The recipe calls for strawberries, blueberries or raspberries; however, our farmer’s market had luscious blackberries so I used them for the sauce along with some Blackberry Brandy for depth. 

 It’s not a heavy hearty cake at all ~ it’s a perfect light, moist cake that is delicious when macerated blackberries are drizzled over a slice.  It’s truly inviting and heavenly! 







Here’s the recipe:

Cornmeal Cake with Macerated Berries
American Profile
Adapted

Cake:

1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup 2 percent reduced-fat milk

Berries:

1 cup blackberries
¼ cup sugar, or to taste (I used a tablespoon of it)
2 tablespoons Blackberry Brandy
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Combine butter, sugar, orange rind and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until evenly blended.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and cornmeal alternately with milk, beating just until evenly incorporated.
Scrape into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Bake 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack.

To prepare berries:

Mash berries in a large bowl.
Add sugar, juice and brandy and mix gently.
Serve drizzled over cake.



We really enjoyed this and I will be making it again!  YUM!!!


And thanks again Bubba!  You’re the best!!!




Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes.