Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fish Cakes

Serves 4
Fish Cakes:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 3 cups white fish fillets, flaked
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes – leftovers or about 2 medium potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
2 green onions, white and green parts, finely sliced
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
 1 egg beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black cracked pepper
 1 1/2 cups milk
 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon dry tarter
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon red onion, finely minced
8 capers, finely minced
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoons fresh dill (use dry equivalent if needed)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Tarter Sauce:

Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired
Fish Cakes:
Steam or poach fish on stove top until done and flaky about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool and flake fish. Set aside. 
Add the mashed potatoes, green onions, lemon zest, parsley, Dijon mustard, egg, flour, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until well combined. Don't over mix..Add milk a little at a time until mixture just holds together. Add the fish and stir gently to incorporate it into the potato mixture.Add more milk if needed.Patties should be firm. Form patties to desired size and coat with panko crumbs on both sides. Place the patties in the fridge for 10 minutes to set up.Heat butter and oil in skillet and fry patties to a golden brown. Serve with your favorite side or salad and serve with tater sauce.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Winter Chicken, Sweet Potato and Mushroom Stew

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
 2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 onion, chopped
 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 large sweet potatoes,peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon, dried, crushed rosemary
 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. flour

 Place chicken, stock, wine, onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper and rosemary in crock pot. Stir cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Stir in mushrooms, cover and cook on low for an additional hour.
Stir together the water and flour to make thickener and slowly add to stew, stirring constantly. Turn the cooker up to high, cover and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the stew has thickened.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Holiday Cranberry Meatballs

These meatballs are so delicious everyone will want the recipe.
For the Meatballs:
2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
1 Package Stove Top Stuffing Bread NOT Cornbread
2 eggs
1 cup Water
1 good handful Craisins or dried Cranberries

For the Sauce:
1 16 ounce bottle of BBQ sauce
1 14 ounce can of whole Cranberry Sauce    
In a large bowl, mix all  ingredients until well combined. For appetizer size mini meatballs, form 48 meatballs using a scoop or spoon. For larger meatballs form about 30 meatballs. Place meatballs on a lightly sprayed baking sheet as you form them and bake at 400 degrees F. for about 15 minutes until browned and no longer pink. 
To make the sauce, add BBQ sauce and can of cranberries to a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat until pipping hot.
Allow meatballs to cool so they don't fall apart. Add meatballs to the sauce pan and gently stir to coat.
You're done. It's that simple!
Add picks to the mini meatballs for appetizers or serve over white rice.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

California Girl's Osso Bucco

A little Italiano comfort food. Rich, delicious and satisfying. 

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour, for dredging
6 beef veal shanks or oxtails
1 large onion, diced medium
4 ribs celery, diced
3 to 4 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch thick coins
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Italian herbs
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon each, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper or course ground pepper
1 cup good red wine
1 to 1 1/2 cups beef stock
a good handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot, add olive oil and heat until very hot.

In a plate combine the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the shanks in the flour and shake off to remove any excess flour. Add shanks to the Dutch oven or pot and brown on all sides. This should take 5 to 6 minutes. When meat is browned, remove from pot and set aside.

Next add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot and cook until tender.

Add garlic and Italian seasoning and continue to cook for about 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pot with red wine, scraping up any bits from the bottom.  Add the stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, add the meat back, the can of crushed tomatoes, stir and cover with the lid and place into the oven.
Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Add cornstarch, a bit at a time and stir to thicken to desired consistency. Sprinkle parsley.

Serve hot over buttery polenta, grits or creamy mashed potatoes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chili Mac

Serves: 6
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoon flour 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce 
2 cups beef broth 
1/2 pound dry macaroni 
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
3 ounces Velveeta, cubed small

In a large skillet,add olive oil and brown the ground beef over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until tender. Drain off the excess fat. When the garlic and onionn are tender, add the flour and cook for one minute, constantly stirring. Quickly add the chili powder, smoked paprika. oregano, tomato sauce, and broth, and continue to stir until incorporated.
Add the dry pasta, place a lid on top, and allow it to simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is has absorbed all of the liquid and is done. Stir frequently to make sure it’s not sticking on the bottom of the skillet. If needed, add a a few tablespoons of water a little at a time until the pasta has finished cooking. When soft, the heat off and stir in the cheeses. Serve hot. A side salad is good with this dish.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pumpkin Beef Mac-n-Cheese

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion, diced small
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
 6 to 8 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
6 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed small
1 cup of cooked pumpkin puree

Cook ground beef until browned. Add onion and cook until tender.Set aside.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat. Add the ground beef and onions.
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, paprika and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheeses. Add more evaporated milk if need. Over low heat continue to stir until cheeses are melted and creamy. Add the cooked pumpkin puree.Stir until incorporated and cook until hot and bubbly.
Serve as a side or alone.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Jack-A-Lantern Cake Pops

Halloween is my favorite time of year and what's more fun than making cake pops. These funny sweet treats will dress any spooky table up for fright night!

1 box cake mix of choice
Cake pan
1 can (16 ounces) white frosting mix
2 bags of orange candy melts (16 ounces each)
2 to 3 tablespoons shortening
Clear sanding sugar if desired
36 lollipop sticks (Wal Mart or any craft store will have these)
Green piping gel or frosting for the stem if desired
Piping bag or toothpicks to put on stems
Black gel food coloring or fruit roll ups
Small (tiny) paint brush or tooth pick to paint faces on
Sheet pan
Wax or parchment paper
Block of styrofoam to hold finished cake balls while they dry

Use any flavored cake mix you desire, vanilla, yellow or chocolate
Cook cake mix according to package directions. When done, cool the cake and cut the cake into squares. Crumble cake squares to a fine consistency. Discard any real brown or hard edges. Add the canned frosting about 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to add until the mixture resembles play dough. It will depend on how moist your cake is as to how much frosting is needed. You will usually need about 3/4 can of frosting. When mixture is right, roll into balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoon per ball) You can use a melon baller or small cookie scoop for measurement, if desired. Place balls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper When you have all of the balls (makes about 36) on the cookie sheet, place in freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to hold the shape. Next, melt the candy until smooth. Beat in shortening a little at a time until the melts are smooth and can be easily dipped. Take your lollipop sticks and dip the tips into the candy melt mix and insert them 1/2 way into the balls. Again return them to the freezer to set sticks about another 15 to 20 minutes. When sticks are set, dip cake balls in the candy melt mix and twist around until coated. VERY gently tap off any dripping candy. At this point you will need the styrofoam block to place the cake balls in as they are finished. Let the candy coating set up on the counter or in refrigerator. If you are going to sugar the balls, do so before the coating is completely hardened, When the coating has set up you are ready to paint the faces and stems or cut fruit roll ups into eyes and mouths. Have fun!