Archive for February, 2012

Lamb Ragù – A relatively small batch

1 large clove garlic, grated
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3-4 slices bacon, diced
1 pound boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1  28-ounce can tomatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped, juices reserved
1 cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
a pinch of crushed red pepper
salt and pepper

Brown bacon well, remove from pan, and set aside
dry meat with paper towel, sprinkle with salt & pepper
brown the meat well in bacon fat, remove from pan, and set aside
add some more oil if needed
add onion, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic to unclean pan and brown
return meat and bacon to the pan
add stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, and wine
cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 1 1/2 hours

Season to taste and serve over your favorite pasta.

February 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes

This recipe has been lifted directly from the Knox Gelatine box, a registered trademark of the Kraft Corporation.

These are excellent served in individual serving sized containers like Mason jars, ramekins or muffin tins; perfect for dinner parties, brown-bag lunches, or pot lucks.

6 serving containers
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2  8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix gelatin and sugar in a bowl, add boiling water, stir until dissolved
allow gelatin to bloom for approximately 5 minutes

In a blender beat cream cheese and vanilla, while slowly beat in gelatin mixture until smooth

Pour into single-serving containers (or a prepared pie crust for a full size pie)
refrigerate approximate 3 hours until firm

Top with a spoonful of your favorite jam or lemon curd

February 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm Leave a comment

Steamed Leeks with Vinaigrette

1 bunch of leeks (trimmed, sliced in half, and washed well)
1/4 cup of your favorite vinaigrette or Italian-style dressing

Steam leeks for 5 – 7 minutes
remove from heat
poor dressing over leeks while still hot
mix well, cool, and serve

February 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Key Lime Cheesecake Pie

1 graham cracker crust
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup lime juice, approximately 5 limes (if you fall short, just use lemon juice to make up the difference)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream

Wash and zest one lime, set aside
1 thin slice of lime, set aside

In a small saucepan, off heat, bloom gelatin in lime juice for 5 minutes
add sugar and beaten eggs, mixing well
bring mixture to a boil over medium heat
reduce heat to low and gently boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly

In a bowl combine cream cheese and butter, beat well
pour hot lime juice mixture over cream cheese and butter, and blend until smooth
refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes to cool, stirring occasionally

Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks

Fold whipped cream and lime juice mixture together
add lime zest

Pour filling into pie crust
refrigerate for about 2 hours to set

Garnish with lime slice

February 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm 2 comments

Chai Spice Mix

chai (2)

1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

I sprinkle about a 1/8 to a 1/4 teaspoon of the mix into a cup of hot water with a generic orange pekoe teabag; with a splash of milk, and sweetened to taste, an excellent replacement for store bought. Add a dash of good vanilla, if you are so inclined.

Stir, steep, and let the spices settle to the bottom. If you are bothered by the sediment, you can use a strainer of some sort to remove it.

February 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm 1 comment

Biscotti – A small batch

1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons corn meal
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 cup any dried fruit (optional)
1/4 cup any chopped nut (optional)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix all the ingredients and shape into a log on a greased or lined cookie sheet

Bake for 30 minutes
remove oven from oven and let log rest on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes, cooling slightly

Slice log into 1/2 inch thick slices with a serrated knife
place slices back on the cookie sheet, on their sides, and bake for an additional 15 minutes

February 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

Mashed Sweet Potatoes – A small batch

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1 teaspoon sugar (optional of course)
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Throw all ingredients into a heavy-bottom sauce pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for approximately 15-20 minutes. The potatoes should be very tender.

Mash and serve

February 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment


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