I had no leftover turkey as I traveled for the holiday, but I did have some from the deli and, in need of lunch, made this sweet and savory salad. It was just the ticket for a day when, after boatloads of family dinners, my jeans were not exactly in their happy place. This meal is fast, nutritious, figure-friendly, and family-pleasing. Could you add a little of that leftover cranberry salad or relish off to the side of the plate? I’m thinking you could. Happy Giving Tuesday!
STILL HAVE FROZEN TURKEY? Take out a bit, unthaw, and use that. By the way, your frozen turkey is at its best-tasting for 2-3 months if it’s wrapped properly and stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, according to STILL TASTY DOT COM, my go-to for storage questions. If it’s in your refrigerator since last Thursday, it’s past time to throw it away; it was good/safe for 3-4 days only. In fact, even simple vegetables cooked Thanksgiving day and stored in the refrigerator should be tossed after today. Sad, I know.
TURKEY-ACORN SQUASH SALAD WITH APPLES AND PARMESAN DRESSING
A dear friend of mine named Joyce once wrote a card — one of many she’s sent over the years — and mentioned she was still making my pork chop with potatoes and apples supper. I vaguely remembered that meal, but it was one of those quick meals I never bothered to write down. These days I keep a cooking journal and so have records of meals or at least titles and approximate amounts. (Well, I’m supposed to anyway. Since the kitchen remodel I’m still finding things. Do you know where the lids are for my small Pyrex dishes? Or my good silver??)
Late Friday afternoon found me cooking up two big pots of Pumpkin-Chicken Chili *-– one for us to share with neighbors and one for me to have in the DACOR kitchen at Shouse Appliance on Saturday. I needed to make a vat of pinto beans laced with bacon, so those were bubbling away on another burner. Enter Dave sniffing around for dinner.
(Apple-Cheddar Salad recipe here.)
Since I didn’t want him to overdose on chili, I got out my big sauté pan — it’s about 5 quarts — and threw in a few quickly sliced potatoes, onions, and apples. On the counter was a yellow (summer) squash that had seen better days. I sliced it and threw that in, too. After those goodies were about half-way tender, I shoved them to the side of the pan and added some oiled and seasoned pork chops. Lid on and dinner was done by the time I set the table and Dave opened a bottle of Pinot Noir.
*If you ate this chili in the Dacor kitchen, it differs from the recipe in three ways: I used beer instead of wine and added cooked Italian sausage as well as the bacon in the beans.
Above: I had the pups all “dressed” for Halloween and a big bowl of candy. We had two trick-or-treaters. The name Rosie seems to be sticking, despite my love for “Mara,” and all the other wonderful suggestions we’ve received. I think it’s because I like to sing this old song to her. This morning I found her asleep on my feet while I was checking email. She’s doing wonderfully well, though we’re still working hard on house training. Puppies.
Happy Fall cooking…
Below: Rosie practicing “Come” with Dave in the front yard.
ONE-PAN PORK CHOPS WITH POTATOES, ONIONS, SQUASH, AND APPLES
SERVES 2 — Easily doubled
There is enough of the potato mixture to serve another day with eggs or you might be able to stretch it to serve four if you can fit four chops in your pan and serve a green vegetable or salad as a side. The wine or water makes just a little sauce to keep it all moist.
To a large, deep skillet or sauté pan heated over medium-high flame, add 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil along with 3 sliced potatoes, 1 large sliced onion, 1 sliced yellow (summer) squash, and 1 cored and sliced apple. Season generously with seasoned or kosher salt, pepper, and a good pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes or so until all are at least half-way tender. Push the potato mixture to the sides of the pan to make room for the chops.
Add 2 thick bone-in pork chops you’ve brushed with oil and seasoned well with salt, pepper, and a good pinch of dried thyme. Cook until the chops are well- browned on one side and turn over to brown the other side. Stir the vegetables and apples, pour in 1/4 cup white wine*, then cover and reduce heat until everything is tender. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the chops for doneness. They should read 145 degrees. Let dinner rest in pan five minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot garnished with the grated zest of one lemon.
*Can sub water or chicken broth for wine. For a more smoothly silky sauce, dab in a tablespoon of butter as well.
Sing a new song; cook some pork chops,
Festive and healthy at the same time is a winning combination. While we often think of holiday meals leaning toward big hunks of meat and baked desserts, it may be just the time we should be thinking of cutting a bit here and there. If you’d like a gorgeous December salad that’s colorful and filling without being heavy, try this little plate of love. There’s plenty of shrimp (I bought cooked shrimp for ease of preparation) for those who need visible protein, but it’s off-set by the addition of lots high-fiber quinoa, green apples, red pomegranate seeds, cucumber, fresh cranberries, clementines, and spinach–to say nothing of the blue cheese grace notes. A light orange vinaigrette spiked with a bit of crushed red pepper tops it all. You could add some steamed, chopped asparagus or green beans, I think, but the spinach gives you lots of green. I served a little bread and butter with this salad to round out the meal. Try this:
|1.Make the quinoa: 1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 25 minutes until tender. Cool at least a few minutes (stir to cool more quickly) before adding to salad. You’ll have leftover quinoa for soup or breakfast.|
|3.Chop 1/2 an at least partially peeled cucumber and 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, optional.|
4. Slice thinly an unpeeled Granny Smith apple. Peel two clementines (or one orange) and separate them into segments.
|Here I began to mix just a small portion of the salad to try it out.||Hey, I liked it!|
5. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup cooled quinoa with 2 cups fresh spinach, and the marinated shrimp.
6. Gently stir in the cucumber, cranberries, apple slices, and clementines. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper.
7. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to moisten the salad well. Squeeze just a bit of lime juice over everything. Taste and adjust seasonings. You could add another pinch of crushed red pepper if you like a bit of heat.
8. Spoon the salad out onto a large serving platter and garnish with 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds and 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese. (2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans–optional) Serve immediately and pass the pepper grinder at the table.
Ingredients list: 1/2 pound cooked shrimp, 2 cups fresh spinach, 1 apple, 2 clementines or 1 orange, 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, 1/2 cucumber, 1/4 cup fresh cranberries (optional), Juice of one orange, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 2 T white wine vinegar, 1/2 lime, walnuts or pecans (optional), 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, crushed red pepper.
*If you like a sharper vinaigrette, use sherry vinegar or add 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard.
This vinaigrette is mild so that the fruit all speaks for itself.
Want to bring this a potluck? Put the sliced apples in with the shrimp and vinaigrette to keep them from browning. Bring the vinaigrette separately and dress the salad right before serving.
Wine: I liked this with a glass of California Chardonnay, but an Oregon Pinot Blanc might drink beautifully. I just sent a half-case of Bethel Heights Pinot Blanc for a Christmas gift. It might not be too late for you to do it, though the weather could be turning dicey for shipping. At $18 per bottle, it’s a beautiful northwest winery steal even if they have to wait until spring for delivery.
quinoa…It’s really a seed related to spinach or tumbleweed (rather than a grain) that can be traced back to ancient Peru…and yes, it’s gluten free.
Low in calories and fat, quinoa is high in carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. While it cooks in just about the same time and same way as white rice (maybe a few minutes longer), it also has close to the same amount of calories. A good source of all the amino acids, iron, potassium, and magnesium, quinoa also offers a bit of zinc– about 1/4 of the daily allowance for women.
Try quinoa as tasty hot breakfast cereal with maple syrup and hot milk, or as a good foil for spicy hot chili. This grain is luscious in salads and can sub for couscous or even rice in many places. On it’s own or nestled next to your chop, add a little butter, salt and pepper and it’s ready. Read all about quinoa here.
I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients: Read more about tasty quinoa at these sites:
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
- We’d like to have you as part of the group. Get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits: Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
If you liked this, you might like
These nuts are whipped up in no time. A bit of beaten egg white, some sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne and they’re into a low oven for an hour or so. Great gifts, we also serve them all throughout the season as a nibble with drinks or a salad topping. (Original recipe from my good cook and sister Helen…I’ve tinkered and damned it into submission over the years.)
this week on dinnerplace (cooking for one)
Make 6, just 6, Cornbread Muffins
Sing a new song,
|Scroll down for recipe.|
Come fall, I make crostatas regularly. They’re beautiful, terribly good to eat, and generally make folks quite happy. A free-form fruit pie (often made with homemade jam in Italy), they’re easier to make than traditional American pie and are show-stoppers when you have friends to dinner. I’ve blogged the crostatas before, and have taught them several times for the Italian classes I’ve done at home. But I didn’t think of them in terms of citrus until our Power Foods list came up this week. While citrus (lemon particularly) is a huge part of my cooking, I think about it less in terms of baking.
For instance: I rarely make a green salad without squeezing a lemon over it. Either I have lemon and oil, lemon alone, or lemon before a vinaigrette. Whatever choice I make, lemon, as an acid, is always followed by salt and pepper on my salads because salt dissolves best in acid. For that reason, if I’m making a vinaigrette, I always put the salt in the acid — whether citrus or vinegar– before adding the oil.
Another thing: I love lemon juice in chili. I stuff my roasting chicken with big pieces of orange and a cut-up onion or sometimes roast a lemon in the bottom of the pan for the sauce. I use one citrus or another to keep my cut fruit from browning. There are so many ways I use citrus, I can’t count or write them. I buy lemons by the bagful, but rarely go to the store without also buying limes. Because I don’t eat oranges or grapefruit for breakfast, I buy those only when I’m cooking or baking with them.
These fresh fruit fall crostatas, too, would be very much less without the citrus. I make several kinds of crostatas, but these two, apple and pear, have orange and lemon zest respectively. You could switch them out and use orange with the pear and lemon with the apple; I’m sure it would be lovely.
Citrus is, of course, loaded with vitamin C, provides fiber, folate, lycopene, potassium and other vitamins and minerals. (More below.) Yes, it’s great food… But for me…it’s all about the flavor when I use it for cooking.
A picture story…followed by the recipe. Bake peace!
(Interested in traditional pie? Read my PIE 101 post here.)
First, the apple version:
Option a (below) for moving pastry from board/counter to the baking sheet
|Apple close-up–ready to eat!|
Option b (below) for moving pastry from board/counter to baking sheet
And, then the pear photos:
|Baked pear crostata close-up; I liked the pear best.|
|Here is the apple at left and the pear at right.|
In the food processor, fitted with the knife blade, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse until mixture is the size of peas. Slowly add iced water through the feed tube until dough begins to come together.
Remove carefully from processor and divide in half. Press each into a disc. Wrap one in foil and freeze it. Refrigerate the other for an hour is best, but you can roll it right away if you must. Dust the counter very well indeed with flour and roll the disc, using a rolling pin, into an 11″ circle.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet until you have the fruit ready. (Check out the pics above where I give you two options for getting the pastry from the counter to the pans.) You can a. fold it up gently and quick like a bunny pick it up, and centering it over the baking sheet, place it carefully down and unfold it or, b. loosely roll the dough back onto the rolling pin and move the rolling pin over above the baking sheet, lowering it and loosening the pastry down flat onto the pan.
This is not easy to describe; I apologize for lack of prowess as a technical writer!
I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients: Read more about tasty citrus this week at these sites:
How are new salads born at my house? Like this……
I’ve had some Israeli couscous (actually a blend) in my cabinet for a few months. Waiting.
Typically I throw some leeks, garlic, and asparagus in a sauté pan come spring and throw those lovely things into a bowl of couscous or orzo with a handful of grated Parmesan and lots of black pepper.
When I realized this was the week to blog winter squash, a different group of ingredients started to percolate. Despite the summer tomatoes still coming on (albeit slowly) and the basil crying for that last bowl of pesto to be made, I kept thinking fall food once the squash got in my head. Cranberries, apples, pears, sharp cheese, nuts.
|Fall..I adore pears…here I’ve just poached them slowly in port with some orange peel and cinnamon sticks.|
Thursday I had a big pot of turkey chili on the stove and called some friends to run over and help eat it. This salad, which began in my head days before it ended up in our stomachs, started the meal. I cooked the couscous and started chopping fruit and toasting nuts. It came together that easily; it’s fairly fast, too. I did think I might have liked walnut oil for the vinaigrette, but the only can I had was in the frig at our Colorado house where it’ll stay a bit fresher over the time we’re not there.
Could it be a whole meal? Definitely. Since it has oranges to keep the fresh fruit from turning brown, I think it’ll keep a day or so…but no more. It might be a filling and happy side for a quick Thanksgiving meal: roast a turkey breast, make this salad, and cook some of those green beans you’ve been freezing. Anyway, here’s how:
Follow the photo-easy recipe:
|Cook 8 ounces of Israeli Couscous* according to package directions. Use chicken broth in place of water. You can add a few leaves of fresh sage if you have them (remove before making salad). When couscous is tender, add 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil while still hot. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper. Optional: Stir in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cool to room temperature.|
|Toast 1/4 cup pecans in a dry small skillet and chop, reserving a few whole nuts for garnish.|
|Dice (medium) 1 pear, 1 apple, 1 orange (peeled), 6 dried figs (or fresh), 1 small cooked butternut squash (see below for my microwave directions). Dice (small): 2 oz. each sharp cheddar and Swiss cheese like Jarlsberg or Emmental or even Gruyere.|
|We liked this salad with coffee cup pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins.|
*I used Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s (available on amazon.com as well), which is a “savory blend of Israeli Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo beans, and Red Quinoa.” Regular Israeli or pearl couscous is fine and orzo or even farro would be easily workable substitutes.
Ingredients list: 8oz Israeli couscous or blend, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper (optional), fresh sage leaves (optional), 1 3/4 cups chicken broth (used 1 15 oz. can plus a little water), 1 1/2 tablespoons each canola and extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup pecans, 1 small butternut squash, 1 pear, 1 apple, 2 oranges (1 in salad, 1 juiced), 6 figs (fresh or dried), 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 2 ounces each sharp cheddar and Swiss cheeses, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
HOW TO COOK BUTTERNUT SQUASH IN THE MICROWAVE:
Place squash in a large microwave-safe dish and, using a sharp thin knife, poke a few holes in the largest section for escaping steam. Microwave on high 3-5 minutes (depending on size of the squash–a 1.5lb squash might take 5 minutes, for example) and remove the squash to a cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut the squash in half horizontally and with a large spoon, scoop out seeds and strings. Place the two halves back in the baking dish with a little (2 tablespoons or so) water and put the dish back in the microwave. Cook another five minutes on high or so (depending on the size of the squash) until tender. Covering the squash with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe cover will decrease the cooking time. I have also filled the center section with butter and a little brown sugar and served it just like that. (I often do this with acorn squash for a quick hot lunch.) Otherwise, you can let the squash cool, and then peel and chop or mash it according to your needs. This is much easier than peeling (or cutting) raw butternut squash, which is, at best, difficult.
I cook winter squash frequently and my reasons are many. Here are a few:
1. It’s delicious; it’s good for your body.
2. It’s easy to prepare in several ways: Stick in oven, saute, braise, boil, or microwave.
3. It’s useful as a vegetable or side, but is also hearty enough for a main dish. (Stuff with cumin rice, jack cheese and scrambled eggs for breakfast!)
4. It’s an excellent addition to soups and stews.
5. It’s a good substitute for potatoes with pot roast or roasted chicken.
6. It’s inexpensive and easy to find nearly year round, but particularly now.
7. It keeps on the counter for a long time–easily 2 months. (That’s about the limit for acorn; the others can keep much longer.)
Be brave and try whatever beautiful squash you find at the market. Whatever you do with acorn squash, you can easily do with most of the others. Even spaghetti squash is quickly cooked in the microwave. Shred it with a fork, add a little butter (salt/pepper) and you have a beautiful meal. And, yes, you can add marinara and stay on South Beach, phase 2!!
Don’t want to deal with the peel? You can buy peeled and cubed butternut squash or pumpkin at some markets, but you will pay a premium price.
Nutrition Profile for Butternut Squash
Want more info on winter squash, including nutrition and recipes? Visit the Snap-Ed (USDA) site here.
If you liked this, you might also like this recipe from my Dinner Place blog.
|Throw it all together with olive oil; slip it into the oven on a big rimmed baking sheet. Dinner emerges in about 35 minutes!|
or you might like this:
or my butternut and other squash soup
|This is a lovely soup for someone who is not well or can’t chew, but is luscious as well for a first course at Thanksiving.|
I blog with a great group of food writers on Fridays as we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients: Read more about beautiful winter squash this week at these sites:
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits: Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
Sing a new song and cook a new squash,
Why my Pie 101 — Apple Pie is called “Kathy’s Apple Pie”
My hairdresser works about a half-a-block from my house. Her name is Kathy. I chose her because… she works about a half-a-block from my house. When we moved here, I cried at leaving Jen, my hairdresser of 13 years in Colorado. So I didn’t even look for anyone special; I just chose the closest “girl” and tried her. I mean, you’ve seen my hair. What could go wrong? And, if it did, how much time would it take to grow a bit? Luckily, everything has worked out fine. My hair’s just right.
When Kathy did it the first time, I sent Jen a pic on my cell phone. “She’s got the color spot-on, but it’s a wee bit short,” said Jen.
|My hair’s been the same for…let’s say for a while. (With Britta last March.)|
Outside Kathy’s shop is a sign that says, “Curl Up and Dye.” Underneath: “For Hair.”
Kathy and I hit it off right away. We’re both “of an age,” though she still has a couple of kids running around sometimes at home. She also has lots of dogs–more than I do. There’s tons of great stuff about her, but I like her because you can just talk about anything when you’re in her chair: houses, food, kids, husbands, church, jobs, horses, dogs, clothes, shopping, shoes, ETC. She’s given me the info on great places to find and do all kinds of things, but mostly helped solidify my forever dedication to the lovely institution of the St. Paul Farmer’s Market where her family has a bagel breakfast sandwich and coffee stall. (Dave and I frequent that hot spot.) Sometimes we talk about whether or not it’s worth it for them to start baking their own bagels. Having watched Dave make bagels (I don’t make them!), I lean toward buying them from the great bagel maker down the street–just like they have been. Why mess with a good thing if you’re still making a tidy profit?
One time, in a whimsical voice, Kathy said, “Ah, gee. In fall, I really miss apple pie. My Mom always made great apple pie.” She was sad. I don’t think Kathy bakes apple pies, but I think she was missing her mom as much as anything. So I figured next time I went to get my hair cut, I’d bring her a pie. I make a lot of pies, though I rarely eat them. In fact, pie makes people so happy that I don’t know why I don’t eat them. (Naturally, I eat the great coconut cream pie in the cafe on the square in Santa Fe… or my own cherry pie from our Colorado cherries. I’m more of a chocolate woman overall.)
Late this morning, I started Kathy’s pie. I had no idea how her mother made pie, but my pie wouldn’t be like Kathy’s mom’s no matter what, so I just baked the pie. Pretty much like I always do, but with a little bit of a twist all around. Lots of butter, great Honeycrisp apples, Penzey’s cinnamon right on top of the unbaked bottom crust. Cream brushed top crust. A recipe I’ll share. You might like it for Thanksgiving. If you make it now and don’t bake it, you can wrap it tightly in foil, freeze it, and bake it frozen (on a foiled sheet pan) early Thanksgiving morning. It’ll take longer to get done, but done ahead is done ahead.
Kathy’s Apple Pie makes 1 9″ pie; serves 6-8
2 9-10″ pie crusts (recipe below)
5-7 medium Honeycrisp apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thinly+
2t fresh lemon juice
3/4 t Chinese cinnamon, divided (some for crust and some for the apples)
1/4 t grated fresh nutmeg
1/8 t salt
2/3 – 3/4 c granulated white sugar plus 2 tsp for bottom crust and top crust (use 2/3 for sweeter
apples and 3/4 for tarter ones like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)
2T cold butter, diced
1t heavy cream, half and half or milk
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place one pie crust in the 9″ glass pie pan, trim, and crimp (pinch) edges.
3. Use about 1 tsp of the sugar and mix with 1/8 tsp cinnamon. Dust the entire bottom crust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
4. In a large bowl, mix apples and lemon juice. Add flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, the rest of the cinnamon, the nutmeg and the salt. Toss gently, but well. Carefully pour or spoon apple mixture into the crust.
5. Drop the diced butter evenly over the apple mixture.
6. Place top crust over the pie and trim so that there’s about an inch overhanging the pie.
7. Pinch together the crust and either press edge of crust into the pie plate with the tines of a fork or crimp.
8. Using pastry brush, brush top crust with cream or milk and dust evenly with the last teaspoon of sugar.
9. Make several small slits (evenly spread) through top crust for venting the filling as it cooks. You can make a design; I made a “K” for Kathy and a few “arrows.”
10. Bake 15-20 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, and lower oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake another hour or so until pie is golden brown and juices are bubbling out of the slits. * Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
+Honeycrisp apples, developed at “The U” here in Minnesota, hold their shape well. Because of that, I slice them thinly. They won’t get terribly soft and break down. If you’re using a softer apple, cut them in larger slices. Also, some folks like the skin left on their apples for pie. Do as you like.
*If it’s getting too brown, carefully lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely on top of the pie.
Prep note: I usually prep the apple mixture and put that aside. Then I tackle making the crust. I roll out the bottom crust and place it in the pie pan. In goes the apple mixture and I set the whole thing aside while I take the second crust out of the frig and roll it. I next roll the second crust loosely around the rolling pin (or you can carefully fold it in half and then in half again) and gently lay it on top of the buttered apples. Trim, crimp, and it’s ready for the oven.
|Here’s the pie before baking.|
|I had enough for a coffee cup pie for Dave.|
Double Pie Crust Recipe — Pâte Brisée*
2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup salted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup iced water (Use a 1 cup measuring cup and pour in 1/2 water; add ice and use quickly.)
*In food processor, place flour, butter and salt. (This may also be done with a pastry cutter or two knives.) Pulsing, cut butter into the flour until there are 1/2″ sizes pieces (and some smaller and some larger) of buttered crumbs.
*With machine running, pour in water slowly. When the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the machine, stop the machine, and turn dough out onto a well-floured board or counter.
*Gently and quickly pat dough into a ball and divide ball evenly in half.
*Wrap one half and refrigerate it. Take the other half and press it into a flat disc. Dust the dough with flour, and, with a floured rolling pin, roll from the center out to the edges moving clockwise around the dough until the dough is about 10″ in diameter. Move the dough every few rolls of the pin so it doesn’t stick. You may need to keep putting a bit of flour sprinkled underneath.
*Remove dough from frig and repeat for top crust.
|All baked up with somewhere to go.|
*The recipe for this dough is from an old CUISINART cookbook–one of those thin, small books that came with my first CUISINART in the early ’80s maybe… This was the first Pâte Brisée I ever used and I’ve been using it ever since. Thanks, Cuisinart!
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the Hood…..
Next Monday, November 21, I direct a pick-up choir at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 1500 Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN, for an Ecumenical Thanksgiving. Want to sing? Show up at 6pm for rehearsal of easy anthem,”Simple Gifts” for worship service that begins at 7pm. Hope to hear you!
|This is up on the blog next–a braised leg of lamb with vegetables. Perfect alternative Thankgiving.|
|The start of a neighborhood birthday/wine-tasting dinner….I did the lamb above. It was potluck.|
|Friend Mac at the table Friday night.|
|Long night, eh, buddy?|
|We have a monthly concert series at Prospect Park–Here’s SHOUT! from Lake Harriet U Methodist|
|Today’s cardinal + flowering geraniums still living in neighbor’s window boxes!|
|Floor’s done and I’ve been painting. The color, appropriate to the season, is “Pumpkin Pie.”|
|Gorgeous trees still golden ’til just a few days ago.|
|Last roses of summer….|
We haven’t had any really cold weather yet and that’s unusual. Several days ago, I finally cut the last of the roses and brought them in for a vase. I rarely cut my flowers, thinking they look best where God placed them. But when it’s going to be 22 degrees F, I cut them all!
|Still blooming the second week of November|
A foil packet salmon done in 20 minutes I wrote for Examiner.com.
Dave said, “This is the best salmon I’ve ever tasted.” I couldn’t believe how tender it was.
Sing a new song,
|Hot lunch on a cold spring day|
Outside the window in the new/old (1915) St. Paul house, it’s fairly gray. Everything’s gray, in fact. Melting snow, sky, sun, trees…even the birds appear kind of gray. But spring it is!
|Jack Sparrow and Friend|
When you’ve moved, the chores are myriad. It seems you’re always running to the hardware store for a light switch cover or to Target for garbage bags and peanut butter. If you’re not running, you’re on the phone with the phone company or recycling folks. If you’re not on the phone, you’re looking at paint samples or asking where the post office is. (What happened to phone books?)
Sooner or later, plates seem to be on shelves and towels are clean and folded in the bathroom. You know where to turn the light on for the basement and have figured out what that horrible sound is between the floors or in the walls. (Hot water pipes.) You have the turn to your house memorized and don’t have to count houses from the corner anymore. And one day, you start making meals again–hardly noticing the skipped nights or that you’re in a different kitchen. Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I am definitely in a different kitchen, though I’m feeling the similarities as I get things squared away.
I had things to do this morning like
- clean the back porch
- scrub the basement stairs (honest-to-God linoleum)
- wash rugs and bathmats
- bleach down the bathrooms, one of which has an old-fashioned claw-foot tub
Cool thing was, these are typical house chores–not moving chores. We’ve been here long enough for the bathrooms to need a scrub.
So when I got done with the morning work-out, I wanted real food for lunch. I was sure my hard-working husband wanted some, too. Scouting out the frig and pantry (still not full, of course), a big cauliflower reared up its head called me by name. A quick look around the counter and I located onions, shallots, garlic, apples and one lone pretty ripe pear. I thought I’d throw most of it in the oven to roast while I did one last chore and then puree it all with some chicken stock and curry powder. Here it is just for you.
As Dave and I sat down to eat, Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” (1913) came on the local NPR and the day just came together. A spring-like light, but warming soup with a kick. I just couldn’t figure out how Bach’s birthday figured in, but it’s today, too. Happy Birthday, Johann. And thanks for Bach, God.
Curried Roasted-Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 apple, peeled and cut up into eighths
1 large onion, same drill
4t olive oil, divided
Sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, cut in large pieces
1 garlic clove, same drill
1 small carrot, minced
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 ripe pear, peeled and cut up
1 t curry powder, divided
Pinch each cinnamon and crushed red pepper
1 qt chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 c each white wine and water (or 1 c water)
1/3 c parsley, chopped
1/8 t cinnamon
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t white pepper, ground
Preheat oven to 350 F. On a large baking sheet, place cauliflower, onion and apple. Drizzle with 2t oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place sheet in oven and roast for about 30 minutes.
Meantime, in a small soup kettle (4qt), saute shallot, garlic, carrot and celery in the other 2t olive oil about 5 minutes over low heat, taking care to not burn the shallot and garlic. Add pear, 1/2 t of the curry powder, parsley, cinnamon and crushed red pepper. Stir and saute another minute or so. Add stock, wine and/or water, cinnamon, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a bare simmer.
When cauliflower, apple and onion are roasted, add them to the stockpot and stir. Bring soup up to a boil and lower heat to a slow boil. Add rest of curry powder. Let cook 5-10 minutes. Puree with immersion blender or in batches in the food processor (carefully). Taste, adjust seasonings and serve hot with a piece of buttered whole wheat toast.
Easier yet: Roast everything, add to stock and puree. Leaving out fruit, celery, carrot, etc. will produce a more pronounced cauliflower-tasting soup, but also makes things simpler.
Now I’m off to Ace to buy a mesh strainer for the end of the washing machine hose. Oh well.
Sing a new song or warm up your fingers and give Bach a whirl,
|Still naked coleslaw|
I’m awfully stuck-up about this, but I have always liked my coleslaw better than any other. Better than any deli in NYC and better than any of my friends’ or family’s. I have made a lot of coleslaw in my day. It was a go-to as a side for brisket, burgers, you-name-it for my kids. I made it in the food processor (after I got one) and it contained grated cabbage, a bit of red onion, most of whatever apple was in the frig, mayo, white vinegar, ground cayenne pepper, table salt and freshly-ground pepper. I love it and it’s mine.
But last week, before I started packing the kitchen for the move, I just started making it differently and that just went on. I hope I can document it because it was capital W Wonderful and I want it again. Dave said it was the best coleslaw he’d ever eaten in his life (ah, gee), but the thing was, the stuff KEPT WELL. It was crispy and piquant and sweet and hot a day later and then two days later. It didn’t know it should have wilted. And that’s worth alot. I’m thinking it was the brining. To have a veg salad, dressed, ready to go for three days. I still liked it better the first day, but that’s me. I’m picky.
Brined Coleslaw with Apples serve 3-4
4 c shredded green cabbage
1 apple such as Gala or Honeycrisp, cored and sliced thinly (don’t peel)
1/4 c thinly sliced red onion
2T kosher salt (for brining)
2T white sugar ” “
1t freshly-ground black pepper ” “
1T olive oil
3 t apple cider vinegar
3T olive oil mayo (or your favorite)
1/2 t sugar or more/less to taste
1/4 c raisins
1/2 t kosher salt and 1/4t freshly-ground pepper, or to taste
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
In a very large bowl, place cabbage, apple and onion. Cover with water and a cup or so of ice cubes. Add 2T kosher salt, 2T white sugar and 1t freshly-ground black pepper. Set aside for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
|Brining the cabbage, apples and onions|
Drain cabbage mixture well and remove ice from the colander. Shake colander repeatedly to remove as much water as possible. Pat cabbage mixture with paper towels to further dry. Return to large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and white vinegar. Mix well. Add mayonnaise and raisins and mix again. Season with sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need a bit more vinegar or sugar, etc to suit your taste.
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
|I’m working on a lemon tart from Dorie Greenspan’s PARIS SWEETS. This is the first try. It uses a whole lemon-all of it.|
Out to breakfast; out to lunch…
|Very watchful as the kitchen gets packed…
And then again ……………….
|View of “new” kitchen|
Meantime, if you’re keeping up with or reading more about what’s happening to the Presbyterian Church, USA, you might be interested in Wilson Gunn’s (The Presbyterian Outlook) response to “The Deathly Letter.” John Huss (Clerk of Session, Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta) has also responded in The Presbyterian Outlook on behalf of that church. There are, in fact, a few back and forths by now; you might want to read them. Adam Walker Cleaveland in Pomomusings includes a clip of Jim Singleton (Senior Pastor at First Pres in Co Springs) explaining the new vision…and responds here. I have prayed this church might find its way peacefully and intact through the current (and former) quagmire; other denominations have done it. Witness the UCC church where Dave and I currently happily worship. During the last year, another local UCC congregation became open and affirming. The church we attend went through that process maybe 15 years ago. Perhaps it isn’t necessary to be all together on everything all the time; some things require years of patient hope, education and loving prayer. I’ve always found it one of the beauties of being Presbyterian that we do have the latitude for varying ideas, interpretations and beliefs. I am grateful we aren’t cookie cutter Christians, but it seems to me the unhappy churches ought to acknowledge their unhappiness and……just leave. There is a process within the PCUSA for just that. Thanks, God for giving so many of us the ability to agree and disagree; I know we all have this in common–You are God of our lives and the love that we so badly need in our world.
Sing a new song,
My sweet husband adores bacon. God love him.
I like bacon. Why not? It’s great with eggs and it’s an incredible UP when you need a taste boost for the start of a soup, chicken salad, tomato sandwiches, et al. And, oh, the scent of it.
But I don’t adore it. I adore chocolate. I adore Pinot. (Oregon Pinot Noir) I am a Pinot girl, in fact.
At 57, I enjoy being able to say that. I have a couple of girlfriends who feel the same way. I have guy friends who certainly feel that way.
But back to bacon. I only have to SAY, “Bacon.” I don’t even have to cook it. And Dave is entranced. Hanging around. If I actually start cooking the stuff, he is in the room and doesn’t leave. So, there you go. If you want to attract someone to the nth, fry bacon. No one ever told you? Ach.
I think this is common. I posted a note on fb last Friday that I was cooking a pork tenderloin with bacon twisted around it, fixed with toothpicks. I had more interest in that than anything I’ve cooked in months. Loved ones, think about making this. Soon. Simple? Pretty much so. Fragrant? Ahhhh. Earthy? Mmm hmm. Easy to harmonize? I thought so. A couple of Granny Smith apples, a bulb of fennel (go ahead and get one–ask the produce guy) and a big onion. Some green beans on the side. A light Pinot; you don’t need a great big heavy one, I don’t think. Maybe a little bread. I did some pears poached in port for dessert; you can do what you want.
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Apples, Fennel and Onions
1 pork tenderloin
Kosher salt; freshly-ground pepper
3-4 slices thick bacon
2T olive oil
1 fennel bulb, fronds removed, end cut, sliced into half-moons about 1/3″ thick
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, sliced
1 large onion sliced
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Salt and pepper well the pork tenderloin and wrap it with the bacon pieces, securing ends with toothpicks.
Meanwhile, heat a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat; add olive oil. Place bacon-wrapped pork in the center of the pan and surround with the fennel, apples and onion. Salt and pepper well the vegetables and apples. When the meat is very-well browned, turn and let brown on the other side. Stir the vegetables and apples. When that side is looking crispy, move the pan to the oven to finish cooking. It may take another 10-15 minutes or so. Using an instant-read thermometer, remove the skillet from the oven when the meat registers 150F. (Others will tell you 155; I like it a bit rare; it will continue cooking) Cover with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes before carving and serving. Slice meat in 1/2″ p ieces. Place cut meat at the center of a large platter and surround with fennel, apples and onions. Serve with green beans or whatever vegetable you like.
Poached Pears in Port (from FINE COOKING)
In a 4 qt skillet, pour 1 cup port wine. Add 1 cinnamon stick and a few peels each of lemon rind and orange rind. Peel four ripe, but firm Barlett or Bosc (or your choice) pears and slice off a tiny bit off one cheek to make a flat side. Place the pears in the wine mixture and heat over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for an hour or so until pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Eat warm, at room temperature or cold with a little of the thickened port sauce spooned over. You can add a little heavy cream if you like.
Did you wonder about an appetizer? Of course I had one. And I was testing it out for my Cooking with Music class, which was the very next day! Here it is:
This is a Ricotta Pine nut dogoodie that is served with crostini (grilled bread). I’ll blog it with the cooking class, but if you have to make it soon…..
Mix one cup ricotta with 3-4 T torn fresh mint and season well with kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Lottsa pepper. Heat over medium heat a small saucepan with 1/2 c honey and 1/4 c pine nuts. (Amounts negotiable.) When quite warm and gooey, pour over the cheese mixture and serve with crostini or crackers. (I heard Tyler Florence talk about this once and committed it to memory. Yummy.)
Ok, folks…there ya go. Make it and tell me about it. I have to know!
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood, Including Fitness
It’s been a busy week, but the pups have been happy as clams; Dad was home for three days in a row!
|Tucky-Bucky letting it all hang out one morning.|
|Why God gets me up early.|
|The light on my backyard when the dogs go out for the first time.|
|First dusting of snow…early in the light.|
|Why I have dogs: I need tennis balls in the dishwasher, of course.|
Fitness update: This last week, I skipped the gym all but one time. Life got crazy. Did I let it all go, though? Nope. I did Denise Austin on the DVD. I hiked the ‘hood with Gabby. I lifted weights at home. I did my stretching routine. I watched what I ate–mostly. Or ate what I wanted, but not too much. Teaching an Italian cooking class could have done me in (and the crostata almost did), but we made the ricotta starter, a roasted vegetable soup, pizza margherita, and a veal stew as well. Took all afternoon Saturday and the students stayed for dinner to eat and see what wines fit where…. (Another blog.) But I was sensible and remembered how strong I long to be. That’s the crux.
Meantime, I’m applying for new jobs as my job winds down at The Church at Woodmoor. We are getting ready for Thanksgiving in St. Paul, as well. Good thing I have a dog sitter; an SUV ran into my old vet/kennel today! At the same time THAT was happening, I was driving up to a staff meeting at work in Monument, where there was a 40-car pile-up on I-25. I saw zip. Thank you, God.