Archive for March, 2008

Meal Plan – March 30 through April 5

Sunday – Leftover Chinese
Monday – Turkey Burgers (following Andrea’s recipe for Turkey meatballs from Born to Entertain, Cheesy Hash-browns, and peas
Tuesday – Thai Chili Wings, Potato skins, spinach salad
Wednesday – Lamb Curry, Palak Paneer, Jasmine Rice (The kids are having City Chicken, broccoli, and Jasmine rice.)
Thursday – Dinner with the Shriner’s Circus
Friday – Cheese ravioli with Italian sausage and marinara sauce
Saturday – Crab cakes, corn on the cob, and buttered pasta

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Egg Salad

In college I lived on egg salad sandwiches.  I ate them so much that I swore them off for a while.  Well, it’s been a long time since college and I’ve been interested in trying different egg salads, here are two that top the list.

Deviled Egg Salad

6 eggs
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
4 strips of bacon
Paprika
Salt and pepper

Put eggs into a small pot of water, just covering the eggs. Bring water just to a boil, then shut off heat. Let cool on stove. Fry the bacon. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel to remove excess grease, crumble when cool. When the eggs are cool enough to handle peel and chop. Put eggs, in a bowl, add bacon and remaining ingredients and mix well.
Serve on your favorite bread.

Shrimp & Egg Salad

1/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 eggs
2 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
1 medium scallion, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon, set aside. Add eggs to the pot, adding water, if necessary, to cover. Bring water just to a boil, then shut off heat. Let cool on stove. Chop the shrimp. When the eggs are cool enough to handle peel and chop. Put eggs, in a bowl, add chopped shrimp and remaining ingredients and mix well.
Serve on your favorite bread.

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Roasted Marrow Bones

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I know that I said the Split Pea Soup was on the menu for dinner, and it was, for my daughter. My son, who is not a big fan, opted for PB&J. (He’s going to turn into a PB&J, one day, you wait and see.) And, as the husband is out tonight with his friends, I decided to indulge in a meal that I don’t get to prepare too often because I’m the only one in the house who likes it.

Roasted Marrow Bones
Adapted from Jennifer McLagan’s “Bones: Recipes, History, & Lore”

Original recipes serves 4 as an appetizer, but I pared the recipe down . . .
Serves 1

It’s best to give yourself plenty of time to prepare the bones, they must be soaked 12-24 hours to remove any traces of blood. I started soaking mine last night around eleven, when inspiration struck.

2 beef marrow bones, about 3 inches long
kosher salt
vegetable oil
Crunchy Salad (recipe follows)
2 slices of bread, toasted
fleur de sel (Giant Eagle’s District Market brand is quite good.)

Place the bones in a bowl of ice water to cover, adding 2 Tbsp salt, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, changing the water 4 to 6 times and adding 2 more Tbsp salt to the water each time.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drain the bones and pat dry, Stand them up in a lightly oiled roasting pan for 15-25 minutes, or until the marrow has puffed slightly and is warm in the center. To test, insert a metal skewer into the center of marrow, then touch it to your wrist to see if it is warm. There should be no resistance when the skewer is inserted, and a little of the marrow should have melted and started to leak from the bones.

While the bones are roasting, prepare the salad, and toast the bread.

Serve hot, with salad, toast, and fleur de sel. Scoop out the marrow and spread it on toast, sprinkling it with the salt.

Crunchy Salad

The traditional thing to serve with roasted marrow is parsley salad, but I didn’t have any in the house, so I improvised.

1 cup spinach
1/4 cup Hot House cucumber, chopped (also known as an English or seedless cucumber)
1 scallion, chopped
2 tsp capers, rinsed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Tear the spinach into smaller pieces. Place the spinach, cucumber, scallion, and capers in a bowl. Whisk together the oil and lemon juice in a glass measuring cup, then season very lightly with salt (remember the fleur de sel will top the marrow) and generously with pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

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Split Pea Soup

My daughter LOVES split pea soup. She knew that Easter was near and we’d have a large chunk of ham sent home from Grammy’s house, so she started asking for this soup to be made about a week before the actual holiday. Yeah, my 5-year old twins are strange. My daughter adores this soup, and my son prefers salads over french fries.

This will be dinner tomorrow night:

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The package of dried peas that I bought had this packet of “ham flavor” in it. We ignored it.

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Split Pea Soup with Ham
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s, “How to Cook Everything”

Makes 8 servings
Time: about 4 1/2 hours (1 1/2 hours, if not making stock)

3 cups green split peas, washed and picked over
10 cups ham stock, or water
1 cup minced ham (We picked the ham bone clean after we made the stock, and then added more from the leftovers that were sent home.)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare Stock.

Cook minced ham in a large, deep pot with 1/2 cup stock or water, adding 1/2 cup stock or water every 5 minutes as it cooks down. Cook until crisp, about 20 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove the meat and set aside.

Combine the peas and the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to low, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are very, very soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Mash the mixture with a fork, or potato masher, or put through a food mill or strainer, or puree it carefully in a blender. We used our KitchenAid Hand Blender. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding.) Reheat, adding more stock or water if necessary to achieve the consistency you like. Season to taste and garnish with ham.

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Leftover Week

With Easter came colorful eggs, foil wrapped chocolate, and tons of leftovers.  We brought home containers filled with ham, deviled eggs, potato casserole, coleslaw, shrimp pasta salad, oven-roasted parsnips and turnips, oven-roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, lemonade pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie with oatmeal topping, Oreo cheesecake, and a big ham bone.  Some recipes I still have to get from my mother, like the shrimp salad and the lemonade pie, yummy!  Others, I cook on a regular basis.  And, I really should ask my aunt for her potato casserole recipe, since my husband promptly consumed what we brought home.

This week’s menu is leftovers.  
Sunday: Easter dinner at my parents’ house
Monday: ham, deviled eggs, pasta salad, coleslaw, and potato casserole
Tuesday: ham, parsnips/turnips, sprouts/cauliflower, and pasta salad
Wednesday: spinach salad with ham, eggs, scallions, Trader Joe’s wasabi almonds, anchovies, black olives, goat cheese, McCormick salad topper, cucumber, oil, and pomegranate vinegar.
Thursday: split peas soup (I made ham stock with the bone today following this recipe from 80 Breakfasts.
Friday: I really don’t know yet. I have more hard boiled eggs, so maybe I’ll just whip up a bacon and egg salad sandwich.
Saturday: Veal Parmigiana with fresh mozzarella (We’ll be out of leftovers by then, I think hope!)

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And, the kids had sugar eggs for desert, tonight. Too cute not to share: (My husband gets to peel them off the ceiling later.)

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Happy Easter and TCHO Chocolate!

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Happy Easter!

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I was one of the lucky people who got in on the free giveaway of TCHO chocolate from Blake Makes.  I saved it for my husband’s Easter basket because he gave up sweets for Lent and I knew that he would enjoy it.  I also snagged a taste for myself.

TCHO is rich and strong with a subtle, smooth flavor and texture. It melts in your mouth, very palatable with a slight bitter aftertaste that is the sign of very good chocolate. It was not waxy, grainy, or gritty.

As my husband bit into this delectable treat his eyes closed and he whimpered a little. He would travel to the ends of the earth for this chocolate.

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Breakfast for Dinner! (and a Review)

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Corned Beef Hash (Adapted from a recipe on Chubby Hubby)
Since we had tons of corned beef and potatoes from Monday we decided to add corned beef hash to today’s menu.  The original recipe had yellow mustard for which we substituted vinegar, because my husband has an allergy to mustard seed. And, we replaced the creme fraiche with sour cream, out of not having any fancy stuff in the house, and the beef stock with water, to cut down the sodium.

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 large onion
3 1/4 c corned beef
2 1/4 c potatoes
1 cup water
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Finely dice your corned beef and your onion.  If you need, peel your potatoes and either steam or boil them until fairly firm. (We just chopped up our leftovers)

Heat the oil and butter in a very large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute your onions until soft.  Then mix in the potatoes, beef, water, sour cream, vinegar, sugar and Worcestershire sauce.  Add pepper and salt to taste.  Note that as the corned beef hash cooks, it will become a little more savoury, so go easy with the salt.  Lower the heat and cover your pan.  Let cook for 5 minutes, uncover, stir and cover again for another 5 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium and cook uncovered until all the liquid has evaporated or has been absorbed, stirring every minute or so.  Then raise the heat to medium-high and cook until crusts begin to form on the hash.  Stir, frying various parts of the hash to your own preference.

We served ours topped with fried quail eggs. (5 quail eggs = 1 large egg) So that you don’t break the yolks on your quail eggs carefully cut the top of the shell off with a sharp knife and then pour contents into a pan. (I’ve fried them in a metal ladle and an AEbleskiver pan before, just make sure you grease them with oil first to avoid sticking.)

AEbleskiver with Cardamom (from AEbleskiver and More: A Sampling of Danish Recipes)

3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 Tbsp melted butter
oil or shortening for baking

Beat egg whites until stiff; set aside. Beat egg yolks. Add milk. Sift dry ingredients together and add to liquid mixture. Add the melted butter and fold in beaten egg whites. Pour a generous amount of oil into holes of aebleskiver pan and heat; fill with batter and bake until edges and bubbly. Turn and continue until evenly browned and fork inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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On television, you may have seen the commercials for the Pancake Puffs. My kids wanted me to get one so that they could have puffs for breakfast, but $19.95 + s&h ($14.99 + s&h more if you want the chef’s upgrade) wasn’t what I wanted to spend money on.

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My husband and I were at Bed Bath & Beyond (and let me tell you they are stocked with Beyond), but they do have the pancake puff pan and chef upgrade for $19.99, so we picked one up and I love it. My kids even tried cornbread puffs because they were round. They keep asking when we can make brownie puffs.

The thing is that I found out about that these clever little “puffs” and the pans that you need to make them in are an old Danish custom called Æbleskiver. Amazon.com even sells the pans and a few Danish recipe books.

So, if you’re out at BB&B, and you’ve been curious, I recommend the set. It’s seasoned cast iron, good quality and it comes with a few neat-o items:
• Gourmet Flavor Filler
• Sugar Shaker
• Pastry Brush
• Professional Handle Cover (really handy to have, we use it with our other cast iron, as well.)
• 1 Year Supply of Flippling Sticks

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