Category Archives: Winter

Red Onion, Parsley and Preserved Lemon Salad

Makes 6 servings

3 cups thinly sliced red onions

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 preserved lemon

1/3 cup preserved lemon juice or fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 large garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

a pinch cayenne

kosher salt

In a bowl cover

3 cups thinly sliced red onions

with cold water and soak 30 minutes. Drain onions well and pat dry between layers of paper towels. In a bowl stir together onions with

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

peel of 1/8 preserved lemon, cut into julienne strips

1/3 cup preserved lemon juice or fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

a pinch cayenne, or to taste

kosher salt to taste

Let stand, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Adapted from The Best of Gourmet, 1995 Edition

Seppie In Zimino

Served with salad and bread, this makes a rustic dinner.
Makes 4 servings as a main course, 6 to 8 as a first course

Shopping List

11/2 to 2 pounds fresh or thawed cuttlefish

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion

2 tablespoons minced parsley

A few leaves of minced basil

11/2 to 2 pounds fresh Swiss chard, beet greens, or spinach (or 20 ounces frozen spinach)

1 cup canned plum tomatoes

red pepper flakes


Clean and cut into bite-size pieces or strips (not rings)

  • 11/2 to 2 pounds fresh or thawed cuttlefish

Even if you have purchased cleaned cuttlefish, check that it is completely cleaned. In a pot (large enough to hold all the ingredients) on medium heat, place

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced

Cook until the onion is translucent. Add

  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • A few leaves of minced basil

Saute for another minute. Wash well to remove sand from

  • 11/2 to 2 pounds fresh Swiss chard, beet greens, or spinach

Cut across the stems of the the greens to make large strips, but only use the parts where there are greens. The strips are maybe 1/3-inch wide. Discard the stem-only parts of the greens and avoid including any really tough stems. ATTN If you’re not feeling motivated to use fresh greens you can substitute 20 ounces of thawed, frozen whole-leaf spinach that’s been coarsely chopped.

If using fresh greens, cook on high heat until it cooks down, stirring every minute or so. If using frozen spinach, cook until it is heated through. Add the cuttlefish and

  • 1 cup canned plum tomatoes (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 to 2 tsp red pepper flakes, according to your taste for spicy food
  • salt and pepper to taste

Break up the tomatoes with a spoon. ATTN Go lightly with the salt as the flavors will concentrate as this cooks down. Adjust heat so the pot stays at a simmer. Keep the pot covered and stir every now and then, till the fish is cooked and the sauce is thick. You may need to add some hot water to keep the mixture from drying out or remove the cover towards the end if it’s too watery. This will take about 40 minutes to cook.

Check the seasoning and cook 5 minutes more. ATTN Serve with slices of crusty bread.

Dried Apple Cake

Makes one 9- by 5-inch loaf

3 eggs

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 cups dried apples

21/2 cups sugar

1 cup raisins

1 cup currants

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cloves

Allow

3 eggs

1/2 cup unsalted butter

to come to room temperature. Meanwhile soak together

3 cups dried apples

5 cups warm water

When the fruit has been rehydrated, about 30 minutes, drain fruit, reserving liquid. Chop apples and add

21/2 cups sugar

1 cup raisins

1 cup currants

(Chopped figs, prunes, dates or dried cranberries can replace some or all of the raisins and currants.) Cook with very little water (you can use the reserved apple-rehydration water if any remains) until the apples are soft. Let cool. Preheat oven to 350°.

In another bowl, combine

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cloves

Beat eggs well. Add eggs and softened butter to the fruit mixture. Stir in the flour mixture and mix well. Bake in a greased and floured 9- by 5-inch loaf pan for one hour in a 350° oven.

Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Cabbage

A few basic ingredients make a delicious dish
Serves 4 as a main dish

Shopping List

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large onions

4 large cloves garlic

6 cups thinly sliced cabbage

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 pound pasta

Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Heat in a large heavy skillet

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

over medium-low heat. Add

  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices, broken into rings
  • Salt and pepper

Saute until soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Do not try to rush this step. Add

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Stir well, add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until very tender, about 45 minutes, stirring often and adding a little more water if it dries out. Meanwhile, cook

  • 1 pound pasta

in boiling salted water. Add drained pasta to pan when the cabbage is done, toss well to combine for about 5 minutes. Serve hot, with

  • freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Adapted from teriskitchen.com

Apple-Ginger Mini-Cakes

This started off from a recipe in the King Arthur cookbook, but I don’t like cooked raisins and it collapsed at the center even though it was definitely done cooking at the edge. I did some thinking and adjusted it a bit.

Preheat oven to 325 F. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine

  • 11/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used about 1/4 cup of brown and the rest was white)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Combine and then add

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice (about 21/4 cups once chopped)
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger, cut into raisin-size pieces or smaller (see note)
  • 2 TBL soft butter
  • 2 eggs

Mix until dough forms. Add

  • A hand-full of pecan halves

Stir to mix in the nuts and spoon into greased cake molds. The ones I used are silicone and a little bigger than a cup-cake tins, but with straight sides. I filled them almost up to the top, pushing down with a spoon to eliminate any air pockets. I also tried a ramekin, and it worked, but the cake didn’t rise evenly because it came above the sides a bit sooner. This made 7 mini-cakes. The ones in the silicon baked about 35 minutes; the one in the ceramic ramekin was overbaked after 35 minutes. I think 30 minutes would have been right for the silicon, 25 minutes for the ramekin.

NOTE: I really prefer using the “uncrystallized ginger” from Trader Joe’s because it isn’t coated with sugar.

Turkey Soup

I love gathering up turkey carcasses that family and friends want to throw out at Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes they are loaded with meat, but even if well trimmed, they yield a delicious soup.

Soak overnight in separate bowls 1 cup barley and 2 cups dried lima beans. I soak them separately.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the carcass(es) on one or more oven-safe trays, along with 2 onions., a few carrots and celery stalks. Be sure the trays have sides as there tends to be some juice attached to the carcasses that will liquefy as it heats. From time to time, turn the bones and vegetables as they brown.

Transfer the bones and vegetables to a stock pot, breaking the rib cage if it doesn’t fit in your stock pot. Add just enough water to cover the bones and vegetables. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add salt and bay leaves. Let cook for at least an hour. When the stock tastes good, remove the bones and vegetables to a colander. Pour the stock through a fine strainer. Pick the meat from the bones and reserve. You can force the carrots through the sieve to impart their flavor to the stock. Discard the vegetables and bones.

Add the barley and beans to the stock, and bring to a boil. Cook until the beans and barley are nearly done. Add a mixture of diced carrots and parsnip. Cook for 15 minutes and add the reserved meat. Adjust seasoning and serve with egg noodles, dumplings or anything else you like.

Delhi ‘dempte

Saute a diced medium onion and 2 21/2 cloves garlic, minced, in oil in a stew pot. When soft, add

  • 3/4 tsp garam masal
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground chili
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes and their juice
  • 12 chicken thighs (skin removed)

Bring to boil, lower immediately to lowest possible temperature at which it can simmer. Cook for 40 minutes; occasionally move things around in the pot so the chicken is covered in the sauce. Add

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets

Cook 20 minutes more. Serve over basmati rice.

Mexi-Dempte

Flavors of enchiladas and pozole.

In a stew pot heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Saute 2 minced onions and 3 cloves garlic. Add a teaspoon of salt. Continue to cook until golden without browning. Add 12 skinless chicken thighs and cook until meat gets some color; turn to cook other side.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil —not olive oil, please.  (Each time I make this the amount of oil grosses me out, but then I remember back to all the lard that got used when I worked in a Mexican restaurant and I somehow accept what I’m doing.) As it heats up, add 1/4 cup flour and stir to make a roux. Make sure it cooks long enough so it won’t have a floury taste.  Add 1/3 cup (medium-hot) chili powder and stir in 3 cups of water, stirring until smooth. Add 11/2 tsp salt. Add mixture back in with the chicken.

Add drained cans of pozole (a.k.a. white hominy): I used 3 29-ounce cans for this batch but I really love hominy. You can probably get by with less.

Bring to a simmer and cook covered on lowest possible heat. Stir from time to time so all the chicken gets moved around in the sauce. Make sure nothing sticks or burns. Serve with Sadie’s Spanish Rice and refried beans.

Apple Maple Cobbler

Well, cake-y cobbler, but yummy.

Peel

  • 5-6 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Place in a greased 3-quart casserole or a 9×13-inch pan.

Measure

  • 2 tsp vinegar

into a liquid measuring cup and add

  • milk to make 3/4 cup

Let sit while you cream together

  • 11/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Combine

  • 11/2 cups flour
  • 11/2 tsp baking soda
  • 11/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Add soured milk, dry ingredients and

  • 11/2 tsp vanilla

and beat to combine. Spoon mixture over apples, distributing evenly. Over top, pour

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 11/2 cups broken walnut pieces.

Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes, until golden. Let rest for 10+ minutes before serving.

Adapted from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.[/source[

Gedempte Chicken

Dice one large onion and mince 2 cloves garlic. Heat oil in stew pot, saute garlic and onions. It’s okay if they brown a little. Season with salt, pepper and paprika (or cayenne, my personal preference). Push vegetables to one side of pan and chicken pieces (one whole chicken cut in pieces or use your favorite parts) in one layer. Brown on both sides. Continue until all meat is browned, lifting vegetables on top of meat. The more color the meat gets, the more flavor the dish has.

Add about 1/3 cup water, cover and lower heat to lowest possible temperature you can just get a slight simmer. Every 15 minutes. turn pieces of meat so each side of each piece gets to cook at the bottom of the pan, making sure it doesn’t dry out — but don’t add any extra water beyond the minimum needed. When the meat is tender, it’s done.

Some variations: This recipe was originally for beef, but chicken works well, or meatballs. You can add potatoes cut into large chunks just as you turn down the temperature. The recipe works well in a pressure cooker, but be careful to add enough water so you don’t risk cooking the pressure cooker dry!

Winter Squash Soup

Chop, clean and saute 1 large leek in some olive oil. While it softens, trim 4 cups of winter squash into 1- to 2-inch cubes. Add to pot and add a mixture of water and chicken stock to cover. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne and either 1/2 tsp cumin or 1/4 tsp pimenton. Bring to simmer for 35-45 minutes (until squash is soft). If using a pressure cooker, it will need about 10 minutes. Puree in blender and strain. Add a bit of light cream and serve.

NOTE: If saving for later, reheat and then add the cream.

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

Heat 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream and 1 TBL butter until just shy of simmering. Remove from heat.

With a mixer, beat 4 egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until it’s thickened and the color is very yellow. Continue beating the mixture and add the hot cream, in a very slow stream so you don’t cook the eggs by raising the temperature too quickly. When it’s all combined, return to heat and bring to 185 degrees. The mixture will be thick and coat the spoon. Pour through a strainer to remove any lumps.Chill in refrigerator.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and 1 TBL grated lemon rind and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice. Pour through a strainer to remove the rind (it’s bitter) and any pulp or seeds in the juice. Chill.

When the flavoring and custard are both thoroughly chilled, combine and process in an ice cream maker.

NOTE: I had only Meyer lemon juice and regular lemon rind. It worked very well.

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms

This is a complete reworking of a recipe that started out with rabbit meat and cooked in the oven for hours. Years ago, I started cooking this recipe using chicken meat but only recently did I realize how perfect it is for the pressure cooker. It’s much faster, simpler and every bit as tasty.

In a pressure cooker, brown

  • 6-8 skinless chicken thighs

Work in batches if necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove from pan.

Over medium high heat add

  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced

Season with salt and pepper, stirring until softened. Add

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 to 16 ounces of chopped, mixed mushrooms (see notes, below)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp dried thyme

Stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes, until all liquid is gone. Add

  • 1 cup white wine

and raise heat and reduce by half, then add

  • 2-3 cups chicken stock

Close pressure cooker and cook at high heat for 24 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then use a quick release technique.

The meat and bones will separate so working carefully, remove chicken pieces from pot. Add

  • 2/3 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped

ATTN I like oil-cured Moroccan olives although they can be too salty for some people. Cook until flavors have blended and sauce has thickened a bit (10-15 minutes). While it cooks, remove bones and gristle from the chicken pieces and return the meat to the pot.  Let chicken heat up completely, or remove from heat and reheat completed dish when ready to serve.

This is delicious served over Creamy Polenta, Whole Wheat Pappardelle or Fried Polenta.

Note: I like to use about 4 ounces of any exotic mushroom (such as Maitake or Oyster) except not Shiitake plus about 8 small Cremini mushrooms. I break or cut the caps of the exotics into recognizable pieces. chop up the stems finely and slice the Creminis finely. You could use button mushroom for a less expensive alternative. Sometimes I use rehydrated porcini mushrooms, saving the liquid to replace some of the chicken stock.

Andouille Sausage with Black-Eyed Peas

In a 6-quart (or larger) pressure cooker, heat 1+ TBL oil. (Don’t use less, as it keeps the beans from foaming and causing problems later on.) Saute 1 medium onion, diced, until soft. Add 1 cup dry, rinsed black-eyed peas, 1 minced stalk celery, 1 diced large red pepper, 1 minced jalapeno pepper, 1 minced carrot, 5 andouille sausage cut diagonally into thirds, a chunk of smoked turkey meat, 3 cups canned diced tomatoes with liquid, 1/2 cup water, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 tsp dried oregano.

Cover pressure cooker and bring to high pressure following directions for your model. Cook at high pressure for 11 minutes. I let the pressure come down naturally, but if you’re in a hurry to serve it right away, you may need to cook it for a few minutes longer after you open the cooker. Once it’s done cooking, check the salt level and add salt after cooking, if necessary.

Serve with rice.

Note: I used a 12-ounce package of Bilinski’s chicken-meat sausage.

Root Soup

This started out as potato soup originally, and it’s morphed into a much more interesting dish.

Peel and cut up 2-4 potatoes, 4-5 parsley roots, 3 carrots and 2 leeks. place in pot and cover with water. Add 2 tsp salt and bring to a boil; reduce to a strong simmer. Skim any starchy foam that accumulates on the surface. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Turn off heat.

In a skillet, melt 3 TBL butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add 11/2 to 2 TBL flour. Stir to make a smooth mixture and keep stirring until it’s a nut-brown color, but be sure you don’t let it burn. Add it to the soup, keeping it mind it will splatter. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, bring the soup back to a simmer for another 20-30 minutes.

If you want the soup less chunky, use a potato masher to break some if up. Let cool and reheat the next day; it will be much thicker. Season with salt and pepper to taste.