Apr. 12th, 2009

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2 cups cooked squash (butternut, acorn, or what have you) mashed. You can even use canned pumpkin if you're in a mad hurry.

32 oz chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups salsa, fresh or canned.

Put the squash in a blender or food processor, pour in enough broth to cover and blend on high until liquified. Add the salsa, and liquify again.

Between the blender and the pot, you can also add a cup of frozen southwestern mix vegetables.

Heat over medium until simmering, serve with a dollop of sour cream.
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1 cup sweet potato, steamed and mashed

2 tablespoons buckwheat flour

1/4 cup whole grain flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

A pinch of salt

Pumpkin pie spice


1 egg, beaten


Mix the flours, baking soda and salt in with the mashed sweet potato. Spice and sweeten with the molasses to taste, then add the egg and mix thoroughly. Add milk until the batter is the desired consistency and cook as per regular pancakes.
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2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs - cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of coconut
6 tablespoons of Sadaf curry powder
1 packet Mahatma (or same measure of other rice) Spicy Yellow Rice

Saute the chicken thigh meat in the olive oil until partly cooked. Toss in the onions and cover for about five minutes. Pour in chicken broth, cream of coconut, and stir in the Sadaf curry powder - bring to a steady simmer for ten minutes uncovered. Pour in the rice packet, stir, bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for five minutes, then dish and eat.
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Cannellini Bean Dip

15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Salt and Pepper

Throw the first four ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Alternative flavorings: You may substitute 1 tablespoon of the oil with one tablespoon of pesto, or add one small roasted and peeled red pepper.

I eat this with Garden of Eatin's Little Soy Blues, Sesame, or Sunny Blues.
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[personal profile] cathouse_mary
Read the article or just read the recipe.

Variations: I use my own home-roasted coffee, sans chicory, and the half-gallon will last me two weeks. Stirred up with milk and bittersweet chocolate syrup, it's a party in a glass.

New Orleans Cold Drip Coffee

Adapted from Blue Bottle Coffee company

Makes 8 cups coffee concentrate

1 pound dark roast coffee and chicory, medium ground

10 cups cold water



1. Put coffee in a nonreactive container, like a stainless-steel stockpot. Add 2 cups water, stirring gently to wet the grounds, then add remaining 8 cups water, agitating the grounds as little as possible. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 12 hours.

2. Strain coffee concentrate through a medium sieve, then again through a fine-mesh sieve.

3. To make iced coffee, fill a glass with ice, add ¼ cup coffee concentrate and 3/4 to 1 cup milk, then stir. To make café au lait, warm 3/4 to 1 cup milk in a saucepan or microwave, then pour into a mug and add ¼ cup coffee concentrate. (Concentrate will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)

Note: Coffee with chicory may be ordered through French Market (www.frenchmarketcoffee.com) or Blue Bottle (www.bluebottlecoffee.net)
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Strapped for time, too hot or just too tired to cook, the Minimalist comes up with 101 meals that can be ready in ten minutes or less.

THE MINIMALIST; 101 Summer Express: Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

by Mark Bittman
Published: July 18, 2007

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[personal profile] cathouse_mary
Made only when it's cranberry sauce season.

Holiday French Toast

Three slices whole-grain firm-textured cinnamon raisin bread - http://www.foodforlife.com has my favorite.
Two eggs, beaten with two tablespoons eggnog - a smidge of alcohol is optional.
Favorite cranberry sauce

You all know how to make French toast. Enjoy! :)

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Utterly delicious and versatile - with breakfast or as a side dish to the main course at dinner.

Lori's Skillet Smashed Potato Recipe

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Marinara Sauce

1/4 cup of your favorite extra-virgin olive oil
6 to a BUTTLOAD of large cloves of garlic
1 35oz can of whole Italian-style tomatoes, crushed
1 cup water
Basil leaves, washed, dried and chopped
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt

Take a large non-reactive saucepan - preferably stainless steel or enameled cast iron - and cook the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until it's soft and a little bit browned. Add the whole can of crushed tomatoes to the saucepan with juices, then add one cup of water. Add the basil, oregano, sugar and salt, then bring to a boil. Lower the heat and slowly simmer until thickened and reduced - about 30 minutes.
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French Toast Batter

2 eggs
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you can find vanilla in bourbon or rum, go for it!)
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of orange zest (if dried, soak it for a bit in the vanilla extract)

Beat all ingredients together, then pour into a flat-bottomed dish. Put the bread in, allowing the bread to soak. Butter your griddle and set to.
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It's pretty simple, but it takes a very, very long time. However, you'll find that the various extracts provide a unique and delicious flavor.

1 vanilla bean of the "fine vanilla" grade
3/4 cup of hard alcohol - vodka, rum, brandy, or bourbon

Split the bean lengthwise and put it in a bottle tall enough to hold the bean. You might have to snip the bean to make it fit the bottle, just put the snippings in. Pour in the alcohol and cork the bottle. Leave it to steep for six months.
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[personal profile] cathouse_mary
Basic mashed potato for one

1 russet potato - peeled, halved, chopped into thick chunks
2 tablespoons milk
Salted butter and white pepper to taste

Steam the potatoes until fork tender, but not falling apart. Drain and dribble in the milk, mash with butter to taste. The taste is earthy and rich, not mushy and boiled out
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Firecracker Shrimp or Prawns

1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup fresh cilantro - snipped
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce or favorite hot sauce (Red Rooster e.g.)
1 chipotle pepper (dried or or in adobo is best, though you can find chipotle powder)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon tequila
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 pounds jumbo shrimp , shelled and deveined

Take everything but the shrimp, put it in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Put the shrimp in a nonreactive container or a large freezer bag and pour the marinade over, mixing the shrimp to cover. Chill for a few hours.

To grill, remove the shrimp and reserve the marinade to be brushed on while cooking. Cook until white in the middle, about four minutes per side.
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Sangria Blanca

1 bottle dry white wine - I used a Pinot Grigio - chilled frosty
1/2 cup frozen sliced peaches, chopped
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup white grapes
1 clementine or small orange, cut into wedges
1 lime, sliced
2 shots of Kirschwasser, Framboise or other eaux de vie
1 cinnamon stick
Sugar to taste, you might not need it

Take the fruit and cinnamon stick and put it in a glass pitcher, pour the wine in - and chill. Test the taste before serving and add the sugar if needed, the fruit is sometimes sweet enough that you won't need it.
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New England lobstah roll

A 'lobstah roll' like the ones I grew up with in Connecticut.

How to Make a Lobstah Roll


2 cups cooked lobstah meat, chopped
Cain's mayonnaise to your taste - some like it loaded
1/2 teaspoon of Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard
1 tablespoon green onion or scallion, sliced
juice and zest of one lemon
2 pinches of Old Bay seasoning to start


New England-style hot dog buns
Melted sweet buttah


Throw all the stuff for the filling in the bowl, mix and chill it in the icebox. Test it every little bit and fix the seasoning as the flavors blend. Chill for at least three hours.

When ready to serve, take the buns and brush the outsides with melted butter. Grill until golden, then fill with lobstah.

Serve with Wise potato chips and Vlasic pickle slices.

This works over crab and shrimp, too.
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Plum Ketchup

Really good with pork, turkey, or game. This will keep for one week in the fridge, six months in the freezer.

3lb. red or black plums, pitted and halved.
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3-2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (depends on your taste and sweetness of plums)
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 inches of cinnamon stick

Combine everything in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally until the plums are mush - use a potato masher if you want to speed things along, or a heat-resistant hand blender. Remove from heat, fish out the cinnamon stick, and pour it unto a pan for better cooling, then into your containers.

If you need a thicker ketchup to use as a spread, try adding one tablespoon of grated apple per pound of fruit at the start of cooking.

You can also make this with cherries, apricots, or peaches - try the cherry over grilled duck and the apricot or peach as a glaze on chicken.
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Meat Sauce

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons total mixed minced fresh basil, oregano, and rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
4 cups of peeled, seeded Roma tomatoes, chopped with juice (or one 32-ounce can whole Roma tomatoes in juice)
Pinch sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Red wine - I use a plain bottle-in-a-basket chianti

In a heavy saucepan, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Remove and drain of excess fat, then put aside. Deglaze the pan with a little red wine, if needed.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil, then add the red onion and minced garlic, stirring until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes with juice, remaining olive oil, the herbs, the roasted garlic and the sugar. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened - about one hour - then add the meat back in with a little red wine. Simmer until the meat is heated through, then add salt and pepper to taste.
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Morning Muesli

1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce w/ cinnamon
Any fruit - fresh, thawed, or dried
1 tablespoon wheat germ
2 tablespoons raw pecan bits, sunflower seeds, or chopped almonds
Cream or yogurt

Combine everything in a bowl, stir, and eat.

This can be eaten as-is, or heated up.

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[personal profile] cathouse_mary
Spicy sausage, peppers and onions

5-8 links Italian sausage
Olive oil
1 large yellow or red onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 mild green chili pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1/2 cup pico de gallo
3 cups favorite pasta or tomato sauce

Pour olive oil into skillet, add sausage links and sear outsides until well-browned. Remove and set aside. Add onions, peppers and garlic - use a little more oil if needed. Cook, stirring constantly until the onion is just tender, then deglaze the pan with a swish of red wine and add the sausage back with the salsa and pasta/tomato sauce.

Simmer over low heat until sausage is cooked through - about 45 minutes.
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[personal profile] cathouse_mary
Caldo Verde (Portugese Kale Soup):

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
1 pound of  linguicia sausage, sliced thin
6 medium white or red potatoes, diced
1 can white beans, drained
4 cups cold water
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound kale or collard greens, cut very fine
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic and linguicia, then cook for 2 minutes strirring constantly. Add the potatoes, beans and greens, cover everything with water and broth, bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are almost done, about 15 minutes.

This improves after a couple of days in the 'fridge.
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Roasted eggplant and red bell pepper soup

3/4-pound eggplant, halved
1 large red bell pepper, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin) plus additional for
 coating the vegetables
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tabasco or other hot sauce
1 quart chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Coat eggplant and bell peppers lightly with oil and arrange with cut sides down in a jelly-roll pan. Roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until eggplant is very soft and the bell pepper halves are blistered. Transfer peppers to a tightly-covered bowl and let steam until cool enough to handle.

Scoop eggplant from skin into blender, peel peppers and chop, adding to blender with the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pepper sauce and half of the chicken broth. Using highest speed, liquify the ingredients.

Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan, add the rest of the chicken broth and simmer for about 20 minutes.
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Lavender/vanilla drop cookies

3 and 1/2 tablespoons dried food-grade lavender

2 cups raw sugar

1 cup butter

3 large eggs - beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups King Arthur flour sifted with 2 teaspooons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and a pinch of nutmeg.

1/2 cup half-and-half

Grind the sugar and lavender together in a food processor or mortar and pestle until very finely granulated. Cream the butter, adding the sugar and lavender gradually, then the beaten eggs and vanilla. Add the four mixture alternately with the half-and-half until a soft dough is formed.

Drop by teaspoons-full onto lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.

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Stuffed French Toast for One (but it's really Italian):

1 slice Italian bread, sliced as thick as two fingers are wide
1 egg, beaten with a pinch each of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
1 pat butter to oil pan

With a sharp knife, cut a 'pocket' in the middle of the bread, do not cut through the sides or bottom. Spoon in and spread the mascarpone and preserves, then coat in the egg/spice mixture.  Melt butter in pan, and put  egg-soaked bread in, cooking until the bread it firm to the touch - it helpsto cover the pan between turnings, as it keeps the heat in and the egg cooks completely.

You don't really need additional butter or syrup, though you can always add them.

Serve with bacon or ham, and a citrus fruit salad.
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Curry Mayo for Fries and Chips

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch of ground ginger

Mayo in a bowl, dump in the remaining ingredients and whisk - add a little lime juice if it seems to be too thick.

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6 eggs, beaten with 1 tbs half-and-half
6 slices of a small tomato
6 large basil leaves, washed and torn
(optional) 1/3 cup diced prosciutto
1/2 cup mixed shredded cheeses (mozarella, asiago, fontina, parmesan, romano, etc.)

Melted butter or olive oil and a pastry brush
One nonstick muffin pan with six cups
Small silicone spatula

Preheat oven to 375F, brush the cups with the butter or olive oil. Divide the meat, cheese, tomato and basil between the muffin cups, then spoon in the egg. Bake about 10 minutes until puffy and golden.

Remove from cups with small silicone spatula.
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Good for early or late season berries that are not all that sweet.

Glazed strawberries and cantaloupe

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled, washed, and halved
1/2 of a ripe cantaloupe, seeds scooped out, skin removed
1 tbs finely crushed raw sugar

Preheat the broiler, arrange the strawberries cut-side-down in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the sugar.  Broil for 4 to five minutes until the sugar melts and starts to bubble. Slice melon into thin wedges and arrange on a plate. Top the melon with the strawberries and serve.
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Baba Ghanooj - the easy way.

1 large eggplant
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 tablespoons of tahnini
lemon juice
hot paprika

Place the eggplant directly over the flame on the gas ring of a stove, hot coals of a barbeque, or under the broiler. Turn with tongs until the eggplant is deflated-looking and the skin is evenly charred.

Put the charred eggplant in a bowl and cover tightly, leaving it to cool for about an hour.

In a bowl, peel and discard the charred skin, reserving the juices. Chop the flesh, then put in a food processor and puree, adding the reserved juices, until smooth. Stir in the garlic and the tahini, then add the lemon juice.

If it's a little too thick, thin it out with a up to 2 tablespoos of water - added a little at a time until you have the desired consistency. Top with a good sprinkle of hot paprika, and maybe a make a little dimple in the top for some olive oil.
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This one is from the area where I grew up, and I remember them on the menu at the "Beach Shack" spelled just like this -

"Portageese" Steamers

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or 2 tablespoons garlic paste
A foot of linquica (Portugese sausage), sliced medium-thick
1/2 cup white wine - wine-in-a-box Chardonnay is fine
2 bay leaves
1 pint water - you may use fish stock or chicken broth
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
3 pounds soft-shell clams - use cherrystones or mussels if you can't find soft-shells.

Melt the butter inn a heavy-bottomed dutch oven or stockpot, ass the onion, garlic, and sausage and fry until the sausage is almost cooked through. Add the wine and bay leaves, then simmer until the liquid in the pot is reduced by half, then pour in the water/stock/broth, parsley and clams and simmer. The clams are done when they open – about fifteen minutes.

Serve in bowls with crusty bread on hand for dipping.
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Smoked salmon chowder

This makes a very rich and creamy chowder.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter or bacon and drippings
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/4 of a large onion)
4 ounces smoked salmon, flaked (not Nova Scotia style)
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup carrots, sliced thin
1/2 cup celery, sliced thin
1 cup red potatoes, diced, skin on
2 cups half-and-half
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter or drippings and sauté onion, garlic, and half of the salmon until onion is tender. Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and chopped vegetables and cook 4 minutes, stirring. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in half-and-half and remaining flaked salmon, add pepper to taste.


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