Posted by goodcookbecky on December 26, 2010
I remember walking along the streets of Salzburg, Austria in the winter season and sampling the roasted chestnuts that street vendors sold. It was a nice treat for the winter season. In the United States, it seems, we only sing about chestnuts roasting over an open fire, but few have made them or even tasted them. As I went through my local market to buy the ingredients I needed for Christmas dinner, I saw them and they had a helpful sign that gave instructions on how to roast them. I took a quick picture of it, because I knew in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation I would forget the specifics.
Preheat your oven to 425 F and clean the chestnuts. Carve an X with a knife, being sure to puncture the skin of the chestnut completely (I found this easiest to do at the top of the chestnut, where it tends to be softer than the rest and has done the job for me — other sites recommended on the side, but I came close to cutting off my fingers and I am rather attached to them thank you!). Place the chestnuts in a pie pan and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and peel while still warm. You can serve them with melted butter and salt or cinnamon. My husband finds them a little tedious to peel, but once peeled finds them delicious. Try them and you will like them, but they are a bit pricey. Well worth it for an occasional treat.
A Pun for the Season:
A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After an hour, the manager came out of his office and asked them to disperse. “But why?”they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!”
Posted in Christmas, Holidays | Tagged: chestnuts, Roasted Chestnuts | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on December 24, 2010
Many of you are familiar with Cheese Fondue which has its roots from Switzerland. Raclette is another Swiss innovation. It is melted cheese (broiled) that is served over boiled baby potatoes and accompanied by pickled vegetables, pickles and olives. A few models of Raclette ovens have a grill pan on the top of the broiling elements where you can cook meats, seafood, bacon or grill vegetables if so desired. My parents gifted us with a wonderful Raclette oven a few years ago (link) and we have enjoyed it over the past few years. My daughter especially likes shrimp and though I know that shrimp and cheese do not typically get served together I do make some for the kids. There is even a Raclette cheese. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can find them at well stocked grocery stores from time to time. I have had success in freezing the cheese too – to keep it until the day I make it. If you cannot find Raclette cheese Gruyere will make an excellent substitute as it is similar in taste and texture. Preheat the Raclette oven for about 10 minutes before using. The cheese is melted in non stick trays under the broiler. The meats and vegetables are grilled above on the grill pan if your Raclette oven has that option.
Melt the cheese and serve over boiled baby potatoes that you have roughly mashed with your fork. Season with caraway seed if desired, and dried minced oregano. Serve with pickled vegetables, roasted bell peppers, pickles and an assortment of olives. For meats I cooked Filet Mignon cut into 1 inch pieces and jumbo shrimp that had been peeled and cleaned.
Posted in Christmas, Ethnic, Ethnic - German, Favorite, Holidays, Main Dish, Main Dish - Potatoes | Tagged: Raclette | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on April 1, 2010
Here is a recipe for Ham. With Easter looming just days away, I think I need to start thinking about the menu for that. When I was growing up my mom would prepare a raisin gravy to go with the ham. I have to admit, as a child I did not enjoy it much, but now that I am an adult, I cannot have ham without serving this on the side. It is a good and simple recipe. I hope you enjoy it as well — maybe it will be a walk down memory lane to your childhood too!
Mom’s Raisin Gravy – Verna
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 tsp Prepared Mustard
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Water
Combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat, until a nice consistency. Serve with Ham.
Posted in Christmas, Easter, Holidays, My Mom's Recipes, Side Dish - Sauces, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving | Tagged: Easter recipe, Ham sauce, Raisin Gravy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on March 25, 2010
Here is a recipe I found quite by accident. It is pumpkin waffles. Yes, I know it’s more of a seasonal thing to have pumpkin waffles, but I say pumpkin is one of those things you could and should have year round.
The site Bread and Breakfast Inns has a lot of recipes and links to Bed and Breakfasts around the country. This particular recipe I changed a little. I did not make the Maple flavored whipped cream, but instead served it with real Maple Syrup and Whipped cream from the can. I like easy! Plus I have kids who have no patience when it comes to waiting for their food. This is especially my husband’s favorite way to make Waffles. One recipe was not enough for my family of 5 I made 1 1/2 times the amount and that is what is listed here.
Pumpkin Waffles -( adapted from http://www.lanierbb.com/recipes/data/4050.html)
Combine dry ingredients:
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar
- 6 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (from can is fine)
- 6 egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
- 1 1/2 cups melted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Beat until stiff:
- Preheat waffle iron.
- Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix together until combines.
- Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the waffle batter. It should be nice and light and airy.
- Bake Waffles in waffle iron. Serve with warm Maple Syrup and whipped cream if desired.
Posted in Breakfast, Christmas, Holidays, Thanksgiving | Tagged: pumpkin, Pumpkin Waffles, waffles | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on February 3, 2010
Here is a salad I had at a friend’s house and just HAD to have a copy of the recipe! It has a strong dressing, but is quite delightful! I have to say though, it can upstage your main course — so if you are not eating it as a main meal – which you could, serve it with something like Spaghetti and Meatballs – not your elaborate meal. It is really good. I have an immersion blender which makes the dressing a snap to make – a regular blender would do the job too though! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
The combination of spiced nuts, feta cheese, Craisins and the dressing is really outstanding! The kids may not care for the dressing though — serve it on the side – it is a good idea anyway that way you don’t overpower the lettuce greens… Start with a couple of teaspoons of dressing and toss and see where it takes you.. you can always add more, but not take it away!
Trisha’s Festive Tossed Salad
Serves 4 Main Dish Portions or 6 Side Salads
- 1 cup Pecans — coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 12 cups Mixed Baby Salad Greens — torn
- 3/4 cup Craisins
- 4 ounces Cheese, Feta — crumbled
- 1/4 cup Vinegar, Red Wine — Dressing ingredient
- 1/4 cup Oil, Vegetable — Dressing Ingredient
- 1/2 cup Parsley, Fresh — Dressing Ingredient
- 1/4 cup Onion, Red — chopped Dressing Ingredient
- 2 cloves Garlic cloves — Dressing ingredient
- 1/2 tsp Oregano, Dried — Dressing Ingredient
- 1/8 tsp Salt — Dressing Ingredient
- 1/8 tsp Pepper — Dressing Ingredient
In a skillet, cook and stir pecans in butter until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, pepper and salt. In a salad bowl, toss the greens, cranberries, cheese and walnuts.
Place the dressing ingredients together in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
(Word to the wise, the dressing is quite potent so use with caution.) This salad was renamed “killer salad” by my family. I always have requests for it when I bring it to potlucks or have company over.
Posted in Christmas, Favorite, Holidays, Main Dish - Salad, Side Dish - Salad, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian | Tagged: Food, Garlic Dressing, Recipes, Salad | Leave a Comment »