Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apple Crisp

  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds large Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, each half cut into 6 slices
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream

Mix oats, 1/2 cup sugar, and flour in bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until topping comes together in moist clumps. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Mix apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in bowl. Transfer to dish. Sprinkle topping over.

Bake crumble until apples are tender and topping is brown and crisp, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.

adapted from Bon Appetit: Fast and Easy

Light Wheat Biscuit Mix

  • 5 cups unbleached white flour
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 cups solid vegetable shortening

You need a very large bowl to make this mix, and also a clean container to put it in when it's done. I usually use a large, clean coffee can.

So, measure your flours into your large bowl. Add the salt and baking powder. Mix it all up with your fingers and hands. Be sure you wash them before you dig in. After the salt and baking powder are evenly distributed throughout the flour, add the shortening. Firmly pack solid shortening into a cup-size measure. Make sure there aren't any air pockets, as you pack it full. Level off the top with your finger so you have exactly one cupful. Scrape the shortening out of the cup into a big blob on top of the flour. Use your fingers to get out as much of the shortening as you can without being unduly obsessive about it. Now, measure another cupful of shortening and plop it on next to the first blob in the bowl of flour.

Using your hands, mash the flour and fat together until the entire mixture is light and crumbly. Try not to overmix. You will want small lumps to remain, about the size of peas or dried beans. When the mixture is evenly mashed together, and it actually resembles biscuit mix (only darker because of the whole wheat flour) you can stop. Transfer the biscuit mix to a clean coffee can, or other resealable container. Label and seal the can. You should have about 10-1/2 cups of biscuit mix.

This recipe can be used in any recipe calling for biscuit mix or Bisquick baking mix. This mix is better for you because of the whole grain flour, and reduced amounts of salt. Also, you can use trans-fatty-acid-free shortening in your own mix, to make it as healthy as possible. Spectrum is a brand name available in my neck of the woods.

I have tried a lot of whole wheat biscuit mixes to find the best one. All of the others turned out heavy and dense baked products. This one though, is perfect. Biscuits made with it are light and flaky the way biscuits are supposed to be, and impossible pies taste like they were made with store-bought biscuit mix, only they weren't. They were made with good, hearty, whole grains instead.

from Hillbilly Housewife

Pasta with Kielbasa and Swiss Chard

The classic combination of sausage and greens takes on a pasta companion in this warming dish that peaks with red-pepper flakes and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 30 min

Servings: Makes 4 servings.

  • 3/4 lb Swiss chard (preferably red; from 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 lb kielbasa, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3/4 lb penne
  • 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving

Cut out center ribs and stems from chard, then thoroughly wash, along with leaves, in several changes of cold water. Cut ribs and stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and coarsely chop leaves.

Cook kielbasa in oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cook chard ribs and stems with salt in fat remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard leaves, water, and red-pepper flakes and simmer, partially covered, until chard stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in kielbasa.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to chard mixture with cheese and salt to taste and toss until combined well. Thin with some of reserved pasta water if necessary.

from Gourmet

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tomato, Basil, and Chile "Sweet 'n' Hot" Dipping Sauce

2 pounds tomatoes, quartered 2 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced a wineglass of water juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange 4 cups sugar a large bunch basil 2/3 cup good-quality white wine vinegar (at least 5% acid) 1 to 3 fresh red chiles, very finely chopped from the River Cottage Cookbook

Couscous Salad with Winter Squash and Cranberries

Makes about 5 servings

  • 1 medium butternut squash (or other hard winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-3 teaspoons salt--to taste
  • 1 can garbanzo beans--drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 oz goat cheese (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts-coarsely chopped (if desired)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss squash with a bit of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast squash, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool before combining with other ingredients.

Heat water in sauce pan to boiling. Add couscous and stir. Remove pan from heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for about 15 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Saute onion in a skillet over medium-high heat until translucent. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, zest, spices, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

In a large bowl, combine squash, couscous, onions, garbanzo beans, and cranberries. Pour on the vinegar-oil dressing and stir to combine. Taste to check seasoning and add salt if needed.

If including, crumble the goat cheese into chunks and gently fold into the salad. (Note: Make sure the salad is room temperature at this point or the goat cheese will melt.)

Top each serving with a sprinkle of walnuts and enjoy. This salad can be served room temperature or cold.

from Apartment Therapy

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries

Serves 4 to 6

Roasted squash embodies the essence of winter meals, caramelized onions add a piquant touch, and fresh sage and dried cranberries dress it up for the holidays. A versatile side dish that complements anything from a weekday family dinner to a lavish holiday celebration.


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil*, divided
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries or cherries

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Peel squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds from the center and discard. Cut squash into large chunks. Coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until well caramelized.

Peel onions and cut into large chunks. Coat with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and spread on a second lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until well caramelized. When squash and onions are done, toss with sage and cranberries. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Per serving (about 9oz/247g-wt.): 210 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 2g protein

from Whole Foods

Spanish Rice

Can be prepared in 40 minutes or less. One of my mother's signature dishes is her Spanish rice, a delicious accompaniment to steak, chicken, and Mexican entrees such as tacos or enchiladas. Spanish rice is prepared by browning the rice first with onions and garlic, before cooking it in chicken stock with added tomato. The browning is essential to the nutty, almost toasty flavor of the rice. And although bouillon can be substituted for the chicken stock, nothing beats homemade chicken stock, the rich flavor of which is absorbed by the rice.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups* chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt

*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.

1. In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.

2. In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

from Simply Recipes

Orange Quinoa Salad

With protein-rich quinoa, dried fruit, and almonds, this salad is a good snack before or after exercise and a nice side dish with grilled pork. Or increase the serving size to 3/4 cup and add feta cheese or shredded rotisserie chicken to make it a main dish.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)



  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted


To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended.

To prepare salad, place quinoa in a large nonstick skillet; cook 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

Combine quinoa, 2 3/4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Stir in dressing, onions, and the remaining ingredients. Cover and chill.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 170 (28% from fat); Fat: 5.2g (sat 0.6g,mono 3.1g,poly 1.1g) ; Protein: 3.5g; Carbohydrate: 28.8g; Fiber: 2.7g; Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light, JULY 2006

Egg, Arugula, and Herb Tartine

Serves 1 for breakfast or lunch

  • 2 thick slices of good bread
  • 2 big handfuls fresh baby arugula
  • 1 sprig tender rosemary
  • Several chive stalks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Toast the bread and scrape on a little butter. Roughly chop the herbs and arugula as the rest of the butter heats in a small heavy sauté pan. Sauté the herbs and greens for just about a minute or until slightly wilted. Add the egg and quickly cook over medium heat until barely scrambled around the greens.

Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper, pile on the toasted bread, and eat immediately.

from Apartment Therapy

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • 4 lb pork roast
  • 2 medium onions, sliced to about 1/4 inch
  • 10 whole cloves
  • light beer (room temp)
  • water (warm)
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 16 oz chipotle BBQ sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
  • salt
  • pepper

Late on the night before you're going to eat it (I was up at midnight) slice the onions. Line the bottom of the pot with the slices from one of the onions.

You can trim the roast of excess fat, I didn't go too crazy with this step. It's extra work and you're going to cook off the fat anyway.

Stick the cloves into the meat. You'll be fishing these out later, so put them somewhere they'll be easy to get to. No need to bury them deep.

Place the roast in the cooker on top of the onions.

Dump in the liquid smoke and garlic powder. Since you'll be using BBQ sauce later, this is not all that important if you don't have these ingredients. Feel free to skip this step.

Put the remaining onion slices on top of the roast.

Now, use a combination of the beer and water to fill up the slow cooker 2/3 of the way up the side. If you've got plenty of beer, use all beer. If you don't like beer, use all water. I use a light beer because I think a hoppy beer is too strong for food that's being slow-cooked. Slow cooking tends to make flavors stronger.

Put the cover on and set the thing on low (or just "on" if you only have one setting) and go away. Alternately, I like to set it on "high" for an hour and then switch to "low." This helps get the ingredients up to temperature quicker. (It doesn't help the slow cooker heat up faster, but it will cause the slow cooker to reach a higher temperature, which means it will take less time for the internal temperature of the roast to hit that desirable level.)

Let it sit for 8 to 12 hours. More than 12 is not a problem if the thing is on low with a lid on it. The lid is supposed to keep moisture in, and hopefully the roast will be fairly swimming in its own juices by that time. You have a lot of time flexibility once it's safely cooked. More cooking is better in this recipe, which is why I did it overnight.

If you don't want to start it the night before, you can do this: start it in the morning as early as you can and let it go for a few hours on high. An hour on high is usually worth 2 on low. So starting at 6 on high and switching to low at 8 means it's had the equivalent of 12 hours by the time 4 PM rolls around.

When the roast is cooked, it should be basically falling apart. Very little is holding it together anymore, since you've cooked away all the fat and connective tissue. Remove the roast with a large spoon and fork. It's hot, be careful! It should break apart. Remove the cloves and any bones. And chunks of fat that remain can also be discarded. All that's left is fairly lean and delicious pork.

Shred it with a fork. This should be very easy if the roast has cooked for 12 hours.

Dump all the onions and liquid out of the slow cooker.

Place the meat back in there. Add the BBQ sauce. If dinner is still hours away, add some water to moisten the mixture and keep it moist. Use your judgment here. Salt and pepper to taste.

At dinner time, serve on your favorite rolls with fresh cole slaw.

A nice garnish can be made by slicing another onion and softening the onion rings in a tsp of butter and a tsp of oil. The stringy onions can be added atop the shredded pork on each open-faced sandwich.

It's really, really good. Especially for a recipe where the most work you did was sticking the cloves in there and pulling them back out. And waiting.

Whole-wheat Spaghetti with Chard and Ricotta

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 pound dried whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound green chard (rinsed, ends trimmed, and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 container (15 oz.) low-fat ricotta
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to bite, 7 to 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta-cooking water. Return spaghetti to pan.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic; stir until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chard; stir 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of reserved water; cook until chard stems are tender to bite, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Mix chard mixture into hot spaghetti with ricotta, pistachios, pecorino, lemon peel, lemon juice, remaining 1/2 cup reserved pasta-cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 430 (23% from fat); Protein: 22g; Fat: 11g (sat 3.2); Carbohydrate: 66g; Fiber: 11g; Sodium: 260mg; Cholesterol: 20mg

Sunset, NOVEMBER 2003

Cranberry Apple Raisin Crisp

We like to serve this homey dessert warm with vanilla ice cream. If you prefer it straight, reduce the amount of ground cloves to one-eighth teaspoon, or the flavor may be overwhelming. Be sure your baking dish is at least two inches deep so the sweet juices don't bubble over the edge and burn onto your oven floor. If the crisp comes to the top of the dish, put a baking sheet under it.

Yield: 4


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 12- ounces package cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or more, per user suggestion)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (from about 1 orange)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Heat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, the 1/2 cup flour, and the brown sugar. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until small crumbs form.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cranberries, apples, raisins, granulated sugar, the 2 tablespoons flour, orange zest and juice, and the cloves. Transfer the fruit to an 8-inch square glass baking dish or a 2-quart soufflé dish.

3. Top the fruit with the crumb mixture. Bake until the fruit is tender and the crumb topping has browned, about 45 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Quick From Scratch Herbs & Spices, Food & Wine, 1998

Caramelized Carrot Risotto

Delicate mascarpone cheese is a natural companion to sweet caramelized carrots in this brightly hued risotto. Prep and Cook Time: 1 1/4 hours. Notes: To make this risotto even prettier, you can cut the carrots into 1/4-in. dice (it's time-consuming, but makes the carrots look like little jewels). Mascarpone—a rich Italian-style cream cheese available at specialty, gourmet, and Whole Foods stores—can be replaced with an equal amount of heavy cream.

Yield: Makes 4 to 5 servings as a side dish or first course


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped as finely and evenly as possible (about 3 cups)
  • about 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tbsp. for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper


1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat in a medium heavy-bottomed pot; add carrots and stir with a wooden spoon until well coated. Add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the sugar; cover and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates and carrots are just starting to brown, a few minutes more. Reserve half of the carrots. In a blender, purée other half with 3/4 cup hot water.

2. Bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep at a simmer, covered, over low heat.

3. Heat remaining oil and butter over medium heat in same (unwashed) pot used for carrots. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat rice with oil, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until wine evaporates. Add carrot purée and cook, stirring, until mixture no longer looks soupy.

4. Add 1/2 cup hot broth, stirring often, until rice absorbs most of the liquid. Repeat process, adding 1/2 cup broth at a time and stirring often till each addition is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is al dente (about 20 minutes; at least 1 cup broth will remain).

5. Fold in reserved carrots (save 2 tbsp. for garnish), mascarpone, 1/4 cup parmesan, 1 tbsp. parsley, and the thyme. Add up to 1 cup broth (1/4 cup at a time) to loosen the risotto. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

6. Sprinkle each bowl of risotto with some of remaining 1/2 cup parmesan, remaining 1 tbsp. parsley, and reserved carrots. Serve immediately.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 302 (42% from fat); Protein: 9.1g; Fat: 14g (sat 7.1); Carbohydrate: 33g; Fiber: 4.1g; Sodium: 696mg; Cholesterol: 25mg

Sunset, APRIL 2008