Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lemon-Ginger Frozen Yogurt

¾ C water
½ C sugar
¼ C light corn syrup
½ C lemon juice
4 C plain yogurt
2 Tbls finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp lemon zest
Optional: lemon slices or crystallized ginger for garnish

Place yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 5-6 hours. Discard liquid.

In saucepan, boil water, sugar, corn syrup and ginger until sugar melts. Stir frequently, boil 2 minutes. Strain into a bowl and let cool.

Blend yogurt, lemon juice, zest and boiled syrup. Pour into ice cream maker and process for about 20-25 minutes or until firm. If needed, transfer to airtight container and freeze an additional 2-3 hours.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


½ C butter
1 C flour
5 eggs
1 C grated gruyère
½ C grated parmesan
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425°

Heat butter and 1 cup water in saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and it begins to boil. Reduce heat; add flour and stir vigorously until mixture pulls away from teh sides of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat.

Add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until mixture forms a smooth paste (dough will separage at first after each egg is added). Stir in grated cheese, mustard and pepper.

Drop mixture in heaping spoonfulls onto greased baking sheets. Bake 30 minutes or until puffed and brown. Cut slits in sides of puffs; return to oven, lower heat to 350°. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Makes 40-45 bite-sized appetizers, less if you make them bigger.

Evil Jungle Soup

Sheree Johnston's recipe.

3 stalks lemon grass, cut into 1" pieces
4" piece of fresh ginger, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, cut into quarters
8-10 cups chicken stock

1 garnet yam, peeled, cut into 1-2" cubes
1 onion, diced
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, sliced
3 handfuls fresh spinach
1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper

Combine lemon grass, ginger, garlic and chicken stock in a pot. Simmer for 40 minutes; strain. Add the yam and cook 10 minutes. Add chicken and vegetables, simmer until the yams are soft (about 24 minutes). Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sweet Potato Dip

1 lb sweet potatoes or yams
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbls white miso*
1½ Tbls tahini (sesame paste)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbls thinly sliced green onions
1½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

Peel yams and cut into 1-2" chunks. Steam sweet potatoes in a large saucepan with a steamer basket and 1" water until very tender (about 20 minutes). Drain, reserving liquid, let cool slightly.

Mince ginger in a food processor. Add sweet potatoes,miso, tahini, soy sauce, and enough reserved sweet potato liquid for a creamy texture (about 3 tablespoons). Whirl in food processor until smooth.

Stir in 1½ tablespoons green onions. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with remaining onions and sesame seeds. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with bok choy, cucumber slices, celery, bagel chips...

* Miso is a savory, soy-based paste used to season Japanese dishes. White miso typically has a mildly sweet flavor.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Braised Cucumber

1-2 cucumbers
1-2 Tbls butter
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 pinch dried mint

Peel cucumbers, slice lengthwise in quarters and remove seeds. Cut into 1" chunks. Melt butter in a skillet; add cucumbers and lightly salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cucumbers turn somewhat translucent and begin to brown. Add lemon juice and mint; cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring so cucumbers are browned evenly.

Variation: I've seen a very similar recipe that used vinegar (instead of lemon juice) and dill (instead of mint). Sounds like a tasty alternative to me.

Sweet Citrus-Soy Sauce

The original recipe was for pork spareribs...I had chops. After tasting it (delicious!), I think it would compliment any pork, chicken or beef!

3 Tbsp mirin
¾ C dashi (seaweed soup stock)
2 Tbls citrus* zest
¾ C fresh citrus* juice
7 Tbls soy sauce
1 Tbls finely shredded ginger
¾ C dark brown sugar

4 lbs meat
lime wedges

* use any combination of grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange/tangerine, yuzu

Whisk together citrus-soy sauce in a medium bowl. You should have about 2 cups.
Arrange meat in a roasting pan or baking dish in a single layer. Pour 1¼ C citrus sauce over meat; cover with foil and bake 1½ hours.

In a sauce pan, combine remaining citrus sauce with ginger (use a microplaner to shred it finely) and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, set aside.

Remove foil from pan, pour off juices (discard). Pour brown sugar sauce over meat adn turn to coat. Bake an additional 30 minutes, uncovered, turning meats after 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Heat broiler - set rack about 7 inches from heating element. Broil meat about 3 minutes each side basting with pan juices.

Serve with lime wedges.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bacon-Chicken Mac & Cheese

With chicken, bacon, mushroom soup, onion, garlic and dill...there are lots of flavors in this dish! A cream of chicken or cheddar soup would work as well if you want a more 'purist' version. The dill could also be omitted, though I think it's a nice touch (and only add a pinch if you're using dried instead of fresh). With the bacon, butter and cheeses, I found it plenty salty without adding the salt the recipe calls for.

8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
2 slices bacon
8 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls flour
1½ C milk
1/3 C cream of mushroom condensed soup
3 oz shredded Italian cheese blend
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chopped fresh dill
(½ tsp salt)
½ C shredded colby-Jack cheese

Cook pasta (omit salt); drain.

Cook bacon an a large nonstick skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon and set aside. Cut chicken into ½" chunks; add chicken to skillet and sautée in bacon drippings until well done.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine soup and milk; gradually add to saucepan, stirring with whisk. Bring to boil; cook until thick (2-3 minutes).

Remove from heat and let stand 3-4 minutes. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Preheat broiler. Spoon Mac & Cheese into an 8" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with bacon and colby-Jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts and browns slightly.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Double Chocolate Scones

2 C flour
1/3 C cocoa powder
1/3 C brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ C butter
1 egg yolk
8 oz plain yogurt
½ C mini chocolate chips

Stir together flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender (or a fork) cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients.

Combine egg yolk and yogurt in the 'well'; add chocolate chips. Stir mixture together until well moistened. Gently knead dough until all crumbs are combined and mixture is smooth. Roll or pat dough into a 9-10" circle; cut into 8-10 wedges.

Place wedges 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° about 18 minutes. Cool slightly...best served warm.

Serving suggestions: Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (½ C powdered sugar, 1 Tbls melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla, add teaspoons of milk until it is of a drizzling consistency), or dust with powdered sugar. For a decadent treat...cut scones in half, serve with a layer of whipped cream and raspberries between the top and bottom halves.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mediterranean Biscuits

2 C flour
1 Tbls baking powder
1 Tbls sugar
1 tsp dried basil, crushed
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbls butter
¾ C crumbled feta cheese
¼ C pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
3 Tbls oil-packed dried tomatoes
(drained and chopped)
¾ C light cream
1 egg

Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, basil and salt. Using pastry blender (or fork), cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in feta, olives and tomatoes. Add cream and stir with a fork to moisten throughout.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead dough gently until just well combined (just enough to pick up all loose crumbs). Lightly roll dough to ½" thick; cut into 2" squares.* Place biscuits 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Beat egg; brush tops of biscuits with egg.

Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet immediately. Makes about 20 biscuits.

Delicious served warm, with whole Kalamata olives.

* I made mine bite-sized because I was taking them to school...my World Literature classes are just beginning our Mediterranean unit, and I wanted 'snack size' to share with my students.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pepper Jelly

5-7 medium green peppers
1 C vinegar
2 C water

3 C pepper 'juice'
1 C vinegar
1 pkg pectin
3½ C sugar

Chop the peppers (removing seeds and core); you should have a little more than 2 cups. Boil them in a sauce pan with 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups water for about 15 minutes. Strain; result should be 3 cups pepper 'juice'.

Return pepper juice to sauce pan and add 1 cup vinegar, 3½ cups sugar and 1 pkg pectin. Boil. Pour into canning jars; seal.

Delicious with cream cheese and crackers or bread.

I like to reserve a little of the pepper and dice it up very small to add to the final jelly (I sometimes even add a little red pepper as well for extra color). Serve with cream cheese and crackers or bread.