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No Peek Chicken

31 Jul

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In a word, this is delicious. Also a trip to sodium city. Yoy.

A typical pack of eight skinless, boneless chicken thighs fit perfectly in our oval Le Creuset.

We mixed half milk and water to the larger newsclipped recipe (March 1992), which omitted the oven temperature: it should be baked at 275-300F for two hours. We baked at 350F and it got a little crunchy!

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Cowboy Cookies

22 Jul

Half batch of Governor’s Mansion cookies.  Excellent if you can rest dough in fridge for 24 hours.

12 tablespoons salted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg (plus 1 egg yolk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups semisweeet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (used less)
1 cup pecans, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add in the sugars and mix well for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well.
Beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder baking soda and cinnamon together.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans.
Scoop out 1/4 cup of the cookie dough and place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Space the cookies 3-inches apart.
Bake in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cookies remain on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to baking rack to continue cooling.

Tree trimming treats 2.0

1 Dec

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Throwback to 2012: crab and cheese puffs, anyone?

Always contemplating the perfect night trimming the tree: something lovely to sip on paired with a little nibble.

We’ve tried welsh rarebit bites, New York pizza, even an afternoon with oven baked hotdogs.

But we have to credit the wonderfully talented Jennifer 8 Lee, she of the delightful Fortune Cookie Chronicles and Search for General Tso, for making us obsess over turkey dumplings.

And really wanting them at Christmas time.

After all, Christmas and Chinese takeout is a time-honoured tradition:

Says The Atlantic: “For many Jewish Americans, the night before Christmas conjures up visions, not of sugar plums, but plum sauce slathered over roast duck or an overstocked plate of beef lo mein, a platter of General Tso’s, and (maybe) some hot and sour soup.”

Maybe it’s time to finally pull the pin and whip up Jennifer 8 Lee’s version of turkey dumplings.

Or Ming Tsai’s Turkey dumplings with cranberry soy dip

That thwack! moment in A Christmas Story, or, Peking duck appetizer.

While we are on a turkey roll:

Calgary Petroleum Club’s turkey meatballs stuffed with brie:

Sausage balls subbed with turkey sausage, perhaps?

Fall comforts: Seventeen pastitsio

21 Sep

With cooler weather arriving, the time is right for some retro casseroles.

A reader says the recipe pages included an egg and lemon soup and baklava.

Greek-style Casserole (aka Pastitsio)

Meat Sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Salt

Pasta:
1 lb ziti or elbow macaroni
2 tbsp butter
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 egg whites slightly beaten

Béchamel Sauce:
6 tbsp butter
¾ cup flour
3 cups milk
1 can (10 ¾ oz) chicken broth
¾ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 egg yolks slightly beaten

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until golden. Add ground beef; brown. Drain off excess fat. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and cinnamon. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni as package directs. When it’s done, drain and toss with butter, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese and egg whites until the butter has melted.
    3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon half of the macaroni mixture into a shallow 3 quart casserole dish or a lasagna pan, then spoon the meat mixture. Cover with the remaining macaroni mixture and set aside.
    4. Béchamel Sauce: In large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until completely blended and smooth, remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk and broth. Return to heat, cook and stir constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Stir in salt and pepper.
    5. To blend egg yolks into the hot béchamel sauce: First stir 1 cup of sauce into the egg yolks, then add the yolk mixture into the rest of the sauce.
    6. Pour sauce over top of the casserole. With a knife make a few holes into the casserole all the way down to the bottom of the baking dish to allow the sauce to reach the bottom layer. Sprinkle the top with remaining grated cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Makes 6-8 servings.

Jean’s Beans: Stampede style

12 Jul

An old recipe for Stampede time, from Jean Hoare – Driftwillow Ranch, Stavely, Alberta

SERVES 6 to 8

1-1/2 cups assorted dried beans
Water to cover beans
1 large onion
8 whole cloves
¼ cup ea molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup
½ cup ketchup or chili sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup boiling bean water
diced salt pork, bacon ends or leftover baked ham

Beans may include one or more of the following: small white navy beans, the larger Great Northern beans, pinto, limas, kidney, blackeye, garbanzos or chick peas.

Put assorted beans into a large heavy pot and cover with water, about three or four times as much water as beans. Let stand overnight. Drain and cover with fresh water. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer slowly until tender. Test for doneness of beans by blowing on them. If done, the skins will blow off. The small navy bean will take the longest to cook. Do not add meat or other ingredients yet or the beans will not soften. They should boil alone in water until tender.

When beans are tender, drain reserving the liquid. Stick whole cloves into the onion and add to the cooked beans. Add molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, ketchup, dry mustard, salt, Worcestershire sauce and half the reserved liquid. Add meat. Cover and bake at 250○ F for 6 to 9 hours, adding extra bean water or more ketchup if the mixture becomes dry. Uncover for the last half hour and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

For camp, prepare the beans up to the final baking stage. Then dig a hole at least 4 inches deeper than the heavy iron bean pot. Prepare enough coals to have a good layer underneath the pot and on top of it. Put the bottom layer of hot coals into the hole, then lower the pot into the hole, covering the lid with foil to keep out any dirt. Cover with remaining coals and bury with at least 3 inches of dirt. Bake in the pit for at least 4 hours, watching that the dirt stays in place, thus holding in the heat.

A final word about beans. To speed up the soaking process, cover the dried beans with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat and let stand, tightly covered, for 1 hour. Blanching beans like this is equivalent to about 8 hours soaking.

Seventeen Recipe Terror

23 Jun

For all the nostalgic, wholesome memories of old Seventeen magazine recipe pages we share, there are some real horrors.

seventeen 1970

Deli-go-round Ready to Whirl. Or is that hurl? Circa Seventeen August 1970

“Potato salad mold for teen girls to spin up with ‘madcap olives flaunting carrot and pepper fringe.'”

The 1980s brought you dorm room cookery under a Katrina and the Waves poster. What could go wrong?

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Sausage and peppers with garlic toast and a tomato mozzarella salad with banana s’more tarts for dessert? Served with a side of sweat socks.

The sandwich press only adds to the horror:

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Or the assistance of “mini machines” for all your instant, ulp, food supplies…

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Cinco de Taco

7 May