Thursday, December 18, 2014

Easy Holiday Dessert for Busy Days

Shopping, wrapping and baking oh my...Now it's time to cook?  The holidays are a demanding time but this dessert is simple and delicious.  It can be prepared in advance and baked the next day or baked right away.  It is easy to bring somewhere, it re-heats great and taste awesome.  Heck in a pinch you could eat it as French Toast Strata in the morning! 

 These are individuals but it can be made in one big pan

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

6   cups         Brioche, egg bread or Challah
1   cup           heavy cream
1   cup           half and half or milk
3                   eggs
1   16-ounce   can pumpkin purée or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1   cup           brown sugar or maple syrup
1   tsp.            pumpkin pie spice
1   tsp.            vanilla
       pinch  sea salt
3/4   cup     white chocolate chips
3/4   cup     dried cherries
 

Procedure

1   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9x13 casserole dish or 12 ramekins.

2   Combine all ingredients except bread cubes, cherries and chocolate.  Toss bread cubes with chocolate, cherries and cream mixture.  Divide mixture into 12-6 ounce buttered ramekins or into a buttered 9x13 casserole dish.  Bake until pudding is firm and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.

3   Remove from the oven and let stand 30 minutes before serving.

4   Serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

Yield: 10
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Look Out Green Bean Casserole Here Comes the Competition

What could be better than Pancetta and squash together.  Well add some roasted Brussels sprouts and Boursin cheese and  you'll find out.  This recipe can be made ahead and it is so delicious.
 
 
Pancetta, Brussels’ Sprout and Squash Gratin

              Butter for pan
1   lb       Brussels sprouts trimmed and shredded
4   cups  butternut squash large dice
2   Tbsp..   olive oil
6            slices pancetta chopped into ½ inch pieces
1          small onion diced
4   oz    Boursin cheese
1   cup  chicken stock
1   cup  gruyere or Swiss shredded

Procedure

1   Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a 13x9 pan.

2   Toss squash with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet 30-35 minutes; until tender crisp.  Stir half way through baking.

3   Meanwhile cook pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Drain on paper towels .Cook onions in pancetta grease until tender and fragrant.  Add Boursin and chicken stock.  Whisk until cheese is melted and smooth. Bring to a boil then simmer 1 minute. Place vegetables in buttered pan ;toss to combine.  Pour cheese sauce over vegetables.  Stir gently.  Sprinkle with gruyere.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cover with foil if cheeses begin to brown too much.
 
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where's the Beef?

At the beginning of the holiday season I can wait to have turkey and ham by Christmas I am ready for something else.  This flank steak fits the bill.  I is easy and a change of pace while still being special.  I do drag out the grill and sear it because I like the flavor and the way it looks.  It can be seared in a pan if you rather not go outside.  Who knows with Michigan weather I may end up inside too:)



Winter Steak with Wild Mushroom Ragout

Steak:
2            Flank steak, cleaned
½   cup  red wine
½   cup  olive oil
2    Tbsp.  garlic
2    Tbsp.  herbs (thyme, parsley)
             Salt and pepper to taste
Wild Mushroom:
1    cup  shitake mushrooms cleaned and sliced
1    cup  Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1    cup  button mushrooms, quartered
Marinade:
¼   cup  olive oil
¼     cup  red wine vinegar
                salt and pepper to taste
Blue Cheese Ragout:
5      Tbsp.  butter
½             small onion, diced
3      oz.    dry sherry (optional)
6      Tbsp.  white flour or brown rice flour
1 ½   cup  hot heavy cream
¾     cup  good quality crumbled blue or gorgonzola cheese
Garnish:
½     lb.     sliced Pancetta or bacon, fried crisp and crumbled or diced small.

Procedure

Steak:

1   Combine marinade ingredients. Marinade flank overnight and grill on BBQ or sear and roast in oven. Let flank rest and slice on bias.

Wild Mushroom Ragout:

1   Mix mushrooms with oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Roast on baking sheet at 350 for 15 minutes or until tender or pan fry until liquid from the mushrooms have evaporated.

Blue cheese Fondue:

1   Melt butter and sauté onion until golden, deglaze with dry sherry.

2   Add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes over moderate heat.

3   Add hot cream and whisk until smooth.  Simmer over low heat for 10-12 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

4   Remove from heat and stir in blue cheese.  Stir in roasted mushrooms.

Platter or plate set up:

1   Arrange mushroom/blue cheese fondue on platter or plate top with steak slices. Garnish with pancetta.

Yield: 10-12 servings
Grain free-Omit the flour
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pies the Limit-Seafood Pot Pie

This seafood pot pie is so versatile it can be a main coarse or a appetizer.  Sometimes I top it with puff pastry and other times phyloo dough.  If I cool the filling I can roll it in phyloo to make strudel or individual pastry purses.  This is a nice addition to any holiday gathering.
It can also be served as a soup or stew.



 Making the Filling
Phyloo Topping
Puff Pastry Topping 
 Finished Pie

New England Holiday Pot Pie

1/2   cup        butter
3     Tbsp.        minced shallots
2                   celery stalk diced
1                   red pepper diced
1/2   cup        flour
½    cup        white wine or sherry
2     cups      seafood stock, chicken or clam juice
4     cups      heavy cream
1     pound    slipper lobster meat, sliced into medallions
2     pounds  raw shrimp (21/24)
1    pound   bay scallops
1    pound   crab meat, picked
¾   cups     corn
12   oz         cleaned baby spinach or kale
1                 lemon juice and zest
2    Tbs       mustard powder
2    tsp        sea salt
1    tsp        fresh cracked pepper
2    Tbs       fresh dill
2    sheets   puff pastry

Procedure

1   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large heavy bottom rondo style pot melt butter and sauté’ shallots, celery and red pepper.  Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes.  Deglaze with white wine or sherry; add corn.

2   Add seafood stock or clam juice, cream and seasonings; cook 2 minutes or until liquid begins to thicken.

3   Add seafood, corn, spinach and lemon juice and zest; continue to cook over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes.

4   Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and pour into 12-16 individual or 1-15x9 inch glass baking dish preferably white.

5   For individual servings cut pastry dough to fit on top of each serving and bake until a deep golden brown.

6   For large crock place puff pastry sheet over filling and bake until a deep golden brown; about 30 minutes.

Yield: 12-16
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Delicious and Nutritious Holiday Salad

I don't know about you but after a few holiday parties and dinners I really crave some thing healthy.  This salad can be served at the main event or as light lunch or dinner during the holidays.

Holiday Jeweled Baby Kale Salad

4    cups  of baby organic Kale
¼   cup    chopped apricots
¼   cup    dried cherries
¼   cup    candied dates
¼   cup    toasted walnuts
½   cup    crumbled goat cheese
1            small red onion shaved thin
4   Tbsp..    chopped parsley
2   cups  cooked quinoa (red or white)
              Seeds from 1 large pomegranate
              4-6 ounces; Cider, lemon or balsamic vinaigrette
              Sea salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

1   Toss all ingredients together and serve.

Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Done with One Turkey Leftovers

Below is a collection recipes that work well with leftover Thanksgiving dinner or roasted chicken dinners.  I hope you enjoy this Done with One easy meal plan. The base recipe can be replaced with your leftover turkey and fixings.  I just included it for anyone who might like to use the plan at another time.


Base: Cider Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey Breast with Roasted Root Vegetables


Turkey Breast or Whole Chicken
1     6lb     turkey breast or 1 turkey
2               oranges
1               lemon
1     Tbsp.    maple syrup
1     Tbsp.    Dijon mustard
                 Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Vegetable Rack
2               carrots peeled and large diced
2               celery stalks large diced
1               onion large diced
Cider Maple Roasted Root Vegetables
3/4   cups   apple cider
3     Tbsp.   pure maple syrup
1     Tbsp.   orange juice concentrate
1/4   tsp.   dried thyme
1/4   tsp.   dried marjoram
1     tsp.   lemon zest
6     Tbsp.   butter
4             carrots peeled and large diced
3             parsnips peeled and large diced
1             turnips, peeled and large diced (optional)
1             small rutabaga, peeled and large diced (optional)
2             sweet potatoes peeled and large diced
1/2   tsp.   Celtic sea salt
1/4   tsp.   fresh ground pepper

Procedure

1   Rinses turkey and pat dry with a paper towel. Generously salt and pepper turkey inside and out.

2   Zest lemon and oranges and place zest in a bowl. Reserve 1 teaspoon lemon zest for Cider Maple Glaze. Juice oranges and lemons and place in a bowl with zest. Add mustard and maple syrup; combine. Reserve oranges and lemons.

3   Place turkey breast in large zip lock bag. Pour citrus/mustard mixture inside bag coating top and bottom of the chicken. Marinate for 1-24 hours.

4   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5   Line roasting pan with carrots, celery and onion (vegetable rack). Place turkey on top of vegetable rack.  Put reserved oranges in lemons in the cavity of the turkey. Roast turkey for 1½  to 2 hours or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 when placed in the thickest part of the meat. If skin darkens to quickly; tent with foil.

6   Let turkey rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Cider Maple Root Vegetables

1   In a medium sauce pan combine apple cider, maple syrup, and orange juice concentrate. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half.

2   Remove from heat, add fresh herbs and butter; whisk thoroughly and reserving 1/4 cup to glaze the turkey Toss remaining glaze with vegetables; pour on to a baking sheet with sides. Add vegetables to oven after turkey has cooked for 1 hour.  Brush turkey with reserved glaze and stir vegetables every 10 minutes until chicken and vegetables are done cooking; approximately 30 minutes more.

Servings: 4
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Recipe Tips

Can be made with whole chickens or pork roast.

Glaze taste great brushed on salmon and shrimp.

Use turkey and vegetable leftovers to make Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Hat, Autumn Turkey Stew, Michigan Waldorf Salad and Quick Chick Quesadillas.


Turkey or Chicken Stock


3      whole   chickens, cut into pieces (10-12 pounds) or  bones, rinsed
2      lbs       chicken feet (if available), rinsed
6-8   quarts   filtered water
1      cup      carrots, diced
1      cup      celery, diced
2    cups  onions, diced
¼   cup    cider vinegar
½            bunch parsley stems
1             sachet bag- ½ tsp fresh thyme, 6 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove (optional)

Procedure

1   Place rinsed poultry, including feet if using, into a large stock pot with filtered water (water should be at least two inches over chickens)

2   Over medium heat gently bring stock to a simmer (the surface should never break a boil/bubbles), reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 hours skimming surface as necessary to remove the gray “scum”.

3   Add remaining ingredients and sachet bag if using and simmer an additional 4 hours.

4   Strain stock, use immediately or rapidly cool and refrigerate.

5   After cold remove solid fat that may be on top of stock and discard.

Yield: 1 gallon
Preparation Time: 15 minutes      Inactive Time: 8 hours

Recipe Tips

  • Turkey and chicken bones from carved cooked poultry may be used in place of fresh chicken. Use 4 chicken carcasses or 2 turkey carcasses.
  • Recipe can be frozen.
  • Ingredients amounts may vary so no need to run to the store if you only have 1 onion.
  • Make sachet bag- Place ingredients for sachet bag in a clean coffee filter and tie with string. Tie the bag to the pot handle and drop into the pot.
  • Chicken stock can be made in a crock-pot.
  • Do not simmer more than 18 hours.
  • For a more concentrated stock simmer uncovered. For more volume simmer covered.
  • Do not boil stock.
  • Never add salt or pepper to stock until it is done.

 
Author Notes

Recipe can be frozen.
Can be made in a crock-pot after roasting step.


Autumn Turkey Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Hat

Sweet Potato Hat:
1        pound    potato peeled and diced
2        pounds  sweet potatoes peeled and diced medium
2        Tbsp.     butter
3        Tbsp.     brown sugar
1/3      cup        milk
1/2      tsp.        cinnamon
1/2      tsp.        pepper
1 1/2   tsp.        Celtic sea salt
OR
2-3      pounds  leftover mashed sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes
Vegetables:
5        cups      chicken or turkey stock
2        cups    parsnip, peeled and diced or leftover vegetables
2        cups    carrots peeled and diced or leftover vegetables
Roux
3        Tbsp.   butter
3        Tbsp.   flour
1        large    onion diced
2        stalks  celery diced
1        Tbsp.   fresh sage  or 1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2   tsps.    Celtic sea salt
1        tsp.     pepper
1        Tbsp.   onion powder
4        cups    cooked chicken or turkey meat cooled and diced
 

Procedure

1   In a large pot boil potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes.

2   Drain and add remaining ingredients.  Mash by hand or with an electric mixer, set aside.

3   Meanwhile in another a large pot combine stock, carrots and parsnips.  Bring to a boil and simmer until tender/crisp.  Remove from heat and set aside.

4   In a skillet melt butter and sauté onions and celery until fragment.  Stir in flour and cook until bubbly; about 1-2 minutes.  With a wooden spoon or spatula scrape celery/onion mixture into the pot with the vegetables and stock.  Return to a boil.  Stir constantly until thickened.  Add chicken and spices.  Pour into a 9x13 pan or large casserole dish.

5   Top with Sweet Potato Mash or leftover mashed potatoes.

6   Bake in a 350 degree oven until potatoes brown slightly and filling is bubbling.

Servings: 8
Recipe Tips
  • Recipe may be frozen before baking.  Do not freeze until cooled completely.
  • There may be leftover potatoes.
  • Filling may be served as a stew.
  • Upside Down Shepherd's Pie: Omit final baking.  Place a scoop of mashed sweet potatoes on plate and make a well in the center.  Add Chicken filing and serve.
 

Autumn Turkey Stew

8      Tbs       butter (1 stick)
1/2    cup       flour or brown rice flour
1                  medium onion, diced
2      cloves  garlic, minced
1 ½   cups     apple cider
6-8    cups     chicken stock
2                  stalks celery, diced
3                  parsnips, peeled and chopped
1                  large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3                 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1    cup        rutabaga, turnips or butternut squash , peeled and chopped
½   tsp         cinnamon
½   tsp         ginger
3    pounds  turkey or chicken meat cooked (about 5-6 cups)
                   salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Procedure

1   In a heavy bottom stockpot heat butter and sauté onions and garlic until fragrant.  Stir in flour with a whisk and cook 1-2 minutes.

2   Deglaze with apple cider; stir with whisk until smooth.

3   Add chicken stock and remaining vegetables; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until vegetables are tender crisp.

4   Add cooked chicken and seasonings. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until stew is heated throughout.

Servings: 12

Recipe Tips

Can be frozen

Can be made with chicken

 
Michigan Waldorf Turkey Salad

¾    cup      mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt
1     Tbsp.   honey or maple syrup
1     tsp      fresh lemon juice or apple cider
1/4   tsp.     Celtic sea salt
1/8   tsp.     pepper, fresh ground
3                apples peeled, cored and chopped into ½ pieces (Granny Smiths and Galas taste delicious)
1    cup    stalks celery, sliced thin - about 3 stalks
½   cup    walnuts, toasted and chopped or toasted pistachios
½   cup    dried cherries, chopped
2    cups  cooked turkey, chopped or torn into bite size pieces

Procedure

1   In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice and seasonings.

2   Stir in remaining ingredients. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

3   Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe Tips

  • Taste best when refrigerated overnight.
  • Serve on croissant, crackers or vegetable chips.
  • Cooked chicken may be used instead of turkey.
  • Sliced grapes may be added to the salad.
  • Serve this salad in endive spoons, lettuce cups or with red pepper scoops.

 
Quick Chick Quesadillas

½   cup  shredded cheddar
½   cup  cooked chicken or turkey, shredded with a fork or diced small
¼    cup   salsa (I use tomato peach)
2             tortillas
1/2   cup   leftover cooked vegetables, diced small

Procedure

1   Combine meat , vegetables and salsa.

2   Brush one side of 1 tortilla with butter. Place 1 tortillas butter side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tortilla with half the cheese. Top tortilla with chicken mixture. Top with remaining cheese and tortilla. Brush tortilla top with butter.

3   Bake quesadilla in a 350 oven for 7-10 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted.

4   Cut each tortilla into wedges; serve with additional salsa.

Yield: 1-2

 
Recipe Tips

  • Can be cooked on the stove top just like a grilled cheese or in a pannini maker.
  • Quesadillas can be made out of any leftovers and cheese
  •  
  • Variations:
  • Cheese burger- cheddar and beef
  • Taco-taco meat and cheese
  • Mediterranean- spinach, peppers and feta
  • Breakfast-scrambled eggs and ham
  • Meat and potatoes-left over steak and baked potatoes with cheese
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie