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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Christmas Jam

It may sound a little early to make Christmas Jam but with fresh cherries from my tree I got jamming.      This  jam has some of my favorite  flavors of Christmas - cinnamon, cloves, citrus.  In addition to cherries, this jam has raspberries and pineapple.  Great flavor combinations that makes delicious jam.

This jam is very easy to make.  The time consuming part is pitting and chopping the cherries.    No need to worry if you have cooked the jam enough  - liquid fruit pectin is used.    

The jam tastes delicious.  What I like to do is give a jar of jam with some homemade scones in a Christmas Basket for my neighbors at Christmas time.  But feel free to enjoy this jam anytime. 

Christmas Jam
From Taste of Home


Ingredients
2.5 pound fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
2 cans (8 ounces each) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 package (12 ounces) frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
9 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon butter
2 pouches (3 ounces each) liquid fruit pectin

Directions
1. In a Dutch oven, combine cherries, pineapple and raspberries. Stir in the sugar, juices, cinnamon, cloves and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Continue to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Ladle hot mixture into 12 hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
3. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Makes 12 half-pint jars


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Skillet Huevos Rancheros Bake

Huevos Rancheros  is on of my favorite dishes.  A delicious Southwestern dish that can be enjoyed for any meal.  I love the combination of  eggs smothered in green and red chile, sitting on top of a bed of tortillas, beans, and potatoes.   All of this goodness is then topped with cheese and placed in an oven.  After about 30 minutes you have a delicious meal  for you and your family.


Skillet Huevos Rancheros Bake

Ingredients:

3 (6-inch) flour tortillas, cut 2 of them in half
1 (15.5) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese - divided
2 cups frozen hash browns, thawed
6 eggs
1 cup red enchilada sauce (you can do Christmas which would be half red enchilada sauce half green enchilada sauce)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Spray lightly with cooking oil a 9-inch cast iron skillet.
3. Arrange the flour tortillas so they cover the bottom of the skillet.
4. Spoon pinto beans evenly over the tortillas.
5. Sprinkle half of the Mexican cheese over the beans and tortillas.
6. Spread the hash browns evenly over the cheese.
7. Make 6 wells in the hash browns using the back of a large spoon.

8. Crack one egg into each well.
9. Pour the enchilada sauce over everything.

10. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
11. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Check to make sure the yolks do not overcook.

12. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Serves 6












Sunday, April 14, 2019

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

A rich vegetable soup which is extremely flavorful and hearty.    Did I mention healthy?   It is - loaded with veggies.  This soup is delicious and it all comes together nicely in your Instant Pot.  Carrots, celery, cabbage, beans,  are cooked together in a broth consisting of your favorite marinara sauce with some  chicken broth and for an added kick pesto.  Add some garlic, onion powder, bay leaves, paprika, and of course salt and pepper and you have a wonderful meal for your family.




I served the soup with some grated Parmesan cheese.  Mmmmm good.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
From Pinch of Yum Adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients:
4–5 carrots, chopped
4–5 celery stalks, chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
half of a head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup  pesto
1 24-ounce jar of  marinara sauce
1 14-ounce can cannellini or navy beans
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Parmesan cheese for grating over soup
Directions:
1. Place everything in the first list inside an Instant Pot / pressure cooker. Turn on the soup setting  (30 minutes).
2. Use the quick release to let the steam out (hang on, it takes a few minutes). Pull out the bay leaves.
Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Penne with Pancetta and Asparagus

Whats for dinner?   How does  a creamy pasta dish with a nice savory flavor with some browned asparagus.  You couldn't find a tastier dish in your local restaurant.  And to think, you made it at home and saved a bundle.  Pasta is one of those dishes  restaurants make a killing on.

The creamy sauce in this recipe comes from macaroni cheese.  I admit, I was impressed by the delicious creamy texture of this cheese.  The savoriness comes from the pancetta and garlic.  Add some asparagus, grated Pecorino, lemon juice, and chopped basil to complete the dish.   Delicious.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as the family did.





Penne  with Pancetta and Asparagus
From Cook's Country

Ingredients:
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on bias into 2-inch lengths
1/8 teaspoon table salt, plus salt for cooking pasta
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound penne
8 bounces (1 cup) mascarpone cheese
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions:
1. Cook pancetta in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and crispy, about 10 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in skillet.
2.  Heat fat over high heat until just smoking.  Add asparagus and salt and cook, without stirring, until just starting to brown, about 3 minutes.   Stir and continue to cook until asparagus is browned and tender, about 2 minutes longer.  Off heat, stir in garlic.
3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.  Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot over low heat.
4. Add mascarpone, Pecorino, lemon juice, pepper, pancetta, asparagus, and 1 cup reserved cooking water to pot and toss and stir vigorously to thoroughly combine, about 1 minute.  Let pasta rest off heat for 3 minutes.  Stir in basil.  Adjust consistency with remaining reserved cooking water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve, passing extra Pecorino separately.

Serves 4 to 6

Friday, March 29, 2019

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice is a dish they make in the South on Mondays- which is usually Wash Day.  It is a dish that is simple, satisfying, and filling. A great dinner to make when you are busy.  I thought I would try this dish using my Instant Pot.
 I found this recipe on the kitchn website.  They gave some great tips to make this dish.  First, use Camellia dried red beans.  I have used other beans previously, and these beans are the best.  Next, use good Andouille sausage.  Again, it makes all the difference in the world.

This recipe comes together nicely.  Easy to make and follow.  A great recipe for an easy dinner.

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
From the kitchn
Serves 8-10
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 pound good smoked sausage, preferably andouille, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium celery stalk, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon dried basil
Pinch dried sage
3 bay leaves
1 pound Camellia dried red beans
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Leaves of 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Crystal hot sauce
Cooked rice, for serving


Instructions:


Brown the sausage. Place the oil in the insert of an electric pressure cooker and turn on to the sauté setting. When the oil is shimmering, add the sausage and brown, stirring frequently, to render as much fat as possible. When well-browned, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the grease behind in the insert.

Sauté the onions. Add the onions, seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, celery, and bell pepper. Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the celery and bell pepper and cook until translucent.

Add the beans and sausage. Add the beans. Add enough water to cover, about 4 cups. Rub the basil between the palms of your hands as you add it to the pot. Add sage and bay leaves. Return the sausage to the insert and stir to combine.

Seal and pressure-cook. Seal the pressure cooker. Set on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. Now is a good time to cook the rice.

Release the pressure. Allow the pressure cooker to release naturally (do not open the valve) — this should take 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover and test the beans for doneness; when pressed against the side of the insert they should mash readily. When the beans are tender, mash some with a potato masher until the mixture looks creamy. If the beans are underdone, return to high pressure for 3 minutes and repeat natural release as above.

Season the beans. Stir in the scallions and almost all of the parsley, reserving some for garnish. Taste and season well with salt and hot sauce if needed.

Serve over rice. Serve hot with cooked white rice, the remaining parsley, and more hot sauce.







Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Orecchiette With Shrimp, Pepperoncini, and Basil

If you need something quick and easy not to mention delicious for dinner, this recipe is for you.  The basil and pepperoncini add a wonderful flavor to this dish.  As I mentioned, it is very easy to prepare. You start by preparing the shrimp and then cook the pasta according to package directions.  Next you add some oil to a skillet and cook the garlic and the shrimp.  When the shrimp is cooked remove from heat and add the pasta, pepperoni, capers, cheese and basil.   Serve with lemon and more cheese.   That is it.  I told you it was easy.  Dinner is ready.   Enjoy.



Orecchiette With Shrimp, Pepperoncini, and Basil
From Cook's Country

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound),peeled, deveined, tails removed, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
12 ounces (3 1/3 cups) orecchiette
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini, plus 1 tablespoon brine
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Lemon wedges

Directions:
1. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.  Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven.  Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente.   Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.
2. Heat oil in now-empty  pot over medium heat until shimmering.   Add garlic and cook until beginning to brown, about 1 minute.  Add shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 4 minutes.
3. Off heat, add pasta, Parmesan, pepperoncini and brine, capers, basil, and reserved cooking water and toss to combine.  Serve, passing lemon wedges and extra Parmesan separately.

Serves 4


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Spanish Tortilla

Tonight's dinner was super easy and it tasted delicious. A Spanish Tortilla.  I have heard of a Spanish Tortilla but I never had tasted or made one. They are so easy to prepare and you probably have everything you need at home.  Eggs, potatoes, onions, red peppers, salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Begin by cooking the potatoes, bell pepper and onion in an ovenproof skillet.  Next pour the egg mixture over the veggies.  Press down on the veggies so they are submerged.  Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the tortilla is set.  You are ready to enjoy a wonderful and tasty dinner.  Serve with a salad and you are set.





Spanish Tortilla
From Martha Stewart

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced inch thick
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and onion; season with salt and pepper (skillet will be very full). Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are crisp-tender, 14 to 16 minutes. Uncover, and cook off excess liquid, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, parsley, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet, and stir to distribute evenly. With the back of a spatula, press down on vegetables so they lay flat and are submerged.
3. Bake until tortilla is set, 12 to 16 minutes. To unmold, run a rubber spatula around edge of skillet to release tortilla; invert onto a serving plate. Drizzle tortilla with oil; garnish with parsley.

Serves 4