Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Easy Bearnaise Sauce

When my daughter Kim was a little girl she would make pretend bearnaise sauce in the bathtub with her toys. She would use her "Julia Child" voice. Her idea of a kid's meal in a restaurant was either the escargots or a lobster tail. The waiter was always amazed. Later her little friend introduced her to Spaghetti-O's. I still can't smell them without gagging.

Here's an easy bearnaise sauce recipe  that doesn't require a double boiler or reducing the liquid. It's a variation of my easy hollandaise sauce (which I'll post later). It's my favorite sauce! It's a buttery, tarragon sauce that's fabulous with steak. I love eating at French bistros. One of my favorites is the Steak Frites (steak and fries) to say French fries would be redundant. It's always served with bearnaise sauce. Now you can have a little French bistro at home. Bon Appetit!

Easy Bearnaise Sauce

1 stick butter, cut up
1 T lemon juice
1 T tarragon vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 T minced fresh chives (here)
1/4 t salt
1/2 t dried tarragon
2 XL egg yolks
pinch pepper or cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Place over low heat. Whisk until the butter melts, then whisk constantly until thickened. Immediately remove from heat otherwise it will break down. Whisk again.

tip: use the chives from you herb garden.
(click on MAY DAYS blog on the right)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Easy Bread Machine White Bread

After not using my bread machine for years, I am now using it every week! So dig yours out and keep it in a convenient place and you'll be using it all the time, and give up the "store" bread.
I start the bread in about 5 minutes before I leave for tennis in the morning and when I come home the house smells fabulous and we have fresh home baked bread for lunch. It makes great toast the next day. Refrigerate in a Tupperware container, and if you have any left at the end of the week, it makes great French Toast or homemade croutons.

All you need is a super easy recipe and here it is:

Easy Bread Machine White Bread

1 C warm milk (micro 1 minute)
3 C bread flour
2 T sugar
1 t salt
2 t yeast (Fleishmann's BreadMachine Yeast in 4oz jar)
2 T butter, cut into 4 pieces

Remove the insert (bread pan) from the machine, Spray the turny-thingy with cooking spray, because sometimes it stays stuck inside the bottom of the bread.
Add the ingredients in the order listed. Make a little well in the middle to add the yeast. Tuck the butter pieces into the 4 corners. Replace the insert pan into the machine and turn to lock in place. Close lid and push "ON". Set for medium crust color. Indicator light will say 3:10. That is how long it will take. Remove the pan when done and invert the bread to remove. DO NOT put the pan in the dishwasher, just wash out with soapy water.

I make this bread at least once a week. I usually sneak the first warm slice, slather with butter and sprinkle with lots of cinnamon sugar. YUM!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mixed Bean Salad

A great side dish to any BBQ. It's so easy, and you make it ahead of time.

Mixed Bean Salad
1 can green beans
1 can wax beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped green pepper
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C cider vinegar
1/3 C vegetable oil
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Dump the beans in a colander and give them a good rinse. Combine the dressing ingredients in a large (Tupperware) bowl with a whisk. Add all the ingredients and give them a toss. Cover with the lid and refrigerate a few hours, or overnight. Turn the bowl once or twice to toss.
Tip: This will keep a few days and is good to snack on.
Tip: Take some to work the next day to go with your sandwich.

Penne Shrimp in Tomato Cream Sauce

Penne Shrimp

3/4 lb Penne Pasta, I like Mezze Penne
1 lb large Shrimp, peeled
2 T Butter
2 T Olive Oil
1 small Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 C White Wine
1 can 14.5 oz Tomato Sauce
1 C Heavy Cream, 1/2 pint
1/4 C fresh parsley, finely chopped
6-8 Basil Leaves, chiffonade
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
Heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the shrimp, and cook for a few minutes until just opaque. Salt and pepper, stir and remove to a plate. Add remaining butter and oil to the skillet and add the onion and garlic. Saute, stirring until cooked and translucent. Add the wine, stirring and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce. Stir until well combined. Then add the cream. Stir until combined. Turn the heat to low bring to a simmer. Stir in the herbs, taste if more salt and pepper is needed. Now add the shrimp back to the pan. Give it a stir. Finally add the cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir. Serve from the skillet or put into a pretty serving platter.

tip: chiffonade, stack basil leaves on top of one another, roll tightly and slice into thin ribbons.
tip: keep a 12 0z to 1 lb bag of large frozen shrimp in the freezer, for quick dinner. It thaws in minutes in cold water.
tip: grow your own herb garden here

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Remembering my mother and all the wonderful things she cooked. Her recipes were all watch and learn. Nothing was written down, just passed down.. goulash, red cabbage, strawberry cake, bean vegetable soup. So many wonderful old German recipes that her family loved. They never quite taste as good as when she made them. Every bite is a memory.
We love and miss her every day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Welcome to MargaRITAville!

1 can frozen limeade (6 or 12 oz)
2 can water
1 can tequila
1/3 can triple sec
2 C ice
Shake in large covered container, like Tupperware and serve over ice. To make a frozen drink use only 1 C water and 2 C ice in a blender.
Make up a batch ahead and add the ice when you want to serve it. Rub the rim of your glass with some of the liquid and dip in equal mixture of salt and sugar in small plate.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco De Mayo

Chicken Enchiladas
3 C cooked chicken
2 C (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Mexican blend
1/2 C sour cream
1 (4.5 ox) can chopped green chilies
1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped
Stir together and divide evenly onto 8 (8")flour tortillas,
and roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 9x13" baking dish. Spray top of tortillas with cooking spray. Bake 350 for 35-40 minutes until golden.
Topping: 1 C (8 oz) sour cream
1 (8 oz) bottle green taco sauce
combine and spread over hot enchiladas. Sprinkle on garnish.
Garnish: diced tomatoes, chopped avocado chopped green onion, chopped cilantro

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Does this pan make my butt look big?

Pork Butt Pot Roast with Gravy

 Season the pork generously with, seasoned salt, garlic salt, steak seasoning, and pepper, also beau monde, if I have it. You can season with anything you like. I like to use my cast iron roasting pan or a cast iron skillet. Roast at 350ยบ for about an hour to brown nicely. Add water to cover the bottom of the pan  (about 1/2 C) and cover with foil. Roast another 1-1/2 hour or more until fork tender. Remove the roast to a platter. Cover loosely with the foil to keep warm while you make the gravy.
Gravy: add 2-3 T flour to the drippings in the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk to loosen the yummy browned bits, for 2 minutes. Add 2 C of water or broth ((you can use bullion cubes) to the pan, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens. I had 2 C of chicken broth that I saved from yesterdays chicken salad prep. Cut the roast into serving pieces and return to the pan with the gravy. Serve with; mashed potatoes or spaetzle and a green vegetable.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lunch! Chicken Poppy Seed Salad

Chicken Poppy Seed Salad
(adapted from "Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood" Cookbook)

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 C seedless grapes, cut in half
1 C slivered almonds, or chopped pecans
1 C mayonnaise
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T poppy seeds
1 T dill
Mix in a large bowl until fully combined, Store in the refrigerator.
Serve with warm croissants, toasted homemade bread or popovers and ice tea. ENJOY!

Tip: Save the broth you cooked the chicken in to use when making gravy, rice, or freeze for
Tip: To cook the chicken (for this and other recipes that call for cooked chicken), put about 3 boneless, skinless breasts, about 1-1/2 lb, in a shallow skillet, add water to just cover, about 2 C, add salt, some chopped celery tops, if you have them. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, or until cooked through. You can also use leftover meat from a roast chicken.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy MAY DAY pancake

Our favorite pancakes are so easy to make. 

We call them Strawberry Puffed Pancakes.
 They are baked in the oven, so you have
time  to slice the strawberries, make coffee,
and set the table. There is no rushing.
 Whisk the batter while the pan heats
in the oven with the butter.
 After the butter is melted and the pan is hot,
 pour the batter into the pan.
This is the 8" single serving pan.
We usually share this size.
 This is the double recipe in a glass pie dish. 
This will serve 2-4
 Puffing in the oven.
Remove from the oven when it is puffed and
 golden. Warm your plates the last 2 minutes. 
This is the double size made in a 9" pie pan
Here's one that rose really high!
 While the pancake is baking 
rinse out the batter bowl and slice the strawberries.
Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and 
set aside to serve with the pancakes.
Fill the pancakes with the fresh strawberries 
and sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
Serve at once on heated plates.
Strawberry Oven-Puff Pancakes
For each individual serving:
1 egg
1/4 C flour
1/4 C milk
1/4 t vanilla
pinch salt
Whisk together until smooth.

1T butter
5-6 fresh strawberries
lemon juice, sprinkle
powdered sugar, sprinkle

Preheat oven to 425. In a 6" nonstick ovenproof pan, add 1 T butter. Put skillet in oven while it preheats and the butter is melted and bubbly. Remove pan from oven and add the batter, do not stir. Return to oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until puffed high and golden. Meanwhile, rinse out your batter bowl and slice the strawberries. Add a little lemon juice to the strawberries. Remove pancake from oven when done onto the heated plate. Fill center with strawberries and dust generously with powdered sugar. ENJOY!

*You can easily double this recipe to serve 2-3. Use a glass or pottery 9" pie pan

Here's the apple version.