Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mary King’s Fruitcake Cookies

A moist satisfying cookie with the holiday flair that is addictive. Mary knows her way around the kitchen.


1 Cup salted softened butter (2 sticks)
1 ½ Cup brown sugar
2 Eggs
2 ½ Cup all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
½ Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon cinammon
½ Container of fruit cake mix
3 Cup of chopped pecans

Cream butter, sugar and add eggs.  Cream til fluffy. 
Add dry ingredients to it.  Stir in fruit and pecans.

Drop 2 inches  apart on greased cookie sheet.
Bake @ 375 F or 350 F for 12 mins.
Let cool on cookie racks.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Libby’s Pumpkin Rum Cake


A moist, delicious cake with a lovely tasty rum glaze. The best I ever had.

3 Cups all-purpose flour
3 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
1 Teaspoon ground ginger
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup sweet butter softened
1 Cup dark brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
4 Eggs
1 (15 Ounce) can Libby's canned pumpkin
1 Teaspoon vanilla

Butter Rum Glaze

1/4 Cup butter
1/2 Cup white or brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
2 -3 Tablespoons dark rum

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 12 cup bundt pan.

Combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated in a large mixer bowl and until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Add pumpkin and vanilla extract and beat well. Add flour to pumpkin mixture, 1/3 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour into prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.

While cake is cooling make Butter Rum Glaze. Melt butter in a saucepan; stir in sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in rum.

Poke holes all over cake with a wooden skewer. Pour half of glaze over cake. Let stand 5 minutes and then invert onto plate. Make holes all over top of cake and pour remaining glaze over the top.

Cool completely.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Turkey Day Menu and Shopping List

The list is organized by department to make it easier to shop. The menu for a truly outstanding Turkey day follows. Various useful recipes are also included.

Meat Dept
One 25 lb. Tom turkey
2 Turkey wings
Bacon (breakfast)
Breakfast sausage

Canned Fruit
1 (15 Ounce) can Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin (if making pumpkin pie)

Vegetable /Fruit Department
6 large Carrots
1 Head of Celery (not hearts but whole)
Head of fresh garlic
6 Roma or Red Delicious Apples (dressing)
7 Pippin or Granny Smith apples (for pie)
5 large Yellow cooking onions
6 Bosh Pears
3 fresh lemons
2 pounds small white pearl onions
8 pounds of Idaho potatoes (bargain bags are notoriously full of bad ones so pick these out yourself)
6 Red yams (if you want candied yams)
2 packages Fresh Cranberries
1 Red onion or Vidalia sweet

Baking Area -Spices or condiments (check to see if you have already)
Ground red pepper
Whole dried bay leaves
Ground black pepper
Ground white pepper 
Salt 
Ground sage
Ground nutmeg
Ground thyme
Ground cinnamon
Bourbon vanilla extract
Ground cloves
Baking powder
1 (12 Fluid ounce) can Carnation Evaporated Milk (if making pumpkin pie)

Beverages
Bottle of inexpensive white cooking wine (Chablis, Rhine wine or sauterne)
Bottle of inexpensive sherry cooking wine (Madeira, Cream sherry)
Small bottle of dark rum (cooking quality) if making Pumpkin rum cake

Bakery
2 loaves of extra sourdough bread, double wrapped (for the dressing)
Whole wheat bread
Bagels

Groceries
One 10-ounce box of currents
One 10-ounce of golden raisins
8 cans of low (reduced) salt chicken stock
75 feet- 18-inch wide Heavy Duty Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil
5 pounds granulated sugar
1 pound light brown sugar
5 pounds all purpose flour
Powdered Sugar
Coffee
Pie Crust Mix (4 if making pumpkin pie)
Cornstarch
French Vanilla no-sugar coffee-creamer
Bulk Splenda like sugar (I make the pies with no white sugar)
1 pkg. Miniature marshmallows (if you want candied yams)
Smoked salmon 8 oz.
Light Cream cheese with chives
Bisquick Mix
2 Crescent rolls

DAIRY
2 pints heavy cream
1 quart whole milk (not skin milk)
1 Reddi-Whip Real Whipped Cream
5 pounds sweet butter
1 doz large eggs

Frozen Foods
1 large package Birdseye Baby Garden Peas

Thanksgiving Turkey Day Menu


Oven Roasted Turkey
Sage Currant and Apple Dressing
Mashed Idaho Potatoes
Fresh Baby Garden Peas
Madeira Turkey Gravy
Creamed Peppered Pearl Onions
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Candied Yams with Marshmallow Topping
Alpen Cellars Gewurtztraminer
Port
Santa Teresa - Rhum Orange or French Cointreau


Desserts
Pear Pie
Apple Pie
Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin cake
English Plum Pudding Flambé with Brandied Hard Sauce


Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie


"Whether you're hosting a festive party or a casual get-together with friends, our Famous Pumpkin Pie will make entertaining easy!"

Preheat oven to 425 F.

 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
 3/4 cup white sugar
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
 2 eggs
 1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
 1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk


Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze, as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

Sour Dough Apple Current Sage Dressing

This may be prepared the day before and considering the amount of work that goes on Turkey day, it’s a very good idea to prepare a day ahead and store in two (2) 2-1/2 gallon zip lock bags. Undersalt the dressing if it’s cooking in a brined bird. This dressing may also be used on any fowl or with pork.

Enough for one 25 pound Turkey.

5 stalks fresh celery, diced
2 yellow onions, peeled, diced
6 Roma Apples, cored, peeled, diced
a 10 or 12 ounce box of currents
1 pound of golden raisins
½ ~ 1 pound of raisins
1 ½ ~ 2 loafs of extra sourdough bread1, plastic wrapped,
processed with Cuisinar to medium bread crumbs.
4~5 sticks of melted sweet butter
1 ½~2 tablespoons black pepper
Salt to taste (under salt if using a brined turkey)
3~4 tablespoons of ground sage (to taste)

Use a really giant bowl or use a stock pot. Make bread crumbs out of the sour dough bread a little at a time and process in the food processor not too fine. Peel and coursely pre-chop onions and process in the food processor not too fine. Coursely pre-chop the celery and process in the food processor not too fine. Peel and core apples and and process in the food processor to rasin sized chunks or slightly larger. Add all other ingredienst and mix well. Taste the blend. Add more sage if needed. Under salt the dressing if it’s cooking in a brined bird as the brining has salt in it. Tightly pack dressing into the neck cavity and main cavity of the bird. Follow directions for roasting a dressed turkey. Do not add any form of un-cook meat to dressing.  Any roasting error could prevent the internal temperature from reaching a sufficiently high temperature to kill any bacteria present. I suggest using a direct indicating thermometer stuck deep in the bird insuring that the internal temperature exceeds 160oF for at least 20 minutes. If you are preparing the dressing the day ahead, remove the dressing from the refrigerator the same time as the turkey, allowing it to come up to room temperature, if possible.

Cook any extra dressing in the oven in a tightly cover chaffing or casserole dish for 1 hour at 350F. (Add extra salt to extar stuffing not cooked in bird, if needed, if you under salted for a brined turkey.)

Notes:
  1. I do not use dry bread crumbs or stale bread as it’s too difficult to chop in the food processor. Sour dough bread that is wrapped (either sliced or whole loaf) being a little moister make good bread crumbs in the food processor and does not require re-hydration.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cantonese Scrambled Eggs with Chinese Sausage


My good friend Bob Kong of San Jose cooked these for breakfast or had his son do it. I became very fond of this breakfast.

6 Farm fresh brown eggs
1 Tablespoon sweet butter
2 teaspoons oil for the pan
2 Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage) sliced on the diagonal
2 green scallions sliced on the diagonal
2 Dashes fish sauce
Pinch white pepper
1 Dash soy or tamari as salt

Cook sausage in oil until done, add scallions and some butter and sauté until limp. Beat eggs briefly in a bowl then stir fry with sausage adding fish sauce, pepper, and soy to taste.


On Amazon
Notes:
  1. Lap Cheong sausage (Cantonese) is a dried, hard sausage usually made from pork with a high fat content. It is normally smoked, sweetened, and seasoned with rose water, rice wine and soy sauce. Some versions omit the rose water but have less appeal. Version are available domestically and imported.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Spanish Artisanal Raw-Milk Manchego Basil Pine Nut Pesto

Manchego is a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed. The Raw milk version is the better tasting but harder to find than pasteurized. Manchego cheese has more protein than meat making it a great choice for pesto when making pasta. This is a full flavored cheese not unlike the Italian Asiago but not as strong. Mexican Manchego cheese was introduced to Mexico from Spain but it tastes quite different, being made with a mixture of cows and goats’ milk rather than sheep’s milk.

1 Cups fresh basil leaves                   
1/2 Cup freshly Manchego cheese
1/3 Cup great tasting first cold pressing olive oil              
1/3 Cup pine nuts                           
3 Garlic cloves                             
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

With a food processor, chop cheese, the add garlic and basil. Add pine nuts last and just chop to blend. With the processor running, add olive oil until the mixture forms a paste. Do not over blend the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta and drain while al dente. Add pesto and toss with spoons for several minutes. Serve with an Italian salad.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lemongrass Beef and Vermicelli Salad


This is a great light dinner on hot summer evenings. Like Thai cuisine, there is that "tastes like healthy" feel to this dish. For a nice smoky flavor, the steak is grilled, allowed to rest 5 minutes, and then sliced. Each prepare bowl of noodles and vegetables is topped with a nice bunch of hot steak.

1 Tablespoon Tamari
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
2 Stalks fresh lemongrass, inner ribs of fat end only
1 1/4 Pound ribeye steak
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Pound fresh rice stick noodles (Vermicelli)
1 Cup peeled, cored cucumber, sliced into sticks
Greens from 4 scallions, sliced lengthwise, and cut to two inches long
½ Cup Mung bean sprouts
2 Cups shredded lettuce
1/4 Cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons of roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 Thai Bird red chile, shredded
6 small carrot, Sliced into sticks
Wash for cooked sliced steak.
1 Tablespoon Marin
1 Teaspoon black soy
1 Teaspoon black vinegar
1 Teaspoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
Garnish with springs of cilantro and lime slices.

Thinly slice lower 6 inches of lemongrass stalks, discarding remainder of stalks. Cut off but end, slice stalks lengthwise, discard outer tough “bark layers”. Crosswise slice lemon grass into fine slices.  Chop in food processor, the Bird red chile, lemongrass and garlic. Pound pulp until the woody bits have been reduced to pulp. Add Tamari and sesame seed oil and lime juice. Marinate steak, covered with wrap, put in refrigerator overnight.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in fresh rice stick noodles. Stir briefly, cooking briefly for just ten seconds. Immediately drain vermicelli in a colander, and flush thoroughly with cold water to arrest cooking. Drain well. Toss noodles in a bowl with 6 tablespoons of Vietnamese Fish Sauce [Nuoc Cham].


Separate noodles to serving bowls. Top each bowl with scallions, cucumber slices, shredded lettuce, mung beans, springs of cilantro, carrot sticks.

Allow meat to warm for an hour. Preheat grill to high. Grill steak to medium rare, 3 minutes per side. Remove to rest 5 minutes on cutting board then slice very thin across grain with a very sharp knife. Sprinkle streak with Marin, black soy, black vinegar and seasoned rice wine vinegar. Toss several times. Correct seasoning adding black pepper to taste.

Serve with Vietnamese Fish Sauce [Nuoc Cham]

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vietnamese Fish Sauce [Nuoc Cham]


Versions of this Thai and Vietnamese popular dipping sauce are a balance of sweet, tart, salty and spicy. Variations are as many as the homes that prepare it. There is no absolute recipe. Ginger might compliment garlic and sweetness is balanced with acidity from limes and or vinegar. Fish sauce provides the saltiness. Before you taste straight fish sauce and decide, its use might be better suited to cat food, understand that Worcestershire sauce, one of the world’s best selling condiment derives its unique flavor from anchovies. Fish sauce has a strong flavor. Add it last, a little at a time, tasting as you go.



1/2 Cup sugar dissolved in a cup hot water
1/4 Cup good fish sauce or less (Tiparos is a popular choice)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
Juice from one or more limes (include some pulp if you like)
3 cloves of minced garlic
1-2 Teaspoons crushed red pepper (see note 1)
Chopped cilantro
Garnish
¼ cup finely shredded carrot
Few sprigs of cilantro
Lime slices

This sauce is great for Thai or Vietnamese spring rolls.
http://www.chinagreensource.com


Note:

1. Crushed red pepper flakes are mildly hot (4 on a scale of ten), Thai peppers are a lot hotter but are more often used for this sauce.