Sweet Potato Casserole

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Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs sweet potatoes or yams
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (or less)
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

Method:

First, bake the sweet potatoes: Don’t preheat the oven. Prick your sweet potatoes with a fork, then place them on a foil lined pan in the middle of the oven. Turn the oven on to 400. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife easily slides through the potato. Do NOT under-cook. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and cool completely.

Scrape insides of cooked,cooled sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix very well.

Pour into a greased 9″x13″ casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with pecans and mini  marshmallows.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and brown.

Optional: substitute pecans for a brown-sugar/pecan streusel topping, and apply to the top with the marshmallows in alternating stripes.

 

 

 

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Apple Crisp

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Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Place the sliced apples in an 8″ x 8″ pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and spices together with the apples. Squeeze lemon juice evenly over all and gently toss to combine. 
  3. Combine the oats, 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Roasted Radishes

I don’t usually love raw radishes. But these! When roasted, the flavor becomes mellow and soft, unlike that peppery bite when consumed raw. It’s like a whole new vegetable. Roasted radishes are surprisingly tender and juicy when roasted, and make a wonderful side dish to roasted or grilled meats.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and halved.
  • Olive oil or clarified butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss radishes in olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan or skillet. Roast, stirring once, for about 20 minutes or until easily pierced by a fork. Squeeze lemon juice over top and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or room temp.

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Warm Farro Salad with Kale and Feta

Easy. Quick. Healthy. Delicious. Can be served warm, cool, or room temp. Easily adaptable (spinach for kale, blue cheese for feta, add walnuts…).

farro

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked farro
  • 1 bunch kale leaves, stems removed and torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (or juice of 1 lemon)
  • 8 oz feta, cubed
  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the farro. Cook for 20 minutes at a steady boil until al dente. Drain and add to a big bowl.

Meanwhile, blanch kale until just softened and add to farro in the big bowl.

Add olive oil, lemon juice, feta, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and serve.

Serves about 8 as a side.

 

Chicken in Milk

“Trust me, you’re going to love this one – the milk creates the most amazing flavoursome sauce ” -Jamie Oliver (recipe here)

chicken in milk

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 large handful of fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 10 cloves of garlic, whole and peeled
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (whole is best)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Season the chicken generously all over with sea salt and black pepper, then brown the chicken in a snug-fitting pot with a little oil until golden, turning the chicken to get an even color all over.
  3. Remove from the heat, and transfer chicken to another plate. Wipe oil and any residue that might burn out of the pot.
  4. Return chicken to the pot and add the cinnamon, sage leaves, lemon zest, garlic cloves, and milk.
  5. Cook in the hot oven, uncovered, for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until cooked through, basting with the cooking juices when you remember. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.
  6. Pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates. Taste the sauce and add salt, if necessary. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Best served with rice or couscous to catch all the juices.

Pumpkin-Shaped Cheese Ball

Ok, I’m fully aware of how low-brow this recipe is. BUT, it’s Halloween and I need a cute, savory appetizer to bring to a party that isn’t disgusting looking (see here) and will please a crowd! Enter: the pumpkin-shaped cheese ball. Now, I’ve got a delicious, more sophisticated cheese ball recipe that I usually prefer (see here)… but it’s Halloween and I’m embracing the holiday’s celebration of junk food. Enjoy.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 (8oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temp. (can use 1/3 less fat, but no less)
  • 1 (8oz.) package shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet powdered ranch mix
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper, diced (reserve stem)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large handful of cheesy poofs (aka, puffy Cheetos)

Method:

Combine all ingredients (minus the pepper stem) in a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until thoroughly incorporated.

Turn our cheese mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, cover with the wrap, and form into a sphere. Make sure the wrapping is air tight and place in the fridge for an hour or two.

Crush a large handful of cheesy poofs between two sheets of parchment paper. You can use a rolling pin, but honestly your hand works fine, too. Make sure the poofs are completely pulverized.

Turn out the cheese ball into the poof crumbs and roll to coat. (Actually, you can also just coat the cheese ball in extra cheddar… but what fun is that?!) Put the coated cheese ball onto another sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly.

Now it’s time to make the pumpkin grooves! Place 4 long pieces of kitchen twine on the counter in a star (*) pattern. Place the cheese ball on top of the center of the star, and tie each string tightly at the top (see image below). Place back in the fridge to chill for another couple of hours.

Unwrap cheese ball and place on a serving plate. Arrange the pepper stem on top to look like the pumpkin stem. Serve with crackers.

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Buttermilk Pie

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Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (regular, not deep dish)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C).
  2. Beat eggs and sugar until frothy and sugar has become less grainy; add butter and flour. Beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and nutmeg; pour into pie shell.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes, or until center is firm and top is browned. Serve at room temperature, but chill leftovers. 

*Note: this recipe is easily adaptable – add fresh blueberries, or pistachios, or white chocolate, or whiskey…

Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a traditional fall (or summer) treat in the south. They’re a perfect snack at football tailgates, beach picnics, on trips to the North Georgia mountains… or wherever/whenever! I’ve heard they’re an acquired taste if you didn’t grow up eating them, but I just can’t imaging not loving these addictive little legumes.

Traditionally, boiled peanuts are made with green peanuts (they’re not actually green, just “fresh”), but green peanuts can be hard to find. Raw peanuts can also be used, and just need to cook longer. I’ve included cooking times for both below.

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Ingredients:

  • peanuts in shell, green or raw (I usually cook about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt per gallon of water
  • Optional flavorings: old bay, cajun seasoning, jalapenos, garlic powder/cloves…

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low an simmer, stirring occasionally.

Green peanuts will need to cook just a few hours (about 3), but raw peanuts take much longer – usually about 10-12 hours. Just turn the burner off overnight, and pick up where you left off the next day. Crock-pots work, but will take even longer.  Test peanuts periodically for done-ness; they should be very tender.

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

parmesan-roasted-cauliflower

Adapted from THIS recipe from the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

Method:

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss cauliflower florets on a large rimmed baking sheet with onion, thyme, garlic, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10–12 minutes longer.

Provençal Salmon With Fennel, Rosemary and Orange Zest

Adapted from THIS recipe from the NYT.

In 1998, Mark Bittman and Katy Sparks, then chef of Quilty’s in Manhattan, developed this easy recipe for salmon encrusted with fennel seeds, rosemary and orange zest. It’s a simple though sophisticated twist on weeknight salmon.

A couple things to keep in mind when making this dish: Make sure you use fillets of equal size. Buy skinned salmon fillet from the thick (that is, not the tail) end of the fish then cut across the fillet to make the four pieces. Also, allow the fish to sit for a while after coating to encourage the fragrant seasonings to permeate the flesh of the fish.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 6-ounce, skinned salmon fillets
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or clarified butter (or a mix of both) 

Method:

  1. Season fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Grind fennel seed coarsely in a coffee or spice grinder, and mix it with the rosemary and orange zest. Press this mixture onto the top of each fillet.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the oil or butter called for in the recipe and, when it shimmers, place the fillets, coated side down, in the pan. Cook about 1 minute, or until the spice mixture forms a nicely browned crust.
  4. Turn the fillets and cook about a minute more, then transfer to the oven. Cook about 4 minutes for rare salmon, 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare and 8 minutes for well done.