Sunday, March 2, 2014

French Beans / Haricots Verts a simple recipe with Walnuts and a Vinaigrette!

I bought some fresh Haricots Verts at our local market. Here's a simple way to cook them.

2 pounds of Haricots Verts
2 C of Walnuts (they'll be toasted)
8 TBS  chopped Fresh Parsley
2 C diced Onion
3/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Steam the beans.
Transfer the beans to a large serving bowl.
Toast Walnuts in a dry skillet for 2 minutes, tossing, watch carefully to avoid burning
Cool Walnuts completely in a small bowl.
Add Parsley and Onion to the Walnuts.

In another bowl, whisk together:

Toss Beans with 1/2 of the dressing.
Add Walnuts to the beans and season to taste with Salt and Pepper.
Serve remaining dressing on the side .

Peace in the Kitchen!

Navy Beans with Tomatoes

Beans: (ingredients)

1C of dry navy beans + water for soaking
6 C water (for cooking)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh sage
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 carrot,  cut into1 inch pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 TBS of salt

Tomatoes: (ingredients)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/4 C minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound of tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C canned tomato paste
1 1/2 TBS chopped fresh thyme

Soak the beans overnight in water, covered by 2" (at least 8 hours)
Drain the beans

Beans: ( cooking instructions)

In a large stock pot:
6 C water
herb sprigs
Simmer for 45 minutes

Tomatoes: (cooking instructions)

In a large skillet:
Heat oil
Saute onion 10 minutes
Add garlic, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
Cook 5 minutes
Add tomatoes, puree, thyme
Simmer uncovered 30 minutes

Drain the beans in a sieve and reserve the liquid
Return the beans to the stock pot
Add tomatoes and 1/4 C of the bean liquid
Simmer uncovered 45 minutes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Serve hot as a side dish.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Farmhouse Corn Pudding adapted from Nancy Fuller

I love corn pudding. I have so many recipes on the blog for corn pudding. Just when I think I have enough, I find another one. I've adapted this one just a bit .

Butter, softened
1- 9"X 13" casserole dish
Heavily butter the dish.

2 eggs , beaten
1 C shredded white cheddar cheese
1 C whipped cream cheese spread with chives (photo to follow)
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C plain bread crumbs, plus additional to sprinkle on just before baking.
2 TBS of local honey
1 TBS fresh chopped marjoram
2 shallots, diced
4 C corn kernels
4 TBS butter, melted
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl:
cheddar cheese
whipped cream cheese
heavy cream
bread crumbs
Mix well with your hands.

Add corn, mix again with your hands.
Add melted butter and continue to mix with your hands.

Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle with additional Bread Crumbs.
Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

This is the whipped cream cheese .

Peace in the Kitchen!

Petits Gateaux de Lavande

These are individual lavender cakes. We travel of the South of France and have friends in Provence that live among the amazing Lavender Fields. My fondest memory of my first experience in the Lavender Fields, many years ago, was the sound of the buzzing bees and the incredible aroma of the lavender.
It's very popular in the culinary world to cook and bake with Lavender. There are so many recipes for the flowers.
They often pair Lemon with Lavender and this recipe includes Lemon zest. These are individual cakes make with Lavender.

Petits Gateaus de Lavande:

This recipe makes 10 individual servings.

3/4 C butter, melted , divided
1 2/3 C confectioner's sugar + additional for dusting
6 1.2 TBS flour
1 C ground almonds
5 extra large egg whites
1 TBS of grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp lavender buds + additional for topping the cakes

Spoon 1 TBS of melted butter into 10 individual 4 inch ramekins that have been placed on a sheet pan.
Sift sugar and flour together in a small bowl.
Add almonds and mix well.
Beat egg whites by hand with a fork and fold into the dry ingredients.
Add remaining melted butter, lemon zest and lavender.
Fill each cup 3/4 full of the batter.
Sprinkle the batter with additional lavender before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
Rotate the sheet pan and continue baking for another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and transfer the ramekins to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve from the ramekins.
You can invert them and serve them on plates.

We buy local culinary lavender.
We also have it sent to us from our friends in Provence.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Amish Recipes / back to basics!

I've talked about my love of Amish cookbooks and recipes. And I've posted many Amish recipes on the blog.
I've talked about my extensive collection of Amish and Mennonite cookbooks that I buy at the annual MCC Sale )Mennonite Central Conference) in Kansas.
We'll be attending the sale this year the weekend of April 10th. We look forward to it each year.
We get together with family and we all attend the sale. I like to buy cookbooks at the sale.

In keeping with my love for Amish cooking I've added more traditional Amish recipes here.
I've taken the liberty of adapting some of the ingredients and directions to make the recipes more current without compromising the original recipe.

At the end of this page I included a few pictures.

Cranberry Conserve:

4 C fresh cranberries
2 large seedless oranges
1 C roughly chopped raisins
2 C hot water
4 C sugar
1 C roughly chopped pecans

Cut oranges into wedges.
Grind cranberries and oranges in a food grinder or ( pulse in a food processor, a contemporary method)
Put the mixture in a stock pot.
Add the hot water and bring to a boil.
Cook until the fruit is soft.
Add sugar and raisins.
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and fold in pecans.
Por into canning jars and keep refrigerated.

Rhubarb Meringue Pie:

1 - 9" unbaked pie shell
3 C diced rhubarb
1 1/2 C sugar
3 TBS flour
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 eggs, separated

Pour rhubarb into pie shell.

In a small bowl:
Whisk well
Add egg yolks and lemon juice.
Stir to mix well.
Pour over rhubarb.

Whip the egg whites into a meringue.
Cover the pie with the meringue.
Bake at 435 degrees for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes.

Sour Cream Raisin Pie:

1 C sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 C roughly chopped raisins
1/8 tsp salt
1 C sour cream
3 eggs, beaten
1 - 9" unbaked pie shell

Combine all ingredients and pour into the pie shell.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes more.

Hazelnut Kisses:

2 C sugar
2 C finely chopped hazelnuts
6 egg whites
3 TBS flour

Lightly beat egg whites with a hand mixer.
Add sugar, hazelnuts and flour.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and scoop the batter with a small cookie scoop 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7 - 8 minutes.

Walnut Rocks:

1 C butter
1 1/2 C brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 C  chopped raisins (I dust a bit of flour on the raisins to keep them from sticking together)
1 C chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer.
Add eggs and beat.
Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.

In a separate bowl:
Sift together flour, salt and all of the spices.
Add half of this mixture to the butter mixture to create a dough.

Comine nuts and raisins with the other half of the butter mixture.
Add this to the dough and mix well.

Scoop the dough with a small cookie scoop and drop the cookies 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.

Butterscotch Cookies:

1/2 C Crisco
1 C sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 C whole milk
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda mixed into the milk.
1 - 12oz. bag of butterscotch chips.

Cream Crisco and sugar until creamy and the sugar is dissolved using either a hand mixer, in a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs and milk (with baking soda)
Mix well and add baking powder.
Fold in butterscotch chips by hand.
Using a small cookie scoop , drop the dough onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan 2 inches apart.
Bake at 400 degrees until the edges are light brown, about 8 - 12 minutes.

Applesauce Loaf Cake:

1 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter
1 C applesauce
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in a little water.
2 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves.
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 C raisins
a pinch of salt

In a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
Add spices
Add applesauce, flour and baking soda.
Add raisins.
Beat well.

Pour into a loaf pan buttered and floured well or use my Pan Release Mixture (equal parts of Crisco, flour and vegetable oil mixed well and applied with a pastry brush) This is my foolproof method to release anything I bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Pumpkin Loaf Bread:

3 C sugar
1 C vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
A 1 pound can of Pumpkin
3 1/2 C flour
2/3 C water
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg

In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, combine:
Mix well
Add pumpkin
Add all of the dry ingredients
Add water and stir just until mixed well

Pour the batter into a well buttered and floured loaf pan (or use my Pan Release Mix).
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serve slices spread with softened cream cheese.

Corn Pudding:

1 can of creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBS flour
2 TBS sugar
1 C heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Butter, softened for the casserole dish.

Heavily butter a casserole dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
Pour into the casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees fro 1 hour.

As I was researching and writing these recipes I was reminded that the Amish cook and bake without electricity. When it calls for mixing ingredients, they did it all by hand. I wanted to post a picture of what the Amish would have used as a hand mixer because our recipes refer to a hand mixer as an electric mixer. We still have our mother's "hand" mixers.

This is an example of the hand mixer
I still have from my grandmother.

This is an example of the mixing bowls we collect.
We have many different sizes.

We still have all of our family wooden spoons.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Vegetables, a poem by Ken Nesbitt

Mashed potatoes on the ceiling.
Green beans on the floor.
Stewed tomatoes in the corner.
Squash upon the door.

Pickled peppers in my pocket.
Spinach up my sleeves.
Mushrooms in my underpants with
leeks and lettuce leaves.

Okra, onions, artichokes,
asparagus and beets;
buried neatly underneath the
cushions of our seats.

All the rest I've hidden in my socks
and down my shirt.
I'm done with all my vegetables.
I'm ready for dessert!
--Kenn Nesbitt

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Jam Tart

Simple and delicious.
This reminds me of a simple Amish Tart.
My favorite jam is Raspberry.
Adapted from a recipe on Food52.

12 TBS butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 C flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C your favorite jam
1/3 C sliced almonds

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment:
Beat until creamy at least 4 minutes.
Scrape the bowl.
Add almond extract and mix for 30 seconds
Take out 1/2 C of the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

Press remaining dough into a 9" pie pan.
Chill for 15 minutes.
Spread jam over the crust.

Remove the dough from the freezer and crumble it over the jam.
Sprinkle the almonds over the crumble.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes.
Remove and transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!