Time For The Holidays, Recipes & Hints for Christmas & Chanukkah
So, with Thanksgiving over, Christmas and Chanakuah are fast approaching and its time to start planning again. My favorite part is planning our "7 Fishes" Christmas Eve (7 for the Sacrements). So you will see that menu first. For all of our friends who celebrate Chanukah, I have a few menu suggestions for that too. On Christmas Day, we are usually out visiting and my cousin becomes the expert on that meal. But I will make suggestions and create a menu for you to sample, and I promise to beg her for the recipe for the famous meatballs. (We'll start with our Italian Christmas, then intersperse some different nationalities, and I'll get to Kwanzaa too. Many of the recipes have been in and out of the pages of the site, but here you will find them all in one place. The ones that are not my own will say so and refer you to the original website to help you plan better. So enjoy the photos, menus and recipes & feel free to mix and match, or make suggestions as you please. Then, just when you think you're all done, its New Years Eve, and its good luck to eat Black-Eyed Peas on New Year's Day. You see some photos below, and at the end you will find my recipe for that. Meanwhile, here are a couple of new recipes for this Holiday Season that I couldn't resist! Enjoy & Happy Holidays.
Happy New Year Pinwheels
This recipe is too good not to make for the New Year. Thanks to Beth at www.HungryHappenings.com. I didn't invent this one for Mediterranean Pinwheels, but I wish I did. I also love the idea that you can alter the ingredients to your taste. Here it is, from Beth, to me, for you, in its original form, perfect if you're having guests:
2 tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Creations Seamless Dough Sheets
1/4 cup veggie, spinach artichoke or plain cream cheese
2/3 cup chopped marinated artichokes
2 tablespoons finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup finely diced roasted red peppers
1/2 cup feta cheese egg wash,
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unroll both tubes of dough. Spread half of the cream cheese on each dough sheet. Sprinkle half of the artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese on each dough sheet.
Roll up starting at the long end. Pinch seams together. Freeze for 15-20 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick tin foil or spray a non-stick pan with baking spray.
Arrange the pinwheels so that they write out "2014," (or whatever occasion you're celebrating). Brush egg wash lightly over and in between the pieces, where they touch, to help them stick.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Bake pinwheels for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Slide off the baking pan onto a large platter or cutting board. Serve hot (they're even good warm or room temp.)
Personally, I have to recommend a gift I got for christmas which I absolutely love, Its a flat warming tray large enough to hold 2 cookie sheets, and it actually works fantastically well. I'll highlight it atwww.debsfood.com, under Kitchen Necessities.
CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD SURPRISE BEIGNETS
I’m starting with dessert this year!! One look at the recipe for these heavenly gingerbread beignets was all it took for me to be hooked…and I can’t even bake. It is impossible not to like these - they're fried, they taste like Christmas AND they can be made with a nutella surprise inside. Yes, its a little complicated and time consuming, I know. But its worth it. Do what I do, get someone to make them for you!!!
WARM HONEY, FIG & GORGONZOLA DIP (Serves 4)
The combination of fig, honey and gorgonzola, along with hot cheese is the perfect solution for my holiday cravings this year. The mix of sweet and the savory is wholly satisfying atop a warm pita or flatbread. Simply slice a pita into triangles, brush with melted butter and flaked salt. Toss it in the oven just until it’s puffy and warm. This is guaranteed to be your most popular app this year! hot, bubbly fig dip.
MUSHROOM, SAGE PESTO & GOAT CHEESE SOURDOUGH TOAST (Serves 4-6)
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER
In our family Christmas Eve is a casual time to get together with immediate family and close friends, and its full of fish. "Seven Fishes" to be exact, for the Seven Sacrements. We eat early, around 4pm or so, because everyone wants to get to sleep before Santa arrives, and some of our guests even want to get to Midnight Mass. Since we want an easy clean-up, this is one of those times you can do wonders with plastic. Plastic flat-ware now comes in silver, and looks just like your good flat-ware. Then I find the most beautiful paperplates I can for that year, and place a clear plastic Chinet plates over it. So you now have Christmas China! When its clean-up time, everything goes in the trash (except your serving bowls!).
Our Christmas Eve Menu goes something like this:
Assortment of Appetizers: Crab & Cheese Puffs; Lobster Spread & Crackers; Scallops Wrapped in Bacon (sorry about the meat for the devout); Potato Puffs; Eggplant Bites; Shrimp Cocktail. All of this has been pre-purchased at Costco or BJ's, except the Shrimp, which I believe should be made fresh.
Dinner: This would include Filet of Grey Sole Francese; Seafood (Scallops, Vongole Clams, Calamari, Mussels) Marinara (or fra diavolo if you prefer) over linguini; Jerk Shrimp Alfredo w/ Penne; Eggplant Rolletini (for non fish-lovers) and Zucchini Pie.
Recipes to Follow:
CRAB GRATÍN W/ ANCHOVIES AND VÃSTERBOTTEN CHEESE, Serves 4-6
Here is a wonderful Holiday treat. This Swedish gratin of shredded crabmeat is traditionally made using Västerbotten, a salty aged cows' milk cheese, but parmesan works well as a substitute. This recipe first appeared in the December 2013 issue of Saveur along with Corey Arnold's article Polar Harvest. Don’t be minding your calories when you make this one!!
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. flour
¾ cup milk
½ cup cream
½ cup fish stock
1 lb. precooked king or snow crabmeat, defrosted if frozen and shredded into large pieces
¾ cup grated Västerbotten or parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 anchovy filets
Heat oven to 425°. Grease a 2-qt. baking dish with butter. Melt butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add flour; cook, stirring until smooth, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, cream, and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until slightly thick, 3–5 minutes. Remove from heat; fold in crabmeat, ½ cup cheese, salt, and pepper. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish; spread into an even layer. Arrange anchovies over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
Real Maryland Crabcakes, (double this recipe for 12)
- 1 pound backfin Blue crab meat or other lump crab meat
- 8 saltine crackers
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Carefully check the crab meat for any cartilage. Put meat in a bowl and set it aside.
Crush the saltine crackers very fine and mix with all the other ingredients. Gently fold in the crab. Only mix enough to combine ingredients. You don't want to break up the crab into fine shreds. Shape into 6 crab cakes, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Sauté until golden brown on each side. This will only take about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Garnish with tartar sauce, remoulade, or simply with a squeeze of lemon.
HONEY LEMON FISH (flounder, cod, sole, haddock, etc)
For Christmas Eve, I usually make my Sole Franćese. But, recently I found some fresh white filet (haddock or halibut) and came up with a fun and delicious recipe, quite by accident using just what I had in the pantry! It was too delicious, too healthy and too simple to not to share, yet elegant enough for your holiday table. So here is a treat for you:
- Preheat oven to 375, Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, and add about 2 tbsp EVOO
- 2 1/2 lbs fresh white fish (your favorite - Flounder, Sole, Cod, Halibut, even a beautiful Sea Bass) about 1" thick, then blot dry and cut into about 3" serving size pieces.
-1 large Lemon
-2 tbsp Honey
-Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
-1 c. (or so) Panko Crumbs & 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning.
Cut Lemon in half, then cut one half of it in very, very thin slices.
Put fish in baking tray and using your hands, rub around in the oil until fully coated, then sprinkle the Honey over the fish (I warmed it so it mixed in easily); along with the salt and pepper and the juice of the other half of the lemon. Now arrange the fish in individual pieces (its ok if they touch), and place the lemon slices in, under and around the fish. Mix the Panko with the Italian Seasoning, then sprinkle on top of the fish. Sprinkle with EVOO. Bake about 20 minutes (or less depending on how you like your fish. Mine was done in 15 min).
Enjoy with a mixed greens salad.
BROILED RAINBOW TROUT, Serves 4 (can be used with any whole fish, referencing the filleting method above)
Butterflied freshwater fish is slathered in butter and spices before broiling in this recipe from Tulsa's White River Fish Market. The traditional hush puppies are served alongside fish at the restaurant, which has been open since 1932. You could do a roasted rosemary potato (like Ina's spiral sliced potatoes, or a steak fry instead) This recipe first appeared in Saveur's August/September 2013 issue and we thank them at Saveur.com for the reproduction.
FOR THE TROUT:
½ tsp. granulated garlic
¼ tsp. celery seed
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 whole fresh rainbow trout (about 10 oz. each), butterflied
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Make the fish: Heat broiler to high. Mix garlic, celery seed, oregano, paprika, sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Place fish side by side on a baking sheet and lay open, flesh side up. Spread butter over fish and season with spice mixture. Broil until golden and cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and hush puppies.
As for the Hush Puppies, given the amount of work involved, I would buy a large batch at Arthur Treachers or your local market. However, if you want to make them yourself, the Hush Puppies Recipe can be found at http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Broiled-Rainbow-Trout-with-Hush-Puppies.
How to remove bones and fillet a whole fish: (See diagram below)
1. Place the cleaned fish on a work surface with its belly facing you. Using kitchen shears, remove the back and belly fins.
2. Starting at the tail, slide the knife between the flesh of the fish and the lower edge of the rib cage. Make short gentle cuts toward the backbone, separating the meat from the ribs as you go. Turn the fish over and repeat this step on the other side.
3. Pull back the filleted flesh, exposing the ribs and backbone. Using kitchen shears, cut through the base of the ribs along the backbone.
4. Lift out the backbone and rib cage, and flatten the fish, skin down, on the work surface.)
SAUERKRAUT W/ WHITE FISH IN CREAM SAUCE (Serves 2 - 4)
Traditionally, this luscious French dish, choucroute au poisson, was made in Alsatian riverside villages, but today restaurants throughout Alsace serve a version in which filets of flaky, white-fleshed fish such as pike perch are pan-fried or poached and served on a bed of choucroute and topped with a creamy riesling sauce. Here, readily available trout works beautifully, too. Without regard to the fish you choose, the recipe is easy, yet looks elegant. Can't go wrong with this one!
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 (¼-lb.) piece smoked bacon, cut into ½" cubes
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped thyme leaves
½ tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp star anise
1 bay leaf
½ lb. raw Sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
1¼ cups white wine, preferably dry riesling (adds a bit of sweetness)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 (6–8-oz.) boneless skin-on trout filets (I prefer to use boneless skinned filets, regardless of the kind of fish I choose. Flounder, Sea Bass or Halibut are good alternatives)
¼ cup flour, sifted
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
Chervil leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. fat. Reduce heat to medium and add half the shallots along with the thyme, cumin, star anise, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut, ½ cup wine, and ⅓ cup water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauerkraut softens and the flavors meld, about 25 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside; discard bay leaf and star anise. Keep warm.
2. Season trout filets with salt and pepper. Put flour on a plate and dredge trout in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add trout skin side down and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and cooked through, 4–6 minutes. Transfer trout to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp. butter and remaining shallots. Cook until shallots are soft, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, pour in remaining wine, and cook until wine is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add heavy cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and stir in remaining butter. To serve, divide sauerkraut between 2 plates and top each with trout. Spoon sauce around fish and garnish with chervil.
Zesty Fish Filet Casserole, Serves 10 - 12
"Buffalo" Blackened Salmon
For quite sometime, my kids ate nothing but chicken nuggets and pizza. But I noticed that they loved fried and spicy foods, and especially buffalo wings and chicken. It struck me that if I could find a way to kick up dinner to a spice level that would appeal to them, they would try different things. This was the first recipe I tried, and to this day "Buffalo" Salmon is one of their favorite dishes, summer and winter!** I have been outside on Christmas Eve grilling this dish, however you can make it just as well inside in a grillpan or under the broiler. Just be careful not to overcook the fish. Quick & Easy, Healthy & Delicious, Kid Friendly.
FILET OF SOLE FRANCESE
I'm going to give you my secret recipe for the perfect Fillet of Sole (or any firm white fish) Francese' and you are not going to believe it. I made it a number of times and I'm always asked for the recipe. So,
I suppose I'll have to confess it:
4 large Dover or Lemon Sole Fillet (you can use slices of Cod, Haddock or flounder)
1 cup Egg Beaters (yes, egg beaters)
2 cups seasoned panko (or plain panko with Italian seasoning)
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or melted butter if you prefer.
1 jar of "FonzoMia" Francaise Sauce - a lemon sauce masterpiece - that is sold at Ivarrone Bros. Market. (only that one).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
If you are using the large sole or flounder cut into about 4-6 oz servings and season the fish with salt and pepper. If you are using a thicker fish, slice it into about 2 inch wide slices.
Dip each piece in the Egg Beaters, then in the panko, thoroughly coating the fish, then place in a greased (or pam'd) glass baking tray. (9x13) Use the one you will serve the fish in. You should have about 2 rows of fish the long way, maybe enough room to squeeze a few more in crosswise.
If your fish is thinner, or for the smaller pieces, you might want to roll them a bit so all the pieces are about the same size and they cook evenly in the pan.
Drizzle with olive oil and Bake about 30 minutes, just until the fish is lightly browned and flakey.
Meanwhile, heat the jar of Francaise sauce in the microwave and when the fish comes out of the oven, pour about half the jar over the fish, making sure to get a bit of sauce on each piece. Add some thinly sliced lemon in and around the pieces. Pour the rest of the sauce in your own gravy boat and serve with extra lemon wedges for squeezing.
It looks beautiful and tastes light and delicious. The fish is healthy and not swimming in sauce, and your guests can add more if they like.
**Grilling Note: In the summer, you can grill your fish instead of baking it. Be sure to oil it well, season with salt and pepper, and do not use the crumbs. Take it off the grill, and cover with hot sauce. A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley, or cilantro for a little bite, and you're done!
***Note: Credit to Isabella's of Statesboro for the Photo. I'll make you all some soon!
PESCADO ENCARCELADO (Fish stuffed with Pico de Gallo)
This clean, flavorful preparation of whole fish stuffed with pico de gallo preserves all the fish's natural juices. Mullet is typically used, but red snapper works just as well. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue with Beth Kracklauer's article "In Full Bloom."
INGREDIENTS2 tbsp. minced jalapeños
DEB'S OWN JERK SHRIMP ALFREDO, W/ LINGUINI
Seafood Marinara w/ Linguini
Celebrate with "The Titanic" (I want to be on this one when it goes down...)
If there ever was a reason to start off with dessert, this is it! Christmas, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, Birthdays..., you name it, this dessert will make everyone happy. It looks like a celebration to me before you even take a bite. So, thanks to my niece Jill and her friends for coming up with this beautiful dessert she ironically calls, Titanic. I heartily suggest it for your holiday piece de resistance at the dessert table:
It couldn't be simpler. Brownies on the bottom (your choice I suppose, store-bought or homemade; blondie or brownie); then your favorite ice cream flavors, and toppings of your choice (the possibilities are endless - strawberries, bananas, sprinkles, m&m's...), and don't forget the whipped cream! Then stick in a few pirouette cookies, and put some candles in the piroutte cookies. Now you're set to light up the party!!
CHANUKKAH or HANUKKAH, a festival of lights celebrated for eight days and nights, is also celebrated with a festival of food - and we have a sampling for you, both traditional and non-traditional. In fact, in remembrance of the miracle of the Temple oil, Hanukkah meals traditionally feature lots of fried foods like latkes. That’s right, Hanukkah is an excuse to eat a bunch of yummy fried stuff. How great is that?? The menu below is just a suggestion and, as always, if you have a wish for something different, take a look at the other pages throughout the website. If you still can't find it, drop me a note and I'll find it for you!
CHANUKAH RECIPES, recipes and photos adapted from www.foodnetwork.com
Gravlax w/ The Works
Sephardic Chicken Soup w/ Sofrito & Herbed Matzo Balls
LATKES (Potato Pancakes)
ROASTED SWEET POTATO RISOTTO, Serves about 4
Roast Chicken w/ Orange or Apricot Glaze
Sweet & Sour Brisket
Classic Noodle Kugel
SPINACH GRATIN, Serves 8-10
Ina's Roasted Asparagus
CHRISTMAS DAY DINNER
Christmas Day dinner is one of the most important meals of the year, and generally lasts for hours. The table will be beautiful and will accommodate as many as possible. Again we take out our good
china and silver or flatware (or the best plastic facsimile we can find!). Family, friends, adults and children of all are all welcome and encouraged. This is a festive and happy day
of celebration when we get to see the relatives we haven't seen all year, watch the kids open presents and generally spend the day socializing and relaxing. Well, except for the cook
On Christmas day we start just after lunchtime and the First Course is often a classic cold antipasto with cuts of cured meat, garnished with olives and cheese. This may be combine with or substituted by a hot antipasto, depending on your own preference.
When the Second Course, a pasta course, is brought out, we find an array of wonderful Pasta or Pasticcio al Forno—a baked pasta full of surprises. This type of baked pasta is more common in the central southern regions of Italy. In the north, Lasagnas, and Pasta Bolognese reigns supreme, along with a huge variety of filled pastas like Stuffed Shells and Ravioli. Cannelloni with different fillings, baked with besciamella and ragù, are also popular. Though today, you're just as likely to see spaghetti & meatballs, gnocchi pesto, or cavatelli with garlic and oil as we develop our own alternatives to the classic choices.
Finally, for a Third and last course, meat is de rigueur: roasted veal or leg of lamb, braised beef or roasted chicken with potato croquettes, or ham. These meats are always accompanied by a green vegetable such as a saute of spinach with garlic & oil, broccoli rabe, swiss chard and the like; roasted potatoes or croquettes, and a light salad.
In this section, I will give you a small sampling of these dishes. You will find many more in the individual recipe pages of the website. Have fun, and remember to save room for dessert and coffee!
(reproduced with the assistance of www.mangiabenepasta.com; Thank you Dolores for the beautiful table settings.)
Antipasto means “before the meal” in Italian and is the traditional first course in an authentic Italian menu. It is a wonderful combination of ‘mini-bites’ of food that are meant to stimulate the appetite at the beginning of the meal. You could serve this course with a soft and fruity, medium bodied Merlot.
Antipasto Freddi: Ingredients
1/2 Pound sliced Genoa salami; 1 sliced tomato; 1 large white onion, sliced in rings; 2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips; 1 Pound sliced provolone; 2 cans black pitted olives
1 can baby corn on the cob; 1 small jar of Pepperoncini peppers; 2 stalks of celery; 1 can rolled anchovies; sea salt to taste; extra virgin olive oil; parsley sprigs for garnish.
Directions: 1.Using a long serving platter, arrange the ingredients in the following
order: Salami, provolone, tomato, onion, red peppers, and anchovies.
2.In the center of the tray, place the baby corns and the olives.
3.Cut the celery into sticks and place in between each antipasti ingredient.
4.Sprinkle sea salt on all of the ingredients and then drizzle the oil
evenly. Put the antipasti, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours
to enhance the flavors.
5.Remove, garnish with parsley sprigs, and serve at room temperature
Another example of a different Cold Antipasta from www.sicilianculture.com):
Assorted Italian Cheeses, Assorted Olives, Assorted Sliced Vegetables, Shrimp Cocktail, Seafood Cocktail Salad. This would be combined with an Antipasto Caldi (Hot Appetizers), including: Stuffed Artichokes, Stuffed Mushrooms and Stuffed Peppers or the like.
ANTIPASTO FREDDI (HOT ANTIPASTO)
A Stand Alone Hot Antipasto recipe from Pillsbury:
2 cans (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated
crescent dinner rolls or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet 4 oz thinly sliced salami 4 oz thinly sliced Swiss cheese 4 oz thinly sliced pepperoni 4 oz thinly sliced American cheese 4 oz thinly
sliced capocollo (cured Italian ham) or cooked ham 4 oz thinly sliced provolone cheese 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 jar (12 oz) sliced roasted red bell peppers, drained 1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained 1 egg yolk, beaten
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 13x9-inch pan or spray with cooking spray.
2. If using crescent rolls: Unroll 1 can of dough into 1 large rectangle; place in pan. Press in bottom and 3/4 inch up sides of pan to form crust, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheets: Unroll 1 can of dough; place in pan. Press in bottom and 3/4 inch up sides of pan to form crust.
3. Layer all meats and cheeses in order listed over dough. In small bowl, beat 2 eggs, the garlic powder and pepper with wire whisk until well blended. Pour over meat and cheese layers. Layer roasted peppers and olives over top.
4. If using crescent rolls: Unroll second can of dough into 1 large rectangle; press into 13x9-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheets: Unroll second can of dough; press into 13x9-inch rectangle.
5. Place over top of layered ingredients. Pinch edges to seal. Brush beaten egg yolk over dough. Cover with foil.
6. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm.
A Large Platter filled with Hot Eggplant (grilled, rolletini or parmigano); rice balls, baked clams oreganata, fried or grilled shrimp, grilled peppers, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed peppers, stuffed artichokes cut in pieces, etc...)
PASTA, PASTA, PASTA
Pasta is as integral a part of a formal Italian Christmas as is Grandpa's homemade wine! The recipes are as varied as the personalities of the family members themselves. However, I would bet that if you took a vote, this would be everyone's favorite course. Myself, I'm a traditionalist and I beg every year for my cousin's famous Cavatelli and Meat Sauce w/ Meatballs. What can I say? But, the possibilities are endless and here I will give you a sampling.
BASIC PASTA & SAUCES
Pasta, as you know is divided into different shapes and sizes, and its not all just for fun. Some shapes are better for certain sauces than others. Light sauces like garlic & oil, lemon basil, clam or seafood sauces often are best over Linguini - a long flat noodle perfect for twirling the pasta around the tines of a fork along with that flavorful sauce, keeping a spoon at hand to scoop up the soupy sauce left in the dish. Shaped pasta like penne, shells, fusilli are best for those sauces that you want to cling to the pasta and get caught in the nooks and crannies of the shape, like a pasta fagioli, vodka sauce, meat sauce or cream sauces.
So, lets start with some sauces:
1. First thing, if you happen to be using Gnocchi
(a potato or ricotta dumpling), that would be best with a SIMPLE LIGHT TOMATO SAUCE. Saute' a few tablespoons of garlic & a handful diced onion in a bit of olive oil, add fresh diced tomatoes and fresh basil and heat, toss in pasta or
Gnocchi then take it off the stove. Add fresh shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Done. You don't need a lot of measurements here. You can even use canned diced tomatoes if that's all that is available. With this one, you can't go wrong.
2. PESTO SAUCE RECIPE:
Pesto is a fresh sauce made from basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil. This pesto sauce recipe is perfect for pasta and gnocchi.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried (about 1 large bunch)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- ½ cup olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Combine all the ingredients except the cheese in a food processor. Pulse until the pesto is blended into a slightly coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.To serve with pasta,
you can toss the cooked pasta directly with the pesto. Or, if you want to thin out the pesto sauce a little, add a spoonful or two of the hot pasta water to the pesto, then toss with the cooked pasta and serve right away.
3. MEAT SAUCE RECIPE
This classic Italian meat sauce is amazing for spaghetti and other pasta as well as lasagna. This meat sauce recipe is made with ground beef and pork for a rich, meaty flavor. Sometimes we will use meatballs instead of ground beef, or for a different flavor, chicken insteat of beef and pork.
- 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes, with liquid
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ lbs. ground beef
- ¾ lbs. ground pork
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or to taste)
- 1 tsp dried basil (or to taste)
- 1 tsp dried parsley (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp Kosher salt (or to taste)
- 2 tsp sugar
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil for a minute over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots, and sauté for a bit until the onions are translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes and the garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce is slightly reduced.
- Meanwhile, brown the meat in a separate skillet in a small amount of oil. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the browned meat along with the stock and herbs, and water if necessary. Simmer for 1 hour, uncovered.
- Adjust thickness with additional stock if desired. Season to taste with Kosher salt and sugar, and serve right away.
- Makes about 2 quarts of meat sauce
4. ALFREDO SAUCE RECIPE
The classic Fettuccine Alfredo is made with this alfredo sauce recipe. Add some cooked chicken to make Chicken Alfredo. As you can see, the list of Alfredo Sauce ingredients is pretty basic. But the flavor will come through in a big way.
2 cups heavy cream
1 stick butter
1½ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- In a large sauté pan, heat the butter and cream over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble. Lower heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced somewhat. Remove from heat and cover.
- Add the cheese and toss until fully mixed. Adjust consistency with additional cream if necessary.
- Stir in the chopped parsley. Season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss with the hot cooked pasta of your choice and serve right away.
5. TOMATO CREAM SAUCE
This simple tomato cream sauce is perfect for any kind of pasta.
- 2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes, with liquid
- 4 oz (1 stick) butter
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the butter for a minute over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots, and sauté for a
bit until the onions are translucent but not brown.
Add the tomatoes and the garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce is slightly reduced.
Add the cream and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Season to taste with Kosher salt and sugar and serve right away
- Makes about 2 quarts of tomato cream sauce.
NOW FOR BAKED ZITI OR LASAGNA: In our family, we make our Baked Ziti differently than what you would get in an Italian restaurant. It is layered like a Lasagna. In fact, this is the same recipe you would use for Lasagna, so if you want to make Lasagna instead, simply substitute Lasagna sheets (even the no cook ones) for the Ziti. Enjoy.
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Boil the Ziti as directed on package, so it will be al dente. It will cook more in the oven.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella (sliced and cubed, not shredded), parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper and 2 eggs beaten. Mix well.
Note: We do not use shredded mozzarella because it melts into the cheese and disappears. We want to see and taste all the elements of our food.
In a large casserole dish or lasagna pan, cover bottom with a layer of sauce. Then add a layer of Ziti, enough so the bottom of the pan is entirely covered at least half an inch. Then spread enough of the cheese mixture (about 1/2) to cover the pasta, and cover with sauce. Repeat these steps of Ziti, cheese, gravy once again, then end with a layer of Ziti. If you have extra cheese mixtue, dot the top with it, or sprinkle with parmesan. Cover pasta and cheese with a light coating of gravy.
(Leave about 1/2 inch to the top of the rim for the pasta to expand, so it doesn't boil over in the oven.)
Cook covered for about 45 - 50 minutes until hot and bubbling, remove cover and cook 10 minutes more for a crispier top.
As noted, if you want to make a Lasagna, just substitute lasagna sheets for the Ziti. You can even use the no cook ones, which work fine and are much easier to work with.
As a variation, you can make this recipe with a meat or bolognese sauce. Or, add a layer of siced or small meatballs or shredded short ribs on top of the cheese layers.
As I mentioned, the possibilities with pasta are endless, and as you search through the Italian Pasta pages, the Casseroles and other International Dishes, you will find more and more. Have fun with Pasta.
CHRISTMAS IN GERMANY
A GERMAN CHRISTMAS DINNER, with recipes from http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/German
A wonderful and extensive sampling of recipes can be found at A Taste Of Home's website, so I am going to show you some of my favorite photos, and refer you there for a larger sampling if you are looking for authentic German fare for your holiday!
Main Course, Meats & Potatoes, and Veggies of Course!
Christmas in Germany is not much different from our typical American Christmas or Thanksgiving Day. Big family size roasts, baked potatoes of all sorts, starchy vegetables and some greens for show! You have been grazing on luscious appetizer delicacies and then, your host tells you its not even near time for dessert and from the kitchen comes this delicious aroma, savory and spicy, and despite yourself you wonder what it can be. So, save some room because you are probably in for some sort of fantastic spread, be it a roast pork, spiral ham, stuffed turkey, leg of lamb or even a huge roast of beef. You never know what your main course might be, but you do know it will be accompanied by garlicy greens, a sweet salad, and some sort of potato dish.
For this section, you will have to pick one or two of your favorite main courses from the hundred or so recipes on these pages, pair it with your favorite sides, and be sure you can make it ahead and keep it warm. Because if you are hosting this grand dinner, you are not going to want to start cooking again after the first two courses of eating and cleaning! If you are the guest, then my only advice is pace yourself. ....there is still dessert to come.
WIGILIA, A POLISH CHRISTMAS
Tradition calls for twelve courses to be served during Wigilia. All the dishes are meatless and should be made from foods that come from the four corners of the earth: forest, sea, field, and orchard. Polish cooks over the centuries had to be very resourceful, working within these limitations, and it is a tribute to their creativity that they came up with such a rich variety of recipes based on root vegetables, dried mushrooms and dried fruits, potatoes and cabbage, local fish, and flour-based pastries and dishes, such as kluski and pierogi.
These recipes are loved by Poles everywhere and in spite of the fact that Christmas Eve is no longer a day of fast and abstinence and even though fruits and vegetables as well as imported seafood are now widely available, on this day the traditional recipes are lovingly prepared in kitchens all across Poland and around the world. A sampling of these recipes follows.
I am not even close to an expert in Polish cooking, and I don't claim to have ever attempted recipes for pierogies, beet soup or mushroom cabbage rolls. However, those recipes and more scrumptious delicacies can be found, along with additional information, at http://www.pwaa.org/Polish_Christmas_Recipes.htm.
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, author and scholar-activist who stresses the indispensable need to preserve, continually revitalize and promote African American culture. Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious one, thus available to and practiced by Africans of all religious faiths who come together based on the rich, ancient and varied common ground of their Africanness.
Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce the Nguzo Saba (the Seven Principles.) These seven communitarian African values are: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). This stress on the Nguzo Saba was at the same time an emphasis on the importance of African communitarian values in general, which stress family, community and culture and speak to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Kwanzaa was conceived as a fundamental and important way to introduce and reinforce these values and cultivate appreciation for them.Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce the Nguzo Saba (the Seven Principles.) These seven communitarian African values are: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). This stress on the Nguzo Saba was at the same time an emphasis on the importance of African communitarian values in general, which stress family, community and culture and speak to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. And Kwanzaa was conceived as a fundamental and important way to introduce and reinforce these values and cultivate appreciation for them. *Info from www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org.
Since I am not a specialist in Kwanzaa, I turned to the Food Network for help, as usual, and found the following suggestions if you are so inclined to make a Kwanzaa Feast!!
CLASSIC FRIED CHICKEN
GRITS & ROASTED VEGETABLES (a vegetarian main dish)
MUSTARD GREENS w/ CHEDDAR
MAC & CHEESE W/ BACON
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. While that bakes, heat a saute pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.
INDIVIDUAL CORN SPOON BREADS
CHRISTMAS IN FRANCE
They say Christmas in Paris is a magical time — shops glow with colorful Christmas displays, store shelves groaning with seasonal delights. Special Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve Paris menus are filled with the bounty of the season — fresh oysters from Brittany, foie gras, truffles, chestnuts and champagne. 150,000 Christmas lights adorn the Champs Elysées and intricate seasonal window displays entertain children and parents in the Grand Magasins. The Ferris Wheel takes center stage on the Place de la Concorde. The Eiffel Tower is open even on Christmas Day, and seasonal markets selling gingerbread and chocolate Père Noels are found throughout the city. This, and so much more. But we want to focus on the food, no? Here are some simple French recipes I found on www.parisinsidersguide.com that will make you look like a fine French Chef, with a minimum of work:
Did you know authentic quiche lorraine is made without cheese? If you want to make a delicious, bona fide quiche, this recipe delivers. The secret ingredients? Lots of bacon and real cream.
2 cups cream
½ lb bacon, chopped
Quiche Pastry Dough (separate recipe)
freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375°F. Smear a bit of butter into each muffin mold.
I would use a prepared pastry crust (from Pillsbury) however you can make your own Quiche Pastry (see separate recipe). Do this ahead of time.
Use thick-cut, high-quality bacon and fry it until it’s almost crisp. Drain the strips on paper towels, and then cut it into small bite-size pieces and set aside.
In a small, heavy-bottom pot bring the cream to a boil. Turn down the heat, and continue to simmer for about two minutes until the cream has thickened. Remove from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl beat the three eggs with a fork or whisk. When the cream has cooled, add the eggs and beat together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roll out the pastry and cut rounds to fit into the prepared muffin tins. In each muffin mold, gently press a piece of dough into place to form a cup. Make sure there's extra dough to fold over the top edge slightly. Place the muffin tin on a baking tray before you fill them for easy transport to the oven.
Divide the cooked bacon into two parts. One half will be sprinkled directly on top of the dough in the molds. Set aside the remaining half of the bacon for later use. Using a soup ladle, pour the creamy egg mixture into each mold, filling almost to the top.
Bake for 20 minutes and then sprinkle the remaining bacon on top. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the custard slightly springy. Let the quiche cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. These can be served warm or cold.**
**This one and the following French recipes found here come from the award-winning book – How to Cook Bouillabaisse in 37 Easy Steps: Culinary Adventures in Paris and Provence. I reccommend it!
Mixed Greens Salad w/ Balsalmic Vinaigrette Dressing
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
pinch sea salt
1 grind black pepperIn a small bowl, blend together the minced garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk in until it is well blended. It's important to keep blending until the ingredients are completely integrated.
Add in balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Adjust the seasoning to taste. The maple syrup should nicely balance the flavour, it shouldn't be overly sweet. Now toss about 1/4 to 1/2 c. dressing with a mix of spring greens and maybe some thinly sliced strawberry or pear. Do not overdress the salad, you can serve more dressing on the side.
Coquille St. Jacques
One of my favorites, The simplicity of their version attracted me. Many scallops recipes for Coquilles Saint-Jacques include things like sautéed mushrooms or a ring of mashed potatoes. This version makes the best of the ingredients – just silky scallops bathed in cream with a hint of lemon. This can be served as an appetizer (one shell) or as a main course (two shells) with a salad and crusty bread.
6 large scallops
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T butter
¼ cup unbleached flour
3 T heavy cream
1 tsp lemon juice
½ glass white wine
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 T Reggiano-Parmigiano
Cut the scallops by slicing them in half horizontally. In a non-reactive dish marinate the scallops for 30 minutes in the olive oil and lemon juice. Drain them, dredge them in the flour, and cook them gently in 1 tablespoon of butter, for about a minute. Remove the scallops from the pan and set aside. Divide them among four shell-shaped baking dishes.
Preheat the broiler. In the same pan cook the shallots at medium heat, in another tablespoon of butter until they are almost caramelized. Add the white wine and a few drops of lemon juice. Cook until the mixture is bubbling and reduced. Add the cream and then season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for another two minutes until the cream has thickened.
Pour the shallot-cream mixture equally over the baking shells of scallops and grate on the Reggiano-Parmigiano. Place under a broiler at high heat until bubbling and browned, no more than 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as main course.
Steak Au Poivre
Parisians love steak au poivre. A peppery crust in a creamy sauce with a hint of brandy elevates steak from meat-and-potatoes to something so sublime it will make you swoon.
1 T whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 T Fleur de Sel
2, 6 to 8 oz steaks, filet mignon (tenderloin)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
¼ cup Cognac or brandy
½ cup heavy cream
Remove the steaks from the fridge and bring to room temperature about an hour before serving.
With a mortar and pestle, or broad side of a knife, coarsely crush the peppercorns, then add the Fleur de Sel, and give a few more turns with the pestle. Spread out the mixture on a large plate. Press steaks directly onto the salt and pepper mixture on both sides.
In a heavy skillet heat the butter and olive oil until sizzling hot. At a near high heat, cook the steaks on each size for 2 to 3 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove the steaks with a pair of tongs, as forks will puncture the meat.
Remove the pan from the heat and wait for about a minute to let it cool slightly. Add the Cognac and stand back! The Cognac will practically ignite and then quickly boil down. With the heat still off, add the cream and then bring back to a low heat until it boils and thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Return the steaks to the skillet, completely coat with the mixture and serve immediately.
Filet of Sole Meuniere
2 large sole filets
½ cup butter
1 cup unbleached white flour
½ teaspoon salt
Warm a couple of plates in the oven or warming oven. Put the flour on a large plate and mix in some sea salt and some ground black pepper. Dredge the sole in the flour mixture to coat both sides and lightly shake off any excess flour. Set aside.
Heat a large, heavy skillet to medium. Melt the butter, making sure that the pan is not too hot. The butter should be nicely bubbling, but not burning. This may take a bit of trial and error.
When the butter is bubbling, becoming a golden brown, and gives off the scent of hazlenuts (a matter of a few seconds), place the sole into the skillet.
Cook the sole until you can see the edges browning nicely, being careful to control the temperature so the butter doesn't burn. Gently lift a corner of the filet with a spatula to check that the first side is golden brown. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.
Flip the sole by carefully lifting up a corner of the filet so you can slip a large spatula under it without scraping off the coating. Be careful that the filet doesn't break while you're turning it. Cook the other side the same way, for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the sole to the heated plates. The butter should be a nutty, golden brown color. If it's not continue to cook it in the pan for a few moments after the fish has been removed. Spoon the butter over the filet and serve immediately with a slice of lemon. It's excellent with garlic mashed potatoes.
Duck - Marget De Canard* (*Breasts of Duck raised for Fois Gras)
The French love duck and in Paris, you'll find duck confit and magret de canard served everywhere. Here, you'll learn how to make magret de canard, pan-fried and then baked. Served with a delicous cherry reduction sauce.
2 Magret Duck Breasts
Preheat the oven to 400°F. With the duck breats skin side down on a cutting board, trim off any fat that extends beyond the edges of the meat.
Turn the breasts over and, using a sharp knife, score them on the fatty side, cutting about 1/8-inch into the skin in a crisscross pattern. Be careful not to cut into the meat. Season the duck breasts on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The first thing is to melt away most of the fat, and brown the breasts on both side. Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in a skillet and cook over a low heat to render most of the fat. Pour off the excess fat one or two times during cooking. (Save the fat in a container in the refrigerator for future use, hopefully something to do with potatoes!) The fat from the duck will take 10 to 15 minutes to melt down.
Drain off the last of the duck fat, then turn up the heat to medium or medium-high and cook the breasts for an additional 1 or 2 minutes to get the skin more crispy. Turn the breasts over (if needed, add a splash of olive oil) and cook the flesh side for one minute.
Transfer the breasts to a baking dish, skin side up, and roast in the oven for eight minutes for a nice medium-cooked duck with a bit of red inside. When it's ready, rest the duck on a warm plate for a few minutes. Slice the duck breasts thickly on the diagonal and fan out over serving plates, dividing each breast between two people. Spoon on the cherry reduction sauce.
Cherry Reduction Sauce
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
¼ cup shallots, minced
¼ cup cherry preserves
3 T sherry or red wine vinegar
¼ cup Brandy
freshly ground black pepper
With many duck recipes, a cherry reduction sauce is often served. You can start making this sauce before you cook the duck. To begin, in a medium-size skillet, heat the oil and butter until they are sizzling. Add the minced shallots and sauté until they are just brown and almost caramelized. Remove to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan turn down the heat to medium and add the cherry preserves, the vinegar and the brandy. Stir them thoroughly and gently simmer for about 5 minutes. Now return the cooked shallots to the pan and stir them into the cherry blend until they are completely reheated. Spoon directly on top of the prepared duck breast. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
HAPPY NEW YEARS - BLACK EYED PEAS
Start the New Year with a dish of Good Luck
A staple in the Southern diet for over 300 years, black-eyed peas have long been associated with good luck. A dish of peas is a New Year's tradition in most areas of the South, thought to bring luck and prosperity for the new year. According to Jessica Harris, author of "Welcome Table," some add a dime to the peas for an extra "boost" of luck to the recipient. Greens,
thought to symbolize folding money, are often eaten eaten with the peas.
Hoppin' John, a dish made with black-eyed peas and rice, is one of the more popular ways of serving them, but many serve them in salads or simply cooked as a side dish.
Whether you're serving a full meal, appetizers, or gathering around the football game, one of these recipes is sure to fit into your New Year's menu plan.
A few notes on black-eyed peas: They have many names, but were originally called "cowpeas", being used as cattle feed. They were brought to the West Indies from Africa, and by the 1700's were growing prolifically in Georgia. The black-eyed pea is not a pea, but a legume. Most recipes for Hoppin' John call for the rice to be added to the peas for cooking. I believe that if they are both cooked separately, as red beans and rice are, both will retain their individual flavors better. Of course, this is a matter of taste!
ham bone, salt pork or bacon
1 onion & 1 clove garlic diced finely
water or chicken broth
1 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight (I prefer 4 cans of canned beans)
1 cup long-grain rice
salt and pepper
1 If you are using bacon, cut it into small pieces and cook it slowly in a medium pot over medium-low heat. If you are using a ham hock, heat the oil in the pot. Once the bacon is crispy (or the oil is hot), increase the heat to medium-high and add the onion, and sauté until they begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
2 Add the black-eyed peas, bay leaf, thyme and whatever your favorite seasoning is (we like cajun or mesquite for this) and cover with 4 cups of broth. If you are using the ham hock, add it to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or longer if needed, until the peas are tender (not mushy).
3 While the black-eyed peas are cooking, cook the rice separately according to package instructions.
4 When the peas are tender, strain out the remaining cooking water. Taste the peas for salt and add more if needed. If using a ham hock, remove it from the pot, pull off the meat, and return the meat to the pot.
Serve the dish either by placing a ladle-full of black-eyed peas over steamed rice, or by mixing the two together in a large bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve with collard greens, kale, beet or turnip greens.
BLACK EYED PEAS W/ BBQ SAUCE
This is my favorite recipe, but I use canned peas, and cut
back the bbq sauce because we don't
like it too sweet:
1 pound dried black-eyed peas (I prefer about 4 - 6 cans, rinsed)
1 pound link sausage, or your favorite
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup prepared barbecue sauce, & 1 or 2 c. chicken broth as needed.
Drain and rinse the peas, and reserve. In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage and onions; drain off excess fat.
Place peas in a 3-quart casserole; add sausage and onions. Stir in broth, brown sugar, mustard, salt, and barbecue sauce. Bake at 300° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
HAPPY NEW YEAR BLACK-EYED PEAS
Serves 6 as a side, 3 as the your whole meal
1 pound black-eyed peas
3-4 ounces country ham, cut into pieces
3 cloves garlic
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
A few grinds of black pepper
1 really good dash of hot sauce, plus more to serve
Put The peas, ham and garlic in a pot, add the broth and water, then stir in the hot sauce and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and cook a further hour, until the liquid is reduced and the peas are very tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the pot, but if you stir too much, they’ll get mushy.
You can remove the ham and garlic before serving or leave them in. Serve warm.