Saturday, June 30, 2018

A great, quick barbeque rub

A typical scenario at my house.  I remember to take meat out of the freezer to cook on the grill, but forget to check for an appropriate rub or marinade in the pantry or fridge.  This recipe to the rescue!  This one comes from Steven Raichlen's Barbeque Bible, copyright 2006.  I can mix it up in no time with ingredients I usually have in stock.  It's good on all meat but I particularly like it on steak.

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Thoroughly combine all ingredients together.  Store in a jar, away from heat and light.  The rub will keep for several months.  Makes 1 cup.

I don't have to worry about how long it lasts!  It doesn't last more than a month in my house!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pasta with Spinach and Apricots

I'm a big fan of the Moosewood cookbooks and own several.  This is a quick and easy, yet very delicious recipe.  You can find it in the The Moosewood Restaurant Table, copyright 2017.  You'll find lots of other tempting recipes you'll want to try in this one!

3/4 cup sliced or chopped dried apricots
3 tablespoons minced garlic
11 oz baby spinach (8 cups packed)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 pound farfalle or other short pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, thinly slice or finely chop the apricots and set them aside in a small bowl.  Mince the garlic and rinse the spinach in a colander.  Crumble the feta cheese and set aside.

When the water is boiling, ladle out enough water to cover the apricots in the bowl.  Stir the pasta into the boiling water and cover the pot so it will quickly return to a boil.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large heavy skillet.  Saute the garlic just until golden.  Add the spinach with any water clinging to the leaves.  Fold the spinach over itself until it is all wilted but still bright green.

When the pasta is al dente, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.  Place the pasta in a serving bowl and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Stir in the feta and enough of the hot pasta water to make it saucy.

Stir in the spinach mixture and the drained soaked apricots.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Toss everything together.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A 5-star chocolate bundt cake!

Who doesn't like chocolate cake???  I like bundt cakes.  Their shape is eye appealing, given the pan they are baked in, there is just one layer (only one pan to clean!), and the frosting (glaze) is quick and easy to put on the cake.  I have maybe a half dozen bundt cake recipes I've tried and they are all delicious.  This one takes top prize!

2 sticks butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 and prepare bundt pan.

Whisk flour cocoa, baking soda salt.  Mix together the milk and sour cream.

In electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Reduce speed, add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with milk and sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour.  Bake for 55 minutes.

For the glaze, place chocolate in bowl.  Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Pour over chocolate.  Let stand 2 minutes.  Add butter and mix until smooth.  Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.  Pour over cake.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Feta Cheese Patties

This is a recipe I found in a bargain table vegetarian cookbook a number of years back.  I really like it but found, for my tastes, I use a little less onion than the recipe calls for.

2 large carrots
1 large zucchini
1 small onion
2 oz. feta cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper
herb sprigs to garnish

Grate the carrots, zucchini, onion, and feta cheese coarsely.

Mix together the flour, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, curry powder and parsley in large bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the carrot mixture to the seasoned flour, tossing well to combine.  Stir in the beaten egg.

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet (I prefer cast iron!)  Place heaped tablespoonfuls of the carrot mixture in the pan, flattening slightly with the back of the spoon.  Fry gently for about 2 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm until the mixture is used.

Serve immediately garnished with sprigs of fresh herbs.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Honey Baked Chicken

My copy of The Dinah Shore Cookbook (copyright 1983) is worn, stained and tattered from many years of use.  There are dozens of recipes there that have become my favorites.  This is one of them.  It is delicious and easy to prepare.

One whole chicken, cut up
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon chutney

Preheat oven to 350.
Place chicken pieces in shallow baking pan, skin side up.
Combine and mix well the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
Bake for 1 1/4 hours, basting every 15 minutes until chicken is tender and nicely browned.