Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

We just finished opening presents, but for me, I think this morning I enjoyed the cinnamon rolls I made even more than the gifting! I used a recipe from Bradley Ogden's Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, which required me to make the dough yesterday...but what is Christmas Eve for other than baking? I baked all day yesterday -- prepping the rolls, and making two types of cookies for sharing at the evening church service.

Of course, today we will be making a standing rib roast, roasted root vegetables, horseradish cream sauce, maybe Yorkshire puddings(?).  Should be a good day.  :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas tree

They say the holidays are especially hard for those who have lost someone recently.

I hate Xmas anyway, I'm a real Scrooge. So this year is sure to be interesting. Tonight we decorated the tree, though, and it was ...nice? The tree itself is our usual fake one, and the ornaments are the usual motley assembly. I believe Xmas is for kids, but I also do enjoy the festival aspects. I am a firm believer in trees being populated with ornaments that mean something, that remind us of something. Theme trees are downright weird in my opinion.

Our tree has always been kind of a joke, but I was never in competition with N. I stood in proper awe for her perfectly lit and decorated live tree every year, and she enjoyed the homeliness of ours.

Kiddo had so much fun putting the ornaments on and making up stories about them...he really considers them more as toys than ornaments. That's OK by me, it imparts even more meaning. As I told him tonight, this holiday is all about the kids.

I miss going over to admire the amazing tree. She had taken a class on tree decoration years ago, and she just loved transforming the house. Last year there were actually too many lights, couldn't even see the ornaments. We had to admire the tree lit and unlit so we could actually appreciate the ornaments. Butterflies and bows...

I wonder where the Christmas ornaments went?

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I didn't host this year.  I couldn't.

Last year I was calling N. up at 3:30 -- are you ready yet?  We're all ready over here...and she and B. and the kids arrived a few minutes later.  Bro-in-law (who we had just met the night before, was still Sis' boyfriend) popped up from his seat, saying "More family?"

"No, well, yes, practically..." from me.  Later, N. weighed in on Bro-in-law, asserting that he may be the one.  "He says he'll follow her anywhere."

Last year it was so warm that we all ate outside on the back porch.  There were macaroni & cheese, fried turkeys, turnips and turnip greens (the fancy version), mashed potatoes a la Sis, green salad a la N., gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato biscuits, oyster stuffing that was a bit odd, maybe spanakopita?  Individual pecan pies, N. -friendly.  Actually, if I remember correctly almost everything was N. -friendly, which means no butter, no milk.  The mac & cheese and stuffing were the exceptions.

This year we ate at Yia Yia and Pa Pou's.  We had fried turkeys (we love these...and it leaves the oven free), mashed sweet potatoes with crispy shallots, Mediterannean-flavored turnips and greens, potato croquettes, green beans, stuffing (the less said about it the better), rolls, and two amazing pies.  Pear and pecan.  Lots of butter used.

Afterwards we played Monopoly.  It was a lovely Thanksgiving.  There are so many things I am thankful for this year.  My family, my friends, my work, the beautiful area in which we live, my sister's happiness with her new husband.

Some things I am devastated by, of course.

I wanted to leave a seat open for you tonight, Nancy.  I'm sorry there wasn't physical room around the table.  I felt your presence, though.  Thank you.  I will forever be thankful for your friendship, and for having known you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pies 'n' Play

We threw our first official party since July last night.  It was very unsettling not to have Ms. N there.  But I had to get back on the horse sometime!

It was a "pie party."  If you've never heard of this concept, don't worry, neither have I.  I just happen to like to make pie and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  So I thought it would be nice to have people over to make pie with me and let the kids run around like maniacs and take over the neighborhood.  Both things happened quite well.

I made 18 Butter Pie Crusts (click on the title to link to the recipe) the night before.  As people arrived with their filling ingredients, I asked them to write down on a whiteboard the temperature they would require and whether or not they needed one or two crusts.  Then I got to rolling and the other pie-makers got to filling.

Since the oven was occupied, Hub grilled some hot dogs and hamburgers, and Ms. P threw together a potato salad for me.  Ms. J brought some fabulous crab dip from Whole Foods and we also had lots of cheeses, crackers, cantaloupe, pretzels, chips, hummus, etc. for nibbles.  We started at 3:00 so the kids would have ample time to play outside and stay out of the kitchen.  According to Hub, Kiddo did a great job hosting the kids and leading the charge.

It worked out well.  Not a bad first foray back into entertaining...but I do miss her terribly and kept on looking around for her last night.  I'm sure that feeling won't go away for a long time, and in some ways, I'll be sad when it does.

Another odd thing?  I bought N-friendly foodstuffs for last night, like turkey for burgers and I thought about using shortening instead of butter for the pie crusts and had lots of goat cheese out and had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't necessary.  Like I said, unsettling.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election day in North Carolina supper

I'm so nervous right now.

So, got up really early to walk over to our polling site with Ms. D.  We arrived at 6:25 AM and stood in the drizzle with our fellow voters.  It only took about 30 minutes -- we were voters 42 and 43.  So exciting to see a line.  I vote in every dang election, even the off-time issue elections, and am used to being the only one there.

After my walk home, I took a pork shoulder roast out of the fridge and rubbed it with a dry rub, put it in the Crock Pot and poured 1/2 cup of our friend R's secret BBQ sauce.  Turned it on low, went to work.

I called home at 5:30 and asked my Mom to put Farmer Fred's sweet potatoes into the oven.

Then, when I got home, I took some turnip greens and tatsoi from F.F., sauteed them in olive oil and garlic and stewed them for about 15 minutes.

The pork turned out just like traditional pulled pork!  I need to get some liquid smoke for next time.  We heard about this "cheater BBQ" on the Splendid Table this weekend, and it really works.

Ahhhhh.  An easy, balanced, very NC-centric meal.  Hub liked it so much he overate.

Back to watching the polls and worrying.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


It has been AGES since I've even attempted to make pizza, and frankly I was never any good at it.  I used to have a pizza stone and would have a terrible time with a peel getting the dang things on and off of it, and toppings would leak, and frankly the whole thing seemed like an indulgent waste of time.

Tonight, however, I tried again...Hub had mentioned that it would be fun to make something participatory.  I ended up doing the whole thing (not that I minded) but it's not like Kiddo would want anything but cheese on his anyway.  He was too busy building Bionicles to build a pizza anyway.

Oh, wow, was it good.  Wow!  I've been appalled lately at the price of ordering pizza from the chains, so this experience may have put an end to that practice.  We'll see...

This is the method/recipe I followed, modified slightly from a book called The Complete Book of Pizza which I believe arrived with the pizza stone as a wedding gift from my first marriage. old book, I kind of doubt it's still in print.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
semolina flour for sprinkling
1 tsp salt
2 pkgs dry yeast
2 tsp honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 Tbsp olive oil, separated
  • Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm (not hot) water and add the honey.  Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
  • Sift the flours and salt into a large bowl
  • Make a depression in the flour and add 3 Tbsp of the olive oil and the other cup of warm water, and the yeast mixture.
  • Prepare a kneading surface by sprinkling it with semolina flour
  • Mix the dough in the bowl with your hands.  When it has combined well enough, transfer the dough to the kneading surface.
  • Knead for 8 to 10 minutes.  The dough should be elastic and cohesive.  Breathe deeply, enjoy the transfer of energy to the dough.  My counter is too high, so I stand on a stool which allows me to use pressure and not strain my shoulders.
  • Put the final Tbsp of oil in a large clean bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn it so it is coated with the oil.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean towel and put in a warm, draft-free place (my laundry room when I'm doing laundry is the only place that works for me) for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Pizza assemblage
  • Preheat the oven to 500 F
  • Sprinkle the cookie sheets with semolina
  • I cut the dough in half and rolled it out as thinly as I could (sprinkling the board and the dough with semolina to avoid sticking) in an oval shape to fit the cookie sheets I was going to use, then transferred the dough by rolling it up on the roller.
  • Roll a short edge to keep the toppings in
  • Brush the dough with olive oil
  • Add a thin layer of marinara sauce
  • On one pizza, I put lots and lots of mozzarella (for Kiddo) - probably about 3/4 pound
  • On the other, I put slices of fresh tomato, mushrooms, some pepperoni and some zucchini we had sauteed in garlic last week, plus a bit of mozzarella (1/4 pound?) and some feta cheese.
  • Baked the cheese pizza for 10 minutes, and the other one with more toppings for about 14 minutes.
Wait a few minutes before cutting to let the cheese coagulate just a bit.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vegetable Soup

Sis and Bro-in-law are in town for a couple of days between the honeymoon and Sis having to go to Pakistan on a posting for 3 months.  Honestly!  Sudan then Baghdad then Pakistan?  Do her bosses hate her?  Anyway, we had a family meal with Mom and Dad and the newlyweds and Kiddo last night.

It was the day to pick up veggies from Farmer Fred and I wasn't feeling super-well, so decided to make Vegetable Soup.  I've been doing that very frequently with the farm veggies, and have more than one friend extolling the healing powers of the soup.  This is more about technique, and of course you can use whatever vegetables you have around.  It's never quite the same, except for the initial part with the olive oil, onions and tomatoes.  In fact, you could probably just up the number of tomatoes and have a lovely basic soup with just that and the broth.

OK, even though I've described what to do with each of the ingredients in the ingredient list, the idea is that you do your chopping during the cooking.  No need to prep all ahead.

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 T olive oil
4 medium tomatoes (1 lb) cored and sliced
64 oz. vegetable broth (I like Pacific brand organics)

Smooth ingredients:
1 small eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 lb sweet peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1-2 small hot peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

Chunky ingredients:
1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut to roughly 2 inches apiece
1 lb potatoes, scrubbed and diced into very small cubes
sink-full of greens (turnip greens and bok choi, last night), well washed and chopped coursely

Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese for serving

  1. Heat the olive oil in a very large stockpot on medium heat
  2. As the oil is heating, chop the onions, then add them to the oil
  3. As the onions are cooking to translucent, core and slice the tomatoes, then add them plus any juices
  4. Add the other "smooth" ingredients as you get them ready (but not the broth!), stirring occasionally
  5. When they've cooked down fairly well, add the broth and then use some method to blend all the "smooth" ingredients.  I have a blender wand, which is the easiest thing to do, OR you could hassle with a food processor or blender.
  6. Now start adding the chunky ingredients as you get them ready, potatoes first and greens (if you are using them) last.
  7. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the potatoes are done.
  8. Taste, add salt and pepper (or allow guests to add their own)
  9. Serve with crusty bread, some nice cheese and parmesan in a grater to pass around.  This amount easily served six adults with double portions and had leftovers as well.  And we were all satisfied...even though it's a one-dish meal.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NC State Fair food

We took Kiddo and his friend I. to the State Fair last night. The food was 1) awful, 2) expensive and 3) oddly not very kid-friendly. Hub and I settled on country ham biscuits. We had to search far and wide for chicken nuggets for I. and Kiddo had a nasty piece of cheese pizza.

We spent a ridiculous amount of money last night, but I guess I feel good fueling the local economy. :) The kids loved the rides and I got to see at least one exhibit. Growing up in a very small town I never had the opportunity to go to the State Fair and always thought it must be wonderful...I did 4-H as a kid and loved the county fair. Really? It's sort of like going to a very hick outdoor mall. But again, the kids loved it, so that puts a shine on it.

Work has been completely insane -- I wanted to go to the fair on Sunday, but was working -- and also missed the hearing last week due to work, so the very fact that I could carve a few hours out of a gorgeous N.C. evening and hang out with my Hub and a couple of 5-year-olds was precious. Even if the food was awful. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008


What a week!  Sis was married last week on Saturday down in SC, then we rushed home so I could be deposed.  Talk about an abrupt mood change.

I've been cooking, of course...not much entertaining, but that's only to be expected.  Tonight we're making Greek Chicken and I decided to attempt making bread again.  I'm following Jaime Oliver's technique but using a cup of white whole wheat in place of one of the cups of bread flour.

One thing he recommends is to make a pile of flour on a large open surface, put a well in and pour the liquid in.  What he completely fails to mention is that you need some sort of barrier on your surface or any break in the "dam" of flour will create an incredible mess and half of your yeast mixture will end up on the floor!  Thanks, Jaime!  I suppose I should have thought ahead, but what do I know?  A bit more now.

I've always had difficulty rising bread in this house, unless I'm doing laundry...our house is just too cool and drafty except in the laundry room if the dryer is running.  It's still difficult.

Anyway, dinner is in the oven so I'll have to post back with an update to how the loaves turn out.  I'll think I've described Greek Chicken before?  Time time I picked any likely herbs from the herb garden, chopped them up and pushed them under the skin, along with some lemon zest, salt and pepper.  That takes a bit more time than sprinkling, but is very, very nice.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Caprese Salad

Farmer Fred is going on hiatus for the month of September, but I used his fantastic cherry and little yellow tomatoes tonight to make a Caprese Salad. Basically, halve or quarter the tomatoes, chop up fresh basil (from my herb garden, which is doing surprisingly well!) and slice fresh mozzarella. Layer tomatoes, basil, mozzarella twice deep in your dish (a glass one where you can see the layers is especially nice, but not necessary), sprinkling each layer of tomatoes with a little fleur de sel and ground pepper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

We also made the Carolina BBQ ribs tonight for a neighborhood party (yes, we do still have those, darnit). That's what Ms. N brought to our party the night before she died. They were really, really good, she would have been happy to chow down.

I'm bracing for Tuesday, when the search warrants will be publicized. I have no idea what to expect.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kiddo's birthday

Nothing new on the Nanner front, sadly. I know the police are still working on the case, I just wish the wheels of justice turned faster than, say, a wooden cart drawn by a recalcitrant donkey.

On a positive note, Kiddo turns 5 next Monday! Usually we do a party at home, but due to the circumstances acquiesced to his wish to a party at one of these places that caters to kids (which generally I really hate). Saves me from cooking up a storm, but it's kind of strange for me.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Breaking Point

For a while now, I've been re-reading a comic strip from Ohio University that the creator (who happens to be my ex-husband) has been blogging about 20 years later. It's about college as a "Breaking Point", and the smaller points of decision/derision/derailment/discovery for each of the characters involved.

The last couple of weeks I've been thinking about how this tragedy is a breaking point for me. But not only for me. I think that my relationship with my husband and family will come out stronger, but I worry about how far and how deep the cracks of this will spread into my neighborhood, my circle of friends, my community...will we break apart? Or will the welds we use to fix the break end up making us stronger?

Nan was a hub. The wheel is now spinning freely. This bit of poetry also keeps running through my mind:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold -- William Butler Yeats

Friday, July 25, 2008

Two years ago today

Two years ago today, I was hosting a party to welcome Ms. N's beautiful new daughter, then called Gabriella, into the world.

I wasn't at all upset that my birthday was forgotten in the hoopla.

I'm not upset today, at least about my's just not important.

When I get home, I'll add a picture from that day. She was radiant.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Personal Statement

I can't post this on, but I can post it here...

  • I am a patriot
    I believe in due process
    I believe in the rule of law
    I believe justice will eventually be done
    I believe the safety and well-being of Bella and Katie is paramount
    I don't believe in trying cases in the media
    I believe in the presumption of innocence
    I believe that each person has the right to proclaim their beliefs publicly
  • I am proud of each and every one of my friends for standing up and proclaiming their beliefs in pursuit of a cause they believe in
    I miss Nancy more each day

I did cook a very nice meal for the R. family tonight and dropped it off, I hope they enjoy it. In a time like this, it's nice to set goals for oneself that are achievable...I can check "cook for the R's" off my list now. That is a great comfort.

I rotisserie'd two chickens, make a Greek salad with Farmer Fred's cucumbers and herbs from my garden, made a potato, green bean and yellow squash salad (all Farmer Fred produce) and a double batch of the baked Macaroni & Cheese that I've referenced before.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not Your Ordinary Potato Salad

We've spent a very enjoyable Memorial Day spring cleaning and cooking, and we're off to a party at the T's in the cul-de-sac behind us.  I wanted to make a potato salad, but with the edge of a remoulade sauce, but without any mayonnaise or cream, and also incorporating farm veggies.  Since it was for a picnic, I also wanted something that wouldn't go bad sitting out on a buffet.  Basically, a potato salad without all the elements of traditional potato salads.  This is what I came up with.  It's savory and colorful and creamy in a completely novel way (at least to me).

This makes a large amount, probably enough to serve about 12 people.

I know I put "vegetarian" on the label, and here I go putting anchovies in -- but all you'd need to do is replace the anchovies with salt, probably.  And many vegetarians will eat fish, so I guess it would work for them.

3 lb small (but not tiny) red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 head of broccoli, florets only
1/2 lb snow peas, with tips snapped off and stringed
2 boiled eggs, peeled and chopped finely
6 sweet gherkins, chopped finely
2 Tbs capers, drained and chopped finely
3 Tbs grainy dijon mustard
3 oz anchovy fillets, chopped finely
2 Tbs pimentos
1/2 lb creamy goat's-milk feta or chevre
2 Tbs champagne vinegar
  1. Cover the potatoes in cold water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for about 20 minutes, just until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork (I tend to use my sense of smell to know when they are right).
  2. When the potatoes are ready, scoop them out and drain them in a colander.  Add the broccoli and snow peas to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, just until bright green.  Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl put all the rest of the ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended and creamy.  Let stand in the refrigerator until you're ready to mix it all up.  I kept on adding things and using a potato to taste-test.
  4. When the potatoes and vegetables are cool, toss them together with the sauce in a large bowl.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spanish Greens

In spring, Farmer Fred grows lots and lots and lots of greens. Kale, tatsoi, bok choi, swiss chard, spinach. Prior to joining the CSA, I always thought of kale as being decoration on a salad bar (that's what we used to use it for at good old Rax Restaurant). Now I discover that it's quite delicious! And very cheap and plentiful.

This recipe can be done with spinach only, or any combination of greens. Tougher greens may just take a wee bit longer to cook. Even people who don't like spinach tend to love this dish.

Serves 4

10 oz fresh spinach
6 oz other greens (kale, tatsoi)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
  1. Soak the raisins in the sherry
  2. Wash the greens (a large sink-full of cold water and lots of swishing helps), removing tough stems. Spin mostly dry and chop or tear coursely.
  3. Heat a very large pot, and toast the pine nuts. Remove them to a mise bowl.
  4. Add the oil and heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
  5. Add the greens in bunches, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat with oil and wilt.
  6. Add the sherry, raisins and pine nuts. Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until the greens are silky but not overcooked.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


These have been altered to be Ms. N-friendly...she cannot digest any cow-based dairy products, but is fine with goat's milk.  Frankly, the changes to the traditional mixture make these even better, more savory, lighter and crispier.  The original recipes are from the Grecian Plate, a cookbook put out by the Greek Orthodox church of Durham, NC.  It's an excellent cookbook with detailed instructions on things as esoteric as how to dye a really, really red greek easter egg.

These and the tiropitakia are my favorite make-ahead party foods.  I can make them and freeze them well in advance, and just heat them up straight out of the freezer right before serving.

1 med. onion, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 10-oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp salt
fresh-ground pepper to taste
1/4 lb sheep's or goat's milk feta cheese (make sure the check the label, most commercial feta in the states is made from cow's milk)
1/2 cup chevre cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 lb phyllo, thawed according to package instructions
8 oz goat's milk butter, melted OR you can use olive oil 
  1. Saute onions in hot oil until soft
  2. Add spinach and salt; saute a few minutes
  3. Cool slightly
  4. Stir in cheeses and egg, blending thoroughly
  5. Prepare the triangles as directed here, using two sheets of phyllo for each set
  6. Brush with a little more butter or oil
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes
You can freeze them after baking and cooling.  Reheat at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  I do not recommend freezing unbaked triangles...they tend to stick even if you are careful to layer waxed paper between them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meatball soup

The CSA started today!  Hooray!

I've been so excited about getting vegetables from Fred the Farmer again, and went to the Hilltop Farms website just a few days ago to see what was going to be available.  Immediately, I started thinking about a meatball soup I could make with greens, because Hub had picked up some ground beef earlier in the week.

We're trying to eat more vegetables, and also trying to save money, so my plan is to pretty much keep with the CSA vegetables as much as possible this season, supplementing with high-quality proteins and a few carbs.  Hub and Kiddo have promised me an herb garden, but I'm not holding my breath.

Makes six servings as a main course, but see notes below on how to stretch further...

1 lb lean ground beef
3 small young onion bulbs (~ 1 1/2 cups), chopped
2 handfuls dill, chopped
1 cup whole wheat panko
2 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 egg
2 lbs kale, tatsoi or other dark greens, torn and with large ribs removed, rinsed
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups beef broth
  1. Mix the ingredients up to the egg in a bowl
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large stockpot
  3. Form small meatballs and brown them in the oil (they do not need to be cooked through) in three batches, adding a tablespoon of oil in between each batch.  Drain them on paper towels
  4. Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pot, and add the greens
  5. Saute briefly until wilted
  6. Add the meatballs and the broth, bring to a simmer
  7. Cover and simmer for ten minutes
  8. Serve with fresh grated parmesan
Hub had two big bowls.  I think even more greens could be added and more broth, because as written it was very, very meatball-centric.  Also, adding orzo pasta or another small pasta would be lovely, we're just limiting our starches.  I almost thought there were too many onions, but in the end the broth tasted like a lovely French onion broth...quite delicious.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lamb Chops with Fava Beans and Mint Dressing

The daffodils are up, and spring is in the air!  At least here in North Carolina...

Fava beans are a serious pain in the neck to prepare, but they are absolutely worth it at least once a year.  And since the season for them is very short, that's usually all the time I have.  By the time the next year rolls around, I remember the smooth fresh silkiness far more than I remember the hassle.  Sort of like pregnancy, I guess.

This meal will serve four if you add salad and couscous.

2 lb whole fava beans - look for big, fresh ones
1 handful mint
4 lamb loin chops - about 1 1/2 pounds
2 Meyer lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - preferably Greek
Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Shell the fava beans
  2. Cover the beans with cold water and set over a medium flame.  Cook until the beans are fragrant and just turning from bright green to slightly yellow.  Put into a colander and spray with cold water to stop cooking.
  3. Salt the chops lightly and let them sit for a few minutes.  Broil the lamb chops on low heat for about 15 minutes on the first side, turning midway, and about 10 minutes on the second side, turning midway
  4. When the beans have cooled, pinch each one to remove the tough outer skin.  Put the inner beans into a bowl.
  5. Add the zest of one of the Meyer lemons and the juice of both of them to the bowl.
  6. Clean and chop the mint and add it to the bowl.
  7. Add the olive oil and stir briskly with a wooden spoon.
  8. Serve the lamb chops with the fava bean/mint dressing and with couscous.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

White Chile con Queso

I'm making chile for a "contest" at work tomorrow, and it's just like me to make something up that I've never even thought of before.  :)

This makes a LOT of servings.

3.2 lb turkey breast
2 T canola oil
22 oz Queso Fresco, grated
12 oz Monterey Jack, grated
32 oz chicken broth
3 chorizo sausages, 2/3 lb
2 medium onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped and deseeded
1 poblano pepper, chopped an deseeded
5 fresh tomatillos, husked and chopped
1/2 cup masa flour
28 oz canned tomatillos
15.5 oz can Navy Beans
15.5 oz can Pinto Beans
16 oz frozen white corn
4 oz canned mild green chiles, chopped

  1. Heat the canola oil in a large, heavy pot (a Le Creuset would be perfect).  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the turkey breast and brown it well all over.
  2. After it is well browned, add the chicken broth, turn the heat down and put the lid on.  Braise the breast for 1 hour.
  3. In a large stockpot, start cooking the chorizos
  4. After they've expressed some oil, add the onions, peppers and tomatillos (include the liquid in the can)
  5. Saute until the chorizos are done, and remove them.
  6. Add the masa flour to the vegetables, stir
  7. Cut the chorizos up
  8. When the turkey breast is done, remove it from the broth.  Add the broth to the stockpot and stir.  Also add the frozen corn and beans with their liquid.  Bring to a simmer.
  9. Remove the skin from the turkey breast and cut into cubes, add to the stockpot
  10. Start adding the shredded cheese, gradually, whisking.
  11. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is smooth.