Monday, November 20, 2017

Miss Debbie’s Hot Italian Sausage Minestrone

Miss Debbie’s Hot Italian Sausage Minestrone

This is the most delicious soup. My family loves it. I got the recipe from my dear friend Debbie. If you’re have fresh basil, add a it at the end with the spinach. You can use a big handful. You can also add some chopped zucchini or squash to it too. 

Serves 8-10

1 lb hot Italian sausage (removed from its casings)
1-2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 fat cloves of garlic, chopped (optional if you don’t want to use the garlic salt)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried basil 
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 carrots, sliced
1-28oz can whole tomatoes 
1 can kidney beans (I prefer cannellini beans or great northern)
1 tsp garlic salt (Omit if using fresh garlic)
1/4 tsp salt (increase to 1 tsp if not using garlic salt)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbl chopped parsley
3 cups water

1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
6 oz small pasta, cooked

Brown the sausage; add celery and onion and saute til translucent. Season with some salt and pepper. Add the basil, oregano, and bay leaf, and cook for a minute more. Add all the remaining ingredients except the spinach and pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 45 minutes. At this point it can be frozen or refrigerated, but reheat before proceeding.  Add thawed spinach and pasta and heat 15 minutes. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Roast Turkey

I just saw this today on America’s Test Kitchen, and I think that I’ll try it for Thanksgiving.

Rub turkey under skin and inside with 4 tbl  salt and 4 tsp sugar. (4 tsp on each breast, 2 tsp on  each leg) Truss and let stand uncovered in fridge overnight. Paint turkey with a paste of 1 tsp baking powder & 1 1/2 tsp oil. Make a shield from aluminum foil for the breast. Preheat oven, pizza stone, and roasting pan without a rack at 500 for 30 minutes. Add 2 tbl of oil to pan. Add the turkey and roast at 425 for 45 minutes. Drop temp to 325 and remove shield. Roast til breast registers 165 and thighs are 175 (about 90 minutes for a 12lb turkey). Let rest 45 -60 minutes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Artichoke Asiago Squares from Anna Olson

This sounds like a great do-ahead appetizer. 

cup jarred marinated artichokes, drained
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (optional)
4 large eggs
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
½ lb(s) grated Asiago cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the sides.
2. In a food processor, pulse artichokes, spinach, onion, garlic and oregano, if using, until finely chopped but not puréed. Pulse in eggs, then pulse in breadcrumbs and Asiago. Scrape mixture into prepared pan, spread to level and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set. Cool to room temperature before slicing into squares and store refrigerated.
3. Square can be served at room temperature or warmed in a 325 F for 10 minutes.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pie crust with lard

I've made this crust twice, and it was delicious, but too short. I am revising the recipe to use less fat.
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tbl chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 7 tbl chilled lard or frozen nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and lard; using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add 5 tablespoons ice water and mix with fork until dough begins to clump together, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough together. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. If necessary, soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

Manchego and quince paste skewers

Hot Artichoke and Crab Dip

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


So, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, and I’d like to change it up a little. It’s a challenge because everyone wants their favorites. I don’t want to end up keeping all the old stand bys and adding new dishes. What to do? I’m going to put some new twists on the old and add some kind of salad. Here’s what I’m thinking.

Autumn arugula salad with figs and pears

Turkey and gravy
Cornbread dressing with hot Italian sausage and rosemary
Mashed potatoes (make ahead and keep these warm in your slow cooker)
Roasted sweet potatoes with pecans and spiced maple syrup
Best green bean casserole

Best pumpkin chiffon pie
Mimoy’s Pecan pie