Friday, March 7, 2014

Stewed Tomatoes

Here's another basic recipe that I hadn't mastered....

Source:  Melanie Dillman

1 pint canned tomatoes
2 T. sugar
1 T. flour
1 t. parsley flakes
sea salt & pepper to taste

Drain juice off tomatoes into a small bowl.  Whisk tomato juice and flour together.  Then mix all ingredients together in pan and cook until thickened.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Turnip Gratin

I haven't made this recipe yet, but I tasted it this evening at book group.  It was so yummy that I had to share it!  

Turnip Gratin and book group - what in the world?  Our group had read the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (probably my all-time favorite read ever).  It chronicles how the residents of the Isle of Guernsey survived the German occupation during World War II.  Food was sparse, and turnips provided at least some sustenance.  In the tradition of the book, their reading society, and what the people of Guernsey endured, one of the gals was inspired to make this Turnip Gratin for us to sample.  It was delicious!  Looking forward to trying it with turnips from my own garden this year.

I will post a picture when I actually make it for myself!  

4 whole turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. Gruyere cheese, grated
4-6 T. butter
chicken broth
heavy cream
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large oven-proof skillet, melt 2-3 T. of butter.  Place a single layer of turnips on top of the butter.  Sprinkle a little of the garlic on top.  Add a couple tablespoons of butter.  Drizzle a healthy splash of chicken broth over the turnips.  Next, do the same with the cream.  Now add a nice layer of Gruyere – about ½ cup. Sprinkle a bit of salt, but not much as the cheese is already salty.  Repeat these layers two more times.  Sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper.

Pop the skillet into the oven and bake for about 20 min. or until hot, the top brown and bubbly.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

I also made this dish for our neighborhood potluck this evening.  I wasn't sure how it would go over, but I was determined to make a meatless main dish with some ingredients I already had on hand (black beans and home-canned salsa).  It got a thumbs up!

2 t. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered*
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
coarse sea salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 c. cooked black beans or 1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
8 corn tortillas, warmed and halved
2 c. salsa
1 1/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned, 7 minutes.  Add garlic and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.  Add black beans and stir to combine.  Cook until beans are warmed through, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Arrange 5 tortilla halves in a 2-quart baking dish.  Top with half the bean mixture and 1/2 c. salsa, then sprinkle with one-third the cheese.  Repeat with another layer of tortilla halves, bean mixture, salsa, and cheese.  Top with remaining tortilla halves, salsa, and cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until center is hot and cheese melts, 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbling, 5 minutes.

* I recently read a tip in Martha Stewart Living that the easiest and most effective way to clean mushrooms is to swish them in a bowl of water, then drain them and allow them to dry before using them in your recipe.  I've always tried to clean mushrooms by wiping them individually with a damp paper towel.  I agree - this method is far more effective and definitely quicker!

Yield: 4 Servings

Sour Cherry Cobbler

I was going to attempt a sour cherry pie for our potluck dinner with the neighbors this evening, but this cobbler gave the same flavor with much less effort!  The frozen sour cherries came from my dear friend Elma's tree.

Source:  Taste of Home magazine, February/March 1995

5 c. pitted canned or frozen tart red cherries
2-1/2 T. lemon juice
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2-1/2 T. cornstarch
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter
1/3 to 1/2 c. milk

Drain cherries, reserving 1/4 c. juice; discard remaining juice.  Combine cherries and lemon juice; set aside.  In a saucepan, combine sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in cherry juice.  Bring to a  boil, stirring occasionally; boil 2 minutes.  Add cherries; pour into an ungreased 8" square baking dish.

For topping, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in enough milk to moisten.  Drop by tablespoonfuls over cherries.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  6-8 servings.