Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Corn Casserole

Teri Lowrie #48’s


Large 12 inch dutch oven
8 cups of frozen corn (thawed)
2 med sized red bell peppers (diced)
1 med sized onion (diced)
2 jalapeno (diced)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
2 sticks of butter (melted)
2 eggs (slightly beaten)

Prepare dutch oven with a parchment paper liner (optional).
In a large bowl combine all ingredients, mix well
Pour ingredients into the Dutch Oven.

Bake at approx 325 – 350 degrees.
Approx 35 briquettes (charcoals) about 14 -15 coals on bottom 20 on top (always more on top)
Turn lid ¼ turn about every 10 – 15 min and turn pot as well opposite direction of lid.
Bake for about 1 hours checking occasionally (slightly firm but still soft) until set and browned on top.

Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins


Pork Chops:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 double-cut bone-in loin pork chops, 1 pound each
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Spiced Apples and Raisins:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced in 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch dry mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl combine the water, brown sugar, sea salt, apple juice concentrate, peppercorns, and thyme. Give it a good stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Transfer the mixture to an extra-large re-sealable plastic bag. Submerge the pork chops in the brine, seal up the bag, and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours to tenderize the meat. Do not brine longer than that or the meat will break down too much and get mushy.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Put a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a 3-count drizzle of olive oil and get it hot. Lay 2 pork chops in the pan (most likely only 2 of these massive pork chops will fit comfortably) and brown 4 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops to a large baking pan; brown the remaining 2 chops and add them to the others in the pan. Put the baking pan in the oven and roast the chops for 30 minutes. The pork is done when the center is still rosy and the internal temperature reads 140 to 145 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer.

While the chops cook, melt the butter in a clean skillet over medium-low heat. Add the apples and thyme and coat in the butter; cook and stir for 8 minutes to give them some color. Toss in the raisins and add the apple juice, stirring to scrape up the brown bits. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and dry mustard; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon to wake up the flavor and simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples break down and soften. Spoon the spiced apples over the pork chops

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Skinny Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Skinny Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 3/4 cup onions, minced
  • 1 lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


Sauté onions in oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine half of the sautéed onions, ground beef, ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, egg white, 1/4 cup beef broth, salt and black pepper.

Shape into 8 oval patties.

In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Set aside on a dish.

Add mushrooms to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes.
Return patties to the skillet with the mushrooms.

In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining broth until smooth. Mix in remaining onions, tomato paste, vinegar, water, worcestershire sauce and mustard powder.

Pour over meat and mushrooms in skillet.

Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes with a vegetable on the side. Enjoy!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

Original Recipe Yield 16 cups
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 2 ounces sliced pepperoni sausage
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon cube
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup beef broth


  1. In a large stockpot cook the ground beef, sausage, pepperoni, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain into a large colander to drain grease.
  2. To the large saucepot, add the mushrooms, tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, black pepper, sugar, and beef broth and stir well. Pour the meat mixture into the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 2 hours.

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad

here's what you'll need:
2     1/2 cup pretzels (crushed fine)
3     tbsp brown sugar
1     cup butter
1     pkg (6oz - this is the larger one) instant strawberry jello
1     16 oz container fresh strawberries, sliced
1     8 oz pkg cream cheese
1     cup sugar
1/2   tsp vanilla
1     cool whip (8 oz container)

*please note: for best results you must chill between steps. this is an easy dessert to make but it does take time due to chilling. Allow 6-8 hours to complete the entire recipe.

first step, crushed pretzels!


you can use any kind of pretzels, but make sure they have some salt on them. the salty sweet combination is part of what makes this dessert so amazing. begin by preheating your oven to 350. then crush your pretzels. i used a ziploc bag and rolling pin.


combine pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter and press into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.


bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  


remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 
Once it is slightly cool i throw my crust in the refrigerator to allow it to get really cold. (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour)


in the meantime, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  use a hand mixer for this. you don't want lumps of cream cheese. 


blend in cool whip with a spatula. 


spread over cooled crust. 


make sure you spread this layer completely to the edges. you want to create a seal so your jello doesn't leak through. again, this is key to keeping your layers seperate. once this is done, put your pan back in the fridge to chill.


next, make your jello according to the package directions minus 1 cup of water.  this is a personal preference, but i find using a little less water allows the jello to firm up better.


put your bowl of jello in the fridge to allow it to partially cool before putting it on top of your cream cheese layer. 


while the jello partially cools, sliced your strawberries. then, place them on top of your chilled layer of cream cheese and cool whip.


you can be as fancy as you wanted with this step. 


i like to place my strawberries in alternating rows across the top. feel free to scatter them randomly or any other fun pattern you decide.

once your jello chilled to about the constancy of of jam or pudding (about an hour or two in the fridge) you're ready!


spoon and/or pour your jello over cream cheese layer. 


return the pan back to the fridge. cool until your jello is completely set (about an hour).

and that's it! you're done! as you can see, other than the cooling time, this dessert is really effortless to put together. you could even try it with different berries or fruits!


and now it's time for the best part ... eating! 


this dessert really combines the best of everything. you've got the salty and sweet thing going on with the crust and jello. then you have the rich and creamy layer. and there's even fresh fruit so you can feel a little better about eating dessert. this totally counts as one serving of fruit and vegetables, right?


i hope the pictures and tips for creating this dessert were helpful!

have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie   
5 large potatoes, peeled and chunked
1 pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork sausage
½ pound mushrooms, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup orange juice
2 tsp orange peel, grated
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup Dijon Mustard
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp rice vinegar
1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat: cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, saunage, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, drain.
3. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is evaporated. Transfer to two greased 8 inch square baking dishes.
4. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the mustard, brown sugar, vinegar and remaining salt and pepper: mash until smooth. Spread over the meat mixture.
5. Bake one casserole, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Cover and freeze the remaining casserole for up to 3 month.
6.To use frozen casserole:: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 20-25 minutes longer or until heated through.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Zuppa Toscana

 have heard of zuppa Toscana many times before, particularly as a famed dish that is very popular at Olive Garden.  I rarely eat out, even more rarely at that particular establishment, and when I do eat there I never order soup (how can I resist pasta?!)  So I can’t say how this compares to their version.  What I can say it that it was very, very good.  My decision to try this was based on a gorgeous bunch of kale I purchased at the farmers’ market recently.  It is not an ingredient I have used much but this was the first thing that came to mind – I’m guessing the chill in the air had something to do with that.  This is a very hearty soup packed full of flavor.  With crumbled sausage, chunks of russett potatoes and the earthy bite from the kale in a creamy broth, this is a meal in itself.  I used half turkey and half regular Italian sausage because that was what I had on hand and also to cut a few extra calories.  I thought it tasted just right this way and I’ll definitely do that again in the future.

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian sausage (or half regular, half turkey sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine to deglaze the pan
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 russett potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 cups fresh kale, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
2.5 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Place a large stockpot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat.  Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until well browned.  Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside.  Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant.  Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.  Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the pot.   Return the sausage to the pot.  Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on medium-low.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and cooked through.  Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Scalloped Corn

Scalloped Corn
2-15 oz. cans corn, drained

1-15 oz. can creamed corn
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup light sour cream
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir together. Pour into an 8×8 or 9×9 dish and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the center is set and a knife instered in the middle comes out nearly clean.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Momma Quinn's Meatloaf

Momma Quinn's Meatloaf   
2 pounds Ground meat
to taste green pepper grated
1 egg
1 package stuffing mix
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup ketchup
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dry mustard
1. Mix meat, green. pepper, egg, stuffing mix and ketchup together.
2. Form into a loaf pan.
3. bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove and spread on the topping
4. Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shrimp Toast


Shrimp Toast

Originally a Chinese appetizer called Hatosi (蝦多士) or shrimp toast, this is a simplified version that makes for a great party canapé. Aside from a little cutting and spreading, they’re simple to prepare and are a tasty finger food that goes well with beer, wine or champagne
Each toast has a layer of crisp sandwich bread on one side, and ginger and scallion flavored minced shrimp on the other. Dipped in sweet Thai chili sauce these shrimp toasts are dangerously addictive!

There’s no need to buy expensive bread, in fact thinner (i.e. cheaper) bread works better because it absorbs less oil while frying and ends up light and crisp. The shrimp and pork spread that goes on top can be done ahead of time and frozen, so you can make a big batch and save the rest for later.
If you’ve exhausted your canapé repertoire between all the holiday parties this month, give these a try for New Years. Unless it’s a kosher party, they’re sure to be a hit!

Shrimp Toast

makes 48 toasts
12 thin slices sandwich bread
14 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces ground pork
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup tablespoons minced green onions
1 egg
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt
white pepper to taste
parsley for garnish
oil for deep frying
sweet Thai chili sauce for dipping
Put the shrimp, pork, cornstarch, green onions, egg, ginger, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it’s almost smooth. You may need to scrape the bowl down a few times with a spatula. It should resemble a chunky paste, however there shouldn’t be any large pieces of shrimp left. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mince the shrimp with a knife and mix everything else together in a bowl by hand.

Cut the crusts off the bread (the crust will burn if you leave it on), then cut the bread into four triangles, squares or sticks. Spread about a teaspoon of the shrimp mixture on each piece of bread. Make sure to get the shrimp all the way to the edges or the bread will curl while frying. Press a small piece of parsley into each toast for color.
Add about 2 inches of oil to a heavy bottomed pot and heat to 350 degrees F. The oil needs to be very hot, or the bread will soak up excess oil, and the shrimp will get overcooked.
Add the toasts, shrimp side down. When the edges of the bread start to brown, flip the toasts over and fry the bread side until it is golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined rack with the bread side facing the paper towel to drain as much oil as possible.
Serve with the Sweet Thai Chili Sauce for dipping.

Baked Zucchini Sticks.

Baked Zucchini Sticks.

You know that onion appetizer that came into bloom back in the late ’80s? Outback Steakhouse claims it invented the “Bloomin’ Onion” back in 1988, and it wasn’t long before quasi-fast food restaurants adopted it as the hottest appetizer since artichoke dip baked in a bread bowl.
These zucchini sticks, with their melty-soft interior and crisp crust, are reminiscent of those onions – and equally addictive, especially when served with their special onion-mustard dip.
Ready to go beyond muffins, bread, kebabs, and frittata? Let’s try these crispy baked zucchini sticks.
First, find yourself 3 medium-size zucchini, about 9″ to 10″ long.
That won’t be hard at this time of the year, right? Don’t be tempted to use those baseball-bat-sized zucchini hiding under the leaves in your garden, though; you want small, slim zucchini here.

Cut each zucchini into 3″ sticks about the diameter of your finger. Cutting each zuke into 9 sticks lengthwise, then cutting into 3″ lengths, works well.

Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let them drain for 1 hour or longer.
While the zucchini are shedding their excess liquid, make the dip.
First, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-sized frying pan over moderate heat, and add 1 medium sweet onion (about 1/2 pound), sliced.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, then caramelizes. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes, at medium-low heat. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.
When the onions are medium brown, remove them from the heat.

Place the following in a small food processor or blender:
all of the caramelized onions
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Process until fairly smooth.

Remove from the processor, and stir in 1 cup mayonnaise.

The resulting 1 1/2 cups dip can be used not only for these zucchini sticks, but as a tasty sandwich condiment.
Note that I’ve purposely not added any salt to the dip. I find that the zucchini sticks themselves, with the salt you added to drain them and the addition of Pizza Seasoning, are plenty salty. If you plan on using this dip for another purpose, you might want to add 1/4 teaspoon salt.

OK, back to the zucchini. See how they’ve started giving up liquid?

Rinse them thoroughly; you want to get rid of any excess salt. Then pat them dry.
Next up: the bread and cheese coating. But first, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.

Combine the following:
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Pizza Seasoning or mixed Italian herbs
Mix until thoroughly combined.

Beat 2 large eggs; or pour 1/2 cup egg substitute into a dish. You’re going to dip each zucchini stick in the egg…

…then roll it in the crumbs.
Warning! Warning! Do as I say, not as I did here.

I figured, heck, just lay ‘em all in the crumbs and toss ‘em around, right? Never mind this coating one-by-one stuff…
About midway through, the crumbs had gotten so much egg splashed onto them they were sticking together in a solid mass. So I had to add a lot more Panko, and that still didn’t really help.
Trust me, these will look a lot nicer if you take the time to dip-and-roll one by one. Maybe you could divvy up the egg and crumbs, and get one of the kids to help you…
My fellow baker, Susan Reid, is editor of our print newsletter, The Baking Sheet, in which this recipe first appeared. She says, “There’s a basic restaurant tenet about  breading: ‘One hand wet, one hand dry.’ It makes the difference between getting through them all in one go, or having your hands end up looking like catcher’s mitts.”
She adds, “If you happen to have a convection oven, this is the ideal sort of recipe to put the fan to work. Faster, more even browning.”
Thanks, Susan!

Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the sticks for about 12 minutes, until they’re starting to brown. Remove from the oven, and turn them over; you may actually need to do this one by one, or you may be able to turn several at a time using a spatula. Bake for an additional 12 to 16 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisp.
These baking times don’t match those in the recipe; I realize that. Bottom line, bake until the sticks are a speckled golden brown…

…like this.

Now, put the sticks on a plate, the dip in a nice bowl…

…and dig in! With guests, of course.
Any leftover sticks can be wrapped and stored in the fridge. Reheat at 350°F for about 10 to 15 minutes, if desired.