casserole is essentially the same as my Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham, but with the substitution of butternut squash for about half the "potato" mixture. I had a lovely butternut squash and wanted to try this, and it was just wonderful. The squash gives an even creamier mouth feel along with the rich flavors.
Serves 6 to 8
Makes one 9 x 13-inch casserole
2 cups ham, cut in small chunks
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, sliced <¼" thick
1½ pounds butternut squash
½ medium onion, sliced thinly, then roughly chopped
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoon salt
¼ - ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups milk, evaporated milk or cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Scalloped Potatoes and Squash with Ham
Preheat oven to 400
degrees (375, if convection). Spray a 9 x 13-inch casserole with cooking
Use the neck of the squash, peel and cut into quarters. Slice across each of the quarters to make similarly sized slices as the potatoes.
Use the smallest bits and ends of potatoes and squash to cover the bottom of the casserole. Layer
half the ham over the potatoes, then half the onion, and half the
cheese. Sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of the flour, then half the salt and
pepper. Place pats of one tablespoon of the butter over the
surface. Repeat with another layer of squash and potatoes, this time alternating slices of potato and squash, then the ham, onion,
cheese, flour, salt, pepper and the butter. Top with the best looking
squash and potato slices.
Heat the milk to just warm, and whisk in the dijon mustard. Pour this
over the casserole, cover the casserole with foil or a silicone topper and bake for45
minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 45
minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Admittedly my own version, but not too far off the mark, this old classic is still delicious, especially with chilly weather outside. Make with a nice sirloin steak and it cooks in just a few minutes.
½ - 1 pound of sliced fresh mushrooms, OR 2 ounces of dried
1 pound sirloin steak, partially frozen
1 large onion, sliced thinly, rings quartered
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil or other cooking oil
½ cup dry Sherry (not "cooking Sherry"), or white wine
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
3 cups water, stock or mushroom water (from soaking)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste
1½ teaspoons salt
few grinds of the pepper mill
¾ cup sour cream
(If using dried mushrooms, place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water and allow to reconstitute while continuing on with the recipe. Once softened, slice and set aside.) If using fresh mushrooms, slice and set aside.
Partial freezing makes for easy work slicing the meat thinly. Slice the steak thinly and across the grain. Cut each slice into 2 to 3-inch lengths and set on paper toweling to dry.
In a large skillet over medium high heat saute the onion in the 2 tablespoons each of butter and oil. Do not brown the onions. When the onions are limp, add the garlic and continue to saute until very fragrant. Remove onions and garlic to a large plate, reserving as much of the butter and oil as possible in the pan. Return to heat and fry the meat in 2 or 3 batches, browning well on both sides. As meat is browned, remove it to the plate with the onions.
Once meat is done, add the mushrooms to the pan with more butter and oil if needed and saute until browned. Add the Sherry and cook until it evaporates. Return the meat and onions to the pan. Sprinkle the flour and paprika over the mixture and toss to combine. Add in 3 cups of water, stock or mushroom water (if you have soaked dried mushrooms) and stir, bringing to a boil, until the mixture has thickened. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper and add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve over egg noodles.
Using my own recipe for Thai Red Curry Paste, this recipe is not terribly hot-spicy. I have never used store bought. I love the flavors when I make my own, and hope you will experiment , too. This dish comes together very quickly, great on a busy night. Set the meat to marinate early in the day, it will benefit by longer time in contact with the curry paste, though a short hour will do just fine.
Serves about 4
1 pork tenderloin, sliced across the grain ¼-inch thick
2 - 3 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste, homemade or store-bought
2 tablespoons olive oil, or other cooking oil of choice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, cut in wedges
Juice of 1 lime
5 - 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1½ cups boiling water
1 knob fresh ginger about the size of a walnut
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup frozen peas
1 can baby corn
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup raw cashew pieces
cilantro, for garnish
Thai Red Curried Pork
Other great additions or substitutions would be
pea pods, red bell pepper,
hot chiles, if desired, or baby eggplant.
Place the sliced pork into a zip-top bag or other container. Add in the Thai Red Curry Paste, the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt. Mix well so all the meat is in contact with the curry paste. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
Set the dried shiitakes into the boiled water to soak and set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Once softened enough to work with, remove hard stems and slice thinly across.
Heat a large skillet to medium high and add in the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion wedges and toss to cook quickly until browned at the edges. Squeeze over the lime juice and allow to evaporate. Remove the onions to a bowl. Into the same skillet add the sliced mushrooms and the meat with all the marinade and cook quickly until browned on each side. Add in the ginger and garlic and toss well to combine. Return the onions to the pan along with the carrot, peas, baby corn and the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cover the pan, lower the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Strew the cashews and cilantro over all to serve. Serve with Basmati rice for a wonderfully quick dinner.
Guatemalan Chimichurri is used as a marinade, rather than a sauce. Whether marinating steak or using it as a braising liquid, this combination of ingredients is highly flavorful, giving any meat a boost. Using it to marinate skirt steak is just one more way that Chimichurri shines. Prepare the marinade well ahead, then separate into three containers. Freeze two for later and keep one to marinate the skirt steak.
I used the meat with fajita fixings and large flour tortillas, but it is great however you choose to serve it.
Serves about 6
2 pounds skirt steak
1/3 recipe of Guatemalan Chimichurri (see my recipe)
extra salt for sprinkling
Chimichurri Marinated Fajitas
Skirt steak may have lots of fat over the meat, but it is thin and grills out easily so do not be too concerned with getting it all trimmed off. This cut of meat can be a little tough, so it needs all the help it can get to tenderize, including slicing it thinly across the grain to serve.
Marinate the skirt steak for at least 24 hours before grilling. Grill (or broil) over high heat for short periods on each side for best results. Overcooking this cut will toughen it even more. Four to 6 minutes per side is long enough. Remove from grill to a plate and tent with foil for 10 to 15 minutes. Since this cut of meat is exceedingly long and thin and the grain of the meat (the direction in which the fibers of the meat run) goes across the meat and not lengthwise, you will need to cut the long piece into sections you can easily slice with a nice long, sharp chef's knife. To serve, slice the meat at a slant across the grain, as thinly as possible.
If serving the meat for fajitas, set out large tortillas, saute some onion and bell peppers and add in any other side dish desired, such as grated cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce and refried beans.
NOTES on SKIRT STEAK from http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/SkirtSteak.htm - Skirt Steak is a boneless cut of beef
from the lower part of the brisket. Cut from the beef flank, the skirt steak
is the diaphragm muscle (which lies between the abdomen and chest cavity).
It's a long, flat piece of meat that's flavorful but rather tough. Properly
cooked, skirt steak can be quite tender and delicious. It can either be
quickly grilled, or stuffed, rolled and braised. Recently, skirt steak has
become quite fashionable because of the delicious Southwestern dish called
The word "Faja" in Spanish means "girdle" or "sash". Anything with the extension of "...ita/ito" as in fajita, just means a diminutive form. So "fajitas" are little sashes. If you see the length of the piece of skirt steak, you will understand where this appellation comes from.
We usually have canned Sloppy Joe mix on hand because it is what my husband prefers, but one day I didn't. I set about recreating the flavors and this turned out equally good. My husband could not tell the difference.
Makes about 6 servings
1 pound hamburger meat
1 (14.5 - 15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
¼ cup double concentrated tomato paste (from a tube)
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Barbecue Spice Mix, optional
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a 6 quart pot, brown the hamburger meat well. Add in the onion and continue to stir and cook for about 10 minutes more. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least a half hour for flavors to meld. Serve on hamburger buns.
I have always loved pork or beef barbecue sandwiches. While more time consuming to make than buying in a tub, this recipe is most excellent in flavor. Use my Sweet Tangy BBQ Sauce, or any one of your favorite commercial barbecue sauces to customize as desired.
Serves about 6 - 8
3 - 3½ pound boneless pork shoulder
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 large onion, chopped
3 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Sweet Tangy BBQ Sauce, or other barbecue sauce
Place the pork roast into a pot large enough to accommodate without crowding. Add water to almost cover, then add in the salt, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook slowly for 2½ to 3 hours, or until the pork falls apart easily. Remove the meat to a plate until cool enough to handle.
Once meat has cooled, remove all fat and discard, then shred the meat, cutting across the grain to make some strands shorter and more easy to eat. Set aside. In a large skillet, fry the onion until golden brown. Add the garlic and fry for a couple minutes more. Add in the meat and the BBQ sauce; toss to combine and heat through.
Not really barbecued and not really roasted, this dish starts out on the grill for a good sear and then transfers to a wrapped packet in the oven with barbecue sauce, coming out moist and tender with its own barbecue gravy. Fantastic with mashed potatoes.
1 boneless chuck roast, about 3½ pounds
scallions, as needed
1 green bell pepper, more if needed
1 cup barbecue sauce of choice, more if desired
Heat a grill to high. Set the chuck roast onto the grill until it has a really good sear. Flip the roast and sear the other side. Remove from grill and place on a cutting board.
While the roast is grilling, prepare the scallions and green pepper. You will need a good handful of scallions. Some are larger than others so the amount is non-specific. If they are tiny, use an entire bunch; if they are large you might use 6 or so. Cut the scallions into lengths that will fit the
Terry's Barbecued Roast, served
Terry's Barbecued Roast, whole from oven
width of the roast, then cut the lengths in half, lengthwise. Cut the bell pepper into thin strips, lengthwise.
Preheat the oven to about 275 degrees. Slice into the roast, not quite all the way through, about every half to ¾-inch apart. Stuff lengths of scallion and bell pepper into the cuts, pressing in as much as possible.
Prepare a piece of foil to fit into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Make sure the foil is long enough to fold around the roast, sealing it in. Use two thicknesses if thin foil, or one if using heavy duty foil. Set the foil into the baking dish, fitting into the corners. Place the roast carefully into the foil. Cover the roast with at least 1 cup of barbecue sauce. Close the foil around the roast, completely closing it into a packet. Set the pan into the oven and allow to roast for about 2½ hours. Take care when opening the packet, as there will be copious amounts of steam. The roast will be fork-tender and have plenty of "gravy" around it. Great served with mashed potatoes or rice.
Having eaten spinach pizza at a pizza chain restaurant, it quickly became a favorite. What made this pizza stand out so much in memory is that aside from the cheesy goodness, it had a wonderful waft of garlic aroma hovering about it. You know that smell of garlic, that when you walk past a restaurant, it almost physically makes you want to just go in right away to eat? Yeah, like that. I set about making one of my own with most wonderful results.
Makes one 15-inch pizza
Pizza dough, of choice
¼ cup olive oil
2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced fine or through a garlic press
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated fine
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups grated mozzarella, more if desired
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 on Convect). Pour the olive oil into a very small saucepan and put in the garlic. Set this on the stove at the lowest possible setting, even to keeping it partly off the burner. (I have a "warming" burner that truly just keeps things barely warm). Allow the garlic to steep in the oil over just warm but not even simmering for at least 15 minutes. At this point, you may strain out the garlic or leave it in, as desired.
Lightly grease your pizza pan. Roll the dough to fit the pan. Using a pastry brush, coat the pizza dough in the garlic infused olive oil. You may use just the oil, oil with a little of the garlic, or the oil with all the garlic if desired. I used mostly just oil with a few bits of garlic here and there. Sprinkle the Pecorino Romano evenly over the garlic oil. Sprinkle on the spinach as evenly as possible and then cover with the mozzarella. Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes, or until browned to your taste. I prefer the cheese not too brown.
Early in the day, soak the wood chips in water to cover, for at least 2 hours or more. Pat the Sweet Smoky Cocoa Rub onto both sides of the slab of pork ribs, plus 1 teaspoon of the salt per side, and allow to stand at room temperature, while the wood chips are soaking; 2 hours.
Once the wood chips have soaked long enough, cut two sheets of foil. place half the wood chips onto each piece of foil and make a packet enclosing the wood and poke holes into the top.
At least 5 hours before you want the ribs done, start the grill, heating only one side. Once grill is ready, place the slab of ribs onto the hottest side and allow to sear well, about 10 minutes. Flip over and sear the other side for about 10 minutes. Move the ribs to the unheated side of the grill. Set one of the wood chip packets onto the hot side of the grill. Close the lid and monitor the temperature, keeping it relatively low; below 300 degrees if possible for at least 2 hours. Midway between, if the first wood chip packet has stopped smoking, place the second packet onto the hot side of the grill, to keep up the smoking.
Smoky Pork Barbecued Ribs
Preheat oven to 275
degrees. Once the ribs have spent at least 2 hours on the grill,
prepare a sheet of foil large enough to completely enclose the slab of
ribs and set it into a large baking sheet with sides. Remove the ribs
from the grill and set onto the large foil sheet. Cover the top with
½ cup of Sweet Tangy BBQ Sauce and then fold the foil around the ribs,
completely enclosing them. Place the baking sheet into the oven and
allow to bake slowly for another 2 to 2½ hours, until completely tender.
This recipe was created to use my "Champagne Pink" Currant Dehydrator Jam, but can easily be made using store-bought currant jelly or blackberry preserves, both of which I have tried. Pork and something sweet go so well together and this recipe is no exception.
Per pork chop:
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon jam or jelly of choice (currant, blackberry)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Place pork chop(s) in a large skillet and bring to medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the chop(s) is well browned, turn it over and season the browned side. Allow the second side to brown, then place the sage, garlic, jam/jelly and balsamic on top. Lower heat, cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes. Flip the chop(s) and allow to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes and serve.
NOTES: I believe the addition of a teaspoon of green peppercorns in brine to each chop would be a welcome addition of both a little "bite" and the briny tartness added to the sweet. It did not occur to me while cooking these, but I will try it another time.
I used sage for this recipe, but often have used rosemary and blackberry jam as a combination. Equally good results. Fresh rosemary is better than dried, as it is too hard when dried to get fully soft during cooking.
This lasagna turns out wonderfully delicious. My husband, not a vegetable king of guy, who would never eat zucchini on its own, will eat this lasagna just fine. The lasagna noodles make a regular lasagna much higher in calories and carbs, so this is a great alternate. If you have access to buffalo meat which is naturally lean and far lower in calories than beef, you can save a lot more in overall calories per serving. See notes below for a vegetarian version of this lasagna.
Makes one 9 x 13-inch pan; 8 servings
Per serving: 425 calories, 13 carbs, 1 g. fiber
15 ounces part skim ricotta
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ ounces freshly grated Parmesan, divided
2 (12 ounce) jars roasted red bell pepper, drained & pureed
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound lean hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1½ cups
1 bell pepper, chopped, about 1 - 1½ cups
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (13.25 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
8 ounces part skim mozzarella, shredded
2 - 4 small to medium zucchini
In a medium bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and half the grated Parmesan; set aside. Drain the roasted red peppers well and place in a food processor or blender to puree; they need not be completely smooth. This will make about 2 cups. Add 2 cups of the spaghetti sauce to the pureed peppers along with the cornstarch and stir to combine; set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry the hamburger meat until well browned. Add the onion and sauté together for 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the green pepper, garlic, dried herbs and salt and sauté another 5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and the reserved red pepper and spaghetti sauce mixture and heat through; set aside off the heat. Preheat oven to 375 (350 on convection).
Using a mandolin slicer set to less than 1/8-inch thickness, slice the zucchini lengthwise to create an approximation of lasagna noodles. Spray a 9 x 13-inch oven-safe pan with cooking spray and layer zucchini slices in a single layer in bottom of pan. Top the zucchini with half the reserved ricotta mixture, spreading gently. Top this with a third of the meat sauce. Layer on half the shredded mozzarella. Repeat this process: zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, meat sauce and mozzarella. Top with one more layer of zucchini slices and the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle the reserved grated Parmesan over top.
Bake the lasagna for about 40 to 50 minutes, until it is bubbling and the zucchini slices are cooked through (test with a knife). Remove from oven and allow to stand for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
NOTES: This recipe can be made without meat and become a vegetarian dish, if desired. Instead of frying the meat, sauté the onions and green pepper together, add the garlic toward the end. Add in the mushrooms if desired and then the red pepper/spaghetti sauce mixture and heat through.
Using my own Sweet Smoky Cocoa Rub gives this pork tenderloin a wonderful rich flavor. I made a thin aioli type Spicy Mustard Dressing to drizzle over top, making for a great taste sensation. Try serving with Apple Onion Chutney with Sultanas to put this completely over the top.
Serves 3 to 4
1 (1.5 pound) pork tenderloin
½ cup (more if needed) Sweet Smoky Cocoa Rub
½ - 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, optional
½ teaspoon additional salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim any fat or silver skin from the pork tenderloin. If desired, mix the chipotle powder into the half cup of the Sweet Smoky Cocoa Rub. On a plate, sprinkle the rub onto the tenderloin, turning to coat all sides. Pat on well, using more of the rub if needed. Sprinkle the salt over top.
Place the meat onto a rack over a baking pan, or just onto a foil lined baking sheet. It takes approximately 25 to 30 minutes for the tenderloin to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. It is best top use a meat thermometer to be accurate. Remove from oven at 145 degrees and tent with foil. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Make the Spicy Mustard Dressing while the meat is roasting. Drizzle over the meat to serve. Pass more of the dressing at the table.
NOTES: This meat can also be grilled, if preferred.
Sweet Smoky Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Mustard Dressing
I made this recipe first as an appetizer, cutting the meat into thin medallions and placing on small round bread slices with a little aioli. They are excellent as an appetizer, but this pork is so tender and flavorful it is perfect as a main dish.
Serves about 4
1 pork tenderloin (1 - 1½ pounds)
¾ cup hoisin sauce
¾ cup Dukkah seasoning
Place pork, cleaned of fat or silverskin, into a zip-top bag and pour on the hoisin sauce. Marinate the meat in the hoisin, turning every few hours, for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Place the Dukkah
seasoning onto a plate long enough to accommodate the length of the
pork. First, using kitchen twine, tie the pork tenderloin in about 5 - 6
places along the length. This ensures the pork comes out in nicely
rounded slices. Trim any excess twine. Roll the pork into the Dukkah,
pressing so it adheres well. Set aside to rest for at least ½ hour. This
drying time helps the Dukkah stay on. Place the roast onto a rack over
a baking sheet with sides. Roast at 425 for approximately 30 minutes,
or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven
and tent the roast with foil. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes
NOTES: Hoisin sauce will likely contain gluten. Seek out a gluten free hoisin sauce to make this gluten free. If the GF hoisin is not sticky enough for the Dukkah seasoning to adhere, you might mix just a little honey into the hoisin before marinating the meat.
Tilapia with Caper Lemon Wine Sauce
This goes together so quickly and with such gourmet flavors, you won't be able to resist. Definitely a last-minute preparation. Any very thin white fish filets will do. Tilapia is widely available.
4 thin tilapia filets, about 2 ounces each
½ cup flour for dredging
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons capers
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons cold butter
Tilapia with Caper Lemon Wine Sauce
Place flour on a plate. Season the tilapia with salt and pepper, then dredge the filets in the flour. Set aside for 5 - 7 minutes. Heat a large skillet, preferably nonstick, and add in the olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, keep heat at medium-high and flash fry the filets on both sides until just done, about 3 - 4 minutes per side. Remove the filets to a serving plate. add in half the lemon zest and the capers, then the wine. Cooking quickly, allow the wine to reduce to about half the amount. Stir in the butter, in 2 - 3 pieces. The sauce will visibly thicken. Pour over the filets on the plate and garnish with the rest of the lemon zest. Serve immediately.
NOTES: I served this with Szechuan Hot Sour Cabbage and it was a great combination. This would also be great with rice, as the sauce is very flavorful.
This recipe seems odd in that it calls for a very short burst of very
high heat, then the oven is off and the roast is undisturbed for 2
hours. There are various ways to roast. Some call for very low
temperatures over lengths of time, some go for the middle ground, and
some do it this way. Since I only have done this twice, and both times
it came out absolutely perfect, I will stick with the good thing. The
roasting instructions are found in many places. The rub is all mine.
Makes 1 Prime Rib Roast - size depends of what is needed
1 4½-pound prime rib roast, or size needed (mine was boneless)
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, leaves stripped, chopped finely
3 -4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, more if desired
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Combine all ingredients except the meat. If a mortar and pestle are available, pound the ingredients together to make a paste. Rub this paste all over the roast and wrap well. Refrigerate overnight.
Unwrap and bring the roast to room temperature for 2 hours before roasting. Set a rack in a large roasting pan. Place roast on the rack. Set oven to 500 degrees. Roast for the time needed, then shut oven off and do not open the door for 2 hours.
Calculate the time needed with oven on with this chart. Add 5 minutes for medium and 10 minutes for well done, per size category.
For a 4½ to 5 pound roast --- 25 to 30 minutes total for rare
For an 8 to 9 pound roast --- 40 to 45 minutes total for rare
For an 11 to 12 pound roast --- 55 - 60 minutes total for rare
Perfect Prime Rib Roast
4½ lb roast for 30 minutes at 500 degrees