Family Recipes Cookbook

The cookbook I never got around to finishing…

Lizzy’s Coffee Cake 04/11/2017

Filed under: Adrienne DeArmas,Brunch/Breakfast,Oven — dearmasa @ 9:05 AM

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×13 baking pan.

Cake

  • 8 oz Cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ – 1/3 cups milk room temperature
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • ¾ cup pecans

Topping

  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbls butter melted

 

Cream together cream cheese and softened butter. Beat in sugar until well combined then add eggs one at a time and vanilla until well combined.

Combine dry ingredients. Add these alternately with milk to cream cheese mixture. Add cranberries if desired.

Spread thick batter into prepared pan, sprinkle pecans evenly on top of batter, then crumble topping evenly on top of pecans. Bake for 35 minutes.

 

Kayla’s Pumpkin Pie 12/28/2013

Filed under: Desserts,Fall,Karin DeArmas,Kayla DeArmas,Oven,Winter — kdearmas @ 10:23 PM

The original is here. This version includes Kayla’s modifications that have made her pumpkin pie the envy of all! It’s also better made the day before, cooled and put in the frig. If your spices are old, double up on the spices to avoid it turning out a bit bland.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 teaspoon of Kahlua
  • unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Whipped cream (optional) (I have no idea who thinks whipped cream is optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425° F

MIX 

  • Sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.
  • Beat eggs in large bowl.
  • In the large bowl with the eggs, stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.
  • Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE 

  • In preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean (per Kayla: “That knife should come out clean as a whistle!”.
  • Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
  • Top with whipped cream before serving (again, who thinks whipped cream is optional?!?)
 

Baked Kale and What To Do With It 10/19/2013

I went through this period as I was transitioning to a more local/seasonal diet where I had one of those home delivery services. And to really force myself, I let them decide what to deliver to me as long as it was local (within 100 miles) and seasonal. Then we would force ourselves to figure out what to make with it. It was a great experiment!

I don’t do the delivery anymore because I love my Co-Op and don’t need home delivery when the Co-Op is all local/seasonal anyway. But the process really was a forcing function to get me to explore different things.

And one of those was Kale. Yes, I know. Kale is all the new trend and whatnot. And why not? It grows like a weed (I’ve been growing it myself starting this past summer) and is all super-foody good-for-you. Sometimes trends are good!

But to make it into a salad I like requires a heavier dressing than I normally like. And to make it all Southern greens style sort of takes away from the super-foody aspect (though you should taste what Reijo can do with Collard Greens! Recipe to come).

So I did some Googling and found baked Kale chips. Which were awesome!

  • Tear the kale into chip-sized pieces
  • Put in a zip-lock bag with a drizzle of olive or grape seed oil and two shakes (no more!) of seasoning salt (I like Colonel Lee’s)
  • Lay out on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Eat as chips (my 9-year old god-daughter ate an entire tray!) or …
  • Put back in a zip-lock bag and crush it to use later in potatoes, eggs, casseroles, etc. (you’ll  get the hang of it).

In the bag, it lasts for months and is a great way to incorporate seasoning salt and kale in certain dishes. Even if you don’t like kale, I promise.

 

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon 09/30/2013

This is pretty much Julie Child’s Beef Bourguignon recipe. Which I love.  And would make more often if it weren’t so damned complicated to follow. Then one day I was making it and realized the recipe itself isn’t that complicated or difficult, just the way it’s written in the book is so damn hard to follow. Then I remember I’m dealing with Bitch Julie (who I love, but I hear her screeching voice in my head every time I get frustrated by one of her instructions). It’s not that she isn’t an amazing chef and provides detailed instructions. It’s that it’s so freaking hard to just extract one recipe from her book without having mastered all the previous ones. You have to flip back and forth and look stuff up. No wonder that crazy lady who wrote Julie & Julia is crazy.

So I decided to re-write the way the recipe is written and provide my instructions on how I make it less frustrating and confusing to make this. Because Beef Bourguignon is amazingly delicious and should be made more often. It’s also delicious as left overs so the time put into it usually guarantees you two additional nights of not having to cook. I am not trying to improve upon Ms. Julia in any way (how could I?) but only provide enough forethought should you decide to tackle this recipe. Oh, and remind myself what to do in 4-5 months when I try this again.

A few rules I follow:

  1. Don’t try this if you don’t have a dish washer. Unless you love washing dishes by hand. The only way to do this is to use lots and lots of dishes.
  2. Start with a clean kitchen and an empty dishwasher. You will need it.
  3. Prep all your ingredients in advance. ALL. Every garlic mashed, every tablespoon of flour put out in its own little bowl. Every onion and carrot sliced and put in their own bowls. Herb bag prepped ahead of time. Beef dried (do not forget to dry the beef or you will hear Bitch Julia screaming at you when it doesn’t brown like it’s supposed to). Butter sticks cut up in the right amounts for each step. Everything set out in neat little bowls ready to grab at just the right moment. Yeah, it uses a lot of dishes. Hence rule #1. But it will be so worth it.
  4. Clean up as you go! Normally I’m not like this. But in this case, take every bit of downtime in this recipe to clean up. Otherwise you will have a disaster of a kitchen just when you’re ready to pour that glass of wine and relax before the final steps of the recipe. Which ruins the mood of accomplishment you get when you make it through this recipe.

Cooking equipment you have to have:

  • A casserole (like a Le Creuset)
  • A skillet
  • A large sauce pan: you can use this for cooking broth, then cooking the bacon, then the sauce, then the potatoes (I make various variations on my smashed potatoes); there is enough time between each step to clean the sauce pan so you can reuse it
  • A colander or sieve (preferably one that fits nicely over the large saucepan)
  • A slotted spoon
  • A sharp chef’s knife

Cooking utensils it’s very very nice to have:

  • A fat skimmer
  • A garlic press
  • Lots and lots of bowls.

Other items of note:

  • Ingredients: Don’t skimp. You are not going to go through all of this only to use sub-standard ingredients. Go organic (or trusted local) and grass-fed sustainably farmed beef.
  • KNOW YOUR OVEN! The recipe says it will take 3-4 hours for the beef to cook. My oven does it in 2. It says simmer the onions for 40-50 minutes, my stovetop takes 30. Don’t just throw it in for the 3-4 hours. Check every hour for tenderness to gauge your oven.
  • “Healthy” substitutes: You’re on your own. This is French cooking so I don’t know why you’d try to find lower calorie ways to do it. Otherwise don’t try it IMO. This dish is one of your rewards for regular healthy habits. Trying to reduce the calories of a dish like this probably means you shouldn’t be trying it at all.

Time commitment: I like to make this on a cold and rainy day and I pretty much commit my day to it. But so you know, here is how the time commitment breakdown looks:

  • 1 ½ – 2 hours of prep time before you even start cooking anything.
  • 45 min – 1 hour of initial cook time
  • 1-2 hour (depending on your oven) break (hint, this is when you start the clean-up process)
  • 15 – 30 min of next stage cook time
  • 1-2 hour break time (more clean-up time)
  • 30 minutes finish time to bring to table

Where I’ve deviated from Ms. Julia without her voice screaming in my head and without dire results, I’ve noted with an asterisks and the reason below.

I’ve grouped the ingredient list by two ways here. One is by type which is how you’d make your grocery list. Then I followed by grouping ingredients in the order they are used in the recipe.

Meat Vegetables Staples Herbs/Spices
6 ounces bacon* 1 carrot, sliced 2 tablespoons flour Salt and pepper
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes 1 onion, sliced 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon thyme
2 cloves mashed garlic 3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy) A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 white onions, small* 4 cups brown beef stock* Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered 1 tablespoon tomato paste**
3 ½ tablespoons butter

Here’s how you’ll need the ingredients in order of the stages of the recipe:

Getting the casserole started Pearl Onions (or shallots) & Mushrooms Finishing the Sauce
6 ounces bacon* 18 to 24 white onions, small* ½ cup stock if needed
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes 1 ½ tablespoons butter (for onions) Salt and pepper
1 carrot, sliced ½ tablespoons oil (for onions)
1 onion, sliced ½ cup of stock
1 tablespoon olive oil Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)*
Salt/pepper 1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered*
2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons oil (for mushrooms)
2 tablespoons butter (for mushrooms)
3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
2 ½ to 3 ½ cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste**
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf

Getting the casserole started

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove bacon rind (see below about bacon substitution)* Cut bacon into sticks 1 ½ inches long. Simmer bacon for 10 minutes in 1 ½ quarts water. Drain and dry.
  3. Sauté bacon in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
  4. Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat bacon fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon on the side.
  5. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.*
  6. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole with the onions and carrots and toss with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  7. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
  8. Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).
  9. Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  10. Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.
  11. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind (see *1). Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
  12. Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours (KNOW YOUR OVEN!). The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

Pearl Onions (or shallots) & Mushrooms (While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms; I do this in the second hour of the beef cooking; if you’re oven actually takes the 3-4 hours, I recommend doing this in the 3rd hour)

  1. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons butter with one and ½ tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.
  2. Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.
  3. Add ½ cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.
  4. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
  5. Wipe out skillet and heat 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.
  6. Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

Finishing the Sauce & Casserole:

  • When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve or colander set over a saucepan.
  • Wash out the casserole and return the beef, bacon, and onions/carrots to it. Distribute the cooked pearl onions (or shallots) and mushrooms on top.
  • Skim fat off sauce in saucepan (this is where a fat skimmer really comes in handy; otherwise use a spoon but it’s not as easy).
  • Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises (I actually do it for longer than 2 minutes but I like a slightly thicker sauce). You should have about 2 ½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

– If too thin, boil it down rapidly.

–  If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock (this is why you keep about a ¼ – ½ cup stock in reserve).

– Taste carefully for seasoning.

  • Pour sauce over meat and vegetables.
  • Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.

Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes (recipe and link to follow), noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

Substitutions and Comments:

­   *1: Original recipe calls for “One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon” but I don’t generally have chunks of bacon in my fridge. I don’t think I’ve had catastrophic results just using 6 ounces of cut up bacon.

­   *2:  I have used pearl onions when available, which is what the recipe calls for. When I can’t get pearl onions, I have substituted shallots. I’ve had French people not notice the difference or even prefer the shallots.

­   *3: Seriously, you want to throw out delicious bacon fat? There’s a step later about skimming fat that’s perfectly appropriate but throwing out delicious bacon fat at this stage is heathen and you should be shot.

­   *4: If you make your own beef stock, great! If not, I recommend Better than Bouillon.

­   *5: I keep these handy for homemade tea and herb pouches. Reusable and washable.

­   *6: For mushrooms I personally like shitakes. But crimini are perfectly fine, too.

**Recipes like these that call for a single tablespoon of tomato paste are so annoying because then you have to open a whole can of tomato paste for only one tablespoon then figure out how to use the rest of it within a week or so before it goes bad. I plan on making a pasta sauce within three days to use up the rest of the tomato paste.

 

Zucchini Tian 07/31/2012

Filed under: Adrienne DeArmas,Fall,Main Course,One Dish Meals,Oven,Sides,Summer — dearmasa @ 9:35 AM

© 2010, Martha Rose Schulman.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

From the July 31, 2010 Splendid Table).

This is a classic Provençal gratin, one of my favorite dishes from the region. It’s bound with rice and egg, it’s great cold or hot, and if you have more summer squash than you know what to do with, look no further.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 to 3 large garlic cloves, to taste, minced

2 pounds zucchini or other summer squash, cut in 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme

1/2 cup Arborio rice, cooked

2 eggs

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or dry)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about 30 seconds, until it begins to smell fragrant, and stir in the squash. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is translucent but not mushy, 5 to 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the thyme and rice, and remove from the heat.

3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cheese. Stir in the zucchini mixture and combine well. Scrape into the gratin dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and the gratin is sizzling. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

 

MaryAnne Golon’s Perfect Turkey & Stuffing 11/25/2010

Filed under: Adrienne DeArmas,Main Course,Oven,Stove Top — dearmasa @ 8:29 PM

Stuffing Recipe

21 ounces of herb seasoned stuffing mix
1 1/2 cup of all natural chicken bouillon or homemade seasoned chicken stock
melt 1/2 lb of butter and set aside in a small bowl
2 ounces of mild sausage (optional) cooked and broken into small pieces
Two large stalks of celery minced
1 turkey liver cut into small pieces
A tsp. each of salt, black, and red pepper

Saute in a frying pan until soft the following:
3/4 to 1 cup of finely minced onion
2 heaping teaspoons of finely minced garlic
3 tablespoons of butter

Remove that mixture from the pan and place in a large mixing bowl that you already have the loose stuffing, spices, and celery in.

Saute (in more butter) at least the equivalent of 4-6 ounces of thinly sliced mushrooms until very soft.

Add mushrooms to the large mixing bowl. Add 1 very well beaten egg.

In a food processor or blender, mix the 1 1/2 cups of chicken bouillon with the turkey liver.
Add that mixture to the large bowl, then the melted butter, and mix thoroughly with your (clean) hands!

The turkey:

Wash thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel inside and out.  Cover all exposed skin with a light coat of salt, pepper (and red pepper if you like the tangy taste)
Stuff the cavity with the finished stuffing mix described above. It will be overflowing, but stuff it packed.  If you have extra, put it in a small casserole dish and cook it alone for at least an hour at 350 degrees towards the end of the turkey cooking time.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the stuffed turkey in the oven with a thermometer placed as deep as you can inside the stuffing and be sure not to touch a bone on the inside of the turkey as that will throw off the thermometer…
Bake for two and a half hours covered either with a lid or with tin foil.
Then uncover the turkey and baste the breast and skin every 20 to 30 minutes with the juice from the bottom of the pan for the duration of the cooking time.

The cooking time is 20 minutes per pound of turkey or when the thermometer reaches 165 degrees.

If the skin starts to get too brown before you are near the end of the cooking time, you can recover the bird.  It seals the juice inside.

 

Whatever You Feel Like Strata or Quiche (based on Rachel Ray’s Basic Quiche recipe) 08/18/2010

Filed under: Adrienne DeArmas,Brunch/Breakfast,Main Course,One Dish Meals,Oven — dearmasa @ 5:33 AM
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 2/3 cup whole milk
    • 1-2 cups shredded cheese (any kind or a mix)
    • 2-3 tbs. spice/seasoning of your choice
    • salt/pepper to taste
    • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
    • “Additional Ingredients” (see below)
    • Quiche: 2 pie crusts (store-bought is fine) or Strata: 1-2 cups shredded bread, preferably stale

Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.

If you’re going to make a strata, coat an 8×8 baking dish with butter or olive oil and shred bread into bite-size pieces. If you’re going to make a quiche, this recipe will make 2, so have two pie shells ready.

In a skillet, add 1-2 tbs. of olive oil and saute onion over low heat to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, continue to saute for 2-5 minutes. Add additional ingredients as desired, e.g. kale/spinach/artichokes/mushrooms or bacon/sun-dried tomatoes/black olives – whatever you like. I tend to use whatever is in season and in my fridge, but you can use just one ingredient if you like. You’ll want to end up with roughly 1-2 cups of filling. Add your seasonings as you saute. Consider adding a splash of wine at the end for an extra touch.

For strata: in the baking dish, layer the bread, then filling, then cheese until you fill the baking dish, but leave about 1/2″ from the top edge. Make sure cheese is your top layer. Put eggs and milk in a blender and blend on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Pour over your layers. Press down if needed to cover all ingredients with egg/milk mix.

For quiche: layer cheese and filling in pie crusts until no more than 3/4 full. Put eggs and milk in a blender and blend on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Pour over your layers. Place pies on a baking sheet to protect your oven.

If you need more egg/milk combo, just make more. If you have extra, scramble for a snack 😉 After a while, you’ll figure out the portions that work for you.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes.