Thursday, July 5, 2018

Bourbon Cider

1 gal. fresh apple cider
5 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 c. bourbon (Jim Beam)

In a stockpot, heat apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  When mixture is hot but not boiling, remove from heat and add bourbon. Stir to distribute spices and divide cider among 20 mugs.  Can also be made in a crock-pot.

Green Bean Casserole

2 pounds green beans
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 large sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1¼ cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
½ cup grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup French’s fried onions

Preheat oven to 375°. Working in batches, cook green beans a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and halfway to tenderness, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain and let cool; trim stem ends.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook half of mushrooms, without stirring, until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes more. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 thyme sprigs to pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until butter browns and mushrooms are dark brown and very tender, about 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and transfer to a plate. Repeat with 2 Tbsp. butter, salt, and remaining oil, mushrooms, and thyme.

Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-low. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until roux is golden brown and smells mildly nutty, about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk and cream. Increase heat and bring to a simmer, whisking often, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in garlic and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange green beans and mushrooms in a 2-qt. baking dish. Pour sauce over (it may not look like enough, but it will get saucier as it bakes). Cover tightly with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, 25–30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until casserole is lightly browned on top and around the edges, 15–20 minutes longer. Top with fried onions and continue to bake just until onions are slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes to set before serving.

Turkey Brine

1 gallon vegetable broth
1 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried savory
1 gallon ice water

In a large stock pot, combine the vegetable broth, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water.

Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.

Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge.

Skillet Mushroom Mac and Cheese

8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat elbow pasta (such as Bionaturae)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
4 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, cut into halves
5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
2 ounces low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided (about 1/2 cup)
3 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook pasta 2 minutes less than package directions (don’t cook all the way), omitting salt and fat; drain.

Heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in 1 tablespoon thyme and salt; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over pan; cook 1 minute. Add milk; bring to a simmer. Add pasta, Gruyère cheese, and 1 ounce mozzarella cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in spinach. Spread pasta mixture in an even layer in pan; sprinkle with remaining 1 ounce mozzarella cheese and panko.

Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Carefully remove pan from oven; sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons thyme.

Habanero Apricot Chicken Sandwiches

Cooking spray
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
3 habanero chiles (seeds and membranes removed), chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups very thinly sliced cored red cabbage
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted

Coat a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; place chicken in bottom of slow cooker.

Combine apricot preserves, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons habanero chile, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and garlic in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour apricot mixture over chicken in slow cooker. Toss to coat. Cover and cook on LOW 5 hours.

Combine cabbage, carrots, radishes, basil, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Stir together lime juice, oil, remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon habanero, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a separate smaller bowl. Add to cabbage mixture; toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Shred with 2 forks; place in a large bowl. Skim fat from juices in slow cooker; discard fat. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into juices in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken back to slow cooker; toss to combine.

Place 5 ounces chicken mixture on each bun. Top each with 1/2 cup slaw.

Gambas al Ajillo

1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined large shrimp, tails intact
Kosher salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 small dried hot red chile, seeded and crumbled
1/2 cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons dry sherry, such as manzanilla
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Crusty bread, for serving

In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in a cast-iron skillet, combine the garlic and olive oil and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is very fragrant and just starts to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds.

Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring and turning the shrimp occasionally, until barely pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, sherry, lemon zest and a generous pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and let stand until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve in the skillet, passing crusty bread at the table.

Chicken with Buttery Orzo

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), patted dry
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 fennel bulb, chopped, plus fronds, chopped
2-3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
16 ounces orzo
2/3 cup dry white wine
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400°.

Salt and Pepper the chicken.  Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Nestle chicken, skin side down, in skillet in a single layer with no gaps (if you can’t quite fit them all, wait until chicken shrinks slightly, then puzzle in the remaining pieces). Cook until meat is opaque around the edges and skin is deep golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up and transfer skillet to oven; bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 10–15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Set same skillet over medium; combine fennel bulb and leek in skillet and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until leek is looking golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add orzo and cook until pasta is darkened (it will take on a brown hue) to a nice nutty brown in spots and toasty smelling, about 3 minutes. Pour in wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting broth absorb before adding more, until orzo is tender and broth is mostly absorbed but pan is not dry, 10–15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking; mix in lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, then chopped fennel fronds. Pile chicken on top and finish with lemon zest.

Citrus Chile Marinated Pork Tendorloin

3/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Fresno chilehalved, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons muscovado or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 pork tenderloins (about 3 pounds)
Canola oil, for brushing
Kosher salt
Parsley, for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk the orange juice, tomato paste, mustard, garlic, chile, sugar, paprika and Worcestershire. Add the pork, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and oil the grate. Remove the pork from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Reserve the marinade. Grill the pork over moderately high heat, turning, until charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 135°, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Keep the grill on.

Meanwhile, brush the orange rounds with oil and grill, turning once, until charred, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the work surface with the pork.

Scrape the marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until heated through and reduced slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Cut the pork into thick slices and arrange on a platter with the grilled orange rounds. Drizzle with the sauce and garnish with parsley; serve.

Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup diagonally cut snow peas
1/2 cup vertically sliced onion
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 cup (1-inch) slices green onions
1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

Combine 2 teaspoons sesame oil and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon canola oil; swirl. Add chicken; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil; swirl. Add bell peppers and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture; cook 30 seconds or until thick. Return chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Add more chile paste if you want a spicier Szechuan chicken.  Spoon 1/2 cup rice onto each of 4 plates; top each with 1 cup chicken mixture, green onions, and peanuts.

Beer Braised Shrimp

1 cup lager beer (such as Budweiser)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1½ pounds unpeeled medium shrimp
¼ cup chopped chives
Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), for serving
Crusty baguette, for serving

Bring beer to a simmer in a large skillet over medium. Add butter, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir until butter melts. Add shrimp, stir to coat, and cover skillet. Cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover.  Garnish shrimp with chives and serve hot sauce, and baguette

Curried Chicken Drumsticks

3 tablespoons avocado oil
8 chicken drumsticks
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, crushed (optional)
3 tablespoons vadouvan or any yellow curry powder (spicy)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided
1 14-ounce package rice noodles
Crispy shallots or onions (for serving)

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate (it will not be cooked through).

Add onions to same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic, lemongrass (if using), vadouvan, and cayenne and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broth, coconut milk, lime juice, and ½ cup cilantro, then return chicken to skillet and gently push down into liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is tender and cooked through and sauce is thickened, 40–45 minutes. Be sure to turn chicken a couple of times while it’s cooking so all sides get exposed to the curry sauce.

Just before chicken is done, cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse noodles under warm water, then toss in a large bowl with a little bit of the curry sauce. This will help to prevent them from sticking.

Divide noodles among shallow bowls. Place drumsticks on top and ladle curry sauce over. Top with crispy shallots and remaining ½ cup cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

20 Minute Chicken Enchiladas

1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted tomato sauce
3 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray
¾ cup pre-shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat broiler to high.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Reserve 1 1/2 cups sauce mixture. Add chicken and beans to pan; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.

Stack tortillas; wrap stack in damp paper towels and microwave at HIGH for 25 seconds. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. Arrange tortillas, seam sides down, in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with reserved sauce and cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and sauce is bubbly. Top with tomato and cilantro. Serve with sour cream.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Basil Limo Mayo

3/4 teaspoon ground paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets, cut crosswise into 1/2-in.-thick pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon water
8 (6-in.) flour tortillas, warmed
1 cup shaved carrot ribbons
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
4 lime wedges

Combine paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and ground red pepper in a bowl. Rub spice mixture evenly over fish pieces. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add fish; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, mayonnaise, yogurt, basil, juice, and 1/2 teaspoon water in a bowl. Top tortillas evenly with carrot ribbons, radishes, avocado, fish, and mayonnaise mixture. Serve with lime wedges