Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baccala



I tried Baccala before and I hated it.  Super fishy tasting.  Blach!

This year while getting my hair done.  My hair dresser, who is from Italy, told me about what she makes for Christmas Eve.  She told me about the Baccala and was practically swooning.  What gives?  No, it could not be the nasty stuff I had some years ago.  She told me where she bought it and how she made it.

I did exactly what she said.  Oh yeah!  She was right.  Not fishy at all.  Great texture! Its the newest addition to our Holiday menu.

BACCALA
First thing is first, buy good quality Baccala.

1.  Place Baccala in a container and cover with cold water two days before you plan to eat it.  +Keep refrigerated.

2.  Change the water morning and night.  Turn over on the second day to ensure all things are even.

3.  When you are about to make it.  Remove from water.  Pat dry.  Cut into bite size pieces.

4.  Dip in flour, coating all sides.

5.  Meanwhile get frying pan ready by placing a 1/2 inch of oil in it.  Heat it up until a piece will sizzle when dropped in.

6. Place pieces in oil, making sure there is room all around.  Crowding will not allow the heat to get around the piece.  Fry for about 3-4 minutes.  Then turn.  Your goal is to only turn once.  Fry about 3 minutes more.

7.  Place on paper towel lined plates to absorb excess grease.  I shook some granulated garlic over top.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Raspberry Sauce

Love raspberries.  Besides a great mango, this is my most favorite fruit! Love the flavor and the tartness.

I recently had the good fortune of having a Driscoll coupon for berries.  I chose some luscious raspberries at the supermarket.  They looked outstanding.  As much as I would have liked to eat the whole package of berries, I decided to make something that would last and we all could enjoy.  And we did.  Over pancakes.  Wonderful.
 My husband I had our pancakes with the sauce and walnuts.
The kids had theirs with just some sauce and powdered sugar.

Raspberry Sauce

2 cups fresh raspberries ( you could use frozen too)
1/2 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon

In a saucepan, on a low flame, heat the raspberries and lemon.  Once the raspberries start to break apart add in the sugar.  Let it cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and once it cools a little, blend.  Chill.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Marinated Anchovies

Anchovies aren't really the top of most peoples list of favorite food to eat.  But they are for my husband.

In my research of what to make for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, I came across this recipe from Epicurious.  I was curious.

Yes, this year, instead of the traditional Polish meal that we always have I decided to do the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes.  My Mother in Law never did seven fishes.  She made pasta with sauce, shrimp, calamari, broccoli and bread.  I decided on the usual that she use to make and added fresh anchovies and baccala.  My hair dresser convinced me about the baccala.  She told me she basically soaks it for two days.  Drains, flours and fries it.  So, that is what I will do.  I am sure I will report back to you.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

Marinated Anchovies
Based on this recipe from Epicurious.

8 ounces anchovies, fresh
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons parsley
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
a couple grinds of sea salt

Mix the marinade together.  Place anchovies in a container.  Pour the marinade over top. Make sure it covers the anchovies.  Refrigerate.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Nutella Cookies


'Twas The Night Before Christmas
For moms!
Written by Karen Spiegler. Originally published in "Maniac Moms: A Humorous Newsletter for Crazed Mothers" in December/1993.


Twas the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring, & she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo 64 & Barbie, flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, & saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes & soot, which fell with a shrug,
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."

"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake."
"your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."
Then out walked the clone - The mother's twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch The Young & The Restless."
"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room above, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared & I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the small one & hummed her tune,
as she bundled the child in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled & sighed, "And I love you, too."

The mom frowned & said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal."
That's my child's LOVE she is trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here."

The mom kissed her child & tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget, it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old for my cradle & song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side Santa said "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, You will be all right."


Nutella Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup Nutella
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Cream butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes.  It should be light in color.  Add in vanilla, then eggs (one at a time), then vanilla. In a separate bowl mix flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture.  Add in chips.

Spoon onto greased baking sheet with about two inch spacing.

Bake 350F in the middle of the oven for about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on pan for a couple minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Salmon Patties



This time of year is always hard for my blog.,  Lots of stuff going on with the kids, not enough daylight and the Christmas madness.

I don't usually use canned salmon.  My Mom gave me this can of salmon that was about to expire ans said she did not want to eat it.  I decided to make some salmon patties.  I discard the little bones in the fish- not my thing but some people will just eat them.  Whatever you like.  I go through the meat remove the skins and the tiny bones.

The best salmon patties are made from fresh fish that you cooked up previously.  But this is still pretty good if you want something speedy!
This is a salmon patty made from freshly cooked meat.

Salmon Patties

1 can salmon
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg

1/4 cup parsley
2 tablespoons dried onion
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers
1 clove garlic chopped finely
a couple dashes of Tabasco
salt and a couple grinds of black pepper


Remove bones from salmon and peel skin off.  With a fork, crush it up a bit.  Add in mayonnaise, egg, Tabasco, lemon juice and mix throughly.  Then add in the remainder of the ingredients.  After mixing everything, let it sit for at least an hour. If your mixture seems too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs.

Lightly grease a skillet.  Fry patties until nicely browned and then flip.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Rye and Pear Crepes



I have really tried to snap a good pic of these delicious crepes but something always goes wrong.  Believe me I have made them several times.  They are just that good.

Gotta run!  Off to bake Christmas cookies!

Rye Crepes With Sautéed Pears

Recipe adapted from PBS- Kitchen Vignettes.  I have made these both with sautéed pears or apples.  Both delicious. 

3/4 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup rye flour
1 3/4 cups milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:
4 tablespoons butter for cooking
8 oz grated smoked Gouda
6 medium large pears, sliced thinly with skins on

Sift together the rye and unbleached white flours. In a large bowl, add the salt, the flours and whisk together well. Crack the eggs into the flour and add a bit of the milk. Begin to stir the mixture with a whisk or a wooden spoon. It will be hard at first, but stir well, gradually adding the milk in small increments and mixing between each addition. The batter will become smoother and smoother. If you add the milk too quickly, you will have lumps in your batter (which you can always strain out).

When the batter is completely smooth and mixed, cover it and let it stand for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes. You can even make the batter a day in advance and let it rest in the fridge.  Add the melted butter into the batter when you are ready to make the crepes.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat.  Once your pan has heated up (about 3 minutes), place a teaspoon in the pan and swirl it around to cover the bottom of the skillet. It should sizzle a little.

Ladle in about 1/4 cup of batter and quickly swirl the batter around to cover the whole bottom of the pan. Once the top of the crepe has cooked (no longer liquid), check to see if the bottom is browning. Once it has browned a bit, you can carefully loosen the crepe using a spatula, and flip it over.

If the pears you're using are nice and juicy, you don't need to pre-cook them. However, if your pears are on the dry side, sauté them lightly in a small skillet on medium heat in 1 Tbsp. butter. Cook them just until their juices are released and they have softened somewhat (about 3 minutes).

To assemble, place a cooked crepe in the crepe skillet and scatter some smoked Gouda cheese down the center of the crepe. Add a generous amount of sliced pears, and fold each side of the crepe towards the center. Allow the crepe to cook a bit more until the Gouda in the middle has melted.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Bars


This is kind of a turtle type bar.  I mde it for Thanksgiving.  I definitely recommend chopping up the pecans.  When you cut the bars it will be easier to keep it in nice little squares.


Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Bars

Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup pecan halves, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla


Caramel Layer
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Chocolate Layer
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine all crust ingredients except pecans in bowl. Beat at medium speed until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Press onto bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Place pecans evenly over unbaked crust.

Combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until entire surface of mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over pecans and crust.

Bake 18-22 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly. (Do not overbake.) Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with chips; allow to melt slightly. Swirl chips leaving some whole for a marbled effect. Cool completely; cut into bars.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jalapeno Cornbread

This time of the year, where does the time go?   Well, really, most of the time it moves so quickly!

We have been away.  Getting back home and getting things settled takes about as long as the vacation.  Buying groceries, doing laundry, getting everything put away...  Its all good though.

Last night I really could have been posting but I was sitting at my computer watching Stephen Colbert and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  I love watching both of them.  I totally enjoyed this interview by Stephen Colbert.  If you want to watch, click below.



I did not realize I liked Stephen Colbert until last night.  You see, we don't have cable and I barely watch any television at all.  Shh, don't tell anyone but I think television is a waste of time for me.  If you like it, great, I am not criticizing here.  I also have a hard time sitting and watching television because there are so many other things I would rather be doing.  Don't get me wrong, I like to watch a show now and again and sometimes I get hooked, like watching Doc Martin on PBS.  Every once in a while I will watch a show on the computer, like last night.

If you ask me about people in the news, especially television or Hollywood people, I will look like an idiot, stammering, "I dont have a clue who you are talking about."  But hey, I now know who Stephen Colbert is. 

Jalapeño Cornbread
These cornbread loves are delicious with lots of flavor and they are super moist.

1/4 cup chopped jalapeñoes I used these pickled ones
5 tablespoons butter, divided 4 melted and for greasing
3.4 ounces cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder


Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease 8 muffins or mini loaves pan with butter.

In a large measuring cup, combine buttermilk, egg and sugar.  In another bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Then add melted butter and jalapenos.  Stir just until combined.

DDivide evenly in pan and bake for 16 to 20 minutes.  Do not overbake.  If the toothpick comes out clean, they are done.

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