– Photo mAdBen 2013 Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts
New twists on old themes. For the Stuffings.
This year instead of Pepperidge Farm. Williams Sonoma Focaccia Stuffing Mix with Mediterranean Herbs and Cornbread Stuffing Mix with Sage.
Focaccia Sausage Mushroom With Scallions & Red Onions
In a large stockpot in a little olive oil brown 2 small red onions diced, 1 large package Crimini mushrooms quartered, 2 hot Italian sausages and 2 sweet Italian sausages, crumbled out of their casings. Season with oregano, basil, ground black pepper to taste. Add a small bunch scallions sliced green and white parts. Stir. Make 1 package of the Focaccia stuffing as directed. If calls for water use low sodium chicken broth instead. Stir into the sausage mushrooms and onions until loosely blended. Pour into a deep baking dish, cover and bake at 350-375 degrees until cooked through. Cool in an oven-ready serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve bring to room temperature and heat through uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees until brown on top.
For those with onion allergies. Omit the scallions and onions and can add a small finely diced root vegetable instead. Parsnips, turnip.
Cornbread Celery Apple
In a large stockpot in a little olive oil, brown 2 small Vidalia onions diced, 1 bunch celery hearts, sliced and diced, and 2-3 green tart apples peeled, cored and diced. Stir. Can omit onions. Make 1 package of the Cornbread Stuffing as directed using Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock instead of water. Stir into the celery apple mix and loosely blend. Season with celery salt, white ground pepper, thyme to taste. Pour into a deep baking dish, cover and bake at 350-375 degrees until cooked through. Cool in an oven-ready baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve bring to room temperature and heat through uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees until brown on top.
Chop the following into medium-sized chunks: 1 large purple carrot, 1 large red carrot, 2 medium white carrots, 1 medium orange carrot, a few stalks of celery, 1/2 medium red onion. Cut half a small cabbage into shreds. Drain a can of black or white beans. Open a small can tomato paste. 2 boxes Pacific chicken broth.
In a large stock pot, brown the carrots, celery and onions in a little olive oil. In the middle of the pot, brown a small can of tomato paste. Stir into the vegetables. Add 2 boxes chicken broth plus water to cover. Season with garlic, ground black pepper, celery salt to taste. Add the black beans and cabbage. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until all vegetables are cooked through and tender.
Garnish with shredded jack cheese and serve with hard crust bread.
In a medium-sized casserole dish, add 1 cup couscous, 1/2 cup finely diced red, yellow, orange bell peppers, 1 tsp. favorite pesto sauce with olive oil. Stir. Boil 1 cup chicken broth. Pour boiling broth over the couscous, stir, cover and let set for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve with fish or meat.
Serves 2-4 as a side dish.
Start with Hudson Valley Ginger Gold Apples. Tart and crisp. Core and peel six to eight. Cut into thick slices.
Make your favorite pie crust and press it into a rectangular shallow baking pan so that it covers the whole pan, but is not too thick. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pie crust mix. Press the apple slices into the crust in the pan to cover. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixed so it covers the apples, not too much, just lightly.
Mix a little of the sugar/cinnamon mix into the reserved pie crust mix and blend. Sprinkle the pie crust/sugar/cinnamon over the apples.
Dot the whole pan evenly on top with a stick’s worth of salted butter pieces. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden and apples are soft but not mushy. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
In a large skillet, brown 1 large zucchini diced; 6 large crimini mushrooms, chopped; 1 small bunch of scallions thickly sliced. Add 8-10 pitted kalamata olives, halved. Stir and simmer. Drain one can Marzano whole tomatoes. Chop and add to the skillet. Heat and stir. Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take off heat and add large dollops ricotta cheese. Stir into the sauce. Serve over fresh pasta topped with a generous amount of lemon zest.
In a small casserole dish mix together 1 1/2 cups couscous, 1/3 cup crushed capers and 1 small zucchini peeled and finely chopped. Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder and pepperoncini flakes to taste.
In a small sauce pan, boil 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/4 stick butter. When stock and butter are boiled, pour into the casserole dish over the couscous, zucchini and capers. Swish around and cover the dish. Let sit off heat for at least 10 minutes.
Uncover and fluff with a fork. Serve as a side dish with fish.
Another way to braise chicken thighs. It’s Italian rather than Asian. Serves 4.
Sprinkle 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs with garlic powder all around. In a large deep skillet, in a little olive oil, brown the thighs until skin is crisp and golden, then turn and brown on the other side. Set chicken aside on a plate.
In the same skillet, brown 1 medium onion chopped. Add 6 – 8 mushrooms, chopped. Brown. Add 1 chopped zucchini. Brown. Deglaze with 1/4 cup dry red wine. Add back the chicken thighs.
Cover with 1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, chopped with juices. Add 1 small bunch thinly sliced scallions and another 1/4 cup dry red wine. Season with generous amounts of dry basil, oregano and pepperoncini flakes. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Add 1/2 cup capers and 1 cup chopped black olives. Simmer another 15 minutes.
Serve with pasta and grated cheese. Top with lemon zest.
The usual Easter Passover overlap. Brisket is great for either.
A family recipe from the Strahl’s.
First cut brisket. 4-5 lbs. at least for 8 since it shrinks. Pat dry and generously sprinkle paprika and garlic powder over all sides of the meat. In a large baking pan, brown 2-3 large sliced onions in olive oil on the stovetop. The more the better. Push onions to the side and add the brisket. Brown on all sides.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover the brisket with an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. Cover with foil. Bake the brisket for at least an hour. Remove from oven and add 1 cup dry red wine (the original calls for Manischewitz– but no). Add salt and ground black pepper to taste. Place back in the oven covered and cook for another hour.
Take the brisket out of the pan and slice against the grain. Medium thick slices. Place sliced meat back into the sauce and cover with a little chicken broth to keep the meat moist. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and bake until meat falls apart. Serve with latkes. And such.
Brush 2 6-oz. salmon filets, cross-cut, with your favorite Asian sauce. Sesame Ginger Teriyaki is great. Just to lightly coat the outside of the filets. Heat fry pan with a little olive oil to medium hot, place filets in skin-side up. Leave untouched for 4 minutes to get a blackened crust. Turn filets skin-side down for an additional 4 minutes or until medium rare.
Removing the filets with a spatula will leave skin in the pan. Remove the skin from the pan and discard. Fry up some cooked rice and veggies in the drippings. Serve filets and rice topped with lemon juice and a little zest.