APPLE POMEGRANATE SALAD with HONEY GINGER VINAIGRETTE

APPLE POMEGRANATE SALAD
1 bunch romaine lettuce, torn and washed
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe below)
1/2 cup shredded cheese, Parmesan or cheddar
1/3 bacon, diced
vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)

  • In large skillet cook bacon until browned and crispy. Drain on paper toweling and cool.
  • Toss apple pieces with lemon juice.
  • In a large bowl toss together the lettuce, green onions, apples and pomegranate seeds.
  • Top with bacon pieces, cheese, walnuts and toss again.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette, toss again and serve immediately.

VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup golden balsamic or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Sipping Vinegar – Ginger Honey
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery flakes
1 tablespoon Ponzu

  • Whisk everything together.
  • Chill for several hours before serving.

CANDIED WALNUTS
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 pound chopped walnuts
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 225°.
  • Place butter on 15×10 jelly roll pan and place in oven to melt.
  • Whisk together the egg white and water.
  • Toss nuts with egg mixture until well coated.
  • Sift together the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  • Toss nuts in dry mixture until well coated.
  • Spread in a single layer on jelly roll pan.
  • Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring to mix EVERY 15 minutes.
  • Cool completely.

NOTE: Nuts will be sticky and gooey if not turned regularly.

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SAUERBRATEN (GERMAN POT ROAST) & POTATO PANCAKES with HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

Years and years ago when people still went to brick and mortar book stores, I found this great old cookbook that had many great German recipes. All these years later I have donated the cookbook, but still have the recipes I fell in love with, Sauerbraten and Potato pancakes with homemade applesauce and sour cream. As time went on I made a few changes to enhance the recipes to our tastes, but all in all they are the same tried and true recipes.  THIS IS A RECIPE THAT TAKES 5 DAYS TO MAKE so plan ahead.

SAUERBRATEN
1 3-5 pound chuck roast
2 cups red wine (optional can be replaced by beef broth)
1 1⁄2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 LARGE shallot, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery (leaves included), thinly sliced*
1 bouquet garni (1 tbsp. pickling spices, 14 whole cloves, 8 whole black peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs parsley, wrapped in cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine)
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Wonder flour
1/4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup golden raisins
6-10 gingersnaps, crumbled
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Kosher salt, to taste

  • Season beef liberally with salt.
  • Bring wine, vinegar, shallots, onions, celery, carrots, bouquet garni, beef broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  • Cool slightly and pour over beef. Cover and refrigerate, turning** once or twice a day, for 5 days.
  • NOTE: **A large tupperware marinader is a god send for this. You never have to touch the meat or make a mess turning it. SERIOUS NOTE:** After pouring the brine over the meat, allow it to cool for 30 minutes!  ESPECIALLY if using Tupperware products.  If you don’t the seal will more than likely leak and you might make a mess the first time you flip it (like I did the first time I made this).

  • Remove beef from marinade; pour marinade through a fine strainer into a bowl, and dry beef thoroughly. (Reserve 5 cups of the marinade and the bouquet garni.) You can also at this time based on your tastes replace a portion of the marinade with beef broth.  If I have used a BOLD red wine, I will often do this to soften the flavor and enhance the sourness of the vinegar.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter  in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add bacon and cook until bacon renders its fat, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.

  • Add beef; cook, turning, until browned all over, about 25 minutes.***  Transfer to a plate; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Add remaining onions to pot; cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 18 minutes.
  • Return beef to pot with reserved marinade and sachet; boil.
  • Cover; bake until beef is very tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours.
  • Transfer beef to a saran wrap lined cutting board.****
  • Wrap and roll beef in saran to a uniform size. Set aside.****
  • Pour sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  • Return pot to medium-high heat; add remaining butter.
  • Add flour and sugar, whisking constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add sauce, raisins, gingersnaps and lemon juice, bringing to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. (***If you refrigerated your meat for slicing later in the earlier step, you can add the slices in at this point for reheating).
  • Slice beef; arrange on a platter. Spoon sauce over top; sprinkle with bacon and parsley.

NOTE:*  I like to use the hearts.

FYI NOTE***: Browning will take longer because of the vinegar in the marinade. Also if you used the full amount of wine, your meat will appear quite dark.

NOTE****: This step gives you uniform size pieces.  You can also refrigerate the meat at this step and prepare gravy later.

POTATO PANCAKES
3+ cups peeled, grated and squeezed* potatoes
1 large bunch green onions, minced or 1 small Vidalia onion, minced
1/2 cup self rising flour
1 teaspoon fresh ground salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 LARGE egg, beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Sift together the flour, salt and pepper.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and butter until smooth.
  • Whisk in the flour mixture until well blended.
  • Fold in the potatoes and onions.
  • Drop onto hot griddle and make your pancakes.
  • Serve with applesauce and sour cream or with the Sauerbraten gravy.

NOTE:*  I use a flour cloth towel as my base. I grate the potatoes on top of it and then bring all the corners together like a knapsack wrapping the potatoes inside. I continue to tighten the turns until I squeezed all the moisture from the potatoes.

HOMEMADE APPLE SAUCE
5 large Apples (I like Pink Lady, Honey Crisp or Braeburns)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can peach nectar (Papaya or pineapple are good too)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

  • In a large sauce pan pour nectar over raisins and let sit while you prepare apples.
  • Wash, core, peel and chop apples.
  • Add water to sauce pan and stir in sugar until dissolved.
  • Add cinnamon and mix well.
  • Add apples and cook over medium heat until until apples are tender and mush easily.
  • Mush to desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool and chill.
  • Can be kept in refrigerator for a week though it never lasts that long around here. When my apples are at the height of the season and falling off the tree I make this in huge batches and put it up in canning jars for the following year.

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PAN SEARED CHICKEN with RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE & GARLIC GREEN BEANS

This was originally a Blue Apron recipe that hubby and I also dissected and rebuilt to out liking.  I should have taken a picture of my plate with the sauce over the chicken and polenta, it looked so pretty.  Hubby likes his sauce on the side.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE & GARLIC GREEN BEANS
Start the sauce first. While it’s cooking start the green beans. Then start the chicken.

SAUCE
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic glove, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 tomatillo, diced
2 tablespoons golden vinegar
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  • Several hours before dinner toss the tomatoes, tomatillo and lime juice together. Let sit at room temperature.

 

  • Bring skillet to a medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • When sizzling, add garlic and tomatoes simmering until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Gently smash tomatoes.
  • Add vinegar, stirring to blend.
  • Season to taste.
  • Turn to low and cover.

VEGGIES
1/2 pound fresh green beans
1 small garlic, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons golden vinegar

  • Bring skillet to a medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • When sizzling add onions and green beans simmering until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes
  • Add vinegar, stirring to blend.
  • Season to taste.
  • Turn to low and cover.

CHICKEN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or GHEE
Wondra
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  • Bring skillet to a medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • When sizzling add chicken and sear 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through and golden.

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MARINATED ROAST TURKEY BREAST with HONEY CRISP APPLE GRAVY

MARINATED ROAST TURKEY BREAST with HONEY CRISP APPLE GRAVY
1 boneless skinless turkey breast (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid aminos
2 tablespoons Ken’s Italian dressing
1 teaspoon Litehouse freeze dried garlic
1 teaspoon Litehouse freeze dried red onion
1 teaspoon orange peel
1 tablespoon Bertolli white balsamic reduction
1 Knorr homestyle chicken gel
2 tablespoons butter, sliced into several slices

  • Whisk together the wine, liquid mains, Italian dressing, garlic, red onion, orange peel, white balsamic reduction and chicken gel.
  • Add water and whisk until well blended.
  • Place turkey breast in a ziplock bag that is in a baking dish.
  • Pour marinade over, seal and refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Remove turkey breast and place in baking dish.
  • Pour marinade over top.
  • Roast uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • Rest breast in foil while preparing the gravy.

GRAVY

1 Just Beechnut HoneyCrisp Apples (baby food)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour

  • In a small saucepan combine baby food and remaining liquid in roaster.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Whisk flour into butter to create a roux.
  • Add roux to saucepan, whisking until desired thickness.

NOTE: There is plenty of salt and pepper seasoning within these ingredients so do NOT add more salt and pepper.

BROWN BOX CRACKER MINI MEATLOAVES with BROWN BEER GRAVY aka MEATLOAF with A SERIOUS KICK

I found these awesome crackers a while back and then was pleasantly surprised to find that they were a local mom & pop operation.  Imagine my even bigger surprise when I’m eating these same crackers at my uncle’s house on Christmas Day later that year and find out that Brown Box Crackers was my own cousin’s company! I asked her if we could share this recipe with you and introduce you to her awesome products. I shared this quite a few years ago and unfortunately the crackers are no more as she passed away in 2014 and no one was able to find her recipes.  They probably existed on her hard drive, but alas my uncle never bothered to search and the hard drive is rotting away in storage, probably under water or too wet to be salvaged.  I have made some substitutions to make it similar to her original recipe.

Beth described this recipe perfectly: ” love comfort food, especially when it makes leftovers that taste better the day after. Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods and I like mine with rich, brown gravy…not with that tomato-y, ketchup-y topping some folks use. I want mine with rice and some kind of fresh vegatable to make it a healthy thing. Thank you, Mom, for putting me on the right path to meatloaf.”

MEAT LOAVES
1 pound Lean Hamburger
1 LARGE egg
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Salt (or more to taste)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Brown Box Cracker Crumbs (I now use a combo of wheat thins, ritz and Keebler garlic butter)
2 medium Onions, chopped
1 Jalapeno, chopped
4-5 Cloves Garlic, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Process onions, jalapeno and garlic in food processor.
  • Adding just enough water to form a paste.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the cracker crumbs by squeezing though fingers JUST until blended.
  • Once the ingredients are mixed well add the crackers and mix them through.
  • Divide burger mixture into four (4) equal portions and form into mini loaves or form one large loaf.
  • Place in a casserole or large, heavy oven-proofing frying pan.
  • The heavy frying pan is excellent for getting all the “good stuff” for the gravy.
  • Bake approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

BROWN BEER GRAVY
3 tablespoons Drippings or avocado oil
1/2 cup Wondra Flour
1 cup Dark Beer (Shiner Bock is excellent)
1 cup Beef Broth
Salt and Pepper, to taste

  • Heat drippings/oil to bubbling.
  • Add flour and stir constantly to a bubbling caramel roux.
  • Add beer and broth continuing to stir constantly. The roux will smooth and thicken.
  • Add more broth if necessary.

Serving Suggestion:  Slice meat loaf and top onto a mound of rice, cover in gravy and serve with a side of fresh sliced tomato.

NOTE: Use beef broth INSTEAD of water when preparing rice. You will be pleased!

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BAKED WHITE FISH & CHAMPAGNE DRESSING

BAKED WHITE FISH

2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 small kiwis, cleaned and sliced thin
2-4 white fish, cleaned and scaled, 2 pounds each
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons white wine
3 tablespoons CHAMPAGNE DRESSING (recipe below or substitute fish or chicken stock)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 lemon, sliced

  • This will work with other whole lean fish and cuts or ‘roasts’ of halibut or pink salmon.
  • Adjust the cooking time according to the thickness and density of the fish.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Spray baking dish well with non-stick spray.
  • Rinse the fish well inside and out, pat dry, season lightly with salt, pepper and paprika and lay side by side in a shallow baking dish.
  • Layer lemon slices loosely over fish and season again.
  • Pour  the stock, dressing and ending with the butter over each filet.
  • Make a loose tent of foil over the tail of the fish and place in the oven.
  • Bake, rotating the pan once halfway through the cooking time, until a skewer easily enters the thickest part of the fish, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

CHAMPAGNE DRESSING
1/3 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
salt & pepper to taste

  • Whisk together peanut oil, champagne vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt & pepper.
  • Chill for several hours.
  • Enjoy!

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CHICKEN AND ONIONS in WHITE WINE CREAM SAUCE

CHICKEN AND ONIONS in WHITE WINE CREAM SAUCE
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small white onion, sliced and split into rings
1/3 cup white wine
2 tablespoons dried parsley
3/4 cup whipping cream

  • In a shallow bowl sift together the flour, salt and pepper.
  • Coat chicken with flour mixture and pat firm caking the flour into all the crevices.
  • In a large skillet heat together the butter and avocado oil.
  • Saute’ the onion rings until browned and beginning to caramelize.
  • Add the chicken and cook until brown on both sides and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken and onions and set aside.
  • Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes until heated through.
  • Add the parsley and whipping cream, cooking over low heat until sauce thickens.
  • Serve over chicken and mashed potatoes.
  • Top with the onions.

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CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, breasts and/or thighs
1 batch Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
1 large tomato chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
3/4-1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • Spray casserole dish with NON-STICK cooking spray
  • Lay chicken pieces in bottom.
  • Generously salt and pepper chicken.
  • Cover with Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
  • Place a generous dollop of sour cream on top of each chicken piece.
  • Cover with grated Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.
  • Bake 45 minutes at 350°.

Fire Roasted Salsa Verde
My Source for awesome homemade verde sauce is Chris the wonderful cook, griller, photographer and Big Green Egg enthusiast. Check out his blog at NIBBLE ME THIS.  He adapted this from Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue!

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1 Serrano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 Anaheim pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thirds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and skewered together with a toothpick
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon bacon fat
3 ounces chicken stock
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Get your grill cooking at about 450f.
  • Place the peppers and tomatillos on and sear them until all sides are blackened.
  • This should take a few minutes per side. Remove and place them into a plastic bag for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grill the onion and garlic until browned (about 4 minutes a side for the onion, 1-2 for the garlic) and remove from heat.
  • Skin, seed, and dice the peppers.
  • Skin and quarter the tomatillos. Don’t be super picky about getting all the charred skin off, you want a little in there for flavor.
  • Quarter the grilled onions.
  • Place them all in a food processor and pulse them until you get a salsa like texture.
  • Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat and then add the tomatillo mixture for 3-5 minutes. You’ll get some thick “pops” as the thick liquid heats but keep stirring.
  • Mix in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, letting the flavors get happy together.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

WARM BACON VINAIGRETTE for SPINACH SALAD

WARM BACON VINAIGRETTE
1 egg
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 cups water
1/2 pound bacon
salt and pepper to taste

  • Cook bacon until crisp. Leave drippings in pan and allow to cool.
  • Drain on paper towels and crumble when cool.  Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl lightly beat the egg.
  • Add the vinegar, sugar, water, flour, salt and pepper.  Blend well.  Add to the bacon drippings.
  • Mix until well blended.
  • Cook over a low heat, STIRRING CONSTANTLY!  Bring to a rolling boil taking off the heat when you reach your desired consistency.
  • When cool, add the crumbled bacon.
  • Enjoy!

CRAZY AUNT LOUISE’S BLUEBERRY LEMON SAUCE CAKE

This is another recipe from crazy aunt Louise – loved that lady! We all remember the Corn Flake Wreaths she made us for Christmas, but she always made this Blueberry Lemon Sauce Cake for 4th of July. She was a serious creature of habit. Thanksgiving always brought her cheesy garlic grits, but I’m still working on perfecting that one – maybe I’ll have it ready for the next Thanksgiving. I make this in an 8×8 baking dish, but it easily doubles for a 9×13. My sauce turned out quite pale today so I added a little yellow food coloring. LOL I say a little, but from the looks of that picture I added a little too much.

BLUEBERRY LEMON SAUCE CAKE
CAKE
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
Juice of 1 small lemon
scant 1 cup flour
scant 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Jumbo egg
1/4 cup milk
1+ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until well blended.
  • Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and blend until smooth.  Batter will be thicker, like a coffee cake consistency.
  • Fold in blueberries.

SAUCE
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Juice of 2 lemons

  • Over a medium-high heat whisk together the water and cornstarch in a saucepan until smooth.
  • Add the butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the sugars and salt, stirring until dissolved.
  • Add lemon juice and rind.
  • Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until desired sauce consistency.

ZESTY BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

Mason jar dressings are all the rage on the internet right now.  With being a scratch cook, I have made my own for years now.  The only similarity is the mason jar LOL.

ZESTY BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

1 cup sour cream
⅓ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced or 2 teaspoons dried
Juice of 1 large lemon juice
Fresh ground Himalayan Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup buttermilk

  • Add ALL the ingredients into a mason jar or shaker.
  • Screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously.
  • The dressing will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  • Pour over your favorite salad ingredients and enjoy!

    NOTE: If using dried herbs, make the dressing several hours before you need it so the flavors can absorb into the dressing.

CARAMELIZED LEMON & GREEN CHILE VERDE WHITEFISH

CARAMELIZED LEMON & GREEN CHILE VERDE WHITEFISH
4 white fish (cod, snapper etc…) 6 ounce fillets
1 large bunch green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon, sliced about 1/8-1/4 inch thick
2 teaspoons sugar divided
2 tablespoons green chile verde sauce
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  • Melt coconut oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Saute onions a few minutes until tender.
  • Add lemons around the edge of the pan.
  • Sprinkle lemons with 1 teaspoon of the sugar.
  • Generously salt and pepper the fish fillets and place in the center of the pan.
  • Cook 3-4 minutes (depending on thickness) until opaque and then turn.
  • Turn the lemons and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  • Add chile verde sauce over the lemons.
  • Add lid to the pan and cook another 3-4 minutes.