Sunday, November 30, 2014

Turkey Bone Broth

Yum

Since I've been buying pasture raised turkeys from local small family farms, I always make turkey bone broth, because I am determined to use the entire turkey and not waste any of it.
Roast the cut up carcass, onions, carrots and celery first

Turkey Bone Broth is made with the turkey carcass which contains a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with any stock, the bones are roasted first to improve the flavor of the bone broth. Bone broths are simmered for a very long period of time. This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones.

After 24 hours in the slow cooker

What are the benefits of Turkey Bone Broth?
Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in nutrients – particularly minerals and amino acids. Bone broths are a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline. Glycine supports the bodies detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health. Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which improves collagen status, thus supporting skin health. (source: Nourished Kitchen)


After 36 hours in the slow cooker
After 48 hours in the slow cooker, ready to chill to make removing the fat layer easier


Recipe

Ingredients
1 turkey carcass (preferably a pasture raised turkey from a local farm)
4 quarts water (and more as needed)
2 tbls. apple cider vinegar (do not skip this - it helps to extract minerals from the bones)
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
1 onion, quartered
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 300.  Roast carcass in a large roasting pan at least one hour (I put mine in the oven right from the freezer). Remove from oven.

Place carcass, water, vinegar, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low up to 48 hours adding more water as necessary to cover the carcass, however, there will be some reduction as it cooks down.

Remove carcass from broth and strain broth through a mesh colander, removing solids (the carcass will be falling apart).

Allow broth to cool in the refrigerator until fat rises to the top.

Remove fat which has solidified and discard. 

Freeze or pressure can turkey bone broth.


Pressure canning:  Fill pint or quart canning jars leaving a 1-inch head-space. Process pints 20 minutes and quarts 25 minutes at 11 lbs. pressure.

Uses: anytime a recipe calls for turkey stock, use the turkey bone broth. Use it as a turkey base in soups, gravies, stews, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to saute or roast vegetables, steam rice or add to mashed potatoes instead of water for great flavor.

Cook's note - the bone broth will be gelatinous and look much like turkey jello, which is completely normal. It will thin out and become liquid again once heated.

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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Quick bread! Easy and QUICK to make with just a few ingredients. It would be great for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee, or easily could be a dessert as well.

Perfect to make for Christmas morning or to simply enjoy anytime of the year. Sticky, sweet, and delicious!

Ingredients

For the swirl:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the bread:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease/flour/spray the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan.

To make the swirl, combine 1/3 cup of sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat egg. Then, stir in milk and oil. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture. Stir just until mixed. Do not over-mix.

Pour half of the batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon mixture. Repeat. With a wide rubber scraper or spatula, swirl mixtures together with a down and up circular motion.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Then, cool completely on a wire rack.

Enjoy,
Mary


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Jam

Yum

Perfectly fruity and spicy, Christmas Jam is great for holiday gift giving. It's a simple and delicious treat, great served over cream cheese on crackers, or spread on toast, English muffins or scones.



Ingredients
4 cups sliced strawberries (I used fresh strawberries I previously froze)
1 - 12 oz.  bag cranberries
1 tsp. butter (to prevent foaming)
1 tbls. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 box Sure Jell (powdered pectin)
7 cups sugar


Method
Turn stove-top on to high heat. Place a large stock pot on burner and add butter, strawberries, cranberries, all spices and Sure Jell.

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking.

Add sugar all at once and return to a rolling boil (one that doesn't stop while stirring), stirring constantly. Boil hard 1 minute.

Remove stock pot from heat and ladle jam into canning jars. Cover jars with lids and bands and tighten just until finger tight.

Process jars 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Let sit on your kitchen counter-top undisturbed for 24 hours.  Store in pantry.

Yield:  10 - 8 oz. jelly jars


Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Roasting a Heritage Breed Turkey

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In July I had the opportunity to visit and tour Carolina Bay Farms, where I met owners James and Sharon Helms. I knew shortly after this visit, this was where my Thanksgiving Turkey was coming from.

Carolina Bay Farms raises heritage breed chickens, to include single comb Rhode Island Reds, Buckeyes, Jersey Giants,  Russian Orloff, and Orpingtons. Other poultry include Standard Bronze Turkeys, Rouen Ducks, Pharoah Quail, and Guinea Fowl. Their pigs are American Guinea Hogs and they also have a pair of milking goats. 

Read more about Carolina Bay Farms here

So, finally, here it is!  It's Thanksgiving Day, and I was ready to roast the BEST turkey we've ever eaten. Although heritage breeds cook a bit differently, and a bit faster than conventional turkeys, the true test was going to come as this turkey was roasted, carved and eaten ... it didn't disappoint, and in fact, exceeded my expectations.


Ingredients
1 Standard Bronze Heritage Turkey
1 Herbed Butter Rub for Poultry
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 quart turkey or chicken stock
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method

One day prior to roasting, rinse turkey well, removing any giblets. Loosen skin on breast being careful not to tear it, and rub Herbed Butter Rub for Poultry under the skin, covering as much of the breast as you can.  Wrap turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

On the day of roasting, Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove turkey from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature 30 minutes.

Using your hands, rub the entire  outside of the turkey with olive oil and dust skin with salt and pepper.

Place chopped celery, carrots and onions on the bottom of a large roasting pan.  Place a v-rack inside the roasting pan and place turkey on top of the rack.

Pour 4 cups of turkey stock into the pan and roast turkey for 30 minutes at 425.

Reduce heat to 325 and continue roasting for approx. 10-15 minutes per pound (less time than a conventional turkey), or until turkey has an internal temperature of 160-165 in the thigh and around 160 in the breast. Juices should run clear. Let rest 20-30 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, before carving.

Note - This cooking method allowed to skin to brown and crisp nicely, while keeping the breast meat juicy and moist. Strain any remaining turkey stock from the pan, discarding the vegetables. Use the stock for gravy if desired.

Enjoy,
Mary


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Herbed Butter Rub for Poultry

Yum

A few fresh herbs, some creamy butter, and a bit of lemon juice and you have this wonderful Herbed Butter Rub for Poultry.

Use it to rub under the skin of chicken or turkey for a sensational taste.

Ingredients
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 springs fresh sage
4-5 tbls. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice

Method
Place butter in a small bowl and allow it to come to room temperature, approx. 30 minutes.

Snip, or tear leaves, from fresh herbs and mince well on a cutting board with a sharp knife.

Mix 1 tsp. lemon juice with softened butter.  Add minced herbs and mix well with a wooden spoon until the herbs are well incorporated.

Carefully loosen the skin on the breast and legs of fresh chicken or turkey. Place the herbed butter under the skin and smooth around all over the breast and legs, being careful not to tear skin.
Wrap poultry with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight for best flavor.

When ready to roast, lightly oil the outside skin of  the chicken or turkey and dust with salt and pepper for crispy skin.


Enjoy,
Mary


Monday, November 24, 2014

Mexicali Shepard's Pie

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I saw a recipe the other day I just knew I wanted to make.  The recipe was for this Mexicali Hash Brown Taco Casserole by The Midnight Baker. It had all the ingredients I wanted to try, but I also knew I wanted to make it my own, so this is my take on it.

Recipe
Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried cayenne
1/2 cup salsa
2 cups niblet corn
6-8 pickled jalapeno slices
2 cups Mexican cheese blend, divided
2 russet potatoes, peeled and shredded

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a fry pan, brown ground beef with minced onion until beef is cooked through.  Add all spices, salsa, corn, jalapeno slices, and 1 cup of the Mexican cheese blend.  Put mixture in 7 x 11-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Peel and shred 2 russet potatoes with a box grater and rinse well with cold water. Mix potatoes with additional 1 cup Mexican cheese blend, and press on top of ground beef mixture.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and potatoes are browning.  Let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note - this is a spicy dish; feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste

Yield:  4-6 servings

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pecan Pie Bars

Yum

Instead of pecan pie, try these pecan pie bars!  The best of both worlds, with a great shortbread crust and traditional pecan pie filling. These are on my table this Thanksgiving.

Ingredients


Shortbread Crust
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecan pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Pecan Pie Filling
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup organic corn syrup
(such as Wholesome Sweeteners)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecan pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix flour, pecans, sugar and butter until flour is moistened. Press evenly onto bottom of 9 x 9-inch baking pan, pushing some up the sides. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and beat in all remaining ingredients.

Pour pecan pie filling over shortbread crust and bake 30 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Cut into bars.

Note - recipe is easily doubled for 13 x 9 -inch pan.

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crispy Cheddar Chicken Tenders

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So I made this recipe I saw the other day online.  In addition to the baking mix and cheddar cheese, it also called for cooked and crumbled bacon pieces.

I tried it at first with the bacon pieces, but I can tell you from my experience, the bacon crumbles simply did not adhere to the chicken, so I opted to just go for it without the added bacon.  Worked like a champ and the tenders had an awesome cheddar cheese taste.

Ingredients
8-10 chicken tenders (or boneless chicken breasts cut into strips)
1 1/3 cup baking mix (like Bisquick)
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
2 eggs, beaten

Method
Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees (or put about 1 cup oil in a large skillet to fry).

Combine baking mix, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic salt, black pepper and paprika in a large zip-top bag, shaking well to mix.

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl, and dip half the chicken tenders in the egg, then add them to the zip-top bag, seal bag and shake to coat.  Remove tenders to a cooling rack.

Repeat with remaining chicken tenders and allow to rest 30 minutes before frying (this helps the coating stick to the chicken).

Fry chicken tenders in batches for approx. 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove tenders from fryer and let drain on paper towels.  Keep warm in the oven set on 170 degrees while the remaining tenders are frying.  Serve immediately.

Yield:  4-5 servings

Enjoy,
Mary


Cheddar Bacon Biscuits

Yum


These are the perfect biscuits to accompany some fried chicken, chicken fried steak, or split and make breakfast biscuits by adding some scrambled eggs between the layers! Yummmmy!


Ingredients
2 cups baking mix, like Bisquick (or make your own)
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 pieces of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled


Method
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix baking mix, milk, bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese together. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until cooked through and golden.

Enjoy,
Mary



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chocolate Filled Bon-Bon's

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We've been  making this cookies in our family for many years.  My husband is actually the cookie baker as he grew up helping his grandmother make cookies.  

She always started baking cookies in November and had tins and tins of cookies for everyone to share at the holidays. I just love traditions like that!

Ingredients
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking  powder
2/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2-4 dozen chocolate kisses
colored sugar for decorating, optional

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a stand mixer, cream shortening and sugars until fluffy.  Add egg and extracts and beat well. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until well blended.

Form dough into 1"-inch balls and press each ball around a chocolate kiss until it is completely enclosed.  Dip tops in colored sugar if desired.

Bake on ungreased baking sheets 12 minutes.

Yield:  3 1/2 dozen

Enjoy,
Mary


Monday, November 17, 2014

Beef Shoulder Roast

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A beef-shoulder roast is an inexpensive roast cut from the muscled shoulder area of the beef. The tough, slightly chewy shoulder roast dries out easily but benefits from moist-cooking methods such as braising, which tenderizes the roast as it simmers slowly in liquid. Braising a shoulder roast in liquids such as broth, apple juice or even beer or wine turns even the toughest roast beef into a flavorful, fork-tender dish. Economical and delicious, this roast is perfect for a Sunday dinner.


Ingredients
1 Beef shoulder roast (100% grass-fed beef preferred)
6-8 potatoes, peeled and left whole
Rutabaga, carrots or other root vegetables of your choice, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup flour
2 cups beef broth (I used beef bone broth)
1 cup red wine

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray.

Place beef shoulder roast in pan and season on both sides with thyme leaves, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Arrange potatoes and other root vegetables around the roast.  Sprinkle flour over all and pour beef broth and red wine in pan (this will make the pan gravy).

Cover pan tightly with foil and roast 2 1/2 hours. Uncover roast, stir pan gravy, and continue cooking an additional 30 minutes.

Remove roast, potatoes and root vegetables to a platter and serve immediately with pan gravy.






Enjoy,
Mary


Friday, November 14, 2014

Stuffed Pork Chops

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This recipe has been around in my family for a long time.  Rather than stuffing the pork chops by cutting a slit in the side, the stuffing sits on top.

The pork chops and stuffing are then covered in cream of mushroom soup and baked until tender.

One of my husbands favorite meals and one I hope you will enjoy it as well.

Ingredients
2 one-inch thick center cut pork chops (mine were from Sunny Cedars Farm)
1/2 loaf of soft white bread, torn into small pieces
1/4 butter, melted
1 cup chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. parsley leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk


Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine bread torn into small pieces, onion, poultry seasoning, parsley leaves, salt and pepper to taste.

Heat chicken stock and butter in the microwave 1 minute or until butter is melted.  Pour over bread mixture and stir to combine.

Spray a 13 x 9 -inch baking dish with cooking spray and place pork chops in dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper over chops and top with a spoonful of stuffing, making sure it is well compressed over the top of the pork chops.

Mix 1 can cream of mushroom soup with 1/2 cup milk until well combined; pour mixture over pork chops and stuffing.

Bake, uncovered 1 hour.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy,
Mary


Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Yum

The best, most moist coffee cake EVER! This is so delicious and very easy to make. Even better if you use fresh pumpkin puree.

Recipe

Ingredients
Coffee Cake:
2 cups flour
2 tsp.baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (make your own)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Method
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 9-inch round or square baking dish.

For Streusel Topping:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 chop chopped pecans

For Coffee Cake:
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Spoon half of batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 the Streusel Topping over batter. Spoon remaining batter evenly over Streusel Topping; sprinkle with remaining Streusel Topping.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.























Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chicken and Potato Chowder

Yum

So warm and comforting, this Chicken and Potato Chowder is easy to do and delicious to eat! 

Ingredients
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth (make your own)
2 cups milk, or more, as needed
2 cups frozen, cubed potatoes or 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups diced cooked chicken 
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbls. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Method

Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Stir in chicken and cheese, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Enjoy,
Mary


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken Wings

Yum

Oh my goodness!  These wings are so good and take no time to grill. Perfect anytime of the year, from backyard barbecue, to tailgating, to Super-Bowl party, or simply a dinner at home.

We used chicken wings from Thames Farm, which were very large, and quite delicious.




















Recipe

Ingredients
1 package large chicken wings, tips intact
1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
1/3 cup raw local honey
salt and pepper

Method
In a small bowl, combine mustard and honey, stirring until well blended.

Liberally salt and pepper wings on all sides.

Place wings on a grill and cook over direct medium high heat for approx. 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Baste wings all over with honey-mustard sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling time.

Serve immediately with more honey-mustard sauce for dipping and your favorite side dishes.

Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Enjoy,
Mary

Monday, November 10, 2014

Grilled Rack of Lamb #2

Yum

This Grilled Rack of Lamb was so easy to do with just some garlic and rosemary snipped fresh from the garden.

Lamb goes well with grilled or roasted potatoes and carrots, or any of your favorite root vegetables, making it a simple yet elegant meal.

Of course, it's always best to purchase lamb from your local farmer. In this instance, the lamb I used came from Thames Farm, a wonderful, small family farm I shop from quite often.  All of their animals are raised on a natural diet and are never given antibiotics, steroids or any growth hormones, and the pastures are maintained chemical free. 

Ingredients
1 Rack of Lamb
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves snipped
salt and pepper

Method
Rub garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper all over the lamb. 

Place the rack of lamb on a preheated grill over indirect medium heat. 

Grill meat side down 7-10 minutes, turn to rack side down, and grill 10-15 additional minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees. 

Remove from grill, let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Lamb safe cooking temperatures


Enjoy,
Mary

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dinner for Two: Stuffed Filet Mignon Oscar

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This recipe was in my Cuisine at Home magazine and I knew I just had to try it.  This is my rendition of it, and  it's worth the little bit of time it takes to make an elegant dinner for two.

FOR THE FILLING, COMBINE:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup oyster cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
8 oz. canned premium or pasteurized lump crab meat, drained

TO MAKE: combine mayonnaise, cracker crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, dry mustard, Old Bay, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. Add crab meat; toss gently with hands to combine.
You can make this ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.


FOR THE BEEF
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 center-cut filet mignon steaks, 2-inches thick (8 oz. each),seasoned with salt and black pepper
Bernaise Sauce to serve over top (I used McCormick's or make your own)

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high until it shimmers. Sear filets, 5–6 minutes per side. Transfer filets to a rack to cool, 15–20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Cut an “X” into top of each filet
to create a pocket. Avoid cutting through the sides or bottoms of steaks. Lift each of the points
of the “X” from the center and snip halfway down to increase pocket size.

Stuff 1–2 Tbsp. filling into each pocket, then top each filet with about 1/3 cup more filling.
Arrange filets on a prepared baking sheet and roast 20 minutes for rare.

Transfer filets to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes before serving with Béarnaise Sauce.

Enjoy,
Mary



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dinner for Two: Pork au Poivre

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From my Cuisine at Home magazine: 

Inspired by classic French cuisine, this Pork au Poivre has a generous coating of cracked
peppercorns that’s seared to create a crisp, flavorful crust. Although traditional steak au poivre is served with a simple (sometimes creamy) pan sauce, a smooth brandy sauce makes this pork feel like a luxury dinner.

We made this delicious Pork au Poivre with pasture-raised 1"-inch thick center cut pork chops from Sunny Cedars Farm


COAT:
2 boneless pork loin chops (6–8 oz. each), seasoned,with salt
1/4 cup peppercorn mélange, crushed

HEAT:
2 Tbsp. olive oil

DEGLAZE:
1/3 cup brandy

ADD:
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed


Preheat oven to 375°.
Coat both sides of pork chops with peppercorns. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high until it shimmers.

Add pork chops and sauté until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pan to oven and
roast pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145°, 7–10 minutes.

Transfer pork chops to a plate; tent with foil.

Deglaze pan with brandy, scraping up any brown bits; cook over medium-high heat until liquid nearly evaporates, 2 minutes.

Add broth, vinegar, and thyme to pan and reduce, 4 minutes more. Off heat, whisk in butter,
1 cube at a time, adding more only when the butter melts.

Serve sauce over pork.

PEPPERCORN MÉLANGE
A peppercorn mélange is a blend of black, white, green, and pink peppercorns. Black, white, and green peppercorns come from the same plant but are harvested at different points in their ripening stage, creating different flavor profiles. Pink peppercorns are not peppercorns, but sweet and pepper-like dried berries that work well in blends.

Serves:  2

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Herbed Grilled Chicken

Yum

These Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts from Thames Farm are simply delicious. In our house, we have really enjoyed the pastured meats we have purchased from our small, local, family farms. One, because the taste is superior to conventionally produced meat, and two, because we enjoy supporting local where we can.

Ingredients
2 - 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Herb blend (parsley, basil, chives, garlic, onion flakes, black pepper and your choice of other herbs and spices)

Method
Thaw chicken breasts, and liberally spread with herbs, rubbing well into the chicken.

Grill chicken breasts on direct medium heat 15 minutes per side, depending on thickness, or until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Serve while hot with your choice of side dishes.

Yield:  2-4 servings


Enjoy,
Mary



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Parmesan-Black Pepper Crackers

Yum

Did you know homemade crackers are very easy to make? Much like working with cookie dough, they roll out very easily on a floured board.

A few ingredients and a little time, and you'll have a plate full of delicious crackers to share with family and friends.  

Add a good glass of wine, your favorite cheese, and that's all there is to it!

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened (8 tbls.)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp.sea salt (and more for dusting on top)
3/4 tsp. course-ground black pepper (and more for dusting on top)
1/4 cup water, or slightly more

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spay baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.

In a food processor, or stand mixer, pulse or mix flour, butter, Parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp. pepper and 1/2 tsp. salt until clumps form. Add water slowly and pulse or mix until dough forms.


Turn dough out onto floured surface and roll to 1/8-inch thick. Cut dough  with 1-inch or 1 1/2-inch cutter and transfer to prepared baking sheets.

Prick tops of each cracker with the tines of a fork and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

Bake until crackers are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes; let cool on pan and store in an airtight container (mason jars work great).

Yield:  5-7 doz. depending on size of cutter

Enjoy,
Mary