Andrea Meyers http://andreasrecipes.com making life delicious blog Wed, 26 Nov 2014 21:13:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Herbed Sour Cream http://andreasrecipes.com/crispy-smashed-potatoes-herbed-sour-cream/ http://andreasrecipes.com/crispy-smashed-potatoes-herbed-sour-cream/#respond Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:00:56 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=14304 Mashed potatoes are a staple on many Thanksgiving menus, and honestly it’s hard to top a helping of mashed potatoes and gravy to go with turkey. I like mine with roasted garlic, and I also like mashed sweet potatoes with a variety of flavors mixed in.  When it comes to Thanksgiving, I treasure our family... 

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Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Herbed Sour Cream - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

Mashed potatoes are a staple on many Thanksgiving menus, and honestly it’s hard to top a helping of mashed potatoes and gravy to go with turkey. I like mine with roasted garlic, and I also like mashed sweet potatoes with a variety of flavors mixed in.  When it comes to Thanksgiving, I treasure our family traditions.

But it’s also fun to change things up a little and try something different depending on the crowd that’s coming for a big Thanksgiving meal, and these crispy smashed potatoes from Cooking Light make a great  fast potato side dish. My guys devour the whole plate whenever I make them, and they are easy enough for young kids to get in the kitchen and help with, especially the smashing part. Kids can use a small plate or pan to press the potatoes, or give them a wide wooden spoon and have them press down on the spoon with their palms for better leverage. Even a rolling pin works.

Smashed potatoes are a terrific side dish for any time of year, and I play around with the sour cream ingredients using whatever is in season in our garden. Dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, and chives all work with the sour cream, and you can get more adventurous with chipotle peppers or roasted red pepper. Spice things up and have fun with the recipe!

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Herbed Sour Cream
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 pounds (1.13 k) small red potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) light sour cream (I use Daisy brand.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F/260°C. Place the oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven.
  2. Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave at HIGH for 8 minutes or until tender. In the bowl, toss the hot potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Divide the potatoes evenly between prepared pans. Flatten the potatoes to about 1/2-inch thickness, and then brush on the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Rotate pans from front to back and top to bottom, and then bake for 10 minutes more, or until browned and crisp. Place potatoes on a serving platter.
  3. While the potatoes roast, combine the sour cream and chopped chives in a small bowl. Serve the sour cream with the potatoes.
More Information
Equipment

microwave-safe plate
large bowl
2 baking sheets, lightly coated with cooking spray
small bowl

Recipe Notes

The sour cream can be mixed up to one day ahead.

Flavor the sour cream with other herbs: cilantro, basil,parsley, dill. You can also try the flavored sour cream recipes mentioned in the blog post.

 

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan Cheese - Andrea Meyers Sweet Potato Souffle - Andrea Meyers Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce (The Kids Cook Monday) - Andrea Meyers Gluten-Free Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing with Herbs - Andrea Meyers

More Potato Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.]

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Sautéed Green Beans with Spice-Glazed Pecans http://andreasrecipes.com/sauteed-green-beans-spice-glazed-pecans/ http://andreasrecipes.com/sauteed-green-beans-spice-glazed-pecans/#respond Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:14:01 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=14282 I gave up the green bean casserole years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up eating that famous casserole and looked forward to it every Thanksgiving. My favorite part was the crunchy onions, and in my family everyone would try to get as many of them on our plates as possible. But change happens,... 

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Sautéed Green Beans with Spice-Glazed Pecans - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

I gave up the green bean casserole years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up eating that famous casserole and looked forward to it every Thanksgiving. My favorite part was the crunchy onions, and in my family everyone would try to get as many of them on our plates as possible.

But change happens, life throws curve balls, and sometimes things that we used to adore lose their luster. I am not the girl I was in my twenties. I lost my taste for rich, creamy sauces several years ago, and found that I prefer tasting the beans and fresh flavors. I adore the slow cooked Southern green beans of my childhood, but now I like my green beans a little al dente with crunchy nuts and flavorful mix ins.

This green beans recipe from the October issue of Cooking Light will make a fantastic addition to our Thanksgiving dinner this year. All of us enjoy the spicy-sweet pecans, and I also like the simplicity of the dish. Having a couple fast side dishes on the menu makes Thanksgiving a little less hectic, and these beans are perfect for that. Make the pecans a few days ahead, then whip up the beans right before dinner time. Tasty and ready in a flash.

And for a fun treat, make a bigger batch of the pecans and set out the extras in small bowls for football game nibbling. My guys can’t keep their hands out of them.

Sautéed Green Beans with Spice-Glazed Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
GLAZED PECANS
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
GREEN BEANS
  • 2 pounds whole green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
  2. GLAZED PECANS - Bring the brown sugar, water, cumin, and red pepper to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the pecans, rosemary, and salt. Spread the pecan mixture in an even layer on the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool in pan, and break into small pieces if necessary.
  3. BEANS - Place the green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for just 4 minutes, until the beans turn bright. Drain and plunge green beans into ice water and drain.
  4. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beans, and sauté 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Season with the salt and black pepper. Place the beans on a serving platter, and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Serve immediately.
More Information
Equipment

small saucepan
baking sheet lined with parchment
large pot with lid
large nonstick skillet

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead - Prepare the pecans up to three days ahead and store in a sealed plastic container or bag.

When I make the pecans in the amounts listed above, I cook them in my counter top toaster oven rather than turn on the big oven. Cooking time can be reduced to about 8 minutes or less depending on your oven. Watch carefully so they don't burn.

 

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Cranberries with Orange Zest and Port - Andrea Meyers  Roasted Butternut Squash Polenta with Smoked Gouda and Sauteed Mushrooms - Andrea Meyers Waldorf Brussels Sprout Salad - Andrea Meyers

More Green Beans Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.]

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How to Make Cranberry Liqueur http://andreasrecipes.com/make-cranberry-liqueur/ http://andreasrecipes.com/make-cranberry-liqueur/#respond Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:00:10 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=14259 We began experimenting with homemade liqueurs and infusions several years ago. Our first adventure was the Italian classic limoncello, which we made with both lemons and oranges (arancello), and since then we’ve made Polish krupnik and other concoctions that are now traditions for us. This year we decided to experiment with cranberries, because we look... 

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We began experimenting with homemade liqueurs and infusions several years ago. Our first adventure was the Italian classic limoncello, which we made with both lemons and oranges (arancello), and since then we’ve made Polish krupnik and other concoctions that are now traditions for us. This year we decided to experiment with cranberries, because we look forward to cranberry season and make so many other things with cranberries. So why not a cranberry liqueur?

Cranberries - Andrea Meyers

I started with our arancello as a point of reference and went from there. The idea is to soak the fruit in the alcohol and sweeten it enough to balance the tartness of the cranberries and bite of the alcohol. For sweetener, I chose simple syrup, and vodka or rum for the alcohol. I wanted loads of cranberry flavor and a brilliant color, so the cranberries would be the lead ingredient. And I wanted a little extra something, a little richness, so I added vanilla bean. After some research, I decided on the following ratios:

  • 1 part cranberries (by weight) to 1 part alcohol (by volume)
  • 2 parts cranberries to 1 part sugar
  • 2 parts sugar to 1 part water

These ended up being somewhat rough, because when it came time to translate all of that into weighing and measuring, I fudged a little to make things easier.

Once I figured out all of that, the rest was easy. Make the simple syrup, puree the cranberries, stir it all together, and pour into bottles with the vanilla bean. The resting phase takes 2 to 3 weeks, then you just strain out the solids and use the infused liquid in cocktails. This is definitely a liqueur, a little on the sweet side, and good for mixing cocktails and serving with sparkling wine. If you plan to use it as a mixer with sweetened beverages such as lemon-lime sodas, you should probably reduce the sugar in the recipe.

And just in time for the holidays, little bottles of cranberry liqueur makes lovely hostess gifts, just put the liqueur into bottles with a tag and ribbon. I find cute bottles like the one in the top photo at stores such as Home Goods and Ross, or you can order online from other stores.

Cranberry Liqueur
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 6 cups (1.050 kg) granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (720 ml) water
  • 3 (12-ounce/340 g) bags cranberries
  • 36 ounces (1.65 L) vodka or rum
  • 2 vanilla beans

  • OPTIONAL FLAVOR ENHANCERS
  • orange rind
  • lemon rind
  • cinnamon stick
Preparation
  1. SIMPLE SYRUP - In the 3-quart pot, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat, stirring as it cooks. Don't allow it to boil, just cook long enough to dissolve, then remove from heat and allow to cool. You can make this ahead and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  2. Rinse the cranberries well and pick through them to remove any bad berries. Puree the berries in the food processor, adding a cup or so of the simple syrup to help smooth the puree. Process in batches if necessary. Transfer the pureed berries and the rest of the simple syrup to the large mixing bowl and stir. Add the alcohol and stir.
  3. Cut each vanilla bean in half, then split the halves lengthwise. Place each bean half in the bottom of a mason jar, then pour in the cranberry mixture. Seal each jar and store in a cool dark place (cellar) or in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
  4. Strain the cranberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Check the strained liquid to make sure it's free of floating particles, and strain again if necessary. Pour into gift bottles. The liqueur will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.
More Information
Equipment

3-quart heavy bottom pot with lid
food processor
large mixing bowl
6 quart mason jars with lids and bands, or other storage jars/bottles
fine mesh strainer
gift jars

Recipe Notes

I have used several types of bottles for the resting period, including used wine bottles with screw caps. Just make sure any bottles and lids you use are properly cleaned.

If you want to add other flavors, shave some fresh orange or lemon rind (minus the white pith) or add a stick of cinnamon to each bottle for steeping.

More Homemade Gifts

Easy Dulce de Leche Caramel - Andrea Meyers Bourbon Praline Pecans - Andrea Meyers Maple Cranberry Butter - Andrea Meyers Mom's Peanut Brittle - Andrea Meyers

More Homemade Gift Ideas From Other Blogs

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Food Drives 2.0: How to Really Help Your Local Food Bank http://andreasrecipes.com/food-drives-2-0-really-help-local-food-bank/ http://andreasrecipes.com/food-drives-2-0-really-help-local-food-bank/#respond Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:20:00 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=14201 A few years ago I participated in a recipe contest trying to win money for my chosen charity, the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington D.C. While preparing for the contest, I did a fair amount of research on food banks and the services they provide to communities, and I learned a lot. And though... 

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A few years ago I participated in a recipe contest trying to win money for my chosen charity, the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington D.C. While preparing for the contest, I did a fair amount of research on food banks and the services they provide to communities, and I learned a lot. And though my sandwich did not ultimately win the contest—I think it came in second—I’m glad I participated and hopefully spread information about the good work of food banks and pantries.

For example, I learned that food banks and food pantries are two different types of organizations. A food bank solicits, stores, and distributes foods to local agencies that support the public directly, including food pantries, soup kitchens, halfway homes, orphanages, and shelters.

Food banks have access to food at a low price that the average consumer does not. They can get produce at one-tenth or less the retail price you and I pay in the store.  For every dollar they receive, the food bank can provide the equivalent of 3 or 4 meals to the local agencies. So that $1 spent on a can of beans or $2 on a jar of peanut butter could go directly to the food bank and provide 9 to 12 meals, not just one or two jars of food.

November and December and into the winter months is a big time of year for the organizations that support people in need. Schools, churches, and service organizations hold canned food drives to help stock the shelves at the local food pantries that provide food and other services for the community. And while those efforts are appreciated, they may not always be helpful in the way we think it is. Every item donated must be carefully selected and sorted, a lot of hands on labor for the food pantry. Food support organizations have reported that as much as 50% of the food donations received from food drives are unusable for a variety of reasons.

50% unusable. That’s not helpful, that’s wasteful.

Some food may not be suitable if it’s expired, or can cause health problems that we might not think of. For example, high-sodium soups may end up going to someone whose health problems require a low-sodium diet, or items with nuts could go to someone with allergies, putting their health at risk. Some food pantries have rules about the nutritional standards of foods they distribute and don’t accept high-sugar cereals and other food donations with empty calories. And often the food pantries provide and need other items we might not think of, such as toiletries or paper products.

So the most important thing to do before starting a food drive is to talk to the people at the food bank, pantry, shelter, or other organization you want to support. Many have websites, so I suggest visiting the organization’s website or contacting them directly. Work with them to find out what they need and how to best support them and the people who need help. Always ask! Many now have virtual food drives that allow supporters to donate money online that will go directly to food in amounts that will greatly outweigh the average consumer’s purchasing power. They may have online wishlists that let you know exactly what they need, and a few innovative organizations even have Amazon registries that you can peruse and order from directly for them.

Feeding America provides a searchable list of food banks throughout the United States, just go to their website (click the image above) and put in your zip code to find your local community food bank. They will appreciate the help. And while you are donating, consider volunteering to help stock shelves, distribute food, whatever they need. A few hours a month, not just November and December, helps keep the work of the pantry and food bank alive.

Because hunger happens every day, not just two months out of the year.

References

Image Credit

By U.S. Department of Agriculture (Capital Area Food Bank) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

[Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by or connected with any of the organizations mentioned. Opinions are my own.]

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Sweet Potato and Cranberry Muffins with Maple Butter http://andreasrecipes.com/sweet-potato-cranberry-muffins-maple-butter/ http://andreasrecipes.com/sweet-potato-cranberry-muffins-maple-butter/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 03:25:09 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=14045 Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, especially on the weekends. While weekday morning are a rush to get everyone out the door and to school or work, I like that we plan to sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast together for one weekend morning with pancakes or muffins, and omelets or quiche.... 

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Sweet Potato and Cranberry Muffins with Maple Butter - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, especially on the weekends. While weekday morning are a rush to get everyone out the door and to school or work, I like that we plan to sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast together for one weekend morning with pancakes or muffins, and omelets or quiche. My guys love muffins with any kind of fruit in them, and I like to mix and match the flavors. These autumn muffins are made whole grains, but have a light texture, not heavy at all. I make them with mashed sweet potatoes, cranberries, and butter, and my guys gobble them up. Like all my muffins, I make a double batch and save some for the next day.

I used Kerrygold butter in this recipe, one of my very favorite butters. The flavor is rich and the texture is so creamy, and it is fabulous in these muffins and maple butter. I use unsalted butter for baking, but I use salted in the maple butter and even add a bit of sea salt to balance the sweetness of the maple syrup. I whip up the maple butter a day or two ahead and just keep it chilled until that morning, then let it sit at room temperature until the muffins are ready. You may find yourself spreading that delicious flavored butter on your toast and other breads.

The sweet potatoes are easy to prepare, just peel and cut into small pieces and steam in a little water until tender. One time saver I like is to make a batch of mashed sweet potatoes for dinner, and just set aside some of the cooked potatoes to make muffins later.

 

Sweet Potato and Cranberry Muffins with Maple Butter
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Maple butter recipe adapted from Cooking Light.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) dried cranberries
  • 1 cup (96 g) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup (80 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup (175 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 g) sweet potato puree
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
MAPLE BUTTER
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) Kerrygold Salted Butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
SWEET POTATO PUREE
  • 1 (12-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
Preparation
Maple Butter
  1. Combine the softened butter, maple syrup, and sea salt in a small bowl. Beat with a hand mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minutes. Cover and chill. Soften at room temperature to serve.
Sweet Potato Puree
  1. In the 2-quart pot, put the potato pieces in 1/2-inch of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until fork tender, about 10 more minutes. Drain and allow the potato to cool to room temperature. Mash well.
Muffins
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F/175° C. Soak the dried cranberries in a bowl of hot water until soft.
  2. Whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a the 3 quart mixing bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
  3. In the bowl of the stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix sugar, 1 cup of the mashed sweet potato, melted butter, and eggs on low speed. If the mixture is very wet and the butter doesn't mix in well, add another tablespoon or two of sweet potato and mix well. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring with a spatula just until moistened, about 15 turns. Drain the soaked cranberries and fold in with the muffin mixture. Scoop the batter into the greased muffin pan, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the muffins are golden brown, about 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately, and cool on wire racks for a few minutes, then serve with the Maple Butter.
More Information
Equipment
small mixing bowl
hand mixer
2-quart pot with lid
small bowl
muffin tin, greased
3-quart mixing bowl
stand mixer with paddle attachment

Recipe Notes
Make Ahead Tip - The maple butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. I prefer the dark Grade B Maple Syrup for the butter, but use whatever is available in your area.

Mashed sweet potatoes and pumpkin puree can be used interchangeably in many recipes, and like the pumpkin puree, the texture of the cooked sweet potato is crucial. Baked is too dry, boiled is too wet, but cooked in a small amount of liquid will steam the potato tender without waterlogging it.

More Muffin Recipes

Apple Butter Muffins - Andrea Meyers Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Ricotta Muffins - Andrea Meyers Banana Bran and Toasted Walnut Muffins - Andrea Meyers

More Buttery Muffin Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection and worked on this recipe for Kerrygold as part of my partnership with Cooking Light.]

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Chicken and Tomatillo Posole http://andreasrecipes.com/chicken-tomatillo-posole/ http://andreasrecipes.com/chicken-tomatillo-posole/#respond Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:00:36 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13955 If chicken soup is truly good for the soul, then this recipe should be in your files. Think of a dark roasted chicken stock mixed with tomatillo puree, garlic, jalapenos, onion, and puffy pillows of hominy floating with shredded roast chicken. Stir in a little sour cream and cilantro, and you have comfort in a... 

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Chicken and Tomatillo Posole - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

If chicken soup is truly good for the soul, then this recipe should be in your files. Think of a dark roasted chicken stock mixed with tomatillo puree, garlic, jalapenos, onion, and puffy pillows of hominy floating with shredded roast chicken. Stir in a little sour cream and cilantro, and you have comfort in a bowl. It smells fantastic and warms you all the way through, and helps sore throats and coughs feel better. All of my guys give this soup big thumbs up.

We grow our own tomatillos, and the months of September and October is a busy time for our tomatillo plants, with harvest peaking right about now. So yes, we have plenty of tomatillos to work with and make this soup. This Cooking Light version of the classic Mexican soup posole, aka pozole, boils the tomatillos before pureeing. I like to make my own roasted chicken stock and cook the hominy myself, but you can also take some shortcuts with purchased stock—I recommend Pacific Foods Organic Unsalted Chicken Bone Broth (not sponsored)—or you can use your favorite brand, and you can substitute canned hominy. I save the chicken meat from the stock preparation and use it in the soup, which adds even more flavor.

Chicken and Tomatillo Posole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Adapted from Cooking Light.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (454 g) tomatillos
  • 6 cups (~1-1/2 liters) Roasted Chicken Stock
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • Chicken meat from the Roasted Chicken Stock, shredded
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise
  • 4 cups cooked white hominy, drained
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

GARNISH
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • Reduced-fat sour cream (I like Daisy brand.)
  • lime wedges
Preparation
  1. Discard the husks and stems from the tomatillos and rinse them well. Bring water to boil in a 4-quart heavy bottom pot. Cook the whole tomatillos in the boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes, then drain. Blend the tomatillos until smooth, and set aside.
  2. Combine the stock, onions, chicken meat, garlic, jalapeño peppers, and hominy in the 6-quart stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatillos and salt, and cook until heated. Serve with cilantro, sour cream, and squeeze lime juice over the bowl.
More Information
Equipment:
4-quart heavy bottom pot with lid
6-quart stockpot with lid
glass jar blender

Recipe Notes:
Substitutions:

2 (30-ounce) cans white hominy, drained

3 pounds chicken breast halves, skinned (Cook in the stock, them remove the bones and shred the meat.)

Make Ahead Tips: Make the stock, tomatillo puree, and hominy on the weekend, then save it all for a quick weeknight meal.

 

More Chicken Soup Recipes

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kah Gai) - Andrea Meyers Get Well Chicken Noodle Soup - Andrea Meyers Jamaican Chicken Stew - Andrea Meyers

More Posole Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.]

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How to Cook Dry Hominy (From the Pantry) http://andreasrecipes.com/cook-dry-hominy-pantry/ http://andreasrecipes.com/cook-dry-hominy-pantry/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:49:11 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13941 I made posole for dinner a few weeks ago, and wanted to make it with dry hominy, a large kernel corn. After searching my local grocery without finding it, I asked for help, which didn’t work out at all. It turned into a comedy of miscommunication with me first stating what I was seeking, then... 

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How to Cook Dry Hominy (From the Pantry) - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

I made posole for dinner a few weeks ago, and wanted to make it with dry hominy, a large kernel corn. After searching my local grocery without finding it, I asked for help, which didn’t work out at all. It turned into a comedy of miscommunication with me first stating what I was seeking, then spelling it, followed by guided pronunciation, physical description, then finally locating a can of it and holding it up like a television product demonstrator saying, “It’s this, only dry and in a bag. Like buying dry beans instead of canned.”

For all my work, I received blank stares and went home empty-handed.

So what is dry hominy, exactly, and how do we cook it? Hominy, aka mote, is large kernel corn (maize) that has been treated with an alkaline solution to loosen the hulls and soften the corn, an ancient process that goes back to around 1500 B.C. Then it can be cooked whole in soups, or dried and ground into meal (masa) which can be used to make tortillas, arepas, and tamales.

The dry hominy keeps well in the pantry just like dry beans do, and you prepare them pretty much the same way. To cook dry hominy, rinse the hominy clean, soak it overnight, and finish cooking the next day. Canned is pretty convenient, but if you can find the dry hominy, I think the flavor and texture is better. Look for it in grocery stores with well-stocked international sections or Hispanic grocery stores.

How to Cook Dry Hominy (From the Pantry) - Andrea Meyers

How to Cook Dry Hominy (From the Pantry)
 
Author:
Serves: about 4-1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (4-1/2 ounces/129 g) dry hominy, rinsed
Preparation
  1. Put the rinsed hominy in a 3-quart pot with lid and cover with water about 2 to 3 inches over the hominy. Cover and allow to rest overnight. Before cooking, drain well and add fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Drain well and use in your favorite recipe.
More Information
Equipment:
colander
3-quart heavy bottom pot with lid

Recipe Notes:
1 cup dry hominy yields about 4-1/2 cups cooked.

A 15-ounce can of cooked hominy equals about 1-3/4 cups.

 

More Recipes From the Pantry

Slow Cooker Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya - Andrea Meyers Tamari Almonds - Andrea Meyers Chana Masala - Andrea Meyers

Recipes with Hominy From Other Blogs

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How to Make Tomatillo Puree http://andreasrecipes.com/make-tomatillo-puree/ http://andreasrecipes.com/make-tomatillo-puree/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 16:50:04 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13926 Before jumping into the “how” of making tomatillo puree, I suppose I should address the question, “Why make tomatillo puree?” It’s like making tomato soup or tomato sauce. Sometimes chunky is good, and sometimes you want a sublime blend with a smooth texture. That smooth texture comes from pureeing. Then there is the practicality of... 

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Tomatillo Puree, from roasted tomatillos - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

Before jumping into the “how” of making tomatillo puree, I suppose I should address the question, “Why make tomatillo puree?”

It’s like making tomato soup or tomato sauce. Sometimes chunky is good, and sometimes you want a sublime blend with a smooth texture. That smooth texture comes from pureeing. Then there is the practicality of storing the harvest. Yes, you can freeze whole tomatillos in gallon bags for a few months, and they will be fine. But if freezer space is limited, as it is for many of us, cooking and pureeing the tomatillos and freezing in quart containers is a much more efficient use of space. Plus it will save time when preparing meals later; you just need to thaw the puree, no extra work required.

Tomatillos - Andrea Meyers

For me, practicality wins, especially when we are at the height of tomatillo season in the garden and have loads of them still on the vine. I cook them as fast as they come in and prepare puree for freezing when the counters start to overflow. I have not attempted canning tomatillos, but if you want to try it, you can find instructions at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Tomatillos in our garden - Andrea Meyers

And if you need ideas for what to make with your tomatillo puree, check out the chili, sauce, and soup recipes below.

Tomatillo Puree, from roasted tomatillos - Andrea Meyers

How to Make Tomatillo Puree
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 5 to 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 pounds/kilos tomatillos, husks removed
Preparation
  1. BOILED - Boil the tomatillos in a large, heavy bottom pot until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well, and transfer to the blender jar. Allow to cool about 5 minutes. Blend well, until all the chunks are gone. Pour into storage containers and allow to cool, then cover and freeze.
  2. ROASTED - Preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C. Arrange the tomatillos on a half baking sheet. Roast until the top skins are dark brown, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool about 5 minutes. Transfer the tomatillos and juices to the blender jar. Blend well, until all the chunks are gone. Pour into storage containers and allow to cool, then cover and freeze.
More Information
Equipment:

half baking sheet or 6-quart heavy bottom pot with lid
blender
freezer containers

Recipe Notes:

Color of the puree will vary depending on how you cook the tomatillos. Roasted tomatillos will make a darker puree.

You can flavor your tomatillo puree with garlic, chiles, onions, and cilantro. Just add to the blender jar before pureeing. Here are suggested amounts, adjust to your taste:

2 cloves garlic, fresh or roasted
1 to 2 jalapeño, Serrano, or Anaheim chiles, fresh or roasted (seeds removed)
1 small to medium white onion, fresh or roasted
handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

Recipes with Tomatillo Puree

Grilled Tomatillo Chili - Andrea Meyers Tomatillo and Pumpkin Seed Sauce with Shrimp (Pipian Verde con Camarones) - Andrea Meyers Roasted Tomatillo Soup with Chicken (Sopa Verde con Pollo) - Andrea Meyers

More Recipes with Tomatillos From Other Blogs

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Roasted Chicken Stock http://andreasrecipes.com/roasted-chicken-stock/ http://andreasrecipes.com/roasted-chicken-stock/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 18:34:43 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13907 In August I started a health experiment. My family tree has a few food allergies and intolerances, and I’ve lived with certain symptoms for a few years that I thought were related to other things, but never really thought I might have inherited any of those food issues. But this summer I reached a point... 

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Roasted Chicken Stock - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

In August I started a health experiment. My family tree has a few food allergies and intolerances, and I’ve lived with certain symptoms for a few years that I thought were related to other things, but never really thought I might have inherited any of those food issues. But this summer I reached a point where I could no longer ignore the possibility. I’ve been tested for allergies and already knew that wasn’t an issue, but a food intolerance can be sneaky. It can mask itself as other things, many other things, making it difficult to pinpoint a source for symptoms.

So at the beginning of August I went off sugar and gluten; well, anything with flour of any kind. Cold turkey, just cut it all out. The first day wasn’t too bad, though my sweet tooth kept talking to me. By the third day I thought I would die without a bowl of granola for breakfast and some chocolate to snack on, but I stuck to my plan in spite of how grumpy I felt. I kept track of my symptoms, and by the end of two weeks I was feeling much better. After three weeks, my stomach issues had cleared up, my daily headaches were gone, I no longer felt tired all the time, and I had my old happy self back.

As for what I ate, it wasn’t anything special. I made my daily smoothies (either green or fruit) ate chicken and fish, vegetables and herbs from the garden, beans, fruit, rice, quinoa, avocadoes, nuts; all my usual foods, just no flours or sugar. I alternated vegetarian and vegan meals with occasional meat to keep it interesting, which I usually do anyway.

What I did not do: I didn’t run any marathons or go out of my way to change my exercise routine. I walked or did yoga in the mornings for 30 minutes to an hour as often as I was able, or worked in the garden and did housework.

At the end of the first three weeks I had lost 10 of the pounds I had gained during cancer treatment, and the rest has come off this month. I’ve been doing my happy dance every day putting on on clothes that stopped fitting when I had to do all those cancer drugs. That in itself is fantastic, but there’s more. My body is resetting itself. I’m not getting the stress cravings that used to come when I was on a deadline or had a tough day. I don’t feel that need to sit down with a bowl of ice cream or a bag of gummy bears and drown my stress in sugar, or grab pieces of bread for a snack when I’ve missed a meal because I didn’t have time to stop.

You can say this has been a month for celebration!

So what does all that have to do with roasted chicken stock?

For me, it’s about paying attention. Michael will tell you I’m knowledgeable and careful about what I feed my family because it has always been important to me, so I’m not talking about about reading labels. I’m talking about how food makes me feel and what it does to my body. The only way I could have learned I have gluten intolerance and don’t do well with sugar was to eliminate them, and then see what happened if I let any of it creep back into my life. I feel fantastic when I don’t have all the flours and sugar in my diet. I feel the opposite when I let even a little of those things back in, and my body lets me know it in several unpleasant ways.

So I pay even more attention than before. Yes, I can buy gluten-free stock that has very low sodium, and I keep some on hand (Pacific Foods Organic Simply Stock – Chicken Unsalted), but I also like the process of choosing the chicken and each carrot, onion, and stalk of celery that goes in the pan. l adore the smell of it all roasting in the oven and simmering on the stove. And the flavor it adds to my soups and stews? Can’t touch it with anything from the store.

So, yes, there have been a few changes at Casa Meyers; changes that are making life better for me and my family.

Roasted Chicken Stock
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Adapted from Cooking Light.
Author:
Serves: about 14 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch-thick pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 quarts/liters cold water, divided
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F/200° C.
  2. Arrange the carrots, celery, and onion in the bottom of a broiler or roasting pan, and top with chicken pieces. Bake in the preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours, turning the chicken once every 30 minutes. The chicken will be crispy and brown.
  3. Transfer the vegetables and chicken from broiler pan to the stockpot, and add the peppercorns, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Carefully discard the drippings from broiler pan, leaving browned bits (fond). Place the broiler pan on a stovetop and add 1 quart/liter of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, scraping the bottom to loosen the browned bits.
  4. Pour the contents of broiler pan into the stockpot. Add the remaining 3 quarts/liters of water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Reserve the chicken meat for another use, and discard the remaining solids. Cover and chill the stock for 8 hours. Skim the solidified fat from surface of broth, and discard.
More Information
Equipment:

large roasting pan
8-quart stock pot with lid
fine mesh sieve
large bowl

Recipe Notes:

I modified the ingredients to fit with I keep on hand in the kitchen: omitted fennel and used extra celery and onions.

I freeze this stock in quart containers and use it in soups and stews. Frozen stock will keep for several months.

Recipes that Work Well with Roasted Chicken Stock

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew - Andrea Meyers Moroccan Chicken Soup - Andrea Meyers Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas and Root Vegetables - Andrea Meyers

More Recipes for Stock From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.]

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Cauliflower Casserole with Italian Sauce http://andreasrecipes.com/cauliflower-casserole-italian-sauce/ http://andreasrecipes.com/cauliflower-casserole-italian-sauce/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:04:08 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13894 My guys will eat almost anything as long as it has a good sauce to go with it, and this cauliflower casserole I adapted from Cooking Light is more proof of that. They don’t like cauliflower, and though they’ve done pretty well with occasional roasted cauliflower, they don’t ask for this white vegetable. But Italian... 

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My guys will eat almost anything as long as it has a good sauce to go with it, and this cauliflower casserole I adapted from Cooking Light is more proof of that. They don’t like cauliflower, and though they’ve done pretty well with occasional roasted cauliflower, they don’t ask for this white vegetable.

But Italian sauce…they love lots of Italian sauce on just about anything. Even cauliflower.

Cauliflower - Andrea Meyers

So I tried it. I bought big heads of cauliflower and brought them home, proudly displayed them on the kitchen island, and said we were having them for dinner. Michael gave me the side eye and said he would try it. A little while later as he worked in his office, he shouted out to me, “Something smells good!” That was the sauce. I quickly steamed the cauliflower, put it in the baking dish and poured sauce all over it, then gave it a few sprinkles of Grana Padano cheese. Five minutes under the broiler, and it was ready.

I admit I held my breath while Michael tasted it. He waved his arms around and said how delicious it was, and commented that the cauliflower didn’t have the noxious sulfur taste that it can get when overcooked. The boys ate all of their cauliflower at dinner and asked if we could have this again.

Mom win!

Cauliflower Casserole with Italian Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Adapted from Cooking Light.
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ounces pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 pounds (681 g) cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup (28 g) grated fresh Grana Padano or Parmigiano cheese
Preparation
  1. Heat the large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onion, and sauté until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in the sauce, salt, peppers, and olives.
  2. Preheat the broiler.
  3. Steam the cauliflower florets in the 6-quart pot until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and put it in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle on the cheese.
  4. Broil until the cheese is soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.
More Information
Equipment:

large skillet
6-quart pot with lid
9x13 baking dish, coated with olive oil


Recipe Notes:

The original recipe includes sirloin steak, which is very tasty. You can use cannellini beans to make this a vegetarian dish.

The original recipe uses bread crumbs in the topping. To make it gluten-free for me, I skip the bread crumbs and serve hearty Italian bread on the side for the family.

For a time saver, you can use 1 pound of frozen cauliflower florets.

More Cooking Light Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken Korma - Andrea Meyers Butternut Squash Au Gratin with Mushrooms and Bacon - Andrea Meyers Steak Tips with Mushroom Pepper Gravy - Andrea Meyers

More Cauliflower Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.]

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