January 30, 2005

Coke & Bourbon Glazed Ham

1 (8-pound) fresh ham
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Whole cloves
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup whisky - we used Knob Creek bourbon
4 cups coca-cola drink
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds
Extra bourbon and coke for drinking while it bakes

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. With a sharp knife score the skin of the ham to form a grid pattern, making 1/2-inch-deep incisions. In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Massage into the ham. Place the ham, fatty side up, in a large roasting pan. Do not use the rack that comes with the pan; place the ham directly in the pan. Place cloves where the lines intersect on the ham. Rub the sugar evenly over the ham. Pour 2 cups of coca-cola and place cinnamon sticks, allspice and cardamom into the bottom of the pan and bake for 1 hour. In a large measuring cup, combine the whisky and the rest of the coca-cola. Baste the ham with the whiskey and cola and continue to bake. Baste every 15 minutes until the ham is cooked through. When you run out of the coca-cola/whiskey mixture, use the juices from the pan to baste. The skin will be dark and crispy. Use a meat thermometer to check that it is at least 165 degrees F in the center. Baking time will be around 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
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January 29, 2005

Pita Chips

3 whole pita (slightly stale is okay)
Olive oil
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 370 degrees. Split pita in half horizontally, and cut into wedges. Arrange on a cookie sheet. Brush (or drizzle) with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Bake 8-12 minutes or until crispy and slightly golden.
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January 28, 2005

Garlic-y Hummus

2 large cans chickpeas (about 48 oz total)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons garlic powder
6 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons reseved liquid from chickpeas
¼ olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons

In a large saucepan, heat chickpeas through. Drain, reserving liquid. Using the food processor, combine the garlic and chickpeas until semi smooth. Add in olive oil and reserved liquid, combine. Add garlic powder, lemon juice and tahini. Combine to thick paste, adding more oil or liquid if needed.

This is best after being refrigerated over night. It’s also good served with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of hot paprika.
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January 22, 2005

Matt's Piccata- Inspired Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded flat
1 shallot, minced
Juice of one lemon
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon paprika, divided
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, divided
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons capers
12 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

Sprinkle flour on plate, combine with ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle chicken breasts with the remaining spices. Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, coating lightly and evenly. Heat butter and oil in a large pan until butter foams. Add half of the shallots, brown two chicken breasts on both sides, remove to a plate, repeat with remaining chicken breasts and shallot. Remove to plate, in the same pan, sauté mushrooms, adding more oil if needed. When mushrooms are browned, add stock and lemon juice. Add chicken, cover and simmer about 10 minutes until sauce is thickened. Add capers, heat and serve.
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January 21, 2005

Peanut Butter Chip/Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup plus 6 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz semisweet chips (I used Hershey's Special Dark chips)
4 oz peanut butter chips (I used Reese's Peanut Butter chips)

Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly spray one cookie sheet with spray oil. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sweetened butter. Once combined, add chips and distribute evenly using the mixer on the lowest setting. Form cookies by dropping 1 teaspoon of dough on the sheet two inches apart. Bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Be careful, they burn easily and suddenly.

Yield: aprox. 2 dozen cookies, depending on size.

To many cookies? Try this cookie dough tip.

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January 20, 2005

Salmon Chanted Evening

1 ½ lb salmon
1 medium onion, quartered
1 ½ tablespoons butter, chopped into a few pieces
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large sheet of foil, arrange half of the onion (separate it into pieces). Place salmon on top of the onions, top with butter, the rest of the onions and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Fold foil over the salmon and pinch close. Bake for 30 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.
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January 19, 2005

Roasted Carrots

1 lb carrots, peeled
2 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop carrots into 1 ½ inch chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Arrange in a single layer in a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly soft and browned.

January 18, 2005

Best Meatloaf Ever

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 tablespoons Montreal seasoning
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 carrot, minced
olive oil

Preheat oven to 370. Lightly spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Form into loaf in pan. Do not over fill. Depending on the size of your loaf pan, you may need to make two. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, spreading it out evenly. Alternate: spread top with good quality Dijon mustard. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.

January 17, 2005

Tomato-Basil Sauce

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
28 oz canned whole, peeled fire roasted tomatoes (by Muir Glen)
1/2 large shallot, chopped
5 oz. fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
black pepper
Parmesan cheese for grating

In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic, onion, crushed red pepper flakes and shallot and sauté for about 3 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil, salt and sugar. Stir to combine and add pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

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January 05, 2005

Black Bottoms

Please see updated recipe here and adjust your bookmarks and links.

January 04, 2005

Baked Ziti


For the sauce*:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
28 oz canned whole, peeled tomatoes (I used fire roasted, but any is okay)
1 shallot, chopped
1 handful of fresh basil
Sprig of fresh basil
black pepper

For the ziti:
1 lb pasta (ziti or other small tubular pasta)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1 pound fresh mozzarella, ½ lb cubed, ½ lb sliced


For the sauce:

In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic, onion and shallot and sauté for about 3 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.

For the ziti:
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and the cubed mozzarella pieces. Add salt and pepper if needed. Pour into a greased 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 until just browned and bubbly hot, about 30 minutes.

*This sauce good even with out making baked ziti. Just toss with fresh pasta. Or make and freeze it up to 3 months.
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