Several weeks ago a Facebook friend shared a recipe for roasted cabbage and I meant to copy or print it. Short story, short…I forgot. This week I was in the mood for roasted cabbage and…no recipe. After a quick Google search, I found a similar recipe from Martha Stewart for Roasted Cabbage Wedges.
The recipe calls for caraway OR fennel seeds and I AM a caraway seed lover but decided to do a few of both. The fennel seeds won, hands down! The fennel gives a nice touch to the roasted cabbage where I didn’t feel the caraway enhanced the flavor. My Czech ancestors would probably roll over in their graves if they heard me admit that!
Great recipe to pair with pork, Bratwurst or for a vegan dish.
ROASTED CABBAGE SLICES
1 tablespoon plus 2 more tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium head green cabbage cut into 1 inch slices
Coarse salt and pepper
1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil.
Place 1 medium head green cabbage cut into 1 inch slices, in a single layer on the baking sheet. Brush the cabbage slices with 2 tablespoons oil.
Season with coarse salt and pepper, then sprinkle with caraway or fennel seeds.
Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden, 40-45 minutes.
A few days ago I was watching the Rachael Ray show with Emeril Lagasse as her guest. He shared a recipe for a slow cooker/crockpot brownie. With a busy day coming up and the need for a birthday dessert, I decided to give it a shot.
I followed the instructions, shown below, to a ‘T’ and anxiously awaited the yummy results, enjoying the smell of chocolate in my home all afternoon.
After the allotted baking time of 3 1/2 hours, the brownies were still liquid in the middle. I have a fairly large crockpot so the brownies were probably thinner than in many smaller crockpots. Time was running out, so what to do? I tried baking a little while longer on low with no improvement. Finally I resorted to turning the crockpot on ‘high’ and you can imagine the burned edges and still uncooked center.
I was NOT a happy camper and kicked myself for not making the recipe shown below but baking, old-style, in the oven. I think this modification for traditionally baked brownies topped warm, with the chocolate hazelnut spread would be amazing. Skip the slow cooker method.
NOTE TO SELF: Never try to ‘bake’ a cake or brownie in the crockpot EVER!
SLOW COOKER BROWNIES (NOT!)
1 box of brownie mix
1 cup chocolate chunks, a mix of milk and dark (and I used some white chocolate)
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
Line the bottom of the slow cooker with some aluminum foil and spray it with a little non-stick spray.
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and add chocolate chunks.
Pour the batter into the slow cooker, set at a low temperature and cook for 3 hours.
Remove lid and cook for an extra 30 minutes to create a crunchy top. When cool, spread hazelnut spread on top and enjoy!
One of the great cookbooks I received when I was newly married was Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook (love the $2.95 price tag).
A favorite recipe that I still refer to is the Oven-Fried Chicken. I love fried chicken but I don’t enjoy standing over the stove cooking it. This recipe has the flavor of a true fried chicken but with the simplicity of baking in the oven.
1/4 cup shortening or salad oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 tablespoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In oven melt shortening in baking pan.
Mix flour, salt, paprika, pepper in plastic or paper bag; shake chicken, 2 or 3 pieces at a time in bag until coated.
Place chicken skin side down in pan.
Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Turn chicken, bake until tender, 15 to 30 minutes longer.
Spiced Pecans are a family and gift tradition started a few years ago. I do not remember where the recipe came from, but it is an all-time favorite. It makes a great gift for friends and family and a nice change from the traditional sweets of the holidays. Spiced Pecans can be made early in December and given throughout the holidays. I typically triple the recipe and make several batches. Enjoy!
GLAZE: 1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans on a baking sheet for 6 minutes.
Stir together the spice mix in a small bowl.
In a saucepan, combine the glaze ingredients. Bring glaze to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Stir in toasted nuts and continue to stir until all the nuts are shiny and the liquid is gone (1-2 minutes).
Place glazed nuts in a bowl, sprinkle on the spice mix, and toss well to coat. Spread the coated nuts on a cookie sheet and return them to the oven for another 4 minutes.
Italian Tony’s Market in the Denver area makes wonderful Pignoli. Pignoli cookies are an Italian American confection, similar to a macaroon and topped with pine nuts. This week I was in search of a recipe I could make them at home. There were many wonderful recipes but this recipe was my final choice. They were fantastic!
12 ounces almond paste
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups pine nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil; lightly grease the foil.
Mix almond paste and granulated sugar in food processor until smooth.
Add confectioner’s sugar and 2 egg whites; process until smooth.
Whisk remaining 2 egg whites in small bowl.
Place pine nuts on shallow plate. With lightly floured hands roll dough into 1 inch balls. Coat balls in egg whites, shaking off excess, then roll in pine nuts, pressing lightly to stick to dough.
Arrange balls on cookie sheets, and flatten slightly to form a 1 1/2 inch round.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes (watch carefully because each oven and baking pan is different) until lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Pecan Pie is a favorite but I haven’t made one in 10+ years. Recently a friend made one for a gathering and it was so wonderful, daughter Sarah and I decided to make one. This recipe is from my trusted Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook (1972) and it did not disappoint. However…note to self…
1) Use a deep pie pan to avoid the pie filling bubbling over in the oven and causing you to open all windows in the house while you are serenaded by the fire alarm and choking family.
2) Put aluminum foil in the bottom of the oven to avoid last-minute oven cleaning.
3) Put aluminum foil over the edges of the crust to avoid the crust burning. (I remembered this one)
4) Put the above issues aside when savoring the decadent wonder of a slice of slightly warm pecan pie with fresh whipped cream.
SOUTHERN PECAN PIE
Unbaked 9″ pie shell
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
Arrange nuts in pie shell.
Beat eggs; add and blend corn syrup, butter and vanilla.
Combine sugar and flour. Blend with egg mixture and pour over nuts in pie shell.
Let stand until nuts rise, so they’ll get a nice glaze during baking.
Bake in moderate oven, 375 degrees 40-50 minute or until filling is set. Cool.
During my trip to Nicaragua, I had the opportunity to stay with a host family in San Ramon. My roommate, Sally, and I had the great pleasure of staying with Neyda and her family. We enjoyed many wonderful meals at Neyda’s home. One evening our ecotour group were treated to an evening of native Nicaraguan food and music. It was wonderful and highlighted by a light shower and a gorgeous rainbow.
The food served that evening included an unusual, sweet yet savory corn cake, baked in an outdoor wood-fired oven. The cake was baking when we arrived and like hungry baby birds, we all flocked to see what was in the oven. Our hostesses were kind enough to share the cake while it was still warm. Heavenly! The three photos below were taken the night of our dinner in San Ramon.
Our Nicaraguan hostess serving corn cake
Nicaraguan Corn Cake
Once returning home, the hunt was on for corn cake. My sister-in-law, Betty, discovered a similar recipe and shared it with our ecotour group. I baked the corn cake to share with my gal pals. By chance, I also brought a bowl of fresh pineapple and found it to be a wonderful side dish to serve with the bread. This recipe is slightly sweeter than the cake in Nicaragua, but delicious. A winner! However, I will continue my search to match the exact experience of our memorable Nicaraguan dinner.
NOTE: During our special evening in San Ramon we were also served the traditional Nicaraguan Nacatamal, a steamed corn cake filled with meat and vegetables, steamed in banana leaves. They, too, were fabulous and will be covered in a separate post at a later date. Stay tuned!
PERERREQUE (CORN CAKE)
1 pound fine white corn meal (I used regular white corn meal and ground again with the food processor)
1 pound crumbly cheese, grated finely (try Monterey Jack or Wensleydale)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons margarine
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ cups milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the corn meal with the cheese and sugar. Cut/crumble in the margarine. Mix the baking soda into a little of the milk and pour into the dry ingredients. Add the remaining milk until the mixture is well blended.
Place the cake mixture into a greased baking pan. The mixture should be about 1 inch thick.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown. After this time, remove it from the oven, allow to cool and then cut into small pieces or squares before serving. I found the bread to be at it’s best when served warm, about an hour after baking.