Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chicken d'Iberville

from Southern Living

• 2 (3-pound) whole chickens
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup dry sherry
• 2 celery stalks
• 1 onion, quartered
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
• 2 (6-ounce) packages long-grain and wild rice mix
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine
• 2 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
• 1 bunch green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
• 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 sleeve round buttery crackers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
• 1 (6-ounce) can French-fried onions, crushed
• 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
• 1/4 teaspoon paprika
• 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Bring first 9 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven. Let chicken cool. Pour broth through a fine wire mesh strainer into an 8-cup liquid measuring cup; discard solids.

Cook rice according to package directions, substituting 4 1/4 cups reserved chicken broth for water and omitting butter. (Add water to broth to equal 4 1/4 cups, if necessary.)

Skin, bone, and coarsely chop or shred chicken. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add mushrooms and green onions, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, chicken, sour cream, and soup.

Spoon mixture into 8 (2-cup) casserole dishes, 8 (5 1/2- x 3 1/2- x 2-inch) mini-loaf pans, 3 (8-inch or 9-inch) square baking dishes, or 1 (4-quart or 15- x 10-inch) casserole dish.

Stir together crushed crackers and fried onions. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, paprika, and garlic powder. Sprinkle casserole evenly with cracker mixture.
Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until bubbly.

To make ahead: Cover casseroles tightly with foil, and freeze unbaked up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Bake as directed. (Casserole may also be baked frozen. Plan to double the baking times.)

Short-cut method: Use 2 deli-roasted chickens (about 2 pounds each) in place of boiled chickens or 1 1/2-2 pounds of chicken breasts poached in water. Use 1 cup dry sherry and 3 1/4 cups (26 ounces) canned chicken broth to cook rice. (This is what I did.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meatloaf "Muffins" with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

½ cup ketchup or chili sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar or white vinegar

Meat Loaf
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
½ cup whole milk or plain yogurt
2 pounds meat loaf mix (50% ground chuck, 25% ground pork, 25% ground veal) – NOTE: I just use ground beef, and usually the 93% lean ground beef
2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers (about 16) or quick oatmeal or 1 1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs NOTE: I use dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves NOTE: I sometimes use dried in smaller amount or omit altogether

1. FOR THE GLAZE: Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan; set aside
2. FOR THE MEAT LOAF: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing the remaining ingredients. NOTE: I used dehydrated onions soaked in the egg mixture, skipped the sauté and added the garlic directly after mincing.
3. Mix the eggs with the thyme, salt, black pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and milk in a medium bowl. Add the egg mixture to the meat in a large bowl along with the crackers (or crumbs), parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with a fork until evenly blended and the meat mixture does not stick to the bowl. (If mixture sticks, add more milk, a couple tablespoons at a time, until the mix no longer sticks.)
4. Divide the meat mixture into 9 muffin tin cups and shape. Brush glaze on top and bake for 35 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. Simmer the remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly and serve along side meatloaf muffin.

To freeze:
Wrap each uncooked muffin in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Prepare glaze and place in separate freezer baggy. Thaw meat-muffin in refrigerator prior to cooking. Cut glaze out of freezer baggy and place in saucepan for thawing. Follow remaining instructions.

*Note: This prepares 9, but I distribute 6 to each person in the group and made the regular amount of glaze.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


14 manicotti shells (I used Barilla)
1 pound (2 cups) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
24 ounces spaghetti sauce (I used Bertolli Tomato and Basil)

Mix ricotta cheese, parsley, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese until well-blended. DO NOT COOK manicotti shells. Stuff manicotti shells with the cheese mixture and return the stuffed shells to the plastic trays they came in. (A large Ziploc bag works great as a make-shift pastry bag to pipe the cheese mixture into the manicotti shells. Simply spoon the cheese mixture into the bag, cut off a small portion of one of the bottom corners and squeeze the cheese through the hole into the shells.) Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag.

Serving day instructions:
Defrost stuffed shells in the refrigerator. Pour 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce evenly over the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Place manicotti noodles in the sauce. Pour the remaining portion of sauce plus 1/2 cup hot water over the manicotti noodles (I just added the hot water to the jar and shook to incorporate.)

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until the manicotti shells are tender. Top with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese if you wish.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Soy/Ginger Marinated Flank Steak

1.8-2 lb. flank steak
1 c. soy sauce
1/3 – ½ c. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped ginger (may use bottled)
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic (may use bottled)
¼ c. vegetable oil (NOT olive oil)

Cut flank steak into 1” strips against grain and place in 1 gallon zip lock bag. Set aside. In blender combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and blend briefly. Slowly add the vegetable oil while the blender continues to whirl, about 15 seconds. Taste and adjust ginger or garlic to your liking. Pour directly into zip lock bag and refrigerate. Let marinade for at least 4 hours. Place on medium-hot grill and grill to liking.

This freezes really well. Once marinating, make sure all the air is out of the freezer bag and lay it flat on its side on a cookie sheet. When needed, just thaw in fridge and grill.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beef Teriyaki

16 oz top sirloin or beef tenderloin
Some oil for pan-frying


1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake


4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons sake
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons corn starch (mixed with 2 teaspoons water)


White sesame seeds
Some chopped scallions, optional


Slice the beef into thin pieces, across the grain. Marinate the beef with the Marinade, for about 20 minutes.

Mix all the ingredients in the Teriyaki Sauce. Heat up a small sauce pan and prepare the sauce. As soon as the sauce starts to bubble, remove it from the heat.

Add some oil to your skillet and pan-fry the beef, until slightly charred. Transfer the beef to a serving ware, and add the Teriyaki Sauce on top. Garnish with white sesame seeds and chopped scallions, if used. Serve the beef teriyaki immediately with steamed white rice.


Chicago Style Italian Beef


* 3 cups beef broth
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 teaspoon onion salt
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 (.7 ounce) packages dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
* 1 (4-5 pound) rump roast


1. Combine broth with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, bay leaves, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil. (If freezing beef, cool completely and add to beef in freezer bag.)
2. Place roast in slow cooker, and pour broth mixture over the meat.
3. Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.

Serve with Chicago style "giardiniera" relish and/or pepperoncinis and lots of juice. As they say in Chicago, "the wetter the better." (Note that while Chicago Italian beef sandwiches may also include Italian sausage as a "topping," true Chicago Italian beefs do not include melted cheese or sauteed onions. These are Philly beefs!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chili Mac

Editors’ Choice Cookbook Collection. From Cover and Bake.

Serves 6 to 8.

Reserve some of the pasta-cooking water so that it can be used to thin out the chili as needed. Ground turkey (1½ pounds) can be substituted for the ground beef. If you can’t find Co-Jack cheese, just substitute equal amounts of colby and Jack cheese instead.

PLANNING AHEAD: Follow the recipe through step 4, but do not sprinkle with cheese or bake. Wrap the chili mac tightly with plastic wrap and poke several vent holes with the tip of a paring knife. Refrigerate until cool, about 3 hours, then wrap it tightly with another sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. This dish can also be frozen, tightly covered with foil, for two months. Thaw for 24 hours hours in the refrigerator before baking.

TO BAKE: Allow the covered dish to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap, sprinkle with cheese, and cover tightly with foil. Remove the foil and continue to cook until cheese begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


1/2pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked pasta)
3tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
2medium onions , chopped medium
1red bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and chopped medium
6medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press
2tablespoons chili powder
1tablespoon ground cumin
1(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1(28-ounce) can tomato puree
1tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
8ounces Colby Jack (Co-Jack) cheese , shredded (about 2 2/3 cups)


  1. 1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the macaroni; cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and set aside.

  2. 2. Wipe the Dutch oven dry. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink and beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the beef through a colander, discarding the drippings, and set it aside.

  3. 3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the Dutch oven and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, red pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, brown sugar, the reserved pasta water, and the drained beef; bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, about 20 minutes.

  4. 4. Stir in the cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or a shallow casserole dish of similar size) and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and browned, about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Crab Quiche (Wilmington, NC Jr. League)

1 unbaked 10-inch deep-dish pie shell
2 cups drained, flaked backfin crabmeat
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions with white tops
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise (I used Duke's)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
pinch nutmeg
8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

Prick the bottom and sides of empty pie shell with a fork; bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Combine crab and green onions in small bowl and reserve. Mix evaporated milk and flour in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Beat in eggs. Add mayonnaise, dry mustard, nutmeg, and Worcestershire sauce and beat for a few seconds. Stir in crab mixture and then cheese, mixing well. (Mixture will be quite thick.) Pour filling into pre-baked pie shell; place on a baking sheet and into oven for 45 minutes or until firm. (If necessary, cover with foil to ensure center is set and crust doesn't get too brown.) Yields 6-8 servings.

Sweet and Sour Pork

2 lbs. pork tenderloin (cut into bite size pieces)
1 green bell pepper (cut into pieces)
1 red bell pepper (cut into pieces)
3 stalks scallions (only the white part, cut into 2 inch length)
1 piece fresh/canned pineapple ring (cut into small pieces) or 1 can pineapple chunks
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
Oil for frying


4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons rice wine


4 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
3 teaspoon plum sauce
1/8 + 1/4 teaspoons Chinese rice vinegar (transparent in color)
1 1/2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
3 teaspoons oyster sauce
3 teaspoons corn starch
3 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons water


Cut the pork tenderloin into pieces and marinate with the ingredients for 15-20 minutes.

Mix the sweet and sour sauce ingredients well and set aside.

In a deep skillet, add in the cooking oil (enough for searing the pork pieces). Once the oil is hot, fry the pork pieces until they turn golden brown. Dish out and drain on paper towels, if necessary.

Heat up a wok and add in some cooking oil. Add in the chopped garlic and stir fry until light brown, then follow by the bell peppers and pineapple pieces. Stir fry until you smell the peppery aroma from the peppers and then add in the sweet and sour sauce. As soon as the sauce thickens, transfer the pork into the wok and stir well with the sauce. Add in the chopped scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve hot with steamed white rice.

Grilled Stuffed Chicken-Breasts with Prosciutto and Fontina

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat and skin
Table Salt for brine
Vegetable Oil for cooking grate
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 med-large shallot, minced (about 4 1/2 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
3 ounces fontina cheese, rind removed, cut into four 3 by 1/2-inch sticks
6 thin slices prosciutto (about 3 ounces)
Ground black pepper
kitchen twine

1. Starting on thick side of breast, closest to breastbone, cut horizontal pocket in each breast, stopping 1/2 inch from edge so halves remain attached. Dissolve 4 1/2 Tbsp. salt in 1 1/2 quarts cold water in large container. Add breasts, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

2. Combine butter, shallot and sage in small bowl. Roll each piece of cheese in 1 slice of prosciutto. Remove breasts from brine, dry thoroughly inside and out with paper towels and season inside and out with pepper. Spread equal amount of butter mixture inside each breast. Place 1 prosciutto-wrapped piece of cheese inside each breast and fold breast over to enclose. Evenly space 3 pieces kitchen twine (each about 12 inches long) beneath each breast and tie, trimming any excess.

To prepare for freezing:

Follow all instructions above. Wrap each breast individually in cling wrap then place in freezer bag. Thaw in refrigerator before grilling and carefully remove wrap so as not to disturb twine ties and stuffing.

To Grill:

If using charcoal grill (recommended):

1. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, about 100 briquettes) and allow to burn until coals are fully ignited and partially covered with thin layer of ash, about 20 minutes. Arrange all coals over half of grill, leaving other half empty. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Grill is ready when coals are hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grate for 2 seconds).

2. Place chicken breasts, skin side down, over hot part of grill and cook until well browned, 3-5 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until second side is just opaque, about 2 minutes. Move chicken, skin side up, to cool side of grill, with thicker side of breasts facing fire. Cover grill and continue to cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of stuffing registers 160 degrees, 25-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, tented with foil, 10 minutes. Remove twine, then, if desired, carve breast meat from bone and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

If using gas-grill:

1. Turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat until hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Leave primary burner (burner that will stay on during grilling) on high and turn off other burner(s). Proceed with recipe step 2 from charcoal instructions, cooking chicken with lid closed and increasing cooking time on cooler side of grill to 30-40 minutes.

Note: May also prepare stuffed with Black Forest Ham and Gruyere - substitute 1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme for sage and add 1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard to butter in step 2. Substitute 6 slices Black Forest Ham for prosciutto and Gruyere cheese for fontina.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Basil Grilled Chicken with Basil Butter

3/4 tsp pepper
6 chicken breasts
1/4 c butter, melted
4 tsp dried basil

Basil Butter:
1/2 c butter, softened
2 tbls minced fresh basil
1 tbls shredded Parmesan
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Prepare grill. Combine pepper, melted butter, and dried basil together to make basting butter. Brush chicken with basting mixture. Grill chicken over medium heat 8-10 min each side, basting frequently with basting mixture. Meanwhile, combine softened butter, fresh basil, parmesan, garlic powder, salt & pepper; mix well. Serve grilled chicken with dollop of basil butter on top.

To Freeze: Prepare basting butter & basil butter and place separately in small freezer bag. Place in large gallon baggie along with chicken breasts. Freeze.

To Serve: Thaw 25 hours. Prepare according to above directions.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pork BBQ

2 pounds pork country style spare ribs
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 TBS worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp tabasco (optional...I use it)
1 tsp mustard
2 TBS brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika

Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the meat which has been browned. Cover and place in a 325 degree oven for three hours. (You can check after 2 but I usually find it falls apart better after 3 hours.) Using forks pull apart all the meat ...shred it. If the sauce is to runny for your taste you may cook it down on the stove top.

For our group I made one and a half batches for each family.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baked Fish Steaks with Creole Sauce

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 small bay leaf
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
2 - 2.5 lbs. fish steaks (salmon, cod, swordfish...I used swordfish) - 6 steaks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter flat 9 x 13 pan, and place fish steaks inside. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Saute peppers and onion until tender, but not browned. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add wine and cook 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, cloves, salt and sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes. Pour creole sauce over fish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until fish can be flaked easily with fork.

To Freeze: Use fresh fish steaks. Bake fish in a flat casserole lined with heavy-duty foil and buttered (or use a foil casserole dish) at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool. Freeze. Remove foil-wrapped fish from casserole, if using this method. Wrap top with foil and overwrap with plastic wrap or plastic bag. Return to freezer.

To serve: Unwrap and return to casserole dish (if frozen in foil). Bake in a 425 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until thoroughly hot and cooked.

Penne with Shrimp, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 3 tbsp. oil reserved
1.5 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
1 3/4 -2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil (reserve 1/2 for end of recipe)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 2/3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb. penne pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oil reserved from tomatoes in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to bowl. Add sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp, ½ of the basil, and all of the garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper to same skillet and sauté until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp mixture to bowl with asparagus. Add broth, wine, and tomato paste to same skillet. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return pasta to same pot. Add shrimp mixture, sauce, remaining basil, and cheese to pasta. Toss over medium heat until warmed through and sauce coats pasta. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Freezer Preparation

In large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté asparagus in 2-3 tbsp. olive oil (if you are not opening jars of sun-dried tomatoes) for 2-3 minutes and remove with slotted spoon while still crisp. In same pan add chicken broth, wine and tomato paste and boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Allow asparagus and broth to cool separately and then combine in freezer bag. Save shrimp preparation until day of serving.

To serve from freezer

Use reserved tomato oil to sauté shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs & spices as described in recipe. Transfer shrimp mixture to a bowl when done. Add thawed asparagus/sauce mixture to same skillet and warm, covered, until asparagus reaches desired tenderness (crisp-tender). Follow remainder of recipe regarding pasta preparation and combining.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Spinach-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Cranberry Reduction

2 1-pound pork tenderloins
4 cups torn fresh spinach (or partial box frozen chopped spinach - thawed)
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup frozen apple-cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Slice the tenderloin lengthwise, almost all of the way through, making a pocket. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet cook the spinach in a small amount of water just until wilted. If using frozen, skip this step. Drain spinach well. In a small bowl combine the spinach, artichoke hearts, cheese and rosemary. Spoon spinach mixture into the pocket in the tenderloin (filling will be exposed). Place in a shallow roasting pan, stuffing side up. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat registers 160 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine apple-cranberry juice concentrate and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil. Boil gently about 15-25 minutes or until mixture measures 2/3 cup. Spoon juice reduction over the tenderloin during the last 10 minutes of roasting. To serve, bias-slice the pork.

To prepare from frozen:

Thaw tenderloin. Thaw spinach and drain well. Thaw 1/2 artichoke heart mixture per tenderloin. Thaw 1/2 of juice reduction mixture per tenderloin. Combine about 1/2 of the packaged spinach with the artichoke heart mixture and stuff into tenderloin opening. Place tenderloin in to roasting pan. Roast at 425 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Pour juice reduction over tenderloin and continue roasting for 10 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees.

Mock Lobster (marinated chicken breasts) - Jill Rockwell


• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1/2 cup pineapple juice
• 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
• drawn butter for dipping


1. In a saucepan, combine the soy sauce, oil, garlic salt, pepper, brown sugar, mustard powder, ginger and pineapple juice. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. When cooled, place the chicken into a large resealable bag and pour the marinade over it. Press out as much air as you can, seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate or freeze until ready to use.
2. Preheat a grill for medium-low heat. When hot, lightly oil the grate.
3. If frozen, defrost chicken in refrigerator for 24 hours. Place the thawed chicken on the grill and discard the marinade. Cook until chicken juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes, turning as needed to keep the chicken from burning. Serve with individual ramekins of drawn butter.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jamaican Beef Dumplings

1/2 cup finely chopped scallion
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
4 cups vegetable oil, divided
1/2 pound ground beef
2 TBS finely dried bread crumbs
Hot sauce (preferably Jamaican; I used Anthony's Jamaican Jerk Sauce, not hot for kids sake)
30 dumpling wrappers

Cook scallion, onion, curry powder, and thyme in 1 1/2 TBS oil with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in beef and bread crumbs and cook until meat is just cooked through about 3 minutes. Season with hot sauce and Cool.

Put a rounded tsp filling in center of wrapper. Lightly brush the edge of wrapper with water and then fold in half diagonally and press and seal. Form remaining dumplings.

Heat 1 inch of oil to 350 degrees in a 12 inch skillet. Fry dumplings in 3 batches, turning once or twice until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per batch.

If Freezing flash freeze on cookie sheets and then bag.
I tried frying them directly in oil from frozen as well as thawing on paper towels and patting dry and then fry as above. Both worked well.
Jacey suggested fry frozen in a couple tablespoons of oil then add a 1/4 cup water and cover for a few minutes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kelly's Marinated Pork Tenderloin

4 tbls soy
2 tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pepper

Trim excess fat from pork tenderloins. Combine soy, olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, ground ginger, and pepper. Pour over tenderloins and marinate. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove pork from marinade and discard. Grill tenderloins over medium heat for 16 minutes, turning every 4 minutes, until done.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gingersnap Pot Roast

3 lb. beef chuck roast
1 tbsp. oil
1 cup water
8 gingersnaps, crumbled
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. beef bouillon granules (or 1 cube)
1/8 tsp. red pepper, ground
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & quartered
3 medium carrots or 2 parsnips, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bay leaf

Trim fat from roast. Cut if necessary to fit crock pot. In a large skillet brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine water, gingersnaps, vinegar, bouillon and red pepper. In a crock pot, place potatoes, carrots or parsnips, and bay leaf. Place meat atop vegetables. Pour gingersnap mixture over meat. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10-12 hrs. or high-heat setting for 5-6 hrs.

To prepare from frozen:
Thaw roast for 24 hrs in refrigerator. Peel and cut vegetables and place in crock pot. Add bay leaf. Place meat atop vegetables. Mix contents of Ziploc with water and vinegar and pour over roast. Cook as described.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Smoked Portobello Soup - Artists' Point, Walt Disney World Wilderness Lodge


9 medium Portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup sweet onions
1/2 cup Chardonnay
1 1/4 quarts heavy cream
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 1/4 cup white roux (1 stick butter and 1/2 cup flour, whisked over low heat until golden)
salt & pepper to taste

Garnishes (optional)

toasted croutons
chive oil
roasted Shitake mushrooms
sour cream


Clean the Portobellos by wiping them with a damp towel (do not wash!). Remove the mushroom gills (slats on the underside of the caps), scraping with a spoon. Slice three mushrooms in thirds and place slices on a prepared smoker. Leave covered for 1 hour (mushrooms will be chewy, dark and may appear burned). Roughly chop remaining six mushrooms into 1-inch chunks.

While mushrooms are smoking, sauté the onions lightly (to sweat). Add the unsmoked mushrooms to the onions. Add the garlic when the mushrooms are almost cooked. Add the smoked mushrooms. Stir to blend over low heat.

Add the Chardonnay and reduce by half. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

Place in a blender or food processor in batches or puree in pan over low heat with an immersion blender. Add the heavy cream slowly and continue to blend. Season to taste. Place the mixture back into the pot. (Unless you are using an immersion blender; then it is already in the pot.)

Whisk in the roux and let simmer for 20 minutes; soup will thicken significantly as soup simmers. Serve hot and garnish with: croutons, roasted Shitake mushrooms, a dollop of sour cream, chive oil, and cut chives.


Pre-heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Toss 1 cup of tiny cubes of French bread (cuts more easily if frozen slightly) with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until brown, about 10 minutes.

Chive Oil

1. Place 1 cup of light olive oil in a blender and add to that 1 cup of chives
2. Blend for 30 seconds and let rest for 1 hour
3. Strain through a fine sieve.

Roasted Shitake Mushrooms

Thinly slice 2 cups of Shitake Mushrooms. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 375 Fahrenheit until crispy and golden brown, turning as necessary. Cool and set aside.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brined Pork Chops with Blackberry Maple Sauce (as adapted from “Sweet Lorraine’s” in Michigan)

Brined Pork Chops

6 bone-in rib loin pork chops (12 ounces each), 1½ inches thick

1 ½ quarts water

3 tablespoons table salt

3 tablespoons sugar

Dissolve salt, sugar and add optional herbs in 1½ quarts water in medium container or gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Submerge chops and refrigerate for one hour. Note that if chops are frozen, the defrosting process can take place in the brine (e.g., if defrosting process takes two hours, the last hour can take place in the brine.)

Rinse chops under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Grill until heated just through, approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until juices run clear.

QUICK BRINE METHOD: change brine ingredients slightly, increasing salt from 3 T to ¼ cup and decreasing water to 1 quart; soak in brine for 30 minutes, rather than one hour.

Blackberry Maple Sauce

Makes 6 servings

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (chilled and cubed)

8 tablespoons sugar

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup raspberry wine vinegar

1 1/2 pounds semi-frozen blackberries

1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth or stock

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dry thyme

2 tablespoons cornstarch, blended with 2 tablespoons cold water

1/4 cup port or brandy

1/4 cup dark real maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Heat 6 tablespoons butter in sauce pan until melted. Add sugar, stir. Continue to cook over medium heat until sugar melts and starts to turn amber (brush sides of pan with ice water to remove sugar crystals). Whisk mixture to combine the butter and sugar, add wine and orange juice (this will bubble up and the sugar will harden slightly). Continue to cook over medium heat until the sugar starts to melt, scraping bottom of pan if necessary. Add vinegar, semi-frozen blackberries, stock and herbs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Heat and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Strain sauce in a fine mesh, large strainer; it will take as long as 30 minutes to strain. Throw out solids and bring liquid back to a boil, reduce heat and whisk in cornstarch mix. Sauce will thicken slightly. Add port/brandy, maple syrup and salt, and whisk to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat, about 15 minutes. Blend in remaining 3 tablespoons cold butter. Remove from heat and add fresh blackberries.

Use sauce at once or store in refrigerator (to reheat do not bring to a boil but heat slowly over low heat). Yields: 4 cups.

Beef Poor Boys

6 slices bacon, partially cooked
1 lb ground beef
Lemon pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 (2 oz) can mushrooms, finely chopped
3 tbls finely chopped green olives
2 tbls finely chopped onions
2 tbls finely chopped green bell pepper

Pat ground beef onto waxed paper into a 9 x 10 1/2 x 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Sprinkle lightly with lemon pepper. Top with Parmesan. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over meat. Roll up jelly roll style, beginning from short end. Cut into 1 1/2" slices (makes 6). Wrap each slice with bacon and skewer with a toothpick. Grill over medium heat approx 8 minutes, turn and grill 8 more until done.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicken and Rice

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 to 6 large chicken breasts, sliced into medallions
1 1/2 cups rice
48 ounces chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can Cream of Chicken & Mushroom soup

Saute mushrooms, carrots, and celery with dried dill and black pepper in butter or margarine; about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid.

Add chicken broth and cream of chicken and mushroom soup to the vegetables, whisking until the soup is well-blended with the broth. Add chicken medallions. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate; cover to keep warm.

Bring liquid to a boil and add rice. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 20 minutes or until rice is done.

Return the chicken breast medallions to the pot and continue to cook over low heat until the chicken breasts are desired temperature. Serve.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chicken Satay

3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts

6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tsp. coriander
4 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. soy sauce
4 tsp. ginger, chopped
2 tbsp. lime juice
6 tbsp. oil

Mix marinade ingredients. Cut chicken into 1 1/2-2 inch cubes. Add to mixture and marinate at least two hours.
Soak skewers in water for 20 minutes. Thread chicken pieces onto one end of skewers. Broil or barbecue, basting with marinade. Serve with peanut sauce for dipping.

Peanut Sauce:
1 2/3 c. peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
1/2 tsp. hot chili sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5 tbsp. honey
1/4 -1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 c. lime juice
1/3 c. soy sauce
2/3 c. peanut oil

Mix ingredients together. Should have a sweet/hot peanut flavor. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly.

Frozen instructions:

Cut up chicken and place in freezer bag with marinade. Freeze immediately. Prepare peanut dipping sauce as directed and freeze.

To prepare from frozen, thaw chicken in refrigerator 24 hrs+. Cook as directed above. Thaw peanut sauce and serve room temperature with cooked chicken.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lasagne con le Verdure ~ Vegetable Lasagna

1 pound carrots, peeled, washed, and cut into 1/4 inch disks
6 TBS butter, plus additional butter for greasing the lasagna pan
6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
1 pound zucchini, soaked, washed and trimmed and sliced into 1/4 inch disks (see below for soaking info)
1 pound broccoli
Oven Bake lasagna noodles

For the Béchamel:
3 cups milk
5 TBS butter
4 1/2 TBS flour
pinch of salt

1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 3/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

* After slicing the zucchini place it in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with 2 TBS of fine salt. Mix well and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes to give it time to throw off as much liquid as possible. Pat dry with paper towels.

Choose a skillet that can subsequently accommodate the carrots loosely. Put in 1 1/2 TBS of the butter, 2 of the garlic cloves and turn on the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes colored light brown and remove from the pan.
Add the carrots and 3 TBS of water. Cook the carrots stirring from time to time, until they are tender, but firm, somewhat shrunken, and a light brown color.Do not let them break up. When done, add salt and transfer to a small mixture bowl.

In a clean skillet large enough to accommodate the zucchini loosely, put in 1 1/2 TBS of the butter and 2 more cloves of garlic. Turn on the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes colored a light brown remove it from the pan. Add the sliced zucchini and cook them as you did the carrots. When they have shrunk, becoming colored a light brown, and are tender but firm, add salt stir, then transfer them from the pan to a small mixing bowl.

Wash the broccoli in cold water then peel away the hard green skin from the stems. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt then drop in the broccoli. Cook until nearly tender, but still firm. Drain as soon as it is cool enough to handle cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Put 2 TBS of the butter and the remaining 2 cloves garlic in a clean skillet and turn the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes colored a light brown remove it. Put in the broccoli pieces and cook, turning them frequently, until they are tender but not mushy. Transfer them from the pan into a third mixing bowl.

Make the béchamel sauce. When done mix into it the grated nutmeg and 1 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside 1/2 cup of the béchamel and divide the rest into 3 equal parts. ( I doubled the sauce). Into each of the 3 bowls containing the cooked vegetables mix 1 of the 3 portions of béchamel. Taste and correct seasonings

Smear the bottom of the pan generously with butter. Spread 2 TBS béchamel over the bottom of the buttered pan. Line the bottom with a layer of noodles, fitting them edge to edge. (Do not over lap).

Turn oven to 400 degrees.
Spread half the zucchini and béchamel mixture over the pasta. If doesn't matter if there is enough to cover the pasta completely as long as any gaps are filmed lightly with béchamel. Sprinkle some grated cheese evenly over this layer.

Cover the zucchini with a layer of pasta, always edge to edge with out over laps.

Spread half the carrot mixture and béchamel mixture over the pasta in the same manner you spread the zucchini topping with a layer of grated cheese, and covering with a layer of pasta. Continue in the same manner with the broccoli and then repeat the above operations until you have used all the vegetables. Top with a layer of pasta and spread remaining béchamel sauce. Top with cheese. Dot with remaining tablespoons of butter. Place the pan in the uppermost part of the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes until a light golden crust forms on top. Allow to settle for 10 minutes before serving.

Freezer method: Make up until the baking part and cover with foil. Freeze. Thaw in fridge for 24 hours cook 45 minutes to an hour until golden. You may need to cover with foil.

( I confess when I make this for my family I mash the garlic and leave it in:)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Black Bean Soup

4 cans black beans, rinsed, drained (15 ounces each)
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf

Half the beans and broth

Saute in 2 tablespoons olive oil:
1 cup white onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Pinch each of sugar and salt

Deglaze with; Add:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (15 ounces)

Serve with:
pico de gallo

Simmer beans and broth in a large pot over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and half of the broth mixture.

Puree remaining bean mixture in the pot with a hand-held stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Return reserved beans to the pot; keep warm over low heat.

Saute onion, garlic, and seasonings in oil in a non-stick skillet until soft, about 5 minutes.

Deglaze pan with vinegar, then add tomatoes and their juice. Simmer to reduce slightly, then mash tomatoes lightly. Add to soup and cook another 5 minutes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cream Cheese & Chives Chicken Packets

2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
3 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 tbls fresh chives, chopped
2 tbls milk
Salt, to taste
Seasoned croutons, crushed
2 packages crescent rolls
2 tbls melted butter

Cook and shred 2 chicken breasts to make 2 cups. Mix chicken, cream cheese, chives, milk, and salt in medium sized bowl. Unroll crescent rolls and split into 4 rectangular pieces per can, pushing triangular seams together. Scoop approximately 1/4 cup of chicken mixture onto dough on one end leaving room along the edges for sealing. Fold over other side of dough and press to close. Brush each packet with melted butter and sprinkle with crushed croutons to coat as desired. Bake, at 350, for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot or cold. Makes 8 packets.

To freeze: Prepare according to directions through sealing of chicken packets. Wrap in saran wrap and flash freeze. When frozen place packets in gallon baggie and seal. Place crushed croutons in quart size baggie and package with packets.

Serving Day: Thaw for 24 hours in fridge. Preheat oven to 350. Unwrap chicken packets and brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with crouton crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Manicotti (as inspired by Maggiano’s)

The manicotti can be prepared until baking point, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the manicotti in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 1-1/4 hours.

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound spinach, stemmed, washed, blanched and roughly chopped
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (poached and shredded by hand or with forks)
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Italian blend)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles (Barilla preferred)
1 recipe, garlic Parmesan-Asiago sauce (see below)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook until all liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add poached chicken, spices, and mix well. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, 1½ cups mozzarella, and eggs in medium bowl. Fold into mushroom, chicken, and spinach mixture, adjusting seasonings to taste. Prepare noodles by pouring 1 inch boiling water into baking dish or deep cookie sheet; add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry. Spread dish evenly with enough sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a measuring cup, spread a generous 1/4 cup of the filling evenly onto the bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (Add more filling to the ends, if necessary.) Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta edges are completely covered. Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Remove baking dish, adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element), and heat broiler. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining ½ cup mozzarella. Broil until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve.

Garlic Parmesan-Asiago Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups ½ and ½
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan (I used ½ cup Parmesan and ½ cup Sorrento “Italian cheese blend”)

Heat the butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant but not brown. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the cream and ½ and ½ and whisk until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. (It may separate, but keep stirring to combine.) Remove from heat and add the chives, cayenne, and cheese, whisking to melt/combine. Use as indicated with manicotti.

Recipe submitted by Jill

Beef Braciole

Beef Braciole from the Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, SC

1 flank steak (about 1 ½ lbs.), butterflied in half lengthwise and flattened/pounded slightly
4 T. olive oil, divided
1/4 c. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 T. chopped fresh sage
¼ pound thinly sliced pancetta
1-2 Italian sausage links
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1/2 bottle dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 26 oz. jar of marinara sauce (about 1 1/2 c.)
salt and pepper

Open flank steak on work surface. Sprinkle steak generously with salt and pepper, then rub with 1 T olive oil, and sprinkle with parsley, oregano, thyme, and sage. Arrange pancetta slices evenly atop herbs. Arrange sausages crosswise about 2 inches from one of the short ends of the steak. Beginning at short end near sausages, roll up the steak into a log. Tie string around steak at 2 inch intervals. (Can do this 1 day ahead.) Cover and chill. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat remaining 3 T. olive oil in large ovenproof pan. Add steak and cook until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Add beef broth and wine, then marinara sauce. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Roast until steak is tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Transfer meat to platter and tent to keep warm. Reduce sauce to about 4 cups, about 15 minutes (it is a light sauce; it doesn’t thicken a great deal). Slice braciole into 1 inch slices and serve sauce on top. Serve with pasta or polenta.

Recipe submitted by Jill

Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Cream Scones

Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Cream Scones

Jill Rockwell (these are a Miller family favorite!)

Ingredients (Makes 10 small or 8 large scones)
3 cups bread flour
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons coarse sugar for topping


Cut two 10-inch circles of parchment or waxed paper. Use one to line a 10-inch round cake pan. Reserve the second piece. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the cream to the flour mixture and stir by hand just until the batter is evenly moistened. Place the dough into the lined cake pan and press into an even layer. Cover the dough with the second parchment paper circle. Freeze the dough until very firm, at least 12 hours. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray or lining with parchment paper. Thaw the dough for 5 minutes at room temperature; turn it out of the cake pan onto a cutting board. Cut the dough into 10 equal wedges and place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush the scones with milk and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake the scones until golden brown, 30–40 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to cooling racks. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.

Dried Cherry Scones
Omit the coarse sugar. Add one cup of dried cherries to the dry ingredients just before blending in the cream. Follow the remaining method as stated above. Mix the milk and confectioners' sugar together to make a glaze and spoon over the scones while they are still warm.

Ham, Cheddar, and Scallion Scones
Omit the coarse sugar topping, substituting coarse salt and Parmesan cheese. (Note that sugar is still included in dry ingredients). Add one cup of medium-dice ham, one-half cup of medium dice Cheddar cheese, one-half cup of sliced scallions, and 1 teaspoon cayenne to the dry ingredients just before blending in the cream. Follow the remaining method as stated above. Have also substituted mini chocolate chips, toffee chips, blueberries, and cranberries/orange peel.

Corn Bisque

Corn Bisque – serves 8

Jill Rockwell (as adapted from Magnolia Grill’s “Not Afraid of Flavor” and the Junior League of Durham and Orange County’s “Carolina Thyme”)

4 oz thick cut bacon, sliced into ½ inch pieces
¾ cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 roasted yellow peppers (grilled, peeled, cored, seeded, and diced)
4 ears of corn (husked, grilled, and cut off cobs) or 4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
1 Serrano chile (seeded and minced)
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
pinch of nutmeg
salt and fresh pepper to taste


Sauté bacon over medium high heat in heavy stock pot until fully cooked. Remove bacon and reserve for garnish. Remove and discard all but 3 tablespoons of rendered fat. Add onions, carrot, celery, and garlic and sauté 5 minutes, or until tender. Add corn and yellow and Serrano peppers, and sauté 3 minutes. Add wine and sauté 5 minutes more, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 30 minutes. With handheld immersion blender, puree soup until texture is smooth and thick. (Or, working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return soup to pot.) Mix in half and half, thyme, marjoram, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved bacon.