Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Foodie Holidays: Week 4

Oct. 22: Nut Day
Oct. 23: Canning Day, Boston Cream Pie Day
Oct. 24: Bologna Day
Oct. 25: Greasy Foods Day, World Pasta Day
Oct. 26: Pretzel Day, Mince Meat Pie Day, Pumpkin Day
Oct. 27: Potato Day, American Beer Day
Oct. 28: Chocolate Day, Wild Foods Day
Oct. 29: Oatmeal Day
Oct. 30: Buy-a-Doughnut Day, Candy Corn Day
Oct. 31: Trick or Treat for UNICEF Day

Consider including an appendix to your cookbook, with tips and tricks from seasoned cooks. All the snarky remarks about Millennials not knowing how to do this or that, taking classes on so-called mundane things... this is the sort of information, the everyday stuff that "everyone knows," yet no one seems to know anymore. Find the people who have the common sense stuff, and gather those pearls!

I received this tip from one of my husband's grandmothers, who planned a wedding reception for her daughter.

How many nuts to buy?
According to Grandma W., you need 1 1/2 lbs. of mixed nuts for 50 people at a party (or reception, wedding, etc.).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Foodie Holidays: Week 3

Oct. 15: Chicken Cacciatore Day, Roast Pheasant Day
Oct. 16: World Bread Day, World Food Day
Oct. 17: Pasta Day
Oct. 18: Chocolate Cupcake Day
Oct. 19: Seafood Bisque Day, Oatmeal Muffin Day
Oct. 20: Brandied Fruit Day
Oct. 21: Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, Caramel Apple Day, Apple Day

Several of the men on my husband's side are avid outdoorsmen. Game is often on the menu (watch out for the birdshot!), and it is from one of those men that I have this recipe, from my mother-in-law's brother. (Yeah, I know it's not "Roast Pheasant," I didn't have one for roast pheasant.)

"Famous" Pheasant
pheasant breasts
2 Tbsp. soy sauce, or to taste
Directions: Cut pheasant breasts in strips or chunks and dredge in flour. Place in a skillet well greased with butter. Cook on low (250ºF) until brown. Add soy sauce. Cook 20-22 minutes. Serve on wild rice or dressing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October Foodie Holidays: Week 2

Oct. 8: Fluffernutter Day, Pierogi Day
Oct. 9: Submarine/Hoagie/Hero/Grinder Day
Oct. 10: Angel Food Cake Day
Oct. 11: Sausage Pizza Day, World Dulce de Leche Day
Oct. 12: Gumbo Day
Oct. 13: Yorkshire Pudding Day
Oct. 14: Chocolate-Covered Insects Day, Dessert Day

This next recipe has two parts, that includes a spice mixture that could be used for other recipes. When you're putting together your index, be sure you index all the recipes. The next edition of the family cookbook may have enough of these spice mixes to have their own chapter; we'll see...

This comes from my other sis-in-law, who has had some culinary training, which she took for fun.

Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo
1/3 C. vegetable oil OR butter or margarine
1/3 C. flour
Cajun Spice mixture (follows)
1 onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1-2 bay leaves
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
8 oz. fresh okra OR green beans
4 C. boiling chicken broth
4 oz. spicy sausage, cooked and drained
3 dried chili peppers
1 C. chopped tomatoes (canned is fine)
1 lb. shrimp (shelled or not)
1 C. cooked shredded chicken
1/2 C. chopped parsley, if desired

Directions: Make the roux in an 8 qt. pot by melting butter and adding flour until mixture is lumpy. Season with Cajun Spice mixture to taste (1-2 Tbsp.). Stir mixture constantly over medium heat until mixture is dark in color and set aside. Sauté onion, green pepper, celery and garlic in 2 Tbsp. oil. Cook until onion is soft. Add thyme, paprika, bay, salt, pepper, cayenne and okra (I use green beans). Cook okra another 3-5 minutes until soft and dark. In the 8 qt. pot combine the roux and vegetable mixture. Stir in broth, sausage, chicken, dried chili peppers and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes. Before serving, add shrimp and cayenne as desired. Cook until shrimp are pink. Simmer, serve and garnish with parsley.
Comments: You can really add anything to this that you like. It freezes well, and is easy to double the recipe. Enjoy!

Cajun Spice Mixture
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. pepper

Directions: Combine and store in an airtight container. Makes about 2/3 C.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Foodie Holidays: Week 1

October is National Apple Month, Applejack Month, Caramel Month, Chili Month, Cookie Month, Dessert Month, Pasta Month, Pickled Peppers Month, Pork Month, Pretzel Month, Seafood Month, and Vegetarian Awareness Month.

Oct. 1: World Vegetarian Day, Homemade Cookies Day
Oct. 2: Fried Scallops Day
Oct. 3: Caramel Custard Day
Oct. 4: Cinnamon Roll Day (Sweden), Taco Day, Vodka Day
Oct. 5: Apple Betty Day
Oct. 6: Noodle Day
Oct. 7: Frappe Day

This recipe was taught to my mother by her aunt (her mother's sister). It's a holiday recipe, because they're a pain to make (literally! – your shoulders get a workout with the rolling pin). Pasta rollers largely remove the labor from these, especially one of the fancy ones that attach to a stand mixer, but Mom makes them by hand, when she does.

Homemade Noodles
2 C. flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 C. water
Directions: Make a well in the center of flour. Add egg yolks, egg, and salt; mix thoroughly. Mix in water 1 Tbsp. at a time, until dough is stiff but easy to roll. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll one part at a time into a paper-thin rectangle on a generously floured board. Keep remaining dough covered. Loosely fold the rectangle into thirds. Cut crosswise into 1/4” strips. Unfold strips and place on towels until stiff and dry, about 2 hours. Break strips into smaller pieces. Cook in 3 qt. boiling broth until tender, 5-7 minutes.