My favorite mag --- Cookbook Digest. Check it out, it's great!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These are great served with the pot roast. If you don't love garlic, cut down on the amount you use. Never use an electric mixer to mash potatoes, it breaks down the gluten and makes them gluey. Mash with a fork, or use a hand masher. Lumps are good.

Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 medium head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon romano or parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Drizzle garlic with olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop. Stir in butter, milk, cheese, and salt and pepper.
Remove the garlic from the oven, and cut in half. Squeeze the softened cloves into the potatoes. Mash to desired consistency.

Pot Roast

Pot roast is one of my favorite dinners. It takes longer to cook, because you have to melt that tough connective tissue, but you don't actually have to do much to it. Turn it to a low simmer, and let it cook away. Make sure you use a pan with a tight fitting lid, or your pot roast may turn out dry. If using a slow cooker, just brown the meat, then put it in the cooker. Serve with a spinach salad and garlic mashed potatoes, or add carrots and potatoes to the pot.

Pot Roast

3 to 4 lb of beef shoulder or boneless chuck roast
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup of red wine

Use a thick-bottomed covered pot, such as a dutch oven, just large enough to hold roast and vegetables. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat (hot enough to sear the meat). Sprinkle and rub salt and pepper all over the meat. Brown roast in pot, all over, several minutes on each side. Don't move the roast while a side is browning, or it won't brown well.

When roast is browned, add garlic and chopped onion to the bottom of the pan. Let the roast sit on top of the onions. Add 1/2 cup of red wine. Cover. Bring to simmer and then adjust the heat down to the lowest heat possible to maintain a low simmer when covered.

Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until meat is tender.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cucumber Salad

This is a simple cucumber salad, and it's great for when you have a surplus of cucumbers. Tasty.

Cucumber Salad
2 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cucumber, unpeeled and thinly sliced

1. In medium bowl, with wire whisk, mix vinegar, salt, sugar, and oil until blended.
2. Add cucumber and toss to coat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Corned Beef Hash

Don't wrinkle your nose like that. This stuff is actually good. I like to shred the corned beef, not chop it, but you can chop it if you want. Use leftover baked potatoes from last night's dinner; if you don't have leftovers, nuke one in the microwave, poking it full of holes with a knife and turning it over halfway through the cooking time.

Corned Beef Hash

* 2 to 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
* 2 cups cooked corned beef
* 3 cups cooked, chopped potatoes
* 1/2 cup chopped onion

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add corned beef, potatoes, and minced onion; spread evenly in the skillet. Brown on one side; turn with a spatula and brown the other side. Continue turning until most of the meat and potatoes are well-browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with fried egg on top.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jamaican Jerk Shrimp

This is one of my favorite meals; it's quick, easy, and delicious. I love shrimp, and it's quick cooking and economical. If you don't want to fire up the grill for the five minutes, tops, that it takes to cook this, broil them in the oven. Careful, though; shrimp doesn't take long to get tough, and this requires only about a minute for each side.

1 dozen large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large clove garlic, minced

Mix all spices together. Toss the shrimp in the bowl to coat well.

Then grill, 1 to 2 minutes on the first side, about 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other. You can thread them on skewers first if you want; it makes them easier to turn. Make sure you soak wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes before you do it, though, or you'll set your skewers on fire.

If you absolutely don't have the five minutes it takes to make this seasoning, you can buy a reasonable alternative. I've used this kind before, and it's pretty good.
Jamaica Jerk Salt Free Seasoning Blend 1 lb: C

Here's my apron for when I'm cooking shrimp:

Who ordered the Jumbo Shrimp?

Black Beans and Rice

This is one of my favorite dishes. I serve it with chopped raw onions on the top, and lime wedges and avocado slices on the side. It's also great without the rice, and potatoes as a side dish. I roast them in the oven with olive oil and garlic. Great economical dish with wonderful taste.

Black Beans and Rice

Makes 7 Cups

* 1 lb. Dried Black Beans (3 cups)
* 8 cups Water
* 6 Cloves Garlic; Crushed
* 2 Tbs. Dried Oregano
* 1 Bay Leaf
* 2 tsp. Olive Oil
* 1 Large Onion; Chopped
* 1 Red Bell Pepper; Chopped
* 1 Tbs. Ground Cumin
* 1 Jalapeno Pepper; Seeded and Chopped
* 2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
* 1 tsp. Salt
* Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
* 2 cups Long-Grain White Rice

Soak beans in cold water overnight making sure all beans are covered by 2-inches of water.
Drain and rinse beans.
Place in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
Add 4 cups of water, garlic, oregano, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. cover and simmer until beans are tender, approximately 2-hours.
Remove bay leaf and discard.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally until softened for about 5-minutes.
Add cumin and jalapeno, cook, stirring until softened for approximately 1-minute more.
Stir onion mixture and vinegar into beans.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring remaining 4 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil.
Add rice, cover and reduce heat to low. simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 to 20-minutes.
Serve the beans over the rice with lime wedges on the side of the serving dish.