JANUARY: Crunchy Coconut Shrimp With Thai Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

24 large shrimp, about 2 lbs.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup of pineapple juice
1/4 cup of milk
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
3.5 cups of vegetable oil
3.5 cups of organic unsweetened shredded coconut

Shell, rinse and dry the shrimp.

Combine rest of ingredients in a blender. Transfer to a bowl and add the shrimp, a few at a time.

Heat to oil to 350 on a deep fat thermometer. Remove shrimp from batter, drip off excess batter. Dip in coconut and coat fully. Drop into boiling oil a few at a time. Turn, cook until golden brown, about two minutes. Remove to paper towels and drain.

Serve with THAI DIPPING SAUCE

Ingredients:

3 Jalapeno’s seeded
8 cloves of garlic
2 T. fresh ginger
1/3 cup chopped fresh lemon grass
peel and juice of 1 lime
2 c. pineapple chunks with the juice.
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Grind all ingredients in a cuisinart and serve with Coconut Shrimp or other appropriate appetizer.

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FEBRUARY: Braised Fennel And Endive

I was looking for a more interesting green vegetable to serve with a Lamb Cassoulet just recently and came up with this.

Rinse and slice 2 heads of fennel into 1/2 inch slices retaining the core (remove fronds).

Rinse and slice 6 endives in half lengthwise.

Slice 2 leeks, rinse in cold salted water to remove dirt, and drain.

6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 – 2/3 cups of dry white wine
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper
Herbed bread brumbs (optional)

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Saute the fennel, turning until brown on both sides. Add 1/4 cup of wine and simmer while it reduces. Remove to a glass baking dish or gratinee pan. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and saute the endive until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup of wine and simmer until it reduces. Add to the baking dish. Add the last tablespoon of butter and saute the leeks. Sprinkle over the vegetables in the dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with the cheese and bread crumbs if you are using them.

Turn on the broiler and brown lightly until the cheese is brown and bubbly. You may continue to heat or hold in a 300 degree oven. Definitely better then broccoli for a change. You can also use celery in this dish for a triple white vegetable treat.

 

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MARCH: Sharon’s Sunday Baked Beans

Ingredients:

8 cups of navy beans.
2 cups of chopped onion
12 cloves of garlic, sliced
2.5 cups of molasses
2 cups of dark rum
1.5 cups of ketchup
2 T. dry mustard
2 T. salt
1 tsp pepper
5 bay leaves
1.5 c. brown sugar
1 can of tomato paste

Soak overnight, changing the water several times. (Start around 6 PM so you don’t have to stay up all night.)

In the morning, drain the beans and put in a large pot. Cover with enough water, bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for 1.5 hours. Keep checking for water and add if necessary. Drain.

While the beans are simmering prepare the other ingredients.

Mix the drained beans with the remaining ingredients. Place in a deep baking dish such as one for lasagna, cover with boiling water, and seal with aluminum foil.

Bake at 300 degrees for 6-8 hours until rich and the water is absorbed. Check during baking to be certain the bean mixture has not dried out. You may need to add more water, as each oven is different.

Serve with lots of Purple Chef Apple Chutney and a fruited green salad. A perfect Sunday night dinner.

 

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APRIL: No Bake Chocolate Custard

Last Valentines Day when I was looking for that special dessert for two I found this recipe. When I made it I thought, wow, this is the best chocolate custard I have ever had, I should have doubled the recipe. By the time that we ate it after dinner, it had set up to a rich chocolate mousse and neither of us could finish it. Takes 20 minutes and makes 2 very rich servings. YUM. Compliments of Food and Wine.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup milk
3 T sugar
1 large egg yolk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, plus shaving chocolate
pinch of salt
2 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of ground cinnamon

In a small sauce pan place the milk and 2 T of the sugar. Heat until steaming and the sugar is dissolved. Put the egg yolk in a small bowl and gradually whish in the steaming milk. Return to the pan and cook, whisking, till slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the chopped chocolate and the salt and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter. Pour into two stemmed glasses and refrigerate for 5 minutes if you want to eat it immediately. ( this way you can eat the whole thing )

Beat the heavy cream with the cinnamon and 1 T. of sugar. Remove glasses from the frig and pipe with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.

To serve later wait until the last minute and do the cream. Now this is decadent!!

 

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MAY: Spicy Mexican-style Hors D’oeuvre

If you want a quick and easy spicy Mexican-style hors d’oeuvre, try this.

Ingredients:

1/2 to 3/4 of a jar of my Purple Chef Jalapeno & Tomato Marmalade
8 Ounces of Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
5 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature.
1/2 jar sliced pickled Jalapeno’s. I used the medium heat
1 package of soft white flour taco’s, ten to a pack
Small tup of sour cream

Place 5 taco’s on the counter. Spread 1 ounce of cream cheese on each and then spread 1.5 T. of Jalapeno Tomato Marmalade on top of the cream cheese.

Scatter with pickled Jalapeno slices, cover with shredded cheese, and place the other Taco shells on top.

Heat a wide skilled and one by one grill the sandwich until browned on both sides and the cheese has melted. Cut each into 8 triangles.

Serve hot with sour cream for dipping.

Enjoy with a good cold beer in the summer, or anytime.

 

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JUNE: Beets In Horseradish Sauce

Boil 4-6 medium to large beets in water until soft. Run under cold water. The skins will peel right off.

Combine:

2 T. Heavy Cream
4 T. full fat yogurt ( or no fat if you prefer )
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. ground fennel
2 tsp fennel vinegar, or you may substitute rice wine vinegar
2 Tsp. freshly grated horseradish, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the beets and combine with sauce.

Serve warm with salmon and asparagus for a perfect Spring dinner.

 

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JULY: Chocolate Chewies

Ingredients:

3 cups firmly packed 10x sugar
7 T. level packed cocoa
2 T flour
3 egg whites ( 1/2 cup )
2 cups finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In mixer bowl combine 10x, flour and cocoa. mix thoroughly.

Add egg whites and beat at high speed for one minute. Stir in pecans.

Drop by fully rounded T. on parchment paper, one inch apart.

Bake 15 minutes, Cool on paper

A friend asked me to make these cookies for someone who could not eat flour. I substituted Potato Starch Flour for the 2 T. The only difference that I noticed was that they were not as high. Otherwise this worked perfectly.

 

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AUGUST: Goat Cheese Spread

Delicious accompanied with Purple Chef Tomato MarmaladeJalapeno & Tomato MarmaladeApple Chutneyor Mango Chutney.

Ingredients:

1 lb. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. goat cheese, softened

1) Place cream cheese and goat cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Blend by pulsing until all ingredients are combined.

2) Transfer the mixture into a pie dish, a large flat plate, or individual ramikens. Cover with plastic wrap if not using inmediately.

3) To serve, place marmalade or chutney on top of goat cheese spread and serve with water crackers or toasted french bread.

Optional flavoring if using as a spread without marmalade or chutney:

2 tbs. fresh herbs, chopped
or
1 tbs. fresh orange, lemon or lime zest

Add flavorings at the end of step 1 and then process with steps 2 and 3.

 

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SEPTEMBER: Parsnip Tart

Ingredients:

Tart pastry or already prepared shell
4 tbsp Purple Chef Orange Marmalade
1 1/2 cups pureed cooked parsnips
4 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 orange, grated rind
3 oz package cream cheese, softened
6 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp chopped toasted almonds or walnuts

1) Prepare pastry to fit a 10-inch tart pan; partially bake and let cool. Heat oven to 400 degrees

2) Heat marmalade until melted and coat the inside of the pastry shell with it.

3) Mix together all ingredients, reserving 4 tbsp sugar and nuts. Pour mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Combine the 4 tbsp sugar and nuts and sprinkle them over the tart. Bake for 15 more minutes or until set. Cool before serving.

 

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OCTOBER: Sweet Potato-chocolate Nut Cake

Ingredients:

4 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts

1) Butter and lightly flour a 10 inch tube pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate and vanilla over a double boiler.

2) Sift together all dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the sweet potatoes and oil together, then beat in the eggs one by one until well blended. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix well; stir in nuts.

3) Put 1/3 of the mixture in another bowl and stir in the chocolate. Alternate the batters in a tube pan, as you would with a marble cake. With a knife, cut through the two batters to swirl together.

4) Bake for 1-1 1/4 hours or until the sides have shrunk away from the pan, the top is springy, and the tester comes out dry. Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

5) For sugar glaze: beat 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water into 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar until the mixture forms a rich consistancy. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

 

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NOVEMBER: Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Ingredients:

Corn flake and bran flake and cereals
Eggs
Diced onions
Finely chopped carrots and celery, with a little garlic
Sliced mushrooms
Chopped parsley
Chopped walnuts
White wine
Salt and pepper
Fresh thyme

Additional items according to whim:
diced apricots, dried cranberries, chopped apples, golden raisins

Crunch up the cereals. Saute the onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms in oil. Add that to the cereal.

Beat the eggs with some wine or sherry and add that to the mix til it is just right, as Bubby used to say. Add the chopped walnuts and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme (just a pinch if you are using dried thyme).

Then add one or two of the dried fruits as the mood strikes, or the larder provides.

Sometimes I saute the walnuts and mushrooms in Harvey’s Bristol Cream. That idea came from another recipe that Mom never heard of , but it sure is good….

 

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December: BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH MAPLE WALNUT VINAIGRETTE

My copy of the Silver Palate Cookbook falls open to this page, broken at the spine. Guess that tells you how many times I have made this recipe. I always make it with Vermont maple syrup, although the recipe doesn’t specifically call for it. Delicious with turkey.

4 cups brussels sprouts
4 T. sherry vinegar
4 T. pure Vermont maple syrup
1 T. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup walnut oil
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cut an X in the bottom of each Brussels sprout. Steam until tender but still firm.

Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard together. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Toss the hot Brussels Sprouts with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Serves 8

 

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