Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last minute wedding preparation....and The Land of Peapodriot's One Year Anniversary!

So the wedding is this Sunday and all I can focus on are the last minute details. I assure you that beginning this November 1st I'll be posting regularly, so keep an eye out for new photos and delicious recipes!

And thank you for your continued support! Especially during this first year, which will be celebrated this coming Sunday!

May your cream never curdle!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Poor Man's Dinner - A Modern Take on a Depression Era Dish

During the Depression of the 1930's one of the creative uses for cheap cuts of meats and scraps was to case them and make sausages. Like today, sausages then were stuffed with more than just pork or beef; often bread and herbs and a blend of different kinds of cheap meat including venison made it's way into casings.

As potatoes and carrots and sausages were and still are the easiest to buy when your pocket is lean, this is sure to be the easiest meal you can make in a short amount of time. I like to toss in sweet green peppers for flavor. I suggest you try this recipe just as it is first, and then play with flavors and vegetables the next time.

This one is Spar's Oktoberfest Polish sausage, 2 large potatoes, 1 large sweet green pepper, 3 large carrots, salt, pepper and butter or olive oil. Layer in a large skillet 4 tbls of butter or oil, then potatoes, then sausage, then carrots, then peppers, then salt and ground pepper.  Fry on medium until the potatoes are brown and the sausages are well cooked. Flip over, trying not to mash the potatoes. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes and then serve. This is especially nice with a dark brown beer or a Guinness.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spar's Polish Sausage, Lundberg's Wild Blend Rice and Earthbound Organic Acorn Squash

Earthbound Organic Acorn Squash

Start the wild rice boiling in water, 1 to 2 ration of rice to water. Once a roiling boil is achieved, turn heat down to low and lid. Continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. In a large glass bowl place cut and cleaned squash with pats of butter inside. Lid either with a matching glass lid or a dinner plate. Cook in microwave for 10 minutes, equal to 2 potatoes. Broil the sausage until golden brown and 165 degrees. Dish squash with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and a pat of butter on the rice. Even picky eaters will be pleased with this dish!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Russian Chicken, Potato, and Carrot Casserole with Pearsauce

Layer in 5 large potatoes thinly sliced with olive oil, butter, salt, and white pepper sprinkled liberally through out. Start to bake in oven covered at 400 degree. In a pan on the stove, layer sliced chicken in melted butter and olive oil, frying till lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup of Half&Half and 2/3 cup shredded soft white cheese of your choice, simmer. Add sliced carrots on top of potatoes. Add creamy chicken. Sprinkle with minced parsley, paprika, white and tri-color cracked pepper. Continue to bake until potatoes are easily pierced and creamy cheese sauce just begins to look brown. Using a stick mixer, blend smooth 3 very ripe pears and serve on the side.

Chicken Fajitas and Homemade Guacamole

Wednesday night's are South of the Boarder Nights. But to be honest we've had so many taco nights in the last two weeks (as if to make up for a month of no tacos, due to the Locavore Challenge) I put a ban on anything taco like, but relented when Bob offered to make chicken fajitas and homemade guacamole (my veggie weakness!).
He used local chicken and an organic mix from Simply Organic. The guacamole was 3 organic fruits mixed with minced red onion, 1/2 a lime's worth of juice, powdered garlic, red chili powder, salt, and pepper. Delicioso!

Alternative to going out for Sushi - Pan Seared Rainbow Trout and Tuna in Vodka Blush Sauce

As an alternative to going out for sushi, consider serving two types of sustainable fish for dinner. The body requires certain nutrients; with trout and tuna combined, everything the body needs to function beautifully is served up in one meal. Consider serving with rice pilaf, barley risotto, or herbed amaranth.

Tuna in Vodka Blush Sauce

1 chopped medium onion
2 tbls butter
2 mince cloves garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large can, about 28 oz, of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Vodka
1 lb Tuna

Saute onion and garlic in butter, add tomatoes then simmer 30 minutes. Add cheese and cream. Simmer for about 3 - 5 minutes. Slice tuna into 1/2 inch strips. Stir in Vodka and allow to simmer for five more minutes. Slide in tuna strips and continue to cook until tune is firm. Serve hot.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grape Jelly

5 c of grape juice
4 c granulated sugar
1 package of Sure Jell Pectin
10 sterilized half pint jars

Boil juice, adding half the sugar and sprinkling in pectin. Stir well and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute and then add the other 2 cups of sugar, stirring well. Continue to boil for 2 to 3 more minutes. Turn off stove. Strain foam off the surface and set out jars, bands, and lids.

Pour, leaving 1/2 inch clearance between juice level and lid. Boil water in canner and then set in jars. Boil covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue to boil for 5 more minutes. Remove using the tongs and set on dish towels to cool.

During the next hour the lids will pop and then the jar can be stored. It takes about one week for the jelly to "jell", so be patient. Use within 6 months for best flavor.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

First Light Farm and Creamery Dill and Garlic Double Cream Chevre, Figs and Slivered Pear in White Pepper Caramel Galette

White pepper and 1/2 stick of butter melted over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar and stir until bubbles and foam appear, the caramel will form very quickly after this and the key is to recognize it and pour fast before it sets and sticks to the pan and spoon. Once all of the caramel is added, bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Set out to cool and firm up, about 15 minutes. Serve while still warm. Best served following the Chicken and Apple Sausage dish. Or as breakfast with your coffee!

Chicken and Apple Sausages in Hot Peppers Olive and Herb Focaccia

This recipe comes from Evan Kleiman's "The Best of Casual Pizza Oven Cooking: Pizzeria", which I snagged in mint condition from Buffalo's burgeoning Westside at West Side Stories. If you are in WNY, you MUST make this your first stop when looking for new and used books!

Layer onto an iron skillet and cook at 475 degrees Chicken Apple Sausages from Applegate OrganicsHot Peppers,  Slivered Red Onion,  Minced Garlic,  Minced Parsley, and Olive oil.

2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tbls olive oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbls dried thyme
Olives stuffed with garlic cloves

Extra olive oil for brushing onto surface and sprinkle with salt.

Proof yeast. Mix with flour and olive oil. Mix, adding a little flour until a soft elastic ball forms. Place in an oiled bowl and cover until doubled in size. Divide and pull into round disk shapes. Place in cake pans, dimpling the surface. Insert olives into one or both, which ever your prefer. Bake until golden brown. approximately 15-20 minutes. Pop out of pans and cool for five minutes. Best served still warm.

Fried Chicken and Organic Purple Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Rub butter all over the sweet potatoes, pierce them several times with a fork, and then wrap in foil with the shiny side facing in. Bake for 50 minutes on 400 degrees. Best Fried Chicken recipe is from Alton Brown. Always serve with a salad and only use real maple syrup on the sweet potatoes and a sprinkle of white pepper.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Samantha's Ribs, Rice with Peas, Salad, and Mayer Bros. Apple Cider

I put my daughter Samantha in charge of making dinner the other night. I put out all the ingredients, pre-heated the oven, and told her to add whatever she wanted to the bowl in whatever quantity she wanted and to then drench the ribs from Lorigo Meating Place and put them into the oven, covered with foil.

She put in Mayer Bros. Apple Cider, white vinegar, minced garlic, brown sugar, Annie's Organic Ketchup, chili powder, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. The meat was tasty, juicy, succulent even, with just the right amount of garlic. I prepped the basmati rice and peas. But this was basically all Sam's doing. Bravo my little chef!