We have some great cooks in our family.
We like to try new recipes and tweak the old ones.
We're always asking each other, "Can I have your recipe?"
So we created a place to share the recipes that others ask for, the experiments that turn out well or the recipes that we fall back on because they're quick and yummy. Some of these recipes are original, some are gleaned from friends and some are blatantly copied from other sources.
All of them have been tested and found delicious.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

This year we had THE best Christmas dinner that I think I've ever fixed. The star attraction was a 9 lb. rib roast (purchased from Costco). Sides included a potato casserole that was based on a recipe from my sister Eileen, our family's standby Onion Mushroom Casserole, green beans with bacon, onions and garlic, sauteed mushrooms and yummy herb rolls. I've included a couple of recipes here and some of them are in our family cookbook (we still have some cookbooks available. If you'd like to purchase one please leave me a message on Facebook)

Foolproof Standing Rib Roast

(print this recipe)
The original recipe came from Paula Deen, although my husband says his grandfather used to cook rib roast the same way when he visited him in Savannah, Georgia as a teenager (must be a Southern thing). To save you some time (I spent way too much time trying to find the answer to this question on the internet) it doesn't matter what size rib roast you have; since the thickness of a rib roast is pretty much the same no matter how many pounds it is, the cooking directions are the same. Paula's directions are for a 5 lb. roast, ours was 9 pounds and it came out perfectly done and so tender; the ends were done to medium, the middle was medium rare. We did some tweaking, of course, and here is what we came up with.

Ingredients: (this is what we used for 9 pounds; adjust according to the size of your roast)
1 standing rib roast
3 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon cracked pepper
2 Tablespoons minced garlic

The day before roasting, mix the salt, pepper and garlic together and rub all over the roast, including the ends. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next day, allow the roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (this is the part we forgot about so we left it in for an additional 10 minutes before we turned the oven off).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up. Roast for 1 hour. Turn off the oven. Leave roast in the oven but do not open the oven door for 3 hours. About 30 - 40 minutes before serving time, turn oven to 375 degrees and reheat the roast. Important: do not remove the roast or open the oven door from the time roast is put in until ready to serve.

This recipe was so easy because you just put it in the oven and forget about it! And I kid you not, it rivaled any prime rib I've ever had in a restaurant.

Potato Casserole

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This recipe is based on one from our family cookbook, but since there are a few people in my family who are not fond of onions, I cut back on the onions and added some fresh herbs.  Also, since we already had a dish with cheddar cheese, I used Gruyere instead.

8 medium potatoes, unpeeled
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup butter
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 green onions, finely chopped ( I used mostly the green ends for a more subtle flavor)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped, fresh thyme (or to taste)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 - 2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350
Spray 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with non stick spray.
Boil potatoes with bay leaf until barely tender.  Cool, peel and grate coarsely.   Melt 1/4 cup butter in saucepan and add soup.  Stir until smooth.  Blend in sour cream, salt, pepper, green onions, herbs and cheese.  Mix into potatoes and stir gently until blended.  Spoon into casserole dish.  Dot with remaining butter and bake, uncovered for 30 - 40 minutes, or until heated through.
Serves about 8

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Herb Rolls

(print this recipe)

3 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 oz. package rapid rise yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup chopped fresh herbs ( I used 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, 1/4 cup fresh chives and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.   Fit the mixer with the dough hook.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the half and half and the 6 Tablespoons butter, stirring until the butter melts and the liquid registers 120 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.  With the mixer on medium low, pour the warm milk mixture into the dry ingredients.  Add the egg yolks.  Mix on medium low until the flour is completely incorporated, 1 - 2 minutes  Increase the speed to medium high and knead until the dough is very smooth and elastic and pulls away from the bottom of the bowl, about 5 minutes.
Add the herbs and mix until incorporated.
Scoop the dough out of the bowl and shape into a ball. Lightly grease a bowl and put the dough into it.  Cover the top with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size, 45- 55 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently press to deflate.
To shape the rolls:
Divide into 16 equal pieces, roll each piece into a ball and place in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, or shape as desired.  (We pinched off smaller pieces and put three balls together into greased muffin cups.)  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until they're doubled in size, 40 - 60 minutes.
Heat the oven to  350 degrees F
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls until they're well browned, 10 - 15  minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter.
If making a day ahead, prepare the dough and shape the rolls.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Take the rolls out of the fridge about 4 hours before you want to bake them.  Set them in a warm place and let them rise as described above.  Or bake the rolls a day ahead and store them, well wrapped in foil at room temp.   Heat the oven to 300 degrees F and warm the rolls, loosely wrapped in foil, for 5 - 10 minutes.

Green Beans with Bacon and Onions

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8 slices bacon, diced
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds greens beans, rinsed and ends trimmed ( I bought the Costco ones that were already washed and trimmed)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven until it is well browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 3 - 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for just another minute or two.  Don't over cook the garlic or it gets bitter.  Add the green beans and toss to combine.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the water and wine.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer the beans for about 6 minutes.  Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.  Cover and cook until the beans are tender, 1 or 2 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and serve.
Makes 4 - 6 servings

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cranberry Salsa

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This has a delicious fresh taste.  A "holiday" change from the usual tomato based salsa.
1 bag fresh cranberries – chopped (I do this in a food processor)
¾ cup cilantro (or more if you like cilantro) chopped
3 bunches green onions – chopped
2 jalapeƱo peppers – seeded and chopped
½ cup sugar
¼ cup oil
Mix it all up, refrigerate overnight and serve with tortilla chips.