One dish

Corned Beef Hash

It is another crazy weather day here in NH it is pouring and close to 50 degrees out there. What little snow we had should be pretty much gone before tomorrow when it is supposed to get cold again.

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My husband and son are working on a very large job with a tight deadline and headed off to work this Sunday morning; just for a couple of hours thankfully. One of his workers mentioned since they were getting out early enough; around 10ish that he was going to head home, make some brunch and watch a movie.  That totally worked into my plans; I was thinking of making a corned beef hash so I am glad the guys were going to coming home; I wouldn’t have made it for just us girls.

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I kind of recall having hash a couple of times when I was a kid but I guess I didn’t care for it? Only because I have never made it and have never ordered it out. Side note my husband is watching football and just asked if I was blogging about hash. He said that it was wicked good and mentioned he doesn’t recall ever having it before.  Hash also doesn’t sound like the most appealing item on any menu; at least in my opinion.

SO I just googled history of hash; first funny thing that caught my attention was that September 27 is national corned beef hash day; who knew 🙂 the next thing is it is derived from the French verb hacher (to chop). Yes everything is chopped and it helps that they are similar in size so they all cook up around the same time. It also said that it became popular during world war II as rationing the limited availability of fresh meat. It makes total sense and I am now on board with hash, I might even order a side of it next time we go out to breakfast.

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This morning my hash consisted of potatoes, onions and corned beef. It probably should have had beef stock but I had some open chicken stock in the fridge so I used that instead. A few weeks ago our WWW World Wide Wednesday meal was from Finland and my daughter made a sausage hash that we all loved which was why I was interested in trying corned beef hash.

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It really is simple so feel free to adjust to ingredients you have on hand and that your family will enjoy

Corned Beef Hash

1 medium onion chopped
2-3 medium potatoes chopped
Several slices of corned beef chopped
1 tbs butter
1-2 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup beef broth or whatever you have on hand

My favorite type of egg is poached but you can do whatever kind you like or leave the egg out entirely.

In a hot fry pan melt the butter and olive oil together, add the potatoes; salt and pepper to taste. Add the onions and then the beef. Saute till the potatoes are cooked and a nice crust forms on the hash.

whole fish red snapper

I’ve recently started visiting my local OK so not so local Whole Foods Market OK so I’ve really only been twice. It’s 45 minutes away but from where I live most things are 30+ minutes away. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Whole Foods; one of my friends calls it Whole paycheck so I was pretty hesitant to check it out. A few weeks ago we were cooking a World Wide Wednesday meal from Croatia and they have a local cheese that; us being cheese lovers really wanted to try; it is called Paski Sir aka as Pag Cheese which was tooted as being the best cheese in Croatia. I googled where to get it it and guess who had it in stock; yup off to Whole Foods I went. I headed directly to the cheese section and started looking for Pag cheese, the guy behind the counter was extremely knowledgeable and not only knew what my scribbled note said he said oh wait I have a fig spread also from Croatia that would go very nicely with my Pag cheese.  I was very impressed.

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So on my second trip to Whole Foods; I took my daughter for her first visit and we walked by the meat and fish counters. I see why my girlfriend calls it whole paycheck, so many things to choose from.  I have always; well not “always” wanted to try cooking a whole fish and why not a Red Snapper; it is a wonderful flaky white fish and I don’t see it a lot at my usual market; I wish we had a local fish market.  Me never having prepared a whole fish before; this was going to be way out of my comfort zone. At least I thought it would be, yeah it kind of was but I prevailed. While I was pretty nervous and wanted to do the snapper justice, I had the butcher clean and scale the fish for me. I got them home; I bought 2 to feed the 4 of us; Abbi remembered her Anne Burrell cookbook had a red snapper recipe here we go.

 

If you are a little adventurous I recommend giving this a try. It was fairly easy, great flavor and a little bit of a show stopper.

Red Snapper

3 or 4 large potatoes Yukon gold  works well; I used some the ones I had in my garden, sliced 1/8 inch thick I used my mandolin.
6 cloves garlic (4 finely chopped; 2 smashed)
1 bunch fresh oregano (half finely chopped; half as whole sprigs)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, slivered
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 3 -pound red snapper or bass, scaled, gutted and gills removed (have the butcher do this for you)
1 lemon, sliced
3 fresh bay leaves
1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley
1 cup dry white wine

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, chopped garlic, chopped oregano, olives and red pepper; drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt. Spread out in your roasting pan that is large enough to hold the fish. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Set aside to prep the fish.

 

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Make 3 diagonal slices about 1/2 inch deep on each side of the fish. Season the outside and inside with olive oil and salt. Place the lemon slices, bay leaves, whole oregano sprigs, parsley and the remaining smashed garlic inside the body cavity of the fish.

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Pour the wine over the potatoes, lay the fish on top and toss the whole thing in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the eyeballs pop out – yes that is what I said and I was skeptical at first but now I’m a believer

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Remove the skin and bones and serve the fish over the potatoes.

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Ham Hock and Lentil Soup

I have been trying but failing to eat some things out of the fridge/freezer the last couple of weeks. I am in desperate need of some serious real estate in both the fridge and freezer’s not only for our annual Christmas party coming up this weekend but this past Friday was mine and my girlfriends cookie making day. I have several dough’s and some cookies that need to be frozen or we will eat WAY too many of them you know just so they don’t go stale.

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I have a drawer full of various sized carrots from my garden

Yesterday I also picked up some party supplies that needed to go into the freezer.  You can only rearrange so many times before things start making closing the doors a chore.  Some things just had to come out and either be dealt with or throw away and the Yankee in me has a real hard time throwing out perfectly good food well technically what I took out needed to be made into a meal. One of the bags I wasn’t even sure what it was. Note to self label bags before storing. Apparently one of our World Wide Wednesday: we prepare and eat a meal from a different Country each Wednesday also affectionately known as WWW that required some ham hocks and we put the remaining two in the freezer.

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This morning I made a Fridge Frittata with half a pepper, some left over mushrooms, a few cherry tomatoes and some leftover ham and some chives that were on their way out. One drawer down and several to go! Back to the ham hocks I personally have never cooked with them; my daughter comes up with the WWW meals and I help her when she needs it. So I don’t even remember what she made with them. This last week we ate a meal from Syria and it was a lentil soup and we didn’t use all of the lentils  so abg of those were in the fridge. I currently have on the stove a Ham Hock and Lentil Soup Tada more space in the fridge; we will be eating the soup and any left overs I will send over to my in-laws.

This soup was really easy to put together and has great flavor – if you have never had lentils they are nutty and earthy in flavor and pretty healthy for you. So maybe the lentils will balance out the salty flavor of the ham hocks.

Ham Hock and Lentil Soup

2 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced
2 carrots diced
Kosher salt
Freshly crack black pepper
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme or 4-5 sprigs of fresh
2 quarts chicken stock
2-3 smoked ham hocks
1 cup Lentils soaked

In a large saucepan or medium sized stock pot, over medium heat add the olive oil. When hot add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper saute for 4 minutes; add the garlic, bay leaves and thyme saute for another minute.

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Add the ham hocks and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about an hour or until the ham hocks are tender.Add the lentils and continue cooking for another 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and check for seasonings. If needed add a little salt and pepper; mine did not need anymore.

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Remove the ham hocks and remove the meat from them, add the ham back into the soup; discard the rest of the hocks. Serve warm with some crusty bread!

 

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Carrot Soup

I was initially going to start this post with I hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving with your family and friends; I literally had to backspace over the statement because it donned on me that this is a North American holiday and not everyone celebrates it and I actually do have a few readers out of the US that I am sure were doing something else all-together this past Thursday; probably working??? So for those of you who gathered with friends and/or family I hope your turkey was moist, your stuffing/dressing had an amazing crust and there was some room for the yummy pies that were sitting on the counter.

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My day started off pretty relaxed at first sitting at the island with a nice cup of tea with my hubby. Since we were not eating till 3 and we prepped all the veggies, made the pies and set the table the night before this should be a breeze right! For how organized I think I am and all the lists and yes I even make a timeline of sorts just so things have enough time to cook and kind of show up at the table somewhat warm.

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I started making my dinner rolls; easy – then I focused on the dressing and it went downhill from there just a bit; I forgot to pick up a fennel bulb, really Donna one of the main ingredients for your dressing, so I double checking I had everything else I needed for the day and off to the store I went. Oh did I forget to mention that I woke up ridiculously early and sat in bed convincing myself I didn’t buy a big enough bird. While at the store I also picked up a little 3 pound ham – just in case.

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I’m back at home and my nice relaxed feeling is fading fast, I make the dressing and it tastes awesome. I start to prep the bird; an hour later than I wanted to.  Once seasoned and filled with chopped up apples and onions into the 350’ oven it went. While I was cleaning off the stove top I must have hit the oven knob because when I looked over at the stove 30 or so minutes later the oven was set at 250’ UGH here we go! Long story short thanks to my convection oven; which I turned on when I took off the tinfoil to brown; did the trick. Though I was really hoping to let the bird rest for at least an hour it ended up being closer to 30 minutes and we ate a little later than 3.  But it was gorgeous brown and very moist I wanted to take a picture to share but it was a little hectic in the kitchen and I had made people wait a little longer than I had envisioned so you are going to have to take my word for it.

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Oh and I need to share one more little misstep I made this year. My daughter had made a whole 3 quart pot of sliced carrots that I cooked but they never made it to the table. I put them up on the shelf above the stove top to get them out the way to make my gravy and never found them again till I was cleaning up. This is the first time ever there were not carrots on the Thanksgiving table and no one said anything.  My son thought to himself that it was kind of weird there weren’t any but I would have thought my daughter would have remembered she peeled a boat load of something not on the table, I am all for leftovers but what to do with SO many cooked carrots… I’ve always wanted to try and make carrot soup so that is what I did on Friday.

 

Carrot Soup

½ stick of butter
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
3 cups carrots peeled, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 Cups chicken stock or use turkey broth if you made some
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice – I added the lemon zest but felt it was too much
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Melt butter in a heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add onions; saute for 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; saute for another 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots (I added a few fresh ones and kept the cooked ones out until everything else was done) tomatoes and stock; bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and puree with either an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Return soup to the pot and add lemon juice to taste, just enough to brighten the dish, not over power it. Season with salt and pepper; top with a dollop of sour cream.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable & Sausage

Where did summer go? It has got to be an age thing; I swear when we were kids summer was forever, we crammed so much stuff and a lot of nothing into those 2 school free months.  We had an awesome pool in the backyard for several years of my childhood and I spent most of my time in the pool with my family and friends playing for hours on end. We had some amazing pool parties, I recall in 5th grade I was in an open concept classroom that housed two 5th grade classes we took a school field trip to my house for a BBQ and a pool party. Fun times but where am I going with this? Oh yeah time flies by as you age and Fall has arrived here in New Hampshire with its beautiful color, cold mornings and brisk evenings.

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My kitchen has been turning out some heartier meals of late; another Fall thing. And also using up some of the last vegetables and herbs from my garden. Though I still have a few things out there; garden time is coming to an end. This weekend I have GOT to get my garlic in, every weekend has been jammed packed with so many things happening but I am determined to get the garlic in the ground, it would be a shame for us to not have fresh garlic come early summer.

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I found a recipe in a magazine that combined roasted vegetables and sausage.  I LOVE roasted veggies and I am a little obsessed with sweet Italian sausage, I usually buy a couple of packages; freeze them individually and then put them in a freezer bag, so easy to just grab what you need or want in my case. I use them in marinara sauce instead of hamburger, as a star in other dishes and sometimes we just grill them; cut them up serve as an appetizer with various kinds of mustard.

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This is also a sheet-pan supper which I find brilliant; less dishes are always a welcome in my house; my poor dishwasher has been used and abused over the years; but still going strong.

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Roasted Autumn Vegetable & Sausage

Butternut squash peeled and cubed
Brussel sprouts, halved and trimmed, quarter the larger ones
1 Large red onion, halved and sliced thick (mine was too small)
4 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil
T Tbs Chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbs Chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
4 or more Sweet Italian sausage – or whatever you like hot, chicken use your go to

Preheat oven to 425’F

In a large bowl put everything except the sausage and stir to combine. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet, roast for 10-15 minutes.

Stir the veggies and place the sausages on top of the veggies. Back in the oven to roast for another 20-25 minutes, make sure to stir a couple of times so everything gets a little brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Adapted from eating well magazine

Harvest Roasted Chicken – A must try

This dish is a must try!  I can honestly say those words and truly mean it. My daughter found this recipe and made it for dinner a few years back. Talk about a tough audience; my guys are extremely vocal when it comes to food and I am not shy about voicing my opinions either. Olives are not exactly eaten in abundance in my home to say the least. Cooking grapes we were also not sure we were going to be on board with that concept either.

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Since we have all been asked to try things out of our comfort zone; especially over the last few years; we were going in with an open mind. Or at least I was, again my guys what can I say, won’t go down without a fight. My kitchen is most definitely the heart of my home, we all hang out on the island which had two levels, the bar height is where we eat and the counter top height is our prep area. When you are making something someone is a little on the fence about, they tend to watch very closely what you are doing.

My daughter rose to the challenge and hit it out the park. Dinner was just plain delicious, had she not made this for us, I am positive I would not have had the courage to make it. Since then I have not only made it a few times for my guys and even for company. I have taught this dish in one of my classes that I hold in my home.

The combination of the olives, grapes, shallots with the white wine and chicken stock plus the last sprinkling of fresh rosemary just melds beautifully in your mouth. I strongly suggest making this dish; it comes together quite easily; especially if you purchase the chicken already cut up in pieces, with minimal ingredients and you could have it on the table in just about 45 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 450’ with the rack in the middle of your oven

3-4 lbs chicken cut up – you can also use parts – thighs, drumsticks and/or breasts – bone in and skin on

Kosher Salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 Tbs olive oil

1 cup seedless red grapes

1 cup or jar pitted Kalamata olives

2-3 shallots thinly sliced

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup chicken broth

1 Tbs finely chopped rosemary

Pat chicken pieces dry, season well with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet (cast iron if you have it) over medium-high heat until it shimmers

Working in batches, brown chicken, skin side down first and turning them over once, about 5-7 minutes per batch

Don’t move chicken until it releases itself and is nicely browned

Return the pieces to the pan, skin side up, and surround the pieces with grapes, olives and shallots.

Roast chicken in the oven until It has cooked through and the juices run clear, about 20-25 minutes

Transfer the chicken, grapes and olives to a platter, then add wine and chicken broth to the pan juices in the skillet

Bring liquid to a boil, scraping up any brown bits, until it has reduced by half, 3-5 minutes

Pour over chicken and garnish with rosemary

Recipe adapted from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook 2012

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