Chimichurri Sauce

A spicy Argentinian parsley-based green sauce for …anything; soups, eggs, salad dressing, pasties, chicken, steak, or fish.

 

In a blender, add

1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2  cup red wine vinegar
pinch or two red chili flakes
pinch or two of  salt
couple shakes of pepper
3 – 4 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. cumin powder
2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley – most of the stems trimmed
1 bunch fresh cilantro – most of the stems trimmed

Pulse on high or ‘ice chop; setting – more olive oil if needed – until just blended (rustic).

Taste and adjust spices as desired.

Other Variations:

red onions
fresh oregano
lime or lime juice
sherry or balsamic vinegar (instead of red wine vinegar)
basil

For a creamy version, add:

avocado
sour cream or
mayonnaise

Resources:

Skirt Steak, Chimichurri & Veggies | Feli & Jamie Oliver (herb brush seasoning)

Argentinian-Style Fresh Herb Salsa and Marinade

Creamy Chimichurri Dip

Traditional Chimichurri

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Polish Stuffed Cabbage

cabbage-roll-makingMeat Stuffing

1 1/2 – 2 cups Panko or Italian bread crumbs – soak in water then drain with a strainer (press firmly to remove as much water as possible).

1 lb. ground pork

1 lb. ground beef

1 lg. yellow onion chopped

1 egg

salt and pepper

Mix together like a meatloaf.

*Stop here if you prefer mild meat stuffing.

 

Since my tastes run more toward zippy, I also add;

juice from one lemon

1 tsp. Hungarian paprika

1 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. dill

1 full pkg. of fatty bacon – cooked until drippings are obtainable

2 –  14.5 oz cans chicken broth

Cabbage Leaf Stuffing

1 large head cabbage with the core cut out.

Fill a large soup pot with water, add salt and boil.

Place the entire head of cabbage into the boiling water. Watch for the leaves to begin to separate.  Remove the leaves when they become soft or take the head out of the water, put it in a strainer, and peel the leaves.

The leaves are ready when they are translucent and soft. Continue boiling and leaf peeling until the entire cabbage is disassembled.

On a cutting board, spread a leaf out as flat as possible. Cut a “V” to remove the thickest parts.

Cut a small palm-sized portion of the leaf. Hold it in your hand and place 1 tablespoon of the meat stuffing on it. Turning it over onto the larger leaf, fold the leaf around the palm-sized portion. *The goal is to have no spaces where the meat squeezes out.

Secure with a toothpick.

Continue stuffing leaves until they’ve all been used.

Cook the Cabbage Rolls

In a large soup pot, bring 1 can of chicken broth + some water to a simmer.  Add 3 tblsp. of bacon fat.

Place stuffed cabbage rolls into the bottom of the pot in a single layer, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove cooked rolls, add another batch to the pot to cook for 30 minutes. Add more water / broth as needed.

*The brand of bacon that I had didn’t yield much fat, so I added three full strips of bacon to the chicken broth in the pot.

Gravy

Add 1 can of chicken broth to the remainder of the bacon grease. Heat till warm.

*I had more meat stuffing than the cabbage leaves would hold, so I fried it up and added it to the gravy.

Blend a couple of tablespoons of flower with water and slowly add to broth mixture, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.

Storage

Place cabbage rolls in a casserole dish and cover with gravy. Heat them at 350 degrees in the oven for 45-50 minutes if you have a large group to feed or place the dish in the refrigerator and eat them a couple at a time.

with-vinegar-and-creme-fresh2

 

Being a vinegar fan, I liberally douse my stuffed cabbage rolls with red wine vinegar. London Malt vinegar is good too as is rice vinegar – though milder. Top it off with Crème Fraîche, plain yogurt or sour cream.

Windus Macaroni Casserole

grandma-windus-reciep

Lisa’s modified version of Windus Macaroni Casserole made with white rice angel hair pasta. *A short style pasta – on the bottom layer – is the optimal way to prepare this hearty one dish meal.

1 lb ground beef

1 whole onion – chopped

1 – bulb garlic – cloves peeled & chopped

3 tblsp. Italian herbs

2 –  16 oz cans chopped tomatoes (*drained or with liquid – see notes below)

4 – 6 cups cups macaroni (partially cooked) – enough to fill whatever sized baking dish you have

Pour macaroni into greased / sprayed casserole dish. Top with remaining ingredients and back uncovered at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes.

 

Lisa’s additions:

2 fresh zucchinis thinly sliced

one bunch of fresh, chopped parsley

juice from one lemon

pinch of salt

Notes: For the version that I prepared (photographed above), I used an entire 8.8 oz package of white rice angel hair pasta. (This is what I had on hand.)  It worked, but with the added zucchini, a short pasta would have been better to soak up the extra juice. Pasta on the bottom, as the recipe instructs, is the right way to go. short-pasta

*Include the juice from the chopped tomatoes or drain it depending on how much liquid you need to make this dish moist.

 

Upon receipt of the recipe, I noticed several things. There was only an ingredients list – no measurement amounts, and like the other family recipe collections that I’ve studied, casserole cooking used to be popular.  The lack of measurements told me that Virginia was a cook, like my Grandma, who could get the proportions right by ‘feel’ or eyeballing it. She had a lot of mouths to feed and casseroles were an economical way to satisfy it.

Casseroles in the US became popular after World War II, when the Campbell’s Soup Company distributed a booklet entitled Helps for the Hostess, published in 1916. Recipes from this book became staple meals in Baby Boomer homes. Click on this link to learn more about the history of condensed soup and its impact on American culture.

 

 

margaret-windus

 

This recipe is from the Adrian (Bud) Schmidt collection. (Betty Wrysinski’s younger brother.) It was passed down through the family from Margaret Windus, maternal grandmother to Mary Schmidt Schwaller. Margaret was a neighbor to Betty’s mother, Lillian Schmidt.

 

 

Sauce Series – White Sauces – 4 of 5

White sauces are made with milk, buttermilk, yogurt, coconut milk, butter, other white liquids and thickening agents.

 

Basic White Sauce

2 tblsp. Butter

2 tblsp. Flour

1 cup milk

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Melt butter and stir in flour. Gradually add milk and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cook an additional 3 minutes.

Use on seafood, vegetables, fish, or meat.

Additions to white sauce:

Chopped parsley 2 – 4 tblsp.

Mustard – 2 tsp.

Cheese – ½ – 1 cup grated cheese

 

Horseradish Cream Sauce

½ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks.

4 -6 tblsp. horseradish

½ tps. Salt

Pinch of pepper

Serve with ham, beef or fish.

 

Makes ¾ cup sauce.

 

Lemon Roux

 

Pan Gravy

Approximate the amount of flour needed to thicken the volume of meat drippings available. Place flour in a dressing / gravy shaker or whisk with cool water and shake or blend till smooth.

To meat drippings (fat) [from a turkey, chicken, bacon, or roast] in a deep pan over medium heat, slowly add flour and water mixture. Stir continuously. After the mixture has thickened, continue cooking for a few more minutes to make sure that the raw flour taste has been dispelled.

 

Hollandaise Sauce

2/4 cup butter

1 ½ tblsp. Lemon juice

3 egg yolks, well beaten with dash of salt

Cayenne pepper

 

Divide butter in the three parts. Place one piece in top of a small double broiler, add lemon juice and egg yolks. Place over hot water (not boiling) and cook slowly, whisk constantly.

When butter is melted, add second piece. Keep whisking. As mixture thickens, add the final piece of butter.

Once the mixture is about as thick as gravy, remove from heat, add salt and serve immediately.

Can be used over vegetables (asparagus), fish, shellfish and poached eggs.

Lightly finish with cayenne pepper.

 

Makes: ¾ cup
Trouble shooting: If sauce is curdling, dilute by the teaspoon with hot water while constantly whisking.

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Check out the other videos in this Sauce Series

Sauce Series #1 – taste bud training

Sauce Series #2 – red sauces

Sauce Series #3 – brown sauces & thickening agents

 

Mock ‘Chopped’ #5 – group cooking challenge how-to

 

 

Boiled & Spiced Citrus Chicken (or Pork)

It takes time and patience to prepare chicken this way, but it is so worth it!

6 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs OR about a 4 lb bone-in pork shoulder – chunked into quarters

Rinse, pat dry and place meat into a large food-safe plastic bag

Add to the bag;

1 tblsp. cumin powder
1 tblsp. sea salt
1 tblsp. garlic powder
1 tblsp. oregano
1 tblsp. cayenne pepper (reduce to half or less if you don’t like spicy food)

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lime juice

If you remember Shake-n-Bake …do that. If that reference is meaningless, then shake everything inside the bag until the chicken is evenly coated with the spices.

Place the spiced chicken and citrus juice in a pot. Fill it with water – just until the chicken is covered. On the stovetop (uncovered), cook on high until the chicken begins to boil, reduce heat, but still keep it bubbling.

This where the patience comes in. Keep an eye on the pot as the liquid boils. This can take anywhere between 2 and 3 hours. Once the liquid is almost gone, let the meat brown – turn it so it cooks evenly – but not so much that it burns.

Liquid almost all-the-way boiled down.

 

The chicken meat can be shredded, chunked or eaten off the bone. Use it in salads, soups, on tostadas or in tacos…and the list could go on and on!

Next time I make it, I will double this recipe so that leftovers will linger longer.

boiled and spicked chicken

 

Detoxing, Recharging and Cleaning Out the Pipes

Stefan Krause, Germany

I’ve watched many friends doing detoxes and cleanses but was never brave enough to try one myself.  What is a detox? It is like flushing out  slow-running pipes in your plumbing system….except this one is in your body. Over time, our soft tissues and circulatory system accumulates things that we wish it wouldn’t; chemicals from cleaning products, preservatives from processed foods, heavy metals from environmental pollution and the list goes on…

On a scale from one to ten, I figured that my daily eating habits rated about a 7.5. There was room for improvement. A system-wide preventative-maintenance program seemed like a good idea at this point, because I’d clicked over another zero on the odometer of life. Finally, I was curious to find out if I had the willpower and resolve necessary to be really good with everything that I put in my mouth.

I signed up for an 11 Day Clean Eating Program with Zywies (Z ī -wees) Health Coach, Mafer Frantz. In the beginning, I was worried that I might fail. I love my morning coffee and enjoy satisfying a desire for something sweet after lunch.

IMG_6987-lrwebAccording to Mafer, “detoxing at least 4 times a year supports a healthy body for a lifetime.” Her program promises that you won’t go hungry, you will eat whole, seasonal foods and you will have more energy and feel great. Her promises are true.

The regime begins with drinking lots of water! First thing in the morning, a splash of apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper is added to it. For the remainder of the day you are drinking water with unsweetened fruit juice concentrates. The next step is the elimination of some of the things that we all know are not good for us – sugar, caffeine, bread, cheese and certain meats. Going along with every step, Mafer provides educational articles to read about what happens inside our bodies as a result of  eating the foods we habitually consume.

Alternatives and substitutions are where things start to get interesting and where my failure-worry was replaced with curiosity and enthusiasm for all of the new things to eat, snack on and prepare.

At the conclusion of the program, I did feel more energized. I haven’t resumed my prior coffee habit and I have adopted new, healthier, practices that will be incorporated into my (and my families) everyday life. I have also learned, once again, that I don’t have to be afraid of change.

Since this blog follows the ebb and flow of Shared Tastes, you will be seeing my own take on preparing and eating superfoods, more seasonal whole foods and more vegetarian dishes. Many of these are directly inspired by Mafer Frantz’s 11 Day Clean Eating Program.

 

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Cranberry Clove Sauce

Make your next meal pop with this mildly sweet, tangy super food sauce.

2 cups fresh cranberries

juice & zest from two lemons

1/2 to 2/3rds cup maple syrup

Combine all in pot; cook on medium (t0 low) heat. Once it reaches a boil, turn off heat. Carefully mash berries with a potato masher (berries will pop ….be careful of hot, flying cranberry juice)

Stir in 1/8 – 1/2 tsp. ground cloves OR 3 drops food-grade Clove Oil – to taste

cooking cranberries

Health benefits of cranberries

Antioxidents & Vitamin C

Healthier Teeth & Lowering Cholesterol

Reducing Inflammation

Baked Sweet Potato with Lemon Roux

Baked Sweet Potatoes:sweet potatoes with rue

Peel potatoes & place in deep oven-safe pot.
Fill pot to about 1/2 the width of potatoes with chicken stock.
Place a dollop of butter on top of each potato & sprinkle with parsley.

Cook uncovered at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until tender.

Lemon Roux
Melt 1/2 stick of butter in pot over medium heat
as you add ingredients, stir constantly
Juice from 1/2 fresh Lemon
gradually sprinkle in Flour (about 1/2 cup)
add Milk

Adjust dry & wet ingredients until desired thickness is achieved.

***Look out*** This one is rich and creamy – it could be a dessert!

Blueberry, Lemon & Banana Pancakes

Dry Ingredients:pancake

Wheatgerm 10%
Flax Meal 10%
Oat Flour 30%
Red Mill unbleached white flour 50%
1 tsp. baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs
juice from 1/2 lemon + zest
about 3/4 cup almond milk (for desired consistency)
pinch of grated Dubliner Cheese
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup blueberries

Lemony Rice

Basic Rice Recipe:lemony rice

1 cup rice

2 cups water

Boil water, add rice, bring to boil again.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or

until you see small holes formed on the surface of the rice –

(or until a spoon stands up).

To make Lemony Rice

For every cup of rice, use 1 cup of fresh lemon juice.

Use chicken stock to make up the rest of the liquid.

Add lemon zest on top for a little more pizzaz.