Friday, November 30, 2007

Ravioli Lasagna

1 package (20-25 oz) Ravioli (I use the frozen kind), prepared according to package directions, drained
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese (cottage cheese works too)
1 package (10 oz) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 jar marinara sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13-inch pan. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, eggs and milk in a bowl. Layer the Ravioli, cheese mixture and sauce a few times, then top with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Roasted Turkey Breast

This is the turkey recipe that we've used the last two years. We think it is delicious. The turkey turns out extremely juicy. Who doesn't like turkey juice? Okay, that makes it sound gross and it's not. It really isn't. Just try it and you'll see. Also, don't be scared off by the maple syrup thing. It doesn't taste like you are trying to make pancakes out of turkey. I promise!! Am I selling this or what?

For the Brine-
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups hot water

Stir in:
2 cups apple juice
4 cups ice

For the Turkey-
Trim; Submerge in Brine:
1 turkey breast (6-8 pounds), bone in

Roast; Baste with:
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real deal, no fake stuff PLEASE)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Dissolve salt and brown sugar in hot water in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag.

Stir in apple juice and ice.

Trim excess rib and wing sections from the breast (save for making turkey stock for the gravy if you so desire). For easy carving, remove the wishbone (we didn't this year and it was fine). Submerge the breast in the brine and refrigerate until ready to roast, about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375.

Roast turkey breast side up on a rack over a shallow roasting pan. After one hour, baste breast with the maple-butter mixture. Baste every 15 minutes until the temperature of the breast reaches 165. Remove the breast from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing. (Plan on 1 1/2 - 2 hours roasting time)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dr. Pepper Ham

Just in time for the Christmas holiday . . . .

The ingredients are very simple... 1 ham, any size (preferably natural ham on the bone, but processed works). We prefer John Morrell butt portion bone-in ham. Line a deep, round roasting pan with aluminum foil. Score the ham on all sides approximately 1/2 to 1" deep, depending on the size of the ham. Then, place the ham in the roasting pan. Pour Dr. Pepper over the ham liberally, allowing it to soak into the scores. Then cover the ham with aluminum foil and place in a 350 degree oven. Every half hour, remove the pot from the oven, turn the ham over, and resoak with Dr. Pepper. Let the ham cook a minimum of 3 1/2 hours...more for a larger ham. Remove from the pot and serve. The carbonation cooks away. The secret is that the main ingredient in Dr. Pepper is prune juice and other fruit juices which cook down into the meat. It doesn't taste fruity, though. It just makes the sweetest, juiciest ham you have ever tasted.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Chicken Noodle Soup

sweet onion
chicken bouillon cubes
egg noodles
chopped chicken
margarine (optional)
flour (optional)
canned milk (optional)

Add one sweet onion (skinned and left whole), two stalks celery (each stalk cut in a few pieces), 1-2 cups carrots (chopped), and 7-8 bouillon cubes to water (10-12 cups-ish) in large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Turn to low and simmer 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove onion and celery. (I only boil the celery and the onion in the broth for the flavor and then remove them. If you wanted to add less onion and celery, chopped fine, and leave it in, that is another option.) Add noodles (my favorite brand is Country Pasta Homemade Style Egg Pasta . . . see photo) to broth and boil on medium heat for 30 minutes. (Do not add too many noodles and then leave the house to run errands while on medium heat or it will burn. Trust me.) Turn to low and add chopped chicken (I like to buy a whole rotisserie chicken and remove the meat and chop it up). Add salt and pepper to taste. This makes a clear broth soup. If you prefer a slightly creamier chicken noodle soup, add roux (see below). Keep soup on low heat until ready to serve.

Melt 1 cube margarine. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour. Stir until smooth. Add 1 cup canned milk. Whisk again until smooth. Stir constantly on medium heat until mixture thickens. Add to soup after adding the chicken (while soup is on low). This adds a great flavor to the soup (I mean, how can it be bad with a cube of butter, am I right Mary?).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Krispy Kreme Donuts

My friend from Moscow, Lori Higbee, shared this recipe. I'll be indebted to her for life. Yummm. These don't need any further introduction.

2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups flour
vegetable oil for frying

Dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low, scraping the bowl, for 30 seconds. Then beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until double (50-60 minutes. Dough is ready when indent remains). Turn onto floured surface. Roll and lightly coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured donut cutter and place on baking sheet leaving plenty of room for donuts to rise. Cover and let rise until doubled (30-40 minutes). DO NOT LET SIDES TOUCH!! Slide doughnuts into hot oil (350 degrees) with wide spatula. Turn as they rise to surface. Fry until just golden (1 minute each side). Carefully remove and drain. Dip in creamy glaze and cool on rack and glaze again.

Glaze: (I usually double or triple)
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp hot water

Heat butter until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.

For chocolate glaze, melt 4 ounces of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips with butter and continue with glaze recipe.

donut call

Does anyone out there have a fabulous donut recipe? We are in a home-made donut kick at our house and are in need of a delectable yummy donut. Thanks! Ang