Category Archives: Pork & Lamb

Emeril’s Turkey Club Casserole: One-Dish of Delicious

Turkey Club Casserole

I read a plethora of magazines, cookbooks, newspaper articles, and blogs about food, so there has to be some way to keep tabs on what I hope to create in my next kitchen adventure.  For cookbooks or magazines, there is always a stack of post-it notes nearby to mark pages. Emeril’s new cookbook, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders is flagged all over; each pot has a fantastic recipe waiting to fill it. On this occasion, it was the casserole dish doing its rotation with Turkey Club Casserole.

When reviewing the recipe, I immediately thought of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner leftovers.  Many families prepare both turkey and ham during the holidays and this recipe incorporates both. Imagine the layers of a turkey club sandwich—bread, turkey, bacon, cheese, ham—layered in a deep dish, covered in an egg royale, and baked golden brown. The egg-soaked bread forms a crust over the oozing cheese and meats, reminiscent of the favorite lunchtime club sandwich, yet warm and satisfying.

We went one step further to make it gluten-free so our daughter could enjoy it too.  A good loaf of brown rice bread, sweet rice flour for the Béchamel sauce, gluten-free meats, and the recipe easily converted to a gluten-free meal.  One daughter who was absent from dinner, enjoyed the leftovers so much the next day, she came into the office to proclaim, “I don’t know what you made last night, but it was GOOD!”  I told her it was Emeril’s Turkey Club Casserole, which didn’t mean much to her, she just knew it was delicious.  Ah, music to our ears, the unsolicited delight of those we serve.

Turkey Club Casserole with Roasted Asparagus

Click on the Photo for Pre-order Info

Order a copy of Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets so you too can enjoy this and more than 130 other delectable recipes!

Disclosure: For my participation in The Secret Ingredient’s One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party, I received a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, a jar of Emeril’s Essence seasoning, and a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece. Once the party concludes, upon my successful completion, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and a set of Emeril’s cookbooks. 
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Labor Day Eats: Feature Fridays

Labor Day became a federal holiday 117 years ago, marked by parades and parties recognizing trade and labor organizations.  Today, families enjoy one last vacation before school starts, NFL and college football seasons begin, and backyard parties abound.  If entertaining or creating a dish for a potluck is on the agenda for this three-day weekend, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  Instead of featuring just one site this week, there is a whole list—Enjoy!

Menus:

Barbeque Menu – Savoring Today
10 Labor Day Menus – Ezra Pound Cake
Labor Day Gourmet Grilling Party Menu – Recipe Girl


Main Dishes/Meat:

Grilled Thai Ginger-Garlic Pork Chops – Fine Cooking
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Roasted Red Pepper Dip – Family Fresh Cooking
Sausage Kebabs – Bell’ Alimento
Jamaican Jerk Chicken – Kayotic Kitchen
Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Vidalia Onions – Savoring Today
Vegetarian Recipes for Barbecue Season – New York Times

Appetizers & Sides:

Melon & Mint Salad – Shutterbean
Roasted Garlic and Dill White Bean Dip – How Sweet It Is
Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese – Jungle Frog Cooking
Sauteed Corn with Chile Peppers, Ginger and Garlic – Cinnamon Spice
Grilled Summer Sweet Corn – Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Romaine Salad with Hatch Chile Dressing – A Communal Table
Goat Cheese Balls with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon – The Kitchn
Parmesan Rice Crisps with Roasted Tomato Salsa – Gluten-Free Goddess

Desserts:

Brownies for Grown Ups – The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen
S’mores Pie – Foodess
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bites– Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Limoncello Cheesecake Bites – Bitter Sweet
Rustic Peach & Plum Tart – Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach
Honey Cinnamon Peach Pie – My Kitchen Addiction

Bacon, Leek & Cheddar Mini Quiches: Test Kitchen Tuesday

This weekend I am hosting a bridal shower for a friend’s daughter, who is really more like family. Do you know what it’s like having neighbors or friends that have been through thick and thin with you and you consider their kids, your kids? Well, that is what makes this bridal shower so special.  I love cooking, but cooking for a gathering of friends rates at the top of my favorite things list.

These Bacon, Leek & Cheddar Mini Quiches at FineCooking.com will be a tasty addition to the list of light lunch ideas—and a great excuse to buy a new pan.  To accommodate all of our guests, I will adjust this recipe for a gluten-free and lactose-free menu, I like that I can make them in advance.  Who doesn’t need more recipes for make-ahead hors d’oeuvresI hope you join me in this delicious adventure!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, etc.
3.  Subscribe to comments if you want an update to see what others have done.
4.  If you are especially please with your creation, send a photo to savoringtoday@comcast.net, or include a link to your site.

Bacon, Leek & Cheddar Mini Quiches

Source: by Kate Hays, Fine Cooking
Yield: 4 dozen
3/4     lb.  bacon — cut into medium dice
3       cups  medium-diced leeks — washed and drained
(about 3 leeks, white and light green parts only)
1 1/4   cups  half-and-half
1        cup  grated extra-sharp Cheddar (4 oz.)
2        large  eggs
2        large  egg yolks
2        tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1        teaspoons  kosher salt
1/2      teaspoons  freshly ground black pepper
1/4      teaspoons  ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
2        1.1 lb.  packages frozen puff pastry sheets — thawed according to package directions (preferably Pepperidge Farm brand)
Flour as needed for rolling out the dough

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until browned and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 to 2 Tbs. of fat in the skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook the leeks, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

While the leeks cool, combine the half-and-half, Cheddar, eggs, egg yolks, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add the cooled leeks and the bacon and stir to combine.

Assemble the mini quiches: Lightly spray four mini muffin tins (or two if your tins have two dozen cups) with cooking spray.

Working with one sheet of puff pastry dough at a time, use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 10- by 18-inch rectangle. Stamp out 3-inch circles of dough with a cookie cutter and gently press the rounds into the mini muffin tins, making sure that each round is centered and that the dough extends up to the top of the tin. Fill each with about 1 Tbs. of filling-you can fill right to the top of the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling until all the filling is used. You may not need all the dough; save leftovers for another use. You can bake the quiches immediately or freeze and bake them later (see Make-Ahead Tip, below).

To bake: Heat the oven to 400°F and position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Bake the quiches, switching the position of the tins halfway through baking, until the filling is puffed and the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Make Ahead Tips: Unbaked quiches can be frozen for up to a month. Freeze the quiches in the muffin tins for about 2 hours, or until set. Remove them from the tins and transfer them to an airtight container, setting parchment or plastic wrap between layers, or seal them in a plastic bag. To bake, transfer the quiches back to the tins and bake immediately, without thawing. Baking time for frozen quiches will be about 30 to 35 minutes.

NOTES: You’ll need four mini muffin tins for this recipe (or two if your tins have 24 cups). If you don’t have enough muffin tins, you can assemble the quiches in batches, storing the remaining egg mixture and dough in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops with Béarnaise Sauce

Tender lamb chops cooked over a fire accented with a béarnaise sauce turns a Saturday evening into a special occasion every time.  Bits of rosemary and garlic cling to the loin chops, roasting along with the meat creating a fragrant, succulent lamb dinner.  It is so easy to prepare you’ll wonder why you waited for the weekend to make it. Cradle the chops in a classic sauce like béarnaise and you have a perfect herbaceous accent for lamb.

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops with Béarnaise Sauce

Serves: 6
12     whole  lamb loin chops
12     cloves  garlic — chopped
dried rosemary
sea salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Arrange lamb chops on a rimmed baking sheet. Generously drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Rub garlic and rosemary over chops until covered. Transfer to a container or Ziploc bag and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Light a charcoal grill and spread coals on only one side of the grill to allow for a cool zone on the other side. Place lamb directly over hot coals to sear each side 1-2 minutes, then rotate to the cool zone as needed. Grill lamb until medium-rare, about 10 minutes total, depending on size. The chops should have an internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat of 120° for medium-rare, 130° for medium.

Once done, remove chops from grill, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Serve with Béarnaise Sauce.

Béarnaise Sauce

Yields approximately 1 cup
1/4      cup  tarragon leaves
2        small  shallots — minced very fine
1        tablespoons  champagne vinegar or tarragon vinegar
1/4      cup  dry white wine
3        egg yolks
8        tablespoons  butter — melted
pinch  white pepper
salt to taste

In a small saucepan, combine half the tarragon, shallots, vinegar, and wine over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by about half. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a food processor, blend pepper, yolks, and the tarragon reduction. With the processor running, slowly add the butter in a steady stream until all 8 tablespoons have been added. Remove from the processor and whisk-in remaining tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Sauce can be made in advance and kept warm set in a hot water bath until ready to serve.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Real Food Whole Health Traditional Tuesdays
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop


Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Vidalia Onions

Pancetta and Gruyere cheese mixed with ground beef from a local butcher deliver a burger worthy of peak grilling season.  Lean pancetta infuses savory, juicy flavor without overpowering the beef, while the earthy, distinct flavor of Gruyere brings a rich nuance.  A few basic seasonings, toasted bun, grilled Vidalia onions and you are ready to eat right there at the grill—no other condiments required. Of course, it is good manners to share, so you’ll want to wait ’til you get to the table.

Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Sweet Onions

Serves 4
1        pound  ground beef — 90% lean
4        ounces  pancetta (lean) — chopped
1/2      cup  Gruyere cheese — cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/2      teaspoon  smoked paprika
1/2      teaspoon  granulated garlic
1/2      teaspoon  onion powder
1/2      teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1        large  sweet onion — Vidalia
4        buns
butter
olive oil

Slice onion to create 1/4″ discs, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; set aside. Lightly butter the buns and set aside.

Gently mix seasoning, pancetta, and cheese into ground beef. Form 1/3 lb. patties with meat mixture.

Grill onions over medium-high heat until softened and lightly browned on both sides.

Grill burgers over medium heat until seared well on both sides and cooked through. While the burgers finish, grill buttered buns (butter side down) until toasted.

Serve the burger on the toasted bun with the grilled onions piled on top.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop
The Nourishing Gourmet Monday Mania
Real Food Whole Health Traditional Tuesdays
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday

Garnishing a Meal: More Than Just A Pretty Plate

Blackened Salmon garnished with Feta, Basil, and Fresh Tomato

So, you have dinner on the table with the last ounce of energy you could muster for the day and the thought comes to you, how I can garnish it? … Uh, hardly.  I know, it should be enough to have dinner done every day, but a simple garnish can transform a meal from ho-hum to ta-da! with little effort.  An easy rule of thumb to is, if it goes in it, it can go on it.  If a recipe calls for celery and onion, then celery leaves and scallions will be a complementary garnish when served.  The fresh components of those ingredients already in a dish create a bright, enzyme-rich finish.  These are just a few suggestions using common grocery items as a garnish to make any meal even more appealing.

Avocado — sliced or cubed, avocado goes on tacos, grilled or blackened fish, breakfast eggs, sandwiches, salads, soups, and more.

Croutons — go beyond the usual salad, this cupboard staple works great for soups too.  It won’t boost the nutritional value of the meal, but does add interest and texture.

Fresh herbs add color, flavor, and increase nutritional value. If a recipe calls for dried herbs, adding the same herb as a fresh garnish is guaranteed to enhance the dish.  These are three I use most often on just about everything.

Parsley — that leafy green sprig placed on many restaurant plates is there for more than contrast, it is a digestive aid and breath freshener.  This mild herb is a great place to begin if unfamiliar with using fresh herbs.

Cilantro — a cousin to parley, sometimes called Chinese parsley, fresh cilantro can be used in the same manner as parsley, placement of a stem and leaves or chopped and sprinkled atop a meal.

Basil — used for more than pesto, basil is an aromatic and beautiful garnish when julienned and sprinkled over pasta dishes or grilled meats. Basil varieties are fun to experiment with allowing flavor accents of lemon or cinnamon to bring new dimensions to old favorites.

Fennel fronds, celery leaves, and scallions are often regarded as waste when they could be used to garnish instead.

Lemon / Lime / Orange — citrus wedges or slices brighten and enhance meats, salads, and vegetables with a fresh squeeze of Vitamin C on each plate.

Nuts & Seeds — not just for your morning yogurt, nuts and seeds add crunch and texture to vegetable dishes and fruit or lettuce salads. Fiber, healthy oils, and antioxidants make these a garnish powerhouse.

Parmesan, Feta, Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola, and Chèvre (soft goat cheese) deliver on taste with only a small amount, so strong-flavored cheeses like these are ideal on grilled meat, pasta, burgers, salads, soups, Quiche, and vegetables.

Tomatoesseed and chop tomatoes, or quarter grape tomatoes; toss with salt and pepper before adding as a topper (allow to sit for 5-10 minutes). The salt will help the tomatoes release a little juice and enhance flavor. Use fresh, seeded tomatoes to garnish scrambled eggs, grilled meats, crostini, soups, or pasta dishes.

Beef Stroganoff Garnished with Parmesan and Parsley

Chopped Fresh Tomatoes & Basil Garnish

Shaved Parmesan & Goat Cheese Garnish

Sliced Almond Garnish on Green Beans

Crouton Garnish on Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cilantro, Avocado, Sour Cream Garnish

Fruit, Walnut, and Feta Garnish on Roasted Asparagus

Celery Leaf Garnish on Seafood Chowder

Lime Wedge Garnish with Mango-Avocado Salsa

Is there a favorite garnish you like to use? 

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Girlichef for EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday


July 4th BBQ Menu: A Declaration of Flavor

Before loading the blanket in the car and heading for the annual fireworks and funnel cakes extravaganza, something has to hit the grill for the evening barbecue.  Everyone has a favorite that speaks “July 4th backyard barbecue” to them—pasta salad, watermelon, hamburgers, macaroni salad, baked beans, BBQ pork sandwiches, potato salad, steaks, apple pie, and sweet iced tea—all of it worthy of celebrating independence, American-style.

In case you are looking to add something new to your list of favorites or planning a barbecue of your own for the first time, here are a few recipes to consider.  The beauty of this menu is the timing of it all.  Guests can munch on hummus or salsa while ribs finish in the oven, beans stay warm in the crockpot, and dressed slaw marinates in the fridge. Meanwhile, everyone is enjoying ice-cold Strawberry Lemonade or  Rosé Sangrias as the vegetables and corn finish grilling.

JULY 4th BBQ MENU

Something to Nibble:
Chips & Salsa
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

The Main Attraction:
Missouri-Style Baby Back Ribs
Baked Beans
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Classic Coleslaw -or- Celery, Apple,  & Fennel Slaw
Grilled Vegetables

Smooth Sipping:
Rosé Sangria with Pineapple & Guava
Strawberry Lemonade

Sweet Endings:
Sliced Watermelon
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
Triple Chocolate Cookies

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Yield: 2 cups
6      tablespoons  tahini
1/4     cup  extra-virgin olive oil
14       ounces  chickpeas — drained and rinsed
1/2     whole  red pepper — roasted
1        large  garlic clove — minced
1/2     teaspoon  sea salt
3       tablespoons  lemon juice
2       teaspoons  chopped fresh parsley
pinch of cayenne

Roast red pepper, skin side up, under a broiler until skin blisters and is blackened in spots.  Remove from oven and place pepper in a plastic bag to cool–the steam in the bag will make it easier to remove the skin. Once the pepper has cooled, remove the skin and coarsely chop the pepper. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl or measuring cup.

Process chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, and cayenne in food processor until chickpeas are almost smooth.  Add lemon juice and tahini, scrape down bowl and continue to process until well incorporated, about 1 minute. With machine running, add oil in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley, cover with plastic wrap; let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes.  Serve with pita chips or rosemary crackers.

Missouri-Style Baby Back Ribs

“Show-Me” barbecue sauce is the perfect sweet-smoky way to bring out the great flavor of tender slow-roasted ribs.
Serves: 4-6
1-2     racks baby back pork ribs (4-5 lbs)
3/4    cup  Lawry’s Mesquite Marinade (optional)
3/4    tablespoon  Italian seasoning
3/4    tablespoon  onion powder
3/4    tablespoon  garlic powder
1      tablespoon  Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic
1      tablespoon  cumin — ground
1/8    cup  Worcestershire sauce
1      teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
2      bottles  beer — preferable Guinness
1      bottle  Show-Me BBQ Sauce — or your favorite

Grill & Oven Method:
Season ribs with the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, Meat Magic, cumin, and black pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The step of seasoning overnight can be skipped if there is a time constraint.) In a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on one side in the bottom of the grill to create a hot side and a cool side. Grill ribs over coals to sear, rotating to cool side of grill to avoid charring.

Grill for 30-40 minutes to allow meat to pick up smoky flavor. Remove from grill and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Baste with marinade and Worcestershire sauce. Pour beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Bake at 325° for 3 hours or until meat is tender and  loosening from the bone. Uncover, baste with barbecue sauce and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until sauce caramelizes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut ribs between the bones and serve.

Oven Method:
Season ribs with the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, Meat Magic, cumin, and black pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The step of seasoning overnight can be skipped if there is a time constraint.) Heat oven to 325°F.

Place ribs in roasting pan and evenly baste seasoned ribs with marinade and Worcestershire sauce. Pour beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Bake at 325° for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender and loosening from the bone. Uncover, baste with barbecue sauce, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until sauce caramelizes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut ribs between the bones and serve.

NOTES: Ribs can be prepared in advance and frozen. When prepared ahead of time, omit barbecue sauce until ribs are reheated.

Grilled Vegetables

Serves: 4-6
1       medium  zucchini — sliced 1/4″ thick, lengthwise
1       medium  yellow summer squash — sliced 1/4″ thick, lengthwise
2       large  sweet onions — sliced 1/4″ thick, in rings
1        whole  red bell pepper — cut into 2″ pieces
1        whole  yellow bell pepper
1       pound  cherry tomatoes — stems removed
10       cloves  garlic — unpeeled
skewers
salt and pepper
favorite spice such as Italian seasoning, curry, granulated garlic, etc.

Prep vegetables as directed. Skewer peppers together, cherry tomatoes together, and garlic cloves together.

Arrange prepared vegetables and skewers on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any favorite spice— Italian seasoning, curry, granulated garlic, etc. (simple salt & pepper works great by itself too).

Let vegetables sit for 10-15 minutes and then grill over med-high heat until just tender and striped with grill marks. Remove each type of vegetable when done and place back on rimmed baking sheet.

Remove skewers from tomatoes, peppers, and garlic.  Remove peel from garlic  and slice squash (roasted garlic should pop right out).  Mix vegetables together in a large serving tray and serve warm.

NOTES: Smaller squash can be halved lengthwise rather than cut into slices. By placing like items on skewers–tomatoes with tomatoes, pepper with peppers, etc.–each one can be removed from the heat when done without leaving other items uncooked. Finished vegetables can be placed in a warm oven until ready to serve.

So, what food says, “July 4th backyard bBQ” to you?

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Foods
Girlichef Friday Potluck
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop
Real Food Whole Health Traditional Tuesdays
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania