Sunday, April 26, 2009

Easy Gravy For Chicken And Turkey

When You Have Lots Of Cooked Chicken Or Turkey But No Gravy, don't let it stop you from enjoying a traditional poultry dinner or a hot chicken or turkey sandwich.
The easy gravy served with the above meal is from the One-Dish Meals recipe book that I co-wrote with my niece Joanne Uhlman. For the recipe, click here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hungarian Ground Beef Goulash

Hungarian Ground Beef Goulash is versatile, good alone or with pasta or rice, and you can enjoy some and freeze the rest for future meals.
Add cubed cooked potatoes and enjoy in a bowl or on a plate with a couple of other vegetables on the side or, omit the potatoes and serve over pasta or rice, as shown above on a bed of penne. I added a garnish of a few bits of tomato.
It is accompanied by green beans and sauerkraut which not only complements the taste, but makes a nice presentation.
Hungarian Ground Beef Goulash
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 pounds ground beef
1 green pepper, cut into narrow strips
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup beef broth (use water or tomato juice if you don't have beef broth on hand)
2 cups cubed, cooked potatoes (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream

Melt butter in saucepan; saute onions 10 minutes. Blend in paprika and salt, then add the beef and green pepper. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly. Stir in tomato sauce and broth. Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes. Add potato cubes; cook 5 more minutes. Stir in sour cream.
Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Growing Herbs

Earth Day, Earth Week, Earth Year - Growing one's own herbs for cooking is a way to avoid buying herbs in traditional supermarket packaging that includes plastics and jars.
On this wet and foggy Earth Day, here in Hunts Point on Nova Scotia's South Shore, I took the above picture of the plant pots on the kitchen window sill.
Chives, on the far left, are used often for flavor and color. When a bit is needed for a garnish, or to add flavor to scrambled or devilled eggs, I pull out the kitchen shears and snip a couple of blades.

Last fall, just before the ground froze, I removed a few of the chive bulbs from the clump growing outside in the patch near the kitchen door, and put them in a plant pot and brought them inside.
Next to the chives are two pots with young
sweet basil plants which I grew from seeds, planted a couple of months ago in the house. Sweet basil leaves can be used in salads, especially those with fresh tomatoes, and for making pesto.
Next to the sweet basil is a pot of garlic chives. A few years ago, a relative shared some of the bulbs from her clump of garlic chives and they have been thriving in my outdoor garden. In the fall of 2008, I put some in the pot for indoors. They are a great garnish for casseroles, chowders, etc.
The last pot contains two thyme plants, started a couple of months ago from seed.
About a week ago, I planted parsley which I expect to be adding to the outside garden and will keep one inside on the windowsill garden.
Now that garden centres are gearing up for the season, and farmer's markets are springing to life, look for seeds, seedlings, or even mature plants ready for use in the kitchen or to add to a little herb garden outside but near enough to the kitchen for easy access when needed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

English Style Haddock And Chips

Fresh Haddock And Chips
One of the pleasures of living in one of Nova Scotia's coastal communities is being close to supplies of fresh seafood as well as restaurants that enable the occasional treat of such meals as fresh haddock. Seascape Restaurant in Port Mouton has a reputation for offering the best haddock and chips on the South Shore of our province. They recently opened for the season so today we decided to indulge in the most popular item on their menu, and here's a picture. They describe it as "fresh deep fried haddock in English Style Batter Golden & Crunchy. Although we had the traditional fries, one also could choose steamed rice or baby roast potatoes.
Note: This was a "2-piece" order but due to smaller size of pieces, they added a third piece to the order.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Classic Nova Scotia Lobster Chowder

Goose Hills Lobster Chowder
As I write, several lobster fishing vessels are checking lines of traps here on Port Mouton Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada. The season will be over in about eight weeks. Also happening in our area are the 250th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Liverpool. For the 200th anniversary of Liverpool in 1959, special projects included the Perkins' Hearth Cookbook which contained the following recipe called Goose Hills Lobster Chowder, attributed to well-known citizen, the late Henry Hensey.
1 pound potatoes, diced
1/4 pound onions, minced
1/4 pound butter
10 pounds cooked lobster in shell, or 2 pounds lobster meat, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 quarts milk
1/2 tin evaporated milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Put butter and lobster in a frypan and simmer gently until butter is orange in colour. Put potato and onion in pot with enough water to cover and cook until potato is fork tender, then add milk, sugar, lobster, salt and pepper.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Delicious Devilled Eggs

Devilled Eggs
These were made for a family gathering on Easter Sunday. Only one of the two supermarkets in our area carries the small size eggs and on this holiday weekend, they had a good supply. Small is the ideal size for devilled eggs.
Here is how these were prepared:
1 dozen small eggs, hard cooked, refrigerated overnight for convenience but they could be used immediately. Remove shells. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolk, and put it in a bowl. Set aside the whites.
Mash the yolks with a fork until no longer lumpy.
To the yolks, add enough mayonnaise or salad dressing to bind the yolk and for desired consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste, a teaspoon or two of prepared mustard and a dash of cayenne pepper.
Add the yolk filling to the whites with a spoon, or a pastry tube. Sprinkle with paprika.
Tip: Devilled eggs like to slide around on a platter so to prevent them from moving, place paper serviettes on the tray. Arrange eggs on the serviettes. Garnish the tray with fresh sprigs of parsley.
Makes: 24
Note: Devilled eggs are wonderful addition to picnic lunches. As a teenager, I was the guest one weekend of a classmate who lived in Central Port Mouton. Her mother prepared a picnic lunch for the family and me. We hopped into their car and headed to one of the most beautiful spots in Nova Scotia, or perhaps North America...or the world...Carters Beach...where the blanket was spread and we enjoyed the meal that included the delicious devilled eggs.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gramma Henderson's Fish Scallop

Fish every Friday makes menu planning easy. We are fortunate in our area to be able to purchase fish from a gentleman who arrives at our door during some months of the year. During the warmer months, fish sellers are at the farmer's market in Liverpool. This old recipe for Potato & Fish Scallop is from a scrap of paper in the handwriting of my late paternal grandmother, Eliza (Day) Henderson (1870-1946). It is as simple as can be. She didn't specify amounts of ingredients so I'll give you the recipe with the approximate amounts that I used today in the one pictured above. But, don't hesitate to be flexible, adding fewer potatoes or more fish. I added a garnish of chopped green onion. Sometimes, for a bit of green on such dishes, I use some garlic chives which grow in my little garden in the summer and fall. Last year, as days grew colder and before the ground froze, I dug some up and put them in a plant pot to continue growing in the winter on the kitchen window sill.
Serve with a couple of other vegetables such as peas and carrots, as shown in the photo.

Potato & Fish Scallop
Potatoes, pared, sliced (about 4 cups)
Fish (1 pound haddock sliced crosswise into thin strips)
Bacon (2 strips, cut into 1-inch pieces)
Bread crumbs (about 1 cup soft)
Milk (about 2 cups fresh or reconstituted powdered skim)
Method: In a buttered 2 or 2 1/2-quart casserole dish, arrange a layer of potato (about 1/3 of the potato); sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange a layer of fish (about half the fish). Repeat the potato and fish layers then add a layer of the remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Arrange bacon pieces over the surface. Add enough milk to just cover the potato.
Bake in preheated 375 degree Fahrenheit oven about one hour or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings