Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘recipe’
Posted: November 9th, 2012

America's Test Kitchen perfects roasted carrots.

There are two pieces of raw produce I can’t finish, despite how much I love their flavors: apples and carrots.
For some reason, they get stuck in my throat no matter how much I chew. Forcing myself to finish it only prolongs the agony.
Often, I’ll grab an apple anyway, or bring baby-cut carrots to work with my lunch, thinking that somehow this time will be different. It never is.
The odd part is that all of that goes away when they’re cooked. Baked Apples: apple desserts, applesauce, apple butter, all wonderful.
Carrots: Boil until soft in soup, steam them plain for a soft, smooth, slightly sweet vegetable, or roast them, which encourages the sugar to surface and caramelize and deepen their flavor.
I have dozens of carrots in the garden right now. It might be time to dig them up.
Here’s some good advice for making roasted carrots from America's Test Kitchen, where researchers compile the findings reported in "Cooks Illustrated."

Roasted Carrots
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, halved crosswise, and cut lengthwise if necessary to create even pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine carrots with butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. Transfer carrots to foil- or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in single layer.
2. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook, stirring twice, until carrots are well browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to serving platter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Serves 4 to 6

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 3rd, 2012

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques,” by Shauna Sever. The winner is Alexandra Mazur. I’ll pop it in the mail soon.

If you are not Alexandra, you are welcome to enter the drawing for "The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook: 150 Favorite Southern Recipes," by Sherryl Woods and Teddi Wohlford. This charming volume offers classic southern dishes with a pinch of elegance and tablespoon of creativity. You might wonder how they have “classic” recipes with “creativity.” I don’t know either, but they do.

To enter, send a e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com. Please include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and the NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT. I’ll draw the name next Wednesday.

Here’s a good-looking recipe from “Sweet Magnolias:”

1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
4 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, optional
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

For soak:
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk togetgher the buttermilk and cayenne pepper. Add catfish fillets, making sure each comes into contacdt with the liquid. Refrigerate 4 to 12 hours. Remove catfish from soaking liquid, and pat dry between paper towels. Discard the soaking liquid.
For cornmeal coating:
Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zip-top food storage bag. Secure shut, and shake to blend. Set aside.
For wet mixture:
In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice.
For breading:
Once you have dried off the catfish fillets after their buttermilk soak, you can proceed. The proper breading technique (for all frying) is a dry-wet-dry method. Dredge the catfilsh fillets, one at a time into the spicy cornmeal coating, then the egg mixture, then back to the spicy cornmeal coating.
For frying:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat to 370 degrees. You will know when the oil is hot enough to fry if you drop a tiny bit of breading into the hot oil and it sizzles furiously. The oil should be hot, but not smoking.
2. Carefully lower the catfish into the skillet, frying 2 fillets at a time. The thickness of the fillets determines the cooking time. Total frying time is approximately 7 to 8 minutes, turning once halfway through frying.
3. Remove from skillet and let drawing on wadded paper towels.
4. Repeat for remaining fillets.
– “The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 31st, 2012

This dish from Epicurious needs to get in my belly.

It’s tomato canning weekend at my house, at long last. It’s the first weekend we’ve had free in what seems like months, and the tomatoes are practically crawling into the kitchen on their own. It’s time to buckle down.
After all the jars of diced tomatoes and salsa are done, though, I’m hoping to have fun Monday making a big picnic for 5. Which means I’ll cook for 12. Leftovers, you know.
Penne with Tomato Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella will be on the menu. It calls for sun-dried tomatoes. I’m going to fake those with a simple recipe from SparkPeople for oven-roasted ones..
Yeah, It seems like a lot of work, and I might not actually get to it. But the fact is I can. That’s the cool part.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 21st, 2012

Black beans, mixed with seasonings and rice, offer a cheap route from hungry to happy.

On our recent vacation with John’s immediate family, we cooked most of our meals in the kitchen of his parents’ timeshare. One night, though, we went out to a “Brazilian” restaurant, where servers brought roasted meat on skewers and sliced it onto our plates.
The meat choices seemed endless, and most were delicious, but first they let us fill up on cheaper salad bar fare. One of the offerings was black bean sauce you could pour over rice. It was so good, I could have just eaten a plate of that.
Both John and I came home craving more, so I tried a recipe for Black Beans and Rice out of “Joy of Cooking.” It was good, but this recipe looks better — even without skewers of roast meat wandering around waiting to be had.

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, minced
2 green bell peppers, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 red bell peppers, diced
4 cups hot cooked rice
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar, or a combination)
Hot sauce

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions, green peppers, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add the black beans and oregano. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the balsamic vinegar and remove from the heat. Stir in the red peppers.
3. To serve, place the rice in individual serving bowls and spoon the beans on top. Offer the tomatoes, cheese, and hot sauce on the side.
Serves 4 to 6

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 30th, 2012

Sauteed Squash and Carrot Rounds, from the "Men Who Like To Cook," blog by David Latt, aren't just for men anymore.

Well, I don’t really want you to “squish” it. I just like that word.
Anyway, the issue at hand is four yellow squash sitting atop my toaster oven. Waiting. Waiting for me to get my butt in gear. Waiting to be appreciated, enjoyed and consumed. Not unlike ourselves, come to think of it.
Wow. Sorry — again — about that departure.
What I’m trying desperately to talk about is Garlic Sautéed Yellow Squash and Carrots.
It’s from a blog called "Men Who Like to Cook," written by a guy named David Latt.
I am not a man who likes to cook, but sometimes I get curious about those who are. Curious enough to subscribe to Latt’s newsletter.
It kind of reminds me of those Pepesi Maxx commercials that basically forbid women from drinking it. Kind of funny, actually. (She said as she downed her third Diet Coke.)
There I go again.
Bottom line: Eat your squash and I’ll eat mine.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 27th, 2012

Guacamole, add tomatoes, hold the mayo.

Some of my Loaves & Dishes recipes just stick in my head. Tomato Basil Pie, Sausage and Barley Soup, Blueberry Cheesecake Yum, I could go on.
We had a fiesta of sorts in the office today, with a taco bar complete with guacamole. I’d forgotten how much I love guacamole. Avocados are hot, hot, hot right now in restaurants (think Subway, think fine dining, think celebrity chefs) in food and health magazines, on TV cooking shows.
Trust me. Avocado growers are rolling in green.
Thousands of guacamole recipes crowd the Internet, and pretty decent prepared versions are showing up in supermarket produce sections, but this one, from Loaves in 2007, remains my favorite. Co-worker Sherry makes it all the time and she said people always ask for the recipe. She credits me, bless her, though I took it straight off of Allrecipes.
No matter its origin, its destination is always the bottom of my tummy.
3 avocados — peeled, pitted and mashed
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper, optional

1. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper.
2. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 3 cups
Per 1/4 cup serving: 78 calories, 6.7 grams fat, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram protein, 5.1 grams carbohydrate, 4.2 milligrams sodium
– www.allrecipes.com

Posted in: Uncategorized