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This month’s recipe category:
“Cold Weather Comfort Foods”
Three-Cheese Crisp Sandwich
(makes two grilled cheese sandwiches)
4 slices sourdough bread, ½ inch thick
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
4 Parmesan Crisps (See recipe below)
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
½ t. fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
In a small bowl, combine butter and rosemary. Spread half the rosemary butter on outside of two slices of bread.
On the unbuttered sides, sprinkle with the grated Fontina cheese. Cover each half with two Parmesan Crisps, then sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese.
Top each half with second slice of bread; then spread the top with the remaining rosemary butter. Place sandwiches in a non-stick frying pan over medium/medium high heat. Place a cook’s press weight or foil wrapped brick, or something weighted on top, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Remove weight and flip, placing weight on top again, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until those sides are golden brown.
Remove from pan, cut sandwiches in half and garnish with a Parmesan Crisp.
(yields 8 crisps)
8 T. fresh imported Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rectangular baking pan with parchment paper.
Place a 2 ½-inch biscuit/cookie-cutter on the paper at least one inch from the side of the pan, and sprinkle one tablespoon of cheese evenly into the mold. Remove mold and repeat with remaining cheese, spacing cheese mounds at least one inch apart from each other.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese crisps start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven, remove entire sheet from pan, and let set a minute, then remove crisps and place on cooling rack until cool. Yield 8 crisps.
*These can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container until ready to use. This recipe will make more crisps than needed for two sandwiches. The extras are for the cook!
Mrs. Fisher’s Macaroni and Cheese
(serves 4 to 6)
Carol Boas, Wilton
1 package cut up chicken pieces
1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
2 medium onions, unpeeled and cut into chunks
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 large stalks of celery, washed well, cut in chunks ( use the tops if they look nice and fresh)
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, well washed and stems torn off
½ bunch fresh dill, well washed and stems torn off ( reserve other half of the bunch for finished soup)
1 t. whole black peppercorns
Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, until stock is reduced by a about a third. This will take about 3 hours.(After 45 minutes, remove chicken breast pieces from pot and with tongs or a fork, remove the meat and keep in a separate bowl. Return the bones to the pot and continue to simmer.)
Strain stock through a colander into a large bowl and discard all the vegetables, herbs and bones. Let cool, then place in 1 quart containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
For chicken soup, place 1 quart of stock in a saucepan. Shred or cut up reserved chicken meat, add with a good handful of peeled, carrot chunks, chopped celery pieces and some frozen peas. Bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots are tender. Add cooked egg noodles if desired and top with minced dill.
Auntie Karen’s Cha-Cha Chili
Karen Soucy, Trumbull
5 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 can Green Giant Mexi-Corn
2 pkgs. McCormick’s Chili Seasoning (mild, med., hot. you choose!)
2 lbs. browned ground beef OR 2 (12 oz.) Morningstar Farms’ Veggie Crumbles (for vegetarian version)
1 can beans (black beans, kidney, etc.)
1 onion, chopped
garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, all to taste
In a slow-cooker, add browned ground beef or veggie crumbles and all the remaining ingredients. Cook in slow-cooker on low for 2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally (you can also make this on the stove in a large, covered pot; cook on medium-low heat for about 1 hour, until heated through).
Roast Loin of Pork
Blanca Restaino, Norwalk
2 ½ lbs. pork roast
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 ½ c. white wine
3 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ c. olive oil
3 onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 T. dried thyme
1 t. salt
½ t. ground black pepper
One day ahead: Make slits in the roast and insert garlic slices. Combine the following in a large plastic bag: wine, lemon juice, olive oil, onions, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Add roast and marinate overnight in refrigerator.
Day of serving: Preheat oven to 350°. Remove meat from marinade and roast until meat is no longer pink inside and thermometer reads 160° to 170°.
Cornflake Crumb Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
2 c. Kellogg’s Cornflake Crumbs
1 c. Ken’s Steak House® Zesty Italian Dressing (or your favorite Italian dressing)
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and spray the foil with cooking spray.
Pour Italian dressing into small bowl. Pour cornflake crumbs into plastic bag. Dip each chicken breast in dressing, then in crumbs, and place on cookie sheet. After all chicken is on cookie sheet, combine remaining crumbs in bag with remaining dressing in bowl (you may need to add more crumbs if the mixture is too wet). Sprinkle crumb/dressing mixture over chicken. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve hot.
*You can also use thin or pounded chicken breast, or chicken breast tenders; just reduce the cooking time, to about 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque
(serves 6 to 8)
Amy Pollard, Norwalk
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. coarsely chopped broccoli
¾ c. chopped carrots
½ c. chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 sm. clove garlic, minced
¼ t. thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 ½ c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese
Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add flour and cook several minutes, stirring to form a paste. Remove from heat. Gradually blend in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring. Add vegetables and seasonings. Cover.
Simmer eight minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a separate bowl, blend cream and egg, and gradually blend in several tablespoons of soup. Then add cream mixture to soup and cook, stirring until thickened. Blend in cheese just before serving.
(serves 3 to 4)
2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning or 1/2 packet of regular taco seasoning
1 can of red kidney beans
Half an onion
2 cloves garlic
1 c. salsa (any kind)
2 T. olive oil
Spray large fry pan with non-stick spray. Lightly brown turkey; drain fat and set aside turkey.
Chop an onion and clove or two of garlic (up to the person as to how much); in large fry pan add olive oil and add onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add in turkey, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, salsa and taco seasoning (use entire low sodium packet or half of a regular packet).
Stir and cover with lid; let simmer for a couple minutes. Lower heat and let stand so it can thicken and serve. Best served on a soft tortilla with sour cream, cheese and avocado.
Nanny Ida’s Beef Brisket
(serves 4 to 6)
One 4 to 5 lb. 1st Cut Brisket
One envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
One 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, all to taste
3 T. Worcestershire Sauce
Hot tap water
One day ahead: Preheat oven to 400°. Starting with fat side, sprinkle both sides of brisket with spices. Place brisket, fat side down, in large roasting pan/baking dish. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Pour enough very hot tap water over brisket to just cover it. Add tomato sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and packet of Onion Soup Mix to roasting pan. Cover with tinfoil, lower oven temperature to 325°. Roast covered with tin foil for 3 hours. Remove brisket from oven, and cool slightly (keep it covered). Refrigerate overnight.
Day of serving:
Fat will solidify in pan; remove fat and discard. Take brisket out of pan, and with a sharp knife, slice the fat off the meat, being careful not to cut the meat off while you’re doing this. Slice the meat into thin pieces. Pour the gravy that’s into the pan through a strainer and into a bowl to remove any extra fat.
In a large baking dish, put sliced meat and gravy. Heat covered with tinfoil for about an hour at 375° or until very hot. Serve with your favorite potatoes, vegetables, etc.
TO MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE:
EASY TIP: You can make and freeze the meat and gravy ahead of time…I slice the meat and wrap it in Saran, and put the gravy in Tupperware. Freeze both for up to one month; defrost in the refrigerator for a day or two before eating; then put meat and gravy in a large baking dish and heat covered with tinfoil for an hour at 375°, or until piping hot.