Friday, December 30, 2011

Missy's Favorite Turkey Dressing

from Simply Recipes

I have made this recipe for every holiday party in the last three years and it is always my favorite! It's got a great blend of fall flavors and is so easy. It's a perfect side when you want to feed a lot of people.

Serves 8-12

1 loaf day old French bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 10-12 cups bread cubes)
1 cup walnuts (I have also used hazelnuts)
2 cups onion
2 cups celery
6 Tbsp butter
1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped olives (martini olives, the ones with the pimento)
1-2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp ground sage
salt and pepper to taste

Toast the nuts on medium high heat until browned, about a minute or two. Let them cool and then chop them roughly.

Heat a large saute pan on medium heat. Melt 3 Tbsp (about half) of the butter in the pan and then pour in the bread cubes, coating them with melted butter. Let them toast; only turn them when they begin to turn brown. (It's best if the bread is already a bit dried out. If it's still moist, lay the cubes in a baking pan and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes or your stuffing will turn out mushy.)

In a large pot, saute onions and celery on medium high heat with the other half of the butter (about 3 Tablespoons) until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the bread, chopped nuts, apple, raisins, olives and parsley. Add one cup of stock, the rest of the seasonings and salt and pepper.

Cover. Turn the heat to low and cook for an hour or until the apples are cooked through. Check every 10 minutes or so to add water if the stuffing starts to dry out and stick to the bottom of the pan.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spanish Rice Bake

Adapted from Allrecipes

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get into a cooking rut. I get comfortable with a few recipes and after a month or so I stop and realize I have been eating the same 3 things for weeks! Anyway, I wanted something new and easy, with not too many strange ingredients that I would have to hunt around for. This was just the ticket. Familiar flavors, hearty and with a little hot sauce it really sings.

Plus, I imagine you could add all sorts of beans and veggies to this and even make it vegetarian if you so desired.

Makes enough for 4-6 people

1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion
2-3 bell peppers
1 can (14 oz or 400g) canned tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 cup water
1 cup rice
1/2 cup chile sauce (or salsa)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
Brown the meat and onion in a large skillet. Drain excess fat and stir in peppers, tomatoes, water, rice, chilie sauce, salt, sugar, and spices.
Let simmer for about 30 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Check to see that the rice is cooked through, and if it is pour entire contents into a large casserole dish. (if not, wait a little longer, add water if needed and then pour it into the dish) Press down firmly and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
Bake at for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with fresh cilantro.