Thanksgiving 2013 – Garlic Cheese Grits And Spinach Souffle

cheese grits and spinach

Let’s face it – Thanksgiving is all about carbs. I can’t just settle for mashed potatoes and mac and cheese — I must serve cheese grits as well!

This is a wonderful recipe. It combines the essence of the traditional cheese grits casserole with the sophistication of a spinach souffle. Your vegetarian guests will thank you!

Honey is a natural flavor enhancer. While there is only one tablespoon in this recipe, the honey makes the souffle tastier without making it sweet.

Yield: 12 generous servings

Ingredients:

1½ teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup finely grated Parmesan

3 2/3 cups milk (not skim)

1 cup stone-ground or old-fashioned grits

Salt and black pepper

1½ cups grated sharp cheddar

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

6 ounces baby spinach leaves (7½ cups loosely packed)

6 scallions thinly sliced (2/3 cup), 1 tablespoon reserved

Directions:  Grease a 2-quart souffle dish with 1½ teaspoons butter, dust with 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and set aside.

In a medium non-stick saucepan bring the milk and the 2 tablespoons of butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add the grits in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until grits are thick and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when you stir, 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1¼ cups of the cheddar, the remaining Parmesan, honey, garlic, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Taste the grits and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring vigorously to incorporate each before adding the next. Stir in the spinach by handfuls.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks. Add a quarter of the whites to the grits mixture and, using a spatula, stir until just combined. Add remaining whites and rapidly but gently fold them in along with the scallions.

Spoon the batter into the prepared dish, smooth, sprinkle with the remaining cheddar, and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue baking until the souffle is puffed, golden brown, and barely jiggles when you shake the pan, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Sprinkle with reserved scallions and serve at once.

Cooking With Honey – Homemade Honey Sriracha

Fresh Sriracha (aka, home made 'Rooster')

Given that I keep stingy insects like honey bees, it’s not surprising that hot and spicy foods are my favorites!

In my humble opinion,  the taste of  a mouth-burningly hot dish, tempered with the uniquely flavorful sweetness of honey, is one of  life’s greatest pleasures!

My bees must feel the same way because my friends swear that my honey tastes a bit spicy.  I think that’s part of its charm!!

Anyway, here’s my recipe for homemade honey Sriracha.  You may never use store-bought again!!

Yield:   1 1/2 cups
Ingredients:
 
1/2 pound red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2  tablespoons honey
Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the honey in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers.

Place the mixture and honey in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer, extracting as much juice as possible.

Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as store-bought Sriracha, but less salty and fresher tasting!

Cooking With Honey – Mixed Greens With Honey Oregano Vinaigrette And Crispy Prosciutto

oregano salad

For the last two months I’ve been traveling the East Coast attending Bee Meetings and visiting adult children. It’s been lots of fun although I feel a bit like a long haul trucker. 🙂

I’ve visited the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, and the beehive/kitchen garden at the White House in Washington DC. I’ll be posting about my trips over the next few weeks.

Of course I’ve been eating and drinking along the way !! One of my favorite meals was at Nonna’s Italian in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where I had one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted. Not surprisingly, the original recipe calls for honey!!

Whether you make this salad as a prelude to a meal or for the meal itself, I guarantee you will enjoy it!!

Yield:  10 servings

Dressing:

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black or red pepper, depending on your taste

3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Place all ingredients in lidded jar and shake until combined. Let stand for up to two hours for flavors to blend.

Crispy Prosciutto:

Twelve slices prosciutto.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide prosciutto between baking sheets, laying them flat. Bake until fat turns golden and meat is darker, about 15 minutes (rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking time). Using tongs, carefully transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain (it will crisp as it cools). Crispy prosciutto can be used like bacon, in whole pieces or crumbled.

Salad:

Twelve cups mixed greens

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings

12 small/cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters

1 tablespoon capers

1/4 cup sliced and pitted kalamata olives

12 slices crispy prosciutto, crumbled fine.

Directions:

Mix well and serve with Italian bread and olive oil.

Never-Fail Recipes For Organic Deer Repellent

They’re Only Cute When It’s Not Your Garden!

It’s that time of year again! Time to brew up a batch of my never-fail deer repellent. Actually, I have several recipes.

Here they are:

FROM: http://www.farminfo.org/pests
3 raw eggs
3 tbls. of red hot sauce
3 tbls. of garlic juice or minced
Add enough water to a blender to process and mix well. Add this to a gallon of water and spray on plants. You can make the spray last longer by adding Wilt Proof to it.

FROM: A Minnesota Master Gardener at http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/AAMG/wildlife
Blend 2 eggs and a cup or two or cold water at high speed. Add this mixture to a gallon of water and let it stand for 24 hours. After 24 hours, spray on foliage. The egg mixture does not wash off easily, but re-application 2-3 times a season may be needed. For a larger quantity, blend a dozen eggs into 5 gallons of water. This mix is also said to repel rabbits.

FROM: http://www.Rutherford County.org

6 eggs
4 hot peppers or enough to make it very hot
6-12 gloves of garlic, enough to make it stink
5 cups of warm water.
Put it all in a blender and liquify it. Put it in an old milk jug. Set it out for a couple of days in the sun to let it cook and get really stinky and hot. Strain it good if you want to use it in a sprayer. You can also pour it on and/or around the plants directly from the jug.

FROM: Backyard Magazine

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon of cooking oil
1 Tablespoon of dish soap
Add 1 gallon of water and shake well. Spray or sprinkle on plants every two weeks or after heavy rain.

FROM: Kreftmeyer Fine Gardens/Missouri Botanical Gardens
2 eggs
1 cup skim milk
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons liquid dish detergent
Put all in blender and spray.

I personally use a combination of all of the above ingredients. I don’t want to take any chances.

These really work, and I end up spraying all of my neighbors’ yards too. The only downside is that with all that hot sauce, our yards smell like Buffalo Wings for a day or so.

Good luck!

Spicy Honey-Roasted Leg Of Lamb

200308-r-indian-spiced-lamb

Celebrate Spring with this spicy-sweet leg of lamb!

Ingredients

Marinade

6 large cloves garlic, peeled, and coarsely chopped

1/2 ounce fresh ginger, peeled, and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red chile powder

5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons water

Kosher salt

Lamb

1 leg of lamb (about 5 pounds)

Honey rub

3 1/2 ounces blanched almonds

3 1/2 ounces Greek yogurt, plain

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

Directions

For the marinade: Blend together the garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, coriander, black pepper, chile powder, lemon juice, vegetable oil, water, and salt, to taste.

For the lamb: Trim the excess fat and membranes from the leg of lamb. Make deep regular cuts all over the flesh with a paring knife. Rub the marinade into the lamb, making sure you get it into the deep cuts. Place the lamb in a plastic food bag with the remaining marinade and leave in the refrigerator, for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours, or ideally for 24 hours.

For the honey rub: Blend together 2 ounces of the almonds, the yogurt, and 1/2 the honey in a blender or food processor. Take the lamb out of the refrigerator and remove from the plastic bag. Rub the honey blend into the lamb, and leave the lamb for at least 30 minutes, or ideally for another 2 hours, covered, in the refrigerator. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the lamb on a rack with a roasting pan placed underneath the lamb on the rack below. Cook for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees F, and cook for another 1 hour 40 minutes, or until the meat juices run fairly pink when pierced, basting every 20 to 30 minutes.

Scatter the remaining almonds and drizzle the remaining honey over the lamb and roast for another 10 minutes. Check if the meat is cooked using a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 130 degrees F for rare to 150 degrees F for well done, depending on the desired degree of doneness.

Remove the lamb from the oven. Loosely cover the lamb with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Pour out the juices, spoon off any excess fat, and serve it on the side.

Coq Au Vin Et Miel

250px-Coq_au_vin_rouge

It’s perfect weather for a great pot of Coq Au Vin…  avec Miel!! 

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

6 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 1/4 lb. chicken legs and thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lb.  mushrooms

3/4 lb. shallots, halved

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups full bodied red wine

6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 yellow onion, cut in half

2 tablespoons honey

2 cups chicken broth

3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

Directions:

Cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the skillet, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven. Add the garlic, tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the red wine, the honey and the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the bacon, chicken, mushroom mixture, carrots, the herbs, the bay leaf and the yellow onion. Simmer until the chicken is fork-tender, about 2 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Skim the fat off the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard the herbs and yellow onion and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to Dutch oven. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with noodles or boiled or mashed potatoes.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 16 – Onion and Garlic Soup For A Snowy Day

onion garlic soup

It’s a cold and snowy day in Cincinnati and everything is quiet outside. I didn’t feel like going out, so I made this lovely soup from what I had on hand. I’m pretty sure it’s good for whatever ails you, and will also keep any Vampires away!

Yield:  1- 2 servings

Ingredients

1  thinly sliced large yellow onion

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus additional to taste

1/4 teaspoon honey (helps the onions to brown)

1  tablespoon almond flour

3 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup  dry white wine

Freshly ground black pepper

2-4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Directions

Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 2- to 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions and garlic, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and honey. Cook onions and garlic, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown.

After the onions and garlic are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed.

Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness.  Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.