Dawn’s Tri-tip Marinade and Seasoned Red Potatoes

 

 

My best friend, Dawn, was watching my children one day so that I could go to work and I came home to this delicious meal. My response was “when can you move in?” She is a fantastic cook and creates delicious meals without recipes. These are both her creations and as far as measurements, you will have to add to taste.

Beer Braised Beef with Onion Dumplings

I have so many cookbook and not enough time to try every recipe. I bought the cookbook The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook recently. This is the first recipe I tried from it. It was yummy but I felt it was a little too sweet because of the allspice and cloves. I would recommend a slight reduce on these spices if you don’t want it tasting too sweet. I also omitted the dill from the dumplings because I have not found a taste for dill in recipes yet. The dumplings and the braised beef with beer is delicious.

Beer Braised Beef

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck (fatty rather than lean), cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds onions, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pounds carrots, thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 bottle (12ozs) dark beer
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt

Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fine fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 5-7 quart Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 2 Tbs of the oil over medium-high heat. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. Working in batches (this is so the meat browns, rather than steams), cook the meat until browned all over, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a bowl.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs oil to the pan along with the onions, carrots, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the thyme, allspice, cloves, beer, tomato paste, salt, and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pan. Cover and place in the oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender. Place the pan on the stove top.

Dumplings:

In a small skillet, heat 1 tbs of the melted butter. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the buttermilk, dill, and 2 tbs of the melted butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture. Stir the dumpling mixture gently until moistened.

In a shallow bowl, stir the remaining 3 tbs melted butter into the bread crumbs. One at a time, drop the dumpling mixture by rounded tablespoon into the crumb mixture and turn to coat. Drop the dumplings onto the simmering stew, spacing them evenly. Cover the pan and simmer the stew until the dumplings are tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

 

Spicy Oven Fried Chicken

My best friend Dawn gave me the Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh cookbook for my last birthday.

My favorite recipe in this book is this Spicy Oven Fried Chicken. It is very simple to make and bursting with flavors. My children love the taste. I have used boneless chicken breast with or without skin. You can reduce the cayenne pepper if you want it less spicy; it does have a kick. Don’t omit the melted butter because that adds crisp to the final dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp salt, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper, divided
  • 12 chicken pieces with skin and bones (4 breasts, 4 thighs, and 4 drumsticks)
  • 1 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp cayenne in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place 1 rack on each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, flour, thyme, paprika, remaining 1 tsp of salt, and ½ tsp cayenne in medium bowl. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Working in batches, add chicken to breadcrumb mixture; turn to coat. Arrange chicken pieces, skin side up, on racks. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Drizzle butter over chicken; bake until crisp, brown, and cooked through, about 50 minutes.

 

 

Pot Roast by Julia and Jacques

Roasted Red Potatoes

 

Try this simple potato dish that has been a favorite of my parents the few times I’ve cooked it for them. The skins of the potatoes are left on leaving all the flavor and the cheese gets crunchy on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:
Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Toss with oil. Place in a single layer in a greased pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender.

Sweet Potato Puree with Streusel

 

This recipe, found on epicurious.com, is the sweet potato dish I have been making with my Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the past couple years. It is delicious and very sweet if you add marshmallows on top of the streusal, look out sugar rush.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, such as Louisiana, jewel, or garnet yams
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter 9- by 13-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Pierce each potato with fork and transfer to baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 50 minutes. Cool until easy to handle.

Meanwhile, make streusel: In medium bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 stick butter. Rub mixture between fingertips until blended and crumbly. Set aside.

Halve potatoes lengthwise and scoop out flesh into large bowl. Add remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and 3/4 stick butter and mash with potato masher or, for a smoother purée, handheld electric mixer. Spread mixture in prepared dish and cool completely. (Streusel and purée can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, separately, covered.)

Sprinkle streusel over potatoes. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. (Completed dish can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before reheating and let come to room temperature. Bake, loosely covered with foil, until heated through, about 25 minutes.)

Variation:
Sweet potato purée with marshmallows: Omit streusel. Spread purée in baking dish, cover with foil, and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with 3 cups miniature marshmallows and broil until marshmallows are lightly browned, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

 

Ardenwood Oatmeal Crispie’s

Ardenwood Oatmeal Crispie's

This is the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tasted. I went to Ardenwood Farms in Union City, California, years ago, to watch a Civil War re-enactment. Everyone was dressed up from the civil War era, it was quite amusing. They had many recipes sitting out and this is the one that peaked my interest. I have since made them many times for my family and while stationed at the fire station. Everyone loves them. They are my children’s favorite.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups oatmeal

1 package chocolate chips

Directions:

Cream together the butter and the sugars. Mix in the eggs and then vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Mom’s Turkey Gravy

This is a very simple recipe but for some reason I have always had difficulty making a tasty gravy. I have finally perfected mom’s turkey gravy and it sure does dress up a turkey dinner.

Ingredients:

  • Giblets from turkey
  • Flour
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Take the giblets from the turkey and place in a pan of cold water. Add bay leaf and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Simmer while turkey is cooking to make stock. Add water if necessary just keep the heat low.

When turkey is done, remove from roasting pan and use drippings for gravy. Place roasting pan on stove and shake some flour and water in a small container. Add flour mixture with turkey stock to drippings and simmer until gravy is the appropriate thickness for you. Keep adding flour mixture and stock until flavor is good. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Mom’s Turkey Stuffing

This stuffing is simple, yet delicious. My mom started using toasted bread to include my brother and me in the process of cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. We were delighted to help with the toasting and tearing. I no longer stuff the bird but cook it separately as recommended for safety due to the possibility of stuffing inside the turkey harboring bacteria.

Ingredients:

  • 2 loafs white bread
  • 1 pound margarine
  • 3 tsp poultry seasoning or season to taste
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 5-6 stalks celery chopped
  • Turkey stock

Directions:

Toast white bread and tear into bite size pieces. Slowly melt margarine in large sauté pan. Add poultry seasoning to taste. Add chopped celery and onions. Sauté vegetables until tender, around 5-10 minutes. Mix with bread bites. Add a bit of turkey giblet stock to taste. Add more poultry season if needed. Bake separately at 400 degrees for around 10 minutes or until heated through.