Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Archive for the ‘“Recipes”’ Category

Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 4 – Avgolemono Sauce

Posted by terrepruitt on June 5, 2019

Since my hubby loves Avgolemono Soup, I thought I would make some as sauce for the stuffed grape leaves since I recently experienced my family serving sauce with the dolmathes.  I actually didn’t make the SOUP because I didn’t add chicken or orzo. I would like it thicker as a sauce, but it was very runny. It tasted fine.

I did look at a recipe for this because I didn’t know how to reduce the ingredients to make a small portion. I bet there are several ways to make it.  I used

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Lemon-Egg Sauce / Avgolemono Sauce

2 eggs
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 cup of broth used to cook the stuffed grape leaves
salt
pepper

Mix the eggs using a hand mixer.  Mix for about 5 minutes. Slowly – while still mixing – add the lemon juice. Then even slower – while still mixing – add the broth. The hot broth needs to be added to the eggs very slowly otherwise the eggs will cook. So the eggs get tempered by adding the hot liquid slow. Then add salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce into a pot heat it up to just BEFORE boiling. Turn down the heat and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Place the grape leaves on a plate and spoon some sauce on top of them.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves Series:

Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 1 – The Idea

Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 2 – Prepping The Fresh Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 3 – Stuffing And Cooking The Stuffed Grape Leaves

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Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 3 – Stuffing And Cooking The Stuffed Grape Leaves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 3, 2019

Since there are so many names and so many versions of stuffed grape leaves, and while I would like to think I am cooking a Greek version of them, I think that traditionally dolmades (or whatever) don’t have lamb in them. So . . . I am calling what I made Stuffed Grape Leaves.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves – How I Made Them

30 grape leaves for stuffing – prepped, see previous post
4 or 5 grape leaves for the bottom of the pot (enough to put at least one layer on the bottom)*
1 lb of ground lamb
1 3/4 cups of rice**Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD
1/2 large onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
.66 ounces dill
six cups of broth
olive oil***

Chop the onion. Chop the dill. In a large bowl mix the lamb, rice, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and dill.***

Place a grape leaf (or put a few out) on your work surface with the smooth side down (you will be placing the stuffing on the “ribbed” side).

Depending on the size of the leaves use about a tablespoon or so of the mixture and place it on a leaf at the bottom (stem area). It is easier to roll the leaf if the mixture is sort of cigar stub shape. Fold over the sides of the leaf then the bottom (where the stem was) then roll from the bottom. Remember not to roll too tight because the rice will expand during cooking. Place the rolled grape leaf seam side down.

Cover the bottom of the pot with grape leaves. Since they won’t fit perfectly you will end up with overlapping leaves, that is perfect as you want to insulate the stuffed grape leaves from the bottom of the pot.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDWhen you are all done stuffing, place the rolled leaves in the bottom of the pot starting around the edge of the pot, not too close, but “friendly”. Continue to fill the bottom of the pot. Once the bottom is filled you can layer them. I would imagine that you might not want to go over four or five layers . . . but I don’t know.

After you have all the stuffed grape leaves in the pot, pour some olive oil on top of them splashing a little onto each roll, then you want to weight them down, not smoosh them, but weight them down. You can use a plate (or two, if need be) or a lid. Then pour in six cups of broth, I used chicken broth.

Bring the broth to a soft boil, then lower the heat and let cook for about 60 minutes. Depending on the size of the rolls, I would check them at 50 minutes. The rolls I made were HUGE so I waited to check them after 60 minutes, then I cooked them for 10 more.

Once they are thoroughly cooked serve them hot or cold.

 

*I used leaves straight off the vine for the bottom of the pot. I washed them, but I did not blanch them. The leaves I used were HUGE (one leaf pretty much covered the entire bottom) so I only used three or four to give it good insulation.

**I used more rice than this, but it was too much so I am going to try 1 3/4 cup

***I did not use any oil IN the mixture, but I am planning on putting a little in next time

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I see me making adjustments to this recipe as I go along. This was just my first time winging it. I kept saying as I was making the stuffing, “I think I used too many onions.” And my husband kept making comments about the recipe. I kept having to tell him, “There is no recipe. I am not following a recipe! The ones I saw had mint and/or cinnamon and/or pine nuts in them so I was just trying to figure something out.”

As I mentioned I did not put oil in them, but looking at a recipe after I made them I saw one person did. I think I might do that next time. I don’t know. My husband said they were fine. I never really know, though because he likes pretty much everything. I tried a tiny taste of the stuffing, but not the grape leaf.

This is part 3 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 3 – Stuffing And Cooking The Stuffed Grape Leaves

Next . . . the lemon sauce . . . kinda like the soup.

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You can see the difference in the blanched leaves.

 

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They were bigger than the ones my husband normally eats.  His eyes lit up when we saw how large they were.

He enjoyed them for days.  He said that he did not taste a difference between the leaves.  He could tell that some were barely blanched and some were “well” blanched.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 2 – Prepping The Fresh Grape Leaves

Posted by terrepruitt on May 29, 2019

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDIn looking up how to prepare fresh-off-the-vine grape leaves for stuffing it seemed like I should have started days before I planned on stuffing them. The first few sites I found said that stuffed grape leaves were prepared with leaves that had been soaked in brine for days. Well, DAYS of soaking was not going to happen, but I figured that they did need some soaking. I thought that they would need the flavor of salt plus a soak in brine would help tenderize them. Ha! Still just faking all of this because I have never actually eaten stuffed grape leaves.

I went outside and cut off 30 grape leaves. Ideally they would have been all the same size, but there wasn’t 30 of all the same size. I started off with ones about the size of my hand, but ended up having to get larger ones. I also tried to get ones that look fairly new. I figured the newer leaves would be more tender and tasty.

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Since I didn’t necessarily want them to be salty and I was hoping for some tenderization, I rinsed the leaves off before I blanched them.

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I didn’t notice the difference in color between the two batches until I started stuffing them. I was concerned because the ones that I believed were in the hot water longer than two minutes were that drab color green – the same color as the jarred leaves, but the ones that were in the hot water for two minutes were still bright green. I was worried that they would not be tender enough and would taste too green. I asked my husband to pay attention while he was eating so that he could report to me so that I would be able to adjust the preparation in the future.

When I pulled the first group of leaves out of the ice bath I had just set them on a towel to dry. I did not separate them or even pat them dry to help them. I was more concerned at that point with getting the whole process underway because the stuffed leaves were going to take an hour to cook and it was getting late. We often eat late and I was trying to not let that be the case. So I wasn’t even thinking about taking the time to dry the leaves. I didn’t even think about drying the leaves until I was 18 into stuffing and rolling. Then it dawned on me. So I patted the last twelve dry.
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https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47960702646_a44e8757a6_o.jpgFresh-Off-The-Vine Grape Leaf Preparation

Grape Leaves
Water
Salt
Ice

Wash the leaves. Cut the stem off as close to the leaf as possible. Pour some salt into a dish/pan large enough to immerse all of the leaves. Put some water in the dish. Put half of the leaves in the dish, then pour more salt on top of the leaves. Then put the rest of the leaves in and fill the dish with water. Use another dish to keep the leaves complete submersed, if need be. Let the leaves soak for about five hours.

After a few hours at least (if not five), rinse the leaves. Rinse out the dish/pan, then put the leaves back in . . . (you can blanch all the leaves at once if you’d like or not. I didn’t because I didn’t have a dish large enough to hold water, the leaves, AND ice for the ice bath so that is why I did two batches).

Pour boiling water over the leaves. Let them set for at least 3 minutes.

Take the leaves out of the hot water and put them in an ice bath.

(Since I was blanching the leaves in two batches I left the cooling leaves in the ice bath until I was ready to put the other ones in.)

Take the leaves out of the ice bath and let them dry a bit. Use a towel or paper towels if you want to dry them. I would think that if you are going to let them dry you might need to separate them first. I don’t know for sure though. I just left them wet. When I did dry the remaining 12 I had separated them and was filling each one then folding each one.
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PLEASE NOTE: In looking at the pictures I see why the second batch of leaves did not blanch well. As I mentioned, I was distracted as my hubby had just come home and I was making this up as I went along – I had put ice in the dish I used to weight the leaves down, I had been making more room in the ice bath dish and didn’t want to put it in the sink to melt because I figured I could use it for the next ice bath. When I went to use the dish as a weight, I didn’t think about the ice I had put in it. I just grabbed it and put it on top of the leaves in the boiling water. DUH! Had to have taken some of the heat out of the boiling water.

This is part 2 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 2 – Prepping The Fresh Grape Leaves

Here is the link to part 3 of 4 – Stuffed Grape Leaves Part 3 – Stuffing And Cooking The Stuffed Grape Leaves

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Eggplant Omelette

Posted by terrepruitt on April 22, 2019

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDA couple of weeks ago one of my friends posted a picture of something on Facebook. He might have actually posted a link to a video, but I try not to click on links on Facebook because I just end up down a black hole. But the name of what was in the link was included in the post – Tortang Talong – so I Googled it. All I found originally was videos of how to make the dish but they were not in English. I eventually found one in English. I watched it, but didn’t make note of the recipe because it seemed pretty easy. Tortang Talong is Filipino Eggplant Omelette. I love eggplant and so I was very excited to try this. When I looked at the videos they showed thin eggplants not the globe ones. But they were also shorter than the ones I see at the store. I figured I could just cut it to make it shorter after I roasted it.

Well, after I roasted it, it didn’t seem like a good idea to cut it. One of the eggplant exploded out of its skin – which is ok because the skin gets peeled off. I decided to use the entire eggplant. I had originally decided to just try this “omelette” without anything added to it, but then I started thinking of it as an omelette and decided to add mushrooms. Then, while cooking the mushrooms and eggplant I decided to add cheese.

Since I was adding topping, it made me wonder how the toppings would be incorporated into the omelette, I looked up one recipe that said to pour some egg on top. Well, my two eggs in the pan didn’t really allow for “pouring” on top so I used an additional egg. So I ended up using THREE eggs per eggplant.

So while this was good, it just tasted like eggs and mushrooms to me. I didn’t even get any of the eggplant flavor. I think I want to try it next time with fewer eggs and perhaps NO TOPPINGS.

The on English video I had seen topped it with meat. When I mentioned that to my friend on Facebook he said he usually didn’t use anything except a lot of garlic!

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1 lb of mushrooms
1/2 of an onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
garlic salt

two eggplant (not the globe ones)
six eggs
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup of cheese

Turn oven on to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the eggplant on the pan. Pierce the skin of each one (perhaps that will keep them from exploding). Put the pan with the eggplant on it in the oven. Let the eggplant bake for about 25 minutes. Then take them out and turn them over and let them bake for another 25 minutes.

While the eggplant is roasting, chop the onion. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat up the olive oil in a pan, then cook the onions. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook the mushrooms, adding garlic salt as you cook the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are cooked remove them from the pan.

Mix two of the eggs in a dish large enough to hold the entire eggplant (it needs to be long and wide) adding garlic salt to your liking.

Once the eggplant is fully roasted peel the skin off of each one. Leave the stem attached. Then place one in the dish with the mixed eggs. Use a fork to mash the eggplant. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on the eggplant, then add 1/2 of the cooked mushrooms. Spoon the raw eggs on top of the eggplant coating the toppings. In another dish mix one egg and pour it over the eggplant and toppings.

Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Once it is hot slide the eggplant with toppings into the pan and cook. When one side is done, flip the eggplant over and cook the other side.

Repeat the process for the other eggplant.

Once cooked it is ready to eat!

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You can use any topping you’d like. As I mentioned the video I watched had ground beef and I think peppers. I saw some recipes have seafood. My friend just like garlic.

I want to try this again but with fewer eggs to see if the flavor of the eggplant will come through. Perhaps I will use fewer eggs for mine, but not my hubby. He is not as a big of fan of eggplant as I am.

Have you ever tried Tortang Talong?  What do you add to it?  What is your method?

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Cranberry Pear Flavored Pork

Posted by terrepruitt on April 15, 2019

Oh, really simple recipe. I am sure you can use any sweet balsamic you have. If you don’t have sherry, wine will do. I mentioned the balsamic vinegar we purchased in November when we were in Napa in a post, Cranberry Pear. It is so good. I should have gotten the larger bottle. Anyway, this is a four ingredient recipe that has a lot of flavor. So yummy. I cooked it last night and I can’t wait to eat the left overs tonight!

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4 Boneless pork chops
1/4 C Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar*
1/2 cup Dry Sherry
lavender Salt

Pour the dry sherry in a baking dish (if the dish is large you might need more than 1/2 cup – you want at least 1/4 of an inch in the bottom of the dish) arrange the pork in the dish. Pour a little of the vinegar on top of each chop, then sprinkle each chop with lavender salt. Let sit for 15 minutes (longer if you have the time). After 15 minutes, repeat the process of pouring some vinegar over each one and salting. Let sit for 15 minutes (longer if you have the time).

Preheat oven to 375° F. Put the dish in the oven for about 10 minutes. After baking the pork for 10 minutes take the dish out and turn each chop over. Sprinkle with more lavender salt. Then put the dish back in the oven for another seven minutes.

After seven minutes, take the dish out and check for doneness. Everyone likes their meat cooked differently so you may need to put it back in the for a few more minutes. The ones I used were not very thick and they were not very large so they cooked PERFECTLY in 14 minutes. (But I also did the first round on a higher heat because I had something else cooking at the same time. And I lowered the heat on the second round.)

*this is a white balsamic vinegar

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These were simple and delicious. I love using balsamic as a marinade for meat. I think it pairs very well with pork. Usually I marinate the meat for longer, but I didn’t this time, but they came out great.

Do you have a sweet balsamic you like to pair with pork? Do you have a favorite balsamic?

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Avgolemono – My Way

Posted by terrepruitt on April 10, 2019

I am not sure if I have said this before in other posts, but for 38 years of my life I did not really care for Greek Food. I was not a fan of tomatoes and it seemed like there was a lot of tomatoes in the Greek food here. When I went to Greece my mind was changed. There wasn’t tomatoes in everything and I liked the way they cooked their food. Although I still believed I didn’t like Greek Lemon Soup. I am not a fan of the lemon flavor for the most part so I never tried it. When there was opportunities to try it there was always either rice, celery, or carrots in the soup in some combination. I do not like rice in soup and I am not a fan of water-laden carrots. I do not like celery. One day we were at a local restaurant and my husband ordered the Greek Lemon Soup. Even though he “doesn’t share food” he let me have a spoonful – it was delicious. It was simple, just chicken and pasta! Ahhhh . . . . I found some Avgolemono I liked! So I decided to make some. I found a lot of recipes online with celery and carrots and rice in some combination, so I didn’t look past the ingredients.  I wasn’t finding one to use.  I knew I wanted to use pasta.  I had purchased some orzo online with the sole purpose of making Avgolemono, but I hadn’t planned on making it the night I ended up making it. I did not make a special trip to the store for ingredients.  So I made the soup with what I had on hand, which was a limited number of eggs and canned chicken. Just to put it out there, there is NO CELERY, NO CARROTS, and NO RICE in this soup.

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion
two cans of chicken (a little over 3 cups)
garlic salt

2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup orzo  (going forward 1 cup)
8 cups chicken broth

7 eggs
4 lemons / 3/4 cups lemon juice (more if you like it really lemony)

Juice the lemons. Set aside. (Zest one if you want some zest for garnish.)

Chop the onion. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Cook the onion then add the chicken to the pan to heat it up a bit*. Sprinkle some garlic salt on chicken while stirring.

In a large pot, melt the butter, then add the orzo to toast it. Add the chicken broth to the orzo. Bring to a boil. Then let simmer.

While the orzo is cooking in the broth mix the eggs together with a hand mixer. Mix the eggs at least 3 minutes on low allowing a lot of air to get into them making them frothy. After the “at least 3 minutes,” add the lemon juice slowly while mixing the eggs.

Once the orzo is cooked (about 15 minutes – test to verify) add the egg mixture to the broth BUT not all at once. Put a little bit of broth into the eggs while mixing. Keep adding broth a little at a time to slowly bring the eggs up to the temperature of the broth. Once the eggs are tempered add the mixture to the broth. Stir the egg mixture and broth together. Once it is all incorporated add in the chicken. Mix it all together. Then taste. Is it lemony enough for you? If not add more lemon juice. Or add some lemon zest as garish to each bowl – this gives it an extra zing!

*if using raw chicken cook it thoroughly

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I had typed this up to use as my recipe to make the soup. I figured I would need to play with it a lot in order to get it to what I was looking for, but nope. THIS. IS. IT. Oh, except I will use more orzo . . . perhaps a cup maybe more. But I really think that the orzo is all that I will adjust.

Originally I wrote the recipe with salt and pepper as ingredients, but I did not add any additional salt besides the garlic salt. And my husband added pepper to his bowl, but said it did not really add anything to the soup so he would not be using it, so I didn’t even try.

I am going to check in with my uncle who, I am told, makes Avgolemono all the time. I want to know what he does. Although, my husband and I really loved this and so for the most part I will probably just stick to this.  But sometimes it is nice to try things a little differently so that is ALWAYS an option.

How about you?  Do you like Avgolemono?  Have you found a place that serves one you like?  Do you make it?  How do you make it?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Greek Lemon Soup

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Savory French Toast Sandwich

Posted by terrepruitt on January 30, 2019

One day I was making something to eat. I was debating about having French Toast or scrambled eggs. I usually put milk into my egg for French Toast and I usually put milk and garlic salt or season salt in my scrambled eggs. I had decided on French Toast, but perhaps I wasn’t really firm in my decision and clearly I was not focusing on the task at hand because I stirred up the eggs and seasoned them with season salt then put the bread in it. As I was flipping the bread to coat the other side I realized my error. Sigh. So I decided to make a grilled sandwich with the egg coated bread. It was delicious.

I cooked the oddly seasoned French Toast like I would regular French Toast. I always have a bit of egg left over after making two pieces of French Toast. One egg is never enough to coat two pieces of bread and two eggs is always too much. I cooked up the rest of the egg mixture and pan fried some lunch meat for the sandwich.

It was such a yummy accident, I think I have had it a couple of times since.  Here is my “recipe”.  (I say “recipe” because there are no measurements or exact cooking times.  It’s more of an idea than a recipe.)

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butter
2 eggs
season salt
milk
two pieces of bread
slice of cheese
lunch meat
onions

Put some butter in a pan and turn on the heat. Scramble the two eggs adding the season salt and a splash of milk. Dip the bread in the egg mixture. (Here is where you decide if you like a lot of egg on your bread or not. I usually just dip the bread quick.) When the pan is good and hot add the egg coated bread to the pan and proceed to cook as you would French Toast. I like my French Toast browned.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDIf you have room in the same pan as the bread you can cook any remaining egg you may have, along with the lunch meat. Or you can use another pan to cook the remaining egg and the lunch meat.

At one point you might want to put the cheese on the bread so it can start to melt . . . again . . . it all depends on whether you want melted cheese.

Once the toast is cooked to your liking, the extra egg is cooked, and the lunch meat is browned you can assemble the sandwich. I added some raw onions on my sandwich.

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This was so good I am finding my mouth water as I am typing this up.  I can see myself having this again in the next couple of days!

 

Probably not a new thing to some – savory French Toast – but it was a complete and delicious accident to me!  What do you think?

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup 2.0

Posted by terrepruitt on November 12, 2018

As you may know, if you read my blog, we get an organic box of produce delivered. The service we use allows us to actually pick what comes in the box. It somewhat defeats my whole idea of getting a box delivered, but it is also nice. When I get the e-mail, sometimes I forget to log in and pick what I want in the allotted time so I end up getting what they send. I would not have gotten a sugar pie pumpkin two deliveries in a row, but, my fault, I didn’t stop it. I felt as if we had just had stuffed pumpkin so I didn’t want to do that again so I decided to make pumpkin soup. I looked up my post of Roast Pumpkin Soup and I read what I wrote, so I didn’t want to follow that recipe exactly. And since I was going to just make a few minor tweaks I didn’t think I would be posting about it. Well, my husband and I loved it so much I wanted to make sure I made note of it. I will not be using the other pumpkin soup recipe again. Although, this one is VERY similar, I liked the tweaks I made so this one is much better. It didn’t have any of the bitter that I spoke about with the last recipe.

But, as usual, I didn’t plan on posting about it, so I didn’t think to take a picture the night I made it. We had enough to eat on it for three days. So the pictures are of the leftovers.

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup 2.0

1 sugar pie pumpkin
Milanese Gremolata olive oil
garlic salt
2 large shallots
32 ounces chicken broth (Better Than Bouillon)
8 ounces of dry sherry (and then some, for splashing)
1 teaspoons salt (and then some, for sprinkling)
1/2 heaping teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 heaping teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon marjoram (and then some, for sprinkling)
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of nutmeg
1 pint of heavy cream**

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Wash the pumpkin, then cut so that you can remove all the seeds. Then cut it into pieces. Rub the pumpkin pieces with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each piece with garlic salt. Then place the pumpkin – skin side up – on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Bake it for 20 minutes. Take the pumpkin out of the oven – here is where you can salt it again if you would like. Turn each piece over and sprinkle with marjoram. Then bake it for about 30 minutes more. This is where you have to decide if it is done or if it needs more time in the oven. Use a fork, poking each piece to see it if is cooked to your liking. I like it to have the roasted flavor so I bake it until there are some browned spots.

While the pumpkin is roasting. Chop the shallots. Heat up some olive oil in your stock pot or soup pan. Then cook the shallots. Once the shallots are cooked, add the broth. Stir the broth and shallots. Then add the sherry. Stir the broth and sherry. While stirring add the salt and all of the spices. Bring it to a low boil.

When the pumpkin is done roasting put it in your super blender (or perhaps you have an immersion blender*) with a splash of sherry and blend it until you have a pumpkin puree. (I used the “soup” setting on my blender.)

When you have the pumpkin puree add it to the liquid in the soup pot. Stir the mixture until the puree and the liquid are incorporated. Then add the cream. Stir until the cream is incorporated into the soup. Bring it a low boil. Then serve.

*with the immersion blender add the pumpkin to the liquid then blend until smooth

**I actually used 1/2 a pint

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This was really good.

I am including the Milanese Gremolata olive oil as an ingredient because we just bought this magical elixir from Napa and I love it and I am using it in everything. I do think that it really helped elevate the flavor of the soup. But, regular olive oil will work, too.

The first two night we had this with some Pugliese bread from the store. It was very good dipped into the soup. The third night I made beer bread adding, a teaspoon of garlic salt, a teaspoon of garlic, and two teaspoons of marjoram. It paired REALLY well with the soup.

My husband is already pestering me to make this again! I better do it at least one more time before the sugar pie pumpkins are all gone!

Well, now I have two pumpkin soup recipes you can make.  Which one will you make?

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Roasted Polenta

Posted by terrepruitt on October 24, 2018

I like polenta, but oddly enough, I am talking about the kind that is in a tube. I am not sure I have tried the mush type — oh wait, I think I had a taste of some at a restaurant and it was delicious. But I don’t make that kind. I have only cooked with the tube kind. It is very firm and a bit rubbery. It can be sliced. I imagine it can be made into the mush kind with enough liquid. But, if you’ve read more than one of my posts about food you know I love to roast things. I love to put things in the oven and then be able to do something else while it is cooking. Well, I posted once about Polenta “Fries” so my Cubed Polenta is not that different. But the “fries” were really french fry-like, whereas the polenta cubes were more like my roasted potatoes. They were very good, as least I thought so.

The same cooking method applies the only difference is the way you cut the polenta.

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https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1952/43727227090_e0299cdb90_o.jpgPolenta Cubes

1 tube of polenta
olive oil
season salt

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Cut the polenta out of the plastic. Then cut the polenta into small even cubes. Cut the whole tube into equal sized cubes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Then spread the cubes out on the pan. Sprinkle with a little oil. Sprinkle with the season salt. Place pan in the oven. Let the polenta bake for 15 minutes. Then take the pan out of the oven and stir the cubes around. Put the pan back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Then check the polenta. If they are done to your liking, take them out and serve. If you want them cooked more, flip ’em or toss them on the pan, then put it in for 10 (or whatever) minutes.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise ClassesIf you cut the cubes even then the whole pan should cook pretty much the same. When I do potatoes for some reason I end up with really small ones and big ones and they don’t all cook even so I have some that start to burn before the others are cooked. With the tube it is easier to cut them all the same size. I buy the basil garlic polenta in a tube. I like it to start off with flavor.

As I said, the cubes are more like potatoes, in fact my husband kept calling them potatoes. A little bit different texture and consistency but ok.

The problem with me typing up my blog before dinner is I end up wanting the food I am writing about. Sometimes I can make it because I have it, but presently I do not have any polenta . . . but I see a trip to the store in my future.

In my Polenta Fries post I asked for ideas for tubes of polenta, I didn’t get any . . . so hence, cubed polenta.

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Cooking Corn On The Cob

Posted by terrepruitt on September 19, 2018

Not too long ago I posted a question on Facebook. I asked how people cooked corn on the cob. I shuck mine then roll them in aluminum foil and cook them in the oven.

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two cobs of corn
aluminum foil
butter

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Peel the husk off of each corn cob, also, try to remove all of the silk. Then wash the corn. Place the corn in a piece of aluminum foil with some butter. Roll the cob up in the foil. Put the corn in the middle of the rack with the rack set to the middle of the oven. Cook for about 60 minutes.

Take the corn out of the oven and let cool at least 20 minutes. Butter and salt, then serve.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise ClassesI don’t like to have the silk in my teach so I try to remove it all before I cook it. I also rinse the corn off because often times the husk is dirty and I sometimes get dirt on my hands and then handle the corn. I also rinse it off because I like to have a little bit of moisture in the foil wrapping when it is cooking. My husband prefers his corn is cooked in the butter, whereas I like to put the butter on mine after it is cooked. So with his piece I put in a tablespoon or two of butter and with mine I kind of just rub some butter on. Just enough to give it a little fat to cook with.

I know this is a long time to cook, but we like it. It just take planning. I have to remember to put it on at least an hour before we want to eat it. It has worked out good the last two times that I cooked it, I cooked it an hour and a half before we wanted to eat so it was able to cook and cool before we ate.

I planned on posting about it, so I took pictures of the prep, but by the time it was cooked I had forgotten and didn’t take any more pictures. But I am sure you know what cooked corn on the cob looks like.

How do you cook your corn on the cob?

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