Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Best part of Autumn is really the Food


Just a few cool nights and I'm ready for Fall!

When you think about it, besides the cool-weather clothes and glorious multi-hued foliage, the best part of autumn is really the food.

Let Harter House and
Harter House World Flavors inspire you!


Herein, I present the Top 10 food-related reasons to love fall:

10. Fresh nuts from the shell using a nutcracker.

9. Oktoberfest!!

8. Roasted vegetables: I always feel like I get an extra boost of beta-carotene in the fall. Serve this hearty and colorful side dish with any winter-time main course meal.
4 servings
Ingredients:
1 lb. red or new potatoes, halved
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 medium rutabaga, cubed
1 large onion, cut into 1" pieces
2 leeks, cut into 1" rounds
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F.
Step 2: In a large baking dish, toss vegetables and herbs with olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and toss again to combine. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

7. Mother Nature’s broad-strokes of gold, crimson and orange, along with the harvest moon, are all vibrant reminders of the earth’s bounty.

6. The aroma of chimney smoke makes city streets smell like the country.

5. Halloween candy! And caramel apples!

4. Summer’s over and winter’s not yet here. Now is the time to ride the wave of nature’s most soulful season. Sure, there’s pumpkin. But I think about roasts and stews and chili, and seasonal cakes and pies (pecan, apple and the like).

3. I find the color-burst of trees so breathtaking that I’m almost afraid to drive (I’m easily distracted). So I walk a lot, in the cool temps with a warm fleece under a blue sky. And then I reward myself with a coffee and fresh-baked treat from our Harter House Bakery.
2. Roasted chestnuts.

1. For some people it’s time to make the switch from Gin &Tonics back to red wine! However, I drink red wine year round.





And finally, to get you in the mood for all of it, here’s a simple recipe for Kraft Caramel Apples. After all, who needs hot weather and cool lakes when you’ve got caramel apples?



Yield:
5 servings
Ingredients:
5 apples (any variety will do)
1 package (340 g) Kraft Caramels
2 tbsp water
Chopped peanuts, crushed Oreos, M&Ms or chocolate for decorating (optional)
Instructions:
Step 1: Wash and dry apples thoroughly. Insert stick into stem of each.
Step 2: Unwrap caramels and microwave with water in a large glass measure or mixing bowl on high for 3 to 3-1/2 minutes or until sauce is smooth when stirred.
Step 3: Dip apples into hot caramel sauce and turn until coated. Scrape off excess sauce from bottom of apples and decorate.
Step 4: Place on tray lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate until serving time.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Spanakopita

 No matter what time of year, this Spanakopita recipe is always a huge hit. 
I Love taking it to a family gathering or "bring a dish" party.  I can even make it ahead and freeze it.

I start by opening a bottle of my favorite wine and consume while cooking.


                                       
Spanakopita
This Recipe made 16 triangles

1 lb. Spinach (baby – Bagged fine)
Leek – chopped Large Onion – chopped
1 bunch Green onion – Chopped
2-3 cloves of Garlic – Chopped
Dill
2 Eggs
2 Cups Crumbled Feta
1 tsp. Salt½ tsp. black pepper
1 lb. Fillo Dough
1 cup salted butter, melted
1)      Remove fillo from Freezer and put it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.  As you prepare the filling, remove fillo from the fridge and leave on the counter

2)      Sauté onion, leek, green onion and garlic over medium high heat until softened.  Add Spinach, wilting the leaves.  Remove pan from heat.  Add Salt, pepper, dill, and feta mixing well.  Then add slightly beaten eggs, stirring well – to blend the ingredients.  Set mixture aside.










3)      Unroll fillo dough from package.  Lay it out flat on the countertop, with wax paper under and above the filo sheets.  Wet a dishtowel to cover the fillo you are not using, to keep it from drying out.  Use a sharp knife to cut fillo in half lengthwise to create two columns of equal size.   Cover one column with a damp towel.  Use other column to begin assembling.

4)      Take one sheet and brush with melted butter, and then place another sheet on top of the buttered side and brush with butter again.  Repeat until you have four layers of fillo.

5)      Place butter fillo in front of you lengthwise.  (The widest side towards you)  Take a heaping Tbl. of spinach mixture and place it on the bottom inside corner of the fillo.  Take the corner of the dough, underneath the spinach mixture so that the corner meets flush with the other side. Continue folding until there is no more fillo and you have a triangle.

6)      Repeat until filo or mixture is gone.  Place on a baking sheet and brush each triangle with more butter

7)      Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the fillo dough is golden.



 
Tips
   
            I also like Athenos Feta Cheese.  Plain or mix  it up with flavored varieties.
            I like to chop all my vegetables before I start.  They tend to cook faster than I can
     cut.  I also cut the stems from the baby spinach.
           
    
      Once, when I got started, my fillo dough was not separating properly.  I purchased it frozen and believe that I did not allow it enough time to thaw.  So be sure to allow it time to thaw completely.  I decided then to make it as a pie.  Layering the equivalent of 4 sheets, but if I had two or even three, it was ok, and buttering the top as I went.  I then spread half the feta mixture on top, covered with four more sheets of fillo and butter, spread the second half of the fillo mixture, and topped with four more sheets of fillo and butter.
Spanakopita Pie
    
Find everything you need at Harter House and Harter House World Flavors

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mango Habanero Grilled Cheese with Mojo Pulled Pork




I wanted to sample the Mango Habanero Gouda,
that we sell in the World Flavors Cheese Case, at an event.
So I googled it to find a picture for my sign.
While I was looking for the picture, 
I came across this recipe and it really called out to me!
Who doesn't love grilled cheese or pulled pork.  YUM!
~ Shelly 


This sweet and spicy grilled cheese sandwich is loaded with mango habanero gouda, mojo pulled pork, refried black beans, cilantro, butter and white bread. It is basically tropical paradise in grilled cheese form.

Don't eat pork? Don't worry about it!
Try swapping it out for pulled chicken.



What You'll Need

For the Slow Cooker Mojo Pulled Pork 
(adapted from the Food Network - makes more than needed for recipe):

about a 5 lb pork butt, trimmed of excess fat
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups fresh OJ
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic
3 tbsp oregano
1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds
salt and pepper to taste

For The Sandwich:
2 slices of white bread
2 tbsp. refried black beans
6 slices of mango habanero gouda (available at Harter House World Flavors on Republic Road)
2 tbsp. mojo pulled pork
a few sprigs of cilantro
1 tbsp. salted butter

Optional:
Avocado Salsa for Dipping - Link or see below

How to Make It

FOR THE MOJO PULLED PORK
1. Begin by seasoning the outside of a pork butt with about 1/2 tbsp salt and 1/2 tbsp pepper. Add neutral oil to a cast iron skillet and place pork butt inside. Braise the butt until each side has some color to it and the exterior of the meat starts to crisp up - this will add to the depth of flavor. Once the pork butt is browned on all sides, transfer it to the crock pot.

2. Add OJ, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and oregano on top and cover. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 8 hours until the meat starts to fall apart and shreds easily. Set meat aside.

FOR THE SANDWICH
1. Begin by laying half the cheese onto one slice of bread. Top it with the mojo pulled pork, cilantro, the rest of the cheese and the top piece of bread. Butter the exterior of the sandwich and set aside.

2. Using either a panini press or a cast iron skillet, turn the heat to medium and cook the grilled cheese until both sides are golden and crispy and all of the cheese has melted. Remove it from heat and set aside for a minute to rest. Slice the sandwich and serve immediately with avocado salsa if desired


Creamy Avocado Salsa

This creamy avocado salsa only takes 5 minutes to make!! The perfect green sauce for tacos, nachos, burritos, salads, or just for dipping chips into!
 
Ingredients
1 Large Ripe Avocado
1 Jalapeño de-seeded
3 tomatillos with the husks removed
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cilantro ~ 1/2 a bunch
juice from 1/2 a lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until completely combined, will be a creamy smooth texture.
  2. Drizzle over tacos, nachos, burritos, or just use it for dipping!







Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chicken Fajitas & Avocado Crema

 



This recipe for chicken Fajitas comes from a Harter House customer.  She says its a family favorite at her house.  She also likes to substitute flank steak instead of chicken for beef fajitas.



Chicken Fajitas & Avocado Crema
Yield 4 servings
 
Use use a stainless steel wire rack or food will be soggy!  Also, skip the boneless, skinless breasts. They’ll dry out.  Use chicken thighs instead.

Ingredients
¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips
1 medium red bell pepper, de-seeded, cored and sliced into ¼-inch strips
1 medium yellow bell pepper, de-seeded, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch strips
1 small white onion, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
2 limes, cut into wedges
Green or butter lettuce leaves (optional)
Tortillas (gluton free optional)   Top with Avocado Crema (see recipe below)

Avocado Crema
1 large Hass avocado
¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup chives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle. Place a stainless steel wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, lime juice, minced garlic, kosher salt, chili powder, and cumin. 
  3. Add the chicken thigh strips to the marinade. (Chicken breasts will dry it. Please use thighs.) Toss in the sliced peppers and onions, too. Use your hands to combine well.
  4. Plop the chicken and veggies onto the rimmed baking sheet and spread everything in a single layer.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Then, toss the chicken and veggies, and rotate the tray.
  6. Switch to broil and cook for  an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the peppers and onions are browned in places. Keep your eyes on the fajitas to make sure nothing burns!
  7. While the chicken is cooking, make the Avocado Crema. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender. Add the coconut milk, chives, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  8. Blitz until smooth. Add some water to thin out the sauce if desired. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, pepper, or more lime juice. You can refrigerate the crema in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
  9. Once the chicken and veggies are finished cooking, pull the tray out of the oven. Serve the fajitas with lime wedges, lettuce wraps or grain-free tortillas, and avocado crema.

Notes

One last thing: Wondering how to clean the stainless steel wire rack? After everyone grabs the chicken and veggies off the rack, I take the pan ’n rack to the sink. Then, I flip the rack upside down, place it in the rimmed baking sheet, and cover it with warm soapy water. I let the rack soak while we eat dinner. When we’re done with our meal, I simply wipe the grime off the rack with a sponge. Then, I can either rinse it or put it in the dishwasher to finish cleaning.

See the process here at Nom Nom Paleo;
http://nomnompaleo.com/2017/06/13/20170613sheet-pan-chicken-fajitas-avocado-crema



Monday, September 11, 2017

Beef Fajitas



This recipe, from The Pioneer Woman, calls for marinating your whole flank steak.
If you buy the Marinated Fajita meat on sale this week at Harter House, just half the ingredients called for here.


1 whole Beef Flank Steak
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 whole Medium Onions, Halved And Sliced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced
Oil, For Frying
Flour Tortillas, Warmed
Cheese (grated Cheddar/jack Or Crumbled Queso Fresco)
Salsa
Sour Cream
Cilantro Leaves
  
 
In a dish, mix together olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar until combined. Pour half of the marinade into a separate dish. In one dish, place the flank steak, turning it over to coat. In the second dish, place all the veggies, turning to coat. Cover the dishes with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
 
Prepare tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.
 
I think it’s fun to serve both the steak
and the veggies directly on a cutting board
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add the veggies and cook them for a few minutes, until they're cooked but still slightly firm and have nice black/brown pieces. Remove to a plate and set aside.
 
Heat the same skillet (or a grill pan if you have it) over high heat and drizzle some oil. Cook the meat for about 2 minutes per side until medium rare. Remove and allow to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.
 
Slice the meat right before serving and serve with all the fixins. Delicious! Enjoy!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Bread


Plenty of people wait all year long for September to roll around so they can have pumpkin spice everything.  But this bread is so delicious I think I can eat it year round.

This cream cheese filled pumpkin bread is wonderful because it’s not over-the-top decadent. It’s just sweet enough, and the creamy cream cheese filling makes it really special.
This pumpkin bread is just as pretty as it is scrumptious. That’s the mark of a great pumpkin dessert.

You will LOVE this delicious cream cheese filled pumpkin bread with your coffee in the mornings, and it’s fantastic to send along with your husband as a quick and easy to-go breakfast when he’s rushing out the door to work.
Your kids love this bread too.  Send a little piece in their lunch boxes this week.



 One important note: when you go to layer your batter and filling in the pan, you put 1/3 of the batter in, then the cream cheese filling, then the rest of the batter. Make sure that the first layer is only about 1/3 of the batter. If that first layer is too thick, the bottom of the bread won’t bake through properly.





Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
1 hour 15 minutes to prepare
serves 6-8


Ingredients

For the bread:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt


For the filling:

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preparation
Preheat oven to 325°F and lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.


For the bread:

In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin puree with an electric mixer on medium until well combined.
Add the cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, and salt, and mix until incorporated. Gradually add the flour and mix until just combined.

For cream cheese filling:
In a separate medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium until smooth and creamy.
Add the egg, sugar, vanilla and flour, and mix until smooth and well-blended.
Pour 1/3 of the pumpkin batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spoon the cream cheese filling over the batter and spread it out evenly with a rubber spatula. Pour remaining 2/3 of the batter over the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 65-75 minutes. (The toothpick might have some cream cheese stuck to it.) If top and sides are looking too brown, tent the pan with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
 
From Dear Crissy.