Thursday, March 28, 2019

Coq au Vin - Rooster with Wine

For best results,  let the finished dish cool and then refrigerate it ’till the next day, skimming any fat from the surface and re-heating the coq au vin very gently.

Photo by Kate Jackson


1/2 cup Harter House thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/4- by 1 1/2-inch strips (optional)
2 or more tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds chicken thighs/legs with skin, thoroughly dried
1/4 cup Cognac or Armagnac
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
20 pearl onions, peeled (can use frozen)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or pinot noir
About 2 cups chicken stock (Homemade is best) or beef stock
1 or 2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
About 1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, rinsed, and quartered

Mashed or new potatoes


To make the coq au vin on your stove top, toss bacon in a heavy-bottomed casserole or pot along with 2 tablespoons oil over medium or medium-high until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the  bacon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.

2. Heat the drippings or oil remaining in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, being careful not to crowd the pieces. (You may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. (If working in batches, return all the chicken to the pot.) Carefully pour the Cognac or Armagnac into the pot and wait until it becomes bubbling hot. If desired—and if you’re brave—ignite the sauce with a match. Let it flame for a minute, gently tilting the pot by its handle and swirling the sauce to burn off the alcohol. To extinguish the flames, simply cover the pan with its lid.

3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme to the pan and then nestle the onions, carrots and potatoes, around the chicken. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently, turning the pieces once, for about 10 minutes.

4. Uncover the pot, sprinkle the flour over everything, and turn the chicken and vegetables so the flour is absorbed by the sauce. Cover and cook, turning once or twice, for 3 to 4 minutes more.

5. Remove the pot from the heat and gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the bacon, garlic, and tomato paste to the pot, cover, and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness (there should be no trace of pink and the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife). Grab some tongs and transfer the chicken pieces to the plate when they’re done.  If the vegetables are not quite tender, continue cooking them in the sauce, then return the chicken to the pot, add the mushrooms, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be just thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables. (If the sauce seems too thin, bring it to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with spoonfuls of stock.) Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning accordingly. Serve the coq au vin immediately or let it cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, skim any fat that has congealed on the surface of the stew and place the pot of coq au vin over medium-low heat.

You can consider incorporating some flavor-making steps that were omitted in the making Julia Child's version of the French classic. back into your coq au vin routine to imbue it with layer after layer of complexity. First, uncork that bottle of red and douse the bird, allowing it to take an overnight bath in the fridge to infuse the meat with a subtle but certain depth of flavor—not to mention a slightly freakish maroon hue. Drain the chicken then pat it dry and continue with the searing, reserving the wine to use during cooking. 
Another easy trick? Sauté those teensy pearl onions in the rendered bacon drippings prior to adding them to the stew for what we think are obvious reasons. Same goes with the mushrooms. And never, ever serve the stew straightaway from the stovetop; rather, let it cool and then refrigerate it ’till the next day, skimming any fat from the surface and heating the coq au vin gently—and we do mean gently—over low heat until warmed through. And you thought you didn’t know how to speak French.

FROM -     Adapted from Julia Child's Kitchen
Interesting reading about Julia Child and the History of this recipe.

Notes from cooks
Jackie made mashed potatoes.  She added more mushrooms and pearl onions than the recipe called for, and hungered for even more.  The dish was served with multi-colored baby carrots.  She served an Oregon medium-bodied Pinot Noir with this dish.

Krista served it with egg noodles and a salad, and her guests nearly licked their plates, they loved it so much.

Alice added crunchy French bread for dipping into the extra sauce.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake


  • 1 9x4" Loaf Chocolate Pound Cake
  • 5 cups (or thereabouts) vanilla ice cream (I used little less than 1 1/2 quart)
  • 18 Oreo Cookies
  • Optional: 1 cup whipped cream


  1. Line a loaf pan that is the same size as the pound cake being used with wax paper.
  2. Slice the pound cake length-wise into 3 equal layers.
  3. Place a layer of the cake in the bottom of the wax paper lined loaf pan.
  4. Spread about one third of the ice cream, slightly softened, over the cake.
  5. Sprinkle a layer of crushed Oreos/chocolate cream-filled cookies over the ice cream; gently press into the ice cream.
  6. Repeat sequence twice more until you've built 3 layers of each
  7. Gently press a layer of wax paper over ice cream cake to seal.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer until firm.
  9. Optional: When ready to serve, top with layer of whipped cream, and more crushed Oreos/chocolate cream-filled cookies.

Cut into slices and enjoy!

– Work quickly when putting the cake together. Ice cream has a tendency to melt.  So be prepared with all pieces and parts ready to assemble.

– Easily substitute fruit or other cookies for the Oreos or delete the cookies altogether. Another flavor of ice cream or cake could be used as well to create your own ice cream cake creation.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Perfect Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Use a 1½ Quart Casserole dish
Serves 6

3 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
2.75 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2.25 cups (about 9 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
1 cups (about 4 ounces) grated Gruyere OR 3/4 cups (about 2.5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1/2 pound elbow macaroni

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon  butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1½  cups cheddar, and ¾  cup Gruyere OR ½ cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup cheddar and ¼ cup Gruyere OR 1/8 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Banana Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup mashed bananas - about 2 large bananas
1 cup buttermilk, or can use soured milk (add 1 tablespoon vinegar to a cup and fill up with milk; let sit a minute)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened- 1/2 cup
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, (or if you are using dark pans, then 325). Grease 2 9 inch round layer cake pans.
2. In a bowl, mash the bananas well using a fork. Stir in the buttermilk.
3. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in separate bowl.
4. Cream Butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.
5. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients into the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared cake pans.
6. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Or you may test with a toothpick. Cool cake in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto cooling racks and let cool completely. At this point, you can frost the cake, or wrap each layer well in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. Then assemble and frost the next day.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
31/2-4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together with a mixer.
mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar in about 3 additions, mixing well after each addition. If the frosting seems too stiff, you may add a tablespoon of cream or milk and mix until creamy.

To frost the cake: 
Place one cake layer on cake platter. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting on the cake and spread evenly to the edge. Top with the remaining cake layer and press cake gently down. Add remaining frosting to top and smooth down and around the sides. I usually swirl the top of the frosting with a knife. I like to refrigerate the cake for 30-60 minutes to set the frosting well.
Slice, serve and enjoy!

From Lynda's Recipe Box 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Corned Beef and Cabbage - a St. Patrick’s Day Tradition?

Corned Beef and Cabbage is one of my family’s favorite one-pot meals. The dish is decidedly Irish, and was first prepared in the United States by the Irish immigrants who settled in New England. Hence, the dish is also known as New England Boiled Dinner.

Many people serve Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, thinking they are observing the holiday just like the Irish do in Ireland. However, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is a serious religious holiday and is celebrated by attending mass and serving special festive holiday dishes, never something as ordinary as Corned Beef and Cabbage. To the Irish, serving Corned Beef and Cabbage for their St. Patrick’s Day celebration would be tantamount to Christians serving tuna noodle casserole for Christmas dinner!

Corned Beef and Cabbage is a great dish to serve for non-special occasions, however, including busy weeknights. In fact, it is a quick and easy meal requiring minimal hands-on time.

In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes are featured sale items at almost every grocery store during the month of March (including Harter House Supermarkets), which is reason enough to prepare this simple one-pot meal several times during March.

If you haven’t made corned beef and cabbage before, now is the perfect time to do so. Just make sure if you do serve it on St. Patrick’s Day, don't pass it off to your guests as something the Irish are serving on March 17th!

Easy Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned beef comes in several varieties; flats and points are the most popular and are readily available in grocery stores.

8 Servings

3 to 4 pounds Corned Beef Flats

6 medium potatoes, quartered
1 head green cabbage, cut in wedges

Wash the corned beef and place it in a slow cooker; cover with water and cook on low at least 8 hours or on high 3 hours then low 1 or 2 more hours.

When the corned beef is tender, pour the liquid into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until almost tender. Add the cabbage wedges and cook until crisp tender.
OR, add the potatoes to the slow cooker two hours before the corned beef is done; add the cabbage to the slow cooker about 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, slice the corned beef across the grain and serve with the potatoes and cabbage and lots of real butter.

Glazed Corned Beef, Sauteed Cabbage

St. Paddy's Day Dinner Revisited: Glazed Corned Beef, Cabbage and Colcannon

I Found this recipe and wanted to share it with you!  It comes from the blog site


It all starts with a slow cooker.  I gathered together all of the ingredients for a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner and prepared it in my crockpot.  After that I separated the components and made three separate dishes with them.  My Corned Beef was baked in a delicious apricot-spicy mustard glaze.  With some of the cabbage, onion and potatoes, I made Colcannon enhanced with nice Thick Bacon, purchased from Harter House Supermarket.  Then I used the rest of the cabbage and sauteed  it with more bacon!

The great thing about this dinner is that most ingredients are already cooked in the slow cooker once, so preparing the individual dishes hardly takes any time at all.  You can even do it all in advance and refrigerate until you are ready to make the individual recipes. Also, you can cook all the bacon for the Cabbage Saute and the Colcannon at once and divide it for each dish.

Tricked Out St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Apricot-Mustard Glazed Corn Beef

1 large sweet Onion
4 Medium Potatoes
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
Garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl Apple cider vinegar
1 (3 lb.) Corned beef brisket
1 large or 2 small heads of cabbage, cut into wedges

For the Glaze

Place the onions and potatoes in a 5-Qt slow cooker.  Combine broth, water, garlic, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar and pour over vegetables.  Top with Brisket and cabbage.  Cover and cook on Low for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Carefully remove corned beef from the slow cooker and place in a shallow roasting pan.
Mix all glaze ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour over corned beef.  Bake 30-40 minutes, until glaze is nice and bubbly.
Slice corned beef on a diagonal and serve.
Sauteed Cabbage
4-5 slices thick cut bacon
1/2 of the reserved cabbage from the slow cooker, sliced into strips
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbl cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly browned.  Place on a plate lined with paper towels and cut up into small pieces.  Set aside.

In about 2 Tbl of the reserved bacon drippings, (save the rest for later) Saute the onion until very soft.  Add cabbage and the rest of the ingredients and saute until liquid is absorbed and all is heated through.  Serve.
Reserved potatoes from slow cooker
1/2 of the reserved cabbage, cut into small chunks
4 strips bacon
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup half anf half
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tbl butter

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Smash them up a bit and set aside.
Place bacon in a large deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly browned. Drain, reserving drippings and set aside. In the reserv ed drippings, saute onion until very soft. Add the cabbage for the last few minutes and continue to saute so that the cabbage absorbs some bacon flavor.

Mix the half and half into the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and top with butter.
Serve immediately
Reserved potatoes from slow cooker
1/2 of the reserved cabbage, cut into small chunks
4 strips bacon
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup half anf half
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tbl butter

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Smash them up a bit and set aside.
Place bacon in a large deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly browned. Drain, reserving drippings and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute onion until very soft. Add the cabbage for the last few minutes and continue to saute so that the cabbage absorbs some bacon flavor.

Mix the half and half into the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and top with butter.
Serve immediately.

Monday, March 4, 2019

New York Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back by popular demand.

Prepare yourself, for what you are about to see is, hand's down, is the greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe of all time. I give you the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
*Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. For regular sized cookies, use a heaping tablespoon and bake for approximately 12 minutes