Good morning, readers. First, help Rebecca H. bring back Thanksgiving memories by finding a recipe for authentic Eastern Shore oyster dressing, and tell her where to find briny oysters locally.
You are now entering the Long-Lost-and-Not-Found Department, where we need your help with Heath Bar dessert, recipes using fresh ginger and an Indian red lentil dish.
Rebecca D. wrote, "I am looking for an oyster dressing recipe. ... My father grew up in Owings Mills, Md., and my grandparents served oyster dressing (and beef consommé, but I don't care to find that). The oyster dressings that I've had in the last few years have been too runny and made with crackers. Anyone know of an authentic recipe that hails from the Eastern Shore? And while we're on the topic, where should one buy fresh briny oysters in Chattanooga?"
June Plunkett credits Paula Deen for her entry in the baked spaghetti discussion. She explained that "we like it better than lasagna. I keep a batch in my freezer to have on hand for potluck when I need it."
11/2 pounds ground chuck
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
11/2 teaspoons sugar
2 small bay leaves
1/2 cup water
8 ounces uncooked angel-hair pasta
1 (18-ounce) package mozzarella
1 (8-ounce) Cheddar cheese, grated
In a large saucepan, cook ground chuck, bell pepper, onion and garlic over medium heat, stirring until meat is browned. Drain well. In a Dutch oven, combine drained meat and next 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves. Cook pasta according to package instructions, rinse and set aside. Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spoon a third of the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Top with half the pasta, then a third of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce and reserving remaining third of cheese. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix well, and store in a shaker.
Jen Love visited a friend's house last week and left full of praise for a recipe for Little Quinoa Patties. She ordered the cookbook from which the recipe came and highly recommends it, "Super Natural Every Day" by Heidi Swanson. "It has won the James Beard Book Award," she said.
To Cook Quinoa
Combine 2 cups (12 ounces) of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, decrease the heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.
Little Quinoa Patties
21/2 cups (12 ounces) cooked quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or gruyere cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup (3.5 ounces) whole-grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
Water, if needed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
Combine the quinoa, eggs and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into 12 (1-inch-thick) patties. It is better to err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water may be used to moisten the mixture.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add 6 patties if they will fit with some room between each. Cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until the patties are browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes, and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula, and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.
Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer. Makes 12 little patties.
Sylvia Smith sent two special-occasion muffins that make me hungry just reading.
She wrote, "Here is an applesauce muffin that was requested last week. I am also including a cappuccino muffin recipe that is really good."
Applewood Farmhouse Applesauce Muffins
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups applesauce
2 teaspoons soda
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon allspice
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 F. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar; add eggs. Heat applesauce; stir in soda. Sift dry ingredients together, and add to butter mixture alternately with applesauce. Add vanilla extract. Pour into greased muffin tins or paper baking cups in tins, and bake in oven until light brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Batter will keep, covered and refrigerated, for several days. Makes 21/2 dozen muffins. This recipe halves easily. Freeze in zipper-lock bags and heat in microwave for about 20 seconds to eat. A half-recipe makes about 30 mini muffins; bake for 11-12 minutes.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
21/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir milk and coffee granules until the coffee is dissolved. Add butter, egg and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 F for 17 to 20 minutes or until muffin tests done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Makes 18 muffins.
Spread for Muffins
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a food processor or blender, combine the spread ingredients. Cover, and process until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until serving. This spread is optional; the muffins are great plain.
This recipe also makes about 30 mini-muffins.
There you are, practiced cooks. Let's practice. And please tell us what's cooking at your place.
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