Tofu with Broccoli & Mushrooms in Princess Sauce

This worked so well I don’t want to forget it!
I combined a couple recipes from Chinese Cookery by Rose Cheng & Michele Morris and used tofu instead of chicken or pork.

1 box Tofu

Marinade:
1 Tbsp. rice wine
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. grated ginger root

Seasoning Sauce:
1 Tbsp. rice wine
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sesame oil

6-10 dried red hot peppers
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small head of broccoli sliced, stems sliced separately
2-3 scallions, sliced diagonally
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place tofu in marinade, let stand at least 30 minutes. (I set it up early in the day and put it in the fridge until dinner)

Mix seasoning sauce and set aside. Prepare all vegetables.

Heat 2-3 Tbsp. oil in wok with a couple peppers. Add tofu and stir fry until well browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove tofu, draining oil over wok; set aside.

Heat oil, adding more if necessary. Add garlic, ginger and broccoli stems. Stir fry 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and whites of scallions, stir fry an additional minute or two.

Add broccoli, toss. Add chicken broth and cover until water is absorbed and broccoli is cooked.

Add tofu, seasoning sauce and remaining scallions. Stir fry until sauce thickens and is heated through. Stir in cashews and serve.

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Bearnaise Sauce

My cousin Tam gave me these directions. I believe they come from the Joy of Cooking. This is wonderfully easy and of course delicious, since it is nearly all butter.

1 stick of butter, melted. Keep hot

But in a blender:
3 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar, or in my case 2 T sherry vinegar and about 1/2 teaspoon or more of dried tarragon
pinch of cayenne, optional

Blend.

With the blender on, add the butter in a very slow stream.

If the sauce is not thick enough for your liking, put it back in the pot and heat over low heat, whisking until thick. Be careful not to break the sauce or cook the yolks. Tam says that if you break the sauce add an additional yolk to bring it back together.

For hollandaise sauce, use 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice instead of the vinegar.

Butternut Squash Coins with Cilantro Salsa

This recipe is from an ancient copy (1995 to be exact) of Food & Wine. And truthfully it’s all about the salsa. This salsa is great over lots of other vegetables, like grilled eggplant as well as chickpeas and white beans.

For the butternut squash:
Use only the neck.
Peel and slice into 1/4-inch thick “coins”

Work in batches. Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat. Put in a single layer of squash. Cook about 5 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned.

Salsa:
makes about 1 1/3 cups

1 large bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
Fresh ginger, 2-inch piece, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. salt

In a food processor, combine the cilantro, mint, garlic, ginger, chile and 1/4 cup water and puree until a smooth sauce forms. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.

The salsa can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temp.

Old-Fashioned Pound Cake

This is from Ratio a cookbook for the mathematician in every cook.

The ratio = 1 part butter : 1 part sugar : 1 part egg : 1 part flour
by weight

The following makes enough for one 9″ loaf pan. The books says it will mix better if doubled to the pound ratio. I have only made it as follows but I am sure it will mix better with more ingredients, unless you have a small mixer.

Pound Cake
8 ounces butter, at room temperature, plus enough to butter the pan
8 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces eggs, at room temp. (about 4 large eggs, plus 1 large yolk), lightly whipped to combine
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces flour (about 1 3/4 cup)
1 tsp. baking powder (optional, but I hedged my bet and added it)

For the citrus glaze:
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter with paddle attachment for a minute. Add the sugar and salt and beat on med-high until the butter becomes very pale and volume has increased by about 1 third, 2-4 minutes.

Add the eggs slowly, so that they are gradually beaten into the batter, another minute or so. (If the batter appears to break, it should be ok when the flour is added.)

Add a tablespoon of each juice, all the zest and the vanilla.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to med-low. Add the flour. Mix only to incorporate the flour.

Pour batter into pan and bake 1 hour. Test, if blade or toothpick comes out clean remove and let rest 5 min. Turn out on rack to finish cooling.

Meanwhile, for the glaze combine the citrus juices and sugar in a small pan over med-high heat; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Taste to check the sweet-sour balance and adjust if necessary.

Brush cake with glaze on all sides.

Mint Sauce

From Great British Cooking by Jane Garmey.

In our house, lamb is not complete without mint sauce. This recipe makes about 3/4 cup. If made with vinegar it will keep at least a month in the fridge.

1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. boiling water
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or white wine)

Place the mint in a pitcher and pour the boiling water over it. Let stand 20 minutes to infuse the water. Add the sugar and vinegar or wine and stir well. Serve.

Brian’s French Bread

16 oz. all-purpose flour
16 oz. bread flour
1 tsp. Brown sugar
2 2/3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. active yeast or 1 1/4 tsp. dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 lb. old dough

In the bowl of a kitchenaide mixer, combine both flours and brown sugar.

Disolve yeast in warm water. Slowly stir into flour mixture. Let rest 20 minutes covered with a clean towel.

Add salt and old dough to mixer. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Let rise 30 minutes. Pull off 1 pound of dough and freeze.
Let remaining dough continue to rise another 1 1/2 hours.

Divide into two or three equal pieces and shape loaves.

Place on parchment covered, upside down cookie sheet or peal and allow to rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475F.

Slit tops of loaves, place in oven. Reduce oven temp to 425F. Bake 2 minutes, spritz loaves with water. Bake another 5 minutes and spritz again. Alternately you can place 1 cup of water in a cast iron pan that has been preheating in the oven.

Bake 30 minutes until internal temperature of bread is 205F

Mom’s Fish ‘n Chip Batter

For a while it was a “thing” to mimic your favorite prepared foods. Mom tried it out but never really could get behind it, except for this recipe. Mom & Dad LOVED fried food, they were so smart.

1 pound cod cut into 1-inch thick pieces

Batter
1 cup pancake flour
1 egg
1 cup club soda
1 tsp. basil or parsley
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Mix pancake flour, egg, and seasoning. Add club soda and mix.
Dip cod pieces into batter and fry in corn oil until lightly brown.

**Mom used corn oil for frying because she liked the taste the best. I’ve tried them all and of course I agree, it’s what I grew up on!

Autumn Chopped Salad

Gail found this recipe. I reprint it to be able to find it. Please visit Iowa Girl Eats for a fantastic list of recipes and stunning pictures.

And I am NOT going to list instructions, this is a salad! Put it in a big bowl and mix it up.

Ingredients:
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 slices bacon, cooked to crisp and chopped (optional)
1 pear, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup Poppy Seed Dressing
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Serves 2, generously

Well maybe a little direction – Serve immediately after adding the dressing. If you want the bacon to remain crisp don’t add it until you are ready to serve.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. Cook’s has intricate directions and an explanation of why these steps works. Please see their website for full information.
Makes 22 large or 40 smaller cookies / 325F one tray at a time

Ingredients
crinklecookies
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken up
4 Tbsp. butter

For rolling – place in separate bowls:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 325 with rack in middle. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in medium bowl.

Whisk brown sugar, eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla together in a large bowl.

Combine chocolate and butter in microwave safe bowl and microwave (at 50% power) until melted, stirring occasionally about 2-3 minutes.

Whisk melted chocolate into egg mixture until combined. Fold in flour mixture until no dry streaks remain. Let sit at room temp. for 10 minutes.

Scoop about 2 Tbsp. batter at a time (these were too big for us so we used about 1 Tbsp.) Form into balls (a joke, just drop them). Drop into granulated sugar, roll into a ball and coat evenly with sugar. Then place in confectioner’s and roll to coat. Evenly space half (11 of the large size) on baking sheet.

Bake cookies one tray at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges begin to set but centers are still soft – about 12 minutes.

Let cool completely on sheet.

Pecan Pie

Adapted from Epicurious.com

Single Pie crust

Filling:
6 Tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
2 cups pecan halves

Roll pie crust and put in pie plate, put in fridge for 30 minute or 10 minutes in freezer.

Place a baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 350F.

Make filling:
Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add brown sugar, whisk until smooth.
Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, orange zest and salt.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk corn syrup mixture into eggs.

With a knife, coarsely chop 1 cup of pecans and put in pie shell.
Add remaining cup of pecan halves.
Pour filling mixture over pecans.

Place in preheated oven on baking pan. Bake until filling is set 50-60 minutes.

Cool completely.

Excellent served with ice cream or whipped cream, if your heart can handle it!