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!

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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!

Korean Mung Bean Salad

This is a mix of a couple different recipes that I found on the web. A fairly flexible salad, although my mix may have lost a bit of authenticity.

350g mung bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
6 cups water
1 tsp. fine sea salt

Bring water & salt to a boil. Cook sprouts about 5 minutes. Drain & rinse well with cold water.

Toss with:
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1-3 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. chili flakes (optional)
1 fresh red chili, sliced (optional)

Spicy & Sassy Cornbread

Another favorite of my cousin Joe’s.

1 C butter
1 C sugar
4 eggs
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 16oz can creamed corn
½ C cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 C Flour
4 Tsp Baking Powder
1 C White Cornmeal

Mix butter and sugar, add eggs, chilies, corn and cheese. Stir in flour, baking powder and cornmeal. Grease butter all over a 9 by 13 inch pan.
Pour in mixture and bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Joe Gorski’s Cream Biscuits

My cousin Joe makes these regurlarly and they are spectacular. Stolen straight from the Fannie Farmer cookbook.

2 cups flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Baking powder
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1-1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp. Melted butter

Preheat oven to 425F

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.

Slowly add 1 cup of heavy cream, stirring constantly. Gather dough together. It should hold together, if shaggy add more ceeam.

Knead 1 minute, roll out into 1/2″ thick, cut into biscuits.

Dip each biscuit into melted butter, place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes, until golden.

Arugula Pesto

Spring is here and the new planting of arugula is ready!

In the bowl of a food processor put:
±3 cups arugula
3 small garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp. Kosciusko mustard (spicy mustard)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Pulse until coarsely chopped.
With the motor running add enough olive oil to make a spreadable pesto.

I made an appetizer of grilled zucchini rounds topped with a spoonful of this pesto, a thin slice of filet mignon (leftover) and some diced tomato mixed with balsamic vinegar.

I also added some as a pizza topping.

Baked Sweet Potato Fritters

This is adapted from the blog The Farm Girl Gabs

I did not believe this would work. I started to add some flour to the mixture, then stopped and just followed the recipe. It not only worked but was delicious. Make the dipping sauce first, it needs an hour for the flavors to blend. We ate these with a side of pinto beans and a green salad (with pecans of course).

Fritters
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup eggs (about 2)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 425F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat lightly with oil (cooking spray).

Mix all ingredients. Place scoops of potato mixture onto the baking sheet. Coat the top of each with oil/spray.

Bake 20-25 minutes until crisp & golden.

Serve with
Smoky Garlic Dipping Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir together. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.

Lasagna

For you Larry.

These are the directions from Mom as given to me when I first got married. Copied straight from the stained, wrinkled slips of paper. All of the tomatoes would have been canned from her garden, generously shared with me.

Meat Sauce
2 Quarts of tomatoes (or 2 32 ounce cans)
1 1/2 pounds chop meat

Saute onion and garlic in (olive) oil and butter. Add the meat and sausage and brown. No further directions are listed but… Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and a generous sprinkle of Italian Seasoning. Simmer about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook 3/4 pound of lasagna noodles in salted water.

Cheese Filling
1 pound mozzarella, grated
2 pounds Ricotta
2 eggs
parsley
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
pepper (that would be black pepper)
onion powder

Although my directions don’t say this, reserve half of the mozzarella. Mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

Lasagna Assembly
Layer in a 9″ X 13″ baking pan:
Gravy
3-4 noodles, side by side
Ricotta
A little grated mozzarella
A layer of noodles
A lot of gravy
Repeat

Sprinkle the top with Italian Seasoning.

Bake at 350F about an hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
For the record my directions don’t say how to cook it or how long. You should know.