Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Little Meal on the Prairie

I wrote in one of my previous posts about a person that I would love to meet. That person was Laura Ingalls Wilder. One day a couple of years ago, my two friends and I went to Mansfield, MO to visit her house. It was a lovely day. I had gone there when I was 15 with my grandparents and it was really nice to go back. While we were there, I bought a cookbook with recipes written by Laura. I thought it might be interesting to cook some of the things she cooked.

This first dish I prepared is swiss steak - Almonzo's favorite. It was an easy recipe, but there wasn't much spice to it. I ended up adding steak seasoning and serving it over a bed of spinach pasta. The meat, however, was very tender. While I liked the premise and ease of the dish, I will modify it to suit our spicier tastes if I make it again.

Almonzo's Favorite Swiss Steak

1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2-3 pounds round steak
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup diluted with 2 cans milk or water

1. Combine flour and seasonings

2. Pound flour into both sides of steak and let stand for 1/2 hour

3. Heat butter and oil in large skillet. Brown steak on both sides. Add garlic and cook for one minute.

4. Add soup and simmer for one to two hours, until meat is tender. Cooking time will depend upon thickness and tenderness of the meat.

I cooked the steak in an electric skillet and added steak seasoning at the end of the cooking. While this wasn't my favorite recipe, I plan on trying more of her recipes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fabulous New Pasta Dish

I love making a new pasta dish when it turns out well. I found a recipe that called for pancetta and sausage. For my sausage, I used salsciccia that I bought on the hill in St. Louis - the other Little Italy. I love to buy meats, cheeses and other food there. There are two people I shop with on the hill now; my sister-in-law and my good friend, Dot. We always have fun. It is a really good time.

Anyway, back to the pasta. On a trip to Border's, I found The Pasta Bible, and yes I was excited, because I love pasta. There are so many good looking recipes in this book, I will use it often. The following recipe, I changed a little bit because I was lacking ingredients so I substituted, but it turned out so well, hubby talked about it for more than one day.

1 lb sausage - cooked not in casings
1 lb pasta - any style; I used penne pasta, but any will work - linguini would be great.
2 14 oz cans plum tomatoes
2 tblsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
6 oz pancetta chopped and cooked
3 tblsp parsely chopped
2 glugs milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup mizithra cheese
salt and black pepper

1. Heat oil in medium skillet, add garlic and cook over low heat. REmove garlic and discard. Break up sausage and cook in skillet with pancetta. When sausage is almost cooked, drain grease from pan. While sausage is cooking, puree tomatoes in blender or food processor. Add the pureed tomatoes to the pan with half the parsely and the salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring mixture to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Put the milk and the egg yolks in a large warmed bowl and mix with fork. When pasta is al dente, drain and add to bowl with milk and eggs. Toss untill pasta is coated, then pour the tomato sausage sauce over the pasta and toss again. Sprinkle with remaining parsely and mizithra cheese

Share your favorite pasta recipes! I love to cook and would love to try them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Canning of the Chili

One of my favorite Christmas gifts is the canner my dad gave me. I couldn't wait to use it and have a pantry like his and my stepmother's. It was filled with canned goods that they made themselves and I wanted one for myself. Flash forward ten years and I have a really cool pantry and tons of room downstairs for all my canned goods and food stuffs.

Today I made chili - enough to can 12 pints, plus eat dinner two times with my family. It is a little time consuming, but now I have chili for meals for the next few months. I will be making chili again in the next few weeks and canning quarts, but for today it was pints only. It is a two-day process as I like to cook the chili one day and skim the fat off the next before I can it. Another reason I like to make and can chili is that I know what is going into the chili and I can control what goes into my chili too.
6 lbs. ground beef
3 lbs. sausage - removed from casings
1 large onion diced
12 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp paprika
5 tbsp cumin
6 tbsp chili powder - mild
2 tsp cayanne pepper
6 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 quarts beef stock
4 14 oz cans chili beans

Brown ground beef and sausage - about halfway through add onion and garlic. Drain. In large stock pot add all indredients except beans. Bring chili to a boil and simmer for 1 hour. Add beans and cook for thirty more minutes. Remove from heat, let cool and put in refrigerator overnight. Skim fat from chili and heat up.

Sterilize mason jars - either 12 pints or about 9 quarts. Add chili to jars, put on lids and liners, and process for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. Let chili cool, label and place in your pantry. There are plenty of sites for canning on the net. Here is one that I like; homecanning.com

Have fun canning your favorite food! Once you start, you won't be able to stop!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Amish Friendship Bread

Amish bread is cooking that can be shared with many people. I have shared my bread with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, neighbors, friends, and coworkers. My son just loves it and when he sees the starter sitting on the counter, the smile on his face is all I need to see

The bread is reletively easy to make; the only complaint I see is that the baking cycle is ten days. That means every ten days, I am making bread. At some point I have to stop and I throw away my starters. I always feel a little sad, but I know that at some point in the future, someone will have a new starter for me.

I date my starter to
make counting days easier

Amish Friendship Bread

Do not use metal spoons or mixing bowls, and do not refrigerate. If air gets in bag, let it our. Batter will rise and bubble.
1 mush the bag
2 mush the bag
3 mush the bag
4 mush the bag
5 mush the bag
6 add one cup each of milk, sugar, and flour, then mush the bag
7 mush the bag
8 mush the bag
9 mush the bag
10 pour batter into large bowl and add one cup each; flour, sugar, and milk. Stir, pour one cup each of batter into 3 half gallon baggies. Give to 3 friends with instructions.

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 loaf pans or Bundt pan. Coat with sugar and cinnamon. To remaining batter add:

1 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Add ingredients before mixing. Mix well and pour into pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixed. Bake 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to cooling rack.

The batter is really thick!
I have substituted chocolate pudding and banana pudding for the vanilla pudding for a different taste.

I looked on Allrecipes.com to find a starter for the friendship bread for those who might be interested in making it. I also looked on cooks.com for a starter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tony's at Home

A few weeks ago, my friends and I went to Tony’s restaurant in St. Louis. The restaurants we go to are ones that our husbands have no interest in. We always have a really good time. Having been there one time before, I knew what to expect, and I was very excited to “share” the restaurant with my friends. My previous time there had been almost magical, so my expectations were very high. While the food didn’t disappoint, the service was nowhere near the level I had received before.

We pulled up to the restaurant, had the valet park the car, and we walked in toward the host stand. Even though there was a bar area – they call it a living room – we were instructed to stand by the desk and wait for our table. We were seated a little bit later at a nice table by the back of the restaurant. There really wasn’t anything specific to complain about, but the service was just that; service. There was nothing extra special about it. I guess when one is spending a lot of money for a meal, excellent service should be automatic. The only thing I could actually pinpoint would have to be that our plates were left on the table for a while, and we had to ask for the check. I also spilled my drink all over my friend – not drunk, just clumsy – and we had to stop a waiter. I always thought that four and five-star restaurants anticipated your needs. They did the last time I was there.

One part of the evening that was fabulous was the food. I ordered shrimp with a mustard sauce that was wonderful. My goal after that dinner was to try and replicate the dish. The shrimp part wasn’t difficult, but for some reason, I couldn’t put my finger on the sauce. The only thing the waiter would tell me was that the mustard was just plain yellow mustard. I should have guessed that the base was a hollandaise sauce. It wasn’t until I was looking in my new book, The Cook’s Book and saw a recipe for mustard sauce that it hit me. That was the sauce I had at Tony’s!!! What follows is my rendition of my Tony’s entrĂ©e. The basic hollandaise sauce is from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook. I added the mustard to the recipe, and the filet to the dinner. Enjoy!

Hollandaise Sauce
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup water
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter (1 stick cut into 8 pieces; do not use margarine
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1. In heavy nonreactive 1-quart saucepan with wire whisk, mix egg yolks, water, and lemon juice until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until egg-yolk mixture just begins to bubble at edge, 6-8 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to low. With wire whisk, whisk in butter one piece at a time until each addition is incorporated and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Add mustard and combine. Strain through sieve if desired. Makes about 1 cup.

Grilled Shrimp
One lb large shrimp peeled with tails on and deveined
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Set aside until ready to grill.

2 small filets
Sea salt
Fresh pepper
Herbes de provence

Let meat stand for 15 minutes or so. Liberally sprinkle steaks with seasoning.

Grill steak to your temperature preference and shrimp until just done. Arrange shrimp around steak and drizzle shrimp with mustard sauce. Serve immediately. Serves two.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pizza - Mexican Style

One night, while surfing the net, I found a blog that showed the Taco Bell style Mexican Pizza. I thought to myself, what a great idea! I just wish I could remember which blog it was. I had previously made up this recipe as a mexican lasagne, and it was pretty good, but a bit heavy, I thought.

Looking at the mexican pizza recipe on the blog, I decided that my lasagne recipe could be made into a pizza. Following is my version of Taco Bell's mexican pizza. I am sure I will be making changes to this recipe.

1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined and cut into chunks
1 tsp cumin
2 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb chorize sausage loose or removed from casings
1 can refried beans
1 cup enchilada sauce
vegetable oil
flour tortillas - 8, 2 for each pizza
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
chopped fresh tomatoes
chopped lettuce
sour cream
sliced black olives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Marinate shrimp in olive oil, garlic, lime juice and salt and pepper. Set aside. Cook sausage in skillet until done. Drain well. Wipe out pan. Heat up beans in microwave until hot. Cook shrimp in sausage skillet until just done.

Put oil in skillet and heat until very hot. Fry tortillas on both sides for 30-40 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels.

Combine shrimp with sausage and enchilada sauce in bowl. Divide into 4 portions for the tortillas

Layer tortilla with beans, shrimp and sausage mixture and cheese. Top with another tortilla shell and add cheese to top. Cook in oven until cheese is melted on top tortilla.

Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, sour creme, olives, and guacamole. Serve immediately.

I hope I have this right. I plan on trying to make these again. I thought the flavor was great, but I really don't think I needed to fry the tortilla shells. Trying to mimic the Taco Bell format was on my mind as I prepared this dish and every recipe I looked at called for frying the tortilla shells.