Golden Poppies our State Wildflower

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

GREEN BEANS WITH BACON and other tasty ways with vegetables..RECIPES & Tips (200YRS OLD PLUS)

As we welcome Fall I feel it is time to make more substantial vegetable dishes that are packed with flavors, here are some examples of 200 yr old Pennsylvania Dutch ideas...slightly updated.

Green Beans with bacon:
1 pound cooked (steamed) green beans
2 cups diced potatoes
1/2 pound bacon
juice 1 lemon
1 cup minced onion or scallions
1 cup stock/water

Chop the bacon and brown well in a skillet and then remove the meat and place on kitchen paper to drain.
Add the minced onion and potatoes to the bacon fat and saute for 5-8 mins, turning several times to brown.
Add the stock, bring to boil and then high simmer and cook, tightly covered for 20 mins. (or until the potatoes are cooked)
Add the beans and cooked bacon and cook for 10 more minutes.
Remove from pan and put into warm serving dish and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Dutch warm slaw:
1 green cabbage
1 large egg
1/4 cup apple vinegar or lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dill (optional)
cracked pepper to serve


Finely shred the cabbage, place in a heavy bottomed sauce pan..set aside for 20 mins then cover the pan and place over low flame and steam  SLOWLY until the cabbage is very tender.
Beat the egg with the rest of ingredients and pour over the cooked cabbage, heat slowly for 5 mins then serve at once.

Creamed Spinach:
Nutmeg is a  MUST for this

3 cups Field spinach (do not use baby spinach), washed and placed in a heavy bottomed skillet
1 tsp sea salt

Tightly cover and steam for 3 mins (DO NOT ADD ANYMORE WATER)
Then chop the spinach finely..AND SET ASIDE.

cracked pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
2 clove garlic minced
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk or single cream 


Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan,  add the minced garlic saute for 1 minute then add the flour and  cook to blond roux.
Slowly add warmed milk or cream, stirring constantly over very low heat until a thick sauce forms.
Combine the chopped spinach and season to taste, adding the nutmeg.
Serve at once.

String beans with bacon and tomatoes/Cut Schnitzel Beans
This is a hearty dish that with bread can serve as a  supper dish

2 pounds string beans cut into small pieces
1/2 pound bacon chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp shortening
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup hot water
cracked pepper

herbs and spices of choice

Method..the cooking time IS 2 hours 

Fry the bacon in  heavy bottomed Dutch oven, until golden brown, add all the other ingredients and  bring to boil then reduce to low simmer for 1 hour.
Add any hot water as needed and continue to simmer for a further 1 hour, adding more boiling water as needed.


Monday, September 19, 2016


Here is a great, lighter version, recipe for a green chili that uses pork, but you may use any meat or keep it vegetarian and use tofu/tempeh or cooked beans instead.


2 1/2 pounds stewing pork, well trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups minced onion

4 cups water

2 cups chopped carrots

2 bay leaves
1 whole garlic bulb sliced across the top plus 3 garlic cloves smashed

1 pound canned tomatillos or canned tomatoes

2 chipotle peppers minced

OR 2 hot peppers ( jalapeno/Anaheim)
1 cup chopped green sweet pepper

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup stock/water or beer

1 tsp ground cumin

1tsp mild chili powder

1 cup minced cilantro


Ina heavy bottomed Dutch oven/covered casserole..heat the 2 tsp oil and saute the pork pieces, in batches, until they are caramelized.
Add the bay leaves, onions and the split garlic bulb and cook for 4 mins on medium heat.
Add the  4 cups water and bring to boil, removing any scum that rises.
Reduce to low simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile, place the 2 cloves garlic, canned tomatoes, bell pepper and chilies in a blender or food processor and create a puree.

In a deep skillet  heat the oil and add the tomatillo mix, and bring to boil, then add the spices and stock.  Carefully remove the cooked pork from the Dutch oven and place in the tomatillo sauce.
Simmer for 20 mins or until the flavors are combined.

Garnish with the minced cilantro and serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, sour cream & salsas.

Variations use any boneless/skinless meat.
 of course if using tomatoes instead of canned tomatillos the chili is red not green.


Thursday, March 3, 2016


 This is a traditional dish and is steamed/boiled not baked, wrapped in either a cloth or parchment/greaseproof paper tied with string.

Serves 3-4

3 cups all purpose flour (whole wheat is good too)
1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening (originally it was grated suet) 
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups minced onions
2-3 tsp dried sage, crumbled 
1 pound cooked bacon, chopped small or crumbled

In a medium bowl:

Mix the salt and flour and with 2 knives or a pastry blade, cut in the shortening.
Add just enough cold water to make a light dough/pastry.
Roll on a floured board into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick.
Sprinkle the surface of the dough with the minced onions to 1 inch of the edge of the pastry on all sides.
Top the onions with the chopped or crumbled cooked bacon.
Sprinkle with the sage and black pepper.
Beginning on a long side, roll in jelly roll fashion to meet the other ling side and place, pinch the seem, to seal.
Place seem side down on a length of parchment or a clean cotton kitchen towel.
Secure the ends, by tucking under, and press to seal the seam and sides well.
Roll the paper or towel to contain the roly poly and secure the ends with kitchen string.
Boil in boiling water for 3  1/2 hours (remember to check on the pan and top the level up with more boiling water) in a  lidded large pan.
OR Steam on a rack over boiling water for the same time..topping up with more boiling water as needed.


Variations: as well as onions add minced carrots, leeks, garlic, bell peppers & etc.
In place of bacon use any cooked meat chopped fine.
Or make it all vegetarian and add some thick grated cheese
Try adding dried herbs or mustard to the pastry.

Mustard Sauce Recipe (this is also great for any own baked/boiled  hams

1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp dried mustard (Coleman's English mustard)
1tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1 large egg
cooking liquor (the boiling water from the bacon roly poly)

1)Mix all the dry ingredients together in  a medium saucepan.
2)Moisten to a thin paste with the vinegar.
3)The add the beaten egg, adding 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquor and whisk well.
4)Add 2 more cups of the cooking liquor and bring to high simmer and stir as it thickens.
Check seasonings and serve.
For baked hams,  Proceed up to  #3 then add the egg mix to the cooking liquor in the roasting pan and stir to make a  thick sauce, over medium heat.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

CHICKEN POT PIE...The best of old Pioneer/farmhouse cooking..... info and photos

This is one dish that is best made with butter, fresh chicken pieces with skin and bones, and lots of fresh milk & vegetables.

It was Traditionally made with  boiling chickens and full cream milk.
It is very common for American Farmhouse cooking to include milk (which they had from their livestock, rather than stock which should entail killing more of their livestock)..milk or cream is used to make gravy for sausages and for Hotcakes/Biscuits for The traditional Biscuits and gravy breakfasts.

To serve 8 portions:
use 4 chicken legs and 4 chicken breasts, on bone and with skin (skin holds all the flavors)

Cook the  chicken legs first in a little water with onions, celery, sage, carrot and salt and pepper.
When the legs are cooked remove them and allow them to cool to remove the meat, discard the skin and bones.
Gently poach the chicken breasts in the leg stock, until they are just cooked, remove with a slotted spoon.
Allow the stock and chicken to cool.
Remove the meat from the cooked breasts ( discarding the skin and bones) and set aside.
Chill overnight both the cooked chicken meat and the stock.
Next day, remove the fat from the surface of the chicken stock (this can be used for cooking in the same manner as lard, store in fridge in sealed jar).
Bring the stock to a simmer and add 2-3 cups whole milk  (I use almond milk).

Meanwhile melt 2 tbsp butter in a heavy bottomed skillet and saute
 2-3 cups carrots in bite sized pieces
1 cup celery in bite sized pieces
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms

Add 3tbsp all purpose flour and cook to a blond roux.
Add the hot milk/stock gradually stirring to make a thin sauce, (this will thicken as it cooks down).
Add 1/2 cup mined bell pepper (optional)
2 tsp dried sage
2-3 dried bay leaves
salt & pepper 
cook on low simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally

Add 3 cups bite sized  waxy potatoes (I used whole fingerling), simmer covered for 25- 35 mins or until the potatoes are cooked through.

With a slotted spoon remove the vegetables from the pan, into a medium sized bowl and continue to simmer the milk/stock, until it coats the back of a spoon, then remove from heat, check seasoning and cool down.

Add 1 cup defrosted frozen peas to the cooked vegetables and all the chicken meat cut into bite sized pieces.
Add 1/2 cup minced parsley (optional) 
Pour over the cooled down cooking liquor.
Pace in containers and cool completely, cover tightly then leave overnight in fridge for flavors to bloom.

Next day place the cooked pie filling (there will be less liquid visible as the chicken & vegetables will have soaked some of it) into greased/buttered pie dishes (I used four 8x3x2inch dishes)


 and top with pastry, milk or egg wash, pierce with tines of a fork, ( I LIKE TO ADD DRIED THYME TO THE TOP OF MY SAVORY PIES, for another level of flavor, this is optional) and bake in 375f oven for 30-45 mins until golden brown.

This is a wonderful comfort dish and made this way, it cannot be beaten.

Serve warm or at room temp. and as it contains all the potatoes and vegetables it is a ONE POT MEAL.

Variations: add whatever vegetables you have on hand; You may add white wine or dry sherry; instead of a pastry cover try mashed yams or mashed potatoes; you may finish the sauce off with single cream, but this is before baking takes place.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Hot and sour soup made with  chicken stock, using the bones & skin, from the removal of the breasts for the chicken & lettuce wraps and the thigh meat for this soup and the eggplant dish. Traditionally Chinese chicken stock uses chicken feet for a more gelatinous stock..finished with swirled beaten egg.

The chopped dark meat chicken for the eggplant dish, rather than saute the eggplant in oil I am poaching it in the chicken stock and sherry cooking liquor. Lots of cracked pepper, garlic and fresh ginger here.

Szechwan style spicy chicken and eggplant

Above and below large eggplant pieces in sea salt to remove any bitterness

Red bell pepper and carrot soup

Chinese style chicken stock, ginger, garlic and cilantro with chicken bones and skin, will simmer for 1 hour, do not break the bones as this clouds any stock.

5 spice powder, garlic, fresh ginger, mushrooms, chicken stock, dry sherry and hoisin sauce..chicken for the Romaine lettuce cups..topped with fresh cilantro
Tomorrow is the beginning of Year of the Monkey, and this menu celebrates it in a grand style..always when cooking Asian food, use the freshest ingredients and cook quickly..also it is best and safe to trim a whole chicken yourself rather than buying pre-ground or chopped chicken..this way you get the bones fresh for the stock. To finely chop chicken, and no mince it, remove  from the bones and remove any fat and sinew/skin cut into bite sized pieces then pulse in a food processor until the pieces are smaller but not minced. This way it cooks "clean" and you cannot mistake fresh chicken in any dish.

I have added red bell peppers to some dishes as red is the Chinese color of good fortune and it represents FIRE which burns away negativity..sensible really.

Happy New Year

Chinatown, Los Angeles this weekend

Thursday, February 4, 2016

CHICKEN PAPRIKASH RECIPE..flavorful without any SPICY heat

Here is a great recipe that may be made with skinless chicken pieces, or all legs and thighs or a 3 pound bird (cut into portions and skin removed to cut the fat).
Serves 4-6
Perfect recipe for mid week or a fancy dinner party.

This is a one pot, make on the stove recipe.

1x 3-4 pound young chicken cut into portions, make 4 pieces out of the breasts, leave the bones in. (allow 1 drumstick & thigh per person or 1 breast cut in 2 per person if using pre-cut chicken pieces)
2 tbsp butter or margarine (do not use oil as it makes the sauce too thin) 
2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic smashed and minced
2 tbsp smoked paprika ( may use regular sweet paprika, but smoked gives a better flavor..tastes fire cooked)
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes in juice
1 cup chicken/vegetable stock or water
1 cup dairy sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 pound  wide (egg) noodles


 in a deep large skillet/wok/Dutch oven (lidded casserole)..heat the  butter and add the chopped onions and garlic and sweat slowly top with a lid.
Add the paprika and flour and cook for about a minute, stirring well.
Add the seasoning and the canned tomatoes, & stock and mix well especially on the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.
Add the skinless chicken pieces, and cover them with the sauce.
Cover tightly and simmer for 30 mins.
Turn the pieces, and stir well, then simmer for a further 15 mins., no lid.
Cook the noodles following label instructions, and drain ..place on a warm serving dish/platter.
Gently remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon onto the noodles, keep warm.
Check the sauce for seasoning.
Stir in the sour cream and parsley. Pour half the sauce over the chicken and serve the remainder in a sauce boat.
Sprinkle with ground paprika and serve .

Traditionally chicken livers are also used, these (1/2 cup) may be added when the chicken pieces are turned after 30 mins..

 You may add some white wine, chopped mushrooms, fresh young spinach or kale 15 mins before serving.


Monday, January 4, 2016

19TH CENTURY RECIPE: BOBOTIE..never heard of it?...well you are missing out on something fantastic

This is a very economical dish that easily feeds 3-4 with mashed potatoes and greens

2 thick slices bread
1 cup milk
1 cup minced onion
2 tbsp butter 
1/4 cup raisins
1 pound raw, lean, minced beef
2 tbsp shredded or chopped almonds (or any chopped raw nut)
2 tbsp wine or apple juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp any dried herb of choice (thyme, oregano, basil, mint)
ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
2 large eggs beaten



1) Soak the bread in the milk, and then squeeze out excess, put bread aside.. keep the milk for later.

2) Saute the onion in the melted butter, then add the bread, dried fruit, beef, almonds, wine, herbs, salt & pepper, cook through then add the curry powder and lemon juice, cook for 2-3 mins then  remove from heat & add 1 tbsp beaten egg.

3) Pour into the buttered casserole.

4) Top with the remaining egg &  milk mixed well together.

5) Bake 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until top is golden and set.

Serve warm from dish or allow to cool and serve in slices at room temp.

Variations: add any fresh chopped vegetables when you first saute the onions.
This is also wonderful when cooked dried legumes are added along with the  herbs and flavorings.
I imagine this dish originated in India, and may have originally been vegetarian, so go ahead and omit the beef and use any cooked beans, chickpeas, navy beans, red kidney beans, the results will be just as good and more healthy.
This is wonderful when you mix 2 tbsp peanut butter in a little milk  and add this before baking.