Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce

The other day a friend mentioned that her neighbor delivered some fresh from the bog cranberries to her (how lucky is she to live by the cranberry bogs with such generous neighbors!).  Anyway, my mind immediately went to one of my favorite fall treats--homemade cranberry sauce.  Only three ingredients and so tasty!

Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce

~2 Cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
~3/4 Cup water
~1 Cup sugar

Wash cranberries.  Place in a saucepan with the water.  Boil the berries until the skins burst.

Puree the cranberries and water in a blender or food processor.  Place puree back into pan and add sugar.  Boil mixture for about 5 minutes (you want to reach the gel point--see below).

Pour mixture into bowl or mold. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set.

*For a spicy cranberry sauce, add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves and a pinch of nutmeg to the puree (or to taste).  I love the spicy version!

~To test for gel point:  Place a small amount of the sauce on a well chilled plate and stick in the freezer for a minute or two.  The mixture should be set and not runny.  You can run your finger through it and it will stay separated.

*If you want a softer sauce, boil for less time, for a firmer sauce boil an extra minute.

-We love this served with roasted chicken or turkey!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Dairy Free)

Mashed potatoes are comfort food at it's best! 
My family loves mashed potatoes, but they are traditionally laden with butter, cream or other dairy products.  When we had to take dairy out of our sons diet several years ago, it was a challenge to find a way to make mashed potatoes that didn't result in gluey or tasteless potatoes.  Here is what we came up with:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

~Again, this is more of a how to than an actual recipe, we always make a big batch to keep in the refrigerator for later in the week.  These potatoes also freeze well.

-roasted garlic (see below)
-dairy free margarine (there are a few brands available)
-chicken broth
-salt and pepper, to taste

Boil your potatoes until soft, we like to leave the skins on.  While the potatoes are boiling, in a separate saucepan, heat chicken broth and margarine till hot, add roasted garlic, salt and pepper.

Drain potatoes.  Place potatoes back in warm pot and slowly add the butter/broth mixture a little at a time, mashing the potatoes as you go.  Add enough of the broth mixture to get desired consistency.

*The roasted garlic adds a mild garlic flavor without being overwhelming (you can leave the garlic out if you don't like it).

*Heating the broth keeps the potatoes from getting the gluey texture that happens when you add cold ingredients to the hot potatoes.

*Chicken broth adds the necessary liquid without giving the potatoes an off flavor that some of the milk substitutes can add.

Roasted Garlic

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step. I usually make the garlic early in the day and keep it in the fridge till I am ready to use.
-olive oil

Cut the tops off from whole cloves of garlic, leaving the root end intact and holding the cloves together.  You want to trim just enough off to expose the garlic cloves. Leave the papery skin on the outside.

Place garlic in a pan and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees until the garlic is tender when pierced with a fork, about 30-45 minutes. 

Cool garlic and then squeeze out of the skin.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Serve mashed roasted garlic as an alternative to butter, spread on toasted french bread.

*Beware, the smell of roasting garlic can make your family drool and constantly ask what's for dinner!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm Back with a Schnitzel Recipe

I'm back---FINALLY!  Sorry about the really long silence, just a lot going on and I was having a hard time keeping up.

We are in the middle of birthday month (four birthdays in our house in a month) and one of our traditions is the birthday person gets their favorite dinner.  Our youngest just turned 15 and he asked for schnitzel and mashed potatoes.  This is more of a how to than a recipe as there are no exact measurements.

For the schnitzel you will need:

Thinly sliced eye of round or similar meat (you can also use pork or veal)*
Eggs whisked with a little water
Italian style bread crumbs (we use homemade from the Shortcut Cooking Cookbook)
Lemon Wedges

Dredge the meat in flour to coat.
Dip meat in eggs and then in the bread crumbs, coating completely.
Fry in a pan with about a 1/2" of oil. Turn after 1-2 minutes. 
To keep warm, place on a rack in a warm oven while you finish cooking all the meat.

Serve with lemon wedges.

*You can have the butcher thinly slice your meat, or to do it yourself: place roast in freezer for about one hour, then slice thinly with a knife or meat slicer.  Freezing the meat for a bit makes it much easier to slice.

Tomorrow I will share the recipe for our dairy free roasted garlic mashed potatoes.