Food Hero


Pfeffernusse (Pepper Nuts) by Rachelle
December 13, 2009, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Baked Goods/Desserts, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags:

Pfeffernuess is German for “pepper nuts” and is a classic spicy holiday treat. This is my mother-in-law’s cookie recipe, and my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie. We made two huge gallon-sized ziploc bags this year, and they are already almost gone. This German version is anise flavored, but the Danish pebernodder (literally “pepper nuts) are made with black or white pepper.

1 c white corn syrup
1 c dark corn syrup
2 c white sugar
1 c butter, melted
2 c sour cream
1/4 tsp anise oil
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
8-10 c flour (or more)

 Put ingredients together in a very large bowl. Stir well after first 5 ingredients. Then add remaining ingredients. Add enough flour until dough is quite thick, but not overly dry. (I usually end up using all 10 cups.) Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Just a couple hours is not enough chill time for this recipe.) Roll out onto a very well floured board into thin 1/2 inch diameter snakes. Cut into small pieces. To prevent sticking, lightly shake the cookies in your well floured hands. Lay them out on cookie sheets, not touching. Bake 12-15 min at 375 degrees.

These cookies are meant to be quite crisp, almost like biscotti. But I also enjoy them made slightly large and cooked to a softer consistency. Paul says “drink them with Market Spice tea!”



Emergency Dinner: Huervos Rancheros and Roasted Veggies by Rachelle
September 22, 2009, 6:46 am
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , , , ,

huervos rancheros and roasted vegggies

I threw two parties this weekend: one for 15 11 year olds, and another serving dinner and dessert to 25 folks. Needless to say, I did NOT feel like cooking again come Monday night.

Alas, the children, they demand to be fed.

I had a bunch of leftover cornbread and wanted to make Katy’s Huervos Rancheros with Chorizo to go with it. But I didn’t have the right ingredients.  So this is what came up instead. I bet you could do something like it with what you have on hand as well. Here’s the un-recipe:

Roasted Veggies: Put a couple halved, seeded bell peppers cut side down on a baking sheet. On the other half of the sheet put a row of asparagus. (I snap the ends. Some people peel.) Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast at 375 until the asparagus are bite-tender. Set aside. (They are fine room temp.) Keep the pepper in there until the skins blister slightly. Remove peppers and cool until you can just handle them. Pinch off the skins and discard. Slice.

“Emergency” Rancheros Sauce: In a skillet or saucepan heat olive oil. Sautee a some onions (I used green) and a couple cloves of crushed garlic. Add a can of stewed tomatoes (mine had peppers in it). Add 1/2-1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Adjust to taste.

Scramble up or fry some eggs and serve the whole feast with corn tortillas, chips, rice…whatever you have on hand. Have Yum.



Jamaican Black Bean and Rice Soup by Rachelle
September 21, 2009, 7:10 am
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Soup | Tags: , , ,

Jamacian Black Bean and Rice Soup

Last night was our Annual Fall Chili Fest for the Autumnal Equinox. I try out a different chili every year, and this one got rave reviews from our guests. It goes well with easy Pineapple Salsa and Buttery Cornbread, both of which can be found here. Have yum!

Jamaican Black Bean and Rice Soup
(serves 10)

1/4 olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
2 tsp each cumin and oregano (adjust to taste)
2 tsp salt
4-5 cloves minced garlic
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 c veggi stock
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup cooked brown or white rice
2-3 T red wine vinegar (I use balsamic)

Toppings: sliced radishes, sour cream, limes, pineapple salsa

1) Saute onions, bells peppers, spices and salt in a large pot until onions are tender.

2) Add veggie stock. Add beans and tomatoes. Heat thru.

3) Right before serving, add cooked rice and heat thru. When soup is steaming add vinegar and adjust salt.

Tip: Only add enough rice to the amount you are planning to eat right away. Store rice and soup separately to avoid the rice breaking down into starch in your leftovers.



Chocolate Skillet Cake with Pears and Walnuts by Rachelle

This is my favorite desert for Rosh Hashanah, which I’ve written about at BlogHer this week. It’s not a traditional Jewish dish, just something this goyim girl does for the season. Enjoy some fall goodness!

¼ c butter
¼ c brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 sliced pears
¼ c chopped walnuts

 Melt the butter, brown sugar, and honey in an oven-proof cast-iron skillet. Arrange pears in concentric circles on the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle walnuts evenly across the skillet.

1/3 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 squares (1oz) unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1  1/4c flour
2/3 c milk

 Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time. Stir in chocolate, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually alternate adding milk and flour. Pour mixture over pears in skillet. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter.

Wonderful warm with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!



Strawberry Spinach Salad by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Salads | Tags: , ,

strawberryspinachsalad

Too hot to cook? I’m a huge fan of “big salads.” (Remember how Elaine on Seinfeld always wanted to order “big salad.”) But sometimes you just can’t think of something yummy to put on your salad greens. My soulssitah Jen Payne to the rescue! Jen passed this great list of 101 Salads from the New York Times on to me, and I offer it now to you. (I understand #7 , the carrot blueberry salad  is especially great.)

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite combos: Strawberry Spinach Salad. Start with clean, dry baby spinach leaves. Toss in a couple hand full mint leaves. Add very thinly sliced red onions, chevre (goat cheese), and cashews. The lightest splash of olive oil and rice vinegar, or poppy seed dressing is nice.



Chicken Mole with Rice by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, Medium Fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , ,

chickenmole

For almost ten years we hosted one kind of group or another that met in our home for dinner on a regular basis. This recipe for a chicken mole comes from a cook book one of those communities, The Well, produced together. Lisa Hashbarger contributed this particularly yummy dish, and while we’ve lost touch long ago, we still think of her fondly whenever this is on the table.

It’s very simple and you need only one special ingredient, Ibarra Mexican chocolate. This is a hard chocolate with a grainy, sugary texture and a cinnamon flavor. You can find it at most well-stocked grocery stores in the U.S. — tho’ I have to bring it back in my suitcase to Denmark. (Ibarra also makes fabulous hot chocolate when grated and melted into warm milk!)

Chicken Mole

4 chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
1 c broth
3-6 cloves
1 – 28oz can peeled and diced tomatoes
1/2 c raisins
1/4c cilantro, chopped
3 T chili powder
one round Ibarra chocolate
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cumin
2 T peanut butter
2 T lime juice

2 c cooked rice

Place the chicken in a pan and cover with water. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from water and cool slightly. Then shred into strips. Saute onion in 2T  of broth, covered until softened. (4-5 min) Uncover and add garlic, tomatoes, raisins, cilantro, chili powder, chocolate, salt, cinnamon, cumin and peanut butter. Simmer 5 minutes. Add remaining broth and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken and lime juice. Heath through on low until hot. Spoon over rice and serve with lime wedges



Cookie Classics: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal by Rachelle
May 23, 2009, 6:10 pm
Filed under: Baked Goods/Desserts, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , ,

 

 

Chewy, delicious oatmeal chocolate chippers on a handmade napkin.

Chewy, delicious oatmeal chocolate chippers on a handmade napkin.

Suzie the Foodie sent out a Tweet a couple weeks ago about it being time to bake cookies. Seeing as almost the only thing I contribute to this site is baking recipes, I of course immediately jumped on the bandwagon.

Foodimentary said it was National Oatmeal Cookie Day on April 30th so that’s what I cooked up. I’m just now getting the recipe up, but my, my, my it is a keepers.

This recipe came from my pal Heidi Flaming-Buschman. (I know, that’s a freaking AWESOME last name, right?!) The only changes I’ve made is to swap out the shortening for all-butter, and since I can’t get chocolate chips here in Denmark, I chop up a big bittersweet chocolate bar.

On the purple recipe card Heidi gave me as at Christmas a decade ago, under serving size it says, “Makes a large amount.” Use your biggest mixing bowl because it really does make a ton. Have yum!

Heidi and Monte Flaming-Buschman’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/3 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
4 c oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips

Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes at 375 degree oven. Makes a large amount.