Posts Tagged 'butter'



Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

This is the Sweet Potato Casserole that I grew up eating at the Holidays.  Baked sweet potatoes mixed with a generous amount of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and topped with a gooey layer of marshmallows. Yum!

The marshmallows on top make the dish.  When baked until golden brown, the marshmallows create a delicious topping – crispy on top with a sinfully melty interior. Super sweet and super good. We don’t add marshmallows to the sweet potatoes though … we find it gets too sweet if its in the potatoes and on top.

My good friend Allison Lemm makes a delicious Bourbon Pecan version of this recipe. She stirs 2 tablespoons of bourbon into the sweet potato mixture and add a 1/4 cup of toasted chopped pecans to the marshmallow topping. I am tempted to try it that way this year.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
8 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Discard the skins. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potato flesh until smooth. Add the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon and level the mixture into the prepared dish. Evenly top with a single layer of marshmallows. Bake until the marshmallows are puffed and golden and the potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Do-Ahead: This can be made a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before baking. 

Time-Saving Tip: I prefer the flavor of freshly baked sweet potatoes. But if you are short on time, you can boil peeled and cubed sweet potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain well. Precooked sweet potatoes, which can be found in the grocery freezer section, are another short cut.

 

Reuben Sandwiches

Reuben Sandwiches

Piled high with corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing, this warm sandwich is just as tasty at home as at your local deli.

In fact, it may be even better!

This Thousand Island dressing comes from the kitchen of my friend Alison’s grandmother. It is hands down the best Thousand Island dressing I have ever had. You can’t even compare it to the bottled versions you find at the grocery.  I guarantee its worth the few extra minutes to make your own.

Enjoy!

Reuben Sandwiches

For the Thousand Island dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

For the sandwiches:
8 slices rye bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound thinly sliced cooked corned beef
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup refrigerated sauerkraut, drained

To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, relish, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, and lemon juice until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Season with the hot sauce, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwiches: Evenly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. On each slice, spread 1 tablespoon of the Thousand Island dressing. Layer each sandwich with 1/4 of the corned beef, 1/4 cup of the sauerkraut, and 1 slice of the Swiss cheese. Top each sandwich with 1 of the remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.

Preheat a griddle (or a large skillet) over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the warm griddle and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a flat spatula, carefully turn the sandwiches over. Cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve hot, with a side of extra Thousand Island dressing if desired.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: Cook the sandwiches slowly in order to allow the cheese to melt without burning the bread. If the outside is browning too quickly, reduce the heat, cover, and cook slowly until the cheese melts.

Do-Ahead: The Thousand Island dressing will last up to 4 days covered and refrigerated.

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Natalie Root.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

With Halloween this week, I thought my Meatless Monday recipe should be pumpkin-inspired!

Pumpkins and winter squashes like the butternut and acorn varieties are both of the gourd family and can be used interchangeably in most cases.  I love the flavor of the sweet “meat” of Butternut squash.  It’s my favorite of the winter squashes. I use it in soups, salads and dishes like this one.

Risotto sounds complicated, but it is actually very easy to make. All it takes is a little patience to wait for the rice to absorb the liquid.

This is the basic recipe for making risotto. Once you have mastered this simple recipe, you can make any flavor combination you are craving.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Risotto

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 pound)
5 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion (half a small onion)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel, halve, and remove the seeds from the squash. Cut it into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium saucepan place the squash and enough water to cover by 1-inch. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until fork-tender, but not too soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepot over high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.

In a large saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure all the grains are coated. Cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup of the stock. The risotto is done when the rice is tender, but still firm.

Stir in the cooked squash and the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the squash is reheated and the cheese is melted, about 2 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Recipe from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I should call this recipe Sarah’s Disappearing Banana Bread!

My youngest daughter can’t not get enough of banana bread.  It is one of her favorite treats to eat … and to make with her momma!

Sarah has the unfortunate curse of being allergic to nuts, and unfortunately most versions of this quick bread are made with walnuts.  She had a wonderful nut-less banana bread last summer we found at the Malibu Farmers Market. Since then, we have been on a quest to re-create a similar version.

Many of the recipes we tried were delicious … but none had the moistness of the one we had enjoyed last summer.  Then one day a friend told me to try adding sour cream to the mix. It was a brilliant suggestion! The sour cream gave the bread that delicious moistness we were lacking with other recipes we tried.

The chocolate chips were Sarah’s idea …  my little sous-chef always knows how to make a sweet over the top!

Enjoy! (But be forewarned … it will disappear very quickly!)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 -inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add the bananas, sour cream, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and stir to blend. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about for 60 to 70 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack just until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Serves 8.

Cooking Tip:  It happens to all of us.  Some days bananas ripen faster than we can eat them.  If I have bananas that are overly ripe, I throw them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. That way, I always have ripe bananas on hand to make this bread and I am not wasting food.

Variation: If you are not allergic to nuts like Sarah, add a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter for what I’d call a “Chunky Monkey” version!

Freezes well.

Phyllo Cups with Chicken Salad

 

The point of having a party is getting to spend time with your friends … not be slaving away in the kitchen.  Your guests will appreciate all the time you spend preparing for their arrival … but I can guarantee that they will appreciate spending time with you more.

When designing a menu, always look for items that can be prepared ahead of time.  And remember, just because a dish can be prepared in advance, doesn’t mean it can’t be impressive.

Phyllo cups can help make a simple dish look extraordinary on your table.

What is phyllo you may ask?  It is the flaky, paper-like dough most of know from baklava. Phyllo is very easy to work with and can be found in the frozen food section of most supermarkets.

The phyllo cups in this recipe can be made up to a day in advance.  Just store them at room temperature until ready to use.

You can fill your phyllo cups with just about anything. Chicken salad, crab salad, shrimp salad … even chocolate ganache … are tasty options.

To take the stress out of entertaining, I usually just pick up my favorite chicken salad from a local cafe. (I normally use the Curried Walnut Chicken Salad from Cheffie’s Cafe.) I assemble the appetizers a couple of hours before serving (stored in the refrigerator of course to keep the salads fresh) and my work is done. It’s a bite-size treat that is infinitely easier than it looks.

Enjoy!

Phyllo Cups stuffed with Chicken Salad

2 cups chicken salad (store-bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
20 sheets frozen phyllo dough (9”x14”), thawed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with oil. Lightly brush mini-muffin pans with butter-oil mixture.

Layer 5 phyllo sheets, brushing each with the butter-oil mixture. Cut four, 4-inch squares from phyllo stack. Place phyllo squares in the pan. Carefully push phyllo into pan, leaving the points sticking up. Repeat process to make 24 shells.

Bake empty phyllo shells in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove shells from pans.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling into each shell.

Makes 24 appetizer portions.

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Ice Cream


 

One word sums up this dessert … YUM!

The combination of Chocolate and Peppermint is my favorite Holiday treat.

This year we had our Holiday family dinner early since my sisters were in town the weekend before Christmas.  As always, I am the one in charge of dessert. When I was trying to decide what to make, I remembered a Peppermint Ice Cream from Simply Recipes that I had wanted to try.  Being a chocoholic, I decided to pair this frozen treat with a decadently rich Flourless Chocolate Cake.

It was a match made in heaven!  A light dusting of crushed candy canes finished it all off.

Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours!

Enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra to grease the pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra to dust the pan
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and lightly dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and cocoa powder until well blended.  Stir in the melted chocolate mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan before serving.

Serves 8.

Peppermint Ice Cream  — from the talented Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes.

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

People either love the idea … or hate it.  But in my opinion, sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving must be topped with marshmallows!

This is the recipe that I have been enjoying at our family’s table since I was a little girl.  Without a doubt it will be on our Thanksgiving table this year.

My good friend Allison Lemm makes a delicious Bourbon Pecan version of this recipe worth trying. Stir 2 tablespoons of bourbon into the sweet potato mixture and add a 1/4 cup of toasted chopped pecans to the marshmallow topping.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
8 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Discard the skins. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potato flesh until smooth. Add the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon and level the mixture into the prepared dish. Evenly top with a single layer of marshmallows. Bake until the marshmallows are puffed and golden and the potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Do-Ahead: This can be made a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before baking.

Time-Saving Tip: I prefer the flavor of freshly baked sweet potatoes. But if you are short on time, you can boil peeled and cubed sweet potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain well. Precooked sweet potatoes, which can be found in the grocery freezer section, are another short cut.

Wild Mushroom, Rosemary, and Hazelnut Dressing

I am a huge fan of dressing … any time of year.  To me, a good dressing is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

This dressing gets a modern … and flavorful … spin with the use of a crusty artisan rosemary bread as the base. It is delicious with turkey but also pairs nicely with red meat.

If serving this at the holidays or for a dinner party, take advantage of the many steps that can be done in advance. You can toast the bread a day or two ahead and store the cooled croutons in a resealable plastic bag. The hazelnuts can be toasted several days ahead as well. The mushrooms and onions can be cleaned and cut the day ahead and stored separately in the fridge. Then the day you plan to serve the dish, all you have to do is assemble the ingredients and pop your casserole dish into the oven.

Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom, Rosemary, and Hazelnut Dressing

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
1 1-pound loaf rosemary bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3/4 pound fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed, and coarsely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven until the bread is toasted dry and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the white wine and over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the bread and hazelnuts, and toss to combine.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the stock and eggs. Add to the bread mixture and toss to evenly coat.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish. Bake, loosely covered with foil, until set and warmed through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 6 to 8.

From: Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

 

Broccoli-Cheddar Cornbread

 

I was first introduced to this yummy cornbread by my friend Dawn Looney. In her usual sweet Southern way, she had brought us supper after the birth of my second child. In her goodie basket was a huge Mason jar full of soup and a tin full of the moisted, most unique cornbread I had ever tasted.

What makes this cornbread so moist is the cottage cheese. It truly makes it stand out from that dry, crumbly cornbread most folks make.  My kids never have been a fan of cornbread … probably because most versions are dry and tasteless. But even with the broccoli, they love this version! Dawn didn’t have cheddar in her recipe … but I couldn’t resist adding it.

Oh … and I have to admit, I stole Dawn’s cute idea of bringing friends a Mason jar full of soup when they have just had a baby, been ill, or just need a happy!  It makes a healthy yet delicious meal that can be served that night or frozen for later. My hearty Vegetable Beef Soup is my go-to for this gift because it is loved by all and is so simple to make. This cornbread makes the meal complete.

Enjoy!

Broccoli-Cheddar Cornbread

2 8.5-ounce boxes corn bread mix (I use Jiffy)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
4 eggs
8 ounces cottage cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted and drained

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the corn bread mix, melted butter, eggs, and cottage cheese until well blended.  Stir in the cheddar cheese, onion and broccoli until evenly combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Serves 8 to 10.

Potatoes Au Gratin

This dish looks so elegant on the table that no one will believe how easy it was to make. I often serve it at dinner parties with steaks or roasts.

Potatoes Au Gratin
Adapted from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish and the foil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 medium baking potatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon French’s Dijon or Spicy Brown Mustard
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

In a large saucepot combine the milk, cream, butter, garlic, and nutmeg. Peel the potatoes and cut into slices about 1/8-inch thick. Add the potato slices to the milk mixture to prevent discoloration.

Over medium-high heat, bring the milk mixture to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are slightly tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish, arranging the top layer of the potatoes in an overlapping pattern, if desired. Add the Dijon and mustard and stir to combine. Pour the milk mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese evenly over the top. Cover the dish with a buttered piece of aluminum foil, buttered side down.

Bake until the potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the potatoes are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Cooking Tip: The difference between freshly grated nutmeg and commercially ground is night and day. To grate whole nutmeg, use a special nutmeg grater or scrape the seed over the finest rasps of your box grater. I buy my whole nutmeg at the grocery in a specially designed jar with a grinder built into the lid.


Jennifer Chandler

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