Monday, December 31, 2007

Best Recipes of 2007

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January - Chicken Sybil February - Homemade Mushroom Soup March - Emerald Isle Stew
April - Vanilla Brownies May - Strawberry Chocolate Banana Crumble June - Those Pink Potatoes
July - Herbed Ricotta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes August - Slow-Roasted Tomatoes September - Power Food Broccoli Salad
October - Cauliflower Risotto November - Cranberry Apple Crisp December - Perfect M&M Cookies

More 'Best of the Year' Favorite Recipes from Kitchen Parade




Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Smoked Turkey Chowder

Smoked Turkey Chowder, homemade chowder made with slow-cooked caramelized onions, mushrooms, potatoes, smoked turkey, milk.

America may be blotted with asphalt-moated fast-food stops but for more than two decades, a slow food movement has been, aptly, slowly emerging. In chapters across the world, including one right here in St. Louis at SlowFoodStL.org, people are fixed on the preservation of local foods and culinary traditions. Despite its name, the slow food movement’s foundation is taste not haste.

Still, dishes that can be prepared quickly take on entirely new dimensions when allowed to cook slowly, very slowly.

These recipes are two of my slow favorites, the potatoes new, the chowder old. The chowder recipe easily converts to a delicious clam chowder. When taste counts, choose clam chowder. When taste and local both count, smoked turkey is the pick.

SLOW-BAKED POTATOES No, they don’t burn up. No, they don’t shrivel into nothing. Yes, they do bake into the most delicious creamy, nutty baked potatoes imaginable. Just rub russet potatoes with oil, then place directly onto an oven rack and bake for two and a half hours (yes, that's 2 1/2 hours, that’s neither a typo nor a mistake, I even used to go so far as three hours) at 350F. I dare you!
ALANNA's TIPS For succulent not-from-a-can texture, skip the knife and break mushroom caps into irregular shapes. Using a slow cooker to caramelize the onions removes some of the guesswork/tending to keep the stove at the right temperature to keep the onions cooking without burning them at the end. Just follow the technique described in Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions. Once the onions are done, proceed with the mushrooms right in the slow cooker, they'll take about an hour. If ever there’s a time to choose good homemade chicken stock, this is it. Even this no-fuss stock will do, try No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock. A smoked turkey leg yields about 14 ounces of meat. This chowder is a little broth-y, for something more meaty, use two smoked turkey legs. Believe it or not, ham is a good substitute for smoked turkey. They taste remarkably alike and even have the same pink-ish color! For clam chowder, use three small cans of clams and their liquid instead of smoked turkey.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite "slow food" recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

SMOKED TURKEY CHOWDER

A melding of slow-cooked flavors
Hands-on time: about 30 minutes
Time to table: 3 – 4 hours
Makes 10 cups
    CARAMELIZED ONIONS & MUSHROOMS
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large onions, chopped in large pieces
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, caps broken into pieces, stems chopped (see TIPS)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional but encourages browning)
    POTATOES
  • 1 – 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, skins on, cut into rough pieces or even batons
    CHOWDER
  • 4 cups turkey or chicken stock (see TIPS)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 smoked turkey leg, skin discarded, meat cut into slices
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

CARAMELIZED ONIONS & MUSHROOMS In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter on medium. Add onion, toss to coat. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are deep gold in color, about 90 minutes. Lift the onions from the pot, leaving the cooking liquid behind. Stir in the mushrooms and sugar and let cook til deep brown in color, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

POTATOES Meanwhile, separately cook potatoes in salted water. Drain, then peel if desired.

CHOWDER In a large, heavy pot such as a Dutch oven, warm the stock, milk, turkey, oregano and rosemary on low heat, not allowing to boil. Stir in cooked onions, cooked mushrooms, and cooked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

FOR STOVETOP Cover and gently cook on medium low heat for 1 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally, not allowing to boil.

FOR OVEN Cover and place in a 200F oven for 4 hours, longer if you like.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per CUP: 258 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 57mg Cholesterol; 298mg Sodium; 28g Carb; 3g Fiber; 21g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 5 & WW Points Plus 7. CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 6.5 tablespoons (8g protein).
Adapted from a recipe from a woman I barely remember, although I do think that maybe (maybe?) her name was Debbie! I remember she was quite insistent that the potatoes pieces should be large, peeled and irregular. Me, I like them skins on and neat and tidy!

More Long-time Favorite Homemade Soup Recipes

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Turkey Sweet Potato Soup Chocolate Chili Creamy Wild Rice Soup
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Friday, December 14, 2007

Perfect M&M Cookies:
All Butter, No Shortening

One of America's favorite cookies, M&M Cookies are an adaptation of the traditional Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, topped with crayon-colored M&M candies. It's my friend Kathy's 'signature' recipe, one she's tweaked and perfected over many years. Best of all, her cookie recipe uses butter, real butter, not shortening.

M&M Cookies

Observant bakers, study the ingredient list. Yes, it’s just a nibble different than the classic Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe, America’s favorite for 75 years. But oh, the difference!

My friend Kathy has tweaked the M&M Cookies variation for a decade, achieving a perfect balance of crispy chewiness and chocolaty sweetness. If it stirs an irresistible urge to clip, bookmark or print – now! – you’re not alone for the recipe rouses otherwise rational cooks into the kitchen at odd hours.

Kathy makes 15 – 20 batches a year and at Christmas, shares ten dozen at my friends’ annual cookie swap where new recipes may be ooo-ed and aaah-ed over but Kathy’s cookies are coveted. Topped with red and green M&Ms, they’re just so eye-catching – the ones kids snatch up and grown-ups reach for first. Fights have been known to break out over the last cookie on the plate.

ALANNA's TIPS These cookies spread during baking! My cookie sheet usually holds 20 cookies but fits only 6 or 10 M&M Cookies. Place the M&Ms gently atop the partially baked dough, they’ll settle in perfectly. If you press, even lightly, they’ll be buried. Seasonal M&Ms transform favorite Christmas cookies into black and orange Halloween treats and pastel Easter goodies. For anyone courting Leprechaun Luck, for St. Patrick’s Day, consider the mythical aphrodisiac seduction of all-green M&Ms. I save a perhaps-obvious tip for last: a double batch.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. If you like this Kitchen Parade recipe, consider a free e-mail subscription. Once or twice a week when a new recipe is published, you'll be notified via e-mail. How to print a recipe on Kitchen Parade. If you like Kitchen Parade, forward this recipe to a friend who might too! If you really like Kitchen Parade, you'll like my food blog about vegetables, too, A Veggie Venture.

RECIPE for PERFECT M&M COOKIES

First grabbed, first to disappear
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Start-to-finish: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 3-1/2 dozen cookies, easily halved
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, golden or dark
  • 1 generous teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs at room temperature (or warmed in warm water for 5 minutes)
  • M&Ms, 6 per cookie

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars with an electric mixer until creamy. Add vanilla, then one at a time, the eggs, mixing well after each. Mix in flour mixture til fully combined. (Kathy doesn't but I like to chill the dough until firm before continuing, the cookie dough is easier to work with.)

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (Kathy uses Pam, I use Baker’s Joy). Form balls a tad smaller than a golf ball and arrange well apart (see TIPS) on a baking sheet. Place in oven for about 9 minutes. Remove and lightly place M&Ms on top (see TIPS). Return to oven for 3 – 5 minutes. (Cookie sheets and ovens vary in performance. Track the exact number of minutes so your cookies neither under- nor over-bake.) Remove from oven and let cool before transferring to a rack to cool.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in an M&M cookie? How many Weight Watchers points in an M&M cookie?) Per Cookie: 117 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 15g Carb; 0g Fiber; 129mg Sodium; 24mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 3, PointsPlus 3

Perfect M&M Cookies: Perfect for Holiday Occasions

Christmas St. Patrick's Day Valentine's Day
Easter Halloween

LATER NOTES

BUTTER | Please don't use European-style higher-fat content butters, the cookies are prone to running and burning. Both Kathy and I use Land O' Lakes unsalted butter for baking although I also use Land O' Lakes salted butter with great results.
FLOUR Be sure to fully incorporate the flour. At least with a 1970s-vintage Kitchen Aid mixer, this means wiping down the sides three or four times.
Cooking Spray | Parchment paper is an okay substitute, so is a silicone mat, but cooking spray just works better.

TIS THE SEASON: This Week, Other Years

Three Quick Appetizers Graham Cracker Toffee Date-Night Chicken Perfect M&M Cookies Eggnog French Toast with Apple Cranberry Compote Sesame Candy Colored Roll-Out Sugar Cookies Breakfast Casserole with Sausage, Apples & Caramelized Onions


Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes

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Cranberry-Mac Morsels Frosty Christmas Trees Graham Cracker Toffee





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