Approximately six servings
This very exciting year is coming to an end. I have had an incredible time, and I have met so many great people. I wish you all safe and happy holidays. I will definitely try to stay in touch through the off-season. Mitzi and I are going to spend a few weeks in Italy, hoping to find some great food and recipes.
This recipe is a great accompaniment for your holiday dinner. It is pretty easy and has a very unique flavor.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh, small-dice fennel bulb
1/4 cup small-dice white onion
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup rice
2 cups water
To taste, salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped fennel tops
1/4 cup toasted, chopped almonds
Sauté the fennel bulb, onion, and black pepper in the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a thick-bottom pan.
Add the rice when the onions are translucent. Stir the mixture until the rice is evenly coated with the oil.
Add the water and bring it to a boil; immediately turn to a simmer. Season the water with the salt. Cover the pot until the rice is tender (approximately 15 minutes).
Remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining ingredients.
Approximately 1 cup
Fall is definitely the reason people live in Ohio. It is my favorite time of the year. The leaves change from green to an array of beautiful colors. Every once in a while, a big wind will come along and blow enough leaves off the trees to fill up the sky. You know fall is here because you can smell it in the air.
I remember when I was a kid visiting my cousins on the farm. My cousins Remo and Geraldine had a huge garden and canned everything. I remember too that they had a bunch of apple trees; one tree had five different kinds of apples. They also would let all the kids help make the best apple cider ever. We had to pick the apples and wash them before crushing them with an actual cider press that you had to work by walking around the press holding a pole. The pole was connected to a big screw that was attached to a thick wooden plate that would go up and down on the inside of the press mashing the apples. The press was not solid so the juice could run down the sides into a trough that was funneled into containers. I cannot really remember what we did after that. The cider was then probably strained and bottled. I will tell you one thing I do remember: It was so good that we would always drink too much and get stomachaches.
The recipe below is a perfect accompaniment for those fall apples — great flavors for great memories. Serve it at an outdoor party during a hayride or when the kids are bobbing for apples.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
4 ounces soft cream cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
While stirring continually, simmer the first five ingredients together for one minute.
Remove from the heat and cover for five minutes; chill.
In a mixer on high, whisk the last four ingredients together, scraping the sides as needed to keep an even texture.
Add the chilled mix to the cream-cheese mix.
Mix on high for one minute, scraping the sides as needed to blend the ingredients evenly.
Chill until served.
It’s getting down to the wire this season with some of the best drag racing competition ever. You don’t even want to get up from in front of the TV. I understand! But you have to eat! Stay home and call your friends over to watch race day. Here is a recipe with quite a zap that your friends will be sure to remember.
6 large, fresh jalapeño peppers
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1.5 ounces grated cheese (your favorite; I used Gruyère)
To taste, salt
To taste, freshly ground black pepper
1 quart peanut oil
Boil the whole jalapeños in lightly salted water for 10 minutes.
Drain the jalapeños and shock them in ice water until chilled.
Remove the jalapeños from the ice water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Make a slit in the jalapeños from the stem to the bottom; remove the seeds.
Tightly pack the cheese into every pepper.
Mix the flour and water together until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Roll the stuffed peppers in the batter and deep-fry in 350-degree peanut oil until done. Note: I put a little extra batter on the slit of the peppers so that they do not split open and let the cheese come out while cooking.
Get a glass of water!
Everyone’s grandmother cooked a little differently, especially potato salad. I have had potato salad with celery seed, horseradish, seafood, and a number of other variations. I particularly love a lot of pickles in my potato salad. Sometimes I pour the pickle juice in the potato salad for even more pickle flavor.
Jeg’s buddy Jim brought me a jar of McClure’s Pickles to the track. Wow — they are pretty awesome! I love the flavor and the texture. I like the tough outer part much more than I like the soft inside with the seeds. That is why I took the seeds out of this recipe. This recipe brings a new look to a picnic. Who ever thought of eating potato salad with your fingers?
1.5 cups peeled, small-dice potato
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup peeled, finely diced celery
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon brown mustard
2 hard-boiled, chopped eggs
8 halves pickle
2 slices cooked bacon (cut each slice into eight pieces)
To taste, salt
To taste, white pepper
To taste, paprika
As needed for garnish, parsley sprigs
As needed for garnish, chive tops
In lightly salted water, cook the diced potato until tender; strain and chill.
Add the following to the potatoes and stir until well mixed: mayonnaise, celery, red onion, chopped parsley, brown mustard, salt, and white pepper.
Scoop out the inside of each pickle half. I used the back side of a vegetable peeler.
Put the potato mix into each pickle shell.
Sprinkle with paprika.
Stick two pieces of bacon in each. Sprinkle on chopped egg.
Garnish with parsley springs and chives.