LARPMom’s Creamy “Red” Sauce

This was initially an update on my weeknight red pepper sauce, but it turned into a completely different creature. One I like much better! Because of the flavor and consistency, I serve it over pasta, on pizza, or as an alternative to anything you might usually enjoy with Marinara.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

  • 2 jars roasted red peppers in water, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup merlot
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half, plus about 4 Tbs milk
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprkia
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • A little sugar, to taste

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Put garlic and peppers in food processor and blend until smooth. Whisk flour into oil until smooth and slightly golden. Add pepper mix to skillet and whisk. Add wine, stir to combine. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and paprika. Combine and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add half and half, stir over low heat until combined and warmed through. Taste. At this point, I usually add more salt, pepper, up to 4 Tbs milk and a little sugar until I feel the sauce is balanced.

Advertisements

Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s a New Year, and I usually ring those in much like I did this year; by laying out a nice spread of horderves and a cold bottle of sparkling wine. Most of them are premade from a box (because kids) but I like to make my own stuffed mushrooms. My mother went vegetarian for several years (she still ate cheese) and during that time I created this recipe because so many include sausage. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz capped mushrooms
  • 8 to 12 cloves of garlic, minced (depends on clove size. Mine were small, so I used 12)
  • Wedge of Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 cups Good, plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 pepper)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A large glass roasting pan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. After cleaning mushrooms, separate caps from the stems. I twist the stems off and clean out the cavity of the mushrooms with clean fingers. Place the caps into the large glass roaster and flip curved side up. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the caps and rub to coat, then sprinkle with a little salt. Flip caps over fill side.

Dice stem pieces and reserve. Mince garlic and place both into a large frying pan with 1 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs and stir to coat. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until toasted and well combined. Add cream cheese and combine over low heat until everything is mixed well. Grate Parmesan cheese over top and stir to combine. I use about 1/4 a cup. Remove from heat and allow to cook until you can handle the mix with clean hands. Using a small spoon, scoop mix and fill all mushroom cavities. With remaining mix, distribute evenly over mushrooms, and use your hands to shape mix into small mounds. Grate more Parmesan cheese over top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast mushrooms for 30 minutes (caps will look moist and soft when done and the filling will be golden brown). Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Larpmom’s Turkey Soup

The best thing about Thanksgiving is the turkey. The second best is using the leftovers to make soup.

This soup requires dark bone stock. I’ve posted my stock recipe here.

Here’s the recipe:

Turkey Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups leftover Turkey, cut into chunks
  • 4 Carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 8 oz Portabella Mushrooms, sliced
  • Half a bag Dutch Gold Potatoes, cut into medium chunks
  • Half a large Vidalia onion, diced
  • Bouquet garni (1 sprig Sage, 2 sprigs Rosemary, small handful of Thyme, 1 Parmesan cheese rind, 2 bay leaves, little over half the tops of 1 bundle Italian parsley)
  • Turkey bone stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 Tbs butter
  • The reserved fat of three rashers of bacon
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 splash Heavy Cream
  • Parmesan for grating (optional)
  • Handful of diced Iltalian Parsley leaves

Directions:

Melt bacon fat and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook a few minutes, then add carrots, garlic, celery and onions. Stir and cook about 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add turkey and give it a good stir. Add stock, and herb bouquet, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.

Add diced parsley, sour cream and a splash of heavy cream. Let the soup warm through and then taste, add salt and pepper as needed. Remove herb bouquet and serve with a little parmesan grated over top, of desired.

Larpmom’s Turkey Stock

After the Thanksgiving dinner has ended, it’s time to utilize the leftovers. What better way than to make a nutritious bone stock, and then use it for Turkey soup! 🙂

I didnt get a picture, because well, I forgot.

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Turkey Stock

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole turkey carcass, meat removed (mine was a 20 pound bird)
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni (you can use anything that complements what you used to cook the turkey. I used 2 sprigs of Rosemary, a handful of Thyme, 2 Bay leaves, a large sprig of Sage, Italian parsley stalks, and a Parmesan heel. Tie it all together with kitchen twine.)
  • 2 carrots, skin on and roughly chopped
  • 5 crushed cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks of Celery
  • 1 large Onion, quartered
  • Salt
  • Carrot peelings from soup prep
  • Enough water to just cover the carcass in a nice sized stock pot

Directions:

Using a big kitchen knife, break down the carcass at the joints so that the entire thing fits comfortably on an large baking sheet. Add the celery, garlic, onion and carrots to the sheet as well. Roast for 25 minutes in a 400° F oven.

In a large stock pot, add peppercorns, bouquet garni, and carrot peelings (I prep the vegetables for the soup while the bones roast. I always use carrots, so I toss the peels in to make a better stock). Add the roasted bones and vegetables. Pour cold water over until bones are just covered (mine came to about 10 cups). Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any foam you can see. Add about 1/4 tsp Salt. Simmer 4 to 6 hours, until stock has reduced to about half. Use tongs to remove the large bones and solids, then pour over a large mesh strainer in a storage bowl or container to remove the rest of the solids. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove any fat/grease that congeals on top of the stock overnight before use.

Larpmom’s Weeknight Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 jars roasted red peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • About 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sweet white wine
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprkia
  • 2 Tbs Corn starch

Directions

Pulse peppers and garlic in food processor and pour in oil. Move to saucepan and cook on med high heat about 3 minutes. Add wine and whisk. Add spices and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer to reduce, about 15 minutes. Make a slurry with the corn starch and a little water and stir it into the sauce until well incorporated. Simmer about 8 minutes. Turn off heat and add half and half. Warm and serve.

Jacket Potatoes with Chili

I love chili. And when I lived in Warwickshire, one of my favorite things was walking into town to hit the Jacket Potato truck for lunch. A nice walk, great lunch, and some time to myself.

Now that I’m back home in the States, I miss that potato truck.

Anyway, here are the recipes:

Jacket Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 6 Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and poked with a fork
  • Aluminum foil
  • A little salt
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil potatoes and sprinkle all sides with salt. Wrap in foil and roast for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.

Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool slightly.

Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Half a sweet Vidallia Onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef (I use ground round)
  • Olive or vegetable oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pot
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 Tbs Chili powder
  • 4 Tbs AP flour
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprkia
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Black ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 bottle Boston Lager
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Instructions:

Heat oil in a large pot and saute the garlic and onions. Add ground beef and cook on med high heat until all pink is gone from the meat. Add seasonings and stir, then add beans and mix well. Add beer and broth and stir.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer 2 hours in lidded pot.

(This can also be served over rice or mashed potatoes. I usually make the chili with rice and then use the leftovers to make these potatoes!)

Assembly:

Open the foil and split the potatoes lengthwise, leaving bottom skin intact. Use a for to fluff out the potato. Add a little butter, salt and pepper, then top with cheese. Ladle some chili over the potatoes and add a dollop of sour cream and a little sprinkle of cheese. Serve.

Mozzerella Sticks!

It was kinda late at night. My husband got off work late again. And he was snacky. So was I…so I cut up this block of mozzerella cheese I had in the fridge and tried making fresh cheese sticks for us.

I really liked how they came out. I didnt bother trying to freeze before I fried… I’d bet they’d be even better if I freeze them an hour or two next time!

Here’s the recipe:

Mozzerella Sticks

  • 16 oz block of mozzerella cheese, sliced into fat sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Tbs dried parsley
  • 2 to 4 eggs and a little milk
  • Enough oil to fry sticks in a small pot

Instructions:

Mix flour, salt, pepper and garlic in a pie plate.

Beat eggs and milk in a small bowl.

Combine bread crumbs. Parsley and cheese in another pie plate.

Heat oil in pot. As oil comes gets hot, coat mozzarella in flour. Three at a time, dip sticks into egg wash and then coat in crumbs. Repeat with egg wash and crumbs, then set aside on a plate. You want the mozzarella sticks to be completely coated in breadcrumbs with no gaps. Fry 2 to 3 sticks at a time until golden, and remove to a clean plate with paper towels to drain.