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This is a riff on a recipe I clipped back in the 1980s or 1990s, probably from Sunset Magazine. I really like it for the use of barley, which I really enjoy instead of the usual rice. The original recipe used veal or dark turkey meat and called for a layer of yeast bread over the top. I did try it that way once, but it was too doughy, just too much bread. I usually use chicken breast, but have also used pork. It’s a very forgiving recipe, so just do it that way you want to. Warning that the preparation is time consuming.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup pearl barley
1 large head cabbage
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
Flour for dredging
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and slivered
1/4 cup sour cream
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup dill pickles, slivered
Salt & pepper to taste
Smetana Sauce (recipe below)

Combine barley with 2 cups water in a 1 to 1-1/2 quart pan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until barley is tender to bite, about 30 minutes. Drain, set aside.

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Bring 4 to 5 quarts water to boil in a very large pot over high heat. Core cabbage and, with a spoon, submerge head in water for 20 seconds or so. Lift out cabbage; when cool enough to touch, gently pull off as many outer leaves as you can. Repeat until you have about 12 to 14 large leaves.

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Return the leaves to the boiling water, about 4 at a time, and cook until each one is pliable, 2 to 4 minutes; drain well. I lay out a tea towel for them to sit on. Cut the thick section of the stem from the back of each leaf.

Cut meat into 1/4-inch strips. Coat strips with flour. Put butter and oil into a 10 to 12 inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add half the meat at a time and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to bowl. Add more butter and oil if necessary.

Cook the bell pepper in the same pan, until limp, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove pan from heat and mix in sour cream, broth, pickles, barley, meat, salt and pepper.

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Prepare a baking dish approximately 10 X 15 inches by spraying with non-stick spray or by greasing the dish.

Eyeball your filling to your cabbage leaves and judge how much filling to put into each leaf. Fill the leaves, folding each leaf over the filling and placing the rolls into the prepared dish, seam down.

Prepare the Smetana Sauce. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Smetana Sauce Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2-1/4 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup sour cream
Pepper to taste

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, stir in flour until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in broth and tomato paste. Stir until sauce boils. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream. Add pepper. Use the sauce while it’s still hot.

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Pour hot Smetana Sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover the baking dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until heated through.

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Serves 6.

 

 

 

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This recipe is found in Taste of Home magazine’s October-November 2006 issue.

Meatballs:

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup butter, cubed

Combine all ingredients, except butter, and form into 1-1/2″ balls. In a large skillet, cook the meatballs in butter, in batches until they are well browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet.

Dill Cream Sauce:

2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup beef broth
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dill seed

Whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Pour into skillet and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let simmer a couple minutes while stirring until it thickens.

Add in the meatballs and heat through. Serves 4-6. Tastes great served over mashed potatoes or noodles. We also like it served over Twice-Baked Cauliflower. Yummy!

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Blackberry Pork Tenderloin3

I make this dish a lot. It’s based upon the one found at carlsbadcravings.com. I don’t brine my tenderloin, and maybe I’m really missing something there, but this is super simple and very tasty. I buy pork tenderloin at Costco in a 2-pack. Each package has two strips of pork in it. This recipe is for one package, or two strips pork.

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Pork tenderloin
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Fresh blackberries, optional
Green onion, sliced, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small saucepan, melt butter and saute garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes until garlic is fragrant — about a minute. Stir in blackberry jam, hoisin sauce, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer until it is all well incorporated and then keep warm over very low heat.

In the meantime, heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Rub pork tenderloins with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a little bit of olive oil to the hot skillet. Add the pork tenderloins. You’ll probably need a spatter guard here. Brown the pork on all sides.

Once pork is browned, dollop blackberry sauce over it. Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of one of the pork strips. Pop into preheated 425 degree oven. Check the meat at about 20 minutes, spoon a little bit more blackberry sauce over, and then check frequently until pork reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove meat to cutting board and slice tenderloins into 1-1/2″ slices. Place sliced meat onto serving tray and pour over the remaining blackberry sauce. Sprinkle optional fresh blackberries and sliced green onion over all. Serve.

Blackberry Pork Tenderloin2

This recipe is very loosely based upon Elizabeths Edible Experience’s recipe for Crawfish Enchiladas.

  • Ingredients
  • 1# split and deveined shrimp in their shells
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 4 oz. canned green chiles
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • A couple dashes each of oregano, red pepper, white pepper, salt
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas (make your own or purchase them)
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 cups grated cheese, like Monterey Jack or Mexican Mix
  • 3 green onions, chopped

Shell shrimp, saving the shells. Rinse shells and shrimp separately. Set shrimp aside on towel to dry.

Add the shells to a medium saucepan with cream and let simmer awhile. The shrimp shells should turn orange. Keep warming or at a very light simmer while you’re fixing the other things. Your purpose is to flavor the cream with shrimp. This is the secret that makes it so, so delicious.

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Saute chopped onion and chopped bell pepper together until soft and then add canned chiles and garlic. Sprinkle with dried oregano, white pepper, red pepper, and salt. Continue sauteing until the garlic is soft.

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If you’ve just made your own tortillas, they should already be pliable and it’s not necessary to fry them again. Sally forth! If your tortillas are not fresh off the griddle then heat a small frying pan with oil and soften about a dozen corn tortillas by dipping into the hot oil and turning, each one should only take about 15 seconds or less. Stack them between paper towels to drain.

Strain the shells out of the cream and discard the shells.

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Stir the onion, pepper mixture into the shrimp-flavored cream. [Save the saute pan to fry the shrimp.] Stir in sour cream, then stir in 1-1/2 cups grated cheese. Set aside.

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If the shrimp are quite large you will need to chop them into bite-size pieces. Stir-fry the shrimp in the saute pan with green onions and another dash of dried oregano, white pepper, red pepper, and salt.

If the shrimp are quite large you will need to chop them into bite-size pieces. Stir-fry the shrimp in the saute pan with green onions and another dash of dried oregano, white pepper, red pepper, and salt.

Once the shrimp is no longer translucent, remove from heat. Stir in a bit of the sauce. This is the filling.

I used an 11” x 7” baking dish. Stuff the tortillas with shrimp mixture. The tortillas I used fit about ten down the dish and two were placed in the gap along one side. Pour remaining sauce over all. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Heat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so, until cheese has melted.

The first time I made these I didn’t have enough sauce and the second time I used 2 cups cream (pictured) and that was too much. 1-1/2 cups should do it. And I also didn’t use enough shrimp in these pictures.

Chorizo Burger with Garlic Shrimp

I’ve made this recipe a few times now and it is really delicious. The original recipe is found at ladyandpups.com.  The photographs on Mandy’s site are spectacular. The first time I made this I used chorizo ready-made from the store. It was not good. Way too salty and spicy, a bad idea. Still intrigued, I made a go of making the chorizo myself according to Mandy’s recipe. My oh my oh my. Yes, that’s wonderful. It’s really easy to throw together. I’ve been using store-made buns, but I made ladyandpups Sweet Potato Burger Buns recipe once and they were great. I’ve also made these several times without the manchego cheese, too. Still great.

I usually double the recipe and form the burgers in the morning to serve for dinner in the evening. We were going to our cabin one weekend and I formed the burgers a couple days ahead and froze them, letting them thaw on the 7-hour drive. I had the other parts ready to go in Ziploc bags and little containers. We arrived and had a most delicious hot dinner that night. Memorable!

CHORIZO BURGERS

1 lb. ground pork
2 cloves minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp. Mexican chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
Dash cayenne
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
½ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. tequila

An hour, or more, ahead of time, mix all together and form into 4 patties.
Keep refrigerated.

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PAPRIKA MAYO

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1-1/2 tsp. paprika
Juice of one lime.
Mix all together. Keep refrigerated until serving time.
GARLIC SHRIMP

8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined.
1 garlic clove, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. Olive oil
Dry the shrimp well on a towel.
Mix evenly with remaining ingredients and let sit in refrigerator at 
least 30 minutes.

COOKING AND ASSEMBLY

OLIVE OIL

CHORIZO BURGER PATTIES

FLOUR

MANCHEGO CHEESE, GRATED

GARLIC SHRIMP

BUNS

PAPRIKA MAYO

SLICED TOMATO

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Dust each patty with flour.* Fry the patties at a high heat until a nice brown crust forms on each side. Place a bit of grated cheese on top of each burger, cover, and continue cooking at a lower heat until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the cheese has melted. Remove from skillet.

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Add garlic shrimp to hot skillet and stir-fry until they’re cooked. Should take just a couple minutes.

Prepare hamburger buns by toasting, or not, and smear each bun with paprika mayo. Place a patty on a bun, then a couple shrimp, and sliced tomato.

Chorizo Burger

Always someone doesn’t like something . . . sans shrimp.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN YOUR MOUTH.

*This is a great thing I learned at ladyandpups.com, the dusting of flour on the patties. It forms a nice crust and keeps the moisture inside. You really have to be careful not to burn your mouth. Let the patties rest a bit.

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So as not to be confused with something like a soccer hooligan, I give you Eulachon which will take you to the Wikipedia definition and genus, species, etc. everything you learned in biology. I am in Anchorage, Alaska but I grew up in Bristol Bay and these are NOT the smelt that we caught in winter on the Naknek River back home. Not at all. Hooligan are incredibly oily and tend to fall apart once cooked. If you cannot eat your hooligan immediately out of the frying pan, then I would say that smoking them is the best way to go. I only wish that my spring/summer months were leisurely enough to get the smoker out and try a few things. Alas.

I felt like an elder when my daughter stopped by 20-mile River on our way back from Seward and she caught enough hooligan for me and my husband to have lunch. She’s allergic to fish (it’s a crying shame). Then my husband and second daughter and her friend returned a week later and got more than 100 of them. I try to clean them right away by removing the heads and gutting them. In my opinion, they do not freeze well. It’s best to cook them or smoke them right away.

The best way to fry hooligan is to dry them as well as possible in towels or paper towels. Heat about a half inch of oil (I use canola) in a large skillet, very hot. Make a highly seasoned flour by putting about a cup of flour into a plastic “Ziploc” bag and then sprinkling in seasoned salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and onion powder. You can do what you like and each time I do it differently. This instruction is more about the method. Then make an egg wash of 2 eggs mixed with a couple tablespoons of water in a pie tin. Then sprinkle regular unseasoned bread crumbs in another pie tin, so you have three things: bag of seasoned flour, pie tin of egg wash, and pie tin of bread crumbs.

Drop five or six cleaned, fairly dry hooligan into the bag of seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour mixture and roll fish in the egg wash, then roll in the bread crumbs. Fry. Each batch does not take long at all. They are tiny fish, 6-10 inches usually. My husband and I can eat 6-7 at a sitting, so I divvied them up over two days and I delivered about 20 to my daughter’s office. That was a bad idea, by the way. It’s like saying “I’ll deliver pancakes to your office.” They’re pretty terrible by the time you get there. Hooligan really need to be eaten out of the frying pan. Really. No one complained, but me.

Place onto paper towels to absorb the extra oil and serve immediately. Yummy!

BW and my husband, they eat theirs backbone and all. Me, I pull the backbone out and then eat the rest. The backbone is a bit too much crunch for my tastes. I fed the crispy tails to the dog and he seemed to enjoy it very much.

Here below is a picture of smoked hooligan. As I recall, we did not brine them, simply placed them in a smoker for awhile.

 

Thai Ribs

This recipe comes from Epicurious.com. I have made this many, many times. It is quite easy and exceedingly delicious.

Ingredients:

1 cup sliced shallots (red onion works as a substitute)

10 coarsely chopped scallions (green onions)

1 3″ piece of fresh ginger, sliced

8 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup cilantro, chopped

6 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. sugar

4# pork baby-back ribs, cut into individual ribs

Sweet chili sauce

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Place all ingredients, except the ribs and sweet chili sauce, into a food processor and whir until it forms a paste.

Put the ribs and paste into a plastic bag and mash it around a bit. Place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Put the ribs and paste into a plastic bag and mash it around a bit. Place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Prepare a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and lay the ribs out in a single layer.

Prepare a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and lay the ribs out in a single layer.

Bake at 350 degrees F for one and a half hours. Serve dipped in sweet chili sauce. YUM!

Bake at 350 degrees F for one and a half hours. Serve dipped in sweet chili sauce. YUM!

Moroccan Lemon Chicken

This recipe I discovered in 2010 at recipezaar.com by English Rose. It is so flavorful!

Ingredient List

Olive Oil

1 very large onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cardamom

8 chicken thighs

Chicken stock

2 lemons, divided

1 14-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained

Green olives, pitted and halved

Cilantro

Salt and pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened.

Stir in the turmeric and saute for 2 minutes longer, then add the paprika, cumin, coriander, and cardamom. Continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Stir in the turmeric and saute for 2 minutes longer, then add the paprika, cumin, coriander, and cardamom. Continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Heat more olive oil in the pot and brown the chicken pieces in two batches. The turmeric from the bottom of the pot should color the chicken. If not, sprinkle with a pinch more turmeric.

Heat more olive oil in the pot and brown the chicken pieces in two batches. The turmeric from the bottom of the pot should color the chicken. If not, sprinkle with a pinch more turmeric.

Return all chicken to the pan and cover with the onion-spice mixture. Stir in enough chicken broth to cover. Add the juice of one lemon to the chicken. Cut the other lemon into quarters and add them to the chicken and pepper.

Return all chicken to the pan and cover with the onion-spice mixture. Stir in enough chicken broth to cover. Add the juice of one lemon to the chicken. Cut the other lemon into quarters and add to the chicken.

Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes.

Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes.

Add the garbanzo beans and olives. Adjust the salt and pepper if needed and then simmer for another 40 minutes.

Add the garbanzo beans and olives. Adjust the salt and pepper if needed and then simmer for another 40 minutes.

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Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve over rice or couscous. Note: I found another form of Shirataki noodles! Yay! They are zero carb and made a nice layer beneath this rich stew.

 

ItalianWeddingSoup1

I’ve made this enough times now that I feel comfortable sharing. It’s based on a recipe I found at Chena Girl Cooks and she based hers on the Barefoot Contessa. The main WOW of this recipe is the meatballs. And I mean WOW. I have been lucky to get a majority of them into the soup. [Because they are SO good people, myself included, simply eat them off the baking sheet and I’m saying, “Hey, those are for the soup, but go ahead and have one.” Who can stop at one?] These meatballs would make an awesome party food by themselves. The other adjustments that I’ve made is to use baby spinach instead of kale and to use shirataki noodles instead of pasta stars. I use the shirataki noodles found fresh in the deli case. I don’t know if they even come dried. All that’s necessary to prepare them is to rinse thoroughly with water. I chop mine before putting them in the soup so that’s it’s easier to ladle into bowls. My grocer only carries shirataki spaghetti and shirataki fettucine, if there were something smaller I would use it. Shirataki noodles are basically no-carb and so mentally it evens out the bread crumbs in the meatballs. Just sayin’.

Shirataki noodles

Anyway, because I’m not “cooking” pasta in the soup, I do not use nearly as much liquid. I’ll give you the recipe the way I make it, but you should explore Chena Girl and Contessa, too.

Chicken Italian sausage

Meatballs:

1 lb. chicken Italian sausage

2 T. milk

2/3 c. breadcrumbs

1/3 c. grated Parmesan

1 egg, beaten

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. parsley flakes

kosher salt and fresh pepper

Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

4 c. chicken stock

1/2 c. dry white wine

5 oz. baby spinach

½ Tbsp. minced fresh dill

8 oz. shirataki spaghetti (chopped into 2″ sections or so to make ladling easier)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Meatballs: combine all ingredients.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  You should have approximately 35 meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Soup: on medium-low heat, add the olive oil to a large soup pot.  Cook the onions, celery, and carrots for 8-10 minutes or until soft.  Add the stock and wine and bring it to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer for a few minutes. Add spinach and dill, spaghetti, and meatballs and cook for about a minute or so to heat through.

ItalianWeddingSoup2Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a little extra grated Parmesan.

Portobello_11

This turned out to be a tasty main dish. I served it with a spaghetti squash and fresh tomato casserole. The Italian sausage that I use is very lean. It comes in a 1# bulk package, not in links. I would hesitate to use this recipe with a high-fat sausage, I think you would have a mess on your hands. Someday I may try these stuffed with breakfast sausage and served with eggs. Yum.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Portobello mushrooms

Olive oil

1# Italian sausage

1 egg

Minced onion

Bread crumbs

Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray or grease a 13×9” baking dish.

Remove the stems and scrape the gills out of Portobello mushrooms with a spoon. Save the stems for a later use, like in soup or pasta sauce, but set aside the gills for use in the filling.

Remove the stems and scrape the gills out of Portobello mushrooms with a spoon. Save the stems for a later use, like in soup or pasta sauce, but set aside the gills for use in the filling.

Rub each mushroom cap with olive oil on both sides as best you can.

Rub each mushroom cap with olive oil on both sides as best you can.

Stir together Italian sausage, egg, onion, mushroom gills, and bread crumbs.

Stir together Italian sausage, egg, onion, mushroom gills, and bread crumbs.

I tried not to use much bread crumbs and it would probably work without any at all.

I tried not to use much bread crumbs and it would probably work without any at all.

Fill each mushroom cap with the sausage filling. Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan cheese.

Fill each mushroom cap with the sausage filling. Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 50-60 minutes—be sure the sausage is thoroughly cooked.

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