a little of each

A family's cookbook

Susan Yellen’s Meatballs February 25, 2015

Filed under: Appetizers,Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 12:08 pm
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Susan, beloved wife of Clifford Yellen, passed away in 2007. Since then, Clifford and his and Susan’s children walk in her honor and memory in the Hartford Race for the Cure. You can join Clifford on team “Yellen For a Cure” at komenct.org. He’d love your support.

Susan used to make these meatballs at the holidays.

Ingredients

4 lbs ground chuck or sirloin
6-8 slices white bread, crusts removed
couple of garlic cloves, chopped fine
small/medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
small can evaporated milk
3 eggs

Directions

In a large bowl combine bread, eggs (beaten slightly), garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and enough evaporated milk to make the mixture soft. Add ground beef mixing well by hand. (It’s messy but the only way to get it right.)  Roll the mixture into small balls and then roll each ball in flour to coat. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 10 minutes or until done.

Sauce:

Mix one bottle organic ketchup and one jar of grape jam in a pan over low heat, stirring until combined and the mixture begins to bubble.

The meatballs can be made ahead of time and frozen, while the sauce is best made when needed.

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Summer Chicken Salad July 26, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes,Sandwiches — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:54 pm
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Crunchy, tender, sweet, savory, and other opposites.

Crunchy, tender, sweet, savory, and other opposites.

I strive for peace on Friday around dinnertime.  I strive, and I hope, and sometimes it’s a big, fat failure with bickering or takeout pizza (sins of equal weight somehow). And tonight, the mister was still at work, and I had no meal planned after just arriving home at the time I’d prefer to be blissfully blessing the wine and gazing at my dressed and brushed children over a lovingly prepared meal that they’d eat with the gusto reserved for macaroni and cheese.  The only saving grace was I knew I had some frozen challah.

So, yeah, it was a bust already, right?  So me and my what-the-hell attitude rummaged in the kitchen. And I came up with a practically defiant chicken salad.  My ladies have never seen chicken salad before, but it’s a trifecta of pickiness – a (1) mixture of ingredients (2) touching each other (3) in a sauce.  Oh lord.  To the table, I added the challah, a plate of grapes, and cheese sticks so that when faces recoiled in disgust, I couldn’t be accused of starving my children.

Hands washed, hairs unbrushed, still in summer camp clothes, we lit the candles, we blessed the bread, and you know what?  They didn’t recoil in disgust when they saw their plates.  The big one ate her challah, some grapes, and then she gingerly tried a bite.  She said, you’ll never guess, “Mmmm.”  I said, “I’m so glad you like it.  I hoped you would.”  And then she tried a piece of chicken with a grape, and then a piece of cucumber with a grape, and then chicken and celery, and with each combination, she exclaimed, “I didn’t think I’d like this, but it’s so yummy.”  And then the kicker, “And I love how it looks so fancy on the lettuce all spread out.  You should make it again, and soon!”

Now the little one gave a good college try of two solid bites, and only one slight gag.  I call that a homerun.

We watched the candles standing tall with only a very occasional flicker, we talked about the giant pile of garbage floating in the Pacific, and we laughed at the little one’s potty jokes.  Just as Shabbat is meant to be.

Go easy on the dressing, and don’t leave out that brown sugar – it’s a definite secret ingredient sort of enhancement.

Ingredients
Half of a rotisserie chicken, skin removed and diced
Half of a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
Half of one celery stalk, chopped small
One cup of red grapes, cut in half
Romaine lettuce leaves

Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 mayonnaise
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl brown sugar

Directions
Whisk together ingredients for the dressing. In a separate bowl, combine the salad ingredients. Add half of the dressing, stirring gently, and then add more to your taste, careful not to oversaturate the salad. Lay some Romaine leaves on a plate, and serve a scoop of the salad in the center.  The leaves can be used like taco shells, and just like that, chicken salad is a finger food!

Variation
For a tropical flavor, try these ingredients:
Half of a rotisserie chicken, skin removed and diced
Half of a mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup cashews
One cup of red grapes, cut in half
Romaine lettuce leaves

Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 mayonnaise
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl coconut milk powder
1 Tbl sweet curry powder

 

Balsamic Glaze May 20, 2013

Filed under: Appetizers,Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:37 am
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balsamic glaze

 

Stephanie got this recipe from a recent grad of Johnson and Wales.  It is easy and tastes wonderful.

 

 

Ingredients

2 cups balsamic vinegar (not expensive)
2 cups Port wine

 

Directions
Place vinegar and wine in a heavy bottom saucepan.  Heat at medium high until simmering; lower temp slightly and reduce liquid by 50-75% (4 cups turns into 1-2 cups).  The longer it reduces, the thicker and sweeter it becomes.  Serve drizzled on fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, sliced strawberries, ice cream, or straight from a spoon.

 

Chicken Divan May 16, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:31 am
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From Parade Magazine, August 5, 2012

Ingredients
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cup into 4-inch-long spears
1/2 stick unsalted butter, diced
5 Tbl all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream, well chilled
3 Tbl medium-dry sherry
Fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

Directions

1. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water cook broccoli for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside, covered.

2. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring mixture to a boil. Cook on low, stirring, for 10 minutes or until thick.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, then add to flour mixture, along with the sherry and lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Arrange broccoli on a flameproof platter. Top with half the sauce. Stir 1/4 cup of Parmesan into the other half of the sauce. Arrange chicken on broccoli, pour remaining sauce over top, and sprinkle mixture with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

5. Broil, about 6 inches from the heat, for about 1 minute or until sauce is golden and bubbling.

 

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Rosemary

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:28 am
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Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fruity olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbl fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in a shallow glass or ceramic pan. Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary together in a small bowl and pour over chicken breasts. Let marinate in the refrigerator, turning once or twice, at least 4 hours.

2. Grill the chicken breasts 5 to 6 inches above the hot coals 4 to 6 minutes per side, brushing with any marinade remaining in the dish. Serve at once.

 

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema May 15, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:25 pm
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Jen first made this 2006 Cooking Light recipe with fish as called for, but then she tried it with shrimp and fell in love.  For a healthier variation, she uses Bibb lettuce leaves, doubled up, in lieu of the taco shell and add carrot and avocado as toppings.

She really wanted to share this delicious and refreshing meal with everyone in the family so I figured out a way to make it into an appetizer: Shrimp Bites.

Ingredients

Crema:
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbl mayonnaise
3 Tbl sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Tacos:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage

Directions

To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.

 

Biltmore Macaroni and Cheese

Filed under: Main Dishes,Pasta and Grains — alittlemoreofeach @ 2:18 pm
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While Stephanie is not a big fan of macaroni and cheese, she does like this rich version adapted from a Biltmore recipe.

Ingredients

2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Place cooked macaroni into a baking dish.  In a sauce pan, heat cream and add Gouda and half of the Parmesan.  Whisk vigorously over low heat, making sure the bottom does not scorch.  When cheese is melted into cream, pour mixture over macaroni.  Sprinkle Panko and rest of Parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350 for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Serves four.