McClatchy Tribune News Service Modified: January 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm •  Published: January 11, 2013
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Our favorite recipes of 2012 included Thomas Jefferson’s Chicken Fricassee, a savory dinner dish served over rice, and the Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, which pairs perfectly with a steaming cup of Joe. Here are our 10 Golden Whisk Award winners.

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THOMAS JEFFERSON’S CHICKEN FRICASSEE

Hands on: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Serves: 6

Prepare this dish with whatever chicken parts your family prefers and serve over rice. Dinner for six as elegant as any served on White House china can be prepared in its entirety in less than two hours.

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup water

1 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups fresh small mushrooms (about ½ pound)

1 cup half-and-half

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl, combine salt, nutmeg, pepper and paprika. Sprinkle evenly over chicken pieces.

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook until well-browned on both sides, 7 to 10 minutes total per piece, depending on size. Do not crowd pan. When chicken is browned, remove from pan and keep warm. Continue until all chicken is browned and removed from Dutch oven. Add flour to fat in Dutch oven and cook until flour is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in water and wine and stir until smooth. Return chicken to pot and bring liquid to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer chicken 45 minutes, rearranging chicken if necessary during cooking time so all pieces spend time in the liquid.

While chicken is cooking, in a medium pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in half-and-half, sage and parsley. Keep warm.

When chicken is finished cooking, arrange on serving platter. Stir mushroom mixture into chicken cooking liquid, combine and pour over chicken. Serve hot.

Adapted from a recipe in “Capitol Hill Cooks: Recipes From the White House, Congress and All the Past Presidents” by Linda Bauer (Taylor Trade Publishing, $26.95)

Per serving: 364 calories (59 percent from fat), 26 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 22 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 99 milligrams cholesterol, 463 milligrams sodium.

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SCOTCH EGGS

Scotch eggs are good for breakfast, lunch, tea or supper. If you don’t want to deep-fry the eggs, you can bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through. If you don’t have fresh sage available, try substituting ¼ teaspoon of a dried Italian herb blend.

4 small or medium eggs

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small onion or 2 shallots, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, or to taste

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ pound bulk sausage

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 tablespoon milk

½ cup dried bread crumbs

Oil for frying

In a medium saucepan, carefully place eggs and add water to cover. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Bring water to a boil, cook eggs for 5 minutes and then remove eggs to ice water. When eggs are cool, peel and set aside.

In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it turns translucent but does not turn brown, about 4 minutes. Add sage and garlic powder. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine onion mixture with sausage and divide into 4 portions. Cut a 12-inch piece of plastic wrap and spray lightly with cooking spray. Add 1 portion of sausage and top with a second piece of lightly sprayed plastic wrap. Lightly roll out sausage to ¼-inch thickness. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap and place a peeled egg in the middle of the sausage. Lift the bottom plastic to wrap sausage around egg. Remove plastic and pat sausage to ensure even coating around egg. Refrigerate sausage-wrapped egg and continue with remaining eggs and sausage.

Put flour in a pie plate. In another pie plate, beat eggs and milk. Put bread crumbs in a third pie plate. Dip each sausage-covered egg into flour, then egg mixture, then bread crumbs. Arrange eggs on a dish. May be made ahead up to this point, covered and refrigerated for 1 day.

When ready to serve, in a Dutch oven, heat 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Carefully add 2 eggs to hot oil and cook 7 minutes or until sausage is cooked through. Remove eggs from oil and drain. Keep warm and repeat with remaining sausage-covered eggs. Cut eggs in half and serve warm. May also be served cold.

Per egg: 365 calories (55 percent from fat), 15 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 22 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 308 milligrams cholesterol, 392 milligrams sodium.

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COLLARD CASSOULET

Hands on: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Serves: 6 (side-dish portions)

By adding a bit more meat and cheese, you can turn Alabama chef Frank Stitt’s collard gratin into a main dish. I found that a 1-pound bag of pre-washed collards worked perfectly; canned beans would also taste fine and save time.

1 pound collard greens, stems and tough ribs removed

5 garlic cloves, 1 crushed and 4 chopped

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces

3 cups cooked white beans, ½ cup cooking liquid reserved

½ cup (plus more, if desired) diced or chopped cooked ham-hock meat, sausage, chorizo or bacon

1/3 cup (plus more, if desired) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Salt and pepper

½ cup (plus more, as needed) medium-coarse fresh bread crumbs

In a large pot, cover the collards with salted water and boil over medium heat until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well and chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Vigorously rub the inside of a 10- or 12- inch gratin dish with the crushed garlic. Discard the crushed garlic and set the dish aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the collard greens, stir to coat, and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl.

Stir in the beans, meat, roughly half the Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too dry, add enough of the reserved bean cooking liquid to moisten. (If you don’t have liquid, use water.) Spread the mixture in the prepared dish. Top with the bread crumbs and remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the filling is hot and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top of the gratin is golden and crusty, another 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Adapted from “The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook” (UGA Press, $24.95).

Per serving, based on 6: 294 calories (37 percent from fat), 15 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber, 12 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 273 milligrams sodium.

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CORN FRITTERS WITH SUMMER SALSA

Hands on: 36 minutes Total time: 46 minutes, including salsa Makes: about 24 fritters

Many Southern corn-fritter recipes use a little corn and a lot of batter, yielding a hush puppy-like bread suitable for fish fries. Athens cookbook author Rebecca Lang’s fritters are flat little cakes that are dense with corn kernels. Corn is the star here, and the simple tomato salsa plays a supporting role. Fry up a batch to nosh on while standing around the grill.

4 ears fresh corn, husks removed

¾ cup plain white cornmeal

½ cup milk

¼ cup self-rising soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily)

1 large egg

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ cup vegetable oil

Summer Salsa (see recipe)

Cut kernels from cobs; discard cobs. (You should have about 2 cups kernels; if you have more, save it for another use.) In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, milk, flour, egg, salt and pepper. Stir in kernels.

Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, spoon batter by tablespoonfuls into hot oil, and flatten gently. Fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned. (If the skillet becomes dry, you may want to drizzle in a little more oil.) Drain on a wire rack. Top each fritter with 2 teaspoons Summer Salsa.

Adapted from “Southern Living Around the Southern Table” by Rebecca Lang (Oxmoor House, fall 2012).

Per serving (based on 4, fritters only): 236 calories (percent of calories from fat, 42), 6 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 37 milligrams cholesterol, 275 milligrams sodium.

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SUMMER SALSA

Hands on: 10 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Makes: 1 ¼ cups

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons diced green onion

½ teaspoon diced, seeded jalapeno pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

4 pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped (plus more to taste)

¼ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, stir together tomatoes, green onion, jalapeno, lemon juice, parsley, kalamata olives and salt.

Adapted from “Southern Living Around the Southern Table” by Rebecca Lang (Oxmoor House, Fall 2012).

Per 2 teaspoons: 4 calories (33 percent from fat), trace protein, trace carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated), no cholesterol, 26 milligrams sodium.

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LAURI JO BENNETT’S BLUEBERRY PEPPER JELLY

Hands on: 30 minutes Total time: 35 minutes Makes: 8 to 9 half-pints

Easy and delicious, this jelly is also good made with strawberries. If you aren’t up for doing it at home, you may order Bennett’s signature version from her website, www.laurijossouthernstylecanning.com.

2 cups finely chopped bell peppers (about 4 large peppers)

2 to 3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

7 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ cups white vinegar

9 ounces Certo (liquid pectin)

1 cup fresh blueberries (may substitute other fresh fruit such as chopped strawberries or peaches or blackberries)

Sterilize half-pint jars and lids, and set aside.

Place bell peppers, jalapenos, sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, about 5 minutes. Add Certo and bring to a full boil again, stirring constantly; cook for 1 minute. Add blueberries, and mash with a spoon to break up and extract juices. Return to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 1 or 2 minutes and skim off foam.

Ladle mixture into waiting jars. Put a flat lid and ring on each jar, tighten until snug, and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. (The jars must be covered by at least 1 inch of water.) Remove from pot and allow to cool. Allow jars to sit untouched for 12 hours. (After 1 hour, check to see if the jars have sealed. If the center of the lid can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator.) Label and store, preferably in a cool, dark place.

Per tablespoon (based on 8 half-pint yield): 54 calories (no calories from fat), trace protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated), no cholesterol, 4 milligrams sodium.

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IRISH BRISKET STEW WITH GUINNESS STOUT, CABBAGE AND POTATOES

Hands on: 1 hour Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes Serves: 8 to 10 (entree-size portions)

This delicious hearty stew is courtesy of MetroFresh’s Mitchell Anderson and executive chef Bryan Kraatz. Clip and save for your St. Patrick’s Day feast.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds beef brisket or beef stew meat, cut into ½-inch cubes

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 large onion, chopped

6 carrots, cut into thick slices or chunky dice

½ bunch celery (about 5-6 ribs), sliced thin

½ head cabbage, roughly chopped (may use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage)

3 (12-ounce bottles) Guinness Stout Beer

2 quarts vegetable stock (preferably homemade; or use a good quality, low-sodium, store-bought stock)

6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large cubes (about 2 inches)

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste

¾ cup chopped fresh dill weed, plus more for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add meat and brown on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and onion, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and cabbage, and saute for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly. (You want this mixture to caramelize just a bit.) Add beer and stir to deglaze the pan. Continue to cook and reduce liquid by about half, about 30 minutes. Add vegetable stock, potatoes, salt and pepper. Stir. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in chopped dill weed. Ladle into large bowls and serve, adding more dill if desired.

Per serving (based on 8): 667 calories (53 percent from fat), 28 grams protein, 48 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 37 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 85 milligrams cholesterol, 847 milligrams sodium.

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CEDAR PLANKED SALMON WITH GRILLED PEACHES AND SOY GINGER VINAIGRETTE

Hands on: 15 minutes Total time: 40 minutes Serves: 4

For the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

Pinch red pepper flakes or more to taste

For the salmon:

1 ½ pounds wild salmon fillet

2 ripe but firm peaches, pitted, skin-on

4 green onions

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 15-inch cedar grilling plank, immersed and soaked in water for one hour

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-low heat, about 350° F.

In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, soy, honey, ginger, sesame oil and red pepper until combined, and set aside.

Cut peaches in half, cutting stem end to tip. Remove pits and brush with oil. Season salmon with salt and pepper and drizzle with one tablespoon of vinaigrette.

Place plank on grill, close lid and heat for about 3 minutes. Flip plank, using tongs, and place salmon on heated side of plank. Close lid and cook for 10-15 minutes until salmon is medium rare.

Remove salmon from grill and place green onions and peaches, cut side down on grill. Grill until grill marks begin to form on peaches, about 4 minutes per side, and onions are slightly charred and tender.

Slice peach halves in half, roughly chop green onions, place in a medium bowl, tossing with half of remaining vinaigrette.

To serve: Plate peaches and onions with planked salmon and drizzle with remaining dressing just before serving.

Adapted from a recipe by Gena Knox, Athens-based entrepreneur and cookbook author.

Per serving: 273 calories (36 percent from fat), 35 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 89 milligrams cholesterol, 202 milligrams sodium.

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FARM EGG VINAIGRETTE

Hands on: 5 minutes Total time: 5 minutes Makes: 1 2/3 cups

The egg yolk in this vinaigrette helps keep it from separating, a very nice kitchen trick. This is a variation on sauce gribiche, a cold sauce traditionally served with boiled chicken or fish. Extra vinaigrette will keep 1 week in the refrigerator. Use it to dress salads or cold vegetables, meat or seafood like poached salmon. The “farm egg” in the name comes from the farm-fresh eggs Avalon Catering uses when preparing their food.

1 hard-boiled egg

1 cup olive oil

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons capers, drained, finely chopped

2 teaspoons chopped shallots,

1/8-inch dice

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon

1 small garlic clove, pressed through garlic press

Salt

Peel egg and press white and yolk through a sieve separately. Reserve white for garnish.

In a small bowl, whisk together sieved egg yolk, olive oil, vinegar, capers, shallots, whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, parsley, tarragon and garlic. Taste for seasoning. If not using immediately, refrigerate vinaigrette and egg whites separately.

Per 1-tablespoon serving: 74 calories (97 percent from fat), trace protein, trace carbohydrates, trace fiber, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 12 milligrams sodium.

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BUTTERMILK BISCONES

Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 45 minutes Makes: 10 to 12 biscones

A cross between biscuits and scones, “biscones” are made with Southern flair, using lots of butter and a mix of all-purpose and cake flours to get as close as possible to White Lily flour. If you’re lucky enough to find White Lily, substitute 3 cups of it for the flours called for here. You’ll end up with a crispy, flaky biscones. For scone-like flavors, add dried fruit to the dough and top with spiced sugar.

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 ½ cups buttermilk

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of fine sea salt, for egg wash

¼ cup coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom and whisk until completely incorporated.

Add the butter and, working quickly, cut it in with a pastry blender.

You should have various-sized pieces of butter, from sandy patches to pea-sized chunks, and some larger bits as well. Add the dried fruit, if using, and toss to distribute it evenly.

Gradually pour in the buttermilk and gently fold the ingredients until you have a soft dough and there are no bits of flour in the bottom of the bowl. You should still see lumps of butter in the dough; these will give you light and flaky biscones. If the dough seems dry, you may need to add a little more buttermilk. The dough should be moist and slightly sticky.

Gently pat down the dough with your hands right in the bowl until it resembles a loaf of bread. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, and arrange them about 1 inch apart so that the biscones have room to rise and puff up. Lightly tap down the tops of the biscones.

Brush the tops of the biscones liberally with egg wash. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even baking, until the biscones are lightly golden and fully baked. Serve warm or at room temperature. These are best eaten the day they are made.

Adapted from “The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” (Artisan, $24.95).

Per biscone: 378 calories (46 percent from fat), 6 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 20 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 484 milligrams sodium.

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BRESAOLA-WRAPPED ARUGULA BUNDLES

Hands on: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Makes: 20 appetizers

You can assemble these bundles up to 1 day ahead, adding the vinaigrette and garnishing just before serving. Baby arugula leaves will not work for this recipe. You need the full-grown leaf, widely available at local farmers markets. For a variation, try this with leaves of locally grown leaf lettuce, or in the spring, with steamed asparagus.

Bresaola is spiced, air-cured beef. You can find it at charcuteries or farmers’ markets. Can’t find it? Substitute half slices of prosciutto.

2 (6-ounce) bunches arugula, rinsed and dried

¼ pound bresaola, very thinly sliced

¼ cup Farm Egg Vinaigrette (see recipe)

If your arugula came from the farmers market with roots attached, trim the roots and most of the stem.

Separate trimmed arugula leaves into 20 bundles. Tightly wrap a slice of bresaola around the stems of each bundle. If the bundles begin to unfurl, wrap each with a strip of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Arrange on platter. If not serving right away, cover platter with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, drizzle bundles with vinaigrette and garnish with sieved egg whites from vinaigrette recipe.

Per appetizer: 24 calories (73 percent from fat), 1 gram protein, trace carbohydrates, trace fiber, 2 grams fat (trace saturated fat), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 6 milligrams sodium.

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CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

Hands on: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour Serves: 16

For the cake:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup plus 7 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1¼ cups sour cream

Zest and juice from 2 lemons, divided

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

8 ounces Neufchatel, softened

For the topping:

½ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn off mixer and add baking powder, baking soda, salt and eggs. Beat mixture 1 minute, then add sour cream and lemon zest and beat just until mixed. Turn off mixer, add flour and beat again just until mixed. Remove bowl from mixer.

Remove 2 cups batter and set aside. Put remaining batter in prepared tube pan and smooth top. Return bowl to mixer and beat Neufchatel, lemon juice and remaining 5 tablespoons sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in ¼ cup reserved batter.

Spread cream cheese mixture over batter in pan, staying 1 inch away from sides of pan. Spread remaining reserved batter over cheese mixture and smooth top. Using a butter knife, gently swirl filling into batter using a figure-8 motion, being careful not to reach all the way to the bottom.

In a small bowl, make topping by combining almonds, sugar and zest.

Sprinkle topping evenly over cake batter and gently press into batter to adhere. Bake 45 minutes or until cake is just done. Remove cake to a wire rack and cool 1 hour. Then run a knife around outside edge of tube pan and place a cookie sheet on top. Reverse cake onto cookie sheet and remove pan. Put wire rack on bottom of cake and reverse. Now cake is on wire rack with topping side up. Allow to continue to cool, about 1 hour, before serving.

Adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine, January 2010.

Per serving: 332 calories (48 percent from fat), 6 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 18 grams fat (10 grams saturated), 91 milligrams cholesterol, 262 milligrams sodium.



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