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CHILLED CARROT SOUP

(This delicious soup can be served hot.)

1 pound carrots

2 tablespoons butter

2 (13-3/4-ounce) cans chicken broth

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2/cup fresh orange juice

1 cup light cream

Parsley sprigs

Scrape carrots and chop into small pieces. Melt butter in large saucepan. Add chicken broth, carrots, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Puree carrot mixture in blender; cool. Add orange juice and cream. Chill at least 6 hours. Serve in chilled bowls and garnish with a sprig of parsley. Yield: 6 servings.

To serve hot: Pour mixture from blender into a large saucepan to serve hot. Place over low heat; stirring gently until heated.

LAMB STEW WITH POTATO TOPPING

2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder,

cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon leaf thyme, crumbled

2-1/2 cups beef broth

1 (12-ounce) package frozen

baby carrots

1-1/4 pounds baking potatoes

1-1/4 pounds sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup milk

Salt and Black pepper to taste

2 cups frozen pearl onions

Working in batches, brown lamb in oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. As lamb browns, transfer to bowl. Remove all but 1/2 tablespoon fat from drippings. Add garlic, bay leaf and thyme to drippings in pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add broth, stirring up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour 15 minutes. Pierce white and sweet potatoes; bake at 350º for 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, remove skins from potatoes. Beat white potatoes, 1 tablespoon butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste in bowl with mixer until smooth. Repeat with sweet potatoes and remaining tablespoon butter. Stir pearl onions into stew. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes, or until lamb and vegetables are tender. Alternately spoon mashed potatoes on top of stew; increase heat to medium; cover and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are heated through. Remove bay leaf before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

CURRANT AND ROSEMARY GLAZED HAM

1 (10-pound) smoked ham with

bone-in, fat trimmed to a

1/4-inch thickness

2 cups black or red currant jelly or jam

3 rosemary sprigs

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Wrap ham with parchment-lined foil and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. In the meantime, bring jelly and rosemary to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture becomes thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and salt.

Transfer ham to a cutting board and unwrap. Using a sharp knife, score fat in a diamond pattern with lines less than 1/2-inch apart. Return ham to baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 375°. Brush ham with currant glaze; bake for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, brush the ham once again with glaze; bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and brush again with the glaze. You can reheat the remaining glaze over low heat until pourable. Slice ham and serve with sauce. Yield: 15-20 servings.

HONEY-MUSTARD HAM

1 (7-pound) fully cooked half ham

2 cups firmly packed brown

sugar, divided

3 (8-ounce) cans beer

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup bourbon

Place ham, fat side up, in a deep roasting pan. Press 1 cup brown sugar over all sides of ham. Pour beer into pan. Insert meat thermometer, making sure it does not touch fat or bone. Cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Remove 2 cups drippings from pan. Combine remaining cup brown sugar, mustard and bourbon in saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts. Baste ham with sugar mixture. Return ham to oven, bake, uncovered, 1 hour, basting with drippings and sugar mixture every 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Yield: 14 servings.

MUSHROOM LAMB CHOPS

6 blade lamb chops

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 (10-1/2 ounce) can beef

consommé, undiluted

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1 (4-ounce) can button

mushrooms, drained

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Hot cooked noodles

Prepare your favorite noodles according to package directions. In a large skillet, brown the chops in oil; drain. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Add celery, onions and consommé; cover and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes or until the lamb is tender. Remove the chops and keep warm. Combine flour and water until smooth; gradually stir into skillet and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and parsley; heat through. Serve over the lamb chops and noodles. Yield: 6 servings.

HORSERADISH BEET SALAD

3 cups cooked beets, cut in

julienne strips

3 ounces plain yogurt

3 tablespoons grated horseradish

1/8 teaspoon salt

Sugar (about 1 teaspoon, according

to taste)

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Parsley, for garnish

Blend the yogurt, horseradish, salt, sugar, and pepper together. Combine with beets. Chill at least 1 hour. Serve on lettuce. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Yield: 6 servings

BABKA

(Easter coffee cake, requested by one of our readers.)

1 tablespoon dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon rum extract

3/4 cup warm milk

Fine dry bread crumbs

Powdered sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside for 5 minutes. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Add egg yolks and 1-1/2 cups flour; mix thoroughly. Add yeast mixture, salt, vanilla and rum. Add milk and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface about 10 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. Punch down dough. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan. Coat pan lightly with bread crumbs. Place dough into prepared pan. Cover and let rise until double, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350º for about 40 minutes or until done. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool on rack. Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Yield: about 10 servings.

WEEB BONUS RECIPES

OVEN-BAKED ASPARAGUS

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Place the asparagus on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Dot with butter. Bring edges of foil together and seal tightly; place foil packet on a baking sheet. Back at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Carefully open foil to allow steam to escape. Season with salt and pepper. Yield: 4 servings.

COOKED RED CABBAGE

4 cups red cabbage, shredded

2 apples, pared and sliced

1 teaspoon dried onion flakes

1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground

2 tablespoons Rice Wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar (add more or less to taste)

1/2 cup boiling water

In a large fry pan, combine cabbage, apples, onion flakes, and boiling water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

PEANUT BUTTER EGGS

(These candies can be rolled in cocoa powder instead of chocolate.)

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 cup chopped peanuts

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup butter

1-1/2 pounds dipping chocolate

In a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, peanuts, and graham cracker crumbs. In a small saucepan, melt together peanut butter and butter over low heat, stiring occasionally. Pour peanut butter mixture over dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir until moistened. Shape the mixture into 1-inch ovals. Melt the dipping chocolate; dip the peanut butter eggs in the melted chocolate with a long-tined fork to coat. Lift the candy out with the fork without piercing the center. Let the excess chocolate drip off the fork and draw the bottom of the fork across the rim of the pan to remove any remaining excess chocolate. Invert the dipped candy onto a waxed-paper lined baking sheet to set. Store the candies, tightly covered, in a cool, dry place. Yields: 48 candies.

Note: If you prefer to use cocoa powder instead of dipping chocolate, follow the same recipe, but after shaping the egg, gently roll each candy in cocoa powder.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send your email to helenkitchen@msn.com, and please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request, ATTN: Lori” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email. Thank you.