Thursday, November 26, 2015

Stuffing stuffed in a bundt pan - crazy!

Oh yeah, Thanksgiving stuffing just broke the mold....taking it to a new level. I always make up my own little recipe. Here is what I did this year. 

- tube of Jimmy Dean sage flavored sausage
- two Vidalia onions
- one bulb of fennel
- one small container white mushrooms
- two apples (mine were Pink Lady apples from Mercier Orchards)
- 2 bags of the traditional bread stuffing cubes (used 1 bag and half the other bag)
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter
- 2 eggs
- fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper
- Pam
- pretty bundt pan. Mine is from Williams Sonoma

Here's whatcha do:

- preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- sauté the sausage over high heat until nice and dark brown and then set aside to drain on paper towels
-chop your fennel bulb (don't use the stems just the round bulb) into thin slices and your two onions
- sauté the onions and fennel with about 1/2 a stick of butter in medium low until nice and caramelized. Add kosher salt as needed.  Set that aside. 
- chop your mushrooms, apples (don't use skin or core) and celery into nice small slices/dices
- sauté the mushrooms, celery and apples in about 1/2 stick of butter until nice and soft. Add kosher salt as needed. 
- in a big bowl mix up the sausage and all the vegetables you sautéed 
- heat the broth until hot 
- add the bread cubes (I used 1 whole bag and 1/2 the other bag) to the bowl
- pour in the hot broth
- mix it all up and add salt pepper and thyme leaves as needed
- add in the 2 eggs once cooled a minute and mix it all up with your hands. The eggs will help hold it together in the oven 
- spray down your bundt pan really well with Pam
- Then take more butter and grease the bundt pan further and even cut little butter slices and put in all the nooks and crannies of the pan. 
- pour the stuffing mixture into the pan and press it all down to pack it in tight
- put more butter slices all over the top (YES DO IT)
- put the bundt pan on a cookie sheet so it catches the butter drippings
- bake for about 40 - 50 minutes on 400
- let cool for at least an hour so it can set up
- take a deep breath.  Ready. Flip it out onto a plate. Do it fast. Hit the top a few times. 
- garnish with thyme leaves


Friday, September 4, 2015

Seafood Chowder and Crudo in the Heart of San Francisco

On a work trip to Silicon Valley my colleagues and I took a detour to San Francisco to try a Seafood Chowder that we heard rave reviews about. We went to a tiny place in the NOPA area called Bar Crudo - started with some apps of Crudo  salmon, butterfish and scallops. The scallops were perfectly sweet and the butterfish tasted like Turkey in an oddly pleasant way. 

The main course was a big bowl of chunky, silky, creamy seafood chowder. It was sweet and spicy and had lots of surprises including chunks of clams, squid, octopus, potato, and other lovely sea creatures. It was elegant meets rustic  and a great way to experience a little San Fran on the work trip. 

PS: we stopped at the actual TV hit series Full House "house."  Whatever happened to predictability....,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Jessica's Famous Sweet Charoset

I make this every year for Passover and it is a big hit and makes a lot but typically there is none left at the end of the night!

- 6 apples (I used 2 delicious, 2 Fuji and 2 Gala)
- 12 Medjool Dates (pitted!) - I used Bard Valley Natural Delights. You can find these by the nuts in the produce section. Don't get the ones with pits - get pitted. 
- A 9 oz. box of raisins
- A 10 oz. bag of recipe ready walnuts (I used Planters, found in the baking aisle)
- 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons of Honey
- 1/2 cup of red wine (I used a bottle of Cabernet that I had left over from last night!)
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon 
- the juice of one lemon
- a pinch of salt


- Peel your apples and then chop them in a small dice (cut around the core). After thatI then popped them in the food processed cause I like it very fine dices. That is optional. 
- Take your bag of walnuts and either chop them or put them in the food processor to chop them finer - not into walnut dust, but kinda small
-Chop up your dates 
- In a BIG bowl, mix together the apples (pour the lemon juice over them at this point), walnuts, raisins, dates, brown sugar, wine, honey, salt, and cinnamon. 
- Let it marinate for a few hours for optimal flavor and you are good to go!

Idea: Put this over vanilla ice cream! Ben and Jerry's just came out with Charoset ice cream, but I bet this tastes better!