Happy Holidays

To my faithful readers,

 

I appreciate your kind words and thoughts this past year.  It has been so much fun for me creating and updating this website.  I have made the decision to temporarily suspend our regular Tuesday series for the rest of the Holiday Season and we will have our next entry in the Classic Rock Series on January 9th.  I will continue the AFC Football Cities as regularly scheduled Friday evenings for the next 4 weeks.  In the meantime everybody enjoy the holiday shopping time gearing up for the big day(s).  We will have some great entries for the Classic Rock Series in the new year and start another series some time after football is over.

 

All the best,

Steve

NASHVILLE – Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream Syrup

NFL AFC CITIES RECIPE #12

NASHVILLE

SWEET POTATO PANCAKES WITH CINAMMON CREAM SYRUP

 

Ah Nashville!  One day I will stop talking about it and visit you.  If the Titans still played in Memphis, there wouldn’t be any question we’d be doing ribs this week.  Alas ribs are still very popular in Nashville they are not the signature dish.  That arguably is Hot Fried Chicken which has grown extremely popular of late thanks to a certain fast food chain which shall go nameless.  I’ve made clear my arguments about producing your own fried chicken and we’re avoiding it again.

So, what else is popular in Nashville.  When I read about a signature dish at one of Nashville’s most recognizable places, The Pancake Pantry, being one of the places all visitors must explore I said, “Oh boy I’d love to try that, and I know my wife will love it”.  We haven’t done many breakfast options yet on www.DoinThatRagu.com.  This is the perfect opportunity to change that.  Try these I think you will enjoy them and if you haven’t had the real thing yet in Nashville yet like me maybe you’ll stop dreaming and visit the home of Country Music one of these days anyway.

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 Very large Sweet Potato or Yam

1 cup Crème Fraiche, divided

¼ cup real Maple Syrup

1/8 TSP Vanilla Extract

3/4 TSP Ground Cinnamon, divided

3 TBSP Unsalted Butter, divided

1 ¼ cup Whole Milk, divided

Pinch of Salt + 1 TSP

1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour

1 TBSP Baking Powder

3 TBSP Brown Sugar

1 Egg

Cooking Spray

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Roast the Sweet Potato directly on the oven rack until soft. About 40 minutes depending on the size.
  3. Remove Sweet Potato from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes until it can be handled
  4. While the Sweet Potato rests make the Cinnamon Cream Syrup. In a small to medium bowl combine ½ cup Crème Fraiche, the Maple Syrup, the Vanilla Extract, and ½ TSP Cinnamon and stir until blended.
  5. Cut open the skin and place all the flesh from the Sweet Potato in a pot. Discard the skin.
  6. Heat on low and add 2 TBSP Butter, ¼ cup Milk, and a pinch of Salt. Mash the Sweet Potato flesh and stir until relatively smooth.  A few chunks here and there are ok.
  7. In a large bowl add the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, and Sugar. Stir to combine evenly.
  8. In a medium bowl beat the Egg and add 1 cup Milk, ½ cup Crème Fraiche, and the mashed Sweet Potato. Melt the remaining 1 TBSP and add to the medium bowl.  Stir to combine evenly.
  9. Make a well in the center of the large bowl and pour the contents of the medium bowl into the well. Stir all contents of the large bowl together to make the batter.  Stir till smooth but not overmix.  A few lumps are good.
  10. Spray a griddle, griddle pan, or frying pan with Cooking Spray and heat on medium high.
  11. Reduce the heat when the Cooking Spray begins to bubble and add the batter using a ladle in rounds to make pancakes whatever size you prefer
  12. Fry until pancakes start to form tiny bubbles and the bottom is golden brown. Carefully slip to the other side and fry 1 minute longer.  Remove to a plate.
  13. Repeat the process adding more Cooking Spray as necessary until all the batter is used.
  14. Serve topped with spoonsful of the Cinnamon Cream Syrup

 

Serves four for a hearty breakfast.  Great with sausage and/or bacon and fresh fruit on the side.

 

WINE PAIRING:  No wine for breakfast I’m afraid.  Enjoy these delicious pancakes with a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, or your favorite early morning beverage.

Don McLean – American Pot Pie

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #15

DON McLEAN

AMERICAN POT PIE

 

This is the last idea of what to do if you still have any turkey meat leftover from last week that you still can’t figure out how to use.  It works equally well with just roasted turkey breast and you don’t have to use leftovers.  I like the taste of white meat with this recipe better, but you can use dark meat too if you like.  It’s a great cold weather, holiday time meal any time of the year and fits our series perfectly this week.

In my ongoing attempt to blend food ideas together I had the idea that instead of serving a turkey dinner followed by apple pie why not combine them together?  I have been making a lot of pot pies of late and the thought occurred to me.  I love the taste of turkey and apple together and do it quite often especially in pasta dishes.  I find Granny Smith apples to be too tart for my taste and prefer a red apple with a bit of sweetness and tartness combined that’s why I use Fuji apples more often.  You should use the type of apple you like best for this is a savory dish, so you would more likely want to cut down on too much sweetness.  Remember that apples will oxidize very quickly so do not cut them until just before you are ready to use them.   I am not a baker, so I don’t make my own pie crusts and use store bought pastry like most recipes you will find for pot pies.  If you want to make your own crust, please go ahead and do so.  It’s a great combination of two American traditions and I can’t think of a better representative than the man who wrote one of the greatest American songs of all time, Don McLean’s American Pie.

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 TBSP Unsalted Butter

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped

2 Celery stalks, sliced ½ inch pieces

1 large Carrot, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced in ½ inch pieces

2 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ cubes

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

½ cup all-purpose Flour

3 cups Turkey or Chicken Broth or Stock

½ cup Light Cream

4 cups cooked Turkey breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 large Fuji Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch chunks (see note above)

½ TSP dry rubbed Sage

¼ TSP ground Cinnamon

1/8 TSP ground Mace

1 commercial brand Pie Pastry package (to cover two 9” pies)

1 Egg

1 TBSP Whole Milk

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a large frying pan heat the Butter and Oil over medium heat
  3. Sauté the Onions, Celery, Carrots, and Potatoes until soft (about 10 minutes). Season with Salt and Pepper.
  4. Add the Flour and stir and cook 2 minutes longer
  5. Add the Broth or Stock and to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth thickens (about 3 minutes)
  6. Add the Cream, Turkey, and Apples and stir. Add the Sage, Cinnamon, Mace, Salt, and Pepper and stir for 1 minute longer.  Remove from the heat.
  7. Lightly beat the Egg and the Milk. Blend together.
  8. Fill two 9” ungreased pie plates with the contents of the pan
  9. Roll out the Pie Pastries and spread over each pie plate. Trim the sides of any excess.
  10. Glaze each pie crust with the Egg/Milk wash. Cut a few slits in each pie crust to allow the Pot Pies to breathe.
  11. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until the crust is a nice golden flaky brown. Let rest for about 10 minutes then cut and serve.

 

WINE PAIRING:  Anything sweet and savory is going to beg for dry Riesling again.  That would be a good choice but not ideal.  Since we are combining most elements of a Thanksgiving Dinner that we already talked about there is no ideal wine match for this dish.  The same suggestions apply from last week.  You will never find a perfect match so find your favorite.  Again, don’t go heavier than Pinot Noir with red and more full bodied with white.  Rose is still a decent option too.

 

ARLO GUTHRIE – Happy Thanksgiving (part 2)

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #14b

ARLO GUTHRIE

MORE OF WHAT YOU WANT

 

As promised the second portion of our Thanksgiving celebration at www.DoinThatRagu.com is all about what to do after the meal.  I love to use the whole turkey.  I’m giving you three of my favorite ideas to do the next day with all that turkey meat and bones.  First thing to do is to clean out the cavity of any stuffing, seasoning, etc. that you may have used and discard all of that.  The next thing to is to pull off as much turkey meat as you can that remains on the carcass and put it in a storage container in the refrigerator until ready to use.  You can separate it into white and dark if you like.  This is also great for making sandwiches or turkey salad.  Save all the bones and get ready to start making some great turkey stock.

Turkey soup is a must for me every year.  I do mine differently than some of you are used to seeing.  By now you can see how much I love Italian food and I do my chicken and turkey soups in that tradition rather than Eastern European.  I’m giving you another alternative to soup that you will need a lot of broth and that’s turkey chili.  Both are ideal for the cold weather ahead next week.  Finally, I include my turkey hash recipe that my wife loves so much.  It’s a really great way to use some of the less desirable meat on the turkey for leftovers.  Enjoy everybody!

 

 

THE RECIPES

 

TURKEY STOCK

INGREDIENTS:

1 Turkey carcass plus any additional leftover bones

1 large Yellow Onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 large Carrot, peeled and chopped into about 6 pieces

2 Celery stalks, roughly chopped

8 Italian Parsley sprigs (optional)

3 dried Bay Leaves

1 TSP Kosher or Coarse Sea Salt

5 whole Black Peppercorns

½ TBSP commercial brand dry Bouquet Garni (or ½ TSP dried Thyme, ½ TSP dried Oregano, and ½ TSP dried Dill weed)

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large 8-qt stockpot add the Turkey carcass and bones, the Onion, Carrot, Celery, and Parsley. Fill with water about 3 inches from the top.  Heat on high.
  2. To the pot add the Bay Leaves, Salt, Peppercorns, and Bouquet Garni
  3. Heat to a boil then after one minute reduce to a steady simmer
  4. Simmer for about 2 ½ hours and then remove from the heat
  5. Let cool for about ½ hour. Remove the carcass, bones, and Bay Leaves and discard.
  6. Using a sieve or large strainer empty the stockpot into a 5 or 6-qt pot. Using a wooden spoon press down hard on the vegetables to squeeze out as much liquid as possible into the pot (this is where the best flavor comes from).
  7. Your stock is now made. You should have at least 3 quarts of stock.  If you have more than 4 quarts boil down the stock till you have no more than 4.

 

TURKEY SOUP WITH LEMON AND ORZO

INGREDIENTS:

2 TBSP Unsalted Butter

1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped

2 medium Carrots, peeled and diced

2 large Celery stalks, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

½ Dry White Wine or Vermouth

1 Lemon, cut in half

3 to 4-qts Turkey Stock

Salt, to taste

Ground Black Pepper, to taste

¼ TSP Ground Thyme

½ TSP Dried Oregano

8 oz. Dried Orzo Pasta

2 ½ cups chopped leftover Turkey meat

12 Basil leaves, torn into small pieces

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large stockpot heat the Butter on medium heat
  2. Add the Onion, Carrot, and Celery and sauté until soft (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add the Garlic and sauté 1 minute longer
  4. Add the Wine and the juice of one Lemon half. Raise the heat slightly.  Cook for 5 minutes until mostly absorbed.
  5. Add the Turkey Stock and raise the heat to high
  6. Season with Salt, Pepper, Thyme, and Oregano
  7. Heat to a boil. Add the Pasta and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.  Add the Turkey and simmer 2 minutes longer.
  8. Add the juice of the other Lemon half and remove from the heat
  9. Add the Basil and let sit 2 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately.  Save the rest to enjoy all weekend.

 

TURKEY HASH

INGREDIENTS:

2 large Russet Potatoes, peeled

2 TBSP Unsalted Butter

3 TBSP Olive Oil

1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped

1 small Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups Finely chopped leftover Turkey meat (use less desirable part of the turkey and scraps that have already fallen off)

Salt, to taste

Ground Black Pepper, to taste

½ TBSP Adobo Seasoning

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water
  2. Grate the Potatoes and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. This prevents oxidation.
  3. Remove Potatoes from the bowl and pat dry as well as possible.
  4. In a large non-stick frying pan heat the Butter and Olive Oil on medium high heat
  5. Add the Onion and Green Pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes to soften a bit
  6. Add the Potatoes and half the seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Adobo). Stir together.  Do not turn again.  Allow to crisp up.
  7. Flip the contents in the pan and add the Turkey. Add the rest of the seasoning.  Stir together and flip occasionally.  Allow to brown and crisp.
  8. When Turkey Hash is nice and crispy brown remove from heat. Serve immediately.

 

TURKEY CHILI

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup Olive Oil

1 very large White or Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped

1 medium Zucchini, seeded and diced into ½ inch pieces

4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

6 Tomatillos, husked and chopped

2 cups leftover Turkey meat, very finely chopped

½ cup Dry White Wine

2 cups leftover Turkey meat cut into ½ inch chunks

15 oz. can Cannellini Beans, drained

2 TBSP Chili Powder

1 ½ TBSP Ground Cumin

½ TBSP Ground Coriander

½ TBSP Mexican Oregano

¼ TSP Cayenne Powder

1 TSP Salt

½ TSP Ground Black Pepper

3 to 4-qts Turkey Stock

1 Lime

1 cup frozen Corn, thawed

2 TBSP Cilantro, chopped

Shredded Cheese (optional)

Sour Cream (optional)

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large stockpot heat the Olive Oil over medium low heat
  2. Add the onion and sauté for 7 minutes
  3. Add the Zucchini and cook 2 minutes longer
  4. Add the Garlic and cook 1 minute longer
  5. Add the Tomatillos and raise the heat to medium. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped Turkey meat and cook for 1 minute
  7. Add the Wine and raise the heat to medium high. Cook for 5 minutes until most of the Wine has absorbed.
  8. Add the Beans and chunks of Turkey. Season with Chili Powder, Cumin, Coriander, Oregano, Cayenne, Salt, and Pepper.  Stir together for 2 minutes.
  9. Add the Stock and Juice of 1 Lime. Raise the heat to high.
  10. Heat to a boil then simmer on low for about 2 ½ hours
  11. Add the corn and heat through for another 2 minutes. Cook longer if too thin.
  12. Remove from heat. Add the Cilantro and stir together.
  13. Serve immediately into bowls and top with Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Colby, etc.) and/or Sour Cream

 

WINE PAIRING:  I am always of the belief that Thanksgiving is kind of a free for all.  With so many dishes beyond just turkey and gravy being passed around it’s hard to come up with the right match.  Given that I usually recommend you go as neutral as possible with your wine selection.  Having said that Rosé is actually a great choice for Thanksgiving.  If you are a red wine drinker I wouldn’t go heavier than a young Pinot NoirGamay would also be a good choice.  Chardonnay will pair well with a few Thanksgiving staples but it’s such a temperamental grape, especially in the United States because of the oaky quality, it will not work well with other food on the table.  Riesling will work with the sweet and spicy dishes but miss the mark on the savory ones.  The best choices for white really come from the old world especially France like a Roussanne or a Marsanne combination or a Viognier.

 

Sauvignon Blanc would work well with the Chili as would Beer of course.  I like an Italian White with the Turkey Soup.  These are a couple of additions for you for post-Thanksgiving if you happen to run out of your favorite beverages.

JACKSONVILLE – Shrimp and Grits Cakes

NFL AFC CITIES RECIPE #11

JACKSONVILLE

SHRIMP AND GRITS CAKES

 

I have never been to Jacksonville nor did I have any clue what the culture or the cuisine was like there so this was an entire research project for me.  Turns out a lot of people have asked the same question.  While Jacksonville itself has a very long history it is a relatively new city in terms of carving out an identity for itself.  It is an up and coming place and now the largest metropolitan city in all of Florida.  I had been thinking about what I was going to do for Jacksonville for several weeks.  I thought this might be a good time to do fish tacos but decided to do that for Houston instead.  I had been thinking about doing a shrimp and grits recipe for this blog for some time and this seemed like a good opportunity as Jacksonville is not that far from the Georgia border and still a good southern place.  Then in my research I stumbled upon a very popular place that was famous for their shrimp and grits cakes.  I had never heard of that before, but I thought it sounded like a great idea since grits and polenta are basically the same thing.  It’s a great combination.  You get all the great flavors of shrimp and grits bundled together in one little cake like polenta which is a great accompaniment to many Italian meals.  So, while Jacksonville looks to establish its identity we will combine some great ideas into this dish which can be a side dish or main dish to pair with another.

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups quick cook Grits

6 cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth

4 TBSP Unsalted Butter

¾ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

6 strips Hickory Smoked Bacon

1 lb. medium Shrimp (30-36 ct.), completely peeled and deveined

2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ cup finely chopped Yellow Onion

½ cup finely chopped Red Bell Pepper

2 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 TBSP Paprika

½ TSP Garlic Powder

½ TSP Onion Powder

1 TSP dried Oregano

½ TSP ground Thyme

¼ TSP Cayenne Powder

1 Lemon, juiced

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a 4-quart pot place the Grits and Broth and heat to boiling
  2. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until Broth is absorbed. About 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer Grits to a large bowl and add 2 TBSP Butter, Parmesan Cheese, Salt, and Pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. While the Grits cook in a large frying pan fry the Bacon over medium high heat until crispy. Place on paper towel lined plate.
  5. Season the Shrimp with Salt and Pepper
  6. In the same pan pour off all but 1 TBSP Bacon drippings. Add 1 TBSP EVOO and turn the burner on medium high heat.
  7. Sauté the Shrimp until pink on both sides. About 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.
  8. Add 1 TBSP EVOO to the pan. Sauté the Onion and Bell Pepper until soft about 5 minutes.  Season with Salt and Pepper.
  9. While the Onion and Bell Pepper cook coarsely chop the Shrimp
  10. Add the Garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer
  11. Transfer the contents of the pan to a medium bowl. Add the chopped Shrimp.  Season with Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne.  Stir together.  Crumble the cooked Bacon into the bowl and stir again.
  12. Transfer the contents of the medium bowl to the large bowl and mix together. Add the Lemon Juice and mix again.
  13. Grease a large 9 x 13 baking pan with the remaining 1 TBSP Butter
  14. To the baking pan add the contents of the large bowl. Spread evenly in the pan to make level.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  15. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  16. Remove baking pan from the refrigerator while the oven heats. Cut the last TBSP of Butter into small pieces and dot the Shrimp and Grits.
  17. Bake in the oven until the top is golden brown. About 30 to 40 minutes.
  18. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit. Then cut perpendicular lines to make squares.
  19. When ready to serve use a spatula to lift each square piece of Shrimp and Grits Cakes to a serving plate

 

WINE PAIRING:  I would say wine is a better choice than beer, but you could enjoy this with a nice frosty one.  I would recommend an Italian white as the wine choice.  I would not say Pinot Grigio is a good option.  A nice, crisp, dry white wine from the Veneto region would be my top choice.

 

ARLO GUTHRIE – Happy Thanksgiving (part 1)

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #14

ARLO GUTHRIE

“YOU CAN GET ANYTHING YOU WANT …”

 

at Alice’s Restaurant of course and what I have in mind this Thanksgiving week is to give you some great recipes for the grand feast and what to do with all that leftover turkey.  So, today I’m offering you three wonderful side dishes to accompany your roast turkey.  There are well over a hundred different ways to prepare a turkey dinner and I’m not going to bore you with another one because they don’t vary that much.  The fun is in what unique side dishes you can design to make the table and your plate exciting.

“Let me tell you about the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts”.  I’ve actually been there many times.  I’ve had a lot of family living in the Berkshires area for many years.  If you’ve never been there it is just as described in the song.  The famous Red Lion Inn, one stoplight, and train tracks.  There used to be a sign where Alice’s restaurant was located but I haven’t been back in a very long time, so I can’t verify if it still exists.  I’m a big traditionalist and every year on Thanksgiving Day I play Alice’s Restaurant for everybody.  I think it lasts maybe seven minutes at most before my wife turns it off, but the legend survives regardless.  It’s a timeless classic and must be revered.

So, here’s the deal for this week.  As I said today we will have a few side dishes to consider for the big day on Thursday.  Since football is a big part of the Thanksgiving tradition tomorrow I will move our usual Friday series to Wednesday for a totally unrelated holiday recipe.  On Friday I will give you three great ideas on what to do with all that leftover turkey.  Hope this plan works for everybody.  It’s my way of saying thanks to all of you for reading this blog.  Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

 

 

THE RECIPES

 

BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH BACON, MUSTARD, SHERRY VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. Brussel Sprouts

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 TSP + ¼ TSP fine Sea Salt

½ TSP + 1/8 TSP ground White Pepper

4 strips of Bacon

1 TBSP finely chopped Shallots

1 Garlic clove, finely chopped

½ TBSP Dijon Mustard

½ TBSP fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

½ TBSP Sherry Vinegar

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Cut the stems off any Brussel Sprouts that need trimming. Cut each Brussel Sprout in half lengthwise.
  3. You will probably need 2 baking sheets. Line each with parchment paper and place the Brussel Sprout halves in a single layer on the sheets.
  4. Drizzle the Olive Oil over all the Sprouts and season with 1 TSP Salt and ½ TSP Pepper. Mix together evenly.
  5. Roast the Brussel Sprouts until brown and crispy. About 25 minutes depending on how crispy you like them.  Leave them in longer if you prefer them extra crispy like I do.
  6. While the Brussel Sprouts cook fry the Bacon strips until nice and crisp. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool.
  7. To make the dressing in a small to medium bowl combine with Shallots, Garlic, Mustard, Lemon Juice, Vinegar, 1 TBSP reserved Bacon drippings, EVOO, ¼ TSP Salt, and 1/8 TSP Pepper and stir. Crumble the cooked Bacon into the dressing and stir until blended.
  8. Transfer the roasted Brussel Sprouts to a ceramic serving tray. Pour the dressing over and gently toss a few times to combine.  Serve warm.

 

 

STEVE’S FAVORITE THANKSGIVING STUFFING

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. Game Sausage Links or Sweet Italian Pork Sausage Links

1 TBSP unsalted Butter

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Large Fennel Bulb, chopped, fronds reserved

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 large Carrot, peeled and chopped

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 ½ cups homemade Turkey Stock or Broth

1 cup toasted Pecans, chopped

1 cup dried Cherries, chopped

½ TBSP fresh Thyme leaves, finely chopped

12 oz. package Cornbread Stuffing cubes

2 Eggs

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large frying pan poach the Sausages in water up to half the height of the links until cooked all the way through turning a few times. About 10 minutes.  Do not replaced water once it boils off.  Transfer to a cutting board.
  3. In the same pan heat the Butter and Olive Oil over medium heat
  4. Sauté the Fennel, Onion, and Carrot until soft. About 10 minutes.  Season with Salt and Pepper.
  5. Add the Stock, raise the heat slightly, and cook until the Stock reduces about 1/3. Turn off the heat and add the Pecans and Cherries.
  6. Dice the cooked Sausages and add them to the pan.
  7. Finely chop the reserved Fennel fronds. Add them, the Thyme, Salt, and Pepper to the pan and mix all together.
  8. In a large bowl place the Stuffing and crack both eggs over the bread cubes. Season with Salt and Pepper and toss to combine.
  9. In a 9 x 13 well-greased baking pan place the bread cube mixture in the pan and then the contents of the frying pan. Stir together and then bake for about 40 minutes.  Drizzle with EVOO and serve warm.

 

ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE AND GOAT CHEESE

INGREDIENTS:

1 small to medium Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 small to medium Rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 large Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 TBSP Olive Oil

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 oz. Goat Cheese crumbles

½ TBSP fresh Thyme leaves, chopped

2 TBSP chopped fresh Chives

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all the vegetables on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle Olive Oil on top and season with Salt and Pepper.  Stir to combine evenly.
  3. Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  4. While vegetables roast in a small frying pan heat the Vinegar on medium. Reduce until Vinegar has a syrupy consistency.  Don’t overcook.  Remove from the heat.
  5. In a greased baking dish place the roasted vegetables and toss with 1 TBSP EVOO. Add the Goat Cheese, Thyme, Salt, and Pepper and toss lightly again.
  6. Drizzle the Vinegar syrup evenly over the vegetables
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes to heat through
  8. Remove from the oven. Garnish with the chopped Chives and serve warm.

 

 

WINE PAIRING:  I am always of the belief that Thanksgiving is kind of a free for all.  With so many dishes beyond just turkey and gravy being passed around it’s hard to come up with the right match.  Given that I usually recommend you go as neutral as possible with your wine selection.  Having said that Rosé is actually a great choice for Thanksgiving.  If you are a red wine drinker I wouldn’t go heavier than a young Pinot NoirGamay would also be a good choice.  Chardonnay will pair well with a few Thanksgiving staples but it’s such a temperamental grape, especially in the United States because of the oaky quality, it will not work well with other food on the table.  Riesling will work with the sweet and spicy dishes but miss the mark on the savory ones.  The best choices for white really come from the old world especially France like a Roussanne or a Marsanne combination or a Viognier.

INDIANAPOLIS – Fried Catfish with Remoulade

NFL AFC CITIES RECIPE #10

INDIANAPOLIS

FRIED CATFISH WITH REMOULADE

 

I really had two options this week.  Come January I always enjoyed making food from the respective NFL teams that were hosting playoff games that weekend.  I’ve had a lot of practice over the years with the success of Peyton Manning and the Colts seemingly always there as AFC South champions.  But I decided to do some more research of the popular foods in Indianapolis which I hadn’t done in a few years.  Fried pork loin sandwiches were something I have never tried, and I thought hard about doing that but felt it too similar to some of what we’ve already done on www.DoinThatRagu.com.  So, I went with my usual dish for Indy that I enjoy very much.

Some of you may be staring at this recipe and saying wait isn’t that Cajun food?  Shouldn’t this be for New Orleans?  Well catfish is very popular in Indianapolis and all over Indiana for that matter.  They like to coat the fish with cornmeal which is also popular in the South.  We won’t be adding any Cajun spices or other Southern twists to the meal.  This is the Midwest baby and we are just going to let good honest food for good honest folks do the talking for us.

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Mayonnaise

1 TBSP German style Mustard

1 TBSP Lemon Juice

1 TBSP White Wine Vinegar

1 TSP White Wine Worcestershire Sauce

1 TSP Honey

½ TSP Hot Sauce

1 Scallion (green parts only), finely chopped

2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ TBSP Fresh Dill, chopped

Salt, to taste

Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

4 Catfish fillets (6-8 oz. each)

½ cup All Purpose Flour

¼ cup Whole Milk

1 Egg

¾ cup Cornmeal

Vegetable and/or Canola Oil for frying

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the Remoulade first. In a small to medium bowl combine Mayonnaise, Mustard, Lemon Juice, Vinegar, Worcestershire, Honey, and Hot Sauce.  Stir until blended.
  2. Add the Scallion, Garlic, Dill, Salt, and Pepper. Stir together to make a sauce.  Don’t overmix.
  3. Pat dry the Catfish fillets. Season with Salt and Pepper.
  4. Place the Flour on a plate. Dredge the fillets in the Flour allowing any excess to fall back to the plate.
  5. In a small bowl beat the Egg lightly. Add the milk and stir till blended.
  6. On another plate place the Cornmeal.
  7. Dip the fillets one at a time into the Egg and Milk mixture and allow any runoff to drop back into the bowl.
  8. Dredge the fillets in the Cornmeal until covered all over. Place on a different plate.
  9. In a large frying pan heat the Oil over medium high.
  10. When the Oil is hot enough place each fillet in the pan. Fry until lightly browned (about 5 minutes) and then turn over and fry the other side until light brown (about 4 minutes).  Drain on paper towels if desired before serving.

 

Serves four.  Serve with Remoulade on the side.  Serve with sweet potato or sweet potato fries (also great for dipping in the Remoulade) and green beans or salad. 

 

WINE PAIRING:  Beer is always recommended by the local pubs in Indianapolis that serve fried catfish.  That is always a good choice.  If you are more of a wine person like me than the top recommendation would be a German Riesling to match the flavors of the Remoulade well.  Make sure it is more of a dry Riesling (Kabinett) or slightly sweet (Spatlese).