Good morning, fair readers. Last week we had a request for what to do with a hambone, and now R.D. adds this: "I've also got a whole container of bits of ham cut off that bone. What can I do with these bits of ham?"
You've read these requests before, but they have been seconded: Cornish pasties, calzones, empanadas and any other kind of savory, non-sweet pie.
Rose Secrest, cookbook author and careful experimenter with food, has refined her sun-dried tomato pesto recipe. It reminds me of the year we had everything red and green at Christmas dinner, including red sauce and pesto sauce on the pasta. Not a bad idea.
Her secret is "sundried tomatoes in smaller bits ... it came out yummy."
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
Juice from 1/2 lemon
A second recipe, also colorful, was tucked in Secrest's envelope.
1/3 pound russet potatoes, chopped
1/3 pound purple potatoes, chopped
1/3 pound Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon mustard
1 onion, sliced
1/3 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/3 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
1 package sun-dried tomatoes
2 artichokes, cooked, leaves scraped and hearts chopped
Black pepper to taste
Hot pepper flakes to taste
Boil the potatoes, each kind separately, until tender, about 15 minutes. Mash each separately. Mix together garlic, lemon juice, soy milk and mustard. Divide in thirds and add to each of the three potato mixtures. Combine the next eight ingredients to make a filling.
In a small loaf pan, put a layer of russets. Put half the filling on that. Put a layer of purple potatoes on that. Put half the filling on that. Put a layer of Yukon Gold on that. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then broil the top for five minutes.
It is coincidental to be reminded of terrines today, as our friend Marie-Laure will be visiting at Christmas, and she once brought us a red terrine dish. I have been thinking, "This is the year to make terrines," so thank you, Rose Secrest, for jump-starting that process.
Hilda from Georgia pulled this recipe from her collection. Chili is most welcome these cool days, and this one Hilda describes as easy.
3 cans white Northern beans
2 cloves garlic
2 medium onions, chopped well
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 can chopped green chilies
11/2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups diced chicken breast, cooked
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos (or pepper Jack)
1/2 cup sour cream
In a saucepan, bring beans, garlic and 1 onion to a boil. In a separate saucepan, sauté remaining onion in oil. Mix the two together. Add cumin, green chilies, oregano and cayenne and simmer for 1 hour. Add chicken and heat well. Top with cheese and sour cream to serve.
White chili goes well with cornbread and apples.
Our Georgia correspondent also added a dessert she recommends for the holidays. The recipe is rich, clearly, and is served in a very small portion. It's a good principle for the holidays: Something sweet at the end of a satisfying meal, something that doesn't fill you up to the popping point.
1 (6-ounce) package unsweetened chocolate morsels
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Additional whipped cream
Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot water (or in a microwave in a glass bowl). Set aside to cool. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
Beat eggs with electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually stir melted chocolate into eggs; stir in the liqueur and coffee granules. While beating at medium speed, slowly stir hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg mixture. Continue beating until well blended. Fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into small cordial glasses or dishes and refrigerate. Garnish with additional whipped cream and almonds.
Hilda will be our grand finale today as well, serving up some splendid sandwiches that may be prepared ahead, frozen and then baked just before serving.
1 stick softened butter
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons finely grated onion
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 packages Hawaiian rolls
1 pound thin-sliced ham
2 packages sliced Swiss cheese
Mash together softened butter and mustard. In a separate bowl, mix onions and poppy seed.
Cut Hawaiian rolls in half and spread butter mixture on the bottom half. Add ham and Swiss cheese slices on top. Spread on another layer of the butter mixture. Encase in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, longer if you have frozen them in advance.
You are surely getting busier, but please take a minute to send us some recipes you're using for the holidays. What are you giving as edible gifts? A certain local family ties up wild blackberry preserves with burlap ribbon and a Christmas wish; the fatherly tradition is to take the children blackberry picking for the raw material for this special family gift.