February 2011 Archives

split_pea_soup_with_ham.jpgI've never tried split pea soup before on the principle of its color, but it is actually quite delicious. The peas have a sweet flavor and the ham gives the soup a nice heartiness.

1 Tb. butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
6-7 c. chicken broth
~1/4 lb. thick sliced ham
1 lb. green split peas (~2 c.), picked through and rinsed
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
2-3 celery ribs, cut into pieces
Salt & pepper

Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add broth, ham, peas, and herbs. Increase heat, bring the soup to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer until peas are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Stir in carrots and celery and continue to cook until peas have almost completely broken down, about 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From : Cooks Illustrated Jan/Feb 2011
sweet_potato_hash_with_ham.jpg This dish is softer than the usual breakfast hash, and the cider vinegar & celery seed give it more of the flavor of a warm German potato salad. But it goes wonderfully with eggs and makes a good breakfast-for-dinner meal.

4  cups  (3/4-inch) diced peeled sweet potato (about 1 pound)
2  cups  (3/4-inch) diced red potato (about 8 ounces)
2  tablespoons  vegetable oil
1  cup  diced ham (about 8 ounces)
1  cup  chopped green bell pepper
2/3  cup  chopped green onions
3/4  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  celery seed
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/8  teaspoon  grated whole nutmeg
1/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2  tablespoons  cider vinegar

Place potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Drain.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ham; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add potatoes, green onions, salt, celery seed, pepper, and nutmeg; cook 8 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Stir in broth and vinegar. Toss gently until liquid is absorbed.


banana_coffee_bread.jpgThis is a much lighter version of banana bread than Daniel's traditional cake-like version here. The texture is more bread-y, but it is nonetheless packed with banana flavor, with depth from the addition of a little strong coffee. It also makes wonderful french toast after a couple of days.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon allspice (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter or oil
1 large egg white
1 large egg
1 cup banana puree, from about 2 very ripe medium-sized bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 shot (about 3 tablespoons) of strong coffee, cooled (or mix 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder with  3 tablespoons of hot water)

Add in: pecans and/or chocolate chips

Butter a rectangular bread pan or a 9-inch square pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice (or cinnamon). Mix in the sugar.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, egg white, egg, banana puree, buttermilk or sour cream, vanilla and espresso.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost mixed. Add in your additions and stir until just combined, but don't overstir: stop when any traces of flour disappear.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake the bread for 60 minutes or the square cake for 40 minutes. The center must feel lightly-springy and just done.

Cool on a baking rack. Keeps well for 3-4 days, or can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, for a few months.

Original recipe


lentils__with_rice_and_onions.jpgThis recipe is a pretty straightforward mix of rice, lentils, and onions spiced with either cumin or garam masala. It makes a delicious and satisfying side, perfect for a vegetarian Indian or middle eastern meal.

3/4 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
3 cups yellow onions, cut into quarter slices (or more)
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin or garam masala
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cook rice in water following package directions, or cook in a rice cooker.

Rinse lentils, then place in heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, add 1 quart water, and let lentils simmer over very low heat uncovered until they are soft (about 20-30 minutes, but cooking time will depend on how fresh the lentils are so keep checking until they are soft but still have a slight bite to them.) When lentils are cooked, cover and let water them absorb any leftover water.

While lentils cook, chop onions. Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, then add onions, reduce heat to medium-low and start to brown onions, stirring every few minutes. Continue to cook onions, stirring often, until they are deeply browned and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Don't rush this step; the onions will be bitter if they're cooked at high heat.

When onions are browned, remove half the onions to drain on a paper towel to crisp. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp cumin or garam masala into the rest of the onions in the pan and saute 1-2 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked lentils to the pan with the onions, leaving behind any water that's not absorbed. Season the cooked lentils and onions with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook 1-2 minutes to blend flavors.

Gently mix cooked rice into the lentils and caramelized onions, heating for a minute or two if the rice is not hot. Put Mujadarra on a serving dish, top with crispy caramelized onions, and serve hot or warm.

Original recipe

crunchygranola.jpgI've tried a lot of different granola recipes, but this one is hands-down my favorite. The combination of quick cooking and old fashioned oats in this recipe, combined with a smaller than usual amount of oil, make perfectly crunchy clusters - like boxed cereal but better tasting.

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch salt (a flaky sea salt is best)

1 cup mixed dried fruit of your choice (I used figs, dates, raisins, and cranberries)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together all ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl until combined. Spread mixture evenly on a large (17-by 12-inch) shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, but checking every five minutes after the 15-minute mark because it burns quickly. Transfer granola, in pan, to rack to cool, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely to keep clusters from breaking apart

Either store granola separate from dried fruit in airtight containers at room temperature, or store in the freezer with fruit mixed in.

Original recipe

maple-baked-beans.jpgSweet and savory baked beans slow simmered in the crock pot or on the stove. These beans beat Bush's by a mile, and while they do take a lot more time, there isn't much prep involved. Feel free to change up the proportions of the ingredients according to taste, this is a very forgiving recipe.

4.5 cups cooked navy beans (approx. 2-3 small cans)
1 large sweet onion, diced
3-4 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp maple syrup
3-4 tablespoons regular mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1-2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. dried cranberries (optional but recommended)

Rinse and drain navy beans or soak and cook dry beans according to package directions. Slow-cooker method: Throw drained and rinsed beans into the slow cooker. Chop the onion and place the onion, molasses, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, salt, tomatoes, and cranberries (optional) into the slow cooker and stir well. (Alternatively you can also cook these on the stove top or baked in the oven). Cook over high heat for about 4-5 hours (however they can be eaten after just a couple hours of cooking), or cook them on the lowest heat setting for 7-8 hours. Serves 3-4.

Original recipe


a1meatballs.jpgMeatballs like Mom makes them. As with all Dewberry family recipes, the measurements are approximate. Best with mashed potatoes.

1 ½ lbs. ground beef
2 slices bread, toasted
2 eggs, scrambled
¼ C. ketchup
¼ C. A.1. sauce
1-2 T. brown mustard
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375°.
Break up bread, add to meat.
Mix remaining ingredients, add to meat.
Form into balls. Cook at 375° for 15 minutes.

Dewberry family recipe