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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook and food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Homemade Pulled Pork Sammich Recipe AKA The Hot Mess

If you’re having a casual, little dinner party for about six people and want to go all out, let me introduce you to The Hot Mess… in the best possible way, that is. Have plenty of wet towels ready. And snobby beer. And bibs.
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Other recipes you will need if you choose to build this fabulous sammich from scratch… or, you know, you can ignore the challenge and buy some of it at the store. 
Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork in Barbecue Sauce Recipe
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • One 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • One 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons. kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup BBQ rub (I used Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub)
  • 2  tablespoons yellow mustard

Sizzle olive oil in a pot.

Place diced onion into very small pieces and add to the oil. Cook until onions appear translucent.

Add tomato puree, tomato paste, water, vinegar & molasses.

While sauce is simmering, continue to  stir and add dark brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper, smoked paprika (not regular paprika), & chili powder.

Finally, add BBQ rub (I used Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub), cranberry juice and yellow mustard.

Place sauce in blender and cover with lid. Blend until all tomatoes & onions blend into the sauce. Set aside.

Preheat to 325F
On stove top over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil in a clean large oven-safe pan. Brown pork shoulder on all sides.
Pour barbecue sauce over pork shoulder and place in oven with a lid on pan. Continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the shoulder reads 185 degrees F, about 4 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Shred pork.

To build your sammich, cut open hamburger buns and butter the insides of each. Lay with butter sides up on a baking sheet. Watch closely while broiling until golden brown.

Remove toasted buns from oven. Top with pulled pork, coleslaw, and crispy fried onion strips.

She’s slow. She’s chaotic. She’s a lot of work. And she is sooooo worth it.

 

Homemade Hamburger Buns Recipe

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Hard ciabatta buns housing chicken salad make chamber of commerce lunches exceptionally awkward. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. Corn dogs purchased for $9 at the county fair that are covered in unsweetened, bread-y cornbread deserve a first class ticket into the garbage can. Whole wheat bread grilled with American cheese makes a kid wonder what they did wrong in life to deserve such punishment.

But the perfect bread? Well, that changes everything. Just as a waiter or waitress should not overshadow the company across your dinner table, a bun should simply enhance and showcase the oh-so-important star of the show… the fillings. I have just the thing for your grilled burger sammiches this summer… perfect homemade buns.

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Makes 6 large hamburger buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110F or less)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 egg (for brushing tops before baking)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional)

Place yeast in a medium bowl. Pour in water and whisk. Set aside.

Measure oil. Set aside.

Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients together.

Using dough hook attachment, add yeast mixture and oil to dry ingredients and turn mixer on medium speed. You can turn up speed as dough comes together. Kneed until dough comes together and pulls away from sides of bowl. This can take 3-5 minutes.

Remove dough hook and place mixing bowl in a warm place so dough can rise. Cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise until about double in size.

Form dough into balls for the size hamburger buns you would like to have. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with plenty of room in between for them to rise again. If making sliders, buns can be very small, if larger, you can use for full-size hamburgers. Keep in mind the buns will double in size as they rise one more time.

Beat egg well. Set aside.

After buns have finished doubling in size again, preheat oven to 350F.

Gently brush buns with egg wash. Top with sesame seeds if desired. Bake about fifteen minutes or until light golden brown.

And, yes. If you must, you can substitute the flour with whole wheat flour… even though the little grilled cheese loving girl in me disapproves.

 

Steak Salad Recipe

The older I get, the more have to face the fact that green needs to be the most prominent color on my plate. Gone are the days of pasta and cheese. Enter rainbows of veggies… okay, and blue cheese dressing… and beef.

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Serves two.

Salad Ingredients

Cook steak, make dressing, and fry leeks according to instructions given and set aside. Then divide in half and place ingredients on two plates in a sexy fashion.

It helps that she’s easy on the eyes. I can go green. No prob’.

 

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

Well-aged, savory, and a wee but sassy. I present thee with the amazing (very grown up) blue cheese dressing for your summer salad.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Of course, the exceptionally responsible of us would use this dressing for salad… the rest of us just found a way to make our hot chicken wing dip at home. Amen.

 

Cheesy Beef and Bean Burritos Recipe

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Our pre fourth of July weather has settled in this week. Sunshine doesn’t normally commit in Seattle until July 5th. After that, summer is perfect. But, for now, it is burrito weather. And that ain’t half bad. Things are looking brighter this week, though. I’m convinced it’s because I made a simmer-all-day kind of meal. You know, kinda like washing your car only to have it rain the next day. I made a burrito and the whole weather report flipped.

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This filling takes about 4 hours to simmer so it can be made in advance so it is ready on burrito night.

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots,finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 fresh jalepeno pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground veal
  • 8 ounces country style ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water (1 cup may be replaced with a dry white or red wine if you’re feeling especially fancy pants)
  • 3 tablespoons beef Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon epazote
  • 1 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 grande flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese

Most meats come in about one pound packages. If making one recipe, you can freeze the other halves. You’ll be making this again soon. I promise.
Preheat oven to 350F. It is a good idea to dice veggies in advance. This is a long simmering dish; but, it is also pretty busy in the beginning. Set veggies aside.
Cut tomatoes into quarters and jalepeno in half then place on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Add garlic cloves (still wrapped in peels) to pan as well. Bake for 20 minutes. This is the only step that requires the oven so you can turn it off.
In a large pot, pour olive oil and add butter. Melt over medium-high heat. Add diced veggies. Cook until onions are translucent.
While veggies cook, place milk, water, Better Than Bouillon, and tomato paste into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Remove tomatoes, jalepeno, and garlic from oven when they are done. Place tomatoes & jalepeno into food processor. Remove peels from garlic (they should practically slide off) and add. Process until still a little chunky, but soup-like.
Add ground meats to veggies in pot. Using utensil, chop meat up well while cooking. Pieces should be very fine. Allow to cook until juices evaporate and meat is beautifully browned and somewhat sticking to bottom of pan.
Add bouillon mixture to pot. Stir in. Add processed tomatoes, jalepeno, and garlic to pot as well. Add chili powder, paprika, epazote, Mexican oregano, cumin. Add beans. Stir all together.

Allow sauce to simmer on lowest heat with a lid partially covering for about 4 hours. Filling can also be transferred to a slow cooker at this point. You’ll just want to place lid tilted and be sure to stir about every 20 minutes as normal. Make sure to check and stir once and awhile. Sauce will become more red and be kind of oily in texture as it cooks. Near the end is a good time for additional salt since it may reduce down and become too salty if you add a lot in the beginning. After filling is ready, stir in chopped cilantro at the last minute.

Place tortillas out to fill. Place freshly shredded cheese (waaaaay better than pre-grated) on each one then add a couple scoops of filling to each one. Fold sides inward, then roll away from yourself. Place closure side down onto baking sheet. Continue process until all or ready for baking. If eight is too many, you can save the filling in the freezer for another time.

Bake for 20 minutes. Tortilla shells will be lightly browned and cheese will be melted. Toppings like sour cream or guacamole can be added, or you can eat plain.

Welcome back, sunshine. We’re looking at the mid seventies all week, Seattle. You’re welcome. My work here is done… and that’s a wrap.

 

Cobb Salad in a Tomato Bowl Recipe

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It’s time for summer. It’s time for salads. With bacon. Because, well, bacon. One of the least snobby is the cobb-y. There are no candied pecans, or fresh berries, lemon dressing, or anything very hob nob. These things are loverly, but sometimes you just want easy-going, casual fixins and cobb is where it’s at.

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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast
  • 4 large beefsteak (or comparable) tomatoes
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups ranch dressing
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled & cut into wedges or diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup bacon bits and/or freshly cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 slices freshly-cooked bacon for garnish (optional)

Butterfly cut two chicken breasts. Bake in oven on baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F in thickest parts.

Remove cooked chicken from oven and dice. Set aside. (This can also be done a day ahead if desired the refrigerated so it can be placed on salad chilled.)

Cut tomatoes into six wedges about 2/3 of the way down so they stay together but can be fanned out to serve as a resting place for your salad. Place one tomato on each plate.

Place 1/2 cup chopped lettuce into each tomato.

Drizzle each with a generous amount of ranch dressing. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Top with diced chicken breast.

Top with remaining ingredients and, if desired, you can garnish with bacon. I mean, who doesn’t want more bacon?

I love you beautiful cobb-y. You are my heartthrob-y.

 

 

 

 

Queso Cheese Sauce Recipe

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Is there anything that brings Americans and Mexicans together like queso sauce?  And our love of siestas. And fiestas. Well, and margaritas. Yeah, margaritas trump them all. But I have to say, queso sauce has to be runner-up. Just start with a couple bricks of cheese and build from there…

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce brick of medium cheddar cheese (or white cheddar)
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese (from a brick or 12 slices)
  • 1 – 4.5 ounce can mild green chilies
  • 1 fresh jalepeno, minced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup salsa or pico de gallo
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Grate medium cheddar (store bought grated cheese won’t melt nearly as nicely as freshly grated). Unwrap and/or dice Velveelta cheese. Set both aside.

Place cream in medium saucepan over medium heat. Watch closely while cream is scalding.

Add cheeses to heavy cream. Continue stirring as cheese melts.

Add remaining ingredients. Salt & pepper to taste.

This makes about three cups of undebatable, bless-ed goodness in a bowl. So good, it borders on, well,  being politically incorrect.

 

German Chocolate Cake

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There is something quite perfect about an imperfect cake. Especially a German Chocolate Cake. I’m a sucker for dark chocolate, so I make mine with dark cocoa powder rather than traditional German chocolate.

The magic of the German Chocolate Cake for this girl, though, is the penuche topping. It’s rich, creamy, and nutty. Absolutely dreamy. I can still see it on top of my great aunt & uncle’s bar glowing on top of a 9X13 pan of chocolate cake. All messy and perfect and messy.

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It is best to make penuche a day in advance and refrigerate overnight… or you can serve right away and have it running down the sides like this. I guarantee no one will complain either way.

Penuche Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 -14 ounce bag shredded sweetened coconut

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add heavy cream, egg yolks, sugars, vanilla, & salt. Whisk well. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Watch closely. Stir in pecans and coconut. Allow to cool to room temperature and then save in refrigerator until cake is ready.

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place dry ingredients into mixer. Place eggs, buttermilk, oil, sour cream and vanilla in a container and beat together well. Mix beaten wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Mix in hot water on low speed.  Scrape down edges of bowl to be sure to incorporate all ingredients into batter. Mix on medium speed for a couple minutes.

Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by coating with butter or shortening (making sure to cover all of the inside edges) and then coat with a thin layer of flour. Remove excess flour from pans.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a fork poked in comes out clean or carefully touch top quickly and see if cake springs back up. If it does, it is ready.

Allow cakes to cool completely. If baking cakes ahead of time, you can wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use. This often makes for a very moist cake. This recipe, however, is very moist without freezing as long as you remove it from oven at just the right time.

After everything has cooled, place one cake on a cake plate. Spread a layer of penuche on top of cake. Add second cake layer. Spread penuche over top layer. Entire cake can be iced with penuche or you can just put it on layers.

If cake was just removed from freezer, just allow to thaw before serving.

You can also bake your cake batter in a 9X13 baking pan and top with penuche. this way is perfect for a potluck.

Extra penuche can be saved for cupcakes, chocolate ice cream sundaes, and other treats. After all, one can never be too magical or too messy.

 

Homemade Fig Newton Cookies Recipe

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I loved eating Fig Newtons when I was little. I never thought about what a fig was and I never realized it’s proper place was halved upon a rustic, proper antipasto platter, drizzled with honey. I never knew how grown up I was to be eating fig cookies. For the sake of the children, the name of Fig Newton cookies has now shortened to Newtons. They come in various kid-friendly flavors and colorful packaging.

Today, we take away all packaging and go rustic. Only, you know, in cookie form. Anti-package-o, if you will.

I know. I know. I’ll stick to my day job. You know, the one where I write recipes and stir in some stupid jokes.

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Fig Filling Ingredients

  • 1 – 7 oz. bag dried figs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Place all filling ingredients into a saucepan. Stir. Turn heat on to medium-high. Watch closely and stir occasionally. When filling starts to boil, watch for filling to thicken. When this happens, remove from heat. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (plus a little more for working with dough)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter & brown sugar. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Sprinkle about 1 cup of flour on to a baking sheet. Place dough on baking sheet. Using hands, form into two rectangles. Use floured rolling pin as needed until they are about 12 X 4 inches each. Carefully spread filling down the middle of both rolled out dough pieces.

Fold one side of each over the filling then fold the second side over the filling. Place a parchment paper on a clean cookie sheet. Place cookie rolls on the parchment, leaving space in between them so they have room to spread a little.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Carefully touch cookies for doneness… they should be firm but soft. Over-baked cookies* will be dry. Allow cookies to cool. Slice into the sizes you would like to serve.

*You can improve dry cookies with a basic powdered sugar frosting if it happens to you. Just stir a couple of tablespoons of water into about 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. This creates a glaze you can spread on top of your cookies, making them more tasty after over-baking.

It’s always good to know you have what it takes to make your favorite store-bought goods. Remember the Twinkie Panic of 2012? Of course, I guess if things get really crazy there’s always fresh figs halved upon a rustic, proper antipasto platter, drizzled with honey.

 

 

Bloody Mary Cocktail Recipe

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Of all the outlandish, hilarious, and awesome names of cocktails, the one that bothers me the most is my very favorite drink… the Bloody Mary. You know what. We’ll just call her Mary. After trying Marys out in various locations, I have found one common ingredient which makes or breaks my Mary. It’s dill pickle juice.

I admit, I was one of those kids who drank the pickle juice right out of the jar after making my peanut butter and pickle sandwich. While I’m at it, I might as well admit I dipped those seventies crispy breadsticks into butter just so I could eat the butter. Now, before I rat out too many more of my own secrets, here’s Mary…

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Ingredients

  • 3 oz. vodka (or Bakon Vodka)
  • 6 oz. V8
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 5 oz. dill pickle juice
  • 5 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 drops Tabasco sauce (more or less is fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon horse radish
  • 1/8 teaspoon Beau Monde seasoning
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper
  • Dash of lemon pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

You can shake ingredients together in a shaker with ice then strain Bloody Mary into a 16 oz. glass or stir in a pitcher then pour over ice in 20 oz. glass. Garnish with pickle, lemon & lime wedge, and / or a celery stalk. If you use Bakon Vodka, you can top with a few bacon bits. You can always vary the ingredient amounts to your liking.

Okay. Okay. I drank the olive juice out of the olive can too.

And I accidentally followed my grandpa into the men’s restroom once when I was six and my grandma teased me about it our entire week-long road trip to Yellowstone Park.

Annnnnd that’s all you’re getting out of me today. Unless I have another Mary. or two.

 

 
© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016