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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 plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

How to Make Homemade Garlic Oil for Dipping

A drip, a drizzle, a dunk… you will love this simple trick to making your own flavorful garlic oil. This is your one way ticket to becoming more gourmet than you were yesterday.

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces grapeseed oil
  • 1 small bulb garlic

Pour grapeseed oil into a medium saucepan. Peel garlic and cut cloves in half or you can just smash each garlic clove with a large knife until it bursts open and then peel & place in oil. Place garlic cloves in grapeseed oil.

Heat oil over medium-low heat until it is hot. You don’t want the oil to come to a boil. The garlic cloves should not fry or the oil will become bitter. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour oil back into original bottle or store in a pretty glass bottle. You can repurpose used garlic cloves in a recipe or store them in your bottle of oil.

Garlic oil is perfect for cooking, dipping French baguettes in, and can be combined with balsamic vinegar or amazing salad dressing.

 

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Mexican Coleslaw Recipe

Looking for a fresh, new twist for your Taco Tuesdays? You will adore this flavorful Mexican Coleslaw. There won’t be a shred of evidence you even made it by the time dinner is done. I may or may not have intended that dicey pun. You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.

Slaw Ingredients

  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/8 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, minced

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Dress slaw at last minute so it doesn’t wilt.

Serve with Thursday Tamales. Or, you know, Bednesday Burritos. Um, er, Caturday chimichangas.

 

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How to Cook Prime Rib with Red Wine Mushroom Gravy

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This post could easily be entitled “How to Make Guests Happy” for this is what a great prime rib roast dinner does.  With the holidays coming up, perhaps eating prime rib would be a lovely way to celebrate.

Look for a rib roast or prime rib roast at your grocery store. With bone or boneless, either way is great. Most of the time, it will already be tied but if not, then use twine to tie around roast to prevent the meat from pulling apart while cooking.


Place roast in a shallow roasting pan on a rack.

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Smear sides with butter.

Cut slits at about every inch across the top of the roast.

Rub olive oil into slits and all around the roast. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite house seasonings (we like Johnny’s Seasoning and Spike Seasoning). Slice a few garlic cloves and place them in the slits.

Allow roast to sit for a couple of hours – long enough that it comes to room temperature. This will allow it to cook evenly.

Place roast in preheated oven at 450F for 20 minutes. This is why a shallow roasting pan is important. If we used a deeper pan, we wouldn’t get the lovely browning we need.

Lower temperature to 325F for remaining cooking time.

An average roast is about 13-16 pounds. Cook for about 3-4 hours or until it reaches 145 degrees in the middle (between 125-135F if you would like it to be rare).

The fact that this picture was taken before I received my new camera and while about seven people were anxiously waiting for dinner, certainly did not do this prime rib photo justice. Incredibly tender and perfectly cooked.

Red Wine Mushroom Gravy

Remove prime rib roast from baking pan and place pan over stove top burner/s on medium heat. Add a little olive oil if pan is dry. Dice one medium yellow onion and place into pan. Cook onions until golden and somewhat see-thru. After onions are cooked, stir in about one cup of diced mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook for about 4 minutes.

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Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of flour and stir together with the delicious meat juices, onions & mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes. This is called a roux. It won’t be pretty, it will look scruffy even but it will make an incredible gravy.

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After flour is cooked, add about 1 cup of red wine and stir. Then add  2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk and continue to stir. As the gravy comes to a boil, check the thickness and add more water if needed.

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Stir in about 3-5 tablespoons of beef base ad continue to season to your liking with salt, pepper, and a house seasoning. Chopped fresh herb leaves such as rosemary, thyme and parsley can be nice as well.

Serve with potatoes and green beans, perhaps.

And everyone said, “Amen.”

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How to Make Bacon Jam Recipe

Your life is about to get much better. You’re welcome.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, fine diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple extract
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup high-quality, large bacon bits or 1 cup home-cooked bacon, crumbled

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion. Cook onion until translucent. Add minced garlic, stirring occasionally.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook down over medium heat for about 5 minutes. After it cools, the liquid portion will become a thick sauce.

This jam is a perfect addition for various recipes like atop a burger or in these brussel sprouts. It is especially fantastic on olive oil-coated, oven-toasted French bread as a bruschetta appetizer as shown.

Make this as hostess gifts for all of your holiday parties, and you will be invited back every year. Unless, of course, you over do the martinis. That, I cannot help you with. But there will always be bacon jam.

 

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How to Cook Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Perhaps I should’ve called this “How to Fall in Love With Brussel Sprouts.” Bacon. Garlic. Cheese. The end.

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Preheat oven to 400°F.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts (or about 1/2 stalk)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 recipe of The Old Hen’s Bacon Jam
  • 3 ounces parmigiano-reggiano

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Cut brussel sprouts of stalk if purchased on one. Cut each sprout in half and cut out the small stem part at the bottom. Set aside.

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Heat olive oil in an oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat. Well-seasoned cast iron pans are perfect for this.  When pan is hot, place sprouts flat side down in pan. They may stick to pan for a couple minutes, but will loosen again when done browning. Cook until bottoms are golden brown. Gently shimmy pan to turn over sprouts. If you prefer, you can use a utensil to flip them.

Place pan in oven fro about 5-8 minutes or until sprouts are tender. larger ones may take about ten minutes.

Stir in as much of The Old Hen Bacon Jam as you like.

Top with parmigiano-reggiano.

NOTE You can also roast an entire stalk of brussel sprouts by preheating oven to 375°F. Place stalk on a baking sheet coated in olive oil. Brush olive oil on sprouts. Sprinkle with sea salt & pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes. Serve on a platter. Guests can pull of their own sprouts and dip in bacon jam for an appetizer packed with delightful drama

 

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Homemade Plum Jam Recipe

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Nothing makes one feel more like an old-fashioned kid like balancing while walking across a log and picking fresh fruit from a tree. One of the most underrated fruits of all is the plum. How could we possibly overlook the colors, the smells and the taste of the gorgeous plum? Let us go hipster and bring it back, shall we?

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Plum Preserves Recipe

  • 3 cups plums, pitted & diced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons pectin
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar

Place fruit and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in pectin, bring to a boil, then stir in sugar. Bring to a boil again and boil for one minute. Place jam in food processor or blender (fit blender lid loosely so hot air can escape). Pulse until the texture you like.

Place in jars and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Next up? The tire swing.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

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In this post we will explore how to cook a perfect chicken breast. We will explore traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu filling and try a new, melty, and delightful alternative recipe. And, perhaps most importantly, we shall splurge and top it all off with a new heavenly cheesy, garlic-y sauce which will change your life forever. Amen.

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Cooking a perfect chicken breast comes from three very important steps:

  1. Lay chicken breast on counter and cut your chicken breast in half. the long way so that when you unfold it, it will look like a butterfly (thus the “butterfly cut”). Then, using a meat hammer, pound chicken until it it pretty much level all the way across. This will promote even cooking which will lesson dry or under-cooked areas.
  2. Soak in buttermilk. Many chicken recipes benefit from being soaked in buttermilk overnight (or around 8 hours) to help make for moist chicken. This isn’t a must, but it is another way to be sure your chicken turns out amazing.
  3. Cook to 165F in the thickest part of the piece of chicken. This is crucial for food safety and for creating moist chicken. Undercook, and that flu you thought your family had is actually food poisoning. Over-cook and you get chicken jerky. Cook to 165F, and you’ll have perfectly moist chicken every time. Meat thermometers can be testy, though, so be sure you get a reliable one. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do. I find that digital ones seem to work best. My favorite is the iDevices brand but there are less fancified ones you can start with too.

Now that we have explored chicken breast basics, let’s get rolling with this amazing recipe.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 fresh chicken breasts
  • 4-8 pieces sliced smoked ham (not honey ham)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces gruyere, grated (or you can go traditional with swiss cheese)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 – 5 ounce package croutons, ground (or Panko crumbs)
  • 1 recipe of cheese sauce (this recipe from above is below)

Pour buttermilk in 9X13 pan. Set aside.

Butterfly cut and then pound evenly chicken breasts.

Place cream cheese, grated gruyere (or swiss), minced garlic, diced onion, and a dash of sea salt & pepper into mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined.

Roll about 3 ounces of cream cheese mixture into each piece of ham (or you can use 2 slices of ham per piece if you like to be generous).

Place a ham bundle inside of each chicken breast. Coat all chicken breasts in buttermilk and leave in 9X13 pan covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator overnight. (Chicken is okay to leave in buttermilk for up to about 48 hours if you have delays that change your plans.)

When you are ready to bake, remove chicken from buttermilk, salt & pepper top of each chicken breast, coat with ground croutons (or Panko crumbs), and place in a greased pan. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F in thickest part of breast. Let chicken rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Cheese Sauce Recipe

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup mustard (regular or dijon work well)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan. Stirring continually, cook over medium heat until cheese melts and then incorporates into the heavy cream.

Pour sauce generously over your Chicken Cordon Bleu – reinvented. Breaking the cheese-y rules never tasted so good.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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