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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 .

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe

I present thee with Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham No Easter is complete without a glazed ham. We’re adding a party today with a bit of bourbon whiskey. She is glorious. And sweet. And glorious.

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham Ingredients

  • 10 pound smoked ham (approximate size will vary)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Take ham out of refrigeration 1-2 hours before roasting. Poke whole cloves into sides of ham. Place ham in a large roasting pan with about 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid (or you can cover with foil). Preheat oven to 275°F and start roasting.

Preheat oven to 275°F.


Place remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk together. Cook on medium-high heat until glaze thickens.

Coat ham with half the glaze. Roast for 15 minutes per pound. So, a 9-pound ham will bake for about 2 1/2 hours.

Finally, when ham has a half hour of cooking time left, use the remainder of glaze to coat again.

Easter is a time to be humble and grateful which is going to be tough when you pull this baby out of the oven, but you can do it.

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Sweet & Sour Pork

Crispy tempura pork topped with this lovely sauce. Skip the take out box and eat in tonight.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Sweet & Sour Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated (using Microplane grater)
  • 1 – 20 ounce can diced pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, large diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, large diced (or red, yellow, or orange bell peppers)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Place water, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, garlic, and juice from the can of pineapple (set pineapple aside for later) in a large saucepan. Whisk together until cornstarch has dissolved. Heat over medium-high heat until becomes a lovely, thick sauce. Stir in pineapple, onion, and peppers. Set aside until pork is finished cooking. Reheat if necessary before serving.

Breaded Pork

  • 4 cups canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg

Pork Tenderloin Tip

Pork tenderloin may come in a large package of 2.5 pounds. If this is the case, just slice the remaining pound and freeze for pork chops later.


Preheat canola oil for frying in a small deep fryer to 365-375°F. If you’d rather, you can heat it in a heavy duty pan and use a thermometer. While waiting for oil to heat up, cut pork into long, thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick) then set aside. Thinner is better because they are able to fully cook during the frying process.

Food Safety Tip

Pork must reach 145°F in the middle to be safe for eating. 

Place milk, 3 T. oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, sugar, and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well. The mixture should be thick but nice & smooth. Allow tempura mixture to sit while oil finishes heating up.

When frying oil reaches at least 365°F, coat a piece of pork with tempura mixture and carefully place in fryer. Repeat with one or two more pieces. Do not crowd fryer because if you do, your pork sticks together during cooking or will cool down your oil too much. Consequently, oil that has cooled down too much will make for soggy breading rather than a lovely crunchy coating.

Cook pork pieces for about 4 minutes. Use a utensil that’s safe in hot oil to move pork pieces around a bit during the cooking process so they are cooked on all sides. The coating should be a beautiful golden brown and the pork inside should be fully cooked.

Of course, you can dice up some chicken and make sweet & sour chicken with this same recipe. Look at talented you!

Tempura is optional. This recipe is just as delicious without the tempura breading. Just cook pork and stir into sauce. 

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Crab Cakes Recipe With Garlic Aioli

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Dare I say? The Hallmark channel is playing Christmas movies starting today.  I am more excited than usual this year for the sappy, cheese-y goodness of Hallmark Christmas movies.

Thanksgiving and Christmas event planning is underway. Tailgate parties have started. It is officially time to work on your appetizer game. These appys are the coziest in all the appetizer kingdom.


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Preheat oven to 350F.

Crab Cakes Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1 T. mustard
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 t. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound crab
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups herb-seasoned croutons

Stir all ingredients except croutons together.  Allow to sit for about 1/2 hour so Panko-crumb binding can moisten.

Measure croutons then grind well and set aside.

Form crab mixture into patties then coat each in ground croutons. Crab cakes will be fragile.

Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or brush with olive oil. Place crabcakes on pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Outer breading will be light golden brown and crispy.

Garlic Aioli Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients well and serve along side crab cakes.

Small patties or ball-shapes are perfect appetizers. Larger patties can be placed on a toasty bun with ice-cold lettuce and garlic aioli. No matter how your serve these flake-y goodness, no one will walk away crabby.

Tasty Tip: Speaking of cheese-y goodness… leftover flakes of crab cakes? Just gather and save to sprinkle on top of some homemade mac & cheese. Pair with a Hallmark Christmas movies and your favorite wine.

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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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Chicken Makhani AKA Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

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When my kids were little, they learned about various countries by studying not just the history of the country, but the foods. Son and dotter had to cook dinners that represented the country they had been learning about. In my home? Imagine that. I wish I had found my love for Indian food back then. I suppose this time mom is the student.

I know I’m a little late to the game, but I have finally figured out which Indian foods I can eat and still have tastebuds left after trying them. I had to ask a nice lady at our favorite Indian restaurant which dishes were hot and which were not after a few visits of dead buds tuckered out from all the heat. One bite of the super spicy stuff and I can’t taste anything else.


Butter Chicken has a little zing to it but not much. If you like things really spicy, you can add more green chilis or just leave the seeds in. Me? I’ll be the one with the taste buds in tact, thanks.

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Indian Butter Chicken Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 green chiles, stems removed, cut in half, and middles removed
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roasted in oven for 20 minutes then remove skin
  • 5 tablespoons kasoori methi
  • 2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 4 whole green cardamom seeds (husks can be left on)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (add a teaspoon or so more if finished product is too acidic)
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, diced into large bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place two tablespoons of the butter and olive oil into a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add diced tomatoes. Cook tomatoes down for about 10-15 minutes. Stir in ginger, chiles, garlic cloves, kasoori methi, red chili powder, paprika, cardamom seeds, and honey. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.

Carefully pour sauce in a blender. Cover lightly and blend on lowest setting. Work blender up to medium speed until sauce is smooth. Set aside.

Clean large sauce pan.

Place last two tablespoons of butter in saucepan over medium heat. Saute chicken pieces in butter until cooked through to 165F on inside and light golden brown on outside. Pour sauce over chicken. Stir in cream.

Continue to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Sauce will thicken and spices will settle, making this a dish you will adore.

Serve with Basmati rice (with some peas & carrots mixed in) and naan bread.

I couldn’t of been whiter in that moment I asked for help, but it has allowed me to find a love for Indian food. And by Indian food, I mean Butter Chicken and rice and naan bread. Happy buds.

 

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Eggs Benedict Recipe

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I’m on a kick lately. Back to basics… the traditional, if you will. The basics are good for the soul. Here are some others I’ve been in touch with lately:

  • Take road trips.
  • Be happy.
  • Be kind.
  • Be silly.
  • Keep learning.

There’s something about going back to the basics that refreshes the soul. Sometimes we get too fancy, too complicated, too side-tracked. And then there’s Eggs Benedict – classy and uncomplicated.


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Two servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 English muffins, toasted
  • Butter
  • 4 pieces of Canadian bacon (or several slices of Black Forest ham)
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 1 recipe of hollandaise sauce
  • 1 green onion, diced (optional)

Toast English muffins and butter them. Place each on a plate.

Fry Canadian bacon or ham until hot. Place on English muffins.

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Poach four eggs. The best way to do this is to heat water in saucepan on high until it starts to boil. Place a paper towel on a plate and set aside. Turn heat down to medium high. Stir until water forms into a circler rotation in pan. Crack an egg open and drop into middle of pan. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove egg from water with slotted spoon and place on plate. Continue until all four eggs are cooked. Eggs will look imperfect and this is perfect.

If you’re not a fan of the runny yolk and like an over-hard egg, you can cook them for about 8-9 minutes. This isn’t traditional, but you should enjoy your eggs the way you like them. You can also use fried eggs or scrambled eggs. This dish is delightful either way. 

Make hollandaise sauce and pour over your eggs. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus.

She may seem prissy and hard to figure out, sure, but she is so much more than that. She is comforting. She is saucy. And she is empowering. And, once you realize you can make the basics, you can do anything.

 

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Homemade Rich, Meaty Bolognese Sauce Recipe

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I’m pretty sure every last one of my Facebook friends has visited Italy this week. There are beautiful pictures of naked male statues standing by glorious fountains, bold red wines, and churches – oh, the churches. And I’m all sittin’ over here in Seattle listening to my neighbor’s favorite music and eating a whole wheat bagel covered in peanut butter & jelly. Perhaps this post came out of my subconscious jealousy (and by subconscious, I mean complete awareness).

Cue the neighbor’s music that sounds like the back end of an eighties boom box by the time it reaches my ears… I’m about to welcome you to my own Little Italy.


Once you accomplish the initial steps, this is a great recipe to throw in the crockpot for the remaining 4 hours. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day so you had to know their sauce would take at least four hours to make. Also, you know I never miss capitalizing on a great pun. Like, ever. I’m sorry. You’re welcome. I’m sorry.

You have not tried spaghetti sauce until you’ve had bolognese. I promise you will never go back.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 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

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.
After veggies are diced, cut tomatoes into quarters and place on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Salt & pepper tomatoes. 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 pancetta and allow to cook for a few minutes. 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 and garlic from oven when they are done. Place tomatoes 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. 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 and garlic to pot. Stir in. Allow sauce to simmer on lowest heat with a lid partially covering for about 4 hours. 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.
When it is time to serve, cook noodles according to instructions on box. Be sure to bring water to a boil first, add noodles, then cook for as long as box says (all noodle cooking times are different).
If you don’t count the fact there are no naked male statues standing by glorious fountains, bold red wines, and churches, it’s just like I’m there. Only, you know, I’m watching the Mariners on ESPN and approximately 5,661 miles away from an ancient colosseum.

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A Birthday Party for Dotter With Owls and Fondue

It seems like just yesterday we celebrated dotter’s 16th birthday. I told her and son they must never grow up but neither one of them listened to me. Son now towers over me and dotter celebrated her 20th birthday this weekend.

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She’s my St Patrick’s Day baby. I told her over lunch the other day about the day she was born. She was mortified. It’s payback for her deciding to grow up.


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I hid her birthday party supplies up high on a shelf but since dotter is also taller than me, I discovered that my high is not high enough. Thankfully she approved. She’s into owls lately.

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But what she did not see was all the hard work and heartache that was going into our party plans. And by heartache, I mean that these are not chocolate. I forgot about them baking for an hour and a half. It’s a six to eight-minute baking time recipe. Sigh.

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Ahhhh that’s better.

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We found these adorable white chocolate shamrock mints at Common Folk in Bellevue, Washington. If you have not been, please do. And tell them I sent you. And buy mints. They are loverly.

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Finally, the big day arrived. Here is dotter smiling with her cake.

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Here is dotter thinking about how amazing 21 will be.

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Here is dotter thinking deep thoughts.

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Here is dotter… well, I don’t know what she’s doing in this picture but she’s adorable, even so.

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And here is dotter ready to eat cake.

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At Dotter’s request, we did a fondue party. Here is my cheese fondue recipe.

Cheese Fondue:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup Hefeweizen beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2-3 cloves minced or smashed fresh garlic
  • 1-2  teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound block* sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or more, if desired)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in flour and stir & cook for a couple of minutes (don’t skip this step or your fondue will taste yucky – like flour). Add liquids while continuing to whisk. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until cheese is completely melted. Place in fondue pot or in crock pot to keep warm. If heated too high, sauce can separate, so be sure to keep over low heat.

*Block cheese is best because it’s not coated in cornstarch & will melt much better than pre-grated cheese.

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And chicken broth for cooking beef & chicken. Just heat over a high heat (electric fondue pots are best for this) & add sea salt & pepper. Let everyone know how important it is that their raw chicken doesn’t touch their plates and gets cooked thoroughly before eating.

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And this. Isn’t she beautiful? I adopted her from a thrift store. I love her.

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Fresh berries, cutie orange pieces and banana slices ready to dip into the glorious chocolate. I love the Ghirardelli Chocolate 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips because they don’t have the cornstarch coating that normal chocolate chips have. Instead of becoming a thick mess, they melt perfectly.

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Oh, yes, and mini marshmallows.

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New baby cuddles for Cindy – good for the soul.

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I love the way toddlers smile after each step they take upstairs that they aren’t supposed to be climbing up. This little guy is so cute, he makes me forget there is anything else going on in the room.

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Oh, yeah. Dotter’s birthday. Time for gifts!

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And, finally, cake. Happy birthday, dotter. My Northwest has been brighter and luckier every day since you were born.

Speaking of gifts… it is now time to give away our four tickets to the Seattle Bites Food Tour! Thank you again, Seattle Bites! Let’s do this.

Congratulations to:

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Michele, I hope you and three of your friends enjoy the tour! Congratulations!

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Ground Turkey Tamales With Enchilada Sauce Recipe

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Tamale. Tamale. I love ya’ tamale. Only, you know, today is tamale. And tamale is today.  Oh, who am I tryin’ to kid? I love tamales today. And every day. And tomorrow. And you will too… especially making them at home. This is a great recipe to make with friends or family. It is the social Mexican equivalent of snapping beans on the front porch in rocking chairs.

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Prep:

Soak 20 large corn husks in water (there are usually about 40-50 to a bag sold in grocery stores). Place a clean plate or tray upon them to keep them from floating out of the water.

Ground Turkey Tamale Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 20 ounces ground turkey 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon leaves from 2 sprigs fresh oregano, minced

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add diced onions and fry until translucent then add ground turkey. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, oregano powder, cumin, chipotle powder and plenty of  salt & pepper. Cook until done then set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 – 5 cups chicken stock and/or water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Seas salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk continually while cooking for a couple of minutes. Whisk in chili powder and then pour in 4 cups of chicken stock and/or water. Sauce will thicken as it heats. Evaluate thickness of sauce and add 1 more cup of water or broth if desired. Cook down for a few minutes again and then turn heat to low. Stir in remaining ingredients. If you don’t think sauce is flavorful enough, it probably needs a bit more salt. Add salt just until you experience all the wonderful flavors. Stir 2/3 of the sauce into the ground turkey set remaining sauce aside for serving.

Masa Dough:

  • 2 cups masa
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • Sea salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. Taste and stir in additional salt of needed.

Assembling the Tamales:

Place about 6 cups of water in steaming pot and turn on high. Bring to a boil & turn heat down to medium to simmer. Don’t let the water get so high that it rises to the steaming rack as to not get the tamales wet.

Lay a softened corn husk out with top facing away from you. Press about 2-3 tablespoons of masa dough on the upper left side. Pressing with fingers, cover about 2/3 across the husk, leaving about 2-3 inches free at the bottom of the husk. It helps to pretend your making it the shape of the blue corner on the American flag.

Place a line of about 2-3 tablespoons of ground turkey filling straight up & down the middle of the masa dough. Turn corn husk so the left masa edge is facing you. Roll tamale away from yourself. Fold the bottom (which has no masa dough on it) up toward the top of the tamale. Repeat and place tamales on a tray.

When all tamales are prepared, place upward in the steaming rack. Simmer for about one hour.

To Serve:

It is most fun to place tamales in or on a pretty dish and serve in husks, allowing each guest to unroll their own. Of course, they will be very hot & steamy, so everyone will need to be careful. Serve with sauce and, if desired, grated cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro and maybe diced tomatoes. The possibilities are limitless.

And to my friend, Roz, who recently sat with me, patiently picking cilantro leaves, let us make tamales next time and pick cilantro on the front porch together in rocking chairs. Today, tamale, or whenever you’d like to pretend we’re in an Anne of Green Gables movie – only, you know, based in Tijuana.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017