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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 .

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup Recipe

I’m about to show you the pho-shizzle pho-sure. I mean, this recipe is pho-nomenal. You will keep this one handy pho-ever. Un-pho-gettable. Pho-real. No pho-king chicken broth here. Authentic Homemade Pho Soup is the real deal, baby.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

You will need cheesecloth to drain your broth, so be sure to purchase before making. This is an all day recipe, so you’ll want to begin around 11am for a 6pm dinner.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

Broth Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef bones*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 5 quarts water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or cut in half
  • 3 slices fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce**
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place beef bones and onion on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

Place remaining ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and simmer for six hours with lid partially covering pot. Broth will slowly reduce to about half of the water you started with.

Lay about 4 layers of cheesecloth inside of a strainer. Remove large items out of the broth and throw away. Gently pour the rest of the broth over the cheesecloth and into a clean pot.

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 – 14 oz.  package pad Thai rice noodles AKA rice sticks (preferably wider, fettuccine-like ones)
  • 2-3 pounds London Broil steak, thinly sliced

After broth is finished cooking, add green onions.

For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for as long as package instructs – most likely about 3 minutes. Add a scoop of noodles to your bowls. The benefit of cooking noodles this way, is they will remain a gorgeous white and they won’t soak in all of your broth, leaving you with just noodles. for this same reason, I recommend storing leftover noodles and pho broth separately.

Lay strips of London Broil steak on top of noodles in your bowls. Pour the hot pho broth over your steak and noodles. The hot broth will cook the meat for you quickly. The eat will be a little pink in the center. Add toppings & sauces as desired.

Pho Toppings & Sauces

  • Fresh* or canned** bean sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce**
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Sriracha sauce**

Everyone can enjoy the toppings they wish on their pho.

There’s nothing like authentic homemade pho soup. Making pho from scratch with make you a pho-natic. Good pho-you!

*Available at Asian markets

**Available at regular grocery stores in Asian aisle

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Louisiana Jambalaya Recipe

Today we’re cookin’ rice the dirty way. The way they do it in the south, baby. No shame and no beads shall be rewarded. Like many things, this recipe actually goes faster than you’d think and is pretty fun and comforting.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (more as needed)
  • 1 chicken breast, butterfly cut
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham, pre cooked and cubed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined & tails removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stems, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & minced
  • 3 tablespoons worchestire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 4 stems fresh oregano, stemmed & chopped
  • 5 stems fresh thyme, stemmed
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • Freshly squeezed juice from one lemon

Place olive oil in very large saucepan over medium-high heat. Placed butterflied chicken breast in pan, salt & pepper, and cook until thickest parts reach at least 165°F (anything under 165°F isn’t safe, over 165°F gets too dry). When chicken is fully cooked, set aside on a large dish.

Heat sausage and ham in same pan and again add to large dish with chicken. Salt & pepper shrimp. Add to pan and cook until pink and opaque. Set aside with other meat. When chicken breast is cool enough, dice into small pieces.

Add butter to saucepan. Add onion, celery, and peppers. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir diced tomato, tomato paste, garlic, jalapenos, worchestire sauce, Better Than Bouillon, oregano, and thyme into pan.

Add water to pan. Bring water to a boil. As soon as water boils, stir rice into pan and cover well. Cook on low for 20 minutes. After rice has fully cooked, stir in meat that had been set aside for such a time as this.

No beads or feeling dirty needed, this dish is almost sinless.

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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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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.

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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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Red Wine, Steak, and Mushroom Risotto

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I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not a huge fan of eating mushrooms – it’s a texture thing. But, you absolutely cannot beat the flavor they add to dishes… especially saucy ones. If you can relate, please promise me you will chop some ‘shrooms up real fine and use them. I promise in return you will never regret it.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound stir fry beef, cut into about 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced or diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Sour Cream (optional, for topping)

To prepare for all that is holy and lovely, pull all ingredients together ahead of time. Cut onion and mushroom and heat olive oil on medium-high in a somewhat deep frying pan.

Place olive oil into large frying pan over high heat. After oil is hot, fry beef until browned. Set aside.

In same pan, saute mushrooms until softened and a beautiful brown. Using a straining utensil, remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Add more olive oil if needed. Place chopped onions into oil. Cook until translucent and caramelized. They will begin to brown. Add minced garlic. Then add Arborio rice and stir until rice is translucent around the edges yet white in the center.

Finally, the finicky side of risotto… the babysitting.

Pour red wine & a cup of beef broth into risotto. Stir and cook on medium heat until wine is nearly all absorbed by the rice.

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This recipe is brought to you by the word “Stir”. Don’t even think of walking away. I love this spoon. It is a hand-carved reminder that I am loved. If someone can take the time to hand-carve a beautiful spoon for me, I can certainly stand here and hand-stir my risotto.

Continue to cook and add broth in this same fashion – one cup at a time about every 5 minutes – until broth is gone but, more importantly, until risotto is al dente (not mushy and not crunchy). The dish should be a little creamy. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon to your liking.

Stir in cooked mushrooms, butter, parmesan cheese, basil, and beef. Add salt & pepper last since you can’t be sure how much salt you will need until after the parmesan has been added.  If desired, sprinkled freshly grated parmesan over the top and perhaps some freshly chopped basil.

Keep trying new things, brave souls. Keep giving hand-made gifts that cannot be found on Amazon. Keep stirring up lovely things. Keep being saucy.

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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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Meat Roll With Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Dear Vegetarians and Vegans, Please avert your eyes for we about to embark upon the meatiest recipe I’ve ever made. I’m sorry. Love, Deanna

And all the men said, “Meat and meat and meat and meat and potatoes? Amen.”


Preheat oven to 350F.

MEAT ROLL INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 package of your favorite dry packaged au jus mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 3 eggs to mixture
  • 1 pounds country sausage
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 pounds sliced bacon
  • One 14 oz. package smoked beef sausage
 
Place Panko bread crumbs, grated parmesan, minced garlic, eggs, country sausage and ground chicken or turkey. Mix au jus mix into milk and then add to the rest of the ingredients. Add a little salt (not too much as the parmesan cheese already has a lot of salty flavor) & pepper. Combine until well mixed together. Set aside.
I like to use latex gloves for this job since it’s so messy.
On a half sheet baking pan covered with a layer of foil (for easy clean up), stretch bacon across pan – layering each piece a little bit over the last.
Place half of the ground meat mixture down the center of the bacon and place the sausage on top of the ground meat.
Pack the other half of the ground meat mixture over the sausage to create the circle of meat around the sausage. Lift the bacon slices over the top of the meat roll on one side, and then the other.
Use toothpicks or wooden sticks to help hold the bacon in place so it doesn’t fall during cooking time. Bake for about an hour or until ground meat mixture is 165F when measured with a meat thermometer. The most important thing to know when cooking meat is the minimum temp that it should be when done. This will insure food safety. The second most important thing to know is to make sure the temp doesn’t go much higher than the safe temp. This insures that the meat will not become dry and flavorless.
POTATOES INGREDIENTS:
  • About 4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds baby potatoes (smallest you can find)
  • 1-2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1-2 tablespoons curry
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 diced yellow onion (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
  • Freshly chopped oregano, basil, rosemary & thyme (optional)

Using a peeler, peel potatoes however you like. For a rustic look, I peeled the potatoes just around the middle this time. If using larger potatoes, simply cut into smaller, similar-sized pieces. Pour oil into frying pan and heat to medium high.

While waiting for oil to heat, coat potatoes in tumeric & curry powders.

After oil is preheated, add potatoes to pan. Toss occasionally during cooking and add salt & pepper. If desired, you can add diced yellow onions to the potatoes for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking time. Don’t add them too soon as they will burn because they cook much quicker than potatoes do.

You can also add minced garlic and freshly chopped oregano, basil, rosemary & thyme during the last minute of cooking time if you like. Potatoes are done when a fork poked into them slides out easily.

MUSHROOM GRAVY INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon grease)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • About 3 cups of chicken broth (or water)
  • Beef Better than Bouillon
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Heat diced onions over medium heat in oil until somewhat translucent.

Add mushrooms and cook until browned.

Sprinkle flour over mushroom and onions. Stir and allow flour to cook for at least couple of minutes.

Stir in chicken broth and then about 2 tablespoons of beef Better than Bouillon. Heat until Better than Bouillon has melted into gravy.

Finally stir in heavy whipping cream and butter. If you’re feeling a little wild & crazy, you can add a little dry red or white wine. to the mix. What could be better? I mean really.

Oh, yes, perhaps this? When the meat roll is finished cooking, allow it to rest for about 15 minutes then remove toothpicks and slice into 1-2 inch slices, depending on how big of eaters you are entertaining.

To serve, place potatoes on plate in a little circle and cover with mushroom gravy. Adorn with a gorgeous slice of meat roll to show off its beauty.

And every vegetarian and vegan said, “Potatoes only, please.”

And every man said, “Pass the fork.”

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How to Cook Corned Beef

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Corned beef is incredibly easy to make. This post is simply to advertise the fact that everyone can feel confident that they can make it. You’re welcome, corned beef industry. You’re welcome.

If you like, you can soak the corned beef in a large bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight the day before you plan on cooking it. This will reduce some of the salty flavor.


Corned beef comes in the meat department in a bag that already contains its own seasoning packet. You can cook it with or without. I recommend with. The packet is pretty much pickling spices and it balances out the salty flavor of the corned beef oh so well. Place corned beef in a pot with fat side up and about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan.

Cover with a lid and bake at 325F about 3 hours for one that is about 2.5 pound (average size from supermarket).

Allow corned beef to rest for about 15-20 minutes after it is out of the oven.

Slice against the grain into thin slices. Perfect with cabbage dishes or sandwiches or when one is feeling particularly Irish, one can add potatoes and carrots to the corned beef and then add large cabbage pieces for the last 20 minutes or so of cooking time. If you haven’t yet had corned beef, you will never go back after trying it. Lucky you. Lucky corned beef industry.

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Santa Fe Chipotle Burger Recipe

 If you could use a little zip and zing in your life, I have a gift for you.

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She is spicy and zesty. She is sauce-y and sweet. She doesn’t care about long walks on the beach or sunsets. She wants to party and sit by the grill with an electric ice tea. She is the Sante Fe burger. You will love her.

Burger Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken or hamburger
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (AKA smoked chili peppers), drained & minced
  • Sea salt & pepper (don’t skimp)
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange)
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves

Remove excess sauce from adobe peppers and mince well. Then combine with the burger very well. Mix in salt & pepper as well. A large bowl and a latex glove is very handy for messy jobs like this one.

Shape into burgers and cook until middle of each burger reaches 160 degrees for hamburger and at least 165 degrees for chicken or turkey. If using ground chicken or turkey, drizzle pan or brush grill with olive oil first.


While waiting for burgers to cook, spread a little butter on both sides of each of the hamburger buns and toast under the broiler. It’s smart to keep oven door a little bit open so that these are not forgotten and burned – not that I have ever done that or anything.

When burgers are fully cooked, place a piece of pepper jack cheese on each one and cook until melted. Drain excess grease.

Green Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 -4 ounce can mild green chilis
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Dash sea salt & freshly ground pepper

For a cool, refreshing sauce to balance out the heat of the chipotle peppers, we make mild green chili sauce.  Stir mild green chiles, minced garlic, cumin, lime juice into sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the hamburger buns are finished toasting, spread green chile sauce on each one. Add lettuce and some slices of sweet bell peppers for even more deliciousness.

You don’t meet a girl like this every day.

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