Saturday, February 9, 2019

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie




If you are looking for a very special pie, give this classic lemon meringue a try.  The intensely tart and flavorful lemon curd paired with pillows of fluffy meringue will surely be a hit.

Ingredients
1 9 in deep dish pie crust ( I like to keep up a few in my freezer made up or you could use a store-bought crust)
1 1/2 c. sugar
6 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1/2 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon (2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp. butter
1/3 c. water
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. sugar

Instructions
Bake crust at 300 degrees until lightly browned about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 c. water in a heavy saucepan.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and 1/3 c. water to make a smooth paste.  Gradually whisk into boiling sugar mixture.  Boil mixture until thick and clear, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together 4 egg yolks (discard 2) and lemon juice.  Gradually whisk egg yolk mixture into hot sugar mixture.  Return pan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  
Remove from heat and stir in grated lemon rind and butter or margarine.  Place mixture in refrigerator and cool until lukewarm.
In a large glass or metal bowl, combine egg whites. Whip until foamy.  Gradually add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter, and 1/2 cup sugar while continuing to whip.  Beat until whites form stiff peaks.  

Stir out 3/4 cup of meringue into lukewarm filling. Spoon filling into baked pastry shell.  Cover pie with remaining meringue. Make sure to spread the meringue to touch the crust.




Bake in preheated 300 degree oven, until meringue is slightly brown.   Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before cutting.
    Ingredients
    1 9 in deep dish pie crust ( I like to keep up a few in my freezer made up or you could use a store-bought crust)
    1 1/2 c. sugar
    6 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
    1/2 c. cornstarch
    1 1/2 c. water
    1/2 c. lemon juice
    Zest of 1 lemon (2 tsp.)
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp. butter
    1/3 c. water
    1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 c. sugar

    Instructions
    Preheat over to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)
    Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 c. water in a heavy saucepan.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.   In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and 1/3 c. water to make a smooth paste.  Gradually whisk into boiling sugar mixture.  Boil mixture until thick and clear, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

    In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice.  Gradually whisk egg yolk mixture into hot sugar mixture.  Return pan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in grated lemon rind and butter or margarine.  Place mixture in refrigerator and cool until just lukewarm.

    In a large glass or metal bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tarter and salt.  Whip until foamy.  Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar while continuing to whip.  Beat until whites form stiff peaks.  Stir out 3/4 cup of meringue into lukewarm filling. Spoon filling into baked pastry shell.  Cover pie with remaining meringue.

    Bake in preheated 300 degree oven, until meringue is slightly brown.   Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before cutting.

Enjoy!  And thanks for stopping by!

~The Mountain Housewife


Monday, January 28, 2019

A homemade pizza... much better than anything out of a box


Simply the Best Pizza
This recipe utilizes a basic pizza dough that's my go-to recipe for anytime I want to make pizzas or even focaccia. It's so simple and takes around 10 minutes to make.

The tomato sauce is simple yet tasty and the flavor is elevated by using dried home-grown herbs from the garden. If you haven't already started an herb garden, I recommend that you do so considering how easy herbs are to grow and what a difference they make in your cooking.

The dough recipe makes two pizzas.  Pizza #2 turned out even better than the first! My dear Mr. C  moaned a little biting into it then asked, “How did you get the Canadians to give up their bacon?” He keeps me laughing....he gets away with  a lot doing that.  :-)

Basic Pizza Dough


Ingredients
4 cups (500g) bread flour (may substitute all purpose)
2 tsp (7g) fast action dried yeast
1 1/3 cups (320ml) lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

Instructions by hand:

  • Add the yeast to the lukewarm water with 1/2 tsp sugar and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast and water and start to mix it together with a metal spoon. Add the olive oil and mix together until a rough dough forms. If it's too sticky you can gradually add a little more flour.
  • Dust a clean work surface with a little flour and knead the dough for around 5-10 minutes until it's silky smooth and soft. If you lightly press your finger on the ball of dough it should spring back up easily. 
  • Add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to a large clean bowl and rub all over until the bowl is coated. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, rub the top of the dough with a tiny amount of olive oil. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for at least 2-3 hours or until doubled in size.

Instructions using a mixer:
1.  Add to the bowl  the yeast, lukewarm water, sugar, flour, and salt and olive oil. and set aside  and mix the dough until a rough dough forms.  Continue  kneading  the dough for around 5-10 minutes longer until it's silky smooth and soft and forms into a ball. If you lightly press your finger on the ball of dough it should spring back up easily. 

2.  Add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to a large clean bowl and rub all over until the bowl is coated. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, rub the top of the dough with a tiny amount of olive oil. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for at least 2-3 hours or until doubled in size.


Tomato sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 can tomatoes
1/2 c. red wine or water
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp sugar

Saute the onion until clear and translucent, then add the garlic, basil and oregano.  Saute a few minutes and then add remaining ingredients. You can then use a hand blender to puree the tomatoes to your taste. Simmer 10 minutes 

Shaping the pizza crust:
On a piece of floured parchment paper on top of a large cookie sheet or pizza pan, begin pressing out half the dough into a circle or a rectangle.  Use a bit of olive oil to help you smooth out and stretch the dough into the desired shape.  

Assembling the pizza:
Cover the dough with half of the the tomato sauce.  Cover with 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.  Place toppings on top of the cheese (meat, mushrooms, olives, sliced tomatoes, etc).  Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on the pizza.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pizza.


Bake the pizza in a hot oven at 450 degrees until it begins to brown around the edges and the cheese has melted.
This dough make enough to make 2 large pizzas that serve 4-6 people.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Chocolate Meringue Pie




My husband's family has a tradition of serving pies for birthdays.  My father-in-law turned 91 on Sunday, and so I decided to make him a chocolate meringue pie in the grand, Southern fashion, with a milk chocolate filling and a fluffy and sweet, mile-high meringue using my grandmother's recipe.

Now this is no quick and easy recipe so I started on Saturday.  First, I made the crust (if you are going to the trouble to make a pie, why not go all out and make the crust, too?).  Then I cooked the filling.  Finally, I concocted the meringue.  It is an entirely doable and enjoyable dessert, if you take your time, go in steps, and enjoy the process.

And the look on his face when my dear Father-in-law took the first bite was worth the trouble.


Miriam's Chocolate Pie

The filling

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa
5 tbsp. flour

4 tbsp. butter
2 cups milk

5 eggs, separated

1 tsp. vanilla
3 drops lemon flavoring or 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
4 T. butter

Instructions:
Pre-bake a pie shell.  Prick holes in it with a fork and bake about 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees.
  • Separate eggs at room temperature.
  • Mix sugar, flour and cocoa in a large saucepan or double boiler. 
  •  Add melted butter slowly and gradually.  
  • Add milk, then stir until combined well.  
  • Add a small amount of mixture to egg yolks and stir until combined.  Add this to rest of mixture. Cook until  thickened.
  • Add the rest of the butter and flavorings.

The Meringue

Ingredients:
  • 5-6 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp.  salt
  • 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

Instructions:
  • Beat  egg whites and cream of tartar until the mixture starts to get foamy.  
  • Gradually add sugar.  Add  salt and almond flavoring. 
  • Beat until peaks form and meringue is  stiff and glossy.

To assemble and bake the pie:
  • Pour chocolate custard into the pie shell. 
  •  Pile meringue onto hot filling, making sure that the meringue touches the edges of the crust.  This will keep it from shrinking while baking.  
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the peaks of the meringue are golden brown.




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Chocolate Chess Pie



Chocolate Chess Pie would be a good one to add to your repertoire.  The beauty of this Old South heritage pie is that it can be made with the ingredients that most cooks have on hand and takes less than 25 minutes to put together.

Sometimes when I mention chess pies I get a puzzled look.  It seems that not everyone, even in the South, knows about them.  One of the most down-to earth -pies you can make, a chess pie is made from eggs, sugar, cornmeal or flour, some corn syrup and flavorings.  It is very simply made, but hugely delicious and comforting. 

Now I realize that some folks don't think they have had dessert unless it involves chocolate.  But this pie packs a big wallop of cocoa to go along with all the other homey ingredients. 

So let's get started!

Set out the ingredients out ahead of time and this will save a time when you get started baking.   Also, you will know whether or not you have all of the needed ingredients.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3 T. cornmeal
3 T.  cocoa
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp. rum flavoring (optional)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 unbaked pie shell

Instructions:
Mix sugar, cornmeal, cocoa, and cinnamon  in a bowl.  Add eggs, butter, corn syrup and flavorings;  mix well.  Pour into pie crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


This is already looking good!
A few pricks in the base of the pie shell will prevent it from bubbling during the baking.
 
 I make a simple pie shield by folding a square sheet of aluminum foil in half and then cutting out the center.

And here is a slice.  It should have a bit of a crunchy, solid top with a gooey, rich, eggy, chocolatey interior.  

I sprinkled the warm pie with powdered sugar around the edges and then just a bit of granulated sugar. Seemed like the pie needed some color so I clipped a few mint sprigs and pansies for a garnish. Now that the pie was getting so pretty, I decided to serve it on my grandmother's china .  Finally, I topped it with ice cream or whipped cream, an essential addition, I think.

This pie is a Southern classic....I hope you will give it a try.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Hamburger Steak with Mushroom-Rosemary Gravy




It's Monday.  And some Mondays I just want to set the tone for the rest of the week by making a really satisfying, delightful meal.

Knowing that I had a pound of grass-fed organic beef in my meat drawer, I decided to capitalize on this flavorful cut and make it special.  Turns out I also had a package of mushrooms in the veggie drawer... and a plan was conceived. 

So Monday morning over a cup of coffee I sketched out a menu:
  •  Hamburger steak
  • Mushroom gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Roasted asparagus
It was a simple and basic menu, yes, but one that was sure to please.  

Hamburger Steak with Mushroom-Rosemary Gravy

Ingredients:
1 pound of the best ground beef or chuck you can afford
Seasoned salt and pepper
1 small package of mushrooms, medium diced
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c. dry red wine (or substitute beef broth)
3/4 c. beef broth
2 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. cold water
1 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions:
Form beef into 4 oval patties.  Season generously with a seasoning salt or blend. Let set while you make the gravy.
  •  Saute mushrooms in butter and oil for 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and rosemary and saute 1 minute.
  • Add red wine (or broth ) and simmer 3 more minutes.
  • Add beef broth and continue simmering 5 minutes.
  • Whisk flour into water until smooth and well blended.
  • Stir flour mixture into mushroom mixture until well blended.
  • Add seasonings.  Cook until bubbly and thickened.  If too thick, add a bit more wine or broth.
  • Add parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat a a non-stick skillet over medium flame.  Add steaks.  Cook about 8 minutes on each side until browned nicely and very slightly pink in the center.  Remove from heat and tent with aluminum foil for 5 minutes.

Serves 3-4.

This is good served over mashed potatoes.  Roasted asparagus would also be perfect to serve alongside this very happy dish.

Enjoy!  And thanks for stopping by!
~Mountain Housewife



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Orleans- Style Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce


 
  
The Easter holiday is coming up fast and this New Orleans-style bread pudding would be perfect to serve for an after-church brunch. It is also economical; if you have been saving up stale bread in your freezer you can just pull that out and transform it  into this delightful and easy dish.

New Orleans-Style Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce

Ingredients
6-8 cups stale french bread, cubed
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs
2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg
4 cups milk

Hard sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp bourbon flavoring or 1 oz.. bourbon (rum may be substituted)

  Directions For the Bread Pudding:
  1. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients. Mixture should be very moist but not soupy. Pour into the buttered dish and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve warm with hard sauce.

Directions for Hard Sauce:
Using a hand held mixer, cream butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, beating until all butter is absorbed. Remove from heat and blend in yolks. Pour in cream gradually, stirring constantly. Whisk in vanilla, and bourbon.   The sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve warm on warm bread pudding.


I hope you enjoy this wonderful dessert as much as we did!  And thanks for stopping by!
 -The Mountain Housewife







Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Luscious Spinach Lasagne




This economical meatless lasagne is light enough to be healthy, yet still rich and cheesy enough to please the family.  Use the highest quality ingredients you can find, and you will not be disappointed.  Another tip is to bake the lasagne at a low temperature so that it cooks slowly and does not dry out in the oven.  If you wish you may turn up the temperature to 400 for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time to brown the cheese. 

Luscious Spinach Lasagne

Ingredients:

12-16 dried or fresh lasagne noodles
3-4 cups good tomato sauce 
1 small onion, chopped medium dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz.  ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tbsp. parsley
1/2 cup half and half

  1. Instructions:
  2. If you're using dried pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If you're using fresh pasta sheets, cut them into long wide noodles approximately 3 inches by 13 inches, or a size that will fit into your lasagna dish. Cook the noodles (6 at a time for dried noodles) until they are tender but still underdone (they will finish cooking as the lasagna bakes);  Drain and then lay the noodles flat on a towel so they won't stick.  Fresh pasta need not be cooked.
  1. Make the ricotta-spinach filling:
  2. Saute the onion and garlic together in a small skillet. Combine onion, garlic, ricotta cheese,eggs, spinach, parsley  and mix thoroughly.  Add in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly.  Stir in half and half.
  3. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a large rectangular baking dish with the olive oil, add a large dollop of tomato sauce and spread it around. Put a layer of noodles (use four) in the dish, trimming any overhanging edges; top with a layer of tomato sauce and then dollop with 1/3 of  spinach ricotta mixture. 
  4. Repeat the layers twice, and top with the remaining noodles, tomato sauce, and the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan; the top should be covered with cheese. (The lasagna may be made ahead to this point, wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to a day or frozen. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
    1. Bake until the lasagna is bubbling and the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes before serving, or cool completely, cover well, and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze.
Enjoy..... and thanks for stopping by!



Monday, March 5, 2018

Turkey Meatloaf




This meatloaf is a simple, but delicious and healthy dish to make for the family. Using ground turkey and pork gives a lighter texture than the typical ground beef meatloaf, and allows the added herbs and spices to shine.  I am doubling the recipe so that one of the meatloaves can be frozen to pull out easily on a busy day.  
Consider baking some potatoes alongside this meatloaf for an easy yet perfect side dish. A roasted green vegetable such as broccoli or asparagus would be a good accompaniment, too.   Finally, pop in some biscuits or cornbread while the oven is going good to round out the meal.

So let's get started!

Step 1:  Gather and prepare ingredients.
2 pound ground turkey (may substitute half with ground pork)
1  1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
1 chopped onion ( or 4 tbsp dried minced onion)
1 chopped green or red bell pepper (optional)
1  1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs
2 tsp soy sauce (optional)
1 tsp seasoned pepper
fresh black pepper
Sauce:
2/3 cup ketchup
4 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. brown mustard

To make bread crumbs, preheat oven to 400 and then turn off.   Place torn pieces of bread in the oven , close the door and let dry out for a couple of hours.  Grind in a food processor.
Step 2: Make the meatloaves.
Combine everything in a large bowl, except the mustard and ketchup (which will be used for the sauce).
Mix together gently and don't mix anymore than you have to...just until everything is incorporated.
Place the mixture on a foil-lined pan for easy clean-up.  Shape into two loaves (one will be frozen for later use).  Make a light indentation or ditch on the top for the sauce.

Step 3:  Make the sauce. 
2/3 cup ketchup
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp yellow mustard
Mix together and spread on the top of the meatloaf in the ditch. Coat the entire top of the meatloaf.  Each bite will have a bit of the sauce on it using this method.

At this point, one of the loaves may be wrapped up, labeled and frozen for a later time.

Step 4:  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  Cook to an internal temp of 160 degrees.  Let rest for 10 minutes or so tented with aluminum foil. 


Place the meatloaf on a platter with a garnish or go ahead and plate with the side dishes.

 There you are!  I hope you enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Turkey Meatloaf
Ingredients:
2 pounds ground turkey (may substitute ground pork for half of the turkey)
1 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
1 chopped onion ( or 4 tbsp dried minced onion)
1 chopped green or red bell pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs
2 tsp soy sauce (optional)
1 tsp seasoned pepper
fresh black pepper
Sauce:
2/3 cup ketchup
4 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. brown mustard
Instructions
Combine everything in a large bowl, except the mustard and ketchup (which will be used for the sauce).
Mix together gently and don't mix anymore than you have to. Just until everything is incorporated.
Place the mixture on foil lined pan for easy clean-up.  Shape into two loaves (one will be frozen for later use).  Make a light indentation or ditch on the top for the sauce.
Mix together sauce and spread on the top of the meatloaf in the ditch. Coat the entire top of the meatloaf.  Each bite will have a bit of the sauce on it using this method.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  Cook to an internal temp of 160 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes or so tented with aluminum foil. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ham and Corn Chowder


When my husband volunteers, "This is tasty!", I know I have a keeper recipe.  Those were the words he used to describe this chowder, and so, dear reader, I am passing along this homey dish to you.  Ham and Corn Chowder is a simple meal, but served with a loaf of bread and butter, a fruity salad, it is perfectly balanced and nourishing.  



The base for the chowder is a ham broth which I made from the Christmas ham bone.  If you don't have ham broth in your freezer, then you can substitute a vegetable or chicken broth or just use water.
Ham and Corn Chowder
Ingredients:
4 cups ham broth
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 pkg. frozen creamed corn
1 cup milk
1 small can pimientos
scallions, sliced, for garnish
salt, pepper, olive oil, butter
4 tbsp. cornstarch
cayenne pepper, hot sauce, sherry (optional)
Instructions: 
1.  Saute the onion and celery until softened and browned lightly.      Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute. 
2.  Add 4 cups ham broth.  
3.  Add the diced potatoes.  Let this simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
4.  Add 1 pkg. creamed corn and 1 cup milk.  Bring to a simmer.
5.  Dissolve 4 tbsp. cornstarch in  1/3 cup sherry or milk. Stir into the soup.   Bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened.
6.  Add the ham.
7.  Check for seasonings.  Add salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper, a few dashes of hot sauce, to taste.




 










Ladle into bowls and top with sliced scallions...

This soup is wonderful served with bread and a salad..






I hope you enjoy this chowder in good company!  Thanks for stopping by! ~ The Mountain Housewife





Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

If you are looking for a very special pie, give this classic lemon meringue a try.  The intensely tart and flavorful lemon curd paire...