Monday, June 22, 2009

Wintery Cooking for a Rainy Month, but with Spring/Summer Twists

I'll admit, it feels nice to have the oven on when it's raining and cool and the sun hasn't poked from behind the clouds in days. So, I've resorted to lots of oven-necessary dishes. However, the rain isn't stopping herbs from growing in the front porch planters, or tomatoes from piling up at the farm stand, so we get the benefit of fresh food AND warmth!

Herbed Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

Preheat oven to 400.

In oven proof skillet melt 4 TBS unsalted butter
Add 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic and chopped leaves of fresh sage and thyme (~1 TBS each).
Add salt and pepper and cook for a minute or two until fragrant,
Add 4 slices of cubed bread and stir until well mixed. Turn off heat.

Stuff 2 game hens with stuffing and put remaining stuffing in bottom of skillet. Place hens on top of stuffing and lay a few sage leaves on top of hens. Add a few sprigs of rosemary into the pan.

Bake for ~ 45 min to 1 hour, until cooked through.

Serve with wild rice.

Gnocchi and Slow Cooked Pork Ribs

Okay, no herbs here, but an oven on all day? Okay!

8 hours prior to eating, place 2 to 3 pork loin (or country style or thick) ribs into a baking dish with 3 or more inch sides and a cover.

Add ~ 1 cup potatoes cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks, 1 or 2 carrots cut into 1 inch slices, an onion cut into 8ths, a few cloves garlic, salt and pepper. Add stock or water to almost cover meat. Cover dish (use foil if it doesn't have one that fits).

Put into a 250 degree oven. Check every few hours to make sure liquid is at least halfway up ribs. Add more as needed.

An hour before eating, bring half a pot of water to boil in a medium pan. Add 1 package shelf stable gnocchi and cook until it floats to the top. Remove from water and put into the baking dish, stirring enough to cover gnocchi with gravy.

At the end of 8 hours, remove and eat!

Fresh Quiche

Use pie crust previously posted. Roll out and put into a pie plate. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Saute 2 slices bacon, an onion, a deseeded tomato, and 3 or 4 shiitake mushrooms. The bacon grease should be enough fat to cook onion, tomato, and mushrooms, but if not, add a little oil. To avoid the bacon grease, cook it first, drain, and cook onion, tomato, and mushrooms in safflower oil, adding bacon at the end.

Add chopped fresh chives and basil (1 TBS each), and oregano, thyme, and/or tarragon (totaling 1 teas.) We added 3 shoots of sliced leftover steamed asparagus, as well.

In a large bowl, whisk 5 eggs. Add 1/2 cup plain yogurt and 1 1/2 cups milk. Add salt and pepper. Mix well.

Grate 3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese.

Put cheese into bottom of pie plate (on top of cooled crust). Add vegetables. Pour milk/egg mixture over veggies. Bake at 400 degrees until set and not liquid, ~1/2 hour. Let cool at least a few minutes or completely.

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