Friday, March 14, 2008

Orange Meringue Pie

Happy Pi Day! (3/14). In celebration of pi day, we made an orange meringue pie. Yummy yummy! Not as tart as lemon meringue, full of happy orange flavor and topped with a tasty meringue topping. What more could you want?

(Great thing about this recipe is having all the ingredients on hand and no trips to the store!)

Orange Meringue Pie (from
  • 1 baked pie shell, 9-inch, cooled (I always use Martha Stewart's pate brisee recipe)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
  • Meringue Topping, below
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in warm water and orange juice. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Set mixture over boiling water and continue cooking for about 10 minutes longer.Beat egg yolks lightly then beat a little of the hot mixture into them. add the egg yolk mixture back to the hot mixture in top of double boiler, whisking well. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from over the hot water. Blend in the butter, lemon juice, and orange peel.

Let mixture cool, then pour into cooled baked pie crust. Spoon meringue (below) onto pie, spreading to crust edge to seal filling in. Bake at 325° for 15 to 18 minutes, until nicely browned.

Meringue Topping
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional
Beat egg whites until frothy; add cream of tartar and continue to beat until stiff enough to hold up. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff and glossy. If desired, add vanilla or other flavoring.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Potato, Chorizo, Kale Soup

We joined a local organic food co-op and the fun ingredient this past week was several bunches of beautiful purple kale. I went recipe hunting for how best to use it, and we settled on this soup recipe from Cooks Illustrated.

I don't have linguica sausage, but I did find chorizo and we used that. That sausage, potato & kale combo in this very simple soup is extremely delicious and fun.

We didn't roast a turkey first, but had leftover broth in our freezers from our Thanksgiving turkeys - this was an excellent use of that. It also made the soup very easy to make, since the broth was already done. It would be a great reason to make a roast turkey too though. Roast turkey dinner one night, leftover turkey sandwiches the next day, and this awesome soup for dinner another night? Sounds like an excellent plan for turning 1 turkey into 3 nights of dinners to me. Yum.

I know I've been a bit slack on pictures of the food as of late. Dinner pics are hard when all I want to do is eat the food, not photograph it! Everyone in my house liked this soup. It was delicious!

(Time to make after broth is done - about 30 minutes)

Turkey Soup with Potatoes, Linguica, and Kale

Linguiça is a garlicky Portuguese sausage. Chorizo sausage can be used instead.

Makes about 3 quarts, serving 8 to 10

Basic Turkey Stock
1 turkey carcass from 12- to 14-pound turkey, cut into 4 or 5 rough pieces to fit into pot
1 large onion , peeled and halved
1 large carrot , peeled and chopped coarse
1 large rib celery , about 4 ounces, chopped coarse
3 medium cloves garlic , unpeeled and smashed
2 cups dry white wine
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs fresh parsley leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds boiling potatoes , unpeeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons minced fresh savory leaves

Table salt and ground black pepper
12 ounces linguiça sausage , cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 bunch kale (about 12 ounces), washed, stems removed, and leaves cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 9 cups, packed)

1. For Stock: Bring turkey carcass, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, wine, bay leaf, and 4 1/2 quarts water to boil in 12-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, skimming fat or foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 2 hours, continuing to skim surface as necessary. Add parsley and thyme; continue to simmer until stock is rich and flavorful, about 2 hours longer, continuing to skim surface as necessary.

2. Strain stock through large-mesh strainer into large bowl or container; remove meat from strained solids, shred into bite-sized pieces, and set aside; discard solids in strainer. Cool stock slightly, about 20 minutes; spoon fat from surface. Use stock immediately or cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate up to 2 days.

3. For Soup: Bring turkey stock to simmer in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, savory, and 1 teaspoon salt; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Off heat, mash potatoes in broth with potato masher until no large chunks remain and potatoes thicken soup slightly. Return to medium-high heat, add sausage and reserved shredded turkey meat from stock; bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Add kale and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes longer. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Beanie Weenies

We had this for dinner and it was a big hit. The recipe and story come from a lovely blog called Homesick Texan. She writes great posts that have yummy food with a great story behind them. I hadn't thought of beanie weenies in years but was inspired to make this after reading her post.

The flavor was wonderful, spicier than we expected but sweet and rich with the molasses flavoring. It stewed on the stove most of the afternoon. If you've ever liked Pork & Beans, or added hot dogs to them when you were a kid, you'll enjoy this version.

Beanie Wienies for Grown-Ups (from Homesick Texan)
1 pound of pinto beans
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 pound of salt pork, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup molasses
3 T chile powder (I used a mix of ancho and chipotle chile powders)
1 teaspoon pequin or cayenne
2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup of black coffee
Pinch of baking soda
8 good-quality hot dogs, sliced into ½ inch thick slices

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Soak the beans in a pot filled with 8 cups of water overnight, or do a quick soak by boiling the beans in 8 cups of water and then covering the pot with a lid for one hour.
3. Heat the canola oil in a large pot on medium, and sauté onions until translucent, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
5. Stir in the molasses, chile powder, cayenne, mustard powder and brown sugar.
Add the soaked beans, and stir in coffee, baking soda and diced salt pork.
6. Add enough water to cover beans with two inches of water.
7. Cover the pot, and place in the oven. Leave alone for 2 hours.
8. After two hours, stir beans, add more water if needed, cover and then leave in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on beans tenderness.
9. Take pot out of the oven, and taste beans. Make taste adjustments with mustard powder, chile powder, and molasses if necessary. The beans should be tender at this point. If they're not, cook covered a while longer until they are.
10. Turn up heat to 400 degrees, uncover pot, and add hot dogs and cook for 30 more minutes or until sauce is thick.


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