Perfect Juicy Grilled Sausages

The secret to perfect sausages on the grill is to poach them in beer first. When you cook them all the way on a grill you loose all the good juicy fat by the time they are safe to eat. You’ll need an instant-read digital thermometer and some extra prep time in the kitchen but the results are worth it and it will make the grill time much faster.

Directions

  1. Put the raw sausages in a large sauce pan or small pot and cover with at least a half inch of flavorful beer.
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook until the internal temperature of the sausages reaches a safe point to eat: 145°F for pork, 165°F for chicken
  3. Take the sausages out of the beer and refrigerate if you’re not using them immediately
  4. Finish by browning them on the grill until warm and caramelized

Good places to buy hand-made gourmet sausage:

Photo by Phil and Pam Gradwell via Flickr used with CC Attribution license

“Tate’s” Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 4½ dozen three-inch cookies.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose pour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanila
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two cookie sheets or line them with Silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the water and vanilla. Mix the ingredients until they are just combined.
  4. Add the eggs and mix them lightly. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Don’t overmix the dough.
  5. Drop the cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop.
  6. Bake them for 12 minutes or until the edges and centers are brown. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Photo by Jamison Judd via Flicker used with CC Attribution license

Vegan Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of dried beans such as pinto or kidney
  • 2 large spanish onions diced
  • 2 large sweet peppers diced (yellow and red preferred)
  • 1 poblano chili fire roasted and diced
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots finely diced
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup of pepita (mexican pumpkin) seeds toated
  • 3 cloves garlic (1 diced, 2 whole)
  • 2 dried guajillo chilis
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp hot paprika (or less cayenne chili powder to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 stems of fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp of baking soda
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse beans and remove any rocks, soak overnight with 4–6 cups of water in a deep sauce pan or pot
  2. Bring beans and soaking liquid to a boil with baking soda, bay leaves, thyme, guajillo chilis, 2 cloves of garlic whole, both paprikas, ½ the cumin
  3. Reduce to simmer and cook until beans are starting to get tender
  4. Meanwhile sauté onions in olive oil on medium-low heat until wilted and starting to get translucent (about 10 mins)
  5. Add sweet pepper, poblano, and carrot and cook until tender (about 10 more mins)
  6. Add 1 clove of diced garlic last and cook another minute or two
  7. Add tomatoes and simmer at least 35–45 min
  8. Season vegetables and beans separately to taste
  9. When beans are just tender remove bay leaves, thyme, and dried chilis
  10. Remove beans from broth with a spider leaving garlic behind and add them to the veggie mixture
  11. Add toasted pepitas to the bean broth purée well, and strain mixture into the veggie mix
  12. Warm through and serve with rice or bread and mexican crema on the side

Photo by Sally Crossthwaite via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, No Derivatives license

Kasha Varnishkes

Kasha varnishkes (bow-tie pasta with kasha) is traditional comfort food for Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of bow-tie pasta (varnishkes)
  • 1 cup kasha
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 12 oz. fresh mushrooms sliced (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 Tbsp. of schmaltz (chicken fat) or butter
  • 2 Tbsp. of chopped flat parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Saute the onions in 2 Tbsp. of the fat until golden and set aside.
  2. Pan roast the mushrooms with the remaining 2 Tbsp. of fat a little at a time so they become caramelized and brown and set aside with the onion. Overcrowded mushrooms will steam not roast.
  3. Beat the egg and then mix in the kasha until all grains are coated (some clumping is inevitable)
  4. Heat the chicken stock to a simmer in a small sauce pan
  5. Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta
  6. Put the kasha in the same saute pan, set over a high heat. Flatten, stir, and break up the egg-coated kasha with a fork or wooden spoon for 2 to 4 minutes or until the egg has dried on the kasha and the kernels brown and mostly separate.
  7. Add the onions and mushrooms to the kasha and turn the heat to low
  8. Immediately pour the hot stock over the kasha egg mixture, turn down from heat, and cover at a low simmer for about 10 minutes until the kasha absorbs the stock and becomes tender.
  9. Meanwhile cook the pasta al dente in the large pot.
  10. Drain the pasta and combine with the kasha and vegetables
  11. Add more fat if desired and adjust seasoning
  12. Sprinkle parsley and serve

Photo by Derbeth via Wikimedia Commons used with CC Attribution license

Hummus

Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Directions

  1. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (if using), cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika before serving.

Photo by Samira via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, Share Alike license

Ginger Squash Soup

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2¾ pounds orange-flesh winter squash, such as butternut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, trimmed, white and green parts, cut into ¼-inch pieces (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger, or more to taste
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Two ¾-inch slices whole-wheat bread, crusts removed
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and fiber, and peel. Cut into ½-inch pieces, and set aside.
  2. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to pan; stir in mustard seeds. Cook until seeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add leeks, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Cook leek and garlic until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add ginger, squash, and parsnips. Stir, and cook over medium heat, 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and stock. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the squash and parsnips are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer half the mixture to a blender and purée. Return to the stockpot until warm throughout. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the bread into ½-inch cubes. Toast under the broiler until golden brown. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and return to the broiler, until the cheese begins to melt. Serve the soup in individual bowls with the toasted-cheese croutons on top.

Adapted from The Silver Palate CookbookPhoto by She Paused 4 Thought via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, No Derivatives license

Dried Anchovy Stir Fry (Myulchi Bokkeum)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried anchovies
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp hot pepper paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp water
  • ½ Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Stir 1 cup of small dried anchovy in a heated pan for 1 minute
  2. Add 1 tbs olive oil and stir it for another minute
  3. Push the cooked myulchi to the edge of the pan away from the heat
  4. Make sauce by adding 1 tbs hot pepper paste, 1 tbs sugar , ½ ts minced garlic, 4 ts water, ½ tbs corn syrup to the cleared spot on the pan
  5. Tip the pan so only the sauce is over the heat and simmer until the sauce looks shiny
  6. Mix the cooked anchovy with the sauce and then turn the heat off, stir in 1 tsp sesame oil
  7. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Photo by Jamie Frater via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, No Derivatives license

Curried Tofu

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of peanut oil (can be substituted with canola or grape seed oil)
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 block of tofu cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, or to taste
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Put oil in a big skillet on medium-high. A minute later add onion and brown for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure not to burn them. Add curry, stirr and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add coconut milk, stir and bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Add the soy sauce, stir then add the tofu and cook for about 3 minutes. Add cayenne pepper to taste. Serve over basmati rice.

Photo by Sarah R via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, No Derivatives license

Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup

Serves  4

Ingredients

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 1 small or ½ large clove garlic
  • 1 cup plain (or soy) yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cut 1 cucumber into small dice, and set aside for garnish. Cut others into large chunks. Combine cucumber chunks, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and water in a blender, and puree until smooth.
  2. Add scallions and mint leaves, reserving some of the mint for garnish, and puree briefly. Season with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice if a tarter flavor is desired.
  3. Chill until ready to serve. Stir well before serving, and ladle into bowls or mugs, garnishing each serving with a big spoonful of diced cucumber and a sprig of mint.

Photo by Mike Licht via Flickr used with CC Attribution license