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You'll find over 455 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

November 24, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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If you have made Make-Ahead Turkey Stock, it’s easy to make Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy. Get your gravy made ahead of time and freeze it. On Turkey Day you’ll have one less thing to make.

Without further ado, here’s how I did it.

 

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

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Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

(Adapted from a Julia Child recipe in The Way to Cook)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Makes about 4¾ cups, serving 12

 

9 tablespoons turkey fat, skimmed from the top of refrigerated Make-Ahead Turkey Stock

3 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups turkey broth

1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional; adds umami, not fishy flavor)

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

  1. Melt the butter in the turkey fat over medium heat.
  2. When the butter is melted, add the flour to make the roux. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 – 15 minutes. The roux will turn brown.

 

Whisking the roux

Whisking the roux

Darkened roux

Darkened roux

 

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour a small amount of the broth into the roux and whisk vigorously until it is smooth and lump-free.

4. Whisk in the rest of the broth. Whisk in the fish sauce, if using.

5. Put the pan back on the burner; reduce the heat so it is just simmering. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Simmering gravy

Simmering

 

6. Refrigerate the gravy until it is chilled. Then freeze it. Defrost on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy - Copy

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Make-Ahead Turkey Stock

November 19, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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You can get a head start on your Thanksgiving feast if you make this Make-Ahead Turkey Stock and stick it in your freezer. I use a lot of stock to make Turkey Gravy and my Cornbread Dressing. It’s great to have it ready to go!

I chose a Food and Wine recipe because it makes about 3 quarts. But I took a tip from America’s Test Kitchen and used chicken stock instead of water. I figured it would have to make the stock more flavorful. I used Swanson’s Chicken Stock because it’s made with real food ingredients (Chicken Stock, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Carrots, Cabbage, Celery, Onions, and Parsley).

Make-Ahead Turkey Stock is admittedly an afternoon project, but it’s mostly hands-off and is very easy. There’s still time to get some turkey parts and make turkey stock for the big day.

 

Finished Make-Ahead Turkey Stock, ready to freeze

Turkey stock

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Make-Ahead Turkey Stock

(Adapted from recipes from Food and Wine and America’s Test Kitchen)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Makes about 3 quarts

 

7 pounds turkey parts, such as wings, thighs, and drumsticks (I used meaty turkey backs)

4 quarts chicken stock (or water)

1 large onion, thickly sliced

1 large carrot, thickly sliced

1 large celery rib, thickly sliced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

Freshly ground pepper

(1 teaspoon salt, if you use water instead of stock)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Put the turkey parts in a large roasting pan and roast for 1½ hours. Put the turkey in a large stock pot.

Turkey backs

7 lbs, turkey backs.jpg

Finished roasting

Roasted turkey backs

 

3. Put the roasting pan over two burners. Put 4 cups of the stock in the pan and heat it up, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour all of the liquid with the bits into the pot with the turkey.

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Browned bits left in the pan.jpg

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Four cups of the chicken stock added to the roasting pan

chicken stock added

 

4. Add the rest of the chicken stock to the pot, along with the onion, carrot, celery rib, garlic, and pepper.

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Ready to simmer.jpg

 

5. Bring the pot to a boil. Then reduce the heat so it is simmering. Simmer for 2½ hours, partially covered with a lid.

 

Lid askew.jpg

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6. Strain the stock. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day:

  1. Carefully scrape the congealed fat from the surface of the stock. Reserve for making gravy. The stock and turkey fat will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, freeze the stock and the fat separately. They can be frozen for a month.

Tip: Measure the amount of stock you will need for the gravy and put it in one labelled container or freezer bag. Measure the amount of stock you will need for dressing and put it in another labelled container or freezer bag. You can freeze any extra stock in a third container. You’ll now be able to defrost what you need when you need it.

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Finished turkey stockCopy.jpg

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Braised Lentils with Polish Kielbasa and Cabbage

November 4, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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Carrie recommended this Braised Lentils with Polish Kielbasa and Cabbage to Laura, and she recommended it to me. With their good reviews in mind, I had to give it a try.

The recipe is from Carla Snyder’s excellent cookbook, One Pan, Two Plates. The subtitle is “More than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two”. I love the idea of cooking an entire meal in one pan. Although each recipe is supposed to serve two, I find that the portions are so generous that there is usually enough to save some for my lunch. As someone who enjoys leftovers for lunch (or breakfast), I consider that a bonus.

Braised Lentils with Polish Kielbasa and Cabbage is a great recipe for cooler fall evenings. I’m sure we’ll enjoy it again soon!

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A meal in a pan!

Braised Lentils with Polish Kielbasa and Cabbage

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Braised Lentils with Polish Kielbasa and Cabbage

(Adapted from Carla Snyder’s recipe in One Pan, Two Plates)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Serves 2 – 3

 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cups (about 6 ounces/170g) thinly sliced cabbage

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

½ celery stalk, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup dry white wine (or apple juice)

¾ cup dried lentils

1¼ cups chicken broth (I used 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Chicken Base in 1¼ cups water.)

8 oz./255 g Polish kielbasa, cut into bite-size pieces (I actually used Uli’s Smoked Bratwurst.)

2 teaspoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (Optional; I didn’t use it.)

 

1. Prep all of the ingredients so they are ready to go. (Chop the vegetables and sausage, measure the wine, lentils, and broth, etc.)

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the oil. Swirl it around and let it heat up.

3. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens a bit, about 1 minute.

4. Add the cabbage, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, salt, and a bit of pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened a bit, about 3 or 4 minutes.

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IMG_4800

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5. Add the wine and cook until most of the wine has evaporated.

6. Add the lentils, chicken broth and kielbasa, Stir so the lentils are submerged in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes, until the lentils are done.

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IMG_4802

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7. Serve and garnish with parsley, if desired.

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Braised Lentils with Sausage and Cabbage

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Sheet Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts

September 22, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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We have enjoyed this Sheet Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts recipe twice now. The recipe is adapted from an Emily and Matt Clifton recipe on Serious Eats. They used a 12-inch cast iron skillet. The first time I made it, I also used a cast iron skillet. The skillet was pretty full, despite the fact that I didn’t use the sausage and only had about a half pound of Brussels sprouts. The second time I made it I did use 12 ounces of sausage and decided to make it a sheet pan dinner.

I have to say I enjoyed it with and without the sausage. Either way, it’s a tasty dinner. The shallots and the sliced lemon add wonderful flavors to the dish. And the sauce on the chicken is perfect!

This easy Sheet Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts is a perfect meal for a fall evening. And it’s quick enough for a weeknight dinner.

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Chicken Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts

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Sheet Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts

(Adapted from Emily and Matt Clifton’s recipe on Serious Eats)

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(print the recipe)

.Serves  .

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (I actually only used about 12 ounces)

5 medium shallots, peeled and quartered

1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds discarded

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

1½ tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1½ pounds)

12 ounces fully cooked Italian sausages, cut into 2-inch lengths

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Shallots

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  1. Put the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Put the Brussels sprouts, shallots, and lemon slices in the center of a parchment-lined sheet pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over them; toss them with the oil and spread them out on the sheet pan. Sprinkle them with kosher salt and pepper.

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Brussels sprouts, shallots, and lemon slices

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3. Mix the garlic, mustard, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and the remaining tablespoon of oil together in a small bowl. Put the chicken and sausage on top of the vegetables. Spread the sauce on top of the chicken.

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Ready to roast.jpg

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4. Roast until the chicken is done (165°F, 75°C). This took 40 minutes in my oven. Start checking the chicken at 30 minutes.

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This is the sausage I used.

Sausage

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The first time I made it without the sausage.

One-Pan Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, and Shallots.jpg

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Sheet Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts

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Quick Zucchini Sauté

August 2, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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Our neighbor has been generously sharing the bounty of her garden with us. (Thank you, Gail!) We do love zucchini and yellow summer squash. I’ve been roasting them and air frying them. Delicious, but I was looking for some different ways to prepare them.

Quite a while ago Laura and Byron told me how much they liked Deb Perelman’s Quick Zucchini Sauté. The recipe was published 12 years ago on her Smitten Kitchen blog. I made it but Bob didn’t really like it. I’m pretty sure I followed the recipe as written, including the optional pecorino Romano cheese.

Yesterday I stopped by Laura and Byron’s house to give them some zucchini. I mentioned  that I was going to make Deb’s Zucchini Fritters. They have made them and said that they are very good, but again told me how much they like the Quick Zucchini Sauté.

I revisited the Quick Zucchini Sauté recipe and thought, what’s not to like? I decided to try it again without the cheese. Bingo! It turned out to be a hit at Chez Dedon!

Think of this recipe as simply a guide. It’s not really necessary to measure anything. Cut up as much zucchini as you want to eat. For every cup or so of zucchini, use a tablespoon of almonds.

This is such a quick and easy recipe! I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon.

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Dinner out on our deck last night featured Quick Zucchini Sauté.

Quick Zucchini Saute

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Quick Zucchini Sauté

(Adapted from Deb Perelman’s recipe on smittenkitchen.com)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 3 – 4

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1 large zucchini (about 1.3 pounds, 3 – 4 cups when cut up)

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons sliced almonds

Salt and pepper, to taste (I used a bit of Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt.)

Shavings of pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese for serving (Optional; we prefer it without the cheese.)

 

  1. Cut the zucchini into 1/8-inch slices and then cut the slices into matchsticks.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Swirl the oil around the pan and heat it up.
  4. Add the almonds. Cook, stirring, until they are golden-brown. This will take a minute or two.
  5. Stir the zucchini into the pan and cook for about 1 minute. The zucchini should be warmed and starting to soften, but fully cooked.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Top with the cheese, if using.

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Zucchini

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Quick Zucchini Saute - Copy

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Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

July 26, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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Last week we had a family dinner to celebrate Bob’s birthday. I planned on Kalua Pork with Cabbage. And then I got the bright idea to go in the direction of a Hawaiian plate lunch. So I added steamed rice and this Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.

My salad is adapted from Erica’s recipe on Favorite Family Recipes, the blog she writes with her sisters, Emily and Echo. Erica writes that she used to live in Hawaii; her goal was to replicate the macaroni salad that she had so often enjoyed at L&L Hawaiian BBQ.

Erica proclaims that this Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the “real deal”, and there are many comments on her blog post by people who agree with her. This was the recipe to try!

I followed Erica’s advice to use Best Foods (or Hellman’s) mayonnaise. She said there are NO substitutes! I was a bit horrified to see how much mayonnaise is used, but I trusted the recipe. Tasting the finished salad, I had to admit that it was the perfect amount of mayonnaise.

If you want to make it gluten free, I recommend Barilla Gluten Free Elbows. I followed the package directions, cooking the macaroni for 8 minutes. The Barilla elbows worked so well! They were the perfect texture and if you don’t tell anyone, no one will know that they’re eating gluten free pasta. I have tried many brands of gluten-free pasta and I know many of them would not work as well. (Note that boxes of Barilla Gluten Free Elbows are only 12 ounces, so you’ll need 2 boxes to have a pound.)

I subbed ¼ cup of water for the ¼ cup of milk to keep it dairy free and it worked fine. And I used 2 teaspoons of maple sugar instead of regular sugar.

With my changes, maybe my Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is not quite “authentic”, but it was probably the best macaroni salad I have ever had. Sometimes you just have to splurge a bit, and this Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad would be welcome at any barbecue or potluck party.

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Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

(Adapted from Erica’s recipe on the Favorite Family Recipes blog)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 10 – 12

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1 pound macaroni (use Barilla Gluten Free elbows for gluten or wheat free)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 carrots, shredded

2½ cups Best Foods or Hellman’s mayonnaise (I have successfully used Best Foods Vegan Dressing and Sandwich Spread.)

¼ cup milk (or water for dairy free)

2 teaspoons sugar (I used maple sugar)

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When it’s boiling, add the tablespoon of kosher salt and the macaroni to the pot. Stir and cook according to the package directions. The pasta should be well-cooked, not al dente. (I cooked the Barilla Gluten Free Elbows for 8 minutes.)
  2. Drain the macaroni and put it in a large bowl. Stir in the vinegar and the shredded carrots. Stir gently until the carrots are evenly distributed. Allow it to cool slightly while you prepare the dressing.
  3. Stir the mayonnaise, milk (or water), and sugar together in a smaller bowl or a 1 quart Pyrex pitcher.
  4. When the macaroni has cooled a bit (15 minutes or so), stir the dressing in. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I added a bit of salt, but no pepper.)
  5. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Gluten-free Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs

June 24, 2019

By Kath Dedon

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These Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs taste like they’ve just been cut from a Perfect Ribeye Roast. And that was my goal!

The Anova recipe that I used as a guide used a barbecue rub. I’m sure that would be delicious, but I really wanted the taste of a ribeye roast. I just used salt and pepper and finished the ribs with a bit of garlic powder. I also cut the sous vide bath time from 48 to 30 hours and that worked perfectly.

I’ve had my Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker for a little over a year, and I have just recently become comfortable using it. I don’t know why it took so long, because it’s really quite easy to use. I’m using it more and more often, but I don’t post all of the recipes to this blog. I recognize that probably most of you are not using a sous vide cooker.

I couldn’t find a lot of information on the Internet about using a sous vide cooker for beef back ribs. Bob and I enjoyed these Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs so much that I had to post this recipe so I would have it for the future.  🙂

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Bob’s ready for his beef ribs, seen served with spaghetti squash.

Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs

(Adapted from an Anova recipe online for Sous Vide Dry Rubbed Beef Back Ribs)

(print the recipe)

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Note that I did not add the garlic powder until I was ready to grill the ribs. I was concerned that it might develop an odd flavor after 30 hours in the sous vide bath.

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Serves 3 – 4

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1 (3.3 pound) rack of beef back ribs (sometimes referred to as prime rib bones)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garlic powder, for finishing

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  1. Fill a large container with hot tap water. Put your sous vide cooker in the container and set the temperature to 141°F (60.5°C). Set the timer for 30 hours.
  2. Generously season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper.
  3. Seal the ribs in a vacuum seal bag, or use a 2-gallon Ziploc bag. (If using a Ziploc bag, use the water immersion technique to seal the bag.)

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Beef Back Ribs

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4. When the sous vide water has reached the cooking temperature, put the bag of ribs in the water, making sure the ribs are fully submerged.

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Ribs in the water

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5. Use a lid, as I did, or cover the top of the container with aluminum foil to minimize water evaporation. (If your water does evaporate, you will have to add more water to keep the ribs submerged. I had no evaporation with my 12-quart container and silicone lid.)

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12 quarts of water

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6. Just before the 30 hours are up, heat your grill to high. (Or heat your oven to 450°F, 232°C.)

7. When the sous vide timer goes off, remove the ribs from the bag and pat them dry with paper towels.

8. Season the ribs with more salt, pepper, and the garlic powder.

9. Keeping your grill at the highest heat, grill the ribs for about 1 minute on each side. (Or roast in the oven on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes.)

10. Cut into individual ribs and enjoy!

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs with Spaghetti Squash

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Sous Vide Beef Back Ribs - Copy.jpg

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