Storm the Cassoulet

Emeril’s Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickles

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From Leda

NOTE: When selecting cucumbers for pickling, there are a few things to remember. For crisp pickles, choose ripe, pickling cucumbers, which are shorter and chunkier than regular eating cucumbers, which tend to be longer and smoother. Ripe pickling cucumbers are darker green, firm, and not “bloated.” They should have plenty of spiny bumps on the outer surface. Overripe cucumbers make mushy pickles. They tend to have yellow or white streaks or spots and their surfaces are smoother. Choose pickles that have not been coated in wax, as the pickling brine cannot penetrate through the wax. The fresher the cucumbers, the crisper the pickles will be. For best results, try picking your own cucumbers from a local farm or farmers’ market.

Ingredients:

3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

2 cups sliced onions

1/2 cup pickling salt

6 cups water

3 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

3 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

4 whole cloves

10 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic

24 dried cayenne peppers

2 teaspoons 100 percent Natural Pickle Crisp, optional

Method:

Place cucumbers, onions, pickling salt, and water in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow cucumbers to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the onions and cucumbers through a colander and rinse well for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves, garlic, and peppers in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to a simmer and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Fill each of the hot sterilized pint-size preserving jars with the pickle mixture, dividing them evenly, and enough of the liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Natural Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired. With a clean damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Screw on the metal ring just until the point of resistance is met. Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes.

Using tongs, remove the jars, place on a towel, and let cool. Test the seals by allowing the jars to stand at room temperature overnight or until the lids pop. Tighten the rings and store in a cool dry place. Let the pickles age for at least 2 weeks before using.

* Sterilizing Jars

Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Tips:

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two-piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum-seal when processed.

To sterilize jars before filling with jams, pickles or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling hot sterilized jars, to move them from boiling water. Be sure tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

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Cannellini Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

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Ingredients:

2/3 cup onion, chopped…
1 medium carrot, chopped small
2 ribs celery, diced cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can cannelini beans, drained
2 cups chopped Swiss chard
1/2 cup corn
1/3 cup macaroni, small shells, or orzo pasta
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional:  add linguica

Method:

In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.

Add beans, vegetable broth, Swiss chard, corn, macaroni pasta and Italian seasoning to the pot, stirring to combine.
Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a medium simmer. Heat for 8-10 minutes, until macaroni and chard are both cooked.

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Cinnabon Shortcut No-Rise Cinnamon Rolls

cinnabon hack

Ingredients:

1 tube Pillsbury Simply french bread

1 1/2 stick butter, softened

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

4 ounces cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Open Pillsbury bread and unroll it gently until it’s flat. In a small bowl, mix together 1 stick of butter, cinnamon, and sugar until a thick paste forms. Spread this cinnamon paste across the bread dough, leaving 1/2″ at the top without the cinnamon-butter mixture. Starting from the cinnamon-slathered bottom end of your bread, roll firmly and pinch the top dough tightly to keep it from opening. Slice into 1 1/2″ pieces. Place in a 9″ round cake pan. Bake for 13-18 minutes, or just until the exterior of the bread dough turns light golden brown. Remove and frost immediately.

To prepare frosting, while the cinnamon rolls are baking, place 3/4 stick butter, 5 ounces of cream cheese, and powdered sugar into a stand mixer. Beat until smooth. Slather over hot cinnamon rolls the moment they emerge from the oven. Serve with giant forks, glasses of cold milk, and enjoy!

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Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

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Ingredients:

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 24 ounces) or breasts
sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley

Method:

Combine the first five dry spices in a small bowl and spread over chicken on both sides. Set aside. Pour olive oil and garlic on the bottom of the crock pot. Place chicken on top. Pour balsamic vinegar over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Sprinkle with fresh parsley on top to serve.

Serve with brown rice or baked sweet potatoes.

 

 

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Grilled Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

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Ingredients:

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
2 ears of fresh sweet corn
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

 HONEY LIME DRESSING

Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper

Method:

Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. The corn should have some brown spots and be tender and not mushy. Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices. Set aside and let cool. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.

Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Combine the sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn and honey lime dressing and mix gently so everything is evenly coated. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle. Enjoy.

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Spinach-and-Cheese Puff

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Ingredients:

Butter, for baking dish

3 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 1-quart baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, half-and-half, eggs, 1 cup Gruyere, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg; stir to combine. Spread evenly in prepared baking dish, and top with remaining 1/2 cup Gruyere. Bake until set and top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

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Sausages with Orange, Olive and Sweet Onion Relish

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Ingredients:

4 large (about 1 1/2 pounds total) sweet or hot Italian sausage links.
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
2 oranges
1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup(s) small pitted green olives, quartered
1/4 cup(s) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
Pepper
4 rolls

Method:

Heat a grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat. Coat the sausages with 1 tablespoon oil and cook, covered, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut away the peel and white pith of each orange. Working over a bowl, cut the orange into segments, the bowl will catch any juices. Cut the segments into 1/2 inch pieces.

Add the onion, olives, parsley, remaining tablespoon oil, and a pinch each salt and pepper to the bowl and gently toss to combine. Serve the sausages in the rolls and top with the relish.

Optional:  Sausage Switch: Try this tasty topping with andouille or fresh chorizo.

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