cornstarch

Roast Beef

Today’s rain is making me think about comfort food.  Luckily I was planning ahead.  I have a rump roast in the crock pot.  I will have mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and green salad to complete the meal.  There is something so comforting about a meal like this on a rainy, chilly day.

Roast Beef

4 to 5 Rump Roast (available at your local meat market)
1 large onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
2 teaspoons of Mediterranean Spiced Rock Salt (available at your local butcher shop)
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a roaster pan over medium/high heat. Rub Mediterranean Salt on all sides of the roast. Place the roast in the heated skillet. Brown and turn until all sides are browned. Place sliced onion in the bottom of the crock pot. Put the crock pot on high. Cook for 3 hours. Turn to low and cook an additional 4 hours. When the roast is fork tender put the crock pot setting on warm.

25 minutes before you are serving dinner drain the juices from the crock pot. Leave the onions with the roast. Heat the juices in a skillet over medium heat. Mix 1 to 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in 1/2 cup of milk. Carefully introduce the cornstarch\milk mixture with the beef juices. Whisk constantly. If the mixture is too thick you can thin down with beef broth. This will make an excellent gravy for your beef and mashed potatoes.

Hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do. That’s all for today. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Lemon Meringue Pie

This is my sister Fredda’s Birthday week.  She is my older sister.  You can’t pick your family, but there is no way I could have picked a better sister.  Anyone that knows her will concur with that statement.  She gives so much of herself all the time.  You know the saying if you get lemons, make lemonade?  Well, she knows how to do that very well.  It is only fitting that I honor her by sharing a recipe for her favorite pie–which is what else, but Lemon Meringue.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  1. To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
  2. Note:  You can use the cooked lemon meringue pudding instead of making the filling from scratch.  Follow package directions.  Add the lemon zest and stir in the egg yolks as noted above if you are making the filling from scratch.
  3. To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.
That’s all for this week, until next time...From our Butcher Block to your table.  Now, off to celebrate my sister’s Birthday!
Thank you Allrecipes.com for this delicious recipe!
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Blueberry Cobbler

It is hard to believe that July 4th is just around the corner.  I am not one to rush things but this summer is flying by at a record speed.  Blueberry Cobbler is a great dessert anytime; however the colors are especially fitting for the 4th of July.

Blueberry Cobbler

5 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water (1/4 cup if using frozen blueberries)
3/4 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 to 1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons chilled butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix the blueberries, 3/4 cup of sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan. Bring the mix to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Cut in the butter with a fork until you have pea sized chunks. Mix the milk and lemon juice together in a separate container. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir to blend. I recommend starting with 3/4 of a cup of flour and adding a little as necessary. You do not want the flour mixture to be too thick.

Pour the hot blueberry mixture into the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan. Drop the milk and flour mix in approximately 9 large spoonfuls so that it is evenly distributed over the blueberry mix in the baking dish.

Bake the cobbler for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Vanilla ice cream makes an excellent compliment to this delightful dish!  This recipe was adapted from 12 Tomatoes Cherry Cobbler recipe.

That’s all for now…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Thanksgiving is here

We celebrate Thanksgiving one day a year; However, we should remember to be thankful everyday. We have much to be thankful about. IMG_8114rThanks to all of you for the support you give us week after week and year after year. We wouldn’t be here without you and we are very grateful.

I can’t write a Thanksgiving blog without bringing up turkey. Even if you have baked a turkey for years it never hurts to have a refresher course. Make sure the turkey is thawed and ready to bake. I rinse out the neck cavity (make sure you remove any gizzards, neck, liver etc. that might be packaged in the cavity), and rinse out the chest cavity.

I stuff my turkey. Many people no longer do this. I never place stuffing in the bird until I am ready to bake it. I usually make my stuffing the night before and refrigerate it. I am placing cold stuffing in a cold bird. This has always worked for me; however, if you are concerned bake your stuffing in a separate casserole dish.  Also, another good tip is to use a disposable foil pan (available at your local meat market). This will save you a lot of clean up. After you have cooked the Thanksgiving dinner you will be ready for some shortcuts.

Stuffing

1 1/2 cups chopped celery (with leaves)stuffing
3/4 cup chopped onion
4 Tablespoons of butter
8 oz. of chicken or turkey broth
9 cups soft bread cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage or 1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning (available at your local butcher shop )

In a large roasting pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the celery and onion and cook until tender. Add chicken or turkey broth. Remove from heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. At this point you can place the stuffing in a greased casserole, cover and bake in a 375 degree oven about 30 minutes. I make my stuffing up the night before so I place cold stuffing in the cold turkey.

If you are stuffing the turkey, allow 3/4 cup stuffing for each pound of turkey. You can double this recipe if you need additional stuffing. Stuff the neck cavity and the chest cavity with the stuffing rub the turkey-with-stuffingoutside of the turkey with butter. Turn the turkey upside down (breast side is down) in the disposable foil pan. Cover with foil and place in an oven heated to 325 degrees. When the turkey is done, the internal temperature should be 185 degrees. (Remember to add the weight of the stuffing with the weight of the bird for the total weight)

Timetable as per Betty Crocker Cookbook
8 to 12 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours

If you desire to have that “perfect” turkey look you can flip the turkey with 1 hour left to bake, and remove the foil so the breast will get browned. We usually carve the turkey before we serve so it really doesn’t matter because no one sees the turkey unless they are on the cooking detail. When the turkey is done, remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Immediately remove the stuffing from the cavities, place in a serving bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. You can also remove the turkey drippings from the pan.

Turkey Gravy

Put turkey drippings in a skillet or roasting pan and heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to 1/2 cup of milk and whisk together. Carefully add the mixture to the turkey drippings and whisk. If gravy is too thick you can add additional turkey broth or chicken broth. If mixture is too thin, carefully add additional flour/cornstarch and milk mixture. Keep whisking as you heat the gravy. The gravy will thicken slightly as it cooks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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