Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekly Recipes #44 - Jill & Nathan

2 c. half and half
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 garlic cloves, halved
1 1/2 lbs. shredded milk or sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 c.)
3 tbsp. all purpose flour
Chunks of crusty French bread, cooked, shelled & deveined shrimp or cooked ham chunks, apple slices, raw broccoli (cut up); etc.

About 30 minutes before serving: In fondue pot or saucepan over low heat, heat half and half, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic, stirring, until hot but not boiling. Discard garlic.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, toss cheese with flour. Into hot mixture, with fork or wire whisk, gradually stir cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth and bubbling. Add salt to taste. (If made in saucepan, pour into fondue pot for serving. Keep hot over low heat on fondue stand.)

Let each person spear chunks of French bread, shrimp, ham chunks, veggies or apple slices on long handled fondue fork and dip in fondue. Makes 4 cups, enough for 6 servings.

When mixture comes in contact with aluminum, it may turn dark but will still be delicious.

Mediterranean Beef Pitas

Serves 4

Hands-on Time: 15m

Total Time: 15m


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pocketless pitas
  • 3/4 cup store-bought hummus
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


1. Form the beef into 16 ½-inch-thick patties and season with the oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the patties, 2 minutes per side for medium.

3. Top the pitas with the hummus, patties, onion, and parsley. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and serve with the lemon wedges.


Make it a meal: Serve with couscous. Cook the couscous according to the package directions; fluff and toss with olive oil, sliced scallions, and chopped dried apricots.

Jamaican Pumpkin Crockpot Soup

This soup will serve 6 grown-ups.

--2 cups of fresh pumpkin, or 1 can (15 oz)
--4 cups vegetable broth
--2 cups water
--1 red onion. chopped
--2 celery stalks, chopped
--2 yams, peeled and chopped
--3 chopped garlic cloves
--1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
--1 T white sugar
--2 tsp kosher salt
--1 tsp tumeric (this was the first time I bought tumeric, and I do think it's a necessary spice)
--1/4 tsp allspice
--1/4 tsp nutmeg
--heavy whipping cream, 1 T per family member (optional)
--garnish with chopped green onion (I totally forgot to do this)

The Directions.

If you have fresh non-squishy and moldy pumpkin, go for it. Otherwise, open a can of pure pumpkin and use that.

Empty it into your crockpot, and add the chopped vegetables. Add the spices and sugar. Stir in the vegetable broth and water. I really don't think it matters one whit what gets added first. It's soup. It's going to cook together all day long.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Carefully use an immersible blender to blend about 3/4 of the soup.

Serve with a bit of cream to stir in.


1 package (17 ounces) refrigerated fully-cooked beef tips with gravy1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil6 ounces portobello mushrooms, coarsely chopped1/2 cup chopped red onionChopped fresh parsley (optional)Smoked Gouda Grits:3-1/2 cups water1 cup quick-cooking grits1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese2 to 4 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. To prepare Smoked Gouda Grits, bring water to a boil in medium saucepan. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add cheese and butter; stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Cover; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in beef tips with gravy; continue cooking until heated through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve beef mixture over grits. Garnish with parsley, if desired.


For a tasty variation, serve beef mixture over prepared mashed potatoes.

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