Tag Archives: #fresnocountylibrary

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato, paprika, and egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Form into equally-sized patties and set aside.

Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat until the surface of the oil is shimmering. Gently add the patties, and flatten slightly in the pan. Cook until crisp and golden on both sides. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all the potatoes are cooked.

Spicy Green Beans

Green bean casserole. Just the mention of it conjures up the specter of Thanksgiving dinner. It also brings up heated debates regarding what is in it, do we really need it, who fixed it well, and heck, why can’t we just have green beans with butter and bacon? Enter Food Network chef Alex Guarnaschelli with her take on green beans. I adapted my recipe from hers, because we all want to copy the best.

3/4 cups green beans (washed, tipped, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons creamy horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
zest and juice of one lime
6 sprigs basil, stemmed
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon mustard
bacon pieces, to top beans with
salt and pepper

Whisk together the horseradish, olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard, lime juice and zest. Make sure everything is incorporated well. Taste, then add a touch of salt and pepper. Whisk and taste again. Set aside.

Cook green beans in boiling salted water. Make sure to have a bowl of ice water with a colander in it ready. When the beans are cooked but slightly crunchy (about 2-4 minutes), remove from boiling water and put into the colander in the ice water. Stir the beans in the water to cool them quickly.

Once the beans are cool, drain well and put into a medium bowl. Add the dressing and some of the almonds, then toss to coat. Taste again, and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves and sprinkle with remainder of slivered almonds and bacon pieces.

Optional ingredients: bacon (obviously); cocktail onions, cut into quarters; diced peppers; dried cranberries; fried garlic or onions

Easy Poultry Brine

Ok, so while I was writing this recipe I kept humming Grandma Forgot To Brine The Bird by Alton Brown. Those two times on stage (2015 and 2017) still make me smile. This brine is simple and straight forward. Please dispose of properly, as the quantity of salt in the brine will kill plants if you dump it on the lawn.

3 pints water
1 cup salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, quartered
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (you can add more or less)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about three cloves)

In a large pot, heat the water until almost boiling. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat until cool. To prevent food spoilage issues, don’t add the poultry until the brine is cool.

Variations: substitute orange for the lemon; add 1/4 cup soy sauce to the liquid; add rosemary.

Roasted Turkey Leg

I love roasted turkey for dinner. One turkey can provide several meals, and it is a very versatile ingredient. With a smaller household, though, it can fell like too large of an undertaking. By roasting two turkey legs, you can have a manageable amount of protein but still have leftovers the next day.

2 turkey legs, thawed
6 cups brine (see recipe here)
3 stalks celery, large diced
1 cup diced carrots (or 1 cup baby carrots)
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
2 large potatoes, large diced
1 sweet potato, large diced
1/2 medium onion, cut into eighths
2 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning
fresh sage leaves (optional)
olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter
salt and pepper to taste

At least 24 hours ahead:
Place thawed turkey legs in large zip bags or other sealable container and add the brine. Put in the lowest area of your refrigerator for 14-48 hours.

Heat oven to 375F.

On the day of:
Remove the turkey legs and brine from the refrigerator. Take the legs out of the liquid and rinse in fresh water. Discard brine.

In a large, heavy baking dish or roaster place the turkey legs and all of the vegetables. Add the water or broth, ground sage or poultry stuffing, and salt and pepper. Lay sage leave across the top of the legs, and drizzle with olive oil.

Cover and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 45 minutes, or until the legs register 175F on a thermometer (measure at the thickest part, not hitting the bone). During the last 30 minutes of cooking, baste with the melted butter every 10 minutes.

When the legs are done, remove from the pan. You can serve at the table, or shred the meat from the bone and gristle. Unless someone calls dibs on a whole leg, I prefer to cut the meat off before serving.

You can serve with the roasted vegetables as a side dish, shred it down and add to make a hearty soup, or save the broth and vegetables to eat the next day as a light meal.

You can also add shredded chicken or turkey, mini meatballs, or cooked pasta or rice to the vegetable and broth mix. Two meals with one stretch in the oven makes this an easy thing to fix.

Roasted Cornish Game Hen

2 Cornish game hens, defrosted
6 cups brine (see recipe here)
3 stalks celery, large diced
1 cup diced carrots (or 1 cup baby carrots)
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
2 large potatoes, large diced
1 sweet potato, large diced
1/2 medium onion, cut into eighths
2 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning
fresh sage leaves (optional)
olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter
salt and pepper to taste

At least 24 hours ahead:
Place defrosted game hens in large zip bags or other sealable container and add the brine. Put in the lowest area of your refrigerator for 14-48 hours.

Heat oven to 350F.

On the day of:
Remove the game hens and brine from the refrigerator. Take the birds out of the liquid and rinse in fresh water. Discard brine.

In a large, heavy baking dish or roaster place the game hens and all of the vegetables. Add the water or broth, ground sage or poultry stuffing, and salt and pepper. Lay sage leave across the top of the birds, and drizzle with olive oil.

Cover and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 30 minutes, or until the hens register 165F on a thermometer. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, baste with the melted butter every 10 minutes.

When the birds are done, remove from the pan.

You can serve with the roasted vegetables as a side dish, shred the game hen down and add to make a hearty soup, or save the broth and vegetables to eat the next day as a light meal.

You can also add shredded chicken or turkey, mini meatballs, or cooked pasta or rice to the vegetable and broth mix. Two meals with one stretch in the oven makes this an easy thing to fix.

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