Family recipe — U.P. Pasty

Growing up in and around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan one knows the taste and beauty of  a good pasty. This recipe is one passed to us from my mother Elaine’s sister Ruth. I as a kid enjoyed many a pasty. It a good day when we make them…(not nearly enough):-(

CRUST

  1.  3 cups flour
  2.  1 1/2 tsp. salt
  3.  2/3 cup shortening
  4.  2/3 cup ICE water

Mix flour, salt, and water together and then cut in shortening.

FILLING:

  1.  1 1/4    ground beef
  2.  1/2 lb. ground pork
  3.  4           red potatoes
  4.   1          onion
  5.   1/2     rutabaga  minced finely)
  6.   3         carrots
  7.               salt for each pasty
  8.               pepper
  9.    1 pat  butter per pasty

PREPERATION:

Separate dough into 5 portions.  Roll out each portion into a flat circle. Fill half the circles with raw ingredients and add a tbs. of butter. Close by folding into a half circle. Pinch edges closed with a fork using water to stick the edge together.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turn down to 375 and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.

Enjoy with your favorite condiment…PSST ketchup!!!

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Crustless Quiche with Chard

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Wonder what to do with Swiss Chard besides chopping it up and cooking it like spinach? (By the way, you can eat the stems of chard.) You can find it year round …and we also get a lot of it during Farmer’s Market season.  Try it in a crustless quiche. I’ve made this recipe many times and it’s absolutely fantastic. Many of our volunteers have made it as well and raved about it. Plus, it’s super easy.  CRUSTLESS QUICHE WITH SWISS CHARD (recipe from food.com) Ingredients: 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/2 sweet onion, chopped 1/2 bunch Swiss chard (washed, dried and roughly chopped) 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (any combination – cheddar, swiss, pepperjack, colby jack, etc. – be creative!) 4 eggs 1 cup skim milk (or whatever milk you have in the fridge) salt pepper Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add onion and chard to the oil in a pan and saute until stems are tender (do not overcook). Add salt & pepper to taste. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add milk and cheese. Fold in the onion/chard mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a pie dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and no liquid seeps when you poke it with a knife. Deeeelicious! Enjoy!
This recipe is from my friend Faith who is an amazing cook.  Thanks Faith!

stuffed red peppers

Made these last night. I did add two sweet sausage to the recipe I would add more next time. Easy to do and froze the extras for later.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cups brown rice
  • 2-2/3 cups water
  • 11 ounces ground beef
  • 5/8 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons chopped mushrooms, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5/8 (26 ounce) jar tomato sauce
  • 5/8 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 5/8 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 red bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Directions

  1. Bring brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, place a cover on the saucepan, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break ground beef into small pieces and place in the skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic; cook and stir until the beef is completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Mix beef mixture into brown rice.
  4. Stir tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning into the rice mixture and season filling with salt and black pepper.
  5. Arrange bell peppers in a baking dish. Spoon filling into bell peppers.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until the peppers are tender, about 1 hour. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the stuffed peppers to serve.

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Fish Boil – a Door County Tradition

This last weekend my friend Daina and I visited Door County, WI. We enjoyed shopping, beachcombing, and kayaking, but one of our favorite things was the Fish Boil. This is a centuries old tradition of this area, and was a cooperative effort between local farmers and fisherman to feed the lumberjacks. It is still a popular dish and no one has found a way to improve on the technique, so it continues to this day. You can experience this feast at many local restaurants several days of the week. We went to Pelletier’s , check it out; here’s their website : http://doorcountyfishboil.com

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Here is the “Master Boiler”, who has built a wood fire under a large kettle, added  whole red potatoes, sweet whole onions, and salt.  The salt serves to increase the boiling temperature.  When the veggies are done, the Whitefish is added, having been freshly caught by local fishermen in Lake Michigan.  The oil from the fish begins to rise to the top, necessitating the need for a “boil over”.  This is done in order to burn off that oil, so that it does not adhere to the food as it is served.

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The Master Boiler throws a container of diesel fuel into the wood fire underneath the kettle.  Immediately a huge fireball ensues, engulfing the entire kettle.   The kettle is then removed by two men with a metal pole, brought to the kitchen, and the food is immediately served.

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The meal consists of the fish, potatoes, onion,  homemade coleslaw,  and a variety of bread.  Many people choose to douse their fish and veggies in butter and/or lemon (I did!).  I ordered the lite eater’s version.  You can get a larger plateful if you wish.  Dessert  consists of homemade cherry pie made with fresh local cherries from a nearby orchard.  I must admit I had my doubts about boiled fish, but I must say it was very moist and delicious!  I would recommend a fish boil if you ever travel to Door  County, it was an interesting and yummy experience!

Brined chicken

I have recently heard how it is a good idea to brine one’s chicken before cooking it. I looked up a couple recipes and came up with my own idea based on what I had on hand. So here goes:
Ingredients:
One half gallon Cold water
One cut up chicken
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon Splenda or 2 tablespoons sugar

I use these herbs because it is what I had growing out back… You can use whatever suits your fancy!

Place the chicken pieces into the mixture of cold water herbs salt and sugar. Let it soak for three hours or so.
Then you can either grill it outside like I did, Or bake it inside in your oven. Before grilling it I did sprinkle on a little bit more seasoned salt and rubbed it with a little bit of olive oil.

It turned out very moist and delicious and everyone loved it! I will definitely be doing this again!

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slow cooker cube steak

We got some cube steaks on a whim. Instead of the usual chicken fried steak I tried the following.

Firstly, I seasoned the steak with my favorite Trader Joe’s Garlic salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper.

I then browned the steaks and put them in a crock pot. I added one green pepper,1/2 red bell pepper,half of a large white onion (chopped), 1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro and two coarsely chopped tomatoes. The liquid was a bottle of Stubbs beef marinade.

Few hours in the crockpot and cube steak is fall apart good. Served over rice.

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smoked St. Louis style ribs

the local supermarket had a BOGO sale on ribs. So I got some,who wouldn’t?! I decided to smoke them in my lil $20 dollar garage sale grill.

Pretty simple really. just make sure you take the membrane off the bk side and use whatever rub you want and smoke away. I used Pappy’s and some garlic powder and later slathered with some BBQ sauce.

They smoked for about 4 hours at 225-250 and turned out great.

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all seasoned up

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coals ready

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all set to go

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Let’s eat!!

 

Bacon dogs

Sometimes something so simple is just so delicious.
Take your favorite hot dog (I usually like kosher dogs) and wrap it in bacon. (I know that is an irreligious thing to do to a kosher dog, sorry…)

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Then place them on foil on your grill and as you cook them, lightly baste with your favorite BBQ sauce.

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Voila! So easy and amazingly delicious!