Cauliflower au gratin

9×9 casserole dish, buttered.

Frozen Riced Cauliflower – add to boiling water for just a bit, then drain. (Use enough cauliflower to fill your casserole dish.) [If ricing a head of cauliflower, cook it until it’s just barely tender. Also try this with florets, adjusting cooking times as needed.]

2 c. bechamel (1/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. butter, melt and stir until bubbly, add 2 c. milk, stir, bring to a simmer to thicken) adding 1 c. grated Pecorino Romano, Pinch of Salt, Pepper to taste, Nutmeg to taste.

Combine and pour into a buttered casserole dish.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

White Lasagna (No Tomato)

I’m trying to not eat any tomato for awhile, so making Lasagna requires me to switch it up … this works, it’s not “as good” as regular meat sauce marinara kind of Lasagna.

Basically I used to do meat sauce, noodle, ricotta, mozzerella, meatsauce, noodle …. etc.

Because of wanting to delete the tomato out of the recipe, I looked up white lasagna and using an aspect of Classic Lasagna from other sites, a Bechamel with cheese in it added directly on top of the ricotta layer, then meat, then mozzerella … the order changes and there is an addition of moisture … so I just browned my ground beef, onions, garlic, basil, oregano and beef base and some water (not much.) No meat sauce. Just meat. Hmm.

Always starting with meat sauce on the bottom in the past, I started with my just meat on the bottom. It’s messier, crumbly, so I’m thinking some bechamel on the bottom first would work, but didn’t try that.

I found following the new order of ingredients, I fit my Lasagna into the usual dish without overflowing, and no extra watery drippy anything in the oven. It smelled wonderful and was wonderful.

I only have a picture of it before going into the oven.

White Lasagna, ready for the oven.

For the Meat (Seasoned Browned Ground Beef):

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. Basil, dry
  • 1 tsp. Oregano, dry 

For the Bechamel:

  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Romano

Melt butter, add garlic, allow to cook for a few minutes, add flour, combining with the melted butter, adding more butter or more flour to make a consistent mix as needed. Once bubbling for a couple of minutes whisk the milk into the flour mixture, and bring to a simmer to thicken, stir/whisking frequently. Add the cheese, mix well.

For the Ricotta:

Add the Ricotta into a bowl, add 1 egg, mix well. Add 1/2 Cup of Romano Cheese.

  • 16 oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Cup Romano cheese, grated fine, 

Assembling the Lasagna

  • Ready to Bake Lasagna Noodles
  • 2 lbs Seasoned Browned Ground Beef
  • 2 Cups Mozzarella, grated
  • 2 Cups Bechamel with Garlic and cheese.
  • Extra Romano, grated, to add where ever you choose, on top of the mozzarella layers, for instance.

Put some of the meat on the bottom of your dish. Next place as many noodles as you can, no pre-cooking varieties aren’t as messy, just dry fit them as best you can, break off ends to fit, overlapping is fine too.

Then layer on Ricotta, Bechamel, Meat, Mozzarella, Noodle; Ricotta, Bechamel, Meat, Mozzarella, Noodle;Ricotta, Bechamel, Meat, Mozzarella.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 to 45 minutes.

Fresh Tomato and Onion Salsa

2 cups freshly diced tomatoes, seeded

1 medium sweet onion, finely diced

8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced

1 Teaspoon dried oregano

2 Lemons, juiced

2 Tablespoons Sea Salt

1/4 cup spring water

—————————————

Combine everything but the water in a bowl, mix together well. Pack the tomato-onion mix into a Quart jar, then add the water, adding more to cover the tomato-onion if necessary.

Tomato-Onion Salsa
Tomato-Onion Salsa

 

Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for 48 hours. Store in refrigerator after that.

Good with corn chips, on taco’s, or anything else you can imagine.

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This recipe was adapted by me from Page 103  “Salsa” of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

 

 

Corn-Bread Taco Casserole

This recipe is made in a 9×13 glass pan, serves a large family or small group easily. (Really delicious first time, or as leftovers!)

Make a double recipe of cornbread batter, layer cornbread batter and taco meat and cheese, bake in the oven until the cornbread is done, lightly browned on top.

Taco filling:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped, smashed to paste consistency
  • 1 tablespoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoons Oregano
  • 1 small cans diced tomatoes

Cornbread Batter:

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups white spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 teaspoons (non aluminum) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

——————

  • 2 Cups of Monterey Jack Cheese shredded fine

Put half corn bread batter on the bottom of the pan. Taco filling goes next, then cheese, then the last half of corn bread batter.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees F., or until the cornbread on top is set and lightly browned.

Serve and enjoy piping hot!

Apple Pie

1 Double Crust Pastry, divided

6 to 8 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, thinly sliced (or your favorite variety of apple or combination of)
Lemon Juice

Granny Smith & Red Delicious Apples
Granny Smith & Red Delicious Apples

Sprinkle lemon juice over the apples as they are sliced, toss to keep apples fresh (no browning.)

Apples pared, thinly sliced, lemon juice
Apples pared, thinly sliced, lemon juice

 

Mix spices and sugar:

1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger

Toss the spiced sugar mixture with the apples.

Line a deep dish pie plate with one part of the pastry (rolled out to be an inch or so larger than the circumference of the pie plate.)

Pie plate lined with bottom layer of pastry
Pie plate lined with bottom layer of pastry

Pour the apples into the pastry lined dish, arranging in a peaked pile, basically.

Put the remaining pastry, rolled out, over the whole pie. Trim the top and bottom pastry layers to the same length as when held together at at the edge of the pie plate, to allow for rolling and crimping.

Take the edges together, roll once under towards the outside of the plate, all around. Then using your fingers and knuckles, make a crimped notch every inch or so around the pie plate.

Cut a pattern into the top of the crust (to allow steam to escape.)

Brush milk over the crust (using a soft pastry brush) then sprinkle with white sugar crystals (table sugar.)

Cover the edge of the crust with foil.

Apple Pie ready for the oven
Apple Pie ready for the oven

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes, covering with foil the last 15 minutes if necessary (to avoid over browning.)

Allow to cool some. Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers if not eating all of it in the same day.

Hot Apple Pie, cooling
Hot Apple Pie, cooling

Tuna Casserole

Tuna Casserole

for a large family

You will need to combine the following items:

2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided

2 cans tuna in water, drained and flaked into small pieces with a fork

1 12-oz. pkg. frozen peas, cooked until soft, then drained

1 16-oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, cooked in salted water for 7-8 minutes, then drained.

Onion in White sauce: 5 Tbsp. butter melted, 1/2 large onion diced finely, stir together over medium-low heat until onion is soft.  Add 5 Tbsp. flour, stir  over medium heat until bubbly. Add 1 tsp. salt, stir well, then add 2 1/2 cups of milk while whisking. Allow to come to a boil while whisking every few seconds.

Combine everything into a 9″x13″ baking dish, saving 1 cup of the cheese for later.

Bake in a 425° F. oven for 10 minutes (pre-heated oven.)

While that is heating in the oven, take rice crispy type of cereal and crush (place cereal in a gallon bag and use a rolling pin to roll over it, crushing the cereal.) In a large frying pan melt 4 Tbsp. butter then add the cereal and 1 tsp. salt, mixing and turning over medium heat until the mixture is covered with butter and gets crispier, a crunchy golden brown.

When the timer goes off take the casserole out of the oven, scatter the 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the top, then spread the crispy golden brown cereal over the entire top.

Tuna Casserole after 10 minutes in the oven then topped with cheese and crumbs.
Tuna Casserole after 10 minutes in the oven then topped with cheese and crumbs.

(picture is a bit blurry, sorry!)

Put the casserole back into the oven for 15 more minutes.

Tuna Casserole is done!
Tuna Casserole is done!

 

Then it’s time to eat!

Tuna Casserole
Tuna Casserole

Hamburger Steaks (Full Dinner)

Description

Hamburger Steaks are ground beef, whichever kind you use, with added ingredients and molded into an oblong flattened shape, about an inch high. They are browned on each side and finish cooking in the oven on a moderate temperature while gravy is made in the same pan as the hamburger steaks were browned in.

Complimenting the hamburger steaks and gravy is a side dish of Basatmi Rice, and green beans. A nice addition to that would be homemade biscuits, dropped or rolled.

Recipes

Hamburger Steaks

2 lbs. ground meat (chuck, or hamburger, or sirloin)

1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 med. onion, divided 1/2 diced finely, 1/2 sliced thinly

A pinch of dried thyme

2 tsp. Granulated Garlic

1 egg

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together well (except for the thinly sliced onion, reserve that for the gravy instructions.) Form into patties that are oblong and about an inch high, sized for an individual portion. You should be able to get 6 to 9 of these from this recipe.

Brown the first side of the hamburger steaks in a large frying pan with a bit of Olive Oil over medium heat. Carefully flip each steak to brown the other side. Remove from pan onto an oven safe casserole dish. Brown the remaining steaks, and put the casserole dish into a 350 degree oven for at least 30 mins.

Gravy

In the same frying pan, without cleaning it out, add some oil and the thinly sliced onion, cooking on a medium heat until translucent. Add 4 tablespoons of flour to the onion/oil and enough extra oil or butter to make a nice rouge (paste) –stir it until well blended and allow to come to a slight bubbling state.

Once the rouge is ready, add some beef base (a tablespoon or two) and 3 to 4 cups of water, or use beef stock. Stir well until the flour is absorbed into the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, as it thickens (full thickening will happen when it boils.)

When the gravy is as thick as it can get, add a little more liquid at a time, stirring well, until you get the texture thick/thinness that you wish. Taste, and adjust flavorings with Sea Salt and any other beef friendly flavours you favour.

When the gravy is done, the hamburger steaks may be added to the pan of gravy on a low temperature.

Rice

Make rice to accompany the meal.

Basmati Rice – 2 cups, Water or Stock 4 cups, 1 tsp. salt.

I prefer to melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a pan, pour the dry rice into the pan and stir around over a medium heat until rice changes to an opaque white. Add the salt and water or stock. Stir well. Over a medium-high heat allow to come to a boil. Stir once more, and place a lid over the pot and turn the heat down to a medium-low setting for 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes do not remove the lid. Leave the pot sitting on the burner until you serve the dinner. Sometimes it’s useful to start the rice at the beginning of the meal preparation. Sitting after cooking tempers it nicely. Leave it on a very low temperature burner until ready to serve. This makes it absolutely done for sure.

Green Beans

French Green Beans cooking
French Green Beans cooking

Cook green beans, fresh or frozen, which ever variety and cut you prefer. I like true French Green Beans, not french-cut. These are petite beans, long and skinny and very tender and yummy.

When green beans are done, I like to melt some butter and toss them in the butter with some Sea Salt, until nicely coated.

Serving

Serve the Hamburger Steaks on a platter with the gravy in a separate bowl or gravy boat, rice in a serving dish, fluffed with a fork, and green beans in a serving dish too. If you have bread to serve, use a kitchen towel in a basket to keep the bread warm.

Dinner Rolls

Dinner Rolls (Any shape you want!)

Heat the oven to 350°F

First thing is to warm the milk and melt the butter, etc.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Heat on low until butter mostly melts.
Take off of the stove.

  • 1 package or 2 1/4 tsp. active yeast

Sprinkle the active yeast onto the milk mixture, let it sit until softened, then stir.

  • Flour – 3 1/2 to 4 cups

Stir in as must flour as you can by hand, then put out on a kneading surface and continue kneading until smooth, or use a stand mixer to need, adding flour by the 1/4 cup or 1 Tablespoon until it doesn’t need anymore and knead until smooth.

Form into a ball and put oil in the bowl, then turn the ball of dough upside-down there and swirl it around to
distribute the oil. Turn the dough right-side-up. Allow to rise until doubled, then make into shapes and bake when desired.

This can be put into a bag to slow rise in the fridge. Make it on day 1 and on day 2 use it. Bring the bag out and put the dough into an oiled bowl to come to room temperature, then punch down and shape and bake until golden brown.

This recipe makes about 12 large rolls.

On Taco’s and Farmers Breakfast

We are having Taco’s for dinner tonight. I’m not making them, the children are. I have recipes on this site, things I make up, and they use either that, or a printout of it to make dinner.

This is the recipe link … http://pastoralfarms.us/2009/09/18/taco-ground-meat-filling/

We still make it the same way, only I have a preference for pure ANCHO chili powder instead of “any old mix of chili and spices that is sold as ‘chili powder’ ” Ancho is a type of chili, not a brand.

I also put a healthy dose of Tabasco sauce in for a bit more zip. As time goes on we’ve grown to LOVE Tabasco sauce in Taco’s as well as in a breakfast that I call “farmers breakfast” which I am not sure if I’ve written it down in a post here or not. — I’ll have to write it down, it’s not something I’ve posted the recipe for (though I know my son did on his blog 😉 )

It’s something that my eldest son and I enjoy having every so often, not every day, nor every other day. Basically something that many would have a problem with: potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, butter, sea salt, tabasco sauce, eggs, cream, tabasco sauce, tabasco sauce, and cheddar cheese. So it’s something we really like, and others would think “How strange for breakfast, garlic?!!” Yeah! 🙂

I’ll post a link here when I write a new post for it.

Roast Chicken & Stuffing

I’m roasting two organic chickens right now, stuffed with white spelt bread stuffing.

The stuffing is my own recipe.

I made a loaf of bread in my Cuisinart bread machine on Friday for this purpose. 3+ cups of White Spelt Flour, 1 1/2 tsp. yeast, 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp. Honey, 1 egg, 1 tsp. salt, 3 Tbsp. butter. I added more flour as needed for the dough. I used the 1. White Bread setting, med. loaf size and med. browning.

The loaf was perfect, so much so I wished I had made it for sandwiches, but so it goes.

I’ll try to make it again and get the same result for other uses later.

I cubed the bread using a bread knife after the loaf cooled down, then put the cubes into a gallon freezer bag. I put that into a deep drawer until I needed it for the stuffing.

Today I diced 1 sweet onion, melted 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter in a large saucepan, added the onion and let that simmer until softened. I also put in some celery seed (I guess about 2 tsp.) and a lot of dried rubbed Sage (1/4 cup or more!) then the bread cubes and a pint of Chicken Stock. Stirred it around well.

A little more than half of that fit into the chickens. The rest will be baked in a casserole dish later.

I didn’t add any salt to the stuffing since the bread was nice bread and I used commercial Organic Chicken Stock. To the out of the bird stuffing I did just add a little bit of sea salt, and a large handful of raisins and half an apple chopped. That’ll bake until it’s done.

I’ll make chicken gravy using more Organic Chicken Stock, butter & flour, and sea salt to taste. Basmati Rice, and either peas or green beans.

We’ll also have white spelt yeast rolls, thanks to my daughter taking over that duty. She does an excellent job making clover leaf rolls, as I used to do when I was a teenager too. 🙂