Miriam’s Mashed Potatoes Waiting

A fabulous complement to Coq au Vin, meatloaf or any dinner celebration.

6 large Yukon gold potatoes, 8-10 medium
2 tbls butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 tbls shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
paprika

Peel potatoes and cook until done. Drain and mash, adding the butter, milk and cream. Beat until fluffy.

Spoon into a greased casserole dish, beat the whipping cream until stiff and spread over the potatoes. Scatter the shredded cheese on top and dash paprika over the cream.

Bake at 350° until topping is golden brown.

*Recipe adapted from Best of Friends, Too!

Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.


vegetable topped with apples

Apple Onion and Yellow Squash Gratin

3 T. roasted shallot olive oil
3 small white or sweet onions, sliced
1/2 tsp. dried sage (or 1 tbls chopped fresh sage)
course salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 yellow squash, peeled and sliced
3 small apples, peeled, cored & sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. In a 10 inch skillet, heat 2 T. oil over medium heat. Add onions and 2 T. water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add sherry and sage and cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a 2 qt shallow baking dish (or 9″ square dish), arrange squash in overlapping layers; season with salt and pepper. Spread onions evening over squash. Arrange apples in an overlapping layer over the onions. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbls. olive oil. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 45 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Raise the oven temp to 450º and bake 10 minutes longer, or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.


Tomato Chutney with Poached Egg

Tomato Foam

2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes
1/2 oz. ginger
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder
salt and pepper

Blanche tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the skins. Put skin to dry in the oven for two hours, 150-200º. Blend before sprinkling on the finished dish.

Blend the chopped tomatoes, then filter through a colander to remove lumps and seeds, and retain the juice. Heat the juice with the ginger and infuse for 30 minutes. Add the gelatin powder, mix and let cool. Add salt and pepper and put the mixture into a foamer. Add one foamer cartridge and chill for at least 1 hour.

Eggs

4 fresh eggs
1 tsp white vinegar
Coarse salt

In a saucepan, boil one liter of unsalted water with the vinegar. When the water is simmering, carefully drop the eggs into the water. Cook 2 minutes. Remove eggs with a tablespoon and plunge into cold water to stop further cooking.

Short on time or need to prepare the dish ahead? A sliced hard boiled egg will work as well.

Tomato Chutney

2 tbls sugar
1 tbls honey
1 oz. white honey Balsamic vinegar
1/2 lb. heirloom tomatoes
1 small piece of ginger
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 yellow chili pepper with seeds removed
1 pinch salt
2 tbls capers

Melt the sugar and honey in a saucepan together with the white balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil then cook to reduce mixture to one third. Add all other ingredients except the capers and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Let cool. Add the capers to the cold mixture. Check the seasoning.

To serve, sprinkle some tomato powder before placing a spoonful of chutney into a circle. Gently lay the egg on top of the chutney. Add dollops of foam, a pinch of salt and tomato powder.

*Recipe adapted from Anne Sophie Pic L’école


Rainy Day Comfort

It has been raining for 3 days straight and there doesn’t seem to be reprieve in the near future. What is it about dreary, cold weather that tends to inspire a bit of comfort food? Pasta almost always fits the bill, and is a good compliment to most any protein – chicken, beef, veal, or pork. While I hope to complete a post very soon for homemade pasta, there’s nothing wrong with simplifying your menu with a store bought fresh pasta. For this recipe, I decided on a spinach and ricotta ravioli from Giovanni Rana along with their marinara sauce to pair with chicken tenderloins.

Baked Chicken & Ravs

Baked Chicken & Ravioli

Serves 3-4

3/4 lb. chicken tenderloins
1-2 tsp. Alpine Touch seasoning
1/2 tsp. pepper
1-2 tsp. Divine Inspired seasoning

10-oz. package Giovanni Rana Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli
15-oz. container Giovanni Rana Marinara Sauce

3 tbls. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

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Easter Sunday Dinner… memories and treats to share

When you are 14 years old and incredibly self-conscious, even a 6am Easter Sunday Sunrise Service warrants a finished hair-do and makeup. It was practically the only day of the week I could sleep until 7am, so I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea. I grew up attending Sunday School and church every single Sunday, in a family church dating back to our family’s German immigrants, so it wasn’t like I was protesting attending church on one of the busiest Sundays of the year – it was all about the hour! And watching the sunrise at the same time was not exactly what I would consider necessary, or even all that special. The sun rises every day! Interestingly, this year, we actually considered attending a sunrise service, which made me chuckle just a bit thinking back to those least favorite Easter memories.

For me, Easter is about family. It is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It is a season of rebirth, spring, sunshine and white shoes. I was raised on the family farm and every Easter Sunday started with an extra special gift my father would bring home from my Grandmother. After feeding the cattle, he would stop into my grandparents home to say ‘good morning’ and chat for a few minutes, and on this particular day, she would carefully cover and hand over the basket painstakingly decorated and filled with chocolate marshmallow rabbits and eggs, solid chocolate eggs, and pastel colored m&m’s. My sister and I could hardly wait for the basket to arrive on this one day each year, diving into it as soon as it landed on the kitchen counter. When my children were growing up, I took great pleasure in filling their baskets with chocolate treats, a new outfit, a toy, video or in later years, gift cards for their favorite stores.

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Happy Birthday Babe!

My husband is an identical twin born in 1969. If I’m counting right, that means he is 50 years old now. While I have no problem whatsoever with his age, the passage of time does have me thinking about the fact I’m not too far behind him and that does bother me. I know that 50 is the new 40, or is it 40 is the new 50? Well, whatever the phrase is supposed to be, I am pretty sure someone is trying to convince us it is not really a whole half a century OLD. Since I don’t ‘feel’ nearly 50, I am not even sure how we got this old. Regardless of how we feel, look and behave, it sounded like a good reason to host a party and even though he would have been content with a quick trip to the brick oven pizzeria, I had to have a little fun.

Theme is always my first step to planning a party. He’s a guy, a 50 year old guy at that and what is his greatest vice? BEER. I don’t remember beer being such a significant staple in our home until we lived in Europe for 7 years. All of a sudden, he was a self proclaimed expert on craft beer, Belgian beer, US beef, pale ales, stouts, lager, pils, you name it, there was beer involved. So, the theme was pretty darn easy.

Cheers & Beers, Here’s to Brett’s 50 Years….

Theme in hand, I could also quickly decide on decorations. Since beer cans stack pretty easily, I scoured Google and Pinterest for quick ideas for creating a beer can tower. Easy, peasy, 50 cans of three different beers (one per level), I was on a roll.

I thought about how I have cooked with beer sufficiently before, so what if I build a menu around beer as the ingredient? Now, if you know me, you know I don’t drink beer. Not a drop! I never have and I seriously doubt I ever will. So, some will think this was quite a stretch for a non-drinker, but it’s really not much different than cooking with wine. I can’t taste it, and the best part is you definitely cannot smell it, and that is usually what sends me to the hills. Keep in mind, my father has grown malt barley for Budweiser for over 30 years and my husband and son drink probably more beer than water but I don’t even like the smell of it. Just like you, the internet and my collection of cookbooks served me well as I set out to select my menu. I can’t take credit for any of the creative genius, merely the pairing and delivery.

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