Tuesday

Baklava

Ingredients

Pastry
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb phyllo dough, thawed
  • 12 oz almonds, finely chopped
  • 8 oz walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2t ground cloves
Syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1t orange zest, finely chopped
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1/2t ground cinnamon
Preparation
  • Combine all syrup ingredients in sauce pan, bring to full boil, set aside to cool.
  • Combine nuts, sugar, and cinnamon from pastry recipe, mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Brush melted butter on bottom and sides of desired baking dish, dough may be cut to fit pan and some over lapping is fine.
  • Begin layering sheets of dough in pan one at a time, buttering between each sheet.
  • Continue until dough is four sheets thick.
  • Sprinkle enough of nut mixture over top layer of dough to lightly cover.
  • Return to layering the dough with butter as before, four sheets thick, then nut mixture again.
  • Continue this process until dough and nut mixture are used up, or pan is full.
  • The top should be at least 4 sheets of dough, buttered generously, no nuts on top or they will burn.
  • Cook in 300F oven until golden brown, about one hour.
  • Remove from oven, pour cooled syrup over pastry a little at a time.
  • Allow to soak for a minimum of 4 hours or over night.
  • Cut into desired shape and serve.
Comments
  • This is one of my all time favorite sweets. My first experience with baklava was while traveling in Greece with my now wife. We must have eaten our weight in it over a couple of weeks. While not quite the same as going to Greece, this recipe is quite good and does the trick for a food that holds so many wonderful memories for me.
  • Phyllo dough is tricky to work with as it is so thin, but try to work quickly as it will dry out and become brittle in no time.
  • Refrigeration is not necessary, though freezing is ok, but allow to return to room temperature before serving.
  • While there are many types of baklava, this is a basic one. Once you master this one, there are other good ones that use chocolate too! Yummy!
  • Usually a slice of orange and a little mint are nice garnishes.
  • The size pan can vary depending on how thick you like your baklava, but something around 9X13 works well.
  • You only "need" a small piece, so this should serve at least 12-15, or more if cut into bite size pieces.
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Tennessee "Oriental" Meatballs

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef, 80/20 ratio (we use Gourmet Pasture Beef)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1t ground ginger
  • 2T chopped garlic
  • 1/4t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup whole oats (we use Tennessee Oats)
Preparation
  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl, using hands with gloves is the easiest way.
  • Chill for one hour as they are easier to shape when they are cold.
  • Shape into meatballs with hands or ice cream scoop to desired size.
  • Place on baking pan with sides to catch excess grease.
  • Bake in 400F oven for 15-20 minutes or until firm.
Comments
  • Number of meatballs will depend on size, but for 1 ounce meatballs, you will get 30-40.
  • Meatballs maybe frozen prior to cooking for latter use.
  • Serve with any sauce you desire, stir fried vegetables or roasted winter squash.
  • Enjoy!
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Sunday

Maple Walnut Pie

Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 T butter, melted
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Approximately 3 cups of walnuts, halves or pieces
  • 3, 9" pie crusts, unbaked
  • 325F Oven
Preparation
  • Combine sugar, maple syrup, butter, eggs, corn syrup, vanilla and cream; mix well.
  • Divide mixture between three 9" pie crusts.
  • Add enough walnuts to cover top of pie, approximately one cup per pie.
  • Bake in 325F oven for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 300F and continue baking for 30 minutes or until pie is just set
  • Allow to cool and enjoy!
Comments
  • Makes 3 pies.
  • May use other nuts if desired.
  • Prep time: about 10 minutes.
  • Cooking time, almost 1 hour.
  • Goes great with a little chocolate sauce, caramel, or whipped cream...or all three!
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Thursday

Bread & Butter Pickles (with video)

Ingredients
  • 9 lb cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium onions, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2T mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t whole cloves
  • 1T ground turmeric
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper
Preparation
  • Combine cucumbers, onion, peppers, garlic and salt in large container and allow to set for three hours.
  • After cucumbers have set, they will begin to release some of their moisture. Drain the cucumber mixture well.
  • Combine vinegar, sugar, and remaining spices in large stock pot and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Add drained cucumber mixture to boiling vinegar mixture.
  • Stirring occasionally, on high heat, bring cucumbers back to almost the boiling point, then remove from the heat.
  • Pickles are now ready for canning in jars if you like, or should be refrigerated otherwise.
  • They are ready to eat, but will improve in flavor if allowed to set for a few days.
Comments
  • Try finding cucumbers with fewer seeds if possible, smaller the better usually.
  • I have started mixing in some banana peppers in place of some of the bell peppers, you can get creative here and use any kind of peppers.
  • Amount of pickles produced will vary some, but you should end up with 4-6 quarts
Video Tutorial
video

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Friday

Apple, Dried Fruit Chutney

Ingredients
  • 4 Large Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2" wedges
  • 1 medium red onion, halved, cut into 1/4" slices
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup each of raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped, dried apricots
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preparation
  • Combine all ingredients in 2qt sauce pan.
  • Bring to a low simmer and continue to cook for approximately one hour.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Mixture should become thicker and fruit cooked through.
  • Allow to cool off the heat for 30 minutes to continue thickening.
  • Reheat when ready to serve.
Comments
  • Other fruits like peaches or mangos can be used in place of, or in combination with, the apples or dried fruits.
  • We serve this on pork tenderloin, grilled fish, and chicken satay.
  • Makes approximately one quart.
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Thursday

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 large yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 medium carrots, small dice
  • 3 ribs celery, small dice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1T curry powder
  • 1T chopped garlic
  • 1T ground cumin
  • 1T ground ginger
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 lb 3oz tomatoes, canned, diced in juice, about 6 cups
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, washed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preparation
  • In a large soup pot, saute onion, carrots and celery with olive oil on medium high heat until onion is translucent.
  • Add all spices and garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken stock, tomatoes and lentils and bring soup to a slow simmer.
  • Adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer - do not boil!
  • Allow soup to cook for approximately one hour or until lentils are fully cooked.
  • Season with salt and pepper and you are ready to eat!
  • Makes approximately 1 gallon.
Comments
  • Other vegetables may be added or substituted as you see fit, but keep the volume of vegetables relatively the same. We often use roasted red peppers, corn, eggplant, arugula and/or mushrooms. This soup is almost always a little different each time we make it, but always good.
  • If you boil lentils, they will disintegrate and be mush.
  • You may substitute different types of lentils, but verify how long they take to cook and then add at the appropriate time so they are done with the soup but not mush.
  • This soup is also delicious finished with a small amount of cream. This can be a nice touch if you want to mellow out some of those harsh spices.
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Wednesday

Berry Cobbler

Ingredients

Filling
  • 1qt berries, fresh or frozen/thawed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5T cornstarch
  • 1 small lemon, zest and juice
  • 1medium orange, zest and juice
Streusel Topping
  • 1 stick butter, cold, cubed, 4oz
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
Preparation
  • Combine all ingredients for filling in large mixing bowl, set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Combine all ingredients for topping in a separate mixing bowl by cutting the butter into the sugar, flour, and cinnamon until a crumbly mixture is formed.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Stir filling again and transfer to desired baking dish.
  • Cover filling with streusel topping.
  • Bake at 350F for approximately 30-45 minutes or until cobbler is browned and bubbling.
  • Remove and enjoy with vanilla ice cream!
Comments
  • We have used all berries and combination of berries for this and is always great, be creative.
  • We bake these in individual dishes for our guests; makes a nice personal dessert.
  • We have also substituted peaches or rhubarb for some of the berries.
  • I like to let the filling mixture set for 30 minutes to allow the sugar and cornstarch to dissolve well. Stirring before pouring it into the baking dish also helps to keep the cornstarch from settling, giving you a gummy bottom (on your cobbler). Enjoy!
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Red Wine Butter Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2/3 bottle red wine (the better the wine, the better the sauce)
  • 8oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and keep cold
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preparation
  • Bring wine to a boil in medium sauce pan.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking until wine is reduced 80%-90%.
  • Once wine is reduced, turn heat off.
  • Begin adding one cube of butter, whisking continuously until butter is melted/incorporated into the sauce.
  • Continue this process until all the butter has been added.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve at once or keep in a warm spot near the stove until ready to use.
Comments
  • This sauce is something we serve with our coffee seared beef tenderloin but goes great with lots of beef items.
  • This process also works with white wine.
  • You may choose to reduce more wine than 2/3 of a bottle as this will create a more concentrated flavor, but this is a pretty good ratio to get started.
  • Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of sauce, 12 one ounce servings.
  • This can be a tricky sauce to make and can "brake" if it becomes too hot or cold or if you add the butter too quickly or slowly. If it brakes, start over and just keep practicing. I still brake one every once in a while when I get in a hurry.
  • Start out with a cheaper wine to learn on, then move on to something nicer. It is fun to taste the differences between wines!
  • Enjoy!
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Key Lime Tarts

Ingredients
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 6-3" graham cracker tart shells
Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Bake empty tart shells for 10-15 minutes until toasted brown.
  • While tart shells are baking, whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice.
  • Fill toasted tart shells with egg mixture.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until filling is just set.
  • Chill completely and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Comments
  • We typically garnish with a slice of lime but raspberry sauce also works.
  • This is a traditional style key lime, no green food coloring here.
  • This recipe could also be used for a full size pie. It will take about 2 1/2 recipes to fill a 9" pie shell. You will still want to pre-bake the crust.
  • When filling the tart shells, it is a good idea to fill them all the way. If not, the top of the crust will break off where filling is not touching.
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Thursday

Stone Ground Cheese Grits

Ingredients

  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • ¼ cup butter (1/2 stick) or olive oil
  • 1cup The Old Mill’s stone ground grits
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • salt, fresh cracked pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Preparation
  • Bring milk, butter or oil, salt pepper and crushed red pepper to boil.
  • Add grits and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Stir often and until grits are tender and thickening.
  • This will take 30- 40 minutes. Stir in cheese and enjoy.
Comments
  • Serves 4-6
  • Serve for brunch with poached eggs or dinner with your favorite steak.
  • We use stone ground grits which are much coarser and thus take longer to cook, if you are using quick grits you will need to shorten your cooking time
  • I like to use a sharp, flavorful cheese like Simetons Four Year Old Cheddar or Locust Grove's La Mancha, but any of your favorites will work.
For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!

Apple Cider, Honey Vinaigrette


Ingredients
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2t Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable/salad oil
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preparation
  • With food processor, blender or immersion blender, combine vinegar, honey and mustard and puree until smooth.
  • Slowly add oil while continuing to puree until all oil is added.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Ready to serve or refrigerate until needed.
Comments
  • Try infusing the oil and vinegar with fresh basil or other herbs for a week before making.
  • Stir or shake well before serving.
  • Recipe makes 4 cups of dressing.
  • We serve this one with our Granny Smith Apple, Stilton cheese salad with toasted walnuts.
Culinary Tutorial
video

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Saturday

Butternut Squash Bisque


Ingredients
  • 5# Butternut Squash, whole
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1½ t ground cumin
  • 1½ t curry powder
  • 1½ t ground ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • dash crushed red pepper
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut off ends of squash and then cut in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out seeds and place squash on roasting pan flesh side down.
  • Add enough water to cover bottom of pan, leave uncovered.
  • Roast in 400F oven for approximately 1hour or until squash is soft.
  • Allow squash to cool completely then scoop out the flesh and set aside.
  • Discard the skins.
  • In a minimum 4qt soup pot, saute onion in vegetable oil until tender.
  • Add spices and garlic, incorporate thoroughly and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken stock or broth and roasted squash
  • Bring to a slow simmer and cook for approximately 1 hour.
  • Remove bay leaf.
  • With a hand held or upright blender, puree mixture until smooth.
  • Return to pot, add heavy cream and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Notes

Soup may be strained for smoother consistency. Roasting of the squash may be done in advance and refrigerated for several days. Consistency of this soup will vary depending on quality of squash (moisture content) and simmering time and temperature. You may find the need to adjust the liquid ingredients accordingly. Once cooled, soup will thicken and may require more liquid when reheating. Sounds complicated - and it is to get the same results every time, but it is so good when you get it right! Recipe will make approximately 3 quarts. Serving 16, 6oz portions.

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Monday

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients
  • 4oz fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, rosemary, etc.) w/ majority being parsley
  • ½ cup onion, small dice
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, small dice
  • 2T chopped garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup vinegar (apple cider or white)
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of ground cumin
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • dash of ground cayenne pepper
  • dash of ground coriander
Preparation
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor except for olive oil and blend.
  • Gradually add olive oil until sauce is smooth and oil is incorporated.
  • Refrigerate or serve immediately.
Comments

Recipe makes approximately 1 quart. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for one month. As the olive oil will congeal when cold, allow to warm to room temperature before serving. Stir before each use. This sauce is great on just about anything - we serve it on some of our meat and egg dishes.

For many more recipes and video tutorials, CLICK HERE!