New Year’s Good Luck turnovers
All-butter cornmeal pie dough:
1 c flour
1/2 c corn meal
1/2 t salt
1 stick cold butter cut into pieces
Blend all ingredients except water in food processor, until butter is pea sized, then add water in small amounts until a dough is formed. Form into disk and refrigerate. Roll out dough to 1/8″ inch thick, and cut into circles using a glass, coffee mug, or whatever as a form. I used a pint glass.
1/4 lb panceta
1 can black eyed peas
1 bag of spinich
goat cheese, softened to room temp
Louisiana hot sauce to taste – I like Crystal
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweat onion in a bit of olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Finely chop panceta and add to onion mixture. Add salt and pepper. Cook until pancetta has rendered most of its fat. Empty can of black-eyed peas into collandar and rinse well. Rinse again! Add to pan and heat until beans are hot. Add spinich and continue to cook until spinich is completely wilted. Add hot sauce to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
To each round piece of dough, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling. Squeeze out goat cheese on top of filling. Fold dough over and seal with fork tongs until dough is completely sealed. Prick each turnover 2-3 times to allow steam to escape
Bake at 375 for approximately 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Note, these can be prepared in advance and then frozen. If frozen, allow 5 more minutes or so for cooking.
Roasted Beet Salad
Wash fresh beets and place on foil lined baking sheet in oven at 375 for about an hour, or until fork tender – not as soft as potatoes, but the fork should pierce the beets. Smaller beets take less time, so if you have a mixture, stagger when they are added or removed.
Allow beets to cool and then dice into pieces.
Wash a bag of baby greens, add chopped green onion, carrots, toasted hazelnuts, beets, and crumbled goat cheese.
Dressing: olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, salt, pepper.
Barbara’s Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks. For a 9 inch pan you need approximately 5 good sized sweet potatoes. I typically use yams and I try to buy the skinny ones – they are easier to cut. Boil in water until fork tender and then drain. (Note, for the cooking club dinner, I actually roasted the whole sweet potatoes in the oven and then scooped out the
meat). Place sweet potatoes into buttered 9 inch pan. Add 1 pat of butter, 1 T milk, 1 T orange juice and 1 small pinch of nutmeg. I sometimes add cinnamin. Smash with fork until smooth and ingredients are consistent. Cover with pecan halves, with centers down into the sweet potato mixture. Cover pecan halves with brown sugar. Bake covered at 375 for about 40 minutes.
This was a mixture of two recipe’s I found. I would definitely do this differently – more about that at the end. Here is how it was actually prepared:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 T vegetable oil / 1/4 stick butter
Sear chicken until golden, but not thoroughly cooked. Remove from pot.
Add 3/4 stick of butter to pan, and another T of oil. Add in 1 c of flour, gradually to form a roux. Cook the roux on very low heat, stirring constantly, careful not to burn the butter, until a deep color. If the butter burns, you must start again. I cooked mine for about 40 minutes, and ended up with a roux that was slightly lighter than chocolate. It can be done quicker than this – but I didn’t want to take the risk of burning it and losing my browned chicken bits.
A great image of roux colors can be found at
Once the roux is complete, immediately stir in 1 diced onion, 1 diced green bell pepper, 1 diced red bell pepper, 6 diced celery stalks. This will form almost a paste. Cook until he onion is soft, stirring often, if not contstantly. I turned up the heat, but again areful not to burn. Once the onion is soft, add a couple of cloves of minced garlic and continue to stir until fragrant.
Add 1 bottle of ale, stirring to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 2 (or 3) cans chicken stock, 2 t brown sugar, 1/4 c hot sauce, 1 T Worchestershire sauce, 2 bay leaves.
Bring to a boil and then add chicken back into pot. Simmer – approximately 3 hours and serve over white rice.
What I would do differently:
Use chicken breasts and thighs with skin and bones. Use the same browning procedure, and add the chicken to the pot to cook in the sauce, but once the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken and discard the skin and bones. Add the chicken meat back in and continue to simmer. This will produce a much richer chicken flavor.
Leave out the beer and add a tablespoon of sherry. Not too much sherry, but enough to provide just a hint of richness. This may be sacrilege, I don’t know.
Simmer for less time. I think mine broke down and became a bit gloppy. If the chicken had bones, it would take longer though, so that should be taken into account.
Once the chicken is done simmering, you should cool it a bit and then add File. I didn’t do this. Beware, if the chicken is too hot, the File will become stringy.