From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fancy Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Candied Nuts

This salad is amazing.  Every time I have had it, I have loved it.  Feel free to 1/2 the amounts or double the amounts according to the crowd you are serving.  You can add tons of ingredients to this salad to bulk it up for a meal or to serve as a special side salad.  I have used all romaine lettuce and I have also done it with a combination of romaine and mixed leafy greens.  Both are delicious.  Just use what you have on hand.  The nuts, feta and dressing are key though in making this salad unique, tasty, and special.

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1 medium onion, chopped roughly
1 c sugar
1/2 c cider vinegar
1 tbs poppy seeds
2 c veg or canola oil
1 tsp salt

In a blender combine onion, sugar, cider vinegar and poppy seeds.  Puree mixture.  Then while the blender is running, add oil and salt.  Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Candied Nuts:

1/2 pound of nuts (any kind) about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
1/2 tbs. water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Beat egg white and water in a bowl until soft peaks form.  Add salt, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon.  Beat with mixer.  Add nuts, and stir to coat nuts evenly.  Line baking sheet with foil and grease with cooking spray.  Spread nuts evenly on cookie sheet.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Other ingredients for the salad:
Feta Cheese
Chicken (optional)
Green onions (optional)
peas (optional)
shredded carrots (optional)
cucumber (optional)
tomato (optional)
strawberries (optional)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Herb and Apple Stuffing

I got this recipe from my dear friend Becky who made it last year for our Thanksgiving meal.  I loved it, and fell in love all over again this year.  I had to make some modifications according to the ingredients that were available.  It turned out amazing!  It was so good to combine it with the turkey, and mashed potatoes.  I made it the day before, which I think really makes a difference in flavor and texture.  It may seem super liquidy to you, but trust me it won't be when you cook it up.  Its crunchy on top and soft on the bottom.  Delish!

Herb and Apple Stuffing

  • 8 cup(s) sourdough bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounce(s) of bacon, cut up
  • 2 cup(s) (about 1 large) chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) (about 3 large stalks) chopped celery
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) medium or dry sherry or white cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 5 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cup(s) heavy cream or half n half
  • 1 cup(s) chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cup(s) (8 ounces) freshly grated Gruyère cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange bread in single layer on 18-inch by 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside.  Needs to be like croutons almost.
    1. While bread toasts, in 12-inch skillet, heat butter on medium-low. Add bacon; increase heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion, celery, and apple; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sherry/white wine, rosemary, 3-4 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.
    2. Meanwhile, in very large bowl, beat eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère. Add bread, then vegetable mixture, stirring until well combined. Let stand 30 minutes to allow bread to soak.
    3. Stir mixture well; transfer to 2 1/2- to 3-quart (13-inch by 9-inch by 2-nch) gratin dish. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyère. (To make ahead, assemble bread pudding, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 day before baking.)
    4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until top is browned and custard is set (when knife inserted in center comes out clean). Serve hot or warm.