Scarborough Fair Dressing

Sage from my garden

Dressing is something that defines a family. A simple comfort food made from leftover bread to stretch an expensive meal (typically using what type of bread you had available so in the south- cornbread, in the north- wheat bread.) You can almost guess where someone’s grandma hails from by what type they serve you. (Dressing, stuffing, cornbread, white bread, fruits, nuts, oysters, chicken, chestnuts…)

 

My maternal grandmother was Canadian. She moved to the deep south in the 1940’s, marrying into a family of Scarborough’s where her mother-in-law had been a true southern debutante and did NOT appreciate her son marrying a “Yankee.” So my southern mother learned to make a white bread stuffing (not dressing) usually studded with fresh pecans.  

 

My husband’s grandmother was from the south and made a traditional cornbread dressing.

 

When we started hosting our family holidays we had an unexpected conflict on what we would serve- an all white bread dressing with nuts like my Canadian grandma made or a total traditional cornbread dressing like my husband’s grandmother made? Everyone wanted their personal favorite and so a compromise was needed. Thus, I came up with a yin-yang combination dressing that seems to please everyone!

Scarborough Fair Dressing

Cornbread and bread traditional dressing for holidays!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces cornbread (or a large cast iron skillet full) I use homemade but you can use any mix or recipe.
  • 14 ounces dried bread cubes or stuffing mix
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 7 ounces melted butter can substitute with olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh Sage approximately 8 leaves, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley finely minced
  • 1 6" branch fresh Rosemary take leaves off of stem and finely mince
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme finely minced
  • 4 cups vegetable, chicken, or turkey stock Homemade is best but even bouillon will do!
  • 1 cup milk or Half & Half
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Nuts, raisins, or chopped apricots (Optional additions)

Instructions

  • Put bread and cornbread in a large bowl and mix.
  • In a medium skillet over medium high heat, saute onions and celery in olive oil or butter until translucent.
  • Add fresh herbs and cook 1 or 2 minutes more.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of stock to the pan to deglaze the juices and remove from heat.
  • Add stock and melted butter to bowl with breads.
  • Mix and slowly add remaining stock and milk (or half & half)
    NOTE: The total amount of liquid may vary depending on how dry the breads are and humidity in air. You want the mixture to stick together and be fairly moist (so it won't dry out too much when baked.)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Butter a large baking pan (12 x 24)and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. (Or until golden brown on top.)

Notes

Time Saving Tip: 
I make my cornbread a day or two before the holidays.  I also saute onions, herbs, and celery and add them to the cornbread before baking. This allows you to skip steps and have all your burners free for other dishes! 

 

 
1-In a large bowl put bread and cornbread and mix together.
Yin & Yang of Bread waiting to be mixed!

 

2-In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions and celery in olive oil or butter until translucent. Add fresh herbs and cook approximately 1-2 minutes more.
 
Time-saving tip: I make my cornbread a day or two before the holidays. I like to saute the onions, celery, and herbs then add to the cornbread before baking. Then when I go to make the dressing I can skip step 2 all together. This is especially helpful when you have all the burners cooking for other dishes!
 
3- Add about ½ cup stock to the pan with vegetables to deglaze the juices and add all of this to the bowl with bread. Add your melted butter also at this point.
Veggie Stock

 

4- Mix and slowly add the rest of the stock and milk. The amount needed may vary depending on how dry ingredients are, humidity etc. You want the mixture to be sticking together and pretty wet (not total mush, but til it’s VERY wet so it doesn’t dry out too much when baking.) Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste and more herbs if necessary.
Last stirs

5- Put in a large buttered baking pan (12×24) and bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour.  You want it to be golden brown on top and edges.

Ready to bake
Remember that dressing is something that you can easily give your own family touch by simply adding local ingredients or that mean something special to you!

On Warm Bellies on a Snow Day (Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe)

My kids are picky.
I mean seriously picky.
A lot has to do with sensory processing issues, and the rest from sheer stubbornness I think.   I really don’t understand it at all because as a kid I lived to try new foods.  My brother and I would beg for octopus or artichokes.  Things that I really didn’t know other kids didn’t want too.
One thing my picky kids do like is Indian Food.   (Go figure.)  I guess the vegetables are sometimes so well hidden or changed with spices that they forget they are there?
Anyway, we have had a long weekend compounded with a snow day and we were all bored of the same old food, so I decided to make Chicken Tikka Masala for lunch yesterday.
FYI, after a bit of research I realized that Indian Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala are actually the same thing, just in Butter Chicken the meat is usually left over and cut into cubes!  

I came up with this recipe.  I made it a bit on the un-spicy side because I wanted the younger three to enjoy it.  (Also left out onions which most recipes have.) I love Penzey’s spices and order most of my spices from them online.  Their Tandoori Spice worked really well in this dish because it had much of what I wanted and nothing extra: coriander, cumin, sweet paprika, garlic, ginger, cardomom, and saffron.  *FOR A VEGETARIAN OPTION YOU COULD USE ROASTED POTATOES, SQUASH, OR CAULIFLOWER INSTEAD OF THE CHICKEN.

bottle of Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning
*And no I’m not sponsored by Penzey’s, but would love to be! 🙂
                  This is what I call “Chicken Quickka Tikka Masala.”
Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

My version of Chicken Tikka Masala and/or Indian Butter Chicken.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 8
Author: Panamamama

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless chicken cut into cubes I like thigh meat but breast is good too!

Marinade

  • 1 cup plain yogurt I like Fage Greek Yogurt
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 clove garlic chopped and pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning

Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika good quality
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (Can substitute with coconut cream)
  • Kosher Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Garnishes

  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Plain yogurt

Instructions

  • Put cut meat into marinade and let sit overnight in refrigerator or at least while you cook the sauce and make the naan.

To make the sauce:

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the spices.
  • Cook a minute or two until fragrant, then add 1 cup of water and tomato paste, stirring until well blended.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and about a cup more water.
  • Take off the heat and carefully puree in the blender.
  • Put back in saucepan and simmer while meat cooks.
  • When meat is almost done add cream, butter, and salt & pepper to sauce and stir and simmer until time to add the meat. (See meat instructions below.)

Meat:

  • In a hot cast iron skillet with 2 Tablespoons of oil cook marinated meat over medium high heat.
  • Stir frequently and cook until meat is thoroughly cooked.
  • Place cooked meat in finished sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.
  • Serve with basmati rice and fresh naan!

It was really easy and turned out great!  And best of all… EVERYONE ate it! *I don’t have a “go to” naan recipe yet.  I just googled “naan” and made one.  I’ll try and get a good one and post it later!

On Summer Salads

We had a fun impromptu cookout for the 4th of July with friends and family!
I love salads in the summer and we had some great ones yesterday.

Here’s what I made:


 Red, White, & Blue ‘Tato Salad

  • 2 Bags of fingerling potatoes (Red, White, & Blue- these were called “Sunset Varieties”)
  • Cook potatoes according to bag directions until firm but not mushy.  (I boil mine but you could oven roast or microwave too.)  Cool potatoes quickly by running in cold ice water.  
  • Chop into bite sized pieces.
  • Chop some red onion and add to taste.  (I added about three tablespoons or so.)
  • I made a mustard vinaigrette by mixing balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over potatoes.
  • Chop some fresh mint and dill and add to salad.
  • I added a few tablespoons of pimento peppers for color.

Turned out to be a nice salad, and  I didn’t have to worry about it getting too hot sitting out.

Quinoa Tabouli

I started using quinoa instead of bulgur wheat in my tabouli recipes a few months ago and my hubby loves it!  It’s easier on tummies and has more protein too!

  • Cook desired amount of quinoa according to package directions.  I used 3 cups (makes a TON.) and had to rinse several times and then cook in 6 cups of boiling water.  I usually toast my quinoa first after rinsing, but it’s not necessary. 
  • Peel, Seed, and Chop up one large cucumber into cubes and add to a large bowl.
  • Wash and Chop up at least one bunch of parsley(I like Italian flat leaf) and add to bowl.
  • Chop up some fresh mint (I used about 4 large stems) and add. 
  • For dressing put about 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, and 2 Tablespoons (or so) of Penzey’s Greek Seasoning.  Mix well and taste before adding to bowl.  
  • Mix cooked quinoa into bowl and toss to coat.  You might need to add more of something to make it to your taste.  
  • Wash and chop one package of bite sized tomatoes to salad and enjoy!

I hope everyone had a fun fourth!

On Sweetness

 Weekend Sweet Rolls for my Sweeties…

 

Tweaking recipes over the years this is what I now do:

Sweet Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Vanilla Glaze

5 cups flour
add 1/2 stick of butter (melted) and put in mixer with dough hook
On stove warm 2 cups milk
(You want it to be warm, but cool enough to stick your finger in and not be burned if you count to 10)
To this add 3 1/4 teaspoons of yeast and about 1/4 cup of sugar (I use Mexican cane sugar instead of white sugar in everything.)
In a small cup beat 2 eggs
Add milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture and blend.
If dough is really sticky add enough flour to make it still moist but where you can touch it and
not have sticky fingers (it’s okay if it’s more on the sticky side now because you can add flour later when your knead.)
Let rise about 15 minutes (would be better to let rise til double, but we are impatient.)
Knead dough on floured surface.  Add flour to make a nice dough if it’s sticky.  Knead until you have a pretty, soft dough.
Roll out into a large rectangle (about 18 x 20)
Brush with melted butter and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (you can add nuts or chocolate chips or raisins if you want to.)
Roll up from long side pressing as you go.
Cut into about 1 inch pieces and place cut side down in a greased baking dish.
Let rise at least another 15 minutes (or ideally until doubled.)
Bake at 350 until light golden brown.
Pour or brush glaze over rolls while warm.

Glaze
About 1/4 cup of melted butter (more or less)
Add powdered sugar (1-2 cups, again more or less)
thin with orange juice and add about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

 

On Snowy Fun

We had somewhere around 5-8″ of snow last night.  I’m guessing close to 6″, by the looks of things.
The kids insisted we make snow ice cream for dessert.  I finally got it perfected I think.  This is what we did…

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

  1. Put a large mixing bowl outside when it starts to snow.  (This way you know the snow is clean!) Keep it outside until you finish the next steps to prevent melting.
  2. Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar in water.  I use about 2 cups of sugar to 3 or 4 cups of water.  Boil this until sugar is dissolved and mixture boils for a few minutes.  You can either remove from heat then, or simmer a little longer for a thicker syrup.  *I use cane sugar instead of refined white sugar in everything.  I actually get mine at the Mexican grocery store because it’s A LOT cheaper (think half!) 
  3. When you are ready and syrup is room temperature or cooler, pour milk and vanilla into syrup.  I put about 2-3 cups of milk, but just use what you think will work.  I used about 2 Tablespoons of white vanilla.  (You can substitute for other flavors here- chocolate syrup, lemon juice…)
  4. Bring snow inside and pour your mixture into the snow and stir
  5. Enjoy! (It melts fast!)