Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Lemon-Mustard Sauce

1 large carrot
6 ounces small Brussels Sprouts
1 cup, 1/2 inch cubes of butternut squash, or 1 medium sweet potato
1 cup 1/2 inch cubes of celery root
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup couscous

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
Large pinch of finely minced fresh thyme
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

For the root vegetables:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel and dice the carrot the same as the celery root and squash/sweet potato.  
Rinse brussels sprouts, trim off the ends and halve lengthwise; if they are large, cut into quarters.
Toss the carrot, Brussels sprouts, squash or sweet potato and celery root with 1 tablespoon of oil plus salt and pepper to taste.
Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes.  The vegetables should be easily pierced with a knife, and the 
Brussels sprouts should still be bright green.  Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.  

Meanwhile, make the couscous and sauce.

For the couscous: heat the oil in a medium size saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery and carrot.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until tender.
Add the broth or stock and water to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper; bring to a boil.  Add the couscous to the saucepan containing
the broth and stir.  Remove from heat, cover and let rest until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and adjust seasoning.  
If not serving immediately, cover to keep warm.

For the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, optional fish sauce and thyme.  Slowly whish in the oil to form an emulsion.
Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.  The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated, but wait to add the thyme just before serving.

Assembly: Spoon couscous onto a warm platter.  Make a well in the center and top with the roasted vegetables; drizzle half the sauce over the top with
the roasted vegetables; and garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve remaining sauce on the side.  
Serves 8. 

Red Beans and Rice

1 cup long grain brown rice
2 1/2 cups hot water
6 slices bacon, cut into inch-long pieces
1 bay leaf
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (suggest 1/8 tsp to control the "heat")
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
12 ounce package of cooked chicken or turkey sausages
15 ounce can kidney beans

1. In a small saucepan, combine the rice, water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 25 minutes.  
2. After the rice has been cooked for 15 minutes, heat a large skillet over a medium high heat.  Add the bacon and bay leaf and cook until the bacon begins to shrivel and the fat melts, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the onion, green and red bell peppers, garlic, cayenne powder, cumin, oregano and paprika.
4. Saute, stirring often, until the onions are just tender, about 4 minutes.
5. Add the sausage and saute another 2 minutes.  
6. Drain about half the liquid from the can of beans, then add the beans and remaining liquid to the skillet.  
7. Add the rice and any remaining water in the pan.  Mix well, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 5 minutes.
8. Makes 4 servings. 

Creamy Cheddar-Potato Gratin

3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 3 oz.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. chopped fresh Tarragon
1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs. butter or margarine
1 small onion, finely chopped 2/3 cup.
2 cloves, garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
4 lbs., all-purpose potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4" thick slices, about 9 cups.

1. preheat oven to 375F.  In small bowl, combine first 8 ingredients, reserve.
2. In large pot melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often until softened, 1-2 minutes.
   Add half-and-half; bring to boil.
   Add potatoes, simmer until just tender, 12 minutes.
3. Transfer 1/3 of potato mixture to 2 1/2 qt baking dish; sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese mixture.  
   Repeat layering twice. 
   Bake until potatoes are tender, about 50 minutes.
   Let stand about 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.
Kitchen time: 40 minutes.
Ready to serve in 2 hours.


Pecan Risotto

1 1/4 cups fresh pecans or pecan halves
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup sliced fresh button, cremini, shiitake (stems removed) or oyster mushrooms
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup finely shredded fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan cook and stir the pecans over medium heat for 5 minutes or until toasted.  Remove from pan.  Cool slightly and coarsely chop.  Set aside.
In the same pan heat 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Add mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender.  
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring chicken broth to boiling; reduce heat and simmer.  Remove mushrooms from pan; set aside.  Wipe pan clean.

2. In the large saucepan, heat remaining oil over medium heat; add rice, shallot and garlic.  Cook just until rice is lightly golden; about 5 minutes.
Slowly add 1 cup of the broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of the broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook land stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until broth has been absorbed and rice is slightly creamy and tender.  (This should take about 15 minutes.)

3. Stir in spinach, cheese, pepper, mushrooms and pecans until combined.  Serve immediately.  
Makes 4 main-dish or 6 to 8 side-dish servings.

Better Homes and Gardens 12/2005.

Rice Casserole

1 cup rice
1 can beef consomme
1 can onion soup
1 can mushrooms
1 stick butter
1 cup water

Mix together in casserole and bake at 350 for 1-1/2 hours.

Crisp Pickle Slices
(Bread and Butter type)

4 quarts sliced medium cucumbers
6 medium white onions, sliced
2 green peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup coarse-medium salt
5 cups sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons tumeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed

Do not pare cucumbers; slice thin. 
Add onions, peppers, and whole garlic cloves.
Add salt; cover with cracked ice, mix thoroughly.
Let stand 3 hours, drain well.

Combine remaining ingredients; pour over cucumber mixture.
Heat just to a boil.
Seal in hot, sterilized jars.
Makes 8 pints.

Potato Pancakes   (1)

1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
3 cups diced raw potatoes
1 small onion, quartered
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 sprigs parsley

Put all ingredients into a blender container in the order listed; cover and run on LIQUEFY just until all potatoes go through blades, about 10 seconds.
Pour small amounts onto a hot, greased griddle or frypan.  Fry until brown on both sides, turning once.  Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Yield: 18 pancakes

Potato Pancakes (2)

2 cups grated raw potatoes (measure after draining)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoon flour
pinch of baking powder
1 small onion, grated (optional)

Combine all ingredients.  Mix well.  Drop pancake mixture by the tablespoonful onto a hot skillet generously greased with shortening.
(If you like thin crisp pancakes, flatten with the back of a spoon.)
Fry on both sides until brown.  Serve piping hot with sour cream, or with applesauce.

Serves: 4 to 6.

Scalloped Potatoes

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 medium potatoes, pared and sliced thin
2 tablespoons chopped onion

Make white sauce of the first 5 ingredients, shredded cheese may be added to sauce.  Put half of the potatoes in a greased 2-quart casserole; cover with half the oion and half the sauce.  Repeat layers.
Cover and bake at 350 about 1 hour.
Uncover and continue baking until top is browned.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.


3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar (scant)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
dash of salt

1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 cup chopped pecans

To make souffle, combine potatoes, sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, butter and salt in a bowl, and beat at medium speed until smooth.
Spoon into greased shallow 2-quart casserole.

To make topping, combine sugar, flour, butter and pecans, and sprinkle over top of potato mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serves 8 to 10.