Tag Archives: Cooking

Jim’s Turkey Brine Recipe

I’ve had several requests for my turkey brine and herb paste recipes. In a just-in-time fashion, I’ve posted them below. I use an organic, range raised heritage turkey for my Thanksgiving turkey. I also use this brine for pork chops and turkey breasts that I cook on the grill.

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Jim’s Fire and Wine Scallops Recipe

Scallops with Green and White Bean salad

Scallops with Green and White Bean salad

The sauce and spice mix add a little heat and sweetness to the already sweet scallops. This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook. I served these with a cold Green and White bean salad and crostini and an Italian white wine. This serves two as a main course or four as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C minced sweet onion (Walla Walla or similar)
  • 1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme leaves or chopped Thyme tips
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled
  • 1/2 C. White Wine – medium dry
  • 12 Oz of large dry scallops or the closest even number (8 in this dish)
  • 1 Tbl each Olive Oil and Butter
  • Penzey’s Northwoods Fire spice mix or the mix below
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Mince the onion and either pick the thyme leaves or chop the thyme tips. Lightly dust the scallops with the Penzey’s Northwoods Fire mix or lightly dust with chili powder, smoked paprika, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Heat a 12″ non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter and heat until butter stops foaming and turns lightly brown.

Onion and Thyme
Dusted ScallopsOlive Oil and Buttr

Add the scallops and the whole garlic clove to the pan but do not crowd the pan. Let the scallops sear on one side for 3 minutes. Turn the scallops and add the thyme and onion. Stir the thyme and onion into the oil. Let the scallops sear for 2 to 3 more minutes then remove to a warm plate.
Add Scallops and GarlicTurn add onions

Add the white wine and turn the heat up to high. Scrape all the brown bits off the pan and stir while you reduce the wine by half

Add wine.

Plate the scallops. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over the scallops.

First from the Farmer’s Market

Last night we cooked the first dinner of the season from the Farmer’s Market. All of the food came from the Dane County Farmers’ Market on the Square except for the Mint Newman-Ohs. We made grilled trout with a parsley pesto (italian parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper), grilled fingerling potatoes (par-boiled, rubbed with olive oil and salt then roasted over the coals till crispy on the outside) and steamed spinach. Lola helped watch over the grill. Here are a few pictures.

IMG_1776.JPGIMG_1778.JPGLola

Black Bean and Chorizo Soup

This was dinner last night. It worked out well especially for a “found this in the freezer” dinner. Note: I did not measure out the ingredients exactly. Somethings are pretty easy – a can of X is a can of X. Other things were by eye and taste.

Ingredients

2 Chorizo Sausages – cut into 1/4 lengthwise then chopped to 1/4 inch long pieces
2 small onions diced (about 1 cup diced onion)
1/2 red bell pepper diced
4 small carrots peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 Tbls butter
3 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 14oz Can of Hominy – drained and rinsed
1 14oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes – drained (save the juice for something else)
1 Tbls Chili Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbls Buffalo Chipotle Hot Sauce (the best, most useful stuff)
2 tsp Dried Mexican Oregano
2 Cups cooked black beans (we had made these the day before), drained
1 tsp Sugar
Salt and Pepper

Garnish: Avocado and Lime

  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until the butter stops foaming
  2. Add the onions, bell pepper and carrot and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegis are soft. (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add the chorizo and cook until the fat starts to render out of the sausage (about 5 minutes)
  4. Add the garlic, chili powder and oregano and cook until fragrant (about a minute)
  5. Add the broth and bring to a boil
  6. Add the hominy, tomatoes and beans and stir to combine
  7. Add the hot sauce and cayenne and taste for spiciness. Adjust these for the level of heat and smokiness that you want
  8. Add the sugar. Note: this won’t make it sweet it will just balance out the smokey flavors.
  9. Simmer partially covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Near the end of the cooking time, add a healthy grind of black pepper and test for salt.
  11. Finish in the bowl with chopped avocado and a squeeze of lime.

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