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1/27/15

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches in Big Batches to Serve Now or Freeze, Great "Game Day" Fare to Make Ahead

I love these make ahead sandwiches and this roast beef dandy is the second one I am sharing with you.  I prepare them for pitch in dinners, game days, tail gating, freeze them for later, and bake some now and store in the refrigerator for later in the week.  Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, inspired these on her program over this past weekend although I have adapted them for my families tastes.

The first one I featured is made with deli ham and is a family favorite too.  Here is the link if you would like to check them out.  thehiddenpantry.blogspot.com/2010/09/canadian-cheese-soup-game-day.html

Ingredients for Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches:

1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. coarse deli style mustard
3 T. poppy seeds
1 small red onion grated, about 1/4 C.
2 t. horseradish
good shake of Worcestershire sauce
12 stadium style buns separated and opened (I used large soft buns.)
2 pounds thinly sliced or shaved roast beef
8 ounces Colby Jack cheese sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced

Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl until well blended and adjust ingredients to taste. 


Set up an assembly line of open buns and spread the sauce over all of the tops and bottoms of the buns.


Next slice and break the Colby Jack cheese fitting to the bottom bun stopping inside of the edge. 


 Distribute the roast beef generously atop the the cheese topped bottom buns.






Top with a slice of the fresh Mozzarella cheese.  You do not need a large piece as it is soft and will really melt and spread.

Top with the remaining bun tops and wrap each sandwich in a square of aluminum foil.


Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator and bake later or double wrap and freeze for later.

I did both!  I baked a couple and served them for supper with a side of fresh made Cole slaw and bagged the rest for later.

To bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Place the foil wrapped sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes for large sandwiches less if you have made sliders!  Serve and enjoy.  Yield 12 very large hot roast beef sandwiches.






1/24/15

Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cakes, Whichever You Call Them They Are DELICIOUS

Little Bites of Delicious.
The first time I tasted these I was maybe 8-9 and it was my first year of 4-H up in Hamilton county.  The recipe was in my first year cooking book and we made them as a group "FOODS 1" meeting with our leader Ruth Sproat.  I was hooked and have made them ever since.

Since all of the oatmeal cookies disappeared yesterday I made up a batch of these.  Doubting they could have been improved upon but experimenting just the same I substituted 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste* for 1 teaspoon of vanilla and was very pleased!  The rich deep intensity of the vanilla just packs a little more WOW into these heavenly bites.  This is a small batch of cookies only yielding 28 cookies and I doubt they last the weekend!

Ingredients for Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cookies:

2 sticks room temperature butter
1/2 C. sifted powdered sugar + more for rolling the warm cookies after baking
1 t. vanilla bean paste*  (or use 1 T. regular vanilla)
2 1/4 C. flour
1/4 t. kosher salt
3/4 C. finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and salt beating just to blend.  Add the pecans just until incorporated.  Gather the dough into a firm ball and cover snugly with plastic wrap and chill 1-2 hours until firm.

Remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to soften slightly.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment or use sil-pat  baking mats then set aside.

Pinch off lumps of cookie dough and roll them into balls the size of an English walnut and place 2" apart on the prepare baking sheets.  Bake about 10-11 minutes until set, only the undersides should lightly brown.   Leave them in the pans to cool slightly for 4-5 minutes then while warm remove to a pie plate of confectioners sugar and roll to coat well.  I use two tablespoons to roll and remove them to a rack or paper towels to cool.  Yield about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

HELPFUL HINT:
*Vanilla bean paste is a product I order from King Arthur Flour Co.  It is a suspension of vanilla bean caviar, about the consistency of honey.  One teaspoon of vanilla bean paste = the caviar of one vanilla bean or three teaspoons of plain vanilla extract.  It adds delightful depth and flavor to whatever you are making.



1/23/15

Amazingly Flavorful Bean Soup, Low Calorie & Highly Satisfying Simmered with Parmesan Chunks

It had long been held to save the rinds from hard cheeses to flavor soup.
I am obviously in soup mode with a high degree of comfort food woven throughout!  The day is cold, clammy, and grey.  But my house smells unbelievable.  I came across a recipe on Food52 that inspired me and I have adapted it a bit to our likes.  The combination of navy beans and great northern beans yields a bean the semi dissolves and thickens and one that does not but holds together more, which my family likes. I have flavored this with a quart of my home canned tomatoes, a couple of rinds from Parmesan cheese I had saved to flavor soups with and aromatics. 

I had enough Parmesan rind for two nice chunks.
Ingredients for Amazing Bean Soup:

1 C. dry northern beans
1 C. dry navy beans
1 large onion diced
6 large cloves of garlic peeled and minced
1-2 stalks celery in bite size chunks
1-2 carrots diced in bite size chunks
1/4 t. dry thyme
1/4 t. crushed rosemary
2-3 T. olive oil
1 T. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 t. sugar
1 quart home canned tomatoes or a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes + 1/4 C. water
3 1/2 C. good chicken stock
1-2 chunks of Parmesan cheese rinds about 2" x 1" x 1/2"

Soup, beautiful soup!
Place the beans in a large heavy bottomed kettle and cover 1" with water.  Cover and bring to a boil.   Boil exactly 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and leave covered for 1 hour.  Drain the beans and return them to the kettle.  Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook an hour.  Taste and correct the seasoning. Remove the cheese rinds and discard.  When the beans and vegetables reach the desired tenderness serve steaming with additional Parmesan cheese.