Hosta shoots 🌱- Who knew they were edible?!

I ran across a link to this article on a cooking forum. It describes in great detail everything you’ll need to know about serving hosta shoots as a side dish. Even if you’re not interested in cooking hosta shoots yourself, it’s a good read.

But first, the recipe:

Pan Seared Hosta Shoots with Ramp Butter

★★★★★

TO TRY

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces fresh hosta shoots as young and tightly coiled as possible, cleaned, rinsed and dried if needed

cooking oil, 1 tablespoon

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

3 Tbsp Ramp butter *see note

1/4 cup dry white wine chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted

Dash of fresh lemon juice for finishing

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a saute pan or cast iron skillet until lightly smoking.

Add the shoots and cook quickly, allowing them to brown lightly, keeping the heat at medium-high. Brown them on both sides.

When the shoots are browned deglaze the pan with the wine, add the ramp butter and melt.

Remove the pan from the heat and swirl it, turning the hostas over in the sauce that forms.

Taste the sauce and season with a pinch of salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Add the dash of lemon juice.

Transfer the hostas to a plate, mounding them up into a pyramid to hold heat if you can. Spoon the sauce over the mound of hosta shoots and serve.

Hosta Shoots

RAMP LEAF BUTTER recipe here:

Ramp Leaf Butter

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

When it’s half gone and not yet frosted, I’d say that’s a ringing endorsement 😂

It reminds me of a blueberry muffin recipe I make in the way it’s assembled, but the glaze is much like, if not exactly like, my favorite Lemon Bundt Cake.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

★★★★★

Baked goods, Cakes

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE:

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, packed (see note)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 cups + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, do not defrost)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

FOR THE GLAZE:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, packed

1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Begin by zesting the lemons.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Let sit for at least 10 minutes while you proceed with the recipe. (It will curdle; that’s okay.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour. Set both aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), combine the butter and sugar.

Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture.

Next, beat in half of the milk mixture.

Beat in another third of the flour mixture, then the remaining milk mixture, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix briefly to make sure the batter is evenly combined.

Add the flour-dusted blueberries to the batter and, using a spatula, fold until evenly combined.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, transfer it to a serving platter and make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Add more confectioners’ sugar or lemon juice as necessary to make a thick but pourable glaze (it should be a little thicker than you’d think, about the consistency of molasses or honey).

Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Let the glaze set for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Slice with a serrated knife. The cake will keep on the countertop for up to 3 days; store in a covered container or wrap in plastic wrap.

Wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving. (Add the glaze after the cake is thawed.)

NOTES

Note: You’ll need 2 large lemons for the entire recipe. Be sure to zest them before you juice them.

Couldn’t wait for the glaze …

Grilled Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad


Grilled Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad

★★★★★

Healthy, Make Ahead, Pasta, Salads, Side dish

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo pasta, wheat or gluten-free

1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1 clove minced garlic

extra virgin olive oil spray

1 small red onion, quartered

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 4 pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 4 pieces

1 large, 10 ounce zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds

kosher salt

black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped basil

DIRECTIONS

Cook orzo in salted water according to package directions; drain and rinse under cold water, transfer to a large bowl and combine with tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of the oil and garlic.

Meanwhile spray the onions, bell peppers and zucchini with olive oil; season with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste.

Grill vegetables on a grill basket over oiled grates, covered, (or broil 4 inches from flame) 10-12 minutes or until lightly charred and tender, turning halfway.

Set aside on a cutting board to cool slightly, then dice into 1/2-inch pieces.

Toss with the remaining olive oil and vinegar and top with chopped basil.

NUTRITION

267 Cals 6.5 Protein 39.5 Carbs 9 Fats
Serving: 11/3 cups, Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 39.5g, Protein: 6.5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 6mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4.5g Blue Smart Points: 7 Green Smart Points: 7 Purple Smart Points: 7

I’m Hooked 🎣 on Sitka Salmon Shares

I know my way around cooking shellfish, but cooking fish in general, intimidates me.
That’s why I joined an Alaskan co-op of fisherman last year. You don’t get more land locked than living in Nebraska 😉.
Sitka Salmon shares not only sells you the fish, they provide great (easy!) recipes.
Tonight I made Teriyaki Wild Alaskan Black Cod (Sablefish) from the vessel known as the Bella Dawn. I’m hooked 🎣😍

Stu Weathers’ Teriyaki Sablefish (Black Cod)

★★★★★

GRILLED, Healthy, Main Dish, Seafood

INGREDIENTS

1 lb sablefish (black cod) fillets, cut into 4 pieces

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon water

1/2 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

4 garlic cloves, minced to a paste

1/4 cup mirin

DIRECTIONS

MAKE TERIYAKI SAUCE

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. In a small saucepan over medium-low, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and mirin. Stir in cornstarch slurry and simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let cool completely.

MARINATE

In a large resealable bag, place sablefish fillets with teriyaki sauce. Marinate for at least 2 hours—overnight is preferable.

GRILL SABLEFISH

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat. Place marinated sablefish fillets skin-side down on the grates. Cover and cook for approximately 12–15 minutes or until the fish begins to flake. Serve immediately!

NOTES

Note: You can use 3/4 cup of your favorite teriyaki sauce mixed with 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger and 4 finely minced garlic cloves to make this even easier.

Air Fryer Bacon Burger Bites

Move over, sliders. Get ready for burgers on a stick! This bun-less appetizer will be your new favorite low-carb way to eat a burger. They’re so cute and a definite crowd-pleaser. If you’re hosting a party, you should add these burger bites to your menu. If your obsessed with your air fryer as much as me, you will love this and more air fryer recipes!

These mini burgers are a healthy appetizer that don’t skimp on flavor. The bacon is mixed right in with the beef, making it extra juicy. Oh, and did I mention that they’re totally low-carb? There’s no bun – everything’s skewered on an appetizer toothpick. You definitely won’t miss the bread!

To make these bacon-burger bites, start by making the meat mixture. Put the beef, bacon, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder in a bowl and combine. Form into about 30 small meatballs. You can prep the beef ahead and refrigerate overnight covered tight in plastic. Prep the remaining ingredients so they are fast to assemble as you want to eat them hot.

When ready to serve, cook the meatballs in batches in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees.

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or make them on the grill.

Set out your favorite condiments and let everyone dig in!t

So easy!

Once they’re done, it’s time to skewer! Add the meatball, jalapeño (if you want some extra spice), pickle, and lettuce on the toothpick and top it off with the tomato. So easy!

Air Fryer Bacon-Burger Bites

★★★★★

Appetizer, Meats

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs 90% beef

4 oz center cut raw bacon, minced

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 head butter lettuce

30 cherry tomatoes

2-3 jalapeño sliced in 30 thin slices, optional

30 dill pickle chips or slices

ketchup, mayo and/or yellow mustard , optional for dipping

DIRECTIONS

Using your hands, gently mix together the beef, bacon, mustard, salt, onion powder and pepper.

Form into 30 (golf ball size) balls.

Preheat the air fryer 400F. Working in batches arrange burgers in a single layer.

Cook, flipping halfway to your desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium.

Place each burger on a skewers with lettuce, pickles and tomatoes and serve with dipping sauces.

NUTRITION

125 Cals 13.5 Protein 2 Carbs 6.5 Fats
Serving: 2burgers, Calories: 125kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 13.5g, Fat: 6.5g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 39.5mg, Sodium: 521.5mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 0.5g Blue Smart Points: 4 Green Smart Points: 4 Purple Smart Points: 4

VARIATIONS:

  • Don’t eat pork? Use turkey bacon instead or leave it out completely.
  • Prefer turkey burgers? Ground turkey will be just as good.
  • What do you like on your burgers? Feel free to skewer your favorite fixins!

Bone Broth Common Mistakes

Bone broth is everywhere these days. Learn how to make it at home by avoiding the most common mistakes.

Toasted Garlic Beef Stock made with the bone broth instructions you’ll find here

We know. We know: Bone broth. It’s almost too hip for its own good. But whether you consider it a miracle cure for all ailments, or just a hearty broth to sip on during cold winter months, it’s a cooking project worth tackling. That said, poorly made bone broth can be about as palatable as, well, a bowl full of bones. Avoid these common mistakes, and your bone broth will be the hottest ticket in town—or at least your kitchen.

1. Skipping the Blanching Step

If you think bone broth is too funky, you’ve probably had to suffer through a mug or bowl that was made without blanching. This step, to be done before roasting and boiling, removes any impurities (read: the nasty bits) from the bones. And if you’re using the right bones, there will be some nasty bits. A real bone broth is made with bones and cuts of meat high in collagen, like marrow, knuckles, and feet. While beef is the meat most people associate with bone broth, it can also be made with lamb, pork, chicken, veal… you name it. A word on these collagen-heavy bones: They make for a stock that’s gelatinous at room temperature. Don’t let the texture of this meat Jell-O alarm you; that’s a sign you did it right. To blanch, cover the bones with cold water, bring to a boil, and let them cook at an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes before draining and roasting (see mistake no. 2!).

this might take 2 stock pots
takes my largest pot

2. Not Roasting the Bones

Repeat after us: “I will always roast my bones.” This browns and caramelizes them, and we all know what browned and caramelized means: Better flavor. Don’t be afraid to really take the bones to the limit: Crank the oven up high—a bold 450˚, says senior food editor Andy Baraghani. Lily Freedman, test kitchen contributor, also adds that you have to put in ample oven time. A quick 15 minutes won’t do: Take those bones right up to the edge of “too done.” Once you’re ready to boil the bones, don’t waste the crisped brown bits on the bottom of the pan; loosen them with a little water and a metal spatula, and add those to your stockpot. This adds flavor to the finished broth.

roasting at 450 degrees

3. Adding Too Much “Stuff”

According to Baraghani, a good bone broth doesn’t need much more than bones and a few choice aromatics, like onions, garlic, and black pepper. “Don’t even get me started on carrots,” he says, which add sweetness. (We won’t dock points if you choose to add them, however; a little sweet can help balance the deeply savory quality of bone broth). But ultimately, this is not the best place to dump all of your compost scraps. Keep the flavor focused and concentrated. Worried about it tasting “one-note”? Just roast the bones to build depth of flavor, and that won’t be an issue.

4. Not Using a Large Enough Stockpot

Those femur bones you’re using? They’re pretty big. This is not a task for your 4-quart sauce pot, says senior associate food editor Claire Saffitz. Use the biggest, heaviest stockpot you’ve got, and fill it up with your roasted bones, plus your (carefully curated) selection of aromatics. Add just enough water to cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. “There shouldn’t be so much water that the bones are floating,” Saffitz explains. The bone-to-water ratio should be close enough that the resulting broth is intensely flavored. Adding too much liquid will make it taste, well, watered down.

5. Not Simmering It Long Enough

Q: How long can you simmer a bone broth? A: How much time have you got? Saffitz recently made one that she kept on the stove overnight. Because the bones used are thick and hardy, they have a lot of flavor to offer up. This is in contrast to a simpler broth, like basic chicken stock: Those smaller, thinner bones will disintegrate after hours on the heat, and won’t add much more flavor.

6. Letting the Finished Broth Cool Slowly

Not to alarm you, but hot broth can be a breeding ground for bacteria—and not the good kind. “Cool it as quickly and efficiently as possible,” says Saffitz. This will also keep the broth fresher for longer. Once you’ve strained out the bones, she recommends adding ice and transferring it to a shallow and wide container, where it will lose heat more rapidly. Don’t worry about the ice diluting the broth; it’s so intensely flavored (you did roast the bones and simmer them for a heck of a long time, right?) that a few cups of cubes won’t drastically impact the flavor. One thing’s for sure: Don’t put screaming-hot broth in the fridge. Not only will it invite bacterial growth, it will raise the temperature of the refrigerator and potentially contaminate the rest of its contents.

the finished product

How do YOU use your bone broth? I like mine straight up or I use it for the recipe in the first image (posting soon). I use it most for (beef) pressure cooking.

Classic Short Beef Ribs in an Instapot

Beef Short Ribs

Classic Short Beef Ribs with Red Wine in an InstantPot

★★★★★

Practically falling off the bone tender, this recipe made a convert out of me.

INSTAPOT/Pressure Cooking, Meats

INGREDIENTS

3-5 pounds short ribs

2 TBSP oil for sautéing 

2 cups beef/chicken broth (or water)

1 cup red wine (or additional broth)

 cups onion in 1” dice

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 TBSP vinegar

2 TBSP soy sauce

2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 tsp dried basil

 tsp thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp pepper

3 TBSP flour

½ cup water

DESCRIPTION

Mouthwatering, nearly fall off the bone short ribs 

DIRECTIONS

Hit Sauté and when the display says HOT, add the oil. Swirl it around to coat the pan and add the ribs. Brown the ribs well on all sides. Browning greatly improves the flavor. Transfer the ribs to a plate and add the broth and wine to the pot. Thoroughly deglaze it by using a wooden spoon to scrape ALL the browned bits off the bottom. Do not skip this step or the Instant Pot may interpret the stuck bits as burning food. That can result in the dreaded Burn warning.

Add all the other ingredients except the flour and water. 

All assembled and ready to pressure cook

Return the ribs to the pot and turn to coat all sides with the sauce. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is set to Sealing. Push the Pressure Cook (or Manual) button. Adjust the time using the + and – buttons to get to 40 minutes. When it beeps that it’s done, leave it for 15 minutes natural release.

While it’s releasing pressure, whisk the flour and water until smooth. Flip the valve from Sealing to Venting for a quick release of any remaining pressure and when the pin drops, remove the lid. Carefully transfer the ribs to a warm platter and cover them with foil to keep them warm. 

Hit Sauté and whisk the flour/water slurry again to freshen it. When the broth comes to a boil, add about half the flour slurry. Bring back to a boil to thicken. Add more slurry if you like a thicker gravy but don’t get carried away. It will thicken a little more as it cools a bit and you don’t want porridge. Taste and adjust seasoning and prepare for Oooos and AHHHs.

One thing I always do is to use a fat separator for any gravy made by a pressure cooker. This one by OXO is amazing and can be put in the dishwasher 🙌🏻

Oxo gravy fat separator

Fresh 🍓Strawberry Pie 🥧

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Nothing I like better than to buy a couple flats of strawberries in season, to make my favorite recipes 🍓

Fresh Strawberry Pie
★★★★★
Baked goods, Desserts
Makes 8 servings – source: Cooking Light
INGREDIENTS

Crust:
50 Reduced calorie vanilla wafers
¼ cup butter or stick margarine melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
cooking spray
Filling:
2 cups ripe strawberries
½ cup water
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 cups small ripe strawberries
½ cup frozen reduced calorie whipped topping thawed and divided
(I used fresh whipped cream 🙂
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven.

To prepare crust, place wafers in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and orange rind, and pulse 10 times or just until wafers are moist. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, cool on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, mash 2 cups strawberries with a potato masher. Combine mashed strawberries and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Press the strawberry mixture through a sieve into a bowl, and reserve 1 cup strawberry liquid (add enough water to measure 1 cup, if necessary). Discard pulp.Combine 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch in a pan; add strawberry liquid, stirring well with a whisk.

Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice.

Arrange a layer of small strawberries, stem sides down, in the crust. Spoon about one-third of sauce over the strawberries. Arrange the remaining strawberries on top, spooning the remaining sauce over the strawberries.

Chill for at least 3 hours.

Serve with whipped topping. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge and 1 tablespoon whipped topping).

Calories 285 (27% from fat); Fat 8.5 grams (sat 4.6g, mono 2.5g, poly 0.9g); protein 1.9 g; Carb 52.2g; Fiber 3.5g; chol 16mg; iron 1.2mg; sodium 146mg; Calc 42mg

Spicy Hot Mess Crab 🦀 Legs with garlic, butter & parsley

Spicy Hot Mess Crab 🦀 Legs

If garlic bread and crab boil had a baby, this would surely be it! Sweet dungeness crab gets tossed in the classic garlic bread mixture — garlic, butter, and parsley — and served with crusty bread to soak up any extra butter. It is a bit messy, but feel free to use the bread as a tasty napkin!

Spicy Hot Mess Crab Legs with Garlic, Butter, and Parsley

★★★★★

Seafood

INGREDIENTS

3 to 4 Dungeness crab clusters, thawed

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Kosher salt

½ lemon

Crusty bread for serving and dipping

DIRECTIONS

SEPARATE CRAB

Separate the crab legs from the body. Using a sturdy knife cut the bodies in half.

STEAM CRAB

Place the crab into a wok or skillet with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Cover and steam just until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well and wipe out the pan.

STIR-FRY

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the butter, oil, garlic, and as much red pepper flakes as desired, and sauté just until sizzling. Add the crab, parsley, and a pinch of salt, and stir-fry until coated with the sizzling mixture. Transfer to a deep platter, scraping all of the butter and aromatics on top and add a squeeze of lemon. Serve right away with claw crackers, bread, and lots of napkins. Dip the crab meat and bread into the surrounding butter and enjoy!

Bacon and Egg Puff Pastry Tart

A creamy cheesy Puff Pastry Tart with poached eggs, bacon and some delish greens on top.

Bacon & Egg Puff Pastry Tart

Bacon and Egg Puff Pastry Tart

★★★★★

Breakfast, Eggs

INGREDIENTS

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1/2 cup crème fraîche

1 lemon, juiced and zested (divided)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 sheet store bought Puff Pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten

2-3 tablespoons This Is Everything Seasoning

6 slices cooked bacon

Toppings

4 eggs, poached

1 cup upland cress or arugula

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chives to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix gruyere cheese and créme fraiche in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest to taste. Set aside.

Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface to make a large rectangle just smaller than a half sheet pan. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Create a border by scoring with a knife, an inch from the edges. Dock the dough by poking holes with a fork in the center area. Brush the border edges with beaten egg and sprinkle with This Is Everything. Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes.

Spread cheese mixture in the center of the pastry dough. Place the bacon on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven.

While the tart is baking, poach the eggs. Toss upland cress with the olive oil, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the tart from the oven, add the poached eggs and break open, garnish with the upland cress salad and chives. Serve immediately