Friday, April 25, 2014

Nancy Brush - Hungry Holidays Recipe Contest - Holiday Oatmeal Dressing


Serves 8

Using Silver Palate Thick and Rough Oatmeal as the basis for flavorful dressing makes it the centerpiece of a holiday meal rather than just a side dish.



3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided

4 1⁄2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

2 1/2 cups Silver Palate Thick and Rough Oatmeal, divided
1/2 cup raisins

1 medium onion

1 celery rib

8 ounces mushrooms

8 tablespoons
1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 eggs

1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
Preheated 350 degree oven

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot on medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the parsley then stir for 30 seconds. Stir in the vegetable stock, sage and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt then bring to a boil. Stir in 2 cups of the Silver Palate Thick and Rough Oatmeal and the raisins. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the oats are cooked. Remove from heat then spread onto a large sheet pan to cool.

2. Meanwhile, peel and slice the onion into large dice. Cut the celery rib into small dice and quarter the mushrooms. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, stir in the onions, celery and salt. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, uncovered for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally then remove from heat.

3. Thoroughly combine the butter, pepper, walnuts and the remaining 1/2 cup Silver Palate Thick and Rough Oatmeal in a medium mixing bowl, and nonstick spray a 13” x 9” casserole dish

4. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl.  In a large mixing bowl combine the oatmeal mixture, the onion mixture and eggs then stir to incorporate.  Spread onto the casserole dish then dot with the oatmeal butter.  Bake for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil.  Uncover and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until the top is browned and the center is hot.  Sprinkle the chopped sage over the top then serve Holiday Oatmeal Dressing with poultry.

Who's behind the apron?

Nancy Brush is from Lansing, IL.  Growing up, her mother and she often watched “The French Chef,” with Julia Child.  Her mother would take copious notes on whatever the recipe was and would try to duplicate it at home.  She met with great success in preparing soufflé potatoes.  As a result of our quality time together, Nancy became very interested in all things culinary.  Her first job was selling cookware at a small retailer in Chicago, moving on to sell wild game, caviar, foie gras and other specialty foods wholesale to chefs, and then onto planning catering menus. Further down the road she went to culinary school in Rhode Island, and currently lives there with long time boyfriend, Andy, and now works seasonally as a yacht chef.

She loves to cook and is constantly reading about food. She enjoys developing recipes and finds that entering recipe contests are a great outlet for her creativity.  Her cooking style is applying everyday ingredients in ways that are not expected.  For instance, she’s working now on a candied beets recipe to top a cheesecake.

She’s not exactly sure when she became familiar with Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins’ store on the Manhattan’s Upper West Side; but she remembers making a beeline for it the first time she visited NYC in the ‘80s and spending way too much money.

Nancy is health conscious to the degree that she eats and serves minimally processed foods.  In addition, she cannot have sugar in any form first thing in morning.  That became the inspiration for this entry.  She has been eating oatmeal in savory preparations for years.  Sometimes she mixes it with miso paste and sriracha sauce or cook it with chicken stock, mix in sautéed mushrooms and top with Parmesan cheese.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jan Greco - Hungry Holidays Recipe Contest - Pulled Turkey Tacos


Serves 4-6
2 1/4 cups Silver Palate Marinara Sauce 

2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

2.5 lbs. turkey breast cutlets (or boneless pork loin) 
1 tbsp. corn starch

1 tbsp. cold water

1 tbsp. butter
soft taco shells
*Optional* shredded cheddar cheese, 
shredded lettuce or cilantro, 
Greek yogurt (or sour cream), pickled red onion, 
diced jalapeño pepper
1. Stir together the first 8 ingredients and pour into the crock pot. Add the turkey cutlets and mix to coat well. Cover and cook on medium for 6 hours.
2. When the turkey is done remove it from the pot and shred it using two forks.3. Mix together the corn starch and water and add it to the sauce. Stir in the butter until it melts, then add back the shredded turkey and mix so that the turkey is well coated with the sauce.
4. Serve in warmed tortillas with fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese, and pickled red onions and an ice cold beer.
Who's behind the apron?
My name is Jan Greco. I am a transplanted New Englander currently living in the Garden State and I’m the food blogger behind I’m a former magazine and book designer, wife, mother and self-taught cook who enjoys preparing and eating simple and delicious food. I am currently working as the Director of Brand Strategy for an architect who is also a practicing artist with a passion for creating with organic materials. For years she’s been making runners, coasters and placemats for friends and clients out of felt and recently decided to launch a line of housewares; felt. by RG. That’s where I come in. My job is to take the line from a well thought out idea to a reality, and so far we’re off to a running start. My job may not immediately appear food-centric, but in fact it’s kinda an extension of perfect of my love of cooking. What’s better than a beautifully prepared meal served on a beautiful tabletop! 

I come from a long line of women who show their love through food. Don’t think of mentioning you’re hungry around us and not expect to sit down to eat, we will feed you! As a true lover of food (the more from scratch, exotic and artisanal the better) I’m always on the hunt for new opportunities to learn from and gain inspiration for my own culinary exploits. I consider myself relatively fearless in the kitchen. I’m willing to try just about any technique, recipe or style of cooking at least once and I’m confident enough in my abilities that I can improvise if/when things go awry. However all that goes out the window when we’re talking about bread baking. No matter how many times I attempt to bake a nice crusty loaf of bread the results turn out disappointing. I truly and with all my heart long to successfully make an eye-rollingly delicious, crusty on the outside light and wonderful on the inside, loaf of bread. A simple seeded boule or a rustic baguette, bread so amazing it could easily serve as the meal, rather than just the accompaniment to it. I’ve even joked that I either need a bread baking class or an intervention. After my last bread baking fiasco I swore that I was done. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t make anymore attempts until I finally took a baking class. But the thing is, I have a sickness. An obsession. An undeniable need to fulfill my bread baking desires. I just can’t stop myself from attempting another “this might be the one” recipe. Sigh… But the odds are in my favor, right? Sooner or later I’m bound to find success, of this I am certain! 

I came up with my Pulled Turkey Taco recipe while contemplating Sunday dinner one weekend. I like to have a proper dinner on Sunday; nothing overly fancy, just a little more involved than your ordinary weeknight meal. Sometimes I grocery shop with a clear menu in mind and sometimes I buy whatever strikes my fancy and figure out how to use it later. That’s exactly what happened the day when I came home from the store with two packages of turkey cutlets. I knew I could grill them or bake them just like I would chicken, but I felt like taking a more untraditional approach. Francese? Stir fry? Parmigiana? No… Tacos! We’ve all had those uninspired and dull as dishwater tacos made with a lump of ground beef and a packet of “taco seasoning.” Yeah, no thanks. I had far greater aspirations for my turkey tacos. First of all I planned to slow cook the turkey with sweet onion, garlic and traditional Mexican spices so that it was crazy flavorful and falling apart tender. Then I would shred it and serve it in warm soft taco shells with some aged cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro leaves, pickled red onion and jalapeños piled on top. Oh baby— These were some of the tastiest tacos the Greco family has ever eaten (and frankly we’re eaten more than out fair share.) So long boring hand-held meal and hello delicious Sunday night dinner!

My family loves pickles and olives, my daughter almost to the point of obsession! We always have a few varieties of your stuffed olives on our cold antipasto platter when we entertain; and people ALWAYS comment on how delicious they are.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Amanda Digges - Hungry Holidays Recipe Contest Winner - Grain Berry Bran Flakes

Grain Berry Bran Flakes Eggplant Parmigiana 

Serves 3-4
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into ¼” slices
2 cups Italian seasoned fine bread crumbs
4 eggs
¾ cup milk
8 cups of Grain Berry Bran Flakes, finely crushed
4 cups of finely grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Kosher salt + more for initial salting of the eggplant slices
1 tsp Ground black pepper
2 Tbsp garlic powder
Olive oil spray
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar of Silver Palate San Marzano Marinara Sauce, heated
If desired, generously salt both sides of the eggplant slices and allow to sweat while preparing your breading station.  The salt removes some of the moisture and mild bitter taste from the eggplant.Heat oven to 425.  Create a 3 section breading station. The first section will be a plate with the bread crumbs.  The second will be a pie plate with the eggs and milked whisked together.   
The third station will be a large bowl containing the crushed bran flakes, parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp of kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, well mixed.  Rinse the eggplant slices well under cold water and pat dry.  Prepare a large rimmed baking dish by spraying it heavily with olive oil cooking spray.  Lightly dust the eggplant slices with the fine bread crumbs.  Then dunk into the egg mixture and follow by coating with the bran flake mixture.  Place on the baking sheet and spray generously with the olive oil spray.   
Bake until lightly browned and crispy, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, change heat to broil, sprinkle each slice generously with mozzarella cheese, and return to the oven until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.  Serve covered with San Marzano Marinara Sauce.
Who’s behind the apron?

Amanda Digges lives in South Windsor, Connecticut which is just outside of Hartford.  She was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in Northern Virginia. 

Amanda works part-time from home as the Director of Finance and Operations for a small consulting company.  She also contributes a weekly column to an online lifestyle/food magazine called  Random House Canada published a cookbook from the recipes featured on the site last fall, and 4 of her recipes were included in the cookbook.  Amanda enters a lot of recipe contests and also competes on the American Culinary Federation circuit.  She lives with her fiancé, Al, and 14-year old son, Logan.  She has a gorgeous dog named Maisy and a cat, Oliver.

She cooks all the time and loves to try new things and experiment with ingredients all the time.  Her family eats VERY LITTLE processed/pre-made foods.  She cooks from scratch almost daily.  So while the family does eat carbs, meat, gluten, fat, salt and lots of other things that are frowned on by some; they eat almost all homemade foods.


“I wanted to do something savory with the cereal.  I thought that a savory application might be more unusual.  I thought that a breading would be a great use of the product.  I LOVE eggplant parmesan and wanted to give that a shot.  Luckily it worked!”