In the past I have told you about my cousin Cindy Dude, now residing in McKinney, Texas. She is a fabulous cook and an extraordinary entertainer. She takes the term "radical hospitality" to a whole new level. She takes simple, delicious and easy recipes and presents them in a way that makes them seem difficult and over the top.
This year she had her family together the weekend after Christmas for a brunch and recently posted the recipes she made on her recipe blog, canigetthatrecipe.blogspot.com. Visit her blog and get to know her, and enjoy some of her recipes that are tried and true to her family.
10 slices white bread
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 boxes Jimmy Dean precooked sausage links
2 1/2 cups 2 percent or whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Few dashes Tabasco sauce, optional
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 small can mushrooms, drained, optional
In a 9x13-inch (or similar) baking dish, tear into bite size pieces, 10 slices of white bread. Sprinkle 2 cups of sharp shredded Cheddar cheese over the top. Brown 2 boxes Jimmy Dean precooked sausage links, then cut into thirds. Brown about 5 minutes, or just until nicely browned. Place on top of cheese. Whisk together 5 eggs, and 2 1/2 cups milk. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and a couple dashes Tabasco sauce, optional. Pour over all. Mix together one can of cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 cup milk. Pour over top of casserole. If you like mushrooms, it would make a nice addition, 1 small can, drained. Bake at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. (I did 325 for 60 minutes and it was fine. We were hungry, so had to hurry it up). I like it a little better after it has set for a few minutes.
This makes two strudels about the length of a loaf of bread.
Remove 1 box Pepperidge Farm puff pastry from the freezer. Remove all wrappings. Separate the 2 sheets and lay side by side on the counter. Thaw for about 20 minutes then flour the surface and gently unfold. Allow to thaw 10 more minutes. (I also chopped and sautéed the vegetables the day before and refrigerated.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté in 2 tablespoons olive oil about 10 minutes, 1 cup frozen cubed hash brown potatoes.
Add to potatoes and cook for 3 more minutes:
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup poblano chile, seeded, diced (or use jalapeno for just a little more heat, not seeds, or you could use a small can a mild, diced green chilies)
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Whisk together the following ingredients and add to potato mixture. Cook just until eggs are set. Stir very gently:
2 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
Brown one roll Jimmy Dean's Original Pork Sausage. Add to egg mixture. Remove from heat and stir in:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons orange juice
Place in the fridge to cool while you are preparing the dough. Better if it is cooled before putting it in the pastry.
Prepare and Fill:
On a well-floured surface roll the thawed puff pastry sheets to about 10x12-inch rectangles. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer to two separate pieces of parchment paper. With the short side toward you, cut off top corners and notch the bottom to create an end flap, repeat with other pastry sheet.
Divide egg mixture in half and place down the middle of each pastry sheet. Fold up the end flaps. Cut the sides of the dough into strips up to the filling, then lay the strip up and over the egg mixture rotating from side to side to form a braid. (Don't stress too much over this. You are going to put cheese on top and it will look beautiful no matter how you do it.)
Lift paper and strudel onto baking sheet. If you have only one oven, it is easier if you put them both on the same baking sheet, just put them side by side each on their own parchment and then cut away the extra paper. Brush with one egg beaten with one tablespoon water. Sprinkle with shredded monterey jack cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then slice in 3 inch slices, and serve with purchased salsa, or pico would be good. But if you want to make your own salsa, here is a recipe.
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 jalapeno, seeded, minced
Pinch each of ground cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper
Serve in a small bowl alongside the strudel.
Serves 6-8 people, add to the fruit for more people, do not need to double the syrup.
In a small sauce pan on top of the stove, simmer together:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped (wear gloves and don't touch your eyes! The pepper itself is not that hot but the seeds are killer.)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Place in a container, cover and chill, overnight, or at least until room temperature.
2 apples (granny smith or honey crisp)
1 fresh pineapple, cored, or one large can pineapple chunks
2 oranges, peeled and segmented, then cut segments in thirds, or one large can mandarin oranges
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cut up the bananas and apples first and place in the bottom of the bowl, pour syrup over them and toss, then add the pineapple and the rest of the fruit. Do not stir until ready to serve to keep the bananas and apples from turning brown. Garnish with the cranberries and cilantro.
For caramel topping:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
(To toast pecans, place in single layer on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring once)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pan with cooking spray.
Stir together the caramel topping ingredients except for the pecans. Spread over bottom of pan. Sprinkle pecans over the top. Process the streusel ingredients in a food processor pulsing until mixture is sandy but without clumps, set aside.
Whisk the dry cake ingredients together in a bowl, set aside. Whisk the wet ingredients together, and set aside. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl only until combined.
Alternately add flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Blend only enough to incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter. Spread half the batter over the caramel in the cake pan, then sprinkle with half of the streusel.
Carefully spread remaining batter over the streusel in cake pan, top with the remaining streusel. Bake coffee cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Cool cake for 5 minutes, and then run a knife around the sides to loosen cake. Invert cake onto a serving plate while hot.
Let cool slightly before serving.
Have a wonderful week, and until next time, happy cooking.