Ask Terri a cooking question

HOME | Cooking Basics | Kitchen Tools | Cooking Tips | Ingredients | Wine & Food | About Terri

« November 2011 | Main | January 2012 »

December 29, 2011

Spiral Cut Ham with Fruit Chutney

Any fruit chutney, salsa, or fruit preserves will add flavor to a ham. The variety of fruits in this chutney makes it a favorite.

Serves 8-10


  • 1 spiral cut ham
  • 1 cup fruit chutney


    Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham in a roasting pan. Pour chutney over ham, cover and cook until heated through

    Posted by terri at 04:02 AM | Comments (0)

    December 28, 2011

    Indian Meat Stew

    Cardomom, cinnamon and cumin create the flavor profile for many Indian dishes. Lamb or beef can be used depending on your preference.

    Serves 8


  • tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound beef stew meat (or lamb)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound new red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chick peas
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup greek plain yogurt


    Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meat and cook, until browned. Add onions, stirring often until fragrant and beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add potatoes, carrots, broth and salt; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the meat is tender.

    Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and peas. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered until the potatoes and the carrots are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt, if desired

    Posted by terri at 04:46 AM | Comments (0)

    Savory Three Bean Soup

    cooking dried beans is very cost effective but takes a little more time. It is best to soak them overnight.

    Soup beans can be a wonderful vegeterian alternative, they are high in protein and with herbs and spices can be very flavorful without adding meat

    Some consider soup beans comfort food dating back at least 4,000 years. Just remember to eat them among friends because the results from the oligosaccharides they produce can be somewhat offensive.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 2 hours


  • 2 cup dried pinto beans
  • 2 cup dried white Northern bean
  • 2 cup dried Kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1-8 ounce ham bone
  • 1 teaspoon dried Herb chart savory
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients into a stock pot and cover. Cook on medium heat until beans are tender, about 3 hours. Serve with cornbread.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • When cooking dried beans you will need to wash them and soak them overnight in a large pot that will allow enough room for beans to double in size.
  • An average rule of thumb is to add 3 cups of water to every cup of beans for soaking
  • Use leftover beans for making chili

    Make it your own

    Use vegetable or chicken broth and omit ham bone to cut down on salt and fat

    To save time you can use canned beans but you won’t get the same texture or flavor

    Posted by terri at 03:21 AM | Comments (0)

    Magic Cookie Bars

    This recipe is an all time favorite recipe from Eagle Brand's dessert collection. They remind me of Christmas time, always on the dessert tray

    Makes 24 bars


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 package semi sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 (3 ½ ounce) can flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In 13x9 inch baking pan, melt butter. Sprinkle crumbs over butter; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Top evenly with remaining ingredients; press down gently. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting. Store at room temperature.

    Terri’s Tip: If you love chocolate try chocolate graham crackers

    Posted by terri at 12:46 AM | Comments (0)

    Chewy Walnut Squares

    Makes 16


  • 1 egg, unbeaten
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


    Stir together the egg, brown sugar and vanilla. Quickly mix in the flour, soda and salt. Add walnuts. Spread in greased 8 inch square pan and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan

    Terri’s Tip

  • Cookies should be soft in the center when taken from the oven)

    Posted by terri at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)

    December 14, 2011

    Basic Crepe Batter

    This basic recipe can be modified for sweet crepes or savory. Add chocolate, herbs or juice depending on the recipe.


  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup butter, melted


    In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Gradually add flour alternately with milk, beating with wire whisk until smooth. Add salt and melted butter. Refrigerate batter for at least 1 hour. Cook crepes in a traditional pan. If the batter is too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk to thin.

    Posted by terri at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

    Mandarin Shrimp Crepes

    Crepes can be home made or store bought, either way this recipe is simple to make. The sauce provides the flavor base and the Mandarin organges add a burst of flavor and color appeal.

    Serves 4
    Total time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pound 24 count shrimp, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup fresh snowpeas
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-10 ounce can mandarin oranges
  • 8 crepes


    Preheat oven 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat butter and sauté snow peas 2 minutes. Add shrimp, rosemary, onions and garlic. Toss and cook on moderately high heat for additional 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cool while preparing the sauce.
    Sauce: Combine in a small saucepan, cornstarch and sugar, stir in broth, soy sauce, orange juice and zest. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add drained mandarin oranges. Fill crepes with cooled shrimp mixture. Roll up or fold over. Arrange in a shallow baking pan. Spoon sauce over filled crepes. Heat in oven for 10 minutes.

    Basic Crepe Recipe

    Serve with Basmati Rice

    Posted by terri at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

    December 11, 2011

    Cold Roast Fillet of Beef with Mixed Salad Greens

    A French red Burgundy is a good choice for this recipe. The smooth tannins in the wine will complement the beef and tarragon especially well.

    Serves 8


  • 3 pounds beef fillet steak, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mixed salad greens, finely chopped

    Cucumber horseradish sauce

  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

    Curried yogurt sauce

  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fruit chutney
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion


    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Pat dry the fillet and rub it with salt, pepper and herb. In an oiled roasting pan roast the fillet in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 135 for medium rare. The fillet may be roasted 2 days in advance and kept wrapped and chilled. Slice the fillet crosswise, arrange it on a cutting board or platter, and garnish it with parsley. Serve the beef atop the lettuce greens with the sauces on the side.
    Cucumber horseradish sauce: In a bowl whisk together cucumber, sour cream, horseradish, vinegar and tarragon. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill.
    Curried Yogurt Sauce: Mix together until smooth 1/2 cup yogurt, chutney, lime juice. Then add remaining yogurt, mayonnaise, curry, onion and salt and pepper to taste. Chill.
    Can make the sauces the day before

    Posted by terri at 04:11 AM | Comments (0)

    Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Stew

    Serve this stew with some crusty bread and a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Follow with curly endive salad, and baked fruit for dessert

    Serves 6


  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut 1/2" thick
  • 6 large chicken thighs
  • 3 cups onions, chopped
  • 2 1/3 cups green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 28 ounces tomatoes, canned, with juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup olives, with pimiento
  • 1 pound large shrimp, uncooked


    Sauté sausage in heavy large pot over medium heat until brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to bowl with sausage. Pour off all but one tablespoon pan drippings.

    Add onions and bell peppers to pot; add paprika and onion powder. Sauté until vegetables are tender and light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, sauté 2 minutes. Return sausage, chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Add tomatoes with juices, chicken broth and wine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

    Uncover pot. Add olives and simmer until chicken is very tender and liquid is reduced to thin sauce consistency, about 40 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Posted by terri at 04:05 AM | Comments (0)

    Butternut Squash and Bourbon Bisque

    Winter squashes are at their peak during the winter months so enjoy them while they are available. Reap the benefits of winter vegetables and stay warm this season with this delicious, warming soup. Warm up even more with an extra shot of bourbon. The bourbon for this recipe should be aged with rich flavors.

    Use a dry to medium dry sherry.
    Both bourbon and sherry are optional.

    Serves 4


  • 3 pounds butternut squash, about medium size
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1 leek, sliced lengthwise to clean, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup half and half cream
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 T water
  • 4-6 gingersnaps, crumbled for garnish


    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

    With a sharp knife prick the squash and place in a baking dish lined with foil and roast for 90 minutes until soft. Let cool for 30 minutes. Cut the roasted squash into pieces, discard seeds. Scoop squash out with a spoon.

    In a heavy soup kettle, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook until light golden brown and add the leeks and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes and add the garlic and ginger. When the garlic is fragrant, add the maple syrup, soy sauce, bourbon, sherry and nutmeg. Add the squash and stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook gently for 20 minutes, cool.

    Put the squash mixture into food processor or blender and puree the soup until very smooth. Put back into soup kettle. Add the milk, salt, and pepper and cornstarch mixture. Cook 2-5 more minutes until thickened.

    Top with crushed ginger snaps

    Cooking Wiser:
    Replace the cream with 1% or 2% milk

    Use dry sherry

    Use Swanson's chicken broth or make your own stock. 1 soup can size of broth equals 2 cups

    Posted by terri at 03:54 AM | Comments (0)

    December 08, 2011

    Shortbread Coffee Cake

    The buttery crumb mixture provides a cookie like crust for this cake. It can be enjoyed as a breakfast cake with coffee or as a dessert or snack with a big glass of milk.

    Serves 8-10
    Prep time: 8 minutes
    Total time:53 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped


    Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Press half of the crumb mixture into a grease 9 inch square pan. Set aside. Combine sour cream and baking soda, stirring well. Add to remaining crumb mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add egg and vanilla, stirring gently to combine. Pour sour cream mixture over crumb crust in pan. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake for 45 minutes.

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Purchase whole nuts and chop them yourself for more flavor
  • For a healthier option use low fat sour cream

    Make it your own
    Replace pecans with walnuts or macadamia nuts

    Add dried cranberries or blueberries to the sour cream mixture

    Posted by terri at 03:08 AM | Comments (0)

    December 05, 2011

    Hot Peppermint Chocolate with Whipped Cream

    A great Southern Living traditional recipe; you'll love the garnish added to give an extra peppermint punch. It's delicious and fun. For children omit the peppermint schnapps.

    Serves 10
    Prep time: 1 minute
    Total time: 14 minutes


    4 cups milk
    4 cups whipping cream
    1/2 cup sugar
    3 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bars, broken into pieces
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup peppermint schnapps
    For garnish
    Whipped cream, crushed peppermint candies, and/or crushed mint chocolate hard candies


    Heat first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, add chocolate and salt, whisking until chocolate melts. Stir in schnapps. Garnish with whipped cream. Add candies or cookies as desired.

    Terri's Tips:

    Serve a peppermint chocolate cookie as a lollipop and dip into the hot chocolate, yum
    Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot chocolate

    Posted by terri at 02:54 AM | Comments (0)

    Warm Brie with Pear Preserves

    During the holidays this simple but stylish recipes is easy to make with only 5 ingredients. It has a sweet and savory combination good with gingersnaps, fruit or crackers.

    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 14 minutes
    Serves 12


    1/2 cup pear preserves
    2 tablespoons sweet white wine (try a Riesling)
    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
    2 (8 ounce) rounds Brie
    1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
    Fresh thyme springs and walnut halves to garnish


    Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. Cut each round of Brie into 6 wedges. Place wedges close together on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the chopped walnuts. Bake at 450 degrees F for 4 minutes or just until cheese begins to soften in the center. Meanwhile, microwave preserves on high for 20 seconds or just until thoroughly heated. Remove the Brie from the baking sheet and place on a serving platter. Spoon melted preserves over the Brie and garnish.

    Terri's Tips:
    Use the remaining wine with the brie, it is a wonderful pairing

    Posted by terri at 02:40 AM | Comments (0)