No-Cook Cranberry Relish

If you need a change of pace from traditional cranberry sauce, this tangy no-cook version is an easy and delicious way to bring something new to your Thanksgiving table. The texture is more like a relish or salsa than a sauce, but it pairs just as well with turkey. I’ve also seen it layered over cream cheese to serve as a spread with crackers.

Ingredients

2 lbs fresh cranberries
2 navel oranges
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced (or grated)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped mint

In a food processor, pulse about half the cranberries until they are coarsely chopped, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Remove the zest of one orange with a vegetable peeler, chop the zest into smallish pieces, and add to the food processor. Using a sharp knife, remove the peel and pith from both oranges. Then cut the orange sections away from their membranes and add the sections to the food processor. Add the rest of the cranberries, the ginger and sugar and pulse until finely chopped.

Combine both sets of chopped cranberries, add the mint and stir until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

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Pictured: Corning Ware Floral Bouquet Third Edition A-1 1/2-B Casserole, Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Spring Blossom 2 403 Round Mixing Bowl

7 Steps to Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

For years, I was a devotee of the Julia Child method for cooking hard-boiled eggs. Essentially, it’s a cold-start process: Begin with eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 17 minutes. But recently I switched to a hot-start process, and I’ve become convinced that the outcome is superior. The main difference: Plunging the eggs into boiling water makes them easier to peel. While I’m hardly the first person to discover this, it’s a method that bears repeating. Here are my seven steps to hard-boiled success:

  1. Plan ahead: The fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel, so if you are planning to make something with a lot of hard-boiled eggs (deviled eggs, potato salad, egg salad, etc.), try to buy your eggs a few weeks in advance.
  2. Let the eggs warm up a bit: Set them out on the counter for about half an hour to lose their refrigerator chill. This helps prevent them from cracking when you first drop them into boiling water.
  3. Fill a pot with a few inches of water (enough to cover the eggs) and bring to a boil. The pot should be large enough to hold the eggs in a single layer.
  4. Turn the heat down to low, then use a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs into the pot.
  5. Adjust the heat to a very low simmer (barely bubbling) and cook the eggs for 10-11 minutes. The yolks should end up cooked through but still moist, not chalky. Timing depends on the intensity of the simmer, so it takes a little practice to get a precise result.
  6. Plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
  7. Peel and enjoy! Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. I also like to add paprika (sweet or smoked), cayenne, chipotle powder, chili powder or creole seasoning for a little extra flavor and spice.

Pictured: Corning Ware White B-2 1/2 Buffet Server, Corning Ware French White F-15-B Oval Casserole

Roasted Chicken and Leeks

I’m the type of person who sometimes finds herself with too many leeks. Or kumquats. Or avocados. Or eggs. Mostly it’s because I have no concept of quantity when I’m ordering my Imperfect Produce delivery online. So a good portion of my cooking starts with “What am I going to do with all this x?” And when it’s a vegetable, roasting is usually involved.

Roasting leeks and chicken together makes for an especially easy dish because there’s minimal prep and minimal clean-up required. Pair it with some rice and a salad, and dinner is served!

Serves 6-8

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Ingredients

2 large leeks (about 1 1/2 lbs), sliced in 1/4-inch rounds

1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

4 lbs chicken drumsticks (bone-in, skin-on)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp dried thyme

olive oil

salt

pepper

paprika (sweet)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large roasting pan or sheet pan, combine leeks, onion and bay leaves. Sprinkle with 1 tsp thyme plus salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and toss until everything is coated.

Arrange the chicken on top of the leek mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp thyme plus salt, pepper and paprika. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the chicken.

Bake until chicken is golden and internal temperature is at least 165 degrees (for this recipe I prefer it closer to 180 degrees), about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Spread the leek mixture around evenly, then turn on the broiler and move a rack up about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil the leeks a few minutes until slightly browned (even charred in spots).

Serve chicken topped with the leek mixture. Garnish with fresh thyme if desired.

Pictured: Corning Ware White A-21-B-N Open Roaster

Slow Cooker Pork Stew with Hominy

I’ve been in a cooking rut lately, but now that it’s fall it’s finally the season for my favorite type of meal: stew. I love throwing everything into a pot (or slow cooker), doing next-to-nothing else and ending up with a delicious, homey dish.

Pozole, a Mexican stew typically made with pork, hominy and chiles, has been on my to-cook list for a while. I finally got around to making a simplified version of the real thing. I think this may actually have been the first time I’ve bought hominy at the grocery store — but I’ll definitely be doing it again!

Adapted from “Mexican-Style Pork and Hominy Stew” from America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped
2 Hatch green chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped fine (or substitute 3-4 jalapeños)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 15-oz cans hominy (white or yellow), drained and rinsed
1 4- to 5-pound boneless pork butt
1/2 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped fine
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions and chiles in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes (with juice), chili powder, oregano and bay leaves.

In a blender (or using an immersion blender), puree 1 can hominy with 2 cups chicken broth, then add to the slow cooker along with the other 2 cans of hominy and remaining 2 cups of chicken broth.

Cut the pork into 1 1/2-inch chunks, trimming as much fat as you can, then add to the slow cooker and stir to coat. Cover and cook 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high. Pork should be fall-apart tender.

Let the stew sit for about 5 minutes, then skim excess fat from the surface with a spoon. Season with salt to taste, then stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve over white or brown rice.

Pictured: Pyr-O-Rey Brown Daisy Casserole, Corning Ware Grab-It Bowl

Yeasted Lemon Zucchini Bread

We are lucky enough to have wonderful neighbors who share produce from their vegetable garden year-round. So when they brought over a monster zucchini recently, I decided to make some zucchini bread. But not just any zucchini bread!

While I love traditional zucchini bread — usually a quick bread leavened with baking powder — there is something really satisfying about baking yeast breads. The smooth feel of well kneaded dough, watching it rise, shaping it — not to mention the physical work and patience required. Plus, you can’t beat the soft, fluffy texture!

So I set out to make a yeasted zucchini bread, something with the flavors of the traditional recipe and just a touch of sweetness, like a breakfast bread. It’s delicious served warm with plenty of butter!

 

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups bread flour (stir your flour before measuring to loosen)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
cooking spray

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast. Add the zucchini and lemon zest and stir to incorporate. In a separate bowl, combine the water, honey and olive oil, then add to the flour mixture.

Knead until smooth. I like to do the bulk of the kneading with an electric stand mixer using the dough hook attachment (for about 4 minutes), and then finish it up by hand. The dough starts out a little wet, so add small amounts of flour as you go (not too much) to keep it from sticking to your hands. The end result should be smooth and slightly tacky, but not sticky. (King Arthur Flour has a nice kneading tutorial here.)

Oil your bowl with cooking spray and place the dough inside. Spray the top of the dough, then cover loosely with plastic wrap or a cotton towel. Let rise in a warm place until roughly doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for about a minute. Shape into a sandwich loaf (see this King Arthur Flour tutorial) and place into an oiled standard loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a cotton towel and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake until golden brown and internal temperature registers at 190 degrees, about 45-60 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Let cool another hour before serving.

Pictured: Corning Ware Blue Cornflower P-315-B Loaf Dish, Pyrex Yellow 404 Round Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Spring Blossom 444 Cinderella Mixing Bowl

Oven-Baked Salmon with Chili-Cumin Rub

We eat salmon with this spice rub way nearly once a week, and it’s a reliable hit every time. Try it, and you may never want to go back to any other seasoning. If you don’t want to use your oven, the recipe is also delicious cooked on the barbecue.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 salmon fillets, 6-8 oz each
4 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the cumin, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper and sprinkle over the salmon, coating all sides thoroughly. Transfer the salmon to a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan and bake (skin side down, if your fillets are skin-on) until the centers are just opaque, about 10-12 minutes.

Pictured: Corning Ware Green Macrame P-332 Roaster

Thrifted Find: ’90s Corning Ware Patterns

It seems like every time I come across a Corning Ware pattern that I haven’t seen before, it turns out to be from the 1990s. And I have a theory about that: The ’90s were probably a period of decline for Corning Ware in general. I certainly wasn’t aware of pyroceram cookware then — I wasn’t going to buy it for my first apartment or put it on my wedding registry. And if no one else was doing that either, it’s no surprise that Corning sold off the Corning Ware brand to World Kitchen at the end of the decade.

World Kitchen promptly killed off pyroceram production and switched to stoneware — cheaper to manufacture but a highly inferior product, in my opinion. So the ’90s patterns are the last of a dying breed.

I’ve found myself with a little collection of ’90s Corning Ware patterns, mostly scored at Goodwill and Savers — occasional finds in the sea of Blue Cornflower and Spice O’ Life that’s out there. They are by no means the only patterns from that era, but they have been fun to discover and add to my collection.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left:

  • Shadow Iris (1985-1995)
  • Callaway (1998-2000)
  • Garden Harvest (1994-1996)
  • Country Cornflower (1988-1993)
  • Fruit Basket (1997-1998)
  • Delicious (1992)
  • Fresh Cut (1997-1998)
  • Rosemarie (1995-1997)
  • Blue Dusk (1994-1997)

Also worth noting: The Corning Ware 411 blog is a terrific source for pattern identification, as well as interesting info about specific models, history, etc.