Archive for the Recipes Category

Peasant Bread

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized with tags on May 8, 2012 by thekytchnwytch

“Low carb”? Not in THIS home! Bread is and always will be a staple in my home; fad diets be damned! That being said, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of most store-bought bread. Don’t get me wrong, now, it has its moments. There’s nothing like using cheap sliced white bread to make grilled cheese like my mama used to make. It fits the slices of the processed American cheese food so perfectly!

I love baking my own bread. I wouldn’t consider myself to be much above “n00b” status as breadmaking is a serious art and craft. This recipe is so easy, though, that it takes just about an hour from start to finish.

One of the different aspects of this recipe is that you start with a cold oven. This allows time for the bread to rise.

I will post pictures after the next time that I make a loaf so that my descriptors aren’t as odd or potentially confusing. If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out!


2.5 cups all-purpose flour

6 fl. oz. warm water (about 110°F is optimal if you have an instant read thermometer)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil (butter or vegetable oil will work just as well, but don’t use margarine as it’s more water than fat)

1 package of Dry Active Yeast (that’s about 1 1/2 teaspoons or 1/4 ounce)


1. In your measuring cup of warm water, add the yeast, stir it gently with a fork to break up the clumps, and let it “proof”. That means, let it get frothy and foamy at the top. That should take about 5-7 minutes. If it doesn’t get frothy, your yeast is no longer active and you should try another packet. While your yeast is proofing, measure out your other ingredients.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt by gently stirring it with a whisk or fork.

3. Add the yeast, water, and oil. Stir until stirring seems silly. You’ll know when you get to that point.

4. When stirring seems silly, it is time to knead the dough. On a clean, smooth surface, dump the dough and scrape out all the bits that are still stuck to the bowl. Mash it all together with your hands and start kneading. When the consistency is that of chewed gum (eww, I know), then smooth it into a lump and put it into a baking dish lined with parchment or lightly oiled. (Parchment is the way to go. Just sayin’.)

5. Once it is in the baking dish, cut some slits in it in whatever design you want. I just usually cut three parallel slits. Cover the dish with foil and place into A COLD OVEN.

6. When your bread, covered with foil, is in the COLD OVEN, turn it on and up to 400°F. Once your oven has reached 400°F, set your timer for 40 minutes.

7. When your timer sounds, uncover the bread and put it back into the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it’s the shade of brown you think looks best.

8. When you remove the bread, and this is the most difficult part of the whole process, let it sit for several minutes until it is cooled.

9. Eat. Enjoy!

10. Repeat steps 1-10.

To store it, make sure you keep air as far away from it as possible. It will stale quickly. If it does stale, though, you can just use it in other recipes that I’ve posted on this blog! WIN! I don’t think you’ll have a problem with it getting to that point, though. It’s that good.


Three Sisters Soup

Posted in Historical Cooking, Native American, Recipes, Soups and Stews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by thekytchnwytch
Photo of Three Sisters Soup

Three Sisters Soup

We have an upcoming event this weekend where I work as a mestiza cook! “Giving Thanks” is one of our biggest events and we always appear on our local news station. Today, we showcased an Apalachee-style recipe called “Three Sisters Soup.” My co-cook, Helena, always does really well in the televised cooking segments and I am happy that she agrees to do them. We try to show something different every year. In the past, Pollo Moruna was one we showed.

The “Three Sisters” refers to the three vegetables in this soup: corn (maize), beans, and squash. The Apalachee grew these three crops well before the Europeans ever visited what is now Florida. The Apalachee were well-known for their prolific farms, which was one of the reasons the Spanish came to the territory. The reason they are called the “Three Sisters” is because of their method of cultivation. These three crops are grown together. The corn is planted first and each stalk is planted on its own mound that is about 18 inches wide, about 4-6 inches high. When the stalk is about knee-high, the bean is planted right at the base. The type of bean grown locally was a  Phaseolus vulgaris. The kidney bean is a well-known member of this species and is a vine rather than bush bean. As the vine grows, it uses the corn stalk as a pole for support. The bean returns the favor of support by supplying the corn with nitrogen that it adds to the soil. Corn grows best in nitrogen rich soil. Let’s not forget about the third sister, squash! Squash is also a vine and has nice broad leaves. As the squash grows along the ground in and among the corn and bean mounds, it acts as a natural weed suppressant. It shades the soil, filtering the sun and making weeds grow slower. It also helps to slow water from evaporating from the soil. That’s a very helpful action considering the Apalachee were watering immense fields by hand. The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s (NCAT) Sustainable Agriculture Project has a great publication you can download for free that goes further into this method of companion planting. To view the section that discusses just the Three Sisters, go here. It’s funny how we sometimes think that our methods of conservation are “new” and “innovative.” Sometimes we just need to look at the past and learn from what has already been done and make further improvements on those methods rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. But I digress.

This recipe is as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Native American recipes of yore weren’t as seasoning-heavy as today’s recipes sometimes are. Most of the spices that we use today were introduced by the Europeans, e.g. cinnamon, black pepper, and nutmeg, so none of them are represented in this recipe.

The term “sage” is, actually, quite general. It can refer to several different plants that aren’t very similar. Plants that contain the term “sage” cover several different families and not all are edible. Salvia officinalis is an herb that is in the mint family. This is the “rubbed sage” you might have in your kitchen cabinet at home. This is the species represented in the recipe below as it is the most readily available species in grocery stores, but it is not native to the New World. It comes from Southern Europe and the Near East. Salvia apiana, however is what is native to the New World and it is found in North America’s Southwest region. This is the sage that is sacred to the Native Americans and is the one that is burned in ceremonial settings. To simplify things, and I love simplification where it’s appropriate, we will be using Salvia officinalis in this recipe. What local herb(s) the Apalachee may have chosen in this recipe, I don’t know. We probably won’t know either due to the fact the Apalachee didn’t have a written form or record of their language until after the Europeans came and what we do know has largely been lost or wasn’t deemed “significant enough” by the Spanish to merit recording.

Now that we know a little of the history of this recipe, let’s talk about the recipe itself. This recipe is very forgiving. You really don’t need to worry much about exact measurements and substitutions can easily be made. There are more tips after the recipe.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: about 1 hour


•2 quarts water

•1 cooked turkey thigh OR 2 cooked turkey wings (smoked turkey tastes best) OR 1 ½ cups cooked turkey meat

•2 cups prepared corn

•2 cups prepared and rinsed kidney beans

•1 cup cubed pumpkin/squash

•1 medium onion, chopped

•Several fresh chopped sage leaves or 2 teaspoons dried/rubbed sage

•2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)


1. Put the 2 quarts of water and turkey into a large pot and bring it to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes.

2. To the same pot, add the corn, beans, and pumpkin/squash. Lower heat to medium-high and allow them to continue to gently boil for another 15 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary.

3. Add the onion, sage, and salt. Lower to medium heat and allow to cook for a further 30 minutes.

4. If you used meat still on the bone, remove turkey from the soup and place on a plate. Remove the meat from the bones and tear or cut into small pieces. Be careful, it’s hot! Discard the bones and return the meat to the soup.

5.Serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips:

It’s a good way to use your Thanksgiving leftovers.

You can use sweet potato rather than pumpkin or squash.

Our recipe is very basic. It is very versatile and can easily be changed to fit your tastes.

This is a perfect recipe for the crock pot. Just put everything in at once and let it cook for a few hours on “low.”

Any kind of bean works well: lima, pinto…or even a mix!

Add a few Tablespoons of mashed potatoes as a thickener.

Moorish Chicken (Pollo Moruna)

Posted in Historical Cooking, Mediterranean, Recipes, Saint Martha's Hearth, Spanish with tags , , , , , , , on November 13, 2011 by thekytchnwytch

The combination of dried fruit and meat was wide-spread in the kitchens of well-off Moors in 13th, 14th and 15th century al-Andalus – the Arab name for the part of the Iberian Peninsula that was conquered by the Moors.  We confess that the addition of Spanish pimentón, made from red peppers which arrived from America in the 16th century, makes this a slightly modernized version of the 800 year old recipe. This was the second recipe we prepared in my cooking workshop “Saint Martha’s Hearth.”

Serves 8


4.5 lbs chicken cut into chunks (you can use boneless, skinless breasts)

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 cup slivered almonds

½ cup olive oil

5 Vidalia onions cut into thin slices

1 small red chili pepper left whole

2 Tablespoon Spanish Smokey Pimentón

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 cup raisins

2 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

Modern Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Wash and dry chicken.  Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a large (stove and oven proof) casserole dish, heat on the stovetop ¼ cup olive oil until shimmering.  Brown the chicken pieces in batches and set aside on a plate.

4. To the same large casserole dish, add the Spanish Pimentón, cinnamon and black pepper. Heat the spices on low heat, then add water and bay leaf.

5. Return chicken to the casserole dish, bring to simmer. Then place in the oven and bake covered for 60 minutes.

6. While chicken is baking, in a heavy bottomed frying pan heat ½ C. olive oil until shimmering. Add almonds and toast on low heat for 5 minutes until browned. Set almonds aside on a plate.

7. Add onions and the chili pepper to the same heavy bottomed frying pan. Sauté 20 minutes until onions have caramelized.

8. To the caramelized onions, add the almonds, raisins, honey, and vinegar. Discard the chili pepper.

9. Remove chicken from the oven. Stir in the onions, almonds, and raisins mixture. Set the combined dish aside to sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Honey Rum Apple Pie

Posted in Dessert, Recipes, Toni Verticelli Farmer with tags , , , , on November 13, 2011 by thekytchnwytch

For the dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cold butter OR butter-flavored shortening, cut into small cubes
1/4 cold water (on side)
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Cut the butter OR shortening into flour until the mix looks like large crumbs.

2. Drizzle cold water in slowly until mix makes a firm dough ball.

3. Divide in half and wrap in plastic wrap.

4. Refrigerate dough balls for 30 minutes.
For the filling:

7 medium tart apples cored, peeled and sliced.
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon spiced rum or imitation rum extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon all purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Mix filling well and set aside.

3. Roll out one ball of dough and line a pie pan. Add filling.

4. Roll out second ball of dough and cover.

5. Trim edges and pinch closed. Cut 4 small slits in top to allow for steam.

6. Brush top lightly with a mix of a small egg and milk or cream.

7. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.  Let cool. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Pecan Lasagna

Posted in Comfort Food, Entree, Lorie Reed, Pasta, Recipes with tags , , , , on November 13, 2011 by thekytchnwytch

This recipe was created by my cousin Lorie Reed when she worked as a caterer. It was developed for a bride who wanted lasagna but was worried about marinara sauce ruining her wedding dress.

A new take on traditional Lasagna “Creamy, cheesy, chickeny lasagna – you’ll fall in love all over.


12 lasagne noodles
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup onion (optional and it tastes best if you sautée it first)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 raw egg
garlic salt to taste
1 pint cottage cheese
2 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup toasted pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

The noodles.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

The sauce.
In a medium bowl, combine chicken soup, mushroom soup, onion, Parmesan cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, egg, and garlic salt. Set aside.

Putting it all together.
In a 9×13 inch baking dish, layer 1/3 of the noodles, sauce, chicken and cheese; repeat 3 times, ending with cheese.

Top with toasted pecans for the finish.

Bake covered in preheated oven for 1 hour, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes or until browned.

Rustic Beet Salad

Posted in Jen Ridolfo, Recipes, Salad, Side, Vegetable, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , on September 25, 2011 by thekytchnwytch

My friend Jen Ridolfo has been in the food industry for quite  a while now.  She’s one of those wonderful self-taught chefs that have a more finely-tuned sense for what makes ingredients work together than some that are trained by highfalutin culinary academies.  She is far from pretentious and she’s more concerned with sharing the wonders of the “new” than she is to impress you with her mad skillz (which she ends up doing anyway.)  Here is the first of her recipes that she is happy to share with you through my blog.  As with any of these recipes, if you make it, please let us know how you liked it/tweaked it/didn’t like it…just make sure it’s constructive. 🙂


2 or 3 large Gold or Candy Beets (pink & white stripes)
2 cups rice wine vinegar
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper, ground
pinch of salt


1. Boil beets until a knife inserted has no resistance.

2. After letting them cool, remove the skin of the beet.  (the peel can easily be rubbed off after boiling-just be sure to wear gloves. and an old rag or towel that you won’t mind being all beety).

3. Cut into 1/4inch slices (or small chunks if you prefer, about 1/2inch cubes).

4. Combine remaining ingredients and put into plastic containers with tight fitting lids.

5. Add beets, and place in fridge for a few days. Shake the container twice a day to be sure the beets get ample soak time.

6. Serve over a bed of tender, sweet leafy greens with goat cheese (chevre) and toasted almonds.

Crunchy Nut Tilapia

Posted in Recipes, Seafood, Toni Verticelli Farmer on August 8, 2011 by thekytchnwytch

Toni is really good at developing recipes for seafood.  Why don’t you try this one for dinner sometime this week?

5 pieces of tilapia
2-3 eggs
1 tsp milk or soy milk
1 cup of italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of honey
3 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of finely chopped nuts ( I used almonds, pecans, walnuts and peanuts)
spray oil of choice
3 flat dishes, plates or bowls

preheat oven to 375°F

spray thin layer of oil on cookie sheet

in one dish whisk eggs, honey and milk. set aside.

in another dish blend 1 cup of flour, italian bread crumbs and nuts.
use the last 2 cups of flour in last dish.

roll tilapia in flour, dip in egg mixture and heavely coat in nut mixture. do same for rest of fish laying them on cookie sheet.

Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, turn over and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden and lightly crisp.


(Thanks, Toni!)