Tag Archives: Holland House

Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine

Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

For parties and holiday entertaining we think of cocktails and champagne, but how about something warm like mulled wine? It’s super simple to make and keep warm if you use your slow cooker. You can bring it to a boil using the hot setting, which will have the advantage of burning off a lot of the alcohol so your guests won’t get too toasty warm, if you know what I mean. And once you get it up to temperature, most slow cookers have a warm setting that should keep it at a perfect temperature for the rest of the night. Make a single or double batch depending on the size of your slow cooker.

Also, keep the glasses small! Mulled wine gets cold quickly, and isn’t as good at room temperature as it is warm.

Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Making mulled wine with balsamic vinegar

I decided to put a special spin on my mulled wine using a variety of non-traditional spices like star anise and allspice along with cinnamon and cloves, mostly because I had a bunch in my cupboards! I also thought sorghum syrup as a sweetener would be fun. (Don’t have sorghum in your neck of the woods? Feel free to substitute maple syrup or honey.)

Finally, I had come across several recipes using balsamic vinegar in mulled wine and thought using Holland House Balsamic Vinegar would be perfect. It added a lot of depth but some acidity to the recipe, so it required a little more sweetening to balance it. If the sorghum isn’t quite enough for your tastes, add a little brown sugar to the recipe if you wish.

Don’t forget Holland House cooking wines and vinegars for your holiday cooking needs! Check out their website for money saving coupons and recipes. Follow Holland House on Facebook for holiday cooking tips and recipes, too!

Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine

Ingredients

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 bottle red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel
  • 1/4 cup Holland House Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum syrup
  • 1 (2 inch) piece ginger root, peeled
  • 4 clementine oranges, zested and juiced
  • 3 anise stars
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 4 whole cloves

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker set on high.
  2. Cook for approximately 2-4 hours (depending on your slow cooker) until mulled wine is boiling.
  3. Lower temperature to warm.
  4. Serve in small mugs or glasses.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Total Time: 4 Hours
Servings: Makes 7 1/2 cups
  • Serving size: 1/2 cup

Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Thanksgiving confession time. Since my kids hate turkey, I was considering forgoing having one this year and just making a ham. However, since the folks at Mizkan and Holland House asked me to prepare a turkey brining recipe, I decided to go ahead and make one using a turkey breast since Paul and I were going to be the only ones eating it. (Lucie eventually decided that she did like it and had some.)

Since this turned out so well, I may forget about making beer can chicken and make brined and smoked turkey breast year round – not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The meat was incredibly juicy, moist and tender and incredibly flavorful. If you’re making a full turkey, go ahead and add a turkey breast to your Thanksgiving cooking plans so you have plenty of turkey breast meat for sandwiches and leftover dishes like Turkey Paninis or Rigatoni-Turkey Salad.

I used Holland House Sake Cooking Wine, along with Nakano All Natural Rice Vinegar and ginger to give my brine an Asian flare. To learn more about cooking wines, check out my Cooking Wine 101 infographic. Don’t forget Holland House cooking wines and vinegars for your Thanksgiving cooking needs this year! Check out their website for money saving coupons and recipes. Follow Holland House on Facebook for Thanksgiving cooking tips and recipes, too!

How to brine a turkey breast at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

Inspired by this recipe from Southern Living, November 2013 issue

Ingredients

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 3/4 cup Holland House Sake Cooking Wine
  • 1/4 cup Nakano All Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum syrup
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 3 fresh lemon thyme sprigs
  • 2 1-inch pieces of ginger, peeled
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1 (5-6 pound) bone-in turkey breast

Directions

  1. Bring cider, Holland House Sake Cooking Wine, and next 8 ingredients to a boil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until salt and sorghum are dissolved. Remove pot from heat, stir in ice. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Place turkey in brine. (Brine should mostly cover turkey. If it doesn’t, find a smaller pot. If the turkey still isn’t fully covered, you’ll need to turn it over in the brine about half way through the process.) Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 5 to 12 hours. (Do not over brine your turkey or you’ll end up with salty meat!)
  3. Prepare your smoker according to manufacturer's directions, bringing internal temperature to 225 degrees F using your favorite type of wood chips.
  4. Remove turkey from brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey low in smoker and cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165 to 170 degrees F.
  5. Remove turkey, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Prep Time: 5 Hours 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours
Total Time: 8 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings: Makes 8 to 10 servings
  • Serving size: 3/4 to 1/2 pound of turkey meat

Cooking Wine 101

Cooking Wine 101 at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet thismamacooks.com

Making homemade Italian sausage for Thanksgiving stuffing

Making homemade Italian sausage for Thanksgiving stuffing at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

It’s my favorite cooking time of year – Thanksgiving! This year I’m going to have to scale back from my usual extravaganza, since I’m just not up to it due to my follow up brain surgery. That’s why I started prepping for Thanksgiving early, like making my own Italian sausage for stuffing a few weeks ago and freezing it for later. I’ve used Italian sausage in Healthier Cherry Cornbread Stuffing and other stuffing recipes in the past, so I figure I'll probably use it again this year.

We had some ground venison leftover after my husband did some hunting. However, you can make this with ground pork, turkey or beef (or a combination) from the store or your local butcher’s shop. If you’re wondering why you should bother, if you have food sensitivities or allergies, you’re in control of what’s going into your sausage. You can also control the spice mix to fit your personal tastes. Plus, I bet it’s a whole lot cheaper and you can use a nicer quality or leaner cut of ground meat, if you wish.

Feel free to cut back or add more of your favorite spices and seasonings. I loved how using the Holland House Red Wine Vinegar added a special flavor to the sausage. If you can’t find sorghum in your area, you can use maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, or even molasses. Also, since you’ll be using this in stuffing, there’s no point in bothering with stuffing sausage casings. After Thanksgiving, any leftover sausage can be used in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, as a pizza topping, or in Stuffed Zucchini.

Don’t forget Holland House cooking wines and vinegars for your Thanksgiving cooking needs this year! Check out their website for money saving coupons and recipes. Follow Holland House on Facebook for Thanksgiving cooking tips and recipes, too!

Making homemade Italian sausage for Thanksgiving stuffing at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Homemade Italian Sausage

Adapted from this recipe at Kitchen Simplicity

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ground meat – pork, turkey, beef, venison or a combination (I used venison mixed with beef)
  • 3 tablespoons Holland House Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sorghum syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme (whole, not ground)
  • 1/8 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon marjoram

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Take an old fashioned potato masher and mix ingredients until well combined. Better yet, use your hands!
  3. Weigh out sausage into one pound portions. Wrap in freezer paper, label, and freeze until needed.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 3 pounds of sausage
  • Serving size: 1 pound of sausage

Balsamic & Sorghum Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Sweet Potatoes

Balsamic & Sorghum Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Sweet Potatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Just because it’s fall, it doesn’t mean you have to give up summer time grilling favorites like pork ribs. No, that doesn’t mean putting on boots and a wool jacket just to get the smoker going. Instead, how about cooking up some pork loin back ribs in the slow cooker? Not only does this mean that you don’t have to check the grill or smoker all day long, but you can make this weekend favorite during the week while you’re at work! Just make sure you have a six quart slow cooker before attempting this recipe.

Sure making pork ribs in the slow cooker takes a little preparation the night before, but you’ll come home to a house that smells amazing. Plus, you’ll have a meal on the table less than 30 minutes after arriving home – much faster (let along cheaper and healthier) than hitting your favorite barbecue joint on the way home from work, too. You don’t have to worry about missing the smoky flavor either as the smoked paprika in combination with the balsamic vinegar does the trick.

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Balsamic & Sorghum Drizzling Sauce at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

This pork ribs recipe uses two of my favorite Holland House products, Balsamic Vinegar and Marsala Cooking Wine, which are both gluten free. I’ve also cooked the ribs up with some healthy sweet potatoes, which you can turn into Marsala Sweet Potato Mash if you’re in the mood. Or you can serve with a little smear of a buttery spread and a dash of sea salt. However, my favorite way is to slice up the sweet potatoes and pour on some of the Balsamic and Sorghum Drizzling Sauce, since it’s not just for the ribs. The Balsamic & Sorghum Slow Cooker Ribs goes great with a side salad and some Wine and Rosemary Quinoa, too!

This dish would also make a terrific party appetizer. Since you can fit two three pound slabs of pork loin ribs in a six quart slow cooker, just double the recipe and omit the sweet potatoes. After about five to six hours, check to see if the ribs are cooked through, but not falling apart done. Cut the ribs apart, and place the ribs back in the slow cooker for an hour or two before the party. Serve the drizzling sauce as a dipping sauce. Your guests will love ‘em!

Balsamic & Sorghum Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Sweet Potatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Balsamic & Sorghum Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Sweet Potatoes

If you’re unable to find sorghum, use maple syrup, honey or agave nectar instead. Inspired by this recipe at Epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 pound) rack pork loin back ribs

For the rub

  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sorghum syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Holland House Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

In the slow cooker

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 8 small sweet potatoes, wrapped in aluminum foil

For the drizzling sauce

  • 1/2 cup “drippings” from slow cooker with fat skimmed off
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Holland House Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum syrup

Directions

For the pork ribs

  1. To make the rub, combine minced garlic, thyme, sorghum, balsamic vinegar, chile pepper, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Rub evenly over the rack of pork ribs.
  3. Place the rack of ribs inside the stoneware crock so the meat side is touching the inside of the crock. Place lid on crock and place in refrigerator to marinate overnight.
  4. In the morning, add water, marsala cooking wine, and wrapped sweet potatoes to crock. Place stoneware crock into slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.

For the balsamic and sorghum drizzle sauce

  1. Combine drippings, water, balsamic vinegar and sorghum in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a broil over medium high heat.
  3. Lower heat to medium low. Simmer until reduced to about 1 cup – 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Serve the Balsamic and Sorghum Drizzle Sauce on the ribs, the sweet potatoes, and anything else that may end up on your plate!
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 8 Hours
Total Time: 9 Hours
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 3 to 4 ribs and 2 sweet potatoes per person

Holland House Dutch Oven Giveaway!

As a Mizkan Blogger, I’m giving away a Lodge Enamel 4-Quart Dutch Oven (in blue) and three bottles of Holland House product (approximate retail value $100). Enter below!

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Slow Cooker Pork Ribs at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Marinated Vegetables with Tofu cooked three ways

Grilled Marinated Vegetables with Tofu #hollandhousecw

My husband likes to go mushroom hunting in the forest behind our home. A couple of weeks ago he came home with a Berkeley's Polypore. If you find a young one (the older ones are too tough) you can eat them as long as marinate them overnight. I used a vegetable marinade recipe from The Wild Vegan Cookbook: A Forager's Culinary Guide (in the Field or in the Supermarket) to Preparing and Savoring Wild (and Not So Wild) Natural Foods, which I found on the author’s website.

Since the mushrooms reminded me of cooked marinated tofu, I thought I’d try doing something similar with store bought vegetable and tofu, and would improve the marinade using Holland House’s new Champagne Vinegar and a few additional ingredients like soybean paste and lemon grass.

To sauté: place in a hot skillet and cook until done, stirring occasionally. To roast: preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place vegetables and tofu in a large roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes. Stir vegetables and cook for another 15-20 minutes until done. Combine ginger, lemon grass, oil, wine, Worcestershire sauces, Holland House vinegar, soybean paste and sorghum in a large, non-reactive glass or plastic bowl.

I tried cooking the vegetables three different ways – sautéing on the stove top, roasting in the oven, and grilling in a grill basket. Grilling gave the vegetables a smoky, grilled flavor and the tofu tasted like hamburgers done on the grill. This would be a perfect party recipe for your vegan or vegetarian guests! However, I preferred roasting them in the oven, since that method brought out the flavors of the vegetables and the marinade. Sautéing had a similar effect, but required a bit more effort.

You can serve the vegetables hot as a side dish or cold as a roasted or grilled vegetable salad.

If you cannot find soybean paste, you can use 1 tablespoon of soy or tamari sauce instead. Instead of sorghum, you can use honey or agave nectar.

Grilled Marinated Vegetables with Tofu #hollandhousecw

Marinated Vegetables with Tofu

Based on a recipe from The Wild Vegan Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh lemon grass
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup Holland House Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soybean paste
  • 1 tablespoon sorghum
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2” thick cubes
  • 1 pound fresh vegetables (peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, etc.) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine ginger, lemon grass, oil, wine, Worcestershire sauces, Holland House vinegar, soybean paste and sorghum in a large, non-reactive glass or plastic bowl. Stir with a whisk until sorghum has combined with other ingredients.
  2. Cut up tofu and place into bowl.
  3. Cut up vegetables and place into bowl.
  4. Put the cloves and black peppercorns in a stainless steel mesh tea and cooking infuser, a hop bag , or tie into a piece of cheesecloth. Place into center of marinating vegetables.
  5. If needed, add water to bowl so marinade covers vegetables and tofu.
  6. Cover and marinate overnight, stirring once or twice if possible.
  7. Drain in a colander and cook as follows.

To grill:

  1. Place vegetables and tofu and grill over a low flame until done.

To roast:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place vegetables and tofu in a large roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes. Stir vegetables and cook for another 15-20 minutes until done.

To sauté:

  1. Place in a hot skillet and cook until done, stirring occasionally.
Prep Time: 12 Hours
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1 to 2 cups

Holland House Cooking Wine starter kit giveaway

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One of the benefits of being a food blogger is that I get to try out – and fall in love with – products I wouldn’t normally have the chance to try. That’s certainly the case with Holland House cooking wines! That’s why I’m giving away a starter kit of three bottles of Holland House cooking wines, a recipe booklet, and an Amco stainless steel measuring cup and spoon set to help inspire you to use their cooking wines in all your meals. Enter below!!

Holland House cooking wine starter kit giveaway

Another way to get inspired to use Holland House Cooking Wines in your kitchen is to sign up for the Splash Recipe Club e-newsletter to receive coupons, special offers, and recipe ideas using all of Mizkan’s great products, like Holland House, NAKANO rice vinegars, and more!

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Wine and Rosemary Quinoa

Wine and Rosemary Quinoa at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

On the Udi’s Gluten Free Community website, one of the naturally gluten free foods my fellow community leaders and I like to recommend to members is quinoa. It’s a terrific source of vegetarian protein, too. However, lately I’ve noticed that my kids don’t like it all that much. In fact, they tell me quinoa tastes kind of gross. One way I combat that is by rinsing the quinoa before cooking. Another thing I try to do is dress it up by combining it with salt, spices, and some veggie add-ins like diced roasted peppers during the cooking process.

One successful quinoa recipe I regularly feed to my family is based on this recipe from Mizkan. Instead of couscous, I use quinoa (I use Bob's Red Mill Organic Grain Quinoa) and have adjusted the amounts of water and Holland House White Cooking Wine accordingly. It makes a great side dish when serving grilled steaks or smoked beer can chicken, and it makes great use of the rosemary we have growing in the garden.

In the pictures, it’s hard to see the tiny bits of rosemary. Believe me, it’s there. Also, I checked the ingredients of Holland House's cooking wine, and it's gluten free, too.

Wine and Rosemary Quinoa at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Wine and Rosemary Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Holland House® White Cooking Wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped )
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the quinoa.
  2. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Let boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove cover, pour in quinoa, and replace cover.
  4. Bring back to a full boil, then turn heat down to medium low.
  5. Bring back to a full boil, then turn heat down to medium low.
  6. Cook for 12 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed by quinoa.
  7. Remove from burner and let sit for 15 minutes. (Keep lid on.)
  8. Remove lid, stir quinoa and serve.
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: Makes 4 to 6 servings
  • Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of recipe

Wine and Rosemary Quinoa at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Save money with Holland House

You can download a coupon for 50 cents off your next purchase of Holland House cooking wine here. Also, for more recipes using Holland House, sign up for Mizkan’s Splash for Cash e-newsletter for a chance to win up to $600. (Mizkan is Holland House’s parent company.) Finally you can connect with Holland House on Facebook.

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Disclosure: As an Udi's Gluten Free Community Leader I'm compensated for my time and efforts on their behalf.

Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.

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Crock Pot Shredded Pork with Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce

Crockpot Shredded Pork with Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Do you have a favorite crock pot shredded pork recipe? I bet that you make it with barbecue sauce! How about slow cooking some shredded pork with a Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce with Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine instead? I made this for Christmas dinner and served it over brown rice – delicious! I loved combining the pork with the dried cherries, though you could use dried cranberries, golden raisins or even dried plums. It’s an elegant twist on an old favorite and very easy to make any night of the week.

Serve the shredded pork over brown rice or quinoa. Or buy some whole wheat or gluten free buns and make sliders for your next football watching party!

Crockpot Shredded Pork with Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Crockpot Shredded Pork with Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce

Based on Mizkan’s recipe for Glazed Ham with Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 1/2 cups ham stock*
  • 2 tablespoons Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 cup amber or raw agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 whole cloves
  • dash ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins or dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Directions

For Shredded Pork:

  1. Place pork tenderloin in the slow cooker.
  2. Combine the ham stock and Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine and pour over the meat.
  3. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily with a fork – about 6 to 7 hours depending on your crock pot.
  4. Drain well and pour the Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce over the shredded pork.
  5. Stir and serve.

For Sherry-Orange Dijon Sauce:

  1. Combine agave nectar , cornstarch, cloves and nutmeg in a 1-quart saucepan.
  2. Whisk in mustard, sherry cooking wine and orange juice until well blended.
  3. Add dried cherries.
  4. Cook sauce over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils.
  5. Reduce heat and boil gently 3 to 5 minutes.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 6 Hours
Total Time: 6 Hours 15 Minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
  • Serving size: 1/6 to 1/8 of recipe

*Note: you can find my method of making ham stock at the end of my recipe for Tangy Collard Greens. If you’re pressed for time, you can use vegetable or chicken stock instead.

Save money with Holland House

You can download a coupon for 50 cents off your next purchase of Holland House cooking wine here. Also, for more recipes using Holland House, sign up for Mizkan’s Splash for Cash e-newsletter for a chance to win up to $600. (Mizkan is Holland House’s parent company.) Finally you can connect with Holland House on Facebook.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Thanksgiving sides: Okra Pickles

Okra Pickles at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’ve decided to serve a southern style Thanksgiving this year. Well, what could be more southern than okra pickles? Even better, this recipe gives me a chance to use Holland House’s White Wine Vinegar along with several spices that have been crowding my cupboards for years.

This is also a great recipe for those who are new to canning or making pickles as it’s very easy to do. To sterilize your mason jars, you can wash them on the hottest setting on your dishwasher or boil them in a big pot.

The recipe is based on this one from the November 2012 issue of Saveur magazine. I used two quart jars for the pickles, since that’s what I had on hand. Feel free to do that or use a two quart jar instead. Since pickles can be refrigerated for up to a month, this is perfect for making a week or two before Thanksgiving!

Okra Pickles at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Okra Pickles

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole okra
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed and halved
  • 2 cups Holland House White Wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 8 whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Combine okra, garlic, dill, and chile in a sterilized two quart glass jar and set aside.
  2. Bring vinegar, salt, both seeds, peppercorns, and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a four quart saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.
  3. Pour into jar, seal, and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Keep okra pickles in refrigerator up to one month.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: Two quart jars.
  • Serving size: 1 pickle

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction

Goat Cheese Pizza with Pine Nuts, Baby Greens and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’m crazy about balsamic vinegar reduction as a sauce on anything from roasted vegetables to fish. Drizzling it on food makes an ordinary dish burst with flavor and adds a little elegance to boot. Plus, it’s so easy to make. In this recipe, I used Holland House balsamic vinegar, brought it to a boil on the stove top, and then simmered it until it was reduced by half. Easy!

This pizza recipe is inspired by a gluten free pizza I had at Udi’s PIzza Café Bar in Arvada, Colorado and a Caramelized Onion & Fig Mini Pizza I had when I visited the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter test kitchen back in 2010.

I made this gluten free using Udi’s Gluten Free pizza crusts. If you’re not gluten free, feel free to use whatever pizza crusts you wish. Or you can make your own using my healthy whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

Leftover balsamic vinegar can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks and reheated slightly to drizzle on vegetables, fish, chicken, beef and even strawberries!

Goat Cheese Pizza with Pine Nuts, Baby Greens and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Holland House balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons low saturated fat, buttery spread
  • 1 premade pizza crust
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 12 ounces baby greens
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts

Directions

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. (Make sure to watch carefully to avoid a messy boil over.)
  2. Quickly reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered until vinegar is reduced by half and thickens slightly.
  3. While your balsamic vinegar is reducing, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add buttery spread to skillet to melt.
  4. Add onions and reduce heat to medium. Slowly sauté onions until they turn slightly brown and are caramelized. Be careful not to burn onions. Reduce heat and add more buttery spread if needed. When onions are done, remove skillet from stove top and set aside.
  5. Set oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.
  7. Using a spreader or offset spatula, spread a thin, even layer of goat cheese on pizza crust. If goat cheese is too hard to spread, put it in the microwave on high for 10 seconds to soften.
  8. Add an even layer of baby greens on top of the goat cheese layer.
  9. Carefully sprinkle pine nuts evenly over pizza.
  10. Cook for 10-12 minutes until greens start to wilt and pizza crust and cheese are heated through.
  11. Remove pizza from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over it. Apply a light or heavy drizzle depending on your individual taste.
  12. Slice pizza and serve.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: Makes 1 personal sized pizza.
  • Serving size: Serves 2 as an appetizer or 1 as an entrée.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Win a meal makeover from the Meal Makeover Moms and Holland House #HollandHouseCW

Holland House productsAre you a fan of the Meal Makeover Moms? If so you may want to enter the Holland House/Meal Makeover Moms Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is running through the beginning of June. Each month, one fan will be chosen to receive a meal makeover from the Meal Makeover Moms.

The first drawing took place in April, but there’s still time to enter for the May and June drawings. All you need to do is go to the Holland House Facebook page, like it then enter the contest. Winners will get the chance to talk with the Meal Makeover Moms about their mealtime challenges, have a favorite dinner recipe made over, and win a new set of cookware.

Holland House sweepstakes

If you’re looking for some mealtime makeover inspiration, check out Holland House’s website. Some of the Meal Makeover Moms favorite recipes  include the Broccoli Beef Stir Fry featuring Sherry Cooking Wine, Multi Grain Pilaf with White Cooking Wine, and Cool Cucumber Dressing with White Wine Vinegar.

You can also check out some of my recipes using Holland House products like: Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Best Carne Asada Marinade, and Sautéed Rainbow Chard.

And check out these recipes from my fellow Mizkan Bloggers:

What favorite family recipe would you have the Meal Makeover Moms make over?

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Holland House is holding a Holiday Sweepstakes Bash on Facebook where you can win $500 for your holiday party. You’ll also get advice from an expert blogger party planner to help you plan your holiday bash. All you need to do is “like” the Holland House Facebook page and then enter the contest here. The sweepstakes ends on December 7, 2011 at 11:59:59 pm CT.

To help you on your way to a wonderful Thanksgiving, check out this Holland House recipe for sweet potatoes featuring their Marsala Cooking Wine.

This Mama’s tips

  • To make this dish dairy free and vegan, use a buttery spread instead of butter. Instead of whipping cream, use coconut cream (not coconut milk).
  • Whipped sweet potatoes may be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat in microwave, covered, on medium power. Stir occasionally.
Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Holland House

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds orange-flesh sweet potatoes (red garnets)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Grated peel of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Fill a 6-quart pot halfway with water. Peel each potato and place in pot to prevent browning. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes and return to pot. Drain water so there is enough just to cover potatoes. Stir in salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl or 1-cup glass measuring cup, heat marsala cooking wine in microwave 1 minute on medium power or until very hot. Stir in butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel.
  3. When potatoes are cooked, drain water from pot. Add marsala cooking wine mixture to pot. Whip with electric beater until smooth. Stir in cream, if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 2 Hours
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1 cup

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Best Carne Asada Marinade recipe ever!

Best Carne Asada Marinade recipe ever! at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet  - thismamacooks.com A recent culinary challenge I faced was cooking the mountain goat my husband bagged in September. We had our local game processor make the meat into German, Italian and chorizo sausage – all of which have been fantastic. However, I was concerned with the steaks and chops. Would they be gamey?

I tentatively grilled up a few and found the mountain goat meat was very mild tasting – and extremely chewy. So much so that it was practically inedible. Flummoxed, I decided to marinate and tenderize the heck out the mountain goat meat by making carne asada.

It’s all about the vinegar

We love authentic Mexican carne asada and have learned to make it at home using a recipe my husband found on the Internet. (There are so many similar versions online that I’m not sure who to credit as the author.)

Traditionally, a carne asada marinade uses red wine vinegar. Instead, I decided to do things differently and use Holland House Malt Vinegar. Both Holland House Malt Vinegar and Holland House Red Wine Vinegar have 5% acidity, which makes both perfect for breaking down and tenderizing tough meat. However, the malt vinegar has a wonderful, strong zingy taste that goes well with the lime and orange juices.

My Carne Asada Marinade recipe will marinade five to six pounds of meat and can be easily halved for a small dinner with no leftover or doubled for a big party or tail gating. If you’re using beef, use skirt steak or a similar thin cut, as show above, and marinate 24 to 48 hours. (The tougher the meat, the longer you should marinate it.)

Slow cooker pulled carne asada

Traditionally, you grill carne asada meat. I tried that on half the mountain goat meat I prepared. While it was extremely delicious, it was still chewy even after marinating the mountain goat for over two days!

Instead, I decided to cook the other half of the meat in the slow cooker. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as sweet and tangy as the grilled carne asada. It was still tasty and tender, more like “pulled” meat, which is what I was shooting for. From now on, all mountain goat meat will be slow cooked. Lesson learned.

Rocky Mountain Goat

Best Carne Asada Marinade recipe ever! at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet  - thismamacooks.com

Best Carne Asada Marinade Recipe Ever!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Holland House Malt Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lime juice or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons peeled fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 5-6 pounds skirt steak

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Place meat in gallon sized freezer bag, in the bottom of a shallow baking dish, or a non-reactive (plastic or glass) storage container with a lid.
  3. Pour carne asada marinade on top of meat, cover dish or close bag, and marinate overnight up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.

Grilling the marinated carne asada:

  1. Take meat out of container and grill until just cooked through. (Rare to medium rare.)
  2. Cut cooked meat into strips.
  3. Place meat and favorite toppings (salsa, cheese, guacamole, avocado slices, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, grilled sweet peppers, etc.) in a tortilla to make into tacos or burritos. You can also serve meat over rice for a carne asada bowl.

Slow cooking the marinated carne asada:

  1. After marinating for one or two days, place meat and marinade in a slow cooker.
  2. Slow cook for 10 to 12 hours on low.
  3. Meat should be extra tender and can be shredded with a fork.
  4. Place meat and favorite toppings (salsa, cheese, guacamole, avocado slices, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, grilled sweet peppers, etc.) in a tortilla to make into tacos or burritos. You can also serve meat over rice for a carne asada bowl.
Prep Time: 48 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings: Feeds 4 to 6 with leftovers.
  • Serving size: 1/2 pound per person.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.