Candied Jalapeños

© Katherine Stetson

Superb on everything, even ice cream!

This is less a recipe and more a ratio of two simple ingredients, embellished with bits of fun.

  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Sugar
  • Roasted red peppers, diced
  • Lime zest

The ratio of Jalapeños to sugar is 1:.75. Combine in a bowl and stir. Add as much roasted red peppers and lime zest as you like, or skip them entirely.

Place mixture in a jar, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Country Ham Pâté

© Katherine Stetson

Country ham is the famous ham of the south that is salt-cured and smoked. Serve this smoky pâté with assorted pickles, olives, cheeses, crudités, and crackers.

For 1.5 cups:

  • ½ pound Country ham, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon scallion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, subject to your love of Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Several dashes of hot sauce
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Roughly cube the ham and pulse it in a food processer to the fineness or rolled oats.

Cream together the cream cheese, butter, mayonnaise, mustard, and honey. Thoroughly fold in the remaining ingredients and the ham.  Transfer mixture to a storage container and refrigerate overnight. Allow to come to room temperature prior to serving.

Stratford Hall Ginger Cookies

© Katherine Stetson

Makes five dozen cookies.

1 1/2 cups butter, melted
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
granulated sugar (for coating balls of dough)

  1. Sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together melted butter, molasses and sugar.
  3. Add eggs and mix until combined.
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until all flour is incorporated.
  5. Refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Roll walnut-sized balls of dough in granulated sugar.
  8. Place on parchment covered baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.
  9. Cool completely on a rack.

Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

© Katherine Stetson
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup Mexican Crema (or sour cream)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup shredded Aged Oaxaca cheese (or Monterey Jack)
  • ¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8  corn tortillas
  • Sliced scallions, chopped cilantro and extra crema, as garnish

Arrange an oven rack 4″ from the broiler and heat broiler to high. Place tomatillos and chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 10 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, and then peel and discard skins. Transfer to a blender along with cilantro, sour cream, cumin, garlic, and 1 cup hot water. Season with salt and pepper, and purée until smooth. Set aside.

Place chicken and ¾ cup cheese in a bowl and toss with 1 cup enchilada sauce.

Heat oil in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas, one at a time, for 10 seconds, turning once, until pliable. Transfer to a foil-lined sheet pan. Divide sauced chicken evenly among tortillas, and roll tortillas tightly around chicken. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, and place tortilla rolls in dish, seam side down, creating two rows of four. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over rolls, and cover evenly with remaining Oaxaca and Monterey Jack cheeses.

Heat oven to 350°. Bake enchiladas until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and scatter garnishes over the top. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.

Patlicanli Pilav

© Katherine Stetson

A savory and aromatic pilaf from Turkey!

Serves four, as a side dish.

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced very thinly
  • 1 tomato, cut into a small dice
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges, optional garnish

Rinse rice until water becomes clear. Drain in a strainer and set aside.

Place eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow to sit (over a bowl or in the sink) for one hour. Rinse the cubes thoroughly, drain, and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet until hot. Carefully add eggplant and sauté until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomato, eggplant, mint, parsley, sea salt and pepper.  Cook until bubbling.

Add the rice and chicken stock. Do not stir! Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer with the lid on for 20-30 minutes until rice is tender and water has been absorbed.

Acılı Ezme Salatası

© Katherine Stetson

A great Turkish condiment – goes with everything.

Makes approximately 2 cups.

  • 1 medium tomato, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 yellow Bell pepper, very finely chopped
  • 1 red Bell pepper, very finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (or smoked paprika)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Combine vegetables, herbs and spices in a bowl. Season with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Refrigerate for several hours prior to serving.


© Katherine Stetson

The Turkish version of Tzatziki and Raita.

Makes approximately 2 cups.

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup English cucumber, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for several hours prior to serving.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

© Katherine Stetson

A great use for leftover baked ham!

For six servings:

  • 1 ½ pounds white potatoes, scrubbed, skin on
  • 1 ½ cups diced ham
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 ½ cups half and half
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a medium skillet and sauté onion until softened. Add diced ham and toss around until warm. Set aside.

Slice potatoes in 1/8 inch slices (a mandolin makes this easy). Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in a buttered 8×8 casserole dish or 10 inch cast iron skillet. Layer on 1/3 of the onion and ham mixture and 1/3 of the cheeses. Repeat twice more. Pour half and half evenly over the mixture. Loosely cover baking dish with aluminum foil and place on a baking tray to protect oven.

Bake for 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 20 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned and liquid has been absorbed.

Black Velvet Cake with Freakishly Good Peanut Butter Frosting

© Katherine Stetson

Over the top moist and chocolatey!

For the cake:

Butter and flour, for preparing the cake pans

  • 2 cups cake flour (or 1 ¾ all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee warm)
  • good quality dark chocolate, shaved, for garnish

Butter and flour two 88-inch cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine and remove any lumps. Combine the wet ingredients, except for the coffee, in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in the warm coffee. Divide batter between the two cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack for an additional 40-60 minutes. Frost the cakes and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

For the frosting:

Note: If you prefer a sweeter frosting, double or triple the confectioners sugar.

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1  cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

With a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add in the sugar until combined. Spoon into a piping bag and frost the cake. Sprinkle the top with chocolate shavings and/or crushed peanuts.

Gastropub Brussels Sprouts

© Katherine Stetson

Inspired by a gastropub in Concord, New Hampshire. One big happy calorie! Be sure to prepare all the garnishes prior to cooking the Brussels Sprouts!

Four modest servings as a side dish, or enjoyed by many as an appetizer:

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts, young, firm and bright green, trimmed and halved, rinsed and dried
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/3 cup raw walnut halves
  • ¼ cup (or more) Asiago cheese, coarsely grated or shaved
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Bacon fat
  • Lemon wedges
  • Smoked sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper (optional)

Cook the bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel. Crumble when cool. Reserve bacon fat.

Flash fry the walnuts in a small amount of peanut oil and some of the bacon fat. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with smoked sea salt. Chop to desired size.

Coarsely grate or shave as much Asiago as you think appropriate and wrap in waxed paper and store, until needed, in the refrigerator.

In a cast iron skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons of peanut oil and 2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat until hot. Add the Brussels Sprouts and sauté rapidly, stirring and tossing, until caramelized. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid until desired tenderness is achieved. Season with smoked sea salt and ground pepper.

Assemble the dish:

Tumble the warm Brussels Sprouts into a serving dish or dishes. Sprinkle on the bacon crumbs, shaved Asiago, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and serve lemon wedges on the side.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.