Orange Garlic Shrimp Recipe from the Starky’s Test Kitchen

This week’s inspiration came from an unlikely place…the bottom drawer of our home refrigerator. You know those adorable little clementine oranges that you purchase in big quantities in the netted bag? We love to buy those, eat about 3 and then forget about them. Weeks later there they sit, too cute to throw out, too mushy to eat, just taking up space. So the question is:   “What can you do with over-the-hill mini oranges?” The answer came when we were discussing making dried porcini mushroom “dust” to coat lamb chops. What if we dried the clementine peels in the oven, pulverized the peels and used them as a dry rub? As fate would have it, we came across a Bon Appetite article about dehydrated fruit peel and vegetable “powders”…we knew we had to try it with those aged little clementines. Maybe something amazing would happen.   Bingo! We peeled (easily) all the old clementines, juiced all the oranges (for smoothies), and spread the misshapen peels on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with sides. The peels took about 3 hours to dry completely in a 200 degree convection oven. They must be very dry and brittle as any remaining moisture would prevent them from being ground into a powder. This will vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the peels. They should “crack” when you break one in half.   The aroma in your house will be insane. The equipment you need to finish the job is a cheapy coffee grinder. We had an old one from years ago, but you can pick one up in...

Cinnamon Scones from the Test Kitchen

This week the Starky’s Test Kitchen is bringing you a little sweet breakfast treat to surprise your Valentine! We make scones often at Starky’s and they are buttery, light, and super flavorful. Usually we follow the same simple recipe and just play around with additions of chocolate, cheese, nuts, or fruits. It’s great way to kick off the day with a steamin’ hot cup of Joe. The Test Kitchen usually would not even think of offering a “healthier” treat considering the decadence of Valentine’s day. But, recently we have been watching our health a little more closely. We still want deliciousness, texture, and overall satisfaction with our baked goods, but here and there we can add some more healthful elements/additions/substitutions to make what we eat just a little better for us. This is not your traditional scone…it has some ingredients that the purists will not like. The texture is crunchy on the outside with a  soft crumb that is almost muffin-like inside. It hit all our buttons for a perfect breakfast treat. We’d like to share with you our healthier version of a simple scone recipe! <h1>Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Scones</h1> 1 cup 4% cottage cheese 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup white flour ½ cup whole wheat flour ½ cup oats 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar (we use the organic here) 5 Tablespoons butter-cut into small pieces and kept very cold ½ cup cinnamon baking chips (we used Hershey) Schmoo: This is the glaze that we brush on top of our scones and muffins…it is optional, but gives baked goods a shiny, crackly...

An Old Family Recipe from our Holiday Playbook to Yours!

Happy Holidays from our Starky Family to yours! We’re sharing a great old family recipe with you today that Mom always makes the day after our big Holiday Feast.  The recipe is pretty old and has southern roots from our dear neighbor Theresa Hadley.  It differs from a “stew” as the vegetables and beef are chopped into smaller pieces which gives the soup a hearty and silky texture.  We’ve revamped the flavors and cooking methods in the test kitchen this week and have taken out the gluten, heavy fats, and dairy so all of your guests will be able to enjoy this lovely, hearty soup.  Advanced preparation makes it easy to create and stow in the freezer if you are the organized type.  Paired with a chewy loaf of bread or a salad of winter greens, pears and walnuts, we know you will enjoy this recipe as we have for years! MOM’S STEAK SOUP serves 8 2 pounds mushrooms, chopped 1 cup carrots, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1 cup parsnip, chopped 1 cup onion, chopped 1 medium leek, washed and chopped 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced Prep and chop all of your vegetables and aromatics and have them standing by.   2 pounds of round steak, cut into bite size chunks 2 tablespoons corn starch Salt and pepper to taste 2 Tablespoons olive oil Toss the steak cubes with salt, pepper and cornstarch.  Heat a soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the steak cubes.  Do not stir or disturb them for a few minutes, you want each...

Boozy Cranberry Conserve Recipe

We’re sharing a great recipe with you this week that is not from the Starky Test Kitchen; it’s an old family recipe that has been made for many years in our own kitchen at home.  I suppose most Americans consume cranberry sauce about once a year as an obligatory part of the Thanksgiving dinner. This cranberry conserve recipe takes the average cran sauce to new & delicious places and can be served in a variety of different ways at any time of year.  It’s also so ridiculously easy.  Our family cannot get enough of this marvelous, tart, sweet, boozy condiment. Now we’re sharing it with you…your guests will devour it! BOOZY CRANBERRY CONSERVE RECIPE 1 package fresh cranberries (or frozen, we always have a bag or two in the freezer) 1 cup sugar Juice and zest of 1 medium sized orange 1/2 cup golden raisins (don’t skip these, it’s worth the trip to the market to get the golden raisins instead of regular brown raisins) 1 ripe pear, peeled, seeded and chopped 1 big apple, peeled, seeded and chopped (Gala is nice for this as it maintains its shape) 1/4 cup Orange Liquor (we used Patron Orange) Pour the cranberries and fresh orange juice into a 4 quart sauce pan. Pour the sugar over the top and give it a good stir. Turn the burner to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally as it starts to bubble. When the berries start to release their juices, add the golden raisins, apples and pears. Turn heat to low and let the sauce bubble gently for about 10 minutes. With a potato...

Apple Cider Vinaigrette Recipe

Art’s Apple Cider Vinaigrette You should know that Art won the “Vinaigrette-off” contest in the test kitchen. His version was perfectly thick, tart, sweet, tangy and made everyone who dipped in a spoon say “yummmmmm”! 1 small apple, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon shallot, chopped 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard 2 tablespoons honey Dash cayenne pepper 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (we like “Braggs”) 1/3 cup olive oil 2/3 cup vegetable oil Salt and pepper to taste (just a sprinkle does it) Pull out your food processor and toss in the chopped apple, shallot, mustard, honey and cayenne. (Now, if you can handle it, we truly like this dressing with a kick so don’t be too shy on the cayenne; a generous pinch should do it) Give the machine several pulses to chop everything finely. Add the cider vinegar and let the machine run until the mixture is pretty smooth. Here’s the real trick of making any good vinaigrette: you must add the oil to the dressing in a slow, steady stream while the processor is running so the dressing is emulsified and holds together. With the machine on, add both the oils slowly through the feeder until the dressing is glossy and smooth. Dip in a spoon and give it a taste. Depending on the freshness and tartness of the apple, you may need a dash more honey for sweetness, or a dash more vinegar for tartness. Add a bit of salt and pepper and taste again. It should knock your socks off at this point. The test kitchen has put together a list of uses...

Eggplant Caponata Recipe from the Test Kitchen

The Starky Test Kitchen is looking to “lighten up” our cooking this week.  This does not mean, however, abandoning all sense of taste.  Just the opposite is true; if you are looking to add more healthful content to your food, HUGE flavor ingredients are the answer.  We settled on Eggplant Caponata, a versatile condiment that has been in our cooking arsenal for years.  Caponata is our go-to recipe for an appetizer with pita, unforgettable when tossed with pasta & parm and works as a side dish under grilled fish or herb chicken  The Italian inspired ingredients mingle together in the most playful way;  It’s tough to stop snacking on this spicy stuff once you get going….oh, and everyone will want your recipe! Here’s What the Sunday Chef is cooking this week: Eggplant Caponata Recipe 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 1 whole medium sized eggplant…very firm with shiny purple skin 1 small onion, chopped finely 1 celery rib, chopped finely 1 zucchini , chopped finely 1 red bell pepper, chopped finely 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely ½ cup red wine (we use anything that’s a few days past drinkable) 1 cup tomato puree or finely chopped tomatoes (we used roasted cherry tomatoes) ½ cup green olives, chopped rough ½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped rough 2 Tablespoons capers 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped 1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted Optional but delicious:  2 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for garnish over the top “Mise en Place”:  (meez-en-plahs).  French culinary term that means “get all your ingredients prepped before you...