Sunday, December 30, 2007

Goetta and Goetta Nachos
(pronounced Getta)

Goetta is ground meat and oats that people in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area use in many different ways. The most common way to eat Goetta is as a breakfast meat. It goes great with hash browns, pancakes, eggs, almost anything breakfast!

My Grandma Judy sent me her recipe. I substitute beef and pork for ground turkey. Dark turkey meat works best, but if you want it extra lean you can use white meat. I’m sure any ground meet combination would work.

Goetta is a German dish. There is a great history of it on Wikipedia. Some people even make a vegetarian version. I might have to try and make that later...

One way to serve Goetta that my Grandma found in a Northern Kentucky restaurant was Goetta nachos. I have the picture above. It tastes great! The recipe for Goetta nachos follows the original recipe.


1 lb beef
1 lb pork
8 cups water
2 ½ cups pinhead oatmeal
1 large onion (chopped)
1 to 4 bay leaves
3 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper

How to:
1. Mix the beef and pork together in a bowl.
2. Put water in a pan until it comes to a boil; add salt, pepper, and oatmeal. Cook the oatmeal 2 hours, stirring often; keep lid on while cooking over low heat.
3. Add meat, onion, & bay leaves, mix well. Let cook 1 hour stirring often.
4. When done take out bay leaves and put into bread pans. When cool, refrigerate.
5. This will keep for days, but when ready to use slice into pieces and fry in desired cooking fat until browned. This can also be frozen and used at a later date.

Goetta Nachos

Couple slices of Goetta (recipe above)
Nacho cheese (we just used Velveeta)
Nacho chips

How to:
1. Melt Velveeta cheese in the microwave. Try to make it creamy; add some milk to the Velveeta if needed. Or prepare nacho cheese the way you know how.
2. Prepare a big platter with nacho chips; corn tortillas are fine.
3. Fry the Goetta in some canola oil (or other desired fat) until golden brown.
4. Crumble the Goetta over the nachos then pour on some cheese. Then some more Goetta and more cheese.
5. Layer it up until the desired nacho plate is made.

This recipe is great for parties. For a twist you could mix some salsa into your cheese and use that with Goetta and chips.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Dinner 2007

This was our Christmas dinner for 2007. Our tradition is to be non-traditional, so we never have turkey. By the time Christmas rolls around we are turkey'd out.

This year we had Christmas Crab. Kroger had a special on Alaskan king crab. Each leg you see in the picture is a pound of crab. We each got one leg a piece. Above is my mom's plate, and we used kitchen shears to crack open the leg meat, which you see in one huge piece in the top right photo.

We also grilled large shrimp and scallops, and I made garlic spinach.

Crab Legs:

4 Alaskan king crab legs
1 bag of crab boil
Large pot full of water

How we prepared it:
To prepare the crab legs we got a huge pot of water to almost boiling, and then we threw in the crab boil bag, which you can find around the fish section of any grocery store. Once the water was colored with the crab boil we put the crab legs in. They were in the water at least 20 minutes, at least 5 or more of those minutes were spent at a rolling boil. The legs come out bright red, and if you look at the knuckle meat you can tell if it is done.

Garlic spinach:

2 bags of spinach
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon (one big pinch) of crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 tablespoons of light or extra virgin olive oil

How we prepared it:
The garlic spinach was easy to prepare. In a large skillet with deep sides you pour light or extra virgin olive oil two times around the pan. We chopped the garlic and threw that in the oil over medium high heat. We then added the crushed red pepper flakes. We let those flavors meld until the garlic start to turn a little brown, and then we added 1 bag of the washed and dried spinach.
Cover the skillet with a lid and let it wilt some, then with tongs just start tossing the spinach in the garlic oil until everything is coated; this helps the spinach wilt.
When that spinach is wilted add the other bag of spinach and do the same until all the spinach is wilted.
If there is any access water at the bottom of the skillet I usually pour the spinach into a colander to drain it off; nothing worse than watery spinach.

Shrimp and Scallops:

4 large shrimp
4 large scallops
Lemon juice
Old bay seasoning

How we prepared it:
Cut the large scallops in half.
Squeeze lemon juice over all the seafood and then sprinkle on the old bay seasoning.
Flip and sprinkle some more seasoning.
Then grill the seafood until shrimp is pink and scallops are firm.

That was our Christmas dinner. We also had some baked potatoes and garlic bread, although I don't really remember eating too much of that. Hope you try this seafood feast with your family.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Emeril Lagasse's Pumkin Cheesecake

This was a cheesecake that I made for Thanksgiving this year. My sister wanted cheesecake and my dad wanted pumpkin pie, so I found Emeril Lagasse's recipe from and decided to compromise for both of them. And boy did the compromise taste good!
Emeril uses a food processor, but I just used my giant stand mixer.

My mom liked the Bourbon whipped topping, but I just like cool-whip on top.

Feel free to check out Emeril Lagasse's other recipes on


1 1/2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed into crumbs
1 cup ground pecan pieces
1 stick melted butter
2 pounds cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 cup light brown sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
Dash bourbon

How to:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the crumbs, ground pecans and the butter together. Mix well and press into a 12-inch spring-form pan.
  3. In a food processor, with the metal blade, mix the cream cheese until smooth.
  4. Add the brown sugar and blend.
  5. Add the eggs 1 at a time to thoroughly incorporate into the cheese mixture.
  6. Add the heavy cream. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and vanilla and blend until smooth.
  7. Add the mashed pumpkin and blend until smooth.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake is set.
  10. Remove from the oven and with a knife loosen the sides from the pan. This will prevent the cake from splitting down the center. Completely cool the cake before cutting.
  11. Combine the whipped cream and bourbon together, blend well. Garnish each piece of cake with the Bourbon Whipped Cream.

Roast Pork with Cherry Sauce

This is a roast pork dish that my mother made. I do not eat pork, but it turned out so well I had to blog the recipe anyways. The only changes Mom made is to puree the whole cherries in the cherry sauce. The recipe my mom used was found in the December 9-15 2007 issue of American Profile: Southeast Edition. The website is, and the original author is Bobbie Bankston from Midland, Texas.

Serves 8 to 10

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 (3 to 4 pound) boneless pork loin roast
1 (14 ounce) can red tart pitted cherries packed in water
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
12 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. Combine salt, pepper and sage in a small bowl; mix well. Rub on pork roast. Place roast in an 11-by-7-inch baking dish, fat side up. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour and 15 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160F.

3. Drain cherries, reserving liquid. Add enough water to cherry liquid to measure ¾ cup. Pour ½ cup into a medium saucepan. Add sugar, vinegar, cloves and cinnamon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 10 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon and discard.

4. Combine cornstarch with reserved ¼ cup liquid and stir until cornstarch has dissolved. Using a whisk, stir cornstarch mixture into hot cherry liquid. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in lemon juice, butter, cherries. (My mom pureed the cherries a little before adding, makes for a less chunky sauce). Cook 1 minute longer to heat thoroughly.

5. Place pork on cutting board and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with cherry sauce.

If you want a more sweet/tart sauce, use less sugar.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rachael Ray's Fiery Chicken Chili

I am a subscriber to Rachael Ray's magazine: EveryDay with Rachael Ray.

This is a recipe in the November 2007 edition. My mom and I tried this recipe and loved it.
Our variation substituted chicken thighs with chicken breast; we left out the adobo sauce and cilantro. Those two flavors are an acquired taste I have yet to obtain. We topped this wonderful chili with cheddar cheese, avocados, sour cream, and scallions!

Here is the recipe direct from Rachael Ray magazine; check out her magazine website by clicking on the link above:

6 servings
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 1 hour

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped, sauce reserved
3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes with their juice
Three 15.5-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed
Chopped avocados, cilantro leaves, grated cheddar cheese, chopped scallions
and sour cream, for serving

1. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and paprika and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the spices are fragrant, about 7 minutes.
3. Stir in the chipotle and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce.
4. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until the meat begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the tomatoes and beans and bring to a boil.
6. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Uncover, increase the heat and simmer the chili briskly, stirring often, until thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
8. Add more adobo sauce to taste.
9. Serve with avocados, cilantro, cheese, scallions and sour cream.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shepherd’s Pie

This is Sheperd's Pie.
I made this for a Bunko game I play with some friends. Here is an article I wrote about this dish and the recipe:

On St. Patrick’s Day many people eat traditional feasts of corned beef and cabbage washed down with some Irish coffee. However, there is another feast to tantalized your taste buds on this very green holiday—Shepherd’s Pie.
Shepherd’s pie is originally made with minced lamb, hence the name shepherd’s pie, but is more commonly made today with ground beef. This recipe is adapted in many different cultures. In the UK they call it cottage pie. A variation made with fish instead of meat is called fisherman’s pie. A version made with Newcastle beer is called drunken shepherd’s pie.
Another common name which rings true to the nature of shepherd’s pie is poor man’s pie. This tells how the recipe came about; essentially poor families would take whatever leftovers they could find and make a meal out of them. This usually included some minced leftover roast beef, vegetables, and the good old Irish staple—potatoes.

The basic recipe calls for:
1 lb. ground beef
1 can of peas
1 can of sweet corn
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup of sugar
8 medium potatoes
Couple splashes of milk and about 2 tablespoons of butter (for the mashed potatoes)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

How to make:
Begin to make mashed potatoes by boiling the potatoes and then beating together with milk and butter.
Then, begin to sauté the onions in a skillet with a little bit of butter. When the onions begin to look translucent add the ground beef. Cook until meat is browned. Season with salt and pepper.
When the meat is cooked add the peas, corn, and sugar. Let this simmer until heated through.
In a 13x9 pan place the meat and vegetable mixture in bottom of pan, then cover with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle the cheese on top.
Place this in an oven to broil until the cheese is nice and bubbly, golden brown.

To jazz this St. Patrick’s Day “stick-to-your-ribs” dinner you could add these
1 package brown gravy mix
Newcastle beer (1/4-1/3 bottle)
Pie crust, enough to cover a medium casserole dish

And adjust the recipe to:
Make mashed potatoes as before.
Make vegetables as before.

While the meat is simmering with the onions add the Newcastle beer and let simmer until meat is fully done. Drain-off excess fat and beer.

Make the gravy to the package directions. Add the gravy to the meat, onion mixture. Stir to combine.

Smear a medium casserole dish with butter and place some pie crust to cover the bottom, then some mashed potatoes. Next add the meat mixture, vegetables, another layer of mashed potatoes, and then some cheddar cheese.
Top with the rest of the pie crust, and a couple of pats of butter to make sure the crust turns-out golden brown.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, or 425°F for 35 minutes. Add some more cheese to the top of the pie when almost done for a cheesy, bubbly finish.