3/14 NATIONAL POTATO CHIP DAY
Homestyle Potato Chips (from: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/73135/homestyle-potato-chips/)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced paper-thin
3 tablespoons salt
1 quart oil for deep frying
Place potato slices into a large bowl of cold water as you slice. Drain, and rinse, then refill the bowl with water, and add the salt. Let the potatoes soak in the salty water for at least 30 minutes. Drain, then rinse and drain again.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Fry potato slices in small batches. Once they start turning golden, remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all of the slices are fried. Season with additional salt if desired.
3/16 NATIONAL ARTICHOKE HEARTS DAY
Artichoke Hearts Gratin (from: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/229454/artichoke-hearts-gratin/)
6 canned artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ lemon, cut into wedges
Place artichoke heart halves on a paper towel cut-side down to drain for about 15 minutes.
Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with vegetable oil.
Place artichoke heart halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and drizzle with olive oil.
Broil artichoke hearts until browned on top, about 7 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
3/17 NATIONAL CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE DAY
Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage (from: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/classic_corned_beef_and_cabbage/)
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 10 mins
Servings 6 servings
For the corned beef
1 flat-cut corned beef brisket (about 4 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
1/8 teaspoon whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon whole peppercorns
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
6 Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound), halved, or quartered, if large
1 small head of cabbage (about 1 3/4 pounds), outer tough leaves removed and cut into 6 wedges
12 slender carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and left whole
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Dijon or grainy mustard (for serving)
For the horseradish sauce (Optional)
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more, to taste
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish in brine, or more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Make the horseradish sauce (optional):
In a bowl, stir the sour cream and milk together until blended. Stir in the lemon juice, horseradish, and mustard. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley, and taste. Add more horseradish or lemon juice, if you like. Cover and set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 325.
Discard the spice packet that came with the beef. In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot, place the brisket, mustard seed, coriander seed, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, and onion quarters. Add enough cold water to just cover the meat.
Over medium heat on the stovetop, bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 3 1/2 hours, or until the beef is very tender when pierced with a fork. Remove the meat from the broth with tongs and transfer it to a shallow baking dish or baking sheet.
Increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Place the corned beef in the oven with a ladle of stock, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top browns. Transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover with foil to keep warm, and let rest while you cook the vegetables. Turn off the oven.
In a fine mesh strainer, strain the stock and return it to the pot. Add the salt. With a ladle, skim the fat that rises to the top. Bring it to a boil.
Add the potatoes and adjust the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage wedges and carrots, cover and bring to a simmer again. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage are tender.
Transfer them to a deep platter, cover with foil, and keep them warm in the turned-off oven.
Slice the beef across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer them to the platter with the vegetables, and spoon a few ladles of stock over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with mustard and/or horseradish sauce.
NATIONAL SLOPPY JOE DAY
The Best Homemade Sloppy Joes (from: https://www.thechunkychef.com/wprm_print/14379)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 green bell pepper, minced
1/2 large yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar (or less, if you prefer)
1 tsp yellow mustard
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash of hot sauce (optional)
Heat butter and oil in large skillet over MED/MED-HIGH heat. Add beef and brown, breaking apart into crumbles as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Transfer to colander to drain.
Add onion and bell pepper to same skillet and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Add beef back to the skillet and add tomato paste. Stir well.
Add ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
Cook over MED heat for 10-15 minutes, until mixture has thickened to your liking. Remove from heat and serve over toasted buns.
3/19 NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CARAMEL DAY
Grandma Klein’s Chocolate Caramels (from: https://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/grandma-kleins-chocolate-caramels/)
Yield: 1 9×13 pan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
My grandma’s recipe for Chocolate Caramels is a family tradition. It wouldn’t be Christmas without this homemade treat!
4.5 Stars (12 Reviews)
2 c. white sugar
1-1/2 c. corn syrup
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the pan
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I use Baker’s brand)
1-1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional (I prefer without!)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Generously butter a 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside.
Place all ingredients except nuts and vanilla in a heavy medium sauce pan. Over medium to medium-high heat, stir the mixture quite constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until it just reaches 240° F, and then quickly pull pan from heat. This will take quite some time, be prepared to stand by the stove for awhile, stirring, stirring,
stirring! Do not let the caramel mixture over cook, or you will have hard caramel. Likewise, undercooking will result in softer caramels. (See note below about using a candy thermometer.) With pan off the heat, stir in the vanilla. Stir in nuts, if using. Pour into prepared pan. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
If you prefer regular caramels, omit the chocolate.
If you want to gift these caramels, simply cut them into your desired size and wrap in wax paper.
This is how I achieve those super clean cuts: With refrigerated caramel, I first cut around the outer edge of the pan to loosen the caramel from the sides, and then invert caramel onto a wood cutting board that has a layer of wax paper on it, flipping the caramel slab right-side up again. Let warm a bit. Depending on the consistency of the caramel, this can take 20 to 60 minutes. If it’s hard to cut, wait another 15 minutes and repeat as necessary. Then I use a long non-serrated knife (a “sandwich knife”) to make the cuts. For even more precision, use a ruler to mark out exact sized cuts.
Please note: Using candy thermometers can be a tricky thing. Thermometers are known to vary, which can give you different results. It’s a great idea to know the accuracy of your candy thermometer. If you want to calibrate your thermometer, to know exactly where yours sits, I found a great tutorial over at Our Best Bites. Check it out!