Monday, December 30, 2013

Pork Belly Porchetta

Porchetta is traditionally a pork loin rubbed with aromatics and citrus, then wrapped in a pork belly and slow roasted. At our house for the holidays, we dispense with the boring pork loin part, and use just the sexy part - pork belly itself, which is really just a giant slab of uncured bacon. As far as the spices and aromatics, tradition says use rosemary, red pepper flakes and lemon zest, but I always use a different combination each time to keep it fresh. In this case, I used a medley of wintry herbs and then spiced it up with sichimi togarishi, a zippy medley of seven different Japanese herbs including chilies, ginger, black and white sesame seeds, seaweed, Sancho (a mouth-numbing berry like Szechuan peppercorns), and orange peel. I let the orange in the sichimi stand in for the traditional lemon zest. Salting the belly liberally on both sides, rubbing the outside with baking powder, and then letting it sit overnight is crucial to develop the juxtaposition of crispy skin and moist meat that we are going for.

Pork Belly Porchetta
by Steve
adapted from Serious Eats Food Lab

serves 6

1 whole boneless, rind-on pork belly, about 7 pounds
2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
3 Tablespoons whole fennel seed
1 Tablespoon sichimi togarishi
1 Tablespoon each finely chopped rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley leaves
15 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Lay pork belly skin-side down on a large cutting board. Using a very sharp knife, deeply score the meat at an angle, using cuts about 1-inch apart. Rotate belly 90 degrees and repeat to make a diamond pattern.

1. Toast peppercorns and fennel seed in a small skillet over medium-high heat, until lightly browned and aromatic. Transfer to a spice grinder and process until coarsely crushed.

2. Sprinkle belly liberally with salt, then with crushed pepper and fennel, sichimi, chopped herbs, and microplaned garlic. Rub the mixture deeply into the cuts in the meat.

3. Roll belly into a tight log lengthwise and push to top of cutting board, seam-side down. Cut several lengths of kitchen twine long enough to tie around the pork at 1-inch intervals. Lay rolled pork seam-side down on top of strings. Tie up roast tightly. Mix kosher salt and baking powder. Rub mixture over entire surface of belly.

4. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Place pork in a v-rack set in a large roasting pan. Roast until internal temperature of pork reaches 160°F, about four hours, basting with pan drippings every half hour after the second hour.

5. Increase oven temperature to 500°F and continue roasting until completely crisp and blistered, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.

6. Tent with foil and rest for 15 minutes. Slice with a serrated knife into 1-inch thick disks and serve.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart

This dish is beautiful and would make a lovely addition to your special New Year's Eve dinner. - 37 Cooks

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart
by Woo

serves 2 generously or 4 lightly

1 sheet of puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm, thawed and unfolded)
1 medium zucchini with a nice uniform shape 
1 medium yellow squash with a uniform shape
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 sprig of fresh thyme
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
olive oil for sauté
salt and pepper to taste (seriously season everything as you go)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Crescent Cookies

Every Christmas Eve, crescent cookies were part of my aunt's massive dessert extravaganza. I loved those cookies. They never appeared any other time of the year, or any other place.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Apple Pancake

One of my favorite holiday traditions is Christmas morning breakfast. Nowadays my family is scattered about and we get together for Christmas Eve, but I still like to get up early and make something from my childhood. This year it's an apple pancake covered with sweet whipped cream and Vermont maple syrup.

From my family to yours, We wish you Health, Love and Happiness. Happy Holidays...Christine

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa’s Milk Shots & Cookies

I love Christmas Eve! It combines two of my most favorite things, my faith and my family. While we do have our traditions, we wake up with a flexible attitude and excited to see what the day brings.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Coconut Craisin Pecan Scones

We love our friends and neighbors and feel lucky to be surrounded by such great people. So here it is, our way of showing appreciation and thankfulness for the community we live in. It's very simple and a lot of fun!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chiffonade's Roasted Carrot Soufflé

I came up with this recipe because I had come to love the carrot soufflé sold by Fresh Market and other high-end stores. That stuff costs $5.00 for a small 4 x 4" block! There are recipes all over the net for carrot soufflé, but they all required boiling the carrots and a ton of sugar. My recipe decreases the sugar and roasts the carrots for maximum flavor.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crock Pot Bourguignon

This is a great meal to make during the holidays for days when you're shopping and wrapping presents! - 37 Cooks

Crock Pot Bourguignon
by Willie
adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
(Sorry Julia, it wasn't even a French crockpot.)

4 ounces diced bacon

1 ounce olive oil
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 sliced carrot
1/2 diced medium onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
4 Tablespoons Kary's Dry Roux
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 medium onion, cut in half and quartered
1 cup Merlot or Cabernet red wine
1 pound sliced baby bella mushrooms

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Pretzel Bites

When I think of the holidays, my mom always comes right to mind. She loved when the holidays rolled around. She loved to decorate the whole house and cook all the delicious big holiday meals. She was also the number one baker, making dozens and dozens of different types of Christmas cookies each year. I don’t bake, but there is one treat she used to make which I can pull off!

Holiday Pretzel Bites
by Sarah M

Mini pretzels
Rolos candy

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sand Tarts

As a child, when Christmas rolled around, we always knew we would be making these wonderful cookies. To this day they still remain my favorite! Not sure how it came to be that we called them Sand Tarts, but that's all I've ever known them to be (others call them Mexican Wedding Cookies).  On Christmas Eve, we would set them out on a plate for Santa along with a glass of milk. He (Santa) would always leave a note saying that he was so full, he just couldn't eat the last one and he'd place it inside the empty glass of milk. I guess maybe that's why one of my photos shows the spilled over glass with SEVERAL cookies in it. My mother still makes these cookies every year.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Stars

Holiday Stars
by Tracy
adapted from this recipe

makes 18

2 sheets frozen puff pastry - thawed
1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 ounce red caviar, orange salmon roe, or black lumpfish caviar
2 Tablespoons chives, minced 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Holiday Canapes

Nothing says “retro fun” like canapés - cute, open-faced mini sandwiches made of a variety of simple, tasty ingredients. What better way to celebrate the old-school hospitality of the past than with these fun, tasty morsels, all done with a whimsical holiday twist!

In the past few years, our holiday parties have drawn inspiration from a variety of sources. Since it seemed like everyone else had done “retro” by this point, I thought it would be safe for *me* to do it without any conflict!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Red Velvet Cake with Marshmallow Frosting

Red Velvet Cake. I hadn't even heard of it 12 years ago. I have been a Texas transplant since 1972, originally from Washington state. Red Velvet is a Southern cake. When I reconnected with Mark - we dated a few times in high school - he mentioned that this was his favorite cake so, of course the search was on. Although I have tried many recipes this is my favorite, and his. This is a great cake for the holidays because it is red and festive. Take it up a notch and adorn with holiday decorations for a special event.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Persimmon Cookies

Oh, persimmon cookies...I love this recipe! They are a Christmas treat that I look forward to making every year. The scent when they're baking and the taste when I bite into one gets me to thinking about all of fond memories I have of my grandparents. And when I pull out my recipe card, there's my dad's handwriting. I guess you can say that the handwritten card is every bit as important to me as the recipe itself. By the way, the picture is of my grandma and me in 1973 (that crazy patchwork skirt I'm wearing was made by my aunt!).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Honig Leckerli (Honey Treats)

My mom always made these for my sister and me at Christmastime, and we would always fight over the last one. This is the first time since she passed away seven years ago that I have made them. Thanks, Mom, for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Honig Leckerli (Honey Treats)
by Nancy

makes 36-40 cookies

100 grams sugar
2 Tablespoons water
100 grams honey
2 level teaspoons cinnamon
1 level teaspoon anise
1/2 level teaspoon cloves
3 drops almond extract
1 egg
100 grams rock candy (broken into small pieces)
250 grams flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
100 grams ground almonds
Icing (recipe below)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mix & Match Muffins

Every day there are online conversations going on in a private chat group called 37 Cooks Kitchen. Only current members of the group take part and it's great because the 37 of us live all over the country and in Canada.

I realized I take all of these conversations for granted. I do. We all do. There’s a wealth of knowledge and creativity in the group, all at our fingertips just for the asking! Here’s the point:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


We all love to eat our favorite foods during the holidays, don't we? At our house, early in December, we take requests every year from each family member and make a list. One of my all-time favorite foods is sweet fried plantains! This dish is on my list to make for my family during the holidays. Yum! - Sandra from 37 Cooks

by Carlos

2 Tablespoons Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup of Goya Frozen Sofrito (I usually make my own, but we’ll get to that another time)
1/4 cup of Goya Pitted Alcaparrado, finely chopped
1 pound of ground beef, pork or chicken (my personal preference is pork)
1 Tablespoon Goya Tomato Paste
1 packet of Goya Sazon with Culantro and Achiote
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

We love getting recipes from the public. We file those recipes in our index under "Friends of 37 Cooks". This recipe submitted by Susan Cramer is beautiful, isn't it? It would make a great meal during the holiday season or with leftover Thanksgiving turkey! - 37 Cooks

Chicken Pot Pie
by Susan Cramer
adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook

makes 6 servings

1/3 cup margarine, butter or chicken fat
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken or turkey broth
2/3 cup milk
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
Celery Seed Pastry (below)

Monday, December 2, 2013


Friday, November 29, 2013

Grandpa Baird's Peach 'n Onion Hot Sauce

Matt's popular hot sauce makes an excellent hostess gift or stocking stuffer! - 37 Cooks

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holiday Cookies

We have a small family, but we are rich in friends. The highlight of my Thanksgiving weekends is NOT the big turkey dinner, which at my house may end up being a small chicken supper. No, the highlight is the Thanksgiving Weekend Community Cookie Bake at my house.

It's usually held on Sunday - the day when most people can attend. Our mission is to bake as many cookies of as many different types as we can, and have fun while doing it. We invite all our friends to take part. People can bring a batch of dough for their favorite cookie, or just an ingredient. If you bring something, you get to take cookies home - it's that simple.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Butterscotch Pumpkin Chantilly

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, a dusting of cinnamon, and a gingersnap cookie!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Chantilly
by Judy

1 1/2 cups milk
1 small (3.4 ounce) package. butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a little more for dusting when serving
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
one pint whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
Gingersnap cookies, for serving

Friday, November 22, 2013

Coconut Meringue Pie

Although this may not be the pie found at the top of the holiday culinary list, it is first choice for my 37 Cooks Holiday Challenge. In the Monsivaiz home, this creamy coconut custard nestled inside a homemade flaky crust and adorned with a mile high, melt-in-your-mouth meringue is the most coveted dessert at our holiday table. We owe this to my husband and, if truth be told, his mama, Gloria Jean, deserves the credit for this nontraditional tradition. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tomtastic Spatchcocked Turkey

How to cook a turkey is a serious matter, usually one of family tradition. Most people have chosen a camp in the stuffed-versus-unstuffed or breast-up-versus-breast-down war. They have schedules of how early to get up to put the turkey in or how often to baste. There are cherished recipes for herb butters and gravies and you do...not...deviate from the cherished recipe.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Almond Joy Candy

Some of you are preparing for a family or neighborhood cookie exchange. Why now change it up and bring some homemade candy like this one Amy made? Looks delicious! - 37 Cooks

Almond Joy Candy
by Amy
adapted from Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

makes about 36 bars

5 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
14 ounces shredded coconut
24 ounces milk chocolate chips
1 cup whole almonds

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homemade Compound Butters

My family always goes kind of overboard for the holidays. The meals, the gifts, the decorating; everything is done to excess. For us and for many, it’s a time to go above and beyond what you would normally do. This also makes it a very busy time, which is why making homemade butter for your holiday meal is a great trick.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Susan's Eggs in a Nest was accepted on Foodgawker, Tastespotting and Yumgoggle and that's a big deal! Congratulations, Susan! These good looking eggs are the most popular recipe on our blog right now!  

Chicken 'N Dumplings

This southern dish is loved by all who sample it and is a great way to use your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers! - 37 Cooks

Chicken 'N Dumplings
by Lesia

Note: This recipe will make enough to feed a small army, so adjust your ingredient amounts to the portion size you want. Since I always make these for a whole mess of people at a time, this is the recipe I always stick to.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Roasted Garlic & Leek Dressing

This is a great, light dressing for the holidays. Vegetarian as it stands, could easily be made vegan with the omission of cheese. I used Monk's Wholegrain Bread this time around and it added a nice nuttiness to the dressing. It's a great way to use up all sorts of stale bread odds and ends!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There is something about the crispness in the air on Thanksgiving, the beautiful colors and pleasant aromas of fall that make my little heart happy. To me, this dessert embraces fall and I look forward to making it every year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I know that eggnog is the traditional holiday drink along with mulled wine or hot cider, but with the rich, heavy meals that often occur during the holidays, I like to go with a bit of limoncello to lighten things up. It’s kind of like having a bit of sorbet to cleanse the palate  with an alcoholic kick. It’s bright, and it brings a bit of sunshine to the end or beginning of a holiday meal. And hey, here in Syracuse, we need all the sunshine you can get during the winter months.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Raspberry Bread

This is an amazingly moist and flavorful bread. The original recipe calls for roasted almonds, but the DH is not a nut fan. I omitted them and got some of that flavor by adding almond extract. This is a wonderful bread to do during the holidays because of the gift factor. Everyone loves baked goods and this is easy to put together with any type of fruit that you may have saved at its height of availability.

Thanksgiving and Bacon

Check out BuzzFeed's article, "50 Thanksgiving Foods Full of Bacon", folks! You don't want to omit bacon from your Thanksgiving menu now do you? How about's our cook Sandra's Apple-Bacon Pie with Gingersnap Crust!

We are thrilled when our cooks' recipes are featured in print or on the Internet. Check the Press tab for more interesting articles about out cooks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mac and Cheese Teet's Style

Susan R-H says of this dish, "In our house, "Mac and Cheese" is a snow day comfort food treat." Why don't you make this a snowy day dish in your house this holiday season? - 37 Cooks

Mac and Cheese Teet's Style
by Susan R-H

16 ounces DeCecco cavatappi pasta
10 ounces shredded fontal cheese
6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup of combined shredded cheeses reserved for breadcrumb topping
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces Teet's Smoked Garlic Pork Sausage, casing removed, sliced 1/2 inch thick, then quartered.
6 Tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the casserole dish
1/3 cup diced shallot (small dice)
1/4 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (I prefer whole wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 cups whole milk, close to room temperature
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bourbon Sweet Potatoes with Meringue Topping

Every year at Thanksgiving, while I was growing up, my mother would make 'sweet potato' casserole. Maybe your mom did too? I soon learned it wasn't 'sweet potato' at all, but instead candied yams. (You know, those things you see in the vegetable aisle next to the canned beans and okra. And no, they aren't the same thing.) Then, I started wondering if this was what everyone else was making instead of good ol' sweet potatoes.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Crunch

This, my dear friends, is a recipe that my baby brother learned to make back when he took a home ec class in high school. It was the first thing he ever baked and my mom was SO proud of him! It is simple, but it's a nice addition to the dessert table during the holidays. And it travels well, so no big deal if you're going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house! It is now a staple at our family get-togethers. Hope y'all enjoy it as much as we do. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

There are so many opportunities to cook for parties over the holidays and these flautas made with small tortillas or cut in half and served with guacamole would make an excellent appetizer! - 37 Cooks

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas
by Lauren

These baked flautas are by far the most popular recipe I've ever created, and it’s for good reason – they’re fantastic and one of my personal favorites. By baking instead of frying, sneaking in some vegetables, and doing a neat trick with the tortillas, they’re definitely a fresher take on a classic dish.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4)
16 ounces beer (or chicken broth)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 cups baby spinach, chopped
5 burrito-size flour tortillas (9 inches)
6 ounces Queso Quesadilla or other melting cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon olive oil, or cooking spray
Salsa, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Great news! Both Rachael's and Gary's recipes from the Davidson's Egg Challenge were highlighted on the Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs facebook page! Congrats y'all!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

These delicious cupcakes are a customer favorite from La Dolce Vita Cakery! They are great either warm or cold, and are the perfect dessert during the fall holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas (if you want, you can also call them muffins and have one for breakfast, hehe.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Note from Jenny

About two months ago, I was asked permission by NFCA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness) if they could submit one of my recipes among others, which were created with a gluten-free fall-inspired recipes download, to be published by Ahold USA, (the company behind the grocery stores Giant and Stop & Shop.) The NFCA chose my Zucchini Muffins recipe! If you click the "gluten-free recipes" image on the top right on this page and go to the last recipe you'll see mine :)

Classic Pecan Pie Bars

When I think of Thanksgiving desserts I think of pecan pie. Growing up, I remember my dad having his very own pie and thinking, “That must be some good pie!” Boy is it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Holiday Smoked Ponce, Rice and Gravy, A Cajun Holiday Tradition

Here in South Louisiana, especially in Ville Platte, the holiday season means food. Really good food. For as long as I can remember, whenever our family got together for a holiday we had smoked ponce and many other types of delicious foods. Cooking smoked ponce for a holiday is a tradition that is very strong here in Ville Platte. This is how I cook a smoked ponce, and I know you will love it.

Meet Tonda!

Hi there! My name is Tonda, and I’m so excited to be a part of this group.

My love for cooking started at the age of six, when my older sister taught me how to make my first grilled cheese. From that moment on, I was hooked! I was my dad’s helper in the kitchen always eager to prep, stir, and sample the creation of the evening. My dad was an excellent self-taught cook. Everything that he made was delicious!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter & Pretzel Spiders

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter & Pretzel Spiders
by Sarah Kwan

makes 12 creepy crawlies

1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon icing sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
5/8 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Classic style pretzels (48 plus more for casualties)
12 ounces chocolate (dark or milk; whatever your preference may be)
Silver sugar balls

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The 37 Holiday Recipes Challenge

I bet you were expected a Happy Halloween photo today! Well, we've decided to kick off the holidays - ALL of "the holidays" - today!

The Holidays. What does that mean to you? To all of us at 37 Cooks, it means spending time with our families. And that is just what we plan on doing! We have worked really hard to complete all of the holiday recipes and blog posts we wish to share with you, and guess what? We've completed them and it's only October! Woohoo! We feel pretty happy about that! 

You can access all of our holiday posts RIGHT NOW! You don't have to wait! If you want to see all of our posts at once, just click on the 37 Holiday Recipes Challenge in the index on the right margin of the blog. You will also still see our daily posts on the 37 Cooks facebook page throughout the holidays!!

To all of you - we wish you a happy holiday season full of love and laughter! - Your friends at 37 Cooks

Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate Souffle
by Christine

2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for dishes
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons water, divided
3 large Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs yolks
4 large Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs whites
14 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baked Egg Cups with Polenta and Broccoli Rabe

I come from a family of picky eaters (except for my dad, which is where I probably got my love of food), but the one thing that we all love are “dippy eggs”. The fancier term for these would be “over easy”. My mom makes the best dippy eggs ever. The whites are just translucent, and the yolk is warm but still runny.