The Firelands Kitchen

The Firelands Kitchen by Erin Howarth

Recipes From The Town Of Milan Starts Us Off This Week



Thank you Ms. Cring for sharing your recipes with us. My father-in-law taps the maple trees each year in the woods near their house and we are among the lucky folks who have a pantry full of his maple syrup.

Right now, he’s recovering from a knee replacement surgery and we’ll head over to Defiance for a visit here soon (for an early Thanksgiving get together and to rake leaves). I think your recipe for Maple Sugar Fudge would be the perfect thing to bring to share that day.

Have a great week, to one and all!

Buttermilk Fudge

Submitted by Ellen Cring, Milan, Ohio

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. baking soda

2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

2 Tbsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, butter, buttermilk, baking soda, and corn syrup over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches hard ball (268 degrees). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pecans. Place in large bowl of ice and beat with a wooden spoon just until mixture begins to thicken. Quickly spread on a greased 8-inch square pan, and allow to cool before cutting in 1-inch squares. Yield: 64 squares.

Brown Sugar Divinity

Submitted by Ellen Cring, Milan, Ohio

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup water

Few grains of salt

2 egg whites

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups nuts

Put first five ingredients in saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then cook without stirring until it forms a hard ball when tried in cold water. Beat egg whites stiff. Slowly beat in syrup. When it begins to thicken, add vanilla. Beat until it will hold its shape when dropped from a spoon. Add nuts and drop by spoonful on buttered dish.

Mom’s Baked Apples

Submitted by Ellen Cring, Milan, Ohio

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. butter.

Dust apples with flour and cinnamon. Pour boiled mixture over apples in a baking dish and bake. I add a few red cinnamon candies.

Maple Sugar Fudge

Submitted by Ellen Cring, Milan, Ohio

1 1/2 cups maple syrup

2/3 cup condensed milk

2 cups sugar

1-2 Tbsp. butter

1 cup walnuts

In a medium saucepan, combine the syrup, condensed milk until a candy thermometer registers 235 degrees to 245 degrees. Remove from the heat and add butter and nuts. Let the mixture sit until it has cooled slightly, then beat until thick. Pour into a greased pan and allow to cool completely.

Garlic Tomato Basil Chicken

4 chicken breasts fillets, skinless and boneless*

Salt and pepper, to season

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. butter, divided

1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded

1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic or 6 large cloves of garlic

Lightly pound chicken breasts between 2 sheets of parchment paper until they are all the same thickness. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil and 2 teaspoons of butter in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Fry breasts on both sides until golden browned and completely cooked through (about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets). Once cooked, transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Heat remaining butter and oil in the pan. Fry garlic until fragrant (about one minute). Add the tomatoes and cook for two minutes, or until they just begin to soften. Turn off the heat and stir through basil. Season with any extra salt and pepper, if needed. Add the chicken back into the pan, and spoon the pan juices and tomato/garlic mixture all over the chicken. Serves 4. Notes: Perfect to serve with a salad, garlic bread, rice or pasta. Serve with balsamic glaze for extra flavor (Use store bought, or bring 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar to a simmer over low heat until thickened.) *If your chicken breasts are larger than 200 grams each (or 6 ounces), you will need only two chicken breasts. Halve them horizontally to make four fillets.

Chicken Ranch Casserole

2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls

8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

1 large tomato, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

3 medium green onions, chopped

1 Tbsp. dry ranch seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread crescent rolls into prepared baking dish, sealing the perforated edges with your fingers. Bake until golden brown, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the mayo and ranch seasoning until well combined. In a medium bowl, combine 2/3 of the crumbled bacon, shredded chicken, and a 1/2 cup of the mayo mixture. Stir until combined. Spread remaining mayo mixture onto baked crescent dough, stopping 1/4 inch from the edges. Next, spread the chicken mixture, then sprinkle with tomato and cheese. Bake until cheese is hot and melted, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining bacon and green onions. Serves 4-6

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

7 cups cauliflower florets, cut to bite sized pieces

3 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine the cauliflower and olive oil in a large zip close bag and shake to coat. Add the remaining ingredients to the bag and shake until coated, pressing slightly to help the breading stick. Pour onto the baking sheet and spray the tops of the cauliflower with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes. Stir the cauliflower and continue to bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 6

Parmesan Roasted Sheet Pan Dinner

1 1/2 lb. baby gold potatoes, cut into bite size pieces

4 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. garlic powder, divided

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1 tsp. salt, divided

1/2 tsp. pepper, divided

1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

12 oz. kielbasa sausage, cut into disks

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

extra parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 13”x 18” baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. In a large bowl combine the potatoes, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Mix until the potatoes are coated. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet. Combine the brussels sprouts, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl and toss to coat. Spread in even layer on baking sheet. Finally, combine the sausage, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley in the bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle the sausages over the potatoes and brussels sprouts. Bake for 25 minutes, stir the potatoes and brussels sprouts, then continue cooking for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Top with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Serves 4-6

Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. dried thyme


1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In separate bowl mix dry ingredients such as garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, thyme and salt. Stir mixture with a fork until all the ingredients are well combined and they form a seasoning. This will be used as a rub to ensure the pork is well seasoned throughout. Sprinkle the rub over the tenderloin with a dry hand, then rub the pork with the seasoning over both sides of the meat, pressing gently so the seasoning adheres well to the tenderloin. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat. Add the minced garlic and saute, stirring, for 1 minute. Put tenderloin in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, searing each side using tongs to turn the meat. Transfer meat to a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes. Slice and serve. Makes 4 servings

BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake

3 cups uncooked rigatoni or rotini

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion minced

3 cloves garlic minced

6 cups large tomatoes diced (about 4)

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 red pepper diced optional

1/2 tsp. chili flakes or 2 Tbsp. hot sauce (optional)

1/2 cup barbeque sauce

1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels

1 cup black beans

Salt and pepper to season

2 cups chopped or shredded leftover barbeque chicken

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Boil the pasta in well salted water as instructed on the package until al dente, then drain in a colander. Be careful not to overcook the pasta. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for about a minute or two until the onions soften but do not brown. Turn heat to high and toss in the tomatoes, brown sugar & chili flakes and cook until the tomatoes just start to break down. Add the red pepper and cook for an additional few minutes until the juice from the tomatoes has mostly cooked off. Add the barbecue sauce, corn & black beans, then season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the leftover barbeque chicken and the cooked, drained pasta. Transfer to a greased 8 or 9-inch square baking dish. Mix the grated cheeses together and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and serve. Serves 4.

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