Cook of the Week: Janet Sample Bland recipes

Thomas Wells | Buy at Sante Fe dressing

Thomas Wells | Buy at
Sante Fe dressing

Santa Fe Dressing

3⁄4 pound smoked sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1⁄3-inch-thick pieces

2 large onions, chopped (4 cups)

2 cups chopped celery

11⁄2 cups pecans, cut or broken in half crosswise

1 stick butter

3 cups cornbread, made without sugar

2 tablespoons rubbed sage or 3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, rolled and sliced

11⁄2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

12 ounces canned whole green chilies, coarsely chopped

3⁄4 cup chicken broth, or to taste

Brown sausage. Remove from pan; drain fat, if desired.

Cook onions and celery until soft. Remove. Sauté pecans in butter.

Combine all ingredients. Bake in a greased pan at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until browned on top.

Makes 14 cups.

Chestnut Dressing

6 cups day-old white bread, torn in pieces

2 onions, chopped

4 cups chopped celery

3 tablespoons fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried

1 tablespoon fresh savory or 1 teaspoon dried

1 stick unsalted butter

1 pound fresh chestnuts (about 2 cups), halved

1⁄2 cup fresh parsley

Dry bread in a 325-oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

Put in a big bowl. Cook onion, celery, sage and savory in butter until softened. Add chestnuts. Cook 1 minute. Add to bread and mix well. Pour into greased casserole and bake at 325 degrees until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Warm Green Bean Salad

2 pounds long, thin green beans, trimmed and halved

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1⁄3 cup good olive oil

2 teaspoons dill seed

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper

Steam beans for 6 to 8 minutes.

Blend other ingredients. Toss together in a serving bowl.

Black Olive Tapenade

2 (6-ounce) cans whole black olives, drained

1 tablespoon pressed garlic

1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse just until olives are uniform size.

Serve as a dip with Wheat Thins or on a thinly sliced baguette.

Roasted Stuffed Onions

4 red onions

4 yellow onions

12 ounces bacon, cut crosswise in 1-inch pieces

2 ribs celery, cut crosswise into 1⁄2-inch slices

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

10 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped

61⁄2 cups country-style or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes and lightly toasted

11⁄3 cups salted roasted cashews (7 ounces), coarsely chopped

11⁄2 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup (or less) broth

1⁄3 cup water

Cut a half-inch slice from tops of onions, discarding tops, and keeping onion peels intact. Trim just enough from bottoms for onions to stand upright. Scoop out all but the outer 2 or 3 layers from each onion using a spoon (don’t worry if you make a hole in the bottom), reserving scooped-out onion and shells separately.

Coarsely chop enough scooped-out onion to measure 2 cups. Cook bacon until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving about 2 tablespoons of fat in skillet. Add chopped onion, celery, salt and pepper to skillet and sauté about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in spinach, bread, cashews, butter, broth and bacon. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange onions, open sides up, in a baking pan. Add water and cover pan tightly with foil. Roast onions in middle of oven until tender but not falling apart, 25 to 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees.

Transfer shells to a work surface and pour off water from pan. Fill shells with stuffing, mounding it, and return stuffed onions to pan. Put remaining stuffing in a buttered dish and drizzle with a little broth. Bake both uncovered in middle of oven until heated through, about 25 minutes.

Note: Onions can be stuffed a day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Baked Garlicky Butternut Squash

1 (31⁄2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut in a 1-inch dice

1⁄3 cup fruity olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced


Liberal amount of ground black pepper

1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together squash, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Place in a shallow glass baking dish.

Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake about 1 hour or until squash is tender but not mushy. Serve over polenta.