Recipe: Stuffed mushrooms, mint dipping sauce for lamb chops, Deviled Deviled Eggs, by David Theiss
I was just finishing up my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers and noticed the wishbone I set in the windowsill to dry and wondered what I should wish for if I won the game.
Breaking the wishbone a strange custom brought over from Europe centuries ago along with other good luck items, such as the rabbit’s foot, the four leaf clover, and the horseshoe. The wishbone, or furcula, is a bone located between a bird’s neck and breast, attached at the base of the sternum. It is an elastic bone which serves as a spring mechanism that releases energy to assist in flight while the bird flaps its wings.
The wishbone legend gets its name from an ancient Italian civilization called the Etruscans. They believed chicken wishbones had special powers. When they slaughtered the chickens, they set the wishbone aside to dry, presumably to preserve the chickens’ divine powers. People would then pick up the bone and hold it in their hand and softly stroke it while making a wish upon it.
When Romans infiltrated the Etruscans, the custom changed from stroking it to breaking it. And then passed that tradition on to the English who brought the ritual to the Americas. With the abundance of wild turkeys here, the tradition was switched from chicken to Turkey. After the turkey had been carved, and all of the meat taken off the bone, they set the wishbone out to dry for a few days. The lore of the wishbone is that two people grasp each side of the bone and pull, the person with the largest side gets their wish granted.
This is not cheating, but here are a few tips for winning the break. Good hand placement, grasp with your dominant hand, between your thumb and forefinger close to the center as possible, make sure your hands are dry, and be prepared to tug for a few moments, this may take more than just a quick yank. Legend has it you now get your wish granted.
During the holidays there is always a reason to make a few appetizers — parties, family, and when friends get together. I thought I might share a few tried and true recipes for some delicious and pretty easy hors d’oeuvre. They always come in handy.
2 pounds button mushrooms
1 pound chicken Italian sausage
1/2 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Prepare mushrooms by removing stems from the caps. Just twist and they come right out. Save the stems; they make good mushroom soup.
Take the chicken sausage and remove casing if it has any. Use about a tablespoon of meat per mushroom cap and press the meat in gently, not to split the cap.
Add garlic to the melted butter, and brush over the top of the mushrooms.
Bake for 30 minutes in 350 degrees until the sausage is fully cooked and serve.
Grilled Lamb frenched Rib chops
For the lamb:
14 Frenched lamb rib chops
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
Dash of salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Asiago cheese, grated
Combine all ingredients into bowl big enough to hold all the rib chops. Dredge all chops into marinade and let soak for at least one hour.
Mint dipping sauce for lamb chops
1 bunch fresh mint
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper
Place mint and ingredients into food processor. Finely chop and pour into bowl and set aside until lamb is finished cooking.
After the lamb is done marinating on hot grill, cook chops, turning several times to medium rare. Do not serve overdone. Serve with mint sauce either dipping or drizzle over.
Deviled Deviled Eggs
These eggs are true to the deviled description in history. Deviled is a culinary term originated in the 18th century Europe. It describes deviling as adding spicy ingredients to make fiery hot dishes or condiments. Deviled eggs were originally made with different peppers and hot mustards to make them very spicy. This recipe has just a hint of heat and really easy to make and delicious.
1 dozen eggs, hardboiled and peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 cup sweet pickled jalapeños chopped like relish (must be sweet pickled)
4 strips of bacon cooked crispy and crumbled
Once the eggs have cooled, peel and cut each egg in half. Remove the yolk into a bowl for mixing, add the mayonnaise, mustard, and chopped jalapeños, mix with and electric mixer until completely smooth, and lump free. Scoop yolk mixture into zip top bag and close the top removing all the air in the bag then seal. On one side of the bottom of the bag, cut a small corner off, use it like a piping bag. Squeeze to fill all of the eggs whites with the yolk mixture. When finished, sprinkle the crumbled bacon bits on top of the eggs and serve.
So I won the battle of the wishbone this year. My wish is that during this Christmas season, enjoy your family, neighbors and friends, even with all our diversity, disparities, say a kind word, share a good laugh, and encourage one another to look positive in the coming New Year.
Butler Gourmet Meats can help you with the sweet jalapenos, Frenched rib chops and the chicken Italian sausage. Merry Christmas!
David Theiss is the owner of Butler Gourmet Meats serving Carson City since 1973.