Tag Archives: Fun

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Funtimes!

Hello! Shameless self-promotion is about to commence….

Well, the last few days have been fun! I wanted to update this blog with some new recipes, but then I decided to submit them to recipe contests instead. If you’re looking for new recipes of mine to look at and praise me for, here are the links!

Jell-O Easter Lollipops

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Peasant Bread

Aren’t they pretty? Go ahead and Like them to help me feel special :)

 

Also, I decided to submit my black Bean Brownies to SpicieFoodie.com’s website for their monthly “Your Best Recipe” list. Check out February’s best recipes here!

chili

Winter Turkey and Leftovers

I love turkey, and I’m sad that it seems like the only acceptable time to roast a turkey is during the holidays. Why? Maybe it’s because turkey usually weighs so much that it take a large group of people to eat it? Maybe it’s too much work to roast so no one feels like making it unless they have to? Who knows? All I know is that I wanted a turkey, and I already knew what I wanted to do with the leftovers. There aren’t actual recipes to follow, since this just consists of what to do with your own leftover turkey meals, and I figure everyone has their own ways of preparing a Thanksgiving type feast.

Here is an example of leftovers

 

I’m home for the week due to school vacation, and conveniently my parents had a frozen 12 lb. turkey. They thawed it in the fridge so that I could make it when I got home (literally, I had to brine it the night I got home). My brother and I made a quick brine, as it was pretty late and we were sleepy, of just water, broth, lots of salt, Italian seasoning, and lemon juice. It sat overnight in the fridge, and then the next day we roasted it.

I made a mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) for the turkey to sit on so I would get tasty juices for a gravy.

It also kind of props the turkey up so the heat can get to all parts

Then I mixed unsalted butter with more Italian Seasoning and put it under and over the skin of the turkey. Then, for fun, I quartered an orange and put 2 pieces inside the turkey and 2 outside. Then it roasted for some hours (we were drinking wine and not really watching the time, so I can’t be too specific) until it was done. I had also in the meantime made garlic mashed potatoes and a gravy, plus we steamed some veggies.

TURKEY!

Then we had a delightful dinner. We used the turkey bones to make a broth, along with the leftover pan drippings and mirepoix, and added some packets of turkey gravy, and let it simmer for a while. Then I strained the broth into another pot, picked the meat off the bones and added some of the leftover turkey meat along with fresh veggies and potatoes and let it simmer some more. Then we let it cool and stored the soup into containers to freeze. Later on, when we feel like having the soup, we defrost it and add rice to have a nice, hearty turkey soup.

Yeah, so what if it isnt pretty? It’s tasty, and that’s all that matters. And those are oranges floating in it, leftover from roasting.

But we still had a lot of turkey left. So, my brother made a turkey chili. He has a recipe he always uses for chili, but he uses it mostly as a guide. The recipe says, for example, to use 2 slices of bacon. He uses a whole package. Mostly the recipe serves to remind him what to put into the chili, and when to add it. He just changes how much to add.

I love chili.

And lastly, the mashed potatoes. As delicious as they were, there’s only so much of mashed texture a person can eat within a certain amount of time. So I did what my grandma once recommended to me. I fried them. To do this, I simply rolled a spoonful of potatoes, covered it in a light layer of flour, then coated it in an egg wash (2 eggs beaten, plus an equal amount of milk), and coated it in a mix of half panko and half Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Then I fried them in vegetable oil at a temp of 325-350 degrees until browned. It was a wonderful textural change and made them more fun to eat, since mashed potatoes had become finger food! I only wish I had thought to make a sauce to go with them. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Crunchy outside, garlicky mashed potato goodness inside

You can also make these with leftover turkey meat and veggies, as long as they aren’t too wet and the ball can still hold its’ shape

So what have we learned from this? That it’s ok to make a turkey during the holiday off-season. It’s way more relaxing when it’s just for your immediate family (hence the drinking of wine while cooking) and then there are plenty of ways to make the leftovers fun. Other examples could be using the leftover turkey and veggies and making a turkey pot pie. You could have turkey sandwiches. You could probably make some sort of casserole with a layer of mashed potatoes on top (think of Shepherds Pie). If your store doesn’t have any turkey right now, ask in the meat department if they could order one for you. Chances are that they will.

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Eggs en Filets

Eggs en Filets are apparently just baked egg yolks dipped in pancake batter and fried. Delicious! This recipe came from one of those books I mentioned, many posts ago, called 100 Ways of Cooking Eggs. This book is over a hundred years old, but since it’s sitting up in my family’s vacation cottage, I have no access to it and can’t check the specific publication date. I’m pretty sure it’s from the 1890s. It’s a good thing I took some pictures of recipes I want to try when I had the chance so I have some unhealthy yet scrumptious cooking ideas.

Not the best pic, but in a dark room with bad lighting it isn’t too terrible

I chose to try Eggs en Filets mainly because I have all the ingredients and it sounded like a simple starting point. The recipe in the book is incredibly vague, so I had to decide how to make this more user friendly. I used fewer egg yolks, gave an actual cooking temp for the oven, and provided a recipe for the pancake batter. Check out the original:

The pancake batter I made worked really well, but if you don’t want the extra step of measuring things, I suppose you can use a boxed pancake mix. Just try to make it less dense than normal.

Also, if you feel gross about eating this many egg yolks fried in pancake batter, then save the egg whites and have an egg white omelet the next day! Or just stop complaining and live dangerously for once in your life.

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New World Cuisine

I keep meaning to take pictures during class so I can show everyone what I’ve actually been doing, but it’s always so busy in the kitchen before service that I forget or don’t have the time. Friday, however, we had some downtime since all of our food was done and the dining room was running late, so the Chef asked if someone could take pictures of his example plates and email them to him. Lucky me, I had my camera.

What is New World Cuisine? Well, turns out that it is the styles of cooking in America, South America, the Caribbean, and in general this whole part of the world. We make things like Southern Fried Chicken with buttermilk dressing and honey, as well as making Jamaican Curried Rice, and roasted chicken. In this class we employ the methods of grilling, roasting, and deep frying. It’s fun and delicious!

This dish is Adobo-Marinated Grilled Chicken with Chicharrones, on top of Yuca fries with Roasted Pumpkin behind it. The chicken skin was first removed, seasoned, and roasted to make that crispy chip you see standing straight up, which is called Chicharrones. The chicken was then brined for about an hour, then marinated in an Annatto Seed oil and herb mixture before being grilled. The Yuca fries are peeled, trimmed, blanched, and then deep fried. We learned the very important lesson that eating yuca raw is poisonous! Apparently it contains high levels of cyanide, but once it’s cooked then it’s all good.

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“Infinite Riches in a Little Room”

While I was on vacation in New Hampshire last week, I found some old timey cookbooks that my family had told me were up there. First, let me briefly explain the house. It’s really just an awesome cabin that a very nice lady left to my Grandpa back in the day. My entire family uses it for vacationing in the summer. It’s a nice place, very much in the woods, and I am very much allergic to it. But it’s still fun.

Anyway, so there were old cookbooks, and I had a chance to briefly go through them and take some pictures of recipes that I would like to try. Most I will have to change since they include a lot of cooking and frying in a large quantity of fat, but I’m sure I can figure it out.

 I have a plan of trying the recipes, and good or bad I will post them with both the original recipe written word for word as well as my own updated version of it. They’re a little tricky because they have a lot of vague measurements and silly instructions (half a glassful of wine; besprinkle with sugar). I imagine this will be fun for me. Especially the recipe that involves baking egg yolks, slicing them, dipping them in pancake batter, and frying them in fat, and serving with fried parsley. Yum and death. That’s in a book from the 1890’s.

I did decide to share now with the world a page of quotes from one of the books. It’s called: Favorite Recipes Cook Book, A Complete Culinary Guide, and it’s from 1931. It has lots of good recipes but I think the quote page was my favorite. Sorry it’s awkwardly split up. I was having trouble taking pictures with my less than perfect camera in a very dim room. I will try harder next time I’m there.