Friday, July 31, 2015

Roast Turkey and Meatball Stroganoff for Senior Lunch

I think I'm still trying to recover from last week.
We served Roast Turkey and all the fixin's for our Thursday Lunch.   I get carried away sometimes, and in fact, should have been carried away last week.
I got into the center just about 5:30 am, and got the Turkeys prepped and in the oven by 6 am.
Yes, I did say 6 am.
We serve lunch at noon, and I needed them to be ready.   I then peeled and baked 10 pounds of sweet potatoes, and luckily for me, Lisa mashed them and made a lovely Sweet Potato Casserole when she came in.  We also peeled a lot of potatoes, mashed them.
I made a Green Bean Casserole, along with Cornbread Stuffing and a Bread Stuffing.  Jon made the gravy and, before I forget, I also made some No-Knead Dinner Rolls.   I'll tell you about them in a later post.  They were so simple and so good.
Lisa made Pumpkin Pies and some Dutch Apple Pies, and we also had a donated Pumpkin Pie so we were all set for that.

But this week I wasn't as ambitious.   I made some Meatball Stroganoff, along with some salad and Harvard Beets.   Lisa made Carrot Cake and Chocolate Chip cookies for dessert.
See the pretty plates the meals are on?  They were donated by Doris, who generously bakes us a cake to raffle off each week.   This week she made some Bread Pudding and Miss Merle also made a Carrot Cake for the raffle.

And I made a few Danish Pastries for the kitchen crew.  I made the dough at home and brought it with me to finish it off there.   And then promised I would make some for dessert in a couple of weeks.  
I swear I look for any excuse to bake.  And this recipe is so good. And not that hard to make either. But don't tell anyone, I want them to think I slaved over the oven for hours.

Coming up over the next few weeks, Baked 'Fried' Chicken, Stuffed Peppers, Pork Roast and Fish.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Sticky Wings #5 with Crosse and Blackwell Chutneys

In my quest for the perfect wings, I've made and enjoyed a lot of sauces, but this one has come closest to that elusive sweet/hot flavour that I've been craving.
Wings #5 with Crosse and Blackwell Chutneys

I love wings, and will eat just about any kind I can get my hands on.   Hot, mild or sweet, they're all good.

But this past weekend, well, I was really conflicted as to whether or not I wanted to share the wings I made with my guests.

I'd sampled a few before everyone got there, and I almost hate to admit it, but I think I could have eaten most of it.

The sauce was that good.   And luckily for me, I made notes as I was making it.
Just so I could share the how to's here.
And I want to recreate it again.
I'm actually thinking this might make a great glaze on pork as well.  Or how about putting it on pancakes or, I'm getting so many ideas here.
Nothing like having lots of options/ideas.

But before I go any further...
Sauce Recipe:  Makes enough for 4 lbs. of Chicken Wings
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

1 jar Crosse and Blackwell Major Grey's Chutney  (9 oz).
1 jar Crosse and Blackwell Hot Mango Chutney   (9 oz).
1/2 jar Pineapple Preserves, about 6 oz.
1/2 cup Black Currant Preserves
1/2-1 cup Flaked Coconut
1-2 tablespoons Sesame Seed Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

Mix all together into a pot and bring to a boil.   Taste and add more Sesame Seed oil or Rice Wine Vinegar if needed for your taste.   The Rice Wine Vinegar helps to cut the sweetness a little.  Set aside.

Place a single layer of Chicken Wings, drums and flats, on a greased rimmed baking pan.   Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, turn wings over, bake an additional 15 minutes.  Pour off any 'chicken juice' that has accumulated, use it in a stock later on.  Turn the wings again.  Turn oven down to 325 degrees.   Baste the wings with the sauce.   Bake an additional 20 minutes, turn the wings, baste again with the sauce, be generous here.  Bake 20 minutes, turn, baste again and continue to bake for another half hour or until the wings are nicely browned.   They will be tender and falling apart by this time.   Serve with the additional sauce if you like or reserve it for later.
Wings #5 with Crosse and Blackwell Chutneys
They will have become nice and brown and gooey.  Just make sure you serve with lots of wet wipes or napkins.
Please trust me on this, but you can also lick your fingers as well.
Just sayin...

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tapas Night for July.

Another night, another Tapas Night done. 
We had a bit of a crowd last night, which is all good.  Mainly because we had a lot of great food. 

There was everything from ribs to smoked amberjack to pizza. 
I could also say there was everything from eggs to chickens.

From the top...

and in sort of a peculiar order.

I managed to snag a taste and they were so good.

Smoked Amberjack, caught and smoked by Leon.

 I was going to say that Amberjack is now my favourite smoked fish, but that would be a lie, I don't think I can pick a favourite, I like most of them.
Smoked fish, that is.

This was very good.

We have a new pizza joint in town, and this was a good representation from it.  Or so I'm told, I took the picture, and by the time I got back to sample some.   It was gone.

We also had a good representation of eggs...
 I got to taste some of these.

They sure tasted better than my picture of them. 
And I've had this kind before, they have cumin and pepper inside and are yummy.

I did say chicken, didn't I?

I made some Sticky Wings, (one of the guests named them)  I'll be sharing the recipe soon.
Cause the sauce, OMG, was so good. 

And I didn't dislocate my arm patting myself on the back either. 

Now for the rest of the offerings...
 Cheese and crackers, always a popular choice.
 I had a very ripe Brie in the fridge and put it out alongside some of my Seeded Crackers.  
I added some Black Sesame seeds to the crackers this time round, but can't say they added that much to the crackers.
 I also made some of my No-Knead Bread, cause I like to make bread, and most people seem to like eating it as well.
I know that, cause there's never any left over.

I guess I need to get the mixer out again.  
There was some lovely ripe Avocado slices, I love it when we can get something like that.   I forgot to ask where these were purchased, cause they were perfectly ripe.
 Wings, see there was more chicken...

Love these things.
 Susie called this a Chicken Etouffe dish, and it was very tasty. 

 And then there was this gorgeous fruit salad.
We now have a farmers market fairly close by, twice a month and they said they got all the ingredients there.

 I made some No-Knead Rye bread to go with some Pickled Herring I had in the fridge.

Guess what I'm having for breakfast?
Yup, Pickled Herring and Rye Bread. 

Just can't get the Dane out of this girl.
 And for a dish that was totally unique and really tasty, a Tomato Cobbler. 

I noticed people going for seconds on this one.  
And it was so good.  I would have gone for more, but it was gone by the time I got back to it.

I will be getting the recipe from Gail, soon.  
 A Caprese Salad,  or at least that's what I call it.

What is there about Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil all together? 
And I really don't care  for the taste of Basil, except for this combo.
 I got a shot of the Pineapple, but not the Santa toothpick holder. 

You knew there was going to be Pineapple didn't you? 
 There were also these Croquettes.   I do love a good Croquette.  And these had a lovely bite to them.
 Just one shot of the table. 
 I managed to snag a taste of the Brussel Sprouts on this platter.   I used to hate the taste of Brussel Sprouts, but have gotten to be fonder of them as I got older.  Of course, when you roast them, they become sweet and really tasty.  
 This was a great chopped chicken and egg salad.   I did get a quick taste of it. 

 And this bean salad was wonderful.  But then again, I love beans,and pretty much any combo works for me.
 Potato Salad with Home Made Mayonnaise. 

Need I say more?

Something about that is just so right.
I also put out some cold cuts in case anyone wanted them to put on some of the home made bread.

We did have dessert as well.

I think there was a theme going on, cause every one had chocolate.

There were some mini cupcakes, the perfect size.

I love the mini ones, they are so easy to just pop into the mouth.   
 This was a lousy picture, sorry.  But the layers of chocolate and cream and cake, so good.
And then there was this pie, which did not last long at all. 


There you have it, another Tapas Night and more food than you can shake a stick at.
Although I don't know why you would want to.

I need to go wash some wine glasses and think about some of the great conversations I had last night and start planning for Tapas next month.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Danish Pastry - Snegle (Snails)

I think, no, I know I'm in trouble now.
I love those wonderful, buttery bakery items known as Danishes, collectively, that is.
You might know them as Cheese Danishes or Cherry Cheese Danishes or Lemon Danishes or ...

I made some Cherry Cheese and plain Cheese Danishes the other day, but then I decided that I also wanted some Snegle as well.
Snails in another word.

These beat the best Cinnamon Rolls I've ever had.    And I love Cinnamon Rolls, but, from now on, I'm making these as a treat every so often, like, oh, every week?
Just kidding, but now that I'm conquering laminated dough, I know I'll have to make them from time to time.

Next week?  I think so.  

I took half of the laminated dough I made, spread some cinnamon butter on it,
folded it in half

then cut them in slices,

rolled them up and baked them.  After letting them proof for about 1/2 an hour.  They do need to relax a little after the strenuous workout you just gave them.

When I was finished, I draped them with a confectionary sugar glaze,

 and after sampling a couple, I went around with a sugar glaze sparkle in my eyes.

They were really hard to keep from eating, and eating and eating.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon Cinnamon (or to taste, you might like more cinnamon than I do)

Roll out half the laminated Danish dough, to about 16 x18 inches.  Not too thin, but not thick either.
Spread the filling over half the dough and then fold over.  Press down a little, then slice into equal slices.
Mine were just over 1 inch wide.  Place in a round cake tin lined with parchment paper or a well greased tin.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes.   Glaze while still warm with a mixture of confectionary sugar and milk, just til it's spreading or dripping consistency.
 Yield 15 snails.

1 cup Confectioners sugar
3 teaspoons milk
1/2 tsp. Vanilla or Lemon Extract.
Mix together until it's about as thick as a thick gravy or thin pudding.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chicken Chimichangas

The other day when I made the Shredded Chicken, I ended up with an extra Enchilada, cause there was no room in the pan for it.
I would have felt sorry for it, but I got one of those AHA moments and decided it was fair game to be turned into a Chimichanga.
I love Chimichangas.

So I fried it in a little oil, browning it on each side.

To make Chimichangas you need flour tortillas, a good filling, like my shredded chicken and a little oil to fry them in.

 I ended up with an extra enchilada which wasn't going to fit into the pan so I decided to make it into a Chimichanga.   A Chimichanga is basically a deep fried burrito.
I put it on the plate and decided it was rather plain looking.  So after I put an enchilada on the plate, I decided to add a little more cheese.
What can I say, cheese is good food.
And when I cut into the Chimi (not to be confused with my dog Chimi), I was so happy.
Look at the chicken, you can see the tomato bits, and the flavour, well.
I'm so doing my chicken this way again and again.
The Enchilada's were great and the Chimichanga, well I'm not missing my Chimi's anymore.

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Danish Pastries, Spandauer

I finally got all the icing licked off of my fingers so they don't stick to the keyboard while I'm trying to type this post up.
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)

I've been having fun playing with laminated dough lately making Kringles,  but wanted to switch up and do something a little different the other day.

Actually I found a new recipe to try and didn't really want to make another Kringle as delicious as they are, cause I would just eat it and well, gee, I don't need all those calories.

Instead I made these...

I think they have just as many calories, but at least I'm not faced with having to eat the whole thing.

I mean, eating one at a time is acceptable, right?

So I got to work mixing up the dough and then had to stick it in the fridge for a few days, cause we had other obligations so I didn't get around to baking these up until 4 days later.

I got the recipe here. 

And I didn't even modify it much.   I did use a jumbo egg rather than a large egg, and used salted butter, and then just omitted the addition of the salt.

Recipe: Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)

1/4 cup warm water (105-115 deg. F)
2 1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup milk  at room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter

Pour the water into a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top, let it 'bloom', then add the sugar, milk, egg and salt and whisk it together.   Set aside while you process the rest.
Put the flour into bowl of the food processor which has a metal cutting blade.   Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch slices and drop them into the flour.   Pulse about 8-10 times, just until the butter has been cut into pieces no smaller than 1/2 inch.  Really, you want big chunks of butter here.    Don't overdo it.
Empty the contents of the food processor into the bowl with the yeast and then working with a rubber spatula, very, very gently turn the mixture over.  Scrape the bowl as needed, but just mix it until the dry ingredients are moistened.  You'll still see some chunks of butter in there, that is a good thing.  The butter must remain in small pieces, to make a nice flaky dough.  Otherwise, you've just made cookies or bread dough.
As soon as you've mixed this, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge.  Leave it overnight or up 4 days, like I just did.

How to roll and fold.
Lightly flour your work surface.  If you've got a marble slab, great, if not, well make sure your work surface is cold.  (I work on a stainless steel island and put a bowl of ice right where I want to roll out the dough, and chill it that way, removing the ice before I start rolling.)  Turn the dough out, in other words, dump it out of the bowl and using your hands, pat it into a rough square.  Roll it into a square about 16 inches by 16 inches.  You don't need to be exact, but try to get as close as possible.
Fold the dough into thirds, just like a business letter.  Then turn it so that the fold is to your left.  Anytime the dough starts getting too soft to roll out, stick it in the fridge or the freezer for a quick chill.
Roll the dough out again, this time into a long rectangle, roughly 10 inches by 24 inches.  Fold the rectangle into thirds again, turn it so that the fold is to your left, then roll it into a 20 inch square.   Repeat this action one more time.  Fold into thirds again, divide into two and wrap well and stick it into the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
It's now ready to be shaped, filled or...

4 oz. cream cheese
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Extract
Mix together well, set aside.

1 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon Lemon or Vanilla Extract
Mix together until blended, this should be pourable, but not too thin.

I took each piece of dough out, and then I had fun.
I made some Spandauers, with half the dough.
Cut it into thirds, then cut each of the thirds into three pieces each one about 4x4 inches.  Rolled up the edges and pressed down a little on them. Just to hold their shapes.

I placed them on the reusable parchment paper, and plopped a piece of cream cheese filling in the middle.

Finished them off with an egg wash, then decided to try plunking a half teaspoon of cherry jam into half of them, let them proof (sit at room temp)  for a half hour, then baked them in a 400 deg. oven for 21 minutes.
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)
So one of them was a pinwheel, I was playing, OK?
The egg wash gives a lovely golden finish to the dough.
I let them sit and admired them for a little while. 
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)

Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)
I mean, come on, they did look pretty.
After awhile I decided to go ahead and glaze them.  I just took the glaze I'd mixed up, and drizzled it over top of the Spandauer.
Spandauer (Weinerbrød  aka Danish Pastries)
If you do this over the cooling racks you can have so much fun making pretty designs, and letting the excess glaze drip off.

I bet you're wondering what I did with the rest of the dough. 

Stay tuned, I'll tell you all about making Snegle next.  Well, in a couple of days, that is.  I need to go and finish cleaning up now.
That's Danish for Snails.


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