Tasty Turkey Burger

Turkey Burgers - Uncooked

Turkey Burgers Prepped for Fridge – Double Batch (2 1/2 pounds of meat)

Insert Photo to Come

Turkey Burgers After Grill.

These turkey burgers are moist and tasty and best grilled outdoors.  They take about 10 minutes to make.  I strongly recommend putting them in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before grilling.  This way the burgers firm up more and stick together when grilling.

Makes 4   4-5 oz burgers.

(Recipe can easily be doubled with success)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 pounds 93 percent lean ground turkey

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 generous teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil (if indoor grilling)

Directions:
1. Transfer ground meat to medium bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ricotta cheese, and mustard until blended, and divide meat into 4 portions. Lightly toss one portion from hand to hand to form a ball, then lightly flatten ball with fingertips into 1-inch-thick patty. Repeat with remaining portions.

2a. To Grill: Grill burgers over medium-low fire (you can hold your hand about 5 inches above grill surface for 5 seconds) until dark spotty brown on bottom side, 7 to 9 minutes. Turn burgers over; continue grilling 7 to 9 minutes longer or until bottom side is dark spotty brown and center is completely cooked or instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

2b. To Cook Indoors: Heat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron or stainless steel with an aluminum core) over medium heat until very hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Swirl oil in pan to coat bottom, then add burgers. Cook over medium heat without moving burgers until bottom side of each is dark brown and crusted, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn burgers over; continue to cook until bottom side is light brown but not yet crusted, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Reduce heat to low, position cover slightly ajar on pan to allow steam to escape, and continue to cook 8 to 10 minutes longer, flipping burgers if necessary to promote deep browning, until center is completely cooked, or an instant-read thermometer inserted from the side of the burger into the center registers 160 degrees. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Serve with normal burger toppings.  I generally do not add cheese on top given cheese is inside the burgers, but don’t let me stop you.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Turkey Chili Served with Quinoa

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I was on an airplane ride returning from vacation with free TV and Giada from the Food Network made this recipe.  It sounded good so we tried it out.  It got the thumbs up from me, my husband, and our young daughter.  It is definitely flavorful, easy to make, and can be on your table in under an hour including cleanup especially with some quick advanced planning.  Her web link says prep is 1 hour, cook 1 hr 30 minutes.  You likely will not need this much time.  This dish listed below does not have much “heat”.  If you want more keep some chili seeds in and use more chili powder.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/california-turkey-chili-recipe.print.html

Serves 6-8 large bowls

(This recipe has been grossed up from the web link.)

Ingredients

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4-6 large cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped  (short cut pop the peeled cloves in a small cuisinart, or just use jar garlic)
1-2 large poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and diced (I used one large; she lists two)
2 celery stalk, chopped small pieces
1 1/2 large onion, chopped small pieces
2.5-3 pounds ground turkey (use at least half dark meat to keep flavor up)
1 1/4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6-8 tablespoons tomato paste
4-5 generous tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
3 generous teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (see measurements below to start with, add more if desired)
little less than one teaspoon ground cinnamon
little more than 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably organic)
One 15 to 16-ounce can white or brown kidney beans rinsed and drained

Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf, recipe follows

Assorted garnishes, such as chopped onion, shredded white Cheddar, chopped tomatoes and/or sour cream

Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf:  This won’t look like much pre-cooked but will make a lot.
1 1/4 cups whole grain quinoa (about 7 ounces)
1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably organic)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
1/3 cup pine nuts

Directions

Peal and prep your garlic.  Set aside.

Mix your spices and sugar in a small bowl.  Precision not required.  Set aside.

Now heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat for a few minutes until shiny.

While the oil is heating, quickly prep your carrots, poblanos, celery and onion.  Rough but small cuts are fine.

Add the poblanos, celery and onions to warmed oil pot. Saute until the vegetables soften, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the garlic.  Stir 1 minute.

Add the turkey and saute until no longer pink, breaking up the turkey with the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over and stir to blend.

Add the tomato paste, and spice/sugar bowl (chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon and cloves).

Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to blend.

Add the broth and beans.

Bring to a simmer – 5-10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavors blend and the chili thickens to desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 30 minutes.

Season with more salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf into deep bowls. Ladle chili over. Serve with garnishes.

Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf **

Place the quinoa in a fine sieve. Rinse under cold running water 1 full minute. Set aside to drain.

Bring the broth, salt and pepper to a boil in heavy, medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the quinoa stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scatter pine nuts on a small rimmed baking sheet. Toast the nuts until golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.

Mix the cilantro and pine nuts into the quinoa.

** Dishthistoday Quinoa Note: For me, I did the quinoa in my Zojirushi rice cooker, quick setting – using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups chicken broth).  I set it in the morning before work and it stayed warm once cooked with very little degradation of taste.  It usually finishes within a half hour so if you are making as the same time as chili get it started before you start the chill.  I also prepped the veges and spices the night before so that when I got home from work putting the dish together took even less time.  If you have never tasted quinoa, don’t be turned off.  It is a grain and when cooked properly tastes great and is relatively healthy for you.  Also to save time I skipped the pine-nuts but I am sure they are a good addition if you have the time.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/california-turkey-chili-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

Indian Shrimp with Coconut Dipping Sauce over a Bed of Quinoa

Finished Dish: Shrimp with Coconut Dipping Sauce over Quinoa

Shrimp with Coconut Sauce over Quinoa

The recipe comes from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide.  Her inspiration for the recipe per her cookbook is from Chef Jose Andres from Washington DC who owns a few restaurants in DC.  It is very easy to make and tastes and smells wonderful.  I added the quinoa, removed the shrimp tails and served over quinoa versus the recipe presented in Bhide’s book.  It is incredibly tasty and not a typical India heavy dish.

This recipe makes enough for 4 small appetizer servings or 2 dinner dishes.  To bulk up the counts increase your shrimp count.  If you multi-task the quinoa, shrimp, and sauce well, this dish can be completed in well under an hour easily and cleanup is painless.  You can use the same large pot to cook the tomatoes, the shrimp, and the sauce.  You only need one cutting board.

Ingredients Coconut Sauce and Shrimp

1 small red onion minced

2 small tomatoes pureed * instructions below

1 13.5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin (her recipe called for 1 teaspoon of the actual seeds which I don’t stock in my pantry)

1 teaspoon red chili powder (or less if you prefer less spicy)

1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and minced (go fresh if you can versus ground ginger spice)

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

Pinch of sea salt

Cooked 1 pound of nice sized shrimp **

* Puree tomatoes – WikiHow has great instructions on how to do the puree.  I left the seeds and juices in. I stopped after Wiki step 8 because I was just needed simple tomato puree.  You can reuse the pot from the tomato puree step for the recipe later.
Before Puree

After Puree

After a few pulses (above)

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Tomato-Puree

** For cooking the shrimp, I keep it pretty simple because I want the sauce to be the flavor of the shrimp.

Remove shells, tails, and devein the shrimp (dark brown or black vein) with a sharp knife.

Rinse what you just prepped in cold water and drain.

Fill pot with enough water to cook shrimp; then boil the water on high heat.

Add shrimp and push under water initially, allow the shrimp to cook 1-2 minutes until you see small bubbles to break the surface of the water.  Stop at that point and remove pot from heat.  Shrimp cook quick and should start to have a nice pink tinge (you will need to peak at a shrimp because the water will be murky).  Cover the pot and let the shrimp cook in the hot water off the heat for about 5-10 minutes depending on the size of shrimp.  They will now fully have that nice pink color you are looking for.  Don’t overcook.  Drain the shrimp and set aside.

Prepped Shrimp

Shrimp ready to go off heat

Cooked after staying in warm pot 7 1/2 minutes.

Above 3 shrimp photos – prepped, in the pot on heat with bubbles surfacing, fully cooked

Directions for Coconut Sauce

1) Combine the onion, tomatoes, coconut milk, cumin, chili powder, ginger, pinch of salt, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl and mix well.  Add more salt after tasting if desired.

Uncooked Sauce

2) Pour mixture into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.    Begin to prepare your Quinoa ***

Cooked Down Sauce

3) Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

4) Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature

5) Process in a blender until smooth – can serve sauce cold or warmed

Blender Pre Blend

Sauce After Blending

After blending thoroughly (immediately above)

*** Preparing Quinoa –  I admit I am spoiled here and use my Zojirushi rice cooker which makes it perfectly with little fuss in less than a half hour.  Rinse one cup of quinoa over a fine mesh strainer and once drained place in rice cooker pot.  Add 2 cups of either water, vege stock, or chicken stock (my preference), add a pinch of sea salt, set on the quick start and wait for it to be done.   As for stove top methods there are tons of options online or follow the instructions on your Quinoa container.   Again for this recipe I keep the quinoa flavor simple because I am counting on the coconut sauce to flavor the shrimp and quinoa.  

Cooked Quinoa

Serve

Layer a plate with quinoa bottom, add shrimp portion, and pour over some sauce.
Shrimp with Coconut Sauce over Quinoa



Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches via Slow Cooker

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Pulled barbecue chicken sandwiches – Very Easy! Fast Prep!

Yield: 12+ meaty sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 6 hrs

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts + 1 pound boneless, skinless thighs
2 cup (16 oz) barbecue sauce (a flavor you like)
2/3 cup Italian dressing – good brand
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons chicken broth (I have used water too but chicken stock is more flavorful)
additional barbecue sauce, if desired
rolls, for serving as sandwiches
bread and butter pickles, optional

Directions:

1. Place chicken in the slow cooker.  You should enough meat to cover the bottom layer of your cooker.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

2. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and chicken broth (or water). Stir it into the sauce in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until the sauce is thickened and heated through (10 to 15 minutes). Meanwhile, use two forks to shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir. Add additional barbecue sauce if more sauce is needed or desired. Cover and continue cooking on low for 45 minutes. Serve chicken piled onto rolls. Add pickles, if desired.

tips:

*The brand of barbecue sauce that you use can make a big difference in the flavor of the chicken.  Many people on line like Sweet Baby Ray’s!

Source:  RecipeGirl.com (Adapted slightly from All You)

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Close Up Look

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Getting ready to freeze leftovers.

Slow Cooker Turkey Lasagna – Yes it is possible

I love Barefoot Contessa’s (Ina Garten) Turkey lasagna but it is a lot of work and worse a lot of cleanup.  So when this slow cooker recipe was posted on Williams-Sonoma website a few years ago I was intrigued.  I own and love the Williams-Sonoma’s All-Clad 7-Qt Deluxe Slow Cooker.  It is so versatile. You can brown anything with the insert on top of the stove, and the insert can go into the oven to finish off a dish like this.  This is a serious advantage when it comes to clean up.
 
 
 
So could a lasagna baked in a crock pot have the taste and texture of a typical oven baked lasagna?  My opinion after making this recipe absolutely yes; however, I am not sure the success would be as good in your typical crockpot that does not have a removable insert that can go in the oven.  You also need an above average slow cooker capacity for this recipe.  I think the final broil step on this dish adds a lot to the texture and appearance of the dish.
 
 
 
Could prep and clean-up really be improved versus a typical lasagna without sacrificing taste?  Again I would say yes.  The dish easily peels out of the slow cooker and you are left with two easy to clean bowls (the temporary dirty bowl and the cheese bowl) and a cutting board if you took the time to add the mushrooms and carrrots.
 
 
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed  – I use turkey sausage
  • 2 jars (each 24 oz.) tomato sauce – I typically use Wegman’s or Wholefood’s 360 brand to save time but sometimes I use homemade.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb. whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 18 ruffle-edged lasagna noodles (not no-boil noodles)
  • 1 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • 3 carrots in small diced form (my add in for more nutrition)
  • Small container of your favorite mushrooms, cleaned and chopped in small pieces (my add in for more nutrition)
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish

Directions:

Prep your carrots and mushrooms if using.

In the stovetop-safe insert of slow cooker over medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Saute the carrots and mushrooms if using for about five to seven minutes until soft.  I usually add the carrots first and halfway through add the mushrooms.  When they look close to done but not quite, add the sausage and cook, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl.

In another bowl, stir together the ricotta, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the slow-cooker insert. Cover the sauce with a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (about 3), breaking the noodles as needed to fit. The noodles do not need to be perfect.  Spread about 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with about 2 cups of the sauce, then sprinkle with about 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat the layering 4 more times, starting with the noodles.

Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base, cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the noodles are tender and cooked through, about 4 hours (WS recommended time).  My best results have been stopping early at 3 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours 50 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to broil.

Transfer the slow-cooker insert to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes (Williams-Sonoma recommended time). DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PRIZE IN THE BROILER.  FIVE TO SIX MINUTES WILL LIKELY BE PLENTY.  YOU DO NOT WANT TO OVER-BROIL.

Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and serve immediately. Serves 12.

This dish says it serves 12, I think it can stretch further.   Freeze leftovers in desired portion sizes.  Defrost overnight and rewarm on 325 until warm throughout – 15-20 mins.
 
 
Suggest serve with homemade garlic bread:
1 good French loaf bread sliced in half (horizontal cut)
 
Dice a few cloves of garlic very tiny or do a quick swirl of whole cloves in a mini food processor- saute them for 2-3 minutes on low heat with oil if you have time.
   Or just buy a jar of already crushed garlic to save time and spoon a teaspoon
 
Melt 8 tablespoons of butter.  Add garlic to butter.
 
Using a pastry brush or pouring – put the butter mixture over the bread.
(Sprinkle some parm cheese on top for a nice touch – optional)
 
Place bread on lined alumimum foil sheet pan.   (I have sometimes prep the bread as much as 2-3 hours in advance and covered with foil.  It can get a little soggy if sitting out much longer than that).
 
Broil on high for about 1 1/2 – 3 minutes.  Do not take your eye off the oven.
These can burn quick.   Nothing like piece of fresh garlic bread to go with this lasagna.
 
 
 
 
 
Recipe Link
 
Slow Cooker Link
I am not being paid in any to recommend this slow cooker.  I have had it for about 5 years.  I use it often and have been incredibly pleased about every feature.

Barefoot Contessa’s Crab Strudel – Luxury Appetizer or Entree

When I saw this in Ina’s Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, I was attracted to the small number of ingredients, 20 minute prep time, and the ability to freeze the dish and bake-off at a later date.  I was secretly also hoping to get a wow factor from the crowd, and I had success.  The good news indeed the ingredients are easy to find in a store.  The bad news is that 20 minutes of prep is not realistic.  I would say if you are prepping this solo, count on 30-40 minutes unless you are proficient with pastry dough.  In addition you need to plan ahead before making the dish.  The dough needs to defrost for 8 hours or overnight in your fridge.  Then it needs to rest at room temperature for 30-40 minutes before using.  I suggest you gather all your ingredients, then take out the dough, and start your timer and complete your prep work.  The sheets needs to be soft but not too soft.  Yes you might have time to kill waiting for the dough to get just right, but you can always start cleaning up.  Once you start working with the sheets you need to cover the unused sheets with a damp dish cloth (non fluffy type that won’t stick to dough).    Finally my experiment freezing went well but I thought the dish tasted slightly better when baked immediately after prepping vs the frozen but not enough for your guests to likely care.  Her yield says 6-8.  If it is a main entree I think that sounds about right.  But I served a half a recipe for 6 people as an appetizer and it was a perfect quantity.

In terms of difficulty, I upped this to medium because pastry dough is tricky.  However in reality if you just read the box directions and the directions in the recipe, I think it is hard to mess this recipe up.  I used Wegmans Ready to Use Phyllo Pastry Sheets.   http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=713431&storeId=10052&langId=-1  Our store carried two sizes and I used the larger size but the smaller size would be fine.   My recipe yielded 4 meaty size loaves.  I got the crab at Wegmans too.  The brand was called Graham & Rollins Inc. Crabmeat, Jumbo Lump.  It came in a one pound container and I never saw one shell and the crab tasted great.  Downside is that the container costs close to $30.00.  At Wholefoods it would be significantly more.

Ingredients

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided   (2 tablespoons + 10 tablespoons)

3 scallions, chopped (use whole of scallion cut into small slices)

2 garlic cloves, minced (I hand diced small)

1 teaspoon curry powder (I think you could add a touch more (extra half teaspoon?) and have a more favorable result.  In the website many wrote in they used Old Bay.  I think that would be fine too but give a different flavor for sure)

1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and picked to remove shells

2 teaspoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 lime, juiced

Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

10 sheets phyllo dough (such as Pepperidge Farm) – I used Wegmans brand and 20 sheets (4 rolls, 5 sheets each)

1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs – I used a half cup at least and would measure at least that amount out.  (I used Panko style)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saute pan, add the scallions and garlic and cook over medium-low heat until the scallions are soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add the curry powder (or old bay) and stir.

Shred the crabmeat into a bowl and mix with the parsley, lime juice, salt, to taste, and pepper.   She then says add the crabmeat to the scallion mixture.  I found it easier to add the scallion mixture to the crabmeat bowl.

Melt 10 tablespoons of butter in a small pan and set aside.

TIP:COVER YOUR DOUGH WITH WET CLOTH WHILE YOU PAINT WITH BUTTER AND SPRINKLE CRUMBS – CAREFULLY MOVE THE SHEETS TO YOUR WORKSPACE

Unfold 1 sheet of the phyllo dough. Brush the sheet with melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  (My sprinkles caused me to end up using 1/2 cup total).   Repeat the process by laying a second sheet of phyllo dough over the first sheet, brush it with melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs until 5 sheets have been used. Spoon a 1-inch wide row of the crab mixture along 1 edge of the phyllo dough. Roll it up. Brush the top with butter and set aside. Repeat the entire process using the all the phyllo dough and crab filling.

Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper. Score the crab strudel diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces and bake for 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Slice and serve.

If you are using a previously made batch from the freezer I had success pulling it out of the freezer 1 hour before cooking and resting at room temperature.  I remelted some butter and painted the tops again before baking.  Make sure your score marks are deep enough if you are using previously frozen dough so you get a good chance at the crab evenly warming.  At the same time, you don’t want to score all the way through or the dish will fall apart.   I had to bake closer to 18 minutes on the frozen logs.  The straight to the oven pieces needed 12 minutes max.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/crab-strudel-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

Below are pictures just before going into the oven and as it came out as well as the crab mixture.

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Simple mustard fish recipe; Will surely delight the crowd

I have Ina Garten to credit for this recipe, and I have made it many times and it has never disappointed.  Here is a link to one version of the recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mustard-roasted-fish-recipe.html

I love this recipe because it truly is foolproof, requires few ingredients, and takes no time at all to prepare.

I find it best with white fish, but it will work with a good piece of salmon.

Prep takes 10 minutes, cooking takes about 15-20 minutes, and cleanup is simple if you use parchment paper on your rimmed cookie sheet.  Basically you only need to clean a few measuring spoons and a small bowl along with the cookie sheet.  I think this dish would be more messy on a non-rimmed cookie sheet for clean up.

Ingredients:

4 – 8 oz servings of fish fillets such as snapper – I have tried this with many white firm fish types from Whole Foods and usually prefer asking them for one large 3-4 pound fillet, making sure it has been picked over for bones.  I specifically ask them to hunt for major bones before taking the piece home.   Usually if I call late in the day with 2 hours notice they will have the fish waiting for me.  Ina in her show and book never mentions salmon and I am not sure why, as this works well on salmon as well.

Kosher salt and pepper (have ready 2 teaspoons of each but you won’t use it all)

8 ounces of creme fraiche (I never heard of creme fraiche before making this recipe.  It comes in a round tub like a cottage cheese or whipped cream cheese and usually is found near the fresh cheeses at your store.  I have only seen it come in one size.)

http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=375620&storeId=10052&langId=-1

3 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard (recommend using both types and I usually go heavy when measuring)

1 tablespoon of Whole Grain Mustard (recommend using both types)

2 tablespoons minced shallots 1-2 shallots depending on size (do not skip as it adds a lot of flavor)

2 teaspoons of drained capers (I never add the capers because I find most people don’t like the taste as much as me)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Line sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or can use ovenproof baking dish.  I find the cookie sheet with parchment makes cleanup a breeze

Place the fish skin side down on the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste

Combine the creme fraiche, 2 mustards, shallots, capers if using, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in small bowl.

Generously spoon sauce over fish.  I recommend mixing the ingredients in the quantity above but just using about half to three quarters of the sauce.  It is rich enough in half the quantity. Unfortunately I have found little use for the other half so usually I toss it down the drain.

Cooke the fish 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish until barely done.  Do not overcook it.

Serve hot or at room temp with the sauce of the pan spooned over the top.

I will upload a picture later this week when I make the dish!  You will be impressed with how professional the dish looks.

I usually serve it with Ina’s roasted root vegetables.  See separate posting.  That too is easy to make.

Mini Meat (or Turkey) Loaves – Kid Helpers Welcomed

This is a simple dish for a novice to make.  You need one regular size muffin pan.  This dish can be in the oven within 20 minutes and clean up takes about 10 minutes max if you throw everything (muffin pan included) in the dishwasher.  This recipe was adopted from C is for Cooking Recipes From the Street by Susan McQuillan.   This is a kids’ cookbook I skeptically bought but turns out I would highly recommend it.  (It can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sesame-Street-Cooking-40th-Anniversary/dp/0470523077/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391978718&sr=1-1&keywords=c+is+for+cooking.  I receive nothing for this mention).

Equipment: Muffin Pan (12 cups), Small Bowl, Large Bowl, measuring items)

Kids can help with all the measuring and my 4 year old loves making the balls for the tins.  I mix the ingredients in the bowl though initially to make sure the consistency is good.

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 350

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 pound turkey ground turkey (I like a combo of thigh and breast; however any type of ground meat is fine- chicken, beef, pork etc)

1 cup uncooked old fashioned oatmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats which can be found at Wholefoods)

1 small onion (or half large onion) – diced very small

1 or 2 carrots depending on size (shred with a grater)

1/3 cup ketchup and 1/4 Heinz Chili Sauce (sold near ketchup at most grocery stores)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I buy this pre-grated to save time)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (I use half this but recipe calls for full one)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Topping – (original recipe calls for ketchup; I make my topper below)

1/3rd cup Heinz Chili sauce,  mixed with 1 very generous tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar

Steps:

Lightly spray cooking spray in 9 muffin tins (sometimes you get 8, sometimes 9)

Crack egg in tiny bowl, remove any shells.

In large bowl combine chosen meat, oatmeal, onion, carrot, egg, ketchup, chili sauce (if using), parm cheese, salt and pepper

Mix with your CLEAN hands or use plastic baggies over hands.

Once well mixed, scoop up a ball and place in muffin tin, patting the top down to be smooth.

Brush with topping if using (again I think the Chili Sauce with a little sugar is the way to go)

Bake 20-25 minutes until center not pink (I usually cook it the full 25, but they usually seem done after 22-23 minutes).

Remove from oven and keep in muffin tin for ATLEAST 10-15 minutes so the muffins continue to set.  If they are not set, this recipe will not come out as desired.

After you patiently wait, carefully with a knife lift up muffins (they should be completely stuck together – see pictures) and place on a rack to cool if not serving right away.   I freeze these all the time, and defrost the night before I want to use them.  For a kid under 7, one muffin as a main dish is more than enough.  My husband will eat two at a time.  One would not be enough for him.  For me, one is fine.   Hence I often double this recipe and we eat a few and then we have lots to freeze later.

View after putting on the topping but before being baked.

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View before the topping.

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Done and now resting on a rack after staying in the muffin pan for 15 minutes.

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Kids’ Cooking Project for School – Spaghetti and Meatballs

I like this project for a class lunch for ages 3-8.  I recommend making one set of meatballs ahead of time to speed up the process.  Have the teacher bake the meatballs the kids made during lunch time and save for afternoon snack later that week.  I like to use turkey meat and think dark or white breast meat is fine.   I have tried both many times.  For ease of class project, I recommend measuring the spices ahead of time and just bring baggies or little cups that the kids can toss in.   Otherwise I find the kids are fighting over helping each other with the measuring spoons and pouring and you get a mess.  Start the jumbo pot of water ahead of time and lightly salt it.  Use extra water if you think some of the water will boil down.  You want a lot of water for the pasta.

Class Spaghetti and Meatballs – February 2014

 

Check List of Items Needed

1 Cookie Sheet for baking meatballs

Aluminum foil to line baking sheet

Cooking oil spray to spray foil on top of cookie sheet

Very large bowl for meatball mixing , small bowl for egg

Plastic bags for mixing meat initially by hand

Large strainer for pasta

Heavy duty large mixing spoon

Very large pot to cook pasta

Small pot or fry pan for heating sauce and already cooked meatballs

Spoon for tossing sauce as it is heated

Bring spaghetti serving fork to school if you have one (I only attaching this link because it is a good picture.  You do not need to spend $32 for a pasta serving fork.  However look for a utensil that is firm on the bottom vs a cheap plastic one.  You will have better success and it will hold up better in the dishwasher.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/9915919/?catalogId=8&sku=9915919&bnrid=3120901&cm_ven=Google_PLA&cm_cat=Cooks’_Tools&cm_pla=Cooking_Utensils&cm_ite=All-Clad_Stainless-Steel_Professional_Pasta_Fork_%7C_Williams-Sonoma&srccode=cii_17588969&cpncode=34-136177943-2

Food Needed

Bag of spices already measured (see below**)

Few tablespoons of milk

1 Egg

Pinch of salt for the boiled water for pasta

Already made meatballs (to speed up project) –

(can save other meatballs for later after cooking)

Ground turkey meat (1 to 1.5 pounds) for hands on kids mixing – you should easily be able to make 20 meatballs

Box of spaghetti – Break sticks in half before cooking

1 jar of sauce

½ Cup Panko bread crumbs or some other brand –  Wegman brand good too

Parmesan Cheese for Topping

Optional fresh broccoli stalks cut small

Reminders for teacher 

Get water boiling early before start project with kids

Spaghetti needs 11-13 minutes on per box direction – start the timer once the water reboils and watch pot that it does not overflow

If using, toss in broccoli with about 5-6 minutes to go;  strain pasta/broc.

Meatball Making – likely to take 15 minutes with kids and then needs to cook

Pre-heat oven to 400 for meatballs before starting project with kids.

Lined Rim Baking Sheet with alum foil and spray a little oil

NOTE: each kid can add in ingredients below – suggest parent mix meatball batter, then hand a little meat to each kid to form meatball

–       In large bowl- stir  bread crumbs (1/2 cup) and milk (3 tbsp) and let stand 5 mins

–       ** Add oregano (1/2 T) , dried onion (1/2 t), salt (1/2 t) , pepper (1/4 t)

–       Crack egg in small bowl and lightly beat

–       Add egg to large bowl of breadcrumbs

–       Add in the meat and make meatballs

–       Bake about 11-13 minutes

Warm Sauce on medium low  along with already cooked meatballs; serve with spaghetti and sprinkle with cheese.  Plan for ten minutes for sauce and already cooked meatballs to get warm

Crock Pot Applesauce BBQ Chicken.

I tried this Applesauce BBQ dish recently from a women named Lori.  I was very intrigued by her concept of making 40 Meals/4 Hours Recipe Collection and this was one of them.  I have also tried her orange chicken recipe and that was pretty tasty as well.  I prepped both chicken dishes the same day freezing the chicken for the BBQ for a later date.  (What a helpful tip).   However move the frozen chicken to the fridge at least 24 hours before using it.  I used chicken breasts for the recipe sited below as it calls for that.  My husband and brother-in-law clearly would have preferred the dish made with thighs.  I personally like white meat better but each to his own.  I am sure the dish made with your preference will turn out great either way.  I made this dish in my : All-Clad 7-Qt. Deluxe Slow Cooker with Cast Aluminum Insert from Williams-Sonoma.  If you have the money, this is an awesome slow cooker.  The insert comes out and can be used to brown meat on a burner and it can go in the oven.  It is a time saver and the cleanup is always easy using this gadget.

Lori’s recipes – 40 –   http://whoneedsacape.com/2012/11/crockpot-freezer-cooking/

The Crock Pot Applesauce BBQ Chicken Dish (Note she credits this recipe to someone else herself)

http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/01/crockpot-applesauce-bbq-chicken/

Ingredients – sized for the way I made it.

  • 3 pounds of breasts cut in large chunks)
  • 1 t ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup times 2 of  chunky applesauce – I used regular and threw in some peeled diced apple chunks for 1 apple
  • 2/3 cup BBQ sauce times 2 (I used Wegmans)
  • 4 Tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of chili powder

Instructions

  1. Spray Crockpot with non-stick cooking spray, or use a Crockpot liner for easy clean-up.  With my slow cooker I skipped this step and had no problems.
  2. Place chicken breasts on bottom.
  3. Mix all remaining ingredients together, and pour over chicken.  I then stirred the chicken and sauce some so some stuff was below the chicken layer.
  4. The sourced recipe calls for 6-8 hours on crock pot low setting. Serves 8+.  I found after 5 hours the chicken was more than done and suggest not cooking it as long as the recipe calls for.
  5. I served over rice.

Williams-Sonoma Slow Cooker:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/all-clad-deluxe-slow-cooker-with-aluminum-insert/?pkey=e%7Cslow%2Bcooker%7C8%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Feature_Recipe_Rule-_-