Friday, November 29, 2013

Next-Day Turkey Soup with Crispy Stuffing Croutons

We all know that leftovers can be the best part of Thanksgiving.
Make up a batch of soup to use up your leftovers.
You can add just about anything to this soup!
Thanksgiving leftovers for me are generally a sandwich.  I love leftover turkey sandwiches.  With cranberry sauce and a slice of dressing and a little gravy on the side for dipping.
I always make a whole turkey, but the dark meat gets left aside.
Get the most out of your turkey! It's also a great way to use up what's left in the fridge.
If you have a pressure cooker, it takes no time at all to make a batch of soup.
I made double stuffing this year and thought I would use some of it to top off this delicious left-over turkey soup.

1 Turkey carcass
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery with leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 scallions, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. turkey fat drippings (skim off the top of your gravy)
10 cups water

Place all ingredients in pressure cooker.  Cover, bring to high pressure and cook for 30 minutes.  Let pressure come down naturally.  If you don't have a pressure cooker, you'll have to simmer this stock for about 3 hours.

Remove bones and large pieces of turkey.  Strain remaining stock through a cheesecloth.  At this point you can add whatever veggies you have left from Thanksgiving or in the fridge.  

2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
2 cups leftover turkey
1/2 cup white rice
1 cup leftover stuffing

Bring stock to a simmer.  Add vegetables, thyme and white rice.  Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

Cut up leftover stuffing into cubes.  Saute in about 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter until browned and crispy.

Add stuffing cubes to your soup and enjoy!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Copycat Rao's Famous Broiled Lemon Chicken

The most requested dish at Rao's  in New York City.
Chicken broiled with a tangy lemon, olive oil and garlic sauce.

This dish seems to go out to almost every table.
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 2 1/2-lb. chickens with legs, thighs,
   and wings separated and breasts quartered
   on the bone
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place oven rack in the upper third of the oven, and preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano in a 2 cup measuring cup.  Season the salt and pepper.

Place chicken skin side down, on a baking sheet and broil for 15 minutes.  Turn chicken skin side up and broil until skin is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes more.

Remove chicken from broiler.  When cool enough to handle, cut into serving pieces.  Pour over lemon mixture.  The chicken was not quite cooked through at this point.

Broil additional 5-7 minutes on each side until chicken is browned and cooked through.
Stir in parsley.
Serve with plenty of crusty Italian bread.

~Recipe from Rao's Cookbook

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Easy Kimchi

Every Korean meal includes anywhere from 2 to 12 side dishes (banchan).  The most important and well known is Kimchi, of which there are 100+ varieties.  This pickled and fermented cabbage is the most popular.  This hot, spicy, garlicky dish is incredible over rice, paired with meat, or just on its own.
Kimchi is usually made without vinegar and needs to sit for 2-3 days to ferment.
This is a quick version that is ready to eat in about 4 hours.
You can make this as spicy and you like by adjusting the amount of Chili Garlic Sauce.
If you are not a fan of fish sauce, which is used in most Asian dishes, or if you can't find it in the Asian section of your market, I found a great substitute.  One of the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce is anchovies, a small amount makes a great substitute for the fish sauce.

1 medium head Napa Cabbage
2 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 cup Chili Garlic Sauce (Sambal Oelek)
1/4 cup Miso or Vegetable Broth (in place of fish sauce)
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Cut the cabbage in half (lengthwise), then into quarters, and then chop it into 1-inch pieces.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the cabbage with the sea salt and sugar.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator, allowing the moisture to be drawn out of the cabbage - about 2 hours.

Rinse well under cold water.

In a food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, chili sauce, vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar and pulse to combine.

Toss the cabbage with the chili sauce mixture.  Pack into jars and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  This will keep up to a month refrigerated.

~Adapted from "cook yourself sexy"

Easy Kimchi  on Punk Domestics

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mounds Poke Cake

I've seen many a "poke cake" and have yet to make one (it's true!)  They always looked a little too sweet for me.  My blogger buddy Brandi over at The Country Cook has more poke cake recipes than you can shake a stick at!  Head on over for all her poke cake recipes!!  We don't have a lot of sweet tooths here - in fact I still have leftover Halloween candy - of which Mounds and Almond Joy, which are my favorites, are still in a little bowl on the dining room table.  When I saw this recipe for Mounds Poke Cake I just couldn't resist.

This cake is not overly sweet with just a hint of coconut flavor.
I barely got to take this photo - it was gone in no time!

What I loved most about this cake was that it is chilled.
The creamy topping and cool coconut cream and condensed milk really made this a delicious cake!

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1-6 oz. can cream of coconut 
1-9 oz. Extra Creamy Cool Whip
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Bake cake using package directions in a 9×13 pan. Remove cake from oven. While still hot use a fork to poke holes in top of
cake. In a bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut. Pour mixture over cake, spreading evenly so it will soak into holes. Cool completely. Top with Cool Whip and then coconut flakes. Chill overnight.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Polish Spareribs and Sauerkraut Stew

This is a traditional Polish stew called Bigos or Hunter's Stew.  There are so many variations of this pork dish.
You can go to Hog Heaven and add smoked pork shoulder, pork butt, bacon and kielbasa.  Spareribs and sauerkraut are something I've never had outside of my own home.  This is the way my mother made it, and it's a perfect dish for a cold winter day.  She always served it with simple boiled, mashed potatoes and fried onions.

2 lbs. meaty spareribs (or country style)
2 lbs. sauerkraut 
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Smashed Potatoes with Fried Onions

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2-1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 medium onion diced
Salt and Pepper

Season ribs with salt and pepper.  In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil.  Add spareribs and brown lightly on both sides.  Add onion and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

 Deglaze with white wine.  Add sauerkraut.  You can drain it and rinse it depending on how sour you like your kraut.  I don't drain or rinse.  Add bay leaves.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until pork is very tender, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  Adjust salt and pepper.

Cook potatoes in boiled salted water until tender.  Drain. Saute onions in butter until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

Add fried onions with the butter and mash with an old-fashioned potato masher (if you have one). Season with salt and pepper.  If the potatoes seem a little dry, add a splash of milk.

We always had this in soup bowls.  Place a generous amount of smashed potatoes in your bowl, and cover it with the tender pork and sauerkraut along with the juices.

I suppose if you've never had spareribs and sauerkraut, it might not look very appealing, but they are wonderful.  The ribs are as tender as can be and just melt in your mouth. The sauerkraut is mild and flavorful from the meat juices.  A spoonful of those mashed potatoes with fried onions with all those juices and sauerkraut....hog heaven.

My mom would have never added the wine, or garnish with parsley, it's a peasant dish - one that truly brings me back home to Mom's Kitchen.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Roasted Pickled Beets and Onions

This is an easy recipe for delicious pickled beets and onions.  I happen to love beets.  I grew up on them.  Polish and Slovak cuisine include many beet dishes (borscht - beet soup, pickled beets and Red Beets with Horseradish Relish )  These are great on a salad or as a side dish.

This recipe isn't processed so it's meant to be eaten within a few weeks.

Roasted Pickled Beets and Onions

16 baby beets, tops trimmed
(you can also used canned or jarred beets)
1 medium onion, julienned
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup water

To make the beets:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim greens from beets.
Wrap each beet in foil.  Place beet packets directly on oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.  Cool and peel beets (I suggest you use gloves or paper towel to do this, beet juice stains everything.

Cut beets into wedges or slices.

To make the marinade:

In a small saucepan, combine onions, vinegar, sugar, salt and 2/3 cup water and bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes.  

Pour hot marinade over beets and cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Roasted Pickled Beets and Onions  on Punk Domestics

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ultimate Chicken 'N' Dumplings

Tender poached chicken, fresh carrots, celery, onions and garlic......
simmering in a rich and creamy savory gravy.......
topped off with light, fluffy dumplings.......

Ultimate Chicken 'n' Dumplings

Chicken and Stock:

1 (3 to 3-1/2 lb.) chicken cleaned and rinsed
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
5 black peppercorns
1/2 head garlic (split through the equator)
2 Knorr or Maggi Chicken Boullion cubes
Salt to taste

For the Gravy:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup flour
6 cups Chicken Stock (above)
1 pkg. frozen peas
1 pkg. pearl onions
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper (and plenty of it)
Chives or scallions for garnish

Place the chicken and stock ingredients in a large Dutch oven and cover with cold water.  Set over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle simmer (do not boil).  Think of it as a poaching liquid.  A gently simmer makes for the most tender poached chicken!  Simmer for 1 hour, skimming the surface of fat and scum as it cooks.

When done, remove chicken to a pan and set aside to cool slightly.  Strain the stock and shred or chop the chicken, set aside.

To prepare the Gravy:

Using the same Dutch oven,  over medium heat, add butter and oil.  Add carrots and celery and saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour to make a roux.  Continue to stir and cook for about 2 minutes.  Pour in the hot stock and stir or whisk to incorporate.  Add frozen peas and pearl onions (I added two small, diced potatoes).  Let the sauce simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Stir in heavy cream.  
The gravy was delicious, but looked a little pale to me, so I added two drops of yellow food coloring to enhance the color - totally optional!!
Fold in the reserved shredded chicken into the gravy and let simmer on low while you prepare the dumplings.


2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup buttermilk
Chopped chives or scallions
Salt and pepper to taste

Drop heaping tablespoons of the dumpling batter onto the simmering gravy.  Cover and let the dumpling poach for 15-20 minutes until they are firm and puffy.

Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and chopped chives or scallions for garnish.

Makes about 6 servings.
~Adapted from Tyler's Ultimate

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

My niece recently moved into her first apartment and bought her first Crock Pot.  As a full-time teacher, she has been looking for easy, Crock Pot meals to make with her busy schedule.  
She called me the other day to share this delicious Santa Fe Chicken recipe.  Everything can be prepared the night before - pop in the Crock and have a great Mexican meal ready when you get home.
Tender, juicy shredded chicken breast is combined with black beans and corn and can be served over rice, as a filling for a burrito, or served with tortilla chips.  
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

1-1/2 lbs. chicken breasts (2 large)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. McCormick Mojito Lime Seasoning (or chili powder)
Salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes (with their juice), cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and Mojito Lime Seasoning or chili power in the crock pot.  Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and lay on top.

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.  Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.  Return chicken to slow cooker and stir.  Adjust salt and seasonings to taste.  Serve over rice or tortillas and your favorite toppings.

Cook's Note:  There will seem like there is quite a bit of liquid in this recipe.  After shredding the chicken and returning it to the Crock Pot, the liquid is absorbed into the chicken making it tender and juicy.

Artisan Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread

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