Monday, November 25, 2013

Fried Chicken Salad

Prepared November 25, 2013. The dish uses leftover fried chicken breast meat.
1/2 lb (250 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast harvested from fried chicken (or rotisserie chicken), small dice
1/2 c celery, small dice
1/4 c green onions, finely crosscut
1 T vegetable oil
3 T lemon juice
2 T fresh parsley, minced (or 1 T dry)
1 t dry tarragon, rubbed
1/3 c mayonaise
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, mix the chicken with the vegetables. Then drizzle on oil and lemon juice, add the herbs, and mix. Mix the mayonaise in gently, add salt and pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste. Makes about a pint. Variation: Substitute roast turkey breast for the chicken.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Roast a Small Butterball™ Turkey

Small Butterball Turkey™ after Roasting
Prepared November 23, 2013 for a pre-Thanksgiving family gathering. The method closely follows the meat packer's recommendations. Butterball™ turkeys are brined with a salty broth-vegetable oil emulsion, which accounts for the moistness, tenderness, and reliability. DrDaddy's mom always roasted BB's after she stopped keeping glatt Kosher and never served a bad one.
10 to 12 lb Butterball™ turkey, safely thawed, carefully rinsed, pin feathers pulled, cool but not cold, wings tucked under, unstuffed

vegetable oil

2-inch-deep roasting pan
flat roasting rack
Thoroughly pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Position the rack in the lower third. Dry outside of bird with paper towels. Spread vegetable oil generously by hand all over the bird. No other seasoning is needed. Breast up. Fold the neck skin under the bird, and close the vent with a slice of bread to keep the interior moist. Place the pan toward the rear of the oven. Roast undisturbed for one hour. Turn 180 degrees, and return to oven. After another hour, lightly tent the breast with aluminum foil to protect the white meat from overcooking. Return to oven. Remove in 30 minutes and check the temperature deep in the thigh and breast. The recommended internal temperature is 175 to 180 degrees F (about 80 C) but many prefer turkey less well-cooked. They aim for 165 F (75 C). Remove from oven, discard the foil and let cool 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 8 to 10 generously.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Prepared November 17, 2013. Except for the fresh tomatoes, the ingredients are found in most pantries. Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence, a chef on Food Network TV. Can be prepared as traditional or vegan. The roasted walnuts boost flavor and nutrition.
3 medium (about 1-1/4 lb) ripe tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 t salt
1 t sugar
2 c chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 t dry thyme
1/2 t dry tarragon
2 T ground roasted walnuts
2 T medium grind bulgur wheat
4 T butter (or vegan margarine)
lemon juice, to offset sweetness in the vegetables
freshly-ground black pepper
Preheat toaster oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Cut the tomatoes into large chunks, and spread them and the garlic and onions onto a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, add the salt and sugar, and toss with tongs. Roast 40 minutes, or until well caramelized, turning twice to prevent burning. Transfer the roasted vegetable to a 2-quart saucepan, add the stock, herbs, and ground walnuts. Bring to a fast simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, remove the bay leaves, and, off heat, puree with an immersion blender. Stir in the bulgur and continue simmering until the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and  black pepper, and correct seasonings to taste. Serves 4.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Quick & Easy Pierogi

Recorded November 15, 2013. Prepared many times. This recipe was inspired by the dish DrDaddy first tasted at a Bosnian cafe, near Vancouver, BC in the late 1960s.
1 lb package frozen potato-onion pierogi (Mrs. T’s™ are good)
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 T sweet paprika
2 T butter
3/4 c sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and lightly colored. Off heat, stir in the sour cream and seasonings. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a 3-quart sauce pan. Cautiously add the frozen pierogi. prying them apart if needed. Return to a gentle boil. After 5 minutes, transfer each as they finish cooking with a slotted spoon to the onion-sour cream sauce. When all the pierogi have been added, return the skillet to medium-low heat, turning gently to cover with sauce. Add a little cooking water to lighten the sauce as needed. Warm through gently. These little pies are tender. Serves 4.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Apple Quick Bread

Apple Quick Bread Cooling on a Wire Rack
Developed November 12, 2013 from an online recipe.
1 c (240 g) sour cream
1 c (180) brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1-1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 c dry-roasted chopped walnuts, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC). Whisk together the sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Mix in the leavening agents, salt and spices and then stir in the flour, a half-cup at a time, until incorporated. Fold the apples and half the nuts into the batter, and transfer to a 9 inch x 5 inch greased loaf pan with a spatula. Distribute the remainder of the nuts on top, and press them firmly into the batter. Bake about 60 minutes on the center rack, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Suggestion: Slice thinly, broil in toaster oven until crusty, and spread cream cheese on top. A treat!

Ingredient: Dry Roasted Nuts

Recorded November 12, 2013. Dry roasting tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio, cashews) or peanuts benefits both their flavor and aroma, and may reduce their allergic potential.
1 c nuts (whole or pieces)
1 t vegetable oil (optional)
1/2 t salt (optional)
Preheat toaster oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC). Spread the nuts in a single layer in a heavy metal 8x8 inch baking pan. Mix in the oil and salt, if desired, for snack nuts. Roast for 4 to 6 minutes, until nuts are lightly colored and fragrant being careful not to overcook. Spread on a plate to cool. Use immediately or store tightly covered. Add to salads, cakes, cookies, stir fries, etc. Variation: Grind the nuts when cool in a food processor for easy addition to other dishes such as pancakes, soups, stews, toppings, or as a low-carbohydrate snack by the spoonful.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Hit or Miss. Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant, Durham, NC.

Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant
3003 Guess Rd
Durham NC 27705

By Laura, originally published in Visited August, 2013. 
As a Durham resident, I have frequently dined or had take-out from the Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant on Guess Road. I love going for Dim Sum, but recently have often found service spotty. At times the servers are accommodating and others, like the last visit, borderline rude. Perhaps it was the steady stream of customers that made their morning difficult, but I wish they hadn’t taken it out on us.
On a recent Friday night we decided on a simple meal of Shrimp Egg Foo Young and some Stir-fried Baby Greens. Normally these are both dishes that we enjoy, but our last meal was memorable in a completely negative way. The only shrimp that I had were the few that I picked up from the bottom of the takeout container – the sauce was watery and too sweet. Our greens were properly cooked with the exception of raw chunks of garlic that had to be picked out to make the dish palatable.
What used to be a favorite is moving lower on our list. They used to be the best Chinese restaurant in town – now I am trying to find who else is out there…