Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Odds-N-Ends Quick Relish-Small Batch, No Canning Required

My determination to use everything in the little planter garden this year has led me to the last of the green tomatoes. I wanted to whip up a small batch of relish for some grilled sausage sandwiches and this is very tasty! I'd call it a medium relish, just a tad puckery, just a tad sweet, with nothing hot added. Really??? I debated about chopping up a jalapeno but decided to make a relish that would be good for a crowd. Don't hesitate to use up the last little bit of goodies from the garden by making this Odds-N-Ends Quick Relish folks:@)
The idea was to keep things as simple as possible, so I went with even amounts of produce. If you want it a little more sour, add more vinegar. Like a sweeter relish, add more sugar... Since this is a refrigerator recipe there's more wiggle room. Don't want to add corn-sub cauliflower, carrots, or just add more cabbage. Taste it as it cooks, if you think some crushed hot pepper flakes would be good-add them. Did Granny's relish have more celery seed? Well you know how I feel about Granny's cooking-by all means add more! You get the idea...

Odds-N-Ends Quick Relish-No Canning Required
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped green pepper, add some red pepper if you have it
1/2 C chopped cabbage
1/2 C chopped green tomatoes
1/2 C corn-I used frozen
1/4 C cider vinegar
3 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • Toss everything into a pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until just about all of the liquid is gone (approx 45 minutes). Stir often. Allow to cool, store in a covered jar or bowl in the fridge. I got about 1 1/2 C of relish. I don't know how long the Food Police say this will be good for, I don't expect it to last past Sunday dinner:@)
Have a happy day!

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs-A German Recipe

Grilled sticky chicken sound good to anyone??? I was offered the opportunity to review a new cookbook-Grilling Like A Champion, the writers are award winning grillers so it sounded like fun to me. What surprised me was, they live in Germany! What amused me was, every new chapter started with... pork. Ya gotta love the pig folks:@) What made me curious was, these Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs because they called for things Americans wouldn't expect in that marinade, chili powder, paprika, maple syrup and rosemary. I loved the nice thick sticky sauce, they were pungently tangy and really different! I'm looking forward to the leftovers being added to a salad for lunch on Monday, and that includes the grilled veggies...
 The book made meat and onion kabobs, I added onion, green pepper and celery sliced about 1/4" thick on a diagonal.
LOVE the shopping list they included, look at the very first thing on the list-they know how to party in Germany!!! 
The chapter on sausage is exciting because the items start with ground meat and you actually make homemade sausage!
Overall this was a fun book to read through, there are a few minor things that get lost in translation, like while we're used to S&P to taste they'll add things like salt, pepper and chili powder to the end of recipes. But I'm thrilled they sent me a copy and I see Sauerkraut Pancakes in my near future!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs-from Grilling Like A Champion
~Mix everything and add 1" pieces of chicken. Marinate overnight. Skewer with onion between each piece of chicken. Oil your grate and grill until cooked through.
Note: I don't know how much a bunch of rosemary is... I made a half batch and just added 1/2 tsp fresh minced rosemary. Got to thinking later... maybe they just lay the whole stem of the rosemary in the marinade??? Don't know but I can say mine wasn't overly rosemary-ish... 

Try something new just for fun and have a happy day:@)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Got a new kitchen toy! And Twice Fried Wings

It all started with the Fried Zucchini... While it cooked up fine in my cast iron skillet I couldn't help but think a little deep fryer would work better... And I got to thinking about how I don't buy wings anymore because the price is just crazy... Then QVC put a little 1 quart personal fryer on clearance for $20 HERE and it came with fondue forks-how retro cool is that!!! So yes, while I kicked it around for a few days (not fond of shipping charges) I did decide to pick up the fryer, and I'm glad I did:@) My first munchie using it-Twice Fried Wings. I didn't know you could make amazing wings at home folks!
I fried them in vegetable oil and used Frank's Hot Sauce.
The key is a low simmer to cook the meat and then a deep sizzle to crisp up the skin-really good!
Here are a few of QVC's pics of my fryer, it's a great size for one person, 5-6 monster wings fit with no problem.

Twice Fried Hot Wings-from SeriousEats
  1. Pat wings/drumettes dry.
  2. Add wings and oil to cold fryer, turn to 225-250 degrees, chicken should be gently bubbling away.
  3. Cook until chicken is cooked through, skin will be soft but not brown, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oil, place on paper towel lined tray/plate. Let cool for about 1 hour. (You can make quite a few and freeze them at this point, then just re-fry them when ready later).
  5. Mix hot sauce and butter in small sauce pan, cook on low until butter has melted. Transfer to a big bowl.
  6. Heat fryer to 375-400 degrees. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken from fryer and add to bowl, toss to coat wings.
  8. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.
Put on the stretchy pants, grab some napkins and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fiesta!

Do you like Fiestaware? I have always loved the great colors and fun, playful look! Especially like that they're even durable enough for diners to use and that they're made in the USA. Many years ago I made the decision to stick with white dishes but I do always enjoy keeping up with Fiesta and look forward to the new color each year. Country Living did this little article on it in the September 2014 edition, thought I'd share a quick peek:@)
 You can click on the photos to make reading a little easier-oops sorry folks, I see it doesn't
 I can't believe they chose to put the coveted relish tray in the spine where you can't see a great pic of it!
 Just sharing a fun little snippet this morning...
Have a colorful day:@)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hot Artichoke Souffle Spread-New Food To Me

It's been a while since I've tried a New Food To Me and artichokes were one of the first things I added to the list. Dips and appys have been on my mind with football season starting back up (even if it is only pre-season right now). This Hot Artichoke Souffle Spread was good and only calls for five ingredients! No spinach? Guess I'm still the only person in the world that's never tried that famous restaurant dip... But you can smile with this one knowing you don't have spinach in your teeth:@)
This is the perfect amount of dip for a 5" baking dish.
If you have any leftovers it's great on a bagel, some sliced garden tomato would be a nice addition too.

Hot Artichoke Souffle Spread-from A Spoonful of Thyme
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C mayonnaise
3-4 shots Tabasco sauce
6oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  1. Mix the first four ingredients well and fold in the artichokes.
  2. Spoon into small baking dish and top with additional Parm if desired.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the top has browned. I placed it under the broiler after 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with crackers.
Let's begin building the menus for snacking season and have a happy day:@)

My New Foods List:
(If my sons happen to read this... relax! I still promise fairly "normal" Sunday dinners...)
hominy ~ artichokes ~ fish sauce (I'm scared) ~ leeks ~ almond paste ~ oyster sauce (scared again) ~ gorgonzola ~ dates ~ brisket ~ parsnips ~ adobo ~ meringue powder ~ fennel ~ goat cheese (I'm told to be scared) ~ souffle ~ red velvet anything ~ curry ~ capers ~ chow chow ~ pot stickers ~pho ~ ponzu sauce ~ fondant ~ fire roasted tomatoes ~ Gruyere ~ Quinoa ~ Tetrazzini any kind ~ Divinity ~ Meyer lemon ~ lemon curd ~ shallots ~turkey tenderloin and Chipotle Powder ~ Smoked Turkey Sausage

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Watermelon Marinade/BBQ Sauce and Meatball Kabobs

This Watermelon BBQ Sauce has been on the to-do list for a while now and it was a perfect day to fire up the grill! It is a very tangy, puckery and yes I'm going to say it... spicy sauce. I looked at the amount of red pepper flakes pretty hard but decided to follow directions the first time. The recipe as written is very thin and this Yankee considers it a marinade, I added a little cornstarch to the extra sauce and cooked it to thicken it up. Brush the thick sauce on during the last minute or two of grilling and serve it at the table for dipping. I used store bought meatballs and wanted to suggest two serving options: 1. How fun to add meatballs to a kabob-something we don't usually think of and 2. As a perfect party appy-break out the food picks folks, football season is here! 
 The site tells you how to make watermelon juice, 
I just ran some watermelon through the food chopper and used that.
Bella was the perfect size for four kabobs and a half batch of sauce... 
 I think this tasty and very different BBQ sauce would be good with chicken, turkey and pork too.
In case you're curious, the watermelon was great with a little charcoal smoky flavor on it:@)

Watermelon Marinade/BBQ Sauce-from National Watermelon Promotion Board
1/2 C watermelon juice
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C soy sauce
2 Tblsp vegetable oil
2 Tblsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes-don't hesitate to cut back on this amount
Optional-add a little cornstarch to the leftover sauce to thicken it in a small sauce pan.
  1. Mix everything well-how easy is that!
  2. Pour some over meat and veggies, marinate a couple hours or overnight.
  3. Baste with remaining sauce as the food is grilling. You might want to divide the sauce in half so you can use some for basting and serve some at the table
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Friday, August 8, 2014

TGIF!

They're calling for a beautiful weekend here in Philly-warm and sunny!
I'm happier than a pig in... well...
A pig in water that it's Friday!

Hope the weather's nice where you are too.
Have a great day:@)