Archive for October, 2011

CULINARY MAKEOVERS #9 – ROAST CHICKEN DIVERSIONS

There is almost always something you can convert one dish to when you get tired of eating it
and roast chicken is no exception.  When making a roast chicken I always purchase a large one because the larger ones are plumper and usually juicier.  As most people chicken breast can be dry but when there is sufficient fat to moisten it, it makes much more palatable.  Since there are usually only two of us eating, a large roast chicken is much more than we can eat at one meal or even two. After our last roast chicken meal, I was able to make a salad and two pot pies plus I used the carcass to make
broth.  The bones of a roasted chicken make a much more flavorful broth than an uncooked chicken carcass.

Diversion # 1:  Two days after our Roast Chicken dinner I made an Asian Chicken Salad with the remainder of the breast portion of the chicken.  The salad consisted of the chicken, Savoy cabbage, (Napa would be better but there was none available) bamboo shoots, red bell pepper and green onions.  After slicing the chicken into bite-sized portions, I shredded the Cabbage, diced the Bell Pepper and sliced the Green Onions.  I also julienned 2 carrots and a yellow zuchinni.  The thin vegetables add a nice touch to a salad.  In a sauté pan I heated some Peanut Oil and added one minced clove of Garlic.  Then I added the Cabbage just to slightly wilt it and tenderize it along with the bamboo shoots, sliced Ginger and sliced Chicken.  A small amount of Soy Sauce and a bit of Sesame Oil was added as well.   The entire mixture was put into a salad bowl and was tossed with some Asian Salad Dressing (ginger and sesame oil based) Be sure to remove the Ginger slices before serving.  This was meal #2 from the Roast Chicken with the Roast Chicken being meal #1.

 

Julienned Carrots and Zuchinni

 

 

Roast Chicken Diversion #1 - Asian Chicken Salad

 

 

Diversion # 2: The next thing I did with the remaining chicken was to remove all the meat from the bones and cut it into bite-sized pieces.  Since I had made gravy with the roast chicken I utilized that for the Chicken Pot Pies.  The remaining fat was skimmed off the top of the gravy.  The gravy was put into a 2 quart saucepan along with some water that was used to rinse out the gravy bowl.  While the Gravy was heating, I peeled and cut up two small potatoes and a couple of Carrots.  The Potatoes were added to the heated Gravy mixture and cooked until almost fork tender. Then the Carrots were added along with the Chicken.  I had some leftover peas in the refrigerator so added those too.  This mixture was
then set aside to cool.  Once it was cool enough to refrigerate I put it into the refrigerator for use the next day.  To make the pot pies, the chicken mixture was put into two individual deep dish pie dishes and covered with a crust.  The crust can be frozen puff pastry or you can make your own pie crust.  A rough
puff pastry (see recipe at http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/rough-puff-pastry/) is nice to use.  Since there were only two pies and didn’t want to make a pie crust just for that, I used puff pastry that I keep in my freezer.

Diversion # 3:  The remaining Chicken Carcass was put into a 6 quart Stockpot along with an Onion (peel left on), some Fennel leaves, celery and carrots.  If you have a parsnip, it would be good too.  I
covered all the ingredients with cold water and put it on the stove on high heat.  When the boiling point was reached I reduced the heat to a simmer and allowed the mixture to cook until the liquid was reduced by half.  The result is a very rich and flavorful broth.  Once the stock was cook enough to handle, it was poured through a colander into a clean bowl and then ladled into two quart containers, labeled and frozen for future use.

So, from one chicken that cost $7.00 we had three meals plus chicken broth for another use
such as soup or anything that may call for chicken broth as an ingredient.  Makeovers are fun and engage your creative streak!  Try it sometime!

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2011/10/26 at 10:24 AM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Lunch Ideas, Main, Salads   Tags: , , , , , ,

BOUNTIFUL APPLE HARVEST – APPLE COOKIES

Fall Harvested Apples

Our Apple Tree is still yielding its fruit, although we are very close to the end of the harvest now.  We have shared the apples with the birds and the bunnies and many of our friends and family and we still have more than enough for our table.

The apples we are picking now are ripe and red and deliciously sweet/tart.  When it is ripe, this apple is very good eating.  The apples are also very good for baking and cooking and to add to the repertoire I have made Apple Latkes and Apple Cookies.  There are still some ripe apples on the hearth that I had better do something with very soon and that will probably be to dry them.  Dried apples are great in oatmeal and can be used for baking as well as just eating out of hand.

 

Apple Cookies

 

 

The apple cookie recipe I used was derived from my old Encyclopedic Cookbook from the Culinary Arts Institute; however the recipe won’t be recognized as such since I revised it in several different ways.
The original recipe called for orange juice and milk and only one egg.  I don’t ever remember trying the
recipe as it is, but I have a feeling that the dough would be very soft.  Even the way that I have done it
is soft.

 

When you eat the cookie it looks and tastes like an oatmeal cookie but with the sweetness and flavor of apples.  By the way, there is no oatmeal in this cookie, although some of the flour can be replaced with
oatmeal to make it a more nourishing cookie which by the way would be very good for breakfast along with a glass of milk and or orange juice and maybe a scrambled egg or two.

For the complete recipe please check out the recipe/baking section of this website.

Note:  In addition to baking with apples, they are also great cooked along with
such foods as chicken, pork or veal.  Look for my next article on apple condiments!

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2011/10/19 at 10:46 AM

Categories: Baking, Breakfast Ideas, Dessert Ideas, Food as Gifts, Main   Tags: , , , ,

PIZZA TONIGHT! – WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATO

Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza loaded with Vegetables

 

Pizza is on the menu quite often in our household as it is a favorite as it probably is in most households.  The Pizza resaturants probably don’t like us too well, because most of the pizza that is eaten in our home is made in our home, thus not providing business for the take-out places.  But we do provide business for the markets and Italian Deli where our ingredients are purchased.  This week’s pizza was made with sun-dired and fresh tomatoes instead of the usual canned crushed tomatoes that I use most frequently.  The dough was made mid-afternoon and left to raise up for about an hour and a half.  The raising time depends on the heat of the day and the quality of the yeast used.  The Pizza was baked on the Pizza Stone which I keep in my bottom oven.  About 45 minutes before baking the Pizza, I turned the oven on to 500 degrees to heat up the stone.

 

The pizza I made for dinner this evening was made as follows:

  • Dough was made  mid-afternoon in my food processor with the plastic dough blade.

(For Pizza Dough Recipe see the Recipe section under Baked Goods/Breadhttp://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/breads/pizza-dough/

  • Dough was placed in a greased bowl and  left to raise up for about an hour and a half.
  • Vegetables and herbs were washed and put in a colander to drain.
  • Fresh Tomatoes from the garden were seeded and sliced into strips.
  • Sliced the Mushrooms by hand this time and cooked in hot olive oil with about 1/2 tsp. of Hawiaan Sea Salt and 3 whole cloves of Garlic.
  • Red Bell Peppers were also sliced by hand and sliced Olives were left over from another meal.
  • The Mozzarella was shredded.
  • Shaped the Dough on a Pizza Peel.  (Note – it is not always easy to get a large pizza off the peel and onto the stone without distorting it.  There are pizza screen available which are to be used on the stone.  Just put the screen on your peel, spray with a vegetable spray and sprinkle some cornmeal on it.  It will slide easily off the peel onto the stone)
  • If  using the stone without the peel, sprinkle cornmeal directly onto the stone just before sliding your pizza onto it.
  • Used not quite half a cup of sun-dried Tomatoes packed in Olive Oil and minced these in my the Food Processor.
  • Minced the herbs (basil and oregano) in the food processor with Parmesan Cheese.
  • Spread the Sun-Dried Tomatoes over the Dough.

Pizza Dough dressed with Sun-Dried Tomatos packed in Olive Oil

 

  •  Spread the combined  herbs over the Sun-Dired Tomatoes.

 

Minced Herbs spread over the Sun-Dried Tomatoes

 

 

  • Added the shredded Mozzarella and then some Pepperoni slices.
  • The cooked Mushrooms went over the Pepperoni.
  • Baked for 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 500 degrees and then added the remaining vegetables.  This prevents too much liquid from leaching out of the vegetables and making your pizza soggy.
  • Baked for an additional 5 minutes, removed from the oven and allowed the pizza to set for 5 minutes.
  • Transferred to the peel and brought to the table. Dinner is ready!
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Posted by sylveee - 2011/10/14 at 3:28 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Italian, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

THE TOMATO ODESSY – ‘TOMATO RAVIOLI’

My second venture with the tomato powder was to make Ravioli Dough which I filled with a Butternut Squash Filling.  This dough may be used with any type of Ravioli filling and can also be used for Fettuccini or Linguini.   The Dough can be prepared in the food processor and is in fact the easiest and best way to do it.  To make the Dough, place 1 7/8 cups of All-Purpose Flour along with 2 Tbsps. of Tomato Powder, ½ tsp. Salt and ½ tsp. freshly ground Nutmeg.

Butternut Squash Ravioli in Tomato Pasta

 

Crack two Eggs into a measuring cup and add 1 tsp. of Pumpkin or Olive Oil. Turn the processor on and slowly add the Eggs and Oil to the Flour mixture.  Once the Dough forms, run for approximately 60 seconds longer to knead the Dough.

Open the lid and feel the dough.  If it feels too dry, add additional water by the teaspoon.  If it feels too wet, add additional flour by the tablespoon.  Once the dough is finished take it out and flatten it and wrap in plastic wrap to allow  the gluten to relax.

 

While the dough is resting, you can prepare the filling for the Ravioli.  If you are just using cheese, Ricotta Cheese mixed with an egg and some salt and pepper to taste works very well. Shredded Parmesan or Mozzarella can also be added.  For the Butternut Squash filling, the easiest thing to do is to purchase the squash already peeled and cubed.  It can be purchased in 12 oz. bags at the smaller food stores or in large quantity at the warehouse food vendors.

 

If you prefer to buy the whole squash, cut it in half, remove the seeds and sprinkle with a little olive oil and sea salt and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until it is fork tender.  Once the Squash has cooled, remove from the skin with a large spoon.  For the complete recipe, please see the recipe section of this blog where it will be listed under dinner http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/dinner/butternut-squash-in-tomato-ravioli/

 

 

Butternut Squash Ravioli made in Teen Class at Let's Get Cookin'

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2011/10/14 at 2:50 PM

Categories: Main   Tags:

THE TOMATO ODESSY – WHAT TO DO WITH TOMATO BREAD

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Cucumbers on Tomato Bread

Smoked Salmon on Tomato Bread

Now that you have baked your tomato bread, what to do with it other than butter it and eat it?  Since the recipe makes such a large loaf there are numerous things that you can do with it.  So far, we have made Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Sandwiches and best of all, French Toast!  French Toast with Tomato Bread?  Yes indeed!  It is tasty and the color of the bread acts as a nice browning agent giving your French Toast immediate eye appeal.

 

French Toast

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Posted by sylveee - 2011/10/06 at 8:15 PM

Categories: Bread, Breakfast Ideas, Lunch Ideas, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

THE TOMATO ODESSY – ‘TOMATO BREAD’

Baked and Sliced Tomato Bread

Tomatoes have long been a favorite fruit of mine, especially when I grow them.  During the winter months however, we have to resort to hothouse or imported tomatoes.  Aside from fresh, tomatoes come in endless preparations.  Besides, canned tomatoes, puree, crushed and paste there is a product called Tomato Powder.  Some time ago I purchased some from an ‘on-line’ vendor and proceeded to use it once in tomato pasta.  Having rediscovered it in my refrigerator, I decided that it is time to either use it or discard it.  Not prone to throwing food away, I decided to start using it.

My first venture this weekend  with the tomato powder was to make bread, since in fact we were out and homemade bread is so much better than store bought.  When making bread, I don’t usually use a recipe and I didn’t this time either.  You just have to get the right proportion of dry ingredients to wet and to know how much yeast to use to get it to rise properly.  When I made this bread though, I did write down the ingredients and their quantities so that I would have it for future use and to share it with friends if it turned out the way I wanted it to.

Risen Tomato Bread Dough

I realized after I baked it and tasted it that it is tastes and has the texture of Challah, one of our favorite breads.  Then of course I realize why.  There are two eggs in the dough (my Challah recipe calls for 2 eggs) and there is ¼ cup of butter, another ingredient thatis used in Challah.  The flour was largely bread flour along with one cup of whole wheat flour and the sweetener was honey  instead of sugar.  I also used shredded Parmesan Cheese in the dough and the tomato portion was tomato powder and sun dried tomatoes that had been packed in olive oil.

 

Shaped Bread - set aside to rise

 

The Risen Loaf

 

The complete recipe will shortly be posted under the recipe section of this site.  Go to ‘Recipes’, then ‘Baked Goods’, then ‘Bread’ and the recipe will be there under Tomato Bread.  If you don’t have or can’t find Tomato Powder, substitute a 6 oz. can of Tomato Paste.  Please try it, enjoy and let me know how you liked it.

 

 

 

There will be future blogs using the tomato powder and I may even start a whole new cook book with different flavors of Challah!

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Posted by sylveee - 2011/10/03 at 2:38 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Main   Tags: , , , , ,