Thanksgiving is fast approaching and the day after there are usually so many leftovers that you don’t know what to do with them. The Turkey is easy – it makes great sandwiches and even the Potatoes are not too difficult. They go with anything. But what happens to that Cranberry? Cranberries unlike most Berries are not sweet – they are usually tart and sugar must be added to them to make them palatable. But Cranberries do make a wonderful sauce that complements the Turkey and even the Ham.
So, what if you have Cranberry Sauce left over and no one wants to eat it anymore? Help is around the corner or literally just up above in the recipe section of this blog. You can make Cranberry Sauce Cornbread or Biscuits.
What if you just have Cranberries that haven’t been used. Many people are probably like me and buy the big bag just because it is more practical. I buy the big bag because Cranberries are not usually available all year long and I like to have them on hand, so I keep the excess in the Freezer. One dish, using whole Cranberries is one that my whole loves. It is Cranberry Chicken – Chicken made with the whole Cranberry and then there is Cranberry/Pineapple Chicken. Whichever you decide to make, they are both delicious. But right now, let’s get back to the leftover Cranberry Sauce.
First on the Agenda is the Cranberry Corn Bread- so just up above to the recipe section and click on baked goods and then click on breads and then on the Cranberry Cornbread. In that same section is the Cranberry Sauce Biscuit Recipe (only all that reads in the index is Cranberry Sauce) – just click on that and it will take you to the Biscuit Recipe.
Cranberry Cornbread –cranberry-cornbread
Cranberry Sauce Biscuits – cranberry-sauce-biscuits
Cranberries can also be used for Fruit Muffins or Bread breads/fruit-muffins
Thursday, October 4th is ‘National Taco Day’. Like many other ethnic foods, Tacos have become as American as Apple Pie, although Apple Pie actually originated in England. Just like people, there are many variations of tacos. If you want authentic tacos, try going to Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles where there are many Mexican Restaurants. Here in Newbury Park, we have a taco place that is as authentic as I have ever eaten here in the States. It is called ‘Taco Sanchez’ and it is situated in the old Taco Bell building by Roma’s Italian Deli right off of Borchard Road.
Pictured are Carne Asado Tacos
with Mango Salsa and Guacamole
Since Thursday is ‘National Taco Day’, it would be fun to make tacos for your family and/or your friends for dinner. Tacos are one of those dishes that can be turned into party food very easily and what is more fun than to have a Taco Bar Party. To make a Taco Bar Party or just Tacos for dinner you will need some important ingredients and you will have to decide what fillings your Tacos should have.
MEAT FILLINGS ACCOMPANIMENTS
- Carne Asada (Beef) Salsa Cruda
- Carnitas (Pork) Guacamole
- Chicken Shredded Cabbage or Lettuce
- Shrimp Diced Tomatoes
- Lobster Shredded Cheese
- Ahi Green Onions
- Tofu Sliced Radishes
Crema (Mexican version of Creme Fraiche)
Grilled Scallions (Green Onions)
To make your Tacos, it is best to prep all the items ahead of time, except maybe for the Meat Fillings which should be hot when served. Some items can be reheated, but most are best right after being origianlly cooked.
Prepare your Garnishes or Accompaniments first and refrigerate if there is going to be a lot of time between prep and serving.
salsa-cruda/ is an uncooked Tomato Salsa usually made with Tomatoes, Chilies, Garlic and Cilantro along with a little Salt and the Juice of a Lime or two.
Guacamole is a wonderful condiment made from Avocadoes, Garlic, Jalapenos (optional), Salt, Cilantro and Lime Juice. The Guacamole we were served in Guadlajara was simply mashed Avocadoes and Lime Juice, but I like it with the additional ingredients listed above. Mole refers to ‘sauce’ and the name guaca as told to me by one of my Hispanic Students just means crazy, mixed, so therefore,Guacamole is just a sauce of ‘mixed up’ Avocadoes. Hence, the mashed Avocadoes and Lime in Guadalajara. The lime wasn’t even in it – just served on the side. For the recipe go to chunky-guacamole/
Shredded Lettuce and Diced Tomaotes
The filling that I recently used was Ground Beef cooked with Garlic, diced Onions and diced Red Bell Pepper or Pimiento in Spanish. The Garlic and Onions were sauteed first and then the Beef was added. The Bell Peppers were added just at the end to avoid being overcooked.
Keep the Meat warm while frying your Taco Shells. You can also do the Taco Shells ahead and keep warm in the oven. Tacos are usually made from Corn Tortillas, but you can also use Flour Tortillas, especially if you want soft tacos. Corn Tortillas are usually fried crisp but you can also cook them so that they will be soft. When frying your Tortillas in Oil, be sure to either drain them on a rack set over a baking pan or drain on paper towels. The rack method is best in that the oil drips down. With the paper towels, the Taco Shells will be sitting on the oil that drains off of them. First fry them on each side, flat then use a wooden spoon to help fold them and leave a space for the filling to be put into.
Mexican Fruit Salad is a nice accompaniment to a Taco Meal. Use Tropical Fruit such as Papaya, Pineapple, Mango and Melons.
To complete the meal, add Mexican Rice mexican-rice/ or refried Beans.
Whichever way you make your Tacos, enjoy them or if you don’t feel like cooking, just go to your local Tacqueria!
Saturday, June 2nd was the day of our Parent/Chlid Pizza Class at Let’s Get Cookin’. Four Teams of 2 parents each made Piizza Dough, their own indivual pizzas and pizzas to share. Everyone was very involved and had a good time. The class ended with everyone enjoying a lunch of Pizza, Salad, Italian Sodas and Dessert.
The items that were made were:
PIZZA DOUGH: Basic, Gurmet and Thin Crust
Chinese BBQ Chicken Pizza with Bell Peppers, Shitake Mushrooms, etc.
Hawaiian Pizza with Portuguese Sausage & Pineapple, etc.
Argentine Pizza with Smoked Spanish Chorizo, Red & Green Bell Peppers, etc.
Artisan Greens Salad with Zest Lemon Dressing
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza & Italian Sodas
The Upside Down Pizza shown below was made with a new pan, made especially for making a ‘Deep Dish Pizza’ which is made ‘upside down’. It was fun to do. The pan can be purchased at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village, CA.
Everyone enjoyed making and eating their pizza and also had items to take home as there was just too much to eat all at one time. Our next Parent/Child Class is July 14th and will include various items from Europe such as Arrabbiata Pasta from Italy, Roman Salad, Monte Carlo Tea Cookies and Circus Snow Cones.
Sunday – 3/25 – Looks like this Sunday is another day filled with cooking and baking which is the perfect thing to do in rainy weather. Started the Day with making Ebelskivers and Sausage for Breakfast. My Ebelskivers actually have apples inside (as the name proclaims). We had them with a Mixed Berry Syrup.
After going out to the market to pick up a few things we came back and I decided to cut up the Chicken for Dinner tonight. Since it was a whole Chicken and I was only going to use the Breasts for our Dinner, I froze the Legs, Thighs and Wings for another meal. I used the Back and some other Chicken parts I had in the freezer to make a stock along with some Onion, Celery, Parsley and Carrots. That has been cooking for most of the day so far (it is now 4:06 PM)
I cut up the Breasts into bite-sized pieces and then coated the pieces with the Sauce Mixture for Cashew Chicken. Next, I made a sponge for the Rye Bread that I was planning to make for tomorrow.
After eating lunch and then being reminded by Lesli’s post on Facebook that she had made Cinnamon Bread I remembered that I was going to make ‘Grandma’s Rolls to take up to Joel and Nesbyth next weekend, so I went back to the Kitchen and made up a double batch of the dough so that we would have some here at home and still have enough to take with me next weekend. (These will be frozen)
Around 4:15 I went back to the kitchen and rolled out and shaped the Cinnamon Roll Dough. Half the batch was made into Cinnamon Rolls and the rest into Grandma’s Buns. The portion made into Grandma’s Buns was frozen, unrisen. This way, I will take them out of the freezer either the night before I leave or the morning of the day that I leave, will thaw them and bake them so the rolls will be fresh when I bring them. We are having Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast tomorrow morning!
After finishing the rolls, I then made Bao Dough (trying out a new recipe for the Dough) and made the filling for the Bao. The filling was made from the leftover Tofu from the Stir Fry we had on Friday Night. Added some Green Onions and minced Ginger Root to it. Rolled out the Dough and cut circles and made the Bao and put them in the steamer.
Boiled some water for the Rice Noodles that we were having with the Cashew Chicken. Cleaned and sliced some White Mushrooms and sautéed them with Green Beans. Shut off the heat and set aside to reheat just before dinner.
Turned the heat on under the steamer and started cooking the Bao. When the water boiled for the Noodles, I put them in the Boiling Water for 2 minutes and then started heating the wok for the Cashew Chicken. Drained the Noodles and put them in cold water and sautéed the Green Onions for the Chicken. Added the Chicken and sautéed for about 5 minutes and then added the Cashews and cooked another minute. Removed the lid from the steamer to slightly dry the Bao and then we were ready to eat. The Bao were our appetizer and I served them with Hoison Sauce.
After dinner, I loaded the dishwasher and ran it; I still had an amazing array of bowls, pots and pans soaking in the sink. You would never know that only two people were eating here tonight.
Next, I strained the Chicken Stock, retaining only the broth and discarding the bones, skin and vegetables. Put the Stock in plastic containers and froze it for later use. I have about 6 cups of stock which will come in handy for cooking or making soup, if I decide to do that.
Once I had the dishwasher running, I removed the Rye Bread Sponge from the refrigerator and made that Dough. Set it to raise and heated the Pizza Stone to bake it on. An hour and 15 minutes later the Bread had risen, so I turned it out onto the peel, brushed it with Egg White (Whoops! Forgot to slash the top. Hope that didn’t affect the outcome. Will know tomorrow when we eat it)
Had to mist the oven 3 times, 5 minutes apart while the bread was baking,(Misting helps to form a nice crisp crust) then turned down the oven to 375 degrees and baked for 20 minutes more. Then I turned off the heat and left the bread in the oven for another 5 minutes just to make sure it was done.
Next I washed most of the bowls and pots and pans that were in the sink. It is relatively easy to wash them, if you soak them with hot water and a little bit of dishwashing liquid. For really hard and cooked on food, soak them with Dishwasher Detergent. It really gets the hard stuff off easily! That is it for today, except I need to go and wrap the bread once it cools off. This was a busy day, but accomplished a lot, including writing all this down.
Monday – 3/26 – Monti’s BD, but can’t make him a BD Cake because he is not in town. This AM we had the Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast with Cream Cheese Frosting. Ev had Blueberries with his. Lunch for me was the leftover Bao and Cashew Chicken from last night.
Tonight’s dinner is going to be an easy one. Corned Beef from the Deli with Sauerkraut, Pickles and Homemade Potato Salad. We will make Corned Beef Sandwiches on the Rye Bread I made yesterday. Have to take it easy sometime. Dessert for Ev will be the last of the Chocolate Chip Cookies and Lemon Cookies for me. Tomorrow will have to make a new Chocolate Dessert for Ev.
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.
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 https://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!
Do you love Sweet Potatoes and Macaroons? This Makeover is a dish that combines the two into one. In our family we love both Sweet Potatoes and macaroons, so what better than to combine the taste of both into one dish? When I make Sweet Potatoes I always make an extra one. A leftover Sweet Potato is good for lunch or breakfast and it can be made into other dishes. For this makeover we are going to make Sweet Potato Pancakes ‘breaded’ with Macaroon Coconut. Macaroon Coconut is very finely cut Coconut. It is so finely cut that it almost looks like confetti.
For our dinner tonight I made Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potato goes very well with
pork. But since we had sweet potatoes with our salmon dinner the other night, I wanted to remake them so that we would have a different dish incorporating the sweet potato flavor. For Sweet Potato Pancakes, you will need the following:
- At least 1 large cooked Sweet Potato
- ¼ cup minced Onion
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground Pepper
- Pinch freshly ground Nutmeg
- 1 Egg, beaten
- ¼ cup All Purpose Flour, Rice Flour or Bread Crumbs
- Macaroon Coconut for ‘breading’ or Panko Crumbs (Japanese Breadcrumbs)
Peel and mash the Sweet Potato and combine with the remaining ingredients. Mix well to incorporate everything into a homogenous mass. If the mixture seems too soft, you can add more starch to bind it together. Shape into patties, using a #30 food scoop or a heaping soup spoonful. You should have 4-6 croquettes.
Put the Macaroon Coconut on a large platter or into a pie pan. Coat each patty generously with the coconut. The patties may be refrigerated before cooking.
When ready to cook, heat some Olive Oil or Peanut Oil in a medium size skillet; when the Oil is hot (350 degrees), carefully place each patty in the pan. Cook until golden brown then carefully turn over each patty and cook on the other side. Drain on paper towels. Serve while still warm either with Maple Syrup or just by themselves as a side dish with your favorite meat such as pork, fish or chicken.
The Sweet Potato Croquettes may also be made for breakfast along with some bacon or cooked ham. Other leftover vegetables can be used in this manner and may even be an incentive for the non-vegetable lover to eat their share. If you don’t want to make croquettes from your leftover Sweet Potato you can make muffins or even bread. Check our recipe section for a generic fruit bread recipe in which you can use any kind of fruit including the sweet potato. https://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/breads/fruit-muffins/ This recipe will work well as a quick bread or as muffins.
Here we go again. What to make out of the leftovers. Today’s leftovers consisted of a chicken breast, miso mayonnaise, some diced pineapple, short grain rice and mozzarella cheese.
The Chicken Breast was turned into Chicken Salad:
Dice the Chicken and the Pineapple and Mince 2 ribs Celery. Combine in a medium size bowl and add leftover Miso Mayonnaise along with some additional Mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard, 2 tablespoons of pickle relish and voila, there is you Chicken Salad. My leftover chicken was from Korean BBQ Chicken that I had made for dinner two nights ago and it had plenty of seasoning. If you use poached or roasted chicken breast, you may want to add some salt and pepper to it or even some diced onion. Chopped Salted Cashews or Macadamia Nuts will go well with this salad also.
The Short Grain Rice was turned into Rice/Mozzarella Croquettes:
1 cup leftover cooked Short Grain Rice
½ cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Egg White
Additional Egg White or Yolk
Seasoned Bread Crumbs (Panko Crumbs work very well)
Combine all the ingredients except for the Additional Egg White and the Bread Crumbs.
Mix well and form into patties. Dip each patty into the additional white or yolk and then into the bread crumbs.
Heat about 1 inch of Peanut or Corn Oil in a frying pan. When the oil reaches 350 degrees gently place the patties into the hot oil and fry one side until golden brown. Carefully turn and cook on the other side until the color on that side is golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Serve while still warm. Yield: Aprox. 4 small croquettes
I also prepared some Edamame by microwaving them with a small amount of von Fass Ginger/Sesame Oil and tossed with a little gray sea salt.
Our meal this night consisted of:
Summer is just around the corner and cool salads make great entrees on hot summer evenings so try your own version of leftover chicken salad and any other side dishes to go with it. One leftover that works well with chicken salad are potatoes that can be made into potato salad or home fries or you can make pasta or fruit salad along with fresh croissants or biscuits from the corner bakery.