Monday, May 24, 2010

Braised Turkey Legs with Onions and Potatoes

Think the big bird is only for Thanksgiving? Well think again. You can enjoy the delicious game year round. Enter round two of my battle with the large, feathered foe.

  • turkey legs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • celery seeds
  • potatoes (about a pound or two)
  • 1 large yellow onion (cut into large pieces)
  • coriander seeds
  • chicken broth (approx. 8 cups or so)
  • flour
  • canola oil
Season the legs with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, and celery seeds. In a dutch oven (or other large pan), sear the meat in a couple of tablespoons of canola oil. Allow the overgrown chicken legs to develop some good color and then remove them from the pan. (Note: We are not cooking them all the way at this point in the process. They will finish cooking later in the oven.) Add the potatoes and onions to the same pot and let them cook for a little bit. Then add about two or three tablespoons of flour to the mix and continue cooking for about another minute or so. Next, pour in the chicken broth and add the turkey back to the pot. You want enough broth to cover the majority of the meat, but you don't need to give them enough liquid to perform a synchronized swimming routine. Add about a tablespoon of coriander seeds to the pot,*** cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. (You can let it go for longer to allow the flavors to develop even more, but I think my stomach started to growl...) For serving, I decided to remove the turkey legs and then use the potato/onion/broth mixture as a delicious soup.

HungryHutch Followers, I have a slight confession to make - some of the things I make are better than others. I made this a couple of weeks ago now, so my memory might be slightly fuzzy, but I fondly recall consuming every last drop of the contents from the pot. (I think I may have even licked my bowl.)

I know declare it time to go forth and feast. Gobble, gobble!

***I've come to learn that whole coriander seeds aren't exactly what one wants to find in the middle of enjoying one's fabulous meal. So an idea to remedy this situation might be to tie them up in a cheese cloth before placing in the pot to hang out with all of the other ingredients. Or you could just use ground coriander. Feel free to do whatever floats your boat.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pasta Dish #5783

I have to level with you folks - it seems that I forgot to write down the ingredients for this dish. However, I think I can remember them/make them up by looking at the picture. It seems to consist of fusilli pasta, sweet italian sausage, diced tomatoes, peas, italian seasoning blend, salt and pepper. I probably also added some garlic powder in there some where. This type of pasta is one of my simple go-to dishes, so I'd bet a marginal amount of money that the aforementioned list covers the key ingredients. Same basic ingredients - different day. When serving, you can top with a little parmesan cheese as shown below.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Got Mushy Lentils? Make Lentil Cakes!

Remember those mushy lentils I mentioned in my previous post? Well look at them now - new and improved!

I took the leftover lentils from the previous meal and made lentil cakes/fritters/whatever you want to call them by adding an egg and maybe a cup of flour to about 4 or so cups of the lentil "puree." I didn't really know what I was doing at the time and therefore don't have any exact measurements. I started by adding an egg and then adding some flour until I thought it looked like a good consistency. In the end, I think it was about the consistency of a thick pancake batter...that or maybe something similar to Gak (you know you remember Gak). I also added a little more cayenne pepper and some cumin to the batter. Next is to fry them off in a little vegetable oil to get a delicious crisp on the outside. Then I ate them with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Food for Thought:
I imagine one could take this process and make their own veggie burgers.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Apple Baked Pork Chops with Lentil “Puree”

My inspiration for this meal came from a meal I had at Le Cirque during restaurant week. It was pork belly over a lentil salsa concoction. Now this may not be quite a Le Cirque level meal, but it's still tasty.

I decided to be slightly lazy with the main dish by just throwing some stuff in a baking pan and tossing it in the oven. However, being lazy doesn’t always mean that your appetite has to suffer, or that your only option is the $3 falafel shop on the way home from the subway stop (although it is some darn good falafel). My laziness led to the wonderful combination of pork and apples that you see above. It doesn’t really seem like they would make a good match at first mention, but their compatibility scores are through the roof with a marriage that has stood the test of time. Think about all the times you’ve seen a pig roasted over an open fire (most likely on television or in a movie). What does that pig have in its mouth? An apple. (Bam!)

• pork chops
• salt
• black pepper
• garlic powder
• cinnamon
• apple(s) (sliced)
• butter
• 1 lb of red lentils
• cayenne pepper
• barbecue sauce
• shallot (diced)

Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Throw them in a baking dish along with some apple slices (I used granny smith apples). Put a pat of butter on each of the chops and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

This day, I also decided to try making lentils for the first time. Let’s just say that this didn’t turn out quite as planned… I started by sautéing a diced shallot in a little olive oil. Then I added the lentil-to-water ratio as written on the package. Now either this ratio was off or I cooked them for too long (or some combination of the two), but the next thing you know my lentils turned into what I refer to as a “puree” in the title to this post. By themselves, they didn’t taste all that great, but I was able to doctor them up with some salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and a little barbecue sauce. I admit that this may not have been my finest culinary moment. However, I take pride in seeing the glass as half full, which will become more evident by my next post. So stay tuned…

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Not Your Standard Ramen

Everyone needs something quick and easy to eat every once in a while. Many people, especially the frugal, hurried, and cooking inept, turn to thin noodles and the accompanying flavor packet that costs about 25 cents in total. Sounds like something you want for dinner? Didn’t think so… I understand sometimes you need a quick fix, and Ramen certainly fills that role well, but you can get something much better than a (presumably MSG-laden) flavor packet in about the same amount of time and with minimal additional effort.

• a packet of Ramen noodles
• sesame oil
• teriyaki sauce
• red chili flakes
• ground ginger
• garlic powder
• salt
• pepper
• frozen mixed vegetables (approx. 1 cup)

Cook the noodles and vegetables in a pot of boiling water. Drain the contents of the pot and then sauté in a little bit of sesame oil. Season with red chili flakes, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Then add about a tablespoon or so of teriyaki sauce and go to town. Take that foil-wrapped flavor packet.