Remove core from cabbage. Steam 12 large outer leaves until limp. Drain well.
In a bowl, combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg and seasonings; mix well. Put about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf. Fold in sides, starting at an unfolded edge, and roll up leaf completely to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling. Place rolls in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
Combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, water and lemon juice or vinegar; pour over cabbage rolls. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, spooning sauce over rolls occasionally during cooking.Yield: 4-6 servings.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the mirin, soy sauce and salt.
Brush a 10-inch nonstick skillet with oil. Add one-third of the eggs and swirl the skillet to evenly coat. Cook over moderate heat until the egg is almost set, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, roll up the omelet and push it to the side of the skillet. Brush the skillet with more oil, then add another one-third of the eggs, lifting the rolled omelet so the uncooked egg flows underneath it. Cook until the egg is almost set, about 1 minute. Roll up the first omelet in the cooked egg, forming a second layer; push to the side of the skillet. Repeat this process one more time with more oil and the remaining eggs. Turn out the omelet onto a work surface and slice 1 inch thick. Serve warm.
Wow…I have only made risotto twice in my life. And this was the second time. Now, I am not saying it was easy, but, it helps to have mise en place before you start.
I was driving home tonite and was thinking what I could make for dinner. I knew I had just bought some shrimp so I knew that would be the protein. I started thinking what recipes I had that I could use the shrimp in and thought about the Cajun Shrimp and Rice recipe that I have made before. Ok, I thought, rice is in this recipe and I remembered I had a recipe for Seafood Risotto. Ehh…why not…I combined them.
How I cooked it:
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbls butter
1/2 cup onion minced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/3 cup Arborio Rice
3 cups homemade stock,
preferably vegetable or seafood stock
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
loosely chopped italian parsley
1 Tbls Olive Oil
Freshly grated Parm
1. In a small saucepan, warm the fish or vegetable stock. Keep warm.
2. In a large saucepan over medium low heat, warm the olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter, and the onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the rice and toast lightly for 1 minute without letting the rice or onion take on any carmelization.
3. Add the wine and cook until almost completely absorbed. Add most of the stock (it should come about 1/2 inch above the rice) and bring to a simmer. Cook the risotto, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed some of the liquid, about 8 minutes.
4. Add the shrimp and tomatoes, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is cooked and the rice is al dente, about 8 minutes more. As the rice continues to absorb the liquid, add more as needed.
5. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the parsley, brandy, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, if using, and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir well to release the starches and make the risotto creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I improvised when I made this. I clearly followed a recipe. But it clearly illustrates that when you start improvising with technique and flavors, you really start to learn to cook.
This dish seems pretty straight forward. Many times cooks have to make substitutions in their dishes because they are missing an item or want to make a different flavor profile. In my case, I didn’t have the red peppers or the goat cheese. Since I had the zucchini, I decided to go with an italian flavor profile. I used sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta cheese instead.
I made the filling a few hours ahead and let it cool in the fridge. Cooling it made the filling hold together better than when it was hot. Besides, you don’t want to put hot filling into cold raw chicken unless you plan on cooking it immediately. Another deviation from the recipe that I did was I used boneless, skinless chicken breast and stuffed the middle of it with the filling.
Once the filling was cool, I stuffed the breasts with a 1/3 of the filling each and secured the opening with toothpicks. I then pan-seared the chicken as directed in the recipe then cooked it 9 minutes on each side. Now since I was using a different cut of chicken, I had to use an instant read thermometer to know when it was actually done then removed the chicken to a plate to rest. Finally, I whipped up the sauce in the pan and drizzled it over the chicken.
This chicken was awesome. The flavors were all there, even with the substitutions. It is stuffed with vegetables so it is healthy too. Make it yourself and comment on the results below.
Everyone has a different opinion on how the best way to make your Thanksgiving turkey is. I have heard of deep fried turkey, and it does sound amazing however, it is quite dangerous to deep fry a turkey if you have never done it before. I have tried many, many ways over the years but the best way for me is to brine the turkey…and I’m going to show you how to do this.
One recipe that I found this year used apple cider so I decided to give it a try. It seems quite easy once you read the recipe. All you do is simmer 1 qt. of cider, 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt, 1/4 cup whole allspice and 8 bay leaves until the salt dissolves. It should look like this:
Stir this occasionally while it is trying to simmer. Once it is mostly dissolved, remove from heat and let it cool completely. Once its cool, you will want to pour the brine into a 5 gallon bucket, add the other 3 qts. of apple cider, 4 qts of water and the turkey so all the cavities on the bird are submerged. Put a lid on it and refrigerate overnight.
This year, since I grew pumpkins in the garden, I decided to learn how to make my own pumpkin puree for the Pumpkin Mousse that I will be making for Thanksgiving. Originally, the pumpkins were for the kids to carve but somehow they never got over to them. I figured this was the next best thing.
These are the pumpkins that we will be using. They were the decorations on the front porch through Halloween and now will become part of dinner.
One of them didn’t come out the way a pumpkin should so it looks funny to me. The fruit of the pumpkin will be awesome though.
First thing we need to do is to cut the top off so we can scrap the seeds and membranes out. This part is easy, we’ve all been carving pumpkins since we could walk.
I kind of like doing this part. It wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t get deep into the guts of our food when we prep it. It gives you a whole new appreciation for food.
To make puree, obviously, the pumpkin needs to be cooked. Once you get the pumpkins gutted, brush some melted butter all on the inside, including the top, and replace the lids. Put the pumpkins on a shallow roasting pan and bake in the over on 375 degrees for an hour and a half. It should look like this:
When the pumpkins are done, they will be nicely caramelized and look like this:
Once they cool enough where you can handle it without getting burned, you will want to peel them with a knife and puree the pieces in a blender until smooth:
You will want to do the pureeing in batches then pour it into a sieve over a large bowl to drain. Cover it with some plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to use it, preferably the next day.