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mmm...wonderful Potato Knishes

Potato Knishes

Potato Knishes are one of my favorite side dishes.  Nothing pairs better with a big thick hot dog, kielbasa or corn beef sandwich.  I used go to this grimy but renowned deli in New York City called Katz Delicatessen (I believe there was a myspace blog on it at one point).  They made a killer corn beef sandwich and their round knishes were almost as big as my head.  The sandwiches are great too.  Enough about Katz though, find the blog on Myspace if your still jones’in for more on that.

 

Jewish Russian immigrants first brought the knish to the United States circa 1900.  Back in the New York/New Jersey area you can get knishes just about everywhere.  They are sold frozen and even sometimes fresh in the average supermarket.  Here in California I found them nearly impossible to come by, especially here in Santa Barbara.  After an exhausting search I gave up looking and decided to learn to make them myself.  I must say my knishes did not come out too shabby either.  Here is my now perfected potato knish recipe.

Total Cost – $6.87

Feeds about 6-8 People (yields about six medium sized Knishes)

Ingredient List:

  • Potatoes – 6 (I used russets, but the variety does not matter)
  • Vegetable Oil – ¼ cup
  • Salt – 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Flour – 3 cups
  • Pepper – ½ teaspoon
  • Butter – ½ cup
  • Onion – 1 diced
  • Cold Water – ½ cup
  • Egg – 1

 

Step 1: Cook Potatoes Peel potatoes and cut into even chunks.  Place chunks into a pot of boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft.  Strain in colander.

Step 2: Mash PotatoesAfter straining put potatoes back into boiling pot from step 1 and mash them up with a potato masher, fork, ricer.  Measure out 1 cup of the mashed potatoes for your dough.  Leave the rest in pot for the filling.

Step 3: Make DoughIn a bowl, add the baking powder to the flour. Whisk them together. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the mashed potatoes put aside in step 2 and mix. In sections, add in all the flour.  Break the three cups into individual one cup portions to accomplish this successfully.  Next, make a small well in the center of the bowl. Pour the cold water right into well. Knead the dough with your hands till you have a nice firm ball. Finally place a wet cloth or towel on top of the dough, and let it sit for 30 minutes to proof.

Your finished dough prior to proofing.

Step 4: Make Potato FillingMeanwhile, cut and peel the onion. Dice it into small pieces. Then melt the butter in a pan on high flame. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft, but not yet brown. Pour the onions into a mixing bowl (separate from your now proofing dough). Add 1 ½ cups of mashed potatoes, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper to bowl. Combine everything together. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Your Potato/Onion mix filling.

Step 5: Roll Out Dough and Form Knishes – Place flour on a flat surface and a rolling pin. Take a handful of dough and flatten it down on floured surface. With rolling pin roll out the dough, flipping it over occasionally, so it is one-quarter of an inch thick.

Rolling out the dough.

  • Round Knishes – Create a circular cut out from the dough rolled. A small bowl can be used as a template.  Place filling in the center and pull all sides into center over filling and pinch closed into a tepee like top.
  • Square Knishes – Create a square cut out from the dough rolled.  Place filling into the center of square and fold over short sides.  Next fold over long sides and mold with a little water to close up edges and corners.

A Round (Left) and Square (Right) knish.

Step 6: Bake KnishesPlace finished knishes onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper or treated with nonstick baking spray.  Beat one egg and brush it over the tops of each knish.  Bake at 425F for twenty to twenty five minutes.  Check for doneness when egg turns a golden brown color.

 

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Yummy in my tummy tum tum...Fried Rice

Fried Rice

I love fried rice, one of my favorite items out of Asian cuisine.  My parents always would get pork friend rice for us to enjoy every time we went out for Chinese food.  I finally buckled down and learned how to do it myself.  Sure its not as good as those Chinese do it but its a pretty good white person imitation.  For this recipe I used chicken but it can be done as just rice and used as a side dish or vegetarian dish if you leave out the eggs, or the chicken can be substituted for pork, beef, or even tofu. The first time I made it was with fried tofu.

Feeds 4-6 People
Total Cost: $11.50

Ingredient List:

  • Egg – 3 (Scrambled)
  • Chicken – 1 Breast
  • Sesame Oil – ½ Tablespoon
  • Soy Sauce – 3 Tablespoons
  • Cooked White Rice – 3 cups
  • Peas – 14 oz
  • Celery – 2 Stalks (chopped)
  • Bok Choy – 1 (chopped)
  • Water Chestnuts – 6 oz (Chopped)
  • Red Bell Pepper – ½ (Chopped)
  • White Onion – ¼ (Chopped)
  • Green Onion – ½ cup (Chopped)
  • Garlic – 1 clove (minced)
  • Salt  – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper – to taste
  • Chili Pepper – 1(minced)

Step 1: Cook White RiceSee cooking white rice blog

Step 2: Fry ChickenAdd Sesame Oil into wok, heat it and add Chicken Breast chopped up.  sprinkle chicken with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Cook until golden brown.

Step 3: Scramble Eggs – In  small frying pan scramble eggs

Step 4: Prep Vegetables – Chop all vegetables to be used as described on the ingredient list.

Step 5: Sautee Vegetables and Add Rice – In a Wok with the chicken, Sautee White Onions in Sesame Oil.  Add rest of vegetables and soy sauce.  When vegetables are all adequately soft add in rice and mix.  Add in green onion and mix. When everything is properly blended and hot you are finished.

Ade's gives it two thumbs up!

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MMM mmm Good!

Making Hash Browns from Scratch

Hash browns are probably one of my favorite things about breakfast and I love all things about breakfast. Well maybe not grits all that much, but that maybe be a result of me not being brought up in the South.  The beauty of hash browns is that they are simple, cheap and fast to make.  Follow these instructions and you will have a perfect breakfast side dish to go with anything.  Pair it up with my French Toast for the ultimate breakfast.

Total Cost: $2

Feeds two people

Ingredient List:

  • Potatoes – 2 (Shredded, 1 potato per person)
  • Butter – 1 ½ Tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Vegetable Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Onions (optional, I don’t use them, but have seen it done that way, diced)

 

Step 1: Prep PotatoesPeel potatoes making sure to pick any brown or black spots out of it.  Shred potato on the large grate of a cheese grater.  Pat dry finished shredded potatoes with a towel.  If you are going to use onions dice it and mix it in with shredded potatoes.

Shredded Potatoes post toweling

Step 2: Fry Shredded PotatoesMelt one tablespoon of butter in a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan.  When butter is completely dissolved add shredded potatoes and flatten out so it is less then an 1/8 inch thick.  Let fry on a little more then medium flame for about 5-8 minutes or until bottom side begins to brown.  While that is happening cut a ½ tablespoon of butter and break it into small pieces.  Put pieces sporadically on top of shredded potatoes.  Add Salt and Pepper as well.  When the bottom is cooked to your liking (I Like mine a little darker than golden brown) Flip hash brown over.  Now if you are cooking a lot of potatoes you may want to chop your hash brown into equal portioned squares with a metal spatula and flip each square individually. If you are only making the two person portion here then it is more then possible to flip entire hash brown. Salt and pepper the now browned topside and let sit on burner for another 5-8 minutes till the bottom is a similar quality as the one you just did.

This is how the hash brown should look when it is flattened in the pot.

Step 3:  ServeCut hash brown in half with a spatula or remove the portions you made in step 2 onto a plate with a paper towel or napkin on it to absorb any excess grease.  Then enjoyJ

 

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Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala was a dish that my dad always used to order when we went to Italian restaurants.  I never really had a taste for it up until a few years ago.  Marsala being a Sicilian dish it was not one of the recipes brought over to America by my grandmother thus no one in my family ever cooked it.  I did some researching of different recipes and put together my own that I find to be rather tasty, easy and as always well within the nuts and bolts budget most of us live on.

Total Cost: $10.51

Feeds 2-4 people, 1 breast for two people so add breasts accordingly

Ingredient List:

  • Chicken Breast – 2 (halved and thinned)
  • Pasta of Choice (spaghetti pictured) – 1 lb
  • Cremini or White Musrooms – 8 oz (around 10) (Chopped)
  • Marsala Wine – ½ Cup
  • Sherry – ¼ Cup
  • Flour – ¼ Cup
  • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
  • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (Minced)
  • Oregano – 1 Teaspoon (Dry)
  • Butter – 4 Tablespoons
  • Olive Oil  – 4 Tablespoons
  • Green Onion – 4oz (Chopped)
  • Creamy Marsala Sauce
    • Cremini or White Mushrooms – ½ Cup (about 6)(Chopped)
    • Green Onion – ¼ Cup (Chopped)
    • Marsala Wine – 1/3 Cup
    • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
    • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
    • Oregano – ½ Teaspoon
    • Heavy Cream – 1/3 Cup
    • Milk – 1/8 Cup
    • Butter – 2 Tablespoons

Step 1: Prep ChickenCut chicken breasts in half long ways through the center of breast so that you are left with two thin cutlets.  Beat each piece with a tenderizer.  Take flour, ¼ of a cup or enough to cover each cutlet and pour into a mixing bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of oregano and whisk together.  Pat chicken in this mixture till it is completely covered.

 

Step 2: Chop Vegetables and Cook Pasta Chop all mushrooms and green onions, mince garlic.  Boil water for pasta and cook it.

 

Step 3: Make Creamy Marsala SauceIn a small sauce pot melt 2 table spoons of butter.  When melted add 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 1/8 cup of milk, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano and Marsala wine.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer around twenty minutes.  Add green onions.  After that create a roux to thicken sauce using 1/8 the amount of roux to sauce.  Melt about ¼ of a tablespoon of butter in a separate saucepot.  When melted add an equal amount of flour to it.  Mix together and cook on high flame till you get a brownish blob looking substance.  Pour half of your Marsala sauce into this pot with the roux and stir till both are well blended then pour back into the main Marsala sauce pot, stir well and let simmer on a low flame for five minutes.  Turn off heat and let sauce stand another five minutes and sauce should thicken up nicely.

Your finished sauce

 

Step 4: Fry ChickenIn a large frying pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter in 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil.  When completely dissolved add chicken and cook both sides till golden brown or 165 degrees F.  Add mushrooms, sherry and Marsala Wine, Sautee till mushrooms are soft.  Add green onion.

Your chicken in the cooking process with all ingredients added

Step 5: Put it all togetherTake finished pasta and put it into a plate.  Put finished Chicken breast and mushrooms on top of pasta.  Pour sauce over all and enjoy!

 

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Cornish Hen ready for the eating…mmmm citrus!

Creating a Tasty Citrus Brine

This weeks Recipe D’Jour I am going to enlighten you on how to create a very tasty citrus Brine Marinade that goes great with all poultry and pork.  First off a brine is a water based mixture that contains two parts sugar to one part salt.  By using a brine you will have a scrumptious marinade that will spice up any dinner.  There all types of brines but for today’s purposes we are going to focus on a citrus brine.

Total Cost/Feeds: Depends on what your going to brine

  • Turkey – $22, feeds 8-10 people with sides
  • Chicken – $14, feeds 4-6 people with sides
  • Pork Lion – $10, feeds 4-6 people with sides
  • Cornish Hen –  $8, feeds two people with sides

Ingredient List: (use the proportions on this recipe and increase as needed to the size of the meat you plan to brine.  Keep in mind that the meat should be completely submerged in the brine.  This recipe makes about a gallon of brine.)

  • Meat to Brine
  • Salt – 1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 gallon
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Basil – 1 teaspoon
  • Thyme – 4 oz (Fresh)
  • Sage – ½ teaspoon (Dry)
  • Orange – 2
  • Lemon – 3
  • Lime – 1
  • Lemon Herb Seasoning or Lemon Zest
  • Parsley – 3 oz (Minced)

Step 1: Create a brineIn a large container big enough to completely cover your meat combine 2 parts sugar to one part salt in water.  Stir well.  Should taste like a sugary salt water.  It will taste rather gross but should taste more sweet then salty.  I have four cups to two but you may want to adjust according to taste and size of meat you are going to marinade.  Obviously it has to be proportional to the water and you are going use more water with a turkey then a Cornish hen.

Step 2: Marinate MeatIn the container from step1 add Thyme, lemons, lime and oranges.  Be sure to cut fruit in half and squeeze juice into brine after which insert the left post-squeezed fruit as well.  Whisk till it is mixed.  Then add meat you wish to marinade and let sit in refrigerator for 8-12 hours.

A Pork Roast in the Marinade process.

Step 4: Dry Rub MeatRemove meat from marinade and place in a baking pan.  In a bowl add spices, Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil, Sage, Lemon zest (which you can get off the left over lemon ends from the brine) and parsley or you can buy a prefabricated lemon and herb seasoning.  Pour over meat in pan and rub around in it till completely covered in spices.  Put about a quarter of an inch of Brine in baking pan with meat to keep it moist and help to absorb more flavor.

Step 5: Bake – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for whatever the proper amount of time for what you are cooking.  Chicken, a little over an hour, pork loin about the same, hens just under an hour, turkey about two and half hours.

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Mango Salsa

Mmmmm...Mango Salsa shown over a baked pork chop with white rice.

Mango Salsa is such a gourmet type of spread.  Whenever I hear the phrase thrown out I always think of some fancy restaurant using it as a toping for some work of food art.  Well in all truth creating a delicious mango salsa is super easy, rather in expensive and is sure to bring a positive light and many complements to any meal.  Use this with pork, poultry, seafood, beef, rice, chips, just about anything you’re in the mood to spice up.

Total Cost: $6.35

Feeds 4 – 6 people

Ingredient List:

  • Cumin – 1 table spoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 table spoon
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro – 4 oz (minced)
  • Lemon Juice – 2 oz
  • Apple cider vinegar – 2 oz
  • Mangos – 8oz (chopped)
  • Red Onion – ¼ diced
  • Red pepper – ½ diced
  • Jalapeno Peppers – 2 diced
  • Garlic – 1 clove (minced)
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Tomato – 2 (diced)
  • Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon

 

Step 1: Prep Fruit and VegetablesDice up red onion, red pepper, tomatoes and mangos.  As far as the mangos go you can buy fresh mangos, cut them off the pit and then dice it up or you can buy pre cubed frozen mango and dice that smaller to fit your salsa.  I prefer the frozen mango chunks for ease.  Of course nothing is going to beat the taste of a fresh mango, but it is a bit work husking it from the pit and then dicing it.  Next take the jalapenos (I use the mildest because Im a little girl when it comes to hot spices, but you can select yours accordingly), cut in half, chop the top off, then remove all the seeds and insides with a spoon.  Dice the remaining jalapeno shell.  Mince the cilantro and garlic.  Place all prepped ingredients in a medium size bowl.

 

Step 2: Mix Wet IngredientsIn a measuring cup measure out and mix the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice (can be used from fresh lemons, but not necessary.  I currently have a lemon tree in my back yard so I have the pleasure of fresh lemons whenever I so desire).  Add the Cumin, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and Chili Powder and stir.

 

Step 3: Put it all togetherPour your concoction from step 2 in with your diced fruits and vegetables from step one and thoroughly stir together with a spoon.  Serve over whatever you wish to enjoy it with. 

Your finished Mango Salsa.

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Hawaiian Style Pork

Hawaiian Style Pork Roast
With White Rice

Pork is one of the undefined meats that people just don’t really know what to do with.  It is also one of the more affordable meats to cook with.  Luckily there are tons of seasonings and marinades out there to suit just about every taste.  This recipe is for when you are feeling like you need to take a vacation to Polynesia for the evening and you don’t even have to get on a plane.  I know when I need a mental vacation there is nothing like an exotic recipe to help get me there.  I have used a pork loin roast for this example but the recipe can be applied to chops, ribs or other cuts of pork.

Feeds 4-6 People

Total Cost – 12.65

Ingredient List:

  • Pork Loin Roast – 3-5lb
  • Pineapple – 8oz (Diced)
  • Pineapple Juice – 8oz
  • Brown Sugar – 1 cup
  • Salt – 2 Table Spoons
  • Pepper – 1 ½ Table spoons
  • Sugar – 2 Table spoon
  • Teriyaki Sauce  – 3 oz
  • Soy Sauce – 4 oz
  • Olive Oil – 2 oz
  • Thai Basil – 2 oz (Chopped)
  • Red Onion – 1/3 (Diced)
  • Ginger – 1 Teaspoon (minced)
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (minced)
  • Cayenne Pepper – Pinch
  • Green Onions – 3 oz (optional)(Chopped)

Step 1: Dry Rub Roast – In a bowl big enough to fit roast combine 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 table spoons of salt and 1 table spoon of pepper and mix together.  In roasting pan pour pineapple juice (6oz) around roast (do not pour it directly over the roast or your dry rub will be washed away in the bottom of pan).  Rub roast in spice mix till it is completely covered.  Put roast back into pan so that it is swimming in pineapple juice.  Bake in over for around One hour at 350.  Sugar will caramelize on top making it look burnt, don’t worry roast will be fine.

Step 2: Make the Glaze – In a medium boiling pot combine Teriyaki sauce, Soy Sauce, Pineapple juice (2 oz), Sugar (2 tablespoon), Salt (1 teaspoon), Pepper (1/2 teaspoon), Olive Oil, Thai Basil, Diced Pineapple (8oz), Cayenne Pepper, Ginger and Red Onion.  Bring to boil for three minutes while stirring then let simmer for 5-8 minutes.  Thicken Glaze with a slurry if desired. (to create a slurry dissolve 1/3 corn starch to the amount of liquid in glaze in just enough water to dissolve cornstarch.  Stir into glaze as it is cooling down.  Add as much as necessary to get desired thickness.  Note that sauce will thicken as it cools)

Step 3: Carve the Roast – Remove roast from oven.  The top and sides will looked blacked and burned this is the caramelized brown sugar I talked about in step one. Pull off a good portion of it or how ever much you desire to remove then cut roast.  Apply glaze from step 2 to finished product. Garnish with sliced green onions for both taste and look.


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