10 Dec

###### BAKING AND MISTAKING

Okay, So here is a old – timey cookie I ‘ll bet you don’t see much any more.

It is another one from    MY GRAMMA

Gramma would only make these at Christmas and of course I didn’t pay attention how to make them or the recipe because I was a little kid and all I could think about was when are they going to be done and when do I get to eat them.

The whole house would smell so good when they were baking and then with a cold class of milk, these  cookies  ,  fresh from the oven ,  it was a Christmas present with each and every bite.

Hey ! Remembering that , let me remember to tell you that if you have a loved one in your family that makes a special food that everyone loves and they make it all the time and you have no idea how to make it ……write down the recipe and keep it safe.

Even if it’s not the exactly the same and not quite as good ,  at least you will have a place to start when you want to make that food  in the future.

Now the way I cook , with a little of this ,  and a pinch of that  , and just a bit more of those  ,  it’s not an exact science but it works because I have been making it for so long and I just know , a lot of folks cook like that.

Baking on the other hand has to be pretty exact for it to turn out right. So get in the kitchen and help Gramma or Grampa and pay attention  , you just might learn something.  AND WRITE IT DOWN  !!!!

1 Cup ( 2 sticks ) butter

2 1/4 cups light brown sugar – packed

2 1/4 cup rolled oats

3 TBSP all – purpose flour

1 TSP salt

1 egg – lightly beaten

1  TSP real vanilla    NOT THE IMITATION VANILLA  ( which may be made with coal tar )

SPEAKING OF WHICH   …………….. WHY WOULD YOU BUY IMITATION ANYTHING ????

Speaking of vanilla : here is every thing you wanted to know about vanilla but were afraid to ask !

Vanilla is a flavoring   derived from  orchids  of the genus Vanilla  , primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive   of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), is translated simply as “little pod”

The vanilla pod is frequently referred to as the bean. The pods are picked when they are still not ripe, and then plunged into hot water and laid out to dry for anywhere from two to six months.

Vanilla can only grow 10 to 20 degrees north and south of the equator

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice , after saffron.

And like saffron, vanilla is very labor intensive to produce. In order for vanilla orchids to produce pods (commonly referred to as beans), the plant must be pollinated by hummingbirds or a specific species of bees native to Central America. Furthermore, the flowers are only open for a short period of time. In order to harvest vanilla commercially, therefore, the plants must be hand-pollinated.

And it is a little known fact , that  :

The Totonac   people, who inhabit the East Coast of Mexico in the present-day state of  Veracruz ,  were the first to cultivate vanilla.

According to Totonac mythology, the tropical orchid was born when Princess Xanat, forbidden by her father from marrying a mortal, fled to the forest with her lover. The lovers were captured and beheaded. Where their blood touched the ground, the vine of the tropical orchid grew.

In the 15th century, Aztecs invading from the central highlands of Mexico conquered the Totonacs, and soon developed a taste for the vanilla pods. They named the fruit tlilxochitl, or “black flower”, after the matured fruit, which shrivels and turns black shortly after it is picked. Subjugated by the Aztecs, the Totonacs paid tribute by sending vanilla fruit to the Aztec capital,   Tenochitlan .

Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes         is credited with introducing both vanilla and  chocolate  to Europe in the 1520s. There he was thought of as a great explorer.

Back in  Mexico ,  The Aztecs didn’t think so  much of him  for stealing their  chocolate drink and  all of their gold. Made them real mad . So mad ,  they went to war with him and  the great Montezuma , their king and leader ,  got hit in the head with a rock.  He died.

Score : Cortes 1   /   Aztecs 0   ,   But Hey , the whole world got Chocolate  right ?

This is  VANILLA to all my scientist friends  and those of you that paid attention in Chemistry class

and if you want to make your own : go here

How To Make Vanilla Extract (Homemade Vanilla) | Beanilla

# BACK TO THE COOKIES ……………

Preheat oven to 375′

Line baking sheets with Parchment paper ( NO ,  foil will not do ! get the parchment paper you are going  to like it for a lot of stuff )

Heat butter and brown sugar in a 3 – quart saucepan over medium heat,

stirring with a wooden spoon

Get a wooden spoon its very helpful for a lot of things …. especially if you have kids.

Keep stirring until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.

Stir in oats , flour , salt , egg , and vanilla.

Drop cookie batter by the Teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie , because they are going to  spread .

Bake for 5 – 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to prevent them from over baking. they should just e golden brown.

Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 30 seconds and then remove to cookie rack to cool completely

`Doux`

Try not to eat them all and

Store the rest  in a air tight container.

Eat and Enjoy !

## CARMELIZED BALSAMIC BRUSSEL SPROUTS

20 Nov

Okay , So first off I HATE BRUSSELS SPROUTS .

Well not all Brussels sprouts ,   if they are right out of the garden ,  after a good hard frost ,  they become sweet little bundles of deliciousness that only need to be warmed and drizzled with a little butter MMMMMM …   MMM!.

But having said that ,  all others are not to be eaten .  Not the ones in the net bags at the grocery .

Nor the FAST FRESH FROZEN ones shipped right to your table via the freezer case at your local food chain store.

No my dear friend  , it is  best to just stay away from these veggies no matter how healthy the are.

# UNTIL      NOW      !!!!

My lovely bride said she wanted Brussel sprouts , so Brussel sprouts it had to be.

I had to find  a recipe that would work for both of us………………

I found this one. And it is actually pretty good .

I have to admit I had seconds ,  and yes ,  even unto thirds.

Bacon , onions  and balsamic vinegar combine to make this a wonderful side dish for any meal.

I think I could eat a bowl alone for lunch.

Okay , you say , Hey how can anything with Bacon be bad, and I have to agree I have not found a single one yet.

So lets get going !

I started with the bag – o –  sprouts from the green grocer

Trim off the ends and cut in half

1/2 lb. Bacon – diced
1 med onion – diced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic glaze –  In a small pan heat up 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
add     2 Tbsp. honey.   Bring to a simmer and reduce to half.
.
.
.
This is what I use .   It’s from Italy .   From Modena ,  And not too expensive .

### Everything You Need to Know About Balsamic Vinegar

.
.
In a Large Skillet heat the olive oil and add the bacon.
Cook for 5 min then add onion and cook until bacon starts to crisp up.
Lay Brussels sprouts cut side down in the skillet.  Make sure they are FACE DOWN ON THE PAN
.
Put a lid on the pan and reduce the heat to medium cook for about 5 min . They will fry and steam.
You want then fork tender.  Firm but not soft,
Add some salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Drizzle the Balsamic glaze over the top and stir in
Serve hot .
Eat and Enjoy !
.
.
PS : It must be close to  Christmas because I got wild and crazy  !
I  had to run out and buy this \$ 24 wooden spoon.

### ARE YOU NUTS ?????

AAH Maybe ? Most of you know I bought this porcelain fry pan

and I don’t want to use metal tools on it because it will scratch.

The Teflon tools are crappy and the wooded spatulas are too thick so..
When my new food guru

# J. Kenji López-Alt

## ANDHRA CHICKEN

13 Nov

Shutterstock

Okay , So if you like Chicken and you like  Hot Chicken Buffalo Wings , you are going to like this dish.

And yes ,  this is another trip into Indian cuisine.

This is India

And this is a state in Indian        Where this recipe comes from.

Cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is famous for the rich seasoning and lots of variety.

The spicy goodness comes from a few items you are probably going to have to go the the Indian store for.

Mine is Masalas N More on rt 59 in Aurora.

First up  is Curry Leaves

###### Curry Leaves © Denzil Green

Curry Leaves have an aroma reminiscent of curry and citrus fruit, with a slight and very mild bitter after taste.

They look somewhat like very small leaves from a lemon tree (if you’ve ever seen those leaves.) They are long for their size, narrowing to a point.

Fresh ones are far superior to the dried, though it’s much easier to get the dried in the UK and North America.

Fresh ones should be shiny, dark green, with no yellow on them and not wilted. They are sold with the branch and stems attached. Remove from the branch and discard the stems. In ethnic stores, they will be sold in chillers in plastic bags.

.

The leaves are used in cooking in southern India (in areas as the state of Kerala) and Sri Lanka, as well as other places in southern Asia such as Burma (aka Myanmar), Fiji and Mayalsia.

Curry Leaves come from a plant called “Murraya koenigii.” The tree only grows 6 1/2 to 16 feet (2 to 5 metres) tall. There are about 20 leaves per branch. They grow closely together.

To clarify, you don’t make curry powder from these by drying up the leaves and grinding them. Curry Leaves aren’t used in any curry spice mixture.

If you look to buy a plant to grow indoors so that you can always have fresh Curry Leaves, don’t confuse this Curry Leaf plant with another sometimes referred to as “Curry Plant”    as well.

That one, “Helichrysum italicum”,        is not used in cooking.

Nor is Stephen Curry the basketball player

although he might or might not cook Indian food.

And if you find yourself in Curry Alaska,  Which is now an uninhabited stop along the Alaska Railroad, about 22 miles north of Talkeetna

I don’t think they will have any Curry leaves to sell.

Next up : Chili Peppers

The purpose of chili peppers is to add depth of flavor to a meal, not ‘torture by spice’.

Each palate has a distinct level of tolerance for spice; use your judgment to increase or reduce the quantity of chili pepper in any recipe as suited to you and your family.

birds eye , Indian chili ,   a curry of life

###### hungry desi

Many of my recipes call for “green chilies.” Green chilies used in Indian cooking are small, heat packed chilies. They are about the 2 inches to 3 inches in length. Unless we go to the Indian grocery store though, these chilies can be tough to come by.  What do you substitute for these green chilies? Sometimes I use the longer  and slightly fatter green chilies that can be found in other ethnic markets. Or I stock up on Indian chilies and then freeze them. Fat, fresh jalapenos just don’t give quite the same flavor as Indian chilies so  don’t use them . Serrano are kinda close , but if you go to the Indian store you should just stock up

Dhani:   –   [Bird Chilis, African Devil; C. frutescens or C. annuum]

There are a great number of varieties of Bird Chili in the world, but they all have a lot in common. They are small, intensely hot , and grow point up on the plant. Most ripen to deep red, but the ones I grow ripen to bright orange. Unripe, they are commonly green, but some are white, yellow, purple or black. The hottest varieties tend to be a bit shorter and wider than those in the photo. They are hottest when green, losing a little heat when red, and more when they are dried.

And there is Chili Powder:

The Kashmiri Chili Red Chili Powder is a mild chili powder but with very vibrant  colors and this is what I usually use in my kitchen.

Standard Indian chili powder is about like cayenne pepper in heat. The extra hot types are like they say  , while Kashmiri chili powder is more like a hot paprika but with loads of flavor.
.Indian chili powder is just pure ground chilies. Mexican chili powder contains several other spices.

However do keep in mind that the Chilli/Chile Powder is not the spice mix to make the Mexican Chili.

Gram Masala :

The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with many recipes across India according to regional and personal taste, and none is considered more authentic than others. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together.

A typical Indian   version of garam masala contains nothing but:

1.5 lb boneless chicken thighs  – cut into 1 1/2 cubes

3 tsp oil or ghee

4 green chilies    – minced

7 curry leaves

4 med onions – minced

2 large cloves garlic – minced and smashed

2 tsp grated ginger stir for 1 minute

1 Tsp chili powder

1 Tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 Tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 Tsp Gram Masala

2 Tsp fresh coriander  – and by the way ……………………….

Coriander seeds (UK) or just coriander (US).

In the United Kingdom
In the United States
In India
Here, we would refer to the leaves and stalks of the plant as “coriander” while the the seeds are called “coriander seeds.” Basically, the word “cilantro” does not exist in the UK.
In the US, the leaves and stalks of the plant are referred to as “cilantro,” while the seeds are referred to as “coriander.”
In India, the herb is extremely popular in cooking, it is referred to as something different-sounding altogether — “dhania” (just to further confuse the issue!)

###### Iowa State University Extension.

Heat oil in a wok or large fry pan

Add curry leaves and cook for 1 minute

Add onions and sauté until soft but not brown

Add chicken , a little  salt  and roast until color of chicken changes.

Add red chili powder, turmeric, coriander, black pepper Gram Masala and mix well.

Cover and roust chicken for 2-3 minutes. Stir to keep from sticking.

Serve with cilantro leaves sprinkled on top and a side of Basmati or Jasmine rice .

Eat and Enjoy !

## IT’S A FRITO PIE —- DADDY!

12 Nov

###### Brown Eyed Baker

I don’t like FRITOS.

I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
anywhere.
I do not like Fritos
I do not like them, Actually I hate them ..

BUT ! in this …they just work ………………

Okay, So I can’t believe this is not on my blog. Well maybe ,  because I haven’t made this in a long time.
I used to make this all the time when the kids were little . It’s easy and quick ,  and really good.

Also , you might be surprised because of all the CANNED  stuff I’m using. Yes I know you are used to hearing from me how to only use fresh this and that but this particular dish works out well just the way it is.

We are not being healthy here ,  just GOOD!

1 lb. ground beef  85/15

1 can Ranch beans ( never really saw these before )

1 9 oz bag Fritos   This is a little strange because I really don’t like Fritos …, but in this dish it turns out GREAT

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes

1 onion – diced

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese  – shredded  DO NOT BUY SHREDDED CHEESE

1 cup Monterey   cheese  – shredded

1 package of you favorite taco seasoning. I use this

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup water

3 green onions – chopped

Preheat oven to 325′

In a large fry pan brown meat. Salt and pepper.

Add beans , tomatoes , onions, taco mix , soup and water stir well.

Simmer for 5 minutes

Grease 9 x 13 or so baking dish I’m really starting to like this stuff. Make life easier and quicker

Put down a layer of Fritos , followed by  a layer of meat mix , followed by half the cheese.

Repeat layers

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes

Remove from oven , remove foil and let sit for 5 min.

Sprinkle with chopped up green onions

Serve with sour cream, salsa and hot sauce  .

Eat and Enjoy !

## BUTTER KIMCHI NOODLES

30 Oct

Alex Lau

So ,  Okay ,  you are probably going to have to go to your local oriental grocery store. Mine is the H- Mart in Naperville.

This was really a surprise for me. I like Kimchi and who doesn’t like noodles ? The butter blends this all into a really smooth dish that can be a side or a whole meal.

SO let me introduce some new items a lot of you might not be familiar with :

The first is Gouhujang. ( pronounced go-choo-jong , for those of you who do not speak fluent Korean )

Gochujang is most commonly sold in short, square-shaped tubs, like this one made by CJ Haechandle. Photo: Amazon

or   ( Wal-Mart )

What Is Gochujang, Exactly?

Gochujang is a thick, crimson paste made from chile peppers, glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice), fermented soybeans, and salt. The chile peppers provide a healthy amount of lingering heat that’s not burn-your-mouth spicy; the sticky rice brings a touch of sweetness that’s sometimes enhanced by added sugar; and the fermented soybeans act as the miso-like ingredient that anchors gochujang’s “umami” flavor. But “umami bomb sells it way short,” says Matt Rodbard, the author of Koreatown: A Cookbook, which will be published by Clarkson Potter next February. Rodbard describes gochujang’s flavor as having “funkiness, spice (sometimes a CRAZY amount of spice), and sweetness on the backend.”

Gochujang isn’t meant to be used as a finishing sauce like sriracha or Tabasco—it’s too aggressive. And although it goes into many traditional Korean dishes, it’s hardly ever used plain for the same reason. “It must be cut with something (sesame oil, crushed garlic, sugar, soy sauce), which is where the problem starts with novice chefs cooking with it,” Rodbard says. Gochujang’s sweet-hot-salty flavor truly shines when it’s used by the spoonful to add depth to stews and marinades..

Going to the H- mart or ordering on-line  will be worth it.

You will be truly surprised  when you add 1 Tbsp of Soy Sauce and 1 Tbsp. of Gochujang to 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

1 Tsp goes well with Stirfry and Ramen recipes too

KIMCHI

This you will be able to get at your local grocery store in the Oriental section, or the health aisle ,  or the refrigerated  salad dressing  section

This is Korean  Spicy Cabbage , So if you like cabbage, and you like sauerkraut, and you like Spicy  garlicy chili peppery kinda things ……

you are going to like this.

Koreans eat this as a side dish cold or at room temperature. I first bought this in the winter time and thinking it was like Saurkraut I warmed it up a little .    I really liked it ,  especially with some good rye bread to sop up the juice , even tho my friend Mr. Kim said this was a big NO in Korea.

I like it. Try it !

Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken. The reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, Chile peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles. And it’s part of a high-fiber, low-fat diet that has kept obesity at bay in Korea. Kimchi also is used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers and hotdogs  and Polish sausage , or you can even wrap it up in a omelet.
Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion , plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.

Next up is  Chili Garlic Sauce:

Brought to you by HOY  FONG ( the same folks that make Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce ) Not as hot.

This can be found in the Oriental section of your grocery store and you will soon be using this on everything.

Servings: 4

• 5 tablespoons butter, divided
• 1 cup finely chopped kimchi, plus ⅓ cup kimchi juice
• 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) or    1 Tbsp.   Chili Garlic Sauce
• ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 pound fresh or frozen udon noodles
• These are thicker wheat noodle – you can even get them at WALMART

• Kosher salt
• 4 large egg yolks, room temperature ( or Fry up the whole  egg and lay it  on top  )
• 3 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced on a diagonal
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

## VEGETABLE MANCHURIAN

15 Oct

###### VEG RECIPES OF INDIA

So , here is something maybe only my Indian friends will know about.

Manchurian is one of the most served dishes in Chinese restaurants in India. It is almost only popular in India.

BUT NOW ! THANKS TO THE MIRACLE   OF MODERN SCIENCE AND YOURS TRUELY ,

IT WILL BE POPULAR  AT YOUR TABLE ALSO

Almost all Indian Chinese food , that is eaten in India , originated in Kolkata  ( Calcutta)  , where a small Chinese community, in the Chinatown area, has invented Indianized versions of authentic dishes for well over a century.

.

Today, Chinese food is an integral part of the Indian culinary scene.

Indian Chinese cuisine  is the adaptation of  Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes through a larger offering of vegetarian  dishes.

It is similar to Chinese food in that the cooking equipment and techniques (like shallow frying in a wok) have been retained, but the ingredients have been replaced by commonly found Indian ingredients like onions, green peppers, ginger, but combined it with some well-known ingredients of Chinese cooking like soy sauce .

Foods tend to be flavored with spices   such as  cumin  seeds, and turmeric,   which   , are traditionally not associated with much of Chinese cuisine  . Hot  chili , ginger , garlic , , sesame seeds, dry red chilies, black pepper corns and  yogurt  are also frequently used in dishes. This makes Indian Chinese food similar in taste to many ethnic dishes in  Southeast Asian  countries

Veg Manchurian Balls.
½ cup grated carrot
½ cup finely chopped cabbage
cup finely chopped bell pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onion/scallion greens
½ tsp freshly crushed black pepper
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornflour
salt to taste
.
.
for the sauce:
2 tbsp  green onion
1 tbsp finely chopped celery )
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp garlic
1 or 2 green chilies –   minced  – Serrano’s or   Indian hot pepper
###### Datil’s Balcony
1 tbsp corn flour dissolved in 2 tbsp water
½ tbsp soya sauce
½ tbsp vinegar
½ to ¾ cup water or vegetable stock
½ tsp freshly crushed black pepper or black pepper powder or white pepper powder
salt to taste
sugar to taste
some chopped scallion greens for garnishing
.
.
preparing the veg Manchurian balls:
.
mix all the ingredients listed under veg balls.
keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
shape into small round balls ( may have to add a little more corn flour to help form balls )
or small patties.
Shallow fry or deep fry till golden browned in moderately hot oil.
drain on kitchen tissues and keep aside.
.
.
preparing the sauce:
1. heat oil. fry the onions, ginger, garlic, chilies, celery on a high flame. there is no need to brown them.
2. add water or veg stock. add soy sauce, crushed black pepper,
3. mix well and add let the sauce simmer for 1-2 minutes.
4. add the corn flour paste to thicken the sauce.
5. thicken the sauce to your desired consistency.
6. add vinegar, salt, sugar and the fried veg balls. stir and simmer for a minute.
7. serve veg Manchurian garnished with spring onion greens.
8. Serve with rice or noodles.
notes

. the best part of any Chinese dish is you can change the consistency as per your liking. if you want a thin consistency, add some veg broth or water. if you want a thick consistency, add a few teaspoons of corn flour paste. this dish thickens after it cools down. so when reheating you may have to add some water.

. remember to fry the veg balls on medium heat. if they are fried on a high heat, then the outside will get cooked and the inside will be not cooked leaving a doughy taste in the mouth.
. if they are fried on a low heat, they will absorb oil and this will make them oily and soggy.
.

Eat and Enjoy !

## ZWETSCHGENKNODEL – PLUM DUMPLINGS

8 Oct

###### Romanesco

ZWETSCHGENKNODEL   —  Z-wetsch-gen-kn-del  , yes that certainly is a mouthful for all of our non-Austrian  friends

Where is Austria anyway ?

Well  ,  it’s right here

Her are some Famous People from Austria

Wolfgang Mozart

# Ludwig van Beethoven

Hedy Lamarr

and my Gramma

Grossmutter ,    that’s my Mom behind her

Okay, So this is a treat from when I was a little boy and used to help my Gramma make these Plum dumplings. Gramma learned to make these from here Mother back in Austria when she was a little girl.  And now I am teaching my granddaughter how to make them . Pretty cool , uh ?

The big deal about these is the potato dumpling ( and it is what makes this Austrian  – the Germans use flour ) This is a treat made by all Austrians in the fall when the  plums are ripe.

.

###### Markus Mainka

The fruit is a freestone drupe . . It is less round than other plums, its ends are more pointed and the groove is less pronounced

The red-brown wood is used in fine cabinetry. . The fruit, which ripens in August and September in the Northern Hemisphere, is a popular seasonal table fruit. Zwetschgen hold their form well at oven temperatures and are much used in baking for example in tarts such as quetschentaart and zwetschgenkuchen .       Fermented zwetschgen are distilled to make  eaux de vie : zwetschgenwasser or zwetsch (in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.)

That should be about everything you ever wanted to know about these plums .

If you made this last year , pay attention I have tweaked it up a little……..

Start a big pot of water to boil

The  Dough :

2 large potatoes

2 1/2 cup flour

1 egg

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

The Filling:

12 plums – cut in half . Remove pit, ( make sure you don’t leave any of the PIT SLIVERS in the fruit . it really messes up the fine enjoyment you get eating these.)

then  pour 1 tsp sugar into each cavity left by the pit

Topping:

1/4 cup butter

3 tbsp. powdered sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp sugar

Cook the potatoes in salted water until soft ( a fork easily slides in and out. )

While potatoes are cooking:

Melt butter in a frying pan. Add all crumbs  , powdered sugar and cinnamon, and sugar   . Mix well and toast until just starts to turn color .

STIR STIR  STIR

Rinse   Potatoes  in cold water and peel,

Mash them up  with butter , egg , and salt  , . add 2 cups flour mix until you get a soft  dough .  Might need alittle more flour  ( adding alittle flour at a time ) until  you can roll it out  out

Work dough into a 3″ thick roll

Cut into   { 12 }  1/2″ pieces

Roll out each piece , one at atime  .

Put the plum halves back together

Take 1 plum and wrap dough around it . Pinching to make sure the edges are closed tight  ( might need to use a little water as a { GLUE } )

Roll dumpling in your floured hand to make a smooth ball.

Cook a few at a time in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Should be floating

.Remove with a slotted spoon and roll in breadcrumbs.

These are really good at room temp but you can nuke them for 30 sec  and you can serve them with a dollop of sour cream too!

Eat and Enjoy !

## MEATBALLS a different kind

17 Sep

CURRIED MEATBALLS – YES ,  I TRIED TO TRICK YOU .

Okay ,  So  , before you all get all excited and start yelling about how you       DON’T LIKE CURRY

Let me school you alittle bit in the world of ,  CURRY

There are many kinds of   CURRY

First you can GROOM a horse  , and they call that   Curry( a horse )

Which doesn’t  necessarily mean this guy      with one of these

That’s not what we’re talking about

and You can :

CURRY FAVOR

To seek or gain favor by fawning or flattery.
But that’s not it either
.
.
.
.
or you can curry mathematically

currying is the technique of transforming a function  that takes multiple arguments (or a tuple   of arguments) in such a way that it can be called as a chain of functions, each with a single argument (partial application).

Here,$\scriptstyle y \mapsto z$ is a function that maps an argumenty to resultz. In particular,

$g(y) = h(2) = y \mapsto f(2,y)$

BUT  ,  I will leave this curry to my scientist friends

For today we are going to talk about Curry

as in

A sauce or relish typically made with cumin, coriander, turmeric, and other spices . .

### NOT CURRY POWDER  :

The reason you don’t think you like curry( and hence all things Indian ) is because a long time ago your MOM saw this recipe in LADIES HOME JOURNAL MAGAZINE – curry meatloaf or curried pineapple and ham  loaf or some such thing and she bought this new spice called curry at the supermarket. Then she followed the recipe , which was   not very good ,  and too much    CURRY POWDER .

And it was so  god-awful  you can still taste it.

Curry powder, a commercially prepared mixture of spices, is largely a Western creation, dating to the 18th century. Such mixtures are commonly thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to members of the  British Colonial government and army  returning to Britain.

Curry (/ˈkʌri/, plural curries) is a dish originating in the cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent . The common feature is the use of complex combinations of spices or herbs, usually including fresh or dried hot chilies. The use of the term is generally limited to dishes prepared in a sauce.
Curry dishes prepared in the southern states of India may be spiced with leaves from the  curry tree . ( that’s another story)

There are many varieties of dishes called ‘CURRIES  ”

Dishes called ‘curry’ may contain fish, meat, poultry, or shellfish, either alone or in combination with vegetables. Additionally, many instead are entirely vegetarian, eaten especially among those who hold ethical or religious proscriptions against eating meat or seafood.

Curries may be either ‘dry’ or ‘wet’. Dry curries are cooked with very little liquid which is allowed to evaporate, leaving the other ingredients coated with the spice mixture. Wet curries contain significant amounts of sauce or gravy based on yoghurt, cream, coconut milk, coconut cream, legume purée, or broth.

The UK has adopted curry as a “national dish”, with more than 9,000 Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants and the creation of British-Asian dishes such as chicken tikka masala and balti, says the National Curry Week website.

Since its inception, the word curry has “changed its meaning and become ubiquitous as a menu word”, says Alan Davidson, in the Oxford Companion to Food.

Once it just meant Indian food, but “it now denotes various kinds of dish in numerous different parts of the world, but all are savoury and all are spiced,” it reads.

“Everywhere the cuisine is enjoyed has its own variations and peculiarities,” says the National Curry Week spokesperson.

An English cookbook, The Forme of Cury, was published in the 1390s, and all hot food was called “cury” from the French word cuire, meaning to cook.

Alan Davidson writes however that curry comes from the Tamil word kari, or spiced sauce, which was originally a thin, soup-like, spiced dressing served in southern India, amongst many other stew-like dressings for meat and vegetables.

## Scientists believe they may have found evidence of a 4,000-year-old “proto-curry” in India’s ancient Indus Valley civilization .

So there is everything you did not know about Curry
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Todays recipe is a very nice way to ease you into the wonderful and exotic world of Indian cuisine.
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Reminder :
You can go to your local spice shop and buy just alittle of these spices ( 4 oz. ) .
The spices are much fresher and you don’t need to buy a whole BOTTLE like at the supermarket .
This is my spot  in Oswego , Il
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Servings: 8

### Meatballs

extra virgin olive oil or ghee

1 med onion , cut into 1-inch pieces

2 Serrano’s , (seeds removed if desired ) chopped

6 garlic cloves

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon garam masala ( spice shop )

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds ground beef (20% fat)

1 large egg, beaten to blend

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 teaspoons kosher salt

### Curry Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

4 medium onions

10 cloves garlic minced and smashed

1 1½-inch piece ginger, peeled, chopped

3 dried chiles de árbol

You can get these at the supermarket or your local Mexican Grocery

which is also a great place to get your produce, check it out !

4 teaspoons curry powder ( spice shop )

4 teaspoons ground cumin

4 teaspoons ground turmeric

3 tablespoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 14.5-ounce can whole tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice  ( that’s a real lemon folks        }

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cilantro leaves with tender stems (for serving)

### Meatballs

• Preheat oven to 400°. Cut parchment paper to size and lay on baking sheet. Purée onions , jalapeños, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and cayenne in a blender until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add beef, egg, yogurt, and salt. Mix with your hands until mixture is homogenous and starts to become very sticky like sausage meat, about 1 minute. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop to portion if you like, roll beef mixture into golf ball–size portions and place on baking sheet, spacing 1″ apart (you should have about 24). Drizzle meatballs with more oil and bake until browned on top and cooked through, 20–25 minutes.

### Curry Sauce

• Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and starting to brown, 8–10 minutes. Stir in chiles, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and peppercorns. Cook, stirring often, until mixture is very fragrant and spices begin to stick to the pot, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, stirring and scraping bottom of pot, and bring to a boil. Add bay leaf, 1 Tbsp. salt, and 2 cups water; return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, 25–30 minutes.
• Let curry sauce cool slightly, then transfer to a blender; blend until very smooth.
• Or you can use a boat motor if you have one
• ( I’m getting real fond of mine since I bought it )
• Wipe out any bits remaining in pot and transfer curry sauce back to pot. Stir in lemon juice and cayenne; taste sauce and season with more salt if needed.
• Gently nestle cooked meatballs into sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook until meatballs are heated all the way through, 10–15 minutes. Serve topped with cilantro.
• This goes real well over Jasmine rice

Eat and Enjoy !

## GREEK SAUSAGE (Loukanika) AND GREENS

5 Sep

Okay, So here is a little something I’ll bet most of you have not tried,

LOUKANIKA (lou- con -ee-kah):  for all of our Friends that don’t speak Greek

Lukániko is the common Greek word for pork sausage, but in English it refers specifically to Greek sausages flavored with orange peel, fennel seed, and various other dried herbs and seeds, and sometimes smoked over aromatic woods. Greek sausages are also often flavored with greens, especially leeks.  The name ‘lukaniko’ is derived from ancient Roman cuisine’s – lucanica ( from Lucania region of South Italy )   and has been used in Greek since at least the 4th century

It’s a nice light sausage with a little taste twist that I think you will all enjoy.

Easy to make and with a green side dish ,  makes a great week might dinner.

For those of you that have this at  their grocer  , or have a local Greek deli   ,

you can just go on and buy it.

But for the rest of us here’s how to make it

2 lb ground pork

2 tbsp orange zest ( time to use the microplane  )

## EDUCATIONAL INTERRUPTION !!!!

#### This might be a good time to update your spice Cabinet or spice Rack.

You do not need to spend most of your paycheck at the grocery store buying spices.

Your local Spice Shop ( mine is in Oswego )

or Penzeys  on line.

This will help you expand your  herb and spice horizons and  let you get in touch with your inner CHEF.

4 oz. of most spices is about \$5.00 for a small bag ,  and you can get a little jar to put it in if want  .

Keep them out of the light and away from the heat if possible.

Now you can  try some new tastes for not a lot of money.

2 Tsp fresh Parsley – minced

2 Tsp kosher salt – fine

1Tsp thyme

1 Tsp marjoram

1Tsp savory   – THIS MAY BE   NEW  TO  ALOT OF YOU  –   Native to Northwest America, summer savory has been described as a cross between THYME and  MINT ,  with a hint of MARJORAM . It’s similar to winter savory, though bears a more mild and delicate flavor.

1 Tbsp. allspice

1 Tsp black peppercorns

2 cloves garlic – minced and smashed

1 cup dry white wine

Sausage casing ( if that’s what you are going to use )

Directions

Grate the ORANGE part of the orange ( not to much of the white part , the pith )

( pith  ,  yes  , that is a real word )

it will be about 1/2 of the orange

Combine parsley ,  thyme, marjoram, savory , , allspice, half the salt and peppercorns in a    …..   coffee grinder and grind

or  a Mortar and PestleOh Come on… you have been thinking of getting one and now is the time.

You are on you way to becoming a FANTASTICO CHEFO EXTRODINARO.!!!!

So you might as well have these tools of the trade. ( Bed Bath & Beyond ). I like the white because I can see when it is clean.

Pound garlic with salt in a pestle and mortar. ( or rub salt into minced garlic with the flat of you chefs knife to make a paste )

#### ONE OF THE REASONS I LIKE COOKING : ALOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS TOO DO A THING !!!   OR…OR….OR

Place ground meat in a big bowl and mix in the spices, garlic paste, orange peel and wine and mix well.

Use your hands , they are the best mixers !!!!

Place in a smaller bowl and cover with cling film and refrigerate for a couple of hours for flavors to combine

At this point ,  all of you folks that know how to stuff this into casings to make sausage are good to go. ( how to do this will be another chapter later )

# OR

Here is something I like from    Karrie at The HAPPY MONEY SAVER blog

Take some meat and place between two layers of plastic wrap. With a rolling pin roll out meat to desired thickness.

Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Take a round cookie cutter or top of a drinking glass, and press down to cut out nice round sausage patties.

Transfer to hot griddle ,  to cook ,  or baking sheet to be frozen.

Thanks Karrie!!!

Meanwhile preheat oven to 350′

1 bunch kale

1 green cabbage

4 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 onion

8 oz. fresh mushrooms – sliced thick

1/2 cup chicken stock ( 1 cube chicken bullion in a 1/2 cup water , nuke I minute ,  if you gotta )

extra virgin olive oil

Remove stems from I bunch kale and chop coarsely.

Core the green  cabbage and chop coarsely.

Combine greens and spread out on a lightly oiled baking sheet

1/2 sliced onion and sliced mushrooms

Pour 1/2 cup chicken stock over all.

Sprinkle with olive oil ,  salt and fresh ground pepper.

Cover pan with foil . Bake for 15 min.

Remove foil and bake 20 minutes more.

10 minutes before greens are done fry up the sausage.

Toss greens  , add sausage  , and  splash of vinegar and …………..

Eat and Enjoy!

14 Aug

## You need polkas to listen to while you cook the brisket and drink the beer !!!!

Okay, So first you need about a 5 lb. Brisket

What about  that big piece of fat on top ? .

It’s called the FAT CAP and you want  some of it.  Yes there is a lot of arguments among SMOKERS, GRILLERS AND BAR-BA-QUERS  if this should be left on or not.

You can do whatever you want ! Because this is AMERICA  , THE LAND OF THE FREE

But , I personally trim it down to about an  1/8 ” and here’s why —–

The Fat does not melt into the meat but it does keep the meat moist .

Which prevents getting a  ” BARK  – CRUST ” on the side with this big chunk of fat.

Also no spices are able to penetrate this thick fat layer.

With just a little fat on , most will melt off and still give a nice flavor to the finished product.

Use a sharp knife and take off alittle at a time , kinda like filleting a fish  .

2) next , use your favorite rub and some more salt ( do not be shy ) and some more pepper.

I tried this and was pleasantly surprised

or

Here is a good home made rub recipe:

3 tbsp  coarsely ground black pepper

2 tbsp. kosher salt

1  tbsp. granulated white sugar

1  onion powder

2 tsp mustard powder

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp  chili powder

1  tsp  cayenne powder

Rub  the RUB on and rub it into the meat .

Do this on a big cookie sheet or a foil pan .

at this point you can wrap it real tight in plastic wrap, or you can put it in a zip lock bag and squeeze the air out and place it in the fridge over night,

or

I have been trying this lately and I like it. Just put it in the fridge UNCOVERED  OVERNIGHT . This drys out the meat alittle and intensifies the flavor .

Try it — see what you think and let me know   …………….

Also a new technique I have just picked up

Setting up the coals like this and putting a 1/2 chimney of hot coals on one end gives you about 9 hours with no fuss or muss.

Or you can use a HINGED GRATE ( yes I have one Love it  )

This allows you to add coals and wood chips without disturbing the brisket or dropping it on the ground

place a foil pan under the brisket to catch the drippings.

No flare ups .

no mess in the bottom of your kettle.

You can add the drippings to  them to the BBQ sauce if you like.

So After you get the coals going and the meat is on the grill ,  you want to adjust the top vent to get about 250′

Now you can close the top vent and then just crack it alittle and wing it or you can use a thermometer.

( HEY , you spent enough on the brisket  , you might as well do it right and use a thermometer )

If your cooker lid does not have a built in thermometer its easy enough to put one in.

Here is a short tutorial from         NO EXCUSES BBQ

The first step in the mod was to put some painter’s tape on the kettle to keep the porcelain from chipping. A few taps on a center punch to score the metal, and it was time to drill.

As before, I pulled out the trusty Unibit and cordless drill and had at the lid of the kettle. And yes, I did wear my safety goggles.

I got better results with the hole this time, and there were no signs of damage to the porcelain finish (other than the hole I just drilled).

The thermometer was mounted, and as you can see from the picture the placement was just about right. Any further from the handle and there would be issues with the lid holder bracket on the back of the kettle.

Inside clearance was good too.

Here’s a shot of the finished product. Now it’s time to fire it up and see if the temps can be controlled enough to go low and slow.

or you can use the POTATO METHOD using a remote thermometer.

this will tell you exactly what the temp is . Place potato/thermometer next to roast.

3)  Cook for about 9 hours. Now most brisket recipes call for a final temp of 203 -205′  ( one of these is great )

Sometimes taking 12 -18 hours.

Okay?

I have discovered that if you pull it off the heat at 175′ let it rest for 15 min , and slice it across the grain  – VERY THIN – the meat is delicious and juicy and maybe med-well done

Add some COKE – A – COLA   BBQ SAUCE and it doesn’t get any better.

Eat and Enjoy !

Strange thing , I  really don’t like Coke – a cola ………….BUT I LOVE THIS SAUCE and so does everyone else !!!!!!!!!!

COKE-A-COLA BBQ SAUCE

Ingredients
1. 1 cup Coca-Cola.
2. 1 /2 onion – minced
3. 1 cup ketchup.
4. 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce.
5. 1 teaspoon liquid smoke.
6. 1/4 cup A-1 steak sauce.
7. 1 teaspoon onion powder.
8. 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
9. 1 teaspoon black pepper.
10. Sauté onion in a little olive oil then add everything else.
11. Stir well and simmer for 15 min.