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Sticky Wings

These were a result of two recipes, Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings for his two step cooking method, and Krista’s Honey Garlic wing recipe for the sauce.  The dumplings are from frozen and were steamed.I steamed the wings in two batches, about ten minutes each, because the basket was small.  The steamed wings were allowed to drain and cool on paper towels before baking on parchment paper at 375 until browned, about 40 minutes more.  Flip the wings over halfway through.Switching the paper for foil, the wings were dipped in the honey garlic sauce and baked until the sauce got bubbly, and then were re-dipped and baked again.  Two thumbs up!

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Turkey Dumpling Noodle Something

We had one of those frozen turkeys leftover from the holidays and decided to free up some freezer room.  It thawed in the basement fridge for a couple of days and then spent a few hours simmering it in a big pot with lots of veggies because we wanted a nice stock to come out of the effort.  I had dumplings in mind.  I made a half recipe, using only 1 cup of flour, rolled the dough very thin, and let it air dry for a couple of hours.  The dumplings nearly disappeared in the pot they were so thin!  Mrs J said she would need a few crackers, disappointed that the dumpling were so scarce.  I have to say, though, that the broth was great – thick and tasty!We had plenty of broth left and, lest it go to waste, I boiled some wide egg noodles in a separate pot to add in lieu of more dumplings.  They were good, not dumpling good, but they sufficed.

Moar Dumplins!

20161220_171945-1600x1200I was 6 hours into a crockpot beef and vegetable run when my mind was changed by the memory of those delicious chicken dumplins.  I put back the veggies and several ladles of gravy for a dish TBNL.

Chicken Dumplins

20161218_172312-1600x1200Mmm… and it’s not chicken and dumplings.  Boil a whole chicken with plenty of celery and onions and a carrot or two,  Add sprigs of thyme and rosemary, some black peppercorns and a dash of salt.  It takes an hour or so, longer and the chicken falls all apart later when you cook it again.  Discard all but the chicken and that lovely broth.  Pull the meat off the bones and save the bones for another stock. I use paper towels to take the fat off the surface of the broth.  Just lay them one at a time flat on the broth and they will soak it up.

The dumplins are simply made:  2 cups flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/3 cup shortening (I used lard in these), and 1/2 cup milk.  Knead until it’s one good clump and then roll thin (1/8″+-).  You may want to let it rest a bit if it resists rolling.  Cut into squares or triangles and let them air dry for 20 minutes or so lest they fall apart while cooking.

Bring the broth to a boil and add the dumplins a few at a time to keep the boil going, when they are all in (including those scraps that aren’t so pretty – they will help thicken) reduce to a simmer and add back the chicken.  (I added frozen peas at this point – optional.)  You can serve them when the dumplins are thick and soft.  They will taste better the next time, so make plenty!

Moar Turkey!

DSC_9493 (1600x1060)I nearly dropped the whole stock pot last night while carrying it down to the basement fridge.  I did slop a pint or so out onto the stairs but they cleaned up well enough, just bare wood – no carpet.  I brought it back up this afternoon and ladled out portions to freeze, and brought the rest to a boil for the dumplings.  Simple rolled dumplings: flour, salt, baking powder, lard, and milk enough to moisten.  These could have spent more time simmering but they were close enough done to eat.  I stirred in a can of cream of celery soup just to get that can out of the pantry.  I bought it long ago for an abandoned project, long enough ago I don’t remember what I had intended for it.

Fried Rice

DSC_7547 (1600x1060)This is one of my quick go to dishes.  We try to keep frozen shrimp on hand just for things like this, leftover chicken works fine, too.  The classic fried rice dish in this neck of the woods is ham fried rice, using a cold cut ham slice but I tend to see that as a mere side dish.  A more substantial meat makes it a nice main dish.  When I’m puttering about in the kitchen I sometimes make a pot of rice just to put back because you really need to use rice at least a day old so that it has a chance to dry a bit.

 

Tidbits

IMG_3256Ol’ Blue Eye.  This is a poodle mixed with something Mrs J isn’t sure what.  The other eye is brown.  She’s at a fundraiser for the shelter today or I would quiz her on this one. [Edit:  His name is Teddy and Mrs J just texted that he was adopted this morning! Yay!] I hope she brings back some photos.  I went to the last few and took pictures but I am just not feeling up to it today.DSC_7122We had a frozen duck that Mrs J said we really needed to use.  I brined it for a day with a salt/sugar mixture with a teaspoon of pink salt, the curing salt mixture, not the Himalayan stuff.  It spent all day in the electric smoker and turned out pretty good.  I used maple syrup for a glaze, applying a new coat every few hours.  I had no idea how to serve it so I just added it to the fried rice dish after chopping it into chunks with my cleaver.  I did come away with a fair amount of duck fat collected in a drip pan.DSC_7125I had a beef brisket corning in Alton Brown’s recipe for brine for over a week and decided to do pastrami with it since the smoker was out and ready.  It spent 12 hours in the smoker and then a couple more in the steamer and turned out well.  Reubens are great with either corned beef or pastrami.  I think the pastrami sammys are named Rachels when dressed with coleslaw but I doubt it matters much in the long run.  This one has sauerkraut and provolone with Russian dressing.DSC_7112I’ve made the usual run of sammices this week.  I unlimbered the bread machine and made a loaf of white bread.  Makes great grilled cheese and ham sammiches.  I have a soft spot for these sweet midget pickles.  Mrs J says we have made them before but it’s been so long ago I can’t quite remember it.  She says they were good!  I bet they were.DSC_7135I made slaw a couple days ago.  We didn’t have any of those colorful sweet peppers to add to the mix so I made do with carrots and radishes with a small green jalapeno.  The red onion was pretty but it bled the purple out after sitting a while in the fridge.  These are mini onion rolls with smoked pork, the slaw, and a squirt of the sweet habanero sauce.  Mmm…DSC_7129A little breakfast pr0n to wind this up.  More of the smoked pork with the habanero sauce next to a couple eggs over easy, and toast with jalapeno jam.

Chicken Fried Rice

DSC_7002 (1600x1060)Pretty much the same recipe as at any number of buffets around the country.  Peas and carrots, onions, garlic, scrambled egg, dark and light soy sauce, oyster sauce.  Scramble two eggs and set them aside.  Marinate chunked chicken thighs in corn starch, light soy, sesame oil, and a splash of water for ten minutes then fry them over high heat and set them aside when done.  Clean the pan and add more oil, toss in the veggies and cook until the carrots soften (you can par boil or nuke them first), add day old rice (make it the day before – you can get by with today’s rice if you make it early and keep it uncovered in the freezer or the fridge),  light and dark soy and oyster sauces and cook until the rice is warmed through, add back the chicken, and then the eggs.  Stir that all around to distribute the sauces.  Plate with chopped green onion or cilantro for a garnish.  These dumplings are from frozen and were steamed per package directions, turned out pretty good for all that they were way old. 🙂

Mmm… turkey dumplings

DSC_4518 [1600x1200]We bought a turkey the other day because the sale price was so good and cooked the bird in the oven, stripped the meat, and made stock with the carcass.  Mrs J has been wanting dumplings for a while now and today I put the dish together with simple rolled dumplings.

DSC_4511 [1600x1200]This is a really good turkey soup even before the dumplings are added.  I diced celery, carrots, onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic and softened them on the stove top in olive oil with a pinch of dried thyme.  These went into the pot with the stock and the already cooked turkey to simmer until the veggies were done.  At this point the mixture can sit until you are ready to drop in the dumplings, they only take 5 minutes to cook up.  The flour in the dumplings will thicken the broth, but if you want just the turkey vegetable soup sans dumplings you can add a tablespoon of flour to the veggies as you saute them.  If you do, add a ladle of broth to the saute pan and stir well to combine with the flour before you dump the lot into the pot.

Enjoy!

 

Fried Dumplings and Fried Rice

Tomatoes go really well in fried rice.

We had a few sprinkles this morning but the drought is unbroken.  I don’t miss the mowing – all of the grass is brown and crunches underfoot when you walk on it.  I took a stroll among the curled corn stalks in the fields a local farmer rents from me.  Serious bad news for the farmer, there are few ears and most of the ears that have kernels have relatively few.  I’ve seen them just give up on crops like these, they just come in and bale everything for cattle fodder and call it a day.