Grilled Turkey Thighs and Garden Potatoes

I was looking to grill chicken thighs, but while I was at the store, the clerk was marking down turkey thighs. I grabbed a couple of packages, froze two and cooked one, along with the remainder of the gold potatoes I dug from the garden. A simple and delicious dinner.

Grilled/Smoked Turkey Thighs

  • 2 lbs of turkey thighs
  • olive oil
  • sage
  • salt and pepper

Rub thighs with oil, sage, salt and pepper. Heat grill to 400 degrees and grill for 5 minutes, flip and grill an additional 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue to cook until the internal temperature of 175 degrees. Depending on the thickness of the thigh it can take 15 – 25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving, to bring temp up to 180 degrees.

 

Roasted Garden Potatoes

  • 4 medium gold potatoes (Yukon or other)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • salt and pepper
  • foil (or skillet)
  • parchment paper

Scrub potatoes and cut into large cubes. Toss potatoes and onions with oil, butter, salt and pepper.

Make a pan with the foil and place a piece of parchment on the bottom. Add the potatoes and onions, don’t seal.

I grilled along with the thighs above, on the top shelf. They finished up at the same time as the thighs. Crispy and browned on the outside.



 

Friday Night Recipe Exchange: Sweet Treats

Coconut Lemon Cake c2011 W4DS

Coconut Lemon Cake

Something about frigid temps makes me crave sweets. So when I was thinking about tonight’s recipes, that is what I was drawn to and lemon themed recipes rose to the top. I suppose because it brings with it a reminder of warmer climates. Which is where I am headed later in the month. Beach weather. I’ll be the pale, wind swept one by the eucalyptus tree.

One of my favorite tangy, sweet desserts is Sour Cream Lemon Poppyseeed Cake, yum, recipe here.

Sliced Lemon Poppy Seed

Since next week bring with it the ultimate date night, I thought it would be a good idea to include some special sweets: Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, recipe here and Valentine’s Chocolates, recipes here.

Which is a good time to let you know there will be no recipe exchange next Friday. Do you have Valentine’s plans? Do you go out or stay home and cook? Or do you ignore it all together? (You should probably make sure your romantic partner is on board with that, if that’s your plan. Right?) And during these cold, cold days, what do you like to cook?

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Let’s not leave JeffreyW out of the mix, he and Mrs. J spent the cold week giving their kitchen a work out and this is one of the recipes that fortified them. Peanut Butter Granola Bars, click here.

And finally, tonight’s featured recipe (pictured at top):

Lemon Coconut Layer Cake

I have a friend who loves coconut cream pie.  I’m not a big fan, so I’ve never made one.  But when I saw a photo of a coconut-lemon cake, I thought she might like it, so I gave it a whirl.  The original cake was 6-layers, I just couldn’t fathom that, so I reduced it to a 4-layer cake.  Layering is easier to do if you use pie pans instead of cake pans.  This eliminates the need to cut each cake in half to achieve thin, even layers.  This cake works best if made the night before.  Refrigerate so the lemon filling stays firm. And shredded coconut covers any number of baking sins.

Coconut Cake:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 13 oz coconut milk
  • 3 eggs, separated

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9-inch pie pans

Cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until very light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, blending well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the coconut milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and beat to thoroughly combine.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, and then gently fold into the cake batter. Divide evenly and pour into the pans, spreading to the edges. Bake until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Loosen and invert onto racks to cool completely.

Lemon cream filling:

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, boiling water. Cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 or 6 minutes.  Cool thoroughly before spreading on the cake layers.

Okay, so all the recipes for lemon filling wanted a double-boiler.  I started with one, but after 5 minutes of stirring and not thickening, I changed over to a saucepan and whisked it for 5 minutes while it boiled and thickened and had no issues with it burning or sticking.  High altitude may have been the reason for my original troubles.  Water boils at a lower temperature here, so the double boiler may not have offered enough heat to thicken the sauce.

Butter Cream Frosting:

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups shredded coconut

With a mixer, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

To assemble: Place first layer on cake plate, bottom side up, spread with a third of the lemon filling, sprinkle with coconut, place next layer, bottom side up, repeat and again with the third layer.  Place fourth layer, top side up.  Frost and garnish with more shredded coconut.

That’s it for this week. On Monday the full dinner menu and shopping list will post and it will be a Valentine’s dinner if you need ideas. Happy Valentine’s Day! – TaMara

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Breakfast for Dinner (or Anytime)

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I love pancakes. Just not for breakfast. So when I’m in the mood, it’s time for breakfast for dinner. Pictured above are JeffreyW’s fluffy pancakes, and I have a recipe for super fluffy pancakes, here.

Want to dress them up a bit? How about Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes? Recipe here.

For something completely different and easy to make, German Pancakes with Walnut syrup, click here.

And what goes perfectly with pancakes? How about some bacon…JeffreyW candies his:

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JeffreyW’s Candied Bacon recipe is here and his Cayenne Candied Bacon (pictured above) recipe is here. And the basics of baking bacon vs. frying can be found here.

In case you missed it, this week’s full dinner menu was Spicy Potato Soup, Garlic Biscuits and Mocha Pudding Cake and can be found here.

What’s on your menu for the weekend? Are you a fan of breakfast for dinner? Hit the comments with your favorite breakfast recipes.

And the featured recipe tonight:

I love whole wheat pancakes, they are fluffy, hearty, nutty and sweet, just like some people I know. Making whole wheat pancakes can be tricky, though – I don’t want them to be heavy and dry, I still want light and fluffy. The recipe below serves that up.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Beat together until light and frothy:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift together:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moistened, batter will be lumpy. Ladle into a hot, well oiled skillet or griddle. [Reduce heat to medium after it has heated up because these brown quickly.]

While with white flour pancakes you’d wait to see bubbles on the top of pancakes before flipping them, you don’t want to do that with these. As soon as the bottom is golden, flip. And as soon as the bottom is again golden, remove.

This keeps them from being too dry. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you want to make sure they aren’t runny, but you also don’t want to over cook. As soon as the center bounces back they are ready to remove.

Top with butter and real maple syrup. Yum.

Until next week – TaMara

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Blood Orange Coleslaw

Continuing with the today’s theme, Blood Oranges.

If you miss the short season or can’t find any locally when they are in season, you can substitute half navel oranges and half ruby red grapefruit for a nice sweet-tang. Alternately you can use all navel oranges and it will work fine. Toss a few red raspberries in the mix and you’ll have a great flavor combo.

Here’s a recipe that I adapted from somewhere or other.  I substituted a lot of ingredients to match my flavor palette, you should feel free to do the same. The dressing would work well over spinach or other greens, as well as the cabbages listed.

Blood Orange Coleslaw

  • 6 tbsps fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey (more as desired)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 finely sliced red onion (try using the mandoline or slicing blade on a box grater for a pretty effect)
  • 1 large head of savoy cabbage, finely sliced, or 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 blood orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (opt)

Prepare dressing in advance: Whisk juice, vinegar, and honey in bowl. Whisk in oil, then mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a covered glass container.

Toss onion, cabbages, bell pepper and oranges in large bowl. Just before serving, shake dressing well and pour over vegetables; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pecans.  Serves 4-6

Breakfast for Dinner: Fluffy Pancakes

Caught a rain storm with my cell phone earlier in the summer,turn it up, you can hear thunder.

The temperature dipped considerably last night and we’ve had a steady rain for most of the day. Suddenly pancakes sounds delicious. But not just any pancakes. I wanted whole wheat pancakes. They are fluffy, hearty, nutty and sweet,  and that sounded just right.

Making whole wheat pancakes can be tricky – I don’t want them to be heavy and dry, I still want light and fluffy. The recipe below serves that up:

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Beat together until light and frothy:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift together:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moistened, batter will be lumpy.  Ladle into a hot, well oiled skillet or griddle. [Reduce heat to medium after it has heated up because these brown quickly.]

While with white flour pancakes you’d wait to see bubbles on the top of pancakes to flip them, you don’t want to do that with these. As soon as the bottom is golden, flip. And as soon as the bottom is again golden, remove.

This keeps them from being too dry. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you want to make sure they aren’t runny, but you also don’t want to over cook. As soon as the center bounces back they are ready to remove.

Top with butter and real maple syrup. Yum.

It was the perfect dinner tonight.

Hoagie rolls

Took another stab at hoagie rolls today.  I think I have the recipe down, the real trick is in getting all the rolls the same size.  The recipe is pretty simple:

4-1/4 c flour

1-1/2 c water

1 T yeast

1 T sugar

1/2 T salt

1/8 c oil

Most recipes I read want you to mix the sugar and the yeast in a half cup of water and let it work for five minutes or so, I never do.  I dump everything into the bowl of my stand mixer and let it work.  I do drizzle the oil in as it starts to come together.  I let the machine work the dough for 7 or 8 minutes and then turn it out into a greased bowl to rise, covered with plastic, for 40-45 minutes.

I weighed the dough this time, and then divided by 9-that’s how much room I had on my perforated baguette pan with the three sections.  I wanted about 110 grams per piece.  I rolled the whole thing into a log and stretched and nudged until it was as long as 9 squares on my plastic dough mat.  I cut on the line and weighed the piece and was rewarded with a reading of 113 grams.  About as close as I could have hoped.  I quickly chopped the remainder into equal parts, rolled them into rough ovals, and set them all on the tray.  Slash the tops and brush with egg white, bake at 400 for about 14-15 minutes.

Zucchini-Avocado Salad

This is the time of year I start wanting fresh vegetables from the produce department and knowing my choices are limited where I live.  But usually you can get fairly decent zucchini (choose small, thin ones for best flavor) and avocados (though you may have to ripen them in a paper bag – add a banana to speed the ripening along).   A nice light, fresh side to any dinner.  I’m thinking with fish.  I’ll post a nice fish recipe later this week.

Zucchini-Avocado Salad

  • 2-3 small zucchini, sliced
  • 8 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ green pepper, julienned
  • 4 oz can green chilies, drained
  • green lettuce leaves
  • Oil & vinegar dressing (bottled, or make your own: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, dash of lemon juice, salt & pepper)

bowl, serving bowl, skillet

Heat oil and sauté onions & zucchini, about 3 minutes. Remove to bowl and refrigerate. Cut avocado in half, remove pit and cube, don’t pierce skin. Use a spoon to scoop out avocado, add to serving bowl, toss with lemon juice, add green peppers and green chilies,  add zucchini mixture and toss everything with dressing. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Mmm…Chicken fried steak ala Indy

Again, welcome IndyLib!  This is pretty much by the book chicken fried steak so nothing to add except I like my gravy on the brown side rather than the library paste looking stuff you too often see.  A little dribble of Kitchen Bouquet handles that part.  Pro tip:  It can also cover for some slightly burned flour!

I will mention the corn on the side.  Basic can of corn, drained, (save the water), some diced bell pepper, a few tablespoons of tomato salsa, a diced fresh tomato (perhaps the last one?), a bit of diced onion, about half of an Anaheim pepper cut into rings.  Mix the water drained from the corn with some chicken soup base and a little bit of corn starch.  Simmer the corn, stir in the corn starch mixture to thicken the corn/peppers mix and top with some shredded cheeses.  Mmm…

Enjoy!

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