Curry Waffles

I got this handy-dandy mini waffle maker for Valentine’s Day, and thought I’d take it for a spin by making a batch of Curry Waffles.

?!?

Waffles with curry?

Yeppers, and they worked a treat with an onion and Tamari pork tenderloin I was whipping up in the slow cooker (details on that to come).

So. Savory curry waffles…

INGREDIENTS
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 egg
•1/4 cup vegetable oil
•3/4 cup whole milk
•1 tsp sesame oil
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/4 tsp sugar
•1 cup flour
•1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/8 tsp curry powder
•1/8 tsp black pepper
•1/8 tsp white pepper
•1 tsp dried chives

Whisk the egg together with the veggie oil until blended, then stir in the milk, sesame oil, salt, sugar, flour, baking powder, curry powder, and black and white pepper until well combined.

Stir the garlic into the batter until well mixed, then set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Apply cooking spray to your waffle pan and pre-heat.

Add batter to your waffle maker, close, and cook for about  four minutes, until the waffle is golden brown.

Note: if you have a mini waffle maker like mine, one waffle will take about 3-1/2 tablespoons of the batter.

Remove the cooked waffle to a platter and keep warm while repeating with the remaining batter.

I ended up with eight single waffles, which would have been two (four waffle) pieces with my larger waffle iron.

Nice waffles, and such a nice change from pasta or rice.

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Air Fryer Turkey Croquettes

I had had a taste for turkey, and thought a small-ish breast would be just the ticket.

And it was, except…

The small-ish breast was too big for my newer, bigger air fryer, so oven roasting was the way to go.

And it was good, except…

Even a small-ish turkey breast is way too much for just the two of us.

Seeing as how we had only recently enjoyed a Swiss Turkey Casserole, I was on the hunt for other leftover options.

Croquettes?

In the air fryer?

Why not!

INGREDIENTS
•3 cups chopped cooked turkey
•2 cups mashed potatoes
•1/2 cup grated Parmesan
•1/2 cup shredded Swiss
•1 shallot, finely chopped
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1/2 tsp dried rosemary
•1/4 tsp dried sage
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 egg
•2 tbsp water
•1-1/4 cup breadcrumbs
•Olive oil

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Combine the turkey with the potatoes, cheeses, and seasonings and then shape the mixture into 12 balls – a two tablespoon metal scoop works a treat for this.

Whisk the egg together with the water in a small bowl, then add the breadcrumbs to another small bowl.

Heat your air fryer to 350º.

Flatten each turkey ball into a patty, then dip in the egg mixture to coat, and then in the breadcrumbs.

Arrange the patties in a single layer on your air fryer rack or basket – you will more than likely need to work in batches.

Lightly spray each patty with olive oil, then pop into the hot air fryer for five minutes.

Turn the patties over, apply more olive oil, then air fry for another four or five minutes, until the patties are golden brown.

Keep warm while you repeat with the remaining patties.

Really, really good.

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Green Beans Caesar

So… remember back when this whole mishegas started for most of us last year?

At my local markets, whole sections of fresh produce were picked clean, and the canned and frozen veggies weren’t much better off.

So… when things settled down a bit and store shelves were more or less back to normal, I stocked up on some canned goods.

Potatoes, beets, artichoke hearts, and beans. Including green beans.

Now, what the heck do I do with canned green beans?

Thankfully, the nice folk at Del Monte have my back, and a place at my dinner table for the foreseeable future, too, because these green beans with seasoned croutons, fried onions, and Parmesan cheese kinda rock!

INGREDIENTS
•1 cup cubed sourdough bread
•2 tbsp Italian dressing
•1 can green beans, drained
•1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
•1 tbsp fried onion pieces
•2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Toss the bread cubes with the Italian dressing and cook in a large pan over medium low heat until nicely browned and toasted, stirring often.

Turn the heat to low, then stir in the green beans and the sherry vinegar and cook until warmed through.

Top with the onion pieces and the Parmesan and serve.

Note: the nice folk at Del Monte did not use Italian dressing, just olive oil; but I thought the seasonings in the dressing would compliment the whole “Caesar” vibe.

They also tossed fresh minced onion with vinegar and salt. Well; I did not add salt, because, canned green beans, amiright? And I had a nice can of organic fried onion pieces and nothing really to do with them, so, why not use them as a topping not unlike green bean casserole?

All in all, the whole thing worked a treat for a non-holidaze turkey dinner with Tyler Florence’s Mashed Potatoes and gravy and Cranberry Relish.

The cool thing is, it was really simple enough to serve with most any meal.

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Best! Cake Pan Coating and Bonus! Cherry Coke Cake

Do you have one of these handy-dandy fancy design cake pans? Or even plain ole every day bundt or cake pans and are kinda sick of the baked cake coming out in pieces that only a thick frosting can save?

Well, consider this cherry coke ‘Heritage Bundt’ cake with lemon glaze. No broken off pieces, no white splotches of flour.

And the secret is so very simple:

One. One. One.

INGREDIENTS
Cake Pan Coating:
•1 tbsp solid shortening
•1 tbsp canola oil
•1 tbsp flour

Cherry Coke Cake:
•1 box cherry cake mix
•12 oz Coca Cola

Lemon Glaze:
•2 tbsp lemon juice
•1-1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
•1 tbsp milk
•1 tsp vanilla

Add the oil to the shortening and canola oil in a small bowl, then mix to combine with a fork. A few lumps will be fine.

Brush this mixture evenly over your chosen cake pan(s). There will be enough for one bundt pan or two round cake pans.

That is it!

Now, we can make our cake…

Pour the soda into the cake mix in a large bowl and mix according to package instructions. You do not need to add eggs, or oil, or anything else to the cake mix.

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and bake according to instructions on the cake box – about 30 minutes for this bundt.

Remove from the oven and cool completely before turning the cake out onto your chosen cake plate.

Nice cake – and no broken pieces!

Stir the glaze ingredients together until smooth, then drizzle over the cooled cake.

 

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Hawaiian-Style Pasta Salad

I came across a discussion about Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, and it looked interesting enough that I wanted to try it.

But.

Apparently, there are rules.

Certain friends will be wicked pleased to know that pineapple and ham are not to be added to Hawaiian Macaroni salad; but, potatoes, onion, celery, hard-cooked egg, and carrots are.

They also use jarred coleslaw dressing, but I figured I could just use my own.

INGREDIENTS
Base:
•1 cup uncooked pasta (5 oz)
•1/2 cup diced red onion
•1 cup cooked small potatoes, quartered
•1 tbsp rice vinegar

Dressing:
•1 cup mayonnaise
•2 tbsp milk
•1 tsp sugar
•1 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Seasoned Salt

Add Ins:
•1/2 cup diced celery
•1 hard cooked egg, chopped
•Chopped parsley

A couple of notes: I had some leftover Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes in the fridge, so I used those. Also, I am loving ditalini pasta lately, so used that in place of the more usual elbow macaroni.

Boil your pasta in salted water, then drain and rinse well.

Add the quartered potatoes and red onion, then stir in the rice vinegar and set aside to rest while you make the dressing.

Whisk the mayonnaise together with the milk, sugar, Seasoned Salt and pepper.

Add the diced celery, chopped egg, and the parsley to the pasta, potato, and onion mixture, then add the dressing and toss to mix well.

You can serve this right away, or cover and stash in the fridge until needed – I prefer storing in a glass bowl, because I think it transfers the “chill” better.

Nice pasta salad, and pretty forgivable about what you add to it.

As long as it’s not ham or pineapple.

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Thai-Style Scallop Coconut Soup

The original version of this recipe, from the nice folk at Coastal Living, called this “Scallop Tom Kha,” and my version does have all of the flavors of that classic Thai soup, but…

I made a fair number of changes to suit my pantry, spice rack, and tastes, so I feel much safer considering this an hommage to a truly wonderful soup, and in well under an hour.

The leftover Air Fryer Crispy Potatoes I tossed in just added to the goodness.

INGREDIENTS
•4 cups unsalted chicken stock
•2 cans coconut milk
•1 tsp dried lemongrass
•3 tsp grated fresh ginger
•8 oz sliced ‘shrooms
•1/4 cup Sambal Oelek
•1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
•3 tbsp fish sauce
•2 tsp honey
•1-1/2 lb frozen scallops
•1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
•1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
•Leftover crispy potatoes, optional

Note: the original recipe called for cilantro, which I have never really cared for, so I substituted parsley.

Stir the chicken stock together with the coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, ‘shrooms , Sambal Oelek, lime juice, fish sauce, and honey in a large pot over high heat.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add the scallops, basil, parsley, and, if you are using them, those leftover Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for five minutes, until the scallops are cooked through and tender.

Serve; we had ours with some baked frozen bird’s nests I picked up at Trader Joe’s.

Nice soup!

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Asparagus and Feta Salad

Sure, we all know about salads that don’t include lettuce: tuna salad, chicken salad, potato salad, bean salad, fruit salad… and the list goes on; but then, you start to think about a salad with tomatoes, and Feta cheese, and asparagus, and you automatically expect lettuce of some sort.

But you really shouldn’t need to.

This salad is loaded with lettuce-compatible veggies and stuff, but, when I served it, nobody was missing the leafy greens.

All these veggies and the tomato and cheese are sturdier than lettuce, too, so you can dress them a bit ahead of time, if needs be, and no worries about wilting.

INGREDIENTS
Basic Salad:
•1 bunch fresh asparagus
•Grape tomatoes, halved
•Feta cheese

Add-Ins:
•Onion
•English or Persian cucumber
•Hard-cooked egg

Dressing:
•Your fave oil and vinegar or Italian

First things first, you’ll need to blanch your asparagus, which is really simple.

Wash the asparagus and cut of the woody ends – I know, “everybody” snaps them to determine which bits are tender; but that just wastes perfectly good asparagus – cut off the bottom inch or so of your spears and you should be fine.

Add the trimmed asparagus to a wide bowl and cover with water while you prep the water by adding one tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water – this will help to ‘refresh’ your asparagus before blanching.

Bring the water to a rolling bowl, then transfer the asparagus from the bowl to the pan and cook for two or three minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus, until the stalks are bright green and tender-crisp.

Transfer the asparagus immediately to a bowl of ice water to stop the stalks from cooking any more and lock that lovely bright green color in.

Drain the asparagus well and set aside.

When ready to put your salad together, slice the asparagus into two inch pieces and add to a large bowl with the tomato.

I also added quartered and sliced English cucumber, sliced hard-cooked egg, and some thinly sliced onion.

Note: I used sweet onion, but red onion would really work a treat here. It is just not my husband’s favorite, so…

Crumble the Feta over all, then chill until ready to serve, or dress and toss and serve.

Who needs lettuce?

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Swiss Burgers With Tomato Gravy

My mom-in-law was spending a month or so with us, and I was on the lookout for something interesting for dinner that appealed to our tastes, but would also not be too spicy for hers.

And then, the nice folk at Southern Living posted a version of this recipe that appealed to me for a couple of reasons:

Number 1: if I had followed the original recipe and used potatoes instead of egg noodles, this would have been gluten free;

which is a bonus for serving something different and appealing to other family members and friends.

Number 2: most any combination of beef and Swiss cheese and tomatoes is practically guaranteed to be a winner for me.

INGREDIENTS
•1 lb ground beef
•1 egg, lightly beaten
•1 tbsp Arby’s Sauce – or steak sauce
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
•2 cups diced onion
•2 cups shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
•1 cup unsalted chicken stock
•1 tsp sugar
•6 slices Swiss cheese
•Chopped fresh basil and/or parsley

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Whisk the egg together with the Arby’s Sauce (or steak sauce), Sherry Peppers Sauce, hot sauce, Seasoned Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, then combine with the ground beef until evenly blended, divide into six portions, and form into patties.

Heat a large pan on medium-high, then add the patties and cook for four minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned.

Remove the patties to a plate, cover, and keep warm while you make the gravy.

Add the diced onion and shredded cabbage to any meat drippings in the pan, toss to coat, and cook, stirring often, for about ten minutes, until they are tender and any pan liquids have been cooked off.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, just until you can smell it.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, stock, and sugar, and cook, stirring, until it all comes to a boil.

Simmer for five minutes before returning the burger patties to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low, then place one slice of Swiss cheese on each burger patty, cover the pan, and cook for another five minutes, until everything is nicely heated through and the cheese has melted.

Sprinkle with the chopped basil and/or parsley and serve.

The nice folk at Southern Living suggested serving over potatoes – theirs were oven roasted, but these Air Fryer Crispy Potatoes would work a treat, too, and, you would have a gluten free meal, so, bonus!

But…

I had some rather nice egg noodles I had been wanting to try, and gluten free was not a need for that particular dinner, so that’s the way I went.

Totally tasty!

And, of course, leftovers a couple of evenings later were even better.

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Parfait! Caramel Puff Corn

Also known as “Corn Crack” by some friends, because they simply cannot stop eat it; this really is a perfect, and perfectly simple to make, snack for most any time.

A large, non-stick pan (I love my Copper Chef) and an anodized roaster pan (you know, the one you normally only bring out at the holidaze for the turkey) make prep and clean up a snap, even making and working with the caramel; so grab your Irish butter and Lyle’s Golden Syrup and brown sugar and baking soda, and let’s go!

INGREDIENTS
•1 (8 oz) bag corn puffs (look by the chips)
•1 cup butter (no substitute)
•1 cup brown sugar
•1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup*
•1 tsp baking soda
•1 or 2 cups almonds or pecans (optional)

*I love Lyle’s, which is cane sugar syrup, but feel free to use light corn syrup.

Heat your oven to 250º and add the puffed corn and nuts (if you are using them) to a large non-stick roasting pan.

In a large non-stick pan, melt the butter with the brown sugar and Lyle’s (or corn syrup) over medium low heat until it comes to a boil, stirring often.

Let it bubble for two minutes, still stirring often, then stir in the baking soda and stir into the puffed corn and nuts (if you are using them) in the roasting pan. Don’t worry if you cannot seem to evenly coat the puffed corn at this point, a couple of stirrings while baking will sort all that out.

Pop into the oven for 45 minutes total, pulling the pan out and stirring every 15 minutes, and one final stir when done, before setting aside to cool.

Transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Note: gallon-sized zipper bags of this make pretty nifty little presents.

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Creamy Garlic Pork Chops in the Instant Pot

The nice folk at Pillsbury provided us this simple, tasty recipe, which works a treat when plated with Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes.

The key here, seems to be using thin-cut bone-in pork chops, because thicker chops will not cook properly in the time given.

And, bonus! Thin-cut chops are mostly what my market carries in the ready-serve meat case. For those beautiful, restaurant style thick chops, I would need to ask the butcher, and they can be busy.

So. Thin chops. Instant Pot. Potatoes in the Air Fryer. Creamy garlic sauce over all and a smattering of chopped fresh parsley.

What more do you need?

Oh, yeh. About 45 minutes total.

INGREDIENTS
•1 cup unsalted chicken stock
•4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•4 bone-in, thin-cut pork loin chops
•2 tbsp cornstarch
•2 tbsp water
•4 oz cream cheese, cubed and softened

Stir the garlic, Seasoned Salt, and pepper into the chicken stock in the pot insert.

Add the pork chops, seal the pot and pressure cook on High for ten minutes.

Using a kitchen towel to protect you and your cabinets from the steam, quick release the pressure valve and check the chops with an instant-read thermometer.

They should be at 145º.

If they are not, reseal the pot and pressure cook on High for another two minutes.

Quick release the pressure and transfer the chops to a covered plate to stay warm and rest while you make the creamy garlic sauce.

Whisk the corn starch into the water in a small bowl and set aside.

Set your pot to Sauté and bring the cooking liquid to a simmer.

Whisk in the corn starch mixture and cook, stirring, for about one minute, until the sauce has thickened nicely.

Turn the pot off and add the cubed cream cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy and smooth.

Serve the sauce over the chops with chopped parsley over the top.

As I noted above, Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes are a perfect pairing, with, mebbe a nice salad on the side.

And, bonus points for using two of the trendiest kitchen gadgets this pandemic for one meal!

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