Archive for December, 2010

KKF gets cookware for Christmas!

When I was a kid, one of my favorite breads was popovers. Mom reminded me of how I used to sit in front of the oven and watch them puff and grow. I must have been good this year because Santa (Mom!) gave me a popover pan for Christmas. Popovers were immediately added to the Christmas Dinner menu.

I had Mom send me a recipe and I pulled one off of Allrecipes.com. I remembered

Mom's recipe

from years ago that the pan was hot when we poured in the batter, something that was unclear on the old photocopied recipe Mom sent over (but it called for butter or bacon fat, which is awesome). The Allrecipes recipe did specify that. So I sort of combined the two, using the ingredients list from Mom and the baking instructions from Allrecipes.

They puffed up HUGE. They were like giant bready snow cones. They came out of the oven all crunchy on the outside and soft and airy/holey in the the middle, just like they should be. I immediately ate two. January is for behaving.

Mushroom cloud popovers

Next on the list was another attempt at deer meat. A hunter friend of mine kindly provided us with cuts from a whole deer that he bagged. (I traded some of my home canned goods – what a deal!!) So far I made some chili with the ground and attempted a marinated venison broccoli stir-fry. The chili rocked. The stir-fry…eh…we ate it, anyway. A 4 or 5 on the kung faux pas scale.

With resolve to do right by that animal next time around, I thought of the pork schnitzel I made not too long ago. Perfect. I love using my heavy metal pounder and that will be super yummy. As I further contemplated, I decided to make it like chicken fried steak with a peppery white sauce.

I cut the meat off roughly a pound of venison chuck steaks. These are kind of tricky. Cutting around the bone is ok, but there’s some connective tissue that sort of segments the meat. Since Test Subject Bill has trouble with that kind of stuff (and I’m not too crazy about it myself) I cut around the tissue as well as the bone. This makes it difficult to get portions that are of decent size. So I ended up with a one large, a few medium and a number of small chunks.

After pounding them down good with the spiky side of my kitchen pounder, I dipped them in an egg wash (one large egg + about a table spoon of water, beaten together) and pressed panko bread crumbs all over the portions. Then this is the best part: I pan fried them in bacon drippings. Can I get an amen??

While the cuts were frying up into deer-y, bacon-y deliciousness, I made a simple white sauce of ¼ c butter, about 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 ½ cups of milk, then stirred in a good amount of freshly cracked pepper. It made too much sauce but who cares. I can put it on broccoli tomorrow, right?

All of the other reindeer USED TO laugh and call him names.

It looked beautiful plated up with some steamed green beans, and the taste was heavenly! You could definitely tell it wasn’t beef, and it had a richness of flavor that really seemed displayed, rather than covered up, by the cream sauce. The two of us ate almost all of it. To quote Bill, “I think we have a winner here!”

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You know it’s a busy semester when I don’t even have time to post blogs I’ve had written for a few months….whew! But it will be over soon. In the meantime, enjoy some eggplant….

Baba Ganoush

About a week after I made the Mahkloubeh lamb I had more eggplant to use and decided to give in and try the baba ghanouj. It was something I’d thought about doing for a good while and just never got around to. I should be slapped for waiting so long. Sara’s recipe is easy and so yummy, again I ate the whole thing. Not all at once. I used more Asain eggplant as I rarely see the traditional large supermarket version of eggplant in my CSA or at the farmer’s market. 

Baba Ghanoush

 1 large eggplant ( roasted whole over a charcoal grill fire, baked in an oven until it is thoroughly cooked. )

2-3 garlic cloves

1 cup tahini

½ cup lemon juice

¼ cup vinegar

salt to taste

These amounts are approximate and the best way is to try it and taste, then balance the flavor.

Process peeled garlic, salt, and lemon juice in food processor or blender until thoroughly mixed. Take peeling off the cooked eggplant and process. Add the tahini and blend. Doing this in the food processor will leave the seeds of the egg plant whole but if the blender is used the seeds are ground up. Add vinegar and if it is too thick add water to reach the right consistency. Serve in rather flat dish with olive oil, parsley and thin radish slices for garnish. Dip pita bread.

(This same basic recipe can be used for Humus by substituting Garbanzo beans for eggplant.) 

I plan to use this version for hummus the next time I make it. YUM.

But I wasn’t satisfied leaving this tasty spread on the side. A friend of ours provided us with some wahoo fish that he caught and I thought hmmm…what if…

Usually when I go off like that it ends badly. This time, however, it turned out quite well!

Mediterranean Wahoo with Baba Ghanouj

¾ pound wahoo filets (I’m sure any similar firm-fleshed fish would also work)

2 T butter

One lemon

1 T dried oregano

Baba Ghanouj

Feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. (I try to bring my fish to room temp before cooking so it can cook more evenly.) Melt butter in frying pan. When pan is good and hot, add fish. Squeeze lemon halves over the fish. (Roll the lemon with your palm against the counter to get it loosened up and release more juice before cutting it in half.) Sprinkle on half the oregano. Turn fish after about 3-4 minutes depending on thickness and add the rest of the oregano. Fry another few minutes until done.

Plate with baba ghanouj and sprinkle feta cheese over all.

Wahoo with baba ganoush and veggies

I served mine with buttered green beans and carrots that I’d steamed with fresh dill. If I’d had some fresh tomatoes I would have tossed them in the pan with the fish.

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