Monday, May 19, 2014

Russian Peroshki

I had a hankering for some Russian food the other day and it's been awhile since I posted much of anything on the recipe blog so I snapped some pictures for you. Peroshki are meat filled pockets wrapped in a dough and deep fried. There are also ones that are baked which are probably less fattening, but I prefer the fried kind since that was the kind my mother always made for us.

You will need the following:

1 lb of 80/20 hamburger meat
4 hard-boiled eggs chopped fine
1 large onion sauteed until translucent
1 large handful of fresh dill, chopped fine
salt and pepper
bread dough (Pillsbury's hot roll mix, 1 box)

Start by sauteing the onion, add the hamburger and cook until all the clumps are separated, add the chopped egg, mix to combine, add the dill and salt and pepper to taste.
Tilt the saute pan and bunch up the meat to one side to allow to drain, remove drained meat and let cool for at least 2 hours, while dough is rising.

To make the dough you have several options. I like to use a yeast dough. You can use any white bread recipe if you like, you can even use a bread machine to make the dough up to the baking process.
If you use the prepackaged Pillsbury dough, or hand made bread down, mix and let rise. Once risen, plop down the dough onto a floured surface and divide in half. Place half into bowl with plastic on top to keep from drying out while you make the first batch of Peroshki.

Go ahead and roll out the dough to the thickness of about 1/8 or less. You will need to find something round to cut the dough into rounds. Something about 5 or 6 inches across will do fine. Something like a old juice can, ( the kind grapefruit juice use to come in before plastics) or a wide cookie cutter, etc.
Cut about 4 or 5 rounds then take one round place in your hand , you can stretch it if you like, it should be quite stretchable, be careful not to pull it too much or you will open up holes in the dough disk. Then with a 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup metal round scoop, scoop out the cooled meat and place into the middle of the dough pocket. The pull the edges up and over and pinch them together. Be careful not to include any of the filling or else the dough will not pinch close and will open when you fry it.

Take the ends pinch the dough and fold over about 1/2 inch on each end.
Put on floured tray until ready to fry.
Once your oil is ready, carefully place each Peroshki seam side down into the hot oil. You should be able to get 4 or 5 in the pan at the same time. Cook until they are dark golden brown the color of coffee. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Serve hot or warm, you also after they cool, freeze them for later , zap in microwave if frozen for about a minute or so, and they will come back almost as good as fresh.

The trick is to make the dough as think as possible without having it break open, I have seen some Russian bakeries make the dough so thick that you only get about a tablespoon full of meat. That's way too much dough.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Brased Rabbit with prunes, apples, etc

Well as a byproduct of growing several various crops throughout the year we get dinner now and then.
In the last month we have had the privilege of fresh rabbit. Our caretaker has knocked on our back door twice in the last month and handed over a nice cleaned and dressed rabbit.
Cut up fresh ranch rabbit
Last time there I didn't notice any holes in the flesh, (must have been a head shot) but this time there were a couple of penetrations on the hind quarter, I double checked to see that there were no pellets imbedded in the meat.
Well anyway, this recipe is simple and quick and if you are lucky enough to get a rabbit you can try this version.

Stuff that you will need;

Stuff you will toss into the pan
Couple of tart apples, cut into small wedges
Dozen or so, dried prunes
Juice from two oranges
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
1 tbs hers de provance
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 cup of decent white wine

Wash and cut up the rabbit into piece, dry with paper towel, salt and pepper. Meanwhile in a 12 inch skillet put 1 TBS of olive oil to medium heat. Put the season rabbit pieces into the pan, and brown on all sides.

Browned rabbit pieces (5 minutes a side)

Once browned, add the apples, prunes, onion, garlic, herbs. add the wine and cover.
Put on medium to small flame.
After about 20 minutes, take the pieces out and turn them over.
Cook for another 45 minutes until tender.

Serve with while rice, after removing the rabbit from the skillet you can use an immersion blender puree the ingredients to make a sauce if you wish or simple use the pan drippings and softened fruit as the accompaniment.
Tossed in pan, add wine , cover and cook

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mussels, garlic linguine with white wine and chiles

One item that is hard to find in Patzcuaro is fresh mussels, so each time I get my hands on fresh sea food like clams or mussels I always will buys some.
Here is a very simple but tasty recipe you can toss together in less than 20 minutes.
You could also add chopped Italian Panchetta or even Chorizo to add additional flavors.

Linguine with Mussels, Garlic and Chilies

Yield: 4 servings as a main pasta course

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 large shallot onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 5 or 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chilies
  • 1 to 2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and rinsed and de-bearded
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped, to yield 1/4 cup

Bring six quarts of water to boil and add 3 tablespoons salt.

In a large sauté pan, sauté red onion, celery and garlic over medium heat until onion is very soft and onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Put the garlic in first and be careful not to burn it with excessive heat because it will make the garlic bitter. Bitter is bad......

Add hot chilies, mussels, white wine and butter and bring to a cover. Cook until all mussels have opened, and then set aside.Usually about 3 minutes or less. Do not overcook because the mussels will become rubbery and tough.

Boil linguine according to package instructions. While softened but still firm ( al dente), drain in colander over sink and toss into plan with mussels and stir gently to mix. This will finish cooking the pasta and infuse the sauce into the pasta. This should still be a little broth-like. Add chopped parsley, pour into warm serving bowl and serve.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easy Leftover Chicken Salad

Ok, so what do you do with leftover chicken? You can make some tacos or perhaps mix it in your scrambled eggs, but from time to time I make a chopped salad, and today It felt like it was about time to do one.
You really can use a lot of leftovers, two nights ago I made chicken and green beans, so both of those went into the salad.

First the dressing.

Into a small food processor toss in a half of a Granny Smith Apple and puree.
3tbs cider vinegar
3 tbs H2O
2tbs Marsala or dry sherry
1 1/2 tea seasoning salt
1 tea sugar
1/2 tea paprika Hungarian is best
1/4 tea garlic powder
2 tea Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tea Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil, drizzle in while the processor is working.

This is the basic vinaigrette dressing I used today, sometimes I will add honey instead of sugar, and change the vinegar for maybe a raspberry one.....

For the salad take and chop into 1/4 or dice:

1/2 red bell pepper (seeded of course)
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/4 of red onion, place the chopped onion in water for 15 minutes first to remove the heat then drain and dry with a paper towel
1/3 cup green beans chopped to 1/2 inch
1 cup, left over chicken chopped into 1/2 cubes
1 head of romaine lettuce with outer leaves removed, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 chopped jicama 1/4 inch dice
2 hard boiled eggs

Toss in large bowl add about 1/3 cup dressing or as you like, serve with a chopped hard boiled egg on top

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fast and Easy Lemon Chicken

Photo before sliding it into a 400 degree oven.

I haven't been posting lately just because I am lazy. Half way through making something I finally tell myself I should have shot some photos and written it today I did that.

This is easy because there is little prep, you toss the pan in the oven and come back in 30 to 40 minutes, plate and eat. My kind of dinner prep nowadays, I only do long complex dinners when guests come which is not as often as it use to be.....

Smash and chop fine one head of garlic, add 1/4 cup of good olive oil, let the garlic sweat for about 2 minutes, on very low heat. Add the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, wine and let seat for about 5 more minutes on low heat.
Wash Chicken breasts, and remove any excess fat or skin, pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or about 225 Celsius.
Take the chicken and put into the pan, with a large spoon spoon the sauce over the chicken, toss the used up lemons into the pan, slide it into the oven.....

After 30 minutes check and see , the skin should be crispy, you can either stick a instant read thermometer and see for 155 of 160, or by touch.
Remove and tent with foil while you make the other stuff .

Tonight I made some plain Jasmine rice and steamed Green beans which were tossed with a little butter and salt.
To plate, put about a 1/2 cup of rice in the middle of the plate, place the chicken breast on top, spoon some of the olive oil sauce from the pan onto the rice....

Stuff you will need:
2 or 3 Chicken breasts, with the ribs removed. Remove excess fat or skin
1/4 cup olive oil
1 whole head of garlic, paper removed, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 tea fresh ground pepper
1/4 tea red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Yes I know there is a thigh and leg in can use all the parts of the chicken if you like!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crusty Chicken Thighs with huitlacoche sauce

My wife doesn't doesn't like chicken too much, but if she has it she desires to have it crusty. An easy way to have crusty skin is do it on a rotisserie. That's a lot of work, sticking it on the spit etc, for a weekday dinner.

This recipe will have you super crunchy crispy skin and great taste since it uses the more moist thighs. It only takes about 20 minutes and is pretty easy, not too many items so it's something I do once every month or so.

The neat thing is that you cook this in a skillet, skin side down so the end result is a crisp, dry and nicely browned skin.

You can make any sauce or gravy for it if you like, this one is using the special fungus that grows on ears of corn. It has a mild taste and has some similarities to truffles, kind of an earthy hint.

Preparing the chicken

Take the chicken thighs and with a sharp paring knife trip any excess skin that is not directly under the meat. The take and cut meat off each side of the bone, so what you have left is the meat on one side with bone in the middle without any meat on the top or sides of the bone. So when finished you will have the thigh opened, skin side down, and the meat separated from the bone all around the bone except for the side that is on the bottom. This method leaves the bone for flavor and flattens out the meat for more even cooking. Otherwise the thigh would be too thick and not cook in 15 minutes.
You can watch a video of the chicken trimming away from the bone here.
(Hey it is my first attempt at video)

Dust the thighs with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper . ( both sides)
Preheat a non stick skillet to medium high.
Place the thighs on the skillet skin side down. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium.
Check the thighs after about 8 or 9 minutes , you should see signs of browning on the skin side. Do not turn the thighs. Leave them on the skin side, cover and cook for another 8 or 9 minutes.
If the browning is getting too dark after 8 or 9 minutes reduce the heat some more to low, cover and continue to cook for another 8 minutes or so.
At about 18 minutes remove the chicken and put in a warm oven, place the skin side up on a plate, do not cover, otherwise the chicken skin will soften.
(You don't want soften chicken skin)
Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan, toss in the onion, garlic and huitlacoche , and sauté over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon each, and the wine. If there are any juices on the plate in the oven from the resting chicken, add them to the juice, stir once more, on high heat to reduce to sauce consistency.

Plate the thighs and top the thighs wtih the sauce and serve.

Stuff you will need:

4 to 6 chicken thighs with skin on
1 cup diced white onion
1.5 tbs finely chopped garlic
2 cups huitlacoche (can find in Mexican mercado and also available in a can in Mexican stores
1/3 dry white wine
1/2 cup cream* optional for the sauce.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Easy Cucumber Salad, 3 ingredients

One of my favorite salads and easy to make is the cucumber salad. You have to use the English hothouse cucs, or the Armenian ones, or any cucumber that is not used for making little pickles.
The cuc needs to be about 5 to 8 inches long.

Wash and peel the cucumber, you can test it and determine if the skin makes it bitter or just peel it, using one of those peeling gadgets, takes about 15 seconds each

I use a mandolin for speed but you can use a plain old kitchen knife. The idea is to have uniform slices. The whole thing takes less than 5 minutes

Once peeled slice the cuc into equal rounds, I cut them into about 1/8 inch or thinner pieces.
Remove the outer skin of a red onion, slice as thin as possible.

Toss in a bowl or fixture that you will store them in with a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of seasoned vinegar.
Let stand at room temp for about 30 minutes, toss again.
Serve as a side salad or top some shredded lettuce.
That's it.

Stuff you will need:

  • One large Red Onion
  • 2 to 3 Long cucumbers
  • 6 oz seasoned rice vinegar

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