Simple advice for a better life.

chicken-cutletThis Chicken Croquettes ( Cutlets) recipe is a creative way of making a new meal out of leftover chicken,  or turkey meat.

When I roast a whole chicken for the two of us, I end up with three meals out of that one bird.

First night we have the roasted meat, next day I make Chicken Salad, or Chicken Pot Pie, out of half of the leftover meat.  On the third day I am still able to make these Chicken Croquettes (Cutlets), which I usually end up freezing, because who wants to eat chicken for three days straight.

I use the leftover bones (with some remnants of meat on them), plus the leftover juices in the roasting pan, and some vegetables, to prepare a great soup stock.  You can even freeze it for later use, or make it into a tomato, or vegetable soup.

This recipe makes 4-6 medium size croquettes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken meat, or leftover turkey, cooked and cut up
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 Tbs. of flour
  • ¼ cup of water, or chicken broth
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • Canola oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 Tbs. of canola oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add chopped onions, shredded carrot, and chopped celery.
  3. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add minced garlic and sauté one more minute.
  5. Remove vegetables from the pan and add to chopped up chicken.
  6. Add 2 Tbs. canola oil to the sauce pan, heat again.
  7. Add 2 Tbs. flour, and sauté, stirring constantly, until slightly golden.
  8. Add ¼ cup of water, bring to boil, and continue to mix.
  9. Add to chicken mixture.
  10. Add chopped parsley, egg, salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Form oblong croquettes.
  13. Dip both sides in seasoned bread crumbs.
  14. Let rest for a few minutes, until the oil is ready for frying.
  15. Fry lightly 5 minutes per side.

Tip: I serve these croquettes with garlic and parsley mashed potatoes, home made gravy, and a fresh vegetable.

Great way to use up that leftover turkey meat from your Thanksgiving feast!!!!

Giving Thanks – Thanksgiving

DSCN3502

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, family and friends are finalizing their travel arrangements, turkey is defrosting, Black Friday is inevitable, and most of all,

TIME TO GIVE THANKS:

I AM THANKFUL:

FOR THE HUSBAND
WHO IS ON THE SOFA
BEING A COUCH POTATO,

BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME
AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.

FOR THE WIFE
WHO SAYS IT’S HOT DOGS TONIGHT,

BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME,
AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE

FOR THE TEENAGER
WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES

BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME,
NOT ON THE STREETS.

FOR THE TAXES I PAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM EMPLOYED.

FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE
BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS

FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE

FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING,
WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING,
AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME.

FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING
I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT

BECAUSE IT MEANS
WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

FOR THE PARKING SPOT
I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT

BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING
AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRA NSPORTATION.

FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM WARM.

FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I CAN HEAR.

FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR

FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES
AT THE END OF THE DAY

BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN
CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.

FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF
IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS

BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!!!

Asian–Style Turkey Burgers – Recipe

Asian-Style Turkey BurgerThanksgiving is almost here.  You love turkey, but this year you want to keep it low key, so I have just the right recipe for you….ASIAN-STYLE TURKEY BURGERS!!!!

I am not very fond of turkey myself, but I do prepare a big Thanksgiving Feast for my family.

These Asian-Style Turkey Burgers are great, if you are opting out of cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving!  They are easy to prepare, moist and flavorful, and only about 280 calories per serving.   How can you beat that!  I serve then on a 100 calorie Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins, made by Arnold.  You can add some of your favorite trimmings, and celebrate Thanksgiving on a lite side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup onions, chopped fine
  • 3 Tbs fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs Green Pepper, minced
  • 1 Tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs cold water
  • 2 tsp fresh Ginger, peeled and grated (or 1 tsp powdered)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs oil for frying
  • 4 Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins, 100 calorie each

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix well the first 11 ingredients.
  2. Divide the turkey mixture to 4 equal portions, shaping each into a ¾ inch-thick patty.
  3. Coat a large skillet with oil, warm over medium high heat, until hot.
  4. Add patties, and cook for 8 minutes on each side, or until done.
  5. Serve on buns, with your favorite condiments and trimmings.

Tip:  Just for fun, I checked on the calories in some fast food chicken sandwiches, as I have not noticed turkey on their menu yet, and found out that these range from 360 – 660 calories per sandwich…ouch!

Herzkartoffel

Creative Commons License photo credit: Last Hero

Here is a very simple question, regarding not such an easy task:

Do you like peeling potatoes?

Peeling potatoes doesn’t look difficult, especially when someone else is doing it, right?

I was always quite amazed by the speed my mom would peel potatoes, but no matter how hard I try; I don’t even get close to her speed.  I personally do not like peeling potatoes, and one of the reasons is that I feel very awkward using the potato peeler, so I use a paring knife, with a constant fear of cutting myself.   I use potatoes a lot in my cooking, so it is a must job for me!

However, as with any other problem, someone always comes up with a great solution.  My potato peeling dilemma has been eased by this simple “Never again peel potatoes” method.

Please watch this wonderful video, sent to me by a friend, and let me know what you think.

First time I watched this video, I had some doubts, but believe me, I tried it and it REALLY WORKS!!!!!!

I had Red Potatoes on hand, so I used those to test this theory.  Once the potatoes cooked, I drained out the hot water, filled a bowl with cold water from my faucet (I did not even use ice water), and placed the hot potatoe in it.  After 30 seconds, the potato skin came off like magic.

What a great time saver, especially if you are planning to make a potato salad.

Now, how easy and convenient is that??

Please give it a try, and let me know what you think.

Are you ready to throw away your potato peeler yet?

I am still keeping mine, since I love to use it for peeling carrots and cucumbers.

If you have additional “easy does it” suggestions for solving any other tedious tasks, please share them with me and all my readers, since I enjoy testing these out, and passing them on to others.

VarenykyOne of the most popular dishes in Eastern European cooking is Filled Dumplings, known as: Varenyky,  in Ukrainian (also very often referred to, incorrectly, as “Pyrohy” ), or Pierogi in Polish.  They are made from homemade pasta dough, and filled with variety of fillings, but potato and cheese filling being the most popular.

It is definitely “labor of love” for those who make them from scratch, as it requires several hours of preparation time, but it is so well worth it.  The store bought “Pierogies” just do not measure up to the homemade version!!!  I was so proud of my daughter when she made these for the first time, without asking me for assistance.

These dumplings were made for generations, but if you ask your mom of grandma for a recipe, you get a very vague list of ingredients, and even less detailed preparation instructions.  The first time I made Varenyky, I also played by ear with measuring the ingredients, but with some luck, they turned out quite well.

Currently, thanks to Internet, you can find any recipe you can think of, but I will share my own ingredients, directions and pictures, so if you have the will power, you can give it a try, and enjoy homemade Varenyky/Pierogi made by YOU.  The filling needs to be prepared ahead of time, before the dough, so it has time to cool down.

Ingredients for dough:

  • 4 cups flour (all purpose – King Arthur or Pillsbury)
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Measure 4 cups of flour and place it on your counter top in a mound, making a well in the middle.
  2. Add the egg, salt and sour cream into the well.

Flour mound with a well

  1. Using a spoon, start incorporating the flour from the inside of the well, into the wet ingredients, forming soft dough.
  2. Keep on adding the milk slowly into the mixture in the well, until all used up.
  3. Continue to mix in the remaining flour until soft dough is formed.  You might have some left over flour, depending on how dry the flour is that day.  You might have to leave some of the flour, or add some more milk to the dough.

Step 2 - working in the flour

  1. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding a little bit of flour so it does not stick to the countertop, but not too much so the dough does not become to dense.  It should feel like fresh pizza dough, or slightly softer.
  2. Place your dough on a floured part of a countertop, cover with a tea towel, and let it rest for 15 minute

Step 3 - completed dough, ready to rest

  1. Clean you work area of the countertop, sprinkle generously with flour, cut the dough in half, place one half on the floured work area, leave the rest covered for later use.
  2. Flatten the dough, and using a rolling pin, keep on rolling it up and down and side to side, until it is uniformly thin to about 1/8 inch.

Rolling out the dough

  1. Using a donuts cutter, or a rim of a glass, cut out circles from the rolled out dough, until all is used up.

Step 4 - cutting out circles

  1. Place the circles on a floured tea towel, and cover with another towel to keep them from drying out.

Step 5 - dough circles placed on a floured kitchen towels

  1. Form a new dough ball from the remaining dough left from the cut outs, and repeat the above rolling/cutting out process.
  2. Once the dough starts to get too thick, do not use it for Varenyky, but you may make it into pasta or just discard it.
  3. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough, which was resting during this time, until all used up.
  4. Now you are ready to fill your dumplings with your favorite filling, which needed to be prepared ahead of time, so it had a chance to cool off.
  5. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of a dough circle.

Step 6 - ready to wrap the  filling

  1. Fold in half, and pinch sides together well enough so they do not open up.  If you do not seal them well, the filling will boil out during cooking time.

Step 7 - fold the dough circle in half around the filling Step 9 - completed raw productStep 8 - Pinch the sides together from one end to the other

  1. Repeat the filling/pinching process until all circles are filled.

Step 10 - completed varenyky ready to coook

  1. Keep the finished product covered with a tea towel, until ready to cook.
  2. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to boil.
  3. Drop slowly 8-12 Varenyky into the boiling water; keep close to the surface of the water to avoid splashing hot water on you.
  4. Stir gently, with a wooden spoon, to prevent Varenyky from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. The Varenyky will float to the top of the water.  Do not cover the pot.
  6. Bring back to boiling point, and boil for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a strainer placed over a bowl.
  8. Bring it over the kitchen sink, fill the bowl with cold water and place the Varenyky in it for a couple of minutes, then pour out into the strainer again to let the water drain off.  Then pour them out onto a large plate to cool off.
  9. By this time your water is boiling again, so repeat the cooking process until all Varenyky are cooked.

Potato filled Varenyky are best served warm, with onions sautéed in lots of butter, accompanied by a dollop of sour cream. YUMMY!!!!!

They also freeze very well. You need to make sure they are cold and tossed with some oil, to prevent sticking, before freezing them. I use a zip lock bag, and freeze one dozen at a time.

Potato/cheese Filling:

  • 8 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold, Red, or Idaho)
  • 1/4 lb Yellow American Cheese
  • ¼ lb White American Cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 large onion, chopped and sautéed in ¼ cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel and quarter potatoes.
  2. Fill a medium size pot with water, add potatoes and bring to boil.
  3. Cook until done.
  4. Sauté onions in butter, until golden.
  5. Drain water from cooked potatoes.
  6. Add sautéed onions, sour cream, cheeses, salt and pepper.
  7. Mash well.
  8. Cool before using.
« Previous Entries  Next Page »

 

Recent Comments