Tag Archives: savory

Bacon mashed potato muffins

15 Jul

I went through a brief gnocchi obsession, so ended up with a big heap of flaked cooked potatoes after two nights of fresh homemade gnocchi.  I thought I’d try to make something a little bit more fun rather than just mashed potatoes (I’d already made potato pancakes) so I put together these bacon-cheddar-mashed potato muffins.

 

Aw it's about to be mashed up, baked in a very hot oven, and devoured.  Po', po' potato.

Aw it’s about to be mashed up, baked in a very hot oven, and devoured. Po’, po’ potato.

As usual I just made these just out of the stuff in my pantry.  I think most recipes I found suggested sour cream, but I believe in plain yogurt.  Also the basil and chives are from my roommate’s herb garden in front of our house!

First, chop up your bacon, and then throw it in a pan over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, chop your onion.

We've been to board game geek con before.  Maybe we should go to a convention just for people who finish undergraduate in liberal arts: a B.A. Con

We’ve been to board game geek con before. Maybe we should go to a convention just for people who finish undergraduate in liberal arts: a B.A. Con

She'll make you cry every time... that onion's a huge (d)ice queen

She’ll make you cry every time… that onion’s a huge (d)ice queen

Toss in the onion when the bacon is pretty far on its way (cooked, but not crisp) and give it a shake.

Keep the heat on for your bacon and onion, unless you want bacoff and onioff.  And who wants that? (scoff)

Keep the heat on for your bacon and onion, unless you want bacoff and onioff. And who wants that? (scoff)

Get that beautifully cooked- get some caramelization in your onions and some crisp in your bacon.  Set aside to cool.

Now, as we just about always do when baking, we do the wet and dry ingredients.  Only potatoes are sort of a cross between the two.  Beat your egg with some melted butter, milk and yogurt.  I was fresh out of milk so skipped this.

You yellow bellied coward, come here and take your yogurt like a man!  Or an egg, really.

You yellow bellied coward, come here and take your yogurt like a man! Or an egg, really.

I’m missing some photos, but mix in your herbs and potatoes.  I recommend going just crazy on your herbs.  Also I forgot to add salt here because I’m silly but you should do that.  Then mix in your cooled bacon and onion.

So fluffy!

So fluffy!

Shred your cheese and add tons of it.  Like much more than you’d expect.

Guys I'm such a whiz at adding this stuff.  You could call me a cheese whiz.

Guys I’m such a whiz at adding this stuff. You could call me a cheese whiz.

This is when the recipe says to add two cups of flour but I ran out so I only added one cup.  It still worked, they were just more mashed potato-y and less muffin-y than expected.  The big problem with mine was the lack of salt.  Salt is key.

If I ate all of these I would be totally incupacitated

If I ate all of these I would be totally incupacitated.

Bake until lightly browned!  Yum!

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Recipe adapted from Kayotic Kitchen:

2 c mashed potatoes (boiled, then flaked)

1 c flour

1.5 c grated cheese (I used cheddar)

1 c plain yogurt

1 small onion, diced

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

4 strips bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

2 TB butter, melted

2 TB herbs (I used fresh basil and chives, but anything will do.  If you use dried, cut to tsps.)

 

Cook bacon until cooked, then add onion and cook until brown and bacon is crisp.  Set aside.

Mix yogurt, melted butter, eggs, salt, and herbs.  Also if you want to use more flour and have it be more muffin-y, add 3/4 c milk here.  Add in potatoes, mix well.  Add bacon-onion and grated cheese, keep on mixing.

Add flour and stir just until combined.  If you don’t have self-rising flour and want it to be more muffin-y, sift in 1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda.  If you used milk, add an extra cup of flour.

Bake in muffin tins at 350 for 30 minutes or until set.

 

Turducken day 1: getting a turkey at the last minute, chef’s treats, and brine

1 Jun

I owe lots of math posts.  I know.  But it’s my birthday (well, it was on Wednesday) so give me some leeway.  My boyfriend got me flowers for it!

Finally a different kind of flour on this blog!

Finally a different kind of flour on this blog!

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday, and so I have it for my birthday every year (as in I did it last year and am doing it this year).  Last year I’d never had turducken before but after that experience I decided I’ll do it every year (until I’m sick of it).

If you’re planning on making a turducken for June 1st or Thanksgiving, make sure you plan ahead.  Or do what I did.  Or buy a premade turducken but where’s the fun in that?  The next paragraph is complaining you can skip it I’ll probably edit/shorten it later when I’m not as mad.

I called the store last Sunday around 10 a.m. to order a turkey and duck.  They asked me to call back the next day so the manager could talk to me.  So I called on Monday around 4:20 p.m., and he asked me to call back on Wednesday between 7 and 4 to talk to the manager, and that he’d leave a note for the manager anyway.  At this point I’m in high worry mode and should’ve switched stores, but this is my local grocery store that I shop at every week and I have some cognitive dissonance-type loyalty to it.  I call back on Wednesday and talk to the manager, who tells me he wasn’t in yesterday (Tuesday) before continuing our conversation.  He says he’ll have the birds ready for Friday, and I say I’ll pick up in the evening around 5.

At 5 p.m. on Friday THE DAY BEFORE THE TURDUCKEN he calls me to tell me he didn’t get EITHER the duck or the turkey.  I am FLIPPING OUT but also have to focus on problem solving and I don’t yell at him.  He suggests I call one other Jewel.  I call that one.  This guy is much more apologetic on behalf of Jewel and suggests another Jewel as well as two other stores.  I call the other Jewel, and that guy brainstorms with two other people in the store before concluding they can’t help me.  Chicago’s sky has been looking ominous the whole day so I start biking like crazy to get home before the thunderstorm, and then I stop at this magical store I’ve never been to on the way.

 

Mariano%27sMarket-West%20Loop.jpg

I just want to give Mariano’s a big hug.  They had fresh chicken and frozen turkey, goose, duck, and cornish hens.  I spent a good amount of time munching on their FREE SAMPLES (my favorite thing in grocery stores) and wondering if I should switch my Turducken to a Gooduckhen instead.  We don’t own cars so I was waiting for my boyfriend to come with his bike while I was sipping some acai berry liquor

Anyways, he took the 20 pounds of turkey in his backpack and I took the 5 pound chicken and 6 pound duck in mine and we headed home.  Immediately popped the frozen turkey and duck into a cooler filled with cool water.  Lots of sites will tell you that you can speed thaw with a sink or bucket but you have to change the cool water every half hour.  If you don’t peek at your cooler you should be OK for a few hours (we changed every two or three).  Bacteria is no joke.

I wonder if they do this in Bath, England

I wonder if they do this in Bath, England

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The birds.

I’ll do another post about butchering.  This is about all the yummy tidbits on the way!

Basically it’s not worth all the hassle of deboning chicken wings, and unless you really care about those scraps of meat, the same goes for duck wings.  That means you get chef’s treats!  I was in the middle of doing a lot of other stuff so I just slathered the wings in barbecue sauce and threw them into a 375 oven for awhile.  Maybe 45 minutes?  Until they were done and yummy.

Wings are trying to fly away in the background

Wings are trying to fly away in the background

Meanwhile I threw the carcasses into a big stock pot with some bay leaves, a carrot remnant from the stuffing, and half an onion.  That just simmered for several hours while I was doing other things.  In particular, there was too much stuffing for the bowl I stored it in overnight, so we got a mini-casserole of sausage-apple stuffing as our second course:

There's not much, but this really is stuffing

There’s not much, but this really is stuffing

We munched on some avocados for a third course, sprinkled with lime and salt, which was a nice transition into our next course: Vietnamese chicken salad.

This photo makes me want to cuke

This photo makes me want to cuke

I used tongs to pull off all the meat from the bones that were simmering (neck, wing tips, ribcage, etc.), which basically melted off.  Then mixed in some cucumbers, thought about shredding in fresh mint and then realized I had none but if you do this add fresh mint and cabbage, and dressed it with lime juice-fish sauce-sugar-water dressing.  Topped off with fresh pepper.  This is delicious, reminds me of my mom, and is super easy and light.

He’d actually taken me to Elizabeth for birthday dinner, so this was like home-Elizabeth with only five courses instead of nine.  Dessert was duck skin crackling with maple syrup.

When butchering a duck you get LOTS of excess skin/fat.  So I decided to render the fat for later use, and this had the happy effect of making crackling!  Cut your duck skin into about one inch pieces (it shrinks when frying) and fry it until light golden brown.  BE CAREFUL THIS SPATTERS A TON

Shielding myself from the spatter

Shielding myself from the spatter

But it is delicious!  I dusted some of them with flour to get a little more crackle, and topped them with maple syrup for dessert.  So tasty!

So that was my chef’s treats from day 1 of making the turducken.  I highly recommend taking two days: butcher all the birds and brine them the night before, and then stuff and roast on day 2.  Today is day 2 and there’ll be more posts.  Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a picture of the birds floating in brine that my boyfriend made; I have no idea what’s in it:

2013-05-31_22-16-14_257

Kale chips

8 May
Drinking beer, making chips, feeling O-K-ale!

Drinking beer, making chips, feeling O-K-ale!

Finals week… prelims… blurk.  Chop up your kale into 1 inch or so size pieces, like chips.  This is a recipe where I actually believe in preheating, rare.  400.

I bet hobbits would love this stuff: Bilgo BaGgins would totally dig it.  He has this recipe in the bag.

I bet hobbits would love this stuff: Bilbo BaGgins would totally dig it. He has this recipe in the bag.

Throw your kale, a tablespoon of olive oil or two (I ran out and added some vegetable oil), and a healthy splash of balsamic into a plastic or ziploc bag.  Squish it around so all the kale gets covered, and then spread it out on your baking sheet.

No one would feel green with envy of this baking sheet.  Unless you love hanging out in 400 degree ovens.

No one would feel green with envy of this baking sheet. Unless you love hanging out in 400 degree ovens.

Bake it and WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK.  5-10 minutes.  This goes from perfectly crisp to horribly burned in about 30 seconds.  How long you cook is your preference, but I like it when the whole chip looks dry and the edges are lightly browned.

Kale chips: turning your frown upside brown!

Kale chips: turning your frown upside brown!

So delicious, addictive, and slightly healthier than potato chips!

I can eat a whole head of kale this way in about 5 minutes.

2013-05-07_21-19-32_618 - Copy

Recipe from my head:

Preheat your oven to 400

Cut up a bunch of kale into small pieces

Throw in a plastic bag with 2 TB olive oil, 2 TB balsamic vinegar

Spread out on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until as crisp as you like.

Sprinkle with salt and eat!

 

PSA: Administrative Professionals Day is tomorrow!

23 Apr

I’m posting this now rather than tonight to give you time to buy some baking supplies.  I’ll actually bake something tonight to bring in to the office tomorrow.

Here’s a quick thing of carrots + zucchini:

Toss 1 TB olive oil and a 1 TB herbes de Provence seasoning with a bunch of baby carrots, and a zucchini cut into fries and a yellow squash cut into fries.  (to cut a long thin squash into fries, slice it in half lengthwise, then slice each half into thirds or halves lengthwise, and chop into two or three sticks transversely).  We also sometimes use what my old roommate dubbed “fry seasoning,” a mix of all of our spices (cumin, chili, rosemary, sage. thyme, whatever).

Spread it out on a baking sheet.

Image

Roast at 400 for 20-40 minutes or until the edges are crisp.

Yum!

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Eggplant and banana

2 Mar

Yum! Not together though.

So you may have noticed that I like making dinner while putting together my baked goods, and then switching dinner out of the oven and eating it while throwing the bread or whatnot in. That’s exactly what happened this cozy Friday night in.

My favorite food to make when it’s just me and no one else is a fried egg, avocado, and ketchup on white rice. My second favorite thing is this!

I could just garlick this right up

I could just garlick this right up

Slice up an eggplant real thin (like 2 mm slices), salt it heavily and let it sit in a colander while you chop up some garlic.  You want to salt your eggplant to cut out the bitterness, though I often skip this step because the slices are so thin anyway.  Rinse off the salt, drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 400 for 20-30 minutes or til it’s pleasantly done.

Seriously this is simple egg-stasy

Seriously this is simple egg-stasy

Grab a pita, top it with hummus, some eggplant, lemon juice.  Olives/feta if you have ’em.  Yum!

I lied, this is a tortilla, not a pita.  What a pita-y.

I lied, this is a tortilla, not a pita. What a pita-y.

I meant to put these posts together, but I think I’ll leave this eggplant post on its own.

Beware: this post contains CORNographic materials

19 Feb

Note: this draft has been sitting around for two weeks, so the collard greens last night is a lie.  The rest of the post is true though!

I made a crockpot of collard greens last night, and decided to do some bacon and cornbread to have for breakfast.  Cornbread is WAY EASY (almost as much as shortbread).

Keeping the corny jokes to a minimum

Keeping the corny jokes to a minimum

Mix together your cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.

Then beat your two eggs with 1/4 c honey, 1/4 c sugar, melted stick of butter and 1 c milk.

Use egg-sactly two eggs and softened butter!

Use egg-sactly two eggs and softened butter!

Stir in the wet ingredients to the dry, and bake at 400 for half an hour.  Donezo!

Make sure you don’t overbake it or you’ll be overdry, like mine was.  SO I made stuffing instead (the next day).  Honestly, slather a slightly dry cornbread with butter and honey and you won’t miss a thing.

Tip of the post: smashing garlic.  Put your big knife flat against the unpeeled clove of garlic, so it is parallel to the ground.  Then push down with the palm of your hand, hard, right on the clove.  That’ll smash the clove and loosen the paper covering it.  You can then cook with your smashed clove, or mince it (it’s a little easier now that it’s flat).

Time to (gar)lick this clove into shape!

Time to (gar)lick this clove into shape!

So I rarely do actual recipes for non-sweet baked goods, so I’ll just tell you roughly what went in this stuffing:

Saute:

1/2 diced onion

4 cloves of garlic

in some butter + olive oil while you cut the other ingredients.  Then add

2 cut up stalks of celery

1 chopped carrot

a handful of cut up mushrooms

Sure, add some mushrooms, do whatever, I could carrot less

Sure, add some mushrooms, do whatever, I could carrot less

Cook those for awhile, then add about 1 cup of stock (animal, vegetable, mineral, whatever floats your boat) and some salt and pepper. I tossed in some parsley because it was sitting in our fridge.

Sorry, what did you say?  I couldn't quite parse-ley that.

Sorry, what did you say? I couldn’t quite parse-ley that.

Then mix in your dried, cubed leftover bread from the day(s) before, and bake the whole thing at 350 for half an hour.  Stuffing!

yum

Cornbread recipe from about.com:

Mix 1 c cornmeal, 1 c flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 TB baking powder.

Separately, beat 2 eggs, 1 c milk, 1 stick melted butter, 1/4 c honey, 1/4 c sugar.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together (mix will be super lumpy), then pour into a greased pan and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

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