Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Milk gravy

This, I found is a great way to use some of that turkey juice. You know,t he fatty yummy slush you find at the bottom of your roasting pan?
I usually save it in jars and use it up throughout the week in stews, soups, gravies, and other things for rich turkey broth flavor.

To make the gravy you just need:

Onion, Garlic
Butter or oil

I usually add little to no salt, as the turkey juice is pretty rich. Heat up the oil on a skillet, dice up onion and garlic. Throw it on and let them cook for 5-7 minutes.Salt just a tiny bit if you want.
Once the onion is translucent, add a few tablespoons of the turkey juice - don't haev to add much. Once the Turkey jello melts, sprinkle some flour (about a handful) into the liquid - very lightly. Don't throw one big pile as it will just clump. Stir carefully to make sure you don't have lumps.

Continue stirring for a couple of minutes. Add milk - add as much of as little as you want. Depends on the flavor that you are going for at this point. Continue stirring for a couple of minutes. I usually do this on the skillet that I just fried meat on, to get the brown bits in as well.

Comes out - heavenly.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jamaican Heaven tea

My dad loves fennel and anise. He's been making this awesome drink lately. We found a bag of Jamaican dried hibiscus flowers and a bag of star anise. You can find those in the "weird foods" stores, like International Farm Markets.

All you need for this tasty and exotic summer drink is:

1-2 blooms
1-2 star anise
2-3 cups of water

Boil it all together for a few minutes. The water will start turning a lovely purple color. I like the drink chilled with some sugar - de(wait for it)- licious.

The cool thing about anise is that not only it looks like an alien plant - it makes virtually any herbal tea taste better. I have not tried it with other foods yet, but you bet I'll be researching this further.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fish experiments

So, I've been really craving some fish lately, so after another trip tot he local Farmers market, me and dad picked out a few fresh tilapias. I don't really know much about fish, to be honest, so I picked that one because I know it has large bones. Easier to pick.

I decided to bake them whole, after stuffing them with some veggies.

I diced the onion, sliced the garlic and chopped the celery. The oregano and parsley I just washed and left whole. Then I washed the fish, and checked to make sure it was already gutted. It was.Dry it with towel - inside and out and rub in a bit of olive oil.
Yeah, there is a LOT of raw fish handling, which is kind of a perk for me.

Stuffed the chunks of veggies first, then stuffed it as much as I could with herbs.
Sliced lemon slices to 1/4 thickness and placed on top. I also squirted some lemon juice inside, and peppered.

I lined the bottom with parchment paper, because the fish will stick, and aluminum might add a strange teaste due to acid int he lemon juice. Don't worry, it won't burn.
I baked the fish at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes (until the top side of it was browning and drying).

Although I forgot to add salt tot he fish, it came out super soft and flaky. This is a great recipe if you want to have a healthy light meal. It has a nice thick filet, but it also has some bones, which are easy to remove. Be careful nonetheless.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Spring Rolls

After my second experiment with spring rolls this week I feel as if i have it figured out enough to share now, especially from my mistakes I have learned from. So here we go.

  1. Make your filling by sauteing tofu, onions, garlic, frozen veggies, brown rice and cabbage (you can put anything you want in your fillings - chicken/beef/shrimp/whatever)
  2. I mixed this combination in a bowl with some crushed roasted peanuts, and spices 
  3. Next I took a rice paper and soaked it in water for about 15-30 seconds 
    1. the first time I made these I did not soak them long enough and they wouldnt stick.
    2. you will want to soak it completely and when you move them in the water - if it wrinkles its ready, if its stiff its not yet
    3. be careful here not to rip the wrapper or make it stick to itself too early
    4. this is really the hardest part
  4. Take the rice paper out of the water and spread it out on a clean surface like a cutting board 
  5. Spoon a tablespoon or two of filling into the center of the wrapper 
  6. Fold the top and sides in
  7. Roll the spring roll until the bottom flap wraps around it 
  8. Very carefully - pick it up with your hands and place it on an aluminum sheet 
  9. Continue until you have wrapped as many as you like - make sure they arent touching on your aluminum sheet
  10. At this point you can store them in the freezer/fridge or cook them. Let them dry a bit before you try to handle them.
  11. They can be served cold but I recommend throwing them in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on them and when they seem crunchy/brownish take em out)
  12. Eat - serve with soy sauce, duck, or hoison sauce or whatever else you may like.


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