Go Ga Ga for Gogola!

I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that I would be trying it shortly. I saw this recipe at the New York Times Cooking website and immediately thought it would be a good idea. The recipe is for gogola, which are banana beignets that are traditionally served as par of the Hindu holiday of Phagwah. They are basically a lot like fried donut holes except the make use of some great ingredients and, of course, bananas, which are one of my favorite things to have in desserts. This recipe is very easy to put together with just a few ingredients, so if you have some very ripe bananas on hand this can be a perfect use for them.

Gogola (Banana Beignets)

5 very ripe bananas (brown, not black)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

teaspoon almond extract

¾ cup sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 large pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1 large pinch ground cinnamon

¼ cup (or more) evaporated milk

Vegetable oil for frying

Powdered sugar (optional)

Using a potato masher or large fork, mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and the sugar, and mix the ingredients well.

In another bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Combine the flour and banana mixtures and pour in the evaporated milk. Mix until the mixture is smooth and thick, like waffle batter, adding a little more evaporated milk if needed. Set the batter aside to rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Heat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy pot set over medium heat to 350 degrees. Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls into the oil and fry until the beignets are golden brown on both sides, turning once when the edges are firm, about 3 minutes. Drain the beignets on paper towels. Cook just a few at first and taste one to make sure that there is enough sugar included and that the insides are cooked through. If the inside is runny, reduce the heat so the gogolas cook more slowly. Cook the remaining batter in batches.

Serve the gogola immediately, or keep them warm in a 200-degree oven for up to 2 hours. Sprinkle the gogola with powdered sugar just before serving, if desired.

These were an incredibly tasty treat that made a perfect dessert. They were just a bit sweet with great banana flavor throughout and they were just the right bite size where you could have a few (or ten) and really enjoy them. This is a good alternative to making a donut recipe as it may not take as much effort and they were great for dessert or as a nice breakfast treat with a cup of coffee in the morning. This would probably be good with other fruits besides bananas as well if you wanted to try something different.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Breakfast, Brunch, Cooking, Dessert, Snacks


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Thanksgiving Recipes Across the United States –

Thanksgiving Recipes Across the United States –

The New York Times used their Food section of the newspaper and online today to post a particular recipe related to Thanksgiving for each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. This gives you a chance to try a lot of new things for your Thanksgiving this year or try something from your home state that you may never have thought of before. Check it out!


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Marcus Knows Best: Helga’s Meatballs and Gravy with Carrot Apple Mashed Potatoes

I am a big fan of Swedish meatballs. I have been making them for several years with different variations, most commonly one recipe that my grandmother had passed on to me years ago and one from chef Marcus Samuelsson that he uses at his restaurant, Red Rooster, in Harlem here in New York. I like both recipes but the one from chef Samuelsson seems much more authentic to me so that is the one I have used, still use, and is basically the same as the one in this recipe, but this recipe also has the addition of carrot-apple mashed potatoes to go with the meatballs to make it more of a meal and less of an appetizer. This is the way you will find it on the menu at Red Rooster and the flavor is fantastic. I did tweak the recipe just a bit from the original. I decided to bake my meatballs instead of grilling them, as is called for in the original recipe to get more of a char on the meatballs. It just seemed easier to bake them, though doing them in a skillet would work pretty well too. Other than that, I followed the recipe, right down to the lingonberry preserves. This particular version is from the Serious Eats website.

Helga’s Meatballs and Gravy with Carrot-Apple Mashed Potatoes

For the Meatballs:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 pound ground chuck or sirloin

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Gravy:

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup lingonberry preserves

2 tablespoons pickle juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Carrot-Apple Mashed Potatoes:

3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon horseradish, preferably freshly grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the red onion and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat and allow them to cool.

Combine the bread crumbs and the heavy cream in a large bowl, stirring the mixture with a fork until all of the bread crumbs are moistened. Add the sautéed onions, ground beef, ground veal, ground pork, honey, egg, and salt and pepper to the bread crumbs and mix the ingredients well. Wet your hands to keep the meatballs from sticking and shape the mixture into meatballs the size of golf balls, placing them on a plate lightly moistened with some water. You should end up with about 24 to 30 meatballs.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted, place the meatballs on the rack and bake them in the oven until they are golden brown all over and cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

To make the gravy, bring the chicken broth, heavy cream, lingonberry preserves and pickle juice to a simmer in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the gravy, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the gravy thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep the meatballs and gravy warm.

To make the carrot-apple mashed potatoes, place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with salted cold water by at least one inch and cook the potatoes until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Put the carrots and apples in a separate saucepan covered with salted cold water by at least one inch and cook until the carrots and apples are tender, about 15 minutes.

While the potatoes, apples and carrots cook, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, garlic, shallots, balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the onions and shallots are tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and the apples and carrots and return all of them to one of the cooking pots. Mash the mixture coarsely with a fork or a potato masher. Stir in the buttermilk, horseradish and onion mixture. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the carrot-apple mashed potatoes onto dinner plates and top them with the meatballs and gravy.

The meatballs have fantastic flavor and the gravy makes them even better. If you can get the lingonberry preserves it makes a big difference in the overall taste, adding that hint of flavor that makes them distinctly Swedish meatballs. I really liked the apple-carrot mashed potatoes as well as it was a great mix of flavors with the apple and carrot along with the onions, horseradish and garlic. I actually made the meatballs a little bit smaller so we had a bunch leftover that I could freeze and use for appetizers for the holidays coming up. It is definitely a recipe worth giving a try.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Appetizers, Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Pork, Potatoes


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A Great Thanksgiving Side Dish (or Any Time) – Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash and Apples

While making the turkey is certainly the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving adventure when you are cooking, the side dishes can be more fun and even more memorable. You get the opportunity to really try out some new things if your willing to break from tradition a bit. Sure you can still have mashed potatoes and stuffing, but you have a lot of options with the ways you make both and with your vegetables, the combinations seem almost endless. Since we will be away this Thanksgiving and I won’t be cooking the meal this year, I wanted to try out some dishes and recipes I have seen recently for sides for Thanksgiving. A personal favorite of mine is always Brussels sprouts and I love them roasted, so when I came upon this recipe from Tasting Table for roasted Brussels sprout with squash and apples, I had to give it a try. The original recipe also tops it all with candied walnuts, which I omitted because Michelle and Sean don’t eat walnuts, but you can certainly include them back in to give you some extra crunch to your vegetables.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash and Apples

1 pound Brussels sprouts (about 30 sprouts), trimmed and halved

2 pounds butternut squash (about one small squash),cut into 1-inch chunks

1 apple, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 shallots, thinly sliced

15 sage leaves

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, the squash, the apple, the sliced shallots and the sage leaves. Add the melted butter and the maple syrup and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Toss all of the ingredients until all of the vegetables are well coated with the butter-maple syrup mixture.

Spread the vegetables in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Roast, turning the vegetables occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are golden brown and tender and the butternut squash is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving dish, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve, topping with walnuts if you desire.

It is a nice and simple combination of vegetables that provides you with some great fall flavors. You get the taste of the sprouts and the squash combining nicely with the apple and the hint of maple syrup throughout the dish adds a nice glaze and flavor to the vegetables overall. We all loved the dish when I made this past weekend and I think it would go really well not just with turkey, but with any poultry, pork or beef meal where you wanted some nice roasted fall vegetable flavor on your plate. It’s definitely one I will make again this fall since it all comes together pretty quickly.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!



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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian


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20 Breads and Rolls for Your Thanksgiving Feast | Serious Eats

20 Breads and Rolls for Your Thanksgiving Feast | Serious Eats.

You have to bread for your Thanksgiving meal, whether it is rolls, biscuits or a nice crunchy loaf of bread you can use to sop up gravy (and for turkey sandwiches late in the evening or the next day!). No matter what type of bread you might want to choose, Serious Eats gives you 20 great options for different kinds of breads you can make for the day. Check it out!

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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in Breads, Cooking, Cooking Websites, Holidays


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25 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR

25 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR.

It’s the centerpiece for your holiday meal so having some choices to make your Thanksgiving turkey spectacular is always a good idea. Saveur has put together 25 Thanksgiving turkey recipes for you so you can find the best way to cook your bird this year. Check it out!

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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Holidays, Poultry, Turkey


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A One Skillet Fall Favorite – Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash

I had made quite a bit of chicken early in the week and needed to come up with something else to make with it this week so it didn’t go to waste. One of my favorite standby dishes that is a great way to use some leftovers is to make some type of pot pie. you can pretty much put anything in a pot pie and have any type of protein or just vegetables and some type of gravy on the inside and then top it off with some type of crust to make your pie. I had seen this recipe on Bon Appetit’s website recently that makes the whole pie in a cast iron skillet and makes use of a couple of different vegetables in a pot pie that I haven’t tried before – butternut squash and kale. Now we are not big kale eaters in my house – I don’t really care for the bitterness of it and I would much rather have spinach, which I happened to have on hand, so instead of going out to buy kale, I substituted spinach instead.

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup frozen white pearl onions, thawed

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 small bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 rotisserie chicken, meat torn into bite-size pieces, or 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken, torn into pieces

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the pearl onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and the sage to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the kale and season it with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing the kale often, until the kale is wilted, about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes.

Stir in the chicken broth a 1/2-cupful at a time, then add the butternut squash. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is just softened and the broth is thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, stir and season with salt and pepper.

Unfold the puff pastry and smooth any creases. Place the puff pastry over the skillet, allowing the corners to hang over the sides of the skillet. Whisk the egg and 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and cut four 1-inch slits on the top of the pastry to vent it.

Bake the pot pie until the pastry is beginning to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake the pot pie until the pastry is a deep golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let the pot pie cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This is a great one pot dish that gets done in under an hour and uses your leftovers really well. I enjoyed the addition of the spinach and the squash instead of having just carrots and potatoes in the mix. I also added some peas to the mix that I had and I ended up using regular pie crust instead of puff pastry, mainly because I did not have any puff pastry on hand that night. I think the puff pastry would be perfect since it is lighter and flakier, but the pie crust did the job nicely. This is definitely an easy one that you want to make use of again and would be just as good with beef as it is with chicken.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!



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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Leftovers, One Pot Meals, Poultry


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