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Category Archives: Lunch

A Fitting Feast Anytime – Make Ahead Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is one of those things people love to eat but hate to make. Granted it is not the healthiest way to eat chicken but to me it has to be one of the tastiest. I may not make it very often because of all the oil it uses the big cleanup that typical follows making fried chicken, but if you can make the time to make a big batch of it (provided the weather is cool enough in your kitchen in the summer to do it), it can be great to have for outdoor parties, picnics or as your favorite meal. Fried chicken is one of those things that tastes great anytime you want it, whether it is for dinner that night, cold for lunch the next day, re-heated or even as a late night snack. I have tried a bunch of fried chicken recipes in the past but recently i have found myself returning to this one from Melissa Clark at New York Times Cooking for make ahead fried chicken. It seems to strike the perfect balance of spices, good coating and great taste.

Make Ahead Fried Chicken

FOR THE MARINADE:

1 quart buttermilk

2 torn bay leaves

2 thinly sliced shallots

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon honey

12 drumsticks or a mix of chicken pieces, about 2½ to 3 pounds of chicken

FOR THE COATING:

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon good chile power such as chipotle powder

Corn, grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying

Make the marinade: Whisk together all the marinade ingredients, except the chicken, and place the marinade in a large bowl or plastic bag. Submerge the chicken in the marinade, cover the bowl or seal the bag, and let the chicken rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or, better, overnight.

Make the coating: In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cayenne pepper, salt and chile powder. Place a paper bag inside another paper bag (this is to prevent seepage, use large bags or several small ones) and transfer the flour mixture into it. This is so you can shake the chicken pieces. (You can also just mix the flour in a large bowl and dredge the chicken parts in it, or use a heavy-duty plastic zipper bag for shaking.)

Take a piece of chicken out of the marinade and place it in the bag with the flour mixture. Close the bag and shake it so the chicken is fully coated. (Or, if you are using a bowl, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.) Remove the chicken piece and place it on a plate or sheet pan. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken pieces, one by one. Let the chicken rest for 30 minutes so it can come to room temperature. Reserve the coating mixture.

In a large Dutch oven or heavy cast iron skillet with a lid, heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees on an instant-read thermometer or candy thermometer. Just before frying, shake the chicken pieces in the coating mixture once again, one by one.

Fry the chicken for about 6 to 8 minutes in a covered pan, then uncover the pot and flip the chicken with tongs. Continue frying the chicken for about another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the coating is dark golden brown and the juices run clear when the meat is pricked with a fork.

Place chicken on a wire rack set over a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. Serve the chicken within  8 hours, but it’s best to serve within 4 hours.

The recipe indicates that you could leave the chicken at room temperature for 4 hours, and while you probably could I personally don’t feel right about and refrigerate it. I like cold fried chicken anyway so it’s fine with me and you don’t have to worry about any potential bacteria from leaving the food out too long. I made a mix of chicken pieces – wings, legs, thighs and breasts I had cut in half – and found that the timing worked out well, though I did make the chicken in batches and kept the finished pieces on the rack in a sheet pan in a warm 250 degree oven so that they kept warm. I also checked the temperature of the chicken along the way with my instant-read thermometer to make sure the pieces were at 165 degrees just to be safe. Keep a close eye on your oil and the temperature as you go along if you cook in batches to make sure it stays at the right temp so you can get an even crust on the chicken. The chicken was very flavorful and juicy thanks to the marinade and the double coating you put on the chicken really helps to give it a nice crunch. For the marinade I actually do not always use the Old Bay as Michelle finds it a bit overpowering, so I do occasionally leave it out and the chicken still tastes great. I still use other fried chicken recipes, but this is one that always seem to fall back on as a good go to recipe everyone likes. It tastes just as good the next day for lunch as it does the day you cook it.

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 August 18, 2016 in Dinner, Leftovers, Lunch, Picnic Fare, Poultry

 

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Better Than Store-Bought – Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers with Ranch Coleslaw

Chicken fingers are one of those things that you probably have a love/hate relationship with. They make a great snack or party appetizer and without a doubt are one those things that most kids love to eat. I remember when Sean was little and went through a phase that no matter where we were – at home, visiting family or out to dinner – he just wanted chicken fingers. The problem is that so many of the chicken fingers you get in the store, from fast food restaurants or even casual family restaurants just do not taste get, at least to adults. There are lots of different chicken finger recipes you can try out there, but this one from Epicurious.com for buttermilk fried chicken fingers was a big hit. They are easy to make, have great flavor and everyone will love them. And what better pairing to make it a good lunch or dinner item than putting it with some ranch coleslaw from Bon Appetit?

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers

For the buttermilk marinade:

3 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 1/2 cups milk

1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

2 medium jalapeños, sliced (optional)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2×4-inch strips, or 2 pounds chicken tenders

For the seasoned flour:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons ground sage

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Canola oil, for frying

Homemade or store-bought ranch dressing, for serving (homemade recipe below)

In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the buttermilk, milk, onion, jalapeño, salt, and hot sauce. Add the chicken pieces, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Set 2 cooling racks over rimmed baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated garlic, onion powder, thyme, sage, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

In a large cast iron pot or Dutch oven, pour in enough oil to come up to 2 inches. Set the pot over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches of 4 to 5 pieces, remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking each piece to remove any vegetables and excess liquid, and dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour. Fry the chicken pieces, turning once, until they are golden and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes total per batch. Transfer the chicken to the wire racks and warm them in the oven while frying the remaining batches.

Serve the chicken fingers with the ranch dressing, if desired.

Ranch Coleslaw

For the Ranch Dressing:

¼ cup buttermilk

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped dill

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

For the Coleslaw:

3 cups thinly sliced red and green cabbage

1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup Ranch Dressing

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

To make the ranch dressing, stir together the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, vinegar, and garlic powder in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

To make the coleslaw, toss the cabbage and carrot with the ranch dressing in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld before serving.

For the chicken fingers recipe, I actually cut the amounts in half for the recipe I was making because it seemed like a lot both for the marinade and the flour and I was only making 1 pound of chicken. It worked out well for me as I did not end up with a lot of leftover flour and the marinade did its job very well. The chicken fingers picked up great flavor from the buttermilk marinade and the seasoned flour and had a nice little zing to them from the hot sauce. For the coleslaw, I actually doubled the recipe for the dressing so I could use some with the chicken fingers and have plenty leftover for the slaw. The taste of the dressing is spot on in terms of the ranch you would expect to get and it really makes the coleslaw stand out. I used the food processor to cut up the cabbage and carrots so they would be really fine, but you could easily slice it yourself or even buy a store-bought coleslaw mix to use instead. I just happened to pick up carrots and cabbage at the farmers’ market this weekend and it was a good use for them. The chicken fingers are better anything you can buy in the frozen section of your supermarket or what you will get at restaurants and you get to control the ingredients going into them so you can make them taste how you or your kids will like them best. The coleslaw is a perfect side dish for sandwiches, burgers, ribs, pulled pork (which I will be making this week) and just about any summertime lunch or dinner. I got a picture of the coleslaw but forgot to get one of the chicken fingers. I will make them again to get another picture and post it here.

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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Don’t Dill-y Dally – Make These Dill-icious Homemade Quick Dill Pickles

As much as I love sandwiches it only makes sense that I love the things that can help them make them extra-special for lunch or dinner. That includes having a great side dish like potato salad, coleslaw or another kind of salad, just the right condiments and. of course, pickles. The thing about pickles is that there are some really good ones that you can get when you go out or buy them from the store or farmers’ market and then there are some really bad ones. You know the bad ones as soon as you get them – limp, lifeless and they have no flavor at all or have been sitting for too long. As much as I love pickles, the price for a good pickle is pretty darn expensive today. The good ones in the stores are three or four dollars a jar and you pay just as much or even more at farmers’ markets for good pickles. Now I have never been much of a person when it comes to canning and preserving myself; I just don’t have the space for everything you need or the space to store anything. However, I did want to find a way to make a good, quick batch of pickles so I could have some on hand when I wanted them. I got myself a good jar and set about looking for a recipe and I found this one from Food and Wine that seemed just right for some homemade dill pickles.

Homemade Dill Pickles

1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

3/4 teaspoon dill seeds

2 cups hot water

2 pounds Kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4 inch thick or sliced into spears

3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

In a large, heat-proof measuring cup, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and dill seeds with the hot water and stir the mixture until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let the brine cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers with the fresh dill and the garlic. Place the cucumbers, dill and garlic into a jar with a tight seal or leave them in the large bowl. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and turn to coat the cucumbers (if they are in the bowl; if you have them in the jar they are fine as is). If you are using a bowl, place a small plate over the cucumbers to keep them submerged in the bowl, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If you have the pickles in a jar, close the jar tightly. Refrigerate the pickles overnight, stirring once or twice. Serve cold.

When I first looked at the recipe I was skeptical that I would be able to get good flavor out of pickles with such an easy recipe and with them just sitting overnight, but boy I was wrong. These pickles have fantastic flavor that they pick up from all of the spices, the fresh dill and the garlic. If you like garlic with your pickles these are ideal because the flavor is there without completing overpowering the pickles. If you really like garlic you could always add a few more chopped cloves to the mix, but  I thought they were perfect as is. I have been making these pretty consistently for a couple of months now and once you have all of the ingredients on hand the only cost of making them is buying the pickles. I get a package of 6 Kirby cucumbers for $2.50 and it makes lots of pickle spears that last me for weeks, so the cost savings is pretty good in my opinion. These pickles are perfect to go with any type of sandwich or a burger and will be great for picnics, barbecues or any party. I brought a jar with me to the Outer Banks a few weeks ago and every ate them up. It’s definitely worth the little bit of time it takes to make them.

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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Savor the Summer for Lunch with This Tomato Sandwich

Summertime brings about some of my favorite vegetables and fresh fruit to make all kinds of great things with. I love to go to the farmers’ markets and see what I can get from some of the local farms and I always come back with something great and delicious. Know that Monroe finally has its own farmers’ market every Sunday I can just drive to town and get some great stuff, which I did this past weekend. I got a great haul of strawberries and peaches, but I also picked up some local beets,  cauliflower, honey, heirloom tomatoes and even a chuck roast from one of the local farms that raises organic beef. Tomatoes are just starting to hit their stride now and instead of turning to what you can get at your local supermarket and pay lots more for sub par fresh tomatoes, go to your nearest farmstand or farmers’ market and get some great heirlooms. I got a basket of heirloom tomatoes which had 6 good-sized tomatoes in it for only $6.00 where they easily sell for at least four dollars a pound in my local store. Now that I have some great tomatoes to use, I needed to find something to make. The first thing I thought of was to have a great lunch with a classic and simple tomato sandwich. You probably don’t even really need a recipe for a tomato sandwich, but I took this idea from Melissa Clark at New York Times Cooking, followed her idea and added a bit to it to really make it my own.

Tomato Sandwich

4 slices crusty bread

1 fat garlic clove, halved crosswise

1 ripe, soft tomato, halved

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mayonnaise, as needed

1 ripe heirloom tomato, sliced

Thinly sliced red or white onion

1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced thinly (optional)

4 slices cooked bacon (optional)

Toast the bread slices until they are golden. Take each slice and rub one side all over with the cut side of the garlic clove. (The clove should start to disintegrate into the bread.) Rub each slice with the cut sides of the soft halved tomato, pressing so the tomato flesh sticks to the bread. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil, then sprinkle each slice with a bit of salt.

Spread the mayonnaise over the tomato pulp on the slices of bread. Place the sliced heirloom tomatoes on top of 2 pieces of the bread. Cover the tomato slices with the onions and sprinkle them with salt. Top with the avocado slices or the bacon if using, sprinkle on some freshly ground pepper to taste and then use the other 2 slices of tomato-rubbed bread to make sandwiches.

You have lots of options of course, as you do with any sandwich. I omitted the bacon she suggested as I just wanted the taste of the tomato and avocado with the onion. I prefer the bite a red onion provides, but if you like something mellower a white onion is also good. The combination on the sandwich of the great-tasting tomatoes with the onion, avocado and the little hint of garlic on the bread makes it all a perfect lunch. I put a little bit of parsley on mine for some extra flavor and you could do the same with some lettuce, arugula, spinach, fresh basil or anything else you might like. I made the sandwich on my favorite homemade bread and it was divine. It is the perfect sandwich to have during the summer and it makes me wish I could get heirloom tomatoes like this locally all year-long.

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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A Simple Side Dish for Any Time – Homemade Fried Rice

Most people love getting takeout Chinese food for dinner once in a while. I know we do it about once a month and there are always standard favorites that we like to get with the meal. Egg rolls are always a given and Michelle and Sean love to get wonton soup, but one thing the whole family loves is the fried rice you can get. While I like all of the fried rice I am always partial to pork fried rice myself. There is something about the taste of the rice with the bits of pork that is just perfect for a Chinese food meal. I have made fried rice before at home and while it never quite comes out just like takeout, it gets pretty close. Of course I don’t have a commercial kitchen, stove and overhead vents to do everything they can do, so I have to make do with what I have. When we had some leftover pork from dinner the other night I decided to use a piece and try this fried rice recipe from Sam Sifton at New York Times Cooking. Of course, this recipe doesn’t have any pork in it originally, but it also doesn’t have some of the other vegetables I added to it to make it a well-rounded dish of vegetables and rice.

Homemade Fried Rice

3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely minced

1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste

1 cup peas (defrost if frozen)

1 tablespoon minced ginger, or to taste

3 to 4 cups cooked white rice, cooled

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup Shaoxing wine, or water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ cup minced cilantro or scallions

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or a large skillet, and turn the heat to high. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion, pepper and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl.

Drain the peas if necessary and add them to skillet; cook, shaking the pan, for about a minute, or until the peas are hot. Remove them to the bowl with the other vegetables.

Put the remaining oil in the skillet, followed by  the garlic and ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, about 15 seconds later, add the rice, breaking up any clumps with a spoon as you go along and tossing it with oil. When the rice is well coated, make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Scramble the eggs, then stir them into the rice.

Return the vegetables to the skillet and stir everything together to integrate it all well. Add the wine or water and cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off the heat, stir in the cilantro or scallions and serve.

I added some pork into the dish after the vegetables were done and before the rice, cooked to heat it through for 2 or 3 minutes since it was already cooked, and then removed it from the pan and continued the steps. You could just as easily do the same with chicken, beef, shrimp or anything else that you like. I added in some leftover veggies as well like corn and broccoli because it helped to make the side dish one that was then filled with vegetables and rice, meaning I just needed a protein to make the meal. I loved all of the great flavors from the dish with the eggs mixed in and the sesame oil seems to add the perfect touch right at the end to the rice. This is a great way to make use of all of those leftovers you may have in the fridge and just aren’t sure what to do with them. I served this with some steak for a complete meal but really, if you add enough chicken, pork, shrimp or other protein to the rice it can be a one dish dinner all on its own.

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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Our 20 Most Popular Shrimp Recipes Right Now – Recipes from NYT Cooking

Summertime and seafood go together really well and there’s nothing better than making use of shrimp for one of your weeknight meals. Shrimp is easy to make, very versatile and just takes a few minutes to cook so you can have a great meal on the table in no time at all. NYT Cooking has 20 great shrimp recipes you can try for all kinds of occasions to make something fun, different and delicious with your shrimp. Check it out!

Source: Our 20 Most Popular Shrimp Recipes Right Now – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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Tips for Hosting a Budget-Friendly Barbecue | MyRecipes.com

Everyone loves to cook out and host a party in the summer, but sometimes it can seem pretty overwhelming to your budget when you happen to invite a big crowd. This is especially true if you want to be able to do this several times over the summer. Luckily, they are plenty of great options available to you so that you can have a fantastic summer barbecue where everyone will enjoy the food and you don’t have to spend a fortune each time. MyRecipes.com has put together some really helpful hints and tips so you know just what to do and how to plan for your next summer party. Check it out!

Source: Tips for Hosting a Budget-Friendly Barbecue | MyRecipes.com

 

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It’s Summer. It’s Hot. Keep it Simple with the Ultimate BLT

The warm weather has really started to kick in here lately, with temperatures regularly up in the 90’s now as July gets underway. That means the house is going to be warm and humid and you are not going to feel like doing much cooking when it comes to making dinner. Sure it could be easy to just go out and grab something or order in a pizza or sandwiches, but you can still make something quick, easy and tasty all on your own. I am one of those people who could eat sandwiches pretty much any time of the day so I have no problem having one for dinner now and then, especially when it gets warm out. When I saw this recipe from Bon Appetit for what they call the Ultimate BLT, well it seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. I mean, it is bacon after all, how could you go wrong? You get lots of options with this one so you can be as plain or adventurous as you like.

The Ultimate BLT

¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar (optional)

4 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (optional)

4 teaspoons smoked paprika (optional)

teaspoons kosher salt, divided (optional)

¼ cup pure maple syrup (optional)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

2 pounds thick-cut bacon

2 heads of romaine lettuce, separated into individual leaves

4 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick

16 ½-inch slices of your favorite bread, toasted

2 avocados, sliced (for serving)

Mayonnaise (for serving)

Flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper

Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

If you are making the brown-sugar rub for the bacon, whisk the brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a small bowl.

 

If you are making the maple-mustard glaze for the bacon, whisk the maple syrup, mustard, cayenne, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in another small bowl.

 

For making plain bacon, divide the bacon between 2 wire racks set inside large foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake the bacon, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until it is brown and crisp, about 35–50 minutes (depending on the thickness of the bacon). Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.

 

For flavored bacon, generously sprinkle the desired amount (you’ll have enough rub and glaze for 1 lb. bacon each) with rub or brush with glaze about 5 minutes before the bacon is done cooking. The rub should be melted and bubbling and the glaze should look thick and caramelized.

 

Arrange the bacon on a large platter and serve it with lettuce, tomatoes, toast, avocados, mayonnaise, sea salt, and pepper alongside for building sandwiches.
Okay, I know I said that this was good for summertime and then the recipe says to put the oven on for 45 minutes. You do have some options here for making the bacon and you can always fry it if you prefer, but I find putting it in the oven on a rack keeps it from sitting in too much grease and makes it crisper. It also lets you cook a large batch of it all at once, which is perfect for sandwiches. Personally, I didn’t try any of the flavored bacon, but the brown sugar rub sure sounds good and it is one I am going to try. I like my BLT pretty basic with one exception – I do like avocado on it. I want crispy bacon, some romaine lettuce or spring mix, good mayo, fresh tomatoes and some nice bread and I am all set. I used spring mix on my BLT along with the avocado and some local tomatoes and I used my favorite homemade bread for the sandwich, though any bread you really like is going to be perfect for you. You can serve this alongside some potato salad, coleslaw or just some chips and you are good to go. I had a basic coleslaw I made myself that I’ll share the recipe for another time. I only made a pound of the bacon, which is more than enough for the three of us for sandwiches and it was a great dinner. I actually got some thick cut bacon from the Fresh Market for this one instead of the usual Smithfield’s I buy and it was awesome. With so many choices on how you want to serve this one, you can do lots of great things with it. Is it the ultimate BLT? If it’s not, it’s pretty darn good anyway.
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 July 6, 2016 in Breads, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Pork, Sandwiches

 

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Anytime is Burger Time! Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Pineapple

I love a good hamburger (and probably even a bad one). Burgers make a quick and easy meal, taste great and we always seem to think about them more in the summertime because it is the perfect time to grill. I like to cook burgers all year-long and since I don’t have an outdoor grill to use I make use of my trusty cast iron skillet, nonstick skillet or cast iron grill pan to get the job done for me. Having the same old traditional hamburger can get a little boring at times so I do like to vary things up now and then. That is why when I saw this recipe from the Tasting Table I knew I wanted to give it a try. The original recipe calls for using ground chicken, but I find ground chicken to be pretty bland. Ground turkey may not sound that much better to some people, but I use it a lot more because it seems to hold up better and takes on other flavors really well so I decided to substitute that into this recipe. Besides, I had just gotten some ground turkey on sale at the grocery store so this was the perfect way to use it.

Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Pineapple

For the Turkey Patties:

1¼ pounds ground turkey

¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped chervil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 eggs

1 shallot, minced

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Caramelized Pineapple:

2 cups (12 ounces) finely chopped pineapple

1 cup white wine vinegar

2½ tablespoons honey

½ yellow onion, minced

1 cup water

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For Assembly:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 hamburger rolls, toasted

Arugula, for garnish

To make the turkey patties: In a medium bowl, add all the turkey patty ingredients and mix them together until they are incorporated completely. With your hands, form 4 equal-sized patties from the mixture and place the patties on a plate; cover the plate with plastic wrap then chill the patties in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This will help them to firm up and hold together nicely during cooking.

Meanwhile, make the caramelized pineapple: In a large skillet set over medium heat, combine the pineapple, white wine vinegar, honey and onion. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the vinegar has completely evaporated, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Once the pineapple begins to caramelize, stir in the water. Simmer the mixture until the pineapple thickens to form a compote, another 6 to 8 minutes. Season the pineapple with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the burgers: In another large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, flipping once, until the patties are golden brown and their internal temperature reads 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a patty, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

5. Assemble the burgers: On each toasted bun bottom, place a  turkey patty, then top each with a spoonful of the caramelized pineapple, a handful of arugula and the other bun half and serve.

This is probably one of the best turkey burger recipes I have tried. The turkey was cooked just right and it was moist and flavorful, something I always worry about with turkey burgers. I think the sour cream really helps to add moisture and flavor to the burger. The pineapple is great as well, though I did find that it took me more than 25 minutes to completely get all of the vinegar evaporated in the initial step. I took me more like 30 to 35 minutes, but it was okay with me. The pineapple came out nicely caramelized and was great on the burger. I could see using that type of pineapple for other dishes, like a pulled pork sandwich or even as a side dish for a pork dinner. Sean added a piece of cheddar cheese to his burger to round things off and really enjoyed it. I even I had enough turkey to make a couple of extra burgers that we could have for lunch the next day since I did not make them too large.

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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This is the Bread Recipe You Have Been Looking For

I have found over the last several months that I really like making bread. I have a good quality bread maker and use it often, but there is also something about making it all yourself from scratch that I get real enjoyment out of. From the time the yeast begins to bloom and you get that great aroma to getting your hands into the dough and kneading away (don’t forget how great of a workout kneading dough for 10 minutes can be for you) to shaping the dough and smelling it baking in the oven to the time you cut into that first piece and see the steam rise from the loaf as you put some soft butter on the warm bread, it can all be quite wonderful. Needless to say I have tried a lot of different bread recipes in this time frame, but the one I always seem to go back to is this one from King Arthur Flour. King Arthur Flour has been a fantastic source for me for inspiration, baking products and recipes and this bread recipe has turned into my favorite. I make this one about every 10 days or so because it gives me two loaves of bread and it is better than anything you can find yourself buying at any grocery store. The best part about it? It is really easy to make yourself.

French-Style Country Bread

For the Starter:

1 cup cool to lukewarm water (90°F to 100°F)

1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast

1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour or organic bread flour

1/4 cup (1 ounce) white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour

For the Dough:

all of the starter (above)

1 cup lukewarm water (100°F to 115°F)

3/4 teaspoon active dry or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

3 3/4 to 4 cups unbleached bread flour or organic bread flour

1 1/2 to 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, to taste

To make the starter: Stir all of the starter ingredients together in a large bowl to make a thick, pudding-like mixture. Cover the starter with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 2 hours. For the best flavor, let the starter rest longer; overnight (up to 16 hours) is best. If you plan on making the dough in a bread machine, place the sponge ingredients in the bucket of your bread machine and turn the machine on for just a few seconds to mix the ingredients together. Turn the machine off and close the cover, then let the starter rest as directed above.

To make the dough: Stir down the starter with a spoon and add the water, yeast, sugar, 3 1/4 cups of the flour, and the salt. The dough will be a loose, messy mass. Let the dough rest for 12 to 15 minutes, then stir it again; it should become more cohesive and a bit smoother. The dough will handle better once it has had time for the flour to absorb the water while resting and relaxing. By using this method, you’ll tend to add less flour, and have much bigger holes in your finished bread.

Knead the dough, adding more flour as necessary, to make a soft dough, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or plastic container, cover the container with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it has almost doubled in size (depending on the weather, this could be 1 to 2 hours). If you are going out, or if you prefer, let the dough rise slowly in the refrigerator. If your dough has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature before shaping it. It will warm up and rise at the same time.

Deflate the dough gently, but don’t knock out all the air; this will create those “holes” so important to French bread. For one large loaf, form the dough into a round ball; for two loaves, divide the dough in half and shape into two balls.

Place a semolina or cornmeal-dusted piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Gently place the ball(s) of dough on the baking sheet, seam-side down.

Cover the bread gently with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it rise until it is puffy and about 40% to 50% larger, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 475°F.

Slash or cross-hatch the bread with a sharp knife or lame. Dust the dough with a little flour. Spritz water into the oven with a clean plant mister, and place the bread in the oven. Reduce the heat to 425°F and spritz the oven with water every few minutes for the first 15 minutes of baking.

Bake the bread for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until it’s a rich golden brown, and its interior temperature registers at least 190°F on a digital thermometer. The smaller loaves will bake more quickly, so keep your eyes on them.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store the bread loosely wrapped in paper for a couple of days at room temperature; wrap it in plastic and freeze for longer storage.

If you are normally intimidated by the idea of making a starter or making your own bread, don’t be. This recipe makes things simple for you to do and you come out with bread that you will be proud to call your own. The crust of the bread comes out perfectly (spraying mist in the oven makes a big difference here) and the bread itself has the flavor, smell and look that is divine. The bread is great for sandwiches or to serve with any type of meal, makes great toast and is really great any time you want some. I typically leave one loaf out and freeze the other but I still find they are gone in about two weeks. I purchased a lame (pronounced lahm) from King Arthur so that I could score the bread and I am still learning and working with it, but you can create your own great looks and patterns on the bread with it (just be careful; they use razor blades and are incredibly sharp). You could certainly use your bread machine to do all of the kneading and the rise for you if you wanted to, but I love to do that part myself. It makes me feel like I am really creating something of my own. As I said, I make this recipe a lot and highly recommend it.

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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