Saturday, January 16, 2021

Chicken and Waffles #SundayFunday

 

This week, Sneha of Sneha's Recipes is hosting our Sunday Funday group with waffles as our theme. Here's the inspired waffle line-up...

On the Plate


Chicken and waffles is one of my younger son's favorite meals. When he makes meal requests, this is usually it. When he finished a summer school math class - and got 100% on his final! - I made Panko-Crusted Chicken & Shichimi Togarashi Waffles with Kabocha Fries. Okay, he did object to the pumpkin fries on this version. But you can go to that recipe post for my waffles and gravy recipes. 


They also object when I use the waffle iron for things other than "regular" waffles. I once pressed polenta rounds in the waffle maker and called them waffles. Nope. I used mashed potatoes to make waffles and topped it with bacon and bleu cheese. Nope. How did I raise picky eaters?! Well, I guess they aren't picky; they are just particular...and rather vocal about their thoughts. Ha.


This post is just be a recipe for the oven-baked chicken as I used a waffle mix from Bob's Red Mill for the actual waffles. I also used the mix in the breading for the chicken. 

Also, for an entree size dish, you could serve a whole waffle with two tenderloins on top. As this was just part of a larger menu, I opted to serve one-quarter of a waffle with half of a tenderloin!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup waffle mix (I used the blend from Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins (approximately 10 tenderloins, sliced in half to make a large 'nugget')
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • Also needed: waffles and gravy for serving

    Procedure
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium size bowl mix together waffle mix and oregano. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Dip chicken into eggs then toss in flour mixture. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining tenderloins. Drizzle melted butter over the chicken (approximately  ½ teaspoon each).

    Bake for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and bake for an additional 8 minutes or until chicken is firm to the touch and no longer pink in the center.

    To serve, place one-quarter of a waffle on your serving plate. Top with chicken piece. Drizzle with gravy. Serve immediately.

    That's a wrap for this #SundayFunday event. We'll be back next week as Stacy of Food Lust People Love leads the discussion of One Pot Wonders. I love anything with less clean-up in the kitchen. Stay tuned...

    Friday, January 15, 2021

    Ramen Afternoons: From Powdered Broth to Simmered Trotters #SoupSwappers


    Here we are at the first event of 2021 for our Soup Saturday Swappers group. Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm started this event and, every month, I get a new array of soup recipes to put in my to-try pile.

    To kick of the 2021 series of Soup Saturday Swappers, Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories asked us to share recipes for our favorite childhood soup.

    Here's the line-up of recipes from the #SoupSwappers...

    Ramen Afternoons

    When Karen first shared this month's topic, I called my mom and asked about my "favorite" tomato soup. It's funny how memories work. She was baffled. "What favorite tomato soup?" When I was a kid, wasn't tomato soup my favorite? "No! You hated it," she recalled with a chuckle. 

    Apparently she served me tomato-rice soup...from a can. But what I really liked was the grilled cheese sandwich that she made for me to dip into the tomato-rice soup. Okay. Well, I didn't feel like trying to recreate a canned soup that she remembered I hated. Oh, well.

    Then she mentioned that I did love when my dad made ramen for me. Again, he made it from a package that included a powdered broth packet. He doctored it up with fresh carrots and celery, but still...


    Though, when I thought about those soup lunches - both the tomato-rice and ramen afternoons - what I really remember was sitting in the kitchen while my parents heated things up and sitting at the table with them. We probably talked about school. Maybe we chatted about a book I was reading. The details are really hazy in my pushing-fifty-year-old brain. But what is clear is the memory of feeling loved and nourished. And I am grateful that my boys have been able to forge those sorts of memories with my parents as well. Okay, they both tell my mother, to her face, that she is an awful cook. Thankfully she has a sense of humor about that and tells them that they are spoiled by my cooking. But they fondly recall afternoons spent at the kitchen counter, eating and playing card games with my parents.

    With the COVID pandemic and our shelter-in-place orders, we haven't been able to spend time with my parents. Even though they live less than a mile away - and we deliver food to them regularly - we haven't hugged my parents since March of last year. 

    Here's hoping that we get this virus under control and can gather around our tables with friends and family soon. I would love for the boys to have more memories of ramen afternoons with my mom and dad. Only, this time, I will bring the ramen and it won't be made with powdered broth.

    Simmered Trotters

    We love going to ramen noodle houses where the broth has been simmering for days and most of the patrons do not speak English. One of our favorite ramen spots is in Palo Alto. The Bay Area is not too far, but it's not close enough to run up for a quick lunch. So, I was determined to learn to make my own. And what makes amazing ramen, in my book, is delicious broth.

     

    I am not a stranger to making homemade broths and stocks, especially during the Fall and Winter. But our favorite is a Tonkotsu broth, made with pig trotters, chicken paws (why do they call them that, aren't they claws'?!?), and pork bones. 

     Ingredients 
    makes 2 large pots full of broth

    • 2 pounds pig trotters
    • 4 pounds pork bones
    • 1 pound chicken paws
    • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
    • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    • 4 ounces brown mushrooms, quartered
    • 2" knob fresh ginger, halved
    • 6 to 8 green onions, cut to 4" lengths
    • water

    Procedure
     

    Place trotters and bones in a large pot or divide them into two pots, depending on what sizes you have. Cover them to water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, drain the liquid out and rinse out your pot.

    Place the boiled trotters and bones back into the pot with the chicken paws and other ingredients. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms after it has started to boil. The broth should boil steadily to release all of the collagen and fat. If the liquid is evaporating too much, add more water in, as needed.

    Boil for, at least, 36 hours. Strain and save the broth. Season with salt before using.

    More Ramen Memories

    And my kids have their own ramen memories. For D's 17th birthday last month, he asked if I could replicate the ramen we had in a noodle shop in Copenhagen on our last night in Denmark in 2018. We were exhausted and cold and this was just what we needed.  You could tell their broth was not made from a powder! Here was my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf's birthday ramen v.2020.


    Ingredients serves 4 

    Soup Base
    • 8 cups Homemade Ramen Broth (above) or your favorite ramen broth
    • 8 Tablespoons tahini
    • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
    • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Sriracha)

    Pork
    • 2 Tablespoons oil
    • 1 pound ground pork
    • 2 Tablespoons green onions, finely sliced
    • 1" ginger root, peeled and grated
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
    • 2 Tablespoons fermented black beans
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
    • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

    To Serve
    • 4 portions of ramen noodles
    • 4 cups organic baby spinach
    • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
    • 8 Tablespoons corn for garnish
    • chopped green onions for garnish
    • sesame seeds for garnish (I used a furikake blend that I had)

    Procedure
    Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a simmer and keep warm.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil, preferably one with a strainer basket so cook the spinach and noodles in the same water without having to re-boil. Blanch the spinach. Remove it from the pan and rinse it with cold water. Keep the water at a simmer for the noodles.

    Pork
    Heat oil in a large skillet. Add in the ground pork, green onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook until the pork is mostly browned. Stir in the beans, sesame oil, hot sauce, and soy sauce. Continue cooking until  the meat is a dark brown and some bits crispy.

    To Serve
    Place 2 Tablespoons tahini, 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce in the bottom of each serving bowl. 

    Cook your noodles according to package directions, if you're using packaged ones! While your noodles cook, gently ladle 1-1/2 cups broth into each bowl and whisk to incorporate the tahini, oil, and sauce into the broth.

    Divide the noodles into the serving bowls and ladle in another 1/2 cup on top of the noodles. Top with the wilted spinach, 2 Tablespoons corn kernels, hard-boiled eggs, and green onions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or sesame. Serve hot.


    That's a wrap for our January #SoupSwappers event. Thanks to Karen for hosting. We had fun rummaging through our food memories and making delicious soup.


    We'll be back next month with Wendy of A  Day in the Life on the Farm leading our discussion of soups featuring potatoes or sweet potatoes. Stay tuned...

    Croissants aux Framboises + Château Sabliere Beauséjour 2016 #Winophiles


    Bonne Année! This month the French Winophiles kick off their 2021 series with Jeff of Food Wine Click! at the helm. He has the group looking at what's new in Bordeaux; read his full invitation here. But the gist of it was this: "Let's look for something new going on in Bordeaux! Organic, biodynamic, natural wines? Cru Bourgeois? Outlying areas? You pick and share!"

    If you are reading this early enough, feel free to join our live Twitter chat on Saturday, January 16th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #Winophiles and be sure to add that to anything you tweet so we can see it. In the meantime, here are the posts the group has planned. These will all be live by early morning on Saturday the 16th.


    In My Glass

    Je suis désolé! Well, I'm a little out in left field with this post as my wine isn't organic, biodynamic, or natural. Nor is it from an outlying area. So, hopefully Jeff won't be too much of a stickler for the theme. Also, I didn't pour the wine with the food I'm sharing. I'll get to that. But I did learn something about Château Beauséjour and the 'Grand Vin' designation, so I'm running with it anyway for this month's post.

    When I ordered this bottle, I was swayed by the 'Grand Vin' on the label...only to discover that the designation is highly subjected and unregulated. It really is just a way for the château to indicate its best wine. Though, if they think it's their best showing, that might mean something subjectively. But it's definitely not a term that has set criteria to earn that label. Oh, well.

    The Château Sabliere Beauséjour 2016 comes from the Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée). The vineyards in this area reside on a mixture of clay, limestone, and sandstone substrates and consistently produce high-quality red wines. I was stunned that this wine retailed at less than $15.

    I was able to read that this is a 70% Merlot blend, but the composition of the remaining 30% is a mystery to me. Does anyone know?

    In any case, the wine was bursting with red fruit and made me think of raspberries which I'll get to in a second. But this was a beautifully balanced wine with  mellow tannins and a good amount of spice.

    On My Plate

    When I was researching foods from Bordeaux, I keep coming across beautiful pastries, including a family favorite: Cannelés. I had already shared those with this group last March when I posted Definitively Bordeaux: Cannelés + Crémant without the Champagne Price Tag. Jeff posted a little bit of trivia during the chat and I learned their history.  Do you know? If not, you'll definitely want to read about the 'Bunghole Pastries' and a Little Culinary History.

    There were the intriguing Les Dunes Blanches, but after tasting the wine, I had my mind on raspberry pastries. So, I landed on homemade Croissants aux Framboises. They aren't only found in Bordeaux and I didn't even serve them with the wine since we had the croissants for breakfast. If you have never made your own croissants, you definitely should. They are well worth the effort. I promise.

    Ingredients makes 10
    • 1 cup milk, warmed slightly (so that it's comfortable to touch, but not steaming)
    • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 2 eggs, divided - one for the dough, one for the eggwash
    • 2-3/4 cup flour, divided + more for sprinkling and rolling
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold salted butter
    • jam or jelly for filling
    • Also needed: parchment paper, rolling pin, silicone brush

    Procedure

    Combine the milk and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Whisk in one egg. Add 2-1/2 cups of the flour, keeping 1/4 cup for later, and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.


    Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately one hour.


    Once the dough has doubled, place it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or as long as overnight. Pound each stick of butter into rectangle. Some people use a ruler and make it very precise. I am less-precise. Wrap the pounded butter in parchment and chill with the dough.


    When you're ready, sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour and place dough on top. Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 12"x 20". Remember, I'm less than precise, but it was around that size.

    Remove one rectangle of butter from the fridge and lay it in the middle of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough in to form an envelope. It should look like this...


    Using the rolling pin, roll it out to 12" x 20" again. Place the second rectangle of butter on the dough and make another envelope. Then roll it out to the 12" x 20" rectangle, but this time, fold one third of the dough over the other third, like folding a letter. 


    Now you have to turn the dough. Turning the dough, by rolling and folding, creates very thin layers of butter and dough. This recipe needs to be turned 4 times. If the butter pushes through a layer of dough, rub it with a little flour. If the butter seems to be melting, chill the dough between each turn. Keep the parchment, the rolling pin, and the surface of the pastry well-floured.

    To turn: Rotate the package of dough and butter so that the narrower, open end is facing you, like the pages of a book. Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up, again like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees so that the open end is again facing you. Repeat. Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up. That's 2 turns. Repeat two more times.

    Place the dough in the fridge and let rest for 30 minutes. 


    Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to approximately 1/4" thick. Then cut a zigzag pattern to create ten thin triangles


    Smear a scant tablespoon of jam down the center of the triangle.


    Starting at the base of the triangle, roll all the way up and place the croissants on a baking sheet.


    Beat the second egg and brush the egg over the top of the croissants. Let rise for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the croissants in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.


    Pastries are finished when the tops are deep golden and the tips look as if they might be just starting to burn.


    Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the sheet but be sure remove them after that. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.


    Best served the day they are baked.


    That's a wrap for the January 2021 edition of the French Winophiles. We'll be back next month with a focus on the red wines of Provence with Payal of Keep the Peas at the head. Stay tuned...

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

    Dungeness Crab Risotto and Some Italian Bubbles #FishFridayFoodies


    It's time for the kick-off 2021 Fish Friday Foodies' event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. 

    And this month, Rebekah of Making Miracles is hosting. She picked "Be Our Guest"! For January's Fish Friday Foodie event  and asked us to share a dish that we deem company worthy; maybe something that was served to us once that we were impressed by, or a dish that has had rave reviews from friends or family when you've shared it with them.

    Here's this month's line-up... 
    On the Plate

    When I thought about 'guest-worthy' I almost laughed. We have been sheltered in place since last March and I haven't had any guests at my table since four days before we were locked down. So, I had to strain my memory about dinner parties. Ha. 

    But Italian bubbles are always my idea of a party libation and pairing processo with seafood, at least in my household, is always a win. So, when I saw dungeness crab at the fish market, I scooped up two and opted to make a crab risotto as match for some sparkling Italian wine.

    Ingredients makes 8 servings
    • 1 organic white onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1 cup)
    • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced (approximately 1/2 cup)
    • 2 Tablespoons butter
    • splash of olive oil
    • 3 cups arborio rice
    • 8 cups liquid (I used a mixture of fish stock and water)
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
    • 2 cups dungeness crab meat + cracked, cleaned claws for serving
    • 8 ounces mascarpone cream
    • freshly ground pepper to taste
    • freshly ground salt to taste
    • Also needed: parmigiano reggiano and melted butter for serving
    Procedure
    Bring your stock and water to a boil. Then reduce it to a simmer and keep it on a burner adjacent to your risotto pan.

    Melt 2 Tablespoons butter with a splash of olive oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Add the onions and leeks. Cook until onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add in the rice and stir until completely coated with oil and butter.

    Add one ladle of simmering broth at a time, stirring, stirring, and stirring some more till the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the rice is soft. If you need more liquid, just add more; if you don't use all of the stock, that's okay, too.

    Fold in the crab meat, mascarpone cheese, and basil. Let stand for five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    To serve, spoon out individual servings and top with a crab claw. Serve immediately.


    Let diners sprinkle with freshly grated cheese and add more crab meat from their claws. They can drizzle with melted butter, too, if desired.

    In the Glass

    Awhile back, I received some wines from Val d'Oca* to feature with food pairings. You can read about the wine cooperative in my post - Handrolled Pasta alla Gricia + Val d’Oca Prosecco Millesimato.  This bottle - their Prosecco DOC Treviso Extra Dry - is a blend of 85% Glera and 15% Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. This sparkling wine was crisp with a generous amount of bubbles. To the eye, it was almost clear with flecks of gold at the edges. To the nose, I got aromas of apple and wildflowers. And on the palate, it was almost citrusy and went down a little too easily! Jake mentioned that it was definitely "gulpable." So, we had to force ourselves to sip and savor.

    on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter

    *Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

    Monday, January 11, 2021

    Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers


    BreadBakers#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page

    We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!"

    If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

    Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers...

    Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles 

    I was inspired to make a green dough with matcha green tea powder...and I had lemons from my parents' tree, so I made a lemon custard. It was delicious!

    Ingredients makes 6 turtle rolls

    Dough
    • 13 grams dried/active dry yeast 
    • 250 milliliters whole milk, warmed to steaming but not boiling
    • 100 grams butter, melted and slightly cooled
    • 40 grams organic granulated sugar
    • 450 grams flour + more for kneading
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 Tablespoon matcha green tea powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt 
    • 1 egg, beaten

    Vanilla-Meyer Lemon Cream
    • 500 milliliters whole milk
    • 1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthwise with seeds scraped
    • 3 eggs
    • 100 grams organic granulated sugar
    • 30 grams corn starch
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (from an organic lemon)
    • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

    Baking and Topping
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1/4 cup lightly packed organic brown sugar
    • 12 cloves for the eyes

    Procedure

    Vanilla-Meyer Lemon Cream
    Place the milk and the vanilla bean and scraped seeds in a medium sauce pan and let stand for 20 minutes. Then scald the milk and let the vanilla steep in the milk for 10 minutes. In the meantime, in mixing bowl, blend the sugar and egg until the mixture becomes fluffy and pale. Add the corn starch and whisk to combine.

    Slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg mixture, whisking as you pour.  Whisk in the lemon extract. Place the saucepan back on the stove and bring to a boil. Whisking vigorously the whole time.  Once the mixture has thickened and just started to boil, remove from the heat. Keep whisking to keep it smooth. Fold in the lemon zest.


    Spread the pastry cream into a dish and cover with plastic wrap, touching the top to keep the cream from developing a film.  Refrigerate until cool.


    Dough
    Pour warm milk into a large mixing bowl, stir in sugar, and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let bloom for 10 to 15 minutes. It should be foamy and frothy. Add in the butter and egg. Whisk to combine.

    Add in the flour, baking powder, matcha green tea powder, and salt. Knead until a scraggy dough forms. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. It should be doubled in size.


    Baking
    Dust a workspace with flour and turn out the dough. Knead the dough, dusting to prevent sticking if needed. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a rectangle, approximately 12" x 16". Cut the dough into 8 rectangles. Six become the bodies and the other two are used to form balls for the heads and legs.

    On each of the six body rectangles, add a generous dollop of pastry cream. Gather the corners together on top to form a sort of purse shape. Press the seams together to ensure the cream stays inside the bun and won’t leak out during baking.


    When bun is completely closed, invert it, and place it on parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheet, seam side down. Press a large dough ball to form the head and four smaller dough balls to form the legs.

    Topping
    Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until a nice crumble forms.

    Brush the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle the topping over the turtles. Press two cloves into the turtle head for the eyes. Let the buns rest and rise for 20 to 25 minutes.


    Preheat the oven to 395 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the buns in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes on the sheet before serving.

    And that's a wrap for our January edition of  #BreadBakers. We'll be back next month with Karen of  Karen's Kitchen Stories leading our event about pizza. Stay tuned!