Category Archives: Uncategorized

Picspam: Cleaning Out the Camera

I got back-logged with a ton of pics/dishes for April/early May so I though I’d do a picture dump. These are all no-recipe dishes or ones for which I’ve already posted recipes. Enjoy.

Soups – Japanese lo mein noodles and broccoli florettes in dashi stock and cream of mushroom (thanks to Campbell) with grilled cheese sandwich on home made rye bread.

Pork Chop Trio

Egg White Omelette – bacon crumbles, sweet red/yellow/orange pepper

Plain quesadilla – guacamole and grated old cheddar on home made sourdough flour tortilla

Pasta – Chicken Tortellini with a basil pesto and Fettuccine with a hot Italian sausage sauce

Sourdough Bagels – Plain and Cinnamon Raisin


Chocolate puddings and pot de creme

Lazy Weekend Plans … Saturday

I stayed up late last night reading the last J.D. Robb mystery I brought home from the library. Eve Dallas and Roarke are a pretty hot couple. Determination, brains and a kick-a&& attitude.

I had intended to run some errands today. Maybe pick up some carrots, onions and garlic from the grocery store, cause I’m out. Or go out to Bulk Barn and Canadian Tire and pick up some baking ingredients and a replacement spice and coffee grinder … then I didn’t.

Right now I’m watching TabiEats videos … the Food Hauls or tours of various areas of Japan or cooking traditional Japanese foods etc, always something interesting … while doing a load of laundry. Supper is going to be pizza (and possibly a focaccia) and a bowl of turkey noodle soup with some home made turkey stock and the last of the picked turkey meat from the freezer.

I keep putting off posting the last of the Easy Japanese themed installments I was planning. Because there are a couple of other dishes I want to throw on the post. I guess I really SHOULD just post what I’ve got and clear out my camera.

Here’s a picture of the bulbs peeking through the ground at the front of the house. It’s been a colder month than usual with temperatures yo-yoing up and down. I think the plants are confused.

Potato and Leek Knish (Trial #2)

Leftover leeks in the fridge, potatoes sprouting in the basement and a four day stretch at home recovering from a cold, meant I had the ingredients and all the time needed to try a second knish recipe.

I started with Chef Bryan’s recipe on the Klondike Potato website but had to make some changes. Mostly to reflect the shaping technique I used.

I had some concerns about the amount of salt called for in the dough, as well as the filling, and it turned out that my fears were warranted, as the filling was saltier than I would have liked. When cooking potatoes for mashing, I usually throw two generous teaspoons (using a disposable plastic spoon not a measuring one) of salt into the boiling water, which may have contributed to the excess salt taste. And, rather than sauteeing the leeks and the onions in butter (unsalted, though the recipe didn’t say), I used margarine. If I had been thinking, I would have added more mashed potato to the filling I was making to dilute the salt but, obviously, I was NOT thinking. In my defense, I was also trying a new meatloaf recipe at the same time so I was distracted.

Rather than making individual square knishes, I tried to replicate the beef filled version my mom used to bring home from the deli where she worked for twenty years. They made two/two and a half inch wide meat filled logs which were baked and then cut to size for serving. It turned out that I had too much dough (or conversely, not enough filling) as a result of changing the shaping method. In the recipe below, I’ve doubled the filling ingredients to accommodate this.

Aside: About half an hour after my knish roll came out of the oven, I had the curious thought that I may not have measured out three cups of flour for the dough, but only TWO.

Potato and Leek Knish

Chef Bryan’s Potato Knish – makes 16-20 pieces, serves 8-10

Dough

Dry Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients
1 cup mashed or riced potatoes
1 tsp salt (reduce to 1/2 tsp next time)
1/2 tsp pepper (reduce to 1/8 tsp next time)
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup cold water

Filling

2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil, divided in half
2 medium onions (2 cups), finely diced and sauteed in half the butter above
1 stalk of leeks (3 cups cleaned leeks), chopped into 1/2 inch squares and sauteed in half the butter above
2 cups mashed or riced potatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Egg Wash

1 egg and 1 tsp cold water, whisked together

Prepare a half baking sheet by lining with a sheet of parchment paper.

Making the dough:

Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine 1 cup of mashed potatoes, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and mix well until nice and creamy and the potatoes come together.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mash together. It won’t come together yet. Add the water to pull it into a dough by creating a well in the middle and adding the water. Mix together until it comes together into a soft dough.

Cover the bowl with a cloth or sheet of plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.

Make the filling during this resting period.

Making the filling:

In a large saute pan, fry the onions with some (1 tbsp) of the unsalted butter until softened, but not caramelized. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and set aside. In the same saute pan, fry the leeks with the rest (1 tbsp) of the unsalted butter, until just softened. Add the leeks to the onions sauteed previously.

Add one cup of mashed potatoes to the onions and leeks, as well as the salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 deg Fahrenheit.

Lightly flour a clean work area. Take your dough ball and cut it in two equal halves. Roll out each portion into a rectangle that’s 1/4 inch thick and about 4 inches wide x 14 inches long.

Spoon half the filling into the center of one of the rectangles.

Brush some of the egg wash along one of the long edges of the dough and fold other end of the dough over the filling onto the egg washed edge. Press the dough down to seal the filling into the roll. Turn the roll over, so the seam is on the bottom and transfer the knish log onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush some of the egg wash over the top.  Repeat the assembly process with the rest of the dough and filling.

Place the half sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Let the knish cool until it’s barely warm, then cut the knish rolls into 2 inch bars.

Serve warm or room temperature with ketchup or spicy mustard.

I served my knishes with a couple of slices of meat loaf and found that the sweet, tang of the ketchup-mustard glaze paired well with the heaviness of the knish.

Quick Update on Pantry/Freezer Clearance

Pantry clearance is going very well. Less and less of the contents are being stacked on top of each other and landslides, when the door is opened, no longer occur. Jars, tubs and other miscellaneous containers are being emptied and put away.

The upstairs freezer is getting more and more empty … barring the recent addition of three five pound bags of all purpose flour. On a side note, Food Basics has a great sale on 10 kg bags of all purpose flour (Five Roses and Robin Hood). If I buy one, at $8.99, it will slightly offset the cost of the previous 10 kg bag from the Italian grocery store. In fact, if I had WAITED, I could have bought two of the smaller bags from FB for LESS than the cost of my usual big bag from there. Oh, well.

The summer break is almost over. Only one weekend after this and then it’s Labour Day and school starts again.

I’m not sure when I’m going to post an actual recipe but I’ve dug out my collection of Kraft “What’s Cooking” magazines with lots of great ideas to inspire me for the fall.

RIP: Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

RIP Aretha

 

Never Gonna Break My Faith

My Lord
I have read this book so many times
But nowhere can I find the page
That change what I experience today

Now I know that life is meant to be hard
That’s how I learn to appreciate my God
Though my courage made me try
I can tell you I won’t hide

Because the footprints show you are by my side
You can lie to a child with a smilin’ face
Tell me that color ain’t about race
You can cast the first stones, you can break my bones

But you’re never gonna break
You’re never gonna break my faith

Songwriters: Eliot Kennedy / Bryan Adams / Andrea Ramada
Never Gonna Break My Faith lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Baked Meatballs … and Stuff

I’m so bored that the dozens of pictures that I took over the last month or so are languishing on my hard drive, unlikely to ever see the light of day. And the July clear-out post of pictures, scheduled to drop, eventually, is probably going to be deleted, as there’s nothing really new in them.

The most exciting thing I’ve made since my last post (NOT yesterday’s Italian bread post) is a batch of baked beef meatballs which I combined with jarred mushroom spaghetti sauce and rotini pasta for today’s supper. I toasted a couple of slices of the bread for garlic bread.

A few days ago I thawed the last of the hamantaschen pastry from Christmas. Today, I rolled out the pastry, cut out 2 inch circles and shaped them into a sort of ‘bow-tie’ cookie filled with mincemeat, also leftover from Christmas. Tasty but otherwise … meh.

In a recent ‘conversation through blog comments’ with a blogging friend I mentioned my last culinary shopping splurge, at the local LCBO … a bottle of Niagara Pinot Grigio and a bottle of sake. The Pinot was slated for risotto and/or mussels in a white wine and tomato sauce, and the sake was supposed to be paired with something sushi related. It didn’t happen. In the middle is a bottle of Polish made mead in a ceramic bottle gifted to me by my nephew. I’ll have to do something creative with it, one of these days.

And that’s about it, folks.

Bulk Impulse Buys … Jarred Pasta Sauce

Freezer clear-out is going well with about eighty percent of the contents of the upstairs freezer having been transferred to the basement freezer. However, meals are going to be pretty unimaginative this coming week, as I scrounge out previously made and frozen mains and sides. The same old dishes are making an appearance so I thought I’d wax poetical on one of my recent big purchases.

Even though I usually make out a grocery list for my week’s shopping, late Wednesday evening when the online grocery store flyers are posted, impulse buys are my weakness. Sometimes though, you have to take advantage of an unexpected really GOOD sale.

Recently, I had occasion to visit a nearby Freshco grocery store for a few odds and ends, since it is conveniently located at the same mini mall where I just got my hair cut. While walking down the pasta/sauce aisle, I spotted a sale on my favourite pasta and pizza sauce … Prego. Since this brand isn’t available at Food Basics, at all, and there was none at Metro, my usual place to buy this, on my last visit, I decided to snap up a few bottles. Especially since the price was $1.99. Usually, this is product is $3.49 or even more. A sale price of $2.49 is really good and this was even better than that.

As I was checking out, the cashier noted the four bottles she was ringing in and asked if it was a good product. Of course, I said yes and she mused that at 99 cents she should pick up a jar or two herself. 99 cents?? A DOLLAR 99 cents, I corrected her … to have her point out that it was ringing in at 99 CENTS.

I took my groceries to the car, turned around and went back in for six more bottles and a wedge of Parmesan cheese as well as a few other things that I knew I could use.

Convenience and good flavour at a great price is worth going over your planned budget if possible.

Here are a couple of quick dishes made recently using the jarred sauce:

Tagliatelle using whole wheat pasta … for a meatier topping, add some cooked hot Italian sausages (previously bbq’d and frozen, in this case) to the sauce when warming it up to add to the pasta.

Individual pizzas made with sourdough flour tortilla