January 27, 2007

Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground turkey
1 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp basil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning (used marjoram)
1/2 tsp cumin seed (used ground)
1/2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 TBSP parsley flakes
1 onion, chopped
1 raw potato, shredded
1 egg

Mix all ingredients. Form burgers. Grill until done. Yield: 8 burgers

Notes: I always say I'm going to switch from beef to turkey, but the beef is so tempting. These were pretty darn good though. Watch out for the possibility of it being too dry and add milk if needed or desired.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
January 22, 2007

Apple Nut Muffin Cake

Apple Nut Muffin Cake
from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup apple cider
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 stick (8 TBSP) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp slat
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fahsioned oats
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup moist, plump raisins

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Use an 8-inch square pan, buttered and floured.

Whisk together milk, cider, egg, vanilla and almond extracts and butter in small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt to combine thoroughtly. Toss in the brown sugar, making sure there aren't any lumps by running it through your fingers, then add the oats and whisk the dry ingredients a few more times to mix. Switch to a large rubber spatula and stir in the liquid ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened--as with muffins, less mixing is better than more. Gently stir in the apple, nuts and raisins, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for a couple of minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding the cake; invert and cool until warm or to room temperature.

Notes: Leaving out the raisins since I am not fond of those, didn't hurt this recipe at all. Yum.

Posted by Jennifer at 2:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
January 17, 2007

Seared Tuna with Sweet & Spicy Noodles

Seared Tuna with Sweet & Spicy Noodles
from Penzeys Spice catalog Early Summer 2001

1 lb. tuna steaks in 4 pieces
1 tsp peanut oil

3 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp minced garlic

pasta dressing:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp dried cilantro leaves
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp lime juice
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
12 oz. thin spaghetti or your favorite pasta

Rinse tuna, pat dry. Combine marinade ingredients and whisk to blend. Place tuna in a shallow bowl in one layer and pour marinade over the fish. Turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate at least one hour, turning at least once during refrigeration time.

Combine pasta dressing ingredients, whisk to blend, set aside. Make pasta according to package directions. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add oil to pan. Sear tuna (3 minutes per side for medium rare). When the pasta is done, toss with dressing to combine and serve as bed underneath tuna.

Notes: I knew there was a reason I was tearing out the interesting sounding recipes from these catalogs and hanging on to them. This came out quite well, though I must admit that some of the other tuna marinades I've tried are more savory and I'm sure that's not just because I chose to use fresh minced garlic as opposed to the granulated garlic originally listed. I also cooked the tuna only 2 minutes a side because I prefer it more rare. As for the pasta, I could easily see serving it as a side with a number of other combinations - it was very good.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
January 7, 2007

Spiced Braised Leg of Lamb

Spiced Braised Leg of Lamb
from Eric Lecerf

What goes better with lamb than vibrant spices, such as coriander, cumin and curry? Here Lecerf presents one of his most popular dishes, a leg of lamb that is braised ever so slowly with a little stock in the oven until it is very tender.

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper
One 5-pound half leg of lamb, preferably from the hip section
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

Preheat the oven to 250°. In a small bowl, combine the garlic with the thyme, cumin seeds, rosemary, curry, salt, ground cumin and coriander, coriander seeds and white pepper. Cut 16 slits, each about 1 inch long by 1 inch deep and spaced 1 inch apart, in the meat. Rub the spice mixture all over the lamb, working it into the slits. Set aside any spice mixture that does not adhere.

In a medium flameproof casserole, heat the oil. Add the lamb and lightly brown it on all sides over moderate heat, about 2 minutes per side. Add the stock and any remaining spice mixture. Cover with a sheet of buttered wax paper and a lid. Braise the lamb in the oven for 3 hours, or until very tender. Check the meat from time to time and baste as necessary to prevent it from drying out.

Transfer the lamb to a carving board. Strain the cooking juices through a fine sieve; skim the fat. Transfer the juices to a gravy boat. Thickly slice the lamb and serve with the juices.

Notes: This was for New Year's Eve and I intended to attempt something ambitious with a leg of lamb that I had in the freezer. Which is why, when I saw this recipe on the Food & Wine site and then discovered that Eric Lecerf was a chef of some reknown (Michelin star, worked at Robuchon's kitchen at Jamin in Paris and then at Restaurant de l'Astor in the Paris Hotel Astor), I knew this was the one to try. And all the work was quite rewarding. I've become a big fan of braising lately, even if the prep takes some investment and the waiting takes some patience.

One of the other lovely things about braising meat is the leftovers. Even though I used a partial leg that was about half the size (and reduced the other ingredients accordingly), this provided me with enough that I made a followup risotto dish using the leftover juices as part of the stock and the leftover meat shredded into the dish as well. Very nice.

Posted by Jennifer at 3:51 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack