Dinner By Dagny

Not just food, food with flavor

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Potato Latkes

We are the proud beneficiary of all the potatoes and carrots from our friend’s CSA basket. Due to allergies she can’t eat them, and her husband is incredibly supportive and sacrifices with her. The downside though, is the week after Thanksgiving everyone is a little bit tired of the regular mashed, steamed or baked potatoes. After watching the potato pancakes made on chopped, I decided to try something new. The recipe at the Smitten Kitchen helped.

Ingredients

6 small potatoes (~1 1/3 pounds)

1 small onion

2 eggs

1/4 cup flour

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Peel potatoes and onions

2. Grate potatoes and onions (note – if I make these again, I’m going to pull out the food process and use the shredding attachment

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3. Wrap potatoes and onions in cheesecloth or lightweight clean dish towel

4. Wring out excess water

5. Meanwhile, whisk the 2 egss and mix in flour

6. Add in potato and onion mixture

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7. Form into patties (I experimented with different size spoons. The tablespoon worked better)

8. Saute in large saucepan over medium high heat until golden brown (the recipe said 1-2 minutes, but mine took 2-3 to crisp up)

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Results

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Obviously, I had to try them when they were finished. I adjusted the size of them after the first round and they turned out better. For dinner, I served them with kielbasa and then I had leftovers with a sunny side egg. I liked them and my oldest daughter said they were a hit (although she smothered them in hot sauce, as she does everything so I don’t know if that detracts from her opinion). My youngest disliked them, even covered in ketchup and my husband was indifferent. This might be designated as a brunch item for guests.

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Cornish Hen Pot Pie

My husband asked my cousin to volunteer on election day and in exchange I promised I would cook whatever she wanted for dinner the night before and we would start the day (at 5am) with mimosas.  She requested baked cornish hens with my mother in laws biscuits.  This is just not something she gets everyday, cooking for just herself.  Although when we started talking about it, she realized that this would be the perfect size for one – you get two meals out of it and you get a little bit of everything – skin, breast meat and dark meat.  For those that don’t know, cornish hens are little chickens that weigh about 2-3 pounds. They are perfect for one or two people, but they are also quite good. I usually bake them whole, seasoned just like a chicken.  After agreeing to cook this meal, I realized I actually had something to do that night and my cousin and daughters would get to enjoy it all themselves.  Since I had cooked 4 cornish hens, expecting my kids to eat a lot, and then needing 1 1/2 for the adults, I ended up with quite a bit of leftovers.

My cousin inspired me further when she told me that she hadn’t ordered chicken pot pie in a restaurant the previous weekend because she was anticipating this meal.  It seemed like the perfect way to use my leftovers.  Especially since I also bought a 1 pint of buttermilk, as the smallest container they had, and needed to use that as well.

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk (regular milk is fine)
1 egg beaten
2 cups cooked cornish hen (or chicken), cut or pulled into pieces
2 carrots diced
2-3 potatoes
*for white bechemel sauce
2-3 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons flour (equal amount as butter)
2-3 cups heated milk

Sharon’s Biscuit Directions
*courtesy of my mother in law

1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt
2. Cut in butter until crumbly
3. Stir in egg and buttermilk
4. Knead in floured surface 10-12 times, working flour into dough
5. Roll out dough

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Pot Pie Directions

1. Melt butter in medium saucepan
2. Whisk in flour
3. Heat milk and add to roux 1 cup at a time, whisking until smooth
4. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 10 mins (give your béchamel time to thicken)

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5. Meanwhile peel, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, and par-boil carrots and potatoes
6. Add poultry, potatoes, carrots, potatoes to béchamel
7. Add garlic, thyme, oregano to season
8. Pour filling into baking dish

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9. Lay biscuit dough on top

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10. Bake for 12-15 minutes until biscuit is golden brown
11. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes

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Results

I was mostly pleased with my results.  The biscuit topping was very good, and the filling was incredibly flavorful.  Unfortunately I was not very patient with my bechemel sauce and therefore it was a bit thin.  It didn’t impact the flavor or experience at all, and definitely didn’t impact my daughter’s desire to eat for leftovers over the next couple of days – afternoon snack, leftover dinner night, pre-hockey dinner – whenever she could get it.

Drunken Apples with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

I happened to have had 3 granny smith apples lying around, that hadn’t been eaten at their freshest point and were now just lingering in my kitchen. I knew by feel that they were still good enough to eat, and definitely good enough to use for baking. Even more inspiring was this bourbon baked apples recipe I saw. My baking and cooking (and drinking) of choice usually involves rum, so that made the most sense. Furthermore, it was the end of a long weekend and a relatively quiet Sunday. I invited my cousin over with enticements of drunken apples. When I showed her the recipe and told her that I was going to use rum, and that we needed to make some adjustments to account for 1/2 the apples, she was game for experimentation.

The first adjustment was easy. The recipe suggested 1/3 cup bourbon for 6 apples. It seemed obvious that this measurement wouldn’t change for 3. Next came the notion that “a serving” implied 1 entire apple. That seemed a little crazy so I suggested quartering the apples and spreading the crumble on top rather than stuffing each apple with a bit.

Ingredients

3 granny smith apples

2/3 cup oats

1/3 cup cinnamon sugar (the originally recipe calls for 2/3 cup brown sugar. I had this leftover from another recipe so used it and filled in with the brown sugar)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup softened unsalted butter

1/2 cup apple juice (or cider)

1/3 cup rum

*skipped the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla due to the use of the cinnamon sugar

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-3 tablespoons sugar (this is variable. If you like a sweeter whipped cream, add more sugar)

Drunken Apples Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Peel and quarter apples (we had mixed reviews on the apple peel. My cousin and I suggest peeling the apples, while another indulgent participant loved the peel)

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3. Meanwhile, mix oats, sugar, flour, salt and butter together to make crumble

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4. Layer apples in baking dish

5. Pour apple juice and rum over apples

6. Sprinkle crumble over apples

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7. Bake apples in oven for 30-40 minutes, drizzling sauce over apples and crumble every 10 minutes, until apples are soft

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Cinnamon Whipped Cream Directions

1. Pour whipping cream, 2-3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a cold bowl

2. Whip using beater until peaks form

Results

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This tasted really good. The apple juice and rum formed a caramel, which mixed perfectly with the crumble. It was pretty rich and relatively sloppy, enough so that I told my cousin that whoever took the prettier picture is what I would post online (after I had plated my pretty sloppy one). It’s possible that I was just being a piggy.  We are contemplating replacing our standard apple pie with this for holiday desert (in addition to my special pumpkin rum pie).

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