Turkey Bolognese

I made a non traditional bolognese that I thought was worth recording. 

1-2 lbs ground turkey meat
2 large parsnips, peeled
1 onion
2 c milk
2 c red wine
2 c water
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Dash of cumin

Melt butter in olive oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions. When onions turn transparent, add grated parsnips. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add turkey meat and mix to break down clumps of meat. When mostly consistent and broken up, season a bit of salt, cumin and pepper. Add milk and cook on low heat until most of it is evaporated. Add the wine and do the same. Now add the diced tomatoes and water and simmer (no bubbles) until it reaches the desired consistency.  Check the seasoning.

Serve over pappardelle with parm slivers.


Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant

This is a variation of the stuffed eggplant I've made before (http://farejudgement.blogspot.com/2011/05/stuffed-baby-eggplant.html ). I wanted to make a slightly healthier version, mostly, to use up the remaining quinoa in the pantry (I purchased the black quinoa for salads that I can't wait to open!).

1 cup cooked white quinoa
1 large tomato, skinned
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small shallot, minced
1-2 tbsp lemon juice ( adjust acid based on taste)
Flesh of 3-4 baked baby eggplants
Fontina cheese, grated (for the top)


Stuffed Chicken Breast

1 split chicken breast filet, skinless
1 c, Riesling wine or mirin 

3 baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
2 prunes, chopped
1 shallot, minced 
1 c panko
1 egg, yolk
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp mushroom powder (dry porcini blended)
Salt + pepper

Mix all the ingredients of the stuffing together. 

Pound chicken between two pieces of Saran Wrap, until about 1 cm in uniform thickness. 

Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the stuffing at the edge of the chicken breast.  Roll tightly to encase the stuffing.

In a ovenproof pan heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the chicken breast seam side down onto the pan. Panfry just barely to give the chicken breast some color. Add the wine to the pan carefully. Transfer to a preheated 450° oven for 20-25 minutes. Baste with pan sauce about every five minutes.

To serve, cut into 2 cm sections and finish with some pan sauce on top. I served with colorful couscous. 


Apple Rose Tartlets

While visiting Cape Cod last summer, we happened upon an awesome French bakery, PB Boulangierie. After enduring a long line in the morning, we finally filed our way in to get a couple of croissants, Pain Au Chocolate, and an apple tart, E selected.  After watching her eat the tart, which is a story of its own, I haven't been able to stop thinking about how appetizing it looked. Dozens of thinly sliced apples weaved together into a rose; wafting of caramelized sugar, apple and butter. 

I took my best guess at the technique to create the roses.  Set in pate brisse with boysenberry jam, this is easy, but meticulous. I can't wait to buy the original this coming summer.


French Style Meat (Chicken)

Does "French style" meat, as it's known at the Russian table, really take its origins in France? Not exactly... The Russian version is a distant reproduction of a dish prepared for the Count Orloff in 19th century France, a popular destination for Russian nobility.  He enjoyed the dish so much, it was named after him, and eventually served by his staff back home at Cathrine the Great's court.  Of course, a culture of culinary excess, this was a cardiologist job security dream.  Today, it can be found quite readily gracing most Russian tables, with varied interpretations that may include meat (originally veal) potatoes, mushrooms, cheese, onions, and most likely mayonnaise replacing the original béchamel sauce. 

Here's my version:

4 skinless chicken quarters
3 potatoes
1 onion
1 cup of your favorite grated cheese ( I used gruyere) 
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup sour cream
Salt + pepper
2 tbsp olive oil 

Season skinless chicken quarters with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet.
Slice onions on a mandolin and mix with a tbsp of oil. Sprinkle on the chicken. Slice potatoes on a mandolin, season with salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange potatoes atop the chicken with some overlap. Bake at 385F for 25 minutes. Mix sour cream, mayo and cheese with smoked paprika. Remove the chicken from the oven and spread the cheese mix atop potatoes. Return to oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes raise the temp to 425 and watch for the cheese to turn a nice caramel color. Once it does, your "French" chicken is ready to remove from the oven and serve.


Tom Khaa Soup

Thai cuisine is one of my absolute favorites.  Eggplant, lime and cilantro have a lot to do with it.  I gave one of my favorite soups a try.

1 can coconut milk
3 c water
1 chicken breast filet
1 c baby corn or corn kernels
3 large shiitake mushrooms
2 medium sized tomatoes
2 cups rice noodles (dry, estimate)
1 c cilantro
2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sliced ginger
1 tsp rooster sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Bring to boil water and coconut milk with chicken in a pot. Reduce to medium-low heat. Add rooster sauce, fish sauce, ginger, sugar, juice of limes, and salt.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the corn (I used fire roasted kernels) and sliced mushrooms. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add the rice noodles, tomatoes sliced into wedges and cilantro. Close the lid and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes, slice the chicken filet and return to the pot.  Serve with some fresh cilantro sprigs.

I didn't have bean sprouts, chilli peppers, lemon grass or red curry sauce on hand however if you do, add them as well; all at the beginning with exception of bean sprouts right before serving.


Basic Risotto (Blanco)

6 handfuls of short grain rice
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 Parmesan cheese, shaved
Salt + white pepper

Bring your stock to a boil and switch to very low heat to keep hot. In another thick bottomed pot, on medium heat, add olive oil, chopped shallot and thinly sliced garlic. Cook long enough to make translucent but do not brown. Add in washed rice. Stir rice to coat in oil, for about 30 seconds and add the salt and pepper. Start adding the stock one ladle at a time, as you continuously stir rice (carefully not to break the grains). It will take about 45 seconds for each ladle to evaporate (if it takes less time or is starting to scorch, your heat is too high) , as you repeat the process for 16 minutes. As tedious as it may seem to stay at the stove for that entire time, stirring and ladling, it's worth the wait. You will not use the entire pot of stock most likely. After 16 minutes the rice should be tender and creamy. Turn off the heat and move the pot. Add butter and Parmesan to the rice, stir and close with a lid. This should stand for about 10 minutes to finish.

You can work on favoring as the risotto blanco is resting under the lid. Roasted onions and mushrooms or sun dried tomatoes and linguica, or shrimp, peas and parsley...it's endless. Pan roast your additions, than ladle the risotto blanco in to mix.  Or serve risotto blanco as is!  


Pink Lentil Puree or Spread

Those of you that have read my blog know that I have an addiction to impulse purchases at grocery stores. This problem tends to steer me towards the unknown, taunting the size of my pantry and refrigerator. A recent trip to the neighborhood Indian grocer is taking up 2 cubic feet of cabinet space I need to do something with, thus I give you pink lentil spread (if you like hummus this will soon be a favorite).

2 c pink lentils
1/4 c sesame seeds (white)
1/4 c sunflower oil
2 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp rooster sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika 
Dash of cinnamon

Boil lentils in 4 cups of water on medium heat until water has mostly evaporated. Remove from heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Blend in 1/2-1 cup of water to create a purée or an additional 1/2 cup of oil for a spread. It can also be left as is however when blended lentils cool, they harden so if left as is it should be eaten while still warm.


Trout in Orange Dijon Vinegarette

Serves 3

1.5 lbs of skin on trout filets
2 tbsp flour + salt + turmeric + chilli powder + paprika 
1 egg + 1/2 c almond milk

Cut fish into 2 inch sections. Dip into egg mixture and then dredge in flour mixture. Repeat. Fry on coconut oil for 2 min on each side on medium heat. 

Vinegarette + Assembly
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients above and whisk to a uniform texture/color. And add:

1/2 c chopped cilantro
2 chopped green onions
1 navel orange, sectioned and chopped

Pour over fried hot fish and enjoy.


Chocolate Chip Goodness

These were unbelievably chewy and rich, and not overly sweet! Based on David Lebovitz's recipe, I made some adjustments to the sugar content and fillers. I prefer no nuts in my CC cookies.

1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2.5 c fluffed flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
5 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2 oz 99% chocolate roughly broken 

Cream butter, sugars and vanilla for 10 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add in flour, salt and soda, mix for another 5 minutes. Add in the chocolate. Roll dough into Saran Wrap at about 2-3 inches in thickness and refrigerate to harden. Slice off 2 cm rounds and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, about 3 inches apart on parchment paper. These should be ready in 10-12 minutes. Cool on a baking rack. 


Kale Salad in Cilantro Vinegarette

Half of a bunch of kale (stems removed)
1 cup white grapes, seedless
1 cup cilantro
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 tbsp Sunflower seed oil
1 tsp Sesame seeds 

Blend cilantro to a paste with vinegar and oil. Add salt to taste.

Chiffonade the kale and quarter the grapes. Mix kale, grape and cilantro dressing in a bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.




3 c flour
1 c water
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tbsp vinegar


4 peeled and boiled potatoes
1 c stock or milk
1 chopped onion
Olive oil
Salt + pepper

Roast the chopped onion in 3 tbsp olive oil until golden brown.  Rice the potatoes and mix in the roasted onions and oil in which they cooked. Add milk or stock until the consistency is of thick mashed potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Mix all the dough ingredients and kneed until consistent. Roll out and than stretch  dough out on a tea towel until paper thin, taking care to keep it a consistent thickness and not to make holes.  Line the long end of the dough with filling. Roll dough starting with the end with the filling on top. Use the tea towel to assist (similar to sushi rolling).

There are two ways to cook this. For separate knishes, pull off 1 inch sections and tuck / pinch the dough on the ends together.   Or bake as is in the roll, to be cut later after baking. 

Place on a buttered cookie sheet, seam side down. Brush with an egg wash if you want these to be shiny, and bake in a preheated 375* oven for 20-25 minutes. 


I bought 99% chocolate just to see what it was like...long story short - not for eating, but a can of left over condensed milk in the fridge gave me an idea. 

5.4 oz of 99% chocolate (3 bars)
1/4 c heavy cream
6 tbsp condensed milk
1 tbsp orange extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder + 1/2 tsp cinnamon 

Heat heavy cream, stirring until very warm. Add in condensed milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate and orange extract. Mix to a uniform consistency.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Scoop spoonfuls and roll into balls. Drop into combined cocoa and cinnamon mixture. Roll to cover.  Refrigerate for another 2 hours before enjoying. 

Makes about 25 truffles.


Carrot, parsnip and apple latkes

This recipe is super easy and carries a hint of sweetness and root veggie flavor. 

1 carrot, peeled
1 parsnip, peeled
2 apples peeled
1 egg
4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt

Grate the parsnip and carrot on a fine grater, and the apple on a course grater. Mix the grated fruit/veggies with the rest of the ingredients. Drop tablespoonfuls on a hot pan (with preheated oil). About 2-3 minutes on each side on medium heat.

Serve with sour creme or condensed milk as breakfast item, or as a side to meal...of say bratwurst.


Upside Down Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

Chipmunks and Oranges

Lemon Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Birthday cupcakes attempt that still makes me laugh. Those bees look slightly drunk but E loved them. 

(recipe forthcoming)

Kale: Raw Attempts

I decided on a large bag of kale on a recent shopping trip, in an attempt for healthy eating. I decided to keep it raw, so that mostly meant smoothies. I was surprised that it was much better then I thought.

Option 1

2 cups of kale leaves 
1 banana
1 cup passion fruit juice

Option 2

1 cup of kale leaves
1/2 banana
1 peeled apple
1 cup water

Option 3

1 cup of kale leaves
Juice from one pomegranate
2 persian cucumbers
2 cup water

My favorites were 1 and 3 - I will keep trying more. These are great!

Mushroom Risotto with Poached Egg

Long cold day. I wanted something comforting, and no other proteins in the fridge except for eggs. I will have to keep this combo in mind - huge success with E and hubby!

1 onion
1 box of portabella mushrooms, sliced

2 cups arborio rice
6-8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 cup of parm cheese 

In a heavy pan, heat olive oil and add chopped onion. When starting to turn translucent, add in the mushrooms and cook about 7 minutes on medium heat, or until

Most liquid is gone. Toss in the rice and toast it for about 2 minutes. Start adding the heated! stock one ladel at a time, stirring carefully, each time cooking off the liquid before adding more. Keep going about 15 minutes. The rice should release its starch and start to get softer. Keep tasting until it gets to the 'al dente' state you prefer continuing the stock addition process until ready. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.

Serve with a poached egg on top and some avocado slices. I used some fresh herbs too - mostly sage.


Tom Yum Soup

1 chicken breast quarter/skinless, bone in
2 quarts of water
2 tbsp sliced, peeled ginger
1 red chilli pepper, sliced and seedless 
2 tbsp fish sauce
2-3 stalks of lemongrass, chopped into pieces to fit your pot (easy to remove)
2 tsp sugar
5 shiitakes, sliced
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled
2 tomatoes
2 limes
3 scallions, chopped into 1/2 lengths
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Place chicken in a pot with 1 of the lemongrass stalks and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes removing anything that floats to the top of the stock.

Add the rest of the lemongrass, ginger (in a sash) and chilli. Let simmer another 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to cool.

Keep going with the stock, adding fish sauce, sugar and mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add your shrimp. Watch your soup, as soon as shrimp are opaque, remove the pot from the stove. Remove the lemongrass and the sash of ginger from the soup. Debone and chop up your chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to the soup. Season while still hot with scallions, lime juice and cilantro. Taste to see if more salt is needed or more spice. I usually just add a bit of sriracha or chilli oil at the end if the soup needs more kick.