Chicken and Mushroom Dumplings

Yield: 20-25 dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz cabbage
  • 1/4 C. salt
  • 3 oz shitake, sauted and drained
  • 4 oz ground chicken
  • 1/2 oz ginger, minced
  • 3-5 green onions, sliced
  • 2 thai chilis, minced
  • .5 oz basil, chiffonade
  • cornstarch slurry
  • package of dumpling wrappers
  1. Macerate cabbage in salt for 2 hours. Allow to drain, then wring out additional water using a towel.
  2. Add together all ingredients, mix thoroughly.
  3. Use a brush or fingers to cover the edges of wrapper, place one T of mixture in center. Close using half-moon or pleated methods.
  4. To Cook: in saute pan, place dumplings, turn on high, add 3/4 C. water + 1 T vegetable oil. Cover and cook for about 6 mins, or until water has evaporated.

Chicken Salad

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 T fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 C. dried cranberries
  • 4 oz chopped roasted chicken
  • 1/4 C. celery, small dice
  • 1/4 C. fennel, small dice
  • 1/3 C. plain yogurt
  • lemon juice, honey, s+p TT
  1. Add all ingredients together. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve on romaine or in sandwich

 

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes

Yield: Serves four

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
  • 1 C. white wine
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 2 T neutral oil
  • 2 T smoked paprika
  • 1 small onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 stick of chorizo sausage
  • 2 T flour
  • 1.5 C chicken stock
  • 2 lb red potatoes, medium dice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 T salt

*Side note, I also made a carrot puree, seasoned lightly and finished with yogurt. Additional options would be lightly wilted winter greens such as spinach or kale.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Marinade the chicken pieces in the wine, salt and pepper, for 1 hour. Sear in iron clad pan, remove to sheet pan, and dust front and back with smoked paprika. Set aside
  2. Toss potatoes with oil and 1 T paprika, and salt. Cook for 25 minutes. At 12 minute mark, add chicken to the oven.
  3. Meanwhile, add onions to the same pan the chicken was cooked in. Bring to medium heat, add a pinch of salt, and allow the onions to sweat down until soft. Add garlic, cook for 3-4 minutes and then add in chorizo. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stir in flour and add in chicken stock, cook on low for ten minutes.
  4. Check potatoes and chicken to ensure doneness, then allow chicken to rest for 5 mins.
  5. Strain chorizo and onions from sauce. Add the mixture to the potatoes, and return sauce to pan until it coats the back of the spoon.

Pie Crust

There are many kinds of pie crusts. Sweet, savory, buttery, flaky, they range based on ingredients, but mostly they differ due to the ratio of butter to flour. This one falls under the buttery, flaky categories and is honestly one of the best crusts I’ve made in a long time. That being said, its ratio of butter to flour is a little outrageous, making it ideal only for certain types of pastries. I would suggest using it for a crostata, as I did below, tangy fruit pies likes apple or cherry, or savory quiches (sans the sugar). The reason being is that with the crust so rich, you want a filling that will balance it out.

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Butter Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz butter, pea size and frozen
  • 5 oz A.P. flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T sugar (leave out if making savory)
  • 1/4-1/3 C. ice water
  1. In food processor, or by hand with pastry cutter, add flour, salt, sugar until mixed together. Add in butter until sandy texture.
  2. Slowly add in 1/4 C. water until dough forms. Stop pulsing or mixing to touch dough and see if more water has to be added. Dough should not be wet, but it should be able to pull together.
  3. Dump dough out into plastic wrap and bring together into a square. Fold over multiple times. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze (up to 1 month) until use.

Italian Meatball Soup with Roasted Garlic Turkey Meatballs

I seriously love making soup. There is something about the process of making it that is soothing: the methodical chops, the slow simmer, the finish of acid or cream to add that last touch of magic. What’s beautiful about soup is how forgiving it is. Making kale and sausage soup but only have collard greens and chickpeas, that’s cool. Making Italian wedding soup but only have ground turkey on hand? We can handle that.

Italian Meatball Soup with Roasted Garlic Turkey Meatballs

Yield: 1 gal, 8 servings

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 C. white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 head roasted garlic, cloves only
  • 1/4 C. chopped parsley
  • 1/4 C. shredded parmesan
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 2 T salt + 2 t pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix together milk and bread, allow to sit for about 10 mins. Add remaining ingredients together and mix until well combined. Form a small patty and cook in a teaspoon of oil in a pan on the stovetop. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Make into .75 oz balls using hands or ice cream scoop and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes. Cool and set aside

Ingredients for soup:

  • 20 meatballs (or as many as you get)
  • 2 C. onion, small dice
  • 1 C. celery, small dice
  • 1 C. carrot, small dice
  • 1 C. turnip or parsnip, small dice
  • 2 T. garlic, minced
  • 1 large or two small bundles of kale, stem removed and chiffonade
  • 2 T neutral oil
  • 5 quarts chicken stock
  • S + P TT
  • lemon juice TT
  1. Sweat all vegetables (not kale) in neutral oil, adding garlic last, until soft.
  2. Add kale, bring to boil, reduce to simmer.
  3. Once soup has reduced to about a gallon of liquid, add in meatballs.
  4. Finish with salt, pepper, and lemon to taste.
  5. Top with parmesan to serve.

Biscuit #1

I have been in search for the best biscuit, both in the city and in my own recipes, for years. It’s along the same line as my obsession with finding the best quiche. There are just so many recipes out there. I’ve finally nailed the process, but now have to work on the recipe. While this one is buttery and flaky, it’s missing something…more. Maybe spice, or a different mix of flours, but it definitely could use a touch of sweetness. To come.

Biscuits #1

Yield: 10 1.5″ biscuits

Ingredients:

6 oz butter, cut into pea sized squares (if using sticks, think cutting it into 1/8ths and then slicing the short way) and freeze

1 3/4 C. or about 8-9 oz of A.P. flour

1 T salt

1 T cracked pepper

1/2-3/4 C. whole milk

1 egg mixed with a T of milk

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In food processor, pulse (holding for only a second at a time) the flour and seasoning, then add in butter until thoroughly combined). *I like to do this in a food processor as it keeps the butter as cold as possible and makes it as small as possible. An alternative is to use a pastry cutter or two butter knives.
  3. Slowly add in 1/2 C. milk while pulsing. Depending on how dry the flour is, be prepared to add in a teaspoon more at a time until the dough comes easily away from the wall of the processor, but not so wet that it sticks.
  4. Dump dough out onto parchment paper or cling wrap, and gently bring the dough together, not touching it directly. Form the dough into a circle or square about 1 inch thick. Use a floured circle cutter, or floured drinking glass) to cut out as many biscuits as possible.
  5. Paint top of biscuits with egg, bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Sweet Potato & Squash Au Gratin

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This is one of those dishes that is decadent, cheesy, and unapologetic for it. When making this the first time, I attempted to make it a little bit healthier using a mix of whole milk and cream. The problem when doing that is that the milk breaks down and creates a pool at the bottom, which is not really a problem if eating it immediately. But the longer it sits, the more milk will come out of the gratin and the worse the dish will look. Trust me, sweet potatoes and acorn squash are healthy enough for those with that consciousness. They also add a sweet earthiness that makes this dish a stand out.

Sweet Potato & Squash Au Gratin

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1-2 yukon gold potatoes, depending on size
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 C. cream
  • 1 C. parmesan
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 T neutral oil
  • 1 t pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Sweat onions and garlic in oil in a small pot. Add cream, bring to a boil, reduce to low and add seasonings. Taste cream sauce, it should be fully seasoned. Add s+p to taste if necessary.
  3. Peel vegetables and slice into 1/4″ rounds or slices.
  4. Using either a 9×13″ pan or oval casserole dish, begin layering half of the vegetables throughout the pan. Pour half the cream sauce in. Cover with remaining vegetables, add cream until it just hits the top layer. Top with parmesan.
  5. Depth of dish will determine cooking time. Cook for 45 mins, or until the top is golden brown. Cover with foil, and finish cooking until a toothpick easily goes through all layers.

Chickpea Rice with Tomato Yogurt Salad

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One of things I’ve been told to brainstorm about at my new job is the idea of vegetarian take-away options. This sounds much easier than it appears. As I’ve been learning, much of what sells, sells due to looks. And in order to make money on the dishes we prepare, they have to have a shelf life of at least 3 days. This, well delicious, is not one of those salads. However, it is still delicious and a great option for lunch or dinner. No matter when and where you serve (or eat), I would recommend keeping the tomato yogurt topping separate from the rice and chickpeas until the last minute.

Chickpea Rice with Tomato Yogurt Salad

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C. onion, small dice
  • 1/2 C. white rice (converted or basamati)
  • 1 C. vegetable stock
  • 1 can or about 10 oz of chickpeas, washed and drained
  • 2 T neutral oil
  • 2-3 small/medium tomatoes, large dice
  • 1 half lemon, for slices and juice
  • 1/2 C. plain yogurt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T za’atar
  • s + p TT
  • parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. While heating, saute onion in small pot until soft, add rice and stock, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.
  2. Toss chickpeas, neutral oil, 1 1/2 T za’atar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Cut 2-5 lemon slices and add to baking sheet along with chickpeas and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix together yogurt, olive oil, diced tomatoes, lemon juice from rest of lemon, and the rest of the za’atar. Season to taste. Set aside.
  4. Mix together chickpeas and rice, adding about 1/2 cup to bottom of dishes. Spoon tomato yogurt salad on top, adding parsley and lemon as garnish.

*Notes: Can add cucumber, radishes, green tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables to yogurt dressing if desired.

Quick Vegetable Soup with Cheddar Dumplings

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This fall has been a little hectic. The weather has gone from freezing, to hot, to normal quicker than you can pick a pumpkin. Outside of the weather, I have started culinary school which has made my life a littler crazier—for the better—both personally and professionally. It is interesting to go from a school with such rigorous academic training as my alma mater, to one that could (in my case) care less about books and more about the discipline and building blocks of a craft. Of course we still have a lot of reading to do, as we are learning classic French techniques and the history of cuisine. But still, not the same.

For me, I just need time to adjust. Adjust to the plethora of people, to an actual kitchen that can hold 20 cooks compared to my measly three, but mostly for me it is about taking myself out of theory and into practice.

Each day I work on my knife skills. My knives have quickly gone from being scary, extremely dangerous weapons, to my friends I can’t leave at school for even one night. They are kept always sharp and always clean. As for my knife cuts themselves, well, they could use work. I tourne (a seven-sided football shape) the day away and maybe get a minuscule better. I julienne for an hour and it looks like I’ve done nothing. Alas. One of these days.

Anyways. The point of this digression is that I have had to figure out what to do with all of my extra produce scraps. At first, I made a lot of mashed potatoes. But dear lord, there are only so many I can eat. I hope, however, to make a mashed potato bread soon but that takes more time than an evening. I’ve moved on to carrots for as many cuts as I can do. They incorporate easier into dishes, and plus, if I get sick of them, Clarence will gladly help out. He strangely really enjoys carrots. But all of this is a warning. My next few recipes will be… creative, to say the least. In this soup alone, I have chiffonade collard greens, brunoised, julienne, and rondelle, and small dice of carrot, small dice of onion, and lozenged a pepper. It’s a little outrageous. In the recipe itself, I will call for a more uniform cut as it will make your soup look pretty and cook evenly, whereas mine, though tasted fantastic, looks a little half hazard.

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Remember I like to use everything I have on hand. The cheese comes from Renards in Door County, a family tradition and favorite stop, and is a cheese curd (they are the solid parts of soured milk, i.e. baby cheddar). I may have over estimated my ability to eat an entire bag in one week, so why not put it in a dumpling. The herb for the dumpling is actually carrot top leaves. If you don’t have any on hand, feel free to use sage or tarragon—any light herb that will cook easily will do. The carrot top leaves have a slightly bitter taste to them, but are full of nutrients. Perfect for those trying to kick a cold.

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Vegetable Soup with Cheddar Dumplings

Feeds 2-4 people

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 C. small dice of carrot
  • 1 C. small dice of onion
  • 1 C. small dice of pepper (green or red)
  • 2 pints chicken stock *use can use vegetable stock here instead to make this a vegetarian meal
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 C. chiffonade of collard greens (kale or even spinach would work)
  • S&P to taste

Dumplings:

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 C. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 C. fine chop of herbs or greens such as carrot top, tarragon, or sage
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C. milk (may need more or less depending on desired thickness of dumpling)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

1. In a medium-sized pot, heat oil to medium high heat and add in the onions, peppers, and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent but not colored.

2. Add chicken stock and water, bring to boil, reduce to simmer.

3. Add in collard greens. Allow soup to cook on low simmer for about 20–30 minutes or until carrots are cooked through.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine all of the dumpling ingredients. Mix well. The dough should be sticky, yet thin enough to form easily into a small ball or spoon shape.

5. Bring soup up to a boil, add in 4 or 5 dumplings at a time (depending on size of pot) cover, and allow to cook for 3–5 minutes. Remove dumplings and set aside. Complete until out of dough.

6. Serve the soup with three dumplings in the center.

Nothing like a warm soup on a cold night. Enjoy!