Friday, September 29, 2006

Pie Baking Contest

So about pushing myself into a non-comfort zone ... I just entered a fruit pie baking contest. I have vague idea of what I'd like to do, but that's about it. Suggestions and/or support are welcome, as are perscriptions of anti-anxiety medication.

Recipes From the Civil War Era

As I write this, I can hear rhythmic beating of drums. A horse-drawn carriage trots by my house; the clip-clop of hooves is accompanied by the jingling of bells on the horse's harness. (There's also the yelling of disaffected Middle School students, but that's much less charming.)

Just down the street from our house (steps really) the Granger Homestead is hosting its annual Civil War Encampment. There are men dressed in uniform (I think I spotted some Union blue ) and the women in voluminous skirts and bonnets. (The school busses break the mood, but account for the pre-teen hijinks.)

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's period tea (and, oh my God, how long do I have to wait to force a child's tea party on Sadie there?) and has gotten me thinking period recipes. It's time I push past my comfort zone (not in cooking alone, either) so I'm eyeing a few recipes from Mrs. Isabella Beeton's Book of Household Management. (Yep, I've been thinking about an extremely retro RRC, too.)

I think I'll avoid Mrs. Beeton's recipe for Boiled Tongue, but Brillat Savarin's Fondue sounds nice. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

World Bread Day: End of the Season Zucchini Bread

This is Carolyn's recipe, which I had the fortune to taste when her daughter, Kathryn, recently made it. It was delicious - sweet, spicy, packed with flavor.

Mine isn't as flavorful, and I think it's because I forgot to put in the vanilla. (Yeah. Oops.) It's still very good, just not as delicious as Carolyn and Kathryn's. Still, it speaks volumes about the recipe -- if you can leave out a key ingredient and still have a pretty good result, the recipe has to be a good one.

The yield is a little odd. In addition to a 9-inch loaf, I was also able to get 13 very full miniature muffins. Not bad if you want to give the loaf away as a gift, but still be able to nibble on your handiwork.

Thanks to Kochtopf for hosting World Bread Day!

End of the Season Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
1 c. oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat over to 325-degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch bread pan (and, if you'd like to use the extra batter, line the cups of 13 mini muffin cups).

Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add in all the other ingredients, except the nuts, and mix until just combined. Fold in nuts. Scoop batter into pans and bake mini muffins for approximately 18 minutes; the loaf for 80 to 90 minutes.

Grade: Carolyn's, A; Mine, B+

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Nacho Dinner Bake

Oooh, baby. Let's eat like we've never heard of heart disease.

When I pulled this out of the oven, Shane was looking over my shoulder.

“Is that a retro recipe?” he asked.

Well no, not technically. But definitely in spirit.

The recipe is adapted from one in Rotisserie Chickens to the Rescue! published in 2003, but the contents are something out of 1955. If the name "Nacho Dinner Bake" isn’t enough, the chicken, combined with sour cream, salsa, and canned corn, topped by black beans and cheese, all on a bed of tortilla chips certainly is.

I'm wincing as I write this. I love simple dishes, traditional meals, and comfort foods, but I try to avoid anything campy (well, most of the time).

But maybe I shouldn't write it off. It’s tasty, kid-friendly (Kian and Sadie were all over it), and easy to make. You can also get it on the table in 20 minutes -- helpful if Donna Reed doesn’t live at your house.

Two other options:

1) Leave out the tortilla chips and, after baking, spoon over yellow rice

2) Use the unbaked filling as a party dip

Nacho Dinner Bake

14 oz. bag tortilla chips


2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
2 cups frozen corn, thawed or canned corn, drained
1 ½ cups salsa
½ cup light sour cream
½ cup chopped scallions
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 to 2 tsps. ground cumin
1 tsps. garlic powder
½ tsp salt


1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded Mexican blend cheese, to taste

Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9 glass baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with chips.

In a medium bowl, stir together the filling ingredients and spoon mixture over chips. Top with black beans, followed by a sprinkling of cheese. Bake until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately, scooping it out with a serving spoon. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, avocado slices and remaining tortilla chips. Serves 6 to 8.

Grade: B+

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Announcing Retro Recipe Challenge #3

Whip out your aprons, warm up your ovens, and grab yourself a nip of sherry ‘cause it’s time for the latest Retro Recipe Challenge!

There were a number of wonderful theme ideas. But the one that got the most people buzzing was suggested by Bibliochef: a recipe from Gourmet published during the year of one’s birth.

It’s a terrific theme, but Gourmet’s archives aren’t up to the challenge. A quick search for “1977” yielded two recipes, “1955” yielded one, and “1940” didn’t turn up anything.

So let’s broaden things a bit: for Retro Recipe Challenge #3, create a recipe from any publication originally published within five years of your birth year.

For example, I was born in 1977 so I’ll look for recipes published between 1972 and 1982. This might include Chile and Chorizo Cornbread(1977), Pasta Primaveria(1975), or Chile Relleno Casserole (1982).

My mom was born in 1952, so she might whip up Lobster Newberg (1950), German Apple Pancakes (1952), or Barbecue Potato Cheese Meatloaf (1947).
If you can find a great recipe that comes from your year of birth, great! If not, you’ve got five years of wiggle room to find something you’re really interested in making. (This IS about having fun!)

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Cook up a recipe published within five years of your birth year
  • Take a picture (optional – if you can’t do it; don’t worry!)
  • Post the recipe and your results on your blog. Please include:

    *The year the recipe was published
    *Where the recipe came from
    *How it tasted
    *A tag for RRC3
    *A link to this post

  • Send an email to RetroRecipeChallengeATgmailDOTcom by Sunday, Oct. 15 at 11:59pm EST. Please include:

    *RRC#3 in the subject line
    *your first name or blogging nickname
    *your blog's name and your blog's URL
    *the recipe name and the post's URL
  • That's it!

    If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate! Please click here for details.

    For help in searching for recipes, visit “helpful links” on the sidebar of Retro Recipe Challenge Blog. If you come across some resources that aren't listed, share the wealth! Leave a comment or send an email to RetroRecipeChallengeATgmailDOTcom .

    Of course, you don’t have to limit your search to online resources. Check out the library, scour garage sales, mess around in Grandma’s attic.

    I can’t wait to see what everyone whips up – good luck and get cooking!

    HUGE thanks to Kalyn, Kevin (aka Acme Instant Food ), Ellie, Rachel, Gena, Emily, Doodles, and Lis for their input and theme suggestions. You guys are grea! I can’t wait to tackle all of your wonderful ideas.


    Friday, September 22, 2006

    SHF23 Submission: Chocolate Surprise Cookies

    One of Sadie's favorite candies -- if not her favorite -- is a marshmallow covered in milk chocolate.

    This is the cookie version of that confection. A tender chocolate cookie is topped with a soft-yet-chewy marshmallow and smothered in rich and buttery chocolate frosting.

    Those you share these cookies with might be surprised to find a marshmallow tucked inside, but they won't be surprised at how good they taste.

    Many thanks to Alanna for hosting Sugar High Friday 23 .

    Chocolate Surprise Cookies, from Martha Stewart

    1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup cocoa powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 large egg
    ½ cup milk
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    12 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally
    Chocolate Frosting (see recipe below)

    Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.

    Using a tablespoon or 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, 10 to 12 minutes.

    Remove baking sheets from oven, and place a marshmallow, cut-side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven, and continue baking until marshmallows begins to melt, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

    Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over each marshmallow, starting in the center and continuing outward until marshmallow is covered. Makes about 2 dozen

    Chocolate Frosting

    2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    ¼ cup cocoa powder
    ¼ cup milk
    ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in butter and cocoa powder. Add milk and vanilla, and whisk until well combined. Yields 1 cup.

    Grade: A

    Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

    There are a number of joys involved with teaching at MCC. The students are (by and large) interested in learning. The faculty is committed to teaching. The department chairs stick up for their staff (!!!). Employee morale is high. The campus center is alive with student life.

    And there are cereal bars and Starbucks* coffee.

    MCC's OutFlakes is a cereal bar -- like a regular bar except they serve cereal instead of alcohol, though that certainly would make academia more entertaining -- that serves up hot and cold cereals, wraps, coffee and peanutty cereal bars.

    The bars are crunchy squares of goodness, held together by a sweet, peanut-buttery caramel. I've tried to convince myself that they're a healthy breakfast selection, but the sugar and corn syrup tell a different story.

    OK, so they're not that much better for breakfast than a donut. But if you like peanut butter and have a sweet tooth, they're a much more delicious choice. (Unless you're choosing a fresh Krispy Kreme original glazed -- located tantalizingly close to MCC -- and then you've got me.)

    Peanut Butter Cereal Bars (aka, "Peanutty Cereal Bars")
    1 (16 oz.) pkg. Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, honey roasted
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup light corn syrup
    1 cup peanut butter

    Lightly grease a 13x9-inch pan. Place cereal in large bowl; set aside.

    Mix sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 4 to 5 min. or until mixture comes to boil; stir. Pour over cereal and mix well.

    Press mixture firmly into pan and allow to cool. Cut into 16 or 32 bars. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

    Grade: A

    *When you live in the City of New York and there's a Starbucks on every corner, you get sick of them. You seek out independent coffeehouses and professional baristas, turning your nose up at corporate coffee.

    When you move Upstate and the best cappuccino is a 50 minute car drive away, Starbucks doesn't seem so bad anymore. You begin to wish there was one nearby. And when you find one, you get a little excited.

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    "Regular" Beef & E-coli Spinach

    The effects of irresponsibly-raised beef rear their ugly heads again.

    From an editorial by Nina Planck running in today's New York Times:

    E. coli is abundant in the digestive systems of healthy cattle and humans, and if your potato salad happened to be carrying the average E. coli, the acid in your gut is usually enough to kill it.

    But the villain in [the current spinach] outbreak, E. coli O157:H7, is far scarier, at least for humans. Your stomach juices are not strong enough to kill this acid-loving bacterium, which is why it’s more likely than other members of the E. coli family to produce abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and, in rare cases, fatal kidney failure.

    Where does this particularly virulent strain come from? It’s not found in the intestinal tracts of cattle raised on their natural diet of grass, hay and other fibrous forage. No, O157 thrives in a new — that is, recent in the history of animal diets — biological niche: the unnaturally acidic stomachs of beef and dairy cattle fed on grain, the typical ration on most industrial farms. It’s the infected manure from these grain-fed cattle that contaminates the groundwater and spreads the bacteria to produce, like spinach, growing on neighboring farms.

    Read the complete editorial here.

    Related posts: Bye Bye Beef, Quorn & More on US Beef, USDA Bans Import of Older Canadian Cattle Beef Due to Mad Cow Concerns

    Retro Recipe Challenge #3 Call for Suggestions -- Again!

    Not familiar with the RRC? Take a look at rounds one and two.

    "Hmmm. Should I make tomato aspic or a sherry chicken hot cup?"

    There have been some GREAT ideas for the next RRC:

    * Casseroles, suggested by Kalyn

    *Mother's (or grandmother's) best recipe, suggested by Acme Instant Food and seconded by Ellie

    *Brightly colored, suggested by Rachel

    *Fall/autumnal theme, suggested by Gena

    *Fudge, suggested by Gena

    *Comfort food, suggested by Bibliochef

    *Retro with a twist, suggested by Bibliochef

    * A recipe from Gourmet during the year of one's birth, suggested by Bibliochef and seconded by Emily and Doodles

    *Bake Sale items, suggested by Emily and seconded by Doodles

    There's still time before next Monday to make a theme suggestion (or suggestions!) or vote for one of the ideas listed above. Just leave a comment in the comments section below. Thanks for your help!

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    The Reviewer Becomes the Reviewee

    In tomorrow's New York Times, food critic Frank Bruni will review Freemans. Here and here is William Tigertt's (of Freemans) take on the experience. It's a fun read and a flipside perspective. (Links via Gawker.)

    Sickie's Chicken Noodle Soup

    With fall comes the first cold. Stuffy head, scratchy throat, and a desire to lay low.

    And a desire for chicken soup.

    Easy to make, tasty ... and restorative.

    Sickie's Chicken Noodle Soup

    1 cup rotini (or other bite-sized pasta)
    49 oz. low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
    1 medium onion, diced
    3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
    3 large stalks celery, chopped
    1 to 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
    salt and pepper to taste

    Prepare pasta according to package directions. Place onion and broth in a pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Add carrots, celery, and chicken and reduce to a simmer. Cook until vegatables are tender. Drain pasta and add to soup. Season soup to taste and enjoy.

    Grade: A

    Friday, September 15, 2006


    It was cool and rainy yesterday, making me crave comfort food. That weather also makes me feel kind of lazy, so while I wanted lasagna for dinner, I couldn’t bear the thought of finger-wiping noodles (to rid them of excess water) and laying them in a pan, alternating the direction of each layer.

    So I cheated. I boiled up a box of rotini, spread the cooked pasta in a glass dish, topped it with meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella, and popped it in the oven. 40 minutes later, I had my comfort food.

    And it was damned good.

    Faux-sagna (aka, rotini lasagna)

    1 lb. box rotini
    2 jars of good-quality, tomato based pasta sauce (recommended Newman’s Own Sockarooni
    1 lb. organic or responsibly raised ground beef (like Laura's Lean Beef)
    32 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
    4 cups shredded mozzarella
    Pecorino Romano

    Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 glass pan. Cook rotini according to package directions. While rotini is cooking, heat a large sauté pan to medium high and cook beef until brown. Reduce heat to low and add 1½ jars of sauce to the beef in the pan. Stir until sauce is heated through.

    When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain well. Spread a thin layer of the non-meat sauce (the sauce still in the jar) in the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of rotini, followed with meat sauce. Drop heaping spoonfuls of ricotta on top of the sauce, followed by mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of rotini, meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella. Top with the last of the rotini and non-meat sauce.

    At this point, you should have three layers of rotini sandwiching two layers of meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella.

    Lightly grease a piece of aluminum foil and place the greased side down on top of the pasta. Crimp foil and place pan in oven. Bake 35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Remove foil, top with more mozzarella and some Pecorino Romano and bake another 5 minutes.

    Grade: A

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    Pumpkin Bread

    Pumpkin bread, left (with zucchini bread and a coconut doughnut).

    This lovely recipe for pumpkin bread is slightly adapted from Elise's at Simply Recipes. It's very moist and lightly spiced -- a nice option for widely divergent palates. Kian and Sadie especially liked it.

    Note that the oil used is not one usually used in quick breads: olive oil.

    Pumpkin Bread
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup canned pumpkin purée
    1/2 cup olive oil
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350-degrees F and grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Stir together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, until just combined. If using walnuts, gently fold in. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack. Makes one loaf.

    Grade: A-

    Don't forget to suggest a theme for Retro Recipe Challenge #3!

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    Pancake Redux

    If you're not in the mood for banana pancakes, try these. They're delicious and, while cooking, they smell like baking pie.

    Not only are they lip-smacking good, but they're rich in antioxidents. Pancakes as health food!

    Berry Pancakes
    2 Tbs. sugar
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 cup flour
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 cup milk
    2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
    1 cup berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or a mix)

    Preheat oven to 175-degrees F. In a medium bowl, whish sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt. Add egg, milk, and butter, whisking to combine but still slightly lumpy.

    Heat a large nonstick skilled over medium heat. Pour batter on the pan and dot with berries. Cook until large bubbles cover the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully and cook until other side is golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven.

    Repeat with remaining batter and berries. Serve with butter and maple syrup or a dusting of powdered sugar. Leftover pancakes can be wrapped and refrigerated; simply reheat and serve. Serves 3.

    Grade: A

    Don't forget to suggest a theme for Retro Recipe Challenge #3!

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Retro Recipe Challenge #3 Call for Suggestions

    "Oh, I just don't know what to make!"

    In two weeks, the next theme for the Retro Recipe Challenge will announced. But what should the theme should be?




    Drug paraphernalia crafted from roadside-stand produce? (Mmmm-mmm!)

    Post your ideas in the comments section below or send them to me at .
    Thanks for your help -- you're the most!

    Five Years Later

    ...and I still can't find the right words to express how I feel about it all.

    Saturday, September 09, 2006

    A Sign of the Apocalypse


    Premiering September 18, 2006

    Rachael Ray, TV's most down-to-earth and relatable star, launches her brand new, one-hour daily syndicated series, appropriately named "Rachael Ray" on September 18. The show will be an exciting and unpredictable hour of fun that celebrates the can-do spirit in every person and gives viewers the essentials for whole-hearted living.

    Host Rachael Ray will present simple solutions for everyday issues offering viewers unique take-away information as well as entertaining ways to squeeze just a little more out of life every day.

    Showcasing Rachael's signature warmth, energy and her boundless curiosity for all aspects of life, the series will engage viewers and in-studio audiences with a personal, hands-on, celebratory approach to life the Rachael Ray way. While Rachael will continue to heat up the kitchen with her creative signature dishes, she will also take her audience beyond to explore all facets of life and good living.

    There will be unpredictable escapades that will open eyes, encourage smiles and portray life in new, interesting ways. There will be no boundaries, no guidelines and no topics untouched. "Rachael Ray" will focus on the good of everyday people and celebrate life in its most authentic forms. Viewers will discover something new, learn something fun and realize that life just doesn't have to be that hard because everybody needs a little R and R.


    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Banana Pancakes

    These pancakes are FANTASTIC. Delicious! Superb! Light and tender, the flavor of banana bursts through with each bite. Very evocotive of bananas Foster -- you almost don’t need maple syrup.

    Make these very, very soon.

    (Thanks to Nandita for hosting Weekend Breakfast Blogging!)

    Banana Pancakes (adapted from Good Things For Kids, Summer 2006)

    2 Tbs. sugar
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 cup flour
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 cup milk
    2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
    2 bananas, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds

    Preheat oven to 175-degrees F. In a medium bowl, whish sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt. Add egg, milk, and butter, whisking to combine but still slightly lumpy. (According to The Martha, slightly lumpy pancake batter results in lighter, fluffier pancakes. Who knew? – LR)

    Heat a large nonstick skilled over medium heat. Place three to four banana slices in the skillet and spoon batter over them. Cook until large bubbles cover the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully and cook until other side is golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven.

    Repeat with remaining batter and banana slices. Saute extra banana slices in butter until golden and serve with pancakes. Leftover pancakes can be wrapped and refrigerated; simply reheat and serve. Serves 3.

    Grade: A+


    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    Something in the air has shifted. The leaves are changing. Roadside stands are selling pumpkins and decorative corn stalks. Yellow busses are taking tiny passengers to school.

    Fall is here.

    Though my mind feels the seasonal shift seems sudden, my body fell in step easily. It gravitates toward warm sweaters in dark colors and feels a deep desire to bake pies, cookies, and cakes kissed heavily with spices and autumnal fruits.

    Oatmeal cookies fit the bill nicely. Kian liked them for their lack of chocolate and Bill, my father-in-law, liked them because I switched the white sugar for Splenda (Bill is diabetic.)

    They’re also very tasty. Chewy and lightly spiced with bursts of raisin, they are a lovely fall cookie – perfect to tuck into a school lunch box or to boost one’s reserves after picking apples.

    Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (adapted from this recipe)

    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup packed light-brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 room temperature large eggs,
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup raisins

    Heat oven to 350-degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs; mix on high speed to combine. Mix in vanilla; set aside.

    Combine oats, flour, cinnamon, wheat germ, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat on low speed to combine, 10 to 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer, and stir in raisins.

    Using a large metal scoop, drop dough onto prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden and just set, about 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen.

    Grade: A

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Shameless Attempt To Get Free Chocolate

    Cybele at CandyBlog posted on this: Nestle is debuting a new line of baking chocolate called Nestle Chocolatier. If you sign up as part of their "Official Online Team," they'll send you a coupon for a free bag of chocolate!!!

    Better yet, for every 25 people who click on this link, they'll send me another coupon. (Better than THAT, if you sign up and put the link on your site, you can do the same exact thing.) So click here. Or here. Or here. Free chocolate!

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Favorite Turkey Burgers

    Yum. Maybe I should make these for dinner tonight...

    On Monday night, Shane brought home a new member of the family: a Perfect Flame grill. It was too late to cook dinner on it so the following night, we pledged to test it out.

    Shane, having lived in Germany, has acquired a taste for all things encased in pig intestine; he wanted to grill bratwurst. While I'm up for the occasional sausage product, meat-stuffed-entrails tends to squick me out.

    I went for turkey burgers. And God, I'm glad I did.

    The recipe comes from The Martha. The burgers are moist and flavorful, with bursts of green onion and the lovely but subtle backdrop of dijon mustard -- really delicious. Kian wanted to know if we could have them again the next night. And the night after that. And the night after that. It's not easy to find recipes that appeal to both adult and kid palates, so this one's a keeper.

    If you're barbecuing this weekend and looking for an alternative to beef, give this burger a try. Be sure to use the less-lean ground turkey (92-or 93-percent) keep things juicy.

    Favorite Turkey Burger

    1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
    1/2 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese
    4 thinly sliced scallions
    1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    1 minced garlic clove
    Salt and pepper

    Heat grill to high. In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine ground turkey with Gruyère, scallions, breadcrumbs, mustard, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties.

    Lightly oil grill. Place patties on hottest part of grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move patties to cooler part of grill; continue grilling until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side. Serves 4.

    Grade: A+