Sunday, April 29, 2012

Savory "French" Toast

I never really liked french toast, it's the maple syrup. I am not a fan. Many years ago I invented my Savory French Toast. I used to call it Italian Toast because of the standard Italian spices oregano, basil and parsley in it. Recently after doing Baby Led Weaning with Bubba, I have discovered that in England they make something very similar and call it "eggy bread".

3-4 eggs
light sprinkle of garlic powder and black pepper
generous sprinkle of chives, oregano, basil, and parsley
5-6 slices of bread
cheddar cheese

First mix the eggs and spices.

Dip the bread in the egg mixture and brown in a pan heated to medium heat.

Flip when browned.

Add the cheese so it will melt while the second side browns.


Bubba is a fan!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Kitty who will not be Ignored

One of the cats tried to wake me up early for their breakfast this morning. Bubba was awake a couple of times late last night and he was actually sleeping in this morning. So I rolled over and went back to sleep.

(Before you feel bad for them, and think they are starving, don't. They have a big bowl of dry food that is always out for them to eat anytime they want. Which was full when I got up this morning btw. She just wanted the wet food they get at breakfast and dinner because she is spoiled.)

Anyway I rolled back over and went back to sleep, for 5 minutes.

Dora kicked open the door to Bubba's room and meowed several times (I imagine right next to his crib) till he woke up.

So once Bubba was up, I had to get up.

Since their dry food bowl was totally full I decided I was not going to reward her behavior and I would make her wait a little bit, so she wouldn't get in the habit of trying to wake Bubba when ever she wants us to get up.

I got Bubba's breakfast ready, put the dishes away, cleaned the cat's water bowls. While I was doing all kinds of things in the kitchen that didn't involve wet cat food Dora followed me around with a mildly annoyed look on her face. After I finished everything I got their wet food ready, and fed them.

5 minutes after the cats finished eating and I sat down to my own breakfast next to Bubba who was happily eating his pancakes, Dora walked over to the computer desk and puked on the stapler.

Touche kitty. Touche.

Dora and Sandy

During morning nap time, when I went to take a shower Sandy sat and howled outside of Bubba's bedroom door. 

Et tu Sandy?

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Make Galumpkis aka Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Narrated by my brother Tim (while he cooks)

I have mentioned before that my brother has referred to himself as "a damn fine cook". These cabbage rolls are one of his many specialties. I decided to truly get the Tim "cooking experience" you needed to hear him describe his methods first hand, so this past weekend Bubba and I went to visit and convinced Tim that he had to do a guest post and make his famous cabbage rolls for us. Bubba as usual loved them at first taste and was extremely happy to see the leftovers at lunch today. (Uncle Tim made us a whole pan of them to bring home for Daddy since he was unable to come with us). Without further ado, I will turn the blog post over to the chef:

Ok here's what you'll need to make Galumpkis:

         4 cups of water
         2 cups dry rice
Sauces A and B (sauce B becomes filler, henceforth called "stuff"):
Sauce A:
             (2) 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
             5-ish cloves of garlic 
(know your audience, this is a garlic heavy crowd)
     1 tablespoon of sugar
             2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Sauce B:
     1 onion
           5-ish cloves of garlic 
           (1) 6oz can of tomato paste
     2 eggs
            1/2 cup red wine
            1 head of cabbage
            1 package ground turkey (technically, tri-mix of veal, pork and beef, but whatever you have works, it's a depression era dish, use squirrel if it's on sale)

Put 4 cups of water in a pot with the 2 cups of dry rice, heat to boiling then turn down to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and rice is cooked.
I always say, "You aren't watching the rice: if you are watching the rice you are doing something wrong because you are supposed to be doing other things... like cooking the rest of the stuff. Pour yourself a glass of wine then putz around while the rice cooks."

Cut the onions and garlic.

Put the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes in a oiled (maybe a tablespoon, or so you tell them) sauce pan heated to medium and add half the garlic to it. (Sauce A)
In another pan cook the onions at medium till soft then add the rest of the garlic to the onions. (Sauce B)
Keep stirring them both 'cause one explodes and the other one burns if you don't.

After about the time it takes you to open a tomato paste can, add the tomato paste to the onions. (Sauce B)

Next, fill the empty can of tomato paste with red wine and add that to the onions and tomato paste.
Then stir like the dickens.

 After about 2 minutes take Sauce A (on the left) off the heat, add the sugar and white wine vinegar and stir. 

Take 1 cup of the crushed tomato mixture (Sauce A) and add it into the onion tomato paste mess (Sauce B). Use a ladle, don't stick plastic measuring cups in hot tomato sauce. Besides, it's an estimate. Stir, then take off the heat.

Take everything off the heat and let it cool while you work on the rest.

Fill a large pot with water and a sprinkle of salt. If the water tastes funny you've added too much salt, or you have bad water.
Heat to boiling.

While waiting for it to boil, dump the cooked rice into a large bowl and let it cool a bit, then add the tomato paste and onion mixture (Sauce B). Stir.

While you wait, "gore" the cabbage.

Bubba is having his Cheerios snack while we cook.

Add the meat (raw) and two eggs to the rice and Sauce B mixture.


Boiling the cabbage:

After about five minutes, leaves can just be peeled off one at a time. Use tongs, peel gently, and thwack them on a cutting board or somewhere.

Cut off the hard chewy bit of the cabbage. 

Then what you do depends on how fancy you need to be. So, fancy is rolling them, putting a spoonful of meat/rice on the leaf.

 Then a dollop of sauce.

Then roll them somehow (Don't ask me, this is where it all falls apart)

Keep rolling ad nauseum

Then when you get tired of that, do it the lazy way. Put some sauce in the bottom of the pan, a couple leaves,

 then spread as much meat as you can on top of that,

a bit of sauce,

More leaves, meat and sauce, ideally using them all up now. Sometimes you may have to make a THIRD pan, and MORE sauce (Sauce A)  (this was one of those times)

There you go. Lazy and Fancy. (left and right respectively)

Oh yeah, throw more sauce (Sauce A) on the top. People like the sauce, there's never enough.

 *There may be mention of waiting in this description. It's bollocks, when one thing's going, that's when you wash  up, chuck things out, check the heat, recheck the heat, stir, yell at people to stop wiping the stove because it's futile, and maybe have a sip of wine and think about sitting down, before having to stir again.

Bake in an oven preheated 350 for 1 hour.


Bubba approves!

One fancy cabbage roll!

Bubba says, "You mean I get to have them again?! Oh happy day!"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fried Plantains

At the grocery store this week they had plantains on sale. So I decided to give fried plantains a try. After some googling I found Alton Brown's recipe. I love his show "Good Eats", he explains everything so well and always tells you the scientific reason for why you have to do things in a certain order while cooking.  It makes it easier to remember that way.

2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
3 green plantains

Mix the crushed garlic and water in a large glass bowl and set aside. Alton Brown's recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of salt in the water, but since Bubba was eating them I skipped it.

Peel the plantains, and cut them in 1 inch thick sections.

Fry in the oil for about 1 minute on each side

 'til they turn a golden yellow color.

Take out of oil and place on parchment paper.  (I used brown paper bag that I cut open, and  it works just fine.) 

Use a large spatula to flatten the plantains.

I put a folded paper towel between the plantain and the spatula (so the hot oil wouldn't spray through the cracks and burn me).

Gently flatten the plantains.

Soak in the garlic water for 1 minute (do not soak much longer because they start to break down).

Lay the plantains out on paper towel and pat dry.

Return  to the oil and fry till golden brown.

Lay on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.

These were so good! If Alton and I weren't both already married....

Bubba really liked them too!

Update: I have submitted this recipe to a blogger event "Taste of the Tropics" featuring Plantains this month hosted at Chef Mireille's Global Creations.

Here is the link to the round up with all of the other plantain recipes featured.