Saturday, December 24, 2011

Instead of Chinese Takeout, Try My Lemon Chicken with Vegetables (recipe, meat)

Lemon Chicken and Vegetables M Serves: 4
This is the perfect recipe for anyone who loves an intense lemon flavor. In this recipe, I’ve used the sauce over chicken, but you could also use it over  tofu or a firm white fish like halibut. Use it as an appetizer or main course. Everyone will be begging for more.
Prep time: 45 min.  Cooking time: 30 min.
4 chicken cutlets
2 tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon vodka
3 egg whites
1 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
½-3/4 cup vegetable oil
½ cup vinegar
1 cup low salt chicken stock-fresh /boxed
2 tablespoons water
1 large lemon
2 large carrots
½ red pepper
3 scallions
1 cup crushed canned pineapple-drained
1 tablespoon pure lemon extract
4 cups cooked basmati rice
2 small mixing bowls
Shallow bowl for marinating chicken
Large skillet
Small saucepan
  1. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and vodka in small bowl.
  2. Trim and rinse chicken cutlets. Arrange them in a single layer in shallow bowl and pour marinade over them. Turn them over so that the marinade coats the cutlets and let them sit for 30 minutes.
  3. While cutlets are marinating: Peel and trim carrots. Cut them into small match stick size pieces. Set aside. Remove all seeds and core from pepper and cut into small match size pieces. Add to carrots. Rinse and trim scallions. Cut both green and white parts into 1/8 inch rounds. Add to other vegetables. Add pineapple to this mixture and set aside.
  4. Beat egg whites til frothy in mixing bowl. Pour one cup cornstarch into shallow bowl. Remove chicken cutlets from marinade (Discard marinade.), mix them with egg whites and dredge them in cornstarch. Shake off any excess cornstarch and set cutlets aside.
  5. Heat ½ inch of oil in skillet until it is very hot. Add cutlets and fry until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. Cut into one inch cross wise slices. Keep warm in 200 F. oven until sauce is ready and you are ready to serve.
  6. Grate lemon on large holes of grater /microplane and set aside. Juice lemon and remove pits.
  7. Place vinegar, sugar, remaining one tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with water, lemon rind and juice in saucepan. Stir well. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture thickens  slightly. Add vegetables and pineapple to sauce.Stir well. Remove from heat.  Add lemon extract. Taste. Add more extract one drop at a time if you want it more lemony. The taste will change depending on the size and taste of your fresh lemon.
  8. Spread cooked rice on a platter. Arrange chicken slices attractively over rice. Pour lemon-vegetable sauce over the top.#Serve hot.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

For a Change, Try A No Potato Vegetable Latke

A No Potato Vegetable Latke P Yield: 24 latkes
Who said you must use potatoes to make latkes? Shredded veggies plus miscellaneous other ingredients fried in oil produce a flavorful light latke. Add some smoked salmon (in the shape of a rose or not)or even a piece of pastrami and you have a fabulous first course.
Prep time: 20 min.  Frying time: 45 min.
2 eggs-beaten
Pinch salt
2 cups shredded celery root- about 20 ounces
11 ounce can kernel corn-drained
1 ¼ cups shredded carrots-about 2 large carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 full tablespoon white horseradish
¼ cup freshly chopped dill
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
Electric food processor (for shredding and chopping veggies)
Large mixing bowl
Large skillet
Wooden spoon
Slotted spatula
Cookie sheet lined with paper towels
  1. Beat eggs together with salt in mixing bowl. Add vegetables to eggs. Stir well. Add horseradish, dill and flour. Stir again.
  2. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in skillet until it is very hot. Carefully, place about four rounded spoon full s of vegetable mixture in oil. Do not flatten them. Wait patiently until latkes are well browned on one side before flipping them to other side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat this process until you have used up all the mixture. Serve latkes hot with dill/horseradish sauce if desired. They are delicious on their own.
  3. To serve as a first course: make a rose of smoked salmon and surround it with three latkes or roll up the smoked salmon and lay it on top of each latke. You can do the same thing with pastrami. Use honey mustard as a sauce if you choose pastrami.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Litlte Bit of Spice: Potato-Apple-Cumin Latkes

Potato-Apple-Cumin Latkes P Yield: 36 latkes
The aroma from the warm cumin mixed with sweet apple that accompanies you as you fry these latkes is addictive!
Prep: 20 min.   Frying time: as long as it takes you to fry 4-5 latkes at a time-about 45 min.
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup chopped onions/scallions
1 pound white potatoes
1 pound sweet apples
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups + vegetable oil
½ cup minced parsley
Electric food processor
Large skillet
Wooden spoon
Cookie sheets lined with paper towels
  1. Beat eggs with cumin and onions in mixing bowl.
  2. Peel and quarter apples. Remove core. Set aside. Peel and rinse potatoes .
  3. Insert the shredding attachment in your processor and shred potatoes and apples. Add them to egg mixture. Sprinkle with flour and stir well.
  4. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in skillet until it is very hot and drop small amounts of latke mixture into the hot oil with a wooden spoon. Press on the back of latkes carefully with the back of spoon to flatten them out. When you see the edges browning, flip latkes and brown the other side.  You should under fry them slightly if you plan to reheat them another time. Place cooked latkes on paper towels to drain. Arrange nicely on a platter. Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve hot. These are delicious plain, with applesauce or chutney.

Potato-Apple-Cinnamon Latkes--Perfect for Dessert or for Brunch

Potato-Apple-Cinnamon Latkes P Yield: 36 latkes
A cross between my potato-apple galette and potato latkes, I see this as a dessert latke but it would also be yummy as a side dish with meat or chicken. Cinnamon and apple are a standard combination and well- fried with potato- it’s perfect.
Prep time: 20 min.  Frying time:  about 45 minutes
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pound white potatoes
1 pound sweet apples
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups + vegetable oil
½ cup white sugar for sprinkling
Electric food processor
Mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Cookie sheets lined with paper towels
  1. Beat eggs together with cinnamon in mixing bowl.
  2. Peel  and quarter apples, Remove cores. Peel and rinse potatoes.
  3. Insert shredding disk into processor and shred apples and potatoes. Add them to egg mixture. Sprinkle with flour.
  4. Pour 1/2 inch vegetable oil in skillet and heat until very hot. Drop spoonfuls of latkes mixture into oil with wooden spoon, Flatten the top of latkes with back of spoon. Fry until edges start to brown and then flip latkes to other side and fry until browned.  Undercook latkes a little if you plan to reheat them at another time. Otherwise, drain them on paper towels and then arrange them on platter and serve hot. Sprinkle with sugar right before serving.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Taste of the Old Country: Khrustiki Cookies for Chanukah


Twig Cookies (Khrustiki) P Yield: 60 twigs
We went to Russia several years ago and I made a cocktail party before our trip for which I only made Russian dishes. As I am from partly Russian descent, it was a lot of fun to do. One of the books I bought to work with is called : Please To The Table by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman. 
Here is their recipe for Twig cookies which I thought would be a nice addition to the Chanukah table. I only changed it by increasing the brandy from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. They are crisp and light and “kichel” like.  The dough is easy to work with and can be twisted into as many shapes as your fingers will allow. I made twigs and knots.  Despite the brandy and rum in the cookies , the main taste is a sweet one-the perfect way to end a meal.
Prep: 30 min.   Frying time: 30 min.
2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon rum
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for deep frying
½ cup confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling
1.       Beat together the eggs, yolk, water, brandy, rum and sugar in a large bowl or electric mixer.
2.       Mix dry ingredients together (not confectioner’s sugar) and add slowly to the egg mixture.  When the dough starts to come together, scrape it onto a floured surface and knead it until smooth. Divide it in half. Dust each half in flour if you are going to wrap it up and roll it out later-otherwise sprinkle a surface with flour and roll out half the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut it into 6 x3/4 inch strips.
3.       Heat oil in electric deep fryer or deep frying pan until it reaches 375 F. Last time I did this I used a frying pan, this time I used an electric deep fryer. Much easier in the electric fryer!
4.       Shape strips: 1. Cut a slit 2-3 inches from one end and pull the other end through (twigs) 2. Tie strip in a loose knot 3. Let your nimble fingers create other shapes.
5.       Fry the dough about 12 at a time for about 3 minutes or until golden. Turn them carefully if they don’t turn themselves. Drain on paper towels and cool completely before sprinkling liberally with confectioners sugar. Another idea- You could also melt some apricot jam and dip them.) Delicious!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting Ready to Fry for Chanukah: Skinless Fried Chicken (Recipe, Meat), Churros and Perfect Latkes

Eating fried foods over Chanukah is guilt free. Isn't that what we are mandated to do to commemorate the miracle of the oil lasting 8 days in the Temple? And anyway- who doesn't crave fried food! Not only is it delicious but generally speaking, you get to eat it with your hands. So have lots of napkins available, serve lots of fruit, veggies and salad to feel healthy and let's fry!

The outside is crisp and well-seasoned and the inside is moist and delicious.
Prep time: 60-90 min.  Frying time: about 60 min.
3 frying chickens-skinned        large mixing bowl
and cut into joints                large plastic bag
3 eggs                    large cookie sheet
2-3 tablespoons seasoning salt*        long handled tongs
3 tablespoons water
2 cups flour
vegetable oil
*Use 2 tablespoons seasoning salt for small joints-3 tablespoons for large ones.
  1. Beat eggs with water and seasoning salt in mixing bowl.
  2. Clean chicken thoroughly. Remove any fat or bone chips that have been left on chicken. Often, the butcher doesn’t take the time to skin the wings. The best way I’ve found to do it is to just grab the skin with a paper towel and pull. Most of the skin can be removed this way. Add chicken to beaten eggs and mix well. (If you have the time, let the chicken sit in the eggs and salt, covered with waxed paper, for about an hour in the refrigerator.)
  3. Pour about one cup of flour into another large mixing bowl. Remove two or three pieces of chicken from egg mixture and place on top of the flour. Sprinkle more flour on top of the chicken. Continue this process until all the chicken has been layered in the bowl with flour in between each layer. Pour remaining egg mixture over chicken and (with wet hands) mix all the chicken together. The chicken will be very moist and sticky. Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator to allow coating to set.
  4. Pour about two inches of oil into skillet. Heat over medium- high flame until oil is very hot. You can test the heat of the oil by dropping a bread cube into the pan. If it browns right away, the oil is hot enough for the chicken. Carefully, using a long handled tongs, place three or four pieces of chicken in the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  5. Fry chicken for about ten minutes on each side until chicken is tender and golden brown. After you brown the chicken on the second side, reduce heat and cover frying pan. Steam chicken five or six minutes. Carefully remove cover (the oil will be sizzling and the steam will come rushing out). Raise heat again, and turn chicken to be sure it is well browned. If you are nervous about the breasts being cooked through, make a small slit with a sharp knife into the thickest part and test it.
  6. Remove chicken from oil and drain in a single layer on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Note: It’s hard to know for sure how much chicken to prepare. I count on at least two pieces of chicken per person if the pieces are small. I don’t even use the wings in my count. To be on the safe side, order three chickens for eight people. If you are serving an additional main course, you can order only two chickens.

Need more oily inspiration? Check out my Churros !

And of course, Latkes with everything :)