Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dinner Dinner Chicken Winner

or is it Winner Winner Chicken Dinner?

Does it really matter :)

It's time for the biweekly round up.  (or is it tri-weekly?)

I'm not going to list everything, just the favorites.

First up: Flammkuchen (From: My Kitchen in the Rockies)

For some reason her site is down, so I'll recap the whole thing for you here.

Flammkuchen is this delicious pizza type dish that we first had when we visited Oberammeragu in 2013.  We subsequently had it 3 or 4 more times before we left Germany.

This is a great alternative to the standard pizza and more filling than you'd think.

This recipe claims to make 4 pies, but I would make them a little thicker and do 3 pies or just 4 smaller ones.

The dough:
4 1/4 cups flour
1 pinch salt
1 cup water
4-5 tbsp veg. oil
tbsp+ dried thyme (my modification)

The toppings:
scallions (green parts)
bacon (uncooked, chopped into pieces)
yellow onion (julienned) 
whatever else you want (if you do hamburger, precook that)

The sauce:
8 oz creme fraiche
8 oz sour cream (my modification, says to use 16 oz creme fraiche, but I'm cheap)
1 tsp nutmeg

Combine all dough ingredients until a smooth non-sticky dough forms.  I used a stand mixer with dough hook, but even then I had to work it by hand a little and add a touch more water.

Wrap dough with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 2 hours

Once ready, preheat the oven to 425 deg with a pizza stone inside.  

Split the dough into 3 or 4 balls.  Roll out the dough on a flat surface.  I used semolina flour to prevent it from sticking.  You want to make a thin crust.  Maybe 1/4" thick.  It does take a lot to work with this dough, but it will get there.  Mine turned out a little thin and crispy but it was still delicious.  It's easy to make it too thick, so just remember it's not American style pizza, it's supposed to be thin and crispy.

Spread the sauce over the dough then top with ingredients (reserving the green scallions)

Bake anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes until the edges are brown.  Mine only took about 10 minutes, but our oven runs very hot.  The bacon was still cooked just fine in this amount of time.

Sprinkle with the green scallions and devour.


You'll need:
12 manicotti shells
1 lb italian sausage
4 c mozzarella shredded cheese
2 c ricotta cheese
6 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
1 jar spaghetti sauce 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the directions.  I felt it could have used +1-2 minutes as it came out VERY al dente.  Also cook the italian sausage until done.

Mix everything together in a big bowl except for the parmesan cheese and the pasta

Stuff the pasta with the mixture using your fingers.  Honestly, you could use a spoon, but it's just easier with the hands.

Spread a thin layer of EVOO and spaghetti sauce into a 13x9 glass pan then lay in the stuffed manicotti.  Cover with remaining sauce.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350.  

Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 10 more minutes (I needed to go 15 here)


This one is obviously not mine, but I saw it and it looked pretty good.  This is getting made this week, so no comment yet on how it tastes.

Rack of Lamb with Kiwi Mint Sauce

This one comes from one of my convection cooking books.  I love it.

First the kiwi mint sauce:
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c raspberry vinegar
1/3 c lime juice (fresh)
2 c chopped mint leaves
4 kiwi's, diced
1 tbsp grated lime zest (about 1 lime)

In a small pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, and lime juice.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Once cool add the mint, kiwi, and lime zest.  Stick in the fridge until ready to use.

2 racks of ribs with ~7 bones each
3 tbsp dijon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme (or dried if you get lazy like me)
2 c breadcrumbs
1/2 c melted butter

Place the ribs in a roasting pan and convect roast at 400 deg. F for 20 minutes.  (last time I forgot about the convection roast and just did it at a normal 400).

Meanwhile prepare the seasoning.  Melt the butter and combine with breadcrumbs, garlic, pepper, and thyme.

Brush the cooled lamb (did you cool it down a bit?) with the dijon mustard and sprinkle with garlic.  Coat the lamb with the breadcrumb mixture prepared above.

Return lamb to oven and convection roast for about 20 more minutes (for medium rare).  

Remove from oven and loosely cover with foil.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with Kiwi Salad.


Salmon Cakes

The salmon out here in CA is just awful.  Seriously bad and seriously over priced.  So the only way I can bring myself to eat it is to make these salmon cakes.  

1 1/2 lb salmon
3 c. panko (divided)
6 scallions (green and white parts separately chopped)
2 small ribs celery - finely chopped
2/3 c mayo + 1/2 c mayo
4 large eggs, beaten
6 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp white wine vinegar

First, precook your salmon however you like it.  Last time we poached it and it turned out very well.  Let cool.

Flake the salmon into a large bowl.  Mix in 1/2 cup panko, scallion whites, celery, salt, 2/3 cup mayo, and black pepper.

Refrigerate for 30 mintues

Roll the salmon cakes into little slider sized patties.

In a bowl pour the remaining 2 1/2 c panko and in a separate bowl have the eggs beaten.

Coat the patties on both sides with panko, then egg wash, then panko again.

In a heavy skillet, heat 1/2 the EVOO over medium heat.

Add the patties and cook about 3 mintues on each side until golden.  (it should sizzle.  if it doesn't then your oil isn't hot enough.  But be careful not to burn it!)

Repeat with remaining patties.

For the dipping sauce, combine 1/2 c mayo with vinegar and 1/3 c scallion greens.


Chicken Paprikas 

I love this traditionally Hungarian dish that my mom used to make all the time.  Of course she's German and it's quite different than it's Hungarian roots, but it's homey and I love it.

Start by cooking some chicken breasts (or 1/2 light and 1/2 dark meet).  I usually cut it into small pieces then fry it up in a skillet.

In a large pot fry 1 large onion in 7 tbsp butter and 7 tbsp EVOO.  (yep it's a lot, but what do you expect from a German)

Once translucent add 14 tbsp flour to make a roux.  Mix until bubbly and thickening.  

Add 12 cups of chicken stock (we use the low sodium type), 1 pt of sour cream, 2 tbsp paprikas, a pinch of salt, and pepper.  

Add the chicken once heated and mixed throughly.  

Lastly make the dumplings.  

using a stand mixer with dough hook mix together 3 eggs, 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup water, pinch of salt, and dash of pepper.  

Drop the dough by small portions into a pot of boiling water.  After 1-2 minutes they will float and they are ready to go.

Word of warning, don't store the dumpings in the soup or it will suck up all the broth.

Other random dinner ideas

Those were my big involved ideas for the week, but here are some other quick things to make if you are in a pinch.

1) Omelets or Breakfast Burritos.  We started making breakfast burritos out here when we were just craving tex mex and couldn't find anything decent.    

2) Quesidillas  - veggies, chicken, cheese, whatever!  Jeremy likes his open faced.

3) Spaghetti.  I like to use italian sausage instead of hamburger meat.  Toss in some veggies and serve over rigatoni!

Bon Appetit!

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