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Chicken Schnitzel and Braised Red Cabbage

So I’m not too sure if this counts as a “schnitzel”, but that’s what I’m calling it. I used chicken breasts that were butterflied, then
pounded out to make large cutlets. I love this kind of food. It’s got a great comforting feel and good flavor. The lemon zest in the breading and the final spray of lemon juice before eating add a little bit of acid to the dish, cutting any heaviness from the breading/frying.

Instead of spaetzle or potatoes, I made a side of braised red cabbage. After being cooked low slow and for over an hour, the cabbage took
on a soft, yet sturdy texture. The apple-cider vinegar and brown sugar gave the dish a sweet/sour bite. I’ve seen this done with apples or bacon, but I didn’t use any of that in this version. It would make a great compliment to other entrees as well, such as roast chicken, some sort of pork dish, etc.

I didn’t get to take a picture of the plated dish because everyone was hungry and started eating really fast. Good stuff!

What You’ll Need:

Braised Red Cabbage:

– 1 large head red cabbage, cored and shredded

– 1 large sweet onion, sliced

– 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

– ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (possibly more if needed, depending on taste)

– ¼ cup packed light brown sugar (possibly more if needed, depending on taste)

– ½ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you wish to keep it fully vegetarian)

– Kosher salt (to taste)

– Pepper to taste

– 1 Tbsp unsalted butter to finish the dish

– 2 Tbsp olive oil

Chicken Schnitzel:

– 4 medium sized chicken breasts, butterflied, then pounded thin

– 2 ½ cups of panko bread crumbs

– Zest of 1 lemon

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tsp onion powder

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 1 tsp smoked paprika

– ¾ cup all purpose flour

– 3 eggs + 1 Tbsp water, beaten

– Salt and pepper (amounts will be explained in each step requiring it)

– Olive or Canola oil for frying (or whatever kind you like)

– Lemon wedges to serve with each

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The How To:

Note: I recommend starting the cabbage first, because while it is braising for the hour or hour and a half, you can prep and cook the chicken schnitzel.
Braised Cabbage:
Step 1 – Heat a skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onions and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they start to be come soft and translucent.

Step 2 – When the onions are soft, add the cabbage in and mix evenly. Season with some salt and pepper, and let cook down for about 10-15
minutes, stirring to make sure all of the cabbage cooks evenly.

Step 3 – When the cabbage starts to become tender, add the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar and mix in thoroughly.
Cover and turn down to low to let it simmer. Stir every so often to make sure all of the cabbage is braising.

Step 4 – When everything is looking soft, taste and adjust for salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar. Then add the butter when almost
ready to serve.

Chicken Schnitzel:
Step 1 – If you didn’t buy the chicken breasts butterflied and pounded thin, do this now. Using a sharp knife, take each chicken breast and cut down the middle (without cutting all the way through. This should create a “book” like shape. Place between two sheets of plastic
wrap or parchment paper, and using a skillet or mallet, pound the chicken breasts to about ¼ inch thick, pounding AWAY from you so that it does not tear the flesh.

Step 2 – Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate dishes. Season the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. To the Breadcrumbs only, add the other dry spices and the lemon zest as well.

Step 3 – Starting with the flour, coat both sides of a chicken cutlet evenly, shaking off the excess. Then move the cutlet to the egg,
coating both sides. Finally, place the cutlet into the panko crumbs, coating both sides, and shaking off excess. Place on a rack or plate to let set for about 20 minutes in the fridge. Repeat this process until all are coated.

Step 4 – Heat a large nonstick skillet (or a stainless steel skillet, but you’ll need more oil for this) over medium high heat. When
it is hot (not too hot, or the oil may smoke), add the oil, and then add one or two cutlets (however many may fit, do not overcrowd the pan, or it will steam the cutlets instead of fry them).

Step 5 – Cook on the first side about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown, then turn over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Do not
cook for much longer, as the cutlets will be thin and may overcook. Repeat until all are done.
Then time to eat! Spritz some lemon over each cutlet, and serve with the braised cabbage. If you wish to add another side, feel free. I used some sugar snap peas that were in the steam-package and added some garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

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Parmesan and Potato Pizza

Alright, well thanks for hanging on there! I know it’s been a while since my last regular update to the blog, and I’ve definitely been meaning to post this recipe since last month. I have another one after this that I’ve gotta write and edit photos for as well.
I love pizza…anyone else out there feel the same way? Plain cheese, pepperoni, supreme, Hawaiian, “California” style, thin crust, regular crust, deep dish, etc. I decided to make a plain cheese, but had enough dough for two pizzas, so I also decided to use some leftover red potatoes and make a rosemary-parmesan and potato pizza. Potatoes on pizza? I’ve seen similar ideas in restaurants and such, so it’s not such a crazy idea.

What I did was use my mandolin slicer to create paper-thin potato slices that would cook quickly in a hot oven as the crust rose. I seasoned the potatoes with some salt, pepper, olive oil, parmesan cheese, oregano, and thyme. Delicious.

What You’ll Need:
– Pizza dough (use your favorite recipe, or if you have a favorite brand, try it out. I made mine. It was enough for 2 crusts for the 2 pizzas)
– 1 cup warm water (not HOT, or the yeast will not activate)
– 1 package active dry yeast
– 1 Tbsp honey
– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 tsp kosher salt
– 2 to 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour (I used closer to 3 because of the humidity, and the dough was too wet as it kneaded) plus extra for rolling

– About 1 ½ to 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, give or take depending on how much you like
– ½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided into 2 portions
– About 2 tsp oregano (dried)
– About 2 tsp thyme (dried)
– 2 large red potatoes
– ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less)
– ¼ tsp kosher salt
– ¼ tsp black pepper (more or less)

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The How-To:
– Make the dough ahead of time, at least to the stage where it is ready to use. This will depend on the recipe if you are making your own. I made mine and let it go through the 2 rising stages for at least 3 hours.
o Combine the warm water, honey, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for a few seconds. Let sit until the yeast blooms (activates), during which you should see little plumes of yeast start to appear in the mixture. This will take 5-10 minutes.
o Attach the dough hook to the mixer
o After the yeast is activated, add the salt and olive oil. Mix briefly, then slowly add the flour ½ cup at a time, with the mixer on low. Let it knead until it starts to form a ball and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. It should look smooth and only be slightly sticky. This could take about 5-7 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and cover.
o Let the dough rest for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, then punch it down. I then separated it into two halves, formed a ball for each, then placed on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. I covered each ball and let them rise again for another hour before using.

– When ready, PREHEAT OVEN to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and flour a large cutting board or clean countertop. Take one dough ball and roll it out to your desired thickness. I rolled these out to about ¼ inch thick. Make sure to flour the board, the dough, and rolling pin (if using) just enough to prevent sticking. Press the dough with your fingertips to make dimples in the dough.
– When the dough is rolled out, spread a few tablespoons of Olive oil on the dough evenly. Then use half of the oregano, thyme, and parmesan and sprinkle evenly around the oiled crust
– Using a mandolin (or a sharp knife and a keen eye), slice the potatoes on the thinnest setting. Spread these potatoes on the crust in a single layer, not overlapping too much to prevent undercooking part of them.
– Drizzle more oil on the potatoes (lightly), then season them using some salt and pepper, and the rest of the oregano, thyme, and parmesan.
– Bake until the crust is golden, and the potatoes and cheese are brown. This should be about 12 minutes, but check to your desired doneness.
– ENJOY! (For the cheese pizza, I used leftover marinara, but use your own favorite sauce and cheese. Or try out some other types of toppings!)

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Show Me Your Grill: Skirt Steak and Grilled Tarragon Potatoes

In the month and a half it has been “cold” here in South Florida, and probably a little longer before that, I had kinda forgotten that I had a grill sitting outside, being so busy with work and other things. Well, I figured it was time to bring it out of retirement and grill up some skirt steak.

It’s been at least 3 months since I last grilled up skirt steak, as posted in Thrill of the Grill: Sunday, September 19th, 2010. I didn’t have any recipes posted on that though, so here ya go! It’s a very simple recipe, with a quickly assembled dry rub spice mix. I didn’t make a whole lot of it, only lightly coating the steak in the seasoning instead of rubbing a ton of the rub on the steak, barbecue style.

If you want more seasoning, double the spice rub recipe. Add whichever spices you like as well, or take out any you don’t. If you like it a little sweeter, add a little brown sugar…just note that it may burn, leaving a charred taste if you cook it at too high a heat.

Here’s a quick tip, take the steak out about 30 minutes before cooking it to let it come to room temperature. This will help you avoid overcooking the outside and having a raw (not rare, raw) interior.

Also, to get things done fairly quickly, get the potatoes cooking about 10-15 minutes before you start to grilling the steak. This way, you can get them grilling soon after the steak is done. You just want to mark them on the grill over high heat for a couple minutes, then toss them in the tarragon dressing.

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Gingerbread and Pumpkin Mousse Trifle

Hey everyone, hopefully you’ve all had a great holiday weekend, or if you don’t celebrate, just a great weekend in general.

This dessert is something that I’ve made for the past few years, whether it is for Thanksgiving or for Christmas. I’ve made several variations, as it is a very versatile dish that has endless flavor combination possibilities. It’s fairly easy to make, but looks like it took some time. I always have made the cake layers, whipped cream, and anything else from scratch. If you want to make it even easier, use a cake mix, or a store bought pound cake or any other favorite loaf cake.

For example, last year, I made a Tiramisu inspired trifle. Instead of lady fingers, I made a Genoise cake (Italian Sponge cake) as the base dipped in espresso, and layered a mix of whipped cream and sweetened mascarpone between the layers, topped with a dusting of cocoa powder.

Another time, I made a spice cake as the base layers, and layered homemade raspberry curd and whipped cream between each cake layer.

This year I decided to make a gingerbread cake, with a pumpkin mousse and stabilized whipped cream in between each later. Stabilized whipped cream is cream whipped with a little gelatin in order to help it set up. I did this because I was making it the night before. By stabilizing it, it can last a day or two longer than if you just used regular whipped cream.

I adapted the recipes for the gingerbread and pumpkin mousse using the Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle recipe on my Epicurious phone app, which they sourced from Gourmet Magazine. I substituted ingredients mainly in the gingerbread because I either had overlooked them, or ran out.

What You’ll Need:

Gingerbread:

 

– 2 cups all-purpose flour

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 2 tsps ground ginger (I used closer to 2.5 or 3 for more flavor)

– ½ tsp cinnamon (I used 1 teaspoon)

– ½ tsp salt

– 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)

– 1 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown because that’s what I had, recipe called for dark)

– 1 large egg

– ½ cup maple syrup (The recipe called for molasses, but this is the closest thing I had available)

– ¼ cup whole milk and ½ cup of sour cream (the recipe called for ¾ cup buttermilk, but I used milk and sour cream to recreate the tang. I didn’t have any buttermilk available and forgot to buy it)

– ½ cup of hot water (not boiling)

Pumpkin Mousse:

– 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin

– ¼ cup cold water

– 1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

– ½ cup packed brown sugar

– ½ tsp cinnamon (I used slightly more)

– ½ tsp grated nutmeg

– ½ tsp ground ginger

– 1/8 tsp salt

– 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

– ½ tsp pure vanilla extract (I used slightly more)

Stabilized Whipped Cream:

– ½ envelope unflavored gelatin

– 1/8 cup cold water

– 1 ½ cups chilled heavy whipping cream

– 3 Tbsp granulated sugar

– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

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The How To:

Note: You can make the gingerbread the day before and keep unsliced and covered. Otherwise, make it several hours ahead of time if making the same day and allow to cool completely.

Gingerbread (Do ahead):

1: Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, with rack in the middle

2: Butter / grease a 13 x 9 baking pan. Line with foil or parchment paper, and grease the liner

3: In a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until they fully incorporate, becoming light and fluffy in texture. This will take a few minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to ensure all ingredients are mixed evenly

4: Whisk together flour, baking soda, dry spices, and salt in a separate bowl

5: To the butter/sugar mixture, beat in the egg, milk, and sour cream until blended

6: Slowly add the flour mixture in small batches with the mixer on low (otherwise you’ll be wearing the flour). Keep adding until fully incorporated and smooth, but do not over-mix

7: To the batter, mix in the hot water and beat for another minute

8: Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool completely for a few hours.

Pumpkin Mousse:

1: Place the cold water in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin evenly across the water. Let set for a minute or two

2: Turn on the burner to medium heat, bring gelatin water to a simmer until it is dissolved completely

3: In a bowl, combine the pumpkin, spices, salt, and vanilla flavoring and add the liquid gelatin. Whisk until fully mixed and combined

4: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, preferably chilled, or a large bowl using a hand mixer or whisk, add the whipping cream and beat until it firms up and forms soft to medium peaks (Be careful to avoid overwhipping, or you’ll have lumpy cream/butter)

Note: Peaks refer to the whipped cream’s ability to hold it’s shape. Soft peaks will hold some shape, but will generally be loose and pliable. Medium peaks are slightly stiffer. Stiff peaks means that the whipped cream will stand up on end without moving or flopping back down…anything past stiff peaks = BUTTER.

5: In 3 batches, fold, not stir, this whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture until fully incorporated. Do not overmix or mixture may deflate a bit. If not using right away, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use

Stabilized Whipped Cream:

1: Place the cold water in a small saucepan and sprinkle half envelope of gelatin across. Let sit a minute or two. As before, turn on to medium and bring to a simmer until dissolved completely. Let sit until it begins to cool a bit, but is still liquid

2: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, preferably chilled, or a large bowl using a hand mixer or whisk, add the whipping cream. Beat until it reaches soft peaks, then slowly add the sugar and vanilla, and beat until it stiffens up to medium sized peaks. If not using right away, cover and place in the fridge until ready to assemble

Assemble the Trifle:

1: Cube the gingerbread into 1 inch cubes.

2: In a trifle bowl, or a medium sized glass bowl, or whatever you have, layer the bottom with cake pieces in a single layer, covering completely

3: On top of the cake layer, place about half of the pumpkin mousse on top and cover completely, smoothing and evening the layer as you go

4: On top of the mousse, add half of the whipped cream and do the same, covering the mousse and smoothing as you go.

5: Repeat the process starting with the cake, then the mousse, and then ending with the final layer of whipped cream. You can top with crystallized ginger, dried cranberries, etc, or serve as-is.

Try it out. It’s really a simple dessert to make. Enjoy!

– Anthony

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Gnudi Colony (Pronounced “Nudie”): Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi with Quick Tomato Sauce

I know some of you may ask, “What are gnudi?” Is this post safe for work and safe for children? Should I not be looking at this post here?

Yes, yes it is. Gnudi can be thought of as ravioli filling without the actual pasta around it. They are more like dumplings made from the ricotta mixture, using eggs and flour as a binding agent. And they are delicious. They are similar to ricotta gnocchi, and if made well, should be light.

I’ve made gnudi before, and after cooking them in boiling water, have toasted them in some brown butter. They are delicious, and have a nice crispy texture on the outside, but I didn’t do that this time, instead opting to serve them with a quick tomato sauce.

I think with this batch, I used a little too much flour, so they were a little heavier than what I expected. But, they tasted good, and I know now to use less flour in the mixture. I’ll edit the ingredients below to reflect this reduction in flour.

What You’ll Need:

Sauce Ingredients:

– 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
– 2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
– 1 small onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– 1 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– ¼ cup water
– red pepper flake (optional)

Gnudi Ingredients:

– 15 oz of ricotta cheese (use full-fat here if you know what’s good, lol)
– 2 eggs
– ½ cup flour (add extra 1 tsp at a time if the mixture seems too thin)
– 1 package of thawed spinach, drained very well (or you can use cooled sautéed spinach)
– 1 cup of parmesan or your favorite grated cheese
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– a few grates of fresh nutmeg
– Salt and pepper to taste

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The How-To:

Note: Before starting to cook the sauce and gnudi, set a pot of water over medium / medium-high heat so that it comes to a boil while you’re prepping everything else. Salt the water well after it starts to boil.

Sauce:

 
1: In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, until hot. Add the onion and garlic, salt and pepper, and stir. Let the onions and garlic sweat for a few minutes, making sure to stir to avoid burning anything. You can add the optional red pepper flake at this point to infuse the oil.

2: After the onions start to become soft, add the crushed tomatoes, the garlic paste, the water, and the oregano (or Italian seasoning). Stir, and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to stir occasionally while it cooks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Gnudi:

1: If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the spinach by hand, then place in a bowl. But I used my small one. In the bowl of the food processor, place the spinach, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg, and pulse until finely chopped.

2: Add the ricotta, and pulse again until combined. Move to a medium sized bowl.

3: To the spinach and ricotta mixture, first add the grated cheese. Combine well.

4: Add the eggs next, mixing until the eggs are well combined.

5: Add the flour in small increments, making sure to mix well so that none of the flour remains.

6: Add some extra flour to a board, about 1 cup, and then using two spoons, make small ricotta dumplings. Place these in the flour, and roll until coated. Shape them lightly and set aside. Continue until all of the mixture is used up.

7: Cook the gnudi in batches, about 4-5 at a time if they are large, or more if they are smaller. They should float when they are done, which may take about 5-6 minutes or longer. Remove from the water, drain, and set aside.

8: When all are done, serve with the sauce and extra grated cheese.

Enjoy!

– Anthony

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Warm pumpkin pudding cake with vanilla ice cream

Made this cake at the last minute while making dinner. I underbaked it slightly to have a molten/pudding like texture. Add some ice cream on top and it’s an awesome dessert, especially for the (somewhat) cold Florida weather.

I posted the recipe below. I got lucky because I did this by memory from another cake, and didn’t use the recipe when I actually made it. Below are the ingredients that I used.

 

What You’ll Need:

– 1 can pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie mix)

– 4 eggs

– 1 cup sugar

– 1 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup, or 8 Tbsp), room temperature

– 1 cup sour cream

– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

– 1/8 cup of vegetable or canola oil

– 2 Tsp cinnamon (more if you want a strong flavor)

– 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (add another 1/4  to 1/2 cup if batter is too thin)

– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

– Pinch of salt

The How-To (No step-by-step pics, as this was done from memory):

Note: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, grease a round 9-inch baking dish, or a cake pan.

 

1: In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, place both the butter and sugars. Beat together on medium until it is light and creamy, probably a few minutes.

2: Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the 4 eggs. Mix until incorporated.

3: To the egg mixture, add the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Mix briefly.

4: Add pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix again. Mix in the baking powder, and add the flour in 1/2 cup batches until it is fully added, only mixing briefly to incorporate. Don’t mix too much, as the cake may be tough.

5: After batter is combined, place into greased cake pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Check the cake at this point. If the center is still loose and shakes quite a bit, continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. You don’t want to bake this until it’s completely brown, dry, and solid. I underbaked mine just to the point where the center looked moist, but did not move anymore.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream on top.

Note: I hope this works out. I put this together from memory and didn’t have a written recipe in front of me (a baking/pastry faux pas I know, unless you’re an accomplished baker, which I am not, lol). Like I said, I lucked out that it worked out. It could’ve been a wet mess…a cake fail, or rather a Cake Wreck. You may benefit from using a cake mix and adding the pumpkin to it instead, lol. Best of luck.

If the recipe doesn’t work out, comment back, and my apologies in advance if that happens. I will use more precise recipes for future baking endeavors.

– Anthony

Edit: I had it again the day after. I just microwaved it for 30 seconds and added the ice cream on top. Still tasted great.

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