Thursday, August 20, 2020

Family Food August 2020

Travel isn't easy during a time of pandemic, but our dear daughter, her person, and his son drove a heroic 13 hours a few weeks ago to come visit us before Raine's school started up again. We all had self-quarantined for two weeks before the visit so that we could safely hang out together. That meant that we could hug, sit close together to talk, exchange phones to look at photos, have tea together, watch Hamilton together on Disney+ (an awesome experience!), and cook and eat together. Since I had injured my knee, the time on my feet at the beginning of the visit was limited, but by the second week I was able to do quite a bit of cooking and baking with Raine. He likes to make things and really enjoyed the process, too and I enjoyed the time with him and sharing something that is important to me.

The first week we were able to have a delicious berry crisp that included raspberries from Costco as well as home-picked blackberries and strawberries. The recipe can be found HERE. Just substitute berries for the apples, omit the cinnamon in the pie filling and use 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg instead of the cinnamon. Keep the crumble topping the same and you are good to go.

We also enjoyed personal pizzas, cooked on the BBQ grill. Each person's portion was formed on a half sheet of parchment paper and then there were an array of toppings so we each could choose what we liked best. Mine had some pasta sauce, pepperoni slices, crumbles of cooked turkey Italian sausage, thinly sliced fresh tomato from our garden, and some caramelized onion, plus non-dairy ricotta. A scattering of finely sliced fresh basil from the garden finished it off. The photo is from before it was was even nicer looking baked, but I ate it all before I even thought to take a photo. So delicious! The pizza dough recipe is HERE. Add your favorite toppings and bake on a preheated pizza/bread stone at 425 or 450 degrees F. in the oven or in a BBQ with a cover.

Another fun adventure was to make Asian flavored turkey burgers during a late morning session with Chef Anne Burrell as part of Rachel Ray's Yum-O Cooking Camp. I signed Raine up weeks before they came and we all at the finished burgers for lunch right after the class finished. The Cooking Camp folks did a great job and Raine learned how to properly hold a knife and other knife skills...which he practiced over the next few days as we made other dishes for dinner. It was a free class but donations are accepted. They sent an email with recipe and lists of ingredients and tools needed in advance of the class, which was taught on Zoom. Chef Burrell is a great teacher and has a light and encouraging way about her. I hope that it is OK to include the recipe that we used. Chef Burrell came up with the recipe and it is a great one because, unlike many turkey burgers, it is moist and juicy. I really like the Asian flavors, too, although a dill pickle didn't seem to go with it as suggested. The recipe actually made five burgers, which was perfect for our group.

Asian Turkey Burgers
by Anne Burrell, Food Network as part of Rachel Ray's Yum-o Cooking Camp


 Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Kosher salt
 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds’ ground turkey (mix of light and dark turkey meat, or all dark turkey meat)
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 eight-ounce can water chestnuts, coarsely chopped (not too fine-they add GREAT texture)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sriracha (we omitted this because some of us don't enjoy heat/spice)
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves finely chopped
4 burger buns (I like the seeded ones)
Optional Garnishes: 
·         4 slices American or Cheddar cheese (American melts better)
·         4 slices beefsteak tomatoes
·         4 slices red onion
·         4 leaves butter lettuce
·         ½ cup mayo mixed with 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
·         Your favorite Vlasic pickles


1      1) Coat a large saute' pan with olive oil and add the chopped onion. Season with salt and bring the pan to medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent and aromatic, 7-8 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.

2      2) In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, prepared ginger, chopped water chestnuts, soy sauce, sriracha if using, chopped cilantro and the onion and garlic mixture. Wipe out the saute' pan with a paper towel and set aside to use for cooking the burgers.

3      3) Make sure that all the ingredients are well combined. Squeeze a walnut-sized portion of the mixture into a small patty to test the seasonings, and cook it in the saute' pan over medium-high heat. Taste it. Season as needed...a little more soy?, some salt or more cilantro?. Once the mixture is to your taste, form it into 4-5 patties.

4      4) Coat the saute' pan with olive oil. Cook the patties in the saute' pan over medium-high heat. It's important not to crowd the pan, so you may want to cook the patties two at a time. Cook 5-6 minutes per side. The burgers will be browned and cooked through when done. If cooking in batches, tent the cooked burgers with foil while cooking the rest.

5      5) Serve the burgers on toasted buns with toppings as desired.

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