Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Table Talk: Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

 Uh, is that breakfast sausage or a steaming pile of......?
Isn't it supposed to be in link form?
Can you even call it breakfast sausage at this point?

All good questions.  
To which I will say: 
1) It's supposed to be breakfast sausage but I can see where you'd be confused, 
2) Yes 
3) I have no idea.

I am not sure where I went wrong with the link situation but I have a few ideas.  I bought the tube of frozen ground turkey (What?  It was cheaper, so kill me!)  and it seemed to have quite a bit of liquid in it.  Maybe I should have drained it first or something?  When you buy it from the meat counter, there's usually a pad at the bottom that soaks up all the extra juice and maybe that's a necessity here?  I also used dried buttermilk powder and water as a sub for the buttermilk.  

When it was time to form the links, it seemed way to wet so I added some dried bread crumbs.  It was barely firm enough to form but I was afraid of adding too much bread and just turning them into fried breadsticks with some meat.  Even though I barely got them formed into links, I kept going, thinking that maybe once I started cooking them, they would magically hold together.  Not so much.  They held together well enough until I flipped them.  I was ever-so-careful and the first flip was okay but it seemed the more I cooked them, the less they held together.  I finally gave up and just made a steaming pile of sausage.  Yes, that's the official name I am going with.
 For my family's sake I tried to pretend I meant to make some kind of breakfast hash with it. :)  
It's supposed to look like that, see?  (I'm not sure they believed me either.  Maybe it was because I was laughing maniacally while I was smashing it up.)  

I really liked the flavor of the sausage which surprised me, I was afraid I wouldn't like the spices involved but I did.  I want to try again, but next time, I think I will try the ground turkey from the meat counter and some real buttermilk and hope it goes more smoothly.

Don't let my idiocy deter you from trying the recipe, you might be a sausage-making-whiz!  You can get it at Talesha's blog.  She was our host for the week.  Even though this wasn't a shining moment for me in the kitchen, I liked trying a new recipe and of course I learned some new things.  Like with all of my failures. :)  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TWD: Boca Negra (Chocolate Cake)

Apparently Boca Negra means "black mouth."  Um, that doesn't really sound appetizing.  But then if you read on, you find out you aren't really eating mouth, but that the cake is so chocolatey, it will turn your mouth black.  And believe me, I can work with that.  
Is anyone surprised I halved this recipe?  I did.  And then I decided I would bake it in ramekins and make 4 small cakes.  It worked well.  Which was surprising since I didn't use the bourbon, I used water with some caramel flavoring.  I made the white chocolate cream (also subbed water with caramel flavoring for the bourbon) but it wasn't set up enough to take the picture, so ice cream stepped up to the plate.  And I'm not sold on the cream but it was pretty delicious with ice cream.

 I don't really know what this cake is supposed to be like.  Since I changed the recipe, I'm not sure it turned out how it should, but it was delicious still.  It was gooey and delicious in the middle and super chocolatey.  It was almost more brownie-like than cake-like.  I think this recipe would be super easy to make gluten free since the full recipe only has 1.5 T of flour.
I used the food processor method so it came together so quickly and easily it was almost ridiculous.  Next time you are in the mood for something with chocolate, you should give it a try.  You can get the recipe at A Frederick Food Garden (our host for the week).

And if you'd like to see what the other TWD bakers did this week, you can go HERE.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Table Talk: Pan Seared Shrimp Tartines

 I am usually not this fancy.  I mean, what in the world is a tartine?  Well, it's a long story.  Actually it's really not a long story but I will tell you one anyway.  I went to this restaurant in Beverly Hills last month.  No, this is not something I normally do so I was excited when I learned something new and saw Tracey Ulman.  The something new I learned is that a fancy, French, opened-faced sandwich is called a tartine.  And I knew I was filing that little tidbit away for later.  

Fast-forward to our cooking group this week when I was trying to decide how I wanted to serve our pan seared shrimp with lemon and garlic and it just seemed like the two went together.  Shrimp is pretty fancy.  And tartines are supposed to be fancy.  So, there ya go.  I almost blew my own mind and made this aioli (which I have never made before) but then I decided the juices from the shrimp would be enough that the tartines wouldn't be too dry.

I made this french bread recipe and toasted one side of the bread with the broiler. If I were toasting the bread again, I might make the aioli because there weren't as many juices as I was expecting but I think it would be perfect with just un-toasted bread and the juices from the shrimp.  I diced some tomatoes and slices some avocados and it was finished.  I used cilantro instead of parsley because I had it on hand. And I would do it all over again in a heart beat.

This shrimp recipe is super fast and super delicious.  With the fresh sliced garlic and fresh lemon, how can you really go wrong?  We also had this a couple weeks ago and just made a salad with the shrimp, lettuce, avocado and tomato, and that was also delicious. If you want to try the recipe you can get it HERE.  Janet was our host for the week and chose the recipe.  {Thanks for picking a fast and delicious recipe this week, Janet!}

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TWD: Focaccia

I've been wanting to make focaccia for a while now.  My mother-in-law sent me a recipe (forever ago) and I have been meaning to make it; I just haven't gotten around to it.  So of course I was excited to see that's that we were making for TWD this week.  I do wish I had noticed earlier than 11:00 pm yesterday that this dough needed a 24 hour rest in the refrigerator.  Oops.  Needless to say, it didn't get that.  I didn't even refrigerate it.  I just let it raise and extra time, and then followed the directions in the book as though I did exactly what I was supposed to. 

We all really loved this.  I think my kids are going to eat all of it by themselves.  It was a tad too salty for me with the salt in the dough and then the coarse salt on top.  But that's an easy fix for next time.  I halved the recipe and just baked one focaccia and topped it with chopped chives and salt.    

 It would be fun to try all different variations of this.  The book suggests using it to make a sandwich and I think it would be delicious used that way.  Hadlee dunked hers in balsamic vinegar, I guess it reminded her of french bread. :)

I'm not sure what I was missing by not refrigerating the dough for 24 hours and I am not sure it's worth finding out.  I can't see myself thinking that far ahead for this kind of thing but maybe one of these days I will surprise myself and have it all together. 

If you'd like the recipe, you can get it at the blog of our host for the week:  Wandering Through.

If you'd like to see what the other TWD bakers did this week, (and you should, there are some mouth watering combinations out there) you can go HERE.
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