Tag Archives: Eggs

Potcakes (Potato Cakes)


A few years back we were on vacation and happened upon a restaurant called Grannies’s.

With a name like that, we had to try it.

C’mon, Grannie’s?

Visions of a grandmother standing over a stove, stirring something that smelled like heaven and tasted as good as it smelled.

So we went in and looked at the menu.  I like reading menu’s before I try the food out.  Sometimes the menu just gets downright silly with the descriptions, and you wonder why someone will shell out good money for spinach that was harvested using only gently sustainable efforts on the latter side of a new moon..

You’ve read that kind of menu, I know you have.  And maybe you’ve eaten there as well, but I love seeing the descriptions of the food offered at any new restaurant I want to try.

This menu was pretty basic, but they had one item on there that stood out for me.   And that was the Potcakes.  The only other Potcakes I’d ever heard of were the dogs that you find in the Bahamas.

So I ordered them as my side to the meatloaf, and they were so good.   Deep fried potato cakes, crispy and melty and yummy, with little bits of sweet onions mixed in.

I’ve tried to replicate them ever since, with no success.   I’ve actually eaten the evidence of my failures.  Although some have been consigned as offerings to the Kitchen Goddess. sigh

I finally done did it.   Made them, just the way I remember those Potcakes from so long ago.   And all it took was me messing up some mashed potatoes and deciding to take that failure and make a potato cake for lunch.    I’d made the mashed taters with new Yukon Gold potatoes and they didn’t have the starch in them like russets, and quite frankly they were a little gluey.  I ate a bit of them, then consigned the rest to the fridge.

I didn’t measure out exactly, but I had about 1 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes (made with fresh gold potatoes, not russet.   I just added an egg, about 1/2 cup of Wondra flour, mixed that all up with half a chopped onion and then fried them in a little hot oil.

I then glopped (technical term here) some Creme Fraiche on top of them and proceeded to eat three of them.  I left one for later.

OK, so I ate the first one I took a picture of, then proceeded to eat two more.

But they were worth it.

So, the next time you make gluey mashed taters, try adding a little Wondra Flour, a chopped onion and an egg to them, and frying them up as Potcakes.

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Deviled Egg Chicks


Deviled Egg Chicks for Easter

I had fun the other day, made deviled eggs to bring to NPA and then I went a little further and made these

Chicks out of some of the eggs.

To start with, hard cook your eggs however you like.  I use my Eggsact  Egg Timer, just cause I love it and have been using this particular one for almost 20 years.  I learned a long time ago, I cannot time eggs correctly using a timer, but with this, I can.

After cooling and peeling the eggs, reserve a couple of eggs for these cute little chicks.

Cut a little slice off of the bottom of the egg, so that it can sit nicely without falling down.  Then cut the egg across about a third of the way down, and scoop out the yolk, being careful you don’t split it.

 Add that yolk to the rest of the egg yolks, and make your filling however you like.  I was a purist with these, just a little mayo, mustard and a touch of miracle whip, plus some fresh ground pepper.   Place the yolk filling in a piping bag with a star tip or just place the filling into a ziploc bag and snip off a corner for piping the filling into the eggs.

Fill the white and then pipe a little more of the filling into the cap (the top third you cut off), and place on top, at a slight angle.

Add some eyes, I used Capers, but you can use pickles, or black olives or…  And then add the beaks.  I used some Colby Jack cheddar cause I was too lazy to peel a carrot and cut it into pieces.  But I think either a carrot or regular cheddar cheese would have been better.   And go ahead and pipe a little of the filling onto the pieces you cut off of the bottom.  If you haven’t eaten them already.  (I ate a couple, well, gee, deviled eggs? I mean who can resist them?)

I then decorated them all purty with some paper parasols, and got them ready to take with me to NPA.    The toothpicks you see there were to help tent the plastic wrap so the pretty piping didn’t get smooshed.

I did notice that people were eating the other eggs, but no one was touching any of the chicks.

Just an idea of some fun you can have with all the leftover hard cooked eggs this Easter.  Or just go ahead and make them up for fun.

Tonkatsu


I made these for a potluck recently, and they were a hit.  I thought I’d made lots, and would be taking the leftovers home, but there weren’t any.

That’s  a good thing though.

Tonkatsu

2- 2 1/2 lbs. Pork Tenderloin, cut into slices

Flour Dredge
1-2 cups flour
1/2-1 tsp. salt
1/2-1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder (I like California style onion powder, it has little bits of green in it)

Egg Dip
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk Whisked together

Final Dredge
1 package Panko  (about 2 cups or so)
(you could season the panko if you like with some dried herbs here, I just thought of it, and will do it the next time I make this)

3 cups oil for frying.

To start with, cut the pork tenderloin into slices, and trim off any of the silver skin and fat.

 

Take the meat mallet and pound them out gently so they are all the same thickness.  Set aside.

Prepare the dredging and dipping ingredients,

Flour with salt, pepper and onion powder.  Stir together.

Always taste your flour after you add the seasonings.  Dip a small spoon in the flour, then wet a finger,  dip it into the flour and taste.  You should be able to taste the salt, and if not go ahead and add a little more.  This is all to taste, your taste, not mine.

The cast of characters awaits.

Dredge the meat into the flour, coating both sides and knocking off the excess flour.

 

Then dip it into the eggs,

and finally into the Panko Crumbs, pressing the crumbs into both sides of the meat.

Set them aside, I used a parchment lined pan, makes for an easier cleanup.

 

At this point you can put them into the fridge or even the freezer to be cooked at a later time.   If you let them sit for a few minutes with the crumb coating on them, the coating will adhere better and you won’t have bits and pieces of the coating floating in the oil when you fry them.

And I got into the zone and forgot to take a picture of them as they were cooking.  But basically, just let them slip into the hot oil (at least 325 deg.), and cook them for about 2 minutes per side, just til golden brown.   Take out and let them drain.   I have a little trick I use when I’m frying anything, I place the fried food on a couple of coffee filters.   I buy those by the hundreds, they are food safe, and easy to use.
This is the finished platter of Tonkatsu ready to go to Boat Club.  I used them to absorb any steam rising, as well as oil.   They work great.

Serve with some of the spring roll dipping sauce I came up with for Tapas last month, as well as some more traditional Katsu sauce.    Which is so dead easy, I wish I’d known how to make it earlier, and now I do, I will make it again.

Katsu Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tsp. sugar

After I mixed the first three ingredients together I tasted it, and decided it needed something, so I added the Sesame Oil, then the sugar and after a final test, the Hoisin sauce.    I then put it in the fridge so the various ingredients could get acquainted.   And it worked.

Yorkshire Pudding


As you may have surmised by now, I like to cook.  And I also like to keep trying to get a recipe just right.  Or keep trying new ones, until I find the perfect recipe.  And by gum, I think I done it.   Found the perfect recipe for Yorkshire Puddings.

I love my Yorkies, really I do, but up til now my attempts have been a hit and miss affair.  I get recipes from friends, and they swear by them, I make them once and they turn out OK, but the next time I do it, flop.  And while I may eat the ‘hockey puck Yorkshire puds’ I still want giant, towering, light, airy, crisp puddings.  Something I can ladle my gravy over, something I can butter a little later and eat as a snack.

Just for fun I googled recipes yet again, and this time I found ‘THE RECIPE’ here , at a place called British Food on About.com.

I made them according to the instructions, in the morning, thinking if they turned out like little hard biscuits, I was out two eggs and a little time.  But they didn’t.

I did twiddle with the recipe, just a teeny bit, but that’s because I had already cracked two eggs.  I then proceeded with the recipe instructions and they turned out so well.

I was a very happy cook at this point.   I promptly inhaled two of them, and I called them breakfast at that point.

Here’s the recipe I used.   And I got a dozen lovely, tasty, airy puddings out of it.  Basically you use equal measurements of the three main ingredients.

2 eggs (I’ve been using Jumbo eggs lately cause they’ve been so inexpensive) cracked into a measuring cup.
I get a half cup of eggs from the two Jumbo eggs.
1/2 cup milk (equal amount of milk to egg)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour  (equal amount of flour to egg)
Pinch of salt

Whisk the eggs and milk together, really well, or use a hand beater.   Let this sit for about 20 minutes and then sift the flour into the egg/milk batter, beating very well, until it resembles a thick cream.  If you happen to get any lumps in there, just sieve them out.   Set the batter aside for a minimum of 30 minutes or several hours if you can.  I think the ones I baked later in the day rose higher.
Prepare the pan.  I used a 12 hole muffin pan, but if you have a pop over pan, use that.  Or you can also use a good sturdy roasting pan as well.    Put a pea sized piece of lard or shortening into each hole, if using a muffin tin, then place the pan into a very hot oven, 425-450 deg., until the oil is smoking hot.  But don’t burn it.  This really just takes a couple of minutes.

And here’s my newest tip of the week, or maybe it should be the hint of the year.  Really, it is that good.  And one I wish I’d thought of myself.

One of the main tricks of making sure that Yorkshire Pudding rises is not letting the pan with the hot fat in it cool down.  So, you keep the pan in the oven, and hope you don’t let out too much heat as you’re pouring the batter in.  Then you hurry up and shut the door, and cross your fingers you’re not going to pull out hockey pucks.

Here’s the hint/tip/LIGHTBULB over the head.  Turn on a large element on top of the stove, doesn’t have to be on a high temp, then place your pan on top of that as you’re pouring the batter into the cups/pan.  No loss of heat.

Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, just til they are all puffed up and golden.

Serve them alongside a lovely rib roast, or a nice roast chicken or gee, I might just make some for myself, just because.

They were the perfect accompaniment to the Standing Rib Roast.

I hope your Christmas was a good one.  I know we ate well on Christmas eve at our house.   My guests brought a wonderful assortment of vegetable side dishes as well as some desserts.  And there are no pictures of that because, I wanted to sit down and enjoy their company.

Kentish Pie


I’m not too sure how to describe this dish, it’s like a cross between a pie and a quiche and totally delicious.
I found the recipe on Jenny Eatwell’s Rhubarb and Ginger site via Carole’s Chatter Food on Fridays.    She has a fun idea, she asks bloggers to link a recipe or recipes, every Friday.  Each Friday has a theme and guess what it was a couple of weeks ago, yup Pies and Tarts, in fact, here’s the link,   Carole’s Chatter Food on Friday: Pies and Tarts.    There were over 250 recipes submitted.     I looked at a few of them,  I saw this.

A Kentish Pie.

I had to look, and when I did,  I decided that this was just fun enough and different enough to make for Tapas Night.   So I did.   Make it that is.

And it got eaten.    There weren’t even any leftovers.

I think this would make a fantastic dinner meal, served with a side of veggies, but it’s also a good potluck dish.   And you can bake it beforehand, take it out of the pie pan, and serve it at room temperature.  How cool is that?  Especially down here in the South where you don’t want the oven going and heating up the house in the afternoon.

I also made a short crust from scratch, mainly cause I wanted to keep my hand in.   And now I think I’m going to make a couple more batches and keep in the freezer, for the times I make a chicken pot pie.  This was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made.   I found the recipe here, and while I did tweak it a little, it was great.  I’ll share the recipe in a separate post.

Gotta keep you reading here, one way or another.

Now for the Pie.
It has Apples, Bacon and Cheddar in it.   I know, what a combination, but oh so very good.   However I have to say this up front, I did not cut the apple slices thick enough.  Next time, they will be thicker.   And next time, I would like slightly thicker bacon as well.    I think it would be tastier.

Pie Pastry, enough for the top and bottom of the pie  (I’ll be posting my recipe in the next day or so for this, but go ahead and use commercial pie crust).
12-14  slices good meaty bacon, cooked slightly crisp and chopped or broken into pieces.
8 oz.  Good Sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small pieces
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
8 eggs, lightly beaten, plus one egg yolk for glazing.  (I used the extra egg white in with the other eggs.)
3 tablespoons heavy cream (if you’re in Europe, use Double Cream)
Fresh ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out or place one sheet of pie crust in a pie pan.   Cut off any overhangs with a sharp knife.  Or you can leave it rustic looking.    You can either put some pie weights, or some dried beans on the bottom of the crust to keep it from puffing up or just prick the bottom with a fork.   I pricked it with a fork cause I don’t have either dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until it is just done.   Set aside to cool.   Roll out the other sheet of pie crust and set aside for a few minutes.

While it is baking, fry the bacon up and set aside to cool.   Prepare the apples, peeling, coring and slicing them,

and then cut the cheese into small chunks.

Whisk eggs and cream together with a few good grinds of pepper.  You know how much you like in your food, and as for me, I did about a half-dozen grinds.  Don’t really know how much that was.

Place a layer of bacon first into the cooked pie shell,

then add a layer of cheese,

then the apple slices.

Repeat with another layer of each.

Pour the lightly beaten eggs over the top,

 

and kind of shake the pie pan a little so there aren’t any air bubbles in there.  I picked up the pie pan and set it sharply down on the counter a couple of times.  Like you do when baking a cake, you don’t want any large bubbles in that either.  Brush the edge of the cooked crust with some of the egg yolk, this will help to ‘glue’ the top crust to it.

Place the second sheet of pie crust on top, and crimp the edges together lightly.  Cut off the excess pie dough if you like and use to make decorations with it.

Cut a couple of slits in the top, to let the steam escape, and then brush the whole thing with rest of the egg yolk.

Not only does this make it look pretty, but you can now ‘glue’ any decorations to it, that you made with some of the leftover dough.

Place in oven.   I usually put either a sheet of aluminum foil under to catch any drips or just place it on a larger cooking sheet.

Bake for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees.   Take out of oven and let cool to room temp.   Serve.

This pie was very easy to take out of the tin, once it had cooled, which made it much easier to slice and serve.

I am going to make this again, but I’m going to tweak it a little more.   I really liked the combination of flavours, but the cheese got kinda lost in there.   I think next time I will add a little more cheese, and in fact will change it up a little and use some Colby Jack Cheese.     And as I said before, I will also cut the apple slices a little thicker, they kinda got lost inside.

Go ahead and try this for a nice change of pace.   Personally, I think I’m going to try taking this on a picnic.  It’s hearty, substantial and fun.

Spanakopita Bites


I saw this recipe for Spanakopita Bites using Pillsbury Crescent rolls awhile back and thought they sounded interesting.   I love Spanakopita anyway.     And since phyllo dough is a little finicky to play with, I thought the crescent roll dough might be an idea.

I don’t usually use prepared stuff like this, and in fact I think this is only the second time in my life I’ve purchased Crescent Roll Dough.

I found this recipe on a neat website called Flavors by Four.   

The website is a mother daughter team of bloggers and I have to say they have some great ideas on there.

The following is the original recipe and the changes (tweaks) I made are in blue to the side.
I have to say, these were inhaled in short order, and I got a lot of compliments on them.

Ingredients:
1 container Pillsbury crescent rolls                  2 containers Pillsbury Crescent            Rolls
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and drained)
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese                             6 oz. Crumbled Feta Cheese
3 green onions chopped                                 1/2 Sweet Onion, diced and sweated in pan
1 large clove of garlic minced                         1 clove elephant garlic, minced and sweated in pan
1 tbsp olive oil                                                1 tablespoon EVOO
1/2 tsp dill weed                                            1 tablespoon Za’atar  (I could not find my Dill)
1 tbsp lemon juice                                          I forgot the lemon juice, but I think it really could have used it
1/2 cup toasted Pine Nuts
2 eggs slightly beaten

Take out the spinach, defrost it and squeeze out the liquid.  I had it in a strainer for an hour but was running out of time, so I just picked it up and squeezed out the liquid.  You do want it on the dry side here.  Of course I got it a little too dry, so I added a couple of slightly beaten eggs.   I sweated the onions and garlic in the olive oil, just til the onions turned translucent and the garlic started to scent the air.   I added it to the Spinach and Feta.

I also toasted some Pine Nuts, just cause they were sitting on the counter and caught my eye, and I thought Gee, Spanakopita  is Greek in nature and Pine Nuts are used in Greece and ….   So I popped them in there.

I also could not find my dill, but the Za’atar was sitting in plain sight so I added it as well.

Mixed it all up together

And then took one package of Crescent Roll dough out of the fridge.   I played with a couple of ways of wrapping the spinach in them.

As you can see, then I  figured it out.
I rolled out the dough a little, divided it into fourths, and pinched the perforations together

I then put some of the mixture into the middle of the dough, brought up the opposite sides together and pinched them closed, (and did not realize that I forgot to take pictures at that point)  I tend to get into the zone when it comes to doing this stuff.  grrrrr

Placed them on a baking sheet and baked them for about 15 minutes or until they were a nice golden brown.
Just like this.    I actually used two packages of Crescent Roll dough.   There was more than enough filling for both of them.   And it’s a good thing I made so many, they all got et.

I brought them to the gathering and added them to the rest of the offerings.

This picture was taken with my camera phone and it’s not all that great.   As you can see the Spanakopita bites are there to the left, sorta in the middle.   And in the foreground, some really awesome brownies, made with mango’s and tahini.  Yeah, Tahini, and a little Frangelico as well.   I will share this recipe once I get it.  They were really good.

Æbleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls)


I love æbleskiver, and in fact make them for myself every so often, they do take a little planning, but then again, it’s for me and I’m worth it.    And gee, sometimes I just plain crave a taste from my childhood.

Mom used to make these in the summer when we were haying, she’d make them as a kind of fourth meal, and they would be inhaled.   Or she’d make them as a special breakfast from time to time, but would make a couple of pans first, then start serving them, cause gee, they would disappear rapidly, and we’d all be waiting in breathless anticipation for the next batch to come out of the pan.

To make æbleskiver, you need a special pan.   I have two, one which my mom gave me after I got married and the second one is one that my husband’s grandmother gave me.

She actually gave me her pan, the one she’d been using for many years.    Grandma not only knew what aebleskiver were, she’d made them.   When she found out I knew how to make them as well, she gave me her pan.  And I treasure it.   And yes, I did make her some æbleskiver from time to time as well.   In fact, on one memorable occasion, I made a batch, took them to her in the nursing rehab facility where she was staying at one time, and let her feast on them.   I think I was in danger of being mugged by her fellow inmates, they were jealous, as were the nurses.     That’s OK, Grandma got a nice dinner that night.

Sorry, I get sidetracked sometimes.

At any rate, I store my pans in brown paper sacks, the kind you get from the grocery store.  Keeps them rust-free and clean.  I think that’s the way my mom stored hers as well.

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
** 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
1/4 stick clarified butter for frying, or peanut oil.

Separate eggs, whip egg whites til dry, and set aside.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt together, set aside.
Mix egg yolks with sugar and beat til the sugar is dissolved and the eggs yolks look almost white.   The sugar crystals should be dissolved into the yolks.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar with the buttermilk, blend well.  Add the melted butter.

Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing as little as possible, you will still have chunks of dry in there, and that’s OK.   Fold in the egg whites, cutting it through just four times.

By which I mean, you put the whites in the bowl, cut through the center and fold towards you, turn the bowl 1/4 way, fold once again, turn bowl, fold again, and finish by folding it through one last time.    Just be careful to not overmix.   You will have chunks of egg whites, but they will be small, and you do want them there.

** I added two tablespoons of sour cream this time round and really liked the taste.   I would say this would be optional, nah, from now on, I’m adding sour cream to this recipe.   I’ve been seeing a lot of pancake recipes with sour cream in them, and wanted to try it out.  I just love being a guinea pig  tastetester.

 Just like this.

Heat pan, and place a little clarified butter in each indentation, let heat.      Don’t worry if you have chunks of egg whites in the batter, they will cook just fine.   This was my husband’s grandmother’s pan.  I think she would love the idea it was being featured here.

Have a knitting needle or a wooden skewer handy or even a fork.

As soon as you’ve finished pouring the batter in the last indentation, the first aebleskiver will be ready for turning.

And I forget to take a picture of me turning them.

You lift up the edge, turning the ball a little and letting the batter flow from the middle to the bottom of the indentation.  Proceed around the whole pan, turning each one just about a quarter turn.  You do need some practice on this, and be ready to sacrifice a pan full getting the hang of it.   I usually screw up the first pan full as well, but I eat the mistakes so no one ever knows.  Just don’t tell anyone, OK?

By the time you’ve finished turning them all once, they should be a nice golden brown, and spherical in shape.  Take them out and place them onto a heated platter or just onto the plates and serve.

Traditionally these are served with Raspberry Jam and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.   I like mine with Strawberry Jam or syrup or just dipped in some sugar, there is no wrong way to eat æbleskiver.