Recently my wife asked me to make some food for a bridal shower and I decided to made some quiches and a tourtière, a French Canadian meat pie. Last week I picked up the cookbook "Southern Heirloom Cooking" by Norma Jean McQueen Haydel and Horace McQueen and found a recipe for fried meat pies. Since I had some leftover tourtière meat I decided to create my own meat pies but instead of frying them I decided to bake them. For the crust I used store bought empanada wrappers but I could make my own pie crusts. For a nice shiny crust don't forget the egg wash and make different fillings. I think I will try one with corned beef hash next.
5 to 6 inch round empanada wrappers (or mini pie crusts)
1 beaten egg
Prepare the Tourtière filling and cool. Using empanada wrappers (or your own pie crust) add a scoop of the Tourtière filling. Beat an egg and using a pastry brush, moisten around the edges to make a good seal. Using a fork seal the edges then brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake in a 375 degree oven until nicely browned. Serve warm.
If you love English style pubs you are familiar with Scotch Eggs, Boiled eggs encased in sausage and then breaded and deep fried. Using quail eggs I make a smaller version that can be eaten whole and enjoyed both for breakfast or an appetizer or snack any time. Make some for your next football party. The eggs are soft boiled to stop that ugly green ring around the yolk in eggs that are over cooked. After encasing the eggs in in a thin layer of sausage, we bread it and fry to crispy perfection. I want the yolk to be slightly soft the consistency of Jello. Many times Scotch Eggs are served with a dipping sauce. I have added two sauce suggestions, based on the English love of curry but you can play it safe and make some honey mustard. Try one, all or create your own.
panko bread crumbs for breading
1 or 2 eggs with milk
Thai red curry paste
plain Greek yogurt
favorite hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
In a heat proof bowl add the quail eggs and gently add boiling water to cover. Let steep for two minutes for eggs with soft yolks or an extra minute if you want them more cooked. Transfer to cold water to stop the cooking and gently peel the shells once cooled.
Prepare the sausage meat by making your own or removing the casings of your favorite links or you can buy bulk sausage meat to make things easier. Prepare a standard breading station, first flour, then beaten eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs (I prefer Italian seasoned Japanese Panko). First encase the peeled eggs in a thin layer of sausage, roll in the flour shaking off any extra. Dip in the beaten egg mixture the roll in the bread crumbs. Heat the oil to 325 F and deep fry until golden and crispy. Keep warm and serve with a dipping sauce.
Indian Style Curry Sauce
Add 2 Tbsp. good quality curry powder to a skillet with 1 Tbsp. butter and toast spices. Let cool and add to 1/2 cup Greek yogurt mixing well. Season with salt and pepper and a slash of your favorite hot sauce if you like. Let flavors mingle before using
Thai Style Curry Sauce
Add 2 Tbsp. good quality red curry paste to a skillet with 1 Tbsp. butter and gently warm. Let cool and add to 1/2 cup sour cream mixing well. Season with salt and pepper and a slash of your favorite hot sauce if you like. Let flavors mingle before using
Many of us agree that we should all eat more vegetables in our diet but are lax in following through. This recipe is an attempt to add kale to breakfast and make a more colorful, healthy and balanced meal.
I love checking out other peoples culinary ideas and I was intrigued by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton's Canal House recipe for Pimenton fried eggs. Pimenton or smoked paprika is added to oil before frying an egg creating a colorful smoky egg that is cooked until it is crispy around the edges in addition to intensifying the smoky taste. I wanted to use this preparation to create a unique healthy dish my wife would enjoy. I added some leftover savory grits to sauted kale and then added some tangy goat cheese bits to bring everything together.
4 large fresh eggs
1 tsp. smoked paprika (Pimenton)
1 cup leftover savory cheese grits (recipe follows)
3 Tbsp. olive oil or butter or mixture of both
1 cup kale
2 oz. goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Melt 1/3 of the butter and/or olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet and saute the grits breaking into small pieces until lightly browned and crispy. Keep warm. In another skillet saute the kale in another 1/3 of the butter and/or olive oil until crispy. Add to the grits and keep warm.
Clean out the non-stick skillet and heat to medium. Melt the remaining butter and/or olive oil and add the paprika and toast for a minute then fry the eggs how you like. Plate 2 eggs and serve with the kale and grit mixture. Add half of the goat cheese breaking the cheese into small pieces over the kale mixture. Prepare the second plate and serve.
2 cups good quality stone ground grits
1/2 sweet finely diced onion
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or similar cheese
4 cups good quality chicken broth
2 oz. butter
2 Tbsp. herbs of your choice (I like thyme, parsley and oregano)
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium skillet heat the oil and saute the diced onion until translucent, then add the grits and toast until you can see some color. Wisk in the chicken broth, add the herbs and cook until the grits are tender. Stir in the cheeses until melted adding water if the mixture gets too stiff. Stir in the butter and check the seasoning. You can add some fresh herbs if you like. Let the mixture cool overnight.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.