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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast 2014

Pin It Thanksgiving Feast 2014

Allen and I made our Thanksgiving feast yesterday since we had Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's. This has been a tradition for us since 2009 to do our own intimate dinner the weekend after Thanksgiving. Our dinner consisted of Turkey, Gravy, Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing, Dinner Rolls and Cranberry Jelly. We have leftovers to eat and enjoy all week.

Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Turkey


Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Turkey right out of the oven
We made this Turkey three years in a row but this year skipped the compound butter. This turkey is super juicy and rich with flavor from the Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary) and Lemon slices under the skin and 2 whole Lemons stuffed inside the cavity.

Ingredients
12-16 pound Turkey (thawed; ours was 14.2 pounds)

1 bunch of fresh Thyme

1 bunch of fresh Rosemary

3 lemons

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

3 Shallots

5 Garlic cloves

Close-up of Turkey, yummy!!!

Directions
Once Turkey has come to room temperature pat dry with paper towels.

Remove Neck and Giblets and put aside for the Gravy.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure oven shelf is positioned in the lower third of the oven.

Slice Shallots in half.

Peel skin off Garlic.

Poke 2 Lemons with a fork and thinly slice remaining Lemon.

Place Turkey in roasting pan.

Turkey rested for 1 hour and ready to carve and eat
Using a brush, rub the inside of the cavity with Olive Oil and season with Salt and Black Pepper.

Insert into the cavity 2 Lemons, Shallots, Garlic cloves, and the bunches of Thyme and Rosemary.

With a brush, coat the Turkey with Olive Oil and season liberally with Salt and Black Pepper.

Carefully slide Lemon slices under the skin.

Place Turkey in oven and roast for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

After the first 20 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees. For cooking time look at Turkey package instructions for guidelines according to how many pounds your Turkey is. Our Turkey cooked in 4 hours. The Turkey will be cooked when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thick part of the leg joint is at 160-165 degrees.

Take Turkey out of oven and cover it with foil and let it rest for 1 hour before serving.

Turkey Gravy

Turkey Gravy
I love this Gravy recipe. It is rich in taste and is worth the effort you put into it.

Ingredients
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock

Turkey Neck and Giblets

4 tablespoons, Flour

1 Bay Leaf

1/2 stick, unsalted Butter

2 Carrots, chopped

2 Celery stalks, chopped

1 Shallot, chopped

4 Garlic cloves, minced

Kosher Salt

Directions
In a large pot, add Neck, Giblets and all the pan drippings from Turkey (remove excess fat), Chicken Stock and Bay Leaf. Heat on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes.

In another large pot, on medium heat, melt Butter and add Carrots, Celery, Shallots and Garlic. Cook in Butter until slightly browned. About 10 minutes.

Stir Flour into Butter and Veggies to make a roux.

Cook for a few minutes until the roux turns golden brown in color.

Drain stock to remove Neck and Giblets and return stock to pot. Slowly pour the stock in the pan with the roux, whisking as you add it. Do not stop whisking. Once incorporated stop whisking and return to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and reduce by a third. Takes about 20-25 minutes.

Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer. Season to taste with Salt.

Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes

Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes
I love roasted Jalapeños in Mashed Potatoes and these are very special since they are from Allen's urban garden (in our apartment windowsill). The Jalapeños add great texture to the Mashed Potatoes and the sour Cream make these Mashed Potatoes so creamy. The heat from the Jalapeños add a welcome spicy kick.

Ingredients
5-6 Jalapeños (depends on size and how much heat you want)

3-5 pounds Potatoes

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups Milk

6 tablespoons, Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

Olive Oil

Roasted Jalapeños

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash Jalapeños in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

Cut top off and slice Jalapeños in half, remove seeds and membrane or leave them in for added spice.

Coat Jalapeños with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt on both sides. Place on cookie sheet.

Roast in oven for about 20 minutes; turn over half way through.

Let cool and chop, set aside for now.

While the Jalapeños are roasting, peel and cut Potatoes in half. Place Potatoes in a large pot with cold water and add Kosher Salt.

Bring Potatoes to a boil on medium-high heat, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes. Make sure Potatoes are fork tender.

In a small saucepan, heat Milk and Butter until Butter melts and is hot. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat until Potatoes are cooked.

When Potatoes are cooked, drain in colander and return to pot or a large bowl. Mash the Potatoes with a masher or use a food mill for as long as it takes to get the texture you want.

Slowly add melted Butter and Milk mixture and stir with a spatula. Keep adding as you mash until you have poured it all in and the Potatoes have a creamy texture.

Add Sour Cream and Jalapeños and blend together well. Add 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt, taste and add more Kosher Salt if you wish.

Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole

Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole
Allen made his yummy Green Bean Casserole and no Thanksgiving for us would be complete without it. No Salt was added to the recipe since the canned Green Beans and Mushroom Soup have enough salt.

Ingredients
4 cans French Cut Greens Beans with Sea Salt, drained

2 cans Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup

3/4 cup, whole Milk

1 large container French Fried Onions (save some for topping)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper

Close-up of Allen's Famous Green Bean Casserole

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a large glass or ceramic dish and combine Mushroom Soup, Milk, and Worcestershire Sauce with a whisk.

Add Green Beans and Black Pepper and stir well.

Sprinkle 2/3 of French Fried Onions over the top.

Bake for 1 hour. Remove and sprinkle remaining French Fried Onions and put back in oven for an additional 10 minutes so they can brown a bit.

Let stand for 20-30 minutes. Serve.

Add Hot Sauce to taste if desired.

Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing

Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing
We love the Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing and it marries beautifully with Gravy. This Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing is hearty, and full of flavor and Allen always makes it for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients
Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing (or any kind you like)

2 cups of sliced or 1 can of Mushrooms

1 Celery stalk

1 Shallot

1 Bay Leaf  (from Allen's parents backyard)

Close-up of yummy Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing (just add Gravy)

Directions
Take paper towel and clean Mushrooms gently removing excess dirt; slice Mushrooms or drain can of mushrooms and pat dry with paper towel.

With a peeler, remove outer skin of Celery and thinly slice.

Chop Shallot

Add the Mushrooms, Celery and Shallot and bring to a simmer with Butter and water.

Follow box directions and add above ingredients for added taste and texture.

Enjoy!

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie

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Coconut Cream Pie

Dreamy Coconut Cream Pie!

I love Coconut and this Coconut Cream Pie is creamy, dreamy and the taste is heavenly. The Pie Crust recipe is from Ina Garten, and it is simple and perfection (see below). If you are pressed for time, you can use Pillsbury Pie Crust. The recipe uses Coconut three ways: Coconut Milk, Coconut Extract and sweetened shredded Coconut for a rich Coconut flavor profile. This is one of the best tasting pies I have ever made. If you love Coconut, you need to make this recipe!
  
You can find Ina's Perfect Pie Crust recipe at this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-pie-crust-recipe.html

You can find the Triple-Threat Coconut Cream Pie recipe at this link:

Ingredients
1 can (13 1/2 oz) Coconut Milk, shaken well (Goya)

1 cup whole Milk

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

½ teaspoon Coconut Extract

5 large Egg Yolks

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sweetened shredded Coconut, toasted

2/3 cup Granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ cup Corn Starch (Argo)

2 tablespoons unsalted Butter, room temperature and cut into four pieces

My slice of Coconut Cream Pie, want some?

Directions
Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the shredded Coconut on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the Coconut. It toasts up pretty quick. Place on cooling rack to cool completely.

Unroll 1 Pie Crust onto parchment paper and lightly brush Coconut Milk on dough. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of the toasted Coconut evenly on dough and press lightly to make it stick.

Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of the toasted Coconut onto bottom of pie plate, and then place dough and crimp sides. Prick the bottom and sides gently with a fork. Place dried beans or ceramic pie weights over the crust and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool.

In a medium size saucepan on medium heat, add the Coconut Milk, Milk, ½ cup of the toasted Coconut, Vanilla Extract, 1/3 cup Sugar and Salt to a simmer. Stir often with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, with a whisk beat Egg Yolks, remaining 1/3 cup Sugar and Corn Starch until well combined.

Gradually beat the simmering liquid into the Yolk mixture to temper it.

Then return the entire mixture to the saucepan scraping the bowl with a spatula.

Heat the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, beating constantly with a whisk for about 4 minutes until it has thickened.

Remove from heat. Beat in the Coconut Extract and Butter. Pour into the cooled crust and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If you are serving the same day let it set for about 3 hours.

Coconut Cream Pie

Whipped Cream Topping
Ingredients
1 ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream, well chilled

1 ½ tablespoons Granulated Sugar

1 ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup sweetened shredded Coconut, toasted

Directions
Chill bowl of your mixer in the fridge for 1 hour.

Once chilled, beat the Heavy Whipping Cream, Sugar and Vanilla Extract in electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 7 minutes.

Using spatula spread Whipped Cream over pie and sprinkle remaining toasted Coconut on top. Cover with aluminum foil until set, about 2 hours or overnight. 

Cover and store remaining pie in fridge.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, November 21, 2014

Roasted Acorn Squash

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Roasted Acorn Squash
Sophia and I are big fans of roasting squash. This is the first year we have made Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash and Acorn Squash and we are enjoying them while in season. Acorn Squash is a little less sweeter than Butternut Squash and I saw recipes that sprinkled Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup, but it does not need it at all.

Ingredients
1 Acorn Squash

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

Close-up view of Roasted Acorn Squash

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

If you wish, cut off each end of Acorn Squash and cut in half.

Using a spoon gently remove the seeds.

With a knife, score each half with a knife about 5-6 times straight across.

My serving of Roasted Acorn Squash, yummy!
Brush on olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.

Place skin side up, flesh side down in baking sheet.

Place in center rack of oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Let it rest for 5 minutes. Scoop it out with a spoon and eat or scoop it out and mash.

-Allen/Two Frys

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chicken Stir Fry with Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce

Pin It Chicken Stir Fry with Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce

Chicken Stir-Fry w/Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce
I love making stir fry either with Chow Mein noodles or white rice. Chicken is my preferred protein of choice and I always add one kind of pepper to the stir fry veggies. We met Chef Ed at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo in NYC and love this guy and his versatile and extensive product line. I was excited to use this sauce in this dish. Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce An Asian Hot Chili Sauce Made with a Warm Combination of Hot Peppers, Garlic and Herbs has a superb flavor profile. It is bold and powerful with a robust flavor and everything you want in a Thai style chili sauce. The heat comes on slowly and lingers for just the right amount of time, adding zing and pop to your food. The sauce has a great kick to it and I used a moderate amount, but if you really want to feel the heat add more to your liking. The bottle design is beautiful as well and 14 oz. Give this recipe a try. I know you will love it as much as we did!

Close-up of the Stir Fry and Sauce

Ingredients
1 pound Chicken Breast Strips, cut into small chunks

1 package of Chow Mein Stir-Fry Noodles, (Wel-Pac)

1 bag Frozen Asian Stir Fry Vegetables

1 Cubanelle Pepper, sliced

¼ cup Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce

¼ cup Stir Fry Sauce (Kikkoman)

2 tablespoons Less Sodium Soy Sauce (Kikkoman)

Kosher Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

Chicken Stir-Fry with Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce is perfection!

Directions
Season veggies with salt and pepper to taste and steam together for a few minutes. Put aside.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, boil water. When boiling, add Chow Mein noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Do not overcook as they will continue cooking when you add them to the skillet. Drain and put aside.

Cut chicken into chunks and season both sides with salt and black pepper.

Delish!
Add canola oil to large skillet on medium heat and when hot, add chicken. After 5-6 minutes, add noodles and veggies and combine using tongs.

Add Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce, Stir Fry Sauce and Soy Sauce and combine again with tongs.

Remove from heat. Let rest a few minutes and serve.

For further information about Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce and to order, please visit: http://www.hobokeneddies.com.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash

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Roasted Butternut Squash, sublime!

Ever since I first made this recipe last month, we have had Roasted Butternut Squash about three times already. It is that good and healthy too! There are many recipes out there for Butternut Squash, but I was looking for a recipe with not too many ingredients. Many people like to add maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and other spices but I wanted to highlight the natural sweetness of this squash. Here is the recipe I used.

Ingredients
Butternut Squash

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

Out of the oven and about to flip them and put them back in for 15 more minutes
Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Cut Butternut Squash in cube size pieces (approximately 3/4 inch size cubes).

Spread cubes out over lined sheet pan but not on top of each other for even roasting.

Using a pastry brush add olive oil.

Roasted Butternut Squash
Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

Roast for 15 minutes and then flip and cook for additional 15 minutes.

When done, let rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Butternut Squash recipe from April McKinney: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7gVcPXQfdE

-Allen/Two Frys

Friday, November 7, 2014

7UP Biscuits

Pin It 7UP Biscuits

7UP Biscuits
I recently baked 7UP Biscuits after coming across the recipe online. It was a simple recipe to follow and the biscuits tasted great. The sour cream and 7UP elevated the taste of the biscuits. The biscuits were tangy and so soft inside. The ingredients and recipe are below. Give this recipe a try!

Ingredients
2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup 7UP Soda

1/4 cup Melted Butter

Close-up view of 7UP Biscuits

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Take a sauce pan and melt the butter on low heat. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn. When melted, remove from heat.

Add baking mix to a large bowl and add sour cream using a pastry cutter, fork, spatula or your hands incorporating well.

With a spatula stir in 7UP. The dough will be very soft.

Sprinkle a little of the baking mix to your counter or cutting board.

7UP Biscuits just taken out of the oven
Knead and fold dough (with your hands) until the baking mix has been thoroughly incorporated. Just pat dough out (rolling pin is not necessary) and cut biscuits with a round cookie cutter, glass or empty soup can.

Add melted butter to a 9-inch round cake pan and place biscuits on top of butter.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until brown.

Cool for a few minutes and transfer to serving tray. Enjoy with your favorite gravy if desired. Goes great with chicken, pork chops and steak.

7UP Biscuits recipe from: http://www.food.com/recipe/7-up-biscuits-496614

-Allen/Two Frys

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead Cookies

Pin It Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead Cookies

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead cookies
"The Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, is a festival celebrating the reunion of dead relatives with their families, November 1st and 2nd. Every year, on November 1st (All Saints Day) and 2nd (All Souls Day), something unique takes place in many areas of Mexico: Day of the Dead festivities. In Spanish, All Saints Day and All Souls Day are known as El Dia de Todos los Santos and El Dia de los Muertos, respectively. While it's strange for most of us to accept the fact that "death" and "festivities" can go hand-in-hand, for most Mexicans, the two are intricately entwined. This all stems from the ancient indigenous peoples of Mexico (Purepecha, Nahua, Totonac and Otomi) who believed that the souls of the dead return each year to visit with their living relatives - to eat, drink and be merry. Just like they did when they were living." (from Mexonline.com, http://www.mexonline.com/daydead.htm)

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead cookies
Last week, I ordered Sweet Spirits cookie cutters from Fred to make these cookies.

Sweet Spirits cookie cutters from Fred
I used AmeriColor Food Decorating Pens and royal icing in colors from my previous Halloween post.

Sugar Skull cookie 
Sugar Skull Cookie
The cookies are very detailed and take patience and a steady hand. Next time I make these cookies I will tint the dough in four colors for the base.

Sugar Skull Cookie
Sugar Skull Cookie
I used the royal icing colors from the Halloween cookies I made but I suggest you make a lot more colors. Next time, I will do this.

For more information on Dia de los Muertos, please visit:
MexicanSugarSkull.com:
http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/support/dodhistory.html

Celebrate Day of the Dead
http://www.celebrate-day-of-the-dead.com/

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

-Sophia/Two Frys