Archive for March, 2010

Home Made Hot Pockets

March 30, 2010

As most of you know, last week I’ve been sick. You know that stomach flu that wakes you up in the middle of the night and then your husband finds you the next morning curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet? THAT kind of sick. So cooking and eating wasn’t exactly on my to-do list for the week. This week, though, my appetite is back with a VENGENCE and tonight I had me a hankerin’ for a Turkey and Cheese Hot Pocket. The problem is that here in Italy Hot Pockets aren’t around. So I had to experiment and make my own. The interesting part is that in the process, I’ve inadvertently stumbled upon Pizza Crust. This had turned out to be an AWESOME pizza crust recipe for people who don’t like to use yeast. In this case, my Turkey and Cheese Hot Pocket turned out like a Calzone. You never know, maybe this week I’ll post a Pizza!

For Turkey, Egg, and Cheese Hot Pockets be ready with this stuff:

¾ Cup of warm Water
2 Cups of Flour, with some extra for your rolling pin and rolling surface
2 tsp of Baking Powder
1 tsp of Salt
A little Olive Oil
3 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 lump of Mozzarella
Deli Style or Roasted Turkey, in slices or pieces
Sliced, Preserved Asparagus (optional)

Put your flour, leavening, salt, and water into a bowl and use your hands to mix it up. Work it with your hands until its gummy and stretchy. If its too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until its right. Cut your ball in half and roll it out long enough to fold over toppings.

Add your toppings turkey-side down, cheese on top. I used sliced hard boiled eggs, canned asparagus, deli style sliced Turkey, and Mozzarella. But really, you can use just about anything that isn’t sure wet.

Pull the untoppinged side over the toppinged side. Cut off any excess. Fold the edges up and crimp them with a fork. Transfer the pockets onto a baking sheet and use your fingers or a brush to top them with a little Olive Oil.

Pop them into a 400°F (200°C) oven for about 20 minutes until the top and sides start turning brown.

And there you have it! This recipe is prime EXPERIMENTING material! PLEASE do so!
Love, Peace, and Mozzarella Cheese! Visualize Whirled Peas!


Faux Fried Fish

March 20, 2010

This weekend I’ve been faced with a dilemma. We’re at my in-laws, and my in-laws are not on a diet like I am. They have tried really hard to make sure there are things in the house that I can eat, but tonight it all came down to me. What do I want for supper. Sometimes it’s really not that simple. I eat what I CAN, not what I WANT anymore. So I decided that instead of having them make food for them, and fix something different for me (which makes me feel really bad and singled out), I offered to cook. My father-in-law took me to the fish market this evening where the nice lady showed me some Perch that is cleaned, boned, and was living this morning. The thing I liked the most about it is that it didn’t smell like gnarly underpants. I’m REALLY cravin’ the fried goodness of Fish’n’Chips in the bad way, so I have devised a plan to cook the beautiful piece of fish in the oven to make them crunchy and awesome like Fried Fish without all of the oil. Excellent. Now if only there were potatoes in the house…

For Faux-Fried Fish (in this case: Perch) you need:

1 ½ Cups of Flour
2 Eggs
1 Cup of Milk
2 Cups of Obliterated Saltine Crackers or Bread Crumbs
A smidgen of Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, and Sage
Deboned, skinned Fish for 4 people (about 2lbs of Fish in pieces)

First set up your workstation. This is important because it minimizes the mess by a BUNCH. Your workstation should go in this order, from left to right: Flour Mixture (Flour, herbs and spices, salt and pepper), Egg and Milk Mixture (Egg and Milk mixed together), Crushed Cracker Mixture (just crushed crackers or breadcrumbs),Aluminum Baking Pan.

Take a piece of Fish and place it on top of your Flour mixture. Move it around to make sure every little bit of the fish is covered with flour but NOT caked with it.

Dip the Floured Fish in the Egg and Milk, but DON’T let it sit. You just want to get it wet and get that sucker into the crackers.

Move the Fish into the crackers and make sure the Fish is covered and NOT caked, like I said before. This is going to make sure that the Fish is crispy, not hard.

Get the fish into your Aluminum Baking Pan. Repeat with all of the Fish pieces. Bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for about 25 minutes, until you see the lovely pieces of Fish turning golden brown.

Serve next to a hefty-sized pile of roasted potatoes or my infamous Honey Mustard Roasted Veggies.

Love, Peace, and Favorable Seas, Friends! Visualize Whirled Peas!
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Sun-Dried-Tomato-Pesto-Pasta-Salad + Fail.

March 18, 2010

I wanted to apologize for being a few days late on a new post. Not only have I recently committed a culinary failure, but it was a pretty epic one. Lets say that my kitchen has suffered a little bit as a result and its taken a few days to recover from the aftermath. I tried to stuff some Squid heads with rice. I bought fresh Squids, gutted them (I now know what Squid Sperm looks like…), cleaned them, went through the whole process… only to have them explode. My oven no longer looks at me the same way. Not only were they OBLITERATED in the cooking process, but they were absolutely disgusting. One of the worst meals I’ve ever attempted to consume. I felt terrible. I cried a little. Its always an emotional moment when someone who loves food like a family member has to drop it into the garbage can and clean up the massacre at the crime scene. I didn’t even want to LOOK at my kitchen the day after. Guilt… Remorse… A bad taste left in my mouth… I still don’t want to turn on my oven for fear it will make my house smell like death and Squid. So tonight I made Pasta Salad. Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Peas, Peppers, Mozzarella, and Pesto. Something to celebrate Springtime which has FINALLY arrived! Lets hope this will help recuperate my dropped Food-Karma levels…

For Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad, you wanna have:

A bowlful of cooked, drained, non-spaghetti-like pasta
1 small Bell Pepper (or piece of a large one)
1 single serving of REAL Mozzarella
1 small can of Peas
1 handful of Sun-dried Tomatoes
1 small Shallot or Onion
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of ready-to-eat Pesto (with or without Garlic)
Garlic (to add to the Pesto if it is Garlic-less Pesto

First, cook your pasta, drain it, put it in a bowl, toss with a little olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together, and set aside to cool.

Get your veggies ready by slicing the onion/shallot VERY thinly, cutting up the sun-dried tomatoes into little bits, and slicing the bell pepper into long strips.

Dump all of the veggies on top of the pasta, peas included, to make room on your cutting board.

This is a REAL Mozzarella. It doesn’t come semi-arid, shredded, in a ziplock baggie. It comes packed in its own water, and in lump form like THIS:

Cut up the Mozzarella into bite-sized pieces and dump them on top of the veggies on top of the pasta on a bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea… er… yeah.

My Pesto came in a resealable container, so I was able to use it a little bit at a time instead of all at once. Unfortunately, it came to a point where there was enough pesto leftover for one bowl of pasta, and not two, so I added an equal amount of Olive Oil and a little Garlic to stretch it. Plus, straight Pesto has a REALLY strong flavor. Adding more Oil softened it a little bit and makes it a little less OH MY GOD THERE IS PESTO EVERYWHEEERRREEE!!!!

Pour your Pesto over the bowlful of ‘stuff’ and give it a good tossing. Cover the bowl loosely with aluminum foil and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve alone, or with some Chicken on the side (or even tossed into the pasta salad!).

Love, Peace, and (saddly not so much) Bacon Grease, Friends! Visualize Whirled Peas!