I made these last month when it was too hot to turn on the oven, but wanted to make an apple dessert. I decided to make some fry bread with apples and yogurt.
To make the fry bread. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan. Use plenty of oil (1 or 2 cups), you can strain it through a cheese cloth and use it again.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup water
Mix together and form into four rounds. Drop into the oil, one or two at a time, depending on the size of your pan. You want plenty of space. When one side is done, flip it over and fry on the other side. Remove and rest on paper towels to drain, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
So, these are slightly savory apples. I put 1/2 TBSP of butter in a pan with some sliced red onions and a few rosemary leaves. I added two apples, peeled and sectioned, and cooked until tender but not mushy, adding a TBSP of sugar at the end to sweeten the onions a little bit more.
I served half the apples with two fry bread and a spoonful of yogurt. This made two servings.
Gertrude Stein said “A rose is a rose is a rose.” Well, that is not true. There is a world of difference between a floribunda and an Empress Josephine and an American Beauty. The same is true of honey, not all honeys are alike. Buckwheat honey is distinctive, a monofloral honey, it is nothing like regular honey. It is closer to molasses, but more mellow and with a fuller, more rounded flavor. While I don’t have any honey in my cupboard, I do keep buckwheat honey for its delicious flavoring.
Today I added 2 tsps of buckwheat honey to 1/2 cup of plain nonfat yogurt. It takes a lot of patient stirring to get it fully blended, but it was worth it. What you get is almost like caramel sauce, but lighter and creamier, slightly less sweet and really much tastier and healthier as well. That’s just a bonus, the flavor is the reason you want to make it.
I cut up a Granny Smith Apple and quarter a cup of some humongous blackberries that I quartered and stirred them into the sauce, and served up in a bowl. It was delicious and made two servings, both of which I ate. So that made it a single serving anyway.
Cucumber kind of works with everything. There’s cucumber soup made with potatoes, cucumber and onions, cucumber and pork, cucumber and strawberries, cucumber and watermelon, on in this case nectarines and grapes. It has a mild, but fresh, flavor that complements nearly any flavor and its juicy composition helps it absorb flavors well making it a medium for marrying disparate flavors together.
This was an experimental salad from start to finish. First I pulled a few leaves off a tarragon sprig and dipped them in plain low-fat yogurt to see if I liked yogurt and tarragon. Yum, yes I did. Well, that settled my approach for the dressing. I took one sprig, pulled the leaves and chopped them fine and added them to 3 TBSP of plain yogurt. I added just a sprinkle of salt because it will cut the bitter flavor that yogurt can sometimes have.
I peeled half of an English cucumber, cut it in quarters lengthwise and sliced away the seeds. I snacked on them, so they were not wasted. I then chopped up the cucumber. I added one piece to the dressing to see if I liked it and I did, so I added the rest. Then I cut one nectarine into small chunks, testing one piece in a spoon with cucumber and dressing. Yum. I tossed in the rest of the nectarine. Next I took a spoonful of the salad in the making and put a red grape on the spoon with it and took another taste test and knew this was the perfect final touch. I tossed in about 1 cup of red seedless grapes, tossed all the ingredients together lightly and had a fresh, delicious salad for lunch.
There is something about grapes and tarragon. It tastes as though you are eating wine. That fresh sweetness of the nectarines and the juicy spring flavor of cucumbers and with creamy yogurt. It was so good I wanted seconds. However, I only made one serving.
I made this is three separate parts that I only mixed together for the lettuce wrap so that they can be used for other meals. First I cooked the base for chicken soup last night – putting a whole fryer in a stew pot with a chopped onion and 3 bay leaves, salt and pepper and let simmer for a.5 hours until the chicken was thoroughly cooked and just shy of falling off the bone. I removed the chicken from the broth and let it cool. After it cooled, I pulled all the meat off the bone, putting the dark meat back in the soup broth and reserving the white meat for salads and sandwiches.
Today I mixed up a delicious batch of Curried Yogurt Dressing, taking 1 cup of yogurt, two teaspoons of curry, salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice and blending together.
For the salad fixings, I finely chopped 1 celery stalk, 1 Pink Lady Apple, 1/2 cup of pecans, 2 tbsp of yellow onion, a handful of dried cranberries and 1 cup of fresh cilantro. This makes about three times what I need for the chicken salad sandwich wraps, so I reserved the rest of it in a plastic container for another salad or whatever I decide to make with it.
I took three romaine leafs, using just the green tops, I ran my knife down the center of the stalk to keep the from cracking when rolled. I put on a plate and heated in the microwave for 10 seconds. They will still be cool and crisp, but will be just a bit more malleable. I mixed about equal part salad fixings and chicken in a bowl with enough curried yogurt dressing to pull it together and spooned the salad on the lettuce and served.
The apple’s sweetness really counter the bitterness of the celery, so that together they taste better than they do apart. The dried cranberries add a tart surprise and the pecans add some crunch and meatiness. It’s tasty and fresh and a great lunch option.
I cooked a beef roast the other night so I have lots of lovely roast beef for sandwiches and other quick meals. For this pita sandwich, I sliced off a few slices from the roast and cut them into smaller bite size pieces. I heated my saute pan and put about 1 TBSP of the jus from the roast in the pan and added a pinch of cardamom and sumac, salt and pepper. I added the meat and heated, turning a few times while it cooked. Just before serving I added a bit of yogurt and some feta cheese and stirred and removed from heat to cool for a minute. Meanwhile i heated a pita bread in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make it flexible. I cut it in half and stuffed with a meat mixture and a chopped up romaine leaf.
It has a savory flavor with that wonderful spice profile of middle eastern meats. The feta gave it some tang as did the yogurt and the lettuce added a fresh crunch.
I made the cucumber salad first because I wanted the dill weed to have plenty of time to permeate all of the yogurt and impart its springlike flavor to the entire salad. This is a super simple salad. Slice the cucumbers a thinly as possible. Spread the slices out in a pie plate and salt it. This will get some of the water out of the cucumber so the salad does not get soggy and watery. Transfer to a bowl, add the sliced onion, yogurt and dill. Cover and chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
- 1 cucumber sliced thin
- 3 TBSP thinly sliced onion
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 TBSP dill weed
The Braised Cabbage Slaw is another make-ahead salad that just tastes better and better. Shred the cabbage thinly. Slice up about 1/3 of an onion. Dice one apple and you’re ready to start cooking. Put olive oil in a skillet and add onions and soften them. Add the cabbage and apples. Let them start to cook and in a bowl, add the apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard and caraway seed. Mix together. Toss on the cabbage and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes until just tender, but still with some crisp. Enough liquid will come out of the cabbage to give you all the braising liquid you need. I know it will seem that you cannot possibly dress all the cabbage with so little dressing, but cabbage is so rich with liquid that you want to be light with the dressing and let the cabbage juices carry your dressing. The apricot I quartered on the side really loved the caraway vinegar dressing that was left on the plate after I ate the slaw.
- 1/3 head of red cabbage, shredded thinly
- 1/3 of an onion.
- 1 apple
- 1 TBSP of olive oil
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar (brown sugar if you have it)
- 2 tsp mustard
- 2 tsp caraway seed
At supper time, I made a chicken queso using chicken reserved from the chicken I stewed for soup. I put some green salsa in a saute pan and used it instead of oil or water to braise the chicken. When the chicken was nearly hot through, I added the cheese. On a griddle I was toasting the tortilla. I put the tortilla on the plate, added the chicken queso and tossed in a few sprigs of cilantro.
- 4 oz stewed chicken
- 1.5 ounces of cheddar and pepper jack cheese. (3/4 ounce of each)
- 2 TBSP green salsa.
I mixed up a batch of Swedish Meatballs last night but forgot to snap a picture, I was that hungry when I was done. I will do a post about them next time I make them. The mixture makes plenty of meatballs for a few meals, so I only cooked up a portion, putting the rest in a baggie for other things – such as stuffing banana peppers.
The Meat Mix
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- 1 pound of ground beef, lean
- 1 egg
- 4 TBSP of bread crumbs
- 2 tsp of cardamom
- 1 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of pepper
- 2 TBSP of dried parsley
Mix this all together and use it to order. I cut the tops off the peppers and cleaned them, heated them in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften them enough not to crack when stuffed. Stuffed the meat in, packing it in deeply, and putting the caps back on. I laid them on an ungreased pie plate and baked them 30 minutes in a 350° oven.
I served with a salad with some feta, olives, and Girard’s Greek Feta Dressing.
While the peppers were roasting, I cleaned a mango and put it in a magic bullet cup (you could use a blender), I squeezed the juice of half a lemon in with the mango and added 1/4 of plain yogurt. Adding a touch of fresh nutmeg, I whipped it until smooth, for a tart, fresh, summer drink.
You can make the chicken salad while the veggies cook. First chop up one clove of garlic and 3 thins slices off a large onion (about 3 TBSP) and soften in 1/2 TBSP of olive oil. Add 3 finely slice mushrooms and cook for a few minutes before adding 1 zucchini sliced fine. When it’s nearly done, add 1/4 of a Roma tomato chopped up, toss in 1 TBSP of dried dill weed and cover. Just before serving sprinkle 1 ounce of shredded or finely sliced cheddar cheese and cover for 30 seconds.
The salad is made with 2 ounces of cooked chicken (reserved from soup I made earlier) and 2 ounces of diced pink lady apples. I added 1/2 of a stalk of celery, 1 TBSP of sweet onion and about 2 tsp’s of diced red pepper and a sprig of cilantro. Then I squeeze 1/2 a lemon on it, some salt and pepper and 1 TBSP of plain yogurt. I took 3 leaves of romaine and put them on the serving platter and heated them for 15 seconds in the microwave so they would be flexible enough to be salad wraps, but still have fresh crunchiness in the texture. I sliced wedges of the remaining apple and served on the side.
I wish I could get my cat with a head cold to eat these Jamaica Jerk Yams. It would clear his head right out. This is a very easy meal to make and takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish.
Start with the yams. Turn oven to 450°. Take one yam and peel it. Slice it into 1/8 inch chips. In a baggie, put 1 TBSP of peanut or vegetable oil. Put the chips in the bag and shake it. In another baggie, put a couple tablespoons of Jamaica Jerk seasoning blend. Toss the chips in there and shake. Lay out on a cookie sheet so they don’t overlap. The oven should be hot enough now to put them in to cook.
Now, slice off some pork from that roast from last night and toss in a nonstick saute pan with 2 TBSP of barbecue sauce. Reheat on medium low, stirring occasionally.
Now, Put about 3 TBSP or so of plain yogurt in a bowl and add curry powder to suit your taste. Start with 1/2 tsp and stir and taste test. Add another 1/4 tsp and so on. You could make up one small package of plain yogurt and store it. It keeps well and is good on cold macaroni in a salad.
Clean and cut up 2 leaves of romaine, cut 5 olives in half and toss on top with a bit of Greek Feta dressing. Put the BBQ pork on the plate, add the curry yogurt and pull the hot and done sweet potatoes out of the oven. Serve while nice and hot.