Monday, June 28, 2010

Turkey/Bean burgers

For a barbeque recently, I put together these turkey burgers filled with veggies. For the vegetarian guests, I made a few with beans instead of turkey. Both turned out great!

(photo courtesy of ruohuif)

Turkey Burgers and Bean Burgers
Yield: 4 bean burgers, 8 turkey burgers

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 medium zucchini, peeled and grated
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp garlic paste
2 Tbsp black pepper
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 can beans (try black beans, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans), strained
6oz ground turkey meat

Combine all ingredients except for beans and turkey in a large mixing bowl. Place the beans in another mixing bowl and gently mash them. Then combine them with 1/3 of the veggie mixture. Add the turkey meat to the original mixing bowl (2/3 of the veggie mixture) and combine.

Now that you have the turkey and bean mixtures, just form them into patties and place them on the grill. The bean mixture will probably be pretty liquidy, so you might have to cook the patties on aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.

Arroz Con Pollo

I got a slow cooker recently, and one of the first things I made was arroz con pollo, which is a very tasty Cuban dish consisting of saffron rice with shredded chicken, peas, and red peppers. Slow cookers are very easy to use, because you just put all the ingredients in the pot and cook it for a long time.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
about a cup of frozen peas
1 (14 oz) can of chicken broth
1/2 a red pepper, cut into strips and sauteed lightly
1 (5 oz) packet of saffron rice
shredded cheese, to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients in slow cooker (mine recommended using the 4-quart pot for this, but I found that the 2-quart pan was plenty big). Cook on high for 4 hours (I found that it only needed to be on high for about 3 hours and then I turned it down to low for an hour, although it was fully cooked after 3 hours on high. The most important thing is that the chicken be fully cooked.) Slow cookers naturally make the meat very tender, so after cooking you can easily shred the chicken using a fork or spoon, and then stir to combine before serving. If you like cheese, you can also stir in some shredded cheese before serving, and then you can season with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika to suit your tastes. Note: If you want to cook this all day while you're at work, you can cook it on low for eight hours, but set it to cook on high for 1 hour before it switches to low. For food safety reasons, raw chicken needs to be cooked on high at first to kill bacteria, because it grows too fast when its cooked on low.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Poker Face

Another simple out-of-the-box sheet cake from me. I think the theme of the party this cake is going to is obvious. I was trying to recreate her classic look when she tied her hair into a bow.
This was a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. I flipped the cake out of the silicon cake pan for a flat surface to work with. I first frosted the cake with the frosting, and then used a butter knife to cut out the shape. If you cut first and frost second, chocolate crumbs from your cake will mix with the frosting giving you a kind of 'oreo' look, which I didn't want for Miss Gaga's face. The colors were made by adding food coloring. I added the texture of hair using a fork. For the sunglasses and lips, I put the frosting into Ziplock bags, cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bags, and piped on the details. The end result: Ga-ga-ohh-la-la!