I have a new favorite food blog, Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen. Discovered when Jaden kindly commented on my Sushi photo from a few weeks back. Her posts are eye-candy and mouthwatering and informative to boot. I don’t dare compare my photos to hers (there is no comparison), but I would like to share the first of many (I’m sure) delicious recipes we’ve tried from her blog.
Asian Lettuce Cups with Ground Turkey and Apple
See the original recipe here.
What a delicious and refreshing take on lettuce wraps. You might think that apple is a strange addition, but it’s beyond perfect. And as you might know, I’m a huge fan of ground turkey.
And if you’ve never fried mung bean noodles, go out and buy some and fry them NOW. it is a life changing experience. Seriously. Just make way less than you think you’ll need, as you can see from the photo below, a little noodle becomes a lot of noodle after it’s been fried.
Seriously the most fun we’ve had in the kitchen for a long time (and believe me, we have fun).
Obviously we are intrigued by lentils. They require some effort, but have so much potential we just can’t ignore them.
Side note, lentils also make a great filling for handmade computer wrist rests. Just sew a tube of fabric, fill it with uncooked lentils, sew shut, and save yourself $15 by not having to buy a fancy schmancy gel one.
Back to food…
These were quite good. The yogurt sauce is a MUST. So is the egg, apparently… I had made cookies earlier in the day, and failed to realize that we needed the last egg for these burgers. Ooops. So we made the recipe without the egg. Tasted great, still, but they were very volatile and a bit dry, crumbling all over the place. We ended up cooking them in the oven for 8-10 minutes per side instead of pan frying them, which is probably healthier anyway! Didn’t want to take a chance that the patties wouldn’t flip. :)
Lentil Walnut Burgers with Yogurt Sauce
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Everyday Food.
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, cooled
1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3/4 cup lentils, cooked, drained, and cooled
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large egg
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a food processor, combine walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until finely ground. Add lentils and 1 tablespoon oil; pulse until coarsely chopped (some lentils should remain whole).
In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add lentil mixture; mix well. Divide into 4 equal-size parts; roll into balls, and flatten with the palm of your hand into 3/4-inch-thick patties.
Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add burgers; cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, turning gently with a thin-edged spatula, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, cilantro, and lemon; season with salt and pepper.
Assemble burgers and top with yogurt sauce, sliced red onion, tomato, and lettuce.
The name of this pie is the Gold Brick Chocolate Pecan Pie, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll know why. It is so dense, yet so delicious… takes pecan pie to a whole new level. It’s a bit tricky to eat, as the chocolate topping gets quite solid and hard to break through, but boy is it good. So good that no one will care if your crust isn’t pretty.
And you know, the edible gold leaf is completely optional… hehe.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie. Recipe from Emeril.
8 ounces flour, about 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/4 pound) cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pecan pieces
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Edible gold leaf, torn or cut into flakes, garnish (optional)
For crust, sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Using your fingers, work in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and work with your fingers until the water is incorporated and the dough comes together. Add more water as needed to make a smooth dough, being careful not to over mix. Form the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, trim and flute the edges. Let rest refrigerated for 20 minutes. Cover with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and cook until just golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
In the top of a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate chips over almost simmering water. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate with the corn syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and pecans. Pour into the cooled pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Place half of the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl. Place the remaining bittersweet chocolate and the oil in the top of a double boiler, or in a small metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat the chocolate, whisking, until melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the chocolate in the bowl, whisking to melt. Pour over the warm pie, spreading to the edges to coat the top. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks start to form. Add the sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator, slice and arrange on plates. Garnish each slice with edible gold flakes and serve with whipped cream on the side.
We saw Emeril make these little bites and just had to try them. I’m a huge ground turkey fan, and this was a delicious recipe for it. We ate them as our entire meal along with some toasted bread, but they’d be great appetizers as well. Or, make yourself a meatball sandwich! The yogurt dipping sauce is a must, though… really adds something special to the meatballs.
We also substituted soy creamer for the heavy cream, and used regular plain yogurt instead of the whole milk/greek yogurt. No loss there. :)
Turkey Meatballs with a Minted Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Makes 3-4 dozen. Recipe from Emeril.
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, very finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus a pinch
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/8 teaspoon
1 1/4 cups plain whole milk yogurt, preferably Greek, drained overnight in a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
Place the turkey in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet and, when hot, saute the red onion and scallions until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then add to the turkey, along with the garlic, cumin, bread crumbs, heavy cream, egg and egg yolk, 3 tablespoons of the mint, the parsley, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Mix gently but thoroughly. Using a small scoop or spoon, divide the mixture into 1 tablespoon portions and roll into smooth round balls. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.
While the meatballs are chilling, make the dipping sauce. Combine the yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon of mint, remaining 1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt, remaining1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and lemon zest, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lemon juice and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve the meatballs.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the meatballs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bake until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Let the meatballs cool slightly, then serve warm, with the yogurt dipping sauce.
Yield: About 5 1/2 dozen bite-size meatballs, generous 1 cup sauce, serving 6 to 8