Healthy homemade burgers

The last two days I have been home sick with Aaron. He’s ok, just another bout of viral-thing-itus. But, being home meant plenty of time to cook.

Over two days, we made homemade pizza, homemade chicken burgers and we made another batch of pasta sauce.

Here is the recipe for the chicken burgers. They were so good we ate all (8!) of them in one sitting!

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Breaded Chicken Burgers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Quick and easy to make breaded chicken burgers
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 500 g chicken mince
  • Half onion minced or grated
  • A few cloves of garlic minced
  • Half cup breadcrumbs/panko
  • Salt, pepper, sweet chili flakes to taste
  • 1 egg
  • More breadcrumbs/panko for covering the patties
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients well.
  2. Take handfuls of the mixture and shape into balls then flatten to desired thickness (my kids did this part and had a blast).
  3. Set the patties aside and heat some oil in medium heat pan.
  4. Dip each side of the pattie into the crumbs before placing in the hot oil.
  5. Fry for 5-10 min each side (depends on thickness of patties).

Gobble gobble gobble

Last night, while scavenging the freezer for something to make for dinner, I found a turkey breast tucked away in the back of a draw.

I forgot I had it and we haven’t had turkey in a while so there was all kinds of excitement.

Except… I always make turkey breast in a tomato and red wine sauce and that sounded boring. So I created a new recipe.

 

Sweet Chili Turkey
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 large turkey breast. Mine was skinless and boneless but it would work with skin too.
  2. 1 medium onion, sliced into rings
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon sweet chili flakes
  5. Olive oil
  6. Lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a pirex dish or oven proof dish with a lid, place the turkey breast skin side up if you are using one with skin.
  3. layer the onion around and on top of the turkey.
  4. Sprinkle the garlic and sweet chili over the top of the breast.
  5. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice to taste over the breast.
  6. Cover and bake for 50 minutes.
Notes
  1. If you use a breast with skin, remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes so the skin gets crispy.
  2. The turkey came out moist and delicious and the lemon juice and olive oil made a nice sauce to pour over rice or couscous.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Just call me Jamie

A while back I got a bee in my bonnet to haul out my pasta machine and make home made pasta.

What possessed me to start the process at 6pm for dinner that night will forever be unknown.

Making pasta from scratch should never be rushed. 

Actually making the dough, is a process that can take up to half an hour. You really need to give the kneading process time. The longer you work the dough the smoother and more elastic it is. You also need to let the dough rest before rolling it.

Then, since the machine is small, you need to actually make your pasta in small batches. Rolling the pasta takes time, you need to roll the dough through each setting a few times to ensure its even. Rolling the entire ball of dough can take over an hour.

But, its worth it, Fresh pasta is delicious!

So before I give you the recipe, here are a few tips from me to you.

  1. Plan ahead. Set aside a morning or afternoon where you have at least 2-3 hours uninterrupted time. I suggest an afternoon because of tip #3 below.
  2. Don’t make pasta alone. Rope in the kids to help. Mine had a blast helping me roll out the pasta and choose which type of pasta to cut. Alternatively invite some friends around and make a day of it. Make the pasta, make the sauces from scratch, maybe even make a batch of artisan bread to go with your fresh pasta.
  3. If you go the friend route (or even the kids route), open a bottle of wine and enjoy a sip or two between rolling batches.
  4. Take a break. The kneading and then the rolling takes work. Your shoulders will get sore. This is also why you need time. Sit between batches. Maybe stop rolling the dough for a while and make one of the sauces.
  5. Take the time to let your pasta dry a bit before cooking. You can cook it right away, but I find letting it dry for at least 20 minutes helps the pasta maintain its shape when cooking.

pasta
Bonus tip! If you don’t have a pasta drying rack, you can use a folding clothes drying stand. Just make sure the rack is clean before you start hanging your pasta to dry!

Pasta Dough
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups pasta flour (you can use '00' fine flour or regular flour if you want, I bought a bag of flour that said pasta flour on it and it was delish)
  2. 6 large eggs
  3. A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or on a large, clean surface, place your flour and sprinkle the salt into it.
  2. Make a well in the middle.
  3. Crack your eggs into the well.
  4. With your hands, start bringing the flour into the eggs in the centre.
  5. Keep working the flour into the eggs from the outside in.
  6. Once the flour and eggs have become a rough ball, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading.
  7. Keep kneading the dough, adding a little bit of flour if it is too sticky until the ball starts to become smooth.
  8. You will know the dough is ready when the ball is smooth and silky and stretchy.
  9. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a cool place (or in your fridge) for about 20 minutes to rest.
  10. When you are ready to start rolling, remove a small ball of dough to work with and cover the remaining dough well before setting it aside.
  11. Follow the instructions on your machine to achieve the desired thickness and type of pasta.
  12. Once your pasta is cut, hang it immediately so it doesn't clump. You could also lay it flat on a floured tea towel.
  13. Let the pasta dry for at least 20 minutes before boiling in salted water for about 5 minutes.
Notes
  1. I had about a 3rd of the dough left and didn't feel like rolling it. I left it tightly wrapped in plastic in the fridge and rolled it out the next day and it was still easy to work with and delicious. I'm not sure leaving it for more than one day will work but if you don't have time to roll it all in one day you can definitely leave it overnight and have 2 days of fresh pasta out of one batch.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Whisky: The water of life (and dinner)

I often use wine when I cook. I dont only drink it, I use it in the dishes too.

Many of my chicken dishes use wine, especially when baking the chicken.

A while back I purchased a bottle of Golan Heights Distillery Whisky. Its the first Israeli whisky and I think its pretty decent.

whisky

So I got to thinking, if I can cook with wine why not whisky?

A quick google search showed quite a few whisky chicken recipes so I mashed a few recipes together according to the ingredients I had on hand and O. M. G! I wish the internet allowed you to smell images. This was one of the best roast chickens I have ever made!

Whisky Roasted Chicken
A dark roast chicken, perfect with rice and roast sweet potato
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large whole chicken
  2. 3 tablespoons whisky
  3. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  4. 2 tablespoons silan (date syrup), you can use honey too.
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon basil
  8. 1 teaspoon oregano
  9. 1 teaspoon rosemary
  10. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed/diced finely
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. In a bowl mix the whisky, lemon juice, silan, salt, pepper, herbs and garlic.
  3. You can give them a whizz with a hand blender but I just stirred them with a fork.
  4. Place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting dish.
  5. Using your hands, scoop up some of the sauce and rub all over the chicken.
  6. You can rub some of the sauce under the skin too.
  7. Keep rubbing in the sauce until the chicken is covered.
  8. If there is any sauce left, pour it over the chicken, it will mix with the chicken fat as it roasts and makes a delicious gravy.
  9. Roast, uncovered, for at least 1 hour per kg of chicken.
  10. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before carving.
Notes
  1. Serve with rice or couscous to mop up the gravy.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

#Zombieprompts Week 14

Share your best soup recipe.

We’ve just seen the end of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere (good riddance!) so no more soup for us. Although chicken soup is always welcome, even in 40°C weather.

chicken-doctor-people-soup-prescription

This winter I made a few ‘throw everything in the pot’ soups and they all actually turned out really well.

In my opinion there are a few basic steps that MUST happen in order for any soup to be good, regardless of the ingredients.

  • Onion. Diced finely and fried until golden. Every soup should start with this as a base.
  • Herbs. Dried or fresh or frozen. You can use whatever you have on hand and don’t be shy, the more the merrier.
  • Time. You cant rush a good soup. Cook your veggies on a lower heat for longer. If you can, make your soup the day before you need it. Soup always tastes better the next day.

So, here is a basic recipe. You can adapt it depending what veggies you have in your fridge.

'Throw Everything In The Pot' Soup
A thick, smooth soup, perfect with fresh bread. The recipe below includes veggies I happen to have in my fridge at the time of writing this.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil (I use 2 'ice cubes' with chopped herbs from my freezer, very Pinterersty of me)
  2. 1 large onion, diced
  3. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, cilantro, mixed Italian herbs, basically whatever you have on hand
  4. Garlic, either fresh, chopped or garlic powder
  5. Salt & pepper to taste
The following veggies are not set, use all or some or add what you have
  1. Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. Sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  3. Carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  4. Turnips, peeled and cubed
  5. Leeks, leaves chopped off, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  6. Celery, leaves chopped off, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  7. Water to cover chopped veggies
Instructions
  1. Once you have washed, peeled, diced and chopped all the veggies, add your olive oil and onion to a large pot and saute until golden.
  2. Add remaining veggies to the pot and sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. Stir the veggies until they are all coated in the oil and spices.
  4. Keep stirring the veggies every 5 minutes or so until they are all heated through and starting to soften.
  5. Add enough water to the pot so that all the veggies are covered. I usually add about 1 cm above the veggie line.
  6. Turn down your heat to a simmer, cover the pot, leaving a small gap to allow steam to escape and simmer for an hour or longer until veggies are soft and falling apart when poked with a fork.
  7. Remove soup from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  8. You can leave the soup at this point and have a chunky broth or you can blend the veggies with a stick blender which is what I do.
  9. Reheat the soup when you are ready to eat.
Notes
  1. You can really add any veggies you want to this soup, peppers, squash, pumpkin, you name it you can add it.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

The French know what they are doing.

Part of my last organic veggie order from Maggie’s Garden was about 15 small brown onions. I immediately thought of making a French onion soup.

Part of what intrigued me about this soup is that it is traditionally served with a piece of toasted crusty bread with cheese melted on top. Ummmm, sourdough bread anyone?

image

Yiddisha French Onion Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 2 tablespoons butter (margarine if you want it to be parve)
  3. 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  4. Salt & pepper to taste
  5. 1 teaspoon thyme (I used oregano since that's what I had)
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. 1/2 cup dry sherry ( this is where the yiddisha comes in, I used sweet kiddish wine)
  8. 6 cups beef stock (a parve beef stock cube in boiling water if you keep kosher)
  9. Thick slices of crusty bread (hello sourdough!)
  10. Lots of sliced or grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese (here in Israel I used sliced Emek cheese)
Instructions
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the oil and butter and add the onions.
  2. Season with the salt, pepper and herbs and cook for about 15 minutes storing often.
  3. When the onions have caramalised, add the bay leaf and the sherry/kiddish wine and stir.
  4. Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil.
  5. In the mean time, heat the grill in your oven.
  6. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and top with slices of cheese.
  7. Place under the grill until the cheese is melted an bubbling.
  8. Dish up the soup into bowls and either float a slice of cheesy bread on top or serve the bread on the side.
Adapted from Rachael Ray via foodnetwork.com
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Left over roast chicken = chicken pie heaven

On Friday I roasted a chicken along with potatoes and sweet potatoes and by the end of the meal we had one breast, a leg and a few potatoes left over. Not enough for leftovers for four people the next day but enough to make a chicken pie which can feed 4-6 people depending on portion size and side dishes.

I put everything in the fridge and last night decided it was time for the pie.

The best part about this recipe is that as long as you have the chicken, you can pretty much add any veggies you like and it will taste delicious. I used up the leftover potatoes by chopping them into cubes and I also threw in half a can of corn. You could also add carrots, peas or any other tinned or frozen veggies you have in the cupboard or freezer or just use whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge.

pie

Whenever I use the heart cutter to decorate food Faith tells me that the food was ‘made in love’.

Chicken Pie
Great way to use left over roast chicken.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups chicken shredded (I used a breast and a leg of a roast chicken)
  2. 1 cup veggies (I used a few roast potatoes, roast sweet potatoes and half a cup of tinned corn)
  3. 1 cup water
  4. Garlic powder
  5. Herbs and spices to taste
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  8. 2 tablespoons flour
  9. 1 sheet puff or shortcrust frozen pastry, thawed to roll
  10. Egg for brushing
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place shredded chicken and veggies in a bowl and mix (I dumped them directly into the Pirex pie dish).
  3. In a pan add the garlic, salt, pepper and any spices or herbs you want to the water and bring to the boil.
  4. Melt the margarine and add the flour.
  5. Mix until it forms a gloopy ball.
  6. Once the water is boiling add the flour mixture and stir well to dissolve.
  7. Continue stirring until your sauce has thickened.
  8. Add your sauce to your chicken and veggies and mix to coat everything well.
  9. Roll out your pastry on a floured surface.
  10. Cut out the pastry to fit your pie dish and place gently on top of the chicken.
  11. Brush with beaten egg.
  12. You can add decorative pastry at this point and brush again with the egg.
  13. Poke a few holes or slits into the pastry to allow steam to escape.
  14. Place uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry has browned.
Notes
  1. You can substitute half the water for white wine.
  2. For a thinner sauce just add more liquid.
  3. Serve with rice or couscous.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Traditional

After an awesome day spent with my husband for his #Big40, and eating almost non stop, Paul picked up a pack of chicken schnitzel for supper last night. Which fits in perfectly with the ‘Fry All The Things’ chanukah meal plan.

I love a fresh, home made, schnitzel and its one of the things I never would have made myself before coming to Israel, here it is pretty much one of the most traditional things you can eat. My kids love it too and its one of our favourite meals, even if it takes a bit of time to prepare.

Chicken Schnitzel
Crispy, golden, crumbed chicken breasts
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 double chicken schnitzel breasts (you can get them ready prepared from the butcher or buy chicken breasts and flatten them into schnitzel yourself)
  2. Flour
  3. 2 eggs, beaten
  4. Bread crumbs (or matza meal)
  5. Seasoning to taste
  6. Oil for frying
Set up a work station on your counter near your stove with the following
  1. One plate with half a cup of flour (this plate should be furthest from our stove).
  2. A flat dish/bowl with the beaten egg.
  3. Another plate with bread crumbs, seasoned to taste (this plate should be closest to your stove).
Next
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  2. Coat a chicken piece in flour on both sides.
  3. Dip the chicken in the beaten egg, making sure all the flour is covered by egg on both sides.
  4. Now coat the egg covered chicken on both sides in the bread crumbs.
  5. Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil and fry for about 5-7 minutes (the thinner the schnitzel the shorter the frying time).
  6. Turn the chicken over and fry the other side until golden.
  7. Place fried chicken on paper towel to absorb excess oil and then keep warm in the oven.
  8. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken, topping up your flour/eggs/bread crumbs as needed.
Notes
  1. Serve with salad or rice.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Chanukah Sameach!

The festival of light. And fried things. Well, of the miracle of 1 days oil lasting 8.

So we fry things. Potato latkes are a good bet and one of the things I remember really loving as a child.

So I decided we would have latkes tonight. These turned out so well, a real taste of my childhood.

Potato Latke
Yields 30
A delicious and crispy fried potato cake
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 large potatoes, peeled and grated
  2. 1 onion, finely diced or grated
  3. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 2 large table spoons of flour or matza meal
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Grate the potato and squeeze out all the excess liquid you can.
  2. Add the diced onion and mix.
  3. Add the eggs, flour and salt and pepper.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  6. Take small handfuls of the potato mixture and squeeze out any excess liquid (the dryer the mixture, the crispier the latke).
  7. Flatten the handful and place in the oil gently.
  8. Fill the pan and fry for 3 - 4 minutes.
  9. Gently turn each latke over and fry for a further 3 - 4 minutes.
  10. Place the latkes on paper towel to absorb extra oil and then place in a dish to keep warm in the oven.
Notes
  1. You can eat the latkes as is or you can sprinkle cinnamon sugar over them or eat them with sour cream or with apple sauce or with nutella. Its totally up to you.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Comfort food

Nothing quiet describes comfort food like a rich stew and rice. 

So when I asked for recipes for a kilo of stewing meat I bought my brother jumped at the chance to give me his mother in laws recipe for Uzbek Plov.

Sealed meat waiting to go back in the pot

Plov is also knows as pilaf and has origins in many different cuisines including Balkan, middle eastern, Asian, East African and Caribbean. 

Caramelising onions

This is a really easy recipe, with minimal fuss in preparation and minimal clean up as its a one pot dish.

Carrots layered over meat

It also looks really good once it is served up.

Uzbek Plov
Serves 6
A traditional Uzbek recipe
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1kg shin (#8 in Israel)
  2. Oil to cover the bottom of the pot
  3. 4 large onions, sliced.
  4. 5 to 6 large carrots, sliced into very thin fingers
  5. Prunes (or a large handful of raisins will do if you dont like prunes)
  6. 2 cups rice
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat into cubes as you would for a stew.
  2. In a big deep pot heat up oil.
  3. When the oil is very hot seal the meat on all sides and remove from the pot.
  4. Add the sliced onions and fry until golden.
  5. Return the meat to the pot with the onions and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add in the prunes or raisins and mix everything together.
  7. Add enough water to nearly cover the meat and cook for about an hour until the liquid has reduced but not disappeared (the longer you do this part the softer the meat is).
  8. Once the water has reduced place the carrots in one layer over the meat.
  9. Mix salt into the rice to taste then pour the rice over the carrots so again it's one layer.
  10. Now pour water carefully over the rice (I use the back of a spoon so it doesn't make holes in the rice layer) until the water is about 2 cm above the rice.
  11. Cook on high until it bubbles then reduce to medium low heat, cover and let cook for about an hour.
Notes
  1. Apparently you can turn the pot over onto a serving plate so you can see all the pretty layers of rice, carrots and meat but I was scared it would go all over the place so we dished up straight from the pot.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/