Monday, September 5, 2011

What do "the King", Refrigerator Pickles, and White Truffle Oil have in common? {mish-mosh}

Not a whole lot.  Other than they have all made their way into my first mish-mosh post in quite a while.  If you've never seen one of my mish-mosh's before, basically it's a time when I share a bunch of photos that have been sitting around on my computer for a while.  Taking up space.  Begging to be shared.  For one reason or another, they never earned their very own blog post...but they hung around long enough (some much, MUCH longer than others), that they deserved to be talked about.  Usually in a mish-mosh post, I won't share a recipe, but I will share links to the source with a mention of how I changed it...if I can remember back that far.  This is the first of two mish-mosh's coming your way.  I hope you enjoy!

Some of you may remember that my oldest child...my teenager (!)...has a thing for sandwich making.
  I wonder where he gets it.  Not long after he made that infamous Teenager Sandwich, he decided it was time to make everybody some Elvis Sandwiches.  Not being one to argue with a good idea, I pulled out the bacon, bananas, and peanut butter and heated up the cast iron skillet.  Yum.

When it comes to Pineapple Upside Down Cakes, I am all for them.  But honestly, I do prefer a "made from scratch" version like this particular Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake which used fresh pineapple, cut into chunks instead of the usual rings...and dropped the maraschino cherries all together.  Every now and again I receive an email from Cook's Country to test a recipe that they are working on.  Then I go to answer a survey about the recipe, ingredients, final product, etcetera.  I love the idea that I had a part in "developing" their final recipes.  This was one of them.  And it rocked.  Every time I think about pineapple upside down cake, I'm reminded of a garlic version (think garlic in place of cherries) I made a number of years ago.  Surprisingly, it was pretty darn good.  One of these days I'll make it again...and blog about it.  That's fair warning.

Okay, this one's been hanging around since last Autumn sometime, I believe.  If I remember right, it was a Quick Chicken Cacciatore that I adapted by adding spinach from Nigella.  I think you can find the original in Nigella Express.  But I'm not going to go look now, so forgive me if I'm mistaken.  I remember it being a simple, delicious meal...but nothing so show stopping that it begged to be blogged.  Obviously.

This was one of those "back of the bag" recipes.  You know, right up there with "back of the box" or "back of the jar" food.  Often they are quite good.  And easy for a good family meal, but nothing too extraordinary.  Such was the case with this Chicken Noodle Casserole that I found on the bag of an egg noodles package (Meijer brand, I think).  Everybody gobbled it, but I didn't think it was anything you probably hadn't seen and eat many times before.

When I saw this Crusty Farm-Style Fried Chicken over at Mary's place, I knew I'd be making it soon.  It sounded so good.  And it was.  My only qualm (as I knew it would be), was how the bottoms of the chicken lost their crunch when I put them into the oven after the initial frying.  I even put a rack down first, but this is always my luck when I try finishing fried chicken in the oven.  Oh well.  It was still might tasty, if a bit soft on one side.

When I saw the recipe for Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa in the July/August '11 issue of Food Network Magazine, my mouth instantly began watering.  Unfortunately, the same didn't happen when I actually bit into the dish.  Don't get me wrong, it was okay.  I love pierogies.  But it wasn't worth writing home about.  It's pretty though, isn't it?

Okay.  Waaaaay back in January or February, I started seeing Charcutepalooza posts everywhere.  Heck, I even did one myself.  I ordered the Ruhlman book Charcuterie with the best intentions of joining in monthly.  You may have noticed my homemade corned beef was my one and only post in this effort.  {sigh}  I just found myself caught up in other things and my trip back to garde manger took a back seat.  But no matter what happened, I do love this book and think it deserves a place on any dedicated cook/chef/foodie's bookshelf.  This Lemon and Herb Brined Turkey Breast comes from the book.  And it is FANTABULOUS! Best intentions...

These Pickles date all the way back to last summer when my neighbor dropped a cucumber bomb on me.  A very large, heavy cucumber bomb.  That's my pickle-lover in pickle-heaven back there.  I have no clue where the recipe came from.  It's on the tip of my tongue, but apparently it doesn't want to jump off.  Let me just say, they were garlicky and gone in no time flat.  I think they were the type that sit in the fridge for 5 days before you can eat them. Hmm.

And can I just take this moment to share my favorite snack with you?  That would be Truffled French Fries.  Which means, take your favorite french fries...I don't care if they are hand-cut and homemade or frozen and cooked in the oven.  Then you sprinkle them with some Truffle Sea Salt.  Then you drizzle them with some Truffle Oil.  Then you dip them in Truffle Aioli.  This is heaven on earth.  Have I ever told you that just unscrewing the lid of a bottle of truffle oil and breathing deeply brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips?  True story.

Do you remember those chewy, amazing, addicting Sourdough Bagels that I told you about a while ago?  Well, while I love them as-is, every once in a while, I like to throw in some different flavorings.  You know, switch it up a bit.  Well, a ton of freshly chopped rosemary and freshly grated parm is one of my favorites.  This is them... Rosemary and Parmesan Sourdough Bagels.  You could also throw some raisins and cinnamon-sugar into the original recipe for a different, sweet-tinged batch.

I made this Spice-Rubbed Crockpot Chicken after being directed to this recipe from somewhere else.  Unfortunately, I can't recall that "somewhere else" anymore.  I think I stuck pretty close to the recipe.  I'm pretty sure we liked it.  And it was a cinch in the crockpot.  That's all I remember.  I wonder if I saved it because I liked the color so much?

Toasted fennel seeds, coriander, and black peppercorns.  Sexy, seductive, fragrant.  And I for the life of me, I can't remember what I used them for.  But I remember how much I liked the combination.

I will conclude this big ol' batch of mish-mosh with one of the "go-to" meals in our house, Spiced Chickpeas.  Since we can almost always count on having cooked chickpeas either in the fridge or in the pantry (because they are a favorite of both the hubs and myself), we often just throw them in a pan with some olive oil and a handful of spice.  Hmmm...I think I normally include smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried minced onion, oregano, crushed red chiles, thyme, salt, and pepper.  It may vary a bit, but that sounds about right.  If there's some sort of green around, I'll throw that in with the chickpeas.  Top it off with a fried or poached egg, and it's the perfect, quick, satisfying meal!

Phew!  That's half of the pictures "laying around" on my computer that I can now move.  Watch for a second helping of mish-mosh for the week to be posted in the next few days.  I hope.  So, what's hanging around your computer waiting for its moment-in-the-sun!?