Jack is Cooking Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadillas

Well Hello Internet!
As always, there is leftovers from thanksgiving, and normally i take all these different things and i make a big turkey pot pie out of them.  However this year we had LOTS of leftovers, and after picking for 2 days, and countless sandwiches, i decided that the pie i was going to make needed to not taste like thanksgiving anymore, because everybody was pretty bored of it by now!
So i decided to make Empanadillas (which are a kind of Tapas) out of the leftovers, and the greatest part is, that pretty much all the ingredients are from the leftovers, with only 2 added ingredients!
Heres what i used:
Leftover Roasted Peppers, and Asparagus
Leftover Turkey, and Ham (we had a ham also for thanksgiving this year)
This isn’t a leftover: one small chopped onion
You will also need:
some garlic
2 tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes- i used some leftover homemade tomato sauce)
chipotle powder
salt and pepper
puff pastry
1 egg plus some water
olive oil
So i sauteed the onion in the olive oil until the onion was soft
Then i added the paprika (about 1-2 teaspoons), and a couple of strands of saffron.
Then i added the tomatoes.  i covered the pan and cooked over low heat for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, i mixed in the turkey, ham, and roasted peppers into the mix.  this i left uncovered and cooked for another 10 minutes or so, to let all the tomato-ey goodness soak into the turkey.
i decided it needed a little kick so i put in a tiny bit of chipotle powder, and squeezed some lemon juice in.
Then i cut circles out of the puff pastry dough (i used the frozen stuff.  puff pastry takes forever to make!)  i put 1 or 2 tablespoons of filling on the circles.
Folded them over and crimped them with a fork.  Then i brushed them with my egg wash.  The egg wash is just one egg, with a little water mixed in.  This makes the pastry nice and golden when it cooks.
baked them for 20 minutes at 350°
heres how they turned out!
These things are ridiculously delicious, easy to make, and much more interesting than the classic leftover pot pie!
mmmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Pecan Pie

Well Hello Internet!

Since tomorrow is thanksgiving, tonight i am making pecan pie!  A whole lot of pecan pies!
these ingredients are enough for 3 pies

9 eggs
2 1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of agave nectar
3 teaspoons of vanilla
3 pinches of salt
4 cups of chopped pecans
1 cup of whole pecans
3 pie crusts (i used gluten free pie crusts)

ok so i mixed everything except the pecans together in a big bowl:

this is what it looked like when everything was mixed.  make sure all the sugar and eggs are mixed in!

then i added the chopped pecans, and really mixed those in too.

you gotta keep mixing!  it will separate!

while i was mixing i put the pie crusts in the oven for 5 minutes to precook them.
when i took them out i poured the filling in and then made some patterns with the whole pecans:

i baked it for 45 minutes at 350°
it may take a little longer, or a little less based on your oven, but if you poke it with a fork, it should be pillowy, but firm.  imagine an omelette filled with sugar and pecans!  😀

But wait!  Didn’t I say that I was making three pies?

I decided to get a little creative and I made two more pies with the remaining pie mixture, combining it with pumpkin pie!

I used just a canned pumpkin pie mix and folledthe directions on the can. Luckily both pies cook the same amount of time!

The first pie, I made a ying yang.  I used parchment paper to create the division while pouring.

I baked this one first for 15 minutes at 425. Then I remove the parchment paper. The pie was now firm enough p remove it but not too firm:  then I turned the oven to 350 and baked for another 25 minutes

The second pie was kind of a swirl. I poured the pecan mixture into the pumpkin mixture, and then swirled!  here’s how it came out:

I call it the milky way pumpkin-pecan pie!

Here’s both:

And here’s all the pies!!

Oh man 4 pies!  I think well have to eat one tonight… They are irresistable!

happy thanksgiving!

mmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Pasta with Garlic and French Cut Beans

Well Hello Internet!
On this day before the Feast that thanksgiving is, i have a quick pasta dish to share with you!
i’m sure this has a fancy name, but i don’t know what it is.  its delicious though, and really easy to make!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Pasta (any kind will do)
Garlic (2 or 3 cloves)
French Cut Beans (or peas, or any green vegetable.  broccoli is good with this too!)
olive oil
salt and pepper
so i cooked the pasta, and i sauteed the beans with garlic olive oil and salt and pepper
when the pasta was done i tossed it in with the beans and garlic
then i put some cheese on top!
mmm mmm delicious!!

Jack is Cooking with a Tajine

Well Hello Internet!

This post has been sitting in my computer waiting for some attention for quite a while now, but finally here it is!  Two weekends ago i made a semi-traditional Moroccan dish using my Mom’s Tajine.

Tajines are pretty awesome.  Heres what wikipedia has to say about them:

tagine or tajine (pronounced /tɑːˈʒiːn/Arabic: طاجين, pronounced [tˁaːdʒiːn]) is a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of AlgeriaMorocco, andTunisia, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as Tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tagine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts; a base unit which is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.

here’s what it looks like:

Anyways, i made a buttercup squash Tajine (but you can use any kind of winter squash.  i LOVE winter squash!)  for the most part this dish is really easy to make.  If you don’t have a Tajine, you can make the same thing in a casserole dish, but it will come out differently because of the lack of the magic cone shaped top.

To accompany this Tajine, i also made some chicken.  i’ll talk about that in a bit.

so heres what you’ll need:
For the Tajine:
squash (of any winter variety)
whole cloves of garlic (a whole bunch)
shallots (depending on the size maybe 5 or 6)  also whole.
olive oil
harrisa paste
saffron (optional)

For the Chicken:
Chicken split breast (i recommend Herondale Farm chicken!)
yogurt (2 cups)
whatever spices you want

So First i chopped up the squash (well i didn’t, but somebody did!  haha)
and we peeled the shallots and the garlic

* update! *  it has been pointed out to me that credit is due!  Roland, chopped up the garlic and the shallots!
and Julie cut up the Squash!  haha.  always give credit where credit is due!  i knew i didn’t chop that stuff up…

Then i took the Chicken, and marinated it in the yogurt along with some onions i had sauteed along with some indian spices that i don’t know the name of.  i will try to find out the name and update this post!!  so yeah, take the sauteed onions and mix it with the yogurt and let the chicken sit in it for maybe 30 minutes:

Now for the Tajine!
first take a couple good dregs of olive oil and start cooking the shallots and garlic over a medium heat.

once they are getting a little soft add in 1/3 cup of almonds, and 1/3 cup of raisins.   Cook for 5 minutes.

Next add in the squash and get it coated in the oil.  (ALSO!  put the chicken (yogurt and everything!) in a baking dish, and bake it in the oven at 375° for about 30 minutes )

After the Squash has been added its time to spice the dish up.  The only thing that is complicated about this dish is finding Harissa Paste.  this basically makes up the Tajine flavor.  (WARNING) this stuff is MAD spicy!!!, so dont use too much.  i used 2 teaspoons, i could have used a little more but not a whole lot.  so throw that in, along with 2 tablespoons of honey.
The Harissa Paste and the honey will melt into the oil.  toss everything around so everything is nicely coated in the oil.  Then add some water to the pot.  just enough to cover the entire bottom of the pan, but you don’t want everything swimming in it.  This is going to steam everything

Well that’s pretty much it!  oh yeah, i added some saffron just for kicks.  then i put the top on and let it sit for 20 minutes steaming away!

20 minutes later this is what came out!  everything was all soft and delicious and had soaked up all the flavor of the Harissa.
A couple of minutes later the Chicken was ready – check to make sure its cooked all the way through

Here it is all on a plate, chicken, tajine, also served along side some brown rice and some sauteed greens.
Lemon slices are always good too for both the chicken and the Tajine!

MMM MMMM MMM delicious!!!

Jack is Cooking Egg in a Basket

Well Hello Internet!

Tonight i made an old favorite when i’m way too lazy to think of something to cook. Eggs are always in the fridge, and i always have bread.

This is just a tiny bit (well ok, a whole lot!!) yummier than just plain old fried eggs on toast!

You will need:
Heres what to do. First prepare two (or more if your that hungry) slices of bread. Take a shot glass or something and cut out a nice circle in the middle:

Next melt some butter in a frying pan, and put the bread in the pan, INCLUDING the bits you cut out! (these are the best parts! they get all buttery and delicious!). Rub them around a little, and then flip them over. this is important so that both sides of the bread get buttered, and one side doesn’t hog it all!
Ok, so once your bread is all nice and buttered, crack two eggs over the bread. the circles should be the exact same size as the egg yolks. they will then sit nicely in the holes, and the egg whites will sit on top of the bread.

Fry them this way for about 4 minutes, maybe a little less (it does take a little longer than actually frying an egg…) The best way to know is to keep your eye on the bread holes that are frying next to the bread. Once they are nice and golden on one side, you know its time to flip!
Oh man its lookin’ good now! ok, so a few more minutes on this side, until the eggs are cooked, and then toss them out onto a plate!
Tah Dah! Egg in a basket. Everybody likes these! normally more for breakfast, but the incredible edible egg is always good! Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or a Midnight Snack!
if you must insist you can throw some lettuce onto the plate also, and then there will be something green to go along with it…. or Bacon! hahaha