Browsing: Beach House Recipes

Turkey Croquettes

December16

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A week ago Monday my brother-in-law helped us out when we catered the Christmas volunteer dinner for one of our cherished local charities.  On that evening we all enjoyed our fill of turkey with all the trimmings and then we sent all our family who helped us with the dinner, home with left overs. We put our own left overs in the freezer so that we cold serve another special Christmas dinner to our “Young Families” group that we host at our home once a month. On Saturday we were on the way out to our little beach house because the weather was so balmy.  We asked my brother-in-law and Sister #2 over to share the left overs of our leftovers.

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Sister #2 suggested that we switch things up in a couple of ways: we go to their place instead – we affectionately have dubbed their place “Reshmajal” as it will be absolutely splendid when construction is complete. In the meanwhile their “unfinished” abode is far more splendid than ours.  “Splendid” when compared to bare-bones simplicity means that the furnace was temperature programmed as opposed to us needing to continuously stoke the fire in our wood-stove and we got to use one of the two inside bathrooms instead of our outdoor biffy (even on a warm weekend that toilet seat was mighty chilly!)

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In addition, she asked permission to repurpose the turkey into a long-loved family recipe: turkey croquettes. Sister #2 was lovingly instructed how to fashion this recipe by her Mother-in-law who was Italian and married to a gentleman (still ticking and over 90) of German descent.  When I asked them both where the recipe originated, neither could say for sure but suspected that it was through the German influence.  Wikipedia suggests though that the origin of croquettes is actually French.

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As is often the case with family recipes passed along through generations, it is less of a “recipe” than a process or method. So, here’s what you do: take leftover turkey (or ham) and cut super finely to a minced texture.  Prepare a thick béchamel sauce of butter, white flour (this took some effort as neither Sister #2 or I keep white flour in the house) and milk. Mix the béchamel paste with the turkey and then form the mixture into sausage-like tubes. Next the sausages are dipped into an egg wash and rolled in bread crumbs. Lastly, they are fried in olive until crispy and golden brown.

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I love the recipes of generations past as they ensure that no food is ever wasted, a concern that I maintain on a daily basis.  Besides, the results are so delicious! On Sunday evening we took a batch of Hamburger Soup and cheese buns over to Beep’s to share as a family, but the piece de resistance was the leftover turkey croquettes.

Kath’s quote: “Rational habits permit of discarding nothing left over, and the use to which leftovers (and their economic allies, the wild things of nature) are put is often at the heart of a cooking’s character.”-Richard Olney

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beach Picnic complete with Pitted Cherries

August29

D and I have been on a week’s vacation at our beach house.  The first few days of our time were cold and windy and although we told ourselves that we didn’t mind being snuggled up inside, we were yearning for some beach weather.  Our routine when the weather is fair, is a lovely one.  D spends the morning playing tennis at Grand Beach which if you walk along the water is only minutes away and by bike on the Trans Canada trail just a wee bit longer.  If you have to drive a car though, it takes twenty minutes to get there.

This leaves me with a leisurely morning to sleep late, read in bed or just stare at the forest that surrounds our little place.  Once I get going, I love to “putsky” in the kitchen and assemble some ingredients for a beach picnic.  Often times, I have a leftover as the pivot to build a lunch.

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On this morning I had lean ham, chevre and sautéed spinach for D’s sandwich and some brie, pecans and maple syrup to have on a cheese biscuit, with slices of cucumber and carrots, fresh from the garden, it came together as a nutritious and satisfying lunch.

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While I was still in the kitchen, I prepared little bowls of pitted cherries for our dessert.

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I have this fabulous little kitchen gadget from OXO called a cherry-pitter.  I use the well-designed contraption even more often to pit olives for Greek salads.

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The brie was so delicious that I enjoyed another smear of it on a biscuit and the cherries for my afternoon snack.

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On this day I set up in our usual spot so D would know exactly where to find me when he rode his bike from the courts to the beach.  My beach chair is set way off by the trees as we often trek to Grand Beach when it is too windy on our beach.

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But this spot proved to be too still, so we moved to catch the breeze on a sandbar.

A glorious afternoon was spent right here with delicious treats, frosty cold beer, walks, naps and reading.  Ah, summer is bliss on Lake Winnipeg.

Kath’s quote: “That last cherry soothes a roughness of my palate.”-Robert Browning

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Love-that is all.

 

Beach House Kamado (Brined) Pork Tacos with Corn Salsa

August5

Sister #2 had surgery this week and is now recuperating at their home at the lake.  In an attempt to increase her rest time but also give her the excuse for an outing, we have invited them over to our place for dinners this long weekend.  This is easy to achieve since their place is a mere three cottages away with a cut through of the kind neighbours at a 4th house.  At the appointed hour, they (two adults and one beautiful old white lab) mosey on over to assemble in our solarium if the bugs are pesky or el fresco if they have subsided.

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I had a couple of pork tenderloins in the freezer and we often prepare them in a brine, the recipe of which was given to us by Sister #3.  But to mix things up a bit, I saw that my gifted copy of “The Kamado Smoker & Grill Cookbook” written by Chris Grove (Ulysses Press)
had a version close to ours but with a Mexican influence.  Since we all travel to Isla Mujeres together, chilies and cilantro is just our “cuppa tea”.

As is often the case when I am cooking at the Beach House, I had to modify a couple of ingredients to make this dinner all come together-some out of necessity and some because of preference.  We prefer wheat tortillas over corn ones and to be specific whole wheat wraps are our favourite.  The recipe book also recommends having Mexican toppings on hand such as Mexican crema and cotija cheese.  For these I substituted Greek yoghurt and feta cheese.  Regular white sugar replaced piloncillo (Mexican sugar) and other than that my recipe list was complete.  Whether you specifically recreate this recipe or not, the pre-amble for this and every recipe in the book is extremely detailed and helpful for your general reference.

A brine is a simple solution of salt, sugar, and some type of aromatic.  Just remember this one rule and you will be on your way to making your own brines: use 2 to 5 tables of kosher salt per quart of water and equivalent amount ( or less) of sugar.  ….Add whatever aromatics you like.  If they dissolve in water, then you don’t have to heat your brine first.  But a lot of seasonings (such as black pepper) aren’t water soluble, and you need to heat the brine for 5 minutes to release their essential oils.  Then you need to cool it back down to 40 degrees or below to make it food-safe.  To do that, I put one of those blue freezer packs in a zip-top bag and put it in the brine in the refrigerator until the mixture comes down to temp.

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Beach House Kamado (Brined) Pork Tacos with Corn Salsa
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Taco toppings as desired ( such as Mexican crema, cilantro, Cjojita cheese)
  • For the Brine:
  • 1½ qts distilled water
  • 5 T kosher salt
  • 4 T rated piloncillo (Mexican sugar)
  • 1,2 t ground dried chile
  • ½ t dried oregano
  • ½ t dried minced garlic
  • ½ t dried minced onion
  • For the corn salsa:
  • 1½ c corn kernels, drained if using canned
  • ½ c black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ c diced red onion
  • 1 poblano chile fire roasted, peeled and seeds removed)
  • ¼ c chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice from 2 lime, preferably grilled
  • 1 t kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ t ground cumin
  • ¼ t ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ T sugar
  • For the rub:
  • 1½ t seasoned salt
  • 1½ t chili powder
  • ⅓ t granulated garlic
  • ⅓ t dried oregano
  • ½ t ancho chile powder
Instructions
  1. Mix the bine ingredients together in a medium saucepan and bring to a strong simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the stovetop and let rest for 15 minutes. Cool to 40 degrees by putting an ice bag in the brine and placing it in the fridge or freezer.
  2. Remove the ice bag and place the pork in the brine. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. In a bowl, mix together all the salsa ingredients. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired, Refrigerate until ready to serve,
  4. setup your Kamado for direct heat and preheat it to 450 Fahrenheit.
  5. Stir the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
  6. Remove the pork from the brine. Rinse, dry thoroughly, and season with the dry rub.
  7. Place the tenderloins on the main grill grate and close the dome lid. Grill, turning every 5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. while you let the meat rest for 5 minutes, wrap the tortillas in a single tack in foil and warm them on the grill for about 20 seconds per side.
  9. Slice the meat thinly and serve on he corn tortillas along with the salsa and any other topping you wish.

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More tips from this excellent reference cookbook:

To get an extra boost of flavour, try grilling citrus ingredients for marinades and cocktails.  Cut them in half and grill direct, cut side down, over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

OMGoodness-the refreshing lime taste went to an entirely new level.  A fabulous tip that we will use often.

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The tacos were served to rave reviews along side grilled pitty pat yellow squash and sautéed coloured swiss chard. A meal that was huge on flavour, low on fat and best of all -full of protein, nutrients and anti-oxidants to help my amazing sister heal.

I love this new cookbook in my repertoire.  The next step will be acquiring a Kamado Smoker & Grill!  Here’s what the book’s publicist had to say about it:

Designed to do everything from slow smoke at 250 degrees to flash sear at 700 degrees, the kamado-style grill is the most versatile and powerful backyard cooker. Are you ready to become a Kamado Pro?

Introducing “The Kamado Smoker and Grill Cookbook,” the first all-encompassing guide to the wildly popular egg-shaped ceramic cooker currently blowing up the world of barbecue.

This cookbook is organized into 52 tutorials that combine a valuable kamado cooking technique with a delicious recipe that are sure to transform you from casual griller to kamado masterchef!

You’ll learn the steps and secrets to perfectly grilling Cajun Strip Steak, smoking Hickory Smoked Chicken, brick oven baking Wood-Fired Pizza, salt-block grilling Tropical BBQ Tuna, and so much more.

With gorgeous full-color photographs as well as loads of tips and tricks, this is a must-have manual for anyone (like Dad!) looking to spend their summer enjoying tasty barbecue!

Kath’s quote: “Cookery, or the art of preparing good and wholesome food, and of preserving all sorts of alimentary substances in a state fit for human sustenance, or rendering that agreeable to the taste which is essential to the support of life, and of pleasing the palate without injury to the system, is, strictly speaking, a branch of chemistry; but, important as it is both to our enjoyments and our health, it is also one of the latest cultivated branches of the science.”-Frederick Accum (1769-1838)

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Love-that is all.

 

 

 

Beach House Brussel Sprout Breakfast

July30

When I am tasked with regularly cooking up brunch items for weekend breakfasts at the beach house, I try to stretch my repertoire passed bacon, pancakes and eggs.  On this particular weekend, I had lugged along a bag of Brussel sprouts and then ran out of opportunities to cook them for dinner.  At a Beach House you have to be flexible and use your fresh ingredients when they are at their maximum.  As a result, this dish was born.  J2 thought that it tasted like the Brussel sprouts on the Segovia menu and I couldn’t think of higher praise than that.

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I love using my Mom’s mandolin for jobs like this.  My kids always called Brussel sprouts, baby cabbages.  They actually ate them as youngsters.

Check out this nutritional info about Brussel sprouts (from http://www.brussels-sprouts.com/): They are a very good source of many essential vitamins, fiber, and folate. They are especially high in Vitamin C. They, along with their other cruciferous cousins, have been shown to have some very beneficial effects against certain types of cancer, as they contain many different ingredients that are believed to help prevent the disease.

Beach House Brussel Sprout Breakfast
Author: 
Recipe type: Brunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Brussel Sprouts for breakfast? Don't knock it until you try it.
Ingredients
  • 1 strip bacon, chopped
  • 1 - 1½ lbs. Brussel sprouts, sliced by hand or on mandolin
  • ¼-1/2 c pecans
  • 2-3 T maple syrup
  • eggs, 2-3 per person
Instructions
  1. Sautee bacon until crisp over medium high heat.
  2. Add sprouts and cover.
  3. Do not be tempted to turn these too over, you want the sprout to caramelize in the pan.
  4. When the leaves are tender to taste add the pecans and maple syrup and allow flavours to blend, likely another 5 minutes.
  5. Line the bottom of large soup bowls with sprouts.
  6. Keep bowls warm in oven.
  7. Baste/fry eggs and as soon as the top is cooked, immediately place a top the sprouts.
  8. Serve immediately.

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The combination of pungent sprouts, salty bacon, nutty crunch, sublime maple syrup and the rich oozing of the egg yolk make this one a keeper in my mind.

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Kath’s quote: “We kids feared many things in those days – werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School – but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts.”-Dave Barry

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Love-that is all.

Beach House Frittata

July21

Flexibility and resourcefulness are primary features regarding beach house cooking.  For example, on this morning I had planned on making omelettes but went to the fridge to find that I only had 5 eggs.  I had already texted D who was off playing tennis to ask him to pick up some bakery bread so I did not want to bother him again.  As a result, my omelette plans morphed into frittata.  This is pretty easy to achive at this time of year when fresh produce is more than plentiful.  Freshly picked spinach was the pivot of the egg pie.

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When we packed up our family home, precipitated by our Mom’s move to a nursing home, we dispersed many of the kitchen items that she had requested, back to the person who had originally filled the request.  This meant that I received her mandolin (not the musical kind, but the culinary one).  The device is a simple one and I get a special kick out of efficient low-tech items.  Hers makes perfect little matchstick potatoes that work great for this purpose.

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The potatoes were cooked first and separately.  Make sure that you patiently wait for them to crisp up before you stir or turn them.  Have a little taste to determine that the starchy surface that potatoes sometimes retain, has been cooked away.

Beach House Frittata
Author: 
Recipe type: Brunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 medium red potatoes, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ yellow pepper, roughly diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 200 g of bacon, diced
  • 1 small bag of fresh spinach, likely 1½-2 cups
  • 5 ish eggs
  • ¼ c milk
  • freshly grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Select a metal handled sauté pan that can go from stovetop to oven.
  2. Fry potatoes, peppers and garlic together in oil until the potatoes are done to your likeness.
  3. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Cook the bacon until crisp.
  5. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Pour off all bacon drippings except for approximately 1 T.
  7. Place spinach into the pan, cover and cook just until wilted.
  8. Stir the potato and bacon mixture together and then place on top of spinach layer.
  9. Whisk the eggs and milk together.
  10. Pour into the pan until the liquid just covers all the ingredients (you may need more or less eggs depending on the width and depth of your pan).
  11. Cover and cook on medium heat until the eggs have started to set.
  12. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and place under the broiler until eggs have completely set and cheese has melted.
  13. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

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Placing the sautéed spinach on the bottom layer will ensure that the eggs will not stick to the pan.

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Oh yum.  Use a fork.

Kath’s quote:  “The two-pronged fork is used in northern Europe.  The English are armed with steel tridents with ivory handles – three pronged forks – but in France, we have the four-pronged fork, the height of civilization.” E. Briffault, ‘Paris a table’ (1846)

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Love-that is all.

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