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Have You Tried Perogies? They’re Polish Pockets of Pure Love!

In Do-it-Yourself on March 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm

ImageI never hear of any of my friends talking about Perogies, but it’s something my mother used to make for me as a kid, just the store-bought kind, and I’ve made it a few times as an adult. I’ve yet to make it by hand. A Polish acquaintance recently presented an entire package of Perogies that made me smile with glee, and that I will happily cook tonight!

What are Perogies? If you like Chinese dumplings and potstickers, and Italian raviolis and other stuffed pastas, you’ll love Perogies. What’s even better, you can find packages of Perogies in any grocery store in the freezer section for a comforting, but budget-friendly meal. Choose from a variety of cheese-filled or potato-onion-filled Perogies, and you can either just boil them or fry them up, have them plain, or dress them up.

It astounds me that more people don’t talk about or know about Perogies. Everybody loves them….even kids devour them.

I’ve found a good link that gives some ideas on various ways to top and/or make your Perogies into a one dish meal. Check these out if you’d like to venture into buying some pre-made Perogies and want ideas, or even better – if you’re wanting to make your own:

Background of Perogies (Pierogi)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierogi

Perogies – Serving Ideas
http://www.polskafoods.com/100-ways-eat-serve-pierogi

Make Your Own Perogies!
http://www.thibeaultstable.com/2009/04/perogies.html

Photo Credit: Thibeault’s Table Blog

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Going Gnudi Tonight – Spinach Gnudi with Sage Butter

In Do-it-Yourself, Gluten Free on September 29, 2013 at 11:48 am

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Going Gnudi today.

What is Gnudi?

Gnudi (yep…pronounced “Nudie”…see why I love this already?) is ricotta cheese dumplings, and different from Italian Gnocchi (pronounced ‘Neeyoh-kee’), which is a type of delicious potato pasta that takes more time, kneading, and work.

With the brilliant sunshine this morning and cooler fall air, I actually woke up thinking about Gnudi today. Terrible.

I’m going to go with it! I say tonight for Sunday dinner, I’ll make Spinach Gnudi with Sage butter. For those of you who love Italian food, but don’t want it to be completely carbtastic — or for those of you who have gluten-free diets — this is a great meal. For GF – substitute the gluten free flour of your choice – I would think rice flour would keep the flavors clean. I’m willing to bet Gnudi is kid-friendly too and you can sneak a good amount of veggies in it.

Once I get the hang of this recipe, I’ll continue to mix it up later by making butternut squash or pumpkin versions!

Here are some great links and blogs for Spinach Gnudi with Sage Butter:
http://gabebertaccini.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/the-ultimate-gnudi/

http://www.bellalimento.com/2011/04/18/gnudi-spinach-and-ricotta-gnudi/
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Photo and Recipe Credit: Chef Bertaccini’s Blog, The Art of Italian Dining
http://gabebertaccini.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/the-ultimate-gnudi/

Recipe Credit
http://www.bellalimento.com/2011/04/18/gnudi-spinach-and-ricotta-gnudi/

Juicy. Spicy. Delectible. No-Dredge Buttermilk Fried Chicken.

In Do-it-Yourself, Gluten Free on September 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

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MMmmmmmmMMMMmmmmm!For fried chicken that is flavorful throughout and brings you to your knees with its juiciness, I’ve taken a tip from Chef Todd Richards from The Shed at Glenwood, who actually marinates his chicken for 4 days! Other than the 4 day marination, this chicken was pretty low maintenance!My marinating liquid consisted of: 2% buttermilk, garlic powder, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, thyme, cumin, Garam Masala, ginger (and maybe some onion powder?). Fresh ginger, fresh onion, and fresh garlic paste would be even more awesome, if you can manage that. Mix enough buttermilk and spices to cover most of your chicken pieces in a big bowl and cover it with Saran Wrap and keep in the fridge between 1-4 days. Any less than a day and you risk having zero flavor in the chicken. The 4 day mark? The chicken tastes sublime.

I don’t actually like super coated chicken where you you don’t even really taste the chicken or worse, gummy chewy over-breading that doesn’t fry up properly, so I actually added about a teaspoon worth of tapioca starch (you can use cornstarch) with my cup of flour for breading the chicken. This creates a light, crispy, airy crunch. You can try another kind of base flour for gluten-free fried chicken – I like working with rice flour, but for this recipe, I think even nuttier flours or even chickpea flour would be wonderful.

I also added seasonings like smoked Spanish Paprika, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and some curry powder to my flour too so that the batter would be tasty too. So, some of the deep coloring you see in the picture are probably attributed to the spices, as well as the frying. In this picture, I only fried up chicken thighs and legs.

You already know I just like to eat and hate extensive, longass prep, cooking, blah, blah, blahhhhh. I’m a lazy cook I actually skipped the flouring, egging, flour-dredging step and just put my already marinated in buttermilk chicken into a ziplock bag with my flour mixture and just did a quick bag shake, and with some tongs, tapped the excess off into the bag and put the chicken into my hot cast iron pan filled with oil. I had heated up enough oil to reach about 1/3 up to the chicken, to a little over medium heat. The chicken was fried roughly 10-12 minutes per side. After it was done, I transferred to a metal rack and let the chicken rest and drain for a bit and then plated.

Best part? Bag of flour tossed without any gross gummy stuff to clean up. More chicken crunchy crispy deliciousness, less mess!

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