Some years ago while visiting England, I was asked by our hostess how Americans cooked a particular chicken dish. I noted that while we may all call it by the same name, the ingredients would differ from one place to the next. In fact, some recipes were so different that you may not recognize it as the same dish.
The same is true for Hungarian chicken. My husband, his parents and two of his four siblings were born in Hungary. This recipe is the only way the family made it. Yet for some, having tomatoes in the recipe makes it unrecognizable as Paprikás Csirke, or “Paprika Chicken,” one of Hungary’s most famous dishes. Authentic? Our family says yes. Delicious? You bet!
It is an easy dish to prepare in your Grillet. Have all your ingredients ready and it goes together in no time at all.
HUNGARIAN CHICKEN WITH PAPRIKA
2-3 tblsp Hungarian Sweet Paprika (I prefer Szeged brand from Hungary)
1 ¼ cup chicken broth or water (with ¼ cup in reserve)
2 tblsp olive oil
2 pounds chicken, boneless breasts or your favorite pieces
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thin
1 large green or red bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 22 oz can diced tomatoes
1 – 1 ½ cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat Grillet to 350 degrees.
Blend paprika with the reserved ¼ cup broth in a cup; set aside. Heat the oil and add chicken pieces a few at a time, browning on all sides. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel.
Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Saute the onion and bell pepper until they begin to soften. Stir in the tomatoes, paprika mixture and some of the additional broth. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat, return chicken to the pot and spoon the sauce over all the pieces. Add the remaining broth, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove cover and allow sauce to thicken to your desired consistency.
Options: Sour cream can be stirred in after 15 minutes, or as my family prefers, it is offered separately. Serve over egg noodles or with rice.
In Thailand, dishes that are considered curries are made with a paste which varies regionally and ranges from mild to very hot. Unlike their neighbors in India, Thai curries feature more fresh ingredients. Both Indian and Thai curries have complex flavors created by the blending of ingredients. India uses dried spices but Thai curries are flavored with a number of fresh herbs and aromatic leaves. Today, I’m offering you a Panang curry that’s both aromatic and mild. Unlike most Thai curries, this one is made with tofu.
For those of you who have not taken the leap, here is your opportunity to try tofu. I doubt that you will be disappointed. Before you get to the ingredients, let me also point out the use of fish sauce. Yes, it is made from fermented fish but don’t dwell on that aspect. Remember this instead: when fish sauce is combined with other ingredients, your Thai curries taste better, period. Fish sauce doesn’t dominate the flavors, it enhances them.
Unlike the northern regions of Thailand, this dish uses coconut milk that adds a delicate, yet deeply rich component to the overall taste. Be sure to breathe deeply as you prepare this dish; you’ll really enjoy the experience.
PANANG TOFU CURRY
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 tblsp panang curry paste
1 tblsp dark brown sugar
zest from 1 lime, grated
1 tblsp fish sauce
1 jalapeno, seeded with ribs removed, sliced into thin strips
2 thin slices red onion, quartered
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 baby bok choy, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
7 oz firm tofu, cubed
1-2 green onions, green tops only, chopped
2 tblsp cilantro, chopped
optional: Thai chili paste – add an additional ¼ to ½ tsp per serving
Preheat the Grillet to 300 degrees.
Pour into the pot the coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, lime zest, fish sauce, jalapeno, red onion, and basil leaves. Stir and cook for a few minutes, turning down heat if it begins to boil. Add bok choy and bean sprouts and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Gently mix in tofu so as not to break it up. Cover and heat for another minute.
Serve in soup bowls and garnish with the green onion and cilantro mixture. If desired, stir in Thai chili paste.
Note: This dish can be eaten as a soup, or over rice. It can also be made with thinly sliced beef, chicken, or fish in place of the tofu.
Waffles are one of the few things that can draw people out of their beds when the aroma wafts to their room. I remember my grandmother making these whenever we kids came to visit. She would bring out her heavy cast iron heart- shaped waffle maker and we would line up in the kitchen for a plate of happiness.
Though I do like to eat a great waffle now and then, I could never justify buying a piece of equipment that would only make one thing. The Grillet not only allows me to revisit my fond food memories at grandma’s house but it also makes a pretty good waffle – soft and moist on the inside but crispy on the outside. It may not have all the nooks and crannies of a real waffle iron, but the flavor is what it’s all about. And for the heart shape…well, I just used a cookie cutter. I’m sure grandma would approve.
So now is the perfect time to consider making a great Valentine’s breakfast of Grillet waffle hearts for yourself and your Valentine.
VALENTINE’S DAY GRILLET WAFFLES
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp baking soda
2 tblsp sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 tblsp butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Combine all the dry ingredients and then add the egg, melted butter and buttermilk. Stir together just until mixed.
Heat Grillet to 325 degrees. Pour batter onto lightly sprayed pan. Cook approximately 5 minutes on one side with lid closed. Carefully flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Shape waffles into various sized hearts (or any other shape) using cookie cutters. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, syrup or jam and enjoy.
There are many occasions that are great for making this beautiful and delicious cake, but with its red and white colors and the day soon upon us, this recipe is just perfect for Valentine’s Day. If you’ll take a moment to think about it, you should discover there are a lot of special people in your life. So show your appreciation… make a cake!
This recipe is not just time saving and easy but looks elegant when using a spring form pan in the Rice Cooker. It makes a moist cake that holds up well to many different types of fillings. For this occasion, I’m using a thick raspberry jam filling. Keep in mind the consistency of whatever you choose for your filling. The thinner the consistency the more it will soak into the cake; that’s not a bad thing, just be aware.
Lastly, you will find that when you make any recipe for someone else you also derive great joy for having done it; that’s the real bonus!
SPECIAL OCCASION CAKE
1 box white cake mix
¾ cups coconut milk
4 egg whites
¼ cups water
½ cups Greek style yogurt
¼ cups flour
6 inch spring form pan
In a bowl, beat the coconut milk, egg whites and water until thoroughly mixed. Add the yogurt and continue to mix. Gradually add the cake mix and flour and mix just until combined.
Place 3 cups of water into the inner pot of your Rice Cooker. Using a piece of foil, roll it into a snake like circular form and place it on the bottom of the inner pot. This will help elevate the pan above the water line. Use an additional piece of foil to cover the outside bottom of the spring form pan to prevent water from seeping into batter.
Pour batter into the lightly greased spring form pan. With an additional piece of foil, fold it to form a 2” collar around the top to allow for additional support when the cake rises. Place pan on top of the coiled foil, being sure the pan is above the water line. Close lid.
Set to Slow Cook for 2 hours or until set. Open lid and let cake cool. Trim top if needed, slice into layers and decorate.
One very versatile vegetable is the cauliflower. It is a very healthy vegetable, low in calories and carbs. Originally from the Greek island of Cyprus, it became quite popular when served in the courts of King Louis XIV and made other notable tables throughout Europe over time.
Unfortunately, most of us grew up with the boiled to death version so it was readily discounted when we were off doing our own cooking. If by now you have not been re-introduced to the tasty ways of serving cauliflower, this recipe might just tempt you to give it a try.
These cauliflower steaks are a real breeze in your Grillet and are ready in very little time. I’ve tried it with basil pesto and grated cheese to name a few toppings, but it is a great vehicle for many others. Fixing cauliflower as steaks also makes a great presentation. I often place them on Forbidden Rice, so named for when it was the Emperor of China’s rice, therefore no one else could eat it. Today this black rice gives Cauliflower Steaks a beautiful background while being very healthy with a complimentary nut-like flavor. Give this a try; you and your guests will be pleased.
1 large head of cauliflower
2-3 tblsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Remove any outer leaves and then slice cauliflower into ½”- ¾” slices. Baste with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a 350 degree Grillet, sauté steaks on each side for 4-5 minutes until brown and slightly tender. Add ¼ cup water to pan, cover with lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add any desired toppings of your choice, heat and serve.
Fire Meat is a direct translation of the Korean word Bulgogi (Koreans pronounce it “pulgogi”). It is a great BBQ sauce that you can find in most markets that have an Asian section. The sauce is traditionally made with soy sauce, garlic, sugar and some sesame oil as the base. From there, rice wine, honey, bean paste and apples or Asian pears are added. Mostly it is used as a marinade but today I’ve put it in some lean ground beef and simply made some Fire Meat Patties or if you like, Korean Beef Patties.
You will notice that there is nothing else on the plate in the photograph. I did that intentionally to give you a chance to look at the patty and then see where your taste buds take you as you complete the picture. It combines so well with green onions, shredded carrots, sesame seeds, by itself or with rice, even with a potato dish, a vegetable side/ salad. Or pick up some dinner rolls and enjoy some delicious mini sliders.
KOREAN BEEF PATTIES WITH BULGOGI SAUCE
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tblsp fresh ginger, finely diced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tblsp prepared Bulgogi sauce *
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 tblsp brown sugar
1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup Panko or other unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tblsp each cilantro and green onion chopped and mixed together for garnish
*found in Asian or International food section of major grocery stores.
In a small bowl, combine the beaten egg with the diced ginger, sesame oil, Bulgogi sauce, red onion and brown sugar.
In a larger bowl, break up the ground beef and gently combine with the Panko and egg mixture, being careful not to overwork the meat. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the liquid to be absorbed, if needed.
Form patties into 2” rounds and grill at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes per side, adjusting heat as needed.
Serve with extra Bulgogi sauce and garnish with the cilantro and green onion mixture.
All the countries that hug the shores of the great Mediterranean Sea contribute to the great flavors that make up the Mediterranean cuisine. These include Greece, Israel, Turkey, Syria, Spain and Morocco but there are more. Look at a map and you’ll see that Lebanon, France and Italy have contributions to make as well.
We know that healthy eating means we choose foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants from vegetables, legumes and nuts. Well this week’s recipe, straight from the Mediterranean, has a fair amount of that in these Stuffed Eggplants. This is a versatile dish when it comes to your stuffing. You can adjust it to your taste but you will find yourself preparing it often I’m sure.
It’s the spices and herbs that distinguish Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods from all others. Many are probably on your shelf already but I encourage you to add others.
Stuffed Eggplants are one of my main go-to dishes when our company includes one or more who are vegetarian. Quite popular in its own right, you don’t fix this dish for the vegetarians only! This recipe is great either hot or at room temperature and it’s nice to have a tasty, satisfying dish that is also a healthy choice.
1 large eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise and lightly salted
4 tblsp water
3 tblsp olive oil
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cumin
1/3 cup chopped raisins, or any dried fruit such as apricots or dates
1/3 cup green olives, halved
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat Grillet to 350 degree. Place the eggplant halves cut side up in 4 tblsp water and close lid. Steam for 5- 6 minutes, just until tender, adding more water as needed.
Carefully remove from pan and drain on paper towel. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the eggplant, leaving about 1/4” around the edges so as to keep its shape. Set the halves aside.
Add the 3 tblsp of olive oil to the 325 degree Grillet. Cut the eggplant flesh into cubes and saute it with the bell pepper, cinnamon, cumin, raisins and olives for eight minutes, stirring often. Add the cilantro, quinoa, lemon peel and lemon juice and cook until heated through.
Fill the mixture back into the eggplant halves evenly and serve.