I’m writing this on Sunday evening.. last day of the weekend. Which reminds me of one of my favourite lines by Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey.. “Wh..what is a week-end?”
I know I’m not the only one that understands this feeling quite well now during this Pandemic. Tomorrow I’m fulfilling a promise to myself, to bring a meal to a few of our elderly widowers. I contacted them to let them know it was coming.. which also helps me to follow through. After a great morning “online church service” I fried up 2 lbs of ground turkey that I had put in the fridge yesterday morning to thaw.
ASIDE: I’m finding that raw meat is very expensive during Covid-19, and often hard to find! The packing plants and supply chains are suffering, so i buy it frozen, so much cheaper! 4 lbs for $10 for lean ground turkey, this price has continued to hold, plus it’s very convenient, especially for someone like me who plans meals in advance. I usually have a couple packs of these 4 lb bags in my freezer ready to pull out for casseroles, meatballs, meatloaf, spag sauce, lasagnas.. wherever gr. beef is called for, I substitute lean ground turkey.
Whenever I buy carrots, celery, onion.. I will wash and cut up the entire bunch of celery, several carrots and at least one large onion, and cook together, prepping for future meals. Saves a lot of work when cooking later, and saves left over raw veg going bad in my fridge unused. I had made a LOT of this end of Feb (cut, panfried til still slightly crunchy, drained, cooled, then frozen) almost 2 months ago, and pulled one out, thawed a bit, and added to the fried ground turkey, and mixed in a little Veg seasoning, and salt. Tomorrow I will boil and mash the potatoes, and assemble a few small shepherd’s pies to bake & then deliver in time for supper. I might even make one for us. 😏
One of our bulk purchases at the beginning of isolation was dried chick peas. I filled a giant Costco sized pickle jar with the dried peas, and put the instructions on the side. A couple days ago, I soaked and boiled 2 cups of the dried peas – and today baked half of them in the toaster oven for a crunchy savoury snack. They need to be dried first before oiled in order to get the right amount of crunch.. you don’t want to steam them in the oven. In the toaster oven on 375F convection, I added a bit of Avocado oil, smoked paprika, a pinch of salt, and Vegetable seasoning. I stirred them every 10 min til they had the right colour.. about 30 min total. If it seems odd to re-hydrate peas, then roast/dry them again.. believe me, I wondered the same.. but the dried peas in the jar just don’t do it for me. 😉
These are my basics that are always at hand for a LOT of my recipes.. Greek Seasoning, Vegetable Seasoning, Smoked Paprika, S&P, and Avocado Oil (AO). AO has a much higher smoking point that Olive Oil, and great for high temps in the fry pan or oven.
Our power went out for 2 hours this afternoon, likely due to the really high winds we’re getting here in Niagara Peninsula. (a yearly experience in late April)
The outage was only in our little town, we figured it wouldn’t be too long, so we opened up and started our 3rd 1000 pc puzzle, this one of Positano, Italy. We sorted, edged (except for TWO pieces we haven’t located yet) and puzzled for over 4 hours and managed to get a good portion of the outside done.
A few days ago I was REALLLLLLY craving French Fries I don’t buy the frozen ones or keep them in the house.. too tempting. I’ve tried to make them from scratch before, but never had much luck.. so I did some googling. I found several sources that all said the same thing.. if you want crispy fries.. you have to soak the sliced potatoes, and you have to dry them.
So that’s what I did. I scrubbed/washed 4 medium sized potatoes, and cut them into approx 1/4″ thick fries, rinsed them a few times, and then put them in a bowl, and poured boiling water from the kettle over them, and let them sit for ~10 minutes.
During that time, I heat up the oven, with my very old and well seasoned baking stone IN the oven to preheat to 450 degrees.
After 10 minutes soak in hot water, drain the bowl, and put unbaked fries on a towel to dry thoroughly. Wipe and dry out the bowl, and put dried potatoes back in the bowl, add ~1-2 tbsp oil, and your favourite seasonings. I found THIS great recipe that really does a much better job laying out how to do this than I. I used dill, smoked paprika, S & P, and garlic powder. I then pulled the stone out of the oven, (careful, a stone is MUCH hotter than a cookie sheet!) brushed some Av. Oil on the pan, and then spread out the seasoned fries, and returned to oven to bake for about 15-20 min. After 15 min, I turned all the fries, and put back in for another 15 min. I find that my gas oven tends to run a little colder than most recipes call for, and after 30 min total, they weren’t quite as crispy looking as I’d like, so I added another 7 minutes.. which ended up being perfect for me.
A bit of work, but so worth it to still the
raving hormonal beast craving inside. So crispy on the outside, and still soft potato fluffy on the inside.. just perfect. Needless to say.. there weren’t any leftovers… but if you did make these, and somehow managed to have leftovers… (I would think you were supernatural or super disciplined, or just plain nuts).. Erin from Well Plated does address the best way to re-heat left over fries so they’re crispy again.
mmmm’mmm… In blogging about these fries, I can see another ‘hankering’ coming on… we’re doing groceries tomorrow, I’ve meal planned for the next couple of weeks & made my list.. I should double check if I put potatoes on the list… 😏 😉 😀