intrepid archaeologist, avid cook

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What do you do with leftover turkey?

I have a million recipes for leftover turkey, like biscuit crust pot pie and turkey soup and tetrazini, but today, while at the grocery store, I saw egg roll wrappers and I decided that this needed to happen. By this, of course, I mean I needed to make turkey dinner egg rolls. This may be one of the best ideas I have ever had. (and this time, I have some pictures)

I got really excited when DH came home with purple sweet potatoes. Yes, that is right, PURPLE sweet potatoes. Most people know I am about obsessed with purple potatoes, but I have never had purple sweet potatoes. I think I am in love. Seriously. I took one of those, some celery and carrot and brussel sprouts and chopped them up all fine, shredded some turkey added a couple of cranberries and rolled them up in the wrappers. After a couple of minutes in hot oil, I had amazing goodness.

Here’s the recipe:
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery (no greens) chopped fine
1 large shredded carrot
1 med-large sweet potato shredded
1 small white potato shredded
10 med brussel sprouts chopped fine.
1 cup turkey chopped fine
handful cranberries
salt, pepper, about 1 t each
package egg roll wrappers
oil for frying

Mix everything in a large bowl and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Take out the wrappers and follow the directions on how to roll them. I used about 1/4 cup in each wrapper, folded the sides, and then rolled it up, using water to seal the last side. Set them sealed side down on a plate until you are ready to fry.

put about 1-1.5 inches of oil in a pan and heat the oil to about 350 or so. If you drop water in the pan and the oil goes crazy, you are probably good to go. Set the egg rolls in sealed side down, let them brown and then turn them. It takes about 3-5 minutes for them to be done. Set them on a paper towel to drain the oil. If you are doing a lot, or just want them good and hot when you eat them, put them in the oven at 350 on a piece of parchment paper until you are ready to serve them.

Use leftover gravy or cranberry sauce (or both) to dip the egg rolls and enjoy them

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, obviously, because it is all about food and family. In fact, I like Thanksgiving so much, I have a pre-Thanksgiving with my friends the weekend before and then a post-Thanksgiving the day after. I love that there are always a lot of leftovers and I love Turkey.

This year, my sister-in-law requested I do the turkey for our dinner, because she loved the pre-Thanksgiving turkey so much. People always ask me what I do to my turkey to make it so amazing, and I almost always tell them it’s an accident. HA! But seriously, I think a good turkey is paramount to enjoying a good Thanksgiving and even though this is 2 days late, some people might be doing Turkey for other holiday feasts and so I will put my tips here. Sadly, with all the Turkey I made this year, I did not get a photo, but I will make another at some point and I will post a photo eventually.

So my method for making a good turkey is pretty simple, really. I generally use a frozen bird, because I like the cavity to still be a tad frozen when I start it. I will take the bird out the night before and put it in a cold-water bath overnight. The breasts and thighs thaw completely, the giblets slide out easily and the neck comes out, but around the cavity, there is still a little bit of ice. The first time this happened, I panicked, thinking that I would send all my guests to the ER for salmonella. I didn’t. Put all the things you take out of the bird and put them in a medium to large saucepan with water and turn that on med-low heat.

I don’t stuff my bird. I make the stuffing in a pan with the turkey drippings and bake it in the oven when the bird is about done. The real trick to a good turkey is to get the flavor under the skin. I chop 1 T fresh rosemary, 1 onion, and 3 cloves garlic, add about 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 t salt, 1 t pepper, some oregano if i have it and mix it up. I let that sit for about 20 minutes or so, till the oil becomes fragrant. Next you have to work up the skin around the opening to the cavity. You want to get your hand all the way up under the skin and slather the oil mixture all over the breast meat. Coat the inside of the cavity and then rub the oil on the skin itself. I then take a celery stalk, a carrot, an onion and some garlic and cube them and put them in the cavity. The cavity should not even be close to full, there should be a lot of room in there for air circulation. You want a lot of circulation around your bird, so make sure you elevate it in the pan on a wire rack. Next I cover the whole pan with a tin foil tent and pop it in a 350 oven. Like this, it generally takes an hour for every 4-5 pounds of bird (the recommendation is 20 minutes per pound, but I find this to be entirely too long for my birds to be in the oven). Make sure you have a meat thermometer on hand and always check the temperature of the meat at the thickest point on the breast before you decide that your bird is done.

After the bird has been in about 1/2 the time, you should start to smell it. This is when you can start collecting the juices. Add them to the pan of removed stuff I don’t bother with trying to separate the oil anymore. I have a trick for that later. Keep siphoning juices off every 45 minutes or so.

When the bird is about an hour away from being done, I take 1 cup of the juices from the pot on the stove, and set it aside. Coarse chop some stale bread (I keep a bag of old bread heels in the freezer just for this) to make about 2 cups. Chop an onion, 1-3 cloves garlic, 2 stalks of celery (with greens) and shred a carrot. Melt 1/4 cup butter in the bottom of a heavy skillet, add onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Wilt the veggies, and add the bread. Try to coat all the bread with the mixture and let it sit to brown a bit. Turn the mixture and let some more brown, then do this again. You should end up with some pieces that are really crispy and a lot that are not. Add the juices. Your bread should be moist and want to stick together but not too wet and you certainly don’t want it dry and not sticking together at all. If it is too wet, you can bake it longer, but the bread will no longer have it’s own distinct breadiness (it will still taste good), but if it is too dry, just add some more of the juices. If you are like me, you did this all in a cast iron skillet and you can just put that in the oven, if not, find your big casserole dish and transfer it. Bake for 30-45 minutes until it is brown on top and smells a bit like what heaven should smell like.

Take your bird out when it is about 178 degrees. I know the thermometer says don’t take it out till 180, but i promise just below that is OK, and it will finish getting to 180 by the time you are ready to carve it. Let the turkey sit 10-20 minutes before carving and maybe have a glass of wine while you wait.

so, we had a hurricane

It’s true.  Sunday we battened down our hatches and then proceeded to plan like we weren’t going to lose power.  I didn’t buy 1 single battery.  We bought milk, but really only because we think it is funny to go buy milk eggs and bread before a storm.  If you lose power, you have to use up a gallon of milk right quick, and you might not be able to make pudding with it either, if your stove is electric (mine is).  We didn’t lose power except for about 2 minutes.  They were the scariest ever-loving moments of my daughter’s short life, but they were only two minutes of terror.  We were lucky – VERY LUCKY – and I am eternally grateful to the powers that be.  

We rarely lose power in a storm.  In the 5 years we have been in this house, we have lost power in a storm once, for about 30 minutes (I don’t count short flashes).  Once something happened on a beautiful day and we lost power for about 24 hours, but it wasn’t because of a storm, so it doesn’t count.  For every other major storm, I have at least checked to make sure we have batteries – I did not for this one, so those two minutes of terror for the girl were two minutes of ‘oh, shit’ for me.  I promptly went and checked for batteries when the lights came on and found that I have many many many AAA batteries, but no AA batteries.  Also no C or D batteries.  We have several things that can make light powered by a battery.  I even have a solar light that keeps a charge.  One of them had good batteries, and one had about half a charge of batteries.  Neither would have made it very far if we had had an outage.  

This was the first storm that made me actually nervous that I might lose power, and I vowed to have batteries for the next storm.  I’ll give the stores a week or so to restock and I will go buy some. 

At any rate, my university is cancelled until Monday.  Until today there was no power on my campus.  My building probably won’t have power until tomorrow morning…So I have been lucky and unfortunate enough to have a lot to do and to live in a chaotic house, where it is difficult to concentrate.  I have made food instead.  I needed to make some room in the freezer, so I have been using things that have been in there.  I found a bag of turkey meat from the spring and two large gallon bags of broth.  I still have about a cup of broth left (rice maybe) but I am out of turkey.  I made turkey noodle soup yesterday and today I made a bangin’ pot pie, made all the more excellent because I did everything in my cast iron skillet. 

So, again, I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product, but I did also make granola bars and bread pudding, and i got photos of those, though the pudding had deflated when I was finally able to snap the shot.  It’s a pity.  

I’ll start with those.  The granola bars, I am not really sure about yet.  I may put them back in the oven if they don’t set right.  I wanted chocolate and peanut butter with coconut and cocoa roasted almonds.  I made some granola earlier in the week, with was really just sweet toasted oats with some almonds, and i decided i wanted to mix it with chocolate toasted oats.  so i fixed up the oats, and then made a mix of butter, peanut butter, and honey, and then mixed the oats, added more almonds, coconut and, of course, chocolate chips and added the peanut butter mixture.  I pressed it in the pan and left in a low oven for about an hour.  I think it needed more time…  the bars are nearly cool and they haven’t set up as bars yet.  sadface.  What I have now reminds me of these things called goo balls that you can get on any lot of a Phish show.  They would probably be very good rolled into balls and coated with a mixture of cornstarch, cocoa and powdered sugar…maybe next time.  

The bread pudding fared much better.  It was beyond my expectations, since I didn’t bother opening a cookbook to make it.  It is really just the easiest thing to make, and I always keep the ends of bread in the freezer.  I found the heel of a loaf of chocolate bread in a bag with some multi-grain baguette and raisin bread.  All of these are excellent in a bread pudding, though I ended up saving out the baguette, because I had enough with the other two.  I popped the bread in the oven and then cubed it up, mixed up an egg and milk mixture (this is why you buy those things before storms) added sugar and vanilla and banged them together.  It takes a while to bake, but it smells really nice.  This chocolate bread is one I have tried to duplicate; it is not sweet, but it has chunks of chocolate and dried dark cherries. The raisin bread was just plain raisin bread.  You can use any bread for it.  I like mine with a crispy crust and generally I like a cream sauce, but I wasn’t going to brave the grocery store for it.  It is always best served hot, but I will eat it anytime. 

The pot pie I had resolved to make with a real pie crust, but as the time to top the pie loomed, I changed my mind and decided on a biscuit crust instead.  I think that really made a difference.  DH suggested mashed potatoes, but I wasn’t feeling it, so I went ahead with the biscuit and it may have been the best decision I made all night.  

These are leftover recipes – well, except the granola bars, (but I am not done with those yet so I won’t post the recipe) but the pudding and the pot pie are.  I don’t know how much meat you need to buy to achieve the 1.5- 2 cups you need for this, it just ends up being what I have after I make a turkey.  The stock is also part of what I end up with after I make a turkey.  

Bread Pudding

2.5 cups cubed bread

5 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

you can also add things like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger, depending on your mood.  There is chocolate in this one so I just went with vanilla

Place the cubes of bread in an oven safe dish.  You can toast the bread lightly before cubing, especially if it has been in the freezer.  

Whisk together eggs and everything else and pour over bread cubes.  Press the cubes into the mixture and let the mixture stand at least 20 minutes.  Press the cubes down again and place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.  Bake it for 40-55 minutes until it puffs.  If you like a crispier crust wait until it stops steaming as much, if you like it mushy inside take it out while it is still steaming a lot.  

Pot pie

1.5- 2 cups cut up turkey

1 small to med onion chopped

1-3 heads garlic, minced

3 stalks celery, with greens, chopped

5-7 med crimini mushrooms cut in 1/4 inch pieces

2 carrots, med, cut into 1/2 in pieces

2-3 med potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup each of at least two more veggies: cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, parsnips, whatever – you pick

2 T cornstarch

3 T flour

1/2 cup milk

1.5 cups broth

1 – 1.5 t salt

1 t pepper

1/2 t garlic powers

1/2 t onion powder

1 t parsley 

Heat oil in skillet, add onions, garlic, celery with greens and mushrooms, wilt.  Add turkey, cook till onions are soft.  Add carrots, potatoes and everything else, stir around for a few minutes and get a crust.  Add flour and cornstarch and mix in thoroughly.  Add milk, mix, add broth, mix. liquid should be just at the level of veg and meat in pan, don’t overfil or it will be mad runny.  Allow mixture to come to a boil and reduce to low-med.  make your biscuits:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/2 cup milk

Mix butter with 1 cup flour, baking soda, powder and salt, cutting butter into the mixture until the flour mixture is coarse in texture.  Add the milk and mix thoroughly.  Add in the other cup of flour (more if still sticky) and knead into a smooth dough.  Turn out on a lightly floured surface.  Roll out in a circle, fold the dough in half until it is about a 3 inch ball, roll out again.  Repeat this process as many times as you want. it helps give the biscuit layers.  I usually give it up about 4 or 5 times in.  roll it out to be the size of your skillet or other dish you might use (my skillet is about 12 inches in diameter) and plop it on top of the mixture in the skillet.  Put that skillet in a 350 degree F oven and leave it there for 25-30 minutes until the sides are bubbling and the top of the crust is golden.  Let it sit about 10 minutes before eating.  It will taste a lot better if it is not threatening to burn your throat out of your body.  

i’ll post photos later…maybe tomorrow…they are on my phone..

Coconut curry chicken with quinoa

Sorry, I have been so lazy and absent the last month.  I know, I know, you are dying to know what I have been doing in the kitchen.  Well, the answer is not a whole lot.  Forces have conspired to make me work late and fix things in a crockpot, and other forces conspired to make those things less than tasty….namely that DH has no idea what to do in a kitchen.

AT ANY RATE

last night I had a pound of dark-meat chicken (nice and cheap, I usually get about 10 pounds of chicken chopped up from the butcher and freeze it in individual packages, which make it even cheaper – and apparently no one likes dark chicken meat except DH, so the butcher always has a lot to sell for not a lot of money).  So I have all this chicken, and I stood in the middle of the kitchen, staring at this chicken and not knowing what to do with it.  I thought maybe stir fry…

I walked into the pantry, intending to get materials to make a stir fry, some water chestnuts, soy sauce, rice vinegar, etc.  and I saw the cans of coconut milk, waiting, inviting me, calling my name… and it hit me.  I want coconut something.  I thought curry.  I do not know how to make coconut curry.  I looked on the internet.  All of the recipes I found were for Thai food (no surprise) but I have nothing to make Thai food with, no curry paste, none of the chilis, no fish sauce. Thai was out.  I do have some very nice curry powder I picked up on my last trip to Kenya (it is probably the same as any you get here, but damnit, I think it is BETTER).

I chopped some onion and garlic and put it in the pan, added the chicken and browned that.  I dumped on the curry powder, added some other things that I like the taste of, and then, with a short prayer to the chef gods, dumped in the coconut milk and deglazed the pan.  Immediately, the coconut milk turned a beautiful tan color and the kitchen started to smell like heaven.  I knew I had made the right decision.  Now, what to serve with?

Back into the pantry.  Quinoa.  I have it, I don’t make it nearly enough, and it seemed like a good idea, but not on its own.  Keeping with the theme, I grabbed the shredded coconut and put it on the counter.  I started the quinoa and stared at the coconut.  WTF am I going to do?  I thought.  I struggled.  I won’t lie.

I didn’t have any raisins or cashews which I really wanted.  (I know what you’re thinking, you have kids, how do you not have raisins? Well, kids are the reason I don’t have them.  Little Girl had found and eaten them all earlier in the week).  So, no raisins or cashews.  So I decided to go with carrots and apples as compliments to the coconut.  I grated them (also keeping with a theme) and after the quinoa was done cooking, I just mixed them in.  I served it with a pile of the quinoa salad and the chicken and sauce on top of that.  I was worried about the sweet, and warned our guest C that the entire meal was an experiment.  I wasn’t guaranteeing that it would taste good, but I wasn’t going to apologize if it wasn’t.

I was surprised at how much I like it.  I was also very surprised by how much my kids liked it.  Little Man sat in his highchair yelling for more, which meant there were no leftovers to savor over lunch today, but I am OK with it.  (It’s hit or miss with him sometimes…).  C said it was a successful experiment and even DH got over the weirdness he felt over the quinoa (which he never remembers ever eating before) and said it was not bad.  I think cashews would make it amazing – next time.  I liked how the savory of the coconut curry complimented the sweet of the quinoa salad, and the flavors of the salad brought out the flavors in the curry sauce.  In all, successful on all fronts, except picture taking.  Sorry guys – if I make it again, I promise I will take some photos.

Chicken coconut curry:

1 lb chicken, cubed

1/2 – 1 cup onion, chopped

1-3 cloves garlic, minced

3 T curry powder (invest in this, and get something from an Indian grocery, I think it definitely tastes different)

1 t salt

1/2 t pepper flakes

1/2 t cumin

pinch coriander

14.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk (you might be able to use fat free)

1 cup broccoli, chopped

Salad

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

pinch salt

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup grated apple (try to get a tart type)

 

Add the onion and the garlic to a large skillet on med-high heat.  Add the chicken and brown the hell out of it.  Add the curry powder, salt, pepper flakes, cumin and coriander and mix into the chicken well.  Add the coconut milk and deglaze the pan.  Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat.  Let it simmer and the sauce will thicken.

Put the quinoa, water and salt into a small saucepan.  bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered till the water is absorbed.

When the water is half absorbed into the quinoa, add the broccoli to the curry – cover and continue to simmer.  You can add the broccoli whenever, but too soon and the broccoli will get very soft.

When the water is absorbed into the quinoa, add the shredded coconut, grated carrot and apple.

pile on the quinoa and top with the chicken curry.

enjoy, it is SO good.

not a recipe

This is not a recipe.  It is a lazy redirect to another website that talks about eating less meat.  Many things, ok probably all the things, I have posted so far have had meat as an ingredient.  So this post is a pledge to vegetarians out there (maybe vegans, we’ll talk later) that I will start re-exploring vegetarian recipes.

I am making tomato sauce right now.  I brought home a large basket of tomatoes from the farm yesterday and I have a small batch going on the stove.  I plan on canning it, and saving the flavor of Jersey tomatoes for the dreary winter.  When I go the next round, I will take pictures and eventually post about it.

I made pizza tonight.  I didn’t take pictures, but it was good, so I will just tell you about it.  It took forever to happen.  I got home at 6 (thanks Labor Day Weekend traffic) and started the dough (I mentioned in a previous post that I use a quick dough recipe so it shouldn’t take that long).  Then I started the aforementioned sauce (obviously, so I could use some for the pizza).  Cut up veggies for the toppings and check the dough.  It’s quick rise, so it should only need 25 minutes.  It has been an hour.  Make a new dough with different yeast, wait for that to rise.  Finish pizza, bake it, it comes out at 8:30.  The quick meal ended up taking forever.

Anyway, here’s that link. Enjoy: http://www.finecooking.com/item/18090/10-ways-to-eat-less-meat

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Chicken

OK.  It’s been a while.  Did you miss me?  I know you did.  It’s been tres busy over here, what with me freaking out about messes and shampooing carpets.  Not to mention the need to get some last minute fun things out of the way before summer officially ends (NEXT WEEK!!) and I can no longer take a Tuesday, grab my kids, and go to the shore.

So, here I sit, with a glass of wine and a folder full of photos of food, and I thought I would share them with you.

This is one of my ‘fancy’ recipes.  I make it when I want to impress someone.  The first time I tried this, DH told me it was as good as restaurant food.

 

I generally use chicken fingers, because they are smaller, and easier to pound out and roll up, but you can do it with a whole breast as well.

 

The first step is to prepare the filling.  I like to use swiss chard in my filling, but any leafy green will do.  The Chard has a nice kick which contrasts with the chicken and compliments the bacon.  You saute the chard with onions and garlic in olive oil, with a little salt and pepper.  Just saute until the greens are wilted – they will cook more after being rolled up into the chicken.

Pound out the chicken.  This is important because unpounded chicken does not roll up well, and is generally too fat to want to roll up.

 

After you have thoroughly pounded the will to live and be fat out of your chicken, you take some grated cheese.  Did I mention there is cheese in this dish?  There is.  I like to use some provolone and sharp cheddar.

 

After the cheese, add the chard mixture.  Not too much, just a layer.

 

Then you roll it up.  Start at the narrow end and then roll toward the fat end, tucking in any of the filling that falls out.

 

Next, take a piece of bacon and wrap it around the rolled up chicken.  I wrap the bacon in the opposite direction of the chicken roll, to help keep the chicken together without having to use a toothpick.  Repeat all these steps until you have no more chicken left and place the rolls of chicken in an oven safe dish.  I use a wonderful stone dish from Pampered Chef that has ridges on the bottom, so the chicken isn’t sitting in too much fat, but I have made this without the special ridged pan and it turns out fine.

 

And now, into the oven.  I cook these for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees, until the juices are clear and the bacon is done.

You can make a lovely sauce for this by taking the juices from the bottom of the pan in the oven and whisking in some cornstarch and a pinch of house seasoning.  Cook it on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and then remove from the heat.  It will thicken a bit as it cools.

 

When the chicken is done, take it out, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then plate it with the sauce, like I did in the photo at the beginning.  This is a favorite dish in my house, mostly because the girl likes bacon and as far as she is concerned, if there is bacon, it is gourmet.  It is really not difficult to do, and only has a few ingredients.

The details:

3 leaves Swiss Chard, chopped

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Chicken fingers or chicken breast.

bacon

for the sauce:

1/3- 1/2 cup drippings from the pan

3 Tbsp cornstarch

 

Gumbo fritters

In my house there are two things that are always a hit: gumbo and pancakes.  So one night when I was feeling particularly lazy and didn’t want to make an actual meal, I invented gumbo fritters.  I know, most people would order Chinese food when they were feeling lazy, but I had a lot of okra that needed to be used, and we had Chinese the night before owing to the fact that I couldn’t put the boy down long enough to peel a potato.

These were an instant hit.  DH told me they were the best thing I had invented ever.  I disagree, but they were still pretty good, and frankly, anything you can eat with your fingers is bound to be the best thing ever.

I had started the day without eggs, and this situation had not changed, owing to the fact that I did not stop on my way home.  In the morning, we had wanted pancakes, so I looked up an eggless pancake batter recipe right here on the web (it’s here: http://www.free-old-time-cooking-recipes.com/desserts/pancakes/pancake-recipe-without-eggs.html, if you are ever in need.  Some of the comments there are not the nicest, but I thought the pancakes I made with it were delicious.).  I started with that recipe as a starting point.  I changed some things, obviously, since I was making a savory dish, but essentially, the important parts were all the same.

My father is a volunteer firefighter, and 4 or 5 times a summer, they hold a BBQ and make the best chicken.  I get extras and freeze them because they are perfect for gumbo (which is, as I mentioned, a perennial favorite in my house).  I grabbed one of these bad boys out and defrosted it.  I suppose you could cook up some chicken fresh for this, but it really is a great recipe to use up some leftovers, and it’s much easier to prep if the chicken is already cooked.  Anyway, I deboned and cut up the chicken and added it to the batter.  I then chopped up some onion and garlic and put them in a skillet to saute and then added that to the batter as well.  grated carrots, potatoes and zucchiniThen I grated two carrots (white and purple, well, really mostly red, but the outside is purple) a zucchini, and a potato (also purple).  I chopped up some okra (both green and purple – i just love heirloom varieties) and cut some corn off the cob.  I added chopped celery leaf and chopped parsley.  I mixed this all together and made a rather thick batter.  In actuality, there was more added to the batter than there was batter, but that is really the secret to a good fritter.  The only thing left to do was put them in hot oil and fry these bad boys up.  remember, don't crowd them!

I used a cookie scoop to get about a tablespoon of the batter and dropped it into the oil, which was good and hot.  Remember to check the oil before you put the batter in.  Flick it with water and then add a little bit of your batter.  If your oil isn’t hot enough, the batter will absorb a lot of the oil and they won’t be very good.  I flattened out the batter into the oil and let it brown on one side, flipped it and let it brown on the other side.  Then I pulled them out and put them on a plate with a paper towel on it.  I separated layers of fritters with a paper towel.  This recipe makes a lot (around 35-40) of fritters, so either be really hungry or invite some people over to eat them…

I also made a sour cream dip for these.  They don’t need it, really, but it adds a nice touch to the fritter.

Gumbo Fritters:

1 half chicken, cooked, deboned and chopped

1 potato grated

1 zucchini grated

2 med carrots grated

1 med onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

8-10 okra chopped

1 ear of corn, cut off the cob

~1/4 cup fresh celery leaf, chopped

~1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

for the batter:

2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups milk

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

4 tbsp butter, melted

For the dip:

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp house seasoning

1 tsp crushed red pepper

To make the batter, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Add the milk, water and oil and mix until just incorporated.  It will be and should be pretty lumpy; let it sit for a few minutes.  In a skillet, melt the butter, then add the melted butter to the batter.  Get your oil started in the pan.  I put in at least a 1/2 inch of oil in my skillet.  Heat it up on high heat, and when it is hot, but before you are ready to add your batter, turn it down to medium.   Add all the good stuff (i.e. the things you chopped up and sauteed at the beginning of this adventure) to your batter.

Spoon about 1 tbsp of batter into the hot oil and flatten it out.  When the edges of the fritter are golden, flip it over – this should take 3-5 minutes – and let that side cook.  Remove fritter and let drain on a paper towel.

While you wait for your fritters to cook, mix the sour cream up with the house seasoning and the red pepper.  It is best to do this at the beginning of when you are cooking the fritters because it allows the flavors of the spices to incorporate fully into the sour cream.