1 pound package frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetable blend
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
41⁄2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger
8 oz. all-purpose pasta or egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
1 jar of duck sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine ½ package chopped, defrosted vegetables, chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil and spices. Place 1⁄4 cup mixture into the center of each wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling then fold two sides toward the center. Moisten flap of remaining corner with beaten egg and seal.
Place egg rolls seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Spray tops of wrappers with nonstick cooking spray or brush with beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Makes 8 servings. Recipe may be doubled. Serve warm with duck sauce.
Imagine going to a gourmet restaurant, watching the cooks prepare your meal while following along with the recipes, and then eating a delicious four-course meal with wine pairings. This was our experience at Publix’s Apron Cooking School. It was a repeat visit for us as we greatly enjoy this experience. Tonight’s menu started with a crisp salad using curly lettuce with tomatoes, bacon, dates, and a warm walnut vinaigrette dressing. Dijon mustard gave this dressing a kick while maple syrup added a sweet element. Accompanying the starter was a Chateau St. Michelle Chardonnay. I liked this medium bodied white wine that sells for $12.99.
Cooking Tips: Cutting an onion releases an enzyme that causes tearing. To avoid this, leave on the root end. Remove the stem and peel, then slice through almost to the root. Turn onion and dice in the other direction.
To increase the juice from a fresh lemon, roll it on the counter first or microwave it for 8 seconds before squeezing.
Next came a yummy Portobello mushroom and barley soup. Including carrots, celery, and onion, this was so good that I still smack my lips at the remembered taste. Truffle oil added finesse. I loved the nutty texture of the barley. The accompanying wine was a Pinot Grigio by Ecco Domani. This was good but I liked the Chardonnay better.
Cooking Tips: Cut your vegetables the same size so they cook evenly together.
And—Garlic burns so add it last.
The main course was buttermilk meatloaf with stroganoff mushrooms and egg noodles.
This was perfection. The wine was a Santa Rita Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. I would have preferred a red wine with the meat dish.
Cooking Tips: Use a tube of tomato paste instead of a can. Then when a recipe calls for one tablespoon, you won’t have a whole can left over.
A roux helps to thicken sauces. It’s equal parts fat and flour. The fat coats the flour and allows it to be absorbed into the sauce. A roux can be light or dark.
Dessert tempted our palates with warm banana shortcakes. The sparkling wine was a pink Moscato. It was all right but I wouldn’t buy it. I love anything with warmed bananas so this dish hit the spot to finish off the evening.
Cooking Tips: Baking soda helps things spread; baking power helps them to rise (or is it the other way around?)
To roll out dough, put it between pieces of parchment paper. The dough is easier to cut if you refrigerate it first.
To whip cream, move your whisk back and forth rather than around the bowl.
Sugar in the raw is produced when sugar is spun at a high velocity and the molasses separates out. Molasses plus sugar equals light brown sugar.
**These tips are accurate to the best of my hearing ability and are subject to my interpretation.
Publix Apron’s Cooking School is a fun and tasty experience. You can sign up for the demo or take a hands-on class. Either way, you’ll eat a wonderful meal and explore some new wines.
Kitchen Fiasco Number One
I am having a dinner party tonight, and I wanted to prepare two items for the first time. One was called Olive Cheese Nuggets that I ate at a friend’s house many years ago. The couple coming tonight likes olives, so I thought this would be a great time to try the recipe. Essentially, it’s medium sized stuffed green olives wrapped in pastry. So I follow this recipe:
4 oz grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp paprika
(1) 10 oz. jar stuffed green olives
I mix up the grated cheddar, softened butter, flour and paprika. This is supposed to make dough. Then you wrap one teaspoon of dough around each olive and bake them. Sound okay? My mixture turned out to be dry and crumbly. No way would it wrap around an olive. I couldn’t even knead it. I added some milk I had on hand to moisten it. Still no good. Even if it worked as dough, there was nowhere near enough to wrap all those olives! This recipe must be faulty. I give up, but I don’t toss out my mixture. Instead, why not make them into cheese biscuits?
Having no idea if this idea would work or not, I add more milk, mix it all up, and make four balls out of the resultant dough. I flatten each ball in my hands, spread them out on a greased baking sheet, and bake them at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. Voilà! Crispy cheese biscuits, a bit doughy for my taste, but edible. I don’t think I’ll add this to my repertoire, however.
I planned to make another new recipe, artichoke and spinach stuffed mushrooms. One day ahead, I drain and chop the artichokes. This morning, I come into the kitchen and my husband confesses he ate half the artichokes, thinking it was egg salad. C’mon! Don’t you look before you eat? Can’t you taste the difference on your tongue? I send him out to get a new can of artichoke hearts. When he gets back, I put him to work (he’s a good guy to do kitchen duty) washing and de-stemming the mushroom caps. Meanwhile, I made a zucchini chocolate cake. I have leftover shredded zucchini, half the chopped artichokes from the first batch, and mushroom stems that I don’t need for the stuffed mushroom appetizer. What’s a creative cook to do? I tossed these three ingredients in the food processor with some light mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. I’ll microwave the mixture later to heat it and serve it as a spread to go with whole wheat crackers.
What are some of the kitchen saves that you’ve done?