Archive for November, 2008

Roasted Turkey with Garlic-Herb Butter

There are many ways to roast a turkey. This variation becomes very aromatic as it cooks, thanks to roasted garlic and herbs. Some tips:

1. Rub the roasted garlic, fresh herbs and butter onto – and under – the skin. Don’t be put off by the amount of butter; it helps keep the flesh moist, and much of it runs off anyway.

2. If you have extra herbs, you can tuck sprigs of these fresh herbs into the cavity to add extra flavor.

3. Invest in a heavy roasting pan. Disposable aluminum ones tend to steam the turkey, and they are flimsy, often bending under the weight of the bird. A rack is very important. 

4. Don’t forget the importance of maintaining oven temperature! A steady oven temperature keeps the bird from having to cook longer. So don’t baste the turkey in front of an open oven, because it allows the heat to escape. Take it out instead!

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Mama’s Russian Ground Chicken Cutlets (Chicken Kotlety Pozharsky)

This is my Mama’s Russian Ground Chicken Cutlets recipe. These cutlets are actually made of ground chicken and they are very popular in Russia. It is fried and often served with potatoes. When in hurry, a “cutlet” can be consumed sandwiched between bread slices (this is how Ryan likes it).

This dish was supposedly created by accident. Tsar Nicholas I stopped at a tavern in Torzhok (which was once a popular stopover for travelers journeying between Moscow and St. Petersburg) and ordered some veal cutlets. The tavern owner, Pozharsky, ran out of veal so he went ahead and made some chicken cutlets. The tsar enjoyed these so much that he decided to include this new dish in the royal menu.

Also, Alexandar Pushkin (my daddy’s favorite author) tried this famous dish and wrote in a letter to his friend Sobolevski:
“Take a break for lunch
At Pozharky’s in Torzhok.
Try fried cutlets
And enjoy your day.”

Without further ado, here’s the recipe: Read the rest of this entry »

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Broccoli and Pork Stir-Fry


Skip the take-out and make this at home instead. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pulled Pork


Pulled pork is the perfect slow-cooking winter dish, warm and spicy. This is my pork sandwich recipe, and is, in my humble opinion, THE BEST.

You could put some of this pulled pork on a bun but it does get messy. You see, the sauce soaks into the buns and if you tried to pick one up with your hands it would completely fall apart.

Or you could do what we do – pile up the pulled pork on a wrap and add all the fixings (white rice, sour cream et cetera) and roll it up like a burrito. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hamburger and Macaroni


I think this particular recipe is one of the best comfort foods out there. I didn’t grow up eating Chop Suey (I suppose one could call it American Chop Suey but I am going to call this Hamburger and Macaroni). Ryan loves this and I serve this in our home at least once a month. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream


Chicken marsala is one of those Italian American dishes that seems to be a standard in many a home cook’s repertoire. It consists of flour-coated thin chicken breast cutlets, cooked with a Marsala wine reduction and usually mushrooms as well. This recipe for chicken marsala is one of my father’s favorites. It doesn’t use mushrooms, though you could certainly include them, and gets much of its flavor from pancetta, an Italian version of bacon, that is salt-cured not smoked. It takes all of maybe 30 minutes to prepare, so it’s perfect for a midweek dinner. Approximately 3 to 4 servings.

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Parmesan Risotto


One of my favorite reasons to make risotto is that if I’m cold, physically chilled to the bone, standing over the risotto and stirring it for half an hour will warm me right up.Keep in mind that making risotto does require patience, it cannot be rushed. The rice will only absorb so much liquid at a time; it is the perfect “slow food”. I ensure you that it’s worth the try!   Read the rest of this entry »

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