Fry, Fry, Fry

Just when I thought it’d be easy….

The cooking from two weeks ago started off just fine — my apple kugel recipe is easy and got done quickly enough.

Apple Kugels

Then came the stuffed cabbages, which you can’t quite see underneath all the extra cabbage leaves I put on top of them to keep them from burning, but trust me, they’re there.  And once again, I made too many of them (at least judging by what people ate last year). I need to remember to use 3 pounds of beef next time rather than 4, and only 2 cabbages.  (It would save me a lot of time, too.) However, they do freeze–and last in the freezer–excellently well. So I don’t mind the leftovers.

Stuffed Cabbage

And then came the bane of my existence two weeks ago — also known as the potato-chicken cr0quettes.  This recipe originally came from a Robert Irvine show on the Food Network in which he used pork.  I changed it to chicken because the concept sounded really cool, and the sauce sounded delicious. It’s made of orange juice, pineapple juice, and the juice of a lime, plus some Thai green curry. The latter, of course, is impossible to find kosher (locally, at least), so I found a recipe for it online and made it myself. Here’s what it looks like in the food processor:

Thai Green Curry

And this is the sauce:

Citrus Green Curry Sauce

Then came the croquettes themselves. As you can see, there are two layers of them in each container.

Potato-Chicken Croquettes

Putting the ingredients together is also pretty simple — mashed potatoes and browned ground chicken, scallions, and soy sauce, balled up and dipped in panko bread crumbs. The problem arrived when it came time to fry them. Last year, I had frozen them pre-frying, thinking that it’d be nicer to serve them fresh out of the pan (they were served for lunch on one of the first days of the holiday, not on Shabbat). The recipe calls for deep-frying, so since my deep-fryer is electric, I loaded up my pan with oil, old-school, set up my splatter guard…and watched half of what I made completely disintegrate in the oil. So I had to pan-fry them instead, which took eons. I mercifully had enough to serve one per person, and they were delicious. This year, I figured I’d fry them first, then freeze — and had the same problem. Fortunately, I only lost about half a dozen croquettes in the process. Unfortunately, that meant pan-frying about 3 dozen more of these annoying little things… which took me over three hours. At this point, I think this may be the last time I serve them for Sukkot, at least in this quantity. I’d love to find another use for the sauce, since I think it’s amazing; but unless it turns out I can bake the croquettes all at once rather than frying them, this recipe is getting shelved.

After this little adventure in frying, I took the next week off for Rosh HaShanah. Cooking went well, and I even tried making the sushi as a trial run — we had guests who were happy to serve as guinea pigs. The rice came out great, although now I have to extrapolate exactly how much I have to make for 20-plus people; and the rolls themselves came out pretty good, too, especially considering it was my first time making sushi rolls. I’ll be sure to post pictures when I make them for Sukkot next week, although I won’t be slicing the rolls until I serve them.

We also had a power outage due to a storm on Rosh HaShanah, during which I spent most of the time panicking about what would become of the food I had been cooking for the three weeks prior that I had in frozen storage. Fortunately, it only lasted about three hours, so there was no harm done, and it made me very thankful for having any electricity at all. 🙂

This week I will be making hush puppies, roasted red potatoes, noodle kugel, Yerushalmi kugel, rice with caramelized onions, rice with curry and raisins, a barley-mushroom dish, and dressings for the Terra Chip salad and the Avocado/orange/pomegranate salad. Here’s hoping my refrigerator will be able to contain everything, as well as what I’m making next week. Eleven days to go!

Wishing all my readers a Shana Tova U’Metukah!

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Menu #2: Thursday Lunch

Appetizer Potato-chicken croquettes with citrus green curry sauce
Salad 1 Deli salad
Salad 2 Israeli salad
Entree 1 (Beef) ribs 3 ways (“Way Down South” sauce, honey mustard, and plain S&P for my FIL)
Entree 2 Hush puppies
Entree 3 Sweet & sour chicken
Side 1 Roasted red potatoes
Side 2 Rice with caramelized onions and cumin
Side 3 Butternut squash kugel
Side 4 Moroccan carrot salad

 

Ribs! Ribs! Ribs!

Sorry, got carried away. This is generally my (and everyone’s; let’s be honest) favorite meal. Also, for me, because of the carrot salad… it’s nice and garlicky and even though it’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of dish, I’ll just eat all the leftovers anyway.

The last couple of years I served ribs I went with the honey-mustard sauce, a really spicy rub, and a bottled hickory BBQ sauce (mostly because the decision to go with three types rather than two was last-minute, and the sauce I picked went over really, really well so we kept it). But after some insistence from my husband that no one eats the spicy ribs except me, they have been retired in favor of the “down south sauce” (that’s what the book called it) which I recall used an entire bottle of wine (among other ingredients) when I last cooked 8 lbs of beefy goodness. Also, my FIL likes his food tres simple, so I’m just going to go with basic seasoning for a bunch of them. Time-wise, it looks to be about the same preparation time as last year, so I’m good with it.

I reconsidered the salads on the menu from the previous meal and this one, and thus have swapped a couple of them; the Israeli salad was moved to this meal, and a hearts of palm salad will take its place for Wednesday night. (I also will be updating the menu post.)