*Makes 6 portions
I will definitely make kohlrabi again. I think that next time I will use the leaves as greens and just use the bulb for the puree because it really was so tasty.
I have never used a vanilla bean in my life. I love vanilla bean ice cream and vanilla bean cake. I mean, come on, how could you not? But since I've only used vanilla extract, I'm a little worried about using the bean itself. I searched for a bunch of recipes, but they were a little mundane and if I'm actually going to use the bean, I want it to be for something reallllllly tasty.
So, I was looking for a really tasty recipe and what caught my eye instead, was an article on making your own vanilla extract. And it uses VODKA. If there's Booze, I'm so in.
Thanks to KitchenProject.com for the full recipe and step by step instructions:
Ingredients:2 Cups (16 oz.) vodka You may also use Brandy, 6 Vanilla Beans
You can easily cut this recipe in half and use 3 vanilla beans and 1 cup of vodka, brandy or rum.
You can use any kind of bottle you want, but I do recommend glass.
Cut the vanilla beans the long way with a scissors except the last inch. This way the bean stays intact.
Pour the vodka into the container you will be making your extract in. Here you see a quart mason jar.
I like to use clear glass, so I can see how the extract is developing. The darker it gets the stronger the extract is. There is no exact time that the extract is done. I like to wait at least 8 weeks.
Put the cut beans in the vodka and push them down until they are completely covered. They usually won't go down completely on their own as you see in this picture, so they need to be pushed down even farther.
Cover the vanilla extract and let it sit in a cupboard out of the light. You will start to taste some vanilla flavor even after a few days. How long you let it sit is how potent your vanilla extract is.
After 8 weeks the vanilla extract has the nice amber color and I am pouring it into small bottles for gifts.
I like to put a vanilla bean in each bottle. This way the extract will keep gaining in flavor and you can tell them that by adding a little vodka when it is halfway used up will replenish your supply of vanilla. It will dilute it for a while but it will regain strength quickly.
Some people will add some simple sugar syrup to the extract to sweeten it. . This is what they do in most commercial varieties so it has a nice sweet aftertaste. I like to use a little dark rum in my extract instead.
(1 teaspoon per cup of vodka)
1 pkg won ton wrappers
1 chicken breast
1/2 c salsa (I used verde, but any will do, and the less chunky the better)
1/2 c shredded cheese
2 T olive oil
1/8 t garlic powder
1/8 t onion powder
1/8 t chili powder
1/8 t cumin
pinch of salt
Heat 1 T oil in saute pan to medium
Season chicken with all spices and saute until nearly cooked (5 minutes)
While chicken is cooking remove won ton wrappers from package and cut into circles
*I used a large biscuit cutter and cut about 6 at a time
After 5 minutes remove chicken from heat and cut into tiny pieces
Add salsa to saute pan and cook with chicken until chicken is cooked and most liquid is absorbed Remove chicken mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly
Put about ½ t of shredded cheese in the middle of each won ton round
Then about 1 t of chicken mix on top of that
Wet the edges of the won ton wrappers slightly with water and fold over to make half circle pockets
Use a fork to crimp the edges and get a good seal
Brush the tops of the pockets with the remaining olive oil
Place in oven for 7-10 minutes just to let the empanaditas get golden, crispy, and warm
These were super tasty, but definitely a better appetizer than dinner. And, they're obviously just baked won tons that look like emapnadas. But they are so easy. It looks like a lot of directions, but you just fill them and bake them. I think it could make a really cool dessert accoutrement too. Maybe fill them with chocolate or cherries...Yummy, Dude.
And just so you guys know, painting is a huge part of my life as well. And not just painting canvases. My motto is "I can paint that." And I can and have. We painted every surface of our new house when we moved in. I even painted the kitchen counters and floors. It works pretty well if you have any type of unbearable laminate. So if anything isn't aesthetically pleasing to me, I paint it.
On to food...
I actually did finally prepare something from scratch last night and it was kind of accidental. I initially planned to make turkey burgers but to make them super scrumptious I was going to mix in some hot Italian sausage with the ground turkey. Instead of defrosting the sausage, I cooked it so I had to think of another use for it. I also bought frozen corn at the store without realizing I already had a full bag in the freezer so I found myself with these extra ingredients and thought a corn and sausage chowder would be delicious.
2 1/2 c frozen corn
2-4 links Italian sausage (depending on how sausagey you want your soup)
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
8 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 sm onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped (I had a frozen bag of chopped peppers from trader Joes, so I used that)
1 c skim milk
1/4 c flour
1 T olive oil
1 T fresh parsley
1T fresh rosemary
1/2 T fresh thyme
1/8 t salt
Heat a dutch oven or large pan with 7 c stock, potatoes and herbs to high heat, allow to boil then reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 30 minutes
Heat saute pan to medium high and add 1c stock, olive oil, and sausages, let boil then reduce to medium
Cook sausages until liquid evaporates and sausages are browned, about 10 minutes
Remove sausages, cool
In same pan add onion, garlic and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, onions should be golden and they should have absorbed some flavor from the sausages
Remove from heat and add the flour to the onion mix and stir to coat
Add corn to stock and cook for 5 minutes
Add milk to stock and cook another 5 minutes
Add all additional ingredients and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until theickened
This soup was super yummy. I think it is more appropriate for the cooler seasons, but the vibrant pepper and sausage and sweet corn were a yummy combo. It was a nice accompaniment to the turkey burgers, so I think I may freeze some of this to have the same meal again.