Embracing the 21st Century

48 Comments

It might seem odd to admit this, being that I’ve been cooking for about 40 years, but I’ve never owned a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

Why? Well for one thing, I’m more a cook than a baker. For another reason, I have a really old house. My countertop surface area is limited, as well as the vertical space from countertop to the above cupboards. So I haven’t been interested in a giant appliance that would monopolize my kitchen work space.

Well, here we are in 2017. I just received my first Kitchen Aid stand mixer, Artisanal Series. I purchased it at an incredible post-Christmas sale price of $278.00.

_mg_3603

What prompted me to finally give in was that my sister-in-law sent me a Kitchen Aid spiralizer attachment for Christmas. She, of course, assumed I already owned a stand mixer, like most people do.

img_0628

I called her to say “thank you” but “no thank you.” But that’s when I got chided into embracing the 21st Century kitchen. I thought long and hard, but finally gave in. So now I own a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and a spiralizer attachment.

When considering how to christen my spiralizer, I immediately thought of zoodles, which are zucchini noodles. And then I saw this photo online.

img_0629

I’d love to give somebody credit, but the photo was on Pinterest with no information associated with it. I just knew I had to test out my new spiralizer in order to make these burgers!

I opened the spiralizer box and it looked like something that an assassin would have. I took a big breath and read the directions.

img_1441

Here’s how I created my electric-powered zoodles, in order to make turkey zoodle burgers.

_mg_3966

Turkey Zoodle Burgers

1 pound lean ground turkey
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
Garlic pepper
Salt
Bread crumbs, about 1/2 cup
Zoodles, made from 1 medium zucchini
Olive oil

Place the turkey, eggs, onion, bell pepper, and seasonings in a medium bowl. Stir until combined.

_mg_3929

Stir in the bread crumbs. Use enough to stiffen the burger mixture but not so much as to dry it up.

_mg_3938

Chill the burger mixture in the refrigerator and proceed with the zoodles.

To make the raw zoodles for these burgers I used the extra-fine spiralizer blade. The spiralizer plus the two other parts were easy to put together. Relief!

_mg_3930

Simply turn on the mixer and watch the noodles form!

_mg_3932

_mg_3934

I placed the zoodles on paper towels to release some of their water for about 45 minutes.

When you’re ready to make the burgers, remove the burger mixture from the refrigerator.

Place the zoodles on a jelly-roll pan drizzled with olive oil.

_mg_3939

Using some of the oil on your hands, form four even-sized burgers. Then press them gently into the zoodles on both sides.

_mg_3940

Pour some olive oil in a flat skillet over high heat. Add the burgers and cook them for about 4-5 minutes.

_mg_3944

Turn them over gently and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to lower the heat as you cook the burgers through, without having to flip them over any more. Total time varies on the burger thickness; you can always use a meat thermometer to check the doneness.

_mg_3946

I served these burgers with a mayonnaise mixed with some paprika creme. It was a wonderful combination.

_mg_3988

You could also make a Sriracha mayonnaise, or use Dijonnaise as a condiment.

_mg_3955

I wasn’t tempted in the least to wrap burger buns around these burgers. They are just too tender, delicious, and pretty as is!

_mg_3987

So, first off, I learned that with half a brain one can easily use the spiralizer attachment on a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. And now I’m intrigued and excited about other attachments….

_mg_3975

The burgers came out great, by the way.

Thai Chicken Curry

64 Comments

I wanted to make this Thai curry for one big reason. I was hungry for a Thai curry. I don’t get to enjoy them often, because my husband doesn’t like the sweetness of Thai food. Nor are there any Thai restaurants where I live. So occasionally I just crave them and must make one for myself.

Thai curries require Thai curry paste. They can be made from scratch, but then one would need to have on hand exotic ingredients like fresh lemon grass, glalangal and kaffir lime. I’ve never been able to get my hands on these ingredients, which is why I refer to them as exotic.

Fortunately, purchased Thai curry pastes, which are unique combinations of seasonings and aromatics, do all of the work for you.

I’m most familiar with three varieties from Mae Ploy, pictured below. I feel fortunate just to have these available to me!

The green is mostly green chiles and lemongrass.
The red is mostly red chiles and garlic.
The yellow is mostly lemongrass and garlic.

There is a recipe on the back of these curry paste cartons. It’s simply this:

Combine 2 cups of coconut milk and 50 grams of curry paste of choice on the stove, add meat and add vegetables. It’s that easy to make a Thai curry.

So you can just add chicken or shrimp or even tofu to the curry-coconut sauce, and it is easy and delicious.

I prefer doing a stir fry with the protein and vegetables first, then adding the curry-coconut sauce. Basically the same concept, but a few more minutes required.

curr2

Thai Chicken Curry

Oil
2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt, Pepper
1 onion, sliced into thin wedges
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin pieces
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
About 3 tablespoons red curry paste – you might start with less and taste first
1 – 13.5 ounce can coconut milk*
Fresh cilantro and/or basil leaves
Cooked rice, optional

Heat some oil over high heat in a large skillet of wok. Add some chicken and cook it until mostly all browned, at least five minutes. You want it about 80% cooked. Season with salt and pepper and place in a serving bowl. Continue with the remaining chicken and set aside.

curr3

Lower the heat to medium-high and add a little more oil. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and mushrooms and cook for about 5-6 minutes; the veggies should have some color on them, but don’t let them overcook. Add the veggies to the bowl with the chicken.

curr4

Place the 2 ounces of curry paste in the skillet or work and add the can of coconut milk. Whisk the mixture until smooth, then heat to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the sauce cook a little.

curr5

When you’re ready to serve, place the chicken and veggies into the sauce and stir to incorporate well. Let everything heat through and serve the curry topped with some cilantro leaves.

curr71

Or, if you prefer, serve the sauce on the side.

cur11r2
The curry is very good served with rice, but as you can see, I spiralized zucchini, parboiled them for a few minutes, and voila! Zucchini noodles!
z1

z2

* Make sure to buy canned coconut milk that is not sweetened for making pina coladas!!! There’s even LITE coconut milk if you prefer…