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June 1, 2010

Ground turkey (Recipe: Greek turkey burgers with yogurt and feta sauce)

Turkey burger, souvlaki style. 

Why does a whole chicken taste better than a whole turkey, but ground turkey tastes better than ground chicken?

I don't have the answer, but I always have ground turkey in my freezer.

In the small market in my town, I can choose from several types of ground turkey, with varying amounts of breast and thigh meat, and varying amounts of fat. I like 93% fat free, but I can buy it as lean as 99% fat free. The less fat, the less flavor, so a little bit of fat is a good thing.

Ground turkey substitutes for ground pork in everything I cook, especially Chinese stir-fry dishes and wonton filling, and Tex-Mex specialties like enchiladas and tacos. 

And though I've tried to substitute ground chicken for ground turkey, it never tastes the same to me.

How about you? Chicken, turkey, or both?

Continue reading "Ground turkey (Recipe: Greek turkey burgers with yogurt and feta sauce)" »

May 13, 2010

Discos (Recipe: cheese and red pepper empanaditas)

Cheese empanaditas

Before my husband Ted discovered discos in a market in our Boston neighborhood, the closest I ever got to a disco was forty feet -- the distance between our rear window and the window of the house across the back alley where an ABBA fan blasted "Dancing Queen" on his CD player every morning.

These discos are much more my type.

Discos are sheets of dough, rolled into perfect five-inch circles. They come in two different colors (one colored by annatto to a lovely orange). They dress up any type of filling.

They're easy to use, and easy to find in the freezer aisle of the grocery store or your local Latino market.

And no singing or dancing required.

Continue reading "Discos (Recipe: cheese and red pepper empanaditas)" »

April 27, 2010

Ground beef (Recipe: Chinese "spaghetti and meat sauce")

Chinese spaghetti and meat sauce

Remember Henry David Thoreau, that 19th Century philosopher-writer-transcendentalist guy who lived in a cabin at Walden Pond?

He believed in living simply, with the seasons.

Even though he was right here in New England, he probably wasn't thinking about the seasons in quite the same way we do: pear tree pruning season (February), mud season (March), mowing season (April), burger-on-the-grill season (May).

I'm ready for May all year round; ground beef is a staple in my pantry freezer. I use it for more than burgers, of course, and I buy the "happiest" and leanest ground beef I can find.

Grilling season started a few weeks early this year. I wish Thoreau were still around. I'd invite him over for a burger.

Continue reading "Ground beef (Recipe: Chinese "spaghetti and meat sauce")" »

March 16, 2010

Spaghetti (Recipe: spaghetti with basil pesto, tomato and olives) {vegetarian}

Spaghetti with basil pesto 

I don't know why, but I almost never cook spaghetti anymore.

Some time in the 1970s, I switched from spaghetti to linguine because it was a favorite of The Frugal Gourmet, who was a favorite of mine. And then, in the 1990s, when I started eating more of my everyday meals with chopsticks, I switched from linguine to fusilli (little corkscrews), which are easier to grab.

A few years ago, I switched from fusilli to rotini, because Dreamfields makes its delicious low-carb pasta in that twisty shape.

Dreamfields also makes spaghetti, so this year I've put spaghetti back in our pasta rotation.

Continue reading "Spaghetti (Recipe: spaghetti with basil pesto, tomato and olives) {vegetarian}" »

February 18, 2010

Beef hot links (Recipe: yellow split pea and sausage soup)

Yellow split pea soup

Some ingredients earn permanent resident status in my pantry because I use them in more ways than I can count.

Sometimes, I can count on one hand the number of dishes I make with an ingredient.

Beef hot links are one of those one-hand ingredients, but the handful of dishes I make with them are some of our all-time favorites.

Continue reading "Beef hot links (Recipe: yellow split pea and sausage soup)" »

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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