January 21, 2010

Smoked turkey or chicken sausage, a Pantry Special (Recipe: "chicks in blankets" with mustard dip)

Pantry Specials are great ingredients that find their way into my pantry from time to time, but not all the time. Easy Apps Week, Day Three. 

Chicks in blankets

A sausage is highly seasoned minced meat, stuffed into a casing, cooked or cured. A smoked turkey or chicken sausage, in addition to being all of the above, has the advantage of being lower in fat and calories than a traditional pork sausage, and because of that it's an occasional visitor in my pantry. Though sausages aren't exactly health food because they often have a high sodium and fat content, a single sausage can add a huge flavor punch to beans, pasta, stuffing or soup. When shopping for turkey or chicken sausages, read labels carefully or know your source, if pork-free is your goal; many non-pork sausages are stuffed into pork casings. Turkey or chicken sausages, cooked or uncooked, can be stored in the freezer for months. This is one Pantry Special that's available in your local supermarket.

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January 19, 2010

Yogurt (Recipe: chicken tikka) {gluten-free}

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it's time to get finger food recipes lined up for game day. Welcome to Easy Apps Week, Day Two.

Chicken tikka with spicy tomato jam

Nine things I know about yogurt (you'll be glad to know them, too): 

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January 14, 2010

Nuts (Recipe: chocolate and hazelnut dipped strawberries) {gluten-free}

Chocolate and hazelnut dipped strawberries

According to botanists, nuts are composites of a plant's seed and fruit, where the fruit does not open to release the seed.

Cooks are more open-minded, including in the category anything that looks or acts like a nut. Pine nuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios are actually seeds, and peanuts aren't nuts at all.

They're all in my pantry, all of those nuts and seeds, and peanuts, too (legumes, despite their name). Because, as you know, I'm a very open-minded cook.

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December 8, 2009

Homemade chicken stock (Recipe: vegetable-beef soup)

Vegetable beef soup 

Knock wood, Ted and I have escaped the worst of the season.

No cough, no cold, no flu. No swine flu.

Doesn't mean we'll get through the holiday season without a few sniffles, though, so I'm stocking the freezer with homemade chicken stock.

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December 1, 2009

Puff pastry (Recipe: puff pastry cups filled with sweet potato, apple and nuts)

Puff pastry cups

If I hadn't watched Julia Child on television all those years ago, smearing the butter and folding and turning and folding and turning again, making it all seem so utterly doable, I never would have had the courage to make puff pastry from scratch.

I did make it, and it was rich and buttery, and it puffed.

And it took all day to make.

Then I discovered frozenpuff pastry. Someone else does the smearing and folding and turning for you. Imagine that! Puff pastry any time, without devoting an entire day to making it.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • 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.

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