Friday, February 22, 2013

Cookbook Challenge #4 - Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking

This week, there was a bit of a delay in my post…but for good reason. We are spending the weekend in a rental apartment in Syracuse, NY. Everything was covered in a picturesque layer of snow and the moment we arrived, a welcoming flurry greeted us with a cool February smile.

Being away from home, I thought this would be a great opportunity to think outside my kitchen. I decided that the semi-homemade style of Sandra Lee was perfect for cooking in a kitchen I’ve never cooked in before and wasn’t even sure what supplies were there.
With a kitchen full of only pots, pans and salt and pepper, Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Cooking cookbook is perfect for when you don’t have a pantry to pull from. Semi-Homemade cooking is described as 70% store-bought ingredients and 30% fresh-food to make foods that were prepared in minutes and taste like they were made completely from scratch. I found two recipes that made a hefty dinner – Curried Bow Tie Salad and Lemon Turkey Cutlets. And better yet, the only things I’m taking back home with me are my new containers of curry powder and dried onion flakes.
 Curried Bow Tie Salad

3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons curry powder*
16 oz (2 small cans) pineapple chunks, drained
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 medium red apple, cored and cubed
8 oz bowtie pasta/farfalle (about ½ a box)
Salt and pepper to taste

*Curry powder is not a hot curry. This made for a VERY mild curry – which is a great introduction to curry if you have not had it before, but we added extra to the leftovers and think it’s going to be much better when we have it for lunch today. If you want more curry taste – double it.

Follow instructions on box to prepare pasta to firm. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix sour cream and curry powder to blend. Fold in avocado, pineapple, apples and pasta. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 1 day.

After tasting, we felt this salad would be an excellent summer all-in-one salad if you add cooked and cubed chicken.

Serves 4 
 Lemon Turkey Cutlets

1-1 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless turkey cutlets
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs**
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes***
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

** The recipe called for 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion, but I thought that onion flakes would be a more economical choice for us this trip. Add more if you like more onion flavor. My hubby isn’t a big fan.

*** The recipe called for 1 cup of breadcrumbs, but as you can see in the pictures below, there was almost ALL of it left. I cut it in half for the recipe above, but I’m sure you can use 1/3 of a cup like the flour with no problem also.

Rinse cutlets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper each cutlet and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, put the flour. In another bowl, mix the egg and the lemon juice. In a third bowl, mix breadcrumbs with onion flakes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip cutlet in flour then egg mixture, then into the breadcrumbs, making sure to cover all the meat and tap off the extra of each mixture before adding the meat to the next one. Place cutlet in hot oil and cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. When done, take out cutlets and place on clean paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

Serves 4
before dipping

after dipping - looks like I didn't do anything

To make this a complete dinner, I made the salad first and while it was in the fridge, I had plenty of time to do the cutlets. They are not listed as 2 recipes that need to go together in the cookbook, but we found that they complimented each other very nicely.
An Irish Stout and a Diet Coke make it a dinner for two
Some highlights from Syracuse and the Finger Lakes
Day 1 - Arriving and settling in - oh, and making dinner...
Having a coney dog (pronounced "coo-ney") from Heid's for lunch 
Day 2 - Beer and Cheese tastings in the Finger Lakes
3 Brother's Winery complex in Geneva, NY
We checked out War Horse!
Thanks Andrew for the Cincinnati - 1/2 lager, 1/2 root beer - YUM!! 
Amazing cheddars and more at Miranda Cheese Company
in Waterloo, NY 
 Tasting pint of a Amber Lager at Naked Dove Brewing Company
in Canandaigua, NY 

 And we found this in Geneva also - Red Jacket Orchards, an
Union Square Farmers Market staple. It's closing it's outlet for a bit
so we got some great deals. 


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