Hye Thyme Cafe: May 2012

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Armenian Stuffed Onions

Armenian Stuffed Onions : Hye Thyme Cafe

I don't actually know anyone who makes stuffed onions, Armenian or otherwise. The reason I referred to these as Armenian is that I used the ingredients we use for Losh Kebab (the Armenian equivalent of a Hamburger) as the filling. We had chicken the past few nights, and I was trying to think of something that didn't involve carbs since one of the chicken dishes was a pasta dish; this is what came to mind. They were very good, but at the same time, they didn't taste like Losh Kebab for some reason. Maybe there's more to grilling than I thought? If you were to form the filling into patties, you would grill or broil them for burgers.

Large onions *
1 sm green bell pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 T tomato paste
1 t allspice
Fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Start by coring your onions, so you are left with just the outermost layer or two. Cut the root end to level it, then slice off the top and pull out the middle. Maybe this shouldn't have been a concern, but I wanted to keep the bottom intact - that proved to be trickier than I had anticipated. I started by using an iced tea spoon to pull out the center bulb, then used a paring knife to remove a small section so I could pull the rest out more easily. The problem came in trying not to pop the bottom out along with the layers.

Once that is done, stream the onions in 1/2" inch of water for about 10" to soften them, then remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

While your onions are steaming, petite dice your pepper, chop the filling from two of your onions (reserving the rest for another preparation or freezing for later use), and chop your parsley.

Over medium heat, using just a tablespoon of butter or olive oil to get them going, sweat your peppers and onions, seasoning with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.

When the peppers/onions start to cook down, add the beef and lamb, breaking them up and cooking until just a bit of pink is still showing - it will finish in the oven. 


Turn off the heat and stir in the tomato paste, lemon juice, parsley, and allspice. I used a half bunch of parsley, but plan to increase it next time.

Armenian Stuffed Onions : Hye Thyme Cafe

Spoon the filling into the onion shells, packing it in well so they keep their shape. Bake at 350 for 25-30". You can serve them as is, or top them with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of additional parsley, or fresh chopped mint. [My "dressed" pics didn't work out - the yogurt was too bright, but here's a naked onion ...]

Armenian Stuffed Onions : Hye Thyme Cafe

* I prepared 4 onions (two vidalia and two red) and had enough filling left for about 4 more, so you can either increase the number of onions, decrease the amount of filling, or re-purpose the leftovers. I think I might add some crushed tomatoes to mine later in the week and serve it over pasta.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook by Lindsay Landis

Cookie Dough Lovers rejoice; your Bible has arrived!

Lindsay Landis, author of the popular food blog Love and Olive Oil, must have the metabolism of a hummingbird and no kinds, cuz there's a whole lotta sugar going on!  Her new cookbook, appropriately dedicated to "anyone who's ever been caught with a finger in the mixing bowl," has taken cookie dough to the extreme.  Borne out of her desire to expand upon one of her most popular recipes, her Cookie Dough Truffles, Lindsay has come up with a collection of recipes from those you might have thought of eventually to those you wouldn't have thought of in a million years!

It all starts with her base cookie dough, which is eggless and sans leavening agents, so it will not make you sick if you eat it, but it also won't rise if you bake it.  Don't get me wrong, many of the recipes do involve baking, but somewhere in the mix you will find a raw dough ... say, as the frosting atop fully-baked sugar cookies, or nestled inside crêpes.  I really did LOL when I read the comment in her Crème Brûlée recipe that maybe she should refer to the cookie dough layer (yes, you read that right, a layer of cookie dough beneath a Crème Brûlée ) as cöokié dóugh.

She must be a cookie dough addict, because she actually presents a chapter of Indulgent Breakfasts.  We're not just talking one or two recipes here.  She gives us seven (7) breakfast options, including the one I can't wait to try because it looks heavenly; Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls.  You'll have to pick up your own copy to see that one.

From Candy to Coookies and Brownies; Cakes, Custards and Pies; Frozen Treats; Indulgent Breakfasts; and Fun Snacks and Party Fare, The Cookie Dough Lover's Bible definitely has something to satisfy you sweet tooth ... and your Mom's ... and your kids' ... and your neighbors' ...

There are cookbooks we enjoy for the recipes, while others we might gravitate toward because the photography may be inspiring, or the title rings a note of nostalgia for us, but while reading this cookbook, you can actually feel Linday's love for what she was doing.  That's what really makes it special.  You can feel how invested she was in the project.  Heck, she even did the photography herself.

In addition to some truly tempting recipes (Cookie Dough Swirl Marshmallows, Gingerbread Cookie Dough Peppermint Bark, Cookie Dough Whoopie Pies, Malted Cookie Dough Milkshakes, and Belgian Cookie Dough Waffles with Chocolate Whipped Cream to name a few), Lindsay also provides us with creative packaging ideas for sharing our treats and online resources for supplies.

From a picky editing/foodie perspective, I did have one issue with the book.  I don't know about most people, but I don't typically read the forward matter in cookbooks.  If I do, it will be the first time I open the book, so by the time I get around to making something out of it, I will go directly to the recipe and not necessarily remember everything from the forward.  In this case, Lindsay points out that she uses:
"SALT:  All the recipes in this book have been tested with Morton's brand kosher salt.  If using Diamond brand, which is less salty, increase the amount of salt called for by 25 percent (1 1/4 teaspoons per teaspoon).  If using standard iodized table salt, which has finer granules and therefore a saltier punch, reduce the amount called for by 25 percent (3/4 teaspoon per teaspoon)."
If you don't read the forward every time you use the book, your recipe could produce an unexpected result.  Baker (and non-baker) beware; you might want to put a Post-It on that page as a reminder.

Aside from the previously mentioned Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls [drool], the one recipe I am most burning for an excuse to make is Linday's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bread Pudding.  I really wanted to bake up a batch before writing this post, but I'm home alone this week, so that could be dangerous!

Do NOT lick the screen!
Lindsay is busy whipping up another cookbook with her husband, Taylor.  I can't wait to see what they come up with next.  In the meantime, you can order a copy of The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook at:

ISBN: 978-1-59474-564-5
Book Dimensions: 7½ by 8
Page Count: 160
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Book Price: $18.95

[A big thanks, as always, to the folks at Quirk Books for the advance copy.  Although they did provide me with the book, this is not a paid post, and all opinions expressed are strictly my own.]

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rachel Ray's Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

I have apparently lost my mind, but at least I'm not alone ... my sister remembers it the same way.  We made a mental note some time ago to try a dish we saw Rachel Ray make.  It was a lemon chicken dish, and the way we remember it, she used various chicken parts, cooked it on the stove, and it was in a green enameled pot.  

I finally decided to give it a try, but when I went to pull the recipe, I couldn't find it.  I was sure it was in my recipe stash.  OK, no problem, I'm sure I pulled it up when I saw the show and e-mailed it to myself ... nope.  Hmmmmm?  I clicked on over to the Food Network to look it up, but all I found was the same [different] recipe that I found in my recipe files and e-mail.  Had I hallucinated a different dish?  That's when I asked my sister, and she remembered it the way I did.  So what's up with that, and what kitchen gnome slipped this other recipe in its place???  OK, I'm game, I'll try this one instead.  I was planning to only use chicken breasts anyhow...

2 1/2 lb chicken - in chunks
6 cloves garlic - crushed
3 T fresh rosemary 
1 lemon - zested and juiced
1 T grill seasoning (I use Grill Mates
    Montreal Steak Seasoning)
1/2 c dry white wine or chicken broth

Preheat your oven to 450.

Toss your chicken pieces in a baking dish with the garlic, rosemary, olive oil, lemon zest and grill seasoning to coat.

Roast for 20", then add the wine and lemon juice to the pan drippings.

The original recipe called for turning off the oven here and letting the residual heat finish it, but I was afraid 20" wasn't long enough, so I gave it another 10".

When serving, spoon the pan juices over the chicken.

The chicken turned out just right - tender, juicy, etc., but if you're looking for a lemon chicken dish, you definitely need to increase the lemon.  The one I used was ginormous, and we were still looking for more.  I'd add more rosemary too.  The grill seasoning was nice - I've never thought to use it on chicken before. 

Would I make this again?  You betcha.  Would I make it if I was in the mood for lemon chicken?  Maybe, but I'll probably stick with our regular Lemon Chicken with Garlic and Thyme.  Of course that one is breaded, so this is a healthier option.  Guess I'll have to come up with something in between to try next time.

As for that reddish stuff on the left, I happened to notice as I was passing through the organics section in the grocery store that they have quinoa mixes, like for rice (I love Uncle Ben's Broccoli Rice au Gratin!).  I think this one was sun-dried tomato and basil.  Pretty good!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Now's Your Chance ... Eggland's "Your Best Recipe Contest"

They say if you want to make an omelet, you have to crack a few eggs.  If you make them Eggland's Best eggs, that omelet might just win you $10,000.

If you're really on a roll, you can enter a total of 8 recipes, two for each of the following four categories:
  • Breakfast
  • Appetizer
  • Main Course
  • Dessert
One $1,000 winner will be chosen from each of the four categories, and from among those winners, the $10,000 grand prize winner will be selected.  

Just remember that your recipe must be original and must include TWO (2) Eggland's Best eggs.

A panel of culinary and nutrition experts will narrow the field to five entries for each category, then the public will have an opportunity to visit Eggland's Best website in September to cast their vote for the finalists.

Get cracking! Enter "Your Best Recipe" today. Click here to get started. Click here for official contest rules.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN IN THE EGGLAND'S BEST "YOUR BEST RECIPE" CONTEST. Open to legal residents of the 50 US, DC & PR, 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Contest starts 12:00 AM ET 5/7/12 and ends 11:59 PM ET 11/12/12. Entry Period starts 12:00 AM ET 5/7/12 and ends 11:59 PM ET 8/12/12. For Official Rules, which govern, click here. Sponsor: Eggland's Best, LLC.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chipotle Turkey Cutlets

Chipotle Turkey Cutlets : Hye Thyme Cafe

White trying to decide what to make for dinner the other night (I had Shepherd's Pie on the brain), it occurred to me that I had a jar of Sweet Chipotle Mustard that needed to be used up. It's so good on turkey sandwiches, I figured if you can slather chicken breasts in Pesto and bake them, you should be able to slather a turkey breast in Sweet Chipotle Mustard and roast that. Of course my market didn't have any turkey breasts, and the tenderloin looked terrible, so I grabbed a package of cutlets that wasn't 97% "solution." (That's just a slight exaggeration).

Turkey cutlets
Good Housekeeping Sweet Chipotle Mustard
1 Vidalia Onion
White wine
Dried sweet basil
Wondra Flour
Salt and Pepper

Pat the cutlets dry with a paper towel and either place them in a ziplock bag or a bowl with a cover. Coat with Sweet Chipotle Mustard and place in refrigerator to marinate for a while.

About 20" before you're ready to start cooking, take the cutlets out of the fridge so they're not going directly from cold to hot.

Chipotle Turkey Cutlets : Hye Thyme Cafe
To a roasting pan, add semi-thick rings of vidalia onion and about 1/2 c of white wine. We're not big white wine drinkers, so I just had a small bottle of cooking wine, but whatever suits your taste is fine. Place the cutlets on top of the onion rings and bake at 400" for 35-40".

 Chipotle Turkey Cutlets : Hye Thyme Cafe
Remove the turkey from the pan and loosely tent with foil to rest for a few minutes while you make a pan sauce.

Right about now is when I started hearing an odd noise. I followed it to the front door to find a woodpecker checking out the deck chairs ...

Turn the stove on under your roasting pan and melt about 2T of butter in the drippings from the turkey, onion, and wine. Whisk in some Wondra as a thickener, then season to taste with a little salt, pepper, sweet basil, more of the Sweet Chipotle Mustard and, if you don't have enough sauce to go around ... more wine (or broth).

Because I had originally tried this mustard on post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches one year when I had made Baked Tomatoes with Cornbread and Basil as a side (put those in the sandwiches too), I decided to make the tomatoes as a side with this. Of course the market I went to only had red tomatoes, and no tomatillos, so I threw in an avocado to see what would happen ... not much. We were disappointed in the avocado. It kinda tasted like potato?!? The turkey, however, was juicy and delicious, and the sauce had just the right notes of sweet and heat.  [Yup, I sneaked some of the sauce onto my baked potato too.]

Chipotle Turkey Cutlets : Hye Thyme Cafe

Chipotle Turkey Cutlets : Hye Thyme Cafe

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