Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Crisp Peppermint Patties March 24, 2010

Filed under: Cookies,Dessert — flyingbubble @ 1:54 pm
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This morning I woke up at 6, as per my usual routine since we’ve started having daily morning formation at 7:15.  I had some leftover Grits Casserole (I’ll post that recipe soon!) for breakfast and headed off to “work”.  Upon returning around 730, I was greeted by a smiling dancing dog with a rubber newspaper in his mouth.  Then I changed back to my pajamas and thought, ‘What a great morning to bake cookies!’  I’ve been on a cookie baking kick for a while now and this recipe was the last one I had already chosen and bought groceries for.  The recipe was straightforward so I don’t have a humorous tale to accompany the delicious cookies.  I’ve become a huge fan of parchment paper so I don’t have to clean the cookie sheets when I’m done.  I picked these cookies out for my GrandDad because he and I share a love of mint chocolate cookies.  I’ll be sending him some of these soon, not sure if he’ll read this but hopefully it will be a surprise.

Here’s the recipe, enjoy the pics:

Crisp Peppermint Patties

Yield: 5 dozen (I actually got 95 cookies, I made them too small)

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter-flavored shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 package (12 ounces) chocolate covered peppermint patties

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, melted peppermint patties and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until the surface cracks. Cool for 1-2 minutes before removing to wire racks.


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Imitation Gyros January 27, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Sandwiches — flyingbubble @ 5:41 pm
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My hand is now famous

Gyros, are arguably my absolute favorite food in the world!  I say arguable… because me, myself and I have not completely decided on a single favorite food since there are so many delicious choices.  My parents introduced me to this delicious Greek street sandwich and despite their high standards for an “authentic” gyro I have only had a few that I didn’t love.  There’s just something about that spiced meat flavor mixed with the cool tzatziki sauce (cucumber sauce).  In the U.S. gyro meat is typically lamb or a combination of lamb and beef.  Surprisingly (or maybe its not a surprise) the gyros (truly authentic) served in Greece are most commonly pork or chicken although some places may use beef or lamb.  I visited Athens and the island of Santorini this past summer.  My friends and I were told by multiple street vendors that all gyros are made with pork and advertisements for “lamb gyros” were false, meant only to attract American tourists.  Another surprise from Athens, was the addition of fried potatoes (basically french fries) to most of their gyros sandwiches.  I was extremely disappointed that my idea of a gyro was a bit off base, but the Grecian versions were equally delicious.  I am now happy to say that I love American gyros and Greek gyros equally.  The best one I had in Athens actually didn’t even have the tzatziki sauce!  It was a small hole in the wall (literally) joint owned by an old man who did all the cooking.  He makes this incredible spicy tomato based sauce from scratch every day.  It was a perfect complement to pork, onions and tomatos (and french fries of course).  Since I’m back in American, I decided to follow a recipe for lamb version.  The flavor wasn’t exactly the same, I think the recipe is missing some key spices for the meat, but it was really good.  Also, a healthier alternative as gyro meat is typically higher fat to keep it moist while its roasting.  These sandwiches are like the New York City hot dogs of Greece.

Here’s the recipe, I fried the meatballs in a skillet instead of grilling so it works either way. (I imagine grilling would be healthier from not using oil to cook)

Weight Watchers Light and Easy Cookbook

Lamb Meatball Pitas

1 lb ground lamb

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft bread crumbs

1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

2 tsp prepared horseradish

1 tsp prepared mustard

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

4 Pita rounds (6″)

1. Prepare Cucumber Raita, allowing at least one hour for sauce to chill

Cucumber Raita

3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; cover and chill at least 1 hour.

2. Combine lamb, parsley, breadcrumbs, mint, horseradish, mustard, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, garlic, and egg whites in a medium bowl; shape mixture into 12 small meatballs.

3. Place meatballs in a grill basket coated with cooking spray; place grill basket on rack over medium-hot coals (350-400) and grill, covered, 4 minutes on each side or until meatballs are done

4. Place 3 meatballs on each pita round, and top each serving with 1/4 cup Cucumber Raita.  Garnish each serving with fresh mint if desired.

NUTRITION: 378 calories, 39.2g carbohydrate, 8.8g fat, 6.4g fiber, 30.8g protein, 75mg cholesterol, 272mg sodium, 132mg calcium, 5.3mg iron.

NOTES:  I fried the meatballs in a skillet in peanut oil until they looked done. I used a store bought tzatziki sauce (since we already had it on hand) and we added chopped tomatoes and onions to our pitas. No french fries this time, but you’re welcome to try that sometime :).