Saturday, November 28, 2009

What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers

I love turkey sandwiches. Once in college by roommates and I made a turkey after Thanksgiving because we had missed out on the leftovers back home. but after a couple days, the meat is a little dried out and I could really use a new version.
Enter the Thanksgiving Leftover Calzone. (My sister taught me this)
You make a basic pizza dough (see video) and then layer on one half,
turkey, (keep layers small)
mashed potatoes
and some bloops of cranberry sauce.
beat one egg and brush it over the top.
Cook it at 350 for 15 minutes or until just brown.
Slice it and pour gravy over the top.
I have the whole recipe in this video, including the dough.
Try it, it is surprisingly good.
Here’s the video
cook well, It’s worth it.
Rob Barrett

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cooking a Turkey, Some Advanced Ideas.

Cooking a turkey is one of my favorite things to do. I highly recommend one person make the turkey and another take on the sides.

If you've never made a turkey before follow the link below. It's an easy step by step video recipe that will help anyone have a great, delicious Thanksgiving Turkey.

If you've made a turkey lots of times before but want some new ideas, here are some options for that wonderful traditional bird.

1. Try a brine. It's a salty mix that you soak your thawed turkey in for 12 - 24 hours. This is a store bought one but there are lots of recipes on the web for brines. Basically, disolve the brine in a gallon of boiling water, let it return to room temp (for me that means putting ice in it until it cools.) add aonther gallon of water (minus the ice :-)) Put turkey in bucket and pour brine over turkey and make sure turkey is completely covered. Put in the refrigerator (or if you live in Minnesota, out on the deck or anywhere that's not inside. :-)) for 12 - 24 hours.

I of course didn't plan far enough ahead so It only brined for 5 hours.

2. place butter under the skin. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the skin on the breast and spread a layer of butter under skin. Make sure the skin doesn't get punctured.

3. Slice a lemon and an orange and put it in the cavity. It gives a sparkly top end to the taste. I highly recommend it.

4. add one or two handfuls of pomegranate seeds to the stuffing. add it right after you finished fluffing it with a fork and it's still hot. Add the seeds and stir. That way a little of the juice gets mixed in with the stuffing but the seeds maintain integrity.

Here's a video where all of these are shown.

Have a great Thanksgiving,

Cook well,
Rob Barrett

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Imagine .. a world with no cooking, a raw food adventure.

Imagine there are no ovens.
Imagine no microwaves
Imagine no dairy or meat

We went to this place tonight. It was called Ecopolitan and is the only raw restaurant in Minneapolis. I was actually in the mood for a burger but we promised our friends we'd go with them. The menu was really different with lots of things in quotes. There was "pizza" with "cheese" and even "sausage." I was a little nervous.

We started out with the "Na-cho Cheese" plate that, of course had no cheese. It was "cheese" made out of pine nuts and served with dehydrated chips of nuts and dates. Believe it or not, it was really, really good.

Then I ordered the "Raw-violi" that was made from beet noodles and filled with cashew cheese with a ginger sauce. While not like pasta, it was incredibly flavourful and one really interesting and delicious dish.

The rest of the table got "pizzas". My favorite was the pineapple pizza but all three were great.

We ended the night with a pumpkin pie that had no pumpkin. Instead it was made from a cashew paste that really tasted like pumpkin.

I have no idea how they make that stuff and how it comes out tasting so good. There wasn't anything we didn't like. My wife said at the end, "This is the most exciting restaurant I've been to in years." I'm sure we'll be back.

Ecopolitan, 24th and Lyndale, Minneapolis

Rob Barrett

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Super Easy Chicken Parmesan

There's a time for everything: a time to cook and a time to go out; a time to fry and a time to bake; a time to make something complex and time for a super easy one.

While there are many recipes for chicken parmesan, I think I've found the easiest possible one.  (Don't confuse easy with not tasting great.) You can look other recipes up on the web and choose the one that's won the most awards or, by the time you've found it, you you could be done cooking this one.

So here goes. give it a try and let me know what you think.


3 chicken breats

1 bottle pasta sauce

1 block parmesan cheese

1 egg scrambled

salt and pepper

olive oil



Cut chicken breast in half and flatten to about 1/2 inch.

add salt and pepper

Beat one egg and pour into plate

grate parmesan cheese and place on separate plate.

dip in chicken in egg, and then in parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in pan on high heat

cook chicken 1 minute each side or until done.

Heat pasta sauce in microwave and spread on plate.

Place chicken on top and serve.

Cook well, 

Rob Barrett

Cooking for Dads