Author Archives for Have Fork, Will Travel

About Have Fork, Will Travel

Office by day, home cook/baker by night, maker of many things. Food groupie always. Life is too short for bad food.

Mashed Potato Tots

Have leftover mashed potatoes? Take them to a whole new level. This easy recipe can be put together in a short time, and you can have the kids help with shaping them.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 tsp onion powder

panko crumbs

Mix mashed potatoes, egg, chives, onion powder, and half of the flour together in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined.

If the texture is too loose, add additional flour one tablespoon at at time. Mix well. You want the consistency to be like clay. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes. This will give the flour time to rehydrate.

Add panko crumbs into a bowl for rolling.

Using a small scoop or two teaspoons, drop spoonfuls into the panko and completely coat. Gently remove and shake off excess. Place on a parchment paper or wax paper lined baking sheet. You want to fill up the baking sheet, but the tots should not touch.

Using your fingers, press the potato cakes into a log shape. Place the pan into the freezer for at least an hour, and up to overnight.

When you are ready to cook them, heat up cooking oil to 350F, then add in 5-8 frozen tots into the hot oil. You don’t want to crowd them so they can cook evenly. Flip over after 3-4 minutes and cook until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Note:

You can make these ahead of time and only pull out as much as you need. Store them in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.

Turkey a la King

Turkey gravy is so delicious, and often you have a cup or two left over after a holiday meal. With just a few ingredient and 10 minutes you can create a whole new meal with it.

Ingredients

1 1/2-2 cups gravy (use whatever you have on hand, store-bought is ok)

1-1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (if using green bean casserole, dice the green beans to bite-sized)

Chicken or vegetable stock, or water, as needed

1/2 tsp. mustard

3/4 cup diced turkey

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper, to taste

Drain the vegetables and place in a medium saucepan.

Add the leftover gravy, turkey, and mustard to the pan and heat on medium low. If the gravy is too thick, add broth or water, a few tablespoons at a time.

Heat until simmering, cooking constantly. You don’t want the bottom to scorch. Add Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

Once everything is heated through, about 5 minutes, remove from heat.

You can use this to top mashed potatoes, savory waffles, potato croquettes (tots), or even a toasted roll.

Stuffing Waffles

Stuffing or dressing is a standard side dish for turkey or other poultry. Often, once the meal is over and there are dribs and drabs of vegetables, stuffing, and gravy. What better way to make a completely new meal with what you have on hand? The best part is that you can use whatever is available.

Ingredients

2 cups leftover stuffing

1 egg

Chicken or vegetable stock, or water, as needed

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Non-stick spray or vegetable oil

Preheat the waffle maker.

In a large bowl, stir together the leftover stuffing, parsley, and egg. If the stuffing seems a little dry, add chicken broth or water a few tablespoonfuls at a time and mix until well combined. Continue adding chicken broth or water as needed until the mixture is well-moistened (but not soggy).

Grease the heated waffle maker with cooking spray or oil.

Scoop 1/2-3/4 cup of the stuffing mixture into the prepared waffle iron, spreading it evenly. Close the lid and let the waffle bake until golden brown and the egg is cooked throughout.

Transfer the waffle to a serving plate then repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining stuffing. Serve the waffles with turkey a la king gravy and enjoy.

NOTES:

Make sure that the vegetables in the stuffing/dressing are relatively small. This will ensure even baking of the waffle.

Don’t repeatedly open the waffle baker while the waffle is baking or it will pull apart.

Stuffing waffles take longer to cook than regular waffles, because the egg must be completely cooked throughout. Don’t be afraid to let the waffle bake until it’s golden brown and crispy.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with topping with chili, cheese, pulled pork, or whatever is your favorite topping.

It’s good to be the…….(fair results)

I could only hold out so long before going to the fair to see how my entries placed. I must say, I am very happy with the results. Thirty five out of 40 entries placed, one I couldn’t find, and eight Best in Show ribbons. I won’t know if I placed in Sweepstakes until I pick my items up after the fair is over. Time to start planning for next year!

Edit: see the last photo for the ribbon count!

It’s Fair Time!

2019 baking drop off

It’s that time of year again – local county fairs. I love the frenzy of last-minute crafting and baking, loading up the truck, and taking everything in. This year was no exception. I always aim to enter more items than the year before, and usually have a few that I simply run out of time to finish. I’ve been doing this long enough to laugh about it, promise myself to get started on my projects earlier (knowing full well that there would be a last minute rush like every year before it), and then spend the week following turn-in day picking up all the craft or baking supplies and putting things back in their place. The end of the craft week has my front room looking like a craft store, and the baking week has flour in places of the kitchen I wouldn’t have thought could get there. It’s all good, and then I start planning for the next year.

This year was like every other. On the drop-off day we decide what the latest time we can leave the house is, then set a cutoff time to wrap up things in process. For the baking day, I had 25 completed baked items by the designated time. We loaded up my husband’s car and the cab of my truck, then raced across town. Promptly at 4pm, I dashed into the building so that I “technically” made it on time. Or so I thought. The women that run the building looked at me and told me they were there until 5pm, not 4. Apparently, someone had put the wrong time on the main listing page for Home Arts, but the correct one was listed if you checked each individual division. If you enter as many categories as I do (39 this year!), you don’t have time on the last day to double-check the book. So. After Tokyo-drifting into the parking lot with many, many baked goods, we find out that I could have wrapped up 3-5 more items already in progress. As it was, my hubby had to zip back across town to bring back the upside down cake that we forgot (it had been set aside to finish cooling). The sourdough bread was the last thing pulled from the oven at 3:30pm; I had to hope for the best on that one. You cannot rush sourdough baking, or bad things happen.

All the pans are washed, baking ingredients returned to their shelves, and the yearly Where’s Waldo Fair Home Game card completed. We will go to the fair this week to see how my items placed, get our obligatory geodes, and probably enjoy a bit of fair food. If you go to the Fresno Fair and see my entries, let me know what you think!

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