Monday, March 9, 2015

Deviled eggs with duck skin "cracklins"

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My younger son, a newly minted teenager, knows what he likes and wants what he wants.

And this week what he wants are deviled eggs.

I believe in turning out self-sufficient young men who can feed themselves - and a dozen of their friends, too. So I taught him how to make deviled eggs.

He has now made three batches on his own. Well, two and a half. The first time he didn't let the eggs come to a full boil and ended up with oozing yolks and wobbly whites. But the next two batches were terrific.

He's been seasoning his with herbs like chervil, chives and thyme. Truth be told, I like my deviled eggs a little more straightforward - mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. But I'll never turn down a bit of crunch on top, whether it's bacon, crushed croutons, or, as in this case, slivered duck skin baked to a crisp.

Admittedly, duck is a rare treat for us. I think the skin off chicken thighs would work - I'll try it and report back.

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Deviled eggs with duck skin "cracklins"
Simple, traditional deviled eggs topped with slivered duck skin that's been baked until crisp. A luxurious treat for a weeknight dinner at home or the fanciest of cocktail parties.
  • 2 duck breast lobes, skins only (use meat for another dish)
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • green onions, chopped (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Slice the duck skins into 1/4-inch strips and spread them out on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Slide the pan into the oven and bake until crisp, about 20 minutes (start checking after 10 minutes - do not let the duck skins burn). Remove the duck "cracklins" from the oven and use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Let cool, then chop roughly.While the duck skins cook, put the eggs in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to a rolling boil, clap on the lid, turn off the flame, and leave the covered pot sitting on the stove for 25 minutes.Drain the water from the pot, add cold water, and let the eggs cool for a few minutes. Peel the eggs and cut them in half horizontally.Carefully remove the yolks from the hard-boiled eggs. Put all the yolks in a small mixing bowl and add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork or whisk until very smooth.Use a small spoon or a piping bag to refill the egg white halves with the yolk mixture. Sprinkle with the duck "cracklins" and the chopped green onions. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 pieces

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Glazed salmon fillets with Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup

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Glazed salmon fillets with Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup

When I first created my Not Ketchup fruit ketchups, I really only thought about using them on meat. Burgers, steak, chicken, sausages, lamb chops, pork chops, ribs. Meaty meat.

But after spending a lot of time at Santa Monica Seafood - the best retail seafood market, wholesale seafood distributor and seafood cafe in southern California, and an enthusiastic supporter of Not Ketchup from the very beginning - I realized that Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup, with its perfectly balanced combination of sweet, salty, tangy, and slightly spicy, would pair well with rich, buttery salmon fillets.

This recipe puts the salmon under the broiler, but you can do it on the grill as well. Just make sure you don't put the fish too close to the heat source - you want the Not Ketchup to caramelize and bubble without burning.

Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup Glazed Salmon

Erika Kerekes
Published 01/06/2015
Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup Glazed Salmon Fillets
Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauce makes a sweet, tangy, slightly spicy glaze for oven-roasted salmon fillets. A delicious and easy gourmet dinner.



  1. Preheat the broiler until very hot, with the oven rack about 4 inches below the heat.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Using a basting brush or the back of a spoon, spread each fillet generously on all sides with ⅓ of the Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup. Broil the salmon 2-3 minutes, until the Not Ketchup coating starts to brown and sizzle.
  4. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Slather the salmon with another layer of Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup. Return the baking sheet to the oven for another 3-4 minutes, watching carefully to make sure the salmon doesn’t burn. The salmon is done when the outside is browned and bubbling and the inside is cooked through.
  5. Drizzle the remaining Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup over the top of the salmon fillets and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 15 mins.
Tags: seafood, fish, salmon, dinner, Not Ketchup, chipotle

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Broccoli fritters

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Broccoli fritters

I never liked deep-frying. It always seemed like a huge production. So much oil. Such a mess. Having to clean the stove after it was over. I avoided it for years.

But then there was that day a few years ago when I made onion pakora according to instructions from Rashmi of YumKid. Such sizzle! So crispy! And I remembered: Fried food is downright delicious.

These broccoli fritters are worth the spent oil and the mess. Use leftover cooked broccoli or take a shortcut with frozen chopped broccoli. Either way, you'll be glad you did.

By the way, these broccoli fritters would be perfect for Hanukkah, also known as The Festival of Fried Food. I served them with Not Ketchup, but a lemony aioli would work too.

Note: If you really don't want to deep-fry, use a skillet and form the batter into pancakes, using about 2 Tablespoons of oil in the skillet and 1 Tablespoon of batter for each pancake. 

Broccoli fritters


  • 1 cup all-purpose baking mix (I use Bisquick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • A few dashes hot sauce (I use Tabasco)
  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped (or use 2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, steamed, cooled and chopped)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Oil, for deep-frying (I use grapeseed or canola oil)
  • Not Ketchup, for dipping
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the baking mix, egg, milk, garlic salt, pepper and hot sauce; the batter will be thick. Fold in the broccoli and green onions.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep medium-sized saucepan until the surface shimmers. Using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop about 1 teaspoon of batter into the oil for each fritter. Fry until golden brown; drain on a rack set over a sheet pan or on a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Serve warm with your favorite flavor of Not Ketchup for dipping.
30 minutes | 8 servings

Monday, November 3, 2014

My gift to you: The Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook

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Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe Ebook

I've been experimenting with my Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauces for more than a year now. One of the things I discovered last Thanksgiving and Christmas is that Not Ketchup added a ton of flavor - with very little corresponding work - to my holiday menus.

I've compiled some of my favorite holiday recipes into The Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook, a free ebook that I'm delighted to share with you. It includes six delicious, gorgeous, ultra-simple recipes:

  • Smoky Date Sweet Potato Fritters - light, smoky puffs that work equally well as a pre-meal snack or an unusual side dish
  • Cherry Chipotle Roast Turkey - an easy, flavorful roast turkey lacquered with Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup
  • Spiced Fig Glazed Ham - one spiral-cut ham plus one bottle of Spiced Fig Not Ketchup equals one fantastic centerpiece for your holiday meal
  • Blueberry White Pepper Stuffing Muffins - single-serving cornbread dressing studded with dried blueberries and drizzled with Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • Smoky Date Brussels Sprouts - with bacon, slivered dates, pistachios and Smoky Date Not Ketchup, these are Brussels sprouts even a vegetable hater will adore
  • Cherry Chipotle Turkey Tostadas - leftover turkey turned into a post-holiday lunch

I hope you enjoy this free ebook as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I'm already making notes for next year's edition!

Click here to download the Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Falafel stuffed mushrooms and the joy of unexpected visitors

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Falafel stuffed mushrooms from In Erika's Kitchen

We live in a drop-in house.

I know some people hate drop-in visits. I love them. They remind me of college, four happy years of back-to-back unexpected visitors.

It helps that I'm not embarrassed by the mess that is my house. I assume friends will understand the Not Ketchup chaos. I'll clean up when I'm a millionaire.

This past Saturday morning our friends G and N popped in during their morning walk around the neighborhood. We chatted over coffee and pomegranates until I had to rush out to a meeting. What would I have done with that half-hour had they not stopped by? Nothing as interesting as visiting with them, I'm sure.

My neighbor S comes by with her toddlers, too. The last time they came down to my office, unfortunately, I was on a call and couldn't stop to play. But most of the time I am delighted for a few minutes of kid time.

I feed people when they drop in. These falafel stuffed mushrooms are the perfect snack for drop-in visitors: They're easy, quick, healthy and delicious.

Note: Look for prepared falafel mix in the ethnic section of major grocery stores or in Middle Eastern markets. The recipe states 55 minutes total, but the first half hour is mostly waiting for the falafel mix to be ready to scoop and the rest is baking time, so you have plenty of time to visit with your guests.

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Falafel stuffed mushrooms
This vegan snack is easy, fast, healthy and delicious. Using boxed falafel mix makes preparation even quicker.
  • 1 cup boxed prepared falafel mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 12 large white mushrooms
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tahini (prepared, from the jar; optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.In a small mixing bowl, combine the falafel mix and water. Stir to combine, then let rest at room temperature 30-60 minutes.While the falafel mixture is resting, wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Pat the mushroom caps dry with paper towels.Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into a baking dish and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the mushrooms to the dish and turn them over with your hands, making sure the mushrooms are coated with the oil. Sprinkle the mushroom caps with salt.Using a small spoon, scoop out about 1 Tablespoon of the falafel mixture and mound it into a mushroom cap, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon or your fingers. Repeat with the remaining falafel mixture and mushroom caps. Drizzle the remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil over the tops of the stuffed mushrooms.Bake the mushrooms about 25 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the falafel is cooked through and golden brown on top. Drizzle with the tahini if desired and serve warm.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings