Darlings, it is official. We are in the midst of National Jell-O Week! I hope that you got your jiggle on because the weekend is fast approaching. But if you haven’t celebrated yet, fear not! I’ve already observed this holiest of holy week for you. Come, live vicariously through me.
Look at dinner #48. Turkey Scalloppine.
What to my wondering eyes should appear? What’s that coffee-colored blob hanging out in the bottom left-hand corner of this dinner? It’s kinda glossy. Does that thing wiggle?
Fuckin’-A it does! Say HELLO, Jell-O!
But first! Say hello to my KitchenAid mixer and the Meringue That Ate Manhattan (or at least the northeast corner of my kitchen).
I didn’t know that 3 room-temperature egg whites could do that. Seriously, the KitchenAid mixer has changed my life. Damn, I could have done a fan dance with that merengue-covered whisk those peaks were so stiff (insert obligatory nipple joke here).
Oh, but let me tell you why I was making copious amounts of meringue–#48 called for a Lemon Schaum Torte. The Betty Crocker version takes 17 hours and requires egg yolks and fresh lemon juice, and well, the recipe was so long I couldn’t get through it so I just said screw you, torte! And totally MacGuyvered one with stuff I already had in my house.
Here is the basic recipe I used for a meringue pie shell, courtesy of the Incredible Edible Egg website.
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- HEAT oven to 225°F. BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, ADD sugar, 2 Tbsp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. (Rub a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger; it should feel completely smooth.) Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in Stiff Peaks. BEAT IN vanilla.
- SPREAD meringue on bottom and sides of greased 9-inch pie plate with back of spoon, building up edge to form a rim.
- BAKE in 225°F oven until firm and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Turn off oven. LET DRY in oven, with door closed, until cool and crisp, at least 1 hour. STORE, in pie plate, in tightly sealed container at room temperature. FILL just before serving.
So there’s my meringue shell, pre-bake. Look at the striking similarities between the Incredible Edible Egg pie and mine. Yeah, it just looks like a plateau of whipped cream. You try working with that much meringue in such a small pie plate.
Let’s get into the timeline, since this was an all-day affair.
10:45 am: I separated the eggs to get those egg whites to room temperature.
10:55 am: I cleaned, cut, and steamed the broccoli and made a mustard vinaigrette (2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp water, 2 tsp olive oil, 3 tsp dijon mustard, dash of salt and red pepper flakes). Combined it all and chilled.
11:20 am: I hollowed out two-medium sized tomatoes to be stuffed with peas. I used a paring knife and small spoon to remove all of the seeds and ribs. I then put them on paper towels to drain in the fridge.
11:30 am: I started the meringue. You have seen the result above. Let me note this once more—how amazing are those egg whites? Also, an FYI, I only used 1/3 a cup of sugar. They were plenty sweet with a reduced amount. A full ¾ cup would have been much too much.
11:50 am: My meringue shell went into the oven for 1 and a half hours.
12:45 pm: I prepared the jellied consommé. I halved the recipe since there were only 2 of us and, well, how much jellied consommé does one need?
- 1.5 cups beef broth
- 1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Marsala cooking wine (if I had actually dry Sherry that’s what I would’ve used)
- ¼ cup cold water.
I softened the gelatin in the cold water. Nuked the broth until it was hot. Dissolved the gelatin mixture in the broth. Added the lemon juice and wine, and then chilled.
This being National Jell-O week and all, I just had to mold it.
1:20 pm: I shut off the oven and let the crust alone to sit.
4:05 pm: I took out the meringue crust and wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap. I also made Jell-O fat-free sugar-free instant lemon pudding for my torte. Both were put aside for later use.
4:15 pm: I plugged in my electric skillet and browned the chicken scalloppine. Yes, I said chicken and not turkey. Anyone want to guess why? I’ll just say that I totally know that in the past there has been turkey when I’ve looked for turkey.
4:30 pm : As the chicken browned, I prepared the creamed peas for the Tomatoes Stuffed With Peas. They looked like creamed peas in the picture so I ran with that. This is what I did:
Emily’s Easy Peasy Creamy Peas
Drain 1 8oz (small) can of peas, reserve liquid. In small saucepan combine the pea liquid (ew) with half and half (I used fat-free) in the same amount that there was pea liquid (ew, again). Make a cream sauce, using 1 tsp flour. Fold in peas, season to taste.
4:39 pm: The chicken was all browned so I added the Marsala wine, thyme, and oregano to the pan.
4:45 pm: In a separate sauté pan, I cooked the sliced mushrooms in margarine.
4:50 pm: I added the mushrooms to the chicken in the electric skillet.
4:55 pm: I had to shut off the electric skillet in order to use the microwave for the instant mashed potatoes that would become the Parmesan Potato Puffs.
So instant mashed potatoes should be fool-proof, right? Au contraire! Remember how I botched the potatoes in the disaster that was #21 Beef Rouladen?
Well, I messed these up, too. Instead of nuking the liquids and THEN adding the flakes I just put them in all together. What is my issue with instant mashed potatoes?
I’m happy to report that it wasn’t a disaster—they looked like an ok consistency so I added the 1 beaten egg and crossed my fingers as I put mounds of potato on foil and topped them with margarine and Parmesan cheese.
5:10 pm: The potato puffs, on a sheet of foil, also went into the 450 degree oven.
5:20 pm: so 10 minutes is how long the potato puffs were supposed to take. But they didn’t look too good. So I shut off the electric skillet to not overcook the chicken.
5:22 pm: I put the potatoes in the broiler to get them nice and browned. I assembled the Lemon Schaum Torte and topped it with Cool Whip. Plating commenced.
5:30 pm: DINNER IS SERVED!
This was a good dinner! If you like chicken Marsala you’d like this one. This was a solid recipe. Same with the broccoli–nice and simple. Nothing weird.
The pea-stuffed tomato surprised me because it held together and looked rather close to the one on #48. It tasted well enough but it’s not something that I’m rushing to make again.
The potato puffs worked! Now, they don’t look as finessed as the ones on the DiS! card–but they did maintain their shape and they browned. Sadly, they tasted like paste. Nowhere in the Parmesan Potato Puff recipe does it make mention of any seasoning or herbs. I should know better by now to ALWAYS up the seasoning.
I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of just the torte, but I think there’s enough of it in the finished photo for you to get a sense of how it turned out. This was GOOD. I love lemon desserts so this was already off to a good start, but the meringue crust is a brilliant idea–take note those of you who are weight watching or are gluten intolerant. I’m going to make this again. You could fill this shell with just about anything.
Now the jellied consomme–Cleve is beginning to think that there is something seriously wrong with me because I ate some and I liked it.
I did. I liked it. I had multiple spoonfuls. It was very fresh and tasted like lemon and sherry. And beef broth, I guess. I even tried to put some on the potato puffs because they were so bland (that didn’t work, by the way).
Gosh, is there really something wrong with me?
But anyhoo…I’m sorry that my gelatin-based dish wasn’t more of a spectacular or a deluxe. But believe me when I say that very soon I’m gonna Knox–um, I mean, knock– your socks off.